We are almost at the end of Easter week. I have been reading "City of God" by Mother Mary Agreda for these special days. I have posted below the Instructions that Mary - Our Mother has given to Mother Mary Agreda that will be very fruitful for all of us. I have another post under - Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary from this same book - Enjoy and God bless!!
"My daughter, the instruction which I shall give you in this chapter will be also an answer to your desire of knowing why my Divine Son appeared at one time as a gardener, at another as a stranger, and why He did not always make Himself known at first sight. Know then, my dearest, that the Marys and the Apostles, although they were followers of Christ and at that time privileged and perfect in comparison with the rest of men; yet they had only arrived at a low degree of perfection and holiness and not far enough advanced in the school of their Master. They were weak in faith and in other virtues; they were less constant and fervent than was due to their vocation and to the graces they had received. The little faults in souls favored and chosen for the friendship and familiar communication with God weigh more in the scales of his most righteous equity, than some great ones in other souls not selected for these privileges. Hence, although the Apostles and the Marys were friends of the Savior, yet, on account of their faults and their weaknesses, their lukewarm and faltering love, they were not prepared for the immediate effects of the full knowledge and presence of their Master. In this paternal love He therefore created in them the proper dispositions by enlightening them and enkindling them with words of eternal life before He manifested Himself to them. When their hearts had been thus prepared by faith and love, He made known and communicated to them the abundance of His Divinity together with other admirable gifts and graces by which they were renewed and raised above themselves. When they had enjoyed His favors, He again disappeared, in order that they might desire so much the more earnestly the sweetness of His communications. This was the secret of His appearing in disguise to Magdalen, to the Apostles, and to the disciples at Emmaus. The same course He pursues respectively with many other souls, whom He chooses for intimate converse and communication.
By the consideration of these admirable tactics of divine Providence you will be instructed and reprehended for the doubts and incredulity with which you have so often met the divine blessings and favors of my Son. You will learn that it is time you moderate your constant fears, lest you pass from doubt to obstinacy and to lowness of heart in giving thanks. You will also draw a very useful lesson if you worthily contemplate, how quickly the immense charity of the Most High responds to those who are contrite and humble of heart and how ready He is, immediately to assist those who seek Him in love, who meditate and speak of His Passion and Death. All this you see well exemplified in St. Peter, Mary Magdalen and in the disciples. Imitate then, my dearest, the fervor of Magdalen in search for her Master, who did not permit herself to be diverted even by the angels, or leave the sepulcher with the others, or rest until she found Him so full of sweetness and kindness. This she also earned by having accompanied Me through all the Passion with an ardent and unfaltering heart. Similar was also the conduct of the other Marys, who thus merited before so many others the joys of the Resurrection. Next to them the humility and contrition of St. Peter in bewailing his denial, secured the same reward; immediately the Lord bent down to console him and commissioned the women to tell especially him of His Resurrection and shortly after, He visited him, confirmed him in faith and filled him with joy and the gifts of grace. Then before appearing to others, He showed Himself to the two disciples, because, although in doubt, they were conversing regretfully of His Death. I assure you, my daughter, that none of the works of men done with a good intention and righteous heart, shall remain without an immediate reward. For neither fire will in its greatest intensity so quickly consume the driest tow, nor will a stone, freed from hindrance, so quickly fall to its center, nor the waves of the sea rush on with so great an impulse and force, as the goodness of the Most High and His grace to those souls, who are well disposed and have cleared away the hindrances of sin. This is a truth which causes the greatest wonder in the saints, who are made aware of it in Heaven. Praise Him for this goodness and also for His drawing vast good out of evil, as He did out of the incredulity of the Apostles. For through it He manifested His Mercy to them and has made His Resurrection plain to all men, and evident His kindness in pardoning the Apostles. He showed His willingness to forget their faults, His readiness to seek them and appear to them, dealing humanely with them as a father, enlightening them and instructing them according to their needs and the weakness of their faith."
