As I sit down to write this article, it is early in the morning of the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We have been invited to attend Holy Mass, organised by a pro-life group in County Mayo, in Ballintubber Abbey, where Mass has been continually celebrated for over 800 years. The Abbey’s website has the following.
“The strongest tradition is that the Mass has been said in the Abbey without a break since the year of it’s foundation in 1216. We have often heard of the heroic struggle of the Irish people to keep the faith in spite of dungeons, fire and sword. Nothing emphasises this fact more for us than the story of Ballintubber Abbey. For 236 years the people were attending Mass in the unroofed Abbey exposed to the cold and the wind and the rain. This is not mere conjecture; the photographs of 1865 show the congregation kneeling on the grass covered ground. The priest has finished Mass; the vestments may be seen on the altar while the priest continues the instruction of the children. Though the Mass is over the people still continue to kneel, drinking in the word of God. In this modern age of heated air-conditioned churches, it is good for us to meditate on what our forefathers endured to practice the faith which Patrick planted so deeply in Baile tobair Phádraig- the townland of the well of Patrick.”
We Can Withstand the Modernists.
Ballintubber Abbey, like most Catholic parishes in western Christendom, has suffered from the onslaught of modernism within the Catholic Church. Some of the liturgies that have been celebrated there are questionable to say the least. But the rich heritage of the Abbey and the strong faith of the ordinary Catholics of 1865 should give the ordinary Catholics of today great hope that we can withstand the modernists as long as we ‘hold fast to the traditions’. The second chapter of St Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians is well worth reading.
“And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him: That you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand.
Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God.
Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity. But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved of God, for that God hath chosen you first fruits unto salvation, in sanctification of the spirit, and faith of the truth: Whereunto also he hath called you by our gospel, unto the purchasing of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God and our Father, who hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope in grace, exhort your hearts, and confirm you in every good work and word.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-16)
Many faithful lay Catholics in Ireland are concerned by the sheer scale of the collapse of Catholicism in Ireland within what seems to be a relatively short period of time. However, this collapse is the culmination of a process that was set in motion many decades and perhaps even centuries ago. When a building is on fire, the main structure remains standing until the fire has weakened the supports. Suddenly the building collapses or, as we recently witnessed with the fire in the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, the roof may suddenly cave in. But the sudden collapse was preceded by the burning fire.
In Ireland, that fire which is destroying the Catholic faith in our country, is fuelled by modernism within the Catholic Church which has led to the rejection of the basic tenets of the Catholic Faith in our country. These basic tenets were not taught properly to at least the last two generations of Catholics who attended ‘catholic’ schools in Ireland.
LGBT Ideology Corrupts Children.
Thus contraception, divorce, pornography, ‘same-sex marriage’, child sexual abuse and abortion have come to Ireland. The systematic corruption of Catholic children in ‘catholic’ schools via the promotion of the LGBT ideology is now well underway. Plans to legalise euthanasia are progressing. Ireland is becoming a culturally Marxist and totalitarian state in which Catholics are no longer welcome despite the rhetoric of ‘inclusion’, ‘diversity’ and ‘all are welcome’.
The Irish bishops do not have any systematic plan to counteract this cultural collapse. The top priority at their recent summer meeting was religious intolerance, racism and bigotry. They were not speaking about our government’s growing intolerance and persecution of the religious viewpoint, but about the treatment of migrants who have come to Ireland.
The second part of their summer statement concerned ‘Relationships and Sexuality Education’. The Irish bishops said that they “strongly support parents as the primary educators of their children”. I must disagree with this statement. In my own journey as a Catholic parent I have been met with opposition from Catholic bishops who have worked with the secular Irish government to introduce a secular RSE programme into Irish ‘catholic’ schools despite the opposition of many faithful Catholic parents. The Irish bishops have done nothing publicly to prevent the promotion of the LGBT ideology in Irish ‘catholic’ schools.
Recent examples include their silence on the fact that the once Catholic boy scouts in Ireland are marching in Dublin’s ‘Gay Pride’ parade. The Ferns Diocesan Youth Services are taking part in the ‘Gay Pride’ parade for the first time. The Kerry Diocesan Youth Services, which are advertised on the official Kerry Diocesan website, encourage the setting up of LGBT groups for children as young as thirteen, and these thirteen year old children are encouraged to join with other Diocesan LGBT groups to take part in a ‘Gay Pride’ parade in either Dublin or Cork. So much for strongly supporting parents as the primary educators of their children.
The Irish bishops’ summer statement also trotted out the tired old mantra which is not really observed, when they said, “The bishops stressed the central role of parents as they nurture their children to grow in these challenging times. Parents must therefore be consulted in the development of RSE programmes.”
Catholic Parents Must Resist Initiatives which Harm Children.
I am sorry, you do not consult with me about my children without first asking my permission, which I am entitled to refuse. Catholic parents are not duty bound to ‘consult’ with the State in matters relating to the education of their children and we sometimes have a moral duty to prevent State intrusion into the lives of our children and to oppose State plans for our children. There are times when Catholic parents must resist the initiatives of their bishop, because these initiatives may not be in line with traditional Catholic teaching. Such resistance must be respectful of the bishop’s office, but Catholic parents are the primary authority over their children, and they must exercise this authority to both teach and to defend their children from all harm, regardless of the source of that harm.
The Lumen Fidei Institute’s July – August newsletter, which deals with the growing threat to Catholic children of the LGBT ideology, has just gone to press and should be posted out early in the second week of July. We are looking for help in distributing this newsletter to parents and others interested in protecting children from LGBT indoctrination. If you do not already receive our bi-monthly newsletter and would like to do so, then please get in touch with me on 085-1208779 or by e-mail [email protected].
Catholic parents must not fall into the trap of trying to save Ireland and of trying to save the world. Such a trap might lead us to neglect the principle duties of our state in life. We must look to save ourselves and our families first by living our Catholic faith to the best of our abilities and by teaching the faith in its entirety to our children. If we do this well in our own families, and if other Catholic parents do this well in their families, saving Ireland and saving the world will become a side effect of saving our families. This is where a deep, trusting and loyal devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus comes into play.
When Our Lord spoke to St Margaret Mary Alacoque about devotion to His Sacred Heart after she wanted to make some return to Him for all the graces He had bestowed on her, He said:
“Behold this Heart which has so loved men as to spare Itself nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, to testify to them Its love, and in return I receive nothing but ingratitude from the greater part of men by the contempt, irreverence, sacrileges, and coldness which they have for Me in this Sacrament of My love; but what is still more painful is that it is hearts consecrated to me that treat me thus. For this reason I ask that the First Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a particular feast to honour My Heart; I ask that reparation of honour be made to My Heart, that Communion be received on that day to repair the indignities which It has received during the time It has been exposed on the altars; and I promise you that My Heart will expand Itself and pour out in abundance the influences of Its love on those who will render It this honour.”
St Margaret Mary wondered to whom Our Lord was addressing Himself as she knew of her unworthiness to carry out this mission pointing out that there were so many generous souls who would be better suited to the task. Ordinary lay Catholics can take great consolation from Our Lord’s reply to St Margaret Mary.
“Poor innocent that you are, do you not know that I make use of the weak to confound the strong? That it is usually on the lowliest and the poor in spirit that I show My power with greatest effect, in order that they may attribute nothing to themselves.”
We must never falter in our mission as Catholic parents on account of our weakness and unworthiness to be shepherds of God’s children whom He entrusts to our care. Rather we must take great consolation in the promises Christ makes to those who will enthrone Him as King of their families by enthroning the image of His Sacred Heart in their homes and by honouring this image of His sacred Heart. Here lies the solution to our problems and to the problems within our beloved Catholic Church and our beloved country Ireland.
Christ promises to bring peace to our families and to bless all our undertakings and to give us all the graces necessary for our state in life if we will but honour Him in the image of His Sacred Heart in our homes. Many Catholics confuse blessings with happiness, and this is not surprising given the bad translations that are commonly used for the beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount where ‘blessed’ is translated as ‘happy’. We will always have struggles in our family life, and it is true to say that many times, these hardships and struggles are the blessings God allows us and through which we learn to deny ourselves and to increase in grace and holiness. The way of the Cross is the way of the ordinary Catholic and there is no other way.
Since Fatima, Our Lord has also asked that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, be placed alongside the devotion to His Sacred Heart. He replied to Sr Lucia when she asked Him why he wanted the consecration of Russia.
“Because I want my whole Church to acknowledge the Consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that it may extend its cult later, and put the Devotion to My Mother’s Immaculate Heart beside the Devotion to My Sacred Heart.”
Let us rekindle the glow of the little red lamp of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our homes so that we may avail of all the graces that will be necessary to help our families to “stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned” and let us honour the Immaculate Heart of Mary by promoting the family Rosary, and the Nine First Fridays and Five First Saturdays devotions.
Christ will not leave us orphans.
May God bless you