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TAKING ON BOARD THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS PARALYSES THE POWERS OF ACTION

TAKING ON BOARD THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS PARALYSES THE POWERS OF ACTION

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: THE QUICKEST METHOD OF EMPTYING ONESELF OF “SELF”

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

Human respect, often called common prudence, respect for the opinions of others, and the like, paralyses the powers of action of those who are called to be apostles and reduces works for souls to triviality.

Living in the midst of great communities of pagans or non-Catholics or the lapsed, the faithful make little or no effort to convert them and the graces God offers are returned unused.

Aware of this, the Army of Mary sets itself to a deliberate campaign against the operation of the spirit of human approval in its members. The principal means employed are insistence upon sound and strict discipline and constant indoctrination of the fact that human respect in a Child of Mary is comparable to cowardice in a soldier. Love, loyalty and discipline, if they are genuine, will certainly result in sacrifice and courage. “What a shame to be the delicate member of a Thorn-crowned Head!”  … words of St Bernard which the member must constantly apply to himself.

“If you fought only when you felt ready for the fray, where would be your merit?” asks St Therese of Lisieux.

“What does it matter even if you have no courage, provided you behave as though you were really brave? If you feel too lazy to pick up a bit of thread, and yet do so for the love of Jesus, you gain more merit than for a much nobler action done on an impulse of fervour. Instead of grieving, be glad that, by allowing you to feel your own weakness, Our Lord is furnishing you with an occasion of saving a greater number of souls.”

– Excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part 1)

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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“HAVE COURAGE” – ST JOAN ANTIDE-THOURET

“[On]  24th August, one of the saints remembered by the Church is St Joan Antide-Thouret. She was born in France in 1755 and lived at a time of great change during the French Revolution but this did not stop St Joan from living the life and vocation that she wanted.

A time of great change during the French Revolution

At the age of sixteen, after her mother had died, St Joan looked after her father in the village of Besancon. However, in 1787 she felt called by God to enter the Sisters of Charity at Paris. There two serious illnesses interrupted her religious training and in 1794, due to the turmoil around them, the sisters had to disperse.

Due to the turmoil, the sisters had to disperse

St Joan returned to her hometown and ran a school for the village children. When political conditions improved the local Vicar General invited St Joan to open a bigger school and, after some reluctance due to her feeling inadequate, this was achieved in April 1799. Six months later St Joan added a soup kitchen and a dispensary.

In obedience to her Bishop

Some critics denounced her for not returning to her original community of sisters. She countered this by saying that she had not yet taken religious vows and was now acting in obedience to her Bishop. St Joan also ran a female asylum at Belleveaux, which housed orphans, criminals, the homeless and women with mental illness. She and others laboured there in the asylum under hopeless conditions, and opponents again criticised her for undertaking this work.

Let’s despise the world and its false gods. Let’s despise its honours. In vain would we seek our happiness in them.

However, St Joan pressed on with this work, encouraging others with her example and writings. In one letter to a fellow worker she wrote: ‘How are you? Still holding on firmly to the handles of the plough? Is the ground hard and dry? Is the corn growing well? The weeds not stifling it? If so, dig out the weeds with a hoe, without damaging the corn. Have courage. The good corn of the elect will ripen and will nourish you for eternal life. Prune the vine well. You will drink the good wine in long draughts in paradise. But to merit this happiness, let’s not tire of fighting during this exile. Let’s despise the world and its false gods. Let’s despise its honours. In vain would we seek our happiness in them. It will benefit us greatly to receive nothing from the world but ingratitude and opposition. This will detach us from it and attach us closely to God alone. You face many troubles in serving these poor people entrusted to you. I am sure that you do so from charity and the love of God.’

This will detach us from the world and attach us closely to God alone.

By 1810 St Joan’s community had spread to Switzerland, Savoy and Naples, where St Joan had gone to administer a hospital. In 1819 the Pope approved this order as the Daughters of Charity. St Joan died in Naples in 1826. She is an inspiration to those of us who wish to do the work of God whilst fighting against opposition, misunderstanding, criticism, feeling inadequate and the pettiness of others. St Joan did it and so can we.”

– From: Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris/2015

 

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AT THE FIRST SIGN OF DANGER THE SHEPHERD CANNOT RUN AND LEAVE THE SHEEP TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES – ST OSCAR ROMERO

” ‘I will stay with my people’

Many of our readers will remember the assassination of Archbishop Romero of San Salvador in 1980. Killed because he stood up for his oppressed people. He made public the horrific crimes being committed, many of them by agents of the government. Because of this he was under constant threat of death. But he would not be silenced, and to those who suggested that he go into hiding or exile he said, ‘At the first sign of danger the shepherd cannot run and leave the sheep to fend for themselves. I will stay with my people.’

