Thursday, August 28, 2014

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, 31 August 2014

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
31 August 2014

“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I say to you, many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and they have not seen it; and to hear what you hear, and they have not heard it.” Lk. 10: 23-4

In today’s readings, we have a profound teaching on the coming of Jesus Christ and the subsequent effects of divine grace on the soul. St. Paul in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (3:4-9) contrasts the glory of the Old Covenant of Moses and the Jews with the glory of the New Covenant which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, brought to fulfilment by His sharing of His divine life with each person who is baptized. The glory given to Moses pales in comparison to the eternal glory given to men by Christ: “For if there is glory in the ministration that condemned (Old Covenant), much more does the ministration that justifies abound in glory (New Covenant).” II Cor. 3:9 In the Gospel (Lk. 10:23-37) Jesus is asked a question by a lawyer, “Master what must I do to gain eternal life?” Lk. 10:25 Jesus replies by telling the lawyer and the other Jews present The Parable of the Good Samaritan, which is the quintessential gospel message of charity towards one’s neighbour. This message is so important that only those who practice this charity, which is given at Baptism with divine grace, will inherit the glory of heaven. Only they will have the eternal glory that Christ promises to all those who have faith in him and follow His teachings. This is why Jesus praises those who see him and believe in Him: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” Lk. 10: 23

The Glory of the Old and New Testament
Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, “The Liturgical Year,” Vol. II comments on the differences between the glory of the Old and New Testament: “But let us examine what is this ‘glory’ of the new Testament, which so fills the apostle (Paul) with ecstasy, and, in his mind, almost entirely eclipses the splendour of the old. Splendour there undoubtedly was in the Covenant of Sinai. Never had there been such a manifestation of God’s majesty, and omnipotence, and holiness, as on the that day, when, gathering together, at the foot of the mount, the descendents of the twelve sons of Jacob, He mercifully renewed, with this immense family, the covenant formerly made with their fathers, and gave them His Law in the extraordinary solemn manner described in the Book of Exodus. And yet, that Law, engraven as it was on stone by God’s own hand, was not, for all that, in the hearts of the receivers; neither did its holiness prevent, though it condemned, sin—sin which reigns in man’s heart. (cf. Rom. 7:12-3) Moses, who carried the divine writing, came down from the mount, having the rays of God’s ‘glory’ glittering on his face (cf. Ex. 34: 29-35); but this ‘glory’ was not to be shared in by the people of whom he was the head; it was for himself alone as was likewise the privilege he had enjoyed of speaking with God face to face; it ceased with him, thus signifying, by its short duration, the character of that ministration, which was to cease on the coming of the Messiah, just as the night’s borrowed light vanishes when the day appears. And, as it were, the better to show that the time was not as yet come, when God would manifest His glory—the children of Israel were not able to gaze on the face of Moses; so that, when he had to speak to the people, he had need to put on the veil. Though a mere borrowed light the brightness of Moses’ face represented the ‘glory’ of the future Covenant, whose splendour was to shine, not, of course, externally, but in the hearts of us all, by giving us ‘the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus.’” II Cor. 4:6 Gueranger, p. 292-3

“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!” Lk.10:23
How blessed were those who heard Jesus speak in today’s gospel about how the Good Samaritan truly loved his neighbour. Only those who have been enlightened by God’s grace can practice such charity. Dom Gueranger comments on the interior “glory” given to those who have faith in Jesus Christ: “Jesus, the Man-God, of whom Paul was but the servant, reveals to us, in the Gospel, the perfection of that Law, which He came to give to the world. And as though He would, in a certain way, unite His own divine teachings with those of His apostle, and justify that apostle’s enthusiasm, it is from the very depth of His own most holy soul, and in the Holy Ghost (cf. Lk. 10: 23-4) that having thanked His eternal Father for these great things, He cries out, turning to His disciples: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!” Lk.10:23 .... Faith, which guides the just man, is enough to make him estimate the life of the senses for what it really is,-- miserable and grovelling. With the aid of ordinary grace, he easily lives in that intimate retirement of the soul, wherein he knows that the holy Trinity resides; he knows it, because he has it from the teaching of Scriptures (Cf. Jn. 14:23). His heart is a kind of heaven, where his life is hidden in God, together with that Jesus upon whom are fixed all his thoughts (cf. Col. 3:3): there he gives to his beloved Lord the only proof of love which is to be trusted, the only one that this Lord asks at our hands, keeping of the commandments (cf. Jn. 14:21). Gueranger, p. 298-302

“Faith which works through charity.” Gal. 5:6
The key to understanding today’s gospel is the realization of what St. Paul tells us: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision is of any avail, nor uncircumcision, but faith which works through charity.” Gal. 5:6 Dom Gueranger comments on the absolute need for charity: “If all perfection be included in love,-- if, without love, no virtue produces fruit for heaven,--it is important for us to remember, that love is not of the right kind unless it includes our ‘neighbour’; and it is only after stating this particular, that St. Paul affirms that love fulfilleth the whole law (cf. Rom. 13:10) ... and we are told that the love we have for God is only then what it ought to be, when we love not only Him, but also what He loves, that is, when we love man whom He made to His own likeness (cf. I Jn. 4:20). Gueranger, p. 303-4. In the parable of “The Good Samaritan,” Jesus needed to explain this to the Jews who only saw their neighbour as one of their own race. Dom Gueranger explains how Jesus makes His will known: “This time, He does not make His voice heard amidst thunder and fire, as on Mount Sinai. He, as Man living and conversing with men, reveals to them, and in the most intelligible way possible, the whole import of the eternal commandment which leads to life. (cf. Baruch 4:1) ...our Jesus describes there was a man who went forth from the holy city, and how he fell in with a Samaritan, that is, with a stranger the most despised and disliked of all those whom an inhabitant of Jerusalem looked on as his enemies. And yet, the shrewd ‘lawyer’ who questions Jesus, and, no doubt, all those who have been listening to the answer, are obliged to own that the neighbour, for the poor fellow who had fallen into the hands of robbers, was not so truly the ‘priest,’ or the ‘levite (though both of them were of their own race), as this stranger, this ‘Samaritan,’ who forgets all national grudges as soon as he sees a suffering creature and cannot look on him in any other light than as a fellow-man. Our Jesus made himself thoroughly understood; and everyone present must have well learnt the lesson, that the greatest of all laws, the law of love, admits of no exception, either here or in heaven.” Gueranger p. 304-5
Other Christs
The charity of the Good Samaritan is only possible in the Christian soul by the grace of God which has been given in Baptism, the sacrament of the New Covenant. The Old Testament was only a preparation for the New; only in the New Testament are all souls, not just Moses, given the “glory” of God as St. Paul tells us: “But we all, with faces unveiled, reflecting as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into his very image from glory to glory, as through the Spirit of the Lord.” II Cor. 3:18

