Saturday, September 28, 2013

Feast of St. Michael, the Archangel, 29 September 2013

Feast of St. Michael, the Archangel 29 September 2013 “See that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say to you, that their Angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven.” Mt. 18:10 Today, we celebrate the feastday of the Archangel St. Michael and all the angels who do God’s will by ministering to man on earth and praising God in heaven. Foremost among the angels are the archangels, and among them, St. Michael has a special ministry: he truly is like God and he acts whenever divine power is needed. He was the chief angel against Lucifer and the rebellious angels. St. Gabriel, who is the strength of God, was sent to aid in God’s greatest work, the redemption of man by going to Zachariah to tell him of St. John the Baptist’s birth. Gabriel also went to the Blessed Virgin Mary to ask her to be the Mother of the Messiah. The Archangel St. Raphael who represents God’s healing, both spiritually and materially, was sent to Tobias where he aided in curing the elder Tobias, his father, of his blindness and where he arranged the marriage of Tobias and Sarah in answer to their prayers for a suitable spouse. The Angelic Nature As Angels are pure spirits, their angelic nature is far superior to ours. Dom Prosper Gueranger in the book, The Liturgical Life Vol. 14 quotes Monsabre, a disciple of St. Thomas Aquinas: “Compared with ours, how calm and how luminous is the knowledge of pure spirits! They are not doomed to the intricate discoursings of our reason, which runs after the truth, composes and analyses, and laboriously draws conclusions from promises. They instantaneously apprehend the whole compass of primary truths. Their intuition is so prompt, so lively, so penetrating, that it is impossible for them to be surprised, as we are, into error. If they deceive themselves, it must be of their own will. The perfection of their will is equal to the perfection of their intellect. They know not what it is to be disturbed by the violence of appetites. Their love is without emotion; and their hatred of evil is as calm and as wisely tempered as their love. A will so free can know no perplexity as to its aims, no inconstancy in its resolutions. Whereas with us long and anxious meditation is necessary before we make a decision, it is the property of the angels to determine by a single act the object of their choice. God proposed to them, as He does to us, infinite beatitude in the vision of His own Essence; and to fit them for so great an end, He endowed them with grace at the same time as He gave them being. In one instant they said Yes or No; in one instant they freely and deliberately decided their own fate.’ Gueranger, p. 278-9 Book of Apocalypse: Revelations of Angels The Apocalypse (The Book of Revelation) tells of the four phases of the battle between the good angels under St. Michael and the bad angels under Lucifer. First, in heaven, Lucifer or Satan is cast out with the other rebellious angels for trying to be on an equal level with God. Many saints believe that all the angels were given a test to see if they would adore the Son of God who would become man and to see if they would be subject to the Blessed Virgin Mary who became the Queen of Angels. In their pride, the rebellious angels would not serve God nor be obedient to His plan for mankind. The second phase of the battle takes place on earth when Jesus Christ conquers Satan who had deceived our first parents, and then redeems mankind by His death on the Cross. Jesus prophesied, “Now is the Prince of this World cast out.” Jn.12:31 In the third phase, the war is against the Church. The Book of Revelation tells of the Red Dragon, ancient serpent that makes war on the woman and all those who follow Jesus Christ in the Church. Satan makes use of man with the two beasts, one of which is the False Prophet: “And they worshipped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast, and they worshipped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who will be able to fight with it’” Ap. 13:4-5 The final and fourth phase details how Lucifer is condemned to hell for all eternity. After his defeat he and his members are damned: “The devil who seduced them was cast into the sea of fire and brimstone, where the beast and false prophet were to be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Ap. 20:10 The Liturgy and the Angels In the various prayers of the Mass, the angels perform special functions. First, they are always adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament on the altar especially during the Consecration of the Mass. This is why angels are often depicted in statues around the tabernacle. The Church shows this also in the prayer of the Roman Canon when the priest asks the Angels to take the sacrifice to heaven: “We pray that your Angel may take this sacrifice to your altar in heaven.” In the Preface, we pray, “Lord, by your ministry of your angels let our sacrifice of praise come before you.” The Sanctus repeats the words of the prophet Isaiah (Is. 6:3) who heard the angels in heaven praising the thrice Holy God: ”Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He Who cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.2 Other Functions of Angels The angels are constantly performing a variety of functions for the people of the earth. Jesus told Nathaniel, “I solemnly assure you, you shall see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” Jn. 1:51 While the angels minister to us, they are also interceding for us before the throne of God: “And another angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which is before the throne. And with the prayers of the saints there went up before God from the angel’s hand the smoke of incense.” Ap. 8:3-4 The Archangel St. Michael is called upon by the Church to defend men in battle and to escort all souls to paradise: St. Michael, defend us in battle…(and) “May the standard bearer, St. Michael, lead them into Holy Light.” (Requiem Ritual) Although we are not celebrating the feast of the Guardian Angels, which is on 2 October, it is good to know that Divine Revelation tells us that the angels that minster to each soul on earth are also adoring God in heaven at the same time: “See that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say to you, that their Angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven.” Mt. 18:10 Thanksgiving to our heavenly friends How blessed we are to have St. Michael and all the other angels as our heavenly companions here on earth. They love us because their love of God is so supernatural and confirmed by their superior nature. Let us call upon St. Michael to help us in our trials and all the angels to watch over us: “In thy hands they shall bear thee up, lest we dash our foot against a stone.” (Ps. 90:12) They also intercede for us in our needs as they are caring for us and adoring God in our name at the same time. The First Friday, 4 October 2013 Now is a good time to continue (or begin) the devotion to the “Nine First Fridays” of the Month. The Sacred Heart of Jesus promised to St. Margaret Mary: "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment." There is no better way of honouring the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus than in receiving Holy Communion on the “Nine First Fridays.”. The First Saturday, 5 October 2013 Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me." If only we would do what Our Lady asks, we would be assured of eternal salvation. Our Lady promises us all the graces necessary for our salvation if we keep The Five First Saturdays! Just think that when you are about to die the Blessed Virgin Mary will be there with you to help you get to heaven! “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen” How many times have you said these words in your lifetime? Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix 5 October 2013 On the First Saturday of every month, we will have our monthly formation program for those who are interested in affiliating themselves with the Marian Spirituality of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The day begins at 9:30 AM and goes until 4 PM and includes two conferences, Holy Mass, adoration and the rosary. (see flyer on door) This spirituality is Marian and Franciscan and includes the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Maximilian Kolbe and other Franciscan saints. “The fundamental aim of the MIM is the fulfilment of God’s plan for the salvation and sanctification of all souls through the maternal mediation of the Immaculate to the supreme glory of the Most Holy Trinity.” (Article 2: Statute) We hope that all of you will consider joining the MIM and work for your own sanctification and the sanctification of so many souls. Our Lady said at Fatima in 1917: “Many souls will go to hell because no one will pray and sacrifice for them.”

