Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May

Bring flowers of the fairest,
Bring flowers of the rarest,
From garden and woodland
And hillside and dale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our Glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

Our voices ascending,
In harmony blending,
Oh, thus may our hearts turn
Dear Mother, to thee;
Oh, thus shall we prove thee
How truly we love thee,
How dark without Mary
Life’s journey would be.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

O Virgin most tender,
Our homage we render,
Thy love and protection,
Sweet Mother, to win.
In danger defend us,
In sorrow befriend us,
And shield our hearts
From contagion and sin.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

Of Mothers the dearest,
Oh, wilt thou be nearest,
When life with temptation
Is darkly replete?
Forsake us, O never!
Our hearts be they ever
As Pure as the lilies
We lay at thy feet.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

 Today, Saturday, Friday, May 31, 2013, is the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary within the Octave of the Ascension of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and the Commemoration of the Feast of Saint Petronilla. What a glorious feast to celebrate during the Octave of the Ascension of Our Lord, Who crowned Our Lady as Queen of Heaven and Earth upon her Assumption body and soul into Heaven.

The month of May ends today. However, every day of our lives in each month of the year must be pledged to the service of the Most Blessed Trinity through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, she who is the Queen of Heaven and and of Earth.

“May Crownings” have taken place all over the world this month in honor of the fact that Our Lady is the Queen of all hearts, the Queen of Heaven and Earth. How natural it is for our own hearts, so stained by sin and indifference, to perform public acts of love in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who made possible our salvation by her perfect fiat to the Father’s will at the Annunciation. We wish to cling to Our Blessed Mother at all times, pledging to her over and over again our total consecration to her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, through her own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart so that all of our own joys and sorrows can given to her freely as her consecrated slaves to be used as she sees fit for the honor and glory of the Blessed Trinity and for the good of souls. She is the pathway to Heaven for us just as she was the pathway by which God came to earth to assume His Sacred Humanity without for one moment losing His Sacred Divinity.

Our Lady was crowned as the Queen of Heaven and Earth by her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in virtue of the crown of Heavenly gifts with which she was bestowed from the moment of her Immaculate Conception. as she was conceived without stain of Original and Actual Sin, thus preparing her, in anticipation of the merits that would be won for us on the wood of the Holy Cross by her Divine Son, to respond with promptness to Saint Gabriel the Archangel’s message at the Annunciation. She is our model in sanctity and perfect abandonment to the will of God without complaint. She shows us how to serve God by helping us to know Him as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through the Catholic Church and how to love Him by cooperating more fervently with the graces He won for us by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through her own loving hands as the Mediatrix of All Graces.

Our Lady is the Queen of Martyrs as she permitted herself to suffer a martyrdom of love at the foot of the Cross, as explained by Father Frederick Faber in The Foot of the Cross/The Dolors of Mary, participating in the King of Martyrs’ redemption of the human race:

The first hour of the three begins,–the three hours that were such parallels to the three days when she was seeking her lost Boy. In the darkness she has come close up to the Cross; for others fell away, as the panic simultaneously infected them. There is a faith in the Jews, upon which this fear can readily graft itself. But the executioners are hardened, and the Roman soldiers were not wont to tremble in darkness. Near to the Cross, by the glimmering light, they are dicing for His garments. The coarse words and rude jests pierced the Mother’s heart; for, as we have said before, it belonged to her perfection that her grief absorbed nothing. Every thing told upon her. Every thing made its own wound, and occupied her, as if itself were the sole suffering, the exclusively aggravating circumstance. She saw those garments–those relics, which were beyond all price the world could give–in the hands of miserable sinners, who would sacrilegiously clothe themselves therewith. For thirty years they had grown with our Lord’s growth, and had not been worn by use,–renewing that miracle which Moses mentions in Deuteronomy, that, through all the forty years of the desert, the garments of the Jews were not “worn out, neither the shoes of their feet consumed with age.” Now sinners were to wear them, and to carry them to unknown haunts of drunkenness and sin. Yet what was it but a type? The whole of an unclean world was to clothe itself in the beautiful justice of her Son. Sinners were to wear His virtues, to merit by His merits, to satisfy in His satisfactions, and to draw, at will, from the wells of His Precious Blood. As Jacob had been blessed in Esau’s clothing, so should all mankind be blessed in the garments of their elder Brother.

Then there was the seamless tunic she herself had wrought for Him. The unity of His Church was figured there. She saw them cast lots for it. She marked to whom it had fallen. One of her first loving duties to the Church will be to recover it for the faithful as a relic. Then it was the history of the Church rose before her. Every schism, which should ever afflict the mystical Body of her Son, was like a new rent in her suffering heart. Every heresy, every quarrel, every unseemly sin against unity, came to her with keenest anguish., there on Calvary, with the living Sacrifice being actually offered, and the unity of His Church being bought with so terrible a price. All this bitterness filled her soul, without distracting her from Jesus for a single moment. As holy pontiffs, with hearts broken by the wrongs and distresses of the Church, have been all engrossed by them, yet never for an instant lost their interior union with Jesus, so much more was it with His Mother’s now. It was on Calvary she felt all this with an especial feeling, as it is in Lent, and Passiontide, and in devotion to the Passion, that we learn to love the Church with such sensitive loyalty.

Fresh fountains of grief were opened to her in the fixing of the title to the Cross. It had come from Pilate, and a ladder was set up against the cross, and the title nailed above our Saviour’s Head. Every blow of the hammer was unutterable torture to Him, torture which had a fearful echo also in the Mother’s heart. Nor was the title itself without power to extend and rouse her suffering. The sight of the Holy Name blazoned there in shame to all the world,-the Name, which to her was sweeter than any music, more fragrant than any perfume,-this was in itself a sorrow. The name of Nazareth, also, how it brought back the past, surrounding the Cross, in that dim air, with beautiful associations and marvellous contrasts. Everywhere in the Passion Bethlehem and Nazareth were making themselves felt, and seen, and heard, and always eliciting new sorrow from the inexhaustible depths of the Mother’s heart. If He was a king, it was a strange throne on which His people had placed Him. Why did they not acknowledge Him to be their king? Why did they wait for a Roman stranger to tell it them as if in scorn? Why did they not let Him rule in their hearts? Ah! poor people! how much happier would it be for themselves, how many sins would be hindered, how many souls saved, how much glory gained for God! King of the Jews! would that it were so! Yet it was really so. But a king rejected, disowned, deposed, put to death! What a load lay upon her heart at that moment! It was the load of self invoked curses, which was to press to the ground that poor regicide people. She would have borne al her seven dolors over again to abolish that curse, and reinstate them, as of old, in the predilection of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was too late. They had had their day. They had filled up the measure of their iniquity. It rose to the brim that very morning, and the breaking of Mary’s heart was a portion of their iniquity. But at least over her heart Jesus was acknowledged king, and reigned supreme. So was it with the dear Magdalen and the ardent John; and, as she thought of this, she looked upon them with a very glory of exceeding love. Is it that Jesus breaks the hearts over which He reigns or that He comes of special choice to reign in broken hearts? But as the the sense passed over her of what it was to have Jesus for a king,-of the undisputed reign which by His own grace He exercised over her sinless heart,–of the vastness of that heart, far exceeding by his own bounty the grand empire of the angels or the multitudinous perfections of the saints,–and of the endless reign which He would have in that beautiful “ivory palace” of hers which made Him so glad,–her love burst out afresh upon Him, as if the dikes of ocean had given away, and the continents and every gush of love was at the same time an exquisite gush of pain.

She had enough of occupation in herself. But sorrow widens great hearts, just as it contracts little ones. She had taken to herself the thieves for her sons. She was greedy of children. She felt the value of them then, in the same way in which we know the value of a friend when we are losing him. His dead face looks it into us, and means more than his living expression did. She has wrestled in prayer for those two malefactors, and God has given her to see the work of grace beginning in the heart of one of them. Does this content her? Yes! with that peculiar contentment which comes of answered prayer, that is to say, she became more covetous because of what she had not. She counted that only a beginning. She pleaded, she insisted. One would have thought such prayer at such a time resistless. It is not Heaven that resists. Graces descend from above like flights of angels to the heart of the impenitent thief. They fluttered there. They sang for entrance. They waited. They pecked at the heart of flesh. They made it bleed with pain, with terror, with remorse. But it was its own master. It would not open. So near Jesus, and to be lost! It might well be incredible to Mary. yet so it was. The thief matches his hardness against her sweetness, and prevailed. Mary may not be queen of any heart where Jesus is not already king. But, oh, the unutterable anguish to her of this impenitence! His face so near the Face of Jesus, the sights of the spotless victim dwelling in his ear as silence dwells in the mountains, the very Breath of the Incarnate God reaching to him, the Precious Blood strewn all around him, like an overflow of waste water, as if there was more than men knew what to do with, and in the midst of all this to be damned, to commute the hot strangling throes of that crucifixion for everlasting fire, to be detached by his own will from the very side of the Crucifix, and the next moment to become part of a hopeless hell! Mary saw his eternity before her as in a vista. She took in at a glance the peculiar horror of his case. There came a sigh out of her heart at the loss of this poor wretched son, which had sorrow enough in it to repair the outraged majesty of God, but not enough to soften the sinner’s heart.

Such were the outward, or rather let us call them the official, occupations of Mary during the first hour upon the Cross. Her inmost occupation, and yet outward also, was that which was above her, overshadowing her in the darkness, and felt more vividly even than if it had been clearly seen,–Jesus hanging upon the Cross! As our guardian angels are ever by our sides, engrossed with a thousand invisible ministries of love, and yet all the while see God, and in that one beatifying sight are utterly immersed, so it was with Mary on Calvary. While she seemed an attentive witness and listener of the men dividing our Lord’s garments among them, and of the nailing of the title to the Cross, or appeared to be occupied with the conversion of the thieves, she did all those things, as the saints do things, in ecstasy, with perfect attention and faultless accuracy, and yet far withdrawn into the presence of God and hidden in His light. A whole hour went by. Jesus was silent. His Blood was on fire with pain. His body began to depend from the Cross, as if the nails barely held it. The Blood was trickling down from the wood all the while. He was growing whiter and whiter. Every moment of that agony was an act of communion with the Father. Mysteries, exceeding all mysteries that had ever been on earth, were going on in His Heart, which was alternately contracted and dilated with agony too awful for humanity to bear without miraculous support. It had divine support; but divine consolation was carefully kept apart. The interior of that Heart was clearly disclosed to the Mother’s inward eye, and her heart participated in its sufferings. She, too, needed a miracle to prolong her life, and the miracle was worked. But with the same peculiarity. From her, also, all consolation was kept away. And so one hour passed, and grace had created many worlds of sanctity, as the laden minutes went slowly by, one by one, then slower and slower, like the pulses of a clock at midnight when we are ill, beating sensibly slower to reproach us for our impatient listening.

The second hour began. The darkness deepened., and there were fewer persons round the Cross. No diceing now, no disturbance of nailing the title to the Cross. All was as silent as a sanctuary. Then Jesus spoke. It seemed as if he had been holding secret converse with the Father, and He had come to a point when He could keep silence no longer. It sounded as if He had been pleading for sinners, and the Father had said that the sin of His Crucifixion was too great to be forgiven. To our human ears the word has that significance. It certainly came out of some depth, out of something which had been going on before, either His own thoughts, or the intensity of His pain, or a colloquy with the Father. “Father! forgiven them; for they know not what they do!” Beautiful, unending prayer, true of all sins and of all sinners in every time! They know not what they do. No one knows what he does when he sins. It is his very knowledge that the malice of sin is past his comprehension which is a great part of the malice of his sin. Beautiful prayer also, because it discloses the characteristic devotion of our dearest Lord! When He breaks the silence, it is not about His Mother, or the apostles, or a word of comfort that affectionate forlorn Magdalen, whom He loved so fondly. It is for sinners, for the worst of them, for His personal enemies, for those who crucified Him, for those who had been yelling after Him in the streets, and loading Him with the uttermost indignities. It is as if at Nazareth He might seem to love His Mother more than all the world beside, but that now on Calvary, when His agony had brought out the deepest realities and the last disclosures of His Sacred Heart, it was found that His chief devotion was to sinners. Was Mary hurt by this appearance? Was it a fresh dolor that He had not thought first of her? Oh, no! Mary had no self on Calvary. It could not have lived there. Had her heart cried out at the same moment with our Lord’s, it would have uttered the same prayer, and in like words would have unburdened itself of that of which it was most full. But the word did draw new floods of sorrow. They very sound of His voice above her in the obscure eclipse melted within her. The marvel of His uncomplaining silence was more pathetic now that He had spoken. Grief seemed to have reached its limits; but it had not. The word threw down the walls, laid a whole world of possible sorrow open to it, and poured the waters over it in an irresistible flood. The well-remembered tone pieced her [Our Lady] like a spear. They very beauty of the word was anguish to her. Is it not often so that deathbed words are harrowing because they are so beautiful, so incomprehensibly full of love? Mary’s broken heart enlarged itself, and took in the whole world, and bathed it in tears of love. To her that word was like a creative word. It made the Mother of God Mother of mercy also. Swifter than the passage of light, as that word was uttered, the mercy of Mary had thrown round the globe a mantle of light, beautifying its rough places, and giving lust re in the dark, while incredible sorrow made itself coextensive with her incalculable love.

The words of Jesus on the Cross might almost have been a dolor by themselves. They were all of them more touching in themselves than any words which ever have been spoken on the earth. The incomparable beauty of our Lord’s Soul freights each one of them with itself, and yet how differently? The sweetness of His Divinity is hidden in them, and for ages on ages it has ravished the contemplative souls who loved Him best. If even to ourselves these words are continually giving out new beauties in our meditations, what must they be to the saints, and then, far beyond that, what were they to His Most Blessed Mother? To her, each of them was a theology, a theology enrapturing the heart while it illumined he understanding. She knew they would be His last. Through life they had been but few, and now in less than two hours He will utter seven, which the world will listen to and wonder at until the end of time. To her they were not isolated. They recalled other unforgotten words. There were no forgotten ones. She interpreted them by others, and others again by them, and so they gave out manifold new meanings. Besides which, she saw the interior from which they came, and therefore they were deeper to her. But the growing beauty of Jesus had been consistently a more copious fountain of sorrow all through the Three-and-Thirty Years. It was not likely that law would be abrogated upon Calvary. And was there not something perfectly awful, even to Mary’s eye, in the way in which His divine beauty was mastering every thing and beginning to shine out in the eclipse? It seemed as if the Godhead were going to lay Itself bare among the very ruins of the Sacred Humanity, as His bones were showing themselves through His flesh. It was unspeakable. Mary lifted up her whole soul to its uttermost height to reach the point of adoration due to Him, and tranquilly acknowledged that it was beyond her power. her adoration sank down into profusest love, and her love condensed under the chill shadow into an intensity of sorrow, which felt its pain intolerably everywhere as the low pulsations of His clear gentle voice ran and undulated through her inmost soul.

The thought which was nearest to our Blessed Saviour’s Heart, if we may reverently venture to speak thus of Him, was the glory of His Father. We can hardly doubt that after that, chief among the affections of the created nature which He had condescended to assume, stood the love of His Immaculate Mother. Among His seven words there will be one, a word following His absolution of the thief at Mary’s prayer, a double word, both to her and of her. That also shall be like a creative word, creative for Mary, and still more creative for His Church. He spoke out of an unfathomable love, and yet in such mysterious guise as was fitted still more to deepen His Mother’s grief. He styles her “Woman,” as if He had already put off the filial character. He substitutes John for Himself, and finally appears to transfer to John His own right to call Mary Mother. How many things were there here to overwhelm our Blessed Lady with fresh affliction! She well knew the meaning of the mystery. She understood that by this seeming transfer she had been solemnly installed in her office of the second Eve, the mother of all mankind. She was aware that now Jesus had drawn her still more closely to Himself, had likened her to Himself more than ever, and had more their union more complete. The two relations of Mother and Son were two no longer; they had melted into one. She knew that never had He loved her more than now, and never shown her a more palpable proof of His love, of which, however, no proof was wanting. But each fresh instance of His love was a new sorrow to her; for it called up more love in her, and with more love, as usual, more sorrow. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, published originally in England in 1857 under the title The Dolors of Mary, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 244-252.)

The path to Our Lady’s Queenship ran through that same Holy Cross. She stood at the foot of her Divine Son’s Holy Cross, watching bravely as she cooperated perfectly with Him to effect our Redemption as the Co-Redemptrix and the Mediatrix of all graces, which she showed to Saint Catherine Laboure flow forth from her very hands.

Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart suffered as one with the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Which was formed out of that same Immaculate Heart and which we honor in a special way all throughout the month of June–and Whose glorious feast will be celebrated next Friday, June 7, 2013, which is usually the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

The Blessed Virgin Mary felt every hurt that our sins imposed upon her Divine Son in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death. No one with a single nature (Our Lord was the Theandric Person, having two natures hypostatically united together at the moment of His Incarnation by the power of God the Holy Ghost as He was conceived as a man in Our Lady’s Virginal and Immaculate Womb) has ever suffered as Our Lady suffered during her Divine Son’s Passion and Death. No event in the history of the world (war, atrocity, genocide, natural disaster) is the equal of what Our Lord wrought for us on the wood of the Holy Cross, the Sacrifice that remains the one and only true Holocaust, as He paid back in His Sacred Humanity the debt of sin that was owed to Him in His Infinity as God.

Thus it is that Our Lady’s perfect communion of suffering should merit for her the Crown of Glory above all Glories in Heaven. The Mother of the King of Kings has been crowned in Heaven as the Queen of All Saints. She must be honored on earth, starting in our own individual lives, as the Queen of our hearts and souls. There is not a day that can pass without our saying three Hail Marys immediately upon our awaking and just before we go to bed. There is not a day that can pass without meditating on at least five decades of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary, if not all fifteen decades. We must offer to her salutations throughout the course of our day, having a ready supply of Miraculous Medals and Green Scapulars to pass out to those we meet who are in need either of returning to the Faith or converting to the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation. We want to be so used to saluting Our Mother and Our Queen during the course of the day that we will be invoking her merciful protection at the hour of our deaths.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, who wrote so beautifully about Our Lady in The Glories of Mary, commented on how Our Blessed Mother is the Queen of Mercy:

The Church honors the Virgin Mary with the glorious title of Queen because she has been elevated to the dignity of Mother of the King of kings. If the Son is King, says Saint Athanasius, His Mother must necessarily be considered Queen. From the moment that Mary consented to become the Mother of the Eternal Word, she merited the title of Queen of the World and of all creatures. If the flesh of Mary, says Saint Arnold, was the flesh of Jesus, how can the Mother be separated from the Son in His Kingdom? It thus follows that the Regal Glory must not only be considered as common to the Mother and the Son, but must even be the same.

Mary, then, is Queen, but let all learn for their consolation that she is a mild and merciful Queen, desiring the good of all sinners. Therefore, the Church salutes her in prayer and names her the Queen of Mercy. The very name of Queen signifies, as Albert the Great remarks, compassion and provision for the poor; differing in this from the title of empress, which signifies severity and rigor. The greatness of kings and queens consists in comforting the wretched so that, whereas tyrants have only their own advantage in view, kings should be concerned with the good of their subjects. Therefore, at the consecration of kings, their heads are anointed with oil, which is the symbol of mercy, to denote that in ruling they should always show kindness and good-will toward their subjects.

Kings, then, should principally occupy themselves with works of mercy, but they should not neglect the exercise of justice toward the guilty when it is required. But Mary is not a queen of justice, intent on the punishment of the guilty, but rather a Queen of Mercy, intent only on compassion and pardon for sinners. Accordingly, the Church calls her Queen of Mercy. “These two things which I heard: that power belongs to God, and yours, O Lord, is kindness” (Psalm 62:12-13). The Lord has divided the kingdom of God into two parts, Justice and Mercy. He has reserved the kingdom of justice for Himself, and He has granted the kingdom of mercy to Mary. Saint Thomas confirms this when he says that the holy Virgin, when she consented to be the Mother of the Redeemer, obtained half (½) of the kingdom of God by becoming Queen of Mercy, while Jesus remained King of Justice.

Pope Pius XII, who instituted this feast of the Queenship of Mary in 1954, elucidated the reasons why the Church has always considered Mary as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Writing in Ad Caeli Reginam, October 11, 1954, Pope Pius explained:

From early times Christians have believed, and not without reason, that she of whom was born the Son of the Most High received privileges of grace above all other beings created by God. He “will reign in the house of Jacob forever,””the Prince of Peace,” the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” And when Christians reflected upon the intimate connection that obtains between a mother and a son, they readily acknowledged the supreme royal dignity of the Mother of God.

Hence it is not surprising that the early writers of the Church called Mary “the Mother of the King” and “the Mother of the Lord,” basing their stand on the words of St. Gabriel the archangel, who foretold that the Son of Mary would reign forever, and on the words of Elizabeth who greeted her with reverence and called her “the Mother of my Lord.” Thereby they clearly signified that she derived a certain eminence and exalted station from the royal dignity of her Son.

So it is that St. Ephrem, burning with poetic inspiration, represents her as speaking in this way: “Let Heaven sustain me in its embrace, because I am honored above it. For heaven was not Thy mother, but Thou hast made it Thy throne. How much more honorable and venerable than the throne of a king is her mother.” And in another place he thus prays to her: “. . . Majestic and Heavenly Maid, Lady, Queen, protect and keep me under your wing lest Satan the sower of destruction glory over me, lest my wicked foe be victorious against me.”

St. Gregory Nazianzen calls Mary “the Mother of the King of the universe,” and the “Virgin Mother who brought forth the King of the whole world,” while Prudentius asserts that the Mother marvels “that she has brought forth God as man, and even as Supreme King.”

And this royal dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is quite clearly indicated through direct assertion by those who call her “Lady,” “Ruler” and “Queen.”

In one of the homilies attributed to Origen, Elizabeth calls Mary “the Mother of my Lord.” and even addresses her as “Thou, my Lady.”

The same thing is found in the writings of St. Jerome where he makes the following statement amidst various interpretations of Mary’s name: “We should realize that Mary means Lady in the Syrian Language.” After him St. Chrysologus says the same thing more explicitly in these words: “The Hebrew word ‘Mary’ means ‘Domina.’ The Angel therefore addresses her as ‘Lady’ to preclude all servile fear in the Lord’s Mother, who was born and was called ‘Lady’ by the authority and command of her own Son.”

Moreover Epiphanius, the bishop of Constantinople, writing to the Sovereign Pontiff Hormisdas, says that we should pray that the unity of the Church may be preserved “by the grace of the holy and consubstantial Trinity and by the prayers of Mary, Our Lady, the holy and glorious Virgin and Mother of God.”

The Blessed Virgin, sitting at the right hand of God to pray for us is hailed by another writer of that same era in these words, “the Queen of mortal man, the most holy Mother of God.”

St. Andrew of Crete frequently attributes the dignity of a Queen to the Virgin Mary. For example, he writes, “Today He transports from her earthly dwelling, as Queen of the human race, His ever-Virgin Mother, from whose womb He, the living God, took on human form.”

And in another place he speaks of “the Queen of the entire human race faithful to the exact meaning of her name, who is exalted above all things save only God himself.”

Likewise St. Germanus speaks to the humble Virgin in these words: “Be enthroned, Lady, for it is fitting that you should sit in an exalted place since you are a Queen and glorious above all kings.” He likewise calls her the “Queen of all of those who dwell on earth.”

She is called by St. John Damascene: “Queen, ruler, and lady,” and also “the Queen of every creature.”[24] Another ancient writer of the Eastern Church calls her “favored Queen,” “the perpetual Queen beside the King, her son,” whose “snow-white brow is crowned with a golden diadem.”

And finally St. Ildephonsus of Toledo gathers together almost all of her titles of honor in this salutation: “O my Lady, my Sovereign, You who rule over me, Mother of my Lord . . . Lady among handmaids, Queen among sisters.”

The theologians of the Church, deriving their teaching from these and almost innumerable other testimonies handed down long ago, have called the most Blessed Virgin the Queen of all creatures, the Queen of the world, and the Ruler of all.

The Supreme Shepherds of the Church have considered it their duty to promote by eulogy and exhortation the devotion of the Christian people to the heavenly Mother and Queen. Simply passing over the documents of more recent Pontiffs, it is helpful to recall that as early as the seventh century Our predecessor St. Martin I called Mary “our glorious Lady, ever Virgin.” St. Agatho, in the synodal letter sent to the fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Council called her “Our Lady, truly and in a proper sense the Mother of God.  And in the eighth century Gregory II in the letter sent to St. Germanus, the patriarch, and read in the Seventh Ecumenical Council with all the Fathers concurring, called the Mother of God: “The Queen of all, the true Mother of God,” and also “the Queen of all Christians.”

We wish also to recall that Our predecessor of immortal memory, Sixtus IV, touched favorably upon the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, beginning the Apostolic Letter Cum praeexcelsa with words in which Mary is called “Queen,” “Who is always vigilant to intercede with the king whom she bore.” Benedict XIV declared the same thing in his Apostolic Letter Gloriosae Dominae, in which Mary is called “Queen of heaven and earth,” and it is stated that the sovereign King has in some way communicated to her his ruling power.

For all these reasons St. Alphonsus Ligouri, in collecting the testimony of past ages, writes these words with evident devotion: “Because the virgin Mary was raised to such a lofty dignity as to be the mother of the King of kings, it is deservedly and by every right that the Church has honored her with the title of ‘Queen’.”

Furthermore, the sacred liturgy, which acts as a faithful reflection of traditional doctrine believed by the Christian people through the course of all the ages both in the East and in the West, has sung the praises of the heavenly Queen and continues to sing them. (Pope Pius XII, Ad Caeli Reginam, October 11, 1954.)

Our Lady wants us to have the highest place in Heaven possible next to herself.

Do we aspire to this? Do we pray for this? Do we work for this?

Do we ask her help to achieve it?

Do we despise the world and all of its allures so as to show forth our love and appreciation for all that she suffered to help redeem us as she watched her Divine Son suffer and die on the wood of the Holy Cross?

Do we seek to console the Most Sacred Heart of her Divine Son through her Sorrowful and Immaculate for our own many sins and lukewarmness and ingratitude when we assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, mindful that she, the Queen of All Saints, is there present along with all of the angels and saints, including her chaste spouse, Good Saint Joseph, the Just and Silent Man of the House of David?

Do we seek to spend time with her Divine Son in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament, aware that she beckons us to spend time with Him as a foretaste of an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Heaven itself?

Do we seek to give her everything, including the problems facing Holy Mother Church today, without doubting her Motherly care for a single moment?

Do we fly unto her patronage readily and without any delay at all?

Do we realize that she brought us forth in great pain as the adopted sons and daughters of the Living God as the fifth sword of sorrow that had been prophesied by Simeon pierced her heart and soul as she watched her Divine Son breathe His last on the Cross?

Do we ever truly meditate on the price she paid to help to purchase us for the possibility of attaining to Heavenly glories?

A soul that clings to Our Lady, the Queen of All Saints, will not be seeking to make “royalty” out of political figures or sports stars or entertainers.

A soul that clings to Our Lady, the Queen of All Saints, will seek only to honor Christ the King and herself as Our Immaculate Queen.

A soul that clings to Our Lady, the Queen of All Saints, will want to comport himself or herself as he would in the presence of Our Lady herself.

Men who want to cling to Our Lady must dress modestly (no shorts, thank you, ever) and speak nobly.

Women who want to cling to their perfect role model must dress as women (no pants, thank you, ever, anywhere, at any time; yes, even young girls, that is, toddlers, must never wear pants) as they bear within themselves the impress of Our Lady herself, who would never want to confuse the roles between men and women by taking on the appearance of a man (which Saint Joan of Arc did only on the express command of God and to protect her own purity in the midst of men).

Women must comport themselves as would Our Lady, mindful of the dignity of their femininity and of the example that they must give to their own daughters to strive for the Heavenly perfections of the Queen of All Saints herself.

We should want to watch nothing and listen to nothing that Our Lady herself would NOT waste her time on, things that would only pollute her matchlessly beautiful soul.

The Apostles had the privilege of knowing Our Lady personally.

A handful of select saints have had the privilege of seeing her in this earthly life before they died. Each of these saints reported that they had never seen anything or anyone as beautiful as Our Lady.

Saint Catherine Laboure lived almost her entire life as a consecrated religious keeping the marvelous vision of Our Lady to herself and her spiritual director.

Saint Bernadette Soubirous longed only for Heaven and to be with Our Lady there after she had the privilege of seeing her in Lourdes, France, in 1858.

Jacinta and Francisco Marto ached to be with Our Lady as soon as possible, suffering all of the torments of their painful deaths to help save sinners from Hell.

Juan Diego wanted only to be of service to the Virgin of Guadalupe, as she herself wanted to be known, once this valiant widower was given the privilege of being an instrument of helping to convert millions of indigenous Americans to Catholicism following the miraculous image she left on his tilma.

Although we have never seen Our Lady in person, we must have the same burning desire as these visionaries to have souls as beautiful as possible so that we can die in a state of Sanctifying Grace and thus see the radiant beauty of the Queen of All Saints as she is enthroned in the glory of Beatific Vision of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Our Lady is our sure refuge and our only hope in these troubling times. She wants us to take our rest in her Immaculate Heart.

Above and beyond all ecclesiastical and civil controversies and problems, we must rely tenderly and with complete confidence in Our Lady, doing our part to fulfill her Fatima Message, especially by the keeping of the five First Saturdays in our own daily lives. We can undo a debt for a multitude of sins by spreading the glories of Mary and by making her known to one and to all, by living as the consecrated slaves of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Saint Louis de Montfort and Father Maximilian Kolbe spent their entire priestly lives devoted to building up the City of Mary Immaculate. Why can’t we do so as we look forward to the Reign of Mary as the fruit of the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart? Why can’t we exhibit the love and devotion that Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and Saint Alphonsus de Liguori and Saint Louis de Montfort and Father Maximilian Mary Kolbe, among so many others, exhibited for the Mother of God, the Queen of the Angels, the Queen of Apostles, the Queen of Heaven and of Earth.

As noted at the beginning of this article, the month of May ends today. Every month, though, is Mary’s month, yes, even the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, June, that begins tomorrow. For that Sacred Heart, the font of Divine Mercy, would not have beat a single beat had not Our Lady enfleshed the Word by consenting to be the Spouse of the Holy Ghost. We must honor Our Lady at all times, hoping and praying that we who crown her statues with blossoms in this life will be able to crown her with our kisses in Heaven.

We ask Our Lady to pray for us in this life so that we may know after our deaths a Heaven  reward us for having shielded ourselves with her Brown Scapular and for using well her weapon of the Most Holy Rosary.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and the hour of our death. Amen.

Salve Regina!

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, be my love.

Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.

Bring flowers of the fairest,
Bring flowers of the rarest,
From garden and woodland
And hillside and dale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our Glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

Our voices ascending,
In harmony blending,
Oh, thus may our hearts turn
Dear Mother, to thee;
Oh, thus shall we prove thee
How truly we love thee,
How dark without Mary
Life’s journey would be.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

O Virgin most tender,
Our homage we render,
Thy love and protection,
Sweet Mother, to win.
In danger defend us,
In sorrow befriend us,
And shield our hearts
From contagion and sin.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

Of Mothers the dearest,
Oh, wilt thou be nearest,
When life with temptation
Is darkly replete?
Forsake us, O never!
Our hearts be they ever
As Pure as the lilies
We lay at thy feet.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

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 John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us, especially on your feast day today!

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

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

Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us.

Saint Dominic de Guzman, pray for us.

Blessed Alan de la Roche, pray for us.

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.

Saint Catherine Laboure, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.

Father Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.

Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos, pray for us.

Saint Petronilla, pray for us.

Why Live in Fear With Saint Joseph So Near?

So many people live their entire lives in fear.

Those steeped in the naturalistic falsehoods of the “left” live in fear that those who are steeped in the naturalistic falsehoods of the “right” will acquire and retain governmental power, putting out all manner of “alerts” prior to elections and during the presidential administrations of their hated foes. Such was the case during the administration of former President George Walker Bush as naturalists of the “left” denounced their fellow naturalist with great fury, disregarding the fact that they were of one mind with him in believing that is not necessary for every man and nation on the face of this earth to subordinate themselves at all times to the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church in all that pertains to the good of souls.

Those steeped in the naturalistic falsehoods of the “right” live in fear that those who are steeped in the naturalistic falsehoods of the “left” will acquire and retain governmental power, putting out all manner of “alerts” prior to elections and during the presidential administrations of their hated foes. Such was the case during the administration of former President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton. Such is the case at present during the administration of Caesar Barackus Obamus Ignoramus, who was depicted four years ago now in a sacrilegious “artistic” display in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York, New York.

Clinton was denounced with great fury in the 1990s by naturalists of the “right.” Obama is being denounced with great fury now by these same naturalists. All of these denunciations have disregarded the fact that the naturalists of the “right” are of one mind with Clinton and Obama in believing that is not necessary for every man and nation on the face of this earth to subordinate themselves at all times to the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church in all that pertains to the good of souls.

Catholics, I am afraid (pun intended), all across and up and down the ecclesiastical divide live in fear as well. Making the fatal mistake of watching the idiot box that is television and having their peace disturbed unnecessarily by what passes for “news,” going into histrionic fits over things that are “done deals” and are being visited upon us as a means to chastise the country for its many sins against the Sovereign Rights of Christ the King.

There is no naturalistic, inter-denominational or nondenominational way to put “Humpty Dumpty” back together again. We are witnessing the logical and inevitable degeneration that must take place in any regime founded on the false, naturalistic, anti-Incarnational, religiously indifferent and semi-Pelagian principles of Modernity.

There is one and only one means to stop this process of degeneration: Catholicism. There is no short-cut. All of the issues that present themselves for immediate, if not manic, attention are the result of a world that has been disordered not only by Original Sin and our own Actual Sins but by the logical consequences of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King wrought by the Protestant Revolt and institutionalized by a veritable plethora of naturalistic ideologies and “philosophies” that are of the essence of Judeo-Masonry.

It is most telling that only two percent (that’s right two percent) of respondents in a poll several years ago said that abortion was the most important issue facing the country. Two percent. As I noted in Figures of Antichrist sixty-six months ago now, it’s all about the money.  It hasn’t changed in the year 2014, has it?

The daily assassination of children by chemical and surgical means? Just too bad. Only two percent of respondents in a survey where one in five respondents (twenty percent) were Catholic said that abortion was the most important issue facing the nation.

The gruesome details that emerged last year from the convicted baby-butcher Kermit Gosnell’s trial in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?

Ah, unfit for the mainslime or slimestream media, which is seeking to bury the story even after Gosnell is in jail for the rest of life an as efforts are being made to make a motion picture to depict his bloody house of horrors. (See Yes, There Is A Gosnell Trial Coverup by the Big News Organizations. There will be a commentary on this tomorrow in part two of Complete Creatures Of Caesar And His Minions, part one.)

It’s no wonder that only two percent of people in the United States of America understand that a nation that sheds the blood of the innocent under cover of the civil law is not “under God” and will never realize any long term material prosperity. 

Two percent. That’s hardly a foundation for “electoral” success or flexing “muscle” to influence the course of public policy debates.

The actual reality in which we live should teach us that each and every single naturalistic or inter-denominational effort to “turn back” the tide of evil that has been let loose, proximately speaking, by the Protestant Revolt and its diabolical aftermath, does nothing whatsoever to “influence” the public-at-large. The universe of “conservative” websites and organizations consists of people who are talking to themselves about naturalistic ideas that are the proximate source of the problems we face, not any part of a solution that can come only from the conversion of this nation–and everyone in it–to Catholic Faith, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.

Even the “conservative” “renaissance” at the polls in 2010s that was founded in a desire to roll back the size and scope of intrusive, coercive power of the Federal government of the United States of America has failed for a variety of reasons, not the least being the disputes between “Tea Party” partisans and establishment Republicans, who care only about elections and not about policy. The principal reason that the so-called “conservative” “renaissance” has failed at the national level and will continue to fail that is naturalists of the “right” do not take cognizance of the fact that statism must triumph in a world where the Catholic Church is not able to exercise the Social Reign of Christ the King and hence a world where leaders do not pursue the common temporal good in light of man’s Last End, the possession of the glory of the Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost for all eternity in Heaven.

Those with short memories–and that describes most people who are lost in the “trees” of various issues and crises” without seeing the larger, supernatural dimensions of the chastisement that we are suffering as a just punishment for our sins and those of our nation–tend to forget that nothing of any real substance was accomplished by the twelve years between January 3, 1995, and January 3, 2007, that the naturalists of the “right” controlled the United States House of Representatives and a mostly coterminous period in which Republicans controlled the United Sates Senate (save for the time between June 6, 2001, and January 3, 2003, when the defection of Vermont Senator James Jeffords, a Republican, to the Democratic Party caucus as an “independent” gave the Democrats a two seat-majority in the Senate). The partial, incomplete ban on partial-birth abortions? Guess again (see An Illusion of a Victory and We Don’t Want to Learn Anything.)

There is no need to be in fear about the realities facing us. Persecution is good!

Why? Pope Leo XIII provided the answer in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:

As to what We have called the goods of the soul, which consist chiefly in the practice of the true religion and in the unswerving observance of the Christian precepts, We see them daily losing esteem among men, either by reason of forgetfulness or disregard, in such wise that all that is gained for the well-being of the body seems to be lost for that of the soul. A striking proof of the lessening and weakening of the Christian faith is seen in the insults too often done to the Catholic Church, openly and publicly — insults, indeed, which an age cherishing religion would not have tolerated. For these reasons, an incredible multitude of men is in danger of not achieving salvation; and even nations and empires themselves cannot long remain unharmed, since, when Christian institutions and morality decline, the main foundation of human society goes together with them. Force alone will remain to preserve public tranquillity and order. But force is very feeble when the bulwark of religion has been removed, and, being more apt to beget slavery than obedience, it bears within itself the germs of ever-increasing troubles. The present century has encountered memorable disasters, and it is not certain that some equally terrible are not impending.

The very times in which we live are warning us to seek remedies there where alone they are to be found — namely, by re-establishing in the family circle and throughout the whole range of society the doctrines and practices of the Christian religion. In this lies the sole means of freeing us from the ills now weighing us down, of forestalling the dangers now threatening the world. For the accomplishment of this end, venerable brethren, We must bring to bear all the activity and diligence that lie within Our power. Although we have already, under other circumstances, and whenever occasion required, treated of these matters, We deem it expedient in this letter to define more in detail the duties of the Catholics, inasmuch as these would, if strictly observed, wonderfully contribute to the good of the commonwealth. We have fallen upon times when a violent and well-nigh daily battle is being fought about matters of highest moment, a battle in which it is hard not to be sometimes deceived, not to go astray and, for many, not to lose heart. It behooves us, venerable brethren, to warn, instruct, and exhort each of the faithful with an earnestness befitting the occasion: that none may abandon the way of truth.

It cannot be doubted that duties more numerous and of greater moment devolve on Catholics than upon such as are either not sufficiently enlightened in relation to the Catholic faith, or who are entirely unacquainted with its doctrines. Considering that forthwith upon salvation being brought out for mankind, Jesus Christ laid upon His Apostles the injunction to “preach the Gospel to every creature,” He imposed, it is evident, upon all men the duty of learning thoroughly and believing what they were taught. This duty is intimately bound up with the gaining of eternal salvation: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be condemned.” But the man who has embraced the Christian faith, as in duty bound, is by that very fact a subject of the Church as one of the children born of her, and becomes a member of that greatest and holiest body, which it is the special charge of the Roman Pontiff to rule with supreme power, under its invisible head, Jesus Christ.

Now, if the natural law enjoins us to love devotedly and to defend the country in which we had birth, and in which we were brought up, so that every good citizen hesitates not to face death for his native land, very much more is it the urgent duty of Christians to be ever quickened by like feelings toward the Church. For the Church is the holy City of the living God, born of God Himself, and by Him built up and established. Upon this earth, indeed, she accomplishes her pilgrimage, but by instructing and guiding men she summons them to eternal happiness. We are bound, then, to love dearly the country whence we have received the means of enjoyment this mortal life affords, but we have a much more urgent obligation to love, with ardent love, the Church to which we owe the life of the soul, a life that will endure forever. For fitting it is to prefer the good of the soul to the well-being of the body, inasmuch as duties toward God are of a far more hallowed character than those toward men.

Moreover, if we would judge aright, the supernatural love for the Church and the natural love of our own country proceed from the same eternal principle, since God Himself is their Author and originating Cause. Consequently, it follows that between the duties they respectively enjoin, neither can come into collision with the other. We can, certainly, and should love ourselves, bear ourselves kindly toward our fellow men, nourish affection for the State and the governing powers; but at the same time we can and must cherish toward the Church a feeling of filial piety, and love God with the deepest love of which we are capable. The order of precedence of these duties is, however, at times, either under stress of public calamities, or through the perverse will of men, inverted. For, instances occur where the State seems to require from men as subjects one thing, and religion, from men as Christians, quite another; and this in reality without any other ground, than that the rulers of the State either hold the sacred power of the Church of no account, or endeavor to subject it to their own will. Hence arises a conflict, and an occasion, through such conflict, of virtue being put to the proof. The two powers are confronted and urge their behests in a contrary sense; to obey both is wholly impossible. No man can serve two masters, for to please the one amounts to contemning the other.

As to which should be preferred no one ought to balance for an instant. It is a high crime indeed to withdraw allegiance from God in order to please men, an act of consummate wickedness to break the laws of Jesus Christ, in order to yield obedience to earthly rulers, or, under pretext of keeping the civil law, to ignore the rights of the Church; “we ought to obey God rather than men.” This answer, which of old Peter and the other Apostles were used to give the civil authorities who enjoined unrighteous things, we must, in like circumstances, give always and without hesitation. No better citizen is there, whether in time of peace or war, than the Christian who is mindful of his duty; but such a one should be ready to suffer all things, even death itself, rather than abandon the cause of God or of the Church.

