Today, to honor Saint Thérèse of Lisieux on her feast day, we offer some quotes and prayers of hers, with which we hope to gain insight into her spirituality.
The following essay is from a small book I treasure, “Thoughts of the Servant of God Thérèse of the Child Jesus”.
He whose Heart ever watches, taught me that while for a soul whose faith equals but a tiny grain of mustard seed, He works miracles, in order that this faith which is so weak may be fortified; yet for His intimate friends, for His Mother, He did not work miracles until He had put their faith to the test.
Did He not let Lazarus die though Martha and Mary had sent to tell Him that he was sick? At the marriage at Cana, the Blessed Virgin having asked Him to come to the assistance of the Master of the house, did He not reply that His hour was not yet come? But after the trial, what a recompense! Water changed to wine, Lazarus restored to life. . . (Hist. d’une ame, Ch. VI)
Those words are so jarring to our worldly ears today! A child stating that he wants to die seems a terrible tragedy. But in truth, to want to leave this world behind for an eternity of union with the One Who alone is pure, true Love and Light and Truth, Who fulfills all our yearnings for goodness and beauty, peace and joy, is a most fundamental truth of our faith.
“Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such.” (Matt. 19,14)
We have many moving testimonies of this clear knowledge concerning their future, demonstrated by Jacinta and Francisco. Ti Marto relates the following anecdote, recorded by Father de Marchi:
“One day, two ladies were talking to Francisco. They wanted to know what career he would choose when he grew up. “Do you want to be a carpenter?” one of them asked. “No, ma’am.” Another said: “A soldier, then?” “No, ma’am.”
“Would you like to be a doctor?” “Not that either.” “I know what you’d like to be… a priest! To say Mass… hear confessions, preach… isn’t that true?”
“Pray, pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them!”
Although Francisco, who was a contemplative soul, recognised that his essential task was the reparative work of consoling Our Lord in the most Blessed Sacrament, Jacinta knew that she must above all else, sacrifice to save souls from the eternal damnation she had seen so graphically depicted. In her memoirs, Lúcia tells us,
“Some of the things revealed in the Secret made a very strong impression on Jacinta. … How is it that Jacinta, small as she was, let herself be possessed by such a spirit of penance and mortification, and understood it so well? I think the reason is this: firstly, God willed to bestow on her a special grace, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and secondly, it was because she had looked upon hell, and had seen the ruin of souls who fall therein. … Jacinta took this matter of making sacrifices for the conversion of sinners so much to heart, that she never let a single opportunity escape her.”
“We were playing one day at the well I have already mentioned. Close to it, there was a grape vine belonging to Jacinta’s mother. She cut a few clusters and brought them to us to eat. But Jacinta never forgot her sinners. ‘We won’t eat them,’ she said, ‘we’ll offer this sacrifice for sinners.’ Then she ran out with the grapes and gave them to the other children playing on the road. She returned radiant with joy, for she had found our poor children, and given them grapes. … Another time, my aunt called us to come and eat some figs which she had brought home, and indeed they would have given anybody an appetite. Jacinta sat down happily next to the basket, with the rest of us, and picked up the first fig. She was just about to eat it, when she suddenly remembered, and said: ‘It’s true! Today we haven’t yet made a single sacrifice for sinners! We’ll have to make this one.’ She put the fig back in the basket, and made the offering; and we, too, left our figs in the basket for the conversion of sinners.
previously posted on : september 18, 2020 by : evensong
“This is the great science of the saints, so little heeded by the worldly . . .
In this science I wish thee to be studious and wise,
for with it thou canst buy thyself all good things.”
(Blessed Virgin Mary, Mystical City of God)
Our Most Blessed Mother gave us, through Venerable Mother Maria de Agreda beautiful and useful meditations for precisely this time in history. She referred to her teaching as “the science of the saints”.
My Son and Lord taught us this science when He said: “I am the way, the truth and the life: no one cometh to my Father except through Me” (John 14, 6). Tell me then, my daughter: if my Lord and Master has made Himself the life and the way for men through His Passion and Death, is it not evident that in order to go that way and live up to this truth, they must follow Christ crucified, afflicted, scourged and affronted? Consider the ignorance of men who wish to come to the Father without following Christ, since they expect to reign with God without suffering or imitating His Passion, yea without even a thought of accepting any part of His suffering and Death, or of thanking Him for it.
They want it to procure for them the pleasures of this life as well as of eternal life, while Christ their Creator has suffered the most bitter pains and torments in order to enter heaven and to show them by His example how they are to find the way of light. . . I do not count him a devoted child who does not suffer with me and my divine Son.
Previously posted on : september 10, 2021 by : evensong
For today, we focus on the words of a saintly prelate who devoted his life to counteracting the forces of revolution set loose in the Church as a result of the refusal of the shepherds of the Church to heed Our Lady’s message at Fatima..
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre set an example for all priests in his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in particular, to Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima. Today, we recall his pilgrimage to her shrine at Fatima on August 22, 1987.
