How to Understand the Once for All Sacrifice of Jesus Christ

One perfect sacrifice for all people and for all time—past, present, and future. This sacrifice is not stuck in history, though, because Jesus created a New Covenant into which all people who wish to be His disciples must enter.

What did people in that ancient culture do to enter into a covenant? The two parties would sacrifice, say, a lamb, cook it, and share a meal, that is, eat the lamb. Once the two parties ate together, they had entered into a covenant. This was something greater than a contract. This bound the people as brothers.

To enter into this New Covenant, a person MUST eat the Lamb sacrificed for this purpose. If you do not share in the sacrificial meal, you do not enter into any covenant.

Jesus Himself is the sacrificial lamb, the spotless Lamb of God, which you MUST eat:

— “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you.”
— “Take, eat. This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.”

This is why the holy Eucharist is, indeed, the real body and blood of Jesus. You must eat the sacrificial Lamb in order to enter into the New Covenant with God. This is why Jesus established the Catholic Church. Only priests can offer sacrifice. That is their primary duty, Old Covenant and New, pagans and Christians. The priest offers sacrifice. That’s why we call mass “the holy sacrifice of the mass.” When the priest pronounces the words of Jesus at the Last Supper, it is made present to us, we are there! What on earth are you talking about, Michael?

Recall the original Passover. That was when God was sending plagues on Egypt so that Pharaoh would free His people, who were enslaved in Egypt. The last plague was the death of the first born of each person and animal. However, each family of the Hebrews was to sacrifice a spotless lamb, put its blood around the door, roast it, and eat it. (Notice, a covenant is being made here between God and His people.) The spirit of death would “pass over” the doors with blood.

God instructed Moses to have His people eat a Passover meal annually “in memory of” that first Passover. What did that mean to them? In that time, in that culture, what did it mean? When eating the annual Passover meal “in memory of” that first Passover, they did not simply recall what happened. It made that event present to them. They are there. Even today, at Passover, the words are in the present tense.

It is the same at mass because it comes from the same people and culture and time. It has the same meaning. When Jesus said to “do this in memory of me,” He was giving new instructions for the Passover (which is what the Last Supper was), which He was fulfilling or transforming at that moment.

When we attend mass, we are present at the Last Supper, we are present at Calvary, we eat the sacrificial meal, which is the spotless Lamb of God. You renew the New Covenant between you and God every time you receive communion because you are eating the real sacrificial Lamb.

This is the once for all sacrifice of Jesus: the perfect sacrifice of the spotless Lamb of God, which continues for all time, in order to have a REAL sacrificial meal, without which, nobody can enter into the New Covenant with God. The holy Eucharist (communion) at mass can not be just a symbol or a sign or a recollection of what happened 2,000 years ago. If it were, it would be impossible to enter into a covenant with God because there would be no sacrificial meal to eat. And that is necessary.

Jesus said, “unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you” and “take, eat, this is my body.” He meant both literally. Please, believe in these words of Jesus.

Published in: on April 22, 2017 at 00:38  Leave a Comment  
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The Joy of Confession

Confession is a joyous occasion, not one of fear and anxiety. How did Jesus describe confession? First, let me say what confession is. It is when a person realizes he has sinned against God and that his sin has separated him from God. With genuine sorrow for having offended his heavenly Father, the only One who loves him perfectly and infinitely, he desires to be reconciled with Him, and so he humbly approaches God seeking forgiveness.

Jesus describes this as a joyous occasion. In Luke 10:7 & 10, He says this:
7 “I tell you…there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”

10 “I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

And we can’t forget the parable of the prodigal son. (Or should it be called the parable of the merciful father? Oh, wait. Spoilers.) This is where Jesus describes our heavenly Father’s reaction to our repentance.

If you recall, the younger son of two asks his father for his share of the inheritance, which in that time and culture is tantamount to saying “I wish you were dead,” not to mention that the inheritance normally goes to the oldest son, not to any younger ones, which means he really has no right to anything. However, his father loves him and gives him a share, and the son goes off and squanders it all away living it up. Then hard times arise, the son has nothing left, and he ends up hiring himself out to slop pigs. Another cultural note:  to Jews, pigs are unclean animals. He’s defiled himself by taking this job. He has little to eat and sees that the pigs have it better than he does. So he decides he will go home, tell his father he’s sinned against him and God, and ask to be hired as a servant.

