Aug 03

GOD THE FATHER AND THE DIVINE WILL

God The Father

GOD THE FATHER AND THE DIVINE WILL

 

 “Our Father…..Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven”

It is ironic that over the last two thousand years Christians have faithfully prayed this prayer given to us by Jesus, but the majority still do not know or love God the Father as He desires.

To pray “without the sentiment of love in [our] hearts weakens the prayer, making it less worthy”. (1) And therefore less effective.

In fact for most Christians “the Father is not known; one does not pray to Him, one does not think of Him……Many Christians turn away from the Father because they see Him as a fearful judge. They prefer to turn to the humanity of Christ and many ask Jesus to protect them from the wrath of the Father!” (2) “This paralyzing fear of God is one of the great human tragedies.” (3) God the Father was glorified when He created the universe.

The first to withdraw from the Divine Will was Satan. He then succeeded in getting Adam and Eve to doubt the goodness of God their Father: “That’s not true; you will not die. God said that, because he knows that when you eat it you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad”. (Genesis 3:4)

From the moment of doing his own will instead of the Divine Will, Adam immediately lost intimacy with God as his Father, instead becoming fearful and frightened of Him.

“That evening they heard the Lord God walking in the garden, and they hid from him among the trees. But the Lord God called out to the man ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden; I was afraid and hid from you, because I was naked.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ God asked. ‘Did you eat the fruit that I told you not to eat?’ ” (Genesis 3:8-11)

In comparison Our Lady, who always remained in the Divine Will, revealed to Luisa Piccarreta: “I did nothing else than bring Myself upon the knees of my Celestial Father. I was tiny, not yet born; but the Divine Volition, whose Life I possessed gave Me free access to my Creator. For Me all the doors and the ways were fully open; nor was I frightened nor fearful of Him. The human will above all causes fright, fear, distrust and distances the poor creature from Him who loves it so much and who wants to be surrounded by his children. Thus, if the creature is frightened and fearful and does not know how to be as a child with its father to its Creator, it is a sign that the Divine Will does not reign in her and, thus, the creature experiences the tortures, the martyrdom of the human will.”

(4) “[The] whole mission [of Jesus] on earth is to make the Father known to men and so he ends his preaching on the kingdom saying ‘I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love which thou has loved me may be in them, and I in thee ‘ (Jn 17:26).” (5) Thus Jesus tells Luisa: “My daughter, on earth I did nothing but give Myself into the mercy of the Will of the Father. Thus if I thought, I thought in the mind of the Father. If I spoke, I spoke in the mouth and with the tongue of the Father. If I worked, I worked in the hands of the Father. Even my breath breathed in Him……I was the carrier of the Father, for completely enclosed in His Will, I did nothing by Myself. My only thought was the Will of the Father.” (6) Even as a small infant, Jesus was focused on the Father “Look at Me here, when, in My infantile state of two or three years, I withdrew from My Mamma; and down on My knees with My arms open in the form of a cross, I prayed to the Heavenly Father that He would have pity on mankind; and in My open arms I embraced all generations. My position was agonizing; so little, down on My knees with My little arms open to cry and pray.” (7) The institution of the Eucharist was the fulfillment of Christ’s work on earth: ” ‘Holy Father, You sent Me upon the earth one day from Heaven to incarnate Myself in the womb of My Mother in order to save Our children…..Permit Me to incarnate Myself in each Host to continue their salvation and to be the Life of each of My children.’ The Father is moved at the tender and affectionate voice of the Son. He descends from Heaven. Now He is upon the altar united with the Holy Spirit to concur with the Son. Jesus pronounces the words of the Consecration with a resounding and moving voice; and, without leaving Himself, He creates Himself in that bread and wine.”

(8) As the Body of Christ, the Church continues His work on earth through the celebration of Holy Mass. Unfortunately, most Catholics participate at the Eucharist without fully comprehending that, “in the liturgy, Jesus is consistently directing us to the Father.” (9 ) The climax of every Mass occurs when, through the priest, we offer the Son back to the Father in the Doxology – “Through Him, with Him, in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is Yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever.” Our acclamation of “AMEN!” is an act of Divine Will par excellence.