This post is a continuation of the Easter Day post. More words from Bishop Sheen from his book, "The Divine Romance". I would like to mention, since it is relevant to this writing by Bishop Sheen, that the burning of the Notre Dame is very tragic. I can say with strong conviction that it is the work of the devil and the Freemasons who are setting the stage in the world for a One World Order, Government and Church. There have been many church burnings all over Europe and especially in France. Many are caused by the Islamist terrorists BUT I do not believe the Notre Dame tragedy was an Islamic terrorist attack just like the 9/11 was not a terrorist attack. Both incidents are too sophisticated and well organized for that. The wood at the Notre Dame is 800 year old oak which is primarily petrified and almost stone like. (Google it) Only special energy weapons could create the fire that made this damage. The smoke is white to prove this - it would be black if it was a normal "house" fire. Like the book "1984" by George Orwell- all the media were stating that it is going to be completely lost and that it is an accident (really? so quickly decided?) and there was live streaming! More live streaming than actual help in getting rid of the flames. We need to wake up as a Catholic Church and realize that this is an assault and it will continue. The war has been waging and we are sleeping. The below writing from Bishop Sheen will give us great hope and strength during these trying times. Enjoy!
"Christ lives over again in His Church – the Church – like Christ, not only lives, not only dies, but always rises from the dead. She is in love with death as a condition of birth, and with her, as with Christ, unless there is a Good Friday in her life, there will never be an Easter Sunday; unless there is the crown of thorns, there will never be the halo of light; and unless there is the cross, there will never be the empty tomb. In other words, every now and then the Church must be crucified by an unbelieving world and buried as dead, only to rise again. She never does anything but die, and for that peculiar reason she never does anything but live. Every now and then (Like now!!) the very life seems to have gone out of her; she is pallid with death; her blood seems to have been sapped out of her; her enemies seal the tomb, roll a stone in front of her grave and say: “The Church will never rise again!!” But somehow or other she does rise again.
At least a dozen times in history, the world has buried the Church and each time she has come to life again. A hunted Savior must always have hunted children.
There are times in history also where the yoke of Christ seemed heavy to her children; bodies craved for the line of least resistance (Like now!) and hearts yearned for the flesh pots of Egypt. It is strange but certain fact that the Church is never so weak as when she is powerful with the world, never so poor as when she is rich with the riches of the world; never so foolish as when she is wise with the fancies of the world. She is strongest with Divine Help when she is weakest with human power, for like Peter she is given the miraculous draught of fishes when she admits by her own power she has labored all the night and taken nothing.
When her discipline, her spirit of saintliness, her zeal for Christ, her vigils, and her mortifications become a thing of less importance, the world makes the fatal mistake of believing that her soul is dead and her faith is departed (Like now!) NOT SO!! The faith, even in those days of lesser prayer, is solid, for it is the faith of the centuries; the faith of Jesus Christ! What may be weak is her discipline, her prayerfulness, and her saintliness, for these are of men, whereas her faith is of God. A renewal of spirit, then, will come not by changing her way of thinking, for that is divine, but her way of acting, for that is human.
But the world, failing to make this distinction between the Divine and the human in her, as it failed to make it in Christ, takes her for dead. To the world, her very life seems spent; her heart pierced, her body drained; in its eyes she is just as dead as the Master when taken down from the cross, and there is nothing left to do but to lay her in the sepulcher.
Once more a great stone is rolled before her tomb; the official seal of death placed upon it, the watch set; but as they watch, saintliness comes back, Christ stirs in Peter’s bark, and at the very moment men are saying she is dead, she is seen walking in the glory of her new Easter Morn.
