Wednesday, July 8, 2020

SHOW ME WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE, AND I WILL TELL YOU WHAT YOU ARE


“The friend of the virtuous man will be virtuous; the friend of the vicious will be perverted. Fly from bad companions as from the bite of a poisonous snake. If you keep good companions, I can assure you that you will one day rejoice with the blessed in Heaven; whereas if you keep with those who are bad, you will become bad yourself, and you will be in danger of losing your soul.”

St. John Bosco

Monday, July 6, 2020

GOD ALWAYS FORGIVES WHEN...


God always forgives when you are totally repentant and you desire to change. He forgives... and He never gets tired of forgiving. Never. Go confess your sins with the priest.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

TAKING UP OF THE CROSS IN MARRIAGE


According to Croatian tradition, when a couple gets married, the priest doesn’t tell them that they have found the perfect person. On the contrary! Instead, he says to them: "You have found your cross. It is a cross to love, to carry it with you, a cross that is not to throw away but to treasure."

In Herzegovina, the Cross represents the greatest love and the crucifix is the treasure of the house.

When the bride and groom enter the church on their wedding day, they carry a crucifix with them. The priest blesses the crucifix. When the time comes to exchange their vows, the bride puts her right hand on the crucifix and the groom puts his hand on hers, so that both hands are joined together on the crucifix.

The priest covers their hands with his stole as they exchange their vows, according to the rite of the Church, to be faithful to each other, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, till death do them part.

Then, instead of kissing each other, the bride and groom kiss the crucifix. Those who witness the ceremony understand from it that if one of them leaves the other, he or she leaves Christ on the Cross.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds bring the crucifix to their home and put it in a place of honor. It will forever be the point of reference and the place of family prayer. In times of difficulty, the family do not go to the lawyer or the psychiatrist, but kneel down together before the crucifix in search of help from Jesus Christ. They kneel down and maybe even cry and open their hearts asking the Lord and each other for forgiveness. They go to sleep with peace in their hearts because they have received forgiveness from the only one who has the power to save.

Husband and wife will teach their children to kiss the crucifix every day and not to go to sleep like pagans, without first giving thanks to Jesus. They know that Jesus is holding them in His arms and there is nothing to fear.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

MODESTY SHRINKS FROM THE SLIGHTEST IMMODESTY


Modesty foresees threatening danger, forbids us to expose ourselves to risks, demands the avoidance of those occasions which the imprudent do not shun. It does not like impure or loose talk, it shrinks from the SLIGHTEST IMMODESTY, it carefully avoids suspect familiarity with persons of the other sex, since it brings the soul to show due reverence to the body, as being a member of Christ (1 Cor. 6:15) and the temple of the Holy Ghost.

H.H. Pius XII Encyclical Letter Sacra Virginitas


Monday, June 29, 2020

SOME REFLECTIONS ON THE COUNCIL AND THE CURRENT CRISIS OF THE CHURCH


On June 24, 2020, Bishop Athanasius Schneider issued the following text to clarify his stance on the Council, and to dispel any confusion among the faithful. Bishop Schneider’s reflections, based in great part on his book-length interview Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age, expand on certain points of its discussion of Vatican II, in light of recent debate.

Bishop Schneider gave the official version of the document exclusively to Corrispondenza Romana in Italian, to Correspondencia Romana in Spanish, to The Remnant in English and to the Blog of Jeanne Smits in French. All rights reserved.

SOME REFLECTIONS ON THE COUNCIL AND THE CURRENT CRISIS OF THE CHURCH

June 25, 2020 (The Remnant) – In recent decades, not only declared modernists, but also theologians and faithful who love the Church, have displayed an attitude that resembles a kind of blind defense of everything said by the Second Vatican Council. Such an attitude seemed sometimes to require real mental acrobatics and a “squaring of the circle.” Even now, the general mentality of good Catholics corresponds with a de facto total infallibilization of everything that the Second Vatican Council said, or that the current Pontiff says or does. This kind of unhealthy papal-centralism had already been present for several generations in Catholics over the last two centuries. And yet respectful criticism and serene theological debate have always been present and allowed within the Church’s great tradition, since it is truth and faithfulness to divine revelation and to the constant tradition of the Church that we should seek, which in itself implies the use of reason and rationality, and avoiding mental acrobatics. Some explanations of certain obviously ambiguous and misleading expressions contained in the Council’s texts seem artificial and unconvincing, especially when one reflects upon them in a more intellectually honest manner, in the light of the unbroken and constant doctrine of the Church.

Instinctively, every reasonable argument has been repressed which could, even in the slightest, call into question any expression or word in the Council texts. However, such an attitude is not healthy and contradicts the great tradition of the Church, as we observe in the Fathers, the Doctors, and great theologians of the Church over the course of two thousand years. An opinion different from what the Council of Florence taught on the matter of the Sacrament of Orders, i.e. the traditio instrumentorum, was allowed in the centuries following this Council, and led to Pope Pius XII’s pronouncement in the 1947 Apostolic Constitution Sacramentum Ordinis, whereby he corrected the non-infallible teaching of the Council of Florence, by stating that the only matter strictly necessary for the validity of the Sacrament of Orders is the imposition of hands by the bishop. By this act, Pius XII did not implement a hermeneutic of continuity but, indeed, a correction, because the Council of Florence’s doctrine in this matter did not reflect the constant liturgical doctrine and practice of the universal Church. Already in the year 1914, Cardinal W.M. van Rossum wrote concerning the Council of Florence’s affirmation on the matter of the Sacrament of Orders, that this doctrine of the Council is reformable and must even be abandoned (cf. De essentia sacramenti ordinis, Freiburg 1914, p. 186). And so, there was no room for a hermeneutic of continuity in this concrete case.

