The Power of the Divine Mercy Novena

JUDY KEANE

It is available in abundance to everyone if only we would embrace it. It is an endless and unfathomable gift that flows most profusely on the Sunday after Easter. It is the devotion of the Divine Mercy and it offers each of us a wonderful chance to begin anew through the Divine Mercy Chaplet Novena. Begun on Good Friday and completed on Divine Mercy Sunday, this powerful novena offers us a chance to change our lives forever! It is also a powerful way to intercede for our loved ones and the entire world by bringing all before the merciful gaze of Christ.

In 1931, a young Polish nun named Sister Faustina Kowalska, saw a vision of Jesus who, with rays of mercy in the form of blood and water streaming forth from His Heart, told her to paint an image of him and sign it, “Jesus, I Trust in You!” Calling her the Secretary of His mercy, He ordered her to also begin writing a diary so others would come to know of his unfathomable mercy. In a series of revelations that followed from 1931 through 1938, Jesus taught her about His unlimited ocean of mercy available to even the most hardened of sinners, saying “Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet” (Diary 699).

In her Diary, Jesus told Sr. Faustina, “I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fountain of My mercy, that from there they may draw strength and refreshment and whatever grace they need in the hardships of life, and especially at the hour of death” (Diary, 1209). While the Chaplet can be said anytime, the Lord specifically asked that it be recited as a novena, promising that “By this Novena (of Chaplets), I will grant every possible grace to souls” (Diary 796).

During each day of the Novena, which is prayed on Rosary beads, Jesus asked that souls be brought to his merciful heart to be immersed in his “ocean of mercy” for each of the nine days, “On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy … On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for graces for these souls” (Diary 1209). Specific intentions include all mankind, especially sinners; the souls of priests and religious; all devout and faithful souls; those who do not believe in God and those who do not yet know Jesus; the souls who have separated themselves from the Church; meek and humble souls and the souls of little children; the souls who especially venerate and glorify His mercy; souls detained in purgatory; and souls who have become lukewarm. It is interesting to note that Jesus saves the ninth day of the novena for “lukewarm” souls saying, “These souls wound my heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out – ‘Father, take this cup away from me if it be your will.’ For them the last hope of salvation is to flee to My mercy (Diary 1228).

This year’s Divine Mercy Novena is going to be even more meaningful than usual. Two great servants of mercy, Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, will be canonized saints on Divine Mercy Sunday. In 1966, through the diligent efforts of then Karol Cardinal Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), the informative process for beatification of Sr. Faustina was begun. The message of mercy is now being spread throughout the world. On the Second Sunday of Easter of the Jubilee Year 2000, at the Mass for the Canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska, Pope John Paul II proclaimed to the world that “from now on throughout the Church” this Sunday will be called “Divine Mercy Sunday.” In speaking of Divine Mercy Sunday in Faustina’s Diary, Jesus said, “On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy” (Diary 699). Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy” (Diary 965).

It is important to note that there are three places in St. Faustina’s Diary that record promises from our Lord of the extraordinary graces He will make available through the devout reception of Holy Communion on this Feast Day:

- I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy (1109).

- Whoever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (300).

- The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (699).

The powerful Divine Mercy Novena as ordered above by Jesus gives us the tremendous opportunity to begin again – a fresh start of “complete forgiveness of sins and punishment” that may have otherwise have been due to us in life up to that point. So powerful is the Chaplet that Christ said, “Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy” (Diary, 687). Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will” (Diary 1731)

Jesus in his unfathomable mercy gives us this grace to begin anew through his passion and death on the cross where blood and water gushed forth from His heart. This Good Friday then, let us take advantage of this powerful novena while there is still time – for the sake of our souls, the souls of our loved ones and a world deeply and desperately in need of Divine Mercy.

To Download the Divine Mercy Chaplet Novena, please visit: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/novena.htm

 A Late Lenten Meditation on the Reality of Spiritual Warfare

 
By: Msgr. Charles Pope
Every ancient prayer manual and guide to spirituality until about fifty years ago had at least one large section devoted to what was known as Pugna Spiritualis (spiritual battle or spiritual warfare). In more recent decades, many spiritual books have downplayed or completely deleted references to spiritual battle or spiritual warfare.

Sadly, many modern approaches to faith, religion, and spirituality prefer to emphasize exclusively consoling themes rooted in self-esteem, affirmation, etc. To be sure, the authentic faith can and does offer great consolation, but the truest and deepest consolation often comes after one has persevered along the sometimes-difficult path, along the “narrow way” of the cross.

But too many today, in the name of affirmation and pseudo-self-esteem are ready to excuse, and even affirm grave moral disorders, rather than fight them. Grace and mercy are preached, but without reference to the repentance that opens the door to these gifts. Both the possibility of Hell and any consequences of sin, are absent from many modern conceptions of faith and religious practice.

