And Elias, the prophet, stood up, as a fire, and his word burnt like a torch (Ecclesiasticus. 48.1, DRV)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mary in the Sacred Scriptures: Mother of Mercy


Feast of the Transverberation of St. Teresa of Jesus

How much our confidence in Mary should be increased from the fact of Her being Our Mother.

It is not without meaning , or by chance, that Mary's clients call Her Mother; and indeed they seem unable to invoke Her under any other name, and never tire of calling Her "Mother." Mother, yes! for She is truly Our Mother; not indeed carnally, but spiritually; of our souls and of our salvation. Sin, by depriving our souls of Divine grace, deprived them also of life. Jesus Our Redeemer, with an excess of mercy and love, came to restore this life by His own death on the Cross, as He Himself declared: I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly (Jn. 10.10). He says more abundantly; for, according to theologians, that benefit of redemption far exceeded the injury done by Adam's sin. So that by reconciling us with God He made Himself the Father of souls in the law of grace as it was foretold by the Prophet Isaias: He shall be called the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace (9.6). But if Jesus is the Father of our souls, Mary is also their Mother; for She, by giving us Jesus, gave us true life; and afterwards, by offering the life of Her Son on Mount Calvary for our salvation, She brought us forth to the life of grace.

On two occasions then, according to the holy Fathers of the Church, Mary became our spiritual Mother. And the first, according to St. Albert the Great, was when She merited to conceive in Her virginal womb the Son of God. In the second chapter of St. Luke, the Evangelist, speaking of the birth of Our Blessed Redeemer, says that Mary brought forth Her first-born Son (v.7). Now, it is of faith that Mary had no other children according to the flesh than Jesus but She must have had other spiritual children, and we are those children.

From what had been said, we can understand that passage in the sacred book of Canticle of Canticles: Thy belly is like a heap of wheat, set about with lilies (7.2). St. Ambrose explains: "that although in the most pure womb of Mary there was but one grain of corn, which Jesus Christ, yet it is called a heap of wheat because all the elect were virtually contained in it;" and as Mary was also to be their Mother, in bringing forth Jesus, He was truly and is called the first-born of many brethren. The Abbot St. William writes in the same sense, saying "that Mary, in bringing forth Jesus, our Savior and our Life, brought forth many unto salvation; and by giving birth to Life itself, She gave life to many."

The second occasion on which Mary became our spiritual Mother, and brought us forth to the life of grace, was when She offered to the Eternal Father the life of Her Beloved Son on Mount Calvary, with such bitter sorrow and suffering. So that St. Augustine declares, that "as She then cooperated by Her love in the birth of the faithful to the life of grace, She became the spiritual Mother of all who are members of the One Head, Christ Jesus." This we are given to understand by the following verse of the sacred Canticle of Canticles, and which refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary: They have made me the keeper in the vineyards; my vineyard I have not kept (1.5). St William explains, that "Mary, in order that She might save many souls, exposed Her own to death;" meaning, that to save us, She sacrificed the life of Her Son. And who but Jesus was the soul of Mary? He was Her life, and all Her love. And therefore the prophet Simeon foretold that a sword of sorrow would one day transpierce Her own most blessed soul. And it was precisely the lance which transpierced the side of Jesus, Who was the soul of Mary. Then it was that this Most Blessed Virgin brought us forth by Her sorrows to eternal life: and thus we can all call ourselves the children of the sorrows of Mary. Our most loving Mother was always, and in all, united to the will of God. "And therefore," says St. Bonaventure, "when She saw the love of the Eternal Father towards men to be so great that, in order to save them, He willed the death of His Son [on the Cross]; and, on the other hand, seeing the love of the Son in wishing to die for us [to spare us]: in order to conform Herself to this excessive love of both the Father and the Son towards the human race, She also with Her entire will offered, and consented to, the death of Her Son, in order that we might be saved."

It is true that, according to the prophecy of Isaias, Our Lord, in dying for the redemption of the human race, chose to be alone. I have trodden the winepress alone (63.3); but, seeing the ardent desire of His Mother to aid in the salvation of man, He disposed it so that She, by the sacrifice and offering of the life of Her Jesus, should cooperate in our salvation, and thus become the Mother of our souls. This Our Savior signified, when, before expiring, He looked down from the Cross on His Mother and on the disciple St. John... and first addressing Our Blessed Mother, He said, Behold Thy son (19.26). "By these words," says St. Bernardine of Sienna, "Mary, by reason of the love She bore them, became the Mother, not only of St. John, but of all men." St. John himself, in stating this fact in his Gospel, says: The He said to the disciple, Behold thy Mother. Here, observe well that Our Lord did not address Himself to St. John, but to the disciple, in order to show that He then gave Mary to all who are His disciples, that is to say, to all Christians, that she might be their Mother. John is but the name of one, whereas the word disciple is applicable to all, therefore Our Lord makes use of a name common to all, to show that Mary was given as a Mother to all.

The Church applies to Our Blessed Mother these words of Ecclesiasticus (Ecclus.): I am the Mother of fair love (24.24). That is, Our Blessed Mother's love renders our souls beautiful in the sight of God, and also makes Her as a most loving Mother receive us Her children, She being all love towards those whom She has thus adopted. "And what Mother," exclaims St. Bonaventure, "loves Her children, and attends to their welfare, as Thou lovest us and carest for us, O Most Sweet Queen! For dost thou not love us and seek our welfare far more without comparison than any earthly mother? O, blessed are they who live under the protection of so loving and powerful a mother!"

