Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Joy of Suffering

Image result for st teresa of avila quotes

It is certain that the present time is a time of much suffering.  One example that we have discussed very much on our blog has, of course, been the recent tragic natural disasters, the latest now being the great earthquakes in Italy.  As we know, however, the greatest example of suffering relevant to all good Catholics today is the great moral degradation of the world and the crisis of Faith in the Church. Everyone must also handle all of the little crosses that come our way every single day in this “vale of tears”.

Does this mean that we Catholics should put on a long face and mope around and complain that, “Oh, how things used to be so much better!”?  By no means!  As Fr. Paul O’Sullivan explains, God allows us to experience these sufferings that we may share a part in His Passion and be strengthened in Love!  By accepting God’s will in our trials, we will win the most glorious and beautiful crown of martyrdom!

I post the full article by Fr. O’Sullivan below.  May it be of much edification to our readers!

~Steven C., “The Knight of Tradition”

SUFFERING

How to Make the Greatest Evil in
Our Lives Our Greatest Happiness

by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, O.P.

Suffering is the great problem of human life. We all have to suffer. Sometimes small sorrows, sometimes greater ones fall to our share. We shall now tell our readers how to avoid much of this suffering, how to lessen all suffering and how to derive great benefits from every suffering we may have to bear.

The reason why suffering appears so hard is that, first of all, we are not taught what suffering is. Secondly, we are not taught how to bear it. Thirdly, we are not taught the priceless value of suffering.

This is due to the incomprehensible neglect on the part of our teachers.

It is surprising how easily some people bear great sufferings; whereas, others get excited even at the smallest trouble.

The simple reason is that some have been taught all about suffering; others have not.

SUFFERING IS NOT THE EVIL WE THINK IT IS

First of all, then, suffering is not simply an evil, for no one suffered more than the Son of God Himself, more than His Blessed Mother or more than the Saints. Every suffering comes from God. It may appear to come to us by chance or accident or from someone else, but in reality, every suffering comes to us from God. Nothing happens to us without His wish or permission. Not even a hair falls from our heads without His consent.

Why does God allow us to suffer? Simply because He is asking us to take a little share in His Passion. What appears to come by chance or from someone else always comes because God allows it.

Every act in Our Lord’s Life was a lesson for us. The greatest act in His life was His Passion. This, then, is the greatest lesson for us. It teaches us that we too must suffer.

God suffered all the dreadful pains of His Passion for each one of us. How can we refuse to suffer a little for love of Him?

SUFFERING IS THE GOLD IN OUR LIVES

Secondly, if we accept the suffering He sends us and offer them in union with His sufferings, we receive the greatest rewards. Five minutes’ suffering borne for love of Jesus is of greater value to us than years and years of pleasure and joy. The Saints tell us that if we patiently bear our sufferings, we merit the crown of martyrdom.

Moreover, suffering borne patiently brings out all that is good in us. Those who have suffered are usually the most charming people.

If we bear these facts clearly in mind, it certainly becomes much easier to suffer.

GOD ALWAYS GIVES STRENGTH TO BEAR OUR SUFFERINGS

Thirdly, when God gives us any suffering, He always gives us strength to bear it, if we only ask Him. Many, instead of asking for His help, get excited and revolt. It is this excitement and impatience that really make suffering hard to bear.

Consider that we are now speaking of all suffering, even the most trifling ones. All of us have little troubles, pains, disappointments, every day of our lives. All these, if borne for love of God, obtain for us, as we have said, the greatest rewards.

HOW TO BEAR SUFFERING

Even the greater sufferings that may fall to our share from time to time become easy to bear if we accept them with serenity and patience. What really makes suffering difficult to bear is our own impatience, our revolt, our refusal to accept it. This irritation increases our sufferings a hundred fold and, besides, robs us of all the merit we could have gained thereby.

We see some people pass through a tempest of suffering with the greatest calm and serenity; whereas, others get irritated at the slightest annoyance or disappointment. We can all learn this calm and patience. It is the secret of happiness.

An eminent physician, in a conference which he gave to distinguished scientists and fellow doctors, told them that he owed all his great success in life to the simple fact that he had corrected his habit of impatience and annoyance, which had been destroying all his energy and activity.

Everyone, we repeat, without exception, can learn this calm and serenity.

PENANCE

We must all do penance for our sins. If we do not, we shall have long years of suffering in the awful fires of Purgatory. This fire is just the same as the fire of Hell.

Now, if we offer our sufferings the very little ones as well as the greater ones-in union with the sufferings of Jesus Christ, we are doing the easiest and best penance we can perform. We may thus deliver ourselves entirely from Purgatory, While at the same time gaining the greatest graces and blessings.

Let us remember clearly that:

1) Sufferings come from God for our benefit.

2) When we are in the state of grace, we derive immense merit from every suffering borne patiently, even the little sufferings of our daily lives.

3) God will give us abundant strength to bear our sufferings if we only ask Him.

4) If we bear our sufferings patiently, they lose their sting and bitterness.

5) Above all, every suffering is a share in the Passion of Our Lord.

6) By our sufferings, we can free ourselves in great part, or entirely, from the pains of Purgatory.

7) By bearing our sufferings patiently, we win the glorious crown of martyrdom.

Of course, we may do all in our power to avoid or lessen our sufferings, but we cannot avoid all suffering. Therefore, it is clearly necessary for us to learn how to bear them.

In a word, we must understand clearly that if we remain calm, serene and patient, suffering loses all its sting, but the moment we get excited, the smallest suffering increases a hundred fold.

It is just as if we had a sore arm or leg and rubbed it violently; it would become irritated and painful; whereas, if we touch it gently, we soothe the irritation.

We suffer from ill-health, from pains, headaches, rheumatism, arthritis, from accidents, from enemies. We may have financial difficulties. Some suffer for weeks in their homes, some in hospitals or nursing homes. In a word, we are in a vale of tears. Almighty God could have saved us from all suffering, but He did not do so because He knows in His infinite goodness that suffering is good for us.

PRAYER

We have a great, great remedy in our hands, that is, prayer. We should pray earnestly and constantly asking God to help us to suffer, to console us. or if it pleases Him. to deliver us from suffering. This is all, all important.

A very eminent doctor, in an able article he recently published in the secular press, says that “Prayer is the greatest power in the world.”

He says, “I and my colleagues frequently see that many of our patients, whom we have failed to cure or whose pains we have failed to alleviate, have cured themselves by prayer. I speak now not of the prayers of holy people, but the prayers of ordinary Christians.”

We should above all pray to Our Lady of Sorrows in all our troubles. We should ask her, by the oceans of sorrow she felt during the Passion of Our Lord, to help us.

God gave her all the immense graces necessary to make her the perfect Mother of God, but He also gave her all the graces, the tenderness, the love necessary to be our most perfect and loving Mother. No mother on earth ever loved a child as Our Blessed Lady loves us. Therefore, in all our troubles and sorrows, let us go to Our Blessed Lady with unbounded confidence.

THE MEMORARE

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother. To thee do I come, before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer them. Amen.

Historic Flood impacts Baton Rouge SSPX Parish

The Church got 6 inches of water.

Please remember my pastor, Fr. Greig Gonzalez, in your prayers. He spends himself for the salvation of our souls and is the most dedicated, zealous and loving Priest I have ever had the privilege to know. I dedicate this little section to him, thanking him for making our Louisiana parishes the best they can be. I love you, Father. ~Signed, “The Pastor’s Pest”

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/historic-flooding-strikes-sspx-parish

My SSPX parish, Our Lady of Sorrows in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was significantly damaged in the recent South Louisiana Historic Flood. Please keep us all in your prayers. I have quoted the entire SSPX news article below. I have highlighted and italicized the portion dealing with my family in particular. Out of the 4 families of my parish affected by this flood, we were the only ones with flood insurance, for which we are very thankful. Our parish is strong in faith and devotion.  Together we will get through this present trial.  My beloved chapel has been the great light in my Catholic life.  Therein I’ve received the greatest graces and blessings from the Sacraments, devotions and the sermons and love of our Priest, Fr. Gonzalez. It’s difficult to see it in this condition, but we will restore it and make it more beautiful than ever, with the help of God! I ask your prayers for my fellow traditional Catholics of Our Lady of Sorrows who have lost everything and been so greatly affected, as well as the many thousands in South Louisiana, who have also lost everything to this monumental flood. Thank you.