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, 22nd September

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost 22 September 2013 “... that you lack no grace, while awaiting the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Cor. 1: 7 Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book on the liturgy, The Liturgical Life Vol. 11, tells us that today’s readings contain a most important truth of the Second Coming of Christ. This truth filled the early Church with both hopeful joy and fearful anxiety: “The last coming of the Son of Man is no longer far off! The approach of that final event, which is to put the Church in full possession of her divine Spouse, redoubles her hopes; but the last judgment, which is also to pronounce the eternal perdition of so great a number of her children, mingles fear with her desire; and these two sentiments of hers will henceforth be continually brought forward in the holy liturgy. It is evident that expectation has been, so to say, an essential characteristic of her existence... This explains how it is that the apostles, the interpreters of the Church’s aspirations, are continually recurring to the subject of the near approach of our Lord’s coming. St. Paul has just been telling us, and that twice over in the same breath, that the Christian is who waiteth for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the day of His coming... ‘The Lord delayeth not His promise, as some imagine; but dealeth patiently, for your sake, not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance. But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence; and the elements shall be melted with heat; and the earth, and the works which are in it, shall be burnt up...’” Gueranger, p. 396-8 This is why St. Paul in today’s Epistle (I Cor. 1:4-7) wants us always to be ready: “... that you lack no grace, while awaiting the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Cor. 1: 7 This is also why the Church includes in today’s Gospel (Mt. 9:1-8) Jesus’ miraculous cure of the paralytic whose bodily paralysis reveals the more important sickness of his soul: “Take courage, son, thy sins are forgiven thee.” Mt. 9:2 Only with the forgiveness of sins could the members of the early Church ever hope for eternal salvation at the Second Coming of Jesus. “...he made an evening sacrifice to the Lord.” These words of today’s Offertory Antiphon show how the preceding Epistle corresponds to the Gospel (Mt. 9:1-8). The Scribes and Pharisees have become evil in their role as the teachers of the Mosaic Law and have not taught the people truthfully. Quoting the Abbot Rupert, Dom Gueranger comments on their false teachings: “Let him not imitate those men, who unworthily sat on the chair of Moses; but let him follow the example of Moses himself, who in the Offertory and its verses, presents the heads of the Church with such a model of perfection. Pastors of souls ought, on no account to be ignorant of the reason why they are placed higher than other men: it is not so much that they may govern others, as that they may serve them.’” (Rupert, Div. Off., xii. 18) Although they were his successors, the Scribes and Pharisees lack the true spirit of Moses. This is why they reject Jesus and refuse to see how His miraculous cure of the paralytic is a sign that He is God and can forgive sins. “Thy sins are forgiven thee...” Mt. 9: 2 on the forgiveness of sins in the Sunday following the Ember Days of September because this was the time for the ordination of priests who are the ministers of reconciliation. Only the hard-hearted Pharisees could find fault with Jesus in the tender account of this miracle in which He cures a paralytic: “And behold, they brought to him a paralytic lying on a pallet. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, ‘Take courage, son; thy sins are forgiven thee.’ And behold, some of the Scribes said within themselves, ‘This man blasphemes.’ And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you harbour evil thoughts in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Thy sins are forgiven thee,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has the power on earth to forgive sins’ Mt. 9:2-3 (In St. Luke’s Gospel (cf. Lk.5:18-26), the paralytic is let down from the rooftop by his four friends.) In his commentary on this passage, Dom Gueranger says: “From the very beginning of Christianity, heretics had risen up denying that the Church had the power, which her divine Head gave her, of remitting sin. Such false teachings would irretrievably condemn to spiritual death an immense number of Christians, who, unhappily, had fallen after their Baptism, but who, The Church placed today’s Gospel according to Catholic dogma, might be restored to grace by the sacrament of Penance. With what energy, then would our mother Church defend the remedy which gives life to her children! She uttered her anathemas upon, and drove from her communion, those Pharisees of the new law, who, like their Jewish predecessors, refused to acknowledge the infinite mercy and universality of the great mystery of the Redemption....The outward cure of the paralytic was both the image and the proof of the cure of his soul, which previously had been in a state of moral paralysis; but he himself represented another sufferer, viz., the human race, which for ages had been victim to the palsy of sin. Our Lord had already left the earth, when the faith of the apostles achieved this, their first prodigy, of bringing to the Church the world grown old in its infirmity. Finding that the human race was docile to the teaching of the divine messengers, and was already an imitator of their faith, the Church spoke as a mother, and said: ‘Be of good heart, son! Thy sins are forgiven thee!’ At once, to the astonishment of the philosophers and sceptics, and to the confusion of hell, the world rose up from its long and deep humiliation; and, to prove how thoroughly his strength had been restored to him, he was seen carrying on his shoulders, by the labour of penance and the mastery over his passions, the bed of his old exhaustion and feebleness, on which pride, lust, and covetousness had so long held him. From that time forward, complying with the word of Jesus, which was also said to him by the Church, he has been going on towards his house, which is heaven, where eternal joy awaits him! And the angels, beholding such a spectacle of conversion and holiness (cf. Lk. 5:26), are in amazement, and sing glory to God, who gave such power to men.” Gueranger, p. 404-5 How grateful we should be to God for forgiving our sins! “...that you lack no grace, while awaiting the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Cor. 4:7 Fr. Gabriel of St. Magdalen, OCD in his book of meditations, Divine Intimacy, sums up the great blessings which come from Jesus Christ: “Yes, every grace, every gift comes to us from Jesus, and through them our person and our life are sanctified. By means of sanctifying grace, He sanctifies our soul; through the infused virtues, He sanctifies our faculties; and by actual grace, He sanctifies our activity, enabling us to act supernaturally. Yet even this does not satisfy his liberality: He is not content with setting us on the road to God, supernaturalized by grace and the virtues, but He wishes to substitute His divine way of acting for our human way; therefore, He enriches us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which make us capable of being moved by God Himself. All this is the gift of Jesus to us, the fruit of His Passion....It seems as if Jesus, the true Son of God, is not jealous of His divinity or His prerogatives, but seeks every possible means to make us share by grace what He possesses by nature. How true it is that the characteristic of love is to give oneself and to place those one loves on a plane of equality with oneself!” Fr. Gabriel, p. 944-5 How true are the words of St. Paul in today’s Epistle: “... that you lack no grace, while awaiting the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Cor. 1: 7 “The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved” Part III by St. Leonard of Port Maurice The Teaching of the Fathers of the Church “It is not vain curiosity but salutary precaution to proclaim from the height of the pulpit certain truths which serve wonderfully to contain the indolence of libertines, who are always talking about the mercy of God and about how easy it is to convert, who live plunged in all sorts of sins and are soundly sleeping on the road to hell. To disillusion them and waken them from their torpor, today let us examine this great question: Is the number of Christians who are saved greater than the number of Christians who are damned? “Pious souls, you may leave; this sermon is not for you. Its sole purpose is to contain the pride of libertines who cast the holy fear of God out of their heart and join forces with the devil who, according to the sentiment of Eusebius, damns souls by reassuring them. To resolve this doubt, let us put the Fathers of the Church, both Greek and Latin, on one side; on the other, the most learned theologians and erudite historians; and let us put the Bible in the middle for all to see. Now listen not to what I will say to you – for I have already told you that I do not want to speak for myself or decide on the matter – but listen to what these great minds have to tell you, they who are beacons in the Church of God to give light to others so that they will not miss the road to heaven. In this manner, guided by the triple light of faith, authority and reason, we will be able to resolve this grave matter with certainty. “Note well that there is no question here of the human race taken as a whole, nor of all Catholics taken without distinction, but only of Catholic adults, who have free choice and are thus capable of cooperating in the great matter of their salvation. First let us consult the theologians recognized as examining things most carefully and as not exaggerating in their teaching: let us listen to two learned cardinals, Cajetan and Bellarmine. They teach that the greater number of Christian adults are damned, and if I had the time to point out the reasons upon which they base themselves, you would be convinced of it yourselves. But I will limit myself here to quoting Suarez. After consulting all the theologians and making a diligent study of the matter, he wrote, "The most common sentiment which is held is that, among Christians, there are more damned souls than predestined souls." Latin Fathers to that of the theologians, and you will find that almost all of them say the same thing. This is the sentiment of Saint Theodore, Saint Basil, Saint Ephrem, and Saint John Chrysostom. What is more, according to Baronius it was a common opinion among the Greek Fathers that this truth was expressly revealed to Saint Simeon Stylites and that after this revelation, it was to secure his salvation that he decided to live standing on top of a pillar for forty years, exposed to the weather, a model of penance and holiness for everyone. Now let us consult the Latin Fathers. You will hear Saint Gregory saying clearly, "Many attain to faith, but few to the heavenly kingdom." Saint Anselm declares, "There are few who are saved." Saint Augustine states even more clearly, "Therefore, few are saved in comparison to those who are damned." The most terrifying, however, is Saint Jerome. At the end of his life, in the presence of his disciples, he spoke these dreadful words: "Out of one hundred thousand people whose lives have always been bad, you will find barely one who is worthy of indulgence." (To be continued next week) “Add the authority of the Greek and

Monday, September 16, 2013

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost 15th September 2013

“I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, exhort you to walk in the manner worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,...” Eph. 4:1-2 In today’s readings, the Church teaches us that the vocation of the Christian is to love God and one another. It is the most exalted of vocations because it leads to union with God here on earth and the guarantee of our eternal union with God in heaven. Dom Gueranger in his The Liturgical Year Vol. 11 sums up in the Epistle (Ephesians 4:1-6) St. Paul’s teaching on the Church “...the dignity of her children. She beseeches them to correspond, in a becoming manner, to their high vocation. This vocation, this call, which God gives us is, as we have been so often told, the call, or invitation, made to the human family to come to the sacred nuptials of divine union; it is the vocation given to us to reign in heaven with the Word, who has made Himself our Spouse, and our Head (cf. Eph. 2:5).” Gueranger, p. 374 “I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, exhort you to walk in the manner worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,...” Eph. 4:1-2 In today’s Gospel (Mt. 22: 34-46) Jesus is tested by Pharisees about “which is the great commandment in the Law” (Mt. 22:36). He eludes their trap and repeats the Old Testament teaching on the need to love God and one’s neighbour: “’Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.’ (Deut. 6:5) This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Lev. 19:18) On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Mt. 22: 37-40 The “love” of which Jesus speaks is what St. Paul describes as the practice of “humility, meekness and patience.” The Glorious Bond of Charity Dom Gueranger tells us “what we must do to prove ourselves worthy of the high honour offered to us by the Son of God. We must practise, among other virtues, these three—humility, mildness, and patience. These are the means for gaining the end that is so generously proposed to us. And what is that end? It is the unity of that immense body, which the Son of God makes His, by the mystic nuptials He vouchsafes to celebrate with our human nature. This Man-God asks one condition from those whom He calls, whom He invites, to become, through the Church, His bride, bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh (cf. Eph. 5:30). This one condition is, that they maintain such harmony among them that it will make one body and one spirit of them all, the bond of peace. ‘Bond most glorious!’ cries out St. John Chrysostom---‘bond most admirable, which unites us all with one another, and then, thus united, unites us with God.’ (Ep. Ad Eph., Hom. IX, 8) The strength of this bond is the strength of the holy Spirit Himself, who is all holiness and love; for it is that holy Spirit who forms these spiritual and divine ties; He it is who, with the countless multitudes of the baptized, does the work which the soul does in the human body—that is, gives it life, and unites all the members into oneness of person. It is by the Holy Ghost that young and old, poor and rich, men and women, distinct as all these are in other respects, are made one, fused, so to say, in the fire which eternally burns in the Blessed Trinity. But in order that the flame of infinite love may thus draw into its embrace our regenerated humanity, we must get rid of selfish rivalries, and grudges, and dissensions, which, so long as they exist among us, prove us to be carnal (cf. I Cor. 3:3), and, therefore, to be unfit material either for the divine flame to touch, or for the union which that flame produces.” Gueranger, p. 374-5 The Great Commandment In today’s Gospel (Mt. 22:34-46), we see how the Pharisees fail in their attempt to trick Jesus into denying the greatest commandment of the law. “....they (the Pharisees) wanted to see if Jesus, who had declared Himself to be God, would not, consequently, make some addition to the commandment of divine love; and if He did they would be justified in condemning Him as having tried to change the letter of the law in its greatest commandment (St. Chrysostom, Hom. 77 in Matt.). Our Lord disappointed them. He met their question by giving it a longer answer than they had asked for. Having first recited the text of the great commandment as given in the Scriptures, he continued the quotation, and, by so doing, showed them that He was not ignorant of the intention which had induced them to question Him. He reminded them of the second commandment, like unto the first, the commandment of love of our neighbour, which condemned their intended crime of deicide (crucifixion of Jesus). Thus were they convicted of loving neither their neighbour, nor God Himself, for the first commandment cannot be observed if the second, which flows from and completes it, be broken.” Gueranger, p. 380-1 Denial of Jesus’ Divinity Jesus not only shows how the Pharisees lack love of God and neighbour, but they also lack faith as they refuse to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Dom Gueranger shows how Jesus proves that they are blinded in their hatred of Him: “He (Jesus) put a question, in His turn, to them, and they answer it by saying, as they were obliged to do, that the Christ was to be of the family of David; but if he be his Son, how comes it that David calls Him his Lord, just as he calls God Himself, as we have it in Psalm 109 (Ps. 109:1: ‘The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thy enemies thy footstool.’), where he celebrates the glories of the Messiah? The only possible explanation is, that the Messiah, who in due time, and as Man, was to be born of David’s house, was God, and Son of God, even before time existed, according to the same psalm: ‘From my womb, before the day-star, I begot thee.’ Ps. 109:3 This answer would have condemned the Pharisees, so they refused to give it; but their silence was an avowal; and, before very long, the eternal Father’s vengeance (The Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD) upon these vile enemies of His Son will fulfil the prophecy of making them His footstool in blood and shame: that time is to be the terrible day when the justice of God will fall upon the deicide city.” Gueranger, p. 381-2 Love of God Fulfils the Law Unlike the Jews who rejected Christ and the law, the Christians, by loving Jesus, fulfil the whole law. Dom Gueranger contrasts the love of the Christians with the rejection of the Pharisees: “The Jews by rejecting Christ Jesus, sinned against both of the commandments which constitute charity, and embody the whole law; and we, on the contrary, by loving that same Jesus, fulfil the whole law. Jesus is the brightness of eternal glory (cf. Heb. 1:3) one, by nature, with the Father and the Holy Ghost; He is the God whom the first commandment bids us love, and it is in Him also that the second has its truest and adequate application....Nothing counts with God, excepting so far as it has reference to Jesus. As St. Augustine says (in Joan. Trace cx). God loves men only inasmuch as they either are, or may one day become members of His Son; it is His Son that He loves in them; thus He loves, with one same love though not equally, His Word, and the Flesh of His Word, and the members of His Incarnate Word. Now, charity is love—love such as it is in God, communicated to us creatures by the Holy Ghost. Therefore, what we should love, by charity, both in ourselves, and in others, is the divine Word, either as being, or, according to another expression of the same St. Augustine, ‘that He may be’ in others and in ourselves.’(Serm. cclv., in dieb pasch.) ....The question is St. Augustine’s again (Epist. lxi). ‘Who can love Christ without loving, with Him, the Church, which is His body? Without loving all His members? What we do—be it to the least, or be it to the worthiest, be it of evil, or of good—it is to Him we do it, for He tells us so (cf. Mt. 25: 40-45). Then let us love our neighbour as ourselves, because of Christ, who is in each of us, and who gives to us all union and increase of charity.’” (cf. Eph. 4:15, 16) Gueranger, p.382-3 “The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved” II by St. Leonard of Port Maurice Introduction Thanks be to God, the number of the Redeemer's disciples is not so small that the wickedness of the Scribes and Pharisees is able to triumph over them. Although they strove to calumniate innocence and to deceive the crowd with their treacherous sophistries by discrediting the doctrine and character of Our Lord, finding spots even in the sun, many still recognized Him as the true Messiah, and, unafraid of either chastisements or threats, openly joined His cause. Did all those who followed Christ follow Him even unto glory? Oh, this is where I revere the profound mystery and silently adore the abysses of the divine decrees, rather than rashly deciding on such a great point! The subject I will be treating today is a very grave one; it has caused even the pillars of the Church to tremble, filled the greatest Saints with terror and populated the deserts with anchorites. The point of this instruction is to decide whether the number of Christians who are saved is greater or less than the number of Christians who are damned; it will, I hope, produce in you a salutary fear of the judgments of God. Brothers, because of the love I have for you, I wish I were able to reassure you with the prospect of eternal happiness by saying to each of you: You are certain to go to paradise; the greater number of Christians is saved, so you also will be saved. But how can I give you this sweet assurance if you revolt against God's decrees as though you were your own worst enemies? I observe in God a sincere desire to save you, but I find in you a decided inclination to be damned. So what will I be doing today if I speak clearly? I will be displeasing to you. But if I do not speak, I will be displeasing to God. Therefore, I will divide this subject into two points. In the first one, to fill you with dread, I will let the theologians and Fathers of the Church decide on the matter and declare that the greater number of Christian adults are damned; and, in silent adoration of that terrible mystery, I will keep my own sentiments to myself. In the second point I will attempt to defend the goodness of God versus the godless, by proving to you that those who are damned are damned by their own malice, because they wanted to be damned. So then, here are two very important truths. If the first truth frightens you, do not hold it against me, as though I wanted to make the road of heaven narrower for you, for I want to be neutral in this matter; rather, hold it against the theologians and Fathers of the Church who will engrave this truth in your heart by the force of reason. If you are disillusioned by the second truth, give thanks to God over it, for He wants only one thing: that you give your hearts totally to Him. Finally, if you oblige me to tell you clearly what I think, I will do so for your consolation. (to be continued next week)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 8th September 2013