Now at this time in history, God the Father, Himself, has expressed His desire to reclaim His rights as Father of His children. “This is the time of grace, foreseen and awaited for all eternity!…..I am telling you all this now so that you realize that through this Work of Love, I have come to give you powerful help to free you from the tyrannical slavery which imprisons your souls and prevents you from tasting true freedom from which true happiness is derived…..Raise yourselves to this true dignity of children of God and learn to respect your greatness and I shall be more than every your most loveable and merciful FATHER.” (10) The Father will be truly glorified when the Divine Will is done on earth as it in Heaven. “These are the times of the great return…..These are the times of the great mercy. The Father thrills with ardor and wills to pour out upon this poor humanity the torrents of his infinite love. The Father wants to mold with his hands a new creation where his divine imprint will be more visible, welcomed and received and his fatherhood exalted and glorified by all. The breath of this new creation will be the breathing of the love of the Father who will be glorified by all….And Jesus will reign………Jesus, who has taught you the prayer to invoke the coming of the reign of God upon earth, will at last see fulfilled this prayer of his, because He will restore his reign.” (11) It is widely recognized that Saint John Paul was “the spark [from Poland] that will prepare the world” for the return of Jesus. (12) He believed that the Great Jubilee Year 2000 would be a turning point – a “crossing of the threshold” for the Church and a sign of hope for the Third Millennium. By proclaiming the Year of God the Father in 1999, he sought to encourage Christians to understand that “Christian life is like a great pilgrimage to the house of the Father”.(13) The solemn opening of “The Holy Door” at the beginning of the Great Jubilee represented the words of Jesus: “I am the door” (Jn 10:7). This was in order to make it clear that no one can come to the Father except through Jesus. “The Jubilee, centered on the person of Christ, thus becomes a great act of praise to the Father”.(14) And the special Jubilee indulgence throughout the Jubilee Year was an important element disclosing the fullness of the Father’s mercy. Saint Pope John Paul also understood that intimately connected with the coming of God’s Kingdom was Christ’s petition to the Father “that they may all be one.” “This is the great task which the Catholic Church must accomplish.”(15) As such it was central to the Jubilee. “‘Ecumenical’ prayer discloses this fundamental dimension of brotherhood in Christ, who died to gather together the children of God who were scattered, so that in becoming ‘sons and daughters in the Son’ (Eph 1:5) we might show forth more fully the mysterious reality of God’s fatherhood.” (16) Saint Pope John Paul II was deeply aware that the divisions existing between Christians are contrary to Christ’s prayer at the Last Supper and that this has a world-wide effect . “In a certain sense the future of the world is at stake. The future of the Kingdom of God in the world is at stake.”(17) The Divine Will of the Father is the Unity of all His children. “The Father’s great plan is for the gathering of the human race into one family united in love……..Everything must be subjected to the supreme power of the Father, so that He may penetrate and definitively transform humanity and the universe. That is the ultimate destiny of the world, the triumph of the Father’s love.”…(18) In a singular way God the Father chose Mother Eugenia Ravasio for the mission to work and pray for this unity. One day she opened the Gospel randomly at John Chapter 17 – the Priestly Prayer of Jesus. ” ‘I read it more carefully than at other times and when I came to the part, ‘Holy FATHER, may we all become ONE’, I stopped. It seemed that everything was contained in those words: why Jesus became man and the purpose of His coming. Impulsively, I found myself responding: “Yes FATHER.” It was now clear what the FATHER wanted from me.” She then offered her life together with Jesus for this great ideal: “that all children in Jesus may be united with the FATHER, and that with Jesus, they may be the Glory of the FATHER.”(19) In a sign that that Unity is central to the reign of the Divine Will on Earth, the Diocese of Trani was chosen as the birthplace of Luisa. It was here in 1054 that the first great schism took place in Christianity – between the Roman and Orthodox Churches with mutual excommunications. “God destined the site of the schism to become the birthplace of Luisa and the Divine Will that will unite the traditions of eastern and western Church in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.”( 20) “The life and writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta exemplify these elements [of Eastern Christian spirituality], enrich the spiritual traditions of East and West, and illuminate the path to unity.” (21) In the parable of the Prodigal Son, “the young man being embraced by the Father is no longer just one repentant sinner, but the whole of humanity returning to God. The broken body of the prodigal becomes the broken body of humanity……it becomes the summary of the history of our salvation.”

(22) The feast in the parable of the prodigal son can be seen as an analogy of the great rejoicing of the Father with the prophetic fulfillment of the “Our Father” in the Era of the Divine Will. This is prefigured by a feast specifically desired by God the Father in our times – The Feast of God our Father. He revealed to Mother Eugenia: “I desire to be known, loved and honored through a special devotion….I desire only this: that one day may be consecrated to honoring Me in a particular way, under the title of Father of all mankind….the first Sunday in August [or the 7th of August].”

(23) The father in the parable desires the feast and is impatient for it to take place. His exuberant joy is obvious: “The word ‘Quick’ with which the father exhorts his servants to bring his son the robe, ring, and sandals, expresses much more than a human impatience. It reveals the divine eagerness to inaugurate the new Kingdom that has been prepared from the beginning of time.” (24) Likewise the Father rejoices when a soul who lives in the Divine Will unites with Him in His works. Luisa writes: “To live in the Divine Volition means to live inseparably, to do nothing by oneself, because, before the Divine Volition, the soul feels incapable of anything….Thus, she does all that the Father does. If the Father thinks, she makes hers the thoughts of the Father and does not have any other thoughts than those of the Father…….She does not live outside but inside of the Father so that she is the reflection and perfect likeness of the Father.” (25) In this manner “[she] finds the little epoch of innocent Adam and she together with him, gives Me his innocent embraces, his chaste kisses, his love as child, and I oh, how happy I feel that I see My Paternity recognized, loved and honored, oh, how beautiful it is to see Myself Father and as such to feel Myself loved by My children, and I reciprocate (with) My kisses, My paternal embraces and I give them as right of (her) property, the infinite joy of My Paternity. What won’t I give to My children after I have been loved and recognized as Father.”

(26) Jesus declared to his disciples: “My food is to do the Will of Him who sent me and to complete His Work”. (John 4:34) And God the Father declares: “In truth My children, the Church, this society which I entrusted My Son to establish, will complete His Work by honoring the One who is its Author: your FATHER and Creator” [through the institution of a feast].

(27) “Feasts are a living catechesis and today there is an urgent need for a living catechesis on the Father…”(28) Souls who truly know God as their Father are more likely to ask Him earnestly for His Kingdom to come “as it is in Heaven”, rather than fear a loss of freedom through Its establishment on earth. In turn the philosophical lie of Deism would be overthrown – a 17th century attack on God as Father which sought to turn Him into a cold, distant creator.

It is a mindset that remains today: “The majority of the unfaithful, the impious and those of various separatist groups, remain in their wickedness and unbelief because they believe that I am asking the impossible of them; they think they have to submit to My commands like slaves to a tyrannical master who remains enveloped in his power and pride which keeps him distant from his subjects, forcing them to pay him respect and devotion. No, no, My children!”

(29) The Reign of the Divine Will on earth will be the end of the great rebellion – the rebellion of Adam and all his descendants. ” ‘Then the end will come, when He’ll deliver the kingdom to his God and Father (1 Cor 15:24) …..the Church must deepen her awareness of having come forth from the Father and of advancing toward Him.

The liturgical feast of God the Father would express this awareness with greater clarity…..The liturgical cycle enables Christians to relive the unfolding of the mystery of salvation in its various stages and in its most important events. The Father is at the origin and at the conclusion of the mystery. The entire work of sanctification results from his paternal love and tends to produce, as its ultimate fruit, the return of humankind to him. His paternal role which is absolutely primordial and decisive, deserves to be recognized and venerated by a special feast.”(30)

Summary:

The Reign of the Divine Will on earth will continue to build within individual souls but will be complete only when the Father is universally known, loved and honored by all His children – perhaps through a special Feast. The Unity of Christians will be central to the Reign of the Divine Will. “Christians would undoubtedly give great joy to the heart of the risen Lord if they managed to realize this project ‘ecumenically’; that is if all the churches agreed to celebrate together a Feast for the Father on the same day.”(31) “Would such a feast not….draw souls towards a simple spirituality and a filial life with the Father through the confidence and abandonment to the Divine Will?” (32) This total abandonment to the Father is absolutely necessary to live in the Divine Volition: “your full abandonment in the arms of our Celestial Father, no longer feeling your own life – is the image of the living in my Will.”(33 )