A few words from the Knight of Tradition:

Through the trial of this great South Louisiana flood, I am comforted by these two quotes:

If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint. – St. Ignatius Loyola

“If you really want to love Jesus, first learn to suffer, because suffering teaches you to love.” – St. Gemma Galgani

We must never forget that if God allows such an event like this to occur, it is so that a far greater good may come out of it. While some good fruits may not be immediately foreseen and may require the virtue of patience, there is something truly wonderful to be gained right now! As the Damsel and I know, there are many good, dear parishioners at our Louisiana parishes! How we love them all! God is providing us a very special opportunity- if we accept these sufferings with love and perseverance, then we will all become very great saints! We will really and truly love Our Lord Jesus Christ and share in a very special way in his Passion! If it seems especially difficult to properly offer these trials, then we should seek the good love and charity of others and above all, pray!  Tell God everything. He knows exactly what we need!  All He wants is that we ask with a childlike trust!

I am very pleased to see the progress of all of the recovery efforts and personally, those of Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel and of the Damsel’s family home!  I know everything will turn out just fine, as is already looking to be the case! Let us keep our trust and good cheer and continue on together!

Historic Flooding Strikes SSPX Parish

August 26, 2016

District of the USA

As we follow news of the massive flooding in Louisiana, we focus our attention on a small church and its parishioners who have been affected.

View a Photo Gallery of Our Damaged Church

While residents of Louisana are generally used to rain, hurricanes, and the occasional flood, nothing has prepared them for this year’s flooding in the southern half of the state. The raw facts are staggering:

  • 60,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed
  • 160,000 families affected
  • 6.9 trillion gallons of rainfall in one week
  • Historic occurence of a flood this size: 500 years
  • 31.5 inches of rainfall in one community in one day

With these global numbers in mind, we have been in contact with our two parishes in Louisiana that have been affected, Our Lady of Sorrows in Baton Rouge, and Our Lady of Grace in Kenner (New Orleans). If you attend these parishes, please take note of the new temporary mass times and locations. We have posted them on our chapels pages, as well as at the end of this article.

We spoke on the phone with the parish coordinator at Our Lady of Sorrows in Baton Rouge, to get a sense of the conditions on the ground in his town and at our parish.

Impact to Our Parishioners

That we know of so far, four of our families’ homes were severely damaged or destroyed. One unfortunate family had five feet of water in their home for almost a week, causing the sheet rock to simply desintegrate. They returned to the awful site of their home’s contents in a massive, mildewed heap, coated in the gypsum board. Our families are, as one would expect, typically large, causing chaos and hardship especially on the children at the start to an academic year.

Of our four parishioners who were so greatly impacted, three had no flood insurance – a logical financial choice, given the extraordinarily slim probability (the 500-year time period mentioned above) that a flood would hit their given location. Our fourth family did, thankfully, have coverage, but it seems not for their contents. While here at the District House we have no particulars about their situations, we can only surmise that this act of God will cause a near-total financial loss for these families.

In the coming days, we will be setting up guidelines for those who have the means and desire to assist these families, and to hopefully mitigate their hardship.  And while financial charity is a necessary thing, we also ask for your spiritual charity, to give these families the strength, resilience, and acceptance to work through this trial – truly not unlike that of Job in the Old Testament.

A historic flood

Beyond the parishioners mentioned above, there is almost no one in the town of Baton Rouge who isn’t affected in some way or another.  If a family has been fortunate enough to stay in their home, they know 5 other families who are displaced. This flood has been called the “500 Year Flood”, due to its breadth and far-reaching effects. Areas that have never flooded before are under several inches, even feet of water. For this reason, the infrastructure – and even the earth itself – is simply not equipped to handle the massive quantities of water, causing the floodwater to slowly rise and backfill to an even-larger footprint.

Families who live near the rivers were struck with the initial flooding as expected, then moved back to repair the damage – but this flood doesn’t just hit once. Water flowing from other areas will arrive a second, or third time, causing extensive damage and even multiple evacuations. To understand the dynamics at play, imagine a baking dish half-filled with water slowly tipping back and forth. The groundwater is acting very similarly in this low-lying state, struggling to find an equillibrium, and flooding as it goes. Beyond this, the water that is flooding most areas is drainage water, backwater, or sewage; not just silty river water.

Impact at Our Lady of Sorrows

Photo Gallery of Damage

It is in this environment that Our Lady of Sorrows parish found itself, and it was not spared the flood. The entire area was closed to traffic, so it was not for several days that parishioners were able to re-enter and see that the water had risen 6 inches into the church. While the exterior and some interior walls are brick, and have remained undamaged, the same cannot be said for the interior.

