Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Our Lady of La Salette IX

La Salette Seer - Melanie
Melanie likewise had an unsettled life. She entered and subsequently left several convents, starting at the Sisters of Providence in Corps. At this convent Melanie was unfortunately laden with fame and acclaim due to the apparition - both of which can feed deadly pride and kill spiritual growth. Melanie was the center of attention and after some time began to tell of other "mystical experiences." Despite the grandiosity of her tales, the mistress of novices encouraged Melanie to relate them, imprudently as it turned out. The area Bishop tried to curb these stories emanating from the convent but to no avail. When it came time for Melanie to profess her solemn vows, he refused his permission. Angered by this, the seer left this convent for a community of Carmelites in England. She shortly left these sisters and returned to her native France, where she entered the Our Lady of Compassion convent in Marseille. There she trained as a teacher. Her order proceeded to send her to teach in an orphanage in Cephalonia, a tiny Greek island. Melanie returned to Marseille after two years there and hoped to publish her "secret." This effort was unsuccessful at first, but eventually she did manage to propagate her "secret" which caused a veritable explosion of controversy. Finally on May 9, 1923 the Holy Father placed Melanie's "secret" on the Index of Forbidden Books. The Church ruled that the "secret" was not authentic and not in any way connected to the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette.
Throughout this scandalous time, Melanie traversed between France and Italy, her health failing and her reputation marred. She spent the last several months of her life in Altamura Italy where she died December 14, 1904 at the age of 74.
The unsettled lives on Maximin and Melanie prove to us that the Church's approval of apparitions of Our Lady do not depend on the personal sanctity of the seers. What lessons can we draw from thier lives? We can contrast thier lives with those of many other saints and see the heroic virtues necessary for canonization are born and bred in the domestic church. Family prayer and practice of the faith are very powerful in the development of good Catholics. Lacking this childhood formation and example given by parents make God's graces more less apt to be cooperated with. Regardless of this, it is good to be able to rely on the right judgement of our Holy Church in the matters of things supernatural. Due to the approval of this apparition we can with confidence let the message of La Salette sink into our souls, we are free to honor Our Lady of La Salette, visit the site and so on due to the authority of the Magisterium, which is a great gift to us from God.
Prayer to Our Lady of La Salette
True Mother of Sorrows, the tears you shed for us on Calvary. Remember also the care you have taken to keep us faithful to Christ, your Son. Having done so much for your children, you will not now abandon us. Comforted by this consoling thought, we come to you pleading, despite our infidelities and ingratitude. Virgin of Reconciliation, do not reject our prayers, but intercede for us, obtain for us the grace to love Jesus above all else. May we console you by living a holy life and so come to share eternal life Christ gained by his cross. Amen+

Our Lady of La Salette VIII

Maximin - Seer of La Salette

Melanie and Maximin met on the mountainside for the first time the day prior to the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Melanie, accustomed to solitute would have preferred to remain alone, nonetheless she agreed to meet with the lonely Maximin the next day - he was quite anxious to have company and craved companionship.

The day of apparition, Saturday , September 19, 1846, began as all others. They were tending thier heards of cows until Maximin peered into the ravine to see Our Lady seated upon a rock, her head in her hand, weeping. He would later recount to pilgrims "From there, she (Our Lady) rose into the air, disappeared, and left me with all my faults." He stated at another time, "The apparition and I are two different things. I was only an instrument. We have only been conduits , only parrots who have repeated what we have heard. We were stupid before the apparition, and we remain stupid after, and we will be stupid all of our lives."

When the message of the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette became widely known, the children were placed in Providence, a convent school for four years. There they were protected, educated, catechised and were given First Communion. Melanie's family was also granted a small stipend so they would not suffer for loss of her income, nor would her siblings have to beg. The children were only give First Communion after thier parents made thier Easter Duty.

