Sanctification

A Sacred Moment

Posted by on Oct 26, 2019 in Sanctification | 0 comments

A Sacred Moment

Dear friends,

Yesterday We had a sacred moment. While reading and taking to heart some material, We had a sacred moment. Recently we closed down the VIE Catholic radio station and replaced it with podcasts, flowing from programs we produced here to make these podcasts. The new format makes it easier for people to hear what they want to hear, when they want to hear it, which is a great improvement over the internet radio station approach. The project is called Encouragement For Today, and don’t we all need encouragement in our Christian walk? https://www.encouragementfortoday.com/ One of the podcasts is Sacred Moments, and We believe is an important concept. We all need to have sacred moments, whether from a podcast or from something we read, something that comes to mind, an event in our life, etc. If we are not returning to God spontaneously on occasion, then we need to check into our spiritual life. We pray you find the podcasts inspiring and look forward to your feedback.

+Michael pp

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September Ember Week

Posted by on Sep 15, 2019 in Sanctification | 1 comment

I could use two secretaries. I do almost nothing during the day but write letters. I am a conventual preacher, reader at meals, parochial preacher, director of studies, overseer of eleven monasteries, superintendent of the fish pond at Litzkau, referee of the squabble at Torgau, lecturer on Paul, collector of material for a commentary on the Psalms, and then, as I said, I am overwhelmed with letters. I rarely have full time for the canonical hours and for saying Mass, not to mention my own temptations with the world, the flesh, and the Devil. You see how lazy I am.”

In looking at Our own life, We could rattle off a list of things as this man did in a letter above over five centuries ago. In fact, as We were writing this, an interruption came in, and We see a squabble brewing elsewhere, that We will have to deal with. Actually this man omitted something very important, setting aside time for prayer. (I will tell you who he was in a moment.) Four times a year, we are given three days to bring us back on course, the Ember Days. This year in the fall, they are Wednesday, September 18, Friday September 20 and Saturday, September 21. In addition to the customary fasting the Ember Week is ideal for focusing on our spiritual life and getting back on track, if we have wandered off. And consider the distractions of summer, that can take us from what is truly important. We are entering fall. It is time to tune up our spiritual life and restore prayer to the first place, if it has slipped from there.

This man was Martin Luther, and this letter written before he defected from the Faith. A fall from a serious life of prayer leads to apostasy. Pray or die are our options. This Ember Week, we plan on spending Our spare time in considering some changes in Our life. This week sees Us occupied every day with something that would go on the list above.

“But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided.” (I Corinthians 7:33) As we can see from Martin Luther, our lives can become divided even without having a wife. Our own division is caused in part by Our wife, the Church. In the early centuries of the Church, Bishops were considered to be married to their own church, which we call a diocese today. So, when a man became Bishop of a diocese, he was Bishop until death did part him from his diocese. He was not transferred to another.

“But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42) Let us also choose to be at the feet of Jesus as much as duty will allow. Today’s sermon is on Spiritual Communion, and although We leave in thirty minutes for two Masses and 350 miles traveling, it is not yet printed out. We hope to prepare it also for the new podcasts, which are replacing the internet radio station, which became too much of a burden with our limited resources here. Also for the Olive Tree.

Let us withdraw from the world as much as duty will allow this Ember Week and enjoy the best part. Let us make Spiritual Communions as well: “I believe that Thou, O Jesus, art in the most Most Holy Sacrament! I love Thee and desire Thee! Come into my heart. I embrace Thee; oh, never leave me! Never let me leave Thee!”

Oremus,

+Michael pp

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Spiritual Communion

Posted by on Sep 2, 2019 in Pope Michael, Sanctification | 0 comments

Saint John Vianney tells us that the whole life of a Christian should be a preparation to receive Holy Communion.

Dear friends in Christ,

Except for helping a friend get to and from work today, this morning there were no plans. After making a 350 mile round trip for a mission in south central Kansas We are ready for a break and planned on finding something to send to you. And then the work arrived. First something for Our Daily Passion Podcast website. And then a thought, which We are expanding.