Well, what happens? When the son approaches home, his father sees him in the distance, and runs out to greet him. His father is overjoyed! His son has come home! The son starts to say what he has rehearsed: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.” (Luke 15:21) That’s all he had a chance to say. He admitted his sin, and BAM! all was instantly forgiven. In fact, his father had really forgiven him beforehand, he simply waited for his son to return. (This is repentance: turning away from sin and to God.)

Then we read the father’s instructions to his servants: “‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began.”

So let’s boil it down: the son goes off and leads a sinful lifestyle. He regrets his sins. He goes home. Father is waiting for him and joyously welcomes him home, nary a word is said about what the son did; he is forgiven, and all is forgotten! Then they celebrated!

This is confession. Person sins. Person is genuinely sorry (a penitent). Person goes and confesses sins. BAM! He is forgiven. Heaven celebrates! This is why confession is a joyful occasion. Sure…we hardly like to admit to ourselves that what we’ve done is wrong much less go and actually tell someone else. But that is how we are reconciled to our heavenly Father who, as represented by the father in the parable, is keenly awaiting our return. You’re already forgiven. If you just come and seek the mercy of God, you will get it in abundance!

You might ask, why do I need to confess to a priest? Well, when Jesus built His Church on Peter and the apostles, that’s how he set it up. In John 20:21-23, Jesus tells His apostles He is sending them as the Father had sent Him. He breathes on them, telling them, “receive the Holy Spirit.” And then Jesus shares with these men whom He has ordained the power to forgive sins on God’s behalf, saying: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Well, how can the apostles forgive sins unless they know what they are? Unless they see the person is actually repentant? Simple. They hear the person confess his sins. But it’s not only the apostles that can forgive sins. That would mean Jesus’ Church is very limited, to only 12 men who died off in the first century. No, when the apostles traveled and set up local churches, they ordained bishops and priests. Jesus had empowered the apostles, and, by the laying on of hands, the apostles empowered (ordained) certain men with the same abilities, e.g. the power to forgive sins on God’s behalf. In this way, Jesus’ Church (with its mission of teaching, baptizing, mercy, and forgiveness) will continue until Jesus returns.

So, if you haven’t been to confession (a.k.a. the sacrament of reconciliation) in a long time, get the celebration in heaven started! Reflect. Find an “examination of conscience” online to help you. In all humility, realizing you’ve offended the One who created you and loves you and wants you to come home, go to your local parish, and confess. Don’t know where to go? Check MassTimes.org or your telephone book for Catholic parishes in or near your address or town.

God gave His Church the mission to reconcile sinners to Him. Make Jesus happy. Seek His unending mercy. There is no sin you’ve committed greater than the mercy of God. Never think that. God is greater than you are. He’s waiting for you. Go find one of His priests and get reconciled to Him.

An excerpt from Saint Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians 5:17-20
“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:  the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

Humble Yourself Before God. God Humbled Himself Before You.

I’m doing the consecration to Jesus through Mary by Saint Louis de Montfort again this year, and I had an inspiration to write the following.

Man is dust.  Though we should be humble and obedient to our superiors, how difficult we find that task.  Why is obedience so difficult?  Why do we bristle at obedience?  If we can’t humble ourselves to our human superiors and obey them–parents, bosses, or any other, how much more difficult will it be to humble ourselves completely to God and obey His commands–all of them?

Did He not humble Himself to His own creation?  Did He not subject Himself to dust, allowing His creatures to beat Him, mock Him, strip Him, and nail Him to a cross?  Did He not obey dust and allow Himself to suffer the most cruel method of execution–crucifixion–so that mankind–this dust–may be freed from sin?  Freed from hell?  Did He not subject Himself to dust in order to glorify His creation and raise mankind into heaven to become one with God and remain united with God for all eternity?

Then why–if God can subject Himself to His creation, if God can humble Himself before man, if God can be obedient to mere dust–why can’t we subject ourselves to God, humble ourselves before God, and obey the Almighty Creator of the universe?  If He loves us so much, why can’t we love Him a little?  If He’s willing to bring us into heaven to live in absolute bliss and never-ending love, why do we reject His offer in favor of momentary earthly enjoyment and eternal suffering and never-ending hatred?

