Tag Archives: Sermon

The Joy of Suffering

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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.

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St. Anne, Mother of Our Lady

  

 

A meditation from Fr. Francis Xavier Weinger, 1877 on this Feast of St. Anne, the Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Grandmother of Jesus Christ:

St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin, was a native of Bethlehem, a city two miles distant from Jerusalem, frequently mentioned in Holy Writ. Having passed her youth in unstained purity, she was married to a man named Joachim, who was born at Nazareth in Galilee, with whom she lived in such love and harmony, and at the same time so piously, that one could justly say of them what St. Luke writes of Zachary and Elizabeth: “They were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame.” They divided their income into three parts, the first of which was used for the honor of God and to adorn the Temple, the second to assist the poor, and the third for their own subsistence. They employed the day in prayer, work suitable to their station in life, and charitable deeds.

Their only grief was, that, although so long married, they had no issue; and a barren marriage was at that time considered a disgrace, nay almost a sign of a divine curse. Saddened by this sorrow, St. Anne, as well as her spouse, prayed with many sighs and tears, that God would take pity on them and remove the disgrace that was weighing them down. But when, after having prayed long and earnestly, they were not heard, they determined to bear patiently the will of the Almighty. As, however, St. Anne knew that God required continual prayer, and that He had not given to men a certain time to ask for grace, she ceased not to implore heaven with great confidence, for all that she believed was for His honor and her own salvation. Being one day in the Temple, she felt her distress so deeply, that she wept bitterly, but she remembered, at the same time, that there had been another Anne, spouse of Elcana, who had been afflicted as she was, but whose prayers God at last had answered, making her the mother of the great prophet Samuel. While thinking of this, she perceived in herself an invincible desire to beg the Lord for a like grace. Hence she repeated her prayer with earnest fervor, promising at the same time, that if God would grant her a child, she would consecrate it in the Temple to His divine service, as the above-mentioned Anne had done.

God answered the trusting, tearful prayer of His servant, and sent her, according to the opinion of the Holy Fathers, an angel, who announced to her that she would give birth to a child which, blessed among women, would become the mother of the long expected Saviour of the world. It is also believed that the angel told St. Anne the name which she should give to the blessed fruit of her womb. The same revelation was made to St. Joachim, and the happiness of both and their gratitude to the Almighty can be easily imagined. Their happiness was crowned when St. Anne gave birth to her who was elected by God from all eternity to become the mother of His only Son. Who can describe the joy with which Anne pressed her newborn child to her heart, or the solicitude and love with which she brought it up? The knowledge that her blessed daughter was chosen by God to so great a dignity was incentive enough to have nothing undone for her welfare. The mind of the blessed child was so far beyond her years, and her whole being so angelically innocent, that her education was an easy task, and St. Anne deemed herself the happiest mother in the world, because God had entrusted to her so priceless a child. The graces which, through the presence of the Blessed Virgin, she received from Heaven, cannot but have been innumerable. For if, in after times, the house of Elizabeth and Zachary was, by a visit from Mary, filled with heavenly blessings, who can doubt that St. Anne, who was the mother of the Blessed Virgin, was gifted with extraordinary graces?

Knowing, however, that Mary was not only a precious treasure lent her by heaven, but also had consecrated herself to the service of the Almighty, St. Anne did not fail to return to God what she had received from Him and to offer willingly what she had so willingly promised. Hardly had Mary reached the age of three years, when Anne and Joachim went with her to the temple at Jerusalem, and presenting her to the Priest, consecrated her through him to the Almighty. Nothing could have been more painful to the pious parents than to separate from so perfect a child; but as they were more zealous for the glory of God than for their own joy, even though it was so pious, they made this sacrifice without complaining. Thus Mary was received among the number of those who, under the direction of the priests, served God in the Temple, and were led in the path of virtue. After they had piously offered this agreeable sacrifice, the parents of the Blessed Virgin returned home, and spent the remainder of their days in good works, which were continued by St. Anne, when she became a widow by the death of her holy spouse. As she had been an example to the virgins before her marriage, as well as a perfect model of a wife, so also was she in her widowhood, a shining light, for all those qualities which St. Paul afterwards required of a Christian widow, in his first Epistle to Timothy. She went frequently to Jerusalem to see her holy daughter, and died, according to several authors, in the 79th year of her age. Mary, who at that time still lived in the temple, closed her eyes.

