Thursday, September 30, 2010

Be Subject to Higher Powers, Render to Caesar


also:
Conspiracies of the Jews

Proverbs 26:12: "A prince that gladly heareth lying words, hath all his servants wicked."

There is no secret that we are heading for a one world government, and that most of the governments of developed nations are complicit in the conspiracy, either by choice, or by coercion.  In the face of such a massive diabolical onslaught, it behooves us to examine what the Bible says about authority and rulers, and what notable saints have had to say on this matter, and how these teachings might affect our lives in this troubled age.

(none of this is to be taken as legal advice, I am not a lawyer, this is for information purposes only)

People may be inclined upon researching this information further to get get the impression that it is a means to either get rich or to shirk responsibility in their lives, or worse to be better than those not yet exposed to it.  If that is the impression they get, putting some of the beliefs and principles explored in the article (for the wrong reasons) will almost certainly get them no where good (and this quite suddenly).

Such people will not likely have prepared for or considered the potential risks involved as pertains to the well being of others, children especially, whose morals and chance at salvation almost certainly would be be practically destroyed as a result of the upbringings that might be secured  for them by the State, should the State ever desire to seize their children (for military or other purposes, e.g. a soldier, cheap and expendable, a research "assistant", etc.) or re-delegate custody over them (foster homes).  That is where their (both parties) dreams will die.

Moreover, it can be well argued this information, though it serves a highly invaluable purpose, may be too involved for this person or that person or family to practically apply without undergoing far more change, hardship and persecution than either they can or should reasonably bear.



To the matter at hand:  The Common Law of the Land

It is usual for public officers to take an oath to uphold the law, obey lawful authority and serve the common good. The following is from one of the Common Wealth countries:


These are the members of the territorial police forces in England and Wales which are responsible for general policing . The Police Reform Act 2002 requires the constable of a territorial police force to take the following oath:

England and Wales - Constables appointed under the Police Acts, English form:

"I, ... of ... do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will well and truly serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people; and that I will, to the best of my power, cause the peace to be kept and preserved and prevent all offences against people and property; and that while I continue to hold the said office I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law."

Many people may see the words "and truly serve the Queen," and get the idea that this necessarily means the Queen is above the law, though I think that most would likely not realize openly that they held such a position, since the general suppositions proposed to the masses in media are deliberately aimed at meaningless nonsense.  Growing up as a kid, it never once occurred to me to ask the question "Do I have to do everything the Queen says?", as my country is a common Wealth country as well)."

I did not think openly, or at least consciously, that the Queen was above the law!  GOD FORBID! 

Roman 13:1: "Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God."

St. John Chrysostom: Homily 23 on Romans (13:1: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers."): "Of this subject he makes much account in other epistles also, setting subjects under their rulers as household servants are under their masters. And this he does to show that it was not for the subversion of the commonwealth that Christ introduced His laws, but for the better ordering of it, and to teach men not to be taking up unnecessary and unprofitable wars 

[...]

"For he bears not the sword in vain. You see how he has furnished him with arms, and set him on guard like a soldier, for a terror to those that commit sin. For he is the minister of God to execute wrath, a revenger upon him that does evil. Now lest you should start off at hearing again of punishment, and vengeance, and a sword, he says again that it is God's law he is carrying out. For what if he does not know  it himself? Yet it is God that has so shaped things (οὕτως ἐτύπωσεν). If then, whether in punishing, or in honoring, he be a Minister, in avenging virtue's cause, in driving vice away, as God wills, why be captious against him, when he is the cause of so many good doings, and paves the way for yours too?"

Having never seen these quotations of St. John Chrysostom before, I have never understood the verse from Romans 13:1 so plainly before.  Yet, having been programmed into never even questioning the ramifications, or even conceiving of them, of an unlawful act committed by a king, queen or governor or other pubic official while executing the functions of office in a sense much different to how I would have had this argument been proposed to me long ago.  But when it became obvious that the subjection due to rulers was literally, subjection DUE, that is owed to them for honourably and rightly occupying the office they held, which above all includes supporting the common good and the preservation of the inalienable God given rights present in every human being by nature.  These rights are possessed by Caesar in common with every man.

St. Matthew 22:36-40: "Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets."

The whole law, then, which applies to every man, binds Caesar to desire and work for nothing other than the well being of his fellow men, for the sake of God.  The power that is given him therefore, is expressly given for the purpose alone of accomplishing the common good.  And we know according to the Catholic Faith, that God does not ordain, that is expressly will, men to sin, but rather permits us the free will to accept or reject the noble burden of servitude.  By rejecting this burden, once one has pledged himself to support it then, is a failure in rendering to God what is owed to God.

This means that the State, or the assembly of individuals for the governance of the community, must be answerable to the people that make up the community, whose collective and individual rights it must guarantee and protect, or suffer the consequences as a treasonous assembly. God being the highest sovereign and legislator, there is no higher treason than to make legal that which is manifestly opposed to the natural, the divine, or the ecclesiastical law.

An example of such unlawful legislation is the Amendment to the US Constitution which states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion".  Notwithstanding the inalienable  rights which are guaranteed by the Constitution (NOT granted, but guaranteed) the Constitution of the Unites States denies the Church her God given right as the religion of the State and in this regard is both heretical and schismatic.  It is unlawful.

St. Matthew 22:21: "They say to him: Caesar's. Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things that are God's."

What God gives to the ruler, leader, servant, He exacts at a demanding price on the day of Judgement, and the timid or those with a weak conscience need not apply, nor the prideful, lest they direct not only a just remittance of the debt owed by the people to the ruler for his service in doing and upholding the good, but also lest the honour due to God be payed rather to themselves or to other mere creatures.  Those who occupy such offices or seek to do so ought to be certain that a considerable effort is paid to the cultivation of virtue within his own actions and dispositions.

St. Mark 4:24: "Take heed what you hear. In what measure you shall mete, it shall be measured to you again, and more shall be given to you."Christ says "hear" but we may also reasonably understand Him through this and others of His sayings to warn us thus: "Take heed what you do."

If through a want of the necessary virtue a ruler takes little heed of what he does, and acts contrary to this, what he proposes as public service, may be more inclined to take on the character of tyranny, for which the Lord will demand a price: "In what measure you shall mete, it shall be measured to you again, and more shall be given to you".

Since Caesar ought to have given in faithfulness and loyalty to God, by way of treating his subjects justly, by contributing to and never hindering their peace and well being in this world and the next, and has come up empty handed, God has above shown that it is His will that the same be measured against such rulers.

When Caesar usurps the honour that ought to be paid to God, the lawful channel of obedience has been ruptured.  For is we give to Caesar what is truly his, then we give him something he has not stolen.  But God gives Caesar freely the power to rule, but in no way is this licence to sin, nor is it a gift that cannot be revoked.

1 Kings 15:26: "And Samuel said to Saul: I will not return with thee, because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel."

Therefore, if Caesar should sin against his subjects, whom God entrusted to him, then he is rejecting the word of the Lord, and the inevitable result is that Caesar will be rejected as king.  How clearly these two verses interact to show the figure by which the world was preknown by God to depart from His laws?