Today – we have a civilization that has become indifferent like Pilate to the answer to the question: “What is Truth?” From inside and outside of the Church springs up the old error that there is no truth – an error, which for want of a knowledge of its ancient ancestry, is called Modernism. Truth is derationalized, error rationalized, and proofs brought forward to prove all proofs are worthless. Minds now are told, and they begin to believe, with the force of repetition, that we must be indifferent to both error and truth; that it is a lack of broad mindedness to make up one’s mind; that it makes no difference whether God exists, whether Christ is God, or whether the sacraments do actually communicate Divine Life; the only thing that matters is the subjective impression such beliefs have upon the feeling of the believer. Minds began to live by catch-words, phases covered up loose thinking, and there was hardly an ear that did not hear such catchwords and phrases as "Life is bigger than logic", and "The Christ of Faith is not the Jesus of History".
The new spirit of the age is seemingly burying the Spirit of Christ. Books and articles are shot from the press, and in 1907 there hardly was an article written that did not say that the Church had now definitely reached its end. (militant Freemasonry inside and outside the Church) The world was asked to chant her Requiem; a great stone was rolled before the door of her sepulchre; the watch set. "She would never rise again." Then came the First World War and the Giant stirred. That which was thought dead was seen on the battlefields pressing a crucifix to dying lips; and when the smoke of battle cleared and the mist lifted, she was seen walking in the glory of her new Easter Morn.
(Our Lady of Fatima told us that the Eternal Father allows wars as a punishment for sin - get prepared - we are nearing another! - but there will come a new Easter Morn!)
The world should profit by experience and give up expecting the Church to die. Science killed her, and still she was there; history interred her, but still she was alive. Modernism slew her, but still she lives. The Church is constantly finding her way out of the grave because she has a Captain Who found His way out of the grave. Nothing can rise from the dead except Divinity. The Church is reborn to each new age, and hence is the only new thing in the world. It is the errors that are old, for our so-called new thought (New Age, Modernism, etc) is only an old mistake with a new label. If the Church (as it did during Vatican II in embracing Modernism) marries these passing fads -- it will be a widow in the next. She is therefore not behind the times, but beyond the times, always fresh while the age is dying.
The Catholic Church should not seek (and has not sought) to overthrow governments, desired to impede progress or persecute those who differ with her - she only desires to bring souls to understand Christ, to thrill human hearts with the LOVE that leaves all others cold and to open eyes to a BEAUTY that leaves all other beauty pain. Its end and purpose will always remain the same - to bring the peace of Christ to the souls of the entire world. This is Divine Truth and truth can not lose."
Holy Mother Mary pray for us!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy upon us!
EASTER – A DAY OF HOPE!
Blessed Easter to all of you! Today is a day of hope – a day of Resurrection after a horrific death. Yes, we have witnessed many horrific deaths – or attempts of it – throughout the ages against the Mystical Body of Christ – the Church. We see the attempt on the life of Notre Dame as another attempt to smolder what is left of the Catholic Faith. I have posted a post by Michael Matt below discussing the hope of the Catholic people. Also, I have posted some more writing of Bishop Sheen. Very profound words and they should bring great hope to us – Church Militant – who are to fight for Christ knowing that He has already won the victory! – Enjoy and God bless!!
“His enemies remembered that He had said that He would rise again, but they were certain He would not. They were afraid that the Apostles would come and steal away the Body and then say He had risen. Guarding against such deceit, they went to Pilate, asking him to set a watch of soldiers about the tomb for three days, in addition to which they would attach their own official seal to the stone before the entrance. Pilate acceded to their request. Then the Evangelist Matthew fittingly closed his Gospel with the most ironic sentence in literature: “And they departing made the sepulcher sure.” The seal was placed on the sepulcher, and a great stone was rolled in front of the door. His enemies took every precaution against fraud, but could take none against Divinity. As they made their way down Calvary’s hill, such thoughts as these ran through their minds: “Now, His fishermen can go back to their nets and their boats; their Kingdom is a mockery! As for their Master, His Heart was so pierced that blood and water came from it. Our vigilance and that of the soldiers will not permit any one to steal away the Body. He who said He had life in abundance is now dead; He Who said He could summon twelve legions of angels to His assistance now is cold as death; He Who said He could raise up a child of Abraham from a stone is now buried under stone. The Impostor is dead! How wonderfully effective is a Roman death! Nothing can survive a Crucifixion! He will never rise again!
