Monday, May 25, 2009

"There are many who pretend they are friends of mine...but in their hearts they hate me."

Jesus disciples are called to carry their cross and follow Him (Mt 16:24; Mk 8:34; Lk 9:23). Above all, Christians are called to love as Jesus does (Jn 13: 34-35). But the cross is not popular with those who are advancing the "new religion" which will serve the New Order. The cross has never been popular with those who belong to the company of the world or the Devil. Today, countless young people (and old) have given themselves over to promiscuous sexual unions. In the mad pursuit of wealth, power, fame, and various hedonistic pleasures (euphemistically referred to as "choice" or "alternative lifestyles"), many poor souls have given themselves over to the Devil. Many who call themselves "Christian" are really living pagan lives.

This is, of course, nothing new. But the sexual degeneration in so-called Christian nations today is the most abominable in history. So much so that a young girl in the Ukraine is reported to have been told by Our Lady that: "The present times are worse than at the time of Noah. Then the world was scourged by a deluge of water: now the world is going to be scourge by a deluge of fire." (First apparition to Anna at Seredne, December 20, 1954). St. Louis de Montfort explains that:

"'My dear brothers and sisters, there are two companies that appear before you each day: the followers of Christ and the followers of the world.
Our dear Saviour's company is on the right, climbing up a narrow road, made all the narrower by the world's immorality. Our Master leads the way, barefooted, crowned with thorns, covered with blood, and laden with a heavy cross. Those who follow him, though most valiant, are only a handful, either because his quiet voice is not heard amid the tumult of the world, or because people lack the courage to follow him in his poverty, sufferings, humiliations and other crosses which his servants must carry all the days of their life.

On the left hand is the company of the world or of the devil. This is far more numerous, more imposing and more illustrious, at least in appearance. Most of the fashionable people run to join it, all crowded together, although the road is wide and is continually being made wider than ever by the crowds that pour along it like a torrent. It is strewn with flowers, bordered with all kinds of amusements and attractions, and paved with gold and silver.

On the right, the little groups which follow Jesus speak about sorrow and penance, prayer and indifference to worldly things. They continually encourage one another saying, "Now is the time to suffer and to mourn, to pray and do penance, to live in retirement and poverty, to humble and mortify ourselves; for those who do not possess the spirit of Christ, which is the spirit of the cross, do not belong to him. Those who belong to Christ have crucified all self-indulgent passions and desires. We must be true images of Christ or be eternally lost."

"Have confidence," they say to each other. If God is on our side, within us and before us, who can be against us? He who is within us is stronger than the one who is in the world. The servant is not greater than his master. This slight and temporary distress we suffer will bring us a tremendous and everlasting glory. The number of those who will be saved is not as great as some people imagine. It is only the brave and the daring who take heaven by storm, where only those are crowned who strive to live according to the law of the Gospel and not according to the maxims of the world. Let us fight with all our strength, let us run with all speed, that we may attain our goal and win the crown.
Such are some of the heavenly counsels with which the Friends of the Cross inspire each other.

Those who follow the world, on the contrary, urge each other to continue in their evil ways without scruple, calling to one another day after day, "Let us eat and drink, sing and dance, and enjoy ourselves. God is good; he has not made us to damn us. He does not forbid us to amuse ourselves. We shall not be damned for so little. We are not to be scrupulous. 'No, you will not die'."

Dear brothers and sisters, remember that our loving Saviour has his eyes on you at this moment, and he says to each one of you individually, "See how almost everyone deserts me on the royal road of the Cross. Pagans in their blindness ridicule my Cross as foolishness; obstinate Jews are repelled by it as by an object of horror; heretics pull it down and break it to pieces as something contemptible.

"Even my own people - and I say this with tears in my eyes and grief in my heart - my own children whom I have brought up and instructed in my ways, my members whom I have quickened with my own Spirit, have turned their backs on me and forsaken me by becoming enemies of my Cross. 'Will you also go away?' Will you also desert me by running away from my Cross like the worldlings, who thus become so many antichrists? Will you also follow the world; despise the poverty of my Cross in order to seek after wealth; shun the sufferings of my Cross to look for enjoyment; avoid the humiliations of my Cross in order to chase after the honours of the world? 'There are many who pretend they are friends of mine and protest that they love me, but in their hearts they hate me. I have many friends of my table, but very few of my Cross.' (Imit. II, 11, 1)."

At this loving appeal of Jesus, let us rise above our human nature; let us not be seduced by our senses, as Eve was; but keep our eyes fixed on Jesus crucified, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection (Heb 12.2). Let us keep ourselves apart from the evil practices of the world; let us show our love for Jesus in the best way, that is, through all kinds of crosses. Reflect well on these remarkable words of our Saviour, "If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself, and take up his cross and follow me" (Mt 16.24; Lk 9.23)." (St. Louis de Montfort, Letter to the Friends of the Cross, 7-12).

Are we truly friends of the Cross and therefore friends of Christ? Or is ours a counterfeit love?


Anonymous said...

Reasons for Hope
Posted by Tom Hoopes
National Catholic Register Daily Blog
Sunday, May 24, 2009

Feeling down? Here’s a sort of a perrennial list, but a helpful one, I think, from this week’s editorial 10 Signs of Hope (complete text at

1. New Catholic Colleges.

“They will surprise us with what they accomplish.”

