My dear friends,
It has been quite a while since I was last able to write to you. In fact, as Michael pointed out, 445 days since my last lesson in this series. Time truly does fly, maybe too fast, but much of it is still quite a blur to me. As many of you already know, I have been quite ill. Yet the nature of the illness and the necessary rest to recover has given me much time to reflect, meditate, and contemplate God, and our most precious faith.
I think that most of us have no idea how we would react if we were no longer able to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sunday and Holy days, to be with our fellow parishioners to say the Rosary, and other Devotions that inspire us, and keep us moving forward toward our heavenly home.
Just as we had moved into our new home which God has provided for us, He thought it better that I spend the better part of the month of February and into March lying in a hospital bed, with my roommate. You know, I have no idea, no memory of how I managed to wind up in the hospital, except that I had fallen in our bedroom and couldn't get up. The first time paramedics came to the home and spirited me away, and apparently enroute to the hospital (one that originally was staffed by the Sisters of Mercy, but now there are no true nuns on staff nor true priests, though some very questionable phony "priests" whom I had a few run-ins with while there).
According to "rumors" (I say that because to this day I still have not been given the full story) I went into complete pulmonary arrest, suffered a heart attack, and while in emergency, the doctors discovered bacterial pneumonia. I still resist that diagnosis. I've had pneumonia fifty-nine times in my sixty-three and a half years. You'd think I'd have shown some symptoms of pneumonia, but there weren't any. I simply fell and couldn't get up and felt dizzy, really dizzy and light-headed.
My time in the hospital, my time adjusting to a whole new group of dedicated people who work for a non-profit organization called PACE (Providing All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) to which I now belong, and the long hours of recovery at home made me question my faith and trust in God's providence for me. After all, I have been medically dead four times, and God has sent me back all four times because He has more that He wishes me to do for Him. What exactly that mission is I'm still discerning through prayer.
For that I know is one goal He has in mind: the continued prayers, sacrifices, and sufferings, penances that both my husband and I do in total faith that before God would call our sons home, they might be granted the grace of miraculous conversion to the One True Faith. That is one reason this letter to you comes on the feast of dear Saint Monica, the persevering, loving mother of St. Augustine. For forty-plus years she prayed for Augustine's conversion, and before her death God was so merciful as to grant Augustine that miraculous conversion to the true faith.
I wonder if the situation in the world was far different in St. Monica's time, as compared to ours. Do we dare compare? I don't think we can or should compare. However, I am firmly convinced that there is so much apathy in our Traditional Movement, that one would be hard pressed to bring their conciliar Catholic neighbor to church for Sunday Mass, and expect a glowing light to surround the Novus Ordite in such a manner that he would convert on the spot.
From my observations over the years, I fear there are just too many naysayers in the Traditional Movement to foster any kind of conversion through evangelization. Think about it. When was the last time your priest said from the pulpit that we are to go out into the highways and byways of this world and preach the gospel? I would hazard a guess that even very few true priests have said anything like that in more years than we'd care to enunciate here.
But God has wanted me to really ponder on this apathy, for it has been His will that even before suffering reportedly two heart attacks, two pulmonary arrests, and continued bacterial pneumonia, I have been unable to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for nearly a year, and it isn't looking very rosy at the moment that I'll be able to return any time soon. One reason is because I am not allowed now to be around others, who might rekindle the pneumonia. And my back, or rather my spine which, as Michael has relayed to you is indeed disintegrating, will not permit me to sit for more than five, maybe ten minutes, before the pain reaches the enth degree, and I have to lie down. The last I checked they don't furnish couches at Mass. Nor should they, despite the fact the church of Vatican II has stripped the churches of reverence and leaned more towards comfort. If God wanted us to be "comfortable" do you think He would have sent His only-begotten Son to suffer and die for us?
St. Monica was not comfortable in seeing how her son had turned his back on God for so many years; especially when Augustine opted for comfort over the sterile lifestyle Monica lived in making reparation for her son and the sins of so many who were blinded by the lures of the world, the flesh and the devil. But she persevered, and, God willing, so will I.
Trust me when I say this: You never know what treasure you possess until you are separated from it by God's Will. Ah, the words of the psalms ring in my soul, for it longs for the courts of my Lord. I gaze upon Him, upon His Most Sacred Heart, and upon the Blessed Virgin Mary's Immaculate Heart, and I realize each day how much being bed-bound hurts! I cannot be at Mass. I must wait for a favorable time and day when our Pastor can come and hear my confession and give me Holy Communion.
Yet that is a privilege many do not have since they do not have access to a traditional chapel, let alone a true priest. This especially is crucial when I think of how many do not have a true priest to administer the Last Sacraments.
After the second stay in the hospital, which ran into the first few days of March, my doctor at PACE told me that I could keel over at any second, and when I did, I'd wind up with a tube down my throat in ICU for the rest of my life. So, my beloved husband had our Pastor Father James McGilloway, CMRI come to give me Extreme Unction and Holy Viaticum. A great peace descended upon me at that time, but rather than alleviating my longing to possess God, it only intensified it, and it has made all these days that much harder, for I truly love my faith, and ask Our Mother of Perpetual Help to never suffer me to lose my God!
I understand better the loss felt by so many out there who do not have the benefits of a true priest and the Traditional Latin Mass, not to mention the true Sacraments available to them. I think of Japan where for four hundred years the Faith was kept alive even though they had no access to a priest or the sacraments. What faith! What grace despite the lack of the conveying vehicles for Sanctifying Grace. That is one reason Michael has gone to the time and expense to post the Propers for each Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for each and every day of the Liturgical Year so that, even without being able to assist at Holy Mass, every one can still pray the Mass and receive the appropriate graces for that "in this time of Epikeia when the true Church is in eclipse and so few true Masses available, when we pray the Mass prayers and make a spiritual act of Communion at home, graces are also received and placed in a 'silver chalice', as it were, which, of course, is not as valuable as the gold one, yet is efficacious when the time comes to make an accounting for our lives."
Not being able to assist at Holy Mass through no fault of anyone's, and whether I'm bed-bound or not, I will what God wills for me. I want to shout from the rooftops that we have a sworn duty, a vow so to speak, to evangelize no matter the cost to us. We have been chosen by Almighty God to live at this time. Will we be satisfied that we have the True Faith and think ,'well, it's too late to convert anyone in the Novus Ordo church or any other Christian faith, much less the Muslims and other oriental faiths'? Did our saintly forefathers think it was beyond accomplishment to convert even the most hardened sinner? St. Monica didn't. I don't. And I hope you don't either. We must evangelize through whatever means we have, for if we take no action at all, we shall have to answer to Our Just Judge who will come again, and when He does, will there be any one of faith on earth? The ways things are shaping up, I do wonder if there will be even one soul left who possesses the One True Faith.
As I lay in my bed, my Rosary beads moving through my fingers, waiting for that moment when the Holy Ghost will speak through me when I write to you, all I can see are the faces of those caught in the Great Apostasy, that helpless look, that pleading look of "As least you could've warned me, said something to me that would sink in about the Great Apostasy. Now I am lost, yet you are found."
Each one of us is capable of accomplishing the most astonishing things, but we do not because our faith is weak, our trust insufficient, and our love for and of God a shallow affair. How can we overcome this deficiency in ourselves? First we must pray for the graces to mortify our senses, to bring our soul to the forefront, and our mortal desires, wants, and needs, go on the back burner. No, we do not tempt God. Rather, God challenges us to stand up and speak out, to be beaten and scourged by our very neighbors, so that when the moment comes when He bids us come to Him, He will not ask us if we tried. He will know we did, and because we did try, He will do the rest. Then we can rest.
My dear friends, before my back goes out permanently, may I ask a particular favor? Oh, I know Michael and I have asked for help before, but this time I am asking. Not everything was covered medically when I was hospitalized, which was then followed by two consecutive urinary tract infections, and the coup d'état being the physical therapy which I did, and which put me in the worst shape I've been in years.
Yes, I am asking you to help us financially at this most difficult time. I know it sounds like a broken record. That happens when we are totally dependant on donations to continue this apostolate and live. We desperately need donations, and, oh, I would hope not from those same wonderful few benefactors who always seem to be the only ones responding. I ask God "Where are all those others who come to the DailyCatholic every day, and pray and study the Faith? Can you not recall the widow's mite?
Believe me when I tell you that when those others who have not given their widow's mite, do give it, then together with God's grace, we shall accomplish miracles for His Honor and Glory, and for the Restoration of Holy Mother Church. We never ask for our wants, only our true needs, and we truly need each and every one of you to heed this plea. I cannot find stronger words to move your hearts, yet in the intellect of my soul I know God is waiting for each of us to "try", and in trying, His Will be done, never our own.
I know times are tight, oh, do I. Besides those few who continue to pledge according to their means at Carrying on the Apostolic Mission...In Their Footsteps, consider if those, who who come to this site and only have a widow's mite to give, if you will. What if they could pledge a dollar for the number of each month. The total for the year would be only $78. Who cannot afford that? Calculate it this way: This is the fifth month in the year, therefore for May donate $5. and then $6. in June, $7. in July and so on and at the beginning of the year $1. in January, $2. in February through December when the donation would be $12. Surely that would be affordable if each person truly responded in kind. We would be able to sustain on the volume and not have to keep asking, not have to rely on those few who give while the rest of the readers seem to think we can live on bread alone.
How does this all tie in with St. Monica you might ask. Because like so many mothers since right up to the present, a mother sacrifices all for the spiritual welfare of their children. They look not for comfort of things to make them rich, yet, like St. Monica they "wrestle with God" for the souls of their own flesh and blood. I am so blessed to have Michael as my loving spouse for 31 years as of next week May 10 and doubly blessed that we see eye-to-eye on all things spiritual. Many do not have that and suffer their own specific crosses because of their spouses or family members are not on the same supernatural wavelength. St. Monica struggled for the conversion of her husband Patritius before he died and she remained a widow all her life, forsaking worldly wealth for spiritual wealth.
I know there are many in the Traditional Movement who cannot share the spiritual treasure they have found because their spouse or children refuse to accompany them to Mass either because of their own apathy or because they look upon the faithful one as "schismatic" because that person seemingly has turned his or her back on what their spouse or children think is the "Catholic" Church. We know from the truths of the true Catholic Church that the modern church of Vatican II cannot possibly be Catholic.
Now, like St. Monica, we must convince them of their error. But it takes two things in this day and age when the world, the flesh and the devil have such a hold on mankind, especially the leaders of tomorrow - our youth. Those two things are prayer and funds to evangelize. To do both, one needs to live. To live, one needs to be able to afford the basic necessities. As I have relayed many times, Michael and I have taken the Vow of Poverty back in 1991 and we have kept that vow, living within our means at all times and getting by on as little as possible. With this apostolate of SANCTUS/DailyCatholic it takes funds to keep it going and so few seem to realize this is a non-profit business with the emphasis on non-profit because there is no financial profit in spreading the word of God. Any prophet can tell you that and has for "the laborer is worthy of his hire" (Luke X: 7).
I would hope it will not take a prophet to tell you that you have a duty, a responsibility to help if you truly believe that the souls of Catholics and non-Catholics are in jeopardy and they are indeed. Our lay ministry has realized that and thrown all our efforts into doing everything we can humanly do to reaching souls so confused and blinded. Humanly I cannot do what I once was able to do and Michael's attention has largely been focused on me during this past year as any loyal husband would do in taking care of his wife. Michael may have many faults, as do we all, but he is a saint in devoting time and energy to my needs and I know God will reward him when he is called home. Until then, he needs help for the worry of where funds will come in order to continue this apostolate now going on 23 years and providing for his family weigh heavily on him and I can see the concern in his features over my deteriorating state. We both accept it, but it is not easy for either of us. Only that we accept whatever is God's holy Will.
Many do not realize St. Monica, as the Catholic Encyclopedia relates, "was able to exercise a veritable apostolate amongst the wives and mothers of her native town; they knew that she suffered as they did, and her words and example had a proportionate effect" to the point where a holy bishop consoled her with the assurance, "the child of those tears shall never perish." That is our hope and constant prayers for our sons and for the children, spouses and relatives of all our readers and the rest of God's children. But we cannot reach them to be His instruments if we do not have you as His instrument to aid us in our quest by donating for the sake of saving souls. Yes, you have a responsibility before God to help. I'm not too proud to beg. Won't you help, please.
Please help this apostolate, and I assure all of you that I hold you in my humble prayers. Now let's all pray to St. Monica for perseverance. It worked for St. Augustine. I guarantee it will work for you and your loved ones if you give it your all. That's all God asks of you to do, only to try. He'll do the rest.
2750 Wheatstone #111
San Diego, CA 92111
University of Virtue
Friday, May 4, 2012
Volume 23, no. 125