Speramus (We Hope!) Headline Animator

RSS Feed Burner

May 9, 2019

Is the Pope a Heretic? Dangers of Charging A Pope with Heresy!

Please read and pray over the 2 articles below before  we decide to  label the Pope a heretic. We need to know what we are talking about before we make accusations. 

My opinion our safest and best course of action is to reserve judgement. The Pope belongs to Christ. He is the only one to judge motives.  We could harm the faith of simple Catholics and contribute to schism. Finally and most important, we also risk putting the salvation of our own soul in danger. 

Unless we are a Cardinal we have no authority, hence no business making judgements if any Pope.  We will have to answer to God for any judgements made that damage the faith if others. 

King  David did not dare when the opportunity presented itself to him to kill Saul who was anointed as King. David  left him to God's providence. We also should do the same, refraining from unleashing the swords of our tongues against the Pope anointed by God to represent Him and lead His Church.

Prudence dictates, if the Pope is out of line the Cardinals are responsible to help make the pope aware of his error.  If it's God's will they will step in or the situation may warrant leaving Him in the hands if God's Providence as David did. 

Reading the articles below they both  indicate that there are no dogmas denied a requisite for a charge of heresy. We as laity need to take care of our own sphere of influence. Our family our work and leave judgement of the Pope to Christ and this who are able to assist the Pope to see any errors. Lets not become part of the problem by making charges on issues we are not educated in and  know nothing about!

We will not be asked on judgement day on the popes possible sins. We will be asked how we helped our families or that homeless guy we pass everyday on our way to work. We will be asked on judgement day if we kept the Pope close to us in prayer! The Fatima message requested this.

The following links are to articles requesting restraint in judgement if the charge of heresy. Their arguments to support  their reasons are legitimate. It is worth reading you are guaranteed to learn a thing or two!

The writers are  Phil Lawler and Jimmy Akin each  give sufficient reasons that are not considered by those who are pushing for the charge of heresy of this pope. You may not care for a certain author for one reason or another. Just consider the truth in the reported  facts in their articles. And above all pray very much for the Pope. May God Bless you!

Spera Rose, Ocds

Phil Lawler is the editor of Catholic World News (CWN), the first English-language Catholic news service operating on the internet, which he founded in 1995. CWN provides daily headline news coverage for the Catholic Culture site, where Phil Lawler also offers regular analysis and commentary

Well, is the Pope a heretic? I am not qualified to address that question. As a matter of fact, I don’t know who is. St. Robert Bellarmine introduced the possibility (note: he mentioned it as a theoretical possibility, not as an established certainty) that a Pontiff who promoted heresy would forfeit his office. But citing that argument begs the question. Who could make the authoritative judgment that the Pope had fallen into heresy and therefore lost his authority? Certainly not a handful of independent scholars.

Another article worth considering.
Jimmy Akin is an internationally known author and speaker. As the senior apologist at Catholic Answers, he has more than twenty years of experiencing defending and explaining the Faith. It’s gravely reckless and irresponsible to charge anyone with an ecclesiastical crime as serious as heresy if you can’t prove it, and it’s even worse to do so with regard to the pope, given the scandal, confusion, and risk of individual schism that it will create for the faithful. It’s one thing to ask for clarifications, voice concerns or express disagreement, but making charges of heresy is another matter.

There are multiple problems with the recent Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church that charges Pope Francis with heresy, but here we will focus on the core problem: the letter fails to sustain the charge of heresy.

According to the Code of Canon Law, “heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith” (CIC 751; cf. CCC 2089).
(Generally in relation to the Dogmas.)

If you are going to charge anybody (especially the pope) with heresy, you need to prove your case, and this letter doesn’t.

A cursory review of the list of signatories indicates that none have doctorates in the relevant fields of canon law or sacred theology, though a few have licentiates (the equivalent of master’s degrees). None seem to be specialists in ecclesiology—the branch of theology that deals most directly with the Magisterium of the Church—and none seem to have published a book on the Magisterium and how it engages its infallibility.

The signatories of the Open Letter make no attempt to do the needed work. They either do not quote the language used by Church documents or they do not argue that the language they do quote shows that a truth has been infallibly defined as divinely revealed.
A dogma of Faith. 

What Dogma Is

A dogma is a special kind of Church teaching. Any time the Church authoritatively teaches something, it is a doctrine (Latin, doctrina = “teaching”). Within the set of doctrines is a smaller set of teachings that have been infallibly defined by the Magisterium. These are infallible doctrines.

Within the set of infallible doctrines is a smaller set that consists of those infallible teachings that the Magisterium has infallibly defined to be divinely revealed. These are the dogmas.

Note: That just because something is infallible, that doesn’t make it a dogma. The Magisterium has to have infallibly said that it is divinely revealed for that to be the case.

The distinctions between these categories, as well as examples of doctrines that belong to them, are discussed in a 1998 commentary by Joseph Ratzinger and Tarcisio Bertone.

