Dans le Sacré-Cœur

To Promote The Reign of Christ the King Through the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Mary, Queen of Martyrs — November 30, 2015

Mary, Queen of Martyrs

(from http://copiosa.org/liguori/liguori_dolors.htm)

Mary, Queen of Martyrs

The Four Church Fathers (Roman and Byzantine Catholic) and the Virgin of Seven Sorrows, with Saints and Martyrs –  by GUARDI, Francesco – from Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna

Guardi depicts the Seven (7) Swords-of-Sorrow which would pierce Mary’s Heart (Soul), as predicted by Simeon, during the Presentation-of Jesus in the Temple, shortly after His Birth. These Seven Swords-of-Sorrow are:

1 – The Prophecy of Simeon – (Luke 2:34-35) or the Circumcision of Christ.
2 – The Flight into Egypt – (Matthew 2:13)
3 – The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple – (Luke 2:43-45)
4 – Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary.
5 – Jesus Dies on the Cross – (John 19:25)
6 – Mary Receives the Body of Jesus in Her Arms – (Matthew 27:57-59)
7 – The Body of Jesus Is Placed in the Tomb – (John 19:40-42)

The Seven Swords also have a ‘Martial’ Significance, symbolized by Guardi in his use-of the distant Watch-Tower, situated between the sitting/kneeling Church Fathers. Mary’s identification with the Shulamite in the Song of Songs allowed for the application of such Titles as Tower of David (SS 4:4) and Tower of Ivory (SS 7:5) to her. Both of these Titles, portray Mary as a ‘Powerful Fortress’.

“Thy Neck is as the Tower of David, which is built with Bulwarks: a Thousand Bucklers hang upon it, all the Armor of Valiant Men” – Song of Songs 4:4Jesus and Mary, both, Died-from the many Wounds-of Combat.

“Ah, cease not, O Advocate-of-Sinners, to-Assist my Afflicted Soul, in the midst-of the Combats, in which it will have to-Engage, on its Great Passage from-Time, to-Eternity”.

Mary was the Queen-of Martyrs, for her Martyrdom was Longer and Greater, than that of all the Martyrs.

Mary, Queen of Martyrs

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Who can ever have a Heart so-Hard, that it will not Melt, on-hearing the most Lamentable Event, which once occurred-in the World? There was a Noble and Holy Mother, who had an only Son. This Son was the most Amiable that can be Imagined — Innocent, Virtuous, Beautiful, Who Loved His Mother most-Tenderly; so-much-so that He had never caused her the Least Displeasure, but, had ever shown her all Respect, Obedience, and Affection; hence, this Mother had Placed-all her Affections on-Earth, in this Son. Hear, then, what Happened. This Son, through Envy, was Falsely Accused-by His Enemies; and though the Judge ‘Knew’, and himself ‘Confessed’, that He was Innocent, yet, that he might not Offend His Enemies, he Condemned Him to the Ignominious Death, that they had Demanded. This Poor Mother had to Suffer the Grief of-Seeing that Amiable and Beloved Son, Unjustly Snatched-from her, in the Flower-of His Age, by a Barbarous Death; for, by Dint-of Torments, and Drained-of all His Blood, He was made to Die on an Infamous Gibbet, in a Public Place-of Execution, and this before her own Eyes.

Devout Souls, what say you? Is not this Event, and is not this Unhappy Mother, Worthy-of Compassion. You already Understand, of Whom I speak. This Son, so-Cruelly Executed, was our Loving Redeemer, Jesus; and this Mother, was the Blessed Virgin Mary; who, for the Love she Bore us, was Willing to-see Him Sacrificed-to Divine Justice, by the Barbarity-of Men. This Great Torment, then, which Mary Endured-for us – a Torment which was more-than a Thousand Deaths, Deserves both our Compassion and our Gratitude. If we can make no-other Return, for so-much Love, at-least let us give a Few Moments this Day, to-consider the Greatness-of the Sufferings, by-which Mary became the Queen of Martyrs; for the Sufferings of her Great Martyrdom, exceeded those-of all the Martyrs; being, in the First (1st) Place, the Longest, in Point-of Duration; and, in the Second (2nd) Place, the Greatest, in Point-of Intensity.

Comparison of the Suffering-of Mary, vs. Martyrs

**** * Location-of Suffering
* Intensity-of Suffering
Love-of
God causes
Duration-of
Suffering
Mary * Soul (Heart)
* Almost Infinite (∞)
↑ Increase-of
Suffering
Lasted for
a Life-time
Martyr * Body
* Great
↓ Decrease-of
Suffering
Short – Ends
with Death

First (1st) Point ─ As Jesus is called the King-of-Sorrows and the King-of-Martyrs, because He Suffered during His Life, more-than all other Martyrs; so also is Mary with-Reason, called the Queen-of-Martyrs, having Merited this Title-by Suffering the most Cruel Martyrdom possible, after that-of her Son. Hence, with Reason, was she called-by Richard of-Saint-Lawrence, “the Martyr of martyrs“; and of her can the Words-of Isaiah with all Truth be said, “He will Crown thee with a Crown of Tribulation“; that is to say, that that Suffering itself, which exceeded the Suffering-of all the other Martyrs ‘United’, was the Crown by which she was Shown-to-be the Queen-of-Martyrs. That Mary was a True Martyr cannot be Doubted, as Denis-the-Carthusian, Pelbart, Catharinus, and others prove; for it is an Undoubted Opinion, that Suffering, Sufficient-to Cause Death, is Martyrdom, even though Death does not Ensue-from it. Saint John the Evangelist is Revered-as a Martyr, though he did not Die, in the Caldron-of Boiling Oil, but he came-out more-Vigorous, than he went-in. Saint Thomas says, “that to have the Glory-of Martyrdom, it is Sufficient-to Exercise Obedience, in its Highest Degree, that is to say, to be Obedient unto Death“. “Mary was a Martyr“, says Saint Bernard, “not by the Sword-of the Executioner, but by Bitter Sorrow-of Heart“. If her Body was not Wounded-by the Hand-of the Executioner, her Blessed Heart was Transfixed-by a Sword-of-Grief, at the Passion-of her Son; Grief which was Sufficient-to have Caused her Death, not Once (100), but a Thousand (103) Times. From this we shall see that Mary was not-only a Real Martyr, but that her Martyrdom, Surpassed all-others; for it was Longer-than that of all others, and her Whole Life may be said to have-been a Prolonged-Death.

The Passion of Jesus“, as Saint Bernard says, “commenced-with His Birth“. So also did Mary, in all-things, Like-unto her Son, Endure her Martyrdom throughout her Life. Amongst other Significations-of the Name-of Mary, as Blessed Albert-the-Great asserts, is that of a “Bitter-Sea“. Hence, to her is applicable the Text-of Jeremiah: “Great as the Sea, is thy Destruction“. For, as the Sea is all Bitter and Salt, so-also was the Life-of Mary always Full-of Bitterness, at the Sight-of the Passion-of the Redeemer, which was ever Present-to her Mind. “There can be no-Doubt, that, Enlightened-by the Holy Ghost, in a Far Higher Degree than all the Prophets, she, far better than they, Understood the Predictions Recorded-by them in the Sacred Scriptures, concerning the Messiah“. This is Precisely-what the Angel Revealed-to Saint Bridget; and he also added, “that the Blessed Virgin, even before she became His Mother, Knowing how much the Incarnate Word was to-Suffer for the Salvation-of Men, and Compassionating this Innocent Savior, Who was to be so-Cruelly, put-to Death, for Crimes not His own, even then began her Great Martyrdom“.

Her Grief was Immeasurably-increased when she became the Mother-of the Savior; so that at the Sad Sight-of the many Torments which were to be Endured-by her Poor Son, she indeed Suffered a Long Martyrdom, a Martyrdom which Lasted her Whole Life. This was Signified-with Great Exactitude, to Saint Bridget, in a Vision which she had in-Rome, in the Church-of Saint Mary-Major, where the Blessed Virgin, with Saint Simeon, and an Angel, bearing a very Long Sword, Reddened-with Blood, appeared-to her, Denoting-thereby the Long and Bitter Grief, which Transpierced the Heart-of Mary, during her Whole Life. When the above-named Rupert, supposes Mary, thus Speaking:

Redeemed Souls, and my Beloved Children, do not Pity me Only-for the Hour in-which I Beheld my Dear Jesus, Expiring-before my Eyes; for the Sword-of Sorrow, Predicted-by Simeon, Pierced my Soul during the Whole-of my Life: when I was giving Suck-to my Son, when I was Warming Him in my Arms, I already Foresaw the Bitter Death that awaited Him. Consider, then, what Long and Bitter Sorrows, I must have Endured.

Wherefore Mary might well say, in the Words-of David, “My Life is Wasted with-Grief, and my Years in-Sighs“. “My Sorrow is continually before me“. “My Whole Life was spent in-Sorrow and in-Tears; for my Sorrow, which was Compassion-for my Beloved Son, never Departed-from before my Eyes, as I always Foresaw the Sufferings and Death, which He was One Day to-Endure“. The Divine Mother herself, Revealed-to Saint Bridget, that “even after the Death and Ascension-of her Son, whether she Ate, or Worked, the Remembrance-of His Passion was ‘Ever’, Deeply Impressed-on her Mind, and Fresh-in her Tender Heart“. Hence Tauler says, “that the most Blessed Virgin spent her Whole Life in-Continual Sorrow“; for her Heart was always Occupied with-Sadness, and with-Suffering.

Therefore, Time, which usually Mitigates the Sorrows-of the Afflicted, did not Relieve Mary; nay, even it Increased her Sorrow; for, as Jesus, on the one-hand, Advanced-in Age, and always appeared more-and-more Beautiful and Amiable; so also, on the other-hand, the Time-of His Death always Drew-nearer, and Grief always Increased, in the Heart-of Mary, at the Thought-of having to Lose Him on-Earth. So that, in the words Addressed-by the Angel to Saint Bridget: “As the Rose Grows-up amongst Thorns, so the Mother-of-God Advanced-in Years, in the Midst-of Sufferings; and as the Thorns increase-with the Growth-of the Rose, so also did the Thorns-of her Sorrows, increase-in Mary, the Chosen Rose-of the Lord, as she Advanced-in Age; and so much the more-Deeply did they Pierce her Heart“. Having now considered the Length-of this Sorrow, in Point-of Duration, let us Pass-to the Second (2nd) Point – its Greatness, in Point-of Intensity.

Second (2nd) Point. Ah, Mary was not only Queen-of-Martyrs, because her Martyrdom was Longer-than that of all-others, but also because it was the Greatest-of all Martyrdoms. Who, however, can Measure its Greatness? Jeremiah seems unable to find anyone, with whom he can Compare this Mother-of-Sorrows, when he considers her Great Sufferings, at the Death-of her Son. “To what shall I compare thee or to what shall I liken thee, O Daughter-of Jerusalem … for Great as the Sea, is thy Destruction: who shall Heal thee? Wherefore Cardinal Hugo, in a Commentary-on these Words, says, “O Blessed Virgin, as the Sea in Bitterness, exceeds all other Bitterness, so does thy Grief, exceed all other Grief“. Hence, Saint Anselm asserts, that “had not God, by a Special Miracle, Preserved the Life-of Mary in-each, Moment-of her Life, her Grief was such, that it would have Caused her Death“. Saint Bernadine-of-Sienna, goes so-far-as to Say, “that the Grief-of Mary was so Great that, were it Divided amongst all Men, it would Suffice-to cause their Immediate Death“.

But let us consider the Reasons, for-which Mary’s Martyrdom was Greater-than that of all Martyrs. In the First (1st) Place, we must remember that the Martyrs endured their Torments, which were the Effect-of ‘Fire’ and other ‘Material Agencies’, in their Bodies; Mary Suffered hers in her Soul, as Saint Simeon foretold: “And my own Soul, a Sword shall Pierce“. As if the Holy Old Man had said: “O most Sacred Virgin, the Bodies of other Martyrs, will be Torn-with Iron, but thou wilt be Transfixed, and Martyred in thy Soul, by the Passion of thine own Son“. Now, as the Soul is more Noble than the Body, so-much Greater were Mary’s Sufferings, than those of ‘All’ the Martyrs, as Jesus Christ Himself said to Saint Catherine-of-Sienna: “Between the Sufferings of the Soul, and those of the Body, there is no comparison“. Whence the Holy-Abbot Arnold-of-Chartres says, “that whoever had been Present-on Mount Calvary, to Witness the Great Sacrifice-of the Immaculate Lamb, would there have beheld Two Great Altars, the One in the Body-of Jesus, the other in the Heart-of Mary; for, on that Mount, at the same-time that the Son Sacrificed His Body by-Death, Mary Sacrificed her Soul by-Compassion“.

Moreover, says Saint Antoninus, “while other Martyrs Suffered by-Sacrificing their own Lives, the Blessed Virgin Suffered by-Sacrificing her Son’s Life, a Life that she Loved far-more-than her own; so that she not only Suffered-in her Soul, all that her Son Endured-in His Body, but moreover, the Sight-of her Son’s Torments, brought more-Grief to her Heart, than if she had Endured them all in her own Person“. No one can Doubt-that Mary Suffered in her Heart, all the Outrages which she saw Inflicted-on her Beloved Jesus. Any one can Understand-that the Sufferings-of Children, are also those of their Mothers, who Witness them. Saint Augustine, considering the Anguish, endured-by the Mother-of the Maccabees, in Witnessing the Tortures-of her Sons, says, “She, seeing their Sufferings, Suffered-in each one; because she Loved them all, she Endured-in her Soul, what they Endured-in their Flesh“. Thus also, did Mary Suffer all those Torments, Scourges, Thorns, Nails, and the Cross, which Tortured the Innocent Flesh-of Jesus, all entered at-the-same Time, into the Heart-of this Blessed Virgin, to-complete her Martyrdom. “He Suffered-in the Flesh, and she in her Heart“, writes that Blessed Amadeus. “So much so“, says Saint Lawrence-Justinian, “that the Heart of Mary became, as it were, a Mirror-of the Passion-of the Son, in which might be seen, Faithfully Reflected, the Spitting, the Blows and Wounds, and all that Jesus Suffered“. Saint Bonaventure also remarks that “those Wounds –which were Scattered-over the Body-of our Lord, were all United in the Single Heart-of Mary“.

Thus was our Blessed Lady, through the Compassion-of her Loving Heart for her Son, Scourged, Crowned-with Thorns, Insulted, and Nailed-to the Cross. Whence the same Saint, considering Mary on Mount Calvary, Present-at the Death-of her Son, Questions her in these Words: “O Lady, tell me, where didst thou stand? Was it only at the Foot-of the Cross? Ah, much-more than this, thou wast on the Cross itself, Crucified with thy Son“. Richard of-Saint-Lawrence, on the Words-of the Redeemer, Spoken-by Isaiah the Prophet, “I have Trodden the Wine-Press alone, and of the Gentiles, there is not a Man with Me“, says, “It is True, O Lord, that in the Work of Human Redemption, Thou didst Suffer ‘Alone’, and that there was not a Man, who Sufficiently Pitied Thee; but there was a Woman with Thee, and she was Thine own Mother; she Suffered-in her Heart, all that Thou didst Endure-in Thy Body“.

But all this is saying too-Little, of Mary’s Sorrows, since, as I have already Observed, she Suffered-more, in Witnessing the Sufferings-of her Beloved Jesus, than-if she had herself Endured-all the Outrages and Death of her Son. Erasmus, speaking-of Parents in-General, says, that “they are more-Cruelly Tormented-by their Children’s Sufferings, than by their Own“. This is not always True, but in Mary, it evidently was so; for it is certain that she Loved her Son and His Life, beyond-all comparison, more-than herself or a Thousand Lives-of her own. Therefore Blessed Amadeus Rightly-affirms, that “the Afflicted Mother, at the Sorrowful Sight of the Torments of her Beloved Jesus, Suffered far more than she would have done, had she herself endured His Whole Passion“. The Reason is Evident, for, as Saint Bernard says, “the Soul is more where it Loves, than where it Lives“. Our Lord Himself had already said the same thing: “Where our Treasure is, there also is our Heart“. If Mary, then, by Love, Lived-more in her Son than in herself, she must have Endured far-Greater Torments in the Sufferings and Death of her Son, than she would have done, had the most Cruel Death in the World, been Inflicted-upon her.

Here we must Reflect-on another Circumstance, which Rendered the Martyrdom-of Mary, beyond-all Comparison, Greater-than the Torments-of all the Martyrs: it is, that, in the Passion-of Jesus, she Suffered much, and she Suffered, moreover, without the least-Alleviation. The Martyrs Suffered under the Torments Inflicted-on them by Tyrants; but the Love of Jesus, Rendered their Pains, Sweet and Agreeable. A Saint Vincent, was Tortured-on a Rack, Torn-with Pincers, Burnt-with Red-Hot Iron Plates; but, as Saint Augustine remarks, “it seemed as if it was ‘One’ who Suffered, and ‘Another’ who Spoke“. The Saint addressed the Tyrant with such Energy and Contempt-for his Torments, that it seemed as-if ‘One’ Vincent Suffered and ‘Another’ Spoke; so Greatly did God Strengthen him, with the Sweetness-of His Love, in the midst-of all he Endured.

A Saint Boniface, had his Body Torn-with Iron Hooks; Sharp-Pointed Reeds were Thrust-between his Nails and Flesh; melted-Lead was Poured-into his Mouth; and in the midst-of all, he could not Tire saying, “I give Thee Thanks, O Lord Jesus Christ“. A Saint Mark and a Saint Marcellinus, were Bound-to a Stake, their feet Pierced-with Nails; and when the Tyrant addressed them, saying, “Wretches, see to what a State you are Reduced; Save yourselves from these Torments“, they answered: “Of what Pains, of what Torments dost thou Speak? We never Enjoyed so Luxurious a Banquet, as in the Present Moment, in which we Joyfully Suffer-for the Love-of Jesus Christ“. A Saint Lawrence, Suffered; but when Roasting-on the Gridiron, “the ‘Interior-Flame’ of Love“, says Saint Leo, “was more-Powerful in-Consoling his Soul, than the ‘Flame-Without’, in Torturing his Body“. Hence, Love Tendered him so-Courageous, that he ‘Mocked’ the Tyrant, saying, “If thou Desirest to Feed-on my Flesh, a Part is Sufficiently Roasted; Turn it, and Eat“. But how, in the Midst-of so-many Torments, in that Prolonged-Death, could the Saint thus Rejoice? “Ah!” replies Saint Augustine, “Inebriated with the Wine-of Divine Love, he felt neither Torments nor Death“.

So that, the more the Holy Martyrs Loved Jesus, the less did they ‘Feel’ their Torments and Death; and the Sight-alone, of the Sufferings-of a Crucified God, was sufficient-to Console them. But, was our Suffering Mother also Consoled-by Love-for her Son, and the Sight-of His Torments? Ah, No!!!; for this very Son, Who Suffered, was the Whole Cause-of them, and the Love she bore Him, was her ‘Only’ and most-Cruel Executioner; for Mary’s Whole Martyrdom, consisted-in Beholding and Pitying her Innocent and Beloved Son, Who Suffered so much. Hence, the Greater was her Love for Him, the more Bitter and Inconsolable was her Grief. “Great as the Sea, is thy Destruction; who shall Heal thee“? Ah, Queen-of-Heaven, Love hath Mitigated the Sufferings-of other Martyrs, and Healed their Wounds; but who hath ever Soothed thy Bitter Grief? Who hath ever Healed, the too-Cruel Wounds of thy HeartWho shall Heal thee“, since that very Son Who could give thee Consolation was, by His Sufferings, the only Cause-of thine, and the Love which thou didst bear Him, was the whole Ingredient-of thy Martyrdom. So that, as other Martyrs, as Diez remarks, are all Represented-with the Instruments-of their Sufferings — a Saint Paul with a ‘Sword’, a Saint Andrew with a ‘Cross’, a Saint Lawrence with a ‘Gridiron’ — Mary is Represented-with her Dead Son, in her arms; for Jesus Himself, and He alone, was the Instrument-of her Martyrdom, by Reason-of the Love she bore Him. Richard of-Saint-Victor, confirms in a few-words, all that I have now said: “In other Martyrs, the Greatness of their Love, Soothed the Pains of their Martyrdom; but in the Blessed Virgin, the Greater-was her Love, the Greater-were her Sufferings, the more-Cruel was her Martyrdom“.

It is Certain that, the more we Love a Thing, the Greater is the Pain we ‘Feel’, in Losing it. We are more-Afflicted at the Loss-of a Brother, than at that-of a Beast-of-Burden; we are more Grieved-at the Loss-of a Son, than at that of a Friend. Now, Cornelius-a-Lapide says, “that to Understand the Greatness-of Mary’s Grief, at the Death of her Son, we must Understand the Greatness-of the Love, she bore Him“. But who can ever Measure, that Love? Blessed Amadeus says that “in the Heart of Mary, were United Two kinds-of Love, for her Jesus — Supernatural Love, by which she Loved Him as her God, and Natural Love, by which she Loved Him as her Son“. So that, these Two (2) Loves, became One (1); but so-Immense a Love, that William-of-Paris even says that the Blessed Virgin, “Loved Him as-much-as it was Possible, for a Pure Creature to Love Him“. Hence, Richard of-Saint-Victor affirms that, “as there was no Love like her Love, so there was no-Sorrow, like her Sorrow“. And if the Love-of Mary towards her Son was Immense, Immense also, must have been her Grief in Losing Him, by Death. “Where there is the Greatest Love“, says Blessed Albert-the-Great, “there also is the Greatest Grief“.

