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Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 21: THINK ABOUT THE PASSION OF JESUS

This is the last sentence in the Second Message and therefore this will be the last chapter I post on this subject

Just as Our Lord's last wish on the cross was, "Behold your mother", so Our Lady's last wish is, "Think about the Passion of Jesus."

Here we we see the great secret of Mary.  If we say, "Mary", she says, "Jesus".  Marian devotion has nothing to do whatsoever with honouring Mary for her own sake.  Mary never lived for herself, not even for one second.  And no matter how holy we are, how much we think we love God, not one single one of us loves Him as much as Mary does.  Honouring Mary is the sublimest way to honour God.  Whatever we give to her she immediately gives to Him, and whatever we give Him ourselves is improved beyong measure when we let it pass through Our Lady's hands.

A Baptist friend of mine once said, "I think I'm finally starting to get all this Mary Jesus stuff.  It's all about relationships."  Yes, because that is the example set by Our Saviour and that is what He wants.

Mary's final wish to us is:

THINK ABOUT THE PASSION OF JESUS

When I set about writing this essay and then posting it on my blog, I did not give any thought as to the timing.  I did not sit down and work out how many postings I would do and then time it so that the last one would fall on Christmas Day.  And yet that is the way it has worked out, and I feel as though God is directing our attention to this.

Christmas Day might, at first, seem like the least appropriate time of the year to be thinking about the Passion of Jesus.  On Christmas Day He was born for us.  We see Him as a baby, lying in a manger.  We find ourselves like the shepherds and the Magi guided by the extraordinary star.  We sing "Gloria" with the angels in joyful homage.  Like the Magi we give gifts.  It is a joyful time, full of colour and drama, a time when we can approach God as a baby we could have picked up and held in our arms had we had the privilege of being there.

But underscoring the love, peace and joy His Presence brings is the reality that He came to suffer and die for us.  He was human and a little baby, but He was also divine and His Passion and death were always before HIm.  There is a holy image, popular with Catholics, known as"Our Lady of Perpetual Succour".  In this picture, Mary is holding her Baby.  Jesus is being comforted by her, but His gaze is fixed on the instruments of His future torture.  In His anxiety, His sandal is slipping off His foot. 

THINK ABOUT THE PASSION OF JESUS

There are a lot of ways in which we can think about the Passion of Jesus.  Stations of the Cross, sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, the Gospels, prayer before a crucifix, litany of the Passion and the list goes on.  But today of all days is a time to remember the reason Love came down for us and I would like to share with you the words of a beautiful Christmas carol that looks beyond the symbolism to this underlying reality.

The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown,
of all the trees that are in the wood the holly bears the crown.

Chorus  The rising of the sun, and the running of the deer,
the playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir.

The holly bears a blossom, white as the lily flow'r,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to be our sweet Saviour.

The holly bears a berry, as red as any blood,
and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to do poor sinners good.

The holly bears a prickle, as sharp as any thorn,
and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ on Christmas day in the morn.

The holly bears a bark, as bitter as any gall,
and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ for to redeem us all.

The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown,
of all the trees that are in the wood the holly bears the crown.


Deo gratias.

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 20: YOU SHOULD MAKE MORE SACRIFICES

Our Lady showed the young seers of Fatima a vision of Hell and showed them souls going there because there was no-one to make sacrifices and pray for poor sinners.

Little Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta were so moved by this sight that they immediately set about looking for ways in which to make more sacrifices.

Poor and humble as they were, they tied tight cords around their waists, gave away their lunches and did without drinks out in the hot Portuguese sun.

And look how God took these offerings and blessed them!  He started to give them sufferings they could never have inflicted on themselves.

They were kidnapped by the Mayor of Ourem and threatened with martyrdom in boiling oil.  They were forcibly detained from their apparition.  They were put in gaol with adult criminals.  Little Jacinta died all alone in a big hospital from tuberculosis.  They were happy to suffer these things, yet their happiness did not mitigate their sufferings.  Their sufferings were very real.

God looks for souls who are willing to suffer.  Look at how He took St Theresa's soul and put it in Hell for a time!

But what happens when Catholics are unwilling to suffer?  He turns to the innocent.  To children.  He turns to those of good will -  even pagans and heretics.  "Whoever is not against us is for us."

Every time we see a child or someone not of our Faith suffering, like my friend in the previous chapter, we should say to ourselves, "That person is suffering in my place because I am not making enough sacrifices."

YOU SHOULD MAKE MORE SACRIFICES

What can we do to make more sacrifices?  Let each person's conscience be the guide.  Are there injuries we can pardon?  Labours we can save someone?  Peace we can make between warring persons? Difficult families to love and serve?

What do we do by convenience that we could do by inconvenience?  What dietary sacrifices could we make?  Are there illnesses we could bear patiently?  What little services are there we could go out of the way to make?

What sacrifices could I make to amend my life?  Are there ways in which I offend people and could stop doing so by making sacrifices?  Am I fulfilling the duties of my state in life in a spirit of reparation and penance?  Am I pursuing and fulfilling the vocation God has chosen for me? 

YOU SHOULD MAKE MORE SACRIFICES

The children in my class often come up with good ideas for sacrifices.

When the temperature is soaring (and we don't have air conditioning) they have permission to leave their blazers off.  When the announcement is made, some busy little whispers are heard.  One can just discern the words, "...make a sacrifice!"  And some of them leave in the heat wearing their blazers.

But not only that.  While our carpark was being built the children were exiting via the caretaker's gate.  Most of the children would make a bee line for the shade.  But there were the blazer wearers standing out in the heat making another sacrifice.

In Lent, money is brought in for the missions.  My usual warning is issued, "I hope you're not telling mum and dad that you have to have money for the missions."  No, indeed.  they each have a story to tell about the sacrifice they made to contribute a portion of their own funds.

Last year the children's contributions purchased a beautiful chalice for the people of Rotuma Island in the Pacific.  This year they purchased a proper classroom for a mission school in Zimbabwe.

We have a tick system as an incentive in our class.  There are various things the children can do to earn ticks.  But I have noticed that not all the children who perform these tasks claim the ticks.  They know that God sees them and they are making a sacrifice.

YOU SHOULD MAKE MORE SACRIFICES

We all know about the heroic sacrifices of the saints.  Like St Pio, for example, having surgery without an anaesthetic.  And for many of us it can seem just too daunting.

So I suggest we leave heroics aside and look for little sacrifices.  You don't think you could sacrifice a meal?  Then sacrifice the salt or pepper, or the tomato sauce.  You don't think you could sacrifice thousands or hundreds of dollars?  Then sacrifice a few.

You don't think you could put up with the pain?  Then limit who you disclose it to.

If you can't do much, do something.  Anything.  Every little thing counts.

God in HIs Providence sees our willing hearts and will send us things to suffer that we could not have imposed upon ourselves.

Every moment on earth is such a marvellous opportunity.

The circumstances Almighty God have placed us in are our most treasured possessions.  In them we will find our will, natures, temperaments and talents contradicted.  The contemplatives are made to be activists and the extraverted socialites get to be cloistered.  We find a yoke placed upon us to lead us where we would rather not go.  And we must yield, because whether we are strong or weak

YOU SHOULD MAKE MORE SACRIFICES. 

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 19: PRAY TO US WITH SINCERITY AND WE WILL GRANT YOUR REQUESTS

This is an amazing offer.  Anyone who has ever read anything about prayer should recognize instantly the generosity of this offer.

There is no particular exercise here.  No lengthy preparation.  No huge long period of duration.  Just one simple proviso - "with sincerity".

Three thoughts.  First, to be sincere in prayer means we have to really believe in what we are doing and really believe that God wants to help us. 

Second, in previous messages Our Lady has specifically requested daily recitation of the Rosary.  At Garabandal this was not specifically mentioned in the Message.  It was however mentioned.  And not just regquested either, but demanded.

Third, it is as if Our Lady, in making this simple request for prayer with sincerity was foreseeing the state of apostasy into which the Catholic world would soon plunge.  Increasingly the dividing lines are no longer drawn up between Catholics and Protestants, but between believers and non believers.  Hence a request that knows no sectarian limits. 

PRAY TO US WITH SINCERITY AND WE WILL GRANT YOUR REQUESTS

I was recently challenged by an acquaintance about my trust in God.  She believes in Him, but she hates Him.  She told me she spends her days mocking and reviling Him.

The problem seems to be that she has, to use her expression, "jumped through all the hoops", and gotten nowhere.

By "jumping through the hoops"she means she has prayed for several hours every day for years, tithed to the point of being in debt and even travelled to the other side of the world to work as a missionary.

In return, she says that God has raised up her enemies to spit in her face.  She feels that she has been humiliated in every way.

She has watched her enemies find love, marry and have children while she did not.

Her family will not speak to her.

She has chronic bronchitis and is severely allergic to mould, yet has been forced to live in a mouldy old home.

And then on top of all this there is her background.  Her father was a drug addict and used to be inactive in drug induced stupors while her mother, every single day, routinely beat her.  As a child, she was so starved for attention she would try to engage the attention of visiting workmen.

How would someone who loves and trusts in God convince this woman of God's love for her when she feels so betrayed by Him?

PRAY TO US WITH SINCERITY AND WE WILL GRANT YOUR REQUESTS

I believe, most firmly, that God is more generous with us than we are with ourselves.  But did God hear and grant my friend's requests?

I have no doubt that God will take this lady to Himself when she dies.  It is the peculiar trial of those who have drawn close to God to be tempted to hate Him.  But He binds up the broken hearted and He hears the cry of the poor.

Let us look at how she feels to see her enemies married with children and herself left on the shelf, reviled and scorned.

First, God knows that she hoped for marriage and family.  And He did not permit this.  Perhaps in His Wisdom and Prudence He thought she would not be a good candidate.  It was also not His Will to heal her in a sudden and miraculous manner.

We know that God causes His sun to shine on the good and bad alike.  He is not going to withdraw His goodness in response to personal vendettas.

We have to remember that God sees the whole picture.  And the whole picture is, one day this lady will be in eternity.  And I have no doubt that she will be there with God with her broken heart mended and every tear wiped away, and her cup running over.

In the meantime, He needs people to suffer.

Yes, He is omnipotent and can fix things on His own.  But it is HIs ordinance that He works in conjunction with us.  And not enough people are making sacrifices to save poor sinners from going to Hell.