Some years ago, I was approached by a rather angry woman who, having heard my sermon on the seriousness of certain sins (which were in the readings of the day), expressed great indignation that I would preach on such topics. She said, “I come to church to be consoled and have my spirits lifted, not to hear old-fashioned warnings about judgment and sins.” She felt quite a “righteous indignation,” and was most certain that I had transgressed a fundamental norm, namely, that religion exists to console, and that any challenge to one’s moral stance, (except perhaps caring for the poor), is intolerant and way out of line.

Indeed, many today have this kind of attitude: that it is their birthright not to be troubled or vexed in any way by something people might say, especially a preacher who claims to represent God! The “God they worship” would never trouble them. They will have Jesus for their consoler and best friend, but not their Lord, and certainly not their judge. And never mind the literally thousands of verses from Scripture in which Jesus himself speaks sternly and warns of sin, death, judgment, and Hell. They will have none of it, and are certain that “the Jesus they know,” would never raise his voice at them or challenge them even for a moment. Never mind that the real Jesus says to take up our cross and follow him.

With spiritual battle having been removed from many people’s spiritual landscape, the idea that the Lord would summon us to battle, or ask us to choose sides, seems strangely foreign, intolerant, and uncompassionate.

Even more dangerous, these modern conceptions not only distort Jesus, but they downplay the presence and influence of Satan. This is a very, very bad idea. Even if we cease fighting against Satan, he will never ceases his sometimes very subtle attacks on us.

Jesus called consistently for prayerful, sober vigilance against the powers of evil and sin. Like it or not, we are in a battle. Either we will soberly and vigilantly undertake the battle, or we will be conquered and led off like sheep to the slaughter.

Despite what modern spiritual approaches would like to eliminate, Christianity has been a militant religion since its inception. Jesus was exposed to every kind of danger from the beginning. Herod sought his life; Satan tried to tempt him in the desert; many enemies plotted on all sides as he worked his public ministry, misrepresenting him, levying false charges, and conspiring to sentence him to death, and eventually even succeeding though only for a moment.

And as for Jesus, so also for his mystical Body the Church: Saul, Saul why do you persecute me!? (Acts 9:4) Jesus warns us that the world would hate us (Luke 21:17; John 15:20); that in this world we would have tribulation (Jn 16:33), and that we should watch and pray lest we give way to temptation (Matt 26:41). He summons us to persevere to the end if we would be saved (Mk 13:13). Jesus rather vividly described the kind of struggle with which we live when he said From the time of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force (Matthew 11:12). Indeed, no Christian until the time that Jesus returns, can consider himself on leave or dismissed from this great spiritual battle, from this great drama that we exist in, this battle between good and evil.

Popular theme or not, we do well to remember that we are in the midst of a great cosmic and spiritual battle. And in that battle, we must be willing to choose sides and fight with the Lord for the Kingdom of God. Either we will gather with him or we will scatter. We are to fight for our own soul, and the souls of those whom we love.

In the holy week that is about to unfold, we are reminded once again of the great cosmic battle that the Lord waged, and that is still being waged in our time. Though already victorious, in his mystical Body the Church, the Lord in his faithful members still suffers violence, rejection, and ridicule. It is also for us to reclaim territory from the evil one, to take back what the devil stole from us. We are to advance the glory of God’s Kingdom through the fruits of great spiritual struggle, sacrifice, prayer, fasting, preaching, and an extensive missionary campaign to which the Lord has summoned and commissioned us.

The battle is on; the struggle is engaged! To spiritual arms one and all! Fight the good fight for the Lord.

Still not convinced we are at war? Let the Lord pull back the veil just a bit and let you look at what’s really going on. The final words of this article will not be mine; they will be the Lord’s. Here is described the cosmic battle that is responsible for most of the suffering and confusion you experience:

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers who accuses them before our God day and night,has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. (Rev 12)

Because this clip can never, ever be posted too much, here is Larry Grathwohl, the man who infiltrated the Weather Underground, outlining Bill Ayers’ and Bernadine Dohrn’s plan for balkanizing the former U.S. territory after overthowing and collapsing the Republic, and delegating administration of the quadrants of the landmass to Russia, China, Cuba and Vietnam. Since Cuba and Vietnam are mere satellites, the dynamic today is clearly that of a Sino-Russian axis.

Bill Ayers, you will remember, wrote Obama’s fictional “autobiography” Dreams From My Father, and Ayers’ family supported and groomed Obama for the Presidency from the time he was a teenager. It appears that Chicago Communist Frank Marshall Davis handed Obama off to the Ayers group in Chicago in the early 1980s. Bernadine Dohrn’s fingerprints are also all over Obama’s course syllabus when he was an adjunct lecturer at the University of Chicago. And of course, Obama’s entire adult life and political career has had Ayers and Dohrn as the main enablers and drivers.

