Sunday, October 27, 2013
Feast of Christ the King “The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and power and honour: to Him be glory and empire for ever and ever.” Rev. 5:12 & 1:6 Firstborn of All Creatures Jesus is the firstborn of all creatures. He gives the Father the greatest glory as Man because He is true God and loves the Father infinitely as God, the Son. This is why the Father is so pleased with His Son. Christ is the King for all eternity because He has given Himself for our ransom and has won for us our eternal salvation: “The Lord will reign forever and will give his people the gift of peace.” Ps. 28: 10-11 Jesus Christ is the “Son of Man” as He is both God and man. He is the first-born of all creatures and as such He gives the Father the greatest glory. This is why He is the “King of Kings” and the “Lord of Lords.” He is Christ the King of all nations and tribes: “He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have our redemption, the remission of our sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. For in him were created all things in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and invisible...” Col. 1: 13-16 He Has Redeemed Us “(Jesus Christ) faithful witness, first-born of the dead and ruler of the Kings of the earth.” Rev. 1:5. Christ is the faithful witness who has given His life and “washed us from our sins in His own blood.” Rev. 1:5 All creation looks to Him as He is the “Alpha and Omega,” (Rev. 1:8) the beginning and the end of all things. All things are measured by His great sacrifice for He has conquered death and redeemed us of our sins. “To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.” Rev. 1:6 Jesus Christ is King, Priest and Victim The Preface for the Feast of Christ the King (Ordinary Form) echoes the theme of Christ’s Kingship: “that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to Thee, holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: Who with the oil of gladness didst anoint Thine only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ as Priest for ever and King of all.” (Preface) Jesus is our eternal High Priest and King of Kings forever: “That offering Himself on the altar of the Cross a stainless Victim to appease Thee, He might accomplish the mysteries of man’s redemption...” (Preface) He is not only our King, but He is also our Priest who has sacrificed Himself for our sins. By His sacrifice, we are redeemed for His eternal kingdom in heaven: “and that subjecting all creatures to His sway, He might present to Thine infinite Majesty a universal and eternal Kingdom; a Kingdom of truth and life; a Kingdom of holiness and grace: a Kingdom of justice and peace.” (Preface) To obtain this Kingdom, St. Paul told us we must be “without spot or wrinkle.” (Eph. 5: 27) Tragic Choice of Modern Man The nations of the world tragically reject the Kingship of Christ with their immoral opposition to God’s Divine laws. Many nations today have legalized practices which are opposed to the Ten Commandments: abortion, divorce, contraception, same sex marriages, and euthanasia. With these sins against God’s Commandments, the world has chosen Satan, the Prince of this World, as their leader (king). This choice can only lead to tragedy for all of us in this world. People no longer believe in truth and think that they can do what they want; they no longer believe in the eternal truths of heaven, hell and judgment; they deny the Church’s teachings on life and marriage and fail to procreate the children that God wishes to give the world. “Without a deep reverence for the sacredness of life, humanity places itself on the path of self-destruction.” (Bishop Sean O’Malley of Fall River, Ma. USA, In Vitro Fertilization) Christ the King Must Reign in Our World and in Us All When Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925 with his decree, “Quas Primas,” he wanted to remind us that Jesus Christ must reign as King in our minds, our hearts, and in our wills if we want peace and happiness in this world. “He must reign in our minds which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desire and love God above all things, and cleave to Him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls.”(#21) Jesus has created us, He has redeemed us, He has sanctified us with His Flesh and Blood, He governs us with love and protection, and He has prepared a place for us in His heavenly Kingdom if we are faithful to His commandments. He will come to judge us in His glory and power. If we choose Him as our King today, we need not fear that He will refuse us His kingdom in Heaven for all eternity. Feast of All Saints Friday, 1 November 2013 Holyday of Obligation Holy Mass is at 10:00 A. M. The Feast of All Saints is also the First Friday of November 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 Feast of All Souls, Saturday 2 November 2013 Souls in Purgatory: November is the month in which we remember the poor souls in Purgatory who cannot help themselves. They rely on us to shorten their time of purification. Saturday, 2 November 2013 is the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed or All Souls Day. Mass is at 7:30 AM as usual. All-Souls Lists: Please put the names of those who have died on the All-Souls list, and we will include them in our Masses during the month of November . Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix First Saturday: 2 November 2013 9:30 AM- Tea and coffee: St. Joseph’s Hall) 10:00 AM- First Conference: Marian Vow of Total Consecration 11:30 AM- Holy Mass in the chapel 12:30 PM- Lunch (Bring your own); Tea supplied 1:30 PM- Quiet Time: Adoration, Confession, Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet 3:10 PM- Benediction 3:30 PM- Second Conference: Marian Vow 4:15-4:30 PM- Tea and Departure The Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix (Our Lady) is to bring all souls to her Son, Jesus Christ, King of all creation. Our Lady will destroy all His enemies (Cf. Genesis 3:15), that is, Mary will crush under her heel all who are opposed to Christ by making laws contrary to His Commandments. On November 9, 1976 Karol Cardinal Wojtla, the future Pope John Paul II, spoke at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, Pa., USA: “We are now standing in face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that the wide circles of American society or the wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the Anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-gospel.” The Five First Saturdays Next Saturday, 2 November is the First Saturday of November. 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!
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
For St. Paul, charity without truth is “Render, therefore, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Mt. 22:21 on the liturgy, The Liturgical Year Vol. 11 comments on today’s liturgy: “According to Honorius of Autun, the Mass of to-day has reference to the days of the Antichrist. The Church foreseeing the reign of the man of sin (cf. II Thess. 2:3) and as though she were actually undergoing the persecution which is to surpass all others, takes her Introit of this twenty-second Sunday from the Psalm De profundis (cf. Ps. 129).” Gueranger, p. 455 In the Epistle (Philippians 1: 6-11) St. Paul alludes to “the day of Christ Jesus” Phil. 1: 6 and 1:10 which is the day at the end of time when Jesus will come in power to judge all the world. Dom Gueranger comments on what this means: “St. Paul, in the Church’s name, again invites our attention to the near approach of the last day. But what, on the previous Sunday, he called the evil day, he now,...calls twice over the day of Christ Jesus.” Gueranger, p. 457 According to Dom Gueranger in the last days, the loss of truth is the greatest peril: “The diminution of truth (cf. Ps. 11:2) is evidently to be a leading peril of the latter times; for, during these weeks (Pentecost) which represent the last days of the world, the Church is continually urging us to a sound and solid understanding of truth, as though she considered that to be the great preservative for her children....To-day in the Epistle, she implored of them to be ever progressing in knowledge and all understanding, as being the essential means for abounding in charity, and for having the work of their sanctification perfected for the day of Christ Jesus. The Gospel (Mt. 22: 15-21) comes with an appropriate finish to these instructions given us by the apostle; it relates an incident in our Lord’s life, which stamps those counsels with the weightiest possible authority, viz., the example of Him, who is our divine Model. He gives His disciples the example they should follow, when, like Himself, they have snares laid by the world, for their destruction.” Gueranger, p. 462-3 “And I pray, that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge and all understanding...” Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book Phil. 1:9 the cause of darkness and error. Dom Gueranger tells us how important is the truth which is shown brightly in the light of Christian civilization: “The one ambition which rules and absorbs him (cf. Phil. 1:24-7) is that God, who has begun in them the work which is good by excellence, the work of Christian perfection such as we know had been wrought in the apostle himself, may continue and perfect it in them all, by the day, when Christ is to appear in His glory (cf. Col. 3:4). This is what he prays for, that charity, the wedding-garment of those whom he has betrothed to the one Spouse (cf. II Cor. 11:2), may beautify them with all its splendour for the grand day of the eternal nuptials (cf. Durand, Ration., vi 139). Now, how is that charity to be perfected in them? ...Charity, they say, is the queen of virtues; it makes them take everything easily, even lies against truth; to give the same rights to error as to truth is, in their estimation the highest point of Christian civilization grounded in love. They quite forget that the first object of charity, God who is substantial Truth, has no greater enemy than a lie; ...When Christianity first shone upon mankind, it found error supreme mistress of the world. Having, then, to deal with a universe that was rooted in death (cf. Mt. 4:16), Christianity adopted no other plan for giving salvation than that of making the light as bright as could be; its only policy was to proclaim the power which truth alone has of saving man, and to assert its exclusive right to reign over this world. The triumph of the Gospel was the result.” Gueranger, p. 457-9. This is why, as Dom Gueranger reminds us, the Church in today’s Epistle implores us to progress “in knowledge and all understanding...” Phil. 1:9, as being essential means of abounding in charity, and for having the work of their sanctification perfected for the day of Christ Jesus.” Gueranger, p. 462 All authority comes from God importance of today’s Gospel for Jesus’ disciples who will have to overcome the errors of the world: “It was the last day of Jesus’ public teaching; it was almost eve of His departure from this earth (Tuesday in Holy Week). His enemies had failed in every attempt hitherto made to ensnare Him; this last plot was to be unusually deep-laid. The Pharisees, who refused to recognize Caesar’s authority and denied his claim to tribute, joined Dom Gueranger tells us of the with their adversaries, the partisans of Herod and Rome, to propose this insidious question to Jesus: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? If our Lord’s answer was negative, He incurred the displeasure of the government; if He took the affirmative side, He would lose the estimation of the people. With His divine prudence, He disconcerted their plans. The two parties, so strangely made friends by partnership in one common intrigue, heard the magnificent answer, which was divine enough to make even Pharisees and Herodians one in the truth. But truth was not what they were in search of; so they returned to their old party quarrels. The league formed against our Jesus was broken; the effort made by error recoiled on itself, as must ever be the case; and the answer it had elicited, passed from the lips of our Incarnate Lord to those of His bride, the Church, who would be ever repeating it to the world, for it contains the first principles of all governments on earth. “‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s’ (Mt. 22:21): it was the dictum most dear to the apostles. If they boldly asserted that we must obey God rather than men (cf. Acts 5:29), they explained the whole truth, and added: ‘Let every soul be subject to the higher powers; for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God....The will of God (cf. Rom. 8:1, 2. 5 & 6): there is the origin, there is the real greatness of all authority amongst men! Of themselves, men have no right to command their fellow-men.” Gueranger, p. 463-4 All law must conform to God’s will important truth which Jesus, truth itself (cf. Jn. 14:6), pronounced to the Jews: “But, in order that the law oblige, that is, be truly law, it is evident that it must be, first and foremost, comformable to the commands and the prohibitions of God, whose will alone can give it a sacred character by making it enter into the domain of man’s conscience. It is for this reason that there cannot be a law against God, or His Christ, or His Church. When God is not with Him who governs, the power he exercises is nothing better than brute force. The sovereign, or the parliament, that pretends to govern a country in opposition to the laws of God, has no right to aught but revolt and contempt from every upright man; to give the sacred name of law to tyrannical enactments of that kind is a profanation unworthy, not only of a Christian, but of every man who is not a slave.” Gueranger, p. 465. Modern Secular Society When the laws of God break down and nations legalize practices, like abortion, contraception, same-sex marriages, euthanasia, etc. then we have a society that is opposed to Jesus Christ and is in the beginning stages of the Antichrist (cf. I Jn. 2:3 and II Thess. 