Is that true? Can one rise from the dead? Does not the very fact that He was born in a stranger’s cave and buried in a stranger’s grave prove that human birth and death are equally foreign to Him? Look about at nature. Is not the springtime the Easter Day of the Good Friday of winter? Has not all death within itself the germs of life? Does not the “falling rain bud the greenery”? Does not the falling acorn bud the tree? Why should all creation rise from the dead and not the Redeemer of creation? Therefore – The God of creation rose on that first Easter morn!
(Taken from "The Divine Romance" by Bishop Sheen, 1931)
Blessed Good Friday to all. Easter is only two days away and when I was reading the following passage in the book “Divine Romance” by Bishop Sheen, I felt I had to share it with you. The following quote from the book “Divine Romance” by Archbishop Fulton Sheen, printed in 1931 gives us an understanding of the Cross.
“Our Blessed Lord has mounted His pulpit for the last time, and what a majestic pulpit it is! In itself the cross is a sermon. How much more eloquently it speaks now when adorned with the Word of Eternal Life!
(He talks of all those in his audience as He looks down from His pulpit – timid disciples, people on temple walls, Scribes and Pharisees, Romans, and Temple priests asking Him to come down and prove His Divinity, the Deity-blind, mocking and spitting at Him. Roman soldiers throwing dice for His garment, the wounded flower – Mary Magdalen, John and His Beloved Mother. He mentions John, Mary Magdalen and Mother Mary as being the souls always found at the foot of the cross – Innocence, Penitence and Priesthood)
There is perhaps no word in the English language that is more often used and more often misunderstood than the word that rang out from the Pulpit of the Cross on that day: the simple word, love. Love as the world understands it means to have, to own, to possess that person, for the particular pleasure which it will give. That is not love; that is selfishness, that is sin. Love is not the desire to have, to own or to possess. Love is the desire to be had, to be owned, to be possessed. Love is the giving of oneself for the sake of another. Love, as the world understands it, is symbolized by a circle which is always circumscribed by self. Love, as Our Lord understands it, is symbolized by the cross with its arms outstretched even unto infinity to embrace all humanity within its grasps. As long as we have a body, then, love can never mean anything else but sacrifice. That is why we speak of arrows and darts of love – something that wounds.
But if love, in its highest reaches, means sacrifice, then these words of Our Blessed Lord from the cross are the climax of Love's ways with unloving men. Love did not keep the secret of its goodness - that was creation. Love became one with the one loved, and that was the Incarnation. But if love had merely stopped with God becoming man, we might say that God did not do everything He could do to show His love; we might say that He was like the heathen gods that sat indifferent to the woes and ills and heartaches of the world and hence never drew from the heart of man a beat of love. If Divine Love stopped merely by appearing among us, man might say that God could never understand the sufferings and the loneliness of a human heart; that a God could not love as men do, namely, to the point of sacrifice. If, therefore, love was to give of its fullness, it must express itself even to the point of sacrificing itself for the salvation and redemption of mankind. If therefore, He Who suffered on Calvary, He Who was now preaching from the Pulpit of the Cross, were not God, but a mere creature or a mere man, then there must be creatures in this world better and nobler than God. Shall man who toils for his fellowman, suffers for him, and if need be die for him, be capable of doing that which God cannot do? Should this noblest form of love, which is sacrifice, be possible to sinful man, and yet impossible to a perfectly good God? Shall we say that the martyr sprinkling the sands of the Colosseum with his blood, the soldier dying for his country, the missionary spending himself and being spent for the good of heathens; aye, and more, shall we say that those women, martyrs by pain, who in little hovels and lowly cottages have sacrificed all the joys of life for the sake of simple duties, and little charities, unnoticed and unknown by all save God - shall we say that all those, who from the beginning of the world have shown forth the beauty of sacrifice, have no divine prototype in Heaven? That they have been capable of displaying a nobler form of love than He Who made them? That they have shown greater love than Love Itself? Shall we say this, or shall we say with John and Paul, that if man can be so good, God must be infinitely better; that if man can love so much, God can love infinitely more? Shall we not say this, and find in the Cross of Calvary the perfect expression of love by an All-Perfect Being, of Whom perfect condescension and sacrifice were required by naught in Heaven or Earth save by His own perfect and inconceivable Love which He now preaches from the Pulpit of the Cross?
