Today is the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola. For all those priests who may be reading this blog - Happy Feast Day! This is a great saint who did amazing things for God and still does through his Spiritual Exercises. It is so tragic what has happened to the Society of Jesus over the years. It is not good news but they are not alone - many orders are suffering from enemy infiltration! May Our Lady pray for us and watch over us to remain faithful until we are through this very tragic storm. Our Lady of Fatima's message was one of hope. At this time when we are so steeped in sin and God in His Justice should punish us, He chose to send us His Mother. Only Our Lady can obtain the mercy we need from God - the graces we need from God - the love that we need from God. She can and will soften the blow. Let us beg Her to intercede for all priests that we may see a transformation in all of them!
Do we reverence Christ's priests as we should? Another important question - Do even priests themselves value or esteem their office as it is to be esteemed? Hardly, perhaps; it is scarcely possible in this world. Many saints have been enlightened to understand it such as St. Francis of Assisi and have shrunk in holy dread from its wondrous dignity and extensive and profound obligations before God. We are told in some pre-Vatican II books (that is another post regarding what happened as a result of Vatican II in belittling the priesthood as well as the Mass during these 60 years.) that we should salute a priest before an angel if we were to meet them together. The angel has not the power to do what a priest can do. The angel cannot call God from Heaven, but the priest can and does daily.
Our Lady was the first who called God from Heaven by Her words, "May Your word to me be fulfilled (Luke 1:38)." The Mother with Her Divine Child, reverently wrapped Jesus in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger. She seems to live again in the priest of God with his Lord in the Sacred Host as he places Jesus on the linen corporal or rests Him in the tabernacle. The priest has custody of Jesus as Mary did on earth. Their obligation is very grave.
May we pray for our lost priests - our unfaithful priests - our tepid priests - our lonely priests - our abandoned priests. May we pray that they reach out to Mary their Mother! May we pray for them to be given the grace to love Jesus as She did. May we pray for Her to give them the grace to bend over the Host with the same love as Mary bent over Her Child. May we pray for Her to give them the love that She had as She raised Him to the Eternal Father when they are raising the Host toward Heaven. May we pray for Her to give them tremendous love as they bow low in receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion. May they feel the love She had as She held Her Infant pressed close to Her. She never wanted to be separated from Him. May the priest never want to be separated from Jesus as well.
For those priests who already seek Her prayers - they understand all of this well. They feel our Lady working in them, animating them with a loving spirit, filling them with Her love, lending them Her Heart. They are indeed privileged beings because they are so dear to Her Heart - those who call Her Son down from Heaven upon earth! I can not imagine the loneliness and fear that a priest has who lives without Mary. How very very sad! Our Mother in Heaven is watching down over all of them but they must pray to Her for guidance and grace. If they do not, then we are called to pray for them; and seeing so many priests in trouble - these numbers must be small indeed.
We have lost many contemplative nuns over the past 60 years and many of the Third Orders meet to have monthly "get-togethers" but do not take their prayer life seriously. The light of Christ is pale - very pale. May we pray for Our Lady to send forth the graces of Her Flame of Love to all of the priests on earth and to all that inhabit the earth so that Jesus may be loved - so that we have priests to nourish us with His Body and Blood in order for the world to be set on fire with Divine Love for the world is so very very cold right now.
The priest alone is our Lord's guardian on earth; he has charge and care of Jesus. Is he not like Our Lady when She walked the earth? Is he not in need of Her prayers and guidance to do this job as She did with perfect love and reverence? Is She not the Mediatrix of all Graces to supply him with this Love and these graces.
May we pray for our dear priests who have to answer to God for so much. May we pray for more priests - good and holy priests - priests who will love Our Lord Jesus Christ with the same love and reverence of Our Queen and Mother because She will supply them with the necessary graces. She can make all of them saints! What a glorious day that could be! It can be with our prayers! God wills it so! God wills our men to come forward and live in imitation of Jesus Christ in offering themselves to Him for the sins of the world as His priests.
