Here’s Father Cory Sticha on the topic:
I’ve been thinking more and more about my concerns around giving special blessings to children at Mass. There are a number of people here who are continuing to express concern because of my stance on not blessing children in the communion line. To be clear, this is a position taken not out of spite, but out of a respect for the liturgy and for the documents of the Second Vatican Council. In paragraph 22, Sacrosanctum Concilium states, “Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.” A priest does not have the authority to add a blessing to the liturgy for anyone, because a priest does not have the authority to add anything to the liturgy. It doesn’t matter if other priests go beyond their authority and do it in disobedience. In my mind, it is inappropriate, and I will not. Period.”Read More:
ISIS Snuffs Out Ancient Christianity
by Raymond Ibrahim • November 1, 2014 at 5:00 am
In Egypt, a young Coptic Christian man, accused of blaspheming Islam for simply "liking" an Arabic-language Facebook page, was sentenced to six years in prison.
One of the intruders in Uganda was shouting, "Today we shall kill you [for converting to Christianity] — you… are not respecting our prophet’s religion." He then heard his 12-year-old-girl’s cries as the Muslim intruders were strangling her. Then they seized him.
Muslims in Germany were granted their own section of the cemetery. Now these same Islamic communities are demanding that, during Islamic funerals, Christian symbols and crosses in the cemetery be removed or covered up.
Sister Utoor Joseph (left) and Sister Miskintah, are nuns who disappeared on June 28 in Mosul, Iraq, and are believed to have been kidnapped by Islamists.
During the Islamic State’s June invasion and consolidation of Mosul, Iraq — where Christians have been present since the first century — countless atrocities against them were committed. Accordingly, the region is now reportedly empty of Christian presence.
The Islamic State, among other acts, reinstituted the collection of jizya, the "tribute" conquered Christians (and Jews) were historically required to pay in order not to be killed in accordance with the Koran (9:29).
In one instance, three Islamic State members burst into the home of a Christian family, demanding the jizya-money. When the father of the house pleaded that he did not have the money, the intruders raped his wife and daughter in front of him. The man was reportedly so traumatized that he committed suicide. Four other Christian women were killed for not wearing the Islamic veil.”
HOLY SATURDAY – The body of Jesus is in the tomb but His soul is among the dead to announce the kingdom. The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear it will Live (John 5:25). Consider what it must have been like for the dead in Limbo ( the "hell" of the Apostles’ Creed) to awaken to the voice of Jesus! Meanwhile The Disciples, heartbroken at the death of Jesus, observed the Jewish Sabbath in sorrow. They had forgotten the promise of Jesus that He would rise. We cannot forget His promise. We cannot forget.
We spend this day in quite reflection, weeping at the tomb of our Lord. Fasting and abstinence are recommended, but are not of obligation.
This night in our parish after sundown, at 8:30 pm, we gather for the Great Easter Vigil where we will experience Jesus rising from the dead. (Our Lord rose from the dead during this most blessed of nights, for the Gospels tell us that the faithful women went to the tomb very early in the morning, while it was still dark, and the tomb was already empty. That is why the Great Mass of Easter takes place at night.) We gather in darkness and light the Easter fire which reminds us that Jesus is light in the darkness. He is the light of the world. We attentively listen to Bible stories describing God’s saving work of the past. Suddenly, the church lights are lit and the Gloria is sung as we celebrate the moment of Christ’s resurrection. He Lives! As a Church we sing Alleluia for the first time in forty days. In the joy of the resurrection we then celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist for our Catechumens who have prepared many months for this night. Do everything you can to be present on this evening and invite friends and family to join. Our Vigil ushers in an Easter joy that never ends!
Of course the Easter Vigil fulfills the Sunday obligation – it is THE Great Mass of Easter (in fact, until the 5th century, it was the only Mass of Easter.)
Yes, the Easter Vigil is long (in our parish, about two and a half hours), but it is very beautiful. We keep it "moving right along", and it has beautiful music.
A blessed and joyful celebration of Easter to you all!
Msgr. Douglas A. Raun
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
1502 Sara, Rio Rancho, NM
From Jewish Passover to Christian Eucharist: The Story of the Todah
Scholars have often wondered how the practice of Christian Eucharist could have arisen from the Lord’s Supper, which occurred in the context of the Jewish Passover. Since Passover occurs only once a year, how is it that the Christians got the notion that they could celebrate Jesus’ sacrificial meal weekly, if not daily?
The Last Supper
The answer is found in the ancient Israelite sacrifice called the todah.
While most people have heard of Old Testament sacrifices such as the holocaust offering or burnt offering, those who have heard of the todah sacrifice are as rare as lotto winners. Today\’s ignorance concerning the todah, however, should not imply that it was unimportant to the Jews. Far from it. The todah was one of the most significant sacrifices of the Jews.
Indeed, an old Rabbinic teaching says: \"In the coming Messianic age all sacrifices will cease, but the thank offering [todah] will never cease.\"(1) What is it about this sacrifice that makes it stand alone in such a way that it would outlast all other sacrifices after the redemption of the Messiah?
A todah sacrifice would be offered by someone whose life had been delivered from great peril, such as disease or the sword. The redeemed person would show his gratitude to God by gathering his closest friends and family for a todah sacrificial meal. The lamb would be sacrificed in the Temple and the bread for the meal would be consecrated the moment the lamb was sacrificed. The bread and meat, along with wine, would constitute the elements of the sacred todah meal, which would be accompanied by prayers and songs of thanksgiving, such as Psalm 116.
What does the word \"todah\" mean? It is Hebrew for \"thanksgiving,\" although it also connotes a confession of praise in addition to gratitude. For example, Leah gave thanks to God when she bore her fourth son, and so she named him yehudah — or Judah — which is the verbal form of todah — to give thanks.
There are many examples in the Old Testament of people offering todah — thanks — to God. Jonah, while in the belly of the whale, vows to offer up a todah sacrifice in the Temple if he is delivered (cf. Jon. 2:3-10). King Hezekiah offers up a todah hymn upon recovering from a life-threatening illness (cf. Is. 38). However, the best example of todah sacrifice and song is found in the life of King David.
To speak of our Lord, the son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as true and perfect man is of no value to us if we do not believe that he is descended from the line of ancestors set out in the Gospel.
Matthew’s gospel begins by setting out the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham, and then traces his human descent by bringing his ancestral line down to his mother’s husband, Joseph. On the other hand, Luke traces his parentage backward step by step to the actual father of mankind, to show that both the first and the last Adam share the same nature.
No doubt the Son of God in his omnipotence could have taught and sanctified men by appearing to them in a semblance of human form as he did to the patriarchs and prophets, when for instance he engaged in a wrestling contest or entered into conversation with them, or when he accepted their hospitality and even ate the food they set before him. But these appearances were only types, signs that mysteriously foretold the coming of one who would take a true human nature from the stock of the patriarchs who had gone before him. No mere figure, then, fulfilled the mystery of our reconciliation with God, ordained from all eternity. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon the Virgin nor had the power of the Most High overshadowed her, so that within her spotless womb Wisdom might build itself a house and the Word become flesh. The divine nature and the nature of a servant were to be united in one person so that the Creator of time might be born in time, and he through whom all things were made might be brought forth in their midst.