But does this grant licence to oppose such rulers by sinning?  GOD FORBID! Remember that the whole law depends on love of God and love of neighbour for the sake of God.  Therefore none may, by sinning, take, claim or exercise authority while simultaneously rejecting the source of the authority by their actions.  For if they had a legitimate claim to do so, then so did the tyrant they are trying to dethrone.  This is obvious hypocrisy.

Therefore, when it is clear that the powers that be have no longer any lawful claim to authority, those who would then claim and exercise authority must do so only in accordance with the laws of God.



Roman 13:1: "Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God."

There is no power, except that which comes from God, neither temporal or secular, nor natural or supernatural.  As such all in power who commit open rebellion against God in their actions to the contrary of the true and highest law, lose the debt of honour aand subjection that was previously owed to them by virtue of the oath they pledged to God and to man for the sake of God.

How easily our rulers and public officials forget the true law!  This is only worsened by the fact that our systems of government no longer honour and rever God as the Sovereign Creator and very author of all authority.  An example of this is clear in the revised version of the oath of office taken by police officers in Canada, which permits them to ignore God altogether:

POLICE SERVICES ACT, April 28, 2010:

Police officer, etc.
2.  The oath or affirmation of office to be taken by a police officer, special constable or First Nations Constable shall be in one of the following forms set out in the English or French version of this section:

I solemnly swear (affirm) that I will be loyal to Her Majesty the Queen and to Canada, and that I will uphold the Constitution of Canada and that I will, to the best of my ability, preserve the peace, prevent offences and discharge my other duties as (insert name of office) faithfully, impartially and according to law.

So help me God. (Omit this line in an affirmation.)

or

I solemnly swear (affirm) that I will be loyal to Canada, and that I will uphold the Constitution of Canada and that I will, to the best of my ability, preserve the peace, prevent offences and discharge my other duties as (insert name of office) faithfully, impartially and according to law.

So help me God. (Omit this line in an affirmation.)


By pledging allegiance to the king or queen, for example, one is pledging allegiance to God Himself, THROUGH the king, who has himself sworn before God to do that which is good in His sight, by taking a coronation oath, that is through the ruler who is exercising his office for the good of the kingdom, and not to its injury.

Yet forgetfulness of God (such as omitting "So help he God", from whom all strength comes) has led to countless acts against the common good on behalf of the rulers in the Common Wealth, and those in authority; duly sworn Peace Officers, Judges, Ministers, Senators, Governors, Congressman, Members of Parliament, etc. through the pride and greed of their agendas, or through the capitulation that such agendas receive from even the well intentioned sworn public officials when evil men bring blackmail and extortion, threatening to reveal or call public attention to their past or secret sins.

Maxim in Law: "An office ought to be injurious to no one."


Lawful Rebellion

That we may not sin in opposing such tyrants has been sufficiently proved above insofar as justice is concerned.  We may not steal that which is owed to God, namely his obedience, and we cannot steal from Caesar that which is owed to him, namely what he has given of himself in support of the common good, in return for the power he has received.

How then does it come about that such a thief may be dealt with?

Around the turn of the 13th century AD, Catholic England (i.e. Catholic was the religion of State, that which the rulers professed publicly), was outraged at the behaviour of King John of England, who was felt to be governing unjustly.  At the same time, King John was attempting to push his temporal authority into the ecclesiastical realm, where it never belonged.

Hence John became involved in a dispute with Pope Innocent III, and among the end results were a charter of rights and freedoms, which were to be guaranteed to every subject of King John, and a right the expression of which can be described as the orthodox version of religious liberty, that is liberty not of any or all religions, but liberty of the Church to exercise her right as sole legislator of spiritual matters (in this case the appointment of bishops).  He signed, begrudgingly it is said, thereby promising that he would not violate the rights of his subjects or of the Church (Learn more of what followed here).

Since the Magna Carta was never abolished, it then formed the basis for all systems of law that would arise in the nations of the British Commonwealth.  Therefore any subsequent law that should arise and contradict the rights guaranteed by the Magna Carta would not have any truly lawful force.  The only power these would have is the power perceived in them by those who do not know any better.

Maxim in Law: "Ignorance of the Law does not excuse misconduct in anyone, least of all a sworn officer of the law."

This being so, all public officials ought to tremble at the debt they owe, of the peace and well being of the souls entrusted to their care, to Almighty God who will mete back (and then some), either good or bad, what they themselves meted out to the souls in their care.


Under article 61 of Magna Carta the people of the community have a right to enter into lawful rebellion if they are being governed unjustly. The rulers are only there to govern, not to oppress, and this must be done within the constraint of the laws of love God and love neighbour for the sake of God.  The people have the power to affirm their rights, and to peacefully reject and oppose any attempt made by any Parliament, Congress, Senate, or other legislature, to remove those rights, and even the right to take up arms in defense of them when no other option presents itself and when the motives would be justice alone.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 41, Art. 1: "But in him who defends himself, it may be without sin, or it may sometimes involve a venial sin, or sometimes a mortal sin; and this depends on his intention and on his manner of defending himself. For if his sole intention be to withstand the injury done to him, and he defend himself with due moderation, it is no sin, and one cannot say properly that there is strife on his part. But if, on the other hand, his self-defense be inspired by vengeance and hatred, it is always a sin. It is a venial sin, if a slight movement of hatred or vengeance obtrude itself, or if he does not much exceed moderation in defending himself: but it is a mortal sin if he makes for his assailant with the fixed intention of killing him, or inflicting grievous harm on him."

Genesis 1:26-30: "And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion  over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.  And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.  And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.  And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat:  And to all beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon. And it was so done."

The above rights were bestowed upon man collectively, and not in such a way as that one man could infringe upon the rights of any other; that would be unlawful:

Romans 2:11-13: "For there is no respect of persons with God.  For whosoever have sinned without the law, shall perish without the law; and whosoever have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law.  For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified"

Since all are equal before the law, then, it follows that all are entitled, by nature, to life, freedom and a necessary share of the goods of the earth, in accordance with true justice and in such proportion as that they should be able to fulfill the command given to fill the earth.

When these natural rights are attacked, they can only be preserved by he who would lawfully claim them and exercise them.  After all, Christ said to render to Caesar what is Caesar's - not to relinquish to Caesar what is rightfully our own.


Further recommended reading
Homily 23 on Romans, St. John Chrysostom (407).
A pope cannot be a heretic; a heretic cannot be pope (God has provided his Catholic religion with similar legislation in the Divine law; and a sentence for spiritual rulers which mirrors that in 1st Kings 15:26)

The Perpetual Virginity of the Holy Mother of God, St. Jerome

O holy Saint Jerome, Champion of Virginity, pray for us!
 
The Perpetual Virginity of the Holy Mother of God, by St. Jerome
 
(1-4 of 24)
 
1. I was requested by certain of the brethren not long ago to reply to a pamphlet written by one Helvidius. I have deferred doing so, not because it is a difficult matter to maintain the truth and refute an ignorant boor who has scarce known  the first glimmer of learning, but because I was afraid my reply might make him appear worth defeating.
 
There was the further consideration that a turbulent fellow, the only individual in the world who thinks himself both priest and layman, one who, as has been said, thinks that eloquence consists in loquacity and considers speaking ill of anyone to be the witness of a good conscience, would begin to blaspheme  worse than ever if opportunity of discussion were afforded him. He would stand as it were on a pedestal, and would publish his views far and wide.
 
