The Awe-inspiring Providence of How God Teaches Humility to His Friends.

Catholic Candle note: The following is a letter from a Catholic Candle reader.  We invite our readers to send their own letters and articles.

Dear fellow Catholic Candle readers,

While reciting the Joyful Mysteries I found myself pondering the reason why God allowed the angels to fall.  Would it not have been better to have all the created angels to be in heaven adoring God?  For that matter, would it not have been better if Adam had not sinned and to have all humans obtain heaven and be with God? 

Then I could almost hear what I have heard people say so many times before, “If there is a God and He is so good, then how can there be suffering, sickness, and death in the world?”  I am sure, you, dear fellow-readers, have heard similar things.

How would I refute such questions?

Then, I remembered that the Candle had an article about how men are not created equal and how the fall of the angels and men showed God’s glory more than if these events had not occurred.  The bitter questions of those who do not understand how Providence works make it sound like God is somehow unfair or unjust in His ways.

Then my thoughts went a bit deeper to ponder how God is so provident and He works on all levels from top to bottom, as it were.  How marvelous it truly is that God chose to become Man in the form of a little Baby!  In a cave used as a stable!  For all those people who think that God is unfair, have they ever thought about how He chose such humiliations for Himself?  How is it unfair that He gives us something to suffer and we are sinners and deserve suffering, when He, Who is perfect, showed us such loving examples of how to offer things up out of love for the Heavenly Father?  He didn’t stop there; He suffered so many attacks, humiliations, and such an ignominious death on the Cross!

I couldn’t help contrasting the Blessed Virgin Mary to whom He gave so much, with so many souls to whom God chose to give little.  It is almost overwhelming to contrast the most ignorant and weak savage pagan, to the immaculately conceived Mother of God.  What a remarkable difference between two human creatures of God!  Our Lady is God’s masterpiece.  She had the use of reason from her conception and always served God perfectly. 

God chose to do this and He is not unfair or unjust.  He planned from all eternity to create man and He planned the means He would use to redeem man.  He planned to create a perfect virgin to be the Mother of Wisdom Incarnate.  He also planned that He would give her to us to be our Mother to help us miserable sinners work out our salvation.   He planned that she would be more powerful than all hell put together. 

The most astounding thought of all my contrasting back and forth was that God did all of what He did as a means to foster humility in us.  Whether we think of all of the blessings He has given us from the Faith on down, or whether we see how low we are compared to Mary, the highest of all the saints, we are humbled by these thoughts.  This all made me think how He wants our humility and how He allows all things to help us discover humility, see its beauty, and desire to have this most necessary virtue.  Our Lord told us we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven without humility.  I could not help but be struck how He works out all things in His creation and in particular, in the human race, in order to teach men this foundation of all virtue – humility.   Mary and Blessed Christ Mass, fellow Catholic Candle readers!

Life’s Spiritual Road Without a Priest

Catholic Candle Note: The article below is one man’s account of his fight for Catholic Tradition throughout the decades, as this fight was punctuated by periods (including the present) when he had no priest because of his refusal to compromise.

My family and I have carried the cross of having no priest on multiple occasions throughout the decades as we strive for salvation. 

We were without a priest the first time after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.  Mercifully, it didn’t last too long as we found a few uncompromising “independent” priests and then, later, the Society of St. Pius X came to America. 

Before Archbishop Lefebvre brought his fledgling Society, we had what we called family “meetings” with our children, to explain why we didn’t attend the local church but why we still dressed in our Sunday best to read the Mass prayers at home.  It was all part of training them to know and retain traditional Catholic morals and virtue. 

However, many others accepted the Liberalism and Modernism and said Our Lord will understand if they went along to get along.  (No, Our Lord will not understand!)  He expects us to cherish our Faith and do our best to keep it perfect as Our Lord intended.  He knows what we need and will always provide it.  But we have to understand and use what He provides for happiness on earth, and greater happiness in Heaven.

But sadly, after the Archbishop died, the SSPX gradually became more and more liberal and we had to leave the “new” SSPX in September of 2015.  We were still able to find uncompromised Masses for another three years, although not every Sunday.  Thus, we have been without a priest for the past five years. 

The question is how are we managing to stay on track and profit in the spiritual life for our salvation?  Well, I’ll tell you.

As you know, only saints go to heaven.  So, we must become saints to go there.  We must love God and not sin.  Plus, we must live our life preparing for our personal judgment by Christ, during which every one of our thoughts and actions will be judged.  We must develop such a great love of God that any sacrifice we must endure is a joy, and to sin is unthinkable.

To increase our love for God, we should study the life of Christ and increase our understanding of what He has done for us.  He created us.  He keeps us in existence.  He came to earth and suffered and died for us.  He now gives us both actual grace and sanctifying grace in order to make us happy on earth, and after death, happy with Him in Heaven forever.  Wow!  What a gift!

