Reconciling Enemies One Unto the Other

Forgiveness of one’s enemies is a necessity if we want to save our immortal souls. There is, as I have noted so frequently on this site, no place in the heart of a Catholic for holding or nursing grudges or wishing ill for those we believe have injured us in some way or another. We must forgive as we are forgiven in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance, and we must seek to do good to those who have injured us, recognizing that there is nothing we can suffer from others that is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and caused His Most Blessed Mother to suffer as those Seven Swords of Sorrow were plunged through and through her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

The Gospel reading for today’s Mass on the Feast of Saint John Gualbert (and a Commemoration of Saints Nabor and Felix) reminds us that the very Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity made Man in the Virginal and Immaculate Womb of Mary by the power of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, at the Annunciation, Christ the King Himself, taught us to forgive our enemies and to do good to those who persecute us:

You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: that you may be the children of your Father Who is in Heaven, Who maketh His sun to rise upon the good and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have; do not even the publicans this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this? Be you therefore perfect, as also your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5: 43-48.)

We must be perfect as Our Heavenly Father is perfect. We must forgive others. We cannot go about exacting vengeance or engaging in petty acts of vindictiveness against others. We must forgive as we are forgiven. It is that simple. Each of us deserves to be chastised for our sins. We should be grateful to the ever merciful God that He sends us others to calumniate us and to speak ill of us just moments after they may have spoken feigned words of greetings to us through gritted teeth and pretended smiles that betrayed a spirit of inner contempt.

So what?

So what?

Our sins deserve far, far worse than anything we are asked to suffer in this passing, mortal vale of tears. None of us or our supposed “reputations,” which exist more in our own imaginations than they do in the objective order of things, are so important as to become arrogant and full of self-righteous sanctimony when our “pride” is wounded and especially when things we would rather not hear about ourselves become more widely known in this life as a preparation for the revelation of each of our private thoughts, words and actions on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the living and the dead. It will only be on that Last Day that the totality of our lives will be seen by others as we saw it at the Particular Judgment, which is ratified and made known to all at the General Judgment to manifest both the justice and mercy of God.

So many people plot and scheme and whisper behind closed doors (or endlessly on their cellular phones) to “protect” their nonexistent “reputations,” fearful that some ill word, whether true or not, will be spoken against them. Meetings are held where tales full of half-truth and lots of positivism are spun to seek reaffirmation from others for a “plan of action” to proactively attack those who know the truth about them and their constant self-seeking. To what end? To what good end? Doesn’t everything get revealed on the Last Day? Why all of the efforts to avoid a little chastisement in this life?

Indeed, much of the chastisement that comes our way could be avoided entirely if we only had more humility to say, “You know what? Boy, I’ve messed up a whole lot. I’ve done some very bad things. I’ve treated people badly. I’ve attempted to make others look guilty in a given situation when I’m the one at fault. You know what? I’m a stinker. Please forgive me.”

Saint John Gualbert, whose feast we celebrate today, was confronted with a plea for forgiveness from the murderer of his own brother. The reading from the Divine Office for this day, as found in Dom Prosper Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year, tells of this plea and how it changed our Saint’s life:

Saint John Gualbert was born at Florence of a noble family. While, in compliance with his father’s wishes, he was following the career of arms, it happened that his only brother Hugh was slain by a kinsman. On Good Friday, John, at the head of an armed band, met the murderer alone and unarmed, in a spot where they could not avoid each other. Seeing death imminent, the murderer, with arms outstretched in the form of a cross, begged for mercy, and John, through reverence for the sacred sign, graciously spared him. Having thus changed his enemy into a brother, he went to pray in the church of San Miniato, which was near at hand; and as he was adoring the image of Christ crucified, he saw it bend its head towards him. John was deeply touched by this miracle, and determined thereafter to fight for God alone, even against his father’s wish; so on the spot he cut off his own hair and put on the monastic habit. Very soon his pious and religious manner of life shed abroad so great a lustre that he became to many a living rule and pattern of perfection. Hence on the death of the Abbot of the place he was unanimously chosen superior. But the servant of God, preferring obedience to superiority, and moreover being reserved by the divine will for greater things, bestook himself to Romuald, who was then living in the desert of Camaldoli, and who, inspired by heaven, announced to him that the institute he was to form; whereupon he laid the foundations of his Order under the Rule of St. Benedict of Vallombrosa. (The Roman Breviary, as found in Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Volume XIII, Time After Pentecost: Book IV, pp. 79-80.)

Saint John Gualbert’s entire life was changed by extending forgiveness to the man who had killed his brother because he had seen his brother’s murderer plead for his life with a sign of the Holy Cross. He forgave. He laid down his arms of battle to take up arms for Christ the King.

Saint John Gualbert’s show of mercy to his brother’s murderer, however, did not mean that he was, to quote the words used so frequently by the late John Joseph Jackie Boy or “Sully” Sullivan, a “wimp, a fairy, a pansy.” Not at all. Saint John Gualbert hated what God hated, and he was as fierce as a soldier in the Army of Christ the King as he had been as a soldier with the arms of this world. Although he wanted to show mercy to all others, he was fearless in opposing the abuse of ecclesiastical power as he exposed the plots and schemes of clergymen who were interested in their own money and power and privileges rather than serving the souls for whom Christ the King had shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.

If we think we have problems today in traditional circles, consider the hatred directed at Saint John Gualbert as he opposed the simony (the buying and selling of ecclesiastical offices and privileges) that was so very widespread in his day and as he showed himself to be a tireless foe of heresy:

Soon afterwards, many attracted by the renown of his sanctity, flocked to him from all sides. He received them into his society, and together with them he zealously devoted himself to rooting out heresy and simony and promoting the apostolic faith; on account of which devotedness both he and his disciples suffered innumerable injuries. Thus, his enemies in their eagerness to destroy him and his brethren, suddenly attacked the monastery of San Salvi by night, burned the church, demolished the buildings, and morally wounded all the monks. The man of God, however, restored them all forthwith to health by a single sign of the cross. Peter, one of his monks, miraculously walked unhurt through a huge blazing fire, and thus John obtained for himself and his sons the peace they so much desired. From that time forward every stain of simony disappeared from Tuscany: and faith, throughout all Italy, was restored to its former purity.

John built many entirely new monasteries, and restored many others both as to their material buildings and as to regular observance, strengthening them all with the bulwark of holy regulations. In order to feed the poor he sold the sacred vessels of the altar. The elements were obedient to his will when he sought to check evil-doers; and the sign of the cross was the sword he used whereby to conquer the devils. (The Roman Breviary, as found in Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Volume XIII, Time After Pentecost: Book IV, pp. 80-81.)

Saint John Gualbert, man of mercy but also of justice, was dauntless in his effort to expose treachery and to unmask evildoers in shepherds’ clothing, living at the same time as that foe of the pestilence of sodomy then extant in ecclesiastical circles, Saint Peter Damian. Dom Prosper Gueranger explained the holy zeal for truth that consumed Saint John Gualbert, so much so that he had come into conflict with Saint Peter Damian, who had thought that Saint John Gualbert was wrong to have deposed a local bishop because of the latter’s self-seeking and practice of simony:

Never, from the day when Simon Magus was baptized at Samaria, had hell seemed so near to conquering the Church as at the period brought before us by to-day’s feast. Rejected and anathematized by Peter, the new Simon had said to the princes, as the former had said to the apostles: ‘Sell me this power, that upon whomsoever I shall lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.’ And the princes, ready enough to supplant Peter and fill their coffers at the same time, had taken upon themselves to invest men of their own choice with the government of the churches; the bishops in their turn had sold to the highest bidders the various orders of the hierarchy; and sensuality, ever in the wake of covetousness, had filled the sanctuary with defilement.

The tenth century had witnessed the humiliation of the supreme pontificate itself; early in the eleventh, simony was rife among the clergy. The work of salvation was going on in the silence of the cloister; but Peter Damian had not yet come forth from the desert; nor had Hugh of Cluny, Leo IX, and Hildebrand [Pope Gregory VII] brought their united efforts to bear upon the evil. A single voice was heard to utter the cry of alarm and rouse the people from their lethargy; it was the voice of a monk, who had once been a valiant soldier, and to whom the crucifix had bowed its head in recognition of his generous forgiveness of an enemy. John Gualbert, seeing simony introduced into his own monastery of San Miniato, left it and entered Florence, only to find the pastoral staff in the hands of a hireling. The zeal of God’s House was devouring his heart; and going into the public squares, he denounced the bishop and his own abbot, that thus he might, at least, deliver his own soul.

At the sight of this monk confronting single-handed the universal corruption, the multitude was for a moment seized with stupefaction; but soon surprise was turned into rage, and John with difficulty escaped death. From this day John his special vocation was determined: the just, who had never despaired, hailed him as an avenger of Israel, and their hope was not to be confounded. But like all who are chosen for a divine work, he was to spend a long time under training of the Holy Spirit. The athlete had challenged the powers of this world; the holy war was declared: one would naturally have expected it to wage without ceasing until the enemy was entirely defeated. And yet, the chosen soldier of Christ hastened into solitude to ‘amend his life,’ according to the truly Christian expression used in the foundation-charter of Vallombrosa. The promoters of the disorder, startled at the suddenness of the attack, and then seeing the aggressor as suddenly disappear, would laugh at the false alarm; but cost what it might to the once brilliant soldier, he knew how to be abide, in humility and submission, the hour of God’s good pleasure.

Little by little other souls, disgusted with the state of society, came to join him; and soon the army of prayer and penance spread throughout Tuscany. It was destined to extend all over Italy, and even to cross the mountains. Settimo, seven miles from Florence, and San Salvi, at the gates of the city, were the strongholds whence the hold war was to recommence in 1063. Another simoniac, Peter of Pavia, had purchased the succession to the episcopal see. John, with all his monks, was resolved rather to die than to witness in silence this new insult offered to the Church of God. His reception this time was to be very different from the former, for the fame of his sanctity and miracles had caused him to be looked upon by the people as an oracle. No sooner was his voice heard once more in Florence that the whole flock was so stirred that the unworthy pastor, seeing he could no longer dissemble, cast off his disguise and showed what he really was: a thief who had come only to rob and kill and destroy. By his orders a body of armed men descended upon San Salvi, set fire to the monastery, fell upon the brethren in the midst of the Night Office, and put them all to the sword; each monk continuing to chant till he received the final stroke. John Gualbert, hearing at Vallambrosa of the martyrdom of his sons, intoned a canticle of triumph. Florence was seized with horror, and refused to communicate with the assassin bishop. Nevertheless, four years had yet to elapse before deliverance could come; and the trials of St. John had scarcely begun.

St. Peter Damian, invested with full authority by the Sovereign Pontiff, had just arrived from the Eternal City. All expected that no quarter would be given to simony by its sworn enemy, and that peace would be restored to the afflicted Church. The very contrary took place. The greatest saints may be mistaken, and so become to one another the cause of sufferings by so much the bitter as their will, less subject to caprice than that of other men, remains more firmly set upon the course they have adopted for the interests of God and His Church. Perhaps the great bishop of Ostia [Saint Peter Damian] did not take into consideration the exceptional position in which the Florentines were placed by the notorious simony of Peter of Pavia, and the violent manner in which he put to death, without form of trial, all who dared to withstand him. Starting from the indisputable principle that inferiors have no right to depose their superiors, the legate reprehended the conduct of the monks, and of all who had separated themselves from the bishop. There was but one refuge for them, the Apostolic See, to which they fearlessly appealed, a proceeding which no one could call uncanonical. But there, says the historian,. many who feared for themselves, rose up against them, declaring that these monks were worthy of death for having dared to attack the prelates of the Church; while Peter Damian severely reproached them before the whole Roman Council. The holy and glorious Pope Alexander II took the monks under his own protection, and praised the uprightness of their intention. Yet he dared not comply with their request and proceed further, because the greater number of the bishops sided with Peter of Pavia; the archdeacon Hildebrand [the future Pope Gregory VII] alone was entirely in favour of the Abbot of Vallambrosa [Saint John Gualbert].

Nevertheless, the hour was at hand when God Himself would pronounce the judgment refused them by men. While overwhelmed with threats and treated as lambs amongst wolves, John Gualbert and his sons cried to heaven with the Psalmist: ‘Arise, O Lord, and help us; arise, why dost Thou sleep, O Lord? Arise, O God, and judge our cause.’ At Florence the storm continued to rage. St. Saviour’s at Settimo became the refuge of such of the clergy as were banished from the town by the persecution; the holy founder, who was then residing in the monastery, multiplied in their behalf the resources of his charity. At length the situation became so critical that one day in Lent of the year 1067 the rest of the clergy and whole population left the simoniac alone in his deserted palace and fled to Settimo. Neither the length of the road, deep in mud from the rain, nor the rigorous fast observed by all, says the narrative written at that very time to the Sovereign Pontiff by the clergy of the people of Florence, could stay the most delicate matrons, women about to become mothers, or even children. Evidently the Holy Ghost was actuating the crowd; they called for the judgment of God. John Gualbert, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, gave his consent to the trial; and in testimony of the truth of the accusation brought by him against the Bishop of Florence, Peter, one of his monks, since known as Peter Igneus, walked slowly before the eyes of the multitude through an immense fire, without receiving the smallest injury. Heaven had spoken: the bishop was deposed by Rome, and ended his days, a happy penitent, in that very monastery of Settimo.

In 1073, the year in which his friend Hildebrand was raised to the Apostolic See, John was called to God. His influence against simony had reached far beyond Tuscany. The Republic of Florence ordered his feast to be kept as a holiday, and the following words were engraved upon his tombstone: To John Gualbert, Citizen of Florence, Deliverer of Italy. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Volume XIII, Time After Pentecost: Book IV, pp. 75-79.)

Yes, there are precedents for a priest to denounce self-seekers. There are precedents for such a priest to be hated by many for his doing so as the self-seekers wrap themselves up in sanctimony and claim that they are the victims, not those whom they have abused or whose abuse they have suborned time and time again. There are precedents for a priest to be misunderstood and calumniated and abandoned by those who should be supporting him because they prefer not to see the truth of a given matter as this would mean upsetting an established order that has not been in the interest of the sanctification and salvation of souls or, obviously, to the honor and glory of God. 

Truth comes out sooner or later despite all efforts to hide it, to deny it, to misrepresent it, to attack those who speak out in its holy defense. Truth comes out sooner or later.

Saint John Gualbert forgave the man who murdered his brother.

He forgave the simoniac bishop, Peter of Pavia, whose reconciliation to Christ the King was so near and dear to his own deeply pastoral heart, which was conformed to that of the Most Sacred Heart of the Good Shepherd Himself.

There can be no compromise on any matter of Faith. There can be no compromise on any matter of Morals. There can be no compromise in any situation when souls are being abused by those who believe that they are to be served by the sheep rather than to minister unto the sheep who are in such need of succor and encouragement from their shepherds.

This is a point that Dom Prosper Gueranger made in his closing prayer in honor of Saint John Gualbert:

O true disciple of the New Law, who didst know how to spare an enemy for the love of the Holy Cross! teach us to practise, as thou didst, the lessons conveyed by the instrument of our salvation, which will then become to us, as to thee, a weapon ever victorious over the powers of hell. Could we look upon the Cross, and then refuse to forgive our brother an injury, when God Himself not only forgets our heinous offenses against His sovereign Majesty, but even died upon the Tree to expiate them? The most generous pardon a creature can grant is but a feeble shadow of the pardon we daily obtain from our Father in heaven. Still, the Gospel which the Church sings in thy honour may well teach us that the love of our enemies is the nearest resemblance we can have to our heavenly Father, and the sign that we are truly His children.

Thou hadst, O John, this grand trait of resemblance. He, who in virtue of His eternal generation is the true Son of God by nature, recognized in thee the mark of nobility which made thee His brother. When He bowed His sacred Head to thee, He saluted in thee the character of a child of God, which thou hadst just so beautifully maintained: a title a thousand times more glorious than those of noble ancestry. What a powerful germ was the Holy Ghost planting at that moment in thy heart! And how richly does God recompense a single generous act! Thy sanctification, the glorious share thou didst take in the Church’s victory, the fecundity whereby thou livest still in the Order sprung up from thee: all these choice graces for thy own soul and for so many others hung upon that critical moment. Fate, or the justice of God, as they contemporaries would have said, had brought thy enemy within thy power: how wouldst thou treat him? he was deserving of death; and in those days every man was his own avenger. Hadst thou then inflicted due punishment upon him, thy reputation would have rather increased than diminished. Thou wouldst have obtained the esteem of thy comrades; but only the glory which is of any worth before God, indeed the only glory which lasts long even in the sight of men, would never have been thine. Who would have known thee at the present day? Who would have felt the admiration and gratitude with which thy very name now inspires the children of the Church?

The Son of God, seeing that thy dispositions were conformable to those of His Sacred Heart, filled thee with His own jealous love of the holy City for whose redemption He shed His Blood. O thou that wert zealous for the beauty of the Bride, watch over her still; deliver her from hirelings who would fain receive from men the right of holding the place of the Bridegroom. In our days venality is less to be feared than compromise. Simony would take another form; there is not so much danger of bribery as of fawning, paying homage, making advances, entering into implicit contracts; all which proceedings are as contrary to the holy canons as are pecuniary transactions. And after all, is the evil any less for taking a milder form, if it enables princes to bind the Church again in fetters such as thou didst labour to break? Suffer not, O John Gualbert, such a misfortune, which would be the forerunner of terrible disasters. Continue to support with thy powerful arm the common Mother of men. Save thy fatherland a second time, seven in spite of itself. Protect, in these sad times, the Order of which thou art the glory and the father; give it strength to outlive the confiscations and the cruelties it has suffered from that same Italy which once hailed thee as its deliverer. Obtain for Christians of every condition the courage required for the warfare in which are all bound to engage. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Volume XIII, Time After Pentecost: Book IV, pp. 75-79.)

We live at a time when so many men who know better, including priests and presbyters within the counterfeit church of conciliarism, make one compromise after another with their own consciences, violating their very integrity as they do so, to fawn over and pay homage to a false “pope” who is a blasphemer and thus a murderer of souls. They are always ready to play The Let’s Pretend Game, proving themselves to be self-seeking hirelings afraid to speak out in defense of the truths of the Sacred Faith.

Truth be told, of course, we really don’t deserve a better situation than this, especially if we consider how our sins have helped to bring on and to perpetuate the chastisements that are now upon us. We are very responsible for the state of the world-at-large and for the state of the Church Militant on earth, which is why we must plead with the Mother of God to help us to be reconciled unto her Divine Son, Christ the King, in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance by making a good, sincere, integral Confession on a regular basis, if at all possible in these times, and to cooperate with the graces received therein to amend our lives and to do penance for our sins, living more and more penitentially as we withdraw from the world, assist more regularly at Holy Mass, spend time before Our King’s Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament and pray as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.

Let us keep close to the Divine Redeemer’s Most Sacred Heart through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother in this month of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus that was shed for our sanctification and salvation. If Our Lord shed His Most Precious Blood to atone for our sins, we had better be ready to forgive each other even in the midst of circumstances that find us on opposing sides of those with whom we should desire to spend all eternity in Heaven.

Vivat Christus Rex!

Viva Cristo Rey!

Our Lady of the Rosary, 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.

Saints Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint John Gualbert, pray for us.

Saints Nabor and Felix, pray for us.

Magnificat

The criminal act of tampering with the calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church by the scions of the counterfeit church of conciliarism is one of the great felonies of all time. The harmony and rhythm of the inherent order found in the calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church is laden with deep theological meaning and full of material for spiritual reflection and meditation. Such is the case with the feast that is celebrated today in the calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin, Saint Elizabeth, in the hill country of Judah.

The calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church places feasts at times of the year for very specific reasons. Today’s feast, the Visitation, a mystery we meditate upon every day if we pray all fifteen decades of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary daily, is celebrated eight days after the birth of Saint John the Baptist, that is, on the day of the circumcision of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s cousin and precursor.

This is the day that Our Lady left the hill country of Judah to return to Nazareth for the final six months of her own pregnancy. Thus, the liturgical Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the end of her period of visiting Saint Elizabeth, a period that had begun on April 2, which was eight days after Our Lady had been told the news of Saint Elizabeth’s pregnancy by Saint Gabriel the Archangel at the Annunciation. Thus, the actual day of the Visitation was April 2. The period of Our Lady’s visit lasted three months, meaning that the first trimester of her carrying the preborn Jesus was spent away from home helping her cousin prepare to deliver her own Divine Son’s precursor. The placement of this liturgical feast in the calendar of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service on May 31, therefore, makes no sense whatsoever (other than randomly selecting a Marian feast to close the Marian month of May).

God does nothing by accident or happenstance. Our Lady was visited by Saint Gabriel the Archangel on March 25, giving her perfect fiat to the will of the Father so as to enflesh the Son by the power of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost. She set off immediately for the hill country of Judah, a journey that took her eight days to complete. Upon arriving for her three month period of assisting Saint Elizabeth and Saint Zacharias, Our Lady heard Saint Elizabeth was inspired by the Holy Ghost to complete the first part of the Ave Maria had been begun by Saint Gabriel the Archangel eight days before. Saint Gabriel said, Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum; Benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus. . Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women. Saint Elizabeth said: Benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructus ventris tui. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. “Blessed art thou amongst women.” How can any Protestant say that the Angelic salutation given by Saint Gabriel to Our Lady and continued by Saint Elizabeth is unworthy of being on the lips of everyone who truly believes in the Sacred Divinity of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?  The exaltation of Our Lady as being the Mother of God and thus the Blessed Mother of us all is present in Saint Luke’s Gospel for all who have the honesty and the humility to see it and to recognize in Our Lady the very means by which our salvation was made possible.

Saint Elizabeth went on: “And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me. For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” (Lk. 1:43-44)

The Church teaches us that it was at the moment Saint John the Baptist leapt for joy in his mother’s womb that he was freed of Original Sin. The moment of Saint John’s preborn ecstasy thus teaches us about the inviolability of all innocent human life. The preborn Saint John heard the voice of Our Lady, who was carrying within her the preborn Jesus, the One Whose precursor Saint John was meant to be. This should serve as a fundamental lesson to all Catholics everywhere about the inviolability of the fruit of mother’s wombs.

The God-Man placed Himself in total solidarity with every child in every mother’s womb when He was conceived as a helpless embryo in Our Lady’s womb by the power of the God the Holy Ghost at the Annunciation. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: Et homo factus est. That both Saint Elizabeth, who knew that the fruit of Mary’s womb was her Lord, and Saint John the Baptist, were exultant over the fact of the Incarnation should remind us once more that the Incarnation changes everything about human existence–and that there is not one aspect of daily life that is not meant to be lived in the conscious and public recognition that the Word became Flesh to dwell amongst us and to win back for us on the tree of the Holy Cross what was lost for us on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. This is a lesson that the naturalists among us, ever eager to speak and act as though the Incarnation and the entirety of the Deposit of Faith are matters of complete indifference to social order, ought to remember.

Our Lady went on to proclaim her Magnificat, which is required under pain of mortal sin in most instances to be prayed every evening by all priests around the world near the close of vespers:

My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because He as regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Because He that is mighty, hath done great things for me; and holy is His name. And His mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear Him.

He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.

He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy: as He spoke to Abraham and his seed for ever. (Lk. 1: 46-55)

Dom Prosper Gueranger provided us with a superb commentary on Epistle that is read in today’s offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:

The Church introduces us into the depth of the mystery. What she has just been reading to us is the explanation of that word of Elizabeth’s which sums up the whole of to-day’s feast: ‘When thy voice sounded in mine ear, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.’ O voice of Mary, voice of the turtledove, putting winter to flight, and announcing springtime flowers and fragrance! At this sweet sound John’s soul, a captive in the darkness of sin, casts off the badge of slavery, and suddenly developing germs of highest virtues, appears as beautiful as a bride decked in nuptial array: and, therefore, how Jesus hastes unto this well-beloved soul! Between John and the Bridegroom, oh! what ineffable outpourings ! what sublime dialogue passes between them, from womb to womb of Mary and Elizabeth! In this happy meeting, the sight, the hearing, the voice of the mothers belong less to themselves than to the blessed fruit each bears within her; thus their senses are the lattices through which the Bridegroom and the friend of the Bridegroom see one another, understand one another, speak one to the other!

The animal man, it is true, understands not in this language. ‘Father,” the Son of God will soon exclaim: “I give thee thanks for that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Let him, therefore, that hath ears to hear, hear; but, Amen, I say unto you, unless ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, nor know its mysteries.’ Wisdom shall nevertheless be justified by her children, as the Gospel says. The simple-hearted in quest of light, with all the straightforwardness of humility, let pass unheeded those mocking shadows playing over the marshes of this world; they know that the first ray of the eternal Sun will disperse these phantoms, leaving emptiness before those who run in pursuit of them. These wise little ones already feed upon that which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, having a foretaste, here below, of eternal delights.

Ineffably is John the Baptist experiencing all this. Accosted by the divine Friend who has been beforehand in seeking him, his soul at once awakens to full ecstasy. Jesus, on this side, is now making his first conquest; for it is to John that is addressed amongst all creatures (Mary of course excepted) the sacred nuptial-song uttered to the soul of the Word made Flesh, making his divine Heart throb with emotion. To-day the prophecy of the Magnificat was first uttered, and to-day also the divine union expressed by the Holy Ghost in the Canticle of Canticles is fully realized. Never more fully than on this happy day shall the sacred transports of the Spouse be justified; never shall they find a more faithful response! Let us warm ourselves at these celestial fires; let us join our enthusiasm to that of eternal Wisdom, who makes his first step, this day, in his royal progress towards mankind. Let us unite with our Lord in imploring the Precursor at last to show himself. Were it not ordered otherwise from on high, his inebriation of love would verily have made him at once break down the wall that held him from appearing, then and there, to announce the Bridegroom. For he knows that the sight of his countenance, preceding the face of the Lord himself, will excite the whole earth to transports; he knows that his own voice will be sweet when once it has become the organ of the Word calling the bride to him.

Together with Elizabeth let us extol, in the Gradual, the Blessed Virgin to whom we owe all these joys, and within whom love still encloses him whom the whole world could not contain.

The prayer composed by Dom Prosper Gueranger at the conclusion of his commentary on this great feast is worth repeating in its entirety:

Who is she that cometh forth beautiful as the morning rising, terrible as an army set in array. O Mary, this is the day on which thine exquisite brightness, for the first time, gladdens the earth. Thou bearest within thee the Sun of justice; and his early beams, striking first the mountain tops whilst the vales below are yet left in darkness, at once enlighten the Precursor, who is said to be the greatest ever born of woman. The divine Son, swift in his ascending course, will soon bathe the lowly valleys in his radiant fires. But how full of race and beauty are these his first gleams peering through the veiling cloud! For thou, O Mary, art the light cloud, the hope of earth, the terror of hell. Contemplating from afar, through its heavenly transparency, the mystery of this day, Elias, the father of prophets, and Isaias, their prince, did both of them descry the Lord. They beheld thee speeding thy way across the mountains and they blessed God; ‘for,’ saith the Holy Ghost, ‘when winter hath congealed the waters into crystal, withered the valleys, and consumed as with fire the green mountains, a present remedy to all is the speedy coming of a cloud.’

Haste, O Mary! Come thou to all of us; do not let the mountains alone, enjoy thy benign influence, bend thee down to those lowly, ignoble regions wherein the greater part of mankind but vegetates, helpless to scale the mountain heights; let thy kindly visit reach down even to the deepest abyss of human perversity wellnigh bordering on the gulf of hell; let the beams of saving life reach even there. Oh! would that from the thralldom of sin, from the plain where the vulgar throng is swaying to and fro, we were drawn to follow in thy train! How beauteous are thy footsteps along our humble pathways, how aromatic the perfumes wherewith thou dost inebriate earth this day! Thou wast all unknown, nay, thou was even an enigma to thyself, O thou fairest among the daughters of Adam, until thy first going forth led thee unto our poor hovels and manifested thy power. The desert, suddenly embalmed with heavenly fragrance, hails the passage, not of the figurative Ark, but of the ‘litter of the true Solomon.’ in these days of the sublime nuptials which he has vouchsafed to contract. What wonder, then, if at rapid pace thou dost speed across the mountains, since thou art bearing the Bridegroom who, as a giant, strideth from peak to peak.

Far different art thou, O Mary, from her who is portrayed in the sacred Canticle as hesitating, in spite of the heavenly call, to betake herself to active work, foolishly captivated by the sweets of mystic repose in such a way as to dream of finding it elsewhere than in the absolute good pleasure of the Beloved! Thou art not one, at the voice of the Spouse, to make difficulties about clothing thyself again with the garment of toil, of exposing thy feet, were it never so much, to be soiled within the dusty roads of the earth. Scarcely has he given himself to thee immeasurably as none else can know than, ever on thy guard against the mistake of remaining all absorbed in the selfish enjoyment of his love, thou thyself dost invite him to begin at once the great work which brought him down from heaven to earth: “Come, my Beloved, let us go forth into the fields, let us rise up early to see if the vineyards flourish, to hasten the budding of the fruits of salvation in souls; there it is, that I wish to be all thine.’ And leaning upon him, no less than he upon thee, without thereby losing aught of heavenly delights, thou dost traverse our desert; and the Holy Trinity perceiveth between Mother and Son sympathies, harmonious agreements, unknown until then even to thee; and the friends of the Bridegroom, hearing thy sweet voice, on their side also comprehend his love and partake in thy joy. With him, with thee, O Mary, ae after age shall behold sols innumerable who, swift-footed even as the roe and the young hart, will flee away from the valleys and gain the mountain heights where, in the warm sunshine, heaven’s aromatic spices are ever fragrant.

Bless, O Mary, those whom the better part so sweetly attracts. Protect that Order whose glory is to honour in a special manner thy Visitation. Faithful to the spirit of their illustrious founders they still continue to justify their sweet title by perfuming the Church on earth with the fragrance of that humility, gentleness and hidden prayer which made this day’s mystery so dear to the angels eighteen hundred years ago. Finally, O Lady, forget not the crowded ranks of those whom race presses, more numerous than ever nowadays, to tread in thy footsteps, mercifully seeking out every object of misery, teach them the way in which alone is possible to devote themselves to their neighbour without in any way quitting God; for the greater glory of god and the happiness of man multiply such faithful copies of thee. May all of us, having followed, in the degree measured out to us by him who divides his gifts to each one as he wills, meet together in our home yonder, to sing in one voice together with thee, an eternal Magnificat!

This Magnificat of Our Lady can be ignored only at the great peril of one who says, albeit falsely as Protestantism is not Christianity (as Father Frederick Faber noted, there is no Christianity where there is no Mass), he follows Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ but who believes that honoring His Blessed Mother is somehow un-Scriptural. “For behold henceforth all generations shall call me blessed” either means what it says or it does not. We must pray that those outside of the true Church that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, will make the Magnificat their prayer and come into the true Church, found today in the catacombs where no concessions are made to conciliarism or to the ravenous wolves who dare to cast off dogmatic truths as they see fit to suit their own Modernist proclivities, to be devoted and totally consecrated sons and daughters of Our Lady, the woman who made possible our salvation and who was given to us by her Divine Son to be our Mother as He hung dying on the wood of the Holy Cross to redeem us.

Those of us who are Catholics have an obligation to meditate quite carefully on the Second Joyful Mystery, which we celebrate liturgically today, July 2, 2012. We must meditate upon the selflessness of Our Lady, who thought nothing of making a journey immediately after receiving the news of the miraculous conception of the Word as Flesh in her own virginal and immaculate womb by the power of the Holy Ghost. We must have that same selflessness to perform both the Corporal and the Spiritual Works of Mercy no matter how much we are taxed physically as a result. If we are totally consecrated to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, then we know that she will use our unseen efforts and prayers and penances and sacrifices in ways that will be made manifest to us only in eternity. And we must learn from the Visitation that the assaults upon innocent human life in the womb demand our prayers and our attention as we seek to plant the seeds for the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King as the ultimate fruit of the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. For just as the fruit of Our Lady’s womb was recognized by Saint Elizabeth and by Saint John the Baptist, so must the world recognize the fruit of Our Lady’s womb as its King in every aspect of its life and social activity.

The great feast that we celebrate today beckons us to meditate upon the Joyful Mysteries of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary. Indeed, we should try to pray all fifteen decades of the Rosary every day, should we not? And Saint Louis de Montfort, the great apostle of True Devotion to Mary, gave us a wonderful prayer with which to start the mystery of the Rosary that comprises today’s glorious liturgical feast:

 

We offer you, Lord Jesus, this second decade in honour of the Visitation of your holy Mother to her cousin Saint Elizabeth. Through this mystery and the intercession of Mary we ask for a perfect love of our neighbour. . . .

(After the decade is completed:) May the grace of the mystery of the Visitation come into me and make me truly charitable.

And what is true Charity? It is to seek with urgency the unconditional conversion of all those outside of the true Church into her maternal bosom, something that the counterfeit church of conciliarism eschews, meaning that true Charity, the Charity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus that beat within the Virginal and Immaculate Womb of Our Lady as It was formed out of her own Immaculate Heart, so full of that true Charity, is not be found therein.

Our Lady of the Rosary, 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.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint Elizabeth, pray for us.

Saint Zachary, pray for us.

Saints Processus and Martinian, pray for us.

Appendix

From The Mystical City of God on the Visitation

 

When the most holy Mother Mary arrived at the house of Zacharias, the Precursor of Christ had completed the sixth month of his conception in the womb of saint Elisabeth. The body of the child John had already attained a state of great natural perfection; much greater than that of other children, on account of the miracle of his conception by a sterile mother and on account of the intention of the Most High to make him the depositary of greater sanctity than other men (Matth. 11, 11). Yet at that time his soul was yet filled with the darkness of sin, which he had contracted in the same way as the other children of Adam, the first and common father of the human race; and as, accord ing to the universal and general law, mortals cannot receive the light of grace before they have issued forth to the light of the sun (Rom. 5, 7) ; so, after the first, the original sin contracted by our nature, the womb of the mother must serve as a dungeon or prison for all of us, who have laden upon ourselves this guilt of our father and head, Adam. Christ our Lord resolved to anticipate this great blessing in his Prophet and Precursor by conferring the light of his grace and justification upon him six months after his conception by saint Elisabeth, in order that he might be distinguished as well in holiness, as he was in his office of Precursor and Baptist.

216. After the first salutation of Elisabeth by the most holy Mary, the two cousins retired, as I have said at the end of the preceding chapter. And immediately the Mother of grace saluted anew her cousin saying: “May God save thee, my dearest cousin, and may his divine light communicate to thee grace and life (Luke 1, 40). At the sound of most holy Mary’s voice, saint Elisabeth was filled by the Holy Ghost and so enlightened interiorly, that in one instant she perceived the most exalted mysteries and sacraments. These emotions, and those that at the same time were felt by the child John in the womb of his mother, were caused by the presence of the Word made flesh in the bridal chamber of Mary s womb, for, making use of the voice of Mary as his instrument, He, as Redeemer, began from that place to use the power given to Him by the eternal Father for the salvation and justification of the souls. And since He now operated as man, though as yet of the diminutive size of one conceived eight days before, He assumed, in admirable humility, the form and posture of one praying and beseeching the Father. He asked in earnest prayer for the justification of his future Precursor and obtained it at the hands of the blessed Trinity.

217. Saint John was the third one for whom our Redeemer made special petition since his presence in the womb of his mother. His Mother was the first for whom He gave thanks and prayed to the Father; next in order was her spouse, saint Joseph, for whom the incarnate Word offered up his prayers, as we have said in the twelfth chapter; and the third one was the Precursor saint John, whom the Lord mentioned by name in his prayers to the Father. Such was the great good for tune and privilege of saint John, that Christ our Lord presented to the eternal Father the merits of his Passion and Death to be endured for men; and in view thereof He requested the sanctification of this soul. He appointed and set apart this child as one who is to be born holy as his Precursor and as a witness of his coming into the world (John 1, 7); as one who was to prepare the hearts of his people in order that they might recognize and receive Him as the Messias. He ordained that for such an exalted ministry the Precursor should receive all the graces, gifts and favors which are befitting and proportionate to his office. All this the Father granted just as the Onlybegotten had requested it of Him.

218. This happened before the most holy Mary had put her salutation into words. At the pronunciation of the words mentioned above, God looked upon the child in the womb of saint Elisabeth, and gave it perfect use of reason, enlightening it with his divine light, in order that he might prepare himself by foreknowledge for the blessings which he was to receive. Together with this preparation he was sanctified from original sin, made an adopted son of God, and filled with the most abundant graces of the Holy Ghost and with the plenitude of all his gifts; his faculties were sanctified, subjected and subordinated to reason, thus verifying in himself what the archangel Gabriel had said to Zacharias; that His son would be filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb of his mother (Luke 1, 17). At the same time the for tunate child, looking through the walls of the maternal womb as through clear glass upon the incarnate Word, and assuming a kneeling posture, adored his Redeemer and Creator, whom he beheld in most holy Mary as if enclosed in a chamber made of the purest crystal. This was the movement of jubilation, which was felt by his mother Elisabeth as coming from the infant in her womb (Luke 1, 44). Many other acts of virtue the child John performed during this interview, exercising faith, hope, charity, worship, gratitude, humility, devotion and all the other virtues possible to him there. From that moment he began to merit and grow in sanctity, without ever losing it and without ever ceasing to exercise it with all the vigor of grace.

219. Saint Elisabeth was instructed at the same time in the mystery of the Incarnation, the sanctification of her own son and the sacramental purpose of this new wonder. She also became aware of the virginal purity and of the dignity of the most holy Mary. On this occasion, the heavenly Queen, being absorbed in the vision of the Divinity and of the mysteries operated by it through her most holy Son, became entirely godlike, filled with the clear light of the divine gifts which She participated; and thus filled with majesty saint Elisabeth saw Her. She saw the Word made man as through a most pure and clear glass in the virginal chamber, lying as it were on a couch of burning and enlivened crystal. The efficacious instrument of all these wonderful effects was the voice of most holy Mary, as powerful as it was sweet in the hearing of the Lord. All this force was as it were only an outflow of that which was contained in those powerful words: “Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum; by which She had drawn the eternal Word from the bosom of the Father down to her soul and into her womb.

220. Filled with admiration at what She saw and heard in regard to these divine mysteries, saint Elisabeth was wrapt in the joy of the Holy Ghost; and, looking upon the Queen of the world and what was contained in Her, she burst forth in loud voice of praise, pronouncing the words reported to us by saint L,uke: “Blessed are Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy, and blessed art Thou, that has believed, because those things shall be accomplished, that were spoken to Thee by the Lord.” In these prophetic words saint Elisabeth rehearsed the noble privileges of most holy Mary, perceiving by the divine light what the power of the Lord had done in Her, what He now performed, and what He was to accomplish through Her in time to come. All this also the child John perceived and understood, while listen ing to the words of his mother; for she was enlightened for the purpose of his sanctification, and since he could not from his place in the womb bless and thank her by word of mouth, she, both for herself and for her son, extolled the most holy Mary as being the instrument of their good fortune.

221. These words of praise, pronounced by saint Elisabeth were referred by the Mother of wisdom and humility to the Creator; and in the sweetest and softest voice She intoned the Magnificat as recorded by saint Luke (Ch. 1, 46-55). 46. My soul doth magnify the Lord; 47. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48. Because He hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49. Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. 50. And his mercy is from generation unto generation to them that fear Him. 51. He hath shewed might in his arm; He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. 52. He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble. 53. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. 54. He hath received Israel, his servant, being mindful of his mercy; 55. As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his seed forever.

222. Just as saint Elisabeth was the first one who heard this sweet canticle from the mouth of most holy Mary, so she was also the first one who understood it and, by means of her infused knowledge, commented upon it. She penetrated some of the great mysteries, which its Authoress expressed therein in so few sentences. The soul of most holy Mary magnified the Lord for the excellence of his infinite Essence; to Him She referred and yielded all glory and praise (I Tim. 1, 17), both for the beginning and the accomplishment of her works. She knew and confessed that in God alone every creature should glory and rejoice, since He alone is their entire happiness and salvation (II Cor. 10, 17). She confessed also the equity and magnificence of the Most High in attending to the humble and in conferring upon them his abundant spirit of divine love (Ps. 137, 6). She saw how worthy of mortals it is to perceive, understand and ponder the gifts that were conferred on the humility of Her, whom all nations were to call blessed, and how all the humble ones, each one according to his degree, could share the same good for tune. By one word also She expressed all the mercies, benefits and blessings, which the Almighty showered upon Her in his holy and wonderful name; for She calls them altogether “great things”; since there was nothing small about anything that referred to this great Queen and Lady.

223. And as the mercies of the Most High over flowed from Mary s plenitude to the whole human race, and as She was the portal of heaven, through which they issued and continue to issue, and through which we are to enter into the participation of the Divinity; therefore She confessed, that the mercy of the Lord in regard to Her is spread out over all the generations, communicating itself to them that fear Him. And just as the infinite mercies raise up the humble and seek out those that fear God; so also the powerful arm of divine justice scatters and destroys those who are proud in the mind of their heart, and hurls them from their thrones in order to set in their place the poor and lowly. This justice of the Lord was exercised in wonderful splendor and glory upon the chief of all the proud, Lucifer and his followers, when the almighty arm of God scattered and hurled them (because they themselves precipitated themselves) from their exalted seats which befitted their angelic natures and their graces, and which they occupied according to the original (Isaias 14; Apoc. 12) decree of the divine love. For by it He intended that all should be blessed (I Tim. 2, 4) while they, in trying to ascend in their vain pride to positions, which they neither could attain nor should aspire to, on the contrary cast themselves from those which they occupied (Isaias 14, 13). In their arrogance they were found opposed to the just and inscrutable judgments of the Lord, which scattered and cast down the proud angel and all his followers (Apoc. 12, 8). In their place were installed the humble of heart through the mediation of most holy Mary, the Mother and the treasure house of his ancient mercies.

224. For the same reason this divine Lady says and proclaims that God enriches the needy, filling them with the abundance of his treasures of grace and glory; and those that are rich in their own estimation and presumptuous arrogance, and those who satisfy their heart with the false goods, which the world esteems as riches and happiness, the Most High has banished and does banish from his presence, because they are void of the truth, which cannot enter into hearts filled and occupied with falsehood and deceit. He received his servants and his children, the people of Israel, remembering his mercies in order to teach them, wherein prudence, truth and understanding (Bar. 3, 14), wherein free and abundant life and nourishment, wherein the light of the eyes and peace consists. He taught them the way of prudence and the hidden paths of wisdom and discipline, which is concealed from the princes of the gentiles, and is not known to the powerful, who dominate over the beasts of the earth and entertain themselves and play with the birds of the air and heap up treasures of gold and silver. Nor can the sons of Agar and the inhabitants of Teman, who are the wise and the proudly prudent of this world, ever attain this wisdom. But to those that are sons of the light (Galat. 3, 7), and who are sons of Abraham by faith, hope and obedience, the Most High distributes it; for in this manner has it been promised to his posterity and his spiritual children, made secure by the blessed and happy Fruit of the virginal womb of the most holy Mary.

225. Saint Elisabeth looking upon Mary the Queen of creation understood these hidden mysteries ; and not only those, which I am able to express here, did this fortunate matron understand, but many more and greater sacraments, which my understanding cannot comprehend; nor do I wish to dilate upon all that have been shown to me, lest I unduly extend this history. But the sweet discourses and conversations, which these two holy and discreet ladies held with each other, reminded me of the two seraphim, which Isaias saw above the throne of the Most High, repeating the divine and always new canticle: Holy, holy, etc., while they covered their head with one pair of wings, their feet with another, flew with the third pair (Isaias 6, 2). It is certain that the inflamed love of these two holy women exceeded that of all the seraphim, and Mary by Herself loved more than they all together. They were consumed in the flame of divine love, extending the two wings of their hearts in order to manifest to each other their love and in order to soar into the most exalted intelligence of the mys teries of the Most High. With two more wings of rarest knowledge they covered their faces; because both of them discussed and contemplated the sacrament of the King (Tob. 12, 7), guarding its secrets within themselves all their lives; also because they restrained their discourse and subjected it to their devoted faith, without giving scope to proud inquisitiveness. They also covered the feet of the Lord and their own with the third pair of seraphic wings, because they were lowered and annihilated in their own humble estimation of themselves at the sight of such great Majesty. Moreover since most holy Mary enclosed within her virginal womb the God of majesty himself, we can with reason and with literal truth say, that She covered the seat where the Lord sat enthroned.

226. When it was time to come forth from their retirement, saint Elisabeth offered herself and her whole family and all her house for the service of the Queen of heaven. She asked Her to accept, as a quiet retreat, the room which she herself was accustomed to use for her prayers, and which was much retired and accommodated to that purpose. The heavenly Princess accepted the chamber with humble thanks, and made use of it for recollecting Herself and sleeping therein, and no one ever entered it, except the two cousins. As for the rest She offered to serve and assist Elisabeth as a handmaid, for She said, that this was the purpose of visiting her and consoling her. O what friendship is so true, so sweet and inseparable, as that which is formed by the great bond of the divine love! How admirable is the Lord in manifesting this great sacrament of the Incarnation to three women before He would make it known to any one else in the human race! For the first was saint Anne, as I have said in its place; the second one was her Daughter and the Mother of the Word, most holy Mary; the third one was saint Elisabeth, and conjointly with Her, her son, for he being yet in the womb of his mother, cannot be considered as distinct from her. Thus “the foolishness of God is wiser than men,” as saint Paul says.

227. The most holy Mary and Elisabeth came forth from their retirement at nightfall, having passed a long time together; and the Queen saw Zacharias standing before Her in his muteness, and She asked him for his blessing as from a priest of the Lord, which the saint also gave to Her. Yet, although She tenderly pitied him for his affliction, She did not exert her power to cure him, because She knew the mysterious occasion of his dumbness; yet She offered a prayer for him. Saint Elisabeth, who already knew the good fortune of the most chaste spouse Joseph, although he himself as yet was not aware of it, entertained and served him with great reverence and highest esteem. After staying three days in the house of Zacharias, however, he asked permission of his heavenly Spouse Mary to return to Nazareth and leave Her in the company of saint Elisabeth in order to assist her in her pregnancy. The holy husband left them with the understanding that he was to return in order to accompany the Queen home as soon as they should give him notice; saint Elisabeth offered him some presents to take home with him; but he would take only a small part of them, yielding only to their earnest solicitations, for this man of God was not only a lover of poverty, but was possessed of a magnanimous and noble heart. Therewith he pursued his way back to Nazareth, taking along with him the little beast of burden, which they had brought with them. At home, in the absence of his Spouse, he was served by a neighboring woman and cousin of his, who, also when most holy Mary was at home, was wont to come and go on the necessary errands outside of the house.

INSTRUCTION WHICH THE QUEEN AND LADY GAVE ME.

228. My daughter, in order that thy heart may be ever more and more inflamed with the desire of gaining the grace and friendship of God, I wish very much that thou grow in the knowledge of the dignity, excellence and happiness of a soul, that has been endowed with this privilege; however, remember that it is so admirable and of so great a value that thou canst not comprehend it, even if I would explain it to thee; and much less canst thou express it in words. Look upon the Lord and contemplate Him by means of the divine light, which thou receivest, and then thou wilt understand that the Lord performs a greater work in justifying a soul than in having created all the orbs of heaven and the whole earth with all the beauty and perfection contained within them. And if on account of the wonders which creatures are able in part to perceive in these works by the senses, they are impressed with the greatness and power of God, what would they say and think if they could see with the eyes of their soul the preciousness and beauty of grace in so many creatures, who are capable of receiving them?

229. There are no terms of human language equal to the task of expressing what participations and perfections of God are contained in sanctifying grace. It is little to say that it is more pure and spotless than the snow; more refulgent than the sun; more precious than gold or precious stones, more charming, more amiable and pleasing than all the most delightful feasts and entertainments, and more beautiful than all that in its entirety can be imagined or desired by the creatures. Take notice also of the ugliness of sin, in order that by the opposite thou mayest come to so much the better under standing of the beauty of grace; for neither darknesses, nor rottenness, nor the most horrible, the most dreadful, nor the foulest of creatures can ever be compared to sin and to its ugliness. The martyrs and saints understood much of this mystery (Heb. 11, 36), who in order to secure the beauty of grace and preserve themselves from the ruin of sin, did not fear fire, nor wild beasts, nor the sword, nor torments, nor prisons, ignominies, pains, afflictions, nor death itself, nor prolonged and perpetual suffering; for to escape all these must be counted for little or nothing, and must scarcely be thought of in comparison with one degree of grace, which souls may attain, even though they be the most abject of the whole world. All this the men, who esteem and seek after the fugitive and apparent beauty of creatures, are ignorant of; and whatever does not present to them this deceitful beauty, is for them vile and contemptible.

230. Thou perceivest therefore something of the greatness of the blessing, which the incarnate Word conferred upon his Precursor in the womb of his mother; and because saint John recognized it, he leaped for joy and exultation in the womb of his mother. Thou wilt also see what thou thyself must do and suffer in order to attain this happiness, and in order not to lose, or in the least impair this most precious beauty by any fault, nor retard its consummation by any imperfection, no matter how small. I wish that in imitation of my cousin Elisabeth, thou do not enter into any friendship with any human creatures, except those, with whom thou canst and shouldst converse about the works of the Most High and of his mysteries, and with whom thou canst learn to pursue the true path of his divine pleasure. Although thou art engaged in important undertakings and works, do not forget or omit thy spiritual exercises and the strictness of a perfect life; for this must not only be preserved and watched over, when all things go smoothly, but also under the greatest adversity, difficulty and labor; for imperfect human nature takes occasion of the slightest circumstance to relax its vigilance. (The Venerable Mary of Agreda, The Mystical City of God, Volume II: The Incarnation, pp. 174-186.)

The Laver of Redemption

Today is the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and Saviour Jesus Christ. It was six months ago now that the New Year began with the Feast of the Circumcision, the first time in which the Most Precious Blood of Jesus was shed on this earth. We are into the second six months of Anno Domini 2014, commemorating liturgically the Blood whose shedding made possible our regeneration in the Baptismal font and the Blood whose merits are poured out on us as a laver of redemption every time we avail ourselves of the Sacrament of Penance. The entire month of July is devoted to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

The Most Precious Blood of Jesus was pumped through His arteries by that same Sacred Heart, Which was formed out of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There was for a period of nine months, as the unborn Jesus developed in the tabernacle of His virginal and immaculate Mother’s womb, an interchange of the blood between Mother and Son, making Our Lady, who gave the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity His Sacred Humanity by the power of the God the Holy Ghost, the first to receive the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer. She received from Him what she had given Him, signifying the tremendous and mysterious–nay, almost impenetrable–union that existed between the Theandric Person and herself, who had  been conceived immaculately and thus preserved from all stain of Original and Actual Sin. The Most Precious Blood that Our Lady gave to her Divine Son would be splattered on her as she watched Him shed every single drop of It to redeem us on the Wood of the Holy Cross.

The Most Precious Blood of Jesus has replaced the blood of goats and bulls and lambs, which was a mere foreshadowing of the Blood of all telling that would be shed for the many so that the lintels of the doorposts of their souls could be signed with It, the Blood of the Paschal Lamb, and thus avoid the angel of eternal death and damnation when they gave up their spirits and breathed their last in this vale of tears. It alone has the power to forgive sins and to regenerate eternal life in the souls of the faithful who seek out Its infinite and inexhaustible merits in the confessional. We receive the Most Precious Blood of Jesus every time we receive Holy Communion. Every single particle of a consecrated Host is the entirety of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the God-Man, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and Saviour Jesus Christ. We are thus not only healed of sin by the Most Precious Blood of Jesus; we are nourished unto eternity by It.

Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ poured out His Most Precious Blood for us to pay back for us in His Sacred Humanity the blood debt of Adam’s sin that was owed to Him in His Infinity as God. One drop of His Most Precious Blood at the Circumcision would have been good enough to redeem us. He chose, though, to undergo the events of His fearful Passion and Death so as to show us, His rational creatures who are frequently so ungrateful and lukewarm, the depth of His love for us and to show us that we must be ready to shed our blood, both figuratively and literally, for Him and His Holy Church. And we must be ready to give unto the others the forgiveness that was poured out over us in the Sacrament of Baptism and is poured over us by the merits of the Most Precious Blood, applied to us in time by the words and actions of an alter Christus acting in persona Christi, repeatedly in the Sacrament of Penance. We must never be slow to offer others the Mercy that was won for us by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s emptying Himself completely of the substance that made His human life possible, His Most Precious Blood.

As we seen from the accounts of mystics, such as the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shed His Most Precious Blood in the Garden of Gethsemane when capillaries burst in His head and His extremities as He underwent His Agony, seeing at that time all of the sins of all human beings, including yours and mine, for all eternity. The very thought of coming into contact in His Sacred Humanity with the antithesis of His Sacred Divinity, sin, caused Him to sweat droplets of His Most Precious Blood. Have we resisted sin to the point of shedding blood, as Saint Paul discusses in his Epistle to the Hebrews?

For where there is a testament, the death of the testator must of necessity come in. For a testament is of force, after men are dead: otherwise it is as yet of no strength, whilst the testator liveth. Whereupon neither was the first indeed dedicated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been read by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, Saying: This is the blood of the testament, which God hath enjoined unto you.

The tabernacle also and all the vessels of the ministry, in like manner, he sprinkled with blood. And almost all things, according to the law, are cleansed with blood: and without shedding of blood there is no remission. It is necessary therefore that the patterns of heavenly things should be cleansed with these: but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Jesus is not entered into the holies made with hands, the patterns of the true: but into heaven itself, that he may appear now in the presence of God for us. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holies, every year with the blood of others:

For then he ought to have suffered often from the beginning of the world: but now once at the end of ages, he hath appeared for the destruction of sin, by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment: So also Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; the second time he shall appear without sin to them that expect him unto salvation. (Hebrews 9: 21-28.)

Dom Gueranger puts it this way in The Liturgical Year:

John the Baptist [whose nativity's octave is commemorated today] has pointed out the Lamb, Peter has firmly established his throne, Paul has prepared the bride; their joint work, admirable in its unity, at once suggests the reason for their feasts occurring almost simultaneously in the cycle. The alliance being now secured, all three fall into shade; whilst the bride herself, raised up by them to such lofty heights, appears alone before us, holding in her hands the sacred cup of the nuptial-feast.

This gives the key of to-day’s solemnity, revealing how its appearance in the heavens of the holy liturgy at this particular season is replete with mystery. The Church, it is true, has already made known to the sons of the new covenant, in a much more solemn manner, the price of the Blood that redeemed them, its nutritive strength and the adoring homage which is its due. On Good Friday earth and heaven beheld all sin drowned in the saving stream, whose eternal flood-gates at last gave way beneath the combined effort of man’s violence and the love of the divine Heart. The festival of Corpus Christi witnessed our prostrate worship before the altars whereon is perpetuated the Sacrifice of Calvary, and where the outpouring of the precious Blood afford drink to the humblest little ones, as well as to the mightiest potentates of the earth, lowly bowed in adoration before it. How is it, then, that holy Church, is now inviting all Christians to hail, in a particular manner, the stream of life ever gushing from the sacred fount? what else can this mean, but that the preceding solemnities have by no means exhausted the mystery? The peace which this Blood has made to reign in the high places as well as in the low; the impetus of its wave bearing back the sons of Adam from the yawning gulf, purified, renewed and dazzling white in the radiance of their heavenly apparel; the sacred Table outspread before them on the waters’ brink, and the chalice brimful of inebriation–all this preparation and display would be objectless, all these splendours would be incomprehensible, if man were not brought to see herein the wooings of a love that could never endure its advances to be outdone by the pretensions of any other. Therefore, the Blood of Jesus is set before our eyes at this moment as the Blood of the Testament; the pledge of the alliance proposed to us by God; the dower stipulated by eternal Wisdom for this divine union to which he is inviting all men, and its consummation in our soul which is being urged forward with such vehemence by the Holy Ghost.

It is thus incumbent upon us today, the Feast of the Most Precious Blood and the Octave Day of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, to make any and all sacrifices that we need to make to assist every day at the Immemorial Mass of Tradition offered by true bishops and true priests who make no concessions to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its false shepherds.

The Precursor of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Saint John the Baptist, leapt for joy in the womb of his mother, Saint Elizabeth, as he heard the sound of the voice of Our Lady, carrying within her virginal and immaculate womb the One whose path he would prepare. Saint John the Baptist prepared the way by his preaching for the coming of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to assume His Public Ministry. May he, by his prayers from eternity, help us to prepare for the worthy reception of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity each day at the offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition wherein everything points seamlessly to the fact we are present at the very Sacrifice of the Cross at which the Most Precious Blood was shed for our redemption and for our nourishment unto eternity.

Father Frederick Faber’s The Precious Blood, which has been quoted much on this site in recent months, provides us with excellent food for thought on this glorious feast day:

The life of the Precious Blood in the Mind of God from all eternity is in one sense a real life, and in another sense an unreal one. It was not an actual life. It was a life of predestination, of foreseen beauty, of multiplied divine intentions. It was a specially divine intervention, if we may use such a word. It was an idea which could not have come to any mind but that of God, and therefore the complacency which it caused in the Divine Mind was immense. It was a sort of second Word to God, a created expression of his uncreated perfection. It was part of the most grand and glorious thought of God, the Incarnation. It was a most important part of it. It was also a specially chosen part, selected for the accomplishment of our dominion of its Maker. In the mist dear and dread Mind of God it was a fountain always flowing. The beauty of its flowing had been one of his unbeginning gladnesses. It was the fountain which gave forth, multitudinous and beautiful as the creation of the radiant angels, the countless predestinations of the infinitely varying souls of men. The mystery of all election was the first glassed in its beaming depths. It was its spray, which caught the golden light of eternal things, and fell down before the throne, even as it is still falling now, and in starry showers of splendor. It was a mirror too in which the manifold countenances of the divine perfections looked always, and loved to make their beauty bearable to mortal eye. It is there to this day, that the opposition in God are seen to be harmonious most simple and worshipful. All parts of creation give us double views of God, simultaneous views of his seeming opposite perfections, just as on the Mount of Olives the eye may rest at will either on the Dead Sea or on the Holy City. But of no part of creation is this so true, or true in so high a sense, as of the Precious Blood. Redeeming grace tells the whole history of God, so far as it can be told, unfolds his character in all of its breadth which is comprehensible, and as it were recites and magnifies each separate perfection; and redeeming grace is the specialty of the Precious Blood. Moreover, the Precious Blood, dwelt also in the Mind of God as the type and model of all creation, whether fallen or unfallen. In its unity lay the germs of all created loveliness and of all created variety. Mary was its first shadow, its first reflection, the freshest copy of the original. No wonder then that it was an infinite delight to the Three Divine Persons. Tot hem it was none the less real because it was not yet actually created; for to god the solidest created substance is but as shadow compared with the reality of his ideas. Thus from all eternity did the Precious Blood reign like a sovereign thing in the adorable complacency of God.

As it had lived an eternal life in the Mind of God before creation, so also did it live a life of visible effects and real jurisdiction form the beginning of the world, before it had become itself an actual created thing in the mystery of the Incarnation. It was the Precious Blood which hindered the fall of man from being as irretrievable as the fall of angels had been. It did real work in every single soul which was created in those four thousand years. It altered their position in the world. It made the eye of God look differently on them. It rained supernatural graces upon their hearts. It diminished temporal chastisements. Neither was it less influential in the counsels of God than in the souls of men. It caused his compassion to overspread the whole earth. It turned the chronicles of the world into a succession of types, and shadows, and predictions of itself. While it was itself preparing all things for its own coming and shedding,it so controlled all things that they rather seemed to be a preparation for itself. It sounded in every thing that God said. It impressed its character upon every thing that God did. It underlay all heathen life, and all Hebrew life. It was the significance of the most significant, and also of the most insignificant events It moulded all sanctity into an onlooking for itself. It beautified the hearts of men for God with supernatural desires. For all those forty ages it was the secret meaning and the hidden agent of the world. All that blossomed upon earth blossomed only because the Precious Blood watered the soil under the ground. Who would not long to see it, as it would one day be, in the actual Human Heart which was to be its living chalice? Even the patience of long-waiting God might vouchsafe to yearn for the actual creation of the Precious Blood. How sweet then to him must have been that dear sanctity of Mary, whose beautiful compulsion caused the Word to anticipate his time!

But the hour arrived, and the Creator became a part of his own Creation. The Precious Blood was actually created, and rose and fell in pulses of true human life, and filled with joyous being the Sanctuary of the Sacred Heart, and lived its life of Three-and-Thirty Years among men. These Three-and-Thirty Years formed in all true senses the longest and most important epoch of the history of creation. They were filled with countless actions, the value of each one of which was infinite. The vocations stamped upon millions of souls came from those actions of God made man. Their energies are vigorously ruling the world at this hour. The have moulded age after age since then. All holiness has been but an infinitely diversified copy of them. Out of their merits the attributes of God daily drink their fill, and yet those merits still abound and overflow. Out of their merits the Sacraments are drawing incalculable exuberance of grace all day and night; and they are still full to the very brim, and capable of saving unnumbered new creations. Out of the satisfactions of those years the jurisdiction of the Church has drawn unlimited indulgences; yet no visible impression has been made on their abundance. Poetry and art go to those years as to a school of heavenliest beauty; and all times and all minds find the lessons fresh and new. Theology sits by them as by abysses of divine wisdom, and one while is actively weaving her wondrous science out of them, and another while, captivated by their beauty, forgets to weave, is rapt in contemplation, and becomes devotion. As to devotion, those years are its very cloister and its garden. That life is God made visible to his creatures as the rule of life. It lays bare the very foundations of morals. It reveals the possibilities of human actions, while it also paints as in a picture the indefinable operations of the Holy Ghost. It is a freshness and a joy to think that, at this hour of the peaceful dawn, thousands of souls are silent before God, caught in the sweet snares of the beauty of these earthly years of Jesus. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ revealed to the Blessed Michael of Florence, the Camaldolese, how he longed that those who loved him should honor the Thirty-three Years with affectionate minuteness. It has been the characteristic devotion of all the saints. The souls that have been most drawn to meditate upon the attributes of God have learned their science in that other science of the Three-and-Thirty Years. Sometimes this devotion takes special possession of a religious order for some length of time. Sometimes it fastens upon a single religious house, and develops itself with marvellous fertility. This appears to have been the case with the Carmelite convent at Dole in the seventeenth century. To Sister Anne of Cross, lay-sister, it was the form and type of her whole life. It came natural to her do even her ordinary actions in thirty-threes. Still more did her penances and devotions take that shape. When that she was asked if she did not weary of such a reiterated devotion, she replied that, so far from it, it always came to hear as new. The devotion of Mother Louisa of Jesus was even yet more remarkable. She could hardly occupy her soul with any thing but the Thirty-Three Years; and the abundant lights she received from God in prayer had chiefly reference to this devotion. The first years of the Sacred Infancy were “delicious” to her soul. She had an especial attraction to contemplate the first time Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ bent on his knees, and clasped his hands, in prayer to the Father. Her holiness seemed always to be a participation in some of the interior dispositions of Jesus upon earth; and the characteristics of her spiritual life, consequent upon this devotion, were persevering fervor and extreme joyousness. She imprinted this devotion upon the whole community, and also upon the externs who came across her.

We see remarkable traces of the same devotion in Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s answer to the prayers of Frances of the Mother of God, Carmelitress at Dieppe, distinguished for her devotion to the Precious Blood. When she was praying for the soul of Sister Catherine of the Angels, she asked Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ after Communion to apply to Sister Catherine’s soul one drop of his Precious Blood in order to achieve her deliverance. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ answered, “I have given her one of my steps,” thus showing the value of his least actions. At another time she made the same prayer for Sister Elizabeth of the Nativity, asking for one drop of the Precious Blood; and Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ answered, “I will give her one of my tears, the efficacy of which is so great that it would turn hell into paradise, if it were applied there.” These answers seem to imply a special devotion in Frances of the Mother of God to the Thirty-Three Years; and that saintly religious was one of the most remarkable among the holy persons of the seventeenth century.

We speak very truly when we divide the world into many worlds. We take of the vegetable world, and the mineral world, and the animal world. We even subdivide these into lesser world. We go to the sidereal world to learn the immensities of space. Geology opens a world to us, which overshadows us with its distances of time. We call a man a little world in himself; and the microscopic world, which it is so rife with new aspects of God, delights us with all that it insinuates of the possibilities and likelihoods of the invisible world of immaterial and angelic life. We call these by the name of worlds, because they seem like complete creations in themselves, and are each of them a distinct revelation of God, distinct from all other revelations of him, and yet harmonizing with them all. They are separate shadows of God. The are his wisdom and his beauty, his power and his love, seen from different points of view. He is many Creators in one Creator. We are very right in making his one world into many worlds. So it is with the Incarnation. The whole material universe is not so vast as that one world of the Incarnation, nor capable of so many or such magnificent subdivisions. Intellectually or spiritually, the Thirty-Three Years form a world far vaster than the world of stars. They can even bear to be subdivided into many other worlds, which are still spacious enough for the swift intelligences of angels, as well as the rapidity of glorified human minds, to traverse for eternity, finding fresh wonders evermore. The Precious Blood has one biography in Mary’s Womb, where it issued from the lone sanctities of her immaculate heart. It has another in Bethlehem, and another in Egypt, and another in Nazareth, and another on the shores of Gennesareth, and another in Jerusalem, and another in Galilee. Each of these is a world beyond the measures of our science, a cloister for devotion, and yet a cloister in which eternity has ample room. God’s vastness is a living vastness. It carries itself everywhere, and everywhere is entire and transcends the necessities of space. Each of these separate worlds of the life of Jesus upon earth is tied by some occult sympathy to some particular attribute, or group of attributes to God. Thus we learn in the life of Mother Margaret of the Blessed Sacrament, Carmalitess, at Dijon, that the souls which are called to a special devotion to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s Resurrection have always a peculiar attraction to worship the divine sanctity. These are glimpses of that glad science of the Three-and-Thirty Years, which will be part o four unutterable bliss beyond the grave. Surely it makes the world seem wearier than ever, to think of the unsuspected grandeurs which the mysteries of our sweet Jesus are waiting to pour out into our souls, when he has received us into his kingdom.

It is plain, from what has been said, that our knowledge of the inward life of the Precious Blood during the Thirty-Three Years must be very superficial. Nevertheless, we must put it before ourselves as clearly as we can. Its first beginning was in the thrills of beatific joy. We shall see reasons afterward for carefully noting this. The beginning of the Human Life of Jesus was not gradual. It had no dawn. Its very union with the Divinity rendered this impossible. It broke out of nothingness into the blaze of consciousness and blessed ecstasy. It saw God as not even Mary sees him now. It saw him, went out of sight of all creation toward comprehending him, enjoyed him as not all heaven after the Doom will enjoy him, and adored him as no fabulous number of possible worlds could ever have adored him. This was the first pulse of the Precious Blood. They very first throb had in it an incalculable immensity of gladness. Out of its first moment all worlds might be gladdened beyond their power of bearing gladness. Save the Uncreated Jubilee, the sweet Spirit of the Father and the Son, never was there jubilee like that of the Precious Blood in its beginning. Yet from that hour the jubilee has never ceased; it has never lessened; it has never changed. Its pulses are not tides. They imply no vicissitude. They betoken only an equable impetuosity of immutable delight. The gladness which flashed like lightning out of the eyes of the Infant into the heart of Mary was unabated when the same eyes drooped languidly toward her upon Calvary. The blessedness which broke forth like a creation of light in the glory of the Resurrection had never left the Sacred Heart even during the Way of the Cross. But, with the beatific joy, the Precious Blood had all other joys as well. That Human Life as a joy in itself, a joy in its divine union, independently of its vision of God. It was a joy in the love and possession of so sweet a Mother. It was a joy in the unearthly tranquility of Joseph’s deep, loving adorable heart,. It was a joy in the jubilee of the worshipping angels. It was a joy in the very bitterness of its redeeming woes, and it was a joy in the intensity of its own loves of God and men.