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
 8 September  2013
“For everyone who exalts himself shall be
humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be
exalted.”  Lk. 14:11
In today’s liturgy, we are given
passages which celebrate the incredible riches of
the coming  of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  In the
Epistle (Ephesians  3:13-21), St. Paul, although he
is in chains in Rome, celebrates “the unfathomable
riches of Christ.”  Eph. 3:8 Today’s Gospel ( Luke
14:1-11), describes the miraculous ability of Jesus
to cure  the man with dropsy and shows how Our
Lord’s divine wisdom counteracts the pride of the
Pharisees in the “Parable of Choosing the Lowest
Place at Table.” Only divine wisdom could have
challenged the Pharisees in their custom of
choosing the first place for themselves at banquets.
By telling them to humble themselves and pick the
lowest place at table, Jesus rebukes them for their
prideful attack on Him for curing the man of
dropsy on the Sabbath. He also  reveals their own
covetousness for honours and esteem before men.
In teaching them the need to be humble, Jesus
reveals the importance of humility in order to enter
the heavenly kingdom He has prepared for them.
Earlier, in the first chapter of the  Epistle to the 
Ephesians, St. Paul had extolled this wonderful
plan of God for all mankind: “Blessed be the God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has
blessed us with every spiritual blessing on high in
Christ.  Even as he chose us in him before the
foundation of the world that we should be holy
and without blemish in his sight in love.”  Eph. 1:
3-4  In today’s Epistle, St. Paul praises the blessed
calling of all Christians:   “...and to have Christ
dwelling through faith in your hearts: so that
being rooted and grounded in love, you may be
able to comprehend with all the saints what is the
breadth and length and height and depth, and to
know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, in
order that you may be filled unto all fullness of
God.” Eph. 3: 17-19
The Mystery of Christ Dwelling in Man
Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book,  The
Liturgical Life Vol. 11 comments on the plenitude
of God which is given to the soul who believes in
Jesus Christ. “For, God alone, as he tells us in the
music we have just heard, can strengthen in us
the inward man enough to make us understand,
as the saints do, the dimensions (‘breadth, length,
height and depth’) of the great mystery of
Christ ‘dwelling’ in man, and ‘dwelling’ in him
for the purpose  of ‘filling him with the plenitude
of God.’ Therefore is it, that falling on his knees
before him from whom flows every perfect gift,
and who has begotten us in truth by his love (cf.
Jas. 1:17-8), our apostle (Paul) asks God to
open, by faith and charity, the eyes of our heart,
that we may be able to understand the splendid
riches of the inheritance He reserves to His
children, and the exceeding greatness of the
divine power used in our favour, even  in this
life.” Gueranger, p. 359   The Holy Spirit opens to
us the riches of God’s grace for those who will
penetrate the mystery of the predestination to
holiness in love for all those who will be “the
praise of the glory of his grace.” (Eph. 1:6)  Dom
Gueranger comments on this high calling of the
followers of Christ: “It is there that divine
Wisdom reveals to the perfect that great secret
of love, which is not  known by the wise  and the
princes of this world—secret which the eye had
not before seen, nor the ear heard, nor the heart
even suspected as possible (cf. I Cor. 2: 6-9)
...The  world was not as yet existing (“before the
foundation of the world” Eph. 1: 4), and already
God saw us in His Word (Christ) (cf. Eph. 1:4);
to each one among us, He assigned the place he
was to hold in the body of His Christ (cf. I Cor.
12:12-31; Eph. 4:12-16)), already, His fatherly
eye beheld us clad with that grace (cf. Eph. 1:6)
which made Him  well-pleased with the ManGod; and He predestinated us (cf. Eph. 1:4-5),
as being  members of this His beloved Son, to sit
with Him, on His right hand, in the highest
heavens.. It is from the voluntary and culpable
death of sin (cf. Eph. 2:1-5) that he calls us to
that life which is His own life... Let us then be
holy for the sake of giving praise to the glory of
such grace (cf. Eph. 1: 4, 6) ...Thus, too, is to be
wrought that mystery which, from all eternity,
was the object of God’s eternal designs: the
mystery, that is, of divine union, realized by our
Lord Jesus uniting, in His own Person, in
infinite love, both earth and heaven.” Gueranger,
p. 361-2 Oh, how exalted is the calling of men to
be Sons of God and  “the praise of His glory”  in
heaven for all eternity.
The Heavenly Marriage Banquet
In a metaphorical way, the essential
message of today’s Gospel is the practical
fulfilment of what St. Paul is speaking about in
today’s Epistle the predestination of  the elect to
the heavenly marriage banquet. Dom Gueranger
comments  on this calling:  “The wedding spoken
of in today’s Gospel is that of heaven, of which
there is a prelude given here below, by the union
effected in the sacred banquet of Holy
Communion. The divine invitation is made to
all; and the invitation is not like that which is
given on the occasion of earthly weddings, to
which the bridegroom and bride invite their
friends and relatives as simple witnesses to the
union contracted between two individuals. In
the Gospel wedding, Christ is the Bridegroom,
and the Church is the bride (cf. Apoc. 19:7)....
But, for the attainment of all  this—that is, that
our Lord Jesus Christ may have that full control
