Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Interview on Purgatory VI

Interview on Purgatory with Francisco Romero-Carrasquillo, Professor of Philosophy and author of Ite ad Thomam.

Why does the majority of society today scoff at the Catholic dogma of Purgatory?

"Because Purgatory can't be proved by reason alone, what is the most clear and concise way that a Catholic can prove to another that it does indeed exist? Protestant influences have infected our western culture for five centuries now. One of the principal attacks of the “Reformers” against the Catholic Faith was their hatred of anything having to do with our collaboration with redemption. That includes: merits, indulgences, purgatory, the Mass and the sacraments, Our Lady, etc. This is partially why our western culture scoffs at the dogma of Purgatory.Another influence is simply ignorance. Also due to the Protestant notion of salvation, our society tends to think somehow that all it takes for one to go to heaven is faith alone, and maybe a sign that one has faith is that one is generally good, that one abstains from committing murder and other horrendous acts of that sort. So it is relatively easy, according to our culture, to go to heaven. So the assumption is that God sends you to Heaven automatically as long as you don’t do something terribly evil with a malicious intention. The notions of sanctifying grace, the theological virtues, mortal and venial sin, and even hell do not cross their minds, at least in any serious way. So, in that worldview, Judgment, Purgatory, Limbo (and even Hell) can be dispensed with.The most straightforward way to prove the existence of purgatory to a Catholic (and I mean a true, well-intentioned Catholic, who accepts in principle the authority of the Pope and Magisterium) is to show him the text of the definition of the dogma from the Council of Trent:

Whereas the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from the Sacred Scriptures and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in Councils and very recently in this Ecumenical synod (Sess. VI, cap. XXX; Sess. XXII cap.ii, iii) that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar; the Holy Synod enjoins on the Bishops that they diligently endeavor to have the sound doctrine of the Fathers in Councils regarding purgatory everywhere taught and preached, held and believed by the faithful (Denzinger, Enchiridon, 983).

The teaching of the Magisterium is straightforward. However, it is not the only proof for the Catholic. The Magisterium is what theologians call an “Organ of Sacred Tradition.” In proof of the existence of purgatory you could also quote what theologians call the “Witnesses of Tradition,” which are equally infallible and which are represented by the unanimous consensus of the Fathers, of the theologians, of the faithful, throughout the centuries. These can be easily known through the writings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church and of the Saints, as well as through catechisms, liturgical texts, sacred places, etc. All of Catholic culture cries out that there is indeed a Purgatory.But, practically speaking, this will hardly do for those who call themselves “Catholic” but do not believe in the authority of the Magisterium. So, if they don’t believe in Sacred Tradition (that is, neither in the Organs nor in the Witnesses of Tradition), you should at least be able to quote the other source of Divine Revelation, namely, Sacred Scripture.The most obvious text of Scripture for this purpose is 1 Maccabees 12:42-46:

And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain. And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

Now, if you are speaking to a Protestant, he most likely does not believe that the books of the Maccabees are authentic books of the Sacred Scripture (these, and other books of the Old Testament are missing from their Protestant bibles). So you just quote Our Lord Himself (Mt. 12:31):

Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come."

There ends this fine interview. I ask all who have read this post or any of them in this series, please pray for the holy souls in purgatory. They suffer without relief! It is our sacred duty to pray for them and assist them with our alms! Amen+

Monday, July 30, 2007

Interview on Purgatory V

An Interview on Purgatory with Francisco Romero-Carrasquillo, Doctor of Philosophy & author of Ite ad Thomam.

Can the souls in Purgatory pray for each other?

"Theologians do not have certainty about this. This topic has been the subject of much speculation among scholastics. It is certain that the souls in purgatory can pray (in general). In fact, it is certain that they can pray for themselves, e.g., for the remission of their venial sins, for the application of the merits of the living for their salvation, etc. Now, Aquinas seems to imply that we can pray to them to seek their assistance (Summa Theologiae II-II.83.4 ad 3):"

"Those who are in this world or in Purgatory, do not yet enjoy the vision of the Word, so as to be able to know what we think or say. Wherefore we do not seek their assistance by praying to them, but ask it of the living by speaking to them."

"And, again, he says (Summa Theologiae I.89.8 ad 1):"

"The souls of the departed may care for the living, even if ignorant of their state; just as we care for the dead by pouring forth prayer on their behalf, though we are ignorant of their state. Moreover, the affairs of the living can be made known to them not immediately, but the souls who pass hence thither, or by angels and demons, or even by "the revelation of the Holy Ghost," as Augustine says."
"Moreover, the Council of Vienna says of the Holy Souls that, “by their suffrages they help us.” Another ecclesial source says “we believe they pray for us to God.”A probable argument could be made that if they can pray both for themselves and for us who sojourn on Earth, it would seem likely that they are also able to pray for other Holy Souls."

More Tomorrow...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Interview on Purgatory IV

An Interview on Purgatory with Francisco Romero-Carrasquillo, professor of philosophy & author of Ite ad Thomam

The Church teaches that when the world ends, there will only be heaven and hell. What happens to the souls that live until the end of the world, if they are not yet worthy to witness the Beatific Vision, nor are deserving of eternal damnation? What happens to Purgatory at the end of time?

"Sacred Tradition has always affirmed that, in the end, only Heaven and Hell will remain. Consequently, purgatory will cease to be. But the souls in purgatory are predestined to Heaven. In other words, after they have entered purgatory, it is impossible for them to “fall out” of purgatory. Yet, they must be fully purified to go to Heaven. Thus, they must finish their time of purification before the end of the world. St. Augustine says: “Let purification punishments be counted on only before that last and terrible judgment.”Therefore, the souls on earth that die in sanctifying grace but whose venial sins have not been forgiven or whose punishment for venial sin has not been remitted must be completely purified (perhaps immediately) before the end of the world."

There's more - keep coming back!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Interview on Purgatory III

Interview with Francisco Romero-Carrasquillo, Professor of Philosophy & author of Ite ad Thomam.

What are indulgences?

How do they assist the holy souls?

"The Supplement to the Summa Theologiae (Question 13, article 2) establishes that God allows one man to satisfy for another. Again, let us listen:"

"Satisfactory punishment has a twofold purpose, namely, 1) to pay the debt, and 2) to serve as a remedy for the avoidance of sin. Accordingly, as (2) a remedy against future sin, the satisfaction of one does not profit another, for the flesh of one man is not tamed by another's fast; nor does one man acquire the habit of well-doing, through the actions of another, except accidentally, in so far as a man, by his good actions, may merit an increase of grace for another, since grace is the most efficacious remedy for the avoidance of sin. But this is by way of merit rather than of satisfaction. on the other hand, as regards the payment of the debt, one man can satisfy for another, provided he be in a state of charity, so that his works may avail for satisfaction. Nor is it necessary that he who satisfies for another should undergo a greater punishment than the principal would have to undergo (as some maintain, who argue that a man profits more by his own punishment than by another's), because punishment derives its power of satisfaction chiefly from charity whereby man bears it. And since greater charity is evidenced by a man satisfying for another than for himself, less punishment is required of him who satisfies for another, than of the principal: wherefore we read in the Lives of the Fathers (v, 5) of one who for love of his brother did penance for a sin which his brother had not committed, and that on account of his charity his brother was released from a sin which he had committed. Nor is it necessary that the one for whom satisfaction is made should be unable to make satisfaction himself, for even if he were able, he would be released from his debt when the other satisfied in his stead. But this is necessary in so far as the satisfactory punishment is medicinal: so that a man is not to be allowed to do penance for another, unless there be evidence of some defect in the penitent, either bodily, so that he is unable to bear it, or spiritual, so that he is not ready to undergo it."

"And, later, in question 25, article 1, he argues that an indulgence can remit the punishment due for the satisfaction of sins:"

"All admit that indulgences have some value, for it would be blasphemy to say that the Church does anything in vain. But some say that they do not avail to free a man from the debt of punishment which he has deserved in Purgatory according to God's judgment, and that they merely serve to free him from the obligation imposed on him by the priest as a punishment for his sins, or from the canonical penalties he has incurred. But this opinion does not seem to be true. First, because it is expressly opposed to the privilege granted to Peter, to whom it was said (Matthew 16:19) that whatsoever he should loose on earth should be loosed also in heaven. Hence whatever remission is granted in the court of the Church holds good in the court of God. Moreover the Church by granting such indulgences would do more harm than good, since, by remitting the punishment she had enjoined on a man, she would deliver him to be punished more severely in Purgatory."

"Hence we must say on the contrary that indulgences hold good both in the Church's court and in the judgment of God, for the remission of the punishment which remains after contrition, absolution, and confession, whether this punishment be enjoined or not. The reason why they so avail is the oneness of the mystical body in which many have performed works of satisfaction exceeding the requirements of their debts; in which, too, many have patiently borne unjust tribulations whereby a multitude of punishments would have been paid, had they been incurred. So great is the quantity of such merits that it exceeds the entire debt of punishment due to those who are living at this moment: and this is especially due to the merits of Christ: for though He acts through the sacraments, yet His efficacy is nowise restricted to them, but infinitely surpasses their efficacy.Now one man can satisfy for another, as we have explained above (13, 2). And the saints in whom this super-abundance of satisfactions is found, did not perform their good works for this or that particular person, who needs the remission of his punishment (else he would have received this remission without any indulgence at all), but they performed them for the whole Church in general, even as the Apostle declares that he fills up "those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ . . . for His body, which is the Church" to whom he wrote (Colossians 1:24). These merits, then, are the common property of the whole Church. Now those things which are the common property of a number are distributed to the various individuals according to the judgment of him who rules them all. Hence, just as one man would obtain the remission of his punishment if another were to satisfy for him, so would he too if another's satisfactions be applied to him by one who has the power to do so."

Come back for more tomorrow!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Interview on Purgatory II

An Interview on Purgatory with
Francisco Romero-Carrasquillo at Ite ad Thomam

What are some of the sufferings that a soul in Purgatory has to endure?

Is the suffering in Puragatory worse than the most horrendous suffering on earth?

Again, I quote Aquinas. In the same place, he says:

"In purgatory there will be a twofold punishment. One is the punishment of [temporary] damnation (poena damni), insofar as the souls are delayed in attaining the divine vision. The other is sense-punishment (poena sensus) as far as they are punished by corporeal fire. And in both respects the slightest punishment in purgatory exceeds the greatest punishment of this life.This is the case because the more something is desired, the more disturbing its absence, and the affection with which the holy souls, after this life, desire the Supreme Good is most intense, because this affection is not retarded by the bulk of the body. Another reason they suffer is because their goal of enjoying the Supreme Good would already be taking place were it not for the impediment of sin and its consequences, and hence they suffer from the delay.Similarly, also, because pain is not the same as injury, but rather it is the sensing of injury, the more sensitive something is, the more it suffers pain from injury. Hence, the injuries received in the most sensitive parts are the ones that cause the most pain. Moreover, because the body’s entire capacity to sense comes from the soul, therefore, if something injurious acts on the soul itself, this will necessarily be most afflicting... Therefore, it is necessarily the case that the punishment of purgatory, with regard to both the punishment of [temporal] damnation and the sense-punishment, exceeds all the punishments of this life."

More to come in subsequent posts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Interview on Purgatory

Interview with Francisco Romero-Carrasquillo, Professor of Philosphy, Miami, FL. Author of blog: Ite ad Thomam

Where is Purgatory?

How do the fires of Purgatory differ from those of Hell?

-I quote Aquinas. In Book IV of his Commentary on Peter Lombard’s Sentences (distinction 21, article 1), he asks “Whether purgatory and hell are in the same place.” He answers:

"In Sacred Scripture one cannot find anything explicit regarding the location of purgatory, nor is it possible to formulate adequate arguments on this point. However, one can formulate a probable argument, based on the sayings and [private] revelations of the Saints, that the location of purgatory is twofold.The first is by common law; accordingly, the place of purgatory is a low place conjoined to Hell, such that it is the same fire that both burns the damned in hell and purifies the just in purgatory, although the damned, because they are inferior in merit, are in fact sent to a lower place.The other is by special dispensation. And thus, sometimes we read that some people are punished in different places, either for the instruction of the living, or for the liberation of the dead, so that, alerting the living, their punishment might be mitigated through the suffrages of the Church."

More from the good philospher on Purgatory in subsequent posts!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Great Quebec Song!