The prophet David, although Mary was not yet born, sought salvation from God, by dedicating himself as a son of Mary, and thus prayed: Salvum fac filium anicllae tuae (Save the son of Thy handmaid, Ps. 85.16). "Of what handmaid?" asks St. Augustine; and he replies: "Of Her who said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord (Lk. 1.38)." "And who, says St. Robert Bellarmine, "would ever dare to snatch these children from the bosom of Mary, when they have taken refuge there? What power of hell, or what temptation, can overcome them, if they place their confidence in the patronage of this great Mother, the Mother of God, and of them?" There are some who say that when the whale sees its young in danger, either from tempests or pursuers, it opens its mouth and swallows them. The same is asserted of Our Blessed Mother in that when the storms of temptations rage, the most compassionate Mother of the faithful, with maternal tenderness, protects them as it were in Her won bosom until She has brought them into the harbor of salvation. Our Blessed Mother Herself, in a vision to St. Bridget: "As a mother on seeing her son in the midst of the swords of his enemies would use every effort to save Him, so do I, and will do for all sinners who seek my mercy." Thus it is that in every engagement with the infernal powers we shall always certainly conquer by having recourse to the Mother of God, who is also our Mother, saying and repeating again and again: "We fly to Thy patronage, O holy Mother of God!" How many victories have not the faithful gained over hell, by having recourse to Mary with this short but powerful prayer!

Be of good heart then, all you who are children of Mary. Remember that She accepts as Her children all those who choose to be so. Rejoice! Why do you fear to be lost, when such a Mother protects and defends you? - St. Alphonsus Liguori

A Heart Wounded by Divine Love


Feast of the Transverberation of St. Teresa of Jesus, Reformer and Foundress of the Discalced Carmelites

This is the day the angel pierced the heart of St. Teresa of Jesus with a heavenly dart, filling it with the Fire of Christ's Love. St. Teresa, in Ch. 29 of her "Autobiography," describes it:
"... At times an arrow is thrust into the deepest and most living recesses of the heart in such a way that the soul doesn't know what has happened or what it wants. It well understands that it wants God and that the arrow seems to have been dipped in a poisonous herb so that for the love of this Lord it might despise itself; and it would gladly lose its life for Him. You can't exaggerate or describe the way which God wounds the soul and the extreme pain this wound produces, for it causes the soul to forget itself. Yet this pain is so delightful that there is no other pleasure in life that gives greater happiness... I say that his reality should be understood in such a way that the soul is said to be wounded for a very sublime reason and there be clear awareness that the soul did not cause this love, but that seemingly a spark from the very great love the Lord has for it suddenly fell upon it, making it burn all over. Oh, how many times when I am in this state do I recall that verse of David: As the hart panteth after the fountains of water; so my soul panteth after Thee, O Lord (Ps. 41.2)." 

Caution, this so-called mystical experience does not consist of devotional feelings: "... These impulses, which are so vehement... are not a disquiet of the heart. Neither are they the certain devotional feelings that often occur and seem to suffocate the spirit because... they can't be contained. These devotional feelings belong to a lower form of prayer and their impetuous stirrings should be avoided by trying gently to gather them within oneself and by quieting the soul. This condition is like that of children crying so furiously that it seems they are about to be suffocated; their excessive feelings cease when they are given something to drink. So it is here. Reason should bridle these feelings because they could be caused by our own natural weakness. We should consider with fear that they are not totally perfect but can pertain in great part to the sensory portion of the soul. And let this child become quiet by a loving caress which moves it to love, by gentle means and not by blows... Let this love be held within and not resemble the pot that heats up too fast and boils over because too much wood was put on fire.... One should strive earnestly to avoid exterior feelings" (Autobiography, Ch. 29). 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Let God be God


Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

I am the Mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all
grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits... [Ecclesiasticus (Ecclus.) 24.24-26, DRV] Such are the sacred words taken from the Epistle of the Mass for today's Feast - the same Epistle for the Solemn Commemoration of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel - and which sacred words the Holy Church therefore applies to Our Immaculate Mother. 

... In me is all hope of life... On July 13, 1917 Our Blessed Mother, in Her apparition at Fatima, Portugal, gave the children a vision of hell and of the countless souls that were on the way to eternal damnation. And "in order to save them," Our Blessed Mother tells Lucia [Sr. Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, C.D.], "God wants to spread devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world" (Sister Lucy Speaks About Fatima, 1989). It must be recalled very well here that it was the sin of pride that cut off Satan from Him Who alone Is the Truth and the Life and which precipitated him into the abyss of hell: How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer? And thou saidst in thy heart: ... I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant... I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. But yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, into the depth of the pit (Is. 14.12-15). How he cast himself to hit the very bottom, so to speak, of the abyss of hell by his pride, we could have it intimated in the Sacred Scriptures: When He bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith: Let all the angels of God adore Him (Heb. 1.6); but when Lucifer saw the human nature of Our Lord - a nature inferior to his - he rebelled saying: Non serviam! (I will not serve! - Jer. 2.20) for such subjection was harmful to his excellence. It was that same sin of pride by which the devil wounded (cf., Is. 14.12) man and which sin became in him the source of all the others; that same sin which made him merit that same place with Satan in the abyss of hell, the everlasting fire of which was prepared [originally, not for him but...] for the devil and his angels (Mt. 25.41). 

The appearance of Our Immaculate Mother at Fatima, Portugal in 1917 signaled the end-times battle between the Woman and the ancient infernal serpent - now, the red dragon which appeared after Her who is the great sign of the 12th Chapter of the Book of the Apocalypse (see our post, "The Great Sign in Heaven"). In this "decisive battle" [Sr. Lucia, C.D. in a 1957 conversation with Fr. Fuentes, in Fr. Joaquin Alonso, C.M.F. (the official archivist of Fatima), La Verdad sobre el Secreto do Fatima (The Truth About the Secret of Fatima), Centro Mariano, Madrid, 1976], it is "clear which side will have the victory and which side will be defeated" (ibid.). We read in the Sacred Scriptures: Inimicitias ponam inter te [serpens] et Mulierem... Ipsa conteret caput tuum... (I will put enmity between thee [the serpent] and the Woman... She shall crush thy head, Gen. 3.15); and, in the Book of Judith: by me His handmaid He hath fulfilled His mercy... and he hath killed the enemy of His people by my hand.... the Lord Our God slew him by the hand of a woman... And they [the Jews] all adored the Lord, and said to her: the Lord... hath directed thee to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies... [and] hath prevented our ruin (13.18-25). Now, to prevent our ruin and even to make us walk upon the asp and the basilisk: and ... trample under foot the lion and the dragon (Ps. 90.13), Our Immaculate Mother offers us again Herself - but this time, as our "last lifeline" (Fr. Karl Stehlin, F.S.S.P.X., The Immaculata Our Ideal, 2005). And this "final hope is Her Immaculate Heart, to which the entire world, especially Russia [cf., our post "When Mary Comes III"], must be consecrated [cf., our post "Ninth and Last Day of Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel"]" (ibid.). 