(Little side note: women have no place in the priesthood - Jesus was a man and a priest is to live in persona Christi. Women have a duty to the priesthood - to pray for them - to serve them - to comfort them - to sew for them - to cook for them - to encourage them. If women do not do this, the priesthood will crumble - OH - maybe that is why it is crumbling! If we do not do God's Will and do our own will - we will NEVER be happy. It is truly in giving that we receive - live in imitation of Mary - be humble and do the will of God.)
Our Lady of the Clergy, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.
Tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. How fast time flies! This article is about Mary hearing the plea of St. Simon and answering his prayer in time of great need and her faithfulness to Her Promise. This is taken from "Take This Scapular" pages. 17-19 and was written by Fr. Wilfrid A. Smith, O Carm.
"A holy Carmelite, St. Simon Stock, humbly knelt in prayer in the midst of the storm, with thunderous words of protest resounding in his ears, and lightening flashes of criticism striking about him.
O beautiful Flower of Carmel,
Most fruitful vine,
Splendor of Heaven,
Holy and singular
Who brought forth the Son of God,
Still ever remaining a pure virgin,
Assist us in this necessity.
O Star of the Sea,
Help and protect us.
Show us that You are our Mother.
Suddenly, the storm clouds parted. In the clearing, surrounded by a heavenly light and a host of angels, Mary, the Queen of Heaven, appeared. In the crook of her left arm the Divine Child rested. In her right hand she held a garment which she extended towards the kneeling monk. In tones of motherly tenderness she spoke: "Receive my beloved son, this habit of thy Order. It shall be to you and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire." Gradually the vision grew dim and Simon Stock found himself again alone, holding in his own hand the pledge of Mary's protection and the sign of salvation, Heaven's own gift to Carmel - the Scapular.
As abruptly as they fell and inundated the Order, so abruptly did the waters of criticism subside, and once more the Order of Carmel prospered and grew. What the rainbow was to Noah, a sign of peace with God, that the Scapular became for Simon Stock and Carmel: a sign of eternal alliance between the Order and its Queen.
... No pact with men or nations will send Satan groveling in the dust. The weapons which will conquer him transcend the powers of man to make. They must be made in Heaven. God gave us the Commandments. His Divine Son gave us the Sacraments. With the Commandments as our guide and the Sacraments as our weapons, we fight the mighty battle of life. God, our Father, and Christ, our Brother, are with us in the great struggle.
The Scapular is Mary's own guarantee to us of Her protection against the darts of the evil one. It is the armoured mail which will turn aside evil's strongest weapons.
But, as earthly weapons are of no avail to him who will not use them, so the Scapular is of no avail to him who will not love it and appreciate its value. If we profess to love Mary and to value Her protection, we will love and treasure what She has given to us as a mark of Her love for us. We cannot think that Mary's alliance is unilateral. She loves us, and she expects us to love Her. We can best manifest that love by endeavoring to live as She would have us live, by fighting as She would have us fight. It is only thus that the Scapular which She has given and which we wear will prove itself as She, the giver, has promised: a sure Sign of Salvation. "Because of the alliance which Mary contracts with us and which we contract with Her," says Blessed Claude de la Colombiere, "no other devotion renders our salvation so certain!"
I just posted an article on St. Simon under "Talks". Please read there. I am posting here as well to emphasize the importance of this topic. St. Simon Stock was one of the greatest saints. He had to be. He could not have been anywhere close to mediocre to be given such a sacramental as the Brown Scapular that has existed for over 750 years and people are still wearing it - no matter how much the resistance!
The last apparition to St. Bernadette was July 16th. On the last day of the six Fatima visions, Our Lady appeared as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel holding out Her Scapular. The Scapular is just as Catholic Tradition has led us to believe - an amazing Sacramental given to us by Our Lady for our protection against the enemy - ARE WE AMAZED THAT HE IS ATTACKING IT - and it is not a NEW fight! The problem today is that there are very few if any Knights in Shining Armor in the Carmelite Order - namely friars - who are left to defend Her and Her Scapular. We have the writings of those who have gone before us - THANKS BE TO GOD! It is during this Novena that I will quote from them and maybe throughout the month of July.
The miracles are incredible and this may be why Satan attacks them. The modernist can only believe what his reason and eyes will give him. No room for miracles! This is so especially when we hear of them even questioning the miracles in the Bible and even the RESURRECTION!! I am not saying the Carmelite Friars have gone that far - they don't need to - they have done tremendous damage to belief in the Brown Scapular and have stricken St. Simon Stock from the calendar. May we make reparation for these sins and for their souls!