So, we must not sin – not even a venial sin.  This is not as hard as it sounds when a person loves God greatly.  We feel the responsibility for our salvation much more keenly now.  We wouldn’t even want to fall back on our previous sluggish practice of our Faith, such as misusing the old “Saturday afternoon Confessions.”  My impression living back then, is that the Saturday Confession was taken advantage of – many “Sunday Catholics” had a “good time” amidst the voluntary occasions of sin, thinking that they would just go to Confession Saturday, and that “would take care of” what they chose to do the evening before.  “No problem”, they thought.

But now we begin to understand that this newer, closer relationship with God cannot depend upon going through a priest and receiving the Sacraments.  We now understand better that our salvation hinges about us and what we do.   

This is not the first time that large numbers of souls have been without a priest and the Sacraments.  Japanese Catholics suffered through 300 years of spiritual aridity, without the sacraments. 

We are being tested to prepare for Eternity.  We must refuse to accept Liberalism and Modernism although “everyone else” accepts them. 

The longer I live, the more I realize that the “misfortune” God sends us turns out to be a “life saver” toward our goal of salvation.  He knows best. 

We must use Advent and Lent for the spiritual strength we need in the fight against evil. 

Hang a picture of Our Lord in your home and foster devotion to His Sacred Heart in order to obtain the promises of Our Lord.  (Although these Promises were published in Catholic Candle recently, they are so important that we should remind ourselves about them again now)

The Promises of Our Lord
To St. Margaret Mary for Souls Devoted to His Sacred Heart

1.    I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.

 

2.    I will establish peace in their families.

3.    I will console them in all their difficulties.

4.    I will be their secure refuge during life, and more especially at the hour of death.

5.    I will shower down abundant blessings on all their undertakings.

6.    Sinners shall find in My Heart a Source and boundless ocean of Mercy.

7.    Tepid souls shall become fervent.

8.    Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.

 

9.    I will bless every place in which the picture of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.

10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.

11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, and they shall never be effaced therefrom.

 

12. I will grant the grace of final repentance to all those who shall communicate on the first Friday nine months consecutively.  They shall not die in mortal sin, nor without having received the last Sacraments, for My Divine Heart will become their secure refuge at that last moment.

What else should we do?  Start reading each night a religious book such as Lives of the Saints, or Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence, etc.  

Of course, praying the 15 decades of the Rosary daily is a great way of becoming closer to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. 

You will learn to talk to Jesus many times during the day as you would with a good friend Who always has the wise answer to your daily problems.  You should seek uncompromising Traditional Catholic friends when possible. 

Don’t forget our Guardian Angels who are given to us by God to preserve us from the many serious dangers in life.  We should converse with our angels; ask for their help.  They want to help us to fulfill God’s plan for us. 

Finally, we can receive great strength by frequently and devoutly reciting three prayers: 1) the Our Father; 2) the Apostles Creed; and 3) the Spiritual Communion.  St. Augustine stated that praying devoutly the Our Father will gain forgiveness for venial sins.

A final word: Be Patient.  The Sacraments will be provided when God wills it.  Meanwhile, we must stay strong and fight for Christ the King!

                                                                                                                         

Recollections of the Earliest Days of the “Changes”

Catholic Candle Note: The article below is one wife’s account of the early days of her family’s fight for Catholic Tradition after Vatican II.

When We First Began to Suspect Big Trouble Was Brewing in the Human Element of the Church (Early ‘60s)

Early in our marriage and “babies” stage, my husband and I used to take turns going to Mass every weekday.  With five children under the age of six, one of us had to stay home, of course.  We were in St. Edward’s parish on the southside of Racine, Wisconsin, and we began to find that the church was not always open when we arrived for early Mass.  Or sometimes the correct side door was still locked.  Or one of the young priests was late, not exactly conducive to encouraging Mass attendance.   Eventually, the early Mass was canceled “due to poor attendance,” they explained. 

Meanwhile, minor, and seemingly unimportant changes were creeping into the Mass, e.g., St. Joseph was now mentioned in the immemorial Canon of the Mass.  But it was said: “who could object to good St. Joseph being honored like that?”  I distinctly remember thinking, “Well, I don’t like [this or that], but if that’s the way it has to be, I’d better get used to it.”  (However, we soon learned to be more vigilant and not so ready to accept changes.)

At this time, we had a venerable monsignor for our pastor, with two young assistant priests, who were the same ones who dragged their feet providing the early Mass.  The old monsignor was to celebrate his silver jubilee, and the parish was giving him the gift of a trip to Hawaii.  The way it worked was that while he was gone on his trip, a certain cabal of parish liberals went to the bishop and convinced him to retire the monsignor.  Thus, one of the younger priests replaced him.

We invited this new pastor to dinner to get an idea in what direction he would be leading the parish, and it became very clear, he wouldn’t be. He was planning to let the newly-installed nuns run things.  And this was in the day when radical nuns were first leveraging their power in order to take control.

So, we had to leave St. Edward’s, where innovations to the Mass started increasing, and it was announced that a new mass would be coming.  It was evident that this new mass would not be Catholic but that it would be an implementation of the modernism that had been implanted at Vatican II.  Therefore, we saw that we could have nothing to do with this new mass. 

