¶ For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. – Gal:1:10
The great temptation for a Catholic, whether layman or churchman, is to allow himself to be attracted by the world and wish to become part of it, being accepted and admired.
We are not talking about the physical world created by God, which, like everything else He created, is very good. The world here is a moral entity opposed to God: “For all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1Jn:2:16)
Thus, to give in to the temptation of the world is to cave in to the triple concupiscence, to adopt worldly wisdom and flee from the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which the world sees as “foolishness.”
The Impossible Quest of Catholic Liberals
Our Lord does not pray for this world, for it refused His light. Hence “the whole world is under the power of the evil one,” under Satan, “the prince of this world.”
Now then, “what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever,” the one who “loved darkness rather than the light”?
Therefore, it is impossible, as liberal Catholics claim, to remain Catholic while being admired by the world; and to have the consolation of the Faith along with the pomp and honors of the world.
“If the World Hates You”
Our Lord himself explained the reason for this impossibility as He warned the apostles:
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘The servant is not greater than his master.’”
Thus, to wish to be part of the world is to stray from the right path and drive away from the truth; for only Jesus is “the way, and the truth, and the life.” It is to fall under the domination of the one who “is a liar and the father of lies.”
The Christian is called “into the world, to testify to the truth” not only through a flawless life but by fighting error and evil.
It is to lose the peace of Christ: “my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.”
Confront the World and Combat its Malice
That does not mean that a Catholic must only flee from the world without fighting its malice: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.”
Instead, like his Savior, the Christian is called “into the world, to testify to the truth.”
This testimony must be given not only through a flawless life but by fighting error and evil.
That is why the Savior said: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.”
” For the word of God is living and effectual and more piercing than any two edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow: and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb:4:12)
The Voice of the World and the Voice of Christ
“There is no truth” in the prince of this world. “When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.”
He not only employs direct lie, as when he seduced Eve, but also ambiguity and deceitful words: “But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.”
The world accepts lies and ambiguity because “the whole world is under the power of the evil one.”
But those who belong to Christ do not allow themselves to be deceived: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Since He is the Incarnate Truth, his words are clear, tender toward the good and the repentant sinners, severe and even terrible to those hardened in evil: “You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires.”
The World in its Present Form Is Passing Away
Let us therefore not allow ourselves to be carried away by this world’s deceitful appearance. Its joy is false; it is “sorrow [that] produces death.” “For the world in its present form is passing away.” Eternity is the only thing that really counts, as “our citizenship is in heaven.”
Let us raise our eyes to Our Lady, Queen of Heaven and Earth, and to her Divine Son. “I have conquered the world” He said, and He will give us the necessary strength to resist the snares and attractions of the world.
The world enslaves and takes away “the liberty of the glory of the children of God.” Only the truth liberates, whereas lie and sin enslave.
In this tragic situation we are going through, in which vice is glorified and virtue oppressed, lie and ambiguity have free rein while truth and the evangelical language of “yea, yea: no, no” are despised, let us ask the One Who said “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world,” that He give us the necessary strength to resist the snares and attractions of the world.
Let us not be as the liberal Catholics that want to serve God and the prince of this world: because “’No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Resplendent intelligences, magnificent exponents of the infinite wisdom, power, and beauty of God; spiritual bodies, immortal, impassible, moving with a swiftness transcending that of light ; abiding in the immediate presence of God and radiant with the splendors shed over them by the Beatific Vision!
One moment of the silence born of awe then the full burst of praise, thanksgiving, adoration, from Archangels, Seraphim, Cherubim, Powers, Principalities; rank on rank, file on file, group weaving into group; hosannas mingling with alleluias, and the infinite sweetness of harmonious sounds has been born in heaven!
