Friday, December 22, 2017

The Birth of Jesus

Excerpts from Chapter XIX "The Nativity," from the book 

      While Luisa was in her mystical state, she felt that she went outside of herself, and saw the Blessed Mother in a cave in the act of giving birth to the little Baby Jesus. It seemed that both Mother and Son were transmuted into most pure light in a wonderful prodigy. In that light she could clearly discern the human nature of Jesus as containing the Divinity within itself. His Humanity served as a veil to cover the Divinity, in such a way that in tearing the veil of His human nature, He was God, while covered by that veil, He was Man. This is the prodigy of prodigies – God and Man, Man and God! He comes to dwell in our midst to take on human flesh, without leaving the Father and the Holy Spirit, since true love never separates.

      It seemed to Luisa that both Mother and Son, in the happy instant of His birth, remained as though spiritualized. Without the slightest difficulty Jesus came out of the Maternal womb, while they both overflowed with an excess of love. Their most pure bodies were transformed into light, and Light Jesus came out of the Light of the Mother without the slightest impediment. Both remained whole and intact, as they returned to their natural state. Then, the Most Holy Virgin, as though stirred, received her Son in her arms from the hands of an angel. In her ardor of love she squeezed Him so tightly that it seemed as if she wanted to draw Him into her womb again. Wanting to let her ardent love pour out, she placed Him at her breast to suckle.

      Who can tell the beauty of the Little Baby who at the moment of His birth, transmitted the rays of the Divinity? And who can tell the beauty of the Mother who remained all absorbed in those divine rays? As for St. Joseph, it seemed to Luisa that he was not present at the act of the birth, but remained in another corner of the cave, while engrossed in that profound Mystery. He was enraptured in sublime ecstasy, and if he did not see with the eyes of the body, he saw very well with the eyes of the soul. 

      As Luisa continued to look at the Holy Baby, she saw the Queen Mother on one side with St. Joseph on the other, both profoundly adoring the Divine Infant. The were all intent on Him, and it seemed that the continuous presence of the Little Baby kept them engrossed in a constant ecstasy. If they could do some action, it was due to a prodigy that the Lord worked in them; otherwise they would have remained motionless and unable to attend to their external duties. 

      While Luisa was in her usual mystical state, the Blessed Virgin appeared to her carrying her Baby on her lap. He was wrapped in a little cloth and was shivering. Placing Him in Luisa's arms, Mary asked her to warm Him with her affections, because this her Son was born in extreme poverty, with the highest mortification, and abandoned by men. Luisa saw that He was so pretty, with a Celestial beauty. She took Him in her arms, clasping Him to herself to warm Him, since He was almost numb with cold, having only one little cloth to cover Him. When the Queen Mother wanted her Baby back to nourish Him with her sweet milk, Luisa complied. His Mother then uncovered her breast to place it in the mouth of her Divine Baby.

      Luisa looked at this Little baby, of rare and enrapturing beauty. From all of His little Humanity, from His eyes, from His mouth, from His hands and feet, came most refulgent rays of light. These rays not only enwrapped Him, but extended so much as to be able to wound the hearts of all creatures. He gave hearts this first greeting of His coming upon earth – the first knock to invite all hearts, to make them open and to ask for a shelter within them. That sweet but penetrating knock of light made no clamor, yet it made itself be heard strongly, more than any noise. So, on that night, all felt something unusual within their hearts, but very few were those who opened their hearts to give Him a little shelter. And then the tender infant, in feeling His greeting not being returned, and that no one opened at His repeated knocking, began His crying. With His lips livid and shivering with cold, He sobbed, wailed and sighed.

      Thus He received His first rejections as He came forth from His Mother's womb. But while these things were happening with the light which came out from Him, He threw Himself into the loving arms of His Mother, giving her His first hugs and kisses. Although His little arms could not reach to embrace her completely, the light which came out of His hands surrounded her, in such a way that Mother and Son remained invested with the same light. When the Queen Mother requited her Son with her own embrace and kiss, they remained clasped to each other as if they were fused within each other. With her love, she compensated for the first rejection which Jesus received from the hearts of creatures. The little baby Jesus placed His first act of being born, His graces, His first sorrow, into the heart of His Celestial Mother, so that what appeared in the Son could appear in the Mother.  

      While in the Divine Will, Luisa saw the charming little Baby, after He came forth from the Maternal womb, fling Himself into the arms of His Celestial Mother. Feeling the need to make His first outpouring of love, He surrounded the neck of His Mother with His tiny arms, kissing her. His Virgin Mother also felt the need to pour out her love toward the Divine Infant. She returned to Him the Maternal kiss, with such affection as to feel her Heart come out of her chest. As Luisa contemplated this first outpouring of love between Mother and Son, Jesus told her about the great need He had to make this display of love with His Mother. Everything that has been done by the Supreme Being has been nothing other than a wellspring of love. In the Virgin Queen was centralized all the outpouring of love which the Divinity had in Creation. Since the Divine Will was in her, she was capable of receiving, with the kisses of the Baby Jesus, this great outpouring, and of returning it to Him. One who lives in the Divine Will centralizes within herself the continuous act of all Creation, and the attitude of pouring it back to God.  

      As soon as He came out of the womb of His Mother, He could not do without gazing at her, because in her was the enrapturing force of the Divine Will. The sweet enchantment of the beauty and most refulgent light of the Divine Fiat made Him remain fixed on His Mother, who possessed His very life by virtue of the Fiat. Seeing His life bilocated in her enraptured Him, and He could not remove His gaze from her, because the divine force compelled Him to fix it on the Celestial Queen. She often took Him with her most pure hands, covering Him with ardent kisses in order to warm Him and calm His crying. She nourished Him with her most sweet milk. 