As one cannot give to the Blessed Virgin a higher title than to call her Mother of God, thus St. Anne cannot be more exalted than when she is called the mother of her who bore the Son of God. And for the very reason that she was chosen to be her mother, we must believe that the Almighty favored her here upon earth, with grace above all the Saints, and raised her to high glory in heaven. Hence we may rightly suppose, that her intercession with God is most powerful; and this is also testified by many examples.

Practical Considerations

When St. Anne perceived that, notwithstanding her many prayers, the Almighty gave her no issue, she submitted to His divine will, and bore her trial with patience. Thus also should Christian people act, when God proves them in a similar manner, for all He does is the best for them. He has His reasons for acting thus, and these reasons are just. Perhaps they would go to perdition if they had children, as many a parent sins greatly in regard to his children, and is condemned on their account. When St. Anne at length received from God what she had so constantly prayed for during many years, she gave due thanks to Him, educated her daughter piously, and early consecrated her to the service of Heaven. Thus should all Christian parents act. Their greatest care should be to teach their children early to serve God and bring them up for heaven. If one of their children has a calling for a religious life, they must not oppose it, nor, by any unrighteous means, keep the child from it. St. Anne deprived herself of the great comfort which her daughter’s presence gave her, when for the love of God, she consecrated her, by the hands of the priest, to the service of the Most High. Why shall not Christian parents do the same and willingly consecrate their child to God, to whom it belongs much more than to themselves? They may commit great sin, and may even draw upon themselves eternal condemnation, and may be the cause of their child’s destruction, if they oppose the divine call.

St. Anne prayed long, yet was not heard. She, however, complained not against God, but continued in her prayers with undiminished confidence until she at last received what she had asked. God has many reasons for not always hearing our prayers immediately. We sometimes pray when we are not in a state of grace; or we live in sin without repenting, or without the intention of bettering our life. In such cases, our prayers cannot be acceptable to God. We also sometimes pray without devotion and reverence. And can such a prayer have power? At another time, we pray only for things which God knows to be hurtful to us, although we may imagine that they are for our good. In such cases, God bestows a grace upon us by not hearing us. Often also the Almighty does not hear us, in punishment of our iniquities. We have so often offended Him, and have forfeited His grace, that we cannot reasonably expect that He should grant our request immediately. We have so frequently been deaf when God called to us; how can we ask that He should directly hear us? “What right have we,” asks St. Salvianus, “to complain, when God does not hear us, or, so to speak, despises our prayers when we have so often not listened to Him, and so frequently despised His laws? What is more just than that He should not listen to us, because we heard not Him, and that He should despise our prayers, as we did His laws?”

Further, God does not always hear us immediately, in order that we may pray more fervently and esteem so much more highly the favors He bestows. He does it also to try our patience and our trust in His mercy, or that we may be more deserving of His grace by continual prayers. Finally, besides other reasons, He may do it also to give us something better than we asked for. When all this is rightly considered, tell me, can you justly complain when the Almighty hears not your prayers immediately? Continue in them. Perform them in the right spirit, and you will experience the truth of the words of St. Bernard: “God either gives us what we ask, or something else, which is more useful to us.”

St. Anne, most blessed of Mothers for having bore, nourished and taught the holy Mother of God, ora pro nobis!

 

~Damsel of the Faith

The Blood of our Salvation

During this Month of the Precious Blood, I offer a meditation from a sermon by St. Augustine:

“A suggestive word was made use of by the Evangelist, in not saying: he pierced His side; or: he wounded; or anything like that, but: he opened; that therein might, as it were, be thrown open the door of life, from which have flowed forth the sacraments of the Church, without which there is no entrance into life that is truly life. The blood that was shed, was shed for the remission of sins. That water makes up the health-giving cup; and gives at the same time a bath and a draught. This was announced beforehand, when Noe was commanded to make a door in the side of the ark, through which the animals, not destined to perish in the flood, might enter, and by which the Church was prefigured. Because of this, the first woman was made from the side of the man while he slept, and she was called Life and Mother of the living. For the name signified a great good, before the great evil of her sin. This second Adam bowed His heads fell asleep on the cross, in order that from there a spouse might be formed for Him from that which He shed from His side as He slept. O death whereby the dead are raised anew to life! What is purer than this blood? What more health-giving this wound?

