The Week That Changed The World

Palm Sunday

“Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried: Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel.”- John 12:13

Holy Thursday

“And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake: and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me.”-Luke 22:19

“For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.”-Matthew 26:28

Good Friday

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”- Luke 23:34

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani?” That is, My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”-Matthew 27:46

“And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”- Luke 23:46

Holy Saturday

” Command therefore the sepulchre to be guarded until the third day: lest perhaps his disciples steal him away, and say to the people: He is risen from the dead: and the last error shall be worse than the first…Pilate saith to them: You have a guard: go, guard it as you know.”- Matthew 27:64-65

 Easter Sunday

“Who saith to them: Be not affrighted: you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he is risen, he is not here, behold the place they laid him.”- Mark 16:6

“For this was I born, and for this came I into the world: that I should give testimony to the  truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.”

 

“A Promise”– by, Alan Malizia

Upon a cross a debt was paid,

and promise made,

for tortured souls enslaved.

From an empty tomb,

as if a womb,

emerged the promise kept.

And by it we are saved.

Advertisements
Posted in Catholic, Christian, common sense, Faith, freedom, Hope, inspirational, justice, love, paradox, prayer, purpose, reconciled, Religion, Religious, resurrection, sacrifice, salvation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spring Cleaning/ Re-post for Lent

Spring Cleaning

As winter approaches its end, we look forward to spring. However, we ready ourselves by taking inventory of that which pertains to the season. Gardening tools are dusted off, lawn mowers serviced; seeds and plants for aesthetic and practical purpose are replenished. All to enhance the beauty of our properties or to make our gardens bountiful.

Natural law teaches us that spring is an awakening from the death of winter. All that was dormant is revived and flourishes as the earth warms and nurtures growth by the life given gifts of melting snow, spring rains and the bright rays of an energizing sun.

We too are subject to natural laws. Yet though we are affected in a like manner as nature, we are also affected by that which is unlike nature. The doldrums of winter are past. The sunlight of spring that enters our eyes inspires illumination of the heart. And there within an inventory must be taken also. An evaluation of conscience. A soul search that reveals the truth of our state of being.

The undoing of a vice invites a virtue. Each transference accomplished is like clearing out our basement of all unnecessary and unwanted boxes and rubbish that has obscured the potential of what that area may become.

By performing the same self-evaluation we, in good will, can clear the way for new relationships or renew the ones we have, through a less troubled heart. Too often the obstacles that stand between ourselves and our loved ones can be swept away with a little spring cleaning, as a result of a change in attitude-simply by willing it. The only thing that keeps us from accomplishing this is an over-concern of self rather that others.

So as you ready your home and property for spring’s joyous revitalization-do the same for yourself and re-ignite the flame of love between you and those you hold dear.

The Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once said: “We should strive to rid ourselves of one sin each year.” In doing so our hearts will become lighter, less troubled and more accessible to God and others as the conscience clears with each sin that falls away.

Posted in Catholic, charity, Christian, common sense, Faith, freedom, Hope, independence, inspirational, irony, justice, liberty, love, paradox, prayer, purpose, Religion, Religious, sacrifice, spiritual, supernatural | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

McCarthy, Sheen and Communism; Then and Now

[Joseph Raymond McCarthy (November 14, 1908 – May 2, 1957) was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period in the United States in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion.  He is known for alleging that numerous Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers had infiltrated the United States federal government, universities, film industry, and elsewhere. Ultimately, the smear tactics that he used led him to be censured by the U.S. Senate. McCarthy’s tactics toward this growing concern may not have been the best approach. However, he may not have been addressing solely Soviet subversion, but actual communists in America, such as Stanley Levinson, or those of the Frankfurt School. In a nut-shell, Levinson and the Frankfort school, in sympathy with Communist cause and those associated with it, would support the belief that the state held priority over the individual, as opposed to, the belief of individual freedom; that the individual held priority over the state.

Fulton John Sheen (born Peter John Sheen, May 8, 1895 – December 9, 1979) was an American bishop (later archbishop) of the Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919, Sheen quickly became a renowned theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923. He went on to teach theology and philosophy at the Catholic University of America as well as acting as a parish priest before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York in 1951. He held this position until 1966 when he was made the Bishop of Rochester from October 21, 1966, to October 6, 1969, when he resigned and was made the Archbishop of the titular see of Newport, Wales.] Wikipedia

Sheen, like McCarthy, too, was concerned with the communist threat to America. But, specifically as it pertained to the Catholic Church. Activist, Bella Dodd, was a member of the Communist Party of America and New York City Teachers Union in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Dodd would become a convert to Catholicism through the help of Bishop Sheen after becoming disenchanted with communism. She, after conversion, was so inspired that she wanted other activists of like mind to leave the party and join the Church. However, the following conversation divulges a frightening conspiracy of betrayal.

