From the Heavenly realm we bring you today a live and lively, inspirational and thought-provoking round-table panel of some of the Church's great saints. They are just about to begin, let's join them.
Saint Joseph: Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I welcome you to this first charitable discussion. I am grateful that you have come here out of the Fulcrum of Love which is the Beatific Vision. Joining me today are our guests :
We are convened to assist the struggling Church Militant in this time of crisis that has passed from the 20th century into the 21st century as man counts time.
In our inaugural discussion we are privileged to have with us the esteemed Saint Boniface, known to all as the "Apostle of Germany" in bringing the True Faith to northern Europe. He showed his undying love for Our Lord and His Church by offering his own life in martyrdom in 754.
Saint Birgetta of Sweden, also known as St. Bridget, who received visions and prophecies in the 14th century concerning the clerical state and the need for the Pope to return to Rome from Avignon. She also received 21 promises from Our Lord contained today in the Pieta booklet, 15 revealed by Our Lord in the church of St. Paul at Rome. They received universal approval by Blessed Pius IX.
- And Saint Gregory VII, the 157th successor of Peter who, as the holy monk Hildebrand, counseled several of the Popes who proceeded him. As Vicar of Christ for twelve years he greatly reformed the clergy in Europe at the expense of making enemies of those who were not resigned to the will of God.
Saint Gregory VII: Dear Joseph, I must come, for the Church Militant is very much the concern of all the hosts of Heaven. I am humbled to be considered for such an informal discussion.
Saint Birgetta of Sweden: Blessed Foster-Father of the Son of God, I, too come in humility. It is wonderful to work beside you, your Holiness, and the dauntless Apostle of Germany. Much of what you sowed, dear Boniface, sustained me during my time on earth.
Saint Boniface: He alone raises up those whom He chooses to carry out a specific mission. Only through the merits of the Son are we able to provide the wisdom He infused into us during our time on the earth. Now we seek, through intercession, to impart wisdom to the precious souls in this time of crisis in the Church Militant! Joseph, I might add that all of us are edified by the spotless example you set for all ages as the Foster-Father of the Divine Son of God.
St. Joseph: Not one of the saints has entered into Eternal Life with Him without His grace and strength. To the Triune Divinity alone is due all praise and thanksgiving.
All: Amen. Te Deum.
St. Gregory: We cannot forget that it takes the human will to be in total union with the Divine Will. The graces merited could not have been gained were it not through your fiat Joseph, your willingness to suffer and die for the Faith, Boniface, and your unselfishness, Bridget. May I call you Bridget?
St. Bridget: Please do. Most call me that as well. The Church Militant has become accustomed to that name especially through the prayers I received from Him for the salvation of souls. .
St. Gregory: Those wonderful prayers and promises of Our Savior have helped countless souls. It would seem to me that they are ever more necessary today. Yet, even beyond the prayers and promises, Bridget, you set an excellent example for those tortured souls today who are afraid to give up the worldly riches they have accumulated. After all, you were not afraid to denounce many in royalty for their frivolous, I dare say it, sinful lives.
St. Boniface: Yes, she also sought truth above all else. Consider the revelations she received. Many today are receiving signs from Heaven but are afraid to act on them, afraid of their own convictions.
St. Joseph: You bring up a point that I should like us to speak to: God has been giving mankind signs and wonders beyond any other age. Yet, these signs and wonders frighten and anger many of my foster-Son's shepherds. In their state of fright and anger they have contributed greatly to the discouragement of the faithful, and have in many cases denied any devotion to my Divine Foster-Son, to His Most Blessed Mother Mary, or to any of the saints. Why do you think these shepherds seek to discourage such loving and merciful interventions from Heaven? This has deterred many of His little ones from carrying out their appointed missions. My beloved chaste spouse Mary has done all she can to awaken their hearts.
St. Boniface: These signs are so easily recognizable. Perhaps the little ones to whom messages are given and through whom miracles are worked are so imbued with the idea of obedience - something that has been taught rightly for so long-- that their misguided shepherds
are afraid they will have to re-think their own responsibilities before the Lord? Perhaps they seek, rather, to deny the miraculous for the sake of temporal works and riches?
St. Gregory: You speak wisely, Boniface. I know too the pride that can swell up in the heart and mind of one elevated in the ecclesial ranks, particularly if he is not rooted in humility, in total dedication to the Divine Will. God chooses to whom He shall speak in an extraordinary way, and through whom He shall deliver His signs. There could easily be jealousy hidden in the hearts of these prelates, for it is always to the "little" ones that God speaks.
St. Joseph: Because, Gregory, one must be as a little child to enter the Kingdom of God, and many foolishly believe that this means acting like a child, rather than being as a little child. Does this not fit into the subject we are here to discuss today-Why is the True Faith faltering when God gives to the faithful signs and wonders every day? Is it because the shepherds are not attuned, deliberately or not, to the Divine Will?