Please read the article under "Talks" regarding St. Simon Stock.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us!
St. Simon Stock - pray for us.
Today is Day 3 of the 9 Day Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Today we will focus on the devotion to the Immaculate Heart spoken of at Fatima. Father Rafferty has written alot in his day and very beautifully. He is a true knight for Our Lady! Below is an excerpt from an article that he did on The Immaculate Heart of Mary. This will help all those who want to offer Reparation and give themselves to Mary in order for Her to watch over them in return. This is taken from "Take This Scapular" pages 94-98. Enjoy!
"In August of 1917, Our Lady pleaded: "Many souls go to Hell because they have no one to sacrifice and pray for them." It is impossible for you and I to live apart, to have no influence on others. A great saint, Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, once stated: "How humbled we shall be for all eternity, if because of our negligence many souls that might have enjoyed an eternity of happiness are found to be in Hell." Then it will be too late for us to help them. Now there is yet time to save ourselves and save many more together with us. We therefore ask: What means has Mary offered to us in Her Fatima Message?
She offers Devotion to Her Immaculate Heart. In the very first vision of the Angel of Peace, the children were told to pray because the Angel said: "The Hearts of Jesus and Mary will be attentive to the voice of your supplication." Again, late in the summer of 1916, the Angel appeared the third and last time, gave the children the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion saying: "Through the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, beg of God the conversion of poor sinners."
Our Lady herself brought out the fuller meaning of Devotion to Her Heart when in June of 1917, after telling the children they must say the Rosary daily and offer sacrifices for sinners, she suddenly opened her hands and revealed Her Immaculate Heart. That Heart was surrounded with thorns, pierced and bleeding. Although Our Lady said nothing about Her Heart on this occasion, the children understood that Her Heart was pierced and bleeding because of sin: that Our Lady wanted reparation for sin.
Again in July of the same year, our Mother told about the coming plague of Communism, cause of wars and persecution of the Church, promised that She would stop the tide of sin by asking that Devotion to Her Immaculate Heart be established in the world. She concluded with the triumphant words: "In the end, My Immaculate Heart shall triumph, and an era of peace will be given to the world."
The deeper meaning of Devotion to Mary's Immaculate Heart may be gained from the prayer Our Lady told the children to say before making a sacrifice: "O my Jesus, it is for love of you, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for all the crimes committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
At Fatima, She pleaded for a Consecration, a Consecration in which we give ourselves in a surrender of love, promising Her that we will first of all say the daily Rosary, secondly, offer little sacrifices for sinners; thirdly, make the five Holy Communions of Reparation on the First Saturdays.
In the last tabloid at Fatima, She gave us the outward sign of this Consecration when She appeared as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and held the Brown Scapular in Her outstretched hand. It is the same mark of salvation given by Her to St. Simon Stock saying: "Whosoever dies wearing this shall not suffer eternal fire. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace." Our Lady said nothing when She held out Her Scapular at Fatima; no words were necessary because Our Lady's Scapular has been a sign of special dedication to Her for these past seven hundred years. It should now remind all Catholics of Consecration to Mary's Immaculate Heart."
May we take heed to these words and live out our Consecration by wearing our Scapular, make reparation for our sins and those of others, pray our daily Rosary, fulfill the Five First Saturday devotion and spread the news of these Fatima messages which are for our times and to help win souls to Heaven before they go to Hell. By doing this, we are pleasing not only the Immaculate Heart of Mary but the sweet Heart of Jesus who thirsts for all of our souls. Let us satiate that thirst!
Today is Day 2 of our 9 day Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Here is another talk taken from "Take This Scapular" p. 28. This talk is again by Fr. Benson, O Carm. This is a critical talk for today. If you are a member of the Third Order, you know how little Our Lady is talked about. How we know she has significance in the Order but it is downplayed and almost never talked about. I know, I have been in the Order since 1994 until I left in 2013 (the year I was asked to leave because I wanted to live the Old Rule.) After reading this little writing of Fr. Benson, you too will realize that it is better to live the Old Rule rather than the new and "improved" Rule of Carmel. When I found and read the Old Rule, I said, "This is exactly what I was looking for!" This talk is confirmation of that - enjoy!
