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

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

God With Us


The Nativity of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

This day is born to you a Savior, 
Who Is Christ the Lord
(The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, 2.11).

The people that walked in darkness have seen [this day] a Great Light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, Light is risen (Isaias 9.2). Send forth, O Lord, Your Light, that our hearts like Yours burn bright! The Orient from on high hath visited us (St. Luke 1.78) this most blessed day: I am come to cast fire on the earth: and what will I, but that it be kindled (St. Luke 12.49) so that our hearts, purified of everything that is not God, may, in union with the pure Heart of the Divine Infant daily offered to God for a most clean oblation on our traditional High Christian altars (Hebrews 13.10), delight and console Him Who desires of us: My son, give Me thy heart... (Proverbs 23.26).

Gloria in excelsis Deo
et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis!
(St. Luke 2.12)

A most blessed Christmas Season to all! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Ecce, Salvator Venit!"


Fourth Sunday of Advent

"Behold, the Savior comes!"
(The Roman Breviary)

In a few days, the Word of God made flesh will show Himself to the world. I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore have I drawn thee, taking pity on thee (Jer. 31.3). Yes, God has loved man from all eternity, and in order to draw him to Himself, He did not hesitate to send His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom. 8.3). And run we must to meet Divine Love Who Is to appear "incarnate" in the Infant Jesus, it must only be with hearts full - no "half-measures" (Our dear "Little Therese") - of charity: not philanthropy (the world's 'charity') which the wicked are still capable; but, that love which the Divine Spirit pours in the hearts of them who seek God and call upon Him in truth (Ps. 144.18, from the "Gradual" of today's Mass): a love that is faithful in great things as well as in small, an ingenious love that is always seeking opportunities to repay God's Love. "Love is repaid by love!" says our holy Father John of the Cross. This is the motto which has made Saints, and spurred a multitude of souls to greater generosity. With this kind of love prepare for Christmas, be in this love faithful, for, as St. Paul says in the Epistle (1 Cor. 4.1-5), it is required that [he] be faithful.

Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths. Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low. The voice of St. John the Baptist, the great Advent preacher, is heard again in today's Gospel (Lk. 3.1-16), inviting us to prepare the way of the Lord. This invitation is especially a call to to a truly profound humility. If the valleys, that is, our imperfections and deficiencies, are to be filled up by charity, then the mountains and hills, that is, the vain pretenses of pride and egoism, must be brought low by humility. A heart filled with self-love and pride cannot be filled with God for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (Jas. 4.6).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"Dominus prope est..."


Gaudete Sunday

The Lord is nigh 
(Phil. 4.5).

The Eternal Wisdom declared: My delights were to be with the children of men (Pr. 8.31). Among men, He first dwelt in the midst of Israel (Ex. 25.8; Num. 35.34; 2 Ki. - 2 Sam. in non-Catholic versions - 7.6) and manifested His almighty liberating presence through the Ark of the Covenant (1 Ki. 4.6-7; 1 Par. - Chronicles in non-Catholic versions - 16.1) and the pillar of cloud or the Shekinah over the Ark in the Holy of Holies (Ex. 40.32-34; 3 Ki. - 1 Ki. in non-Catholic versions - 8.10-12). I have been with thee wheresoever thou hast walked, and have slain all thy enemies from before thy face... and shall be disturbed no more: neither shall the children of iniquity afflict [thee] anymore... I will give thee rest from all thy enemies (2 Ki. 7.9,10,11). Such was the great blessing and peace that came with God's election of Israel: I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be My people (Lev. 26.12) - so long as they hearkened and walked not contrary to the laws and judgments (cf., v.15) of the Eternal Word Who spoke through the mouths of the Prophets and His ministers - the priests ordained with the Levitical unction.

However, God's liberating presence of Old prefigured only what the Eternal Wisdom would bring about when, through His Incarnation, He comes and dwells (Zach. 2.10: Sing praise, and rejoice, O daughter of Sion: for behold I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee) a High Priest... by a greater and more perfect tabernacle (Heb. 9.11): that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3.8). But, alas! He had been coming and dwelling in our tabernacles by the Holy Eucharist on His high altar from the rising of the sun even to the going down (Mal. 1.11) yet too many did not know Him (St. John the Baptist in today's Gospel, Jn. 1.19-28) - they sought the Lord God that He might free them from earthly cares.

