Prayer Intention for the Month of December:
“For you are bought with a great price… you are a purchased people… Offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
First Friday and Saturday this week
As we enter the season of Advent, we should meditate on the fact that nearly 2,000 years ago God the Father sent us the inestimable gift of His only-begotten Son on ChristMass day — Truth and love Himself. Born in a crude stable in Bethlehem illuminated by a brilliant star, this light of the world was destined to dispel the darkness of paganism, a darkness that is now engulfing us once again. Our Lord and His Blessed Mother warned us many times of this impending disaster, through various saints and holy people. Holy Scripture itself predicts a time like no other when Truth will be cast to the ground (Dan. 8:12). Those captured in the nets of the operation of error today have forsaken that precious first gift of ChristMass — Truth — to believe lies, lies that others tell them and which they tell themselves. What may prevent some of them from admitting they have erred is the great fear that they have been excommunicated for involvement in a non-Catholic sect and, in the case of Traditionalists, and are guilty of innumerable sacrileges for attending masses and receiving the sacraments from men not certainly ordained.
While no one can deny that technically we are all material heretics for our participation in these sects, those given the grace to see their errors can at least depart from them, denounce them, and spend the rest of their lives doing penance and amending any evil done. God tells us many times in both the Old and New Testaments that if we shall only return to Him and convert, He will forgive us and return to us. Although grave sacrileges may have been committed in some cases, most of those availing themselves of Thuc and Lefebvre pseudo-clergy were victims of fraud according to Can. 104 and if they leave these sects, this would work to their favor according to Canon Law. The specifics of this topic are discussed at length here: https://www.betrayedcatholics.com/begin-the-probationary-period/Below we will see why no one should believe they are ever beyond God’s forgiveness nor ever despair of His mercy. For this is the very age when the Divine mercy has been extended to the least of God’s creatures – those of us who have been deceived by these destructive sects and now keep the faith at home.
Why God has chosen us despite our many sins
In his work The Way of Divine Love, by H. Monier Vinard, S.J., chronicling the messages received from Our Lord by the victim soul Sr. Josefa Menendez, we learn something of why God may have chosen us to live in these times. Many have characterized the emphasis on the Divine mercy by certain theologians, beginning in the 19th century, as a manifestation of liberalism. Yet we believe it must now be seen through new eyes. No one could have known then that the juridic Church would be taken from us, that we would be forced to live without Christ’s Vicar all these many years. Not even the Catholics of France or Japan left without clergy in the 17th and 18th centuries experienced such a devastating loss, for at least they could be assured a true pope yet existed despite their sufferings. These teachings on Divine mercy and love were the legacy Our Lord and His Blessed Mother left us as a consolation in these times. And we are the ones the servants in the parable of the wedding feast were sent out to gather up on the highways, both good and bad, for the others were not worthy (Matt. 22).
In the introduction to Fr. Monier’s book on Sr. Josefa, we read words that echo what was just written in our two previous blogs on higher education. “His ways are not our ways nor his thoughts our thoughts. And that there may be no doubt that the communications come from Him and no other, He chooses weak instruments — humanly speaking, unfitted for the task in view — so His strength shines forth in their infirmity. He did not choose the learned and the great in the world’s eyes to found His Church; St. Paul expressly tells us otherwise. The rapid spread of Christianity could have been attributed to their talents and prestige, but He chose the poor and the ignorant and of these he made vessels of election. And that the greatness of their mission might not dazzle them and lead to vainglory, He again and again reminded them of their nothingness, their innate misery and their weakness. His gifts are only secure when bestowed on the truly humble of heart.
“His Providence has always worked in this way; His glory is manifest in man’s nothingness. ‘If I had been able to find a creature more miserable than you,’ he said to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, ‘I should have chosen her.’ And Sr. Josefa repeatedly heard the same declaration: ‘If I could have found a more wretched creature, I should have chosen her for My special love and through her reveal the longings of My heart. But I have not found one and so I have chosen you.’ Soon after we hear Him say: ‘I have selected you as one utterly useless and destitute that none may attribute to any but Myself what I say, ask and do’ … Our Lord’s aim was never to set her as an example to be imitated. He did not speak so much to her in order to draw down upon her the admiring gaze of the world. She was a voice; nothing more. She existed for the message, the message should not exist for her. Christ our Lord willed that she should be a mere nothing. He never drew her out of her littleness. In fact he continually and purposely laid stress on her nothingness and that even when He showed himself with the greatest radiance.