Mrs./Dr. Bella V. Dodd told her friend, Mrs./Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, the theologian, that:  “When she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican who were working for us, [i.e. the Communist Party].” (Christian Order magazine, “The Church in Crisis”, reprinted from The Latin Mass magazine.) Dodd stated:  “In the late 1920’s and 1930’s, directives were sent from Moscow to all Communist Party organizations. In order to destroy the [Roman] Catholic Church from within, party members were to be planted in seminaries and within diocesan organizations… I, myself, put some 1,200 men in [Roman] Catholic seminaries”. No wonder so many of the Bishops, Cardinals, and Periti (“theological experts”, most of them “priests”) at Synod Vatican 2 were so virulent anti-Catholic and extremely hostile to almost everything that is really part of the authentic “Catholic Tradition”, e.g. the Catholic Tradition Liturgical Rites for the Mass and the Seven Sacraments!

Bella Dodd was deeply disheartened to find that her efforts to bring those purportedly seeking to depart from the party and convert to Catholicism would advance to high positions and through their power sow the seeds of discord and contrary notions of Church doctrine. This may explain much of the turmoil in the Church today and scandals of abuse now being addressed. Bella was so saddened by her role in this that she wanted to go into seclusion. To retire to convent life dedicating the rest of her days in prayer for forgiveness, attempting to undo this deep wound inflicted upon the church, in part, by her actions. Bishop Sheen, however, convinced her to speak out in any manner to alert the public, Church hierarchy and laity of what had transpired. And to reveal the heights to which this devious plan had reached within the Church.

The following question asked by a EWTN viewer is a further affirmation of the awareness of this wolf in sheep’s clothing:

Dear Father Levis, On a recent World Over program (EWTN), Father Apostali, who is promoting the cause of canonization for Bishop Sheen, stated that Bishop Sheen converted a high-ranking Communist leader, Bella Dodd, in the 1950s. Father Apostali said that Bella Dodd confided to Bishop Sheen that between 800 and 1200 young men were recruited by the Communist Party to enter seminaries for the purpose of destroying the Catholic Church from within. He also said that Bishop Sheen converted some of these “seminarians”. My question is: What happened to the ones who were not converted? Are they still active in the Catholic Church, perhaps very high in the hierarchy? Does this explain why our Catholic Church is experiencing such upheaval and apparent loss of faith. Father Apostali said this was very disturbing and upsetting to Bishop Sheen. Shouldn’t we all be disturbed and upset?

Thank you, Father Levis, for your comments.

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 2/6/2008:

Connie, I have no doubt about the truth of these seminary plants told by Archbishop Sheen. But I have no knowledge of their whereabouts, nor of their activities. Again, they knew how to hide. The sins of the clergy in the 60′, 70’s, and 80’s (ie. child abuse) could be traced to this source, perhaps. God bless you. Fr. Bob Levis

McCarthy and Sheen’s concerns of this Communist infiltration of America and the Catholic Church are well founded in the clear efforts by activist groups to redirect our country and church cultures today, which are contrary to founding principles of each. Liberalism among the clergy and religious at all levels has demeaned the institutional Church and nurtured an environment fostering scandals such as misappropriations of funds, practice of duplicity and abuses of children among others. And the tenets of Socialism have been encouraged through public education at all levels in the U.S.  Victor David Hanson,  recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal, says that children are not taught their complete country’s history starting from the Revolutionary period and founding. The public schools begin teaching students from 1887 and on. Which is why many students are ignorant of some basic understanding of their county’s history and the impact of men and women, thereof, on the country’s direction and development at that time. Rather than teaching our children how to think, our schools and universities are teaching them what to think.

