Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, 30 August 2015


Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

30 August 2015

 

“But I say: Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh...” Gal. 5:16-7

 

            In today’s liturgy, we are given passages from the scriptures which remind us of the great struggle we have in life between the flesh and the spirit.  In the Epistle (Gal. 5:16-24), St. Paul tells us that  those who give into bodily desires will suffer the slavery of sin: “Now the works of flesh are manifest, which are immorality, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, jealousies, anger, quarrels, factions, parties, envies, murders, drunkenness, carousing, and suchlike.” Gal. 5:19-21 But those who live according to the spirit and aim at adorning the soul will enjoy the fruits of the Holy Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, modesty and continency.” Gal. 5:22  In today’s Gospel (Mt. 6: 24-33, part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters: “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will stand by the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon.” Mt. 6:24  These two masters, “God and mammon,” are the same as the ‘spirit’ and the ‘flesh’; they represent the  basic struggle which all men have in life. As man is made up of body and soul, and as the body knows through the senses and  the soul through the mind, there “arises in each person a double source of knowledge or appetite, that of the body and its passions which desire that good from the senses, and that of the soul, which wills the good known to the mind.” (The Preacher’s Encyclopedia, p. 106)  Both the Epistle and the Gospel give us the only resolution possible for those who follow Christ.   St. Paul tells us:  “And they who belong to Christ have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.” Gal. 5:24  Jesus tells us not to worry about the desires of the body but seek the things of God: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things will be given you besides.” Mt. 6: 33

 

Joys of the Spirit

            For those who live  by the Spirit, there are the special joys of the spiritual life which only the Holy Spirit gives to His beloved spouses. Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Life Vol. 13, comments on how the Spirit fills His bride with His spiritual fruits:  “The bride, who came from the top of Sanir and Hermon that she might be crowned (cf. Cant. 4:8), knows not the servitude of Sinai (cf. Gal. 4:24-6), still less is she under the slavery of the senses.  On the mountain, where her tent is fixed for ever (cf. Is. 2:2), her Spouse, has broken the fetters of the Jewish Law, and that more galling chain which tied all people down—the network of sin that covered all the nations of the earth (cf. Is. 25:7).  She the bride is queen; her sons kings (cf. I Pt. 2:9), the milk whereon she feeds them (cf. Is. 66: 8-12) infuses liberty within them (cf. Gal. 4:31).  Filled with the holy Spirit, who is their glory and their strength (cf. Rom. 8:14, 26),  they have the Lord of hosts looking on them, as they bravely engage in battles such as princes should fight (cf. Eph. 4:8, 6:12).  Satan, too, has beheld their glorious struggles, and his kingdom has been shaken to its foundation (cf. Jn. 12:31).  Two Cities now divide the world between them (St. Augustine, De Civitate Dei); and the holy city, made up of vanquishers over the devil, the world and the flesh, is full of admiration and joy at seeing that the noblest of the nations flock to her (cf. Is. 60:5).  The law which reigns supreme within her walls is love, for the holy Spirit, who rules her happy citizens, takes them far beyond the injunctions or prohibitions of any law. Together with charity, there spring up joy, peace, and those other fruits, here enumerated by the apostle (cf. Gal. 5:22); they grow spontaneously from a soil which is saturated with the glad waters (cf. Ps. 64:11) of a stream, which is no other than sanctifying Spirit, who inundates the city of God” (cf. Ps. 45:5). Gueranger, p. 329-30.

 

“Born of the Spirit, they are Spirit”

            Dom Gueranger continues with the true liberty of the spiritual souls:  “Flesh and blood have had no share in their divine birth (cf. Jn. 1:12).  Their first birth being in the flesh, they were flesh, and did the works of death and ignominy mentioned in the Epistle, showing at every turn that they were from the slime of the earth (cf. Gen. 2:7); but, born of the Spirit, they are spirit (cf. Jn. 3:6), and do the works of the spirit, in spite of the flesh which is always part of their being (cf. II Cor. 10:3). For, by giving them, of His own life, the Spirit has emancipated them,  by the power of love, from the tyranny  of sin (cf. Rom 8:2) which held dominion over their members (cf. Rom. 7:28); and, having been grafted on Christ, they bring forth fruit unto God (cf. Rom. 7:4). Gueranger, p. 330-1

 

