Saturday, September 07, 2019

Pope Francis Told Madagascar Cloistered Religious: "St. Therese accompanies me, “an old man.”

“She is a faithful friend,” the Pope said.
 “And for that reason I did not want to talk to you 
about theories but about a saint. 
Of what a saint is capable of, 
of the path of holiness. 
Go forward and be brave!”


Thank God Christ came to save sinners.

I think the Holy Father is very much like Therese, and with her, he too rejoices to be found imperfect, and even criticized and disliked.  Otherwise I can think of no other reason for him to tell journalists: "For me it’s an honor that Americans attack me."

"Do good to those who hate you..."
One day Therese counseled her sister Celine: "Your programme of life seems to be this: 'I will be kind to those who are kind, and be amiable with those who are amiable.'  Then naturally you become agitated as soon as someone disagrees with you.  In this you are like the pagans in the Gospel who our Lord tells us not to be like.  Rather he tells us, 'love your enemies, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you.'" -My Sister St. Therese, Sr. Genevieve of the Holy Face

"Jesus, repair what I have done badly!"


When we fail, when we are tempted to rebel against those who find out our faults and imperfections, we too can remain silent, asking our Lord to undo, to repair what we've done badly, that no one may be lost because of our bad example.  If others are scandalized by our failings, we can have confidence Jesus will repair and draw forth a greater good.  I think this is a secret of His Sacred Heart, as well as the key to the devotion to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots.  When others condemn us, we can even rejoice to be found imperfect and in need of God's mercy!


"A notion which is not widespread and which, nevertheless, is very important is that Jesus, when we ask him with confidence, repairs not only the evil we have done in ourselves, but also the evil we have done around us.

Indeed, he has made all things right in me, but what about the evil I have done to others?  The bad example I have set, the scandal I have given, the good I would have been able to do and did not do, the injustice I committed?  I am set aright myself, but what about the others?

Say then, 'Jesus, from this evil also which I have wrought around me, draw forth good.  Even, I dare to ask you, draw a greater good from it than if I had not done the evil... Jesus, make reparation in me and around me.'" - I Believe In Love, Pere Jean du Coeur de Jesus D'Elbee


"I am resigned to being always imperfect, and I even find happiness in it.  

I keep an eye on myself to see if I can discover any new imperfections." 
- Therese to Mother Agnes of Jesus


Friday, September 06, 2019

On Selling the Archbishop's Mansion in Seattle



“One guy doesn’t need that large of an ecological footprint,” Archbishop Etienne said.

Thank God!  Just as I'm tempted to discouragement over how conservative-traditional American Catholics express their dismay over the Pope, feeling ever so slighted and insulted because of comments, I read this report.  A positive reflection on the influence of the Franciscan papacy.

The new Archbishop of Seattle says the archdiocesan mansion is not for him.  

Indeed.  Explaining his decision, he stated in a letter to his priests: “I prefer to live a more simplified life.  I am a pastor, not a prince.” Admitting, the “model and message of Pope Francis” influenced him.  Full story here.

As Bishop of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Etienne was close friends with the Carmelite Hermits*, whose foundation of New Mt. Carmel he supported.  (The monks were invited to Cheyenne by Bishop Ricken.)  Etienne had studied at St. Thomas here in St. Paul, and I think he became acquainted with Fr. Daniel Mary at that time, I'm not sure.  Anyway, they are friends and the Bishop seems to have an affinity for contemplative prayer.  He visited the monks on several different occasions.  I also believe he likes to hunt - on horseback as well?  I'm writing from memory, without documentation.  My apologies.

I'm so happy for Seattle - they have an excellent Archbishop.  

*I found a link to the monks with pictures of Etienne here.

Fr. Daniel Mary, Bishop Etienne, Pope Benedict

Thursday, September 05, 2019

The Vision of the Angel of Fatima and the 2004 Indian Ocean Mega Quake and, and, and...



Wondering if there is a connection?

While praying my rosary, I noticed and ink stain on the table I paint at.  It reminded me of the Angel of Fatima with the flaming sword, from a vision experienced by Sr. Lucia.  