2:3). The Pharisees were forerunners of those future antichrists because they refused to believe in the teaching on the rights and duties that belong to the State (Caesar) and God (the Church). St. Paul reminded the Philippians “that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge and all understanding...” Phil 1:9 As the laws of our modern secular society break down and people believe that because it is a law that they have a right to actions which are opposed to God’s law, then we have a society which is in danger of anarchy in this world and eternal perdition in the next. They have not heeded the words of today’s Epistle where charity has the understanding of truth: “....that you may approve the better things; be sincere and without offense unto the day of Christ.” Phil. 1: 10 “The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved” Part V by St. Leonard of Port Maurice Dom Gueranger reminds us the Our chronicles relate an even more dreadful happening. One of our brothers, well-known for his doctrine and holiness, was preaching in Germany. He represented the ugliness of the sin of impurity so forceful that a woman fell dead of sorrow in front of everyone. Then, coming back to life, she said, "When I was presented before the Tribunal of God, sixty thousand people arrived at the same time from all parts of the world; out of that number, three were saved by going to Purgatory, and all the rest were damned." O abyss of the judgments of God! Out of thirty thousand, only five were saved! And out of sixty thousand, only three went to heaven! You sinners who are listening to me, in what category will you be numbered?... What do you say?... What do you think?... I see almost all of you lowering your heads, filled with astonishment and horror. But let us lay our stupor aside, and instead of flattering ourselves, let us try to draw some profit from our fear. Is it not true that there are two roads which lead to heaven: innocence and repentance? Now, if I show you that very few take either one of these two roads, as rational people you will conclude that very few are saved. And to mention proofs: in what age, employment or condition will you find that the number of the wicked is not a hundred times greater than that of the good, and about which one might say, "The good are so rare and the wicked are so great in number"? We could say of our times what Salvianus said of his: it is easier to find a countless multitude of sinners immersed in all sorts of iniquities than a few innocent men. How many servants are totally honest and faithful in their duties? How many merchants are fair and equitable in their commerce; how many craftsmen exact and truthful; how many salesmen disinterested and sincere? How many men of law do not forsake equity? How many soldiers do not tread upon innocence; how many masters do not unjustly withhold the salary of those who serve them, or do not seek to dominate their inferiors? Everywhere, the good are rare and the wicked great in number. Who does not know that today there is so much libertinage among mature men, liberty among young girls, vanity among women, licentiousness in the nobility, corruption in the middle class, dissolution in the people, impudence among the poor, that one could say what David said of his times: "All alike have gone astray... there is not even one who does good, not even one." Go into street and square, into palace and house, into city and countryside, into tribunal and court of law, and even into the temple of God. Where will you find virtue? "Alas!" cries Salvianus, "except for a very little number who flee evil, what is the assembly of Christians if not a sink of vice?" All that we can find everywhere is selfishness, ambition, gluttony, and luxury. Is not the greater portion of men defiled by the vice of impurity, and is not Saint John right in saying, "The whole world – if something so foul may be called – "is seated in wickedness?" I am not the one who is telling you; reason obliges you to believe that out of those who are living so badly, very few are saved. But you will say: Can penance not profitably repair the loss of innocence? That is true, I admit. But I also know that penance is so difficult in practice, we have lost the habit so completely, and it is so badly abused by sinners, that this alone should suffice to convince you that very few are saved by that path. Oh, how steep, narrow, thorny, horrible to behold and hard to climb it is! Everywhere we look, we see traces of blood and things that recall sad memories. Many weaken at the very sight of it. Many retreat at the very start. Many fall from weariness in the middle, and many give up wretchedly at the end. And how few are they who persevere in it till death! Saint Ambrose says it is easier to find men who have kept their innocence than to find any who have done fitting penance.
(extract from recent article by Roberto di Mattei) The Blessed Virgin Mary was not a talkative and sentimental woman, and Her messages, when they are authentic, go straight to the point. Her words are a gift from Heaven to confirm men in their faith or to give them direction and comfort in their difficulties. At Lourdes, in 1858, Mary put the seal on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception which had been promulgated four years previously by Pius IX. At Fatima, in 1917, She announced a great punishment for the world if it did not repent of its sins. In this prophecy which Benedict XVI said was “unfinished,” Our lady wanted to make us understand how the world is living through a tragic hour in its history, reminding each person of their own responsibilities. A strong teaching, along the same lines as that of Fatima, comes to us from another Marian Message that is not very well known, the fortieth anniversary of which occurred precisely on October 13 2013: that of Akita. Akita is the name of the place, in Japan, where the apparitions of Our Lady to Sr. Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa, of the order of the Servants of the Eucharist, took place. On October 13 1973, the religious received the final and most important message in which Our Lady described the punishment which awaited humanity in these words: “If men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the Deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son. Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests. The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their Confreres. The Church and altars will be vandalized. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. The demon will rage especially against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will no longer be pardon for them.” In April of 1984 Msgr. John Shojiro Ito, Bishop of Niigata in Japan, after a thorough investigation, declared that the revelations of Akita were to be considered as having a supernatural origin and he authorised the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita in his dioceses. In June of 1988 Cardinal Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declared the events of Akita as being reliable. The Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See, Howard Dee, has publicly testified that in a conversation with Cardinal Ratzinger, the Cardinal confirmed to him that the messages of Fatima and of Akita have the same content. The Prophecies of Fatima and of Akita foresee punishments for humanity and for the Church on a natural, political and above all on a spiritual level, and remind us that God is infinitely merciful because, in the first place, He is infinitely just. This is not the hour for illusions, optimism or superficial smiles, but for earnestness and battle. And the Immaculate has promised to assist us until Her final triumph.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
The Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Dominic: 'One day through the Rosary and scapular I will save the world'.