When the papal magisterium or an ecumenical Council has corrected non-infallible doctrines of previous ecumenical Councils (this has rarely happened), they did not undermine the foundations of the Catholic faith by this act, nor did they set the magisterium of tomorrow against that of today, as history has proven. With a Bull in 1425, Martin V approved the decrees of the Council of Constance and even the decree “Frequens” — from the 39th session of the Council (in 1417). This decree affirmed the error of conciliarism, i.e., the error that a Council is superior to a Pope. However, in 1446, his successor, Pope Eugene IV, declared that he accepted the decrees of the Ecumenical Council of Constance, except those (of sessions 3 – 5 and 39) which “prejudice the rights and primacy of the Apostolic See” (absque tamen praeiudicio iuris, dignitatis et praeeminentiae Sedis Apostolicae).

Vatican I’s dogma on papal primacy then definitively rejected the conciliarist error of the Ecumenical Council of Constance. As already mentioned, Pope Pius XII corrected the error of the Ecumenical Council of Florence regarding the matter of the Sacrament of Orders. The foundations of the faith were not undermined by these rare acts to correct previous affirmations of the non-infallible Magisterium, precisely because these concrete affirmations (e.g. of the Councils of Constance and Florence) were not infallible.

Several expressions in the texts of the Second Vatican Council cannot be so easily reconciled with the Church’s constant doctrinal tradition. Examples include certain expressions of the Council on the topic of religious freedom (understood as a natural right, and therefore positively willed by God, to practice and spread a false religion, which may also include idolatry or even worse); its distinction between the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church (the problem of “subsistit in” gives the impression that two realities exist: on the one side, the Church of Christ, and on the other, the Catholic Church); and its stance towards non-Christian religions and the contemporary world.

Although the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its Responses to some questions regarding certain aspects of the doctrine on the Church (29 June 2007), offered an explanation of the expression “subsistit in,” it unfortunately avoided saying clearly that the Church of Christ is truly the Catholic Church. That is, it avoided explicitly declaring the identity between the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church. Indeed, there remains a nuance of vagueness.

There is also an attitude that rejects a priori all possible objections to the aforementioned questionable statements in the Council texts. Instead, the only solution presented is the method called “hermeneutic of continuity.” Unfortunately, doubts about the theological problems inherent in these Council statements are not taken seriously. We have to always bear in mind the fact that the chief end of the Council was pastoral in character, and that the Council did not intend to propose its own definitive teachings.

The pronouncements of the popes before the Council, even those of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, faithfully reflect their predecessors and the constant tradition of the Church in an unbroken manner. The popes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, that is, after the French Revolution, do not represent an “exotic” period compared to the two-thousand-year tradition of the Church. One could not claim any rupture in the teachings of those popes regarding the previous Magisterium. For example, concerning the theme of the social kingship of Christ and of the objective falsehood of non-Christian religions, one cannot find a perceivable rupture between the teachings of the Popes Gregory XVI and Pius XII on the one side, and the teaching of Pope Gregory the Great (sixth century) and his predecessors and successors on the other.

One can really see a continuous line without any rupture from the time of the Church Fathers to Pius XII, especially on such topics as the social kingship of Christ, religious liberty, and ecumenism in the sense that there is a natural right, positively willed by God, to practice only the one true religion which is the Catholic faith. Before the Second Vatican Council there was no need to make a colossal effort to present voluminous studies showing the perfect continuity of doctrine between one Council and another, between a pope and his predecessors, because the continuity was evident. For example, the very fact that a “nota explicativa previa” to the document Lumen Gentium was needed shows that the text of Lumen Gentium, in n. 22, is ambiguous with regard to the topic of the relationship between papal primacy and episcopal collegiality. Documents clarifying the Magisterium in post-conciliar times, such as the encyclicals Mysterium Fidei, Humanae Vitae, and Pope Paul VI’s Creed of the People of God, were of great value and help, but they did not clarify the aforementioned ambiguous statements of the Second Vatican Council.

Perhaps today’s crisis with Amoris Laetitia and the Abu Dhabi document forces us to deepen this consideration on the need to clarify or correct some of the aforementioned Council statements. In the Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas always presented objections (“videtur quod”) and counterarguments (“sed contra”). St. Thomas was intellectually very honest; you have to allow for objections and take them seriously. We should use his method on some of the controversial points of the Council texts that have been under discussion for almost sixty years. Most of the Council texts are in organic continuity with the previous Magisterium. Ultimately, the papal magisterium has to clarify in a convincing manner the controversial points of some of the expressions in the Council texts. Until now, this has not always been done in an intellectually honest and convincing way. Were it necessary, a pope or future ecumenical Council would have to add explanations (a kind of “notae explicativae posteriors”) or even amendments and corrections of those controversial expressions, since they were not presented by the Council as an infallible and definitive teaching. As Paul VI stated, the Council “avoided giving solemn dogmatic definitions, engaging the infallibility of the ecclesiastical Magisterium” (General Audience, January 12, 1966).

History will tell us this from a distance. We are only fifty years out from the Council. Maybe we will see this more clearly in another fifty years. However, from the point of view of the facts, of the evidence, from a global perspective, Vatican II did not bring a real spiritual flowering in the life of the Church. And even if there were already problems in the clergy before the Council, for the sake of honesty and justice, we have to acknowledge that the moral, spiritual and doctrinal problems of the clergy prior to the Council were not as widespread, or so vast in scale and present with such intensity, as they have been in post-conciliar times until today. Bearing in mind that there were already problems before the Council, the first aim of the Second Vatican Council should have been precisely to issue the clearest possible, even demanding, norms and doctrines that were free of any ambiguity, as all the reform Councils did in the past. The plan and intentions of the Second Vatican Council were primarily pastoral, yet, despite its pastoral aim, there followed disastrous consequences that we still see today. Of course, the Council had many beautiful and valuable texts. But the negative consequences and the abuses committed in the name of the Council were so strong that they overshadowed the positive elements which are there.