All the flooring has been ripped out, and anything that was below the water level and was not solid wood or metal is destroyed. The carpet runner up to the sanctuary had to be cut into pieces and drug off it was so heavy with saturated water. Sheet rock and paneling has been cut out at the two-foot mark to prevent mold growth. Anything that was stored on the floor has been destroyed, including potentially two pianos and an organ that was mid-repair.

A major concern was the more than century-old altar. While it was raised above the floor on three steps as is traditional, the platform’s interior supports and insulation were completely saturated, causing fears that the altar would have to be disassembled and moved – something no one had done in the parish’s memory. Thankfully, the flood’s damage had a bright spot – the ability to easily access the space through the back wall of the sanctuary, via the anterior rooms.

In other rooms of the church building, the same damage was experienced. File cabinets for parish records have begun to rust, not to mention the contents inside. The sacristy cabinets and vestment drawers had to be removed or cut. Many of the vestments and other liturgical items were also impacted; even if one cassock was dipping into the water, it would wick up the length of the garment, and soak into other items.  Thankfully, these items can be cleaned and the parish anticipates they will be mostly undamaged in the long term.

In short, throughout the entirety of this rather large building, measuring 40 by 120 feet, almost everything that was on or near the ground has been destroyed.

However, in this damage and desolation, Our Lady provided two bits of consolation to her parish. First, the coordinators were able to call professional cleaning and flood restoration services early enough before they were engaged in other areas, giving the parish a jump start in regards to clean up.  Massive professional-grade air movers were just removed today after several days of constant use, the building has been stabilized, and is now mostly dry. Barring another unforseen rise in water, the church has survived its worst.

Second, and most importantly, the parish just renewed its insurance, with complete flood coverage.  While the claims and adjustment period may yield any result, there is anticipation that the structural repairs and most of the contents will be under the coverage.

It is with this sense of consolation in the midst of a tragic circumstance that we request your prayers for our parishes and families, and humbly ask Our Blessed Mother for her continued intercession.

Revised Mass Times & Locations Until Further Notice

BATON ROUGE       
Our Lady of Sorrows
Sunday Mass at 7:00AM with confessions 45 min prior to Mass
Temp. Mass location:  
Resthaven Funeral Home
11817 Jefferson Highway
Baton Rouge, LA  70816
Contact  225-937-4388

KENNER (New Orleans)
Our Lady of Grace
Sunday 1  Mass at  10:30AM
(Same location)

 

 

 

Our Lady’s special privilege

Damsel of the Faith here. Thank you all for your continued prayers.  Please keep them up for South Louisiana.

In honor of Our Lady’s Assumption, whose glorious Solemnity and Feast has just recently passed, I quote some words of the Blessed Virgin to Ven. Mary of Agreda on her death and the special privilege she gives to her children:

“My daughter, besides what thou hast understood and written of my glorious Transition, I wish to inform thee of another privilege, which was conceded to me by my divine son in that hour. Thou hast already recorded, that the Lord offered me the choice of entering into beatific vision with or without passing through the portals of death. … I chose death freely in order to imitate and follow Him. … Since I had seen my Son and true God die, I would not have satisfied the love I owe Him, if I had refused death, and I would have left a great gap in my conformity to and my imitation of my Lord, the God-man, whereas He wished me to bear a great likeness to Him in His most sacred humanity. … Hence my choosing to die was so pleasing to Him, and my prudent love therein obliged Him to such an extent, that in return, He immediately conceded to me a singular favor for the benefit of the children of the Church… It was this, that all those devoted to me, who should call upon me at the hour of death, constituting me as their Advocate in memory of my happy Transition and of my desiring to imitate Him in death, shall be under my special protection in that hour, shall have me as a defense against the demons, as a help and protection, and shall be presented by me before the tribunal of His mercy and there experience my intercession. In consequence the Lord gave me a new power and commission and He promised to confer great helps of His grace for a good death and for a purer life on all those who, in veneration of this mystery of my precious death, should invoke my aid.”

True Friendship

 

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson noted that true friendship “is the only cement that will ever hold the world together”.  As the modern world falls apart around us, causing ever more conflict and bitterness, we might question whether indeed such friendships exist in good numbers today.

