Our Lady of Lourdes, Saint Bernadette, and God’s inscrutable ways

Happy feast!

On his day, 11 Feb 1858, the Blessed Virgin made her first appearance to Bernadette in the grotto at Lourdes. Six weeks later, Our Lady would confirm to Bernadette that she was the Immaculate Conception, a fact that had been Dogmatically defined barely three years prior (8 Dec 1854 HERE).

Ah, sweet Bernadette. She was but 14 years old.

Laywoman.

Illiterate.

Dirt poor.

Yet chosen by God to receive this miraculous message and teach it to the world.

Most of the depictions, paintings, statues of this miracle are wrong. The picture I posted above is all wrong. Bernadette was so poor, her family lived in a one-room windowless cellar with a dirt floor. Her first encounter with Our Lady was during a hunt for firewood, trudging through mud, so she would have been wearing not just rags, which is all she owned, but the worst rags she had.

The other illusory image is that of the Blessed Virgin. She actually appeared as a 14 year old, same age as Bernadette, and even shorter than Bernadette’s diminutive 4’7″… which was caused by malnutrition. Mary was appearing at the age when she herself conceived… which aligns with her pronouncement of her own Immaculate Conception on the Feast of the Annunciation, Christ’s conception, which took place at the grotto on 25 March 1858.

When these depictions began appearing even within her own lifetime, especially the statuary, Bernadette was very upset with their inaccuracy. She also despised her celebrity, and once she entered the convent, wanted only to pray and offer penances. She was chronically sick. Mary had promised her suffering in this life, but happiness in the next. Suffering is a tool to attain holiness, and Mary was no stranger to suffering in her own lifetime. These things are meant as examples for us. Bernadette died 16 April 1879, and was raised to the altars on 8 December 1933. Her famous quote, upon reflecting on her own fate while in this world:

“What do you do with a broom when it is done being used? You put it behind a door; and that is what the Virgin has done with me.”

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

“O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counselor?” Romans 11:33-34

Screenshot 2020-02-11 at 08.43.08

“To confound their arrogance, I will raise up women…endowed with strength and divine wisdom.”

Premise A: Of the 36 Doctors of the Church, four are women

Premise B: “Doctor” is Latin for “teacher”

Conclusion with Logical Certainty: Women can be teachers in the Church

Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, Therese of Lisieux, and Hildegard of Bingen were not sinful in daring to teach. They were not gravely in violation of 1 Tim 2:12 in real time, during their lifetimes, only to be exonerated centuries later by a declaration of the Church. Not only were their actions NOT sinful in real time, their actions were eminently meritorious.

Now, as Doctors of the Church, their teachings are literally part of the Magisterium.

It’s helpful if we take a look at some of the words used to describe the lives and works of these women. For today, I will limit myself to two. Let’s start with Saint Hildegard of Bingen, 12th Century mystic and visionary, named Doctor of the Universal Church on 7 October 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI just five months after her Canonization. Here are the words of Pope Benedict from the proclamation, emphasis mine:

A “light for her people and her time”: in these words Blessed John Paul II, my Venerable Predecessor, described Saint Hildegard of Bingen in 1979, on the occasion of the eight-hundredth anniversary of the death of this German mystic. This great woman truly stands out crystal clear against the horizon of history for her holiness of life and the originality of her teaching. And, as with every authentic human and theological experience, her authority reaches far beyond the confines of a single epoch or society; despite the distance of time and culture, her thought has proven to be of lasting relevance.

One of the salient points of Hildegard’s magisterium was her heartfelt exhortation to a virtuous life addressed to consecrated men and women. Her understanding of the consecrated life is a true “theological metaphysics”, because it is firmly rooted in the theological virtue of faith, which is the source and constant impulse to full commitment in obedience, poverty and chastity…

Hildegard’s eminent doctrine echoes the teaching of the Apostles, the Fathers and writings of her own day, while it finds a constant point of reference in the Rule of Saint Benedict. The monastic liturgy and the interiorization of sacred Scripture are central to her thought which, focusing on the mystery of the Incarnation, is expressed in a profound unity of style and inner content that runs through all her writings.

The teaching of the holy Benedictine nun stands as a beacon… HERE

Teaching, authority, magisterium, eminent doctrine, and praise of her exhortations to consecrated men.

How about that.

Next, let’s turn to Saint Catherine of Siena, 14th Century mystic and healer of schism. Her masterpiece, The Dialogue, is available online HERE.  Much to her dismay, she was called to teach and instruct out in the real world, when all she wanted to do was be alone to contemplate our Lord. Among other things, it was left to her to publicly rebuke a bunch of scheming traitorous Cardinals who had invalidly faux “elected” an antipope after invalidly convoking a faux conclave while the throne was already occupied.

Funny that.

The Life of Catherine of Siena, written by her confessor and spiritual director, Blessed Raymund of Capua, reveals how Catherine discovered that she was to have a teaching role:

The virgin, lying prostrate at the feet of the Lord, had spoken more by way of tears than with her lips, He would reply: “Be quiet, sweetest daughter; it is necessary for you to fulfill your every duty, so that with my grace you may assist others as well as yourself. I have no intention of cutting you off from me; on the contrary, I wish to bind you more closely to myself, by means of love of the neighbour…

What is there to be astonished at or to lament about if I lead you to do what in infancy you desired to do?” And Catherine, somewhat comforted by this reply, would say, as once Blessed Mary had said, “How shall this thing be?” And the Lord: “According as my goodness shall ordain.” And Catherine, like a good disciple imitating her Master, would answer: “Let your will, not mine, be done in all things, Lord, for I am darkness and you are light; I am not, whereas you are He who is; I most ignorant, and you the wisdom of God the Father. But I beg you, O Lord—if it is not too presumptuous of me—how can what you have just said come about; that is to say, how can I, wretched and frail as I am, be of use to souls? My sex, as you know, is against it in many ways, both because it is not highly considered by men, and also because it is not good, for decency’s sake, for a woman to mix with men.”

To these words the Lord would reply, as once the Archangel Gabriel had replied, that nothing is impossible to God, for He said: “Am not I He who created the human race, and divided it into male and female? I spread abroad the grace of my spirit where I will. In my eyes there is neither male nor female, rich nor poor, but all are equal, for I can do all things with equal ease. It is as easy for me to create an Angel as an ant, and to create all the heavens is as easy for me as to create the merest worm. It is written of me that I made whatever I willed to make, for nothing is impossible to me. (Psalm 113). “Do you still remain doubtful? Do you imagine that I am unable to find ways of achieving whatever I have determined and predetermined on? However, I realize that you do not speak thus from lack of faith but from humility. Therefore you must know that in these latter days there has been such an upsurge of pride, especially in the case of men who imagine themselves to be learned or wise, that my justice cannot endure them any longer, without delivering a just chastisement upon them that will bring them to confusion. But since my mercy transcends all else I do, I shall first give them a salutary lesson, to see whether they will come to their senses and humble themselves; as I did with the Jews and the Gentiles, when I sent amongst them idiots whom I had filled with divine wisdom. To confound their arrogance, I will raise up women ignorant and frail by nature but endowed with strength and divine wisdom. Then, if they will come to their senses and humble themselves, I will behave with the utmost mercy towards them, that is to say, towards those who, according to the grace given them, receive my doctrine, offered to them in fragile but specially chosen vessels, and follow it reverently. Those who will not accept this salutary lesson, I shall with perfect justice reduce to such confusion that the world will look upon them as objects of contempt and derision.

The Life of Saint Catherine of Siena, Part Two, Chapter One HERE

By the way, Saint Catherine was a laywoman.

Did I mention that?

Blegging, controlled opposition, and profiting off of the present crisis

Da roof, da roof, da roof is on fire! I suspect that anyone reading this has already noticed the rising wave of indignation sweeping trad social media in recent days, but ICYMI, Dymphna sums it up nicely. Or rather, not so nicely.

Something is happening in Trad land. That’s not a deep thought since something is always happening where there is life but I mean that something new seems to be stirring. People are talking back to the leaders of Trad Inc. and asking questions. Benedict Carter  has come out with his suspicion that the people we’ve been told represent and are the leaders of traditional Catholics are really controlled opposition who do it for the money, honey.

So, forgive me if I am aghast at college credentialed individual who has obvious talent and cleverness who wants me to donate to his cause so his kids can eat. Sir, go get yourself a job, handle the responsibility that God gave you and then come back to me. Finally there is one lay professional Catholic who writes on and on and on some more about stupid and worldly (you and me) people but wants us to send our worldly cash to him/her. I say again, you are by your claim, more righteous than me. You are by your claim, more holy than me. You are, by your claim, more educated and sophisticated than me so why exalted sir or madam do you not get a job and support your rent and food that way and run your site?

I like her.

Read the rest HERE.

Timeless words from God on lying liars

And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people; and God himself with them shall be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away. And he that sat on the throne, said: Behold, I make all things new. And he said to me: Write, for these words are most faithful and true. And he said to me: It is done. I am Alpha and Omega; the beginning and the end. To him that thirsteth, I will give of the fountain of the water of life, freely. He that shall overcome shall possess these things, and I will be his God; and he shall be my son.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, they shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Timidis autem, et incredulis, et execratis, et homicidis, et fornicatoribus, et veneficis, et idolatris, et omnibus mendacibus, pars illorum erit in stagno ardenti igne et sulphure : quod est mors secunda.

Rev. 21:3-8

et omnibus mendacibus

Iowa shenanigans beginagains

What could possibly go wrong? HERE

Shadow, a tech firm that describes itself as a group that creates “a permanent advantage for progressive campaigns and causes through technology,” is the company that created the Iowa Democratic Party’s app, according to The New York Times. At least the COOCEOCTO and a senior product manager at Shadow all worked for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, according to LinkedIn profiles.

Shadow is associated with ACRONYM, a nonprofit dedicated to “advancing progressive causes through innovative communications, advertising and organizing programs.” Early last year, ACRONYM announced that it was acquiring an SMS tool called Groundbase and, out of Groundbase, “launching Shadow, a company focused on building the technology infrastructure needed to enable Democrats to run better, more efficient campaigns.”

Groundbase co-founders Krista Davis, who is the current Shadow CTO, and Gerard Niemira, who is the current Shadow CEO, both held senior positions with the Clinton campaign.

Did you really think they were going to let Bernie win? You remember they openly stole it from him in 2016, right? First they stole Iowa (by 0.40% of the “vote’) and then the nomination. Openly.

This is all going to get very interesting. I am dreading the malfeasance which awaits us in the general.

Happy Trifecta Feast!

The Purification, The Presentation, Candlemass (and NOW is the time to take down your tree)… Falling 40 days after Christmas, this triple feast has been celebrated at least since the Fourth Century.

Theme of the day is the Fruit of the Fourth Joyful Mystery, The Presentation: Obedience, Love of the Law.  To love the law is to love God. God is the law. God is love.

Mary had no need of ritual purification, even under the customs of the time. Her perpetual virginity means, among other things, that she did not have an issue of blood (the normal symbol of uncleanliness), nor even a labor pain, thanks to her being preserved from Original Sin from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception. Indeed, her act of giving birth was entirely miraculous, right down to her internal physiology, which remained that of a virgin, perfectly intact, before, during, and after the birth of Jesus. Yet she went with Joseph to Jerusalem for the ritual, OUT OF OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW. In other words, your Mother wanted to be a good example for you.

Our Lord had no need to be Presented in the Temple. This was the custom for firstborn males to be brought to the Temple as an offering to God, mirroring how the lamb and doves are offered for the purification. Then the parents would offer a “ransom” as part of the ritual, and the child would be “returned” to them. But Jesus already WAS God, so none of this was necessary. Just like He had no need to be Baptized in the Jordan. He did these things or allowed them to be carried out, OUT OF OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW, AS A GOOD EXAMPLE. Think about the paradox of God Himself practicing obedience, humility, submission, for our sake. He loves us that much.

The candles symbolize Jesus as “Light of the World.” He is “Light from Light.” Have you ever thought about that? He was the Light that existed before light, and His Light is meant to shine through us… we are to be “His Light.” Be sure not to hide it under a bushel basket.

OBEDIENCE. HUMILITY. SUBMISSION. You want to know where the path to true freedom starts? Right here. Be a good example for others, as He was for us.

Happy Feast!