In this time of apostasy it is difficult to find a place where a Mass is celebrated that is pleasing to Almighty God. Several things have made Our trips to southern Kansas difficult, causing several of Our bi-weekly visits to be cut off. We were discussing the spiritual losses from inability to assist at Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist.

How should we prepare to receive Holy Communion? We see above our whole life is a preparation. Much can be said on this, but We ask you to consider this in your hour of prayer. We began with thinking about Spiritual Communion, and opened the appropriate file. While We were reviewing Our notes, a thought came to Our mind. What about preparing something more specific on preparing for Holy Communion. And then another thought for later on, preparing a series of considerations to help us become far more sincere in living the Catholic way of life, for Catholicism is not a religion, but a way of life.

Let us return to Spiritual Communion. Saint Alphonsus tells us: “How pleasing these spiritual Communions are to God, and the many graces which he bestows through their means, was manifested by our Lord himself to Sister Paula Maresca, the foundress of the convent of St. Catharine of Sienna in Naples, when (as it is related in her life) he showed her two precious vessels, the one of gold, the other of silver. He then told her that in the gold vessel he preserved her sacramental Communions, and in the silver one her spiritual Communions. He also told Blessed Jane of the Cross that each time that she communicated spiritually she received a grace of the same kind as, the one that she received when she really communicated. Above all, it will suffice for us to know that the holy Council of Trent greatly praises spiritual Communions, and encourages the faithful to practise them.” He continues that we can make a Spiritual Communion anytime we want. Unlike actual Communion, we do not have to be fasting. In fact Spiritual Communion is a good preparation for Sacramental Communion.

One may find prayers in prayer books that will help, but our prayer must reflect the dispositions of our heart and not be mere words. When We make a brief visit to the chapel or at other times We recite a prayer adapted from Saint Alphonsus, who preovides several prayers. (We hope to publish something on this, first for the Olive Tree and later something in more depth.) “I believe that Thou, O Jesus, art in the most Most Holy Sacrament! I love Thee and desire Thee! Come into my heart. I embrace Thee; oh, never leave me! Never let me leave Thee!” Do we truly desire Jesus to come into our heart and soul and change them?

Through Spiritual Communion we can come close to Jesus and welcome Him into our hearts, which is what we desire. Let us bring the holy practice of Spiritual Communion into our prayer life, especially as part of our more formal times of prayer, such as morning and evening prayers.

We now return to labor on this Labor Day in the United States.

+Michael pp

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Saint Peter’s Chains

Posted by on Aug 1, 2019 in Catholic Action, Pope Michael, Sanctification | 0 comments

This consideration is being prepared mainly for Facebook, but will be shared with all, because We believe it is important. Let us begin with the story of today’s Feast, Saint Peter’s Chains.

“And he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days of the Azymes.” (Acts 12:2-3)

Please continue to read on your own later on. Peter was imprisoned. Today many consider the Church imprisoned by the officials possessing the buildings in Rome, which once belonged to the Church. And what is their reaction? There is much saber rattling, about storming Rome some day, and running the bums out, if we could get enough people together. This has been going on for decades, but noting has been done.

What did the Church do, when Peter was imprisoned? Acts (2:5) gives us the answer: “Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him.” The Church in Jerusalem did not gather together and make a plan to break Peter out of prison. They did not gather together and talk about how evil Herod was. No, they gathered together to do what is truly important, take this problem and present it to God in prayer, and ask Him for a solution. Read the rest of the story and find out how God answered their prayer.

We are all in agreement, that the Church is in a severe crisis. What people differ in is the extent and conditions of the crisis. People waste a lot of time in trying to define these points and in complaining about the causes of the crisis. What we do not hear is a call for prayer and fasting asking God to end the crisis. “But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God.” We have defined a few misunderstood points, but are taking Our own time in developing them. The reason is simple. “For whereas for the time you ought to be masters, you have need to be taught again what are the first elements of the words of God: and you are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” (Hebrews 5:12) People are still little babes in the spiritual life, and can understand these points about as well as a baby can understand the History of the Church. What we need first is to grow up as saints, and be ready for the meat and potatoes of the spiritual life.