So should we be surprised to see Him looking for people who have the capacity to suffer generously?

My friend actually said, somewhat sarcastically, "My 'ministry' seems to be pointless suffering.

No, my dear, suffering is anything but pointless.

God did not turn His back on you.  He gave you the jackpot.  The jackpot!

You wanted love in this life.  He will give it to you multiplied by 10 000 in the next.

You wanted to be honoured in front of your enemies.

Instead, He made you like His own dear Son - reviled and scorned.  When you meet His Son face to face you will be meeting your oldest and dearest friend in whose Image you were molded.  You will sit on the throne of victory with Him while your enemies start dealing with their remorse.  What will their spouses, children, homes and popularity be to them then?

And how glad you will be that He gave you sufferings in response to your prayers!  You will be surrounded by a grateful throng of friends who owe their salvation to graces obtained because of your sufferings.

PRAY TO US WITH SINCERITY AND WE WILL GRANT YOUR REQUESTS


Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 18: AND DO NOT WANT YOUR CONDEMNATION

Now we come to the truth which is all too unpopular these days - the existence of Hell.  And the fact is, Our Lady is worried about us going there.

How does the gentlest and sweetest of all Mothers broach this painful subject?  She alludes to the possibility of our condemnation, first assuring us of her great love for us.

Condemnation, in turn, alludes to the reality of judgement.

First comes death, then judgement, the Particular Judgement.  We will know then the state of our soul and where its eternal end will be.  There is also the General Judgement.  At the end of the world, Jesus Christ, in all His glory and majesty, will come from Heaven to judge all men, both good and bad, and to give to each of them the reward or the punishment he shall have merited.

AND DO NOT WANT YOUR CONDEMNATION

Our Blessed Mother did not elaborate on this painful subject in her Message.  It distressed her to even have to mention it.

But in our day, many people calling themselves Catholic, no longer believe in Hell.  One of my former school Principals laid down the law about not teaching the doctrine of Hell and my husband was castigated by his Christian Brothers Principal for mentioning it.

I am reminded of the Protestant lady who approached the Cure of Ars and said, "I don't believe in Hell!"  to which he replied, "You will when you get there."

Probably more than one person has thought in their lifetime that it would be useful to know what it is like in Hell.  It would be motivating, in the extreme, to know.

If such a favour were to be granted, to whom would Our Lord bestow it?  Someone, surely, who would relate it truthfully and without embellishment or self pity.  Someone who would appreciate it as a great grace and wish to share the benefits of it with others.  Someone indeed who could endure it - someone well used to extremes of suffering.

Well, such a someone does exist and was in fact granted this favour.

St Theresa of Avila was a great mystic and Doctor of the Church.  In the 16th century, she reformed the Carmelite Order.

In Chapter 32 of her autobiography she discusses how the Lord desired to put her spirit in a place in Hell she had deserved because of her sins.

A long time after the Lord had already granted me many of the favours I've mentioned and other very lofty ones, while I was in prayer one day, I suddenly found that, without knowing how, I had seemingly been put in hell.   I understood that the Lord wanted me to see the place the devils had prepared there for me and which I merited because of my sins.  This experience took place within the shortest space of time, but even if I were to live for many years I think it would be impossible for me to forget it.  The entrance it seems to me was similar to a very long and narrow alleyway, like an oven, low and dark and confined; the floor seemed to me to consist of dirty, muddy water emitting a foul stench and swarming with putrid vermin.  At the end of the alleyway a hole that looked like a small cupboard was hollowed out in the wall; there I found I was placed in a cramped condition.  All of this was delightful to see in comparison with what I felt there.  What I have described can hardly be exaggerated.

What I felt, it seems to me, cannot even begin to be exaggerated; nor can it be understood.  I experienced a fire in the soul that I don't know how I could describe.  The bodily pains were so unbearable that though I had suffered excruciating ones in this life and according to what the doctors say, the worst that can be suffered on earth (for all my nerves were shrunken when I was paralyzed, plus many other sufferiengs of many kinds that I endured, and even some, as I said, caused by the devil), these were all nothing in comparison with the ones I experienced there.  I saw furthemore that they would go on without end and without ever ceasing.  This, however, was nothing next to the soul's agonizing: a constriction, a suffocation, an affliction so keenly felt and with such a despariting and tormenting unhappiness that I don't know how to word it strongly enough.  To say the experience is as though the soul were continually being wrested from the body would be insufficient, for it would make you think somebody else is taking away the life, whereas here it is the soul itself that tears itself in pieces.  The fact is that I don't know how to give a sufficiently powerful description of that interior fire and that despair, coming in addition to such extreme torments and pains.  I didn't see who inflicted them on me, but, as it seemed to me, I felt myself burning and crumbling; and I repeat the worst was that interior fire and despair.

Being in such an unwholesome place, so unable to hope for any consolation, I found it impossible either to sit down or to lie down, nor was there any room, even though they put me in this kind of hole made in the wall. Those walls, which were terrifying to see, closed in on themselves and suffocated everything.  There was no light, but all was enveloped in the blackest darkness.  I don't understand how this could be, that everything painful to see was visible...

I was left terrified, and still am now in writing about this almost six years later, and it seems to me that on account of the fear my natural heat fails me right here and now.  Thus I recall no time of trial or suffering in which it doesn't seem to me that everything that can be suffered here on earth is nothing; so I think in a way we complain without reason.  Hence I repeat that this experience was one of the greatest favours the Lord granted me because it helped me very much to lose fear of the tribulations and contradictions of this life as well as to grow strong enough to suffer them and give thanks to the Lord who freed me, as it now appears to me, from such everlasting and terrible evils.


It is unlikely that any of us will ever experience such a vivid impression of Hell as St Theresa, but we have her excellent testimony, and we have a reminder from the Queen of Heaven who appeared on earth to four humble village girls, and amid the ecstacy her apparition caused to the eldest of them, said, ever so gently,  I love you very much

AND DO NOT WANT YOUR CONDEMNATION.

Towards Understanding the Message of GarabandalChapter 17: I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH

We simply cannot imagine just how much the Blerssed Virgin Mary loves each one of us personally.  To get some idea, let us look at a crucifix and recall Our Lord's last commandment and dying wish:  "Behold your mother."  (John 19:27)

We see how much she loves us because we can see Him bleeding and dying on the Cross.  She gave Him to us, for us.

Our Lady's identity is that of Our Lord.  She lived for Him.  Before He became incarnate within her immaculate womb, He was the object of her Immaculate Heart.

Mary's whole life was dedicated to God.  She sacrificed herself for Him from her earliest years.

When the young Virgin Mary was espoused to St Joseph she undertook this mission to love this excellent man for thelove of God.  Always she was full of confidence about God's Will for her.  And no man was ever loved by a woman the way St Joseph was loved by Our Lady.  She knew that it would be within their chaste union of love that God would fulfill His Will in her.

And so it was that Almnighty God prepared a fitting dwelling for His only begotten Son.

When the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived Our Lord she also became united to His Mystical Body, the Church.

In this respect, we could say that the Blessed Virgin Mary's love and sacrifice is poured out on Her Son's Mystical Body, the Church.  Our Lady watches over our progress as an attentive and most concerned mother.  She sees us and knows us from the point of view of eternity.

Let us not forget either that she is the Queen of All Saints and the Queen of Prophets.  Her power and influence with God on our behalf are beyond compare.  She sees what is going on and she understands it far better than we do.

in His Providence Almighty God permits the Blessed Virgin to communicate with us.  If this does not happen as often as we would like, it is perhaps because familiarity breeds contempt.

In the BBC documentary, Conchita tried to describe how it felt, having an apparition.  She said it was like seeing someone close to you who has been away for a while.

I can really identify with this.  When Our Lady spoke to me, it was like hearing from a dearly loved relative who I hadn't seen for a while.  This has always amazed me.  Even now, I cannot get over the closeness of the celestial court to us and the Holy Family in particular.  They really have chosen to make us all part of the family.

I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH

This is what our dear, Blessed Mother announced at Garabandal.

Let us love her back, by caring about her message and doing what it says.

By loving Jesus and honouring Him in our homes.

By making many sacrifices, doing much penance and visiting the Blessed Sacrament frequently.

By leading good lives.  By being attentive to the needs of our neighbour.

By praying the rosary and wearing the brown scapular daily.

By frequently going to Confession and by making our Communions and thanksgivings increasingly devout.

Let us all really try hard.  Because the collective efforts of the whole of humanity since the beginning of time could never equal the weight of Mary's alone when she says,

I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH...   

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 16: YOU ARE NOW RECEIVING THE LAST WARNINGS

This reiterates what was said at the beginning of the Second Message:  "I am advising you that this is the last one."  But again, there is a change of emphasis.  We are not just receiving the last message and the last warning.  It is like the announcement of a particular point in the Church's history called, "The Last Warnings".

It is as if this Message is placing the events and admonitions of Garabandal in an eschatological context.

Although this sounds like speculation, I am being bold to say it because I believe that Garabandal must be placed in the context of La Salette, Lourdes and Fatima.

The message of La Salette gives a synopsis of events culminating in the reign of and eventual defeat of Antichrist.  Included in that synopsis is the Chastisement and the era of peace foretold at Fatima.  It is as if an insert could be made in the message of La Salette for reference to the Messages of Garabandal.  e.g. after the paragraph that says, "the Vicar of my Son will suffer a great deal, because for a while the Church will yield to a large persecution, a time of darkness and the Church will witness a frightful crisis."

Or the one that says, "All the civil governments will have one and the same plan which will be to abolish and do away with every religious principle, to make way for materialism, atheism, spiritualism and vice of all kinds."  Which is, of course, a perfect description of the governments of today.

The Second Message of Garabandal has announced The Last Warnings because we are entering the Last Times.

We know that the prophesied Warning and Miracle must occur in Joey Lomangino's lifetime.  And Joey is now 70+ years old. 

We also know that either after these events and /or after the prophesied conditional Chastisement, there will be an era of peace, followed by the advent and reign of the Antichrist.

These are the Last Times.  We are on the threshold of the gravest events.  As St Pio used to say, "Mankind is on the eve of its perdition."

Although the conversion of the Jews has been foretold, a portion of them will remain obdurate.  We know this because we know that Antichrist will be received by them.

We also know that in spite of the Message of Garabandal and all its foretold events, mankind will return to sin and error and will therefore merit the persecution of the Antichrist.

The Message of Garabandal is the Last Warnings.  After that, we will be at the mercy of what the times are telling us.  And that will depend upon having eyes to see and ears to hear.

YOU ARE NOW RECEIVING THE LAST WARNINGS.

Will you be prepared for the coming of the Antichrist? Will your children?  Do you know the Faith so well that you will instantly detect his deceptions?  Or will you be taken in by his geniality, imposture and miracles?

The final contest for Catholics will be a doctrinal one.  The Last Warnings for the Last Times is a call to study the Faith, defend it and live by it. If we do not, we (and if not us, our children and our children's children) will not escape the lure of the Antichrist.

These Last Warnings are not just about the Chastisement.  They are about the Last Conflict.  Children who survive the Chastisement but have not been taught to live the Faith might end up meriting the deception of the Antichrist.

If we do have a Chastisement, those who dared to remain obstinate in sin after the Warning and the Miracle might yet, in the face of imminent death, repent and convert, and therefore save their souls.  But the era of peace will produce laxity and carelessness.  As Our Lady of La Salette put it,  "This peace among men will be short-lived.  twenty-five years of plentiful harvests will make them forget that the sins of men are the cause of all the troubles on this earth."

Our Lady is pitching her Message at the audience of the 1960s, as well as the audience of today and that of the future.  Her object is for us first and foremost, to save our souls, and second, to avoid a global catastrophe that would kill billions and change the earth as we know it.

And that is why she told us, without embellishment and without mincing matters,

YOU ARE NOW RECEIVING THE LAST WARNINGS. 

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 15: I, YOUR MOTHER, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, AM ASKING YOU TO AMEND YOUR LIFE Part 3

Mary is appealing to us as a most tender and solicitous mother.  We are her children.  She loves us and cares for us.  She will help us and be with us.

The worst thing that we could do is kid ourselves that we don't need to change.  She says we do and she is asking us to do so.

Any of you who, like me, are parents, know how painful it is to see your children sinning.  It is our duty to correct them.  If they change, well and good.  If they do not, we try again.  We implore.  We punish.  We use every tactic, every spiritual remedy at our disposal.  We have Masses said, make novenas, say rosaries, make sacrifices.  We fall on the mercy of God. 

Well, Our Lady is our mother.  And what does she do when she sees us sinning?

She admonishes us.  She asks us to do penance for one another.  She asks us to pray the rosary.  She warns us of God's punishments.

But she has also suffered for us in union with her Divine Son.  No other human being has loved us like she has loved us.  Her soul was pierced with a sword of sorrow.  At Calvary she suffered beyond description.  St Bernard says that if Our Lady's sufferings were shared by every person who ever lived they would be sufficient to kill all of us.

I, YOUR MOTHER, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, AM ASKING YOU TO AMEND YOUR LIVES.

Mary asks us with all the love of her maternal heart.  She sees how bad we are becoming and we don't even realize it.  To obtain the grace of self knowledge we need to dispose ourselves by frequent, humble, devotional confession.  The saints were not afraid to let their sins be known.  Read St Augustine's "Confessions".  Or anything written by a saint for that matter.  they are so humble, so honest.  It is not that they never sinned (in most instances) but rather, how they let God's power overcome their adversities.  They became wounded healers, able to help and guide other afflicted sinners because they too had walked that road and found reason to have confidence in God's mercy.

I, YOUR MOTHER, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, AM ASKING YOU TO AMEND YOUR LIVES.

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 15: I, YOUR MOTHER, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, AM ASKING YOU TO AMEND YOUR LIVES Part 2

Why the intercession of St Michael the Archangel?

The Jewish people regarded St Michael as being the defender of the people of Israel (Daniel 10:13) and the one patron angel of the nations who did not fall from grace.  He was the angel through whom God published the Decalogue to His chosen people and the angel who routed the army of Sennacherib.  (2 Kings 19:35)

The Catholic Church honours St Michael as guardian of the Church.  He is the supreme enemy of Satan and the fallen angels.

It would have been natural for St Michael, the champion of the Jewish people, to be the champion also of Christians, giving victory in war to those who venerate him.

But the early Christians did not regard St Michael as a military patron in the way in which he is regarded today.  St Michael, the early Christians regarded as a healer, and to him they entrusted the care of their sick.

St Michael was first venerated in Phrygia and here his prestige was as an angelic healer.  A legend tells that in the middle of the first century AD the pagans in Colossae directed a stream against the sanctuary of St Michael to destroy it, but the archangel split the rock by lightning to give a new bed to the stream, and sanctified forever the waters which came from the gorge.  All the sick who bathed there, invoking the Blessed Trinity and St Michael were cured.

Hot springs in Pythia and elsewhere in Asia were also dedicated to St Michael.

St Michael was also venerated as the great heavenly physician at Constantinople.  His principal sanctuary, the Michaelion, was at Sosthenion, 50 miles south.  Here, the sick would sleep at night waiting for an apparition of St Michael.

In Rome as well, St Michael's role was that of a healer.  When the city of the seven hills suffered under a great plague, Pope Saint Gregory 1 the Great (c. 590 - 604) held a procession against the pestilence and gave fervent prayers that the scourge should cease.  During this procession, St Michael appeared, sword in hand, over the mausoleum of Hadrian.  In honour of the miracle and the occasion, the Pope took to calling the mausoleum the Castel Sant'Angelo (Castel of the Holy Angel), by which name it is still known.  Boniface IV (c. 608 - 15) built on the mausoleum of Hadrian a church in honour of St Michael, which was called Saint Michaelis inter nubis.

St Michael is also patron of the military.  Devotion to St Michael was popular in many of the northern European pagan cultures evangelized during the first centuries of Christianity.  As a powerful, masculine figure he enjoyed great devotion among many warrior societies, and supplanted the worship of pagan deities with similar characteristics.  Many of these gods were venerated on mountaintops and high places which led to a large number of shrines and churches dedicated to the archangel being built in these locations.

Although modern day Israel is a primarily Jewish state and so does not recognize a patron saint as such, we read in the book of Daniel that Michael stands for your people (the state of Israel).

Also, the country of Portugal has the Archangel St Michael as its patron.  This is significant in view of the Fatima apparitions in which Our Lady's appearance was prepared for by St Michael who came to the children as the Angel of Peace. 

The former Soviet republic of Ukraine and its capital Kiev are under the protection of St Michael.  Overlooking Independance Square in Kiev is a dramatic statue of the archangel.

As mentioned, St Michael the archangel is also known as the Angel of Peace, under which title he appeared at Fatima.  It might seem odd for the parton of the military to also have this title but it is not so odd when the Christian concept of peace is considered in light of the spiritual war.  Christian peace is achieved through victory over the evils of the world.  It is in defeating sin that we know peace.  Of course, this is not a peace we can truly know while on earth and it is perhaps significant that Christian tradition gives St Michael the office of escorting the dead to Heaven.

St Michael is also honoured with the title Angel of the Eucharist.  As the greatest defender of the Church it is no surprise that he is tasked with thedefense of Her most sacred elements.  This duty also ties in with the protection of the Church as a whole for the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ.

In Revelation 12:07  we read of a great war in Heaven, in which St Michael casts down the Great Red Dragon who is Satan.  This is a reference to the expulsion of Satan from Heaven by St Michael before the dawn of time, and is one of the few direct references to the angelic fall in canonical scripture.

I, YOUR MOTHER, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, AM ASKING YOU TO AMEND YOUR LIVES.

Let us pause for a moment to reflect on the significance of St Michael's role at Garabandal.  It is St Michael who first appeared to the children in the calleja.  He prepared them for the visit of Our Lady under the title of Our Lady of Mt Carmel.

It is also St Michael who administered Holy Communion to the girls, explaining that the Hosts were taken from tabernacles on earth.  In doing so, he also taught them how to receive Communion correctly and reverently.

As an angel, St Michael is God's messenger, and it is he who first conveyed the Message to the seers.

Thus far we see a similarity between the seers of Garabandal and the seers of Fatima who, likewise, were prepared for Our Lady's visit by the Angel of Peace, one of St Michael's titles. 

St Michael's role as defender of the Church has particular significance in our times when the Church is in the grip of one of the worst, if not the worst, crises in its history.  St Michael, defender of the Church, came to Garabandal to herald Heaven's remedy.

St Michael, as Angel of the Eucharist, drew attention to the importance of frequent and reverent communion by making this possible for the girls.  It is he who administered the "Milagruccu"; on this occasion, the normally invisible Communion was visible.

Thus prominence was given to the Eucharist at the prelude of an unprecedented attack on its importance.  Not once did the word "Transubstantiation" appear in the Decree on the Liturgy (Vatican II). Instead, there seemed to be a determined attempt to conceal and undermine every Catholic teaching about it in order to appeal to the Protestants.  Less and less importance was being given to the Eucharist because more and more importance was being given to a false notion of ecumenism.

As patron of the twelve tribes of Israel, St Michael's presence in Garabandal has another significance. Ffrom the earliest stages of the apparitions there were manifestations of the Shekinah, the holy presence of God.  The first of these manifestations was the appearance of St Michael.

The second was a light which inspired the seers with a reverent fear of God and is reminiscent of the shining cloud by day which guided the Israelites in the desert.

The third was a vision of the Holy Eye of God containing also the Holy Name of God.

And the fourth was the apparition of the Sacred Heart.

A lot could be said about each oneof these manifestations, but for the purposes of this essay it will be sufficient to comment on what they signify.

For one of the seers was a Catholic of Jewish origin.  This, too, is of significance.  Also, a young Jewish adolescent, Muriel Catherine, in Garabandal, was the recipient of an extraordinary favour.  One of the seers had been given a phial of holy water with the instruction to throw it at the apparition.  In her ecstacy, this is what she did.  But instead of followingthe natural trajectory of the throw, the water about faced, congealed in one, large globule, and broke over the head of Muriel Catherine.  In this way was her future baptism into the Catholic Church signified.  The young lady had to wait until she was of age in order to take leave of her parents to do so.

The future prophesied Miracle will bring about a massive conversion.  And first in line will be the Jewish people who will, in seeing the return of the Shekinah at Garabandal, recognize that God is with His people and that Jesus is truly the Messiah and the Catholic Church truly the Church He founded.

I, YOUR MOTHER, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, AM ASKING YOU TO AMEND YOUR LIVES.

St Michael, as patron of the Jews, will herald for them the time of mercy promised them as God's chosen people.  As the Angel of healing, his intercession at the Miracle will bring about miracles of healing for those present.

Our Lady requested that a church be built in honour, not of herself, but of the holy Archangel St Michael on the site of these great prophesied events.

But, great as our anticipation is, let us not forget the purpose to which these great events portend:  the amendment of our lives, our conversion.

I, YOUR MOTHER, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, AM ASKING YOU TO AMEND YOUR LIVES.

to be continued


Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 15: I, YOUR MOTHER, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, AM ASKING YOU TO AMEND YOUR LIVES Part 1

Notice the change of emphasis here?

In the first Message, Our Lady was asking us for sacrifices, penance and visits to the Blessed Sacrament.

Now she is asking us to amend our lives.  Unless we are in a state of grace, our sacrifices, penances and visits lack merit.  That does not mean that they are without value; they serve to keep us from falling further into sin.

But the world is urgently in need of people in a state of grace who are willing to transfer the merit of their good actions to those who are unable to obtain it for themselves.  To save people from going to Hell.

This part of the Second Message serves pitifully to remind us all of the gravity of sin as well as the loss of the sense of sin.

Examine yourself.  We are supposed to examine ourselves every night.  As one priest told me, don't compare yourself with people around you; compare yourself with the saints. 

Here is the format I use:

The Ten Commandments
1.  I am the Lord God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage.  Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
Have you doubted in matters of faith?  Murmured against God at your adversity or the prosperity of others?  Despaired of His Mercy?  Have you believed in fortune tellers, horoscopes, or consulted them?  Have you gone to places of worship belonging to other denominations?  Have you recommended yourself daily to God?  Neglected morning of night prayers?  Omitted religious duties or practises through motives of human respect?  Have you read books, papers and periodicals of anti-Catholic or atheistic tendency?  Made use of supersticious practises?  Spoken with levity or irreverence of priests, religious or sacred objects?
2.  Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Have you take the name of God in vain?  Profaned anything related to religion?  Have you sworn falsely, rashly, or in slight or trivial matters?  Cursed yourself or others, or any creature?  Angered others so as to make them swear or blaspheme God?
3.  Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
Have you kept holy the Lord's Day, and all other days commanded to be kept holy?  Bought or sold things not of necessity on that day?  Done or commanded some servile work not of necessity?  Missed Mass or been wilfully distracted during Mass?  Talked, gazed or laughed in the church?
4.  Honour thy father and thy mother.
Have you honoured your parents, superiors and masters, according to your just duty?  Deceived them?  Disobeyed them?  Have you failed in due reverence to aged persons?
5.  Thou shalt not kill.
Have you procured, desired or hastened the death of anyone?  Borne hatred?  Oppressed anyone?  Desired revenge?  Used provoking language?  Injured them?  caused enmity between others?
6.  Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Have you been faithful to your marriage vows in thought and deed?
7.  Thou shalt not steal.
Have you been guilty of stealing, or of deceit in buying or selling, in regard to wares, prices, weights or measures?  Have you wilfully damaged another man's goods, or negligently spoiled them?
8.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbour.
Have you borne false witness?  Called injurious names?  Disclosed another's sins?  Flattered others?  Judged rashly?
9.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife.
Have you been guilty of lascivious dressing?  Been in lewd company?  Read immodest books? Been guilty of unchaste songs, discourses, words or actions?  Wilfully entertained impure thoughts or desires?
10.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods.
Have you coveted unjustly anything that belongs to another?

The 6 Precepts of the Church
1.  To hear Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation
2.  To fast and abstain on the days appointed
3.  To confess at least once a year
4.  To receive Communion at least once a year and then at Eastertime or thereabouts
5.  To contribute to the support of your pastors according to your just means
6.  Not to marry persons who are not Catholics, or who are related to us within the third degree of kindred, nor privately without witnesses, nor to solemnize marriages at forbidden times.

The 7 Deadly Sins and their Corresponding Virtues
1.  Pride.....................................Humility
2.  Covetousness....................Liberality
3.  Lust.......................................Chastity
4.  Anger....................................Meekness
5.  Gluttony................................Temperance
6.  Envy.......................................Brotherly Love
7.  Sloth......................................Diligence

The 4 Sins Which Cry Out to Heaven For Vengeance
1.  Wilful murder
2.  The sin of Sodom
3.  Oppression of the Poor
4.  Defrauding the labourer of his wages

9 Ways of Being Accessory to Another's Sins
1. By counsel     2. By command     3. By consent     4. By provocation     5. By praise or flattery     6. By concealment     7. By partaking     8. By silence      9. By defense of the evil done

The 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy
1. To admonish sinners     2. To instruct the ignorant     3. To counsel the doubtful      4. To comfort the sorrowful     5. To bear wrongs patiently      6. To forgive all injuries     7. To pray for the living and the dead 

The 7 Corporal Works of Mercy
1. To feed the hungry     2. To give drink to the thirsty     3. To clothe the naked     4. To visit and ransom those in prison     5. To give shelter to the homeless     6. To visit the sick     7. To bury the dead

Amend your life.  Confess yourself.  Make a change.  Initiate a good habit.  Start again.

I, YOUR MOTHER, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, AM ASKING YOU TO AMEND YOUR LIVES

to be continued  

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 14: IF YOU ASK FORGIVENESS WITH SINCERE HEARTS HE WILL PARDON YOU continued

When I worked as a Relgious Education Co-ordinator in the Catholic Education system, one of my responsibilities was to prepare students and their parents for first Confession, first Communion and Confirmation.  We discerned, in our parish, a reticence on behalf of many adults to go to Confession.  We allotted time for interviews and soon learned that the main problem was not knowing, or not being sure about, the format for Confession.  What you do in the dark box once the door is closed.

The format, the method we use has stood us well over the years.  Using this method sends a clear signal to the priest that you are serious about your Confession and progress in your spiritual life.  Spiritual direction and penances are likewise serious and appropriate.

So here's what you do.

First, before you go anywhere near a confessional, turn to that master of the confessional, St Pio, and ask him to pray for you, to make a sincere and thorough examination of conscience, followed by a complete and honest confession.

Second, in the confessional, kneel down and say:

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

I confess to almighty God, to Blessed Mary ever virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault...


Then tell when you made your last confession and whether you are married, single or in the religious state.  e.g.  "It has been one month since my last confession and I am married."

Then confess your sins, including the number of times and the circumstances for serious sins.

When you have finished, say:

For these and all the sins of my past life (here you may mention one) I am heartily sorry, beg pardon of God, and absolution of you, my Father.

Therefore I beseech the blessed Mary, ever virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, to pray to the Lord our God for me.


Listen then to the instruction of your confessor and accept the penance he gives you.  If any obstacle you foresee will prevent you from doing it, state this respectfully.  The priest will now give you absolution, and ask you to say the act of contrition:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You.  I detest all my sins because of Your just punishments, but most of all because they offend You, my God, Who are all-good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.  Amen.

Now, if you are like me, it might be that you will get to the confessional and your mind will go completely blank.  And that really does not matter.  All you have to be to make a good confession is sorry for your sins and resolved not to commit them again.  In which case, it is OK to just confess in your own words and make up your own act of contrition in your own words. 

Or else bring in a copy of this format and read it.  Which is also what I do.

Remember it is Jesus waiting for us.

IF YOU ASK FORGIVENESS WITH SINCERE HEARTS HE WILL PARDON YOU

to be continued

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 14: IF YOU ASK FORGIVENESS WITH SINCERE HEARTS HE WILL PARDON YOU continued

The prophet Isaiah says, "Though your sins be scarlet, they shall be made white as snow."  (Isaiah 1:18)

When I think of scarlet, I think of stains that are difficult to remove - blood, tomato sauce, red icypole, beetroot.  How much our sins can seem to us like these difficult stains?

I know sometimes for me it is like that.  It is not so bad the first time round, confessing certain sins.  But 20 or 30 years on and you realise you are still confessing the same sins...

"Though your sins be scarlet, they shall be made white as snow."

St Francis de Sales admitted to having difficulty with the sin of anger for 12 years.  Imagine how many times he confessed it!  But he persevered, and the grace of God overcame.

"Though your sins be scarlet, they shall be made white as snow."

Pierre de Keriolet grew into manhood at enmity with God.  He prided himself on his physical fitness and took many a husband's wife.  Duelling the angry husbands, he never lost, and was responsible for the deaths of some.  So much did he resent God that he even fired a shot up at heaven.

But God did not lose interest in His erring son, and eventually, through somewhat extraordinary circumstances, the conversion was worked.  Keriolet even became a priest.

"Though your sins be scarlet, they shall be made white as snow."

There is simply no course of action that cannot be forgiven when repentance is sincere.

IF YOU ASK FORGIVENESS WITH SINCERE HEARTS HE WILL PARDON YOU.  

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 14: IF YOU ASK FORGIVENESS WITH SINCERE HEARTS HE WILL PARDON YOU

"If".

Asking forgiveness has never been easy for us pride filled sinners.  We would rather be dispensing forgiveness than asking for it.  It is one of those things that ideally one needs to be put in the habit of doing when still young.  As you get older, it tends to get harder, especially as we grow in self-knowledge.

I have personally been moved by the genuine humility of others.  St Margaret of Cortona had a child out of wedlock.  Her penitence being sincere, she asked forgiveness of every single person in the town in which she lived.  St Mary of Egypt went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with the intention of seducing every male on the ship, an endeavour at which she succeeded.  When the enormity of her crime finally hit her she retired to the desert and lived as a hermit. 

I am also reminded of those saints who were gifted confessors, particularly St John Vianney and St Pio.  Stories of conversions simply abound with these two, but a couple will suffice for our purpose here.

Well did St Pio know our tendency to conceal rather than reveal our sins.  The penitent would come to him prepared after a fashion, and St Pio would tell him or her what they needed to confess.  He would prompt them to remember deeds they had successfully forgotten, even murder.

One lady tried for several days to confess to St Pio and every time he would refuse to hear her confessions.  She became increasingly distressed, wondering what this cold shouldering was all about.

Finally, a friend ventured to ask the saint about it, and he told her to tell the woman to come back the next day.  He warmly castigated her for having been to Communion in a state of mortal sin.  He told her that only the sacrifices of a victim soul could expiate such a serious sin.

And what do we have these days?  Empty confessionals.  Arrogant people publicly proclaiming that Catholics do not need to go to Confession any more.  Third Rite Reconciliation being administered illegally and invalidly and no instruction as to the need for personal confession.

Well, this is nonsense and the only fruit it brings forth is a loss of the sense of sin.

IF YOU ASK FORGIVENESS WITH SINCERE HEARTS HE WILL PARDON YOU

If.  We need to confess.  God's pardon is conditional upon the necessary predisposition on our part. 

We must never fear that our sins are too great.  "Though your sins be scarlet they shall be white as snow." (Isaiah 1:18)  As one priest put it, "You can tell me anything.  The only sin I have never heard confessed is suicide.  I will give $50 to anyone who can shock me with their sins."

Of course, Almighty God could have made His forgiveness accessible upon request, without an intermediary.  But this was not His Will.

After His Resurrection, Our Lord breathed on the apostles and said, "Receive the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retin, they are retained."  (John 20:23)

In this manner He made His apostles and their successors as well as all priests, ministers of His forgiveness.

IF YOU ASK FORGIVENESS WITH SINCERE HEARTS HE WILL PARDON YOU

On March 25, 1962, the Feast of the Annunciation, Conchita, Mari-Loli and Jacinta said in ecstacy the Ave Maria of Fatima.  Note the following stanza:

The fashions bear us
To the fires of Hell.
So modestly dress
If you wish to be saved
(Ave Maria, Ave Maria etc.)
You must do penance
And you must also pray
For all sinners
Pray for forgiveness


At Fatima, Our Lady complained that sins of impurity were chiefly responsible for sending people to Hell, and that a flood of immodest fashions was about to be unleashed on the world.  And let us not underestimate the grip they have on young minds and hearts.  I can still remember the lass in one school I taught in who refused to be enrolled in the Brown scapular because she had no intention of wearing it exposed, and she also had no intention of giving up the boob tube.

Foolish vanity!  What comfort will that silly item of clothing be in the fires of Hell?

Observe the seers of Garabandal as teenagers, young and mature adults.  Their modesty is beyond reproach.

Whether you need to overhaul your entire wardrobe, or whether you need to get rid of just one or two pieces, do so quickly.  It does not matter whether you are bound by a cord or by a chain if you are still bound.

IF YOU ASK FORGIVENESS WITH SINCERE HEARTS HE WILL PARDON YOU    

to be continued

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 13: YOU SHOULD TURN THE WRATH OF GOD AWAY FROM YOURSELVES BY YOUR EFFORTS

My concept of God is not that of a God of wrath. 

To me, He is totally loving, totally understanding and totally empathetic.  When I go down the wrong path, He is there overtaking me on the path to ruin and picking me up out of the thorns and brambles of my sins.

That is the God I know.  But I also know that He is infinite in all perfections by His very nature.  And that means that He is infinitely just.

If I have not fully grasped this aspect of the divine nature it is due to my human weakness.  It is because of what I want to believe.

The fact is, Christ crucified paid the price for our sins.  If we have any doubt about the gravity of sin we should look at a crucifix.

So if Christ paid the price for our sins, what does the Blessed Virgin Mary mean when she says,

YOU MUST TURN THE WRATH OF GOD AWAY FROM YOURSELVES BY YOUR EFFORTS

She is drawing our attention to the fact that we are redeemed but not yet saved.  As St Paul said, "... work out your salvation with fear and trembling."  (Philippians 2:12)

It is dangerous in the extreme to be walking in sin with the presumptuous attitude that you will be saved anyway.

We are reassured of God's mercy and forgiveness and of being given all the help we need.

But Our Lady is looking us squarely in the face and hitting us with the reality that sin incurs the wrath of God.  We are to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy.

YOU SHOULD TURN THE WRATH OF GOD AWAY FROM YOURSELVES BY YOUR EFFORTS

Is it any wonder that these words follow the admonition about the Eucharist?

Who does Our Lady mean by "you"?

I think she means everybody.  The Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Religious, laity, non-Catholics, non-Christians.  Everybody.

Our Lady might not have known in 1965 that the Novus Ordo Mass was about to be unleashed, but she certainly saw where the liturgical movement was tending.

 I believe the Blessed Mother was first and foremost admonishing Pope Paul VI.

YOU SHOULD TURN THE WRATH OF GOD AWAY FROM YOURSELVES BY YOUR EFFORTS

Did Our Lady see that just two years after this admonition a missal would be introduced whose introduction would say nothing about the Real Presence or the Sacrifice of the Mass, but speak only about the presence of Our Lord in the "breaking of the bread" and the reading of the scriptures?

Well, what we have now is the challenge to close the stable door after the horse has bolted.

We must turn the wrath of God away from ourselves by OUR efforts.

Whoever has ears to hear and eyes to see must surely be able to understand the connection between Our Lady's Message of 1965 and the issuance of the Novus Ordo Missae in 1967.

If that is the case - and the evidence suggests very strongly that it is - we must still ask ourselves, HOW are we to turn the wrath of God away from ourselves by our efforts?

This question will mean different things to different people, according to your current beliefs and values and situation in life.

But for Catholics in relation to the liturgy, I would like to suggest the following course of action:

1.  STUDY the liturgical issue with books from traditional book centres.
2.  ASK your parish priest to please consider saying the Traditional Latin Mass.
3.  BUY pamphlets, books, altar cards, DVDs etc for friends, particularly priests, to study.
4.  BOYCOTT Novus Ordo Masses in favour of Traditional Latin Masses.
5.  PETITION your bishop to ask priests to make the Traditional Latin Mass more available.
6.  ATTEND Traditional Latin Masses of traditional priests.
7.  PRAY the Rosary daily to end the crisis in the Church.

YOU SHOULD TURN THE WRATH OF GOD AWAY FROM YOURSELVES BY YOUR EFFORTS

The "wrath of God" is the doctrine of God offended by our sins.  More specifically, it is the chastisement prepared for the purification of the world.

None of us want to experience this chastisement, and neither does Our Lady want to see us have to endure this catastrophe.  We should never doubt for one minute that there is still time to "turn the wrath of God away from ourselves" by our efforts and that God in His infinite mercy will provide us with the ways and means to do this.

This admonition is, above all, an invitation to personal conversion.  To LOVE God.  Study His precepts and make them our pride and joy.  To love our neighbour in so many myriads of ways, for the love of God.  To grow in loving spirituality and habitually enjoy the in-dwelling of the Blessed Trinity in our souls.

To GIVE UP sin and its occasions.  To reflect more on sin and have a more refined conscience.  To frequent the Sacrament of Penance.

To lead good lives.

YOU SHOULD TURN THE WRATH OF GOD AWAY FROM YOURSELVES BY YOUR EFFORTS

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 12: LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST continued

Chief among the reasons for this is false ecumenism.

What do I mean by "false" ecumenism as opposed to "true" ecumenism?

True ecumenism is the co-operation between different faiths for a common goal.  For example, the Friends of the Prisoners organization which supported prisoners of conscience in the former USSR and upheld the '"right to believe", was ecumenical in the true sense of the word.

By false ecumenism is meant trying to artificially minimise the differences between religions such as Buddhism and Islam, and the differences between Christian sects.  False ecumenism is trying to make our Catholic Mass as much like the Anglican service as possible in an attempt to foster inter-communion.

It was to this end that 6 Protestant observers were made party to the construction of the New Rite of the Mass.

It is one thing to pray simultaneously with people of other faiths for a common goal, such as world peace, but quite another to invite them to place a statue of their false god on top of the tabernacle, as was allowed by Pope John Paul II at the infamous Assisi gathering.

LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST

So often in my conservative, pre-traditional days, I would hear complaints about the "abuses". 

Rome would issue such and such a declaration but revolutionary cliques would successfully manipulate such decrees right out of the picture.

This group or that would form to set up an orthodox alternative, only to be ultimately thwarted by someone in the chair oof ecclesiastical command.

Rome was appealed to, and Rome would respond with some statement or other.  But bishops were never chastened or removed.  Sometimes a statement would issue from Rome about the deficiencies of a text in use, but by and large the text would continue to be used.

The crisis in the Church has continued, with its loss of Faith, largely because Catholics do not care enough.  They stupidly persist in making New church heretics judges in their own cause.  Their devotion to the hierachy is unthinking and lacking in discernment and moral courage.  What is the point of appealing to heretics?

The "orthodox" have been one of the biggest problems.  Their inertia and uncritical devotion give the prevailing heterodoxy much needed respectability.  The ''orthodox" teachers in Catholic schools are still teaching there, in spite of their presence giving silent witness to the erroneous texts and practises.

They foolishly hold onto the notion that those higher up have their hands tied by those rebelling lower down.  They deny the reality of what is happening, for they dream that the senior ranking hierachy will be able to save the day.

Their friends, relatives and neighbours send their children to the Catholic school precisely because of this respectability.

Well, there are 9 ways of being accessory to another's sin.  They are:  by counsel, by command, by consent, by provocation, by praise or flattery, by concealment, by partaking, by silence and by defending the evil done.

LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST

A seriously defective rite is in popular usage, as are texts and courses which undermine and erode knowledge of sacramental theology and the overall Dogma of the Fatih, of which the Traditional Latin Mass was a perfect expression.

If you have the Faith and you care, but are attending these Masses and supporting these schools, however unwillingly, then you are just as guilty as the dissidents who reject Papal authority and promote false doctrines and a false concept of the Church.

LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST

Our Lady is demanding more attention and more devotion to the Sacrament of her Son's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under the appearances of bread and wine.

She is telling us to know Him, love Him and value Him in the Blessed Sacrament.

Actions speak louder than words.

After I began making a deeper intry into this issue, I approached a few priests who had a reputation for orthodoxy and asked them to consider saying the Traditional Latin Mass.  They would not.

