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.

Pilgrimage Quito 2015 Day4: The Prophesies

Each day of our pilgrimage becomes more and more interesting and the graces we have been receiving are undeserved and incredible. Today we had Mass at the Conceptionist Convent and then went to breakfast with some friends who live here in Quito and know the Abbess of the convent well. They also have access to the many writings of Mother Mariana that have not been translated into English. Over breakfast we were told many of the things that Our Blessed Mother told Mother Mariana would come to pass in our times. So along with some pictures that I took along the way I have written some of the prophesies which we heard over breakfast. We also went to the Carmelite Convent and through our friends we were given the opportunity to see the body of one of the Holy Innocents given as a gift from Pope Pius IX, pictured directly below the prophesies. As I learn more on the prophesies I will update this page.

There will be a prelate who will have 2 lives. In the first part of his life he will defend the Church like a paladin. He will die being considered a martyr. He will be resurrected and the second half of his life he will cradle the Church in his arms as a little babe.

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

There will be 5 martyrs who will defend the image of Our Lady of Good Success. Those living as homosexuals will desecrate holy images in the church and will martyr the five. The five martyrs will be brought before the altar and the statue will come alive and take each martyr up.

The martyrdom will signal Our Lady’s intervention opening a path of light to God. The finding of the original prophesies and the divine infant buried in the convent will also be a signal of Our Lady’s coming intervention.

When the statue was completed by the Archangels Gabriel, Michael and Raphael, the statue opened up and Our Lady entered into it.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Suffering Christ and Christian Indifference

One of the most sinister attitudes a person can take is indifference towards Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Revelation 3:16 communicates Our Lord's teaching on this attitude, "But because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth." Surely, many claim to be Christians, but few there are who are "hot" and actually live how Our Lord teaches us to live. For example, how many there are who claim to believe in God, yet who will not live according to the Sacrament of marriage to which they have promised God to do. How many there are who support the worst forms of immorality and are glad to see others adopting a lifestyle that will destroy their souls.

Many create God in their own image and there are few who live according to the image God has revealed to us in the Holy Trinity. For most, Jesus Christ is not the God-man who suffered for us and who calls us to live according to His Revelation. Instead He is Christ the social worker who only wants us to have fun and enjoy life with no suffering or sacrifice. Surely the calling to live as Christ lived is the most difficult idea for the Christian. We want mercy no justice. We want pleasure but no sacrifice. As I walk around Quito and observe the beautiful churches and museums, I am constantly drawn to the image of Christ that is being extinguished from our culture in the US. It is the image of the humility and suffering of Christ, for our sins. When we contemplate the suffering of Our Lord, it is an image that we truly cannot fully grasp. Yet, just gazing and meditating upon the image of the suffering Christ can stir our hearts to hear His words and keep them.

It is only when we give our will over to God, and commit ourselves to live the life He has called us to live, that we avoid the state of lukewarmness. God gives us the grace to live as He has called us to live. He expects us to live and profess the one true faith revealed to us through His one and only Church, the Catholic Church. He expects us to stop sinning, as Our Lady has also asked us to do many times. We cannot please God if we do not worship Him at Mass on Sunday, and when we fail to do so we sin. Only indifference allows a man to sleep in on Sunday and deny the worship that is due to God. Only indifference allows us to uphold immoral lifestyles which lead to the ruin of souls. When we live the lukewarm life we are like those who mocked Our Lord in His passion. So let us meditate upon the suffering Christ and pray for the grace to live as Christ calls us to live, and let us also pray for the conversion of lukewarm "Christians" who have yet to actually embrace Christ's call to live the Gospel.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Pilgrimage Quito 2015 Day3: Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres

Each day of the pilgrimage seems to be more incredible than the last. Today after having the Latin Mass with Fr. Bartholomew at the Conceptionist Convent, we had the rare privilege of visiting the incorrupt body of the servant of God, Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres. Mother Mariana was an incredible soul who was visited many times by Our Blessed Mother and was given messages for our sad time today, hence Our Lady of Good Success. If you do not know her story I recommend getting the two volume set of her life. We need to spread her story and message. Our friends here in Quito arranged for us to visit her privately and we spent nearly an hour with her. We also had the opportunity to see the bodies of the foundress of the Conceptionist Convent and some of the other saintly sisters. Afterwords the nuns brought us sandwiches, cookies and drink while we perused the gift shop. We then visited the Blessed Sacrament chapel and the Franciscan Monastery and museum which were also well worth a visit. The churches here in Quito rival those in Rome, etc.

Pilgrimage Quito 2015 Day2: Our Lady of Good Success

On our second day we went as a group over the Conceptionist Convent to see Our Lady of Good Success. No words can describe the beauty of Our Lady and as many have said before no picture can do her justice. In person she looks different than in the pictures. We spent much of the morning praying there and I was able to say my last day of my novena to Our Lady of Good Success before her. We later went and visited the Jesuit church just up the street which was amazing. The entire inside of the church is covered in gold leaf. Then we went back and had Mass at the Conceptionist Convent, which was also incredible.