For unless the new man, by being made in the likeness of sinful humanity, had taken on himself the nature of our first parents, unless he had stooped to be one in substance with his mother while sharing the Father’s substance and, being alone free from sin, united our nature to his, the whole human race would still be held captive under the dominion of Satan. The Conqueror’s victory would have profited us nothing if the battle had been fought outside our human condition. But through this wonderful blending the mystery of new birth shone upon us, so that through the same Spirit by whom Christ was conceived and brought forth we too might be born again in a spiritual birth; and in consequence the evangelist declares the faithful to have been born not of blood, nor of the desire of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Catholicism & Capital Punishment
Avery Cardinal Dulles
Reasons Why Obama Must Be Defeated
John D. Keisling, Ph.D.
1. He has vastly expanded Federal government power:
- Significantly increased dependency on government:
- Doubled food stamp spending: 47 million now on food stamps.
- Government takeover of healthcare: see below.
- Government takeover of General Motors.
- Unconstitutional attempt to remove welfare work requirement passed in 1996.
- Unconstitutional recess appointments with Senate still in session.
- Unconstitutional ignoring of laws: Defense of Marriage Act.
- Unconstitutional executive orders: Amnesty for younger illegal immigrants (DREAM Act—could not pass Congress).
- War in Libya without Congressional authorization.
- National debt up from $10 trillion to $16 trillion in 4 years. Increasing debt twice as fast as Bush. Now $50,000 for every American man, woman, and child.
- Supports “spreading wealth around.”
- Insulted small-business owners: “You didn’t build that!”
2. He wants to radically redefine marriage and family:
- Supports defining homosexual relationships as “marriage.” See Romans 1:18-32.
- By extension, supports homosexual indoctrination in public schools (Massachussetts, second grade—court ruled parents have no right to opt out or be notified)
- By extension, supports forcing Christian businesses to promote homosexuality:
- New Mexico, Elaine Photography—fined $6,500 for refusing to photograph lesbian “wedding.”
- Vermont innkeepers who refused a lesbian “wedding” forced to pay $10,000 fine and $20,000 to the lesbians’ favorite charity.
- Churches will not remain exempt for long.
3. He fully supports abortion:
- Supports Roe v. Wade: unlimited abortion, all 9 months.
- As an Illinois state senator, voted 4 times to deny basic Constitutional protection to babies who survive abortions.
- Co-sponsored the federal Freedom of Choice Act, which would overturn all state restrictions on abortion and therefore allow it in all cases.
- Appointed pro-abortion radical Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
- HHS now forcing religious organizations to pay for birth control and abortion.
4. He has made unprecedented attacks on religious freedom:
- Supports HHS mandate forcing religious organizations to pay for birth control and abortion. Never before in our history—government now says it can define what religion is.
- His Sec. of State says “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion.” “Worship” is what you do in church Sunday morning; “religion” encompasses your entire life. Major difference.
- Refuses to allow conscience protection—pro-life doctors and nurses forced to perform abortions.
- Redefining marriage: see above.
5. He supports Obamacare:
- Massive expansion of government power. 2700 pages—no one knew what was in it.
- Barney Frank called it the best path to single-payer healthcare—illegal for anyone but government to pay for health care.
- Forces Americans to buy a product. Never before in our history.
- Sets up unelected board (IPAB) with authority to ration health care.
- Rammed through Congress against people’s opposition, without a single Republican vote.
- Recess appointment of Donald Berwick as Medicare administrator, who said, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”
- Many doctors say they will not accept Medicare patients anymore.
- Takes $719 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare
6. He has broken major promises:
- Promised to cut deficit in half in 4 years. Deficit was $1.2 trillion in 2008; now $1.17 trillion. Democrats controlled House and Senate for two years.
- Promised not to raise taxes on middle class: Bush tax cuts about to expire—largest tax hike in American history. The Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare’s individual mandate is a tax.
- Promised unemployment would stay below 8%. Still around 10%.
- “If you like your current health plan, you can keep it:” 5-20 million Americans likely to lose employer plans under Obamacare.
- No budget passed in 3 years: Obama’s budget failed in Senate 97-0!
- Was against homosexual “marriage”; now for it.
- In 2006, stated on Senate floor, “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America ’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills… Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.” In 2011, he strongly advocated raising the debt ceiling again.
7. He has weakened America in the world:
- Disrespectful to America : worldwide apology tour for America , bowing to the Saudi king and Japanese emperor.
- Michelle Obama: “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.”
- Has done nothing to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly vowed to destroy Israel .
- Recently refused to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel.
- Supported “Arab Spring.” Now embassies are attacked in North Africa and Middle East . 4 Americans murdered in attack on Libyan Embassy.
- Attacks free speech of Americans: blamed above attacks on an obscure film criticizing Islam.
- Told an envoy to Vladimir Putin, “After my election, I’ll have more flexibility.”
From a homily on the gospels by Saint Gregory the Great, pope
Beloved brothers, our Lord and Savior sometimes gives us instruction by words and sometimes by actions. His very deeds are our commands; and whenever he acts silently he is teaching us what we should do. For example, he sends his disciples out to preach two by two, because the precept of charity is twofold—love of God and of one’s neighbor.
The Lord sends his disciples out to preach in twos in order to teach us silently that whoever fails in charity toward his neighbor should by no means take upon himself the office of preaching.
Rightly is it said that he sent them ahead of him into every city and place where he himself was to go. For the Lord follows after the preachers, because preaching goes ahead to prepare the way, and then when the words of exhortation have gone ahead and established truth in our minds, the Lord comes to live within us. To those who preach Isaiah says: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God.And the psalmist tells them: Make a way for him who rises above the sunset. The Lord rises above the sunset because from that very place where he slept in death, he rose again and manifested a greater glory. He rises above the sunset because in his resurrection he trampled underfoot the death which he endured. Therefore, we make a way for him who rises above the sunset when we preach his glory to you, so that when he himself follows after us, he may illumine you with his love.
Let us listen now to his words as he sends his preachers forth: The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest. That the harvest is good but the laborers are few cannot be said without a heavy heart, for although there are many to hear the good news there are only a few to preach it. Indeed, see how full the world is of priests, but yet in God’s harvest a true laborer is rarely to be found; although we have accepted the priestly office we do not fulfill its demands.
Think over, my beloved brothers, think over his words: Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest. Pray for us so that we may be able to labor worthily on your behalf, that our tongue may not grow weary of exhortation, that after we have taken up the office of preaching our silence may not bring us condemnation from the just judge.
My Lord, my God, my All,
Give me a heart for You,
Give me the heart
Of a child,
Create me anew,
For I wander
Far from You,
You, Who woos me constantly,
You, Who wants me eternally.