However, after I started boycotting the Novus Ordo and flying down priests from the Society of St Pius X, I was interested to see how many local priests got in contact, like Nicodemus, under cover of secrecy.  Whenever we needed something for a Mass, we never had any trouble obtaining it from the local clergy.  Once we had left Australia and family, local clergy obliged us by visiting sick and dying relatives and even administering Extreme Unction according to the Latin Rite.

You will never change anything by complying with it.  If you want the situation to change you must boycott it.  Actions speak louder than words.  Your absence will most definitely be noted.  The presence of the orthodox has more importance for New Church revolutionaries than you might suppose.

In 1965 in her final address to the world, the Blessed Virgin Mary specifically complained that

LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST

It was at this time, before the introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae that changes were regularly occurring, from Latin to the vernacular, the change of words in administering Holy Communion, Communion in the hand standing etc. 

Our Lady foresaw the dreadful liturgical crisis that ultimately resulted in the Novus Ordo Mass, and directed our attention to its root cause:

LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST

Towards Understaning the Message of Garabandal Chapter 12: LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST continued

It is not just  obvious external signs of disregard for the Real Presence that Our Lady's Message laments.  Less and less importance to the Eucharist may also refer to the loss of knowledge of basic sacramental theology.

One could fairly ask in today's Church, how many Catholics know the conditions necessary for the validity of a sacrament.  i.e. what the basic things are that need to happen for the sacrament to take place.

FIRST, it must be performed by a validly ordained minister (except for Marriage, where the couple administer the sacrament to each other, and Baptism, which can be performed by anyone.)  

SECOND, the validly ordained minister must have the right intention.  He must intend to do what the Catholic Church intends him to do.  If a Catholic priest said Mass with the intention of commemorating the Last Supper but without intending to re-enact the sacrifice of Calvary, i.e. if he intended to celebrate, with the community, a special meal with Jesus and nothing more, then the sacrament would not take place.

THIRD, the matter of the sacrament must be correct.  i.e. For the Eucharist it must be wheat bread and grape wine.  You cannot consecrate coca cola and rice crackers.

FOURTH, the form, or words of the sacrament must be correct.  They must convey the res sacramenti or the grace of the sacrament.  The words for the consecration of the bread as defined in the Roman Missal are:

HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEAM
For this is My Body.

For the wine consecration the words are:

HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUINUS MEI, NOVI ET AETERNI TESTAMENTI: 
MYSTERIUM FIDEI, QUI PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS EFFUNDETER
IN REMISSIONEM PECCATOREM
For this is the Chalice of My Blood,
of the new and everlasting testament,
the Mystery of Faith,
which for you and for many shall be shed unto the remission of sins.

So important and sacred are these consecration forms that they have been enshrined in the highest legislation to ensure their continuity.  In the Introduction to the Roman Missal, St Pius V wrote that if the words of the Form were changed in such a way that it altered the meaning then the sacrament would not be confected, i.e. it would not take place.  Also, if the words of the Form were altered in such a way that the meaning was not affected, then the sacrament would be confected, but the wrath of Almighty God would be upon he who tampered with it.

The Bull, Quo Primum, of St Pius V, gave the Traditional Latin Mass a perpetual indult in recognition of its perfection as the expression of Catholic Faith and worship.

Given this background, one must ask, whatever madness possessed those gentlemen who thought it would be a good idea to change the consecration form, to make the new liturgy almost identical to Cranmer's Book of Prayer? And then to impose it on the unsuspecting faithful as the express wish of His Holiness Pope Paul VI?  To introduce for the first time in the Church's history a debate among the faithful about the legitimacy and/or validity of local services?  To thrust upon the Catholic world a most grievous conflict of conscience about their worship?

Let us get a few things straight here.

The Bull, Quo Primum has never been abrigated, obrigated or even derogated from to produce the Novus Ordo Mass, and therefore it is still in full force with all its solemn anathemas.

The ommissions and mistranslations of the Novus Ordo have imposed a serious conflict of conscience on many of the faithful.  The most serious of all is the changed wine consecration form:

This is the cup of my Blood, the Blood of the new and everlasting covenant
It will be shed for you and for all
So that sins may be forgiven.


Gone is the "mysterium fidei" and gone is the res sacramenti.

Note it says "cup" not "chalice". 

The Council of Trent commented on why the words, "for many" and not "for all" were used in the consecration form, i.e. because while Our Lord's sacrifice was sufficient to redeem all, yet it is only effective for many.

Commenting on the Novus Ordo Missae in his critical study the then prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ottaviani, warned of the danger of invalidity in the New Rite which "...represents as a whole and in detail, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent, which by fixing definitely the 'canons' of the rite, erected an insurmountable barrier against any heresy which might attack the integrity of the Mystery."

There is the issue of legality, imposed by the disregard for Quo Primum.

There is the issue of doubtful validity, imposed by changes to the consecration form.

And there is the issue of worthiness, remembering that Cain's sacrifice was rejected for its inferiority.  (Genesis 4:2-7)  How can a rite which has been critisized to the hilt for omissions, alterations and tendencies towards Modernism and Universalism be considered as acceptable as a rite lauded for its perfection?

Yet not only is the Novus Ordo the preferred rite, it is often made mandatory by local ordinaries, in spite of Catholics having the right to have the Traditional Latin Mass.

LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST

to be continued 

 

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 12: LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST

The Eucharist is the sacrament of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, under the appearances of bread and wine.  It is the sacrifice of Calvary, re-enacted in each Mass beginning with the Last Supper.  The Eucharist is the summit of our Christian Faith.  The whole of Salvation history as recorded in the scriptures was to prepare mankind for the relationship the Son of God longed from all eternity to have with us in the Blessed Sacrament.

St John of the Cross said, "When God gave us Jesus, He gave us everything."

It is due to solemn thought, prayer and study on the great reality of this sacrament that the Church through the ages has done so much to preserve and promote honour, adoration, integrity of words and behaviour and loving knowledge in realtion to it.

The Blessed Sacrament was only ever allowed to be handled by consecrated hands, except in cases of extreme emergency.  Only priests touched the Hosts.  This was deemed appropriate because the priesthood is a consecrated life, set apart from the world for sacerdotal functions.

The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist was acknowledged by the central placement of the tabernacle behind the main altar, and was indicated by a sanctuary lamp that burned night and day. 

Before reception of Holy Communion, the faithful had to be in a state of grace and had to be fasting for three hours. The faithful received Communion on their knees in an attitude of hommage before a Communion rail which delineated the sanctuary from the rest of the church.  The Host was placed on the tongue by the priest.

At Benediction, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed in a beautiful monstrance for adoration.  At 40 hours devotions there were never fewer than 2 people in the church at any one time.  When the Blessed Sacrament was exposed the faithful genuflected on both knees as opposed to only one knee when passing in front of the tabernacle.  Accompanying the Blessed sacrament on the altar were at least 10 candles.

When I became a Catholic in 1980, I was never told about Benediction.  I sort of stumbled upon it by accident at St Joseph's one day and learned what to do by degrees.  The beautiful altars, central tabernacles and Communion rails have disappeared thanks to the Novus Ordo iconoclasts.  It would be difficult to find a typical marble altar of pre Novus Ordo days now.

I have only been able to acquire a sense of what appropriate respect towards the Blessed Sacrament consists of because of my association with the Society of St Pius X.

The music that is meant to accompany the sacred liturgy is the church's magnificent heritage of Gregorian Chant.  I had never heard Gregorian Chant before the year 2000.

Some years after I had begun to boycott the Novus Ordo Mass I was asked to be godparent to a friend's baby boy.  The service was in a Novus Ordo church.  It was fascinating to see the guests not even genuflecting, except for one member of Opus Dei, and even he nervously looked around as he did so.

On another occasion, I had to sit through a Novus Ordo Mass in order to attend a Garabandal meeting.  Honestly, you would have thought you were at a picnic.  Everyone was laughing and talking as if no attention at all was owed to the Blessed Sacrament.

LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST

to be continued

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 11: MANY CARDINALS, MANY BISHOPS AND MANY PRIESTS ARE ON THE ROAD TO PERDITION AND ARE TAKING MANY SOULS WITH THEM

What is a priest?  A priest is an 'alter Christus', another Christ.  Christ willed to be near to us in the person of the priest.  Priests are not priests in their own right; they share in the priesthood of Christ.  Christ is not absent, with others taking His place.  He is very much present, continuing His pastoral leadership of His Church.

He gathers around Himself in unity, brings back those wo stray, heals the wounded, feeds us with the gift of Himself and leads us to the green pastures of the kingdom of heaven.  (VK, What is a Priest?  Theology of the Priesthood).

It was Jesus as priest and victim who offered His life as a sacrifice on the cross.

The priesthood is a life of sacrifice which serves the deep communion of God and His people.  The whole ministry of the priest must be rooted in a personal intimate union with God.

This closeness to God is only possible if the priest is a man of prayer whose life is centred around the Eucharist.

If a priest is to be a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, in his mind and heart he must be the same as Jesus.  (Philippians 2:5)  Everything about the priest - his authority, his sacrifices, his way of life - is meant to flow from his special relationship with the Lord and the call to be a living sign of His presence and action.

Since La Salette in 1848, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been severely critical of priests.  In the secret of La Salette she said:

The priests, ministers of my Son, the priests by their wicked lives, by their irreverence and their impiety in the celebration of the holy mysteries, by their love of money, their love of honours and pleasures, the priests have become cesspools of impurity.  Yes, the priests are asking vengeance, and vengeance is hanging over their heads.  Woe to the priests and to those dedicated to God who by their unfaithfuness and their wicked lives are crucifying my Son again!  The sins of those dedicated to God cry out towards heaven and call for vengeance, and now vengeance is at their door, for there is no one left to beg mercy and forgiveness for the people.

Now, that warning was given a long time ago, over 150 years ago.  Long before the changes in the liturgy and long before anyone even began to suspect clerical sex abuse.  What was this corruption the Blessed Mother was lamenting?

For a century and a half, a way of thinking alien to revealed truth tried to infiltrate the Catholic Church.  Despite the vigilance of the Sovereign Pontiff, it entered the sanctuary, gaining priests, theologians and finally bishops.  (From Peope Benedict's Gesture by Fr Phillipe Toulza in The Angelus, May 2009).