There were positive elements in Vatican II: it was the first time that an ecumenical Council made a solemn appeal to the laity to take seriously their baptismal vows to strive for holiness. The chapter in Lumen Gentium about the laity is beautiful and profound. The faithful are called to live out their baptism and confirmation as courageous witnesses of the faith in secular society. This appeal was prophetic. However, since the Council, this appeal to the laity was often abused by the progressive establishment in the Church, and also by many functionaries and bureaucrats who worked in Church offices and chanceries. Oftentimes the new lay bureaucrats (in certain European countries) were not themselves witnesses but helped to destroy the faith in parish and diocesan councils and in other official committees. Unfortunately, these lay bureaucrats were oftentimes misled by clergy and bishops.

The time after the Council left one with the impression that one of the main fruits of the Council was bureaucratization. This worldly bureaucratization in the decades since the Council paralyzed spiritual and supernatural fervor to a considerable extent, and instead of the announced springtime, there came a spiritual winter. Well known and unforgettable remain the words with which Paul VI honestly diagnosed the Church’s state of spiritual health after the Council: “We thought that after the Council there would come a day of sunshine for the history of the Church. Instead, there has come a day of clouds, of storms, of darkness, of searching and of uncertainty. We preach ecumenism and we distance ourselves more and more from others. We seek to dig abysses instead of filling them” (Sermon on June 29, 1972).

Within this context, it was Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in particular (although he was not the only one to do so) who began, on a larger scale and with a frankness similar to that of some of the great Church Fathers, to protest the watering down and dilution of the Catholic faith, especially regarding the sacrificial and sublime character of the rite of Holy Mass, that was occurring in the Church, and being supported or at least tolerated, even by the high-ranking authorities in the Holy See. In a letter addressed to Pope John Paul II at the beginning of his pontificate, Archbishop Lefebvre realistically and aptly described in a brief synopsis the true extent of the crisis in the Church. I am continually impressed by the clear-sightedness and prophetic character of the following affirmations:

In approaching matters related to the Second Vatican Council and its documents, one has to avoid forced interpretations and the method of “squaring the circle,” while of course keeping all due respect and the ecclesiastical sense (sentire cum ecclesia). The application of the principle of the “hermeneutic of continuity” cannot be used blindly in order to eliminate unquestioningly any evidently existing problems, or to create an image of harmony, while there remain shadows of vagueness in the hermeneutic of continuity. Indeed, such an approach would transmit artificially and unconvincingly the message that every word of the Second Vatican Council is inspired by God, infallible and in perfect doctrinal continuity with the previous magisterium. Such a method would violate reason, evidence, and honesty, and would not do honor to the Church.

Sooner or later (maybe after a hundred years) the truth will be stated as it really is. There are books with documented and reproducible sources, which provide historically more realistic and true insights into the facts and consequences regarding the event of Vatican II itself, the editing of its documents, and the process of the interpretation and application of its reforms in the last five decades. I recommend, for instance, the following books which could be read with profit: Romano Amerio, Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the 20th century (1996); Roberto de Mattei, The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story (2010); Alfonso Gálvez, Ecclesiastical Winter (2011).

These points — the universal call to holiness, the role of the laity in defending and witnessing to the faith, the family as a domestic church and the teaching about Our Lady — are what can be considered the truly positive and lasting contributions of the Second Vatican Council.

The Magisterium has been so overloaded in the last 150 years with an insane papolatry that there emerged an atmosphere in which a central role is attributed to the men of the Church instead of Christ and His Mystical Body, which in turn is a hidden anthropocentrism. According to the vision of the Church Fathers, the Church is only the moon (mysterium lunae), and Christ is the sun. The Council was unfortunately a demonstration of a very rare “Magisteriocentrism,” since by the sheer volume of its long-winded documents it far surpassed all other Councils. However, the Council gave a beautiful description of what the Magisterium is, which had never before been given in the history of the Church. It is found in Dei Verbum, n. 10, where it is written: “The Magisterium is not above the Word of God, but serves it.”

By “Magisteriocentrism,” I mean the human and administrative elements — especially the excessive and continuous production of documents and frequent discussion forums (under the motto of “synodality”) — were put at the center of the life of the Church. Although the Shepherds of the Church must always zealously exercise the munus docendi, the inflation of documents, and oftentimes of long-winded documents, has proved suffocating. Less numerous, shorter and more concise documents would have had a better effect.

A striking example of the unhealthy “Magisteriocentrism,” where representatives from the Magisterium behave not as servants but as masters of tradition, is the liturgical reform of Pope Paul VI. In some ways, Paul VI put himself above Tradition — not the dogmatic Tradition (lex credendi), but the great liturgical Tradition (lex orandi). Paul VI dared to begin a true revolution in the lex orandi. And to some extent, he acted contrary to the affirmation of the Second Vatican Council in Dei Verbum, n. 10, which states that the Magisterium is only the servant of Tradition. We have to put Christ at the center, He is the sun: the supernatural, the constancy of doctrine and of the liturgy, and all the truths of the Gospel which Christ taught us.

Through the Second Vatican Council, and already with Pope John XXIII, the Church began to present herself to the world, to flirt with the world, and to manifest an inferiority complex towards the world. Yet clerics, especially the bishops and the Holy See, are tasked with showing Christ to the world — not themselves. Vatican II gave the impression that the Catholic Church has started begging sympathy from the world. This continued in the postconciliar pontificates. The Church is begging for the sympathy and recognition of the world; this is unworthy of her and will not earn the respect of those who truly seek God. We have to beg sympathy from Christ, from God, from heaven.


Some who criticize the Second Vatican Council say that, although there are good aspects to it, it’s somewhat like a cake with a bit of poison in it, and so the whole cake needs to be thrown out. I do not think we can follow this method, nor the method of “throwing the baby out with the bath water.”

With regard to a legitimate ecumenical Council, even if there were negative points, we have to maintain an overall attitude of respect. We have to evaluate and esteem all that is really and truly good in the Council texts, without irrationally and dishonestly closing the eyes of reason to what is objectively and evidently ambiguous and even erroneous in some of the texts. One has always to remember that the texts of the Second Vatican Council are not the inspired Word of God, nor are they definitive dogmatic judgments or infallible pronouncements of the Magisterium, because the Council itself did not have this intention.