Later we enjoyed a nice dinner with friends who also helped arrange everything for us. A few of us ended the day and went back over for a special private prayer vigil before our Lady of Good Success from 10:30 to midnight. It was a perfect day number 2. Hopefully today we will get to see some very cool things that our friends here in Quito have arranged for us privately. Below are a few of the pictures I took. Internet here is slow so uploading is at primitive speeds.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Pilgrimage Quito 2015 Day1: Greeted by Our Lord and Our Lady (El Quinche)

I began my pilgrimage yesterday to Quito, Ecuador, and I must say it was a wonderful beginning. I left Tuesday evening with Fr. Gregory Bartholomew of the FSSP from Sarasota, FL and we made our way down to Naples, FL before heading to the Miami airport early Wednesday morning. I was blessed to have a private Mass at midnight before going to Miami. You can see a couple of pictures below of the Mass. It was a wonderful way to start.

Then after arriving in Quito we had an unexpected greeting from Our Lady of Quinche.
A couple of us arrived at Quito many hours before the rest of our party. We decided upon recommendation of one of the local Ecuadorians to visit El Quinche. So we too a taxi to get some food and we made it over to the church just minutes before the church was closing. We walked into the courtyard of the massive church and was greeted by a local priest who said, "...Let them in." We were then escorted not into the church, but up a set of stairs which led us up top behind the altar. We were then told the story of El Quinche, where this wonderful statue was made from cedar as almost a thanksgiving for miracles worked by Our Lady in the area.

We had no idea that we were going to get a special view of Our Lady, as the door was unlocked, and she was turned around, we were all in total amazement. I also found out that every year in the month of November 800,000 pilgrims from around Ecuador make a pilgrimage to this church to pay homage to this image, which was carved in the 16th century. Here 3 pilgrims show up having no idea that this pilgrimage site existed and we were treated with an up close and personal greeting from Our Lady. A smile and a greeting from Our Lady indeed! La Virgin del Quinche pray for us!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Criticizing the Pope?

There is much controversy today in the Catholic world when it comes to criticizing the pope. For example Michael Voris has attacked several Catholic news organizations who often voice their concern for the actions of Pope Francis. I think this erroneous mentality comes from the JPII generation who often saw liberals attacking John Paul II for upholding the Church's unchangeable doctrine. When they see so called "traditionalists" doing the same they like to put them in the same category, just on the other end of the spectrum, ultra- trad vs liberal. This mentality that one cannot be a good Catholic and publicly criticize the pope is an un-Catholic idea.

For one, many of these neo-Catholics such as Michael Voris who spend an immense amount of time attacking bishops across the globe are hypocritical. Voris goes on video tirades pointing out how bishops are not upholding Catholic teaching, when he knows full well who it is that these bishops were appointed by, and under whom they are subject to, the pope. So when he goes around openly criticizing these bishops, he is really telling the pope indirectly, "You are doing a lousy job of governing your flock!" The pope is openly supporting known heretics and putting them on pedestals to where they are putting forth their heretical theological ideas out there in the Catholic arena. Look no further than Cardinal Kasper or Cardinal Marx. Sorry, any pope before the Vatican II era would never have allowed this.

Now it may be one thing for Voris to keep quiet and not openly criticize the pope, but when he goes about making it his business to attack every Catholic organization out there such as The Remnant and Catholic Family News, he does himself a grave disservice to his credibility. He acts as if he is the only genuine Catholic "news" organization on the planet, and that he is the only legitimate voice "crying in the wilderness". This is not acceptable to me, and for this reason I do not watch to listen to anything Michael Voris has to say. In fact when I get emailed one of his videos I just hit the delete button. In the end he is unwilling to be genuine in his reporting and he fails to give his audience the big picture of the real issues at hand.

What are we to think about criticizing the pope? As in all things, prudence is required. Faithful Catholics do not revel in criticizing the pope. None of us ever want to question what he says or does and we want to praise him and point out the good that he brings to the faithful. However, when the pope says and does things that are potentially damaging to the Church, there comes a time when it does well to point them out. Catholics should not have a negative attitude, and pointing out things that are wrong are only done in order to point to a solution. If you have listened to my recent 3 part podcast called, 'The State of Grace' you will gain a fuller understanding of what I am referring to. We are facing above all else a spiritual war. One that begins and ends with our own souls.

State of Grace Podcast Part III: Conclusion

Monday, May 4, 2015

State of Grace Podcast Part 1: The Problem

This is the first part in a podcast series titled 'The State of Grace.' In this first part we will look at our culture and the Church and what many of us consider the "problem" and what the underlying cause of it is. In the second part we will dive in deeper and propose a solution.