This "way of thinking alien to revealed truth" is the spirit of rebellion.  It denies the hierachical nature of society and accords equal privilege, regardless of rank or merit.  It denies the objective nature of revealed truth and seeks to relativize it according to the times.  It denies the miraculous and attempts to rationalise the supernatural as purely natural actions.  It focuses on the glory of man and his psychological comfort and development rather than on the glory of God and what men need to do to attain their eternal salvation.

This "way of thinking alien to revealed truth" has always been there in one form or another.  Without it we would hardly be worth our salt for remaining faithful.  But we know through revelation that the conflict will ultimately culminate in the arrival of Antichrist and his decisive annihilation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

I could digress here and talk at length about the prophesied Antichrist, but that is not the purpose of this essay.

So I will get straight to the point.  The wonders worked by Antichrist will be truly prodigious.  He will be handsome, accomplished, wealthy and have all the appearance of generosity.  He will be loaded with honours.

So great will his imposture be that there is only one way Catholics will be able to discern him as the Antichrist - and that is by his false doctrine.

The ultimate crisis will be a doctrinal crisis.  Our ability to resist the Antichrist and keep the Faith and therefore achieve our salvation will depend on our knowledge and belief of the one true Faith.

How well do you think an average Catholic in today's world will be able to do that?

Statistics show belief in such fundamentals as the divinity of Christ, the indissolubility of marriage, and the existence of Hell are believed by only a small minority.

The clergy, as guardians of and transmitters of the Doctrine of the Faith have failed in their duty as never before.

MANY CARDINALS, MANY BISHOPS AND MANY PRIESTS ARE ON THE ROAD TO PERDITION AND ARE TAKING MANY SOULS WITH THEM.

And then there is the sad reality of clerical sexual abuse.  This problem, of the moestation of children, is  a problem in society at large, with surveys citing 1 in 10 girls as having been molested.  In this respect, one might not be overly surprised to see ministers and priests also responsible for these statistics.

What has particularly horrified the faithful is the abuse of trust and position.

It is only media attention which has forced the Church and the public to accept the situation for what it is.  For a long time many of the faithful were unwilling to believe the claims of the victims.  When complaints were made to bishops, the victims were greeted with silence.

Typically, the bishops would move the erring priest, not caring about the denial and perversion of justice, and not warning the new parish.  The offending priest would keep on being moved after each new batch of complaints.

Des Lyons wrote another satirical verse addressing this issue:

Instead and almost always he transfers the erring priest
Without knowledge of his whereabouts he cannot be policed.
And does not warn of danger in the parish where he ends
But again repeats the move for every time the priest offends.

The object is to cover up a scandal to the Church
To put affenders well beyond the reach of normal search.
Not caring that this course of action justice would deny
Causing tortured helpless victims in solitude to cry.


Not many priests did this, but neither did any others speak up about it.  But our heavenly Mother saw it and she did speak up.

MANY CARDINALS, MANY BISHOPS AND MANY PRIESTS ARE ON THE ROAD TO PERDITION AND ARE TAKING MANY SOULS WITH THEM.
 

Towards Understanding the Mesage of Garabandal Chapter 11: MANY CARDINALS, MANY BISHOPS AND MANY PRIESTS ARE ON THE ROAD TO PERDITION AND ARE TAKING MANY SOULS WITH THEM continued

After Vatican II, Pope Paul VI sent a letter out to all the religious orders, directing them to undergo a reform based on the precepts of the Council.

The effect was immediate.  Overnight, rules were abolished, habits were thrown out, veils dispensed with, enclosure not enforced.  Whatever Vatican II actually said was irrelevent in this climate of wholesale rebellion.  The precepts of Vatican II boiled down to just one thing - out with the old and in with the new, and not, I might add, with any reference to merit.

Priests, nuns and brothers, shocked and scandalized by what was happening, defected in their thousands.  Almost overnight, religious life in the Church was decimated.

Those who remained became proponents for change as one imported 'expert' after another told them they could not be a mature, effective, relevant or interesting Christians if they did not go along with the changes.

Those who remained in the priesthood or religious life, and bore the early frustrations of reactionary bishops and sluggish rank and file Catholics, would soon come in to their own as the opinion shapers and decision makers of the rising middle management structures in the Church.  (Michael Gilchrist, Rome or the Bush p.12)

This was the era of the hot dog bun and Coca Cola Masses; of nuns with coiffs and contraception en masse.  The catechism was thrown out of schools and heresy after heresy flaunted in the name of academic freedom.

This was the environment in which I became a teacher, from having read the Brown and Green Catechism and the Bible, to my first pastoral ministry course in which St Augustine was ridiculed and dismissed. 

MANY CARDINALS, MANY BISHOPS AND MANY PRIESTS ARE ON THE ROAD TO PERDITION AND ARE TAKING MANY SOULS WITH THEM

Our Lady, Queen of Prophets, foresaw the massive rebellion following Vatican II and the corresponding inertia on the part of the hierachy.

On those rare occasions when bishops did speak up they were immediately howled down by determined and outspoken rebels.  They were castigated for denying the rights of academic freedom.  In Australia, for example, Sydney's auxilliary bishops, the Most Rev. Thomas Muldoon responded to lay complaints about the heretical views of a visiting Sacre Coeur nun by issuing, in writing, a strongly worded statement about the nun's "near heresies" and her failure to get the necessary permission.

A copy of this having fallen into Modernist hands, a protest meeting was organised and Bishop Muldoon himself turned up to it with a prepared statement he was given leave to read.

Bishop Muldoon reminded the hostile audience that doctrinal errors from experts over the mass media could confuse and even scandalize the faithful.  The Church, he said, had a right to protect her doctrines through such public forums:  "The first object of our charity is the Church, but," he added, "if you think I have gravely offended against charity, I apologize sincerely."  This qualified apology being accepted, the Bishop departed and the meeting carried a motion affirming that Mother Gorman's doctrinal questioning was in accord "with the spirit of the Council" and that attacks on this were a threat against "lawful freedom of inquiry".

In effect  public questioning of official Church teachings by Catholics was now to be justified in the name of the Council, while the right of Church leaders to defend these - even through letters - was denied.

The deafening silence from Bishop Muldoon's fellow prelates seemed to confirm this precedent, and to suggest that united episcopal defence of Catholicism against future incursions was unlikely.

Vatican II's Dignitatis Humanae on freedom of conscience was quoted ad nauseam.

Des Lyons wrote a scathing satirical verse on this inertia of the Bishops:

If one of us speaks wrongly
We must stand behind him strongly
By our silence bearing witness
To his sure and certain fitness

This reticence of the bishops was to have far-reaching political consequences.  Abortion became official Labour Party policy as did divorce by post.  Catholic Labour politicians were not chastised by their bishops.

If a party's for abortion
Don't condemn it out of caution
In our common optimism
There must be no risk of schism

"Participation" in the liturgy being the new maxim (and this no longer meant silent and reverent observation but vocal rowdiness), it was only a matter of time before female rebels started clamouring for ordination.  They convened, demanded, insisted. And while, as one might expect, they were never admitted to seminaries, neither was there overt instruction as to the reasons why, and the widespread disobedience of using girl altar servers continues.

Don't provoke our female persons
Lest the situation worsens
Though they scream for ordination
Let there be no confrontation

Successive popes tried at times to pull back the tide of rebellion, to set limits and re-state the Church's constant teaching.  To no avail.  I can still picture the priest at one of our pastoral ministry courses rolling his eyes and saying, "Popes!"

When the trendies say they'd rather
Not support the Holy Father
We keep out of stormy weather
By all standing mute together

Well known dissidents were guest speakers at conferences, seminars and conventions, particularly those concerned with teaching.  Worried laity complained to no avail.

When the faithful are despairing
That their views will get an airing
We are filled with mirth and gaiety
At pretensions of the laity

For whatever they are saying
They should surely stick to praying
For the Faith's too esoteric
And a layman's not a cleric

The hierachy has a duty to continue the mission of Jesus Christ to save souls.  Its duty is to hand down the Faith we have received from Him. They are supposed to be shepherds of their flock, guarding against errors.   Instead, when errors flooded in, they were silent.  Whether directly or indirectly, they backed the heretics.  Those concerned with defending the truth against error were scornfully labelled 'heresy hunters". 

Compared with the experts we think we're inept
So distortion of Faith in our schools we asccept
To exert his authority none of us dares -
We're not the apostles, we're only the heirs

Perhaps they felt too helpless given the lobbying power of the Vatican II idealogues.  Around the country, parents mourned the loss of catechisms in vain, and before long a whole generation was produced who do not know the Catholic Faith. 

No-one would dispute that belief in the Church's teachings is at an all time low.  Survey after survey shows belief in the Real Presence, Confession for the remission of sins, openess in marriage to the procreation of children and even the divinity of Christ are seriously on the wane.   Our Lady saw this coming, and at Garabandal in 1965 issued a strong warning to the clergy:

MANY CARDINALS, MANY BISOPS AND MANY PRIESTS ARE ON THE ROAD TO PERDITION AND ARE TAKING MANY SOULS WITH THEM

to be continued

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 11: MANY CARDINALS, MANY BISHOPS AND MANY PRIESTS ARE ON THE ROAD TO PERDITION AND ARE TAKING MANY SOULS WITH THEM

When Conchita first wrote down the Message, those are the exact words she used.  By the third time she wrote out the Message she was omitting the words "many cardinals" and "many bishops", and was just writing, "many priests".

This is, she explained in her childhood innocence and simplicity, because cardinals and bishops are also priests.

Of course the Blessed Virgin Mary does not need to be instructed in theology.  She chose those words for a good reason, and we need to apply ourselves to understanding why.

Only bishops have teaching authority and only bishops can convene a council.  The point of mentioning bishops is that they are failing in their duty to transmit and defend the Faith.  And they were, at the time of the apparitions, sitting in a council.

Don't you see?  Our Lady, in the Second Message, is warning us about the crisis in the Church, the crisis in our Faith.  She is warning us about the Second Vatican Council, and those people who try to say Our Lady was drawing attention to promoting Vatican II are missing the point.

In one way, Our Lady was in a bind.  How do you warn the Church about the crisis in the Faith and about senior ranking members of the hierachy without destroying belief in the immutability of the Church?  And yet this is exactly what our Blessed Mother succeeded in doing.  On the one hand, she warned about the clergy, and on the other she defended the Council.  Thus she showed that God is, as He promised, with us always, and that when we hear the church we hear Him.

