Above is an icon of Saint Anne with Immaculate Mary, her infant daughter, who is already by vocation Mother of God, respected as such by the Holy Angels.
Anne in Hebrew is Hannah, חַנָּה. Most translate this name as grace, favor. That’s appropriate, since Saint Gabriel’s greeting to Mary so as to announce to her that she is to be the Virgin Mother of God, was this: “Rejoice, you who perfectly continue to stand perfectly transformed in grace since the instant…” [in context, that Mary’s vocation to be the virgin Mother of God was received, that is, at the first instant of her conception].
I first heard this explanation – grace, favor – of the name Hannah when I was slogging through the propaedeutic year of languages at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. But with me being freaky pedantic, I sought philological extravaganzas and, the next day, raised my hand to ask Sister Timothy Elliot, our professor, whether or not there was another possibility for the name Hannah, say, perhaps “womb”, indeed, “mercy.” She thought for a second and, eyes bright, said yes. Emboldened, I added a few philological notes, and she waxed poetic on that philology for a minute, confirming my findings.
Anyway, you’ll remember that Hannah is the prophet Samuel’s mother. She was granted the mercy of being a mother by God Most High, and she brought her little son to the temple to grow up there. “Here I am, Lord. I come to do your will.” Hannah sang about her experience, a hymn of praise and thanksgiving which, we can be quite sure, had been memorized and sung by another Hannah more than a thousand years later, the mother of Immaculate Mary. And surely Mary heard this, memorized this, carried this, sang this, the song of a Maternal warrior:
“My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides thee; there is no rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world. “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones; but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might shall a man prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.” (1 Samuel 2:1-10)
Sound familiar? Let’s see how Immaculate Mary, The Warrior Woman of Genesis 3:15, recast this for her own circumstances as Virgin Mother of God, Jesus being the fulfillment of the new priesthood which Samuel, son of Hannah, put into motion back in his day:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.” (Luke 1:46-55)
To sing with such humility, truth, reverence, praise, with a military edge, demands of any singer, Hannah/Anne/Mary, an experience of suffering.
And that brings us to Mary’s name, Miryam, מִרְיָם, “bitterness” and “sea”. We recall once again the Lamentations:
“Is this nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see! Is there any sorrow like mine, which was inflicted on me, which the LORD made me suffer on the day of His fierce anger?” (Lamentations 1:12)
Back to Miryam, Mary. When I lived atop the cave of Elijah atop Mount Carmel for a month, I would sometimes look over the sea. I wondered out loud to my guardian angel what it is that Elijah saw coming out of the sea as a sign that the terrible drought of years was now over, you know, upon his praying seven times. The Hebrew is ambiguous, simply mentioning that his servant reported to Elijah that a small cloud (laden with rain) was seen arising from the sea, a cloud like a man’s hand/foot. הִנֵּה־עָ֛ב קְטַנָּ֥ה כְּכַף־אִ֖ישׁ עֹלָ֣ה מִיָּ֑ם
Forget translations, which often say “hand”. I think not. I think it was a small cloud laden with rain looking like a man’s foot. Why’s that? Because the cloud laden with rain as salvation for Israel is arising out of the bitter sea, that is Miryam, Mary. The first image of salvation we see in the Sacred Scriptures is in Genesis 3:15, whereby salvation is being brought by the initiative of the Savior to reach out His heel to crush the head of the great serpent, the ancient dragon, Satan, with that Redeemer/Savior Himself being crushed as indeed we saw with the crucifixion of Jesus, Son of Miryam, Mary, that Bitterness immense as the Sea under the Cross.
The moment I had asked my guardian angel about that cloud laden with rain back in the Book of Kings, a small cloud laden with rain immediately formed directly in front of me, over the sea, directly in front of Elijah’s cave. That’s the picture I took of that cloud above. Yikes!
The name Father Tissa Balasuriya was brought to mind in the past week. He was a “liberation theologian” from Sri Lanka, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate, excommunicated for a while because of his many and disgusting heresies regarding our Blessed Mother. He died in early 2013, a week or so after Pope Benedict XVI did what he did (whatever it is that he did). It was Cardinal Ratzinger who had published the excommunication so many years earlier (1997). Here’s an excerpt:
“A fundamental aspect of the thought of Father Balasuriya is the denial of the dogma of original sin, held by him to be simply a product of the theological thought of the West (cf. pp. 66-78). This contradicts the nature of this dogma and its intrinsic connection to revealed truth. The author, in fact, does not hold that the meaning of dogmatic formulas remains always true and unchangeable, though capable of being expressed more clearly and better understood. [In contrast, I was able to demonstrate the “mechanism” (well, God’s justice precisely in view of how He created us), regarding the transmission of original sin not by imitation but by propagation, showing the inescapable logic of this from the Hebrew text, a first as far as I can tell after a quite exhaustive examination of millennia of commentary on the matter.]
“On the basis of these positions, the author arrives at the point of denying, in particular, the marian dogmas. Mary’s divine motherhood, her Immaculate Conception and virginity, as well as her bodily Assumption into heaven, are not recognized as truths belonging to the Word of God (cf. pp. 47, 106, 139, 152, 191). [In contrast, in my own work, I demonstrated how all these dogmas are necessary upon the examination of the text of the Sacred Scriptures, again, a first as far as I know in the history of Judeo-Catholicism.] Wanting to present a vision of Mary free from «theological elaborations, which are derived from a particular interpretation of one sentence or other of the scriptures» (p. 150) [In contrast, I demonstrated how Genesis 2:4a–3:24 is a tightly scripted equation, a syllogism], Father Balasuriya, in fact, deprives the dogmatic doctrine concerning the Blessed Virgin of every revealed character, thus denying the authority of tradition as a mediation of revealed truth. [In contrast, I demonstrated the revealed character of all the present Marian dogmas, and more, that is, regarding Mary as Advocate, Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix.]
“Finally, it must be noted that Father Balasuriya, denying and relativizing some statements of both the extraordinary Magisterium and the ordinary universal Magisterium, reveals that he does not recognize the existence of an infallibility of the Roman Pontiff and of the college of Bishops cum et sub Petro. Reducing the primacy of the Successor of Peter to a question of power (cf. pp. 42, 84, 170), he denies the special character of this ministry. [In contrast, I have attempted, as a courtesy, to correct Francis’ assertions of power as an attempt to control Sacred Tradition (he taking up Balasuriya’s heretical assertions), pointing Francis instead to correct philological exegesis of Matthew 16 regarding the limits of infallibility apart from Sacred Tradition. This is speaking with parrhesia, with charity. I must say, this has been quite the exhaustive, comprehensive examination, though spread out over very many articles over very many years.]
“In publishing this Notification, the Congregation is obliged also to declare that Father Balasuriya has deviated from the integrity of the truth of the Catholic faith and, therefore, cannot be considered a Catholic theologian; moreover, he has incurred excommunication latae sententiae (can. 1364, par. 1). [In other words, the automatic nature of the excommunication was now also declared, therefore having external penalties imposed and supervised.]
“The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Notification, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.
“Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2 January 1997, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Joseph Card. Ratzinger Prefect” [So, that’s weird. I think the multiple dates here refer, perhaps, to the approval, and/or the signing, and/or the publishing.]
A year later, in 1998, this excommunication was lifted upon Tissa’s admission that there might be “perceptions of error” in his writings, whatever that means. While teaching in major seminaries in Australia a few years later, I saw a BBC interview with Tissa in which, if I remember correctly, he mocked this decision of the foolish Holy See rehabilitating him. I was intent on getting him excommunicated once again (with full encouragement of the Holy Office), and so contacted the BBC to get a DVD copy of the interview (which they advertised at the end of the program). To their credit, they responded and took my phone calls. But they got nervous and said that sharing a copy was, in this case, forbidden by the interviewee. Who would’ve guessed? The BBC guy was super nervous, as denial is against government policy (the BBC being a government agency). Anyway, you can fool what is now called the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith some of the time, but not Jesus, not Mary at any time. One way or the other, now Tissa knows the rest of the story, with great clarity. I hope he turned around before he died. I don’t wish anyone any harm, even with the infliction of penalties which are medicinal in nature. For the eternal repose of Tissa’s soul (We’re to pray for our enemies, right?): Hail Mary…
Whatever the perception of Tissa as a full-on heretic, he did get due process. That’s charity, right?
[[This was first published in the National Catholic Register under it’s previous ownership, and is presented under the title THE HAND OF MARY by one of the writers of the NCRegister, Tom Hoopes. It is USMC Michael Lambert, who has been visiting my parish in WNC these past weeks, who sent in this story. I’d like to give it a bit more visibility. The picture above is of the church he describes below.]]
Michael Lambert already had a devotion to the Blessed Mother before that day in Vietnam. “I had studied as a seminarian for the Marist Fathers,” the native of Georgia says. “I had been dedicated to Our Blessed Lady as an infant by my mother.” But he would have an even greater devotion later, when he came to understand what had happened to him there.
It was February 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War. The Tet holiday, New Year’s festivities celebrated by families throughout Vietnam, had begun on Jan. 31. To honor it, combatants had called a truce — until North Vietnamese defense minister Gen. Nuygen Giap, defense minister for North Vietnam, launched a countrywide “general uprising.”
Communist forces attacked major cities and military bases throughout South Vietnam at the very moment many South Vietnamese troops were on leave with their wives and children. 2d Lieutenant Michael Lambert was serving as a platoon leader with Company H, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines. When the Tet attacks began, the Battalion was ordered into Hue’ (pronounced “whey”) on February 2. The mission was to attack the North Vietnamese Army Forces that had taken the city during the early morning hours of January 31. Hue was a city that was both strategically and psychologically key to the communist’s plans to take control of South Vietnam. It was home to over 110,000 souls and Vietnam’s most honored city. Hue’ had been the capital of Vietnam. It was the location of the former emperor of Vietnam’s ancient fortress, known as the Citadel.
The Catholic faith had been brought to Vietnam over a century prior to the French by Jesuit Missionaries. Vietnamese Catholics had suffered persecution by Vietnamese emperors for generations prior to the arrival of the French.
The journey by truck convoy to Hue from the combat base at Phubai was strange and silent, Lambert remembers. “Usually, on a trip into a South Vietnamese city, children begging for food would swarm the trucks,” he said. “The marines would toss ‘c ration’ meals and candy bars to the kids.” The young marines would laugh at the resulting melee.
“This time,” he said, “the only ones on the side of the road were the bodies of dead South Vietnamese and American soldiers.” As the convoy headed into the French section of Hue called the new city, “the scene began to resemble a Wild West movie,” he said. “We began receiving heavy machine gun fire from the steeple of a Catholic church west of the highway.” “Big green tracers flew high over the truck beds … no one was hit.”