Myrrh of Suffering

Dom Gueranger reminds us that the joys of the spirit are not possible without suffering.  This is why St. Paul reminds us: “And they who belong to Christ have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.” Gal. 5:24.  This is why Dom Gueranger speaks of the suffering which is offered to the bride  by her beloved spouse: “Even when the trials of purification are all over, the place of meeting is invariably that which the inspired Canticle calls the Mount of myrrh (cf. Cant. 4:6), which is but another name for suffering. Myrrh is the first fragrant herb  culled by the divine Word in the mystic garden; nay, it is the only one He expressly mentions.  Myrrh distils from the bride’s hands, and her fingers are full of it (cf. Cant. 5:5); her Spouse is the bouquet she clasps to her heart, but that bouquet is one of myrrh (cf. Cant. 1:12); and His lips are as lilies dropping choice myrrh (cf. Cant. 5:18).”  Gueranger, p. 335-6  Only those who share in the sufferings of Christ will share in His glory

 

“No man can serve two masters.” Mt. 6:24

            If we wish to be united with God, as we have just seen in the Canticle of Canticles, then we need to serve God alone.  If we love the world, especially money which will bring us this world’s goods in abundance, we will be serving the world and not God. Dom Gueranger comments on the covetous man by quoting the Old Testament: “nothing is more wicked than the covetous man...; there is not a more wicked thing than to love money.”  Ecclus. 10:10 Too much solicitude for this world’s goods shows a want of trust in God.  This is what Jesus tells us of when he says:  “Therefore I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life a greater thing than the food, and the body than the clothing. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you of much more value than they.”  Mt. 6:25  In order to achieve union with God and the fruits of the Holy Spirit, even in this life, we need to be detached from everything in this life which  could prevent us from going  to God.  No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will stand by the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon.” Mt. 6:24  Those whohave crucified their flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24) and seek God alone and His kingdom will be given  the fruits of the Holy Spirit in this life and the kingdom of heaven in the next life: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things will be given you besides.” Mt. 6: 33

 

 

 

How to attend Holy Mass

 

“The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar.  If you wish to hear Mass, as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart, and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the Priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him.  You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words, and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way, you have prayed Holy Mass.”

 His Holiness, Pope St Pius X

 

The Five First Saturdays

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! First Friday, 4 September 2015

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,  5 September   2015

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(MIM)

6 December 2014

 

On the First Saturday of every month, we will have our monthly formation program for those who 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)

It is most important at this time in our world to come together and learn about Our Lady and her messages especially Fatima.  Pope John Paul II:  On November 9, 1976 said in the USA as Karol Cardinal Wojtyla:  “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 versus the anti-gospel.”

We hope that all of you will consider joining the MIM and work for your own sanctification and the sanctification of  so many souls who are in danger of being lost for all eternity in hell as Our Lady said at Fatima. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, 23 August 2015


Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

23 August 2015

“Were not the ten made clean? But where are the nine.  Has no one been found to return and give glory to God except this foreigner.” Lk. 19:17

 

Today’s Liturgy reminds us of the wonderful plans that God has given to man with the coming of His Son Jesus Christ.  In the Epistle (Gal. 3:16-22) St. Paul instructs the Galatians, who wanted Christians to observe the rituals of the  Jews. He reminds them of the promise of Abraham and his seed, the Messiah Jesus Christ. This Promise to Abraham came  before the Law (by 430 years) and was more important than the Law (the Ten Commandments) which was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai for the transgressions of the Jews (Cf. IICor.3:4-9).   Here we see again, as we did last Sunday, the inadequacy of the Sinai Law given by God to Moses to overcome the sinful transgressions of Israel.   Only in the New Testament through  faith in Jesus Christ and baptism have the Christians been delivered from sin.  We saw last Sunday how this blindness, on the part of the Jews, resulted in a lack of faith in the parable of the Good Samaritan where the Levite and the priest, both Jews, lacked the charity to care for the man who was attacked by robbers. In today’s Gospel (Luke 17:11-19), Jesus cures the ten lepers, one of whom is a Samaritan.  Once again, it is the faithful Samaritan, the Gentile and outsider, who alone has enough charity to return to give thanks and glory to Jesus. “Were not the ten made clean? But where are the nine?  Has no one been found to return and give glory to God except this foreigner?” Lk. 19: 17

 