Now it is true to say of Love Itself that it is really dying for us, for "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends." The drama of this day is an abiding one. For Calvary is not just a mere historical incident, like the battle of Waterloo; it is not something which has happened, it is something which is also happening. Christ is still on the cross. As long as earth wears wounds, still must Christ's wounds remain, for each new sin draws aside the curtain of another Crucifixion. Christ is still on trial in the hearts of men, and every sin is another act by which Barabbas is preferred to Christ. There are still other Judases who blister His lips with a kiss, there still are other Pilates who condemn Him as an enemy of Caesar, there still are other Herods who robe Him in the garment of a fool, there still are gambling idlers who cast their dice, gambling away the riches of eternity for baubles of time; there still are other calvaries, for sin is the Crucifixion over again.
Arms that are outstretched to bless, we nail fast. Feet that would seek us in the devious ways of sin, we dig with steel. Eyes that would look longingly after us as we set out for foreign countries, like other prodigals, we fill with dust. Lips that would speak to us words of tender pleading and forgiveness, we burn with gall. A heart that would pant for us as if we were fountains of living waters, we pierce with a lance.
We make our way down the hill of Calvary and then there comes not the quake of earth but the quake of conscience which makes us say in our soul with the Centurion, "Indeed this is the Son of God." We must kneel there at the foot of that Pulpit of Love and confess that when we stabbed His Heart, it was our own we slew. But, oh, it is such a difficult thing to climb up the hill of Calvary? It is such a humiliating thing to be seen at the foot of the Cross! It is such a painful thing to be with one in pain and to be seen with one condemned by the world! It is such a hard thing to kneel at the foot of the cross, and admit that one is wrong. ---- It is hard; but it is harder to hang there!
I am still very busy with my Dad – thanks for the prayers. He is gaining some strength and has been discharged from the hospital and is now in a short term rehabilitation facility for two to three weeks to help him gain strength in his walking and even eating by himself. Please keep him in your prayers. His name is Bernard.
For lack of time – I am repeating my last year Holy Thursday post. It needs repeating and it expresses my heart on this glorious day. Below you will find last year’s post. Have a blessed Triduum!
We are now entering into what the Church calls “the holy triduum”. These are the three days with all of its mysteries that we have been preparing for all of Lent. It is here! How fast time flies – it is a reminder of how fleeting life truly is and how our entire lives should be one big Lent preparing for our own life, death and resurrection. In the liturgical rites of Holy Thursday, the Church helps us to relive the last parting hours of our sweet Jesus in the supper-room, the hours of great love and importance in giving us Himself in the Holy Eucharist, the great gift of the priesthood and at last -- his agony in the garden before He is arrested. I do not cover them in this article – in that order.
This is one of my favorite days of the year as it shows Jesus’ immense love for us and it also reveals, quite pathetically, mankind’s lack of appreciation and love as well. Notice, that on Easter Sunday, it is packed with people – everyone wants Easter Sunday but no one wants to stay up on Holy Thursday till midnight and be with Him “for one hour”. It is usually a handful of people.