      The birth of the Baby Jesus was the most solemn act of the whole Creation. Both heaven and earth plunged into a most profound adoration at the sight of His little Humanity, which kept His Divinity as though enclosed within walls. The time of His birth was a time of silence and of profound adoration and prayer. His Mother prayed while enraptured by the power of the prodigy which was coming out of her. St. Joseph and the angels prayed, and the Creation experienced the strength and love of the creative power being renewed in them. All Created things felt honored with true honor, because the One Who had created them would make use of them for what was needed for His Humanity. The sun recognized the One who had created it, and felt honored in having to give its light and heat to its true Lord. The earth felt honored and exulted with joy and prodigious signs, sensing Him lying in the manger with such tender limbs. Seeing their true King and Lord in their midst and feeling honored, all wanted to perform their office for Him: water wanted to quench His thirst; the warbling and trilling birds wanted to cheer Him; the wind wished to caress Him and the air to kiss Him. All desired to pay Him their innocent tribute.

      Only ungrateful men were reluctant. Experiencing an unusual joy and strength within themselves, they suffocated everything and were unwilling to move, although the Baby called them with tears, moans and sobs. The only exceptions were some few shepherds. Yet it was precisely for man that the Baby Jesus had come on earth! He came to give Himself to him, to save him, and to bring him back to the Celestial Fatherland. He was all eyes to see whether any would come before Him in order to receive the great gift of His Divine and Human life.
      He experienced cold in the Cave of Bethlehem, but it was not the cold of the air that chilled Him. No, it was the cold of the human hearts that made Him grow numb, and it was their ingratitude that made Him cry bitterly at His very first coming out to the light. Although the Blessed Mother also cried, she calmed the crying of her Son. Their tears blended together. As they exchanged their first kisses they poured themselves out in love. But their lives were to be sorrow and crying. The Baby had His Mother place Him in the manger, to go back to crying in order to call His children with sobs and tears. He wanted to move all to pity with His moans, so as to be listened to.  

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Grace is the Bilocated Life of God

There are entire books written on the subject of the grace of God. But have you ever wondered exactly what is meant by the grace of God?  Have you made any efforts to look up the definition of grace?  Have you ever found a definition that completely satisfied your curiosity and put to rest your need to understand the concept?

It is termed a favor, a gift, a participation in the life of God, a quality of the soul, a free and undeserved help.  One can search the catechisms to find these and similar terms and concepts.

The great Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, discusses grace in his Summa Theologica in this series of topics : The necessity (109) and essence (110) of grace. The division (111) of grace. Its cause (112) and effects (113). Merit (114).

But the simplest and most concise definition that completely satisfies my need to grasp the concept is this statement:  "Grace is nothing other than the bilocated life of God."  More than a participation in the life of God, it IS the life of God! 

Who could be so bold, daring and innovative as to make such an elegant and simple assertion?  It was spoken by the Lord Himself, who revealed it to a mystic of the Church:

 ". . .  and my sweet Jesus told me: “My daughter, in each act that my Celestial Mama did for Me – and they were continuous – I repaid Her with a degree of graces, because I do not let Myself be beaten nor surpassed by the acts of creatures – I am insuperable. Therefore, if My dear Mama gave Me love, acts, steps, words - I, in each degree of grace, gave Her a divine life, because grace is nothing other than the bilocated life of God which gives itself to creatures. What a great difference between an act which a creature can give and a divine life which God gives at each of their acts. So, the Queen of Heaven was immensely rich, with so many divine lives which She received at each instant; and She used them to form the cortege, to honor, to love, with divine lives, Her Son, Her Jesus, Her All.
Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, Book of Heaven, Volume 22; September 14, 1927.

View my books on Luisa and others here.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Update - Rosary for the Purification of the Church

Update - 
The "Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church," scheduled to occur throughout our nation in parishes on February 2, 2018, now has its own website at:

   The following plea for a Rosary for the purification of the Church was recently emailed to me.  The author wishes to remain anonymous.  Taking its cue from Poland's "Rosary on the Borders," this Rosary is to be a prayer for the purification of the interior of the Church. The hundreds of thousands of Catholics of Poland coupled their collective praying of the Rosary with the fate of their nation.  Similarly, the Rosary for the purification of the Church applies secondarily to the interior of our country, the United States of America, which has been a source of many of the evils which beset the entire world.

Rosary To The Interior:
For the Purification of the Church
(Feast of the Purification and Presentation, Friday, Feb 2, 2018)

   There are two truths that must now be understood: that the Church must be purified if the world is to receive the saving Light of Christ; and that the means which God has given us to effect this purification is the Rosary. The following proposal, I believe, is essential to this purification.  
   What is now called The Feast of the Presentation, celebrated on February 2, is actually a double Feast: that of the Purification of Mary, and the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. I would like to suggest that Catholics throughout our country journey to their churches on this day in order to pray the Rosary for the expressed intention of the Purification of the Church. If access is denied to the interior of the Church, the Rosary might be prayed at its entrance.
   The Presentation celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, into His Temple. It is, in fact, the premier Feast of Light¸ and the Triumph of Light over the Darkness of Evil. Traditionally called Candlemass, it signifies the “success” and triumph of the Incarnation, has been traditionally celebrated with triumphal candlelight processions, and is the liturgical day designated for the blessing of candles.
   The Purification is the Feast of Our Lady considered to be the oldest Marian liturgical Feast in the Church (having its beginnings in the liturgical life of the Church in Jerusalem) which, while exteriorly signifying an act which fulfilled the prescription of the Old Law, interiorly represents a whole new reality. The purification prescribed in the Old Law was in consequence of original sin and the pain and “sorrow” which now accompanied all childbirth. Mary, conceived without sin, was free from this sorrow. The Purification of the New Testament, therefore, is to be identified with the interior sorrow and suffering of Mary and the Church which has to be undergone in order to usher Christ’s Light into His Temple the Church, and from there into the world:
And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