Each day, upon day,
Challenges me to hold on,
Hold on to Faith.
Hold on to Hope.
Hold on to You,
Who are Love.
Though You are constant,
I am inconstant.
Searching my moments,
In soulful recall,
I see my tempters three,
Worldly, fleshly and demonic.
They, too, hunger for me,
But where You
Would take me to Yourself,
And make me like,
And of Yourself,
They would devour me,
Chew upon me,
Suck out the juice,
And spit me out.
Give me the time.
Give me the inclination,
For I live in a world
They whisper in my ears,
Shout, and demand allegiance,
Calling me to come away,
To go astray,
To worship at strange altars.
In Your Light
I see my way.
In Your Light
The way to You
Shines as a highway,
Luminescent in the night.
My Lord, my God, my All,
Fight for me.
Fight them all.
Seventy to one hundred thousand pilgrims came to the Cova da Iria.
It was pouring down rain and everything was very muddy. My family was very uncertain and feared that if the miracle did not take place; the people would want to kill the three children.
Once there, moved by an interior impulse, I asked the people to shut their umbrellas and pray a Rosary. Soon after that there was a flash of light, and Our Lady appeared above the oak tree. Lucia asked: “What do you want of me?”
I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.”
“I have many things to ask you: the cure of some sick persons, the conversion of sinners, and other things . . . “Read more.
“Some yes, but not others. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins.” Looking very sad, Our Lady said: “Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended.”
Then, opening her hands, she made them reflect onto the sun, and as she ascended, the reflection of her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself.
Prepare me , O Lord,
During those moments of awe,
Even if hampered
By confusion, or sleep,
Presumption, even ignorance,
As we’re Peter,John, and James
On the mountain
Of Your Transfiguration.
Prepare me for the work
With which You grace me,
In the valley of the world.
Let me remember
Of the mountain experience,
Your Love and Your Glory.
Water the seed of my baptismal faith
With the fresh water
From Your pieced side.
Be as the dew fall
On the grass of my awakening.
Honor the tears of Mother Mary,
As she looked on You,
In the Hour of Your glorification
On the Cross,
To weep with you for me.
Awe struck, I live to praise You.
Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved
This prayer brings great blessing!
Act Of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart Of Jesus
by Pope Pius X
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us, humbly prostrate before Thine altar.
We are Thine and Thine we wish to be; but to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy Most Sacred Heart.
Many, indeed, have never known Thee; many, too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee.
Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.
Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee, grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one shepherd.
Be Thou King of all those who even now sit in the shadow of idolatry or Islam, and refuse not Thou to bring them into the light of Thy kingdom. Look, finally, with eyes of pity upon the children of that race, which was for so long a time Thy chosen people; and let Thy Blood, which was once invoked upon them in vengeance, now descend upon them also in a cleansing flood of redemption and eternal life.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church, assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation: to it be glory and honour forever. Amen.
"To Our Lady—the Coredemptrix—St. Charles turned with singularly revealing accents. Commenting on the loss of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple, he reconstructed the interior dialogue that could have run between the Mother and the Son, and he added, “You will endure much greater sorrows, O blessed Mother, and you will continue to live; but life will be for you a thousand times more bitter than death. You will see your innocent Son handed over into the hands of sinners . . . You will see him brutally crucified between thieves; you will see his holy side pierced by the cruel thrust of a lance; finally, you will see the blood that you gave him spilling. And nevertheless you will not be able to die!” (From the homily delivered in the Cathedral of Milan the Sunday after the Epiphany, 1584). (3)
Mary accompanied her divine Son in the most discreet concealment, pondering everything in the depths of her heart. On Calvary, at the foot of the Cross, in the vastness and in the depth of her maternal sacrifice, she had John, the youngest Apostle, beside her . . . .
"Mary goes before us and accompanies us. The silent journey that begins with her Immaculate Conception and passes through the “yes” of Nazareth, which makes her the Mother of God, finds on Calvary a particularly important moment. There also, accepting and assisting at the sacrifice of her son, Mary is the dawn of Redemption; . . . Crucified spiritually with her crucified son (cf. Gal. 2:20), she contemplated with heroic love the death of her God, she “lovingly consented to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth” (Lumen Gentium, 58) . . . .
In fact, at Calvary she united herself with the sacrifice of her Son that led to the foundation of the Church; her maternal heart shared to the very depths the will of Christ “to gather into one all the dispersed children of God” (Jn. 11:52). Having suffered for the Church, Mary deserved to become the Mother of all the disciples of her Son, the Mother of their unity . . . .
The Gospels do not tell us of an appearance of the risen Christ to Mary. Nevertheless, as she was in a special way close to the Cross of her Son, she also had to have a privileged experience of his Resurrection. In fact, Mary’s role as Coredemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son. "
"Birgitta looked to Mary as her model and support in the various moments of her life. She spoke energetically about the divine privilege of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. She contemplated her astonishing mission as Mother of the Saviour. She invoked her as the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Sorrows, and Coredemptrix, exalting Mary’s singular role in the history of salvation and the life of the Christian people"
"Dearest brothers and sisters, in the month of May we raise our eyes to Mary, the woman who was associated in a unique way in the work of mankind’s reconciliation with God. According to the Father’s plan, Christ was to accomplish this work through his sacrifice. However, a woman would be associated with him, the Immaculate Virgin who is thus placed before our eyes as the highest model of cooperation in the work of salvation. . . .
The “Yes” of the Annunciation constituted not only the acceptance of the offered motherhood, but signified above all Mary’s commitment to service of the mystery of the Redemption. Redemption was the work of her Son; Mary was associated with it on a subordinate level. Nevertheless, her participation was real and demanding. Giving her consent to the angel’s message, Mary agreed to collaborate in the whole work of mankind’s reconciliation with God, just as her Son would accomplish it.
"Born of the Virgin to be a pure, holy and immaculate oblation, Christ offered on the Cross the one perfect Sacrifice which every Mass, in an unbloody manner, renews and makes present. In that one Sacrifice, Mary, the first redeemed, the Mother of the Church, had an active part. She stood near the Crucified, suffering deeply with her Firstborn; with a motherly heart she associated herself with his Sacrifice; with love she consented to his immolation (cf. Lumen Gentium, 58; Marialis Cultus, 20): she offered him and she offered herself to the Father. Every Eucharist is a memorial of that Sacrifice and that Passover that restored life to the world; every Mass puts us in intimate communion with her, the Mother, whose sacrifice “becomes present” just as the Sacrifice of her Son “becomes present” at the words of consecration of the bread and wine pronounced by the priest. "
Great Jubilee Year
"Daughter of Abraham in faith as well as in the flesh, Mary personally shared in this experience. Like Abraham, she too accepted the sacrifice of her Son, but while the actual sacrifice of Isaac was not demanded of Abraham, Christ drank the cup of suffering to the last drop. Mary personally took part in her Son’s trial, believing and hoping at the foot of the Cross (cf. Jn. 19:25).