I was privileged to read as a teenager, St. Alphonsus’ great works of “The Glories of Mary” and “The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ." I realized Jesus wants us to be with Him at this time on Holy Thursday evening. Since then, by the grace of God, I have honored this time from the Holy Mass till Midnight – to be with Jesus in His agony – to pray with Him. If we were truly lovers of our Lord and Master, we would all be there on Holy Thursday not only at the service but during the time of Adoration between the Mass and Midnight, when Our Lord is in His Agony in the Garden. His own apostles fell asleep and one of his apostles betrayed him. It is the time when His entire Passion and Death are presented to Him and He views all of our sins and sees how little His sufferings would help poor mankind for the sole reason ------ they will reject and spurn His love. He suffered enough to save us all – but MANY will be lost for the sole reason – MANY will REJECT HIS LOVE! Don’t you want to be with Jesus at this moment? Don’t you want to console His aching Sacred Heart? There is no measure of time with God. We can be like St. Mary Magdalen and offer our constant love and adoration. We can be like St. John and tend to the sorrows of Our Lady all the way to the cross. We can be like St. Veronica who wipes His face by offering our love and reparation as He Himself asked for in the Golden Arrow Prayer. And most of all, we can be imitators of our dear Queen and Mother who was always present to Jesus with Her prayers.
Another great gift is the gift of the Holy Eucharist which also demands our reparation as we have learned at the apparitions of Fatima. Jesus gives of Himself, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist. He did not have to do this. He gives Himself in an unbloody way at Mass but does He suffer any less?? NO – absolutely NOT. He makes Himself vulnerable – as a little white host FOR CENTURIES – to be loved, yes by some, but He is subjected to MANY MANY SACRILEGES by priest and people alike! We all know what those are – I do not want to list them here. May we pray the Fatima Reparation Prayers today especially! May we pray them always to console the Hearts of Jesus and Mary! (These can be found on this website and below)
Finally, we cannot forget the great gift of the priesthood. Today more than any time in history is the priesthood scorned, mocked and scandalized! POOR POOR JESUS!! We have many Judases and for those dear priests who are faithful – they are suffering as Our Lord and Master. If we all knew what a priest truly was – we would have greater reverence and we would encourage our boys to beg Jesus to call them there and to at least offer their lives and to ask if it truly is God’s Will for them – but no – Satan has caused such havoc to the priesthood that many would never dare recommend this to their sons. POOR POOR JESUS!
What is a priest? A priest walks in “persona Christi” – he is another Christ! He brings us Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. He brings us the sacraments that we all need – Baptism, Penance, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders and Extreme Unction. Without a priest we would not have Jesus truly present in the Eucharist – they are inseparable!
There are many things to be upset about that came about during the Second Vatican Council but the most truly despicable – is the loss of love for the priesthood. To raise the people up and to lower the priest down was intentional by the ecclesiastical freemasons who infiltrated the Church. Look at the New Mass and the loss of vocations and try to tell me differently.
In conclusion – we need to make Reparation, Reparation, Reparation! May we spend time today with our sweet Jesus in His Agony in the Garden. May we watch with open eyes and open hearts to the sacrileges that have caused such sadness to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. May we offer ourselves, as the saints of old to love Him with our whole heart, mind and soul!
My God, My God, how I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament! Thank you Jesus for Your love for us – we are sorry for lack of love in return. Give us the grace to love You always and then do with us as You will.
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Mother of priests – pray for us!!
I wish to apologize for being away from my postings on this website recently. My 88 year old Dad is in the hospital and it has consumed my time and has made for a better Lent. I pray he pulls through this. He has heart and kidney issues along with others. He has never been a good patient although he has been blessed with good health compared to my mother who passed away almost exactly two years ago (May 7, 2017). She had more practice in hospital visits than he has. He is now enduring a portion of his "Purgatory on Earth". Please keep Bernard in your prayers - thank you!!
When we suffer, it is easy to complain. Everyone enjoys it when good health is given to us. When it is lost, it is difficult. While my sister and I were there, he was complaining. I had to bring up the fact that Bishop Sheen would always think of all the wasted suffering as he passed by or entered a hospital. We must unite our sufferings to Christ in order for us to enjoy the fruits of them both here and in eternity. I shared this with Dad and he agreed. I also have an elderly friend who is suffering much as well. I told her that she is blessed to be able to share in the sufferings of Christ during this Lenten season and that He has "slim pickings" when it comes to souls that will unite their pain to His. She felt privileged to be called during this Lent and would unite her sufferings to Christ. I shared with her that when we are in the next life, we will wish we had the opportunity to do more in order to gain more souls for Jesus and to give greater glory to God. She agreed and now felt blessed in her sufferings.
