When I don’t know what to do, I tell myself to act like Mary!

1f84e22ee3ec728c9c7a672f225a124bWhen we meet the Virgin Mary, something changes within us… The Immaculate is “unique.” But our way to reach the level of her purity must be through humility, with a simple, child-like attitude, far different from the complicated ways of self-love.

If we truly encounter Mary, we experience a tenderness and a mercy for others that transform us. Mary’s tenderness and mercy are for everyone. When we don’t know how to act, we should ask ourselves how the Blessed Virgin would act. Then we will carry on, even if it’s not exactly to our own liking. Mary is always the bright star for us to follow.

What is my secret? Well, when I don’t know what to do anymore, I tell myself to act like Mary! And right away a small light starts to shine deep inside my soul. It’s a light of truth, simplicity and peace…

If we want to cast more light on Mary, we must first expose ourselves to her light, take the time to pray and gaze at her. We always get back to basics by looking at Mary and praying…

Sister Marie de Saint-François (d.2005), Order of the Annonciades founded by Saint Joan of France 
Source: www.annonciade.info

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Bl. Alexandria da Costa – Mystic known as “Fourth Seer of Fatima”

In direct contrast to the spirit of our times, the whole life of intense suffering of Blessed Alexandrina, offered up humbly and willingly for the conversion of sinners, “reaffirms the immense value of suffering offered in union with Jesus, and stands as a beacon of hope to those who suffer in any way, and a sign of contradiction to those who would deny the value of suffering offered in union with Jesus”.

A tribute to Blessed Alexandrina – a living miracle of the Eucharist.

“ I desire that, after your death, your life may be known, and that will happen; I shall see to it. It will reach the ends of the earth .” (Our Lord speaking to Blessed Alexandrina, 22nd November 1937)

page_template_clip_image002The desire of Jesus to see a widespread knowledge of the life of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa of Portugal is starting to be fulfilled, as devotion to her grows steadily throughout the world. One of the great mystics of modern times, a ‘victim soul’ chosen by Christ to suffer in atonement for the sins of humanity, she appears set to become an important and well-loved saint in the Universal Church.

Her life gives us an example of complete fidelity to the will of Christ, and also presents an astonishing and undeniable explosion of the supernatural to an increasingly secular world. Bedridden for life from the age of twenty, after sustaining a serious injury some years earlier while trying to escape from an attack on her virtue, she suffered unspeakable pain throughout her life and mystically underwent the Passion of Christ on Fridays to atone for the sins of humanity. She also had frequent ecstasies during which she saw and spoke with Our Lord and Our Lady, and offered her sufferings to bring about the consecration of the world by Pope Pius XII to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, an act which in turn shortened the duration of World War II.

Her life reaffirms the immense value of suffering offered in union with Jesus, and stands as a beacon of hope to those who suffer in any way, and a sign of contradiction to those who would deny the value of suffering offered in union with Jesus. She prayed especially for youth, and has been proposed by the Church as “a model of purity and perseverance in the Faith for today’s youth.”

Although she was never able to visit the site of the apparitions of Our Blessed Lady at Fatima, Alexandrina’s extraordinary story has many connections to the Fatima events, and her message is essentially the same: “Do penance, sin no more, pray the Rosary, receive the Eucharist ”. Because of this, she has been described as the ‘fourth seer of Fatima’. One can point to miraculous occurrences in the lives of all the saints, but Alexandrina herself became a living miracle , for in the last thirteen years of her life, she ate and drank absolutely nothing, existing on the Holy Eucharist alone.

Pope John Paul II said the following about Alexandrina in his homily at her beatification ceremony in 2004:-

‘Do you love me?’, Jesus asks Simon Peter, who replies: ‘Yes Lord, you know that I love you’. The life of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa can be summarized in this dialogue of love. Permeated and burning with this anxiety of love, she wished to deny nothing to her Saviour. With a strong will, she accepted everything to demonstrate her love for him. A ‘spouse of blood’, she mystically relived Christ’s passion and offered herself as a victim for sinners, receiving strength from the Eucharist: this became her only source of nourishment for the final 13 years of her life. With the example of Blessed Alexandrina, expressed in the trilogy ‘suffer, love, make reparation’, Christians are able to discover the stimulus and motivation to make ‘noble’ all that is painful and sad in life through the greatest evidence of love: sacrificing one’s life for the beloved. Secret of holiness: love for Christ.”

[….]

[Continue reading here to learn about the early years of Blessed Alexandrina.]

fatima12c-seersIn 1928, devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, who had appeared in the Cova da Iria 11 years earlier, was sweeping through Portugal, and people from the diocese of Braga responded to the call of Fatima by arranging a pilgrimage. Alexandrina, like many others of her time, would have been caught up in the fervour and awe of those relatively recent events. Alexandrina’s parish priest had already lent her a statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary during the month of May, and she saved hard until she could afford a similar one. The parishioners of Balasar arranged to join the Braga pilgrimage, and when Alexandrina learnt of this, she dearly wanted to go with them, and begged Our Lady to obtain this grace for her. Reports of numerous miracle cures occurring at the Fatima shrine gave Alexandrina cause for hope, but this hope was very short lived as her doctor and the parish priest were in complete opposition to the idea. They argued that it would be impossible to carry her nearly 200 miles, when the least movement caused her intense pain. Alexandrina, bitterly disappointed, offered this sacrifice to God and she redoubled her efforts to pray for a cure, even promising that if she were healed, she would become a missionary. Although she was never healed, she did become a most effective missionary for the Fatima message – without ever leaving her bed. She constantly exhorted those she came into contact with to live the Fatima message – and of course, the best way to inspire is by example, and few can claim to have lived the message of Fatima more faithfully than Alexandrina. She kept a picture of Jacinta Marto, one of the Fatima seers, over her bed where it remains to this day. She also requested that a little altar be set up beside her bed, on which she kept the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which Deolinda decorated with candles and flowers. During Our Lady’s month of May, she used to offer what she called “spiritual flowers” to Our Blessed Lady. These “flowers” consisted of offering in a spirit of reparation the various sufferings she underwent throughout the day.

It was at this time that Alexandrina began to realise that suffering was going to be her vocation, and instead of praying incessantly for a cure, she began to think only of loving God and suffering for Him. She wrote the following after her fellow parishioners had returned from Fatima:-

“Before he went to Fatima the Parish Priest asked me what I wanted from there. I asked him to bring me a medal but he brought a rosary, a medal, a Pilgrim’s Manual and some Fatima water. His reverence suggested that I make a novena to Our Lady and drink the Fatima water, and that when I finished it I would be cured. I did this not just once, but many times . . .

Nothing has happened, but my desire to be cured has died. Each time I feel a more ardent desire for the love of suffering and I think only of Jesus. Without knowing quite how, I offered myself to Our Lord as a victim, and from this I went on to ask for a love of suffering. Our Lord granted me everything, that is, all the graces, so that today I wouldn’t exchange my illness for the whole world. It was the consolation of Jesus and the salvation of souls that consumed me.”

Alexandrina made an important connection between her own circumstances and those of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. During prayer, she thought of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, present nearby in the parish church of St. Eulalia, and it suddenly dawned on her that He was a prisoner in the tabernacle, just as she was a prisoner in her bed of pain.

stigmata38This connection with Jesus prompted her to remain before Him in spirit, offering Him constant love and reparation, and imploring Him to convert sinners. Through this union with Jesus, she was given insights into the terrible consequences of the many grave sins occurring throughout the world at that time. In turn, she became more convinced of her mission to offer her sufferings in union with those of Jesus, as a victim soul for the conversion and salvation of sinners. She begged Jesus to accept her as a victim, and agreed to suffer as much as she could endure if only sinners could be saved.

Having made this offering sincerely, she was taken at her word, and her pain increased greatly. In a desperate state, and wracked with fever, Alexandrina would continually make the offering of her agonising suffering, using the prayer given by Our Lady to the three shepherd children at Fatima:- “O Jesus, this is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary”. Her extreme pain continued with only brief periods of respite. In 1931, she entered into a state of ecstasy and heard Jesus confirming her vocation as victim soul, when He said to her “Love, suffer and make reparation.” Alexandrina gave her full consent to Jesus’ request and asked Him for the necessary grace to fulfil her mission of suffering for humanity. This was the first of many ecstasies.

[…] [Here follows a detailed account of the ecstasies and torments of Alexandrina.]

In her final years Alexandrina increasingly prayed for the Church, as Jesus told her that it was facing a “great crisis”. He said:- “Tell my ministers to be vigilant, for the devil is preparing a massive assault on the Church . . .” She also underwent an astounding array of profound mystical experiences, such as a mystical marriage with Jesus, a coronation by Our Lady, and a piercing by darts of unspeakable love from a flight of angels. An incredibly beautiful fragrance emanated from her that was even noticed in other parts of the village. Alexandrina was unaware of this, but Jesus told her that it was the perfume of her virtue.