Hence, they who blame, and call by the name of sedition, this steadfastness of attitude in the choice of duty have not rightly apprehended the force and nature of true law. We are speaking of matters widely known, and which We have before now more than once fully explained. Law is of its very essence a mandate of right reason, proclaimed by a properly constituted authority, for the common good. But true and legitimate authority is void of sanction, unless it proceed from God, the supreme Ruler and Lord of all. The Almighty alone can commit power to a man over his fellow men; nor may that be accounted as right reason which is in disaccord with truth and with divine reason; nor that held to be true good which is repugnant to the supreme and unchangeable good, or that wrests aside and draws away the wills of men from the charity of God.

Hallowed, therefore, in the minds of Christians is the very idea of public authority, in which they recognize some likeness and symbol as it were of the Divine Majesty, even when it is exercised by one unworthy. A just and due reverence to the laws abides in them, not from force and threats, but from a consciousness of duty; “for God hath not given us the spirit of fear.”

But, if the laws of the State are manifestly at variance with the divine law, containing enactments hurtful to the Church, or conveying injunctions adverse to the duties imposed by religion, or if they violate in the person of the supreme Pontiff the authority of Jesus Christ, then, truly, to resist becomes a positive duty, to obey, a crime; a crime, moreover, combined with misdemeanor against the State itself, inasmuch as every offense leveled against religion is also a sin against the State. Here anew it becomes evident how unjust is the reproach of sedition; for the obedience due to rulers and legislators is not refused, but there is a deviation from their will in those precepts only which they have no power to enjoin. Commands that are issued adversely to the honor due to God, and hence are beyond the scope of justice, must be looked upon as anything rather than laws. You are fully aware, venerable brothers, that this is the very contention of the Apostle St. Paul, who, in writing to Titus, after reminding Christians that they are “to be subject to princes and powers, and to obey at a word,” at once adds: “And to be ready to every good work.” Thereby he openly declares that, if laws of men contain injunctions contrary to the eternal law of God, it is right not to obey them. In like manner, the Prince of the Apostles gave this courageous and sublime answer to those who would have deprived him of the liberty of preaching the Gospel: “If it be just in the sight of God to hear you rather than God, judge ye, for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890.)

 

This a time of martyrdom, both dry and wet. Rejoice that is so. Rejoice!

Catholics in the time of Emperor Diocletian were not petitioning their Roman senators to stop the persecutions. They knew that such an effort was futile, that Diocletian and his minions had the physical means at their disposal to do whatever it was they wanted to do. Diocletian and his minions were not going to be stopped by means petition drives sponsored by a small number of Roman citizens. Could you imagine the following petition: “STOP DIOCLETIAN NOW! WRITE YOUR SENATOR. STOP THE MADNESS. HE IS KILLING US. ROME’S FOUNDING FATHERS, ROMULUS AND REMUS, WOULD BE APPALLED AT THIS.” Catholics knew that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church. They weren’t having “tea parties” to stop the persecutions. Why do we live in such histrionic fear?

Catholics in the time of King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were not petitioning the Parliament to stop the persecutions following the Acts of Supremacy in 1534 and in 1559. They knew that those respective monarchs were going to act as they desired. Those Catholics who remained faithful to the Catholic Church knew that they were not going to get anywhere in the legal and political structures under the absolute control of these monarchs. These Catholics, who saw most of their co-religionists accept the new religion of Anglicanism and come to hate Catholicism and everything associated with it within thirty to forty years of Henry’s break with Rome, knew that martyrdom was going to be their path to Heaven should it befall them. While they circulated pamphlets in support of the Faith, they did not waste their time by trying to convince political officials who they knew were going to protect themselves by doing the bidding of the king or the queen.

Yes, while we must note the efforts of the statists at present and denounce things contrary to the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law, we must also recognize the fact that the effects of Modernity and Modernism have made measures contrary to the good of souls acceptable to large numbers of citizens. A new era of martyrdom is upon us. Rejoice!

We are not going “turn back the tide” by use of the means of the Protestant Revolt (protests). We are going to win new souls for Christ the King and His true Church, which is now in the catacombs, by doing our work as apostles to pray and to work for the conversion of non-Catholics.

This time of martyrdom gives those of us us who have been lukewarm and worldly and half-hearted in our interior lives an opportunity to make reparation for our sins by means of bearing a visible, tangible witness to the Catholic Faith–not to any naturalistic “creed”–as the one and only foundation of personal and social order. Rejoice, my friends, as God has known–indeed, He has willed it so–from all eternity that we would be alive in these troubling times, which means that the graces won for us by the shedding of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces, are sufficient for the difficulties that we face, both personally and socially.

The graces won for us by Our Divine Redeemer on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady are also sufficient for us to deal with the ecclesiastical crisis we face at this time as the Church Militant on earth is going through her Holy Saturday, as one very perceptive reader explained yesterday in a note to me. There is no need to live in fear.

Christ the King will emerge victorious following the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother. The apostasies and sacrileges and blasphemies and other outrages being visited upon us by the the conciliar revolutionaries, who are in physical custody of our church buildings and schools, will be swept away. There is no need to live in fear, no need to “petition” men who have expelled themselves from the Catholic Church by virtue of subscribing to–and professing most publicly–propositions that have been condemned by her most solemnly and consistently without an deviation at all.

Why live in fear with Saint Joseph is so near now as ever before?

Why?

We have the assurance that Saint Joseph, the Patron of the Universal Church and the Protector of the Faithful whose solemnity in Paschaltide we keep today, is very close to us in our sufferings and difficulties and trials today.

Saint Joseph, the just and silent man of the House of David, suffered in his holy life. He suffered without fear. He trusted in the Providence of God, taking unto himself the care of God’s very Mother, the Singular Vessel of Devotion through which would be conceived and pass into the world his, Saint Joseph’s, foster-Son, Whom he loved with a tender devotion and perfection as though He had been his own flesh and blood. He suffered intense sorrows of his soul during his lifetime.

Saint Joseph suffered pain at the lowly poverty of the birthplace of his foster-Son.

Saint Joseph suffered pain at the Circumcision as he watched the shedding of the first droplets of his foster-Son’s Most Precious Blood.

Saint Joseph listened with patient concern to the Prophecy of Simeon that a Sword of Sorrow would pierce the Immaculate Heart of Most Chaste Spouse.

Saint Joseph suffered as he had to to take the Holy Family into exile, finding a place for the Holy Family to live and to find work to support Our Lady and Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Saint Joseph suffered sorrow during the difficult journey back from Egypt.

Saint Joseph’s good heart suffered ruing the loss of his foster-Son for three day.

Oh yes, Saint Joseph suffered. He suffered, however, without fear, without panic, without histrionics, without even uttering a word that is recorded in Sacred Scripture. Saint Joseph had sorrows. He had concerns. True enough. However, Saint Joseph trusted in God entirely. So we must we, especially since his Divine foster-Son has given him to us to be the Patron of the Universal Church and the Protector of the Faithful.

Saint Joseph outlived the wretched Herod the Great, who sought the life of the Christ-Child. Saint Joseph will help us outlive, at least spiritually, the Herods of the present day who populate the halls of government and the institutions of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Saint Joseph is near. Very near. Why live in fear?

Saint Joseph also had his joys in life (Saint Gabriel’s message of joy and comfort, the Birth of his very Saviour in Bethlehem, the great honor given to him to give his foster-Son his Holy Name, Jesus, knowing the effects of his foster-Son’s Redemptive work, seeing the idols of Egypt fall at the feet of the Infant Jesus, his holy life with Our Lady, his ever-Virginal spouse, and Our Lord, and his finding Our Lord after having lost Him for three days). So will we, both in this life and, please God and by the intercession of Our Lady and Good Saint Joseph we die in states of Sanctifying Grace, if we maintain the perfect equanimity of spirit as possessed Saint Joseph throughout his own sorrows and glories. (A formula for meditating on the Sorrows and Glories of Saint Joseph is appended at the end of this article.)

Why live in fear with Saint Joseph so near?

The only thing that matters in each of our lives is dying in a state of Sanctifying Grace with Perfect Contrition for our sins. The devil wants us live in fear and in a constant state of panic about this or that piece of legislation or this or that manufactured virus that is spread so as to put us into a panic and to increase the size and scope of governmental power over our lives. Saint Joseph, the terror of demons, wants to live in peace now as members of his Divine Son’s Catholic Church so that he, the Patron of Departing Souls, can be better able to assist us at the hour of our deaths as we invoke his fatherly protection after that of His Most Chaste Spouse, Our Lady.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you. Save souls!

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us now and in death’s agony!

Saint Joseph provided spiritual and temporal security and comfort to the Mother of God and his foster-Son, Who he was told by Saint Gabriel the Archangel had been conceived by the power of God the Holy Ghost. He will provide that same spiritual and temporal security to us, will he not? Indeed, hasn’t he done so throughout the course of our lives?

Saint Joseph is helping us in this era of apostasy and betrayal. The foster-father of Our Divine Redeemer, Who offered up His life on the wood of the Holy Cross in atonement for our sins, intercedes for our spiritual fathers on earth, our true bishops and our true priests who make no concessions to the counterfeit church of conciliarism or to its false shepherds who blaspheme his foster-Son by falling down, at least figuratively, if not literally, in front of the same false idols that fell in front of his foster-Son in Egypt.

Why live fear with Saint Joseph as near to us as he was to Our Lady and Our Lord on earth. He is even closer to them now in Heaven. Why live in fear with Saint Joseph so near.

On this glorious feast day, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph in Paschaltide, may we put aside the needless fear and panic caused by the naturalists in the civil realm and the conciliarists in the counterfeit church of conciliarism as we beseech him as follows each morning and each night of our lives.

O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O thou Saint Joseph, do assist me by thy powerful intercession, and obtain for me from thy divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee, and Jesus asleep in thy arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. Saint Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen!

 

May we pray an extra set of the Joyful Mysteries of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary today to honor Saint Joseph, who has been given to us to help us to get home to Heaven by living in the same spirit of confident hope and trust in God’s Holy Will as characterized his entire life on earth. Our reward will be Heavenly if we maintain our steadfast devotion to Saint Joseph, and you might even be amazed at what he does for you temporally if you invoke him with confidence and trust on a daily basis.

Why live in fear with Saint Joseph so near?

Shouldn’t we draw nearer to Saint Joseph in this life so that he will be as close as possible to us as we prepare to enter the next?

Why live in fear with Saint Joseph so near?

Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon.

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church and Protector of the Faithful, 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 Stanislaus, pray for us.

Isn’t it time to pray a Rosary now?

The Litany of Saint Joseph

Kyrie, eleison.
R. Christe, eleison.
Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, exaudi nos.
R. Christe, audi nos.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, 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.
Sancta Maria,
R. ora pro nobis.
Holy Mary,
R. pray for us.
Sancte Ioseph,
R. ora pro nobis.
St. Joseph,
R. pray for us.
Proles David inclyta,
R. ora pro nobis.
Renowned offspring of David,
R. pray for us.
Lumen Patriarcharum,
R. ora pro nobis.
Light of Patriarchs,
R. pray for us.
Dei Genetricis Sponse,
R. ora pro nobis.
Spouse of the Mother of God,
R. pray for us.
Custos pudice Virginis,
R. ora pro nobis.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
R. pray for us.
Filii Dei nutricie,
R. ora pro nobis.
Foster father of the Son of God,
R. pray for us.
Christi defensor sedule,
R. ora pro nobis.
Diligent protector of Christ,
R. pray for us.
Almae Familiae praeses,
R. ora pro nobis.
Head of the Holy Family,
R. pray for us.
Ioseph iustissime,
R. ora pro nobis.
Joseph most just,
R. pray for us.
Ioseph castissime,
R. ora pro nobis.
Joseph most chaste,
R. pray for us.
Ioseph prudentissime,
R. ora pro nobis.
Joseph most prudent,
R. pray for us.
Ioseph fortissime,
R. ora pro nobis.
Joseph most strong,
R. pray for us.
Ioseph oboedientissime,
R. ora pro nobis.
Joseph, most obedient,
R. pray for us.
Ioseph fidelissime,
R. ora pro nobis.
Joseph most faithful,
R. pray for us.
Speculum patientiae,
R. ora pro nobis.
Mirror of patience,
R. pray for us.
Amator paupertatis,
R. ora pro nobis.
Lover of poverty,
R. pray for us.
Exemplar opificum,
R. ora pro nobis.
Model of artisans,
R. pray for us.
Domesticae vitae decus,
R. ora pro nobis.
Glory of home life,
R. pray for us.
Custos virginum,
R. ora pro nobis.
Guardian of virgins,
R. pray for us.
Familiarum columen,
R. ora pro nobis.
Pillar of families,
R. pray for us.
Solatium miserorum,
R. ora pro nobis.
Solace of the wretched,
R. pray for us.
Spes aegrotantium,
R. ora pro nobis.
Hope of the sick,
R. pray for us.
Patrone morientium,
R. ora pro nobis.
Patron of the dying,
R. pray for us.
Terror daemonum,
R. ora pro nobis.
Terror of the demons,
R. pray for us.
Protector sanctae Ecclesiae,
R. ora pro nobis.
Protector of Holy Church,
R. pray for us.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
R. parce nobis, Domine.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Lord.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
R. exaudi nobis, Domine.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Lord.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
R. miserere nobis.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us.
V. Constituit eum dominum domus suae.
R. Et principem omnis possessionis suae.
V. He made him the lord of his household.
R. And prince over all his possessions.
Oremus
Deus, qui in ineffabili providentia beatum Ioseph sanctissimae Genetricis tuae Sponsum eligere dignatus es, praesta, quaesumus, ut quem protectorem veneramur in terris, intercessorem habere mereamur in caelis: Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Let us pray
O God, in Thy ineffable providence Thou wert pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most holy Mother, grant, we beg Thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector; Thou who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.

Saint Joseph Altar, Christ the King Church Parish Hall, Lafayette, Lousiana, Laetare Sunday, March 18, 2007

Seven Sorrows and Joys of Saint Joseph

Among the many exercises of piety practiced in honor of St. Joseph, there is one generally known, namely, that of meditating on his Seven Sorrows and Seven Joys. This devotion owes its origin to a celebrated event, never omitted by any historian of the Saint.

It is as follows:

Two Fathers of the Franciscan order were sailing along the coast of Flanders, when a terrible tempest arose, which sank the vessel, with its three hundred passengers. The two Fathers had sufficient presence of mind to seize hold of a plank, upon which they were tossed to and fro upon the waves, for three days and nights. In their danger and affliction, their whole recourse was to St. Joseph, begging his assistance in their sad condition. The Saint, thus invoked, appeared in the habit of a young man of beautiful features, encouraged them to confide in his assistance, and, as their pilot, conducted them into a safe harbor. They, desirous to know who their benefactor was asked his name, that they might gratefully acknowledge so great a blessing and favor. He told them he was St. Joseph, and advised them daily to recite the Our Father and Hail Mary seven times, in memory of his seven dolors or griefs, and of his seven joys, and then disappeared.

(Recite one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be after each number)

1. St. JOSEPH, Chaste Spouse of the Holy Mother of God, by the SORROW with which thy heart was pierced at the thought of a cruel separation from Mary, and by the deep JOY that thou didst feel when the angel revealed to thee the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation, obtain for us from Jesus and Mary, the grace of surmounting all anxiety. Win for us from the Adorable Heart of Jesus the unspeakable peace of which He is the Eternal Source.

2. St. JOSEPH, Foster-Father of Jesus, by the bitter SORROW which thy heart experienced in seeing the Child Jesus lying in a manger, and by the JOY which thou didst feel in seeing the Wise men recognize and adore Him as their God, obtain by thy prayers that our heart, purified by thy protection, may become a living crib, where the Savior of the world may receive and bless our homage.

3. St. JOSEPH, by the SORROW with which thy heart was pierced at the sight of the Blood which flowed from the Infant Jesus in the Circumcision, and by the JOY that inundated thy soul at thy privilege of imposing the sacred and mysterious Name of Jesus, obtain for us that the merits of this Precious Blood may be applied to our souls, and that the Divine Name of Jesus may be engraved forever in our hearts.

4. St. JOSEPH, by the SORROW when the Lord declared that the soul of Mary would be pierced with a sword of sorrow, and by thy JOY when holy Simeon added that the Divine Infant was to be the resurrection of many, obtain for us the grace to have compassion on the sorrows of Mary, and share in the salvation which Jesus brought to the earth.

5. St. JOSEPH, by thy SORROW when told to fly into Egypt, and by thy JOY in seeing the idols overthrown at the arrival of the living God, grant that no idol of earthly affection may any longer occupy our hearts, but being like thee entirely devoted to the service of Jesus and Mary, we may live and happily die for them alone.

6. St. JOSEPH, by the SORROW of thy heart caused by the fear of the tyrant Archelaus and by the JOY in sharing the company of Jesus and Mary at Nazareth, obtain for us, that disengaged from all fear, we may enjoy the peace of a good conscience and may live in security, in union with Jesus and Mary, experiencing the effect of thy salutary assistance at the hour of our death.

7. St. JOSEPH, by the bitter SORROW with which the loss of the Child Jesus crushed thy heart, and by the holy JOY which inundated thy soul in recovering thy Treasure on entering the Temple, we supplicate thee not to permit us to lose our Saviour Jesus by sin. Yet, should this misfortune befall us, grant that we may share thy eagerness in seeking Him, and obtain for us the grace to find Him again, ready to show us His great mercy, especially at the hour of death; so that we may pass from this life to enjoy His presence in heaven, there to sing with thee His divine mercies forever.

Let Us Pray

O God, Who in Thine ineffable Providence has vouchsafed to choose Blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may deserve to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our holy protector: Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen. (Seven Sorrows and Joys of Saint Joseph)

Pope Saint Pius V and the Conversion of the Conciliarists

Pope Saint Pius V, whose feast is celebrated today, Monday, May 5, 2014, knew, quite unlike the lords of conciliarism, starting with Angelo Roncalli/John XXIII on October 28, 1958, that error had to be opposed openly in order to defend the Holy Faith. Specifically, of course, Pope Saint Pius V reigned at a time when it was essential to oppose the multifaceted, inter-elated errors of Protestantism, something that Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., pointed out in The Liturgical Year

We have already met with the names of several Pontiffs on the Paschal Calendar. They form a brilliant constellation around our Risen Jesus, who, during the period between his Resurrection and Ascension, gave to Peter, their predecessor, the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Anicetus, Soter, Caius, Cletus and Marcellinus, held in their hands the palm of martyrdom: Leo was the only one who did not shed his blood in the cause of his divine Master. To-day there comes before us a holy Pope who governed the Church in these latter times; he is worthy to stand amidst the Easter group of Pontiffs. Like Leo, Pius V was zealous in combating heresy; like Leo, he saved his people form the barbarian yoke.

The whole life of Pius V was a combat. His pontificate fell during those troubled times when Protestantism was leading whole countries into apostasy. Italy was not a prey that could be taken by violence: artifice was therefore used, in order to undermine the Apostolic See and thus develop the whole Christian world in the darkness of heresy. Pius defend the Peninsula with untiring devotedness from the danger that threatened her. Even before he was raised to the Papal Throne he frequently exposed his life by his zeal in opposing the preaching of false doctrines. Like Peter the Martyr, he braved every danger and was the dread of the emissaries of heresy. When seated on the Chair of Peter, he kept the innovators in check by fear, roused the sovereigns of Italy to energy and by measures of moderate severity drove back beyond the Alps the torrent that would have swept Christianity from Europe had not the Southern States thus opposed it. From that time forward, Protestantism has never made any further progress: it has been wearing itself out by doctrinal anarchy. We repeat it: this heresy would have laid all Europe waste, had it not been for the vigilance of the pastor who animated the defenders of truth to resist it where it already existed, and who set himself as a wall against its invasion in the country where he himself was the master.

Another enemy, taking advantage of the confusion caused in the West by Protestantism, organized an expedition against Europe. Italy was to be its first prey. The Ottoman fleet started from the Bosphorus. This again would have meant the ruin of Christendom but for the energy of the Roman Pontiff, our Saint. he gave the alarm, and called the Christian Princes to arms. Germany and France, torn by domestic factions that had been caused by heresy, turned a deaf ear to the call. Spain alone, together with Venice and the little Papal fleet, answered the summons of the Pontiff. The Cross and the Crescent were soon face to face in the Gulf of Lepanto. The prayers of Pius V decided the victory in favor of the Christians, whose forces were much inferior to those of the Turks. We shall return to this important event when we come to the Feast of the Rosary in october. But we omit to mention to-day the prediction uttered by the holy Pope, on the evening of the great day of October 7, 1571. The battle between the Christian and Turkish fleets lasted from six o’clock in the morning till late in the afternoon. Towards evening, the Pontiff suddenly looked up towards heaven, and gazed upon it in silence for a few seconds. Then turning to his attendants, he exclaimed: ‘Let us give thanks to God! The Christians have gained the victory!’ The news soon arrived at Rome; and thus, Europe once more owed her salvation to a Pope! The defeat at Lepanto was a blow from which the Ottoman Empire has never recovered: its fall dates from that glorious day.

The zeal of this holy Pope for the reformation of Christian morals, his establishment of the observance of the laws of discipline prescribed by the Council of Trent and his publication of the new Breviary and Missal have made his six years’ pontificate to be one of the richest periods of the Church’s history. Protestants have frequently expressed their admiration of this vigorous opponent of the so-called Reformation. ‘I am surprised,’ said Bacon, ‘that the Church of Rome has not canonized this great man.’ Pius V did not receive this honour till about a hundred and thirty years after his death; so impartial is the Church, when she has to adjudicate this highest of earthly honors even to her most revered Pastors!

Of the many miracles which attested the merits of this holy Pontiff, even during his life, we select the two following: As he was one day crossing the Vatican Piazza, which is on the site of the ancient Circus of Nero, he was overcome with a sentiment of enthusiasm for the glory and courage of the martyrs who had suffered on that very spot in the first persecution. Stooping down, he took up a handful of dust from the hallowed ground which had been trodden by so many generations of the Christian people since the peace of Constantine. He put the dust into a cloth which the Ambassador of Poland, who was with him, held out to receive it. When the Ambassador opened the cloth, after returning to his house, he found it all saturated with blood, as fresh as though it had been that moment shed: the dust had disappeared. The faith of the Pontiff had evoked the blood of the martyrs, which thus gave testimony against the heretics that the Roman Church, in the sixteenth century, was identically the same as that for which those brave heroes and heroines laid down their lives in the days of Nero.

The heretics attempted more than once to destroy a life which baffled all their hopes of perverting the faith of Italy. By a base a sacrilegious stratagem, aided by treachery, they put a deadly poison on the feet of the crucifix which the Saint kept in his Oratory, and which he was frequently seen to kiss with great devotion. In the fervour of prayer, Pius was about to give this mark of love to the image of his crucified Master, when suddenly the feet of the crucifix detached themselves from the Cross and eluded the proffered kiss of the venerable old man. The Pontiff at once saw through the plot whereby his enemies would fain have turned the life-giving Tree into an instrument of death.

In order to encourage the faithful to follow the sacred Liturgy we will select another interesting example from the life of this great Saint. When, lying on his bed of death, and just before breathing his last, he took a parting look breathing his last, he took a parting look at the Church on earth, which he was leaving for that of heaven, he wished to make a final prayer for the flock which he knew was surrounded by danger; he therefore recited, but with a voice that was scarcely audible, the following stanza of the Paschal hymn: ‘We beseech thee, O Creator of all things! that in these days of Paschal joy, thou defend thy people from every assault of death!’ (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B.,The Liturgical Year, Paschal Time: Book II.)

There is much in this brief account of the life and the work of the holy Dominican, who was the Successor of Saint Peter from January 7, 1566, to May 1, 1572, that condemns the work of the enemies of Christ the King in the counterfeit church of conciliarism, starting with the fact that the Catholic Church is very, very slow to canonize a true pope who has not been martyred for the Faith as the holding of the papacy carries with it a weighty responsibility to preserve the integrity of Faith, Morals and Worship and to administer Holy Mother Church well by appointing worthy men as Successors of the Apostles. Anyone who can say that Karol Wojtyla/”SaintJohn Paul II,” who perverted the beatification and canonization processes to suit his own personal conciliarist predilections, is comparable to Pope Saint Pius V is not thinking very clearly (see the Novus Ordo Watch Wire commentary, written by “Athanasius,” The “Canonization” of John Paul II: A Catholic Perspective.)

Additionally, one will note that Pope Saint Pius V understood it was a requirement of the Holy Faith to oppose error and heresy, which do not simply “go away” on their own. This is quite in contrast to the spirit of Angelo Roncalli/John XXIII that was expressed in his Opening Address to the “Second” Vatican Council on October 11, 1962, the Feast of the Divinity Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

In these days, which mark the beginning of this Second Vatican Council, it is more obvious than ever before that the Lord’s truth is indeed eternal. Human ideologies change. Successive generations give rise to varying errors, and these often vanish as quickly as they came, like mist before the sun.

The Church has always opposed these errors, and often condemned them with the utmost severity. Today, however, Christ’s Bride prefers the balm of mercy to the arm of severity. She believes that, present needs are best served by explaining more fully the purport of her doctrines, rather than by publishing condemnations.

Contemporary Repudiation Of Godlessness

Not that the need to repudiate and guard against erroneous teaching and dangerous ideologies is less today than formerly. But all such error is so manifestly contrary to rightness and goodness, and produces such fatal results, that our contemporaries show every inclination to condemn it of their own accord—especially that way of life which repudiates God and His law, and which places excessive confidence in technical progress and an exclusively material prosperity. It is more and more widely understood that personal dignity and true self-realization are of vital importance and worth every effort to achieve. More important still, experience has at long last taught men that physical violence, armed might, and political domination are no help at all in providing a happy solution to the serious problems which affect them.

A Loving Mother

The great desire, therefore, of the Catholic Church in raising aloft at this Council the torch of truth, is to show herself to the world as the loving mother of all mankind; gentle, patient, and full of tenderness and sympathy for her separated children. To the human race oppressed by so many difficulties, she says what Peter once said to the poor man who begged an alms: “Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, that I give thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk.” In other words it is not corruptible wealth, nor the promise of earthly happiness, that the Church offers the world today, but the gifts of divine grace which, since they raise men up to the dignity of being sons of God, are powerful assistance and support for the living of a more fully human life. She unseals the fountains of her life-giving doctrine, so that men, illumined by the light of Christ, will understand their true nature and dignity and purpose. Everywhere, through her children, she extends the frontiers of Christian love, the most powerful means of eradicating the seeds of discord, the most effective means of promoting concord, peace with justice, and universal brotherhood. (Angelo Roncalli/ John XXIII ‘s Opening Address)

Errors just sort of vanish away? Go tell that to the Mother of God, who gave Saint Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers of which Father Michele Ghislieri, the future Pope Saint Pius V, was a member, her Most Holy Rosary to fight the heresy of Albigensianism, which simply didn’t go away on its own.

One of the first bishops consecrated personally by Angelo Roncalli/John XXIII was Father Albino Luciani, the future “John Paul I,” on December 27, 1958, less than two months after his, Roncalli/John XXIII’s “election.” Is it any accident that Father Luciani had a view of error that was almost identical to that of Roncalli?

John Paul I is often portrayed as a humble, saintly prelate of the Church. His doctrinal stand was very questionable as evidenced by his pastoral letter of 1967 in which he advised his clergy to “see, if instead of uprooting and throwing down [error], it might be possible to trim and prune it patiently, bringing to light the core of goodness and truth which is not often lacking even in erroneous opinions” [Reference 839: Our Sunday Visitor, September 28, 2003, “Celebrating the Smiling Pope,” by Lori Pieper.] This is like a doctor telling his patient: “I won’t take out all the cancer; it might be good for you. (Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki, CMRI, Tumultuous Times, p. 530.)

As we know all too well by now, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a true disciple of “Saint John XXIII,” keeps saying over and over again that this is “the time of mercy” as though it is not a fundamental act of mercy and charity to admonish and thus to correct the sinner.

Similarly, Pope Saint Pius V understood that the heresies of Protestantism were not going to away on their own. They had to be opposed. The children of Holy Mother Church had to be protected from the infection of error. He issued the Roman Missal that bears his name to standardize the offerings of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition around the world, exempting those dioceses (and religious communities) that could prove local usage older than two hundred years, thus preserving the Catholic spirit in the offering of Holy Mass that had begun to be compromised, especially in Germany, as unauthorized innovators sought to accommodate the Mass to appeal to the Catholics who had defected to Protestantism. Sound familiar?It should.

What did Giovanni Montini/Paul VI seek quite specifically to do when issuing the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service in 1969. Consider these words of the man he “rehabilitated,” Annibale Bugnini, and those of his, Montini/Paul VI’s, good friend–and the good friend of the “New Theology” of the likes of Maurice Blondel and Father Henri de Lubac–Jean Guitton:

We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants. (Annibale Bugnini, L’Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1965.)

“[T]he intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass, was to reform the Catholic liturgy in such a way that it should coincide with the Protestant liturgy…. [T]here was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or at least to correct, or at least to relax, what was too Catholic in the traditional sense, in the Mass, and I, repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist mass” (Dec. 19, 1993), Apropos, #17, pp. 8f; quoted in Christian Order, October, 1994. (Jean Guitton, a close friend of Giovanni Montini/Paul VI. The quotation and citations are found in Christopher A. Ferrara and Thomas E. Woods, Jr., The Great Facade, The Remnant Publishing Company, 2002, p. 317.)

The spirit of Pope Saint Pius V, expressed in Quo Primum, July 14, 1570, was to preserve the Faith in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, not to make the accommodations desired by Annibale Bugnini and Montini/Paul VI. The difference could not be more stark:

From the very first, upon Our elevation to the chief Apostleship, We gladly turned our mind and energies and directed all out thoughts to those matters which concerned the preservation of a pure liturgy, and We strove with God’s help, by every means in our power, to accomplish this purpose. For, besides other decrees of the sacred Council of Trent, there were stipulations for Us to revise and re-edit the sacred books: the Catechism, the Missal and the Breviary. With the Catechism published for the instruction of the faithful, by God’s help, and the Breviary thoroughly revised for the worthy praise of God, in order that the Missal and Breviary may be in perfect harmony, as fitting and proper – for its most becoming that there be in the Church only one appropriate manner of reciting the Psalms and only one rite for the celebration of Mass – We deemed it necessary to give our immediate attention to what still remained to be done, viz, the re-editing of the Missal as soon as possible.

Hence, We decided to entrust this work to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites; and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers. When this work has been gone over numerous times and further emended, after serious study and reflection, We commanded that the finished product be printed and published as soon as possible, so that all might enjoy the fruits of this labor; and thus, priests would know which prayers to use and which rites and ceremonies they were required to observe from now on in the celebration of Masses.

Let all everywhere adopt and observe what has been handed down by the Holy Roman Church, the Mother and Teacher of the other churches, and let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us. This ordinance applies henceforth, now, and forever, throughout all the provinces of the Christian world, to all patriarchs, cathedral churches, collegiate and parish churches, be they secular or religious, both of men and of women – even of military orders – and of churches or chapels without a specific congregation in which conventual Masses are sung aloud in choir or read privately in accord with the rites and customs of the Roman Church. This Missal is to be used by all churches, even by those which in their authorization are made exempt, whether by Apostolic indult, custom, or privilege, or even if by oath or official confirmation of the Holy See, or have their rights and faculties guaranteed to them by any other manner whatsoever.

This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom. However, if this Missal, which we have seen fit to publish, be more agreeable to these latter, We grant them permission to celebrate Mass according to its rite, provided they have the consent of their bishop or prelate or of their whole Chapter, everything else to the contrary notwithstanding.

All other of the churches referred to above, however, are hereby denied the use of other missals, which are to be discontinued entirely and absolutely; whereas, by this present Constitution, which will be valid henceforth, now, and forever, We order and enjoin that nothing must be added to Our recently published Missal, nothing omitted from it, nor anything whatsoever be changed within it under the penalty of Our displeasure.

We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be, be they even cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, or possessed of any other rank or pre-eminence, and We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us and, hereafter, to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal.

Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force notwithstanding the previous constitutions and decrees of the Holy See, as well as any general or special constitutions or edicts of provincial or synodal councils, and notwithstanding the practice and custom of the aforesaid churches, established by long and immemorial prescription – except, however, if more than two hundred years’ standing.

It is Our will, therefore, and by the same authority, We decree that, after We publish this constitution and the edition of the Missal, the priests of the Roman Curia are, after thirty days, obliged to chant or read the Mass according to it; all others south of the Alps, after three months; and those beyond the Alps either within six months or whenever the Missal is available for sale. Wherefore, in order that the Missal be preserved incorrupt throughout the whole world and kept free of flaws and errors, the penalty for nonobservance for printers, whether mediately or immediately subject to Our dominion, and that of the Holy Roman Church, will be the forfeiting of their books and a fine of one hundred gold ducats, payable ipso facto to the Apostolic Treasury. Further, as for those located in other parts of the world, the penalty is excommunication latae sententiae, and such other penalties as may in Our judgment be imposed; and We decree by this law that they must not dare or presume either to print or to publish or to sell, or in any way to accept books of this nature without Our approval and consent, or without the express consent of the Apostolic Commissaries of those places, who will be appointed by Us. Said printer must receive a standard Missal and agree faithfully with it and in no wise vary from the Roman Missal of the large type (secundum magnum impressionem).

Accordingly, since it would be difficult for this present pronouncement to be sent to all parts of the Christian world and simultaneously come to light everywhere, We direct that it be, as usual, posted and published at the doors of the Basilica of the Prince of the Apostles, also at the Apostolic Chancery, and on the street at Campo Flora; furthermore, We direct that printed copies of this same edict signed by a notary public and made official by an ecclesiastical dignitary possess the same indubitable validity everywhere and in every nation, as if Our manuscript were shown there. Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. (Pope Saint Pius V, Quo Primum, July 14, 1570, which is printed in every traditional Missal of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.)

Perhaps–just perhaps–we are living through the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul as a result of the introduction of the spirit of Protestantism and Freemasonry into what passes for Catholic “worship” in what is now called the “ordinary form of the Roman Rite,” the Novus Ordo service? Perhaps? Maybe? Some would disagree, considering Quo Primum to be nothing more than a disciplinary measure that could not bind future popes, a view I do not share. My point, however, is this: Pope Saint Pius V sought to protect the integrity of the Catholic Faith in the Holy Mass while Giovanni Montini/Paul VI sought to make what passes for the Mass in the conciliar structures to have a Protestant flavor to it.

Dr. Adrian Fortescue, who wrote in the early part of the Twentieth Century, noted the following about the Missale Romanum promulgated by Pope Saint Pius V:

Essentially, the Missal of Pius V is the Gregorian Sacramentary; that again is formed from the Gelasian book, which depends upon the Leonine collection. We find prayers of our Canon in the treatise de Sacramentis and allusions to it in the [Fourth] Century. So the Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest Liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that Liturgy, of the days when Caesar ruled the world, and thought he could stamp out the Faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as God. The final result of our enquiry is that, in spite of some unresolved problems, in spite of later changes there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours.

The late Monsignor Klaus Gamber, who was not a traditionalist, said pretty much the same thing in his The Reform of the Roman Liturgy:

The reform introduced by St. Pius V did not create anything new. It was simple a comprehensive review of the Missal, editing out some additions and changes that, over time, had found their way into the text. Even so, older unique rights, if they dated back at least two hundred years were left untouched–demonstrating a spirit of amazing tolerance at that time in history. (Monsignor Klaus Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy.)

The reform of Pope Saint Pius V to safeguard Catholicism was not the revolution fostered by Giovanni Montini/Paul VI to seek the favor of Protestants.

Giovanni Montini/Paul VI also mocked the great victory over the Mohammedan forces in the Battle of Lepanto that was wrought by Pope Saint Pius V’s plea to Catholics to pray Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary by returning the Mohammedan flag to the Turks in 1965:

Presumably “no one” does does not include God. Paul’s performance at the United Nations [on October 4, 1965], an organization long viewed with suspicion by the Church for the obvious reasons, sent many a Catholic reeling. So did another papal act just two months later, when Paul gave back to the Muslims the Standard of Lepanto. The history of the flag was venerable. It was taken from a turkish admiral during a great naval battle in 1571. While Pope St. Pius V fasted and prayed the Rosary, an out-numbered Christian fleet defeated a much larger Moslem navy, thus saving Christendom from the infidel. In honor of the miraculous victory, Pius V instituted the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary to commemorate Her intercession.

In one dramatic act Paul renounced not only a remarkable Christian victory, but the prayers and the sacrifices of a great Pope and saint. Worse, he appeared to be rejecting the intercession of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary–again. “The wars of religion are finished for good,” Paul told the Turks by way of explanation. Their immediate response was not recorded, but the rise of militant Islam in the last three decades indicates that yet another of Pope Paul’s prophesies had gone awry. The next give-away involved Paul’s Shepherd’s Crook and fisherman’s ring, which he gave to the Buddhist U Thant [United Nations Secretary General between November 30, 1971, and December 31, 1971]. Paul also abolished the anti-Modernist oath of St. Pius X, and the Profession of Faith of the Council of Trent. In 1968 the Index was abolished. The Holy Office was reformed: its primary function now was research, not defending the Faith. (Mark Fellows, Fatima in Twilight, Marmion Publications, 2003, p. 193.)

The conciliarists have sought to eradicate almost all vestiges of what they disparage as “Catholic triumphalism,” believing in Modernism’s adaptations to the spirit of Modernity, which has no place for the Social Reign of Christ the King and Catholics to speak confessionally in public as Catholics to defend the Faith and to seek with urgency the unconditional conversion of non-Catholics to the Church’s maternal bosom.

This Modernist spirit is what predisposed Angelo Roncalli/John XXIIII to make the ludicrous assertion that “experience has at long last taught men that physical violence, armed might, and political domination are no help at all in providing a happy solution to the serious problems which affect them” and for Giovanni Montini/Paul VI to make the blasphemous statement that “The peoples of the earth turn to the United Nations as the last hope of concord and peace” (Giovanni Montini/Paul VI’s Address to the United Nations, October 4, 1965.) The world’s only hope of concord and peace, as Pope Saint Pius V knew and taught very well, is the Catholic Church.

Pope Saint Pius V condemned as heretical the liturgical rites of the Anglican sect that are being accepted now by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI as legitimate for those “Anglo-Catholics” who have announced recently that they will indeed transfer their allegiance from one deck of the One World Ecumenical Church to another, that is, from the false Anglican “church” to the equally false counterfeit church of conciliarism:

Prohibiting with a strong hand the use of the true religion, which after its earlier overthrow by Henry VIII (a deserter therefrom) Mary, the lawful queen of famous memory, had with the help of this See restored, she has followed and embraced the errors of the heretics. She has removed the royal Council, composed of the nobility of England, and has filled it with obscure men, being heretics; oppressed the followers of the Catholic faith; instituted false preachers and ministers of impiety; abolished the sacrifice of the mass, prayers, fasts, choice of meats, celibacy, and Catholic ceremonies; and has ordered that books of manifestly heretical content be propounded to the whole realm and that impious rites and institutions after the rule of Calvin, entertained and observed by herself, be also observed by her subjects. (Regnans in Excelsis, the decree issued by Pope Saint Pius V on March 5, 1570, excommunicating Queen Elizabeth I.)

This entire section of Regnans in Excelsis describing the conduct of Queen Elizabeth I could be applied to what the conciliarists themselves did at the “Second” Vatican Council and thereafter.

Yet another contrast between Pope Saint Pius V with the “popes” of the counterfeit church of conciliarism is that our saint understood that the civil state had the immutable precepts of the Natural Law to impose the death penalty upon malefactors found guilty of heinous crimes after the due process of law, whether ecclesiastical or civil, had been followed and run its course. It is no more possible for any true pope of the Catholic Church to declare the death penalty as “unnecessary” and “in opposition to the Gospel message” as Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II did in a message on the “World Day of the Sick” in 2003:

Through the celebration of this World Day of the Sick, may the Gospel of life and love resound loudly, especially in the Americas, where more than half the world’s Catholics live. On the continents of North and South America, as elsewhere in the world, «a model of society appears to be emerging in which the powerful predominate, setting aside and even eliminating the powerless: I am thinking here of unborn children, helpless victims of abortion; the elderly and incurable ill, subjected at times to euthanasia; and the many other people relegated to the margins of society by consumerism and materialism. Nor can I fail to mention the unnecessary recourse to the death penalty . . . This model of society bears the stamp of the culture of death, and is therefore in opposition to the Gospel message (Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia In America, 63).  (Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, XI World Day of the Sick, 2003).

It is the conciliar “popes'” and “bishops'” equating the inviolability of the lives of innocent human beings with those of heinous criminals that is “opposed to the Gospel message,” not the death penalty, which Pope Saint Pius V believed should be imposed upon clerics who committed perverse sins against nature:

That horrible crime, on account of which corrupt and obscene cities were destroyed by fire through divine condemnation, causes us most bitter sorrow and shocks our mind, impelling us to repress such a crime with the greatest possible zeal.

Quite opportunely the Fifth Lateran Council [1512-1517] issued this decree: “Let any member of the clergy caught in that vice against nature . . . be removed from the clerical order or forced to do penance in a monastery” (chap. 4, X, V, 31). So that the contagion of such a grave offense may not advance with greater audacity by taking advantage of impunity, which is the greatest incitement to sin, and so as to more severely punish the clerics who are guilty of this nefarious crime and who are not frightened by the death of their souls, we determine that they should be handed over to the severity of the secular authority, which enforces civil law.

Therefore, wishing to pursue with the greatest rigor that which we have decreed since the beginning of our pontificate, we establish that any priest or member of the clergy, either secular or regular, who commits such an execrable crime, by force of the present law be deprived of every clerical privilege, of every post, dignity and ecclesiastical benefit, and having been degraded by an ecclesiastical judge, let him be immediately delivered to the secular authority to be put to death, as mandated by law as the fitting punishment for laymen who have sunk into this abyss. (Pope Saint Pius V, Horrendum illud scelus, August 30, 1568)

Mind you, I am not suggesting the revival of this penalty in a world where it would not be understood and where the offender would be made a “martyr” for the cause of perversity, only pointing out the fact that the Catholic Church teaches that there are circumstances justifying the use of the death penalty, admitting that its application in concrete circumstances is a matter of due discretion for the civil authorities to determine. The Catholic Church can never deny as a matter of principle that the death penalty is any way a violation of the moral law whatsoever. It is not. Such is the difference yet again between Catholicism and conciliarism.