This was the epilogue of a long wait. Having been taught to meditate on the prophetic texts, Mary foresaw what awaited her and in praising the mercy of God, faithful to his people from generation to generation, she gave her own consent to his plan of salvation; in particular, she said her “yes” to the central event of this plan, the sacrifice of that Child whom she bore in her womb. Like Abraham, she accepted the sacrifice of her Son."
Read Dr. Mark Miravalle here for more
RAnn of This That and the Other Thing hosts this Catholic Carnival.
To participate, go to your blog and create a post titled Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival. In it, discuss and link to your posts for the week.
Posts I’m sharing this week:
From the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus by Pope Pius XII
Your body is holy and excelling in splendor
In their homilies and sermons on this feast the holy fathers and great doctors spoke of the assumption of the Mother of God as something already familiar and accepted by the faithful. They gave it greater clarity in their preaching and used more profound arguments in setting out its nature and meaning. Above all, they brought out more clearly the fact that what is commemorated in this feast is not simply the total absence of corruption from the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary but also her triumph over death and her glorification in heaven, after the pattern set by her only Son, Jesus Christ.
Thus Saint John Damascene, preeminent as the great preacher of this truth of tradition, speaks with powerful eloquence when he relates the bodily assumption of the loving Mother of God to her other gifts and privileges: “It was necessary that she who had preserved her virginity inviolate in childbirth should also have her body kept free from all corruption after death. It was necessary that she who had carried the Creator as a child on her breast should dwell in the tabernacles of God. It was necessary that the bride espoused by the Father should make her home in the bridal chambers of heaven. It was necessary that she, who had gazed on her crucified Son and been pierced in the heart by the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in giving him birth, should contemplate him seated with the Father. It was necessary that the Mother of God should share the possessions of her Son, and be venerated by every creature as the Mother and handmaid of God.”
Saint Germanus of Constantinople considered that it was in keeping not only with her divine motherhood but also with the unique sanctity of her virginal body that it was incorrupt and carried up to heaven: “In the words of Scripture, you appear in beauty. Your virginal body is entirely holy, entirely chaste, entirely the house of God, so that for this reason also it is henceforth a stranger to decay: a body changed, because a human body, to a preeminent life of incorruptibility, but still a living body, excelling in splendor, a body inviolate and sharing in the perfection of life.”
Another early author declares: “Therefore, as the most glorious Mother of Christ, our God and Savior, giver of life and immortality, she is enlivened by him to share an eternal incorruptibility of body with him who raised her from the tomb and took her up to himself in a way he alone can tell.”
All these reasonings and considerations of the holy Fathers rest on Scripture as their ultimate foundation. Scripture portrays the loving Mother of God, almost before our very eyes, as most intimately united with her divine Son and always sharing in his destiny.
Above all, it must be noted that from the second century the holy Fathers present the Virgin Mary as the new Eve, most closely associated with the new Adam, though subject to him in the struggle against the enemy from the nether world. This struggle, as the first promise of a redeemer implies, was to end in perfect victory over sin and death, always linked together in the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles. Therefore, just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was an essential part of this victory and its final trophy, so the struggle shared by the Blessed Virgin and her Son was to end in glorification of her virginal body. As the same Apostle says: When this mortal body has clothed itself in immortality, then will be fulfilled the word of Scripture: Death is swallowed up in victory.
Hence, the august Mother of God, mysteriously united from all eternity with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a virgin inviolate in her divine motherhood, the wholehearted companion of the divine Redeemer who won complete victory over sin and its consequences, gained at last the supreme crown of her privileges—to be preserved immune from the corruption of the tomb, and, like her Son, when death had been conquered, to be carried up body and soul to the exalted glory of heaven, there to sit in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the ages.
Leah Libresco a prominent atheist blogger at Patheos, a religion website, has left the ranks of the faithful no-faith for true believer status among the Christian hordes. Debate sparked this unexpected decision.
“The great thing about a lot of the atheist and skeptic community is that people talk more critically about ideas and want to see proof provided,” “That kind of analytical thinking is completely useful and the Catholic Church doesn’t need to and should not be afraid of because if you’ve got the facts on your side, you hope they win.”
RAnn of This That and the Other Thing hosts Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival, a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share posts of interest to Catholic bloggers.
Join the fun by visiting This That and the Other Thing and creating your own link as RAnn directs.
In speaking of Evangelization, Cardinal Arinze said:
“It is one thing to impose our Faith. It is quite another matter to propose our Faith. The first we should not do. The second, we should do. That is we should propose our Faith. Our Faith is not a black market article. It is not a contraband good. It is not a forbidden atticle. It is not poison. It is the best news on earth. It is good news. Indeed, the word ‘evangelium’, ‘gospel’, is ‘good news’. So why keep all the good news for yourself? You really believe that Jeaus Christ saved all of us? You really believe that He inaugurated the Kingdom of God and you don’t want to share it with anybody?! You want to go to Heaven, just you,yourself, alone! Certainly not! ….We are going to aim at nothing short of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with as many people as would be willing to accept it. We impose it on nobody, but we propose it because it’s good news. It’s good news! ”
Sent from my iPod
Coming home has never been easier. We are family. Welcome home.
via Catholics Come Home.
From the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council Man’s deeper questionings
The world of today reveals itself as at once powerful and weak, capable of achieving the best or the worst. There lies open before it the way to freedom or slavery, progress or regression, brotherhood or hatred. In addition, man is becoming aware that it is for himself to give the right direction to forces that he himself has awakened, forces that can be his master or his servant. He therefore puts questions to himself.
The tensions disturbing the world of today are in fact related to a more fundamental tension rooted in the human heart. In man himself many elements are in conflict with each other. On one side, he has experience of his many limitations as a creature. On the other, he knows that there is no limit to his aspirations, and that he is called to a higher kind of life.
Many things compete for his attention, but he is always compelled to make a choice among them. and to renounce some. What is more, in his weakness and sinfulness he often does what he does not want to do, and fails to do what he would like to do. In consequence, he suffers from a conflict within himself, and this in turn gives rise to so many great tensions in society.
Very many people, infected as they are with a materialistic way of life, cannot see this dramatic state of affairs in all its clarity, or at least are prevented from giving thought to it because of the unhappiness that they themselves experience.
Many think that they can find peace in the different philosophies that are proposed.
Some look for complete and genuine liberation for man from man’s efforts alone. They are convinced that the coming kingdom of man on earth will satisfy all the desires of his heart.
There are those who despair of finding any meaning in life: they commend the boldness of those who deny all significance to human existence in itself, and seek to impose a total meaning on it only from within themselves.
But in the face of the way the world is developing today, there is an ever increasing number of people who are asking the most fundamental questions or are seeing them with a keener awareness: What is man? What is the meaning of pain, of evil, of death, which still persist in spite of such great progress? What is the use of those successes, achieved at such a cost? What can man contribute to society, what can he expect from society? What will come after this life on earth?
The Church believes that Christ died and rose for all, and can give man light and strength through his Spirit to fulfil his highest calling; his is the only name under heaven in which men can be saved.