Once they got to the MACV (military assistance command Vietnam) compound in Hue, they learned what had happened. The North Vietnamese had slipped into the city by night, occupying it and massacring thousands. The Marines would have to take it back.
And they would have to do it block by bock, house by house, on the Communists’ terms. “Urban warfare was a totally new experience for us,” said Lambert. “The vicious house-to-house and room-to-room tactics demanded a unique aggressive spirit.”
The fighting was intense. It took the Marines six days to clear six blocks. “After six days, we had developed a routine that consisted of violent assault supported by heavy automatic weapons fire,” he recalled. “Once the enemy return fire was suppressed, a fire team of five marines would rush into a building and run from room to room tossing in fragmentation grenades and spraying each room with automatic fire from their M-16 rifles. After many days without sleep and little food, these assaults became mechanical. Many of us were like walking dead.”
The horror of the war, the stench of unburied bodies, the total confusion of combat, the physical exhaustion of the soldiers and the deadening of the soldiers’ sensitivity to killing are hard for most people to understand, Lambert said. But these elements also make Mary’s intervention in the carnage, violence, and filth of that particular battle all the more extraordinary, he added.
Lambert’s reinforced platoon, which had started out with 65 marines, had dwindled to 20 effectives in six days of continuous fighting. That’s when H Company Commander Captain Ron Christmas gave Lambert the order to clear a Catholic church near the Phu Cam canal. The church was suspected of being the location of the machine gun nest that had fired at the convoy a week earlier. “I issued a brief order to my three squad-leaders to clear the churchyard and check the church itself,” said Lambert. “I gave special attention to the bell tower.” Lambert ran into the church with his assaulting fire team. He noticed a basement staircase descending from a low door in the back of the church. He decided to check that out himself.
“I removed an M-26 grenade from the left front pocket of my flack jacket and tucked my M-16 rifle under my right armpit,” he said. “As I descended the staircase, I readied the grenade. I placed my left index finger into the safety ring and began to ease the pin out of the arming mechanism of the hand grenade.”
Lambert easily could have thrown the grenade into the room at the bottom of the stairway, but he didn’t. Instead, “I felt a gentle hand touch me and lay over the grenade,” he said. “In one of those inexplicable moments in time, I instantly knew I was to re-safe the deadly grenade.” He did, returning it to his flack jacket.
Stepping off the stairway landing, he entered the crypt of the Church. “There in the darkness, I saw a sea of lit vigil lights with Vietnamese huddled over them praying the rosary,” he said. “The parishioners of the church had taken refuge in the basement.” He led them out into the light of day and sent them to the refugee center.
After four more days of fighting, Lambert was wounded, treated and sent back into combat. The battle for Huế lasted 26 days for the Marines. In the rush of events, he forgot all about the incident in the Church basement. Until 25 years later. He began having nightmares about the fighting in Huế during Tet 1968. Then a father of six, he heard about a priest in Slidell, Louisiana, who had the reputation, like Padre Pio, of reading souls in confession.
“On impulse,” he said, “I made an appointment with that priest.” They traveled from Atlanta and each family member made a general confession. Lambert was the last. The priest knew nothing of his past or identity, and at the end of the general confession he asked Lambert if there was anything bothering him; if he had anything else to discuss.
“I mentioned that I was experiencing troubling dreams about my experiences in Vietnam,” said Lambert. “You mean about the church in Huế?” asked the priest. “Yes, Father,” said Lambert. Answered the priest: “That was the Blessed Mother’s hand that stopped you from throwing the hand grenade.” The church was named Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The priest, Fr. Joe Benson, was pastor of Margaret Mary Alacoque parish.
Post Script: The area of the city that Lambert fought in was the “New City” on the south bank of the Perfume River. The Phu Cam district had been settled by Vietnamese Catholics that had fled North Vietnam following the 1954 Partition after the Viet Minh – French war. The Catholic refugees that resettled in Huế built their church in Phu Cam. The church was dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Following the Tet 1968 battle lasting 26 days, mass graves were found. Most of the 5,000 victims had been buried alive by the communist soldiers. They had been convicted by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong and summarily executed. Their crime was being “reactionary”. Many were catholic former refugees from the north who had seen the tragedy of the communist state. This under-reported event is referred to as the Huế Massacre by Vietnamese ex-pats. The current government either denies that it ever happened, or blames it on the evil U.S. Marine Corps. So much for revisionist history!
[[My comment: Notice the power of the Rosary, and the power of Confession.]]
The phrase The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Soul and Body into Heaven does not appear in the Sacred Scriptures just like that. That doesn’t mean it’s not true. Thus, the phrase The Most Holy Trinity doesn’t appear in the Sacred Scriptures just like that. But we do read about the Creator, about YHWH Elohim and about the Holy Spirit throughout the Old Testament, and then, very specifically, in the New Testament, the Jews are not at all scandalized at Philip speaking in this manner, but are upset that he said that they were also guilty of the blood of Jesus. Also, there’s the great commission to preach to all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Can anyone deny the Most Holy Trinity, Three Persons, One God, because the word “Trinity” or Tri-Unity doesn’t appear. So, let’s dismiss that gotcha rubbish. God made us smarter than doing up gotcha rubbish.
Would it be appropriate for Mary to go to heaven, seeing that she was so much in solidarity with her Son, risking getting stoned to death if Joseph would have turned her in, risking giving birth to Jesus in Bethlehem where in fact Herod killed all the male children two years old and under trying to kill Jesus, having to go into exile in an arch-enemy country (pure hell for years), witnessing the inept and brutally idiot apostles for years, standing alone under the cross until John came back, witnessing her Son ripped to shreds in front of her? Yes. But that appropriateness would not be a proof.
Would it be appropriate for Mary to go to heaven, soul and body, because, you know, her Son Jesus went to heaven, soul and body, and she, like, you know, was mother of that biological part of the human nature of the divine Person of Jesus, who was entirely God and man in one divine Person? Yes. But that appropriateness would not be a proof.
There seems to be a rock-solid tradition that Mary was assumed soul and body into heaven that goes waaaaaaaaay back to the beginning, very soon had references in the liturgy, and was uninterruptedly part and parcel of the belief of the Christian people everywhere: Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est – What everywhere, always and by everyone is believed. But that’s not gonna convince anyone. They’ll just say that that’s stubborn entrenchment. And that’s because the certainty of this faith is more obviously true than that you see your hand in front of your face rests on something else, and that something else is feared.
It is Mary’s Immaculate Conception which is proof of the Assumption of Mary, soul and body, into heaven. So, let’s take a look at Mary’s having been immaculate conceived in the Sacred Scriptures, Old and New, and see if the consequences such an event inescapably bring us to admission, ever so joyfully, mind you, of the assumption of Mary soul and body into heaven…
GENESIS 3:15 — I wrote a thesis on this. I wish people would read it. But anyway, in short, the Redeemer, YHWH Elohim incarnate, is to be born of The Woman sometime future to the writer of Genesis 3:15. He will be her seed. That’s biologically weird, right? Women don’t have a seed. Men do. But the Son will be her seed. What this refers to in context is that she is not part of Adam’s seed, Adam’s progeny of original sin. She is apart from the sin of Adam. Her progeny is, absolutely, hers. If she is not destroyed by original sin, if she is would stain of that sin, without that macula, she is immaculate in her conception. She’s the Immaculate Conception. But what does that have to do with the Assumption? Hold on. Let’s see Luke.
LUKE 1:28 — Here the angel’s salutation is written down by Luke as inspired by the Holy Spirit. That greeting, Κεχαριτωμένη, is a perfect participle. Sorry to be pedantic here, but it’s important. In biblical Greek, the perfection of the perfect “tense” is actually perfect. The angel literally said: Rejoice you who perfectly continue to stand perfectly transformed in grace from the time when [fill in the blank from context] until now. Text without context is pretext. The context is that the time whence Mary was perfectly transformed in grace and perfectly continued in that perfection until now is when she first received her vocation to be the virgin Mother of God, that is, from eternity, but practically received when she was conceived by Joachim and Ann by an intervention of the Holy Spirit.
So, great! Mary was immaculate conceived. What does that have to do with the Assumption, even as a proof of the Assumption of Mary soul and body into heaven? Glad you asked. Buckle up!
Original sin dumbs us down with weakness of mind, weakness of will, emotions now chaotic because no longer following but always attempting to lead reason, suffering distraction, suffering the violence of others, and there’s sickness and death. Mary was free from all that, right? Yes and no. Personally, yes, but because her immaculateness provided purity of heart, agility of soul, clarity of vision, profundity of understanding, and, in so lightly yet so intensely and so lovingly following the will of God, walking with God’s Truth, a Temple of the Holy Spirit, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Mother of the Son, the Daughter of the Father… because of all that she also saw, in contrast, ever so clearly, all the sin of all mankind in all of its horror vomited upon her Son as He was shred to death, tortured to death in front of her. Whereas even a smidgeon of understanding of what even what one of our slightest sins actually was before the holiness of God would crush us to death because of the weight of the glory of God’s justice overwhelming us, so weak are we after original sin, Mary was able to stand in solidarity with her Son in His trials. She suffered more than all put together. Look you who pass by the way and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow!
Well, there is a sorrow like her sorrow, that of Jesus in the agony of the garden, where the will of His human nature was in dichotomy from the will of His Father, not because He was a wimp and didn’t want to suffer the death we deserve for original sin and our own rubbish sin and so, standing in our place, Innocent for the guilty, would have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us… He was constrained until He could enthusiastically suffer the baptism for which He came, in His own blood. And there He was, sweating a baptism of His own blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. He didn’t want to His Immaculate Mother suffered the greatest suffering of seeing Him tortured to death in front of her, thus seeing clearly all the sins of all mankind from Adam until the last man is conceived, even seeing that such a redemption wrought by her Son also brought that immaculate conception to her. She was redeemed but not saved. Get that? Now then…
Sin brought death into the world. Jesus died, totally innocent. Just because she died doesn’t mean she was a sinner and died because of that. Why did Jesus die? From the crucifixion? Sure, I guess. Kind of. Not really. He would have, if you left Him there long enough, He insisting to stay on the Cross for us. But it was a surprise that He only lasted three hours. He died because of the massive heart attack which would have accompanied the sweating of blood, the stress of His love for His mother, not wanting her to witness His suffering. That heart attack, it is said, literally breaks the pericardium, the outer part of the heart, which would have filled with blood, that blood then separating into blood and “water” overnight, quite un-survivable, and He would have died more of that than the scourging and crucifixion so quickly as he did.
