|“My Immaculate Heart Will Be Your Refuge And The Way That Will Lead You To God!”
“I will put enmities between thee and the Woman, between thy seed and her seed. She shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” (Gen.3-15)
Our ultimate enemy today is not anti-Christ but anti-God! The battle at hand is between Satan and the Mother of God, “his seed and the seed of the Woman.”
Our Lady came to Fatima to convince the world of sin. Her revelation, explicit and emphatic, was the reality of Hell – not just at the end of the world, but its reality now, for each one of us at the hour of our death! This is the secret of Fatima. To a world and, especially, to the Christian world for whom hellfire has faded into a myth, Our Lady shows the existing reality and imminent possibility of eternal damnation. More important than the end of the whole world at the end of time, is for us to know, He is coming “soon” and, therefore, we must “watch and pray.” (Lk. 21:36)
“PENANCE and PRAYER”
Her reminder is our best and only hope.
Sin is an evil which far surpasses all other evils united, for it destroys the union between God and man. All miseries endured in this world: poverty, shame, disgrace, suffering, sickness and death, are but the effects of sin. Sin reigns everywhere, defiling every age. Sin is our positive refusal to submit to God’s authority, “I WILL NOT SERVE THEE!” It is contempt of divine authority and the blackest ingratitude. “If I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He is come, He will convict the world of sin and of justice, and of judgment.” ( Jn. 16: 7- 8 )
The treason of Judas was preceded by his contempt of the penitent Magdalene for her act of love in anointing the Feet of Jesus with costly spices. Jesus knew perfectly well that one of His Apostles would betray Him to His enemies for money. He lovingly washed the feet of Judas and longed to be allowed to wash his soul. The betrayal of Christ and the love of money are inseparably joined in our sacred history. If Judas sells Jesus, will I buy Him? He has loved me and delivered Himself up for me. Will I give all I have and all I am? Will I make Him mine at the expense of my pleasure and temporal happiness?
In the Agony of Jesus in the Garden, He sweat blood. Raising His Eyes to Heaven, He prayed: “Father, behold the witness of my entire obedience to Thee, and of my devoted love for Thy children and My brethren.” Victim and Martyr, His Blood speaks louder than words.
And Pilot said to them, “I find no guilt in Him” Yet, he chastised Him to satisfy the people. It was a brutal flogging, unlimited both in number and the severity of the stripes inflicted. As the steel strikes fire out of the flint, so did the whips spark the fire of Love from the Heart of Jesus. The harder they struck Him, the more He loved them, and loved all sinners. He answered the whips with darts of Love. Through this particular suffering, He was atoning especially for our sins of impurity. Let no Christian who has studied Christ’s scourging at the pillar ever again pamper his miserable flesh! Let him chastise his body and bring it into subjection by continually practicing, at least, some little acts of bodily self-denial.
The soldiers crowned Jesus with thorns out of contempt for His divine sovereignty. The sin-infected earth brought forth thorns and briars, and sinners more savage than the earth crowned their Monarch with the sharpest insults. Let us love the crown of thorns because it plainly tells that, after obtaining forgiveness of his own sins, the chief glory of every Christian is to bear the shame of his neighbor’s sins. Christ’s coronation with thorns is a splendid victory over our pride, leading us to be subject to one another in all humility. Both the Cross and Crown He committed to us as a special heirloom of self-sacrifice and self-abasement.
Jesus and the Cross are together at last. He must have affectionately pressed the Cross to His Heart and kissed it. Jesus received the Cross from the Hand of His
Father. To Him, it was not a shameful gibbet, but the chosen symbol of His tenderest Love. Still, it was hard for Him to carry this crushing load for His Body was totally spent through the terrible scourging He underwent. His physical strength might fail, but not His determined purpose. His courage never faltered. No matter how heavy our crosses, let us never lose courage. Let us say with the Apostles, “I can do all things in Him Who strengtheneth me.” Patience in affliction and under adversity brings peace in strife, solace in pain and, above all else, secure hope of the pardon for our sins.
Pride is the root of all sin and by the public humiliation of Christ upon the Cross, He made the most fitting reparation. He paid the price in full; Christ is made a dreadful spectacle. A great crowd was near at hand looking at “Him Whom they had pierced,” gloating over His sufferings and eagerly awaiting His gradually approaching death. He was pleased with so great a throng, and glad they saw Him so miserably broken and ruined that they would never forget the sight. We know not what place self-love can find on Calvary. The only real glory the world has ever known is to share in the Cross and Passion of Jesus Christ won by patient endurance of injuries, loving atonement to God for sin, our own and that of our neighbor. The best word of encouragement that can be spoken to one in distress is this:
BEAR YOUR CROSS BRAVELY IN UNION WITH JESUS CRUCIFIED.