And now we must enter a little more deeply into a proper understanding of the Second Vatican Council.  Vatican II was a pastoral council.  Its decrees were not worded in the style of dogmatic pronouncements.

Nevertheless, dissenters saw the opportunity to insert what Archbishop Lefebvre called, "time bombs", deliberately worded statements that can be interpreted in an orthodox way but can also be interpreted in a heterodox way, and these statements have been widely misinterpreted and abused.

The following example should suffice, from "Dignitatis Humanae", paragraph 3:

It is through his conscience that man sees and recognizes the demands of the divine law.  He is bound to follow this conscience faithfully so that he may come to God, who is his last end.  Therefore he must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience.  Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.

This passage was referring to a freedom from coercion in the external order as a civil right.  i.e. all human beings, because they are human beings, should be free from external coercion in religious matters.

It is not a freedom FOR doing what we want, but a freedom FROM coercion.  The Declaration for Religious Freedom was not meant to support the idea that I have the right to do whatever my conscience tells me to do simply because my conscience tells me to do it.  What, after all, might an erroneous, insincere or insufficiently informed conscience tell me I can or cannot do?

Yet this passage from Vatican II has been used to justify dissent from the teaching authority of the Church, especially in relation to birth control.  This same spirit of rebellion was evident in the way Vatican II was used as a prelude to the Novus Ordo Mass, i.e. Vatican II permitted an extension of the use of the vernacular in the liturgy, while it commanded that Latin be retained.

Now some of you will undoubtedly quote Our Lady of Garabandal saying that the Council will be a success.  And while at first this statement may appear to contradict what I have just said, I will show that it does not.

For the Second Vatican Council to be a success, what must occur is another council which is dogmatic in character and affirms the Church's teaching, especially in relation to ecumenism, the Church and conscience.  This would then define the sense in which VAtican II should be interpreted.  And there are prophecies which deal precisely with just such an event.

Venerable Bartholomew Holzhaus, writing in the 1600s, foresaw our century and each era of the Church.  He said:

The sixth period of the Church will begin with the powerful monarch and the Holy Pontiff...no-one will be able to pervert the word of God since, during the sixth period, there will be an ecumenic council which will be the greatest of all councils.  By the grace of God, by the power of the Great Monarch, by the authority of the Holy Pontiff, and by the union of all the most devout princes, atheism and every heresy will be banished from earth.  The Council will define the true sense of Holy scripture, and this will be believed and accepted by everyone."  (Ref.  Yves Du Pont, Catholic Prophecy p.40)

We have seen that bishops were specifically mentioned in the Second Message because only bishops have teaching authority and only bishops can convene a council.

So why were cardinals specifically mentioned?  Only cardinals can become popes and only cardinals can elect a pope.

It is relevant at this point to make reference to some interesting comments made by Our Lady to Conchita which have, for the main part, been misquoted and therefore, misunderstood.

It was generally reported that Our Lady said there would be 3 more popes (after John XXIII) until the end of this era of the Church.

But what Our Lady actually said was there will be 4 more popes, one of whom will not really be a pope.  In other words, there will be 3 more popes plus an anti-pope.

Conchita was repeating the Virgin's words in ecstacy in the presence of her mother, Aniceta.  And to put it mildly, Aniceta reacted strongly when she heard this!

Conchita, in her intelligent and innocent naivety, found quickly a most useful expedient.  She simply said the Blessed Mother said thee would be 3 more popes.  After all, an anti-pope is not really a pope.

Our Lady was trying to warn us that the crisis in the Church would reach the very highest level.

MANY CARDINALS, MANY BISHOPS AND MANY PRIESTS ARE ON THE ROAD TO PERDITION AND ARE TAKING MANY SOULS WITH THEM

to be continued

Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 10: BEFORE THE CUP WAS FILLING UP, NOW IT IS FLOWING OVER

If only this overflowing cup was the same one David referred to in the 23rd Psalm!

Alas, it is not. 

Our Lady refers to the cup mentioned in the First Message, the cup that was filling up.  Now it is flowing over.

This cup is the cup of God's indignation, God offended by our sins.  It is the cup of the whore of Babylon, filled to overflowing with her iniquity.

How graphic does Heaven need to be about the reality of sin?

The "cup" filling and now overflowing is a strong image of sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance - sodomy, wilful murder, defrauding labourers of their wages and oppression of the poor.

The image of the cup that was overflowing is also meant to convey the urgency of the situation.  We have literally run out of time and must work as never before to redress the situation.

BEFORE THE CUP WAS FILLING UP, NOW IT IS FLOWING OVER

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Previous Posts
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 21: THINK ABOUT THE PASSION OF JESUS, posted December 24th, 2010, 10 comments
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 20: YOU SHOULD MAKE MORE SACRIFICES, posted December 23rd, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 19: PRAY TO US WITH SINCERITY AND WE WILL GRANT YOUR REQUESTS, posted December 23rd, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 18: AND DO NOT WANT YOUR CONDEMNATION, posted December 20th, 2010, 3 comments
Towards Understanding the Message of GarabandalChapter 17: I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH, posted December 19th, 2010, 1 comment
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 16: YOU ARE NOW RECEIVING THE LAST WARNINGS, posted December 18th, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 15: I, YOUR MOTHER, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, AM ASKING YOU TO AMEND YOUR LIFE Part 3, posted December 17th, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 15: I, YOUR MOTHER, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, AM ASKING YOU TO AMEND YOUR LIVES Part 2, posted December 16th, 2010, 1 comment
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 15: I, YOUR MOTHER, THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, AM ASKING YOU TO AMEND YOUR LIVES Part 1, posted December 15th, 2010, 2 comments
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 14: IF YOU ASK FORGIVENESS WITH SINCERE HEARTS HE WILL PARDON YOU continued, posted December 13th, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 14: IF YOU ASK FORGIVENESS WITH SINCERE HEARTS HE WILL PARDON YOU continued, posted December 12th, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 14: IF YOU ASK FORGIVENESS WITH SINCERE HEARTS HE WILL PARDON YOU, posted December 11th, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 13: YOU SHOULD TURN THE WRATH OF GOD AWAY FROM YOURSELVES BY YOUR EFFORTS, posted December 11th, 2010, 2 comments
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 12: LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST continued, posted December 10th, 2010
Towards Understaning the Message of Garabandal Chapter 12: LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST continued, posted December 7th, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 12: LESS AND LESS IMPORTANCE IS BEING GIVEN TO THE EUCHARIST, posted December 7th, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 11: MANY CARDINALS, MANY BISHOPS AND MANY PRIESTS ARE ON THE ROAD TO PERDITION AND ARE TAKING MANY SOULS WITH THEM, posted December 6th, 2010
Towards Understanding the Mesage of Garabandal Chapter 11: MANY CARDINALS, MANY BISHOPS AND MANY PRIESTS ARE ON THE ROAD TO PERDITION AND ARE TAKING MANY SOULS WITH THEM continued, posted December 4th, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 11: MANY CARDINALS, MANY BISHOPS AND MANY PRIESTS ARE ON THE ROAD TO PERDITION AND ARE TAKING MANY SOULS WITH THEM, posted December 4th, 2010, 2 comments
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 10: BEFORE THE CUP WAS FILLING UP, NOW IT IS FLOWING OVER, posted December 2nd, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 9: I AM ADVISING YOU THAT THIS IS THE LAST ONE, posted December 2nd, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 8: AS MY MESSAGE OF OCTOBER 18TH HAS NOT BEEN COMPLIED WITH AND HAS NOT BEEN MADE KNOWN THE WORLD, posted December 1st, 2010
Towards Understaning the Message of Garabandal: THE SECOND MESSAGE, posted November 29th, 2010
AND IF WE DO NOT CHANGE, A VERY GREAT CHASTISEMENT WILL COME UPON US, posted November 29th, 2010, 2 comments
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 6: THE CUP IS ALREADY FILLING UP, posted November 26th, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 5: IF WE DO NOT A CHASTISEMENT WILL BEFALL US, posted November 24th, 2010, 2 comments
towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 4: BUT FIRST WE MUST BE VERY GOOD, posted November 23rd, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal: BUT FIRST WE MUST BE VERY GOOD, posted November 22nd, 2010
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 3: AND VISIT THE BLESSED SACRAMENT FREQUENTLY, posted November 20th, 2010, 2 comments
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 2: PERFORM MUCH PENANCE, posted November 19th, 2010, 2 comments
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 1: WE MUST MAKE MANY SACRIFICES continued, posted November 19th, 2010, 2 comments
Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 1: WE MUST MAKE MANY SACRIFICES, posted November 18th, 2010, 2 comments
The First Message of Our Lady of Mt Carmel Delivered in Garabandal on October 18,1961, posted November 17th, 2010
Converted by Our Lady Continued, posted November 17th, 2010, 1 comment
Converted by Our Lady, posted November 16th, 2010, 6 comments
Getting to Goal Weight day 332: Getting Back On Track and I Didn't Even Know I Was Off the Track, posted November 12th, 2010
Your Cross, posted November 6th, 2010
Getting to Goal Weight day 324: Important Muscles That Are Easily Forgotten, posted November 5th, 2010
Getting to Goal Weight day 314: Crashing Down to Reality With a Thud, posted October 27th, 2010, 3 comments
Getting to Goal Weight day 294: Spring is Here, posted October 6th, 2010
Getting to Goal Weight day 275: My Back, posted September 17th, 2010
Getting to Goal Weight day 269: That Photo From Before, posted September 11th, 2010
Getting to Goal Weight day 265: Where were you on September 11?, posted September 10th, 2010
Getting to Goal Weight day 258: It Has Been Ages Since...., posted September 3rd, 2010
Gettig to Goal Weight day 251: Never Admit the Pain, posted September 1st, 2010
Getting to Goal Weight day 248: Adjusting the Wardrobe, posted August 27th, 2010
Getting to Goal Weight day 241: Visceral and Subcutaneous Fat, posted August 20th, 2010
Getting to Goal Weight day 234: Slow Progress, posted August 13th, 2010
Getting to Goal Weight day 223: Women Comparing Their Weight, posted August 3rd, 2010
Getting to Goal Weight day 207: Progress, posted July 16th, 2010
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