The new mass was promulgated for use beginning the First Sunday of Advent, 1969.  In late November 1969, the parish priest at St. Edward’s announced that the following Sunday, he would begin using the new mass, instead of the Traditional Latin Mass. 

That was Providence’s sign for our family to make its move.  When we returned home after this announcement, my husband called a “family meeting” and explained to our children that there was a protestantized service which was going to be used at St. Edward’s starting the following Sunday.  He explained that, for the love of God and in order to keep the true Catholic Faith, we would not be attending it nor would the family return again to St. Edward’s.

We learned somehow that a small ethnic parish near downtown Racine was still allowing the Latin Mass, so we began the next Sunday to attend St. Casimir’s regularly.  Before too long, there were a few dozen other new faces in the congregation, as word got around that this parish had the Traditional Mass.   

St. Casimir’s was a Lithuanian parish in an older part of town.  This is the church that my husband had discovered to be the place to which we could “flee”.  It was a beautiful old structure, with towering dark woodwork making up a large altar backdrop.  In this woodwork there were little niches in which were placed about a dozen statues of saints.

At St. Casimir’s, the parish priest saw that the new mass was a bad thing and he resisted its implementation.   For the moment, things were good.

Probably “too good”.  St. Casimir’s pastor was not as “strong as steel”, although for a while he made excuses for not using the new mass.  The months went by.  But it became evident that the pastor of St. Casimir’s was not strong enough to continue withstanding the pressure of the bishop to use the new mass.

The tiny parish was suddenly being visited by younger priests, to “help out”, at the bishop’s direction, one of whom sticks in my mind.  On a feast of our Blessed Mother, he gave a sermon comparing her in a worldly way to a popular actress(!), Raquel Welch, and I remember we were sitting there outraged at this insult to Our Lady, and very nearly walked out of church.  Well, that was the beginning of the end for St. Casimir’s. 

Very soon, the unwanted attention from the archbishop of our diocese spelled the end of the Latin Mass at this small Lithuanian hold-out parish.  We tried talking the little Lithuanian priest into hanging on to it, and though he surely agreed silently, he must have been pressed hard by the diocese to give it up.

Then on Passion Sunday 1970, he announced that the following Sunday the parish would start using the new mass. 

Because St. Casimir’s was apparently wavering in the weeks before that, my husband and I planned where our family would have to “flee” next.  On Palm Sunday 1970, we did not return to St. Casimir’s but drove to Milwaukee and attended St. Michael’s, which was a Byzantine (Eastern Catholic rite) Catholic church.  We, especially our children, found the Byzantine Mass surprising and strange.  Although it was Palm Sunday, there were no palms.  Instead, the Mass included the blessing of pussy willow branches, which had no leaves but only the grey fuzzy oblong “balls” at the tips. 

Also, strange to our children, the priest distributed Holy Communion under both Species.  The Blessed Sacrament which the priest took from his ciborium was leavened cube Hosts, soaked in the Precious Blood.  The priest used a little gold spoon to carefully pour the precious Species into the uplifted mouth of each communicant.

Our children trusted us, their parents, and “took it all in” as something strange but which was part of our life now.  Ever after this day – even decades later – our children refer to this Palm Sunday as “Pussy Willow Sunday”.

After Mass, we were talking with the parishioners of St. Michael’s.  My husband was discussing with the men of the parish what was going on at the Roman rite parishes.  The men from St. Michael’s seemed uninterested in the on-going conciliar revolution.  If the positions had been reversed, and if these men had come to our original parish (St. Edward’s) telling my husband about the on-going revolution coming to our parish, he would have “hung on every word” they said.  But no.  These men were as uninterested and as unalarmed as the average parishioner at St. Edward’s had been. 

In any event, one of them remarked that a few miles away there was a Roman rite parish, St. Lawrence’s, with a conservative pastor who continued to offer the Traditional Mass every Sunday.  My husband got directions and we went there beginning the following Sunday.

The good Lord had provided us with this wonderful next step.

When we were at St. Lawrence’s, we did “have it all”: the true Mass, a beautiful church, magnificent organ, wonderful choir, and strong sermons.  Sigh!  This fortuitous situation continued for some years, enough time that we were able to see all of our five children make their First Communions. 

However, at some point, my husband began to have a nagging doubt whether it was the right thing to do to attend the Mass of a priest who said the (sacrilegious) novus ordo mass once a month because the bishop insisted.  No amount of wishing could rationalize away that compromise.  And so, in 1976, we left St. Lawrence and all of our traditional friends, for the love of God and His Holy Faith. 

In the following years, we found ourselves tracking down the good Traditional Masses whenever and wherever we could find them without compromise: a hotel ballroom, a priest’s basement, an empty dancehall, a country church, a veterans’ home, a priest’s lakeside cottage, a nursing home, etc.  We reminded ourselves when we were hearing Mass in humble surroundings, that the setting wasn’t the most important consideration; the Mass itself was.  

