Our Blessed Mother and the Return to Holiness |
by Cornelia R. Ferreira
Reprinted with permission of Catholic Family News, see Editor's Notes below.
St. John, in the opening lines of his Gospel, says this of the Word of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity: "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." [John 1: 4-5] The Church advances two meanings regarding the life and the light. The first is that Jesus gives life to creatures, and a rational soul and understanding - i.e., light - to all men. The second is that Jesus is also the author of grace, the spiritual life of our souls, that gives light to those who belong to His Church, the Catholic Church. There are also two reasons for men to be in darkness. The first is that the light of reason was given to bring them to the knowledge of God by the visible effects of His Providence in the world, but blinded by their sins and passions, they do not attend to the light of reason; they do not comprehend. The second type of darkness is that experienced by obstinate sinners who willfully shut their eyes to the lights of grace. 
We cannot attain holiness - perfection - if we are in the dark; and so it's this second type of darkness which I wish to address, a darkness afflicting obstinate sinners, including Catholics. It's a darkness brought about today through practices that involve the denial of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. If you reject Jesus, He withdraws His light, and you are plunged into a darkness that leads first to the worship of creatures, next to perverse sexual practices, and finally to all manner of immorality and crime. St. Paul, in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, graphically describes this sequence of events. Looking around our parishes, it's impossible to deny that vast numbers of Catholics are on the path of darkness. The crisis is so widespread that I believe we can apply John 1: 11 to many Catholics, although it originally described most Jews of Jesus' time: "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." Various prophecies seem to point to our times and give the solution for restoring the light. That solution is our Blessed Mother Mary.
Heaven itself has tied today's darkness to loss of Faith in the Blessed Sacrament and to the liturgical abuse which has followed in its wake. In 1634, in an apparition that has been approved by the Church, Our Lady of Good Fortune or Good Success appeared to a
holy nun in Quito, Ecuador, who was attempting to light the sanctuary lamp that had just gone out in the chapel. Our Lady gave several meanings for the extinguishing of the light, which obviously happened by Divine Providence; I will quote only Her words that concern our topic.
Our Lady said that one meaning was that "at the end of the 19th Century and for a large part of the 20th, various heresies will flourish on this earth . . . The precious light of the Faith will go out in souls because of the almost total moral corruption . . . To escape from being enslaved by these heresies will call for great strength of will, constancy, courage and great trust in God . . . there will come moments when everything seems lost and paralyzed, and just then comes the happy beginning of the complete restoration."
"Priests," she predicted, "will abandon their sacred duties and will depart from the path marked out for them by God. Then the Church will go through a dark night . . . and numbers of priests will lose the spirit of God . . ." Remember, Our Lady of Good Fortune specifically described the 20th Century, which has just ended - without any sign yet of "the complete restoration."
But to hasten this happy event, She recommended constant prayer to Our Father in Heaven "to put an end to such fatal times." And He will, by sending "a Prelate" who will restore the Church. Amongst the things this Prelate will do and this is very significant - "He will hold in his hand the scales of the sanctuary for everything to be done in an orderly fashion for God to be glorified."  Scales are a symbol of justice; Our Lady thus seemed to imply that a contributing factor for the darkness would be that God would not be worshiped properly in His own house - in the very sanctuary! It is the highest injustice not to give God the honor and glory due to Him.
We get further warning of trouble in the sanctuary from the appearances of the Guardian Angel of Portugal to the three children of Fatima. The Angel taught the children two prayers to be said whilst kneeling with their foreheads touching the ground. The first prayer was, "My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for all who do not believe, do not
adore, do not hope and do not love You." The second prayer ties right in with the prophecy of Our Lady of Good Fortune regarding the sanctuary and connects it to the heresies concerning the Holy Eucharist.
The Angel appeared, holding a chalice with the Host suspended above it, from which some drops of blood fell into the chalice. Leaving the chalice suspended in the air, the Angel taught this prayer: "Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners."
Then the Angel gave the Sacred Host to Lucy and shared the Blood from the chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying, "Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God." 
The chief points made by the Angel are:
Jesus is physically present, in both His human and Divine natures, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, under the appearances of bread and wine after the Consecration at Mass and in the consecrated hosts reserved in every tabernacle.
There is great indifference towards Jesus, and terrible sacrileges are being committed against Him in Holy Communion and in the tabernacle.
The sins are so horrible that God had to send an Angel to teach us how to make reparation. [Later on, He would even send His Mother to Fatima to further instruct us.]
A Colossal Indifference
There is no doubt that we are living through the times that have been prophesied. Let's consider just a few outrages taking place in most churches; it's impossible to list them all in this article.