Good Christians have the best and dearest example of a true friend in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  In John 15:15, for example, He addresses His disciples as such:

“I will not now call you servants: for the servant knoweth not what his lord doth. But I have called you friends: because all things whatsoever I have heard of my Father, I have made known to you. ”

In John 15:12, Our Lord commands us “that you love one another, as I have loved you.”  We are called to practice Our Lord’s dear example of Friendship.  And what did Our Lord do for His friends?  He went through the most excruciating Passion and Death, in the greatest and most terrible of sufferings that any of us could ever undergo.  He did so for the reason that all of His friends could enjoy the great Kingdom prepared by His Father for them for all Eternity.  So great was Our Lord’s generosity that He even suffered His Passion and Death for those who did not accept Him, in the hopes that all men would become His friends and be saved.

If there are indeed few friendships in today’s world, it is because of a lack of a spirit of sacrifice.  Sacrifice is the essence of a true and loving friendship.  One might feel tempted to object: “But it is such a pleasure to have such wonderful friends!  It is not sacrifice!”  Well, Heaven never commanded that sacrifice be such a painful burden.  On the contrary, true sacrifice is joyful!  Even if there may be much pain surrounding our sacrifices, we accept God’s will and offer everything up to Him, for love of Him.  There is always at least that element of joy in every true sacrifice.

The sacrifice in a true friendship is the withholding of love for one’s self and wholeheartedly sharing this love with another.  This can be especially necessary in a time of a trial for our friend, when he needs much consoling and encouragement and care.  One truly knows who his friends are in the most difficult of times.

I will now share with you all some beautiful quotes from great saints regarding this innocent and noble joy of life:

St. Francis de Sales-  “There is not a man who has a heart more tender and more open to friendship than mine or who feels more keenly than I do the pain of separation from those I love.”

St. Therese de Lisieux- “When I entered Carmel, I found in the novitiate a companion about eight years older than I was. In spite of the difference of age, we became the closest friends; and to encourage an affection that gave promise of fostering virtue, we were allowed to converse together.”

St. Teresa of Avila to Don Francisco de Salcedo: “Please God you will live until I die; then I shall ask God to summon you promptly, lest I should be without you in Heaven.”

St. Augustine to St. Jerome: “O that it were possible to enjoy sweet and frequent converse with you; if not by living with you at least by living near you.”

From The Mirror of Perfection, during the time of St. Francis of Assisi’s death: “The Lady Clare, fearing she would die before him, wept most bitterly and would not be comforted, for she thought that she would not see before her departure her Comforter and Master.”

This post is dedicated to the Damsel, who remains always the kindest and most selfless friend to so many, and the dearest inspiration to all!

~ Steven C., “The Knight of Tradition

From the Damsel regarding the Louisiana flood

 

 

Hello everyone!

Thank you all SO MUCH for your prayers and support! My house got 20 inches of water and most of my belongings are fine. Very happy about my religious items, my clothes and my computer. So many blessings to count. We are fortunate to have flood insurance which will take care of the house.  As for appliances and furniture, we’ll have to rely on God and the goodness of others.  As there will be much to do, posts from myself will be kept on hold. Please continue to pray for us that our house will be restored and refurbished. Also, for some of the parishioners of Our Lady of Sorrows, SSPX Chapel, in Baton Rouge, some of whom have lost everything, literally.  As for the chapel, praise God, it only got 6 inches of water.

God is good, of course, to protect His dwelling, His temple, His tabernacle and our only refuge in this disaster.

Please pray for my state. I am blessed but for others it’s a disaster like no other. This truly was unprecedented. And for myself, it’s still so unbelievable and catastrophic.

God bless you all!

The Dogma of the Assumption

A holy and blessed Feast of the Assumption to our dear readers!  I post below this excellent and informative article from SSPX USA:   http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/assumption-blessed-virgin-mary

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

August 12, 2016

District of the USA

A brief liturgical and theological account of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

August 15 marks the Feast of the Assumption, the principal Marian celebration of the liturgical year. Pope Pius XII, in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus, declared infallibly that the Feast of the Assumption is a dogma.

Here is a further account of this definition, as provided in the sixth reading from Matins according to the Breviarium Romanum.