Oh, and just as an aside, Grathwohl’s eyewitness testimony confirms that Ayers and Dohrn have planned on and anticipated the need to murder fully 10%-15% of the population as “unreformable, die-hard capitalists.” In the early 1980s when this interview was recorded, the population of the U.S. was 250 million, thus Grathwohl’s number of 25 million that Ayers and Dohrn were planning on killing. Today, that number would be 30-45 million Americans that will need to be “eliminated” in order to quash the “counter-revolution.”

Restoration and Mercy

Posted: April 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

Originally posted on Knowing God through His Word...Day by Day:

You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger.

Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us!
—Psalm 85:3-4

C.H. Spurgeon, in “The Treasury of David” comments:

How often did the longsuffering of God take away from Israel the punishments which had been justly laid upon them! How often also has the Lord’s chastising hand been removed from us when our waywardness called for heavier strokes! Thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Even when judgments had been most severe, the Lord had in mercy stayed his hand. In mid volley he had restrained his thunder. When ready to destroy, he had averted his face from his purpose of judgment and allowed mercy to interpose.

The book of Judges is full of illustrations of this, and the psalmist does well to quote them while he interceded. Is not our experience…

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cptnemo2013:

Its coming.

Originally posted on :

This was happening Sunday, after the cattle release.

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We have assisted a great number of people on their deathbeds but we have never seen anything like this.” -A nursing Sister from the order of St Camillus de Lellis.

Medical opinion was divided about St Gemma’s case, some holding it to be certainly tuberculosis, others after microsopic analysis that it was a new and mys­terious disease, but all were agreed as to the possible danger of infection and the necessity of isolating the sick girl from the family.

In carrying into effect this purpose, Father Germano met with strong opposition on the part of the family who had adopted her. “What,” they all exclaimed, “shall we let Gemma leave us. God sent her to us, and shall we now allow her to go away? If she must die we will take care of her till the last.”
“What will become of us if Gemma leaves us,” said the eldest son, then a student at the University. “God has always protected and helped us because of the merits of our holy guest.”

But finally they had to give way, and a middle course was adopted. One of Gemma’s aunts rented a small apartment close by with windows facing her adopted home, and on January 24th, 1903, Gemma left the Gianninis for her new quarters. But although her quarters were changed nothing could keep her loving benefactors from her bedside, and even the children managed to elude the vigilance of their parents and ran over to Gemma from whom they could not bear to be separated.
Gemma herself felt intense grief at leaving this family by whom she was so much loved and for whom she felt so much .affection, and in particular she felt the parting with her whom she called her second mamma. As she left the house weeping she exclaimed: “This is the second time I have lost my mamma. Viva Gesu! Alone with Jesus only!”

Despite the gravity of her condition, for a time Gemma managed to rise each morning and drag herself with great difficulty to the neighbouring church for Holy Communion. Her devoted mamma came each day to take her, bring her back and put her to bed, where she left her to make her thanks­giving. But after two months the fever increased so much that she was unable to move and was obliged to abandon it. She bowed her head and said: ” Jesus, Amen!” She was only able to take liquid food and even this she was often unable to retain.
Her whole body was tortured with every conceivable pain:

“Poor martyr,” wrote Signora Cecilia, “poor victim of Jesus! She suffers without the least re­spite, and feels her very bones being disjointed. She is tortured m every part of her body, and is gradu­ally being dissolved in terrible agony. For the past twenty days she has been unable to see, her voice is so feeble that she can scarcely speak, and it is almost impossible to catch what she tries to say. She has become a mere skeleton, and it fills one with grief to look at her.”

Yet in spite of it all she never asked for any relief; or ever gave a sign of being wearied or depressed; never asked to be moved or placed in a different position to obtain a little ease. “Never throughout her illness,” says Euphemia Giannini “did she ask even for a drop of water.”

It sometimes happened that she was left the whole night entirely alone, just when she had the greatest need of assistance; but she neither complained nor gave any sign of being troubled at it. In order to prevent this, the Sisters of St Camillo De Lellis were called in, the very community which at one time Gemma had thought of joining. Her consolation during the long sleepless nights was prayer. “Let us pray, sister, let us pray. Do not let us think of anything but Jesus only.” And when she could not pray with her lips, she prayed with her heart, as she had been taught to do by Mgr Volpi: “I do exactly as he told me to do.” Gemma stated.

Her last heroic battles with the devil
But great as were the physical sufferings of Gem­ma, they were as nothing compared with those inflicted on her by the Devil. Thus does Father Germano describe what she suffered during the last few months of her life:
“The Devil disturbed her imagination with every sort of fantasy, so as to fill her heart with anxiety, sadness, bitterness and fear, in order that he might drive her to despair. He set before her, under its most depressing aspects, the picture of her sorrow­ful life, the misfortunes of her family, her privations of every sort, the coming of the public officer who, on the death of her father, came with his creditors to seize what remained of their home. After all this had passed before her the fiend said: ‘This is what you have received for so much labour in the service of God.’ Then, making full use of the intense desolation in which the Lord for her greater sancti­fication allowed her to remain, the Devil strove by every artifice to convince her that she was entirely forsaken by God, and would assuredly be damned for having taken the wrong path.

