Saint Thomas Aquinas

Sunday, June 28, 2015

America, Where is thy Charity?

As we see our country continue in its catastrophic moral collapse we sometimes wonder how people in positions of authority can make such poor judgements. Many people claim to be "experts" in law, they claim to have high IQs and also have expensive educations. Yet time and time again, we see our government, whether it be local or federal making terrible decisions when it comes to the common good of society.


The true answer is found by examining the source of where good judgement is derived. Yes a well informed human intellect can determine certain truths and make prudential judgements upon examining and deliberating on these truths. However, the human intellect is darkened by original sin. Aside from that, the human intellect also has to be properly formed for it to effectively gather information, deliberate on it and make right judgements.

It is true that most people today are mal-formed by today's educational system. From grade school through college we are now taught the foolish polyanish story that our culture today is so advanced we cannot even consider that what came before it may have any worth to us today. We are brainwashed by the fantasy of a utopian society. Our intellects are deadened by the revolutionary spirit which seeks to undermine any idea of God or absolute truth. This denial of God and absolute truth is where the rubber really meets the road.

Those who have rejected God, and have given themselves over to the revolutionary spirit have no charity within them. I am speaking in generalities here of course. What this means is that if one is not in a state of grace, then one does not have the gifts of the Holy Ghost to enlighten them. Sure if we were better educated in the scholastic form of education we would see huge improvements in our society. However, good education is not enough. We are not in need of secular answers, for they are never complete answers. We are need of a true solution, which can only come from the grace of God. We need God's grace in order to perfect our human nature.



In a nutshell, we have many people in various places of authority making horrible decisions because they have not the grace of God. They are found in the government, the education system, the media and even the Church. These people do not possess true love or charity for one another. They do not possess true wisdom, or the knowledge needed to make charitable, prudential decisions. Hence we will not see an improvement to our country's morals until we see more people with true charity. This of course only comes through Christ and His Church.

How can this true enlightenment of the Holy Ghost come about? Of course God gives grace to whom He chooses. But God often asks His followers to participate in His divine plan. Our Lady has repeatedly said that many souls go to hell and are lost for eternity because they have no one to pray for them. So there it is. Our country is lost because of a true lack of love and charity for God and hence for one another. If we are not in a state of grace, we do not possess true charity. If you are wondering what you can do first and foremost to solve our spiral into this madness of immorality. We must pray for conversions that more souls will be enlightened by the grace of God so that people who are in positions of authority will stand up for the truth and be able to make true prudential judgements.

Sister Lucia of Fatima said, ""My impression is that the Rosary is of greatest value not only according to the words of Our Lady at Fatima, but according to the effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history. My impression is that Our Lady wanted to give ordinary people, who might not know how to pray, this simple method of getting closer to God."

“The two means to save the world are prayer and sacrifice.  Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Holy Rosary.  She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the private life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, of the religious communities or even of the life of peoples and nations, that cannot be resolved through the prayer of the Rosary.  There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve through the recitation of the Holy Rosary.  Through the Holy Rosary we will save ourselves.  We will sanctify ourselves.  We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.  Finally, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Mother, consists in considering Her as the seat of mercy, of goodness and of pardon and as the sure door through which we are to enter Heaven.”  

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Divine Child For Our Time: Jesus del Pichincha

"I can not do more for you, to show you my love! Ungrateful souls do not repay me with scorn, sacrilege and blasphemy... be my comfort in my Eucharistic solitudes, watch in my company...



One my favorite statues to pray before during my stay in Quito, was El Divino Nino Jesus del Pichincha. I was constantly pulled before Him when praying my rosary at the Conceptionist Convent. I had never seen an image of Our Lord quite like this one, and I wanted to know the story behind it. Our Lord looks so inviting, and the expression on His face is so full of life that I was constantly pulled in front of it, and felt great peace there. I was sad on my last day after having enjoyed spending time in prayer every day with Him. As I came to find out, this image is a very unique one that Our Lord desires to be spread throughout the world for our time.