The First Friday, 5 September
2014
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 to honour the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus than doing the “Nine First Fridays” every month.

First Saturday, 6 September 2014
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
6 September 2014

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.”


The New Evangelization VI

Popes on “Outside the Church there is no Salvation.”

• Pope Leo XIII (1878–1903), Encyclical Annum Ingressi Sumus: "This is our last lesson to you; receive it, engrave it in your minds, all of you: by God's commandment salvation is to be found nowhere but in the Church."
• Pope St. Pius X (1903–1914), Encyclical Jucunda Sane: "It is our duty to recall to everyone great and small, as the Holy Pontiff Gregory did in ages past, the absolute necessity which is ours, to have recourse to this Church to effect our eternal salvation."
• Pope Benedict XV (1914–1922), Encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum: "Such is the nature of the Catholic faith that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole, or as a whole rejected: This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."
• Pope Pius XI (1922–1939), Encyclical Mortalium Animos: "The Catholic Church alone is keeping the true worship. This is the font of truth, this is the house of faith, this is the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation… Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ, no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors."
• Pope Pius XII(1939–1958), Encyclical Humani Generis, August 12, 1950: "Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation."
• Pope Pius XII (1939–1958), Allocution to the Gregorian University (17 October 1953): "By divine mandate the interpreter and guardian of the Scriptures, and the depository of Sacred Tradition living within her, the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth."
• ,Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 14: "They could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it."
Addenda: Invincible ignorance
• The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #847: This affirmation (outside the Church there is no salvation) is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own do not know Christ and His Church:
• “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience –those too may achieve eternal salvation.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church:
(Please note:) Those who do not know the ten commandments must keep the natural law i.e. to do the will of God. This is not easy. This is why St. Anthony Mary Claret said: “It is not necessary to be a Catholic per se, but where else are souls to get rid of their mortal sins.”
• Note also, this is why the great English writer, Gilbert Keith Chesterton said that he wanted a Church in which his sins would be forgiven.

• CCC #848 “Although in ways know to himself, God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please Him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize men.”

11th Sunday after Pentecost, 24 August 2014

11th Sunday after Pentecost
24 August 2014

“He has done all things well. He has made both the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak.”
Mk. 7:37

Today’s Gospel from St. Mark (7:31-37) gives us a most unusual miracle that Jesus performed in the land of the Gentiles beyond Galilee. It is a symbolic foreshadowing of the eventual call of the Gentiles to Baptism by the Apostles after Jesus’ Ascension. Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book on the liturgy, The Liturgical Year, Vol. II, sees the miraculous cure of the deaf and dumb man as representative of all pagans before the coming of Jesus Christ: “The holy fathers tell us that this man represents the entire human race, exclusive of the Jewish people. Abandoned for four thousand years in the sides, that is, the countries of the north, where the prince of this world (Satan) was ruling as absolute master (cf. Is. 14:13), it has been experiencing terrible effects of the seeming forgetfulness on the part of the creator and Father, which was the consequence of original sin. Satan, whose perfidious craftiness caused man to be driven out of Paradise, has made him his prey, and nothing could exceed the artifice he has employed for keeping him in his grasp.” Gueranger, p. 282 Only with God’s grace could man overcome the wiles of Satan. Fr. Gabriel in his book of meditations, Divine Intimacy, speaks of man’s cooperation with divine grace: “Today’s Mass, and especially the Epistle (I Cor. 15:1-10) offers us a splendid model of cooperation with grace. St. Paul, the Apostle, who in his humility calls himself ‘the least of the Apostles,’ (I Cor. 15:9) says most sincerely: ‘By the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace in me hast not been void.’ (I Cor. 15:10). St. Paul realized that, if he became an Apostle, instead of a persecutor which he had been, it was not because of his own merits, but solely by the grace of God; he attributes nothing to himself, but all to God.” Fr. Gabriel, p. 799. Both Fr. Gabriel and Dom Gueranger see the cure of the deaf mute as symbol of the spiritual transformation in all men through the grace of Baptism.