Christ is our Teacher and our Pattern. His Example is the known and approved reasonableness of a mortified life. Oh, how many virtues flow into our soul ‘by looking upon Him Whom we have pierced: humility, patience, self- denial, obedience to the Divine Will and sacrificial love.
Jesus kept Himself alive on the Cross by a miracle of fortitude. His Face lifted upward, and His fading Eyes gazed into the darkened Heavens, “Father, into Thy Hands, I commend My Spirit.” Jesus died.
From the turmoil of Calvary’s horrors, the Soul of Jesus thus passed into the tranquility of the Godhead. Christ died for sinners, of whom I am the greatest. To care not why the Son of God suffered Himself to be put to death, is for the Christian a capital sin of sloth. The charity of Christ presses every love into its service, and places itself at the service of every love. The Son of God died for my salvation!
I commend my spirit, unreservedly and forever, to be owned and ruled by Thy Spirit in all things.
O, what in all life is so precious as the privilege of bowing down one’s head and dying for sinners!
If the disciples of Christ preach rigors, it is no compliment to their Master Who preached pardon. From among all actions calculated to win souls, Christ chose to die for men that they may have life everlasting.
Mary, John and Magdalene and the other faithful women stood alone at the foot of the Cross of Christ. A party of soldiers from the city was sent by Pilot to break the legs of the convicted and remove them from their crosses. Jesus was obviously dead but a soldier pierced Him with a lance. It struck Him hard and made a great wound clean to the heart, wide as a man’s hand. After that stroke, no hand touched Jesus but in love. Jesus suffered in all His bodily frame; His Feet were pierced that blood might mark His tracks as He searched zealously for our souls; His brain was tortured by a thorny crown that His thoughts might trickle blood as they ached and throbbed for us, and now His Heart, the very organ of love, receives the deepest cut of all, drained so generously in atonement of our sins. If our gaze upon the Crucified Savior can put a touch of pain in a sinner’s heart, He has won that heart. The gaping side of Christ is that open door from whence the Sacraments of the Church flow forth, without which there is no entrance to true life.
“Son, Behold Thy Mother.”
O God, Who guidest that which is gone astray, and gatherest that which is scattered, and keepest that which is gathered together, we beseech Thee, mercifully pour forth upon the Christian people the grace of Thy unity, that they may reject the spirit of dissension and unite themselves to the True Shepherd of Thy Church, and may thus be enabled to serve Thee worthily. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
(An indulgence of 3 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this prayer is said with devotion every day for a month – Roman Missal 576 S.P. Ap., Nov. 22,1934)
Have you Loved Ones who have strayed from the Sacraments, a spouse who is unfaithful, children who are abusive and disobedient, sick ones who are in anguish, crushing financial worries or unbearable burdens at the workplace? Make haste to bring them to the Fountain of Life, and bathe them in the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ!
During this Holy Season, enrich your family spiritually by enrolling your parents, spouse, children and friends in the Lenten Mass Bouquet we are privileged to offer to you.
The Holy Mass Is Your Life!
The rational man needs the Mass to pay Almighty God the debt of homage and adoration he owes Him. The grateful man needs the Mass to pay his debt of thanksgiving. The sinful man, and who among us is without sin, needs the Mass to propitiate God’s justice and to pay his debt of satisfaction.
The needy man needs the Mass, that praying with Jesus Christ and through Him, he may offer a prayer that is worthy of being heard and, thus, discharge his duty and debt of petition.
At the hour of death, the Masses you have heard will be your greatest consolation. Every Mass will go with you to judgment and plead for pardon. At every Mass, you can diminish the temporal punishment due to your sins. Assisting devoutly at Mass, you render the Sacred Humanity of Jesus, the greatest homage. He supplies for many of your negligences and omissions. He forgives you all the venial sins you are determined to avoid. He forgives you all the unknown sins you have never confessed. The power of Satan over you is diminished.
By hearing Mass, you afford the Souls in Purgatory the greatest possible relief. One Mass heard by you, during life, will be of more benefit to you than many heard for you after death.
Holy Mass preserves you from many dangers and misfortunes that would otherwise befall you. You shorten your Purgatory by every Mass. You win for yourself a higher degree of glory in Heaven. At Mass, you kneel amidst a multitude of angels who are present at the adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe. You receive the priest’s blessing which Our Lord Himself ratifies in Heaven. You are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.
“If you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it to you.” John 16-23
Nihil obstat: P. L. Biermann, Censor Librorum. Imprimatur: George Cardinal Mundelein, Archbishop of Chicago
The names you send for individual enrollment for the Sacred Masses during the Lenten Season and Easter Octave will be placed upon the Altar. Fr. Ivan Kolodiy and all the priests you have helped in Ukraine will offer these Masses. Mass cards will be provided for the persons enrolled.