Let us go over to Saint Paul. Read, beginning at I Corinthians 2:11 and continue to I Corinthians 3:5. Yes, we are giving you a reading assignment, because this is how we grow up, by taking and reading for ourselves. Saint Paul contrasts three kinds of people, sensual, carnal and spiritual. Now, we are called to be spiritual, because only the spiritual are ready for meat, as Saint Paul says: “I gave you milk to drink, not meat; for you were not able as yet. But neither indeed are you now able; for you are yet carnal.” (I Corinthians 3:2) At least the carnal are ready for milk, and there is some hope they will grow up. The sensual are in far worse shape. The Douay defines the sensual as: “he who measureth divine mysteries by natural reason, sense, and human wisdom only.” How many today are applying natural reason to spiritual concepts. No wonder, people cannot figure things out. It is like trying to measure air pressure with a light meter, instead of a barometer.

And so, let us begin growing up spiritually. At the website, there is a resource, that may be helpful here: https://www.vaticaninexile.com/olive_tree_archives.php Also recommended is Sacred Moments from the VIE Catholic Radio. https://www.viecatholicradio.com/program_guide.php

And so, let us pray fervently and without ceasing, (I Thessalonians 5:17)

+Michael pp

Complete definition of the sensual man from the Douay: “The sensual man is either he who is taken up with sensual pleasures, with carnal and worldly affections; or he who measureth divine mysteries by natural reason, sense, and human wisdom only. Now such a man has little or no notion of the things of God. Whereas the spiritual man is he who, in the mysteries of religion, takes not human sense for his guide: but submits his judgment to the decisions of the church, which he is commanded to hear and obey. For Christ hath promised to remain to the end of the world with his church, and to direct her in all things by the Spirit of truth.”

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End of Lent Consideration

Posted by on Apr 18, 2019 in Catholic Action, Pope Michael, Sanctification, Vocation | 0 comments

Dear friends in Christ,

It has been some time, since We have sent a message out. It has been busy here, and good things are unfolding for the Church. It is time for us to die with Jesus Christ in His Passion, then rise with Jesus at the Resurrection. We have been discussing Baptism here, as the Traditional Catechism website is at that stage. https://www.traditionalcatechism.com/the_necessity_of_baptism.php

Let us look at something else Saint Paul said (Colossians 2:12, 13) “Buried with him in baptism, … he hath quickened (us) together with him.” And elsewhere (I Corinthians 12:13) “For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free; and in one Spirit we have all been made to drink. [14] For the body also is not one member, but many.”

We die as individuals in Baptism, but rise up as a part of Christ’s Mystical Body. This is why Saint Paul could say: “And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me.” (Galatians 2:20) In fact in Baptism our self is buried with Christ, and we cease to live our our own self, but to live with Jesus. Jesus said (John 4:34): “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, that I may perfect his work.” After Baptism, this should be our will as well.

Pope Pius XII wrote a wonderful Encyclical on the Mystical Body of Christ. As Christians by our Baptism, we become united with each other. And this union should show forth not only in word, but also by our actions. Rising with Christ, means uniting not only with Him, but also with His Mystical Body, the Church. All baptized people should be perfectly united in doing the will of God. This should be the center of our lives.

Let us consider this from Saint Paul (I Corinthians 12:20-22): “But now there are many members indeed, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand: I need not thy help; nor again the head to the feet: I have no need of you. Yea, much more those that seem to be the more feeble members of the body, are more necessary.” The Mystical Body needs all of us to be active, doing the part assigned to us by Almighty God. When we as members of the Mystical Body become lax in performing our part in the Mystical Body, the body becomes sick.

Today there are over a billion baptized people, but only a handful living their Baptism. The head cannot live without the body, and so We, as Pope, are not capable of doing much without the hands, the feet, the eyes, etc. You are these hands, feet, eyes, etc. No part of the Mystical Body is unimportant, no matter what their position is, nor how humble it is.