Enslavement of the Pagan World

Dom Gueranger shows how Satan enslaved the pagan world by making it deaf and dumb before the coming of Christ. “Wisely oppressing his slave, he adopted the plan of making him deaf and dumb, for this would hold him faster than chains of adamant could ever do. Dumb, he could not ask God to deliver him; deaf, he could not hear the divine voice; and thus the two ways for obtaining his liberty were shut against him. The adversary of God and man, Satan, may boast of his tyranny. The grandest of all God’s creations looks like a failure; the human race, in all its branches, and in all nations, seems ruined; for even that people which God had chosen for His own, and which was to be faithful to Him when every other had gone astray, has made no other use of its privileges than to deny its Lord and its King, more cruelly than all the rest of mankind.
“What, then? Is the bride, whom the Son of God came to seek upon earth—is the society of saints, to be limited to those few who declared themselves his disciples during the years of his mortal life? Not so; the zeal of the newly formed Church, and the ineffable goodness of God, produced a far greater result. Driven from Jerusalem, as her divine Spouse had been, the Church met the poor captive of Satan beyond the boundaries of Judea; she would bring him into the kingdom of God: and, through the apostles and their disciples, she brings him to Jesus, beseeching Him to lay His divine hand upon him. No human power could effect this cure. Deafened by the noise of his passions, it is only in a confused way that he can hear even the voice of his own conscience; and as to the sound of tradition, or the speaking of the prophets, they are to him but as an echo, very distant and faint. Worst of all, as his hearing, that most precious of senses, is gone, so likewise, is gone the power of making good his losses; for as the apostle teaches, the one thing that could save him is faith, and faith cometh by hearing (cf. Rom. 10:17). Gueranger, p.283-4

“Ephpheta...Be thou opened.” Mk. 7:34

“Our Jesus groans when they have brought this poor creature before him. He is grieved at seeing the cruelties the enemy has inflicted on this His own privileged being, this beautiful work, of which He Himself served as a model and type to be the blessed Trinity, at the beginning of the world (cf. Gen. 1:26). Raising up to heaven those eyes of his sacred Humanity....He, as God and as the Word, utters the mighty word of restoration: ‘Ephpheta! Be thou opened!’ Mk. 7: 34)... the ears of the poor sufferer are opened, joyfully opened to the teachings, which his delighted mother, the Church, pours into them. She is all the gladder, because it is her prayers that have won this deliverance; and he, to whom faith comes now through hearing, finding that his tongue can speak, speaks, or rather sings, a canticle of praise to his God.” Gueranger, p. 284

“And taking him aside from the crowd...”
Mk. 7:33

Jesus cures the body for the sake of the soul. Dom Gueranger tells us: “...He took him apart—apart, so to say, from the multitude of the noisy passions and the vain thoughts which had made him deaf to heavenly truths. After all, would there be much good in curing him if the occasion of his malady were not removed, and he were to relapse perhaps that same way? So, then, having by this separation taken precautions for the future, Jesus inserts into the man’s ears His own divine fingers which bring the Holy Ghost (cf. Lk. 11:20) and make to penetrate right to the ears of his heart the restorative power of this Spirit of love. And finally, more mysteriously, because the truth which was to be expressed is more profound, He touches with the saliva of His sacred mouth the tongue which had become incapable of giving glory and praise; and Wisdom (for it is she that is here mystically signified)—Wisdom, ‘that cometh forth from the mouth of the Most High,’ (cf. Ecclus. 24:5), and flows for us from the Saviour; fountains (cf. Is. 12:3) as a life-giving drink (cf. Ecclus. 15:3) openeth the mouth of the dumb man, just as she maketh eloquent the tongues of speechless infants (cf. Wisd. 10:21).” Gueranger, p. 285

Baptismal Graces

Both Dom Gueranger and Fr. Gabriel equate the curing of the deaf and dumb man to the Sacrament of Baptism. Dom Gueranger tells us: “The priest, before pouring the water of the sacred font on the person who is presented for Baptism, puts on the catechumen’s tongue the salt of wisdom, and touches his ears saying: ‘Ephpheta! ... Be opened!’ Gueranger, p. 285 Fr. Gabriel comments: “The healing of the deaf mute, as narrated in today’s Gospel (Mk. 7:31-37), is a figure of baptismal grace. We, too, were once taken before Jesus in a condition similar to that of the poor man in Galilee. We were deaf and dumb in the life of the spirit, and Jesus, in the person of the priest, welcomed us lovingly at the baptismal font.” Fr. Gabriel, p. 798. Little did the bystanders realize how far-reaching, with all nations until the end of time, were their words about Jesus after this miracle: “He has done all things well. He has made both the deaf to hear an d the dumb to speak.” Mk. 7:37

New Evangelization
Part V
Popes on Salvation Outside the Church
Pope Pius IX (18`46–1878), Allocution Singulari Quadem, December 9, 1854: "Not without sorrow we have learned that another error, no less destructive, has taken possession of some parts of the Catholic world, and has taken up its abode in the souls of many Catholics who think that one should have good hope of the eternal salvation of all those who have never lived in the true Church of Christ. Therefore, they are wont to ask very often what will be the lot and condition of those who have not submitted in any way to the Catholic faith, and, by bringing forward most vain reasons, they make a response favorable to their false opinion. Far be it from Us, Venerable Brethren, to presume on the limits of the divine mercy which is infinite; far from Us, to wish to scrutinize the hidden counsel and ‘judgments of God’ which are ‘a great abyss’ (Ps. 35.7) and cannot be penetrated by human thought. But, as is Our Apostolic Duty, we wish your episcopal solicitude and vigilance to be aroused, so that you will strive as much as you can to drive from the mind of men that impious and equally fatal opinion, namely, that the way of eternal salvation can be found in any religion whatsoever. May you demonstrate with skill and learning in which you excel, to the people entrusted to your care that the dogmas of the Catholic faith are in no wise opposed to divine mercy and justice. "For, it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, will not be held guilty of this in the eyes of God. Now, in truth, who would arrogate so much to himself as to mark the limits of such an ignorance, because of the nature and variety of peoples, regions, innate dispositions, and of so many other things?”(Objectively: “No Salvation outside the Church” Subjectively: God alone can judge a soul as to his dispositions.)
Pope Pius IX (1846–1878), Encyclical Quanto conficiamur moerore, August 10, 1863: "And here, beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, We should mention again and censure a very grave error in which some Catholics are unhappily engaged, who believe that men living in error, and separated from the true faith and from Catholic unity, can attain eternal life. Indeed, this is certainly quite contrary to Catholic teaching. It is known to Us and to you that they who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion and who, zealously keeping the natural law and its precepts engraved in the hearts of all by God, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, by the operating power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life, since God who clearly beholds, searches, and knows the minds, souls, thoughts, and habits of all men, because of His great goodness and mercy, will by no means suffer anyone to be punished with eternal torment who has not the guilt of deliberate sin. But, the Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church is well-known; and also that those who are obstinate toward the authority and definitions of the same Church, and who persistently separate themselves from the unity of the Church, and from the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, to whom 'the guardianship of the vine has been entrusted by the Savior,' (Council of Chalcedon, Letter to Pope Leo I) cannot obtain eternal salvation. The words of Christ are clear enough: 'And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican' (Matthew 18:17); 'He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me, despiseth Him that sent Me' (Luke 10:16); 'He that believeth not shall be condemned' (Mark 16:16); 'He that doth not believe, is already judged' (John 3:18); 'He that is not with Me, is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth. '(Luke 11:23). The Apostle Paul says that such persons are 'perverted and self-condemned' (Titus 3:11); the Prince of the Apostles calls the 'false prophets… who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction' (2 Peter 2:1)."
(This concludes this series of explanations of the “New Evangelization” and the need to be in the Roman Catholic Church)







Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, 17 August 2014

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
17 August 2014

“...for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” Lk. 18: 14

Today’s Liturgy reminds us of the incredible working of the Holy Spirit in the early Church. Last Sunday, we saw the Fall of Jerusalem just as Jesus had prophesied “not a stone shall be left upon a stone.” (Mt. 24:2) It was confirmation that the Old Testament had ended and that the New Testament was the beginning of God’s Kingdom on earth. We see this working of the Holy Spirit in the early Church in today’s Epistle, I Corinthians 12:2-11, where St. Paul reminds the Corinthians that they have been freed from the darkness of idolatry and have been given the gifts of the Holy Spirit in abundance. These superabundant gifts were necessary to convince the pagan Gentiles of the truth of Christianity. In a veiled way, we see the same truth in today’s Gospel where Jesus tells The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. The Pharisee represents the Jew (of the Old Testament) who is self-righteous and arrogant to the tax collector who in his humility knows that he is a sinner. Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Year Vol. 11 quotes Venerable Bede commenting on the mystery of this passage: “The Pharisee is the Jewish people, who boasts of the merits he has acquired to himself by observing the precepts of the law; the publican is the Gentile, who being far off from God, confesses his sins. The Pharisee, by reason of his pride, has to depart in humiliation; the Publican, by lamenting his miseries, merits to draw nigh to God—that is to be exalted (“But the publican, standing afar off, would not so much lift up his eyes to heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, “O God, be merciful to me the sinner.‟ Lk. 18: 13). It is of these two people, and of every man who is proud or humble, that it is written: “The heart of a man is exalted before destruction, and it is humbled before he be glorified.’” (Prov. 18:12) Gueranger, p. 268

The Humble are exalted

Dom Gueranger instructs us that the message of today’s Gospel is seen in the history of the Jews. “The Synagogue has been rejected, has been cast out; and the Church is thereby declared the exclusive heir of the promises. (cf. Gal. 4:30). She is now sole depository of God’s gifts; and she leads her children to St. Paul, that he may put before them the principles which should guide them in the appreciation and use of those gifts. In our Epistle (today) he is speaking of those absolutely gratuitous favours which, at the first commencement of the Church, were, more or less enjoyed by every Christian assembly....The rapid conquest of the world, which from the very commencement was to give evidence to the catholicity of the Church, required a large effusion of power from on high; and, in order that the promulgation of the new Testament might be made authoritatively among men, it was necessary that God should give it all the possible solemnity and authenticity. This He did, by accompanying it with signs and wonders, of which He alone could be the author. Hence, in those early days, the Holy Ghost took not possession of a soul by Baptism, without giving an external sign of His presence in that new Christian—without, that is, one of those manifestations which the apostle here enumerates. The Witness of the Word ((Holy Ghost, cf. Jn. 15:26) fulfilled the twofold mission He had received; He sanctified in truth the faithful of Christ (cf. Jn. 17:17), and He convinced of sin the world which would not receive the word of the heralds of the Gospel (cf. Jn. 16:8-11).” Gueranger, p. 256-7 All these gifts (prophecy, miracles and wisdom) were proofs of the divinity of Christ which the Jews had rejected, and which the newly-converted Gentiles had accepted.

Happiness in Nothingness

Dom Gueranger comments on the meaning of today’s Gospel, Luke 18:9-14, in the light of the rejection of the Jews and the acceptance of the Gentiles: “In the whole Gospel, then, there was no teaching more appropriate than this, as a sequel to the history of Jerusalem’s fall. The children of the Church, who, in her early years, saw her humbled in Sion and persecuted by the insulting arrogance of the Synagogue, now quite understood that word of the Wise Man: ‘Better is it to be humbled with the meek, than to divide spoils with the proud.’ Prov. 16:19 According to another Proverb, the tongue of the Jew—the tongue which abused the publican and ran down the Gentile—has become, in his mouth, as a ‘rod of pride,’ Prov. 14:3 a rod which in time, struck himself, by bringing on his own destruction (Fall of Jerusalem 70 AD)....Humility, which produces within us this salutary fear, is the virtue that makes man know his right place, with regard both to God and to his fellowmen. It rests on the deep-rooted conviction, put into our hearts by grace, that God is everything, and that we, by nature, are nothingness, nay, less than nothingness, because we have degraded ourselves by sin. Reason is able, of herself alone, to convince anyone, who takes the trouble to reflect, of the nothingness of a creature; but such conviction, if it remain a mere theoretical conclusion, is not humility; it is a conviction which forces itself on the devil in hell, whose vexation at such a truth is the chief source of his rage....At the same time that this holy Spirit fills our souls with the knowledge of their littleness and misery, He also sweetly leads them to the acceptance and love of this truth, which reason, if left entirely to herself, would be tempted to look on as a disagreeable thought.” Gueranger, p. 263-7

