A Living Sacrifice Posts

Sr. Lucia of Fatima writes, “Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.”

The children then looked up at Our Lady, who said to them so kindly and so sadly:

“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc. …”

Today, my children, it was on my heart to share this as a reminder of what Jesus wants to save us from. Hell is real. People go there. His passion, beyond our worst imagining, was to save you and me from an eternity of despair, pain, and unending depression. We can avoid it with a good confession, a life of prayer, and a firm commitment to follow the commands of a God who loves us enough to endure the cruel passion.

Go to confession, today if possible!

Repent!

Penance! Penance! Penance!

Pray the Rosary every day!

Place yourself in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which will be you refuge and the way to God!

Ever since I heard the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen recite this magnificent poem by G. K. Chesterton, it became my favorite. I, like Archbishop Sheen, have a tradition of reciting it each Palm Sunday. Since I can’t recite it this year, this will have to do.

THE DONKEY

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

It seems to me, that all of us can find a little bit of ourselves in the donkey. Either we are stubborn, having an ancient crooked will, or maybe we think we look funny or talk funny with monstrous head and ears like errant wings or a voice like a sickening cry. Maybe we wonder about the day of our birth and imagine it must have been odd, if not evil. A day when fishes flew and forests walked, and the moon had turned to blood. Many of us keep secrets too dark to speak. We are scourged, derided, yet we remain dumb. We keep our secrets still.

Yes, we all, in some way are the donkey. We labor through life thinking “we’re just an ass.” And maybe we are. I know I am. BUT, here is the good news, with Christ, all the errant wings and monstrous heads become beautiful! The day of our birth is far from odd or evil, but a day of grace and rejoicing! Even that ancient crooked will is transformed by Jesus through wiping away original sin, and giving us supernatural grace in baptism. No longer are we tattered outlaws of the earth, but sons of God, himself! And those terrible secrets so many of us hold. Secrets that sear the memory and wound the heart, even these, we can whisper to Jesus as, on this Blessed Day, he gently rides upon our back. He is on his way to take away our secrets in the blood he sheds in love for us. So, my children, why not whisper our secrets to Jesus in confession and be free?

Fools! The donkey cries! Fools! For even a stubborn, ugly, self-willed, ass with secrets are royal when Jesus rides into Jerusalem and he chooses us, donkey though we be, to accompany him on his journey of love. Fools would we be if we do not accept the invitation to have shouts about our ears and palms before our feet.

So this Holy Week, let us accept the invitation, donkeys though we be, to accompany the Messiah on his journey to set us free. Let us stay near him, even as the Cross approaches, and our first instinct is to flee. Let us remain close to our Lady of sorrows, consoling her along the way.

My sincerest hope for you, dear readers, is that more than ever, you will feel the passion of the Lord in your soul during this Holy Week. May you shed tears of sorrow, and tears of joy on Easter. Please pray the same for me.

“They therefore took up stones to cast at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out from the temple.” St. John 8:59

These words end the gospel reading from yesterday’s Traditional Latin Mass. Yesterday was also the day that the draconian rules that private masses are outlawed in St. Peter’s Basilica. A centuries old tradition of priests being able to offer their daily masses on the many beautiful altars, many housing the bodies of great saints, today sat empty with neither priest nor faithful. Surely the Lord, and His sacrifice, has been driven from the temple. Throughout this post are photos taken this morning. These altars, were it not for these unjust rules, would have been, many times over, surrounded by the faithful, reverently assisting at the Masses of many priests. But that is no more. Christ has been driven from the temple.

I have to wonder if this is not somehow the beginning of the passion of the Church in earnest. Many prophets, seers, and even popes have foretold a time when the Church, the Body of Christ upon earth, would suffer her own passion. We have seen glimpses of this passion in the homosexual predation in the Church, the doctrinal confusion, the liturgical disaster which we have been subjected to, and the financial scandals we know so well, but it seems to me, that we are entering a new phase in the Passion of the Church. I am no prophet, but I am, in virtue of my priesthood, a watchman spoken of by the Prophet Ezekiel. The Lord God says through the prophet,

“But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes, and takes any one of them; that man is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.” Ezekiel 33:6

I see the sword coming. Therefore, I must sound the alarm!

At Fatima, part of the third secret is the vision of an angel with a flaming sword that was flashing. The angel was about to strike the earth, but was stopped temporarily from doing so by our Lady. The angel then cried out, “Penance! Penance! Penance!” Maybe the time for the angel to strike the earth with its flaming sword is quickly coming upon us. Again, we who seek to be watchmen must sound the alarm when we see the sword approaching.

Of course, we do not know the future, but as our Lord warned, we must be able to read the signs of the times. What are the signs of the times? War, rumors of war, murders in the streets and more in abortion clinics. The false god of Pachamama was worshiped in the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. Gay, drug filled orgies were held just feet away from St. Peter’s Basilica. A sharp rise in communism and socialism is evident. Political tensions are heating up around the world. Sex trafficking is at an all-time high, especially of children. Pornography is readily available on cell phones, and is enslaving many of teens and adults. I think it is safe to say that we, as a world, are far worse than the days of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah.

To my eyes, the signs of the times are clear. The passion and purification of the Church is well deserved, and frankly, we need it. The time is ripe. When and how, we do not know, but I think, given the situation, the “if” is a foregone conclusion. How could anyone look at the world, and believe that God will sit by much longer.

Lest anyone accuse me of being a fear monger, or being a prophet of doom, this is all very good news! Yes, purification is difficult, but it is the only way for the Church to triumph once again in the radiance of her true beauty as the spotless bride of Christ. Purification brings joy, peace, and renewed purity. Just as Jesus underwent his cruel and bloody passion, then three days later, he rose victorious in glory, so will the Church, after her purifying passion, rise victorious and clothed in glory.

This is a lesson taught me by ALS. My flesh is dying. Each day it grows weaker, but all the while my soul is purified. Each suffering, each new “passion” I endure and offer up in union with the passion of the Messiah, will one day leave me so purified, that I will walk joyfully in the Kingdom of God. Of course, I could reject the grace given me in my own passion, but what a tragedy that would be! In the same way, you and I, as members of the body of Christ, the Church, can reject or accept our passion and purification.

The words of yesterday’s gospel, along with the sight of St. Peter’s Basilica so empty, so devoid of both priest and worshipper, should make us think long and hard about the passion and purification the Church, and we as individuals, must endure. It seems that the angel of the third secret is close at hand. Let us heed the angel’s message. PENANCE! PENANCE! PENANCE!

Now, my children, in this Passiontide, it is the perfect time to ratchet up our efforts to do penance, so that when our passion comes we are prepared for the trial, and will remain faithful to Jesus.

Our Lady of Fatima promised that in the end, her Immaculate Heart would triumph, so there is no need to have any fear whatsoever. She also promised that in difficult times, her Immaculate Heart would be our refuge, and the way to reach heaven. In these troubling times let us enclose ourselves in her Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart.