Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Our Lord is Nailed to the Cross

Jesus is Nailed to the Cross,

According to the visions of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich

Warning – an extremely graphic account.

Jesus was now stretched on the cross by the execu­tioners, He had lain Himself upon it; but they pushed Him lower down into the hollow places, rudely drew His right hand to the hole for the nail in the right arm of the cross, and tied His wrist fast. One knelt on His sacred breast and held the closing hand flat; another placed the long, thick nail, which had been filed to a sharp point, upon the palm of His sacred hand, and struck furious blows with the iron ham­mer. A sweet, clear, spasmodic cry of anguish broke from the Lord's lips, and His blood spurted out upon the arms of the executioners. The muscles and liga­ments of the hand had been torn and, by the three edged nail, driven into the narrow hole. I counted the strokes of the hammer, but my anguish made me forget their number. The Blessed Virgin sobbed in a low voice, but Magdalen was perfectly crazed.

The bore was a large piece of iron like a Latin T, and there was no wood at all about it. The large hammer also was, handle and all, of one piece of iron, and almost of the same shape as the wooden mallet we see used by a joiner when striking on a chisel.

The nails, at the sight of which Jesus shuddered, were so long that when the executioners grasped them in their fists, they projected about an inch at either end. The head consisted of a little plate with a knob, and it covered as much of the palm of the hand as a crown-piece would do. They were three edged, thick near the head as a moderate sized thumb, then tapered to the thickness of a little finger, and lastly were filed to a point. When hammered in, the point could be seen projecting a little on the oppo­site side of the cross.


After nailing Our Lord's right hand, the crucifiers found that His left, which also was fastened to the crosspiece, did not reach to the hole made for the nail, for they had bored a good two inches from the fingertips. They consequently unbound Jesus' arm from the cross, wound cords around it and, with their feet supported firmly against the cross, pulled it forward until the hand reached the hole. Now, kneeling on the arm and breast of the Lord, they fastened the arm again on the beam, and hammered the second nail through the left hand. The blood spurted up and Jesus' sweet, clear cry of agony sounded above the strokes of the heavy hammer. Both arms had been torn from their sockets, the shoulders were distended and hollow, and at the elbows one could see the disjointed bones. Jesus' breast heaved, and His legs were drawn up doubled to His body. His arms were stretched out in so straight a line that they no longer covered the obliquely rising crosspieces. One could see through the space thus made between them and His armpits.

The Blessed Virgin endured all this torture with Jesus. She was pale as a corpse, and low moans of agony sounded from her lips. The Pharisees were mocking and jesting at the side of the low wall by which she was standing, therefore John led her to the other holy women at a still greater distance from the circle. Magdalen was like one out of her mind. She tore her face with her fingernails, till her eyes and cheeks were covered with blood.

About a third of its height from below, there was fixed to the cross by an immense spike a projecting block to which Jesus' feet were to be nailed, so that He should be rather standing than hanging; other­wise His hands would have been torn, and His feet could not have been nailed without breaking the bones. A hole for the nail had been bored in the block, and a little hollow place was made for His heels. Similar cavities had been made all down the trunk of the cross, in order to prolong His sufferings, for without them the hands would have been torn open and the body would have fallen violently by its own weight.

                                                The Nailing of Jesus' Feet

The whole body of our Blessed Redeemer had been contracted by the violent stretching of the arms to the holes for the nails, and His knees were forcibly drawn up. The executioners now fell furiously upon them and, winding ropes around them, fastened them down to the cross; but on account of the mistake made in the holes in the crosspiece, the sacred feet of Jesus did not reach even to the block. When the executioners saw this, they gave vent to curses and insults. Some thought they would have to bore new holes in the transverse arm, for that would be far less difficult than moving the foot block. Others with horrible scoffing cried out: "He will not stretch Him­self out, but we will help Him!" Then they tied ropes around the right leg and, with horrible violence and terrible torture to Jesus, pulled the foot down to the block, and tied the leg fast with cords. Jesus' body was thus most horribly distended. His chest gave way with a cracking sound, and He moaned aloud: "O God! O God!" They had tied down His arms and His breast also that His hands might not be torn away from the nails. The abdomen was entirely dis­placed, and it seemed as if the ribs broke away from the breastbone. The suffering was horrible.

With similar violence the left foot was drawn and fastened tightly with cords over the right; and because it did not rest firmly enough over the right one for nailing, the instep was bored with a fine, flathead piercer, much finer than the one used for the hands. It was like an auger with a puncher attached. Then seizing the most frightful-looking nail of all, which was much longer than the others, they drove it with great effort through the wounded instep of the left foot and that of the right foot resting below. With a cracking sound, it passed through Jesus' feet into the hole prepared for it in the foot block, and through that again back into the trunk of the cross. I have seen, when standing at the side of the cross, one nail passing through both feet. The nailing of the feet was the most horrible of all, on account of the distension of the whole body. I counted thirty-six strokes of the hammer amid the poor Redeemer's moans, which sounded to me so sweet, so pure, so clear.

The Blessed Virgin had returned to the place of execution. At the sound of the tearing and cracking and moaning that accompanied the nailing of the feet, in her most holy compassion she became like one dying, and the holy women, supporting her in their arms, led her again from the circle just as the jeering Pharisees were drawing nearer. During the nailing and the raising of the cross which followed, there arose here and there, especially among the women, such cries of compassion as: "Oh, that the earth would swallow those wretches! Oh, that fire from Heaven would consume them!" But these ex­pressions of love were answered with scorn and insult by Jesus' enemies.

Jesus' moans were purely cries of pain. Mingled with them were uninterrupted prayers, passages from the Psalms and Prophecies, whose predictions He was now fulfilling. During the whole time of His bitter Passion and until the moment of death, He was engaged in this kind of prayer, and in the unin­terrupted fulfillment of the Prophecies. I heard all the passages He made use of and repeated them with Him, and when I say the Psalms, I always remem­ber the verses that Jesus used. But now I am so crushed by the tortures of my Heavenly Bridegroom that I cannot recall them, I saw weeping angels hov­ering over Jesus during this terrible torture.

The above is taken from:
The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations,
From the Visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich
Volume 4, Chapter 46.

The complete text of all four volumes is online Here.  
Available in print from TAN Books Here

Posted 03/31/2015 by Frank Rega, www.frankrega.com

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Did St. Hildegard prophesy today's crisis in the world and Church?

In this epoch, leaders “will plot to diverge from the holiness of God's commands.”

The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard – Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society, is the title of a short but provocative new book by Reid J. Turner. Mr. Turner, who has studied both theology and history at the graduate level, brings his expertise to bear on prophetic visions of the future experienced by St. Hildegard of Bingen.
This 12th century abbess, now a Doctor of the church, authored many works in complex Latin, which have been only recently translated into English. In her very first book she delineated images and impressions that she saw reflected in “the shadow of the Living Light.” One of the more unusual visions of this type was of five animals or beasts, representing five distinct historical periods, “ferocious epochs of temporal rule,” and their effect on the Catholic Church.

Mr. Turner has diligently examined the content of this set of images in the light of the history of the Church and the world, and has pinpointed the five eras that the five beasts represent. The five animals are likened to a fiery dog, a yellow lion, a pale horse, a black pig, and a grey wolf. The epochs they represent are each defined by five separate sinful carnal desires that characterize their era. From the mouth of each animal a dark rope comes forth, which extends to one of five separate mountain peaks. The peaks signify the carnal desires, and the ropes reaching them signify that the power of these desires will last throughout each period that a beast represents.

