A Cycle of Death and Terror

NOTE at 4:00 pm Jan. 13, 2023: The link to the Lab Leak Hypothesis is restored. Thank you for calling it to my attention.

The following is an essay previously published in our Newsletter, Evensong Reflections. in about 2020, if I recall correctly. The newsletter contained much that I did not post on Return to Fatima, and if there is interest, I’ll publish more.

“Man has the power to unleash a cycle of death and terror, but he is not able to stop it . . . The faith in vast regions of the earth risks being extinguished, like a flame without fuel.”
(Pope Benedict XVI, May 13, 2010 at Fatima)

Ten years earlier, as Cardinal Ratzinger he had spoken differently. Now, though, he reversed course, affirming that, “He deceives himself who thinks that the prophetic mission of Fatima is concluded.” He added: “There are indicated future realities of the Church which little by little are manifesting themselves… and therefore it is the sufferings of the Church which are announced.”

Three times, popes have come to Fatima on May 13 to speak of the prophetic meaning of Fatima; that is, Pope Paul VI on May 13, 1967, for the 50th Anniversary of Our Lady’s first visit, May 13, 2000, then 33 years later in 2000, Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the Beatification of Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto, and lastly, in 2010, the above mentioned visit by Benedict XVI.

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Devotion to the Divine Infant Jesus

previously posted on : november 29, 2015  by : evensong

For today, I have a restored post from back in 2015 on devotion to the Holy Infant Jesus; a favorite devotion of mine and, I believe, a very good remedy for all this unhealthy focus on “educating” innocent children about the nastier side of life. We have somehow allowed the lunatics to run the asylum and no one seems able to stop this idiocy of forbidding any teaching of Christian culture while at the same time “teaching” them to appreciate the sleazier side of sexuality today.

And so, I offer this little post on devotion to the Divine Infant Jesus which is my antidote to the toxic public education agenda.  All around the world the Holy Infant is honored in the remaining outposts of Catholic culture. Whether it be Atocha, Cebu, Aracoeli or Prague, the Holy Child draws us by His perfect humility and loving obedience to Our Father in Heaven. Devotion to the Holy Infant is complementary to that of Fatima. Both call us to mortification, true humility and perfect obedience. And devotion to the Divine Infant is a necessary part of the devotion recommended by St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, the beloved Little Flower.

Devotion to the Infant Jesus originated in Spain and then spread to many countries in a variety of manifestations. Many saints have been favored with this devotion, notably St. Anthony of Padua/Lisbon, St. Teresa of Avila and St. St Thérèse of Lisieux and Sister Lucia of Fatima.

Here’s a bit of background on just a few of the numerous devotions to the Holy Infant Jesus:
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The Feast of the Holy Family, 2023

previously posted on January 7, 2018

Today, the first Sunday after Epiphany, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family, which is the last time in the liturgical year in which we honor the hidden life of Jesus. It is especially important to Consecrate our children, indeed our families today and we have resources for this both in the sidebar to the right and at top of the page just beneath the title, where a banner displays our pages you will see Family Consecration.

For today, we return to the Feast of the Holy Family to renew our faith, our hope and most of all, take heart in our love for the Holy Family and their abiding love for us.

In the Gospel today, we read of the event which comprises the Fifth Joyful Mystery, the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. In this, we commemorate the first words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel, “How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

St. Luke then tells us that Jesus returned to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph “and was subject to them.” In this brief account, we consider several important lessons: First, Jesus establishes His mission in His first recorded words,  “I must be about My Father’s business.” And second, Jesus was subject to Mary and Joseph. The Son of God first asserts the primacy of God, by stating that His mission is to serve the Father in all things, then Jesus affirms the importance of family, “He was subject to them.”

On the firm bedrock of total obedience to God in all things, we can most perfectly live out our love of God within our families, whether they be our personal families or our religious communities. If love of God comes first, what follows cannot fail to serve Him.
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Of Wise Men and Fools, 2023

Among the obstacles faced by the Magi, perhaps the greatest was the sheer indifference of the Israelites themselves. And yet, the Magi persisted, seeking this new born King. Our essay is based on a sermon from St. Jean-Baptiste Marie Vianney.

Let us consider to what degree the persistence of the Wise men attained. On their arrival at Jerusalem, the star which had guided them on the journey disappeared. They imagined without doubt that they had reached the place where our Saviour was born, and so they expected that the whole of Jerusalem would be filled with joy at the birth of its Redeemer.

