Saturday, March 25, 2017

While I've been offline: There have been reports Martin Luther has been rehabilitated ...

I'm against it.

Michael Voris and Church Militant have a new look ...

Solemnity of the Annunciation

Hail Mary!
Full of grace!

Seeking to know knowledge that cannot be known, the Virgin cried to the ministering one: Tell me, how can a son be born from a chaste womb? Then he spake to Her in fear, only crying aloud thus: 
Rejoice, initiate of God’s ineffable will: Rejoice, assurance of those who pray in silence! Rejoice, beginning of Christ’s miracles: Rejoice, crown of His dogmas!
Rejoice, heavenly ladder by which God came down: Rejoice, bridge that conveyest us from earth to heaven! Rejoice, wonder of angels sounded abroad: Rejoice, wound of demons bewailed afar! Rejoice, Thou Who ineffably gavest birth to the Light: Rejoice, Thou Who didst reveal Thy secret to none! Rejoice, Thou Who surpassest the knowledge of the wise: Rejoice, Thou Who givest light to the minds of the faithful! Rejoice, O Bride Unwedded!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Traditional Feast of St. Gabriel Archangel

Russian icon of the Pre-Annunciation

According to the apocryphal Protoevangelion of James, the Blessed Virgin first heard the greeting of the Angel while she was fetching water from the well, frightened, she returned home.  The scene is often depicted in iconography depicting scenes from the life of the Virgin.
In the Protoevangelion of James, there is first a “pre-annunciation” scene, in which Mary goes to the well to fetch water. There she hears a voice saying: “Greetings, favoured one. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.” Mary looks around but does not see anyone. Frightened, she goes back inside and, “taking up the purple, she sat down in her house and began to spin.”

The angel then appears visually to her, telling her initially not to be afraid: “You have found favour in the sight of the Lord of all.”

The Annunciation story then continues along the same narrative outline found in the Gospels according to Saint Matthew and Saint Luke until the author returns to the story of Mary’s role in weaving the temple veil: “And she finished the purple and the scarlet and took them up to the high priest.” - continue reading here.
At the moment when the the Angel of the Annunciation revealed himself, the Virgin is depicted weaving the veil of the Temple - in purple and red - the liturgical colors for Lent and Holy Week.
This is the Annunciation scene that appears on the “royal doors” of the iconostasis of almost every Orthodox church.

Mary is depicted either standing or sitting, with purple or red skeins falling from her fingers. The threads Mary is holding reveal that she wove the Temple veil that later was rent from top to bottom when Christ died on the cross. Her acceptance of God’s will in this and in all things is represented by her upraised and open hand or, in some cases, by placing her hand upon her heart.

Saint Andrew of Crete, in his Great Canon, sang to her: “As from purple silk, O undefiled Virgin, the spiritual robe of Emmanuel, His flesh, was woven in thy womb. Therefore, we honour thee as Theotokos in very truth.” - ibid

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Kids Are All Right

Our Lady kept her promise.

At the very first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, she promised to bring the children to heaven, Jacinta and Francisco first, then Lucia ...  Pope Francis has officially recognized the miracle attributed to the intercession of two Fatima children - Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto. - VR

The promise of Our Lady - at the very first apparition.