Turner's analysis, in brief, contends that the fiery dog refers to the time from 1870 to the beginning of WWI, and that the predominant sin in this era, which saw 30 reigning monarchs and the rise of industrialism and socialism, is lack of justice. The Church during this time was despoiled of the Papal States, and Pope Leo XIII issued Rerum Novarum to address the problems of social and economic injustice. The yellow lion of the second period represents the age of war, from 1914 to 1945, characterized by the sin of moral relativism, and disregard for the “righteousness of God.” During this time, the Lateran Treaty signed by the dictator Mussolini established the Vatican city-state. The third era, symbolized by a pale horse, extends from 1945 to the end of the cold war in 1991, and is tainted by licentiousness and lack of virtue. In this era “kingdoms” lose their “ruddy strength”, weaken and grow pale, and “hearts will be broken.” Although the author does not mention this, could this symbolize Vatican II's de-construction of the traditional Church, and the divisions caused by the encyclical on birth control, Humanae Vitae?

The fourth era (the black pig) is our present age according to Turner, and it is possibly more than half way completed. This age bears the fruits of licentiousness, which are impurity and fornication. Here is St. Hildegard's description of the fourth beast:

"Another is like a black pig, for this epoch will have leaders who blacken themselves in misery and wallow in the mud of impurity.  They will infringe the divine law, by fornication and other like evils, and will plot to diverge from the holiness of God's commands."

The beginning of this era saw two important encyclicals by John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor and Evangelium Vitae, which took aim at moral and ethical relativism, and legislation that devalued human life. He defended Church teaching on the importance of the family with his Letter to Families. In a homily delivered in 2010 Cardinal Raymond Burke warned of a “society which pretends to take the place of God in making its laws and giving its judgments.” Turner attributes society's wallowing in the “mud of impurity” on moral issues, to the brainwashing goals and pressures stemming from political correctness, and its morphing into social engineering. Those who disagree with the PC program are branded as racists, sexists, and so on. 

Ironically it seems that some in the Church itself wish to “infringe on the divine law.” Turner's book does not address the current “Synod of the Family” controversy since his manuscript was completed prior to October of 2014. Since then, high ranking prelates and leaders have expressed a willingness to change the dogmatic Moral teaching of the Church on the reception of Holy Communion, which is based on the divine law of Scripture itself. They are pushing, in the name of mercy, to open up Communion to those in irregular and possibly adulterous marriages, and to those in other types of “partnerships.” It certainly seems like a “plot to diverge from the holiness of God's commands!”

The fifth and final beast, the cunning grey wolf, will be a time of conflicts and plundering, economic turmoil and class warfare, and will ensnare many as the time of the Antichrist nears. This era will be ushered in by a significant decline of the dominant position of America in the world. The social engineers may resort to violence to crush opposition to their agenda. Interestingly, in this period the rope from the mouth of the wolf is not completely black, but is both dark and white, signifying that many in this epoch will be “white with justice.” Could this black and white rope symbolize a formal schism in the Church over the issue of divorce and remarriage?

Turner's book, although packed with information, facts and speculation, is written with clarity, and one can easily understand and follow his arguments and analysis. His pairing of the five beasts with the specific five historical eras that he identifies seems both logical and correct. The book gives the reader much to think about and ponder, and provides insight into the times in which we live, and where we are going. Reid Turner's web site and blog are at this link.  The book is available from Amazon.com at this link.
Posted on March 28, 2015 by Frank Rega, www.frankrega.com
View all of my books.  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Who will be in schism?

If the pope and bishops objectively defect from the Faith, exactly who will be in schism?

Let us consider the scenario where Pope Francis does officially approve a document on the reception of the Eucharist that is in open contradiction to authoritative, dogmatic Church doctrine on faith and morals – that is, the doctrine concerning the immorality of receiving the Eucharist while in a state of mortal sin. In that case, the pope and the bishops who formally approve such a teaching would themselves have defected from the Apostolic Faith, and they would therefore be the ones in schism. As manifest heretics, they would no longer be part of the Church, the mystical body of Christ. Those who retain the true faith would still remain Roman Catholics.

If this does occur, there will probably be innumerable Catholics who can no longer in good conscience follow those bishops and priests who have left the Faith.

St. Athanasius, fourth century: “It is a fact that they have the premises – but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you” (see link).