Sermon by Archbishop Lefebvre in Fatima, August 22, 1987
Let us ask the Blessed Virgin then to unravel this mystery for us; it is a martyrdom for all who live in this era…Let us give thanks to God and to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary for having gathered us today, on this feast of her Immaculate Heart, to sing her praises and to try for a few moments, for a few days, to live out our faith. For if the Virgin Mary wished to come to this land of Portugal, to Fatima, if She wished to appear to these few children to give them a message for the world, it is surely because She desired that our souls be lifted up toward heaven.
Let us try, then, my dear brothers and sisters, to place ourselves in the setting in which these little shepherds found themselves, like the persons who came to accompany them on the 13th of each month of that year 1917, until the month of October, when that extraordinary miracle took place, right here. Right here because, they say, this miracle was seen within a 40-kilometer [25-mile] radius of Fatima, and consequently, if we had been present on that day, October 13, 1917, we would have seen that extraordinary phenomenon of the spinning sun, shooting out lights of all colors, drenching the entire region with its magnificent colors. And it did this for thrice ten minutes! Finally, we would have seen the sun descending as it were from heaven to draw near to the faithful who were present, to manifest the truth of the apparition of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to these children of Fatima. Continue reading “That the Church May Regain Her Splendor, 2022”→
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is of the essence of the Message of Fatima.
In order to help us understand the importance of this devotion, we offer today an essay by Saint John Eudes, from his work, “The Admirable Heart of Mary”:
“… Listen to what He revealed in 1300 to St. Mechtilde, one of the most glorious daughters of St. Benedict, whose writings have been approved by learned and devout doctors. One day during Advent, as the Saint sought to salute the Mother of God in a most pleasing manner, Our Lord Himself deigned to instruct her as follows: Continue reading “The Most Admirable Heart of Mary”→
I offer it to enrich our devotions for Our Lady’s birthday and there is no need for me to comment on it, as it is a perfect gem most beautiful to adorn her day! May it be fruitful for your meditations as well!
Born in Damascus, the future Andrew of Crete remained mute for the first seven years of his life, gaining the power of speech at age seven after the reception of his first Holy Communion. At fifteen he entered the Monastery of Saint Sava. In 681, he was sent, still an archdeacon, to the Sixth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, where he stood out for his zeal and his eloquence. He was later appointed Archbishop of Crete. He died around 740.
Homily on the Nativity of the Virgin Mary
Now Adam offers from us and for us elements unto God, the most worthy fruit of mankind: Mary, in Whom the new Adam is rendered Bread for the restoration of the human race.
Now is opened the great bosom of virginity, and the Church, in the matrimonial manner, places upon it a pure, truly spotless pearl.
Now human worthiness accepts the gift of the first creation and returns to its former condition; the majesty darkened by formless sin, through the conjoining by His Mother by birth “of Him Beauteous by Goodness,” man receives beauty in a most excellent and God-seemly visage. And this creating is done truly by the creation, and recreation by theosis, and theosis by a return to the original perfection!
Now a barren one has become a mother beyond expectation, and the Theotokos has given birth without knowing man, and She sanctifies natural birth.
Now the majestic color of the Divine purple is readied and impoverished human nature is clothed in royal worthiness.
Now, according to prophecy, sprouts forth the Offshoot of David, Who, having eternally become the green-sprouting Staff of Aaron, has blossomed forth for us with the Staff of Power: Christ.
Now from Judah and David is descended a Virgin Maiden, rendering of Herself the royal and priestly worthiness of Him Who has taken on the priesthood of Aaron according to the order of Melchizedek (Heb 7:15).
Now, grace purifying the mystical principle of the divine priesthood, weaving symbolically the garment of the Levitical seed, and God dyed the royal purple with the blood of David.
Now the renewal of our nature is begun, and the world responding, assuming a God-seemly form, receives the principle of a second Divine creation. Amen.
Prayer to the Blessed Virgin
Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Hail, O instrument of our joy, by whom the sentence of our condemnation has been revoked and changed into a judgment of blessing.
Hail, O temple of the glory of God, sacred abode of the King of heaven. You are the reconciliation of God with men.
Hail, O Mother of our joy: in truth you are blessed, since you alone, among all women, have been found worthy to be the Mother of our Creator. All nations call you blessed. O Mary, if I put my trust in you, I will be saved; if I am under your protection I have nothing to fear, because to be your servant is to have the invincible weapons of salvation that God grants only to those He wants to save.
O Mother of mercy, appease your Son: when you were on earth you occupied only a small part of it, but today that you are raised to the highest heavens, the whole world considers you as the common mercy seat of all nations.
We therefore beg you, O Blessed Virgin, to grant us the help of your prayers with God; prayers which have for us more value and worth than all the treasures of the earth; prayers which make God propitious to our sins, and obtain for us a great abundance of graces to receive the forgiveness of these same sins and to practice virtue; prayers which arrest our enemies, confuse their designs, and triumph over their efforts. Amen.
The following is a restoration from a post of 2015.