So too the Church believes that the centre and goal of all human history is found in her Lord and Master.
The Church also affirms that underlying all changes there are many things that do not change; they have their ultimate foundation in Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and for ever.
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In Fr.Robert Barron’s “A Tale of Two Skulls” history comes alive and speaks to the accepted barbarism of an age that lost its way, much as our own has. Today we can terminate a pregnancy and label the dismembered embro as “products of conception.”
SAINT JOHN OF CAPISTRANO
St. John of Capistrano was born in 1385, at Capistrano. St. John was a reformer of the Franciscan Order and his life and work should inspire us to uphold and promote our spiritual values.
St. John of Capistrano is the patron saint of jurists.
Litany ofthe Holy Name of Jesus
(composed by St. John Capistrano & St. Bernadine of Siena)
Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, hear us
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Brightness of eternal Light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of Glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Sun of Justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Angel of Great Council, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our Lover, have mercy on us.
Jesus, God of Peace, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Author of Life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Model of Virtue, have mercy on us.
Jesus, zealous for souls, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our Refuge, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Father of the Poor, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Treasure of the Faithful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us.
Jesus, true Light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, eternal Wisdom, have mercy on us.
Jesus, infinite Goodness, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our Way and our Life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Light of Confessors, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Purity of Virgins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Crown of all Saints, have mercy on us.
Be merciful, spare us O Jesus.
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus.
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the neglect of Thy inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy most divine Life, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy Labors, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy Agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy Cross and Dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy Sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy Death and Burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy Joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through Thy Glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus.
Jesus hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
Let us pray:
O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou hast said, “Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you”; mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the grace of Thy most divine love, that we may love
Thee with all our hearts, and in all our words and actions, and never cease to praise Thee.
Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name, for Thou never failest to govern those who Thou dost solidly establish in Thy love. Amen.
Prayer Source; Public Domain
Collected articles by Cardinal Ratzinger here
H/T nypriest.com and Grassroots Films:
Revelation of the Sacred Heart
by Fr. Emile Bougard 1673-1675
“It is for Thy love alone, O my God,” she begins, “that I submit to write this in obedience, and I ask Thy pardon for the resistance that I feel, so it is only Thou that canst give me the strength to overcome it” Then she added: “I receive this order as coming from Thee; and by fulfillment I wish to punish the excessive joy and precaution that I have taken to follow the great inclination of creatures. O my Sovereign Good, may I write nothing but for Thy greater glory and my still greater confusion!”
She then took her pen and began her recital. But soon she stopped dumbfounded, speechless, confused, utterly unable to overcome her repugnance. “O my Lord and my God, who alone knowest the pain that I suffer in fulfilling this obedience and the violence that I must do to myself to overcome the repugnance and confusion that I feel in writing all this, grant me grace to die rather than put down anything but what springs from Thy Spirit of truth, and which will give Thee glory and me confusion. In mercy, O my Sovereign Good, let it never be seen by anyone excepting by him whom Thou wishest to examine it, so that this writing may not prevent my remaining buried in eternal contempt and forgetfulness of creatures. O my God, give this consolation to Thy poor miserable slave.”
A little further on, having resumed her recital, and again crushed by the work, we read: “I proceed through obedience, O my God, without any other design than that of satisfying Thee by the martyrdom which I suffer in penning these lines, every word of which seems to me a sacrifice. But mayest You be glorified by it eternally!” The same plaintive tone is heard throughout her Memoir; the same contest is witnessed between humility and obedience. At one instant humility lays down the pen; at the next obedience makes her take it up. It was thus that was finished, in an incomparable glory of sanctity, the recital of the three revelations relative to the Heart of Jesus. We shall now make them known in Margaret Mary’s own words. The Church has studied the triple recital with the severity she always brings to this kind of examination and has solemnly declared their authenticity.
THE FIRST REVELATION -December 27, 1673
The first of the three revelations took place, no one can doubt on the feast of St. John the Evangelist, December 27, 1673. It was the same day on which three hundred and fifty-three years before, St Gertrude had learned in a vision that if the world beloved Disciple had said nothing of the sacred pulsations of the Sacred Heart, it was because God reserved to Himself to speak of them at a time in which the world begin to grow cold. The day could not of better been chosen for this revelation. We have the account of it written by Margaret Mary. She gives us the whole sense of the life.
“Once” she said, “being before the Blessed Sacrament had having a little more leisure than usual, I felt wholly filled with this Divine Presence, and so powerfully moved by it that I forgot myself and the place in which I was. I abandoned myself to this Divine Spirit, and yielded my heart to the power of His love. He made me rest for a long time on His Divine Breast, where He discovered to me the wonders of His love and the inexplicable secrets of His Sacred Heart, which He had hitherto kept hidden from me. Now He opened it to me for the first time, but in a way so real, so sensible, that it left me no room to doubt, though I am always in dread of deceiving myself”
We see it was the time that the Lord showed His Heart to Margaret; until then He has always kept It hidden. And such is the character of this apparition, and the impression that she receives from it, that the humble virgin, ordinarily so timid, so distrustful of self could conceive no doubt of it. Jesus had then spoken; and “This” adds Margaret: ” as it seems to me, is what passed: The Lord said to me, My Divine Heart is so passionately in love with men that it can no longer contain within Itself the flames of Its ardent charity. It must pour them out by thy means, and manifest itself to them to enrich them with its precious treasures, which contain all the graces of which they have need to be saved from perdition. I have chosen you as an abyss of unworthiness and ignorance to accomplish so great a design, so that all may be done by Me”.
Thus according to the condition of this first revelation, the new devotion was going to be the grand effort of the Heart of Jesus ‘ passionately in love with men and wishing at any cost to draw them from the abyss of perdition. Until then ordinary means had sufficed. But in the sad state in which the world was, Jesus could no longer contain the flames of this burning charity in His Heart, which wished to save all men. His pierced side opened, and His Heart longed to come forth. It had as yet only shown itself in cloisters and to chosen souls, and in showing it to them had made them faint from love. But now it wished to show itself to the multitude and by whether, in revealing the hidden secrets of love, it might succeed in melting the ice that was being heaped up in the midst of Christian people. Such was the sense of the first apparition.
Jesus said nothing else to Margaret Mary, excepting that, for the accomplishment of His designs, He made use of her; not in spite of her weakness and ignorance, but rather than on account of them, that all should be done by Himself. But when? how? in what manner?. The Lord did not say, and Margaret Mary had neither the thought nor the strength to ask Him.
Since however, there was question of a public ministry, the Lord desired to leave her a living and unquestionable proof of the truth of what had just passed. Before disappearing, He asked if she desired to give Him her heart: But let her speak for herself.
