Our Blessed Mother and the Return to Holiness
by Cornelia R. Ferreira
Your Excellencies, Reverend Fathers and Religious,
St. John, in the opening lines of his Gospel, says this about the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (Jn. 1:4-5). The Church advances two meanings for this passage.1 The first is that Jesus gives physical life to all creatures, plus light to all men through a rational soul and understanding. The second is that Jesus is also the author of grace, which is the spiritual life of our souls; and these spiritual graces give light the light of the Catholic Faith to those who belong to His one, true, Catholic Church.
There are two reasons for men to be in darkness. The first is that blinded by their sins and passions, they don’t pay attention to the light of reason. They cannot recognize God in spite of the visible effects of His Providence; they do not comprehend. The second type of darkness is that experienced by obstinate sinners who wilfully shut their eyes to the lights of grace. We cannot attain holiness unless we are in the light, which helps us to do God’s will, and so it’s this second type of darkness which I wish to address: the darkness afflicting obstinate Catholics, God’s chosen people, who are wilfully shutting their eyes to the lights of grace.
It’s a darkness brought about in particular through practices that have gradually led to the denial of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. If you reject Jesus God He withdraws His light, and you are plunged into a darkness that leads first to idolatry because you don’t know Who the true God is. This leads to all manner of immorality and crime. St. Paul, in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, describes this sequence of events. Looking around, it’s impossible to deny that vast numbers of Catholics are on the path of darkness. The crisis is so widespread that I think we can apply Chapter 1, verse 11, of St. John’s Gospel to Catholics, although it originally described the Jews of Jesus’ time: “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.”
Various saints, prophecies and teachings seem to point to these times, and they all give the same solution for restoring the light and holiness. That solution is Our Blessed Mother Mary.
Our Lady Herself has tied today’s darkness to loss of faith in the Blessed Sacrament and subsequent liturgical abuse. In 1634, in an approved apparition, Our Lady of Good Fortune or Good Success appeared to a holy nun in Quito, Ecuador, who was attempting to re-light the sanctuary lamp that had just gone out in the chapel. Our Lady gave this Sister several meanings for the extinguishing of the light,2 which obviously happened by Divine Providence. I will quote only those that concern our topic today.
Our Lady said that one meaning was that “at the end of the 19th Century and for a large part of the 20th, various heresies will flourish on this earth.... The precious light of the Faith will go out in souls because of the almost total moral corruption.... To escape from being enslaved by these heresies will call for great strength of will, constancy, courage and great trust in God .... there will come moments when everything seems lost and paralyzed, and just then comes the happy beginning of the complete restoration.”
We see that Our Blessed Mother also tied the loss of Faith which results in heresies to the loss of morals. She also predicted that the priesthood would suffer both quantitatively and qualitatively. She said a “deluge” of impurity and the destruction of families and the “innocence of childhood” would cause vocations to be lost, and She called it “a real disaster.” She then added, “Priests will abandon their sacred duties and will depart from the path marked out for them by God. Then the Church will go through a dark night ... and numbers of priests will lose the spirit of God, thus placing their souls in great danger.”
Our Lady of Good Success also had a Eucharistic and liturgical message for our times that would be reiterated at Fatima. She recommended constant prayer to Our Father in Heaven “for love of the Eucharistic Heart” of Jesus and “His Precious Blood, so generously shed,” “to put an end to such fatal times. And He will, by sending a Prelate who will restore the Church. Amongst the things he will do … He will hold in his hand the scales of the sanctuary for everything to be done in an orderly fashion for God to be glorified.” If order is to be restored, this would imply that there would be disorder in worship.
Scales are a symbol of justice. In other words, Our Lady of Good Fortune seemed to indicate that a contributing factor for today’s darkness would be that God would not be worshipped properly in the very sanctuary, the holiest place in His house. It is the highest injustice not to give God the honor and glory due to His Majesty.
What Our Lady described for the 20th Century and it continues today, at the beginning of the 21st matches exactly some of the errors of Russia. We know from those involved, that Communist infiltration of the clergy started in the early 20th Century. It has allowed the Russian errors of feminism, atheism and liberation theology to spread inside the Church, leading to Eucharistic heresies and sacrileges, the worship of man and other false gods, and widespread immorality amongst Catholics of all stations.
The warning of trouble in the sanctuary was repeated by the Guardian Angel of Portugal who appeared to the three children of Fatima. The Angel taught the children two prayers to be said whilst kneeling with their faces touching the ground.
The second prayer bridges the prophecy of Our Lady of Good Fortune and today’s Eucharistic heresies. The Angel held a chalice with a Host suspended above it, from which some drops of blood fell into the chalice. Leaving the chalice suspended in the air, the Angel taught the children this prayer: “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”
Then the Angel gave the Sacred Host to Lucia. He shared the Sacred Blood from the chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying, “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”3
The three chief points made by the Angel are, first, the fundamental Catholic teaching on the Holy Eucharist, viz., that Jesus is physically present, in both His human and divine natures, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, under the appearances of bread and wine, after the Consecration at Mass and reserved in every tabernacle. It seems the Angel was prophesying that this doctrine would no longer be believed by many Catholics, because his second point was that lack of belief produces indifference towards Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and sacrileges are being committed against Him both in Holy Communion and in the tabernacle. The third point of the Angel’s apparition was that God is so offended that he had to send an Angel to teach us via three children to make reparation. Later on, He would even send His mother with further instructions, as a final act of His mercy.
There is no doubt that we are living through the times that have been prophesied. The Communist infiltrators, helped by modernists, have been spreading the religion of man within Catholicism. Let’s consider how this has caused some of the outrages, sacrileges and indifference taking place in most churches. First, let’s see what resulted from the removal of the tabernacle from its place of honor in the center of the sanctuary. The tabernacle atop what was usually an imposing marble altar was the focal point for our eyes, our minds and our hearts. It was the center of every act of worship. You couldn’t forget that Jesus was reposing within it, and every Catholic was taught how to pay Him homage and reverence. From childhood we were taught how to behave in Church, in the presence of God Himself genuflections; kneeling; silence; bowed head; an attitude of recollection, awe and respect; decent dress; covered head for women. We were encouraged to drop in and pay Jesus a visit, if passing a church; if unable to drop in, we at least made the Sign of the Cross, or men would tip their hat. Even these small acts acknowledged that the church is the house of God, actually present; it isn’t just a meeting place as in Protestantism.
Removing the tabernacle from its central place of honor inevitably led to the loss of the sacred. Our eyes, minds and hearts no longer were able to focus on our King, and He automatically suffered a loss of prestige. Is it just coincidental that with the removal of the tabernacle, children were no longer taught how to behave in church, decent dress disappeared immediately, and then went genuflection, silence, recollection, and respect? The focal point of worship soon became the “community,” and those community members exercising “leadership” within the sanctuary. The outrages predicted by the Angel of Portugal multiplied as the church became a noisy meeting place, and eventually, a theater featuring blasphemous liturgies and loud profane music, drama and dance as part of the liturgical entertainment. The Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship stated in 1975 that liturgical dancing would “desacralize” the liturgy and “introduce an atmosphere of profanity.”4 But rules don’t matter today. Masses vary in “creativity” according to the celebrant, the occasion, or the community.
Further, with Jesus replaced by man, out went exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction, Forty Hours devotion, perpetual adoration, Corpus Christi processions, and so on. Jesus became the object of colossal indifference, as predicted at Fatima. Visits to the Hidden Jesus, as Francisco and Jacinta called Him, were no longer promoted, thus ensuring the loss of many graces and lights. Closed churches discouraged visits and gave a whole new generation the impression that the church is only a place for communal worship or get-togethers. So dead is the belief that it’s the house of God actually present, that pagan and false rituals now take place in Catholic churches. Surely, bringing false worship into the house of God is one of the outrages against Him mentioned by the Angel? Even if the Blessed Sacrament is removed from the tabernacle during these ceremonies, the First Commandment is broken in God’s own house.
Now let’s see the effect of replacing the altar with a table, and turning the priest around to face the people. Immediately one lost the sense of sacrifice. The very terminology changed to reflect that fact, the Mass being described mostly as a communal meal instead of the unbloody Sacrifice of the Cross. Instead of the words, “the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,” the Mass is usually called the Eucharist, or more generically, the Liturgy. The priest, the ordained minister of God with the authority to offer sacrifice, is a “presider,” like the chairman of a meeting. The tabernacle was replaced with the presider’s chair, and statues with felt banners, tropical plants and fountains. Even liberals recognize that what is in the sanctuary is very important because it helps our focus. One liberal writer has said, “The symbols there ... have messages which are meant to bring me to the heart of Jesus. They have been placed there for the express purpose of aiding me in worship.”5 Yes but the greatest aid to worship, and the reason and focus of worship has been removed! Can plants and childish banners substitute for the Real Presence of Jesus Himself?
One often hears that the reason for some change is, “We are going back to how it was done in the early Church.” Pius XII, in his 1947 encyclical Mediator Dei, encountered this trend, and he condemned it as “liturgical antiquarianism.” “Antiquarianism” is an interesting word that not merely denotes an erroneous return to antiquity, but also contains within itself the words “Arian” and “Arianism.” The Arian heresy of the 4th Century denied the Divinity of Jesus. Similarly, the liturgical, doctrinal and moral errors of today can be traced to the denial of Jesus Christ’s divinity in His Word, in the Holy Eucharist and in His Mystical Body, the Church, with her divinely-given structure, authority and powers. Antiquarianism is the new manifestation of Arianism.
Pope Pius XII said, “It would be wrong ... to want the altar restored to its ancient form of table; to want black eliminated from the liturgical colours, and pictures and statues excluded from our churches; to require crucifixes that do not represent the bitter sufferings of the divine Redeemer....” He called liturgical antiquarianism “a wicked movement, that tends to paralyze the sanctifying and salutary action by which the liturgy leads the children of adoption on the path to their heavenly Father.”6
Returning to terminology changes, we find congregation became community, then assembly. The Sacred Species are merely bread and wine or bread and cup. The adjective “consecrated” might be used occasionally; “Sacred Species” I don’t see anymore. The paten is the plate. Since one attends a feast, meal or banquet, instead of the unbloody Sacrifice of the Cross, lay Eucharistic “ministers” are instructed on how to bring plates and cups to the altar, how to be a “caring host or hostess,” and how to treat the communicants as “guests”.7 Lay greeters at the door, the sign of peace, and greeting each other during Mass, are all part of the atmosphere of a friendly community meal. The whole focus of the Mass has changed to its being a commemoration of Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross and a memorial of the Last Supper, rather than the actual Sacrifice being re-enacted upon the altar.8
Full participation by the laity used to mean uniting one’s intentions with those of the priest, and offering the Holy Sacrifice, in union with Our Lady of Sorrows on Calvary, as an act of supreme adoration and thanksgiving; as a sacrifice of propitiation, in satisfaction for one’s own sins and in reparation for the sins of others; and finally, in petition for our needs.9 Many traditional prayer books suggested pious thoughts and prayers for each part of the Mass to help one enter into the spirit of the Holy Sacrifice and unite oneself with the priest. Pope St. Pius X said, “The Holy Mass is ... the highest prayer that exists. It is the Sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated ... on the altar.” He said the laity must follow “all that happens at the altar” and must pray with the priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him.” He didn’t mean pray aloud. He said, “You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way you have prayed Holy Mass.”10
St. Pio gives us a shining example of the sentiments we should have at Mass. So strongly did he identify with Jesus on the cross, that when asked how he could remain standing for so long on the bleeding stigmata of his feet, he replied that he wasn’t standing, he was hanging! He also used to cry very much at Mass, and his face expressed terrible suffering when he pronounced with great effort the words of Consecration. Father Stefano Manelli, in his book, Jesus Our Eucharistic Love, said the soldiers at the foot of the Cross “thought only of the game of dice, heedless of the atrocious spasms of Jesus dying!” He equated this callous indifference with that present at today’s “‘rock’ Mass, celebrated to the rhythm of guitars playing profane ... tunes with women in indecent clothes and youths in the most strange fashions.”11 Rock Masses are very prevalent in the West, but elsewhere there are inculturated Masses, which are just another type of indifference to Jesus’ sufferings.
With Jesus in the tabernacle no longer visible, most Catholics have lost sight of Jesus on the Cross. They don’t care about His torture and murder. They don’t want to think they contributed to His death. They are completely indifferent; and that’s what the Angel of Portugal predicted. They only want to feel good or show off their so-called talents. The name of the game is “creative liturgies,” and the most popular ones are inculturated with the rituals of pagan or youth religions (the youth religion is also just another form of inculturation with youth beliefs). Examples of inculturated Masses are the North American Indian Mass, or the Hinduized Mass, or even the loud rock Masses of World Youth Days. Are the participants in these Masses these “liturgies” really considering the agony and death of Jesus on the cross?
Today, full participation, certainly in the West, means accepting the “call” to a “leadership role” at the community feast. This means being a “liturgical minister” a reader, cantor, music minister, liturgy designer, eucharistic minister, cup minister12 and, I guess, dance ministers now. There are also the lesser “ministries” of ushers, hospitality, greeters, etc. Many good people have been led to believe they have to have a “ministry” in order to serve the Church. They truly believe they are helping remedy a priest shortage or at least helping to take some of the load off the priest. Unfortunately, no matter how altruistic their motive, they are helping the modernist feminist agenda of using a plethora of lay ministries to destroy the ordained priesthood, and the very identity of the Church herself. There’s no chance for holiness on this pathway, which I’ll get to in a few minutes. But first I’d like to mention another major source of outrages against the Holy Eucharist, and that is Communion in the hand.
Communion in the hand contradicts the Church teaching enunciated by St. Thomas Aquinas, viz., “Out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches it but what is consecrated.” Only the hands of a priest are consecrated. Communion in the hand was condemned in the Seventh Century to halt widespread abuses, and as a safeguard against sacrilege. However, starting with Martin Luther, Protestants re-introduced this practice “to manifest their belief that there is no such thing as Transubstantiation and Holy Orders, and the bread is just ordinary bread and the minister an ordinary man with no God-given power to consecrate.”13
Communion in the hand has given rise to various sacrileges and heresies. First, it’s the justification for lay eucharistic ministers, including nuns. If a lay person can receive Communion in his unconsecrated hands, then he can distribute It to others. Pride raised its head amongst the laity, reducing reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament. Other sacrileges followed: consecrated Hosts left on pews sometimes in pieces, carried in pockets, passed around the classroom, found on the streets, sold on e-Bay, and easily procured for the ultimate profanation in Black Masses.
The second result of Communion in the hand is that once lay eucharistic ministers became the norm, the floodgates were opened to a torrent of other liturgical “ministries” that have contributed to the downgrading of the priesthood and other heresies. These “ministries” are the back door to women’s ordination. The all-male priesthood is considered an affront to the feminist concept of “equality,” which is derived from Communism and Masonry, and a concept that therefore is an error of Russia, about which Our Lady of Fatima warned. The strategy is to manipulate an eventual approval of ordination by first involving females in other liturgical roles. This would prepare a climate of acceptance for priestesses, with increased lobbying that would become so widespread that the Church would capitulate. Over twenty years ago, the American religious feminist leader Rosemary Ruether explained this consciousness-raising strategy:
It is likely that a long seedtime must set in. A growing practice of ministry shared by men [i.e., priests] and women will develop on local congregational levels. A certain educational process will go on between women and ordained males on the injustices of the restrictions placed on their female colleagues. Laity will become used to seeing women minister in a number of adjunct roles and wonder why not sacraments. Perhaps there will be discussions and conferences around this.... Eventually more bishops will be consecrated who wonder at the absurdity of the exclusion (with a growing example of women in full sacramental ministry in other churches).14
A Jewish feminist, Naomi Goldenberg, who calls herself a psychologist of religion, confirms this strategy that makes use of “devout” women who are unaware of the feminist agenda. She says these reformists and their clerical supporters think using inclusive language, highlighting the importance of women in the Gospels, and promoting women’s ordination are means of “improving the practice of their religion by encouraging women to share the responsibilities of worship equally with men,”15 i.e., with priests.
That phrase, “share the responsibilities of worship,” is a great favorite of the modernists. It clothes their revolution against the priesthood in fuzzy, positive terms. Goldenberg openly admits that these so-called reforms challenge the basic nature of Christianity; they are “not minor alterations,” but “major departures from tradition” that will “shake [Christianity] at its roots.”16 Here we have it: according to two feminist leaders, lay ministries are designed to destroy the foundations of our religion; and they are a transitional step to priestesses.
In secular society, feminism, using role-reversal ideology, has emasculated the husband, stripping him of his role as provider, and destroying his hierarchical authority, all in the name of women’s equality. This has resulted in the “fatherless” family. The father is there, but he has no authority. Liturgical role revisions have done the same damage in the spiritual sphere. About ten years ago, an American priest, Fr. James McLucas, wrote an article on the psychological impact of the lay usurpation of the priest’s role. He called it “The Emasculation of the Priesthood.”17 In it, he echoes religious psychologist Goldenberg when he says, “Our Lord ... began the Church with the priesthood and the Eucharist. If what has been done in the past thirty years is harmful to either, we are perilously close to the foundations of the Church herself. The notion that the Church can offer the work of the priest to others without doing harm to both his masculinity and his personality is a gross presumption. It will affect the way he views his life and commitment, as well as his beliefs and prayer.”
“... what will animate the celibate male to ... embrace his commitment to be a spiritual father is the sure knowledge that there are no rivals to his spiritual paternity. Manufacturing positions that substitute for his pastoral care contradicts the very notion of paternal certainty.” Since the priest is an alter Christus and a spiritual father, his identity and authority have to be protected “through a structure which visibly reinforces key components of his masculine nature....” The act of “feeding” the lambs and sheep with the Bread of Life is crucial to the perception of his spiritual fatherhood. “The traditional role of the celibate priest as the sole administrator of the sacred assisted him in sublimating his natural desire for exclusivity with another in marriage, and preserved his orientation toward his spiritual espousal to the church and his spiritual fatherhood.”
Minimizing the priest’s sacramental and liturgical duties, says Fr. McLucas, has led to him becoming the “CEO [the chief executive officer] of a parish plant. He oversees countless committees” and “begins to delegate the more burdensome ... pastoral duties,” such as visiting the sick, baptizing, instructing converts, etc. He becomes a careerist and abdicates his fatherhood, leading to “fatherless” parishes led by lay “pastoral administrators” and featuring Communion services run by lay “presiders” usually women. This is a fulfillment of Our Lady’s words at Quito that priests would depart from their sacred duties. Remember, Rosemary Ruether said, “Laity will become used to seeing women minister in a number of adjunct roles and wonder why not sacraments. Eventually more bishops will be consecrated who wonder at the absurdity of the exclusion.” The feminists are still hopeful that one day these bishops will be cardinals who will elect a pope who will approve priestesses.
Limiting the priest’s function merely to consecrating makes him an “ecclestiastical technician” says Fr. McLucas. He’s correct. More and more, parishes believe they possess what’s called “communal ownership of the liturgy.”18 “Owning” the liturgy and taking over the priest’s pastoral duties has led to the condemned heretical belief 19 that the priest does not get his authority directly from God, through the apostles, but from the community. This belief is tied to the assertion, “We are eucharist people” or, “We are a eucharistic community.” It’s a common saying in the West, and if it’s not here, it could be soon. It’s just another term for a Protestantized Catholic parish.
A eucharistic community is defined as one in which “No individual member holds status or authority that ... is not derived from the community itself.... Every minister is empowered by the community s/he serves.” In other words, the priest is a minister equivalent to lay “ministers,” and you are only a priest if somebody wants you and if the eucharistic community “commissions” you. This coup d’état is painted as altruism and a blessing: this “shared leadership among ordained and non-ordained members of the Church” is a “grace” in a time of “crisis” (i.e., a time with a priest shortage). The eucharistic community believes “the transfer of responsibility to all the baptized has blessed the Church.” Pastors who don’t share responsibility are dictators or “autocrats.”20
This equating of the royal priesthood of the faithful (1 Pet. 2:5, 9) with the ordained priesthood is a Protestant heresy condemned by the Council of Trent.21 Pope Pius XII, in Mediator Dei, says this error leads to the belief that “the people possess the true priestly power, and that the priest acts only in virtue of a function delegated to him by the community. Consequently they regard the Eucharistic Sacrifice as a true ‘concelebration,’” in which the priest “‘concelebrates’ with the people.”22 We’re going beyond that point now. For instance, at a recent dissident conference in the United States,23 instead of the priest, the assembly members recited the prayers of consecration. This heresy has led to women calling themselves priests, and having “ordinations.” These women are excommunicated, but it sadly means their souls are lost, as the logical result of Communion in the hand and Communist ideas of “equality.”
This lay takeover even extends to the deathbed. It is at the moment of death that the devil fights hardest to snatch a soul from eternal happiness. Only a priest has the power to frustrate him by forgiving the mortal sins of the dying. Isn’t it, therefore, truly diabolical that the community has hijacked the priest’s duties towards the sick and dying, at least in the West? Once again, it’s the assembly who “commissions” the visiting lay “communion minister.”24 Priests have admitted that eucharistic ministers get very annoyed if the priest visits the sick. How many souls are falling into hell or having their purgatory extended because they are unable to be absolved by a priest? I know of a suicidal man in the hospital who several times requested a priest for confession, but was only sent lay people. Finally, someone who overheard him brought in a priest friend. The patient made his confession, his suicidal thoughts disappeared, and he was discharged shortly thereafter. What might have happened without the priest’s visit?
Yet the “ministers” really seem to think they are priests, even to the point of hearing confessions and giving blessings. A deacon’s wife told me: “Women are doing priestly duties because we haven’t a choice. Being in a hospital setting, priests are often impossible to get. We are hearing their confessions and praying with them.” The idea that lay people can hear confessions was promulgated in ancient times and then by Luther, Wyclif and Hus. Three Church Councils dealt with this heresy. Pope Leo X condemned Luther’s thesis that in the absence of a priest, any Christian could hear confessions.25 The Council of Trent defined it as a doctrine of Faith that only priests can forgive sins, declaring anathema anyone else who heard confessions.26 The Code of Canon Law stipulates that unauthorized confessors incur penalties, not excluding excommunication;27 further, an unauthorized confessor has no power to forgive sins and deludes the sinner, jeopardizing his soul. As for blessings, only a priest has this supernatural power, in virtue of his consecrated hands, as stated by Pius XII in Mediator Dei.28
Now, New Age gnosticism, belief in one’s own divinity, and belief in the pantheistic god of unity are also tied in with the phrase “eucharist people.” “Being eucharist people” is a euphemism for being gods. The convoluted thinking goes something like this: Remove “Mystical” from the Mystical Body of Christ; ignore the fact that a part of a body is not the body itself; and voilà! We who used to be members i.e., parts of the Mystical Body, are now the physical Body of Christ, the Real Presence. But since the Eucharist is the physical Body and Blood of Christ, then we are “eucharist.” Since Christ is God, we are gods; and it is actually believed that transubstantiation of the people takes place at the Consecration.29 Liturgy “experts” have said the tabernacle diminishes our status as the Body of Christ, and this is the reason it was removed to less visible locations.30
So according to New Age thinking, each of us is individually a god, and the community is collectively a reflection of the pantheistic, universal god. The pastor is part of this community, so cannot act by “decree.”31 This is a gnostic denial of the divinely-given authority of the Church.
But believing one is the physical Body of Christ is very important to feminists. Another American religious feminist, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, has said that because women’s physical bodies constitute the Body of Christ and are the Church, then denying women autonomous control over their bodies (as regards contraception, abortion, and immorality), is a “violent,” “sacrilegious act.”32
However, the rights they demand will plunge them into mortal sin, and for anyone to receive Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin is the worst sacrilege that can be committed. St. Cyril explains, “They who make a sacrilegious Communion receive Satan and Jesus Christ into their hearts Satan, that they may let him rule, and Jesus Christ, that they may offer Him in sacrifice as a Victim to Satan.”33 So serious is this sacrilege that the Catechism of the Council of Trent called it a crime, saying, “For no crime is there heavier punishment to be feared from God than for the unholy or irreligious use by the faithful of that which ... contains the very Author and Source of holiness.”34 This crime is far worse than abortion. Yet Communion is commonly received by most Catholics at a time when immorality is rampant and confessionals are deserted.
It is precisely for the crime of sacrilegious Communions that the Angel of Fatima impressed upon the three little children the need for reparation. Recall his words: “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes.”
And remember, Our Lady said at Quito, Ecuador, that “the precious light of the Faith will go out in souls because of the almost total moral corruption.” The darkness of our times, and the loss of Faith, is surely a punishment from God for the crime of untold billions of sacrilegious Communions which have resulted from today’s heresies and almost total moral corruption. The outrages are multiplied at the huge public Masses held nowadays, including at World Youth Day, and are worsened even further by the non-Catholics who receive Communion at them.
The solution for our times is the Blessed Virgin Mary, conqueror of all heresies. If obeyed, She will restore the way to holiness the way to please God by restoring the light, because She is the Woman clothed with the sun. The Ven. Mary of Agreda says this shows Our Lady is always in the light, as the Sun of Justice is Jesus, with His light of grace.35 Both Protestantism and feminism deny Our Lady and it is these heresies which are shaking the Church at her very foundations.
Our Blessed Mother cannot be separated from Jesus Christ, Her Son. Their two hearts are so united that St. John Eudes treated them as one Heart. St. Peter Julian Eymard said Jesus and Mary “are never separated,” so “Mary is the bond that unites us to Jesus.” So we must follow and love Her. Mary, our supreme model of holiness, constantly meditated on Jesus’ divine words, which were to Her light, truth and life. Souls who are in darkness and fall into grievous error are souls who do not consult Jesus like Mary, the Seat of Wisdom, did.36
As I have briefly shown, refusal to worship Jesus with the honor and glory due to Him has resulted in a major attack on the priesthood and on the very nature of the Church. It is Mary who shows us how to adore Jesus and how to assist at Mass. She helps to make our worship holy, i.e., pleasing to God. St. Peter Julian Eymard said She “was the first and most perfect adorer of Jesus on earth; She gave Him more honor and more glory by Her adorations than all the angels and saints ever will.”37
At Mass, She would re-live the crucifixion of Jesus and shed abundant tears not merely at the thought of His sufferings, but also “at the sight of men who set no value on this august Sacrifice” and “of those who dared offend and despise this adorable Victim offered under their very eyes and for their own salvation. Mary would have willingly suffered a thousand deaths to make amends for so many outrages, for the guilty wretches were Her children, those Jesus had entrusted to Her.”38 She carried out “a perpetual mission of prayer and penance” in the presence of the Most Holy Eucharist. Besides pleading for the salvation of the world and the needs of the faithful of every age and place, She also prayed continually for the success of the labours of the Apostles and of all priests. “We need not then be surprised,” said St. Peter Julian Eymard, “if these first labourers of the Gospel so easily converted entire kingdoms.”39
At Fatima, Our Lady told the children, “Pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, ... because only She can help you.”40 She also told them to pray and sacrifice themselves for sinners, “for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.”41 The Angel of Portugal had also asked for constant prayer and sacrifices. He said, “Make of everything a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.... Above all, accept and bear with submission, the suffering which the Lord will send you.”42 And at Quito Mary said, “Pray constantly, cry out unwearingly and weep unceasingly with bitter tears in the depths of your heart” to Our Father in Heaven to “put an end to such fatal times.”
And they will end. Our Lady of Fatima told us that when Her requests are fulfilled, Her Immaculate Heart will triumph and a period of peace will be granted to the world. This will include peace in the Church as heresy and blasphemous worship will be vanquished. Her words at Quito were very similar: After the dark night in which “wickedness will seem triumphant,” “[t]hen will come My time: in astounding fashion I shall destroy Satan’s pride, casting him beneath My feet, chaining him up in the depths of hell, leaving Church and country freed at last from his cruel tyranny.”
St. Louis de Montfort remarked, “… it is an infallible mark of predestination to be entirely devoted” to the Blessed Virgin. He said it is through Mary, Mediatrix of all Graces, that Jesus distributes His treasury of graces and His light.43 Only in following Her can we be sure of being on the right road, the road which “has pleased God,”44 the road of holiness.
At Fatima She gave us the precise way in which to follow Her; which is why it is so vital to spread Her message for the return to holiness and the salvation of souls.
- Cf. explanation in Haydock's Catholic Family Bible and Commentary (New York: Edward Dunigan and Brother, 1859; reprint ed., Monrovia, California: Catholic Treasures, 1991).
- "Apparition of Our Lady of Good Fortune in Quito, Ecuador, 1634,@ Catholic Family News, October 1998, p. 3.
- Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words: Sister Lucy’s Memoirs, ed. Fr. Louis Kondor, SVD, trans. Dominican Nuns of Perpetual Rosary (Fatima: Postulation Centre, 1976), pp. 64-65 (emphasis added). Of the two editions with the same publication date the one used herein is the book without photographs.
- “Dancing and the Liturgy,” Notitiae, June-July 1975, p. 202: “Therefore, one cannot introduce in liturgical celebrations something like that: it would be like introducing in the liturgy one of the most desecralized and desecralizing elements: and this would be the same as creating an atmosphere of profanity, which would easily evoke in the people present and in those taking part in the celebration, mundane places and situations.” (Translated from the Italian.)
- J. Grant Swank, Jr., “Focusing on Worship,” Eucharistic Minister (Kansas City, Missouri), October 1999, p. 8.
- Encyclical letter “Christian Worship”, Mediator Dei, 20 November 1947, secs. 66, 68. (Emphasis added.)
- Father Michael Kwatera, OSB, The Ministry of Communion (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1983), pp. 20, 24, 32-35.
- The parallels of this thinking with the Agreat onslaught@ made by the first Protestants upon the Mass can be seen in this description of the latter, written before Vatican II: “Although the Mass was not singled out as a thing to be destroyed from the first, it was soon seen that there was no room for it in Protestantism, and that, if the religious revolt were to make headway and have any logical justification at all, the sacrifice of the Mass must be utterly abolished.... So the Real Presence and Transubstantiation had to go, and the Eucharist had to lose altogether its sacrificial character and be retained simply as a memorial of the Last Supper....” See Father B. V. Miller, AThe Eucharistic Sacrifice,@ in Canon George D. Smith, ed., The Teaching of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed. (London: Burns and Oates, 1952), p. 893.
These errors were condemned by the Council of Trent: AIf anyone says that in the Mass a true ... sacrifice is not offered to God, or that the act of offering is nothing else than Christ being given to us to eat; if anyone says that the sacrifice ... is a mere commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the Cross, but not one of propitiation [or petition] ... let him be anathema.@ See Henry Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, 30th ed., trans. Roy J. Deferrari (St. Louis, Missouri: B. Herder Book Co., 1957), nn. 948, 950.
- The Precious Blood and Family Prayer (Pembroke, Ontario.: Precious Blood Monastery, n.d.), pp. 28-29; cf. the “Indulgenced Prayer Before Mass,” found in traditional missals.
- Father Sylvester Juergens, SM, The New Marian Missal for Daily Mass (Mechlin, Belgium: 1959), p. 609.
- Father Stefano Manelli, OFM Conv., Jesus Our Eucharistic Love (Niagara Falls, New York: St. Monica Publishing, n.d.), pp. 28-30.
- Father Kwatera, pp. 13, 19, 31, 35.
- John Vennari, “Communion in the Hand Why?”, Catholic Family News, March 1998, p. 7.
- Cited in Cornelia R. Ferreira, The Emerging Feminist Religion (Toronto: Life Ethics Center, 1989), pp. 4-5.(Emphases added.)
- Ibid., p. 5. (Emphasis added).
- The Latin Mass, Spring 1998, p. 14.
- Father Kwatera, p. 19; cf. Pat Marrin, “Servants Worthy of the Name,” Eucharistic Minister, p. 1.
- Condemned by the Council of Trent (Denzinger, nn. 960, 966-67); and by Pope Pius VI in 1794 (ibid., n. 1502).
- Marrin, ibid. The “commissioning” of the priest by the community is symbolized by the routine processing of the priest from the back of the church to the sanctuary before Mass “as if he were in some way coming from the people”; and his processing to the back after Mass “as if he were returning to the people.” Formerly, his place was only in the sanctuary, which he entered and exited from the sacristy, to signify he had been chosen by God and set apart from the people as the Lord’s anointed; and the Communion rail delineated that separation.. Cf. Father Frederick Heuser, “Restoration of the Priesthood, Homiletic & Pastoral Review, January 1995, p. 7.
- Denzinger, nn. 960, 966-67; cf. Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 4th ed., ed. Canon James Bastible, trans. Patrick Lynch (Cork, Ireland: The Mercier Press, Ltd., 1960; reprint ed., Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, 1974), p. 276.
- Sec. 87. (Emphasis added.)
- The 1999 Call to Action Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, termed an Aexperiment in the inclusive and collegial church envisioned by Vatican II.@ See Jim Loney, AA Church Called to Action,@ Catholic New Times (Toronto), 28 November 1999, p. 10.
- Father Kwatera, pp. 37-38, 45.
- Ott, p. 417; Father John F. Clarkson, SJ, et al., The Church Teaches (n.p.: B. Herder Book Co., 1955; reprint ed., Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, 1973), pp. 302-304.
- Denzinger, nn. 902, 920; cf. Ott, p. 439.
- Cans. 1378 (§2, §3), 1381 (§1), 1384. Only clergy with the proper faculties may hear confessions: cf. Cans. 965 ff.
- Sec. 46. 29
- "Liturgy >99 The Real Absence," The Catholic Advocate (Jacksonville, Florida), February 1999, p. 1.
- Father Kwatera, p. 18.
- Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins (New York: Crossroad, 1983), pp. 350-51.
- Cited in Fr. Manelli, p. 44.
- These words are found in the opening sentence on the Sacrament of the Eucharist in The Catechism of the Council of Trent (trans. Father John A. McHugh, OP, and Father Charles J. Callan, OP [Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, 1982], p. 213).
- Ven. Mary of Agreda, City of God, trans. Fiscar Marison, 4 vols. ([Santa Fe, New Mexico: n.p., 1949]; reprint ed., Washington, New Jersey: AMI Press, 1996). Cf. vol. 1: The Conception, p. 97. Mary of Agreda adds that the moon beneath Our Lady’s feet is the symbol of the darkness of sin.
- Cf. St. Peter Julian Eymard, Eucharistic Retreats, trans. Clara Morris Rumball (New York: Blessed Sacrament Fathers, 1947), pp. 23, 26-27.
- Id., Eucharistic Handbook (New York: Blessed Sacrament Fathers, 1948), p. 116.
- Ibid., pp. 129-30.
- Ibid., p. 132.
- Cf. Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, p. 165. (Emphasis added.)
- Ibid., p. 171.
- Ibid., p. 156.
- Cf. St. Louis De Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, trans. Father Frederick Faber (n.p.: The Fathers of the Company of Mary, 1941; reprint ed., Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, 1985), pp. 14-15, 17, 23.
- Cf. Fr. Manelli, p. 30, and 1 Cor. 1:21.