“This temptation was by far the most terrible and the most lasting. The poor girl was over­whelmed by it but still hoping to be saved, to remedy her state by a general confession.”

In the midst of the agitation of mind and con­fusion of ideas in which she was enveloped, she wrote at length the story of her life, declaring she deserved a thousand hells for having deceived alike her confessors, directors and herself.

This letter, before being sealed, was read by a third person at her request and sent to a saintly priest well known to Gemma, begging him to come and give her absolution. He came, heard her confession, and reassured her. But the Devil did not leave her long in peace. That which distressed Gemma most of all was the desperate attempts of the evil one to tarnish her virginal purity. Seductive thoughts and imagina­tions were out of the question, for she could not be influenced that way, so he had recourse to appari­tions of ever changing form and open violence.
“Father,” she wrote “this torment is more than I can bear. Ask Jesus to change it for me into something else.”

The religious Sister who was nursing her, said that she could not believe souls in Purgatory could possibly suffer more than Gemma during the last month of her life.

Yet in the midst of all her anguish Gemma con­tinued to speak to Jesus as she had done in her days of joy and consolation: “Where are you, Jesus? ” she would exclaim after each of these fierce conflicts with the Fiend of Hell.

“You know all, Jesus, You see my heart. You know, Jesus I am wholly Yours, all my body and soul. Let me suffer–yes, but I desire to be wholly Yours; I want to be in heaven with You.”

One day, hearing Gemma speaking thus, the nursing sister said to her: “If Jesus left you to choose, what would you choose? –To go at once to heaven and escape all this suffering, or to remain here and suffer since that would be for His greater glory?” And Gemma instantly replied: “It is better to suffer than to go to heaven, when it means suffering for Jesus and giving glory to Him.”

In the midst of her distress she would exclaim: “Oh, Jesus, how many sins? Do you not see them, Jesus, but Your mercy is infinite. You have for­given me so many times, so forgive me once again.”

She showed the greatest gratitude towards the sisters who were nursing her. One day, hearing her earthly “Mamma”, Cecilia Giannini say to the Superior: “I certainly shall not fail to reward you for all you are doing.” Gemma suddenly exclaimed: “No, no, I shall see to the sisters with Jesus.”

One of the Giannini family who was helping to nurse Gemma wrote: “I came away from our Gemma in tears, because the Devil is wearing her out, and the wretch will surely cause her death. We help her by sprinkling holy water in the room; then for a moment the disturbances cease, but only to begin again a little later on, even worse than before.”

The demons phantasms
The Devil was not satisfied in tormenting her soul but assailed her body also. Her incapacity to retain food had diminished somewhat, so they be­gan to give her a little nourishment. But no sooner had they brought it than the Devil caused the food to appear as if covered with loathsome insects, and they had to take it away. Horrible animals of hideous shapes came into her bed and crept over her body, so that the poor girl could get no relief. On more than one occasion, full of terror, she called the sister and said she felt a serpent coiling itself around her from head to foot, and striving to crush her in its coils.

She implored repeatedly that she might be exorcised, and as she was not heard, tried to say the exorcism herself and turning towards the enemy exclaimed in a resolute tone: “Wicked spirit, I command you to depart hence to the place destined for you, if not I shall accuse you before God.”
And then she turned to the Blessed Virgin: “Oh Mamma, I am in the hands of the Devil, who torments me and strives to drag me from Jesus. No, no, no, do not abandon me, Mamma. I will be good. Pray for me. I am alone at night, terrified, oppressed, and as it were bound in all the powers of my soul, with all my bodily senses helpless. Jesus my life, Jesus, all for Jesus! Jesus only! “

It was only a few days before her death that she wrote her last letter to the Blessed Virgin, when her mind had begun to wander under the persistent action of the burning fever which was consuming her.
“My Mamma (forgive me this word),” she writes “My Mamma, my feeble resistance continues in this life of conflict, but I am content. Between my hopes and my fears I abandon myself to God.
‘If I am for you (Jesus said to me this morning), who can overcome you? And why daughter, why instead of being downcast do you not increase in confidence? Daughter, humble yourself under my Potent Hand. Be assured that your prayer never comes up before me without obtaining some grace, and. although it may be inspired by little love, I increase it so that it reaches me, even though at first to you it appears to have been without fruit.’

And then He said to me:
‘Gemma, be not wearied by temptation, but always resist, and you will not be overcome. Do not be afraid. If the temptation continues, perse­vere in your resistance, for this battle will carry you to victory.’

And also at this time Gemma writes to Father Germano saying in part: “My Mother, pray to Jesus, pray always for me. I want to please Jesus in everything, but I can be so easily deceived. Dear Mother, I am very weak, my life is all but spent, each day consumes it. And my mind…My God, how I am tormented, but Jesus says I must turn to His Mother saying ‘Daughter, commend yourself daily to her. She will make you gracious, lovable, sweet, so that you may save souls. She will make you mild, compassionate and peaceful, because she despises no one.’

“Yet notwithstanding those words, I lose courage and weep. I am so ungrateful to Jesus and Mary. I was the same in the world to papa and mamma. How patiently they put up with me. My God, what will You do? Cast me off at the end? No, no, Jesus, do not abandon me. I will be good.
“I pray for this work (the foundation of the Passionist Convent in Lucca which after her death became the Monastery of Santa Gemma) if Jesus wills it, He will do it. Adorable Mamma, there is such need of victims, and Jesus will do all, all. For the rest I am not really afraid of the Devil, although at times I am alone in the night, full of fears and a thousand other things. So naturally I experience travail and sorrow, but I try to keep calm. I cry out fervently, longingly for my Jesus, promising Him my love. My Mother, love on behalf of all. I have so many promises to remind Jesus of, but He hides Himself. It is my ‘Nunc Dimittis’, which I am saying in my last moments. How good my heavenly Mamma is to me. She says to me: ‘Gemma, listen to Me: remember the garden in which I have planted you. How often you have offended Me and how many times I have forgiven you. Ah, how often have I called you. Do you believe I say this to shame you? Oh no, I only do so to stir up your love. It is only My love and goodness which makes Me desire your love. If you love Me you will perceive who I am and what you are.’
“Forgive me this word ‘Mamma.’ I do not know how but it rises spontaneously from my lips. Oh my Mamma. Viva Gesu!, Viva Maria! Jesus quickly and holily You will vanquish me with your holy love, the most ungrateful of your creatures.

“Pray for me, tell Jesus that I will be good and obedient, but I want to go to Heaven quickly if it pleases Him.”

There is a P.S. from Gemma addressed to Father Germano: “Implore Jesus to take me with Him to heaven. I can no longer stay in the world. I am in my aunt’s house, but I am contented and tranquil.”
The last days of Lent ran their rapid course and the Wednesday of Holy Week had come. The strife was well nigh over, the fell disease had done its work, and the pallor of death had already over­spread the face of Gemma as she lay there helpless on her bed of pain.

Suddenly Gemma fell into ecstasy, raised her eyes heavenwards and in a voice overcome with emotion exclaimed: “Jesus! Jesus!” She was rapt out of herself as had so often happened during life, but the ecstasy was of short duration, and when she came to herself she said to the Sister:
“Oh, Sister, if only you could see the smallest particle of that which Jesus has shown me, how you would rejoice.”
And the Sister remarked that as she said this, her whole face became transfigured.
She received the Holy Viaticum [Eucharist] with great devotion the same day, and the day following, Holy Thursday, she desired to receive Jesus again, and as the priests hesitated to give Communion again by way of Viaticum, she willingly kept the fast, notwithstanding the burning fever which consumed her. For two hours she remained absorbed in prayer and towards the end of the time fell into ecstasy during which she saw a crown of thorns and exclaimed: “Before all is over how much I must suffer.” And turning to the Sister she added, “what a day tomorrow will be!” (Good Friday).

Good Friday dawned. About ten o’clock Signora Cecilia, feeling exhausted with fatigue and want of sleep, wanted to go home to take a little rest. The dying girl said to her: “Do not leave me until I am nailed to the cross. I must be crucified with Jesus! Jesus has told me that His children must be crucified.”

The good Signora Cecilia remained, and shortly afterwards Gemma entered into ecstasy, gradually she extended her arms, and thus remained until half-past one. Her countenance showed sorrow and love, calmness and desolation all blended into one. She did not utter a word, but her silence spoke more eloquently than words. Those who stood about her gazed upon the scene with awe, as although they had often seen Gemma in ecstasy before there was something about this occasion that made it unlike all the others. One of those present, writing to Father Germano, said: “Look at Jesus dying on the Cross, that is exactly how Gemma appeared during those moments.”

She continued in the agony of death all through the night, suffering the most terrible pain alike in body and in soul. Towards eight o’clock on Holy Saturday morning, the priest came to anoint her. She received the Sacrament with great devotion, endeavoring to answer the prayers as far as her feeble voice allowed her. Having completed the sacred rite the priest left immediately.

Gemma had always cherished the wish that she might die on a great feast day of the Church and on one occasion remarked to Signora Cecilia: “I have asked Jesus to let me die on a great solemnity. It would be so lovely to die on a great feast day.”

Jesus granted her desire to the full, for she died on His own great Feast Day, Holy Saturday, for it was just as the bells had rung out their joyous peal in honour of the Saviour’s Resurrection that Gemma’s soul re­leased from the body of this death sped from the shadow of earth to the splendid glory of heaven, there to keep the heavenly Easter which shall never pass away.

Gemma was to be crucified with Jesus, and to partake of all the bitterness and desolation of Cal­vary, all the darkness, the sense of abandonment by earth and heaven, which He experienced, she also was to share. In the moment of her supremest need she was abandoned by her confessors and spiritual directors, even by the one who, having guided her from her earliest childhood, could have best helped her in those last moments when she had such need of aid.