This group is from Quebec. As some of you know, I'm a huge fan of Quebec. My dear husband is a native of Montreal and we visit there often. Here is a more detailed description of this group from the combox over at The Crescat:

Here is a blurb about the band from good ol' wikipedia:

Mes Aïeux (My ancestors) is a French-Canadian folk music group, founded in 1996.

Although they are labeled as leaders of the "neo-traditional" movement in Quebec, they frequently use subjects and characters from traditional Quebecois folklore (the devil, the chasse-galerie, the shepherdess, the coureur des bois, drinking songs, etc.) in order to approach modern themes with a sense of humor.

An alternate translation of the lyrics, sharpened slightly from the ones I posted on Mary Kochan's Catholicexchange.com blog:

Your great-great-grandmother, she had fourteen enfants/

Your great-grandmother, had near the same amount/

Your grandmother had three, and found that sufficient/

Your mother just had you, and you were an accident/

And as for you, my girl, you go from man to man/

And when things go wrong, you have an abortion/

Sometimes you wake in tears, in the early light of dawn/

On nights you'd dreamt of your home, packed full with your children....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Conversations with Jesus V

Meditation Before Holy Communion

"Hast thou no promises to make to Me?"

"I can read thy heart; thou knowest it; thou mayest deceive man, but thou canst never deceive God. Be sincere."

"Art thou resolved to avoid occasions of sin? To renounce that which tempts thee; never again to open the book that excites thine imagination? Not to bestow thine affection on one who is not devout, and whose presence steals the peace from thy soul?"

"Wilt thou go now and be loving and forbearing towards one who has vexed thee?..."

"Good, My child!....Go, then, return to thy daily toil; be silent, humble, resigned, charitable; then return to Me with a heart yet more loving and devoted, and I shall have for thee fresh blessings."
(Source: Gold Dust, Altemus Press. Philadelphia, PA. 1897)

Before our good works can merit ANYTHING whatsoever, we must have personal sanctity. We must strive for holiness and seek to rid ourselves of our sinful tendencies. All the "social justice" issues so popular today: feed the poor, save the environment, help the immigrants, etc. All these things are well and good and we must do them - but all these things avail us NOTHING if we are not in a state of grace! We must be in a state of grace, with the help of God in order to do anything of value in His sight.

Go to confession, pray the rosary, receive Communion as often as you can. Personal sanctity THEN social justice!!! Amen+

Friday, July 20, 2007

Conversations with Jesus IV

Before Holy Communion Meditation

"Art thou fearful of the future? Is therein thy heart that vague dread that thou canst not define, but which nevertheless torments thee?"

"Trust in My Providence...I am present with thee, I know all, and I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."

"Are there around thee those seemingly less devout than formerly, whose coldness or indifference has estranged thee from them without real cause?..."

"Pray for them. I can draw them back to thee if they are necessary to the sanctification of thy soul."

"What are the joys of which thou hast to tell Me?"

"Let Me share thy pleasure; tell Me of all that has occurred since yesterday to comfort thee, please thee, to give thee joy!"

"That fear suddenly dispelled, that unexpected success, that token of affection, the trial that proved thee stronger than thou thougtest..."

"My child, I sent it all; why not show some gratitude, and simply thank thy Lord? Gratitude draws down a blessing, and the Great Benefactor likes His children to remind Him of His goodness."

(Source: Gold Dust by edited by Charlotte Yonge. Henry Altemus Press. Philadelphia, PA. 1897)

Thank you Lord Jesus for dying for us, for giving to us your holy mother as an advocate. Thank you for your holy Catholic Church and her sacraments. Thank you for all your mercy and abundant graces. Open wide my heart and soul, may every beat, every breath, every prayer, every sigh be a canticle of thanks to You, for Your greater glory! Amen+

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Conversations with Jesus III

Meditation Before Holy Communion Continued

"Hast thou no interests which occupy thy mind?"

"Tell Me of them all....Of thy vocation. What dost thou think? What dost thou desire? Wouldst thou give pleasure to thy mother, thy family, those in authority over thee? What wouldst thou do for them?"

"And for Me has thou no ardor? Dost thou not desire to do some good to the souls of those thou lovest, but who are forgetful of Me?"

"Tell Me of one in whom thou has interest; the motive that actuates; the means thou wouldst employ."

"Lay before Me thy failures, and I will teach thee the cause."

"Whom wouldst thou have to help thee? The hearts of all are in My keeping, and I lead them gently wheresoever I will. Rest assured, all who are needful to thee, I will place around thee."

"Oh! My child, tell Me of all thy weariness: who has grieved thee? treated thee with contempt? wounded thy self-love? Tell Me all, and thou wilt end by saying, all is forgiven, all forgotten...and I, surely I will bless thee!"

We can learn from these very wise, very holy words that we are to be as children and lay ourselves, our very souls open before Our Lord Jesus. Our King wishes to save His people! All we must do is turn to Him in simplicity, honesty and trust! He longs to give us rest, to heal our wounds, to grant us endless graces. I urge to you think on these words as you approach Our Lord in Holy Communion next. Amen+

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Conversations with Jesus II

Meditation Before Holy Communion Continued

"Hast thou no favors to ask of Me? Give Me, if thou wilt, a list of all thy desires, all the wants of thy soul. Tell Me, simply, of all thy pride, sensuality, self-love, sloth; and ask for My help in thy struggles to overcome them."

"Poor child! be not abashed, many that had the same faults to contend against are now saints in heaven."

"They cried to Me for help, and by degrees they conquered."

"Do not hesitate to ask for temporal blessings, - health, intellect, success. I can bestow them, and never fail to do so, where they tend to make the soul more holy. What wouldst thou have this day, My child?....If thou didst but know how I long to bless thee!"
(Source: Gold Dust. Published by Altemus Press, Philadelphia, PA. 1897.)

Prayer ~ O Saving Victim
O Saving Victim opening wide
The gate of heaven to all below.
Our foes press on from every side;
Thine aid supply, Thy strength bestow.
To Thy great name be endless praise
Immortal Godhead, One in Three;
Oh, grant us endless length of days,
In our true native land with Thee.
(by St. Thomas Aquinas)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Great Book - "Gold Dust"

A Really Great Book

My husband and I recently spent a week in Halifax Nova Scotia. We spent one entire afternoon - not boating in the harbor, not visiting the numerous vinyards, inns or lighthouses - but rather in a dusty old used bookshop. This is one of those great places where the books are stacked to the ceiling and you can't even see the ones on the bottom shelves because there are books stacked on the floor obscuring them. Being the true Catholic geeks that we are we asked for the religion section and were ushered up two flights of stairs to the very far back corner. I figured in our modern "enlightened" and largely pagan society I'd find all sorts of classic or antique Catholic books that had been long since cast off. Oddly enough, I found a TON of protestant books (mostly Anglican) but very few Catholic ones. We did purchase several that we found, among them one absolute treasure called Gold Dust. I have been reading it most nights before lights out and couldn't resist sharing this book's wisdom with you.

The aim of this little book is to help the reader go grow in holiness by offering little snippets of wise advise, holy admonitions and spiritual direction - aimed to the layperson. It was published originally in France, this is the first English Edition and is part of a series of Catholic books called Altemus' Devotional Series (originally 50 cents each!). Publisher's name is Henry Altemus who's company was in Philadelphia.

The part I'll focus on for now is a collection of meditations for prior to Holy Communion and consist of hearing Jesus speak to your soul as you prepare to receive Him in the Sacrament of the Altar:
"My child, it is not wisdom I require of thee, it sufficeth if thou lovest Me well."
"Speak to Me as thou wouldst talk to thy mother if she were here, pressing thee to her heart."
"Hast thou none for whom thou wouldst intercede? Tell me the names of thy kindred and thy friends; and at the mention of each name add what thou wouldst have Me do for them. Ask much fervently; the generous hearts that forget themselves for others are very dear unto Me."
"Tell me of the poor thou wouldst succor, the sick thou hast seen suffering, the sinful thou wouldst reclaim, the estranged thou wouldst receive to thy heart again. Pray fervently for all mankind. Remind Me of My promise to hear all prayers that proceed from the heart; and the prayer offered for one who loves us, and is dear to us, is sure to be heartfelt and fervent."
More soon...May Mary's prayers go with you always!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Great Article

Go here to read an excellent and brief article on the history to Our Lady's Brown Scapular. I strongly encourage all to use this powerful sacramental.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel ~ Ora Pro Nobis!

Who is Punished in Purgatory?

(Photo: Dante's Purgatorio)

Those are punished for a time in purgatory who die in the state of grace but are guilty of venial sin, or have not fully satisfied for the temporal punishment due to their sins.
(a) There will be no purgatory after the general judgment.
(b) Since we do not know how long individual souls are detained in purgatory, there is need for persevering prayer for the repose of the souls of all those who die after reaching the use of reason, except those who are canonized or beatified by the Church.
(c) The souls in purgatory are certain of entering heaven as soon as God's justice has been fully satisfied. (Source: The Baltimore Catechism, no. 3, Lesson 14.)

It is the DUTY of all Catholics to pray for the Church Suffering! Those who pray for the holy souls during their earthly life can be assured of a greater share in the prayers of the living during their own purgatory. Have mercy on them and say the following prayer often.

O Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory and for sinners everywhere -- for sinners in the universal Church, for those in my own home and in my own family. Amen.

Monday, July 9, 2007

About the Image of Our Lady's Tears

Our Lady of Tears to Sr. Amalia: "Through this rosary the devil will be conquered and the power of hell will be destroyed."
Our Lady spoke to Sister Amalia: "Do you know why I wear a blue mantle? To remind you of heaven, when you are feeling weary from your labors, and carrying the cross of your tribulations. My mantle reminds you of heaven, to give you indescribable joy and eternal happiness , and this will give courage to your soul and peace to your heart, to continue the struggle until the end!" Do you understand the significance of my purple-violet tunic? I will tell you that you should remember, as you stand before the image of Tears, of the colors I wear, purple signifies pain. The pain the Jesus felt when they beat him, barbarically, on his body. My mother's heart and my soul were also lacerated by pain, on seeing Jesus.""My child, I will explain to you why I wear this white veil , around my breast and covering my head. White signifies purity, and being the white flower of the Holy Trinity, I could appear without this whiteness. The sweet smile you see traced on my lips is for the immense happiness to be able to give mankind such a precious treasure!"
"I will explain to you the reason I appear with my eyes inclined downward. Inspired painters have recorded my eyes looking upward to sing the glory of my immaculate conception. Then why are my eyes inclined downward in this apparition, into which you entrust yourself to my blessed tears? It signifies my compassion toward humanity, because I have come from heaven to alleviate your suffering. My eyes will always be directed to your sorrows and afflictions, whenever you ask my Son through the tears I shed. And as you are near my image, see that I gaze at you with eyes of compassion and tenderness."

"My child, I will tell you about the rosary in my hands. I have named it the Crown (chaplet) of Tears . When you are near me, seeing this chaplet in my hands, remember that it signifies mercy, love, and pain... this chaplet of my blessed tears signifies that your Mother loves you. Use all its privileges, resort to it with confidence and love."
(Source: Catholic Devotions)
Get this chaplet here, pray it often as a powerful spiritual weapon against the devil.

How to Pray the Rosary of Our Lady of Tears

The rosary transmitted to Sister Amalia by the Mother of God consists of forty-nine white beads, which is divided into seven parts by seven larger beads of the same color -- similar to the rosary of the seven sorrows of Mary. At the end, there are attached three more small beads and a medal of our dear Lady of Tears. Through these instructions we are directed to honor Mary our Mother on account of her sorrows, for which she shed many tears. The medal of our Lady of Tears is an essential part of the rosary, but it must be the way it was revealed to Sister Amalia by the Mother of God on April 30, 1930. In Germany, this medal is made with the specified inscription in all the European languages.
On the Medal to Jesus
(flipside of Medal of Our Lady's Tears)O crucified Jesus, we fall at Your feet and offer You the tears of the one, who with deep compassionate love accompanied You on Your sorrowful way of the Cross. O good Master, grant that we take to heart the lessons which the tears of Your most holy Mother teach us, so that we may fulfill Your holy will on earth, that we may be worthy to praise and exalt You in Heaven for all eternity. Amen+