This image was given to Mother Mariana during one her visions, and it has not only great significance for Ecuador, but also for those who desire to keep the faith in our dark time. Mother Mariana saw Our Lord as a young child appear on the summit of Mt Pichincha which overlooks Quito. Our Lord told her that He would give Himself on Pichincha for the good of the republic of Ecuador, and would be happy when Our Lady is extolled under the title "Good Success." He continued to say that all who extolled her under this title would receive graces to help families, and for the salvation of souls in general.

Mother Mariana saw the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael take the Divine Child up to the summit where the mountain was wrapped in heavenly light. Jesus was dressed in a long white robe dotted with stars and a lovely pinkish purple colored garment, which is very unique and according to Mother Mariana she had never seen on earth. The Divine Child found Himself before a cross with a crown of thorns. Jesus fell on the ground and prayed to the Father for Ecuador, so that He and Our Lady would reign over it. He was then lifted upon the cross overlooking Ecuador. Our Lord's tears were collected by the angels and spread over the country.



The Divine Child overlooked Quito and wept, "I can not do more for you, to show you my love! Ungrateful souls do not repay me with scorn, sacrilege and blasphemy... be my comfort in my Eucharistic solitudes, watch in my company... Amid the bitterness and dire times that are coming to this country, your humble, secret and silent prayer together with your voluntary penance, save it from destruction.." Of course we know the story of Ecuador and how Our Lady promised that the Conceptionist Convent would always remain until the end of time. In 1634 Our Lord informed Mother Mariana that He also wanted this image to be spread further across the world with the message attached to it above, most especially, "I can not do more for you, to show you my love! Ungrateful souls do not repay me with scorn, sacrilege and blasphemy..." Of course as we know Our Lord's sacrifice on the cross is represented at Mass, so behind the Divine Child can be seen the Eucharistic host. Our Lord also wants an increase in reverence for the Eucharist.

In conversation with our friends in Quito, who also have access to many of the prophesies still not recorded in English, I found out more information. I was curious as to why Our Lord presented Himself as an older child and not an infant. Most of the time Our Lord appears as an infant or an adult, but rarely if ever as an older child. During His crucifixion He usually is depicted as an adult, but in this case at a unique age. I was informed that Our Lord, knowing that the Devil would assault young children, especially luring those in the early teens to sins of impurity, immodesty, despair, atheism, etc, He wanted to present Himself at this particular age. Our Lord and Our Lady knew the trials of our time and wanted this devotion to be rekindled for us reading this today! I encourage all parents who have children to have a strong devotion to the Divine Child of Pichincha.

El Divino Nino Jesus del Pichincha have mercy on us! 

Feel free to print out any of these pictures for your private devotion. 







Monday, June 15, 2015

Our Lady: The Fullness of Beauty



Beauty is often a word that is misunderstood. It is often a term used in a subjective manner to describe something that is pleasing to the senses. It is true that beauty can have a subjective element to it. One can personally find a Gothic church more pleasing to the senses than a sunset over the gulf coast for example. Both however can described as being objectively beautiful. The church pleases the senses because it brings to the senses the truths of God. God's majesty and truth is presented through the stained glass or the statues of His Saints, adorned with gold and masterfully carved out of marble or wood. Likewise we see the handiwork of God in the sunset over the gulf which God created and sustains. These are objective subjects of beauty.

Likewise we can define things that defy the definition of beauty objectively. We can objectively say that things that are sinful are not beautiful, since these actions go against nature and teleology properly speaking. Ideas that stem from disordered appetites are also outside the bounds of beauty. When we see sin being depicted on television for example, it is not beautiful. We can say the act depicts ugliness. Something that is disordered towards its form and nature is not beautiful. So a human being that is physically or deformed, although that person retains the image of God and retains an inward beauty, we can define their exterior appearance being objectively ugly. For example a person who is mutilated or afflicted with a disease such as leprosy is objectively physically ugly. Ugliness is the description of the corruption of something.