   The Church has now been penetrated by a darkness greater than at any time in its history – not only the darkness of sexual sins and other moral “filth”, but that which consists of every conceivable form of error masking itself as truth, and of darkness masquerading as light. The task of unmasking these “thoughts”, and thus paving the way to the Triumph of the Truth of Christ, has been entrusted to Mary. Most specifically, it has been entrusted to Our Lady of the Rosary. St. Paul writes, “The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.” The Rosary, as revealed in the messages of Our Lady of Fatima, is this armor of light possessing the power from God to cast off the works of darkness which now pervade the Church, the world, and especially the minds and hearts of individual Catholics.
   We need to be immensely grateful to Poland for beginning this militant crusade with its “Rosary on the Borders”, and for Catholics in Italy and Ireland who have followed suit. I believe that the title “Rosary to the Interior” is singularly appropriate to such an effort in the United States, since we are a primary source of the evils that have permeated the modern world: abortion, contraception, the destruction of the family, pornography, homosexuality, materialism and consumerism, all the evils of the media which destroy the intelligence and morality of young and old alike, denial of the Kingship of Christ over all nations, and manifold heresies in regard to the Truths of Christ.
   We also need to recognize that Polish Catholics were right in coupling this collective praying of the Rosary to the fate of their nation. St. James the Apostle declares: “the friendship of this world is the enemy of God”. (James 4:4). In the United States this “friendship of the world” has taken the form of constant compromise with American culture and politics, which has produced all those evil “fruits” mentioned above. The campaign of the Enemy within the Church is now taking the form of declaring an end to this “enmity” between Christ and the world, and of promoting inclusiveness towards every conceivable form of evil. The Rosary must therefore be embraced not only as a form of armor protecting us from personal evil, but as a militant weapon in order to defeat the deceits of those who work in darkness, from within, to overthrow Christ and His Church. It must now, first and foremost, be directed in intention towards the Interior of the Church.

   Finally, it would seem especially necessary, given the profound lack of unity which exists among various apostolates and agendas operating within the United States, that this effort not be taken over by any one organization. I pray that it will rise from the hearts of many, be promoted by every form of organization and media, and be subsumed by none. I personally, along with family, friends, and any other Catholics we might influence, will be there. Let it thus proceed as a united effort to purify the Church and convert our nation.

Note: Any of the above may be used without crediting the author. As long as the intention remains the same – “Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church” – it may also be amended to suit individual circumstances. I suggest that parish priests and bishops be asked for permission to use their Church, and even to promote this endeavor from the pulpit and the church bulletin. Finally, I would ask all those interested in participating in this Rosary to the Interior to consider what contacts they might make in order to promote this effort towards the purification of their Church. Its power and effectiveness, with the aid of God’s grace, is designed to begin in the heart of each individual believer and multiply to unity with all the faithful in a cry for God’s mercy and assistance.
– The author does not desire recognition.

Below is a shorter version of the above for possible use in the pulpit or in bulletins:

Rosary To The Interior:
For the Purification of the Church
(Feast of the Purification and Presentation, Friday, Feb 2, 2018)

   There are two truths that must now be understood: that the Church must be purified if the world is to receive the saving Light of Christ; and that the means which God has given us to effect this purification is the Rosary. The following proposal, I believe, is essential to this purification.
   What is now called The Feast of the Presentation, celebrated on February 2, is actually a double Feast: that of the Purification of Mary, and the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. I would like to suggest that all our faithful journey to Churches on this day in order to pray the Rosary for the expressed intention of the Purification of the Church.
   The Purification is the Feast of Our Lady considered to be the oldest Marian liturgical Feast in the Church (having its beginnings in the liturgical life of the Church in Jerusalem) which, while exteriorly signifying an act which fulfilled the prescription of the Old Law, interiorly represents a whole new reality. The purification prescribed in the Old Law was in consequence of original sin and the pain and “sorrow” which now accompanied all childbirth. Mary, conceived without sin, was free from this sorrow. The Purification of the New Testament, therefore, is to be identified with the interior sorrow and suffering of Mary and the Church which has to be undergone in order to usher Christ’s Light into His Temple the Church, and from there into the world:
And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” (Luke 2: 35).
   To Mary has been entrusted the mission from God to carry the light of Christ into His Church in order that it might then become a beacon of light to free the world from darkness and sin. As revealed through the messages of Fatima, this is especially to be accomplished through the Rosary.
I would ask all the Catholics of this parish, if it is at all possible, to journey here on Friday, February 2 (a specific time might here be appropriate) for the praying of the Rosary for the Purification of the Church and the Triumph of Christ’s Light over the darkness that now appears to be descending at an accelerating pace over our world, and especially over our nation. The Church will be open all day, and into the evening, for this purpose.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Pius XII himself said he was the "last Pope"

   Jean Guitton was a noted French Catholic philosopher and theologian (1901-1999).  According to a book by Fr. Luigi Villa, Guitton wrote in L'Osservatore Romano, October 19, 1960, that Pius XII himself had said that he was the "last pope."  Following are excerpts from Fr. Villa's work, Anche John XXIII beato?  (John XXIII  "Beatified" too?), published in June 2000:

     Wrote Jean Guitton (Pantheist and Bergsonian), friend of Giovanni Battista Montini, "Pius XII knew it, he himself said he was the 'last Pope,' the last link of a long chain.  And yet in those years of the 1950's, the Church was thriving.  But Pius XII knew an unprecedented crisis was in the making, 'in the very bosom of the Church,' as Pius X had already said.  And that came about, in fact, with the election of John XXIII.  Modernism exploded violently, in spite of Humanae Generis, issued by Pius XII in 1950.  Jacques Maritain shared this view: "The modernism of the time of Pius X, compared with the modern neo-modernistic fever, was but a mere hay-fever."  In fact, with Pope John XXIII the situation was reversed.  The Progressives popped out from everywhere. 

Pope Pius XII

 . . .  John XXIII presently thought of appointing new Cardinals.  Obviously, the first, whom he personally dictated, was Monsignor Montini, although he knew that Pius XII had kicked him out of the Vatican, and wanted  him excluded from the Conclave, and for that reason he had refused him the purple habit.  And we are still suffering from the consequences of John XXIII's action.  

     That too is a clear indication that John XXIII, far from having been a Pope of transition, was a real reformer and transformer, such as the Church had never known since the days of the Counter-Reformation.  A new revised Church, today called "Conciliar," (quod dixit Cardinal Benelli).


     Above quotes from pp. 18-20 of Fr. Luigi Villa's book; download at this link:

View my books on the Blessed Virgin, St. Francis, Padre Pio, and others.  

Monday, October 30, 2017

St. Francis vs. Pope Francis

Pope Francis:  No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel!

Amoris Laetitia 296,7

     The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone for ever; it is to pour out the balm of God’s mercy on all those who ask for it with a sincere heart… For true charity is always un-merited, unconditional and gratuitous”. Consequently, there is a need “to avoid judgements which do not take into account the complexity of various situations” and “to be attentive, by necessity, to how people experience distress because of their condition”
     It is a matter of reaching out to everyone, of needing to help each person find his or her proper way of participating in the ecclesial community and thus to experience being touched by an “unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous” mercy. No one can be condemned for ever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel! Here I am not speaking only of the divorced and re-married, but of everyone, in whatever situation they find themselves. 
     Naturally, if someone flaunts an objective sin as if it were part of the Christian ideal, or wants to impose something other than what the Church teaches, he or she can in no way presume to teach or preach to others; this is a case of something which separates from the community (cf. Mt 18:17). Such a person needs to listen once more to the Gospel message and its call to conversion. Yet even for that person there can be some way of taking part in the life of community, whether in social service, prayer meetings or another way that his or her own initiative, together with the discernment of the parish priest, may suggest.

The Last Judgement by Michelangelo; Sistine Chapel


St. Francis: Unrepentant souls will go into the inferno where they will suffer torture without end.

Exhortation to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance 

From Chapter Two - Concerning those who do Not do Penance.

      See, you who are blind, deceived by your enemies, the world, the flesh and the devil, for it is pleasant to the body to commit sin and it is bitter to make it serve God because all vices and sins come out and “proceed from the heart of man” as the Lord says in the Gospel (cf. Mk. 7,21).  And you have nothing in this world and in the next, and you thought you would possess the vanities of this world for a long time. But you have been deceived, for the day and the hour will come to which you give no thought and which you do not know and of which you are ignorant.
    The body grows infirm, death approaches, and so it dies a bitter death, and no matter where or when or how man dies, in the guilt of sin, without penance or satisfaction, though he can make satisfaction but does not do it; the devil snatches the soul from his body with such anguish and tribulation that no one can know it except he who endures it, and all the talents and power and “knowledge and wisdom” (2 Chr. 1,12) which they thought they had will be taken a way from them (cf. Lk. 8,18; Mk. 4,25), and they leave their goods to relatives and friends who take and divide them and say afterwards, “Cursed be his soul because he could have given us more, he could have acquired more than he did.”
     The worms eat up the body and so they have lost body and soul during this short earthly life and will go into the inferno where they will suffer torture without end.


     So, is the difference to be explained by stating that St. Francis belonged to a different era of the Church? Are the two approaches simply two sides of the same coin? Or is one man right and the other just plain wrong?
View my books on the Blessed Virgin, St. Francis, Padre Pio, and others.  

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Catholic writer pens explosive letter to Priests

In September of this year, James Larson, author of the web site The War Against Being, sent the following letter to the Bishop and 73 Priests of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota.  To date, only one has responded, in an attempt to rebut Larson's conclusions.  The letter is part of a larger and far-ranging article he has written and posted on his web site, entitled "Our Hope: Fatima, and What Remains of True Catholic Intelligence."  In this article he presents what he considers the major foundational heresy in Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia, a heresy which the authors of the recent Correctio Filialis completely failed to address and include in their list of seven heresies in the Pope's Apostolic Exhortation.  Larson's letter to the priests is presented as a preamble in order to "flesh-out" the issues he will discuss in his article.