But it was a life also of colossal of sorrows, even though they abated not the joy. Never did blood of man throb with such excesses of anguish as the Precious Blood of our most dear Redeemer. Its sorrows were lifelong. Their excesses exceeded all the tortures of the martyrs. There was never a moment which was not occupied with sorrow. The jubilee never commingled with the woe, not tempered it, nor compensated for it. Nay, rather, all joys intensified the sorrows. Joy, surely, is in itself a diviner thing than sorrow; for there can be no sorrow in the Ever-blessed. But sorrow was more human; and therefore it was chosen as the instrument of man’s redemption; and thus to us it becomes more divine, because it brings God to us and raises us up to God. Thus sorrow was more natural to the Precious Blood. It was a life more congenial to its nature. Moreover, it was its official life. For by sorrow it was to accomplish its redeeming work. Its shedding was to be not only the consummation of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s suffering, but the chosen suffering, in which precisely the work of redemption was to lie. Jesus–thrice blessed be his most dear Name!–is all our own, neither can we spare any thing of him. Yet it was precisely his Soul which was to redeem us, nor the Passion of his Body which was to be exactly our expiation. It was the shedding of his Blood which was to cleanse us from our sins. The remedy of the Fall was precisely in the Saviour’s Blood. All the sorrows of his life grew up to the shedding of his Blood, and were crowned of his life grew up to the shedding of his Blood, and were crowned by it; and his shedding the last drops of its after he was dead was significant of the work it had to do. The Soul, and the Body, and the Blood lay separate; and the sacrifice was thus complete. (Father Frederick Faber, The Precious Blood, written in 1860 and republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1978, pp. 162-167.)

We must realize that there can be no peace in the souls of men or in their nations or the world unless each man everywhere comes to recognize that the price of human redemption was wrought for us by the God-Man as He shed His blood to redeem us. There is no secular salvation in any ideology or program or policy. There is salvation only in the Blood of the Divine Redeemer. We must resist the entreaties of the naturalists who tell us repeatedly that they have a plan for world peace or for national security that either ignores or is indifferent to this simple fact: the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ the source of our peace and sanctification.

Father Faber wrote about these points in The Precious Blood:

It is plain that some millions of sins in a day are hindered by the Precious Blood; and this is not merely a hindering of so many individual sins, but it is an immense check upon the momentum of sin. It is also a weakening of habits of sin, and a diminution of the consequences of sin. If then, the action of the Precious Blood were withdrawn from the world, sins would not only increase incalculably in number, but the tyranny of sin would be fearfully augmented, and it would spread among a greater number of people. It would wax so bold that no one would be secure from the sins of others. It would be a constant warfare, or an intolerable vigilance, to preserve property and rights. Falsehood would become so universal as to dissolve society; and the homes of domestic life would be turned into wards either of a prison or a madhouse. We cannot be in the company of an atrocious criminal without some feeling of uneasiness and fear. We should not like to be left alone with him, even if his chains were not unfastened. But without the Precious Blood, such men would abound in the world. They might even become the majority. We know of ourselves, from glimpses God has once or twice given us in life, what incredible possibilities of wickedness we have in our souls. Civilization increases these possibilities. Education multiplies and magnifies our powers of sinning. Refinement adds a fresh malignity. Men would thus become more diabolically and unmixedly bad, until at last earth would be a hell on this side of the grave. There would also doubtless be new kinds of sins and worse kinds. Education would provide the novelty, and refinement would carry it into the region of the unnatural. All highly-refined and luxurious developments of heathenism have fearfully illustrated this truth. A wicked barbarian is like a beast. His savage passions are violent but intermitting, and his necessities of sin do not appear to grow. Their circle is limited. But a highly-educated sinner, without the restraints of religion, is like a demon. His sins are less confined to himself. They involve others in their misery. They require others to be offered as it were in sacrifice to them. Moreover, education, considered simply as an intellectual cultivation, propagates sin, and makes it more universal.

The increase of sin, without the prospects which the faith lays open to us, must lead to an increase of despair, and to an increase of it upon a gigantic scale. With despair must come rage, madness, violence, tumult, and bloodshed. Yet from what quarter could we expect relief in this tremendous suffering? We should be imprisoned in our own planet. The blue sky above us would be but a dungeon-roof. The greensward beneath our feet would truly be the slab of our future tomb. Without the Precious Blood there is no intercourse between heaven and earth. Prayer would be useless. Our hapless lot would be irremediable. It has always seemed to me that it will be one of the terrible things in hell, that there are no motives for patience there. We cannot make the best of it. Why should we endure it? Endurance is an effort for a time; but this woe is eternal. Perhaps vicissitudes of agony might be a kind of field for patience. But there are no such vicissitudes. Why should we endure, then? Simply because we must; and yet in eternal things this is not a sort of necessity which supplies a reasonable ground for patience. So in this imaginary world of rampant sin there would be no motives for patience. For death would be our only seeming relief; and that is only seeming, for death is any thin but an eternal sleep. Our impatience would become frenzy; and if our constitutions were strong enough to prevent the frenzy from issuing in downright madness, it would grow into hatred of God, which is perhaps already less uncommon than we suppose.

An earth, from off which all sense of justice had perished, would indeed be the most disconsolate of homes. The antediluvian earth exhibits only a tendency that way; and the same is true of the worst forms of heathenism. The Precious Blood was always there. Unnamed, unknown, and unsuspected, the Blood of Jesus has alleviated every manifestation of evil which there has ever been just as it is alleviating at this hour the punishments of hell. What would be our own individual case on such a blighted earth as this? All our struggles to be better would be simply hopeless. There would be no reason why we should not give ourselves up to that kind of enjoyment which our corruption does substantially find in sin. The gratification of our appetites is something; and that lies on one side, while on the other side there is absolutely nothing. But we should have the worm of conscience already, even though the flames of hell might yet be some years distant. To feel that we are fools, and yet lack the strength to be wiser–is not this precisely the maddening thing in madness? Yet it would be our normal state under the reproaches of conscience, in a world where there was no Precious Blood. Whatever relics of moral good we might retain about us would add most sensibly to our wretchedness. Good people, if there were any, would be, as St. Paul speaks, of all men the most miserable; for they would be drawn away from the enjoyment of this world, or have their enjoyment of it abated by a sense of guilt and shame; and there would be no other world to aim at or to work for. To lessen the intensity of our hell without abridging its eternity would hardly be a cogent motive, when the temptations of sin and the allurements of sense are so vivid and strong.

What sort of love could there be, when we could have no respect? Even if flesh and blood made us love each other, what a separation death would be! We should commit our dead to the ground without a hope. Husband and wife would part with the fearfullest certainties of a reunion more terrible than their separation. Mothers would long to look upon their little ones in the arms of death, because their lot would be less woeful than if they lived to offend God with their developed reason and intelligent will. The sweetest feelings of our nature would become unnatural, and the most honorable ties be dishonored. Our best instincts would lead us into our worst dangers. Our hearts would have to learn to beat another way, in order to avoid the dismal consequences which our affections would bring upon ourselves and others. But it is needless to go further into these harrowing details. The world of the heart, without the Precious Blood, and with an intellectual knowledge of God, and his punishments of sin, is too fearful a picture to be drawn with minute fidelity.

But how would it fare with the poor in such a world? They are God’s chosen portion upon the earth. He chose poverty himself, when he came to us. He has left the poor in his place, and they are never to fail from the earth, but to be his representatives there until the doom. But, if it were not for the Precious Blood, would any one love them? Would any one have a devotion to them, and dedicate his life to merciful ingenuities to alleviate their lot? If the stream of almsgiving is so insufficient now, what would it be then? There would be no softening of the heart by grace; there would be no admission of of the obligation to give away in alms a definite portion of our incomes; there would be no desire to expiate sin by munificence to the needy for the love of God. The gospel makes men’s hearts large;and yet even under the gospel the fountain of almsgiving flows scantily and uncertainly. There would be no religious orders devoting themselves with skilful concentration to different acts of spiritual and corporal mercy. Vocation is a blossom to be found only in the gardens of the Precious Blood. But all this is only negative, only an absence of God. Matters would go much further in such a world as we are imagining.

Even in countries professing to be Christian, and at least in possession of the knowledge of the gospel, the poor grow to be an intolerable burden to the rich. They have to be supported by compulsory taxes; and they are in other ways a continual subject of irritated and impatient legislation. Nevertheless, it is due to the Precious Blood that the principle of supporting them is acknowledged. From what we read in heathen history–even the history of nations renowned for political wisdom, for philosophical speculation, and for literary and artistic refinement–it would not be extravagant for us to conclude that, if the circumstances of a country were such as to make the numbers of the poor dangerous to the rich, the rich would not scruple to destroy them, while it was yet in their power to do so. Just as men have had in France and England to war down bears and wolves, so would the rich war down the poor, whose clamorous misery and excited despair should threaten them in the enjoyment of their power and their possessions. The numbers of the poor would be thinned by murder, until it should be safe for their masters to reduce them into slavery. The survivors would lead the lives of convicts or of beasts. History, I repeat, shows us that this is by no means an extravagant supposition.

Such would be the condition of the world without the Precious Blood. As generations succeeded each other, original sin would go on developing those inexhaustible malignant powers which come from the almost infinite character of evil. Sin would work earth into hell. Men would become devils, devils to others and to themselves. Every thing which makes life tolerable, which counteracts any evil, which softens any harshness, which sweetens any bitterness, which causes the machinery of society to work smoothly, or which consoles any sadness–is simply due to the Precious Blood of Jesus, in heathen as well as in Christian lands. It changes the whole position of an offending creation to its Creator. It changes, if we may dare in such a matter to speak of change, the aspect of God’s immutable perfections toward his human children. It does not work merely in a spiritual sphere. It is not only prolific in temporal blessings, but it is the veritable cause of all temporal blessings whatsoever. We are all of us every moment sensibly enjoying the benignant influence of the Precious Blood. Yet who thinks of all this? Why is the goodness of God so hidden, so imperceptible, so unsuspected? Perhaps because it is so universal and so excessive, that we should hardly be free agents if it pressed sensibly upon us always. God’s goodness is at once the most public of all his attributes, and at the same time the most secret. Has life a sweeter task than to seek it, and to find it out?

Men would be far more happy, if they separated religion less violently from other things. It is both unwise and unloving to put religion into a place by itself, and mark it off with an untrue distinctness from what we call worldly and unspiritual things. Of course there is a distinction, and a most important one, between them; yet it is easy to make this distinction too rigid and to carry it too far. Thus we often attribute to nature what is only due to grace; and we put out of sight the manner and degree in which the blessed majesty of the Incarnation affects all created things. But this mistake is forever robbing us of hundreds of motives for loving Jesus. We know how unspeakably much we owe to him; but we do not see all that it is not much we owe him, but all, simply and absolutely all. We pass through times and places in life, hardly recognizing how the sweetness of Jesus is sweetening the air around us and penetrating natural things with supernatural blessings.

Hence it comes to pass that men make too much of natural goodness. They think too highly of human progress. They exaggerate the moralizing powers of civilization and refinement, which, apart from grace, are simply tyrannies of the few over the many, or of the public over the individual soul. Meanwhile they underrate the corrupting capabilities of sin, and attribute to unassisted nature many excellences which it only catches, as it were by the infection, by the proximity of grace, or by contagion, from the touch of the Church. Even in religious and ecclesiastical matters they incline to measure progress, or test vigor, by other standards rather than that of holiness. These men will consider the foregoing picture of the world without the Precious Blood as overdrawn and too darkly shaded. They do not believe in the intense malignity of man when drifted from God, and still less are they inclined to grant that cultivation and refinement only intensify still further this malignity. They admit the superior excellence of Christian charity; but they also think highly of natural philanthropy. But has this philanthropy ever been found where the indirect influences of the true religion, whether Jewish or Christian, had not penetrated? We may admire the Greeks for their exquisite refinement, and the Romans for the wisdom of their political moderation. Yet look at the position of children, of servants, of slaves, and of the poor, under both these systems, and see if, while extreme refinement only pushed sin to an extremity of foulness, the same exquisite culture did not also lead to a social cruelty and an individual selfishness which made life unbearable to the masses. Philanthropy is but a theft from the gospel, or rather a shadow, not a substance, and as unhelpful as shadows are want to be. (Father Frederick Faber, The Precious Blood, published originally in England in 1860, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 53-59.)

One of the greatest tragedies of the conciliar revolution is that it has robbed so many Catholics around the world of access to the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

We can only see, however, how so many Catholics act with equanimity when they see a man claiming to be the Vicar of Christ on earth fawning over the symbols of false religions, thinking nothing of the simple fact that this same disciple of the New Theology did not use one single, solitary moment of his trip to the United States of America nearly three months ago to make an exhortation to Catholics to pray Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary.

Why should Catholics be concerned about “loftier theological arguments” when the counterfeit church of conciliarism of which they are a part, whether wittingly or unwittingly, has denied them access to the merits of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? The world described by Father Faber in the passage from The Precious Blood just quoted is our world today!

The Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ flowed from His Most Sacred Heart, which was formed out of and is in perfect communion with the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

May we pray to Our Lady, Mary Immaculate, to help us to be so cleansed by her Divine Son’s Most Precious Blood that we will have by means of penance and mortification blood running through our arteries and veins that carries holy sentiments of deep and filial attachment to First and Last Things, being ever ready to shed our blood, both figuratively and literally, in defense of the fullness of the Holy Faith without compromise or any taint of error, being especially willing to make all sacrifices necessary to help our families and friends persevere to the point of their dying breaths in states of Sanctifying Grace, offering as many Rosaries each day as our the duties of our states-in-life permit. Those who die in a state of Sanctifying Grace will, having had the seal of the Blood of the Paschal Lamb Himself placed on their lips, know the reward of the eternal merits of the Laver of Redemption in an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise.

O Most Precious Blood of Jesus, have mercy on us.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

The Chaplet of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Seven “effusions of the Blood of Christ”, implicitly or explicitly mentioned in the Gospels, are recalled in a series of biblical meditations and devotional prayers: the Blood of the Circumcision, the Blood of the Garden of Gethsemane, the Blood of the Flagellation, the Blood of the Crowning of Thorns, the Blood of the Ascent to Calvary, the Blood flowing from Christ’s side pierced by the lance. Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

This Chaplet is divided into seven groups, containing thirty-three “Our Fathers” in honor of the thirty-three years during which the Precious Blood flowed in the veins of Jesus, before it was poured out on the Cross for our salvation. After each group, the “Glory be to the Father” is recite in thanksgiving to the Holy Trinity for this great gift of the Precious Blood. While reciting these prayers, you are asked to meditate on each of the seven bloodsheddings of Jesus

V. O God, come to my assistance. R. Lord, make haste to help me. V. Glory be to the Father, etc. R. As it was in the beginning, etc.

1st Mystery – Jesus shed His Blood in the Circumcision

Let us ask for chastity of soul and body. Our Father five times. Glory be to the Father, etc. We pray, You, Lord, help your people whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood.

2nd Mystery – Jesus shed His Blood while praying in the Garden of Olives.

Let us ask for the spirit of prayer. Our Father five times. Glory be to the Father, etc. We pray You, Lord, help your people whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood.

3rd Mystery – Jesus shed His Blood in the scourging

Let us ask for the grace of mortification. Our Father five times. Glory be to the Father, etc. We pray you, Lord, help Your people whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood

4th Mystery – Jesus shed His Blood in the crowning with thorns

Let us ask for contempt of worldly honors. Our Father five times. Glory be to the Father, etc. We pray you, Lord, help Your people whom You redeemed with Your Precious Blood.

5th Mystery – Jesus shed His Blood while carrying the Cross

Let us ask for patience. Our Father five times. Glory be to the Father, etc. We pray You, Lord, help Your people whom You redeemed with Your Precious Blood.

6th Mystery – Jesus shed His Blood in the Crucifixion

Let us ask for contrition for our sins. Our Father five time. Glory be to the Father, etc. We pray You, Lord, help your people whom You redeemed with Your Precious Blood.

7th Mystery – Jesus shed His Blood and water when His side was pierced.

Let us ask for the grace of perseverance. Our Father three times. Glory be to the Father, etc. We pray You, Lord, help Your people whom You redeemed with Your Precious Blood.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ in atonement for my sins, in supplication for the holy souls in Purgatory and for the needs of Holy Church. Amen  (Chaplet of the Most Precious Blood.)

Viva Cristo Rey!

Our Lady of the Rosary, 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.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

No One Is A Stranger To the Sacred Heart of Jesus

“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.

No one.

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.

No one.

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.

So what?

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.

Tender Mercies

The tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus are an inexhaustible treasure that our own hearts, stained by so many sins and our own disordered self-love and lack of meekness and humility, can fathom only faintly. To think that the very Co-Equal and Co-Eternal only begotten Son of God the Father condescended to become Man in Our Lady was Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of God the Holy Ghost so that He could pay back in that Sacred Humanity the debt that we owed Him in His Infinity as God, a debt that finite creatures could not pay back on their own. The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, formed out of the Immaculate Heart of Mary while He was developing inside the tabernacle of her Virginal and Immaculate Womb, beat for us with inexhaustible love from the moment of Its first beat, which was in unison with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and beats for us still in tabernacles of authentically Catholic churches in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Our Lord has been intent on showering us with the tender mercies of His Most Sacred Heart from the time of His Incarnation. Although He has Ascended to the Father’s right hand in glory and will come in glory to judge the Living and the Dead on the Last Day (a time that I, for one, make no pretense of predicting as I am most conscious that this very day could be my own “last day,” which was one of the points I was trying to make in my initial posting on the home page of this site two days ago; we must always be prepared for death–and to accept with perfect equanimity and joy whatever kind of death God has prepared for us), Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s Most Sacred Heart beats in the Most Blessed Sacrament with incomprehensible, unmatched love for us erring sinners whose hearts are frequently so cold, so fickle, so lukewarm, so filled with earthly cares and considerations.

Imagine the patience and the forbearance and the meekness with which Our Divine Redeemer, through Whom all things were made and by Whose Sacrifice of the wood of the Holy Cross to the Father in Spirit and in Truth in atonement for our sins we have been remade as adopted sons and daughters of the living God, loves us and bears with us despite our infidelities and our ingratitude and the lack of charity we show to our fellow man as we engage in rash judgments and show hardness of heart by failing to forgive others as we ourselves have been forgiven so frequently in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance and as we fail to perform the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, especially by failing to seek the conversion of those who are outside of the true Church to her maternal bosom before they die. Imagine how much Our Lord’s Most Sacred Heart is filled with sorrow for the loneliness It experiences as It awaits our acts of love and humble prostration in the Most Blessed Sacrament as we consider ourselves “too busy” for even brief visits with Our Lord and Our God Who comes to us in Holy Communion every day and Who, though Our Divine Judge, wants to serve as Our Divine Physician in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance.

How do we repay the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus?

Usually by forgetting that others bear within themselves the Divine impress and that we must treat them as we would treat Our Lord Himself. We forget that we must hang on the crosses that God has fashioned from all eternity for us to be affixed so that we can unite our prayers and our sufferings and our sacrifices and calumnies and humiliations to those He experienced once during His Passion and Death, accepting each of our crosses with joy and with gratitude as we surrender freely whatever merit we might earn from bearing them to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as she, the very Mother of Divine Grace and Help of Christians, our Queen of Mercy, distributes those merits as pleases God for His greater honor and glory and for the good of souls, both those in the Church Militant on earth and those in the Church Suffering in Purgatory. We repay the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus by living according to the dictates of naturalism rather by attempting to view all things at all times through the eyes of the true Faith and as we seek to plant a few seeds for the restoration of the the Social Reign of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. We are, to be honest, ingrates as we fail to repay the tender mercies with even the smallest amount of acts of fervor and devotion.

Father John Croiset wrote of the pain we have caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s Most Sacred Heart by our failure to make room for Him in the “inns” of our hearts by our worldliness and our attached to vain pleasures and earthly amusements:

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: How to Practice the Sacred Heart Devotion, republished by TAN Books and Publishers.)

Even in this, however, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus overflows with tender mercies for us ingrates. Our Lord beckons us to be conformed to the tender mercies of his own Most Sacred Heart through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

A kind word to a stranger.

An invitation to a passer-by placed into our lives by God’s Divine Providence to embrace the Faith.

A word of forgiveness offered to someone from whom we are estranged.

A prayer offered for those from whom we are separated as a result of the nefarious schemes of the conciliar revolutionaries, who have done a remarkable job of setting members of the household of the Faith against each other as they, the revolutionaries, have blasphemed God repeatedly and distorted and misrepresented His Deposit of Faith.

A prayer said for those very conciliar revolutionaries so that they will have the humility to abjure their errors publicly before they die.

An extra Rosary prayed in reparation for our sins and those of the whole world.

A dessert that goes unordered.

There are an endless variety of ways that we can let Our Lord conform our own hearts of stone into hearts of flesh as the consecrated slaves of His Most Sacred Heart through His Blessed Mother’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

The tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus overflow into our cold, indifferent hearts of stone especially during times of particularly difficult sufferings. So many are the cases known to us at this very time of Catholic men and women suffering the heartbreak of spouses who consider them to be “mentally ill” for their embrace of the Faith, for their desire to be less worldly than they had been in the past, for their desire to make more sacrifices of love to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for their willingness to suffer calumny from their own closest relatives and friends for coming to recognize that men such as Joseph Ratzinger expelled themselves from the Catholic Church decades ago by clinging to and propagating beliefs condemned solemnly by the authority of the Catholic Church, our spotless mother on earth who keeps the articles contained in the Deposit of Faith “intact for ever” so “that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men” (cf. Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928.) It is especially in times of such persecution from one’s own spouse that one must show forth the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Our Lord Himself taught us that we would be hated by members of our own household. Why are we so slow to believe Him. Why are we so reluctant to render unto the members of our household the tender mercies that are shown unto us by the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Itself?

The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved. And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another. Amen I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man come.

The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the goodman of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?

Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known. That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows. Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

And a man’s enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. (Matthew 10: 21-40.)

We have been told by Our Lord Himself, in whose breast beats His Most Sacred Heart, that others will hate us. We must note hate in return. We must never be bitter. We must never hold onto or nurse grudges. Nothing anyone says to us or does to us is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Lord to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and caused His Most Blessed Mother to suffer as those Seven Swords of Sorrow were thrust through and through into her Immaculate Heart.

It was nothing other than the love that beats for us in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, aflame with a desire for our sanctification and salvation, that caused these words to issue forth from the mouth of Our Divine Redeemer during the Sermon on the Mount:

Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.. . .

You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.

For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this? 48 Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5: 10-12; 43-48.) 

To love as the Sacred Heart of Jesus loves us is not to overlook error or to make any compromises with heresy, which grieves the twin hearts of matchless love, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To love with the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus requires us to pray for the erring and to recognize that many of us have been too frequently on the wrong side of eternal life and eternal death issues of our own salvation.We must forgive as we are forgive, defending the Faith firmly, to be sure, but always out of the motive of a pure a love for Love Incarnate that the graces sent to us through Our Lady’s loving hands can make possible in our own frequently cold hearts.

Saint Gertrude the Great was given to see clearly the mysteries of love contained in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. We could profit form partaking of the clarity with which Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ endowed her during her lifetime over seven hundred years ago now:

Now, as the end of time approaches, He says to us what He once announced by the beloved Apostle of His Sacred Heart [Saint Gertrude the Great]: “Let him who thirsts for happiness, grace, and peace, come to My Divine Heart, their source, and draw from it ‘gratis’ whatsoever he will. My merciful Heart, which desires before the end of time to glorify itself by a supreme manifestation, and to love men to the utmost bounds of affection, has arranged all for this end.

“Let these languid souls come only to Me, confide in My goodness, and abandon themselves to My love. Let them be at rest in the meekness of My Heart, unite themselves to My humility and obedience, and they will no longer feel the weight of My yoke through the abundant consolation with which I will favor them. Come, then, without fear or delay, and abandon yourselves lovingly and for ever unto Me.” (Father Andre Prevot, Love, Peace and Joy: Devotion to the Sacred Heart According to St. Gertrude, published originally in 1911.)

Father John Croiset noted the sufferings that Our Lord endured for us during His Passion and Death in order to redeem us. How wen our hearts refuse any suffering to be united with His own Most Sacred Heart through His Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart?

Consider what were the sentiments of Jesus Christ when he represented to Himself distinctly, on the one hand, the singular benefits which He had lavished on His chosen people, and on the other, the cruelties and outrages which He was about to receive from this same nation, notwithstanding so many benefits. All the graces which had preceded His coming had been given to them only in view of the merits of Jesus Christ. It was particularly for this people that he had become man; it was among them, in preference to all other people, that He had chosen His parents and His friends, that He had performed His miracles and preached His doctrine, and for all these benefits he received nothing but harshness, persecution and opprobrium. He was refused a lodging at birth; He was no sooner born than He was compelled to seek shelter in a foreign country. With what indignity was He not treated during His public life! But what has He not suffered at His death! He was seized like a robber. He was dragged like a criminal along the same streets through which He had been led in triumph a few days before as the Messiah. He was struck on the face as an insolent person; in the house of Caiphas, He was spat upon as a blasphemer. He was treated as a mock king and an imposter, He was delivered up to the terrible cruelty of the demon-possessed rabble during the while night in the dungeon of Caiphas, where He suffered innumerable outrages. he was treated by Herod as a fool; He was condemned to be scourged like a wretched slave, and the criminal, Barabbas, was preferred to Him as being less wicked than He. Finally, He was condemned to the most ignominious death and was nailed to a Cross on which He expired in the sight of a huge multitude of people, most of them witnesses of His miracles, and even some in whose favor He had wrought miracles, without finding a single one among that crowd to take His part, or to offer Him consolation. From insensibility to His sufferings, they even passed to contempt, and from contempt to execration. But perhaps these people were deceived? No; they knew that His life had been holy, exemplary; that it was spent doing good, working miracles for the afflicted; and it is even for that that they persecuted Him–for being too good.

All this presented itself clearly and vividly to Jesus Christ. He was perfectly conscious of the dignity of His Person, the greatness of His favors, the disinterestedness of His love, and the unworthiness, meanness, rage, and malice of those who treat Him such such cruelty.

A great soul, especially when it is possessed of great love and when it hopes by suffering to make that love known, is capable of giving itself willingly up to suffering; but the more generous and tender a person is, the more difficult he finds it to support injustice and ingratitude, especially when he seems himself sacrificed to the envy of his enemies and betrayed by those from whom he had a right to expect help in his affliction, and when he sees that his terrible sufferings and afflictions are not capable of inspiring these men with the least sentiment of compassion.

Never has any person more clearly and vividly represented to himself events in all their circumstances than Jesus Christ. Never had anyone a more generous heart, and consequently, no one was ever more sensible to ingratitude. With what torrents of bitterness was not that Sacred Heart of Jesus inundated when It represented to Itself what He had done for this people and what this people was going to do to Him. Let us, who are so sensible to contempt, especially contempt from people whom we have most obliged; let us judge what must have been the sentiments of Jesus Christ at the sight of this spectacle. (Father John Croiset, The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 274-274.)

Our Lord revealed the secrets of His Most Sacred Heart to Saint Gertrude the Great in the Thirteenth Century and to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in the Seventeenth Century at a time when the darkness of Jansenism had rendered the hearts of so many men as cold and as embittered as they are today in a world which is being chastised by a lack of true priests and thus of a lack of true Masses and thus of a lack of Sanctifying and Actual Graces. We must, as Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque prayed, make acts of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus for our sins and those of the whole world, taking upon ourselves more and more voluntary penances and offering them to this Heart of Hearts that was pierced for our sakes with the lance of Saint Longinus as every single drop of the Most Precious Blood that had been generated therein.

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque composed the following prayer to her Divine Visitor Who desires that each one of us approach the font of Mercy that is His Most Sacred Heart through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother:

O Divine Heart of Jesus, inexhaustible Source of love and goodness, ah! how I regret that I have forgotten Thee do 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 must show forth the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus at all times. We cannot show forth these tender mercies unless our hearts of stone are indeed turned into hearts of flesh as the Prophet Ezechiel wrote, prophesying the transformation of hearts that would take place as a result of the bright, burning love of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus that was formed out of and beats as one with the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

For I will take you from among the Gentiles, and will gather you together out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. And I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols.

And I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit in the midst of you: and I will cause you to walk in my commandments, and to keep my judgments, and do them. And you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for corn, and will multiply it, and will lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the held, that you bear no more the reproach of famine among the nations.

And you shall remember your wicked ways, and your doings that were not good: and your iniquities, and your wicked deeds shall displease. It is not for your sakes that I will do this, saith the Lord God, be it known to you: be confounded, and ashamed at your own ways, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord God: In the day that I shall cleanse you from all your iniquities, and shall cause the cities to be inhabited, and shall repair the ruinous places, And the desolate land shall be tilled, which before was waste in the sight of all that passed by, They shall say: This land that was untilled is become as a garden of pleasure: and the cities that were abandoned, and desolate, and destroyed, are peopled and fenced. (Ezech. 36: 24-35.)

This is also a prophecy, I believe (speaking entirely without any claim to prophetic insight whatsoever as I have no such insight or mystical gifts in the slightest, just a plodding intellect that is slow to see plain truths on occasion), of the restoration of the Church Militant on earth that has been devastated by the apostasies and blasphemies of Modernity and Modernism, a Church Militant on earth that has been devastated as well, if we are really honest with ourselves, ladies and gentlemen, by our own sins and our own indifference and our own ingratitude towards the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and our forgetfulness to keep the Nine First Fridays of Reparation to that Most Sacred Heart and the Five First Saturdays of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus was emptied of every last drop of Its Most Precious Blood. as Father Francois Charmot, S.J., wrote in In Retreat With the Sacred Heart, to show forth the love of the God the Father for us as God the Son gave up His life in obedience to His Father in Spirit and in Truth to make it possible for us to know an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise before that same Most Holy Trinity:

If I did not have some knowledge of the Heart of Jesus, how little would I realize the love of the Father!

But, looking upon the pierced Heart of the Incarnate Word, I can say with assurance: blessed be Thou, O Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who, in Him, has heaped upon us all Thy spiritual blessings!

Before the creation of the world Thou hast chosen us in Jesus, in order that we may be holy with Him, through the love of the blessed Trinity.

Thy Son is charity, s Thou, Father, art charity.

He is all charity, as thou art all charity.

The charity of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is the same, equal in Three Persons.

There are not three charities, but one singe coeternal love.

With what love I have been loved infinitely, neither more nor less by Thee, Father, than by the Son and by Thy Holy Spirit, since before the creation of the world!

If I believe that Jesus loves me, I believe that His Father loves me just as much, and it is Thy Word who declares to me that Thou, Father, and Thy Holy Spirit wish to dwell in me.

All those whom the Heart of Jesus loved: His disciples, the children, the sinners, the diseased, the poor, the humble, the persecuted.

Thou, Father, also loved them with the same love.

The Blessed Virgin was loved no less by Thee than by Thy Son, her Son, and by Thy Spirit.

O Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, blessed be Thou for having foreordained that we should be Thy Sons in thine only begotten Son, sons of adoption through Thy Son incarnate

Thou hast willed, by this gracious predestination, that the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son should make us sharers in the love of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

For this Heart encompasses all that the charity of the Three Persons could communicate from its Fire to the Incarnate Word.

In this Heart we possess by heritage such an effusion of the Holy Spirit, such a furnace of love, such an ocean of mercy, such an outpouring of tenderness, that it is impossible to imagine any others in some perfect creature which would be closer to infinite charity.

That is why, O Father, we know thy love through the Heart of Jesus.

Kind Father, kindest of Fathers, incomparably kind Father, Thou hast willed that through the pierced Heart of Thy Son, we should know the extent of Thy charity, Thy goodness, Thy paternity,  Thy longanimity, Thy mercy, Thy pardon, Thine eternal remission of sin.

And when this Heart which has so loved men–even to the shedding of all Its blood for them–finally ceased to beat, the death of Thy Son bore witness, even as the sacrifice of His Father who had delivered Him, that the love of the Three Persons for us outweighs the very life of the Man-God.

Through the pierced Heart of Thy Son, O infinitely good Father, grant me the grace to believe implicitly in Thy love, to love Thee as a Son, as Thy Son Jesus, who abandoned Himself to Thee in the agony and on the cross in utter helplessness and total destitution, solely because Thou were His Father.

I cast myself into Thy paternal arms, as a prodigal son, knowing that Thou art more kind even than my Mother Mary, moving loving even than the Heart of Jesus, through whom I have come to know the immensity of Thy love.

Pater, in manuas tuas commendo spiritum meum.

Father, in life and in death, in dangers, in temptation, in sin, in doubt, in error, in the folly of my heart, in grief, in discouragement, everywhere and always, whatever may happen, united with the Heart of Jesus, I abandon myself to Thy paternal goodness, source of all goodness. (Father Francois Charmot, S.J., In Retreat With the Sacred Heart, The Newman Press, 1956, pp. 16-19.)

We can come to know, love and serve God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Ghost more and more fully is we permit our hearts of stone to be turned into turned into hearts of flesh after the pattern of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus if we make the time to spend with Our Beloved in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. And our time before Our Lord’s Real Presence will help us to love others more purely as we will their good, the ultimate expression of which is the salvation of their immortal souls as members of the Catholic Church.