If they have no place to worship, these faithful will be nourished by the Rosary, spiritual communion, meditation, spiritual reading, and praying the traditional Mass using a missal. Hopefully they will coalesce into groups and come to know one another. Perhaps they may become so effectively organized within a diocese that they can even consider electing a true bishop to be followed in lieu of one who has defected.

Nota Bene:  Of course the Faith of Peter cannot fail according to Christ's promise. Therefore if the one sitting on the Chair of Peter openly defects, it indicates he had already lost the Faith prior to his election, and was not a true pope to begin with.

Posted on March 21, 2015 by Frank Rega, www.frankrega.com

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Opposing the "false mercy" Agenda

As the battle lines continue to form, traditionalists are turning to their blogs and social media to counteract what they see as an agenda of “false mercy” being promoted by supporters of the progressive camp. The liberal wing, following the lead of Pope Francis and Cardinal Kasper, hopes to use the upcoming Synod on the Family to further erode the bastions of Catholicism, by minimizing the sanctity of the sacraments of the Eucharist and of marriage. Their intent, as is well known, is to permit those in irregular marital situations or relationships, of varied types, to receive the Eucharist without qualms to their conscience.

The worst-case scenario of embarking on this slippery slope is tragic. Why shouldn't an unhappy Catholic couple just get divorced, since they can still receive Communion anyway? Why should Catholic couples or divorced-remarried Catholics bother with annulments if they will still be in sacramental Communion with the Church? Why should one be concerned at all about divorcing and re-marrying if communion with the Church via the Eucharist is still possible?

As the battle heats up, two Catholic bloggers/writers in particular have undertaken concrete attempts to defend the bastions. James Larson, who maintains the website "The War Against Being," has initiated a Children's Crusade of Prayer for the Holy Father. He writes:

I plan to send the following short letter to Pope Francis. It will be accompanied by a picture taken this past Christmas of all my children, their spouses, and grandchildren. I think that pictures are crucial. I believe that every Catholic website and blog should promote such a "children's crusade" (variations are of course desirable) from now until the closing of the Synod. The address of the Holy Father should also be provided.

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City 
Holy Father,

Our children, and our entire family, are praying the rosary with the following intention:

"For Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, that he might not promote a false mercy, but that he might do what is necessary in order to protect both the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Marriage from sacrilege."

Larson hopes that It will be difficult for Pope Francis to dismiss such children and their families as "self-absorbed, Promethian, Neo-pelagians," which is the way traditionalists are often characterized.

In his “From Rome” blog, Franciscan Brother Alexis Bugnolo, writes that Catholics must band together in a world-wide network. He writes: “To be quiet now, is to tacitly succumb. If you don’t declare your side publicly now, it will be too late to recruit an army when the battle starts. Indeed, the fundamental problem today in the Church arises from the cowardice of too many clergy to speak out and take initiatives to oppose the errors.”

Bugnolo is promoting the Veri Catholici Association, which takes up the call to preserve the Faith as it has been handed down through the ages. Members and supporters are specifically concerned with preserving the Apostolic Eucharistic doctrine:

We are zealously devoted to the defense of the doctrine revealed by God through St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, in his First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 11, verses 26-27, which is:

26: For howsoever often you will have eaten this Bread and drink this Chalice, you announce the Death of the Lord, until He comes.

27: And so, whosoever will have eaten the Bread and/or have drunk the Chalice of the Lord will be liable for the Body and Blood of the Lord.

(Translation from the Vulgate text)


The "Shield of Faith" blog contends that according to Catholic teaching, when the perennial ecclesiastical Magisterium speaks it must be obeyed, even if it is not a formal infallible definition of doctrine on faith or morals (see this link).  In this case it is a question of the traditional doctrine on the immorality of the reception of Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin. Therefore the time to object and put a stop to the progressive “false mercy” agenda is now, before there is any change in pastoral practice touching on the doctrine of the moral requirements for the reception of Holy Communion.
Posted on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2015 by Frank Rega, www.frankrega.com