'The secret of the Rosary' by St Louis De Montfort. I have only recently come to know of this small book and have found it to be an amazing read! If you haven't already read it the information below will give you a little flavour of it. (Make sure you have about 20 minutes to spare). ============================== The Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Dominic: 'One day through the Rosary and scapular I will save the world'. The Holy Rosary The rosary is made up of two things: mental prayer and vocal prayer. In the Holy Rosary mental prayer is none other than meditation of the chief mysteries of the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ and of His Blessed Mother. Vocal prayer consists in saying fifteen decades of the Hail Mary, each decade headed by an Our Father, while at the same time meditating on and contemplating the fifteen principal virtues which Jesus and Mary practised in the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary-source-The secret of the Rosary. The 5 mysteries of Light/the luminous mysteries were added to the Rosary in the year 2002 by Pope John Paul II ================ Since the Holy Rosary is composed, principally and in substance, of the Prayer of Christ and the Angelic Salutation, that is, the Our Father and the Hail Mary, it was without doubt the first prayer and the first devotion of the faithful and has been in use all through the centuries from the time of the Apostles and disciples down to the present. But it was only in the year 1214, however, that Holy Mother Church received the Rosary in its present form and according to the method we use today. It was given to the Church by Saint Dominic who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a powerful means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners. I will tell you the story of how he received it, which is found in the very well-known book "De Dignitate Psalterii" by Blessed Alan de la Roche .Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people's sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, withdrew into a forest near Toulouse where he prayed unceasingly for three days and three nights. During this time he did nothing but weep and do harsh penances in order to appease the anger of Almighty God. He used his discipline so much that his body was lacerated, and finally he fell into a coma. At this point Our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said: "Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?" "Oh, my Lady," answered Saint Dominic, "you know far better than I do because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation." Then Our Lady replied: "I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter which is the foundation stone of the New Testament. Therefore if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter." Source-The secret of the Rosary ===================== A DIABOLICAL POSSESSION WHEN SAINT DOMINIC was preaching the Rosary near Carcassone an Albigensian was brought to him who was possessed by the devil. Saint Dominic exorcised him in the presence of a great crowd of people; it appears that over twelve thousand had come to hear him preach. The devils who were in possession of this wretched man were forced to answer Saint Dominic's questions in spite of themselves. They said that: 1. There were fifteen thousand of them in the body of this poor man, because he had attacked the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary; 2. They went on to testify that by preaching the Rosary he put fear and horror into the very depths of Hell and that he was the man they hated most throughout the whole world, because of the souls which he snatched from them through devotion to the Holy Rosary; 3. They then revealed several other things. Saint Dominic put his Rosary around the Albigensian's neck and asked the devils to tell him who, of all the Saints in Heaven, was the one they feared the most, and who should therefore be the most loved and revered by men. At this they let out such unearthly screams that most of the people fell to the ground, faint from fear. Then, using all their cunning, so as not to answer, the devils wept and wailed in such a pitiful way that many of the people wept also, out of purely natural pity. The devils spoke through the mouth of the Albigensian, pleading in a heartrending voice: "Dominic, Dominic, have mercy on us----we promise you that we will never hurt you. You have always had compassion for sinners and those in distress; have pity on us, for we are in grievous straits. We are suffering so very much already, so why do you delight in heightening our pains? Can't you be satisfied with our suffering without adding to it? Have pity on us! Have pity on us!" Saint Dominic was not one whit moved by the pathos of these wretched spirits and told them that he would not let them alone until they had answered his question. Then they said they would whisper the answer in such a way that only Saint Dominic would be able to hear. The latter firmly insisted upon their answering clearly and out loud. Then the devils kept quiet and refused to say another word, completely disregarding Saint Dominic's orders----so he knelt down and prayed thus to Our Lady: "Oh, all powerful and wonderful Virgin Mary, I implore you by the power of the Most Holy Rosary, order these enemies of the human race to answer me." No sooner had he made this prayer than a glowing flame leaped out of the ears, nostrils and mouth of the Albigensian. Everyone shook with fear, but the fire did not hurt anyone. Then the devils cried: "Dominic, we beseech you, by the passion of Jesus Christ and by the merits of His Holy Mother and of all the Saints, let us leave the body of this man without speaking further----for the Angels will answer your question whenever you wish. After all, are we not liars? So why should you want to believe us? Please don't torture us any more; have pity on us." "Woe unto you wretched spirits, who do not deserve to be heard," Saint Dominic said, and kneeling down he prayed to Our Lady: "Oh most worthy Mother of Wisdom, I am praying for the people assembled here who have already learned how to say the Angelic Salutation properly. Please, I beg of you, force your enemies to proclaim the whole truth and nothing but the truth about this, here and now, before the multitude." Saint Dominic had hardly finished this prayer when he saw the Blessed Virgin near at hand, surrounded by a multitude of Angels. She struck the possessed man with a golden rod that she held and said: "Answer my servant Dominic at once." (Remember, the people neither saw nor heard Our Lady, but only Saint Dominic.) Then the devils started screaming: "Oh you who are our enemy, our downfall and our destruction, why have you come from Heaven just to torture us so grievously? O Advocate of sinners, you who snatch them from the very jaws of Hell, you who are the very sure path to Heaven, must we, in spite of ourselves, tell the whole truth and confess before everyone who it is who is the cause of our shame and our ruin? Oh woe unto us, princes of darkness: "Then listen well, you Christians: the Mother of Jesus Christ is all-powerful and she can save her servants from falling into Hell. She is the Sun which destroys the darkness of our wiles and subtlety. It is she who uncovers our hidden plots, breaks our snares and makes our temptations useless and ineffectual. "We have to say, however reluctantly, that not a single soul who has really persevered in her service has ever been damned with us; one single sigh that she offers to the Blessed Trinity is worth far more than all the prayers, desires and aspirations of all the Saints. "We fear her more than all the other Saints in Heaven together and we have no success with her faithful servants. Many Christians who call upon her when they are at the hour of death and who really ought to be damned according to our ordinary standards are saved by her intercession. "Oh if only that Mary (it is thus in their fury that they called her) had not pitted her strength against ours and had not upset our plans, we should have