Although Paschaltide ended after the Mass on the Vigil of Pentecost on Saturday, June 7, 2014, our devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament extends the glories of Paschaltide as we remember the love that Our Lord had to redeem us, the love that He showed to the Apostles in the forty days between His Resurrection and His Ascension, the love that He showed at the Ascension as He commissioned the Apostles to preach the Gospel to all men and to all nations so that each would be converted to the Catholic Faith unconditionally, the love that the Father and the Son showed upon us as God the Holy Ghost descended in tongues of flame on Pentecost Sunday, the love that is made possible by our regeneration in the very inner life of love of the Most Blessed Trinity at the moment of our Baptism, the love that is infused into our souls every day that we receive Holy Communion worthily, the love that grows all the more as we spend more and more time in His Real Presence.

Saint Gertrude the Great herself explained how we sought to show forth our love for Love Incarnate in the Most Blessed Sacrament:

Hail, Most Glorious Body, a most precious Blood of my Lord Jesus Christ, here truly present beneath these sacramental species; I adore Thee with all that devotion and awe wherewith the nine choirs of angels worship and adore thee. I prostrate myself before Thee in the spirit of humility, believing and professing that Thou, my Lord and my God, are herein most truly contained.

Hail, most glorious Body of Jesus Christ my Saviour, true Victim immolated upon the cross. I adore Thee in union with that adoration with which Thy Humanity adored Thy Godhead, and I give Thee thanks with all the love of all thy creatures, that Thou dost deign to remain hidden in this tabernacle for our salvation.

Hail, compassionate Jesus, Word of the Father, Brightness of His glory, Ocean of pity, Salvation of the world, most august and sacred Victim. Hail, Jesus Christ, Splendour of the Father, Prince of Peace, Gate of Heaven, True Bread, Son of the Virgin, Shrine of the Godhead.

I most firmly believe that  Thou, my God, are here present, and that Thou are looking out upon me from behind the veil of the sacrament, and dost behold all the most secret recesses of my heart. I believe that under this species of bread are contained not only Thy Flesh and Thy Blood, but also Thy Divinity and Thy Humanity. And although this mystery surpasses my understanding, I nevertheless believe it so firmly that I am ready to give my life and my blood in defense of its truth.

The tender mercies of the Sacred Heart that beat for us with such love in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

The effulgence of the Most Sacred Heart is poured out over us as a laver of redemption in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance as the merits of Its Most Precious Blood are washed over our hearts to sign the lintels of their doorposts, making them ready for a true and eternal passover at the moment of physical death to our life in eternity.

How can we refuse others the mercies that are given unto us so gratuitously?

How we can we refuse our acts of tender love in gratitude for as an exchange with the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus that was formed out of and beats as one with the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

A blessed Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to you all. May we know the tender mercies of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in life so that we can the eternal glories of the love of the Most Blessed Trinity in Heaven in the company of Our Lady, Saint Joseph, our Guardian Angels and Patron Saints and all of the saints and angels forever and ever!

Isn’t it time to pray a Rosary of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.

Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.

Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

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.

Saints Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, pray for us.

Enthroning the Heart of True, Unsurpassed Love In Our Homes

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, that perfect fountain of unmatched love for us fallen creatures, was formed out of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. There is a perfect communion of love that exists for all eternity between these two Hearts, the One beating within the Body of the God-Man and the other beating within the body of His Most Blessed Mother. This simple, undeniable reality of the perfect communion between the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary teaches us the necessity of being totally consecrated to the latter as the path to being totally absorbed into the Mercy of the former. The path to take shelter in the Divine Mercy of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus runs through total consecration to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Sacred Heart was pierced by Saint Longinus’s lance after Our Lord had breathed His last on the wood of the Holy Cross on Golgotha on Good Friday. Blood and water, the sacramental elements of the Church, flowed out from Our Lord’s pericardium through His Wounded Side onto the dirt of the earth of Calvary, dirt that would be brought back to Rome by Saint Helena and placed under the floor of the Church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart was pierced at that moment fully by the sword of sorrow that had been prophesied by the aged Simeon at the moment of her Purification in the Temple on February 2. The two Hearts rejoiced as one at Cana as Our Lord transformed water into wine. The two Hearts suffered as one on Calvary as Our Lord completed the first Mass by offering Himself up to the Father in Spirit and in Truth as propitiatory offering for our sins.

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is the repository of the infinite treasures of God’s ineffable mercy to us erring, ungrateful sinners. The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the instrument that pleads for us to have the humility necessary to approach the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus with contrition in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance and to make a firm purpose of amendment as we prepare to receive sacramental absolution for our sins and sanctifying grace to strengthen us to root out vice and to grow in sanctity. The Immaculate Heart of Mary pleads for us to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion, Wherein beats the Sacred Heart Itself, with greater fervor and devotion every day of our lives, keeping us mindful of the necessity of spending time with Our Beloved as that Heart of all hearts beats with fervor for our sanctification and our salvation in tabernacles even until the end of time. Yes, the occasion of the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus reminds us that there would be no Sacred Heart, no Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity as Man, without Our Lady’s perfect fiat to the Father’s will at the moment of the Annunciation.

Total consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary teaches us to renew the pledge of consecration to the Most Sacred Heart, keeping in mind especially the promises Our Lord revealed to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque concerning the keeping of the nine First Fridays. It is no accident that Our Lady added to devotion of the nine First Fridays a promise of assistance to those who fulfill the five First Saturdays by the observance of all of the conditions she established for the propagation of devotion to her Immaculate Heart, to which the cause of world peace itself has been entrusted by her Divine Son and which is pierced anew by the swords of sorrow thrust at it by the sins of ungrateful men. One who is totally consecrated to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart is thus able to offer up any and all merit gained by the fulfillment of the nine First Fridays as her consecrated slaves, leaving it to her to determine what share of that merit might be ours as we give unto her all of our liberty and all of the merit of whatever good actions we perform for the honor and glory of God and for the sanctification and salvation of souls, starting with own.

Our puny hearts, stained as they are by the effects of our sins and our selfishness, are so slow to comprehend the profundity of the perfect love that is expressed by the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary for us. We have no idea how much our sins and our ingratitude and our indifferences caused these hearts to suffer once in time on Calvary and how they continue to wound the Church Militant today. We can only hope and pray to live penitentially to offer our prayers and our sacrifices and acts of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that we will come to fall so deeply in love with the Sacred Heart of Jesus that the thought of sin will become as repugnant to us as the effects of our sins was so unspeakably horrendous for these twin hearts.

One of the many, many ways in which we can make reparation for the coldness and ingratitude of our sin-stained hearts is to practice the Supernatural Virtue of Charity with everyone Our Lord puts into our lives. God’s love for us is an expression of His Divine Will, the ultimate end of which is the salvation of our immortal souls. In like manner, therefore, the love we have for others must be premised on willing their good, the ultimate end of which is the salvation of their immortal souls. We must do or say nothing that in any way makes it less possible for another human being to be saved as a member of the Church Our Lord founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. We must be assiduous in our efforts to bring all people into the true Church–and to propagate to the best of our ability the fullness of the Faith that Our Lord has entrusted unto her without any taint of the errors and the novelties of the past forty years.

To do this, though, we must never be self-righteous or arrogant. We must understand that each of us is a work in progress, that God is attempting write straight with the crooked lines that are represented by our very own tortuous, willful lives.

Keeping this in mind will help us to be balanced and patient when explaining the state of our situation at present to those who are not yet ready to examine things as they really are, remembering that most of us (and I included myself here most especially) have re-discovered the Tradition of our youth precisely because others had the charity to confront us with the fullness of truth even though we may not have been ready to have received it with joy at that particular time. They prayed for us. They commended us to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart and through her beseeched her Divine Son’s Most Sacred Heart. And those who have always maintained the fullness of the Tradition of the Church without compromise must understand that it is precisely the fact that they have received special graces from the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus that they were able to persevere in all truth at a time when confusion reigned supreme. Such people have received countless, gratuitous graces that have been used by God to help others to join them in the small, wandering remnant of Catholics who are ostracized and belittled for keeping fast to everything that the Church taught, including its form of worship in the Roman Rite, prior to the apostasis and blasphemies and sacrileges of the past fifty years. We make whatever efforts we can with others, ultimately commending them to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and through it to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus with complete and utter confidence and without despairing one little bit of the results.

Moreover, we must remind ourselves on this great feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that we are to forgive others as we ourselves are forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance, which is, ultimately, the hospital of Divine Mercy. Nothing anyone does to us is the equal of what one of our least venial sins caused Our Lord to suffer in His Sacred Humanity on the wood of the Holy Cross. Nothing anyone does to us or says about us causes us to suffer our sins caused Our Lady to suffer at the foot of the Cross on Good Friday and how they cause her to grieve so much in these our days. The words contained in the Pater Noster (Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimmitimus debitoribus nostris) bind us to act consistently as people who do indeed forgive others their sins against us as we are forgiven by God Himself through the actions and by the words of an alter Christus acting in persona Christi in the confessional. It is thus a grave sin against the Charity that is Incarnate in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to hold a grudge against others.

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque was asked by her spiritual director, Blessed Claude de la Colombiere, to ask Our Lord during His next apparition to her what was the last sin she had confessed. This was designed to test the authenticity of Saint Margaret Mary’s claims that Our Lord was appearing to her to spread devotion to His Most Sacred Heart. “I forgot” was Our Lord’s answer to Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque. Saint Claude de la Colombiere knew as Saint Margaret Mary related that answer to her that Our Lord was indeed appearing to her. For although Our Lord knows all things as God, He wills to forget  our sins that are absolved in the Sacrament of Penance. Can we do any less? Any claim to be devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is false if we nurture grudges of any kind, petty or small, and if we do not make excuses for those who sin against us just as Our Lord made excuses for us, His executioners, as He hung on the wood of the Holy Cross. We must pray for the conversion of all men on a daily basis, starting with ourselves, hoping that there will be a happy reconciliation among all of the souls of the just in an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Heaven at least by the time of the General Judgment of the Living and of the Dead on the Last Day.

This great Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was once observed universally as an octave in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, contains lessons that we can only hope to learn more about as with each passing year, especially by spending time in prayer before His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. One of these lessons, though, is quite apposite: the consequences of failing to do that which Heaven asks of us to do.

That is, King Louis XIV and the bishops of France refused to consecrate the entirety of France to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus after entreaties from Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque that this consecrated had been willed by the God-Man Himself. The year was 1689, one hundred years before the outbreak of the French Revolution, which is still wreaking its horrid consequences in the world and in the Church today. How sad it is that Our Lady’s Fatima Message, given to Jacinta and Francisco  Marto and their cousin Lucia dos Santos on July 13, 1917, is ignored by so many.

One of the concrete ways that we can surround ourselves with the matchless love of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, united for all eternity to the most pure love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to which has been entrusted the cause of the Restoration of Christendom itself, is to Enthrone the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in our homes. This act of Enthronement is truly essential. Why? Well, the kings of Christendom were enthroned before they entered solemnly upon their offices (even though they may have assumed actual power at a date before, sometimes significantly before, the actual enthronement/coronation ceremony). Thus, even though we may be sincerely devoted to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it is nevertheless important to formally acknowledge this fact in our homes, especially for the sake of our children. We must show the love of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to our spouses and to our children (and to our parents and grandparents, if living, and to all of our relatives and friends). Visible images of this Enthronement help to remind us of the necessity to put aside petty disputes and disagreements and to love more purely with the Heart of Purity Itself.

You see, we are sensible beings. That is, we are influenced by the sights and sounds and smells (for those of you who, unlike me, have a sense of smell) that we encounter. Having visible images of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in our homes, replete with a ceremony of enthronement, is a reminder to ourselves and our children that we must offer these twin hearts all of the love that we have, pledging to abstain from even the smallest of sins in order to please these hearts that wrought our salvation on Calvary and to make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world. The images pasted below are found in several places in our own home, yes, the one on wheels that God has known from all eternity we would be blessed to have as we travel from place to place around the country:

                                              

There are many different formulae by which the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus may be enthroned in a family. Here is one:

 

The ceremony begins with the family gathering around the table on which is the Sacred Heart image, a statue or picture. This table is in another part of the room or in another room, some distance from where the image will be enthroned, to allow for a procession. Place flowers and candles on the mantel or place of honor.

 

•       If a priest presides he begins with the blessing of the image.
•       Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
•      
All: And with thy spirit.
•       

Priest: Let us Pray: Almighty, everlasting God. Who approves the painting and sculpture of the images of Thy saints, so that as often as we gaze upon them we are reminded to imitate their deeds and sanctity: In Thy kindness we implore Thee to bless and sanctify this image made in honor and in memory of the most Sacred Heart of Thine only begotten Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and grant that whosoever in its presence humbly strives to serve and honor the Sacred Heart of Thine only begotten Son, may obtain through His merits and intercession grace in this life and everlasting glory in the world to come. Amen

THE PRIEST HERE SPRINKLES THE IMAGE WITH HOLY WATER

 

•       

If there is no priest present, the father, accompanied by his wife and children (or, in his absence, the wife or the other representative of the family) place the image where it is enthroned.
•       All recite the Apostles Creed as an act of faith and reparation.
•       All stand for a Gospel reading. Suggested are: Luke 19: 1-10, or Luke 10: 38-42: or Luke 1: 23-33 . Then follows a short talk by the priest if he presides.
•       All kneel and say in unison the Act of Consecration

ACT OF CONSECRATION

•      
 O Sacred Heart of Jesus, * Who madest known to St. Margaret Mary Thy great desire to reign over Catholic Families, * we are gathereth here today * to proclaimest Thy complete dominion over our family. From now on we promise to leadeth a Christ like life: We willst striveth to develop in our home * all the virtues which bringeth with them the peace that  Thou promised. And we willst not compromiseth with the spirit of secularism * which Thou hast so strongly denounced.
•       Thou willst rulest over our minds through our deep and living faith. Thou willst be King of our hearts by our generous love for Thee; and we willst cultivate this love by the frequent reception of Thee in Holy Communion.
•       Divine Heart of Jesus * presideth over our family gatherings; bless all our family undertakings, both spiritual and temporal. Sanctify our joys and comfort us in our sorrows. And if any member of our family should hast the misfortune to offend Thee seriously, * remindest him, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, * of Thine infinite love and mercy for the penitent sinner.
•       And when the hour of separation cometh, * when death bringeth its sorrow into our family, * whether we goest or whether we stayeth, * we willst humbly accept Thy divine will . And at the same time we shalt consoleth and comforteth ourselves with the thought * that the time willst come when our whole family willst be united lovingly with Thee in heaven forever. There we shalt singeth a hymn of praise * to the infinite mercy and love of Thine Sacred Heart.
•       We asketh the Immaculate Heart of Mary and our glorious protector St. Joseph, * to offer Thee this family consecration of ours. May the memory of this consecration be with us always.
•       Glory be to the Divine Heart of Jesus, our King and our Father! Praise to the Divine Heart of Jesus that broughteth us our salvation. To it be honor and glory forever. Amen.
•       One Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, for all absent members of the family, living and dead.

 

Pope Leo XIII, noting that he had been cured of a disease, at the age of eighty-nine, through his intercession to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, encouraged the practice of Consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in his encyclical letter, Annum Sacram, May 25, 1899.  It was Pope Leo, intent on restoring Christ as the King of all nations, who promulgated the Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, explaining that everyone must be subjected to the reign of Christ the King, a reign that starts first in the hearts of individual souls and spreads from there into the entirety of nations and into each and every aspect of their cultures without any itsy bitsy exceptions whatsoever:

This world-wide and solemn testimony of allegiance and piety is especially appropriate to Jesus Christ, who is the Head and Supreme Lord of the race. His empire extends not only over Catholic nations and those who, having been duly washed in the waters of holy baptism, belong of right to the Church, although erroneous opinions keep them astray, or dissent from her teaching cuts them off from her care; it comprises also all those who are deprived of the Christian faith, so that the whole human race is most truly under the power of Jesus Christ. For He who is the Only-begotten Son of God the Father, having the same substance with Him and being the brightness of His glory and the figure of His substance (Hebrews i., 3) necessarily has everything in common with the Father, and therefore sovereign power over all things. This is why the Son of God thus speaks of Himself through the Prophet: “But I am appointed king by him over Sion, his holy mountain. . . The Lord said to me, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me and I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Psalm, ii.). By these words He declares that He has power from God over the whole Church, which is signified by Mount Sion, and also over the rest of the world to its uttermost ends. On what foundation this sovereign power rests is made sufficiently plain by the words, “Thou art My Son.” For by the very fact that He is the Son of the King of all, He is also the heir of all His Father’s power: hence the words – “I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance,” which are similar to those used by Paul the Apostle, “whom he hath appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews i., 2).

But we should now give most special consideration to the declarations made by Jesus Christ, not through the Apostles or the Prophets but by His own words. To the Roman Governor who asked Him, “Art thou a king then?” He answered unhesitatingly, “Thou sayest that I am a king” John xviii. 37).And the greatness of this power and the boundlessness of His kingdom is still more clearly declared in these words to the Apostles: “All power is given to me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew xxviii., 18). If then all power has been given to Christ it follows of necessity that His empire must be supreme, absolute and independent of the will of any other, so that none is either equal or like unto it: and since it has been given in heaven and on earth it ought to have heaven and earth obedient to it. And verily he has acted on this extraordinary and peculiar right when He commanded His Apostles to preach His doctrine over the earth, to gather all men together into the one body of the Church by the baptism of salvation, and to bind them by laws, which no one could reject without risking his eternal salvation.

But this is not all. Christ reigns not only by natural right as the Son of God, but also by a right that He has acquired. For He it was who snatched us “from the power of darkness” (Colossians i., 13), and “gave Himself for the redemption of all” (I Timothy ii., 6). Therefore not only Catholics, and those who have duly received Christian baptism, but also all men, individually and collectively, have become to Him “a purchased people” (I Peter ii., 9). St. Augustine’s words are therefore to the point when he says: “You ask what price He paid? See what He gave and you will understand how much He paid. The price was the blood of Christ. What could cost so much but the whole world, and all its people? The great price He paid was paid for all” (T. 120 on St. John).

How it comes about that infidels themselves are subject to the power and dominion of Jesus Christ is clearly shown by St. Thomas, who gives us the reason and its explanation. For having put the question whether His judicial power extends to all men, and having stated that judicial authority flows naturally from royal authority, he concludes decisively as follows: “All things are subject to Christ as far as His power is concerned, although they are not all subject to Him in the exercise of that power” (3a., p., q. 59, a. 4). This sovereign power of Christ over men is exercised by truth, justice, and above all, by charity.

To this twofold ground of His power and domination He graciously allows us, if we think fit, to add voluntary consecration. Jesus Christ, our God and our Redeemer, is rich in the fullest and perfect possession of all things: we, on the other hand, are so poor and needy that we have nothing of our own to offer Him as a gift. But yet, in His infinite goodness and love, He in no way objects to our giving and consecrating to Him what is already His, as if it were really our own; nay, far from refusing such an offering, He positively desires it and asks for it: “My son, give me thy heart.” We are, therefore, able to be pleasing to Him by the good will and the affection of our soul. For by consecrating ourselves to Him we not only declare our open and free acknowledgment and acceptance of His authority over us, but we also testify that if what we offer as a gift were really our own, we would still offer it with our whole heart. We also beg of Him that He would vouchsafe to receive it from us, though clearly His own. Such is the efficacy of the act of which We speak, such is the meaning underlying Our words.

And since there is in the Sacred Heart a symbol and a sensible image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love one another,therefore is it fit and proper that we should consecrate ourselves to His most Sacred Heart – an act which is nothing else than an offering and a binding of oneself to Jesus Christ, seeing that whatever honor, veneration and love is given to this divine Heart is really and truly given to Christ Himself.

For these reasons We urge and exhort all who know and love this divine Heart willingly to undertake this act of piety; and it is Our earnest desire that all should make it on the same day, that so the aspirations of so many thousands who are performing this act of consecration may be borne to the temple of heaven on the same day. But shall We allow to slip from Our remembrance those innumerable others upon whom the light of Christian truth has not yet shined? We hold the place of Him who came to save that which was lost, and who shed His blood for the salvation of the whole human race. And so We greatly desire to bring to the true life those who sit in the shadow of death. As we have already sent messengers of Christ over the earth to instruct them, so now, in pity for their lot with all Our soul we commend them, and as far as in us lies We consecrate them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In this way this act of devotion, which We recommend, will be a blessing to all. For having performed it, those in whose hearts are the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ will feel that faith and love increased. Those who knowing Christ, yet neglect His law and its precepts, may still gain from His Sacred Heart the flame of charity. And lastly, for those still more unfortunate, who are struggling in the darkness of superstition, we shall all with one mind implore the assistance of heaven that Jesus Christ, to whose power they are subject,may also one day render them submissive to its exercise; and that not only in the life to come when He will fulfil His will upon all men, by saving some and punishing others, (St. Thomas, ibid), but also in this mortal life by giving them faith and holiness. May they by these virtues strive to honor God as they ought, and to win everlasting happiness in heaven.

Such an act of consecration, since it can establish or draw tighter the bonds which naturally connect public affairs with God, gives to States a hope of better things. In these latter times especially, a policy has been followed which has resulted in a sort of wall being raised between the Church and civil society. In the constitution and administration of States the authority of sacred and divine law is utterly disregarded, with a view to the exclusion of religion from having any constant part in public life. This policy almost tends to the removal of the Christian faith from our midst, and, if that were possible, of the banishment of God Himself from the earth. When men’s minds are raised to such a height of insolent pride, what wonder is it that the greater part of the human race should have fallen into such disquiet of mind and be buffeted by waves so rough that no one is suffered to be free from anxiety and peril? When religion is once discarded it follows of necessity that the surest foundations of the public welfare must give way, whilst God, to inflict on His enemies the punishment they so richly deserve, has left them the prey of their own evil desires, so that they give themselves up to their passions and finally wear themselves out by excess of liberty.

Hence that abundance of evils which have now for a long time settled upon the world, and which pressingly call upon us to seek for help from Him by whose strength alone they can be driven away. Who can He be but Jesus Christ the Only-begotten Son of God? “For there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved” (Acts iv., 12). We must have recourse to Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We have gone astray and we must return to the right path: darkness has overshadowed our minds, and the gloom must be dispelled by the light of truth: death has seized upon us, and we must lay hold of life. It will at length be possible that our many wounds be healed and all justice spring forth again with the hope of restored authority; that the splendors of peace be renewed, and swords and arms drop from the hand when all men shall acknowledge the empire of Christ and willingly obey His word, and “Every tongue shall confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father” (Philippians ii, II).

When the Church, in the days immediately succeeding her institution, was oppressed beneath the yoke of the Caesars, a young Emperor saw in the heavens a cross, which became at once the happy omen and cause of the glorious victory that soon followed. And now, today, behold another blessed and heavenly token is offered to our sight – the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, with a cross rising from it and shining forth with dazzling splendor amidst flames of love. In that Sacred Heart all our hopes should be placed, and from it the salvation of men is to be confidently besought. (Pope Leo XIII, Annum Sacram, May 25, 1899.)

Pope Pius XI amplified the concerns of Pope Leo, instituting an Act of Reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, appended below, in his encyclical letter, Miserentissimus Redemptor, May 8, 1928, expressed our need to make reparations for our own sins and those of the whole world, especially in light of how even Catholics had abandoned the cause of Christ the King to embrace various philosophies and ideologies that have convinced men that they can create the “better world” without subordinating all of their actions, public and private, at all times to the Catholic Faith:

Among the many proofs of the boundless benignity of our Redeemer, there is one that stands out conspicuously, to wit the fact that when the charity of Christian people was growing cold, the Divine Charity itself was set forth to be honored by a special worship, and the riches of its bounty was made widely manifest by that form of devotion wherein worship is given to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Coloss. ii, 3). For as in olden time when mankind came forth from Noe’s ark, God set His “bow in the clouds” (Genesis ix, 13), shining as the sign of a friendly covenant; so in the most turbulent times of a more recent age, when the Jansenist heresy, the most crafty of them all, hostile to love and piety towards God, was creeping in and preaching that God was not to be loved as a father but rather to be feared as an implacable judge; then the most benign Jesus showed his own most Sacred Heart to the nations lifted up as a standard of peace and charity portending no doubtful victory in the combat. And indeed Our Predecessor of happy memory, Leo Xlll, admiring the timely opportuneness of the devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, said very aptly in his Encyclical Letter, “Annum Sacrum,” “When in the days near her origin, the Church was oppressed under the yoke of the Caesars the Cross shown on high to the youthful Emperor was at once an omen and a cause of the victory that speedily followed. And here today another most auspicious and most divine sign is offered to our sight, to wit the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, with a Cross set above it shining with most resplendent brightness in the midst of flames. Herein must all hopes be set, from hence must the salvation of men be sought and expected.

And rightly indeed is that said, Venerable Brethren. For is not the sum of all religion and therefore the pattern of more perfect life, contained in that most auspicious sign and in the form of piety that follows from it inasmuch as it more readily leads the minds of men to an intimate knowledge of Christ Our Lord, and more efficaciously moves their hearts to love Him more vehemently and to imitate Him more closely? It is no wonder, therefore, that Our Predecessors have constantly defended this most approved form of devotion from the censures of calumniators, and have extolled it with high praise and promoted it very zealously, as the needs of time and circumstance demanded. Moreover, by the inspiration of God’s grace, it has come to pass that the pious devotion of the faithful towards the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus has made great increase in the course of time; hence pious confraternities to promote the worship of the Divine Heart are everywhere erected, hence too the custom of receiving Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month at the desire of Christ Jesus, a custom which now prevails everywhere.

But assuredly among those things which properly pertain to the worship of the Most Sacred Heart, a special place must be given to that Consecration, whereby we devote ourselves and all things that are ours to the Divine Heart of Jesus, acknowledging that we have received all things from the everlasting love of God. When Our Savior had taught Margaret Mary, the most innocent disciple of His Heart, how much He desired that this duty of devotion should be rendered to him by men, moved in this not so much by His own right as by His immense charity for us; she herself, with her spiritual father, Claude de la Colombiere, rendered it the first of all. Thereafter followed, in the course of time, individual men, then private families and associations, and lastly civil magistrates, cities and kingdoms. But since in the last century, and in this present century, things have come to such a pass, that by the machinations of wicked men the sovereignty of Christ Our Lord has been denied and war is publicly waged against the Church, by passing laws and promoting plebiscites repugnant to Divine and natural law, nay more by holding assemblies of them that cry out, “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke xix, 14): from the aforesaid Consecration there burst forth over against them in keenest opposition the voice of all the clients of the Most Sacred Heart, as it were one voice, to vindicate His glory and to assert His rights: “Christ must reign” (1 Corinthians xv, 25); “Thy kingdom come” (Matth. vi, 10). From this at length it happily came to pass that at the beginning of this century the whole human race which Christ, in whom all things are re-established (Ephes. i, 10), possesses by native right as His own, was dedicated to the same Most Sacred Heart, with the applause of the whole Christian world, by Our Predecessor of happy memory, Leo Xlll.

Now these things so auspiciously and happily begun as we taught in Our Encyclical Letter “Quas primas,” we Ourselves, consenting to very many long-continued desires and prayers of Bishops and people, brought to completion and perfected, by God’s grace, when at the close of the Jubilee Year, We instituted the Feast of Christ the King of All, to be solemnly celebrated throughout the whole Christian world. Now when we did this, not only did we set in a clear light that supreme sovereignty which Christ holds over the whole universe, over civil and domestic society, and over individual men, but at the same time we anticipated the joys of that most auspicious day, whereon the whole world will gladly and willingly render obedience to the most sweet lordship of Christ the King. For this reason, We decreed at the same time that this same Consecration should be renewed every year on the occasion of that appointed festal day, so that the fruit of this same Consecration might be obtained more certainly and more abundantly, and all peoples might be joined together in Christian charity and in the reconciliation of peace, in the Heart of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

But to all these duties, more especially to that fruitful Consecration which was in a manner confirmed by the sacred solemnity of Christ the King, something else must needs be added, and it is concerning this that it is our pleasure to speak with you more at length, Venerable Brethren, on the present occasion: we mean that duty of honorable satisfaction or reparation which must be rendered to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For if the first and foremost thing in Consecration is this, that the creature’s love should be given in return for the love of the Creator, another thing follows from this at once, namely that to the same uncreated Love, if so be it has been neglected by forgetfulness or violated by offense, some sort of compensation must be rendered for the injury, and this debt is commonly called by the name of reparation.

Now though in both these matters we are impelled by quite the same motives, none the less we are holden to the duty of reparation and expiation by a certain more valid title of justice and of love, of justice indeed, in order that the offense offered to God by our sins may be expiated and that the violated order may be repaired by penance: and of love too so that we may suffer together with Christ suffering and “filled with reproaches” (Lam. iii, 30), and for all our poverty may offer Him some little solace. For since we are all sinners and laden with many faults, our God must be honored by us not only by that worship wherewith we adore His infinite Majesty with due homage, or acknowledge His supreme dominion by praying, or praise His boundless bounty by thanksgiving; but besides this we must need make satisfaction to God the just avenger, “for our numberless sins and offenses and negligences.” To Consecration, therefore, whereby we are devoted to God and are called holy to God, by that holiness and stability which, as the Angelic Doctor teaches, is proper to consecration (2a. 2ae. qu. 81, a. 8. c.), there must be added expiation, whereby sins are wholly blotted out, lest the holiness of the supreme justice may punish our shameless unworthiness, and reject our offering as hateful rather than accept it as pleasing.

Moreover this duty of expiation is laid upon the whole race of men since, as we are taught by the Christian faith, after Adam’s miserable fall, infected by hereditary stain, subject to concupiscences and most wretchedly depraved, it would have been thrust down into eternal destruction. This indeed is denied by the wise men of this age of ours, who following the ancient error of Pelagius, ascribe to human nature a certain native virtue by which of its own force it can go onward to higher things; but the Apostle rejects these false opinions of human pride, admonishing us that we “were by nature children of wrath” (Ephesians ii, 3). And indeed, even from the beginning, men in a manner acknowledged this common debt of expiation and, led by a certain natural instinct, they endeavored to appease God by public sacrifices.

But no created power was sufficient to expiate the sins of men, if the Son of God had not assumed man’s nature in order to redeem it. This, indeed, the Savior of men Himself declared by the mouth of the sacred Psalmist: “Sacrifice and oblation thou wouldest not: but a body thou hast fitted to me: Holocausts for sin did not please thee: then said 1: Behold I come” (Hebrews x, 5-7). And in very deed, “Surely He hath borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows. . . He was wounded for our iniquities (Isaias liii, 4-5), and He His own self bore our sins in His body upon the tree . . . (1 Peter ii, 24), “Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross . . .” (Colossians ii, 14) “that we being dead to sins, should live to justice” (1 Peter ii, 24). Yet, though the copious redemption of Christ has abundantly forgiven us all offenses (Cf. Colossians ii, 13), nevertheless, because of that wondrous divine dispensation whereby those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ are to be filled up in our flesh for His body which is the Church (Cf. Colossians i, 24), to the praises and satisfactions, “which Christ in the name of sinners rendered unto God” we can also add our praises and satisfactions, and indeed it behooves us so to do. But we must ever remember that the whole virtue of the expiation depends on the one bloody sacrifice of Christ, which without intermission of time is renewed on our altars in an unbloody manner, “For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different” (Council of Trent, Session XXIII, Chapter 2). Wherefore with this most august Eucharistic Sacrifice there ought to be joined an oblation both of the ministers and of all the faithful, so that they also may “present themselves living sacrifices, holy, pleasing unto God” (Romans xii, 1). Nay more, St. Cyprian does not hesitate to affirm that “the Lord’s sacrifice is not celebrated with legitimate sanctification, unless our oblation and sacrifice correspond to His passion” (Ephesians 63). For this reason, the Apostle admonishes us that “bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus” (2 Corinthians iv, 10), and buried together with Christ, and planted together in the likeness of His death (Cf. Romans vi, 4-5), we must not only crucify our flesh with the vices and concupiscences (Cf. Galatians v, 24), “flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world” (2 Peter i, 4), but “that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies” (2 Corinthians iv, 10) and being made partakers of His eternal priesthood we are to offer up “gifts and sacrifices for sins” (Hebrews v, 1). Nor do those only enjoy a participation in this mystic priesthood and in the office of satisfying and sacrificing, whom our Pontiff Christ Jesus uses as His ministers to offer up the clean oblation to God’s Name in every place from the rising of the sun to the going down (Malachias i, 11), but the whole Christian people rightly called by the Prince of the Apostles “a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood” (1 Peter ii, 9), ought to offer for sins both for itself and for all mankind (Cf. Hebrews v, 3), in much the same manner as every priest and pontiff “taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God” (Hebrews v, 1).

But the more perfectly that our oblation and sacrifice corresponds to the sacrifice of Our Lord, that is to say, the more perfectly we have immolated our love and our desires and have crucified our flesh by that mystic crucifixion of which the Apostle speaks, the more abundant fruits of that propitiation and expiation shall we receive for ourselves and for others. For there is a wondrous and close union of all the faithful with Christ, such as that which prevails between the head and the other members; moreover by that mystic Communion of Saints which we profess in the Catholic creed, both individual men and peoples are joined together not only with one another but also with him, “who is the head, Christ; from whom the whole body, being compacted and fitly joined together, by what every joint supplieth, according to the operation in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in charity” (Ephesians iv, 15-16). It was this indeed that the Mediator of God and men, Christ Jesus, when He was near to death, asked of His Father: “I in them, and thou in me: that they may be made perfect in one” (John xvii, 23).

Wherefore, even as consecration proclaims and confirms this union with Christ, so does expiation begin that same union by washing away faults, and perfect it by participating in the sufferings of Christ, and consummate it by offering victims for the brethren. And this indeed was the purpose of the merciful Jesus, when He showed His Heart to us bearing about it the symbols of the passion and displaying the flames of love, that from the one we might know the infinite malice of sin, and in the other we might admire the infinite charity of Our Redeemer, and so might have a more vehement hatred of sin, and make a more ardent return of love for His love.