The difference between Catholicism and concilairism is stark, perhaps reflected no more clearly than in Walter “Cardinal” Kasper’s view, expressed some time ago, of the “doctrinal discussions” that took place between three representatives of the Society of Saint Pius X and three of the conciliar Vatican until around this time two years ago now:

“Dialogue with them is not easy,” Kasper, who heads the Vatican department for relations with other Christian churches and with Jews, told a news conference during a visit to Paris.

“The main problem with them is not the Mass in Latin,” he said, referring to the SSPX’s insistence on the pre-Council liturgy, “but the concept of tradition. Do we want a living tradition or a petrif”ied one?”

“I’m for a dialogue, but on our conditions, not on the traditionalists’ conditions,” he added. The SSPX had to accept the Council reforms, the “sine qua non” of any accord.

Without an accord, the group will have no official status and its clergy will not be recognised as Catholic priests or allowed to exercise their ministry.

Benedict, who has promoted a return to Catholic tradition and identity during his five-year papacy, said in January that the talks among three theologians from each side were held up over “doctrinal problems” he did not specify.

The SSPX, numbering several hundred thousand members, insists it represents the true faith and the Vatican and the vast majority of the Church went off the rails at the Council.

Even while its theologians meet Vatican experts every other week to seek a common understanding of the Council, its leaders have been criticising key doctrines of that historic event.

SSPX head Bishop Bernard Fellay said in March the Vatican theologians “wish the Church well but also want to save the Second Vatican Council — that’s like squaring a circle.”

Williamson, ignoring a gag order Fellay imposed on him after his interview denying the Holocaust, dismissed the Vatican talks in January as a futile bid to harmonise irreconcilable views.

“Either the SSPX becomes a traitor, or Rome converts, or it’s a dialogue of the deaf,” he said.

In recent months, the SSPX head in Germany has criticised Benedict for visiting the Rome synagogue and the French district head said dialogue with other faiths was ruining the Church.

A former colleague, German theologian Wolfgang Beinert, told Der Spiegel magazine last month that the pope had told him the SSPX issue “robs him of his sleep.” He did not think Benedict would compromise at any cost with the ultra-traditionalists.

Kasper, the second-highest German at the Vatican after Benedict, said the SSPX has staunchly opposed the dialogue with other Christian churches for which he is responsible.

“They’ve attacked me as a heretic,” he said with a smile.

Asked why the ultra-traditionalists opposed ecumenical dialogue so strongly, he said: “Some people feel threatened in their Catholic identity when we speak with Protestants.

“We need to have a Catholic identity,” he said. “But we need an open and mature identity, not a closed one. That’s not a mature identity.” (Vatican talks with splinter group difficult-cardinal)

Look at what is taught perennially and immutably by the authority of the Catholic Church:

These firings, therefore, with all diligence and care having been formulated by us, we define that it be permitted to no one to bring forward, or to write, or to compose, or to think, or to teach a different faith. Whosoever shall presume to compose a different faith, or to propose, or teach, or hand to those wishing to be converted to the knowledge of the truth, from the Gentiles or Jews, or from any heresy, any different Creed; or to introduce a new voice or invention of speech to subvert these things which now have been determined by us, all these, if they be Bishops or clerics let them be deposed, the Bishops from the Episcopate, the clerics from the clergy; but if they be monks or laymen: let them be anathematized. (Sixth Ecumenical: Constantinople III).

They [the Modernists] exercise all their ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority. But for Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the second Council of Nicea, where it condemns those “who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind…or endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church”; nor that of the declaration of the fourth Council of Constantinople: “We therefore profess to preserve and guard the rules bequeathed to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, by the Holy and most illustrious Apostles, by the orthodox Councils, both general and local, and by everyone of those divine interpreters, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church.” Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV and Pius IX, ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: “I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church.” (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907.)

Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical’ misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. . . . The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way. (Pope Saint Pius X, The Oath Against Modernism, September 1, 1910.)

The Modernist concept of a “living tradition” was, as noted just above, condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis. Despite this fact, however, it was taken up anew by the disciples of the “New Theology” who were instrumental in misshaping the mind of young Joseph Ratzinger when he was a seminarian:

As [Maurice] Blondel’s new philosophy abandoned Thomism, so did Father [Henri] de Lubac’s “new theology” abandon Catholic theology. Using Blondel’s ideas of immanence and”living tradition,” as a base, de Lubac proceeded to deny the existence of “pure nature”. Believing there was no strict division between the supernatural and the natural worlds, de Lubac in effect divinized the natural world. Another word for his “horizontal” theology is naturalism. Pius XII took careful aim at de Lubac in Humani Generis, when he spoke of theologians who “destroy the gratuity of the supernatural order, since God, they say, cannot create intellectual beings without ordering them to the beatific vision.”

This was precisely the problem with de Lubac’s theology. It contradicted the basic Catholic doctrine that grace was gratuitous, that is, freely bestowed upon man by God. If pure nature did not exist, then grace was automatic, even compelled, certainly not a gift. If grace was inherent to human nature, as de Lubac believed, then everyone was a Christian–the only distinction is that some new it and some, the so-called “anonymous Christians, didn’t Evangelization consisted of informing the ignorant that they were actually in a state of grace. The logical conclusion to de Lubac’s ideas was universal salvation, the idea that everyone went to Heaven, be they Buddhists or axe murderers. (Mark Fellows, Twilight in Fatima, pp. 140-141.)

Do you see now–perhaps at long last–why the likes of Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis and his neighbor, His Apostateness Emeritus Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, and Robert Zollitsch and other conciliar revolutionaries do not believe that it is absolutely necessary to seek with urgency the unconditional conversion of all non-Catholics to the maternal bosom of Holy Mother Church before they die? There can be no “common ground” between truth and error, which is why the “doctrinal discussions” between representatives of the Society of Saint Pius X and those of the conciliar Vatican are worse than a waste of time.

Catholics either see this clearly or they do not. They either see that the Catholic Church cannot give us false, contradictory, ambiguous or murky doctrines. She cannot give us liturgical rites that are incentives to impiety. Truth is simple, and it is simply true that none of the apostasies and blasphemies and sacrileges and errors and novelties of the past fifty years have come from the authority of the Catholic Church.

We turn, of course, to Our Lady, whose Most Holy Rosary has defeated the Mohammedans in the Battle of Lepanto and the Dutch Calvinists as they attempted to invade Lima, Peru,  and Manila, The Philippines in the early Seventeenth Century. Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary has been used by mothers to effect the conversion of their profligate children. Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary has been used by sons and daughters who have converted to the Faith to effect the conversion of their Protestant or Jewish or Mohammedan or simply unbelieving parents. We must fear nothing, nothing at all, in this passing, mortal vale of tears. Nothing at all. We have Our Lady at our side as she helps us to follow her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the Catholic Church in this time of apostasy and betrayal.

We also need to invoke the intercession of Saint Joseph, the Patron of the Universal Church and the Protector of the Faithful, as well as that of Pope Saint Pius V and the only only true pope to be beatified and canonized in the past three hundred years, Pope Saint Pius X, to help us to stand fast to the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church as we make no concessions at all to conciliarism in the slightest.

Quite in contrast to the conciliar “popes,” who are eager to find the “good” in false religions, Pope Saint Pius V raised up forces to fight heresy and error:

There were massive problems of immediate urgency during the brief reign of Pius V. From within, the peace of the Church was disturbed by the several heresies of Luther, Calvin, and the Lombards, and by the need for clergy reform. In addition, England was tottering on the brink of a break with Rome. The Netherlands were trying to break away fro Spain and had embraced Protestantism. The missions across the sea needed attention. And all through the Mediterranean countries, the Turk was ravaging Christian cities, creeping closer to world conquest. In the six years of his reign, Pope Pius V had to deal with all these questions–any one of which was enough to occupy his entire time.

The unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots enjoyed the sympathy and encouragement of the pope. He sent encouraging letters to her, and once, at a time when no priest was allowed to go near her, he granted her special permission to receive Holy Communion by sending a tiny pyx that contained consecrated Hosts. He was finally had to pronounce excommunication on Elizabeth of England, after he had given her every possible chance of repentance.

He encouraged the new society founded by St. Ignatius and established the Jesuits in the Gregorian University. He consecrated the Jesuit bishops for India, gave St. Francis Borgia his greatest cooperation, and helped to finance missionaries to China and Japan. He built the church of Our Lady of the Angels for the Franciscans and helped St. Philip Neri in his establishment of the Oratory. Probably the act for which he will be longest remember is his leadership at the time of the Battle of Lepanto. (Sister Jean Mary Dorcy, O.P., Saint Dominic’s Family: Lives and Legends. Dubuque, Iowa: The Priory Press, 1964, pp. 311-312.)

True popes fight error and heresy. They don’t seek accommodations with error and heresy. Pope Saint Pius V, a true son of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary as a son of the holy founder to whom It was first given, Saint Dominic de Guzman, new that Our Lady was indispensable in fighting off the errors and heresies of the day. It is no different for us now, is it?

The Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph. We have Our Lady’s word on this. Why should we live in fear of the world, the flesh, and the devil when we have the opportunity to serve her Divine Son through her own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart with every beat of our own hearts, united as they must be to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, especially on this First Friday in the month of May, through that same Immaculate Heart.

Isn’t it time right now to pray at least five decades of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary?

Isn’t it time to pray a Rosary now? 

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!

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.

Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.

Revised and Expanded: Total Marian Consecration

The great apostle of total consecration at the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, Saint Louis de Montfort, whose feast was commemorated just four days ago now, taught us that the only true way to go to Our Lord is through Our Lady. There is no other way to get to Heaven. There is no other way to grow in intimacy with the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Christ, than by surrendering everything we have (our liberty, our merits we earn for the good works we do and the indulgenced prayers and acts we say and perform) to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

It was nearly a century ago that Father Maximilian Kolbe reiterated this, showing us the good that can be done by devoting oneself singleheartedly to the establishment of the City of Mary Immaculate. Father Kolbe had no fewer than twelve publications printing simultaneously to promote total consecration tOur Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart and to build up the City of Mary Immaculate as the only antidote to the poisons of secular political ideologies that have their root in Freemasonry, including its Zionist manifestations, and naturalism in the world, to say nothing of the infiltration of these poisons within the souls of baptized Catholics.There is thus no better way to help heal the self-inflicted wounds the Church Militant on earth is suffering from at present than to promote total consecration to Mary Immaculate, especially by relying upon the work and example of Saint Louis de Montfort and Father Maximilian Kolbe. Father Kolbe, for example, knew that more good could be done for the world by the wearing of the Miraculous Medal and by the daily and prayerful recitation of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary than by anything else after Holy Mass itself. We must rely upon Our Lady to resist sin to the point of shedding our blood, and therefore to grow to the heights of personal sanctity, striving with each beat of our hearts to desire the highest place in Heaven below that of Our Lady herself.

Each Catholic who is serious restoring the Church by the vanquishing of the conciliarists and their blasphemous false religion must be committed to the entirety of the Catholic Faith. And until a true pope actually consecrates Russia to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart with all of the world’s true bishops, the best way to do this effectively is to promote total consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, either through the formula of Saint Louis de Montfort or that of Father Maximilian Kolbe, who saw how clearly our contemporary world needed her and how every aspect of daily life had to be given to Our Lady to be used as she sees fit for the honor and glory of the Most Blessed Trinity and for the salvation of souls. It is holiness which is the breastplate and the armor against the attacks of the devil. What better way to resist the devil, who prowls around the world seeking the ruin of souls, than by relying upon the woman who has crushed his head, and who wants us to rely upon her to crush the head of the serpent in our own lives, especially in times of temptation?

To seek to be holy by being totally consecrated to Our Lord through Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart begins with an admission that we are fallen, imperfect creatures who are prone to sin. No, not evil, not wicked. Imperfect, disordered, fallen. We must acknowledge the fact that we have to be reliant upon Our Blessed Mother to help us to follow her Divine Son in this vale of tears, trusting in her maternal protection and guidance at all times to be ever vigilant in our pursuit of sanctity (and never to be slow in getting to Confession should, God forbid, we fall into mortal sin). Bishops must be consecrated to Our Lady themselves and thus insist that every single one of their priests be so consecrated. No man should be ordained to the priesthood who is not totally consecrated to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. Such a consecration is not a guarantee that a priest will never sin or cause scandal. However, it is a safeguard against sin and a motivation to scale the heights of sanctity.

Our Lady’s Indispensable Role in the Economy of Salvation

God the Father knew from all eternity that the rational creatures He would create through His only begotten Son would rebel in the Garden of Eden. He knew that the first woman, Eve (the Mother of the Living), would succumb to the Adversary’s allure to tempt her into disobeying Him. The Mother of the Living, therefore, became the instrument by which the Gates of Heaven were tied shut when Adam sinned. But just as it was a woman’s pride which resulted in the Fall of Adam, so would it be in the Father’s Divine Providence that the Redemption of the human race would be effected by the humility of a woman, the New Eve, Mary of Nazareth. The Second Adam, Who would recreate us on the wood of the Holy Cross, came into this world as a result of Mary Immaculate’s perfect obedience to the Father’s will, thereby undoing Eve’s prideful disobedience.

Our Lady was preserved from all stain of Original and Actual Sin from the first moment of her conception in her mother’s (Saint Anne’s) womb. She had a perfect human nature, the same perfect human nature that Adam and Eve had when they were created by God. Our Lady had to have a perfect human nature so as to clothe the Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, with His Sacred Humanity. As the Co-Eternal Son could not have the stain of Original Sin on His soul, He had to be conceived in the womb of a woman who herself had been preserved from all stain of sin. Our Lord thus received from Our Lady a perfect human nature when He was conceived in His human nature as a helpless embryo by the power of the Holy Ghost at the Annunciation.

Our Lady’s preservation from all stain of sin is very important to meditate and reflect upon at all times, especially during this month of May. Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception has some very real and practical meanings insofar as her relationship to her Divine Son is concerned. And it has some very real and practical meanings insofar as her relationship to us is concerned.

First, as one who was preserved from all stain of sin, Our Lady had a superior intellect and a superior will. Unlike those of us born with the stain of Original Sin on our souls, Our Lady did not have to struggle to know or to accept the truth. Her will was in complete conformity to that of the Father’s. Thus, although she asked a question of St. Gabriel the Archangel when he announced to her that she would conceive and bear a child outside of the normal course of events, she accepted God’s plan for her in a spirit of docility. Similarly, Our Lady did not understand why Our Lord had stayed behind in Jerusalem to answer questions put to Him by the rabbis in the Temple, causing her and her chaste husband, Saint Joseph, a great deal of grief. However, she accepted what He told her and stored up all those things in her Immaculate Heart. She had a preternatural inclination to accept the Word of God with humility and docility.

Second, Our Lady did not suffer from concupiscence. There was no trace of selfishness in her whatsoever. She was the personification of selflessness, of other-directedness, which she demonstrated so perfectly in hastening to visit her kinswoman, Saint Elizabeth, to be with her as she carried her own Son’s precursor, Saint John the Baptist, in her womb. Our Lady did not seek to “empower” herself. She was content to be a “stay at home” mother to attend to her domestic duties, understanding that it was in the perfect fulfillment of the duties of one’s state in life that she was to give honor and glory to God. Thus, the woman who said that she had been exalted by God and that all generations would call her blessed was content to do menial chores and to care for her chaste husband, Saint Joseph, and her Divine Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She sought only to fulfill God’s plan for her without demanding anything from anyone. She requested that her Son provide more wine for the wedding feast in Cana, but she did not demand it. Her humility, however, is always rewarded by her Son, Who can refuse her nothing.

Third, as one who did not suffer from concupiscence, Our Lady had a perfect and unsurpassed bond of love with the fruit of her virginal and immaculate womb, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. There was no possessiveness exhibited by Our Lady with respect to her Divine Son. Our Lady could not harbor a grudge. She did not lose her temper. She was in perfect control of her emotions.  She had complete control of herself as she stood valiantly under the wood of the Holy Cross. No mother has ever suffered the way Our Lady suffered, precisely because of the perfect bond that existed between the one conceived immaculately and the Word Who was made Flesh within her.

Fourth, Our Lady understood that her Diviine Son had come into this world through her to reconcile sinful men to the Father in Spirit and in Truth. She was willing to suffer with Him out of love for Him and out of love for us. The love which unites her Immaculate Heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of complete and perfect compassion. The two hearts, although located in different bodies, beat as one. They suffer as one, as Pope Leo XIII noted in Iucunda semper expectatione, September 8, 1894, calling Our Lady the “Co-Redemptress” of the world.

Fifth, Our Lady accepted the role given her by her Son to be our Mother. She looked after Saint John the Evangelist, who had been given the task by Our Lord to look after her. Saint John had taken our place at the foot of the Cross to offer Our Lord and Our Lady his consolation. His being given as Our Lady’s son by Our Lord as He was dying His horrible death by Crucifixion is symbolic of the fact that we were given through him to be her children. Our Lady has never shrunk from her role as our Heavenly Mother, who prays for us now and at the hour of our deaths, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. She is the New Eve, the new Mother of the Living, the Gate of Heaven, and the Ark of the New and Eternal Covenant.

Sixth, Our Lady’s Assumption body and soul into Heaven tells us what a special place she has in Paradise. She is the Queen of Heaven and of Earth. As her body was preserved from all stain of sin, it did not have to undergo the corruption of the grave. It was her right to be assumed body and soul into Heaven so as to reign there gloriously as our Queen, our Mother, and our Advocate. And it because of her royal dignity that Our Lord has seen fit to send her at various times in the past half millennium to remind us of the need to do penance for our sins, and to honor her quite publicly as our Queen through consecration to her Immaculate Heart and by our fidelity to her her Most Holy Rosary. What a tragedy, therefore, that no pope has seen fit to fulfill Our Lady’s Fatima requests, upon which hinge the fate of both the Church and the world.

Finally, Our Lady is the singular vessel of honor through which Our Lord entered the world. And it is the will of her Divine Son that she be recognized through which we ourselves will ascend to the heights of personal sanctity in this vale of tears as a preparation for enjoying an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise. Our Lady is the Mediatrix of all graces, something that is displayed quite vividly in the original cast of the image of the Miraculous Medal, which was revealed by Our Lady to Saint Catherine Laboure. Our Lord wants us to understand that all graces flow to us through Mary. She, the model of all Christian virtue and perfection, is thus our only path back to Him.

Our Lady’s Role in Our Own Lives

As the Queen of Heaven and of Earth, Our Lady is supposed to be honored by all human beings until the end of time. Each of us would take great offense if someone slighted our mother, would we not? Imagine, therefore, how much Our Lord wants us to honor the woman who made possible our salvation.

Mothers have the natural desire to will the good of their children. Our Blessed Mother wills our eternal good, the salvation of our immortal souls. She wants us to despise sin, which is why she gave the Miraculous Medal to Saint Catherine Laboure and ratified the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception to Saint Bernadette Soubirous. Our Lady knows that each one of our sins, including our venial sins, disfigures our souls. Indeed, one of the prayers recited in the Miraculous Medal Novena  reads as follows:

Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Jesus and Our Mother, penetrated with the most lively confidence in Thine all-powerful and ever-failing intercession, manifested so often through the Miraculous Medal, we Thy loving and trustful children implore Tee to obtain for us the graces and favors we ask during this novena, if they be beneficial to our immortal souls, and the souls for whom we pray.

(Mention your petition)

You know, O Mary, how often our souls have been the sanctuaries of Thy Son who hates iniquity. Obtain for us then a deep hatred of sin and that purity of heart which will attach us to God alone so that our every thought, word and deed may tend to His greater glory. Obtain for us also a spirit of prayer and self-denial that we may recover by penance what we have lost by sin and at length attain to that blessed abode where Thou art the Queen of angels and of men. Amen.

That is, Our Lady wants us to love God so perfectly that we will be repulsed even by the thought of sin. For it was sin that caused her Divine Son to suffer unspeakably on the wood of the Holy Cross. And it is sin which wounds the Church Militant today. It is sin which causes all suffering in the world in all human lives. And the only remedy for sin is to cooperate with the graces won for us by the shedding of Our Lady’s Son’s Most Precious Blood, flowing forth through her loving hands as the Mediatrix of All Graces.

Our Lady has told us that the way to avoid sin and to grow in holiness is through total consecration to her Immaculate Heart. Saint Louis de Montfort wrote out his formula of consecration appended below,  nearly three hundred years ago. Father Maximilian Kolbe popularized total Marian consecration in the first half of the Twentieth Century. Indeed, it is written of this apostle of the City of Mary Immaculate:

In order to move souls to love Mary, St. Maximilian ventured to make great, self-effacing personal sacrifices. He made exhausting journeys on missions that seemed foolish, so much so that a saying circulated that he wanted “to make a trip to the moon on a hoe.” But he went ahead undaunted, carrying on with hard work and privation: fainting spells on the train, having to celebrate Mass while supported by two friars, repeatedly coughing up blood, becoming emaciated, even proving himself unpopular with certain persons. His love for the Immaculate would not let him rest from his feverish activity. There was a time in Japan when people, upon seeing his tireless activity, thought he must be part of what they called the “myth of immortality”. . . .  He was tireless and daring, and when someone told him to lighten up a little, he answered smilingly, “I have no time to rest here below. I will take my rest in Paradise.” This is the way with true love.” (Father Stefano M. Manelli, F.I. Devotion to Our Lady, Academy of the Immaculate, pp. 113-144; as we now, Father Kolbe has not been canonized legitimately by the authority of the Catholic Church. I pray that he will be so canonized one day.)

Total consecration to Our Lady means that we unite ourselves completely to her as her slaves, pledged to honor her Immaculate Heart by living lives that are totally worthy of disciples her Divine Son. Remember, we are the adopted children of Our Lady. No child would want to do anything deliberately to displease his mother. We must be ever conscious of the fact that we are Mary’s children and that nothing displeases her more than the coldness and indifference we exhibit concerning the obligations imposed upon us when we were baptized into the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation. She wants us to live in a manner befitting our dignity as redeemed creatures. She wants us to reject the ways of the secular, godless, materialistic, pleasure-seeking world in which we live. She wants us to be seen as her children who proudly wear her Miraculous Medal as a sign of our total consecration–and thus as our pledge to help, as Saint Maximilian Kolbe wrote, to build the City of Mary Immaculate, which is the only antidote to the poisons of Modernism running rampant throughout the Church and the poisons of sin spreading at a rapid pace in the world as a result of the Church’s own abandonment of her authentic patrimony and the Immemorial Mass of Tradition.

Some of the Elements of Total Marian Consecration

Total consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart involves some very simple elements. Here are but a few:

First, consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart means that we give all of the joys and sorrows of our lives to her to use as she sees fit for the honor and glory of the Blessed Trinity, for the triumph of her Immaculate Heart, and for the conversion of all souls to the true Church. If it is natural for us to trust our own earthly mothers implicitly, is it not only just but right for us to trust our Blessed Mother completely? Our Lady uses every element of the lives of those who are totally consecrated to her to effect the greater honor and glory of God and the salvation of souls. Our Lady will use everything in our lives. Everything. All of the physical pains and aches were may experience. All of our humiliations. All of the gossip directed against us. All of the backstabbing from family members and friends, most of whom do not have the courage to confront us face to face. She will use our patient fulfillment of our daily duties, from our getting up in the morning when we would prefer to remain in bed, to our running of the errands we do not want to perform, to our dealing with people who try our patience, to our state of physical exhaustion at the end of the day.

Second, total consecration to Our Lady requires us to be mindful of our obligation to be assiduous in prayer, especially by means of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and her Most Holy Rosary. The Mass is the perfect prayer. And the Traditional Latin Mass is, as Father Faber noted in his lifetime, the closest thing to perfection this side of Heaven. The prayers contained in the Immemorial Mass of Tradition express more fully and more beautifully the necessity of relying upon Our Lady than those found in the synthetic novelty concocted by the Consilium in the 1960s, otherwise known as the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service. We should not want to give God sloppy worship, that which depends upon a priest or a parish or a diocese. We should want to give God worship that is as perfect is possible, worship that grew organically and could never have been devised by men. It is thus as consecrated slaves of Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart that we must give to her our sacrifices to get ourselves to the Immemorial Mass of Tadition so that its glories can flower once again be the norm for all Catholics of the Roman Rite.  

Our Lady is present mystically each time Holy Mass is legitimately offered by a validly ordained Catholic priest, just as she was present physically at the foot of the Holy Cross, upon which hung her Divine Son, the King of Love. We would not go more than a day or so without eating. Our bodies need the nourishment provided food. Well, so do our souls, which is why the habit of Daily Mass is something that a soul consecrated to Our Lady, Mary Immaculate, finds as something that is absolutely indispensable as part of his own daily routine. Daily Mass helps us to live the life of the Church in preparation for living in an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Heaven. It is not the “religious fanatics” who assist at Daily Mass. It is those who are truly on fire for love of God as He has revealed Himself through His true Church who do so. Our Lady was pleased that Saint John kept her company at the foot of the Cross. She is pleased with us when we do so by our assistance at the unbloody re-presentation of Calvary that is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Those who are totally consecrated to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart understand the importance of modesty of attire, reverence of behavior, and the necessity of silence when in Church. Calvary was not a jokefest, it was not a show. It was not a time for conversation. Well, the same is true of the Mass. People who wish to engage in conversations can do so in a vestibule, on the telephone, or in a restaurant. It is disrespectful of Our Lord’s Real Presence (and discourteous to those trying to concentrate on their mental prayers) to gab in Church. This is beneath the dignity of Mary’s children. Even the pagans are silent in the places they hallow.

Third, after Mass, obviously, it is Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary which must be the principal foundation of our prayer lives. The fifteen decades of the Rosary contain the mysteries of salvation, from the Annunciation to Our Lady’s Coronation as Queen of Heaven and Earth. Those totally consecrated to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart learn that we can never tire of meditating upon the mysteries contained in her Most Holy Rosary. We will find that total consecration to Our Lady brings with it a deepening of the care we take in praying the Rosary in a spirit of reflection upon each of the mysteries contained therein. And we will find that the praying of all fifteen decades of the Rosary on a daily basis is not at all difficult to “fit into” our schedules. Keeping Our Lady’s five First Saturday requests, which includes the recitation of the Most Holy Rosary, also demonstrates our desire to do everything Our Lady asks of us, especially by praying the Rosary with the same fervor and care that she taught Saint Bernadette Soubirous to maintain when doing so.

Fourth, total consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart leads us to become people of abiding Eucharistic piety. Our Lord was enfleshed in Our Lady’s Virginal and Immaculate womb. He was the Prisoner of the tabernacle of her womb. He is the Prisoner of Love in the tabernacle where He abides in His Real Presence. Just as Saint John the Baptist leapt for joy when he heard the sound of the voice of the woman carrying the Child Whose precursor he would be, so are we to leap for joy at the opportunity we have to be in the presence of Our Eucharistic King. Our Lady wants to lead us to her Divine Son in His Real Presence. If we have time to go to the movies (most of which we should not be watching), or to a restaurant or to talk on the phone for hours on end, we have time to spend before Our Lord in His Real Presence. One cannot be a son or daughter of Mary if he or she is not willing to adore Mary’s Son in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Fifth, total consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart requires us to be conscious of our sins. It was our sins that broke her Immaculate Heart as she watched the Body she enfleshed by the power of God the Holy Ghost be tortured beyond all telling, as is vividly portrayed in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. It was our sins that caused her to grieve as she beheld the same Body after death that she had once cradled in the stable in the cave in Bethlehem. And it has been our sins and our indifference which have prompted Our Lord to send her to us to remind us of the necessity of making reparation for our sins, especially by being totally consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. A person totally consecrated to Our Lady, therefore, must seek to detest sin, including venial sin.

Saint Louis Grignion de Monfort explained this in True Devotion to Mary:

8. Our best actions are usually tainted and spoiled by the evil that is rooted in us. When pure, clear water is poured into a foul-smelling jug, or wine into an unwashed cask that previously contained another wine, the clear water and the good wine are tainted and readily acquire an unpleasant odour. In the same way when God pours into our soul, infected by original and actual sin, the heavenly waters of his grace or the delicious wines of his love, his gifts are usually spoiled and tainted by the evil sediment left in us by sin. Our actions, even those of the highest virtue, show the effects of it. It is therefore of the utmost importance that, in seeking the perfection that can be attained only by union with Jesus, we rid ourselves of all that is evil in us. Otherwise our infinitely pure Lord, who has an infinite hatred for the slightest stain in our soul, will refuse to unite us to himself and will drive us from his presence.

79. To rid ourselves of selfishness, we must first become thoroughly aware, by the light of the Holy Spirit, of our tainted nature. Of ourselves we are unable to do anything conducive to our salvation. Our human weakness is evident in everything we do and we are habitually unreliable. We do not deserve any grace from God. Our tendency to sin is always present. The sin of Adam has almost entirely spoiled and soured us, filling us with pride and corrupting every one of us, just as leaven sours, swells and corrupts the dough in which it is placed. The actual sins we have committed, whether mortal or venial, even though forgiven, have intensified our base desires, our weakness, our inconstancy and our evil tendencies, and have left a sediment of evil in our soul.

Our bodies are so corrupt that they are referred to by the Holy Spirit as bodies of sin, as conceived and nourished in sin, and capable of any kind of sin. They are subject to a thousand ills, deteriorating from day to day and harbouring only disease, vermin and corruption.

Our soul, being united to our body, has become so carnal that it has been called flesh. “All flesh had corrupted its way”. Pride and blindness of spirit, hardness of heart, weakness and inconstancy of soul, evil inclinations, rebellious passions, ailments of the body, – these are all we can call our own. By nature we are prouder than peacocks, we cling to the earth more than toads, we are more base than goats, more envious than serpents, greedier than pigs, fiercer than tigers, lazier than tortoises, weaker than reeds, and more changeable than weather-cocks. We have in us nothing but sin, and deserve only the wrath of God and the eternity of hell.

80. Is it any wonder then that our Lord laid down that anyone who aspires to be his follower must deny himself and hate his very life? He makes it clear that anyone who loves his life shall lose it and anyone who hates his life shall save it. Now, our Lord, who is infinite Wisdom, and does not give commandments without a reason, bids us hate ourselves only because we richly deserve to be hated. Nothing is more worthy of love than God and nothing is more deserving of hatred than self.

81. Secondly, in order to empty ourselves of self, we must die daily to ourselves. This involves our renouncing what the powers of the soul and the senses of the body incline us to do. We must see as if we did not see, hear as if we did not hear and use the things of this world as if we did not use them. This is what St. Paul calls “dying daily”. Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain and does not bear any good fruit. If we do not die to self and if our holiest devotions do not lead us to this necessary and fruitful death, we shall not bear fruit of any worth and our devotions will cease to be profitable. All our good works will be tainted by self-love and self-will so that our greatest sacrifices and our best actions will be unacceptable to God. Consequently when we come to die we shall find ourselves devoid of virtue and merit and discover that we do not possess even one spark of that pure love which God shares only with those who have died to themselves and whose life is hidden with Jesus Christ in him.

82. Thirdly, we must choose among all the devotions to the Blessed Virgin the one which will lead us more surely to this dying to self. This devotion will be the best and the most sanctifying for us. For we must not believe that all that glitters is gold, all that is sweet is honey, or all that is easy to do and is done by the majority of people is the most sanctifying. Just as in nature there are secrets enabling us to do certain natural things quickly, easily and at little cost, so in the spiritual life there are secrets which enable us to perform works rapidly, smoothly and with facility. Such works are, for example, emptying ourselves of self-love, filling ourselves with God, and attaining perfection. (Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.)

A person who is conscious of his sins realizes that he is in need of the forgiveness which was won for us by Our Lord on Calvary. Many saints went to Confession every day of their lives. The more one grows in love with Our Lord through His Blessed Mother,  the more one grows in awareness of his own imperfections and faults, great and small. A person who is totally consecrated to Our Lady realizes, therefore, the importance of weekly confession. One should certainly never go any longer than two weeks without going to confession, admitting, of course, that this may be impossible in areas of the country and the world that lack true priests. The weeds of venial sin grow up very quickly. Pride and sloth, two of the capital sins, can lead us into thinking that the lack of mortal sins to confess means that we are making great progress in the spiritual life. A good, devotional confession strengthens the soul by virtue of the grace administered by the priest, who acts in persona Christi, in the hospital of Divine Mercy that is the confessional.

Moreover, one consecrated to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart understands that she, the Queen of Mercy, wants us to be merciful to others. There is nothing any of us can suffer at the hands of another that 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. We broke Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart on Good Friday by means of our sins. Her Immaculate Heart breaks today because of the sins of men. Thus, we can never hold onto any grudges whatsoever. We must forgive all others from the bottom of our hearts, praying fervently for the salvation of their immortal souls. Those totally consecrated to Our Lady know that the beneficiaries of her Divine Son’s mercy must be generous in the bestowal of mercy upon all those who offend or who disappoint them.

Sixth, total consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart means that her consecrated slaves trust in her completely to be dealt with as she sees fit. Consecrated slaves to Our Lady accept all things (sickness, health, prosperity, poverty, humiliation, consolation, etc.) as within God’s Providence to be given to her in a spirit of perfect self-abnegation that trusts entirely in her. A consecrated slave of the Immaculate Heart, therefore, will be content with what he has, whether good or bad, understanding that his sins deserve far worse than he can ever possibly imagine.

Seventh, total consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart makes a consecrated slave grateful to God for all that has been given to him, including, as mentioned above, his sufferings. Gratitude is a keynote of a consecrated slave. And we must express that gratitude in our interior prayers and vocal aspirations.

Eighth, total consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart humbles our proud hearts by surrendering unto her all of the merit we earn by means of our indulgenced prayers and good works. Our Lady was always the humble handmaid of God. Being totally consecrated to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart predisposes us to grow in acts of humility, loving every single bit of humiliation that comes our way as coming from the loving hand of God Himself.

Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort explained that the perfection of True Devotion to Mary by means of being the consecrated slave of her Divine Son through her own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart hinges on having the humility to use her as our Mediatrix rather than presuming, as do Protestants and even many Catholics in the conciliar structures, that we do not need her maternal intercession before the Throne of the Most Blessed Trinity:

83. It is more perfect because it supposes greater humility to approach God through a mediator rather than directly by ourselves. Our human nature, as I have just shown, is so spoilt that if we rely on our own work, effort and preparedness to reach God and please him, it is certain that our good works will be tainted and carry little weight with him. They will not induce him to unite himself to us or answer our prayers. God had his reasons for giving us mediators with him. He saw our unworthiness and helplessness and had pity on us. To give us access to his mercies he provided us with powerful advocates, so that to neglect these mediators and to approach his infinite holiness directly and without help from any one of them, is to be lacking in humility and respect towards God who is so great and holy. It would mean that we have less esteem for the King of kings than for an earthly king or ruler, for we would not dare approach an earthly king without a friend to speak for us.

84. Our Lord is our Advocate and our Mediator of redemption with God the Father. It is through him that we must pray with the whole Church, triumphant and militant. It is through him that we have access to God the Father. We should never appear before God, our Father, unless we are supported by the merits of his Son, and, so to speak, clothed in them, as young Jacob was clothed in the skin of the young goats when he appeared before his father Isaac to receive his blessing.

85. But have we no need at all of a mediator with the Mediator himself? Are we pure enough to be united directly to Christ without any help? Is Jesus not God, equal in every way to the Father? Therefore is he not the Holy of Holies, having a right to the same respect as his Father? If in his infinite love he became our security and our Mediator with his Father, whom he wished to appease in order to redeem us from our debts, should we on that account show him less respect and have less regard for the majesty and holiness of his person?

Let us not be afraid to say with St. Bernard that we need a mediator with the Mediator himself and the divinely-honoured Mary is the one most able to fulfil this office of love.  Through her, Jesus came to us; through her we should go to him. If we are afraid of going directly to Jesus, who is God, because of his infinite greatness, or our lowliness, or our sins, let us implore without fear the help and intercession of Mary, our Mother. She is kind, she is tender, and there is nothing harsh or forbidding about her, nothing too sublime or too brilliant. When we see her, we see our own human nature at its purest. She is not the sun, dazzling our weak sight by the brightness of its rays. Rather, she is fair and gentle as the moon, which receives its light from the sun and softens it and adapts it to our limited perception.

She is so full of love that no one who asks for her intercession is rejected, no matter how sinful he may be. The saints say that it has never been known since the world began that anyone had recourse to our Blessed Lady, with trust and perseverance, and was rejected. Her power is so great that her prayers are never refused. She has but to appear in prayer before her Son and he at once welcomes her and grants her requests. He is always lovingly conquered by the prayers of the dear Mother who bore him and nourished him.

86. All this is taken from St. Bernard and St. Bonaventure. According to them, we have three steps to take in order to reach God. The first, nearest to us and most suited to our capacity, is Mary; the second is Jesus Christ; the third is God the Father. To go to Jesus, we should go to Mary, our mediatrix of intercession. To go to God the Father, we must go to Jesus, our Mediator of redemption. This order is perfectly observed in the devotion I shall speak about further on. (Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.)

Ninth, total consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart requires those so consecrated to stand apart from the secular world in which they live. We must dress modestly at all times, not only for Holy Mass, something that Our Lady addressed in her Fatima apparitions. We do not live so as to be au courant with the current fashions and styles. We live so as to give honor and glory to God. We can never dress, act, or speak in a way which would offend the Mother of God. That is, it is not befitting Christian dignity to attend most motion pictures (no matter what their rating), to watch anything on television, to listen to the satanic fare that passes for contemporary music, designed of its nature to agitate the soul rather than to lift it up to God, and to think in ways that are in opposition to the teaching Mary’s Son deposited in Holy Mother Church. Everything we do must be in conformity with the standard of Our Lord’s Most Holy Cross. There are no exceptions. None.

Tenth, total consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart has several important external manifestations. Three will be mentioned here.

The first, the Miraculous Medal, is worn prominently on the outside of our apparel. It is our statement to the world that Mary Immaculate is the one who holds the key to following Our Lord through His true Church. My dear wife, Sharon, hands out Miraculous Medals to waiters and waitresses and other unsuspecting souls we meet in our travels across the nation. The Miraculous Medal is a powerful instrument of conversion. We must display it prominently, and we must give Miraculous Medals away generously. The Miraculous Medal effected the conversion of an unbelieving Jewish man the church of San Andrea delle Fratte in Rome on January 20, 1842, Alphonse Ratisbonne. As Father Manelli wrote, “For Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Miraculous Medals were Heaven’s ammunition, Heaven’s bullets, which caused grace to be penetrated into hearts.” Indeed.

The second symbol of total consecration is the Brown Scapular, which is worn around our necks inside of our clothing, right next to our flesh. It is the sign of our reliance upon Mary’s intercessory power in our lives, especially at the moment of our own deaths. She has promised never to abandon anyone who wears the Scapular (and fulfills all of the obligations associated with its wearing.)

The third involves invocations to honor Our Lady. Saluting another or closing a letter with the phrase Ave Maria is one example of such an invocation. Remembering to say the Angelus outside of Paschaltide (and the Regina Coeli during Paschaltide) is yet another. These invocations are ways to remind ourselves and others of our total reliance upon Our Lady as her consecrated slaves.

Eleventh, total consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart strengthens families, prompting parents and children to fulfill generously and eagerly their daily duties. Uppermost in the mind of each member of a Catholic family, especially one totally consecrated to Our Lady, is the image of the Holy Family of Nazareth. It is interesting that the Holy Family had within it the God-Man and a woman conceived without stain of sin. Neither was the head of that family, though. Saint Joseph was the head of the Holy Family. Our Lord and Our Lady submitted to his authority, just as we are supposed to submit ourselves humbly to all lawful authority in those things that are within its competency and do not violate God’s law in any manner whatsoever.

A family, therefore, is not a sentimental collection of individuals who happen to be related by blood or adoption. No, a family is the instrumentality by which the Co-Eternal Son sought to enter human history. It is the means by which the Church is built up. It is where children are to be welcomed generously as the natural fruit of their parents’ married love. It is where such children are to be trained to aspire to be saints, to love the things of Heaven more than they love the things of this passing world. It is where they are to learn that the family is the domestic cell of the Church. It is where they learn to love the Church, no matter the problems that beset her at any given moment in her history. It is where children learn that each human being is made in the image and likeness of God from the first moment of his fertilization until the moment of his natural death. And it is, most importantly, the cradle where vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated religious life are supposed to be fostered by mothers and fathers as a first and salutary duty: to give back unto God and His true Church what He has given so generously to them. All of this flows quite naturally in a family where each of its members are totally consecrated to Our Lady, Mary Immaculate.

Twelfth, total consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart results in our being unafraid to speak the truth in love at all times. Remember, Our Lady was in the Upper Room with the Apostles on Pentecost Sunday. She prayed for her Son’s Apostles as they were filled with the gifts and the fruits of the Holy Ghost. She had become the Spouse of the Holy Ghost at the Annunciation. She wanted the Apostles to boldly proclaim the Holy Name of the Divine Son she begot by the power of the Holy Ghost. She wants us to do the same. She wants us to be fearless in our proclamation of the truths of the Catholic Faith, no matter what it might cost us in this passing vale of tears.

The traditional liturgical calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church is replete with men and women who thought nothing of offering their very bodies in torture to bear witness to their fidelity to the fullness of what Our Lord had revealed to the Apostles and deposited in Holy Mother Church through them. Our very baptism and confirmation have imposed upon our souls the obligation to do as the Apostles and martyrs have done. Total consecration to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart helps us to eschew human respect, the desire for success in this world at the price of betraying the true Faith, yes, even with our own family members, from whom we have to become estranged in order to remain faithful to Our Lord through Our Lady. Our Lady will help us grow in virtue, to come living temples of the Holy Ghost who mature in each one of the seven gifts and the twelve fruits of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Courage is need particularly now in the life of the Church. Those who are committed as consecrated slaves of Our Lady to the restoration of the Church Militant on earth are mocked and caricatured as schismatic and heretical and disloyal. We must never let such slogans and mindlessness get in the way of doing now what Our Lady’s prayers helped the Apostles to do nearly two millennia ago: proclaim the full truths of her Divine Son without fear of how anyone is going to react, including ecclesiastical officials.