Humility in Heaven

Dom Gueranger tells us that the humility of the saints in heaven is greater for they see more clearly what they only faintly realized on earth: “Their happiness, yonder above, is to be gazing on and adoring that altitude of God, of which they will never have an adequate knowledge, and the more they look up at the infinite perfection, the deeper do they plunge into their own nothingness...how the greatest saints were the humblest creatures here below, and how the same beautiful fact is still one great charm of heaven. It must be so, for the light of the elect is in proportion to their glory. What then, must all this exquisite truth be, when we apply it so to the great Mother of God? The nearest to the throne of her divine Son, she is precisely what she was at Nazareth; that is, she is the humblest of all creatures, because she is the most enlightened of all, and therefore understands, better than even the Seraphim and Cherubim, the greatness of God and the nothingness of creatures.” Gueranger, p. 269-70 No wonder Our Lady, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said in her Magnificat these words: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; because he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid.” Lk. 1:46-8

Pride begets many sins

Today’s parable of The Pharisee and the Publican reminds us of the many sins that can be committed from pride, one of the capital sins. The pride of the Pharisee is seen in his contempt of the Publican. Cornelius A Lapide in his book, Commentary on the Gospel of St. Mark, comments: “See says an interlineator on St. Augustine, ‘how the nearby publican became an occasion of greater pride for the Pharisee. ...Out of pride, he judges rashly and falsely that the publican was wicked, when in fact he was already penitent and justified. The Pharisee sins therefore, 1. In judging rashly; 2. In despising the publican; 3. In reviling and insulting him, for he casts up to the publican his sins.’” A Lapide, p. 649 No wonder the Lord rejects the proud and self-righteous and gives His grace to the humble: “...for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” Lk. 18: 14

The New Evangelizaton IV

Saints on the Necessity of the Catholic Church for salvation
Naturally, the truth that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church has been supported by all the saints from every age. Following are several examples:
St. Irenaeus (130-202), Bishop and Martyr: "The Church is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account we are bound to avoid them . . . . We hear it declared of the unbelieving and the blinded of this world that they shall not inherit the world of life which is to come . . . . Resist them in defense of the only true and life giving faith, which the Church has received from the Apostles and imparted to her sons."
St. Augustine (354-430), Bishop and Doctor of the Church: "No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honor, one can have sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the Name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church."
St. Fulgentius (468-533), Bishop: "Most firmly hold and never doubt that not only pagans, but also Jews, all heretics, and all schismatics who finish this life outside of the Catholic Church, will go into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
Pope St. Gregory the Great (590-604): "The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in Her and asserts that all who are outside of Her will not be saved." St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226): "All who have not believed that Jesus Christ was really the Son of God are doomed. Also, all who see the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and do not believe it is really the most holy Body and Blood of the Lord . . . these also are doomed!"
St. Thomas Aquinas (1226-1274), the Angelic Doctor: “There is no entering into salvation outside the Catholic Church, just as in the time of the Flood there was not salvation outside the Ark, which denotes the Church."
St. Louis Marie de Montfort (1673-1716): "There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. Anyone who resists this truth perishes."
St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), Bishop and Doctor of the Church: "Outside the Church there is no salvation...therefore in the symbol (Apostles Creed) we join together the Church with the remission of sins: 'I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins"...For this reason the Church is compared to the Ark of Noah, because just as during the deluge, everyone perished who was not in the ark, so now those perish who are not in the Church."
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787), Bishop and Doctor of the Church: "All the misfortunes of unbelievers spring from too great an attachment to the things of life. This sickness of heart weakens and darkens the understanding, and leads to eternal ruin. If they would try to heal their hearts by purging them of their vices, they would soon receive light, which would show them the necessity of joining the Catholic Church, where alone is salvation. We should constantly thank the Lord for having granted us the gift of the true Faith, by associating us with the children of the Holy Catholic Church ... How many are the infidels, heretics, and schismatics who do not enjoy the happiness of the true Faith! Earth is full of them and they are all lost!"
Ven. Pope Pius XII (1939-1958): “Some say they are not bound by the doctrine which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation. Others finally belittle the reasonable character of the credibility of Christian Faith. These and like ERRORS, it is clear, have crept in among certain of our sons who are deceived by imprudent zeal for souls or by false science."
The greatest act of charity that one can perform is to bring others to the truth. The Catholic Faith is a gift from God, one that can be shared, one that gives life and salvation. Mother Church, being solicitous for the welfare of all mankind, has always sought to bring all into the One Fold” (cf John 10:16), and to unite all in the profession of the one Faith given to us by Christ through the Apostles. If She were to hide the truth, or be content to leave others in their error, She would be cruel and indifferent.

