Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Secret of Mary

Considering Our Lady’s action upon the three Fatima children in a broader sense, the changes she brought about in them was something extraordinary — something far beyond their capacity. From this, we gather that Our Lady suddenly and suavely transformed them through her repeated apparitions.
   
    St. Francisco Marto     St. Jacinta Marto
Here we discover something akin to the “Secret of Mary,” of which Saint Louis de Montfort speaks. We see grace working profoundly in souls, and we see how it works silently, without the person perceiving it. As a result, the person feels truly free. More than ever, the person feels inspired to practice virtue and reject the evil chains of sin; consequently, their love of God blossoms.
Their desire to serve Him increases, and so does their hatred of sin. This marvelous transformation of soul occurs in such a way that the person does not experience the systematic uphill struggle of those who follow the classical system of the spiritual life to obtain virtue, sanctity, and Heaven. Much to the contrary, Our Lady changes them suddenly.
The changes in the two children Our Lady called to Heaven, Jacinta and Francisco, was particularly striking. What does this mean? Does this mean Our Lady will perform the same transformation upon us?
Is it a foretaste of how Our Lady intends to change Humanity when she fulfills her Fatima promises?
Can I say that the transformation in the souls of Jacinta and Francisco are the beginning of Our Lady’s reign? Is this not her triumph over the souls of Jacinta and Francisco, heralds of Our Lady’s message, who helped others accept the Fatima message through their prayers and sacrifices? And who still help us today through their prayers in Heaven?
If this is true, it is logical that Jacinta and Francisco be our intercessors before Our Lady and obtain the coming of her reign in our hearts. Is this not the mysterious transformation that we call the “Secret of Mary”?
I firmly believe that we must ask Jacinta and Francisco to transform us, to grant us the same gifts they received, and to guide us, whose mission it is to live and to preach the Fatima message.
Adapted from a lecture of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira on October 13, 1971.

How to sanctify others

Sanctify yourself
and
you will sanctify society.

St. Francis of Assisi

St. Galdinus of Milan

Galdinus was born about the year 1096 into the Della Salla family, of minor Milanese nobility.

He lived in a tumultuous time for the Church in Italy with the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa causing trouble. Opposed to the election of Pope Alexander III in 1159, Barbarossa proceeded to rally a few dissident cardinals that elected another Pope. When the people of Milan sided with the legitimate Pope, the Emperor invaded.

Galdinus, who occupied the post of chancellor and archdeacon under Hubert, the Archbishop of Milan, was obliged to follow the prelate into exile.

In 1165 Galdinus was created Cardinal, and upon the death of Archbishop Hubert, was consecrated his successor by Pope Alexander III himself. The new prelate went about comforting his war-weary people and gathering his dispersed flock. He also re-enforced discipline among his clergy who had, during the troubled times, become lax.

Throwing himself heart and soul into the new undertaking, Galdinus preached constantly, not only healing the spiritual wounds caused by the schism but clarifying the faith to those confused by the heretical doctrine of the Cathars, then widely prevalent in the north of Italy. The Cathari, or Albigensians, rejected the seven sacraments, had special hatred for the Holy Eucharist and Matrimony, and believed that the physical world was all evil. Among their bizarre beliefs was that women must be reborn as men in order to achieve salvation.

On the last day of his life, too weak to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the ardent shepherd could not be kept from his pulpit. When the zealous preacher came to the end of his discourse, he simply died at his post.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Roses to Fatima for Mother's Day

What is the paradise of God?

The heart of man is, so to speak,
the paradise of God.
Since His delights are to be with you,
let yours be found in Him.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

St. Stephen Harding

Stephen Harding was an Englishman of an honorable family, and heir to a large estate. Born in Dorset, he was educated at the monastery of Sherborne and spoke English, Norman, French and Latin.

Desirous of seeking a more perfect way of Christian perfection, he, with a devout companion, traveled into Scotland and afterwards to Paris and to Rome. On their return journey, the two travelers chanced upon a collection of huts in the forest of Molesme in Burgundy, where monks lived in great austerity. Struck by their way of life and finding kindred spirits in Robert the Abbot, and Alberic the Prior, he bid his friend goodbye and threw in his lot with the monks.

After some years, finding that religious fervor had waned considerably, Stephen, Robert, Alberic and others went to Lyons and with the support of Bishop Hugh struck a new foundation in the forest of Citeaux sponsored by Rainald, Lord of Beaune, and Odo, Duke of Burgundy.

Later Robert returned to his monks of Molesme who reclaimed him as their abbot, and upon the death of Alberic, in 1109, Stephen succeeded him as Abbot of Citeaux.

He immediately instituted such austere measures to keep the spirit of the world out that he alienated the support of many who had helped to establish the abbey. Novices ceased applying, and to make matters worse, a mysterious disease decimated his monks to the point that even Stephen’s stout heart began to quiver wondering if he were really doing God’s will.

God answered him dramatically when thirty noblemen knocked at the abbey’s door seeking admittance. They were headed by young St. Bernard who in his zeal had convinced his brothers, uncles and a number of his acquaintances to give up the world with him.

Increasing numbers called for additional foundations and the first two were made at Morimond and Clairvaux. To the general surprise, Stephen appointed twenty-four-year-old Bernard as Abbot of Clairvaux. When nine abbeys had sprung from Citeaux, Stephen drew up the statutes of his Charter of Charity which officially organized the Cistercians into an order.

Stephen Harding died in 1134, advanced in age and nearly blind, and having served as Abbot of Cîteaux for twenty-five years.

Monday, April 16, 2018

How to make a man go to Heaven

Think well. Speak well. Do well.

These three things,
through the mercy of God,
will make a man go to Heaven.

St. Camillus de Lellis