Thirteenth, total consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart leads us to grow more fully in love with the Blessed Trinity. She lived to please God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. So must we. Remember something that is worth repeating  a zillion times: the purpose of each human life is to know, love, and serve God here on earth so as to be happy with Him for all eternity in Heaven. Nothing in this vale of tears is going to last, nothing that is except our immortal souls and the actions they have performed. Everything else will be wiped away at the end of time on the Last Day. Our Lady loved God completely. It is the purpose of total consecration to lead us to God through the very instrument through whom He came to earth to redeem us, that is, Mary Immaculate. Total consecration to Mary Immaculate is the path to eternal union with God in Heaven.

Never Surrender To Despair When Our Lady Is So Near

We live in troubling times. We need never surrender to fear or despair when Our Lady is ever near to us.

The naturalists who pass for the great and well-paid commentators and columnists in our world today have nothing to offer us as they do not see the world clearly through the eyes of the true Faith. Moreover, not even those Catholics who have access to the “mainstream” media ever mention Our Lady or her intercessory power as to do so would be to lose their precious “access” to the millions who watch them on television. No amount of such access, however, matters one little bit if they are unwilling to proclaim the glories of Our Lady and to state publicly that there is a path out of the nightmares caused by Modernity and Modernism. This path runs through Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits and as we wear the Miraculous Medal and fulfill the terms that come with being clothed with the garment of Our Lady, her Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel.

The devil, whose head has been crushed by the heel of Our Lady, does not want Our Lady honored publicly. He does not want us to honor her in our own lives. He wants living in fear and doubt and confusion. It was to dispel confusion in the heart of Juan Diego that Our Lady spoke these consoling words to her faithful son, a fifty-five year-old Catholic widower:

Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything. Do not be afflicted by the illness of your uncle, who will not die now of it. be assured that he is now cured.” (Our Lady Of Guadalupe | Relation of the Apparitions.)

We crown Mary as Queen in chapel after chapel each May. Each of us should pray during this month of May, therefore, that we will have the zeal of the Apostles themselves, who, inspired by Our Lady’s prayers, planted the seeds for a world where Christ was honored as King and Our Lady was recognized as Queen. Can we do any less?

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex

Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!

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 Monica, pray for us.

Isn’t time to pray a Rosary now?

Act of Consecration to Our Lady

by Saint Louis de Montfort

Oh Jesus, Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom, true God and true man, only Son of the Eternal Father and of Mary ever Virgin. I adore you dwelling in the splendor of your Father from all eternity, and in the virginal womb of Mary, your Mother, at the time of your Incarnation.

I thank you for having emptied yourself in assuming the condition of a slave, to set me free form the cruel slavery of sin. I praise and glorify you for having willingly chosen to obey Mary, your holy Mother, in all things, so that through her, I may be your faithful disciple. Unfortunately, I have not kept the vows and promises which I made at my baptism and do not deserve to be called a child of God.

For this reason, I turn to the merciful intercession of your Mother, with the hope of obtaining, through her intercession, the forgiveness of my sins, and lasting communion with you, Incarnate Wisdom.

Hail Most Pure Virgin, living tabernacle of God, in whom the Eternal Wisdom willed to receive the adoration of both men and angels. I greet you as Queen of heaven and earth, for all that is under God has been made subject to you. Oh sure refuge of sinners, all experience your endless mercy. Grant the desire I have for divine Wisdom and of total consecration.

I, (N…..), a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in your hands, the vows of my baptism. I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and his works, and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after him, all the days of my life, in fidelity to the will of the Father.

In the presence of the heavenly court, I choose you this day as my Mother and Queen. I surrender and consecrate to you, my body and soul; my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, –past, present and future–, leaving to you the right to dispose of me and of all that belongs to me, according to your good pleasure and for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.

Accept, gracious Virgin, my offering and present it to your Son; so that as he redeemed me though you, so will he now receive me through you. May I live fully this consecration so as to prolong, in my life, your loving obedience to your Son and thus respond to the mission which God has confided to you in the work of salvation.

Oh Mother of Mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God, and, for this end, receive me among those whom you love, teach, guide, nourish and protect as your children and slaves.

Oh Virgin most faithful, make me in everything so perfect a disciple, imitator, and slave of Jesus, your Son, the Incarnate Wisdom, that I may attain through your intercession and example, the fullness of maturity in Christ on earth and his glory in heaven. Amen. Totus Tuus!

Appendix B

The Perfection of Consecrating Oneself as a Slave of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary

120.  As all perfection consists in our being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus it naturally follows that the most perfect of all devotions is that which conforms, unites, and consecrates us most completely to Jesus. Now of all God’s creatures Mary is the most conformed to Jesus. It therefore follows that, of all devotions, devotion to her makes for the most effective consecration and conformity to him. The more one is consecrated to Mary, the more one is consecrated to Jesus.

That is why perfect consecration to Jesus is but a perfect and complete consecration of oneself to the Blessed Virgin, which is the devotion I teach; or in other words, it is the perfect renewal of the vows and promises of holy baptism.

121.  This devotion consists in giving oneself entirely to Mary in order to belong entirely to Jesus through her. It requires us to give:

  (1) Our body with its senses and members;

  (2) Our soul with its faculties;

  (3) Our present material possessions and all we shall acquire in the future;

  (4) Our interior and spiritual possessions, that is, our merits, virtues and good actions of the past, the present and the future.

In other words, we give her all that we possess both in our natural life and in our spiritual life as well as everything we shall acquire in the future in the order of nature, of grace, and of glory in heaven. This we do without any reservation, not even of a penny, a hair, or the smallest good deed. And we give for all eternity without claiming or expecting, in return for our offering and our service, any other reward than the honour of belonging to our Lord through Mary and in Mary, even though our Mother were not – as in fact she always is – the most generous and appreciative of all God’s creatures.

122.  Note here that two things must be considered regarding our good works, namely, satisfaction and merit or, in other words, their satisfactory or prayer value and their meritorious value. The satisfactory or prayer value of a good work is the good action in so far as it makes condign atonement for the punishment due to sin or obtains some new grace. The meritorious value or merit is the good action in so far as it merits grace and eternal glory. Now by this consecration of ourselves to the Blessed Virgin we give her all satisfactory and prayer value as well as the meritorious value of our good works, in other words, all the satisfactions and the merits. We give her our merits, graces and virtues, not that she might give them to others, for they are, strictly speaking, not transferable, because Jesus alone, in making himself our surety with his Father, had the power to impart his merits to us. But we give them to her that she may keep, increase and embellish them for us, as we shall explain later, and we give her our acts of atonement that she may apply them where she pleases for God’s greater glory.

123. (1)  It follows then: that by this devotion we give to Jesus all we can possibly give him,and in the most perfect manner, that is, through Mary’s hands. Indeed we give him far more than we do by other devotions which require us to give only part of our time, some of our good works or acts of atonement and penances. In this devotion everything is given and consecrated, even the right to dispose freely of one’s spiritual goods and the satisfactions earned by daily good works. This is not done even in religious orders. Members of religious orders give God their earthly goods by the vow of poverty, the goods of the body by the vow of chastity, their free will by the vow of obedience, and sometimes their freedom of movement by the vow of enclosure. But they do not give him by these vows the liberty and right to dispose of the value of their good works. They do not despoil themselves of what a Christian considers most precious and most dear – his merits and satisfactions.

124.  (2) It follows then that anyone who in this way consecrates and sacrifices himself voluntarily to Jesus through Mary may no longer dispose of the value of any of his good actions. All his sufferings, all his thoughts, words, and deeds belong to Mary. She can then dispose of them in accordance with the will of her Son and for his greater glory. This dependence, however, is without detriment to the duties of a person’s present and future state of life. One such duty, for example, would be that of a priest who, by virtue of his office or otherwise, must apply the satisfactory or prayer value of the Holy Mass to a particular person. For this consecration can only be made in accordance with the order established by God and in keeping with the duties of one’s state of life.

125.  (3) It follows that we consecrate ourselves at one and the same time to Mary and to Jesus. We give ourselves to Mary because Jesus chose her as the perfect means to unite himself to us and unite us to him. We give ourselves to Jesus because he is our last end. Since he is our Redeemer and our God we are indebted to him for all that we are. (Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.)

Saint Catherine of Siena: Suffering With Joy

Saint Catherine of Siena, the Third Order Dominican whose feast we celebrate today, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, was truly a victim-soul, favored by God as early as the age of six years old with Heavenly visions and gifts. Saint Catherine of Siena suffered much within her wealthy family as she sought the things of Heaven and eschewed the pleasures and riches of this passing, mortal vale of tears. She was very misunderstood and very harshly treated at times by her own mother, who reduced her to the status of a family servant when she, Catherine Benincasa, announced at the age of twelve that she would not marry and that she desired a life of solitude in prayer. Saint Catherine of Siena preferred God to creatures, accepting all manner of calumnies and sufferings as the price she had to pay for her mystical espousal to Christ the King at the age of twelve.

Yes, it is difficult to “kick against the goad” in the world. It is hard, humanly speaking, for many to realize that we must be avowedly Catholic at all times and in all places and to all people no matter the consequences that might befall us in this passing, mortal vale of tears. However, we must indeed come to accept the simple truth that all will be confusion and chaos and disorder and rot in the lives of individuals and their nations unless each person absent a due subordination to the Deposit of Faith and a due reliance upon the supernatural helps available only in and from the Catholic Church, now found in the catacombs. Saint Catherine of Siena wanted only to please God. Her heart was on fire for love of Him as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through the Church that He Himself founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. And she was quite willing to “kick against the goad” to be faithful to her Beloved.

We must, therefore, persevere in defense of the Faith in the spirit with which Saint Catherine of Siena persevered in the face of that fierce opposition, sometimes bordering on mockery, within her own family that she accepted with such serenity and joy. We must accept suffering and misunderstanding and rejection and ridicule with that same sort of serenity and joy as our sins imposed suffering, misunderstanding, rejection and ridicule upon Our Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, during His Passion and Death. Who are we to be exempted from the same kind of suffering and rejection and ridicule and mockery? We deserve far, far worse than anything we are privileged to suffer in this life as we make reparation for our sins to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Suffering is the path to salvation. There is none other.

Saint Catherine of Siena understood this. She was given infused knowledge by Our Lord Himself, which made her so suspect in the eyes of some that she was called before a general chapter of the Order of Preachers to defend herself. Her examiners were astounded at the clarity and theological precision of her answers. It was from that point forward in her brief thirty-three years of life that she became, in effect, a spiritual director to priests and learned theologians, reconciling enemies to each other and serving the plague-stricken, including several of her priest-followers, when Siena was in the grip of a severe outbreak of the plague. Saint Catherine’s holy name even suffered after her death as she, whose body was incorrupt, was blamed for precipitating the Great Western Schism in 1379 by having convinced Pope Gregory XVI to return to the seat of the Holy Faith, Rome, from exile in Avignon, France, a move that made her hated among many within the papal curial, most of them being French themselves, did not want to leave the creature comforts of Avignon for the grime and filth of Rome at the end of the Fourteenth Century. It is most likely the case that Saint Catherine knew that she would be excoriated many after her death as she had been in life. This did not matter at all. Right was right, no amount of “strategic considerations” could ever cause her to veer from the course that she knew to be correct.

It was, as mentioned just above, in her home as a child that Catherine Benincasa learned how to carry her cross and to accept without complaint the cruelties visited upon her by her mother and siblings. Just consider this brief passage from an account of the life of the saint who lived on nothing other than Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Eucharist for weeks on end and who considered it be a singular privilege to suffer with Him for the sake of souls:

Back home, Catherine began to make penances for the love of Jesus. She began to eat less and less, and to sleep less and less. She spent her nights praying fervently, keeping up straight on the hard floor.

Catherine’s parents and relatives were puzzled. Why was she such a strange girl? Why didn’t she like fine clothes as the other girls did? Why didn’t she want to be admired? Why didn’t she like boys? She was entering her teens, and since she was charming and had a winning personality, her relatives thought it was time for her to be married.

But Catherine had vowed her virginity to God at the age of seven; she wished to be only His, and refused to listen to talk of boy friends and marriage.

“Let us put her to doing the housework,” her parents decided. “Then she won’t be able to spend all her time praying.”

So Catherine took care of the house, doing each and every duty well. She was serving God with her hands, while she kept Him in her thoughts and in her heart. Instead of lessening, her thoughts and in her heart. Instead of lessening, her love for Him and union with Him grew. A great resolve was forming within her: she wanted to become a sister.

When her parents found out her hopes, they said, “No.” But Catherine did not let that stop her. She kept on begging her mother to let her mother to let her enter the Dominicans, and paid no attention at all when friends told her mother, “Catherine is too pretty to be a sister!”

Too pretty? Would such a human motive come between Catherine and her spiritual desire? “Send me a sickness, my Lord,” the girl prayed. Make me ugly, but grant me my desire.”

The sickness came, and Catherine’s beauty faded. At last she was permitted to enter the Third Order of St. Dominic. As a religious, she continued to live in the world, and went about doing good. Her father let her spend part of the family’s income in helping the poor. (Fifty-Seven Saints for Boys and Girls, Daughters of Saint Paul, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, 1963, pp. 282-283.)

Mary Fabyan Windeatt had this description of Saint Catherine of Siena’s confrontation with her mother about being a Third Order member of the Order of Preachers:

“I want to be a Dominican,” she announced. “Not a nun in a convent, but a Dominican Tertiary.”

“Why can’t you be like other people?” sighed her mother, when she heard the news. Lapa knew that Tertiaries were very holy people, men and women, who wore the habit of a friar or a nun and yet lived in their own homes. Usually they were middle-aged folk, not sixteen-year old girls like Catherine.

Catherine wondered if her mother were going to be angry. “I think God wants me to be a Tertiary, not a nun,” she said. “It is really a wonderful thing to be called to be Tertiary, Mother.”

Lapa shook her head. “Why do you want to dress like a nun and yet not really be one? Oh, Catherine, you are always causing me trouble! First you must cut off your hair. Then you must live in the worst room in the house. Now you want to go and be a Dominican Tertiary! Oh, dear ! I never had such trouble with my other children!”

“I have promised not to leave my little room,” said Catherine. “Please, Mother, go to the Dominican Tertiaries and tell them I want to be a Tertiary, too.”

Lapa shrugged her shoulders. “I will not,” she said. “I have no use for being different from other people. Besides, the Tertiaries will never have you. They are all older women–widows, too. The would not want to take in a young girl.”

“Oh, please go and ask them!” begged Catherine. “If you only knew how much I want to wear the blessed habit of Saint Dominic!”

“There is no arguing about it,” said Lapa. “I will not have you in my house, wearing a religious habit and looking like a nun. Don’t bother me again.”

Catherine knelt down in the middle of the her little room. She was very sad. How could she go to become a Tertiary when she had promised to remain at home to pray for sinners?

“Dearest Saint Dominic, you will have to help me,” she said. And then a little of her sadness left her when she offered her disappointment for the conversion of a certain man who had sworn he would never go to church again.

The same year that Catherine was sixteen, a smallpox plague swept through the town. The dyer’s young daughter caught the terrible disease and for a time it seemed as though she would die of it. She lay on her hard bed, her face and body covered with sores, her thoughts far away from this world. Poor Lapa was terribly worried.

“Oh, dear! Isn’t there something you would like, Catherine? Perhaps I could make you a pudding or something. Or maybe you would like a little fruit . . .”

But Catherine shook her head. “The only thing I want is to be a Dominican Tertiary,” she said sadly.

Lapa realized that she could hold out no longer. “All right,” she said. “I will go to the woman in charge of the Tertiaries and see what can be done.” (Mary Fabyan Windeatt, Saint Catherine of Siena, published originally in 1941 by Sheed and Ward. Republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1993, pp. 32-34.)

Saint Catherine of Siena suffered for the Faith throughout her entire life, including bearing Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s stigmata. Tormented by terrible demonic visions now again, something that is not uncommon for genuine mystics to experience, Saint Catherine was also given many consolations in the gifts bestowed upon her by Our Lord and the spiritual intimacy that she had with her Beloved, Christ the King.

Although formally unschooled and for a time completely illiterate, unable to read or write until she asked for the gift to do so (asking later that the same gift be taken away from her), she wrote her famous Dialogue, which many masters of the interior life consider to be one of the most brilliant expositions of the the deepest secrets of Divine Intimacy. She also composed this eloquent letter to Pope Gregory XVI to urge him to return to the seat of the legitimate successors of Saint Peter, Rome:

In the name of Jesus Christ crucified and of sweet Mary: Most holy and most reverend my father in Christ Jesus: I Catherine your poor unworthy daughter, servant and slave of the servants of Christ, write to you in His precious blood; with desire to see you a good shepherd. For I reflect, sweet my father, that the wolf is carrying away your sheep, and there is no one found to succor them. So I hasten to you, our father and our shepherd, begging you on behalf of Christ crucified to learn from Him, who with such fire of love gave Himself to the shameful death of the most holy cross, how to rescue that lost sheep, the human race, from the hands of the demons; because through man’s rebellion against God they were holding him for their own possession.

Then comes the Infinite Goodness of God, and sees the evil state and the loss and the ruin of these sheep, and sees that they cannot be won back to Him by wrath or war. So, notwithstanding they have wronged Him-for man deserves an infinite penalty for his disobedient rebellion against God-the Highest and Eternal Wisdom will not do this, but finds an attractive way, the gentlest and most loving possible to find. For it sees that the heart of man is in no way so drawn as by love, because he was created by love. This seems to be the reason why he loves so much: he was created by nothing but love, both his soul and his body. For by love God created him in His Image and Likeness, and by love his father and mother gave him substance, conceiving and bearing a son.

God, therefore, seeing that man is so ready to love, throws the book of love straight at him, giving him the Word, His Only-Begotten Son, who takes our humanity to make a great peace. But justice wills that vengeance should be wrought for the wrong that has been done to God: so comes Divine Mercy and unspeakable Charity, and to satisfy justice and mercy condemns His Son to death, having clothed him in our humanity, that is, in the clay of Adam who sinned. So by His death the wrath of the Father is pacified, having wrought justice on the person of His son: so He has satisfied justice and has satisfied mercy, releasing the human race from the hands of demons. This sweet Word jousted with His arms upon the wood of the most holy Cross, death fighting a tournament with life and life with death: so that by His death He destroyed our death, and to give us life He sacrificed the life of His body. So then with love He has drawn us to Him, and has overcome our malice with His benignity, in so much that every heart should be drawn to Him: since greater love one cannot show-and this He himself said-than to give one’s life for one’s friend. And if He commended the love which gives one’s life for one’s friend, what then shall we say of that most burning and perfect love which gave its life for its foe? For we through sin had become foes of God. Oh, sweet and loving Word, who with love hast found Thy flock once more, and with love hast given Thy life for them, and hast brought them back to Thy fold, restoring to them the Grace which they had lost!

Holiest sweet father of mine, I see no other way for us and no other aid to winning back your sheep, which have left the fold of Holy Church in rebellion, not obedient nor submissive to you, their father. I pray you therefore, in the name of Christ crucified, and I will that you do me this grace, to overcome their malice with your benignity. Yours we are, father! I know and realize that they all feel that they have done wrong; but although they have no excuse for their crimes, nevertheless it seemed to them that they could not do differently, because of the many sufferings and injustices and iniquitous things they have endured from bad shepherds and governors. For they have breathed the stench of the lives of many rulers whom you know yourself to be incarnate demons, and fallen into terrible fears, so that they did like Pilate, who not to lose his authority killed Christ; so did they, for not to lose their state, they maltreated you. I ask you then, father, to show them mercy. Do not regard the ignorance and pride of your sons, but with the food of love and your benignity inflict such mild discipline and benign reproof as shall satisfy your Holiness and restore peace to us miserable children who have done wrong.

I tell you, sweet Christ on earth, on behalf of Christ in Heaven, that if you do this, without strife or tempest, they will all come grieving for the wrong they have done, and lay their heads on your bosom. Then you will rejoice, and we shall rejoice, because by love you have restored the sheep to the fold of Holy Church. And then, sweet my father, you will fulfill your holy desire and the will of God by starting the holy Crusade, which I summon you in his name to do swiftly and without negligence. They will turn to it with great eagerness; they are ready to give their lives for Christ. Ah me, God, sweet Love! Raise swiftly, father, the banner of the most holy Cross and you will see the wolves become lambs. Peace, peace, peace, that war may not delay that happy time!

But if you will wreak vengeance and justice, inflict them on me, poor wretch, and assign me any pain and torment that may please you, even death. I believe that through the foulness of my iniquities many evils have occurred, and many misfortunes and discords. On me then, your poor daughter, take any vengeance that you will. Ah me, father, I die of grief and cannot die! Come, come, and resist no more the will of God that calls you; the hungry sheep await your coming to hold and possess the place of your predecessor and Champion, Apostle Peter. For you, as the Vicar of Christ, should abide in your own place. Come, then, come, and delay no more; and comfort you, and fear not anything that might happen, since God will be with you. I ask humbly your benediction for me and all my sons; and I beg you to pardon my presumption. I say no more. Remain in the holy and sweet grace of God-Sweet Jesus, Jesus Love. (As found in an article about Saint Catherine of Siena’s life: http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/CATSIENA.htm.)

The account of Saint Catherine of Siena’s life as found in the readings for Matins in today’s Divine Office should give us much inspiration for our own days, replete as they are with challenges even greater than the ones faced during her own days in the Fourteenth Century:

This Katharine was a maiden of Sienna, and was born of godly parents, (in the year 1347.) She took the habit of the Third Order of St Dominick. Her fasts were most severe, and the austerity of her life wonderful. It was discovered that on some occasions she took no food at all from Ash Wednesday till Ascension Day, receiving all needful strength by taking the Holy Communion. She was engaged oftentimes in a wrestling with devils, and was sorely tried by them with divers assaults : she was consumed by fevers, and suffered likewise from other diseases. Great and holy was the name of Katharine, and sick folk, and such as were vexed with evil spirits, were brought to her from all quarters. Through the Name of Christ, she had command over sickness and fever, and forced the foul spirits to leave the bodies of the tormented.

While she dwelt at Pisa, on a certain Lord’s Day, after she had received the Living Bread Which came down from heaven, she was in the spirit; and saw the Lord nailed to the Cross advancing towards her. There was a great light round about Him, and five rays of light streaming from the five marks of the Wounds in His Feet, and Hands, and Side, which smote her upon the five corresponding places in her body. When Katharine perceived this vision, she besought the Lord that no marks might become manifest upon her flesh, and straightway the five beams of light changed from the colour of blood into that of gold, and touched in the form of pure light her feet, and hands, and side. At this moment the agony which she felt was so piercing, that she believed that if God had not lessened it, she would have died. Thus the Lord in His great love for her, gave her this great grace, in a new and twofold manner, namely, that she felt all the pain of the wounds, but without there being any bloody marks to meet the gaze of men. This was the account given by the handmaiden of God to her Confessor, Raymund, and it is for this reason that when the godly wishes of the faithful lead them to make pictures of the blessed Katharine, they paint her with golden rays of light proceeding from those five places in her body which correspond to the five places wherein our Lord was wounded by the nails and spear.

The learning which Katharine had was not acquired but inspired. She answered Professors of Divinity upon the very hardest questions concerning God. No one was ever in her company without going away better. She healed many hatreds, and quieted the most deadly feuds. To make peace for the Florentines, who had quarrelled with the Church, and were under an Ecclesiastical Interdict, she travelled to Avignon, (in 1376) to see the Chief Pontiff Gregory XI. To him she showed that she had had revealed to her from heaven his secret purpose of going back to Rome, which had been known only to God and himself. It was at her persuasion, as well as by his own judgment, that the Pope did in the end return to his own See. She was much respected by this Gregory, as well as by his successor Urban VI., who even employed her in their embassies. The Bridegroom took her home, upon the 29th day of April, in the year of salvation 1380,when she was about thirty-three years old, after she had given almost countless proofs of extraordinary Christian graces, and manifestly displayed the gifts of Prophecy and miracles. Pope Pius II. enrolled her among the Virgin Saints. (Matins, The Divine Office, April 30.)

Saint Catherine of Siena had the stigmata impressed upon her soul mystically by Our Lord Himself. We need to beg her to have our puny hearts enlarged as we seek to imitation her holy life and saintly example, remembering that we must love suffering as she did.

We must remember that will be hated by relatives and friends and acquaintances for making no concessions to the false religion of conciliarism, which itself makes all manner of concessions to false religions that are hated by God, worship the devil and are thus harmful to souls and to social order and the cause of genuine peace, that of the Divine Redeemer Himself, in the world.

We must remember that will be hated for attempting to defend the honor and majesty of God as a prideful Modernist handles with his own priestly hands the symbols of false religions in direct violation of the First Commandment. We will be hated for pointing out the evils of a synthetic “liturgy” that incorporate elements of Protestantism and is designed to propagate a Judeo-Masonic spirit of naturalism by means of the “inculturation of the Gospel.” We will be hated for reminding our associates that to attack the very nature of dogmatic truth itself, as  the now retired Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has done throughout the course of his priesthood, is to attack the very nature of God Himself.

None of this matters, however. Our sins deserve us to be punished by means of humiliation and calumny, among so many other ways. Following the example of Saint Catherine of Siena, we should consider it a joy to suffer justly for our sins as we attempt to make reparation for them in some small manner as the consecrated slaves of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through His Most Blessed Mother’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, especially at those times when we have been given the opportunity to defend the truths of the Faith against the attacks of the fomenters of the novelties of our own day.

No matter the opposition that befalls us, my friends, we must be about the business of planting a few seeds for the restoration for the Social Reign of Christ the King, of making possible the restoration of the Catholic City that was so near and dear to the heart of Pope Saint Pius X.

We help to restore the Catholic City every time we receive Holy Communion worthily in a true offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition by a true bishop or a true priest.

We help to restore the Catholic City as we spend time each day in prayer before Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament, especially on First Friday into the morning hours of First Saturday.

We help to restore the Catholic City with each Rosary we pray.

We help to restore the Catholic City with each good, sincere, humble, integral Confession we make of our sins.

We help to restore the Catholic City with each blessed Green Scapular we pass out to a lost soul who has been abandoned to the ways of the world by the counterfeit church of conciliarism.

We help to restore the Catholic City by consecrating ourselves to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, offering up all of our prayers and penances and sacrifices and mortifications and humiliations to His Most Sacred Heart through her Immaculate Heart.

We help to restore the Catholic City by enthroning our homes to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

We help to restore the Catholic City by fulfilling Our Lady’s Fatima Message in our own lives as best we can.

We help to restore the Catholic City by remembering that this is the time that God has ordained from all eternity for us to live in, seeking therefore to cooperate with the graces He won for us by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flows into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, to persevere to the point of our dying breaths in states of Sanctifying Grace as members of the Catholic Church with Perfect Contrition for our sins.

Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., provided an inspiring prayer of this mystic who lived such a life of total self-denial in service to her Espoused, Christ the King:

Holy Church, filled as she now is with the joy of her Jesus’ Resurrection, addresses herself to thee, O Catharine, who follwest the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Living in this land of exile, where it is only at intervals that she enjoys his presence, she says to thee: Hast thou seen him upon whom my soul loveth? Thou art his Spouse; so is she: she there are no evils, no separation, for thee; whereas for her, the enjoyment is at rare and brief periods, and even so there are clouds that dim the lovely light. What a life was thine, O Catharine! uniting in itself the keenest compassion for the sufferings of Jesus, and intense happiness by the share he gave thee of his glorified life. We might take thee as our guide both to the mournful mysteries of Calvary, and to the glad spendours of the Resurrection. It is these latter that we are now repsectfully celebrating: oh! speak to us of our Risen Jesus! Is it not he that gave thee the nuptial ring, with its matchless diamond set amidst four precious gems? The bright rays which gleam from thy stigmata tell us that when he espoused thee to himself thou sawest him all resplendent with the beauty of his glorious Wounds. Daughter of Magdalen! like her, thou art a messenger of the Resurrection; and when thy last Pasch comes–the Pasch of thy thirty-third year–thou takest thy way to heaven, to keep it for eternity. O zealous lover of souls! love them more than ever, now that thou art in the palace of the King, our God. we too are in the Pasch, intercede for us, that the life of Jesus may never die within us, but that we strengthen its power by loving him with an ardour like thine own.

Our God used thee as his instrument, O humble virgin, for bringing back the Roman Pontiff to his See. Thou was stronger than the powers of this earth, which would fain have prolonged an absence disastrous to the Church. The relices of Peter in the Vatican, of Pual on the Ostian Way, of Lawrence and Sebastian, of Cecily and Agnes, exculted in their glorious tombs when Gregory entered with triumph into the Holy City. It was through thee, O Catharine, that a ruinous captivity of seventy years’ duration was brought on that day to a close, and that Rome recovered her glory and her life. In these our days, hell has changed its plan of destruction! men have deprivedits Pontiff-King of the city which was chosen by Peter as the See where the Vicar of Christ should reign to the end of the world. It is this design of God, this design which was so dear to thee, O Catharine! is it now to be frustrated? Oh! our aid–and through they divine Spouse, in his just anger, permits us to sufer these humiliations, pray that at least they may be shortened.

Pray, too, for unhappy Italy, which was so dear to thee, and which is so justly proud of its Saint of Siena. Impiety and heresy are now permitted to run wild through the land; the name of thy Spouse is blasphemed; te people are taught to love error, and to hat what they had hitherto venerated: the Church is insulted and robbed: faith has long since been weakened, but now its very existenced is imperiled. Intercede for thy unfortunate country, dear Saint! oh! surely, it is time to come to her assistance, and rescue her from the hands of her enemies. The whole Church hopes that thou mayest effect the deliverance o this her illustrious province: delay not, but calm the storm which seems to threaten a universal wreck! (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Paschal Time: Book II, pp. 389-391.)

May Saint Catherine of Siena, who suffered much for the good of Holy Mother Church, help us to cleave to the same unadulterated and immutable Faith as she cleaved to and defended in word and in deed with every beat of her humble, suffering heart.

Four hundred fifty-two years after the death of the great defender of the good of Holy Mother Church, Saint Catherine of Siena, Pope Gregory XVI explained in Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832, that true popes adhere to Catholic teaching without any novelties. So must we:

These and many other serious things, which at present would take too long to list, but which you know well, cause Our intense grief. It is not enough for Us to deplore these innumerable evils unless We strive to uproot them. We take refuge in your faith and call upon your concern for the salvation of the Catholic flock. Your singular prudence and diligent spirit give Us courage and console Us, afflicted as We are with so many trials. We must raise Our voice and attempt all things lest a wild boar from the woods should destroy the vineyard or wolves kill the flock. It is Our duty to lead the flock only to the food which is healthful. In these evil and dangerous times, the shepherds must never neglect their duty; they must never be so overcome by fear that they abandon the sheep. Let them never neglect the flock and become sluggish from idleness and apathy. Therefore, united in spirit, let us promote our common cause, or more truly the cause of God; let our vigilance be one and our effort united against the common enemies.

Indeed you will accomplish this perfectly if, as the duty of your office demands, you attend to yourselves and to doctrine and meditate on these words: “the universal Church is affected by any and every novelty” and the admonition of Pope Agatho: “nothing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning.” Therefore may the unity which is built upon the See of Peter as on a sure foundation stand firm. May it be for all a wall and a security, a safe port, and a treasury of countless blessings. To check the audacity of those who attempt to infringe upon the rights of this Holy See or to sever the union of the churches with the See of Peter, instill in your people a zealous confidence in the papacy and sincere veneration for it. As St. Cyprian wrote: “He who abandons the See of Peter on which the Church was founded, falsely believes himself to be a part of the Church.” (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832.)

When was the last time you heard those who have severed their relationship with the true Church by means of their embrace of one condemned notion after another as they regard with public esteem and respect false religions quote from Pope Saint Agatho on the simple fact that “nothing of the things appointed ought to be diminished, nothing changed, nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning”? Not lately, I can assure you. Not lately. It is the conciliar “pontiffs” who have abandoned the See of Peter by changing and adding and diminishing the things appointed by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to His true Church, which is why the forces of Modernity in the world have been able to do their nefarious work with the help of so many Catholics who are attached to the structures of the counterfeit church. It is the conciliar “popes” who must return to the Faith just as Pope Gregory XVI had to return to the seat the Faith, Rome.

May it be our privilege to plant a few seeds for the day when the enemies of the Immaculata in the world and the counterfeit church of conciliarism are defeated for all to see as glory is given to the Most Holy Trinity through her Immaculate Heart that was pierced with Seven Swords of Sorrows because of our sins. And may we rely every day upon the holy patronage of Saint Catherine of Siena, who should inspire us to love God with a purity of intention that will inspire us to the heights of personal sanctity, praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, 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 Catherine of Siena, T.O.P., pray for us.

In His Own Blood

The great martyr of the Order of Preachers, Saint Peter of Verona, known more commonly as Saint Peter Martyr, is a reproach to each of the errors of conciliarism. Yes, I mean each of the errors of conciliarism. Every single last one of them.

Saint Peter Martyr’s holy life of patient endurance in trial and his commitment to defend the integrity of the Holy Faith to the point of shedding his own blood and writing the words “Credo In Unum Deum” in his very own blood serves as an encouragement to those Catholics who are castigated by their own families for being “outside of the Church” because they refuse to make any compromises or concessions to the apostasies, blasphemies, sacrileges and other errors of conciliarism and because they refuse any association with the men, posing falsely as Catholic “popes” and “bishops” and “priests,” who propagate them.

Indeed, many readers have written to me over the years to tell truly heart rending stories about how the state of apostasy, betrayal and confusion that has been wrought by the conciliar revolutionaries has devastated their families. So many of those who have written are estranged from their closest relatives. Some have been divorced by their spouses or live, for all intents and purposes, separate lives from them. Several have not seen their own children for years because of the hatred of their spouses of the “old religion” that would force them to change their lives and to be considered “odd” by their family members and friends.

A few readers have written to express their frustration at being unable to convince their families and friends about the true state of the Church Militant on earth during this time of apostasy and betrayal. Some believe that the “right” article or the “right” book or the “right” argument will win the day once and for all.

Life, however, is seldom neat. Each of us is flawed as a result of the vestigial after-effects of Original Sin and our our Actual Sins. Each of us has specific temperaments (choleric, sanguine, melancholic, phlegmatic). Additionally, the prevalence of emotionalism and sentimentality in the world today is such that many people are easily swayed by the last person they have spoken with or the last thing they have read, swaying this way and that way as a tree branch in the wind. Others, as noted above, are fearful of what their families and friends will think of them if they come to the conclusion that the man in the white cassock who lives in the Casa Santa Marta inside the walls of the the sovereign State of Vatican City is not a legitimate Successor of Saint Peter. Those who have some kind of prominence or financial support to lose might wait until there is a “right” time to publicly declare themselves in order to help others to recognize that the Catholic Church, the spotless and immaculate mystical spouse of her Divine Founder and Invisible Head, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, can never give us liturgies that are incentives to impiety or doctrines and teachings filled with ambiguities and that are, in many cases, complete contradictions of her perennial teaching.

Although we can give our family members and friends some information now and again, we must understand the nature of the human condition. No one likes to be “pushed” into a conclusion that they are unwilling to reach or, for whatever reason, unready to make. While we can offer a good natured reminder now and again when someone sends us a note or speaks to us about what the “pope” has said or done, the best that we can do is to plant a few seeds and then to water it with our prayers and sacrifices for them. Constant pushing and badgering does nothing to convince anyone about anything.

Yes, we might have to suffer some period of estrangement in this life from those who think that we are crazy, schismatic, disloyal or involved in some kind of heresy. Once we do come to a knowledge of the truth, however, we must embrace it, recognizing that it is only by the graces won for us by the shedding of every single drop of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces, we have been able to do so and that we are not one tiny little bit better than those who denounce it for being “apostates.”

One of the worst characteristics I have found among a handful of self-described “old sedes” is a haughty arrogance that leads them into saying that one has never been a Catholic until he “converts” to “sedevacantism,” which has become a religion in and of itself in the minds of so many whose own righteousness leads them to forget the gentleness of the Divine Redeemer Himself in dealing with those who, acting in good will, were slow to respond to His preaching.

The phrase “sedevacantism” is merely a description of the fact that the Throne of Saint Peter (the sede) is vacant (vacante). It is not a religion. There are many wonderful, believing Catholics yet attached to the counterfeit church of conciliarism who maintained the Supernatural Virtue of Faith but who are confused and bewildered by events, having not the time to read and reflect on various material we might send to them as they are busy with their lives. Some of these good Catholics exhibit a far better grasp of the need to eschew worldliness and worldly fads and trends and are far, far better in adhering to authentic Catholic standards of modesty of dress and decency of deportment than is the case in some chapels where no concessions are made to the conciliar officials, especially those chapels where laxity is tolerated, if not encouraged, by the clergy as “no big deal.”

Although I argued with relatives at a Thanksgiving Day meal in New Hartford, New York, on Thursday, November 25, 1976, a day after my twenty-fifth birthday, and with friends ten years later in my “conservative” Novus Ordo days, I listened as the arguments against the legitimacy of the conciliar “pontiffs” were made. I gave as good as I got. However, I did listen, listening yet again in the late-1990s in my “indulterer” days and then in the first five years of the first decade of the Twenty-first Century during the “resist but recognize” years.

It is very rare for there to be a “on the road to Damascus” “conversion.” For many of us, ourselves included, the journey was moved along by the steady drumbeat of the forces of concilairism. As I have noted before in other articles, I responded as follows when a questioner at Sacred Heart Church in Akron, Ohio, asked me on Sunday, September 24, 2006, who was responsible for my coming to recognize the true state of the Church: “Benedict XVI.” It was the recently retired Petrine Minister who pushed me into realizing that the conciliar church was counterfeit.

Although I had read articles on the websites of the Society of Saint Pius V and the Traditional Mass website associated with Saint Gertrude the Great Church before late-2005, coming to accept as early as late-2003 the possibility that the sedevacantist position might be the correct one, I realized by the end of 2005 that truth demanded an answer from me, which is when I began to read and study all the more. The rest, as they say, is “history.” And though the times have been quite rocky in the past seven years, to say the very, very least, truth must take us where it will and the difficulties experienced along those rocky roads are but small prices to pay in reparation for my many sins, which is whey they are accepted with joy and gratitude.

God frequently has to to grind us down to utter dust in order to get us to be grateful for being calumniated, mocked and reviled as we keep uppermost in mind the simple truth that the intentions of all hearts and the exact circumstances of all lives are made manifest to one and all only on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the living and dead.

Those who keep that in mind, my friends, will withstand that whatever “pummeling” they might take from relatives and friends and, in the case of those who write or speak on these subjects, from critics in the public sphere will rejoice in the midst of their being ground to dust and thought ill of in the eyes of their fellow men as they pray fervently for those who have been chosen by God for all eternity to be the very loving instruments of their chastisement and purification and humiliation. Those who die in a state of Sanctifying Grace as members of the Catholic Church will be reconciled on the Last Day to spend all eternity in the glory of the Beatific Vision of God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost for all eternity. That’s the only kind of “victory” that matters, not our own “vindication” about what we have said or written or done that has estranged us from relatives and friends and/or made us objects of public scorn and ridicule. Enduring with love and gratitude such scorn and ridicule may very well help us to win the victory over disordered self-love.

Consider this brief summary of the life and martyrdom of Saint Peter Martyr as found in Sister Jean Dorcy’s Saint Dominic’s Family:

St. Peter Martyr of Verona was not the first Dominican to die in the cause of truth, but so great was he revered for his sanctity that he was canonized the year after his death; hence he became the type of fearless apostle of the Order.

More remarkable than his death is the record of his life. Born of heretical parents, and surrounded during his whole childhood with the most harmful theories and practices, Peter preserved a purity of faith and morals which was nothing short of miraculous. Continually ridiculed and harangued by his relatives, he remained untarnished in both body and soul. Sent to Bologna to the university of the age of fifteen, he met Saint Dominic, and instantly, with no backward glances at the wealth and power he was foregoing, threw himself at the saint’s feet and begged admission to the Order. He was present at the death of St. Dominic, and shared in the legacy of primitive zeal and courage passed to the sons of a saint.

While still a student, Peter underwent a severe trial. He was publicly reprimanded and placed on punishment because a brother, passing Peter’s cell late at night, thought he had heard women’s voices in the room. The voices were those of angels, who frequently visited the saint: but in his humility he thought it better to accept the punishment and say nothing about it. He was sent to another convent to do penance, and his ordination was delayed. Peter prayed and found great strength in prayer: but, being human, he felt the disgrace keenly, and he one day complained to our Lord: “Lord, Thou knowest that I am innocent of this: why dost Thou permit them to believe it of me?” A sorrowful voice replied from the crucifix: “And I, Peter, what have I done that they should do this to Me?” Peter complained no more. The truth was eventually discovered, and Peter, reinstated in the community, resumed his studies. He prayed daily for the happiness of dying a martyr’s death.

Peter soon became a celebrated preacher and engaged in disputes with the heretics all over northern Italy. Many miracles were worked through his prayers, to the rage of the heretics. In one city, a prominent man had been won to heresy, because the devil, taking the appearance of the Blessed Mother, appeared at the heretics’ meetings and encouraged him to join them. Peter, determined to win the man back to the truth, went to the meeting of the heretics, and, when the devil appeared in his disguise, held up a small pyx in which he had placed a consecrated Host. “If you are the Mother of God,” cried Peter, “adore your Son!” The devil fled in dismay, and many heretics were converted. Enraged by Peter’s success, his enemies made plans to destroy him.

Sold like his Master for thirty pieces of silver, Peter was ambushed and killed on the road to Milan. He went to his death singing, which is the traditional Dominican way to enter heaven. Undaunted by the threats of the heretics, he walked along singing the Easter Sequence, and fell unprotesting beneath the blows of the assassins. One of his murderers, touched by grace at the sight of a saint, was converted, eventually took the Dominican habit, and was popularly known as “Blessed” Carino. To him, as to us, Peter has pointed out the way to heaven when he traced on the dusty of the road, in his own blood, the creed that had highlighted his path: “Credo in unum Deum.” (Sister Jean Mary Dorcy, O.P., Saint Dominic’s Family: Lives and Legends. Dubuque, Iowa: The Priory Press, 1964, pp. 45-46.)