Thousands of people continued to visit Alexandrina on a daily basis, and she constantly exhorted them to live the message of Fatima, crying out:-

“Make reparation to Our Lord in the Adorable Eucharist! Penitence! Penitence! Penitence! Pray the Rosary devoutly every day. Practise the First Saturday devotion. Consecrate yourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”

Alexandrina pleaded with people to practise the First Saturday devotion and to consecrate themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the Brown Scapular for very good reason, as Our Lady Herself has promised to assist with the eternal salvation of those who practise these devotions. Our Lady revealed the First Five Saturday devotion on December 10 th 1925 to Sister Lucia of Fatima, saying:-

“ . . . I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

OLMCandStSimonStockThe Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, was given by Our Lady in the 13 th century to St Simon Stock of the Carmelite Order at Aylesford in Kent, with the promise that those who die wearing it shall not suffer eternal damnation, and it has been worn ever since by millions as a sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and a pledge of Her Motherly protection. Countless saints have recommended its use, and it has consistently received Papal approbation, including that of Pope John Paul II, who said in a message of 25 th March 2001 to the Carmelite family on the 750 th anniversary of the Bestowal of the Brown Scapular:

“ . . . two truths are evoked by the sign of the Scapular: on the one hand, the constant protection of the Blessed Virgin, not only on life’s journey, but also at the moment of passing into the fullness of eternal glory; on the other, the awareness that devotion to her cannot be limited to prayers and tributes in her honour on certain occasions, but must become a ‘habit’, that is, a permanent orientation of one’s own Christian conduct, woven of prayer and interior life, through frequent reception of the sacraments and the concrete practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. In this way the Scapular becomes a sign of the ‘covenant’ and reciprocal communion between Mary and the faithful: indeed, it concretely translates the gift of his Mother, which Jesus gave on the Cross to John and, through him, to all of us, and the entrustment of the beloved Apostle and of us to Her, who became our spiritual Mother . . . I too have worn the Scapular of Carmel over my heart for a long time! ”

Formerly, only Carmelite priests could enrol people in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, but now the Holy See has extended the faculty to all priests, so that as many as possible may reap the benefits of this great devotion.

In 1948 Fr Pasquale was sent by his superiors to do other work, which meant that Alexandrina had to rely on other priests to bring her daily Holy Communion. She recorded in her diary that on occasions when no priests were available, Jesus Himself used to bring her Holy Communion. In early 1955 her health rapidly deteriorated and she lay for several months in agonising pain – worse than anything she had suffered before. Towards the end of September 1955 the pain subsided somewhat, and on October 2 nd she heard a voice saying to her :- “Who will sing with the angels? You, you, you! In a little while, in a little while.” Taking this as a sign that her time on earth was coming to an end, Alexandrina started to prepare for death. In the evening of the 12 th October, Mass was celebrated in her room and she received Holy Communion. Towards the end she said:- “My God, I have always consecrated my life to you and I offer you now its end, accepting death with resignation, with all its pains, for your greater glory.” After thanking everyone present for all they had done for her over the years, she cried out :-

“O Jesus! I can no longer stay on earth! Oh Jesus, life is dear, Heaven is dear! I have suffered so much in this life for souls! I am crushed, I am consumed in this bed of pain. Forgive everyone! Pardon, pardon the entire world . . . Oh I feel so happy! I am so happy because I am going to Heaven at last!”

On the morning of the 13 th October, the 38 th anniversary of Our Lady’s last appearance at Fatima and the day on which the miracle of the sun took place, Alexandrina received a vision of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who said to her “I am about to take you”. She received Holy Communion for the last time at 8am, and afterwards delivered her final poignant message to those present in her room, and to all humanity, crying out:- “Do not sin. The pleasures of this life are worth nothing. Receive Communion. Pray the Rosary every day. This sums up everything.” Alexandrina suffered extreme pain throughout the whole day, which she bore with great fortitude to the very end. At 8pm, she kissed the crucifix for the last time, and died at 8.29pm.

Fr Pasquale was in Italy at this time and was unaware that Alexandrina had died. On the day after her death, he offered Mass in the morning as usual, and afterwards was approached in the sacristy by an elderly woman. Thinking that she wanted confession, he asked her to wait in the confessional and said that he would be with her shortly. He was amazed when this woman told him that she didn’t want confession, but that she had a message from Our Lady for him. The woman said:- “ When you were saying Mass, Our Lady appeared to me and asked me to tell you that Alexandrina is dead and is in heaven ”. The woman said that she didn’t know who Alexandrina was. She also informed Fr Pasquale that Our Lady had told him not to worry, and that Alexandrina was with him. Three days later he received a letter from another Salesian priest confirming her death.

8

The news of Alexandrina’s death spread quickly throughout Portugal and a multitude came to venerate her and pay their last respects. An all-pervading deep sense of loss affected the entire region. The funeral took place on the 15 th October and was attended by thousands, including dozens of priests. Alexandrina was buried in a humble tomb, with her face turned towards Jesus in the tabernacle, as she had requested. Two years after her death, a small chapel was built over her tomb, and 12 years after her death, on 14 th January 1967, the diocesan investigation into the cause for her beatification was solemnly opened. It was completed on 10 April 1973 and sent to Rome. In 1978 the diocese transferred Alexandrina’s remains from the small chapel to a place of honour inside the parish church of St Eulalia, next to the high altar, where her remains are kept to this day. She had previously predicted that her body would turn to ashes, without decomposing, and when she was disinterred, this was indeed found to be the case. There was no body or bones – just ashes. These have been known on occasions to exude the same heavenly fragrance that used to emanate from Alexandrina during her life.

lucia marySister Lucia of Fatima wrote to Fr Pasquale, saying “ May the Lord grant that Alexandrina’s cause of beatification advance as quickly as possible, for the glory of God. It is necessary that such a materialistic world sees that there are still souls capable of being raised into the realms of the supernatural. ”

A plea to sinful humanity, which Alexandrina originally dictated in 1948, was engraved on her tomb at her request:-

“Sinners: If the ashes of my body can be useful to save you, approach; if necessary, pass on the ashes, trample on them until they disappear; but never sin again, never offend Jesus again. Sinners: There is so much that I would like to tell you. This vast cemetery could not contain all that I would like to write. Be converted. Do not offend our dear Lord any more. Do not lose Jesus for all eternity. He is so good. Enough of sin! LOVE HIM! LOVE HIM !”

Rome approved Alexandrina’s writings in the late 1970’s, and issued a decree for the introduction of the cause for her beatification on 13 th January 1983. She was declared Venerable on 12 th January 1996. In the previous year, a miracle took place through the intercession of Alexandrina, and the evidence of this was used for her impending beatification. The miracle, the complete cure of a woman named Maria Madalena Azevedo Gomes Fonseca, from a type of incurable Parkinson’s disease, was approved by Rome in 2003. To the great joy of her devotees throughout the world, Alexandrina was beatified on 25 th April 2004 by Pope John Paul II, who decreed that her feast be celebrated each year on the 13 th of October.

Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, was asked by the international journal Inside the Vatican about the significance of Alexandrina’s beatification for Portugal and for the world. He told them:-

“Because a Saint does not belong to this or that country, but rather to the Church of Christ, firstly the Beatification of Alexandrina da Costa is a great event for the Church in Portugal, but even more so for the Universal Church because Pope John Paul II is going to propose a special role model for the world today and especially for today’s youth, and that is the great message of the beatification of Alexandrina da Costa. Firstly, she was a great heroine when she defended her virginity by jumping from a window and ending up a paraplegic. This was a heroic act. Today there exists a great spiritual laziness. A lack of courage in today’s youth that should always have present a strength of conviction in the values of the Faith. Therefore, Alexandrina da Costa is a model of purity and perseverance in the Faith for today’s youth.”

The centrality of the Holy Eucharist in Alexandrina’s life, and her call for our lives to be centred on the Eucharist is highlighted by Fr Joaquim Mendes, Salesian Provincial of Portugal, in an article on the Salesians of Don Bosco website. When asked what specific contribution Alexandrina had made to Salesian spirituality, he said:-

“The first particular contribution is love of the Eucharist. She lived this love for Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. She spent the greater part of each day praying, with her eyes fixed on the tabernacle in the church of Balasar. As well as this she received Holy Communion each day, and for thirteen years took no other food. She also wanted her tomb to be directed towards the tabernacle”

It is fitting that the 50 th anniversary of Alexandrina’s death coincided with the year pronounced by Pope John Paul II to be The Year of the Eucharist.

One of the most moving tributes to Alexandrina, written ten years after her death in 1965 by her second spiritual director, Fr Pasquale, is held in the archives at Balasar. The following is an excerpt:

“Being frequently questioned about Alexandrina, I confirm that in my long clerical life I became close to many people of all kinds, but I have never found anyone (even religious or priests) so spiritually and humanly perfect, in all aspects, as Alexandrina. Never. When I recall the frequent meetings I had with that exceptional soul, illuminated by ascetic knowledge that I have learnt from spiritual readings throughout my priestly life, I cannot discover the least shade of imperfection in her. On the contrary, I discover beauty, refinement and heroism in her virtue. I admire the wonderful action of God’s grace in that soul more and more. If I had to point out the virtue in which she most distinguished herself, I could not, because she did not have one that shone more than the others: she was excellent in all, in a perfect harmony, even in those that were more visible: for example, in her obedience to ecclesiastical authority and her directors; in the patience so often tested by her illness or by troublesome people that came to see her; or in her charity to others, especially to those who had caused her serious sorrow. Her truly giant personality was assisted by a spirit of genuine and evident humility that arose from her lips and more so from her inner attitudes, which can easily be deduced from the careful reading of her daily notes: by complete indifference to her own will, always anxious in seeking and fulfilling the will of God, through a total resignation of her desires and personal wishes. She was a creature truly and totally consecrated to her God, in a spirit of immolation and reparation for the offences continuously committed against Him, and to save all souls for Him. Such a consecration cannot be explained without an eminent degree of love of God: insatiable, burning, overwhelming love. This love could not be better defined than by applying to it the adjective ‘seraphic’, in the most complete sense of the word . . .”