Even her beloved spiritual director Father Germano, who was away in Rome, failed somehow to realize that the end was close at hand, and so never thought of going to see her or even of writing a letter to console her in her sufferings. Thus Gemma was left to suffer alone. God so willed it, willed that she should face the last conflict alone, with only a few faithful women to stand by her in her last agony. Indeed, when the end appeared imminent, a telegram had been made ready asking Father Germano to come at once, but Gemma, knowing by an interior light that God willed also the sacrifice of this consolation, would not have it sent, saying: “I seek nothing more. I have made the sacrifice of everything and everyone to God. Now I prepare to die. Father Germano will come after Easter.” As, in fact, he did.

The day wore on, and Gemma wished Mgr Volpi to come and perform the exorcisms, because she saw the Devil under the form of a ferocious black dog, close to her. Signora Cecilia saw the Monsig­nore and told him Gemma was expecting him. “Tell her,” he said, “if it is for confession I will come, but if it is to assist her in her agony, it is impossible. There are the curates.” The reply seems harsh, but it is true that Holy Saturday was an exceptionally full day for him. When Signora Cecilia gave Mgr Volpi’s message to Gemma she took her crucifix in both hands and, holding it be­fore her, said: “You see, Jesus, that now I really can do no more! If it is Your will, take me.”

And raising her eyes to a picture of the Madonna on the wall, she added: “My Mother…I commend my soul to You. Tell Jesus to be merciful towards me.” She kissed the crucifix, placed it on her breast with her hands crossed over it, and with eyes closed remained motionless.

In fact, towards mid-day, after the solemn ceremonies were over, Mgr Volpi did pay a hasty visit, gave her a blessing and asked if she was satis­fied. Gemma answered “No! “, that she wished for the real exorcism. “I must go to wish the Arch­bishop a happy Easter,” replied Mgr Volpi. “I will come back and see you later on.” But he was not to see her again, as Gemma passed away shortly after his departure.

Mgr Volpi, speaking of this visit, says: “I found her in great suffering, both physically and spiritually; but perfectly resigned. I gave her absolution, and left her in a very sad state, but in perfect quiet of spirit.”
Gemma’s last moments were rapidly approaching, and Signora Cecilia ran to call the parish priest, Abbot Angeli of the Canons Regular of the Lateran, and then rushed to the Gianninis, where the family was at dinner. “Gemma is dying,” she exclaimed. The whole family, young and old, rose at once and hastened to the house of the dying girl.

“Jesus, I commend my poor soul to You.” They were the last words she uttered. For half an hour she remained seated on her bed, her head resting on the shoulder of Signora Giustina. Her young friend, the sharer of her most intimate secrets, Euphemia Giannini [who later became Sister Gemma, in honor of her great friend], was kneeling before her, like the Magdalene at the feet of the dying Christ, with head inclined and pressing Gemma’s hand to her breast. Around were grouped all the members of the family and the nursing sister.

All at once, while all eyes were fixed on her angelic face, still beautiful despite the ravages of her long illness, a heavenly smile played about her lips, and letting her head fall gently to one side she ceased to breathe. Just as it is said of Jesus in the Gospel, ‘Et inclinato capite tradidit spiritum’.

The priest, who was reciting the last prayers, could not believe she was dead. “I have been present at many death-beds,” he said, “but never have I seen one die like this without even a sigh. She died with a smile, which remained upon her lips, so that I could not convince myself that she was really dead.”
It was exactly one hour after mid-day (1:00PM) of Holy Saturday, April 11th, 1903.

The Sisters took charge of her body, and at the suggestion of one who well knew her ardent longing to be a Passionist, they clothed her in brown, placed the Rosary round her neck, and the badge of the Passion on her breast. They put a crown of flowers about her head and joined her hands on her breast as she used to hold them when in ecstasy.

As the news of her death became noised abroad, what a concourse came to weep and pray beside her.
Old and young, priests and people, all knelt before her, invoking her as a saint, kissing her hands, asking for relics, and touching her with their rosaries and medals.
Amongst these was the holy priest to whom Gemma had written her general confession, who, filled with reverence at the sight of her, fell on his knees saying aloud: “Gemma, you have at your feet a great sinner. Please pray for him.”