Many times through life we wonder if we are doing the will of God. At times it is difficult to say for sure because we have multiple choices - Am I making the right one? But in suffering, there is no choice! We can be sure that this is God's Will and that to unite it to His -- is His Will -- and it will bear fruit! God's ways are not our ways. We may be retired, we may be chronically ill, we may be suffering and all of these can not be changed. Therefore, united to the sufferings of Christ for the salvation of souls that may otherwise be lost or for those in need and for the greater glory of God is the greatest calling! We should not want to miss nor squander this opportunity!
I do not advocate denial of treatment. We must do all we can to get better to serve Him but if we do all we can and still suffering comes - we can be sure - we are pleasing God with our surrender and the offering up of our pain! What a beautiful place to be and how beautiful to live in imitation of the saints before us and in imitation of our dear Master and Lord and His most sweet Holy Mother in this surrendered suffering!
Speaking of Our Mother, tomorrow is her special feast day. We remember the Sorrows of Our Lady during this Passion Week - before we enter Holy Week. How beautiful. After Our Lord and Master, no one has suffered like our good Mother! She is so little loved and appreciated. I will post something under "Total Consecration" for Our Lady!
May we find peace and happiness in uniting your sufferings to the Cross of Jesus Christ! May Our Good Mother pray for us and lead us to the Cross so that we can experience the Resurrection! God bless all of you and please keep my Dad, Bernard, in your prayers! Thank you!
From St. Peter:
"Do not be surprised, beloved, that this fiery ordeal should have befallen you, to test your quality. There is nothing strange in what is happening to you. Rather, rejoice, when you share in some measure the sufferings of Christ; so joy will be yours, and triumph, when His glory is revealed." (II Peter 4:12-13)
Quote from Bishop Sheen:
" Like the goldsmith, God keeps us in the smelting furnace until He can see the reflection of the Face of the Lord Jesus in our lives. He is not so much interested in the work we do but rather in how much we resemble His Son Jesus. Holy people are to rejoice in the fact that they are co-participants in the suffering of Christ!"
"Oh my Jesus, I offer this for the love of You, for the conversion of poor sinners and in reparation of the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
We are half way through Lent - I pray that this last half will be more fruitful for everyone.
Since we are in Lent and focusing on the Cross of Jesus, I felt this article to be helpful to many! I am posting an article that was posted in September 2012 on the blog - "Catholicism Pure and Simple". It is about a small town in Bosnia with a very beautiful tradition. May we all share this and be brave enough to be witnesses and implement this idea. I am going to suggest this for our next anniversary since we did not do it at our wedding ceremony. I also recommend consecrating marriages to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. May God bless our marriages with His many graces!! Enjoy this article below and God bless!
"Imagine a world without divorce. Imagine families without separation. Imagine no heartbroken children. Imagine no hearts torn apart.
Marriage is the most challenging vocation there is and divorce everywhere is on the rise. Yet there is one small town in Europe that is an exception – a notable exception – to this disturbing statistic.
In the town of Siroki-Brijeg in Bosnia and Herzagovina, not one single divorce or broken family has been recorded in living memory among its more than 26.000* inhabitants! So what is the secret of their success?
The answer is the beautiful tradition the Croatian people of Siroki-Brijeg have for marriage. In fact the Croatian marriage tradition is beginning to take hold in the rest of Europe and America among devout Catholics who have seen the blessings this tradition bestows!
For centuries, the people in Siroki-Brijeg have suffered cruelly as their Christian Faith was always threatened by first the Moslem Turks and then the Communists. They knew through experience, that the source of salvation comes through the Cross of Christ! It does not come from humanitarian aid, peace treaties or disarmament plans, even if these things may bring limited benefits.