Such were the angels before a blast of defiance, as if there could be discord in heaven ? And, lo ! Lucifer, son of the morning, the most resplendent in all those ranks of shining ones, his place nearest to the Beatific Vision, its rainbows breaking over his wings, stands forth in open rebellion to his Maker, drawing with him a third part of the host of heaven. But that trumpet-blast is answered by a battle-cry : ” Who is like God? ” And Michael, next in beauty, next in majesty, leads his host against Lucifer, and Saint John tells us, in the Apocalypse,
…And there was a great battle in heaven : Michael and his angels fought with Lucifer and his angels ; but these last prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.” Lucifer was cast forth, and with him his angels ; and hell sprang into being by the same creative word which had called forth, to bliss, the angelic hosts ; while, as a reward for their fidelity, Michael and his angels, having used their free-will on the side of God, were confirmed by Him in their perfection, to be thenceforth incapable of sin.
The Three Archangels and the Guardian Angels in Art
Eliza Allen Starr (1899)
Prayer in Honor of The Holy Archangel Michael
HOLY Archangel Michael, glorious chief and champion of
the heavenly host, conqueror of the rebel angels, valiant
guardian of the souls of men, protector of the Church of God,
our worthy leader; vouchsafe to free us from every ill, aid us,
who have recourse to thee with full confidence, in all our necessities,
and by thy incomparable guidance and protection enable
us to make progress every day in the faithful service of our
Blessed Master, Jesus Christ. Amen.
…Then he saith to his disciples, The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few.
Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth labourers into his harvest.
There are four sets of Ember Days each calendar year; three days each – Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Ember Days fall at the start of a new season and they are ordered as days of fast and abstinence. The significance of the days of the week are that Wednesday was the day Christ was betrayed, Friday was the day He was crucified, and Saturday was the day He was entombed.
The Four Occurrences of Ember Days are as follows:
Winter: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of St. Lucy.
Spring: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Ash Wednesday.
Summer: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Pentecost.
Fall: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
They are called in the Liturgy, Quatuor Tempora (four times), because they occur four times a year. The origin of the English word “ember” used in this connection, is not quite clear. It may come from the Anglo-Saxon word “ymbren” meaning a circuit, used possibly to designate the circuit of the seasons, or it may be a corruption of the Latin words, or as some try to prove, it may have sprung from the ancient custom of eating nothing on these days until night and then only a small cake which was baked under the embers. This cake was called ember bread.
These days were instituted for the purpose of beginning the different seasons with prayer and penance, of asking God to preserve the fruits of the earth and thanking him for their abundance. Coming about the beginning or end of the seasons of the year they suggest an appropriate opportunity for praise and thanks to the Author of every best gift. We are indebted to divine providence for everything we possess. God has so created the world and framed natural laws that the earth brings forth fruit in richness, and affords a plentiful harvest for our wants and necessities. We must not be so presumptive as to think that the seed sprouts forth and the grain ripens at our bidding. True, we must co-operate with the designs of God. We must cultivate the soil and sow the seed and reap the harvest, but God gives the increase. St. Paul says: “Neither he that planteth is anything, nor he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. The custom, therefore, of giving thanks to God for the abundance of the things that nature produces is a most salutary one.
The Ember days were also instituted in connection with the ordination of priests and other ministers, which generally takes place during them, though they may be ordained at other times. The idea is that the whole Church is in prayer while Holy Orders are being conferred upon the priests and other ministers of God.
They are days of fast and abstinence, and prayer and thanksgiving. We should endeavor to enter into the spirit and carry out the purpose for which they were instituted. We should certainly fast and abstain. It would, moreover, be greatly in harmony with the spirit of the time to say the Litany of the Saints or some other appropriate prayers in thanksgiving to the divine bounty. As the whole Church is praying for those who are being ordained on these days, so we should also pray for them. We can go to Mass or receive Communion or say the Litanies for them.
Catholic Belief and Practice
James E. McGavick
Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands
The more the devil labors to destroy souls,
The more we will be inflamed with desire to save them,
O Heart of Jesus, zealous lover of souls!