Model of purity and perseverance in the Faith for today’s youth; ardent adorer of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament; inspiration and help for those suffering in any way; faithful Fatima messenger: Blessed Alexandrina is all these things and much more. Many have already benefited from the graces won by her sufferings and prayers, and undoubtedly, many more will benefit in the future. Let us pray that her canonisation may take place soon.

[Please click here to read the whole article and for the ‘Official Novena Prayer’ for the Canonization of Alexandrina.]

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Lost Without the Supernatural

In what is surely one of the best yet least known blogs on the Catholic blogosphere, Brian Williams (‘Liturgy Guy‘), has brought this vitally important topic to our notice: the loss of the supernatural in our world today, and how “lost” we are without it, 

michelangelo_creation_finger_detail

There is something missing from many of our discussions within the Church today. Actually, it’s been missing for decades: a sense of the supernatural. Amid all the talk of lost sheep and pastoral practices, we often find a near total absence of consideration for the fate of the eternal soul. Feelings have replaced truth, and the temporal has trumped the supernatural, even within Holy Mother Church.

The Old Catholic Encyclopedia describes the Supernatural Order as “the ensemble of effects exceeding the powers of the created universe and gratuitously produced by God for the purpose of raising the rational creature above its native sphere to a God-like life and destiny.” It goes on to explain that man is elevated to a state of grace here and glory hereafter.

The need to remain in a state of grace, the overriding urgency to avoid mortal sin, has largely disappeared from the ongoing ecclesial conversation. Those who read this blog regularly know that I frequently turn to Father Francis Spirago’s The Catechism Explained for clarity where presently there is much confusion.

“Mortal sin deprives a man of sanctifying grace,” writes Fr. Spirago, “and delivers him into the power of the devil.” He goes on to explain the devastation caused by sin:

The Holy Ghost departs immediately from one who has committed a mortal sin…(mortal) sin is a thief, for it gains access to the soul, it robs it of grace, it’s most precious treasure…It is the death of the soul…

Saint John Chrysostom, speaking in a manner which is sorely needed in our terribly lost and wounded world, said that “sinners are dead while they live, and the just live after they are dead.”

Through mortal sin we lose the supernatural beauty of the soul. Father Spirago goes on to describe how a world mired in sin can become such a cold, evil, place:

When the earth travels away from the sun, winter sets in; so the heart of man becomes cold when it is estranged from God by mortal sin…

He also explains why reason seems to escape so many who languish in sin:

The understanding is completely darkened by mortal sin. As heavy clouds hide the light of the sun from our sight…so mortal sin obscures the eyes of reason, and renders us incapable of perceiving the brightness of the Sun of justice.

In language that is both charitable and pastoral due to its absolute clarity and honesty, Father writes, “Mortal sin brings down upon the sinner both eternal damnation and temporal chastisement.” Wow.

What is tragic is that the radical, secular, humanism which stands as the antithesis to the Church today has incorporated the language of certainty just as we have abandoned it. The conviction and clarity of the eternal truths espoused by Holy Mother Church are presented in an almost apologetic manner. Sadly, while we hem and haw about the supernatural truths of the Faith, the left (including many within the Church) boldly proclaims the lie of relativism that no longer really believes in sin or eternal damnation.

Our Christian hope, however, is never dashed as we know what must happen in order to live in a state of grace now, and to one day enjoy the beatific vision. Returning to The Catechism Explained:

When the sinner cooperates with actual grace, the Holy Ghost enters his soul and confers on it a brightness and beauty which claim the friendship of God. This indwelling beauty of the soul is due to the presence of the Holy Spirit and is called “sanctifying grace”.

This. This is Truth. This is what is too often missing from our “dialogue” and “accompaniment”. Our world lacks grace. Too many roam the world absent the presence of the Holy Spirit in their soul. We need to teach this clearly and unabashedly.

Father Spirago lists for us some of the effects of the Holy Spirit when He acts upon us by His grace. It is the medicine much needed by our very ailing world:

1. He (the Holy Spirit) purifies us from all mortal sin.
2. He unites us to God and makes us into temples of God.
3. He illumines the mind, and makes the divine and moral precepts possible.
4. He gives us true peace.
5. He becomes our Teacher and Guide.
6. He inspires us to do good works and makes them meritorious for the kingdom of heaven.
7. He makes us children of God and heirs of heaven.

Pray that we may see a return of more clarity, and not less, in the coming years. Pray that the Church recovers the lost sense of the supernatural that is missing today. May we rediscover the necessity of teaching and preaching on the need to live in a state of grace and to avoid mortal sin at all cost. Through a return to the bold teachings and timeless truths of the Faith we will cooperate with God at a time when our world so badly needs it.

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The Day of the Great Battle

From Rorate Caeli:

Reflections by Don Elia* and a message from Our Lady of the ‘Tre Fontane’

Virgin-Of-Revelation-lg“Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of first fruits before thee, that we may find thy mercy:” (Daniel 3,38).

It is the triumph of darkness. The authorization, if not the order, has finally arrived … to feed hardened, obstinate public sinners, His Most Precious Body, which I provided for Him from my own most pure substance, united in an indissoluble way to His Divinity; that flesh with which He immolated Himself on the Cross in expiation for humanity’s sins and that Blood which He shed to redeem fallen humanity as a result of its transgression. That same humanity which has now returned to its vomit trampling on that inestimable grace, absolutely undeserved, but that the Fruit of my womb deserved with Me – one with Him – on Calvary. They no longer believe in the redeeming Sacrifice, they no longer know of the inconceivable love with which We have loved, they are not aware of the risk they are running… for they no longer acknowledge their sins. Now they feel they are fully confirmed by what they think is the supreme moral authority – and it would be, if it did not occupy that place in an illegitimate and unworthy way.
That Friday evening to the morning of the first day of the week, was for me, as it is for you today, a unique, absolute never-ending night of the spirit.  I scrutinized that sidereal darkness, sustained that imponderable emptiness, I placed myself in the void of the total absence of God, without the least of human or Divine support … except that of the flame of charity and faith which the Holy Spirit fostered in my Immaculate Heart at a point so hidden that I did not even perceive the light. It was love that kept the faith alight in me: only for love I wanted to continue to believe, despite the radical and apparently irreversible negation of the facts. I knew, certainly I knew, that I had brought into the world a Son who would rise again; and knowing the promises of God, do they not spare one from being torn apart, not by doubt, no, but  at the torment of seeing one’s very own Love, the Life of one’s life, lying lifeless in the sepulcher, rendered unrecognizable by satanic hate?

Also His Mystical Body, born of the water and blood from His pierced side, nourished by my untainted flesh assumed by Him, is now hardly recognizable, beaten, derided and humiliated in Her faithful members; tainted and dispersed in Her faithless members.  Certainly, in Her essence the Church is and always will be indefectibly, One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, but in the historical condition of Her militant part, She is horribly lacerated and besmirched. How many more of my children will depart from Her, scandalized and disillusioned?  Yet when they falsified the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, many of them said: “If priests can change religion from one day to the next, it means that nothing was true and that until now they have deceived us”. Thus they stopped believing and going to church, risking their very eternal salvation. How hard I had to work in defense of them to my Son, Who, despite the extenuating factors, sees perfectly the unavoidable individual responsibilities!

Now, with greater reason, they will say: “If the Church has changed view in moral matters, it means that until now She had been mistaken and that, therefore, can be mistaken again, in this and in all the rest”. An then, if nothing is sin, what’s the use of praying, confessing and trying to avoid evil?  How many souls will be lost as a result of this supreme deceit? Yes, if they consent to iniquity they are responsible for their own fate; but can the love of a Mother remain indifferent and abandon them to their tragic destiny?  So, wake up my faithful children! Stop complaining and groaning uselessly, no matter how much your hearts bleed. Be strong in bearing the darkness with Olympian calm and in allowing yourselves to be purified by the seraphic ardor that I am sending you. It is painful, but you must make yourselves immaculate for the mission that awaits you, to form the holy remnant of the end times. And you, ministers of My Only Begotten Son, my dearest sons, you who are His mouth, His hands, His heart, shake your mind from doubts and bewilderment, stand up with courage so as to put yourselves at the head of my army of the elect. If they oblige you to act against your conscience (that is, God’s holy law, which is the only way of Heaven and your conscience), make your decisions confidently. Do not be afraid, I myself will take charge of your future.

Now – according to the prophetic word – that you have no prince, nor head, nor prophet, Jesus Himself feeds you and leads you, Jesus Himself is the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls, Jesus Himself is your inviolable and certain rule: Ego sum pastor bonus, qui pasco oves meas… Ego sum via, veritas et vita.. Turn to Him and gather His Flock. Be as simple as doves and as shrewd as serpents. If my Son concedes you the grace of martyrdom, in whatever form, do not run from it, provided you are certain He wants it, instead of a hasty impetus or a flash of inopportune zeal. There is need of valiant and expert generals who will guide my troops to victory, not of momentary heroes who are easily defeated.  Learn the lesson of 1812 from my dear children in the land of Russia;  After having allowed the enemy to advance right up to the old capital, they deprived it of any provisions to force it to leave, then they attacked it during the withdrawal. I have in vain requested the Consecration of that noble country so that its conversion overturns the fate of the world dominated by the enemies of God: so, pray, fast and offer for this decisive intention.