If one is seeking to FUNDAMENTALLY REFORM a nation, what better way is there to accomplish this than by eliminating its past events, traditions and symbols from the sight and minds if its citizens. Whether bad or good, only through maintaining a nation’s past and traditions can the good be maintained and the bad be corrected for the future common good of all its citizens. The anti-American and anti-Church activist movements need the disconnect from the past so to establish a clandestine veil behind which can be molded the minds that will help those desiring power over the masses to achieve their end. It’s always about power. And when the power is not with the people no good end is there for the people. The double standard of justice, lack of accountability, intolerance, false accusations of those who oppose this reform effort – with all sorts of isms – silencing free speech, shunning, and character assassination accomplish the main Alinsky rule for radicals: “by any means necessary.” This unethical game-plan has been slowly implemented over the decades to reach the desired end.

A biased news media, in support of that which maintains the status quo in opposition to the Constitutionally protected will of the people, provides news that comes not without opinion or unsolicited judgment to marginalize any common sense achievements for the good of the people. Such an organization as this can be sympathetic with this movement to reform at any cost. The majority of the entertainment industry are unsurprisingly in lock-step. This successful infiltration in our country and the Church can be further verified by two motion picture examples of the same subject material, but at different times in our country’s history. And how strikingly different were each perceived by the audiences and movie industry elites of each era. In 1950, the motion picture, “Ben Hur: A Story of the Christ,” was nominated for and received ten academy awards. In 2004, Mel Gibson’s, “Passion of the Christ,” was met with great opposition from the academy and received not one nomination. Yet, it was chosen “Best Picture” by the People’s Award. That which was once revered, has now become reviled.

All that has transpired over the decades and plagued mankind throughout history is the lust for power. When one can’t make their case the only alternative is to grab power by any means. For might is right in such thinking. However, just because one is given a right to do a thing doesn’t make it right. There is a battle that is now raging. It is between those who believe in individual freedom and those who believe that the state should rule. For the state to rule two things must be in place; first: a willing population for complete state governance, and second: the expulsion of God. The first is accomplished with patience over time through indoctrination and the strong-arm marginalization of the opposition by the methods discussed above. The second is accomplished by convincing all that the state will satisfy all your needs. Essentially, the state has replaced God. For is it not a God who provides all? They initiate this divide from God by pointing to the failure of men in the scandals of the church. Therefore, why should you have to follow rules not followed by church leaders themselves. Ironically, the same argument can be made, if one chose to, about those who govern a nation. Yet too often those voices either keep silent or are kept silent. Those who accuse are generally guilty of the same offense. All this is put forth by the great deceiver, Satan. First, Satan is the advocate, then he becomes the accuser. And the truth of this is found in the dedication page of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.” – Saul Alinsky

Those who argue that this is not a dedication to Lucifer/Satan, make a weak argument by saying that there is no mention of Lucifer anywhere in the book. Yet he is there. Maybe not in name or word, but in the actions and rules promoted by Alinsky. For they are not derived from the nature of God, but are very much contrived from the works of Satan. What happened in Eden was a disobedience to divine absolute truth. Rules for Radicals is the application of such disobedience. In his seeking justice and equality among the poor communities in Chicago Alinsky should be praised. But, these good causes were tainted and led to the corruption of its promoters when was implemented the Alinsky mantra of “the ends justify the means.” And these ends proved not to be altruistic in nature, because the means to attain them were insidious.

Socialism in a recent Pew poll is looked on favorably by 49% of young people in America; 46% had negative views. Socialists believe economic inequality is bad for society, and that the government is responsible for reducing it via programs that benefit the poor (e.g., free public education, free or subsidized healthcare, social security for the elderly, higher taxes on the rich). Government emphasis is key to both Socialism and Communism. For those who try to make the case for the Socialist Democrat, I offer the following quote. Vladimir Lenin said: “The goal of socialism IS communism.” This quote along with the next supports the concern that Communism is still the threat to America and the Church that it had been during the times and lives of Joseph McCarthy and Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. The former Head of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev’s own words are now making its way to reality: You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands.  This is now beyond a warning. It is coming to pass. We need but look to modern Venezuela to see the economic fruits reaped of Socialism.

The current events in our country and the Church remind one of the story of the frog that was placed in a pot of water. Each day the heat under the pot was raised one degree. The rise in temperature each day was so slightly felt that the frog was boiled to death before he knew what was happening. We by our own indifference and propensity for the easy way have blinded ourselves to the ever-growing inconsistencies in our country and Church. They have gone unnoticed for decades and now have taken root. The only chance to restore the righteous intent and revitalization of both our Republic and the Church lies in the will of those citizens and laity who do not have favorable views of socialism. For now a beachhead must be established against this treat to democracy and individual free will. If not, then the words of Lenin and Khrushchev will make prophets of them both. 