And truly the spirit of expiation or reparation has always had the first and foremost place in the worship given to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and nothing is more in keeping with the origin, the character, the power, and the distinctive practices of this form of devotion, as appears from the record of history and custom, as well as from the sacred liturgy and the acts of the Sovereign Pontiffs. For when Christ manifested Himself to Margaret Mary, and declared to her the infinitude of His love, at the same time, in the manner of a mourner, He complained that so many and such great injuries were done to Him by ungrateful men — and we would that these words in which He made this complaint were fixed in the minds of the faithful, and were never blotted out by oblivion: “Behold this Heart” — He said — “which has loved men so much and has loaded them with all benefits, and for this boundless love has had no return but neglect, and contumely, and this often from those who were bound by a debt and duty of a more special love.” In order that these faults might be washed away, He then recommended several things to be done, and in particular the following as most pleasing to Himself, namely that men should approach the Altar with this purpose of expiating sin, making what is called a Communion of Reparation, — and that they should likewise make expiatory supplications and prayers, prolonged for a whole hour, –which is rightly called the “Holy Hour.” These pious exercises have been approved by the Church and have also been enriched with copious indulgences.

But how can these rites of expiation bring solace now, when Christ is already reigning in the beatitude of Heaven? To this we may answer in some words of St. Augustine which are very apposite here, –”Give me one who loves, and he will understand what I say” (In Johannis evangelium, tract. XXVI, 4). For any one who has great love of God, if he will look back through the tract of past time may dwell in meditation on Christ, and see Him laboring for man, sorrowing, suffering the greatest hardships, “for us men and for our salvation,” well-nigh worn out with sadness, with anguish, nay “bruised for our sins” (Isaias liii, 5), and healing us by His bruises. And the minds of the pious meditate on all these things the more truly, because the sins of men and their crimes committed in every age were the cause why Christ was delivered up to death, and now also they would of themselves bring death to Christ, joined with the same griefs and sorrows, since each several sin in its own way is held to renew the passion of Our Lord: “Crucifying again to themselves the Son of God, and making him a mockery” (Hebrews vi, 6). Now if, because of our sins also which were as yet in the future, but were foreseen, the soul of Christ became sorrowful unto death, it cannot be doubted that then, too, already He derived somewhat of solace from our reparation, which was likewise foreseen, when “there appeared to Him an angel from heaven” (Luke xxii, 43), in order that His Heart, oppressed with weariness and anguish, might find consolation. And so even now, in a wondrous yet true manner, we can and ought to console that Most Sacred Heart which is continually wounded by the sins of thankless men, since –as we also read in the sacred liturgy — Christ Himself, by the mouth of the Psalmist complains that He is forsaken by His friends: “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 Ixviii, 21).

To this it may be added that the expiatory passion of Christ is renewed and in a manner continued and fulfilled in His mystical body, which is the Church. For, to use once more the words of St. Augustine, “Christ suffered whatever it behooved Him to suffer; now nothing is wanting of the measure of the sufferings. Therefore the sufferings were fulfilled, but in the head; there were yet remaining the sufferings of Christ in His body” (In Psalm Ixxxvi). This, indeed, Our Lord Jesus Himself vouchsafed to explain when, speaking to Saul, “as yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter” (Acts ix, 1), He said, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts ix, 5), clearly signifying that when persecutions are stirred up against the Church, the Divine Head of the Church is Himself attacked and troubled. Rightly, therefore, does Christ, still suffering in His mystical body, desire to have us partakers of His expiation, and this is also demanded by our intimate union with Him, for since we are “the body of Christ and members of member” (1 Corinthians xii, 27), whatever the head suffers, all the members must suffer with it (Cf. 1 Corinthians xii, 26).

Now, how great is the necessity of this expiation or reparation, more especially in this our age, will be manifest to every one who, as we said at the outset, will examine the world, “seated in wickedness” (1 John v, 19), with his eyes and with his mind. For from all sides the cry of the peoples who are mourning comes up to us, and their princes or rulers have indeed stood up and met together in one against the Lord and against His Church (Cf. Psalm ii, 2). Throughout those regions indeed, we see that all rights both human and Divine are confounded. Churches are thrown down and overturned, religious men and sacred virgins are torn from their homes and are afflicted with abuse, with barbarities, with hunger and imprisonment; bands of boys and girls are snatched from the bosom of their mother the Church, and are induced to renounce Christ, to blaspheme and to attempt the worst crimes of lust; the whole Christian people, sadly disheartened and disrupted, are continually in danger of falling away from the faith, or of suffering the most cruel death. These things in truth are so sad that you might say that such events foreshadow and portend the “beginning of sorrows,” that is to say of those that shall be brought by the man of sin, “who is lifted up above all that is called God or is worshipped” (2 Thessalonians ii, 4).

But it is yet more to be lamented, Venerable Brethren, that among the faithful themselves, washed in Baptism with the blood of the immaculate Lamb, and enriched with grace, there are found so many men of every class, who laboring under an incredible ignorance of Divine things and infected with false doctrines, far from their Father’s home, lead a life involved in vices, a life which is not brightened by the light of true faith, nor gladdened by the hope of future beatitude, nor refreshed and cherished by the fire of charity; so that they truly seem to sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. Moreover, among the faithful there is a greatly increasing carelessness of ecclesiastical discipline, and of those ancient institutions on which all Christian life rests, by which domestic society is governed, and the sanctity of marriage is safeguarded; the education of children is altogether neglected, or else it is depraved by too indulgent blandishments, and the Church is even robbed of the power of giving the young a Christian education; there is a sad forgetfulness of Christian modesty especially in the life and the dress of women; there is an unbridled cupidity of transitory things, a want of moderation in civic affairs, an unbounded ambition of popular favor, a depreciation of legitimate authority, and lastly a contempt for the word of God, whereby faith itself is injured, or is brought into proximate peril.

But all these evils as it were culminate in the cowardice and the sloth of those who, after the manner of the sleeping and fleeing disciples, wavering in their faith, miserably forsake Christ when He is oppressed by anguish or surrounded by the satellites of Satan, and in the perfidy of those others who following the example of the traitor Judas, either partake of the holy table rashly and sacrilegiously, or go over to the camp of the enemy. And thus, even against our will, the thought rises in the mind that now those days draw near of which Our Lord prophesied: “And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold” (Matth. xxiv, 12).

Now, whosoever of the faithful have piously pondered on all these things must need be inflamed with the charity of Christ in His agony and make a more vehement endeavor to expiate their own faults and those of others, to repair the honor of Christ, and to promote the eternal salvation of souls. And indeed that saying of the Apostle: “Where sin abounded, grace did more abound” (Romans v, 20) may be used in a manner to describe this present age; for while the wickedness of men has been greatly increased, at the same time, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, a marvelous increase has been made in the number of the faithful of both sexes who with eager mind endeavor to make satisfaction for the many injuries offered to the Divine Heart, nay more they do not hesitate to offer themselves to Christ as victims. For indeed if any one will lovingly dwell on those things of which we have been speaking, and will have them deeply fixed in his mind, it cannot be but he will shrink with horror from all sin as from the greatest evil, and more than this he will yield himself wholly to the will of God, and will strive to repair the injured honor of the Divine Majesty, as well by constantly praying, as by voluntary mortifications, by patiently bearing the afflictions that befall him, and lastly by spending his whole life in this exercise of expiation.

And for this reason also there have been established many religious families of men and women whose purpose it is by earnest service, both by day and by night, in some manner to fulfill the office of the Angel consoling Jesus in the garden; hence come certain associations of pious men, approved by the Apostolic See and enriched with indulgences, who take upon themselves this same duty of making expiation, a duty which is to be fulfilled by fitting exercises of devotion and of the virtues; hence lastly, to omit other things, come the devotions and solemn demonstrations for the purpose of making reparation to the offended Divine honor, which are inaugurated everywhere, not only by pious members of the faithful, but by parishes, dioceses and cities.

These things being so, Venerable Brethren, just as the rite of consecration, starting from humble beginnings, and afterwards more widely propagated, was at length crowned with success by Our confirmation; so in like manner, we earnestly desire that this custom of expiation or pious reparation, long since devoutly introduced and devoutly propagated, may also be more firmly sanctioned by Our Apostolic authority and more solemnly celebrated by the whole Catholic name. Wherefore, we decree and command that every year on the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, — which feast indeed on this occasion we have ordered to be raised to the degree of a double of the first class with an octave — in all churches throughout the whole world, the same expiatory prayer or protestation as it is called, to Our most loving Savior, set forth in the same words according to the copy subjoined to this letter shall be solemnly recited, so that all our faults may be washed away with tears, and reparation may be made for the violated rights of Christ the supreme King and Our most loving Lord.

There is surely no reason for doubting, Venerable Brethren, that from this devotion piously established and commanded to the whole Church, many excellent benefits will flow forth not only to individual men but also to society, sacred, civil, and domestic, seeing that our Redeemer Himself promised to Margaret Mary that “all those who rendered this honor to His Heart would be endowed with an abundance of heavenly graces.” Sinners indeed, looking on Him whom they pierced (John xix, 37), moved by the sighs and tears of the whole Church, by grieving for the injuries offered to the supreme King, will return to the heart (Isaias xlvi, 8), lest perchance being hardened in their faults, when they see Him whom they pierced “coming in the clouds of heaven” (Matth. xxvi, 64), too late and in vain they shall bewail themselves because of Him (Cf. Apoc. i, 7). But the just shall be justified and shall be sanctified still (Cf. Apoc. xxii. 11) and they will devote themselves wholly and with new ardor to the service of their King, when they see Him contemned and attacked and assailed with so many and such great insults, but more than all will they burn with zeal for the eternal salvation of souls when they have pondered on the complaint of the Divine Victim: “What profit is there in my blood?” (Psalm xxix, 10), and likewise on the joy that will be felt by the same Most Sacred Heart of Jesus “upon one sinner doing penance” (Luke xv, 10). And this indeed we more especially and vehemently desire and confidently expect, that the just and merciful God who would have spared Sodom for the sake of ten just men, will much more be ready to spare the whole race of men, when He is moved by the humble petitions and happily appeased by the prayers of the community of the faithful praying together in union with Christ their Mediator and Head, in the name of all. And now lastly may the most benign Virgin Mother of God smile on this purpose and on these desires of ours; for since she brought forth for us Jesus our Redeemer, and nourished Him, and offered Him as a victim by the Cross, by her mystic union with Christ and His very special grace she likewise became and is piously called a reparatress. Trusting in her intercession with Christ, who whereas He is the “one mediator of God and men” (1 Timothy ii, 5), chose to make His Mother the advocate of sinners, and the minister and mediatress of grace, as an earnest of heavenly gifts and as a token of Our paternal affection we most lovingly impart the Apostolic Blessing to you, Venerable Brethren, and to all the flock committed to your care. (Pope Pius XI, Miserentissimus Redemptor, May 8, 1928.)

Note, please, once again this particular paragraph from Pope Pius XI’s Miserentissimus Redemptor, which even more applicable today than when it was written eighty-five years ago:

But all these evils as it were culminate in the cowardice and the sloth of those who, after the manner of the sleeping and fleeing disciples, wavering in their faith, miserably forsake Christ when He is oppressed by anguish or surrounded by the satellites of Satan, and in the perfidy of those others who following the example of the traitor Judas, either partake of the holy table rashly and sacrilegiously, or go over to the camp of the enemy. And thus, even against our will, the thought rises in the mind that now those days draw near of which Our Lord prophesied: “And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold” (Matth. xxiv, 12). (Pope Pius XI, Miserentissimus Redemptor, May 8, 1928.)

We can never abandon the cause of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen, which is why we must enthrone these twin Hearts of love in our homes so that they can pulsate through every aspect of every nation in the world. Keep in mind these stirring words of Pope Pius XI in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922:

There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail.

It is apparent from these considerations that true peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life. If this were done, then society being placed at last on a sound foundation, the Church would be able, in the exercise of its divinely given ministry and by means of the teaching authority which results therefrom, to protect all the rights of God over men and nations.

It is possible to sum up all We have said in one word, “the Kingdom of Christ.” For Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one’s life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example. Jesus reigns over the family when it, modeled after the holy ideals of the sacrament of matrimony instituted by Christ, maintains unspotted its true character of sanctuary. In such a sanctuary of love, parental authority is fashioned after the authority of God, the Father, from Whom, as a matter of fact, it originates and after which even it is named. (Ephesians iii, 15) The obedience of the children imitates that of the Divine Child of Nazareth, and the whole family life is inspired by the sacred ideals of the Holy Family. Finally, Jesus Christ reigns over society when men recognize and reverence the sovereignty of Christ, when they accept the divine origin and control over all social forces, a recognition which is the basis of the right to command for those in authority and of the duty to obey for those who are subjects, a duty which cannot but ennoble all who live up to its demands. Christ reigns where the position in society which He Himself has assigned to His Church is recognized, for He bestowed on the Church the status and the constitution of a society which, by reason of the perfect ends which it is called upon to attain, must be held to be supreme in its own sphere; He also made her the depository and interpreter of His divine teachings, and, by consequence, the teacher and guide of every other society whatsoever, not of course in the sense that she should abstract in the least from their authority, each in its own sphere supreme, but that she should really perfect their authority, just as divine grace perfects human nature, and should give to them the assistance necessary for men to attain their true final end, eternal happiness, and by that very fact make them the more deserving and certain promoters of their happiness here below. (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Aranco Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)

Pope Pius XI reiterated these themes in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925, the encyclical letter that institute the Feast of the Universal Kingship of Jesus Christ, a Kingship that starts in our own homes:

Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ. It will call to their minds the thought of the last judgment, wherein Christ, who has been cast out of public life, despised, neglected and ignored, will most severely avenge these insults; for his kingly dignity demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing for the young a sound moral education.

The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God. If all these truths are presented to the faithful for their consideration, they will prove a powerful incentive to perfection. It is Our fervent desire, Venerable Brethren, that those who are without the fold may seek after and accept the sweet yoke of Christ, and that we, who by the mercy of God are of the household of the faith, may bear that yoke, not as a burden but with joy, with love, with devotion; that having lived our lives in accordance with the laws of God’s kingdom, we may receive full measure of good fruit, and counted by Christ good and faithful servants, we may be rendered partakers of eternal bliss and glory with him in his heavenly kingdom. (Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas, December 11, 1925.)

We must be serious about making Christ the King of our hearts so that He can reign, along with His Queen Mother, as the King and center of all men and all nations at all times until the end of the world. Anyone who thinks we can retard the evils of the day by keeping silence about Our Lord and His Social Kingship is a fool. We cannot fight secularism with secularism of any strip. We can only fight secularism with Catholicism, which is the sole foundation of personal and social order.

We rejoice today in the fact that we are loved with an unmerited love that is beyond our comprehension. With true and deep sorrow for our many sins but with a firm confidence in the ineffable Mercy of the Divine Redeemer that is contained in His Most Sacred Heart, may we never take this love for granted, flying unto the patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, she who is the Queen of All of the Saints, to help us drink always from the fountain of love that is the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus now and unto eternity.

Have a blessed and glorious feast day of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.

Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.

Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, 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.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

His Name Shall Be John

Today is the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s precursor who called sinners to repentance as he was preparing the way for Our Lord to assume His Public Ministry. Saint John the Baptist, who had been freed from Original Sin at the moment of the Visitation, lived an austere life of penance and mortification as the last Prophet of the Old Testament. His efforts to call sinners to repentance spared no one, including King Herod the Tetrarch, the son of the notorious Herod the Great who had sought to kill the Infant Jesus shortly after His birth in Bethlehem.

Saint John the Baptist’s remonstrations with King Herod the Tetrarch stand in stark contrast to the cowardice of most of the false “bishops” of the counterfeit church of conciliarism in the United States of America, men who lack the prophetic courage to discharge their apostolic duties by denouncing those in public life, Catholic and/or non-Catholic, who support grave evils such as abortion and contraception and the perversion of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, among so many others. As the last of the Old Testament Prophets, Saint John the Baptist was merely carrying on the example and the work of Amoz and Osee and Nathan and Gad and Isaiah and Ezekiel and Jeremiah. The words of Amoz were particularly harsh and stinging concerning the infidelity of the Chosen People and their leaders.

Saint John the Baptist’s father, Zachary, was told of his son’s mission by Saint Gabriel the Archangel:

And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John: and thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity.

For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people.

And Zachary said to the angel: Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.

And the angel answering, said to him: I am Gabriel, who stand before God; and am sent to speak to thee, and to bring thee these good things. And behold, thou shalt be dumb until the day wherein these things shall come to pass because thou hast not believed my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time. (Lk 1: 11-20)

Zachary’s being rendered dumb until after the Nativity of his son, Saint John the Baptist, the cousin and precursor of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man, is quite a contrast to the fact that his son preached eloquently and clearly even in the world. Saint John the Baptist leapt for joy in his mother’s womb when he heard the sound of Our Lady’s voice at the moment of the Visitation, which event we commemorate ion July 2 (for reasons explained in Magnificat). Saint John the Baptist preached clearly at that very moment as he was freed from Original Sin about the inviolability of human life in the womb and about the veneration that is to be paid to the Mother of God and to the adoration that must be paid to the One she carried in her virginal and immaculate womb, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Saint John the Baptist continued to preach clearly and unequivocally when he began his mission as the last of the Old Testament Prophets, preparing the way for the coming of Our Lord to assume His Public Ministry.

Our Lady explained the significance of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist six months, one day before the Nativity of her Divine Son, Our Lord Himself:

270. The hour for the rising of the morning star, which was to precede the clear Sun of justice and announce the wished-for day of the law of grace, had arrived (John 5, 35). The time was suitable to the Most High for the appearance of his Prophet in the world; and greater than a prophet was John, who pointing out with his finger the Lamb (John 1, 29), was to prepare mankind for the salvation and sanctification of the world. Before issuing from the maternal womb the Lord revealed to the blessed child the hour in which he was to commence his mortal career among men. The child had the perfect use of his reason, and of the divine science infused by the presence of the incarnate Word. He therefore knew that he was to arrive at the port of a cursed and dangerous land, and to walk upon a world full of evils and snares, where many are overtaken by ruin and perdition.

271. On this account the great child was as it were in a state of suspense and doubt: for on the one hand, nature having nourished his body to that state of perfection, which is proper to birth, he recognized and felt, in addition to the express will of God, the compelling forces of nature which urged him to leave the retreat of the maternal womb. On the other hand he contemplated the dangerous risks of mortal life. Thus he hesitated between the fear of danger and the desire to obey. And he debated within himself: “If I meet this danger of losing God, whither shall it lead me? How can I safely converse with men, of whom so many are enveloped in darkness and wander from the path of life ? I am in the obscurity of my mother s womb, but I must leave it for a more dangerous darkness. I was imprisoned here, since I received the light of reason; but more must I dread the unrestrained freedom of mortals. But let me, O Lord, fulfill thy will and enter the world; for to execute it is always best. To know that my life and my faculties shall be consumed in thy service, highest King, will make it easier for me to come forth to the light and begin life. Bestow, O Lord, thy blessing for my passage into the world”. . .

My dearest daughter, do not be surprised, that my servant John feared and hesitated to come into the world. Life can never be loved by the ignorant devotee of the world in the same degree, as the wise, in divine science, abhor and fear its dangers. This science was eminently possessed by the Precursor of my most holy Son; hence knowing of the loss which threatened, he feared the risk. But, since he that knows and dreads the treacherous seas of this world, sails so much the more securely over their unfathomed depths, it served him in good stead for entering securely into the world. The fortunate child began his career with such disgust and abhorrence of all earthly things, that his horror never abated. He made no peace with the flesh (Mark 6, 17), nor partook of its poison, nor allowed vanity to enter his senses nor obstruct his eyes; in abhorrence of the world and of worldly things, he gave his life for justice. The citizen of the true Jerusalem cannot be in peace or in alliance with Babylon; nor is it possible to enjoy at the same time the grace of the Most High and the friendship of his declared enemies; for no one can serve two hostile masters, nor can light and darkness, Christ and Beliel, harmonize (Matth. 4, 4).

279. Guard thyself, my dearest, against those living in darkness and the lovers of the world more than against fire ; for the wisdom of the sons of this world is carnal and diabolical, and their ways lead to death. In order to walk the way of truth, even at the cost of the natural life, it is necessary to preserve the peace of the soul. Three dwelling-places I point out for thee to live in, from which thou must never intentionally come forth. If at any time the Lord should bid thee to relieve the necessities of thy fellow creatures, I desire that thou do not lose this refuge. Act as one who lives in a castle surrounded by enemies, and who perchance must go to the gate to transact necessary business. He acts with such wariness, that he will pay more attention to safeguard his retreat and shield himself, than to transact business with others, being always on the watch and on guard against danger. So must thou live, if thou wishest to live securely; for doubt not, that enemies more cruel and poisonous than asps and basilisks surround thee.

280. Thy habitations shall be the Divinity of the Most High, the humanity of my most holy Son, and thy own interior. In the Divinity thou must live like the pearl in its shell, or like the fish in the sea, allowing thy desires and affections to roam in its infinite spaces. The most holy humanity shall be the wall, which defends thee; and his bosom shall be the place of thy rest, and under his wings shalt thou find refreshment (Ps. 16, 8). Thy own interior shall afford thee peaceful delight through the testimony of a good conscience (Cor. 2, 12), and it will, if thou keep it pure, familiarize thee with the sweet and friendly intercourse of thy Spouse. In order that thou mayest be aided therein by retirement of the body, I desire that thou remain secluded in thy choir or in thy cell, leaving it only, when obedience or charity make it inevitable. I will tell thee a secret: there are demons, whom Lucifer has expressly ordered to watch for the religious, who come forth from their retirement, in order to beset them and engage them in battle and cause their fall. The demons do not easily go into the cells, because there they do not find the occasions afforded by conversations and the use of the senses, wherein they ordinarily capture and devour their prey like ravenous wolves. They are tormented by the retirement and recollection of religious, knowing that they are foiled in their attempts, as long as they cannot entice them into human discourse.

281. It is also certain that ordinarily the demons have no power over souls, unless they gain entrance by some venial or mortal fault. Mortal sin gives them a sort of direct right over those who commit it; while venial sin weakens the strength of the soul and invites their attacks. Imperfections diminish the merit and the progress of virtue, and encourage the enemy. Whenever the astute serpent notices that the soul bears with its own levity and forgets about its danger, it blinds it and seeks to instill its deadly poison. The enemy then entices the soul like a little heedless bird, until it falls into one of the many snares from which there seems to be no escape.

282. Admire then, my daughter, what thou hast learned by divine enlightenment and weep in deepest sorrow over the ruin of so many souls  absorbed in such dangerous tepidity. They live in the obscurity of their passions and depraved inclinations, forgetful of the danger, unmoved by their losses, and heedless of their dealings. Instead of fearing and avoiding the occasions of evil, they encounter and seek for them in blind ignorance. In senseless fury they follow their pleasures, place no restraint on their passionate desires, and care not where they walk, even if to the most dangerous precipices. They are surrounded by innumerable enemies, who pursue them with diabolical treachery, unceasing vigilance, unquenchable wrath and restless diligence. What wonder then, that from such extremes, or rather from such unequal combat, irreparable defeats should arise among the mortals? And that, since the number of fools is infinite, the number of the reprobate should also be uncountable, and that the demon should be inflated by his triumphs in the perdition of so many men? May the eternal God preserve thee from such a misfortune; and do thou weep and deplore that of thy brethren, continually asking for their salvation as far as is possible. (The Venerable Mary of Agreda, The Mystical City of God: Volume III: The Incarnation, pp. 221-223; 226-229).

What excuse do we have for being as worldly as we are in our daily pursuits, making so little time in most cases for prayer and even voluntary acts of penance by withdrawing from a few legitimate pleasures even though our closest friends and relatives may consider us unusual for doing so? We must, therefore, pray to Saint John the Baptist every day, especially before Holy Mass, so that he might prepare the way for Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s coming into our souls by means of Holy Communion just as he had prepared the way for the coming of His Public Ministry by means of his own preaching in the wilderness. The more we are united with the spirit of Saint John the Baptist in this time of hatred of Christ the King in the world and a distortion of His Sacred Deposit of Faith by the lords of the counterfeit church of conciliarism is the more that we will be ready to reject worldliness in order to have souls that are more ready to serve Our King with promptness and with true delight.

Thus vivified by the baptism he received in Saint Elizabeth’s womb at the Visitation, Saint John the Baptist was able to preach fearlessly in the wilderness. mincing no words when denouncing King Herod the Tetrarch for his bigamous and adulterous “marriage” to the wife of his brother Philip, Herodias. Herod knew that the Baptist was correct and that he was living in sin. Herodias, though, did not share Herod’s misgivings about their relationship, scheming with her daughter Salome to have the head of the Baptist delivered to her on a silver platter, thus fulfilling Saint John’s prophesy about himself: ” He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3: 30) Saint John the Baptist was unafraid to stand up in defense of the truth. He did not bow to the will of those in power who did evil. He did not have a “grand strategy” to try to mask the truth in order to make it more palatable to anyone, whether those in civil power or to the people in the crowds listening to his sermons. He knew that the One Whose way he had prepared would reward him for his fidelity to the mission that had been entrusted to him, which included a firm proclamation of uncomfortable truths to the lowly and the powerful alike.

The first bishops of the Church, the Apostles, became as bold as Saint John the Baptist following the descent of the Holy Ghost upon them and our dear Blessed Mother on Pentecost Sunday. They were unafraid to proclaim the truths of the Divine Redeemer, counting it as pure gain to be reviled by the Jewish religious authorities and to be misunderstood and persecuted by the secular Roman authorities. They did not shrink from telling all men that there was no other Name other than that of the Holy Name of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by which they could be saved from their sins. They trusted in the power of the graces won by the shedding of Our Lord’s Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross to proclaim clearly and unequivocally what the Divine Master had entrusted to them, knowing that the seeds they planted might never come to fruition in their own lifetimes. They cared about fidelity to Christ their King, not about human respect or earthly privilege.

It has been the case throughout the history of the Church that bishops and priests and ordinary lay men and women have had to stand fast in behalf of the truths of the Divine Redeemer as He has revealed them through His true Church when those truths have been undermined and/or ignored by public officials. According to Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, thirteen million Catholics accepted death as the price of their fidelity to Our Lord rather than worship the false gods of the secular Roman Empire. Great bishops and priests and members of the laity stood fast against the injustices and immorality of some of leaders of Catholic Europe.

Saint Thomas a Becket asserted the rights of the Church against the claims of King Henry II.

Saint Stanislaus was slain personally by the jealous King Boleslaus.

Saint John Nepumocene was killed on orders of King Wenceslaus IV in Prague for refusing divulge the Queen’s confession.

Saint John Fisher was the only bishop in England who remained faithful to Rome when King Henry VIII had Parliament declare him to be the “supreme head of the Church in England.”

Saint Thomas More refused to assent publicly to that declaration or to the validity of Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. Over 72,000 Catholics, fully 3.1 percent of the population of England at the time, were put to death by Henry and his minions between 1534 and the time of his death in 1547.

Thousands of Catholics were persecuted during the French Revolution and its aftermath.

As is being noted in my soon-to-be-concluded series on the Cristeros War, thousands of Catholics died as a result of the anticlericalism of the Freemason Plutarco Elias Calles and the military assistance provided him by the government of the United States of America.

Countless numbers perished as a result of Bolshevism and Nazism. Father Maximilian Kolbe was imprisoned in Auschwitz, where he gave up his life for a fellow prisoner, because he was a fierce critic of all manner of secular political ideologies and movements, including Freemasonry and Zionism, that were poisoning the world and thus ruining souls.

The late Bishop Ignatius Kung spent over thirty years in a Red Chinese prison cell for his remaining steadfastly loyal to Pope Pius XII after the Chinese Communists had created their own schismatic, rump church, with which Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI made his “peace” on June 29, 2007.

This list could on and on and on. These great heroes of the Faith did not do the bidding of Herod’s successors: they proclaimed the truth to the point of their deaths, trusting that the all-merciful Lord would reward them for their fidelity and that their efforts would be used by Our Lady in ways that that would not be made manifest to them until eternity.

How sad it is to note, therefore, that most of the “bishops” of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, including the false “bishops” of the United States Conference of Conciliar “Bishops,” have more in common with Herod the Tetrarch and with the enemies of the Faith over the centuries than they do with Saint John the Baptist and with the true Catholic bishops of the past. Most of the “bishops” in the conciliar structures in the United States of America, for example, believe that it is inopportune, imprudent, unpastoral or otherwise bad form to boldly proclaim truths in order to defend the integrity of the Holy Faith, including the integrity of what they purport, falsely, as we know, to be the Most Blessed Sacrament, a result in large part of a loss of the Faith among many in the hierarchy. Thus we find alleged “successors” of the Apostles tripping all over themselves to curry favor with the rich and powerful.

No, this is not a new phenomenon, to be sure. There were plenty of examples of bishops who did the bidding of corrupt rulers in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, many more who did so in the aftermath of the Protestant Revolt (men who held their tongues in the fear that a rebuke to a public official might lose a particular country to the forces of Protestantism, as Father Denis Fahey noted so well in The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World.).

What is new, however, is that the counterfeit church of conciliarism’s false “Mass” embraces a false spirit of an “opening up to the world”, thus feeding the natural tendency of human beings to refrain from doing that which is difficult, especially as it pertains to the defense of the Faith and the proper formation of souls unto eternity, in order to maintain peace and a sense of “respectability.”

A whole legion of Herod’s helpers in the conciliar “hierarchy,” therefore, has thus been created by the very ambiance of the heresies and the errors of conciliarism, not the least of which are religious liberty and the belief that the civil state must be separated from the Church. These Herod’s helpers enable by silence and by public praise public officials who are at war with everything contained in the Deposit of Faith and thus everything that is necessary for the right ordering of souls and of societies. Why shouldn’t they? It’s what they do every day of their conciliar lives from the chancery offices they hold illicitly and as they offend God at the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo community table.

The loss of the sensus Catholicus in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism has been such that there has been a manifest rejection of the belief that a Catholic bishop must be willing to lose his head to defend the truths of the Holy Faith. So must we, obviously. A true bishop, however, has a special obligation by virtue of his possessing the fullness of the priesthood to bear a visible, courageous witness to the Holy Faith so as to inspire and embolden the faithful themselves to do so in every aspect of their own lives. Upon his immortal soul rests the eternal salvation of everyone who lives within the boundaries of his episcopal jurisdiction, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. If he does not see in Saint John the Baptist and the Apostles and the martyrs who came from the ranks of the episcopate and the priesthood his example of how to deal firmly with public scandal and with laws that are at variance with the laws of God and the rights of His Holy Church, then he is likely to be numbered in history among the largely anonymous vipers who went along with Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer in England nearly 470 years ago.

Then again, of course, the “bishops” of conciliarism lack the grace of state. They are not bishops. They are merely administrators of large corporate offices which exist to make war upon the authentic patrimony of the Catholic Church. Lost in the minds of these false shepherds is any knowledge–no less acceptance–of these stirring words of Pope Pius VI, contained in Inscrutabile, December 25, 1775:

Consequently, you who are the salt of the earth, guardians and shepherds of the Lord’s flock, whose business it is to fight the battles of the Lord, arise and gird on your sword, which is the word of God, and expel this foul contagion from your lands. How long are we to ignore the common insult to faith and Church? Let the words of Bernard arouse us like a lament of the spouse of Christ: “Of old was it foretold and the time of fulfillment is now at hand: Behold, in peace is my sorrow most sorrowful. It was sorrowful first when the martyrs died; afterwards it was more sorrowful in the fight with the heretics and now it is most sorrowful in the conduct of the members of the household…. The Church is struck within and so in peace is my sorrow most sorrowful. But what peace? There is peace and there is no peace. There is peace from the pagans and peace from the heretics, but no peace from the children. At that time the voice will lament: Sons did I rear and exalt, but they despised me. They despised me and defiled me by a bad life, base gain, evil traffic, and business conducted in the dark.” Who can hear these tearful complaints of our most holy mother without feeling a strong urge to devote all his energy and effort to the Church, as he has promised? Therefore cast out the old leaven, remove the evil from your midst. Forcefully and carefully banish poisonous books from the eyes of your flock, and at once courageously set apart those who have been infected, to prevent them harming the rest. The holy Pope Leo used to say, “We can rule those entrusted to us only by pursuing with zeal for the Lord’s faith those who destroy and those who are destroyed and by cutting them off from sound minds with the utmost severity to prevent the plague spreading.” In doing this We exhort and advise you to be all of one mind and in harmony as you strive for the same object, just as the Church has one faith, one baptism, and one spirit. As you are joined together in the hierarchy, so you should unite equally with virtue and desire.