Another example is Amoris Laetitia. There are certainly many points we need to criticize objectively and doctrinally. But there are some sections which are very helpful, really good for family life, e.g., about elderly people in the family: in se they are very good. One should not reject the entire document but receive from it what is good. The same with the Council texts.

Even though, before the Council, they all had to take the Anti-Modernist Oath issued by Pope Pius X, some theologians, priests, bishops and even cardinals did it with mental reservations, as subsequent historical events have proven. With the pontificate of Benedict XV, there began a slow and careful infiltration of ecclesiastics with a worldly and somewhat Modernist spirit into high positions in the Church. This infiltration grew particularly among theologians, so that later Pope Pius XII had to intervene by condemning well-known theologians of the so-called “nouvelle théologie” (Chenu, Congar, De Lubac, etc.), and by publishing in 1950 the encyclical Humani generis.

Nonetheless, from the pontificate of Benedict XV onwards, the Modernist movement was latent and continually growing. And so, on the eve of the Second Vatican Council, a considerable part of the episcopacy and professors in the theological faculties and seminaries were imbued with a Modernist mentality, which is essentially doctrinal and moral relativism and worldliness, love for the world. On the eve of the Council, these cardinals, bishops and theologians loved the “form” — the thought pattern — of the world (cf. Rom 12:2) and wanted to please the world (cf. Gal 1:10). They showed a clear inferiority complex towards the world.

Pope John XXIII also demonstrated a kind of inferiority complex towards the world. He was not a modernist in his mind, but he did have a political way of looking at the world and strangely begged sympathy from the world. He surely had good intentions. He convoked the Council, which then opened the floodgate for the Modernist, Protestantizing and worldly-minded movement inside the Church. Very significant is the following acute observation, made by Charles de Gaulle, President of France from 1959 to 1969, regarding Pope John XXIII and the process of reforms started with the Second Vatican Council: “John XXIII opened the floodgates and could not close them again. It was as if a dam collapsed. John XXIII was overcome by what he triggered” (see Alain Peyrefitte, C’était de Gaulle, Paris 1997, 2, 19).

The talk of “opening the windows” before and during the Council was a misleading illusion and a cause of confusion. From these words, people got the impression that the spirit of an unbelieving and materialistic world, which was plainly evident in those times, could transmit some positive values for the Christian life. Instead, the authorities of the Church in those times should have expressly declared the true meaning of the words “opening the windows,” which consists in opening the life of the Church to the fresh air of the beauty of divine truth, to the treasures of ever-youthful holiness, to the supernatural lights of the Holy Spirit and the saints, to a liturgy celebrated and lived with an ever more supernatural, sacred and reverent sense. Over time, during the postconciliar era, the partly opened floodgate gave way to a disastrous flood which caused enormous damage in doctrine, morals, and liturgy. Today, the flood waters that entered are reaching dangerous levels. 


We are now experiencing the peak of the flood disaster.

Today the veil has been lifted and Modernism has revealed its true face, which consists in the betrayal of Christ and becoming a friend of the world by adopting its way of thinking. Once the crisis in the Church is over, the Magisterium of the Church will have the task of rejecting all the negative phenomena which have been present in the life of the Church in recent decades. And the Church will do this, because she is divine. She will do it precisely and will correct all of the errors which have accumulated, beginning with several ambiguous expressions in the Council texts.

Modernism is like a hidden virus, hidden in part in several affirmations of the Council, but that has now manifested itself. After the crisis, after the serious spiritual viral infection, the clarity and preciseness of doctrine, the sacredness of the liturgy, and the holiness of priestly life, will shine more brightly.

The Church will do this in an unambiguous manner, as she did in times of serious doctrinal and moral crises over the past two thousand years. To teach clearly the truths of the divine deposit of faith, to defend the faithful from the poison of error, and to lead them in a sure way to eternal life belongs to the very essence of the divinely appointed task of the pope and bishops.

The Constitution of the Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, reminds us of the real nature of the true Church, which is “in such wise that in her, the human is directed and subordinated to the divine, the visible to the invisible, action to contemplation and this present world to that city yet to come, which we seek” (n. 2).

His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider
June 24, 2020
Liturgical Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist

Saturday, June 27, 2020

O Sweet Mother of God, pray for us


"The ROSARY is a long chain that links heaven and earth. One end of it in our hands and THE OTHER END IS IN THE HANDS OF THE HOLY VIRGIN." -Saint Therese of Lisieux-

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

WHAT WOMEN THINK OF MALE CHASTITY


It’s surprisingly rare for a woman to look down on a guy who wants to guard the innocence of the relationship. To test this, I asked the thousand young women in my survey the following question: “If you were going too far with a guy, and he gave you a kiss on the forehead and said, “I think we need to slow down. I respect you too much to do all this with you, and I want to fall in love with you for all the right reasons,” would you find him more attractive, or less attractive?”

Almost 100 percent of the girls—995—said that they would find the guy more attractive. One girl said this was “because he was thinking about us and not just him.”

Another girl remarked, “I’m not going to lie. At first, I would be thinking, ‘What? What kind of guy says that?’ But then later that night I would be thinking, “I really like this guy.’” I posed a final question to these girls: “Some guys fear that being a virgin is embarrassing. How would you feel if a guy saved his virginity for you, his bride?” Again, the responses overwhelmingly indicated the attractiveness of purity. Here are some of their replies:

“He is the kind of guy I’d need to snatch up before the rest of the billions of girls did.”

“Stop worrying about what others say. It means so much if you wait!”

“That is hot.”

“It’s okay to be a virgin. In fact, most girls prefer it.”

“It takes a lot for a guy to stay a virgin, and I love boys like that—who don’t care what
people think!!!”

“He’s more manly than most guys.”

“They shouldn’t be embarrassed. I’m not.”

“His bride is going to be lucky.”

“Thank God for guys like him.”

“A lot of girls like myself find it geeky when a guy is scared if he’s a virgin. He should be
proud.”

“I’d feel like a true princess, because that’s how I want to feel on my wedding night.”