Meanwhile, back to Mary. I contend it is because of her Immaculate Conception and the subsequent suffering under the Cross which that brought to her (see argumentation above) that she also suffered the same kind of massive heart attack, her pericardium breaking, but she appropriately surviving until at least Pentecost. That she would die even though not part of any consequence of original sin is most appropriate in her solidarity with her dear, dear Son. But then it would be time for her to go be on her way to heaven, in all justice. And God is just.
That she would have to be assumed into heaven regardless of any death (recall the “being changed in the twinkling of an eye mentioned by Saint Paul for souls at the end of time) is obviated simply by the fact of her immaculate conception: It’s God’s justice. Can she who is the Ark of the Covenant Incarnate not join her Son in Heaven? Impossible. Can she rot in the tomb, she who is the mother of the Author of Life, while He goes to Heaven leaving her behind? That’s impossibly unjust. But God is just. If Jesus, who is without sin, cannot rot in the tomb, neither can she, who is without sin, rot in the tomb. It’s not right. It’s impossible in justice to leave her dead, she who is the mother of the Author of Life. But God is just.
So, there it is. I’m typing too fast. I fear carpal tunnel syndrome. I’m sure I missed plenty. And I feel badly about that. I’m inept. Did I miss anything? I guess it comes down to Jesus’ love for His mother. I mean, for myself, if I were Jesus[!], and I ascended into heaven soul and body, and there was Mary, her own body rotting in the grave but me all good to go, I would feel really awkward. And I know that ♬ feelings ♬ are no way to do theology or biblical studies, but the logic of God’s justice is absolutely inescapable. Don’t underestimate Jesus’ love for His mother. Jesus loves His immaculate mother.
It’s because she is immaculate and cannot be put down by sin that she must live even if she dies momentarily as did Jesus. She must bodily rise immediately as did Jesus. Satan did not win over her or over Him. And she had to go to heaven body and soul as He ascended body and soul because that’s the fulfillment of the redemption though not salvation she received. The logic is absolute. To put it more strongly: to deny her entrance to heaven would be a sin on Jesus’ part. That ain’t gonna happen.
Just as Jesus said that if we love Him we should be happy that He is going to the Father in speaking of His ascension, you know, because He successfully obeyed the Father, suffering so very much for us, just so if we love Him, who loves His mother, she who also did the will of the Father and who also suffered so much for us… we should be happy that Jesus’ mother is assumed soul and body into heaven. It’s a family thing. And we long to join the two of them.
I’ll just stop here and press publish. Again, sorry for spelling mistakes and run-on sentences. I’m typing waaaay too fast.
12 April 1947 – 12 April 2022. Some years ago Rachel Lanz had an account at the NCRegister about Bruno Cornacchiola, a wanna-be assassin of Pius XII. Bruno was baptized Catholic, but then joined the anti-clerical marauders in Italy. He re-verted back to the Catholic Church by way of Our Lady of Revelation, who appeared at Tre Fontane on the outskirts of Rome, where Saint Paul had been beheaded.
At the time, Pius XII who was wanting to say something about the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, soul and body into heaven, and would do so with an infallible pronouncement three years, six months later, in 1950. Bruno saw Our Lady with his three children. She was dressed in white, wearing a green mantle with a pink band, holding the Scriptures. She had a message for Pius XII that Bruno himself had to deliver: “My body could not decay and did not decay. My Son and the angels took me to heaven.”
But there’s more to the story
In my own years of studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and in my years of using the library of the PBI for my doctoral thesis, I ran across a volume of the proceedings of the 1948 get-together of the just-then-founded and ever disgusting Associazione biblica italiana. Their very first symposium was effectively an answer to Pius XII’s inquiry about the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, soul and body into heaven. They did everything in every way, every angle, to destroy any possible biblical foundations for what Pius XII wanted to do. They didn’t succeed, of course. But Mary saw this coming a year before it happened.
Just my opinion, but what Mary accomplished at Tre Fontane as Our Lady of Revelation was directed against a particular cardinal who had everything to do with destroying the Catholic Church on all levels throughout the last century. He had everything to do with this get-together of the ABI, everything to do with rehabilitating the modernist heresy, everything to do with false ecumenism, everything to do with the absolute worst ambiguities of various sentences in documents of Vatican II, everything do do with the destruction and disrespect for Sacred Scripture, you know, that Cardinal, who shall remain nameless here, for even today, now more than 53 years after his death, he is still protected with extreme emotion at “Ecumenism” and the Secretariat of State in the Roman Curia. I have personal experience with that many times over, right to the top.
While this apparition brought about the re-version of Bruno, who was set on murdering the Pope, this apparition was also meant to be a wake-up call for that Cardinal, who was set on controlling the Pope, and not for the good.
So, notice this: Jesus’ good mom is out to convert lost souls. It worked in the case of Bruno, but did it work for the Cardinal? I don’t know. What I do know is that not all of us want to go to heaven. What I do know is that our Lady would want that we make it to heaven if we want to repent of our sins.
What’s worse than seeing bad people fall into hell?
Wrong question. First of all, it’s not a bad thing at all to see bad people falling into hell. It’s devastating, surely, for us here while we’re still on earth. I get it. The saints speak about being wrecked after having seen a vision of hell. Just look at the Fatima kids after they saw a vision of hell. They’re wiped out.
But remember what Jesus answered to Saint Teresa of Avila when she asked how she could be happy in heaven when she knew that her relatives were in hell: You will be happy to praise my justice. Yep. That’s right. Because those in hell want to be hell. They wouldn’t come out of hell if they had the chance to go to heaven. They are so filled with arrogance and hatred that they want to be in hell to spite God. So, good riddance. I want to go to heaven (and it’s a good and holy thing to rejoice in the hope we are given), and I don’t want all of hell torturing me in heaven. Nope. They can go to hell if that’s where they want to be. While they are here on earth I will pray that people convert and don’t go to hell. Great! But if they’re already in hell, well, I will respect God’s justice. The Fatima kids didn’t lament that people were in hell, but that there were so few to pray that the living don’t end up in hell, so much so that they were falling into hell like snowflakes in a blizzard.
So, what’s the worst thing ever?
In this world, there are terrible emotional sufferings, terrible physical sufferings, terrible spiritual sufferings as one is dragged through the dark nights as Saint John of the Cross describes them. But we can recognize that we’re with Jesus, that He has us, through all of that.
So, what’s the worst thing ever?
Could it be that I would think that if I myself went to hell that that would be the worst thing ever? No. That wouldn’t happen. Those in hell want to be there. And they would immediately start up to add to the aggression of what is actually the worst thing ever.
Do you want to know where the heart of a priest is concerning the worst possible thing? Let’s jack up the stakes here. Let’s talk about bad sins, really bad, say, of a Pope. That’s what my interrogator, a layman, did. Could it be sexual abuse? Could it be desecration of the Blessed Sacrament? Could it breaking the seal of Confession? Could it be idol worship? Could it be abortion, abortifacients, infanticide, euthanasia, promoting an abortion-tainted “vax”? Could it be leading others into sin on a world scale? Fill in the blank. He did, with many more entries.
If we want to know what the worst thing ever is, perhaps we should ask Jesus. What He thinks is important, right? He had a discussion about all this with His Heavenly Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. Remember that? When He was in His agony, when He was sweating great drops of blood, when His human nature was shaken, when the will of His human nature was tempted to be diverse from the will of His Heavenly Father, so much so that He had to insist, out loud: “Not my will, but Thine be done.”
Was His passion and death, being tortured to death, you know, the pain of it all, the worst thing ever? After all, this is God. He’s innocent. This is the sin, right? But that’s us proclaiming that, like an answer to an academic question. But, as I say, let’s go to the heart of a priest, the Sacred Heart of The High Priest, Christ Jesus, to find our answer.
For Himself, Jesus couldn’t care less about the pain and sufferings of such a death. He said He longed to be baptized with the baptism for which He came, that baptism in His own blood. He’s a man’s Man, Divine. He just want’s to get the job done, standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. He laid down His life for us with enthusiasm, while we were yet sinners. All sins will be forgiven against the Son of Man, he proclaimed.
But the sin against the Holy Spirit? No. For instance, if someone sins all the way to hell while arrogantly, blasphemously presumptuously despairingly mockingly shrieking that ♬ God forgives everything ♬ even the rejection of His forgiveness ♬ Ha ha ha ha hah. ♬, well, that person will not receive forgiveness because they don’t want that forgiveness. They just want to continue sinning with the purpose of not being forgiven. That’s a sin against the Holy Spirit.
But is the unforgivable sin the worst thing possible?
Perhaps the worst thing ever, unbearably too awful for mankind to bear, is the truth, what some have somehow started to call a manifestation of conscience. It’s too awful for mankind to witness their sins as they are. We would all be crushed by the truth of it.
But that’s not the worst thing ever.
Again, let’s ask Jesus what He really thinks is the absolute worst thing.
I think it’s His dearest Immaculate Virgin Mother having to see Him, her dearest Son, tortured to death right in front of her. Her Immaculate Conception (see Genesis 3:15 and Luke 1:28) gave her such agility of soul, such purity of heart, such clarity of vision, such profundity of understanding, such a super-abundance of love, that she would see such an offence for what it truly is, all of the sin from Adam until the last man is conceived vomited out on her Son, her Innocent Son. She would crushed more than any of us and all put together could possibly be crushed by knowing our sin. We are so obtuse.
To see His Mother suffer because of Him being tortured to death right in front her, that’s the worst possible thing.
I don’t know the intentions of Pope Francis with the use of the phrase Heaven’s Earth. I wasn’t the author of this. I’m in the remote back-ridges of Appalachia. But let’s take up some hypotheses:
I remember as a little kid in the back end of a station wagon going on the all American iconic two-week family vacation. We were trying to hit all the States. My dad really loved the mountains. When we would come out of a tunnel high up in the mountains and come upon a stupendous view of the mountain ranges below and far and wide dad would exclaim, “God’s country! This is God’s country!” We were so close to heaven over such a beautiful creation of God with this earth! I loved it. I couldn’t get enough of it. And I love hearing my dad say this. This lifted heart and soul. And I was only like four years old. But this means the same thing: “Heaven’s earth!” When you apply that to Mary it speaks to her as being Immaculate, as being transformed in grace from the first instant of her conception. Her very earthly body (and that not being bad and evil) belongs to heaven, for she is to be the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God Incarnate, Jesus, He who is also “Heaven’s earth” for also His body is holy, sacred, not bad and evil just because it is made of the earth. It is God’s wisdom and joy to make the dust of the earth belong entirely to heaven, “Heaven’s earth.”
The lost to their cynicism nay-sayers say that what Pope Francis surely meant was Pachamama, you know, that demon idol who is said to be mother of the earth. But this is exactly, precisely NOT the case. Pachamama is from below, entirely, only: that’s the point with Pachamama, the most self-referential demon idol ever. It’s all about her, the ultimate “Karen”: EARTHLY EARTH. Entitled brat. Nothing to do with heaven. That’s not “Heaven’s earth.” It’s not. That’s just stupid and an assault on the Little Flock of Jesus to say that. Think for one second and you know that this is no reference to a demon idol. Pfft.
Others have seen very telling inferences, references recalling the great traditions of the Eastern Rites in their great hymns about the Virgin Mother of God. There’s lots of earth references with heaven. And I think this is also correct, as with the first point above. In this Consecration of especially Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary we want to give a nod to the profound and absolutely correct liturgical culture of the East. This is essentially helpful to conversion of Russia and Ukraine. Get it?
Look. We mustn’t be afraid of the material creation or our bodies made from the dust of the earth. The beauty of creation and our bodies is that such lowliness can belong entirely to heaven.
No! the naysayers shriek:
The world and the flesh go along with the devil always and in every case! Bad! Evil! Mary is bad and evil because she has a body! Jesus, the Word Incarnate is evil because He has a body. The Eucharist is bad and evil, too!”
Here’s how bad it is. Prepare to be scandalized. Jesus died and was laid in a tomb. Dead. Mary appeared among pig-sh#t in the grotto of Lourdes.
But then Jesus rose from the dead. Mary was brought to heaven.
24 March is the traditional feast day of the Archangel Gabriel, you know, on the Vigil of the Annunciation, 25 March. His name in Hebrew, גַּבְרִיאֵ֕ל, means God-is-my-Warrior. In two verses in Daniel 10:13.21 we see that Saint Michael the Archangel “helps” Saint Gabriel the Archangel. Question: If one helps the other, which one is greater? You could see that both ways. Wrong question. They are both Archangels, both so different from each other, it being that they are spiritual beings. It’s just the wrong question. However, their names tell us something about their roles. Raphael = God’s doctor. Michael = Who is like unto God. Gabriel = God is my Warrior.
Many think of Michael as the warrior, and he is that. But it just seems to me that Gabriel is the epitome of warriorship. The reason for this is that it’s he who’s chosen to announce to Mary that she is to be the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, you know, because she is The Warrior after Jesus her Divine Son.
She is singled out in Genesis 3:15 as the one who goes up against Satan. God, speaking to Satan, says: “I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman [the Mother of the Redeemer].” Only after this does God say that He will but enmity between Satan’s followers and “her seed” (her Offspring, Jesus and those who belong to Him). Since she is be The Warrior, The Queen Mother, Queen of angels and men, Saint Gabriel must be the one who is at the head of all the heavenly armies.
Fra Angelico, artist of the image above, seems to have had a progression in his very many representations of the Annunciation, though I haven’t researched the dates for each. But I’m imagining that he starts with Gabriel standing and ends with him fully taking a knee. And that’s only right, for in the next seconds he will be in the presence of the Eternal Word Incarnate, before whom all take a knee, in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth.
But more. Just my imagination. I imagine Gabriel coming in from fierce battle to announce to his Queen, the Leader of the Heavenly Hosts, that God Himself, as The Warrior who is to crush Satan completely, is to be conceived and borne of herself. She is The Warrior by way of her maternity of the Head of the Body and us, the members of the one Body of Christ.
In the far upper left… is that Michael we see, chasing fallen Adam and his wife out of paradise? Yes, I think it is. Even while Gabriel is getting ready for the announcement of the true Eve, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of Jesus.
[[ This post was published a couple of years in the past about a future of writing about our Lady that has not yet come to pass. Re-posting this just keeps it on a burner on the stove as it were. Plus, I like the snarkiness of this post to this day. ]]
A rather anthropologically inhumane comment arrived to the blog stating “co-redemptrix as a title […] is not necessary for the faith,” and that “‘Co’ seems to be too strong of a relational signifier.” – That’s from a doctor of philosophy in theology, as it were, so to speak, who’s trying to architect Catholic faith with big words. Oooo! Big words! So, he says:
The “‘Co’ [of co-redemptrix] seems to be too strong…”
I guess he’s a man of his time. Are we all supposed to be absolute individualists, with no “relational signifiers” that are, you know, too strong, nothing that would disturb our faith so much as to be, like, actually related to others, to God?
Bwahahahaha…. Sorry. This is actually sad.
Let’s see what Saint Paul says about what kind of “relational signifiers” are appropriate:
“He gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming. Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body’s growth and builds itself up in love. So I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; darkened in understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance, because of their hardness of heart, they have become callous…” (Ephesians 4:11-19 nab)
Get that? No? Try this:
“He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross (through him), whether those on earth or those in heaven. And you who once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, am a minister. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me.” (Colosians 1:13-29 nab)
Let’s see, Christ the Head, we the members, one Body of Christ, Mystici corporis Christi.
But all those “relational signifiers” – like “he” – are jussst toooo haaaard!
But wait, that one line there… “Filling up what is lacking…”
Let’s pray about this:
“And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to myself.” (John 12:32)
I mean, that’s on Calvary, during the Redemption, Jesus on the Cross, and we’re supposed to be with Him on the Cross. We, with Him, on the Cross. What’s Jesus talking about? It’s as if while He is laying down His life, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us – He is also laying down our lives, like His whole Body, Head and members. There’s a highly “relational signifier” if I ever saw one. But, here’s the methodology of it: “Blessed is he who takes no offense at me” (Luke 7:23), and “He must deny himself and take up his cross daily” (Luke 9:23 – passim…)
But let’s go back to the outrageous Saint Paul, just to make sure we understand and it’s not tooooo haaard. I mean, “relational signifiers” is certainly tooooo haaard for me.
“God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of (Jesus) Christ. But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-12 nab)
“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take Christ’s members and make them the members of a prostitute? Of course not! (Or) do you not know that anyone who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For “the two,” it says, “will become one flesh.” But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:15-20 nab)
So, let’s go back to Genesis, where the Mother of the Redeemer is singled out in battle with Satan. Then there is a parallel of sorts in the battle between her Seed and Satan’s seed, that is, her Son and those who belong to Him, over against Satan and those who belong to him. Lot’s of “relational signifiers” going on there. If you want to know about who crushed the serpent on the head, see my conference and thesis.
Sometimes the “relational signifier” was in the feminine, so that the Mother of the Redeemer is presented as crushing the head of the great deceiver. This points to how our lives are laid down with that of the Redeemer, whose heel is crushed (and He dies) and we with Him. One Bread One Body. All that.
I would love to see an advance in artwork. I would like to see Mary crushing the serpent on the head with her heel (not just a gentle caress with a couple of toes), and I would like to see how the serpent’s head is being crushed even while that serpent is crushing the heel of Mary in all violence. More on that in a Flower for the Immaculate Conception…
Anyway, to those who think they can quote Cardinal Ratzinger from the Seewald interview, think again. At the time the great Cardinal was burdened with his utter rejection of original sin, and therefore his complete misunderstanding of the import of the Immaculate Conception. You can read about that in a homily reprinted in In the Beginning…’: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall. Get the German. For him, at that time, it’s all about original sin not as original sin, not with propagation, but by way of imitation. This isn’t hard. Moving ahead – and this is all a long story which deserves to told at length – now Pope Benedict XVI gave his Angelus address in Lourdes on Sunday, September 14, 2008, Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Suffice it for now to say that he reversed a lifetime of thought about original sin and the immaculate conception. Follow the French. Stare at it long and hard, repeatedly. It’s inescapable. Really. This goes to the heart of a lifetime of thought for him. This is not a small thing. He just didn’t get how close it is that Christ makes us members of His Body. But since then, he does. A gentleman. A scholar. Does he himself quote Saint Paul as I have. Yes. But, at that time, a bit from the outside. But no longer.
Look. Christ is our Redeemer, alone. I know that. But try to go deeper into the intimacy in which He unites us with Himself, His Body. There’s a couple of pages in the thesis dedicated to the great Cardinal. I made it easy for you in the link above. You don’t have to go to the Pontifical Biblical Institute to peruse it, after you get your degrees there.
I can’t resist, one more from Saint Paul, as I just can’t get over this guys usage of “relational signifiers”:
“For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So (also) husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave (his) father and (his) mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church. (Ephesians 5:23-32 nab)
Talk about “relational signifiers”… HAH!
When someone says that such closeness with humanity is just too much, I think of Islam, which is scandalized by the Cross, for God could NOT love the world so much as to send His only Son so that He might make us one with Himself to give us as a gift to our Heavenly Father, through, with and in Himself, again… He having stood in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us:
For the sake of His sorrowful passion (justice)
Have mercy on us and on the whole world (mercy)
For Islam, God is tooooooooooo hoooooooooly for such love. But God is love. Jesus does make us one with Himself. When He lays down His life, he lays down our lives with His.
To think any other way is to prostitute oneself to the world. And by the way, the prostitute doesn’t need to be accompanied in her “job”, she needs to be gotten out of that.
And that’s, analogously, why I write such things, also for Pope Francis. I had the time to study at the Pontifical Biblical Institute. He didn’t. We help each other out.
All this is encouraging me to do up the popular version of the thesis. I know that the time has come when people say that it is imprudent to speak of the Redeemer and the Mother of the Redeemer. (More “relational signifiers” there, btw.) /// end of rant
[[[ This is a guest post of Aussie mum. We all owe her a debt of gratitude. Hail Mary… ]]]
Our Lady of Guadalupe, “Ahh… a close up of her face”.
Yes, the gentle face and compassionate gaze of a true mother looking upon her children, her Immaculate Heart the complete opposite of the malicious heart of Pachamama. It therefore startled me when I discovered that the month of August dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is also dedicated to her antithesis.
The Mother Earth fertility goddess, a demonic construct mocking our Blessed Mother, has been given various names in different parts of the world. She (Mother Earth) is best known in Latin America as “Pachamama” (translation: “World Mother”) in the Quechua language of the Inca, and “Tonantzin” (translation: “Our Mother”) in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, and is associated with the Sun-god with whom she supposedly brings forth and maintains creation.
In addition to the dedication of the whole of August to Pachamama in lands once hers and now seemingly hers again, her son and husband, the Sun-god Inti, has also returned to the region. He features on the current coat of arms of Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador, and on the current national flag and state ensign of Argentina (see link below) and Uruguay; he also appears on the traditional, but not current, flag of Peru.
We are told in the 3rd article linked to above (sciencemag) that recent archaeological discoveries in Mexico are “testimony to an industry of human sacrifice (on a scale) unlike any other in the world”. Surely today’s abortion industry is “an industry of human sacrifice”, and given its slaughter of 40,000,000 to 50,000,000 infants globally per year (WHO stats) it functions on a scale greater than that of the Aztecs and Inca combined. Cannibalism also accompanied human sacrifice, at least in the Aztec Empire, and such goes on in our world today as well but now it is aborted baby body parts cannibalised for research and for use in manufacture (e.g. vaccines, face creams).
Clearly, barbarism is not confined to the past. In fact it is a recurring theme throughout history. We are trapped in a fallen world under demonic headship unless we are incorporated into Christ and remain faithful to Him, which explains why human sacrifice and its associated cannibalism disappeared from Latin America after the Catholic religion was introduced there in the 16th century, only to resurface in our modern world in the form of the abortion industry and its spin-offs as adherence to the Catholic religion wanes world-wide.
Because our world is now post-Christian, immersed in the culture of death as was pre-Christian societies, “modern” men and women tend to take a sympathetic approach to the horrific religious practices of the Inca and Aztecs. The following snippets of an extract from Lehigh University re the film “The Other Conquest” is a disturbing example. “… blood was seen as especially pleasing to the gods, especially blood from the heart, … many of the ritualistic practices involved the cutting out of hearts, and almost all of the practices resulted in cannibalism of the victim … This was an important and irreplaceable aspect of the culture … To be chosen as the sacrifice was an honor and a type of heroism … Carrasco’s subtle references to the Sun God and the Mother Goddess, as well as the dramatic ritualistic sacrifice scene, seem less abrupt and confusing when a viewer can understand them within the organizational framework of a well organized and methodical ancient religious tradition. The Aztecs were not the hateful barbaric cannibals a top-level knowledge of their religion can paint them as. Rather, they were an organized group who committed some unorthodox practices based on their highly revered religious traditions.”
It therefore comes as no surprise that modern man, wishing to defend the indefensible, also portrays the overthrow of the Aztec Empire by Catholic Spain in a most cynical light. They don’t want to know what really happened when the Spanish arrived – the replacement of false religion and its culture of death with the true religion and its culture of life – and incorrectly claim (1) that the natives didn’t really convert to the Catholic religion but embraced the Virgin Mary as just another iteration of Mother Earth, and / or (2) that all religions are basically the same and so it makes no difference which one is followed.
Actually, the post-Christian world is worse than the pre-Christian in that pre-Christian societies had no previous contact with the Catholic religion but our modern world has and yet it prefers idols of one kind or another. No wonder our Blessed Mother exhorted: “Do not offend the Lord our God any more because He is already so much offended” (Fatima, October 1917), and made clear that her divine Son requires reparation for sins committed against her Immaculate Heart (Fatima, July 1917). How incensed He must be when men and women who have the opportunity to know and love His Mother are instead indifferent, ignoring her suffering united to His on Calvary – such immense suffering endured for our sakes – and yet are open to honouring an horrific Mother Earth fertility goddess. As we all know Pope Francis even welcomed the Pachamama idol to Rome (Oct, 2019); two months later he denied that Mary is Co-Redemptrix (Dec 12th 2019, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe).
Oh, how we need to pray for Pope Francis. Not even the most corrupt popes of the past went this far!
Medieval Times (late 5th to the end of the 15th century) showed us that Christendom – a Catholic civilisation – is attainable, while Modern Times (16th to the 21st century) shows us what happens when the Catholic religion is widely rejected.
The following events stand out as marking the beginning of our times:
(1a) 1517 Germany – the Protestant Reformation, a revolt led by Luther sparking a world-wide Religious Revolution that would replace the Church with the anti-Church if it could.
(1b) 1517 Turkey – the Abbasid Caliphate replaced by the Ottoman Caliphate, making Turkey the centre of the Islamic world with a bridge into Europe via Constantinople (Istanbul).
(2) 1519 Mexico – the beginning of the end of the Aztec Empire as the Spanish arrived under Cortez, finding a level of barbarity they could neither understand nor tolerate. Conversion to the Catholic religion would overcome the deeply ingrained culture of death but most of the conquered population were resistant to converting.
(3) 1531 Mexico – God’s response to (1) and (2) above: He sent His Mother into what had been the heart of the Aztec Empire (Dec 9th) as the Woman of the Apocalypse, “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet …” (Apocalypse 12:1). Her appearance was miraculously pictured upon Juan Diego’s tilma and she directed that she be called “Holy Mary of Guadalupe” (Dec 12th).
Note: What the native people “read” in the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a summary of the surrounding events can be found at:
The most obvious reason for the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe is that she came to convert the Aztecs, and that is certainly true. Their “‘reading’ of the Sacred image brought whole tribes from all over Mexico, led by their chiefs and rulers, to be received into the Faith. And so it happened that the worship of pagan idols was overcome” and “more than 8,000,000 natives in seven years (were converted) to the Catholic Faith.” (Father Rahm cited in Thomas Mary Sennott, Acheiropoeta: Not Made by Hands: Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe .., p. 27). However, there is much more to Our Lady of Guadalupe’s appearance:
– It was the one and only time in history that the Mother of God has appeared as the Woman of the Apocalypse, and as such it is of particular universal significance;
– It stands at the head of other Marian apparitions of world-wide import that followed (Rue de Bac, 1830; Lourdes, 1858; and Fatima,1917);
– And unlike pictures painted to commemorate other Marian apparitions, science – for all its supposed brilliance and authority – is unable to explain how the original was made (it has no brush marks), why it has lasted (its “canvas”, a tilma made of fabric that decays within 30 years) or how its visual effects are accomplished.
Moreover, the original picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe has miraculously lasted throughout Modern Times (just on 5 centuries) to date, suggesting that what she came to do is not yet complete. Could it be that Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Fatima “bookend” Modern Times; that is, that Modern Times is the battleground upon which the triumph of her Immaculate Heart will stand?
I have not yet explained how the Reformation, Islam and all four apparitions mentioned above are linked, but I have taken up so much space already in the comment box and am very unwell presently, so I will have to leave it at this for now.
Dearest Aussie mum. Thank you so much for this. We pray for your health and strength. I am distressed at the words “very unwell.” You give us much encouragement with the clarity of your faith. We look forward to a continuation of this your heroic effort.
Luke 1,41 – Little John the Baptist at six months in the womb of his mother Elizabeth, leaps in her womb for joy, his mother being filled with the Holy Spirit and he being sanctified in the womb, the first miracle of grace of little Jesus, only hours after the conception of Jesus by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Immaculate and ever Virgin Mary, when she greeted Elizabeth.
Little John, only six months in the womb, is described in the inspired Greek text of Luke 1:41 as a βρέφος, brephos, that is, as a baby, a child, an infant, a youngster. In all other occurrences in the New Testament this word refers to already-born human beings.
Luke 18:15 – children / youngsters
Acts 7:19 – already born babies
1 Peter 2:2 – already born babies
So, what’s the deal with that? As it is, in the Sacred Scriptures, there is no distinction, ever, between human beings just conceived, at any stage in the womb, being born, just born, babies, infants, children, youngsters… all are human beings made in the image and likeness of God; all are to be respected as such… and this holds true with whatever other diverse terminology is used, whether throughout the Old Testament or the New.
I recall a monsignor who defended the use of abortifacients in the Catholic hospital emergency rooms of his diocese by saying about any just conceived baby: “It’s just so small, so, who’s going to notice? Who’s going to care?”
God cares. Any true believer cares. There is a heaven, but there is also a hell. Those who use abortifacients, who procure abortion, who kill their just being born or just born babies or infants, risk going straight to hell.
Some have said that moral responsibility is reduced for those who get vaccines researched on and/or developed from and/or tested on fully developed absolutely healthy human beings whose organs are removed while they themselves are being removed (caesarian section) in absolutely sterile laboratory conditions, you know, because:
They are just so small, so who cares anyway!
They are just so defenseless, so, like, that’s really cool!
They are just so dead now, like, for a while, so – Hey! – we’re alive now, which means we’re better than they are!
They are just so not me, and only I am important, so they can all die lest I might get sick.
None of those are “made up.” I heard all of those myself from “good” Catholics, pillars of the community, even nationally famous for being icons of orthodoxy. Makes me sick.
What really concerns me is how those people said what they said. Is not the blame to fall on those bishops and priests who have right through the decades pushed abortifacients and abortion and partial birth abortion and infanticide and who now, of course, push the murder vaccines? Yes. I think our dear Lord at the judgment will set his sights entirely on these hypocrites who hate Jesus in the womb, and Jesus, at the judgment, will ask His dear Immaculate Virgin Mother if she wants them in heaven. And what do you think she is going to say?
I hope the hypocrites undergo a huge conversion. Some of them have attended the Pontifical North American College in Rome as Seminarians. The exclamatory prayer of the NAC to our Lady is this:
Monstra te esse Matrem! Show yourself to be a Mother!
It will take a huge conversion for those who have pushed for destruction of the fruit of the womb to ask dearest Mary to be a mother unto them. They will have to confess their sin. I hope they do confess their mafioso sin. But will there be anyone to absolve them after they have gotten rid of believing priests who could have given them an absolution?
After Holy Mass a group of us met in the “counter’s room” which doubles as a sacristy and triples as Faith Formation classrooms. One fellow in particular has been speaking much to me about dearest Mary, Jesus’ good mom. I told him that I blame him if I’m preaching so much about Mary. I added that if keep this up, I’m going to cry during the homily, the truths about Jesus and Mary being too overwhelming for me. He immediately countered by saying that they would all be crying with me, and to keep going.
I remember someone telling me that choking up like that (and I’ve already done that very many times) – and much more anything to do with actual tears – is a terrible sign of weakness, effeminate, womanly, and is not to be done by a man. Never. And it was a woman who told me this, a Mother General of her religious order no less. Sigh. So, I guess I am the most inept of all, weakness incarnate. But I knew that already, as I’ve crucified the Son of the Living God, dearest Mary’s Divine Son, with my sins. How can I begin to preach to others? But such is the intercession of maternal heart of Mary Immaculate, and the outrageous forgiveness of her Divine Son.