The Open Letter has many other flaws, but its chief one is that it fails to make the case that the present pope is guilty of heresy. To do that, it would need to show the following:
  1. The Magisterium has infallibly defined some specific truth
  2. It has infallibly defined that this specific truth isdivinely revealed, creating a dogma
  3. The pope has been baptized (that’s easy)
  4. The pope’s words or actions indicate that he refuses to believe the dogma
  5. His words or actions cannot be understood in a way consistent with the dogma
  6. He does so obstinately.                                              
It’s one thing to ask for clarifications, voice concerns or express disagreement, but making charges of heresy is another matter. It’s gravely reckless and irresponsible to charge anyone with an ecclesiastical crime as serious as heresy if you can’t prove it, and it’s even worse to do so with regard to the pope, given the scandal, confusion, and risk of individual schism that it will create for the faithful.


May 5, 2019

Help our Lady Convert Poor Sinners. Pray the nine day Novena to Our Lady of Fatima

Dear Spera Rose;
Leaning on a reflection from Cardinal Burke it is helpful where he depicts the relationship between Our Lord and Our Lady when Jesus performed His first miracle at the Wedding at Cana. Let’s recall Our Lady’s words, “Do whatever he tells you.” These insightful syllables communicate not only her maternal care for her children in need, but they also intimate her sublime intercessory power. She is unmistakably the mediator between God and man, the channel of graces which gush forth from Our Lord’s Just, yet Merciful Heart
To see the the continuity of instruction and intercessory prayer from our Heavenly Mother, fast forward to 1917 where she came to earth with an urgent message for us. With the supplication to “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners…”, Our Lady asked us to make reparation for outrages, sacrileges, and indifference which greatly offend the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, and to pray for peace in the world.
Our Lady gently but gravely reminds us of the truth that as the world cracks beneath the weight of secularism and impurity, so many souls fall like snowflakes into the eternal depths of hell because no one is praying and no one is making sacrifices for them.

And so here we are in the year 2019. I ask you to join me in a Novena of prayer (which will also involve sacrifice!) to Our Lady of Fatima to begin on May 5th and end on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13th.

Over these nine days, we will plead for the conversion of sinners and peace in the world while grasping at the essence of Our Lady’s requests during her apparitions. As we come together in our pleading, we will unveil the mystery of the Three Secrets of Fatima so that we and our loved ones can successfully overcome and defeat Satan along with our vices in this spiritually decrepit culture.

The Message of Fatima was not intended only for the people of 1917. It is still pressingly relevant for you and me today. Along with storming Heaven during our daily Rosary, let’s rise up and fly to the patronage of Our Lady of Fatima.

Your friend in Jesus and Mary,
Thomas J. McKenna
Founder and President
Catholic Action For Faith And Family

1st Day Novena to OL Fatima
Let us petition Our Lady of Fatima on this first day to hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners and for peace in the world and in our families.
May 6th  2nd Day Novena OL Fatima
On the second day of our Novena to Our Lady of Fatima, let’s take a moment to firmly recommit ourselves to the practice of the daily Rosary, a heavenly solution to our modern day crisis. Our Lady fervently asks us to use this most powerful weapon to contend with spiritual threats to holiness.
May 7th 3rd Day Novena to OL Fatima
At Fatima, Our Lady asked for penance. In particular, she asked the Faithful (you and me) to do penance for the conversion of sinners. Let’s pray the third day of our Novena to Our Lady of Fatima with this in mind. Penance remains another stalwart defense against the hedonism which we, the Church Militant, encounter in our daily lives.

May 8th Day 4 Novena to Our Lady of Fatima
“Before the grave situation of the world today, we are, Pope Saint John Paul II reminded us, like the first disciples who, after hearing Saint Peter’s Pentecost discourse, and asked him: ‘What must we do?’ Even as the first disciples faced a pagan world which had not even heard of our Lord Jesus Christ, so, too, we face a culture which is forgetful of God and hostile to His Law written upon every human heart.” -Cardinal Raymond. Burke
Let us petition Our Lady of Fatima to hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners and for peace in the world and in our families.

On Day 5 of our Novena, let’s look at the importance of establishing devotion to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart in the recesses of our hearts and homes as we pray for peace and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart! We struggle daily to keep from being enmeshed in our confused culture. In our preparation for Heaven, we cannot remain neutral in this spiritual warfare. Thankfully, within Our Lady’s heart is a treasure trove of graces. We need only ask for them.

May 10th Day 6 of Our Lady of Fatima Novena
As you and I pray the sixth day of our Novena, we recognize our duty as Catholics to heed Our Lady of Fatima’s request for a Communion of Reparation. Confession, Holy Communion, and praying of the Holy Rosary on five consecutive first Saturdays will aid in healing the wounds inflicted by men which encircle her heart. Through these practices, we also fortify ourselves as soldiers of Christ against the turbulent winds of indifference present in our culture. In return, Our Lady promised to assist us at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for our salvation. In return, Our Lady promised to assist us at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for our salvation.

May 11th Day 7 of Our Lady of Fatima Novena
As you and I have witnessed, the persecution of Christians is real and ensuing around our very eyes. Around the world, most recently in Sri Lanka, those faithful to Our Lord endure suffering and even martyrdom on account of their Faith. And it is no wonder. We have been clued in by the Third Secret of Fatima that the forces of evil would contend with the forces for good. In this continuous struggle and amidst the bloodshed, Our Lady’s mantle is a sturdy shelter. We must hearken to her urgent requests for prayer and penance!