In Place of the Our Father: (and on the final three beads) V. O Jesus, look upon the tears of the one who loved You most on earth,R. And loves You most ardently in heaven.
In Place of the Hail Mary: V. O Jesus, listen to our prayers,R. For the sake of the tears of your most Holy Mother.
On the Medal to Mary: O Mary, Mother of Love, Sorrow and mercy, we beseech you to unite your prayers with ours so that Jesus, your Divine Son, to whom we turn, may hear our petititons in the name of your maternal tears, and grant us, not only the favors we now ask, but the crown of everlasting life. Amen+
1. Jesus to Sr. Amalia: ""If you want to receive favors, ask me for the sake of My Mother's tears."
2. "My daughter, whatever people will beg Me for the sake of the tears of My Mother, I shall lovingly grant them. "
3. Later, My Mother will hand over this treasure to our beloved Institute as a Magnet of mercy." This took place on November 8, 1929
4. Mary to Sr. Amalia: "My Son wants to honor me in a special way through these invocations, and so, He will grant all graces that are begged for the sake of my tears."
5. "This rosary will provide for the conversion of many sinners, especially those possessed by the devil."
6. "Through this rosary the devil will be conquered and the power of hell will be destroyed. Get ready for this great battle."
(Source, Pamphlet Our Dear Lady of Tears.ImprimaturBuchweiser, Gen. - Bit.Munchen, 22. Marz 1935)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Heaven's Promises ~ Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel

We should all do everything in our power to follow the General of God's army!

Origin: One day St. Michael Archangel appeared to devotee Servant of God Antonia De Astónac. The Archangel told the nun that he wished to be honored through recitation of nine salutations. These nine salutations correspond to the nine choirs of angels. The chaplet consists of one Our Father and three Hail Mary in honor of each angelical choir.

Promises: To those that practice this devotion in his honor, St. Michael promises great blessings:

1. To send an angel from each angelical choir to accompany the devotees at the time of Holy Communion.

2. Additionally, to those that recite these nine salutations every day, it assures them that they will enjoy his continuous assistance. That is to say, during this life and also after

3. Furthermore, they will be accompanied by all the angels and together with all their loved ones, they will be freed from Purgatory.

Practice: In the chaplet all nine choirs of angels are invoked. After each invocation 1 Our Father and 3 Hail Mary's are said. It is recommended to offer this chaplet for the Church, so that it may be defended from all the attacks of the demon, and for those alienated from God. There are many beautiful and pious invocations and prayers associated with the saying of this chaplet. Learn more about it here.

Go here to purchase the Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel.

Heaven's Promises ~ Red Scapular of Christ's Passion

Have a special devotion to our Lord's passion? There's a holy sacramental just for you! Along with promises from Jesus Himself and approved by Mother Church for the edification of the faithful! I have worn a scapular now for years. At first I thought something like this..."How can I commit to wearing something around my neck for the rest of my life?" Now, I cannot imagine NOT wearing my scapular for the rest of my life. It is as natural as wearing a shirt, or a watch, or my wedding ring. It is an easy thing to accustom to and a rich source of prayer, devotion and graces from God.

Purpose: To implore protection of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and to promote memory of the Passion

Practices: Wear the scapular with intention to fulfill the purposes the scapular represents

Promises: Special graces of faith, hope and charity on Fridays to the wearer along with indulgences granted by the Church

Origin: This scapular owes its origin to a series of apparitions of Jesus Christ to a Sister of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, Sister Apolline Andriveau, in 1846 in which He showed the sister a red scapular.

Promises: To all who should wear it on every Friday a great increase of faith, hope, and charity.

Church Approval: It was approved and indulgences were granted to its wearers by Pope Pius IX in 1897. Priests of the Mission (Lazarists) were given the faculty of blessing the scapular and investing the faithful with it; the Superior-General can communicate the faculty of blessing and investing with this scapular to other regular or secular priests.