“Even though our city leaders apparently do not take this threat seriously, I do” – Archbishop Coakley makes a final appeal before black mass this Sunday…
ACT OF ATONEMENT
O SACRED Heart of Jesus! humbly prostrate before
thee, we come to renew our consecration, with the
resolution of repairing by an increase of love and fidelity
toward thee, all the outrages unceasingly offered thee:
We solemnly promise
V. The more thy mysteries are blasphemed,
R. The more firmly we will believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!
V. The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hopes
R. The more we will trust in Thy Heart, sole hope of mortals !
V. The more hearts resist thy divine attractions,
R. The more we will love thee, O infinitely amiable Heart of Jesus!
V. The more thy divinity is attacked,
R. The more we will adore it, O Divine Heart of Jesus!
V. The more thy holy laws are forgotten and transgressed.
R. The more we will observe them, O most holy Heart of
V. The more thy sacraments are despised and abandoned,
R. The more we will receive them with love and respect,
O most liberal Heart of Jesus!
V. The more thy adorable virtues are forgotten,
R. The more we will endeavor to practise them, O Heart!
model of every virtue.
V. The more the devil labors to destroy souls,
R. The more we will be inflamed with desire to save them,
O Heart of Jesus, zealous lover of souls!
V. The more pride and sensuality tend to destroy abnegation
and love of duty,
R. The more generous we will be in overcoming ourselves,
O Heart of Jesus!
Jesus, make us such true apostles of Thy Heart, that
reparation to Thee may be our best reward. Amen.
Good Jesus, Who alone orderest all things well,
I cast myself upon Thine infinite, undeserved love:
I trust Thee with my all . . . myself, and all whom I love,
and all that I desire, my present and my future, my hopes, and my fears,
my time and my eternity, my joys and my sorrows.
Deal with me as Thou wiliest and knowest best,
Only bind me safe to Thine everlasting love !
The Divine Praises
BLESSED be God.
Blessed be His holy name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be His most sacred Heart.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and immaculate conception.
Blessed be the name of Mary, virgin and mother.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints.
The Pope, The Franciscan Friars (And Sisters) Of The Immaculate And Vatican II
by Fr. Peter Carota
The pope and the Vatican are unfairly suppressing the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate because they have rediscovered traditional Catholicism, the Latin Mass and find obvious problems with Vatican II.
Almost every Catholic bishop, priest, religious and laity today disagree with some part of what is contained in the documents of Vatican II. What I am referring to, is that they would not go along with the conservative aspects of Vatican II’s teachings. Most would say they have moved beyond Vatican II to be in sync with the “modern world”.
This is well know by most of us traditional Catholics. One simple example would be that Latin is to be retained as the official language of the Catholic Church and that the Novus Ordo Mass was to be said in Latin, except where it was “pastorally” prudent to say it in the vernacular. In the document “Sacrosanctum Concilium” # 36. 1, it states. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites. How many Catholics are in agreement with this? Maybe 3 % at the most.
When I was interviewed by Channel 12 News about Fr. Walker’s murder, I tried to help them understand that the Fraternity of St. Peter came out of the Society of St. Pius X and that Fr. Walker only offered the Latin Mass. I did this because my vocation is to spread love and respect for the Latin mass. In an article they wrote, they tried to explain what happened after Vatican II. One thing they said was that “The council also emphasized relationships with other religious groups and played down the teaching that the Catholic Church is the only means toward salvation, according to the Catholic Church.” az central, channel 12 news, The Arizona Republic.
I am explaining this so as to be able to understand what has happened with the Franciscan Friars (and now Sisters) of the Immaculate.
Anyone who loves God, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Bible, the saints, prayer, morals and the Catholic Church, instinctively knows that something went wrong in our church after Vatican II. Almost everyday, we see liturgical abuse and hear about sexual abuse. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi. How you pray will effect how you believe, and that will effect how you live.
So the Franciscan Friars couldn’t help but see problems all over the Catholic world and began to seek answers and solutions. They had a traditional beginning with Fr. Stefano Manelli’s association with the traditional Padre Pio. And out of their love of God, Mary, the Catholic Church and truth, they arrived at the point of questioning some of what is covered in the documents of Vatican II.
Again, I want to emphasize that almost every Catholic living today challenges some aspect of Vatican II, (especially in that it is not progressive enough). All of these Catholics are accepted and many are in high places. But if you are on the other side of the “pew”, a traditional Catholic, you are condemned for not going along with Vatican II.
Quite a while ago, I purchased from the Friar’s publishing company, Casa Mariana Editrice, the book by Mons. Brunero Gherardini; “The Ecumenical Vatican Council II, A Much Needed Discussion.” It is a very hard book to read, but worth every effort. Gherardini simply asked Pope Benedict XVI for a deep theological and hermeneutic explanations for what clearly seems to be contradictions between Catholic tradition and the Vatican II documents. There are even many contradictions right in the documents themselves.
Then, once Pope Benedict allowed every priest to say the Latin Mass with the Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, thousands and thousands of Catholics, including priests, rediscovered the “treasure” of the Latin Mass. And as you all already know, and especially you priests, once you offer or assist at the Holy Latin Mass while at the same time offer or assist at the Novus Ordo Mass, the scales fall from you eyes and your spiritual blindness is healed.
The Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate are a clear example of how the Holy Spirit is working in the Church today. Their fruits of the Holy Spirit in their community are 1) a deep love for God and 2) Devotion to Mary, 3) a clear love of Catholic biblical morals, 4) love for the 2000 years of Catholic tradition, 5) many young vocations, 6) living poverty and 7) serving the poor.
The pope, the Vatican can suppress them. But they cannot and will not suppress the working of the Holy Spirit. Love for God, Mary, biblical morals and sacred liturgical rites can be suppressed, but never every destroyed. The spirit of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters comes from the life bursting out of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Once and for all, Jesus died, but can be killed no more and He now lives forever. We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics.
Some helpful spiritual counsels from the stigmatist Capuchin priest, Padre Pio.
Today (September 17) is the Commemoration of the Stigmata of St. Francis, wherein we remember the miraculous impression of the sacred Wounds of Christ upon the body of the great mystic—the first ever to receive this honor.
From one of St. Francis of Assisi’s friars minor, Padre Pio (also privileged to bear the stigmata), we offer a compilation of counsels that the saintly Capuchin would give to those who came for advice.
Duty before everything else, even something holy.
Whenever necessary you must look without seeing, and see without thinking about it.
If Jesus reveals Himself, thank Him; if He hides Himself thank Him also. All is a pleasantry of His love.
Always do a little work. Work, therefore, and though you keep on advancing slowly, you will nevertheless go a long way.
Pray, hope and do not worry!
Only one thing is necessary: to lift up your spirit and love God.
The time best spent is that which is spent for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
Offset the Devil’s Work
Despise your temptations and do not dwell on them.
Walk in the way of the Lord with simplicity and do not torment your spirit.
Often kiss Jesus with affection and you will recompense Him for the sacrilegious kiss of the unfaithful Apostle, Judas.
The devil is like a rabid dog tied to a chain; beyond the length of the chain he cannot seize anyone. And you, keep your distance!
That which proceeds from God begins with a salutary fear and finishes with peace of mind. That which comes from Satan begins with calmness and ends in storm, indifference and apathy.
When there is not time for both, meditation is to be preferred to vocal prayer, because it is more fruitful.
Don’t draw back, and worse still, don’t stop going up the Calvary of life. Jesus will extend His hand to steady you.
If you want to assist at Mass with devotion and with fruit, think of the Sorrowful Mother at the feet of Calvary.
Let us bind ourselves rightly to the Sorrowful Heart of our heavenly Mother and reflect on its boundless grief and how precious is our soul.
Be firm in your resolutions; stay in the ship in which I placed you and let the storm come. Long live Jesus! You will not perish.
Walk amid wind and waves, but with Jesus. If fear strongly grips you, exclaim with St. Peter: “O Lord, save me!” He will extend His hand to you. Seize it firmly and walk cheerfully.
Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. writes of final impenitence and of deathbed conversions in his book. Life Everlasting: A Theological Treatise on the Four Last Things
Deathbed conversion, however difficult, is still possible. Even when we see no sign of contrition, we can still not affirm that, at the last moment, just before the separation of soul from body, the soul is definitively obstinate. A sinner may be converted at that last-minute in such fashion that God alone can know it. The holy Cure of Ars, divinely enlightened, said to a weeping widow: “Your prayer, Madame, has been heard. Your husband is saved. When he threw himself into the Rhone, the Blessed Virgin obtained for him the grace of conversion just before he died. Recall how, a month before, in your garden, he plucked the most beautiful rose and said to you, ‘Carry this to the altar of the Blessed Virgin.’ She has not forgotten.”
Other souls, too, have been converted in extremis, souls that could barely recall a few religious acts in the course of their life. A sailor, for example, preserved the practice of uncovering his head when he passed before a church. He did not know even the Our Father or the Hail Mary, but the lifting of his hat kept him from departing definitively from God.
In the life of the saintly Bishop Bertau of Tulle, friend of Louis Veuillot, a poor girl in that city, who had once been chanter in the cathedral, fell first into misery, then into misconduct, and finally became a public sinner. She was assassinated at night, in one of the streets of Tulle. Police found her dying and carried her to a hospital. While she was dying, she cried out: “Jesus, Jesus.” Could she be granted Church burial? The Bishop answered: “Yes, because she died pronouncing the name of Jesus. But bury her early in the morning without incense.” In the room of this poor woman was found a portrait of the holy Bishop, on the back of which was written: “The best of Fathers.” Fallen though she was, she still recognized the holiness of her bishop and preserved in her heart the memory of the goodness of Our Lord.
A certain licentious writer, Armand Sylvestre, promised his mother when she was dying to say a Hail Mary every day. He kept his promise. Out of the swamp in which he lived, he daily lifted up to God this one little flower. Pneumonia brought him to the hospital, served by religious, who said to him: “Do you wish a priest?” “Certainly,” he answered. And he received absolution, probably with sufficient attrition [imperfect contrition], through a special grace obtained for him by the Blessed Mother, though we can hardly doubt he underwent a long and heavy Purgatory.
Another French writer, Adolphe Rette, shortly after his conversion, which was sincere and profound, was struck by a sentence he read in the visitors’ book of the Carmelite Convent: “Pray for those who will die during the Mass at which you are going to assist.” He did so. Some days later he fell grievously ill, and was confined to bed in the hospital at Beaune, for many years, up to his death. Each morning he offered all his sufferings for those who would die during the day. Thus he obtained many deathbed conversions. We shall see in Heaven how many conversions there are in the world, owing to such prayers.
In the life of St. Catherine of Siena we read of the conversion of two great criminals. The Saint had gone to visit one of her friends. As they heard, in the street below, a loud noise, her friend looked through the window. Two condemned men were being led to execution. Their jailers were tormenting them with nails heated red-hot, while the condemned men blasphemed and cried. St. Catherine, inside the house, fell to prayer, with her arms extended in the form of a cross. At once the wicked men ceased to blaspheme and asked for a confessor. People in the street could not understand this sudden change. They did not know that a nearby Saint had obtained this double conversion.
Several years ago the chaplain in a prison in Nancy had the reputation of converting all criminals whom he had accompanied to the guillotine. On one occasion he found himself alone, shut up with an assassin who refused to go to Confession before death. The cart, with the condemned man, passed before the sanctuary of Our Lady of Refuge. The old chaplain prayed: “Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who had recourse to thy intercession was abandoned. Convert this criminal of mine: otherwise I will say that it has been heard that you have not heard.” At once the criminal was converted.
Return to God is always possible, up to the time of death, but it becomes more and more difficult as hard-heartedness grows. Let us not put off our conversion. Let us say every day a Hail Mary for the grace of a happy death.