It is not good that you should be alone

​Put Me first. Put My friendship before all else. You cannot live without My friendship. It is not good that you should be alone. Seek My Face at all times and in all things.Seek My open Heart present in the Sacrament of My love. I have called you to be My friend. I have revealed Myself to you as the Friend whom you have always desired, the Friend who will never mislead you, never disappoint you, never abandon you. Open your heart to My friendship. Seek My Face. Converse with Me. Listen to Me. Remain in My presence. Know that at every moment My eyes rest upon you. My Heart is, at every moment, ready to welcome you. I desire your presence. I want the attention of your heart. I want your friendship in response to the friendship I have offered you. My Heart has a particular love for you, a love that My Father destined for you alone and for no other from all eternity.

How it grieves My Heart when the unique love I offer a soul is spurned, or ignored, or regarded with indifference! I tell you this so that you may make reparation to My Heart by accepting the love I have for you and by living in My friendship. Receive My gifts, My kindnesses, My attention, My mercies for the sake of those who refuse what I so desire to give them.

Text taken from In Sinu Jesu.

The Fruits of the Mass

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Any valid Mass is a renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross, which is of infinite value, and therefore as long as a Mass is valid it, too, is of infinite worth, and hence equally efficacious for those who participate. This would be considering the intrinsic value of the Mass.

In considering all the fruits of the Mass, we must distinguish between the intrinsic value and the extrinsic value. Since the Mass is essentially identical to the Sacrifice of Christ, the Primary Sacrificial Priest, on Calvary, which was itself of infinite worth, the intrinsic value of any Mass is infinite.

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The extrinsic value of the Mass can be considered in relation to God to Whom it is offered and in relation to man for whom it is offered. Considering the first, since God is an infinite being, capable of receiving an infinite act, the adoration and thanksgiving offered to God by the Sacrifice is itself infinite. And the second, man, who is a finite creature, is incapable of receiving infinite effects, therefore the “fruits of the Mass,” that is, the effects of the Mass in relation to man are limited. In The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Fr. Gihr states that the external value of the Mass in relation to God is indeed infinite, adding:

“[T]he case is different when the Eucharistic Sacrifice is considered in its relation to man. From this point of view it aims at procuring our salvation and sanctification, and is, consequently, a means of grace, or rather a source of grace, bringing us the riches of heavenly blessings…The fruits which the Sacrifice of the Mass obtains for us from God are only finite, that is, restricted to a certain number and determining measure… The Sacrifice of the Mass, therefore, with respect to man can have only a restricted efficacy, and in its fruits is capable of only limited application.” (The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Gihr, ch. 3, art. 2, sect. 17, p. 137-138)

This limited efficacy “does not lie in the essence or value of the Sacrifice, since it possesses infinite power for producing every effect”. Rather, “the final and decisive reason for the more or less plentiful application of the sacrificial graces is the will of Christ, in other words, is to be sought in the positive ordinance of God”. That is, while the Mass itself is an infinite source of grace, when it comes to “the distribution of His gifts, God requires our cooperation.” (Ibid., p. 138-139)

The fruits of the Mass, that is, the consideration of the grace received by individuals, derive from four factors:

  1. The personal piety and devotion of an individual,
  2. The holiness of the priest,
  3. The external glory given to God by the ritual, and
  4. The general holiness of the Church in its members.

The last three points are external factors which affect the amount of grace a person receives, in such a way, that the devout hearing of one mass can derive greater fruits than an equally devout hearing of another mass.

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The Holiness of the Church

One factor determining the efficacy of the Mass is the general holiness of the Church in its members at a given time, including the bishops and reigning pope. Regarding this point, the Catholic Encyclopedia says “the greatness and extent of this ecclesiastical service is dependent on the greater or less holiness of the reigning pope, the bishops, and the clergy throughout the world, and for this reason in times of ecclesiastical decay and laxity of morals (especially at the papal court and among the episcopate) the fruits of the Mass, resulting from the sacrificial activity of the Church, might under certain circumstances easily be very small.” (<http://home.newadvent.org/cathen/10006a.htm&gt;, accessed 11 January 2017)

On this same point, Fr. Gihr wrote:

“But since the holiness of the Church consists in the sanctity of her members, it is not always and invariably the same, but greater at one period than another; therefore, the Sacrifice of the Church is also at one time in a greater, at another in a lesser degree pleasing to God and beneficial to man.” (Gihr, ch. 3, art. 2, sect. 17, p. 144)

This factor effects the Church as a whole, for it is based upon the moral condition of the Church. The effect then will be equal for all Masses offered at a given time in history. Following, in considering the Priest and the Ritual, it will be seen how these factors are specific circumstances and thus have a direct effect on the efficacy of individual Masses.

The Priest

St. Thomas teaches that the fruits to be derived from a particular Mass are based, in part, on the holiness of the priest celebrant who intercedes for the faithful, “and in this respect there is no doubt but that the Mass of the better priest is the more fruitful.” ST III, Q. 82, art. 6, res.)