Let us now Imagine-to ourselves, the Divine Mother Standing-near her Son, Expiring-on the Cross, and Justly applying-to herself the Words-of Jeremiah, thus addressing us: “O all ye that Pass-by the Way, Attend and See, if there be any Sorrow like-to my Sorrow. O you who Spend your Lives upon Earth, and Pity me not, Stop awhile to Look at me, now that I Behold this Beloved Son, Dying-before my Eyes; and then see if, amongst all those who are Afflicted and Tormented, a Sorrow is to be found like unto my Sorrow“. “No, O most Suffering of all mothers“, replies Saint Bonaventure, “no more Bitter Grief than thine can be found; for no Son more Dear than thine, can be found“. Ah, “there never was a more Amiable Son in the World, than Jesus“, says Richard of-Saint-Lawrence; “nor has there ever been a mother, who more Tenderly Loved her Son, than Mary! But since there never has been in the World, a Love like-unto Mary’s Love, how can any Sorrow be found like-unto Mary’s Sorrow“?

Therefore, Saint Ildephonsus did not hesitate to assert, “to say that Mary’s Sorrows were Greater than all the Torments-of the Martyrs, United, was to say too Little“. And Saint Anselm adds, that “the most Cruel Tortures, Inflicted-on the Holy Martyrs, were Trifling, or as Nothing, in Comparison-with the Martyrdom-of Mary“. Saint Basil-of-Seleucia also writes, “that as the Sun, exceeds all the other Planets in-Splendor, so did Mary’s Sufferings, exceed those of all the other Martyrs“. A Learned Author, concludes with a Beautiful Sentiment. He says that, so-Great was the Sorrow-of this Tender Mother, in the Passion-of Jesus, that she alone, Compassionated-in a Degree, by-any-means Adequate-to its Merits, the Death-of a God, made Man.

But here, Saint Bonaventure, Addressing this Blessed Virgin, says, “And why, O Lady, didst thou also go, to Sacrifice thyself on Calvary? Was not a Crucified God, sufficient-to Redeem us, that thou, His Mother, wouldst also go to be Crucified with Him“? Indeed, the Death-of Jesus was more-than-Enough, to Save the World, and an Infinity (∞)-of Worlds; but this Good Mother, for the Love she bore us, Wished also to-Help the Cause-of our Salvation, with the Merits-of her Sufferings, which she Offered-for us, on Calvary.

Therefore, Blessed Albert-the-Great says, “that as we are under Great Obligations-to Jesus, for His Passion Endured-for our Love, so also are we under Great Obligations-to Mary, for the Martyrdom which she Voluntarily Suffered-for our Salvation, in the Death-of her Son“. I say Voluntarily, since, as Saint Agnes revealed-to Saint Bridget, “our Compassionate and Benign Mother was Satisfied, rather-to Endure any Torment, than-that our Souls should not be Redeemed, and be left-in their former State-of-Perdition“. And, indeed, we may say that Mary’s only Relief-in the Midst-of her Great Sorrow-in the Passion-of her Son, was to-See the Lost World Redeemed-by His Death, and Men, who were His Enemies, Reconciled-with God. “While Grieving, she Rejoiced“, says Simon-of-Cassia, “that a Sacrifice was Offered-for the Redemption-of all, by which He Who was Angry, was Appeased“.

So Great a Love, on the Part-of Mary, Deserves our Gratitude, and that Gratitude should be Shown, by at-least Meditating-upon and Pitying her, in her Sorrow. But she Complained-to Saint Bridget, that very-Few did so, and that the Greater Part-of the World, lived-in Forgetfulness-of them: “I look around at all who are on Earth, to see if by-chance, there are any who Pity me, and Meditate-upon my Sorrows; and I find that there are very few. Therefore, my Daughter, though I am Forgotten-by many, at least do Thou, not Forget me; consider my Anguish, and Imitate, as-far-as thou canst, my Grief“.

To Understand, how Pleasing it is to the Blessed Virgin, that we should-Remember her Dolors, we need only know that, in the Year 1239, she appeared-to Seven (7) Devout Clients-of hers (who were afterwards Founders-of the Religious Order of the ‘Servants-of-Mary’ – ‘Servites’), with a Black Garment in her hand, and Desired them, if they Wished-to Please her, Often-to Meditate-on her Sorrows: for this purpose, (and to remind them of her Sorrows) she expressed her Desire, that in-Future, they should wear that Mourning Dress. Jesus Christ Himself, Revealed-to the Blessed Veronica-da-Binasco, that He is, as-it-were, more-Pleased in-seeing His Mother ‘Compassionated’, than Himself; for thus He addressed her: “My daughter, Tears shed-for My Passion are Dear-to Me; but as I Love My Mother Mary, with an Immense Love, the Meditation-of the Torments, which she Endured-at My Death, is even more-Agreeable to Me“.

Wherefore, the Graces promised-by Jesus, to those who are Devoted-to the Dolors-of Mary, are very Great. Pelbert relates that it was Revealed-to Saint Elizabeth, that after the Assumption-of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven, Saint John-the-Evangelist, desired-to see her again. The Favor was Granted him; his Dear Mother appeared-to him, and with her, Jesus Christ also appeared; the Saint then heard Mary ask her Son to-Grant some Special Grace to all those who are Devoted-to her Dolors. Jesus Promised her Four (4) Principal Ones:

First, that those, who before Death, Invoke the Divine Mother, in the Name-of her Sorrows, should obtain True Repentance-of all their Sins.

Second, that He would Protect all, who have this Devotion in their Tribulations, and that He would Protect them, especially-at the Hour-of Death.

Third, that He would Impress-upon their Minds, the Remembrance-of His Passion, and that they should have their Reward-for it, in Heaven.

Fourth, that He would Commit such Devout Clients, to the Hands-of Mary, with the Power-to Dispose-of them, in whatever Manner she might Please, and to Obtain for them, all the Graces she might Desire.

In Proof-of this, let us see in the following-Example, how Greatly, Devotion-to the Dolors-of Mary, Aids-in Obtaining Eternal (∞) Salvation.

 

– End of Liguori Sermon –

 

Example

In the Revelations-of Saint Bridget, we read that there was a Rich Man, as Noble by-Birth, as he was Vile and Sinful in his Habits. He had given himself, by an Express-Compact, as a Slave-to the Devil; and for Sixty (60) Successive Years, had-Served him, Leading such-a-Life as may be Imagined, and never Approaching the Sacraments. Now, this Prince was Dying; and Jesus Christ, to show him Mercy, commanded Saint Bridget to tell her Confessor, to Go and Visit him, and Exhort him to-Confess his Sins. The Confessor went, and the Sick Man said that he did not-Require Confession, as he had often-Approached the Sacrament-of-Penance. The Priest went a Second (2nd) Time; but this Poor Slave of-Hell, Persevered-in his Obstinate Determination, not to Confess. Jesus again told the Saint to-Desire the Confessor to-Return. He did so; and on this Third (3rd) Occasion, told the Sick Man, the Revelation made-to the Saint, and that he had Returned so-many Times, because Our Lord, Who Wished-to Show him Mercy, had so-Ordered. On Hearing this, the Dying Man was ‘Touched’, and began-to Weep: “But how“, he exclaimed, “can I be Saved; I, who for Sixty Years have Served the Devil as his Slave, and have my Soul Burdened-with Innumerable Sins“? “My son“, answered the Father, Encouraging him, “doubt not; if you Repent-of them, on the Part-of God, I Promise you Pardon“. Then, Gaining Confidence, he said to the Confessor, “Father, I Looked-upon myself as-Lost, and already Despaired-of Salvation; but now I feel a Sorrow-for my Sins, which gives me Confidence; and since God has not yet Abandoned me, I will make my Confession“. In fact, he made his Confession, Four (4) Times on that Day, with the Greatest Marks-of Sorrow, and on the Following Morning, Received the Holy Communion. On the Sixth (6th) Day, Contrite and Resigned, he Died. After his Death, Jesus Christ again Spoke-to Saint Bridget, and told her that, that- Sinner was Saved; that he was then in-Purgatory, and that he Owed his Salvation to the Intercession-of the Blessed Virgin, His Mother; for the Deceased, although he had Led so-Wicked a-Life, had nevertheless always Preserved Devotion-to her Dolors, and whenever he Thought-of them, Pitied her.

 

 

 

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O Dear Queen Of Martyrs —

O Dear Queen Of Martyrs

O lowly Virgin Mary,

Poor and innocent,

Thou conceived of Thy holy Son,

Through impregnation by Thy Holy Spouse!

His Fire burns in Thee,

Brighter than the sun!

Spotless than the lily,

Yet undergoes the test at the temple!

Sweet Virginity subjected to crude scrutiny!

Bloodless Virgin-Martyr!

At and since the birth, life, and death

Of Her Son and God!

Pondering the Infant in Her Arms,

Reaches its fulfillment at the piercing

Of Her Heart!

At the sight of Her Son’s lifeless Body!

O Virgin,

Whose Love burns,

Ne’er dying out!

Let It be the food that feeds Thy children,

Freely adopted by Thee!

 

Counterrevolutionary – A Victim of Divine Love —

Counterrevolutionary – A Victim of Divine Love

By nature, a counterrevolutionary is a Victim of Divine Love.  He offers one’s self to God through the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ so as to be a very martyr of His Love and to allow Him to conquer his heart and the world’s through His Love.

Devotions of a Counterrevolutionary

  1. Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

A counterrevolutionary must have a deep love for Jesus Christ through His Most Sacred Heart, who loved the whole world and gave Himself up for its salvation.  Any prayers, whether long or short, unitive(as in consecration) or reparative(including the First Nine Fridays) can be used.

2. Devotion to the Most Immaculate Heart of Mary

A counterrevolutionary must have a deep love for Mary through three main devotions: Total Consecration to Our Lady, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, and the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  One becomes a slave, servant, and prisoner of Jesus Christ by becoming a slave, servant, and prisoner of Our Lady.  Since our Divine Savior subjugated Himself to Our Lady in His earthly life, we poor sinners should, in imitation of Him, subjugate ourselves to the Heavenly Queen.

3. An Act of Oblation As A Victim of Divine Love

God’s will to have Our Lady raise up a militia of Saints as foretold by St. Louis Marie Grignon De Montfort, is reflected in the last words of St. Therese’s Autobiography, “Story of a Soul”: ” I ENTREAT THEE TO LET THY DIVINE EYES REST UPON A VAST NUMBER OF LITTLE SOULS, I ENTREAT THEE TO CHOOSE, IN THIS WORLD, A LEGION OF LITTLE VICTIMS OF THY LOVE.”  Therefore, counterrevolutionaries who desire to bring about the Reign of Christ the King by the Sacred Heart through the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, should offer one’s self as a Victim of Divine Love according to St. Therese’s Act of Oblation As A Victim of Divine Love.

4. Sacramental Life

A counterrevolutionary must have recourse to the Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist and Confession.  In the case of the Eucharist, one must receive Our Lord often, except if one has committed a mortal sin.  In regards to Confession, one is obligated to go once a year.  However, many can go once a month or even once a week to Confession.  One must go to the Sacrament of Divine Mercy in order to receive the Sacrament of Divine Love.

5. Act of Perfect Contrition

A counterrevolutionary must develop the habit of making acts of perfect contrition in order to offer one’s self to God in love, trust, abandonment, and humility, to be forgiven by God for one’s sins, to receive one’s sanctifying grace back by the Merciful Love, to satisfy Divine Love, and to make God happy.

6. Discernment of Spirits

A counterrevolutionary must discern whether the origin of a thought, idea, philosophy, or different types of movements come from the Holy Spirit through the teachings of the Catholic Church or not.  Thoughts, ideas, philosophies, and movements that reject the Catholic Church are contrary to the Holy Spirit and must be rejected by a counterrevolutionary.  On the contrary, thoughts, ideas, philosophies, and movements that uphold the Catholic Church and value her are of the Holy Spirit and must be embraced by a counterrevolutionary.  By the grace of God, one can discern through reading Sacred Scripture, works of theology and asceticism, autobiographies, and correspondences of distinguished ascetics, according to New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia.

7. Good Catholic French Devotional and History Books

What I have discovered is that since God’s revelation to the world is Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, God speaks to us through both means.  If Sacred Scripture is accurate in regards to faith and morals, it is accurate in regards to history and science.  Likewise, if Sacred Tradition is accurate in regards to faith and morals, it is accurate in regards to history and science.  Since both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are true and accurate, then what they both tell us about science and history is accurate as well.  Therefore, if one wishes to know the truth about our history, one must look to the Catholic Church for answers.  Even more so, one must gather books that are at least before 1958 or that speak about the Faith in a traditional and orthodox manner.  One book that I would like to recommend is Les 150 Points De La Phalange(The 150 Points of the Phalange).  It can be found online at http://crc-internet.org/our-doctrine/150-points-phalange/ . I was currently reading this book and I haven’t finished reading it.  I may add my thoughts on this book if I need to.

Here are the 7 important tools of the counterrevolutionary.  I hope these tools may inspire you to love God with all of one’s being, to make Him known and loved by others, and to be filled with many holy desires to serve Him, Our Lady, and the Church, for the conversion and salvation of sinners.

 

1st Sunday of Advent: Meditation — November 29, 2015

1st Sunday of Advent: Meditation

“For the powers of Heaven shall be moved” at the coming of the Son of Man, lying in a manger, born of a humble Virgin, surrounded by adoring Angels and animals.  His coming will not be known by the many and the proud, but only by the few and the humble, who “found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant” and came to do the Divine King homage.

Aspiration: May my heart be a little Creche for Thee to lay in, O sweet Jesus!

 

Canticle of the Angel of the Holy Passion — November 26, 2015

Canticle of the Angel of the Holy Passion

Thou Word of Love,

Manifested in the Christ-Man, the Son of God!

Thy Side opened and poured out!

Hung on the Tree of abandoning Love,

Thy precious Body,

Mingled with Holy Blood!

O Lowly Divinity!  O Glorious Humanity!  Brighter than the lights in the universe!

Holy Love consummates His Love for man,

Who kisses with prideful sneers

Conceals their outrages in majestic purple,

Offers to Him a reed,

And places a spiky crown o’er His Sacred Head!

O Divine King,

From Thy Adorable Heart, Blood and Water flow!

Along with the Spirit of Love!

Longinus’ stony heart healed!

Thy footstool’s foundation shakes!

Saints awake!

Flying at the sound of Thy gentle sigh!

O Crucified God of Love,

How beautiful art Thou in death,

As Thou art in life!

More lovely than all the flowers that adorn Thy footstool and Thy Throne!

Taken from the Tree,

Placed in the pure Hands of Thy Mother,

The Blessed Virgin,

White Rose of purity!

Who begot Perfection!

Stainless Rose who holds Thee,

O Red Rose bleeding!

From the manger crib,

To the bed-tomb!

 

Petition to Jesus —

Petition to Jesus

O Lovely Jesus, I thank Thee for Thyself and for Thy love.  After my pilgrimage on earth, I will be taken away by the good God.  At that moment, in which I will know neither the day nor the hour, I beseech The to have me dressed in a wedding garment so that I will be prepared to be with Thee for the Marriage Feast in Paradise.  Amen.

Sacred Side of Christ in Sant'Alfonso

Coeur De Jesus Sauvez La France — November 25, 2015
The Conquest of the Sacred Heart — November 23, 2015

The Conquest of the Sacred Heart

O Sacred Heart of Jesus,

Lover of my heart,

Thou hast conquered my heart,

With Love undying, unending!

Thy Love inspires Thy love

Banners raised high from castle tops,

Stamped with Thy emblem,

Sweetness Eternal!

With Thine enemies firing bullets and cannons,

I wield Thee o’er my chest,

Who, without firing a shot,

Melts their hearts,

Surrendering them to Thee!

O Sweet Heart of the Divine Lover

Conquer the heart of the world!

Throw it into the Fires of Love

Into the furnace of Thy Heart

Forever espoused to Thee!

The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Symbol of Combativity & Restoration of Christendom — November 20, 2015

The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Symbol of Combativity & Restoration of Christendom

(from Tradition in Action: http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/a001rp.htm; note: some articles from this website(like the one below) are very beautiful and consistent with Catholic Tradition; however, other articles are kind of weird and emphasize petty points for some reason; even an article I read about the Sacred Heart of Jesus brought up a rather petty objection that apparently people make against devotion to the Sacred Heart)

The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Symbol of Combativity & Restoration of Christendom

Atila S. Guimarães & Marian T. Horvat

The bond of friendship between Eternal Wisdom and man is so close as to be incomprehensible, St. Louis de Montfort tells us. From the moment when Divine Wisdom assumed a human nature and died to redeem man, he “is loved by Divine Wisdom as a brother, a friend, a disciple, a pupil. Man is the price of His blood, and the co-heir to His kingdom.” (1)

A devotional statue to Our Lord

In a world that has fled the wisdom of the Word, that friendship we seek with Our Lord Jesus Christ can seem difficult to achieve – or even to believe in. In today’s stress-filled, dollar-dominated and time-scarce society, we easily become overwhelmed by our daily affairs and tumultuous human relationships.

Paradoxically, Our Lord decided to give an eternal supreme and loving intimacy with Him not when all of society was ordered to His Law in the Middle Ages, but at a time in history when the heart of man, influenced by rationalism and the Cartesian world view, was becoming cold and distant.

In the mid-17th Century, Our Lord appeared to a simple 24-year-old nun of the Order of the Visitation of Our Lady at Paray-le-Monial. “Behold this Heart which has so much loved men,” He said, and through St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, He invited the whole world to return to this divine intimacy and friendship by means of devotion to His Sacred Heart.

It is a message of mercy and love. But it is much more. At this moment in history, it is interesting to look more closely at the invitations of the Sacred Heart to man. For in this message, there is a whole world-view of history, a reiteration of the social teachings of the Church, a call to Catholic Militancy, a rejection of Jansenism, an affirmation of the goodness of abundance and coherence of superfluity, and an invitation to become the Apostles of the Latter Times.

Plan of devotion to the Heart of Jesus in the course of History

Adam, king of creation, made of the “slime of the earth and having received the breath of life from God,” was a worthy image and likeness of the Creator. (Gen. 2:7) So that he might have a companion in the earthly paradise, God gave him a spouse. God communicated to Adam a mysterious deep sleep, and while Adam slept He took one of the ribs near his heart, and made Eve. (Gen. 2:21-22).

Therefore, while man proceeds from the slime of the earth, the woman proceeds in a certain way from the heart of man. If the first was created outside of Paradise and was introduced as a privilege into it, the second, Eve, was born within Paradise, having as prime matter that which the man had of the most noble, something near his very heart. This is why woman is more refined and fragile than man. And man, made outside of Paradise, is rougher, and stronger by nature.

If Adam had governed Creation according to the plan of God, Eve would have been his companion in intimacy and given him repose. From this, one can understand the affirmation of St. Paul (so hated and misunderstood by feminists) that man “is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.” (1.Cor. 11:7-8) Such was the first draft of the plan God had for the first couple, and then, for all humanity.

After man sinned, this plan was upset. From king and queen of all creation, the two in many ways became subject to the earth: “With labor and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life.” Man was sentenced to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, and woman to bring forth children in sorrow. (Gen. 3:16-19) These were the sentences of punishment that Adam and Eve brought on themselves and all their progeny. No longer the glory of the friendship of God, the reign over a docile and obedient paradise, but a hostile creation turned against man, and within himself an obscuring of the light of grace, the clouding of the intelligence, the revolt of the will, and the unleashing of the sensibilities. This was the punishment for the disobedience of man to God. In short, the regency of grace over nature and the easy predominance of the spirit over matter were lost.

Our Lord Jesus Christ came to redeem this sin and to alleviate suffering. In a second metaphorical “deep sleep,” in the mysterious sleep of the Cross, God took from the open Heart of the Second Adam that perfect Spouse – the Church, which would be for Him the concentration of all His refinements, the joy of His intimacy, and the perfect companion for His repose: His glory on this earth. From the Sacred Side of Christ, the Holy Catholic Church, Mystical Spouse of the Savior would be born. The water and blood flowing from His Sacred Heart would wash the eyes of sinners, open the minds of men to divine light and, falling to the ground, baptize the earth that until then was in the possession of the “prince of this world”. This blood and this water would give origin to a river, the river of sacraments from which all graces come. This regenerated earth would permit man to return to that initial plan of God, and even surpass it.

The History of the Redemption is the story of the difficulty of man in conquering the consequences of sin and adapting himself to the desires of God. Even in face of the weakness of man, the Second Adam did not abandon the men He came to save. Seeing their vacillation, their inconstancy, their ingratitude, He offered a solution for this weakness, a stimulus for the fight. He came to open to the world a new and surprising door to perfection. As Divine Wisdom became Man in order to draw the hearts of men to love and imitate Him, He now came to bring His Sacred Heart to men. And His Heart which, in the beginning of the History of Redemption, formed the Mystical Spouse of Christ, now, in the latter times, comes to give it relief, to prepare for the apogee and glorification of the Church.

The Heart of Jesus: an aristocratic devotion aiming for the restoration of Christendom

In the revelations of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), there are clear requests that devotion to His Sacred Heart should begin with King Louis XIV and the French court, and from there extend to the rest of the kingdoms of Christendom and the whole world. In a letter from the Saint to her Superior in 1689 she stated that the Sacred Heart had “even greater designs” than the first design of being praised and known by individual souls. She wrote:

“He desires, then, it seems to me,” she wrote, “to enter with pomp and magnificence into the palaces of Kings and Princes, therein to be honored as much as He has been despised, humiliated and outraged in His Passion.” (2)

She said that Our Lord wanted to receive “the consecration and homage of the King and his whole court”. It was over the heart of the King himself that the Sacred Heart desired to triumph, and then, “by his mediation over those of the great ones of the world”. (3)

It is hard to imagine a more efficacious plan to spread devotion to the Heart of Jesus throughout the world. The brilliance of the kingdom and person of Louis XIV (1638-1715) were at its apogee. Few epochs in history have seen a personality so strong and penetrating as that of the Sun King, whose rays and influence penetrated every court in Europe. Politically speaking, Louis XIV shone in no extraordinary way. But in the social and cultural realms, this King marked his century as no other.

 

Louis XIV seated amidst his nobles

Our Lord wanted Louis XIV to use his prestige to make the Sacred Heart known throughout the world

Among the other European monarchs, he stood out and his court and customs were imitated everywhere. Others looked, admired, copied: their palaces were inspired by the Versailles model. The most elegant and admired ceremonies, clothing, furniture, art works, music, dances, and gardens were those of the French court. If there was a single man in an age who set the tone for all Europe, this epoch was the Grand Siècle, the 17th Century, and this man was Louis XIV, the Sun King. At this time France, in the words of Lord Macaulay, had “over the surrounding countries the ascendancy …. that Greece had over Rome.” (4)

Our Lord could not have designed and chosen a more brilliant and efficient instrument in the secular sphere to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart than to ask the King of France to help make it grow and expand throughout the world. Our Lord desired in this way to move the kingdom of France, and then, “all the great men of the earth” so that He might be adored “in the palaces of the Princes and the Kings.” This was, therefore, the desire for a devotion that would permeate the most royal and aristocratic ambiences as well as the humblest of peasant households. Thus would it spread through the whole social body.

This is a principle that seems to be forgotten in our egalitarian age. So often devotion to the Sacred Heart, when it is permitted or fostered, is only encouraged for individuals or families. There is a real and sincere devotion that has developed around the Promises made to individuals who make the reparatory communions on the First Fridays and who make the solemn enthronement of the Sacred Heart in family homes. But this is still not the ideal requested by Our Lord Jesus Christ, who as Master of the parts of the social body, i.e. individuals, families, and even institutions, must evidently also be Master of the whole human society.

All nations, too, are the work of God and belong to Him, and hence Christ is their Master, Lord and King. The Heart of Jesus wants to reign in the very heart of nations, and in the first place those who rule and represent them, who should recognize this dominion and submit to it. This submission should be more from love than from a sense of duty, not so much because Christ has a right to demand it from rulers, as because they desire to submit to His love.

The cry of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary “Behold this Heart which has so loved men that It spared nothing, even going so far as to exhaust and consume Itself to prove to them Its love” is a call of conversion not only to men or families, but also to nations. In a certain way, it was the restoration of Christendom that was being placed within the reach of the King and nobility of France. The plan of Our Lord was to touch all nations and all social classes, beginning with France, First Daughter of the Church. Thus would the Sacred Heart be the cornerstone of a new Christendom.

The Sacred Heart and the armed fight in defense of the Faith

The Sacred Heart revealed to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque that He wanted His Sacred Heart “to reign in the King’s palace, to be painted on his standards and engraved on his arms, in order to render him victorious over all his enemies”. (5) In a later letter to her Mother Superior, Sister Margaret Mary revealed that the Divine Heart wished “to be the protector and defender of his sacred person [Louis XIV] against all his enemies visible and invisible. By means of this devotion He wants to defend him and make his salvation sure. … He will make all his undertakings redound to His glory by granting happy success to his armies.”

Our Lord did not hesitate to ask that the symbol of His great love for man be painted on the arms of Catholic warriors. This is quite different from a number of today’s ecumenical ecclesiastics who never tire of asking pardon of the enemies of the Church for the use of Catholic arms in defense of the Faith. How would they explain that Our Lord even went so far as to guarantee His participation in the battles that the King of France should wage in the religious wars of the epoch and to request that His Heart be painted on the arms themselves? He promised victory to those Catholic warriors, offering His Heart as a support like a General who brings his troops an invincible new strategic weapon.

Unfortunately, Louis XIV did not attend to the requests of Our Lord. Yet others did. These were the chouans, those glorious peasants of the Vendée and Bretagne who rose up against the French Revolution in 1793 to fight for the restoration of the Monarchy. On their arms they painted the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on their bodies they bore the badge of the Sacred Heart, popularized by St. John Eudes. Likewise, the Carlists with their red berets and battle cry of “Viva Christo Rey” in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s put the emblem of the Sacred Heart on their rifles, revolvers, heavy arms and even their tanks.

Perhaps one of the most moving examples of how Our Lord desired to work though one man to win a nation to His Loving Heart is the case of Gabriel Garcia Moreno, the President of Ecuador martyred by the Freemasons in 1875 outside the cathedral where he had just received First Friday Communion. Two years before this, the President of this Republic made a public consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and enacted a law unique in national lawmaking:

 

Our Lord's and His Sacred Heart

Ecuador was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by President Garcia Moreno. Image unveiled at the Consecration

“Art. 1: The Republic of Ecuador consecrates itself to the Holy Heart of Jesus, proclaiming it as Patron and Protector.

“Art. 2: The Feast of that same Sacred Heart of Jesus is prescribed as a civil first-class holyday, to be observed in every cathedral of this Republic by diocesan prelates with all possible ceremony.”

The dying words of this magnificent Catholic statesman were “Courage! God never dies!” (6)

There is a tendency in our days to emphasize the goodness, gentleness and pity of the Magnificent Heart of Jesus, Who is certainly moved by the weakness and distress of those whom He loves. But the good shepherd is also a hero and a warrior; and His love is essentially a contending kind of love. The Heart of Christ longs to win a battle. As He said in the Gospel, He did not come to bring peace to the earth, but the sword.

How admirable is this command of Our Lord to have His Sacred Heart painted on the French standards. It is noteworthy that in this epoch the use of national flags was not yet the general custom. But from the earliest ages, France had always had a sacred standard with the three fleurs-de-lis, one that rested in the sanctuary of St. Denis and was brought out in hours of danger or holy war. It symbolized the Catholic soul of France, and floated like a sacred prayer amid the nation’s banners.

According to a beautiful tradition, before a crucial battle against the fierce Allemani in 496, King Clovis of the Franks called on the “God of Clotilda”. (St. Clotilda, his spouse, a Burgundian princess instrumental in his conversion.) He begged protection for the battle ahead and if he won, he promised to convert to the Catholic Faith. During a very difficult moment of the combat, the symbol of the King of Franks, a banner with three frogs, miraculously changed into another with the three fleurs-de-lis. From this time forward the fleur-de-lis was the principle symbol of the Kings of France.

It is interesting to imagine the fortuitous results of the addition of the Sacred Heart to the delicate three fleurs-de-lis. The French, certainly lacking in neither good taste nor a refined sense of aesthetics would have been naturally disposed to take this command of Our Lord and render the most magnificent expressions of the Catholic spirit. Unhappily, this is not what happened. The words of St. Margaret Mary in 1689 were not heeded, and one century later the storm rose that swept away the French monarchies and, with it, other monarchies.

The Sacred Heart and the glorification of the superfluous

In the religious ambience of the times when Our Lord chose to make His revelations to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the mid-17th Century, the influence of Jansenism was strong in the religious and intellectual milieus. Adepts of Jansenism emphasized God’s justice and severity with little emphasis on His willingness to forgive or His divine mercy.

The Jansenist doctrine was born from a spirit of pride and self-sufficiency. It suggested man could not receive anything from God without having first merited it morally or intellectually. It was an attempt to harness the infinite largesse of God to the small confines of justice and reciprocity within the finite limits of the understanding of man.

Our Lord gave the gift of His Sacred Heart to the world to counter this harsh and puritanical spirit that has survived even to our days. In the Sacred Heart of Jesus man finds pardon for the past, peace for the present, hope for the future. The mercy of this Heart, the fountain of all living waters, is so superabundant that even in what seems to be the most irreversible and hopeless moral situations, man can find in this devotion a possibility of pardon and a full return to the life of grace and peace.

Thus Our Lord wanted mankind to know His surplus of mercy, a kind of luxury that surpasses the common economy of grace. A spirit infected with socialist tendencies could see in this excess of mercy a dissipation or excess, if not an injustice. It is the same type of objection he would have in face of the superfluous, the magnificent, and the marvelous in secular society. Looking at a magnificent castle, an outward and visible sign of grandeur and transcendency, he could only react with indignation: “But this is a waste. It is an injustice for such a building to exist when there are hungry people in miserable huts.” Such objections are easy to answer for the man with a Catholic and hierarchical spirit.

In Christ was the plentitude of grace: “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” (John 1:16) He merited all graces for us, and the graces through which our souls are sanctified come to us through and flow from the fullness of the grace of Christ. Our Lord, so extraordinarily rich and so desirous of the salvation of man, has permitted His munificence to shine in the multitude of devotions, prayers, pomp and ceremony of His Church. He desired to establish this devotion to the Sacred Heart as a further benefice and aid for man to achieve salvation. It is a manifestation of superabundance, superabundance quite fitting to His Nature. Thus could devotion to His Sacred Heart be interpreted as a legitimation and even the glorification of the superfluous.

The Sacred Heart and the Apostles of the Last Times: Unlimited confidence and unbounded desires

St. John, the beloved apostle of the Heart of Jesus, appeared in the 13th century to an early devotee of the Sacred Heart, St. Gertrude the Great. He invited her to repose her head alongside his own on the Heart of Jesus. “Why did you speak so little of the loving secrets of the Heart of Jesus?” She asked him. He answered: “My ministry in those early times of the Church was confined to speaking of the Divine Word, the eternal Son of the Father, some words of deep meaning upon which human intelligence might meditate forever, without ever exhausting their riches. But to these latter times was reserved the grace of hearing the eloquent voice of the Heart of Jesus. At this voice, the time-worn world will renew its youth, be roused from its lethargy and again be inflamed with the warmth of Divine love.”

The key to the Sacred Heart was given by Our Lord to St. Gertrude: that all can be won with unlimited confidence and unbounded desires. She understood that confidence is the key that opens the treasures of the infinite mercy of God. To her confidence alone, she attributed all the gifts she received. Our Lord Himself told her: “Confidence alone easily obtains all things.” Once when St. Gertrude was troubled with temptation, she implored divine assistance. Our Lord comforted her with these words:

“Anyone suffering from human temptations, who flees to My protection with firm confidence, belongs to those of whom I can say: ‘One is My dove, My chosen one out of thousands, who has pierced My Heart with one glance of her eyes.’ And this confidence wounds My Heart so deeply that were I unable to relieve such a soul, it would cause my heart a sadness which all the joys of Heaven could not assuage … Confidence is the arrow which pierces My Heart, and does such violence to My love that I can never abandon her.”

Hand in hand with confidence Our Lord desires that we become men and women of great desire – an unlimited desire for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary. St. Gertrude taught the great secret for our times: that Our Lord “accepts the will for the deed”. “The goodwill in undertaking a work to fulfill My desire, notwithstanding the difficulty met with, is most agreeable to Me, and I accept the goodwill for the deed. Even if he be unable to succeed, I will reward him as if he had accomplished it,” Our Lord revealed to her.

 

Our Lord beckons us to venerate His Sacred Heart

With the Sacred Heart, all can be won by an unlimited confidence and unbounded desires

Our Lord accomplished the desires of His friends in proportion to their earnestness and intensity. He accepts the desires of His friends as if they were realized. This is a key for the latter days, when men, weakened by sin and overwhelmed with the problems and chaos confronting them from every direction, feel incapable of an action proportionate to the need.

Another devotee of the Sacred Heart, the great St. Catherine of Siena, spoke these prophetic words, perhaps in anticipation of our very days: “O my God, how wilt Thou be able in these unhappy times to provide for the wants of Thy Church? I know what Thou wilt do. Thy love will raise up men of desires. Their finite works joined to infinite desires, will make Thee hear their prayers for the salvation of the world.”

The graces that were shed over the Church and the world in the 17th Century with the apparitions of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart established a new intimacy between men and Jesus Christ, whose delight is more to be with the sons of men than to rule the Seraphim. This new economy of grace certainly sought to make possible a profound – and easy – intimacy with Our Lord. A love for God until then unknown brings as its consequence a combativity until then unknown against the enemies of the Church of Christ. It is an indispensable reciprocal relationship.

Thus has this devotion been given to the Church to help to form those indomitable warriors who will come to confront the Anti-Christ and his followers. These will be the Apostles of the last times, described by St. Louis Grignion de Montfort:

“In a word, we know that they shall be true disciples of Jesus Christ, walking in the His footsteps of poverty, humility, contempt of the world, charity, teaching the narrow way of God in pure truth, according to the holy Gospel, and not according to the maxims of the world; removed from any human concerns, without attachment to anyone; sparing, fearing and listening to no mortal, however influential he may be. They shall have in their mouths the two-edged sword of the Word of God. They shall display on their shoulders the bloody standard of the Cross, the Crucifix in their right hand and the Rosary in their left, the sacred Names of Jesus and Mary in their Hearts, and the modesty and mortification of Jesus Christ in their own behavior.

“These are the great men who are to come; but Mary is the one who, by order of the Most high shall fashion them for the purpose of extending His empire over that of the impious, the idolaters and the Muslims. But when and how shall this be? God alone knows.”

The Sacred Heart of Jesus wants to inspire the hearts of men of our days with a great combativity and a great desire to accomplish the deeds of which it can seem we are not even capable. These will be the sons and daughters of Blessed Mary: it was from Her Immaculate Heart that Christ drew His humanity. His Heart began its first beating within the chaste precincts of Mary’s virginal womb. No human heart will ever be more closely attuned to the Heart of the God-Man than was, and is, that of His Mother. And just as the prayers and desires of Mary hastened the coming of Our Lord, so the prayers and desires of the just, in shortening the days of tribulation, will hasten the triumph of the Church.

Prayer to the Sacred Heart — November 17, 2015

Prayer to the Sacred Heart

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sweet Fountain of Heavenly Love, I adore Thee as my only Love.  In Thy Sacred Passion, Thou hast made Thyself a Victim of Love for mankind.  Through the lovely pulsations of Thy Heart, I offer myself to Thee as a martyr of Thy Love, renewing this oblation with same pulsations of Thy Heart.  Stir me to do battle under the banner of Thy Heart, that the world will be under the power of Love.

La plupart du Sacré-Cœur de Jésus-Christ