over the soul and its powers which makes her to
be truly His, and  subjects her to Him as the
bride to her Spouse  (cf. I Cor. 11:8-10) – it is
necessary that all alien competition be entirely
and definitively put aside.” Gueranger, p. 365.
“...he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”
Lk. 14:11
Dom Gueranger commenting on the
Loss of Spiritual Ardour
In today’s Gospel, we see how Jesus
stresses the importance of seeking God alone and 
not the honours of men in order to attain divine
union. In a dramatic manner, as the Pharisees watch
Him to see if  He will break the Sabbath by curing
the man with dropsy, Jesus not only cures the man
with dropsy, but He reveals the serious sickness in
the souls of the Pharisees. According to Dom
Gueranger, quoting St. Ambrose, the man with
dropsy represents “a morbid exuberance of
humours, which stupefy the soul, and induce
total extinction of spiritual ardour.” Gueranger,
p. 367-6    Ven. Bede also shows that this loss of 
spiritual ardour is caused by lustful desires: “The
dropsical man represents one who is weighed
down by an overflowing stream of carnal
pleasures, for it is a sickness named after the
watery humour. But specifically the dropsical
man is the covetous rich man who, the more he
abounds in riches, the more ardently desires
them, says St. Augustine.” The Commentary of
Cornelius a Lapide, p. 540   Jesus cures the
dropsical man of his covetousness for this world’s
goods so that he can seek the riches of God. In
reading the minds of  the Pharisees, He also shows
how His cure is just exactly what everyone else
would do: “Which of you shall have an ass or a an
 ox fall into a pit, and will not immediately draw
him up on the Sabbath.” Lk. 14: 5. The pride
of the Pharisees has blinded them so that they
condemn Jesus for delivering a man from sickness,
even though  they themselves would do the same 
for one of their  own animals
evil attitude of the Pharisees tells us of the
importance of humility if we are going  to be
accepted in the heavenly feast as Christ’s bride: 
“But, as above all, it is to the constant attitude of
humility that he must especially direct his
attention  who would secure a prominent place
in the divine feast of the nuptials.” Gueranger, p.
366   Jesus had spoken the “Parable of the First
Seats at Table” to show that the Pharisees are
ambitious and proud to presume to take the first
places at a wedding banquet.“Now Christ
demonstrates how unbecoming it is to vie for the
first seat at table, and thereby he silently
demonstrates, by way of analogy, how
unbecoming ambition is in any matter
whatsoever. For sin continues to be sin, although
the matter may differ from one case to the
next.”  A Lapide, p. 341-2.  Although Jesus is
commenting on the ambition of seeking the first
place, He is primarily teaching us all that the only
way to the heavenly banquet table is one of
humility.  “For everyone who exalts himself shall
be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be
exalted.”  Lk. 14:11  Those who wrongfully desire
the praise of men will not be worthy to enter the
heavenly banquet as brides of Christ.
How to attend Holy Mass
“The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even
the highest prayer that exists. It is the sacrifice,
dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and
repeated every day on the altar.  If you wish
to hear Mass, as it should be heard, you must
follow with eye, heart, and mouth all that
happens at the altar. Further, you must pray
with the Priest the holy words said by him in
the Name of Christ and which Christ says by
him.  You have to associate your heart with the
holy feelings which are contained in these words,
and in this manner you ought to follow all that
happens at the altar. When acting in this way,
you have prayed Holy Mass.”
 His Holiness, Pope St. Pius X
“The Little Number of Those Who
Are Saved”
by St. Leonard of Port Maurice
Saint Leonard of  Port Maurice was a most
holy Franciscan friar who lived at the monastery of
Saint Bonaventure in Rome. He was one of the greatest
missioners in the history of the Church. He used to
preach to thousands in the open square of every city and
town where the churches could not hold his listeners.
So brilliant and holy was his eloquence that once when
he gave a two weeks' mission in Rome, the Pope and
College of Cardinals came to hear him. The Immaculate
Conception of the Blessed Virgin, the adoration of the
Blessed Sacrament and the veneration of the Sacred
Heart of Jesus were his crusades. He was in no small
way responsible for the definition of the Immaculate
Conception made a little more than a hundred years after
his death. He also gave us the Divine Praises, which
are said at the end of Benediction. But Saint Leonard's
most famous work was his devotion to the Stations of
the Cross. He died a most holy death in his seventy-fifth
year, after twenty-four years of uninterrupted preaching.
One of Saint Leonard of Port Maurice's most
famous sermons was  "The Little Number of Those
Who Are Saved." It was the one he relied on for the
conversion of great sinners. This sermon, like his other
writings, was submitted to canonical examination during
the process of canonization. In it he reviews the various
states of life of Christians and concludes with the little
number of those who are saved, in relation to the totality
of men.
The reader who meditates on this remarkable
text will grasp the soundness of its argumentation, which
has earned it the approbation of the Church. Here is the
great missionary's vibrant and moving sermon. (to be
continued next and subsequent weeks)

Friday, September 6, 2013

First Five Saturdays - Reminder-


First Five Saturdays - Reminder-


The Devotion of

the Five First Saturdays of the month


Perhaps the most important thing we need to grasp about the message of Fatima is the vital need to make reparation for the countless sacrileges and blasphemies committed against our Immaculate Mother, especially against Her Immaculate Conception and Her virginal purity. Once St. Maximlian Mary Kolbe was walking along the street and he heard a man blaspheming Our Lady.  In tears he exclaimed: “How can you blaspheme your own Mother?”   The best way of making reparation is to put into practice the devotion of the five first Saturdays of the month. Its importance is confirmed by Jesus Himself who said: “Whether the world has war or peace depends on the practice of this devotion, together with consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”  But later on, He also complained to Lucia that many souls begin the 5 First Saturdays, but few finish them, and those who do, complete them so as to receive the graces that are promised thereby. He said: “ It would please Me more if they did five with fervour and with the intention of making reparation to the Heart of their Mother, than if they did 15 in a tepid and indifferent manner.”  Thus Jesus confirms how pleased He is when we strive to make reparation for the sins and blasphemies committed against Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.  We will never regret having done this and will rejoice very much the Heart of Jesus.



Our Lady’s Great Promise of

the Five First Saturdays

         

            On December 10th 1925, in Tuy, Spain, the most Holy Virgin appeared to Lucia, and by Her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was a child. The most holy Virgin rested Her hand on Lucia’s shoulder and as She did so, She showed her a heart encircled with thorns, which She was holding in Her other hand.  At the same time the Child said: “Have compassion on the Heart of your most holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.” Then the most holy Virgin said: “Look my daughter at My Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for fifteen minutes, while meditating on the fifteen (now twenty including the Luminous mysteries) mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to Me.”