There was reason also to fear that when truth failed him he would assail his opponents with the weapon of abuse. But all these motives for silence, though just, have more justly ceased to influence me, because of the scandal caused to the brethren who were disgusted at his ravings. The axe of the Gospel  must therefore be now laid to the root of the barren tree, and both it and its fruitless foliage cast into the fire, so that Helvidius who has never learned to speak, may at length learn to hold his tongue.

2. I must call upon the Holy Spirit to express His meaning by my mouth and defend the virginity of the Blessed Mary. I must call upon the Lord Jesus to guard the sacred lodging of the womb in which He abode for ten months from all suspicion of sexual intercourse. And I must also entreat God the Father to show that the mother of His Son, who was a mother before she was a bride, continued a Virgin after her son was born.
 
We have no desire to career over the fields of eloquence, we do not resort to the snares of the logicians or the thickets of Aristotle. We shall adduce the actual words of Scripture. Let him be refuted by the same proofs which he employed against us, so that he may see that it was possible for him to read what is written, and yet to be unable to discern the established conclusion of a sound faith.

3. His first statement was: "Matthew says, Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately.
 
But when he thought on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." Notice, he says, that the word used is betrothed, not entrusted as you say, and of course the only reason why she was betrothed was that she might one day be married. And the Evangelist would not have said before they came together if they were not to come together, for no one would use the phrase before he dined of a man who was not going to dine. Then, again, the angel calls her wife and speaks of her as united to Joseph. We are next invited to listen to the declaration of Scripture: Matthew 1:24-25 "And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took unto him his wife; and knew her not till she had brought forth her son."

4. Let us take the points one by one, and follow the tracks of this impiety that we may show that he has contradicted himself. He admits that she was betrothed, and in the next breath will have her to be a man's wife whom he has admitted to be his betrothed. Again, he calls her wife, and then says the only reason why she was betrothed was that she might one day be married. And, for fear we might not think that enough, "the word used," he says, "is betrothed and not entrusted, that is to say, not yet a wife, not yet united by the bond of wedlock."
 
But when he continues, "the Evangelist would never have applied the words, before they came together to persons who were not to come together, any more than one says, before he dined, when the man is not going to dine," I know not whether to grieve or laugh. Shall I convict him of ignorance, or accuse him of rashness? Just as if, supposing a person to say, "Before dining in harbour I sailed to Africa," his words could not hold good unless he were compelled some day to dine in harbour. If I choose to say, "the apostle Paul before he went to Spain was put in fetters at Rome," or (as I certainly might) "Helvidius, before he repented, was cut off by death," must Paul on being released at once go to Spain, or must Helvidius repent after death, although the Scripture says "In sheol who shall give you thanks?"
 
Must we not rather understand that the preposition before, although it frequently denotes order in time, yet sometimes refers only to order in thought? So that there is no necessity, if sufficient cause intervened to prevent it, for our thoughts to be realized. When, then, the Evangelist says before they came together, he indicates the time immediately preceding marriage, and shows that matters were so far advanced that she who had been betrothed was on the point of becoming a wife. As though he said, before they kissed and embraced, before the consummation of marriage, she was found to be with child. And she was found to be so by none other than Joseph, who watched the swelling womb of his betrothed with the anxious glances, and, at this time, almost the privilege, of a husband. Yet it does not follow, as the previous examples showed, that he had intercourse with Mary after her delivery, when his desires had been quenched by the fact that she had already conceived.
 
And although we find it said to Joseph in a dream, "Fear not to take Mary your wife"; and again, "Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took unto him his wife," no one ought to be disturbed by this, as though, inasmuch as she is called wife, she ceases to be betrothed, for we know it is usual in Scripture to give the title to those who are betrothed. The following evidence from Deuteronomy establishes the point. Deuteronomy 22:24-25 "If the man," says the writer, "find the damsel that is betrothed in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her, he shall surely die, because he has humbled his neighbour's wife." And in another place, Deuteronomy 22:23-24 "If there be a damsel that is a virgin betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; then you shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and you shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he has humbled his neighbour's wife: so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you." Elsewhere also, Deuteronomy 20:7 "And what man is there that has betrothed a wife, and has not taken her? Let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her."
 
But if anyone feels a doubt as to why the Virgin conceived after she was betrothed rather than when she had no one betrothed to her, or, to use the Scripture phrase, no husband, let me explain that there were three reasons. First, that by the genealogy of Joseph, whose kinswoman Mary was, Mary's origin might also be shown. Secondly, that she might not in accordance with the law of Moses be stoned as an adulteress. Thirdly, that in her flight to Egypt she might have some solace, though it was that of a guardian rather than a husband. For who at that time would have believed the Virgin's word that she had conceived of the Holy Ghost, and that the angel Gabriel had come and announced the purpose of God?
 
And would not all have given their opinion against her as an adulteress, like Susanna? For at the present day, now that the whole world has embraced the faith, the Jews argue that when Isaiah says, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son," the Hebrew word denotes a young woman, not a virgin, that is to say, the word is Almah, not Bethulah, a position which, farther on, we shall dispute more in detail.
 
Lastly, excepting Joseph, and Elizabeth, and Mary herself, and some few others who, we may suppose, heard the truth from them, all considered Jesus to be the son of Joseph. And so far was this the case that even the Evangelists, expressing the prevailing opinion, which is the correct rule for a historian, call him the father of the Saviour, as, for instance, Luke 2:27 "And he (that is, Simeon) came in the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, that they might do concerning him after the custom of the law;" and elsewhere, Luke 2:41 "And his parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the passover." And afterwards, "And when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and his parents knew not of it."
 
Observe also what Mary herself, who had replied to Gabriel with the words, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" says concerning Joseph, Luke 2:48 "Son, why have you thus dealt with us? Behold, your father and I sought you sorrowing." We have not here, as many maintain, the utterance of Jews or of mockers. The Evangelists call Joseph father: Mary confesses he was father. Not (as I said before) that Joseph was really the father of the Saviour: but that, to preserve the reputation of Mary, he was regarded by all as his father, although, before he heard the admonition of the angel, Matthew 1:20 "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost," he had thoughts of putting her away privily; which shows that he well knew that the child conceived was not his. But we have said enough, more with the aim of imparting instruction than of answering an opponent, to show why Joseph is called the father of our Lord, and why Mary is called Joseph's wife. This also at once answers the question why certain persons are called his brethren. (5.) This, however, is a point which will find its proper place further on. [...]



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Litany in Honor of St. Michael the Archangel

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, save us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Angels, pray for us.