Again - the faith and simplicity of Fr. Benson shines in this talk:
"Mary is our Mother in a more special way. The bond between her and her Carmelite children is one still closer and truly singular. Mary has entered into a relationship with Carmel, which has no parallel. First of all, we claim her as the Foundress of our Order, since we may well suppose that the inspiration to become its Founder came to Elias from the fair Lady of his vision on Mt. Carmel. Each Carmelite can attribute his vocation to Mary, the Mother and Ornament of Carmel. The annals of the Order give instances of Mary's intervention on its behalf. Every member of the Order owes his perseverance to the powerful inspiration and maternal assistance which Mary gives him. Our Blessed Lady always was, and still is, the Order's living Rule, of which its written Rule is but a copy, so that imitation of Mary sums up the life of a Carmelite. She teaches and protects us from the dangers of body and soul in life and in death. Truly she is the Hope of All Carmelites! The Carmelite is highly favored in having in Mary so loving, solicitous, and powerful a Mother. And this then is another reason why we believe Mary will keep her Scapular Promise, because she is in a very special way the Mother of all Carmelites, of all who wear her Scapular.
Suppose that you knew of someone who thought enough of you to wear your picture day and night, week after week, year after year, for a lifetime. What kindly feelings towards that person would you not entertain? Would you not do all in your power for a person who manifested such enduring affection for you? Is it so wonderful then that Mary obtains from her Divine Son the grace of a happy death for one who all his life was so thoughtful of her as never to put aside her picture, her badge, her Scapular?"
Since we are beginning the Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel today, we will take words from the writings of Fr. Benson on our confidence in Her love. I quote from him the following:
"We take Mary's Scapular and Mary's Scapular Promise for granted. Yet there are many who scoff at our belief. How can we believe that a piece of cloth, worn around the neck, can save a man from Hell? Surely the cloth of itself has power neither to save a man from Hell nor admit him into Heaven. Why then do we believe that the Scapular, or its equivalent, the Scapular medal, worn at the moment of death will, as the Blessed Virgin promised, protect its wearer from eternal punishment? Actually, we do not place our trust in the brown cloth. The Scapular Promise is fulfilled through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother. The Brown Scapular is the badge of the Blessed Virgin. She has promised to save from Hell by her intercession anyone who dies clothed in it. And she is empowered to keep her Promise.
Our confidence and trust in the Scapular Promise will never be betrayed because the Scapular carries with it the guarantee of the all-powerful intercession of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. "Who can doubt," says St. Bernard "but that the Son will listen to His Mother - such a Son listen to such a Mother. The Son of God is Flesh of her flesh, Blood of her blood. He did not bring His body with Him from Heaven, but rather assumed it of Mary. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became the Son of the humble Virgin Mary. Mary became actually the Mother of God. What incalculable power, therefore, there must be in her intercession. When She prays it is to her own Divine Son that she addresses herself. To His Mother, what can this best of Sons refuse? It is simply inconceivable that her prayers should not be heard. We believe, then, that Mary will keep Her Scapular Promise first of all because She is the Mother of God."
This talk is so simple but so filled with great confidence. He is not a skeptic but a believer and one with tremendous faith. Thank you, Fr. Benson, may God rest your soul through the prayers and intercession of Our Queen and Mother. Please pray for us and all Carmelite friars!
This is the month of July and we will post as many talks on the Brown Scapular as possible. In the year 2000, the catechesis of the Brown Scapular was "revised" by the modern Carmelite friars. I read about the priests who made the updates - updates that changed the 750 year thinking of the Church. One of the priests in explaining his changes quoted St. Therese with "Mary is more Mother than Queen" and twisted it to prove his point that we make Mary out to be more than She is - She has been given more emphasis than is deserved and that St. Therese would be happy with the changes since Vatican II in de-emphasizing Mary's role. Very very sad! And for a Carmelite priest to say it!