In those periods, sometimes we had no Mass to go to, and our family read the Mass prayers at home, all of us dressed in our Sunday best to train the children to dress as traditional Catholics should.  My husband fulfilled the father’s duty of giving a short talk in lieu of a sermon.  While sanctifying the Sunday in this way seemed less satisfactory to us, it was clearly God’s Will for us.

Eventually, after having been without Mass for about 3-4 months, we heard that the priest who had been at St. Lawrence (Fr. Hugh Wish) had left that parish and was now offering exclusively the Tradition Mass, at various other venues.   This is when Fr. Wish began offering Mass in the large room of a dancehall near Oconomowoc, WI, more than an hour’s drive from our home.  But we were happy to travel so that we could again attend Mass! 

Shortly after that, we heard that Fr. Wish had become pastor of St. Pius V’s church at Mukwonago, a town west of Milwaukee.  This church had been owned by the diocese and was for sale.  The diocese refused to sell it to Catholics for fear that it would be used for the Old Mass.  So, some Traditional Catholics, guided by Fr. Wish, paid a black protestant minister to buy the church building and then transfer title to them.  It was so good to have a parish again!

But, as we were learning, earthly things are transitory, and Father Wish’s death in 1979 eventually brought the Mukwonago chapel under the auspices of the Society of St. Pius X.  Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre had begun this priestly society in Switzerland in 1970, and it eventually came to the United States.  It was a godsend, and we were so fortunate to benefit from the Archbishop’s good work. 

Under his wary eye, the SSPX fought the good fight opposing modernist Rome, which was trying to gain control of the Society.  He was a magnificent non-compromiser and kept the SSPX firmly on the right track.  That is, until he died.

Before his death, however, Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated four bishops in 1988.  They made no abrupt, jarring changes, and life went on.

It wasn’t, probably, until we were in the new century that an occasional SSPX news release or action began to raise a few eyebrows.  However, midway through the second decade we began to notice troublesome statements from the Society coming more frequently and getting harder to explain.  By 2015 we could no longer remain with the Society and were forced to leave.

We now have no Mass or priest, out of love for Our Dear Lord.  This will not change until He wills it to change.  We wait patiently, dear Lord, content with Thy Holy Will.

Let Us Undergo the Trials that God Sends Us!

Catholic Candle note: The article below is a reminder of the benefit we receive from the trials that God sends us. 

This article is a “companion piece” to Catholic Candle’s prior article, Strategies for Lightening the Crosses You Now Have, which can be found here: https://catholiccandle.org/2020/04/01/77/

St. John Chrysostom gives five reasons why God permits us to undergo trials and tribulations, even very severe ones.  Here are his words:

Whoever thou art then that after thy baptism sufferest grievous trials, be not troubled thereat; for this thou receivest arms, to fight, not to sit idle.  God does not hold all trial from us:

·         firstly, that we may feel that we are become stronger;

·         secondly, that we may not be puffed up by the greatness of the gifts we have received;

 

·         thirdly, that the Devil may have experience that we have entirely renounced him;

 

·         fourthly, that by it we may be made stronger; and

 

·         fifthly, that we may receive a sign of the treasure entrusted to us; for the Devil would not come upon us to tempt us, did he not see us advanced to greater honors.[1]

Let us examine each of these reasons why God permits us to suffer trials.

1.   God permits us to undergo trials that we might feel that we become stronger.

We need encouragement and (reasonable) confidence in spiritual battles.  If we never fight spiritual battles, we will be afraid to do so.  We would wonder “how would I do?”  Because of this insecurity, we would shrink back like cowards from future spiritual battles that God wishes us to fight, for His glory and for our reward.

An army’s general values his battle-tested and battle-hardened soldiers because they know from experience that they can succeed and they know what they must do in order to succeed.  Those veteran soldiers gain in courage and confidence by fighting battles, so that they feel ready to fight future battles.

Similarly, Christ, our “General” in the Church Militant, gives us trials to help us Soldiers of Christ to be battle-tested and battle-hardened spiritual warriors.  Through trials, we test our spiritual armaments, our (spiritual) combat skills, and our strength in the spiritual battles of this life.  We learn by experience that the devil cannot conquer us provided that we do not let him do so (by consenting to sin).  We know that, with God’s help and if we do our part, we will conquer all demons. 

For this reason, God sends us trials so that we might gain courage and (reasonable) confidence that we are able to fight life’s spiritual battles for God’s glory and for the salvation of souls.

2.   God permits us to undergo trials that we may not be puffed up by the greatness of the gifts we have received.

When we are inside our home while a wild storm rages outside, we feel secure, like a sailor looking out from the security of a safe harbor at a storm raging at sea.[2]  By contrast, when a sailor is caught out at sea, with his ship almost capsizing, fighting for survival amidst the buffeting waves, then he remembers that he needs God and that his own efforts are very weak and small.

Let us apply that principle to the spiritual life:

The angelic spirits are truly awesome – greatly exceeding our comprehension:

  The angelic nature is so great that it would be a greater thing for us to understand the nature of the lowest angel than it would be for us to know everything about all material creation combined.