conquered the Church and should have destroyed it long before this; and we would have seen to it that all the Orders in the Church fell into error and disorder. "Now that we are forced to speak we must also tell you this: nobody who perseveres in saying the Rosary will be damned, because she obtains for her servants the grace of true contrition for their sins and by means of this they obtain God's forgiveness and mercy." Then Saint Dominic had them all say the Rosary very slowly and with great devotion, and a wonderful thing happened: at each Hail Mary that he and the people said together a large group of devils issued forth from the wretched man's body under the guise of red-hot coals. When the devils had all been expelled and the heretic was at last entirely free of them, Our Lady (who was still invisible) gave her blessing to the assembled company, and they were filled with joy because of this. A large number of heretics were converted because of this miracle and joined the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. Source - The Secret of the Rosary ================== 'The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary' - Our Lady at Fatima/The blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima ============== Blessed Raymond Jordano says that however hardened and diffident a heart may be, the name of this most Blessed Virgin has such efficacy, that if it is only pronounced, that heart will be wonderfully softened. Moreover it is well known and is daily experienced by the clients of Mary that her powerful name gives the particular strength necessary to overcome temptations against purity. ============= 'Those who say the Rosary daily and wear the brown scapula & who do a little more, will go straight to heaven' - St Louis De Montfort-Author of the secret of the Rosary ============ 'Among all the devotions approved by the church none has been favoured by so many miracles as the devotion of the most Holy Rosary' - St Alfonsus Ligouri 'If there were one million families praying the Rosary every day, the entire world would be saved' - Pope Pius IX 'No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary. Either he will give up the sin or he will give up the Rosary, - Pope John XXIII ============== The Hail Mary is the hymn which terrifies devils and puts them to shame - The secret of the Rosary ============= No one could help admiring the beauty of the Holy Rosary which is made up of two heavenly things: the Lord's Prayer and the Angelic Salutation. How could there possibly be any prayers more pleasing to Almighty God and the Blessed Virgin, or any that are easier, more precious or more helpful than these two prayers? We should always have them in our hearts and on our lips to honor the Most Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ and our Saviour, and His Most Holy Mother. The secret of the Rosary ============= Let people say the rosary every day. Our Lady stated that repeatedly in all her apparitions, as if to fortify us against these times of diabolical disorientation, so that we would not allow ourselves to be deceived by false doctrines - Sister Lucia of Fatima ============== Our Lady once said to Blessed Alan de la Roche in a vision: “When people say one-hundred and fifty Angelic Salutations, this prayer is very helpful to them and is a very pleasing tribute to Me. But they will do better still and will please Me even more if they say these salutations while meditating on the life, death, and passion of Jesus Christ — for this meditation is the soul of this prayer.” - The secret of the Rosary. =========== 'The more we honour the Blessed Virgin Mary, the more we honour Jesus Christ, because we honor Mary only that we may the more perfectly honor Jesus, since we go to her only as the way by which we are to find the end we are seeking, which is Jesus.' St Louis De Montfort - Author of the secret of the Rosary-Born 1673 - Roman Catholic Priest =========== St. Augustine assures us that there is no spiritual exercise more fruitful or more useful than the frequent reflection on the sufferings of our Lord. Blessed Albert the Great, who had St. Thomas Aquinas as his student, learned in a revelation that by simply thinking of or meditating on the passion of Jesus Christ, a Christian gains more merit than if he had fasted on bread and water every Friday for a year, or had beaten himself with the discipline once a week til blood flowed, or had recited the whole Book of Psalms every day. If this is so, then how great must be the merit we can gain from the Rosary, which commemorates the whole life and passion of our Lord? Our Lady one day revealed to Blessed Alan de la Roche that, after the holy sacrifice of the Mass, which is the first and most living memorial of our Lord's passion, there was indeed no more excellent devotion or one of greater merit than that of the Rosary, which is like a second memorial and representation of the life and passion of Jesus Christ. Fr. Dorland relates that in 1481 our Lady appeared to the Venerable Dominic, a Carthusian devoted to the Holy Rosary, who lived at Treves, and said to him: "Whenever one of the faithful, in a state of grace, says the Rosary while meditating on the mysteries of the life and passion of Christ, he obtains full and entire remission of all his sins." She also said to Blessed Alan, "I want you to know that, although there are numerous indulgences already attached to the recitation of my Rosary, I shall add many more to every five decades for those, who free from serious sin, say them with devotion, on their knees. And whosoever shall persevere in the devotion of the Holy Rosary, with its prayers and meditations, shall be rewarded for it; I shall obtain for him full remission of the penalty and the guilt of all his sins at the end of his life. "And let this not seem incredible to you; it is easy for me because I am the Mother of the King of heaven, and he calls me full of grace. And being filled with grace, I am able to dispense it freely to my dear children." St. Dominic was so convinced of the efficacy of the Rosary and its great value, that when he heard confessions, he hardly ever gave any other penance. St. Dominic was a great saint and other confessors also ought to walk in his footsteps by asking their penitents to say the Rosary with meditation on the sacred mysteries, rather than giving them other penances which are less meritorious and less pleasing to God, less likely to help them avoid sin. Moreover, while saying the Rosary, people gain numerous indulgences which are not attached to many other devotions. As Abbot Blosius says, "The Rosary, with meditation on the life and passion of Christ, is certainly most pleasing to our Lord and his blessed Mother and is a very successful means of obtaining all graces; we can say it for ourselves as well as for those who have been recommended to our prayers and for the whole Church. Let us turn, then, to the Holy Rosary in all our needs, and we shall infallibly obtain the graces we ask for from God to attain our salvation. Source - The Secret of the Rosary ================= Padre Pio, now a great Saint of the Church, used to tell a story: "One day Our Lord making rounds of Paradise saw some strange faces. He asked Peter: Who let these people in? Peter: 'There is nothing I can do.' The Lord: 'But you have the key.' Peter: 'There is nothing I can do, and you can't do either.' The Lord: 'What do you mean?' 'It's your mother. She has another key. She let's them in.' (Various Sources) ================ "Blessed Alan de la Roche says that a nun who had always had great devotion to the Holy Rosary appeared after death to one of her sisters in religion and said to her: 'If I were allowed to go back into my body, to have the chance of saying just one single Hail Mary - even if I said it quickly and without great fervor - I would gladly go through the sufferings that I had during my last illness all over again, in order to gain the merit of this prayer.' (Blessed Alan de la Roche, De Dignitate Psalterii, Chapter LXIX) This is all the more compelling because she had been bedridden and had suffered agonizing pains for several years before she died." St. Louis De Montfort/The secret of the Rosary. =============== The Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Dominic: 'One day through the Rosary and scapular I will save the world'. =============== I hope this will encourage you to pray and share the Rosary. I happened to discover the Rosary a few years ago at the age of 37. I came across a beautiful picture of Our Lady of Medjugorje. It was the first I had seen this picture of her and I found it to be absolutely stunning! In it the card I found details on how to pray the Rosary. I had been searching for a prayer for several months beforehand. I knew instantly that this was the prayer that I was looking for. I taught myself the Rosary from this card and can tell you that it has truly changed my life and I can not live without it. The secret of the Rosary? I hope people will not have to reach to my age before discovering it. An absolute must read! Let us pray together with fervour the most Holy Rosary and wait in great anticipation for the triumph of The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