May 12th 8th Day of Fatima Novena
Under the guidance of Our Lady of Fatima, you and I continue day 8 of our Novena with special regard for the dignity of the priesthood. Priests heal our spiritual wounds in the Sacrament of Confession and nourish our hungry souls with the Holy Eucharist. But they desperately need our prayers if they are to remain faithful. Satan cunningly desires to destroy the Church from within and his plan of attack rests on the clergy. This is evident to us in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis. It is clear that the clergy need our prayers and sacrifices now more than ever!

May 13 Ninth day Novena to Our Lady of Fatima.
Happy Feast of Our Lady of Fatima!
On the final day of our Novena, you and I can reflect on Our Lady’s message as one of hopefulness, for she promises that in the end her Immaculate Heart will triumph!
Like an earthly mother who counsels her child before he makes a harmful mistake, Our Heavenly Mother guides us, her children, back into the ranks of virtue and holiness. So that through penance and the recitation of the Holy Rosary, we may escape the embers of eternal punishment.
Catholic Action For Faith And Family · PO Box 910308, San Diego, CA 92191-0308, United Sta

Catholic Action For Faith And Family · PO Box 910308, San Diego, CA 92191-0308, United

January 25, 2019

Pray to Our Lady for United States! Shutdown isn't just the Wall! Abortion is advancing. See what Liberal media isn't telling you!

Pledge to say Daily Prayers 

for Our Lady's Intercession!

Things are bad, real bad in our country. The soul of America is at stake. Please ask everyone to pray two Memorares daily. The first for President Trump he needs God's help to fight the forces of evil that are holding the nation hostage. 

The second Memorare for Congress to have a change of heart and to work for the good of the country not for the One world activists. Then if your real generous add a third for the Supreme Court. They are responsible for the mess we are in today. 

Here is What the Liberal Media 

is Keeping from You!

The Government shut down and the circus over the "Border Wall" is front and center in media reporting. However the whole circus in Washington including the current shutdown is really about ABORTION. While the media reports all aspects of the Government Shutdown the radical left is quickly pushing  forward to undo the pro life advances made by President Trump. Since that time in the states where Democrats have the majority. The culture of death has made ferocious advances. 

Please read the headline links provided below. You will see that the whole Government stranglehold in  the nation is really not over a Border Wall. It is really about abortion. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/new-york-celebrates-legalizing-abortion-until-birth-as-catholic-bishops-question-cuomos-faith

Nancy Pelosi took the gavel as Speaker for the 116th Congress, and her priority agenda to dismantle the pro-life policies of the Trump Administration take center stage.  Nancy Pelosi’s first act as Speaker of the house was to pass legislation to force Americans to fund abortions. Democrats never miss a chance to promote abortion. And House Democrats, under incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi, slipped language to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business into their bill to end the partial government shutdown. Democrats want to restore the $100 million President Donald Trump took away from Planned Parenthood when he defended its International arm during his first week in office. The Trump policy prohibits taxpayer funding to international groups that promote and/or provide abortions overseas
Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Alexandria was interviewed by CNN before she became house speaker when she was asked about her mother's leadership style she didn't mince words: "She’ll cut your head off and you won’t even know you’re bleeding, That’s all you need to know about her.”  She continued; “No one ever won betting against Nancy Pelosi. You gotta give her credit. No matter what you think about her, you have to give her credit because, think about it, think about all of those presidents she’s endured. The Bush, the Bush, the Clinton—she’s been through it all.”
The president is made the bad guy by Pelosi and the liberal media outlets who support her anti-life agenda. The president just  wants common sense border security. G.K Chesterton said "A sign that a society is in decay or decline is when common sense becomes uncommon"  Democrats are lying about the border situation. Sticking their heels in the mud  over his alleged improprieties while remaining silent about the catastrophic advances the pro abortion groups have made since Nancy Pelosi has taken over as Speaker of the House. Is anyone surprised? You shouldn't be. It wouldn't be so bad if the media at least reported both sides with an objective presentation but they ignore news that they disagree with, March for Life, or slant news even with lies (Covington Teens at March for Life), in orde to promote their own liberal culture of death views.  Think about it, the communist countries do the same?
Life site News is reporting that Nancy Pelosi is to attempting to force Americans to pay for abortions and to funnel taxpayer dollars to the nation’s biggest abortion business. She wants Americans to be forced to fund Planned Parenthood and its International group’s efforts to promote and perform abortions in other countries. https://www.lifenews.com/2019/01/03/nancy-pelosis-first-act-as-speaker-of-the-house-forcing-americans-to-fund-abortions

    Diabolical Disorientation!

Then another slap in the face to pro-lifers on January 22nd,Anniversary of Roe v Wade New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill a few hours after the state Senate and Assembly passed it. The bill he signed Legalized Abortions Up to Birth for basically any reason in New York state, Rochester City Newspaper reports.