“The entire Church will undergo a tremendous trial, to clean up the mass of rotten flesh that has infiltrated into Her ministers, in particular among the Orders of poverty: a moral trial, a spiritual trial.  For the time indicated in the heavenly books, priests and faithful will be placed at a perilous turning-point in the world of the lost, which will rush to the assault with whichever means: false ideologies and theologies!  Supplication from both parts, the faithful and the unfaithful, will be made according to the trials.  I, among you the elect, with Christ as Our Captain, will fight for you […] The wrath of Satan is no longer restrained; the Spirit of God is withdrawn from the earth, the Church will be left a widow, behold the funeral drape, She will be left to the mercy of the world.  Children, become saints and sanctify yourselves more, always love each other. […] Marshal yourselves under the banner of Christ. Working in this way, you will see the fruits of victory in the awakening of consciences to the good; despite being in evil, you will see, through your cooperative and efficacious help, sinners converted and the Fold filled up with saved souls.” (The Virgin of the Revelation to Bruno Cornacchiola, the 12th of April  at the Tre Fontane.)**

 

* Source: Don Elia (Ordained to the priesthood in 1995 , Doctor in Theology)

** (1947 – 12th April 2016) the 69th Anniversary of the Apparitions of “Our Lady of the Revelation” “ to the visionary Bruno Cornacchiola. The Holy Virgin, among other things, reaffirmed the importance of the first nine Fridays devotion to the Sacred Heart as “the anchor of salvation”.

For more information on Bruno Cornacchiola and the Apparition of Our Lady at the Tre Fontane see here.

[Translation and adaptation: Contributor Francesca Romana]

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EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo panel explains reasons for alarm over Pope Francis Exhortation

Ewan's Raymond Arroyo and Fr. Gerald Murray frankly discussing Pope Francis Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia

Ewan’s Raymond Arroyo and Fr. Gerald Murray frankly discussing Pope Francis Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia

By Steve Jalsevac on Lifesite News (with CP&S Comment below)

April 16, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – On EWTN’s April 14, World Over Live program hosted by Raymond Arroyo, canon law expert Fr. Gerald Murray and Robert Royal, Catholic author and president of the “Faith and Reason Institute“, presented a very frank, respectful analysis of the problematic aspects of Pope Francis’ controversial Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). Carefully and methodically responding to Arroyo’s probing questions, the panelists gave support for the deep concerns and alarm of many Catholics regarding particular “problematic” parts of the Exhortation.

Arroyo’s questioning touched on a number of delicate issues for the two panelists regarding Pope Francis’ Exhortation. The difficulty of the challenge to provide honest answers to Arroyo’s questions regarding the head of the Catholic Church was apparent in the faces of Royal and Murray throughout the 35-minute dialogue. Fr. Murray appeared especially pained to have to explain the obvious serious flaws and real dangers for the Church in various parts of the exhortation which he indicates need to be addressed and corrected by the Holy Father.

RELATED: Pope Francis: ‘I don’t remember’ contraversial footnote in exhortation.

One notable part of the lengthy discussion occurs near the beginning of the dialogue. Arroyo displays the slide below containing text from Francis’ Exhortation that appears to indicate the Holy Father is suggesting that there can be varied theological understanding and application of Church teaching according to local cultural realities. The EWTN host asks Fr. Murray for his thoughts on the the quotation.

Excerpted text from Amoris Laetitia which Fr. Murray calls a "dangerous statement".

Excerpted text from Amoris Laetitia which Fr. Murray calls a “dangerous statement”.

Fr. Murray responds, “I think this is a dangerous statement precisely because we’re talking about the universal law of the church regarding the administration of the sacraments and to say that enculturation would mean that in Germany the sacramental discipline would be different than in neighboring Poland or in a country in Africa, that’s very disturbing.” He continues further to expand on the reasons for his great concern.

The text of the final question from Arroyo and Fr. Murray’s response to that question give a sample of the overall tension and historical importance of the 35-minute program segment:

Raymond Arroyo: What do you expect the reaction to be among canonists, among bishops and how do they register the critiques that I’m hearing and the concerns to the pope in a way that could reach him and possibly reshape or readjust this document.

Fr. Gerald Murray: This is the effort I think all of us who are concerned want to see happen, which is to tell the pope that flattery would mean we keep our mouths closed and say nothing, but gospel frankness, remember that word he used in the Synod, “parrhesia,” the gospel frankness calls upon us to say, “Holy Father either you been poorly advised or you have an incomplete conception of this issue. We know that we can share some information with you.” But the thirteen or so Cardinals who wrote to the Pope at the beginning of the last Synod, I mean that’s the perfect kind of example I think is going to happen.

Also you know canon 220 – all the faithful have the right to express their opinions about matters in Church life. This is good that this be debated and brought forward in the press. …St. Thomas is used in Chapter eight to justify this new approach (in the Exhortation). I can’t believe that a good group of Thomists won’t be having a response to that.

I don’t want to criticize the pope. I think the pope is a wonderful man. I think he’s a holy man in so many ways. I hope to be a good man and holy myself. I don’t judge, but what I will say is when you do something in public that contradicts what your predecessor did, there has to be an accounting for it and a responsibility to upholding the gospel and I think that’s what many bishops, Cardinals and priests will call for.

Royal and Father Murray were in Rome and frequent commentators on EWTN during both synods on the family.

See related article: Pope says Schonborn interpretation on Communion for remarried is the final word

————

CP&S Comment: These are hard times for the Church when it is the priests and laity who have to remind the Holy Father, and the rebellious bishops (whom the Pope appointed) of their duty to uphold the Faith!

The First Vatican Council (1870), in the Dogmatic Constitution, Pastor Aeternus, infallibly taught:

§213 “For the fathers of the Fourth Council of Constantinople, following closely in the footsteps of their predecessors, made this solemn profession: “The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ (Matt. 16:18) would not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied, and its teachings holy…”

That is it: even in times of less than holy popes, great turmoil from betrayals in the heart of the Church, threats from heresies expounded by traitors, wars, persecution, genocide, et al. down throughout the ages, “the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied, and its teachings holy…”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church 1650 states clearly:

“Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ—‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery’—the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence.”

So no compromises with the truth. No diluting of God’s commandments. This is the crystal clear teaching of the Catholic Church. To mess around with the truth is to let the devil in to “devour souls”. We recall the warning of St Peter: “Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom withstand stedfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

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The Regularization of the Priests of the SSPX

Mgr_lefebvre_22ans

Posted by Editor of Sunesis Press

I. The Church is a mystery. It is the mystery of God’s presence among us, our Savior, God, who does not want the death of sinners, but be converted and live. The conversion requires our collaboration.

II The Church is infallible in its divine nature; but it is run by people who can make mistakes and even make mistakes. We must distinguish the office of the person. The latter remains a certain amount of time in office and then out-either by death or other circumstances, but the office remains. Pope Francis today has the papal ministry and the primacy of authority. Within an hour, we do not know,he could resign and another pope will be elected. However, while he has the Papal See, we recognize it as such and pray for him.

We do not say that he is a good pope. On the contrary, he provokes with his liberal ideas and he creates a great confusion in the Church. But when Christ founded the Papacy, He saw the whole series  of Popes of the whole history of the Church, including Pope Francis. And yet He allowed his ascent to the papal throne. Similarly, our Lord established the Sacrament with His Real Presence, though He foresaw the many sacrileges in the course of history.

III. Archbishop Lefebvre founded the SSPX amid these confusing times for the Church. She is called to give a new generation of priests to the Church, to preserve the true Sacrifice of the Mass and proclaim the kingship of Jesus Christ throughout society, even against the liberal popes and prelates who have betrayed the faith. So [it] had to come necessarily [to] conflict: in 1975 the Fraternity was sent into exile. There he not only survived, but grew and has become [what] for many people is a sign of contradiction against the destruction of our day.

This opposition became clear to the world on June 30, 1988 when for reasons of necessity, were consecrated four bishops [by] Msgr. Lefebvre.

IV. However, Msgr. Lefebvre always had the conviction to seek a canonical solution for the fraternity and did not avoid the conversation with the Roman authorities, who wanted to back off. He continued his efforts even after the consecrations of bishops, despite that in its realism had little hope of success. He asked, using ad hominem arguments, to let him “make the experience of Tradition”. He fully accepted the fact that the Brotherhood was in an exceptional situation and this was no fault [of] his own, but [of] his opponents. The situation remained until 2000. Since then Rome has sought a remedy for the situation, sometimes so clever, sometimes with honest intention, depending on who was in care of the problem on the Roman side.

V. The decline of the Church since the simultaneous and constant development of the fraternity, brought some bishops and cardinals who agreed totally or partially, though not readily confessed. Rome was gradually lowering its demands and recent proposals no longer speak of recognizing the Vatican nor the legitimacy of the Novus Ordo Missae. So it seems the time to normalize the situation of the fraternity has come, and this for several reasons:

l) Any abnormal situation lends itself to standardization. This is in the nature of things.

2) We must not lose sight of the danger that the faithful and some brothers used to the abnormal situation and see it as a normal . The opposition here and there against participation in the Holy Year, and the total disregard for the assignment of ordinary jurisdiction by Pope Francis (we always appeal to the state of necessity and have resorted to extraordinary jurisdiction according to the law) It is causing a stir. If the faithful or the fraternity brothers feel comfortable in this situation of freedom from dependence on the hierarchy, then this implies a gradual loss of sensus ecclesiae. We must never argue: we have sound doctrine, the true Mass, our seminaries, priories and our bishops, we lack nothing.