Men who were held in slavery under the devil served the devil and served the demons; but they have been redeemed from captivity. For they could sell themselves, but they could not redeem themselves. The Redeemer came, and paid the price; He shed His blood, and bought the world. Do you ask what He bought? See what He gave, and you will find out what He bought. The blood of Christ is the price. What is it worth? What, but the whole world? What, but all nations. Very ungrateful for their price or very proud, are they who say that the price is of such small worth as to buy only the Africans; or that they are so great, that it was given for them alone. Therefore let them not rejoice or be proud. What He gave, He gave for the whole world.

He had His blood, by which He redeemed us; and to this end He took blood, that He might shed it in order to redeem us. If you wish it, the blood of your Lord was given for you; if you do not wish it, it was not given for you. For perhaps you will say: My God had blood, with which He redeemed me, but now since He has suffered, He has given it all; what has remained to Him, that He may also give for me? This is a great thing, because He gave once, and He gave for all. The blood of Christ is salvation to him who wishes it, punishment to him who does not wish it. Why, therefore, do you hesitate to be set free from the second death, you who do not wish to die? By this you are set free, if you are willing to take up your cross, and follow the Lord; for He took up His cross and looked for His servant.”

Most Precious Blood of Jesus, cleanse the Church and the world!

~Damsel of the Faith

2016 Winona Ordinations Sermon

For my posts on the final Ordinations in Winona, go here and here.

Following up from my previous posts, here is the full transcript of Bishop Alfonso de Galaretta’s beautiful sermon for the final Ordinations in Winona, Minnesota.

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/sermon-2016-ordinations-mass-16592

http://www.dici.org/en/documents/bishop-alfonso-de-galarreta-ordinations-sermon-winona-june-3-2016/

“Today is a day full of joy – of a noble, profound, Christian joy – as it brings us together around the altar and the sacrifice of Our Lord in order to confer the sacred orders of the priesthood and diaconate, on this feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, our priestly ideal.

Sacerdos alter Christus – the priest is another Christ who, by means of the sacrament of the Eucharist, continues the presence and action of Our Lord, the Eternal High Priest. As a sacrament, the Eucharist perpetuates the Incarnation, the presence of Our Lord among us. As a sacrifice, it perpetuates the redemption, the cross of Our Lord.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the object of the preaching and apostolate of the priest. But it is also, at the same time, the form and model of priestly spirituality and activity. St. Paul wants us to know the inexhaustible treasures of wisdom, science, holiness, and charity that are hidden in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Priestly Heart of Jesus Tells us: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life”

Our Lord Himself reveals to us these treasures of His priestly Heart when He says: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”[1] Not one way, or one truth, or one life, but the way, the truth, the life.

St. Augustine says that Our Lord is the Way as Man, and the Truth and Life as God. For that reason, Our Lord is, at the same time, the fatherland and our way to the fatherland.

Our Lord is the Way because nobody can go to the Father unless it is through Him. He is the Way because He is the High Priest who reconciles men with God. He is the only Mediator. He is the Way through His Priesthood, His Kingship, and His Church, the only Bride and Mystical Body of Christ, and there is no other way to attain God.

Our Lord is also the Truth, Wisdom incarnate, Light without darkness, without error or lies: “For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.”[2] Our Lord died on the cross to give testimony to this truth. He is the source of all truth.

He is also the Life – Resurrection and Life: “I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.”[3] Our Lord is the supernatural life of souls by His grace, His virtues and holiness, by His sacrifice, which is the source of all graces and holiness.

The proof that the priests is the apostle of the Heart of Jesus is given by the correspondence that exists between what Our Lord tells us and the powers received by the priest with the sacramental character and grace.