Beware of the promises of equal distribution and free stuff. It appears to be fair and is most enticing. As was the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But neither will the distribution be equal nor the stuff be free. There is always a cost in Socialism. That cost far exceeds any monetary amount. It is the cost of freedom.

Those who say they want to save the world, in truth, want to rule it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Catholic, common sense, communism/socialism, democracy, Faith, freedom, Hope, independence, inspirational, irony, justice, liberty, paradox, Religion, tradition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putting One’s Hand To The Plow

“Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life.” – Genesis 3:23-24

Man now must do what was done for him. The means of life for nurturing and growth is as God had intended. But man must learn the techniques of agriculture and animal husbandry to produce the sustenance to maintain his life. He must toil in tilling where the sinless man did not.

Christ tells us that he who puts his hand to the plow and looks back will not have eternal life. Meaning that the sins committed and forgiven must not be returned to. As a farmer who looks back when plowing will not make a straight furrow, so, too, will the sinner not make straight his way.

Man is a farmer for needs of the soul as well as the body. When plowing, he keeps his eye on the target ahead. If not he will stray off-line and must start over again. What is that target for sinners? Christians believe it is Christ. Seculars, however, target a utopian ideal as the end result of evolution. With Christ we have an affirmed beginning to which we strive to return. Evolutionists, who can only affirm a theoretical start which leads to evolutionary theory, believe we are randomly growing toward some goal of perfection and are constantly adapting to needs compelling change, physically, mentally and philosophically toward that goal. With evolutionists this is a one-dimensional process moving forward to one day achieve the utopian ideal.

The process of Christianity comes full circle. To return to an already set perfect ideal. To return to the home that was perfect until the order was disrupted by a broken relationship. The unbelieving plowman cannot plow a straight furrow because he knows not his true beginning nor his intended end. The believing plowman does. The former cannot be certain as to how far they have come toward achieving this goal. The latter can. Christ is the only certain target. The evolutionist is chasing an ever elusive, ever-changing, phantom on which no aim can be taken. The Christian validates the inherent value in each individual. The evolutionist does not. For, the evolutionist, sees man as but a means to some end. A mere step along the evolutionary path. To the Christian, the state of a man’s soul is the end.

Christ by taking to the cross reached up and pulled down upon himself the sins of all mankind, past present and to come. In this divine sacrifice where the creator allows himself to be killed by his beloved creatures, death loses its sting. The debt of sin has been paid by the New Adam. The sour note struck by the first Adam would have reverberated endlessly causing disharmony throughout humanity. But, by the Cross, has since been replaced by a new note, in Christ, from which a new harmonious symphony is written for all mankind.

What Christ had to endure was not easy but hard. The plowman knows this as well. What he does, too, is hard, abdicating and demanding. For such is necessary to enjoy the fruits of labor. Christ’s death on the cross did not validate the wage of sin for He was sinless. And by His resurrection is confirmed that all those who, at their moment, die sinless, too, will do what He has done. Death, due to the cross, is but the lifting of the veil between this world and the next. And how we live our lives determines how we live eternally. Either in the New Eden or far from it. The disciplined plowman who toils in the worldly field unfettered by its distractions and tills its soil virtuously will be rewarded with a harvest that this world knows not. The straight furrow then leads to eternal bliss.

Keen is the eye and steady the hand that is governed by a prudent mind.

 

.

Posted in Catholic, charity, Christian, common sense, Faith, freedom, Hope, independence, inspirational, irony, justice, liberty, love, paradox, prayer, purpose, Religion, Religious, sacrifice, supernatural, tradition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Lenten Journey

lentFor those who do not know, Lent is a journey. It is observed by Catholic and most other Christian denominations. The journey begins on Ash Wednesday, and lasts forty days. During that time Christians practice prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Prayer represents how we relate to God, fasting represents how we relate to ourselves and almsgiving/charitable works represents how we relate to others. The followers of Christ are reminded on Ash Wednesday of their dependence upon God for their very being. The ashes distributed in the ceremony come from the palms from the previous “Palm Sunday.” As the priest or minister marks the forehead of the penitent with the sign of the cross using the blessed ashes he says either of two blessings: “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return,” or, “Repent and believe the Gospel.” The first blessing, a stark and humbling reality of our mortality, the second, more amicable. Yet to follow the Gospel is by no means for the meek.  Lent then continues through Holy Week, culminating with death’s final triumph over life by Christ’s Crucifixion on Good Friday, and life’s eternal triumph over death through Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