21st Sunday After Pentecost 13 October 2013 “... Wicked servant! I forgave thee all the debt, because thou didst entreat me.” Mt. 18:32 Don Prosper Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Year, Vol. 11, tells us of the importance of today’s liturgy in these final weeks after Pentecost: “Durandus, Bishop of Mende, in his Rational, tells us that this and the following Sundays till Advent bear closely on the Gospel of the marriage-feast, of which they are really but a further development. ‘Whereas,’ says he, speaking of this twenty-first Sunday, ‘this marriage has no more powerful opponent than the envy of satan, the Church speaks to us today of our combat with him and on the armour wherewith we must be clad in order to go through this terrible battle, as we shall see by the Epistle (Ephesians 6:10-17).’” Gueranger, p. 438. The combat with Satan is even more dramatic in these last Sundays after Pentecost because the Church reminds us of the approach of the final days of this world and coming general judgment. Dom Gueranger comments on how the person of Job in today’s Offertory Antiphon reveals the “ruling idea” of today’s Mass: “Reduced, like Job on the dung-hill, to the extremity of wretchedness, the world has nothing to trust to but God’s mercy. The holy men who are living in it, imitating in the name of all mankind the sentiments of the just man of Idumea (Job) honour God by patience and resignation which do but add power to and intensity to their supplications.” Gueranger, p. 439. Only those men who are just and patient, like Job, will be able to forgive their enemies. This is the lesson of the parable of The Unmerciful Servant in today’s Gospel (Mt. 18:23-35). If we wish God to forgive us our sins, then we also need to forgive those who have offended us. Spousal Union with God The early stages of man’s union with God here on are earth are usually filled with consolation, but then the spiritual combat ensues. However, Dom Gueranger reminds us that Jesus is always available to help His spouses: “There is no name so frequently applied to Him by the prophets as that of God of hosts. His divine Son, who is the Spouse, shows Himself here on earth as the Lord who is mighty in battle. In the mysterious nuptial canticle of the forty-fourth Psalm, He lets us see Him as a powerful prince, girding on His grand sword, and making His way, with His sharp arrows, through the very heart of His enemies, in order to reach, in the fair valiance and beautiful victory, the bride He has chosen as His own. She, too, the bride, whose beauty He has vouchsafed to love, and whom He wills to share in all His own glories (cf. Ps. 45) advances towards Him in the glittering armour of a warrior (cf. Cant. 4:4), surrounded by choirs (cf. Cant. 7:10) singing the magnificent exploits of the Spouse, while she herself is terrible as an army set in array (cf. Cant. 6:9). The armour of the brave is on her arms and breast; her noble bearing reminds one of the tower of David, with its thousand bucklers (cf. Cant. 4:4).” Gueranger, p. 441-2 “... the rulers of this world of darkness....” In today’s Epistle, St. Paul reminds us that our enemies are the rulers of this world of darkness: “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the Principalities and the Powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness on high.” Eph. 6: 12 The soul, the bride of Christ, has to prove herself by overcoming the forces of evil especially until the evil day of judgment: “Therefore take up the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and stand in all things perfect.” Eph. 6:13 Dom Gueranger reminds us that the Church (i.e. all the faithful souls) is strengthened by the Lord: “The faithful soul is out of herself with love, when she remembers that the armour she wears is the armour of God, that is, the very armour of her Spouse. It is thrilling to hear the prophets describing Jesus, our Leader, accoutred for battle, with all the pieces we, too, are to wear: He girds himself with the girdle of faith (cf. Is. 11:5); then He puts the helmet of salvation on His beautiful head (cf. Is. 59:17); then the breast-plate of justice (cf. Wis. 5:19); then, the shield of invincible equity (cf. 5:20); and finally a magnificently tempered sword, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (cf. Apoc. 2:16)....The victory which overcometh the world, is our faith, says St. John (cf. I Jn. 5:4). When St. Paul, at the close of his career, reviews the combats he had fought through life, he sums up all in this telling word: ‘I have kept the faith’ II Tim. 4:7. The life of Paul, in that, should be the life of every Christian, for he says to us: ‘Fight the good fight of faith!’ I Tim 6:12. It is faith, which, in spite of those fearful odds enumerated in today’s Epistle as being against us, ensures the victory to men of good will...Better than breast-plate or helmet, the shield of faith protects us from every sort of injury; it blunts the fiery darts of the world, it repels the fury of our own passions, it makes us far-seeing enough to escape the most artful snares of the most wicked ones. Is not the word of God good for every emergency? And it is never wanting to us.” Gueranger, p. 443-5 “O thou just Judge of vengeance, grant us the gift of forgiveness before the day of reckoning cometh!” Dies irae Today’s Gospel parable, The Unmerciful Servant has its main object lesson to teach us how to forgive so that we can be ready for general judgement, that “day of days.” Dom Gueranger comments on the meaning of the parable: “We are all of us, in fact, that negligent servant, that insolvent debtor, whose master might, in all justice, sell him with all he has, and hand him over to the torturers. The debt contracted with God by the sins we have committed is of such a nature as to deserve endless tortures; it supposes an eternal hell, in which the guilty one will ever be paying, yet never cancelling his debt. Infinite praise, then, and thanks to the divine Creditor, who, being moved to pity by the entreaties of the unhappy man who asks for time and he will pay all, grants him far beyond what he prays for, by immediately forgiving him the debt. He attaches but one condition to the pardon, as is evident from the sequel. He insists, and most justly, that he should go and do in like manner towards his fellow-servants, who may perhaps, owe something to him. After being generously forgiven by His Lord and King, after having his infinite debt so gratuitously cancelled, how can he possibly turn a deaf ear to the very same prayer which won pardon for himself? Is it to be believed that he will refuse all pity towards one whose only offense is that he asks him for time, and he will pay all. “‘It is quite true,’ says St. Augustine, ‘that every man has his fellow-man for a debtor; for who is the man that has had no one to offend him? But, at the same time, who is the man that is not debtor to God? For all of us have sinned. Man, therefore, is both debtor