The Time Has Come. -
At the time of writing this article, it is the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Myself and Anthony Murphy have completed our inaugural 'tour' of Ireland with a conference in Sligo on Friday 16th June. We have been to Donegal, Belfast, and Derry up in the geographical North of Ireland. We have visited Waterford, Kerry and Cork way down in the South. We have visited Dublin on the East coast and we have been to Knock and Galway on the West coast. We have been to Athlone in the midlands and we have also visited several other counties.
We have had up to almost 200 people at one meeting and at some meetings there may have been less than thirty people. We began over a year ago talking about family matters. We then gave a couple of conferences on winning the pro-life battle and our final round of talks addressed the topic of building a Catholic Action movement. For myself, I have been writing for the Catholic Voice for almost four years now and this is my 90th article for the newspaper.
Is Anyone Reading or Listening
At times one wonders if any of it really matters or if anyone is reading or listening. Sometimes there is a temptation to simply give it up and concentrate on more personal matters. Thankfully I recognise that some of these thoughts do not come from God and are part of the tempter's plan to keep us silent.
In my last talk I spoke about the importance of prayer as follows.
The Importance of Prayer
“Prayer is very important. In fact prayer has to be the foundation of all of our work. When Christ pointed out to the disciples that the harvest was rich, he didn't send them in to start reaping right away. He first told them to pray. To pray specifically for labourers. That is, to ask God to provide the labourers necessary for the harvest. We are some of those labourers, and God expects us to work in His vineyard for the salvation of souls. This work must follow from, and be guided by, our prayer, otherwise, we will end up working for ourselves and for our own reputations, rather than working to build God's Kingdom.
We see this error in the early life of St Peter. At the last supper, Peter swears that he will never abandon Jesus, that he is prepared to die with him. Our Lord warns him, “Even this night, before the cock crows twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.” (Mark 14:30)
Peter is Over-Confident
Peter is over confident in his own abilities and yet he was not able to watch and pray for one hour with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and so, through this lack of prayer, he ends up denying Jesus three times.
In the book “Divine Intimacy” by Fr Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, Fr Gabriel comments on this scripture saying.
“The lesson is clear. As long as a soul depends solely upon itself, it is not ready to be sanctified, nor to co-operate efficaciously in the sanctification of others.”
So you see the importance of prayer as the foundation of all we do. We must learn to become totally dependent on Christ, otherwise we will fall, we will not be effective in what we do, and we will end up denying Christ when the pressure of battle comes on.
This is God's Battle
This is God's battle, we are mere creatures who will succeed only if we can humble ourselves and learn to abandon our own wills. This, I can tell you from personal experience, is easier said than done but we must never give up hope and when and if we fail, we must acknowledge our failings, repent and humbly plead with God to help us to rise once again, to put on our armour and to rejoin the battle.”
'The Lumen Fidei Institute'
One of the main reasons for Anthony and I giving these talks was to launch a new apostolate called 'The Lumen Fidei Institute'. Not many people realise that Anthony Murphy takes no salary from the Catholic Voice newspaper. I also am not paid for the articles that I write. The newspaper generally covers its own costs on an annual basis and Anthony has refused to increase the price from €1.00 in order to get the message out there at an affordable price to as many people as possible. Our recent talks around the country have shown us the great need that people have for support, for being able to hear the Truth of what the Catholic Church teaches and for hope in a time of increasing darkness and confusion even within the Catholic Church.
The Resistance Movement
In times of revolution and chaos there usually arises a resistance movement which seeks to hold on firm to the timeless truths and traditions of faithful Catholic living. A movement that stands fast, whilst looking and hoping for a better future and for a return to common decency and respect. In times of persecution of the Catholic faith in the past, many lay Catholics risked their lives to provide 'safe houses' for priests so that the sacraments of Holy Mother Church could still be administered to the people and so the people could be instructed in the faith.
'The Lumen Fidei Institute' is such a movement. We are based on the perennial magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church which we seek to promote, to defend, and to help people to live by. I have a particular interest in promoting and helping couples to live out the Catholic teaching on Marriage and Family Life. We have been working on this idea and trying to get it going for several years, and the time is now right to launch out into the deep.
We Need Your Support
But we need your support and your help to enable us to do this on a full time basis. Primarily we need your prayers, but the labourers also need to be supported in their work so that they can concentrate on carrying the light of faith, the 'lumen fidei' out into the darkness so that people can see what they must do and where they must go in order to be saved.
