Introduction

Introduction

Saint Anthony of Padua religion faith holy illustration. St. Anthony. Patron Saint of Lost Items. With Child Jesus

What follows for the next several weeks are a series of meditations on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, since this is His month. They are taken from Rev. Peter J. Arnoudt, S.J., The Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, (1904, Benziger Bros.), a lengthy book of meditations. These visits with the Sacred Heart are remarkable for the love they inculcate and the deeper understanding of Christ’s love for us which they offer the reader. These selections have been chosen to reflect the times in which we find ourselves, with the hope that they will help the reader better appreciate the value of suffering in the light of Our Lord’s own sufferings, and the joy sharing in these sufferings should bring to us, since they unite us with Christ on the Cross.

Wishing all a peaceful and spiritually productive summer!

1 Sacred Heart June 13 Blog

2 Sacred Heart June 13 Blog

3 Sacred Heart June 13 Blog

4 Sacred Heart June 13 Blog

5 Sacred Heart, June 13 Blog

 

 

 

Awe and silence when Truth reigns at the  Final Judgment

Awe and silence when Truth reigns at the Final Judgment

Prayer Society Intention for the Month of June, Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

“Divine Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying, deliver the holy souls in Purgatory.” (Raccolta) 

As Henry Cardinal Manning has explained in his Temporal Power of the Vicar of Christ: “Antichrist and the antichristian movement has these marks: first, schism from the Church of God; second, denial of its Divine and infallible voice;and thirdly, denial of the Incarnation.” On pgs. 85-86, Manning describes schism as “revolt from authority… the one and universal Church.” Denial of infallibility he characterizes as “the rejection of the office and presence of the Holy Ghost… This necessarily involves the heretical principle of human opinion as opposed to Divine faith; of the private spirit as opposed to the infallible voice of the Holy Spirit speaking through the Church of God” (p. 166). As for denial of the Incarnation, Manning notes on page 161: “The dethronement of the Vicar of Christ is the dethronement of the hierarchy of the universal Church and the public rejection of the Presence and Reign of Jesus…” And on page 91: “If heresy in the individual dissolves the unity of the Incarnation, heresy in the nation dissolves the unity of the Church, which is built on the Incarnation.”

This should be something quite obvious to the average Catholic as a logical consequence of Manning’s first two points, but unfortunately it is not. For “rejection of the office and presence of the Holy Ghost” is a denial of the necessary presence of the Third person of the Blessed Trinity, and the Trinity is one and undivided; deny one of its members and you deny all. Christ’s Vicars speak in His name; they are His living voice on earth. Ignore and demean that voice and every bit of the light of sanctifying grace disappears. There are now so many ways the Incarnation is being denied on earth it is difficult to evaluate them all. But as we have been examining in our last several blogs, the institution of the Novus Ordo Missae was one of the major contributors to this denial, falsifying the meaning of Christ’s very words in instituting the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass on Catholic altars. For what it actually represented was the ability of man to dictate to God the meaning and wording of the Divine establishment of the Eucharist, recognizing only His humanity and changeable human nature, NOT HIS DIVINITY, just as they would later change all the other Sacraments.

All this, of course, emanated from Protestantism and its concept of Christ as a loving, merciful God — our friend, our brother — with no reference to the suffering Christ, the righteous judge, the exactor of Divine vengeance. True Catholics watch in sorrow when they see Protestants and Novus Ordo adherents alike swaying and dancing in scandalous attire to guitar-accompanied “Christian” and secular music, after the manner of pagans, and calling it “worship”; speaking in tongues and effecting “healings” at charismatic/ holy roller services and welcoming non-Catholics into what is commonly believed to be “Catholic” churches, in the spirit of ecumenism. That God would be pleased with the scurrilous amusements of man is a sacrilege and a travesty, a denial both of his Divinity and His Kingship. Traditionalism denies His divinity as well, for those attending the services of Traditionalist pseudo-clergy are just as pagan, offering worship to bread idols never consecrated by those who are not valid successors of the apostles.

When silence falls

One shudders to think what will happen to these non-believers on the day Christ comes as King to judge us all. For those who have not been converted by the many chastisements preceding Christ’s coming I envision, on beholding Him in all His Divine majesty, an all-pervading and electrified silence, electrified, that is, by the first inkling of fear inspired by this most awesome and Almighty Lord God of Hosts. For He will be nothing as they imagined. There will be no kindly smile on His anguished face, no open arms to embrace those who believe they can continue sinning without ever amending their lives and doing penance, because His blood covers them all. For standing there behind Him and at His side will be all the Saints they refused to believe in, including His Blessed Mother, who they never cease to defile, and her retinue of angels, who many dismiss as figments of the imagination. They will look frantically to find any among that faithful band appearing with Him who they hailed as ministers, prophets and “saints” among their ranks on this earth and will recognize no one. And then will confusion and dread overtake them, and the weeping and gnashing of teeth begin.

Listen to what St. Alphonsus de Liguori tells us about Judgment Day:

“The Redeemer has appointed a day of general judgment  which is called in the Scriptures ‘the day of the Lord,’ on which Jesus Christ will make known the greatness of His Majesty. Hence that day is called not a day of mercy and pardon but ‘a day of wrath, a day of tribulation and distress, a day of calamity and misery.’ Yes, for then the Lord will come to repair the honor which sinners sought to take from Him on this earth. Let us examine how the judgment of that great day will take place…The just will stand on the right and the wicked will be driven to the left. How great would be the pain that you would feel at being driven away from the party of pleasure or at being expelled from the Church! But how much greater will be the pain of those who are banished from the society of the saints. What, think you, says the author of The Imperfect Work, must be the confusion of the wicked one after being separated from the just? They will be abandoned. This confusion alone would, according to Saint John Chrysostom, be sufficient to constitute a hell for the reprobate. The son will be separated from the father the husband from the wife and the master from the servant. One shall be taken and one shall be left as in Holy Scripture.

“’Tell me my brother, what place do you think will fall to you? Would you wish to be found at the right hand? If you do, abandon the life which leads to the left.’ The witnesses against the reprobate will first be the devils, who according to Saint Augustine will say: ‘Most just God declare, him to be mine who was unwilling to be yours.’ Secondly, they will be their own consciences, ‘Their own conscience bearing witness to them.’ The very walls of the house in which they have offended God with their testimony will cry for vengeance against them. ‘The stone shall cry out of the wall.’ Finally, the Judge himself, who has been present at all the insults offered to Him, will give evidence against the Sinner: ‘Depart from Me you cursed into everlasting fire’” (Preparation for Death).