The affair is of the greatest importance since it concerns the Catholic faith, the purity of the Church, the teaching of the saints, the peace of the empire, and the safety of nations. Since it concerns the entire body of the Church, it is a special concern of yours because you are called to share in Our pastoral concern, and the purity of the faith is particularly entrusted to your watchfulness. “Now therefore, Brothers, since you are overseers among God’s people and their soul depends on you, raise their hearts to your utterance,” that they may stand fast in faith and achieve the rest which is prepared for believers only. Beseech, accuse, correct, rebuke and fear not: for ill-judged silence leaves in their error those who could be taught, and this is most harmful both to them and to you who should have dispelled the error. The holy Church is powerfully refreshed in the truth as it struggles zealously for the truth. In this divine work you should not fear either the force or favor of your enemies. The bishop should not fear since the anointing of the Holy Spirit has strengthened him: the shepherd should not be afraid since the prince of pastors has taught him by his own example to despise life itself for the safety of his flock: the cowardice and depression of the hireling should not dwell in a bishop’s heart. Our great predecessor Gregory, in instructing the heads of the churches, said with his usual excellence: “Often imprudent guides in their fear of losing human favor are afraid to speak the right freely. As the word of truth has it, they guard their flock not with a shepherd’s zeal but as hirelings do, since they flee when the wolf approaches by hiding themselves in silence…. A shepherd fearing to speak the right is simply a man retreating by keeping silent.” But if the wicked enemy of the human race, the better to frustrate your efforts, ever brings it about that a plague of epidemic proportions is hidden from the religious powers of the world, please do not be terrified but walk in God’s house in harmony, with prayer, and in truth, the three arms of our service. Remember that when the people of Juda were defiled, the best means of purification was the public reading to all, from the least to the greatest, of the book of the law lately found by the priest Helcias in the Lord’s temple; at once the whole people agreed to destroy the abominations and seal a covenant in the Lord’s presence to follow after the Lord and observe His precepts, testimonies and ceremonies with their whole heart and soul.” For the same reason Josaphat sent priests and Levites to bring the book of the law throughout the cities of Juda and to teach the people. The proclamation of the divine word has been entrusted to your faith by divine, not human, authority. So assemble your people and preach to them the gospel of Jesus Christ. From that divine source and heavenly teaching draw draughts of true philosophy for your flock. Persuade them that subjects ought to keep faith and show obedience to those who by God’s ordering lead and rule them. To those who are devoted to the ministry of the Church, give proofs of faith, continence, sobriety, knowledge, and liberality, that they may please Him to whom they have proved themselves and boast only of what is serious, moderate, and religious. But above all kindle in the minds of everyone that love for one another which Christ the Lord so often and so specifically praised. For this is the one sign of Christians and the bond of perfection. (Pope Pius VI, Inscrutabile, December 25, 1775.)

Just as we sometimes get bogged down in the trees of the forests of partisan politics, as I pointed out repeatedly in scores of articles and in my lectures, over the years, it also the case that we tend to get bogged down in the trees of ecclesiastical politics, forgetting that today’s Herod’s Helpers, such as Roger “Cardinal” Mahony and Donald Wuerl and Theodore “Cardinal” McCarrick and George Niederauer, have been merely the successors of the late John Cardinal Dearden, in whose Archdiocese of Detroit Call to Action started, and the late Joseph “Cardinal” Bernardin, who invented the “consistent ethic of life” (seamless garment) to provide a cover for Catholics to vote for pro-abortion Catholic politicians with impunity. (And Dearden and Bernardin were merely carrying on the work of the late Francis Cardinal Spellman and the late Richard Cardinal Cushing, who were themselves merely the inheritors of the Americanism of John Carroll and John Ireland and James Gibbons, et al.)

“Saint Paul II”  appointed many of these men these men. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict xvI promoted the likes of Niederauer and Wuerl. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II did not remove them. His curial “cardinals” actually enabled them by undermining frequently the few “bishops” who st up against them. The problem is not with the false “bishops” in the United States, my friends: it is conciliarism itself, including the very conciliarist error of episcopal collegiality that has made war against and rendered most Catholics silent about the authentic patrimony of the Catholic Church during the past forty years as surely as Zachary himself was rendered dumb prior to the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist on this very day. And this is to say nothing of all of the other things that have flowed from the wake of “Second “Vatican Council, namely, the doctrinal and liturgical revolutions.

Saint John the Baptist did not mince words when dealing with the situation of his own day. We cannot mince words either, whether it be with the lords of Modernity in the world or the lords of conciliarism, starting with Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis The Liberator, in the counterfeit church of conciliarism.

Always making sure to pray for those whose words and actions we must denounce and to enfold them in the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, we must remember that the many of the great saints who confronted the errors and vices of their own days (Saint Jerome, Saint Nicholas, Saint Athanasius, Saint Boniface, Saint Anthony, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint John Marie Vianney, among many others) did so in a manner evocative of the spirit of Saint John the Baptist, denouncing falsehood firmly and without any concession made in the direction of the fuzzy sentimentality that exists in the world at present as the result of the rotten fruit of Protestantism and all of its permutations, including Modernism.

One of the worst chastisement God can send is Church is bad bishops and bad priests, as was the case with the Americanist bishops and priests who helped to pave the way for Dignitatis Humanae, December 7, 1965, and other conciliarist errors by their embrace of the civil state without the true Faith. Worse yet is the chastisement of false bishops and false priests! We are being chastised, make no mistake about it. We must therefore pray and do penance for our own sins and those of the whole world, especially for the sins of those in ecclesiastical authority who look askance at the example of Saint John the Baptist and the Apostles and their own predecessors in the line of Apostolic succession.

While it is important to chronicle the betrayals of  the “bishops” and “priests” of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, we must remember that those who are Herod’s helpers will be consigned to the dust bin of ecclesiastical history if they do not repent of their treachery before they die. God will not be mocked. He will impose judgment on those members of the counterfeit church of conciliarism who have represented themselves falsely as Catholic bishops while they sought human respect and popularity rather than stand fast in His behalf to the point of physical torture and death.

Trusting, as always, in the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, may we offer her our daily prayers and penances and sacrifices, especially by means of praying as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit, so that she can present them to the Most Sacred Heart of her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in reparation for our sins and those of the whole world.

Saint John the Baptist helped to prepare way for the Coming of Our Lord to assume His Public Ministry. Like Saint John the Baptist and by his holy intercession, therefore, may we be heralds of Our Lord as we seek to prepare the way for His many “comings” into the lives of the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross, never failing to proclaim His truths with fidelity and with true Charity for the eternal good of others, offering all to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Vivat Christus Rex!

Viva Cristo Rey!

Our Lady of the Rosary, 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.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint Zachary, pray for us.

Saint Elizabeth, pray for us.

Saint Aloysius, Help Us To Be As Pure As Thee

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga is one of Holy Mother Church’s shining examples of a youth who maintained his innocence and purity throughout his twenty-three years of life as a member of the Church Militant on earth. I have had a particular devotion to this great lover of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in His Real Presence since 1956, the year I entered kindergarten at the school in the parish that had taken him for its patron in Great Neck, Long Island, New York. I owe Saint Aloysius Gonzaga so very much, for it was in the school that bore his name that I learned my Catholic Faith without any degree of compromise or dilution, It was in Saint Aloysius Church that I made my First Holy Communion on Saturday, May 30, 1959, and it was in that same church that the Most Reverend Walter P. Kellenberg, the founding Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, confirmed me as a soldier in the Army of Christ when I received the Sacrament of Confirmation on March 21, 1961. Oh, yes, I owe Saint Aloysius so very much.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga was born in 1568. He received his own First Holy Communion from the hands of Saint Charles Borromeo, then a curial cardinal who was doing theological battle with the forces of the Protestant Revolt. Saint Aloysius had from the start a pure and burning love for Our Lord in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Indeed, it is said that he had such burning fervor for Our Lord when receiving Holy Communion that his whole chest was aflame with a palpable, burning ardor. He was so aflame with ardor that he had to burst out of the doors of the church frequently after the reception of Holy Communion and throw himself into the fountain in the piazza in order to cool off his ardor.

A miserable, recidivist sinner such as yours truly cannot even imagine such ardor, the likes of which prompted a presbyter (although one with a very priestly bearing and countenance) on Long Island in 1986 to say in a sermon, “I am sure that this [Saint Aloysius's burning ardor upon the reception of Holy Communion] is the very reason that many of you leave church immediately after receiving Holy Communion. You just have to throw yourself into your swimming pools.” Saint Aloysius thus teaches us first and foremost to recognize that our sins have damaged our immortal souls and that we need to recover some semblance of the purity of our own childhood in order to grow more fully in a pure and burning love for Our Lord that will result in greater intimacy with Him when we receive Holy Communion day after day. The Collect for Feast of Saint Aloysius in the Immemorial Mass of Tradition makes this very point:

“O God, among the gifts of heaven bestowed upon the angelic youth, Aloysius, you united a wondrous innocence to his exceptional spirit of penance. Although we have not followed his path of innocence, may we at least imitate his penance through his own merits and prayers.”

Saint Aloysius spent much time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, understanding that Eucharistic piety was a true foretaste of eternal glories. His time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament prepared him to see in others the very image and likeness of the One He loved with such innocence and purity. It was this pure love of Our Lord that moved him to reject the courtly privileges of the Gonzaga family and to join the Society of Jesus when he was seventeen years of age. He excelled in his theological studies, excelling even more in his service to the poor and the the forgotten, especially the little waifs of the Trastevere district in Rome to whom he taught and explained the basics of the catechism. It was his desire to serve the Christ in the poor and the sick and the suffering that brought him to the bedside of a patient who was dying from the plague, thereby exposing himself to the disease that killed him in short order.

Saint Aloysius did not fear exposing his mortal body to the dangers of a man dying from the plague. He understood that suffering and physical death, both of which are punishments for Original Sin, are not the most dangerous things for a human being. Exposure to the near occasions of sin was what could result in the eternal death of the soul. Far better to be exposed to the diseases of mortal flesh than to contaminate both body and soul by a lukewarmness of spirit and/or by the casual embrace of sin and sinful influences in the course of one’s daily life. Saint Aloysius teaches us to recognize that our souls must be kept free from the contagion of sin and error lest we die of the spiritual plagues of pride, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, sloth and greed and their permutations. His confessor, Saint Robert Bellarmine, believed that it was most certainly the case that Saint Aloysius had never committed a Mortal Sin in his entire life. It is possible for one to cooperate with the graces won for the many on the wood of the Holy Cross by the shedding of every single drop of the Divine Redeemer’s Most Precious Blood to scale the heights of personal sanctity so that he can gain he highest place in Heaven next to that of the Blessed Mother herself.

Saint Aloysius had four great devotions in his daily life: the first was, as mentioned before, to Our Lord in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Indeed, it is a special wonder in the Providence of God this year, 2009, that the feast of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga is commemorated secondarily today, the Third Sunday after Pentecost, within the Octave of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which beats for us which such love in the Eucharist.

The second of Saint Aloysius’ great devotions was to the Passion of Our Lord. He united all of his very intense sufferings to Our Lord’s Passion as he was dying from the effects of the plague. He wanted to conform his life to the standard of the Holy Cross at every moment of his existence.

The third of Saint Aloysius’s great devotions was to the Blessed Virgin Mary, of whom he never ceased to think or to plead for her motherly intercession.

Finally, the fourth great devotion of this most pure Jesuit saint was to the angels, whose glories he celebrated in what is believed to be the only writing of his that has survived him.

Even though he practiced these devotions with purity and fervor of spirit, Saint Aloysius asked Saint Robert Bellarmine if it was possible for a soul to go directly to Heaven without having to suffer in Purgatory. Saint Robert Bellarmine said that it was possible, thus inspiring Saint Aloysius to pray ceaselessly as he was dying from the plague, a malady that took his life around midnight at the end of the Octave Day of Corpus Christi, June 21, 1591.

Four hundred nineteen years have passed since his death. The brightness of his love for Our Lord in His Real Presence still illumines the path of those First Communicants, who are given Saint Aloysius as an example to imitate as they prepare to receive Our Lord for the first time in Holy Communion. How fitting it is that both Pope Benedict XIII and Pope Pius XI declared Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, S.J., the patron of youth.

You see, all we need to do to turn back the plagues of sin and sinful influences that seek to besmirch and ensnare the young today is to teach them about saints such as Saint Aloysius Gonzaga and Saint Therese Lisieux and Saint Dominic Savio and Saint John Berchmans and Saint Stanislaus Kostka. There is no need at all for the evil of various “instruction programs” as to how to avoid sins of impurity. All a young Catholic needs is the good example of Saint Aloysius and Saint Therese and Saint Dominic Savio to prompt him or her to reject sin and to cooperate more fervently with the God’s grace as a consecrated slave of Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

Although there are some, yes, even in fully traditional circles, who believe students do not have to pursue excellence as befits redeemed creatures, that they can be content with “average” efforts and live lives content with mediocrity as they overindulge in sporting activities and other recreations, Saint Aloysius teaches us to work hard at the pursuit of excellence in our studies no matter our abilities. We work hard as befits redeemed creatures to please God, Who has not created us to live “average” or “mediocre” lives. Although we are given different intellectual gifts, God expects each one of us to give Him our very best efforts, especially as we seek to sanctify our immortal souls as members of His true Church and as we endeavor to root out vice and sin from even our thoughts, no less our words and deeds, withdrawing more and more from the world and from a spirit of worldliness. The innocence and purity of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga teaches us to love God–Father, Son and Holy Ghost–with hearts that have been purified in the Baptismal font and regenerated again and again in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance, strengthened in love for God, Who is Love, by acts of voluntary mortification and penance, by lives of profound Eucharistic piety and deep, tender devotion to the Mother of God.

Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., made this point about Saint Aloysius in The Liturgical Year:

Again, it is by Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, the depository of the secrets of the Spouse, that this mystery is revealed to us. In the rapture during which the glory of Aloysius was thus displayed before her eyes, she thus continues, while still under the influence of the Holy Ghost: ‘Who could ever explain the value and the power of interior acts? The glory of Aloysius is so great simply because he acted thus interiorly. Between an interior act and that which is seen, there is no comparison possible. Aloysius, as long as he dwelt on earth, kept his eye attentively fixed on the Word; and this is just why he is so splendid. Aloysius was a hidden martyr; whosoever love thee, my God, knoweth thee to be so great, so infinitely lovable, that keen indeed is the martyrdom of such a one, to see clearly that he loves thee not so much as he desireth to love thee, and that thou art not loved by thy creatures, but art offended! . . . Thus he became a martyrdom unto himself. Oh! did love while on earth! Wherefore now in heaven he possesses God in a sovereign plenitude of love. While still mortal, he discharged his bow at he heart of the Word; and now that he is heaven, his arrows are all lodged in his own heart. For this communication of the Divinity, which he merited by the arrows of his act of love and of union with God, he now verily and indeed possesses and clasps for ever’.

To love God, to allow his grace to turn our heart towards infinite Beauty, which allow can fill it, such is then the true secret of highest perfection. Who can fail to see how this teaching of to-day’s feast answers to the end pursued by the Holy Ghost ever since his coming down at our glorious Pentecost? This sweet and silent teaching was given by Aloysius, wheresoever he turned his steps, during his short career. Born to heaven, in holy Baptism, almost before he was born to earth, he was a very angel from his cradle; grace seemed to gush from him into those who bore him their arms, filling them with heavenly sentiments. At four years of age he followed the marquis his father into the camps; and thus some unconscious faults, which had not so much as tarnished his innocence, became for the rest of his life the object of a penitence that one would have thought beseemed some grievous sinner. He was but nine years old when, being taken to Florence, there to be perfected in the Italian language, he became the edification of the court of duke Francis: but though the most brilliant in Italy, it failed to have any attraction for him, and rather served to detach him more decisively than ever from the world. During this period, likewise, at the feet of the miraculous picture of the Annunziata, he consecrated his virginity to our Lady.

The Church herself, in the Breviary Lessons, will relate the other details of that sweet life, in which, as is ever the case with souls fully docile to the Holy Ghost, heavenly piety never marred what was of duty in earthly things. It is because he was a true model for all youth engaged in study, that Aloysius has been proclaimed their protector. Of a singularly quick intelligence, a faithful to work as to prayer in the gay turmoil of city life, he mastered all the sciences then exacted of one of his rank. Very intricate negotiations of worldly interest were more than once confided to his management: and thus was an opportunity afforded of realizing to what a high degree he might have excelled in government affairs. Here, again, he comes forward as an example to such as have friends and relatives who would fain hold them back, when on the threshold of the religious state, under pretence of the great good they may do in the world, and how much evil they may prevent. Just as though the Most High must be contented with useless nonentities in that select portion of men He reserves to himself amidst nations; or, as though the aptitudes of the richest and most gifted natures may not be turned all the better and all the more completely to God, their very principle, precisely because they are the most perfect. On the other hand, neither the State nor Church ever really loses anything by this fleeing to God, this apparent throwing away of the best subjects! If, in the old law, Jehovah showed himself jealous in having the very best of all kinds of goods offered at his altar, his intention was not to impoverish his people. Whether admitted or not, it is a certain fact that the chief strength of society, the fountain-head of benediction and protection to the world, is always to be found in holocausts well-pleasing to the Lord. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, Volume XII: Time After Pentecost: Book III, pp. 193-195.)

May we always instruct our children to be likewise diligent in their studies for love of God, never content with mediocrity or sloth at any time for any reason whatsoever. It takes hard work to get home to Heaven, and we are to work hard in our state-in-life, yes, even if we are children. Playtime is wonderful. We are not made by God to play all of the time, worse yet to be possessed of the Americanist spirit of anti-intellectualism that loathes study as being somehow an “interference” with “fun stuff.” This is the path to Hell, not Heaven. Saint Aloysius shows us how to get to Heaven! Where do you want your children to go?

Dom Gueranger wrote this beautiful prayer to Saint Aloysius, found in The Liturgical Year:

“Venerable old age is not that of long time, nor counted by the number of years: but the understanding of man is grey hairs; and a spotless life is old age.” (Wisdom 4: 8-9) And therefore, Aloysius, thou dost hold a place of honour amidst the ancients of they people! Glory be to the holy Society in the midst whereof thou didst, in so short a space, fulfill a long course; obtain that she may ever continue to treasure, both for herself and others, the teaching that flows that thy life of innocence and love. Holiness is the one only thing, when life is ended, that can be called a true gain; and holiness is acquired from within. External works count with God, only in as far as the interior breath that inspires them is pure; if occasion for exercising works be wanting, man can easily always supply the deficiency by drawing nigh unto the Lord, in the secrecy of his soul, as much as, and even more than, he could have done by their means. Thus didst thou see and understand the question; and therefore prayer, which held thee absorbed in its ineffable delights, succeeded in making thee equal to the very martyrs. What a priceless treasure was prayer in thine eyes, what a heaven-lent boon, and one that is indeed in our reach, too, just as it was in thine! But in order to find therein, as thou didst express it, ‘the short cut to perfection,’ perseverance is needed and a careful elimination from the soul, by a generous self-repression, of every emotion which is not of God. For how could muddy or troubled waters mirror forth the image of him who stands on their brink? Even so, a soul that is sullied, or a soul that without being quite a slave of passion is not yet mistress of every earthly perturbation, can never reach the object of prayer, which is to reproduced within her the tranquil image of her God.

The reproduction of the one great model was perfect in thee; and hence it can be seen how nature (as regards what she has of good), far from losing or suffering aught, rather gains by this process of recasting in the divine crucible. Even in what touches the most legitimate affections, thou didst look at things no loner form the earthly point of view; but beholding all in God, far were the things of sense transcended, with all their deceptive feebleness, and wondrously did thy love grow in consequence! For instance, what could be more touching than thy sweet attentions, not only upon earth, but even from thy throne in heaven, for that admirable woman given thee by our Lord to be thine earthly mother? Where may tenderness be found equal to the affection effusions written to her by thee in that letter of a saint to the mother of a saint, which thou didst address to her shortly before quitting thine earthly pilgrimage? And still more, what exquisite delicacy thou didst evince, in making her the recipient of thy first miracle, worked after thine entrance into glory! Furthermore, the Holy Ghost, by setting thee on fire with the flame of divine charity, developed also within thee immense love for thy neighbour: necessarily so because charity is essentially one; and well was this proved when thou wast seen sacrificing thy life so blithely for the sock and the plague-stricken.

Cease not, O dearest saint, to aid us in the midst of so many miseries; lend a kindly hand to each and all. Christian youth has a special claim upon they patronage, for it is by the Sovereign Pontiff himself that this precious portion of the flock is gathered around thy throne. Direct their feeble steps along the right path, so often enticed to turn into dangerous by-roads; may prayer and earnest toil, for God’s dear sake, be their stay and safeguard; may they be enlightened in the serious matter before them of choosing a state of life. We beseech thee, dearest saint, exert strong influence over them during this most critical period of their opening years, so that they may truly experience all the potency of that fair privilege which is ever thine, of preserving in thy devout clients the angelical virtue! Yea, furthermore, Aloysius, look compassionately on those who have not imitated thine innocence, and obtain that they may yet follow thee in the example of thy penance; such is the petition of holy Church this day.

We pray, therefore, to Saint Aloysius on this day, June 21, so that those of us who may have been been impure in thought, word and deed in the past might become serious about the pursuit of holiness and embrace with joy the cross of penance and humiliation as the true pathway to making our souls as white as they were when we wore white suits and white ties and white shoes and white socks and white shirts (or white dresses and white veils) at the time we received our First Holy Communion. May Saint Aloysius, a pure lover of the Eucharist, help us to spend many hidden hours in prayer before the tabernacle, keeping company with Our Lady and all of the angels and saints, including Saint Aloysius himself, as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit.

This prayer, composed by Saint Aloysius himself is one that we ought to pray every single day of our lives:

O holy Mary, my Mistress,
into thy blessed trust
And special keeping,
into the bosom of thy tender
Mercy, this day, every day of my life
and at the hour of my death,
I commend my soul and body; to thee
I entrust all my hopes and
consolations,
All my trials and miseries, my life and
the end of my life, that through thy most
Holy intercession and thy merits,
all my actions may be ordered and
disposed according
To thy will and that of thy divine Son.
Amen.

Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!

Litany to Saint Aloysius (for private use only)

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.

God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.

God, the Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier, Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Pray for us.

Holy Mother of God, Pray for us.

Holy Virgin of virgins, Pray for us.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Pray for us.

Beloved child of Christ, Pray for us.

Delight of the Blessed Virgin, Pray for us.

Most chaste youth, Pray for us.

Angelic youth, Pray for us.

Most humble youth, Pray for us.

Model of young students, Pray for us.

Despiser of riches, Pray for us.

Enemy of vanities, Pray for us.

Scorner of honors, Pray for us.

Honor of princes, Pray for us.

Jewel of the nobility, Pray for us.

Flower of innocence, Pray for us.

Ornament of a religious state, Pray for us.

Mirror of mortification, Pray for us.

Mirror of perfect obedience, Pray for us.

Lover of evangelical poverty, Pray for us.

Most affectionately devout, Pray for us.

Most zealous observer of rules, Pray for us.

Desirous of the salvation of souls, Pray for us.

Perpetual adorer of the Holy Eucharist, Pray for us.

Particular client of Saint Ignatius, Pray for us.

Be merciful: Spare us, O Lord. Be merciful: Hear us, O Lord.

From the concupiscence of the eyes: O Lord, deliver us.

From the concupiscence of the flesh: O Lord, deliver us.

From the pride of life: O Lord, deliver us.

Through the merits and intercessions of St. Aloysius: O Lord, deliver us.

Through his angelic purity: O Lord, deliver us.

Through his sanctity and glory: O Lord, deliver us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.

R. Christ, graciously hear us.

V. Pray for us, Saint Aloysius:

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

O Blessed Aloysius! adorned with Angelic graces, I, thy most unworthy servant, recommend especially to thee the chastity of my soul and body, praying thee, by thy angelic purity, to plead for me with Jesus Christ the Immaculate Lamb, and His most holy Mother, Virgin of virgins, that they would vouchsafe to keep me from all grievous sin. O never let me be defiled with any stain against my chastity; but when thou dost see me in temptation, or in danger of falling, then remove far from me all bad thoughts and wicked desires; and awaken in me the memory of an eternity to come, and of Jesus crucified. Impress deeply in my heart a sense of the holy fear of God, and thus kindling in me the fire of thy divine love, enable me so to follow thy footsteps here on earth, that in heaven with thee, I may be made worthy to enjoy the sight of our God forever. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Pray one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

 

 

 

Statue of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Saint Aloysius Church, Great Neck, New York, November 24, 2007.

Marching With Our King

We have many inestimable treasures made available to us through Holy Church. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted the sacerdotal priesthood at the Last Supper so as to channel forth in the sacraments the graces He would win for us by the shedding of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross. Most especially, obviously, men who are truly ordained to the priesthood have the great privilege of enfleshing Our Lord under the species of bread and wine in the Most Blessed Sacrament every time they offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Mere men are given the ability to speak ordinary words, which God Himself obeys to make Himself sacramentally present by the working of the Holy Ghost. Indeed, by the same humility which characterized His Incarnation in Our Lady’s virginal and immaculate womb Our Lord humbles Himself again and again to make Himself incarnate in the Eucharist in each and every unbloody re-presentation of His one sacrifice to the Father in Spirit and in Truth which is the Mass.

Our Lord is not only present sacramentally in the celebration of the Mass, in which we receive His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity to nourish our weak and wounded souls. The same Lord Who was the prisoner of the tabernacle of Our Lady’s Virginal and Immaculate Womb awaits our adoration as the prisoner of love in tabernacles in those Catholic churches and tabernacles chapels around the world. where He is truly present in this time of apostasy and betrayal.

Second only to the Mass, there is no gift we have as Catholics that equals spending time with Our Beloved in His Real Presence. He is there beckoning us to adore Him, to make reparation for our sins, to pray for our own needs as well as for those of the whole world, and to offer Him profound thanksgiving for all of the supernatural and temporal helps He gives us each day. He gives us a fundamental foretaste of Heaven itself, where we will gave upon the glory of the Beatific Vision face-to-face if we persist in a state of Sanctifying Grace until the point of our dying breaths, by permitting us to contemplate Him as He is veiled under the appearance of the elements of this passing earth.

We are not alone when we spend time with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Even when no other human being is with us in a particular church or chapel as we pray to Our King of Kings and Lord of lords we are never alone there. Every soul in the Church Triumphant is there with us, starting with the Queen of All Saints, our dear Blessed Mother. Every angel is there with us. Yes, spending time with Our Lord in His Real Presence is more than a figurative foretaste of Heaven. All of the souls in Heaven and possibly even those in Purgatory are there with us as we pray, interceding for us that we will be faithful in our daily adoration of the God-Man Who awaits our acts of sacrifice to spend time with Him here as preparation for spending all eternity with Him in Heaven.

As countless spiritual writers have noted, there are infused graces which those who spend time before the Blessed Sacrament receive. Just as the physical Sun warms the planet and radiates through the darkest of clouds, so is it the case that the eternal Son of God made Man means to warm each one of us and to radiate His bright, burning love directly into our souls. In order to be like unto Our Lord to all men we see and meet–and in order to see His image in other men–it is necessary to be with Him on a regular basis on our knees before the tabernacle or before His Real Presence solemnly exposed in a monstrance.

It is thus very inspiring to see that even in the midst of the liturgical and theological revolutions that have devastated the Faith in the past four decades countless numbers of Catholics still have the sensus Catholicus to spend at least a few moments before the Blessed Sacrament every day. Imagine how many more people would be with Our Beloved if the revolutionaries had not disparaged belief in and adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, indeed, if they had not taken Our Lord away from the churches in conciliar captivity by means of an invalid Mass and invalid rites of episcopal consecration and priestly ordination.

Obviously, not everyone is able to adore Our Lord on a daily basis, especially as there are so few chapels where Our Lord is truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It is frequently difficult for parents with young children to do so. That is why those who are single–or those married people whose children have grown up and moved out–must make profitable use of their time by arranging their schedules to spend at least a half hour every day, apart from Holy Mass itself, before our Eucharistic King. This is one of the ways in which the Mystical Body of Christ is built up: each supporting ligament, to paraphrase Saint Paul, builds up the other. Those who have the time to adore Our Lord are able to compensate for those who have less time and more responsibilities, remembering to pray by name for those who are impeded for one reason or another from being physically present before the tabernacle where Love Incarnate resides for our worship and for our spiritual strengthening.

The practice of regular Eucharistic adoration results in a building up of the supernatural virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity that were flooded into our souls at the moment of our Baptism. The more we develop the discipline that it takes to make good use of our time to habitually adore Our Lord in His Real Presence will be the more we are able to see the world a bit more clearly through the supernatural eyes of the true Faith. Indeed, the practice of regular Eucharistic adoration results in the enlightening of the intellect and the strengthening of the will, making us more willing and better able to bear the crosses we encounter in the course of daily living, to say nothing of the larger crosses that will come our way now and then. A soul that has been strengthened by the habit of Eucharistic adoration comes to understand that we who live in time and space are loved by the One Who lives outside of time and space, the One Who wants us to hope in the sufficiency of His ineffable grace to provide for all of spiritual and temporal needs (in addition to the needs of the Church in these troubling times).

One of the foremost practitioners of Eucharistic adoration was the great saint of Assisi himself, Saint Francis, who wrote:

Everyday, Jesus humbles Himself just as He did when He came from His heavenly throne into the Virgin’s womb; everyday He comes to us and lets us see Him in abjection, when He descends from the bosom of the Father into the hands of the priest at the altar. He shows Himself to us in this sacred bread just as He once appeared to His apostles in real flesh. With their own eyes they saw only His flesh, but they believed that He was God, because they contemplated Him with the eyes of the spirit. We too, with our own eyes, see only bread and wine; but we see further and firmly believe that this is His most holy Body and Blood, living and true.

The saint to whom was given many of the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, had this to say on the subject of Eucharistic adoration: 

Love keeps Him there [in His Real Presence] as a victim completely and perpetually delivered over to sacrifice for the glory of the Father and for our salvation. Unite yourself with Him, then, in all that you do. Refer everything to His glory. Set up your abode in this loving Heart of Jesus and you will there find lasting peace and the strength both to bring to fruition all the good desires He inspires in you, and to avoid every deliberate fault. Place in this Heart all your sufferings and difficulties. Everything that comes from the Sacred Heart is sweet. He changes everything into love.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, so devoted to Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother, wrote: 

To every soul that visits the Blessed Sacrament, Christ in the words of the spouse in the Song of Songs says: Rise. Hurry, my friend! Come, my beautiful one. Rise above your troubles. I am here to enrich you with grace. Hurry to my side. Do not fear my majesty; it is hidden in this bread to overcome your fear and to give you confidence. My friend, you are no longer my enemy, for you love me and I love you. My beautiful one, God’s grace fills you with splendour. Come, throw yourself into my arms; tell me your every wish without fear.

The Cure of Ars, Saint John Marie Vianney, put it this way in a sermon: 

A soul that possesses the Holy Ghost tastes such sweetness in prayer, that it finds the time always too short; it never loses the holy presence of God. Such a heart, before our good Savior in the Most Holy Eucharist exposed upon the Altar, is like a bunch of grapes under the wine press. The Holy Ghost forms thoughts and suggests words in that person’s heart.

The founder of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, Blessed Peter Julian Eymard, who wrote the Litany of the Blessed Sacrament that is appended below (for private use only), never ceased in his efforts to promote solemn Eucharistic adoration as an antidote to the evils of society:

Today solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is the grace and need of our time. Society will be restored and renewed when all its members group themselves around our Emmanuel. . . .  Be the apostle of the divine Eucharist, like a flame which enlightens and warms, like the Angel of his heart who will go to proclaim him to those who don’t know him and will encourage those who love him and are suffering.

The feast of Corpus Christi, today, Thursday, June 19, 2014, permits us an opportunity to reflect on our need for the Eucharist, both as our spiritual food and as the Object of our worship. We have the opportunity today to participate in the Corpus Christi processions, replete with Benediction at three different altars. (Such processions will take place in some chapels this Sunday.)

Although this feast originated in the Thirteenth Century, offered for the first time in Liege, Belgium, in the year 1247, spurred by the efforts of Saint Juliana of Liege, it did not receive papal approbation, issued by Pope Urban IV, until 1264. The Feast of Corpus Christi took root relatively rapidly in the hearts and souls of Catholics as it spread from Belgium elsewhere, with the solemn procession we will be participating in today or this evening (or Sunday) emerging in the Fourteenth Century.

Thus, we should celebrate this great feast of Corpus Christi today by marching in solemn procession with Our Eucharistic King, Who is meant to be the King of all of us individually and of our nations collectively. He beckons every day in His Real Presence to offer Him our poor acts of love. Standing with Him before every tabernacle in the world is the woman whose virginal and immaculate womb was the first tabernacle in which He resided in the flesh, Our Lady herself. May it be our goal in life to spend as much time in adoration before Our Lord’s Real Presence as our state-in-life permits. May we, indeed, seek to lose sleep rather than to ignore Eucharistic adoration. There’s an old Irish limerick that goes something like this: “Every time you pass by a Catholic church make sure to go in to visit. That way, when you die, God won’t say, ‘Who is it?’”

As Blessed Peter Julian Eymard understood, Eucharistic adoration is essential to both personal sanctity and to social order. Let me repeat myself so that I will not be misunderstood: Eucharistic adoration is essential to both personal sanctity and to social order.

Pope Leo XIII noted this with great emphasis in Mirae Caritatis, May 28, 1902:

To know with an entire faith what is the excellence of the Most Holy Eucharist is in truth to know what that work is which, in the might of His mercy, God, made man, carried out on behalf of the human race. For as a right faith teaches us to acknowledge and to worship Christ as the sovereign cause of our salvation, since He by His wisdom, His laws, His ordinances, His example, and by the shedding of His blood, made all things new; so the same faith likewise teaches us to acknowledge Him and to worship Him as really present in the Eucharist, as verily abiding through all time in the midst of men, in order that as their Master, their Good Shepherd, their most acceptable Advocate with the Father, He may impart to them of His own inexhaustible abundance the benefits of that redemption which He has accomplished. Now if any one will seriously consider the benefits which flow from the Eucharist he will understand that conspicuous and chief among them all is that in which the rest, without exception, are included; in a word it is for men the source of life, of that life which best deserves the name. “The bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world” (St. John vi., 52). In more than one way, as We have elsewhere declared, is Christ “the life.” He Himself declared that the reason of His advent among men was this, that He might bring them the assured fulness of a more than merely human life. “I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly” (St. John x., 10). Everyone is aware that no sooner had “the goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared” (Tit. iii., 4), than there at once burst forth a certain creative force which issued in a new order of things and pulsed through all the veins of society, civil and domestic. Hence arose new relations between man and man; new rights and new duties, public and private; henceforth a new direction was given to government, to education, to the arts; and most important of all, man’s thoughts and energies were turned towards religious truth and the pursuit of holiness. Thus was life communicated to man, a life truly heavenly and divine. And thus we are to account for those expressions which so often occur in Holy Writ, “the tree of life,” “the word of life,” “the book of life,” “the crown of life,” and particularly “the bread of life.”