In other words, silence in the midst of various allegations and suspicions (“You’re outside the Church!” “You’re a schismatic!” “You are just strange!” “You think that you’re better than the rest of us!” “You don’t want your children to have fun and enjoy themselves!”) is usually a pretty good thing as it is in imitation of the Divine Redeemer Himself, Who was, after all, put to death by means of our own sins having transcended time, and of saints such as Saint Peter Martyr, who was content of being poorly regarded by his brother Dominicans in order to be more conformed to the image Our Divine Redeemer, Christ the King. (See an excerpt from Saint Anthony Mary Claret’s The Golden Key in the appendix below on the Virtue of Holy Indifference, a virtue that was exhibited by Saint Peter Martyr perfectly.)

When it comes to the defense of the Holy Faith, however, we must be never be silent as silence in the face of attacks upon the Holy Faith is blameworthy and damnable.

Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B.’s inspiring account of the life and martyrdom of Saint Peter Martyr teaches us this truth in several ways:

The hero deputed this day by the Church to greet our Risen Lord was so valiant in the good fight that martyrdom is part of his name. He is known as Peter the Martyr; to that we cannot speak of him without raising the echo of victory. He was put to death by heretics, and is the grand tribute paid tour Redeemer by the thirteenth century. Never was there a triumph hailed with greater enthusiasm than this. The martyrdom of St. Thomas of Canterbury excited the admiration of the faithful of the preceding century, for nothing was so dear to our forefathers as the liberty of the Church; the martyrdom of St. Peter was celebrated with a like intensity of praise and joy. Let us hearken to the fervid eloquence of the great Pontiff, Innocent IV, who thus begins the Bull of the martyr’s canonization: ‘The truth of the Christian faith, manifested, as it has been, by great and frequent miracles, is not beautified by the new merit of a new Saint. Lo! a combatant of these our times comes, bringing us new and great triumphant signs. The voice of his blood shed (for Christ) is heard, and the fame of his martyrdom is trumpeted, through the world. The land is not silent that sweateth with blood; the country that produced so noble a warrior resounds with his praise; yea, the very sword that did the deed of parricide proclaims his glory. . . . Mother Church has great reason to rejoice, and abundant matter for gladness; she has cause to sing a new canticle to the Lord, and a hymn of fervent praise to her God: . . . the Christian people has cause to give forth devout songs to its Creator. A sweet fruit, gathered in the garden of faith, has been set upon the table of the eternal King: a grape-bunch taken from the vineyard of the Church has filled the royal cup with new wine. . . . The flourishing of the Order of Preachers has produced a red rose, whose sweetness is most grateful to the King; and from the Church here on earth there has been taken a stone, which, after being cut and polished, has deserved a place of honour in the temple of heaven.

Such was the language wherewith the supreme Pontiff spoke of the new martyr, and the people responded by celebrating his feast with extraordinary devotion. It was kept as were the ancient festivals, that is, all servile work was forbidden upon it. The church served by the Fathers of the Dominican Order were crowded on his feast; and the faithful took little branches with them, that they might be blessed in memory of the triumph of Peter the Martyr. The custom is still observed; and the branches blessed by the Dominicans on this day are venerated as being a protection to the houses where they are kept.

How are we to account for all this fervent devotion of the people towards St. Peter? It was because he died in defense of the faith; and nothing was so dear to the Christians of those days as faith. Peter had received the charge to seize all the heretics who at that time were causing great disturbance and scandal in the country round about Milan. They were called Cathari, but in reality were Manicheans; their teachings were detestable, and their lives most immoral. Peter fulfilled his duty with a firmness and equity which soon secured him the hatred of the heretics; and when he fell a victim to his holy courage, a cry of admiration and gratitude was heard throughout Christendom. Nothing could be more devoid of truth than the accusations brought by the enemies of the Church and their indiscreet abettors against the measures formerly decreed by the public law of Catholic nations, in order to foil the efforts made by evil-minded men to injure the true faith. In those times, no tribunal was more popular as that whose office was to protect the faith, and to put down all them that attacked it. It was to the Order of St. Dominic that this office was mainly entrusted; and well may they be proud of the honour of having so long held one so beneficial to the salvation of mankind. How many of its members have met with a glorious death in the exercise of their stern duty! St. Peter is the first of the martyrs given by the Order for this holy cause: his name, however, head a long list of others who were his brethren in religion, his successors in the defence of the faith, and his followers to martyrdom. The coercive measures that were once, and successfully, long since ceased to be used: but for us Catholics, our judgement of them must surely be that of the Church. She bids us to-day honour as a martyr one of her Saints, who was put to death whilst resisting the wolves that threatened the sheep of Christ’s fold; should we not be guilty of disrespect to our Mother if we dared to condemn what she so highly approves? Far, then, be from us that cowardly truckling to the spirit of the age, which would make us ashamed of the courageous efforts made by our forefathers for the preservation of the faith! Far from us that childish readiness to believe the calumnies of Protestants against an institution which they naturally detest! Far from us that deplorable confusion of ideas which puts truth and error on an equality, and from the fact that error can have no rights, concludes that truth can claim none! (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Paschal Time, Book II, pp. 374-376.)

Who puts truth and error on an equality?

Well, perhaps an example or two will suffice:

I thank you for the kind words contained in your message to me at my election, and I wish in turn to offer my greetings and best wishes on the occasion of your Enthronement at Canterbury Cathedral.

The pastoral ministry is a call to walk in fidelity to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please be assured of my prayers as you take up your new responsibilities, and I ask you to pray for me as I respond to the new call that the Lord has addressed to me.

I look forward to meeting you in the near future, and to continuing the warm fraternal relations that our predecessors enjoyed. (Message of The Head Apostate in Rome to the Head Apostate in England.)

Yes, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all feel intimately united to the prayer of our Savior in the Last Supper, to his invocation: ut unum sint. Let us ask the merciful Father to live in fullness that faith that we received as a gift on the day of our baptism, and to be able to bear free, courageous and joyful testimony to it. This will be our best service to the cause of unity among Christians, a service of hope to a world still marked by divisions, by contrast and rivalry. The more we are faithful to His will, in our thoughts, words and deeds, the more we will actually and substantially walk towards unity.

For my part, I wish to assure you, in the wake of my predecessors, of my determination to continue on the path of ecumenical dialogue and I would like to thank in advance the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, for the help that it will continue to offer, in my name, for this noble cause. I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, to bring my cordial greeting and the assurance of my remembrance in the Lord Jesus to the churches and Christian communities here represented, and request of you the charity of a special prayer for my person, to be a pastor according to the heart of Christ. (Bergoglio’s Address to Representative of the Schismatic and Heretical Orthodox Churches, Protesant sects, Talmudists, Mohammedans and Other Infidels, Masons and Pantheists.)

We know how much violence has been produced in recent history by the attempt to eliminate God and the divine from the horizon of humanity, and we experience the value of witnessing in our societies to the original opening to transcendence that is inherent in the human heart. In this, we feel close even to all those men and women who, whilst not recognising themselves belonging to any religious tradition, feel themselves nevertheless to be in search of truth, goodness and beauty, this truth, goodness and beauty of God, and who are our precious allies in efforts to defend the dignity of man, in building a peaceful coexistence among peoples and in guarding Creation carefully. (Bergoglio Address to Representative of the Schismatic and Heretical Orthodox Churches, Protesant sects, Talmudists, Mohammedans and Other Infidels, Masons and Pantheists.)

We all know there are numerous models of unity and you know that the Catholic Church also has as her goal the full visible unity of the disciples of Christ, as defined by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council in its various Documents (cf. Lumen Gentium, nn. 8, 13; Unitatis Redintegratio, nn. 2, 4, etc.). This unity, we are convinced, indeed subsists in the Catholic Church, without the possibility of ever being lost (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, n. 4); the Church in fact has not totally disappeared from the world.

On the other hand, this unity does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return:  that is, to deny and to reject one’s own faith history. Absolutely not!

It does not mean uniformity in all expressions of theology and spirituality, in liturgical forms and in discipline. Unity in multiplicity, and multiplicity in unity:  in my Homily for the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul on 29 June last, I insisted that full unity and true catholicity in the original sense of the word go together. As a necessary condition for the achievement of this coexistence, the commitment to unity must be constantly purified and renewed; it must constantly grow and mature. (Ratzinger/Benedict Ecumenical meeting at the Archbishopric of Cologne English)

Since 1967, our dialogue has treated major theological themes such as: revelation and faith, tradition and teaching authority in the Church. These efforts have been candid in addressing areas of difference. They have also demonstrated a considerable degree of convergence and are worthy of reflection and study. Our dialogue and the many ways in which Catholics and Methodists have become better acquainted have allowed us to recognize together some of those “Christian treasures of great value”. On occasion, this recognition has enabled us to speak with a common voice in addressing social and ethical questions in an increasingly secularized world. I have been encouraged by the initiative which would bring the member churches of the World Methodist Council into association with the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, signed by the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999. Should the World Methodist Council express its intent to associate itself with the Joint Declaration, it would assist in contributing to the healing and reconciliation we ardently desire, and would be a significant step towards the stated goal of full visible unity in faith.

Dear friends, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and mindful of God’s great and abiding Mercy throughout the world, let us seek to foster a mutual commitment to the Word of God, to witness and to joint prayer. As we prepare our hearts and minds to welcome the Lord in this Advent season, I invoke God’s abundant blessings upon all of you and on Methodists throughout the world. (Address of Benedict XVI to Methodists.)

Places of worship, like this splendid Al-Hussein Bin Talal mosque named after the revered late King, stand out like jewels across the earth’s surface. From the ancient to the modern, the magnificent to the humble, they all point to the divine, to the Transcendent One, to the Almighty. And through the centuries these sanctuaries have drawn men and women into their sacred space to pause, to pray, to acknowledge the presence of the Almighty, and to recognize that we are all his creatures. (Ratzinger/Benedict Speech to Muslim religious leaders, members of the Diplomatic Corps and Rectors of universities in Jordan in front of the mosque al-Hussein bin Talal in Amman)

Get the idea?

Let us turn now to Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B.’s prayer to Saint Peter Martyr:

The victor was thine, O Peter! and thy zeal for the defence of the holy faith was rewarded. Thou didst ardently desire to shed thy blood for the holiest of causes, and by such a sacrifice to confirm the faithful of Christ in their religion. Our Lord satisfied thy desire; he would even have thy martyrdom be in the festive season of the Resurrection of our divine Lamb, that his glory might add lustre to the beauty of thy holocaust. When the death-blow fell upon thy venerable head, and they generous blood was flowing from the wounds, thou didst write on the ground the first words of the creed, for whose holy truth thou was giving thy life.

Protector of the Christian people! what other motive hadst thou, in all thy labours, but charity? What else but a desire to defend the weak from danger induced thee not only to preach against error, but to drive its teachers from the flock? How many simple souls, who were receiving divine truth from the teaching of the Church, have been deceived by the lying sophistry of heretical doctrine, and have lost the faith? Surely the Church would do all she could to ward off such dangers from her children; she would do all she could to defend them from enemies, who were bent on destroying the glorious inheritance which had been handed down to them by millions of martyrs! She knew the strange tendency that often exists in the heart of fallen man to love error; whereas truth, though of itself unchanging, is not sure of its remaining firmly in the mind, unless it be defended by learning or by faith, as to learning, there are but few who possess it; and as to faith, error is ever conspiring against it, and, of course, with the appearance of truth. In the Christian ages it  would have been deemed not only criminal, but absurd, to grant to error the liberty which is due only to truth; and they that were in authority considered it a duty to keep the weak from danger, by removing from them all occasions of a fall; just as the father of a family keeps his children form coming in contact with wicked companions who could easily impose on their inexperience, and lead them to evil under the name of good.

Obtain for us, O holy martyr, a keen appreciation of the precious gift of faith–that element which keeps us on the way to salvation. May we zealously do everything that lies in our power to preserve it, both in our ourselves and in them that are under our care. The love of this holy faith has grown cold in so many hearts; and frequent intercourse with free-thinkers has made them think and speak of matters of faith in a very loose way. Pray for them, O Peter, that they may recover that fearless love of the truths of religion which should be one of the chief traits of the Christian character. If they be living in a country where the modern system is introduced of training all religions alike–that is, of giving equal rights to error and ot truth–let them be all the more courageous in professing the truth, and detesting the errors opposed to the truth. Pray for us, O holy martyr, that they may be enkindled within us an ardent love of that fait without which it is impossible to please God. Pray that we may become all earnestness in this duty, which is of vital importance to salvation; that thus our faith may daily gain strength within us, till at length we shall merit to see in heaven what we have believed unhesitatingly on earth. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Paschal Time, Book II, pp. 378-380.)

Yes, how many simple souls, many of whom today have never received the true teaching of the Church, have been deceived by the lying sophistry of the conciliar revolutionaries, and have lost the Faith as a result?

Is it not true that men today, being deprived of the superabundance of the fruits of Sanctifying and Actual Grace, are more prone to be deceived by error?

Is it not true that error, conspiring against truth, seeks to wrap itself up in the appearance of truth, which is what Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis did last week during one of his daily “homilies” during his staging of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical abomination? (See Please Help Francis The Ecumenist Find His Church.)

Do not we have an obligation to help our families and our friends from being deceived by error?

Consider the words of Pope Leo XIII, contained in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:

The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error. (Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae,  January 10, 1890.)

Do not those of us who live in the United States of America, a land that celebrates “free-thinking” and the very heresy of religious liberty that is a cornerstone of the conciliar revolution, subject to the constant assaults upon right reason and truth (and the very foundation of the conciliar revolution is the attack upon the very nature of dogmatic truth, which is a direct attack on the very nature of God Himself), from those who believe that error has “civil rights” and that it is not necessary to be Catholic in public discourse, that being “conservative” is “good enough”?

Consider what the late Father Edward Leen, S.J., had to say about the influence of naturalism upon the minds of Catholics sixty years ago before the doctrinal, liturgical and moral revolutions of conciliarism had begun in earnest at the “Second” Vatican Council and thereafter to this very day:

A shudder of apprehension is traversing the world which still retains its loyalty to Jesus expressing Himself through the authority of His Church. That apprehension has not its sole cause the sight of the horrors that the world has witnessed in recent years in both hemispheres. Many Christians are beginning to feel that perhaps all may not be right with themselves. There is solid reason for this fear. The contemplation of the complete and reasoned abandonment of all hitherto accepted human values that has taken place in Russia and is taking place elsewhere, causes a good deal of anxious soul-searching. It is beginning to be dimly perceived that in social life, as it is lived, even in countries that have not as yet definitely broken with Christianity, there lie all the possibilities of what has become actual in Bolshevism. A considerable body of Christians, untrained in the Christian philosophy of life, are allowing themselves to absorb principles which undermine the constructions of Christian thought. They do not realise how much dangerous it is for Christianity to exist in an atmosphere of Naturalism than to be exposed to positive persecution. In the old days of the Roman Empire those who enrolled themselves under the standard of Christ saw, with logical clearness, that they had perforce to cut themselves adrift from the social life of the world in which they lived–from its tastes, practices and amusements. The line of demarcation between pagan and Christian life was sharp, clearly defined and obvious. Modern Christians have not been so favorably situated. As has been stated already, the framework of the Christian social organisation has as yet survived. This organisation is, to outward appearances, so solid and imposing that it is easy to be blind to the truth that the soul had gradually gone out of it. Under the shelter and utilising the resources of the organisation of life created by Christianity, customs, ways of conduct, habits of thought, have crept in, more completely perhaps, at variance with the spirit of Christianity than even the ways and manners of pagan Rome.

This infiltration of post-Christian paganism has been steady but slow, and at each stage is imperceptible. The Christian of to-day thinks that he is living in what is to all intents and purposes a Christian civilisation. Without misgivings he follows the current of social life around him. His amusements, his pleasures, his pursuits, his games, his books, his papers, his social and political ideas are of much the same kind as are those of the people with whom he mingles, and who may not have a vestige of a Christian principle left in their minds. He differs merely from them in that he holds to certain definite religious truths and clings to certain definite religious practices. But apart from this there is not any striking contrast in the outward conduct of life between Christian and non-Christian in what is called the civilised world. Catholics are amused by, and interested in, the very same things that appeal to those who have abandoned all belief in God. The result is a growing divorce between religion and life in the soul of the individual Christian. Little by little his faith ceases to be a determining effect on the bulk of his ideas, judgments and decisions that have relation to what he regards as his purely “secular” life. His physiognomy as a social being no longer bears trace of any formative effect of the beliefs he professes. And his faith rapidly becomes a thing of tradition and routine and not something which is looked to as a source of a life that is real.

The Bolshevist Revolution has had one good effect. It has awakened the averagely good Christian to the danger runs in allowing himself to drift with the current of social life about him. It has revealed to him the precipice towards which he has was heading by shaping his worldly career after principles the context of which the revolution has mercilessly exposed and revealed to be at variance with real Christianity. The sincerely religious–and there are many such still–are beginning to realise that if they are to live as Christians they must react violently against the milieu in which they live. It is beginning to be felt that one cannot be a true Christian and live as the bulk of men in civilised society are living. It is clearly seen that “life” is not to be found along those ways by which the vast majority of men are hurrying to disillusionment and despair. Up to the time of the recent cataclysm the average unreflecting Christian dwelt in the comfortable illusion that he could fall in with the ways of the world about him here, and, by holding on to the practices of religion, arrange matters satisfactorily for the hereafter. That illusion is dispelled. It is coming home to the discerning Christian that their religion is not a mere provision for the future. There is a growing conviction that it is only through Christianity lived integrally that the evils of the present time can be remedied and disaster in the time to come averted. (Father Edward Leen, The Holy Ghost, published in 1953 by Sheed and Ward, pp. 6-9.)

Once again, you see, no, just not crazy old Droleskey who writes these things. This much hated and reviled writer is only attempting to give voice, however poorly, to the simple Catholic truth summarized so clearly by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique on August 15, 1910:

Here we have, founded by Catholics, an inter-denominational association that is to work for the reform of civilization, an undertaking which is above all religious in character; for there is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion: it is a proven truth, a historical fact. (Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)

Father Edward Leen was simply giving expression in 1953 to simple, timeless and immutable truths that true pope after true pope had reiterated time and time again in the last three centuries now. No Catholicism, no social order. It’s that simple. It is incomprehensible that Catholics who claim to be opposed to conciliarism, which is founded in no small measure in a blithe acceptance of the tenets of Modernity, remain as undiscerning now as Catholics were in the 1950s at the time of Father Leen, believing in “conservatism” as the means to roll back the tide of errors that have flooded into the world as a result of the Protestant Revolution and the rise and institutionalization of Judeo-Masonry.

Saint Peter Martyr was willing to lay down his life in defense of the Holy Faith.

So what if our family members and friends revile us and castigate us?

So what if complete strangers start to denounce us for our rejection of conciliarism?

So what if we are humiliated and brought low, brought to nothingness, in the sight of men?

So what?

Is not Heaven worth dying to self and to disordered self-love?

Saint Peter Martyr thought so.

What is wrong with us?

Yes, we must make efforts to plant seeds in the souls of those whom God’s Holy Providence puts in pur paths. To make such efforts bear fruit, however, we cannot pummel others with “I told you sos” or say “How’d you like the new religion, buddy?” We have to proceed with patience. People are free to accept or reject whatever it is will tell them.

Coming to the conclusion that the man over there in the Vatican is not the pope is not an insubstantial step. We can provide a bit of information or a few links to pertinent articles from various sources, letting prayer and the graces sent to them through the loving hands of Our Lady work as they will. God works in His own good time, not ours.

We do not look for “results” in this passing, mortal vale of tears. All we can do is to try, despite our own sins and failings, to be faithful to what we know is true and that even if disagreements, perhaps major, arise that inflame old passions we must remain calm in the midst of whatever storms beset us and to simply trust fervently in prayer, especially before the Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Mother of God.

Saint Paul reminds us that we must feed babies with milk, which is why “pummeling” or “badgering” others is likely to drive people away from the truth and why we must not look for results and without taking credit for any “conversion” as we are but instruments of God, mere mortals who might be given the consolation now and again of harvesting what others had sown. In the meantime, though, we must be willing to bear trials of fire, recognizing that all is indeed revealed on the Last Day:

[1] And I, brethren, could not speak to you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal. As unto little ones in Christ. [2] I gave you milk to drink, not meat; for you were not able as yet. But neither indeed are you now able; for you are yet carnal. [3] For, whereas there is among you envying and contention, are you not carnal, and walk according to man? [4] For while one saith, I indeed am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollo; are you not men? What then is Apollo, and what is Paul? [5] The ministers of him whom you have believed; and to every one as the Lord hath given.

[6] I have planted, Apollo watered, but God gave the increase. [7] Therefore, neither he that planteth is any thing, nor he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. [8] Now he that planteth, and he that watereth, are one. And every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labour. [9] For we are God’s coadjutors: you are God’s husbandry; you are God’s building. [10] According to the grace of God that is given to me, as a wise architect, I have laid the foundation; and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

[11] For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid; which is Christ Jesus. [12] Now if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble: [13] Every man’s work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work, of what sort it is. [14] If any man’s work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man’s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. (1 Cor. 3: 1-15.)

In other words, we can plant seeds and then be at peace, recognizing that it might just very well be within the Providence of God that someone else other than ourselves might be the human instruments of bringing around a certain person about the true state of the Church Militant on earth at this time or about this or that difficult situation. A “fresh face,” if you will, one that does have the “baggage” that we carry, especially with our family members who remember us when were “different” or more worldly or, God forbid, profane or, in other words, more like themselves or when we have had to change positions when we have been convinced of being wrong, something that makes us appear “unreliable” or “unstable” in their yes. All that matters is the the salvation of the souls of others. Nothing else. Nothing else at all.

Pray hard. Sacrifice much. Suffer well. Pray for those from whom you are estranged and those who might be instruments of persecution and humiliation. Do all for the greater honor and glory of God as the consecrated slaves of Christ the King through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

All gets revealed on the Last Day. However, it might just within the Providence of God for there to be foretastes of the Last Day in this life as we are reconciled unto others if we use various opportunities with wisdom and prudence to plant a few seeds that might be harvested by others.

We cannot live our lives in anxiety.

The path to Heaven can be trod only by those who are willing to bear the Cross and to lift it high in their daily lives seeking only to live in such a way that we will be ready at all times to die in a state of Sanctifying Grace as a member of the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order, as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our state in life permits.

It’s the Faith that matters, the entire Faith without any compromises, now and for all eternity.

Aren’t we willing to suffer some more for the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

Saint Peter Martyr was willing to do eight hundred years ago?

What’s wrong with us?

Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, 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 Peter Martyr, pray for us.

Isn’t it time to pray a Rosary now?

Appendix

From Saint Anthony Mary Claret’s The Golden Key to Heaven

God’s Providence demands that I have a heart of holy indifference–As it is arduous and difficult to gain one’s last End without complete and holy indifference, it is likewise so much the easier to gain this End with it. To thoroughly convince yourself of this, weigh this truth:

(1) God is Infinite Wisdom and Knowledge. He knows and understands the means that lead with all security to the attainment of your last End. There are all kinds of means serviceable for the gaining of your last End–health and sickness, honor and dishonor, an honored calling to a lowly occupation–provided they are put to good use.

Now if you know the answer, tell me: What will lead you most securely to your last End? Is it the enjoyment of robust health, or is it a sickly condition? Is it a state of being honored and loved, or one of being insulted and hated? Is it holding a high post, or having a humble employment? This something that you do not know, nor do I, nor does anybody else in the world. All those things are mysteries that no perception can penetrate except only the perception of Him Who is Almighty.

(2) God is Infinite Love, Who always arranged for souls the surest means for reaching their last End–surest, provided they always keep themselves in holy indifference and proper balance. God deals with souls as a mother who fondly loves her tender child.

As a true mother is incapable of giving poison to her beloved child, even more so is God incapable of providing anything harmful for a soul that surrenders itself to Him with complete indifference. O my soul, become for once fully convinced that if God visits you with illness, that this is the surest way for leading you to reach your last End; when He allows you to be despised and belittled, when He placed you in darkness, in desolation, in trials, that is the surest way for you to advance to your last End.

3) God is Infinite Power, and He helps infallibly to its last End the soul constant in holy indifference and proper balance. And who will be so bold and so daring that he can put an obstacle before God? And what will be the result? A heap of misfortune for which you cannot weep enough. Reflect well on this and what follows.

It is quite certain that such a soul must of necessity suffer in this world more than another soul. You greatly deceive yourself, my soul, if you imagine that you can escape the troubles which God’s Love holds in store for you as means to your last End. You will never be able to do so. You will suffer, and you will necessarily have to suffer the pains and ailments, the contempt and mistreatments which from eternity God has assigned for you to suffer.

“You will either fulfill what God wants, or you will suffer what you do not want.” Saint Augustine.

If you maintain an indifferent heart and bear everything with patience, you will give God pleasure and He will fortify you with an inflow of His graces. He will give you a continual peace and calm and will make the way of the cross something easy and sweet for you. If you neglect this holy indifference and bear troubles impatiently, you will displease God and He will deny you all His strengthening, supporting help and every kind of peace and consolation, letting you fall under the weight of your cross.

If it is very certain that for all eternity you will lose that high degree of glory unless you adopt the means God has appointed. If your heart is not indifferent and you do not use such means, adopting them willingly, you will weary yourself in vain and will lost your last End. It is certain that you are in danger of not gaining your eternal salvation, not even a lower grade of glory.

A soul that has not this holy indifference, falls out of (moral) necessity into many grave temptations. In such circumstances, who is not drawn downward by anger, by resentment, by faintheartedness and melancholy, by pride and fear of contempt? And who is not moved by impulsiveness and self-will, by interior upsets and disorder, and by the rebellion of uncontrolled passions?

Ah, to overcome these problems requires a particular help of God. Now will He give it to a soul unwilling to submit to His plans, to a soul who, full of anger, rejects the means which God has provided, a soul unwilling to serve except in its own way, unwilling to acknowledge Him as Master and Lord, and who insolently resists God’s designs? Let a man place his hopes in the One Whom he can trust, for the struggle is quite dangerous. (Saint Anthony Mary Claret, The Golden Key to Heaven, Immaculate Heart Publications, pp. 36-39.)

Resurrexi, et Adhuc Tecum Sum, Alleluia!

Resurrexi, et adhuc tecum sum, alleluia: posuisti super me manum tuam, alleluia: mirabilis facta est scientia tua, alleluia, alleluia. Domine, probasti me, et cognovisti me: tu cognovisti sessionem mean, et resurrectionem meam.

I arose, and am still with Thee, alleluia: Thou has laid Thin hand upon me, alleluia: They knowledge is become wonderful, alleluia, alleluia. Thou hast searched me, and known Me: Thou knowest my sitting down and my rising up. (Introit, Easter Sunday)

Holy Mother Church calls us on Easter Sunday to give witness to that which we have not seen with our own eyes. Holy Mother Church places in the Mass of Low Sunday the words of Our Lord to Saint Thomas, words which are quite apt for us who have never seen the Resurrected Lord. “You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen Me; happy are those who have not seen Me, but still believe!”

Indeed, the Gospels contain no eyewitness report of the actual event of Our Lord walking out of the tomb in which His lifeless Body had spent forty hours after His Death on the wood of the Holy Cross. The soldiers were asleep when the earthquake occurred and the stone was rolled back, revealing that Our Lord already had risen from the dead, having passed through the boulder as miraculously as He passed through Our Lady’s Virginal and Immaculate Womb during His Nativity in Bethlehem. Most of the Apostles were hiding in fright in the Upper Room. Our Lady, to whom tradition teaches us Our Lord appeared first following His Resurrection, was keeping a prayer vigil. Saint Mary Magdalene and the other women were on their way womb to the tomb. No one saw the actual event of the Resurrection.

Of course, Our Lord did rise from the dead. The Resurrection of the God-Man from the dead following his Crucifixion on Good Friday is the central fact of our Catholic Faith. Everything in the entirety of the Church’s liturgical life leads up to and proceeds from Easter Sunday. There is, as many a priest has preached on this very day, an empty tomb in Jerusalem.

The Jews and other unbelievers say that the tomb is empty because His disciples stole the body. We who are His followers today say that He got up and walked out of the tomb forty hours after He died on the wood of the Holy Cross. It is either one or the other. If the Jews and other unbelievers are right, then, as Saint Paul noted, we are the most pitiable of men and our Faith is in vain. If Our Lord did indeed rise from the dead on the Third Day, as we know happened, then every aspect of our daily lives must revolve around cooperating with the graces He won for us on Calvary and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces, so that our bodies will get up and arise from their tombs in a glorified state at the Last Day when He comes to judge the living and the dead.

However, Our Lord arranged things so that we would have to put faith in the word of those who saw Him after the Resurrection. He wanted us to see the transformation that would take place in the lives of those eyewitnesses following the descent of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, upon them and Our Lady in tongues of flame on Pentecost Sunday, fifty days after Easter, in the same Upper Room in Jerusalem where He had instituted the Priesthood and the Eucharist at the Last Supper. He wanted to teach us that the graces He won for us on the wood of the Holy Cross–and which are administered to us by Holy Mother Church in the sacraments–are as powerful now as they were immediately after His Resurrection and Ascension to the Father’s right hand in glory. The Apostles were willing to run the risk even of physical death to bear witness of the fact of the Resurrection. So must we.

Our Lord’s Resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday came after He had spent forty hours in the tomb in His Sacred Humanity. In His Sacred Divinity, though, Our Lord rescued all of the souls of the just from their place of detention, even stretching out his arms to the first Adam, who had made necessary His own death on the Tree of Life on Golgotha that is the Holy Cross. Although the Apostles were frightened and many of the Jews in Jerusalem thought that they had rid themselves of a delusional, self-proclaimed prophet, Our Lord was teaching us even in those forty hours of darkness and waiting.

The forty hours Our Lord’s Sacred Humanity spent lifeless in the tomb are supposed to teach us that we need to patient as we wait for the moment of our own Particular Judgments. We need to be patient as we bear the crosses we are asked to bear in our daily lives, as well as in the midst of the Church and in the world. We need to be people of faith, never losing hope in the fact that Our Lord is with us at every moment of our lives, that there is never any cross that is beyond our capacity to bear with perfect equanimity and no semblance of anxiety or doubt. This mortal life of ours is relatively short in comparison with eternity. We need to be patient, to do the work of the Apostles, to be assiduous in prayer and faithful to our total consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Our bodies, too, will rise up out of their tombs incorrupt and glorious on the Last Day if we remain faithful to the point of our dying breaths in a state of Sanctifying Grace.

Our Lord’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday was not the resuscitation back to the mere mortal life experienced by Lazarus. No, Our Lord went forth into a new and glorified state that had been experienced by no human being before Him. Our Lord’s glorified Body had properties It did not have prior to the Resurrection. The glorified Body of the Divine Redeemer reminds us, therefore, that the bodies of all of the just will have those same properties for all eternity when they are reunited to our souls on the Last Day. The Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is not only the symbol of His total triumph over the power of sin an death. It is also a vivid reminder to us of the joy that awaits those who persevere until the end as His faithful disciples, members of the Church He created upon the Rock of Saint Peter, the Pope, an office that cannot be held by one who embraces propositions condemned repeatedly by the Catholic Church and who countenances apostasies as they are uttered within his own earshot, as happened on Good Friday, March 21, 2008, as the nefarious Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M., Cap., dared to speak blasphemous words in front of the man who believes himself to be, albeit falsely, the Vicar of Christ, that was reviewed many years ago now in Masquerade Party.

Easter Sunday is one of the very proofs of the doctrine of Papal Primacy that is denied by Protestants and the Orthodox alike. Yes, Saint John the Evangelist, who alone among the Apostles was present at the foot of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s Most Holy Cross along with the Blessed Mother and Saint Mary Magdalen and a handful of others, indicated his own deference to the headship of Saint Peter when recounting their visit to the empty tomb on Easter Sunday:

And on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalen cometh early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre; and she saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

She ran, therefore, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith to them: They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

Peter therefore went out, and that other disciple, and they came to the sepulchre. And they both ran together, and that other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And when he stooped down, he saw the linen cloths lying; but yet he went not in.

Then cometh Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulchre, and saw the linen cloths lying. And the napkin that had been about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but apart, wrapped into one place.

Then that other disciple also went in, who came first to the sepulchre: and he saw, and believed. (John 20: 1-8)

Saint John the Beloved, being much younger than Saint Peter, had outrun the first pope to the empty tomb. Out of respect for the absolute Primacy of the Fisherman, however, Saint John peered into the tomb but did not enter it until after the Supreme Pontiff had arrived and entered it himself, finding that the head piece of Church’s Divine Bridegroom, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, had been carefully wrapped up and placed aside. None of the Apostles was loved more by Our Lord than Saint John. He, though, deferred to the Apostle who had denied Our Lord three times, who was not present with him and Our Lady at the foot of the Divine Master’s Holy Cross, teaching us humility and respect for the Petrine Office.

Easter Sunday teaches also to have no doubt about any article of the Faith. Saint Thomas the Apostle doubted that Our Lord had Risen from the dead. He wanted to put his fingers into the nail prints on Our Lord’s hands and press his hand into Our Lord’s Wounded Side. He saw, and believed. We who do not see believe on the word of those saw Him as He rose from the dead. Let us never waver in our Faith. As Saint Paul said:

For whether I, or they, so we preach, and so you have believed. Now if Christ be preached, that he arose again from the dead, how do some among you say, that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen again. And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God: because we have given testimony against God, that he hath raised up Christ; whom he hath not raised up, if the dead rise not again.

For if the dead rise not again, neither is Christ risen again. And if Christ be not risen again, your faith is vain, for you are yet in your sins.Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ, are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, the firstfruits of them that sleep:

For by a man came death, and by a man the resurrection of the dead. And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But every one in his own order: the firstfruits Christ, then they that are of Christ, who have believed in his coming.

Afterwards the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God and the Father, when he shall have brought to nought all principality, and power, and virtue.For he must reign, until he hath put all his enemies under his feet.  (1 Cor. 15:11-25)

The purpose of human existence is to know, love and serve God in this life through His true Church so we will live with Him forever in Heaven. It is for this supreme moment of radiating joy that Our Lord came into the world, paying back the debt of our own sins so that we could have life and have it to the fullest. Thus, our old lives of unbelief and self-centeredness must be forever buried in the waters of our baptism. We must put on the new man Who is Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which is why our Godparents were given a white baptismal gown to place on us.

Consider just one parallelism of this glorious day, Easter Sunday, a day so glorious that it is extended into an Octave of celebrations.

The first Adam was placed in a garden, the Garden of Eden. His work was to till the soil, first in Eden before the Fall from Grace without sweat and then to do so in great sweat and toil after his expulsion from the Garden of Eden as the Gates of Heaven were tied shut by his own having stretched out his arm to the wood of a tree to partake of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The second Adam, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, stretched out His arms on the wood of the Tree of Life, that is, the wood of the Holy Cross, to win back for us what was lost by Adam when He partook of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The new Eve, the new Mother of the Living, Our Lady, had untied the knot of Eve’s prideful disobedience by her perfect fiat to the Will of the Heavenly Father at the Annunciation. The Gates of Heaven, which had been tied shut as a result of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, were re-opened on Ascension Thursday as a result of the obedience of the new Eve at the Annunciation and the new Adam on the wood of the Holy Cross.

Moreover, the new Adam was supposed to be the gardener when He was seen but not recognized by Saint Mary Magdalen on this very day, Easter Sunday:

But Mary stood at the sepulchre without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid. They say to her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith to them: Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid him. When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing; and she knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, thinking it was the gardener, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. (John 20: 11-15.)

The first Adam was a gardener. So is the New Adam, Our Crucified and Resurrected Saviour, who is still at work as the Gardener of our immortal souls, seeking to till them so that they can bear more fruit as the worthy beneficiaries of the seeds that He seeks to bring to fruition in us by means of the graces He won for us on the wood of the Holy Cross by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces. We must rely upon Our Lady’s maternal intercession to help Her Divine Son’s seeds of Sanctifying Grace purge out the old man with the new life He has won for us by His Death on the wood of the Holy Cross, seeking at the same time to have nothing to do with idolaters, including the idolaters of the counterfeit church of conciliarism who extol false religions and accept images of the idols worshiped by their adherents:

Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened. For Christ our pasch is sacrificed. Therefore let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in an epistle, not to keep company with fornicators. I mean not with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or the extortioners, or the servers of idols; otherwise you must needs go out of this world.

But now I have written to you, not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or a server of idols, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner: with such a one, not so much as to eat. For what have I to do to judge them that are without? Do not you judge them that are within?For them that are without, God will judge. Put away the evil one from among yourselves. (1 Cor. 5: 7-13.)

We must understand that we are meant to shine forth always the light of Christ in the world, which is why our Godparents held a lit candle at the moment of our baptism. Easter Sunday teaches us that Our Lord wants us to be transfigured glory for all eternity. And we must understand that every aspect of our daily lives–and of the lives of nations themselves, as Pope Pius XI reminded Catholics in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925, must reflect the reality of the Incarnation, Nativity, Hidden Years, Public Ministry, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Although many people who attend Mass on Easter Sunday will not return until Christmas, we must try to get to Holy Mass as frequently as we can during the week throughout the course of a year so that the old yeast can be purged and replaced with the graces we receive in the Holy Eucharist.

Our Lord first appeared to Our Lady following His Resurrection. He had become incarnate in her Virginal and Immaculate womb by the power of the Holy Ghost. Her Immaculate Heart suffered a communion of perfect love with  His Most Sacred Heart. It was to Our Lady, therefore, that Our Lord first appeared so as to present Himself to her in His glorified Body just as she had received Him as a helpless embryo at the moment of the Annunciation. We must rely upon her maternal intercession as the Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix of all graces to help us be participants in her Divine Son’s Easter victory over sin and death, receiving her Divine Son’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Blessed Sacrament in Holy Communion with the same purity, humility, devotion and fervor with which she received the Eucharist prior to her own death and bodily Assumption into Heaven.

Father Benedict Baur provided the following reflection on this glorious day whereupon Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s Easter Victory over sin and death was made manifest:

For the celebration of the Easter Mass we accompany the catechumens to the church of St. Mary Major. Mary, to whom this church is dedicated, was bequeathed to redeemed humanity as she stood under the cross on Calvary. After greeting the risen Christ, we congratulate Mary: “Rejoice, O Queen of heaven, alleluia.”

Christ rose the dead, and He turns first to His heavenly Father. “I rose up and am still with Thee” (Introit). Thus He casts Himself in devoted and grateful love on the bosom of His Father. “Thou hast laid Thy hand upon Me” through the shame and humiliation I suffered during My passion. Now this same hand is held out to glorify Him and cover Him with splendor; “Thy knowledge is become wonderful” (Introit). Yesterday the humiliation and bitterness of the cross, today the splendor of heavenly glory!

We can have no doubt concerning Christ’s resurrection. “The Lord is risen indeed” (Luke 23:34). Heretofore the divinity of Christ appeared only in His miracles; now it shines in its fullness. From Him who yesterday died on the cross, now comes grace, life, and pardon. By the resurrection of Christ, God set the seal of divine approval on all that Christ had taught, on all that He had done, and on the Church which He had established. “This Jesus hath God raised again” (Acts 2:32; 3:13). Every word, then, that He spoke is infallibly true. Therefore men must submit to Christ and accept His commandments without question. “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The Resurrection settles all our doubts and makes us inconceivably rich. How wonderfully God glorified Christ in the Resurrection! We must place all our faith in Him and rejoice from the bottom of our heart.

With Christ we, too, have risen. Christ not only redeemed us, the living, from sin: He redeemed also the dead. He “hath raised us up together and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places” (Eph. 2:6). Our future is most intimately joined to that of Christ. He is risen; so we, too, must rise. Because we belonged to the race of Adam, we shared death with him. Because we now belong to the new Adam, we shall so share His resurrection to eternal life. “When Christ shall appear appear, who is your life, then you also shall appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). “For if the dead rise not again, neither is Christ risen again, your faith is in vain, for you are yet in your sins. Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and the first fruits of them that sleep. For by a man came death, and by a man the resurrection of the dead. And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But every one is in his own order; the first fruits. Christ, then they they are of Christ” (1 Cor. 15: 16-23).

The lessons of Holy Saturday and the blessing of the baptismal font announce the resurrection of the soul from sin. The entire season of Lent prepared the soul for this rebirth. The Church compares the emergence of the Christian from the baptismal font to the resurrection of Christ from the tomb. In this sense St. Paul declares: “If you be risen with Christ [that is, baptized], seek the things that are above, . . . not the things that are upon the earth. For you are dead [to sin], and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:1 ff.). Because you have risen with Christ, “purge out the old leaven [from your soul], that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened [new, reborn]. ….. . Therefore let us feast, not with the old leaven, not with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (Epistle).

“I rose up and am still with Thee” (Introit). After His labors and his humiliations, Christ finds rest with His Father. “I am still with Thee.” This perfect beatitude. Through His cross He entered into the possession of eternal glory. Christ has gained the crown of victory; through Christ men also win their crowns of victory. Humanity was under a curse and subject to the wrath of God. Now that they have risen with Christ, their guilt has been destroyed. “I rose up and am still with Thee.” The liturgy places these words in the mouth of the Church that she may pray them with Christ.

“The earth trembled and was still when God arose in judgment” (Offertory). The resurrection of Christ is the judgment and condemnation of those who have turned away from God. This judgment was prefigured by the angel who passed through the land of Egypt destroying the first-born of the Egyptians. The Israelites marked the doors of their homes with the blood of the paschal lamb. We are the new Israel, and “Christ our Pasch is sacrificed” (Gradual). We mark ourselves with His blood, which we enjoy in the Holy Eucharist. We have been pardoned, we are saved. we shall live.