“…better to fast for joy, than feast for misery.” – G.K. Chesterton (The Ballad of the White Horse)

The Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is often called “Fat Tuesday,” for it precedes Lent and it is seen as the last feast before the fast of Lent. Many, during Lent, sacrifice that which they hold dear. A personal sacrifice that often is eliminated for the good of the penitent as a test of self-denial. A positive change in the way one lives, rather than, say, giving up drinking coffee (which one often resumes after Lent), is a greater accomplishment of Lent. For if that change is held to, that person emerges from Lent all the better for it. Ridding oneself of a bad habit brings one closer to Christ. And that is the purpose of Lent. One may choose to replace impatience with patience, hate with love, injustice with justice, anger with kindness, greed with charity, indiscretion with prudence, pride with humility, to name a few. By eliminating a weakness, we increase our strength.

It is a difficult task to change from some harmful habits or way of life. Where does one begin? With an act. An act that is contrary to thought. Acts that when practiced continually will conform thought to the act. Good acts foster good thoughts.  Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen said: “It should be each person’s goal to rid themselves of one sin per year.” How much better would the world be if that were to be accomplished.

We should emerge from the Lenten journey a better person than when we began. Fat Tuesday, I believe, should be ignored; for one should fast before the feast, rather than after. Because the real feast is celebrated on Easter Sunday. And with such a spiritual feast before us, any last self-indulgence before Ash Wednesday would pale in comparison and not be remembered, save for the moment at which it took place.

The goal of the Lenten journey is not to reform, but to conform. The Lenten journey is unlike a trip to Europe, as you travel with companions and meet many people along the way. In Lent you come face to face with but one person; Christ. On that journey you walk with him and are confronted with all that is in you that is contrary to Him. It is the result of the practice of our will over His. If one seriously values his/her relationship with Christ, that person must remove from himself/herself that which reflects less of Christ.

When our life’s journey is over we will stand before He who intercedes on our behalf before God. His judgment will be based, not upon a list of events of our lives from which we can plead our case. The time for making our case has passed when we have passed. We will immediately know our judgment. For when in the presence of perfection we will see our imperfections. As the imperfections in a portrait are easily revealed in sunlight and not by the light of a candle. His judgment will be based on how much He sees of Himself in us. The saddest response ever to be heard by one who stands before the divine judge is: “I know you not.” How merciful we were to others in life will earn equal mercy from Him. However, if that saddest of all responses, in all truth, applies to any of us, then it is not Christ who bars us from heaven, but we ourselves.

Remember, the Lenten journey need not be impossible to complete; for it is not taken alone. It is taken with He who offers us His Yoke which makes the way easy and the burden light.

Posted in Catholic, charity, Christian, common sense, Faith, Hope, inspirational, justice, liberty, love, paradox, prayer, Religion, Religious, spiritual, supernatural, tradition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

St. Valentine’s Day

A Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

CROSSROADS-Right Choices

Valentine (Valentinius: Latin) was a Roman Priest at the time of emperor Claudius, a persecutor of the church. Claudius had an edict to prohibit marriage of young people; based on the theory that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what may come of their families should they be killed in battle.

Valentine lived in a permissive society where polygamy was quite the norm. Yet many seemed to be attracted to Christian faith. Polygamy presented an obvious problem to the church which thought marriage very sacred between one man and one woman for life, and it was to be encouraged. The idea of marriage in the Christian church was what Valentine was about. So he secretly married many because of the edict.

Asterius, one of Valentine’s judges in the violation of Roman law, had a blind daughter. Valentine was supposed to have prayed for her. The…

View original post 820 more words

Posted in Religion | Leave a comment

How Catholics See Mary

Beginning in the spring of 1917, nine-year-old Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Francesco and Jacinta Marto of Aljustrel in the parish of Fatima, Portugal reported apparitions of an Angel, and starting in May 1917, apparitions of the Virgin Mary, whom the children described as “the Lady more brilliant than the Sun”. The children reported a prophecy that prayer would lead to an end to the Great War, and that on 13 October that year the Lady would reveal her identity and perform a miracle “so that all may believe.” Newspapers reported the prophecies, and many pilgrims began visiting the area. The children’s accounts were deeply controversial, drawing intense criticism from both local secular and religious authorities. A provincial administrator briefly took the children into custody, believing the prophecies were politically motivated in opposition to the officially secular First Portuguese Republic established in 1910.