But no one believes this could happen to them, that the end is so very near. And even those who admit it cannot be far off, are not worried they will be counted among the reprobate. And yet it seems that this event could be at our very doors.

Nearness of the Judgment

We read From Fr. E. Sylvester Berry’s The Apocalypse of St. John, (1921), Ch. 20:

“St. John now beholds our Lord seated upon His throne to judge the living and the dead. Heaven and earth fleeing before His face expresses the terror that shall seize upon the wicked: ‘Men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved.’ Our Lord’s coming with power and majesty, and the signs that precede it were not revealed to St. John, probably because they had been sufficiently announced by Christ Himself in the Gospels. ‘Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together.’ In like manner at the coming of Christ the dead arise and come to judgment. The books are now opened and all are judged according to their works which are written either in the book of life or in the books of the dead.

“The books of the dead (wicked) are many while there is but one book of life because ‘many are called, but few are chosen.’ The sea represents the nations opposed to the Church in the last days. Its dead are the people of those nations whom Christ shall find living at His coming. They are dead in sin and their works are written in the books of the dead. Death and hell must give up their dead, the wicked who die before the second coming of Christ. Their souls, condemned to hell, are now united to their risen bodies to appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Thus do death and hell give up their dead.

“The order of events immediately preceding the last judgment can be fairly well established from various passages of Scriptures. The revolt of Gog and Magog will be punished by a deluge of fire from heaven which will probably occasion the conversion of great numbers. At some time after this the signs foreboding the coming of Christ will strike terror into all hearts, and the day of judgment will be near at hand; ‘When these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand’; ‘But of the day and hour no one knoweth, no not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone.’ St. Paul says that ‘The day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night;’ men will be found in the midst of their occupations as happened at the deluge of the days of Noe.

At length there ‘shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all tribes of earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds with much power and majesty. And He shall send His angels with a trumpet and a great voice, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds of heaven, from the farthest parts of the heaven to the utmost bounds of them.’ At the sound of the trumpet the dead shall arise. The just found living upon earth in that day and the just who arise from the dead shall be caught up into the air to meet Christ and be united with Him forever. ‘The dead who are with Christ shall arise first. Then we who are alive, who are left shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ into the air and so shall we be always with the Lord.’

“Shall those found living at the second coming of Christ undergo death before the judgment? The Church has decided nothing in the matter, but Sacred Scripture seems to indicate that they will not. St. Paul says: ‘We who are alive shall be taken up;’ Again he says: ‘In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trumpet . . . the dead shall arise again incorruptible; and we shall be changed.’ He evidently makes a distinction between those who are dead and those who remain alive at the coming of Christ. In the preceding verse the Apostle writes: ‘We shall all indeed rise again; but we shall not all be changed.’ This indicates that all must undergo death but the Greek text reads: ‘We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.’ It must be admitted that this reading agrees better with the context than the one found in the Vulgate.

And from Fr. Charles-Marie Arminjon’s The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life, (1881), said to have been read and esteemed by St. Therese of Lisieux:

“As for the manner of this Second Coming, it will be like the first: it will be the same Christ and the same man and His features and appearance will be the same as during His mortal life. It will be enough for those who lived and spoke with Him to set eyes on His person in order to recognize Him. However this second manifestation will not come in weakness and humiliation but in majesty and glory. St. Matthew’s gospel says: ‘I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God and coming in the clouds of heaven.’ In other words, Jesus Christ will appear surrounded by the pomp and apparel of divine kingship. The glorified elect and the multitude of angels will form a resplendent court around His throne such as no mind could portray.  Those who fought with the greatest constancy, who have followed Him the most closely in the arena of his sufferings, will be the nearest to his person.

“’Then shall the just stand with great constancy,’ says the book of Wisdom, ‘against those that have afflicted them and taken away their labours.’ We can imagine the regrets and despair of the damned by virtue of the picture which the same inspired author draws of them.

  • “These seeing it shall be troubled with terrible fear and shall be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation.
  • “Saying within themselves, repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit. These are they whom we had some time in derision and for a parable of reproach.
  • “We fools esteemed their life’s madness and their end without honor.
  • “Behold how they are numbered among the children of God and their lot is among the Saints. • “Therefore we have erred from the way of truth and the light of justice hath not shined unto us and the sun of understanding hath not risen upon us.

“The apostles, martyrs, doctors and thousands of the just who have fought for the honor of God and for the interests of the faith will unite with their leader in proclaiming the truth of His sentences and the equity of His judgments. This judgment is rightly called universal because it will be exercised over all members of the human race, because it will cover every crime every misdemeanor and because it will be definitive and irrevocable.

All will be revealed

“Only then will human history begin. In the clarity of the light of God all the crimes, public and secret, which have been committed in every latitude and in every age will be seen clearly and in detail. The whole life of each human being will be laid bare. No circumstance will be omitted, no action, word or desire will remain unknown. We shall be reminded of the different periods we have gone through; the lustful man will have his disorderly living and libertine speeches set out before him the, ambitious man his devious, Machiavellian ways. The judgment will unravel and bring out all the strands and the duplicity of those intrigues so cleverly hatched. It will set out in their true light all those base repudiations of principles those Craven acts of complicity which men invested with public authority have sought to justify, whether by invoking the specious pretext of reasons of state or by covering them up with the mask of piety or disinterestedness.

“The Lord, says St. Bernard, will reveal all those abuses which people conceal from themselves; all those unknown dissipations, those planned crimes where the only thing lacking was the actual commission. Those pretended virtues and those forgotten secret sins blotted out from the memory will appear suddenly like enemies starting out from an ambush. Without doubt, there are men so hardened in evil that the thought of this terrible manifestation has little effect upon them. Being familiar with crime, they treat it as a subject of amusement and boasting. And without they fondly imagine that they will assume some effrontery at the Judge, the same effrontery at the judgment and by their cynical, arrogant attitude defy the majesty of God and the conscience of the human race.

“Vain hope! Sin will no longer be viewed from the opinion of carnal man, ready to excuse the most violent outbursts because they do not harm any neighbor, either in his goods or in his life. The foulness and disorder of sin will be revealed in the ineffable clarity of the light of God. Sin, says Saint Thomas, will be judged as God Himself judges it.”

