Little Charity, Smaller Hearts
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Our Lord's command to bear with each other charitably seems to be lost on many traditional Catholics. This lack of charity in dealing with our fellow Catholics transcends all of the labels that are applied to the members of the warring tribes that make up traditionalism, which is one of the reasons that many Catholics still attached to the Novus Ordo Missae want nothing to do with even exploring the merits of arguments concerning the harm wrought by conciliarism's novelties, including the Novus Ordo Missae itself.
Yes, people should be able to put aside the vagaries of fallen human nature and consider the merits of arguments independently of the faults of those who are advancing them. This is difficult for most people to do as the sentimentality that is one of the chief elements of cultural pluralism and religious indifferentism dulls the sensus Catholicus and leads people into judging the worth of arguments on the basis of the "niceness" of those advancing them.
All the more reason for traditional Catholics to ratchet down their attacks on each other, no less failing to understand that those still in the Novus Ordo are simply sheep who want to get home to Heaven as much as they do but who have not been given the graces to see the depths of the crisis facing the Church today.
The attacks launched by one set of traditional Catholics against other sets of traditional Catholics borders on the demonic at times. I mean, there were some sedevacantists two years ago who were jubilant when they learned of the death of Michael Davies, whose work is responsible for helping many of us to make our first baby steps in the direction of Tradition. At least one self-professed sedevacantist wrote to Michael Matt, who is calumniated regularly as a "false" traditionalist, last year to state that his own sister, Mrs. Mary Williams, who had just died, had gone to Hell because she recognized Pope John Paul II as a legitimate Successor of Saint Peter. Such bitter, vindictive comments are not of God. They are from the devil. They represent blackened hearts that do not beat in unison with the abiding Charity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
A handful of sedevacantists, for example, launch bitter broadsides against each other. Instead of making the case for the position that the conciliar popes have professed heresy repeatedly and have thus disqualified themselves from the holding of the Throne of Saint Peter, some sedevacantists spend a good deal of their time trying to discredit other sedevacantists for one reason or another. Chat rooms and "forums," two of the worst plagues of the nascent Third Millennium that should occupy the time and energies of no one, become opportunities for people to launch the most cruel ad hominem attacks upon other Catholics, most of whom they do not even know but feel eminently qualified to insult and denigrate with a wretched fury. If someone has enough time to spend tearing down people they have never met in a chat room or a forum he has time to spend in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and to the Mother of God, asking particularly to give the traditionalists with whom he disagrees the benefit of the doubt and to disagree on positions without attacking another's character or worth.
This phenomenon is not limited to the sedevacantist community. Oh, no. More than a handful of people who assist at offerings of the Mass of all ages in "approved" venues disparage the good bishops and priests of the Society of Saint Pius X as "schismatic" and "disloyal," veritable "Protestants" who are engaging in "private judgments" about the pope and the Second Vatican Council. This fire is returned in some instances from those who assist at chapels administered by the Society of Saint Pius X and who call anyone who assists at an indult Mass to be a "compromiser" who is unworthy to be known as a traditional Catholic, leaving little room for such people, some of whom are hated by their family members for even going to the indult, to be drawn into the glories of Tradition and then to come to see the situation more clearly over the course of time.
Then there are the volleys lobbed now and again at Father Patrick Perez from all quarters (diocesan, Ecclesia Dei communities, sedevacantist groups, Society of Saint Pius X). Some in the Ecclesia Dei communities say that he is "out of the Church" and has no right to offer the Mass of Tradition to the abused sheep (or to hear their Confessions) in southern California in a time of unparalleled ecclesiastical crisis. The diocesan officials in Orange and Los Angeles, who hate Tradition of any stripe whatsoever, use all manner of intimidation to try to prevent more and more of their disaffected parishioners from seeking out the fullness of the Faith without compromise in the oasis of Our Lady Help of Christians in Garden Grove, California. Some in the Society of Saint Pius X accuse Father Perez of being a sedevacantist, which he is not, for using the pre-1956 Missal and for having the temerity to discuss--in the most erudite and dispassionate manner possible--the harm of the preconciliar liturgical changes and how they were related to the larger revolutionary agenda. Some sedevacantists say that Father Perez is not ordained and that he knows this to be the case, thus condemning him for acting in "bad faith." (No, those who say this have never spoken to Father Perez directly. Oh, no. They simply pass the judgment and do not attempt to engage him personally. Guilty as charged. No necessity of even discussing anything with the "guilty" party as the sentence is being pronounced and carried out.) And all Father Perez and his associate, Father Paul Sretenovic, are trying to do is to save souls! That's all.