He demanded my heart, and I supplicated Him to take it. He did so, and put it into His own Adorable Heart, in which He allowed me to see it as a little atom being consumed in that fiery furnace. Then drawing it out like a burning flame in the form of a heart, He put it into the place whence He had taken it, saying: Behold, My beloved, a precious proof of My love. I inclose in thy heart a little spark of the most ardent flame of My love., to serve thee as a heart and to consume thee till thy last moment. Until now, you have taken only the name of My slave; henceforth you shalt be called the well-beloved disciple of My Sacred Heart.
One can easily imagine what effects might be produced by such a favour a creature already wholly inflamed with divine love. She said: After so great a grace, one that lasted so long and during which I knew not whether I was in heaven or on earth, I remained several days wholly inflamed, wholly inebriated.. I was so out of myself that it was only by doing violence to myself could I utter a word. I was obliged to make so great an effort to eat and recreate that my strength was exhausted in my endeavor to endure my sufferings”.
Again she was led to Mother Saumaise, but she could scarcely pronounce one word: “I experienced” she said: “so great a plenitude of God that I was not able to express myself to my Superioress as I wished.” As to her Sisters, she experienced only one temptation; namely to throw herself at their feet and confess to them her sins. “It would of been a great consolation to me, to have made my general confession aloud in the refectory, that my Sisters might see the depth of my corruption; for then they would attribute to me none of the graces I received.”
Besides this sentiment of profound humility, the first fruit of the luminous apparition, a sentiment that must necessarily be conceived by one that has rested on the breast of the Saviour (for astonishment, admiration, and love create humility), Margaret preserved a memento, or rather an ineffaceable mark of divine love. She did not bear it visibly on her breast like St Francis of Assisi or St Catherine of Siena, but all her life she retained an invisible wound in her side, “The pain of this wound is so precious to me, causes me transports so lively, that it burns me alive, it consumes me” she said. This divine memorial did not grow faint with time, for the Lord renewed it every first Friday of he month, and again showed her His Heart. She said: “The Sacred Heart is shown me as a sun brilliant with sparkling light, whose burning rays fall direct on my heart. I then feel myself inflamed with such fire that it seems about to reduce me to ashes.”
Such was the first act of this triple revelation of the Sacred Heart. One sees as yet only the principle and as it were, the inspiration of this new devotion; but in what touching beauty! A God forgotten by men, and unable to resign Himself to such forgetfulness; despised by man, and wishing to punish him; hearkening to His anger, endeavoring to silence the voice of His love, and yet nor succeeding; unable to contain within Himself the flames of His ardent charity, and yet not able to chastise His ungrateful creatures, He resolved to vanquish them by force of tenderness, and for this end daily inventing new and most divine contrivances of love! After the splendors and benefits of creation came the annihilations of the crib. The crib is followed by the sorrows of the Cross; the Cross, by the Holy Eucharist! Is there anything left? Yes; for we now behold the supreme effort of the Sacred Heart! It is always the same law. Every new evidence of coldness on the part of man causes God to descend a degree in order to touch the heart from which He cannot succeed in detaching Himself.
The day following this lively and ineffaceable apparition, in which Margaret Mary had learned two things, the first, that God could not contain in His Heart the secrets of His love; the second, that He would make use of her to reveal them to the world, – the life of our saint resumed its accustomed course. Very nearly six months were granted her to recover from the profound impression just received, – and she had much need of them. Six months of peace, recollection, silence, brilliant progress in humility and the love of God! And now, at the moment she least expected, comes the second revelation! More penetrating, more luminous than the first, it made a still deeper impression on her soul. She fell ill from the violent emotion it caused; so ill that all thought she must die.
THE SECOND REVELATION – 1674
This second revelation is the only one of which we know not the exact date. It certainly took place in 1674, before the arrival at Paray of Father de la Colombiere, who came in the autumn of this year. As the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, it could not be according to the custom of the times, other than the feast of the Visitation, or during the Octave of Corpus Christi. On the other hand, it seems to follow from Margaret’s account that it was on Friday, and the first Friday of the month. We think therefore, that it was in the beginning of June, and the Friday of the Octave of Corpus Christi.
Let us hear the Sister’s full recital; “Once when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, my soul being absorbed in extraordinary recollection, Jesus Christ, my Sweet Master, presented Himself to me. He was brilliant with glory; His five Wounds shone like five suns. Flames darted forth from all parts of His Sacred Humanity, but especially from His adorable breast, which resembled a furnace and which opening, displayed to me His loving and amiable Heart, the living source of these flames.”
In recounting the first apparition, Margaret Mary had not described the adorable person of the Lord, because probably, it had not the same glorious character as this one. It was less royal, perhaps a more intimate communications: “He made me rest along time on His breast” (remembering the first), which it might seem would agree not well with the spendours, the flames that enveloped Jesus in the second apparition. However, this difference in form corresponds to the difference of spirit in which they were made. Till that hour Jesus was the Friend, the Father, making a tender effort to save His children. Now He is the outraged Spouse, the unacknowledged King about to demand reparation. Whilst Margaret, trembling with emotion, was contemplating Him, “He unfolded to me” she says: the inexplicable wonders of His pure love, and to what excess He had carried it for the love of men from whom He had received only ingratitude: ‘This’ He said: ‘is much more painful to Me than all I suffered in My Passion. If men rendered Me some return of love, I should esteem little all I have done for them, and should wish, if it could be, to suffer it over again: but they meet My eager love with coldness and rebuffs. Do you, at least, said He in conclusion, console and rejoice Me, by supplying as much as you can for their ingratitude.'”
After having shown in the first revelation the true principle of the new devotion, namely love whose flames He could no longer confine in His Heart, Jesus now revealed it character. This devotion would be amende honorable and an expiation for all the crimes of the world, a consolation for his forsaken Heart. He appealed to some chosen souls to come and supply at the foot of the altars for those that do not love Him; and, by their love and adoration, to render the homage He no longer receives from the multitude grown cold and indifferent. “Do thou, at least” and in speaking thus the Lord addressed Himself to all pious souls, give Me the consolation of beholding thee supplying for their ingratitude, as far as thou canst.”
Margaret excused herself on the plea of incapacity: “Fear not,: said Jesus; behold here is wherewith to furnish all that is wanting to thee.” “And at that moment: continued Margaret, ‘the Divine Heart being opened, there shot forth a flame so ardent that I thought I should be consumed by it”. Admirable symbol of what this new devotion was going to become in the Church, of that universal re-warming of hearts of which we shall try later to trace to the consoling picture!
Thoroughly penetrated with this burning flames, and unable longer to endure the fire, Margaret implored our Saviour to have pity on her weakness: Fear nothing”said He to her: I shall be thy strength. Listen only to what I desire of thee to prepare thee for the accomplishment of My designs” Then the Lord asked two things of her: the first to communicate every first Friday of each month to make Him the amende honorable!; the second, to rise between eleven and midnight on the night between Thursday and Friday of every week, and to prostrate for an hour with her face to the ground, in expiation of the sins of men, and to console His Heart for that general desertion, to which the weakness of the apostles in the Garden of Olives had been only a slight prelude.