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, 10 August, 2014

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
10 August, 2014

“For days will come upon thee when thy enemies will throw up a rampart about thee, and surround thee and shut thee in on every side, and will dash thee to the ground and thy children within thee, and will not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou has not known the time of thy visitation.” Lk. 19: 44-5

Fr. Gabriel of St. Magdalen in his book of meditations, Divine Intimacy, tells us: “Today the liturgy invites us to consider the grave problem of our correspondence with grace. It does this by showing us the sad picture of the sufferings of Israel, the chosen people, upon whom God had showered His benefits, whom He had surrounded with graces, protected with jealous care, and who, in spite of all this were lost through their own infidelity. In the Epistle (I Cor. 10:6-13), St. Paul, after mentioning certain points about Israel’s unfaithfulness, concludes: ‘Now all these things happened to them as a type and they were written for our correction, ...Wherefore, he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall.’ I Cor. 10:11-12. ....The Gospel (Lk. 19:41-47) continues the same subject of the Epistle and shows us Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. The Creator, the Lord, the Redeemer weeps over the ruin of His creatures, the people whom He has loved with predilection, even choosing them as the companions of His earthly life, and whom He had desired to save at any price. ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem.. how often would I have gathered together thy children as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not..’” Mt. 23:37 Fr. Gabriel, p. 753-4

“The time of thy visitation” Lk.19:45
In today’s Epistle, St. Paul is concerned with two questions on idolatry. He questions whether a Christian can participate in heathen sacrificial banquets, and whether a Christian may eat foods that have been offered to idols. For the latter, St. Paul tells the Corinthians that it is possible to do so within certain limitations, but for the former, he argues strongly against participating in idolatrous sacrifices. He cites four events in Hebrew history which show how the people were punished for their idolatry. First is the incident of the Golden calf “the people sat down to eat and drink and got up to play.” Ex. 32: 6, 19 The second incident is the sin of fornication of the Israelites with women of Moab, (cf. Num. 25:1ff)
and the sin of idolatry with worship of Baal-Peor and heathen banquets: “Neither let us commit fornication, even as some of them committed fornication and there fell in one day twenty-three thousand.” I Cor. 10:8 The third incident concerns the tempting of the Israelites in the desert when they murmured about the Manna; for this they were punished by a plague of snakes (cf. Num. 21:5-6). The fourth incident concerned the Jews when the destroying angel killed 14,700 of the Israelites after they murmured against Moses and Aaron (cf. Num. 16:41ff). St. Paul uses these incidents to teach the Corinthians not to yield to temptations that offend God as “God is faithful and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength, but with temptation will also give you a way out that you may be able to bear it.” I Cor. 10:13

Hardness of Heart
In today’s Gospel, Jesus reveals His tender concern for the Jews who refuse to acknowledge Him as Son of God even after all His miracles, His sinless life, and His divine teaching. (“No one has ever spoken as this man.” Jn. 7:46) Jesus prophesises about the coming destruction of Jerusalem. St. Paul spoke of the impending punishment on his people for their lack of faith: “I have great sadness and continual sorrow have I in my heart; for I wished myself to be an anathema from Christ for my brethren who are my kinsmen according to the flesh;” Rom. 9:2-2 Dom Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Year, Vol. 11 comments on today’s Gospel: “The passage just read to us from the holy Gospel takes us back to the day of our Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. This triumph, which God the Father willed should be offered to His Son before the commencement of His Passion, was not, as we well know, anything of a recognition of the Messiah made by the Synagogue. Neither the meek, gentle manners of this King, who came to the daughter of Sion seated on an ass (cf. Zach. 9:9) nor His merciful severity upon the profaners of the temple, nor His farewell teachings in His Father’s house could open the eyes of men who were determined to keep them shut against the light of salvation and peace. Not even the tears of the Son of Man, then could stay God’s vengeance: there is a time for justice, and the Jews were resolved it should come to themselves.” Gueranger p. 230

Prophecies of Jerusalem’s Destruction
In addition to Jesus’ own prophetic words that “not a stone shall be left upon a stone,” (Mt. 24:2) there were many Old Testament prophets who warned the Jewish people of their impending destruction for their lack of belief: “’Woe to the provoking and redeemed city! She hath not hearkened to the voice of her God. Her princes are in the midst of her as roaring lions; her judges are ravening wolves; her prophets are senseless men without faith; her priests have defiled the sanctuary; they have acted unjustly against the law (they have violated it) Crush the city as in a mortar.’ Zeph. 3:1-4, 9, 11. ‘Go through the city, and strike! Utterly destroy old and young, maidens, children, and women—yea, destroy all that are not marked upon their foreheads with Thau! (cross) And begin ye at my sanctuary; slay my priests, and the ancients; defile the house (my temple), and fill its courts with the bodies of the slain.’” Ezech. 9:4-7 Gueranger, p. 230-31

Desolation upon Desolation
The Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD to the Romans under Titus was the single most destructive catastrophe the world had seen up until that time. Over 1,100,000 men perished. Thousands more of women and children died of starvation. The prophecies were fulfilled completely. The mighty city of Jerusalem was destroyed with because they had known of the Lord’s visitation: “Amen I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Mt. 24:2. Their curse at the time Jesus’ condemnation, was fulfilled: “His blood be upon us and our children.” (Mt.27:25) Hitherto, the world had never witnessed such destruction, and the world has never seen its like again.

New Evangelization III

EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS
(No Salvation Outside the Church) .

The New Testament makes clear the need to attach oneself to the truths taught by the Catholic Faith. Christ gave to the Apostles the entire deposit of faith ("The Holy Ghost will teach you all things" John 14:26), told them to pass it on to the world ("Going therefore, teach ye all nations" Matt. 28:19), and threatened damnation for those who did not believe them ("He who believes not will be condemned" Mark 16:16).

He would not have condemned to hell the disbelievers if it were not imperative to believe all that the Apostles taught. Nor would He have done so if He were not certain that the Apostles were teaching the truth ("He that heareth you heareth Me" Luke 10:16). The Apostles themselves knew that anyone whose beliefs diverged from their infallible teaching would perish – "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema" (Gal. 1:8).