But now, since this life of which We are speaking bears v a definite resemblance to the natural life of man, as the one draws its nourishment and strength from food, so also the other must have its own food whereby it may be sustained and augmented. And here it will be opportune to recall to mind on what occasion and in what manner Christ moved and prepared the hearts of men for the worthy and due reception of the living bread which He was about to give them. No sooner had the rum our spread of the miracle which He had wrought on the shores of the lake of Tiberias, when with the multiplied loaves He fed the multitude, than many forthwith flocked to Him in the hope that they, too, perchance, might be the recipients of like favour. And, just as He had taken occasion from the water which she had drawn from the well to stir up in the Samaritan woman a thirst for that “water which springeth up unto life everlasting” (St. John iv., 14), so now Jesus availed Himself of this opportunity to excite in the minds of the multitude a keen hunger for the bread “which endureth unto life everlasting” (St. John vi., 27). Or, as He was careful to explain to them, was the bread which He promised the same as that heavenly manna which had been given to their fathers during their wanderings in the desert, or again the same as that which, to their amazement, they had recently received from Him; but He was Himself that bread: “I,” said He, “am the bread of life” (St. John vi., 48). And He urges this still further upon them all both by invitation and by precept: “if any man shall eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world” (St. John vi., 52). And in these other words He brings home to them the gravity of the precept: “Amen, Amen, I say to you, unless you shall eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you” (St. John vi., 54). Away then with the widespread but most mischievous error of those who give it as their opinion that the reception of the Eucharist is in a manner reserved for those narrow-minded persons (as they are deemed) who rid themselves of the cares of the world in order to find rest in some kind of professedly religious life. For this gift, than which nothing can be more excellent or more conducive to salvation, is offered to all those, whatever their office or dignity may be, who wish-as every one ought to wish-to foster in themselves that life of divine grace whose goal is the attainment of the life of blessedness with God.

Indeed it is greatly to be desired that those men would rightly esteem and would make due provision for life everlasting, whose industry or talents or rank have put it in their power to shape the course of human events. But alas! we see with sorrow that such men too often proudly flatter themselves that they have conferred upon this world as it were a fresh lease of life and prosperity, inasmuch as by their own energetic action they are urging it on to the race for wealth, to a struggle for the possession of commodities which minister to the love of comfort and display. And yet, whithersoever we turn, we see that human society, if it be estranged from God, instead of enjoying that peace in its possessions for which it had sought, is shaken and tossed like one who is in the agony and heat of fever; for while it anxiously strives for prosperity, and trusts to it alone, it is pursuing an object that ever escapes it, clinging to one that ever eludes the grasp. For as men and states alike necessarily have their being from God, so they can do nothing good except in God through Jesus Christ, through whom every best and choicest gift has ever proceeded and proceeds. But the source and chief of all these gifts is the venerable Eucharist, which not only nourishes and sustains that life the desire whereof demands our most strenuous efforts, but also enhances beyond measure that dignity of man of which in these days we hear so much. For what can be more honourable or a more worthy object of desire than to be made, as far as possible, sharers and partakers in the divine nature? Now this is precisely what Christ does for us in the Eucharist, wherein, after having raised man by the operation of His grace to a supernatural state, he yet more closely associates and unites him with Himself. For there is this difference between the food of the body and that of the soul, that whereas the former is changed into our substance, the latter changes us into its own; so that St. Augustine makes Christ Himself say: “You shall not change Me into yourself as you do the food of your body, but you shall be changed into Me” (confessions 1. vii., c. x.).

Moreover, in this most admirable Sacrament, which is the chief means whereby men are engrafted on the divine nature, men also find the most efficacious help towards progress in every kind of virtue. And first of all in faith. In all ages faith has been attacked; for although it elevates the human mind by bestowing on it the knowledge of the highest truths, yet because, while it makes known the existence of divine mysteries, it yet leaves in obscurity the mode of their being, it is therefore thought to degrade the intellect. But whereas in past times particular articles of faith have been made by turns the object of attack; the seat of war has since been enlarged and extended, until it has come to this, that men deny altogether that there is anything above and beyond nature. Now nothing can be better adapted to promote a renewal of the strength and fervour of faith in the human mind than the mystery of the Eucharist, the “mystery of faith,” as it has been most appropriately called. For in this one mystery the entire supernatural order, with all its wealth and variety of wonders, is in a manner summed up and contained: “He hath made a remembrance of His wonderful works, a merciful and gracious Lord; He hath given food to them that fear Him” (Psalm cx, 4-5). For whereas God has subordinated the whole supernatural order to the Incarnation of His Word, in virtue whereof salvation has been restored to the human race, according to those words of the Apostle; “He hath purposed…to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in Him” (Eph. i., 9-10), the Eucharist, according to the testimony of the holy Fathers, should be regarded as in a manner a continuation and extension of the Incarnation. For in and by it the substance of the incarnate Word is united with individual men, and the supreme Sacrifice offered on Calvary is in a wondrous manner renewed, as was signified beforehand by Malachy in the words: “In every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to My name a pure oblation” (Mal. i., 11). And this miracle, itself the very greatest of its kind, is accompanied by innumerable other miracles; for here all the laws of nature are suspended; the whole substance of the bread and wine are changed into the Body and the Blood; the species of bread and wine are sustained by the divine power without the support of any underlying substance; the Body of Christ is present in many places at the same time, that is to say, wherever the Sacrament is consecrated. And in order that human reason may the more willingly pay its homage to this great mystery, there have not been wanting, as an aid to faith, certain prodigies wrought in His honour, both in ancient times and in our own, of which in more than one place there exist public and notable records and memorials. It is plain that by this Sacrament faith is fed, in it the mind finds its nourishment, the objections of rationalists are brought to naught, and abundant light is thrown on the supernatural order. (Pope Leo XIII, Mirae Caritatis, May 28, 1902.)

Pope Leo XIII was beckoning all men, including those of worldly influence, to make room in their hearts and in their lives for Eucharistic adoration. No naturalistic political ideology or philosophy (liberalism, socialism and all of its variants, including communism, nationalism, conservatism) and no political or social movement, especially those that are founded in non-denominationalism or inter-denominationalism, can ever help one little bit to ease social problems that have their remote origins in Original Sin and their proximate origins in the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King by the Protestants and the Freemasons and other assorted revolutionaries and innovations, both social and theological, from the Sixteenth Century forward. We need to prostrate ourselves before Our Lord in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament on a regular basis.

Pope Leo went on to explain in Mirae Caritatis that modern man trusts in his own schemes, not in Our Lord, thus producing all manner of disorder in his own life and that of nations:

But that decay of faith in divine things of which We have spoken is the effect not only of pride, but also of moral corruption. For if it is true that a strict morality improves the quickness of man’s intellectual powers, and if on the other hand, as the maxims of pagan philosophy and the admonitions of divine wisdom combine to teach us, the keenness of the mind is blunted by bodily pleasures, how much more, in the region of revealed truths, do these same pleasures obscure the light of faith, or even, by the just judgment of God, entirely extinguish it. For these pleasures at the present day an insatiable appetite rages, infecting all classes as with an infectious disease, even from tender years. Yet even for so terrible an evil there is a remedy close at hand in the divine Eucharist. For in the first place it puts a check on lust by increasing charity, according to the words of St. Augustine, who says, speaking of charity, “As it grows, lust diminishes; when it reaches perfection, lust is no more” (De diversis quaestionibus, Ixxxiii., q. 36). Moreover the most chaste flesh of Jesus keeps down the rebellion of our flesh, as St. Cyril of Alexandria taught, “For Christ abiding in us lulls to sleep the law of the flesh which rages in our members” (Lib. iv., c. ii., in Joan., vi., 57). Then too the special and most pleasant fruit of the Eucharist is that which is signified in the words of the prophet: “What is the good thing of Him,” that is, of Christ, “and what is His beautiful thing, but the corn of the elect and the wine that engendereth virgins” (Zach. ix., 17), producing, in other words, that flower and fruitage of a strong and constant purpose of virginity which, even in an age enervated by luxury, is daily multiplied and spread abroad in the Catholic Church, with those advantages to religion and to human society, wherever it is found, which are plain to see.

To this it must be added that by this same Sacrament our hope of everlasting blessedness, based on our trust in the divine assistance, is wonderfully strengthened. For the edge of that longing for happiness which is so deeply rooted in the hearts of all men from their birth is whetted even more and more by the experience of the deceitfulness of earthly goods, by the unjust violence of wicked men, and by all those other afflictions to which mind and body are subject. Now the venerable Sacrament of the Eucharist is both the source and the pledge of blessedness and of glory, and this, not for the soul alone, but for the body also. For it enriches the soul with an abundance of heavenly blessings, and fills it with a sweet joy which far surpasses man’s hope and expectations; it sustains him in adversity, strengthens him in the spiritual combat, preserves him for life everlasting, and as a special provision for the journey accompanies him thither. And in the frail and perishable body that divine Host, which is the immortal Body of Christ, implants a principle of resurrection, a seed of immortality, which one day must germinate. That to this source man’s soul and body will be indebted for both these boons has been the constant teaching of the Church, which has dutifully reaffirmed the affirmation of Christ: “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (St. John vi., 55).

In connection with this matter it is of importance to consider that in the Eucharist, seeing that it was instituted by Christ as “a perpetual memorial of His Passion” (Opusc. Ivii. Offic. de festo Corporis Christi), is proclaimed to the Christian the necessity of a salutary selfchastisement. For Jesus said to those first priests of His: “Do this in memory of Me” (Luke xxii, 18); that is to say, do this for the commemoration of My pains, My sorrows, My grievous afflictions, My death upon the Cross. Wherefore this Sacrament is at the same time a Sacrifice, seasonable throughout the entire period of our penance; and it is likewise a standing exhortation to all manner of toil, and a solemn and severe rebuke to those carnal pleasures which some are not ashamed so highly to praise and extol: “As often as ye shall eat this bread, and drink this chalice, ye shall announce the death of the Lord, until He come” (1 Cor. xi., 26).

Furthermore, if anyone will diligently examine into the causes of the evils of our day, he will find that they arise from this, that as charity towards God has grown cold, the mutual charity of men among themselves has likewise cooled. Men have forgotten that they are children of God and brethren in Jesus Christ; they care for nothing except their own individual interests; the interests and the rights of others they not only make light of, but often attack and invade. Hence frequent disturbances and strifes between class and class: arrogance, oppression, fraud on the part of the more powerful: misery, envy, and turbulence among the poor. These are evils for which it is in vain to seek a remedy in legislation, in threats of penalties to be incurred, or in any other device of merely human prudence. Our chief care and endeavour ought to be, according to the admonitions which We have more than once given at considerable length, to secure the union of classes in a mutual interchange of dutiful services, a union which, having its origin in God, shall issue in deeds that reflect the true spirit of Jesus Christ and a genuine charity. This charity Christ brought into the world, with it He would have all hearts on fire. For it alone is capable of affording to soul and body alike, even in this life, a foretaste of blessedness; since it restrains man’s inordinate self-love, and puts a check on avarice, which “is the root of all evil” (1 Tim. vi., 10). And whereas it is right to uphold all the claims of justice as between the various classes of society, nevertheless it is only with the efficacious aid of charity, which tempers justice, that the “equality” which St. Paul commended (2 Cor. viii., 14), and which is so salutary for human society, can be established and maintained. This then is what Christ intended when he instituted this Venerable Sacrament, namely, by awakening charity towards God to promote mutual charity among men. For the latter, as is plain, is by its very nature rooted in the former, and springs from it by a kind of spontaneous growth. Nor is it possible that there should be any lack of charity among men, or rather it must needs be enkindled and flourish, if men would but ponder well the charity which Christ has shown in this Sacrament. For in it He has not only given a splendid manifestation of His power and wisdom, but “has in a manner poured out the riches of His divine love towards men” (Conc. Trid., Sess. XIII., De Euch. c. ii.). Having before our eyes this noble example set us by Christ, Who bestows on us all that He has assuredly we ought to love and help one another to the utmost, being daily more closely united by the strong bond of brotherhood. Add to this that the outward and visible elements of this Sacrament supply a singularly appropriate stimulus to union. On this topic St. Cyprian writes: “In a word the Lord’s sacrifice symbolises the oneness of heart, guaranteed by a persevering and inviolable charity, which should prevail among Christians. For when our Lord calls His Body bread, a substance which is kneaded together out of many grains, He indicates that we His people, whom He sustains, are bound together in close union; and when He speaks of His Blood as wine, in which the juice pressed from many clusters of grapes is mingled in one fluid, He likewise indicates that we His flock are by the commingling of a multitude of persons made one” (Ep. 96 ad Magnum n. 5 (al.6)). In like manner the angelic Doctor, adopting the sentiments of St. Augustine (Tract. xxxvi., in Joan nn. 13, 17), writes: “Our Lord has bequeathed to us His Body and Blood under the form of substances in which a multitude of things have been reduced to unity, for one of them, namely bread, consisting as it does of many grains is yet one, and the other, that is to say wine, has its unity of being from the confluent juice of many grapes; and therefore St. Augustine elsewhere says: ‘O Sacrament of mercy, O sign of unity, O bond of charity!’ ” (Summ. Theol. P. III., q. Ixxix., a. 1. . All of which is confirmed by the declaration of the Council of Trent that Christ left the Eucharist in His Church “as a symbol of that unity and charity whereby He would have all Christians mutually joined and united. . . a symbol of that one body of which He is Himself the head, and to which He would have us, as members attached by the closest bonds of faith, hope, and charity” (Conc. Trid., Sess. XIII., De Euchar., c. ii.). The same idea had been expressed by St. Paul when he wrote: “For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all we who partake of the one bread” (I Cor. x., 17). Very beautiful and joyful too is the spectacle of Christian brotherhood and social equality which is afforded when men of all conditions, gentle and simple, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, gather round the holy altar, all sharing alike in this heavenly banquet. And if in the records of the Church it is deservedly reckoned to the special credit of its first ages that “the multitude of the believers had but one heart and one soul” (Acts iv., 32), there can be no shadow of doubt that this immense blessing was due to their frequent meetings at the Divine table; for we find it recorded of them: “They were persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles and in the communion of the breaking of bread” (Acts ii., 42).

Besides all this, the grace of mutual charity among the living, which derives from the Sacrament of the Eucharist so great an increase of strength, is further extended by virtue of the Sacrifice to all those who are numbered in the Communion of Saints. For the Communion of Saints, as everyone knows, is nothing but the mutual communication of help, expiation, prayers, blessings, among all the faithful, who, whether they have already attained to the heavenly country, or are detained in the purgatorial fire, or are yet exiles here on earth, all enjoy the common franchise of that city whereof Christ is the head, and the constitution is charity. For faith teaches us, that although the venerable Sacrifice may be lawfully offered to God alone, yet it may be celebrated in honour of the saints reigning in heaven with God Who has crowned them, in order that we may gain for ourselves their patronage. And it may also be offered-in accordance with an apostolic tradition-for the purpose of expiating the sins of those of the brethren who, having died in the Lord, have not yet fully paid the penalty of their transgressions. . . .

Most abundant, assuredly, are the salutary benefits which are stored up in this most venerable mystery, regarded as a Sacrifice; a Sacrifice which the Church is accordingly wont to offer daily “for the salvation of the whole world.” And it is fitting, indeed in this age it is specially important, that by means of the united efforts of the devout, the outward honour and the inward reverence paid to this Sacrifice should be alike increased. Accordingly it is our wish that its manifold excellence may be both more widely known and more attentively considered. There are certain general principles the truth of which can be plainly perceived by the light of reason; for instance, that the dominion of God our Creator and Preserver over all men, whether in their private or in their public life, is supreme and absolute; that our whole being and all that we possess, whether individually or as members of society, comes from the divine bounty; that we on our part are bound to show to God, as our Lord, the highest reverence, and, as He is our greatest benefactor, the deepest gratitude. But how many are there who at the present day acknowledge and discharge these duties with full and exact observance? In no age has the spirit of contumacy and an attitude of defiance towards God been more prevalent than in our own; an age in which that unholy cry of the enemies of Christ: “We will not have this man to rule over us” (Luke xix., 14), makes itself more and more loudly heard, together with the utterance of that wicked purpose: “let us make away with Him” (Jer. xi., II); nor is there any motive by which many are hurried on with more passionate fury, than the desire utterly to banish God not only from the civil government, but from every form of human society. And although men do not everywhere proceed to this extremity of criminal madness, it is a lamentable thing that so many are sunk in oblivion of the divine Majesty and of His favours, and in particular of the salvation wrought for us by Christ. Now a remedy must be found for this wickedness on the one hand, and this sloth on the other, in a general increase among the faithful of fervent devotion towards the Eucharistic Sacrifice, than which nothing can give greater honour, nothing be more pleasing, to God. For it is a divine Victim which is here immolated; and accordingly through this Victim we offer to the most blessed Trinity all that honour which the infinite dignity of the Godhead demands; infinite in value and infinitely acceptable is the gift which we present to the Father in His only-begotten son; so that for His benefits to us we not only signify our gratitude, but actually make an adequate return.

Moreover there is another twofold fruit which we may and must derive from this great Sacrifice. The heart is saddened when it considers what a flood of wickedness, the result-as We have said-of forgetfulness and contempt of the divine Majesty, has inundated the world. It is not too much to say that a great part of the human race seems to be calling down upon itself the anger of heaven; though indeed the crop of evils which has grown up here on earth is already ripening to a just judgment. Here then is a motive whereby the faithful may be stirred to a devout and earnest endeavour to appease God the avenger of sin, and to win from Him the help which is so needful in these calamitous times. And they should see that such blessings are to be sought principally by means of this Sacrifice. For it is only in virtue of the death which Christ suffered that men can satisfy, and that most abundantly, the demands of God’s justice, and can obtain the plenteous gifts of His clemency. And Christ has willed that the whole virtue of His death, alike for expiation and impetration, should abide in the Eucharist, which is no mere empty commemoration thereof, but a true and wonderful though bloodless and mystical renewal of it. (Pope Leo XIII, Mirae Caritatis, May 28, 1902.)

You want to know what real “liberation theology” is? You want to know what real “empowerment” is? Spend time before the Blessed Sacrament on a regular basis. For it is the time we spend before Our Lord in His Real Presence which liberates us from human respect and permits us to see the world more clearly through the eyes of the true Faith. It is the time we spend before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament which empowers us to conquer pride and other vices in our own life, making it more possible to die to self so as to bear witness to Christ and His Holy Church no matter what it might cost us in this passing vale of tears. It is the time we spend before Our Beloved that equips us to love Him more deeply, to become more fully attached to Him and less attached to ourselves and the things, people, and places of this world (and to love the people around us more truly in light of willing their eternal salvation, including that of those who hate us and who calumniate us without mercy, as well as to use the things and places of this world more effectively for the salvation of souls, starting with our own).

Countless are the miracles wrought by the Holy Eucharist. Here is just one:

In May of the year 1787 the celebrated musician and pianist Hermann Cohen, a Jew born in Hamburg, was in Paris for a series of concerts. The prince of Moskowa a friend of the pianist, was at the same time conducting the choir’s May devotion in the church of St. Valere.

Hermann Cohen accepted an invitation from the prince to conduct the choir for one of the services, but he was distracted and irreverent during the sermon and often chatted with his neighbors. However, when the moment came for Benediction, his attitude was completely changed. He himself recounts:

Although I was not at all moved to bow the knee with the multitude, I felt within myself an inexplicable commotion. My soul, accustomed to the distraction of the world, seemed to find itself again, so to speak, and was at the same time conscious that something had passed within which was until now quite unknown. Without giving it a thought I bowed my knees. At the instant that the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was given I felt for the first time an indescribable but agreeable movement within me. On the following Friday I went again, and the same interior movement occurred, only much stronger than before, and I felt as if a weight pressed upon my back, requiring me to bend the knee once more. Against my will I obeyed the impulse, when suddenly the thought rushed overpoweringly into my soul: Thou must become a Catholic!

A few days after this I happened to be one morning in the neighborhood of the same church of St. Valere. The bell rang for Holy Mass. I entered into the house of God, and remained an immovable spectator of the Most Holy Sacrifice. I heard one, two, three Holy Masses without thinking. I could not understand what kept me. Towards evening I was again led to the same church, against my wealth bell seemed to call me. I found that the Al-Holy was exposed, and as soon as I perceived it I was drawn irresistibly to the communion rail and fell upon my knees. I bowed myself this time without resistance at the moment of Benediction, and when I rose up I felt a strange sense of rest enter into my soul. I went back to my room and lay down upon my bed, but during the whole night my spirit, whether waking or sleeping, was ever busied with the Blessed Sacrament. I longed with impatience for the time when the Holy Mass should be said, and from thence-forward I heard daily many Masses at St. Valere with an interior joy which filled my whole being.

Until this time the pianist had looked upon Catholics and Catholic priests as people to be avoided, but now he felt an irresistible impulse to speak to a priest about his experiences. He was direction to Abbe Legrand, whose advice he meant to follow, but as Hermann admits, “. . .the devil was not yet overcome.” His concerts brought him large sums of money, which permitted him to revert to his indulgence of worldly amusements.

After giving a concert in Elms on August 8, 1947, he went, in spite of his friends, to a church and attended Holy Mass. During this service he received the grace of supernatural contrition Twenty days later he received the Sacrament of Baptism at the hands of Abbe Legrand. After receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation he never tired of saying, “I have found Him whom I love. He belongeth to me and I to Him. Never more will I let Him go.”

Shortly thereafter Hermann tarried one evening in the chapel of the Carmelite sisters where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. Impressed on learning that some of these holy women remained throughout the night in adoration before the Eucharist, he determined to organize a confraternity of men who would perform a similar devotion. The Men’s Association for the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was soon founded and, on December 6 of 1848, the first nocturnal adoration was held. Since that time the confraternity is said to have spread throughout France.

Prompted by his love for the Blessed Sacrament, Hermann entered the Carmelite Order in 1849 and received the name of Augustine Mary of the Blessed Sacrament. Later he received the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Thus the famed musician who had journeyed throughout Europe, charming audiences with the perfection of his talents, now journeyed to preach the glories of the Blessed Sacrament and the joys of those who embrace it with love and adore it with fervor.

Having been invited to preach in England, he founded in Kensington the beautiful church of St. Simon Stock and served as the first prior of its monastery. (Joan Carroll Cruz, Eucharistic Miracles, TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 194-196.)

Imagine this. The founder of Nocturnal Adoration was a Jew who converted because of the Most Blessed Sacrament! How great and good is God!

Our Lady gave her Divine Son the very Flesh and Blood that He offered up to the Father on the wood of the Holy Cross to redeem us. It is her fervent desire that we keep her Son company in His Real Presence, just as she valiantly stood by the foot of the Cross as she watched in horror as she saw our sins exact their brutal toll on the Flesh of her Divine Son. We pray to her to help us to be so Christ-centered in our daily lives that we grow in the habit of spending at least a few moments (if not a half hour or an hour, depending upon the duties of our states-in-life) each day. And it will center all of our activity properly, helping us to believe more firmly and to act more courageously as we seek to restore all things in Christ as the fruit of the Triumph of Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, praying as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit. And there is no better place to pray at least one set of mysteries of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary than before her very own Divine Son’s Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

We have an opportunity today (or this evening, depending upon when the Mass of all ages in offered in your particular areas) to march with Our Lord and Our King in His Real Presence. We can thus realize these powerful words of Pope Pius XI in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925:

If We ordain that the whole Catholic world shall revere Christ as King, We shall minister to the need of the present day, and at the same time provide an excellent remedy for the plague which now infects society. We refer to the plague of anti-clericalism, its errors and impious activities. This evil spirit, as you are well aware, Venerable Brethren, has not come into being in one day; it has long lurked beneath the surface. The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the same level with them. It was then put under the power of the state and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers. Some men went even further, and wished to set up in the place of God’s religion a natural religion consisting in some instinctive affection of the heart. There were even some nations who thought they could dispense with God, and that their religion should consist in impiety and the neglect of God. The rebellion of individuals and states against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable consequences. We lamented these in the Encyclical Ubi arcano; we lament them today: the seeds of discord sown far and wide; those bitter enmities and rivalries between nations, which still hinder so much the cause of peace; that insatiable greed which is so often hidden under a pretense of public spirit and patriotism, and gives rise to so many private quarrels; a blind and immoderate selfishness, making men seek nothing but their own comfort and advantage, and measure everything by these; no peace in the home, because men have forgotten or neglect their duty; the unity and stability of the family undermined; society in a word, shaken to its foundations and on the way to ruin. We firmly hope, however, that the feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Savior. It would be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. Many of these, however, have neither the station in society nor the authority which should belong to those who bear the torch of truth. This state of things may perhaps be attributed to a certain slowness and timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance; thus the enemies of the Church become bolder in their attacks. But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from him, and would valiantly defend his rights. (Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas, December 11, 1925.)

Will you be marching under the banner of Christ the King today or tonight as He is carried in solemn procession?

May it be our privilege for as long as we are alive to assist at a true offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass at the hands of a true alter Christus to help us get home to Him in Heaven, where we can adore Him with Our Lady, Saint Joseph and all of the saints face-to-face after a lifetime of adoring Him veiled behind the accidents of the mere elements of this passing earth.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all Praise and all Thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all Praise and all Thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all Praise and all Thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

The Litany of the Blessed Sacrament

Written by Saint Peter Julian Eymard, for private use only

 

Kyrie, eleison
R. Kyrie, eleison
Lord, have mercy
R. Lord, have mercy.
Christe, eleison
R. Christe, eleison.
Christ, have mercy
R. Christ, have mercy.
Kyrie, eleison
R. Kyrie, eleison.
Lord, have mercy
R. Lord, have mercy.
Christe, audi nos
R. Christe, audi nos.
Christ, hear us
R. Christ, hear us.
Christe, exaudi nos.
R. Christe, exaudi nos.
Christ, graciously hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
Pater de caelis, Deus,
R. miserere nobis.
God the Father of Heaven,
R. have mercy on us.
Fili, Redemptor mundi, Deus,
R. miserere nobis.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R. have mercy on us.
Spiritus Sancte, Deus,
R. miserere nobis.
God, the Holy Ghost,
R. have mercy on us.
Sancta Trinitas, unus Deus,
R. miserere nobis.
Holy Trinity, One God,
R. have mercy on us.
Panis vive, qui de caelo descendisti,
R. miserere nobis.
O Living Bread, who from heaven descended,
R. have mercy on us.
Deus absconditus et Salvator,
R. miserere nobis.
Hidden God and Savior,
R. have mercy on us.
Frumentum electorum,
R. miserere nobis.
Grain of the elect,
R. have mercy on us.
Vinum germinans virgines,
R. miserere nobis.
Vine sprouting forth virgins,
R. have mercy on us.
Panis pinguis et deliciae regum,
R. miserere nobis.
Wholesome Bread and delicacy of kings,
R. have mercy on us.
Iuge sacrificium,
R. miserere nobis.
Perpetual sacrifice,
R. have mercy on us.
Oblatio munda,
R. miserere nobis.
Clean oblation,
R. have mercy on us.
Agne absque macula,
R. miserere nobis.
Lamb without spot,
R. have mercy on us.
Mensa purissima,
R. miserere nobis.
Most pure Feast,
R. have mercy on us.
Angelorum esca,
R. miserere nobis.
Food of angels,
R. have mercy on us.
Manna absconditum,
R. miserere nobis.
Hidden manna,
R. have mercy on us.
Memoria mirabilium Dei,
R. miserere nobis.
Memory of God’s wonders,
R. have mercy on us.
Panis supersubstantialis,
R. miserere nobis.
Supersubstantial Bread,
R. have mercy on us.
Verbum caro factum, habitans in nobis,
R. miserere nobis.
Word made flesh, living in us,
R. have mercy on us.
Hostia sancta,
R. miserere nobis.
Holy Victim,
R. have mercy on us.
Calix benedictionis,
R. miserere nobis.
Cup of blessing,
R. have mercy on us.
Mysterium fidei,
R. miserere nobis.
Mystery of faith,
R. have mercy on us.
Praecelsum et venerabile Sacramentum,
R. miserere nobis.
Most high and venerable Sacrament,
R. have mercy on us.
Sacrificium omnium sanctissimum,
R. miserere nobis.
Most holy of all sacrifices,
R. have mercy on us.
Sacrificium vere propitiatorium pro vivis et defunctis,
R. miserere nobis.
True propitiatory Sacrifice for the living and the dead,
R. have mercy on us.
Caeleste antidotum, quo a peccatis praeservamur,
R. miserere nobis.
Heavenly antidote, by which we are preserved from sin,
R. have mercy on us.
Stupendum supra omnia miraculum,
R. miserere nobis.
Most stupendous of all miracles,
R. have mercy on us.
Sacratissima Dominicae Passionis commemoratio,
R. miserere nobis.
Most holy Commemoration of the Passion of Christ
R. have mercy on us.
Donum transcendens omnem plenitudinem,
R. miserere nobis.
Gift transcending all abundance,
R. have mercy on us.
Memoriale praecipuum divini amoris,
R. miserere nobis.
Extraordinary memorial of divine love,
R. have mercy on us.
Divinae affluentia largitatis,
R. miserere nobis.
Affluence of divine largesse,
R. have mercy on us.
Sacrosanctum et augustissimum mysterium,
R. miserere nobis.
Most holy and august mystery,
R. have mercy on us.
Pharmacum immortalitatis,
R. miserere nobis.
Medicine of immortality,
R. have mercy on us.
Tremendum ac vivificum Sacramentum,
R. miserere nobis.
Awesome and life-giving Sacrament,
R. have mercy on us.
Panis omnipotentia Verbi caro factus,
R. miserere nobis.
Bread-made-Flesh by the omnipotence of the Word.
R. have mercy on us.
Incruentum sacrificium,
R. miserere nobis.
Unbloody sacrifice,
R. have mercy on us.
Cibus et convivia,
R. miserere nobis.
Our food and guest,
R. have mercy on us.
Dulcissimum convivium, cui assistunt Angeli ministrantes,
R. miserere nobis.
Sweetest banquet at which the Angels serve,
R. have mercy on us.
Sacramentum pietatis,
R. miserere nobis.
Sacrament of goodness,
R. have mercy on us.
Vinculum caritatis,
R. miserere nobis.
Bond of love,
R. have mercy on us.
Offerens et oblatio,
R. miserere nobis.
Offerer and offering,
R. have mercy on us.
Spiritualis dulcedo in proprio fonte degustata,
R. miserere nobis.
Spiritual sweetness tasted in its own fountain,
R. have mercy on us.
Refectio animarum sanctarum,
R. miserere nobis.
Refreshment of holy souls,
R. have mercy on us.
Viaticum in Domino morientium,
R. miserere nobis.
Viaticum of those dying in the Lord,
R. have mercy on us.
Pignus futurae gloriae,
R. miserere nobis.
Pledge of future glory,
R. have mercy on us.
Propitius esto,
R. parce nobis, Domine.
Be merciful,
R. spare us, O Lord.
Propitius esto,
R. exaudi nos, Domine.
Be merciful,
R. hear us, O Lord.
Ab indigna Corporis et Sanguinis tui susceptione,
R. libera nos, Domine.
From the unworthy reception of Thy Body and Blood,
R. deliver us, O Lord.
A concupiscentia carnis,
R. libera nos, Domine.
From passions of the flesh,
R. deliver us, O Lord.
A concupiscentia oculorum,
R. libera nos, Domine.
From the concupiscence of the eyes,
R. deliver us, O Lord.
A superbia vitae,
R. libera nos, Domine.
From pride,
R. deliver us, O Lord.
Ab omni peccandi occasione,
R. libera nos, Domine.
From every occasion of sin,
R. deliver us, O Lord.
Per desiderium illud, quo hoc Pascha cum discipulis manducare desiderasti,
R. libera nos, Domine.
Through that desire, with which Thou desiredst to eat the Passover with Thy disciples,
R. deliver us, O Lord.
Per summam humilitatem, qui discipulorum pedes lavisti,
R. libera nos, Domine.
Through that profound humility with which Thou didst wash Thy disciples’ feet,
R. deliver us, O Lord.
Per ardentissimam caritatem, qua hoc divinum Sacramentum instituisti,
R. libera nos, Domine.
Through that most ardent love, with which Thou instituted this Divine Sacrament,
R. deliver us, O Lord.
Per Sanguinem tuum pretiosum, quem nobis in altari reliquisti,
R. libera nos, Domine.
Through the most precious Blood, which Thou hast left for us upon the altar,
R. deliver us, O Lord.
Per quinque vulnera huius tui Corporis sacratissimi, quod pro nobis suscepisti,
R. libera nos, Domine.
Through those five wounds of Thy most holy Body, which was given up for us,
R. deliver us, O Lord.
Peccatores,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
Sinners we are,
R. we ask Thee, hear us.
Ut in nobis fidem, reverentiam et devotionem erga hoc admirabile Sacramentum augere et conservare digneris,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
That Thou wouldst graciously preserve and augment the faith, reverence, and devotion in us towards this admirable Sacrament,
R. we ask Thee, hear us.
Ut ad frequentem usum Eucharistiae per veram peccatorum confessionem nos perducere digneris,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
That Thou wouldst graciously lead us through the true confession of our sins to a frequent reception of the Eucharist,
R. we ask Thee, hear us.
Ut nos ab omni haeresi, perfidia ac cordis caecitate liberare digneris,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
That Thou wouldst graciously free us from every heresy, falsehood, and blindness of the heart,
R. we ask Thee, hear us.
Ut sanctissimi huius Sacramenti pretiosos et caelestes fructus nobis impertiri digneris,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
That Thou wouldst graciously impart to us the heavenly and precious fruits of this most Holy Sacrament,
R. we ask Thee, hear us.
Ut in hora mortis nostrae hoc caelesti viatico nos confortare et munire digneris,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
That Thou wouldst graciously protect and strengthen us in our hour of death with this heavenly viaticum,
R. we ask Thee, hear us.
Fili Dei,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
O Son of God,
R. we ask Thee, hear us.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
R. parce nobis, Domine.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Lord.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
R. exaudi nos, Domine.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Lord.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
R. miserere nobis, Domine.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us, O Lord.
Christe, audi nos
R. Christe, audi nos.
Christ, hear us
R. Christ, hear us.
Christe, exaudi nos.
R. Christe, exaudi nos.
Christ, graciously hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
Kyrie, eleison
R. Kyrie, eleison
Lord, have mercy
R. Lord, have mercy.
Christe, eleison
R. Christe, eleison.
Christ, have mercy
R. Christ, have mercy.
Kyrie, eleison
R. Kyrie, eleison.
Lord, have mercy
R. Lord, have mercy.
Pater noster …
Ave Maria, …
Our Father …
Hail Mary …
V. Panem de caelo praestitisti eis, (T.P. Alleluia)
R. Omne delectamentum in se habentem. (T.P. Alleluia)
V. Thou didst furnished them with Bread from heaven, (P.T. Alleluia)
R. Having in it every delight. (P.T. Alleluia)
Oremus;
Deus, qui nobis sub Sacramento mirabili Passionis tuae memoriam reliquisti; tribue quaesumus, ita nos Corporis et Sanguinis tui sacra mysteria venerari, ut redemptionis tuae fructum in nobis iugiter sentiamus. Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Ame
Let us pray:
O God, who under a marvelous Sacrament has left us a memorial of Thy Passion; grant us; we beseech Thee; so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within us the fruit of Thy Redemption. Thou, who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.

