In a previous post, I Noted how Peggy Patenaude, a radical feminist who often conducts retreats at the La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, Massachusetts, will be a guest speaker at this year's "Gather Us In" Conference sponsored by the Diocese of Worcester's "Commission for Women," itself a dissenting organization.
In her newsletter, Ms. Patenaude said that: "In
January, I had the privilege of facilitating my first retreat for five
gay couples. It turned out to be an affirming experience for all. I was
very moved by the warmth, goodness, depth and genuineness of these ten
women. The fact that they were so receptive and appreciative confirmed
for me the need for such programs in a world that is not always kind to
It was gratifying to see how much the
participants enjoyed and benefited from the weekend. The retreat
exceeded my expectations. 'It gave us the opportunity to take time out to
focus on us and
our relationship which means so much to us,' commented one woman.
Another added, 'The retreat was very helpful. It helped my partner and
me to communicate better.' The gratitude of all ten women for the
supportive and respectful atmosphere was obvious. As one retreatant said, 'We are just people in love…like any other couple.' I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to have assisted them in keeping their love alive. See here.
So I was not entirely surprised to learn that Father Krzysztof Korcz, "pastor" of Our Lady Immaculate parish in Athol, had decided to promote the "Gather Us In" conference in his parish bulletin. I am not surprised because Fr. Korcz is anything but a child of Mary, even if he goes through the motions of promoting the Fatima message for appearances sake.
St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, in his classic work True Devotion to Mary, advises us that, the person who wishes to be led by this spirit of Mary:
p. 259 1) Should
renounce his own spirit, his own views and his own will before doing
anything, for example, before making meditation, celebrating or
attending Mass, before Communion. For the darkness of our own spirit and
the evil tendencies of our own will and actions, good as they may seem
to us, would hinder the holy spirit of Mary were we to follow them.
2) We should give ourselves up to the spirit of Mary to be moved and
directed as she wishes. We should place and leave ourselves in her
virginal hands, like a tool in the hands of a craftsman or a lute in the
hands of a good musician. We should cast ourselves into her like a
stone thrown into the sea. This is done easily and quickly by a mere
thought, a slight movement of the will or just a few words as, "I
renounce myself and give myself to you, my dear Mother." And even if we
do not experience any emotional fervour in this spiritual encounter it
is none the less real. It is just as if a person with equal sincerity
were to say - which God forbid! - "I give myself to the devil." Even
though this were said without feeling any emotion, he would no less
really belong to the devil.
time to time during an action and after it, we should renew this same
act of offering and of union. The more we do so, the quicker we shall
grow in holiness and the sooner we shall reach union with Christ, which
necessarily follows upon union with Mary, since the spirit of Mary is
the spirit of Jesus.
260. We must do everything with Mary, that is to say, in all our
actions we must look upon Mary, although a simple human being, as the
perfect model of every virtue and perfection, fashioned by the Holy
Spirit for us to imitate, as far as our limited capacity allows. In
every action then we should consider how Mary performed it or how she
would perform it if she were in our place. For this reason, we must
examine and meditate on the great virtues she practised during her life,
1) Her lively faith, by which she believed the
angel's word without the least hesitation, and believed faithfully and
constantly even to the foot of the Cross on Calvary.
2) Her deep
humility, which made her prefer seclusion, maintain silence, submit to
every eventuality and put herself in the last place.
3) Her truly divine purity, which never had and never will have its equal on this side of heaven.
And so on for her other virtues.
what I told you before, that Mary is the great, unique mould of God,
designed to make living images of God at little expense and in a short
time. Anyone who finds this mould and casts himself into it, is soon
transformed into our Lord because it is the true likeness of him.
261. We must do everything in Mary. To understand this we must realise
that the Blessed Virgin is the true earthly paradise of the new Adam and
that the ancient paradise was only a symbol of her. There are in this
earthly paradise untold riches, beauties, rarities and delights, which
the new Adam, Jesus Christ, has left there. It is in this paradise that
he "took his delights" for nine months, worked his wonders and displayed
his riches with the magnificence of God himself. This most holy place
consists of only virgin and immaculate soil from which the new Adam was
formed with neither spot nor stain by the operation of the Holy Spirit
who dwells there. In this earthly paradise grows the real Tree of Life
which bore our Lord, the fruit of Life, the tree of knowledge of good
and evil, which bore the Light of the world.