Cuomo also gave Sarah Weddington, the attorney in the Roe v. Wade case, a special seat next to him on Tuesday evening, as abortion activists around them cheered, the AP reports.
https://www.lifenews.com/2019/01/23/new-york-governor-andrew-cuomo-signs-bill-legalizing-abortions-up-to-birth/ Cuomo also made comments that he hoped other states would quickly follow suite with similar legislation in case the Supreme Court overturned Roe V Wade. 

One World Trade Center Glowed in Pink Lights to Celebrate 

To celebrate the passage of the bill by the New York state legislature that legalized abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy the World Trade Center was lit up with pink lights. The bill also rolled back protections for babies born alive after a botched abortions. “The Reproductive Health Act is a historic victory for New Yorkers and for our progressive values,” Cuomo said after the bill’s passage. “In the face of a federal government intent on rolling back Roe v. Wade and women’s reproductive rights, I promised that we would enact this critical legislation within the first 30 days of the new session – and we got it done. I am directing that New York’s landmarks be lit in pink to celebrate this achievement and shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.”https://www.lifenews.com/2019/01/23/one-world-trade-center-lit-up-pink-to-celebrate-new-york-passing-bill-legalizing-abortions-up-to-birth/

Rhode Island Bill Follows New York’s Legalize Abortions Up to Birth https://www.lifenews.com/2019/01/24/rhode-island-bill-would-follow-new-yorks-and-legalize-abortions-up-to-birth/ Rhode Island lawmakers introduced legislation to keep abortion legal and unrestricted if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wadethe AP reports. 
Vermont Bill was introduced and  would legalize Abortion Up to Birth, Unborn Baby “Shall Not Have Independent Rights Under "Law"! Law” https://www.lifenews.com/2019/01/24/vermont-bill-would-

     "Prayer Warriors Needed!"

A temporary deal was just made to get the Government open for 3 weeks while they negotiate a final budget and the status of the wall. We are not out of the woods! We need committed "Prayer Warriors!" to pray for Our President and Congress throughout his term and into the next election so the demonic anti-life forces will be expelled and we do not become a Communist Nation. "We are fighting against Principalities and Powers against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12

We need a Divine Intervention. We need  Our Lady's Help. Heaven will not help us if we do not pray!  Ask our Lady She is the Patroness of the United States.  We will succumb to our very powerful enemies who are waiting to destroy us if we do not humble ourselves in prayer.

  May God  have Mercy on America! 

"O Mary Conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee. And for all those who do not have recourse to thee especially the enemies of the church, the free Masons, and for all those who we recommend unto (President Trump, Congress and Supreme Court)"

America Science testifies that the unborn child is  a member of the human family yet you legislate their murder. If it is not stopped laws will soon be enforced requiring Health Care Workers to murder the sick and the elderly as well. These various anti-life bills will ultimately lead to the suppression of pro-lifers’ freedom of speech and conscience as well. Doctors and nurses who refuse to help abort unborn babies could lose their jobs, and pro-life advocates could be persecuted for just speaking out for life.

Wake up America and pray!

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who implored your help or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly into the O Virgin of Virgins my Mother. To you do I come. Before you do I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate despise not my petitions for our ( President /Congress / or Supreme Court) but in your mercy hear and answer them.  Our Lady of Fatima, Intercede for us. Virgin most powerful, pray for us!
🙏Oremus, Let us pray!🙏

January 19, 2019

Dangers to be considered before you Consult a Lay Spiritual Director!

Due to the critical shortage of priests many people are looking for spiritual direction by consulting lay directors who often charge a fee. Warning, paying for a lay spiritual director is something to stay away from and may be dangerous to your spiritual health. A spiritual director is not typically necessary in the beginnings of the spiritual life and if God has not blessed you with one it is because you do not need one yet. There is a lot of hard work to do first that a good confessor can help you with. 

The benefit of a priest being the director is that he has the "Grace of State". He has the charism to direct souls as an alter Christus. These so called "lay spiritual directors just do not have that. Nor can they hear confessions when a moment of truth takes place during a session. Just go to confession, you will receive the real Sacrament, through a priest in persona Christi. This is much more advantageous then discussing your sins with a lay director.

 In confession, Jesus himself will help and strengthen you to free yourself from your sinful tendencies and attachments. Best of all, there is no charge for this except to fulfill the penance after absolution. For beginners in the Purgative Way the confessional is not an option and really all one needs. A person who is just beginning to take the spiritual life seriously in most cases needs frequent confession to overcome all mortal and deliberate venial sin. This growth process can take many years depending on the generosity of the soul.

Then there is the confidentiality issue. I am sure that many non-ordained people can keep quiet about
situations for a time. More often than not I have found non ordained, (especially women) divulging their secrets and betraying confidences of clients and friends. Spiritual direction is not counseling for psychological problems and it is definitely not a trendy social gathering for the wanna be spiritual elites. 

Yes Priests can and have failed to keep a confidence but for the most part they are strengthened by Christ and have a charism for silence and prudent speech due to their ministry as confessors. I will take a priest over a lay person always. 

God typically will not communicate mystical graces to a soul who still falls into mortal sin or deliberate venial sin.    If You are still falling into deliberate sin and receiving mystical phenomena, or locations, the source may not be from God. The devil can mimic the Holy Spirit. Recall that Moses when he appeared before Pharaoh God worked wonders through him to convince Pharaoh to let the people go. However Pharaoh’s magicians were able to duplicate the signs. 