to God and creditor to his fellow man. It is for this reason that God has laid down this rule for thy conduct, that thou must treat thy debtor, as He (God) treats His...” Gueranger, p. 449-50 Forgetfulness of our sins Dom Gueranger reminds us how we all want God to forgive and forget our sins, so we should do the same for our neighbour: “But, if we thus feel it a happy necessity, to find in the heart of our heavenly Father (cf. Mt. 6:9) forgetfulness of our day’s faults, and an infinitely tender love for us, how can we, at that very same time, dare to be storing up in our minds any bitterness against our neighbours, our brethren, who are also His children. Even supposing that we had been treated by them with outrageous injustice or insult, could their faults bear any comparison with our offences against that good God, whose born enemies we were, and whom we have cause to be put to an ignominious death? Whatsoever may be the circumstances attending the unkindness shown us, we may and should invariably practise the rule given us by the apostle: ‘Be ye kind one to another, merciful, forgiving one another, even as God has forgiven you, in Christ! Be ye imitators of God as most dear children.’” Eph. 4:32 Gueranger, p. 451 Only those are true spouses of Jesus Christ and worthy of heaven who are merciful and forgiving to those who have offended them. “The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved” Part V by St. Leonard of Port Maurice Salvation in the Various States of Life But oh, I see that by speaking in this manner of all in general, I am missing my point. So let us apply this truth to various states, and you will understand that you must either throw away reason, experience and the common sense of the faithful, or confess that the greater number of Catholics is damned. Is there any state in the world more favorable to innocence in which salvation seems easier and of which people have a higher idea than that of priests, the lieutenants of God? At first glance, who would not think that most of them are not only good but even perfect; yet I am horror-struck when I hear Saint Jerome declaring that although the world is full of priests, barely one in a hundred is living in a manner in conformity with state; when I hear a servant of God attesting that he has learned by revelation that the number of priests who fall into hell each day is so great that it seemed impossible to him that there be any left on earth; when I hear Saint Chrysostom exclaiming with tears in his eyes, "I do not believe that many priests are saved; I believe the contrary, that the number of those who are damned is greater." Look higher still, and see the prelates of the Holy Church, pastors who have the charge of souls. Is the number of those who are saved among them greater than the number of those who are damned? Listen to Cantimpre; he will relate an event to you, and you may draw the conclusions. There was a synod being held in Paris, and a great number of prelates and pastors who had the charge of souls were in attendance; the king and princes also came to add luster to that assembly by their presence. A famous preacher was invited to preach. While he was preparing his sermon, a horrible demon appeared to him and said, "Lay your books aside. If you want to give a sermon that will be useful to these princes and prelates, content yourself with telling them on our part, 'We the princes of darkness thank you, princes, prelates, and pastors of souls, that due to your negligence, the greater number of the faithful are damned; also, we are saving a reward for you for this favor, when you shall be with us in Hell.'" Woe to you who command others! If so many are damned by your fault, what will happen to you? If few out of those who are first in the Church of God are saved, what will happen to you? Take all states, both sexes, every condition: husbands, wives, widows, young women, young men, soldiers, merchants, craftsmen, rich and poor, noble and plebian. What are we to say about all these people who are living so badly? The following narrative from Saint Vincent Ferrer will show you what you may think about it. He relates that an archdeacon in Lyons gave up his charge and retreated into a desert place to do penance, and that he died the same day and hour as Saint Bernard. After his death, he appeared to his bishop and said to him, "Know, Monsignor, that at the very hour I passed away, thirty-three thousand people also died. Out of this number, Bernard and myself went up to heaven without delay, three went to purgatory, and all the others fell into Hell." (to be continued) Sister, please get rid of the yellow highlighting if you can.
Monday, October 7, 2013
20th Sunday After Pentecost 6 October 2013 “Unless you see signs and wonders, you do not believe.” Jn. 4:48 Today’s readings remind us that, as beloved spouses of the Son of God, we will have spiritual warfare with the forces of evil from hell. The devil knows that he cannot overcome God, therefore, he will vent his anger on souls especially dear to God in order to deny God the love that they would give to Him for all eternity. For this he tempts man in his weakness in order to cause him to lose his faith and fall into sin. This is why, in today’s Epistle (Eph. 5: 15-21), St. Paul enjoins his disciples to take care to keep their hearts pure in these evil days: “See to it therefore, brethren, that you walk with care: not as unwise but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Eph. 5:15-6 We see a similar message in today’s Gospel ( Jn. 4:46-51), where, according to Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Year Vol. 11, “The world is drawing towards its end; like the ruler’s son, it begins to die. Tormented by fever of the passions which have been excited in Capharnaum, the city of business and pleasure, it is too weak to go itself to the Physician who could cure it. It is for its father—for the pastors, who by Baptism, gave it the life of grace, and who govern the Christian people as rulers of holy Church—to go to Jesus, and beseech Him to restore the sick man to health. St. John begins this account by mentioning the place where they were to find Jesus: it was at Cana, the city of the marriage feast, where He first manifested His power (cf. Jn. 4:11) in the banquet hall; it is in heaven that the Man-God abides, now that He has quitted our earth, where He has left the disciples deprived of the Bridegroom (cf. Mt. 9:15), and having to pass a certain period of time in the field of penance. Capharnaum signifies the field of penance, and of consolation, which penance brings with it. Such was this earth intended to be when man was driven from Eden; such was the consolation, to which, during this life, the sinner was to aspire; and, because of his having pretended to turn this field of penance into a new paradise, the world is now to be destroyed. Man has exchanged the life-giving delights of Eden for the pleasures which kill the soul, and ruin the body, and draw down the divine vengeance.” Gueranger, p. 432-433 Supernatural Light in Dark Days. The “days of evil” to which St. Paul refers and the pleasures of sin to which St. John alludes to at Capharnaum are the days when the devil will use all his cunning to defeat the children of light and destroy their faith. Dom Gueranger comments on the attack which will come to the Church in these times which seem so much like our times today: “Supernatural light will, in those days not only have to withstand the attacks of the children of darkness , who will put forward their false doctrines; it will, moreover, be minimized and falsified by the very children of light yielding on the question of principles; it will be endangered by the hesitations, and the human prudence of those who are called far-seeing men. Many will practically ignore the master-truth, that the Church never can be overwhelmed by any created power. If they remember that our Lord has promised to uphold His Church even to the end of the world (cf. Mt. 28:20), they will still believe that that they do a great service to the good cause by making certain politically