  The lowest angel is so powerful that he could very easily destroy all of material creation, if God permitted him to do so.

The devils have such very high angelic natures.  Their rebellion against God did not change the greatness of their natures.

Suppose we found all trials to be easy.  Suppose that, for us, avoiding temptation was “child’s play” and that when the devil tempted us, we could simply “snap our fingers in the devil’s face” (as it were) and that we could prevail against his temptations without need to make any serious effort to resist him.

If all trials were so easy for us, our pride would grow exceedingly.  Thus, God lovingly sends us the precious gift of trials in order to deflate our pride by forcing us to fight hard for the life of our souls, in the spiritual storms that rage in this world.

It is during spiritual trials that we best know that we need God’s help.  At such times, we best remember that we are small and weak and that we are not the great spiritual champions that we would otherwise imagine ourselves to be.  We remember then that we would be deluding ourselves to think that we can terrorize all devils and put them to flight because of our great holiness and spiritual power.

For this reason, God sends us trials – including severe trials – in order that these trials would remind us of our weakness so that we do not get puffed up by the magnificent spiritual gifts that God gives to us Catholics who follow the full traditions of the Church.

3.   God permits us to undergo trials in order that the Devil may have experience that we have entirely renounced him.

It is appropriate that the devil should have discernable evidence that we belong to God and are soldiers in His army.  It is fitting that the devil sees that the soldiers of Christ fight for Him and that the devil sees that we fulfill our baptismal vows to “renounce Satan and all of his works and pomps”.

It befits the Divine honor that we, who are Our Lord’s servants and friends, do not render Him service which is so indiscernible that the devil is able to mock Our Lord that he can’t even tell that we are serving the Divine Majesty.

God must not only triumph in us but must also be seen to triumph in us.  This is good and fitting just as it is good and fitting that, at the end of the world, not only will justice be done at the General Judgment but also that it will be seen to have been done.

Thus, God sends us trials to make manifest that we belong to Him and not to the devil.

4.   God sends us grievous trials in order that, by this spiritual combat, we can be made stronger.

A soldier is given weapons in order that he can fight.  If he were not supposed to fight, he would not have been given weapons.  If he were supposed to remain idle, he would have been given pillows instead of weapons.

Similarly, St. John Chrysostom teaches us that we Soldiers of Christ receive spiritual weapons for the very purpose of we fighting God’s battles in the trials He sends us.  St. John Chrysostom teaches us that God wants us “to fight, not sit idle”.  Id.

Just as hard physical exercise causes our bodily muscles to gain strength, likewise grievous spiritual trials and tribulations strengthen our “spiritual muscles”.  That is, our wills gain strength in virtue through hard spiritual work. 

We should welcome the trials that God sends.  We should generously enter into the penitential times (e.g., Lent, Ember Days, vigils of high feasts, Advent), valuing them as opportunities and as blessings, not as misfortunes which we must endure.  We should not approach such times with a stingy heart, doing the minimum required, and making as little change in ourselves as possible. 

We should look upon penitential times as occasions of great liberty, freeing ourselves from the burden of our lower nature which pulls us downward.  We should also view the Great Apostasy in which we live as a blessing and as a trial meant for our good.[3]  For we know that such trials “work together unto the good, for those who love God”.  Romans, 8:28.

Thus, God sends us trials in order to make us stronger in His service.

5.   God permits us to undergo trials that we may receive a sign of the treasure entrusted to us; for the Devil would not come upon us to tempt us, did he not see us advanced to greater honors.

Suppose we inherited an old painting of little apparent value from a distant relative.  As we receive it, suppose we also receive an offer from a rich art collector to purchase it for $25 million.  That offer would cause us to regard this painting much differently.  We would keep it safe and not throw it away or otherwise disregard it.

Suppose we learned that an art thief planned to steal that painting.  We would take great care to not allow this valuable possession to be stolen.

Analogously, we possess a far greater treasure: sanctifying grace (which is always accompanied by Charity and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost).  That grace is infinitely valuable, although it can seem to people that it is like that old worthless-seeming painting we inherited. 

However, when we know that the devil is trying to “steal” this priceless treasure from our souls, it helps us to remember the incomparable value of grace.  Just as the art thief’s desire to steal our painting warns us of the value of that painting and reminds us to protect it from theft, likewise, the devil’s desire to “steal” the grace in our soul reminds us to take all precautions to protect the life of grace.

Thus, we see that God permits the devil to tempt us through trials to remind us of the infinite value of the grace we have in our souls.

Conclusion

Let us appreciate the trials and tribulations that our Dear Lord generously gives us! 

Let us value them more than all material goods and more than a life of ease, since those trials are a crucial means for our salvation. 

Let us thank God for those trials and use them for God’s greater honor and glory and for maximum merit!