And finally this, written by Rev. Herman Bernard Kramer, The Book of Destiny, 1956, Ch. 20:

“After the defeat of Gog and his armies, Satan is cast into the pool of fire and brimstone, hell proper, into which Antichrist and his prophet were cast alive with body and soul. They may not appear at the Last Judgment. Satan was confined to the bottomless abyss during the millennium and then released to seduce Gog and his followers, whose number is as the sands of the sea. Thereby he fills up his measure of iniquity and merits to be sunk into the deepest chasm of the pool of fire. The final judgment is pronounced and executed upon him as on his two principal agents and with them he is locked up in the burning pool. Here we must understand that this is how Antichrist and the False Prophet re cast ALIVE into this pool: They are the first to be resurrected at the Final Judgment and then thrown into Hell, for “ALL shall rise”…

“This verse (10) suggests another epoch of peace between the destruction of Gog and the end of the world. Perhaps the signs of the approaching end foretold by our Lord will then gradually appear. There is no “day and night” in eternity after the Last Judgment. According to the Greek text, the “day and night” seems not to be identified with the “forever and ever” of eternity. Hence if Satan is tormented together with the Beast and False Prophet day and night, it must be while day and night still continue on earth. Those who shall have forgotten God’s judgments upon Antichrist or view them as doubtful legends and have drifted into indifference at the end of the THOUSAND YEARS shall in the destruction of Gog come face to face with the truth of the Church’s teachings and a manifest proof of the everlasting punishments on the wicked. As in the Old Testament, so at all times men discount and underestimate in the course of ages the value of God’s revelations and treat the Gospel today as fairy tales, deny the reality of the miracles of Christ and even doubt His existence. Many will estimate the history of Antichrist and the miraculous manifestation of Christ’s power in the Church and particularly in the Holy Eucharist as far distant fables and will imagine in their overweening pride that men were deceived in those days of ignorance.

“Verse 10 refutes with striking clearness all explanations that the Beast and the False Prophet are institutions or organizations, for they are not only cast into the same pool of fire with Satan, whose personal existence no one tries to torture into an institution but are also “tormented” together with him. No institution, organization, kingdom or empire is “tormented” in hell. But even brilliant minds after taking an impossible view will try to hold on to it. Verses 11-end: This verse follows the foregoing without any connecting particle and without any introduction to the succeeding vision. The One sitting upon the Great White Throne before whose face heaven and earth flee away is Christ coming in the clouds to judge the world. He comes for the Last Judgment. No place is found for heaven and earth anymore. The world and all its glory shall pass away, and the Church shall exist on earth no longer.

A time for penance

Between this verse and the foregoing a period of time is obviously passed over, during which the wicked may repent and do penance. Verse eleven following the final judgment upon Satan without the insertion of a connecting word proves noth­ing about the proximity of the judgment to his condemnation.

“The ‘seven years’ of Ezechiel may be and probably are a symbolic number. Ezechiel indicates (39: 22-29) some lapse of time from Gog to the end of the world and likewise a speedy arrival of the end after the last war of Gog (38: 8). The prophets commonly write new prophecies verse after verse without any conjunctions and without any indication of long spaces of time between the verses. In one verse they promise the end of the Babylonian Captivity and in the next the glories of Christ’s reign, as if the coming of Christ were simultaneous with the re­turn from Captivity. And they connect His Coming immediately with the glorious future days in terms of the millennium, al­though another couple of thousand years must pass away added to the five hundred from the end of the Captivity to His Coming.

“Christ steadfastly refused to reveal the nearness of the end of the world, although the apostles evinced the keenest desire to know this. He said to them that the Father had kept this knowledge in His control (Mt. 24: 36; Mach.13: 32). The time for the career of Antichrist shall be known when the signs appear and also that of the last enemy of the Church, Gog; there is nothing in the Apocalypse, however, to indicate the nearness or remoteness of the end of the world after these other prophecies have been past history. The wisdom of God withholds this knowledge from the human race.”

Battle of Armageddon 

If we take Apoc. Ch. 16 literally, it would seem that it coincides with the beginning of a third world war, and the advent of a possible pole shift, and/or meteor strike — accompanied by the destruction of Babylon described at length in chapters 17 and 18-19. It also segues smoothly into  Ch. 20, which aligns this battle with the last persecution of the Church — the battle of the forces of good with Gog and Magog. Chapter 20 of Apocalypse indicates Satan himself will descend on the “camp of the saints” and inspire what Rev. Leo Haydock describes as “the last persecution of Antichrist” by Gog and Magog, which some believe is Russia and its leader in league with China and other nations. If we live in the time after Antichrist described by St. Thomas Aquinas, which I believe that we do, Satan and his hordes will come quickly and the battle of Armageddon will be waged as described in Chap. 16 of Apocalypse.

The article here discusses the battle of Armageddon that seems to be instigated by those of the Orient — China, Russia, et al; “Gog and Magog” (Apoc. 20:7; Ezech. 38: 2-3) and coincides with the fall of Babylon. As Rev. P. Huchede explains in his book History of Antichrist (1884), Gog and Magog can be identified with the Scythians, who the Encyclopedia Brittanica identifies as “…members of a nomadic people, originally of Iranian stock, known from as early as the 9th century B.C., who migrated westward from Central Asia to southern Russia and Ukraine in the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.” Clearly, this is now a distinct possibility. Some speculate on the web that these forces shall overcome us and enslave us, but if this is true, it may not be true everywhere or for all. We must remember what Fr. Hunolt says in his sermons, recently quoted here, that on the contrary: ““This shall be done at the end of the world, when all creatures are to be set at liberty and released from slavery, and then like a mighty army they will all rush in a body against the wicked to put them to shame, as we read in the Book of Wisdom…”

There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth

However brief it may be, there will be time to do penance before the Final Judgment as Fr. Hunolt agrees; won for mankind, I believe, by Christ’s Blessed Mother. As we noted in our last blog, how many have defamed and blasphemed Our Lady when they so desperately need her intercession.  Will there not be a great silence among these blasphemers, when they stare with incredulity as Our Lady comes to crush the head of Satan? Is it not possible that the Miracle of the Sun was a portent of a future intervention on mankind’s behalf by Our Blessed Mother, to save her children from evil men who not only try to obliterate all belief in her Divine Son, but obscure the sun itself, created by God the Father, and rob us of its light that we may all the more quickly perish? Yes, that is when the great silence will fall, when they realize that all they have been taught was a lie, and they have no way to defend themselves before the throne of God.

Such a great mercy, sadly, will not be taken advantage of by all. That the Final Judgment is imminent is not a certainty, although it is definitely a serious probability. For as we have seen over the ages, many things anticipated in Apocalypse have either missed the mark or have been taken in the wrong direction entirely. We can see things more clearly now as the time grows nearer. But it is likely that we will never know, until the battle of Armageddon commences and Antichrist’s diabolical system is destroyed, exactly what God has planned for us. And this, as Rev. Kramer states above, is his express will. That is why Christ tells us He comes as a thief, for each of us when we end our earthly exile; and for all of us, when the days of this weary world are done.