St. Michael, pray for us.
St. Michael, filled with the wisdom of God, pray for us.
St. Michael, perfect adorer of the Incarnate Word, pray for us.
St. Michael, crowned with honor and glory, pray for us.
St. Michael, most powerful Prince of the armies of the Lord, pray for us.
St. Michael, standard-bearer of the Most Holy Trinity, pray for us.
St. Michael, guardian of Paradise, pray for us.
St. Michael, guide and comforter of the people of Israel, pray for us.
St. Michael, splendor and fortress of the Church Militant, pray for us.
St. Michael, honor and joy of the Church Triumphant, pray for us.
St. Michael, light of Angels, pray for us.
St. Michael, bulwark of orthodox believers, pray for us.
St. Michael, strength of those who fight under the standard of the Cross, pray for us.
St. Michael, light and confidence of souls at the hour of death, pray for us.
St. Michael, our most sure aid, pray for us.
St. Michael, our help in all adversities, pray for us.
St. Michael, herald of the everlasting sentence, pray for us.
St. Michael, consoler of souls detained in the flames of Purgatory, pray for us.
St. Michael, whom the Lord hast charged to receive souls after death, pray for us.
St. Michael, our prince, pray for us.
St. Michael, our advocate, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

     V. pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ.
     R. That we may be made worthy of His promises.

Let us pray: Sanctify us, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus, with Thy holy blessing, and grant us, by the intercession of St. Michael, that wisdom which teaches us to lay up treasures in Heaven by exchanging the goods of this world for those of eternity, Thou, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Azarias In The Midst Of The Fire

Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and thy name is worthy of praise, and glorious for ever:

For thou art just in all that thou hast done to us, and all thy works are true, and thy ways right, and all thy judgments true.

For thou hast executed true judgments in all the things that thou hast brought upon us, and upon Jerusalem the holy city of our fathers: for according to truth and judgment, thou hast brought all these things upon us for our sins.

For we have sinned, and committed iniquity, departing from thee: and we have trespassed in all things:

And we have not hearkened to thy commandments, nor have we observed nor done as thou hadst commanded us, that it might go well with us.

Wherefore all that thou hast brought upon us, and every thing that thou hast done to us, thou hast done in true judgment:

And thou hast delivered us into the hands of our enemies that are unjust, and most wicked, and prevaricators, and to a king unjust, and most wicked beyond all that are upon the earth.

And now we cannot open our mouths: we are become a shame and reproach to thy servants, and to them that worship thee.  Deliver us not up for ever, we beseech thee, for thy name's sake, and abolish not thy covenant.

And take not away thy mercy from us for the sake of Abraham thy beloved, and Isaac thy servant, and Israel thy holy one:

To whom thou hast spoken, promising that thou wouldst multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the sea shore.

For we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins.

Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of firstfruits before thee,

That we may find thy mercy: nevertheless in a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be accepted.  

As in holocausts of rams, and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs: so let our sacrifice be made in thy sight this day, that it may please thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in thee. 

And now we follow thee with all our heart, and we fear thee, and seek thy face.  Put us not to confusion, but deal with us according to thy meekness, and according to the multitude of thy mercies.

And deliver us according to thy wonderful works, and give glory to thy name, O Lord:  And let all them be confounded that shew evils to thy servants, let them be confounded in all thy might, and let their strength be broken.

And let them know that thou art the Lord, the only God, and glorious over all the world

- Azarias, when placed in the furnace by King Nabuchodonosor (Daniel 3)



Saturday, September 25, 2010

What, if anything, does Fatima offer?

Before getting into the details, let it first be said that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, is to be held in the highest veneration above all other creatures. It is my opinion that without recourse to the Blessed Virgin through true devotion to her, especially through the Most Holy Rosary, a soul can hardly be saved, if at all.


Please read also
Why all Catholics must reject Fatima


"Our Lady of Fatima", by William Thomas Walsh, is often touted as the landmark source for information on Fatima and the alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary there. Apparently it contains a description of the "miracle of the sun" that really leaves one feeling icky.  Doesn't sound like a real miracle of God at all.  The very tone of the writing makes it seem like it was a ghastly event that everybody wanted to end... Why did I ever believe in Fatima?...

"70,000 people saw a miracle!"

Okay... don't God's miracles in history generally manifest themselves humbly, subtly, orderly and peacefully?  What of the "miracle of the sun" as recorded by Walsh?

"The sun stood forth in the clear zenith like a great silver disk which, though bright as any sun they had ever seen, they could look straight at without blinking, and with a unique and delightful satisfaction. This lasted but a moment. While they gazed, the huge ball began to dance"-that was the word all the beholders applied to it. "Now it was whirling rapidly like a gigantic fire-wheel. After doing this for some time, it stopped. Then it rotated again, with dizzy, sickening speed.

"
Finally there appeared on the rim a border of crimson, which flung across the sky, as from a vortex, blood-red streamers of flame, reflecting to the earth, to the trees and shrubs, to the upturned faces and the clothes all sorts of brilliant colors in succession: green, red, orange, blue, violet, the whole spectrum in fact. Madly gyrating in this manner three times, the fiery orb seemed to tremble, to shudder, and then to plunge precipitately, in a mighty zigzag, toward the crowd, causing widespread panic. This had lasted about TEN MINUTES (!!!) perhaps. Then all saw the sun begin to climb, in the same zigzag manner, to where it had appeared before. It became tranquil, then dazzling. No one could look at it any longer. It was the sun of every day." 
 
70,000 people may have seen "signs and lying wonders" from one of the spirits compelled to be grudgingly subject to God's will, but that disorder and extravagance definitely does not sound like the spirit of the Virgin.

"But everybody believes Fatima..."

That is a good reason to reject right there, depending on which Scripture verse you apply.  In all seriousness though, "everybody" knows that 9/11 was planned and executed by Islamic extremists, "everybody" knows that Islam is the greatest threat the world has ever seen, even while those who pull the Muslims' strings behind the scenes scoff in the shadows. 

But just because lots of people believe in ... Allah ... is no reason to become a Muslim.  Critical thinking shows Islam is false, despite the many adherents thereof. The same principles apply with Fatima.  Weigh the evidence according to reason.  Is Fatima consistent with moral and dogmatic theology?  With the nature of God?  With ecclesiastical discipline?

"But Fatima warned about the errors of Russia"

Right, which gave America a clear pass to become the "stalwart defender" of religiously indifferent democracy, a "pillar of virtue against the evil commies"...  Maybe this should have gone under "everybody knows"... America has turned out to be a far worse threat and spreading far more errors than threatened by Russia.  Moreover, America has been socialist/communist ever since 1933, fully eight years BEFORE the "secrets" were even revealed!

"But Fatima said to pray the Rosary!..."

Very well, a good thing out of a rotten apparition.  But truly by this time, all Catholics at least know about the Rosary; many hang their heads in shame - or have had occasion to at one point or another - because they realize that this is the most powerful prayer with God available to the laity without the need of a priest, and they do not offer it daily to God, whether because they work so many hours, have so many duties, or whatever - But all the saints who talk about this most glorious gift from the Holy and Undivided Trinity repeat with unceasing vigour that ALL OUR WORKS BENEFIT from the continuous diligent offering of the Rosary every day to Jesus through Mary, while meditating piously on the mysteries of the life and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  God Himself helps us with our work when we pray the Rosary.  When a man goes to work early, he spends himself and by the end of the day he has little left to offer to God, let alone to offer his family.  But if a man offers what he can sacrifice of his own time to God, especially in the morning, despite all other work, then God will work alongside him during the day, and give him strength to fulfill all his duties.

There seems to be a little known Church discipline which states that indulgences are not available to prayers when anything is added to the canonical form which has already been approved for indulgences, and yet Fatima ADDED a prayer to the Rosary (that leads some people to believe that nobody will go to hell, no less!).