Our Consecration then to the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Mother would rather be a sham and a response of false devotion if there is not being effected in us, in the Church, in the world, and especially in Russia, that restoration of the divine order of things to which we, in justice to God, ought to submit [cf., our post "The Time of God's Visitation" and comment] and in which we ought to find our true and rightful place [cf., our post "True Humility"]. Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary therefore brings about in souls and societies (the Church and nations) the fruits Our Blessed Mother speaks about in today's Epistle and therefore, as it were, the first "healthy vital signs" of our Spiritual Life: the supernatural virtue of justice (by which Christ and Him Crucified, 1 Cor. 2.2, in us renders the primacy to the claims and rights of God) and truth (in the light of our holy Catholic Tradition) - all encompassed in the supernatural virtue of humility which is the foundation of an authentic New Life in Christ. Behold how, at the Annunciation (Lk. 1), Our Blessed Mother corresponded with God's designs for the restoration of the life we lost and that got spoiled: She corresponded with the grace of God by the most perfect use of reason. And what did Our Blessed Mother make of it? She made of it a perpetual sacrifice of submission to the Supreme Reason; She never allowed Herself one single reasoning about the designs of God or His conduct with regard to Her, although this conduct was full of mysteries and of apparent contradictions. Hence, we shall never make any advance in the Spiritual Life unless we make the same use of our reason. God often guides souls by ways that are opposed to all human views, He takes pleasure in upsetting all our judgments, in disconcerting all our foresight, in disappointing all our efforts. We have only one thing to do, which is not to think about ourselves at all, not to reason about what God is doing with us - let God be God.

Let God be God. The interior of Our Blessed Mother then was a copy, and the very closest copy, of the interior of Our Lord. As Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself continually to His Father during the whole course of His life, obeying Him even to the death on the Cross, Our Blessed Mother also continually sacrificed Jesus in Her Heart, and Herself with Him, to the Eternal Father in Heaven. On Calvary, Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself upon the Cross by giving Himself up to all the severity of the Divine Justice - to spare us. Our Blessed Mother had in the Cross of Our Lord a share that, from the birth of Her Divine Son until His death, She felt the very same blows that He suffered, not only from men but also, as it were, from God. All the feelings which the Heart of Jesus experienced - with regard to the glory of His Father, outraged by men; the holiness of His Father, dishonored by sin; the justice of His Father, of which He Himself was the Victim; with regard to so many millions of souls to whom His Blood and His Sacrifice would be useless, and even fatal, by the abuse they would make of them - were communicated to the Heart of His Mother with all the strength and extent of which a pure and therefore most sensitive creature was capable. Our Blessed Mother, standing at the foot of the Cross, sacrificed Herself, and more than Herself, by sacrificing Her Beloved Son, and consenting to the accomplishment of the designs of God for our redemption. As Our Lord loved us so much that He gave us not only the life of His body, but in some sense the life of His soul, so Our Blessed Mother loved us so much that She gave us, in Her Crucified Son, what was dearer to Her than Her own life and Her own soul.

How shall we then show our solid devotion to and inviolable alliance with Our Immaculate Mother in this critical hour of Her and our battle with the ancient serpent and his minions - inside and out of the Church - through our Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart? By striving to imitate her interior life, Her lowly opinion of Herself, Her love of obscurity, of silence, and of retirement; Her attraction to little things, Her fidelity and generosity in corresponding to God's invitations, inspirations, and arrangements, the beautiful simplicity of Her recollection and prayer - the only object of which was God and His will, Jesus Christ and His love, Her continual sacrifice of Herself  and of all She loved most dearly and had the greatest reason to love. Let us beg of Her that we may beat the beatings of Her Immaculate Heart (cf., our post "The Scapular...") so that we may beat only the beatings of the Heart of God; that She obtain for us from the Sacred Heart of Our Dearest Little Jesus a great purity of mind, heart, body, and soul; that through Her Scapular, She may clothe us with Her own virtues especially that of humility and meekness; and that we may perfectly correspond to the designs of God upon us. And these designs are most certainly our death to ourselves and the destruction of our inordinate self-love. "Almighty everlasting God, Who in the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary didst prepare a dwelling worthy of the Holy Ghost: grant in Thy mercy, that we who with devout minds celebrate the festival of that Immaculate Heart may be able to live according to Thine own Heart. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen" (Collect of the Mass).

A most blessed Feast to all!

Sunday, August 21, 2011



Tenth Sunday After Pentecost (Lk. 18.9-14)

Meekness is the fruit of Christian humility; and Jesus Christ joins these two virtues together, Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart..., because one depends upon the other. Every man who is really humble of heart is meek; and whoever fails in meekness is wanting also in humility, which is the principle of meekness.