Since indeed the universal Church hath at all times and throughout the ages manifested faith in the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and since the Bishops of the whole world by an almost unanimous agreement have petitioned that this truth, which is enshrined in Sacred Scripture and deeply rooted in the souls of Christ’s faithful, and is also truly in accord with other revealed truths, should be defined as a dogma of the divine and Catholic Faith, Pope Pius XII, acceding to the requests of the whole Church, decreed that this privilege of the Blessed Virgin Mary be solemnly proclaimed, and thus, on the first day of November of the year of the Great Jubilee, nineteen hundred and fifty, at Rome, in the open square before the Basilica of St. Peter, surrounded by a throng of many Cardinals and Bishops of the Holy Roman Church who had come from distant parts of the earth, and before a great multitude of the faithful, with the whole Catholic world rejoicing, proclaimed in these words and with infallible statement the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven: Wherefore, having offered to God continual prayers of supplication, and having invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, to the glory of Almighty God who hath enriched the Virgin Mary with his special favor; in honor of his Son, the immortal King of ages and victor over sin and death; for the increase of the glory of the same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the whole Church, by the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma that: The Immaculate Mother of God, Mary ever Virgin, was, at the end of her earthly life, assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

Although certain non-Catholics have attempted to deny the historicity of this miraculous event on the basis that it is not contained in Scripture, Holy Tradition and the writings of many Fathers, including Ss. John Damascus, Andrew of Crete, Modestus of Jerusalem, and Gregory of Tours, overturn such objections. Moreover, Eastern and Western liturgical history testifies to the feast’s early celebration. For example, according to the Life of St. Theodosius the Cenobiarch, the Assumption of Mary was celebrated in Palestine in the fifth century. This celebration quickly made its way westward so that by the time of Pope Sergius I’s reign between the years 687 and 701, the feast was held with much solemnity in Rome.

Among Eastern Catholics following the Byzantine Rite, this feast is known as the Dormition (“Falling Asleep”) of the Mother of God and was historically preceded by a 14-day period of fasting and abstinence. While some polemically minded Eastern Orthodox have attempted to pit the “Greek Feast” of the Dormition against the “Latin Feast” of the Assumption, let it be recalled that these feasts celebrate the same event, only with slightly different theological understandings.

For while Pius XII’s dogmatic definition left open the question of whether or not the Blessed Virgin experienced an earthly death before being assumed into Heaven, Eastern Christian interpretation of this event holds that Our Lady first underwent death prior to her Son receiving her soul and taking her soul and resurrected body up to Heaven. Many Latin Catholics, however, hold to the equally permissible view that Mary was assumed into Heaven without undergoing death. Despite these different opinions, all Catholics—Eastern and Western—affirm in full that Our Lady’s body and soul ultimately reside with her Son in Heaven.

In closing, let us reflect on how both the Collect for the Mass of the Assumption and the Troparion (primary liturgical hymn) of the Divine Liturgy of the Dormition honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in joy and truth.

Almighty, everlasting God, Who took up, body and soul, the immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of Thy Son, into heavenly glory, grant, we beseech Thee, that, always devoting ourselves to heavenly things, we may be found worthy to share in her glory.

In giving birth thou didst preserve thy virginity, and in thy falling asleep thou hast not forsaken the world, O Mother of God. Thou hast been translated to life as thou art the Mother of Life. And by thy supplications thou dost deliver our souls from death.”

I also provide this selection from Fr. Leonard’s Goffine’s wonderful book, The Church’s Year:

Why is this feast so called?

Because on this day the Blessed Virgin was taken up into heaven.

Why are plants and fruits blessed on this day?

The Church does this to manifest her joy at the glorious victory which Mary achieved over death, the world and the devil, and at her splendid triumph when she, adorned with virtues as with so many flowers, entered heaven; and that God may so sanctify and bless the plants and fruits, that their use may serve to our welfare.

At the Introit of the Mass, the Church invites us to universal joy by singing: Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festal day in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for whose Assumption the angels rejoice, and give praise to the Son of God. My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. (Ps. XLIV.) Glory &c.

COLLECT Pardon, Lord, we beseech Thee, the transgressions of Thy servants: that we, who by our own deeds are unable to please Thee, may be saved by the intercession of the Mother of Thy Son our Lord. Through the same &c.