2. Young Catholics.

“They are comfortable with the new mediums of video and viral Internet messages.”

3. Pro-Life Majority.

“The slow and steady rise of right-to-life support sharpened this year.”

4. Renaissance of Religious Life.

“Many of the houses of [habited] nuns are experiencing a crisis of a different kind: not enough room for all the new postulants.”

5. “John Paul II” and “Benedict XVI” Priests.

“In 2005, new priests were more likely to subscribe to the Register than to a dissenting Catholic newspaper.”

6. Bishops’ Increased Engagement.

“This spring, dozens of bishops [make that more than 80!] taught that the University of Notre Dame is violating bishops’ guidelines by honoring President Barack Obama at the height of his legislative assault on the right to life.”

7. Renewal of the Liturgy.

“Nearly every year since the Jubilee Year 2000 (which Pope John Paul II called “profoundly Eucharistic’) has seen a major document come from the Vatican on the Eucharist, seeking to renew the Mass and return it to its roots.”

8. New Interest in Catholicism.

[And Christianity!.]God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World is the new book by the editor of The Economist.

9. Confession’s Comeback.

As Pope Benedict XVI said last year in Washington: “To a great extent, the renewal of the Church in America depends on the renewal of the practice of penance.”

10. Eucharistic Adoration.

The number of chapels offering exposition of the Blessed Sacrament has swelled to 7,046, and more than 800 chapels in the United States now offer perpetual adoration.

Michelle said...

And there are those who receive Holy Communion while living in grave sin and even promoting abortion. I read that something like 80 percent of Catholic couples practice contraception. The point here is not to judge but to call people back to sanity. Our Lord is much offended.

George-2009 said...

I haven't seen an increase in Mass attendance, only a steady decrease with parish closings resulting. Two more closure announcements in Worcester this week alone. Nor have I witnessed an increase in people going to Confession. No more than three or four it seems no matter where I go. And as for Religious Orders, these are (for the most part) dying out and/or aging.

Jon Meacham, the editor of Newsweek, wrote a piece titled "The End of Christian America" which raises serious points for consideration:

Likewise, Dr. David Carlin wrote a book titled "The Decline and Fall of Catholicism in America" which raises many troubling facts.

I understand that it may be psychologically more comforting to buy into a pollyanna view of reaity. But we are only deceiving ourselves if we believe that our times are improving or that the Church in the United States is experiencing a "new springtime." That's simply delusional.

Michael Cole said...

Why God Can't Bless America
By Doreen Truesdell
for Catholic Exchange

You might think of America’s national hymn, “America the Beautiful” as a poetic look at the nation’s landscapes but it’s actually a patriotic cry from the heart to live up to God’s expectations. For this democratic nation, which has enjoyed the blessings of heaven like no other in the history of the world, there is a divine debt to be paid. Yet there is little self-control going on in America today, and increasingly laws are working against liberty.

We may say “God Bless America,” but how can He? For more than 50 years America has been siphoning off her spiritual depths. What was once a slow leak has become a cataract and the foul sprays of the cascade are drenching every aspect of our culture with secular humanism. How can God bless an America that refuses His benediction?

Historians will say the great democratic experiment has always existed in a tension of wills, of opposing opinions and interests, and that such give-and-take is the source of freedom’s strength. But Christ tells us that He is the source of our strength, not political or moral ideologies. And if there’s one Person Who has been banned from the “give-and-take” of national debate, it’s Christ. Catholics, like no other demographic group in America, have been shut out of the political forum.

The men and women who made this democracy possible were people whose Christian faith was the source of their strength. No reasonable person can deny that members of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia risked their lives and their families’ lives for a cause that was more than political or socio-economic. Their courage and intellects were fed by Christian understanding. The founders and early patriots believed in the freedom of each person because they embraced the Christian doctrine that each is made in God’s image and therefore deserving of inalienable rights. Despite revisionist historians, we know this to be the truth through original documents and personal letters. That can no longer be said of Americans or their nation. We make it clear through our legislation, through our public educational system, through our economic priorities, and through our individual lifestyle choices, that our values as a society no longer need or desire God’s influence or protection.

Above all else, we reject God’s blessings when we kill unborn and partially born babies, and protect such murders with a warped judicial stance. With the holocaust of abortion, 43 million lives since 1973, our nation has accepted the ultimate lie and has committed the most heinous offense. Without reversal, America will have signed its own death warrant...

Franciscan Friar of the Renewal Father Andrew Apostoli discussed how we can seek God’s blessings for America. “We need the protection of Mary. We need her to put her mantle around our country,” he said. The Mother of God has always assisted in the role of redemption, her faith set Jesus’ ministry in motion as she faithfully followed the path to the cross. “She continues to obtain graces for us, and we need grace to do what she last says in Scripture: ‘Do whatever he tells you,’” said Fr. Apostoli.

There can be no justice, social or otherwise, without Christ. All rights and protection spring from the King of Justice Himself. To abandon Him is to shift the foundation of democracy from its origins to the whims of men. The great democratic experiment began in the hearts of men through the mercy of God and it requires His blessings to survive...

In order for God to bless America we must be in a relationship with Him.

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