 

 



[1]           Catena Aurea on St. Matthew ch.4, v.1.  St. Thomas Aquinas, greatest Doctor of the Catholic Church, chooses and quotes these words of St. John Chrysostom, Doctor and Father of the Church, from St. John’s sermon #13 on St. Matthew’s Gospel

[2]           Here is how the Roman philosopher Lucretius explained the comfortable security that a person has when he sees others, but not himself, undergoing great tribulations:

Pleasant it is, when on the great sea, the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another’s great tribulation: Not because any man’s troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive what ills you are free from yourself is pleasant.

Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, Book II, line 1.

[3]           This time of Great Apostasy is a glorious time to be Catholic and to live for Christ the King!  https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/it-is-a-blessing-to-live-during-this-great-apostasy.html

God is Just and Will Not Be Mocked

Catholic Candle note:  The article below pertains to Our Lord’s command that the pope together with the bishops of the world consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  In 2022, Pope Francis performed a consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, naming Russia.  However, this consecration did not fulfill the necessary requirements as Our Lord commanded.  For an explanation and analysis of this, read this article: https://catholiccandle.org/2022/04/20/did-the-popes-consecration-fulfill-heavens-command-no/

So far, a just God has punished mankind, which has been steeped in sin over the centuries, thereby sending a message He will not be held up to scorn.  One of the first great punishments was the Deluge.  We read in Genesis:

God seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times, It repented him that he had made man on the earth.  And being touched inwardly with sorrow of heart, He said: I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, from man even to beasts, from the creeping thing even to the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them.  But Noe found grace before the Lord.[1]


Warning of the Flood

These are the generations of Noe: Noe was a just and perfect man in his generations, he walked with God.  And he begot three sons, Sem, Cham, and Japheth.  And the earth was corrupted before God, and was filled with iniquity.  And when God had seen that the earth was corrupted (for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth,)  He said to Noe: The end of all flesh is come before me, the earth is filled with iniquity through them, and I will destroy them with the earth.[2]

Another early, great punishment was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha. 

For the sins of their inhabitants Sodom, Gomorrha, Adama, and Seboin were destroyed by “brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.”[3]

Much more recently, came World Wars I and II, with a great loss of life.  The Blessed Mother at Fatima revealed that they were punishments for sin.  Also at Fatima, Our Lady revealed that God wills that Russia would be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart.  In 1929, she appeared to Sister Lucy and told her:

The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means ….[4] 

Earlier (viz., in 1917), Our Lady of Fatima revealed that the pope definitely will consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart and through this means God will grant peace.  Here are her words:

The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she [viz., Russia] shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.[5]

However, Our Lady of Fatima warned in 1917 that, when she came in the future, (viz., in 1929) to ask for the consecration, if the pope delayed this consecration, his delay would cause great harm throughout the world.  Here are Our Lady’s words

I shall come [viz., in 1929] to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, by the Holy Father and all the bishops of the world.  If my request is heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace.  If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecution against the Church.[6]

In 1931, Our Lord assured Sister Lucy that the pope and bishops will perform this consecration – but He revealed that there will first be a long delay.  Here are Sister Lucy’s words describing Our Lord’s revelation to her:

Later on, by means of an interior communication, Our Lord said to me, complaining: “They [viz., Pope Pius XI and the bishops of the world] did not want to heed My request!  …  Make it known to My ministers, seeing that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My demand, they will also have to follow him into misfortune.  Like the King of France, they will repent and do it, but it will be late.[7]

Because the world is becoming continually worse, it is reasonable to suppose that another chastisement is coming.  We can ponder what this new chastisement will be.  But when and how it will occur, I don’t know.

Readers of the Catholic Candle are aware, and so I needn’t recount just how depraved and steeped in sin this world has become today.  However, one evil  which must be addressed is this: Rome and, perhaps, 99.5% of Catholics in the world said good-bye to the Catholic faith in the 1960s and 1970s (and afterwards) to join the anti-Catholic Conciliar church, catastrophically adding to the mockery of God which sin always is.  Christ established a perfect religion, and we must do our part, the best we can, to promote and practice this religion: the uncompromising Traditional Catholic Religion.

Just how does the world avoid another chastisement?  By doing as Our Lord said: the pope and all the Catholic bishops[8] must consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the way He directed that it be done.  Then, and only then, will peace follow. 

Considering the words and actions of our current pope, Francis, and most of the Catholic bishops[9] of the world, I don’t see that consecration happening any time soon.  What we can and should do now is to use the Blessed Virgin Mary’s “sword against evil” – viz., the rosary – in our fight for peace in the world.  Since my visit to Fatima in the 1980s, I’ve always felt that Our Lady’s request for us to pray the rosary every day meant all 15 decades.  They are all part of the rosary, and she didn’t say “at least part of a rosary.”  In this way, you’d say seven complete rosaries a week, as compared to two and a third partials.  Which do you think she prefers?  (You are no doubt busy, so it’s acceptable to say each mystery at a different time of the day, morning, noon, or night but we should all do our best to pray the entire rosary – 15 decades – every day.)

What do you think?  Did I make my case? 



[1]           Holy Bible, Genesis, Ch.6, vv. 5-13.

[2]           Holy Bible, Genesis, Ch.6, vv. 5-13.