Answering Protestants who blaspheme our Blessed Mother

Answering Protestants who blaspheme our Blessed Mother

+Most Holy Trinity Sunday+

Many readers grieve over the multiplication of blasphemies and insults against the Blessed Mother by those professing to be “Christians,” both on social media sites and Protestant websites.  The intensity of these attacks appears to be increasing, and Catholics are hard-pressed at times to answer these false accusations themselves, dissecting the grounds for the attack and cutting to the core of the issue. What follows is the summary of a little book printed in the 1800s that explains the history, motives, misrepresentations and illogical basis for these allegations. This work proves, from the writings of notable Protestant preachers themselves, that the idol worship Catholics are accused of today is neither worship nor idolatry. It then exposes the true source of the hatred Protestants so vehemently spew against our beloved Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Rev. Henry G. Ganss, the rector of St. Patrick’s Church in Carlisle, Penn., wrote Mariolatry, New Phases of an Old Fallacy in 1897 (Notre Dame Press, Indiana). It first appeared as a series printed in the periodical Ave Maria. His work is based on a scathing address entitled Mariolatry, delivered by a Protestant minister in Pennsylvania and widely distributed to the public.  In his work, Rev. Ganss refutes this minister’s sermon and notes the following important points.

Ignorance, name-calling, credulity and insinuations

Regarding the methods used to belittle and castigate Catholics at every possible turn he writes: “Such wholesale and extreme pugnacity may be very convenient as it calls for no discrimination; it requires neither learning nor thought but can be played off under all circumstances by almost any polemic with about the same effect. Its strength consists mainly in calling nicknames; in repeating outrageous charges without regard to any contradiction from the other side; in thrumming over threadbare commonplaces received by tradition from the easy credulity of times past; in huge exaggerations, vast distortions and bold, insulting insinuations thrown out at random in any and every direction. But however convenient all this may be, requiring little learning and less thought and no politeness or charity whatever, it is high time to see that it is a system of tactics which needs in truth only a slight change of circumstance at any time to work just the opposite way from that it is meant to work.

“There is an absence of a cool, dispassionate, judicial temperament; glittering generalities and unsupported assertions are uttered with a melancholy disregard for historic accuracy, conscientious scholarship, logical sequence, and, I regret to say, Christian truth. The covert design seems to be to cast discredit and odium on everything bearing a semblance to Catholicity even if charity the only badge of a true follower of a common Redeemer, and truth, the only criterion that regulates social and spiritual life, must be sacrificed. And when this is done with a mock-heroic air of theological erudition and with the avowed intention of bringing man near to his God, we hardly know whether to be convulsed at the picturesque drollery of the first attitude or filled with burning indignation at the seeming impiety of the second.”

T. Benns comment: What strikes me immediately here is the similarity of these Protestant attacks to those of the LibTrads against Catholics  praying at home.

The Incarnation denied

Ganss continues, quoting Luther: “To be the mother of God is a prerogative so lofty, so tremendous, as to surpass all understanding. There is no honor no beatitude capable of approaching an elevation which consists in being of the whole human race the sole person superior to all others unequaled in the prerogative of having one common son with the heavenly Father. Calvin fully endorses this view. The imputation of sinfulness to the Blessed Virgin is confronted with the evidence of the ancient Church. St. Ambrose calls her ‘a Virgin free from every stain of sin;’ Saint Andrew of Crete says that she was ‘not at leavened with the universal leaven of sin.’ Saint Augustine, who is quoted later in the sermon, claims that she had ‘an immunity from all sin concerning whom when there is a question of sin. I wish no question would ever to be raised on account of the Lord, for thence we know that more grace to vanquish sin altogether was conferred on her who merited to conceive and bring forth Him in whom sin has no part.’ Disbelief was so strongly grafted on the ancient Church that at the ecumenical council of Ephesus it was made a standard of orthodoxy, so that all who denied that Mary was the Mother of God were excommunicated as heretics.”

T. Benns comment: And of course the Church later infallibly decreed Our Lady was conceived without original sin.

“The idea that the son of God assumed humanity in a sinful mother or in a woman ‘just as human as any other daughter of Eve,’ cannot be reconciled with a proper conception of the Incarnation. it is repugnant to reason, antagonistic to the consensus of the primitive Church and reprobated by modern orthodoxy. All agree ‘that she must not have stood in the same relation to sin,’ to use the words of the Lutheran divine Dietlien, ‘as other children of Eve, who from the beginning of her existence was to be the vehicle of grace in so preeminent a manner.’ The issue the sermon wishes to raise here is brushed away with theological skill and orthodox vigor by a learned Episcopalian churchman when he says: ‘We cannot doubt that He [Jesus] loved Mary to the fullness of His nature, which was divine. It would be a very idle refinement to say that He loved her as man only, for in Him the human and divine nature were united. That nature human and divine he bore with Him to heaven.’

And Ganss says: “It is hard to believe that she, who once covered with kisses the lips which shall pronounce the doom of men, did not have her maternal tenderness repaid and that she, like any other sinful woman, could possibly expect those divine lips to pronounce her doom.”

Countering false worship charges

Ganss then comments on the charges made in the sermon he is refuting that “devotion to Mary is a superstitious credulity; a sensual worship an idealized paganism.” He quotes the eulogist and historian Lecky a champion of rationalism as stating: “’There is, I think, little doubt that the Catholic reverence of the Virgin has done much to elevate and purify the ideal woman and to soften the manners of men. It has had an influence which the worship of the pagan goddesses could never possess, for these had been almost destitute of moral beauty and especially of that kind of moral beauty which is peculiarly feminine. It supplied in a great measure the redeeming and ennobling element in a strange amalgamation of licentious and military feeling which was formed around women in the age of chivalry and which no succeeding change of habit or belief has wholly destroyed.’

“Shlegel, the great German poet and critic, a staunch Lutheran, coincides with Lecky when he claims that ‘with the virtue of chivalry was associated a new and pure spirit of love and inspired homage for genuine female worth, which was now reared as the pinnacle of humanity and enjoined by religion itself under the image of the Virgin Mother, infused into all hearts a sentiment of alloyed goodness.’” Again we hear from a Protestant: “Ruskin, who as far as Catholicity is concerned has little in common with the above authors and displays an almost frenetic hatred of the Church is compelled all the same to confess: ‘I am persuaded that the worship of the Madonna has been one of the noblest and most vital graces of Catholicism and has never been otherwise than productive of true holiness of life and purity of character. There is probably not an innocent cottage house throughout the length and breadth of Europe in which the imagined presence of the Madonna has not given sanctity to the humblest duties and comfort to the sorest trials of the lives of women.” And he goes on to quote several more.