Promise to Abraham

Dom Prosper Gueranger in his book, The Liturgical Year Vol. 13, comments on the hope that was given to Abraham when he learned of  the promise of the coming Messiah:  “Look up to heaven, and number the stars, if thou canst! So shall thy seed be! (Gen. 15:5) Abraham was almost a hundred years old, and Sara’s barrenness deprived him of all natural hope of posterity, when these words were spoken to him by God.  Abraham, nevertheless, believed God, says the Scripture, and it was reputed to him unto justice (cf. Gen. 15:6) And when, later on, that same faith would have led him to sacrifice, on the mount that son of the promise, his only hope, God renewed His promise, and added: ‘In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.’ Gen. 22:18  ...His faith, firm and, at the same time, so simple, gave to God the glory  which He looks for from His creatures. ...Following in Abraham’s steps (cf. Rom. 4:12), there have come those multitudes, born for heaven, the children of his faith....Truly, then, the benediction of Abraham has been poured forth on the Gentiles (cf. Gal. 3:14). Christ Jesus, the true Son of the Promise, the only seed of salvation, has, by faith in His Resurrection (cf. Rom. 4:24), assembled from every nation (cf. Gal. 3:28) them that are of good will (cf. Lk. 2:14), making them all one in Him, making them, like Himself children of Abraham (cf. Gal. 3:29), and, what is better still children of God. (cf. Gal. 4:5-7). Gueranger, p. 311-3

 

Children of the Promise Not the Law

St. Paul tells us in today’s epistle to recognize that the Promise to Abraham was fulfilled in Jesus Christ:  The promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. He does not say, ‘And to his offsprings,’ as of many; but as of one, ‘And to thy offspring,’ who is Christ.’” Gal. 3:16    Dom Gueranger  comments on the effectiveness  of the  promised redeemer, Abraham’s offspring, compared to the Law of Sinai: “...St. Paul will declare the  transient character of that legislation, which came four hundred and thirty years after a promise which could not be changed; neither was such legislation to continue, when the time should come for that Son of Abraham to appear, from whom the world was waiting to receive  the promised benediction.” Gueranger p. 315  Similarly,  Dom Gueranger quotes the Abbot Rupert on the spiritual meaning of the Parable of the Good Samaritan in relation to the law and promise:  “Abbot Rupert, ‘bears on the history of that Samaritan, whose name signifies keeper;  it is our Lord Jesus Christ who, by His Incarnation, comes to the rescue of man, whom the old Law was not able to keep from harm; and when Jesus leaves the world, He consigns the poor sufferer to the care of  the apostles and the apostolic men, in the house of the Church ...Thus, the priest and the levite of the parable are a figure of the Law; and their passing by the half-dead man, seeing him, indeed, but without making an attempt to heal him, is expressive of what the Law did.  True, it did not go counter to God’s promises; but, of itself, it could justify no man.’...”  Gueranger, p. 315

 

Leprosy of Sin

The cure of the ten lepers by Jesus represents in a spiritual sense the delivery of men from the evils of sin.  Only Jesus, the Promised one of Abraham, could  accomplish this because He              is  the Son  of God who alone can forgive sin. Dom Gueranger comments on the symbolic  meaning of the lepers in relation to the Promise and the Law:  “The Samaritan leper, cured of that hideous malady which is an apt figure of sin, in the company with nine lepers of Jewish nationality, represents the despised race of Gentiles, who were at first admitted, by stealth, so to say, and by extraordinary privilege, into a share of the graces belonging to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (cf. Mt. 15:24). The conduct of these ten men, on occasion of their miraculous cure, is in keeping with the attitude assumed by the peoples they typify, regarding the salvation offered to the world by the Son of God. It is a fresh demonstration of what the apostle says: ‘All are not Israelites that are of Israel; neither are all they who are the seed of Abraham, children; ‘but,’ says the Scripture (cf. Gen. 21:12), ‘in Isaac shall thy seed be called’; that  is to say, not they who are children of the flesh are children of God: but they that are the children of the promise are counted for the seed (cf. Rom. 9:6-8); they are born of the faith of Abraham, and are, in the eyes of the Lord, the true progeny....The lepers are made clean only while on their way to show themselves to the priests, ....That Law gave to the Sons of Aaron the power, not that of curing, but of discerning leprosy, and passing judgment on its being cured or not (cf. Lev. 13).  Gueranger, p. 323 

 