NB The meditation may be upon one or more of the mysteries.



Why does Our Lady ask for five Saturdays?


            She asks specifically for five in order to make reparation for the following:

Blasphemies against Her Immaculate  Conception.

Blasphemies against Her Perpetual Virginity.

Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity and the refusal to accept Her as Mother of all.

In reparation for those who seek to instil into the hearts of children indifference, scorn and even hatred for their Immaculate Mother.

In reparation for those who those who directly insult Her in Her holy images.



Consecration to the Immaculate

Heart of Mary


Our Lady wants people to consecrate themselves to Her Immaculate Heart, so that they can then become instruments of salvation in Her hands for the countless souls in danger of being lost for all eternity.  By doing this, they pay special homage to their heavenly Mother, placing themselves under Her protection, whilst striving to imitate Her virtues.  It would be good to renew the consecration often – daily and especially on the feast days of Our Lady.


Prayer of Consecration

 to Our Lady of Fatima


O Virgin of Fatima, Mother of mercy, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart. To you we consecrate our hearts and souls, our families and all that we have. And in order that this consecration may be truly effective and lasting, we renew today the promises of our Baptism and Confirmation: and we undertake to live as good Christians, faithful to God, the Church and the Holy Father. We desire to pray the Rosary, partake in the holy Eucharist, attach special importance to the first Saturday of the month and work for the conversion of sinners. Furthermore we promise, o most holy Virgin, that we will zealously spread devotion to you, so that through our consecration to Your Immaculate Heart and through Your own intercession, the coming of the Kingdom of Christ in the world may be hastened. Amen. 




Is the Message of Fatima Relevant Today?


            The message of Fatima is more relevant today than when it was given to us by our Blessed Mother in 1917.  Above all it confirms and emphasises certain truths of our Faith which some people of our days are trying to eliminate:


The great importance of the Holy Eucharist (which many try to strip of all meaning) which is Jesus Christ Himself present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the consecrated host.

The existence of Angels and demons.

The reality of hell which was confirmed by Our Lady Herself.

The value of prayer (especially the Holy Rosary) and penance in our lives.


            It is true that Revelation ended with Christ and His Apostles, but that does not mean that God cannot speak any longer to His children and abandon them. Not at all; God speaks again in our times and He does so by means of our Immaculate Mother.




“In the end My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph!”


Today Fatima stands as a magnificent symbol of hope for our sinful world dominated by the spectre of mass apostasy from God. Our only hope for world peace is found in the Message of Fatima – the message from Heaven for OUR TIMES! Are we listening?


This article was written in order to offer a small act of reparation for the sins and blasphemies which are continuously committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our most beloved Mother.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost



Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

1 September  2013

 

“But fear seized upon all, and they began to glorify God, saying, ‘A great prophet has arisen among us,’ and ‘God has visited his people.’”

Lk. 7:16

 

            Today’s liturgy is dominated by the Gospel in which Jesus Christ, who is “the resurrection and the life” Jn. 11:25 raises the widow’s son from the dead.  This is the same Jesus who appears on our altars,  gives us life and  raises us from the dead. “It is important to stress this connection between the Gospel and the altar, because it is all very well to think of the Gospel as history in which we are taught divine truths which unite us to God. But there is more to it than that; we must love the Gospel by means of its mystical significance. When the Church chooses a passage of the Gospel to include in the Mass, she does so with the idea that, not only will it reveal  certain facts  to us about our religion, but also so that, through the whole sacrifice, sacraments, and prayers of the liturgy, we shall draw abundant fruit for our souls. We shall begin to live what we have heard.”  The Preacher’s Encyclopedia, Twelfth to Last Sundays after Pentecost, p. 152   In today’s Epistle (Gal. 5:25-26; 6: 1-10) St. Paul again emphasizes, as we saw in the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, the conflict between the flesh and the spirit:  “For what a man sows, he will reap. For he who sows in the flesh also will reap corruption. But he who sows in the spirit will reap life everlasting.” Gal. 5: 8  The one hope that we all have is seen in today’s Gospel (Lk. 7:11-16) where Jesus raises “the only son of his mother” Lk. 7:12 in the town of Naim (means beautiful, delightful, pleasing).  Here we see the theme that runs through today’s liturgy:  “Whatever good there is in us is the fruit of His grace...Without Jesus we would abide in death; without Him we could never live the glorious life of the Spirit described by St. Paul in today’s Epistle.” Fr. Gabriel of St. Magdalen, OCD,  Divine Intimacy, p. 880

 

“...he who sows in the spirit will reap life everlasting.” Ga. 5: 8

Dom Prosper Gueranger in his The Liturgical Life, Vol. 13 comments on the spiritual life produced in our souls by the Holy Spirit:  “When the flesh has been subdued, we must beware of supposing that the structure of our perfection is completed. Not only must the combat be kept up after the victory, under penalty of losing all we have won, but we must also be on the watch, lest one or other of the heads of the triple concupiscence (the world, the flesh and the devil) take advantage of the soul’s efforts being elsewhere directed to raise itself against us, and sting us all the more terribly, because it is left to do just as it pleases.  The apostle warns us here of vain-glory, and well he may; for vain-glory is, more than other enemies always in a menacing attitude ready to in infuse its subtle poison even into acts of humility and penance...Would to God we could ever have ringing in our ears the saying of the apostle: “Whilst we have time, let us work good to all men” Gal. 6:10 ...Then will man reap with joy what he shall have sown in tears (cf  Ps. 125:5); he failed not, he grew not weary of doing  good while in the dreary land of his exile; still less will he ever tire of the everlasting harvest which is to be in the living light of the eternal day.” Gueranger, p. 346, 348 & 349) “... he who sows in the spirit will reap life everlasting.” Ga. 5: 8   

 