Shortly before the Ave Maria of Easter Sunday, the body was carried to the burial. The ancient confraternity of “La Rosa” performed the cere­monies. The coffin was borne on the shoulders of two of the confraternity and two members of the Gianinni family, who wished to pay this last mark of homage to their beloved Gemma. The procession to the cemetery was like the return from a nuptial feast, for the bells of the city were ringing with joy for the Paschal Solemnity, and indeed seemed to be the echo of the welcome of heaven to the faithful virgin of Lucca. Over the tomb they put a Latin inscription which in translation runs as follows :

“Gemma Galgani, of Lucca. Most innocent virgin who consumed rather by the fire of divine love than by disease, in the twenty-fifth year of her age, went forth to her heavenly Espousals on the Eleventh of April, 1903, being the Vigil of Our Lord’s Resurrection. Peace be to you sweet soul with the angels.”
- See more at: http://www.stgemmagalgani.com/2014/04/the-last-battle-and-holy-death-of-st.html#sthash.a5CV0Z6s.dpuf

BREAKING: American pro-family activist LaBarbera arrested in Canada
BY JOHN-HENRY WESTEN
Mon Apr 14, 2014 23:42 ESTTags: Canada, Freedom, Homosexuality, University Of Regina
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REGINA, Saskatchewan, April 11, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A prominent U.S. pro-family activist who was detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency before begin allowed into Canada on appeal, was arrested late Monday on the campus of the University of Regina. Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality was arrested along with Canadian pro-family activist Bill Whatcott.

The pair were at the University with a poster depicting a child killed by abortion and a sign saying ‘sodomy is a sin’. At first Whatcott was asked to leave the campus by campus security accompanied by police. Whatcott responded noting that he had won two court cases (on freedom of speech) adding that “I do believe I have a charter right to speak here.”

Whatcott said that they would have to remove him from campus, because in addition to his charter right, he said, “I believe I have a moral responsibility to share the Gospel with these students.” He added, “I believe this university would not be as rich as it could be if it allowed me to stay here and speak.”

Just before he was arrested Whatcott said to the guard, “I respect you but I’m not going to obey that order because it’s unjust and it’s illegal.”

As he is warned he is about to get arrested he says, “Okay, I’m always a peaceful guy.”

As the officer announces his arrest and cuffs him, Whatcott raised his voice slightly to say, “Students, this is wrong. Even those of you who might disagree with me, we are all less free because of this; everybody loses. There are not any winners.” Whatcott concluded saying “Shame on this university for suppressing speech.”

LaBarbera, surrounded by police, can be heard saying, “I would rather stay in solidarity with him,” referring to Whatcott and he too was arrested.

During Whatcott’s arrest a couple of students can be heard saying that he deserves freedom of speech. But many others, as the two are led away handcuffed, hoot cheers and clap. Hate messages threatening Whatcott and LaBarbera with death can be read in tweets pointing to coverage of the arrest.

The Regina police report on the incident notes that LaBarbera and Whatcott were charged with mischief for “willfully interfering with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property, to wit: the University of Regina”. The police report said:

On Monday, April 14, 2014 at 1:13 p.m., police were dispatched to the University of Regina, in front of the Riddell Centre, for a report of an unwanted guest. When police arrived, they found individuals engaged in a presentation of images and statements. Police learned that University Security had asked the demonstrators to leave U of R property. Police also witnessed this exchange between Security and two adult males. When both men refused Security’s demand to leave, they were taken into custody, without incident, by police. Subsequent investigation, including consultation with the Crown, led to charges against two males, one of whom is a U-S citizen.

Both men were released with a court date of Monday, May 26, 2014.

Prior to entering Canada LaBarbera had been targeted by a makeshift group known as “Intolerance Free Weyburn,” which pressured the government to deny him access to the country. LaBarbera was detained at customs for three hours of intensive search of his belongings and computer before being initially denied entrance into Canada. After an appeal the following day he was allowed in to attend his speaking engagement with the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association.

The executive director of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association says his sources inside the federal government warn that Washington’s weekend retreat in a dispute over grazing land in Nevada was only a move to distract attention and diffuse tensions, because a raid on the family’s ranch still is planned.

And there probably would be violence involved, said Richard Mack, the former sheriff of Graham County, Ariz.

“I don’t think it would be possible” to launch a raid without violence, he told WND Monday. “I don’t think the Bundys would lie down and be taken.”

He cited the vow by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., that the confrontation was far from over, despite the weekend’s retreat by armed gunmen working for federal agencies.

Reid on Monday told KRNV-TV in Reno: “It’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over.”

The grazing-land conflict has been developing for decades.

Cliven Bundy, who ranches in Clark County, and members of his extended family have grazed cattle on land there for more than a century. He stopped paying federal grazing fees years ago, contending his operation existed before the federal government was there.

But the standoff reached a boiling point one week ago as hundreds of federal agents and allies surrounded Bundy’s ranch and were faced with citizen resistance, both armed and unarmed.

The Associated Press said the U.S. Bureau of Land Management decided over the weekend to stop rounding up Bundy’s cattle and release animals agents already had seized.

BLM chief Neil Kornze said in a statement: “Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concerns about the safety of employees and members of the public.”

Mack, a longtime sheriff, told WND that Reid’s statements are beyond the pale.

“That kind of stupidity, where he puts federal regulations and policies of bureaucrats ahead of a family in his state that has done no wrong or committed a crime,” Mack said.