3) We have sympathizers among priests and cardinals, some of whom would like to call on us to help them, they would give us a church building and possibly confide a seminary to our care. But currently, due to our situation, it’s impossible for them to do this. In any case, barriers which the faithful but fearful have will come down. In the news media and everywhere we are regarded as schismatics or separated from the Church, we dismiss these accusations.

4) In the coming years, we urgently need new bishops. It is certainly possible to consecrate them without pontifical mandate in case of emergency, but if possible to consecrate bishops with the permission of Rome, the said permission must be sought.

5) Modernists, liberals and other enemies of the Church are very concerned with respect to the canonical solution for the fraternity. Discernment of spirits in this regard, suggests not what is the right and best way?

6) How will the Church will overcome this crisis? One sees that in the present state of affairs there is not even [a] glimmer of hope. In contrast, the official act of recognition of the Fraternity triggers a healthy turmoil within the Church. The good would be encouraged, the malevolent will suffer a defeat.

VI. Answers to some objections:

1) How can we aspire to a recognition by Pope Francis?

Answer: We have already referred above to the necessary distinction between the office and the titular of the office. There is no doubt that the current pope exercises his role established by God . But we must keep in mind what the council really was and the consequences it brought to the Church: confusion, the dictatorship of relativism, pastoral over doctrine, friendship with the enemies of God and enemies of Christianity. But precisely this is one of the mistakes of the council: separate then the cause from the effects. Some were infatuated with the person of Benedict XVI, instead of regarding the papal office first and person second, making his resignation like a cold shower for many. We must not make the same mistake of infatuating ourselves too closely to the person rather than the divine institution! Perhaps only Pope Francis is able to take this step (normalization), by unpredictability and improvisation. The media may have forgiven him for having taken this step, but would never have forgiven Benedict.

In its authoritarian, not to say tyrannical style of government, he would be able to implement this measure even for the Resistance.

2) But what do people say of the Resistance?

Answer: We can not guide our actions for people who obviously have lost the sense of Church and love for the Church in its concrete form. As it stands now, they are fighting each other.

3) In the future we will have to keep silent about all current errors.

Answer: We will not be silent, moreover, we will point out the errors by name. Before and after our normalization. We would like to return from our”exile” in which we are today.
4) The reputation Pope Francis has among Catholics is so bad that recognition for their part would harm rather than benefit the SSPX.

Answer: Since the beginning we differentiated between the office and the person. If Francis is pope , which he is – then he also has the primacy of jurisdiction over the church. Whether he uses (jurisdictional primacy) it for the good of the Church or not. We must follow the path of usefulness for the Church; orient our actions not by human will and God will bless us.

5) But this integration of the SSPX in the conciliar system will cost you your profile, maybe even your identity.

Answer: It all depends on how strong we are and who converts whom. If we act strongly, based on the grace of God, then our situation may be a blessing for the entire Church. Where else could the Fraternity be in order to make possible such a conversion? Of course we should not count on our own abilities and powers, but God’s help. Think of the fight between David and Goliath. For this we make an analogy: as Christians we are in a wicked and corrupt world, and we need to prove ourselves here. The danger of contagion is great; but we can and must escape it with the grace of God.
One thing is clear: a new situation does not facilitate our position as it will stand, it will be complicated, and yet, it will make it thrive more.

6) All Congregations which were subjected to Rome adapted to conciliate or even perished within the system.

Answer: Our starting position is not the same: In our case it is Rome who pressed for a solution and approached us. In other cases, these “Fraternities” are the applicants, often went to Rome with guilt.
Moreover, none of them has bishops outside the Apostolic Administration Saint John Vianney in the Diocese of Campos in Brazil, where the bishop RIFAN is willing to make any compromise.
Of course solid protection by an appropriate ecclesial structure is required. This appears to be guaranteed by the personal prelature. This structure has not been offered to another congregation. Finally, the objection raised has been true only in part, with some exceptions in the German – speaking region. However, insurgency has been the life of the SSPX.

VII. Conclusion

If God wants to help His Church indeed He has many means. One of them is the recognition of the SSPX by the Roman authorities. Isn’t the SSPX consecrated to the Blessed Virgin, who will protect and guide its work in this new situation?
-Dignare me laudare te, Virgo sacrata; da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos – Grant me to praise thee, Holy Virgin; give me strength against your enemies.

Zaitzkofen, February 19, 2016
P. Franz Schmidberger
Rector

 

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I am the good Shepherd. I know My sheep and my sheep know Me

From Saint Andrew Daily Missal

good shepherd-1

“I am the good Shepherd. I know My sheep and my sheep know Me.” 

To-day* is called “Good Shepherd Sunday”. For, in the epistle, St. Peter himself, made by the risen Lord head and chief Pastor of His Church, tells us that Christ is the shepherd of our souls, which were like wandering sheep They are gathered round Him who came to give His life for them. The gospel relates the touching parable of the good shepherd who defends his sheep against the wolf, and protects them from death (Collect); and foretells that the heathen will come to join the Jews of the Old Law and to form with them one only Church and flock, under one shepherd.

These our Lord recognizes as His sheep and like the disciples at Emmaus, whose eyes were opened at the breaking of the bread, at the altar when the priest consecrates the Host which is the memorial of our Lord’s passion, they acknowledge that Christ is “the Good Shepherd who gives His life that He may feed His sheep with His Body and Blood” (St. Gregory). Raising their eyes to Him (Offertory), they pour forth to Him their gratitude for His great mercy (Introit).

“It was in those days,” says St. Leo, “that the Holy Ghost was bestowed upon all the apostles by our Lord’s breathing upon them, and that the blessed apostle Peter, raised above the rest, having already received the keys of the kingdom, saw the care of the Lord’s flock committed to his charge” (Second nocturn). This was the first step in the founding of the Church.

Let us press round the divine Shepherd of our souls, hidden in the Eucharist and whose visible representative is the Pope, Pastor of the Universal Church.

Introit: Ps. xxxii. 5-6

Misericordia Domini plena est terra, alleluia: verbo Domini caeli firmati sunt, alleluia, alleluia. Exsultate, justi, in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord, alleluia: by the word of the Lord were the heavens made, alleluia, alleluia. * Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: praise is comely for the upright.

Collect

Deus, qui in Fllii tui humilitate jacentem mundum erexisti, fidelibus tuis perpetuam concede laetitiam; ut, quos perpetuae mortis eripuisti casibus, gaudiis facias perfrui sempiternis.
O God, who by the humility of Thy Son hast raised up a fallen world, grant to Thy faithful people abiding joy; that those whom Thou hast delivered from the perils of eternal death, Thou mayest cause to enjoy endless happiness.

Epistle: 1 Peter ii. 21-25

Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Peter the Apostle.                                                      Dearly beloved, Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example, that you should follow His steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. Who when He was reviled, did not revile: when He suffered, He threatened not, but delivered Himself to him that judged Him unjustly: who His own self bore our sins in His body upon the tree: that we, being dead to sins, should live to justice: by whose stripes you were healed. For you  were as sheep going astray: but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls.                                                                 

Gospel: John x. 11-16

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd: and I know Mine, and Mine know Me, as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father : and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.

Offertory:  Ps. lxii, 2, 5

O God, my God, to Thee do I watch at break of day; and in Thy name I will lift up my hands, alleluia.

(* “Good Shepherd Sunday” is on the Second Sunday after Easter in the Tridentine liturgical calendar, and on the Third Sunday after Easter in the Novus Ordo.)

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Homily by Pope St Gregory the Great

5760f-sacredheart_goodshepherdflowers-brdr-b“Dearly beloved brethren, ye have heard from the Holy Gospel what is at once your instruction, and our danger. Behold, how He Who, not by the varying gifts of nature, but of the very essence of His being, is Good, behold how He saith: I am the Good Shepherd. And then He saith what is the character of His goodness, even of that goodness of His which we must strive to copy: The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the Sheep. As He had foretold, even so did He; as He had commanded, so gave He ensample. The Good Shepherd gave His life for the sheep, and made His Own Body and His Own Blood to be our Sacramental Food, pasturing upon His Own Flesh the sheep whom He had bought. He, by despising death, hath shown us how to do the like; He hath set before us the mould wherein it behoveth us to be cast. Our first duty is, freely and tenderly to spend our outward things for His sheep, but lastly, if need be, to serve the same by our death also. From the light offering of the first, we go on to the stern offering of the last, and, if we be ready to give our life for the sheep, why should we scruple to give our substance, seeing how much more is the life than meat? And some there be which love the things of this world better than they love the sheep; and such as they deserve no longer to be called shepherds. These are they of whom it is written: But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth. He is not a shepherd but a hireling which feedeth the Lord’s sheep, not because he loveth their souls, but because he doth gain earthly wealth thereby. He that taketh a shepherd’s place, but seeketh not gain of souls, that same is but an hireling; such an one is ever ready for creature comforts, he loveth his pre-eminence, he groweth sleek upon his income, and he liketh well to see men bow down to him.”

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Pope Francis on Amoris Laetitia

From Fr. Z’s blog:

I am waiting for the whole, official transcript of the airplane presser granted by Pope Francis on the way back to Rome from Lesbos. But, in absence of a transcript, here is the video.  Ipsissimis verbis

Meanwhile, Crux 2.0 has this.  Skip past the rubbish about Bernie Sanders… blah blah blah:

Amoris Laetitia

Two of the nine questions Francis answered in 30 minutes were about his apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. One journalist asked the pope point-blank if the document changed anything for divorced and remarried couples, who currently can’t receive Communion.