“He is risen.” The resurrection of Christ is a pledge of our own resurrection. It is the foundation upon which our faith rests. It is the guarantee of our redemption and God’s assurance that our sins are forgiven and that we are called to eternal life. “This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice therein. Give praise to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endureth forever. Alleluia” (Gradual). “Christ our Pasch is sacrificed. . . . The Lamb redeems the sheep, Christ, the innocent One, hath reconciled sinners to the Father” (Alleluia verse, Sequence). (Father Benedict Baur, The Light of the World, Volume I, pp. 446-448.)

Saint Gertrude the Great was spoken to by none other than Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ about the glories of this very day, Easter Sunday, and on Easter Thursday:

As St. Gertrude prayed fervently before Matins on the blessed night of the Resurrection, the Lord Jesus appeared to her, full of majesty and glory. Then she cast herself at His feet, to adore Him devoutly and humbly, saying, “O glorious Spouse, joy of the Angels, Thou Who hast shown me the favor of choosing me to be Thy Spouse, whom am the least of Thy creatures! I ardently desire Thy glory, and my only friends are those who love Thee; therefore I beseech Thee to pardon the souls of Thy special friends [the footnote speaks of the belief that “this seems to refer to the souls in Purgatory] by the virtue of Thy most glorious Resurrection. And to obtain this grace from Thy goodness, I offer Thee, in union with Thy Passion, all the sufferings which my continual infirmities have cause me.” Then Our Lord, having favored her with many caresses, showed her a great multitude of souls who were freed from their pains, saying: “Behold, I have given them to you as a recompense for your rare affection; and through all eternity they will acknowledge that they have been delivered through your prayers, and you will be honored and glorified for it.” She replied: “How many are they?” He answered: “This knowledge belongs to God alone.” As she feared these souls, though freed from their pains, were not yet admitted to glory, she offered to endure whatever God might please, either in body or soul, to obtain their entrance into that beatitude; and Our Lord, won by her fervor, granted her request immediately.

Some time after, as the Saint suffered most acute pain in her side, she made an inclination before a crucifix; and Our Lord freed her from the pain, and granted the merit of it to these souls, recommending them to make her a return by their prayers.

After this, the Saint impelled by the fervor of her love, presented herself before her Spouse, and said to Him: “O my only Love, as I have nothing which can render me worthy to appear before the King of kings, and as I cannot correspond in any degree to Thy love, all I can do is to give Thee all the life and strength of my body and soul as long as I live, to honor Thy glorious Resurrection.” Our Lord replied: “I regard this offering of your love for Me as a royal scepter, which I will bear gloriously before the Most Holy Trinity, and in the sight of all the Saints.” To this Gertrude answered: “Although Thy grace has prompted me to make this offering, nevertheless I fear, on account of my own instability, lest I should forget what I have promised Thee.” But Our Lord replied: “And what will it matter if you do? For I will not allow what you have once given Me to escape from My hand; but I will always preserve it, as a proof of your love for Me; and whenever you renew your intention, this scepter will be adorned with flowers and precious stones.”

When the Alleluia at the Invitatory, the Saint animated all the powers of her body and soul to recite the Matins of the Resurrection with devotion, saying to Our Lord: “Teach me, I beseech Thee, O Master full of sweetness, in what manner I can best praise Thee by the ALLELUIA which is so often repeated on this Feast.” Our Lord replied: “You can praise Me by the Alleluia, by uniting it to the praises which the Saints and Angels constantly offer Me in Heaven. You will observe that all of the vowels, except the o, which signifies grief, are found in this word; and that instead of this o, the a is repeated twice. At the first a you will praise me with the Saints for the glorious immortality by which the sufferings of My Humanity and the bitterness of My Passion were rewarded; at the e, praise Me for the sweet and ineffable joys which gladden My eyes in gazing upon the Most Holy Trinity; at the u, unite yourself with the delight which I find in hearing the concerts of praises in honor of the Blessed Trinity which are sung by the Saints and Angels; at the i enjoy the sweet perfumes and odors which I find in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity; at the second a, which is put in place of the o, rejoice that My Humanity, which was formerly passible and mortal, is now filled with the Divine immorality.”

After this, as she continued to recite the Matins, she was taught at each Psalm, each Response, and each Lesson, the sense which best corresponded with the solemnity of so great a day, and which best expressed the inconceivable pleasures which a soul enjoys when it is united to God. (The Life and Revelations of Saint Gertrude the Great, reprinted by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 377-379.)

On Thursday in Easter week as the Gospel was read which relates how Magdalen “stopped down and looked into the sepulchre and saw two Angels.” St. Gertrude said to Our Lord: “Into what sepulchre shall I look to find the consolation of my spirit?” Our Lord then showered her the sacred Wound of His Side, where, instead of two Angels, she heard two things: first, “You shall never be separated from My company”; and secondly, “All your actions are perfectly agreeable to me.” She was much surprised at this, and began to consider how it could be, since she thought her actions could not be pleasing to anyone, and saw in them herself such great imperfections, while the Divine light enabled her to discover a thousand faults where others could not see any; but Our Lord said to her: “The good and praiseworthy custom which you have of recommending your actions to Me so frequently, and of placing them in My hands, makes Me correct those which are defective, that they may please Me perfectly and all My celestial court.” (The Life and Revelations of Saint Gertrude the Great, reprinted by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 383-383.)

The Venerable Mary of Agreda was given the following account of the Resurrection by Our Lady, to whom Our Lord appeared first as He arose in His glorified Body and passed miraculously through stone that sealed His tomb:

755. The divine soul of Christ our Redeemer remained in limbo from half past three of Friday after noon, until after three of the Sunday morning following. During this hour He returned to the Sepulchre as the victorious Prince of the angels and of the saints, whom He had delivered from those nether prisons as spoils of his victory and as an earnest of his glorious triumph over the chastised and prostrate rebels of hell. In the sepulchre were many angels as its guard, venerating the sacred body united to the Divinity. Some of them, obeying the command of their Queen and Mistress, had gathered the relics of the sacred blood shed by her divine Son, the particles of flesh scattered about, the hair torn from his divine face and head, and all else that belonged to the perfection and integrity of his most sacred humanity. On these the Mother of prudence lavished her solicitous care. The angels took charge of these relics, each one filled with joy at being privileged to hold the particles, which he was able to secure. Before any change was made, the body of the Redeemer was shown to the holy Fathers, in the same wounded, lacerated and disfigured state in which it was left by the cruelty of the Jews. Beholding Him thus disfigured in death, the Patriarchs and Prophets and other saints adored Him and again confessed Him as the incarnate Word, who had truly taken upon Himself our infirmities and sorrows (Is. 53, 4) and paid abundantly our debts, satisfying in his innocence and guiltlessness for what we ourselves owed to the justice of the eternal Father. There did our first parents Adam and Eve see the havoc wrought by their disobedience, the priceless remedy it necessitated, the immense goodness and mercy of the Redeemer. As they felt the effects of his copious Redemption in the glory of their souls, they praised anew the Omnipotent and Saint of saints, who had with such marvelous wisdom wrought such a salvation.

756. Then, in the presence of all those saints, through the ministry of those angels, were united to the sacred body all the relics, which they had gathered, restoring it to its natural perfection and integrity. In the same moment the most holy soul reunited with the body, giving it immortal life and glory. Instead of the wind ing-sheets and the ointments, in which it had been buried, it was clothed with the four gifts of glory, namely: with clearness, impassibility, agility and subtility (John 19, 40). These gifts overflowed from the immense glory of the soul of Christ into the sacred body. Although these gifts were due to it as a natural inheritance and participation from the instant of its conception, because from that very moment his soul was glorified and his whole humanity was united to the Divinity; yet they had been suspended in their effects upon the purest body, in order to permit it to remain passible and capable of meriting for us our own glory. In the Resurrection these gifts were justly called into activity in the proper degree corresponding to the glory of his soul and to his union with the Divinity. As the glory of the most holy soul of Christ our Savior is incomprehensible and ineffable to man, it is also impossible entirely to describe in our words or by our examples the glorious gifts of his deified body; for in comparison to its purity, crystal would be obscure. The light inherent and shining forth from his body so far exceeds that of the others, as the day does the night, or as many suns the light of one star; and all the beauty of creatures, if it were joined, would appear ugliness in comparison with his, nothing else being comparable to it in all creation.

757. The excellence of these gifts in the Resurrection were far beyond the glory of his Transfiguration or that manifested on other occasions of the kind mentioned in this history. For on these occasions He received it transitorily and for special purposes, while now He received it in plenitude and forever. Through impassibility his body became invincible to all created power, since no power can ever move or change Him. By subtility the gross and earthly matter was so purified, that it could now penetrate other matter like a pure spirit. Accordingly He penetrated through the rocks of the sepulchre without removing or displacing them, just as He had issued forth from the womb of his most blessed Mother. Agility so freed Him from the weight and slowness of matter, that it exceeded the agility of the immaterial angels, while He himself could move about more quickly than they, as shown in his apparitions to the Apostles and on other occasions. The sacred wounds, which had disfigured his body, now shone forth from his hands and feet and side so refulgent and brilliant, that they added a most entrancing beauty and charm. In all this glory and heavenly adornment the Savior now arose from the grave; and in the presence of the saints and Patriarchs He promised universal resurrection in their own flesh and body to all men, and that they moreover, as an effect of his own Resurrection, should be similarly glorified. As an earnest and as a pledge of the universal resurrection, the Lord commanded the souls of many saints there present to reunite with their bodies and rise up to immortal life. Immediately this divine command was executed, and their bodies arose, as is mentioned by saint Matthew, in anticipation of this mystery (Matthew 27, 52). Among them was saint Anne, saint Joseph and saint Joachim, and others of the ancient Fathers and Patriarchs, who had distinguished themselves in the faith and hope of the Incarnation, and had desired and prayed for it with greater earnestness to the Lord. As a reward for their zeal, the resurrection and glory of their bodies was now anticipated.

758. O how powerful and wonderful, how victorious and strong, appeared even now this Lion of Juda, the son of David! None ever woke from sleep so quickly as Christ from death (Ps. 3, 4). At his imperious voice the dry and scattered bones of the ancient dead were joined together, and the flesh, which had long ago turned to dust, was united to the bones, renewed their former life, and adorned by the gifts of glory communicated to it by the life-restoring soul. In one instant all these saints gathered around their Savior, more refulgent and brilliant than the sun, pure, transparent, beauteous and agile, fit to follow Him everywhere and by their own good fortune they now confirmed the prophecy of Job, that, in our own flesh and with our own eyes, and not with those of others, we shall see our Redeemer for our consolation (Job 19, 26). Of all these mysteries the great Queen of heaven was aware and She participated in them from her retreat in the Cenacle. In the same instant in which the most holy soul of Christ entered and gave life to his body the joy of her immaculate soul, which I mentioned in the foregoing chapter as being restrained and, as it were, with held, overflowed into her immaculate body. And this overflow was so exquisite in its effects, that She was transformed from sorrow to joy, from pain to delight, from grief to ineffable jubilation and rest. It happened that just at this time the Evangelist John, as he had done on the previous morning, stepped in to visit Her and console Her in her bitter solitude, and thus unexpectedly, in the midst of splendor and glory, met Her, whom he had before scarcely recognized on account of her overwhelming sorrow. The Apostle now beheld Her with wonder and deepest reverence and concluded that the Lord had risen, since his blessed Mother was thus transfigured with joy.

759. In this new joy and under the divine influences of her supernatural vision the great Lady began to prepare Herself for the visit of the Lord, which was near at hand. While eliciting acts of praise, and in her canticles and prayers, She immediately felt within Her a new kind of jubilation and celestial delight, reaching far beyond the first joy, and corresponding in a wonderful manner to the sorrows and tribulations She had undergone in the Passion; and this new favor was different and much more exalted than the joys overflowing naturally from her soul into her body. Moreover She perceived within Herself another, third and still more different effect, implying new divine favors. Namely She felt infused into her being the heavenly light heralding the advent of beatific vision, which I will not here explain, since I have descanted on it in the first part (Part I, No. 620). I merely add here, that the Queen, on this occasion, received these divine influences more abundantly and in a more exalted degree ; for now the Passion of Christ had gone before and She had acquired the merits of this Passion. Hence the consolations from the hands of her divine Son corresponded to the multitude of her sorrows.

760. The blessed Mary being thus prepared, Christ our Savior, arisen and glorious, in the company of all the Saints and Patriarchs, made his appearance. The ever humble Queen prostrated Herself upon the ground and adored her divine Son; and the Lord raised Her up and drew Her to Himself. In this contact, which was more intimate than the contact with the humanity and the wounds of the Savior sought by Magdalen, the Virgin Mother participated in an extraordinary favor, which She alone, as exempt from sin, could merit. Although it was not the greatest of the favors She attained on this occasion, yet She could not have received it without failing of her faculties, if She had not been previously strengthened by the angels and by the Lord himself. This favor was, that the glorious body of the Son so closely united itself to that of his purest Mother, that He penetrated into it or She into his, as when, for instance, a crystal globe takes up within itself the light of the sun and is saturated with the splendor and beauty of its light. In the same way the body of the most holy Mary entered into that of her divine Son by this heavenly embrace; it was, as it were, the portal of her intimate knowledge concerning the glory of the most holy soul and body of her Lord. As a consequence of these favors, constituting higher and higher degrees of ineffable gifts, the spirit of the Virgin Mother rose to the knowledge of the most hidden sacraments. In the midst of them She heard a voice saying to Her: “My beloved, ascend higher!” (Luke 18, 10). By the power of these words She was entirely transformed and saw the Divinity clearly and intuitively, wherein She found complete, though only temporary, rest and reward for all her sorrows and labors. Silence alone here is proper, since reason and language are entirely inadequate to comprehend or express what passed in the blessed Mary during this beatific vision, the highest She had until then enjoyed. Let us celebrate this day in wonder and praise, with congratulations and loving and humble thanks for what She then merited for us, and for her exaltation and joy.

761. For some hours the heavenly Princess continued to enjoy the essence of God with her divine Son, participating now in his triumph as She had in his torments. Then by similar degrees She again descended from this vision and found Herself in the end reclining on the right arm of the most sacred humanity and regaled in other ways by the right hand of his Divinity (Cant. 2, 6). She held sweetest converse with her Son concerning the mysteries of his Passion and of his glory. In these conferences She was again inebriated with the wine of love and charity, which now She drank unmeasured from the original fount. All that a mere creature can receive was conferred upon the blessed Mary on this occasion; for, according to our way of conceiving such things, the divine equity wished to compensate the injury (thus I must call it, because I cannot find a more proper word), which a Creature so pure and immaculate had undergone in suffering the sorrows and torments of the Passion. For, as I have mentioned many times before, She suffered the same pains as her Son, and now in this mystery She was inundated with a proportionate joy and delight. (The Venerable Mary of Agreda, The Mystical City of God, Volume III: The Transfixion, pp. 727-733.)

Important food for prayer and reflection on this glorious day, this day of days in the liturgical year of the Catholic Church, would you not agree?

May we invoke Our Lady’s help now and at every moment of our lives so that we can enjoy like pleasures at the General Resurrection of the Living and the Dead on the Last Day. The sorrows of this life will pass away as Our Lady’s sorrows passed away upon seeing her Divine Son on this very day, Easter Sunday. We must, however, endure the sorrows of this life to get to the point of our own unending Easter Sunday of glory in Heaven.

Although I know that I sound like the proverbial broken record (or, I suppose nowadays, the frozen DVD or CD), there is nothing that we can experience in this passing, mortal value of tears 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 that caused His Most Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with those Seven Swords of Sorrow. Suffering was the means by which we were redeemed on the wood of the Holy Cross by Our Divine Redeemer. Suffering is the path by which we we can save our own souls if we persevere to the point of our dying breaths in states of Sanctifying Grace, praying always for the grace of Final Perseverance and to have at all times a perfect contrition for our sins by means of making a perfect Act of Contrition each and every day of our lives.

May Our Lady, who made Easter possible by her fulfillment of the Father’s will, pray for us that we will truly believe in the miracle of her Divine Son’s Resurrection and thus become proclaim the Alleluia joy of this holy season, making sure that we rely upon her as her Divine Sons’s consecrated slaves to lead us and all of our family and friends to partake of the great unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise. And may our meditation on the mysteries contained in the Glorious Mysteries of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary help us to remember that the Cross of her Divine Son is meant to lead us to the point of our our bodily resurrection on the Last Day and to share in eternal happiness in Heaven.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Our Lord has died for us. He has risen from the dead. A season of celebration is now upon us. We must continue, therefore, to carry our crosses with joy and with gratitude in this life in order to know eternal joy in Heaven made possible by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour’s Easter Victory over the power of sin and eternal death!

We know that there is an empty tomb in Jerusalem because the God-Man got up and walked out on His own power, and that He wants to lead us through His Holy Church to our own empty tombs at the end of time. He is Risen as He said! Alleluia.

As the Easter Sequence reminds us:

Víctimæ pascháli laudes ímmolent Christiáni.
Agnus rédemit oves: Christus ínnocens Patri reconciliávit peccatóres.
Mors et vita duéllo conflixére mirándo: dux vitæ mórtuus regnat vivus.
Dic nobis, María, quid vidísti in via?
Sepúlcrum Christi vivéntis et glóriam vidi resurgéntis.
Angélicos testes, sudárium et vestes.
Surréxit Christus, spes mea: præcédet vos in Galilaeam.
Scimus Christum surrexísse a mórtuis vere: tu nobis, victor Rex, miserére. Amen. Allelúja.

Christians! to the Paschal Victim offer your thankful praises.
The Lamb the sheep redeemeth: Christ, who only is sinless, reconcileth sinners to the Father.
Death and life contended in that conflict stupendous: the Prince of Life, who died, deathless reigneth.
Speak, Mary, declaring what thou sawest wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ who now liveth: and likewise the glory of the Risen.
Bright Angels attesting, the shroud and napkin resting.
Yea, Christ my hope is arisen: to Galilee He goeth before you.”
We know that Christ is risen, henceforth ever living: Have mercy, Victor King, pardon giving. Amen. Alleluia.

A blessed Easter to you all.

The Regina Coeli:

Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia: Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,

R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus: Deus qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.

Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia: For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia, Has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.

R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray: O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

The Most Solemn Day of the Year

The most powerful sermon ever preached was given by Our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as He hung on the gibbet of the Holy Cross for three hours, nailed there by our sins having transcended time. Our Lord spoke very few words as He died a painful death. The power in His preaching was the suffering He endured to pay back in His Sacred Humanity the debt of our own sins to Himself in His Infinity as God. His death on this very day destroyed the power of sin and eternal death forever, making it possible for each of us to join the Good Thief in Heaven if only we persevere to the point of our dying breaths in states of Sanctifying Grace. The Paschal Lamb, Who had instituted the New and Eternal Covenant at the Last Supper, now ratifies the New Covenant in His Most Precious Blood as He, the new Moses, effects the New and Eternal Passover from sin and death to eternal life with Him for all eternity in Heaven.

Our Lord had been betrayed by one of His chosen Apostles, Judas Iscariot, and denied by His Vicar three times. He was tried before the Sanhedrin as lying witnesses testified against Him. He spent the night in jail prior to being taken before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, who desperately wanted to find a way to release Him while at the same time appeasing his Jewish collaborators in the Roman occupation of the Holy Land, the Pharisees, a point that was made by Saint Augustine in a reading during for Matins during the Office of Tenebrae last evening:

We know what secret counsel was that of the wicked Jews, and what insurrection was that of the workers of iniquity. Of what iniquity were they the workers? The murder of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many good works, saith He, have I showed you for which of those works go ye about to kill Me? He had borne with all their weaknesses: He had healed all their diseases: He had preached unto them the kingdom of heaven: He had discovered to them their iniquities, that they might rather hate them, than the Physician That came to cure them. And now at last, without gratitude for all the tenderness of His healing love, like men raging in an high delirium, throwing themselves madly on the Physician, Who had come to cure them, they took counsel together how they might kill Him, as if to see if He were a Man and could die, or Something more than a man, and That would not let Himself die. In the Wisdom of Solomon we recognize their words, ii. 18, 19, 20, Let us condemn Him with a shameful death Let us examine Him; for, by His own saying, He shall be respected. If He be the Son of God, let Him help Him. (From Saint Augustine‘s Treatise on the Psalms, as found in the Matins, Office of Tenebrae, Good Friday.)

Our Divine Redeemer was scourged and crowned with thorns, suffering the loss of massive quantities of His Most Precious Blood. He was tormented by the crowd, which was motivated by our own sins, and condemned to death as an insurrectionist, Barabbas, promising political salvation was released in His place. He picked up His heavy Cross to carry it on the Via Dolorosa en route to Calvary, where He encountered His Most Blessed Mother, whose suffering in Her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart was a perfect participation in His own work of Redemption.

As I have noted in my Holy Week reflections on this site, Good Friday belongs in a special way to Our Lady. She was present at the foot of the Cross as she gave birth us as the adopted sons and daughters of the living God. She is present–along with all of the angels and saints–at every offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the unbloody re-presentation of her Divine Son’s one Sacrifice to the Father in Spirit and in Truth. We must keep close to her, Our Mediatix, Co-Redemptix and Advocate, this day, calling to mind that the perfection of the communion between her own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of her Divine Son caused her to suffer as no purely human being could ever suffer. She kept a silent vigil by the foot of the Cross. We must mirror her silence this day, placing ourselves totally in her maternal care so that we will grieve–truly grieve–for each of our sins and that we will resolve to have such a perfect love for God that even the thought of sin may become as repulsive to us as it was for saints such as the Little Flower, Saint Therese of Lisieux.

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori described Our Lady’s sorrows on Good Friday in his Victories of the Martyrs:

We have now to witness a new kind of martyrdom–a Mother condemned to see an innocent Son, and one whom she loves with the whole affection of her soul, cruelly tormented and put to death before her own eyes.

There stood by the cross of Jesus his Mother. St. John believed that in these words he had said enough of Mary’s martyrdom. Consider her at the foot of the cross in the presence of her dying Son, and then see if there be a sorrow like unto her sorrow. Let us remain for awhile this day on Calvary, and consider the fifth sword which, in the death of Jesus, transfixed the heart of Mary.

As soon as our agonized Redeemer had reached the Mount of Calvary, the executioners stripped him of his clothes, and piercing his hands and feet “not with sharp but with blunt nails,” as St. Bernard says, to torment him more, they fastened him on the cross. Having crucified him, they planted the cross, and thus left him to die. The executioners left him; but not so Mary. She then drew nearer to the cross, to be present at his death; “I did not leave him (thus the Blessed Virgin revealed to St. Bridget), “but stood nearer to the cross.”

“But what it avail thee, O Lady.” says St. Bonaventure, “to go to Calvary, and see this Son expire? Shame should have prevented thee; for his disgrace was thine, since thou were his Mother. At least, horror of witnessing such a crime as the crucifixion of a God by his own creatures should have prevented thee from going there.” But the same saint answers, “Ah, they heart did not then think of its own sorrows, but of the sufferings and death of thy dear Son,: and therefore thou wouldst thyself be present, at least to compassionate Him. “Ah, true Mother,” says Abbot William, “most loving Mother, whom not even the fear of death could separate from thy beloved Son!”

But, O God, what a cruel sight was it there to behold this Son in agony on the cross, and at its foot this Mother in agony, suffering all the torments endured by her Son! Listen to the words in which Mary revealed to St. Bridget the sorrowful state in which she saw her dying Son on the Cross: “My dear Jesus was breathless, exhausted, and in his last agony on the cross; his eyes were sunk, half-closed, and lifeless; his lips hanging, and his mouth open; his cheeks hollow and drawn in; his face elongated, his nose sharp, his countenance sad; his head had fallen on his breast, his hair was black with blood, his stomach collapsed, his arms and legs stiff, and his whole body covered with wounds and blood.”

All these sufferings of Jesus were also those of Mary; “Every torture inflicted on the body of Jesus,” says St. Jerome, “was a wound in the heart of the Mother.” “Whoever then was present on the Mount of Calvary,” says St. John Chrysostom, “might see two altars, on which two great sacrifices were consummated; the one in the body of Jesus, the other in the heart of Mary.” Nay, better still may we say with St. Bonaventure, “there was but one altar–that of the cross of the Son, on which, together with his divine Lamb, the victim, this Mother was also sacrificed;” therefore the saint asks this Mother, “O Lady, where art thou? near the cross? thyself with thy Son.” St. Augustine assures us of the same thing: “The Cross and nails of the Son were also those of his Mother; with Christ crucified the Mother was also crucified.” Yes; for, as St. Bernard says, “Love inflicted on the heart of Mary the tortures caused by nails in the body of Jesus.” So much so, that, as St. Bernardine writes, “At the same time that the Son sacrificed his body, the Mother sacrificed her soul.”

Mothers ordinarily fly from the presence of their dying children; but when a mother is obliged to witness such a scene, she procures all possible relief for her child; she arranges his bed, that he may be more at ease; she administers refreshments to him; and thus the poor mother soothes her own grief. Ah, most afflicted of all Mothers! O Mary, thou hast to witness the agony of thy dying Jesus; but thou canst administer him no relief. Mary heard her Son exclaim, I thirst, but she could not even give him a drop of water to refresh him in that great thirst. She could only say, as St. Vincent Ferrer remarks, “My Son, I have only the water of tears.” She saw that on that bed of torture her Son, suspended by three nails, could find no repose; she would have clasped him in her arms to give him relief, or that at least he might there have expired; but she could not. “In vain,” says St. Bernard, “did she extend her arms; they sank back empty on her breast.” She beheld that poor Son, who in his sea of grief sought consolation, as it was foretold by the prophet, but in vain: I have trodden the winepress alone; I looked about and there was none to help; I sought, and there was none to give aid. But who amongst men would console him, since all were enemies? Even on the cross he was taunted and blasphemed on all sides: And they that passed by, blasphemed Him, wagging their heads. Some said to his face, If thou be the Son God, come down from the cross. Others, He saved others, Himself He cannot save. Again, If He be the King of Israel, let Him come down from the cross. Our Blessed Lady herself said to St. Bridget, “I heard some say that my Son was a thief; others that he was an impostor; others, that no one deserved death more than he did; and every word was a new sword of grief to my heart.”

But that which the most increased the sorrows which Mary endured through compassion for her Son, was hearing him complain on the cross that even his Eternal Father had abandoned him: My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? Words which the divine Mother told the same St. Bridget could never, during her whole life, depart from her mind. So that the afflicted Mother saw her Jesus suffering on every side; she desired to comfort him, but could not.

That which grieved her the most was to see that she herself, by her presence and sorrow, increased the sufferings of her Son. “The grief,” says St. Bernard, “which filled Mary’s heart, as a torrent flowed into and embittered the heart of Jesus.” “So much so,” says the same saint, “that Jesus on the cross suffered more from compassion for his Mother than from his own torments.” He thus speaks in the name of our Blessed Lady: “I stood with my eyes fixed on him, and his on me, and he grieved more for me than for himself.” And then, speaking of Mary beside her dying Son, he says, “that she lived dying without being able to die.” “Near the cross of Christ his Mother stood half-dead; she spoke not; dying she lived, and living she died; nor could she die, for death was her very life.”

Passino writes that Jesus Christ himself one day, speaking to blessed Baptista Varani of Camerino, assured her that when on the cross, so great was his affliction at seeing his Mother at his feet in so bitter an anguish, that compassion for her caused him to die without consolation; so much so, that the Blessed Baptista, being supernaturally enlightened as to the greatness of this suffering of Jesus, exclaimed, “O Lord, tell me no more of this Thy sorrow, for I can no longer bear it.”

“All,” says Simon of Cassia, “who then saw this Mother silent, and not uttering a complaint in the midst of so great suffering, were filled with astonishment.” But if Mary’s lips were silent, her heart was not so, for she necessarily offered the life of her Son to the divine justice for our salvation. Therefore, we know that by the merits of her dolors she cooperated in our birth to the life of grace; and hence we are the children of her sorrows. “Christ,” says Lanspergius, “was pleased that she, the cooperatress in our redemption, and whom he had determined to give us for our Mother, should be there present; for it was at the foot of the cross that she was to bring us, her children forth.” If any consolation entered that sea of bitterness in the heart of Mary, the only one was this, that she knew that by her sorrows she was leading us to eternal salvation, as Jesus himself revealed to St. Bridget: “My Mother Mary, on account of her compassion and love, was made the Mother of all in heaven and on earth.” And indeed these were the lat words with which Jesus bid her farewell before his death: this was his last recommendation, leaving us to her for her children in the person of St. John: Woman, behold thy son. From that time Mary began to perform this good office of a mother for us; for St. Peter Damian attests, “that by the prayers of Mary, who stood between the cross of the good thief and that of her Son, the thief was converted and saved, and thereby she repaid a former service.” For, as other authors also relate, this thief had been kind to Jesus and Mary on their journey into Egypt; and this same office the Blessed Virgin has ever continued, and still continues, to perform.”

 

Whenever anyone of us believes that we have received a cross that is “too heavy” for us we should review these words from Saint Alphonsus Liguori. All we need to do is to look at the Cross, which is the true book of learning, and to recognize the simple fact that there is nothing–and I mean absolutely nothing–that we can suffer in this mortal life that is the equal of what one of our least Venial ns caused Our Lord to suffer in His Sacred Humanity on the wood of the Cross. There is nothing that we can suffer that is the equal of what the suffering we imposed upon the God-Man caused His Most Blessed Mother to suffer in her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

Now, the Paschal Triduum, Good Friday, is the time to learn this lesson once and for all and to accept each and every cross that comes our way as having been perfectly tailored for us for all eternity to be given back to the Most Blessed Trinity through the Immaculate Heart of Mary with complete resignation and abandonment to the will of God. Yes, crosses hurt. They are meant to hurt. Alas, nothing we endure compares to what our sins imposed upon the Divine Redeemer’s Most Sacred Heart and His Most Holy Mother’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. We must console them on this day of days, the day on which our salvation was wrought for us on the wood of the Holy Cross. True liberation from self-concern comes only when we surrender ourselves as the consecrated slaves of Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, which was pierced with a Fifth Sword of Sorrow at the moment of her Divine Son’s death on the Cross, a death that made it possible for us to live forever in the glory of the Beatific Vision.

This, the most solemn day of the year, is a day to withdraw from all of the activities of the world. This is not a day for conversation or socializing of any type whatsoever. This is a day of mourning. We assist at the Solemn Good Friday liturgy, the Mass of the Presanctified, in a spirit of solemnity and sobriety, leaving it after its conclusion in utter silence, mournful of what our sins caused Our Lord to suffer in His Sacred Humanity on the wood of the Holy Cross and what they caused our Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate to suffer in her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

Yes, we know that we will be celebrating Our Lord’s Easter victory over sin and death with the Mass on Holy Saturday morning or evening and during the Easter Sunday Mass–and thence in the glory of the fifty days of Easter. However, this day, the only day in the liturgical year on which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not offered and Our Lord’s Real Presence is hidden from the faithful for public adoration after the Mass of the Presanctified, must be reserved for calling to mind the horror of sin and the love and mercy Our Lord extended to us, His executioners, through His Most Sacred Heart, which we must seek to console as best as we can as the consecrated slaves of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Every Mass gives us an opportunity to transcend time and to be present on the “right” side of the Cross to make up for the fact that our sins had placed us on the wrong side of the Cross nearly two millennia ago. And the Immemorial Mass of Tradition communicates the solemnity of Calvary in countless ways throughout the liturgical year, preparing us to enter more deeply into the mysteries of redemptive love shown us by God in the flesh as He was nailed to the Holy Cross.

The Immemorial Mass of Tradition in all of its essential elements was taught to the Apostles by Our Lord Himself between the time of His Resurrection on Easter Sunday and His Ascension to the Father’s right hand in glory on Ascension Thursday. It is the Immemorial Mass of Tradition that communicates fully and completely the simple fact that every offering of Holy Mass is the extension of Calvary in time, which is why it can never become a carnival or an expression of community self-congratulations replete with jokes and back-slapping.

The Mass must reflect the reverence and solemnity of what happened once in time on Good Friday and is re-presented in an unbloody manner at the hands of an alter Christus acting in persona Christi. The perfection of the  Immemorial Mass of Tradition in communicating this reverence and solemnity has been such over the centuries that it succeeded in producing scores upon scores of saints during epochs when few people could read. These saints learned from the eloquent lessons preached by the very solemnity and reverence communicated in all of the component parts of the Mass of the ages of the Roman Rite, just as Our Lord preached so eloquently as He suffered and died once in time on this very day.

Our Lord forgave His executioners, namely, each one of us as He died on the wood of the Holy Cross. He promised Heaven to the Good Thief. He gave Our Lady to be our Mother through Saint John the Beloved. He thirsted for our souls. We must simply surrender to Him, recognizing that we have the duty to carry the cross with love every day of our lives and to lift it high in the midst of a hostile and unbelieving world. Every moment of our lives has been redeemed by the shedding of Our Lord’s Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross. The graces He won for us on this very day are sufficient to endure whatever sufferings we are asked to bear, each of which is perfectly suited to be offered to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to be used precisely as she sees fit for the honor and glory of the Blessed Trinity and for the sanctification and salvation of human souls.

Consider the words of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, found in his Friends of the Cross:

Let him take up his cross, the one that is his. Let this man or this woman, rarely found and worth more than the entire world, take up with joy, fervently clasp in his arms and bravely set upon his shoulders this cross that is his own and not that of another; his own cross, the one that My wisdom designed for him in every detail of number, weight and measurement; his own cross whose four dimensions, its length, breadth, thickness and height, I very accurately gauged with My own hands; his own cross which all out of love for him I carved from a section of the very Cross I bore in Calvary; his cross, the grandest of all the gifts I have for My chosen ones on earth; his cross, made up in its thickness of temporal loss, humiliation, disdain, sorrow, illness and spiritual trial which My Providence will not fail to supply him with every day of his life; his cross, made up in its length of a definite period of days or months when he will have to bear with slander or be helplessly stretched out on a bed of pain, or forced to beg, or else a prey to temptation, to dryness, desolation and many another mental anguish; his cross, made up in its breadth of hard and bitter situations stirred up for him by his relatives, friends or servants; his cross, finally, made up in its depth of secret sufferings which I will have him endure nor will I allow him any comfort from created beings, for by My order they will turn from him too and even join Me in making him suffers.

Let him carry it, and not drag it, not shoulder it off, not lighten it, nor hide it. Let him hold it high in hand, without impatience or peevishness, without voluntary complaint or grumbling without dividing or softening, without shame or human respect.

Let him place it on his forehead and say with St. Paul: “God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Let him carry it on his shoulders, after the example of Jesus Christ, and make it his weapon to victory and the scepter of his empire.

Let him root it in his heart, and there change it into a fiery bush, burning day and night with the pure love of God, without being consumed.

The cross: it is the cross he must carry for there is nothing more necessary, more useful, more agreeable and more glorious than suffering for Jesus Christ.

All of you are sinners and there is not a single one who is not deserving of hell; I myself deserve it the most. These sins of ours must be punished either here or hereafter. If they are punished in this world, they will not be punished in the world to come.

If we agree to God’s punishing here below, this punishment, will be dictated by love. For mercy, which holds sway in this world, will mete out the punishment, and not strict justice. This punishment will be light and momentary, blended with merit and sweetness and followed up with reward both in time and eternity. . . .

Be resolved then, dear Friends of the Cross, to suffer every kind of cross without excepting or choosing any: all poverty, all injustice, all temporal loss, all illness, all humiliation, all contradiction, all calumny, all spiritual dryness, all desolation, all interior and exterior trials. Keep saying, “My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready.” Be ready to be forsaken by everyone. Be ready to undergo hunger, thirst, poverty, nakedness, exile, imprisonment, the gallows and all kinds of torture, even though you are innocent of everything with which you may be charged. What if you were cast out of your own home like Job and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary; thrown, like this saint, into the mire; or dragged upon a manure pile like Job, malodorous and covered with ulcers, without anyone to bandage your wounds, without a morsel of bread, never refused to a horse or a dog? Add to these dreadful misfortunes all the temptations with which God allows the devil to prey upon you, without pouring your soul the least feeling of consolation. Firmly believe that this is the summit of divine glory and real happiness for a true, perfect Friend of the Cross.

The first Adam lost our birthright to Heaven when he stretched out his arm to a tree. The second Adam stretched out His arms to a tree and made it possible to enter Heaven by being incorporated as members of His one, true Church and persisting in a state of sanctifying grace until the point of our dying breaths. What was lost for us on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden was won back for us on the Tree of Life that is the Holy Cross. The One whose newborn Body was placed in a manger, a feeding trough for animals, was affixed by our sins to the wood of the Holy Cross, which has become the true manger from which we are fed His very own Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Oh, what sublime mysteries of love and mercy, of forgiveness and redemption. Our Lord, the Chief Priest and Victim of every Mass, extends His arms in the gesture of the Eternal High Priest on the horizontal beam of His Most Holy Cross to lift us up on the vertical beam to His Father in Heaven for all eternity:

Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself. (Now this he said, signifying what death he should die.) The multitude answered him: We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever; and how sayest thou: The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while, the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth. (John 12: 31-35.)

We must thank Our Lord today for His gift to us of our Redemption, a gift which we did not and do not merit. We must thank Him for the gift of the true Church. And those of us who have embraced, perhaps much later than we should have, the glories of the Church’s authentic tradition in the catacombs where shepherds make no concessions to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its false shepherds must thank Him and His Blessed Mother, the Co-Redemptrix and the Mediatrix of all graces, for helping us to see that the sermon preached on Calvary can heard only if Catholics of the Roman Rite assist exclusively at the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, where everything points to the Cross of the Divine Redeemer–and from there to the glories of an unending Easter Sunday in Paradise if we remain faithful to the point of our dying breaths.

Father Frederick Faber reflected on this in The Foot of the Cross (published originally in England in 1857 under the title of The Dolors of Mary):

The first hour of the three begins,–the three hours that were such parallels to the three days when she was seeking her lost Boy. In the darkness she has come close up to the Cross; for others fell away, as the panic simultaneously infected them. There is a faith in the Jews, upon which this fear can readily graft itself. But the executioners are hardened, and the Roman soldiers were not wont to tremble in darkness. Near to the Cross, by the glimmering light, they are diceing for His garments. The coarse words and rude jests pierced the Mother’s heart; for, as we have said before, it belonged to her perfection that her grief absorbed nothing. Every thing told upon her. Every thing made its own wound, and occupied her, as if itself were the sole suffering, the exclusively aggravating circumstance. She saw those garments–those relics, which were beyond all price the world could give–in the hands of miserable sinners, who would sacrilegiously clothe themselves therewith. For thirty years they had grown with our Lord’s growth, and had not been worn by use,–renewing that miracle which Moses mentions in Deuteronomy, that, through all the forty years of the desert, the garments of the Jews were not “worn out, neither the shoes of their feet consumed with age.” Now sinners were to wear them, and to carry them to unknown haunts of drunkenness and sin. Yet what was it but a type? The whole of an unclean world was to clothe itself in the beautiful justice of her Son. Sinners were to wear His virtues, to merit by His merits, to satisfy in His satisfactions, and to draw, at will, from the wells of His Precious Blood. As Jacob had been blessed in Esau’s clothing, so should all mankind be blessed in the garments of their elder Brother.

Then there was the seamless tunic she herself had wrought for Him. The unity of His Church was figured there. She saw them cast lots for it. She marked to whom it had fallen. One of her first loving duties to the Church will be to recover it for the faithful as a relic. Then it was the history of the Church rose before her. Every schism, which should ever afflict the mystical Body of her Son, was like a new rent in her suffering heart. Every heresy, every quarrel, every unseemly sin against unity, came to her with keenest anguish., there on Calvary, with the living Sacrifice being actually offered, and the unity of His Church being bought with so terrible a price. All this bitterness filled her soul, without distracting her from Jesus for a single moment. As holy pontiffs, with hearts broken by the wrongs and distresses of the Church, have been all engrossed by them, yet never for an instant lost their interior union with Jesus, so much more was it with His Mother’s now. It was on Calvary she felt all this with an especial feeling, as it is in Lent, and Passiontide, and in devotion to the Passion, that we learn to love the Church with such sensitive loyalty.

Fresh fountains of grief were opened to her in the fixing of the title to the Cross. It had come from Pilate, and a ladder was set up against the cross, and the title nailed above our Saviour’s Head. Every blow of the hammer was unutterable torture to Him, torture which had a fearful echo also in the Mother’s heart. Nor was the title itself without power to extend and rouse her suffering. The sight of the Holy Name blazoned there in shame to all the world,-the Name, which to her was sweeter than any music, more fragrant than any perfume,-this was in itself a sorrow. The name of Nazareth, also, how it brought back the past, surrounding the Cross, in that dim air, with beautiful associations and marvellous contrasts. Everywhere in the Passion Bethlehem and Nazareth were making themselves felt, and seen, and heard, and always eliciting new sorrow from the inexhaustible depths of the Mother’s heart. If He was a king, it was a strange throne on which His people had placed Him. Why did they not acknowledge Him to be their king? Why did they wait for a Roman stranger to tell it them as if in scorn? Why did they not let Him rule in their hearts? Ah! poor people! how much happier would it be for themselves, how many sins would be hindered, how many souls saved, how much glory gained for God! King of the Jews! would that it were so! Yet it was really so. But a king rejected, disowned, deposed, put to death! What a load lay upon her heart at that moment! It was the load of self invoked curses, which was to press to the ground that poor regicide people. She would have borne al her seven dolors over again to abolish that curse, and reinstate them, as of old, in the predilection of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was too late. They had had their day. They had filled up the measure of their iniquity. It rose to the brim that very morning, and the breaking of Mary’s heart was a portion of their iniquity. But at least over her heart Jesus was acknowledged king, and reigned supreme. So was it with the dear Magdalen and the ardent John; and, as she thought of this, she looked upon them with a very glory of exceeding love. Is it that Jesus breaks the hearts over which He reigns or that He comes of special choice to reign in broken hearts? But as the the sense passed over her of what it was to have Jesus for a king,-of the undisputed reign which by His own grace He exercised over her sinless heart,–of the vastness of that heart, far exceeding by his own bounty the grand empire of the angels or the multitudinous perfections of the saints,–and of the endless reign which He would have in that beautiful “ivory palace” of hers which made Him so glad,–her love burst out afresh upon Him, as if the dikes of ocean had given away, and the continents and every gush of love was at the same time an exquisite gush of pain.