He charged that it is Reid who is destroying his own state’s ranching industry as well as the U.S. Constitution. The sheriff chided the senator for making statements about abiding by laws.

“Isn’t that amazing? The biggest crook in Washington,” Mack said.

On the issue of a raid, he said: “That’s what we have heard. It’s not confirmed. People we had on the inside told us the BLM still is considering raiding the Bundy ranch. We’re going to keep in touch with them, protect them, pray for them.”

Details that are uncovered will be posted on the CSPOA website, he said.

Mack said his organization is part of an effort to save America.

“Yes, America is in deep, deep trouble. The good news is that there is hope,” Mack said. “We do not have to stand by and watch while America is destroyed from within. If our counties, cities, and states and all local officers keep their oaths to protect us from tyranny, we can win this battle to take our country back.”

As WND reported, an estimated 200 armed officers of the BLM had been deployed to Bundy’s property in Bunkerville, Nev., 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, charging the rancher has been in violation of a law that aims to protect an endangered desert tortoise. The BLM also said Bundy owes more than $1 million in grazing fees to the federal government.

But Bundy found support from the governor and other prominent political leaders along with a host of protesters from other states, including fellow cattle ranchers and private armed militias.

A Montana militia member, Jim Lardy, told KLAS-TV in Las Vegas his group, Operation Mutual Aid, was prepared to “provide armed response.”

He said he was not afraid to shoot, if necessary.

“They have guns. We need guns to protect ourselves from the tyrannical government,” Lardy said.

Other militia members were joining him, he said: “There is many more coming.”

Nevada’s Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval said the federal government’s tactics allowed the tensions to nearly erupt in armed violence.

“No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans,” Sandoval said. “The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly.”

Cliven Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy, told WND earlier that federal authorities had not been merely relocating the cattle but were engaged in actions that killed some animals.

“They are flying helicopters over the herd to chase them,” Ammon Bundy said. “It was over 90 degrees here today, and the cattle can’t run very far in this heat before collapsing. This is especially true for the young calves. We have a lot of them being born because it is springtime, and they don’t have the strength to keep up with their mothers when they are running. The cattle then become overheated and die.”

Cliven Bundy is the last rancher operating in Clark County, where he’s been grazing his cattle on a 600,000-acre portion of land managed by the BLM called Gold Butte. His family, whose ties to the land go back to the 1880s, has been engaged in a dispute since 1993 with the Bureau of Land Management over long-established cattle-grazing rights.

After years of wrangling in the courts, BLM last week secured a federal court order declaring Bundy’s herd to be “trespass cattle” and began removing the animals.

Ammon Bundy said he was with a group of about 50 people “peacefully protesting the removal of the cattle” when “suddenly, 14 units with Rangers came off the mountain – 13 of them were armed ranger vehicles with two rangers per unit.”

He said the protesters went over to see what was in a dump truck, “because we were afraid this might have been a rendering vehicle, and we wanted to know what was in the back of the truck.”

The rangers got out of their vehicles and the conflict escalated, he said.

“Things got pretty ugly for awhile. They threw a 65-year-old woman on the ground, they tased me twice and they had dogs out there.”


Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/04/sheriff-feds-strategize-for-raid-on-ranch/#ojMQhYpd6XLEyE05.99

cptnemo2013:

Amazing Post…The Truth Shall set you free!

Originally posted on ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP:

!!!!

Bishop Vasa: “Homosexual Behavior is Sinful”

Courage, an apostolate of the Catholic ChurchCourage, an apostolate of the Catholic Church

By MARTIN ESPINOZA, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT – A former gay-porn actor who says his Catholic faith saved him from a world of pornography, homosexuality and the occult is scheduled to make a presentation in Santa Rosa to a religious group called Courage, an apostolate of the Catholic Church that ministers to people with same-sex attractions.

The program will feature Joseph Sciambra, an author and missionary who has said, among other things, that “gay identity is tantamount to imprisonment of the soul within the disorder” and that anal sex releases “into the world these rare demonic entities.”

The planned presentation has raised concerns among some local Catholics that the Santa Rosa diocese is sanctioning religious tactics that harken back to the days of reparative therapy, aimed at changing people’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.

The…

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cptnemo2013:

Great Post!!!

Originally posted on A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics:

Why aren’t all of us who have received the stupendous Grace of First Communion, Confirmation, and so many other receptions of the Blessed Sacrament all incredible Saints?  One drop of the Precious Blood was of such infinite worth it is capable of converting and saving the entire universe. So why are there so few saints?

Sin is the answer.  We all know that one unconfessed mortal sin will damn us (yes barring perfect contrition).  But even much smaller sins block the work of God’s Grace in our souls.

The priest in the video below outlines the root causes for the failure of so many of us to be saintly.  The two principle failures are lack of humility (the virtue contrary to the essential sin of pride, the root of all sin), and lack of reverence, which is humility in action in a context of receiving supernatural Grace.

Our Blessed Mother is the…

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