28 April 2017

Feast of St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort

Brief account of this great saint of Mary here.

St. Louis, pray for us!

Breaking News: Knights Issue Preconditions on Fra Festing's Travel

One of my old contacts now in Rome has sent me this raw video of the actual demands the Knights placed on this noble traveler as he sought an audience of a certain powerful someone.

27 April 2017

There's at Least One

As part of my preparation for total consecration to Jesus through Mary according to the St. Louis de Montfort method, I'm using an excellent book from Angelus Press as the basis of daily meditations: Consecration to Mary, by Fr. Helmuts Libietis.

I had read at times in the past that Marian devotion was ordained by God to grow, and to become especially important in the latter days of time.  God, Who loves the Virgin for her humility and desire to be hidden, desires that she be acknowledged and loved by all, and to be given honor.  St. Louis de Montfort is not alone in predicting that Mary's devoted children will rise to be the great saints of those times. 

Mary is the instrument, not because is bound by nature to do so, but because He has willed that Mary be the Mediatrix of All Graces. God gave Mary the choice to become Mother of the God Man; Mary brought forth Christ into the world; Mary brought Him to St. John the Baptist and it was her words that caused him to "leap in the womb", working the first removal of original sin in a fallen human creature; she brought Him to the Temple to fulfill the law and prophecy of the Messias; the first of His public miracles was performed in response to her intercession; she offered Him for our salvation, and it was Mary that He chose to be the Mother of all Christians; she was the mother of the Church's Head, and thus of His Body, being present at the Church's birth on Pentecost. Why is it any wonder that she should be instrumental in the last coming of that same Son of hers?

When Mary has struck her roots in a soul, she produces there marvels of grace, which she alone can produce, because she alone is the fruitful Virgin who never has had and never will have, her equal in purity and in fruitfulness. Mary has produced, together with the Holy Ghost, the greatest thing which has been or ever will be-- a God Man; and she will consequently produce the greatest saints that there will be in the end of time. The formation and education of the great saints, who shall come at the end of the world, are reserved for her. For it is only that singular and miraculous Virgin who can produce, in union with the Holy Ghost, singular and extraordinary things.

In another passage, St. Louis explains his devotion to Mary is one which is unknown to many and practiced by few-- consisting in surrendering oneself to Mary, and to Jesus through her, without any possible reserve, giving her everything and performing all our actions with, in, through and for her.   

There was a particular claim that struck me when I meditated on it, and my wife pointed out a fact that just blew me away. 

We willingly and lovingly and under no constraint, consecrate and sacrifice to her unreservedly our body and soul. We give to her our material possessions, such as house, family, income, and even the inner possessions of our soul, namely, our merits, graces, virtues and atonements.

Notice that, in this devotion, we sacrifice to Jesus through Mary all that is most dear to us, that is, the right to dispose of ourselves, of the value of our prayers and alms, of our acts of self-denial and atonements. This is a sacrifice which no religious order would require of its members. We leave everything to the free disposal of Our Lady, for her to use as she wills for the greater glory of God, of which she alone is perfectly aware (emphasis added).

That phrase-- a sacrifice which no religious order would require of its members-- is what struck me, and independently also my wife. But it was she who told me why. While not canonically a religious order, and I cannot speak to whether this is a question of strict obedience, there is one society whose members daily consecrate themselves in this spirit to Mary: The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

In its daily consecration, which I have previously posted here, each member consecrates everything to Mary every single day-- the Institute, their family, persons, good actions, etc., leaving to Mary "the entire and full right of disposing of us and all that belongs to us."

This Institute, canonically founded in 1990, consecrated to Mary in Her Immaculate Conception, has performed so much good, and been shepherded through all the tumults of the Church in these "latter days", that when my wife mentioned this consecration to me, in light of all de Montfort said, I could at last clearly see the reason for their good works and vitality. Of course, it took me long enough to grasp this, when any Institute priest would have, and has, credited her for years.

So, I guess there is at least one order who requires this devotion. Why this never struck me in this way before I cannot say.

May Mary continue to protect the Institute and all of us in time and eternity.


 

25 April 2017

To Jesus through Mary

When you follow Mary you will not go astray; when you pray to her, you will not despair; when your mind is on her, you will not wander; when she holds you up, you will not fall; when she protects you, you will have no fear; when she guides you, you will feel no fatigue; when she is on your side, you will arrive safely home.

She keeps her Son from striking us; she prevents the devil from harming us; she preserves virtue in us; she prevents our merits from being lost and our graces from receding.

--St. Bernard

20 April 2017

Easter Thursday

Dic nobis Maria
Quid vidisti in via?
'Sepulchrum Christi viventis
Et gloriam vidi resugentis.
Angelicos testes,
Sudarium et vestes.'

Surrexit Christus spes mea, 
Praecedet suos in Galilaeam.
Credendum est magis soli
Mariae veraci,
Quam Iudaeorum turbae fallaci.

Scimum Christum surrexisse
A mortuis vere;
Tu nobis, victor rex, miserere.
Amen

18 April 2017

Easter Tuesday Jury Duty

Christus surrexit! Surrexit vere!

Two days with alternating periods of reflection time and stultifying boredom, reading Graham Greene, surrounded by Man and the civil trappings of what in former times might have been called law, two days into the celebration of Life's triumph over death.

Preparing for total consecration to Mary according to de Montfort. It's a wonder, yet so typical, that it took me this long. Will culminate on May 13-- the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. It's as though Our dear Mother is rounding up a straggler, the rather dim-but-lost-without-her child, hurrying him into the storm cellar before the mother of all tornados hits the house. Praying this week for a true knowledge of self. Jury duty is as good a place as any to find it.