“During all this time” says Margaret: “I was unconscious, I knew not where I was. Some of the Sisters came to take me away, and seeing that I could neither reply nor support myself on my feet, they led me to our Mother, who found me quite out of myself, trembling as if on fire”. When Margaret told her what had just taken place, whether she believed or not, or whether she feigned not to believe it, Mother de Saumaise humbled her as deeply as she could -“which gave me extreme pleasure, caused me inconceivable joy” Says Margaret Mary: “for I felt myself such a criminal, I was filled with such confusion, that, however righteous might be the treatment bestowed upon me, it would still have seemed to me too lenient”.
“The fire that devoured me brought on continual fever; but I rejoiced too much in suffering to complain of it. I never spoke of it, but when my strength was completely gone. Never have I felt so much consolation. My whole body was racked by extreme pain, and this relieved a little the parching thirst I felt to suffer. This devouring fire could neither be fed nor satisfied but with the woo of the cross; namely with contempt of all kinds, humiliations, and pains. Never was my bodily sufferings equal to what I experienced from not suffering enough. The Sisters thought I would surely die”.
Dr. Billiet, the attendant physician, declared that Saint Margaret Mary, had sixty consecutive fevers that resisted every remedy employed to moderate their ardor. Mother de Saumaise, very much perplexed, at last resorted to the following expedient. She approached the bed of the apparently dying Sister, and commanded her in the name of obedience to ask her restoration of God, adding that she would recognize it as a sign of the supernatural character of all that had taken place in her regard. She would then, she said, permit her to make the Communion of the first Friday of every month, and the hours prayer during the night between Thursday and Friday.
Margaret experienced strong repugnance to asking a termination of her sufferings, fearing she said, “to be heard”. But at the word obedience, she no longer hesitated. Scarcely had she uttered a short prayer before her fever fell, her pulse beat less rapidly, and the astonished physician pronounced her cured. There was however little need for the doctor to make this assertion, for the saint arose; and from that day the Sisters remarked a total change in her health. Mother de Saumaise did not resist the voice of God.
She granted Margaret Mary the permission to communicate the first Friday of the month, and for the future to rise on the night between Thursday and Friday.
Meanwhile Mother de Saumaise became more and more embarrassed. This cure, which looked like a miracle and which perhaps was one, caused her to reflect more seriously on the propriety of acknowledging the incontestable sanctity of Sister Margaret. But on the other hand Margaret was very young, hardly six and twenty, and counted but two years of religious life. The visions that she related were, moreover , very extraordinary. Was not some illusion to be feared? Finally Mother de Saumaise resolved to consult others; and breaking silence for the first time, she conferred on the subject with some religious whose names we do not know -‘learned people”, say our old Memoires. But whether Margaret so timid and so humble, was herself not understood, or whether the advisers of Mother de Saumaise entertained certain prejudices on the score of supernatural manifestations, a thing not infrequent even among priests and pious religious, her conferences led to the conclusion that in Margaret Mary’s case there was much imagination, a little natural temperament, and perhaps even some illusion of the evil spirit, so skillfully disguised that the good Sister could not perceive it.
The perplexity of Margaret’s judges was thus increased instead of diminished. Condemned by her Superiors and confessors, the poor Sister knew not which way to turn. She said: “I made every effort to resist my interior attractions, believing that I was assuredly in error. But I could not succeed. I no longer doubted that I was abandoned, since I was told that it was not the Spirit of God that governed me; and yet it was impossible for me to resist the Spirit that moved me.” One day, when drooping under the weight of this continued anxiety, and pouring out her plaintive wail at the feet of her Lord, she seemed to hear a voice saying to her: Have patience, and await My servant. She knew not what the words meant, but they poured a little balm into her soul, and she felt that God would come to her assistance in His own good time.
Things were in the same state when Mother de Saumaise announced to her Community one day that a pious conference would be given them by a religious of the Society of Jesus who had just arrived at Paray, and who had the reputation of speaking eloquently of the things of God. His name was Father de la Colombiere. We are astonished that a man who, in spite of his youth, was already so celebrated, and who from his entrance into the Society had given promise of attaining high renown, should be sent to so small a place as Paray. We read in the sequel the divine purpose of this sending. Father de la Columbiere came in time for the greatest perplexities (for it was very likely the morrow of the second revelation, so badly understood by the learned people of Paray, and the eve of the third and last, the most important of all). He was going, in a few words, to evoke light in the midst of darkness.
Sister Margaret Mary went with the other Sisters to the conference, Father de la Colombiere’s name not having made upon her the slightest impression. But he had hardly opened his lips when she distinctly heard these words: “Behold him whom I send to thee” Accustomed to await God’s moments without anticipating them, scarcely had she rested her eyes on the Father when she remitted to God who had sent him, the care of making her known to him.
The Ember days came. Father de la Colombiere having been deputed to hear the confessions of the Community, Margaret Mary remarked that, although he had never seen her, yet he spoke as if he knew what was passing in her soul. He detained her a long time, and even offered to see her again the next day, in order to receive a thorough manifestation of her interior state. These advances could not come more opportunely. But Margaret did not want to open her heart to him; and as to the second proposition, she replied humbly and timidly that she would do what obedience ordered her.
Very probably it was the venerable Mother de Saumaise who had spoken to Father de la Colombiere of Margaret’s state, that she might be able to add the opinion and advice of a pious and eloquent man to those that she already had; although perhaps it was God Himself who had enlightened His servant, that He might extend to His faithful spouse the direction of which she had so great need. Be this as it may, a few days later the Father returned and asked for Sister Margaret Mary. The Sister says: Although I knew that it was the Will of God for me to speak to him, yet I felt extreme repugnance to answering his summons.”
Her repugnance, however, lasted but a moment. Gained by the piety and sweetness of the holy religious, and interiorly excited by grace, Margaret Mary confided to him the secrets of her heart. The interview was long, and Sister Margaret came forth from it enlightened and consoled: She said: “He assured me that there was nothing to be feared in the guidance of this Spirit, in as much as it did not withdraw me from obedience; that I ought to follow its movements and abandon my whole being to it, to be sacrificed and immolated according to its good pleasure. He admired the great goodness of our God in not withdrawing His favours in the face of so much resistance, taught me to esteem the gifts of God, and to receive with respect and humility the frequent communications and familiar entertainments with which He favoured me. The Father added that my thanks giving for so great a goodness ought to be continual. When I told him that my soul was pursued so closely by the Sovereign Goodness without regard to time or place, that I could not pray vocally without doing myself violence so great that I sometimes remained with my mouth open unable to pronounce a word, and this happened particularly whilst saying the Rosary, he told me, to make such efforts no more, and to confine myself to my vocal prayers of obligation. When I told him something of the special caresses and loving union of soul I received from my Well beloved, and which I cannot describe here, he replied that I had great reason to humble myself, and to admire with him the wonderful mercy of God in my regard.”
We have quoted this entire page, because in very brief form it contains true light, There is something elevated, sensible, sweet, and pious in it. It is, besides, the great word of Father de la Colombiere. He did undoubtedly utter many others. He preached long, he made known God’s truth in France and England.
But, notwithstanding all this, he was most probably created, led from afar, divinely prepared by a certain chain of hidden marvels expressly to speak this word. That done, he retires, his mission finished. He had played his part. Assuredly there is none either more glorious or more useful; for in enlightening one such soul he has enlightened millions. He contributed largely to the good of the Church by giving her bark tossed by a frightful tempest the stroke of the oar that was to enable her to clear rugged obstacles. But Father de la Colombiere did not retire and leave his work unfinished. We shall see him again at the decisive moment of the third revelation, when he will once more sustain and enlighten the Sister. He will study seriously this last and highest manifestation of God’s will, after which he will be the first to prostrate with our saint and consecrate himself to the Sacred Heart.
THIRD AND LAST REVELATION. – June 16, 1675.
It was on June 16, 1675, that the last of the grand revelations relative to the Sacred Heart took place. It was to close the cycle of those solemn disclosures. Until then the humble virgin had received from the Lord, only personal favours, very like those with which other holy souls had already been favoured. He had only demanded of her some individual practices of devotion. Now, however, the hour was come for Him to invest her with with her grand public mission.
During the octave of the feast of the Blessed Sacrament, June 16, 1675, Margaret Mary was on her knees before the choir-grate, her eyes fixed on the Tabernacle. She had just received: “some of the unmeasured graces of His love”. We have no particulars of these graces. Suddenly the Lord appeared on the altar and discovered to her His Heart. He said to her: “Behold, this Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love. In return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this sacrament of love. And what is most painful to Me (He said in a tone to pain the Sisters heart) is that they are hearts consecrated to Me” Then He commanded her to have established in the Church a particular feast to honour His Sacred Heart. “It is for this reason I ask thee that the first Friday after the octave of the Blessed Sacrament be appropriated to a special feast, to honour My Heart by communicating on that day, and making reparation for the indignity that it has received. And I promise that My Heart shall dilate to pour out abundantly the influences of its love on all that will render it this honour or procure its being rendered.”
This was the last revelation, and the most celebrated of all. Justly the most celebrated, for all that regards the Divine Heart of Jesus is contained in It. Its principle is no other than the overflowing love of God, love making a grand effort to overcome evil; its end, to become a public devotion, having been so long a private one; and, lastly, its effects, a new effusion of divine love on the Church, and more particularly on the pious souls that become its apostles and propagators.
But whether the Lord, to leave her the full use of her natural faculties at a moment so serious, had concealed a little the splendor of His divine presence, or whether Margaret Mary, reassured by Father de la Columbiere, had banished all fear and abandoned her soul entirely to the happiness of contemplating her Divine Master, we do not know. But at the close of the third revelation no trace of the violent emotion that had followed the first two were perceived. The humble virgin is recollected, attentive and happy. Although astonished at such a mission, (for who was she to establish a feast within the Church, she could not succeed in convincing her Superiors?) but one word escaped her: Lord, how can I?” To which the Lord answered by telling her to address herself to that servant of God who had been sent to her, expressedly for the accomplishment of this design.
Margaret Mary did, indeed, recur to Father de la Colombiere, and confide to him this third revelation. The venerable priest asked for a written account of it, that he might later be able to study it at leisure. We shall see later on with what religious respect he preserved the document. He examined the revelation attentively before God, and, enlightened from on high, declared to Margaret that she could rely on it, for without a doubt, it came from Heaven. Thus reassured, Margaret Mary no longer hesitated. She knelt before the Divine Heart of Jesus, solemnly consecrated herself to It, and thus rendered it the first and one of the purest acts of homage that it was ever to receive on earth or in heaven. Father de la Colombiere, wishing to unite with her, also consecrated himself to the Heart of Jesus. It was Friday, June 21st, the day after the octave of the Blessed Sacrament; the day that had been designated by the Lord to be forever the feast day of His adorable Heart. Thus He received, in the person of a holy priest and of an humble virgin, the first fruits of those acts of adoration soon to be rendered Him by all mankind.
Thus ended this glorious drama, and the same time three and one, of the revelations of the Sacred Heart. Thus was successively developed, in profound and mysterious order, that incomparable vision vouchsafed to one of the most humble of virgins. And that which in silence and ecstasy she had three times consecutively beheld in that chapel, through that grate, on that altar, the Church also was going to see. She examined this testimony, this recital, forced by obedience from the saint’s touching modesty; she declared them true and authentic; and, following the example of the humble virgin, she prostrated before the Sacred Heart.
How the world has changed. The Hispanic community used to care about Life issues. I’m lost as to what “empathy” actually means in today’s Obama-speak. The GOP wants to please Hispanics and Hispanics want to please Obama and swallow his policies and now SotoMayor because she’s a Hispanic. What price integrity?
Hot Air covers the politics of it:
GOP officials say they realize the party needs to improve its standing among Hispanic voters in order to have any hope of winning a national election, and they admit that trashing the first Latina nominee to the court could cement stereotypes or further alienate minorities…
I’m trying to come to grips with the duplicity in the Latino community in regard to their recent voting history; their love affair with Obama to be concise. How does the head come to be divided from the heart, or at least from who used to own their hearts. People of Spanish decent in this nation have strongly held and loudly proclaimed devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. How this same people can live with that heart-set, while abiding a mind-set of choice and abortion flies in the face of integrity. What has been the price of their defection? Have they been won away from Our Lady of Guadalupe whose mantle they still claim as their own?
Counting on Our Lady’s for favor, love and protection under the mantle of her Son, while secretly voting with the Enemy whose head she will crush defies both logic and presumes a certain gullibility on God’s and Our Lady’s part. Here’s the crux of the matter. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the pregnant Mother of God. Have Latinos abandoned her for politico advantage, monetary benefit, educational expediency, life style convenience, a “good” life apart from the heart of this very pregnant Virgin. For under her heart is the womb and nesting place of Jesus.
They have abandoned the heart of their Mother? What else is one to think, when, while still blessing their homes and churches with her image, they none-the-less carry Obama’s torch and wave the banner of Choice. Should her name be invoked as “Our Lady of Choice” or “Our Lady of Abortion,” for either of these, ‘choice’ or ‘abortion’ rank, by the hispanic vote, higher than the Infant she carried to term and into Life? Poorly formed, ignored or silenced consciences, do not speak well for the once Christian people. In name only, may replace ‘In God We Trust’ as the banner over this proud inheritance.
As God’s eyes watched over the Babe in Our Lady of Guadalupe’s womb, they now watch over choices we make in life and in death. God’s eyes watch over the womb of our Nation, which is 1/3 empty. Should Our Lady of Guadalupe, now the patroness of the Americas and Life, not look to the Latino as her particular people, having chosen them to announce her under that title? She has carried them. Will they no longer claim her by their actions, affiliations and votes. The choice they now make and live, they will carry into life, death and the hereafter, as all life’s choices tend toward eternity.
Michelle Malkin cares about jurisprudence is anyone listening?