Footnotes:
1. Words of Jesus to Maureen Sweeney-Kyle Sept. 18, 1999.
2. Mother Eugenia Elisabetta Ravasio, ‘Life for the Glory of the Father – The Message of God our Father given to Mother Eugenia Elisabetta Ravasio’ , translated from Italian text: La Vita per la Gloria del Padre by Catherine Loft (Anzio: Missionarie “Unitas in Christo ad Patrem”; Distributor: Divine Mercy Publications Australia), p 72 – Bishop Alexander Caillot’s testimony of support.
3. Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming (London: Darton, Longman and Todd 1992) p.121
4.Luisa Piccarreta,’The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.’ Book of Heaven: The Call to the Creature to Return to the Order, to the Place, and to the Purpose for Which It was Created by God.’ English edition endorsed by Archbishop Carata (Jacksonville: The Center for the Divine Will 1996) p. 34,35 – Day Eight
5. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. CAP, Life in the Lordship of Christ: A Spiritual Commentary on the Letter to the Romans, trans. Frances Lonergan Villa (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1992) p. 97
6. Luisa Piccarreta ‘Book of Heaven: The Call to the Creature to Return to the Order, to the Place, and to the Purpose for Which It was Created by God.’ English edition endorsed by Archbishop Carata (Jacksonville: The Center for the Divine Will 1996) Vol. 12. August 14, 1917
7. (ibid) Vol 19 June 6, 1926
8. Luisa Piccarreta The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Jacksonville: The Center for the Divine Will 1996) 8pm
9. Statement by Father Peter Dwyer: “In the Holy Mass, Jesus is consistently directing us to the Father. The Opening Prayer (the Collect) always begins with an invocation that is addressed to the Father and we are directed in the penitential Rite to ‘ask the Father’s forgiveness [for our sins], for he is full of gentleness and compassion.’ Every Preface of the Mass, no matter what season of the year, begins by addressing the Father – ‘Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, etc’, and then acknowledges that thanks is given through Jesus.”
10. Ravasio, ‘Life for the Glory of the Father’ p, 119

11. Don Stefano Gobbi ,’To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons’ (Milan: Centro Internationale del M.S.S., 1997 – 11th Oceania Edition) p. 559 July 3rd, 1987

12. Faustina Kowalska, ‘Divine Mercy in My Soul – the Diary of the Servant of God Sister M. Faustina Kowalska’ (Stockbridge: Marian Press 1987) p. 612; Diary Entry 1732 13. John Paul II,’The Third Millennium’ (Australian Edition – Homebush: St. Paul’s 1994)n.49; p.73
14. (ibid) p.74
15. John Paul II, ‘That They May All Be One’ (Australian Edition – Homebush: St. Paul’s 1995)n.61; p.72
16. (ibid) n.25; p.33
17. John Paul II, ‘Crossing the Threshold of Hope” (London: Random House 1994) p.151
18. Galot, Abba Father, We Long To See Your Face: Theological Insights into the First Person of the Trinity, trans. M. Angeline Bouchard (New York: Society of St. Paul, 1992) p. 225,226
19. Ravasio ,’ Life for the Glory of the Father’ p 39,40
20. The Pious Universal Union for the Children of the Divine Will – Newsletter No. 108 May 1st, 2011
21. Hugh Owen,Thy Kingdom Come – The Life and Mission of Luisa Piccarreta (Caryville:The Luisa Piccarreta Center for the Divine Will, 2007) Appendix i
22 Nouwen,The Return of the Prodigal Son’ p. 58
23. Ravasio, ‘ Life for the Glory of the Father’ p.97
24. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son’ p. 112
25. Piccarreta, Book of Heaven’ Vol. 12. August 14, 1917
26. (ibid) Vol. 33 February 10, 1934
27. Ravasio, ‘Life for the Glory of the Father’ p.109
28. Cantalamessa, ‘Life in the Lordship of Christ’ p.116
29. Ravasio,’Life for the Glory of the Father’ p.115
30. Galot, ‘Abba Father we long to see Your Face’ p.225,226
31. Cantalamessa, ‘Life in the Lordship of Christ’ p.116
32. Ravasio, ‘Life for the Glory of the Father ‘ p. 74 Bishop Alexander Caillot’s testimony
33. Piccarreta’ Book of Heaven’ Vol. 19 April 16, 1926

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Aug 01

Portiuncula Plenary or Partial Indulgence

Portiuncula Chapel

The dates are from noon on August 1 until midnight on August 2, the feast of Our Lady of the Angels. 

  Plenary indulgence goes from noon on August 1 until midnight August 2.  Two Masses during the All Night Vigil will cover each day! 

  On a hot July evening in the year 1216 Saint Francis of Assisi at prayer devoured by his love for God and a thirst to save souls was visited upon by Our Blessed Savior and Our Blessed Mother. Our Lord spoke to him “Francis you are very zealous for the good souls. Ask me what you want for their salvation.” Francis answered that he wanted an indulgence to all those who enter this church,(The Portiuncula)  who are truly contrite and have confessed their sins. Our Lord consented to Francis’ wish, but only after he received approval from Pope Honorius III. The pope granted this petition, and this indulgence has been extended to all parish churches throughout the world from noon August 1 until midnight on August 2.

 The conditions to obtain the Plenary Indulgence of the Forgiveness of Assisi (for oneself or for a departed soul) are as follows:

 * Sacramental confession (during eight days before or after the dates below)

* Participation in the Mass and Eucharist.

 

* Recitation of the Apostles’ Creed, Our Father and a prayer for the pope’s intention.

 

The Portiuncula Indulgence is a grace not to be missed, not only for yourself but for the many souls suffering in purgatory.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Jul 31

Letter # 20 of The Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta

LUISA READING HOLY SCRIPTUE

From the Letters of The Servant of God,

Luisa Piccarreta

Letter # 20

In Voluntate Dei! – Fiat

Most esteemed one in the Lord,

You cannot imagine the contentment I feel when I hear that one wants to live in the Divine Will, because it is a victory of Jesus; and as He conquers our will, we conquer His Own. In the Kingdom of the Divine Will no one loses, we are all winners, both God and the creature.

I am surprised by your doubts. How is it? Don’t you know that Redemption is preparation for the Kingdom of the Divine Will? And the Sacred Heart of Jesus is nothing other than the immense Reign of His Will. It is not the Heart that dominates; it is the Divine Will that dominates His Divine Heart. Poor Heart, if it did not have a Will to dominate it, it would be good at nothing. If the will is good, the heart is good; if the will is holy, the heart is holy. If our will gives place to the Divine, letting It raise Its throne in our will, the heart acquires the divine qualities by grace. Therefore, both in the Divine and in the human order, it is always the will that has the first place, the prime act, its rule. The heart and all the rest are in the secondary order… Therefore, to say that the Heart reigns, if the Divine Will does not reign, is absurd. They can be called devotions, pious practices…; if the Divine Will does not reign, the Kingdom does not exist. It exists in Heaven, but has no place on earth. However, the Holy Church, organ and messenger of the Supreme Fiat, through the Sacred Heart, through the Celestial Mama, beseeches the Kingdom of the Divine Will. She does not say it with words, but says it with facts. The Divine Volition is the King – His Heart, His wounds, His precious Blood, the sweet Queen, form the ministers that surround the King, and through them beseech the Kingdom of the Divine Will in souls.

Now, how can one know It? All the necessary things, the different circumstances in which we may find ourselves, are Will of God for us. If we are really determined to live in It, God is so pleased that, if miracles are needed, He will make them in order not to let us use our will. It is up to us to truly decide, and be willing to give even our life in order to live in It; and dear Jesus and the Sovereign Queen will take on the commitment, will be our sentries, and will surround us with such graces as to not let us be betrayed by our own wills. More so, since our Lord does not teach difficult things, nor does He impose them or want them, but He facilitates all that He wants from us in an admirable way; even more, He puts Himself in our place to make it easy for us, and does together with us all that He wants us to do.

most affectionately yours,

the little daughter of the Divine Will

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Jul 18

DIVINE WILL CONFERENCE

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Jul 15

FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL

 Our Lady of Mt Carmel

July 16 A.D. 2014 –  Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Calendar for the Traditional Roman Rite

“The Brown Scapular of our Lady of Mount Carmel,” associated with the Carmelite Order, is the most well-known. In A.D. 16 July 1251, Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock in Cambridge, England after he prayed for help for his Order. She appeared to him with the scapular and said, “Take, beloved son this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant.”  Whether this happened exactly in this way or not (St. Simon’s original descriptions of the vision are not extant and the wording may not be exact), the Scapular was given to St. Simon Stock, and the devotion spread and was well-known by the 16th c. What can be safely believed because of papal decree is the promise known as the “Sabbatine Privilege.” The Sabbatine Privilege is the promise that Our Lady will intercede and pray for those in Purgatory who, in earthly life: 

  • wore the Scapular in good faith;

  • were chaste according to their state in life;
  • daily recited the Divine Office or, with the permission of one’s Confessor, the Little Office of Our Lady [a shorter form of the Divine Office in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, used by certain religious orders and laity. It is similar to the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the Roman Breviary] or the Rosary; and
  • departed earthly life in charity.