They both went on to have troubled and unsettled lives. This is in seeming contrast to the lives of some other well-known apparitions such as Lourdes and Fatima. However, these two also lacked the devout and relatively stable homes of the more fortunate seers. We could draw from this that a stable, prayerful and pious family is certainly the foundation of a stable, prayerful and pious adult life. We see this in our society today - dysfunctional homes produce dysfunctional children who grow into dysfunctional adults. This seems to have been the case with the La Salette seers. However, this does not negate the message, nor did this apparent "dysfunction" prevent them from carrying out the mission given them by Our Lady, namely, "You will make this know to all my people." This they did indeed carry out.

Maximin wanted to become a priest, and entered several seminaries. He was ejected from each one as he had no interest in study. The Superior of the convent school Providence described him thus: "Maximin has ordinary abilities; he is sufficiently obedient, but light, fond of play, and always in motion." He suffered from a short attention span but generally had a pleasant disposition. He tried and failed at other venues such as: mechanic, doctor, pharmacist and artist. Nothing could be gained by him it seemed in his studies. While in Paris, he became so destitute he went hungry and handled his finances poorly. He became a Papal Zouave, a voluntary soldier of the Holy Father but this also lasted a short time. He then entered into French military service for a time. Without sufficient insight or prudence, he lent his name to a liquor distributor who swindled him of his remaining money. Poor and a "worldly" failure, Maxmin returned to Corps for the remainder of his life. When questioned near to the time of his death "Hasn't the apparition produced something special within you? I mean, hasn't it brought you a particular grace to improve you, to inspire you to live in a saintly way?" Maximin responded, "I can't say that. I never felt anything special. But the Blessed Virgin did grant me the grace of a very Christian education with the good sisters at Corps. She surrounded me with very edifying priests. My childhood and youth were spent in a milieu that encouraged me to do good and to avoid evil. Without the apparition I could have strayed far from God and become really bad. I might even have become a member of the Internationale, or the Commune. By keeping me in this milieu and giving me the religious convictions I still have, she betowed a wonderful gift on me." Indeed it would seem he retained the innocence of boyhood to the end, when he died of tubuculosis at the age of 40.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Our Lady of La Salette VII

The Seers of La Salette - Who are they?
Francoise Melanie and Peter Maximin were born in Corps, France, a tiny hamlet with a population of less than 1000 in the Southern French Alps. The two children did not meet until the day prior to the appearance of the Virgin Mary.
Melanie was born November 7, 1831 and was 14 at the time of the apparition. She was born into a family that was not devout and quite poor. Put to work as a young child to assist the family financially, she was hired out by her parents as a shepherdess for area farmers. This life of hard work and long hours left her with little to no time to attend Mass, even on holy days. Her primary contact with the Church was in hearing the bells ring prior to Mass while at work in the valley. When Our Lady asked her "Do you say your prayers well my children?" Melanie answered in all honesty, "No Madame, hardly at all." Later in her life, she would relate "Isn't justice served that I, the least of all creatures, who did not begin to pray until the age of 15, suffer more and am more humiliated than others?"
Melanie led a lonely and rather sad life for such a young girl. She was described by those who knew her, and especially by those for whom she worked as timid, shy, sulky and introverted. She was totally uneducated and illiterate. Her time was spent day after day, week after week on the mountainside tending flocks, in freezing rain, blistering heat, wind and snow. One employer testified the following "She was excessively timid, and so careless of herself, that on returning from the mountain, drenched with rain, she never thought of changing her clothes. Sometimes, and it was part of her character, she would sleep in the cattle sheds; and at others, if not observed, she would have passed the night under the stars." Her employer at the time of apparition, Baptiste Pra, also described the young seer thus, "...idle, disobedient, inclined to pout, and moody." He also said that following the appearance of the Blessed Virgin, Melanie changed, she was more active, obedient and prayerful. It would appear that the young seer started to fight against her own moodiness, and with some success.
Maximin was four years Melanie's junior and was born August 27, 1835, also to a poor and irreligious family. Maximin's father was a cartwright, who had a well deserved reputation as a man who lacked reliability. In Corps he was viewed as a "spendthrift and a drifter." Maximin's mother died when he young very young and his stepmother was said to dislike him intensely. He was high-spirited, energetic and behaved in a poorly disciplined manner, although he received regular beatings from his parents. Despite this outwardly looking bleakness - the young seer tended toward a cheerful disposition and was well liked by his fellow children. He generally performed poorly in his studies, which often took place with his father in the local tavern. He could neither read nor write but had learned the Ave and the Our Father just prior to the apparition of Our Lady.
Neither of the little visionaries recieved any guidance or spiritual direction. They likewise had no examples of piety by which to form themselves, no training or education in natural or supernatural virtues, little to no catechesis and attended the Sacraments rarely. At the time of the Blessed Virgin's appearance, Melanie was tending Baptiste Pra's cows, and Maximin had the day prior been hired as a replacement worker by Peter Selme to herd his cows.
It should be obvious to all that these two children were indeed among the poorest and most wretched of the inhabitants of this small community in the French Alps. Only God, who knows and tests the hearts of each one of us, knows why Melanie and Maximin were chosen to hear and make known to all His message related through His Holy Mother. More will be posted on the lives and experiences of the two young seers in subsequent posts.
(Source: "You will make this known to all my people" by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, 1998. This books bears the Imprimatur of Rev. Bishop Sean O'Malley.)
May Mary's prayers go with you always.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Our Lady of La Salette VI