Dear Father,

The Catholic Church teaches that to knowingly or culpably deny even one doctrine of the Catholic Faith is to lose sanctifying grace (and thus charity, or the state of being in God’s friendship), and to fall into mortal sin.  And, of course, to commit even one grave moral sin results in the same loss. The Council of Trent solemnly declares:

“In opposition also to the subtle wits of certain men, who, by pleasing speeches and good words, seduce the hearts of the innocent, it is to be maintained, that the received grace of Justification is lost, not only by infidelity whereby even faith itself is lost, but also by any other mortal sin whatever, though faith be not lost; thus defending the doctrine of the divine law, which excludes from the kingdom of God not only the unbelieving, but the faithful also (who are) fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, liars with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, railers, extortioners, and all others who commit deadly sins; from which, with the help of divine grace, they can refrain, and on account of which they are separated from the grace of Christ.” (Session VI, chapter XV).

 According to Pew Research Polls (and basically verified by other polls), we have the following statistics in regard to the acceptance of serious mortal sins among American Catholics: 50% of American Catholics believe that abortion should be legal in “most or all cases” (and surely a much higher percentage believe it should be legal in at least the “hard” cases such as “life of the mother”, rape, and incest), 70% believe gay marriage “should be accepted by society” (this figure is up 12% in just the past 10 years), 89% believe that artificial contraception is morally acceptable or not a moral issue at all, 85% believe it is acceptable for unmarried couples to live together outside of marriage, 76% believe that unmarried, co-cohabiting couples should be allowed to receive Holy Communion,  and over 60 % believe that divorced and remarried couples (without an annulment) should be allowed to receive Holy Communion (this last statistic may have grown significantly since the data collected here came before the apparent endorsement of such a practice in certain instances by Pope Francis in “Amoris Laetitia”, and before being put into practice by a significant number of bishops), .  All this would make it almost certain that over 80 % of Catholics in this country embrace at least one of these errors (and this without even considering infallible dogmatic teachings of the Faith such as Transubstantiation, Original Sin, Mary’s Perpetual Virginity, the Immaculate Conception, etc.).  Such rejection of Catholic beliefs might be somewhat lower in rural areas, but I severely doubt if there is a 10% difference.

Holy Scripture and the Church also teach that anyone who receives Holy Communion while being in mortal sin not only commits sacrilege (“guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord”), but also “eateth and drinketh judgment to himself” (1 Cor. 11: 27-29). What duty, therefore, can be more incumbent upon every priest in this present age of apostasy from Catholic Truth than that of very carefully explaining from the pulpit the nature of both mortal sin and Eucharistic sacrilege, of being very specific in regard to the sins enumerated above, and declaring emphatically that anyone who commits these sins, or denies these teachings of Christ and His Church, must not receive Holy Communion? To be silent in regard to this obligation entails not only complicity in “re-crucifying” Christ, but also amounts to confirming the vast majority of Catholics in mortal sin. This is not charity or mercy towards souls.

Of course, any priest who would fulfill this obligation would almost certainly and immediately begin losing many parishioners, and this translates into a large loss of revenues. It is necessary first of all, therefore, that a priest who is to be faithful in preaching these truths makes the fundamental choice of serving God rather than Mammon. 

Even more important, however, is the question as to whether priests are willing to follow Christ and be a sign of contradiction to “the world, the flesh, and the devil”, or whether they choose to abet, especially through their silence, the descent of the Church into the cesspool of this modern world.    The latter, of course, is precisely the course upon which the priesthood almost universally embarked after Vatican II – which every Sunday found the priest in the pulpit preaching about love, mercy, and forgiveness, while the vast majority of the faithful were amalgamating their faith to the world and succumbing to mortal sins which destroy their life in God. We also cannot fail to note that this silence rebounded upon the priesthood itself with a huge loss of vocations, desertions from the priesthood, and the descent of many into every conceivable form of “filth”.  As Jesus said to his disciples, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.” (Mt. 5:13).

Our individual churches have largely become temples of massive sacrilege, and this despite all the gentle sentiments that each week waft forth from the pulpit. It is here, in the pulpit, where the local priest must take his stand either for Belial or Christ: “He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” (Mt. 12:30). It is here where he succumbs to silence, or speaks the Word of Truth which is the life of Christ and the only light by which he and all his flock may be drawn out from all the evils of this modern world.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Van Gogh's Hurricane Swirls

      While tracking hurricanes Jose and Maria this September of 2017, I came across a wonderful weather map site, featuring dynamic, in-motion maps for multiple parameters, such as wind gusts, temperature, clouds, waves, precipitation and so on. I was struck by a resemblance of the wind speed map to certain paintings I had seen, but initially could not make the connection. Could it be Picasso or Kandinsky?  Finally I realized that it was Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night that I was reminded of as I looked at the weather map. Not only are there colorful swirls, but also short white strokes or stipples defining both the stars and the hurricanes.  See for yourself.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Padre Pio's Tribute to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin

Translated in English for the first time, with permission, from the Italian of the fourth book of the Letters of Padre Pio; see at bottom for details.

     Great events merit great commemorations; we see that this constantly occurs. The anniversary of the coronation of a prince is celebrated, that of an important victory, and unfortunately sometimes dates are remembered that are tragic for the Church, the memory of which cannot do other than further sadden the hearts of humble Catholics. But for the most affectionate children, the most beautiful dates are those which record the triumphs and glories of their Mother. We Catholics who venerate in Most Holy Mary the most tender and affectionate of Mothers that one can speak of, can do no less than rejoice on that day sacred to the memory of her greatest victory, that is, her Assumption into Heaven and her Coronation as Queen of the angels and of all the saints. Therefore let us pause here somewhat to consider the power and the glory of Most Holy Mary assumed into Heaven, to better arouse our devotion and confidence towards her.
Dormition; Fra Angelico
     After the Ascension of Jesus Christ into Heaven, Mary was continually on fire with a most intense desire to be reunited to Him. And Oh! The burning sighs, the pitiful moans that she addressed to Him constantly, that He would call her to Himself. Without her divine Son, it seemed that she found herself in a most hard exile. Those years in which she had to be separated from Him were for her a most slow and painful martyrdom, a martyrdom of love that consumed her little by little. But behold, finally the longed-for hour arrived, and Mary heard the voice of her beloved, which called her from on high. “Come sister, my delight, my spouse, come! [cf. Cant. 4, 8ff.] Come O beloved of my heart, the time of your groans on earth is finished; come O spouse, and receive from the Father, from the Son, and from the Holy Spirit the crown that has been prepared for you in Heaven!”