Countering charges of idolatry, he quotes one Protestant who visited Italy and confessed that, “He could discern no indications of idolatry but testifies that ‘in the six months that I have been in Dr. Schaff protests against the propagation of the calamity that ‘papists are idolaters is the colossal slander on the oldest and largest church in Christendom’ and stigmatize such methods as untrue, unjust, uncharitable and unchristian… Or when Dr. Arnold, while at Bourges, sees a mother in the crypt of the cathedral lift her little girl to kiss the pierced feet of a statue of our crucified Lord, touched by the pathetic spectacle ask himself the question: ‘Is this idolatry? Nay, barely it may be so but it need not be. Assuredly in itself it is right and natural. I confess I rather envied that child.”

Answering the ridiculous charge that the Bible teaches God forbids all “worship” of pictures, when such worship is directed only to what they represent, Ganss writes: “Albrecht Drurer, the greatest German painter of his age… put in a rational plea ‘that a Christian is as little led astray by a picture as a peace-abiding man is tempted to murder because he carries a sword by his side. That indeed must be a stupid man who would pray to pictures, wood or stone.’ And he denounces it as a calumny ‘that the art of painting leads to idolatry.’”

Meaning of the word worship

Rev. Ganss also proves that the meaning of worship is falsely understood, as Protestant preachers and teachers themselves have explained. After demonstrating that certain Protestants actually falsified the teaching of the catechisms to read that we worship Mary as equal to God, he then quotes several highly respected Protestants, Leibnitz, Voss, and others, who acknowledge that ‘the highest latria is to God alone, as the adoration of the Host in Mass, the lowest, dulia,is paid to the saints and angels, while the transcendent virtues of the Blessed Virgin are honored by hyperdulia.’” Protestants likewise testify as follows to the true meaning of worship: “A reference to any standard dictionary will elicit the proof that generically the word worship always means to pay honor or show deference and only specifically does it convey the sense ‘obtained divine honors.’ In Holy Scripture it is used in interchangeably, but following the precedent established we will let Protestant theologians and philologists vindicate the Catholic practice.

“The word worship,’ says Doctor Hodge, ‘means properly to respect or honor. It is used both to express the inward sentiment and its outward manifestation. The old sense of the word is still retained in courts of law in which the judge is addressed as your worship or as Worshipful. We are then to collect the intention of the act of worship for their designed as a token of profound civil respect or of real prostration from the circumstances of the instances on record. Such acts of prostration as are called worship were chiefly paid to civil governors.’” And another Protestant, Trench, “one of the greatest English philologists, from an etymological point, reasons it out as follows: ‘Worship, or worthship, meant honor; this meaning of worship still very harmlessly surviving in ‘Worshipful’ and in the title addressed to the magistrate on the bench. So little was it restrained of old to the honor which man is bound to pay to God that it is employed by Wycliffe to express the honor which God will render to his faithful servants and friends. Thus our Lord’s declaration, ‘If any man serve me him will my Father honor.’ And in Wycliffe’s translation reads thus: ‘If any man serve me, my father shall worship him.’”

T. Benns comment: So if it can be applied even to a civil servant without practicing idolatry, why not to Our Blessed Mother??!!

True origins of idolatry

From whence, then, did all this idolatry nonsense really originate and when and why?? Rev. Ganss tells us: “But may it not be urged that the charge of superstition and idolatry is not a new one, that the concurrent opinion of Protestantism during the last 400 years voices it? Only too true, because this opinion, like the Ptolemaic system was traditionally accepted but never critically examined; because from the nursery jingle to the pulpit thunder it was incessantly dinned into the ears as gospel truth; because from the monosyllabic school primer to the ponderous theological tome, it was taught as an accepted fact; because the majority then, as now, are guided by the convenient maxim: ‘To follow foolish precedent and wink, with both our eyes is easier than to think.’ and because every student knows that, ‘Fanatic faith once wedded fast, through some clear falsehood hugs it to the last.” Length of time may give a prescriptive claim to the possession of property but no number of years or centuries can give error and falsehood countenance much less a justifiable claim to existence.

“The charge of idolatry is not a new one but this ‘miserable pageant of untruth, feeble with three poor centuries of age’ in every case emanated from the most implacable enemies of holy Church. Celsius, the Epicurean, the literary protagonist of rationalism, and Julian the Apostate, the theological precursor of infidelity, fastened this charge on the infant Church. “Deadly superstition,” as Tacitus reports, “a new and magical superstition,” were some of the choice epithets by which the primitive Church was designated. Does not the cynical epigram of Julian the Apostate, ‘You do not cease to call Mary the Mother of God,’ most significantly recall the scornful sneer of modern heresy?”

T. Benns comment: Might we not date this charge back even further? Was it not the Jewish rabbis who set the stage for these horrific insults to Our Lady, teaching in their Talmud that she “committed adultery,” “played the harlot with carpenters” and “was known to be an adulteress… who bore Jesus illegitimately”? (Taken from the Jewish Encyclopedia and the books of the Sanhedrin).

And to continue with Rev. Ganss: “As for the concurrent opinion of Protestantism unprejudiced and impartial historians are gradually disclosing the methods by which it was fed and nourished. In the first place, by a system of ruthless and ruinous Iconoclasm; by the destruction of every image —carved or painted, engraved or embroidered — on which fiendish fanaticism could lay its sacrilegious hands. The accumulated art treasures of centuries, the masterpieces of carved statuary, the exquisitely jeweled windows, the glowingly beautiful canvases, the inimitably gorgeous tapestries, the priceless marvels of illuminated manuscripts — all gathered with princely munificence, guarded with loving care, treasured with tender devotion — were hacked to pieces by infuriated, devastating vandals pillaged by the savage horde of robber barons or laid in ashes by the firebrand of the evangelical incendiary.

“With an open Bible in one hand and a blazing torch in the other, a volley of blistering imprecations gushing from its frothing mouth, Carlostadt, in spite of Luther’s pleas, remonstrances and threats, swept over parts of Germany like a veritable satanic incarnation of destructive malignancy. Reason, justice, law were alike powerless to stay his blighting course. ‘It would be 1,000 times better,’ he shrieks, ‘if the pictures were in hell or in a fiery furnace than in the House of God! No matter if one does say ‘I do not worship the images, I pay no honor to them but to the Saints they represent,’ God answered summarily and in clear terms ‘Thou shalt not adore them, thou shalt not honor them.’ If one should come and say pictures instruct and edify the laity as much as books do the learned answer them: ‘God has forbidden pictures.”

“John Knox at the head of a pillaging mob, ‘who swept from Scotland in a flame of zeal shrine, altar, image and massy piles that harbored them,’ and who saw ‘in fire and sword and desolation a godly thorough Reformation,’ eclipsed the havoc wrought by Leo the Isaurian outside the very devastation of Attila, ‘the scourge of God.’ Wesley groaned over the manner in which the Reformation had been affected in Scotland and when he stood amid the ruins of Aberbrothock exclaimed: ‘God deliver us from reforming mobs! Nor, in his burning indignation, did he mince his words when he dismissed the Scottish reformation with the merciless excoriation that ‘the work of God does not, cannot need the work of the devil to forward it.’

“In England the empty niches, the leveled altars, the rifled sanctuaries, the desecrated tombs, give evidence that the name Rottengeist — to use a word of Luther’s coining — was not idle. Even the invaluable literary treasures of antiquity, the accumulated wisdom of centuries the vast collections of books and still more costly collections of manuscripts stored in the monastic libraries were ruthlessly mutilated, irretrievably ruined or wantonly burned in order that not a vestige of idolatry might survive.” (End of Rev. Ganss quotes). And here we must also add what Rev. Ganss later reports, that in place of those “idols” removed from the churches they stole from us, they placed pictures of their reigning monarchs to be reverenced instead! But that of course was not idolatry. Hypocrites!  And so we bow our heads and weep.

History only repeats itself

What does this remind us of? We see the word Iconoclasm mentioned above, but what is an Iconoclast? An Iconoclast is: “A person who attacks settled beliefs or institutions.” We have seen what incendiaries who rile up the mobs can do; witness the destruction wrought by such groups as Black Lives Matter and Antifa, also white nationalist groups. This was the same destruction spurred on during the French Revolution and later by the Bolshevists and the Nazis. Whether they attack ancient culture, religion, or both, they are all the same. And they emanate from the same source, as the free book available on this site, Liberalism’s Shameful Legacy, explains. They feed on the anger and dissatisfaction, the prejudices of the mob; they breed class warfare, a favorite tool of Communism, and then they destroy all in their path.

Christian conservatives claim to be their enemies. And yet Christian conservatives also fan these same flames any time they defame our Blessed Mother. They do this because they are ignorant of their own history and the true history of Christianity. They simply repeat what they have been taught for centuries without examining the facts and searching for the truth. They believe the lies of those who hated Catholics in the past and those who today brand all Catholics as accessories to pedophilia and the “Jesuit conspiracy” to control the world. They mimic the Jews and the pagans in their hatred and do not even know the true meaning of the terms idolatry and worship, far less what the Bible really teaches regarding such things. But then of course they interpret the Bible for themselves, so what can one expect. In short, they are children of the world, and in reality, are little different than those tearing down what is left of our culture today.

The real problem here is that no one any longer understands or values Christ’s divinity. They have made him their friend and “brother,” in the human sense. They picture him laughing and smiling and make hideous caricatures of him for children’s books. They cannot handle the FACT that he was not like other men, He did not smile often but was often known to weep; He did not “mingle” easily but kept Himself apart from others except when teaching. He was like us yet not like us: in this world but not of it, as we are told to be. He was all-holy, and could anyone believe that God the Father would entrust his only begotten Son to anything or anyone less than holy? This is only common sense, that is, if we truly believe Christ was both God and man. Would you pour expensive aged liquor into a glass without thoroughly cleaning it, in order to truly enjoy its taste? And God in His wisdom, would He do any less with something infinitely more precious?

Tell the Protestants on the Internet the following: “If you accuse me of worshipping idols, then know this. I accuse you of denying Christ’s divinity. For if God the Father was truly Divine, and Christ was truly His Son, only the most precious vessel could have borne Him, and if we honor her, it is because God Himself perfected her as that vessel and she yet holds the vestiges of that sacred little Body that once dwelt in her womb.” And then, send them this prayer:

ACT OF REPARATION

(To be recited on the First Saturdays)

MOST HOLY VIRGIN and our beloved Mother/ we listen with grief/ to the complaints of thy Immaculate Heart/ surrounded with the thorns/ which ungrateful men place therein/ at every moment/ by their blasphemies and ingratitude./ Moved by the ardent desire/ of loving thee as our Mother/ and of promoting a true devotion/ to thy Immaculate Heart/ we prostrate ourselves at thy feet/ to prove the sorrow we feel/ for the grief that men cause thee/ and to atone by means of/ our prayers and sacrifices/ for the offenses which men/ return thy tender love.

Obtain for them/ and for us/ the pardon of so many sins./ A word from thee/ will obtain grace and forgiveness/ for us all./ Hasten, O Lady/ the conversion of sin-ners/ that they may love Jesus/ and cease to offend God/ already so much offended and thus avoid eternal punishment./

Turn thine eyes of mercy/ towards us/ so that henceforth/ we may love God with all our heart/ while on earth/ and enjoy Him forever in heaven./ Amen./

Imprimatur # Joseph E. Ritter, D.D., Archbishop of Indianapolis

THE GRAIL, ST. MEINRAD, INDIANA

Come Holy Ghost, Comforter, and Bestow Thy Gifts Upon Us

Come Holy Ghost, Comforter, and Bestow Thy Gifts Upon Us

+St. Paschal Babylon+

LibTrads speak a great deal about the need of graces from the Sacraments to lead a Catholic life. Yet their idea of these graces and how they are received are quite skewed. We read from St. Thomas Aquinas: “Now it is manifest that human virtues perfect man according as it is natural for him to be moved by his reason in his interior and exterior actions. Consequently man needs yet higher perfections, whereby to be disposed to be moved by God. These perfections are called gifts, not only because they are infused by God, but also because by them man is disposed to become amenable to the Divine inspiration, according to Isaiah 50:5: “The Lord . . . hath opened my ear, and I do not resist; I have not gone back.” And here, of course, he is speaking of those gifts of the Holy Ghost, which, he explains, are necessary for salvation.