What astonishment was theirs to see that Jerusalem showed no signs of joy whatever and in fact, did not even know its Redeemer is born at all! The Jews are so surprised to see how the Wise men came to worship the Messiah, that the Wise men began to wonder why the event was announced to them at all. Instead of bolstering their hopes, it seemed to them that their faith was being tested.  Was it not rather calculated to deter them from their journey, and to tempt them to return home secretly, for fear that they might become the laughing stock of Jerusalem?

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Epiphany, 2023

Today, January 6, is the Feast of the Epiphany, the Manifestation of God.

“And the gentiles shall walk in Thy light, and Kings in the brightness of Thy rising … all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord.” (Isaias 60, 3,6)

In years past, we offered the poem, “The Journey of the Magi” by T.S. Eliot, and we do also today, but we have added another Epiphany poem for this year of Our lord 2023; this one from a sainted English martyr,  the Jesuit priest, Robert Southwell.

First, Eliot’s well known poem, which reflects his very modern response to the discovery of Christ.  It is increasingly rare for modern man to discover Christ in any meaningful way, for the bitter irony of the modern intellect  precludes them from receiving the Christ Child with a child’s simplicity.

The Journey of the Magi

by T. S. Eliot

‘A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

Eliot was raised in the residue of protestantism, a non-Christian sect , Unitarianism, which considers itself Christian witout actually believing that Jesus Christ is God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, for indeed, Unitarians do not believe in the Trinity at all. Eliot converted  to Anglicanism  at a time when many Anglicans were returning to the Holy Catholic faith.

Now for our second poem:

“They found the child with Mary, His Mother, and falling down, they adored Him.” (Matt. 2,11)

The Epiphany
by Saint Robert Southwell, S. J.

To blaze the rising of this glorious sun,
A glittering star appeared in the East
Whose sight to pilgrim-toils three sages won,
To seek the light they long had in request;
And by this star to nobler star they pace,
Whose arms did their desired sun embrace.

Still was the sky wherein these planets shine,
And want the cloud that did eclipse their ways,
Yet through this cloud their light  did passage find,
And pierced these sages hearts by secret ways,
Which made them know the Ruler of the skies,
By infant tongue and looks of babyish eyes.

Heaven at her light, Earth blusheth at her pride,
And of their pomp these peers ashamed be;
Their crowns, their robes ,their trains they set aside,
When God’s poor cottage, clothes and crew they see;
All glorious things their glory now despise,
Since God contempt doth more than glory prize.

Three gifts they bring, three gifts they bear away;
For incense, myrrh and gold; faith, hope and love;
And with their gifts the givers’ hearts do stay,
Their mind from Christ no parting can remove;
His humble state, His stall, His poor retinue
They fancy more than all their rich revenue.

Had Eliot been able to free himself from the anti-Catholic toxins of protestantism, he would have appreciated Father Southwell’s beautiful, simple and pure poetic tribute to the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Of course the obvious difference between the two is that Southwell experienced his own epiphany as he suffered the contempt of the world and its rulers for  the love of his Master, Jesus Christ; while Eliot’s epiphany was set in the desolate twentieth century wasteland, our legacy from the protestant attack on the Holy Catholic Church . Eliot recognised that Christian culture was crumbling around him, but his protestant upbringing left him unable to fully appreciate that there can be no Christian civilization without the Holy Catholic Church, Christ’s Mystical Body on earth.

What Luther began, the current occupants seem determined, with a hellish intensity, to do. Perhaps we may be called to follow Saint Robert Southwell. Note well, “… God contempt doth more than glory prize.” That is to say, turn from the world where glory is sought and honored, for God, in these latter days, reminds us that He values the contempt of the world and despises its honors.

Once we grasp this fact, it follows that we understand that perhaps we might learn from the English martyrs, murdered by protestants who were trying to extirpate the Catholic faith. Decide for yourselves what that means during this dark night of the Passion of the Church. For, make no mistake, Golgotha follows Gethsemane.

Open your hearts to the Lord and serve Him only: and He will free you from the hands of your enemies. With all your heart return to Him, and take away from your midst any strange gods” (I Kings 7:3)

✝︎  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
✝︎  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
✝︎  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
✝︎ St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thine enemies!