The pope said “Yes, and that’s it.” [!]

“I could leave it there, but this would be a simplistic answer. What I ask you is to read the presentation of the document made by Cardinal [Christoph] Schonborn.”  [That sounds like an endorsement of what Schönborn said.  Right?]

A second journalist asked Francis about [infamous] footnote 351 of the document, which, for many, is where Francis actually opened the door for divorced and remarried Catholics to access Communion, asking why the pontiff put such an important point in a footnote.

“When I called for the first synod, most in the media were worried about this issue, and I, who am not a saint, got frustrated and then sad,” he said. “Why is it that the media who focus on this don’t see that this is not the big issue?”  [I think it could actually be a big issue. I don’t think that answered the question.  But he seems irritated.  Gosh!  Who would ever be irritated by newsies?]

[…]

Pause here and breathe deeply.  Going on…

[…]

He listed what he believes those real issues are.

“Why is it that they don’t see that the family, around the world, is in crisis?” he said. “That despite the family being the foundation of society, the youth today doesn’t want to get married? That the birth rates in Europe make you want to cry?”  [Yes, Your Holiness.  I agree.  However, does the solution depend on clarity, a clarion call?  Or does it depend on ambiguity?]

Se we are back to square one.

The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation is still only what it is, but now Pope Francis says that Schönborn got it right.

Time to digest.

And to pray the Litany for the Church in our time.

 

Further reading: Vatican Radio article

 

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Happy Birthday, Pope Benedict!

thank_you__holy_father_benedict_xvi_by_al_lzq-d5wggwv

(Vatican Radio) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is celebrating his birthday today. He is 89 years old.

On board the Papal plane en route to the Greek island of Lesbos where he is visiting refugees, Pope Francis remembered his predecessor in his prayers saying, “I would like to remind you that today is the 89th birthday of Pope Benedict XVI. Pray for him”

Later this evening the Pope Emeritus is expected to attend a concert in his honour in the Vatican.

Below find the message of Pope Francis on the occasion of Pope Emeritus’ Benedict XVI’s birthday

The Holy Father Francis, along with all those who accompany him in his visit to Lesbos – entourage and journalists send Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI the most affectionate and cordial greetings on the occasion of his 89th birthday, asking the Lord to continue to bless his precious service of closeness and prayer for the whole Church.

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Pope Francis Defends Judas!

We’ve seen the replay of the Crucifixion; now we need a replay of Damascus. Jesus cries out today, saying, “Francis, Francis, why do you persecute me?”

Judas Returning the Thirty Silver Pieces - Rembrandt, 1629.

Judas Returning the Thirty Silver Pieces – Rembrandt, 1629.

Guest Post by DAVID MARTIN [with our emphases]

Pope Francis is not happy with his good bishops. For the past several months he has showed irritation toward Vatican conservatives who oppose his synodal proposals that we show more openness to homosexuals and civilly remarried Catholics. It seems he has been on a rant by constantly lashing out against traditional cardinals whom he compares to the “doctors of the law” that “are closed to the prophecies and the lives of persons,” though he does this indirectly through little digs that surface in his homilies.

His morning homily at the Vatican Casa Santa Marta on April 11 was no exception to this. Therein he defended Judas as the “poor man,” while lamenting that “the doctors of the letter” had no compassion on him. “It hurts when I read that small passage from the Gospel of Matthew, when Judas, who has repented, goes to the priests and says: ‘I have sinned’ and wants to give… and gives them the coins. ‘Who cares! – they say to him: it’s none of our business!’ They closed their hearts before this poor, repentant man.”

First of all, it’s important to note that there was no contrition in Judas’ repentance. Were it otherwise, he would have gone directly to Jesus and apologized to him. He rather went and hung himself with a halter, which was an act of final impenitence—a mortal sin. Revelation has it that he is now one of the demons of Hell who tempt the faithful on earth, something God would never permit had he truly been innocent and contrite.

And whereas the chief priests were most wicked, they were not inhumane to Judas, because Judas was not seeking their forgiveness or understanding. Judas simply returned the money to them because he didn’t want to bear the blame of the Crucifixion; he couldn’t face up to what he did. It was an attempt to wash his hands. Like Pilate, he knew of Jesus’ innocence, so he said, ‘look to it yourself, I don’t want your money.’

One cannot help to note, too, how Francis laments so deeply the hardness of heart wherewith the high priests behaved toward Judas, yet he says nothing of the cruelty and hardness that they demonstrated toward the Son of God whom they were about to kill. Where in the Church’s history was it said or taught that the high priests were evil because they were mean to Judas?

The pope’s homily on April 11 came on the heels of his widely criticized Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia issued on April 8, wherein he confirms the proposals of the October 2014-15 Synods on the Family that the Church be open to the lives of unrepentant gays and adulterers. Francis’ thrust is that we accept them into the Church as they are, but this unfortunately blesses sin before the faithful—something that God will never ratify. “Woe to the world because of scandals?” (Mt 18:7)

As expected, Amoris Laetitia breaks with 2000 years of tradition by permitting some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion with no stipulation to live as brother and sister. (Paragraph 300, note 336) Footnote 351 to Article 305 explicitly states that the “help” offered by the Church to those living in adultery can “in certain cases… include the help of the sacraments.” That is, the Church helps adulterers by giving them Communion.

This not only breaks with the Church’s centuries old discipline on the reception of Communion, but constitutes a change of doctrine, since altering the discipline now proclaims to the Church that adultery is no longer a mortal sin.

But it also defies the warning of St. Paul to those who approach the Blessed Sacrament while in serious sin. “Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord… For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself.” (1 Corinthians 11: 27-29)

From the onset the pope’s focus was never about admitting Communion to gays and adulterers, but about integration. The “liturgical, educational, pastoral, and institutional” roles advocated by the October 2015 Synod were outlined by the pope two years ago, as we read in the Dec. 8, 2014 issue of CNS: “Pope Francis said that the Catholic Church must consider various ways to integrate the divorced and civilly remarried in the life of the church—not merely allowing them to receive Communion, but letting them serve as Eucharistic ministers and godparents.”

These attempts are futile. The path to integration has already been laid out through holy tradition. Those living in sin simply need to renounce their lifestyle and partner, and go to confession, so that their integration will be complete. Now they can be reinstated into the Church and even receive Communion, so that the Eucharist will now help them, and not condemn them as St. Paul warns.

But allowing irregular couples into the Church as they are only sustains their offense, so that they remain separated from God and unable to be saved should they die without repentance. It deceives them, and deceives the faithful, which is no charity.

True charity means converting the wayward, that they might leave their unhappy state and be joined with Christ in His Church, but Francis sees this as an imposition. Jesus cleansed the lepers that they might be liberated from their affliction, yet Francis leaves the morally afflicted in their leprosy to suffer, and then calls it love and mercy.

Love is in the faithful keeping of God’s laws, as expressed by Christ: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Yet, Francis expresses irritation over tradition-minded Catholics who faithfully keep the law, comparing them to the hypocritical Pharisees and high priests who followed the law to “the letter.” Let us not forget that the Pharisees were not the teachers of the law, but were apostates that had completely left the Jewish law, evidenced by their sorcery, their child abuse, and their murder of the Messiah who gave them the law. The Pharisees never obeyed God’s law, but only pretended to. It was their pretense and hypocrisy that irked Our Lord.

Alluding to our traditional bishops, the pope on April 11 spoke of these callous high priests, saying that all that mattered to them “were the laws, so many words and things they had built.” What is implied is that the holy doctrines and traditions of the Catholic Faith are just “traditions of men” which today’s Pharisaic conservatives have built up for themselves. Has Francis not considered that he is the Pharisee persecuting these holy men?

The pope said: “History tells us of many people who were judged and killed, although they were innocent: [were] judged according to the Word of God, against the Word of God. Let’s think of witch hunts or of St. Joan of Arc, and of many others who were burnt to death, condemned because according to the judges they were not in line with the Word of God.”

Francis seems to think that the Cardinal Burkes and good bishops are the “judges” who persecute the innocent—whom he holds to be the poor gays, Judases, and adulterers—because they don’t adhere to their own “stiff-necked” version of the Word of God. He overlooks the fact that all the martyrs through the centuries, and without exception, were the staunch Catholics who adhered strictly to the laws, doctrines, and tradition of the Faith, so much so, that they chose to die rather than compromise one point of tradition. We speak of those tough and holy bishops, virgins, hermits, and fighters for Heaven who absolutely refused to change with the times. This is why they were saints.

Francis has forgotten that in every case, without exception, it was the left-wing dissident Catholics, heretics, Marxists, infidels, adulterers, homosexuals, i.e. the enemies of tradition, that inflicted this persecution upon the Catholics. This persecution has now reached unprecedented heights.

We today are witnessing the re-crucifixion of Christ; the Mystical Body is truly passing through its Passion. It is a reply of the Crucifixion as the scribes and high priests of the new order go about stirring up the people against Jesus and His traditions. Sorrowfully, we see Francis at the helm persecuting the innocent while praising the names of the martyrs, which calls to mind the Pharisees who pretended to honor the memory of the prophets, but who were “the sons of them that killed the prophets.” (Mt. 23:31)

We’ve seen the replay of the Crucifixion; now we need a replay of Damascus. Jesus cries out today, saying, “Francis, Francis, why do you persecute me?” We pray he will open his heart and recognize who his true friends are—the Bishop Schneiders, Cardinal Burkes, and Cardinal Sarahs—that he may open his eyes and see their genuine love for God’s people, evidenced by their tireless efforts to bring the pure waters of tradition to the thirsting flock.