A Mass celebrated irreverently by an unworthy priest, or worse still, by one who violates the rubrics, will be less efficacious, and therefore produce fewer fruits than a one celebrated by a holy priest who says Mass with devotion and follows the rubrics with precision. 

The following explains in a way that cannot be ignored or disputed, if we would only considering the action of the priest, as just that, a moral action:

“The more holy and pleasing to God a priest is, the more acceptable are his prayers and oblations; and the greater his devotion, the greater the benefit to be derived from his Mass. For just as other good works performed by a pious man gain merit in proportion to the zeal and devotion with which they are performed, so Holy Mass is more or less profitable both to the priest who says it and to the persons for whom it is said, according as it is celebrated with more or less fervor”. (quoting a Cardinal Bona, d. 1674, Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Rev. Martinus von Cochem, O.S.F., p. 285)

The Ritual

The degree of external glory the ritual gives to God effects the efficacy of the Mass, as well. In this respect, not all Rites of the Church are equal; neither does a low Mass have the same efficacy as a High Mass. On this point, Fr. Gihr says:

“The Church not only offers the Sacrifice, but she moreover unites with its offering various prayers and ceremonies. The sacrificial rites are carried out in the name of the Church and, therefore, powerfully move God to impart His favors and extend His bounty to the living and the dead. By reason of the variety of the formulas of the Mass, the impetratory efficacy of the Sacrifice can be increased… also the nature of the prayers of the Mass and even of its whole rite exerts accordingly an influence upon the measure and nature of the fruits of the Sacrifice. From what has been said there follow several interesting consequences. Among others, that, on the part of the Church, a High Mass solemnly celebrated has greater value and efficacy than merely a low Mass…At a Solemn High Mass the external display is richer and more brilliant than at a low Mass; for at a solemn celebration the Church, in order to elevate the dignity of the Sacrifice, manifests greater pomp, and God is more glorified thereby…This grander and more solemn celebration of the Sacrifice is more acceptable to God and, therefore, more calculated to prevail upon Him to grant us, in His mercy, the favors we implore; – that is, to impart greater efficacy to the petitions and supplications of the Church.” (Gihr, ch. 3, art. 2, sect. 17, p. 144-145)

In addition, the celebration of such exalted rituals demands a certain decorum fitting of the majesty and the exalted nature of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Lacking in respect to such demand, the extrinsic merit of a particular Mass would be affected. Simply put, ugly things please God less, and, thus, the merit to be gained in offering such things to God is less.

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Conclusion

On Calvary, our Lord offered His Passion and Death to the Father in order to merit our salvation. At the Mass, we, being present at Calvary, are offered by Jesus Christ to the Father and the fruits of His Passion become open to us. The infinite Font of Grace, The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is the greatest gift given to us. It is there that we encounter the love of Christ most intimately. It is there that we can seek the graces needed in the vale of tears. Are we attentive to this?

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As shown, the fruits of the Mass are finite in their application, and contingent on many factors. The holiness of the priest, and the manner in which he says the Mass, will affect the fruits of the Mass. The greater the solemnity and grandeur of the Mass, the greater will be the graces God pours out on those who assist. The problem so rampant these days in the Church, is that we do not consider these points when we approach a particular Mass. If we would consider these points, would we reconsider where and how we attend the Holy Mass?

Let the words of Saint John Vianney inspire us:

If we knew the value of the Mass, we would die!

 

At the Foot of the Cross

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An excerpt from In Sinu Jesu, dated January 10, 2008:

…I want you to learn to remain before My Eucharistic Face, silent, adoring, listening to Me, and loving Me for those who do not adore Me, those who do not listen to Me, those who never express their love for Me in this way. If only My priests would spend time before My Eucharistic Face, I should heal them, purify them, sanctify them, and change them into apostles set all ablaze with the living flame that consumes My Heart in the Blessed Sacrament. But they stay away. They prefer so many other things, vain pursuits and things that leave them empty, bitter, and weary. They forget My words, “Come to Me . . . and I will refresh you.” My priests will be renewed in holiness and in purity when they begin to seek Me out in the Sacrament of My love…

Not only priests will be renewed in holiness but also those religious and lay faithful who seek the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

I have learned from a devout priest that we should spend at least 15 minutes each day at the foot of the Cross. It is there that we can give everything, our whole selves, to Our Lord Crucified. But it must be noted who of the Apostles was able to remain at the Foot of the Cross, Saint John, the Beloved Apostle. Why was this so?

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It was Saint John who rested his head upon the breast of Jesus, wherein he was able to receive the strength, the power, the love to remain with Our Lord as He hung upon the Cross.

It will thus be the same for us, who, with a solid resolve, attend to Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. If we are unable to receive Our Lord daily in Holy Communion, let us at least make a Spiritual Communion uniting our hearts to the Lord and begging to receive the graces necessary to love Him. Let us not do so with haste, but with gratitude for such a great gift. Do not delay in each day spending time with Our Lord, away from all other distractions. Even if you cannot physically get to the Church, can you not transport your heart in spirit near the Tabernacle where Our Lord awaits you?