This applies to actions in and of themselves as well as spiritual realities. Likewise when a person lives in a state of sin, that is a lifestyle going against their very nature as God created them, this state is objectively ugly.  A person who lives perpetually in adultery for example live a spiritually repulsive life that defies beauty. As for another example, today we see that most women are dressed extremely immodest in public. Although their human form, their body can be pleasing to the eye, well formed or physically beautiful, the person by dressing immodestly defies the nature of true beauty in their action. So beauty can be objectively defined when something more perfectly conforms to its nature, either physically, in actuality or spiritually. So something that conveys a truth about God and His Saints for example can objectively be defined as having beauty. Something which depicts a corruption of one's form and nature can be objectively defined as ugly.

We can also say that things which are evil by nature do not convey beauty, but ugliness. Thus the demons are not beautiful. Evil actions such as abortion are not beautiful. The mutilation of one's body is always defined as ugliness. Evil or satanic acts, or acts against virtue are always ugly. Music that conveys disorder is not beautiful. People who commit evil acts are not beautiful in their actions, although their physical appearance may convey beauty by having more perfection of bodily proportions, and so forth. Again this is not to say that one may find one object of beauty more pleasing than another.

Now we turn to created beauty par excellence. Our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary defines the fullness of beauty in every sense of the word. Aside from the incarnation of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, there is no higher beauty we can contemplate. Since Jesus is God, we can say that there is no created creature under God that is more beautiful than Our Lady. She conveys the highest beauty in both the physical and spiritual attributes of all created creatures. She was chosen by God from all time to be His Mother as well as be the anti-thesis to Eve. While Eve was the mother of fallen man, Our Lady is the Mother of redeemed man. Saint Ireneaus wrote of Our Lady, "The knot of Eve's disobedience was loosened by Mary's obedience. The bonds fastened by the virgin Eve through disbelief were untied by the virgin Mary through faith."

Our Lady is often described by the mystics who have seen her in apparitions as too beautiful to describe and too beautiful to depict in any image. When Mother Mariana saw Our Lady as Our Lady of Good Success she could not describe her beauty. In fact, when Our Lady asked Mother Mariana to have a statue made of her, she thought it was a futile task because she said no one could make a statue that would ever come near doing her justice in her beauty. As we know, Our Lady had the statue started by a local artisan, but it was finished by an archangel so that the statue would at least convey something of her great beauty, although of course imperfectly. If you have ever had the opportunity to see the beauty of the statue of Our Lady of Good Success in person, you will understand. It is certain that there is no created creature more beautiful. Saint Bernadette said the following after seeing Our Lady. "My Lady is beautiful, beautiful beyond compare; so beautiful that when one has seen her once, one would wish to die so as to see her again; so beautiful that when one has seen her, one can no longer love anything earthly."



Our Lady's spiritual beauty is also indescribable and incomprehensible. She gave her full ascent to God's command and with her full will cooperated with every grace that was given to her. Our Lady never had the stain of original sin on her soul. She was never touched or stained by evil. Saint Ephraim the Syrian in 361 praises Our Lord and His Mother, "You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is no blemish in you nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these?" Her beauty is pure because she fully represents in her form and nature the light of God's image to which all men are created. She is the epitome of beauty in all things human. Her prayers, her words, her thoughts, her ideas, her actions, her intercession, and her love are all beautiful in the fullest sense of the term. She also possess beauty by overcoming the evil in our world and in our own souls. Her beauty conquers the devil and his attempts to thwart the beauty of God's plan of salvation. There is also beauty in Our Lady crushing the head of Satan, stamping out the evil in the world, and untying the knot of sin. There is so much more that can be said of Our Lady, that we do not even scratch the surface of the praises she deserves.