St. Bridget: These are true words, Joseph. They are true in any and every age. It was no different in my own time on earth. How much more the faithful suffer in these times when there is a disobedience between shepherds and the Vicar of Christ, when communications are global, and in that global connection, the Truth is lost through ambiguity, distrust, envy, jealousy, and above all fear. I can appreciate the frustration of the laity when the Divine Will does not govern even those of such high office. With great trepidation not a few times I - a mere widow - was called on by Heavenly locution to reprimand prelate and, I dare say, even Pope. The grace of God sustained me, but it did not make the task easier, only possible!
St. Gregory: Bridget, you speak to my own experience. Even today the saints Our Lord has raised up to help His faithful find the same distrust, envy, jealousy, and fear of the very shepherds to whom they must turn for support. It would have been so easy for me to feel superior as the 157th successor to Saint Peter. Being elevated to the Chair of Peter is an august responsibility. Yet, in my formative years I was trained in the monastic traditions, and this training served me well all of my life. Monasticism trained me in humility of heart. Without such a grace I fear I too could have succumbed to the temptations of power. Few realize the evil one targets those who are given the greatest responsibilities and it takes all virtue to resist. This is another point, Joseph, to the subject you have brought forth: Why do the faithful, even all mankind, fail to see the signs of the times?
St. Joseph: Hildebrand, you speak the truth regarding humility of heart, which is sorely lacking in this evolving 'global society' that is taking place on earth. Perhaps the shepherds have not taken to hear that which Saint Luke recorded in his Gospel regarding my Divine foster-Son's words: "But of everyone to whom much as been given, much will be required; and of him to whom they have entrusted much, they will demand the more."
St. Boniface: These words shine in the Heavenly Realm, Joseph. Luke 12: 48. St. Luke was one of the earliest converts and his work has continued to help the faithful throughout the ages.
St. Joseph: Boniface, how dear to your heart is conversion. Once he was converted, Luke learned much from my beloved chaste and Most Pure Spouse-the Blessed Mother-- after Jesus ascended into Heaven. The signs and wonders for all time are recorded in the Bible, yet few grasp them, fewer still see them as viable for their own day and age. Yet, God grants even more signs…and still the shepherds are blind, and the majority of the faithful do not respond to the message or the sign, but seek only the messenger! These people have forgotten their roots in the One True Faith, have they not? Tell us, Boniface, how did the people you were called to convert respond to the Gospel? Were there not signs and wonders manifested in your own age?
St. Boniface: Yes, of course there were, Joseph. When I was commissioned by one of Gregory VII's predecessors, Gregory II, the Holy Spirit invaded and possessed my soul, my intellect, and assisted me at all times in the work of my conversion among those who now reside in the countries of Germany and Austria. The task was not easy, but I saw only the salvation of souls. I was ready to die for the sake of the One True Faith. Sadly today, even with the many signs and wonders of God, even with the apparitions of Our Heavenly Queen, many still remain stubborn and unmoved by grace, afraid perhaps, even lukewarm in their commitment.
St. Joseph: It is not that the graces needed are lacking. It is, I think, that mankind has closed off their heart to the summons of God to return to Him, to return to the One True Faith? Would you agree with that, Gregory?
St. Gregory: Definitely. Has not the Queen of Heaven and of Earth told locutionists and visionaries around the world that this is the age of the hardened heart? When one's heart is closed, then the signs of the times are lost on the people, are lost on the very shepherds who must never place their own temporal power over the Almighty power of God to come to the aid of His children. .
St. Joseph: Why, Bridget, do you think they are so stubborn in resisting the aid from Heaven?
St. Bridget: Stubbornness is a mask for pride, and of fear, my dear Joseph. I met it at every step of the way after my conversion up to my death. However, Gregory, you also knew stubbornness. Please tell us of your own experiences with this human frailty which is also sin.
St. Gregory: As Vicar of Christ I saw plainly the stubbornness of many tribes and races. During my own earthly pilgrimage I constantly had to battle against this vice of stubbornness, yet through the efforts of Boniface, I had less trouble than I might have had, had he not converted those areas where Gregory II sent him. Isn't that right, Boniface?
St. Boniface: I truly know now how greatly the Holy Spirit aided Gregory II and myself as I set out on my mission of conversion. In fact, the very stubbornness of the peoples proved to be of tremendous value once their hearts were opened. The Teutonic tribes are a good example of resistance and stubbornness. I daresay many in my own time thought I had lost my marbles when I struck down the pagan tree of the Oak of Thor. It was a visible sign that the One True God Whom I preached was really TRUE, as opposed to the false gods they had worshipped over the centuries. One of the strengths of the Franks was their conviction once they had realized the Truth. Yet their stubbornness seems to have gotten the better of them again today.
St. Joseph: Bridget, speak to us a moment about diligence and clarity of heart and soul which can help so many in these crucial times. These were certainly gifts He bestowed upon you. .
St. Bridget: Undoubtedly this human stubbornness is born of pride, even if it hides beneath fear. Many are the shepherds today who believe they possess clarity of heart and soul, when it is a false clarity they possess in the finite human intellect alone. Also there is the failure - for the majority of the faithful - to respond to the signs and wonders God gives. Part of this is the superstitious bent many in the hierarchy give to signs and wonders. Yet, many do not hesitate to promote ideas that contradict Cathoic doctrine. This confuses so many. Then there is the problem of educating the faithful. There is such an unfortunate lack of vigilance of His shepherds today. They fail to realize the Faith is not taught by osmosis.
St. Gregory: They fail to realize how easily lucifer can twist and color the truth until ambiguities overshadow the absolutes of the Faith. I fear that the 21st Ecumenical Council placed more emphasis on the ecumenical and not enough on the counsel, if you will pardon the play on words.
St. Boniface: Gregory, as Vicar of Christ, Holy Mother Church was blessed by the 27 propositions of Dictatus papae regarding the personal sanctity of a sovereign Pontiff as inherited from Peter and his right to rule over temporal and spiritual powers, even to the point of deposing those who were not in union with God's Holy Will. This was of vital nourishment to the entire Catholic Church.
St. Joseph: Do you feel these propositions, in large part, are still vital to the Holy Catholic Church of this 21st century, Bridget? Or, as many believe, these very norms from Heaven have changed, favoring now a plurality of rites that compromise the ABSOLUTES of the One True Faith?
St. Bridget: Yes, I do. The Holy Roman Empire has ceased in its temporal holdings in one way, but has gained such temporal holdings in their financial institutions. The important thing to understand is that without such clear definitions as laid down by holy pontiffs, it would have been very difficult, indeed, for me to have carried out the mission Our Lord intrusted to me when I was asked by Heaven to persuade Pope Clement VI of God's command that he return the center of the Papacy to Rome. Ah, the Papacy. I dare say it may be on shaky ground these days.
St. Gregory: A sticky wicket, as the saying goes among modern men, yes? I can see where the similarities of Henry IV and Philip the Fair did come into play. Henry was a thorn for awhile. It was necessary to excommunicate him, but, thanks to the prayers of so many of my devoted sheep and God's graces, Henry returned to the fold at Canossa. At the time he was truly repentant. Now Philip, he was a different story! Boniface VIII had a devil of a time with him and I can appreciate your frustrations, Bridget, with the Popes of Avignon who were influenced by the French monarchy and resisted God's Heavenly-sent servant, yourself. Certainly a time of turmoil for Holy Mother Church. It is no different today, is it, Bridget?
St. Bridget: Sadly, no. The Popes of recent times have compromised absolutes for the sake of acceptance by those who refused to accept all the teachings and disciplines of Holy Mother Church. These other 'churches' were in apostasy and heresy. Now, despite the signs and wonders of Heaven, Holy Mother Church seems to abandon Our Lord's Truth in favor of a human sign - fraternity and brotherhood in one 'communion'.
St. Joseph: Boniface, this must be a real mystical sadness to you to see the people of that area where you worked so hard to convert, now in revolt. So many fail to see the signs that God gives them, showing them that their path is the one to perdition. .
St. Boniface: Yes, I see the revolt. It came flowing into the Second Vatican Council II. From the Rhine to the Tiber, so to speak. This revolt was long in the planning, and remains hardened even now to the Truth. Yet, I fly swiftly to the side of the shepherds of these areas I worked so hard to convert. I pray for them ceaselessly. There are those, thankfully, though few in number, who have remained true to what His Holy Church has always taught. But there are sadly so many who have listened instead to the false sirens of proud theologians, even priests and prelates who are leading them and many others around the finite earth toward the same human errors that troubled the people I sought to convert many centuries ago. It pains me mystically that so much has been discarded, that so many Doctors of the Church have not been followed in their teachings both in spirit and in letter.
St. Bridget: One of those Doctors is of course is dear Saint Catherine of Siena. How good is God to have brought her to the forefront immediately after my mission on earth was complete. She obeyed God and continued His cause for His Holy Church.
St. Joseph: Her persistence, and yours as well, Bridget, must be emulated by the faithful today. These are only some of the signs and wonders the Lord gives His people today; gives to His Shepherds who have gone astray. We have barely touched on this subject, I know. I would like to continue this excellent discussion and we have all eternity to do so. However, the time constraints of our finite readers limit this discussion for now. We will take up this subject, and many others when next we converse. All for the honor and glory of Christ the King that his kingdom may be established on earth and that Mary's Queenship may triumph.
All: Deo Gratias.
St. Joseph: Thank you dear readers, for joining us in this celestial panel. Come, join us in the next issue. Until then, may the peace of Christ be always with you.