I preach about Mary because it brings it all home in a way, I think, that pleases Jesus. And so now I suppose I am being presumptuous, thinking that I surely know what it is that is going on in the perspective of Jesus on the Cross. I’m sure I am awfully presumptuous in some way. From hidden faults acquit me, O Lord! I’m a fallen human being. BUT, it just seems so very right about what is going on between Jesus and His Immaculate Mother. I can’t help it. I’m quite sure that Jesus is telling me: “Ah, little Georgie, if you only knew what goes on between my Heart and my Mother’s Immaculate Heart. But you cannot bear it now. But, yes, we are in solidarity with each other…” I tried to preach about this solidarity last night. I lead up to it…
I do mention Pope Francis’ take on the Gospel. Here are some of his words of his I didn’t much get into during the homily for your convenience. I wanted to speak more about Mary. You might not quite get the motivation for my incisiveness below if you’ve not listened to the homily about Mary from Jesus’ perspective. I’ve written on this before. I’ve added some commentary: ///
“It is more the time for joyfully proclaiming the Gospel than for combatting paganism. [Ooops! These are not mutually exclusive. Throwing the demonic pagan death-cult Pachamama into the Tiber river is entirely consonant with God’s life of grace that will not have us tolerate a fear of our own death in testifying that Pachamama is straight out of hell. Is it really no longer a time to call out the brood of vipers, the sons of Satan, who hate God and man? Why is that? Not only has Pope Francis been complicit in the worship of pagan death goddess idol Pachamama, but now he’s commanding that no one else is to condemn paganism? I mean, this is in the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not have strange gods before ye! Pope Francis wants to rid the Church of the Ten Commandments?!] It is the time for bringing the joy of the Risen Lord, not for lamenting the drama of secularization. [Wait, wait, wait. Pope Francis, bringing the joy of the Risen Lord is in and of itself part and parcel of lamenting the drama of secularization embodied in, say, Pachamama, which you promote. What the hell are you talking about? This is the first time you’ve offered Holy Mass on this altar after enthroning Pachamama there quite a while back and the first thing you do is to hold up paganism and then the protection of the secularization of the world and the Church. Is this your bid to excuse yourself concerning Pachamama? And now you entrench by wanting the whole Church to follow your lead right into hell (objectively speaking) by teaching others to break the Ten Commandments?] It is the time for pouring out love upon the world, yet not embracing worldliness. It is more the time for testifying to mercy, than for inculcating rules and regulations. [Woah woah woah. You see what he did there? He just said that rules and regulations (like the Ten Commandments in context) is itself worldliness. That’s, like, demonic. For Pope Francis, the Ten Commandments are not love and mercy, you know, love of God and love of neighbor and love of parents, but rather are an embracing of worldliness, a lack of love and mercy.] It is the time of the Paraclete! It is the time of freedom of heart, in the Paraclete. [Saint Paul says much the same, except that Saint Paul says our freedom as the children of God in grace is not to be an excuse to throw away the Ten Commandments, not at all.]
“The Paraclete is also the Advocate. In Jesus’ day, advocates did not do what they do today: rather than speaking in the place of defendants, they simply stood next to them and suggested arguments they could use in their own defence. That is what the Paraclete does, for he is “the spirit of truth” (v. 26). He does not take our place, but defends us from the deceits of evil by inspiring thoughts and feelings. [Whoa, whoa, whoa: “feelings”? This is where Ignatius and Freud meet up, and where Ignatius is killed off with a discernment of spirits of fallen human feelings that do not follow reason and which are part of the cross we now carry after original sin. “Inspiring… feelings.” The feeling that I’m being inspired with right now is this: barf barf barf. In grace, we follow right reason to make an act of the will to do what is honest before God and man, often very much against any fallen “feelings.”] He does so discreetly, without forcing us: he proposes but does not impose. [Actually, the Holy Spirit quite forcefully puts us next to the Blessed Virgin Immaculate Mother of God so as to have us look upon the wounds of our Savior. That‘s what the Holy Spirit does. Sure, we can reject this, but this is what The Holy Spirit does. We don’t make existential decisions in the Holy Spirit apart from Christ Incarnate and Crucified.] The spirit of deceit, the evil one, does the opposite: he tries to force us; he wants to make us think that we must always yield to the allure and the promptings of vice. Let us try to accept three suggestions that are typical of the Paraclete, our Advocate. They are three fundamental antidotes to three temptations that today are so widespread.
“The first advice offered by the Holy Spirit is, “Live in the present”. The present, not the past or the future. The Paraclete affirms the primacy of today, against the temptation to let ourselves be paralyzed by rancour or memories of the past, or by uncertainty or fear about the future. The Spirit reminds us of the grace of the present moment. There is no better time for us: now, here and now, is the one and only time to do good, to make our life a gift. Let us live in the present! [“The grace of the present moment”… What does that even mean? Mere advice? I’m waiting for Jesus here. We are to live in Him by the sanctifying of the Holy Spirit. God holds all of time in His hands as just another creation. We are with those of all time as we are all brought in that one hour before Christ Jesus on the Cross. We are all of us in all times in the present moment, and we are all in that present moment through all time inasmuch as we are in union with Christ as the members of the Body of Christ. Without Christ, this “live in the present” thing is mere existentialism. This is not what the great spiritual writers speak about. Instead, any present moment, say, with Jesus in Holy Communion, puts us right before all the members of the Body of Christ. Or am I being ideological, using “trite” words like “trademark”?]
“The Spirit also tells us, “Look to the whole”. The whole, not the part. The Spirit does not mould isolated individuals, but shapes us into a Church in the wide variety of our charisms, into a unity that is never uniformity. The Paraclete affirms the primacy of the whole. There, in the whole, in the community, the Spirit prefers [“prefers”…] to work and to bring newness. [Because individuals who are redeemed and saved and made into tabernacles of the Holy Spirit, who carry about the death of the Lord in them, that most glorious death in all love, are nothing? It’s all about “The People”, “The Proletariat”, not about us individually being brought into the One Body of Christ? The Holy Spirit sanctifies individuals, all of them with free will and a conscience. Not a Body Politic.] Let us look at the apostles. They were all quite different. They included, for example, Matthew, a tax collector who collaborated with the Romans, and Simon called the zealot, who fought them. They had contrary political ideas, different visions of the world. Yet once they received the Spirit, they learned to give primacy not to their human viewpoints but to the “whole” that is God’s plan. [No, no. They didn’t keep their fallen human drama, their fallen human viewpoints, their sin. They actually abandoned all of that, all of them. They abandoned all to follow Christ. They didn’t carry secondary anti-Christ ideology but now were simply giving a bit more primacy to Christ. No. Pope Francis is speaking B and in B, S as in S.] Today, if we listen to the Spirit, we will not be concerned with conservatives and progressives, traditionalists and innovators, right and left. [Oh, yes we will. If any of those labels regards doctrine and morality, and in context, that’s exactly what you mean, Pope Francis, and that’s exactly what these things refer to in our common parlance, well then, we will reject all that lacks integrity and honesty. Yep.] When those become our criteria, then the Church has forgotten the Spirit. [No, no. I’ve remembered the Body of Christ, of which we are the members, you know: “What you have done to the least of these you have done to Me.” Therefore, no contraception, no abortion, no euthanasia, no homosexualist “civil unions” or “marriages” etc., etc., etc. This is about Christ Jesus, not your political categories foisted upon the faith by which you condemn all those who by the grace of God try to follow the Ten Commandments accepting all doctrine, all morality.] The Paraclete impels us to unity, to concord, to the harmony of diversity. He makes us see ourselves as parts of the same body, brothers and sisters of one another. [Again, what about the BODY OF CHRIST? You can’t say, can you? Try it: “BODY OF CHRIST.” You know, let’s give Holy Communion to the pious soul and also to the monster Joe Biden who comes up to Holy Communion while picking his teeth with the little ribs of aborted babies. That’s your unity is diversity? The Holy Spirit, as Cardinal Siri says, speaks univocally. Yep. Read Gethsemane. The living Truth is the same for all: Sacred Tradition, consonant with the Sacred Scriptures.] Let us look to the whole! [We will all look together to Him whom we have all pierced through, men of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, to Him who is, who was and who is to come, the Almighty. Just say it. With the Body of Christ we have… wait for it… the Body of Christ, not some lowest common denominator of hell. All members of the Body of Christ are equally to have acceptance of the full integrity of doctrine, the full integrity of morality, like, you know, the Ten Commandments.] The enemy wants diversity to become opposition and so he makes them become ideologies. Say no to ideologies, yes to the whole. [Say yes to the Body of Christ, for all else is ideology. And what you have given us, Pope Francis, is pure and unadulterated ideology, really quite Marxist in your presentation.]”
“Let’s go to die with Him!” exclaims Thomas, who clearly loved Jesus. But we are weak. That the King of kings, who raised people from the dead, worked great miracles, spoke with authority, no political correctness, would have to fulfil being the Suffering Servant caught Thomas off guard. He ran with the rest of the Apostles, Judas already going to his own place.
Doubt comes upon us when we run after mercy not founded on justice, nice stuff from God without anyone paying the price in God’s justice. It’s like Thomas and the other Apostles say, “Why does this always have to happen to me? This isn’t right? Where’s God in all of this? I’m gone!” We’re such entitled brats, all of us, without exception. “I deserve to be able to sin because, you know, yeah.” Something like that. We’re so tough. But, no. At the very first opportunity we can say that we deserve to be able to sin. I’m too weak anyway, and that has to be God’s fault, not mine. I’m sinless. I’m immaculately conceived. There is no such things as sin, and I don’t need forgiveness.”
And there’s Jesus’ Immaculate Mother, having seen all the sin of all mankind from Adam until the last man is conceived, with purity of heart and agility of soul and clarity of vision – so totally unlike us – not at all blinded to all the hell vomited out on her Son.
If anyone had the right to be cynical – and of course no one does – it would be Mary. No one has ever suffered as has she and she remained entirely faithful to the Lord Jesus, her Son, in solidarity with Him, also for us.
How dare we think we have something more to be cynical about than her. We cave. She didn’t. She’s the heroine whose example we strive to follow with the mercy won for us in justice by her Son, He standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty. She’s the one who intercedes for us that we become members of the Body of Christ.
How dare we offend her by still thinking that we are entitled to steal our souls away from God, away from her, our mother. Cynicism is a sin against God, but it’s also a sin against Immaculate Mary.
Dear Pope Francis, remember when you said that women with lots of children – more than two? – were nothing but rabbits? Yes, well, I’m child number four of my own mom, whom, according to you, Pope Francis, is therefore just another brainless idiot who is merely a copulating damned rabbit. You reduce my dear mother to a rabbit. And you laugh. Why do you hate my mom and motherhood, Pope Francis? Am I indignant? Yes, rightly so. Do I think you are a fraud with your hateful, misogynistic and altogether damned by God “teachings”? Yes.
Dear Pope Francis, to be consistent with your self-absorption, your propose Pachamama as a mother-creator of all there is, replacing the Most Holy Trinity, having the pretense in your own dark world that this idol worship is honoring motherhood. But your image of motherhood is so deficient that you can only come up with a wooden carved idol representing all that is death and darkness and demonic. Do I think you are a fraud with your hateful, misogynistic “teachings”? Yes.
Dear Pope Francis, remember when you said that many of your predecessor Supreme Pontiffs are damned heretics, you know, because they said, according to you, that Jesus is not fully our redeemer, but that Mary is also our redeemer? You should recall this, since it was on the Vigil of the great Solemnity of the Annunciation to Mary, 24 March, 2021. But your predecessor Supreme Pontiffs never pronounced such heresy. You are either ignorant or a malicious liar who is purposely causing scandal, purposely making your predecessors look like damned fools so as to make yourself a Promethean figure, the greatest, the only One!