Who then should we turn to open the arms of her Son, Jesus Christ? What beauty there is in asking Our Lady to help us. What beauty there is in her intercession and in her maternal affection. Our Lady is calling us to spend more time in prayer, because she loves us. We should heed her words and pray the rosary daily as well as offer up prayers and reparation for the ugliness of sin in the world. Our Lady is also calling us to spread her devotion under the title of Our Lady of Good Success so that the time will be shortened until her reign comes to put the breaks on the devil's plan of death, destruction and damnation. We can hasten her intercession by pleading to her and offering up novenas under this noble and glorious title. The more time we spend with Our Lord and Our Lady the more we will see beauty in our lives and in our world. As our souls become more pure and virtuous, we become instruments guided by the Holy Ghost and henceforth we become more beautiful in the eyes of God. As we conform more to our true nature as it was created, defined and directed by God, the beauty of God grows in us.

I leave you with the thoughts of Saint Gemma Galgani who demonstrated great love for Our Lady throughout her life. May we also echo these same words in our own lives.

"..what great goodness this Heavenly Mother has always shown me! What would have become of me, if I had not had her? She has always helped me in my spiritual wants; she has preserved me from countless dangers; she has freed me from the hands of the devil who was ceaselessly com­ing to molest me; she pleaded my cause with Jesus when I sinned, and she soothed Him when I moved Him to anger by my wicked life; she has taught me to know Him and love Him, to be good and to please Him. Ah, my dear Mother, I will love thee always and forever." what great goodness this Heavenly Mother has always shown me! What would have become of me, if I had not had her? She has always helped me in my spiritual wants; she has preserved me from countless dangers; she has freed me from the hands of the devil who was ceaselessly com­ing to molest me; she pleaded my cause with Jesus when I sinned, and she soothed Him when I moved Him to anger by my wicked life; she has taught
me to know Him and love Him, to be good and to please Him. Ah, my dear Mother, I will love thee always and forever."

Monday, June 8, 2015

Our Lady of Good Success: The Message For Our Time!




Most practicing Catholics have heard of the apparitions at Fatima. These are important revelations for our time, and yet they are closely related to those given to Mother Mariana de Jesus about 400 years earlier, which are known by few. Although Fatima came much later than those given in Quito under the title of Our Lady of Good Success, Fatima is actually a type of precursor to the Quito messages.



The Fatima messages are more general in nature in some ways compared to those of Quito. While Fatima came to us via the 3 children in the early 1900s, those of Quito only have become widely known after Fatima. So it seems that the world was given a popular message from Fatima explaining the horrors of sin and disobedience coming upon the world, in preparation for a less known more detailed message from Quito. These two apparitions of Our Lady are very important for our time, and the messages of Our Lady of Good Success are just now becoming more widely known.

As we know, the Church as a whole has neglected to follow the messages of Fatima. We have not as a whole stopped sinning, we as a whole have not been saying the rosary every day, and we as a whole have not done penance in reparation for sin. Likewise we have yet to see the errors of Russia cease to spread across the world. In fact, the errors have become more widespread. We see the general population of the US accepting radical forms of socialism and immorality which would have been unheard of 60 years ago. Russia still has not converted to the Catholic faith and has only become more hostile to the Catholic faith over recent years. So it is clear that we have not heeded Our Lady's messages from Fatima.

Being the compassionate mother she is, it seems that Our Lady wanted to give us another chance. If we look to Quito, we find more answers as to the immoral atrocities we are experiencing now. The prophesies consist not only of a coming chastisement, but there is also immense hope in the coming reign of Our Lady which will follow. There are many prophesies given to us through Our Lady of Good Success. I will only touch on two here. One is a dire vision of the world in which we live, and one is a beautiful vision of the world to come with the reign of Our Lady.