May Francis do likewise. May he open his eyes and understand that if he loves souls, he will labor with all his will to bestow on the people the treasures of the Catholic Faith in all its facets—the knowledge of Heaven, the saints, the mystics, the miracles, the dogmas, the laws, the Tridentine Mass—that they be enriched and edified like no other people on earth.

And may he likewise deign to reach out and extend the beauties of the Faith to all peoples, that they may leave their particular ideas, miseries, idols, and religions, and be joined with Christ in the bosom of His Church. The jewels of sacred tradition were not to be hoarded, but shared. What greater mercy can the pope show for poor sinners than by enriching them with the glories of the One True Faith!

Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter answered, “You know that I love thee.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” We pray that Francis will embrace the Church’s mission to convert the world, and not see this as “competition” or the pompous flaunt of Pharisaic peacocks that want to fan their ostentatious feathers. May he see it rather as the Church’s mission of mercy, as given to us by Jesus Christ 2000 years ago.

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The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: Centre of the Life of the Church

Compiled from meditations of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI).

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 On Calvary, Our Lord, Priest and Victim, offered himself to his heavenly Father, shedding his Blood, which became separated from his Body. This is how He carried out his Father’s will to the very end. It was the Father’s will that the Redemption should be carried out in this way. Jesus accepts it lovingly and with perfect submission. This internal offering of Himself in total self-surrender is the essence of his Sacrifice. It is his loving submission, without limits, to his Father’s will.

In every true sacrifice there are four essential elements: and all of them are present in the Sacrifice of the Cross: priest, victim, internal offering and external manifestation of the sacrifice. The external manifestation must be an expression of one’s interior attitude. Jesus dies on the Cross, externally manifesting (through his words and his deeds) his loving internal surrender. “Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit.” Jesus is both Priest and Victim. “Having therefore a great high priest that hath passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God: let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest, who can not have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin” (Hebrews 4: 14-15).

The Sacrifice of the Cross is a single sacrifice. Priest and Victim are one and the same Divine Person: the Son of God made man

sorrow5Christ offers himself in every Mass in the same way as He did on Calvary, although now he does so through a priest, who acts ‘in persona Christi’. This is why every Mass even though celebrated privately by a priest, is not a private action, but the action of Christ and of the Church. In the sacrifice that she offers, the Church learns to offer herself as a universal sacrifice, and applies the unique and infinite redeeming virtue of the Sacrifice of the Cross for the salvation of the whole world.

As it is essentially identical with the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Sacrifice of the Mass has an infinite value

In each Mass there is offered to the Father an infinite act of adoration, thanksgiving and reparation, quite independent of the specific dispositions of the people attending, or of the celebrant.

Thus there is no more perfect way of adoring God than by offering the Mass, in which his Son, Jesus Christ, is offered as the Victim, and at the same time acts as High Priest. There is no more perfect way of thanking God for everything that He is and for his continual mercy towards us: there is nothing on earth that is more pleasing to God than the Sacrifice of the altar.  Each time Holy Mass is celebrated, reparation is made for all the sins of the world, because of the infinite dignity of the Priest and of the Victim. The Holy Mass is really the heart and centre of the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. We have here the only perfect and adequate reparation, to which we must unite sincere repentance for our transgressions with our acts of sorrow.

holy_eucharist-oval_-_213x336It is the only adequate sacrifice that we men can offer, and through it our daily occupations; our sorrows and our joys can take on in it an infinite value. It is in this way that man’s life becomes inserted, by means of the Eucharist, into the mystery of the living God. The fruits of each Mass are infinite, but in us they are conditioned by our personal dispositions, and thus limited. Our union with Christ at the moment of the Consecration will be the more complete the greater our identification with God’s will; the greater our dispositions of self-giving.

We, who want to imitate Jesus, who want only that our life should be a reflection of his, must ask ourselves today in our prayer: do we know how to unite ourselves to Jesus’ offering to the Father and accept God’s will at every moment? In unity with the Son we offer the Holy Mass to the Father, and at the same time, we offer ourselves through Him, with Him, and in Him. This act of union must be so profound and true that it permeates the whole of our day and has a decisive influence on our work, on our relations with others, on our joys and failures: in fact, on everything we do. Let us ask Our Lady: ‘My Mother and Lady, teach me how to pronounce a yes which, like yours, will identify with the cry Jesus made before his Father: “Not, my will but Thine be done”’ (Luke 22:42).

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Our Lord works 2nd Eucharistic Miracle to confound Kasperite Heretics

Eucharistic Micale of Legnica 12 25 2013

Rome, April 13, 2016:  Our Most High Lord Jesus Christ, who in His Great and Authentic Mercy keeps His promise to us, His Faithful, on a daily basis:  Lo, I am with you all days until the consummation of the age, Mt 28:20, has worked another Eucharistic Miracle to confound the heretical proposals of Cardinal Kasper and Team Bergoglio.

NOTE WELL:  This Miracle, which proves the promise of Our Lord in Matthew, chapter 28, 20, is to remind us of what Our Lord said in the same passage, regarding remaining faithful to Him!

The Great Commission (Mt. 16-20)

16 And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And seeing them they adored: but some doubted. 18And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Eucharistic Miracles also reveal that the Price or Cost to merit the Eucharist for us, WAS THE MOST BLOODY AND TERRIBLE SUFFERING OF OUR LORD IN HIS SACRED PASSION, a suffering which HE HAD TO UNDERGO out of Divine Justice on account of the Mortal Sins of mankind. For even if only 1 of us had committed 1 mortal sin, Our Lord in justice would have had to suffer the Passion and die, to make atonement for it!  Thus, how horrible it is, when a Pope de facto authorizes the concession of Communion to those in mortal sin to the scandal of the whole world.  Note that this miracle took place just before Pope Francis allowed Cardinal Kasper, in a Consistory of Cardinals, to propose his vile heresy, that claims the Eucharist can be  given to those living in adultery.

This miracle was approved by Msgr. Zbigniew Kiernikowski, the Catholic Bishop of Legnica, Poland, just days after the abomination of Amoris Laetitia was released upon the Church.

Here are the facts, according to Paula Luckhurst:  On the 25th of December, 2013, in the Diocese of Legnica a Host fell on the floor. It was put in a container with water to dissolve but after some time it turned red.

The then Bishop of Legnica appointed a Commission to study the phenomenon. In February 2014, the Host which remained was a singled fragment and was deposited on a corporal. The Commission ordered the taking of samples and conduct tests by different authorities. 

The Department of Forensic Medicine stated that “the histopathological tissue fragments were found containing fragmented part of the skeletal muscle. (…) The whole image (…) is the most similar to the heart muscle “(…) with the changes that “often are accompanied by the agony ” of death. Genetic studies indicate that the human origin of the tissue.

The matter was presented to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for review.

A message from the Bishop of Legnica on this matter was issued two days ago and will be read in the fourth Sunday of Easter, 17 April 2016 in all the Churches of the Diocese.

____________

Here is another report about the Miracle, which is a rough translation by a non-native speaker of Polish, but which we report verbatim.  St. Jack’s Church is probably more accurately translated as the Church of St. James or St. Jacob:

epa05255722 Banner with information about miracle before a press conference at the St. Jack Church in Legnica, Poland, 12 April 2016. On 11 April 2016 the Bishop of Legnica Zbigniew Kiernikowski announced the signs of the Eucharistic miracle that happened at the St. Jack Parish in Legnica during the Holy Communion on 25 December 2013 whena consecrated Host fell to the floor, was picked up and placed in a water-filled container (vasculum). Soon after, stains of red colour appeared and former Legnica bishop Cichy set up a commission to observe the phenomenon. In February 2014, a tiny red fragment of the Host was seperated and put on a corporal. The Commission ordered to take samples in order to conduct a thorough tests by the relevant research institutes. the Department of Forensic Medicine in Szczecin conducted research and announced that in the histopathological image, the fragments of tissue have been found containing the fragmented parts of the cross striated muscle, which is most similar to the heart muscle with alterations that often appear during the agony. The genetic researches indicate the human origin of the tissue. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican advised to expose the host for faithful. The host in a special monstrance will be exposed to public in early June in the St. Jack Parish in Legnica. EPA/MACIEJ KULCZYNSKI POLAND OUT

Banner with information about miracle before a press conference at the St. Jack Church in Legnica, Poland, 12 April 2016.

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We must not run from the Cross

 

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By Maike Hickson at OnePeterFive:

In Sankt Pelagiberg, a little Marian Pilgrimage site near Sankt Gallen in Switzerland — and a little way down the slope of the hill of the Church – there stands a modestly adorned field cross, just at the junction of two hiking paths. Under the shielded Cross of Christ Crucified is a plaque with these piercing words: “Das tat ich für Dich. Was tust Du für mich?” – “This is what I did for you. And what do you for Me?” Ever since I saw this Gothic inscription, it has haunted me. Now, in this our historic situation in the Church, we might also want to consider and reflect upon this ancient and deeply stirring inscription. What does God want us to do for Him now? And how would He want us to do it?

I write this article also after having been inspired and encouraged by the recent words of Professor de Mattei: “If the text [Amoris Laetitia] is catastrophic, even more catastrophic is the fact that it was signed by the Vicar of Christ. Even so, for those who love Christ and His Church, this is a good reason to speak and not be silent.”

On the historic day of 8 April, 2016, the fuller Truth of Christ seems to have been nailed to the Cross. Our Savior Himself, in a mystical way, might now be crucified again in His Church. Just like Herod, who tried to silence God’s Truth by beheading His Messenger, St. John the Baptist, it is now His own Vicar on earth, Pope Francis, who tries to silence or ambiguously elide over that same Truth by insinuating in an official papal document that the Truth of Christ is not fully applicable any more to the evolved circumstances of today and that, because the situation has evolved, that doctrine effectively may be ignored. If His Vicar on earth is now allowing – even if only at first in a few cases – access to the Sacraments for “remarried” divorcees who objectively live in a situation that contradicts Christ’s Teaching, then it attenuates and undermines the very Teaching and Truth at its core. The moral absolute has been broken, as Professor de Mattei has just recently and succintly stated. And with likely grave consequences for the salvation of souls. As de Mattei has also said:

What is obvious is this: the prohibition to receive Communion for the divorced and remarried is no longer absolute. The Pope does not authorize, as a general rule, Communion to the divorced, but neither does he prohibit it.

Not long before the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetita, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, made clear that Communion for the “remarried” divorcees is only possible if they live “like brother and sister.” And Cardinal Walter Brandmüller made a similar statement, just two days before the official release of this papal document. Cardinal Brandmüller’s words are, as follows (in my own description and with the original quotes):

Brandmüller clearly says that he “who, in spite of an existing marriage bond, enters after a divorce into a new civil union, is committing adultery” and that – as long as that person “is not willing to put an end this situation” – he “cannot receive either absolution in Confession nor the Eucharist (Holy Communion).” Any other path, the cardinal insists, would be “bound to fail” due to “its inherent untruthfulness.” He continues: “This is valid also with regard to the attempt to integrate into the Church those who live in an invalid ‘second marriage’ by admitting them to liturgical, catechetical and other functions.” This path, in his eyes, would lead to “conflicts,” “embarrassments,” and an “undermining of the Church’s sacred proclamation.”

Yet, how many of us Catholics are now turning away from this Truth Crucified, even pretending that it is not happening? How many of us Catholics – laymen and clergy alike – will have the courage to withstand this same temptation known so well by St. Peter himself and the apostles (except for St. John, perhaps) and then to endure the suffering that surely comes when one is loyal to Christ? Can one even imagine how it felt to stand at the Cross, with the cheering and blaspheming crowds standing around, and with only a few loyal disciples standing there, watching Christ being crucified, bleeding and dying? At least, Mary was there standing with these few still remaining disciples. And she is still with us, looking for our defense of, and a perduring loyalty to, Her Son.

We know that His fuller Truth in His Church will rise again. His Truth and His Teaching will be restored – in His time, with His perfect timing. Pope Francis could not have done any of this undermining or weakening of His Truth, if it were not, finally, allowed by Him. And Jesus said: “Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above.” As a prelate from Europe recently said to me in private: “God will bring a greater good out of this situation.”

But, we are all, co-operatively, called to fidelity. Passivism, much less indifferentism or mental sloth, has no place here. We are called to resist, each in our own way, each in our own place, with our own vocation. But this specific sacrificial vocation we must not ignore. If we do, we shall deeply regret it later, as St. Peter did.

I am a German. The German history of the 20th century is a tale of cruel perfidies and revolutions, not only one. My own family, on both of my parents’ sides, suffered for being for Christ and against Hitler. One of my relatives who bore this witness died. How grateful I am to my relatives that they chose well. They stayed loyal to Christ, at the possible expense of the loss of their security, livelihood, and even their lives! Our family does not have to turn in shame from the question: “How could you have made such a craven compromise at that time? Why did you not stand up, instead?” This was no easy thing. When we evaluate the Germans of the time, we need to remind ourselves that they were threatened with arrest, and more, if they were to have spoken up.

But today? Are we going to be arrested if we speak up politely but trenchantly against Pope Francis and his ambiguous teaching of a softer Mercy over Truth?.

We are dealing here with a much greater potential culpability that may soon be upon us, because we do not even yet have to fear for our security or our lives.

I also had relatives in Communist East Germany. In my studies of that terrible time of 40 years of Communist terror, I realized that the implementation of  the Communist revolution in East Germany happened with the help of the soft acquiescence and silence of many well-meaning conservative Social Democrats and Christians. Many of them thought that what was inchoate would not turn out to be that bad, after all. Many of them believed the propaganda and did not resist the manipulations and distortions in time. They waited too long, thinking they still could do some good within the new system. And they woke up, but often when it was too late.

How many prelates are now thinking in a similar way, saying to themselves: “I can do more good if I stay in my position of influence and not be either asked to leave or leave myself out of protest.” But, with it, they help establish the titrating revolution, because they do not sufficiently see it and then resist it. They give their name and implicit support to the revolution because they do not speak up. They, too, might wake up, and, with piercing and sorrowful eyes, then look up to heaven and say: “My God, forgive me, for I have forsaken you!” They might wake up, removed, isolated, ignored – in spite of their attempts to stay loyal to the pope.

Now is the time to stand up and resist. The Francis Revolution has been going on for three years now. Drop by drop, this pope has effectively denied or silently marginalized aspects of the Truth: no, you should not proselytize any more; yes, atheists also can go to heaven; Protestants may receive Holy Communion if their conscience tells them to do so; you may use contraceptives under certain conditions; and so on.

Now, another nail has been put on Christ’s Truth at the Cross. The tipping point of our tolerance has been reached. Either the frog jumps now out of the gradually boiling pot, or he will soon die. The occupying revolution is official. It is done.

Nonetheless, I keep praying my Hail Marys and the Rosary – especially for the truly Catholic prelates – that we, in the Mystical Body of Christ in all of its human elements, may now show ourselves worthy of the many Graces and Gifts that we have mercifully and  cumulatively received.

“This is what I did for you.

And what do you for Me?”

Das tat ich für Dich. Was tust Du für mich?

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Cowardly Obfuscation

At the Extraordinary Synods on the family last year, the liberal cardinals invited to attend unashamedly put their sinister plans to distort Catholic teaching on the indissolubility of Holy Matrimony into action. They were opposed by the conservative cardinals. The world held its breath – what would be the outcome of all this?
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October 2015, Pope Francis thanked all the cardinals in his closing speech after the second and final Synod gathering, but his little digs at the traditional (a.k.a. orthodox) cardinals led all true Catholics to fear the worst for his coming Apostolic Exhortation.

126j33 Then on 8th April 2016 the Vatican finally released Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. A bombshell! Already it is scandalising the world – not for its discarding of unchangeable dogma and doctrine (which it does not) but for its cowardly obfuscation of the truth. Henry VIII would have been delighted with this document!

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And yet Our Lord’s teaching on the wrongness of divorce and the sacredness and permanence of marriage was clear and direct, sans ambiguity or loopholes!

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The Bones states: “[T]alking about love and marriage and family while dispensing with the Church’s traditional language and preferring instead the use of the world’s ‘terms and conditions’ has serious consequences and can create even casualties. As Orwell said of war, the first casualty of this approach is truth.”

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When a person living in what the Pope refers to as an “irregular” situation – but which the Church has always identified as “objective mortal sin” – recognises his offence, sincerely repents, and turns to the sacrament of Confession to receive God’s forgiveness, he will be embraced by the Loving Mercy of God.

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To be restored to receiving Holy Communion we must be in a state of grace. Receiving communion in a state of sin is a sacrilege. Amoris Laetitia does not state this clearly. The document has instead mixed together genuine Catholic teaching in passages that are good and others that ramble, with a drop of the ‘poison’ of confusion, or, as Michael Brendan Dougherty puts it, “by loquacity and evasiveness in trying to dignify and disguise moral cowardice borne from a lack of faith”.

“Credo, domine; adjuva incredulitatem mean”  – (Mark 9:19).

[H/T to The Bones for some of the above memes.]  

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Infamous Footnote 351 through the lens of the Prodigal Son

This gem comes from Fr Z’s blog:

In the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, there is a footnote, an infamous footnote in par. 305 .

prodigal-son-murillo-2Context:

Because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end.

Then the footnote … for sake of Tweets #Footnote351 :

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I am getting good comments on this troubling footnote.  I am not sure which sacraments unrepentent public sinners should or may receive.  Dr. Peters comments about 351 in the light on can. 915, which prohibit from Communion those who are manifestly grave sinners (such as public adulterers, which is what one is if one remarries civilly without a declaration of nullity).  HERE.

This evening I was talking with a priest friend, Fr. Richard Heilman (whom I’ve mentioned in these electronic pages, most recently yesterday because he lead me to that great text by Fulton Sheen).  He wrote…

“The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak…

… for the weak who have chosen to come home, as did the prodigal son, to live in God’s presence, under God’s “house rules.” Might they make mistakes while home? Yes! And they will be offered forgiveness when they do. What they are not allowed to do is to “come home” and dictate their own “house rules.” Which is akin to the prodigal son coming home, and bringing the prostitutes with him.“

Rem acu.

What Fr. Heilman understands, and what the Church has always understood, and what Christ Himself taught when he forgave the woman caught in adultery, is that we have to amend our lives after sinning.

Fr. Z kudos.

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