Anyway, the point is that all Catholics know about the Rosary and its importance, and the devil knows this too, and what better way to sink his hooks into us?   Doesn't the devil trick us with the good and sneak in the bad while we are unaware?

What is wrong with Fatima?  It doesn't solve anything, and only creates more and more and always more questions.  Stop looking to a "consecration of Russia" when what is needed is an individual consecration of every human heart to Mary, that she might tidy them up and bring them to God.

The thing to do now is to Pray the Rosary daily and beg to know God, to know who He really is and what He really wants from you, and to be willing to change your whole life to please Him, if necessary, and be one of his true faithful.  If these are your true and persevering desires, then God will grant them if you don't leave Him alone about it:

St. Matthew 11:12: "And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away."

St. Luke 11:5-13: "And he said to them: Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves, Because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me, and I have not what to set before him. And he from within should answer, and say: Trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 

"Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth. And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. 

"And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask him?"


The saints and holy men of old are the ones we need to imitate and the ones we need to listen to. Jean-Marie Vianney. St. Vincent Ferrer. St. Leonard of Port MauriceSt. Francis de SalesSt. Bridget of Sweden, etc., and in the first place, the Blessed Virgin, who I firmly believe did NOT appear at Fatima.

1 Corinthians 4:16: "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ"



Friday, September 24, 2010

St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life: The Worth of Souls

CONSIDER how noble and excellent a thing your soul is, endowed with understanding, capable of knowing, not merely this visible world around us, but Angels and Paradise, of knowing that there is an All-Mighty, All-Merciful, Ineffable God; of knowing that eternity lies before you, and of knowing what is necessary in order so to live in this visible world as to attain to fellowship with those Angels in Paradise, and the eternal fruition of God.

Yet more;—-your soul is possessed of a noble will, capable of loving God, irresistibly drawn to that love; your heart is full of generous enthusiasm, and can no more find rest in any earthly creation, or in aught save God, than the bee can find honey on a dunghill, or in aught save flowers. Let your mind boldly review the wild earthly pleasures which once filled your heart, and see whether they did not abound in uneasiness and doubts, in painful thoughts and uncomfortable cares, amid which your troubled heart was miserable.

When the heart of man seeks the creature, it goes to work eagerly, expecting to satisfy its cravings; but directly it obtains what it sought, it finds a blank, and dissatisfied, begins to seek anew; for God will not suffer our hearts to find any rest, like the dove going forth from Noah’s ark, until it returns to God, whence it came. Surely this is a most striking natural beauty in our heart;—why should we constrain it against its will to seek creature love?

In some such wise might you address your soul: “You are capable of realising a longing after God, why should you trifle with anything lower? you can live for eternity, why should you stop short in time? One of the sorrows of the prodigal son was, that, when he might have been living in plenty at his father’s table, he had brought himself to share the swine’s husks. My soul, you are made for God, woe be to you if you stop short in anything short of Him!” Lift up your soul with thoughts such as these, convince it that it is eternal, and worthy of eternity; fill it with courage in this pursuit.



Our Lady of Ransom (Our Lady of Mercy)

The story of Our Lady of Ransom is, at its outset, that of Saint Peter Nolasco, born in Languedoc about 1189. At the age of twenty-five he took a vow of chastity and made over his vast estates to the Church. After making a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Montserrat, he went to Barcelona where he began to practice various works of charity. He conceived the idea of establishing an Order for the redemption of captives seized by the Moors on the seas and in Spain itself; they were being cruelly tormented in their African prisons to make them deny their faith. He spoke of it to the king of Aragon, James I, who knew him well and already respected him as a Saint; for the king had already asked for his prayers when he sent out his armies to combat the Moors, and he attributed his victories to those prayers.

In effect all the Christians of Europe, and above all of Spain, were praying a great deal to obtain from God the remedy for the great evil that had befallen them. The divine Will was soon manifested. On the same night, August 1, 1218, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Peter Nolasco, to his confessor, Raymund of Pennafort, and to the king, and through these three servants of God established a work of the most perfect charity, the redemption of captives.

On that night, while the Church was celebrating the feast of Saint Peter in Chains, the Virgin Mary came from heaven and appeared first to Saint Peter Nolasco, saying that She indeed desired the establishment of a religious Order bearing the name of Her mercy. Its members would undertake to deliver Christian captives and offer themselves, if necessary, as a gage. Word of the miracle soon spread over the entire kingdom; and on August 10th the king went to the cathedral for a Mass celebrated by the bishop of Barcelona. Saint Raymund went up into the pulpit and narrated his vision, with admirable eloquence and fervor. The king besought the blessing of the bishop for the heaven-sent plan, and the bishop bestowed the habit on Saint Peter Nolasco, who emitted the solemn vow to give himself as a hostage if necessary.

The Order, thus solemnly established in Spain, was approved by Pope Gregory IX under the name of Our Lady of Mercy. By the grace of God and under the protection of His Virgin Mother, the Order spread rapidly. Its growth was increased as the charity and piety of its members was observed; they very often followed Her directive to give themselves up to voluntary slavery when necessary, to aid the good work. It was to return thanks to God and the Blessed Virgin that a feast day was instituted and observed on September 24th, first in this Order of Our Lady, then everywhere in Spain and France. It was finally extended to the entire Church by Pope Innocent XII.

Reflection: Saint Peter Nolasco and his knights were not priests, and yet they considered that the salvation of their neighbor was entrusted to them. We, too, can by good counsel and by prayer, but above all by holy example, assist the salvation of our brethren, and thereby secure our own.



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Comparing "Heliocentrism" with Reality is Just Bad Science

This article is a supplement to "The Theology of Cosmology", and it has been updated to exclude any support of using the term "heliocentrism" as an allowable term to describe the universe.  Furthermore, I reject the term "solar system" in favour of the term "terran system", which is much more accurate, as Terra Firma (i.e. the fixed earth) is in the center of the universe.  There is also a video at the end of this article that helps to illustrate the true nature of the relationship between the heavens and the earth.

It is extremely fitting that the earth should be both the spiritual center of the universe (i.e. it is the focus of God and His Heavenly Host, for thereon is found mankind, for whom heaven labours) and the physical center of the universe; God Himself dwelt and dwells on earth in Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.

Geocentrism is in contrast to heliocentrism, which is the view that the earth rotates on its axis and, along with the other planets, revolves around the sun. Heliocentrism cannot be lawfully taught or held, and it is scientifically untenable to boot. Below are excellent points that have been made about the invalid arguments made (or not made) for helioentrism:


They avoid arguing from the moon

"The earth rotates around itself", Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Brahe, Newton and others have said.

The earth is said to rotate around itself counterclockwise. the moon orbits around the earth in the same direction, counterclockwise.

Average velocity of the moon in its orbit around the earth is around 1022 m/s and due to it the moon orbits the earth in 27.3 days.

Velocity of supposed rotation of the earth around itself at the equator must be approximately 463 m/s (approximately 40 000 km in 24 hours);

It is obvious that in case the earth rotates around itself at the equator* everyone would see and measure almost 50% slower orbit of the moon around the earth than it is (average velocity of 559 m/s (1022 m/s - 463 m/s) instead of 1022 m/s).

Which would necessarily give almost twice longer period of the moon's orbit around the earth to be expected i.e. 49.9 days or more than 3 weeks(!) longer period than it is.