She had enough of occupation in herself. But sorrow widens great hearts, just as it contracts little ones. She had taken to herself the thieves for her sons. She was greedy of children. She felt the value of them then, in the same way in which we know the value of a friend when we are losing him. His dead face looks it into us, and means more than his living expression did. She has wrestled in prayer for those two malefactors, and God has given her to see the work of grace beginning in the heart of one of them. Does this content her? Yes! with that peculiar contentment which comes of answered prayer, that is to say, she became more covetous because of what she had not. She counted that only a beginning. She pleaded, she insisted. One would have thought such prayer at such a time resistless. It is not Heaven that resists. Graces descend from above like flights of angels to the heart of the impenitent thief. They fluttered there. They sang for entrance. They waited. They pecked at the heart of flesh. They made it bleed with pain, with terror, with remorse. But it was its own master. It would not open. So near Jesus, and to be lost! It might well be incredible to Mary. yet so it was. The thief matches his hardness against her sweetness, and prevailed. Mary may not be queen of any heart where Jesus is not already king. But, oh, the unutterable anguish to her of this impenitence! His face so near the Face of Jesus, the sights of the spotless victim dwelling in his ear as silence dwells in the mountains, the very Breath of the Incarnate God reaching to him, the Precious Blood strewn all around him, like an overflow of waste water, as if there was more than men knew what to do with, and in the midst of all this to be damned, to commute the hot strangling throes of that crucifixion for everlasting fire, to be detached by his own will from the very side of the Crucifix, and the next moment to become part of a hopeless hell! Mary saw his eternity before her as in a vista. She took in at a glance the peculiar horror of his case. There came a sigh out of her heart at the loss of this poor wretched son, which had sorrow enough in it to repair the outraged majesty of God, but not enough to soften the sinner’s heart.

Such were the outward, or rather let us call them the official, occupations of Mary during the first hour upon the Cross. Her inmost occupation, and yet outward also, was that which was above her, overshadowing her in the darkness, and felt more vividly even than if it had been clearly seen,–Jesus hanging upon the Cross! As our guardian angels are ever by our sides, engrossed with a thousand invisible ministries of love, and yet all the while see God, and in that one beatifying sight are utterly immersed, so it was with Mary on Calvary. While she seemed an attentive witness and listener of the men dividing our Lord’s garments among them, and of the nailing of the title to the Cross, or appeared to be occupied with the conversion of the thieves, she did all those things, as the saints do things, in ecstasy, with perfect attention and faultless accuracy, and yet far withdrawn into the presence of God and hidden in His light. A whole hour went by. Jesus was silent. His Blood was on fire with pain. His body began to depend from the Cross, as if the nails barely held it. The Blood was trickling down from the wood all the while. He was growing whiter and whiter. Every moment of that agony was an act of communion with the Father. Mysteries, exceeding all mysteries that had ever been on earth, were going on in His Heart, which was alternately contracted and dilated with agony too awful for humanity to bear without miraculous support. It had divine support; but divine consolation was carefully kept apart. The interior of that Heart was clearly disclosed to the Mother’s inward eye, and her heart participated in its sufferings. She, too, needed a miracle to prolong her life, and the miracle was worked. But with the same peculiarity. From her, also, all consolation was kept away. And so one hour passed, and grace had created many worlds of sanctity, as the laden minutes went slowly by, one by one, then slower and slower, like the pulses of a clock at midnight when we are ill, beating sensibly slower to reproach us for our impatient listening.

The second hour began. The darkness deepened., and there were fewer persons round the Cross. No diceing now, no disturbance of nailing the title to the Cross. All was as silent as a sanctuary. Then Jesus spoke. It seemed as if he had been holding secret converse with the Father, and He had come to a point when He could keep silence no longer. It sounded as if He had been pleading for sinners, and the Father had said that the sin of His Crucifixion was too great to be forgiven. To our human ears the word has that significance. It certainly came out of some depth, out of something which had been going on before, either His own thoughts, or the intensity of His pain, or a colloquy with the Father. “Father! forgiven them; for they know not what they do!” Beautiful, unending prayer, true of all sins and of all sinners in every time! They know not what they do. No one knows what he does when he sins. It is his very knowledge that the malice of sin is past his comprehension which is a great part of the malice of his sin. Beautiful prayer also, because it discloses the characteristic devotion of our dearest Lord! When He breaks the silence, it is not about His Mother, or the apostles, or a word of comfort that affectionate forlorn Magdalen, whom He loved so fondly. It is for sinners, for the worst of them, for His personal enemies, for those who crucified Him, for those who had been yelling after Him in the streets, and loading Him with the uttermost indignities. It is as if at Nazareth He might seem to love His Mother more than all the world beside, but that now on Calvary, when His agony had brought out the deepest realities and the last disclosures of His Sacred Heart, it was found that His chief devotion was to sinners. Was Mary hurt by this appearance? Was it a fresh dolor that He had not thought first of her? Oh, no! Mary had no self on Calvary. It could not have lived there. Had her heart cried out at the same moment with our Lord’s, it would have uttered the same prayer, and in like words would have unburdened itself of that of which it was most full. But the word did draw new floods of sorrow. They very sound of His voice above her in the obscure eclipse melted within her. The marvel of His uncomplaining silence was more pathetic now that He had spoken. Grief seemed to have reached its limits; but it had not. The word threw down the walls, laid a whole world of possible sorrow open to it, and poured the waters over it in an irresistible flood. The well-remembered tone pieced her [Our Lady] like a spear. They very beauty of the word was anguish to her. Is it not often so that deathbed words are harrowing because they are so beautiful, so incomprehensibly full of love? Mary’s broken heart enlarged itself, and took in the whole world, and bathed it in tears of love. To her that word was like a creative word. It made the Mother of God Mother of mercy also. Swifter than the passage of light, as that word was uttered, the mercy of Mary had thrown round the globe a mantle of light, beautifying its rough places, and giving lust re in the dark, while incredible sorrow made itself coextensive with her incalculable love.

The words of Jesus on the Cross might almost have been a dolor by themselves. They were all of them more touching in themselves than ny words which ever have been spoken on the earth. The incomparable beauty of our Lord’s Soul freights each one of them with itself, and yet how differently? The sweetness of His Divinity is hidden in them, and for ages on ages it has ravished the contemplative souls who loved Him best. If even to ourselves these words are continually giving out new beauties in our meditations, what must they be to the saints, and then, far beyond that, what were they to His Most Blessed Mother? To her, each of them was a theology, a theology enrapturing the heart while it illumined he understanding. She knew they would be His last. Through life they had been but few, and now in less than two hours He will utter seven, which the world will listen to and wonder at until the end of time. To her they were not isolated. They recalled other unforgotten words. There were no forgotten ones. She interpreted them by others, and others again by them, and so they gave out manifold new meanings. Besides which, she saw the interior from which they came, and therefore they were deeper to her. But the growing beauty of Jesus had been consistently a more copious fountain of sorrow all through the Three-and-Thirty Years. It was not likely that law would be abrogated upon Calvary. And was there not something perfectly awful, even to Mary’s eye, in the way in which His divine beauty was mastering every thing and beginning to shine out in the eclipse? It seemed as if the Godhead were going to lay Itself bare among the very ruins of the Sacred Humanity, as His bones were showing themselves through His flesh. It was unspeakable. Mary lifted up her whole soul to its uttermost height to reach the point of adoration due to Him, and tranquilly acknowledged that it was beyond her power. her adoration sank down into profusest love, and her love condensed under the chill shadow into an intensity of sorrow, which felt its pain intolerably everywhere as the low pulsations of His clear gentle voice ran and undulated through her inmost soul.

The thought which was nearest to our Blessed Saviour’s Heart, if we may reverently venture to speak thus of Him, was the glory of His Father. We can hardly doubt that after that, chief among the affections of the created nature which He had condescended to assume, stood the love of His Immaculate Mother. Among His seven words there will be one, a word following His absolution of the thief at Mary’s prayer, a double word, both to her and of her. That also shall be like a creative word, creative for Mary, and still more creative for His Church. He spoke out of an unfathomable love, and yet in such mysterious guise as was fitted still more to deepen His Mother’s grief. He styles her “Woman,” as if He had already put off the filial character. He substitutes John for Himself, and finally appears to transfer to John His own right to call Mary Mother. How many things were there here to overwhelm our Blessed Lady with fresh affliction! She well knew the meaning of the mystery. She understood that by this seeming transfer she had been solemnly installed in her office of the second Eve, the mother of all mankind. She was aware that now Jesus had drawn her still more closely to Himself, had likened her to Himself more than ever, and had more their union more complete. The two relations of Mother and Son were two no longer; they had melted into one. She knew that never had He loved her more than now, and never shown her a more palpable proof of His love, of which, however, no proof was wanting. But each fresh instance of His love was a new sorrow to her; for it called up more love in her, and with more love, as usual, more sorrow. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, published originally in England in 1857 under the title The Dolors of Mary, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 244-252.)

 

Pope Pius XII, writing in Summi Pontificatus, October 10, 1939, sounded a very similar theme, explaining that there must be darkness over the earth in a world that does not acknowledge the Redemptive Act of the Divine Redeemer and makes sinful man and his naturalistic desires the measure of all things, that it is only the Catholic Faith that can unite men in a bond of true peace, that of the King of Calvary Himself:

The Holy Gospel narrates that when Jesus was crucified “there was darkness over the whole earth” (Matthew xxvii. 45); a terrifying symbol of what happened and what still happens spiritually wherever incredulity, blind and proud of itself, has succeeded in excluding Christ from modern life, especially from public life, and has undermined faith in God as well as faith in Christ. The consequence is that the moral values by which in other times public and private conduct was gauged have fallen into disuse; and the much vaunted civilization of society, which has made ever more rapid progress, withdrawing man, the family and the State from the beneficent and regenerating effects of the idea of God and the teaching of the Church, has caused to reappear, in regions in which for many centuries shone the splendors of Christian civilization, in a manner ever clearer, ever more distinct, ever more distressing, the signs of a corrupt and corrupting paganism: “There was darkness when they crucified Jesus” (Roman Breviary, Good Friday, Response Five).

Many perhaps, while abandoning the teaching of Christ, were not fully conscious of being led astray by a mirage of glittering phrases, which proclaimed such estrangement as an escape from the slavery in which they were before held; nor did they then foresee the bitter consequences of bartering the truth that sets free, for error which enslaves. They did not realize that, in renouncing the infinitely wise and paternal laws of God, and the unifying and elevating doctrines of Christ’s love, they were resigning themselves to the whim of a poor, fickle human wisdom; they spoke of progress, when they were going back; of being raised, when they groveled; of arriving at man’s estate, when they stooped to servility. They did not perceive the inability of all human effort to replace the law of Christ by anything equal to it; “they became vain in their thoughts” (Romans i. 21).

With the weakening of faith in God and in Jesus Christ, and the darkening in men’s minds of the light of moral principles, there disappeared the indispensable foundation of the stability and quiet of that internal and external, private and public order, which alone can support and safeguard the prosperity of States.

It is true that even when Europe had a cohesion of brotherhood through identical ideals gathered from Christian preaching, she was not free from divisions, convulsions and wars which laid her waste; but perhaps they never felt the intense pessimism of today as to the possibility of settling them, for they had then an effective moral sense of the just and of the unjust, of the lawful and of the unlawful, which, by restraining outbreaks of passion, left the way open to an honorable settlement. In Our days, on the contrary, dissensions come not only from the surge of rebellious passion, but also from a deep spiritual crisis which has overthrown the sound principles of private and public morality.

Among the many errors which derive from the poisoned source of religious and moral agnosticism, We would draw your attention, Venerable Brethren, to two in particular, as being those which more than others render almost impossible or at least precarious and uncertain, the peaceful intercourse of peoples.

The first of these pernicious errors, widespread today, is the forgetfulness of that law of human solidarity and charity which is dictated and imposed by our common origin and by the equality of rational nature in all men, to whatever people they belong, and by the redeeming Sacrifice offered by Jesus Christ on the Altar of the Cross to His Heavenly Father on behalf of sinful mankind.

In fact, the first page of the Scripture, with magnificent simplicity, tells us how God, as a culmination to His creative work, made man to His Own image and likeness (cf. Genesis i. 26, 27); and the same Scripture tells us that He enriched man with supernatural gifts and privileges, and destined him to an eternal and ineffable happiness. It shows us besides how other men took their origin from the first couple, and then goes on, in unsurpassed vividness of language, to recount their division into different groups and their dispersion to various parts of the world. Even when they abandoned their Creator, God did not cease to regard them as His children, who, according to His merciful plan, should one day be reunited once more in His friendship (cf. Genesis xii. 3).

The Apostle of the Gentiles later on makes himself the herald of this truth which associates men as brothers in one great family, when he proclaims to the Greek world that God “hath made of one, all mankind, to dwell upon the whole face of the earth, determining appointed times, and the limits of their habitation, that they should seek God” (Acts xvii. 26, 27).

A marvelous vision, which makes us see the human race in the unity of one common origin in God “one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in us all” (Ephesians iv. 6); in the unity of nature which in every man is equally composed of material body and spiritual, immortal soul; in the unity of the immediate end and mission in the world; in the unity of dwelling place, the earth, of whose resources all men can by natural right avail themselves, to sustain and develop life; in the unity of the supernatural end, God Himself, to Whom all should tend; in the unity of means to secure that end.

It is the same Apostle who portrays for us mankind in the unity of its relations with the Son of God, image of the invisible God, in Whom all things have been created: “In Him were all things created” (Colossians i. 16); in the unity of its ransom, effected for all by Christ, Who, through His Holy and most bitter passion, restored the original friendship with God which had been broken, making Himself the Mediator between God and men: “For there is one God, and one Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy ii. 5).

And to render such friendship between God and mankind more intimate, this same Divine and universal Mediator of salvation and of peace, in the sacred silence of the Supper Room, before He consummated the Supreme Sacrifice, let fall from His divine Lips the words which reverberate mightily down the centuries, inspiring heroic charity in a world devoid of love and torn by hate: “This is my commandment that you love one another, as I have loved you” (Saint John xv. 12).

These are supernatural truths which form a solid basis and the strongest possible bond of a union, that is reinforced by the love of God and of our Divine Redeemer, from Whom all receive salvation “for the edifying of the Body of Christ: until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians iv. 12, 13).

In the light of this unity of all mankind, which exists in law and in fact, individuals do not feel themselves isolated units, like grains of sand, but united by the very force of their nature and by their internal destiny, into an organic, harmonious mutual relationship which varies with the changing of times.

And the nations, despite a difference of development due to diverse conditions of life and of culture, are not destined to break the unity of the human race, but rather to enrich and embellish it by the sharing of their own peculiar gifts and by that reciprocal interchange of goods which can be possible and efficacious only when a mutual love and a lively sense of charity unite all the sons of the same Father and all those redeemed by the same Divine Blood.

 

The Cross of the Divine Redeemer, at which stood His Most Blessed Mother, is the one and only standard of human liberty. Crucifixes would be displayed very prominently in every community in the United States of America and every other nation in the world if He was recognized as King as He has revealed Himself to men exclusively through His Catholic Church. His Most Blessed Mother would be honored publicly in each community by all citizens with shrines and weekly Rosary processions. The overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King wrought by the Protestant Revolt against the Divine Plan that God Himself had instituted to effect man’s return to Him through His Catholic Church and thus to order nations rightly along the paths of temporal justice pursued in light of man’s own Last End, a revolt against both Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen that was institutionalized by the rise of Judeo-Masonry and its religiously indifferentist civil state, has plunged mankind into barrenness and darkness and barbarism.

Yes, the Cross of the Divine Redeemer, upon which hung the Salvation of the World, is our only hope. We must lift it high in our own daily lives, especially on this most solemn day of the year, Good Friday, April 18, 2014.

Father Benedict Baur wrote the following reflection that is useful for our own consideration on this most solemn day of the year:

This is a day of mourning for the Church and for the faithful. The cross occupies the most prominent place in the liturgy of the day. It was on the cross that the Lord carried out the will of the Father to its last detail by giving up His life for our sins. He “loved me and delivered Himself for me” (Gal. 2: 20)

“And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, they crucified Him there; and the robbers, one on the right hand and the other on the left. And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. But they, dividing His garments, cast lots. And the people stood beholding, and the rulers with them derided Him saying: He saved others; let Him save Himself if He be the Christ, the elect of God. And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming to Him and offering Him vinegar, and saying: If Thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And also there was a superscription written over Him in letters of Greek and Latin and Hebrew: This is the King of the Jews. And one of those robbers who were hanged blasphemed him, saying: If Thou be the Christ save Thyself and us. . . . And it was almost the sixth hour; and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said: Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit. And saying this, He gave up the ghost” (Luke 23: 33 ff.) “He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross” (Phil. 2: 8). “Oh all ye that pass by the way attend and see if there is any sorrow like to my sorrow.” (Lam. 1: 12)

The holy body has been torn by the cruel scourge until it is one mass of burning and bleeding wounds. The terrible crown of thorns has pierced His head, and He is consumed by thirst. To this unspeakable physical pain is added an anguish of soul that is even more terrible. He hears the shocking cry of His blinded people: “His blood be upon us and upon our children” (Matt. 27: 25). He hears the exultant yells of His enemies, and He looks into the future and sees that millions of men will repay suffering and His love with the basest ingratitude and the cruelest indifference. Why do they act thus? They have no time to attend to Christ. The grace which He won for them with such prodigal suffering and which so much love they neglect abuse, and thus run the risk of losing their immortal souls. The immense inheritance which He purchased by His blood they allow to slip through their fingers. How this ingratitude and blindness tortures Him! With Mary and John we stand under His cross today to share His agony.

Christ died in our stead. “Surely he hat born our infirmities and carried our sorrows; and we have thought of him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our iniquities; he was bruised for our sins; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53: 4-6). No mortal man could satisfy for the insult offered to God by sin; not even the highest of the angels could make adequate satisfaction. “Search not for a man to redeem you; Christ the God-man alone can perform works of sufficient value” (St. Basil). He takes our indebtedness upon Himself and lifts it up to His cross. “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled (1 Pet. 1: 18 f.). The penalties which Christ suffered should have been our penalty. “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15: 13).

Christ has died for each one of us personally. The wages of sin is death. All the penalties of sin press upon us at death. God’s justice has not prepared anything so frightening as the prospect of death. Every creature shrinks from the thought of it. Nothing is so surely a punishment for sin as is death. Death cuts the bonds that secure the body and soul to the earth, just as sin first severed the bond which bound men to God. Christ the Lord delivers Himself up freely to death for our sake. His love is “strong as death.” His submission to this most terrifying of God’s punishments is the highest token of His love. He chooses the most terrible prospect of death that He may give me the surest sign of His love.

In giving over His body to death, He destroys the body of sin and death on the cross. Having bathed mankind in His precious blood, He has provided humanity with a new and holy body. Men thus reborn are worthy to become the sons of God and merit eternal life and eternal glory.

Christ died for us on the cross. What a mysterious dispensation of God’s providence! The unjust man commits the sin, but the Just One satisfies for it. The guilty one escapes the penalty of sin, but the Innocent One pays the penalty. What a contrast between the wickedness of man, and the goodness and justice and mercy of God! God has done all this for us: what we have done for Him? (Father Benedict Baur, The Light of the World, Volume I, pp. 424-426.)

 

What have we done for Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Who redeemed us this very day? What we can do for Him is to show Him some small token of our love and gratitude by spending time with Him before the Altar of Repose before He is taken away at noon today, Good Friday, April 2, 2010. Can we not watch one hour with Him?

May Our Lady of Sorrows, whose Immaculate Heart was pierced by the fourth through seventh swords of sorrow prophesied by Simeon, pray for us this day, Good Friday,  April 18, 2014, so that we will withdraw from the world and thus draw close to her as we seek to console her for what our sins and ingratitude and indifference caused her and her Divine Son to suffer, so that we might be with her in the gaze of the Beatific Vision of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for all eternity, a destiny that would have been impossible unless she had consented to be the Mother of the King of Calvary at the Annunciation. May we keep Our Lady company at the tomb of her Divine Son so that we may celebrate with joy His Easter victory over sin and eternal death made possible by His paying back in His own Sacred Humanity the very debt of sin that was owed to Him in His Infinity as God.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our deaths!

Relics in the Church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, May 22, 2005. (The wooden sign with the inscription “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is pictured in the lower right hand corner of the photograph. Wood from the True Cross is visible in the horizontal and vertical beams of the Cross in the reliquary. A nail is visible in the upper left hand corner. Two thorns from the Crown of Thorns are visible in the upper right hand corner. Visible in the lower left hand corner is the bronzed finger of Saint Thomas the Apostle with which he probed the nail marks in the hands of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.)

The Crucifix that is based on the Holy Shroud of Turin, Church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, May 22, 2005 (a small pilgrim, then three years of age and now twenty-two days beyond her twelfth birthday, is venerating the Crucifix on her own volition without any prompting)

 

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us now and in death’s agony.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

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.

Enter The Passion

Novi et Aeterni Testamenti: A Maundy Thursday Reflection focused on Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s institution of the Holy Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper for our sanctification and salvation.

This brief reflection will focus on the events at the beginning of Our Lord’s Passion last evening, Maundy Thursday, starting with his fearful Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane atop the Mount of Olives.

We have entered into the Paschal Triduum of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Word Who was made Flesh in Our Lady’s Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, at the Annunciation. It is time for us now to keep Him company in His Real Presence on the Altar of Repose as we reflect upon how our sins caused Him to suffer His Agony and helped to motivate Judas Iscariot to betray Him to the Sanhedrin as He was tried by the Jews and then spent the night in prison for daring to proclaim Himself to be Who He is: God in the very Flesh.

Only a handful of genuine mystics have understood the depths of the sorrows that our sins, both Mortal and Venial caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Most Blessed Mother to suffer during the events of His Passion, Death and Burial. Oh, we can come to some degree of an intellectual comprehension of the fact that it was indeed the thought of coming into contact with the very antithesis of Our Lord’s Sacred Divinity, our own sins(!), our sins in His Sacred Humanity that caused Him to sweat droplets of His Most Precious Blood as He beseeched His Co-Equal Father in Heaven to take the Chalice of suffering away from Him. To even begin to enter into even a tiny, miniscule portion of a true understanding of the horrors to which our sins caused Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother to suffer during the events of His Passion and Death, therefore, we need the assistance of spiritual masters such as the late Father Frederick Faber of the Brompton Oratory of Saint Philip Neri.

Consider these powerful words of Father Faber’s, contained in The Foot of the Cross (published originally as The Dolors of Mary in England in 1857):

The Passion may be said to begin on the Thursday in Holy Week in the house of Lazarus at Bethany. Mary, as might have been expected, opened the long avenue of sorrows, great epochs in substance, though brief in time. Jesus had entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday in the modesty of His well-known triumph. He had spent that day teaching in the temple, as well as the following Monday and Tuesday, returning however to Bethany at nights, as no one in Jerusalem had the courage to offer Him hospitality, as the rulers were incensed with Him because of the recent resurrection of Lazarus, and none of those who had cried Hosanna on Sunday had the courage to put themselves forward individually and so draw the resentful notice of the chief priests upon them. The Wednesday He is supposed to have spent in prayer on the Mount of Olives, and to have seen the elect of all ages of the world pass before Him in procession, while He prayed severally for each. Judas meanwhile was arranging his treachery with the rulers. It is supposed also that our Blessed Saviour spent the Wednesday night out of doors praying in the recesses of the hill. On the Thursday morning He went to Bethany to bid His Mother farewell, and to obtain her consent to His Passion, as He had before done to His Incarnation. Not that it was necessary in the first case as it was in the last, but it was fitting and convenient to the perfection of His filial obedience. Sister Mary of Agreda in her revelations describes the affecting scene, how Jesus knelt to His Mother, and begged her blessing, how she refused to bless her God, and fell upon her knees and worshipped Him as her Creator, how He persisted, how they both remained upon their knees, and how at last she blessed Him, and He blessed her. Who can doubt but that He also enriched with a special blessing His beloved Magdalen, the first and most favoured of all the daughters of Mary? He then went to Jerusalem, whither His Mother followed Him, together with Magdalen, in order that she might receive the Blessed Sacrament. The last Supper, the First Mass, took place that night, our Lord’s first unbloody Sacrifice, to be followed on the morrow by the dreadful one of blood.

By a miraculous grace she assists, in spirit at the Agony in the Garden, sees our Lord’s Heart unveiled throughout, and feels in herself, and according to her measure, a corresponding agony. She sees the treachery of Judas consummated, in spite of her intense prayers for that unhappy soul. Then the curtain falls; the vision grows dim; she is left for a while to the anguish of uncertainty. With the brave, gentle Magdalen, she goes forth into the streets. She tries to gain admittance both to the houses of Annas and Caiaphas, but is repulsed, as she was at Bethlehem three-and-thirty years ago. She hears the voice of Jesus; she hears also the blow given to her Beloved. Jesus is put in prison for the night; and St. John comes forth, and leads our Blessed Mother home to the house in which the last Supper had been eaten. At all the horrors of the morning she is present. She hears the sound of the scourging, and sees Him at the pillar, and the people around Him sprinkled with His Blood. She hears the gentle murmurs, the almost inaudible bleatings, of her spotless Lamb; she hears them, and Omnipotence commands her still to live. In spirit–if not in bodily presence–she sees the guards of Herod mock the Everlasting. She has beheld the ruffians in the guard-room celebrate the cruel coronation of the Almighty King. She has seen the eyes of the All-Seing bandaged, and the offscouring of the people daring to bend the knee in derision before Him who is one day to pronounce their endless doom. She has looked up to the steps of Pilate’s hall, and has beheld–beautiful in His disfigurement–Him who was a worm and no man, so had they trodden Him under foot, and mangled Him, and turned Him almost out of human shape by their atrocities. She heard Pilate say, “Behold the Man;” and verily there was need that some one should testify that He was man, who, if He had been only Man, could never have survived the crushing of the winepress which the threefold pressure–of His Father, of demons, and of men–had inflicted upon Him. Then rose over the crowded piazza that wild yell of blasphemous rejection by His own people, which still rings in our ears, still echoes in history, still dwells even in that calm heaven above, in the Mother’s ear who heard it in all the savage frightfulness of its reality. Now the Magdalen leads her home, whither John is to come with news of the sentence when it is passed

Quietly, almost coldly, we seem to say these things. Alas! many words are not needed. Besides what words could they be? To Mary’s heart, to Mary’s holiness, to Mary’s dolor, each minute of those hours was longer than sheaves of centuries bound together in some one secular revolution of the system of the world. Each separate mystery, each blow of the scourging, each fragment of action or suffering which we can detach from the mass, was far, far away of more value, import, size, reality, than it at each moment a new universe, with all its immeasurable starriness, had been called out of nothing, and peopled with beings more beautiful than angels. It is as if the course of all nature were quickened, and time accelerated, and all things bidden to take the speed of thought, and flash onward to the end which God appointed. Like the fearfulness of some gigantic machinery to a child, so to our eyes is the is the vision of our Lady’s holiness, cleaving its way, like some colossal orb in terrific velocity, through the darkness, and the blasphemy, and the blood. Can her soul be he same which left Bethany only yesterday afternoon? The saint in his becoming glory, and the white-faced, querulous sick man on his dying bed, are not further apart than the Mother of yesterday and the Mother of today, apart, yet cognizably the same. She has reached the point of the fourth dolor. She is ready now to meet Jesus with the Cross.

St. John, at length, returns to the house with the news of the sentence, and other information. Our dearest Mother, broken-hearted, yet beaming as with divine light in her tranquility, prepares to leave the house with Magdalen and the apostle. The latter, by his knowledge of the city, will lead her to the end of a street, where she can meet Jesus on His road to Calvary. But has she strength for such a meeting? Not of her own; but she has as much strength to meet Him as He has to travel by that road. For she has Himself within her, the unconsumed species of the Blessed Sacrament. It is only with Jesus that we can any of us meet Jesus. It was so with her. We take Him in Viaticum, and then go to meet Him as our Judge. She took Him, in a strange sense, in Viaticum, and went to meet Him as condemned, and on His way to death. It was that unconsumed Blessed Sacrament, which had carried her through the superhuman broken-heartedness of the last twelve or fifteen hours. If that marvellous conjecture be true, as we think it is not, that it was at the moment when the species of the Blessed Sacrament were consumed in Himself, that our Lord cried out, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? we can estimate the strength that sweet Sacrament was to her now.

Everywhere the streets are thronged with multitudes setting in one tide to Calvary. Heralds at the corners of the streets blow their harsh trumpets, and proclaim the sentence to the people. Mary draws her veil around her. John and the Magdalen lean their broken hearts on hers, for they are faint and sick. What a journey for a Mother! She hardly takes note of the streets, but with their shadows they fling into her soul dim memories of the Pasch twenty-one years ago, and the three bitter days that followed it. She has taken her place, silent and still. She does not even tremble. Some tears flow as if spontaneously from her eyes. But her cheeks are red? Yes,–her tears were blood. The procession comes in sight; the tall horse of the centurion shows first, and leads the way. The trumpet sounds with a wailing clangor. The women look from the lattices above. She sees the thieves, the crosses, every thing,–and yet only one thing, Himself. As He draws nigh, the peace of her heart grows deeper. It could not help it; God was approaching, and peace went before Him. Never had maternal love sat on such a throne as that one in Mary’s heart. The anguish was unutterable God, who had knows the number of the sands of the sea, knows it. Now Jesus has come up to her. He halts for a moment. he lifts the one hand that is free, and clears the blood His eyes. It is to see her? Rather, that she may see Him, His look of sadness, His look of love. She approaches to embrace Him. The soldiers thrust her rudely back. Oh, misery! and she is His Mother too! For a moment she reeled with the push, and then again was still, her eyes fixed on His, His eyes fixed on hers; such a link, such an embrace, such as an outpouring of love, such an overflow of sorrow! Has he less strength than she. See! he staggers, is overweighed by the burden of the ponderous Cross, and falls with a dull dead sound upon the street, like the clank of falling wood. She sees it. The God of heaven and earth is down. Men surround Him, like butchers round a fallen beast; they kick Him, beat Him, swear horrible oaths at Him, drag Him up again with cruel ferocity. It is His third fall. See sees it. He is her Babe of Bethlehem. She is helpless. She cannot get near. Omnipotence had held her heart fast. In a peace far beyond man’s understanding, she followed slowly on to Calvary, Magdalen and John beside themselves with grief, but feeling as if grace went out from her blue mantle enabling them also to live with broken hearts. The fourth dolor is accomplished; but alas! we only see the outside of things.

Although this dolor seems to be but one step in the Passion, it has nevertheless peculiarities of its own. The fact of its having been selected by the Church as one of the seven sorrows of Mary implies that it has a significancy belonging to itself. To our Blessed Lady it was the actual advent of a long-dreaded evil. It was the fulfillment of a vision which had been before her, sleeping, and waking, for years. It is the first of her dolors which stands clear of the mysteries of the Infancy, and belongs to the second constellation of her griefs, those of the Passion. There is a peculiar suffering of its own in the coming of a misfortune which we have long been expecting. There is such a thing as the unpreparedness of extreme preparation. We have imagined everything beforehand. We have tried to feel the very place where we were sure that the blow would fall, and to harden beforehand. We have placed the circumstances all round about the sorrow just in the order and position which is our liking. We have thought over and over again what we would think, that we would say, what we would do. We have practised the attitude in which we intend to receive the blow. We have left nothing unthought of, nothing unprovided for. We have made up our minds to it. It is before us like a picture, and, though there has been no little suffering in the anticipation, familiarity has almost taken the sting out of our sorrow before it comes. And then it comes. Oh, the cruel waywardness of the evil! It has not observed a single one of our many rubrics. It has come by the wrong road, at the wrong hour, with the wrong weapon, struck us in the wrong place, and borne no similarity, not even a distant family resemblance, to the romance of woe for which we stand prepared ourselves. It has taken us unawares. It has disconcerted us utterly. We feel almost more wronged by this, than by the evil itself.

Moreover, the tension of mind and body, to which we have strung ourselves up for endurance, renders us peculiarity susceptible of pain, and disables us from bearing it one-half so heroically as we had resolved. There are many men, who can meet punishment and death bravely, if it comes at the appointed hour; but if it is deferred, the powers of the soul, which had knit themselves up for the occasion, fall away, and disperse, and often become soft with almost an effeminate softness. And yet to us ordinary mortals, as the poet has justly said, “all things are less dreadful than they seem;” whereas in the case of our Blessed Lady’s sorrows the realities far outstripped the most ample expectations. They fulfilled to the uttermost the cruel pains which were foreseen, and brought many with them likewise, as if tokens of their presence, for which no allowance could have been made even in the clearest prevision granted to her. The sorrow, that had been queening it over all other sorrows for three-and-thirty years, had not met her at last, in the streets of Jerusalem, It came to do its work for God, and it did it, as God’s instruments always do, superabundantly.

Even with our Blessed Lady there is a great difference between sight and foresight, between reality and imagination. There is a vividness which could never be foreseen. There is the unexpectedness of the way in which the circumstances are grouped. There is a withdrawal of that medium of time and unfulfilment, which before existed between the soul and its sorrow, and which made it less harsh and galling in its pressure. Besides which, there is a life, an announcement, an individuality in the actual contact of the misfortune, which belongs to each misfortune by itself, is inseparable from it, and is unshared by any other sorrow whatsoever. It may be called the personality of the sorrow. Alas! we all know it well enough in our degree. Many a time it has driven us to extremities. It is always the unbearable part of what we have to bear. It needs not to have lived a long life to be able to say from our own experience that there is no sameness in sorrow; likenesses there are, but not identities. We have never had two griefs alike. Each had its own character, and it was with its character that it hurt us most. So it was with our dearest Mother. Her sorrows, when they lay unborn in her mind, were hard to bear; but when they sprang to life, and leaped from her mind, and with Simeon’s sword clove her heart asunder, they were different things, as different as waking is from sleeping or life from death.

There was another aggravation of her grief in this dolor in the knowledge that the sight of her increased our Lord’s sufferings. In the preceding dolor He had been, as it were, her executioner; now she was His. Which was the hardest to bear? Is there any loving mother who would not rather receive pain from her son, than cause it to him? What must this feeling have been in Mary, who transcended all maternal excellence in the fondness and devotedness of her deep love? What must it have been to her whose Son was God? Each outrage had been offered to Him, each stripe which had fallen upon His Sacred Flesh, had been torture to her beyond compare. She had been penetrated with horror as she thought of the cruelty and the sacrilege of which all, priests, judges, soldiers, executioners, people, had been guilty who had taken part in these atrocities. And behold! she herself was one of the number. She was adding to His load. She was more than doubling the weight of that heavy cross He was carrying. The sight of her face at the corner of that street had been worse a thousand times than the terrible scourging at the pillar. It was her face which had thrown Him down upon the ground in that third fall. What name can we give to a sorrow such as this? The records of human woe furnish us with no parallel to it which would not dishonor the subject. Some have spoken of the meeting between Sir Thomas More and his daughter in the streets of London. But what is the result of the allusion? Only to take the beauty and the pathos out of that touching English scene, without reaching the level of the sorrow we are speaking of, or reaching it only to degrade it. It was part of the necessity which was laid on Mary. She was to be her Son’s executioner, and in, the pain she inflicted, the cruellest of them all. This fourth dolor was the first exercise of her dreadful office. It was new to her; for she had never given Him pain before. But it was the Will of God, that Will which is always sweet in its extremest bitterness, always amiable when flesh and blood and mind are shrinking aghast from the embrace it is throwing round them. It was that Will which headed the procession to Calvary, that Will which was waiting on Calvary like a luminous cloud, that Will which was a crown of thorns round the brow of Jesus, and a Cross upon His shoulders, and a sword in His Mother’s heart, and His mother’s heart a sword in His. had ever saint such a Divine Will to conform to as Mary had? Had ever saint such conformity to any Divine Will her ever encountered? She is going up to Calvary, in brave tranquility, to help to slay the Babe of Bethlehem. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, published originally in England in 1857 under the title of The Dolors of Mary, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 204-211.)

 

Saints Peter, James and John had been taken up by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to the top of Mount Thabor when He was transfigured in glory before their very eyes, showing forth the glory that He possessed from all eternity with the Father and the Holy Ghost. He showed them this glory in the presence of Moses and Elias so as to take away the scandal of the Holy Cross when the appointed time, this very night upon which He entered into His Passion, had arrived. What was their response? They were sound asleep as He agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane, seeing before His Mind’s Eye each and every single sin of each and every human being from Adam and Eve until the end of time, including each one of ours. Yes, Saints Peter, James and John slept their way through the first Holy Hour.

It cannot be that way with us as we enter into the Passion this evening. We must keep Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ company in the Altar of Repose before He is taken away at noon tomorrow, Good Friday, March 29, 2013. We must pray Rosary after Rosary in reparation for our sins and those of the whole world. We must make acts of thanksgiving for everything we have been given, especially for the crosses that are sent our way each day. Each cross is a gift from God. Each cross is a sign of His Provident Love for us. Each cross is a sign of His ineffable Mercy for us, the very means by which we can pay back the temporal punishment due for our sins and to help the Poor Souls in Purgatory and to help convert the most hardened of sinners in this passing, mortal vale of tears, offering each cross to His Most Sacred Heart through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary as her consecrated slaves, freely relinquish the merits we earn by the patient endurance of our crosses so that those merits may be disposed of by Our Lady as she sees fit for the honor and glory of the Most Blessed Trinity and for the good of souls.

Remember, none of us suffers as our sins deserve. No cross we are asked to bear 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 on the wood of the Holy Cross tomorrow, Good Friday, and caused Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to be thrust through and through with Seven Swords of Sorrow. We must thank God for our crosses. We must love the Cross of the Divine Redeemer, at which stood His Most Blessed Mother with such great valor and dignity as she brought us to birth spiritually as the adopted sons and daughters of the Living God.

The events of the Paschal Triduum of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ are meant to transform every aspect of the lives of individuals and of nations until His Second Coming in glory on the Last Day to judge the Living and the Dead. We cannot be indifferent to these sacred events at any moment of our lives. We must be willing sacrifice all worldly honors and successes and riches and respect in order to proclaim ourselves to be friends of the Cross of the Divine Redeemer, proving this friendship in thought, word and deed as we seek with true Charity for souls to bring all men to the foot of the Cross as we exalt the Mother who stood thereat with such great love for her Divine Son and compassion for us erring sinners.

An article published over six years ago now, Judas the Naturalist, contained Father Frederick Faber’s reflections on what the world would have looked like if the Most Precious Blood of Jesus had never been shed for its sake (and how the world would look like if men lost belief in and access to that Most Precious Blood of Jesus). It is precisely in the midst of evil, however, that the Most Precious Blood of Jesus is most activated in Heaven and is poured down upon us erring sinners through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, as Father Faber explained in The Precious Blood:

There are saints in heaven. They are the heights of the Church of Christ. There are newly-converted sinners upon earth. These are the lowest depths in the happy land of redeeming grace. But the light upon those mountain-tops is the glory of the Precious Blood, and the sunshine in those valleys is the kindness of the selfsame Blood. There are sufferers in purgatory, dwelling in a mysterious region of pain and quietude, of patience and of love. They live beneath the earth, yet are upon their road to heaven. Their land is vast and populous. It is a territory won from hell by the Precious Blood, and its pain made uneternal. It is a detention, not an exile–a detention which is a marvellous artifice of mercy, one of the many compassionate devices of the Precious Blood. There are sufferings on earth, sufferings by which hearts are cleansed, sins swiftly expiated, merits rapidly accumulated: sufferings in which grace comes, sufferings which are likenesses of Jesus, sufferings which are secret loves of God. These earthly sufferings also the Precious Blood alleviates, illuminates, sanctifies, crowns, glorifies, and knows how to render delectable that they who have drunk deep of the Precious Blood get a strange new nature, and thirst for more suffering still. Thus both these extremities of suffering, beneath the earth and on it, belong to the empire of the Precious Blood. If we look outside ourselves, we see everywhere the empire of the Precious Blood stretching away in interminable vista. The whole Church is its legitimate inheritance. The priesthood its army of officials. The catholic hierarchy is its venerable administration. The loft tiara, that most sovereign thing on earth, gleams with it like the polar star of nations. The Blessed Sacrament, multiplied a hundred thousand times, is its own adorable self, its Heart-fountain, and its Five Free Wells, worshipful in union with the Godhead, the beautiful amazing Created Life of the Uncreated Word. If we look within ourselves, there is still the self-same empire of the Precious Blood. There is the character of Baptism, its still inexhuasted grace, its title unforfeited or re-conferred, its infused habits, its heroic Spirit-gifts. There are the footprints of so many Absolutions, the abiding fragrance of such reiterated Communions, perhaps the character of Order and its fearful powers, perhaps the mysterious traces of Extreme Unction, certainly the signet of the Holy Ghost in Confirmation, and nameless graces, nameless vestiges where Divine Feet have gone, and where Divine Virtue still resides. There also is that most innermost sanctuary of the soul, which so few reach on this side of the grave, the secret cabinet where the Holy Trinity dwells blessedly, in the very centre of our nature, up from whose secret recesses joys shall one day break and flow, such as we never dreamed of, such as would look to us now far beyond the possibilities of our nature. All this, outside us or within us, is the empire of the Precious Blood.

But it is only in heaven that its supremacy is tranquil and complete. We must mount thither in spirit, where we hope one day to mount in all the jubilee of an incredible reality, if we would see in its full grandeur the royalty of the Precious Blood. Countless saints are there, various in the splendors of their holiness. They are all kings now, who once were serfs, but were redeemed by the Precious Blood. They are the children of many generations, the natives of many lands. They were of all degrees on earth, and in their fortunes the diversity was endless. But they were all bought by the same Blood, and all own the lordship of that Blood in heaven. Whey they sing their songs of praise, songs of a human sweetness which the angels greatly love, they sing of the Lamb slain and of the triumphs of his Blood. When their potent intercessions win hourly graces for their clients who are still struggling upon earth, it is their desire to spread the empire of the Precious Blood, which throws such loyal intensity into their powers. Shall they forget their Ransom, whose freedom is their endless joy?

Cast your eye over that outspread ocean, whose shores lie so faintly and far off in the almost infinite distance. It gleams like restless silver, quivering with one life and yet such multitudinous life. It flashes in the light with intolerable magnificence. Its unity is numberless. Its life is purest light. Into the bosom of its vastness the glory of God shines down, and the universe is illuminated with its refulgence. It is an ocean of life. Who can count the sum of being that is there? Who but God can fathom its unsearchable caverns? What created eye but is dazzled with the blazing splendor of its capacious surface? It breaks upon its shores in mighty waves; and yet there is no sound. Grand storms of voiceless praise hang over it forever, storms of ecstatic lightning without any roll of thunder, whose very silence thrills the sols of the human saints, and is one of their celestial joys–that deep stillness of unsounding worship. This is the world of angel. There too the Precious blood reigns supreme. The angels have needed no ransom. Amid their almost countless graces there is no redeeming grace. But there is not a grace in all that sea of grace which was not merited for them by the Precious Blood. They too owe all they are, and all they have, to its blissful royalty. They too sing anthems in its praise, though not the same anthems as the Redeemed. Jesus is Head of angels as well as men; and it is as Man that he is Head of angels. Thus the whole of that marvellous world of glorious intelligence, profound gladness, gigantic power, and beautiful holiness, is a province of the empire of the Precious Blood.

Who can doubt its sweet constraints over the immaculate heart of Mary? She is queen of heaven and earth. Far and wide her empire stretches. Its boundaries are scarce distinguishable from those of the Precious Blood itself: so closely and so peacefully do the two sovereignties intertwine. Mary holds sway over the Precious Blood It does her bidding, and she commands with a mother’s right Ye she too is a subject of the Precious Blood, and rejoices in her subjection. Out of her very heart that Blood first came; and out of that Blood came also her Immaculate Conception. It was the very office of her Divine Maternity to minister that Blood; and it was that Blood which from all eternity had merited for her the Divine Maternity. It was the Precious Blood which made her suffer; but it was the Precious Blood also which turned her suffering into dignities and crowns. She owes all to the Precious Blood, to whom the Precious Blood owes its very self. Yet the river is greater than the fountain. The Precious Blood is greater than Mary; nay, it is greater by a whole infinity, because the waters of the Godhead have assumed its uncommingled stream unto themselves. Mary sits upon her throne to magnify the Precious Blood. Her power is used for the propagation of its empire. Her prayers dispense its grace Her holiness, which enchants all heaven, is the monument and trophy of that victorious Blood.

Shall it rule also over the Divine Perfections? Behold that inexorable justice, which an infinite holiness stands by as assessor! Can endless worlds of mere creatures satisfy those claims, or appease that adorable wrath? Yet the Precious Blood has done it. A mercy that is limitless, and a justice that is insatiable–will not sin set these attributes at strife? Who shall be peace-maker in such unspeakable debate? The Precious Blood! Justice and mercy have met together, and have kissed each other in the Precious Blood. How shall the decrees of the Creator comport with the continued liberty of the fallen creature? The Precious Blood, heavenliest of inventions! has found a way. The unchangeableness of God shall condescend to wait upon the mutabilities of the fickle creature, and yet its own repose be all the more glorified the while; for this too shall be one of the secrets of the Precious Blood. If greater good comes out of evil, it is through the alchemy of the Precious Blood. If all the Divine Perfections combine in some resplendent work of the Most Holy Trinity, whether it be Creation, Redemption, or the Blessed Sacrament, it is the Precious Blood in which the combination has been made, and which the attributes of God delight to magnify, while it with its adoring ministries is magnifying them. If any of the Divine Perfections will come down from heaven, and walk amidst the nations of men, and give light and scatter peace and healing as it goes, it first puts on the vesture of the Precious Blood, in order that it may not slay but make alive. Justice is occupied in crowning saints. Mercy is forever traversing its empire as if in pure delight at its immensity. Holiness is adorning its infinite purity with the little sanctities of feeble and imperfect souls. Immutability is hourly adapting itself to the changeful needs of innumerable hearts. Omnipotence is putting itself at the disposal of created weakness, as if it were some generous beast of burden serving a master whom it could easily destroy. Eternity is busy commuting time into itself. Love changes is eternal name, and only calls itself by the name of the Precious Blood. All these marvels belong to the empire of the Blood of Jesus. The peace of God is all activity to do the work of that dear Blood. The self-sufficiency of God is toiling as if nothing could suffice it, except the salvation of its creatures. All this is the sovereignty of the Precious Blood. Nay, the dread sovereignty of the Everlasting King seems to be forever passing into the created Kingship of the Precious Blood.

Inside the Unity of God, within the life of the Threefold Majesty, even there we find the tokens of the Precious Blood; even there it seems to rule. The Son, who has assumed it, owns the gladness of its love. The Holy Ghost, who fashioned it at first, and now works with it his sanctifying work, broods dovelike with complacency upon its deeps. The Eternal Father chose it as the one thing to appease him; for he too owns the mastery of its exceeding beauty. It seems, if with becoming reverence we may say so, to have widened his Fatherhood. It has added fresh treasures to those inexhaustible treasures which he had in his Eternal Son. But these are thoughts for silence rather than for words. May his infinite Majesty pardon the freedoms which the ignorance of our love has been taking with his perfection! It is of his own goodness that we cannot help loving, even while we tremble.

There is one corner of creation, where the empire of the Precious Blood is not what we would have it to be. It is our own hearts. Yet is it not our one work to subject ourselves to it in all. We desire to have no instincts, but the instincts of the Precious Blood. We wish to esteem nothing, but as the Precious Blood esteems it. It desires nothing so much as to be loved. We desire nothing so much as to love it. Why then is it that our weakness and our want of courage so sadly keep our grace in check? Alas! we are inverting the right order of things. We are ruling the Precious Blood by limiting its empire. It longs to rule over us’ it longs with a masterful sweetness. The day shall come, when its longing shall be satisfied. Neither shall it be a distant day. for we will begin this very day to love and serve our dearest Lord as we have never loved and served him heretofore. Always and in all things shall his Blood rule and guide us. Its rule is blessedness even upon earth. It shall rule, not our spiritual life only, but all our temporal circumstances. It shall rule our love of those we love, and it shall make our love of them a doing to them spiritual good. How shall we die unless at that moment the Precious Blood is reigning in our hearts? If it rule us not then, we are lost forever. But how shall we better secure its empire at our deaths, than by establishing it over our lives? The past will not do. Jesus must be more victorious in our souls, more a conqueror, and more a king. Oh that the Precious Blood might so work in our hearts that life should seem to have only one possible gladness, the gladness of having Jesus to reign over us as King! Oh Grace! Grace! would that we were altogether conquered! But we will be of good cheer; for the time is coming when we shall be completely and eternally vanquished by victorious love. (Father Frederick Faber, The Precious Blood, published originally in England in 1860, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 124-129.)

 

The Most Precious Blood of Jesus was shed in the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was shed in the Scourging at the Pillar. It was shed when Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was crowned with thorns. Every single drop of It that had not been shed prior to the Crucifixion was shed as Our Redeeming King hang on the gibbet of the Holy Cross for three fearful hours of unspeakable horror and torture. Yes, “Jesus must be more victorious in our souls, more a conqueror, and more a king. Oh that the Precious Blood might so work in our hearts that life should seem to have only one possible gladness, the gladness of having Jesus to reign over us as King!” Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ must reign as King of our hearts. He must also reign as King of nations.

Having entered into the Passion of the Divine Redeemer, a Passion that is being experienced mystically by the Church Militant on earth during this time of utter apostasy and betrayal, may Our Lady help us to remember the Kingly rights of her Divine Son to rule over men and nations, helping us also to combat all forms of naturalism by remembering these words that her Divine Son spoke to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque:

“I will reign in spite of all who oppose Me.”

(quoted in: The Right Reverend Emile Bougaud. The Life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, reprinted by TAN Books and Publishers in 1990, p. 361.)

 

Let us stand with Our Lady on the right side of the Cross this day and every day of our lives!

Behold the wood of the Cross upon which hung the Salvation of the world:

Behold the only standard of true human liberty.  The Church Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Rome, Italy, Sunday, May 22, 2005, Trinity Sunday.

 

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!

Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!

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.

“My Heart Is Ready, O Lord”

We have arrived at the time of the Paschal Triduum of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

As is the case each year, of course, we have much upon which to meditate these next three days, starting with the unsurpassed love that the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity made Man in His Most Blessed Mother’s Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of God the Holy Ghost had for us to pay back the debt of Adam’s sin in His own Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross. The love that Our Lord had for His Co-Equal and Co-Eternal Father and for each and every one of us impelled Him to embrace to take upon Himself the guilt of human sin although He, the God-Man, was guilty of nothing.

We must admit that our hearts, so stained by our sins, by our indifference and by our indifference, are puny, filled with so little real love of the Holy Cross upon which Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ wrought our very own salvation. We tend to be immersed in the world, preoccupied with our own problems, intent on maintaining our own “respect” and “dignity” in the eyes of others, convinced that no one is suffering as we suffer, reading the worst possible motives into the words and actions of others who we once considered our friends, personally offended by the slightest insult or word of criticism. We fail to understand that every cross that is sent to us from the loving hand of God, Who is love itself, is meant to purify us, to beat pride out of us, to help us to make reparation for our sins in this passing, mortal vale of tears as we offer all of the travails of daily living and all of the misunderstandings and estrangements that have taken place in this time of apostasy and betrayal to Him through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Are our hearts really ready after six weeks of prayer, fasting, penance, mortification and almsgiving to enter deep into the mysteries of Our Lord’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection, especially by thanking Him for each and every single one of our own crosses and seeing in them the means by which we can save our own souls and help others in the Church Militant to save theirs as we can help to expedite the passage to Heaven of the souls detained in the Church Suffering in Purgatory? Do we really, really understand that there is nothing that we we can suffer in this life that is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Lord to suffer in these days of His Passion and Death, during which time His Most Blessed Mother had the Fourth through the Seven Swords of Sorrow pierce her Immaculate heart through and through?

Our all-merciful God, Who extended His arms for us on the horizontal beam of the Holy Cross to lift us up to Him on the vertical beam, gives us lengths of years so that we can be purified and refined by our patience endurance of our crosses and by coming to pray for them as grow in love of God and desire to win for Him more and more souls as we seek to make reparation for our own many sins. This Paschal Triduum, which begins today, Maundy Thursday, with the Mass commemorating Our Lord’s institution of the Holy Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist and His washing of the feet of His Apostles, including the traitor Judas, gives us yet another opportunity to reflect upon our need for the Cross in our own daily lives, remembering that it is from Sacrifice that Our Lord effected the Holy Cross that we are fed His very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in Holy Communion. Our Lord was born for us in the wood of the manger, a feeding trough for animals, to die for us on the wood of Holy Cross, which has become for us the true manger for us unto eternal life itself if we persevere until the end in a state of Sanctifying Grace as a member of the Catholic Church.

Although other thoroughly inadequate and grossly insufficient reflections of mine that have been written over the years have sought to expatiate on the mystery of the Holy Cross, I thought that it would be useful as we begin the Paschal Triduum today to draw upon the true wisdom of Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, who explained to us how difficult it is for human beings to love the Cross, explaining to us as well how necessary it is to do so and to see the Cross as the very means by which we can die to self so as to let the very inner life of the Most Blessed Trinity in Sanctifying Grace abide in our souls all the more as we store up treasures for all eternity.

Consider these few passages from Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort’s A Circular Letter to the Friends of the Cross:

50. Ninth. The love you are told to have for the Cross is not sensible love, for this would be impossible to human nature.

It is important to note the three kinds of love: sensible love, rational love and love that is faithful and supreme; in other words, the love that springs from the lower part of man, the flesh; the love that springs from the superior part, his reason; and the love that springs from the supreme part of man, from the summit of his soul, which is the intellect enlightened by faith.

51.God does not ask you to love the Cross with the will of the flesh. Since the flesh is the subject of evil and corruption, all that proceeds from it is evil and it cannot, of itself, submit to the will of god, and His crucifying law. It was this aspect of His human nature which Our Lord referred to when He cried out, in the Garden of Olives: “Father, . . . not My will but Thine be done.” (Luke 22, 42). If the power powers of Our Lord’s human nature, though holy, could not love the Cross without interruption, then, with still greater reason, will our human nature, which is very much vitiated, repel it. At times, like many of the saints, we too may experience a feeling of even sensible joy in our sufferings, but that joy does not come from the flesh though it is in the flesh. It flows from our superior powers, so completely filled with the divine joy of the Holy Ghost, that it spreads to our lower powers. Thus a person who is undergoing the most unbearable torture is able to say: “My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God” (Ps. 83, 3).

52. There is another love of the Cross which I call rational, since it springs from the higher part of man, his reason. This love is wholly spiritual. Since it arises from the knowledge of the happiness there is in suffering for God, it can be and really is perceived by the soul. It also gives the soul inward strength and joy. Though this rational and perceptible joy is beneficial, even very beneficial, it is not an indispensable part of joyous, divine suffering.

53.That is why there is another love, which the masters of the spiritual life call the love of the summit and highest point of the soul and which the philosophers call the love of the intellect. When we possess this love, even though we experience no sensible joy or rational pleasure, we love and relish, in the light of pure faith, the cross we must bear, even though the lower part of our nature may often be in a state of warfare and alarm and may groan, weep and sigh for relief; and thus we repeat with Jesus Christ: “Father . . . not My will but Thine be done” (Luke 22, 42), or with the Blessed Virgin: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto Thy word” (Luke 1, 38). (Saint Louis de Montfort, A Circular Letter to the Friends of the Cross, Montfort Publications, p. 24.)

 

To perfectly love the Cross, Saint Louis de Montfort explains, we must be willing to suffer all things well, to suffer them with equanimity and joy. This has special application today in this time of apostasy and betrayal when so many families are so torn apart from by the apostasies and sacrileges wrought by the conciliarists, allies of the devil who have set believing Catholics against each other in the most bitter terms. It is difficult to lose the respect and esteem of others, especially family members and close friends, when one has come to recognize that those who defect knowingly from even one article contained in the Deposit of Faith have expelled themselves from the Catholic Church and cannot hold ecclesiastical office within her legitimately. It is difficult to persevere in the truth when all manner of pressure is brought to bear to conform to the “mainstream” of opinion. This is how many Catholics went over to Arianism in the Fourth Century and how many Catholics in England defected to Protestantism in the Sixteenth Century. It is hard to go against the tide of prevailing views. It is, however, necessary to do so to be faithful to Our Lord, Who was abandoned by all but one of His Apostles at the foot of the Cross:

54. Tenth. Be resolved then, dear Friends of the Cross, to suffer any kind of cross without excepting or choosing any: all poverty, all injustice, all temporal loss, all illness, all humiliation, all contradiction, all calumny, all spiritual dryness, all desolation, all interior and exterior trials. Keep saying: “My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready” (Ps. 56, 8) Be ready to be forsaken by men and angels, and seemingly by God Himself. Be ready to to be persecuted, envied, betrayed, calumniated, discredited and forsaken by everyone. Be read to undergo hunger, thirst, poverty, nakedness, exile, imprisonment, the gallows, and all kinds of torture, even though you are innocent of everything with which you may be charged. What if you were cast out of your our home like Job and St. Elizabeth of Hungary; thrown, like this saint, into the mire; or dragged upon a manure pile like Job, malodorous and covered with ulcers, without any to bandage your wounds, without a morsel of bread, never refused to a horse or a dog? Add to these dreadful misfortunes, all the temptations with which God allows the devil to prey upon you, without pouring into your soul the least feeling of consolation.

Firmly believe that this is the summit of divine glory and real happiness for the true, perfect Friend of the Cross.

 

Many of you have suffered these exact things, have you not? Recognize these sufferings, especially that come from the ones who are closest to you, as gifts that unite you to Our Lord and Our Lady and to the red martyrs of Holy Mother Church who shed their blood for the Holy Faith and to the white martyrs who died interiorly a thousand times because of the sufferings imposed upon them by their own kith and kin. We must, as Saint Louis de Montfort wrote, see the very hand of of God in all that happens to us, that God is pleased when we fight against the riches of the world itself:

 

55.  Eleventh. For proper suffering, form the pious habit of considering four things:

First, the Eye of God. God is like a great king, who from the height of a tower observes with satisfaction his soldier in the midst of battle, and praises his valor. What is it on earth that attracts God’s attention? Kings and emperors on their thrones? He often looks at that with nothing but contempt. Brilliant victories of a nation’s armies, precious stones, any such things that are great in the eyes of men? “What is great to men, is an abomination before God” (Luke 16, 15). What then does God look upon with pleasure and delight? It is about the man who is fighting for Him against riches, against the world, hell and himself, the man who is cheerfully carrying his cross. Hast thou not seen upon the earth that great wonder which the heavens consider with admiration? said the Lord to Satan; “hast thou considered My servant Job” (Job 2, 3) who is suffering for Me?

56. Second, the Hand of God. Every disorder in nature, from the greatest to the smallest, is the work of His almighty Hand. The Hand that devastates an army of a hundred thousand (4 Kings 19, 35) will make a leaf drop from a tree and a hair fall from your head (Luke 21, 18). The Hand that was laid so heavily upon Job is particularly light when it touched you with some little trial. This Hand fashions day and night, sun and darkness, good and evil. God permits the sin which provokes you; He is not the cause of its malice, although He does allow the act.

If anyone then, treats you as Semei treated King David (2 Kings 16, 5-11), loading you with insults and casting stones at you, say to yourself, “I must not mind; I must not take revenge for this is an ordinance of God. I know that I have deserved every abuse and it is only right that God punish me. Desist, my hands, and strike not; desist, my tongue, and speak not; the person who injures me by word or deed is an ambassador, mercifully sent by God to punish me as His love alone knows how. Let us not incur His justice by assuming His right to vengeance. Le us not despise His mercy by resisting the affectionate strokes of His lash, lest, for His vengeance, He should remand us to the rigorous justice of eternity.

Consider how God bears you up with one Hand, of infinite power and wisdom, with with the other He chastises you. With the one He deals out death, while with the other He dispenses life. He humbles you and raises you up. With both arms, He reaches sweetly and mightily (Wisdom 8, 1). from the beginning of your life to its end. Sweetly: by not allowing you to be tempted or afflicted beyond your strength. Mightily: by favoring you with a powerful grace, proportioned to the vehemence and duration of your temptation or affliction. Mightily:–and the spirit of His holy Church bears witness–“He is your stay on the brink of a precipice, your guide along a misleading road, your shade in the scorching heat, your raiment in the pouring rain or the biting cold. He is your conveyance when you are utterly exhausted, your help in adversity, your staff on the slippery way. He is your port of refuge when, in the throes of a tempest, you are threatened with ruin and shipwreck. (Saint Louis de Montfort, A Circular Letter to the Friends of the Cross, Montfort Publications, pp. 25-26.)

 

The only way to win the crown of glory in eternal life is to be willing to have a crown of thorns beat into our own skulls each and every day of our loves, considering our sufferings as nothing in comparison to those endured by Our Divine Redeemer during this days of His Passion and Death. The Cross is indeed the solution to every problem that we face in our lives:

57. Third, consider the Wounds and Sorrows of our crucified Jesus. Hear what He himself has to say: “All ye that pass along the thorny and crucifying way I had to follow, look and see. Look with the eyes of your body; look with the eye of contemplation, and see if your poverty, nakedness, disgrace, sorrow, desolation are like unto Mine. Behold Me, innocent, as I am, then will you complain, you are guilty” (Lam. 1, 12).

The Holy Ghost tells us, by the mouth of the Apostles, that we should keep our eyes on Jesus Crucified (Gal. 3, 1) and arm ourselves with this thought of Him (1 Pet. 4, 1) which is our most powerful and most penetrating weapon against all our enemies. When you are assailed by poverty, disrepute, sorrow, temptation or any other cross, arm yourselves with this shield, this breastplate, this helmet, this two-edged sword (Eph. 6, 12-18), that is, with the thought of Jesus crucified. There is the solution to your every problem, the means you have to vanquish all your enemies.

58.  Fourth, lift up your eyes, behold the beautiful crown that awaits you in Heaven if you carry your cross as you should. That was the reward which kept patriarchs and prophets strong in faith under persecution. It gave heart to the Apostles and martyrs in their labors and torments. Patriarchs used to say as Moses had said: “We would rather be afflicted with the people of God,” so as to enjoy eternal happiness with Him, “than to have the pleasure of sin for a short time (Heb. 11, 25-26). The prophets repeated David’s words: “We suffer great persecutions on account of the reward (Ps. 68, 8; 118, 112). The Apostles and martyrs voice the sentiments of St. Paul: We are, as it were, men appointed to death: we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men,” by our sufferings “being made the offscouring of the world,” (1 Cor. 4, 913), “by reason of the exceeding and eternal weight of glory, which this momentary and light tribulation worketh in us” (2 Cor. 4, 17).

Let us see and listen to the angels right above us: “Be careful not to forfeit the crown that is set aside for you if you bravely bear the cross that is given to you. If you do not bear it well, someone will bear it in your stead and will take your crown. All the saints warn us: fight courageously, suffer patiently and you will be given an everlasting kingdom.” Let us hear Jesus: “To him only will I give my reward who shall suffer and overcome through patience” (Apoc. 2, 6; 11, 17; 3, 5; 21,7). (Saint Louis de Montfort, A Circular Letter to the Friends of the Cross, Montfort Publications, p. 26-27.)

 

As one who was born and raised and who has lived about two-thirds of my life in and around the New York City metropolitan area, I know what it is to complain. I used to do a whole lot of it, especially when teaching in the cornfields of central Illinois from 1977-1979. Why did I complain? Because Illinois was not what I was used to in New York. Oh, I enjoyed my teaching. I simply could not stand the environment in which I lived. I refused to accept God’s Holy Will with joy and equanimity. I murmured, quite loudly at times. I gave bad Catholic example. Very bad.

As noted before, however, God gives us length of years to learn a few things by the graces He sends to us through the loving hands of Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces. It is only by the graces won for us by Our Lord’s shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flows into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady that we can learn to rejoice in our crosses, especially in those that beat down our pride and make us look like utter fools to most of the rest of the people in the world. To this we should say a hearty “Deo gratias!” and rejoice.

59. Twelfth. Never murmur or deliberately complain about any created thing that God may use to afflict you. It is important to note the three kinds of complaints that may arise when misfortune assails you. The first is natural and involuntary. This happens when the human body moans and groans, sobs and sighs and weeps. If, as I said, the higher point of the soul submits to the will of God, there is no sin. The second is rational. Such is the case when we complain and disclose our hardship to some superior or physician who is able to remedy it. This complaint may be an imperfection, if too eagerly made, but it is no sin. The third is sinful. This happens when a person complains of others either to rid himself of suffering they cause him, or to take revenge. Or else when he wilfully complains about the sorrow he must bear and shows signs of grief and impatience. (Saint Louis de Montfort, A Circular Letter to the Friends of the Cross, Montfort Publications, p. 27-28.)

 

Impatience? Impatience? Impatience? Impatience? Why, why, why, who’s Saint Louis de Montfort talking about? I know that he is talking about me, that’s who, me!

By Our Lady’s graces, however we can come to accept and to embrace our crosses with such love and patience that we look for voluntary crosses because our love grows every time we bear the cross with patience and joy:

60.Thirteenth. Whenever you are given a cross, be sure to embrace it with humility and gratitude. If God, in his infinite goodness, favors you with a cross some importance, be sure to thank him in a special way and have others join join you in thanking him. Do as that poor woman did who, through an unjust lawsuit, lost everything she owned. She immediately offered the last few pennies she had, to have a Mass said in thanksgiving to Almighty God for the good fortune that had come to her.

61. Fourteenth. If you wish to be worthy of the best crosses, those that are not of your choice, then, with the help of a prudent director, take on some that are voluntary.

Suppose you he a piece of furniture that you do not need but prize. Give it to some poor person, and say to yourself: “Why should I have things I do not need, when Jesus is destitute?”

Do you dislike certain kinds of food, the practice of some particular virtue, or some offensive odor? Taste this food, practice this virtue, endure this odor, conquer yourself.

Is your affection for some person or thing too ardent and tender? Keep away, deprive yourself, break away from things that appeal to you.

Have you that natural tendency to see and be seen, to be doing things or going some place? Mind your eyes and hold your tongue, stop right where you are and keep to yourself.

Do you feel a natural aversion to some person or thing? Rise above self by keeping near them.

62. If you are truly Friends of the Cross, then, without your knowing it, love, which is always ingenious, will discover thousands of little crosses to enrich you. Then you need not fear self-conceit which often accompanies the patient endurance of conspicuous crosses and since you have been faithful in a few things, the Lord will keep His promise and set you over many things (Matt. 25, 21, 23): over many graces He will grant you; over many crosses He will send you; over much glory He will prepare for you. . . . (Saint Louis de Montfort, A Circular Letter to the Friends of the Cross, Montfort Publications, p. 28.)

 

Although our Lenten penances and fastings will end with the conclusion of the Easter Vigil Mass on morning or the evening of Holy Saturday, April 19, 2014, our love of the Cross must grow with each beat of our hearts, consecrated as they must be to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. We will consider it pure joy to spend more time before Our Lord’s Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament and to pray more Rosaries each day, especially by turning off the radio and the television (what are still doing with that thing in your house?) and refusing to listen or watch the naturalists blather on about the events of the day that they truly know nothing about as they refuse to refer everything that happens in the world to the standard of the Holy Cross as It is lifted high today by Holy Mother Church even as she suffers her Mystical Passion, Death and Burial in this time of apostasy and betrayal.

Yes, we enter into the Sacred Mysteries of our redemption today. We must follow Our Lord through these events, concentrating this evening on the time He spent in His Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, during which time He shed droplets of His Most Precious Blood as He contemplated the horror of each one of the sins of every human being from the beginning to the end of the world. To aid the very few readers of this site in meditating on the suffering that Our Lord experience at the foot of the Mount of Olives before He was betrayed with the kiss of Judas Iscariot and arrested to be taken to His “trial” before the Sanhedrin, I am providing in the appendix below a few passages from the Venerable Mary of Agreda’s The Mystical City of God. You will find them to be of great help in realizing the torments that our sins imposed upon Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother and, of course, the great love He showed us by enduring those torments to the point of shedding every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.

Are you a friend of the Cross?

Am I?

May we ask Our Lady, who stood so valiantly by the foot of her Divine Son’s Holy Cross on Good Friday, to help us to be more a friend of the Cross than we have been in the past, especially by assisting faithfully at true offerings of the Holy Mass offered by bishops and priests who give conciliarism no quarter at all and by making sure to spend time in fervent prayer before the King of Love on Calvary in His Real Presence.

A blessed Maundy Thursday to you all.

Appendix

From The Mystical City of God

500. Moreover the immense love of our Savior for us demanded that full sway be given to this mysterious sorrow. For if He had caused it to stop short of  the highest which that sorrow was capable of, his love would not have rested satisfied, nor would it have been so evident that his love was not to be extinguished by the multitude of tribulations (Cant. 8, 7). At the same time He showed thereby his charity toward the Apostles, who were with Him and were now much disturbed by perceiving, that his hour of suffering and death, which He had so often and in so many ways foretold them, was now at hand.  This interior disturbance and fear con founded and confused them without their daring to speak of it. Therefore the most loving Savior sought to put them more at rest by manifesting to them his own sorrow unto death. By the sight of his own affliction and anxiety they were to take heart at the fears and anxieties of their own souls. There was still another mystery contained in this sorrow of the Lord, which referred especially to the three Apostles, saint Peter, John and James. For, than all the rest, they were imbued with an exalted conception of the greatness and Divinity of their Master as far as the excellence of his doctrine, the holiness of his works, and the power of his miracles were concerned. They realized more completely and wondered more deeply at his dominion over all creation. In order that they might be confirmed in their belief of his being a man capable of suffering, it was befitting that they should know as eye-witnesses his truly human sorrow and affliction. By the testimony of these three Apostles who were distinguished by such favors, the holy Church was afterwards to be well fortified against the errors, which the devil would try to spread against the belief in the humanity of Christ our Savior. Thus would the rest of the faithful have the consolation of this firmly established belief in their own affliction and sorrow.

501. Interiorly enlightened in this truth, the three Apostles were exhorted by the Author of life by the words: “Wait for Me, watch and pray with Me.” He wished to inculcate the practice of all that He had taught them and to make them constant in their belief. He thereby reminded them of the danger of backsliding and of the duty of watchfulness and prayer in order to recognize and resist the enemy, remaining always firm in the hope of seeing his name exalted after the ignominy of his Passion. With this exhortation the Lord separated Himself a short distance from the three Apostles. He threw himself with his divine face upon the ground and prayed to the eternal Father: “Father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass from Me” (Matth. 26, 38). This prayer Christ our Lord uttered, though He had come down from heaven with the express purpose of really suffering and dying for men; though He had counted as naught the shame of his Passion, had willingly embraced it and rejected all human consolation; though He was hastening with most ardent love into the jaws of death, to affronts, sorrows and afflictions; though He had set such a high price upon men, that He determined to redeem them at the shedding of his life-blood. Since by virtue of his divine and human wisdom and his in extinguishable love He had shown Himself so superior to the natural fear of death, that it seems this petition did not arise from any motive solely coming from Him self. That this was so in fact, was made known to me in the light which was vouchsafed me concerning the mysteries contained in this prayer of the Savior.

502. In order to explain what I mean, I must state, that on this occasion Jesus treated with the eternal Father about an affair, which was by far the most important of all, namely, in how far the Redemption gained by his Passion and Death should affect the hidden predestination of the saints. In this prayer Christ offered, on his part, to the eternal Father his torments, his precious blood and his Death for all men as an abundant price for all the mortals and for each one of the human born till that time and yet to be born to the end of the world; and, on the part of mankind, He presented the infidelity, ingratitude and contempt with which sinful man was to respond to his frightful Passion and Death; He presented also the loss which He was to sustain from those who would not profit by his clemency and condemn themselves to eternal woe. Though to die for his friends and for the predestined was pleasing to Him and longingly desired by our Savior; yet to die for the reprobate was indeed bitter and painful; for with regard to them the impelling motive for accepting the pains of death was wanting. This sorrow was what the Lord called a chalice, for the Hebrews were accustomed to use this word for signifying anything that implied great labor and pain. The Savior himself had already used this word on another occasion, when in speaking to the sons of Zebedee He asked them: whether they could drink the chalice, which the Son of man was to drink (Matth 20, 22). This chalice then was so bitter for Christ our Lord, because He knew that his drinking it would not only be without fruit for the reprobate, but would be a scandal to them and redound to their greater chastisement and pain on account of their despising it (I Cor. 1, 23).

503. I understood therefore that in this prayer. Christ besought his Father to let this chalice of dying for the reprobate pass from Him. Since now his Death was not to be evaded, He asked that none, if possible, should be lost; He pleaded, that as his Redemption would be superabundant for all, that therefore it should be applied to all in such a way as to make all, if possible, profit by it in an efficacious manner; and if this was not possible, He would resign Himself to the will of his eternal Father. Our Savior repeated this prayer three times at different intervals (Matth. 26, 44), pleading the longer in his agony in view of the importance and immensity of the object in question (Luke 22, 43). According to our way of understanding, there was a contention or altercation between the most sacred humanity and the Divinity of Christ. For this humanity, in its intense love for men who were of his own nature, desired that all should attain eternal salvation through his Passion; while his Divinity, in its secret and high judgments, had fixed the number of the predestined and in its divine equity could not concede its blessings to those who so much despised them, and who, of their own free will, made themselves unworthy of eternal life by repelling the kind intentions of Him who procured and offered it to them. From this conflict arose the agony of Christ, in which He prayed so long and in which He appealed so earnestly to the power and majesty of his omnipotent and eternal Father.

504. This agony of Christ our Savior grew in proportion to the greatness of his charity and the certainty of his knowledge, that men would persist in neglecting to profit by his Passion and Death (Luke 22, 44). His agony increased to such an extent, that great drops of bloody sweat were pressed from Him, which flowed to the very earth. Although this prayer was uttered subject to a condition and failed in regard to the reprobate who fell under this condition; yet He gained thereby a greater abundance and secured a greater frequency of favors for mortals. Through it the blessings were multiplied for those who placed no obstacles, the fruits of the Redemption were applied to the saints and to the just more abundantly, and many gifts and graces, of which the reprobates made themselves unworthy, were diverted to the elect. The human will of Christ, conforming itself to that of the Divinity, then accepted suffering for each respectively : for the reprobate, as sufficient to procure them the necessary help, if they would make use of its merits, and for the predestined, as an efficacious means, of which they would avail themselves to secure their salvation by co-operating with grace. Thus was set in order, and as it were realized, the salvation of the mystical body of his holy Church, of which Christ the Lord was the Creator and Head.

505. As a ratification of this divine decree, while yet our Master was in his agony, the eternal Father for the third time sent the archangel Michael to the earth in order to comfort Him by a sensible message and confirmation of what He already knew by the infused science of his most holy soul; for the angel could not tell our Lord anything He did not know, nor could he produce any additional effect on his interior conscious ness for this purpose. But, as I related above (No. 498), Christ had suspended the consolation, which He could have derived from his human nature from this knowledge and love, leaving it to its full capacity for suffering, as He afterwards also expressed Himself on the Cross (No. 684). In lieu of this alleviation and comfort, which He had denied Himself, He was recompensed to a certain extent, as far as his human senses were concerned, by this embassy of the archangel. He received an experimental knowledge of what He had before known by interior consciousness; for the actual experience is something superadded and new and is calculated to move the sensible and bodily faculties. Saint Michael, in the name of the eternal Father, intimated and represented to Him in audible words, what He already knew, that it was not possible for those to be saved who were unwilling; that the complaisance of the eternal Father in the number of the just, although smaller than the number of the reprobate was great; that among the former was his most holy Mother, a worthy fruit of his Redemption; that his Redemption would also bear its fruits in the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Virgins and Confessors, who should signalize themselves in his love and perform admirable works for the exaltation of the name of the Most High. Among these the angel moreover mentioned some of the founders of religious orders and the deeds of each one. Many other great and hidden sacraments were touched upon by the archangel, which it is not necessary to mention here, nor have I any command to do so; and therefore what I have already said, will suffice for continuing the thread of this history.

506. During the intervals of Christ’s prayer, the Evangelists say, He returned to visit the Apostles and exhort them to watch and pray lest they enter into temptation (Matth. 14, 41 ; Mark 14, 38; Luke 22, 42). This the most vigilant Pastor did in order to show the dignitaries of his Church what care and supervision they were to exercise over their flocks. For if Christ, on account of his solicitude for them interrupted his prayer, which was so important, it was in order to teach them, how they must postpone other enterprises and interests to the salvation of their subjects. In order to understand the need of the Apostles, I must mention, that the infernal dragon, after having been routed from the Cenacle and forced into the infernal caverns, was permitted by the Savior again to come forth, in order that he might, by his malicious attempts, help to fulfill the decrees of the Lord. At one fell swoop many of these demons rushed to meet Judas and, in the manner already described, to hinder him, if possible, from consummating the treacherous bargain. As they could not dissuade him, they turned their attention to the other Apostles, suspecting that they had received some great favor at the hands of the Lord in the Cenacle. What this favor was Lucifer sought to find out, in order to counteract it. Our Savior saw this cruelty and wrath of the prince of darkness and his ministers; therefore as a most loving Father and vigilant Superior He hastened to the assistance of his little children and newly acquired subjects, his Apostles. He roused them and exhorted them to watch and pray against their enemies, in order that they might not enter unawares and unprovided into the threatening temptation.

507. He returned therefore to the three Apostles, who, having been more favored, also had more reasons for watchfulness in imitation of their Master. But He found them asleep; for they had allowed themselves to be overcome by insidious disgust and sorrow and in it had been seized by such a remissness and lukewarmness, that they fell asleep. Before speaking to them or waking them, the Lord looked at them for a moment and wept over them. For He saw them oppressed and buried in this deathly shade by their own sloth and negligence. He spoke to Peter and said to him: “Simon, sleepest thou? couldst not thou watch one hour?” And immediately He gave him and the others the answer; “Watch ye, and pray that you enter not into temptation (Mark 14, 37) ; for my enemies and your enemies sleep not as you do” That He reprehended Peter especially was not only because he was placed as head of the rest, and not only because he had most loudly protested that he would not deny Him and was ready to die for Him, though all the others should be scandalized in Him and leave Him; but also because Peter, having from his whole heart made freely these protests, deserved to be corrected and admonished before all the rest. For no doubt the Lord chastises those whom He loves and is always pleased by our good resolutions, even when we afterwards fall short in their execution, as happened with the most fervent of all the Apostles, saint Peter. When the Lord came the third time and woke up all the twelve, Judas was already approaching in order to deliver Him into the hands of his enemies, as I shall relate in the next chapter.

508. Let us now return to the Cenacle, where the Queen of heaven had retired with the holy women of her company. From her retreat, by divine enlightenment, She saw most clearly all the mysteries and doings of her most holy Son in the garden. At the moment when the Savior separated Himself with the three Apostles Peter, John and James, the heavenly Queen separated Herself from the other women and went into another room. Upon leaving them She exhorted them to pray and watch lest they enter into temptation, but She took with Her the three Marys, treating Mary Magdalen as the superior of the rest. Secluding Herself with these three as her more intimate companions, She begged the eternal Father to suspend in Her all human alleviation and comfort, both in the sensitive and in the spiritual part of her being, so that nothing might hinder Her from suffering to the highest degree in union with her divine Son. She prayed that She might be permitted to feel and participate in her virginal body all the pains of the wounds and tortures about to be undergone by Jesus. This petition was granted by the blessed Trinity and the Mother in consequence suffered all the torments of her most holy Son in exact duplication, as I shall relate later. Although they were such, that, if the right hand of the Almighty had not preserved Her, they would have caused her death many times over; yet, on the other hand, these sufferings, inflicted by God himself, were like a pledge and a new lease of life. For in her most ardent love She would have considered it incomparably more painful to see her divine Son suffer and die without being allowed to share in his torments.

509. The three Marys were instructed by the Queen to accompany and assist Her in her affliction, and for this purpose they were endowed with greater light and grace than the other women. In retiring with them the most pure Mother began to feel unwonted sorrow and anguish and She said to them: “My soul is sorrowful, because my beloved Son is about to suffer and die, and it is not permitted me to suffer and die of his torments. Pray, my friends, in order that you may not be over come by temptation.” Having said this She went apart a short distance from them, and following the Lord in his supplications. She, as far as was possible to Her and as far as She knew it to be conformable to the human will of her Son, continued her prayers and petitions, feeling the same agony as that of the Savior in the garden. She also returned at the same intervals to her companions to exhort them, because She knew of the wrath of the demon against them. She wept at the perdition of the foreknown; for She was highly enlightened in the mysteries of eternal predestination and reprobation. In order to imitate and co-operate in all things with the Redeemer of the world, the great Lady also suffered a bloody sweat, similar to that of Jesus in the garden, and by divine intervention She was visited by the archangel saint Gabriel, as Christ her Son was visited by the archangel Michael. The holy prince expounded to Her the will of the Most High in the same manner as saint Michael had expounded it to Christ the Lord. In both of Them the prayer offered and the cause of sorrow was the same ; and therefore They were also proportionally alike to one another in their actions and in their knowledge. I was made to understand that the most prudent Lady was provided with some cloths for what was to happen in the Passion of her most be loved Son; and on this occasion She sent some of her angels with a towel to the garden in which her Son was then perspiring blood, in order to wipe off and dry his venerable countenance. The Lord, for love of his Mother and for her greater merit, permitted these ministers of the Most High to fulfill her pious and tender wishes. When the moment for the capture of our Savior had arrived, it was announced to the three Marys by the sorrowful Mother. All three bewailed this in dignity with most bitter tears, especially Mary Magdalen, who signalized herself in tenderest love and piety for her Master.

INSTRUCTION WHICH MARY, THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN, GAVE ME.

510. My daughter, all that thou hast understood and written in this chapter will serve as a most potent incentive to thee and to all the mortals who will consider it carefully. Estimate then, and weigh within thy soul, how important is the eternal predestination or reprobation of the souls, since my most holy Son looked upon it with such great anxiety, that the difficulty or impossibility of saving all men added such immense bitterness to the Death, which He was about to suffer for all. By this conflict He manifests to us the importance and gravity of the matter under consideration, He prolonged his supplications and prayers to his eternal Father and his love for men caused his most precious blood to ooze forth from his body on perceiving, that the malice of men would make them unworthy of participation in the benefits of his Death. The Lord my Son has indeed justified his cause in thus having lavished his love and his merits without measure for the purchase of man’s salvation; and likewise the eternal Father has justified Himself in presenting to the world such a remedy and in having made it possible for each one freely to reach out for such widely different lots, as death and life, fire and water (Eccli. 15, 71).

511. But what pretense or excuse will men advance for having forgotten their own eternal salvation, when my divine Son and I have desired and sought to procure it for them with such sacrifices and untiring watchfulness? None of the mortals will have any excuse for their foolish negligence, and much less will the children of the holy Church have an excuse, since they have received the faith of these admirable sacraments and yet show in their lives little difference from that of infidels and pagans. Do not think, my daughter, that it is written in vain: “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matth. 20, 16) : fear this sentence and renew in thy heart the care and zeal for thy salvation, conformable to the sense of obligation arising from the knowledge of such high mysteries. Even if it were not a question of eternal salvation for thee, thou shouldst correspond to the loving kindness with which I manifest to thee such great and divine secrets. That I call thee my daughter and a spouse of my Lord, should cause thee to pay no attention to any visible thing and embrace only love and suffering for his sake. This I have shown thee by my example, since I applied all my faculties continually to these two things with the highest perfection. In order that thou mayest attain this, I wish that thy prayer be without intermission and that thou watch one hour with me, that is during the whole of thy life; for, compared with eternity, life is less than one hour, yea less than one moment. With such sentiments I wish that thou follow up the mysteries of the Passion, writing them, feeling them and imprinting them upon thy heart. ( (Venerable Mary of Agreda, The Mystical City of God, Volume III: The Transfixion, pp. 397-404.)

Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon.

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

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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 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.