In His Providence God often allows the evil spirits to duplicate mystical graces. This is a real danger in the spiritual life so it is necessary to discern the origin of the mystical communications. If one begins to receive mystical graces they must submit themselves in humble obedience to an experienced priest. Deception is always a real danger. Humble obedience frees you. If the communications are from God He will also work through your obedience. 

Beginners are in the purgative way and they must work to acquire prudence and develop their God given common sense. They need to work hard in order to mortify their unruly passions. A good confessor will be able to help them in this battle and encourage them to live out charity towards their neighbor through the practice of corporal and spiritual mortification. Many saints over the centuries became saints without a spiritual director. Imagine that! 

Today the fashion is to be led by a human spirit instead of the Holy Spirit. The saints advanced in obedience to their confessors who helped them discern the inspirations of the spirit. Don’t forget that in the past centuries transportation was not like it is today. You were stuck more or less in the area you lived and the only priest available was the parish priest. God gave that priest the necessary lights needed to help the saints fulfill His will.  He will do the same for us. We ought to have a similar trust that God can overcome the obstacles that may arise from His human representatives if we are obedient and practice humility.

Later, if God sees that the soul is generous and cooperates with His grace He may introduce them to the Illuminative Way, with its many forms of mystical graces, and corresponding dangers. It is here, if your confessor is not experienced, that he may suggest a spiritual director. If God is raising someone to a new level of intimacy, they will need an experienced priest who understands the sufferings and dangers of the Illuminative way. Here the priest must be able to discern "the spirits” lest the soul loses his way and falls into one of Satan's many snares. The devil will do all he can to prevent a soul from reaching Divine Union in the final stage of the spiritual life the Unitive Way. 

Since weak or slothful souls do not overcome their passions they can remain in the purgative way for many years. Many will die in this state and all of their defects will have to be purged in purgatory. God may allow such souls to be tried by the devil and they may experience some mystical phenomena in their life.  of the years they have practiced the spiritual life, they are more ready to believe they have arrived! It is possible to be deceived into thinking that you are capable of guiding others, when in fact; they are blinded by their own proud estimation of themselves as spiritual guides or gurus. If they have been honest with a regular confessor he will be able to uncover the rouse. If not, the sorry consequences arising from the deceptive errors can live on in the lives of others even after the death of the one who was initially deceived if the error is not uncovered and corrected. 

There is always a danger with lay directors who may not be fully qualified. They need knowledge of well trained catechists as well as experiential knowledge of living a good spiritual life themselves.  Some lay directors think they are more advanced in the spiritual life than they really are. They may consider themselves on the Illuminative Way, a stage in the spiritual life where few enter, although all are called. The greater number of souls do not do the battle that is required to overcome their passions. If that does not happen they could remain in the purgative way until their death. These individuals are prey for the devils snares and can cause a lot of damage to the unfortunate souls they direct.

For the directee subtle pride can simply be considering themselves better than others just because they have a director. I often here people bragging that they have spiritual directors as if it was a badge of honor placing them above those who are not as fortunate. How ready pride is to ensnare the soul.

I know several people who upon my first meeting with them they advertised the fact that they are lay directors looking for clients; "If you want help", she said; " I wont charge a lot since I know you" she said. allowed such a thing. Isn't it a form of simony?" She took me by surprise it was the first time I heard that this was taking place in the church and was even encouraged by pastors and bishops. 

Later upon reflection, I thought it was a little arrogant for her to assume she could help me with my spiritual life.  I wondered if people might end up paying for spiritual direction from someone who really isn't really qualified, or even from someone who is a dissenter from some or many aspects of the teaching of the Church. 

Another friend informed me that the "lay directors" in her parish didn’t appear to be competent enough to teach RCIA. You don't need that kind of direction from souls who may not be on the same page as the majesterium of the church. Many lay spiritual directors are involved in the charismatic movement. A movement often filled with mystical phenomena not always from the good spirit.

Remember, spiritual direction is not meant to be the only source of guidance. It is the Holy Spirit who is always the primary director of souls. Consulting your confessor, spiritual reading, faithfulness in your duties of prayer, and frequent participation in the sacraments, as well as frequent periods of silent meditation in order to hear the Divine whisper in your life. Everyone needs to practice these in order to grow in Divine Charity and advance in the spiritual life. We do not need to pay a lay spiritual director to tell us this! 

In summary, if we do the hard work that is required to mortify ourselves to hear God’s voice, we will find his light there, and move towards greater Divine intimacy. Those that are serious about their spiritual life may pray for God to put in their path a priest that they can open to. However if you are open and honest with a confessor he may be all you need.  You do not need a spiritual director in order to reach union with God. You do need honesty and humility. 

The Servant of God, Fr. John Anthony Hardon said many times: " Only the very chaste and very humble will be able to enter Heaven; No one else! No one else! No one else!" Jesus meek and humble of heart, Make my heart like unto thine. Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come!

November 29, 2018

Season of Advent time for Penance and Spiritual Conversion

Fatima and the Four Last Things
Season of Advent A Time for
Repentance & Spiritual Conversion

Advent is given to us by the church to remind us of our need for repentance and for spiritual conversion a perfect time to read and meditate on the 4 last things.  Advent is not just to prepare us for the anniversary of the birth of Jesus (Christmas) when God entered the world as man. More importantly Advent is a time for reflection on the coming of the Lord at the end of our lives and his final coming at the end of time! Modern man is frantically running from the reality of his own death. Poor simple man is tempted to believe he is something that he is not before his peers and even before God! Advent is time to stop and take stock of who God is and who we are as we stand before him.

Michelangelo's- The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel

One of the best meditations on Death is the Dies Irae hymn a meditation on the Last Judgment, when Christ will come again in glory, no longer granting mercy, but as the Just Judge who will separate the just from the wicked, casting the latter into eternal fire, and welcoming the former to eternal bliss. The hymn closes with a supplication for mercy before the coming of that terrible day.

The video below is Mozart's Rendition of Dies Irea and it is a powerful piece making one tremble at the coming Judgment. the Day of Wrath.  The Gregorian Chant of Dies Irea   on the other hand, is more somber and reflective giving one hope in God's Mercy at that final hour of our own death or his second coming.  This is chanted during Funeral Masses in the Extraordinary form in the Tridentine Mass! Makes one hope to be buried with that Mass and those prayers to follow you into eternity.

Day of wrath, day that will dissolve the world into burning coals, as David bore witness with the Sibyl. How great a tremor is to be, when the judge is to come briskly shattering every grave. A trumpet sounding an astonishing sound through the tombs of the region drives all men before the throne. Death will be stunned and so will Nature, when arises  man the creature responding to the One judging. The written book will be brought forth, in which the record of evidence is contained whence the world is to be judged. Therefore when the Judge shall sit, whatever lay hidden will appear; nothing unavenged will remain.

 O Thou, God of Majesty, nourishing brilliance of the Trinity,  join us with the Blessed.  What am I the wretch then to say? what patron I to beseech? when scarcely the just man be secure. King of tremendous Majesty, who saves those-to-be-saved free, save me, Fount of piety.
Remember, faithful Jesus, because I am the cause of your journey: do not lose me on that day.

Thou has sat down as one wearied seeking me, Thou has redeemed me having suffered the Cross: so much labor let it not be lost. Just judge of the avenging-punishment, work the gift of the remission of sins before the Day of the Reckoning. I groan, as the accused: my face grows red from my fault: spare this supplicant, O God.O Thou, God of Majesty, nourishing brilliance of the Trinity, join us with the Blessed.Thou who forgave Mary the sinful woman, and favorably heard the good thief, hast also given me hope.  My prayers are not worthy, but do Thou, Good God, deal kindly lest I burn in perennial fire.

Among the sheep offer me a place and from the goats sequester me, placing me at Thy right hand. After the accursed have been silenced, given up to the bitter flames, call me with the blest. Kneeling and bowed down I pray, My heart contrite as ashes: Do Thou  care for my end

That sorrowful day, on which will arise from the burning coals Man accused to be judged therefore, O God, do Thou spare him. Faithful Lord Jesus, grant them rest. Amen. O Thou, God of Majesty, nourishing brilliance of the Trinity, join us with the Blessed. Amen

The Message of Fatima & the 4 last things
A Catechesis of Faith & Reaffirmation of Gospel

Our LAdy of Fatima did not ask the permission of the parents of Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia before showing them the vision of hell. Remember that Jacinta was barely six years old!  This reminds us that children do not belong to their parents they are only entrusted to them by God. God expects parents to instruct and form them in His ways; to know love and serve Him so that they will have the opportunity to be happy with Him forever in Heaven!  Thus the outrage of abortion. Destroying God's creation in your child that was given to you in order to reflect His image in the world.

The reality of Hell should be taught to children using the same methods our Lady used at Fatima the Model Catechist.  Appealing to their generous hearts by teaching them to help save others from going there. Having this knowledge they will be able tomake the right choices to save themselves from going there as well. Our Lady in showing young children a vision of Hell lead us to understand that children can also go there! Children can and do commit grave sins, even murder. They  have the natural law impressed on their souls so they know right from wrong.  However, we should never under estimate a childs capacity to do good and for self sacrifice. Our Lady at Fatima also showed us how great the heart of a child can become when properly formed! Even to heights of heroic sanctity.

                                            A Vision of Hell
The Ultimate Justice of God
For Unrepentant Sinners

The children saw countless numbers of people who were endlessly falling into the fiery flames.  Our Lady sadly looked upon them as she said "You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” And then she told them the secrets of Fatima that are connected with this vision. Material for another post someday.
The Vision of Hell
In the third apparition of July the children were given a vision of hell the ultimate Justice of God for unrepentant sinners. Our Lady pointed to the earth and the light from her hands the light from her hands penetrated the earth and opened the ground so that the children could peer into the depths and could see hell. Lucia describes  it for us: "As our Lady spoke she opened Her hands once more, as She had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were an ocean of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me.) The demons could be distinguished (from the souls of the damned) by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent.This vision lasted only a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother who,  at the first apparition, had promised to take us to Heaven. Without this promise, I think we would have died of fright.