Let us look at St. Therese and her love for Our Mother and Queen through the eyes of Father Albert H. Dolan, O Carm. He, of course, has passed away. All the knights in shining armor who defended the Brown Scapular and Our Lady have gone on. We are left with modernists who will no longer promote the Brown Scapular because people in the past have put too much emphasis on it and treated it like a "good luck charm". Therefore, we must do away with it! Keep it for Carmelites only since it is "just" their habit and only meant for them. (if they would only wear it themselves) I could say more (I have more and this is why I write for this website - to do a little for Our Lady who is so greatly neglected by those who should defend Her, love Her and promote Her Scapular) but this article is on the holiness of St. Therese - so lets get started!
Father Dolan writes a talk for the book "Take This Scapular" written in 1949 to celebrate the 700 years of the Scapular Vision of St. Simon Stock (1951) which I will be quoting from throughout the month of July! Starting on page 113 of the book, he states the following:
"Let us consider for a moment St. Therese as the Apostle of Mary's Scapular. Just as no Carmelite ever attracted so many vocations to our Carmelite monasteries and convents as did St. Therese, therefore, no Carmelite in all Carmel's history every "advertised" the Scapular so widely and so successfully as the Little Flower did, and continues to do..... She was canonized only twenty-eight years after her death, and today there is scarcely a Catholic church or chapel anywhere in the world that has not a shrine or a statue of her; her image looks down from the walls of millions of homes, and her picture on prayer cards is in the hands of other countless millions in every country of the globe. And what do these millions see - They see her Scapular.
St. Therese said to Mary: "I wish to be not so much your servant as your child." And she is known to have said that "Mary is more Mother than Queen." In these two quotations, we have the Marian message of St. Therese.
God chose Mary to be the Mother of His Son, and from that first privilege of Her Divine Maternity, all Mary's other privileges flow. Immaculate in Her origin, Queen in Her Triumph, Mary is above all - Mother. Having assumed, with the heavenly Father, the function of begetting the Incarnate Son, She assumed with this Son, the fruit of Her womb, the office of begetting all His adopted children. Such is the theological truth on which the Little Flower's Marian message is based:
Mary is more Mother than Queen.
Therese wrote as a child: "The most beautiful masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother". In one of her school blank books, she wrote when she was seven this resolution: "I wish to be Mary's good little daughter. Mary is my dear Mother, and usually daughters resemble their mother." St. Therese was chosen to pronounce the Act of Consecration to Mary in the name of all the first communicants and it was then that she gave herself once again to Mary. She writes: "I put my whole heart into the reading of the prayer, and besought our Blessed Mother always to watch over me. It seemed to me that She looked down lovingly, and once more smiled upon Her Little Flower." She also wrote later: "I felt that Our Blessed Mother watched over me, that I was so much her child, that I should give Her the name of "Mama", for She seemed to me more tender than any earthly mother."
When she finally entered the convent, Therese understood well it was in Carmel that it would be possible for her to put on the very mantle of Mary. She wrote to her sister Pauline: "In July 1889, when I was still a novice, I was praying in the monastery garden when I found myself suddenly entirely hidden under the veil of our Blessed Mother".... Gradually, Mary transformed this child of sixteen into that strong religious whom Pope St. Pius X called "the greatest saint of modern times."
Father Dolan explains the difference of Queen and Mother with these words:
"If between a Queen and her Lady of Honor etiquette imposes distance. between a mother and a daughter affection suppresses all distance. Maternity asks only one response: LOVE, the entire surrender of the daughter to the affection of her mother. To her cousin, Marie Guerin, Therese wrote: "Do not fear to love Mary too much, for you will never be able to love her enough, and Jesus will be very pleased because She is His Mother too."
We will end here, although he wrote so much more! I wish the modern Carmelite priest that used the quote of "more mother than queen" would have quoted the above quote - "Do not fear to love Mary too much, for you will never be able to love her enough, and Jesus will be very pleased because She is His Mother too".
St. Therese's message was one of love - The constant love of the Mother and the constant love of the daughter! Our Lady asks us to wear the Scapular so that She could have the authority to watch over us and to lead us to Her Son as She did for St. Therese. May we wear our Scapulars with this confidence of placing ourselves under Her care and loving Her as our Queen and Mother!
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Our Queen and Mother, pray for us! St. Therese pray for us.
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!