      This loving invitation was manifested to Most Holy Mary by means of the burning love that made her desire ever more ardently to see her Son and be united to Him. Her heart told her that her longings were finally to be satisfied, and totally happy she prepared herself to leave this earth. Already it seemed she could hear the angelic harmonies coming towards her. However, her heart was torn between her divine Son who was in Heaven, and her other adopted sons still on earth – the apostles. As a tender Mother, she wished to bless them before departing this world. God, in order to render her passage completely blissful, wanted to satisfy her desire - and in a short time the apostles, who were dispersed in various parts of the world in order to preach the Gospel, were carried by invisible hands to the humble house of Mary. She was greatly pleased by their arrival, and revealed to them that she was soon to be united with her son Jesus.
      The apostles, upon hearing that Mary would soon leave them, reacted like children who stood to become orphans, and they burst forth in sorrowful lamentations. She took steps to console them, assuring them that she would not completely abandon them, but would continue to assist and help them from Heaven. They did not leave her alone even for a moment, and Mary in response to the sighs that they were raising up to Heaven, braided wise counsels with words of comfort as she addressed the desolated apostles. 
Assumption; Fra Angelico
      The divine love in the heart of Mary burned with such great intensity, that it could no longer be contained within a mortal creature. And so the blessed soul of Mary, as a tied dove that had broken its bonds, separated itself from her holy body, and flew into the bosom of her beloved. But Jesus who ruled in Heaven with His most holy Humanity, which He had taken from the womb of the Virgin, desired that His Mother, not only with her soul but also with her body, be reunited with him and share fully in His glory. And this was truly just and right. Her body which was never for an instant the slave of the demon or of sin, should rightly never be subject to corruption. 
      Now what tongue can fittingly describe the triumphant entrance of Mary into Heaven? If the celebrations that are prepared here down below arouse such admiration and great enthusiasm as to move and attract the thoughts of so many people, what can possibly be said of the triumphs prepared by God Himself for His very own Mother? Saint Anselm affirms that the Redeemer wished to ascend into Heaven before His Mother not only to prepare a throne worthy of her Queenship, but also to render more triumphant and glorious her entrance into Heaven, to arrive there and encounter Himself along with all the angels and the blessed of Paradise. Thus, Saint Peter Damian does not hesitate to affirm that the Assumption of Mary into Heaven was more glorious than the Ascension of Jesus Christ, since only the angels came to greet Him, but with Most Holy Mary, not only the angels came to meet her, but also the saints and at the head of all, that same Jesus Christ.
Coronation; Fra Angelico
      Mary shook off the sleep of death which had deprived her of the angelic melodies. The celestial spirits burst open the tomb which had received her body; her divine Son stretched forth His hand, and Mary followed Him, all majestic and bright like the rising sun. Sweetly and calmly she rose from the earth, up towards the clouds and the celestial spheres, to the boundaries of the home of the Blessed. The gates of Heaven opened and the Mother of God entered in. As soon as the saints in Heaven saw her arrayed in the splendor of her beauty, with great festivity and joy they surrounded her, greeting her and honoring her with lofty titles. Offering their homage by prostrating themselves at her feet, by mutual consent they proclaimed her as their Queen. The heavenly celebration was joined by the Most Holy Trinity; the Father welcomed her as His favored one, inviting her to partake of His power. 

Translated in English with permission, from the Italian of the fourth book of the Letters of Padre Pio, Epistolario IV, pp 1123-1126, Edizioni Padre Pio da Pietrelcina, San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, 2002. This is my personal translation and is not to be considered official. The Friary is currently working on an English translation for book IV. 

Fra Angelico (1395 - 1455):  Dormition, Assumption, Coronation

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Friday, July 14, 2017

What God is by Nature, Mary is by Grace

My new book, What God is by Nature, Mary is by Grace; the Greatness of the Blessed Virgin as Revealed to Luisa Piccarreta, is now available.

                                   Link for Print Edition;    Link for Kindle ebook Edition. 

What God is by Nature, Mary is by Grace is a compendium of the teachings on the Blessed Virgin Mary found in the pages of Luisa Piccarreta's Book of Heaven. The Book of Heaven is a 36 volume collection of her writings on the Divine Will, as revealed by the Lord and by His Mother. The current book is a detailed narrative report and description of over 250 dated entries about Mary contained in Luisa's opus. 
This is my fourth book on the writings of Luisa Piccarreta. The first three presented overviews of the first 21 volumes of her revelations. This book is more than an overview, and concentrates solely on the teachings about the Blessed Virgin Mary's life on earth and in heaven as lived in the Divine Will. Luisa's writings reveal the hitherto unknown extent of the true greatness, height and sublimity of the life of the Mother of God. 
This is a good faith sharing of my work on this very difficult and abstruse topic, based on the best available English translations of her work, and is not intended to be considered authorized, official, or definitive. Any eventual publication of a Church-approved English translation of her works should not affect the meaning or sense of the present book. 
The source references to the entries from Luisa's 36 volume Book of Heaven are given after each use, and indicate the volume number and the date of the entry. 
The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta was a twentieth century mystic from southern Italy (1865-1947). She spent over 60 years of her life confined to bed, essentially subsisting only on the Holy Eucharist. She was a victim soul, who experienced intense sufferings, as well as visits and revelations from Jesus and Mary. For a time her spiritual advisor was St. Annibale di Francia, instrumental in obtaining Church approval for the first 19 volumes of Luisa's work, until his death. Her writings center on the importance of the Divine Will in the life of Christians, and the coming of the Kingdom of the Divine Will, as foretold in the Lord's prayer: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done,on earth at it is in heaven.” Her Cause for Beatification and subsequent Canonization is being considered by the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints. 