Published in: on May 13, 2015 at 01:57  Leave a Comment  
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Hell Is For Real

Nobody wants to talk about hell because it’s a scary subject—eternal punishment!

Some people don’t believe hell exists. It most definitely does. Just ask Satan.

Some people don’t believe hell is eternal. It most definitely is. Just ask Satan.

Better yet, don’t contact Satan. Let’s see what our Lord and our God, Jesus Christ, had to say:

Matthew 25:41 – Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:46 – And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

There it is—eternal punishment.  You see, hell isn’t like a prison sentence where you would serve some number of years and then get out.  There is no time in hell or in heaven to serve.  Time is part of creation.  Once we enter into eternity, we just are.  No time passes because it doesn’t exist in eternity. It’s a difficult concept, because we are part of creation.  In any case, once you are in hell—to borrow a lyric from The Eagles—you can check out any “time” you like but you can never leave. Eek!

Hell is something you need to consider seriously. One day you will die, and you don’t know when that day will come. We all would like to think we’re going to heaven, but, whether or not you would like to believe it, most people won’t.

Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.  How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.  And those who find it are few.

Do your best to make sure you are one of the few.

Now, you can’t blame God if you go to hell.  He created us to spend eternity united with Him in heaven.  He loves us beyond all understanding.

1 Timothy 2:4 – [God our savior] wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

1 John 4:8b – God is love.

Our problem is that we don’t love God back as He desires. How can I say that? Well, we sin. It’s that simple. What can we do?  Repent. We hear that word, but what does it mean? Simply this:  turn away from sin and turn to God.  In other words—stop sinning!  Do you remember the story of the adulteress? You can find it in the gospel according to John 8:3-11.  A woman who was caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, and the people who brought her said she should be stoned to death according to the law, and they were preparing to do just that.  Then Jesus said:

“Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone.”

Everybody realized they had all sinned, so they dropped their stones and left.  Jesus then told the adulteress:

“Go and sin no more.”

That’s what repent means.  Go and sin no more.

I said earlier that we don’t love God back as he desires.  The easiest way to start loving God better is to obey His commandments.

John 14:15 – If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John 15:24a – Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.

Obedience = love.  Disobedience ≠ love.

See Exodus 20:1-17 for the Ten Commandments.

Jesus’ two great commandments were to love God and love your neighbor.

Matthew 22:37 – You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

John 13:34 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you.

To love God, love Him with all that you are.  Give yourself completely to Him.  Hold nothing back.  As you would give yourself completely to your spouse, give even more so to God.  To love your neighbor, treat Him as Jesus would.  A good example of what to do can be found in the Judgment of Nations narrative:

Matthew 25:34-36 – Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’

It makes sense.  If you love God, you won’t sin against God.  If you love your neighbor, you won’t sin against your neighbor.  Ah, if only it were so easy.  Unfortunately, because of the sin of Adam, we have what is called concupiscence, which is the tendency to sin.  You will sin.  I will sin.  We all sin.  But Jesus knew that although He would die for our sins, and by His resurrection bring us to new life, we would still sin.  For our part, we must actually make a firm amendment of our lives not to sin again.  That’s part of loving God.  You don’t want to offend the ones you love, most especially God.  For most of us, we will continue to commit grave sin from time to time.  But Jesus, because of His great love for us, gave us the sacrament of confession (a.k.a. penance or reconciliation).

John 20:22-23 – And when [Jesus] had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Forgiving sins is one of the powers of God.

Luke 5:21 – Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies?  Who but God alone can forgive sins?”

But when Jesus created His Church, He shared this power with His disciples.  This ability to forgive did not die with the last apostle.  The disciples handed on this power to forgive sins on behalf of God to the men that they ordained, and all those ordained to serve Jesus—the priests and bishops—share the power to forgive and will until the end of time.  Remember, they can’t forgive or retain your sins unless they know what they are.  That’s why you need to confess to a priest or bishop.  Once you have been absolved of your sins, your soul is healed, no longer cut off from God, and you are as spiritually pure as a newly baptized babe.  You receive sanctifying grace when you go to confession.  That’s grace that makes you holy.  Of course, for your confession to be valid, you must sincerely regret your sins, be firmly resolved not to sin again, and confess every grave sin you are aware of.  If you’re not really sorry, if you have no plans to stop sinning, or if you hold back and don’t confess all your sins, you’re wasting your time and the priest’s time.  Out of love, Jesus gave you this lifeline. Use it!