On Sunday May 13th 1917 the children were pasturing their flock as usual at the Cova da Iria, which was about a mile from their homes. They were playing when suddenly a bright shaft of light pierced the air. They described it as a flash of lightning. It was not really lightning, but rather the reflection of a light that approached little by little. Frightened by the flash, the children looked around at the sky that was clear and bright without the least spot of a cloud. No breeze stirred, the sun was strong, and there was no hint anywhere of a storm that might be responsible for a flash of lightning. The children, however, thought that they had better head home in case it might start raining. As they descended the hill. Another flash of lightning took them by surprise. Panicky with fear, they took a few steps and looked towards the right. There, standing over the foliage of a small holmoak, "a lady dressed all in white, more brilliant then the sun, shedding rays of light, clear and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water, pierced by the burning rays of the sun". The lady spoke to them and said: "Fear not! I will not harm you." "Where are you from?" the children asked. "I am from heaven" the beautiful lady replied, gently raising her hand towards the distant horizon. "What do you want of me?", Lucia asked. "I came to ask you to come here for six consecutive months, on the thirteenth day, at this same hour. I will tell you later who I am and what I want. And I shall return here again a seventh time." Lucia said : "Do you come from heaven...and will I go to heaven ?" " Yes, you'll go". "And Jacinta?" "As well" " And Francisco?" "Him too , but he will have to say many rosaries". In the end Our Lady asked : "Do you wish to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the suffering that He may please to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and to ask for the conversion of sinners?" "Yes, we do." said the children. "You will have to suffer a lot, but the grace of God will be your comfort. "Then she opened her hands with a loving gesture of a mother who offers her heart. From it an intense light departed that seemed to go through them. The vision vanished telling them : "Recite the rosary every day to obtain the peace for the world and the end of the war." And She disappeared.
Today it was announced that the Holy Father approved the miracle necessary for the canonization of Blessed Jacinta and Francisco, ahead of his visit to Fatima scheduled for May 13.  Perhaps he will canonize them at that time, and wouldn't it be great if he waived the requirements for Lucia, and canonized her with them?

I came across a rather sobering account of Sr. Lucia's conversation with Fr. Lombardi* (not the Vatican press secretary) regarding hell and the loss of souls.  Sr. Lucia wrote:

The existence of Hell arouses disputes. Sister Lucia wrote, a few years before her death on February 13, There is no shortage of unbelievers in the world who deny these truths, but they are no less true for being denied. Their disbelief does not save unbelievers from the horrors of Hell, should a life of sin lead them there. ... At Fatima, (God) sent us His Message as one more proof of these truths. This Message recalls them to us, so that we do not let ourselves be fooled by the false doctrines of unbelievers who deny them, or of deceivers who distort them. To this end, the Message assures us that Hell is a fact, and that the souls of poor sinners end up there." (Calls from the Message of Fatima, 2003, ch. 14)
Later Interview with Sr. Lucia on Hell
The following is a rare interview with Sister Lucia [the Fatima visionary who died in 2005], by Father Lombardi. It was recorded in the Vatican weekly "Osservatore della Domenica" February 7, 1954. 
Fr. Lombardi: "Tell me, is the 'Better World Movement' a response of the Church to the words spoken to Our Lady?" 
Lucia: "Father, there is certainly a great need for this renewal. If it is not done, and taking into account the present development of humanity, only a limited number of the human race will be saved." 
Fr. Lombardi: "Do you really believe that many will go to Hell? I hope that God will save the greater part of humanity." [He had just written a book entitled: Salvation for Those Without Faith] 
Lucia: "Father, many will be lost." 
Fr. Lombardi: "It is true that the world is full of evil, but there is always a hope of salvation." 
Lucia: "No Father, many will be lost." 
Father Lombardi remembered that Lucia had seen Hell and added: "Her words disturbed me. I returned to Italy with that grave warning impressed on my heart." - Source

Detail: The Secret of Fatima - Vision of Hell

*Fr. Lombardi and the Better World Movement.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Preparation for the Solemnity of the Annunciation

An archangel was sent from heaven to say to the Theotokos: Rejoice! And beholding Thee, O Lord, taking bodily form, he was amazed and with his bodiless voice he stood crying to her such things as these: Rejoice, Thou through whom joy will shine forth: Rejoice, Thou through whom the curse will cease! Rejoice, recall of fallen Adam: Rejoice, redemption of the tears of Eve! Rejoice, height inaccessible to human thoughts: Rejoice, depth undiscernible even for the eyes of angels! Rejoice, for Thou art the throne of the King: Rejoice, for Thou bearest Him Who beareth all! Rejoice, star that causest the Sun to appear: Rejoice, womb of the Divine Incarnation! Rejoice, Thou through whom creation is renewed: Rejoice, Thou through whom we worship the Creator! Rejoice, O Bride Unwedded!