[3]           The Catholic Encyclopedia, article: Sodom & Gomorrha, 1913.

[4]           The Whole Truth About Fatima, Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite, translator John Collorafi, vol. II, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, NY, copyright 1989 for English translation, p.464 (emphasis added)

[5]           This is a portion of Our Lady’s message during the Third Apparition of Fatima, July 13, 1917 (emphasis and bracketed words added), quoted from The Whole Truth About Fatima, Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite, translator John Collorafi, vol. II, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, NY, copyright 1989 for English translation, pp. 281-282.

[6]           This is a portion of Our Lady’s message during the Third Apparition of Fatima, July 13, 1917 (emphasis and bracketed words added), quoted from The Whole Truth About Fatima, Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite, translator John Collorafi, vol. II, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, NY, copyright 1989 for English translation, pp. 281-282.

[7]           The Whole Truth About Fatima, Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite, translator John Collorafi, vol. II, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, NY, copyright 1989 for English translation, p. 464, (emphasis added; bracketed words added for clarity).

[8]           This consecration of Russia which Heaven commanded to be performed, pertains to the bishops wielding jurisdictional power to govern the Church throughout the world.  As such, it can be performed by those Ordinaries who govern the Church, despite the doubtfulness that their conciliar consecrations give them the sacramental power of a bishop.  For an explanation of this, please read chapters 10 and 11 of this book: https://catholiccandle.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/sedevacantism-material-or-formal-schism.pdf

Catholic Candle holds that a bishop consecrated under normal conditions, by the Church in normal times, properly receives the presumption of the validity of his Episcopal consecration.  In other words, the fact that he was consecrated under the Church’s normal conditions, in normal times, causes an appropriate presumption that he is a valid bishop.

However, this presumption (of the validity of such a bishop’s consecration) could be rebutted even in normal times, by a positive doubt – even a small positive doubt – concerning the validity of his particular consecration.  Read more about this principle here: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/new-ordination-doubtful.html

We hold that the consecrations performed outside these normal conditions and not during normal times, do not deserve such presumption of validity because the Church does not vouch for those consecrations.  Those consecrations should not be taken as valid unless they are proven valid.

We hold that the consecrations (as of the present date – February 2023) consecrating the bishops of the N-SSPX and of Bishop Williamson’s group have been proven to be valid, even though those groups are compromising Faith and morals in other aspects.

We assess that the Thuc line, Mendez line, William Moran line and other supposed lines are, at a minimum, unproven and, on occasion, range into the obviously invalid.

For further information about the doubtfulness of the conciliar “consecration” rite, read this analysis: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B49oPuI54eEGZVF5cmFvMGdZM0U/view

For more about the principle that it is our duty to treat doubtful consecrations and ordinations as invalid, read this article here: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/new-ordination-doubtful.html

[9]           Here is a repetition of the previous footnote, for those readers who did not read it: This consecration of Russia which Heaven commanded to be performed, pertains to the bishops wielding jurisdictional power to govern the Church throughout the world.  As such, it can be performed by those Ordinaries who govern the Church, despite the doubtfulness that their conciliar consecrations give them the sacramental power of a bishop.  For an explanation of this, please read chapters 10 and 11 of this book: https://catholiccandle.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/sedevacantism-material-or-formal-schism.pdf

Catholic Candle holds that a bishop consecrated under normal conditions, by the Church in normal times, properly receives the presumption of the validity of his Episcopal consecration.  In other words, the fact that he was consecrated under the Church’s normal conditions, in normal times, causes an appropriate presumption that he is a valid bishop.

However, this presumption (of the validity of such a bishop’s consecration) could be rebutted even in normal times, by a positive doubt – even a small positive doubt – concerning the validity of his particular consecration.  Read more about this principle here: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/new-ordination-doubtful.html

We hold that the consecrations performed outside these normal conditions and not during normal times, do not deserve such presumption of validity because the Church does not vouch for those consecrations.  Those consecrations should not be taken as valid unless they are proven valid.

We hold that the consecrations (as of the present date – February 2023) consecrating the bishops of the N-SSPX and of Bishop Williamson’s group have been proven to be valid, even though those groups are compromising Faith and morals in other aspects.

We assess that the Thuc line, Mendez line, William Moran line and other supposed lines are, at a minimum, unproven and, on occasion, range into the obviously invalid.

For further information about the doubtfulness of the conciliar “consecration” rite, read this analysis: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B49oPuI54eEGZVF5cmFvMGdZM0U/view

For more about the principle that it is our duty to treat doubtful consecrations and ordinations as invalid, read this article here: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/new-ordination-doubtful.html

Want to Make Only Your Best Decisions – And No Mistakes?

For a happy life – with no stress – make your many daily decisions by asking God what He wants you to do.