clever concessions, not weighed in the balance of the sanctuary. Those future worldly-wise people will forget that our Lord needs no shrewd schemes to help Him to keep His promise; they will entirely overlook this most elementary consideration, that the co-operation which Jesus deigns to accept at the hands of His servants in the defence of the rights of His Church, never could consist in the disguising of those grand truths which constitute the power and beauty of the bride. They will forget the apostle’s maxim, laid down in his Epistle to the Romans, that to conform oneself to this world, to attempt an impossible adaptation of the Gospel to a world that is unchristianized, is not the means for proving what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God (cf. Rom. 12:2). So that it will be a thing of great and rare merit, in many an occurrence of those unhappy times, merely to understand what is the will of God, as our Epistle expresses it.” Gueranger, p. 426-7 St. Paul tells us what the will of God is: “Therefore, do not become foolish, but understand what the will of Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, for in that is debauchery; but be filled with Spirit...” Eph. 5: 17-8. Sick at Capharnaum Traditionally, those who are sick at Capharnaum are those who have partaken of sinful pleasures. The bodily sickness is only an indication of the greater sickness in the soul. This is why the father has to go to Jesus for his sick son. Cornelius a Lapide in his Commentary on St. John’s Gospel comments: “Tropologically (morally), the ruler, or the little king, is the mind of every man; the sick son is the will, which is weak in choosing the good; the servants are senses and bodily members; the heat of fever is the desire and love of earthly things; the chill of fever is the fear of them,...Christ heals them; He should therefore be approached and called upon, to restore the complete rule of the mind and to make a king out of this ‘little king,’...” a Lapide, p. 170. Only Jesus Christ can forgive us of our sins, which have caused our sickness. However, the Official needs to have his faith developed, as he does not believe that Jesus can cure him from a distance: “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jn. 4:49 He wants to see the sign, his son’s cure, but he does not have the faith to believe that Jesus can do it without being present in Capharnaum which is a journey of several hours from Cana. This is why Jesus wants to see his faith improve: “Unless you see signs and wonders you do not believe.” Jn. 4:48 “Lord, come down before my son dies.” Jn. 4:49 With these words, the Official pleads with Jesus for a miracle. Jesus is pleased to do it for him even though his faith is not perfect: “’Go thy way, thy son lives.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and departed.” Jn. 4:50-1 On his return home, the Official meets his servants who tell him that his son got better at the seventh hour which was the exact time in which Jesus told him that “thy son lives” Because of this miracle, he and his whole household believed in Jesus Christ. “And he himself believed and his whole household.” Jn. 4: 53 No doubt, Jesus saw that the Official was increasing in his faith and rewarded him with the miracle and stronger faith for himself and his whole household. In commenting on this passage, St. Bede, the Venerable tells us: “From this we may understand that there are degrees of faith, as well as other virtues. There is the beginning, the increase, and the perfection of faith. This man’s faith had its beginning when he asked for his son’s safety; its increase when he believed the word of the Lord saying, ‘Thy son liveth,’ Jn. 4:50; it was perfected by the announcement of his servants.” The son was cured at the symbolic seventh hour: “...He was healed at the seventh hour: 1. Because, as Origen says, seven is the symbol of the Sabbath, and of rest in which is health. 2. Because the same number is the symbol of the seven-fold Holy Spirit, in whom is all salvation. 3. Because, as Alcuin says, sins are remitted through the seven-fold Spirit. For seven, which is divided into three and four, signifies the Holy Trinity ruling in the four corners of the world.” a Lapide, p. 170-1 :“...but be ye filled with the Holy Ghost...” St. Paul reveals a most important reason for the amount of faith in a soul in today’s Epistle:“...but be ye filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ....: Eph. 5:18-20. When a soul fails to praise and thank God, he will lose his faith: “And so they are without excuse, seeing that, although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give thanks, but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless minds have been darkened.” Rom. 1: 20-21. Today, as Dom Gueranger revealed, there are many who are in great darkness both within and outside the Church. They think that they know better than the Church. They fail to realize that the Church is preserved from error as Dom Gueranger commented: “Those future worldly-wise people will forget that our Lord needs no shrewd schemes to help Him to keep His promise; .....Many will practically ignore the master-truth, that the Church never can be overwhelmed by any created power.” Gueranger, p. 426 How many today have lost their faith by listening to the Devil who tries to deceive men into thinking that they know better than the Church. They devise all kinds of innovative ideas which oppose the Catholic teachings of the Church. St Paul reminds us that the punishment for such souls who do not glorify God and thank Him is that they will become vain in their reasonings, and their senseless minds will become darkened. (cf. Rom. 1:21) “The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved” Part IV by St. Leonard of Port Maurice The Words of Holy Scripture “But why seek out the opinions of the Fathers and theologians, when Holy Scripture settles the question so clearly? Look in to the Old and New Testaments, and you will find a multitude of figures, symbols and words that clearly point out this truth: very few are saved. In the time of Noah, the entire human race was submerged by the Deluge, and only eight people were saved in the Ark. Saint Peter says, "This ark was the figure of the Church," while Saint Augustine adds, "And these eight people who were saved signify that very few Christians are saved, because there are very few who sincerely renounce the world, and those who renounce it only in words do not belong to the mystery represented by that ark." The Bible also tells us that only two Hebrews out of two million entered the Promised Land after going out of Egypt, and that only four escaped the fire of Sodom and the other burning cities that perished with it. All of this means that the number of the damned who will be cast into fire like straw is far greater than that of the saved, whom the heavenly Father will one day gather into His barns like precious wheat. “I would not finish if I had to point out all the figures by which Holy Scripture confirms this truth; let us content ourselves with listening to the living oracle of Incarnate Wisdom. What did Our Lord answer the curious man in the Gospel who asked Him, "Lord, is it only a few to be saved?" Did He keep silence? Did He answer haltingly? Did He conceal His thought for fear of frightening the crowd? No. Questioned by only one, He addresses all of those present. He says to them: "You ask Me if there are only few who are saved?" Here is My answer: "Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able." Who is speaking here? It is the Son of God, Eternal Truth, who on another occasion says even more clearly, "Many are called, but few are chosen." He does not say that all are called and that out of all men, few are chosen, but that many are called; which means, as Saint Gregory explains, that out of all men, many are called to the True Faith, but out of them few are saved. Brothers, these are the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Are they clear? They are true. Tell me now if it is possible for you to have faith in your heart and not tremble.”