Soon we will be making an announcement of a project that we are pursuing for the good of the Mystical Body of Christ. We ask all to pray for the success of this project. The first step finds a man, who is willing to make some great sacrifices to help the Mystical Body of Christ. God in all ages has called people to make great sacrifices for the good of the Mystical Body of Christ. And these are of two basic classes. The first are the martyrs, who lay down their lives for the Mystical Body. Then there are those who are called to a life of self-sacrifice. Some of these we know by name, as they have been declared saints. Others have silently sacrificed, unknown to all but a precious few surrounding them.

God is calling people today as well. Read what Father Francis Dominic writes below. Consider it well, meditate on it, reread it, consider it in your heart, etc. We have been meditating on this for most of this year, so far. There are many good points, which We have taken to heart.

Let us consider this point well: “But for God to use us in the same manner, we must have a servant’s heart. We must empty ourselves of ourselves, and humble ourselves before our Lord.” We have summarized the spiritual life as All Thee, Almighty God, and no me. We need to be tools in the hands of God, which He uses as He wills. Some of us are hammers, other screw drivers, etc. Let us be the tool God wants us to be, not the tool we think we should be.

As we complete Lent, let us rise with Jesus Christ as a useful member of the Mystical Body of Christ. In a day or two We shall consider another inspiration from Father Francis Dominic’s devotion, which We now offer to you.

Michael, by the grace of God, Pope

From Father Francis Dominic

When the Israelites were in Egypt, God could not set them free from their slavery until He had found a man who was fit to represent Him. And God was prepared to wait till such a man was ready. God had planned for the Israelites to be in Egypt for 400 years (Genesis 15:13). But they finally stayed for 430 years (Exodus12:40). Why did they have to stay 30 years longer than God’s perfect plan for them? It was certainly not because God made a mistake. God never makes any mistakes. But the man who was to be their leader was not yet ready. God had probably planned for Moses to be ready within ten years of his going into the wilderness. But instead Moses took forty years to complete his spiritual education there, under God’s hand. So the Israelites had to remain in slavery for another 30 years. Once when Moses was away from the Israelites for just 40 days, all 2 million of them went astray (Exodus 32). It took just a few days for a whole nation to forsake the true God and to go astray worshiping idols, once God’s man was delayed from coming down off the mountain. Those Israelites had seen amazing miracles before their very eyes. But the memory of those miracles could not preserve the Israelites from worshiping idols. Only the strict leadership of one man of God could do that! Aaron was their temporary leader, while Moses was away on the mountain. But although Aaron may have been a good, God-fearing man, he could not keep the people devoted to God. Obviously he was a man who sought to please the masses, and the people took advantage of him. There are many Church leaders like Aaron today, who imagine themselves to be serving the Lord. They are good, upright people, who live God-fearing lives. But God cannot use them to keep His Church pure, because they yield to the will of the people easily. God looks for men like Moses, even today, to lead His Church in its battle against Satan.

Consider another time in Israel’s history, when Ahab made everyone worship Baal. There were 7000 men at that time in Israel, who refused to worship Baal (1 Kings 19:18). That was undoubtedly a bold and creditable stand to take. But God would not use even one of these 7000 men to accomplish what He had purposed in Israel at that time. For that, God needed an Elijah. Ahab was not afraid of these 7000 “believers”. But he was afraid of Elijah. These 7000 men no doubt prayed to God; but their prayers could not bring fire down from heaven. It was the prayer of Elijah, that did that. The prayers of all believers are not equal in their effect in God’s presence. The Bible says in relation to Elijah, that “For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much..” (James 5:17-16). One man single-handedly, turned a whole nation back to God, routed the forces of wickedness and killed all the prophets of Baal. It is through one faithful man, and not necessarily through a multitude, that God’s purposes are accomplished, even today.

