Commovisti Terram!

I am in Italy at the moment and share in the great sorrow of the tragedies of today. Such moments show us how small we are and how limited are our strengths. I slept through the little shakes that reached where I was staying. But the other men at my retreat were shaken in their beds and were woken up in confusion as the animals in the valley cried out in unison.

There is one thing of consideration I wish to bring forward. This is the necessity of praying for souls! That our zeal may increase for souls and that souls, especially those struggling the most with the confusion that comes with some sorrows, may return to God in recognition of our smallness.

Today in None which is part of the prayers of the Church, the Divine Office, we came across Psalm 59. I was praying this Psalm and couldn’t help but think of the state of the Church and the world. It seems everything is turned away from God. It seems the earth is crying out. We can only go so far in denying God the rightful worship due to Him, the honor that we should give to His Majesty, the love we are to show in every aspect of our life. The disobedience, the blasphemies, the unspeakable immodesties against nature of contraception, immoral relations both natural and unnatural (from which even the demons flee once the temptation has taken root!!!). When will we stop and cry out to our Merciful God?

The first few verses of the Psalm in Latin:

And in English:

Throughout the day, I was reminded of a recent incident where pornographic images were on display in the name of “art,” in a church which had been deconsecrated in or near Cascia (a city near Norcia, where the earthquake was). I saw the same thing when I visited Norcia for my birthday a few months back. It was the truffle festival in Norcia and this “art” exhibit was in a deconsecrated church. My friend and I approached the man running the exhibit. The young man in charge said (with a smirk), “è arte.” My friend, however, responded ‘con forza.’ Rightfully, she was fighting the immodest and blasphemy of placing pornography next to images of the Madonna and the Bambino Gesú!!!

Our Lord has and I believe continues to relieve the world which lies in a certain tension due to our sin. For remember, sin is not a private thing! In fact, it is communal. My sin affects the whole world. Sin does not just affect other men, but affects all of nature. God, in his Mercy, prevents sin at times. In a case like this, we suffer losses and sorrows, but in Divine Providence there is a reason for the sorrows of today. One cannot say definitively how all these points are interrelated. But we can know for certain that Our Lord wills the salvation of all men! And in this sense, we know today is a call for men, for Italians, to return to Our Lord. To return to the Church which once was so glorious in their lands, the land of the Saints and the martyrs whose blood colored the ground.

For this we can pray. And we can stress the work of God. The Psalmist says it all, for we have truly drunk the wine of sorrows, but we know the Lord delivers and saves His Beloved, the meek and the humble who have truly cried out to Him with a profound love!

Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary


 

On this the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, consecrate yourself to her, the Queen Immaculate.

O most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.

Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.

O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.

We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.

Amen.

–Venerable Pope Pius XII

Words from the Heart of Christ Crucified

I begin a retreat this evening and I take the below words as my motive. Let these words from the Heart of Christ Crucified speak to you:

Son, ​for thy sake I have sacrificed My life on a cross, amidst the most fearful sufferings and tortures; can I then be requiring too much when I ask thee sometimes to remember all I have done for thee; sometimes to call to mind My Passion? Can a Father ask less of thee, O son, a Father who for love of thee has suffered and died, was most cruelly transfixed with nails, and breathed His last, plunged in a sea of sorrows? I ask thee not for thy blood, although I shed every drop of Mine for the love of thee. I ask thee not to endure the scourge, to which also I submitted for thy sake. I ask thee not for the sacrifice of thy life, although I laid down My own with infinite love, for the salvation of thy soul. No, My son. I ask thee but to pause for a moment, to contemplate Me suffering, covered with wounds, and dying on the Cross; to contemplate Me in the state to which I am reduced by My ardent desire for thy salvation. I ask of thee a thought, a feeling of love, a sigh, a tear of compassion at the sight of My countless sufferings; can thy heart, O My son, be so hardened and unfeeling as to refuse thy tender Father, thy loving Redeemer, this slight tribute of gratitude—the occasional recollection of My Passion? Canst thou so liberally bestow thy thoughts and affections upon the world, upon creatures, and upon thy own interests, and yet refuse Me even a sigh, or a feeling of love and sympathy? 

Ah, son! I beseech thee to satisfy My desires, and not to refuse what I ask of thee. Remember all My sufferings, My wounds, and My death, compassionate and love Me. At least, let thy first thoughts each day be devoted to the remembrance of some one of My bitter sufferings; let at least one sigh be given to thy Crucified Saviour as the hours speed on their course; and let the last emotion of thy heart, after all the cares of the day are over, be a feeling of compassion for thy Redeemer expiring on a Cross. 

Ah, My son, forget not how much thy salvation has cost Me; forget not at how dear a rate I have ransomed thy soul, how much blood I have shed, and how many sufferings I have endured in order to atone for thy sins! If thy mind is continually occupied with such thoughts, and if thou dost often meditate upon My Passion, never, never more wilt thou so barbarously crucify Me again by willful sins.

This excerpt is from The School of Jesus Crucified, in the introductory part addressed to the reader.

Please pray for me while on my retreat.

An Act of Petition

For after Holy Communion:

Adorable Savior, “in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and all the fullness of the Godhead dwelleth corporally,” consider my many wants, and grant me those graces which Thou knowest I stand in need of to do Thy will in all things.

Thou knowest my weakness and the necessity which I endure; in how great evils and vices I am immersed; how often I am oppressed, tempted, troubled, and defiled. To Thee I come for remedy. I pray to Thee for comfort and succor. I speak to Him that knows all things; to Whom all that is within me is manifest,  and Who alone can perfectly comfort and help me. Thou knowest what good things I stand most in need of, and how poor I am in virtues. 

Behold, I stand before Thee, poor and naked, begging Thy grace, and importing Thy mercy. Feed Thy hungry supplant; inflame my coldness with the fire of Thy love: enlighten my blindness with the brightness of Thy presence. Amen.

The Suffering Heart of Our Lady

On Saturday,  may our refuge be the Suffering Heart of Our Lady. May we ask for the grace of an intense and sincere devotion and tender love towards Our Lady. She who held the Blessed Lord in her arms in His Life and in His Death at the foot of the Cross will teach us how to hold the Lord in our hearts. She will teach us how to prepare our hearts for receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion.

My Queen, my Mother, I give myself entirely to thee and to show my devotion to thee, I consecrate to thee this day, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart and my soul. My whole being without reserve. Wherefore good Mother as I am thy own keep me and guard me as thy property and possession. Amen.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Ambrogio Bergognone

Prayer by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri:

Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, it is to you, who are the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope and the refuge of sinners, that I have recourse today, I, who most of all am deserving of pity. Most humbly do I offer you my homage, O great Queen, and I thank you for all the graces you have obtained for me until now, and particularly for having saved me from Hell, which, by my sins, I have so often deserved.

I love you, O most lovable Lady, and because of my love for you, I promise to serve you always and to do all in my power to win others to love you also. In your hands I place all my hopes; I entrust the salvation of my soul to your care. Accept me as your servant, O Mother of Mercy; receive me under your mantle. And since you have such power with God, deliver me from all temptations, or rather, obtain for me the strength to triumph over them until death. Of you I ask the grace of perfect love for Jesus Christ. Through your help I hope to die a happy death. O my Mother I beg you, by the love you bear my God, to help me at all times, but especially at the last moment of my life. Do not leave me, I beseech you, until you see me safe in Heaven, blessing you and singing your mercies for all eternity, amen. So I hope, so may it be.