You can be enrolled in the Confraternity of our Lady of Mount Carmel by any priest. Just obtain a scapular, take it to him to have it blessed, and express your desire for enrollment. Warning: Some falsely believe that wearing the Brown Scapular offers some sort of guarantee of salvation because of the legendary words attributed to Our Lady. This is against Church teaching, is superstitious and a grave error. Sacramentals are not magical ways to manipulate God; they are Church-instituted rituals/objects that remind us of what we are supposed to be doing/thinking of, that depend on the faith, hope and love of the user, and which help prepare us to receive God’s saving grace. One must do more than “wear the scapular”; one must wear it worthily.

A critical or skeptical person might say, “Well, that sounds fine in theory, but what proof is there that it actually works that way in practice?” Actually, there are many stories that have been recorded and approved by the Church as worthy of belief that verify the truth of this promise. I will tell you about a few of these cases.

Back in the 1950’s in Ashtabula, a Catholic wearing the Brown Scapular was run over by a train and was cut in two. Yet somehow this man did not die right away, and a priest who was summoned came and heard his confession. The man then died. Apparently this happened because the man, who was wearing the Brown Scapular, needed to be absolved that he might save his soul according to Our Lady’s promise.

There is also a story of a young lady who made it a practice to wear the Brown Scapular, but began living a life of sin. Eventually she despaired of God’s mercy, and decided to kill herself. She threw herself into a river, hoping to drown. God in His Providence, however, because she was still wearing the Brown Scapular, arranged for a fisherman to see her. The man came quickly and tried to help her, but in her despair she refused his help. In the struggle she tore off the scapular and, throwing it away from herself, she then drowned.

In France, a fallen-away Catholic, an officer in the armed forces, had lived a sinful life and lay dying in a hospital. When he became unconscious, one of the attendants placed a Brown Scapular on him. When he regained consciousness and found the scapular around his neck, he cried out, “Why have you put fire on me? It’s burning me! Take it away! Take it away!” At that point he tore it off and soon died. These last two stories from the book Purgatory by Fr. Shouppe show us that if someone wearing the Brown Scapular at the hour of death is not repentant of mortal sin and not willing to cooperate with grace to be truly sorry for mortal sin, God, through the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, will make sure that somehow the scapular is removed before that person dies.

Many Catholics, even among those who wear the Brown Scapular, are not aware of the second part of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s promise, namely that the scapular will be “a safeguard in danger.” Apparently the dangers referred to are not only those of a spiritual nature, but temporal or physical as well. Again, let us look at a few examples that illustrate this.

In the 1950’s in Germany a fire broke out in a residential neighborhood. One house after another caught on fire, to the point that within five hours 22 homes had burned to the ground. Only one remained untouched. Why? Because when the fire was approaching a member of that household took a Brown Scapular and fastened it to the front door of the house. The fire literally went around this house. People were amazed to see this one house standing untouched while 22 others around it were reduced to smoking rubble.

In 1845 an English ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean was on the point of being sunk by a hurricane. A young Irishman on board, upon seeing the danger the ship was in, took off his Brown Scapular and threw it into the huge waves. Immediately the wind ceased and the waves became calm. Another wave washed the Brown Scapular back onto the deck. A Protestant minister and his wife who were present asked the young man what it was that he threw into the ocean. This was the beginning of their conversion to the Catholic Faith.

There is another account of a priest who was offering Mass when a maniac with a gun came into the church and shot at him. The priest continued offering Mass, and everyone assumed the man had missed. After Mass, when the priest took off his vestments, he found the bullet embedded in his Brown Scapular. Finally, in the area of spiritual dangers, a holy Frenchman named Francis Ypes — in fact he is called Venerable by the Church — one day dropped his scapular. The devil appeared to him howling, saying “Take it off! Take off the habit which snatches so many souls from us!” The devil then admitted that there were three things he feared: the Holy Name of Jesus, the Holy Name of Mary, and the Brown Scapular.

I hope that this information and these examples will motivate you to wear the Brown Scapular if you do not already do so. And if you do wear it, I hope that it will motivate you to wear it with greater trust and confidence and dependence upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, your spiritual Mother. If you faithfully wear the Brown Scapular throughout life and at the hour of death, you will understand more clearly why we address the Blessed Virgin in the Salve Regina with these words: “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Hail our life, our sweetness, and our hope! Turn then thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile show unto us the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”

 

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