Prayer to the holy Archangel Gabriel 
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, I venerate you as the Angel of the Incarnation, because God specially appointed you to bear the messages concerning the God-Man to Daniel, Zechariah, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Give me a very tender and devoted love for the Incarnate Word and his Blessed Mother, more like your own.
I venerate you also as the “Strength from God”, because you are the giver of God’s strength, consoler and comforter chosen to strengthen God’s faithful and teach them important truths. 
I ask for the grace of a special power of the will to strive for holiness of life. Steady my resolutions; renew my courage; comfort and console me in the problems, trials and sufferings of daily living, as you consoled our Savior in his agony and Mary in her sorrows and Joseph in his trials. I put my confidence in you.
Saint Gabriel, I ask you especially for this favor: (mention your request). Through your earnest love for the Son of God made man and for his Blessed Mother, I beg of you, intercede for me that my request may be granted, it it be God’s holy will.
Pray for us, Saint Gabriel the Archangel. That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Limited Use: Social Media

I closed my Tumblr, privatized Facebook, will most likely close the Etsy shop, and cut back on this blog.

I'm amazed at the time wasted writing about stuff that is essentially none of my business.

How stupid to have written so much about myself, and worst of all - other people.

"How can you believe when you accept praise from one another?"

Many people who live online, writing their blogs, judging and condemning others - even going so far as to judge the Pope, have lost their faith.  Some may be mentally ill or terribly deluded, but they are all endangering their salvation and leading others astray, even to the loss of faith.  Others who oppose these people do the same thing - responding with hostility, daily criticizing the bigotry of conservatives - political or religious - they are obsessed with being 'right'.  Perhaps this Scripture can be applied to them - to all of us: "You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves." [Matt. 23:15]

People online look for affirmation, praise, agreement and esteem - and some expect to be financially compensated for that - like money-changers in the Temple.

John of the Cross, quoting Isaiah wrote, "He who praises you deceives you."

“Today, let us ask the Lord for the grace to understand this, seventy times seven. Let us ask for the grace to be ashamed before God. It is a huge grace. To feel ashamed of our sins and then receive forgiveness and the grace of generosity to give it to others, because the Lord has forgiven all, so who am I to not forgive?” - Pope Francis

Remembering Blessed Alberto Marvelli

Blessed Alberto, pray for us.

He reminded me that today is his birthday.

I did a drawing of him once.

Monday, March 20, 2017

St. Joseph, A Righteous Man

St. Joseph does not want to expose us to shame ...

He quietly arranges things for us
   which otherwise seem impossible.
He removes our fears
   with the assurance of his protection.

“He is the man who doesn’t speak but obeys, the man of tenderness, the man capable of carrying forward the promises so that they might become solid, certain; the man who guarantees the stability of the Kingdom of God, the paternity of God, our sonship as children of God. I like to think of Joseph as the guardian of weaknesses, of our weaknesses too: he is able to give birth to so many beautiful things from our weaknesses, even from our sins.” - Pope Francis

Solemnity of St. Joseph

O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong,
so prompt before the Throne of God,
I place in you all my interests and desires.
O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession
and obtain for me from your Divine Son
all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord;
so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power
I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage
to the most Loving of Fathers.
O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you
and Jesus asleep in your arms.
I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart.
Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me,
and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls,
pray for us.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Keep going to St. Joseph ...

  Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, 
that never was it known 
that anyone who implored your help 
and sought your intercession were left unassisted.
 Full of confidence in your power 
I fly unto you and beg your protection.
 Despise not O Guardian of the Redeemer
 my humble supplication in my powerlessness, 
but in your bounty, 
hear and answer me. Amen.

    O dearest St. Joseph, 
I consecrate myself to your honor and give myself to you, 
that you may always be my father, 
my protector and my guide in the way of salvation.
Take all my concerns 
into your most pure heart.
Forgive me for squandering
the graces you have obtained for me.
You see well how unfaithful
and inconstant I am.
Forgive me.
Help me once again, 
grasp me,
and do not let me go.
Be with me living,
be with me dying,
obtain for me a favorable
judgment from Jesus,
my merciful savior.