I would ask for your prayers as I prepare, especially from those blessed ones already consecrated to her.

My prayers for all of you.

Sorry for the little interlude. Just seems to all go together somehow. And like I said, I'm sitting in jury duty.



14 April 2017

Triduum

In the Garden

Bob Dylan

When they came for Him in the garden, did they know?
When they came for Him in the garden, did they know?
Did they know He was the Son of God, did they know that He was Lord?
Did they hear when He told Peter, "Peter, put up your sword"?
When they came for Him in the garden, did they know?
When they came for Him in the garden, did they know?

When He spoke to them in the city, did they hear?
When He spoke to them in the city, did they hear?
Nicodemus came at night so he wouldn't be seen by men
Saying, "Master, tell me why a man must be born again."
When He spoke to them in the city, did they hear?
When He spoke to them in the city, did they hear?

When He healed the blind and crippled, did they see?
When He healed the blind and crippled, did they see?
When He said, "Pick up your bed and walk, why must you criticize?
Same thing My Father do, I can do likewise."
When He healed the blind and crippled, did they see?
When He healed the blind and crippled, did they see?

Did they speak out against Him, did they dare?
Did they speak out against Him, did they dare?
The multitude wanted to make Him king, put a crown upon His head
Why did He slip away to a quiet place instead?
Did they speak out against Him, did they dare?
Did they speak out against Him, did they dare?

When He rose from the dead, did they believe?
When He rose from the dead, did they believe?
He said, "All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth."
Did they know right then and there what that power was worth?
When He rose from the dead, did they believe?
When He rose from the dead, did they believe?

When He rose from the dead, did they believe?
When He rose from the dead, did they believe?
He said, "All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth."
Did they know right then and there what that power was worth?
When He rose from the dead, did they believe?

When He rose from the dead, did they believe?

13 April 2017

President Trump Confirms Fatima Prophecy

It's Holy Thursday, and in the spirit of the unintentional prophecy of Caiaphas about our Lord, I present the following Tweet today from President Trump:

Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia. At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!

09 April 2017

Palm Sunday

May we join in the praise and honor to the King of Kings, and may we remain faithful throughout the scandal of the passion-- His and ours.  May we remain a faithful Jerusalem, and thus be spared Jerusalem's fate.

A blessed Holy Week to you all.

08 April 2017

St. Francis de Sales Oratory Wins Most Beautiful Church in America Contest

As you have followed and likely know by now, the Oratory won the Art & Liturgy National Churchpionship 2017 in voting that concluded Thursday night.  Thank you if you voted.

There are other stories covering the news, but I enjoyed this piece at St. Louis Magazine.

Low Masses every day at 8 am; Additional High Mass on Sunday at 10am; other Masses through the week as indicated in the bulletin.  If you haven't assisted at Solemn High Mass at the Oratory, you are missing a truly mystical experience.  As I commented on another site, the Mass is infinitely more beautiful than even this beautiful church.  Of course, the Mass in such a setting only adds to the total beauty and harmony of the worship of God.


07 April 2017

"You are not liked at St. Francis de Sales."

I have received lots and lots of emails and comments in the ten years I've written this blog. Many of them have been directed to-- or at-- me personally. I'm used to receiving the bouquets and brickbats, so to speak.  Much of the vitriol sent my way actually amuses me, and and other times motivates me.

Yet I have to admit that last night I received an attempted comment on one of my posts that has to be the single most hateful, mean-spirited, and depressingly hurtful thing I've gotten in ten years. The author used my real name, I suppose as a threat (?) or sign of their moral intensity.  Re-reading it in the light of day takes the edge off of my initial reaction.  Who knows? Maybe it's not that bad. All I can say is that when I read it, it bothered me a great deal. So, congratulations, anonymous friend, your comment will be published (redacted, but otherwise verbatim):

--------, I saw your comment in the Post Dispatch today. It was sick, disgusting, and anti-Catholic. I know who you are and will be watching you at St Francis de Sales. The abortion legislation will be overturned in the city of St Louis by the Missouri legislature but State Senator Onder from Lake St Louis has no right to change the name of the St Louis Zoo to the "Abortion Sanctuary City Zoo." If the people of St Charles want to pay a tax, that's fine. If they don't that's fine and that is their right. Let them vote. That is their right. That's their choice. But if you applaud him saying we should change our zoo to that name, you are a sick human being full of anger. You are not liked at St Francis de Sales. See you in the confessional line. -------- you do not help people come back to the church of Jesus Christ. You push them away with your arrogance and pride. Please be advised.

-Catholic City Resident and Latin Mass goer

Thank you, Catholic City Resident and Latin Mass goer. It is good to know that I'll be watched by someone who knows my name and thinks I'm a sick human being full of anger, while I assist at Mass in a place where I am not liked. 

Man, do I love blogging.

03 April 2017

Let's Get This Done

Since I've already asked you to vote for St. Francis de Sales Oratory in the Art and Liturgy Church Madness Contest Final Four (and thank you very much if you did), I can hardly help asking you to vote for the Oratory now that it is in the finals, right?

Voting closes Thursday night at 11:59 pm, but why not just vote right now?

02 April 2017

Sunday Until 11:59pm-- Vote for St. Francis de Sales Oratory

How about voting right now?

Art and Liturgy has been hosting an NCAA tourney-style contest of the most beautiful churches in America. Our own St. Francis de Sales Oratory is in the final four, and the vote is close.

Why not vote right now?