EPISTLE (Ecclus. XXIV. 11 — 20.) In all things I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord. Then the creator of all things commanded, and said to me; and he that made me rested in my tabernacle, and said to me: Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in my elect. And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem. And I took root in an honorable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints. I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a cypress-tree on Mount Sion. I was exalted like a palm-tree in Cades, and as a rose-plant in Jericho. As a fair olive-tree in the plains, and as a plane-tree by the water in the streets was I exalted. I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon and aromatic balm: I yielded a sweet odor like the best myrrh.

EXPLANATION The Holy Ghost uses these words in praise of eternal wisdom, but the Church applies them to Mary also, to describe the glory and splendor of her assumption. Mary found her rest only in God, the Creator of all things, who created her, and preserved her from, original sin, and lived in her womb as in a tabernacle. On this day God seems to say to her: “Possess the abode destined for thee from all eternity, and the inheritance designed for thee as the first of the elect.” Thus Mary is exalted as Queen of the saints and angels in the heavenly Sion; and now in this holy city, she enjoys an undisturbed peace with God, shares His happiness with Him, and is second only to Him in power and glory; there she shines in the most radiant garments, like the ever-blooming rose of Jericho, from there she lets flow upon the wretched children of Adam the oil of her mercy as from a fair olive-tree, shades them with her protection like a plane-tree, and refreshes them with the sweet fragrance of her virtue and grace.

GOSPEL (Luke x. 38—42.) AT THAT TIME, Jesus entered into a certain town: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house: and she had a sister called Mary, who sitting also at the Lord’s feet heard his word. But Martha was busy about much serving: who stood and said: Lord, hast thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? Speak to her, therefore, that she help me. And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things. But, one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Why does the Church cause this gospel to be read today?

Because it can be well applied to Mary, who more worthily and tenderly even than Martha, received, nourished and served the Son of God, and more fervently and attentively than even Martha’s sister, listened to His words, preserved them in her heart and sought to fulfil them. In both ways has she chosen the best of all parts, because in both she walked in perfection, and so gained the greatest of rewards which can never be taken from her.

What may we learn from these two sisters?

That like Martha, who is a type of active, stirring life, we should be energetic in performing the duties of our vocation, but not on that account forget to practice good works, to do all for the love of God, seeking in all things His pleasure, and, since we can no longer administer to Christ in a material way, we should serve the poor, of whom He says that whatever we do to the least of them, He will consider and reward as if done to Himself. We are also like Mary who represents the contemplative life, to be fervent in prayer, in listening and meditating upon the word of God, upon the divine Majesty, its perfections and our frailty, thus to sanctify ourselves and to become more worthy of eternal happiness. This contemplative life Christ calls the better part, but does not, therefore, set aside the active life. We can easily unite both, but must never lose sight of the better part.

Why does Jesus reproach Martha?

Because she was uneasy and distracted by her over-carefulness and anxiety, and forgot to hear the divine word. — Thus do many Christians who find no time to work for the salvation of their soul, and even during divine service and the sermon are thinking of their domestic affairs, and so leave the church without having gained anything for their soul.

What is the one thing necessary?

To seek the glory of God and the salvation of our soul. He who attends to this; attends to all his duties, he is busy and active, but not uneasy and disturbed, and calmly directs his mind to God in all his labors, offers his every step to Him, and draws His grace upon himself.

PETITION. Would that I had better attended to the one thing necessary! Unhappy hours which I have squandered for the world, its vanities and pleasures! Where are you now? What shall I have from you in eternity but sorrow and desolation? Could I but call back my wasted life? But since that cannot be, give me Thy grace, I beseech Thee, O most beneficent God, to pass the remaining years of my life wholly in Thy service, and work above all and only for the affairs of my soul.

THOUGHTS OF ST. BERNARD ON THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY

ON this day the glorified Virgin entered heaven and crowned by her presence the holy pleasures of its inhabitants. But what mind can conceive the glory with which the arrival of the Queen of the world was celebrated by the brilliant heavenly hosts, their advance to greet her, their chanting as they led her to the magnificent throne? Who can fancy the tender gaze, the loving countenance, the divine caresses with which she was received by her Son and placed over all created beings, honored as became such a mother, with the glory that became such a Son? What lips can describe the assumption of Mary? As upon earth she, before all others, received special grace, so in heaven she, before all others, receives special glory. If eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to know the delights that God has prepared for those that love Him, who shall say what is prepared for her who bore Him and loved Him more than all! O blessed art thou, Mary! Most blessed wert thou, when thou didst receive the Saviour; most blessed art thou, when the Saviour receives thee!