Dear Pope Francis, you take those Supreme Pontiffs out of context. Taking their text without their context is your specious pretext. Your predecessor Supreme Pontiffs refer to Mary as Co-Redemptrix simply because it is fitting in justice that one of us – Mary – not divine, asks for the grace of redemption and salvation both of which entirely come from her Divine Son, Christ our God, Jesus. The “Co-” of “Co-Redemptrix” does not necessarily refer to equality, such as is to be seen in the usage of “co-worker” among those at the same level of service on a manufacturing assembly line. There is another usage for the prefix “co-” such as ourselves being “co-workers” with the Almighty Creator in the care of His Creation, such as is Adam’s vocation to till the ground, walking in the presence of the Most High. There is an infinite difference between the Creator and the creature even while the Creator calls His creature to be a mere co-worker in the garden all around us.
Dear Pope Francis, let me be pedantic in answer to your condescending insults to your predecessor Supreme Pontiffs and the very Mother of God. What is meant by your predecessor Supreme Pontiffs with their usage of “Co-Redemptrix” has reference to the fact that it is fitting in justice that a non-divine human being perfectly ask for the graces of redemption and salvation which only Christ our God can provide. That’s it. Mary does this. She is Co-Redemptrix.
Dear Pope Francis, you nevertheless claim that your predecessor Supreme Pontiffs are the most damned of all heretics because of their making, you say, the Blessed Virgin into some kind of goddess. They did not claim Mary to be a goddess. These assertions of yours, Pope Francis, are most dark, most evil. Your statements are blatant lies. It is as if to see the fires of hell flashing in your eyes, you who continuously claim that you are most humble of all, that only your humility can accomplish all you want, you know, because what you want is of sole importance.
Dear Pope Francis, do you laugh in scorn at Jesus and other members of the Body of Christ who are indignant with your insulting of Jesus’ mother, having it that she cannot be Co-Redemptrix? Well, let me tell you Pope Francis, it has been said and written about the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, the most humble of all, more than you:
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for He has looked upon the humility of his slave, for behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.
Dear Pope Francis, it seems that you hold Mary to be an idiot who cannot know our need perfectly so as to intercede for us perfectly, that which is needed for her to be Co-Redemptrix. But do you not commit THE psychological sin of projection of yourself unto her? She is the Immaculate Conception, you are not. She has purity of heart and agility of soul and clarity of vision and understanding so perfect – and truly beyond anything Promethean you think you have – that she can in fact see our need perfectly and, in solidarity with her Son under the cross, she can herself present that need perfectly to Jesus, who is alone our Redeemer and Savior. Jesus knows our need all too well, tortured to death on the Cross from the original sin of Adam and all the sins of all men throughout time until the last man is conceived, but, again, it is fitting in justice that she makes perfect intercession for us. It is fitting that she fulfil Genesis 3:15, She is in solidarity with Jesus, with His providing the graces of redemption and salvation which smash down the guilt of sin by filling us with God’s life. And she can see our need perfectly by simply looking to her Son upon the Cross taking on all that sin for this redemption and salvation. It is fitting in justice. She is our Co-Redemptrix.
Dear Pope Francis, the ever Virgin Mary miraculously gave birth to Jesus, remaining a Virgin to indicate that she conceived Jesus in Faith by the power and overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, remaining a Virgin still as she has not completed giving birth in faith to the members of the Body of Christ throughout time, but right there on Calvary. Haven’t you heard that it was said by Saint Paul how very many times that Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ and we are the members of the Body of Christ? The mother of the Body of Christ is the same. The Fathers say that Mary did not give birth to a monster, just a head, but to the Head of the Body and the members of the Body. The members of the Body are birthed throughout time with her intercession she made under the Cross for us, her birth pangs, that perfect intercession. You, Pope Francis, cannot begin to understand the pain of motherly love she went through. You insult her. She is Co-Redemptrix precisely in her motherhood of Jesus and in becoming our mother. It is fitting in justice. You have been a novice master of Jesuits and you do not know these things, Nicodemus? She is not a goddess, but she is the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God. She did not redeem us or save us, but she continues to give birth to the Body of Christ throughout time.
Dear Pope Francis, she remained under the Cross while all the Apostles ran away, including Peter, your predecessor. But they ran out of fear. They could not look at the Mother of God, the Co-Redemptrix, in the face. Neither can you. You coward. Go ahead and try:
Dear Pope Francis, you can’t do it, you can’t look into her eyes, can you? What’s the matter, Pope Francis? Not enough humility? You insult the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God just as you insulted my own earthly mother. In saying that Jesus’ mother cannot intercede for us with motherly solicitude – that which would instead make her Co-Redemptrix -you are also saying that she cannot be our mother by that maternal intercession under the Cross with her Son being tortured to death right in front of her.
Dear Pope Francis, I’m sorry. I forgot. That makes sense for you. You are actually not insulting her in your own mind, because then, if she were not our mother but Jesus’ mother alone, then she would not exceed your limit of children, a limit which if crossed makes any woman a rabbit. You wouldn’t dare claim that Mary is a god-damned rabbit like my mom. My mom had four children, I being the baby of the family. You damn her for her four children. But Jesus’ mom is safe from your demonic attack because according to you she only had one Son, Jesus. But you actually do condemn her as a monster, the mother of a god-damned demonic monster who only has a Head, Jesus, but no Body, no Body of Christ, no Corpus Christi mysticum.
Dear Pope Francis, who are you, really, holding yourself to be so clever, Promethean, the all-enlightened one, so self-absorbed, so very humble in your own eyes, so very much better than Jesus’ Immaculate Mother?
Dear Pope Francis, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix, Queen Mother, Queen of Heaven and Earth, of angels and men, also interceded for you, though you are so very, very ungrateful; you so easily insult her as you insult your predecessors, ingratiating yourself with the fallen world, with heretic Protestants who hate Jesus’ good mom, ingratiating yourself with freakish “catholic” heretics from whom you gain applause, ingratiating yourself, you think, with the great red dragon, the ancient serpent and Satan. She is powerful in exorcisms. But you insult her?!
Dear Pope Francis, you run away, not Mary. She was strong enough to stay with her Son. But you run, run, run. You coward. John came back, and, aside from Judas Iscariot, all the other Apostles would beg her forgiveness. But you? You insult her as being too clouded in her vision, too dark in her heart, too clumsy in her soul to be in solidarity with Jesus in our redemption and salvation, unable to intercede for us so perfectly for those graces of Redemption and Salvation that she cannot be Maternal Co-Redemptrix?
Dear Pope Francis, you claim that Jesus’ good mother cannot be The Woman singled out in Genesis 3:15, The Woman of Cana whose Hour of Intercession is to be during Jesus’ Hour on the Cross, The Woman singled out under the Cross to be our Mother, The Woman who is the Ark of the Covenant, clothed with the Son, with a crown of stars about her head, the exalted enemy over against the great red dragon, the ancient Serpent and Satan?
Dear Pope Francis, you say that the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God cannot do this? Who in hell are you to raise your heel to crush Jesus and His Blessed Mother and ours? Who in hell are you to raise yourself above her and above her Son who willed this humble economy of salvation with such mercy based on such justice?
Dear Pope Francis, Jesus stood in our place, the innocent for the guilty, to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. He did this with His dear mother accompanying Him, true accompaniment. It is wondrous to behold.
Dear Pope Francis, you instead hold up Pachamama as a goddess, as the mother-creatrice of the universe. Who in hell are you, Pope Francis?
Dear Pope Francis, do you hold yourself to be Saint John, who returned after he fled, so as, in your mind, to ever so condescendingly accompany Mary under the Cross? And when you march up to Calvary, do you not violently thrust Mary aside, saying that you know better how to to intercede for the world, more than Jesus own mother? You make a show of yourself. You make of yourself our true intercessor, a kind of god, one whom people can worship. And what does all that self-absorbed proclamation of yourself get you, Pope Francis?
Dear Pope Francis, you are violating Jesus’ good mother by insulting her Immaculate Conception, insisting she is too stupid to intercede for us, too lacking in understanding to fulfil appropriate justice that one of us ask Jesus for the graces of redemption and salvation (that being the definition of what it is to be Co-Redemptrix). Just because the archangel Gabriel does not strike you dead for insulting Mary on his own feast day in the traditional liturgical calendar (24 March, 2021) does not mean that Jesus is pleased with what you do against her, His mother. You rape her with your insults. Am I indignant with you, Pope Francis? Yes.
Dear Pope Francis, let me be pedantic for you, for it is you who lack understanding. We see in the logic of the Hebrew text of Genesis 3:15 in context that the Mother of the Redeemer stands apart from Adam’s sin, that she is immaculate, that she is enemy number one of the great red dragon, the ancient Serpent and Satan. We see in Luke 1:28 (in understanding the perfect participle in New Testament Greek), that Mary perfectly continues to stand perfectly transformed in grace since the instant she received her vocation (in context) to be the Virgin Mother of God (receiving that eternal vocation when she is conceived). Therefore:
Dear Pope Francis: It is because she is immaculate that she has the purity of heart and agility of soul and the clarity of vision and the breadth and depth of understanding to see what we need perfectly and intercede for us in perfect solidarity with her Son: she gave birth to Jesus, the Head of the Body, and by these birth pangs of her intercession for us, she gives birth to us as the members of the Body. Her perfect maternal solicitude is precisely what makes her Co-Redemptrix.
Dear Pope Francis: How dare you think to know what she went through, as if you could judge her from your fallen perspective. How dare you insult her as being incapable of perfect intercession, meaning that she cannot fulfil the appropriate justice of intercession. How dare you say that see cannot in this way of perfect intercession be Co-Redemptrix. How dare you insult your predecessor Supreme Pontiffs. How dare you insult the Sacred Scriptures…
Dear Pope Francis: Mary is our advocate as our intercessor, our mediatrix in this way of all graces, our Co-Redemptrix with such maternal solicitude to have us be members of the very Body of Christ. Yes.
Dear Pope Francis, are you that Pope who is a sign of unity below the one mother of the One Body of Christ? I think not.
Dear Pope Francis, GO TO CONFESSION. I’ll tell you this, unless you confessed, I wouldn’t give you Viaticum, I wouldn’t provide you the Last Rites. I’m not going to hell for the likes of scum like you Pope Francis. Sure, if you confess, I’ll absolve you, give you Viaticum, provide you the Last Rites, with joy. But if you do not submit to the mercy of God in all justice, I’m not going to accompany you to hell. I’m your Missionary of Mercy, but I cannot and will not act ultra vires, beyond my powers as a son of the Church: I will not condemn the justice of God and therefore the mercy of God. You’re on your own at the judgment. Just go to Confession.