It is a strange thing that our Lord Jesus Christ does not tell us to learn by His example to be meek and humble of heart, but to learn that He is humble of heart. And why is this? Is it then a virtue which His example cannot teach us? Yes: we cannot be humble in the same manner that Jesus Christ was humble. If humility consists in abasing ourselves lower than we are, it is Jesus Christ alone Who could be truly humble. He Who, being of the nature of God, was made man, and took upon Him­self everything that is vile and contemptible in the sight of men, He alone was truly humble, because He united Himself to a nature infinitely inferior to His own; He was humble, because in this nature which He assumed to Himself He submitted to all the humiliations which are due to a proud sinner who deserves to be the outcast of God and man. He was humble of heart, because His humility was a humility of choice, a sincere humility, accompanied by all those interior sentiments which befit the state of a voluntary victim for sin. It is therefore impos­sible for us to be humble in the same way that Jesus Christ was. As we are nothing from the very beginning, how can we make ourselves any less, or place ourselves below what we are by nature? Sinners by our own free will, deserving of the curse of God and of the punishments of hell, worthy only of contempt and horror, and thus infinitely below nothing, to what a state could we be further reduced which might pass for a state of humility? When we place ourselves on the level of nothing, we are only doing ourselves simple justice, even if we had never been guilty of any sin. And when we consent to be treated by God and all creatures as a sinner deserves to be treated, still we only do ourselves simple justice, even if we had only committed one mortal sin. How then shall we humble ourselves, how shall we lower ourselves, we who have been guilty of a host of mortal sins ? Let us confess, once for all, that we are so low that it is impossible for us to descend lower. Let us confess that, in the natural order and the supernatural order, in this life and in the life to come, there is no confusion, no contempt, no ignominy, which is not less than we deserve. And even when we have acknowledged all this in the sincerity of our hearts, when we have sub­mitted to all the humiliations which a guilty creature deserves, when we have fully recognised that we do only deserve these humiliations, we are still obliged to confess that to bear all this is not humility on our part, but simply the acceptation of a most just chas­tisement.

If this is true, if nothing is more evident in the very principles of faith, where are we, and what is our pride, when we cannot suffer either from God or men the slightest shadow of contempt or the least apparent neglect? The very idea of contempt dis­gusts us, troubles us, and makes us angry; we can­not persuade ourselves that when we are despised it is just what we deserve, and that it is impossible for us to be despised too much. We avoid with the greatest care everything that could make us lose the false esteem of men; we sacrifice our duties, our Divine inspirations, the most vivid and certain teach­ings of our conscience, through a fear of ridicule or of a false and contemptible opinion which others may have of us. It seems to us the most painful effort of virtue to appear in the eyes of the world as we really are in the eyes of God, and we are not capable of this effort ; and in a thousand occasions we break our promises, and are false to our good resolutions. Again we say, what pride! And even if we were ashamed of this pride, if we humbled ourselves when we reflected on it! But no; we take credit to ourselves for it ; we think we have very noble and elevated sentiments; we treat as mean and foolish and extravagant the esteem which the saints have had of humiliations, and the holy eager­ness with which they have embraced them.

If we were really humble with the humility which is fitting for us, we should make no account, either in ourselves or in others, of good birth, or of intellect, or of beauty, or of riches, or of any other natural gifts; we should never make of any of these things an occasion for thinking more highly of ourselves or for despising others who do not possess them. For all these advantages do not really belong to us, to us who are only nothingness : God has given them to us out of pure liberality, and His intention never was that we should be vain of them. More than this, these advantages are of no use in themselves for our salvation. And if we make a bad use of them, they are only for us so many occasions of sin. We have then no reason to think well of ourselves on account of them;  on the contrary, we have every reason to humble ourselves. If we were humble with the humility which is fitting for us, we should think ourselves unworthy of the esteem of men, and we should refer to God alone all their praises, with­out reserving anything for ourselves, considering that as a theft from His Divine glory. Neither should we fear their contempt, knowing that we de­serve it, inasmuch as we are great sinners. We should even be very glad to be despised, hoping by it to be able to satisfy the Divine justice. Undoubtedly we must not do anything which really deserves blame, but we must not take too many precautions to escape the judgments of men; and when our good actions draw upon us calumnies, and ridicule, and contempt on their part, we ought to rejoice for our­selves, and to pity them.

If we were humble with the humility which befits us, we should serve God thinking less of our own interest than of His, convinced that we deserve nothing, and that it is an excess of goodness on His part to allow of our serving Him at ail. We should receive all His graces with gratitude ; and far from appropriating them to ourselves, or priding ourselves on them, they would only serve to humble us still more by the thought of our own unworthi­ness, and we should refer them all to God with the same purity as they came from Him to us. We should not be at all surprised or distressed if He seems to repel us, or if He seems to pay no atten­tion to what we are doing for Him ; we should not expect Him to set any value on our fidelity, our constancy, or our generosity; we should never be jealous of the favours He may show to others, but we should think, like the poor woman of Canaan, that the children's bread is not for dogs, and that we are too happy if we may pick up the crumbs which fall from their table. If God turns His face from us, or if He looks at us severely and seems to be angry with us, if He makes us experience some of the effects of His justice, we should humbly submit ourselves to Him, saying with the prophet, I will bear the weight of the anger of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him. It is quite right that, as I am a sinner, I should satisfy the Divine justice; I ought not to wish to dispute the right of God to punish me.

Thus the humble soul sees nothing that she does not deserve in the hardest treatment that she may have to bear, either from God or men. All she asks for is for strength to bear it, and that God may derive glory from it. As for herself, she consents with all her heart to be destroyed utterly, and she does not consider what happens to her as a trial, but rather as a just chastisement, too slight in comparison with what her sins deserve. Acquiescing with all that God makes her suffer, she finds her peace, her strength, and her happiness in humility; she is de­lighted that God should be satisfied, and that at the expense of all that she has He should receive what is due to His Divine justice.

But how shall we attain to this humility ? By resigning ourselves entirely to God and leaving all our interests in His hands. We can give ourselves. And when this gift is made entirely and irrevocably, God will accomplish His designs upon us, and will give us all that is necessary for us to co-operate with Him. He will give us above all things that perfect humility which is so deep, so generous, so peaceful, so unchang­ing, which on the one hand makes us, as sinners, less than nothing, and on the other hand, raises us above the world, above the devil, above ourselves, and makes us great with the greatness of God, strong with the strength of God, holy with the holiness of God. This humility is an infused humility; it grows in us in proportion to our temptations, our sufferings, and our humiliations. We have it, but we do not know that we have it, because if we thought ourselves humble we should think we were lower than we deserve to be; whereas such a thought could never enter the mind of a saint, who on the con­trary is always quite certain that God and men treat him infinitely better than he deserves to be treated.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Instructions on Christian Doctrine: the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven


Solemnity of the Glorious Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Body and Soul, Into Heaven

Arise, O Lord, into Thy resting place: Thou and the Ark, which Thou hast sanctified (Ps. 131.8). "The Ark of the Covenant (Ex. 25.10-22), built of incorruptible wood and placed in the Lord's temple... a type of the most pure body of the Virgin Mary, preserved and exempted from all the corruption of the tomb and raised up to such glory in heaven." (Pope Pius XII, in "Munificentissimus Deus" [the Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary], Nov. 1, 1950)

Death being the punishment of sin, it would seem that the Divine Mother - all holy, and exempt as she was from its slightest stain - should also have been exempt from death, and from encountering the misfortunes to which the children of Adam, infected by the poison of sin, are subject. But God was pleased that Mary should in all things resemble Our Lord; and as the Son died, it was becoming that the Mother should also die; because, moreover, He wished to give the just an example of the precious death prepared for them. He willed that even the most Blessed Virgin Mary should die, but by a sweet and happy death.

There are three things which render death bitter: attachment to the world, remorse for sins, and the uncertainty of salvation. The death of Mary was entirely free from these causes of bitterness, and was accompanied by three special graces, which rendered it precious and joyful. She died as She had lived, entirely detached from the things of the world; She died in the most perfect peace; She died in the certainty of eternal glory.

And in the first place, there can be no doubt that attachment to earthly things renders the death of the worldly bitter and miserable, as the Holy Ghost says: O death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to man who hath peace in his possessions! (Ecclus. 41.1) But because the Saints die detached from the things of the world, their death is not bitter... Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord (Apoc. 14.13). They are those happy souls who pass into eternity already detached, and, so to say, dead to all affection for terrestrial things; and who, like St. Francis of Assisi, found in God alone all their happiness, and with him could say, "My God and my all."

Saint John saw Mary represented in that Woman, clothed with the sun, who held the moon under Her feet. And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under Her feet (Apoc. 12.1). Interpreters explain the moon to signify the goods of this world, which, like her, are uncertain and changeable. Mary never had these goods in Her heart, but always despised them and trampled them under Her feet; living in this world as a solitary turtle-dove in any earthly thing; so that of Her it was said:  The voice of the turtle is hear in our land (Cant. 2.12). And elsewhere: Who is She that goeth up by the desert? (Cant. 3.6) Whence the Abbot Rupert says, "Thus did you go up by the desert; that is, having a solitary soul." Mary, then, having lived always and in all things detached  from the earth, and united to God alone, death was not bitter, but, on the contrary, very sweet and dear to her; since it united Her more closely to God in heaven, by an eternal bond.

Secondly, peace of mind renders the death of the just precious. Sins committed during life are the worms which so cruelly torment and gnaw the hearts of poor dying sinners, who, about to appear before the Divine tribunal, see themselves at that moment surrounded by their sins, which terrify them, and cry out, according to St. Bernard, "We are thy works; we will not abandon thee." Mary certainly could not be tormented at death by any remorse of conscience, for She was always pure, and always free from the least shade of actual or original sin; so much so, that of Her it was said: Thou are all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee (Cant. 4.7).

In the third place, the certainty of eternal salvation renders death sweet. Death is called a passage; for by death we pass from a short to an eternal life. And as the dread of those is indeed great who die in doubt of their salvation, and who approach the solemn moment with well-grounded fear of passing into eternal death; thus, on the other hand, the joy of the Saints is indeed great at the close of life, hoping with some security to go and possess God [their supreme Good] in heaven... But what joy must the Divine Mother have felt in receiving the new of Her approaching death! She who had the fullest certainty of the possession of Divine grace, especially after the Angel Gabriel had assured Her that She was full of it, and that She already possessed God. Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee... thou hast found grace (Luk. 1.28,30).

Of Mary, it had already been asked in the Sacred Canticle of Canticles, Who is She that goeth up the desert, as a pillar of smoke, of aromatical spices, of myrrh, and frankincense, and all the powders of the perfumers? (3.6). Her entire mortification typified by the myrrh, her fervent prayers signified by the incense, and all her holy virtues, united to Her perfect love for God, kindled in Her a flame so great that Her beautiful soul, wholly devoted to and consumed by Divine love, arose continually to God as a pillar of smoke breathing forth on every side a most sweet odor... "A pillar of smoke, because burning interiorly as a holocaust with the flame of Divine love, She sent forth a most sweet odor." As the loving Virgin lived, so did She die. As Divine love gave Her life, so did it cause her death; for the Doctors and holy Fathers of the Church generally say She died of no other infirmity than pure love; St. Ildephonsus says that Mary either ought not to die, or only die of love. - St. Alphonsus Liguori

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Time of God's Visitation


Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

When Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, seeing the city, He wept over it saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee; and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee around, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation... (Lk. 19.41-44).

The Lord, on this occasion of His weeping, described to us that overthrow of Jerusalem which took place under the Emperors Titus and Vespasian. There is no one who has read  of that history can doubt. For the Roman rulers are here referred to when He says: For the days shall come upon thee; and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee around, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee.

That He also added:  they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone, bears witness even to the very translation of the city itself, for the former Jerusalem, as we are told, was wholly destroyed, while the present city was constructed outside the gate, upon the site where Our Lord had been crucified. He then adds the reason why this chastisement was inflicted on Jerusalem: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. For the Creator of all things had deigned, through the mystery of His Incarnation, to visit it, but it had not concerned itself either with His love or with His fear for it. And because of this the prophet rebukes them, and even invokes the testimony of the birds of heaven against them, where he says: The kite in the air hath known her time: the turtle and the swallow and the stork have observed the time of their coming: but my people have not known the judgment of the Lord (Jer. 8.17).

But first... what is the meaning of the words: seeing the city, He wept over it saying: If thou also hadst known? The Redeemer did indeed weep beforehand over the destruction of the city; and which the city itself did not know was to come upon it. And rightly does the weeping Lord say to it: If thou also hadst known; meaning , that you also would weep, you who now rejoice, since you know not what threatens you. And because of this He adds: and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace. For while it was giving itself over to the pleasures of the flesh, and saw nothing of the evils that were to come, it already possessed, and in its own day the things that could have been for its peace. Why it held present things as the source of its peace is made clear, when He said: now they are hidden from thine eyes. For if the evils that threatened it were not hidden from the eyes of its heart, it would not have rejoiced in its present good fortune. He then goes to add the punishment which threatened it from the Roman rulers.

Because we now know that Jerusalem was overthrown... and the Temple itself uprooted, we ought from these outward happenings draw, inwardly, a certain similitude, and from these ruined structures of stone learn to fear [our own] destruction... Our Lord weeps for those who know not why He weeps; for those who in Solomon's words, are glad when they have done evil, and rejoice in the most wicked things (Prov. 2.14). For if they but knew the hour of their own condemnation, which is close at hand, they would weep for themselves with the tears of the Elect. Well do the words that follow apply to the soul that will perish: and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thine eyes.

The perverse soul which takes its joy in this passing hour has here its day. Here it finds the things that content it; for a while it takes its joy in earthly things, for a while it is puffed up with vanity, for a while it grows feeble through bodily pleasures, and then when it has lost its fear of the judgment to come, it has peace in its own day: to find it a grave stone of stumbling on that other day of its damnation. For there it shall be afflicted, while the just rejoice; all the things that are now for its peace, will then be changed into bitterness of contention: for it will begin to rage within itself, for having closed its eyes from seeing the evils to come. For this reason He says to it:  but now they are hidden from thine eyes. For the perverse soul that is given over to temporal things, and weakened by bodily pleasures, blinds itself to the evils that pursue it; for it turns from looking ahead at things to come, lest they trouble its present delight. And in abandoning itself to the allurements of this life, what else is it doing but hurrying with closed eyes towards the everlasting fire?

And because of this it is written, that in the day of good things be not unmindful of evils (Ecclesiasticus 11.27). And regarding this, St. Paul the Apostle says: And they that rejoice, as if they rejoice not (1 Cor. 7.30); so that should you rejoice in this present world, let you so take your joy of it, that the remembrance of the judgment to come is at the same time never far from your mind. For in the measure that the anxious soul is penetrated with the fear of final punishment, the more its present delight is taken with moderation, the more shall the wrath to come be tempered. And because of this was it written: Blessed is the man that is always fearful; but he that is hardened of mind shall fall into evil (Prov. 27.14). For the wrath of the judgment to come will be harder to endure, the less it is now feared, here in the midst of evil doing.

Then we read: For the days shall come upon thee; and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee. Who were ever greater enemies of the human soul than the spirits of evil, who caress it with delusive joys while it gives itself over to the lusts of the flesh, and lay siege to it as it is about to leave the body? They cast a trench about it, when they bring before the eyes of its mind the remembrance of the sins it has committed; and they encompassed it around by dragging it into the company of the damned, so that, held fast in this supreme hour of its life, it then sees by what enemies it is surrounded; and yet it cannot find a way of escape: for it may no longer do the good works which, when it could do them, it despised. Of such as these the words that follow may still be truly understood: they shall compass thee around, and straiten thee on every side. The spirits of evil straiten the soul on every side when they unroll before it its own iniquities, not alone of deed, but also of word, and even of thought, so that the soul that before had spread itself out in many directions in wickedness, now at its end is pressed in on every side in punishment.

Then there follows: and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee. Then the soul will be thrown to the ground through the knowledge of its own guilt, when the body which it believed to be its life is pressed hard to return to the dust. Then shall its children fall down in death, when the unlawful thoughts that now come forth from her are scattered in the final chastisement of life; as it was written: In that day all their thoughts shall perish (Ps. 144.4). And these shameless thoughts can also be understood as stones. For there follows: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone. For the perverse soul, when it adds to a perverse thought another thought more perverse, what is it doing but laying stone upon stone? And as in the destroyed city not a stone is left upon stone, so when the soul is led to final judgment the whole structure of its thoughts is demolished.

He adds the reason why these things are suffered. Because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. For the Omnipotent God is wont to visit each soul in various ways. He visits it continually by His commandments, sometimes with the rod, sometimes by a true miracle, that it may pay attention to the truths it is ignoring. And should it still continue in pride and contempt, it is stung with anguish, that it may return to Him; or, overcome by His kindness, that it may be ashamed of the evil it had done. But when it was far from knowing the time of its visitation, at the end of its life it will be given over to those enemies, to whom it will be joined for ever by an eternal sentence of everlasting damnation; as it is written: When thou goest with they adversary to the prince, while thou art in the way, endeavour to be delivered from him; lest perhaps he draw thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the exacter, and the exacter cast thee into prison (Lk. 12.58).

Our adversary in the way is the Word of God, which in this present life is in conflict with our carnal desires and our proud excellence fed by the "New World/'Catholic' disOrder."  And from this adversary he is delivered who is humbly subject to His commandments... In the final judgments of the Judge a sinner will be held guilty if he has despised the word of the Lord. And the Judge will deliver Him to the exacter; for He will permit the evil spirits to drag him to final punishment, to demand for torment the soul now driven from the body, and which of its own will had conspired with him in evil doing. The exacter casts it into prison; for it is thrust down to hell by the evil spirit, until the Day of Judgment comes; after which he also will be tormented in the fires of hell (from the sermon of Pope St. Gregory the Great).

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The "Communion of Reparation of the First Five Saturdays of the Month"


Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord

The “Communion of Reparation on the First Five Saturdays of the Month”

On July 13, 1917, Our Blessed Mother appeared to Lucia (Sr. Mary Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, C.D.) once more at Fatima and told the latter: “I will come to ask for... the Communion of Reparation on the first five Saturdays of the month.” It was on December 10, 1925 when Our Blessed Mother came back to ask for this practice. She appeared in Sr. Lucia’s cell [who was still a Dorothean nun at that time] and putting Her hand on Sr. Lucia’s shoulder, Our Blessed Mother “showed Her heart encircled by thorns.” The Child Jesus Who was by the side of Our Blessed Mother told Sr. Lucia:

“Have compassion on the heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.”