The Image: This scapular and its bands are of red woolen material. On one half is a picture of Our Crucified Lord with the implements of His Passion and the words "Holy Passion of Jesus Christ, Save Us"; on the other are represented the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and above these a cross with the inscription: "Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, protect us."
To purchase one go here.
To learn more, an excellent article with great background and more detail on practice go here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Heaven's Promises ~ Green Scapular

The Green Scapular, called by Our Lady, “The Badge of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” was given to the world by the Blessed Virgin Mary herself, through a series of apparitions to Sister Justine Bisqueyburo, a Daughter of Charity, in the early 1840’s in Paris, France. On the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, Sept. 8th, 1840, the Mother of God appeared holding in her right hand her Immaculate Heart, surmounted by flames and holding in her other hand a green scapular.The scapular consisted of a simple piece of green cloth, rectangular in shape, hanging from a green string. On one side was an image of Our Lady dressed in a long white gown which reached to her bare feet. Over this she wore a light blue mantle. However, she wore no veil. Instead, her hair hung loosely about her; and in her hands she held her Heart from the top of which gushed abundant flames. Her bearing was enhanced by a majestic beauty all heavenly. On the other side of the scapular was pictured her Immaculate Heart, all ablaze and transparent as crystal, with rays pouring out that appeared more dazzling than the sun. This Heart, pierced with a sword, was encircled by an inscription in the form of an oval and topped by a golden Cross. The inscription read:

“Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.”

This prayer should be prayed daily by the one giving the scapular, and preferably by the person receiving it. Although wonderful graces are obtained, they are proportionate to the confidence with which it is given. The Green Scapular was twice approved by Pope Pius IX, in 1863, and again in 1870, when he said: "Write to these good Sisters that I authorize them to make and distribute it."

The Green Scapular is a life line for conversion. At the same time, as Sr. Justine received the scapular, an interior voice revealed to her the meaning of the vision. This new scapular and the prayers of those who used it would be a means that God would use to bring Himself those who had no faith and to reconcile those who had strayed from their faith. The green scapular was distributed, and God granted wonderful conversions and some bodily cures.
The manner of using the Scapular was indicated by the Blessed Virgin. Since it is not the badge of a confraternity but simply a double image attached to a single piece of cloth and suspended from a cord, investiture is not required. It must be blessed by a priest and may be worn by one for whom it is intended. It may also simply be placed in the clothing, on the bed, or simply in the room.

One may offer the Scapular to any individual as a "token of my friendship and love," and as a promise to say the prayer on the Scapular daily for that person, that God make His Will known in their life.

The Scapular has no power. It is not a "good luck charm." The faith with which it is given is the powerful tool of conversion. Also, the scapular must be blessed before it is used, but indeed use it as a Church approved sacramental with great faith!

To learn more, or to join the Apostolate of the Green Scapular go here.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Promises & Favors of Devotion to Mary's Sorrows

(Source: Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother by TAN Books, available for purchase here.)

Four Special Favors
The graces promised by Our Lord to those who venerate His Holy Mother's sorrows are very great. St. Alphonsus Liguouri states in the Glories of Mary that it was revealed to St. Elizabeth of Hungary that some years following the assumption of Mary,
St. John the Evangelist missed the mother Jesus had given to him upon the cross and was "seized with an ardent desire to see her again."

This grace was granted to St. John, and Lo - Mary appeared to him with Jesus. Mary then was heard to ask her Divine Son for special graces for those who meditated upon her sorrows. Our Lord promised these four favors:
  1. Those who invoke the Heavenly Mother though her sorrows will obtain true sorrow for their sins before death.
  2. Our Saviour will protect them in their tribulations, especially at the hour of death.
  3. He will impress upon them a memory of His Passion, and will reward them for it in Heaven.

  4. He will commit such devout servants to the hands of Mary, that she may dispose of them according to her pleasure, and obtain for them all the graces she desires.

    Seven Promises to Those Who Meditate on Our Lady's Tears & Sorrows

St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) was one of the greatest mystics of the Catholic church. She was blessed with several apparitions of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her revelations, including those listed below, are available for purchase here. The following graces are promised by Mary herself to those who daily honor her tears and sorrows by reciting seven Hail Mary's in honor of her tears and sorrows:

  1. "I will grant peace to their families."
  2. "They will be enlightened about the Divine Mysteries."
  3. "I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work."
  4. "I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls."
  5. "I will defend them in thier spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives."
  6. "I will visibly help them at the moment of their death - they will see the face of their mother."
  7. "I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors (sorrows) will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy."

Let us dear reader, together endeavor always to honor our Dear Mother and compassionate her sorrows. How generous will be her Holy Son with us! May Mary's prayers go with you always!