“To be a victim necessarily implies immolation and as a rule atonement for another. Although strictly speaking one can offer oneself as a victim to give God joy and glory by voluntary sacrifice, yet for the most part God lead souls by that path only when He intends them to act as mediators. They have to suffer and expiate for those for whom their immolation will be profitable either by drawing down graces or forgiveness on them, or by acting as a cloak to cover their sins in the face of divine justice. It stands to reason that no one will, on his own initiative, take such a role on himself. Divine consent is required before a soul dares to intervene between God and his creature. There would be no value in such an offering if God refused to hear the prayer. He himself chooses these persons and because they are free, He asks them for their voluntary cooperation.
“Those who accept put themselves at His mercy and He then makes use of them as by sovereign right. Assimilated and transformed into Christ, the victim soul expresses the sentiments of Christ Jesus to God the Father and to Christ himself. Her attitude is one of humiliation, penance and expiation, sentiments which ought to animate the souls she represents. And because of this identification with Christ, the victim soul shares in his dolorous Passion and undergoes, to a greater or lesser degree and in various but generally superhuman ways, the torments and agonies that were His. The Passion of Christ being our sole salvation, if we are to be purified and saved, we must, of necessity, come into contact with the blood shed by the Lamb. The great cry of the dying Christ is a pressing invitation to the whole human race to hasten to the Saviour’s fountains from which all graces flow.
“This contact with Christ’s blood is immediately secured by souls that answer His appeal. Others, and alas there are many, voluntarily keep aloof. It is these things that Christ will seek to reach through other souls whom He makes use of as a channel of His mercies. They are the most fruitful of all the branches of the mystic vine loaded with the sap flowing from Christ Himself and completely won with Him, by their solidarity with the sinner they stand liable for his sins; so being one with Him and one with Christ in them and by them, grace is communicated. They are victim souls.
“How intimate must be their identification with the Crucified if they are to carry out their part of the contract fully! Full union with Him is implied whilst He on His part imprints on their souls, hearts and bodies the living image of His sorrowful Passion. All His sufferings are renewed in them: they will be contradicted persecuted, humbled, scourged and crucified and what man fails to inflict that God himself will supply by mysterious pains [and] agonies, which will make of them living crucifixes. They are thus co-redeemers in the full sense of the word. Love for their neighbor urges them on; their mission is different from that of others.
“For whereas God is pleased to allow those other souls of whom He spoke to remain in contemplation of Him, giving glory to His infinite perfections, by their love it is otherwise with victim souls. When they contemplate Him, He unveils the immensity of His love for souls and the grief with which the loss of sinners fills Him. The sight of this breaks their hearts, and their longing to console Christ is not satisfied with mere words of love; it stirs up their zeal. At whatever price they will win souls to Him, and He kindles this zeal still more. It is the love of the Sacred Heart itself communicated to them with which they loved sinners, love which gives them a superhuman endurance well described by Josefa’s own words.” And yet neither Sr. Josefa, nor even St. Margaret Mary Alocoque, were the first heralds of this tender devotion to Jesus’ Sacred Heart.
St. Gertrude the Great
“The secrets of the divine heart of Jesus have been called the treasure which is reserved for latter times. But with regard to his spouse it seems our Divine Saviour could not wait the time decreed by his infinite wisdom for the revelation of his Sacred Heart to the world at large… He made [St. Gertrude] the herald of His grace and abounding devotion which not until four centuries later was given to the world. He once told St. Gertrude: ‘I wish these revelations to be for later ages; the evidence of my love to draw souls to My heart.’ It was further revealed that this Heart is an altar upon which the sacrifices of the faithful, the homage of the elect and the worship of the angels are offered and on which Jesus the Eternal High Priest offers Himself in sacrifice.” Once Saint John the Divine appeared to Saint Gertrude and she asked him if the beating of Jesus’ heart, which so rejoiced her soul, also rejoiced his when he reposed on Jesus breast during the Last Supper. Saint John replied: “Yes, I heard them and my soul was penetrated with their sweetness, even to its very center.” Saint Gertrude then asked: “Why then hast thou spoken so little in thy gospel of the loving secrets of the heart of Jesus?” Saint John replied: “My mission was to write of the eternal word. But the language of the blissful pulsations of the Sacred Heart is reserved for latter times that the time-worn world, grown cold in the love of God, may be warmed up by hearing of such mysteries.”