“I’d want him more!”

“This is the most beautiful thing a man can give his bride. It sums up the essence of
being a man in one choice. He has promised his whole self, including his body.”

“Awesome. I won’t feel like I’m all his past girlfriends.”

“He can respect you more if he respects himself”.

(J. Evert – Pure Manhood)

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Novena to the Precious Blood of Jesus


June 22 - 30

O my God, I beg of Thee in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, through the merits of the Precious Blood offered in every Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, to grant that this day one mortal sin may be averted, one soul in doubt may be converted to the truth, one soul about to die in sin may receive the grace of repentance and a happy death, and the deliverance of that soul in Purgatory which is nearest Heaven.

I wish by this offering to console the Heart of Jesus in agony for the souls lost through the teaching of error against the True Church of Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Amen.

O Mary, Mother of Sorrows, I beseech thee, by the inexpressible tortures thou did endure at the death of thy Son, offer to the Eternal Father, in my place, thy Beloved Son all covered with Blood and Wounds for the grace of.....

Amen



Friday, June 19, 2020

Prayer to the Pierced Heart of Jesus


O my Most Loving and Gentle Jesus, I desire with all the affections of my heart, that all beings should praise Thee, honor Thee and glorify Thee eternally for that sacred wound wherewith Thy divine side was rent. I deposit, enclose, conceal in that wound and in that opening in Thy Heart, my heart and all my feelings, thoughts, desires, intentions and all the faculties of my soul. I entreat Thee, by the precious Blood and Water that flowed from Thy Most Loving Heart, to take entire possession of me, that Thou may guide me in all things. Consume me in the burning fire of thy holy Love, so that I may be so absorbed and transformed into Thee that I may no longer be but one with Thee.

TAKEN FROM THE BOOK OF SAINT JOHN EUDES

Jesus meek and humble of heart,
Make my heart like unto Thine.

Sacred Heart of Jesus,
I place all my trust in you.

Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Forgive us and be our King.

Heart of Jesus,
Let me love You and make You loved.

O Divine Heart of Jesus,
Convert the sinners, save the dying, and release the holy souls in Purgatory.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Protect our families.

In heaven and on earth be praised forever;
The loving heart of Jesus Sacramented.

In Heaven and earth be praised forever,
The loving heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

May Christ, Our Blessed Lord, be forever blessed and adored,
Our King for ever and ever.


Monday, June 8, 2020

CELESTIAL PHYSICIAN


“She is our mother, and as a mother does not shrink from taking eare of a child covered with wounds, so this celestial physician does not refuse to cure her servants who have recourse to her.”

Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori


Friday, June 5, 2020

THE EUCHARIST


“…There are others: innocence, but that is for little children; penance, but we are afraid of it; generous endurance of trials of life, but when they come we weep and ask to be spared. The surest, easiest, shortest way is the Eucharist.” 

St. Pius X

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

THE MEANING OF DOGMAS CAN NEVER CHANGE OR BE CONTRADICTED


Vatican Council I, in the Constitution Dei Filius, chap. 4, declared:

“For, the doctrine of faith which God revealed has not been handed down as a philosophic invention to the human mind to be perfected, but has been entrusted as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ, to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence, also, that understanding of its sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding.”

Then, in Canon 3 on faith and reason, it says: “If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the church which is different from that which the church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.”

___________________________________

Sunday, May 31, 2020

THE STRATEGY OF THE ENEMY


Pope Pius XII’s address on 12-X-1952:

"Do not ask who the enemy is? or what clothes he wears? It is to be found everywhere and among everyone; it can be both violent and astute. In these last centuries, it has attempted to disintegrate the intellectual, moral, and social unity in the mysterious organism of Christ. It has sought nature without grace, reason without faith, freedom without authority, and, at times, authority without freedom. It is an ‘enemy’ that has become more and more apparent with an absence of scruples that still surprises: Christ yes; the Church no! Afterwards: God yes; Christ no! Finally the impious shout: God is dead and, even, God never existed! And behold now the attempt to build the structure of the world on foundations which we do not hesitate to indicate as the main causes of the threat that hangs over humanity: economy without God, law without God, politics without God.

“The enemy has committed himself and is determined to make Christ a stranger in the families, in legislative activity and in the intelligence among peoples, where peacee or war is decided.

"This enemy is corrupting the world with a press and with shows that kill modesty in young people and maidens, and destroy love between spouses."

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

SERMON ON THE VIRGIN MARY. Words of Saint John Bosco addressed to young people.


Mary loves youth, and therefore she loves and blesses those who dedicate themselves to doing good for young people.

Because She is a Mother, and mothers care more about younger children than adults, because little ones are more innocent; because young people are in greater danger of being deceived and led into vice.

In addition, the youngsters represent more vividly to her Jesus who spent his childhood and youth under his maternal eyes.

Knowing then that the Mother of God loves you so much, listen carefully to what I am going to tell you: If we want graces and favors, let us turn to Mary, let us pray to Mary; but in order for her to intercede for us, it is necessary to demonstrate our true devotion in three things: First, avoid all sin and try to keep it away from you always. There is nothing that can harm us more and displease Our Lady and her Blessed Son more than sin. Once there was a young man who offered Our Lady his prayers, good deeds and alms, and one night he saw in a dream that the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and presented him with a tray with the most beautiful and attractive fruits: apples, grapes, pears, etc.; but all covered with the dirty rag with which a sick person had cleaned his sores. Mary said: "receive these fruits and eat." But the young man replied: "My Lady, the fruits are very beautiful, but the cloth with which they are covered is so disgusting that I do not dare to receive these fruits because I would vomit." Then the Queen of Heaven replied: "This is what the offerings and prayers that you offer me are: very beautiful and attractive, but they all come covered with a horrible cloth: the sins that you continue to commit and that you refuse to stop committing." The next day the young man woke up very worried about this dream, and from that day he fleed from every occasion of sin and definitively stopped committing the sins that made his life so unpleasant before Our Lord.

The second condition for our devotion to Our Lady to be true is to imitate her in her virtues, especially in her great charity and in her great purity. A devotion to Mary that does not achieve an improvement in our life is not true devotion. If we pray to her and continue in our sins as before, it may be that our devotion is false. The true devotee of Our Lady imitates her in his love of neighbor. Mary, says the Bible, "ran to help Elizabeth". She ran because favors must be done soon and without waiting for people to ask us. Mary’s greatest devotees are always those who treat others with the most charity and generosity.

And there is a third condition for our devotion to the Heavenly Queen to be true: to show her with small, but frequent external actions, the great love we have for her. For example: always wear your medal and kiss the image of Our Lady when you get up or go to bed. Have her picture on the desk or work table to remember her and invoke her. Place a beautiful picture of the Mother of God in your room, decorate the images of Our Lady in the month of May. Offer for her some small mortification or some good deed or a little alms on Saturdays or Marian feasts. Tell others about the favors that Mary Help of Christians has obtained for her devotees. The genuine devotion to Our Lady is contagious. Those who love her pledge this devotion to others. Distribute images of Our Lady, etc. She tells us: "If you do something for me: I will do a lot for you."

Always remember: on every occasion, in all anguish, in every need we must turn to Mary. She can do the same as God can, although in a different way. When God wants something, He does it. And when Mary wants something, she asks her Son, who is God, and Jesus Christ, who is the best Son in the world, and who in Heaven still has the same qualities he had on earth, denies nothing to his Beloved Mother. So turning to Mary is a sure sign of obtaining (if it is really for our good) everything we need.

Be sure that all the graces that you ask of this Good Mother will be granted to you. But there are three graces that I recommend asking her every day, without ever getting tired of asking her because they are very important for your salvation: 1. To always avoid mortal sin and preserve the grace of God. 2. To always flee from all friendship harmful to the soul. 3. To always keep the beautiful virtue of chastity. To obtain these three graces, I have recommended a novena many times... Also show her your love by leading a holy life, an excellent conduct.

I will end with a tip that is a secret to success: Whenever you need any grace, say many times: "Mary Help of Christians, pray for us." Say it when you walk down the street, when you go up the stairs or when you are in the yard. Say it in class, in the bedroom, in the morning, at night, always. When they come to visit you, or when you write to your relatives, tell them: "Don Bosco assures you that if you need any grace, say many times: ‘Mary Help of Christians, pray for us’, and that you will be heard." And if someone says this prayer many times with faith and the Mighty Virgin does not help them, tell me, and I will immediately write to Saint Bernard in heaven to tell him that he made a huge mistake when he taught us that prayer that says: "Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession was left unaided”. Yes, I will write a letter to this Saint asking for explanations. But be assured that I will not need to write this letter. Jokes aside, fix in your memory this beautiful prayer: "Mary Help of Christians, pray for us." To repeat it in all temptations, in all dangers, in all need and always. Look, it’s been forty years since I started telling all people to invoke the Mother of God and that she will help them, and I always tell them that if anyone prays to her and she does not help them to come and tell me.

But so far not a single one has come to tell me that they wasted their time praying to Our Lady. The devil himself has had to withdraw, and has failed when people become devotees of our Heavenly Mother, becoming unable to make them commit mortal sin.

Just as the beating of the heart is a sign of life, so the frequent invocation of Our Most Holy Mother is a sure sign of salvation.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

THE STRENGTH OF THE PARACLETE


"I only know one thing: that according to our need, it will be our strength. I am sure of one thing, that the more the enemy is enraged against us, the more the saints in heaven will intercede for us; the more terrible our trials in this world, the more present our Mother Mary, our good Patrons and Guardian Angels will be with us; the more malevolent the stratagems of men against us, a louder cry of supplication will rise for us from the bosom of the entire Church to God. We will not be orphaned, we will have within us the strength of the Paraclete, promised to the Church and to each of its members."

Cardinal John Henry Newman

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

“FOR ALL THE GODS OF THE GENTILES ARE DEVILS” (Psalm 96:5)


“Do not be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers. For what partnership do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What accord has Christ with Beliar? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said: "I will live with them and move among them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.
Therefore, come forth from them and be separate," says the Lord, "and touch nothing unclean.”
(2 Cor. 6, 14-17)

“What they (the Gentiles) they sacrifice to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to become participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.”
(1 Cor. 10, 20-21)

No one comes to the Father except through Christ (Jn. 14:6). There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved (Act. 4:12). He (Christ) is the true light, which enlightens everyone, wh comes into the world (Jn. 1:9). Whoever is not with Him is against Him (Mt. 12:30). Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him (Jn. 5:23). The Father does not judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to his Son (Jn. 5:22). Whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God (Jn. 3:18). In Him and in the Father who has sent Him (Jn. 17:3).

“All the gods of the gentiles are devils” (Ps. 96:5).

“God told Moses: ‘Tear down their altars; smash their sacred pillars, and cut down their sacred poles. You shall not worship any other god, for the Lord is 'the Jealous One'; a jealous God is he.” (Ex. 34, 13-14)

“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine (the full Catholic doctrine), do not receive him in your house or even greet him”. (2Jn. 1, 10). (Note: This is not to be uncharitable but according to the virtue of prudence).

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

IT IS NECESSARY TO GROW THE SEED


Only God knows the influence that the holiness of a mother has on the soul of her children. Almost all the great saints have had very pious mothers. The first grace a man is given is to have a mother according to the heart of God.

Dear mothers, your motherhood ends until you have formed Jesus Christ in the hearts of your children. Baptism is only a seed and the baptized is only a newborn. After planting the seed, you need to grow it. That is your mission, and you cannot fulfill it unless you are holy yourself.

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Monday, May 11, 2020

THE DIVERSITY OF FALSE RELIGIONS IS THE PRODUCT OF ORIGINAL SIN


This is the constant teaching of the Catholic Church, which Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange summarizes admirably:

“Respect for all religions, however false or perverse they may be, is only the proud denial of respect due to the Truth. To sincerely love the true and the good, we must have no sympathy with error and evil. To truly love the sinner and further his salvation, we must detest the evil in him".

Father Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (1877-1964).

Instead, today this very serious error is said:

“The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.” (Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, February 4, 2019).

The diversity of false religions invented by man cannot be the expression of the will of God, since God abhors error. And God Himself is the Truth. Therefore, there is only one true Religion taught by the only Church - the Catholic church - founded by Christ, true God who became Man to save us.

If Adam had not sinned, error would not have spread, nor would so many false religions invented by man, product of original sin, have been created (throughout history).

To date, this erroneous statement which claims that false religions are the "expression of a divine wisdom (sic)" has not been officially corrected.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

SEE THAT THERE ISN’T ANYTHING IN YOUR HOUSE (NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES MOVIES, BOOKS, INTERNET OR PICTURES) CONTRARY TO FAITH


“See that there are no profane or immodest images in your house, not in walls, books, paintings, or anything else that may represent a temptation to you or scandalize others.”

SAINT CHARLES BORROMEO

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Monday, May 4, 2020

GOD’S MOST TERRIBLE CASTIGATION IS ALLOWING WOLVES INSTEAD OF TRUE SHEPHERDS


False shepherds who are wolves and drag souls to hell

‘The most evidente mark of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clerics’ who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. Instead of nourishing those committed to their care, they rend and devour them brutally. Instead of leading their people to God, they drag Christian souls into hell in their train. Instead of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, they are its innocuous poison and its murky darkness.

Wolves in sheep’s clothing

St. Gregory the Great says that priests and pastors will stand condemned before God as the murderers of any souls lost through neglect or silence “Tot occidimus, quot ad mortem ire tepidi et tacentes videmus.” Elsewhere St. Gregory asserts that nothing more angers God than to see those whom He set aside for the correction of others, give bad example by a wicked and depraved life. Instead of preventing offenses against His Majesty, such priests become themselves the first to persecute Him, they lose their zeal for the salvation of souls and think only of following their own inclinations. Their affections go no farther than earthly things, they eagerly bask in the empty praises of men, using their sacred ministry to serve their ambitions, they abandon the things of God to devote themselves to the things of the world, and in their saintly calling of holiness, they spend their time in profane and worldly pursuits. When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, “Return, 0 ye revolting children . . . and I will give you pastors according to my own heart” (Jer. 3, 14-15). Thus, irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge visited upon the people in consequence of sin.’ On the other hand, the greatest effect of God’s mercy, the most precious grace He bestows upon mankind, is to send worthy priests, men after His own heart, seeking only His glory and the salvation of souls.

Saint John Eudes, ‘The Priest: His Dignity and Obligations’ Chapter II, Qualities and excellences of a good pastor and a holy priest.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

WE DIE AS WE LIVE: HE WHO LIVES HATING, WILL DIE HATING; HE WHO LIVES IN SIN, WILL DIE IN SIN. THE TIME TO REFORM OURSELVES IS NOW! 


 "All saints die a holy death, because they have lived holy lives; the wicked persevere in their wickedness at the moment of their death because they have persevered in it during their lives. 

Do you want to know how you will die? Look at how you live your life”. 

 Saint Peter of Verona

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Monday, April 27, 2020

Secularists’ Least Favorite Historical Proof of the Resurrection


One among the many irrefutable proofs of the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ that even serious non-Christians are forced to contend with is the testimony of Flavius Josephus, first-century Jewish historian and eyewitness to the remarkable fulfilment of Our Savior’s prophesies regarding the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Bp. Eusebius praises Josephus for the accuracy of his reporting, which agrees admirably with Scripture. For the saints and for us, the testimony of Christian historians like St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, St. John, etc. is infinitely superior to that of any Jewish or pagan historian, ancient or modern, but we should know that modern secularists treat Josephus almost like a secular bible when it comes to the history of first-century events. So imagine just how shocked they must be to find this clear and explicit testimony to the Resurrection of Jesus in the Antiquities of Josephus!
Flavius Josephus, Antiquities XVIII, Chapter III, Para. 3:
  1. This historical testimony attests to all the most important facts in the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ: His divine Wisdom, His astonishing miracles, His lofty doctrine, His powerful preaching attracting men and women from all races and cultures; His crucifixion under Pilate and glorious resurrection in accordance with what the great prophets of Israel had written. It shows that all this was almost universally known among the Jews of the time, even those hostile or indifferent to the Gospel.
  2. The testimony is so clearly Josephan that it throws all secular critics into the greatest and insuperable difficulties; they have no choice but to desperately plead that it is a forgery to maintain their secularism. But this is an absurd and farcical pretense. The passage fits perfectly with all we know of Josephus’s style and vocabulary; it has unique expressions as “tribe of Christians” and calls Jesus “a wise man,” etc. that occur nowhere else. As the C.E. notes, moreover, “all codices or manuscripts of Josephus’s work contain the text in question; to maintain the spuriousness of the text, we must suppose that all the copies of Josephus were in the hands of Christians, and were changed in the same way.”
III. Its authenticity was universally taken for granted for centuries. From the same C.E. article, “Third, Eusebius (“Hist. Eccl”., I, xi; cf. “Dem. Ev.”, III, v) Sozomen (Church History I.1), Niceph. (Hist. Eccl., I, 39), Isidore of Pelusium (Ep. IV, 225), St. Jerome (catal.script. eccles. xiii), Ambrose, Cassiodorus, etc., appeal to the testimony of Josephus; there must have been no doubt as to its authenticity at the time of these illustrious writers.”
We can note that Josephus, like Gamaliel and others, may have been content with discreetly operating within the synagogue — among a number of other possible explanations for why he was not baptized. Regardless, this clear testimony from a historian so universally regarded as credible is convincing proof that the Jews of Jesus’s time were well acquainted with the fact of His Resurrection.
Like the holy Shroud of Turin, and the 500 eyewitnesses to the Resurrection, and the heroic lives and martyrdoms of the holy apostles sealing and confirming their testimony to Jesus and His resurrection in their blood, the Testimonium Flavium, as it is called, affords no small proof of the Resurrection! It must command the attention of every serious inquirer into Christianity.
Some of the early Christians knew that Josephus believed in Christ and so regarded this great historian with much respect. His conversion, like that of Rabbi Gamaliel, should be another clear call to non-Christians to believe in Jesus Christ and be saved. It should confirm the wavering in the Faith. And it should console the faithful that the Lord God we serve has done and is able to do astonishing things.
Josephus, the son of Matthias, priest of Jerusalem, taken prisoner by Vespasian and his son Titus, was banished. Coming to Rome he presented to the emperors, father and son, seven books On the captivity of the Jews, which were deposited in the public library and, on account of his genius, was found worthy of a statue at Rome. He wrote also twenty books of Antiquities, from the beginning of the world until the fourteenth year of Domitian Cæsar, and two of Antiquities against Appion, the grammarian of Alexandria who, under Caligula, sent as legate on the part of the Gentiles against Philo, wrote also a book containing a vituperation of the Jewish nation. Another book of his entitled, On all ruling wisdom, in which the martyr deaths of the Maccabeans are related is highly esteemed. In the eighth book of his Antiquities he most openly acknowledges that Christ was slain by the Pharisees on account of the greatness of his miracles, that John the Baptist was truly a prophet, and that Jerusalem was destroyed because of the murder of James the Apostle. He wrote also concerning the Lord after this fashion: “In this same time was Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it be lawful to call him man. For he was a worker of wonderful miracles, and a teacher of those who freely receive the truth. He had very many adherents also, both of the Jews and of the Gentiles, and was believed to be Christ, and when through the envy of our chief men Pilate had crucified him, nevertheless those who had loved him at first continued to the end, for he appeared to them the third day alive. Many things, both these and other wonderful things are in the songs of the prophets who prophesied concerning him and the sect of Christians, so named from Him, exists to the present day.
The great doctor who gave us our Latin Vulgate Bible here explains that Josephus plainly testifies to these things as incontrovertible.
The Jews themselves also bear witness to Christ, as appears by Josephus, the writer of their history, who says thus: ‘That there was at that time a wise man, if (says he) it be lawful to have him called a man, a doer of wonderful works, who appeared to his disciples after the third day from his death, alive again according to the writings of the prophets, who foretold these and innumerable other miraculous events concerning him: from whom began the congregation of Christians, yet he was no believer, because of the hardness of his heart and his prejudicial intention. However, it was no prejudice to the truth that he was not a believer, but this adds more weight to his testimony, that while he was an unbeliever and unwilling, this should be true, he has not denied it to be so.
Here, the saintly bishop of Milan points out that the principal facts in the life of Christ, including His public ministry and miracles, His life and Gospel, His death and crucifixion, His burial and resurrection were so well known as to be undeniable even to those who did not openly confess Christ. If non-Christians say Josephus was not a Christian, this only adds all the more weight to his testimony. If they claim he became a Christian, then they should do so also.
Thus, modern skeptics, who are aware of the great credibility of Josephus but find this testimony inexplicable because of their a prioriprejudice against Christianity, should come with the aid of grace to the realization that this testimony is absolutely true. Jesus Christ is really the promised Messiah, and He really died under Pontius Pilate on Nisan 14, 33 A.D. and rose from the dead on the third day.
Finally, two holy doctors explain why the fact of the Resurrection is so certain that, as the existence of God can be known from its effects in creation, so the Lord’s resurrection, which is the New Creation, can be known through its effects in history, in the lives of the apostles, and in those who converted.
For this reason therefore by the miracles [wrought by the Apostles] He renders the evidence of His Resurrection unequivocal, so that not only the men of those times — this is what would come of the ocular proof — but also all men thereafter, should be certain of the fact, that He was risen. Upon this ground also we argue with unbelievers. For if He did not rise again, but remains dead, how did the Apostles perform miracles in His name? But they did not, say you, perform miracles? How then was our religion instituted? For this certainly they will not controvert nor impugn what we see with our eyes: so that when they say that no miracles took place, they inflict a worse stab upon themselves. For this would be the greatest of miracles, that without any miracles, the whole world should have eagerly come to be taken in the nets of twelve poor and illiterate men!
St. Thomas Aquinas, in Summa Contra Gentiles, wrote:
The Divine Wisdom, that knows all things most fully, has deigned to reveal these her secrets to men, and in proof of them has displayed works beyond the competence of all natural powers, in the wonderful cure of diseases, in the raising of the dead, and what is more wonderful still, in such inspiration of human minds as that simple and ignorant persons, filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost, have gained in an instant the height of wisdom and eloquence. By force of the aforesaid proof, without violence of arms, without promise of pleasures, and, most wonderful thing of all, in the midst of the violence of persecutors, a countless multitude, not only of the uneducated but of the wisest men, flocked to the Christian Faith, wherein doctrines are preached that transcend all human understanding, pleasures of sense are restrained, and a contempt is taught of all worldly possessions. That mortal minds should assent to such teaching is the greatest of miracles, and a manifest work of divine inspiration leading men to despise the visible and desire only invisible goods. Nor did this happen suddenly nor by chance, but by a divine disposition, as is manifest from the fact that God foretold by many oracles of His Prophets that He intended to do this. The books of those prophets are still venerated amongst us, as bearing testimony to our faith. This argument is touched upon in the text: Which (salvation) having begun to be uttered by the Lord, was confirmed by them that heard him even unto us, God joining in the testimony by signs and portents and various distributions of the Holy Spirit (Heb. ii, 3, 4).
This so wonderful conversion of the world to the Christian Faith is so certain a sign of past miracles, that they need no further reiteration, since they appear evidently in their effects. It would be more wonderful than all other miracles, if without miraculous signs the world had been induced by simple and low-born men to believe truths so arduous, to do works so difficult, to hope for reward so high. And yet even in our times God ceases not through His saints to work miracles for the confirmation of the Faith.