The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous... The more a soul concentrates its desires and affections on God, the more it will be freed from earthly cares. It will no longer be troubled about anything, knowing that only one thing is necessary, "to seek God," and that in God it will find everything it needs. Hence to draw near to God, is to find not only true joy, but also true peace that comes from our liberation from our errors, blindness and foolhardiness (the Collect of today's Mass) which lead us to walk contrary to and even despise what God has arranged. In Him, it has everything, and "God alone suffices" (St. Teresa of Jesus).

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Christian Splendor and Might

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising,
Fair as the moon, bright as the sun,
Terrible as an army set in battle array?
(Canticle of Canticles 6.9)

The above words are said by the daughters of Jerusalem who are now converted into faithful friends, admirers and disciples of the Bride, or else by the friends of the Spouse who marvel at seeing this happy soul rise up and advance majestically like the dawn which shines more and more until the perfect day is reached (cf., Prov. 4.18), without ever declining or halting in its course. In the way of the Spirit the one who tires least is he who runs most and stops least; for in relaxing or taking short steps, even under the pretext of taking a brief rest, we in fact see that their spiritual strength is always lessened instead of renewed.

The holy soul not only advances like the dawn, but is also fair as the moon, that is, similar to the Immaculate Conception, the true Moon of the mystical Heaven lighting up our darkness and watching over our nights (cf., our post "Mary in the Sacred Scriptures: Our Hope II") ... The moon does not have its own light, but receives it from the sun; so this soul tries to be like Mary and always receive the divine rays of Her Sun Jesus, so as to become, under His continual influence, another new sun; in this way she seems pure and select like Him. For she shines so much with the clarity she receives, and reflects His divine light so much when enlightening other souls, that she seems to mirror Him and to look like a real sun.

No longer ordinary people in general, but even the friends of the Spouse and the angels themselves praise this singular* and privileged soul, marveling at her delightful beauty, her generosity, valor and magnanimity. They watch her at the very dawn of her spiritual life when she first began to rise up and scatter sweet sparks of light; they watch her as she advances, laden with gifts and riches, and beautiful as the mystical Moon; that is, very simiar to the Mother of divine grace, and receiving from the Divine Sun a most abundant clarity that she communicates to many others; and finally they see her very similar in splendor to the Sun Himself, upon Whom she, like Our Immaculate Mother, becomes modeled.
* Not a soul of singularity, however.

She does good to everyone: she enlightens all with Heavenly wisdom, she seeks to enkindle all in divine love and to some extent, impresses all with her sublime virtues, driving away all who resist such salutary influences. Her greatness and power is such that she seems like a well-ordered army that terrifies its enemies and make them to surrender, triumphing over everything. For the souls in this state of such intimate union with the Word, are not only frightening to demons who flee from her in terror and confusion, but also to men, however furious and inimical they are. This can be seen in the case of so many Saints especially in that of [our dear "Little Therese" who, in a vision Our Lord granted her, by a mere sight of her, made the devils to scamper away terrified and shaking; also,] in that of St. Catherine of Sienna  who, by their very presence alone change hearts and make their enemies put down their arms... Here they are truly seen to be working with a divine power, for it is God Himself Who manifests Himself and works through them, while at the same time taking His delight in them.

"Blessed be He," exclaims the Ven. Mariana de San Jose, " Who, being the God of infinte majesty, nonetheless desires to communicate Himself to us in an infinite manner. If this were not so, He would never deign to look at us being His bride and friend, nor would He make her one with Himself, the two becoming one single will; so that, through participation in this union, the creature becomes a 'god', and a mirror in which the true God sees Himself and which, reflecting the rays of His light, seems to be the Light Itself, so that the soul becomes the light of Light and the Lord can call her the light of His eyes... O Lord, what hidden and yet what patent truths! Hidden, to souls who do not prepare themselves, but to those who are prepared and who surender themselves into Your hands, how evident and how full of glory."

But although hidden, they make themselves felt just as the mystical Bride succeeds in making herself felt.

The soul who before was attached to the earth now sees herself lifted out of herself and above all that is worldly, and not only has the true Light of life for herself, but with her edifying conversation, begins to serve as a luminary for many others. So that, as St. Gregory says, as her light shines more and more, she is compared first to the moon, because with her good conduct she begins to point out the straight path (not the confusedly 'unchartered' ecumenical path chosen by the hierarchy of Vatican II "Disorientation," cf., Pope John Paul II in our post, "What is truth?") to those that lie in the darkness (cf., the thick darkness that has engulfed the Neo-'Catholic' [Dis-]Order or the Novus Ordo since Vatican II, cf., the Papal statements in our post "Our Lady and the Diabolical Campaign") or in the shadows of death; and then to the Sun Itself, for she is now able to enlighten with beautiful and brilliant examples not only sinners, but also the just and the very advanced.