First let's see what resulted from the removal of the tabernacle from its place of honor in the center of the sanctuary. The tabernacle atop what was usually an imposing marble altar was the focal point for our eyes, our minds and our hearts. It was at the center of every act of worship, whether individual or communal. You couldn't forget that Jesus was reposing within it, and every Catholic was taught how to pay Him homage and reverence. From childhood, we learnt how to behave in Church, in the presence of God Himself - genuflections; kneeling; silence; bowed head; an attitude or recollection, awe and respect; decent dress; covered heads for women: We were encouraged, if passing a church, to drop in and pay Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament a visit; if unable to drop in, we at least made the Sign of the Cross, or men would tip their hat. Even these small acts acknowledged that the church was the house of God in which He was actually present; it wasn't just a meeting place, as in Protestantism.
Removing the tabernacle from its central place of honor inevitably led to the loss of the sense of the sacred. Our eyes, minds and hearts no longer were able to focus on Him. The center of the church has always been the sanctuary, and with Jesus banished from the center, He automatically suffered a loss of prestige. Is it a coincidence that once the tabernacle was moved aside, children were no longer taught how to behave in church, decent dress and covered heads for women disappeared, and so did genuflection, silence, recollection and awe? The focal point of worship became the "community" and those community members flitting around the sanctuary; the church became a noisy meeting place, and eventually, a theater featuring blasphemous liturgies and profane music, drama and dance as part of the liturgical entertainment.
With Jesus no longer the focus of worship, out went Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction, the Forty Hours devotion, perpetual adoration, Corpus Christi processions, and so on. Jesus became the object of a colossal indifference. Visits to the Blessed Sacrament were no longer promoted, thus ensuring the loss of many graces and lights. Closed churches discouraged visits and gave a whole new generation the impression that the church is only a place for communal worship or get-togethers. So dead is the belief that it's the house of God actually present, that pagan and false worship are now allowed in Catholic churches.
What a height of sacrilege and abomination, for the house of God to be used as a temple of idolatry! Even if Jesus is removed from the tabernacle in the corner and placed elsewhere during these ceremonies, it's still an outrage. And if He's not removed, there are no words to describe the crime committed against His Divine Majesty!
Many good people have been led to believe that they have to have a "ministry" in order to serve the Church. They truly believe they are helping remedy a priest shortage or at least taking some of the load off the pastor. Unfortunately, no matter how altruistic their motives, they are what Lenin would term "useful idiots," as they are helping the modernist agenda of using a plethora of lay ministries to destroy the ordained priesthood - and the very identity of the Church herself.
Now let's see what was the general effect of replacing the altar with a table, and turning the priest around to face the people. Immediately one lost the sense of sacrifice. The very terminology changed to reflect the fact that the Mass was to be considered mostly a communal meal. How often do you see the words "Holy Sacrifice of the Mass" in church bulletins? The Mass is now called the Eucharist, or more generically, the Liturgy.The priest, the ordained minister of God, with the authority to administer Sacraments and offer the unbloody sacrifice of the Cross, became the presider, the chairman of a meeting. The tabernacle was replaced with the presider's chair, and statues with felt banners and tropical plants.
An article in the newsletter Eucharistic Minister, published by the very liberal National Catholic Reporter, talks about focusIng on worshiping God, by, amongst other things, "concentrating on the sanctuary." The author says, "The symbols there . . . have messages which are meant to bring me to the heart of Jesus. They have been placed there for the express purpose of aiding me in worship."  But the greatest aid to worship and the focus of worship has been removed! Can banners and plants substitute for the Real Presence of Jesus?
1. Cf. explanation in Haydock's Catholic Family Bible and Commentary (New York: Edward Dun and Brother, 1859; reprint ed. Monrovia, CatholicTreasures, 1991).
2. "Apparition of Our Lady of Good Fortune in Quito, Ecuador, 1634," Catholic Family News, October 1998, p. 3.
3. Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, ed. Fr . Louis Kondor, SVD, trans. Dominican Nuns of Perpetual Rosary, with an Introduction by Dr. Joaquin M. Alonso, CMF (Fatima: Postulation Center, 1976), pp. 62, 64-65. Of the two editions with the same publication date, the one used herein is the book without photographs.
Next Issue: Installment Two.
EDITOR'S NOTES: We have received the gracious permission of John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News to reprint various articles that have appeared in his publication that would be of interest to our readers. We urge you to subscribe to John's excellent monthly publication for only $20 a year by calling 1-905-871-6292 or e-mail them at CFN.
December 3-9, 2001
volume 12, no. 159
THE SANITY OF SANCTITY