In this divine place
there are trees planted by the hand of God and watered by his divine
unction which have borne and continue to bear fruit that is pleasing to
him. There are flower-beds studded with a variety of beautiful flowers
of virtue, diffusing a fragrance which delights even the angels. Here
there are meadows verdant with hope, impregnable towers of fortitude,
enchanting mansions of confidence and many other delights.
the Holy Spirit can teach us the truths that these material objects
symbolise. In this place the air is perfectly pure. There is no night
but only the brilliant day of the sacred humanity, the resplendent,
spotless sun of the Divinity, the blazing furnace of love, melting all
the base metal thrown into it and changing it into gold. There the river
of humility gushes forth from the soil, divides into four branches and
irrigates the whole of this enchanted place. These branches are the four
262. The Holy Spirit speaking through the
Fathers of the Church, also calls our Lady the Eastern Gate, through
which the High Priest, Jesus Christ, enters and goes out into the world.
Through this gate he entered the world the first time and through this
same gate he will come the second time.
The Holy Spirit also
calls her the Sanctuary of the Divinity, the Resting-Place of the Holy
Spirit, the Throne of God, the City of God, the Altar of God, the Temple
of God, the World of God. All these titles and expressions of praise
are very real when related to the different wonders the Almighty worked
in her and the graces which he bestowed on her. What wealth and what
glory! What a joy and a privilege for us to enter and dwell in Mary, in
whom almighty God has set up the throne of his supreme glory!
263. But how difficult it is for us to have the freedom, the ability and
the light to enter such an exalted and holy place. This place is
guarded not by a cherub, like the first earthly paradise, but by the
Holy Spirit himself who has become its absolute Master. Referring to
her, he says: "You are an enclosed garden, my sister, my bride, an
enclosed garden and a sealed fountain." Mary is enclosed. Mary is
sealed. The unfortunate children of Adam and Eve driven from the earthly
paradise, can enter this new paradise only by a special grace of the
Holy Spirit which they have to merit.
264. When we have obtained
this remarkable grace by our fidelity, we should be delighted to remain
in Mary. We should rest there peacefully, rely on her confidently, hide
ourselves there with safety, and abandon ourselves unconditionally to
her, so that within her virginal bosom:
1) We may be nourished with the milk of her grace and her motherly compassion.
2) We may be delivered from all anxiety, fear and scruples.
3) We may be safeguarded from all our enemies, the devil, the world
and sin which have never gained admittance there. That is why our Lady
says that those who work in her will not sin, that is, those who dwell
spiritually in our Lady will never commit serious sin.
may be formed in our Lord and our Lord formed in us, because her womb
is, as the early Fathers call it, the house of the divine secrets where
Jesus and all the elect have been conceived. "This one and that one were
born in her."
Finally, we must do everything for Mary. Since we have given ourselves
completely to her service, it is only right that we should do everything
for her as if we were her personal servant and slave. This does not
mean that we take her for the ultimate end of our service for Jesus
alone is our ultimate end. But we take Mary for our proximate end, our
mysterious intermediary and the easiest way of reaching him.
every good servant and slave we must not remain idle, but, relying on
her protection, we should undertake and carry out great things for our
noble Queen. We must defend her privileges when they are questioned and
uphold her good name when it is under attack. We
must attract everyone, if possible, to her service and to this true and
sound devotion. We must speak up and denounce those who distort
devotion to her by outraging her Son, and at the same time we must apply
ourselves to spreading this true devotion. As a reward for these
little services, we should expect nothing in return save the honour of
belonging to such a lovable Queen and the joy of being united through
her to Jesus, her Son, by a bond that is indissoluble in time and in
eternity. Glory to Jesus in Mary! Glory to Mary in Jesus! Glory to God
A true child of Mary does not engage in dissent from Church teaching or in the promotion of dissenting individuals and organizations. The Commission for Women is a vehicle for such dissent. See here, here and here for example. And also here.
If Father Korcz wants to encourage true devotion to Mary and an authentic marian spirit of prayer and obedience at Our Lady Immaculate parish, he will first have to set the example by actually living such