Jesus is our only Life

            “The thought that Jesus is our Life shines forth even more in the Gospel.  The Master meets the sad funeral procession of a young man. His mother is walking  beside the bier, weeping. ‘And the Lord, seeing her, had compassion on her, and said to her: ‘Weep not.’ And he came near and touched the bier... And He said: ‘Young man, I say to thee, arise...’ And He gave him to his mother.” (Lk. 7:13-4) Fr. Gabriel, p. 881  Jesus not only restores the son to life, but, in The  Commentary on the Gospel of Luke According to Cornelius a Lapide, He also restores  the souls of  all sinners to the life of grace:  Allegorically, the widow is the Church, who mourns her dead sons—that is Christians who through mortal sin have been deprived of God’s grace, which is life, as it were, the soul of the soul—and by her tears begs forgiveness for them and the life of grace. Therefore, Christ 1. Halts the funeral procession, i.e., checks and restrains those passions which gain mastery over the young, so that the sinner may no longer follow them.  2. Touches the bier, i.e., the wood of the cross, sinners are moved by God to   repentance and filled with grace.  Hence, 3. The dead man sits up and begins to speak, i.e., begins to do good and to praise God, so that astonishment  seizes all those who witness such a great and godly chance and they glorify God with one voice. So St. Ambrose, Euthymius, Theophylact, and Bede (in loco), as St. Augustine (serm. 44 de Verbis Domini).  We have a living example of this in St. Monica, who as a widow mourned unceasingly for her son, Augustine, who was dead in heresy and wantonness, and she recalled him by her prayers and tears to such holiness of life that he became an eminent doctor of the Church, as he himself relates in his Confessions. Again, more particularly, the widow is the Church, the son—the people of the gentiles barred by the plank of   concupiscence—and as the wood which brought death and to which it has grown accustomed—and as it were enclosed in bier, i.e., by the wood of the cross, Christ restored to life.”  a Lapide, p. 377.

The miracle of the soul’s conversion

            In another spiritual interpretation of this miracle (tropologically), from a moral point of view, Cornelius a Lapide sees how pastors of the Church should act towards sinners:  “Tropologically, in the example of this widow we see how a pastor or a rector or a confessor should act when any of his weak spiritual children should happen to fall into mortal sin and are being borne to the grave of everlasting despair. He should follow the funeral procession with his fellow citizens, i.e., with weeping, wailing, and much lamentation, for thus his soul will receive comfort from the Lord who: 1. Touching the bier will cause the pallbearers to stand still, i.e., will put an end to lusts;  2. Will recall the dead to life; and 3. Will raise him up to the practice of the virtues, so that he may speak and confess his sins and proclaim the loving kindness of God.  Thus at last he is restored to the Church, his mother, whose past sorrow will be eclipsed by her present joy, and thus also many will marvel and be led to extol the goodness of God.” A Lapide, p. 337-8.

 

Spiritual Meaning of Jesus’ Miracles of raising the dead to life

            Cornelius a Lapide sees in the three people whom Jesus raised from the dead a spiritual  (moral or tropological) significance.  “We read that Christ raised three people to life. 1. The daughter of the ruler of the synagogue in the house, i.e. one who sins in the thoughts and intention. 2. The son of the widow at the gate, i.e. one who manifests his sinful intention in words, and misleads others. 3. Lazarus in the tomb, i.e. the consummate sinner who by repeating an action has contracted the habit of sin, so that he lies as it were buried in sin without hope of salvation or resurrection. The first, Christ raised  to life by secret prayer apart from others; the second by a command;  the third by crying with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ Jn. 11:43  This is because a sin in thought only is easily cured; more difficult is a sin in speech; and the most difficult is the sin that is actually and repeatedly committed, in which a person lies as though asleep, indeed as though dead and buried. Hence it is necessary for Christ to cry aloud in a mighty voice to the sinner’s heart, so that he may come to his senses.” a Lapide, p. 378  In Jesus’ three miracles of raising the dead, there is also a spiritual meaning of the increased seriousness of sins of the thought, word and deed. 

 

“If anyone eat of this bread, he will live forever;...” Jn. 6:51

How blessed we are when we come to Holy Mass and receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.  Jesus comes to give us life everlasting.  He promised us this when He said: “I am the living bread that has come down heaven. If anyone eat of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of world.”  Jn. 6: 51-2  This is one of Jesus’ most important promises; He promises us life everlasting when we come to receive His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist at Mass.  Even if we are spiritually dead through mortal  sin, He will raise us up, like He did with the only son of widow of Naim,  by forgiving our sins in the sacrament of Penance through the priests of His Church.  How blessed are those who live in the Spirit of Jesus Christ for they will  have life everlasting.

 

Mass in the Extraordinary Form

This Sunday at 10:00 AM and during the week at 7:30 AM Holy Mass will be in the Extraordinary Form (Latin Mass).

 

The First Friday, 6 September 2013

Now is a good time to continue (or begin) the  devotion to the “Nine  First Fridays” of the Month.   The Sacred Heart of Jesus promised to St. Margaret Mary:  "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."  There is no better way of  honouring the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus than in receiving Holy Communion on  the “Nine First Fridays.”.

 

The First Saturday,  7 August 2013

Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me."  If only we would do what Our Lady asks, we would be assured of eternal salvation.  Our Lady promises us all the graces necessary for our salvation if we keep The Five First Saturdays!  Just think that when you are  about to die  the Blessed Virgin Mary will be there with you to help you get to heaven!   “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen”   How many times have you said these words in your lifetime?

 

Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix Seventh  of September 2013

 

On the First Saturday of every month, we will have our monthly formation program for those who are interested in affiliating themselves with the Marian Spirituality of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The day begins at 9:30 AM and goes until 4 PM and includes two conferences, Holy Mass, adoration and the rosary. (see flyer on door)

  This spirituality is Marian and Franciscan and includes the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi,   St. Maximilian Kolbe and other Franciscan saints. “The fundamental aim of the MIM is the fulfilment of God’s plan for the salvation and sanctification of all souls through the maternal mediation of the Immaculate to the supreme glory of the Most Holy Trinity.”  (Article 2: Statute)

We hope that all of you will consider joining the MIM and work for your own sanctification and the sanctification of  so many souls.  Our Lady said at Fatima in 1917: “Many souls will go to hell because no one will pray and sacrifice for them.”