Table of Contents
A Prodigy of Grace, Beauty and Sanctity
Her Littleness
All Creation Celebrates Her Conception
Her Test
Daughter of the Light
The Divine Heiress
Mediatrix of all Graces
Nourishes the Good Acts of Creatures
Mother and Queen of the Divine Will
All Are Conceived in Her Heart
Excesses of the Divine Love
She Was Conceived in Everything
Her Birth
Hail Full of Grace!
The Two Kingdoms
Her Faithfulness
The Incarnation of Jesus
Jesus Living in the Womb of His Mother
The Nativity
Mary's Universal Motherhood
Bringing up Jesus
Truly Inseparable from Jesus
Mary and the Eucharist
Her Sorrowful Heart
Terror of all Hell
Her Sufferings and the Passion of Jesus
Her Assumption into Heaven
Her Life in the Divine Will - I
Her Life in the Divine Will - II

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Those Short-sighted minds who reject Luisa Piccarreta

On those Short-sighted individuals and critics who reject Luisa Piccarreta's Divine Will teachings.

Their greatest difficulties and most serious doubts occur because Luisa Piccarreta is called to a unique and special mission – to live in the Divine Will and make it known. But the Lord would not have composed a prayer asking that “Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven” if it already existed on earth. It says “come,” and He would not have composed this prayer unless He wanted to obtain its effects. In order to reach this, could He not choose a woman to confound the infernal serpent, as He had chosen His mother to effect the Redemption?

This was the reason for all the Lord's preparations, visits, graces and communications to Luisa Piccarreta. But it raises doubts and difficulties, and simply sounds bad, when people read that among so many great saints in the history of the Church, none except for Jesus and Mary, have lived in the Kingdom of the Divine Will. Then they read that He is placing Luisa near the Sovereign Queen so that she can imitate the way Mary lived in the Divine Will. He places Luisa in Mary's hands, so that she can be guided and assisted by her, to be a copy that resembles her. That Luisa might imitate Mary in everything seems so absurd to them, and in a sinister manner they make it sound as if Luisa was to become another Mary. But the Lord wants Luisa similar to her, in the way that He wants souls dear to Him to be similar to Him, but this does not mean to become God like He is. He does not say Luisa is like the Celestial Queen, but similar to her. 

But time will reveal everything, and just as they can't deny that the Virgin of Nazareth is the Mother of Jesus, so will they not be able to deny that Luisa has been elected for the sole purpose of making the Divine Will known. Through her He will obtain that “Thy Kingdom come” will have its fulfillment. Creatures are instruments in the Lord's hands, and He does not look at who they might be, but whether they can fulfill His highest designs. In due time, He makes use of the doubters and their difficulties to confound and humiliate them.

From their way of thinking, it shows that they have only considered the person of Luisa, and have not calculated what the Divine Will can accomplish. It knows how to operate, and if it decides to work in one creature in order to fulfill its greatest designs in the midst of humanity, it lets no one dictate to it the conditions – who that person can be, nor the time, nor the way, nor the place. Rather, the Divine Will acts in an absolute way. Nor does it pay attention to certain short-sighted critics, who are not able to elevate their minds to the divine and supernatural order. Nor can they bow their forehead before the incomprehensible works of their Creator. While they want to reason with their own human reason, they lose the divine reason, and remain confounded and incredulous.

But who am I to judge such critics as being short-sighted? Who do I think I am to say that they are incapable of raising their minds to the supernatural order? Well, it is not I who make these statements, but they were made by the Lord Himself. The above paragraphs are a paraphrase of what Jesus told Luisa, as reported in her books of revelations, Volume 29, on May 19, 1931. 

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Saucepan Vegetable Beef Hash

 An Exclusive Original Recipe

This recipe originated many years ago when I was attending Rutgers in New Brunswick, N.J., living in an off-campus apartment. For me at the time it was an inexpensive and easy way to whip up a nutritional meal. I shared the place with three other students, one of whom had his own cooking quirks.  He would save all of the grease left over when he fried bacon, and used these "Hog Drippings" to grease the pan for burgers and such.  Do people still do this?

Anyway, here are the ingredients for the vegetable beef hash.  You can eat it stand-alone since it has four vegetables along with the meat. I guarantee you will love it!

Utensils: One large sauce pan, one large, strong stirring spoon

One pound of lean ground beef
One large yellow onion
Two small potatoes 
One 15 ounce can of sweet peas
Half of a 4 ounce can of mushrooms
5-6 tablespoons of light Olive Oil

Chop the onions and get them started in the saucepan on low heat with a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Quarter and nuke the potatoes for a few minutes in microwave to soften them up.
Chop the potatoes and add them to the saucepan.
Add the sweet peas with all the juice from the can.
Add the mushrooms, and turn up the burner flame to medium.
Season as desired (rosemary, sage, thyme).
Stir the mix.
Add the lean ground beef. Get it mixed in with everything else.  Make a nice "hash."