The priest has a triple power: potestas regendi, potestas docendi, potestas sanctificandi. The power to rule, to direct souls in the Way that is Our Lord Jesus Christ. The power to teach the truth, only the truth, the integral, supernatural truth. The power to communicate grace to souls and sanctify them in Our Lord Jesus Christ, the power to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

At the same time, a reflection of these three powers and their relation to the treasures of the Sacred Heart proves and explains why the solution to the present crisis of the Church resides in the Catholic priesthood, in its sanctity and fidelity.

The liberal, modernist spirit that has penetrated into the Church opposes Our Lord and His action.

Our Lord is the Way – but religious freedom dissolves the social Kingship of Christ. The Church is the only way of salvation, but the modernist spirit relativizes this and leads to religious indifferentism.

Today: Doctrinal Relativism Leads to Moral Relativism

The situation in the Church is clear: there is a doctrinal, dogmatic relativism, which in turn leads to moral relativism and ends into the acceptance and promotion of sin and scandal.

A clear example of this is the question of Communion to the divorced and supposedly “remarried.” There is a new attitude in the Church regarding these de facto, and even unnatural, unions. An unconceivable situation, directly opposed to Our Lord as the Life, the Truth, and the Way.

If ecclesiastical authorities have reached the point of calling evil good, it is because they have first called error truth. All this holds together – between all these things there is coherence, logic, causality.

Our Lord taught us that the tree is recognized by its fruits, and the good tree produces good fruits [4]. Therefore, if the fruit is bitter, corrupted, an incitement to sin, then most certainly the tree from which it comes is a bad tree. And if the tree is bad, it is because the seed was bad.

The problem we live today in the Church is not only one of consequences, but everything after the Council is the bad tree, and all of it is virtually contained in its seed, the Second Vatican Council.

If today we are faced with the scandal of Communion to the divorced and “remarried,” it is on account of post-conciliar legislation and practice, which allowed the inversion of the ends of marriage, weakened its indissolubility, and introduced personalism into it by inventing a new good of marriage: the personal good of the spouses.

All these doctrines, which for years now have been entering the Church, are contained in the Council, in Gaudium et Spes, which establishes these principles. And when the present Pope permits all these things, we see there only the homogenous development of error.

“If we have to choose between faith and a compromise, the choice is already made – no compromise!”

At the same time, we are amazed that there is no general reaction in the Church against these measures, that there is no group of bishops or cardinals who publicly oppose this scandal. This shows the gravity of modernism, which firstly disarms, and then makes the antibodies disappear.

While there are some improvements and a certain dissolution of this spirit, regarding us it is always the same: to be recognized we will have to accept the conciliar novelties…

Not long ago, Pope Francis felt obliged to correct Archbishop Pozzo’s words, stating that the recognition of the SSPX is possible, but only with the previous acknowledgment of Vatican II because “it has its value.” [5]

The hierarchical superior of Archbishop Pozzo, Cardinal Müller, explains [6] that to be Catholic one has to accept the Pope and the Council – religious liberty, ecumenism, etc., are doctrine, common doctrine, that is, doctrine of faith. He compares this with the case of the resurrection of Our Lord, a truth of faith, but one that has not been explicitly defined. And he concludes by saying that to demand the acknowledgment of the Council is not unreasonable and should not be an unsurmountable obstacle for the SSPX. In fact, this acknowledgment is precisely what will lead us to “full communion” – a communion in error. It is clear, then, that the condition is the acceptance of the Council and what came after the Council..

Therefore, it is also clear that the combat continues. As our Superior General, Bishop Fellay, has said, if we have to choose between faith and a compromise, the choice is already made – no compromise! [7]

God may certainly change the circumstances and put us in a different situation. That is our firm hope. But the present reality is what it is.

The Sacred Heart, a Heart of Reparation

Lastly, the Sacred Heart of Jesus is also, essentially, the Heart of the Redeemer, a Heart of reparation. St. Margaret Mary says that Our Lord showed her that there are two sanctities, the sanctity of love and the sanctity of justice, and both are demanding and strict, each in its own way.

There is a double holiness and reparation, to justice and charity, and the priest must offer himself together with Our Lord for the redemption of men and in reparation. Our Lord Himself gave to His apostles this golden rule when He said: “For them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in Truth.”[8]

That must be our attitude towards those who are of the family of the Church, the authorities. That is the solution for those errors and weaknesses that we denounce. We have the key in our true identification with the priestly Heart of Jesus.

As St. John says, we must believe in love, in the love of Our Lord. We must trust in the powerful aid of His grace. We have to answer love with love, gift with our own gift, sacrifice with our own sacrifice. That is the way of redemption and restoration.

Let us go to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the heart of a Mother, full of love, goodness, mercy, constancy, and patience, as the love of a mother is. And Her heart is the surest, most perfect and shortest way to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Amen.

Source: FSSPX/USA – Translation, subtitles and notes by DICI June 13, 2016)


[1] John 14:6

[2] John 18:37

[3] John 10:10

[4] See Matt. 7:16-17

[5] Interview with Pope Francis in La Croix on May 16, 2016:
“Q. Would you be ready to grant them a personal prelature?
Pope Francis: It is a possible solution, but first we have to establish a fundamental agreement with them. The Second Vatican Council has its value. We are moving forward slowly, with patience.”

[6] See Cardinal Müller’s interview in the June 2016 edition of Herder Korrespondenz, republished by the Austrian website Kathpress on Mai 24, and quoted by Edward Pentin in the National Catholic Register on the same day: “…Cardinal Müller, whose insistence on the SSPX adhering to the Council’s teaching is clearly more pronounced than that of the Holy Father, told Herder Korrespondenz that one cannot discount the Council as ‘only pastoral chatter’ just because it adopted no binding dogmas. The CDF prefect said that no pope has ever proclaimed Christ’s Resurrection as an ex cathedra [infallible] dogma, and yet it ‘belongs in the center of the creed, it is the foundation.’ ‘Key statements, even if they are not proclaimed ex cathedra [and thus infallible], are, for us Catholics, still essential,’ he said, adding that it is ‘not acceptable to take one and reject the other.’
“Cardinal Müller also said in the interview that one must not be fascinated by every homily from a bishop or pope. Only the magisterium, which is a declaration of faith, needs to be accepted, the cardinal stressed, according to the Kathpress report.
“‘Religious freedom as a fundamental human right and freedom to protect religion regarding the supernatural revelation in Jesus Christ are recognized by every Catholic without reservation’, he said in reference to the relevant Council declarations.
“The recognition of the Second Vatican Council is ‘not an unreasonably high hurdle’ to overcome, he said, adding that it was rather ‘the adequate remedy to enter into full communion with the Pope and the bishops in communion with him.’
“The CDF prefect further asserted that Pope Francis’ relationship to the SSPX does not differ from that of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. ‘He sees this and similar groups as Catholic, but still on the way towards full Catholic unity’.”

[7] Bishop Fellay’s interview in National Catholic Register, May 13, 2016:
“I do not seek this canonical regularization as an absolute. For me it is a given, a right to have it, but we’re not going to compromise, to hurt the faith, the discipline of the Church, to get that. We consider it as an injustice not to give it to us, and so we claim our point of view. That’s all. And so if we are put in a choice, let’s say, of between keeping the faith or making a compromise, it’s clear what we’re going to do. We’re not going to compromise.”

[8] John 17:19


God bless our new Priests and keep them steadfast in the Faith and Mass of All Time!

~Damsel of the Faith

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, miserere nobis!

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ and to do that, I offer the following sermon from St. Bonaventure:

“That the Church might be formed from the side of Christ as He slept on the cross, and the Scripture be fulfilled which says: They shall look on Him whom they pierced; it was permitted by divine ordinance that one of the soldiers should pierce that sacred side, opening it with a lance, in so far as, when the blood and water gushed forth, the price of our salvation might be poured out, as if issuing from the hidden fountain, as it were, of the Heart, and might give power to the sacraments of the Church to bestow the life of grace, and, moreover, might be as a saving drink of living waters, bubbling up to life eternal, for those who were already living in Christ. Arise, then, O soul beloved of Christ, do not stop your watching, place thy lips there, and drink the waters from the saving fountains.

Since for a single time we have found our way to that most sweet Heart of the Lord Jesus, and it is good for us to be here, let us not easily be torn away from it. O how good and pleasant it is, to dwell in this Heart. Thy Heart, O most dear Jesus, is the good treasure, the pearl of great price, which we find by digging in the field of Thy body. Who would cast aside this pearl? Yes, rather I will give all my pearls, I will exchange for it all my thoughts and affections and I will purchase It for myself, turning all my thoughts to the Heart of the good Jesus, and without fail It will support me. Therefore, O most sweet Jesus, finding this Heart that is Thine and mine, I will pray to Thee, my God: admit my prayers into the shrine of hearkening: and even more draw me altogether into Thy Heart.

For to this end was Thy side pierced, that an entry might be open to us. To this end was Thy Heart wounded, that in it we might be able to dwell secure from alarms from without. And it was wounded none the less on this account that, through the visible wound, we might see the invisible wound of love. How could this ardor be better shown, than by His allowing, not only His body, but even His very Heart itself, to be wounded by a lance? And so, the wound in His flesh shows forth the wound in His spirit. Who does not love that Heart, so deeply wounded? Who would not return love for love to One so greatly loving? Who would not embrace One so pure? And so still abiding in the flesh, let us, in so far as we are able, return love for love to That which loves us, embrace our wounded One, Whose hands and feet, side and Heart, have been pierced by wicked husbandmen; and let us pray that He may deign to bind our hearts, still hard and impenitent, with the chain of His love, and wound them with the dart thereof.”

Pope Pius XI’s Prayer of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

O sweetest Jesus, whose overflowing charity towards men is most ungratefully repaid by such great forgetfulness, neglect and contempt, see, prostrate before Thy altars, we strive by special honor to make amends for the wicked coldness of men and the contumely with which Thy most loving Heart is everywhere treated.

At the same time, mindful of the fact that we too have sometimes not been free from unworthiness, and moved therefore with most vehement sorrow, in the first place we implore Thy mercy on us, being prepared by voluntary expiation to make amends for the sins we have ourselves committed, and also for the sins of those who wander far from the way of salvation, whether because, being obstinate in their unbelief, they refuse to follow Thee as their shepherd and leader, or because, spurning the promises of their Baptism, they have cast off the most sweet yoke of Thy law. We now endeavor to expiate all these lamentable crimes together, and it is also our purpose to make amends for each one of them severally: for the want of modesty in life and dress, for impurities, for so many snares set for the minds of the innocent, for the violation of feast days, for the horrid blasphemies against Thee and Thy saints, for the insults offered to Thy Vicar and to the priestly order, for the neglect of the Sacrament of Divine love or its profanation by horrible sacrileges, and lastly for the public sins of nations which resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast instituted. Would that we could wash away these crimes with our own blood! And now, to make amends for the outrage offered to the Divine honor, we offer to Thee the same satisfaction which Thou didst once offer to Thy Father on the Cross and which Thou dost continually renew on our altars, we offer this conjoined with the expiations of the Virgin Mother and of all the Saints, and of all pious Christians, promising from our heart that so far as in us lies, with the help of Thy grace, we will make amends for our own past sins, and for the sins of others, and for the neglect of Thy boundless love, by firm faith, by a pure way of life, and by a perfect observance of the Gospel law, especially that of charity; we will also strive with all our strength to prevent injuries being offered to Thee, and gather as many as we can to become Thy followers. Receive, we beseech Thee, O most benign Jesus, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Reparatress, the voluntary homage of this expiation, and vouchsafe, by that great gift of final perseverance, to keep us most faithful until death in our duty and in Thy service, so that at length we may all come to that fatherland, where Thou with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God for ever and ever. Amen.

The promises of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary for those who venerate His Sacred Heart:

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will comfort them in their trials.
4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and, above all, in death.
5. I will shed abundant blessings on all their undertakings
6. Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Lukewarm souls will become fervent.
8. Fervent souls will rapidly grow in holiness and perfection.
9. I will bless every place where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. The names of those who promote this devotion will be written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
12. I promise thee, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

Let us make reparation to Our Lord for the crimes with which He is so most grievously offended, both within the Church and the world.

A Blessed Feast of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord to our readers!

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus miserere nobis!

~Damsel of the Faith

Sacrilegious Communions

 

In light of the recent Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, it would be good to read the words of St. John Vianney on the gravity, horror and evil of sacrilegious Communions. This is what we’re faced with in the Church today. Kyrie Eleison!

“Unworthy Communions are frequent. How many have the temerity to approach the holy table with sins hidden and disguised in confession! How many have not that sorrow which the good God wants from them, and preserve a secret willingness to fall back into sin, and do not put forth all their exertions to amend! How many do not avoid the occasions of sin when they can, or preserve enmity in their hearts even at the holy table! If you have ever been in these dispositions in approaching Holy Communion, you have committed a sacrilege — that horrible crime, on the malice of which we are going to meditate.

1. It outrages God more than all other mortal sins. It attacks the Person of Jesus Christ Himself, instead of scorning only His commandments, like other mortal sins.

2. Whoever communicates unworthily crucifies Jesus Christ in his heart. He submits Him to a death more ignominious and humiliating than that of the Cross. On the Cross, indeed, Jesus Christ died voluntarily and for our redemption; but here it is no longer so: He dies in spite of Himself, and His death, far from being to our advantage, as it was the first time, turns to our woe by bringing upon us all kinds of chastisements both in this world and the next. The death of Jesus Christ on Calvary was violent and painful, but at least all nature seemed to bear witness to His pain. The least sensible of creatures appeared to be affected by it, and thus wishful to share the Saviour’s sufferings. Here there is nothing of this: Jesus is insulted, outraged by a vile nothingness, and all keeps silence; everything appears insensible to His humiliations. May not this God of goodness justly complain, as on the tree of the Cross, that He is forsaken? My God, how can a Christian have the heart to go to the holy table with sin in his soul, there to put Jesus Christ to death?

3. Unworthy Communion is a more criminal profanation than that of the holy places. A pagan emperor, in hatred of Jesus Christ, placed infamous idols on Calvary and the holy sepulchre, and he believed that in doing this he could not carry further his fury against Jesus Christ. Ah! Great God! Was that anything to be compared with the unworthy communicant? No, no! It is no longer among dumb and senseless idols that he sets his God, but in the midst, alas, of infamous living passions, which are so many executioners who crucify his Saviour. Alas! What shall I say? That poor wretch unites the Holy of Holies to a prostitute soul, and sells him to iniquity. Yes, that poor wretch plunges his God into a raging Hell. Is it possible to conceive anything more dreadful?

4. Unworthy Communion is in certain respects a greater crime than the deicide of the Jews. Saint Paul tells us that if the Jews had known Jesus Christ as the Saviour they would never have put Him to suffering or death; but can you, my friend, be ignorant of Him Whom you are going to receive? If you do not bear it in mind, listen to the priest who cries aloud to you: Behold the Lamb of God; behold Him that taketh away the sins of the world.” He is holy and pure. If you are guilty, unhappy man, do not draw near; or else tremble, lest the thunders of Heaven be hurled upon your criminal head to punish you and cast your soul into Hell.

5. Unworthy Communion imitates and renews the crime of Judas. The traitor, by a kiss of peace, delivered Jesus Christ to his enemies, but the unworthy communicant carries his cruel duplicity yet further. Having lied to the Holy Ghost in the tribunal of penance by hiding or disguising some sin, he dares, this wretch, to go with a hypocritical reverence on his face, and place himself among the faithful destined to eat this Bread. Ah! No, nothing stops this monster of ingratitude; he comes forward and is about to consummate his reprobation. In vain that tender Saviour, seeing that he is coming to Him, cries from His tabernacle, as to the perfidious Judas: “Friend, whereto art thou come? What, thou art about to betray thy God and Saviour by a sign of peace? Stop, stop, my son; I pray thee spare me!” Neither the remorse of his conscience nor the tender reproaches made him by his God can stop his criminal steps. He steps forward. He is going to stab his God and Saviour. O Heavens! What a horror! Can you indeed behold this wretched murderer of your Creator without trembling?”