This is the introduction to a planned series of posts in which we hope to place the Message of Fatima, particularly the Chastisement and the Second Vatican Council in context. Our Lady of Fatima’s message is a heaven-sent offer to restore faith in the Church and peace in our world.
Even in 1917, it was clear that heresy, apostasy and schism were endangering the faith. To correct the growing secular humanism, Our Lady came, requesting prayer and penance, and offering the Pope and hierarchy a simple way to reaffirm their obedience to God. However, the hierarchy of the Church, while giving lip service to the Message of Fatima, in fact refused to comply. By the disobedience of the Popes, God withdrew His grace more and more, until the year 1960. Pope John XXIII’s final act of disobedience set the Church adrift.
THE CHURCH UNMOORED
To understand the concept of “the Church adrift”, it is helpful to recall St. John Bosco’s Vision of the Two Pillars. In May, 1862, Don Bosco told of a dream he had of the Church as a stately ship in stormy waters, being besieged by many lesser ships. The ship’s commander, the Pope, was attempting to bring the ship between two pillars to which he would moor it. After the Commander Pope was killed, another Pope took over and successfully moored the ship between the two columns. Don Bosco identified the smaller of the two pillars as Mary, Help of Christians and the larger one as the Most Blessed Sacrament, Salvation of Believers. Continue reading “Fatima, Vatican II and the Chastisement I”→
From Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange we offer this thoughtful meditation on the love of Jesus.
The Strength and Tenderness of Our Savior’s Love for Us
Christ’s love descends upon our souls from the summit of the beatific vision, and in Jesus’ love for us we find the same two qualities which are so different: the deepest tenderness and the most heroic strength. Our Lord’s tender mercy for souls did not lessen for a moment, in spite of all the ingratitude, the opposition, and the hatred that He met on His path.
We human beings find it easy to love with tender affection a few persons in our family or among our friends, but often this tenderness is entirely a matter of superficial feelings. . .
Our hearts are poor, miserly with their affection: the indifferent remain outside, and all the more so those who have offended or wounded us. Toward the latter we are even hard and sometimes pitiless. The supernatural tenderness of Christ for souls is deep, because its primary object is the soul and the desire for its eternal happiness. At the same time, it is universal, immense, and extends to everyone. Continue reading “The Strength and Tenderness of the Love of Jesus, 2022”→
“Saint Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world.”
This was the promise of Our Lady of the Rosary on August 19, 1917 in her fourth visit to the little saints of Fatima at Valinhos. In this visit, we see Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother welcoming us into the safety and security of their own Holy Family. Let’s make use of this blessing! Note here, however, that devotion to this great saint is best expressed in conjunction with devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. Please do not be misled.
In times of trial, go to St. Joseph!
We know that the Sacred Hearts of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Immaculate Mother are inseparable. And we know that this self-same Mother is also the most pure and perfect Spouse of the Holy Ghost, and the most beloved and treasured child of the Eternal Father. We know as well that this loving Father entrusted these two most beloved beings, Jesus and Mary, to St. Joseph to guard and protect them from the hostile powers of the Lord of the World and those who serve him. And now, in these dark and calamitous times when our families and our very faith are under attack from those who should protect and nurture it, we turn again to St. Joseph, to the Holy Family, inseparably united to the Most Holy Trinity, to keep us safe in the faith of all times.
Do not be surprised if soon the few small certainties and comforts of the faith are taken from us, for as Cardinal Manning said,
These are times of sifting. Our Divine Lord is standing in the Church: “His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His (own) and He will gather the grain into His barn, and will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”It is a time of trial, when ‘some of the learned shall fall’, and those only shall be saved who are steadfast to the end. … Saint Alphonsus says: ‘Hence St. Bonaventure says that in the Mass God manifests to us all the love that He has borne us, and includes in it, as in a compendium, all His benefits. On this account the Devil has always endeavored to abolish the Mass throughout the world by means of heretics, making them the precursors of Antichrist who, before all things, will endeavor to abolish, and in fact will, in punishment for the sins of men, succeed in abolishing the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, according to the prediction of Daniel: ‘And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice because of sins.’
We should understand, and help others to understand, the importance of using the precious little time we have left to bond ourselves as securely as possible to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To this end, I have posted often on Total Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
And now, I hope that you will avail yourselves of an additional help to accomplish this, which is Consecration to St. Joseph, the faithful Guardian of Jesus and Mary, appointed by our loving Father Himself.
At Fatima in 1917, Our Lady promised the little shepherds that in October, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus would come, as Lucia recalled, “to bless us with peace”. We need this peace! And while we struggle to live our Consecrations to Jesus through Mary, St. Joseph goes before us to lead us safely to our goal, so that we may be truly one holy family, now and always, in the glory of God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
To this end, we offer an 18 day program for Consecration to St. Joseph. The Consecration should occur on the 19th day, which should be a day of Mass and Holy Communion. If you are unable to fit the whole program into your busy schedules, perhaps just try to read through it, and incorporate the prayers and practices which seem to fit best for you. First, the Prayer of Consecration.