The Importance of Family and Marriage

Sister Lucia of Fatima reminds us how important family and marriage are to humanity. The devil hates the family which is why we must work and pray to protect our families and our marriages.  Please pray to grow in holiness and help your family members do the same.  If we all obeyed mother Church the devil will have no playground in which to play.

The powerful name of St. Joseph

We found this outstanding post from a Facebook friend about St. Joseph.  St. Joseph, on your feast day, ora pro nobis!

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The Saints Are Told to Have A Great Devotion to Saint Joseph

ST. GERTRUDE’S VISION OF SAINT JOSEPH

Once, on the Feast of the Annunciation, St. Gertrude had a vision during which the Heavenly Mother revealed to her the glory of her spouse, St. Joseph, in order to awaken in the Saint a greater love for him and to encourage her to have confidence in his intercession. Of this vision St. Gertrude wrote:

“I saw Heaven opened and St. Joseph sitting upon a magnificent throne. I felt myself wonderfully affected when, each time his name was mentioned, all the Saints made a profound inclination toward him, showing by the serenity and sweetness of their looks that they rejoiced with him on account of his exalted dignity.”

Jesus tells Saint Margaret of Cortona to be Devoted to Saint Joseph

Jesus Christ made known His wishes on this point to St. Margaret of Cortona, by appearing to her one day and telling her, among other things, to cultivate a special devotion to St. Joseph, who had performed the part of father towards Him with so much zeal and affection. It would be an act of inexcusable ingratitude for Christians to refuse to pay St. Joseph, through love of the God-Saviour, a tribute of honor and gratitude. As for me, O my Jesus, I will follow Thy example; I will serve him whom Thou has served; I will honor him whom Thou hast honored; I will love him whom Thou has loved with the tenderness of a son. Finally, O my sweet Jesus! by that profound humility which rendered Thy adorable person obedient to the least motion of St. Joseph, I beseech Thee to grant that Thy unworthy servant may be devoted from this moment and forever to the service of this great Saint for the sole purpose of pleasing Thee, since Thou wast the first to give an example. of affection towards him.

Signal Graces obtained through St. Joseph’s intercession

In Mary of Agreda’s City of God, we learn the following consoling revelations:

• “First, those who invoke him shall obtain from God, by his intercession, the gift of chastity, and shall not be conquered by the temptation of the senses;

• Secondly, they shall receive particular graces to deliver them from sin;

• Thirdly, they shall obtain a true devotion to the Blessed Virgin;

• Fourthly, they shall have a good and happy death, and in that all-decisive moment be defended against the assaults of Satan;

• Fifthly, they shall be delivered when expedient for them, from bodily sufferings, and shall find help in their afflictions;

• Sixthly, if married, they shall be blessed with offspring;

• Seventhly, the demons shall have extreme dread of the glorious name of St. Joseph.

With so many graces to be obtained through his powerful intercession, let us not tarry nor hesitate in asking humbly for the protection and aid of dear St. Joseph, Terror of demons!

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Obedience Leads to Grace

Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 3, Chapter 13

Of the Obedience of One in Humble Subjection, After the Example of Jesus Christ

My son, he that endeavoreth to withdraw himself from obedience, withdraweth himself from grace; and he who seeketh for himself private benefit (Matt. 16:24), loseth those which are common. He that doth not cheerfully and freely submit himself to his superior, it is a sign that his flesh is not as yet perfectly obedient unto him, but oftentimes kicketh and murmureth against him. Learn thou therefore quickly to submit thyself to thy superior, if thou desire to keep thine own flesh under the yoke. For more speedily is the outward enemy overcome, if the inward man be not laid waste. There is no worse nor more troublesome enemy to the soul than thou art unto thyself, if thou be not well in harmony with the Spirit. It is altogether necessary that thou take up a true contempt for thyself, if thou desire to prevail against flesh and blood. Because as yet thou lovest thyself too inordinately, therefore thou art afraid to resign thyself wholly to the will of others. And yet, what great matter is it, if thou, who art but dust and nothing, subject thyself to a man for God’s sake, when I, the Almighty and the Most Highest who created all things of nothing, humbly subjected Myself to man for thy sake? I became of all men the most humble and the most abject (Luke 2:7; John 13:14), that thou mightest overcome thy pride with My humility. O dust! learn to be obedient. Learn to humble thyself, thou earth and clay, and to bow thyself down under the feet of all men. Learn to break thine own wishes, and to yield thyself to all subjection.

Of Resisting Temptations

From the “Imitation of Christ”, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 1, Chapter 13

Of Resisting Temptations

As long as we live in this world, we cannot be without temptations and tribulations. Hence it is written in Job “Man’s life on earth is a temptation.” Everyone therefore should be solicitous about his temptations and watch in prayer lest the devil find an opportunity to catch him: who never sleeps, but goes about, seeking whom he can devour. No one is so perfect and holy as sometimes not to have temptations and we can never be wholly free from them. Nevertheless, temptations are very profitable to man, troublesome and grievous though they may be, for in them, a man is humbled, purified and instructed. All the Saints passed through many tribulations and temptations and were purified by them. And they that could not support temptations, became reprobate, and fell away.

Many seek to flee temptations, and fall worse into them. We cannot conquer by flight alone, but by patience and true humility we become stronger than all our enemies. He who only declines them outwardly, and does not pluck out their root, will profit little; nay, temptations will sooner return and he will find himself in a worse condition. By degrees and by patience you will, by God’s grace, better overcome them than by harshness and your own importunity. Take council the oftener in temptation, and do not deal harshly with one who is tempted; but pour in consolation, as thou wouldst wish to be done unto yourself. Inconstancy of mind and little confidence in God, is the beginning of all temptations. For as a ship without a helm is driven to and fro by the waves, so the man who neglects and gives up his resolutions is tempted in many ways.

The Miraculous Medal – Wear it!

We a re-blogging an article written by Amy Brooks on the importance of wearing the Miraculous Medal.  Be sure you have yours on today!

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5 Reasons I Wear a Miraculous Medal – And Why You Should Try It Too!

5 Reasons I Wear a Miraculous Medal – And Why You Should Try It Too

by Amy BrooksMarch 3, 2016

via catholicismpure.wordpress.com / ChurchPOP

The Mirauculous Medal is a special medal design based on mystical visions of St. Catherine Labouré in the 19th century. It’s a popular devotional item and is associated with miracles and conversions.

1) I am being reminded daily to “listen to my Mother”

As a mommy of a three and a half year old boy, I’ve been hearing the word “no” A LOT.

Me: “Xavier, go to the potty”  Xavier: No  Me: “Don’t say no to me, just do it”  Xavier: “No!”.

This happens countless times a day. As you can imagine, this can be extremely frustrating. I wonder if Mary gets frustrated with us.

Almost 200 years ago Our Blessed Mother instructed Saint Catherine Laboure to “have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around their neck.” Our Blessed Mother also told Catherine, “Now it must be given to the whole world and to every person.” For almost two hundred years this message has been available to us, yet –until this past Christmas, I still did not wear one around my neck.

I wonder if Mary is frustrated, as any mother is when children do not take her advice or accept her help! I know how I feel after a 30 minute debate with a three year old on why he has to at least try to pee.  Two hundred years of, “wear this, it will help” and so many not listening has got to be exhausting!

2) It’s Known as the “Miraculous Medal” for a Reason, and I Love a Miracle!

When the medal first came into being, it was called the Medal of the Immaculate Conception. In less than ten years it became known as the Miraculous Medal because of the many graces and wonders that quickly became associated with wearing it. According to one source, between 1930 and 1950, more than 750,000 favors were granted and registered in just the city of Philadelphia alone.

Our Blessed Mother wants us to ask her for prayers. Our Lord wants us to go to Him and tell him what is on our minds and in our hearts.  Having this medal around our necks at all times is a constant reminder to pray. And as Mary promised, those who wear it will receive great graces.

3) Heroic Men and Women Have Worn It and Encouraged Others to Wear It

Two particular individuals come to mind: St. Maximillian Kolbe and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  Before St. Maximillian courageously gave his life for another man, he started a movement and an organization, known in English as the Knights of the Immaculata. He made the Miraculous Medal the insignia of the group and had each member wear the medal. He said it was a “silver bullet” against evil.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, known for her charitable work throughout the world, called it a “medal of charity” and gave it out by the hand full.  She said that the medal is a sign that God loves each and every individual at each and every moment of our lives.

4) It’s a Reminder to Ask for Help

The images on the medal were designed by the Blessed Mother and spoken to St. Catherine Laboure. Our Blessed Mother said that the rays coming from some of her fingers demonstrate the graces God gives through her to those who ask and are open.

There are some fingers where no rays are shown. Mary said that is to demonstrate the graces that are not given because they were not requested of her.  Just another reminder of Matthew 7:7; “Ask and it shall be given to you”.

5) It’s a Symbol of What’s Most Important

When I first wrote this article, my Facebook profile picture included an opaque flag of France to show my support and prayers for those who have suffered a great tragedy.  There is a U.S. flag hung outside the front door of our home to demonstrate patriotism.  We often wear colors to support those affected by different diseases and when we are cheering for our favorite sports team, we wear the appropriate jersey.  All of these have some importance in our lives.  But what is most important?  For me, it is my faith.  If signs and symbols are important for the lesser things, why not show my enthusiasm for the greatest blessing of all – faith in Our Lord and the love of our Mother.

For Christmas, I asked for and received a Miraculous Medal.  There are so many different styles made by many different companies and organizations.  I searched and browsed hundreds, finally finding a simple style necklace that I feel fits my personality.  I wear it daily.  I find comfort in it.  I’m so grateful for the gift of grace and peace it gives.

Want One?

If you would like a Miraculous Medal, you can get a FREE one from  The Central Association of the Miraculous Medal! The Central Association’s primary mission is “to render honor to Mary Immaculate and to encourage the use of her Miraculous Medal with prayers and devotions to her”. The Central Association offers a free Miraculous Medal to anyone living in the United States.

Originally posted on Prayer, Wine, Chocolate

Supplement your faith with Virtue

If you don’t know of or admire Father Rutler, please get to know him.  He is an smart and thoughful priest.  Below is his latest article.

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February 28, 2016
by Fr. George W. Rutler

In normal usage, an idealist is someone with a lofty vision, possibly naïve but always noble in spirit. The term is more complicated in philosophy, but as a general category idealism means that mind takes precedence over matter, and reality cannot be separated from the mind’s consciousness of it. The various schools of Idealism are subtler than that, but idealism makes the material world dependent on the self’s perception of it. In the eighteenth century, a leading exponent of “subjective idealism” was the Anglo-Irish Protestant bishop George Berkeley, who lived for a while in the colony of Rhode Island. Dr. Samuel Johnson had no time for debating him, and refuted Berkeley by kicking a rock.

I doubt that many of the people absorbed in their “Smart Phones” through so much of the day, even while walking along the street or sitting in restaurants, engage much in philosophical discourse, but they are tottering on the brink of what philosophers would call Idealist epistemology. Put simply, the universe belongs to them, everything in it should be as they want it to be, with fact a form of feeling. Recently, when a conservative lecturer visiting a university told some harsh economic facts, undergraduates cried for psychotherapy. They had been emotionally bruised by kicking the rock of reality.

Adam and Eve were more than bruised when they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They lost Paradise. Eating of the Tree meant arrogating to themselves the definition of reality. Taken to an extreme, that original sin of selfish pride produces the sociopath. That is a disordered anti-social personality like a psychopath, but the latter tends to be more erratic and violent with a probably genetic source for the condition. A sociopathic personality is shaped more by environment and circumstance.

Sociopaths are said to be about four per cent of the population. They are not as easy to detect as psychopaths, and smoothly charm their way well into influential positions in virtually all walks of life, often by means of glib eloquence. Along with their high intelligence, they are incapable of shame or guilt. They never apologize—for they think they have never done wrong. They exaggerate their achievements, dominate conversation, manipulate people, and their narcissism makes them unable selflessly to love others, or to empathize even while claiming to do so. Above all, they are delusional, easily believing their own lies.

In his perfect humanity, Christ was the opposite of the anti-social disordered personality. By his grace, his faithful apostles overcame their weaknesses and communicated his perfection. On the way to his own cross, which was not an invention of his imagination, the Prince of the Apostles wrote: “…make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love” (2 Peter 1:5-7).

God-less Religion

“The phrase ‘God-less religion’ is surely applicable to pantheism which is the fashionable religion of today. John Henry Newman prognostication, ‘pantheism is the great deceit which awaits the age to come’ has come true, except for the fact that if you call it pantheism. One of its names is, tellingly, New Age. Another name is environmentalism. The man of today wants so much a religion minus God as to prefer to speak only of the pan ( one of the words of the Greeks of old, for the universe, or great nature) and ignore as much as possible “theism,” evocative as this word is of the true God.  Modern man does not even want to know that he has made nature, (including his own nature) his one and only god.

Pantheism should seem a God-less religion in contrast to the notion of God which half a century ago and certainly a century ago was still widely present in public discourse. According to that notion, God is a being wholly transcendent to nature, and indeed a being on whom nature is dependent in every sense.”

-from ” Questions on Science and Religion”.- Fr. Stanley Jaki

RIP Justice Scalia: Lover of the TLM

A friend and fellow Old St. Mary’s Parishioner has written an article below about his memories of his time attending the Traditional Latin Mass with Justice Scalia.  May eternal light shine upon him!

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Wall Street Journal: Scalia the Music Critic and Pew Policeman
Putting on a tie using his car’s mirror before attending Mass—the one in Latin, of course.
By Kenneth J. Wolfe
Feb. 18, 2016 7:01 p.m. ET

Antonin Scalia attended the traditional Latin Mass nearly every Sunday, at St. John the Beloved church near his home in McLean, Va., or at St. Mary Mother of God church in the Chinatown section of Washington, D.C. When he went to the latter location, it was usually followed by a day of reading in his nearby Supreme Court office, which he did for decades on certain Sundays during the court’s term.

In the 20 years I saw him at Mass, not once was he protected by Supreme Court police or by U.S. Marshals. The associate justice with his home number still listed in the telephone book was surprisingly down to earth, true to his New Jersey roots. It was not uncommon to see him park his  BMW  on G Street in the District before Mass and put on his necktie using the car’s mirror. He would walk into St. Mary’s with his pre-Vatican II handmissal, always sitting in the same general area, near Patrick Buchanan, about halfway up the aisle on the far left side of the nave.

Justice Scalia loved music, especially opera. So when I was the director of an amateur choir at St. Mary’s in the late 1990s (in a Verizon Center-less neighborhood far different from today), we were under increased pressure during the Sundays when he attended High Mass. Our choir was admittedly awful, and even though we rehearsed every Thursday night and Sunday morning, it didn’t seem to help much.

The church’s pastor at the time would hear from Justice Scalia about the choir’s underwhelming performances. In what would become a familiar ritual over a period of months, we would fail to sing basic, four-part sacred music in tune. Justice Scalia would register his disappointment with Father, and I would be urged to try to do better. I wasn’t surprised when one day I was called into the pastor’s office to be gently informed that my volunteer choir-director days were over.

As was so often the case during his career, Justice Scalia’s dissent was entirely justified and ultimately a blessing to the world. The mixed-voice choir was soon replaced by a group of men (including me) who would sing Gregorian chant at the Sunday 9 a.m. Latin Mass at St. Mary’s, with that schola continuing to chant to this day. The congregation seems to appreciate it, and as recently as a few months ago when we last saw Justice Scalia, there have been no complaints about the music.

He was a character at a church full of character. After the Sunday 9 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s, a coffee and doughnut hour is held in the basement, and Justice Scalia could often be found there. For years, the rear right corner was where the smokers gathered, doing a balancing act of cigarettes, pastries and hot beverages. Justice Scalia seemed to relish that time, smoking and talking, recounting his world travels and shaking his head over the liturgical and theological argle-bargle he found in some Catholic churches overseas.

One morning in the smoking corner, Justice Scalia pulled out a cigarette and looked around to see no one joining him with a lighter. He asked where his fellow tobacco traditionalists were, only to learn that a newly established traditional Latin Mass in rural, conservative Front Royal, Va., was apparently a more convenient option for the smoking crowd. Conversation carried on anyway, and by request he got the latest scoop on shenanigans at his alma mater, Georgetown University.

Like the rest of us, Justice Scalia was not perfect. He had no patience for unruly children and was the local sheriff of the rear left of the nave of St. Mary’s. But his willingness to talk with anyone—as long as it was not about a pending court case—was generous, and he certainly could have had better coffee and doughnuts at home instead of a church basement in Chinatown.

Despite his having attended the traditional Latin Mass for decades nearly every Sunday, the funeral for Justice Scalia will be a post-Vatican II, concelebrated service in English on Saturday morning at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Still, pre-Vatican II Latin Masses have already been offered this week for the repose of his soul, and fellow parishioners continue to beg God that the good and faithful servant attains salvation after years of prayer and labor. May there be a tuxedo-clad waiter in a dark Italian restaurant serving him white pizza and Chianti in heaven. And good music, we pray.

Mr. Wolfe is a contributor to the traditional Catholic blog, Rorate Caeli.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/scalia-the-music-critic-and-pew-policeman-1455840082