Whatever be the affair, enter with Moses into the tabernacle to ask advice of the Lord, (and) return instructed in many things present and to come.[1]

Further, we should gladly place ourselves entirely in God’s Hands:

Lord, I willingly commit all things to You, for my anxiety can profit me little.  But I would that I were not so concerned about the future, and instead offered myself without hesitation to Your good pleasure.[2]

God knows what is best for you.  How do you know what God wants?  Well, you know He loves you very much.  He suffered and died for you.  Each time you ask Him what to do, remember that He knows all things and wants you to do His Will. 

Of course, you must study the traditional Faith to better understand that God created you to be happy on earth and to be perfectly happy with Him in heaven.  He knows the best way for you to attain this happiness.

He will tell you if only you will listen.  That’s the crux of the problem: most people don’t listen because they want to follow their own will, not God’s.  They know deep down that God is right yet they refuse to listen when His Will conflicts with their own.  They will be sorry and unhappy for their prideful mistake.  It seems they never learn.

So, start out with a deep love for God and with a firm determination that you will follow His all-knowing answer to your question (viz., what you should do).  With this frame of mind, and following your strong resolution not to commit even the smallest sin, all your actions will be the right ones – for the greater honor and glory of God.

Listen here to the voice of Christ:

My Child, I am the Lord Who gives strength in the day of trouble.  Come to Me when all is not well with you.  Your tardiness in turning to prayer is the greatest obstacle to heavenly consolation, for before you pray earnestly to Me you first seek many comforts and take pleasure in outward things.  Thus, all things are of little profit to you until you realize that I am the one Who saves those who trust in Me, and that outside of Me there is no worthwhile help, or any useful counsel or lasting remedy.[3]

Amen, amen, I say to you that if you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you.[4]

Do not concern yourself about the best way to approach a loving God.  Remember, talk to Him like a friend you trust, and ask “What should I do?” in this or that situation.  As noted above, listen closely and follow through on what He tells you even if it is hard to do, since you know deep down that He is right.

 

 

 



[1]              My Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book 3, ch.38.

[2]              My Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book 3, ch.39.

[3]              My Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book 3, ch.30.

[4]               St. John’s Gospel, Chapter 16.

The Crisis in the Church Affects Members in Different Ways

 

First:  There are the low-information Catholics who accept and obey any changes as good and worthwhile.  They fail to realize their perceived faith is meaningless, with little or no value for what counts in their hope of salvation.  It is based on the

feeling that you pray or go to Mass only if you really want to.  (If it’s “meaningful”.)  They also have a misguided understanding of obedience.

 

Second:  Members who go-along-to-get-along.  They are willing to compromise their principles and their faith, as well as to accept a liberal pastor in order to obtain the Sacraments and the Mass, no matter what the cost.  Their plan is to avoid conflict, overlook gradualism, and to be highly thought of.  They don’t want to give up friendships or family ties.  They refuse to believe their compromises will greatly weaken their faith.  They (mistakenly) believe God will understand.  They take comfort in numbers for there are a great many with them on the wide, smooth path to perdition that they travel.  They fail to do any research on the crisis for fear they will find they are wrong and therefore must re-think the direction they are headed.   

 

Third: Members who are uncompromising and are devastated by the very disastrous changes caused by Vatican II and post-VC II additional and even more harmful changes.  These members realize just how destructive the changes have been to a point that it seems there is no longer a recognizable Catholic Church.  The conciliar hierarchy has taken the lead in seeking to destroy all worthwhile Catholic attributes and religious communities.  It seems that the Catholic Church has evolved into an anti-Catholic Conciliar church.  They have also eliminated the traditional Catholic Sacraments and the Tridentine Mass, founded by Christ, and replaced them with the conciliar (anti-Catholic) “sacraments” and the Novus Ordo “Mass”, which fail to give grace.  It’s easy to see that the Masons’ Vatican II plan is working.

 

Our Blessed Mother at Fatima stated that there would be a time when we will have only her Immaculate Heart and the Rosary.  It’s surely beginning to look like today is the time she was referring to.  We in the true Resistance know how hard it already is to find an uncompromising Catholic priest or parish, and I can assure you it will be almost impossible to find them in the future.

 

It is hard to believe that, in the human element of the Church, the traditional uncompromising Catholic Faith could fall so fast and so far in such a relatively short time.  Actually, it is understandable when we consider that the Conciliar church “sacraments” and “mass” fail to give grace.  I attribute that to little concern regarding the manifest liberal gradualism that has been promoted by the human element in Rome and local dioceses.  This liberalism started with John XXIII, the weak pope responsible for calling VC II.  It also proves God will not take away one’s free will, even if it is against His Mystical Body, the Catholic Church.

 

The conciliar corruption spread beyond the visible Catholic Church.  It has also adversely affected Culture throughout the world, education, Catholic influence, music, entertainment, the family, health, etc., etc.  Yes, every aspect of life.  And that’s all to be expected, considering the strong Masonic influence in Vatican II, and the implementation of their plan that followed.

 

Don’t despair.  God is still in charge, with the correction coming in His own good time.  Meanwhile, we in the real Resistance must pray every day for the consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, and to stand strong and uncompromising for Christ the King.  I’m sure we will receive extra graces to help us to remain confident and to succeed.