Let us learn from the example of Saint John, we will only be able to bear the crosses in our life, to remain at the Foot of the Cross of Our Lord, if we lovingly receive the strength, the fortitude, the peace of the Sacrament of Love, the Most Holy Eucharist!

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O Most Holy Name, Jesus!

O Most Holy Name, Jesus, I praise you!

It is still the Christmas season. And today we are blessed to celebrate the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus! Let His Name be on our lips and in our hearts, through this Most Glorious and Precious Name, Jesus, let us give glory to God for His salvific work, for He saves! He alone saves!

Please pray for the family of friends. One of their family members suffered a tragic accident at dinner on New Year’s Eve and he is currently surviving with the assistance of machines. Moments like these are scary and confusing for us. There aren’t even words to console those troubled by such tragedies.

We know not the time, nor the hour. And so we must pray for this man. God’s ways are way above our ways and we cannot judge or even begin to understand such circumstances of tragedies like these. But we trust in His ways! And when souls are involved we must always pray that they received the graces to love God and to have true sorrow for their sons. And these prayers are efficacious! And how sweet a Name we can pray in, Jesus!

Prayer to the Holy Name – St. Alphonsus

O my Jesus, thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities.  If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; If I am in affliction, Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me.  If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me.  I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love.  Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.

On the 8th day…

Happy Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord! The day upon which Our Lord first shed His Most Precious Blood.

O most humble Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, eternal praise and thanksgiving be to Thee, because in Thy tenderest age, on the eighth day of Thy mortal life, Thou didst vouchsafe to shed Thy Precious and Innocent Blood for us, and as a true son of Abraham to bear the pain of circumcision. By this most holy shedding of Thy Blood, I beg of Thee the grace of humility against all pride and worldly vanity.

Our Father…

O Saviour of the world, who by Thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us: save us, and help us, we humbly beseech Thee, O Lord.

Come, let us adore Him!

Come, let us bend our knees before the Infant lying in the Manger. 

How glorious is He, on this night, humbly born in silence, already cast off by the world. 

Hail and Blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born! The Word made Flesh, for you, for me. Hail and Blessed be the hour and moment when Christ comes, in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar! The Word made Flesh, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of God Most High! 

On that night, so blessed, to receive Christ, the Infant King into the world, there was no place for Him. Despised and rejected, a child. The Christ, the Anointed One of God, Emmanuel! 

O Christ, there was no place for You. The Blessed Mother and her chaste spouse prepared the Manger, the feeding trough of wood. It was there You first laid Your Precious Head. A foreshadowing of what was to come, for in your Passion there was no place to lay Your Head.

On this Night, Most Sacred, may we kneel before Your Crib and may our hearts be ready, O Lord, to receive such a King. And with joy, may we remain there, if only for some time, to console You. With tears. Of Gratitude and Sorrow. For we see, a Christ Child born to redeem, Innocence Himself, to save us from our iniquity. 

With joy, may our hearts be transformed to follow in the way of the Little Infant King, the way of the Cross, our sanctification!

Martyrology for the Christmas Vigil

December 25th anno Domini 2016 

The 26th Day of the Moon

In the year 5199th from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, in the year 2959th from the flood, in the year 2015th from the birth of Abraham, in the year 1510th from the going forth of the people of Israel out of Egypt under Moses, in the year 1032th from the anointing of David as King, in the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel, in the 194th Olympiad, in the 752nd from the foundation of the city of Rome, in the 42nd year of the reign of the Emperor Octavian Augustus, in the 6th age of the world, while the whole earth was at peace, Jesus Christ, Himself Eternal God and Son of the Eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and when nine months were passed after His conception, (all kneel down) was born of the Virgin Mary at Bethlehem of Juda made Man, Our Lord Jesus Christ was born according to the flesh. 

Upon the same 25th day of December were born into the better life
At Rome, in the Apronian cemetery, the holy virgin Eugenia, who in the time of the Emperor Gallienus, after many works of power, and after enlisting bands of sacred virgins for Christ, suffered long under Nicetius, Prefect of the city, and at length was slain with the sword (about 258). 
At Nicomedia, many thousand holy martyrs. Upon the feast of Christ’s birth they had come together unto the Lord’s house, and the Emperor Diocletian ordered the doors of the church to be shut, and all things made ready for fire round about it then he set a tripod and incense in front of the door, and sent an herald to proclaim in a loud voice that whosoever would escape burning should come forth arid offer incense unto Jupiter. Whereunto they all replied with one voice, that they would far rather die for Christ’s sake, whereupon he kindled the fire and they were consumed, and were born in heaven upon that same day whereupon it had pleased Christ to be born into this world to save it. 
At Barcelona, in Spain (in the year 1256), the holy confessor Peter Nolasco, founder of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Ransom for the redemption of captives. He was famous for his graces and miracles, and Alexander VIII. commanded his feast to be kept upon the last day of January. 
V. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.