The Seers of La Salette
Melanie Mathieu, 14 & Maximin Giraud, 11
"It is not the healthy who are in need of a physician, but they who are sick. For I have come not to call the just, but sinners." Mark 2:17
The words of our Saviour as recorded by the Apostle Mark, apply for all time, for those to whom He personally spoke as well as those reading His words in the present day. At La Salette, in 1846 our Lord sent his Blessed Mother to these two children with a message for the entire world. As often happens, the Lord chooses the simple to confound the powerful and wise. This was certainly the case with the two french La Salette seers. Melanie and Maximin certainly represent the people of France at this time in history - lacking in faith, religion and proper catechesis. Neither of these two seers have been canonized, nor have they even been declared venerable. In fact, their lives after seeing the Blessed Virgin Mary were not examples of heroic virtue as we have seen with the seers of Lourdes and Fatima.
However, these two uneducated children, in thier simplicity did in fact complete the mission given them by Our Lady of La Salette: "You will make this known to all my people." They weren't given her message because they were holy, but rather to call us to holiness. Mary appeared at this time of irreligion with a social message, not a personal message for these children. The parish priest at Corps, the parish nearest to La Salette stated it best:
"Many people would like to see the children more mystical, at least more perfect. But the Blessed Virgin has left them thier own natures and there is nothing we can do about it. What has been confided to them, it seems to me, can be compared to an orange in a jar. The orange does not change the jar, will not make of it crystal if it is simple glass. But the jar lets us see the orange just as it is."
Melanie and Maximin consistently throughout thier lives recounted the message without embellishments nor did they change a single word. They did not contradict themselves nor each other, despite several interrogations conducted separately and by many clerics and prelates. They faithfully and with great love repeated the words of the Lady; "If my people will not obey..." The seers warned the world that if they continued to work on Sundays and to take the Lord's name in vain, uttering all sorts of blasphemies which were common at this time (anyone who learns colloquial french will know this even now) that their crops would be destoyed, there would be a famine and they would "...atone for thier sins with hunger." But "...if they would convert, the very stones will change to wheat and the potatoes will sow themselves."
More on the seers of La Salette in the next posts. May Mary's prayers go with you always!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Our Lady of La Salette V

The Appartion Continues
Our Lady to her young French seers: “You will make this know to all my people.” She then turned from them and floated up the ravine, paused and without turning to face them she repeated, “You will make this known to all my people.” She continued to move away from them, Melanie and Maximin began to follow her.

The Heavenly Lady paused a moment, then rose into the air. She turned her gaze to heaven and the children could see a joyful expression on her lovely face, her tears having ceased. She turned her gaze southeast to Rome. The light surrounding her grew more resplendent and glorious before beginning to fade. The Lady and the heavenly light surrounding her then “melted away” and could be seen no more. Melanie then said to Maximin “Perhaps she was a great saint.” They had no idea they were speaking to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A spring of water was found in very close proximity to the place the Blessed Virgin had appeared to the seers and miracles and healings were soon reported. Pilgrimages began in earnest; the town priest preached a sermon on the message and the word spread to French villages near and far. In July of the following year, Bishop Philibert de Bruillard opened an official investigation into the apparition, this following the two initial inquiries held the previous fall. The children were questioned by as many as nine bishops who aided Bishop de Bruillard. In the mean time, reports of miracles associated with the miraculous spring and pilgrimages to the site multiplied.

The official diocesan report describes the most remarkable effect of these events to be the large number of conversions taking place in the region of previously atheist France. “Striking was the acceptance of the story by the people of Ablandins and La Salette.” At first skeptical and mocking, they quickly were swayed by cures and the sweeping peace and grace at the site of apparition. Three years into the inquiry, during which the seers never contradicted themselves or each other, it was decreed, “Therefore, to demonstrate our lively thanks to God and to the glorious Virgin Mary, we authorize the cult of Our Lady of La Salette.”

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God: for He hath clothed me with garments of salvation, and with the robe of justice He hath coverd me, as a bride adorned with jewels. I will extoll Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me: and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen+

(Sources: Meetings with Mary by Janice Connell. Ballantine Books. NY. 1995.
“You will make this known to all my people” by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. New Bedford, MA. 1998)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Our Lady of La Salette IV

Our Lady's Tears at La Salette France September 19, 1846.

Our Lady of La Salette to the seers Melanie and Maximin: “If the harvest is spoiled, it is your own fault. I warned you last year by means of the potatoes. You paid no heed. Quite the reverse, when you discovered that the potatoes had rotted, you swore, you abused my Son’s name. They will continue to rot, and by Christmas this year there will be none left. If you have grain, it will do no good to sow it, for what you sow the beasts will devour, and any part of it that springs up will crumble into dust when you thresh it.”

“A great famine is coming. But before that happens, the children under seven years of age will be seized with trembling and die in their parents’ arms. The grownups will pay for their sins by hunger. The grapes will rot, and the walnuts will turn bad.”

Mary then turned to Maximin and spoke to him a secret, which Melanie could not hear. Our Lady of La Salette then turned to Melanie and confided to her a secret that Maximin could not hear. Then together they heard: “If people are converted, the rocks will become piles of wheat, and it will be found that the potatoes have sown themselves.”

The Queen of Heaven then looked at them questioningly, “Do you say your prayers well, my children?” “No,” they both admitted. “We hardly say them at all.”

“Ah, my children it is very important to say them, at night and in the morning. When you don’t have time, at least say and Our Father and a Hail Mary. And when you can, say more. Only a few rather old women go to Mass in the summer. All the rest work every Sunday throughout the summer. And in winter, when they don’t know what to do with themselves, they go to Mass only to poke fun at religion. During Lent they flock to the butcher shops, like dogs. My children, haven’t you ever seen spoiled grain?” “No, never,” replied Maximin.

“But my child, you must have seen it once, near Coin, with your papa. The owner of a field said to your papa, ‘Come and see my spoiled grain.’ The two of you went. You took two or three ears of grain in your in your fingers. You rubbed them, and they crumbled to dust. Then you came back from Coin. When you were but a half hour away from Corps, your papa gave you a piece of bread and said, ‘Well, my son, eat some bread this year, anyhow. I don’t know who’ll be eating any next year, if the grain goes on spoiling like that.’”

Maximin then remembered that long forgotten incident and marveled at how the beautiful Lady before him recounted it perfectly, word for word. He replied “It is very true, Madame. Now I remember it. Until now I had not.” Mary looked sternly at the children, “You will make this known to all my people.”