The events of 13 October became known as the Miracle of the Sun.  After some newspapers reported that the Virgin Mary had promised a miracle for the last of her apparitions on 13 October, a huge crowd, possibly between 30,000 and 100,000, including reporters and photographers, gathered at Cova da Iria. According to accounts, after a period of rain, the dark clouds broke and the Sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disk in the sky. It was said to be significantly duller than normal, and to cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds. The Sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth before zig-zagging back to its normal position. Witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became “suddenly and completely dry, as well as the wet and muddy ground that had been previously soaked because of the rain that had been falling”. – Wikipedia 

Some saw what was described and some did not. There were scientists who could not explain these witnessed events and others offered some explanation. Yet, despite the accounts of the event, the secrets revealed to the children by Our Lady have all come to pass. But, as Saint Thomas Aquinas said: “For those who have faith, no explanation is necessary. For those who have not faith, no explanation is enough.”

At Fatima Our Lady points to the sun, as she once before interceded at the wedding at Cana, which through God’s grace again provides the needed affirmation for the crowd there gathered to believe the children. Christ, Himself, said to those who did not believe in that which He preached; look to the lame who walk, the deaf who hear, the blind who see. All are made whole including sinners. These are the signs and acts that only God can do. As Mary pointed to the sun at Fatima, so, too, does she point to her Son. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun which penetrates the night to dispel the darkness, so, too, does Mary point to her Son who penetrates the hardest of and most broken hearts to dispel the darkness from sin and sorrow therein. As the moon reflects the light of the sun, in like manner, Mary reflects He who is the light of the world.

Other Christian sects believe that we Catholics worship Mary. Only God and Christ are to be worshiped as the first and second persons of the Holy Trinity, inseparable through the love of the Holy Spirit. Yet we do honor Mary who, on our behalf, intercedes for us with Her Son. Would any visit a friend and ignore his mother? Of course not. That would be an insult to your friend. As it is an insult to our Lord should we so ignore His mother. Yet how can I prove to my Christian brothers and sisters that we do not worship Mary, but, instead, honor Her. The proof is found in two familiar prayers:

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

I highlight two particular words in each prayer that distinguishes worship from honor. The word FORGIVE is used in the Lord’s Prayer. For forgiveness of sins is left to God alone. Therefore by this truth we worship God. The word PRAY is used in the Hail Mary, for prayer is not unique only to Our Lady but to all. We pray to saints and loved ones who have gone before us to God. And in that we ask of Mary and of them their prayers of intercession. Yet, Mary, unique among all women, was chosen and humbly accepted God’s request to bring Him into His world. And as the Mother of God we so honor Her.

To affirm, better than I, the instrumental role of Mary in mirroring her son, Our Lord, is famed late nineteenth and early twentieth century British writer and defender of the Catholic Church, G.K. Chesterton. It is found in his brief poem that follows depicting the child Jesus climbing upon His mother’s lap and seeing His reflection in His her eyes. (Attention paid to the third stanza in particular.)

A Little Litany

When God turned back eternity and was young,
Ancient of Days, grown little for your mirth
(As under the low arch the land is bright)
Peered through you, gate of heaven–and saw the earth.

Or shutting out his shining skies awhile
Built you about him for a house of gold
To see in pictured walls his storied world
Return upon him as a tale is told.

Or found his mirror there; the only glass
That would not break with that unbearable light
Till in a corner of the high dark house
God looked on God, as ghosts meet in the night.

Star of his morning; that unfallen star
In that strange starry overturn of space
When earth and sky changed places for an hour
And heaven looked upwards in a human face.

Or young on your strong knees and lifted up
Wisdom cried out, whose voice is in the street,
And more than twilight of twiformed cherubim
Made of his throne indeed a mercy-seat.

Or risen from play at your pale raiment’s hem
God, grown adventurous from all time’s repose,
Or your tall body climbed the ivory tower
And kissed upon your mouth the mystic rose.


 

 

 

Posted in Catholic, Christian, Faith, Hope, inspirational, love, paradox, prayer, Religion, Religious, spiritual, supernatural, tradition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment