Sunday, January 31, 2010

The “memorare” prayer is a bridge that crosses every abyss

The “memorare” is a prayer that was composed by Saint Bernard to Our Lady.  In the 16th century, the “memorare” was spread by Father Claude Bernard.

The Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.


The “memorare” is a beautiful prayer in which each word is full of meaning.

“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary” – what does “most gracious” mean?

Most gracious is the superlative of gracious. In this context, gracious means someone who is very compassionate.

Therefore, we could say, “Remember O most compassionate Virgin Mary.” In other words, someone who is compassionate, who forgives much.

“... never was it known ...”. Take note of the words “never was it known”. “Never” means not at any time or place in the entire world.

“...that anyone who fled to thy protection...” – meaning anyone who has asked Thee to protect them.

“ ... implored thy help ...” – meaning to ask Thee to watch over them, to look after them, to keep them safe.

“...or sought thine intercession....”,-- the meaning is evident.

“... was left unaided...” – this is a beautiful proclamation.

Never in any era has the Virgin Mary abandoned those who ask Her for help. There is not one case in any circumstance where someone was left unaided. Never.

So, the same goes for us if we have the misfortune to sin. Even worse – this goes also for those who have the misfortune to fall into a vice, or into some immoral attitude that becomes habitual.

Don’t give up. Pray and ask. Pray and ask. Pray and ask. Because Our Lady will end up having pity on the person.

“...Inspired by this confidence ...” – in other words, inspired by this reason.

“…I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother…” – which means Thou who are more a virgin than all the virgins, the holy Virgin of virgins.

“... my Mother...” – as if to say, “Thou are incomparable, and as my Mother I go to Thee and count on Thee.”

In other words, “Thou art my Mother, Thou art the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, but Thou are the Mother of all men. And because Thou art the mother of all men, Thou art my Mother too. I may be the last of men, but Thou art the highest and most elevated of Mothers.”

And Thy compassion is worth more than my sins. If my sins are an abyss, Thy compassion is a mountain that is far larger than my abyss.

“…to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful…” -- so the person saying the prayer is a sinner who is groaning. He sinned so much that he groans under the weight of his sins, but he throws himself at Our Lady’s feet.

“…O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions…” -- which means, “Mother, Thou who are the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate, do not despise my petitions.”

So, I acknowledge that my petitions may be despised because in themselves they are nothing. But, do not despise them because I am Thy son. And a son may ask this of his mother.

The heart of a mother is always ready to listen, forgive, love, etc. This is especially true of Our Lady, the Mother of mothers, the perfection of perfections.


“...but in thy mercy hear…” “In thy mercy hear,” means to listen with favor, good will, good disposition.

“...and answer me. Amen.”-- and give me what I am asking of thee.

It could be remedy for a fault, the breaking of a vice, the acquiring of a virtue, etc., etc.

Considering everything the Church has taught about Our Lady, we have every reason to believe that She will end up granting our request. And so we ask Her with great ardor and insistence.

There’s a very beautiful and pious Latin liturgical song that refers to Our Lady as the Mountain of all virtue (Maria mons). She is the fountain of all virtue (Maria fons). And finally, She is the bridge that crosses all abysses (Maria pons).

In other words, we say to Our Lady:

“When I pray to Thee, O Lady, I think of all Thy virtues and of all my defects.

“But never, never, never, does Thou turn away from a son who begs Thy help. I ask Thy help with insistence; have pity on me and rip me away from my sins.”

Our request will be granted!

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira


Photo of footpath bridge in the mountains above Vallorcine, France taken by Klaus.  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

Our Lady, Undoer of Knots – Now that’s what we need these days…

What is the origin of this devotion?

It started in 1700, with the anonymous painting of Our Lady Undoer of Knots, venerated in the Church of St. Peter in Perlack, Germany, and is especially popular in Brazil. 

It is based on a meditation of Saint Irenaeus about the parallel made by Saint Paul between Adam and Christ.  Saint Irenaeus adapted this meditation and applied it to Eve and Mary, saying:

“Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it”.

Who should pray this novena?

All who have complicated troubles for which they do not see any solution… knots in our families, in our souls, in our Church, in our society.

Above all, for those who have knots in their lives that oppress the soul, discourage the practice of virtue, and kill the heart’s joy and separate us from God.

Saint Louis de Montfort says that what “Eve ruined and lost by disobedience Mary saved by obedience.  By obeying the serpent, Eve ruined her children as well as herself and delivered them up to him.  Mary by her perfect fidelity to God saved her children with herself and consecrated them to his divine majesty.”

He adds that “the humble Mary will always triumph over Satan, the proud one, and so great will be her victory that she will crush his head, the very seat of his pride.  She will unmask his serpent's cunning and expose his wicked plots.  She will scatter to the winds his devilish plans and to the end of time will keep her faithful servants safe from his cruel claws.

Finally, he says:

“Mary's power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him.”

With the absolute certainty in Our Lady’s power to undo the knots in our lives caused by the devil, the world and the flesh, let’s pray this amazing prayer to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots.

Prayer to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots

Holy Mary, who unties the seven knots, full of the presence of God during your life you accepted with great humility the Holy Will of the Father and the legacy of your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Evil never dared to entangle you.

Together with your Son, you interceded for our difficulties, and with simplicity and patience, you have taught us how to undo the knots that entangled our lives. By being our Mother, you smooth and make clear the ties that unite us to Our Lord.

Cover us with your protective mantle and permit us to experience, in your loving and maternal protection:  Peace, Harmony, and Purity.

Our Father
Hail Mary


1st Knot:
In our temptation: Protect us

2nd Knot:
In our sin: Deliver us

3td Knot:
In our distress: Succor us

4th Knot:
In our sorrow: Comfort us

5th Knot:
In our fear: Encourage us

6th Knot:
In our illness: Relieve us

7th Knot
In our weakness: Strengthen us

Holy Mary, Mother of God and ours, with your maternal heart undo the knots that entangle our lives. We ask you to receive in your hands ( mention who or prayer request ) and liberate us from these entanglements. 

Blessed Virgin Mary, through your grace, your intercession, and your example, deliver us from evil and untie the knots that obstruct our unity with God, so that we may find Him in all things, have Him in our hearts, and serve Him always.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Our band and America Needs Fatima statue and banner at the March for Life

Virulent Pro-Abortion Candidate Widely Supported by Catholics in Rome’s Provincial Election

by Hilary White

ROME, January 29, 2010 ( – Political and Vatican watchers in Italy are expecting an interesting fight for the governor’s seat of the province of Lazio, the province of Rome and the Papacy, as a virulently anti-Catholic, hard-left candidate takes centre stage. Senator Emma Bonino is the darling of the far-left feminist movement and a leading member of the anti-clerical Radical Party in Italy. But despite her positions supporting abortion, contraception and divorce, Bonino counts among her supporters many in the Italian Catholic leadership and laity.

In 1975 Bonino founded the Information Centre on Sterilization and Abortion and was first elected to the Italian Parliament in 1976. As a Deputy, Bonino promoted the referendum that led to the legalization of abortion in Italy.

Bonino’s main focus as a parliamentarian and a Member of the European Parliament has been to champion a variety of “libertarian” issues, including relaxation of abortion and divorce laws, support for euthanasia and the legalization of drugs. Her run for the governorship of Lazio is being supported by a coalition of leftist parties in the wake of the collapse of the Communist Party of Italy and its apparent inability to re-group.

Despite Bonino’s being a major player in the abortion movement, Sandro Magister, Italy’s leading Vatican-watch journalist wrote today that “many of the Catholic clergy and laity” support Bonino, “and the hierarchy is giving her free rein.” Two prominent members of the leftist Partito Democratico, Franco Marini and Maria Pia Garavaglia, welcomed Bonino’s candidacy, saying she will be “capable on issues and initiatives that are at the heart of Catholic voters.”

Quoting an article that appeared in the Italian Bishops’ newspaper, Avvenire, Magister wrote that some believe a Bonino win in Lazio would constitute the “ultimate hypocrisy.” Bonino, he said, has promised to work “with and for Catholics,” while having spent her entire life fighting against the Church.

The newspaper il Foglio canvassed priests and laity in Lazio and found widespread support for Bonino among Catholic voters. Il Foglio noted that the “grassroots Church is with Emma.” Their survey in Viterbo, they said, found that Catholic opinion “firmly, sometimes fervently, [lies] in favor of the pro-abortion, pro-divorce, pro-euthanasia candidate, who has called the embryo 'an inert lump'.” Objections, they said, are “rare, and timid.”

Lazio’s regional elections are to be held in two months’ time.

In related news, the head of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) said this week that political reforms are an “urgent objective” and urged politicians to put aside “individual political calculations.” Angelo Cardinal Bagnasco said at a meeting of the Permanent Council of CEI that he has a “dream” of a new generation of Catholic politicians whose consciences would be formed according to Catholic teaching. The current system, he said, “results only in mutual denigration.”

“I would like this session [of the CEI] to contribute to the emergence of a new generation of Italians and of Catholics who, while being part of the struggle of today's culture and equipping themselves to inhabit it sensibly, feel that the republic is something important and exalted, since it is capable of marking the destiny of all, and who for its sake are willing to give the best of their thoughts, their plans, their days. Italians and believers who feel their responsibility before God as decisive in political activity.”

Bagnasco called for a "sustainable disarmament of factions and groups” in the political world and a refocusing of energies on working for the common good. The Italian bishops, he said, have highlighted the need to overcome “any separation between faith and life.”

Italy must “raise responsible citizens who can bear the difficult process of social and economic integration, as well as the themes of life and family, which are now especially jeopardized by recurrent anthropological deviations.”

He particularly warned against efforts to begin marketing the deadly abortion drug RU 486 that he said “is likely to introduce a practice of further trivializing the protection of human life.” He asked Parliament and the Ministry of Health and the Regions to “circumscribe as much as possible” the spread of the drug which has been approved for sale by the Italian Drug Agency, the AIFA.

St. Francis de Sales explains why the children of darkness persecute the children of light

As soon as worldly people see that you wish to follow a devout life they aim a thousand darts of mockery and even detraction at you. The most malicious of them will slander your conversion as hypocrisy, bigotry, and trickery.

                         File:Franz von Sales.jpg

They will say that the world has turned against you and being rebuffed by it you have turned to God.  Your friends will raise a host of objections which they consider very prudent and charitable.

They will tell you that you will become depressed, lose your reputation in the world, be unbearable, and grow old before your time, and that your affairs at home will suffer. You must live in the world like one in the world. They will say that you can save your soul without going to such extremes, and a thousand similar trivialities.

Philothea, all this is mere foolish, empty babbling. These people aren't interested in your health or welfare.

"If you were of the world, the world would love what is its own but because you are not of the world, therefore the world hates you," says the Savior.

We have seen gentlemen and ladies spend the whole night, even many nights one after another, playing chess or cards. Is there any concentration more absurd, gloomy, or depressing than this last?

Yet worldly people don't say a word and the players' friends don't bother their heads about it.  If we spend an hour in meditation or get up a little earlier than usual in the morning to prepare for Holy Communion, everyone runs for a doctor to cure us of hypochondria and jaundice.

People can pass thirty nights in dancing and no one complains about it, but if they watch through a single Christmas night they cough and claim their stomach is upset the next morning.

Does anyone fail to see that the world is an unjust judge, gracious and well disposed to its own children but harsh and rigorous towards the children of God?

Burning words of zeal from Saint Louis de Montfort

Only a pagan or a bad Christian could fail to be affected at the immense loss of the infinite treasure of souls which Jesus Christ redeemed.


So pray for that intention, my dear friends, and pray also for me, that my sinfulness and unworthiness do not hinder what God and his holy Mother wish to accomplish through my ministry. I am seeking divine Wisdom; help me to find it. I am faced with many enemies.

All those who love and esteem transitory and perishable things of this world treat me with contempt, mock and persecute me, and the powers of evil have conspired together to incite against me everywhere all those in authority. Surrounded by all this I am very weak, even weakness personified; I am ignorant, even ignorance personified; and even worse besides which I do not dare to speak of.

Alone and poor (cf Ps 24.16) as I am, I would certainly perish were I not supported by our Lady and the prayers of good people, especially your own. These are obtaining for me from God the gift of speech or divine Wisdom, which will be the remedy for all my ills and a powerful weapon against all my enemies. With Mary it is easy. I place all confidence in her, despite the snarls of the devil and the world, and I say with St. Bernard, "In her I have placed unbounded confidence; she is the whole reason for my hope."

Have these words explained to you for I would not have dared to propose them on my own authority.

Through Mary I will seek and find Jesus; I will crush the serpent's head and overcome all my enemies as well as myself, for the greater glory of God.

Farewell but not goodbye, for if God spares me, I shall pass this way again, either to stay for a short while, subject to the obedience I owe to your good bishop who is so zealous for the salvation of men and so compassionate to us in our weakness, or while on my way to some other place; for since God is my Father, wherever he is offended by sinners, there is my dwelling-place.

"Let those who do good go on doing good. Let the unclean continue to be unclean (Rev 22.11).  For some the smell of death leads to death,  For others the sweet smell of life leads to life" (2 Cor 2.16).

I am all yours, Louis Marie de Montfort, Priest and unworthy slave of Jesus in Mary.

Saint Louis de Montfort to the people of Montbernage

Friday, January 29, 2010

Our band at the March for Life

The saint who trapped & trashed Satan


Here’s an excerpt on Saint Leutfridus, taken from the book: Physiognomy of the Saints, by Ernesto Hello.

Extraordinarily holy, but little known, Saint Leutfridus is an example for our mediocre days.

He was born of a good family in seventh century Neustria (present-day France). He left his family to become a Benedictine priest. After a great struggle, he founded the Abbey of the Holy Cross. He was gifted with prophesy and the ability to work miracles and was extremely severe.

One day a lady began to ridicule Saint Leutfridus for being bald. The saint replied: “Why do you poke fun at my natural defect? From now on, you will have no more hair on your head than I have on my forehead, and neither will your descendents.”

Coming across a man working in a field one Sunday, Saint Leutfridus raised his eyes to Heaven and prayed: “Lord, make this land eternally sterile.” From then on, neither grain nor wheat was ever seen in the field again. In its place, there were only thorns and thistles.

These are magnificent stories!

Saint Leutfridus had an abundant zeal for justice, but was even more ardently merciful.

This principle is important. Saint Leutfridus was both just and merciful. These two virtues must go hand in hand.

Saint Leutfridus was even ardently charitable while angry and when reprimanding…these were parallel lines of his life.

When one of his monks died, his brothers found three coins in his pocket. This showed that the deceased had violated his vow of poverty. Upon learning this, Saint Leutfridus ordered that his body be buried in profane ground.

Afterwards, he made a 40-day retreat, praying and weeping for the soul of this monk, who seemed lost.

Those whose piety is merely sentimental would not understand this. Confronted by this situation, they would pray: “Oh, poor man, grant him pardon,” and consider him saved. On the contrary, Saint Leutfridus ordered him to be buried in profane ground and then made a retreat, begging for the monk’s salvation. Our Lord, Himself, possessed this combination of sternness and mercy.

After these days of retreat, the Lord revealed to Saint Leutfridus that His mercy had saved the monk’s soul, even though His justice was prepared to condemn him.

During the interim between death and salvation, the monk was in a type of limbo. Then Saint Leutfridus made a retreat, did penance and the man was saved.

Someone could wonder how this was possible since the man was already dead and judgment takes place immediately when the soul separates from the body.

It is hard to say, but we cannot put limits on God’s mercy. Perhaps He left the monk’s soul fused to his body, waiting for the sacrifice of Saint Leutfridus.  In any case, this story clashes with the liberal idea that the monk would be automatically saved.

Saint Leutfridus was tremendously wrathful against the devil.

Often, people react to temptations by becoming afraid of the devil, but I have seen very few who react with holy hatred and furiously fight against him.  We should all strive to attain this holy wrath.

When Satan approaches, we should be filled with anger and hatred, because the devil is the declared enemy of God and our souls.  He wishes us every form of evil.  Thus, when we are tempted, we should react with militant execration, like Saint Michael did.

Once, a friar called Saint Leutfridus from his cell to tell him that the devil was appearing in the chapel.  Recognizing his old enemy, the saint ran to the Chapel and made the sign of the cross over the doors and windows, which closed, blocking all the exits.

Wisely, he captured the devil first, so that he could not get away.

Advancing towards the devil, the saint furiously beat him. The devil wanted to flee, but all the exits were blocked. Normally, he could have instantly left the body he had taken up, but apparently he had not permission to do so. God wanted to humiliate him further under Saint Leutfridus’ blows.

This is a splendid scene. The beating was physically given and spiritually felt, all under the Sign of the Cross. Just as the wicked souls are burned by Hell’s material fire, so too the devil’s soul was made to feel the saint’s blows.

Saint Leutfridus beat the body that was merely a doll of the devil.

Naturally, these blows tormented and humiliated the devil. We too can increase his torment. This is particularly excellent when Satan provokes an attack. Then, the counter-attack gives glory to Our Lady by showing that her children’s hatred of the devil is greater than his hatred of men.

God obliged the devil to flee by way of the belfry, so that he would feel his defeat more sensibly.

The devil was forced to flee by way of the tower, under the continued blows of Saint Leutfridus. We would love to have seen the saint deliver the final blow!

We can imagine the scene: Saint Leutfridus is an old man with white hair and a white beard, but still fit and possessing chestnut eyes. He is very strong and beats the devil with utter hatred, yet maintains perfect serenity. All the while, the devil’s doll, moaning and writhing, retreats from sight, by way of the belfry.

Since we only fight and struggle as far as our anger propels us, just wrath is important. We should strive to develop a holy wrath against the devil that is always vigilant and never sleeps.

Just as a mother with a very sick child sleeps with a wakeful heart, we too should sleep with our hearts in a state of continual vigilance. We should be able to proclaim that even while asleep, we remain a living torch of hatred against the devil.

Thus, we will be able to say: “I sleep, but my heart looks in hope for an occasion to give greater glory the Blessed Virgin.”










The following text is an excerpt from a lecture given by Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira on June 20, 1967.  It has been translated and adapted for publishing without the author’s revision. –Ed.

Finding the Real Soul of the Apostolate

The scandals in the Church have many people looking for positive solutions to the multifaceted problems which beset the Bride of Christ, not realizing that the true solution will only come from Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, His life within us and fidelity to His teachings.

The Soul of the Apostolate is a book, which not only shows how this is possible, but the way it is to be accomplished.


No commentary on this book would be complete without a word about its author.

Jean-Baptiste Chautard was born in the French Alps on March 12, 1858. His father was a nominal Catholic who ran a little bookstore, but his mother made sure that their children were educated in the Catholic faith. Jean Baptiste eventually went on to study economics at the University of Marseilles where he had an experience which would change his life forever.

While walking across the campus one day Jean Baptiste happened upon a priest praying his breviary. This priest was unaware of the impression he was making on the economics student. "His bearing, full of respect and religion, was a revelation to me," said Dom Chautard, "and produced in me an urgent need to pray from then on, and to pray in the way this priest was praying. The Church appeared, concretized, so to speak, in this worthy minister, in communion with his God."

This incident led Jean Baptiste to change his life and become a man of prayer. Such is the impact of a man who truly practices the interior life. Only then can the person say with Saint Paul, "I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me."

Later he joined a Catholic club on campus founded by the saintly Father Jean-Joseph Allemand. It was in this association that he found the supernatural brand of Catholic Action which solidified him in the path towards a greater union with God. One day while in prayer at the tomb of Father Allemand, he received his calling to the priesthood and in 1877 entered the Trappist Abbey of Aiguebelle, north of Avignon.

Jean Baptiste did not enjoy the contemplative life of a monk for long. Shortly after being made deacon, his superior sent him on a very important mission to Paris to save the community from financial ruin. His eloquence and knowledge of economics proved useless in this undertaking. He was forced to have recourse to a nearby shrine where he threw himself at the feet of Our Lady of Victories. Thirty minutes later, he emerged from the shrine to be greeted by a total stranger. "Are you a Trappist?" the man asked. "Can I be of any assistance to you?" The rest of the story can be guessed. Aiguebelle was saved and Jean Baptiste learned another valuable lesson he would later utilize in forming his unique spirituality.

He was eventually ordained and became "Dom" or Abbot Chautard of the motherhouse of one of the most important abbeys of the Trappist Order, Sept-Fons.

In the first decade of the 1900's he was faced with another great challenge. The Church in France was attacked by the French Government, this time under Georges Clemenceau, who because of his hatred for Church, closed down many religious orders in France. Abbot Chautard however faced Clemenceau and his enemies with such fearlessness that the order was spared.

Reflecting on the persecutions against the Church at that time, Dom Chautard noticed a big mistake among Catholic leaders of the time. They were fighting against the enemies of the Church by using worldly and political weapons: newspapers, magazines and conventions. The growth of the Church was measured by the amount of new buildings being built and the amount of money in the coffers. While these material means are helpful and even necessary these Catholics failed to realize that God's Church is above all built of living stones not just mortar and brick. Success was measured in very materialistic terms when what the Church really needed were saints. But saints are made only by the grace of God.

In 1907, Dom Chautard published a little pamphlet titled "The Apostolate of Catechism and the Interior Life." He pointed out that the most important ingredient for the rebirth of zeal in a country where the Church is being persecuted is the preaching of the fundamentals of the Faith by people imbued with the interior life. The arguments in this little treatise formed the cornerstone for The Soul of the Apostolate.

The book is quite simple, containing very profound yet long forgotten truths. Its fundamental goal is to convince the reader that "we must never leave the God of works for the works of God and that Saint Paul's: 'Woe unto me if I preach not the Gospel', does not entitle us to forget: 'What does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?'"

Through scripture passages and the lives of the saints, Dom Chautard shows that interior life is neither lazy nor selfish.

With an abundance of scripture quotes and examples from lives of the saints, Dom Chautard shows how it is possible to preach the Gospel and save one's own soul, by becoming real men of interior life. He gives powerful arguments to back up this point and proves how interior life is not lazy, selfish or detrimental to a truly fruitful apostolate done for the salvation of souls.

To understand the effectiveness of interior life, consider the fact that, "a single burning prayer of the seraphic Saint Theresa (as learned through a highly creditable revelation) converted ten thousand heretics." Without leaving her convent, she did that which "activistic heretics," even the most eloquent ones, could never do.

A bishop of Cochin-China once said to the Governor of Saigon: "Ten Carmelite nuns praying will be of greater help to me than twenty missionaries preaching."

The bottom line is there must be a harmony between the active life and the interior life. Saint Bernard explains this balance using the very interesting metaphor of the reservoir and the channel. "The channels let the water flow away, and do not retain a drop. But the reservoir is first filled, and then without emptying itself, pours out its overflow, which is ever renewed. We have many channels in the Church today," Saint Bernard added sadly, "but very few reservoirs."

The devil however knows the value of interior life and will often grant the apostle "a purely superficial success" if he can only prevent him from making true progress in the interior life. Dom Chautard calls these "successes" sapphires then wisely points out that the devil will gladly trade a few sapphires of the active life for the diamond of interior life.

The interior life is very well defined as "the state of activity of a soul which strives against its natural inclinations in order to REGULATE them, and endeavors to acquire the HABIT of judging and directing its movements IN ALL THINGS according to the light of the Gospel and the example of Our Lord."

Such seriousness about spiritual matters would be impossible without something Dom Chautard calls "custody of the heart." - the "habitual or at least frequent anxiety to preserve all my acts, as they arise, from everything that might spoil their motive or their execution."

To keep such a strict custody over the heart and therefore practice a solid interior life, one must absolutely avoid letting the agitation of daily life disquiet the soul and lead to dissipation. That is why Dom Chautard gives so much importance to rising, when possible, at the same time every morning, and beginning the day with morning mental prayer.

He who faces the day by hitting the floor running, really does not believe in his fundamental contingency on God. Dom Chautard rebukes such people saying, "To hear these mighty men of works talking about their exploits, one might imagine that God Almighty, to Whom it is child's play to create worlds, and before Whom the universe is dust and nothingness, cannot get along without their cooperation."

Such is the importance of morning mental prayer for those who want to attain a vibrant interior life that St. Theresa of Avila said that, "he who practices mental prayer has traveled half the journey. However he who does not practice at least fifteen minutes of mental prayer a day is an animal."

This may seem like "pie-in-the-sky" considerations for all those who look upon the present situation in the world and Church and yearn for action. They see prayer and contemplation as a waste of good time.

This is not true. The power of the interior life is impressive. Is it not true that tepid souls suddenly become fervent? The mysterious wind of supernatural life fills the sails of their souls once again and no one seems able to explain what caused such a transformation. Likewise, no one could explain how Jean Baptiste, the economics major, became a priest and later abbot of the most important abbey of the Trappist order, facing and overcoming the obstinate Clemeceau along the way.

One cannot logically explain how such a transformation could take place except with the doctrine so admirably laid out in his book The Soul of the Apostolate.

Such spiritual change is open to all men, even those most weighed down by the trials and tribulations of the modern world. Dom Chautard affirms this truth when he says, "No matter what my condition may be, if I am only willing to pray and become faithful to grace, Jesus offers me every means of returning to an inner life which will restore to me that intimacy with Him."

Oh, with what sweetness does he illustrate how the words of Isaias will be fulfilled in those who acquire such intimacy. "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall speedily arise, and thy justice shall go before thy face, and the glory of the Lord shall gather thee up. Thou shalt call, and the Lord shall hear, thou shalt cry and He shall say: 'Here I am.' And the Lord will give thee rest continually, and will fill thy soul with brightness and will deliver thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a fountain of water whose waters do not fail."

Where culture, values and politics meet

by Richard Lyon


Mr. Collin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, Inc.

As has been the tradition for a number of years, the TFP Washington Bureau hosted a soirée the day after the March for Life at our bureau in McLean, Virginia.

Upon arrival, guests were welcomed with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, during which they became acquainted with our guests of honor: Prince Bertrand of Orleans and Braganza; King Kighela (of Rwanda), and Mr. & Mrs. Morton Blackwell.

Also present were representatives from a few European associations who were in town for the March for Life: Droit de Naitre (Right to be Born) from France, and Voglio Vivere (I Want to Live) and Lepanto, both from Italy.

The centerpiece of that Saturday evening (January 23), was a succinct lecture by Mr. Collin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, Inc., titled “The Nexus between Culture and Politics in the


Guests discuss the meeting over cocktails.

Current Situation of the United States.” Mr. Hanna opened by observing that, as human beings, we are both rational and emotional, and to favor one to the exclusion of the other is a fundamental flaw. In contrast, he noted that truths characterized by the confluence of both may be defined as values, and the principal purpose of governments and politics is to promote values.

Mr. Hanna made other insightful reflections: that the United States is a secular nation founded on Christian principles (values); that there exists a hierarchy within our founding principles of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and—as George Mason formulated it in the Virginia Declaration of Rights—property.

To grasp the nexus between culture and politics, Mr. Hanna exemplified with marriage, “the only sacrament that is also licensed by the state.” Why? Because “the state does have a legitimate interest in marriage”: that of having a stable society. As marriage is largely about raising children, it is “not appropriate for the state to redefine marriage so that same sex partners enjoy the same benefits” as married couples.

After closing his remarks by explicitly drawing the parallel between these values and Tradition, Family and Property, Mr. Hanna took a few questions, after which dessert was served, with guests still mingling and chatting late into night.

From the email:

After reading A Challenge to Our Lady of Fatima and learning how Portugal has legalized both abortion and now homosexual “marriage” with virtually no opposition from the Church, it seems that Modernism is alive and well in Portugal.

How does one square that with Our Lady's promise that "In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc."?


New comment on your post "300,000: All Present and Marching Against Abortion...":

Heaven Help Father Jenkins.
Free ND88


New comment on your post "A Shocking Challenge to Our Lady of Fatima":

WOW that is bad - and sad!

(I guess the family is being attacked everywhere in ways least expected... - we have a PRIEST in our country who says that divorce is ok by Jesus. - the bishop has corrected him but it doesn't change his views nor stop him...)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

300,000: All Present and Marching Against Abortion

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The 2010 March for Life gets underway with hundreds of thousands of very resolute and insistent pro-lifers marching toward Capitol Hill.

If there was one thing that marked this year’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., it was the prevailing sense of resolution. Bad weather forecasts, a hostile legislature and pro-abortion health care bills all seemed to stiffen rather than dampen resistance. Even pro-abortion commentators have had to admit that this issue is not going away soon.

The January 22 March has become the nation’s premier pro-life event with leaders from across the country making the trek to make their voices heard.

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Wave after wave of pro-lifers march past the TFP band.

This year they were joined by throngs of people packing the mall, streets and sidewalks forming a veritable sea of what many estimate to be as many as 300,000 Americans. This 37th annual March was ably organized by March for Life president Nellie Gray and featured as speakers, bishops, senators and congressmen.

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Pro-life marchers are young and old, determined, resolute and insistent.

The overwhelming presence was only matched by the underwhelming coverage of the liberal media which always have a hard time finding such throngs and seem to have special radar to detect the few pro-abortion protesters that show up along the March’s route.

The massive anti-abortion national groundswell shows no sign of going away. Pro-life marchers are young, determined and active. Their banners and signs were colorful, big and plentiful. Also noteworthy was the strong Catholic presence ranging from parochial school children to 45 cardinals, archbishops and bishops. Pro-life America was all present and accounted for as they filled Constitution Avenue and headed toward Capitol Hill.

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Praying in front of the United States Supreme Court for an end to the slaughter of innocents.

TFP Turnout
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) was present with a contingent of over one hundred and twenty members, supporters and friends, who carried banners and eighteen-foot TFP standards and distributed this year’s TFP statement: “An Appeal for Insistence.” (Click here to read the statement)

The American TFP was especially pleased to have as its guest of honor, Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza who participated in the March and later spoke at the March’s Rose Dinner.

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The TFP's Holy Choirs of Angels marching band brings smiles and enthusiasm to all the pro-life marchers.

The TFP contingent included four members, wearing the TFP ceremonial habit, which served as an honor guard for a Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The entire student body of the TFP-staffed St. Louis de Montfort Academy of Herndon, Penn. was also present. The American TFP was also pleased to host contingents from its TFP sister organizations in Italy and France.

About 15 participants at a TFP university student seminar joined the march as part of the program. As in past marches, the TFP’s Holy Choirs of Angels marching band played a selection of patriotic hymns and American marches. The ensemble included brass, fifes, drums and bagpipes.

The theme of the TFP message was an appeal to insistence. The statement explained why the pro-abortionists insist so much on promoting abortion. They know that there is more at stake than just a question of “women’s rights.”

“Take abortion away and the whole edifice of the Sexual Revolution comes crashing to the ground,” the TFP statement affirms. “That is why the promoters of abortion are so radically insistent. They realize that every limitation of abortion – even in its most horrific expressions – is an affirmation that some kind of morality exists to limit their unfettered quest for ‘happiness.’”

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Over 35,000 pro-lifers filled San Francisco's waterfront in California's annual Walk for Life.

Protests All Over the Country

The March for Life in the nation’s capital was not the only pro-life event but rather the largest of many similar events held nationwide to protest the sad and tragic anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Among the most dynamic of these smaller demonstrations was California’s Walk for Life held in San Francisco on January 23. At least 35,000 pro-life walkers filled the city’s waterfront, which, despite the rain, was the largest crowd that ever attended the event. Many TFP Supporters, led by TFP member Philip Calder, also joined the crowd.

Insistent Action Will Triumph
Over the years, the pro-life movement has passed through many storms. Amid that suffering, the movement has developed and matured. The result is a solidity, stamina and dynamism that cannot fail to impress.

What is needed now is insistence. In a sense, the battle now is one of who will resist longer. The youthful protesters in Washington contrast well with the thinning ranks of the aging pro-abortion radicals. However, what is more important in determining the outcome of this great struggle are the insistent prayers that call upon heaven’s aid. It is this irresistible insistence that cannot fail to move the maternal heart of Our Lady who will fulfill her promise at Fatima and bring about the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.

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The pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima is carried by four TFP members wearing the TFP ceremonial habit.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Saint Claude De La Colombiere: An Act of Hope and Confidence in God

"No one has hoped in the Lord and has been confounded."

My God, I believe most firmly that Thou watchest over all who hope in Thee, and that we can want for nothing when we rely upon Thee in all things; therefore I am resolved for the future to have no anxieties, and to cast all my cares upon Thee.


People may deprive me of worldly goods and of honors; sickness may take from me my strength and the means of serving Thee; I may even lose Thy grace by sin; but my trust shall never leave me. I will preserve it to the last moment of my life, and the powers of hell shall seek in vain to wrestle it from me.

Let others seek happiness in their wealth, in their talents; let them trust to the purity of their lives, the severity of their mortifications, to the number of their good works, the fervor of their prayers; as for me, O my God, in my very confidence lies all my hope.

"For Thou, O Lord, singularly has settled me in hope."

This confidence can never be in vain.

"No one has hoped in the Lord and has been confounded."

I am assured, therefore, of my eternal happiness, for I firmly hope for it, and all my hope is in Thee.

"In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped; let me never be confounded."

I know, alas! I know but too well that I am frail and changeable; I know the power of temptation against the strongest virtue. I have seen stars fall from heaven, and pillars of firmament totter; but these things alarm me not. While I hope in Thee I am sheltered from all misfortune, and I am sure that my trust shall endure, for I rely upon Thee to sustain this unfailing hope.

Finally, I know that my confidence cannot exceed Thy bounty, and that I shall never receive less than I have hoped for from Thee. Therefore I hope that Thou wilt sustain me against my evil inclinations; that Thou wilt protect me against the most furious assaults of the evil one, and that Thou wilt cause my weakness to triumph over my most powerful enemies. I hope that Thou wilt never cease to love me, and that I shall love Thee unceasingly. "In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded."

How to obtain victory over temptation

In order to persevere in well-doing, our confidence must not rest on our good resolutions.  When we build on the foundation of our own strength our edifice is sure to fall.

To maintain ourselves in the grace of God it is necessary, therefore, to place our hope in the merits of Jesus Christ.  With His assistance we shall persevere till death, even though we be assailed by all the powers of earth and Hell.

There may be times when temptations are so violent that sin seems unavoidable. We must be on our guard at such times not to lose courage and give up the struggle. Our only resource is to hasten to Jesus Crucified.  He and He alone can sustain us.  The Lord permits that from time to time even the saints have such storms to endure.

St. Paul says of himself: "We were pressed out of measure above our strength, so that we were weary even of life." (2 Cor. 1:8).

Although, as we have already seen, the power to avoid sin is not from ourselves but from the grace of God, we must at the same time be careful not to render ourselves weaker than we already are.  There are certain faults that we consider of no account, and yet they may be the reason why God withdraws His supernatural light, and thus the power of the devil is increased.

Such faults are the desire to be regarded as learned and distinguished by the world; vanity in dress; the seeking for superfluous comforts and luxuries; the habit of showing oneself offended by every unkind word or want of attention; the inordinate desire to please others; the omission of exercises of piety from human respect; disobedience in little things; little aversions that are fostered in the heart; little lies and jokes at the expense of charity; loss of time through idle conversations or a greediness for news; in a word, every attachment for earthly things, and every gratification of self-love may give the enemy an opportunity of accomplishing our destruction. At all events, faults of this kind committed with deliberation deprive us of that assistance of our Lord which would protect us from falling into sin.

St. Alphonsus Liguori,

Prayer to Our Lady to Overcome Temptation

Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the queen of the universe, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day.


I venerate thee, great queen, and I thank thee for the many graces thou hast bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often deserved by my sins.

I love thee, most dear Lady; and for the love I bear thee, I promise to serve thee willingly for ever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also. I place in thee all my hopes for salvation; accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle, thou who art the Mother of mercy.

And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death. From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a holy death.

My dear Mother, by the love thou bearest to Almighty God, I pray thee to assist me always, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until thou shalt see me safe in heaven, there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori

How to overcome temptation

No one is exempt from temptation when he has truly resolved to serve God.

This being the case, Our Lord Himself chose to be subjected to temptation in order to show us how we ought to resist it. Thus the Evangelists tell us: He was led into the desert by the Spirit to be tempted. [Matt. 4:1; Mk. 1:12; Lk. 4:1]. I shall draw lessons from this mystery for our particular instruction, in as familiar a manner as I am able.

In the first place, I note that although no one can be exempt from temptation, still no one should seek it or go of his own accord to the place where it may be found, for undoubtedly he who loves it will perish in it. [Ecclus. 3:27]. That is why the Evangelist says that Our Lord was led into the desert by the Spirit to be tempted; it was not then by His choice (I am speaking with regard to His human nature) that He went to the place of temptation, but He was led by the obedience He owed to His heavenly Father.

I find in Holy Scripture two young princes who furnish us with examples on this subject. One sought temptation and perished in it. The other, without seeking it, encountered it but left the combat victorious.

At the time when kings should go to war, as his own army faced the enemy, David strolled about on the roof of the king's house, idling his time away as though he had nothing to do. Being idle in this way, he was overcome by temptation. Bethsabee, that inconsiderate lady, went to bathe in a place where she could be seen from the roof of the king's house. Certainly, this was an act of unparalleled imprudence which I cannot excuse, even though several modern writers wish to render it excusable by saying that she did not think of that. To bathe in a place where she exposed herself to view from the roof of the royal palace was a very great indiscretion. Whether she thought of it or not, young Prince David began by allowing himself to gaze on her, and then perished in the temptation which he had sought by his idleness and sloth [2 Kgs. 11:1-4]. You see, idleness is a great help to temptation. Never say: "I do not seek it; I am not doing anything." That is enough in order to be tempted, for temptation has a tremendous power over us when it finds us idle. Oh, if David had gone out on campaign at the time that he should have gone, the temptation would not have had the power of attacking him, or at least of overcoming and vanquishing him.

In contrast, young Prince Joseph, who was later viceroy of Egypt, did not seek temptation at all, and so upon meeting it he did not perish in it. He had been sold by his brothers [Gen. 37:28], and his master's wife exposed him to danger. But he had never indulged or heeded the amorous glances of his mistress; rather, he nobly resisted her advances and was victorious, thus triumphing not only over the temptation but also over her who had been the cause of it [Gen. 39:7-12].

If we are led by the Spirit of God to the place of temptation, we should not fear, but should be assured that He will render us victorious [1 Cor. 10:13]. But we must not seek temptation nor go out to allure it, however holy and generous we may think ourselves to be, for we are not more valiant than David, nor than our Divine Master Himself, who did not choose to seek it. Our enemy is like a chained dog; if we do not approach, it will do us no harm, even though it tries to frighten us by barking at us.

But wait a little, I pray you, and see how certain it is that no one who comes to serve God can avoid temptations. We could give many examples of this but one or two will suffice. Ananias and Saphira made a vow to dedicate themselves and their possessions to the perfection which all the first Christians professed, submitting themselves to obedience to the Apostles. They had no sooner made their resolution than temptation attacked them, as St. Peter said: Who has tempted you to lie to the Holy Spirit? [Acts. 5:1-3].

The great Apostle St. Paul, as soon as he had given himself to the divine service and ranged himself on the side of Christianity, was immediately tempted for the rest of his life [2 Cor. 12:7]. While he was an enemy of God and persecuted the Christians he did not feel the attack of any temptation, or at least he has given us no testimony of it in his writings. But he did when he was converted by Our Lord.

Thus, it is a very necessary practice to prepare our soul for temptation. That is, wherever we may be and however perfect we may be, we must rest assured that temptation will attack us. Hence, we ought to be so disposed and to provide ourselves with the weapons necessary to fight valiantly in order to carry off the victory, since the crown is only for the combatants and conquerors [2 Tim. 2:5, Jas. 1:12]. We ought never to trust in our own strength or in our courage and go out to seek temptation, thinking to confound it; but if in that place where the Spirit of God has led us we encounter it, we must remain firm in the confidence which we ought to have that He will strengthen us against the attacks of our enemy, however furious they may be.

Let us proceed and consider a little the weapons which Our Lord made use of to repulse the devil that came to tempt Him in the desert. They were none other, my dear friends, than those the Psalmist speaks of in the Psalm we recite every day at Compline: "Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi" "Who dwells in the aid of the Most High" [Ps. 90]. From this Psalm we learn an admirable doctrine. He speaks in this manner as though addressing Christians or someone in particular: "Oh how happy you are, you who are armed with the truth of God, for it will serve you as a shield against the arrows of your enemies and will make you victorious. Therefore, do not fear, O blessed souls, you who are armed with this armor of truth. Fear neither the terrors of the night, for you will not stumble into them; nor the arrows that fly in the air by day, for arrows will not be able to injure you; nor the business that roams in the night; much less the devil that advances and reveals himself at noon."

O how divinely well armed with truth was Our Lord and Master, for He was truth itself [Jn. 14:6]. This truth of which the Psalmist speaks is nothing other than faith [1 Thess. 5:8]. Whoever is armed with faith need fear nothing; this is the only armor necessary to repel and confound our enemy; for what can harm him who says Credo, "I believe" in God, who is our Father, and our Father Almighty? In saying these words we show that we do not trust in our own strength and that it is only in the strength of God, "the Father Almighty," that we undertake the combat, that we hope for victory [Ps. 17:30, 43:6-7, Heb. 11:33-34; 1 Jn. 5:4]. No, let us not go on our own to meet temptation by any presumption of spirit, but only rebuff it when God permits it to attack us and seek us out where we are, as it did Our Lord in the desert. By using the words of Holy Scripture our dear Master overcame all the temptations the enemy presented to Him.

But I want it to be understood that the Savior was not tempted as we are and that temptation could not be in Him as it is in us, for He was an impregnable stronghold to which it did not have access. Just as a man who is vested from head to foot in fine steel could not be injured in any way by the blows of a weapon, since it would glance off on either side, not even scratching the armor; so temptation could indeed encompass Our Lord but never enter into Him, nor do any injury to His integrity and perfect purity. But we are different. If, by the grace of God, we do not consent to temptations, and avoid the fault and the sin in them, ordinarily we are nevertheless wounded a little by some importunity, trouble, or emotion that they produce in our heart.

Our Divine Master could not have faith, since He possessed in the superior part of His soul, from the moment that He began to be, a perfect knowledge of the truths which faith teaches us; however, He wished to make use of this virtue in order to repel the enemy, for no other reason, my dear friends, than to teach all that we have to do. Do not then seek for other arms nor other weapons in order to refuse consent to a temptation except to say, "I believe." And what do you believe? "In God" my "Father Almighty."

St. Bernard, referring to these words of the Psalm which we have cited, said that the terrors of the night of which the Psalmist speaks are of three kinds. From this I will draw my third lesson. The first fear is that of cowards and slothful souls; the second, that of children; and the third, that of the weak. Fear is the first temptation which the enemy presents to those who have resolved to serve God, for as soon as they are shown what perfection requires of them they think, "Alas, I shall never be able to do it." It seems to them that it is almost an impossibility to attain to that height, and they readily say, "O God, what perfection is needed to live in this house, or in this way of life and in my vocation! It is too high for me: I cannot attain it!" Do not trouble yourself and do not frame these idle fears that you are not able to accomplish that to which you have bound yourself, since you are armed and encompassed with the truth of God and with His word. Having called you to this manner of life and to this house, He will strengthen you and will give you the grace to persevere [1 Cor. 1:7-8; 1 Thess. 5:24] and to do what is required for His greater glory and for your greater welfare and happiness, provided you walk simply in faithful observance.

Do not be astonished, therefore, and do not do as the slothful, who are troubled when they wake at night by the fear that daylight will come very soon when they will have to work. The slothful and cowardly fear everything and find everything difficult and trying because they amuse themselves in thinking, with the foolish and slothful imagination which they have created for themselves, more about future difficulties than what they have to do at present. "Oh," they say, "if I devote myself to the service of God, it will be necessary for me to work so much in order to resist the temptations which will attack me." You are quite right, for you will not be exempt from them, since it is a general rule that all the servants of God are tempted, as St. Jerome wrote in that beautiful epistle which he addressed to his dear daughter, Eustochium.

To whom do you wish, I pray, that the devil should present his temptations if not to those who despise them? Sinners tempt themselves; the devil already regards them as his own; they are his confederates because they do not reject his suggestions. On the contrary, they seek them and temptation resides in them. The devil does not work much to set his snares in the secular world, but rather in retired places where he expects a great gain in bringing about the downfall of souls who are secluded there serving the Divine Majesty more perfectly. St. Thomas used to marvel greatly at how the greatest sinners went out into the streets, laughing and joyful, as though their sins did not weigh on their consciences. And who would not be astonished at seeing a soul not in God's grace making merry? Oh, how vain are their joys, and how false their gaiety, for they have gone after anguish and eternal regrets! Let us leave them, I pray you, and return to the fear of the slothful.

They are always lamenting - and why? Why, you ask? "Alas, we must work, and yet I thought that it would be enough to embark on God's way and in His service to find rest."

But do you not know that sloth and idleness made poor David perish in temptation? You perhaps would wish to be among those garrison soldiers who have everything they wish in a good town; they are merry, they are masters of their host's home, they sleep in his bed and live well; nevertheless, they are called "soldiers," feigning to be valiant and courageous while they go neither to battle nor to war. But Our Lord does not want this kind of warrior in His army; He wants combatants and conquerors, not sluggards and cowards. He chose to be tempted, and Himself attacked in order to give us an example.

The second terror of the night, according to St. Bernard, is that experienced by children. As you are aware, children are very much afraid when they are out of their mother's arms. If they see a barking dog they suddenly begin to cry, and will not stop until they are again with their mamma. In her arms they feel secure. They feel that nothing can harm them provided they are holding her hand.

Ah, then, the Psalmist says, why do you fear, you who are encompassed with truth and armed with the strong shield of faith which teaches you that God is your "Father Almighty"? Hold His hand and do not be frightened, for He will save you and protect you against all your enemies. Consider how St. Peter, after he made that generous act of throwing himself into the sea and began walking on the water in order more quickly to reach our Divine Savior who had called to him, suddenly began to fear and at the same time to sink down, and cried out, "Lord, save me!"

And at once his good Master stretched out His hand and took hold of him, thus saving him from drowning [Matt. 14:29-31]. Let us do the same, my dear friends.  If we feel that we lack courage let us cry out in a loud voice full of confidence, "Lord, save me!" Let us not doubt that God will strengthen us and prevent us from perishing.

by Saint Francis de Sales

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Novena to Our Lady Brings Hope – Other comments from the email

New comment on your post "This is by far the most popular novena I know":

Praying the 3 day novena is all faith in the Blessed Mother and Her Son, Jesus.

My wife who has been chair bound for the past several years due to stoke, Parkinson's Disease and recently broke a big toe. 

It was necessary she be in Long term care as I could no longer care for her at home. 

Today, she has taken 22 steps, a first. 

Mary our Mother will bring her home to walking and not being chair bound.  She is 73 and I am the big 80.

God bless all.



Dear Mr. Ritchie,

You are most welcome.  I always protest any blasphemous and terrible insults to our Blessed Mother and Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

To not do so would be a sin, in my opinion, and I work on being a good Catholic woman. 

I have sent this protest to all my friends, catholic and non-catholic, and pray that they protest with us, too!  I am also involved with Our Lady of Fatima and was a leader in the Prayer Rally we had back in October. 

I plan to continue every year in October to pray in public to our Blessed Mother for peace, abortion, right to life, denouncement of same-sex marriage, etc. 

Thank you very much for your emails, and I pray that God bless all your endeavors.  Have a blessed week!

In Jesus through Mary,



Dear Robert.

Thanks for your message and for having contacted me, which, no doubt, is heaven sending all this!!

Of course you can count with my cooperation spreading this marvelous web page all around my native country, Colombia, South America, specifically in the city of Medellin, where we are more than 10000 people consecrated to the Holy Heart of our sweet Mother, Mary, through a Catholic institution called "LAZOS DE AMOR MARIANO", which in English is something like "HAIL MARY'S LOVE TIES".

I am forwarding all this messages you have sent me to all my consecrated friends, along with all the info within the web page for ANF, all translated into Spanish.

I bless you in Jesus and Mary, Robert, and wish you all the very best for this new year.


Subject: Re: Nun spent 5 years in Hell - WOW!

Dear Mr. Ritchie,
Glad that you are promoting this book. I read it several years ago and was so impressed! Wonderful book...wonderful Saint.
Thank you for all the good work that you do with America Needs Fatima.


Dear Robert,
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I had never heard it before. I am very devoted to Our Lady and the Miraculous Medal, which I believe is really a confirmation also of her Immaculate Conception.

I have seen many conversions through the combination of the Miraculous Medal and The Divine Mercy Chaplet.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Sincerely in Christ,
PS: Thank you for the updates, especially on the ones about the
desecration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. May God bless you for your efforts to see the Eucharist honored.

Also, thank you for telling us of the different blasphemous things going on so that we can send e-mails, and pray, and hopefully make a difference and see the things of the Lord honored rather than blasphemed.


I would like to thank you for the information I receive that turns my heart and soul. Thank you.

I am one who has turned my back on wealth and position and possession in the third order of the Carmelites.  Your words help me so much to offer my self for the sins of the world.

Thank you.  It is very humbling to hear about those who offer much more than I have ever done, may I do the same when (if) my turn comes.
Peace and God bless.

Stories and comments from the email:

Re: TFP Volunteer Assaulted: Video Clip Tells Story

Please tell Elias that I will offer my current sufferings up for him (Lyme disease sufferer) to remain strong and vigilant and to persevere in the fight to save marriage! Remember, Elias, you are out there representing those who are too ill to be out there or you are standing for those who agree with you but sadly lack the courage. Keep up the great work! And please pray for my nephew also named Elias to come to the Way, Truth and the Life, Jesus Christ! Thank you Mother Mary for Elias and his fellow men!!   

See video here:


OJ has left a new comment on your post "A new SATANIC movie and how to fight it":

Everyone may want to review the theme and plot of the new videogame coming out called Bayonetta.

It travels down a similar path as that of 'Legion' ie.) the hero is a witch, she battles angels, and her and other witches seem to get most of their powers from the demons in hell---oh yes, according to the wikipedia synopsis allusions are made to Dante's Divine Comedy, but not in the Christian framework (I'm sure).


WMO has left a new comment on your post "A new SATANIC movie and how to fight it":

I found your blog on Google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.


I have sent this email of protest to all my friends, Catholic, and non-Catholic, and pray that they protest, too!  I will be saying a Rosary every morning, as well as the Divine Mercy prayer.  Thank you very much for these emails to fight blasphemous and insulting remarks to our Lady and Jesus Christ.


I understand your anger with Sony but they are releasing Legion as a fictional work.  It is not meant to harm anyone's faith, more so if someone is that gullible to believe anything in this movie they should be allowed to leave a padded cell for the rest of their life. 

They have every right to release this movie just as they released Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, they are just trying to make money, the same way as the Catholic church is in business to make money, I am a Catholic myself but believe that the church has done more harm to itself than any movie could 
ever do. 

Additionally, you are very quick to judge Sony for releasing this movie but make no mention of the titles they have released in the past the spread a positive pro-Christian message such as Faith like Potatoes, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants.  Good luck in your quest because I will be seeing this movie on opening night because they will not cancel any showings.


Here’s my answer to the sophism in the message above:

Legion is actually worse than fiction — it’s blasphemy!  God gave us imagination to honor Him, not to blaspheme Him.  We must use our imagination to seek truth, to better understand God’s Creation and the dogmas of our faith.  The writer of Legion misuses his imagination to attack God and the Catholic faith.

Our English word “blasphemy” comes from the Greek word “blasphémia”, meaning “to profane,” “to speak evil of.” Our English definition builds on this.  So blasphemy means the mockery of God or holy things.  Legion is blasphemous because it insults the idea of God’s Providence and the dogmas of the Catholic Church. And, of course we shouldn’t forget Legion insults St. Michael the Archangel too.

The Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ and was founded by Him to save souls, NOT to make money.    How much money did the millions of martyrs make by shedding their blood to save souls?  How much money did all the missionaries make who died in foreign lands to save pagans?

I have not seen the Sony movies you list as having pro-Christian messages.  But even if this is true, it does not give them the right to blaspheme God, the angels and the Catholic faith in Legion.

Sorry you are going to see the movie because blasphemy doesn’t pay off in this life or in the next.

5 Paths of Repentance that Lead to Heaven

by St. John Chrysostom

1) The condemnation of our sins.

“Declare thou first thy sins that thou mayest be justified.” Wherefore also the prophet said “I said, I will speak out, my transgression to the Lord, and thou remittedst the iniquity of my heart.” Condemn thyself therefore for thy sins. This is enough for the Master by way of self-defense. For he who condemns his sins, is slower to fall into them again. Awake thy conscience, that inward accuser, in order that thou mayest have no accuser at the judgment seat of the Lord. This is one way of repentance, the best.

2) Forgiveness of others.

And there is another not less than this, not to bear a grudge against thine enemies to overcome anger, to forgive the sins of our fellow-servants. For so will those which have been done against the master be forgiven us. See the second expiation of sins: “For if ye forgive” saith he, “your debtors, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.”  Dost thou wish to learn a third way of repentance?

3) Fervent and diligent prayer.

And to do this from the bottom of the heart. Hast thou not seen that widow, how she persuaded the shameless judge? But thou hast a gentle Master, both tender, and kind. She asked, against her adversaries, but thou dost not ask against thine adversaries, but on behalf of thine own salvation. And if thou wouldest learn a fourth way…

4) Almsgiving.

For this has a great power and unspeakable. For Daniel saith to Nebuchadnezzar when he had come to all kinds of evil, and had entered upon all impiety, “O King let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, redeem thy sins by almsgiving and thine iniquities by compassion on the poor.” What could be compared with this loving kindness? After countless sins, after so many transgressions, he is promised that he will be reconciled with him he has come into conflict with if he will show kindness to his own fellow-servants.

5) Humility.

And modesty, and humility, not less than all words spoken, exhaust the nature of sins. And the publican is proof, being unable to declare his good deeds, in sight of all, bringing forward his humility, and laying aside the heavy burden of his sins.

See we have shown five ways of repentance: first the condemnation of sins, next the forgiveness of our neighbors’ sins, thirdly that which comes of prayer, fourth that which comes of almsgiving, fifth that which comes of humility.

Do not thou then be lazy; but walk in all these day by day. For the ways are easy, nor canst thou plead poverty. And even if thou livest poorer than all, thou art able to leave thine anger, and be humble, and to pray fervently, and to condemn sins, and thy poverty is in no way a hindrance. And why do I speak thus, when not even in that way of repentance in which it is possible to spend money (I speak of almsgiving), not even there is poverty any hindrance to us from obeying the command? The widow who spent the two mites is a proof.

Having learned then the healing of our wounds, let us constantly apply these medicines, in order that we may return to health and enjoy the sacred table with assurance; and with much glory, reach Christ the king of glory, and attain to everlasting good by the grace, and compassion, and loving kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom be glory, power, honor, to the Father, together with the all holy, and good and quickening Spirit, now and always and for ever and ever. Amen.

From the email – comments, advise and requests

Wow!  I could barely put your Jan/Feb 2010 issue down!  From the EXCELLENT cover story of Col.John Ripley, to the great article on Lourdes, all the way to the last article on a Call to Gratitude, I was mesmerized by it all.  As a military daughter, Mom, and Mother, with two sons serving currently, I most especially appreciated the military mentions in your magazine. 

I know these brave men and women first hand from my life experience and I can attest to their superb character, strength and integrity as a group.  Most also have a strong faith in God, yet a belief that evil does exist and we either fight it or succumb to it. 

Sometimes Catholic publications downplay and even thwart the true call to service that our military takes on, but I am now a HUGE fan of Crusade magazine for their realization that "freedom is indeed not free" and we need to acknowledge those that "do the dirty work" to KEEP us free, many times making the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.  Thank you so much for this issue, it's a keeper!



Dear Men of Christ and defenders of marriage and the family.

Wow. I watched your videos.  Thank you so much for what you are doing.

Are you continuing the effort in other states where marriage is being attacked?

I would like to keep up to date on what you are doing.

I plan to help by making a donation also.  You give me courage. 

I was involved in helping get support for the marriage amendment that was passed in Wisconsin in 2006.  And this year our governor passed a domestic partnership law and now there is a court battle to determine if this is unconstitutional.

God Bless you all

Thank you for your defense of marriage, moral truth and our Catholic faith.



I was recently made aware of your organization and I wanted to let you know that I back you 100%

You are very righteous in your cause and I believe 
that you are right.

If you could please send me any information as to how I 
could contribute would be appreciated.  Please  keep up the good fight and the good work.

You are all in my prayers.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Ave Maria!

Hail Mary full of Grace!

Is Your 2010 New Year Resolution Working?

5 Ways to Help Keep Your New Year Resolution

The month of January is almost over, and the novelty of your New Year Resolutions are starting to wear off. It’s time to fight back. It’s time to come up with ways to help keep them.

1 -- Pray for it:

Without grace, we can do nothing in the supernatural order. Nothing at all. Therefore, we must beg God, through the intercession of Our Lady, for the graces we need to carry out our New Year resolution.

True Catholic Wisdom leads to humility.  The wise man is the one who knows that he is nothing without God, but that, with God, he can do all things.

2 -- Work at it:

Our salvation depends, not only on God's grace, but on our positive response to that grace. So we also need to make efforts to keep our resolutions.

One essential effort is to write down our resolution and review it every night before we go to sleep to see how we are doing and how we can improve in carrying it out.

3 -- Talk about it:

No man is an island. Keeping resolutions by ourselves is hard. We are social beings, not islands. So we must talk to our friends and family about our resolutions and benefit from their positive support to carry them out.

Also, think of how God, Our Lady, the angels, and all the heavenly court are at your side, right there next to you, cheering you on in the intense battle to remain faithful to your resolution.

4 -- Think about it:

Think ahead. Foresee obstacles that may hinder your resolution. Come up with ways to make the practice of your resolution easier.

For example, if your resolution is to pray a Rosary everyday, don’t leave it for night time when you are tired. Carve out a dedicated period of time in the day when you are still fresh and, therefore, praying is easier. This helps to make the resolution easier to carry out.

5 -- Never give up:

The devil will try to discourage you from keeping your good resolutions. Don’t listen. Don’t even dialogue with him.

There’s no benefit in giving up. It’s a dishonorable option. Rather, think of the beauty and benefits of your perseverance. Think of the eternal reward in store for you if you are faithful.

And often read inspiring quotes, such as this one from Winston Churchill:

“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

Why you should read the book of Confidence

To the superficial observer, a book specifically destined to increase the confidence of the faithful in God and the Blessed Virgin Mary might seem superfluous.

America is a privileged nation, super abounding in natural riches of all kinds.

Our geographic situation provides us with the good fortune of being in the center of world events.  Our population is tough and productive.

Why, then, is it so vital for us to practice the virtue of confidence in Providence?

The answer is not difficult.  For us to long continue to enjoy the providential favors benefiting their country, we need to continually thank God.

Evidently, nothing pleases a benefactor more than seeing the gratitude with which his gifts are received.  And as gratitude is one of the least practiced of human virtues, it is of great importance to develop it through appropriate reading and meditation.

Moreover, the history of every nation proves that in this valley of tears –thus does St. Bernard qualify man’s earthly existence- everything that pleases us is unstable.

Hence, the appropriateness, or, better said, the necessity for each man to insistently ask our Creator and Redeemer to protect, favor and help him to overcome the terrible spiritual and temporal battles that mark his pilgrimage upon this earth.

Abbé De Saint-Laurent does precisely that in his book about confidence.  This work, flowing with a language rich in supernatural unction, teaches the reader what confidence is, how it should be practiced, and the moral benefits derived therefrom.

Providence bestowed on Fr. De Saint Laurent the gift of speaking directly to souls, making them deeply feel the value of confidence and, in a manner that would not rarely be called miraculous, calming the torments that sometimes shake even the most faithful souls.

His book is a precious spiritual aid.  I emphatically encourage you to get a copy.

May Our Lady, Mediatrix of all graces, grant this little book a large distribution amongst upright and faithful people who sincerely seek after God, their Creator.

This is by far the most popular novena I know

New comment on your post "3 Day Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel; Never Known to Fail."

Oh, most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven.

Blessed Mother of the Son of God; Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity.

Oh, Star of the Sea, help me and show me you are my Mother.

Oh, Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to succour me in my necessity. (Mention your request here).

There are none that can withstand your power.

Oh, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (3x).

Holy Mary, I place this prayer in your hands. (3x). Amen.

I have prayed this prayer Blessed Mother for 3 days and ask that you please grant my request.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

An invitation to atheists: love the Mother of God to escape your misery!


Imagine then that to your spirit - bruised by life, calloused or even wounded, hot with fever - one of those figures appears about which your childhood innocence, dead now for many years, used to dream.

A queen, all majestic and smiling, leads you by the hand into the rays of radiant, peaceful, rainbow-colored light surrounding her in an effort to help you. The atmosphere is of such purity that it seems fragrant with all the perfumes of nature: flowers, incense, or what you will.

And you, dear atheist, let yourself be drawn. You walk gazing upon that figure even more beautiful than the lights enveloping her, and more aromatic than the perfumes flowing from her: magnificent gifts that she receives from an invisible but sovereign source not confounded with her but shining through her.

You recognize how much foolishness there is in the vast ocean of your bitterness. But now it is forgotten. You see that incommensurably beyond the daily sphere, in which your sorrows rage and multiply, there is a sublime and tranquil order of being which you will finally be able to enter. You perceive that only in this higher order will you find that happiness you sought among the worms but which really dwells beyond the stars.

You increasingly gaze upon the Lady, and it begins to seem that you already knew her. You search her countenance trying to identify what it is that seems so profoundly familiar to you. In something, about her gaze, in a certain loving note of affection, in her smile, in some of the assurance that she radiates - rich in implied expressions of affection - you recognize certain ineffable flashes of soul that you saw in the most generous motions of the soul of the earthly mother you had or, if one of the innumerable forms of orphanhood in today's world should have befallen you, of the mother you would like to have had.

You fix your gaze, and you see still more. Not just a mother, your mother, but someone - Someone - who seems to you the ineffable quintessence, the most complete synthesis of all the mothers that were, are, and will be, of all the motherly virtues that man's intelligence and heart can know. Even more, she seems the complete synthesis of degrees of virtue that only saints, flying on the wings of grace and heroism, know how to imagine and approach. She is the mother of all children and of all mothers. She is the mother of all men. She is the mother of the Man.
Yes, of the God-Man, the God who became Man in her virginal womb, in order to redeem all men. She is a Mother defined by one word - mare (sea) - whence, in turn, comes a name, a name that is a heaven: MARY.

Through Her come to you all graces and favors from the divine sun, infinitely superior but seeming to dwell in her (like the sun's rays seem to dwell in stained glass windows). You beg, and you see yourself heeded. You want, and see yourself satisfied. From the depth of the peace beginning to anoint and envelop you, you sense a kind of happiness emerging that is the radiant opposite of that which, until a short while ago, you frantically sought after. This earthly happiness - if you did possess it - you finally cast aside as worn out, blasé, like a child pushing aside toys that are no longer entertaining.

Like a lily arising in a swamp or a spring welling up in a desert, something new begins to appear in the frustrated egoist that you were. This something new is not egoism, the exclusivistic love of yourself, but it is love; love of eternal principles, of fulgurant ideals, and of lofty and spotless causes, that you see shining in the ineffable Lady and that you begin to desire to serve.

Behold the name of your new happiness: To serve, to dedicate yourself, to immolate yourself, and all that belongs to you. This happiness you will find in every thing you formerly avoided: unrewarded good dedication, misunderstood good will, logic scorned by hypocrites or ignored by ears not wishing to hear, confrontation with calumny which at times howls like a hurricane, then discreetly hisses like a serpent, now, finally, lies like a lukewarm breeze loaded with deadly miasmas. Your joy now consists of resisting so much infamy, advancing and overcoming, even though you be wounded, rejected, or ignored. Everything for the service of the Lady "clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Apoc. 12:1), Yes, everything to serve her, and those who follow her.

You thought that happiness was to have everything. Now, on the contrary, you find that happiness consists of giving yourself completely.

Perhaps you fear that I may be dreaming and making you also dream as you read these lines, which, in your kindness, you may have imagined delectable. No, I do not dream, nor do I make you dream, nor are these lines magnificent. How colorless they are in comparison with the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort. In this work, the famous missionary of the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth (whose followers were the "Chouans," heroes of the fight against the atheistic and egalitarian French Revolution of the late eighteenth century) justified, through an impeccably logical reasoning founded on the most solid truths of the Faith, the profile of the sanctity of Mary. He deeply scrutinized the meaning of her virginal motherhood, her role in the Redemption of the human race, her position as Queen of Heaven and Earth, co-Redemptrix of men, and Universal Mediatrix of the graces that come to us from God as well as of the prayers of suffering humanity to Almighty God. In light of all this, the saint analyzes the providence of Mary and shows how the Mother of God has each man in mind, loving each of us with greater love than all the mothers in the world could concentrate on one child.

It was to attract you to the consideration of these great treasures, these great thoughts, and these great truths, that I resolved to write you. At the same time, I fulfilled the desire of several brothers in the Faith, who want nothing more than to have you in their midst, very close…to her.

If grace has designed to bedew my words, you have felt within yourself something like a distant music, so consonant with yourself and with your liveliest aspirations, that one would say it was composed for you, that you felt a thirst for harmony, and that you were born to give yourself to it.

In a word, you are ordered for her, and without her you are nothing but disorder.

And if, in the great harmony of the universe, even the most insignificant grain of sand, the most obscure drop of water, and the lowest and most contorted worm of the earth have their place and their function, will it not be the same with the order of the universe - or, rather, with its highest peaks - that is, the panorama of truths that I have just presented to you through metaphors and that Saint Louis de Montfort deduces, with most sane and firm consistency, from the Catholic Faith, from that Faith which Saint Paul, in turn, defined as "rationabile obsequium" (Rom. 12, 1)?

If all this panorama that orders you and without which you are only chaos is false, then you, like every man, are out of place, a misfit, a - pardon my prosaism - a wart, a excrescence, a cancer, a catastrophe in this universe so supremely ordered. Can you imagine this being true of yourself, of us, of all men, who, as men, are in reality the royal apex of that order?

To believe that this is so, to believe in such a monstrous contradiction placed at the very apex of so perfect an order, is indeed, irrational. It is the apotheosis of absurdity.