God will help her with His countenance: God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved. The stream of the river maketh the city of God joyful: the Most High hath sanctified His own tabernacle. Alleluia, alleluia. This is a wise virgin, and one of the number of the prudent. Alleuia, amen+
(Gradual Ps. 45 Mass of a Virgin Martyr)

(Sources: Meetings with Mary by Janice Connell. Ballantine Books. NY. 1995.
“You will make this known to all my people” by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. New Bedford, MA. 1998)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Our Lady of La Salette III

The Words of the Mother of God
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Our Lady of La Salette to Melanie and Maximin:

“Dear little children, I entreat my Son constantly for all of you. Will you not listen to your mother’s voice? My Mother’s heart bleeds for each of you. I love you so much! Do not bring more suffering upon yourselves. Dear little children, return to God. Only in God do you experience peace, joy, and love. Only in God, in His ways, in His ordinances is happiness attainable. God has given you six days for work, but you take seven. Many people swear. They profane God’s name.

“I come to warn you that a great famine is coming. Nothing can grow without the blessing of God. When the harvest is spoiled, realize you yourselves have caused this. God’s justice is love. He will permit the adults to atone for their sins by hunger. Children under seven will be afflicted with seizure and die in their homes.”

“If God’s awaken to His presence and His ways, the rocks will become piles of wheat and the potatoes will sow themselves. You must say your prayers, my little children, both in the morning and at night. Pray more. Pray at least one Our Father, one Ave, each day if you can do no more. Do not devour food like hungry dogs. Fast and abstain for the love of God so that He may fill you with health. Make my words known to all the world.”

Eternal Father! I offer Thee the precious blood of Jesus Christ
In satisfaction for my sins, and for the wants of the Holy Catholic Church.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Our Lady of La Salette II

The Tears of the Virgin Mary at La Salette

“Come to me, my dear children. Do not be afraid. I have come to tell you something of great importance.” ~The Blessed Virgin Mary to the seers of La Salette

Melanie and Maximin reported the Lady they saw was extremely sad and crying real tears. She wore a brilliant white dress, adorned with pearls and a golden colored apron. Upon her head was a wreath of roses, which wrapped around her gold crown. This crown was high and bent slightly forward in the front. She wore slippers tipped with roses upon her feet. Around her neck she wore a necklace from which hung a crucifix with a hammer on one side and pincers on the other.

The Lady spoke in French, not in the local patois of the people. This made it difficult for the children to follow her every word, but they clearly understood her beckoning to them. After Mary bid them come closer, they entered the ravine and approached with Queen of Heaven within touching distance. They could see her very closely, could see her bright, crystal-like tears. She spoke to them again, but this time in their patois:

“If my people will not obey, I shall be compelled to loose my son’s arm. It is so heavy, so pressing that I can no longer restrain it. How long have I suffered for you! If my Son is not to cast you off, I am obliged to entreat Him without ceasing. But you take not the least notice of that. No matter how well you pray in the future, no matter how well you act, you will never be able to make up to me what I have endured for your sake.”

This sentence in particular resonates in my soul: “But you take not the least notice of that {Mary’s suffering on our behalf}” Our Heavenly Mother holds back the arm of her Son’s justice from coming down and striking us – with tears she entreats Him, she weeps and suffers on our behalf and we “take not the least notice”!! Fellow Christians – we must work to love our Mother for all she does for us. Appease her tears, pray in honor of her sorrows, pray the chaplet of Our Lady’s Tears – even if only a couple of times a week. Think often on the many graces Your Mother has obtained for Mankind, and for your wicked soul - be grateful!

Our Lady of La Salette, I offer myself, my small sufferings and sacrifices to God through your Immaculate Heart. Please dear Mother, accept my prayers and small offerings, mingle them with your tears and offer them to the Heavenly Father on my behalf. Be for me the narrow gate which leads to Heaven!

(Sources: Meetings with Mary by Janice Connell. Ballantine Books. NY. 1995.
“You will make this known to all my people” by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. New Bedford, MA. 1998)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Our Lady of La Salette I

Our Lady's Tears at La Salette

Today we hear a great deal of talk of our Lady’s apparitions at Lourdes and Fatima, but what of La Salette? This apparition is approved by Holy Mother Church and in my humble opinion is oft ignored. What attracted me initially to this apparition is the fact that Mary appeared as Our Sorrowful Mother, weeping before the seers, Maximin and Melanie. The next several posts will be devoted to this apparition and Heaven’s messages related for all mankind through Our Heavenly Mother.