Solemn Definitions
The Catholic Church has solemnly defined three times by infallible declarations that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. The most explicit and forceful of the three came from Pope Eugene IV, in the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441, who proclaimed ex cathedra: "The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, also Jews, heretics, and schismatics can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire 'which was prepared for the devil and his angels' (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her... No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church. Pope Innocent III declared ex cathedra in the Fourth Lateran Council, 1215 “There is one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all can be saved.” In another solemn definition, Pope Boniface VIII, (Unam Sanctam, 1302) stated “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” Pope Boniface VIII, (Unam Sanctam, 1302).

These assertions imply that all non-Catholic religions are false and that only the Catholic Church contains the entire deposit of faith given to the Apostles by Christ. Although these statements are denied and scorned by today's world, it is fully in accord with common sense and the constant teaching of the Church there is “No salvation outside the Catholic Church.” (Objectively: “No Salvation outside the Church.” Subjectively: God alone can judge a soul as to his dispositions; we cannot judge the eternal salvation of souls.) To be continued














Eighth Sunday after Pentecost 3rd August 2014

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
3 August 2014

“...if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the of flesh, you will live.” Rom. 8:12

Today’s Epistle (Romans 8:12-17) again, as in the previous two Sundays, emphasizes the struggle within all of us between the flesh and the spirit. Fr. Gabriel of St. Magdalen, O.C.D. in his book of meditations, Divine Intimacy, comments on today’s readings: “...the life of the old man, a slave to sin and the passions, from which come the fruits of death and that of the new man, the servant, or better, the child of God, producing fruits of life: ‘...if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if, by the spirit, you mortify the deeds of the of flesh, you will live.’ Rom. 8:12 Baptism has begotten us to the life of the spirit, but it has not suppressed the life of the flesh in us; the new man must always struggle against the old man, the spiritual must fight against the corporeal. Baptismal grace does not excuse us from this battle, but it gives us the power to sustain it.” p. 732 Today’s Gospel (Luke 16:1-9) teaches us in the Parable of the Unjust Steward, in an indirect way, as Fr. Gabriel tells us, “how to be wise in administering the great riches of our life of grace.” p. 733 In the parable, the unjust steward who is to be dismissed from his position uses the master’s goods to advantage by favouring the master’s debtors so that they will favour him after he is dismissed. Jesus does not praise the conduct of the unjust steward, who is actually stealing from his master by giving away his goods, but he does praise his worldly prudence: “The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. And I say to you: ‘Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity; that when you shall fail, they may receive you into the everlasting dwellings.”

The battle of “the children of light”
This life is a struggle and only those who are willing to do violence to themselves will be victorious. Jesus said, “...the kingdom of heaven has been enduring violent assault, and the violent have been seizing by force.” Mt. 11:12 This struggle should not frighten us for St. Paul tells us of the graces given to the “children of light” who are made children of God by baptism: “Now you have not received a spirit of bondage so as to be again in fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons, by virtue of which we cry, Abba! Father!” Rom 8:15 Fr. Gabriel comments: “Jesus exhorts the ‘children of light’ not to be less shrewd in providing for their eternal interests than the ‘children of darkness’ are in assuring for themselves the goods of the earth.” p. 733 We too have received many gifts of supernatural grace from our heavenly Father: “The Spirit himself gives testimony to our spirit that we are sons of God.” Rom. 8:14-6 The Holy Spirit within us testifies that we are led by the Spirit of God and that He prays within us to the Father. The Holy Spirit arouses confidence within us of our great destiny: “But if you are sons, we are heirs also; heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ, provided, however, we suffer with him that we may also be glorified with him.” Rom. 8: 17 “This is our great treasure: to be children of God, co-heirs with Christ, temples of the Holy Spirit.” Fr. Gabriel, p. 733

“Charity covers a multitude of sins.” I Pt. 4:8
“The Parable of the Unjust Steward” reminds us that we need to be even more clever than the “children of darkness” in using what has been given to us in the order of grace. Just as the unjust steward used the goods of his master to aid his cause, so too we should use the goods that God has given us in the order of grace to win for ourselves our eternal salvation. Fr. Gabriel reminds us of our spiritual treasures: “We also, like the steward in the parable, have received from God a patrimony to administer, that is, our natural gifts, and more particularly, our supernatural gifts, and all the graces, holy inspirations, and promptings to good which God has bestowed on us. The hour of rendering an account will come for us too, and we shall have to admit that we have often been unfaithful in trafficking with the gifts of God, in making the treasures of grace fructify in our soul. How can we atone for infidelities? This is the moment to put into practice the teaching of the parable by which, as St. Augustine says, ‘God admonishes all of us to use our earthly goods to make friends for ourselves among the poor. They, in turn, becoming the friends of their benefactors, will be the cause of their admission into heaven.’ In other words, we must pay our debts to God by charity toward our neighbour, for Sacred Scripture tells us, ‘Charity covers a multitude of sins.’ I Pt. 4:8 This does not mean material charity alone, but also spiritual charity and not in great things only, but in little ones too—yes, even in the very least things, such as a glass of water given for the love of God. These little acts of charity, which are always within our power, are the riches by which we pay our debts and put in order ‘our stewardship.’” Fr. Gabriel, p.
733-4