"When the soul leaves the night of sin," observes Fr. Gracian, "she always tries to progress; at first she is like the morning, where there is not so much light and much coldness until the sun warms the earth; and she is like this because the souls of beginners are ignorant of many things and often cold in spirit. They enter the active life, which is compared to the moon,  because... the soul receives the light of her instructor's teaching and has [growth and decline] of virtue... After having exercised herself in these works of ascetical life, she ascends to the contemplative life that overflows with light like the sun. Finally, from the contemplative life she ascends to the unitive stage where, united to God and to all creatures of Heaven and on earth, like an army lined up in squadrons, she fulfills the desires and mercies of God."

"Who is this, they will ask, who is beautiful as the sun, through the purity of her chastity, who patiently shines at night in the midst of the adversities of this life without losing her splendor because of them? Who is this, select like the sun, firm and stable in her virtuous exercises... which she regulates like a resplendent army.... becomes terrifying to devils...? Who is this soul who always ascends and never halts, abandoning all worldly things so as to have her conversation in Heaven? O how lofty Christian life is... and with what wonder it fills the angels themselves!" (La Puente).

[A mystical exposition prepared by the Rev. Fr. Juan G. Arintero, O.P. (1860-1928) drawn from the Church's long mystical tradition]

A most blessed Feast to all!

Related post: "The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary"

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"God Himself Will Come..."


First Sunday of Advent

God Himself will come and will save you (Is. 35.4).

This coming as foretold was expected for long ages - not only by the Hebrews but even by the Gentiles through their preparation which Judaism had already served - and desired by all the just who were not granted to see its dawn. This desire of Old was sustained only by hope, but it is now a confident desire, founded on the consoling reality of the Redemption already accomplished. Although historically completed twenty centuries ago, this longing is still actualized daily on our traditional high altars - the Sacramental Real Presence of the Lord in our tabernacles - and in our souls accomplished by grace to the degree in which grace must develop and mature in us unto the perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4.13), that is, until it transforms the soul into an alter Christus (another Christ).

In today's Epistle (Rom. 13.11-14), St. Paul exhorts us, Brethren, it is now the hour... to rise from sleep. Thus Advent is the "springtime" of the Church that leads her to that grand "summertime" when the Orient from on high (Lk. 1.78) [glorifies] the house of [His] majesty (Is. 60.7). It is a "springtime" bringing forth a more plentiful measure of ripening fruits of sanctity; that Christian sanctity of "always going forward and increasing in holiness" (St. John Mary Vianney in our post "A Grain of Mustard Seed"), not anymore of "[passing] from virtue to vice and from vice to vritue" (ibid.), nay, of halting between the false god of the modern fashion and the true God of our sacred Christian Tradition . Even now, the Apostle shows us the great fruits of Advent: Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light... as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ... and Him Crucified (1 Cor. 2.2)... [as to] make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences (Rom. 13.12,13,14).  And in order to help us attain this end, the Lord and Savior comes to meet us still with His grace through the traditional Sacraments of the Holy Church;  He gives us also His Immaculate Mother - whose Solemn Feast we are celebrating on Saturday - speculum sine macula ("the unspotted mirror," Wis. 7.26) through whom we can better see, on the one hand, the corruption that is in us according to the degree of our semblance with the devil; and, reflect, on the other, the perfection of the image and likeness of Christ; it is Infinite Mercy that inclines to us.

On the other hand, the Church, in today's Gospel (Lk. 21.25-33), puts before us the last coming of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as the Supreme Just Judge Who shall confound, crush, and destroy His enemies. And then they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty. He came with the healing and redeeming merciful love of God; He comes with grace into our souls; He will visit us with His purifying fire in this our end-times (Lk. 17.29-30, cf., our post "Our Lady, Vatican II Disorientation, and the Annihilation of Many Nations"); He will come with ultimate justice at the end of the world. Christ's coming, the synthesis of Christianity, an invitation to a vigilant, trusting expectation, Lift up your heads, for your redemption is at hand!

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.