Then Our Blessed Mother said:

“Look, My daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console Me and announce in My Name that 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.”

Our Blessed Mother was “requesting a refinement of a devotion originally established by Pope St. Pius X, who gave official approval to First Saturday devotions, granting plenary indulgence to all who, ‘on the first Saturday or first Sunday of twelve consecutive months, devote some time to vocal or mental prayer in honor of the Immaculate Virgin in Her conception...’” On June 13, 1912, Pope St. Pius X had encouraged confession and communion on first Saturdays, and ‘pious practices in the spirit of reparation in honor of the Immaculate Virgin.’ Where the Pope offered plenary indulgences for observance of first Saturdays, Our Blessed Mother’s reward for observance of Five First Saturdays was to “assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation...”

When Sr. Lucia’s confessor asked her: why five first Saturdays? Sr. Lucia pondered this question in front of the Blessed Sacrament and told her confessor that “this is what was revealed to me”:

“My daughter (said Our Lord), the reason is simple. There are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception;
2. Blasphemies against Her Perpetual Virginity;
3. Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of men;
4. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother;
5. The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images.
Here, My daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to ask for this little act of reparation...”

Note the number of enemies of Heaven, as they are revealed by Our Lord in their blasphemies against the Immaculate. “In addition to the millions of atheists, agnostics, unchurched, and assorted infidels and pagans, Our Lord includes the Orthodox schismatics and the various Protestant [“Bible-only”] sectarians who deny the Immaculate Conception.” Also a large number of modern Catholics* who adhere to a non-dogmatic Council where Our Blessed Mother was explicitly denied Her proper title, “Mediatrix of All Graces” [a schema that, like the other traditional schemas originally drafted by the preparatory Commission of Vatican II, was thrown into the bin] so as not to offend the blasphemers observing at and monitoring the Council.**
* The generation of Catholics who have imbibed the ‘spirit’, that is, the mind or mentality, of those periti (theological experts) condemned, censured, or suspected of heresy (Hans Kung – considered to be the “leading light” of the post-Vatican II period, Hans von Balthasar, Karl Rahner SJ,Yves Congar OP, Edward Schillebeeckx OP, Joseph Ratzinger, and others) who directed the course of Vatican II.

** Thomas Bokenkotter, in his “A Concise History of the Catholic Church” (Image Books: 1990, Revised and Expanded Ed.), notes with some surprise that even though the Council’s “new approach” to Mary did “much to meet traditional Protestant objections to the Catholic position on Mary,” Protestants have yet to engage Catholics in a ‘dialogue’ about Mary (cf., pp. 383-386). See our blogpost “The Great Tribulation”  on the Vatican’s effort to strike a middle position of agreement between two contradictories: the traditional Catholic orientation and the “New ‘Catholic’ Orientation” [or the “New ‘Catholic’ Theology” of Blondel, de Lubac SJ, and Chenu OP ] – the “diabolical disorientation” referred to by Sr. Lucia, C.D.: “It is indeed sad that so may persons let themselves be dominated [on the ground of ‘false obedience’] by the diabolical wave sweeping over the world... and so many persons who occupy places of responsibility [in the Church], and that they are blinded to the point of being incapable of seeing error! The devil has succeeded in infiltrating evil under cover of good, and the blind are beginning to guide others, as the Lord tells us in His Gospel, and souls are letting themselves be deceived... He [the devil] has succeeded in leading... priests and consecrated souls into error and deceiving souls having a heavy responsibility through the place which they occupy [in the Church hierarchy]... They are blind men guiding other blind men...” (Letters to a nephew-priest and to a Dorothean nun in 1970, “A Little Treatise On the Nature and Recitation of the Rosary” (excerpts from the letters Sr. Lucia had written from 1969-1971).

Meaning of the “First Five Saturdays” Devotion: Life of Penance and Reparation

Penance is, after prayer, the most effective means for cleansing the soul of past faults and even for guarding it against future ones.

When Our Lord is about to begin His public ministry, He has His Precursor proclaim the necessity of penance: Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt. 3.2). He Himself declares He has come to call sinners to penance: I came not to call the just, but sinners to penance (Lk. 5.32). This virtue is necessary, that unless we do penance we shall perish: But except you do penance, you shall all likewise perish (Lk. 13.5). So well was this doctrine understood by the Apostles, that from the very first they insisted on the necessity of penance as a condition preparatory to Baptism: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you (Acts 2.38).

Penance includes four chief acts:

1. In the light of reason and faith, we see that sin is an evil, the greatest evil, in truth the only evil, and this because it offends God and deprives us of the most precious gifts. This evil we hate with our whole soul: I have hated iniquity (Ps. 118.104,136, DRV)

2. Moreover, conscious that this evil is ours since we have sinned, and that, even once forgiven, its traces remain in our soul, we conceive a lively sorrow, a sorrow that weighs upon and crushes the soul, a sincere contrition, a deep sense of humiliation.

3. To avoid in the future this heinous evil we form the firm resolve or firm purpose of avoiding it, by carefully shunning dangerous occasions and by fortifying our will against the allurements of sinful pleasures.

4. Lastly, realizing that sin constitutes an act of injustice, we determine to atone for it, to expiate it by sentiments and works of penance.

Three principal reasons oblige us to do penance:

1. A duty of justice toward God

Have we not good reason to fear that God’s goodness so foully outraged be turned into implacable wrath? If His just punishment of the Gentiles was so severe, will not His anger be more dreadful towards us?  Does not a father feel more keenly the ingratitude and faithlessness of his children than the wickedness of his servants? We must then take sides with God against ourselves: thus if we side with divine justice as against ourselves, we oblige divine mercy to take sides with us against divine justice. The more we regret the plight wherein we have fallen, the sooner we shall regain the good we have lost. God’s loving kindness will accept the sacrifice of the broken heart we offer Him as satisfaction for our crimes; and looking not to the inadequate reparation we offer, this good Father will but regard the good will of the offerers. Besides, we can make our penance more effective by uniting it to the atonement of Christ.

However, “the whole concept of man making reparation to God and Our Blessed Mother for blasphemies and other sins has been denied, though not explicitly negating it as to betray the gross perversity of ‘spirit’ of those [Mgr. Bugnini, a Freemason in ecclesiastical trappings, and his Protestant collaborators] who “fabricated” (Pope Benedict XVI as Cardinal Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) the ‘Mass’ of the “New ‘Catholic’ Order” (the Novus Ordo) – inaugurated at the Second Vatican Council – by omitting or not referring to it anymore in the “New ‘Fabricated’ Liturgy”. One does no longer read  in the “New” Missals the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice but rather the 'Mass' as a “sacrifice of praise” (Lutheran in concept).

The First Saturday devotion is “one of Heaven’s chosen means to restore in our time a sense of the need for reparation for sin by the members of the Church. Who can doubt that now, more than ever before, the Church must renew Her effort to offer expiation to God and to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, thus staying the execution of God’s wrath? Yet the wrath of God’s infuriated justice which hurls a sinner into Hell is another thing which we hear nothing from almost all of those who are said to be ‘officially’ considered to be in possession of “legitimate” priestly ministry – for the “New ‘Catholic’ Theology” has inculcated in them that God is only and always good “all the time”: that there is in Him no such cruelty as to allow His creatures to suffer the “tortures” of the everlasting fires of Hell (therefore Hell does not really exist and...finally, what of the bloody sacrifice on the Cross and the unbloody sacrifice on the Altar?) in just punishment for their sins; here, carefully take note that a false god is the foundation of the "New 'Catholic' Theology" (cf., our post "The Ultimate Delusion of Vatican II 'Catholicism'") and therefore the very heart of the “fabricated” New Rite of the Mass (the Novus Ordo Missae) – whereas He Who Is being worshiped according to the Traditional Rite of the Mass is the true God of BOTH justice AND mercy.

2. A Duty Consequent Upon Our Incorporation Into Christ Curicifed

Through Baptism we have been incorporated into Christ, and since we share His life we are to share His sentiments. Although impeccable, Jesus has taken upon Himself the burden of our sins and, so to speak, assumed responsibility for them, lest we perish forever: And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Is. 53.6). Behold the reason for His life of suffering from the moment of His conception to His death on Calvary. Knowing that the holocausts of Old could not propitiate the Father, He gives Himself as the holocaust in the place of all victims. All His acts constitute an immolation through obedience, and after a lifelong martyrdom, He dies on the Cross, the victim of obedience and of love: He was made obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. And He wills that His members (the Church is His body, He the head), in order to be cleansed from their sins, be with Him victims of expiation: He willed to become a victim that He might become the Savior of mankind. But since His Mystical Body [the Church] is one, if the Head be immolated, the members likewise become living victims. It is evident that if Our Lord, being innocent, atoned for our sins through His Passion and Death, we the guilty must share in His sacrifice, in proportion to our guilt.

3. A Duty of Charity

He who truly loves has a spontaneous desire to share in the sufferings of the loved one; it is the same with the real lovers of the Crucified: trained in the school of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mother the dictates of which Heart is nothing but to take the place of Her Beloved suffering Child (cf., the consideration for the Ninth and Last Day of Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel).

Those, then, who propose to share in the life and spirit of Teresian Carmel through enrollment in the Scapular Confraternity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel must especially “express in yourself the life of the Crucified” (St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart). And to express the life of the Crucified means to live His Passion, to associate ourselves with His sufferings out of love for Him who has loved us so much – returning love for love – to unite ourselves to His intentions: the glory of God [His goodness acknowledged with praise, adoration, worship, and thanksgiving by his creatures] and the salvation of souls.

I fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ in my flesh, for His Body, which is the Church (Col. 1.24). This is another motive which has urged the saints to generous corporal mortification. Nothing is lacking in the Passion of Our Lord; He Himself said on the Cross, all is consummated (Jn. 19.30). All was accomplished in Him, our Head, but it must now be accomplished in us, His members. Our Lord wills to continue His Passion in us so that we may be associated with Him in the work of Redemption; He wills to make us collaborators in the most sublime of His works, the salvation of souls. Our Lord, Who could have accomplished His work alone, willed to need us in order to apply the infinite merits of His Passion to many souls.

In virtue of our incorporation into the Crucified we are all brethren, all members of the same body of Christ. Since our works of satisfaction can contribute to the welfare of others, will not our charity prompt us to do penance not only for ourselves, but, likewise, in behalf of our brethren? Is not this the best means of obtaining their conversion or, if they have turned to God, their perseverance? Is not this the best service we could possibly render them, a benefit worth infinitely more than all the temporal goods we could confer upon them? Thus, to atone for our neighbor’s faults is but to carry out the will of God, Who having adopted us as His children, commands us to love our neighbor as He has loved us (Jn. 13.34).

Salvation is in the "Blood of the Lamb"

Apocalypse XIV now unfolding (cf., our posts "The Wine of the Wrath of God" and "After Pope Benedict XVI, the 'Last' Roman Pontiff?"). The divine chastisement of world-wide conflagration (Lk. 17.29-30, cf., our post "Our Lady, Vatican II Disorientation, and the Annihilation of Many Nations") to annihilate the 'super-power' and cities and nations drunk with the wine of its immodesty, impurity, fornication, homosexuality, and blasphemies (Apoc. 14.8) is imminent - the close of our end-times period (distinct from the consummation of the world, Mt. 28.20).

They... have made them white in the Blood of the Lamb
(Apoc. 7.14) ... All things... are cleansed with Blood: and without shedding of Blood there is no remission (Heb. 9.22).

The Blood of the [Divine] Lamb can be availed of in the traditional Rite of the Sacrament of Penance (cf., our post "On Concealing Sins in Confession") and of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (the Traditional Latin Mass). Go to our traditional Catholic Mass Centers (links on the left-side bar of this site). Flee to the mountains... (Mt. 24.16).

See also the Messages and Appeals (on the upper right-side bar) of the Apocalyptic Woman in her title of Our Lady of Fatima.