Divine Power of the New Law

Dom Gueranger shows how the Law of Sinai has kept the Jews from recognizing the truth. “The time, however, has now come for a Law far above that of Sinai. It has a priesthood, whose judgments are not  to concern the state of the body, but, the pronouncing the sentence of absolution, are to effectually remove the leprosy of souls (sin). The cure which the ten lepers felt coming  upon them before they had reached the priests, ought to have sufficed to show them, in Jesus, the power of the new  priesthood, which had been foretold by the prophets (cf. Is. 66:21-23); the power which thus forestalls and surpasses the authority of the ancient ministration is sufficient evidence of the superior dignity of Him who exercises it... But the Jew is far from being ready to understand these great mysteries. And yet the Law had been given to him that it might serve him as a hand leading him to Christ, and without exposing him to err....Gratitude should have been uppermost in the heart of Juda; but pride took its place.  He was so taken up with the honour that had been put on him that it made him lose all desire for the Messiah... He laid it down as a dogma that no divine intervention can ever equal that made on Sinai; that every future prophet, everyone sent by God, must be inferior to Moses; that all possible salvation is in the Law, and that from it alone flows every grace....nine have not even the remotest thought of coming to their Deliverer to thank Him; these nine are Jews. Jesus, to their minds, is a mere disciple of  Moses, a bare instrument of favours, holding his commission from Sinai, and as soon as they have gone through the legal formality of their purification they take it that all their obligations to God are paid. The Samaritan, the despised Gentile, whose sufferings have given him that humility which makes the sinner clear-sighted, is the only one who recognizes God by His  divine works, and gives Him thanks for His favours.”  Gueranger, p. 322-4

 

First Friday, 4 September 2015

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,  5 September   2015

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?

 

Why the Rosary is so important!

 

“Continue to pray the Rosary every day.”
Our Lady of Fatima to Sister Lucia

“Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood.”
Saint Louis de Montfort

“You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.”
Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche

“Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.”   Pope Blessed Pius IX

“If you persevere in reciting the Rosary, this will be a most probable sign of your eternal salvation
.”    Blessed Alan de la Roche

“The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary.”    Saint Francis de Sales



“When the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious than any other prayer.”
Saint Louis de Montfort

“The Holy Rosary is the storehouse of countless blessing.”    Blessed Alan de la Roche

“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.”  
Saint Dominic

“If you say the Rosary faithfully unto death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, ‘you will receive a never-fading crown of glory’ (1 St. Peter 5:4).”  
Saint Louis de Montfort

“You must know that when you ‘hail’ Mary, she immediately greets you! Don’t think that she is one of those rude women of whom there are so many—on the contrary, she is utterly courteous and pleasant. If you greet her, she will answer you right away and converse with you!”
Saint Bernardine of Siena



“Recite your Rosary with faith, with humility, with confidence, and with perseverance.”
Saint Louis de Montfort

“The rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God…and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary.” 
Pope Saint Pius X

“Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day become a formal heretic or be led astray by the devil.”   
Saint Louis de Montfort

“Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if—and mark well what I say—if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.”
Saint Louis de Montfort

“The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”
Sister Lucia dos Santos, Fatima seer

When you say your Rosary, the angels rejoice, the Blessed Trinity delights in it, my Son finds joy in it too, and I myself am happier than you can possibly guess. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is nothing in the Church that I love as much as the Rosary.”
Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche

“‘Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!’ No creature has ever said anything that was more pleasing to me, nor will anyone ever be able to find or say to me anything that pleases me more.”   
Our Lady to Saint Mechtilde

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, 16 August 2015


Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

16  August 2015

 

“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,  4 September

2015

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,  5 September   2015

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

 

Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix

5 September 2015

 

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.”
     
     

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 15th August 2015


 

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 15 August 2015

 

“Almighty everlasting God, Who hast taken body and soul into heaven the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of Thy Son: grant we beseech Thee, that by steadfastly keeping heaven as our goal we may be counted worthy to join her in glory...”  Collect of the Assumption

 

            We rejoice today with Our Lady’s singular privilege of being assumed body and soul into heaven.   It is not only fitting for her to be rewarded at the end of  earthly life with her Assumption,  but it is also a pledge of our own entrance into heaven after death.  Today’s Introit (“A great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars….” Apoc./Rev. 12:1) gives us the essential aspects of  today’s feast:  first Our Lady is brought to heaven at the end of her earthly life, without  suffering the corruption of the grave; and second, it alludes to Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception  and her Divine Maternity as she is “the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of Thy Son.”  This Divine Maternity is Our Lady’s greatest privilege as she is the Mother of God.  As the sinless Mother of God, she has been raised to heaven where she can enjoy the glory of heaven with her body and soul and where she can intercede for all of her children.  This fourth Marian dogma of Our Lady’s Assumption, which was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII’s Munificentissimus Deus on 1 November  1950, is added to the three other great Marian dogmas of the Church: the Divine Maternity, her Perpetual Virginity, and  the Immaculate Conception.