* - on different geographical latitudes (bigger and smaller parallel circles around the earth) there would necessarily be different velocities due to the earth's rotation around itself; thus there would necessarily be seen and measured different seeable average velocities of the moon's orbit around the earth and necessarily calculated different values for expected period of the moon's orbit around the earth.

However, after 27.3 days everyone would see that The Moon has made full circle in the sky and around the earth so that the calculation according to seeable orbit of the moon around the earth is mathematically correct but doesn't correspond to the real orbit of the moon around the earth.
And that would be a clear proof that the earth rotates around itself.

In reality there is no such misleading calculation i.e. calculations (for different geographical latitudes) of the moon's orbit around the earth. Hence it necessarily follows that the earth doesn't rotate around itself.


They argue from fraud!

"But there are experimental proofs for the rotation of the earth, such as the Foucault Pendulum", some will say.

Many "astronomers" cite the Foucault pendulum experiment that was carried out in Paris in 1851 as PROOF that the earth turns. It's a pity that the NASA space program has not provided them with more recent proof. Here is a quote from a 36-year veteran of the space program with a Ph.D., in astronomy from the University of Michigan:

"Proof of earth's turning, or rotation, didn't come until 1851, more than two millennia after Heraclides (researchers didn't have much government funding back then, so progress was slow). The proof came from a big French swinger: a heavy metal ball suspended from the ceiling above the floor of the Pantheon (a church) in Paris on a 200-foot wire. The ball is called a Foucault pendulum, after the French physicist who came up with the plan. If you kept an eye on the pendulum as it swung back and forth all day, you could see that the direction taken by the swinging ball across the floor gradually changed, as though the floor was turning underneath it." (Maran, Astronomy for Dummies, p. 42).

So by 1851, despite Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler no proof existed of the rotation of the earth.

Léon Foucault invented a contrivance that supposedly PROVED the rotation of the earth. The Foucault pendulum was just a hoax:

Foucault's Pendulum (Foucault's Fraud) hanging from the ceiling in the church of the Pantheon in Paris.

Foucault was a failure at everything he did until Louis Napoleon became his patron. Louis was the nephew of the emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and became president of France in 1848. In 1851, he abolished civil liberties and declared himself dictator of France.


Foucault's Pendulum had a specially rigged device on top to make it sway a certain way. This bit of incredibly simple engineering was not visible from the floor, of course. But in front of this display was a big sign which read: COME SEE THE PROOF THAT THE EARTH IS TURNING!!

The French scientific community were not amused by Foucault's folly and refused to make him a member of the French Academy. Pressure from the emperor finally caused them to relent and two years before his death, Foucault was finally made a member of that august body.


They argue from FICTION (and illogically so)!

"The earth rotates around itself", Galileo insisted.


Two centuries after Galileo, Gustave Coriolis discovered that if man rotated with constant speed with respect to any real straight motion, he perceived virtual motion (curved to the left or to the right of real straight motion) where there was real straight motion. This is called the Coriolis effect.

If the earth permanently rotates around itself in 24 hours then obviously we all who live on the earth permanently rotate with it.  So from our presumed permanent rotation on the earth and from the above law discovered by Coriolis, it necessarily follows that we should not be able to perceive any straight motions as such, but should see only virtual motions curved to the left or to the right of real straight motions.  But we see many obviously straight motions for what they are, real straight motions, that is, we see many motions and things exactly as they are; as they happen, and not curved as they should so appear due to the alleged 463 m/s rotation that the earth is supposed to have.

So either the earth doesn't rotate or Coriolis effect (Coriolis "force") doesn't twist motions. Or neither one happens.

If the Coriolis effect twists motions then almost no straight motion would exist not only on or near the earth allegedly permanently rotating but also during any real rotation with constant speed. And that manifestly isn't true. Thus Coriolis effect isn't real but only virtual or fictitious; it only mathematically describes the twisted appearance of motions in systems rotating with constant speed but not any real twisting.

But as you can easily find out on the internet, it is claimed the contradictory: that Coriolis effect (Coriolis force) twists motions. Why not motions of people, vehicles etc. but only of water, clouds, winds etc. it seems nobody has bothered to explain that one!

Therefore, by Coriolis effect (way more often called Coriolis force, usually without mentioning it is virtual or fictitious force or, on rare occasions when that is mentioned, with wrong explanation of that) no one can prove rotation of the earth but can only prove the contradictory: that the earth doesn't rotate around itself, that is, that the earth is at rest.

Don't be put to rout with Galileo and other Galileos: followers of his most famous falsity mentioned above. Also, there is even way greater danger than just a shame of being put to rout and proven manifestly false. Seek and you shall find it.


And since when does falsity belongs to science?

Have you ever wondered why before 16th and 17th century (Copernicus, Galileo etc.) in all developed civilizations there was considerable knowledge of mathematics, astronomy and other sciences and why in all those civilizations the opinion that the earth rotates was never widespread anywhere among the scientists but the contrary opinion, i.e. that the earth is at rest, was the standard everywhere?

Now when it is manifest that denial of the alleged rotation of the earth is not any kind of modern extravagant innovation, but rather the truth persistently acknowledged by almost all scientists and other learned men for a few thousand years (up to 16th and 17th century), you should ask yourself: against whom principally and why is it that Galileo's falsity permanently and persistently used by his followers?

There is no rotation of the earth around itself nor orbit of the earth around the sun. These are heliocentric lies. But there is way greater danger than just a shame of being put to rout and proven manifestly false. Seek and you shall find it.

Video for you (note I claim no association with this man, nor agreement with any of his opinions, save that of earth being fixed at the center of the universe):




Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, SEVENTH SORROW

Slightly modified from "A crown of tribulation: being meditations on the Seven Sorrows of our Blessed Lady Mary", 1920
THE BODY OF JESUS IS LAID IN
THE TOMB


Therefore do I weep, and my eyes run down with water: because the comforter, the relief of my soul, is far from me: my children are desolate because the enemy hath prevailed.  
Lamentations i. 16.



THE time had now come for the burial of Jesus, and Mary had to give Him up who had been her whole life. The Sabbath was near at hand. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus came forward; and with love and reverence carried the Sacred Body of Jesus away from His Mother and laid It in the tomb.

In silence, and with broken hearts, the little party of mourners prostrate themselves in adoration before the lifeless Body of Christ. Mary Magdalen’s passionate sobs must be hushed for the moment as she gazes upon Him, so beautiful in death. In spite of man’s appalling deed, there is the stamp of the Godhead upon Him. He is a King receiving homage and adoration in death. There is an air of victory about Him now that man has worked his evil will upon Him; and His triumph is felt by the band of mourners in the midst of their poignant grief. How great and wonderful He has been to suffer so much; how supreme His Love and Fortitude, His capacity for Pain. How glorious His simple funeral at the end of His kingly life buried on a hill at close of day; claiming allegiance from the whole world, overlordship from all humanity. He has no sepulcher of His own; for He owns the universe. His poverty is the wealth which He gave to the world; His Love, the treasure which has enriched the earth; His Death, the Life which has transformed mankind.