The Warning

"There will be four black clouds that will cover the four corners of the earth, from which will proceed countless demons that will take dominion over the earth" 

This prophetic warning has certainly been confirmed from what we are seeing right now in our time with the majority of the world adopting and promoting the worst atrocities man has ever witnessed. Throughout the world abortion murders countless innocents which cry out to God for vengeance. Governments across the globe view the murder of innocents as a "right." Worse, they force entire civilizations to fund this killing through taxation and the redefining of healthcare. Likewise sexual deviancy is the standard of the day, and there are few who consider marriage to be a lifelong commitment binding before God. There is an all out assault on the image of God in man, and in fact many seek to destroy God's image in man, making man at times almost unrecognizable. Furthermore, we see the diabolical disorientation which many Catholics fall into where religious indifference gives rise to disordered "conservatism" which promotes the false idea that men can work together to build a utopia here on earth by their own efforts.  

Many people claim to believe God exists, but few follow their consciences to see what it is that God asks of us. Our wills our turned inward, not towards God. Materialism is now so entrenched in societies across the world that countries that just 10 or 15 years ago, very Catholic, are now extremely secular. We have only to look at Quito. We can see this secular transformation take place in just the past 10 or 15 years with destruction of modesty in clothing. On my pilgrimage to Quito I had the opportunity to speak to some Catholics who live in Quito and have experienced first hand this degradation. They said that with the dawn of popular television, over the course of just a few years, women no longer dress in modest clothes. Now in Quito they dress just like Americans where immodesty now rules the day.

As human sexuality becomes more perverted society becomes more violent. As Our Lady told the children at Fatima, war is a punishment for sin. So we can deduce that the more disordered the sin is, the more violence follows in its wake. The diabolical entities that are pushing this immorality have a done a good job in turning everything upside down giving the impression that what is good is bad, and what is bad is good. Evil is disguised under the banner of freedom, liberty, and equality. So the four corners of the earth are certainly covered in darkness. We must not however end with this foreboding reality. God has given us an answer. No it is not in drinking, smoking, or having more and more material wealth. These things only temporarily deaden our consciences. They only distract us and take us wild goose chases destined only to lead us into eternal ruination. How many there are who get to the end of life and realize that everything they lived for was an illusion.



The Coming Reign of Our Lady

"When the tribulations of spirit and body press upon us as a wreck in the bottomless sea, a look at my Sacred Image will be as guiding star, ready to listen to their moans and soothe their crying; This devotion will be the lightning rod between Divine Justice and the prevaricating world to prevent discharge of this guilty land the formidable punishment it deserves. "

Our Lord Jesus and Our Lady wants us to have special devotion to the image of Our Lady of Good Success. She wants her message to be spread far and wide for the salvation of souls and the intervention of Our Lady so that the punishment for sin will be mitigated. Our Lady said that she would be a beacon of light to those who would call upon her aid under this title The novena linked to below is taken from the diocese of Quito. I received permission from Fr. Paul Kimball to use the English translation that he has in his book on Our Lady of Good Success, available at dolorosapress.com. I wanted to make this novena available to you so that you may say the novena regularly and begin to spread the message of Our Lady of Good Success to your friends and family. You may also print out any of my pictures here on my webpage that I have taken, and print them out for your own private devotion. Say your rosary in front of her image. Let us make Our Lady happy by spreading her message of hope and the devotion to her title of Our Lady of Good Success. Once her message spreads she will show us a ray of heavenly light which will give us a period of peace among the dark clouds that have closed in above us.




Saturday, June 6, 2015

Pilgrimage Quito 2015 Day7: Our Lady and La Merced



The last day of of the pilgrimage after having Mass on the altar of the in-corrupt bodies at the Conceptionist Convent,  we found ourselves at La Merced church, which was founded by the Mercedarian Order. For those unfamiliar, they used to ransom themselves for hostages taken by the Moors and others. We found that the Ecuadorian government is trying to take the church property once the last Mercedarian dies or leaves. There are not many vocations, so this may happen in the near future. We should pray that their plans be thwarted. The church was beautiful, and the statue located at the main altar is also miraculous. The statue was apparently found before even the Spaniards arrived in the New World, and is made from a stone that is nowhere to be found in South America. In fact they really don't know what stone it is made from.