 

Pange Lingua, by Saint Thomas Aquinas, composed for the Feast of Corpus Christi

Pange lingua gloriosi
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
Quem in mundi pretium
Fructus ventris generosi
Rex effudit Gentium.

Sing, my tongue,
The mystery of the glorious body,
And of the precious Blood,
Shed to save the world,
By the King of the nations,
The fruit of a noble womb.

Nobis datus, nobis natus
Ex inacta Virgine,
Et in mundo conversatus,
Sparso verbi semine,
Sui moras incolatus
Miro clausit ordine.

Given to us, born for us,
From a stainless Virgin,
And having dwelt in the world,
Sowing the seed of the word,
He closed in a wonderful way,
The days of his habitation.

In suprema nocte coenae
Recumbus cum fratribus
Observata lege plene
Cibis in legalibus,
Cibum turbae duodenae
Se dat suis manibus.

On the night of His last supper,
Reclining with His brothers,
The law having been fully observed
With legal foods,
He gives Himself as food with His
Own hands to the twelve.

Verbum caro, panem verum
Verbo carnem efficit:
Fitque sanguis Christi merum,
Et si sensus deficit,
Ad firmandum cor sincerum
Sola fides sufficit.

The Word in Flesh makes true Bread
His Flesh with a word;
Wine becomes the Blood of Christ,
And if sense is deficient,
To confirm sincere hearts,
Faith alone suffices.

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Then let us prostrate and
Venerate so great a Sacrament,
And let the old law yield
To the new rite;
Let faith stand forward to
Supply the defect of the senses.

Genitori, Genitoque
Laus et jubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.

To the Begetter and the Begotten,
Be praise and jubilation,
Health, honor, and strength,
And blessing too,
And let equal praise be to Him,
Who proceeds from Both.
Amen. Alleluia.

Amen. Alleluia.

From the Beginning: A Mission to Convert All Nations

Pentecost Sunday marked the beginning of Holy Mother Church’s missionary efforts to convert men and nations to the true Faith, the very birthday of Holy Mother Church. The Paraclete or Advocate promised by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ proceeds forth from His Co-Eternal Father and Himself on this day, fifty days after His Resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday and ten days following his glorious Ascension into Heaven on Ascension Thursday:

But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come unto you. If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe. I will not now speak many things with you. For the prince of this world cometh, and in me he hath not any thing. (John 14: 26-30)

The first bishops, headed by the Visible Head of the Church on earth, Saint Peter, became bold proclaimers of the Gospel of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ immediately following the descent of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, upon them and our dear Blessed Mother in tongues of flame in the same Upper Room in Jerusalem where Our Lord had instituted the priesthood and the Eucharist just fifty-three days before.

The Church’s great zeal to seek with urgency the conversion of all non-Catholics to the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order, thus began on Pentecost Sunday and continued unabated until the ethos of the dark clouds of conciliarism, which emanated from spirits that are not so holy, began to hover over the the life of Catholics from the 1960s to the present day. There is no way to reconcile the refusal of the false “popes” of the counterfeit church of conciliarism to seek, no less their prohibition on ordinary Catholics to seek, the conversion of those steeped in the errors of Protestantism and Orthodoxy and Judaism and other false religions with the fidelity the Church exhibited from Pentecost Sunday to the false pontificate of “Saint John XXIII.”

The Apostles sought to effect the conversion of Jews and Gentiles alike to Catholicism. The Acts of the Apostles records this zeal for souls, a zeal that stands in stark contrast to the belief, expressed both in words and actions, of the conciliar “pontiffs” that those in false religions have no need to seek to be Catholic to save their souls.

The late “Saint John Paul the Great” urged the followers of “Brother” Roger Schutz in Taize, France, in 1996 to be “faithful” to their denominational traditions, which begs the following question: If heretics and schismatics must be faithful to their false “traditions,” why can’t Catholics be faithful to theirs?

His Apotateness Emeritus, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, said Schutz, who never converted to the true Faith, had attained “eternal joy” following the latter’s murder by a devoted follower in 2005 (Benedict Mourns Murder of Taizé’s Brother Roger).

The Assisi events of 1986, 2002, 2011 and 2013 would have been condemned by the Apostles as an exercise in idol worship.

So would Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI’s reception of symbols of false religions at the “Pope” John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, District of Columbia, on Thursday, April 17, 2008.

So would Ratzinger/Benedict’s praise given to mosques and his belief that false religions can be instruments in the building of the “better world.”

So would Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s act of apostasy in being “blessed” by Protestant “clergymen” when he was the conciliar “archbishop” of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2006.

So would Bergoglio’s praise given to adherents of false religions and to their nonexistent ability to “contribute” to a “better world.”

So would Bergoglio’s supposed “prayer for peace” three days ago in the Vatican Gardens.

The Apostles and the many millions of martyrs for the Faith who followed them preferred death than to do anything that even appeared to betray the Faith, no less praise the practitioners of false religions.

Most of the first fifteen or so chapters in The Acts of the Apostles deals directly with the efforts of the Apostles to preach the Gospel so as to win converts for the true Faith. Let the Holy Ghost, under Whose inspiration the Bible was written, speak for Himself in the fifth book of the New Testament, which was written by Saint Luke:

And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these, that speak, Galileans? And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all astonished, and wondered, saying one to another: What meaneth this? But others mocking, said: These men are full of new wine. But Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke to them: Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you, and with your ears receive my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day:

But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass, in the last days, (saith the Lord,) I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And upon my servants indeed, and upon my handmaids will I pour out in those days of my spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will shew wonders in the heaven above, and signs on the earth beneath: blood and fire, and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and manifest day of the Lord come.

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him, in the midst of you, as you also know: This same being delivered up, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you by the hands of wicked men have crucified and slain. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the sorrows of hell, as it was impossible that he should be holden by it. For David saith concerning him: I foresaw the Lord before my face: because he is at my right hand, that I may not be moved.

For this my heart hath been glad, and any tongue hath rejoiced: moreover my flesh also shall rest in hope. Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, nor suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life: thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Ye men, brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David; that he died, and was buried; and his sepulchre is with us to this present day. Whereas therefore he was a prophet, and knew that God hath sworn to him with an oath, that of the fruit of his loins one should sit upon his throne.

Foreseeing this, he spoke of the resurrection of Christ. For neither was he left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised again, whereof all we are witnesses. Being exalted therefore by the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath poured forth this which you see and hear. For David ascended not into heaven; but he himself said: The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy enemies thy footstool.

Therefore let all the house of Israel know most certainly, that God hath made both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus, whom you have crucified. Now when they had heard these things, they had compunction in their heart, and said to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren? But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call. And with very many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying: Save yourselves from this perverse generation.

They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: many wonders also and signs were done by the apostles in Jerusalem, and there was great fear in all. And all they that believed, were together, and had all things common. Their possessions and goods they sold, and divided them to all, according as every one had need.

And continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they took their meat with gladness and simplicity of heart; Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord increased daily together such as should be saved.  (Acts 2: 1-47)

The first pope, Saint Peter, spoke a little differently than did Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II in 1986 when he visited a synagogue in Rome. He spoke a little differently than did Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI when he spoke in a synagogue in Cologne, Germany, on Friday, August 19, 2005

By saying that the counterfeit church of conciliarism is committed to “tolerance, respect, friendship and peace between all peoples, cultures and religions” the conciliar “popes,” including Jorge Mario Bergoglio, have taught us that all active proselytizing of those outside of her ranks must be avoided. And what is this nonsense about a “theological evaluation of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity”? Our Lord has revealed Himself to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. End of evaluation. People either accept Him as He has revealed Himself through His true Church or they do not. Period. (See Saint Peter and Anti-Peter.)

Saint Peter did not believe that any “evaluation” had to take place before he preached to the Jews to urge them to convert to Catholicism. Prompted by the immediate indwelling of God the Holy Ghost upon his soul, Saint Peter proclaimed the Gospel out of fidelity to the Divine Master and out of true love for the salvation of the souls of his own Jewish brethren. There was no ambiguous call for “the conversion of Israel.” There was simply a call for individual mean to “do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the Holy Ghost.” There was nothing ambiguous about the Apostles. They were willing to suffer everything, including death itself, to proclaim the Name of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the midst of a hostile world.

Chapter 5 of The Acts of the Apostles records the aftermath of Saint Peter’s curing of a lame man:

And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. But of the rest no man durst join himself unto them; but the people magnified them. And the multitude of men and women who believed in the Lord, was more increased: Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that when Peter came, his shadow at the least, might overshadow any of them, and they might be delivered from their infirmities.

And there came also together to Jerusalem a multitude out of the neighboring cities, bringing sick persons, and such as were troubled with unclean spirits; who were all healed. Then the high priest rising up, and all they that were with him, (which is the heresy of the Sadducees,) were filled with envy. And they laid hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. But an angel of the Lord by night opening the doors of the prison, and leading them out, said: Go, and standing speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

Who having heard this, early in the morning, entered into the temple, and taught. And the high priest coming, and they that were with him, called together the council, and all the ancients of the children of Israel; and they sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the ministers came, and opening the prison, found them not there, they returned and told, Saying: The prison indeed we found shut with all diligence, and the keepers standing before the doors; but opening it, we found no man within. Now when the officer of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were in doubt concerning them, what would come to pass. But one came and told them: Behold, the men whom you put in prison are in the temple standing, and teaching the people.

Then went the officer with the ministers, and brought them without violence; for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, Saying: Commanding we commanded you, that you should not teach in this name; and behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and you have a mind to bring the blood of this man upon us. But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God, rather than men. The God of our fathers hath raised up Jesus, whom you put to death, hanging him upon a tree.

Him hath God exalted with his right hand, to be Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins. And we are witnesses of these things and the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to all that obey him. When they had heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they thought to put them to death. But one in the council rising up, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, respected by all the people, commanded the men to be put forth a little while. And he said to them: Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do, as touching these men.

For before these days rose up Theodas, affirming himself to be somebody, to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all that believed him were scattered, and brought to nothing. After this man, rose up Judas of Galilee, in the days of the enrolling, and drew away the people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as consented to him, were dispersed. And now, therefore, I say to you, refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this council or this work be of men, it will come to nought; But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God. And they consented to him. And calling in the apostles, after they had scourged them, they charged them that they should not speak at all in the name of Jesus; and they dismissed them

.

And they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus. And every day they ceased not in the temple, and from house to house, to teach and preach Christ Jesus.  (Acts 5: 12-42)

Yes, the Apostles rejoiced because there were deemed worthy to “suffer reproach for the name of Jesus.”

Which one of the conciliar “bishops” today is willing to suffer reproach for the Holy Name of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?

Which one of the conciliar “bishops” bishops today is willing to preach the Gospel to those who deny the Sacred Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and who are in steeped in the darkness of the Talmud? Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis?

Which one of the conciliar “bishops” today exhibits any degree of apostolic zeal for the salvation of the souls of the very people from whom Our Lord took His Sacred Humanity, whose conversion to the Faith Saint Paul tells us in his Epistle to the Romans is an important sign of end times (which means, obviously, that we’re not quite there right now)? Which one of the conciliar “popes” or “bishops” has spoken to the children of Abraham and Moses as Saint Stephen, the Church’s Protomartyr, spoke just before his martyrdom?

And Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people. Now there arose some of that which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit that spoke.

Then they suborned men to say, they had heard him speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God. And they stirred up the people, and the ancients, and the scribes; and running together, they took him, and brought him to the council. And they set up false witnesses, who said: This man ceaseth not to speak words against the holy place and the law. For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the traditions which Moses delivered unto us. And all that sat in the council, looking on him, saw his face as if it had been the face of an angel

Then the high priest said: Are these things so? Who said: Ye men, brethren, and fathers, hear. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charan. And said to him: Go forth out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. Then he went out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charan. And from thence, after his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein you now dwell. And he gave him no inheritance in it; no, not the pace of a foot: but he promised to give it him in possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.

And God said to him: That his seed should sojourn in a strange country, and that they should bring them under bondage, and treat them evil four hundred years. And the nation which they shall serve will I judge, said the Lord; and after these things they shall go out, and shall serve me in this place. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision, and so he begot Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begot Jacob; and Jacob the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs, through envy, sold Joseph into Egypt; and God was with him, And delivered him out of all his tribulations: and he gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharao, the king of Egypt; and he appointed him governor over Egypt, and over all his house.

Now there came a famine upon all Egypt and Chanaan, and great tribulation; and our fathers found no food. But when Jacob had heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent our fathers first: And at the second time, Joseph was known by his brethren, and his kindred was made known to Pharao. And Joseph sending, called thither Jacob, his father, and all his kindred, seventy-five souls. So Jacob went down into Egypt; and he died, and our fathers.

And they were translated into Sichem, and were laid in the sepulchre, that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Hemor, the son of Sichem. And when the time of the promise drew near, which God had promised to Abraham, the people increased, and were multiplied in Egypt, Till another king arose in Egypt, who knew not Joseph. This same dealing craftily with our race, afflicted our fathers, that they should expose their children, to the end they might not be kept alive. At the same time was Moses born, and he was acceptable to God: who was nourished three months in his father’s house.

And when he was exposed, Pharao’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians; and he was mighty in his words and in his deeds. And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. And when he had seen one of them suffer wrong, he defended him; and striking the Egyptian, he avenged him who suffered the injury. And he thought that his brethren understood that God by his hand would save them; but they understood it not.

And the day following, he shewed himself to them when they were at strife; and would have reconciled them in peace, saying: Men, ye are brethren; why hurt you one another? But he that did the injury to his neighbour thrust him away, saying: Who hath appointed thee prince and judge over us? What, wilt thou kill me, as thou didst yesterday kill the Egyptian? And Moses fled upon this word, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begot two sons. And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the desert of mount Sina, an angel in a flame of fire in a bush.

And Moses seeing it, wondered at the sight. And as he drew near to view it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying: I am the God of thy fathers; the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses being terrified, durst not behold. And the Lord said to him: Loose the shoes from thy feet, for the place wherein thou standest, is holy ground. Seeing I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, and I will send thee into Egypt. This Moses, whom they refused, saying: Who hath appointed thee prince and judge? him God sent to be prince and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.

He brought them out, doing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the desert forty years. This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel: A prophet shall God raise up to you of your own brethren, as myself: him shall you hear. This is he that was in the church in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on mount Sina, and with our fathers; who received the words of life to give unto us. Whom our fathers would not obey; but thrust him away, and in their hearts turned back into Egypt, Saying to Aaron: Make us gods to go before us. For as for this Moses, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him.

And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. And God turned, and gave them up to serve the host of heaven, as it is written in the books of the prophets: Did you offer victims and sacrifices to me for forty years, in the desert, O house of Israel? And you took unto you the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Rempham, figures which you made to adore them. And I will carry you away beyond Babylon. The tabernacle of the testimony was with our fathers in the desert, as God ordained for them, speaking to Moses, that he should make it according to the form which he had seen. Which also our fathers receiving, brought in with Jesus, into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David.

Who found grace before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him a house. Yet the most High dwelleth not in houses made by hands, as the prophet saith: Heaven is my throne, and the earth my footstool. What house will you build me? saith the Lord; or what is the place of my resting? Hath not my hand made all these things?

You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you also. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them who foretold of the coming of the Just One; of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. Now hearing these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed with their teeth at him. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And he said: Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and with one accord ran violently upon him. And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, invoking, and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was consenting to his death. (Acts 6: 8-15; 7: 1-59)

We have not only witnessed a refusal of the conciliar “popes” and “bishops” to speak at Saint Stephen spoke. We have witnessed them consorting with pro-abortion rabbis without once condemning their support of baby-killing, no less seeking their conversion to the true Faith (see Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI with the “papal knight,” Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Friday, April 18, 2008, April 18, 2008 – 5 p.m. – Park East Synagogue Windows media format.) We have witnessed them bestowing papal honors upon pro-abortion rabbis (see Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI “Archbishop” Donald Wuerl and “Bishop” Tod Brown). Let’s put it to you this way: when was the last time you heard a conciliar “pope” or a “cardinal” or a “bishop” refer to the miraculous conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne from Judaism to Catholicism when Our Lady appeared to him as she appears on the Miraculous Medal that he, Ratisbonne, once mocked?

The story of Alphonse Ratisbonne is remarkable because it was effected by Our Lady herself, who was in the Upper Room in Jerusalem on Pentecost Sunday as the Apostles left to start the missionary work of the infant Church. Ratisbonne, who became a priest, wrote:

“I had come out of a dark pit, out of a tomb…and I was alive, completely alive. I thought of my brother Theodore with inexpressible joy. But how I wept as I thought of my family, of my fiancee, of my poor sisters. I wept indeed, as I thought of them whom I so loved and for whom I said the first of my prayers. Will you not raise your eyes to the Savior shoe blood blots out original sin? Oh! How hideous is the mark of this taint, and how does it alter beyond recognition the creature made in God’s own likeness!”

When priests wanted to delay his Baptism for a time, Alphonse Ratisbonne said:

“The Jews who heard the preaching of the Apostles were baptized immediately, and you want to put me off, after I have ‘heard’ the preaching of the Queen of the Apostles?”

There you have it. Alphonse Ratisbonne knew that Our Lady wanted him to be converted out of Judaism in imitation of what happened on Pentecost Sunday and thereafter by the working of God the Holy Ghost. What’s wrong with the conciliar “popes” and “bishops?” The loss of the Catholic Faith. Isn’t this obvious? God the Holy Ghost does not change His mind. He is God. He does not contradict Himself. The preaching of Saint Peter on Pentecost Sunday cannot be valid then and not valid now. It is valid for all eternity. Only formal apostates reject the timeless nature of the work of the Apostles to convert souls.

The aftermath of Ratisbonne’s conversion to the true Faith is recounted in Mary’s Miraculous Medal:

News of this miraculous event spread quickly all over Europe, especially in diplomatic and financial circles, when Ratisbonne, de Bussieres and de La Ferronays were widely known. The city of Rome itself was in a stir and a special Church commission was established to study the astonishing conversion. Faced with the overpowering evidence, the court fully recognized the signal miracle wrought by God through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the spontaneous conversion of Marie Alphonse Ratisbonne from Judaism to Catholicism. It was a major triumph of the Miraculous Medal.

Alphonse Ratisbonne became a Catholic priest, serving in the Holy Land. “So great was the love he had for his people, that he dedicated the remainder of his life, as did his brother, Father Theodore, to work for the conversion of their immortal souls. Among the converts of these two priest brothers were a total of twenty-eight members of their own family.” Is this work being done in the Holy Land at present by Catholic bishops of the West and of the East? Not that you would notice. How is this not apostasy of the highest order?

Pope Pius XII wrote approvingly of the zeal for the conversion of souls that prompted the missionaries of the First Millennium and thereafter to Christianize Europe by bringing all souls into the Barque of Saint Peter. Writing in Evangeli Praecones, June 2, 1951, Pope Pius noted:

Likewise all know that the Gospel followed the great Roman roads and was spread not only by Bishops and priests but also by public officials, soldiers and private citizens. Thousands of Christian neophytes, whose names are today unknown, were fired with zeal to promote the new religion they had embraced and endeavored to prepare the way for the coming of the Gospel. That explains why after about 100 years Christianity had penetrated into all the chief cities of the Roman Empire.

St. Justinus, Minucius Felix, Aristides, the consul Acilius Glaber, the patrician Flavius Clemens, St. Tarsicius and countless holy martyrs of both sexes, who strengthened and enriched the growth of the Church by their labors and the shedding of their blood, can in a certain sense be called the advance guard and forerunners of Catholic Action. Here We wish to cite the striking observation of the author of the letter to Diognetus,which even today has a message for us: “Christians dwell in their native countries as though aliens; . . . every foreign land is their home and the land of their birth is foreign soil.”

During the barbarian invasions of the Middle Ages, we see men and women of royal rank and even workmen and valiant Christian women of the common people using every endeavor to convert their fellow citizens to the religion of Jesus Christ and to fashion their morals according to its pattern, so as to safeguard both religion and the state from approaching danger. Tradition tells us that when our immortal Predecessor, Leo the Great, courageously opposed Attila, when he invaded Italy, two Roman consuls stood by his side. When formidable hordes of Huns were besieging Paris, the holy virgin Genevieve, who was given to a life of continuous prayer and austere penance, cared for the souls and bodies of her fellow citizens with wondrous charity. Theodolinda, Queen of the Lombards, zealously summoned her people to embrace the Christian religion. King Reccaredus of Spain endeavored to rescue his people from the Arian heresy and to lead them back to the true Faith. In France, there were not only bishops, such as Remigius of Rheims, Caesarius of Arles, Gregory of Tours, Eligius of Noyon and many others, who were eminent for virtue and apostolic zeal, but queens also can be found during that period who taught the truths of Christianity to the untutored masses and who gave food and shelter and renewed strength to the sick, the hungry and the victims of every human misfortune. For example, Clotilda so influenced Clovis in favor of the Catholic religion that she had the great joy of bringing him into the true Church. Radegunda and Bathilda cared for the sick with supreme charity and even restored lepers to health. In England, Queen Bertha welcomed St. Augustine when he came to evangelize that nation and earnestly exhorted her husband Ethelbert to accept the teachings of the Gospel. No sooner had the Anglo-Saxons, of both high and low degree, men and women, young and old, embraced the Christian faith, than they were led as though by divine inspiration to unite themselves to this Apostolic See by the closest bonds of piety, fidelity and devotion.

In Germany, we witness the admirable spectacle of St. Boniface and his companions traversing those regions in their apostolic journeys and making them fruitful by their generous labors. The sons and daughters of that valiant and noble land felt inspired to offer their efficient collaboration to monks, priests and Bishops in order that the light of the Gospel might be daily more widely diffused throughout those vast regions and that Christian doctrine and Christian virtue might ever make greater advances and reap a rich harvest of souls.

Thus in every age, thanks to the tireless labors of the clergy and also to the cooperation of the laity, the Catholic Church has not only advanced its spiritual kingdom, but has also led nations to increased social prosperity. Everybody knows the social reforms of St. Elizabeth in Hungary, of St. Ferdinand in Castile and of St. Louis IX in France. By their holy lives and zealous labors they brought about salutary improvement in the different classes of society by instituting reforms, by spreading the true faith everywhere, by valiantly defending the Church and above all by their personal example. Nor are We unaware of the excellent merits of the guilds during the Middle Ages. In these guilds artisans and skilled workers of both sexes were enrolled, who, notwithstanding the fact that they lived in the world, kept their eyes fixed upon the sublime ideal of evangelical perfection. Not only did they eagerly pursue this ideal, but together with the clergy they exerted every effort to bring all others to do the same. (Pope Pius XII, Evangeli Praecones, June 2, 1951.)

The work of the Apostles is the work of seeking the conversion of all men and of all nations to the true Faith. All men. Everywhere. At all times. Without exception. Protestants must convert. Jews must convert. Mormons must convert. Seventh Day Adventists must convert. Jehovah’s Witnesses must convert. Buddhists must convert. Hindus must convert. Quakers must convert. Mohammedans must convert. Practitioners of Bah’ai must convert. Animists must convert. Atheists must convert. Jainists must convert. All other manner of pagans must convert. And the exponents of conciliarism and its false religion that flies in the face of the missionary work of the Apostles must convert back to the Faith of our fathers, recapturing the zeal of the Apostles for the conversion of souls. Conciliarism seeks to “meet people where they are” to engage them in meaningless “dialogue.” True apostolic zeal for souls seeks to challenge people to convert, lest they die in their false religions.

True love of God and for the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross impels all Catholics, especially popes and bishops and priests, to seek the conversion of all men everywhere to the true Faith. How many diocesan priests in the past sixty years can say that they have done what the late Father Daniel Johnson did during his twenty-five years as the pastor of Saint Mary’s by the Sea in Huntington Beach, California: knock on every door, commercial and residential alike, in his parish’s boundaries three times during the course of twenty-five years, converting 554 people along the way? How many diocesan priests can say that they have ever considered doing such a thing as part of the pastoral work God Himself expects them to complete while pastor of a particular parish? Oh, no, such zeal for souls is not in the “job description” of conciliarism and not useful to one who seeks to climb the clerical ladder rather than imitate the zeal of the Apostles themselves.

Pentecost Sunday, which is extended in its celebration for eight days in the Catholic Church (there is no such Octave–and its accompanying Ember Days this Wednesday, Friday and Saturday–in the “ordinary form” of the counterfeit church of conciliarism), may we renew our fervor for the conversion of our own souls on a daily basis away from sin and sloth in order to let the life of Sanctifying Grace that God the Holy Ghost wants to pour into our souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, lead us to the heights of personal sanctity. This process of our own daily conversion is completed only at the moment of our deaths, not before, which is why we need to pray to Our Lady, the Spouse of God the Holy Ghost, to help us in our infirmities of body and soul so that we can benefit from the Seven Gifts and Twelve Fruits that that Holy Ghost impressed upon our immortal souls when we were Confirmed so as to grow in the knowledge and the practice of the virtues, each of which is necessary for us to be Christ-like at all times and for all others and to see the image of the Divine Redeemer in all others.

Father Benedict Baur’s reflections for Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of Holy Mother Church, should inspire us to cleave exclusively to those who understand that the mission of the Church is to convert all men and all nations to the Faith of Christ the King:

Seven times seven days, a complete jubilee octave, have passed since Easter. Now the Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the eternal expression of the mutual love of the Father and the Son, comes to us. He comes with the sound of a mighty wind, appearing to the apostles in the form of tongues of fire which rest upon each of them. Made bold by this baptism of fire, they go forth into the world and proclaim by word and deed, even by the sacrificing of their lives, that Christ the crucified One is truly risen.

The first Pentecost. The historical event of Pentecost is related in the Epistle. The apostles and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, are gathered together in one place. About the third hour (about nine o’clock) they hear a mighty rush of wind as if a storm were approaching. Then tongues of fire appear above the heads of each of them. They are filled with the Holy Ghost and begin to speak in various tongues, according as the Holy Ghost inspired them. Outside the house a great crowd of people has gathered, who cannot imagine what has happened. Then they hear the disciples and the apostles speaking in various languages, and each one, in the language in which he was born, hears of the wonderful things which God has done. A new Pentecost! In ancient times God confirmed His covenant with Israel to the accompaniment of thunder and lightning. But the law He gave was the law of fear, the law of severity, the law of servitude. This is a new Pentecost, a Pentecost that fills the hearts of men with love, freedom, and holy joy. The Holy Ghost appears with a mighty wind, penetrating and filling the hearts of the disciples. They are freed from their former timidity and hesitancy. The Holy Ghost enlightens men, guides their thoughts, provides for their needs, controls their desires, inspires their affections, adjusts their motives, and elevates them to the kingdom of the spirit. He teaches them a new manner of life. He gives them courage, strength of character, stability, inexhaustible patience, a readiness for sacrifice, a will to suffer for the sake of Christ. They are indeed a new creation.

Our Pentecost. In the mind of the liturgy, Pentecost is not merely the commemoration of a past event; the wonders related in the Epistle are repeated today in us. We also gather in one place in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and unite in prayer, awaiting the coming of the Holy Ghost. For this reason we pray at the end of the Epistle: “Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.” When the glorified Savior appears in our midst at the Consecration of the Mass, He will bring the Holy Ghost with Him. In our reception of Holy Communion the events of Pentecost will take visible form. The Holy Ghost comes to each of us and fills us with His fire and His power. He does not come to us in the form of fiery tongues, but in the form of a fragile host which is the glorified body of Christ and contains also the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost. When we receive Holy Communion, we receive again the baptism of the Spirit. Having been filled with the Holy Ghost, having become bearers of the Spirit and apostles of the Lord, we announce the marvelous works of the Lord. During the distribution of Holy Communion, the Church sings: “Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty wind coming. .  . . and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking the wonderful works of God, alleluia, alleluia.” Pentecost has been repeated in the present.

“If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, an We will come to him and will make Our abode with him” (Gospel). Thus our Lord describes the love of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the love which binds us all together. God is never very far from us; He is actually within us. This is the joyful message of Pentecost: God is within us! The Father loves us, not only for today or for tomorrow, but for all eternity. God is within us and we are filled with light and warmth. We must let His rays shine into our hearts: we must let Him come and make His abode within us. We are field with His power and fire, which will consume all evil and all sin within us. This fire is our holy zeal to serve God our Savior.

Pentecost is the seal and perfection of the mystery of Easter. If Easter is baptism, Pentecost is confirmation. Easter gives us a new birth; Pentecost brings us to maturity. At Pentecost we reach our full stature, we are brought to maturity. At Pentecost we reach our full stature, we are brought to man’s estate, to perfection by the power of the Holy Ghost. The baptism of the Spirit prepares us for heroic deeds, sanctifies our thoughts, purifies our motives. It makes us perfect Christians. (Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., The Light of the World, Volume 1, pp. 574-576.)

The Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, means to light a fire of Divine love in our souls. This fire of Divine love is meant to help us to detached more and more from self as the years progress so that we can think first and foremost of the interests of God as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through the Catholic Church that He created upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. This fire of Divine love roots us to the Catholic Church, helping us to realize that God is immutable, and that it is His unchanging will for each man and each nation on the face of this earth to be Catholic and to serve Him most especially by total consecration to Him through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. This fire of Divine love will, therefore, help to burn out the “old man” from us so that we can have some approximation in our souls of the humility and docility of Our Lady herself as she, His daughter, consented to be His own Mother and Spouse without a thought of herself.

What better way, after Holy Mass and Eucharistic piety, to enkindle in us this fire of Divine love than by turning to the Spouse of God the Holy Ghost to beg her through her Most Holy Rosary to help us to be so intent on our own daily growth in the Faith that we will be much better able to cooperate with the graces that flow through her loving hands to plant at least a few seeds for the conversion of men and nations to the Social Kingship of her Divine Son and of her own Queenship, which we honor in a particular way during this month of May.

A blessed Pentecost Octave to you all!

Vivat Christus Rex!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Andrew, pray for us.

Saint Matthew, pray for us.

Saint Luke, pray for us.

Saint Mark, pray for us.

Saint James the Greater, pray for us.

Saint James the Lesser, pray for us.

Saint Jude Thaddeus, pray for us.

Saint Matthias, pray for us.

Saint Bartholomew, pray for us.

Saint Thomas the Apostle, pray for us.

Saint Philip, pray for us.

Saint Simon, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

See also: A Litany of Saints

 

SEQUENCE:    VENI SANCTE SPIRITUS

 

Veni, sancte Spíritus,
Et emítte cælitus
Lucis tuæ rádium.


Veni pater páuperum,
Veni dator múnerum,
Veni lumen córdium.


Consolátor óptime,
Dulcis hospes ánimæ,
Dulce refrigérum.


In labóre réquies,
In æstu tempéries,
In fletu solátium.


O Lux beatíssima,
Reple cordis íntima
Tuórum fidélium.


Sine tuo númine,
Nihil est in hómine,
Nihil est innoxium.


Lava quod est sórdidium,
Riga quod est áridum,
Sana quod est sáucium.


Flecte quod est rígidium,
Fove quod est frígidium,
Rege quod est dévium.


Da tuis fidélibus,
In te confidéntibus,
Sacrum septenárium.


Da virtutútis méritum,
Da salútis éxitum,
Da perénne gáudium.


Amen. Allelúja.

 

Come Thou Holy Spirit, come,
And from Thy celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine.


Come, Thou Father of the poor,
Come, Thou source of all our store,
Come, within our bosoms shrine,


Thou of Comforters the best,
Thou the soul’s delightful guest,
Sweet refreshment here below.


In our labor rest most sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.


O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill.


Where Thou art not, man hath nought,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.


Heal our wounds, our strength renew,
On our dryness pour Thy dew,
Wash the stains of guilt away.


Bend the stubborn heart and will,
Melt the frozen, warm the chill,
Guide the steps that go astray.


On Thy faithful who adore,
And confess Thee evermore,
In Thy sevenfold gifts descend.


Give them virtue’s sure reward,
Give them Thy salvation, Lord,
Give them joys that never end.


Amen. Alleluia.