The reality eternity was already impressed on this young mind and the possibility of some souls spending an eternity in hell! This thought impressed Jacinta the most. She often called Lucia and Francisco she would ask: "Are you praying with me? It is necessary to pray much to save souls from hell! How sorry I am for sinners who go there and burn forever like wood in a fire! If I could only show them hell so they would not go there!"  Even after she was taken sick, she would get out of bed to bow her head to the floor, and pray as the Angel had taught for the glory of God, and in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended in the tabernacles throughout the world and for the conversion of poor sinners.

Photo taken after the Vision of Hell note the anxious expressions

Many years later Lucia said she believed that most people go to Hell because of sins of the flesh. If souls can be condemned to hell because of one unrepentant mortal sin for all eternity is it not to be understood that other souls could be detained for long years in purgatory who have committed countless deliberate venial sins for which they have had little sorrow and had done little or no penance. The guilt that has been remitted by absolution, but the temporal punishment will have to be paid in purgatory.

Modern Man is Frantically 
Running From The Ultimate 
Reality of His Own Death.

Hieronymus Bosch  “Death of a sinner”, angel and devil weigh a mans soul

Today we are so busy, so frantically busy trying to control our own personal destiny and good fortune and in the process we unwittingly make today's technological advances our God.  In extreme cases the computer screen has become his tabernacle and window into solving his thirst for knowledge. Knowledge for finite things because that is all the computer can give us. We are deceived into believing from all the information available to us up to the computer. All the images (visions) that can be brought before him, from the outer reaches of the universe and the depths of the ocean that we can finally solve and ultimately control the mysteries of the universe. The mysteries  of life and death without the reality of God!  A deception of the devil for this time the ultimate deception the ultimate lie!  Poor simple man is tempted to believe he is something that he is not before his peers and even before God!
 Someday God Will Send 
A Strong Delusion
I feel it is here in our day!

I wonder if the scriptures of 2Thessalonians2:9-12 is in the beginnings if not already being actualized! 9The coming of the lawless one with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

We are spending  more and more time involved in this technology to do what we think are great things! What was supposed to save time for human relationships has become a time consumer. Often we no longer have time for true prayer.  A prayer that enables an openness of soul to God a readiness and receptivity in order to be always praying, (Luke 18:1) and always listening to hear his voice when he whispers to our souls in the silence.  We have lost this form of prayer because there is no longer silence for modern man our ears are plugged into something all day! 

Another victory of the devil that technology has brought us! We can no longer hear the voice of conscience with all the noise and distractions around us. Without conscience we longer hear the truth about ourselves and the truth about God. I fear if we persist down this slippery slope God will allow us to have faith in whatever it is we put faith in.  If we don't turn back to  God in prayer, he may (if he has not already) send the strong delusion described in, Thessalonians 2:11. And in other words a time may come that God will not permit the deluded to repent. Hence this little catechesis on the 4 last things: Death, Judgment, Heaven or Hell and reality of purgatory as mentioned by the events of Fatima.  

The Message of Fatima confirmed  
the Reality of Purgatory
God’s Mercy vs. God’s Perfect Justice

Why not say the 5 last things 
and include Purgatory?
Purgatory is only temporary end before the final end in Heaven so it is not considered to be one of the last things. However Purgatory is such an important dogma of the church. Incredibly so many Catholics are ignorant of Purgatory so do nothing to avoid it themselves and little or nothing to help the Poor Souls who are there, suffering intensely, as they wait for Masses and prayers to be offered for them. That is why Our Lady brought up the reality of Heaven and Purgatory in her first appearance to the children. Only after strengthening them with the graces given in both the May and June apparitions did the children experience another reality of a place called hell. 

The painting below of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, the 'Throne of Mercy' and 'Queen of the Angels', who takes great delight in sending her Angels to release those Souls mercifully pardoned by her Son Jesus through the prayers and supplications of the church!

This painting is similar of Our Lady in Lucia's Parish Church!
This was how Lucia recognized that it was Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
who also appeared during the Miracle of the Sun in October

During Our Lady's First Visit to Fatima in May Lucia–the oldest of the three, after being reassured by Our Lady that they would all one day go to Heaven. Jacinta and Francisco would go soon and she would go but not right away because it was the will of God that she help promote the devotion to her Immaculate Heart to save poor sinners. Lucia found the courage and asked Our Lady about two of her friends who recently died: "Is Maria das Neves is in Heaven?" "Yes" answered Our Lady, "she is in Heaven."  She also asked about another friend, Amelia. Our Lady answered: "She will be in Purgatory until the end of the world."

Amelia's Fate is a 
Warning for All of Us!

Amelia was eighteen years old when she died. She is in Purgatory and will, on the testimony of Our Blessed Mother, stay there until the end of time.  Let us take to heart and make certain that her fate will not be our own. What could she have done to merit such purgation in those days and what about us and the sins committed in our era?

Why such a lengthy expiation?

The malice of sin is great. What we think are small faults are in reality serious offenses against the infinite goodness of God. Look how the saints wept over their smallest faults. We are weak we say and it is true but God is always there for us offering us graces to strengthen us and giving us lights to see the gravity of our sins. We do not use the lights and graces he so generously offers us, and we do not receive the sacraments as we should.