There were fifty “sons of the prophets” (Seminary students) in Elijah’s time who were all hoping to be prophets in Israel one day. But the Spirit of God bypassed all of them and came upon Elisha, who was not a “son of a prophet” (2 King 2:7,15). Elisha was known in Israel only as a servant – “who poured water on the hands of Elijah.” (2 King 3:11). When the army of the king of Aram attacked Israel, none of these fifty “Seminarians” could protect Israel – for although they may have studied the Law of Moses, they were not the one’s God had chosen to forewarn the nation as to where exactly the enemy would attack. God chose Elisha a simple servant. Today also, the main function of a prophet is similar: To warn God’s people in advance of where Satan will attack them. One prophet like Elisha, in the Church today, can save God’s people from spiritual calamity more than fifty Scholars and Lawyers (sons of the prophets) within the Church. All the Doctrine and all the Canon Laws are of no use if a man cannot hear the Spirit’s voice. Only a man who can hear God’s voice can save a Church from Satan’s schemes and attacks. The prophets of old were also called “SEERS” (“those who can SEE into the future with God-given vision” – 1 Kings 9:9). They knew where the enemy would attack, and could foresee the dangers of taking a particular course of action. The church today greatly needs such seers.

We need more Saint Martin de Porres, Saint Mary Magdalene’s de Pazzi, Saint Francis’s of Paola, Saint Frances of Rome, Blessed Margaret’s of Castello, Saint Anthony’s of Padua and Saint Bernard’s of Clairvaux, to name just a few. All of which warned the people or person of future matters and events and who guided others closer to God. But for God to use us in the same manner, we must have a servant’s heart. We must empty ourselves of ourselves, and humble ourselves before our Lord.

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What Is Yet Wanting To Me?

Posted by on Apr 10, 2019 in Catholic Action, Monastery, Pope Michael, Sanctification, Vocation | 0 comments

A good mother can simply look over to her children and give THE LOOK. The children know from their mother’s look, what is expected of them and the consequences should they not do what is expected. A lot can be said with a look, and we find this in Sacred Scripture as well.

Jesus had warned Peter that he would deny Him. After doing so, we read: “And the Lord turning looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, as he had said: Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” (Luke 22:61) Consider what all Jesus communicated in that one look. We find the result in the next verse: “And Peter going out, wept bitterly.” One look brought about repentance.

And now to our main story, which is related in two of the Gospels:

“And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith to him: All these I have kept from my youth, what is yet wanting to me? Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me. And when the young man had heard this word, he went away sad: for he had great possessions. ” (Matthew 19:16-22)

“And embracing them, and laying his hands upon them, he blessed them. And when he was gone forth into the way, a certain man running up and kneeling before him, asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may receive life everlasting? … Thou knowest the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, bear not false witness, do no fraud, honour thy father and mother. But he answering, said to him: Master, all these things I have observed from my youth. And Jesus looking on him, loved him, and said to him: One thing is wanting unto thee: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. Who being struck sad at that saying, went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (Mark 10:17, 19-22)

What prompted this man to come to Jesus? We are not told, but we can work out what may have happened. He had heard of Jesus and the Holy Ghost prompting him to go see Jesus, because the Father had a mission for this man. And so he approached Jesus and asked: “Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting?” Saint Matthew says the man asked: “what is yet wanting to me?” The Holy Ghost had prompted the man to come and the man may have known deep down that God wanted more from him, which prompted him to ask the question.

And what happens next? Saint Mark gives us more detail: “And Jesus looking on him, loved him, and said to him: One thing is wanting unto thee: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” What is translated as looking on him has more meaning in the Latin. The word used is intuit from which we get the word in English intuition. And so this look of Jesus has much meaning. Jesus not only conveyed His message through word, but also through the look on His holy face.

Unfortunately this man was not ready to make the sacrifice, although it appears that he knew what Almighty God wanted from him. He knew God’s will, which is what prompted him to come to Jesus in the first place. When He heard Jesus’ words and knew the will of God through Jesus’ look, instead of doing God’s will, he went out and cried.

The Fathers of the Church are of the opinion that this man lost his soul, because he did not follow Jesus’ advice. Some might argue that this is only a counsel and not a command. However, consider Who is asking. Jesus asked several others to “come follow Me.” What was their response? They left everything at once and followed.

Now the question we must ask our own self: “What is yet wanting to me?” What am I holding back, that Almighty God wants from me? Lent is a good time to ask this question, listen to the answer, and then do what God wants us to do. This is no time to hold anything back, but to give our all to Almighty God. To do otherwise may be an eternal fire hazard.

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