“Make an account of thy stewardship, for thou canst be steward no longer.” Lk. 16:2.
Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Year Vol. II comments on the meaning of “The Parable of Unjust Steward” as an allegory of all of sinners. “The rich man, then, of our Gospel is Jesus, who in His sacred Humanity, united to the Word, is heir of all things (cf. Heb. 1:2 & 3:8), and, as such, all things of the most High God, created and uncreated, finite and infinite, belong to Him...” Gueranger, p.209. We are the unjust stewards who have squandered the goods and talents which our master, Jesus Christ, has given us. He owns all that we have and all the resources of the world. We are only stewards of them. Now that we have misused the goods of this world for our selfish ends with our sins, we need to make up to God for our sins. Like the Unjust Steward who went to his master’s creditors, we need to go to all who need our charity and give them of our goods (which really belong to God in the first place) and help them so that they will be our witnesses before God when we come to be judged. This is what is behind the meaning of the scriptural text, “Charity covers a multitude of sins.” I Pt. 4:8 Dom Gueranger comments on the need to give alms: “Alms, whether corporal or spiritual, secure us powerful friends for that awful day of our death and judgment.” Gueranger, p. 212 We too need creditors for when we have to render an account of our lives: “Make an account of thy stewardship, for thou canst be steward no longer.” Lk. 16:2. These are the words that Jesus will ask us at the end of our lives when we have to give an account of what we have done with His riches that He has given us. What have we done with all the riches, talents and time which God has given us?

“….and he that is unjust in that which is little, is unjust in that which is greater.” Lk. 16:10
There is another important meaning to this parable which is not included in today’s Gospel. Jesus had begun this series of parables, “The Lost Sheep,” “The Prodigal Son,” and “The Unjust Steward,” after the Pharisees and Scribes had murmured about Him: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Lk. 15:2 In addition to the meaning of the parables that He had come to call sinners, He wanted the Scribes and Pharisees, like the unjust Steward, to realize that they were unfaithful in their roles as leaders of the people. Dom Gueranger comments on the intention of the Church: “...if we would understand the whole intention of the Church in her choice of the present Gospel—we must listen to St. Jerome....Let us first listen to the words of the Scripture which the saint quotes (they immediately follow those of the Gospel): ‘He that is faithful in that which is least; is faithful in that which is greater; and he that is unjust in that which is little, is unjust in that which is greater. If, then, ye have not been faithful in the unjust mammon, who will trust you with that which is true.” Lk. 16:10-4 These words, says St. Jerome, were said in the presence of the scribes and Pharisees; they felt that the parable was intended for them; and they derided the divine preacher. The one that was ‘unjust in that which is little’ is the jealous Jew, who, in the limited possession of the present life, refuses to his fellow-men the use of those goods which were created for all. If, then, you avaricious scribes are convicted of mal-administration in the management of temporal riches, how can you expect to have confided to you the true, the eternal, riches of the divine word, and the teaching of the Gentiles....” Gueranger, p. 213 We may add here that there are many of the powerful elites, who are cheating and stealing the goods of this world and which they think belong to them, that they too will have to render an account of their stewardship some day to God, the just judge. “Make an account of thy stewardship, for thou canst be steward no longer.” Lk. 16:2.

Thank God for all of His Blessings
Fr. Gabriel, quoting St. Augustine, reminds us how we are to live our spiritual life with love and gratitude to God for all His gifts to us: “Oh! How much I owe You, my Lord God, who redeemed me at so great a price! Oh! How much I ought to love, bless, praise, honour, and glorify You who have loved me so much! I shall give praise to Your Name, O God, who made me capable of receiving the great glory of being Your son. I owe to You all I have, all that is of use for my life, all that I know and love. Who possesses anything that is not Yours? Bestow your gifts on me, O Lord our God, so that made rich by You, I may serve and please You, and every day return thanks to You for all that Your mercy has done for me. I cannot serve You or please You without making use of your gifts to me.” (cf. St. Augustine). Fr. Gabriel, p. 734-5

The First Friday, 1 August 2014
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 to honour the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus than doing the “Nine First Fridays” every month.

The First Saturday, 2 August 2014
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
2 August 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.”


(The following information on the need for the Catholic Church is continued from last Sunday)

The New Evangelization in the Church

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
Heb. 6:11
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father in heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 8:21

“For this is the will of the Father who sent me that whoever beholds the Son, and believes in him shall have everlasting life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” Jn. 6:40

Jesus Christ wishes all men to follow Him and believe in Him with absolute faith. “Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that He has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because He is truth itself.” Catechism of the Catholic Church #1814 Jesus established His Church on Peter: “And I say to thee, thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Mt. 16: 18-19 Jesus commissioned His Apostles to go into the whole world and preach the gospel: . “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned.” Mark 16:15-6

Necessity of being in the Church

It is an absolute necessity for all souls to believe in Jesus Christ and His Church founded on St. Peter. We need faith in Jesus’ words. “Without faith it is impossible please God.” Heb. 6:11

EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS
(No Salvation Outside the Church)

In Catholic Dogma, the Church teaches in a “de fide” statement that all must belong to the Catholic Church to gain eternal life: “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” Pope Boniface VIII, (Unam Sanctam, 1302).

This assertion implies that all non-Catholic religions are false and that only the Catholic Church contains the entire deposit of faith given to the Apostles by Christ. Although this statement is denied and scorned by today's world, it is fully in accord with common sense and the constant teaching of the Church. (Objectively: “No Salvation outside the Church”: Subjectively: God alone can judge a soul as to his dispositions; we cannot judge the eternal salvation of souls.)


Only One True Church

Only the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ. All other Churches were founded by men.
Only the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth. Other faiths deny the Blessed Trinity and the divinity of Jesus Christ. Other religions do not have the fullness of God’s moral truth and allow practices condemned by the Ten Commandments and the Sacred Scriptures (divorce, contraception, polygamy etc.)

Only the Catholic Church has the means of holiness in the sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ to give grace: Baptism to cleanse the souls of original sin, the Holy Eucharist enabling the soul to receive the Body and Blood of Christ (“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you shall not have life in you.” John 6:51 and 54) Penance to rid the soul of sin (Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” John 20:22), and Matrimony to give the husband and wife the grace to fulfill their marital vows (“What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” Mk. 10:9).

To be continued next week!