ST. BERNARD’S PRAYER TO MARY 

We accompany thee, on this day, with our most ardent wishes to thy Son, O glorious Virgin, Queen of heaven! and follow thee from afar, O happy Virgin! Give thy mildness to the world, give of the grace thou hast found with God. Obtain by thy blessed intercession, grace for the guilty, recovery for the sick, strength for the faint-hearted, aid for those in peril! Dispense to us thy servants, who on this glorious festival-day invoke thy sweetest name, O gentlest Queen, the grace of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord and God, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

~ Steven C., “The Knight of Tradition”

Please pray for the Damsel

Many of our readers may have heard about the unprecedented floods that have impacted much of the Southern U.S.  Unfortunately, these floods have impacted the family home and neighborhood of my dear friend, Damsel of the Faith.  She does not know yet how much water entered her house, but I can assure you all that the Damsel herself is doing okay and has her basic needs provided for until she can return to her neighborhood.  I am in contact with the Damsel often and admire how well she has taken this present trial, but she does need our love and prayers.  She very much appreciates all of the prayers I know you will offer for her.

Although it is true that everything at risk here is in fact material, we all can sympathize with the idea of not knowing exactly how much one’s property and belongings have been affected and not being able to do much about it at the present time.  She is especially concerned about her spiritual items.  Over the last several years, the Damsel has formed an amazing collection of Catholic books and religious articles.  She also has the most beautiful Altar in her bedroom for Our Lord and Our Lady.  It is our prayer that the waters only affected these items minimally, but may God’s Holy Will be done.  I know He will take care of the Damsel.

Because of these important matters that the Damsel has to tend to, she considered shutting down the blog briefly until she had time to post regularly again.  However, I have offered to take care of the blog in her absence and will be posting at exactly the same rate we always have.  She has graciously allowed me to do so.

As I begin to fill in for the Damsel as she takes a brief hiatus, I’d like to share with you all a little about her and how we came to meet each other:

I first learned about Damsel of the Faith through her comments on Catholic Truth Scotland and by her courageous letter to Fr. Paul Nicholson in defense of Fr. Gruner.  Her blog almost immediately became my very favorite.  I was impressed very much by her strong zeal and love for the Faith, while noting how wonderfully she defended our beloved Catholic traditions!  I was also touched by the beautiful charity shown in every one of the posts and comments she authors, and by well she conducted herself with others, a true Catholic lady!  I hoped to one day be able to meet her at the Ordinations, Angelus Press Conference, etc., and tell her how much I appreciated her blog!

After faithfully reading her blog for a while, however, I realized that not only was the Damsel exactly my age(I was amazed at how someone our age could write like this, and so beautifully too!), but that she also lived only an hour away from me!  Even better, there was soon to be a family picnic of the two SSPX Louisiana parishes!  I thought surely that the Damsel would want to attend an event like this.  Sure enough, I recognized her and summoned enough courage to ask her if she, in fact, was the Damsel of the Faith.  We immediately became the best of friends!

For those of you who are so unfortunate as to have never met the Damsel, I can assure you that she is everything her blog would suggest and much more!  She is one of the kindest persons I have ever known and has the most inspiring zeal and love for the Church!  She is also very active in her parish and is so well-loved by those who know her!  I am indeed a very blessed and honored Knight.

Although I am very saddened to see such a trial come upon our dear Damsel, I am confident that God has a reason for permitting this.  When God permits these sufferings to happen to the good, He only wishes us to become great saints!  By offering our trials to Our Lord and Our Lady, one can save so many souls and make the best reparation for the sinful acts of men, especially those against the Immaculate Heart!  One will also, of course, earn such a reward in Heaven that is infinitely inestimable to us on Earth!  God would never permit these trials if a far greater good could not come out of them!

So, in conclusion, I will temporarily be writing all of the new posts and will respond to questions and comments as I see fit.  The Damsel and I are dedicated to fighting for our beloved Catholic Tradition, without compromise, and I pray that I may do so here as I assume this duty.  We are very grateful for the support of our readers, as we near 70,000 views.  May God bless you all!  And please pray for the Damsel!

~ Steven C., “The Knight of Tradition”