Dear Pope Francis, don’t get me wrong. We love you to pieces, it’s just that we do so with objective reality: I want you to go to heaven. That would give greater glory to God. But I love God more than you, enough to want you to run from this oh-so-clever sophistry. I invite you once again to look into her eyes: she’s your Co-Redemptrix if you want:
Zack Hemsey wrote some great lyrics back in the day, with what motivation I have no idea whatsoever. But that’s sometimes the purpose of some poetry, letting what you have written be available as a kind of mirror which will assist the reader in seeing where he stands in the great scheme of things. Readers can inscape all they want.
For myself, listening to this has grabbed my attention, being both repulsed and attracted to the words at the same time, knowing that I was NOT quite letting the words mirror what was happening within myself. But the other day, listening once again to Zack’s masterpiece, all the reality of my own life before God and neighbor, and Satan, rushed upon me. I was mesmerized, not at any involvement of my own in all this, but by the fact that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, not to condemn the world but that we might be saved through Him.
All are redeemed. But not all want to be saved. The martyrs, in solidarity with Jesus, their Altar, beg for vengeance from Jesus in heaven:
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the rich and the strong, and every one, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand before it?” (Apocalypse 6:9-17)
Those are the sainted martyrs in heaven asking for vengeance mind you. Jesus agrees with their desire for vengeance, and promises that this will come about.
Are you ready? I’m ready! Jesus has already had vengeance by laying down His life on the Cross. That’s how He conquered, willing standing in our place, Innocent for the guilty, so as to have the right to forgive us, ripping us out of the clutches of Satan and the jaws of hell, so as to bring us through, with and in Himself to heaven.
What hit me the other day is that this isn’t Jesus, the Head of the Body (as Saint Paul describes the Church), but also the members of the Body of Christ with Him, as One, who recite these lyrics.
Before I die alone [My God! My God! Why have you abandoned me? This is a prayer made before the Father. The filial trust of Psalm 22 is so very magnificent.] Let me have vengeance [What Jesus asks is vengeance over against Satan, who had destroyed everything outside of God but God. The punishment of sin on our part is death. In taking on that death, baiting us cynics to kill Him dead with such goodness and kindness and truth, he fulfilled His own justice, permitting Him to usurp our souls away from Satan. Jesus’ death is vengeance over against Satan.] Before I die alone I will have vengeance Before I die alone Let me have vengeance [We move from statement “I will” to “Let me”. This is the prayer on the Cross of Jesus.] Before I die alone I will have vengeance Before I die alone Before my time has gone [Jesus’ time on this earth, the time when He would lay down His life for us…] There’s just one thing I have to do [Jesus is explaining the situation to us….] Before the fire and stone [all of hell broken out on Calvary unto the Sepulcher in which Jesus was laid.] Before your world is gone [our time on this earth…] Have you some patience [He who endures to the end will be saved…] Cuz I will have my vengeance [Praise to the Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world.] Before I die alone Let me have vengeance Before my time has gone I will have vengeance Before I die alone Let me have vengeance Before I die alone I will have vengeance Before I die alone Let me have vengeance I will have my vengeance Before your world is gone Before the fire and stone Have you some patience Cuz I will have my vengeance Before I die alone (Before I die alone) Before my time has gone (Before my time has gone) Let me have vengeance (I will) (I will) I will have vengeance I will have vengeance
Thank you, Jesus, for having vengeance for us. Thank you, Mary, for being there with Him interceding for us that we might, having been redeemed, will also assent in God’s grace to be saved.
But, as I say, what struck me is that I, we, with Jesus, are saying all this in solidarity with Him over against Satan. I always knew that academically. But it just hit me so very, very personally the other day.
Put another way – I’m confessing my idiocy here – I’ve done plenty of exorcisms over against Satan in Jesus’ Holy Name and with the express mandate of the Church, the exorcism being a sacramental drawing on the merits of Christ and the saints. An exorcism is surely a kind of vengeance, right? An exorcism disestablishes the un-kingdom of Satan and helps to establish the Kingdom of God come among us. But having said that I must confess that only now has our Lord permitted me the tiniest personally felt (NOT that feelings are important!) glimpse into the friendship which He creates, in which He holds us, He having us with Him. This was quite opening up the soul for me.
And, just to say, it was Zack Hemsey’s Vengeance which was an occasion for this to come about. Ha! I love it. Thanks, Zack.
“And a sword your own soul will pierce that the thoughts of many may be revealed…”
This little glimpse of solidarity with Jesus in His vengeance I do not believe can be experienced (to use an inappropriate word) except if we are in solidarity with Mary, who, par excellence, is The Martyr begging our Lord for vengeance. Yes. Someone once asked me if there is a role for Mary that is greater that her motherhood. No, there is not. Mary is the Mother of God, the Mother of this Church Militant, our Mother by her begging for vengeance… now with us begging for vengeance, now that she, by her intercession and her Son’s grace, has become our mother.
There are four moments at Holy Mass where I particularly meet up with Jesus:
Before reading the Gospel the priest bows before the altar and says the prayer Munda cor meum, by which the priest begs our Lord that his heart and lips (his communication) might be purified (as with the prophet Isaiah) that he might worthily announce the Gospel. — For me this is always a terribly humble moment in which I put all my ineptitude before Jesus. I don’t prepare for my preaching outside of glancing at the readings immediately before Mass. I literally cannot but ignore any other preparation. I can only speak from the heart. Truly. In this prayer bowing down before Jesus, I’m begging Him that I not be reprimanded at the Judgment because of misspeaking, because of not representing Him as I should. Complimentary to this is after preaching I turn to Jesus and bow before Him once again, again begging that what I have said be acceptable to Him. The way this works is that grace will provided to those assisting at Holy Mass so that they will hear what Jesus wants them to hear regardless of whether I said it or not. :-)
In the actual preaching, but it is rare that I will meet up with Jesus unless I am speaking about His perspective on His Immaculate Virgin Mother in relation to the Gospel. When I say meet up with Jesus, it’s like He’s lifting the clouds of my foggy brain and dulled soul and blinded eyes wherein I’m otherwise not listening to Him. It’s like He’s drawing me so close to Himself that I begin to begin understanding His love for His dear mother and ours. It’s like He’s telling me that this is the direction He wants me to go in being available as a priest for His priesthood among us. He wants me to tell people of His love for His good mom. A tall order? But Jesus is good and kind.
At the Consecrations. I mean, what can I say? See the picture up top. More on this in another post.
At the Holy Communion, when I receive and in administering Holy Communion to Jesus’ little flock. It’s always such a joyful moment. I can’t help but smile when the lambs receive Jesus with all due reverence. When all is said and done, sitting off to the side of the sanctuary, a moment of quiet with Jesus having visited the hearts of His faithful with His Most Sacred Heart, I wish this could go on and on. Dear Lord…
I’m writing this early Sunday Morning before 6:00 AM Adoration and Confessions and the Masses and Communion Calls, some perhaps with Last Rites. If you read this early on, a Hail Mary please, that I will preach well today of Christ Jesus and His blessed Mother. The Gospel is about exorcism. Yikes!
As the Immaculate Conception, in perfect solidarity with her Divine Son Jesus, in such catastrophically sorrowful conditions became also our Mother under the Cross with her perfect intercession for us with Him, she surely also had the joy, in those birth pangs for us, the joy that Body of Christ was being born, not only Christ the Head of the Body, but we the members of that body, the children also now of the Holy Family.
I think Augustine, had he been equipped with a better understanding of original sin and therefore of the Immaculate Conception… I think Augustine would have spoken more of the joy of the Mother of God and the Mother of the Body of Christ, that the Body of Christ was being born.
O felix culpa! Yes, but let’s see her pronounce that in a preeminent way.
This is a re-publishing from years ago, a way to honor the Immaculate Conception on this day, 8 December, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. It’s set to snow today, ice all around, black ice on the roads in the mountains here in WNC as Sassy the all-wheel-drive 2016 Subaru Forester braves transport to three Masses. My parish sports the American-esque version of the Hautes-Pyrénées surrounding Lourdes, France.
Back in the day, when I was a permanent chaplain in Lourdes I took the picture above of fresh roses bursting from the ice next to the Grotto. It was February at the end of weeks of 24/7 sub-freezing temps with ice and snow precipitating down on the pilgrims daily. As you can see, the ice and snow are no match for the gentlest of petals when it is time to give due honor to the Immaculate Conception at the Grotto. Below is a view from above the grotto, and, yes, this is also a color picture. It was just that dark and dreary and ferociously cold:
Meanwhile, in the brutally hot August of Rome it snowed exactly where the Basilica in honor of Jesus’ good mom was to be built, and only there, you know, when tender snowflakes had rightly, for once, had something to do with water despite adverse temperature.
Today I am thinking about Saint John Paul II, how he used the phrase “co-Redemptrix” dozens of times, I think 29 times. This title for our Lady refers simply to how appropriate it was in justice that one of us who is not divine should ask for such graces perfectly, graces coming directly from her Divine Son. It was because of her Immaculate Conception that she had agility of soul, purity of heart, clarity of vision, see exactly what we needed from Christ Our God. Thank you, Blessed Mother, for being a good mother to us. Continue to show yourself a mother to us!
Perhaps this theme of co-Redemptrix is the key to my making a popular version of the thesis, finally. My hope is that this would bring some light to the darkness, including my own dark little life. The glory of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception entering this world to grab us and bring us to heaven fires me up, enough, methinks, to melt the ice and snow of my own heart and soul so as to finally start writing. [I know, I know, I just have to do it. Time goes on. Life is short. Yikes! And, I know, I know, I wrote these words years ago… I’m so bad and evil. I beg for the wherewithal to do this.]
This was put up in these pages many years ago. I think it best to republish this now for many reasons, which should be quite clear.
This video is the most amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing recitation by the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J Sheen of this poem by a religious sister in Pennsylvania. Don’t just read the poem in a second. Play the video and drink in the truth of it all.
Lovely lady, dressed in blue,
Teach me how to pray
‘Cause God was just your little boy,
And you know the way
Did you lift him up sometimes,
Gently on your knee?
Did you tell him stories of the world,
Like Mother did to me?
And when he fell, did you lift him up,
And make everything alright?
And did you tell him his prayers at night?
I want to know my lovely lady, lovely lady,
Dressed, dressed in blue
Oh, God was just your little boy,
Your little boy and you know the truth
And did you whisper in his ear sweet lullabies,
I want to know, I want to know,
I want to know, did he cry?
Lovely lady, dressed in blue,
Oh, won’t you please teach me how to pray?
‘Cause God was just your little boy, and
I want to know, I want to know,
I want to know, so teach me how to pray