“Even the Philosopher says in the chapter On Good Fortune (Ethic. Eudem., vii, 8) that for those who are moved by Divine instinct, there is no need to take counsel according to human reason, but only to follow their inner promptings, since they are moved by a principle higher than human reason. This then is what some say, viz. that the gifts perfect man for acts which are higher than acts of virtue... Of all the gifts, wisdom seems to be the highest, and fear the lowest. Now each of these is necessary for salvation: since of wisdom it is written (Wisdom 7:28): “God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom”; and of fear (Sirach 1:28): “He that is without fear cannot be justified.” Therefore the other gifts that are placed between these are also necessary for salvation…  As stated above (Article 1), the gifts are perfections of man, whereby he is disposed so as to be amenable to the promptings of God. Wherefore in those matters where the prompting of reason is not sufficient, and there is need for the prompting of the Holy Ghost, there is, in consequence, need for a gift” (Summa Theol., I-II, Q. 68.).

Pray to the Holy Ghost

Rev. Frederick T. Hoeger, C.S.s.P, in his The Holy Ghost Prayerbook, (1939), says of these instincts: “’The just man who lives in the state of grace has need of the seven gifts which are properly attributed to the Holy Ghost.  By means of them the soul is furnished and strengthened so as to be able to obey more easily and promptly His voice and impulse’” (Pope Leo XIII). To the Holy Ghost himself could be applied those words which he has inspired concerning supernatural wisdom: ‘All things come to me together with him and innumerable riches through his hands.’ As he enters the Christian soul to make of it His dwelling place, He comes laden with precious treasures for His host — sanctifying grace, charity and all the other supernatural virtues. These are called in a general way gifts of the Holy Ghost. But there are seven supernatural habits which He places in the sanctified soul that bear the distinctive title of gifts of the Holy Ghost: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

“Saint Thomas compares these in our supernatural life to instincts and the natural life. How often it happens that after we have escaped from some dangerous predicament we say, ‘I do not know how I was saved; instinctively I jumped.’ As instinct saves us many times from harm to our body so the gifts save us from harm to our souls. Often in our supernatural life if we had stopped to reason just how much good we had to do or how much evil we had to avoid to escape sin we might have fallen from grace entirely. But when we responded to the influence the Holy Ghost brought to bear upon us through the gifts, we did not stop to measure the efforts more good deeds would cost us. And so when we look back upon the past, we are surprised how bravely we fought against evil, how courageously we went about some good deed. St. Antonius speaks of the seven gifts also as antidotes to the seven inclinations to evil which we have all inherited from our first parents. The gift of fear as opposed to pride, the gift of counsel to covetousness, the gift of wisdom to lust, the gift of understanding to gluttony, the gift of piety to envy, the gift of knowledge to anger and the gift of fortitude to sloth.”

Cardinal Manning on The Holy Ghost

And from Henry Cardinal Manning, in his two works on the Holy Ghost (The Internal Mission of the Holy Ghost and The Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier, we read:

“Now God the Holy Ghost has the office of our sanctification and the office of Sanctifier is twofold. There is the work of the Holy Ghost in every individual soul from the beginning of the world; and that work of sanctification in each individual soul will continue to the end of the world. There is also the work of the Holy Ghost in the mystical Body of Christ, that is His Church, which office began from the day of Pentecost, and will continue to the second advent of the Son of God…

“No man can hide himself from the love and from the glory of God. Go where he may if he walk upon the earth, God is there; if he ascend into heaven, He is there also; if he go down into the deep, God is there before Him. Every living soul therefore has an illumination of God in the order of nature, by the light of conscience, and by the light of reason, and by the working of the Spirit of God in his head and in his heart, leading him to believe in God, and to obey Him. Once more: Saint Paul says that “God will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”:  that is, without any exception, Jew or Gentile. And once more: “We hope in the living God,” Who is the Saviour of all men, and especially of the faithful; that is, of those who believe, therefore of all men without exception. And two Pontiffs have condemned as heresy the two following assertions:

“That the heathen, and the Jews, and heretics, receive no influence from Jesus Christ, but that their will is without help, that is without grace, was condemned as a heresy by Alexander VIII. Again, that there is no grace given outside the Church, was also condemned as heresy by Clement XI. The work, therefore, of the Holy Ghost, even in the order of nature, so to say, that is, outside of the Church of God and of the revealed knowledge of Jesus Christ among the heathen, that working is universal in the soul of every individual human being; and if they who receive the assistance of the Holy Ghost are faithful in corresponding with it, God in His unrevealed mercies will deal with them in ways secret from us. His mercies unknown to us are over all His works and the infinite merits of the Redeemer of the world are before the mercy-seat of our Heavenly Father, for the salvation of those that follow even the little light which in the order of nature they receive.

“Any gift of God given freely is a grace. Our very existence is a grace; every gift in nature is a grace; every light we receive from the world leading us to the knowledge of God much more every doctrine we receive from revelation is a grace; but this is not the sense in which we are speaking now. When we talk of the grace of the Holy Ghost we mean something interior dwelling in the soul; and therefore the grace of the Holy Spirit working in the soul may be thus defined. It is a gift of God infused into the soul, not due to nature, but something superadded to nature, a perfection above nature elevating the soul to the supernatural order, and leading it to justification and eternal life. Or, to put it shortly, it is the sanctifying power and the influx of the Holy Ghost; it is the presence of the Holy Ghost entering into the soul, and infusing sanctity into the soul.

“When grace takes possession of the soul, in the reason it assumes the form of faith; in the will it takes the form of hope ; and in the heart it takes the form of love: faith, hope, and charity are the three primary workings of the Holy Ghost in the soul. Again, grace may be described as the breath of the supernatural life, which God breathes into the soul of man. A breath of life as necessary to the soul as the natural breath of life is to the body. Therefore it has an operation universal, gratuitous, derived from the sovereign love of God, necessary, vital to man, and sufficient to eternal life. This, then, is the first working of the Holy Spirit from the beginning of the world; and is at this moment even among those nations that have never received the faith.

“All those who are saved eternally will be saved by the sovereign grace of God, and by the free cooperation of their own will; and all those who are lost eternally will be lost because, by the free resistance of their will, they have refused to co-operate with the grace of God. The pre- destination of God in no way violates or takes away the perfect liberty of the human will. God created the will of man with liberty, and He respects the work of His own hands; but from the beginning there has been a line of His elect multiplying perpetually from Abel the just, continuing to expand in number from Abel to Enoch, from Enoch to Noe, from Noe to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses. In the twelve tribes of Israel the saints of God were multiplying continually; and to them God continually gave more and more of His graces, visions, revelations, promises, inspirations, vocations, and special calls: like that which called Abraham out from Ur of the Chaldees; inspirations like that which made Moses to be the Law-giver of His people, and made Aaron to be the Priest to minister before Him graces which constituted the Prophets of Israel as the teachers, the rebukers, and the admonishers of the people of God.