Mary’s appearance in La Salette France in 1854 predates Lourdes by seven years. La Salette is located in the French Alps, a sparsely populated, rural town near Grenoble. The people were mostly poor shepherds and farmers and were unfortunately caught up in the lack of religious fervor that time. Church attendance had dropped off, most worked on Sunday and only thought of religion when the local parish’s bell rang calling the people to Mass. A call that too often went unanswered.

France had endured its “revolution”. While the nation remained intact, the religion and soul of France was dying. This time is often referred to as the “Age of Reason” but the title of “Age of Insanity” was much more appropriate. The simplicity and virtue that accompanied family life in Catholic France was fast eroding due to the avarice, greed and wickedness of the atheist French rulers.

It was in this societal erosion and disarray that two young shepherds met one Fall day on a mountainside. Melanie age fourteen and Maximin aged 11 met for the first time the day before the apparition and had spent the day talking and playing. Neither came from devout families, they were not children of prayer, but rather were wholly uneducated and knew little of the Catholic faith.

On the second afternoon of their acquaintance, they say below them a bright light in a ravine. As they looked on in shock at this wonder, they could eventually see the form of a beautiful woman at the center of this light. The woman was seated upon a rock, her head in her hands and was weeping with profound grief. The children drew as close as they dared. This beautiful Lady looked at them and spoke these words:

“Come to me, my dear children. Do not be afraid. I have come to tell you something of great importance.”

(Sources: Meetings with Mary by Janice Connell. Ballantine Books. NY. 1995.
“You will make this known to all my people” by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. New Bedford MA. 1998)
Mother of our Savior! Hear thy people's cry, Star of the Sea, and Portal of the Sky!
Mother of Him Who thee from nothing made,
Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid;
Oh, by that joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Prayers Honoring Our Lady's Sorrows II

Prayer before and Image of Mary Most Sorrowful Continued
(by Ven. Martin von Cochem)
I recall to thy mind this thine inexpressible anguish and beseech thee to obtain for me the pardon of my sins. O Mary, intercede for me with Jesus, whom thou didst bear in thine arms! O Jesus! O Mary! By thine unutterable suffering, have pity on me, a miserable sinner. O dearest Jesus, show to Thy Heavenly Father all the wounds and anguish which Thou didst bear for me. O sweetest Virgin, show Him all the tears which thou didst shed for me. O Son! O Mother! Show Him all the agony, all the anguish of heart which thou didst endure for me.
O Mary, I beseech thee, through this most painful mystery of thy dolors, obtain mercy for me from God the Father, and taking the mangled and dead body of thy beloved Son into thy maternal arms, offer Him to the Eternal Father in the same manner as thou didst once offer to Him His pierced side and thine own broken heart, His bitter sufferings and thy painful compassion, His and thy burning tears, His and thy sighs, in a word, everything which Jesus and thou didst suffer upon earth, that through these same sufferings, thou mayest obtain mercy and pardon for me. Amen+

Monday, March 12, 2007

Image of Our Sorrowful Mother I

Prayer Before an Image of Mary Most Sorrowful
(By Ven. Martin von Cochem)
O Most loving Mother of my Lord Jesus Christ, thou who dost never reject nor despise anyone who turns to thee with a contrite heart, nor refuse to console the afflicted, behold, poor and sinful, I draw near to thy holy image with deep devotion, and beseech thee to obtain for me the grace to honor and love thee with all my strength.
O merciful Heart of Mary, let me obtain mercy from thee, as so many sinners already have obtained it; for what is thy heart, O Mary, but a heart of mercy? How is it possible, then, that grace could be refused to anyone who implores it from this seat of mercy?
Most tender and compassionate Mother, thou knowest how much an afflicted heart is in want of compassion, because the intensity of thy sufferings was so great that all mankind together would have been incapable of supporting it.
Oh, what unutterable bitterness filled thy soul when thou didst contemplate the disfigured form of thy beloved Son, when thou didst receive His mangled and lifeless body into thy virginal arms, and pressing it tenderly to thy maternal heart, didst embrace it countless times, didst bedew it with a stream of burning tears, and finally didst rest thine agonizing heart on the wounded brow of thy Jesus!
(Continued in next posting)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Holy Water II