But He has to be buried; and though Mary is aware of the triumph of her Son, her heart is torn with anguish at the thought of losing Him. She embraces His lifeless Form for the last time, and prays by His side to Him, offering to God her sorrow and the agony of her desolation. "Oh, my God, that I could be buried in the grave with Thee: that Thou wouldst keep me hidden alone with Thee. I will bring my sorrow before Thee. Without Thee the whole world is a land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness."

It was late in the evening when the Childless Mother left the sepulcher, and with her companions made her way from the spot. Calvary still held His Cross dyed with His Blood. Our Lady drew the suffering Magdalen towards her with pity, and slowly they retired together, each thinking of what He had been to them and they pondered over the spots hallowed by His sufferings. There He fell; here Veronica soothed Him a little; there the Daughters of Jerusalem wept for Him; and here ah, here! His Mother had waited for Him in the strength of her love and had seen Him agonized with suffering. Everything came back to her with a cruel force. Was it only that morning she had met Him?

She had lived through an eternity of sorrow since then. Could He be dead? Could man have crucified the Eternal Son of God? Would He not come back to her again? But the plaintive, lifeless tones: "My God! My God! why hast Thou forsaken Me?" and, "Father, into Thy Hands I commend My Spirit," rang in her ears and Mary’s sorrow knew no bounds. St. John, with delicate insight into her grief, led her away from the spot to her temporary home.

But home! How could there be a home for Mary without Jesus? She had lost Him once before, it was true; but then He had returned to her, not hurt in any way. And now He had been put to death! In His Love He had prepared her for this deep sorrow and separation from Him; but ah! how bitter it was, how agonizing the sense of loss.

"Whither is Thy Beloved gone, O thou most beautiful among women?" He has gone from you, dear Mother, that the memory of your pain may always remain with you on behalf of your erring children, separated from your Son by the pathetic sinfulness of their lives, that you may aid them and bring them back again into the sunshine of His Love; on behalf, too, of those who, in Death, have proved His friends; who have heard the magic beauty of His Voice and caught a glimpse of your Son in His white-robed beauty"; but who leave Him, for a time, to suffer for Justice and for Love. And He has made you their Advocate because you have known the agony of separation from Him; that, remembering your own grief, you may plead at His Throne for those detained in the prison-house of their love.

O help all suffering souls, thou loving one; And solace give to them, thou loving one; Remembering thine own pain, thou loving one.

Our Blessed Lady had shared in the sorrows and griefs of her Divine Son during His Passion and Death. Whilst He was still alive she felt that she could, to some extent, bear her anguish; but when He was dead and buried, when she could no longer be strengthened and supported by His Visible Presence, she felt as if her heart must break. "My tears have been my bread day and night; whilst it is said to me daily, Where is thy God?" (Psalm xli. 4). She had shared in His desolation on the Cross; but now she had her own to bear as well; and without Him it seemed as if her soul was being torn asunder in her bereavement. "He hath made me desolate, and wasted with sorrow all the day long" (Lamentations i. 13). Her Son on the Cross had felt the supreme loneliness of soul when He cried: "My God! My God! why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

May not the Mother have felt some of that loneliness now, when she could say, "My Son! my Son! why hast Thou abandoned me?" Though her love of Him remained supreme and unshaken, and though she knew that ultimately her sorrow would be turned into joy, yet the most terrible desolation descended upon the soul of Mary. "My soul fadeth within me; and the days of affliction possess me" (Job xxx. 16).

During those days of separation from her Son, Mary reviewed His Life and hers. She thought of the wonderful privilege hers had been in possessing as her Son the Incarnate Word made Flesh; of the great dignity conferred upon her through her Virgin-Motherhood; yet in spite of these unparalleled graces, in spite of the perfect manner in which she had discharged her obligations to God in every respect, her efforts, in the face of her Son’s Crucifixion and Death, seemed to be a failure. For the moment it seemed as if man had triumphed over his God, his Creator. Christ’s enemies had accomplished His Death; He was cold in the tomb; and everything looked black and sombre.

All through His life Christ had been the embodiment of Love; but mankind, in general, preferred his own sinfulness to the love of the Son of God. Her Son had done His utmost to win the love of men. He yearned so intensely for Love that He died in order to gain it. Love cost Him His life; man crucified Him because He had loved the world so tenderly and pityingly. And when He did get a little love from one of His creatures, even from a profligate sinner, with what graciousness He received it. Look at His treatment of Mary Magdalen. He knew that she was His Penitent, kneeling by His Cross, bewailing her sins once more, washing His Feet again with her tears, offering Him her soul in His agony; knew that her whole being was wrung with passionate grief for Him, understanding now at what a cost her sins had been forgiven her. His dying gaze rested on Magdalen’s prostrate form with the deepest sympathy. Her love for God was the passport to His Heart; her sorrow, the revelation of God’s love.

He made the highest sacrificed for Love; and man had flung it back into His Face when He was in His death-agony, taunting Him with it. Why had no one come forward to protest against His Death, to save Him from the consequences of His Love? Where were the people who had followed Him about from place to place during the three years of His Public Life? They had crowded into the cities to see Him; had pressed into the wilderness to hear His teaching; had stormed the mountains to witness His Power. They had come to Him in all their ills and miseries to be cured by Him: "Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean"; "Lord, that I may see"; "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me" but had one of them been near Him to protect Him, or defend Him when He was sentenced to death?

Oh, yes! perhaps some had been near Him perhaps quite close; but with the fickleness of human nature, with its appalling ingratitude, they had lifted up their voices and cried: "Not this man, but Barabbas. Away with Him! Crucify Him!" "Crucify Him!" And the whole scene rose again in Mary’s mind until her agony and desolation overwhelmed her as with a boundless ocean of woe, and the Mother of God was confronted with an intensity of sorrow such as the world has never known, and which we can never truly fathom. But in the commemoration of Mary’s Sorrows, in this devotion to the "Queen of Martyrs," let us find our refuge and our help.

As the Mother of Sorrow, as the Mother of "the Man of Sorrows acquainted with grief," Mary makes her tenderest, deepest appeal to us. We have all known suffering, especially in these last few years. Let our sorrows bring us to Mary and unite us to her in the bond of love, for her whole life was one of suffering because of her intense love for her Son, "the despised and most abject of men." "The life of love is a life of sorrow." In her greatness in heaven, Mary cannot forget her poor children redeemed by the Precious Blood of her Son who weep and mourn "in this vale of tears," mourning the loss of loved ones, sorrowing over life’s anguish and tragedies to-day.

"Oh, Mary, Mother of Sorrows, we cast ourselves upon thy breast. Our hearts are often wounded and broken with the pains of this life. Console us, strengthen us. Queen of Martyrs, we implore thee by thy sorrows, by the sword which pierced thy soul on Calvary, by the tears with which thou didst bathe the lacerated Body of thy Son, be thou here below our strength and our consolation. Help us to support the ills of this life; and let us enter with thee into the mystery of sorrow, the sorrow which is the crucible wherein the soul is purified and becomes worthy of God, the sorrow which is the fertile seed of the glory and the joys of eternity."




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, SIXTH SORROW

Slightly modified from "A crown of tribulation: being meditations on the Seven Sorrows of our Blessed Lady Mary", 1920
OUR LADY RECEIVES THE DEAD
BODY OF HER SON
All ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow.
Lamentations i. 12.