These people possess a wisdom that does not allow them to be duped over questions of life and death. That is why they have indissolubly linked marriage with the Cross of Christ. They have founded marriage, which brings forth human life, on the Cross, which brings forth divine life.
When the bride and bridegroom go to the church to be married they carry a Crucifix with them. The priest blesses the Crucifix and instead of saying that they have found the ideal partner with whom to share their lives, he exclaims, “You have found your Cross! It is a Cross to love, to carry with you, a Cross that is not to be thrown off, but rather cherished.”
When they interchange the marital vows, the bride puts her right hand on this Crucifix and the groom puts his right hand over hers. Both are bound together and united to the Cross. The priest covers their hands with his stole while they pronounce their promises to love one other in good times and in bad, proclaiming their vows to be faithful according to the rites of the Church.
Then they both first kiss the Cross, not each other. If one abandons the other, they abandon Christ on the Cross. They lose Jesus! After the wedding, the newly-weds cross the threshold of their home to enthrone that same Crucifix in a place of honor. It becomes the reference point of their lives and the place of family prayer, for the young couple believes deeply that the family is born of the Cross.
In times of difficulty and misunderstandings, as all human relationships experience at some time, they do not turn immediately to an astrologer, or a lawyer or psychologist, they turn to the Cross. They kneel, weep tears of repentance and open up their hearts, begging for the strength to forgive each other, and imploring the Lord’s help. These pious practices have been learnt from the time of their childhood.
Here the children are taught to reverently kiss the Crucifix daily and to thank the Lord for the day before going to bed. These children go to sleep knowing that Jesus is holding them in His arms and there is nothing to be afraid of. Their fears and their differences, so normal sometimes between siblings, melt away in their kiss of Jesus on the Cross. They dream of enthroning a Crucifix in a home of their own one day.
The family is indissolubly united to the Cross of Christ. Is this simply a morbid outlook on marital and family life? Or is it a piece of wisdom that few in our modern world can understand?
The Catechism teaches that “love should be permanent or it is not true love. It is not a feeling which comes and goes, but a power to give which should be there even when feeling dies out”.
In marriage we cannot rely on our own human strength, and if we think we can, we shall fail. Temptation enters into every marriage in one way or another. On one’s wedding day it is hard to imagine a day when it all won’t be perfect. Little do the young hearts know that they are embarking on a road which will travel to the highest peaks and the lowest valleys. It is during those times spent deep in the valley that it takes heroic efforts by both to stay the course. At times it is even necessary for one spouse to have the mental discipline to pull the other spouse back into the marriage. Those who are experiencing this or have in the past can fully appreciate the grace that is necessary to hold on through the storm or the silence. There might be days when it all seems hopeless. Then a moment of true grace can bring a flood of renewed love and vitality back to the relationship to renew the sacramental bond. It is during these times of intense difficulty that spouses can experience what is truly meant by those seemingly prophetic words now being added during some marriage ceremonies: “You may kiss the Cross.”
*Some sources quote the number of inhabitants of Siroki-Brijeg as only 13.000 (and almost 100% Catholic!) However after some research I believe the true number of inhabitants to be more than double this figure.
NOTE: - This Easter you may consider giving your spouse, children and grandchildren crosses and maybe a copy of some of this article to show that by kissing the Cross EACH DAY will bring hope and grace to a very sad world. This is a beautiful habit. You may want to include the prayer that we have on this website which reads:
I kiss the wounds of Your Sacred Hands with sorrow deep and true, may every move of my hands today be a million acts of love for You.
I kiss the wounds of Your Sacred Feet with sorrow deep and true, may every step that I take today be a million acts of love for You.
I kiss the wounds of Your Sacred Heart with sorrow deep and true, may every beat of my heart today be a million acts of love for You.
I kiss the wounds of Your Sacred Face with sorrow deep and true, may every word and thought today be a million acts of love for You.
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 5 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!