Holy Water a Means of Spiritual Wealth
July 1986, Volume IX, Number 7)

Holy water is a sacramental that remits venial sin. Because of the blessing attached to it, Holy Church strongly urges its use upon her children, especially when dangers threaten, such as fire, storms, sickness and other calamities. Every Catholic home should always have a supply of holy water in it. We do not take advantage of the benefits derived from holy water.


Untold spiritual wealth is concentrated in a tiny drop of blessed water. And we give it so little thought! If we would but realize now, as we shall realize after death, the many benefits which may be derived from holy water, we would use it far more frequently, and with greater faith and reverence. Holy water has great power and efficacy derived from the prayers of the Church, which the Holy Trinity accepts always.
Following are some of the petitions the priest may makes to god when he blesses water:
"O God . . . grant that this creature of Thine (water) may be endowed with Divine grace to drive away devils and to cast out diseases, that whatever in the houses or possessions of the faithful may be sprinkled by this water, may be freed from everything unclean, and delivered from what is hurtful . . . Let everything that threatens the safety or peace of the dwellers therein be banished by the sprinkling of this water; so that the health which they seek by calling upon Thy Holy Name may be guarded from all assault."
These prayers ascend to Heaven evert time you take holy water and sprinkle a drop in a place, bless yourself or another, whether they are present or not. Be assured, God's blessing will descend for both body and soul.
Other Qualities of Holy Water
Dispel the Devil: The devil hates holy water because of its power over him. He cannot long abide near a person or in a place that is often sprinkled with this blessed water. Holy water, sprinkled with faith and piety, can move the Sacred Heart to bless your loved ones and protect them, even at a distance, from attacks to soul or person. When worried or fearful, go to a holy water font at Church or at home. Give those whom you wish the benefit of the Church's prayers.
The Holy Souls Long For It: Only in Purgatory will we understand how ardently a poor soul longs for the relief of holy water. If we desire to make a host of intercessors for ourselves, let us try to often remember their yearnings, and often assist them at the holy water font. The holy souls nearest to Heaven may need the sprinkling of only one drop offered for thier benefit so they may attain the Beatific Vision!
Remits Venial Sins: Because holy water is one of the Church's sacramentals, it remits venial sin. Keep your soul beautifully pure before God by making the Sign of the Cross carefully while saying: "By this holy water and by Thy Precious Blood wash away all my sins, O Lord."
Keep holy water in your homes, use it every morning. Carry a small amount in your purse, your pocket. Bless your car, your house, and especially any airplane you travel on. Bless every ATM machine you use and ask the Lord to convert and save every person who uses it. Be creative and generous with this holy sacramental!
O most Just Judge, look down I beseech Thee, from Thy throne in Heaven upon me, a poor sinner, and for the sake of Thine infinite compassion be merciful to me in the day of final judgement. I know that I shall not be able to stand in that dread day, but by Thy just sentence I shall condemned to eternal damnation. Yet I know also that if a sinner implores mercy of Thee in a time of grace, it will not be denied him! Therefore I entreat Thee with deep humility and contrition through, Thy bitter passion, that Thou wouldst pardon my sins and pass a lenient sentence upon me in the Day of Judgement. Amen+
(Source: The Last Four Things. Fr. Martin von Cochem, by TAN Books)

Monday, March 5, 2007

Great Article

Go here for a great article with exerpts of early Christian writers about the nature of hell. Pray for the conversion and salvation of poor sinners!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Must See Prolife Movie

Go here to the official website and view the trailer. "Bella" is written, directed and acted by orthodox Catholics and strongly prolife. Due out in March - a must see for all!