Continue stirring until all the meat has browned.
Lower the heat and stir occasionally so nothing sticks to the pan.
The fun part: You should be able to push everything to the sides of the pan to make a funnel, and there should be liquid at the bottom of the funnel.  Else add some more olive oil. 

It should be ready in about 25-30 minutes.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Padre Pio and the Easter Eggs

      This story appeared in one of the early issues of the magazine "The Voice of Padre Pio," published by St. Pio's Friary in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy.  I began looking through my older copies of this magazine after learning that someone had inadvertently thrown away the entire set of them starting from the first issue, that belonged to my friend and Padre Pio author Jeanette Salerno.  I found this gem of an article that related a few charming and mysterious little "miracles" involving Padre Pio, two of which appear below.  They are presented here with the permission of the current editor of the "Voice" magazine.

"Personal Experiences - Padre Pio and Our Easter Eggs;"  by Miss Margherita Hamilton as told to Fr. John Schug, Capuchin.

      Nothing very spectacular ever happened to me, but what happened was surely very strange.  The second time I visited San Giovanni Rotondo was many years ago, right before Easter.  At the time there was only one hotel, and no rooms were available there, so we had to stay in a boarding house.  
     It was a terrible, terrible place.  Everything was dirty.  We didn't even dare open our luggage.  We didn't sleep in the bed.  We put a big blanket on top of the bed and slept on it.  We never unpacked our things. 
     Clarice said: "I want to take something out."
     But I told her: "Don't you dare take anything out in this filth and grease, because bugs will be running around in five minutes."  So she didn't open anything. 
     The next morning was Easter Sunday.  We have a custom that the first thing we eat on Easter Day is blessed hard boiled eggs.  I had been doing that all my life.  But on this Easter Day, I grumbled and kept saying: "This will be the first time in my life I won't be able to eat blessed eggs on Easter Day, because we had to stop in this filthy place, and we won't even have the Easter eggs tomorrow morning."
     We got up at 4:00 to go to Mass at 5:00.  Mass was beautiful.  When we left the church, we were very happy.  I had on a big coat, because it was still cold.  Suddenly, as we walked, I felt something in my pocket.  I said: "What's this?  There was nothing in my pocket when I went to church."
     I reached into my pocket and found two boiled eggs.  I said the Clarice: "You put them there."
     She said: "I didn't bring any eggs, so there's no way I could have put them in your pocket."
     The same afternoon we found two good rooms elsewhere, and we moved our suitcases and boxes.  I opened my valise and found two little packages which my maid Pasqualina had prepared.  One package had six sandwiches, and the other had four eggs.  But the strange thing was that the parcel was all tied up with a ribbon, and there had been six eggs in it.  But only four eggs were left.  The other two were eggs which Padre Pio had blessed and put in my pocket.  Nobody could have taken two eggs out of a tied box without opening the parcel.  

     Giovanna, my very dear friend, was staying with me in my house.  She slept in a big bed near the wall.  There was a little table nearby.  Across the room there was another table, a bit larger.   Giovanna had been ill, so she was in bed most of the time.
     Just outside the bedroom, on the terrace, there was a magnificent rose, really a splendid rose.  We went out onto the terrace to look at it.  The first moment she returned to the house, she said: "Give me that rose."
     I told her: "No, this is the first rose of the arbor, so you can't have this one.  This rose goes to the Madonna, to Mary."
     The next day another rose was open.  I cut it and said: "Giovanna, here is your rose.  You can have this one, because it is the second rose."
     Giovanna said: "All right."   I answered: "It can't have a better destination."
     On the table near the wall there was a color picture of Padre Pio.  I put the rose in a small vase and set the vase on the table.
     In the afternoon, another friend of ours came.  Giovanna still wasn't well.  So we sat on one side of her bed.  The rose was near the portrait of Padre Pio.  Our friend remarked: "Oh, how pale Padre Pio is.  I hope he isn't ill."
     "No," I answered.  "It isn't that he is pale.  He only looks that way because the color of the rose is so strong."
     I walked around the bed and took the rose away.  "Look," I said, "Padre Pio is quite normal."  We all agreed that it was true - that it was the rose that made the color of the picture so weak.  I put the rose back in its place.
     Suddenly my friend cried out: "B. . .b. . . b . . . but..."
     "What's the matter?" I asked.  "What are you saying?"
     She could only stammer: "The . . . the . . . the . . . the. . . the rose!"
     The rose was not there!
     "But I put it there on the table," I said, quite matter-of-factly.
     "Yes," she said, "I know you did."
     Giovanna, too, said: "Yes, you put it there.  Perhaps it has fallen."
     We looked all over for it.  We even got Giovanna out of bed to see if it had fallen on the bed.  But it had disappeared completely.  It was no longer there.  Then Giovanna said: "It seems that Padre Pio has accepted it."
     Almost twenty days later, we went to San Giovanni Rotondo, and Giovanna went straight to Padre Pio.  Whenever she visited him, they always met in the small office of the 'convento.'  He was waiting there for her when she arrived.  He had a red rose in his hand.  He had the rose, the rose, in his hand.
     He said: "Thank you very much for the rose.  I appreciate it very much."
     She answered: "Father, give it back to me."
     He said: "Yes, I'll give it back to you."
     Now Giovanna preserves this rose in her home.

From The Voice of Padre Pio, Vol. V, no. 4, 1975, pp. 10-12.
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