So what are some grave sins? Saint Paul tells us some:  fornication (sex outside of marriage), adultery, sexual acts between people of the same sex, covetousness (inordinate desire for something that belongs to another), idolatry, slander, drunkenness, extortion (theft).  See the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 5:11 and 6:9-10.

One thing that many Catholics don’t think is breaking a commandment is skipping mass on Sunday or a holy day of obligation.  The commandment to keep the Lord’s day holy means go to mass.  That’s how we keep it holy, and to skip mass is a mortal sin, which must be confessed.  Some people scoff and think I skip mass once, and I’m going to hell?  Well, if you knew it was a grave sin and you willfully did it anyway, then yes.  You will have willfully disobeyed one of God’s commandments.  That cuts you off from the life of God. That’s why mortal sins are called mortal—they are deadly sins.  If you do not repent and confess, you will not have life in heaven.  Those who resist this truth as well as other truths want things their way, not God’s way.  They put themselves above God.

Isaiah 55:6-9 – Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake their way, and sinners their thoughts; Let them turn to the LORD to find mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways—oracle of the LORD. >>>For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts.<<<

Additionally, don’t think that if you do all kinds of wonderful things like feeding the poor and your only sin is that you’re shacking up with someone, for example, that God will tell you, “oh, alright.  Come on in.  You’re doing good things.”  It doesn’t work like that.  God doesn’t use a balancing scale, more good than bad and you can enter heaven.  Good works won’t get you past the pearly gates.  It’s about love, which means obedience.  If He says don’t do something, you don’t do it.  If He says do something, you do it. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden for eating the forbidden fruit.  They disobeyed.  They couldn’t say, “but it was just one bite!”  Satan and the demons were once angels in heaven.  They chose not to obey.  Hell was then created for them, and humans who will not obey will share the same fate.

Matthew 25:41 – Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

1 Corinthians 6:9a – Do you not know the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God?

Revelation 21:27 – Nothing unclean will enter heaven, nor anyone who does abominable things or tells lies.

You need to know that God is being very patient with you, but you don’t know when your time will be up, so stop sinning and start loving God now.

2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Think of this:  Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer:  Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven….  Now, do you think the will of God is for you to sin?  No.  Repent, yes, but sin, no.

Most people don’t think about this, but God doesn’t condemn a person to hell.  That person, by his own free will, condemns himself.  If a person does not repent or convert or if he willfully rejects God altogether, God is not going to force that person into heaven against his will.  If an unrepentant sinner were brought into heaven, he would suffer more greatly than if he had gone to hell, because he would know what his life had been like, his sins would be known to him, and he would find it absolutely intolerable to stand in the presence of the glory of God.  Hell is merciful.

So it comes down to this:  don’t sin.  Love God first first by obeying Him.  People hate the word obey these days, but just as parents lay down rules for their children for their good, so God lays down rules for us for our infinite and eternal good.  Take time to learn the Catholic faith well.  The more you do, the more you will love.  The more you love, the less desire you will have to offend your heavenly Father (i.e. to sin).

Get on that narrow path and stick with it.  Eternity basking in the infinite love of God is worth it.  Eternity with an absolute lack of love, an everlasting hatred of self, of God, and of everything else (there is no love in hell) is not worth any sin.

God is a communion of love, and we’re invited to join that communion!

How can we be one with God?

“I [Jesus] pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me…”  (cf John 17:20-23)

Jesus is speaking to God the Father. In this verse, we can see the communion of God. We know, since Jesus revealed it to us, that there are three persons in the one God. The term which we use to describe the three persons is the Trinity or the tri-une God.

Jesus is praying to His Father that His disciples may all be one as the Father and the Son are one. Now, the Father and the Son are one in substance, i.e. they are both the one God. Since we humans cannot become one in substance, that is, we cannot become God, how can we be one with the Son in us and the Father in the Son? We can be united in one, that is, in full communion with the Father and the Son. The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are a communion–a communion of love–and we can be fully united in that communion of the Trinity. That is what it is to be in heaven–united with God.

The communion of God–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–does not need us in the least. The Father loves the Son completely and perfectly, giving everything He is to the Son. The Son loves the Father completely and perfectly, giving everything He is to the Father. As the Father and the Son love each other perfectly, They give everything They are to each other, even their very existence, and that perfect love brought into existence is the Holy Spirit.

The tri-une God loves us so much, that He wants us to become one with the communion of God. How incredible is that?! How undeserving we are to be united with God, yet He still wants us!

The beloved disciple, Saint John, says in his first letter (4:8) that “God is love.” There was a heresy in the early days of the Church called Sabellianism, in which the existence of the three persons of God was denied. This heresy was quashed quickly and easily given the multiple references to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in the gospels, e.g. the baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:10-11, Luke 3:22 and the commission to teach the gospel and baptize in the name of the Trinity in Matthew 28:19.  In the last century, this heresy was revived in the Pentecostal Oneness movement.

OK, back to Saint John. He said, “God is love.” If God is love, then God loves. Makes sense, right? We know that God does not change; therefore, if God loves now, He has always loved, even before the existence of the universe. If God is a lover then there must be a beloved. Before the universe existed, God was alone. If God is a lover, who was the beloved?  There must have been a “target” of that love. How can one love if there is nobody to love? The Father is the lover, the Son is the beloved, the Holy Spirit is the shared love. God is a communion of love! (And we’re invited to join that communion!) You don’t need to understand the Trinity to believe. Our pitiful, created, finite minds will never comprehend the infinite, uncreated God.

As Saint Augustine said:  Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.

Published in: on June 6, 2014 at 18:43  Leave a Comment  
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Are you a betrayer like Judas or Peter?

We have all betrayed our Lord at different times in our lives.  Some of us betray Him often; other people betray Him rarely.  But when you do sin, who do you emulate?  Judas or Peter?  Judas had deep regret for His betrayal, but what did he do?  Did he seek forgiveness?  Did he ask for mercy?  No, he went and committed suicide.  He received no forgiveness for his sin because he didn’t seek it.  God is merciful.  His ocean of mercy is greater than your sea of sin.

Now, Peter.  He denied Christ three times just as Jesus told him he would.  At the cock’s crow, Jesus looked at Peter.  Peter realized his betrayal and went and wept bitterly.  Theologians say he had a deeper conversion at that moment.  Peter was forgiven because he was open to it, unlike Judas.

So the question is, are you a betrayer like Judas or Peter?  Will you seek forgiveness and mercy while on your knees?  Or have you become distant and unbelieving of the mercy of our Lord?  Never think you cannot be forgiven.  No matter what your sin is, no matter how many times you’ve sinned, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve been to confession, you will ALWAYS be forgiven if you are truly repentant, if you truly regret your sin, if you truly mean to go and sin no more.

Jesus is called the “Divine Mercy” for a reason.  Because His mercy is endless if you only go to Him and throw yourself on the mercy of our Lord.  He loves you with a love you cannot even imagine, and His desire is that you be with Him in heaven at the end of your earthly life.  If you haven’t been to confession in a long time and are afraid to go, pray and ask for the courage.  The priest is always ready to receive you.  There’s really no need to be embarrassed or frightened or nervous, even though it is human nature.  Just go to your local priest, confess–if you don’t remember how, just ask, priests are more than willing to help you–and you will be absolved of all your sins.  Those words of absolution can make you cry.  It feels as if a great weight is lifted off your shoulders.  Freedom from the slavery of sin is an amazing thing.

You have betrayed our Lord.  Now be like Peter.  Then go and sin no more.

Know the Shepherd

This is the March 30, 2014 Reflection from Give Us This Day, Daily Prayer for Today’s Catholic:

There’s a true story I love about a house party in one of the big English country houses.  Often after dinner at these parties, people give recitations, sing, and use whatever talent they have to entertain the company.  One year a famous actor was among the guests.  I’ve been told he might have been Charles Laughton.  When it came his turn to perform, he recited the Twenty-third Psalm, perhaps the most beloved psalm in the Psalter.  The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  His rendition was magnificent, and there was much applause.  At the end of the evening someone noticed a little old great aunt dozing in the corner.  She was deaf as a post and had missed most of what was going on, but she was urged to get up and recite something.  In those days, people used to memorize a lot of poetry!  So she stood up, and in her quavery old voice she started, The Lord is my shepherd, and went on to the end of the psalm.  When she had finished there were tears in many eyes.  Later one of the guests approached the famous actor.  “You recited that psalm absolutely superbly.  It was incomparable.  So why were we so moved by that funny, little old lady?”

He replied, “I know the psalm.  She knows the shepherd.”

–Madeleine L’Engle, Glimpses of Grace:  Daily Thoughts and Reflections

Published in: on April 2, 2014 at 10:05  Leave a Comment  
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The Importance of the Family Rosary

The following comes from the fall newsletter of Mother Miriam’s new community, Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel’s Hope (pdf), and I thought it was appropriate for this Month of the Holy Rosary:

[F]rom the booklet “Our Glorious Faith and How To Lose It” by Fr.  Hugh Thwaites, S.J.  “It seems to me,” wrote Father Thwaites, “that a principal cause of the loss of faith is the dropping off in the practice of the family Rosary.”

Father Thwaites begins: “Without delay now, I want to talk about my theme.” (Note: Bolded type below in original.)

In Austria, after World War II, there was a complete collapse of vocations.  One year, apparently, no one at all entered the seminaries.  So the bishops held a synod, to find out how it could be that this had happened.  The conclusion they reached was that the war had so disrupted family life that the centuries-old practice of the Rosary in the home had stopped, and had just not started up again.  This is my experience, too; when the Rosary goes, the faith soon collapses.

I remember someone telling me of a friend of his, a great Catholic, the pillar of the parish, whose children had all lapsed, one after the other.  They had all fallen away from the sacraments and from attending Mass.  So I said to him, “I wouldn’t mind betting that your friend had been brought up to recite the family Rosary when he was a boy, and that his children haven’t.” The next time I saw him, he said that this was indeed true.  His friend had recited the family Rosary at home when he was a boy, and when he had got married and started his own family they all said the Rosary.  But then, one evening when they were about to start the Rosary, one of the children switched on the television, and that was that.  The custom of the family Rosary was dropped, and in due course, they gave up the practice of the faith.

After this life, that one unrebuked action will be seen to have affected the eternity of many people.  God sent His Mother to Fatima to tell us that we had to say the Rosary every day.   There were no other prayers She asked us to say.  Accordingly, we should do what She asked.

A layman I met once who did not say his Rosary told me that he read the breviary every day.  That is fine.  It is what priests have to do.  It is the prayer of the Church.  So in a way it is better than the Rosary.  But it is not what Our Lady asked for.  She asked for the Rosary.  If a mother sends her child to the shop for a bottle of milk, and he comes back instead with ice cream, is she pleased? In a way, ice cream is better than milk, but it is not what she asked for.

In that most holy home at Nazareth, do you think that Our Lady had to ask for anything twice? If we want in any way to be like Jesus, we must do what His Mother asks.  If we do not, can we expect things to go right? We cannot with impunity disobey the Mother of God.  She knows better than we the dangers of this spiritual warfare.  She sees more clearly than we do the dangers that beset us.  She warns us: You must say your Rosary every day.

If the garage mechanic warns you that your car needs repairing or else it will break down, surely you would heed that warning.  If the gas gauge warns you that you need more gas, do you do nothing about it? And if Our Lady comes to Fatima and tells us, not just once but six times, that we must say the Rosary every day, do we disregard that warning? If we do, we have only ourselves to blame when we find that our children have lapsed from the faith.

I know that Fatima is only a private revelation, but nevertheless the Church has endorsed it, and that makes it rash for us to disregard it.  If the Church informs us that Our Lady really did come to Fatima and tell us these things, then we must harken to her words.  It really seems to me that those Catholics who do not take Fatima seriously and say the Rosary every day in their homes are very akin to the Jews who laughed at Jeremiah.  If God sends us His prophets and we do not take them seriously–well, we have the whole of the Old Testament to tell us what happens as a result.  But at Fatima, God sent us, not His prophets, but His Immaculate Mother.

So I think that the abandonment of the family Rosary is a main reason why so many Catholics have lost the faith.  It seems to me that the Church of the future is going to consist solely of those families who have been faithful to the Rosary.  But there will be vast numbers of people whose families used to be Catholic.

In my work of going round visiting homes, I have seen this conclusion borne out time and again.  Homes can be transformed by starting the recitation of the daily Rosary.  I remember a woman telling me that she could not thank me enough for having nagged her into starting it; it had united her family as never before.  And I remember another home where I called.  There was a strange tension there: the children were silent and the wife seemed withdrawn, but the husband was willing to start the family Rosary.  When I called back again a couple of months later, the atmosphere was quite different.  The children were chatty and the wife was friendly, and the husband walked down the road with me afterwards and said how amazing it was that the home was so much happier.

One reason, I think, why the daily Rosary makes for a happy home, is this.  From what some possessed people have said, and from what some of the saints have said, it seems certain that demons fear the Rosary.  It makes their hair stand on end, so to speak.  Holy water certainly drives them out, but they come back again.  The daily Rosary drives them out and keeps them out.  It is rather like living in an old house where there are mice everywhere.  The only way to get rid of them is to bring cats.  If you get a couple of cats, after a week or two there simply will not be any more mice.  Mice fear the very smell of cats.  And in a home where the Rosary is said every day, after a time the demons realize they are impotent in front of Our Lady, and go elsewhere.

This must be one reason why, as they say, “the family that prays together stays together.” In that home, utterly free of evil spirits, there is an atmosphere one does not find outside.  In a demon‑infested city like London, where I live, such a home is an oasis of God’s grace, and people find a comfort and peace there which they enjoy greatly.  We human beings are not meant to live in the company of demons, but with God and with the angels and saints in heaven.

So, as I see it, in this effort we are making to keep the faith and pass it on, the practice of the Rosary is absolutely indispensable.  Whatever else a person may do, even though they go to Mass every day, they still need to say the Rosary in their home.  It is the medicine our Mother has told us to take, to keep our faith strong and healthy.

Try to say the Rosary everyday and please Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the Rosary.

Ask Jesus to Teach You to Be a Disciple.

To seek mercy, we must first be humble.  We must feel regret for offending God, who loves us beyond measure.  Humility and remorse on our part come before mercy on God’s part.  That is not to say God’s mercy is not always there.  And we surely can’t earn it like a merit badge!  What we have to do is cooperate with God and His will in all humility.  We have to die to self and allow God to act through us.  This means checking our pride and arrogance.  Never forget, though–we can do nothing on our own, only with Jesus (cf John 15:5).  Pray.  Ask Jesus to teach you to be a disciple.  Pray for humility.  Pray for mercy.  What more can we do before our judge but ask for mercy?  But how can we honestly do that if we are unable to lie prostrate before God full of humility?

Published in: on April 30, 2013 at 22:13  Comments (1)  
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Of Judgement and Punishment of Sinners

“In all things look to the end and how you will stand before the strict judge, from Whom there is nothing hid, Who takes no bribes, receives no excuses but will judge that which is just.  O miserable sinner, O foolish sinner, what will you answer to God, Who knows all your evil deeds–you who are sometimes afraid of an angry man?  Why don’t you provide yourself against the day of judgement?  When no man can be excused or defended by another, but each one will have enough to answer for himself?”  –from the 17th Day, Preparation for Total Consecration according to Saint Louis Marie de Montfort

Published in: on April 13, 2013 at 10:11  Leave a Comment  
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The Simple Legal and Biblical Argument for Marriage

On the assumption, marriage is considered a “right” in the first place…

Homosexual activists claim there is a “right” to marriage.  From where do our rights come according to the founding document of our country?  Our Creator, that is, God.  In the very next sentence, we learn that it is the government’s job to secure our rights.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed….”

So now that we know our rights come from God, let’s see how God defines marriage:

Matthew recorded in his gospel these words of Jesus:  “Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said:  For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.”  (Matthew 19:4-5)

Mark recorded in his gospel these nearly identical words of Jesus:  “But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.  For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife.  And they two shall be in one flesh.”  (Mark 10:6-8)

In both accounts, Jesus says the Creator’s plan–from the beginning of creation–was for a man to marry a woman.

(Even in ancient times, before the coming of Christ, marriage was always a heterosexual union, despite some men having multiple wives.)

Since our rights come from our Creator, and our Creator’s plan for marriage–“from the beginning of creation”–is a marriage between a man and a woman, and since “governments are instituted among men” “to secure these rights,”  the job of our government is to secure marriage as is.

Rights are not given by government.  If they were, they could also be taken away by government.  That is why our Founders acknowledged our rights come from God.  Since marriage is a creation of God, governments do not have the authority to change the very essence of what marriage is.  If government had the authority to redefine the very nature of marriage as created by God, then government could change anything with regards to religion or religious liberty, such as requiring Christians to pay for things that violate core beliefs of their religion, such as contraception, sterilization, and abortion drugs–all life issues.  Oh wait….

Published in: on March 25, 2013 at 20:54  Comments (3)  
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Freedom or Moral Anarchy? Heaven or Hell?

Donald Demarco quotes Abraham Lincoln in the OSV Newsweekly:  “For Lincoln, the question of slavery ‘must be settled on some philosophical basis.  No policy that does not rest on some philosophical public opinion can be permanently maintained.'”

I agree.  The philosophy that holds that killing a baby in the womb is immoral must be learned and agreed by all.  In what other case do we ever accept the killing of innocents?  Never!  Animals have better protection laws than than children in the womb and pregnant mothers.  Laws regarding pregnant mothers and their children are written not to protect them, but to protect abortionists.

Informed consent so the mother knows fully what she will be doing as well as the risks and mental and physical consequences if she obtains an abortion; parental consent so the parents of a minor can consent or not to their daughter having an abortion; parental notification so the parents can simply know that their daughter is about to undergo a medical procedure without their consent; laws to notify authorities about an underage girl raped by an adult; and other such laws are written to protect the mother & child in some way, and all are all fought tooth and nail by the abortion industry and/or abortion supporters, and in too many cases, these laws are struck down.  Protect the abortionists, not the mothers & children.  That is where the interest lies.  And, unbelievably, the current occupant of the White House didn’t even support a law to prevent babies who survived an attempted abortion to be given medical care.  Let ’em die!  It is all about the industry, and the industry is completely and utterly immoral.

The philosophy of “freedom” needs to be overhauled, too.  It must once more be understood not only as non-oppression by government but also the freedom to do what is right, because “freedom” has turned into moral anarchy:  “I can do whatever I want.  I’m free.”  This insanity has brought us the notion of same sex marriage, because as soon as someone is labeled “discriminatory,” “bigoted,” or “unfair,” people jump because Americans don’t want to be any of those things.  However, retaining the idea that a marriage is reserved for a man-woman union (as it has been since the dawn of time!) is not discriminatory or bigoted or unfair.  It is as natural as can be.  You can change civil law.  You can’t change natural law.  You can behave as you please.  You can’t change what is right and true.  You can also send yourself to hell by giving God the finger when He has made clear that “From the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.  For this cause, a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife.  And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (See Mark 10:6-9).  “From the beginning” means that was God’s plan for His creation (us) when He created us.  Remember, you’re a creature; God is the Creator.  We were purchased by the blood of Christ on the cross.  Not only did He create us, He also purchased us (ransomed us from the slavery of sin).  We belong to God.  We need to do what He wants.  (And He only wants good for us, so there’s no reason to be afraid.)  That’s called obedience.  Obey!  That big, bad four letter word of our time.

Now, you can take the words of God and chuck ’em out the door.  You can laugh at Church teaching, mock it, and call it out-dated.  But keep in mind that hell does, indeed, exist.  Live by your philosophy now and suffer the consequences later.  Or live by God’s philosophy (which truly is freedom) and enjoy union with Him who is unimaginable love for eternity.

It’s your choice.  I choose God, because if I have to pick between feeble, very temporary pleasure on earth and infinite love that we can’t get here on earth and have it for all eternity, I’ll choose Love.

Published in: on February 20, 2013 at 17:41  Leave a Comment  
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