What is lost in all of this is a simple fact that most traditional Catholics, no matter what camp in which they have placed themselves, are simply trying to do the best they can to save their souls. Yes, as I have been writing for the past four years now, those in the indult should seek to extricate themselves from a situation where the Faith is compromised and the Mass is offered under unjust and illicit conditions. Do I condemn those who remain? By no means. I remained there for a long time. (And the fact that I did remain there for a long time has been held against me in a number of traditional circles ever since, something I attempted to note with humor a few weeks ago but wound up inflaming the people who have been attempting to impersonate me on the internet and to spread the most vicious and vile gossip in order to attempt to destroy my reputation. Ah, yes, the spirit of Our Lord Himself.)
Similarly, there are those in the indult and the Society of Saint Pius X and other venues who go on a rampage against sedevacantists, refusing to cede to those who hold one of the various positions associated with sedevacantism, ranging from a firm declaration that the See of Peter is vacant to the belief that this is likely the case but that we must await a declaration on the matter from some future pope or council to know for sure, any latitude of charity at all. Most of the people we have met in sedevacantist venues in the past two months are just Catholics who want to get home to Heaven. Indeed, many of these good people just want to go to the Mass of all ages. Period. Some are firm in their view on the illegitimacy of the conciliar popes. Others are not sure. These good people, most of whom are not the black-hearted letter writers who take glee in the pain and suffering of those whom they castigate as "faux traditionalists," are full of Charity and forbearance for their fellow Catholics. They are wonderful people who have come to conclusions that differ from others. Is it absolutely impossible that some future pope or council might pronounce negatively on the legitimacy of the conciliar popes? These good people are not the problem facing the Church today. Modernism is the problem facing the Church today.
Fallen human nature is what it is. Yes, we will disagree with others about the state of the Church and how to act in the midst of an almost unprecedented situation in her history. Fine. We can disagree without hating others. If we disagree with others on this or that point or points, then we must disagree without hating them. We must also recognize that the lack of charity exhibited by people in the various camps of tradition does not in and of itself vitiate the validity of their positions. We must have the grace and the dispassion to look beyond bad example and a lack of charity to examine the merit or demerit of arguments and positions on their own face, understanding the intentions of all hearts and the circumstances of all lives will be revealed only on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead.
Indeed, we must will the good of all others, understanding that none of our vaunted positions or judgments is received from the hand of God. It is the devil himself who wants us to be shooting at each other rather than focusing on the Modernism that has overtaken Rome and has caused cataclysms galore in the life of the average Catholic. Anyone who thinks that he has a right to hate and calumniate those in the traditional movement with whom he disagrees is not thinking or acting with the Mind or the Sacred Heart of the God-Man, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The devil wants to use each of our own worst characteristics to inflame others and to discourage those still in the Novus Ordo from even considering an embrace of Tradition. That having been noted, however, we must remind ourselves that the worst characteristics of those with whom we disagree (you pick the group that you think is wrong!) are really mirror images of our own darkened souls at times, are they not? We are no better than anyone else, are we? We are in need of conversion on a daily basis, which is why we must go to confession every week (if the availability of a priest makes this possible) to be cleansed of our venial sins and thus to think more clearly with the Mind of Christ and to love more generously and charitably with His Most Sacred Heart, that Heart of forbearance that forgives us our slightest faults if only week seek out His ineffable Mercy in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance.
Forgiveness was one of the hallmarks of Our Lord's Public Ministry. The Pater Noster, which includes seven specific petitions, teaches us that we must forgive others as we ourselves have been forgiven by the Divine Redeemer. Et dimmite nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimmitimus debitoribus nostris. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Those words are exact and precise. We must forgive others with the same degree of depth and spontaneity that Our Lord forgives us when we make a good, humble and contrite confession of our sins in the Sacrament of Penance. There is nothing that anyone can do to us or say about us that is in the slightest bit the equal of what one of our least venial sins caused Our Lord to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death. If He forgives us, who merit only condemnation and death because of our sins, so freely as the fruits of His Redemptive Act are applied to us who seek them out, then who are we to withhold, even for one moment, complete and total forgiveness to those who transgress against us?
We must forgive our family members when they misunderstand us. We must forgive complete strangers who assign to us the basest of motives when they write or speak about us or our work, understanding there is much merit to be earned if we patiently endure calumny and detraction and humiliation and outright rejection in order to await the manifestation of the intentions of all hearts at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead on the Last Day. So what if either a relative or a stranger attacks us unjustly and misunderstands us or our work? So what? So what if a friend of longstanding decides to end a friendship? So what if people gossip about us? So what if even relatives and former friends consider us crazy for our embrace of Tradition without compromise? Painful? Sure. So was the Cross of the Divine Redeemer. Our focus at all times must be so entirely supernatural that we have the same spirit of ready forgiveness and an earnest recourse to fervent prayer whenever we have been done an injustice, content indeed to wait until the Last Day for the intentions of all hearts to be laid bare.
We must even forgive those in public life who are sworn enemies of the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation. We must forgive the enemies of Christ who are within His Mystical Body in the Church Militant on earth, including bad (or false) popes and bishops. We must not only forgive these people who we may never meet personally but we must pray for them. Fervently. Ceaselessly.
The practice of saying three Ave Marias each morning upon arising and each night upon retiring (adding "O Blessed Mother, help us to be like thee") is certainly one that we should rekindle as a means of making reparation for the harm to souls done by those in public life and in the Church who are promoting things contrary to the Deposit of Faith and to the patrimony of her authentic Tradition, to say nothing of a means to convert these people. Those of us who are totally consecrated to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart know that she will use the fruit of our prayers and merits as she sees fit for ourselves and those we pray for. As her consecrated slaves, we give her everything to be disposed of as she sees fit for the honor and glory of the Blessed Trinity and for the sanctification and salvation of human souls.
"You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and the bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? Do not even the publicans do this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? Do not also the heathens do this? Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect." (Mt. 5:43-48)
Our love for others must be an imitation of God's love for us, which is not a mere expression of sentimentality. God's love for us is an act of His Divine Will. God wills our good, the ultimate expression of which is the salvation of our immortal souls. We love no one authentically if we do or say anything, by omission or commission, which in anyway interferes with the salvation of his immortal soul. We must will, therefore, this good for all men and women in the world. We must pray for the conversion of everyone on this planet who is alive at present to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, doing so regardless of the degree of hostility they might have for us and/or for the Church at the moment we offer our prayers for them. We are in need of constant conversion. We are in need of prayers from others. We are in need of making reparation for our own many sins. We are in need of seeking forgiveness both from God in the Sacrament of Penance and from others. What a salutary thing it is, therefore, for us to put aside grudges and resentments and to offer forgiveness right readily, to quote Saint Thomas More, and to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that all people will come to be totally consecrated to her so that they will know the Divine Mercy that flows from her Son's Most Sacred Heart.
It may be necessary for us to remonstrate with others because of something they have said or done. One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to admonish the sinner. When such a situation presents itself, we must offer a word of correction without the slightest trace of righteousness. However, we must understand that there is the possibility that our obligation to comply with the injunction to admonish a sinner carries with it the possibility that we will be misunderstood and/or rejected, resented and reviled. If such an admonishment goes badly, then all we can do is to pray, hoping that the one who has been admonished will respond to the promptings of grace to have a change of heart. We must be careful never to condemn a person as we condemn the sinful things a person does. Our Lord taught this when He forgave the woman caught in adultery:
"Then Jesus lifting up Himself, said to her: 'Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee?' Who said: 'No man, Lord.' And Jesus said: 'Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more.'" (Jn. 10-11)
Our Lord forgave the woman, understanding the weakness of fallen human nature. However, he did not reaffirm her in her sins. It is no act of "compassion" or "tolerance" to reaffirm someone in a life of unrepentant mortal sins. We cannot be a disciple of Our Lord and be indifferent to the effects of sin on the souls of ourselves or those who God's Providence places in our lives. It is a fundamental act of both charity and justice to lead such souls into the Church if they are outside of her sheepfold and to lead those who have strayed back into the confessional. If we understand our own need for mercy and forgiveness, then we will be better able to help others who do not at first glance recognize their own need for same to became mendicants in the Sacrament of Penance and to make a firm purpose of amendment to reform their lives.