After that we took a taxi up to El Panecillo, which means small loaf or piece of bread. It was the place where human sacrifices were made before the Spanish settlers came to Quito. Now a huge aluminum statue of Our Lady of the Apocalypse, or otherwise known as Our lady of Quito, watches majestically over the city. You can climb up into the statue and overlook the city, which provides a a great view for some pictures of the city. This image of Our Lady in the book of Revelation is unique to Quito alone and is the only one depicting Our Lady with wings. There are many places in the city to find hand carved and hand painted statues of her at reasonable prices if you look around and haggle a bit with the shop owners.







 Next  we found ourselves at the Augustinian convent and museum. There were some very nice pieces of artwork and other things to see. Unfortunately there are only a few brothers living in the monastery so we must pray for more vocations. Many of these treasures will eventually either be museums or completely taken over by the state if the faith does not preserve them.





 

Finally we took a walk over to the Basilica which is about a half mile up from the Conceptionist Monastery. Unfortunately we arrived just as they closed the doors, so we took our time enjoying the Gothic architecture.The inside is apparently still unfinished. The basilica is an imposing sight which can be seen from pretty much anywhere in the old city.







Our Lady has given us immense graces on this trip and I plan to spread the devotion to Our Lady of Good Success as much as possible. I want to get more material translated from Spanish into English and provide more avenues in the US for the spread of her devotion. Our Lady wants her message of hope to spread far and wide, and I will be writing more articles on how Our Lady will eventually intervene to stop the worldwide diabolic disorientation that we are seeing now. The message of Our Lady of Good Success is a message for out time and for those who love Christ and Our Lady we must spread the message so we may soon see the reign of Our Blessed Lady of Good Success. God willing I hope to return for yet another visit to see Our Lady.






Monday, June 1, 2015

Pilgrimage Quito 2015 Day6: The Dominicans



Today after Mass at the Conceptionist Convent we went over to the Dominican Church and museum, and then St Catarina Convent. I consider St Dominic to be my spiritual father so this was a great opportunity to see their heritage in the new world. I braved the bell tower and went onto the roof of St Catarina and got some great pictures of Quito. There were also many miraculous images and statues we encountered along the way.

Our Lady of the Dormition (Healer of Cancer)

I took more photos of the Conceptionist Convent and I will be posting on some of the stories surrounding Mother Mariana and the statues and images in the church at a later time. I also was able to get in a little shopping today and I found a great wooden carved statue of Our Lady of the Apocalypse.








Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pilgrimage Quito 2015 Day5: The Procession of Our Lady of Good Success



I know that each post sounds like a broken record, but today was even more amazing than the first four. Our Lady has been giving us immense graces. Today we were privileged to have Mass on the altar of the incorrupt bodies of the sisters in the Conceptionist Convent. I was also finally enrolled in the brown scapular in front of the incorrupt sisters. I am glad I was patient! This was just the beginning however of a tremendous day of graces.

Our Lady and our friends here in Quito allowed us to participate in the procession to take Our Lady of Good Success back up into the upper choir where only the sisters normally go. The devotion to Our Lady in the church was incredible before she was taken up, and many came to have their rosaries, clothing and other articles touched to the Blessed Virgin. I had no idea that I would be allowed to go up and touch Our Lady and spend time right next to her. When the procession began after Our Lady was prepared to be carried, I walked behind Our Lady and the procession taking pictures. Then an amazing thing happened, I was called up to the front and asked to carry the crown of Our Lady next to Fr. Bartholomew who was carrying Our Lady's crozier. I was speechless.

No words can explain this event, and I was the absolute most unworthy person to carry Our Lady's crown. Most of the members of our pilgrim group carried something or participated someway in the procession. We then got to spend a good amount of time in the upper choir with the sisters, adoring the statues and other images. We also were able to visit the spot where Our Lady appeared to Mother Mariana. It was also amazing to see the statue of Our Lady in the upper choir from the time of Mother Mariana. This is the miraculous statue that turned her back to the rebellious sisters as they walked through the upper choir. This day is certainly one of the most memorable and spiritually uplifting in my life.