He was shot dead while he was saying Mass – another martyr for Christ

He was shot dead in March 1980 while he was saying Mass, another martyr for Christ. While every century of the Church has seen its share of martyrs there were many more Christians martyred in the twentieth century than in all other centuries combined. We thank God for them and for the witness they gave, but giving one’s life for Christ is asked only of the few.

We are called to stand up for our faith 

All of us, however, are called to stand up for our beliefs especially today when faith and Christian values are being ignored more and more. In some situations it can take courage to admit to being a Christian. But Christ tells us not to be fearful, that He is always with us. We struggle at times to be faithful. But we are strengthened by his assurance to help, by his presence with us on the journey, and by his promise to be there at the end of our lives to present us to the Father. ‘If anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in Heaven’ (Mt 10).”

– This article was published in Saint Martin Magazine, issue June 2015. For subscriptions please visit http://www.stmartin.ie (external link).

 

 

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“THE FIRST CHRISTIANS REQUIRED COURAGE TO OVERCOME AND TRANSFORM A VAST, PAGAN WORLD”

Challenges posed by opposing ideologies

[…] “The Bishop of Shrewsbury…the Rt. Rev. Mark Davies says that family life is in crisis from challenges posed by opposing ideologies.

Particularly, he says that these oppositions, including the acceptance of [practising] homosexuals into the Church, are hostile to the sanctity of human life and the truth of marriage.

‘Deceptive mercy’

Bishop Davies says: ‘It would be the ultimate failure in pastoral care or charity, to mislead people by encouraging them to remain in sin, or fail to call them to repentance and renewal.

‘Pope Francis describes this approach as ‘deceptive mercy’, a false mercy which bandages wounds but fails to heal them.’ …

Encouraging a ‘pagan world’

Bishop Davies … said acceptance of homosexuality would be encouraging a ‘pagan world’. He continues: ‘I want to dispel any misleading impression that the Church will abandon her witness in the face of hostile trends in public opinion or the destructive ideologies of our time.

The call for unwavering courage

‘The first Christians required courage to overcome and transform a vast, pagan world whose ideas about marriage and sexuality were not unlike those which prevail in our own culture.

‘Today we need this same, supernatural courage to live and give witness to all the Church believes and teaches about marriage, the family and human sexuality.’

Hostile trends in public opinion

He will also highlight that both Pope Francis and Cardinal Vincent Nichols have rejected wrongful assumptions that the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, held at the Vatican between 5th-19th October, could lead to changes in the constant teaching of the Church on marriage.

Bishop Davies quotes Pope Francis in explaining that the ‘pastoral response’ sought by the synod to the crisis of our time is primarily to find answers to the ‘many discouragements that surround and suffocate families’.

Pope St John Paul II and Blessed Paul VI

He will also suggest that the canonisation of Pope St John Paul II and the subsequent beatification of Blessed Paul VI represent fresh invitations to ‘look to the great inheritance of their teaching’ and expressed the hope that their courage and prayer will inspire us to seek a deeper understanding of what Christ and his Church teach about marriage, the family and human sexuality.”

– These are excerpts (headings in bold added afterwards) of an article published in the Catholic Universe on 7th November 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.the catholic universe.com [external link]

 

 

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“IF MEN ARE NOT GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF GOD, THEY WILL BE RULED BY TYRANTS”

TODAY, GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS ARE OPENLY ATTACKED

“It is not only in the Right to Life, but also in other very important rights, that the governments (federal and local) of Canada and the U.S.A. Are gradually taking away – or are prepared to take away – our God-given rights. In Canada, for example: in the ‘Charter of Rights’, the federal and provincial governments have written into the Charter the power for them to override any person’s or any group’s right to the free exercise of his/their conscience or religion. Some might say that we need not worry because no government will ever invoke this power to override individual consciences. If they never will do this, why did the governments write it into the Charter?

If governments will not accept in practice and in law the idea that governments themselves are responsible to God and have authority to rule only from God (and only so far as God authorises them), then they, in turn, will assume in practice that there is no other greater authority than government. If this trend is not reversed, they will, over time, demand absolute and total obedience, even when their will is against the Law of God and against the God-given and inalienable rights of its citizens.

THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE FORCES OF GOOD AND THE FORCES OF EVIL IN OUR TIMES

We see, then, that modern governments in North America and elsewhere have increasingly rejected the concept of having their powers restricted by any moral restraints, which means that they operate in a moral vacuum and become increasingly totalitarian.

At this time, then, we must especially remember the warning given by the great statesman, William Penn: ‘If men are not governed by the Laws of God, they will be ruled by tyrants.’

And here are some statements of the Popes concerning our times: ‘There is room to fear that we are experiencing the foretaste and beginnings of the evils which are to come at the end of time, and that the Son of Perdition, of whom the Apostle speaks, has already arrived upon the earth.’ (Frm Pope Saint Pius X’s Encyclical ‘Suprema Apostolatus, 1903 – in reference to the anti-Christian movement of Freemasonry attacking the Church from outside and the Movement of Modernism subverting the Church from within.) ‘The smoke of satan is seeping into the Church. The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic World.’ (Pope Paul VI)

DELIBERATE PLANS OF THE FORCES OF EVIL

Let us not be deceived into thinking that these corrupting influences have come to our country and into the world and the Church without a deliberate plan of the enemies of God and the enemies of our country. Led by satan, these men have a deliberate plan to corrupt us, to deceive us, and to enslave us. Here is a quotation from one of the secret societies which plotted the overthrow of the Church and legitimate civil government. The Masonic society said that a dagger is not enough to bring down the Papacy, for another Pope would be elected, and that in order to bring down the Papacy, they said, ‘Let us not make Christians sin, rather let us corrupt Christian hearts.’ To quote them directly, they said:

‘Let us spread vice broadcast among the multitude. Let them breathe it through their five senses, let them drink it in and become saturated with it… Make men’s hearts corrupt and vicious and you will have no more Catholics. Draw away priests from their work, from the altar and from the practice of virtue… The best poniard with which to wound the Church mortally is corruption.’ (Quoted by Father Denis Fahey, C.C.Sp., in his book, ‘The Kingship of Christ and Organised Naturalism – pp. 18-19.)

Our Lady of Fatima warned that Militant Atheists would ‘spread their errors throughout the world’ – if we did not heed Her warning. She also said that ‘certain fashions would be introduced which would offend Her Son very much.’ Our Lady indicated that our enemies had a deliberate plan to corrupt our Faith and our morals.

WHAT IS A MILITANT ATHEIST?

Militant Atheists are, by definition, people who not only do not believe in God, but who work and fight and use whatever means they can (they are not restrained by any considerations of right and wrong) to impose on the people their atheism. There is documented evidence of co-operation between the various branches of Militant Atheism to bring about their tyrannic rule over the whole world. [1]

Since the Militant Atheists cannot operate openly because the people would wake up to the danger, many Militant Atheists in the Western World do not openly profess their atheism or their aims to deceive, to subvert, and to subject society under the oppressive yoke of Militant Atheism. The Militant Atheist is an extremely dangerous enemy. He is particularly dangerous to our Eternal Salvation because he will use force, if possible, and will use trickery as well, to try to impose his atheism on each of us. To accept, for whatever reason, his doctrine, is to deprive ourselves of Eternal Salvation, for it is necessary ‘for a man to believe that God exists and rewards those who seek Him’ in order to be saved. (Hebrews 11:6)

MILITANT ATHEISTS’ TRICKERY

Let us not be deceived by the trickery of the Militant Atheists. PRAY THE ROSARY DAILY in order to avoid their deceptions and lies. Let us also recall that many Popes over the past 250 years have condemned the sect of the Freemasons and its practices and its doctrines. Pope John Paul II, through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has … affirmed the excommunication passed on any Catholic who joins the Freemasons. (See decree of February 17, 1981.)(See Nov. 26, 1983, Declaration by Cardinal Ratzinger and the Holy Office.)

Besides the open Militant Atheism of the Communists who are spreading the lies of the devil by military might and by the subversion of our society, other diabolical errors and movements are afoot in our country and in the Western World such as Secular Humanism and also the planned decline of moral standards among the people, as evidenced by the widespread use of contraceptives and sterilisations…

These errors against Faith and morals are spread amongst our people by the devil and his henchmen on earth, and their spread forebodes badly for our country. Militant Atheists know that before they can conquer and enslave a country, they must first bring about the moral downfall of the people and enslave them to sin. Then they know that the people will not have the spiritual strength necessary to resist them and their plots, and their open military might, whereby they shall enslave the country – in a very evil, cruel and extremely painful slavery.

The Prophet Balaam in the Old Testament was asked how to defeat those who were the People of God. Balaam replied to the enemies that they could not win because God is protecting His people. But Balaam went on to say to God’s enemies that if they could get the People of God to sin enough, then God would not protect His people and then the enemies of God could win. So the enemies of God, then and now, follow the same battle plan: first get the People of God to sin enough – then the enemies of God will be able to win in war because God will have withdrawn His protection. Thus the Militant Atheists seek above all to corrupt Catholics – the People of God of the New and Eternal Testament – and they are succeeding to a great extent.
[1] One of the references: See also the book, ‘The Antichrist’, published in 1981 and written by Father Vincent P. Miceli, S.J., Ph.D., an American priest who has taught at Pontifical Universities in Rome. The book is already in its 5th edition, and has an imprimatur from the Archdiocese of New York. In this book, Father Miceli gived the historical evidence and the theological background on the forces of evil, including recent examples of the inroads of the devil and his followers into North American society, international politics, and even into the Church Herself.”

PRAYING THE ROSARY AS OFTEN AS WE CAN

“Each time Our Lady appeared to the three children at Fatima, She asked us to pray the Rosary. Our Lady also asked us to wear the Scapular. In the final vision, on October 13, 1917, Our Lady silently held out the Scapular. Lucy has said the Blessed Mother wants everyone to wear it. ‘The Scapular and the Rosary are inseparable.’ Our Lady also said, ‘If people do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.’”
– This is an excerpt of the booklet “Our Lady’s Urgent Appeal” published by “The Fatima Center”, 1982. For more information please visit http://www.fatima.org (external link).

 

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“WE CAN AND SHOULD EXPECT TO BE PERSECUTED AND RIDICULED FOR OUR FAITH”

“We live in a secular society. A secular society prides itself on its tolerance and acceptance of many things.

Ironically, a secular society can be intolerant of religious faith and those who practise and profess it.

Whatever society we live in, secular or not, we can and should expect to be persecuted and ridiculed for our faith.

We should however always be prepared to give the reason for our hope and our joy. We should also be prepared to stand up for the truth of our faith, to uphold the Gospel of life and to resist the culture of death.

We are called to speak the truth in love; proclaim the Gospel of life with love for God and love for our neighbour burning in our hearts.”
– This short meditation was published in “A Lenten Journey of Prayer for 2013” by AlivePublishing. For information about their booklets please visit http://www.alivepublishing.co.uk (external link).

 

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“MY UNMARRIED FACEBOOK FRIEND ANNOUNCED SHE IS PREGNANT – IS IT OK TO CLICK ‘LIKE'”?

QUESTION: “If an unmarried friend on Facebook announces that she has moved in with her boyfriend I don’t click ‘Like’ because it seems to be a form of approval. But if an unmarried friend announces that she is pregnant, is it hypocritical to congratulate her?

ANSWER: Your raising this question is commendable because it demonstrates an awareness of the responsibility that we have to avoid co-operating in the wrong done by another person. Traditionally theologians have identified nine general ways to co-operate in evil: by counsel, by command, by consent, by provocation, by praise or flattery, by concealment, by being a partner in the sin, by silence and by defending the wrong done.

Although clicking ‘Like’ for a Facebook status is fairly trivial it can be a way of praising something wrong and so I agree with your decision to avoid clicking “Like” when an unmarried couple announce that they have moved in together. It is not always necessary to comment negatively on a person’s status but it might be necessary to say something if others draw an inference from our lack of comment. Even here we do not need to respond if people are simply attempting to draw us into an online fight.

In the case of an unmarried friend announcing a pregnancy, there are other considerations. In many cases an unmarried mother will be asked whether she wishes to continue with the pregnancy – in other words, whether to opt for the killing of the baby through abortion.

For someone who is young and in difficulties, considerable pressure may be brought to bear. In such cases we are right to congratulate a young mother on making the courageous choice of life for her unborn child.

In the case of a mother who is in a long-term cohabiting relationship we can still congratulate her on the conception of a child, though we may be in a position where we should encourage her to marry. Facebook is probably not the place for such a conversation to take place, and simply clicking ‘Like’ does not imply that we approve of all the circumstances of the pregnancy.”
– This article by Fr Tim Finigan was published as part of the feature “Catholic Dilemmas” in the “Catholic Herald” issue March 7 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 

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