JESUS was dead; but Mary did not die with Him. Upon her descended an agony which did not kill, and, not dying, yet she was crucified in her sixth great sorrow. Whilst Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were engaged in taking Our Lord’s Body down from the Cross, Mary sat at the foot of the Cross in poignant sorrow and grief, reflecting within her all the scenes of her Son’s Passion and Death; thinking of all she had witnessed, all she had heard; praying to God to support her in her desolation. "Look Thou upon me, and have mercy upon me; for I am alone and poor" (Psalm xxiv. 16).

In utter desolation and anguish of spirit she watched Joseph and Nicodemus release the Body of her Son from the Cross; and when It was finally lowered to the ground, how tenderly she must have stretched forth her hands, and how piteously, to receive It. Oh! sad and mournful Virgin-Mother! Has the world, in its whole record of suffering, any more touching picture to show us than that of Mary on Calvary’s blood-stained hill with the mangled Body of her Son in her arms slain by the world’s sins, killed by His own love! Surely if we are human at all, if we have a grain of pity in our natures, we must give it to this desolate Mother, whose Son we took from her and crucified, whose Heart we broke by our sinfulness, our wantonness and ingratitude. "Let my eyes shed down tears day and night, and let them not cease because the Virgin-Daughter of my people is afflicted with a great sorrow" (Jeremias xiv. 17).

As Mary had no equal in her love for her Son, so she had no equal in her sorrow. Human effort can never succeed in adequately portraying the sorrow of Mary when she received the lifeless Body of her Son in her arms. We can only marvel at her power, her capacity, for suffering; at her profound submission and conformity to the Will of God, at her invincible patience and constancy.

But God did not consider Mary’s sufferings too great since they were endured at the Foot of the Cross, and through them she became a partaker in the Passion of her Divine Son; but oh! how her heart was wrung with sorrow on beholding Him in her arms. He went from her in all the beauty of His manhood; she received Him back a mangled corpse. "My sorrow is above sorrow; my heart mourneth within me" (Jeremias viii. 18).

We can imagine that at first she could not speak; she could only gaze and gaze at the Body of her Son in an abandonment of love and sorrow. When at last she could speak when words came to her at all she murmured in tones of heart-piercing grief: "My Son! my Son!" At last Our Blessed Lady could embrace Him, could weep over His Wounds, and by manifestations of affection could show Him her ardent pity and love. And He has great need of love; for truly the world has not loved Him. Look at what it has done to Him. "Lo! this is our God"; and yet, "They have done to Him whatsoever they had a mind" (St. Matthew xvii. 12).

His Body is a mass of wounds; there is not a sound place in Him: "We have thought Him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted"; there are cruel, gaping wounds in His Hands and Feet; the red wound in His side penetrating to the Heart of the world’s Redeemer; His Head is crowned with thorns; His Body bruised and torn, crushed and mangled from the awful scourging; He is scarcely recognizable in His afflictions and this outraged, insulted, dishonoured Body is the Body of the Eternal Son of God, with the Godhead within It; "O, my people, what have I done to thee, or in what have I molested thee? Answer thou Me" (Micheas vi. 3).

As Our Lady realized all the terrible sufferings which her Son had endured in His Passion and Death, her soul was well-nigh crushed with pain, and death might well indeed have been a glad release to this agonized Mother. "I am come into the depths of the sea, and a tempest hath overwhelmed me" (Psalm Ixviii. 3).

But Mary did not die. She was to teach us how we should bear our sufferings, to draw us to her in our sorrows, to pass through every phase of suffering herself, and then to meet her Son again as the Risen Christ, the Conqueror of Death, the Healer of Pain, the Source of Joy- When we receive Our Blessed Lord in Holy Communion, when He comes to us in His tender love, do we give Him the adoration which Mary poured out over His mangled, bleeding Body? Does the thought of His Death remind us of our own? We are always receiving from God do we ever give Him anything in return? Do we give Him our whole selves in return for the gift of His Body and Blood? "He asks so little that He may give so much." Do we mourn over our sins with Him in Holy Communion as Mary mourned over the sins of the world when she saw the havoc wrought in Him by sin, and see our own sins amongst the mass of wounds with which His Sacred Body was bruised and torn? "What are these wounds that I see in the midst of Thy Hands? With these I was wounded in the house of them that loved Me" (Zacharias xiii. 6). Do we understand that by His wounds ours are healed, that His sorrow softens ours; that in the moment of Holy Communion He comes to us with all the merits He acquired by His Sufferings; do we ever think of all He had to endure before He gave Himself to us in Holy Communion?

Be comforted, be comforted, my people, saith your God. Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her, for her evil is come to an end, her iniquity is forgiven; she hath received of the hand of the Lord double for all her sins "(Isaias xl. 1-2).

With what unutterable tenderness and love must Our Lady have removed, as far as she could, all traces of the outrages which her Divine Son had received in His Sacred Passion and Death; and though her heart was broken at the sight, her courage never failed her for one moment.

As she proceeded with this piteous office, the appalling nature of His Sufferings was more and more revealed to her, together with her Son’s love for men. How tenderly would she have held those wounded hands and gazed on those arms which had been opened wide on the Cross those arms which, to-day, are ever ready to open wide again to receive back the outcast and the sinner. We sin, and He draws us back to His Love in tender forgiveness; we raise up our hand against Him, and He stoops down and gives us His Hand to kiss in token of love and forgiveness.

Bring me to Him who sought on earth for me; Who lived, divinely sorrowful, for me; Thy Son, the Son of God, who died for me.

The sight of all His sufferings made Mary’s heart bleed, and she thought again with compassion of the sinful children of earth whose Mother she had become through the Death of her Son upon the Cross.
Jesus Christ gave His Mother to us in His death-agony that she, who had suffered so heavily herself, might help us to bear our sufferings sent to us through God’s love. Had any mother ever loved as she, and had anyone ever suffered as she? "O all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow." "The life of love is a life of sorrow." Did she not know every phase, every aspect of Suffering and Desolation? Was she not the Mother of the "Man of Sorrow"? There is not a pain or a sorrow, not a grief or a torment which the human heart is capable of bearing, which Mary has not experienced also. Every one found its way into her heart on that melancholy spring evening when the dead Body of Christ was put into her arms, found their way in and swept in upon her soul till it had no life apart from woe.

Oh, Mary, Queen of Martyrs, if you had only been the Mother of radiant Joy and not the Mother of Sorrow, if you had only caressed the sweet Babe of Bethlehem and not embraced the Crucified Christ, could we love and honour you as we do; could we come to you in our griefs and sorrows with the same confidence and trust as we do now? You understand Sorrow; you are one with us in our griefs. And so we beg your prayers, your aid, in our individual sorrows, both spiritual and temporal; in the cumulative sorrows which press so heavily upon humanity at the present time, in the tragedy of Pain and Suffering which to-day is scourging, cleansing and purifying the world. "This day is a day of wrath, a day of tribulation and distress, a day of calamity and misery, a day of darkness and obscurity" (Sophonias i. 15).

And to whom can we better turn in our misery to be comforted, to learn patience and resignation, than to the Divine Victim of Calvary and His Mother, that sad Mother of the crucified Christ, whose heart, too, was crucified on Calvary?