The saints committed few and slight sins they sorrowed much over them and did severe penances. We commit many and grave sins and we sorrow little and do little or no penance. For the majority of us who do make the positive decision to serve God and are not yet properly prepared (humble enough) to enter Heaven, the only choice is to make the transition to goodness in Purgatory. Our Lord tells us that we shall have to render an account for each and every idle word we say (Matthew12:36 ) and that we may not leave our prison until we shall have paid the last farthing. (Matthew 5:26).

All Venial Sins
Must also be Atoned for!

All sins mortal and venial accumulated for 20, 40, or 60 years of life. Each one has to be atoned for after death. Is it a wonder that souls have to remain so long in purgatory? It cannot be calculated the immense number of venial sins we commit on a daily basis. Faults of self love, selfishness; in thoughts words and deeds.  Acts of sensuality, faults of charity; laziness, vanity, jealousy, tepidity.  Then the sins of omission that we give no credence too. Do we ever thank God as we should for all his blessings given to us?  He waits for our visits day and night in the tabernacle; do we go? He dies for us every morning at Mass and gives innumerable graces to those who participate longing to come into our hearts in Holy Communion. We are too lazy to attend this Calvary. We have luxurious homes, food, clothing while many in the world live in hunger and misery.  Life is given to serve God and save our souls but we are satisfied if we give God five minutes of prayer in the morning and evening and the rest of the 24 hour day is given to work, rest and pleasures.  

And Mortal Sins?

Unfortunately, Most of us have committed mortal sins in our lives and if we confess them we do not make satisfaction for them. Do we return what we have stolen or make charitable contributions to the poor if we cannot. Did we restore the good name of the other who we maligned with our slander or calumny? The tongue can murder another as well as a gun or knife and change the direction of the life of someone for good or ill! St. Gertrude in her revelations indicated that those who have committed many grave sins and have not done due penance, may not share in the ordinary suffrage's of the church for a very considerable time! The venerable Bede also indicated that the justice of God may demand that those who pass a great part of their lives in repeated and unrepentant mortal sins and confess them on their death bed, may be detained in purgatory until even the last day.

We would do well to remember that the best means of lessening our term in Purgatory -- or of avoiding it altogether -- is to have clear ideas of it, to think well and often on it and to adopt the means God offers for avoiding it.   Not to think of it is FATAL. It is nothing else than preparing for ourselves a long and rigorous Purgatory!

The servant of God Fr. John Anthony Hardon, S.J. said many times: “Only the very chaste and very humble shall enter Heaven; No one else! No one else! No one else!”

    Jesus Meek and Humble of Heart
    Make Our Hearts Like Unto Thine!

Fr. Hardon and the Catholic Dogma of Purgatory                     


 Miracle of Holy Mass 
and Purgatory in 1657    

Montserrat - the site of a Marian shrine - is a Benedictine monastery with nearly 1000 years of history. The shrine is set on the ledge of the mountains where a Basilica and Benedictine monastery are also built. The Basilica was constructed in the neo-Gothic and Renaissance style and was consecrated in 1592, 100 years after the discovery of America.  According to legend, the statue of Our Lady of Montserrat was discovered by young shepherds who had been attracted by lights that came from a cave where the statute was hidden. Our Lady of Montserrat is the Patroness of Catalonia, and because of the color of her skin, she is known as "La Moreneta" ("The Little Black Madonna").

The Most Reverend Father Bernardo de Ontevieros, General of the Benedictine Order in Spain, along with the Abbot Father Millán de Mirando, were present at the monstery of Our Lady of Montserrat to take part in several conferences when a woman with her young daughter came to the monastery, and the little girl began to implore Abbot Millán to celebrate three Masses in memory of her deceased father, deeply convinced that by the merits of these Masses, the soul of her father would be freed from the pains of Purgatory. The good Abbot, moved by the tears of the young girl, began to celebrate the first of these Masses for the dead on the following day, and the little girl, who was present at the Mass with her mother, during the consecration began to declare that she saw her father kneeling at the foot of the main altar, surrounded by dreadful flames. The Father General, who was skeptical, wishing to determine whether the little girl’s account was true, told her to bring a handkerchief close to the flames that surrounded her father. The little girl, following his directive, placed the handkerchief in that mysterious fire which only she was able to see, and at once all the monks saw the handkerchief catch fire with a living flame. .....Read More

Further Meditations on the Four Last things

 Divine Providence brought a little booklet titled READ ME or RUE IT  by Fr. Paul O'Sullivn,O.P.  The cover promised that the pamphlet would be a Revelation for many who would read it and it was for me.  I paraphrased portions from this booklet within this post. I also want to mention the Classic Meditations on the Four Last things: DEATH, JUDGMENT, HELL and HEAVEN by Fr. Martin Von Cochem O.S.F.C.  whose quote is one of the titles of this post and will be an valuable source for further meditations. Links for both booklets can be found at the end of this post.

READ ME or RUE IT  by Fr. Paul O'Sullivn,O.P.

Classic Meditations on the Four Last things:
DEATH, JUDGMENT, HELL and HEAVEN by Fr. Martin Von Cochem O.S.F.C.