Father Edward Leen's In the Likeness of Christ discussed the lack of mercy prior to Our Lord's Incarnation and His Redemptive Act on the wood of the Holy Cross. We must show mercy to others in order to receive Divine Mercy.
"Under the reign of Satan men were hard and unfeeling, without pity or tenderness. The one thing they looked up to was the physical power to dominate, and the one thing they feared was the helplessness of poverty. Their life was divided between pleasure and cruelty.... Conversion of heart was for them extremely difficult. What God required on the part of man as a necessary condition of their friendship with Him was to them abhorrent, for the practice of the Christian virtues of submission, humility, and patience would be regarded by them as degrading."
Most of the disputes we encounter in life that result in the holding of grudges and the nurturing of resentments are pretty petty. Even if they are more significant, such as those facing the Church today, and more frequent than we think beyond our capacity to forgive, we must remember the exchange between Saint Peter and Our Lord:
"Then Peter came unto Him and said: 'Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times.'
"Jesus saith to him: 'I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times.'
" 'Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents. And as he had not wherewithal to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children all that he had, and payment to be made.
" 'But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: "Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all." And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt.
" 'But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, he throttled him, saying: "Pay what thou owest." And his fellow servant falling down, besought him, saying: "Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all." And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt.
" 'Now his fellow servants seeing what was done were very much grieved, and they came and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him; and said to him: "Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me: Shouldst not thou then have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee?" And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt.
" 'So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.'" (Lk. 18:21-35)
These words are pretty plain. We must forgive everyone. We must seek forgiveness from those to whom we have done injustices. This does not mean that we have restore someone who has hurt us to an intimate friendship or that we cannot seek justice without malice or recrimination when a situation demands (such as those involving the restoration of right order in the Church by our holding ecclesiastical officials to account for their words and deeds that are contrary to the Deposit of Faith and to the good of souls). It does mean, however, that we must have hearts that are so closely bound to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus that we never surrender to the temptation to think that we are so important or that some hurt is so significant that we have license therefore to be exempt from the parable of Our Lord that Saint Luke recorded in his Gospel. And we must be ready to forgive others with the generosity of the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. This is not an option in the interior life of a Catholic. It is nothing other than a Divine command for us to obey lest we not be forgiven our own sins by God.
Father Leen upon the fact that each of us hurts and disappoints others, which is why we must be so ready to forgive in the likeness of Our Lord Himself:
"In other words, it is the law of things as they actually are that we must continually suffer from others; it is the condition of our being that we shall be the victims of others' abuse of their free wills; it belongs to our position that our desires and inclinations should be continually thwarted and that we should be at the mercy of circumstances. And it is our duty to bear that without resentment and without rebellion. To rebel is to assert practically that such things are not our due, that they do not belong to our position. It is to refuse to recognize that we are fallen members of a fallen race. The moment we feel resentment at anything painful that happens to us through the activity of men or things, at that moment we are resentful against God's Providence.
"We are in this really protesting against His eternal determination to create free beings; for these sufferings which we endure are a consequence of the carrying into effect of that free determination. If we expect or look for a mode of existence in which we shall not endure harshness, unkindness, misunderstanding, and injustice, we are actually rebelling against God's Providence, we are claiming a position that does not belong to us as creatures. This is to sin against humility. It is pride."
To accept the reality of our lives is to accept God's Providence. We must be grieved because of our sins. But we cannot take back our actions. There is no taking back what is in the past. It is done. We need to be chastened by our misdeeds, to resolve to love God and others, and not to give in to the devil's desire to use a sense of sorrow for sin as a means to withdraw from the work God expects us to do. To learn from the passing of time in one's life is not to give rise to discouragement or despair. It is not to harden our hearts toward ourselves--or toward those who may have offended us. Moreover, to learn from the passing of time in one's life is to trust more fully in God's mercy.