The Eucharistic Vision of Our Lady of Knock, 2023

A WARNING AGAINST SUPPRESSION OF THE HOLY SACRIFICE

This post from 2017 originally; restored as part of ongoing efforts to rebuild the site and maintain it as a an archive when my task is over.  An update is posted on our “About Us” page. May Our Lady of the Rosary keep you all close to her Immaculate Heart this New Year of Our Lord, 2023. Thank you for reading.

Today, we commemorate the eloquently silent apparition of Our Lady at Knock, Ireland, August 21, 1879. By her silence, Our Lady emphasised at once her displeasure that her message at La Salette was being attacked, and as many believe, she was pointing to the silence recounted in chapter 8 of the Apocalypse.  But there is still another reason for the silence – it is a warning against silencing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and outrages against the Holy Eucharist and it beckons us with mysterious silence towards the visions of the Apocalypse.

The Holy Ghost inspired St. John’s vision in such a way that through it, God revealed to us a glimpse of His own vision, not a linear accounting of events, and each subsequent generation could learn from its warnings and be comforted in its victories. In addition to sacred scripture, Our Heavenly Father guides us by the revelations He grants us down the centuries. Knock is one of the major apparitions, which are: Our Lady of Good Success in Ecuador, The Sacred Heart of Jesus at Paray le Monial, France, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception at Rue du Bac, France, Our Lady of La Salette, France, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Lourdes, France, Our Lady at Knock, Ireland, Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, Portugal,  and Our Lady of Akita, Japan.  Those apparitions provide a necessary complement to our understanding of the Apocalypse.

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Novena for the Holy Name of Jesus, 2023

previously posted January 1, 2021 by evensong

Today, we offer a grand old standby to begin the New Year right – St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Novena to the Holy Name of Jesus. This past September, we posted “The Language of Hell“ about blasphemy against Jesus and had intended to post a follow-up but got sidetracked. This Novena is a beginning, but much more needs to be said about the need for reparation and the great graces to be gained, by devotion to the Most Holy Name of Jesus. Towards the end of this very long post (sorry about that!) please see the highlighted note on the plenary Indulgence at the hour of death.

NOVENA TO THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS

FIRST DAY

THE GIVING OF THE GLORIOUS NAME OF JESUS

Consider, devout soul, that the holy name of Jesus is not a name invented by man, but it comes from God, who wished it to be made known by the archangel Gabriel, as St. Luke testifies: “His name was called Jesus . . . by the angel.”  St. Bernard also says that this name is not a simple figure of things, a shadow without reality, but it is a palpable truth. Jesus is a name that expresses perfectly the hypostatic union of the divine nature and of the human nature. The world could not have been saved by a pure God, because God is impassible, nor by a pure man, because man is limited and finite.

This is the reason why the holy name Jesus, which signifies the same as Saviour, as the angel declares, has been given to the Son of God, made man through Mary, in order to show that both as God and man He accomplished the redemption of mankind by delivering them from the slavery of sin at the same time. In short, Jesus is a name that comprises infinity, eternity, immensity, wisdom, justice, mercy, and all the adorable perfections of God. What happiness for us to be reconciled with the eternal Father through the merits of this divine Mediator who has had the goodness to pay our debt at the cost of His precious blood!

Adorable Jesus! If Thou hast sacrificed Thyself to deliver Thy people from the hands of their enemies in order to acquire an eternal name, it would be but fair that this name should surpass and eclipse every other name, even that of the seraphim, as St. Paul says: “Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath inherited a more excellent name than they.” And if the eternal Father has wished that this name should be that of His Son, mayest Thou grant that, having experienced on earth its happy effects, we may arrive at the complete happiness in heaven to praise Thee and to bless Thee for all eternity.

In honor of the giving of the glorious name of Jesus, we pray:

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

Let us pray.
God, who didst appoint Thine only-begotten Son Saviour of mankind, and didst command that He should be called Jesus, mercifully grant that we may enjoy the vision of Him in heaven, whose holy Name we venerate on earth. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, from this time forth and evermore!
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Fatima – the Chastisement of Impurity, 2022

“Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle
against the Blessed Virgin.”

(Sister Lucia of Fatima, 1957)

In her last interview with Father Agustin Fuentes, December 26, 1957, Sister Lucia of Fatima, perhaps aware that she was about to be silenced by the Vatican, warned us all,

“Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin. And the devil knows what it is that most offends God and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls. Thus, the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God, because in this way, the devil will succeed in leaving souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them.