“Once in answer to an inquiry on the part of St. Gertrude’s the Savior replied: ‘It would be most advantageous for mankind to know and bear constantly in mind that I, the Son of the Virgin Mary, remain ever in the presence of my Heavenly Father to whom I offer Myself continually for their salvation. Whenever through human frailty they sin in their heart, I present My most pure heart to the Eternal Father in atonement. Whenever they offend Him by their evil deeds, I show Him my transpierced hands. Thus in what way soever they sin against Him, the wrath of my Eternal Father is appeased by My merit so that they will obtain a ready pardon if they will only repent of their sins. I therefore desire that my elect, whenever they obtain pardon for their sins, offer Me their gratitude for having given them so easy a means of reconciliation” (St. Gertrude the Great, Herald of Divine Love, Benedictine publication reprinted by TAN Books).
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
“The art of becoming holy is precisely in being able to reach the ultimate goal of life by travelling the long and bitter path of suffering.” And St. Margaret Mary Alacoque knew great suffering in her life. She suffered from ill health beginning in her childhood, various internal trials and many times she was persecuted by the demons. She also suffered intensely on the Thursdays and Fridays of the week preceding the First Friday devotions she was given by Our Lord. In his very first appearance to her, Christ made it clear that he was not pleased with humanity and how He planned to punish sinners.
“Thus she recounts the first apparition of the Redeemer, who was preparing her for subsequent revelations: “As soon as I went to pray, Jesus presented Himself to me covered with sores, asking me to look at the gash on his sacred Side: a bottomless pit dug by an enormous arrow of love…. This is the abode of all those who love Him…. But since the entrance is small, in order to enter one must become small and strip oneself of everything.” Pointing at His wounds, Jesus spoke these harsh words: “Behold at what state my chosen people have reduced me to, they whom I had destined to appease justice, but instead secretly persecute me! If they do not repent, I will punish them severely. Having preserved my just ones, I will immolate all others to the fury of my wrath.” And this message was given to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 1600s!
St. Gemma Galgani
Our Lord told another victim soul, St. Gemma Galgani, who died in 1903: “What ingratitude and wickedness there is in the world! Sinners continue to live obstinately in their sins. My Father will bear with them no longer. The depraved have no strength to overcome their sins. The afflicted fall into confusion and despair. The fervent become tepid. The ministers of my sanctuary (and here Jesus was silent and only after some minutes continued) … I have entrusted to them the great work of continuing the Redemption … (again Jesus was silent). My Father will tolerate them no longer. He has continually given them light and strength and they instead? These whom I have always held in predilection, whom I have always regarded as the apple of my eye, continually I have received from creatures only ingratitude and every day their indifference increases… I have need of souls who will give Me consolation in the place of the many who give Me sorrow. I am in need of victims, strong victims, in order to appease the just wrath of my father… Speak of My desire to the Holy Father, tell him a great chastisement is threatening and that I have need of victims; that my Heavenly Father is exceedingly wrath… These are my words and the last warning that I shall give” (Gemma of Lucca, Benedict Williamson, 1932).
Sr. Josefa Menendez
“Obedience… binds me to all legitimate authority in which I see Thee and through whom Thou speakest to me and makes known to me Thy will. But love must go further still. I must not only obey all authority but listen to the interior voice to which I am sometimes deaf because I find it too costly to follow its behests or transmit what it tells me to transmit… No Lord,
“I will obey for love of Thee and will ask for no reasons, nor will I hesitate or complain, for it is not my will but Thine that must henceforth live in me and all I do must be for Thee…” Jesus told Josefa: “I will make it known that my work rests on nothingness and misery — such is the first link in the chain of love that I have prepared for souls from all eternity. I will use you to show that I love misery, littleness and absolute nothingness. I will reveal to souls the excess of my love and how far I will go in forgiveness and how even their faults will be used by Me with blind indulgence — yes, write — with blind indulgence. I see the very depths of souls. I see how they would please, console and glorify me… What does their helplessness matter? Cannot I supply all these deficiencies? I will show how My heart uses their very weaknesses to give life to many souls that have lost it.” And in this same work by Fr. Vinard, Our Lord also tells Sr. Josefa: “It is not sin that most grievously wounds My heart,” He said, “but what rends and lacerates it is that after sin, men do not take refuge in It once more.”
Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, before ascending to the papal throne, said of Sr. Josefa’s writings: “I have no doubt whatever that the publication of these pages filled as they are with the great love which His grace inspired in His very humble servant Maria Josefa Menendez will be agreeable to his Sacred Heart. May they efficaciously contribute to develop in many souls a confidence ever more complete and loving and the infinite mercy of this Divine Heart towards poor sinners such as we all are.” In the conclusion to Sr. Josefa’s work, Rev. Fr. Charmot, S.J., writes: “Ah! Who would not love with a measureless love Him who has so loved mankind? How could any religious of the Sacred Heart fail to engrave on her heart the great words written large in letters of fire in the message: devotion to the Sacred Heart, charity, kindness, confidence, abandonment, total gift of self, humility, compassion, reparation, the salvation of souls and the mediation of Mary.” And are not these the very sentiments expressed in the Prayer Society statement on the Home page of this site?
We may be victim souls of a sort by default only, for it would be almost impossible for us to even approach their holiness and we cannot be certain by way of direction from our superiors that Our Lord has even called us. Frustrated by the ingratitude of men, He has withdrawn from us all earthly support in order to force us to turn our gaze on Him alone. Jesus’ aching Heart and outstretched arms beg us to recognize Him as the sole source of truth and love. We are obligated today to choose the path that we have chosen – obligated by His laws and those of the Church, obligated, most importantly, as a matter of faith and fidelity to Him and the teachings of His Vicars. One can scarcely be credited with choosing something out of the ordinary when that very thing is strictly owed and is essential as a condition of membership in the Church.
Yet no one can deny that God has left it to our free will to accept this state of affairs as His holy will and keep our faith at home, if we wish to save our souls and avoid offending Him even more. It is an all or nothing invitation, a true calling. And no one can deny that Pope Pius XII commanded us to assume the role of the hierarchy, within certain limits, in their absence; this too, is a definite calling. Who could ever dictate to us, then, the extent of our generosity or the depth of our longing for union with Christ in His Passion, a Passion we now have been invited to share with Him if we are to be members of His Mystical Body? No one can limit our protestations of love or forbid us to limit our acts of sorrow for sin and reparation for those sins. No one can shame us into cooperating in sin by following pseudo-clerics. Fr. Demaris, in his work They Have Taken Away My Lord, written two centuries ago for those deprived of priests and Sacraments in France, tells us: “
“Abraham obeyed in immolating his son, and in not immolating him, but his obedience was greater when he took the sword in his hand than when he returned it to its scabbard.
We are obedient in going to Communion, but in holding ourselves from the sacrifice we are immolating ourselves. Quenched of the thirst of justice and depriving ourselves of the Blood of the Lamb which alone can slake it, we sacrifice our own life as much as it is in us to do. The sacrifice of Abraham was for an instant, an angel stopped the knife; ours is daily, renewing itself every day, every time that we adore with submission the Hand of God that drives us away from His altars, and this sacrifice is voluntary. It is to be advantageously deprived of the Eucharist, to raise the standard of the Cross for the cause of Christ and the glory of His Church… Let not the love of the Eucharist drive us away from the Cross… I seem to hear the Savior saying to us:
“Do not be afraid to be separated from My table for the confession of My Name: it is a grace I give you, which is very rare. Repair by this humiliating deprivation that glorifies Me, all the Communions which dishonor me… Feel this grace. You can do nothing for Me and I put into your hands a means of doing what I have done for you, and to return to Me with magnificence, that which I have given you that is the greatest. I have given you My Body, and you give it back to Me, since you are separated from it in My service. You give back to the truth what you have received from My love. I could not have given you anything greater. Your gratitude matches by that, the grace I have given you — the greatness of the gift I made to you. Console yourselves if I do not call upon you to pour out your blood like the martyrs, there is Mine to make up for it. Every time that you are prevented from drinking it, I will regard it the same as if you had spilled yours; and Mine is far more precious.”
This ChristMass season, heed the words of these wise saints and holy people. Consecrate yourselves to the Sacred Heart, pining away for the love of sinners, and to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make reparation for your sins and those of your loved ones. Abandon your own will and unite it with God’s will for us in these times, — to be deprived of Mass and Sacraments that Scripture might be fulfilled. Pray for the virtues of humility, compassion, charity, kindness and confidence in God. And most importantly, make that gift of self to God to return to Him the love He sent us that ChristMass Day. A wonderful booklet for offering this gift was written by Fr. John Nicholas Grou S.J., who was forced to leave France for England during the French Revolution (and this can be ordered here: https://www.amazon.com/Gift-Self-John-Nicholas-Grou/dp/1930278829). Fr. Grou wrote at approximately the same time that Fr. Demaris wrote his little treatise, the late 1700s, and very likely wrote his work in response to the spiritual woes of those times.
As you kneel at the manger this ChristMass, kneel there with your heart and soul in your hands, and offer it to the Christ Child in union with the living Sacrifice He came to earth to offer for us.