“All those were special graces bestowed by the Holy Ghost for the illumination and sanctification of the people of God; but over and above these there were special interior workings and graces of the Holy Ghost, increasing continually in their measure until the coming of Jesus Christ. Every saint before the coming of Jesus Christ was sanctified by the Holy Ghost in virtue of the foreseen redemption upon Calvary. The merits of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world obtained graces for the sanctification of God’s elect from the beginning ; and the sanctity of every saint like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of every penitent like David, the special graces of Saint Joseph and the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God, were all purchased by the same most Precious Blood shed by the Son of God

“Now we live under the dispensation of the Holy Ghost. We are at this time committed to the care and guidance of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity; so that the dispensation under which we are is the dispensation of the Spirit of God, the Sanctifier. It is a wonder, then, how men with the page of the New Testament before them can fail to see this: that the one great evangelical gift, the one great gift of the Gospel, is the gift of the Holy Ghost. “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear ; but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry : Abba, Father.” …” And if we be sons, we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.”  Our whole state is elevated. Because we are the children of the Second Adam, His Father is our Father; because we are the sons of God by grace, He is our elder Brother. The Holy Ghost dwells in us, because He descends from our Head upon all His members. We are born again through Christ into a new and supernatural state. We are not restored to the state of original justice, but we are placed in a state of union with God through the Holy Ghost, like, though distinct from, that which the first man received.

“There is this further difference: he was in original justice, but it was possible for him to fall. We are united to a divine Head sinless and immortal, Who therefore can never fall, for He is God. We, who are united with Him, receive from Him, by our regeneration, a special indwelling of the Holy Ghost. Not only every grace that was ever given to man before, all the graces that were ever granted under the law to the saints and to the penitents of Israel not only all those are still given in fullness now to members of the Church, but there are super- added other graces which were never before given. In Israel there were no proper sacraments. There were shadows of sacraments, but the substance was not come. There was circumcision, and there were sacrifices of bulls and of goats, and ceremonial actions, and washings, and purifications, which were the types and shadows of things to come; but those were not proper sacraments, and they did not convey grace. There was no grace in them. They were external actions, like the taking of holy water, and they depended for their sanctifying power upon the internal state of the heart of those who used them.

“According to the measure of faith and piety in the heart of those who received them, was the measure of the grace received by their use. The grace did not spring from them, nor come through them, for they were not fountains or channels of grace. Now here we must observe that, over and above all the graces that have ever been given by the Holy Spirit of God before the day of Pentecost, we have received the special grace of a new dispensation. We who are born again, and are members of the mystical Body of Christ, are under a dispensation of the Holy Ghost, so full, and of such manifold grace, that there is no state of man which is not embraced by it, and in which there is not given an abundance of grace, exceeding all measure that we can conceive, and meted out according to the necessities of each individual soul. Our Lord intended this when He said: “I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

“Therefore hope for the greatest gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost. They were all purchased for you by the most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. They are yours by right, for He has given them to you. All things are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God. His redemption purchased them for you, and His sovereignty gives them to you. He has promised to give them to all who ask Him, and He delights in being asked, and asked for the greatest things of His kingdom. He loves to be trusted ; and to ask great things is to show great trust in a great love. Timid prayers and low aspirations are false humility, for we ask not for our own merits, but for His. Hope honours Him. Ask for perfect sanctification, for perfect expiation. S. Leonard of Port Maurice used to say, I hope to go to heaven without purgatory. He meant, there is no bound to be set to the love and grace of Jesus Christ. And without a doubt a soul that hopes and aspires for so great a grace will aim and strive at a proportionate perfection in humility, charity, purity, and union with God.

“Let us then resolve, dear brethren, all we can, to love the Spirit of God, to conform ourselves to His will, to worship Him day by day, to pray to Him personally, to place ourselves under His guidance, to beware of those three degrees of disobedience of which He Himself has warned us: “Grieve not the Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption”… “Resist not the Spirit”: “Quench not the Spirit.”  These are three degrees by which we may fall from His love and from His presence. Beware also not of actual disobedience only, but of that tardy, slothful negligence by which you may provoke Him to a  just impatience. ”Would thou art neither cold nor hot…” [but the lukewarm I will vomit from my mouth]. Nothing provokes the Holy Spirit of God, Who is the fire of the love of God, more than the lukewarmness with which we allow His graces and mercies to pass by us, and to pass by us unperceived.

“Ask, then, of the Holy Spirit of God to give you light to know Him, to know His presence, to be conscious of His indwelling in your hearts. Say to Him, “O my God, I give myself to Thee with all my liberty, all my intellect and heart and will. I desire to be bound to Thee, for “where the spirit of the Lord is there, there is liberty”; no other liberty is true. I desire to be free from the servitude of my own false freedom which is the worst bondage of the human soul. To be Thy servant is to be in the liberty of the sons of God. They that are led by the spirit of God are the sons of God. O Holy Spirit of God, take me as thy disciple; guide me, illuminate me, sanctify me, bind my hands that I may not do evil; cover my eyes that I may see it no more; sanctify my heart that evil may not rest within me. Be Thou my God, be Thou my guide: wheresoever thou leadest me, I will go whatsoever thou forbiddest, I will renounce and whatsoever thou commandest, in Thy strength I will do.” (End of Cardinal Manning quotes.)

Conclusion

And finally, this timely and poignant quote from Rev. Hoeger’s Holy Ghost Prayerbook cited above:

“Pentecost may rightly be called the birthday of the Church. When the Holy Ghost descended upon the apostles then only did they become brave and zealous then only did they go forth fearlessly to defend the doctrine of Christ before audiences that were not only unsympathetic but even antagonistic. Today the world is filled with cowards who have not the courage of their convictions, who are slaves to the spirit of the times. What we need is light and strength from the Holy Ghost to help us live up to the Church’s teaching especially in reference to chastity honesty and loyalty so that no man can sneer at the Catholic Church because Catholics fail to do what is right.There is work to be done for God in the Church by the devout client of the Holy Ghost. The powers of evil are abroad this is their hour period let us take God’s side boldly and uncompromisingly not only by our professional faith but also by our good deeds the Holy Ghost will help us to do this even if they help the apostles of old.”

During Pentecost, all Catholics are urged by the Roman Pontiffs to make a novena to the Holy Ghost. And every Catholic is advised to say some prayer in His honor each day and beg Him for His guidance. Perhaps our lack of devotion to the Holy Ghost is what has impeded so many for so long from coming to a knowledge of the Truth. Let us begin today, then, to remedy this neglect of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity by making this novena and reciting the prayers found in Rev. Hoeger’s book HERE. May all receive His lights and gifts.