In my own prayers for this mission I have begun re-reading 'The Soul of the Apostolate' by Dom Chautard. This week I skipped to the end of the book where I read the heading that, “The apostle must have an ardent devotion to Mary Immaculate” and where he quotes St Bernard as follows.
Deep Devotion to Our Lady
“See, my brethren, with what feelings of devotion God has wished us to honour Mary, He who has placed in her the fullness of all good. If there is in us any hope, any grace, any pledge of salvation, let us recognise that all this overflows on us from her who is 'flowing with delights'. Take away the sun, which enlightens the world, and light disappears. Take away Mary, that star of the sea, of our great vast sea, and what remains but a deep obscurity, the shadow of death and thick darkness! It is therefore from the depths of our hearts, from our innermost being, and with all our soul that we must honour the Virgin Mary; for such is the will of Him who wished us to have all through her.”
Dom Chautard then gives us the formula for the success of 'The Lumen Fidei Institute'. “Relying on the strength of this doctrine we do not hesitate to declare that whatever the apostle may do for his own salvation and spiritual progress and for the success of his apostolate, he runs the risk of building only on sand, if his activity is not based on a very special devotion to our Lady.”
Will YOU Join Us
Will you join with us in honouring the Heavenly patrons of 'The Lumen Fidei Institute', the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Most Chaste Heart of St Joseph and St Michael the Archangel?
Our earthly patrons are Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan and titular bishop of Celerina, and John Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (S.P.U.C.).
We have also launched a website – www.lumenfidei.ie – which we are hoping to develop into a first class Catholic Catechetical resource where people can go to learn about and to hear the authentic magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church. This is so necessary in these times when many false prophets and wolves in sheep's clothing are trying to lead the faithful astray through false teachings.
Short Term Fundraising
We are looking at both a short term and a long term strategy to help to finance this much needed Catholic initiative. We are looking to raise an initial 'seed' fund of around €25,000 to get 'The Lumen Fidei Institute' up and running. In this regard we are looking for donors to come forward who are in a position to donate between €500 and €1,000. We need about fifty such donors but if there were one hundred out there so much the better.
One part of the project is to produce excellent high quality on line videos of around ten minutes each, dealing with various aspects of Catholic teaching from the ten commandments, to the precepts of the Church, to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and anything else that our supporteers suggest there is a need for. We don't have the equipment or the technology to do this but with your help it can become a reality.
Long Term Fundraising
We are also looking to start a family! That is a family of about one thousand supporters who are willing to set up a standing order for €10 per month so that we can guarantee the continuity of 'The Lumen Fidei Institute' into the future. These supporters will also become a support to each other. One of the comments that we came across during our talks, is that faithful Catholics who are not willing to go along with the current disastrous trends we see infiltrating our beloved Church, are beginning to feel isolated and alone. As the book of Proverbs tells us.
“A brother that is helped by his brother, is like a strong city” (Proverbs 18:19)
A Network of Faithful Catholics
We need to help one another and we need to build a network of faithful Catholics who like the Maccabees of old are willing to stand against the tide of filth that is slowly engulfing the western world. We need to know where our friends are and to whom we can turn in times of trouble. We need to build a future for our children that enables them to live Holy Catholic lives and to raise Holy Catholic families for the Glory and Honour of God.
So, will you join with us in establishing this great adventure? Please get in touch with either myself John Lacken - firstname.lastname@example.org – 085-1208779 or Anthony Murphy – email@example.com. We look forward to working on your behalf in this great inititiative.
You can fill out a standing order form from the Catholic Voice or you can download one from the website www.lumenfidei.ie . Click on the donate button to be taken to the link.
Contact from Japan & Norway
I spoke earlier about sometimes wondering whether or not we are having any impact. As I was writing this article the postman arrived to my house with a letter. It was from a young Trappist monk who lives in a small monastery in the mountains of Norway. They have no electricity, no TV, no computers, no phones, no internet. He reads my articles in the Catholic Voice and he was commending me on the articles dealing with modesty which he wants to distribute.
Last year I was contacted by a man in Japan who also reads the Catholic Voice. We are not alone and together we can spread the light of Christ through Mary into the darkness to give renewed hope to souls. So, please, I ask you to join us and to support us in whatever way you can as we work in the vineyard of the Lord for the salvation of souls. May God bless you. John Lacken