While not part of the formal secret, there remains the intriguing "enlightenment" that she revealed to her confreres in 1944 (on the earth's axis): "The tip of the spear as a flame unlatches and touches the axis of the earth. It shudders. Mountains, cities, towns, and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, the rivers, and the clouds emerge from their limits, overflowing and bringing with them in a whirlwind houses and people in numbers that are not possible to count. It is the purification of the world as it plunges into sin. Hatred and ambition cause the destructive war!" - A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary
Visions and locutions, even though from God and even 'approved' by the Church can still mislead us.  Our Lady instructed Lucia to write down the account of the visions, but not her interpretation of it.  Sr. Lucia always stated that the responsibility for the interpretation belongs to the Church.  The reason for this may be explained better by St. John of the Cross:
"[...] Souls are misled by imparting to God's locutions and revelations a literal interpretation, and interpretation according to the outer rind. As has been explained, God's chief objective in conferring these revelations is to express and impart the elusive, spiritual meaning contained in the words. This spiritual meaning is richer and more plentiful than the literal meaning and transcends those limits."
[...] "Anyone bound to the letter, locution, form, or apprehensible figure cannot avoid serious error and will later become confused for having been led by the literal sense and not having allowed for the spiritual meaning which is divested of the literal sense. ('The letter kills, the spirit gives life' - 2 Cor. 3:6)" - Read St. John of the Cross, The Ascent, Bk II, Chapter 18 and 19
Ater I noticed the ink blot stain, I proceeded to sketch what I saw, an Angel in battle array with a flaming sword ready to strike the earth.

I wondered if that may not have already happened?  I couldn't help think about the 2004 Indian Ocean quake and tsunami.   It was felt globally, and the earth 'wobbled'.
Because of its enormous energy release and shallow rupture depth, the earthquake generated remarkable seismic ground motions around the globe, particularly due to huge Rayleigh (surface) elastic waves that exceeded 10 mm (0.4 in) in vertical amplitude everywhere on Earth. The record section plot displays vertical displacements of the Earth's surface recorded by seismometers from the IRIS/USGS Global Seismographic Network plotted with respect to time (since the earthquake initiation) on the horizontal axis, and vertical displacements of the Earth on the vertical axis (note the 1 cm scale bar at the bottom for scale). - Wiki
Hurricane Dorian damage.

Step by step, little by little.

The vision Sr. Lucia records reads as if all the disasters happen immediately after the the tip of the spear touches the earths axis, in quick succession, one disaster after another, or possibly in quick succession around the globe.  Yet as St. John points out, a literal interpretation may not always be the right one.

After viewing the aftermath of hurricane Dorian, and considering the effects of climate change as well as plate tectonics accelerating after the 2004 quake, I wondered about Lucia's vision.  At one time, I believe it was in a letter to JPII, she said we were going towards the chastisement slowly, little by little.  Thus, all the natural disasters across the globe may be what Lucia saw in her vision?

Literal interpreters imagine the cataclysm initiated by the angel as something all at once - maybe, maybe not.  Many of these people never believed the 3rd Secret was revealed in full.  Sr. Lucia said it was.  Many believed the consecration of Russia was not accomplished.  Sr. Lucia said it was, that heaven accepted it.  Subsequently, not a few of these critics insisted Lucia was being manipulated - and or replaced by a fraud.  All sorts of absurdities spread to discredit the Pope(s) and Sr. Lucia - all because they insisted upon a literal interpretation of the vision and secret.  As St. John cautions:  "Anyone bound to the letter, locution, form, or apprehensible figure cannot avoid serious error and will later become confused for having been led by the literal sense and not having allowed for the spiritual meaning which is divested of the literal sense."

Anyway, I think Fatima is still very important for us in our day.  Concerning the content of the secret, Sr. Lucia explained, "The part necessary for the people to know was already known since 1917."  The effort to discredit the papacy seems to have begun around 1960, when the 3rd part of the secret was not made public, and it has accelerated into our day, when Pope Francis is so much maligned and mocked.  Our Lady urged the seers to pray for the Holy Father, because he would have much to suffer.  As it turns out, he suffers much from his own children.


Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Pope Francis just responded to the dubia and American critics...

(CNS photo/Paul Haring)


Kinda.

Pope Francis to journalist: ‘I am honored that the Americans attack me.’
In an informal exchange aboard the papal plane, Pope Francis told Nicolas Senèze that he is “honored that the Americans attack me” when the French Catholic journalist presented him with a copy of his book How America Wants to Change the Pope (Comment L'Amérique veut changer de Pape) on the flight from Rome to Maputo, Mozambique, on Sept. 4.
The book describes how a wealthy and often traditionalist sector of the American Catholic church—both clerical and lay—attacks Pope Francis and notes that it is already working, with projects such as the “Red Hat Report,” to ensure that the cardinal elected pope at the next conclave is to its liking. It was clear from the context that Pope Francis was referring specifically to that sector of the U.S. church that is mentioned in the book and not to anyone else.
Shortly after, Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni told journalists that “in an informal context, the pope wished to say that he always considers criticisms as an honor, particularly when they come from authoritative thinkers, and in this case from an important nation.” The pope’s comments indicate he remains aware of the attacks against him from Catholics...
Mr. Senèze’s book details the opposition to Pope Francis—which Senèze says comes from “a small minority”—including Cardinal Raymond Burke, Archbishop Charles Chaput and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò (the former papal nuncio to the United States), as well as from wealthy lay people like Tim Busch and some U.S. Catholic authors like George Weigel,together with a sector of the U.S. Catholic media. - America
This makes me happy.

I stand with the Pope.
I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals. 
Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act. - Profession of Faith

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Are there few who will be saved?



I always thought maybe not.

I just read something from Fr. Lasance that changed my mind.  I used to think 'few will be saved'.  Many deeply pious Traditionalists will say the same thing.  Many find that troubling, especially when they are told, 'there is no salvation outside the Church' and so on.  Rather than comment further, I'll share the section from Fr. Lasance I read last night. 

Father F.X. Lasance
On “The Number of the Saved”
My Prayer-Book (Cincinnati: Benziger 1908), 55-61.
11. The Saved and Lost

A certain man said to our blessed Saviour, as we read in the Gospel of St. Luke (xiii. 23): “Lord, are they few that are saved?” Jesus simply replied: “Strive to enter by the narrow gate.”
“It is a question,” says Father Walsh, S.J., in his admirable and consoling study, “ The Comparative Number of the Saved and Lost,” “about which there is no authoritative decision of the Church, nor unanimous opinion of her Fathers or theologians.
“Many, notably Suarez, hold — as Father Faber does — that the great majority of adult Catholics will be saved. Some, amongst whom we are glad to count the illustrious Dominican, Father Lacordaire, hold or incline to the opinion that the majority of mankind, including heathens and heretics, will be saved.
“Pere Monsabrè, O.P., Father Castelein, S.J., and Rev. Joseph Rickaby, S.J., advocate this mildest opinion. Father Rickaby says in his conference, ‘The Extension of Salvation’: ‘As to what proportion of men die in sanctifying grace, and what proportion in mortal sin, nothing is revealed, nothing is of faith, and nothing is really known to theologians. If ever you find a theologian confidently consigning the mass of human souls to eternal flames, be sure he is venturing beyond the bounds of Christian faith and of theological science. You are quite free to disbelieve his word. I do not believe it myself’.”
“‘The rigor of the older theologians culminated in Jansenism. To the Jansenist the elect were the few grapes left upon the vine after a careful vintage (Is. xxiv. 13). Since the extirpation of Jansenism, the pendulum of theological speculation has swung the other way, and theologians generally hope more of the mercy of God, or, at least, speak with less assurance of the range of His rigorous justice.’ 
“The reasons,” continues Father Walsh, “which have induced me to think the mildest opinion, namely, that the majority — and I scarcely fear to add, the great majority — of mankind will be saved, are: First, because the study of God’s character urges, if not forces, me to do so. Second, because this opinion appears to make most for His greater honor and glory, and for the merits of Christ. Third, because the belief in it is better calculated to make us love God, and to serve Him the more from love.

“Cardinal Bellarmine, in one of his expositions of the Psalms, writes: ‘David records God’s providence in regard of the beasts and the birds in order to let man see that he will never be forsaken by God in His providence. God, who so bounteously feeds beasts and ravens, will never desert those who are made to His own image and likeness.’ Is not such Our Lord’s reasoning and conclusions as we have them in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘Behold the birds of the air; for they neither sow nor do they reap, nor gather into barns, and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are you not of much more value than they?’ The most learned theologians lay down and prove the following proposition: That God really and sincerely wishes the salvation of all men, because He is Creator of all men. In the words of St. Ambrose: ‘God wishes all whom He creates to be saved, would to God, O men, that you would not fly and hide yourselves from Him; but even if you do He seeks you, and does not wish you to perish. It is more probable that though many can and will fight God to the end and be lost, they will be fewer far than those whom He will tenderly, and in His own way, bring home to Himself. God is not only the Creator but the Father of all men without any exception. He has commanded us to address Him by this title: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven. All Christians do so; and a preacher, in his opening instructions, would teach and exhort the untutored savage to believe in and speak to Him as such.
“God is the Father of all men and eminently a perfect Father. We could not imagine such a father casting out, expelling from his home forever a child, until he had tried the proper means to keep him with himself — until the child deserts him, or, by willful, obstinate, persistent disobedience to his father’s will, necessitates his own expulsion. Such a father will do all he well can for the welfare of his children — do everything short of violence to enable his children to succeed in all that is for his own and their good. The dominant desire — wish — will — of such a father must be to make his children happy; his dominant dread and horror, that one of them should be unhappy. - Fr. Lasance


Morning after morning, I am reassured in prayer and meditation that the Holy Trinity dwells in my soul, and all is well.