Summation of the Church

“Now, if we look at what was done, Jesus Christ did not arrange and organize such a Church as would embrace several communities similar in kind, but distinct, and not bound together by those bonds that make the Church indivisible and unique after that manner clearly in which we profess in the symbol of faith, ‘l believe in one Church.’ … Now, Jesus Christ when He was speaking of such a mystical edifice, spoke only of one Church which He called His own: ‘I will build my Church’ [Matt. 16:18]. Whatever other church is under consideration than this one, since it was not founded by Jesus Christ, cannot be the true Church of Christ… And so the Church is bound to spread among all men the salvation accomplished by Jesus Christ, and all the blessings that proceed therefrom, and to propagate them through the ages. Therefore, according to the will of its Author the Church must be alone in all lands in the perpetuity of time… The Church of Christ, therefore, is one and perpetual; whoever go apart (from it) wander away from the will and prescription of Christ the Lord and, leaving the way of salvation, digress to destruction. But He who founded the only Church, likewise founded it as one; namely, in such a way that whoever are to be in it, would be held bound together by the closest bonds, so much so that they form one people, one kingdom, one body: ‘One body and one spirit, as you are called in one hope of your calling’ [Eph. 4:4]… Agreement and union of minds are the necessary foundation of so great and so absolute a concord among men, from which a concurrence of wills and a similarity of action naturally arise… Therefore, to unite the minds of men, and to effect and preserve the union of their minds, granted the existence of Holy Writ, there was great need of a certain other principle… Therefore, Jesus Christ instituted in the Church a living, authentic, and likewise permanent magisterium, which He strengthened by His own power, taught by the Spirit of Truth, and confirmed by miracles. The precepts of its doctrines He willed and most seriously commanded to be accepted equally with His own… This, then, is without any doubt the office of the Church, to watch over Christian doctrine and to propagate it soundly and without corruption… But, just as heavenly doctrine was never left to the judgment and mind of individuals, but in the beginning was handed down by Jesus, then committed separately to that magisterium which has been mentioned, so, also, was the faculty of performing and administering the divine mysteries, together with the power of ruling and governing divinely, granted not to individuals [generally] of the Christian people but to certain of the elect…

Therefore, Jesus Christ called upon all mortals, as many as were, and as many as were to be, to follow Him as their leader, and likewise their Savior, not only separately one by one, but also associated and united alike in fact and in mind; one in faith, end, and the means proper to that end, and subject to one and the same power… Therefore, the Church is a society divine in origin, supernatural in its end, and in the means which bring us closest to that end; but inasmuch as it unites with men, it is a human community. When the divine Founder decreed that the Church be one in faith, and in government, and in communion, He chose Peter and his successors in whom should be the principle and as it were the center of unity… But, order of bishops, as Christ commanded, is to be regarded as joined with Peter, if it be subject to Peter and obey him; otherwise it necessarily descends into a confused and disorderly crowd. For the proper preservation of faith and the unity of mutual participation, it is not enough to hold higher offices for the sake of honor, nor to have general supervision, but there is absolute need of true authority and a supreme authority which the entire community should obey… Hence those special expressions of the ancients regarding St. Peter, which brilliantly proclaim him as placed in the highest degree of dignity and authority. They everywhere called him prince of the assembly of disciples, prince of the holy apostles, leader of that choir, mouthpiece of all the apostles, head of that family, superintendent of the whole world, first among the apostles, pillar of the Church… But it is far from the truth and openly opposed to the divine constitution, to hold that it is right for individual bishops to be subordinate to the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiffs, but not for all taken together… Now this power, about which we speak, over the college of bishops, which Holy Writ clearly discloses, the Church has at no time ceased to acknowledge and attest… For these reasons in the decree of the Vatican Council, regarding the power and authority of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, no new opinion is introduced, but the old and uniform faith of all ages is asserted. Nor, indeed, does the fact that the same (bishops) are subordinate to a twofold power cause any confusion in administration. In the first place, we are prohibited from suspecting any such thing by God’s wisdom, by whose counsel that very form of government was established. Secondly, we should note that the order of things and their mutual relations are confused, if there are two magistrates of the same rank among the people, neither of them responsible to the other. But the power of the Roman Pontiff is supreme, universal, and definitely peculiar to itself; but that of the bishops is circumscribed by definite limits, and definitely peculiar to themselves”   ~Pope Leo XIII, “Satis Cognitum”, June 29, 1897