As Father Leen noted:
"It is true that He cannot but look with hatred on sin, and that He cannot love us insofar as we are sinners. But He can, and does, love us for any little good that remains in us, and above all He loves us for what we can possibly become if we respond to the pressing appeals of His grace. He does not love sin, but He does love those who are sinners, and He never shrinks from contact with us, or from our contact with Him, as long as there remains the possibility of our rejecting that which is displeasing in His sight. It is to wrong Him to think otherwise; and the Devil never has got a fully decisive victory over a soul until he has robbed it of full confidence in the inexhaustible goodness of the Heart of Jesus to the wayward, the faithless, and the sinful. And not the very gravest of our infidelities inflict so cruel a wound on that Heart, as is that wound that is inflicted on it when we doubt of its tenderness and mercy.
"Those who came into contact with Him whilst He lived on earth never had this attitude of fear toward Him, even when they recognized His awe-inspiring holiness. In spite of the consciousness of grave sin that many who approached Him must have had, we see no trace in their dealings with Him of their having a tendency to shrink from His presence or to dread His approach. . . . It is evident that not only did the Savior show a habitual readiness to forgive sin, but He must have exhibited such graciousness, tenderness, sympathy, and kindness toward sinners that it caused comments and criticism amongst the rigidly righteous [the Pharisees]. . . .
"But when it is a question of the soul and the soul's life-of its nearness to or remoteness from God, there are no limits to be placed to the extent of His anxious tenderness. Hence, His almost extravagant joy when the sinful or the lukewarm, surrendering to the assaults of His grace, turn to Him appealingly and cast themselves at His feet with a sincere confession of their helplessness and a humble appeal for help. The acknowledgment of our powerlessness leaves Him, as it were, powerless to resist our entreaties."
Perhaps it is too much to expect that those who are devoted to the restoration of Tradition in the Church and thus Christendom in the world might treat each other charitably without "excommunicating" each other, either "solemnly" by various pronouncements and screeds or by simply withdrawing their friendship and pretending that those with whom they now disagree no longer exist and as though there were, in the Soviet sense, veritable non-persons unworthy of any respect or acknowledgment whatsoever. Perhaps it is too much to expect that the inevitable substantive disagreements generated by the crisis in the Church can be dealt with in a spirit of charitable respect. Perhaps it is too much to expect that traditional Catholics who believe they have been dealt injustices, whether real or imagined or exaggerated, at the hands of other traditional Catholics might forgive their "enemies" from their hearts and wish to be reconciled to them in Heaven (if not here in this passing vale of tears).
As I noted in Do You Believe in the Apostles' Creed? last month, the commissars are not going to care that we are even traditional Catholics when they come to arrest us for failing to adhere to the secularist creed. The mere fact that we are Catholics will be enough to have us thrown away. And wouldn't it be something if our "worst" adversary in the traditional movement was sharing a jail cell with us? God does love to humiliate, my friends, and He has done this many times in the past to teach His stupid sheep that they better forgive each other and deal with each other charitably if they want to receive any Mercy from Him when they breathe their last. And maybe such a state-sponsored persecution will be the very thing that winds up saving the souls of those who believe that they have the right to hate and to refuse to forgive those against whom they harbor some grudge or grudges.
Imploring the Queen of Mercy, whose Immaculate Heart formed and was forever united to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in a perfect bond of matchless love, to intercede for us to have great charity and large hearts, may we cease and desist from ad hominem attacks on each other so that we can concentrate on our own holiness as we flee from the Modernism in Rome and attempt to plant a few seeds, given to God through that same Immaculate Heart, that might indeed play a small role in helping effect the Reign of Mary, which will be the Reign of Christ the King in all of His glory.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.
A Prayer in Preparation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within Thy Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying, Heart of Jesus help me.
Merciful Jesus, I consecrate myself today and always to Thy Most Sacred Heart.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus I implore, that I may ever love Thee more and more.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Thy love for me.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
Sacred Heart of Jesus Thy Kingdom Come.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying, deliver the Holy Souls in Purgatory.