“That which afflicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus is the fall of religious and priestly souls. The devil knows that religious and priests who fall away from their beautiful vocation drag innumerable souls to Hell … The devil wishes to take possession of consecrated souls. He tries to corrupt them in order to lull to sleep the souls of laypeople and thereby lead them to final impenitence.” (Sister Lucia of Fatima to Father Agustin Fuentes, December, 1957)

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Of Bread, Battle and Penitence, 2022

Note: The errors in this post have been brought to my attention and corrected as of Dec. 29, 2022,. Thank you all for your kind patience with me. evensong
The following post was intended to go online during Advent but I overlooked it. Even though it is now Christmastide, our duty to offer reparation remains as urgent as ever. It was first published in 2020

In this Advent-time, many remark on the strangeness of this Christmas – similar to Christmas in war-time, such uncertainty looming over us all – the heaviness of the atmosphere portending worse to come. Worse in what way? There are so many! As we look to the birth of our dear Savior, made small and helpless for our salvation, born in Bethlehem, “House of Bread”, House of Battle”, we are reminded that this battle is over our Emmanuel, our God with us, made little and helpless to abide with us always in the Eucharist, His sacrament of love which is also our food for the battle now raging. Food which is denied to many at present due to the craven cowardice of our own shepherds; false shepherds who have abandoned their sheep.

And yet, Lucifer’s dark power is no match for the Woman clothed with the Sun. For in the City of David was born of this pure Virgin, flesh of her pure flesh, God of true God and Food of everlasting life, the Conqueror of Darkness, of sin and of death. Christ our Lord. As we will see, even as this darkness increases, the way is prepared for the dawn of our salvation and it will come through the Immaculata, Gate of Dawn, through which the Sun of Justice will return.
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Christmas Sermon of Saint Jean-Marie Vianney

O, when we come to the crib, let us bring our Saviour a childlike, repentant heart, and pray to Him that we may be as little children; that we, as children, may walk in the purity of our hearts, that we may be humble before God and men.

For Christmas time this year, we share with you a Christmas sermon by St. Jean Vianney from a book I recommend, Sermons of the Curé of Ars, by KIC.

THE NATIVITY OP OUR LORD ~GOD WITH US~

“And His name shall be called Emmanuel.” —Is. vii. 14. Beloved brethren, assembled in the name of Jesus Christ: On the plains of Bethlehem, the angels of heaven brought to the shepherds and to us a wonderful message of joy. “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: For this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David” (Luke ii. 10, 11). Since the world was made no such message of joy had ever been brought to men. Men bring one another messages of joy. How many joyful sounds have already been heard upon earth, how many days of happiness are arranged, how many joyful messages are brought; but the sounds of joy are carried away on the air, to leave behind only slight remembrances, like faint lights; joyful days pass away, and days of visitation follow days of blessing, and joyful chimes are often changed to chimes of mourning. How often is the joy of one the sorrow of the other! How often does it happen that what to one is a cause of jubilation to another is an occasion for tears! And even if the curse of inconstancy and the reverse of earthly happiness did not sadden man’s joyful message, it would still be incapable of making the heart of man happy in its deepest depths; it does not send its rays right down to the bottom of the heart; it is hardly able to gild the walls of our soul with its feeble, caressing light.

But the angels’ message on the plains of Bethlehem was of quite another kind; it did not come from the palaces of earthly kings, or from the halls of pleasure, from the markets of the earth; it came from heaven, bringing with it heavenly flowers, heavenly blessings, and heavenly graces. The angels, messengers from the choirs of blessed light, bring it on lips overflowing with jubilation; pure and undefiled, without shadow of deception and sorrow, rings out the jubilee down upon the earth, laden with sin, and it reaches into our innermost hearts.

It is announced, not to one or the other, but to the beggar and the king, the child and the old man, the poor and the rich. The angels announced to the shepherds that it should be made known to all people, in the east and the west, in the north and the south; it shall ring forth and make joyful through all the ages; it shall never cease, not even when the world shall keep its vigil, and the book of humanity will be closed, and then it will ring on in eternity: a Saviour is born to you, who is Christ the Lord. Oh, who can depict the joy of a Christmas festival! Over our altars floats the joy of this joyful message, from the plains of Bethlehem it sinks into our hearts and breathes consolation and hope into our souls.
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