 

“Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should be exempted from this general rule. She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.”Munificentiissimus Deus  #5

From this statement of Pope Pius XII, it can be seen that Our Lady’s Assumption is the crowning glory of her journey of faith. It is not her greatest privilege—this is her Divine Maternity, but it is the crown of all her privileges for she is  now reigning with her Son to whom she gave birth and to whom she was intimately  associated in the work of our redemption. How could God the Father allow  Our Lady to suffer decay as she was the Mother of  His Son?  At this point, we may even speculate if Our Lady even suffered death. The Eastern Catholic Churches celebrate her “Dormition”; they believe Our Lady did not die, but fell asleep. This is implied in the bull, Munificentissimus Deus #44 of Pope Pius XII for the Assumption: “By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, by that of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, We pronounce, declare, and define to be divinely revealed dogma that the immaculate Mother of God, the Ever-Virgin Mary, was on the completion of her earthly life assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven.”

 

Munificentiissimus Deus

In his decree on the Assumption, Pope Pius XII sums up the many privileges of Our Lady: “Hence, the August Mother of God, mysteriously united from all eternity with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of  predestination, immaculate in her conception, a virgin inviolate in her Divine Motherhood, the wholehearted companion of the Divine Redeemer who won complete victory over sin and its consequences, gained at last the supreme crown of her privileges—to be preserved immune from the corruption of the tomb, and like her Son, ...to be carried up body and soul to the exalted glory of heaven, there to sit in splendour at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of  Ages.” (MD #40)

 

Harmony of Marian Privileges

Her glorification in body and soul results from the Divine munificence.  But it also came, so to speak, as the logical conclusion of her vocation on earth and the way she lived it.  Her Divine Maternity is in utter harmony with her Assumption, as are her Immaculate Conception and her Perpetual Virginity, both called for by the supernatural motherhood.  How could she who gave flesh to the Word made flesh have suffered the corruption of death?  How could she who did not know the least sin undergo decay, a punishment for sin?  And how could her  body, which by her virginal consecration belonged to her Son and His mission in a perfect and exclusive way, ever be subject to corruption? St. Alphonsus writes that "Jesus did not wish to have the body of Mary corrupted after death, since it would have redounded to his own dishonour to have her virginal flesh, from which he himself had assumed flesh, reduced to dust." (Quoted in   MD #35) St. Robert Bellarmine also exclaimed: "And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought him into the world, had nourished and carried him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be food for worms." (Quoted in “MD” #34)  Her Assumption  is also in harmony with her association with her Son in the work of Redemption; Pope Pius XII tells us that she was  “the wholehearted companion of the Divine Redeemer who won complete victory over sin and its consequences... (MD #40)  Mary’s Co-Redemption is a possible fifth Marian dogma as she also suffered in her soul what Jesus suffered in His body.

 

Co-Redemptrix

The Second Vatican Council in its Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium)  shows how much Our Lady is intimately associated with her Son Jesus in the work of redemption.  Mary was “predestined from eternity, by the decree of Divine Providence  that determined the incarnation of the Word, to be the Mother of God... Above all others and in a singular way, she was on earth the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord.” (Lumen Gentium, #61)   From the “Fiat(“Be it done to me according to thy word” Lk. 1:38) of  the Annunciation to the sorrowful ascent of Calvary, Mary,  embracing God’s salvific will with a full heart... devoted herself  totally to the person and the work of her Son.”  (Lumen Gentium  #56)   Now, Our Lady’s service takes on a universal dimension: “Taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside her salvific duty...By her maternal love she cares for the brethren of her Son who journey on earth.... Mary is now in a position to exercise fully her “Motherhood in the order of grace,” without interruption “until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect.”  (Lumen Gentium #62)

 

 “Could you not, then, watch one hour with Me?...” Mt. 26:40

We are now in our second year (as of 4 July 2011) of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from after Mass each day until Benediction at 3:10 PM.

   “....  Particular attention should also be given to Eucharistic adoration, and in every diocese there should be churches or chapels specifically devoted to this purpose. I ask parishes, seminaries, religious houses and monasteries to organise periods of Eucharistic adoration, so that all have an opportunity to take part...” (#14)     Pope Benedict XVI, “Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland.” 3 March 2010  

Sunday’s Offerings

There is no collection during Mass.  Please put your offerings for the needs of the monastery in the box at the main aisle  of the chapel.  Thank you for your kindness.  Remember, the message of St. Peter:Charity covers a multitude of sins.” I Pt. 4:8