To Be Transfigured In All Glory
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Today is the great Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on Mount Thabor.
Dom Prosper Gueranger explained in The Liturgical Year how this glorious feast, coming in a month replete with one feast after another (we have had already this month the Feast of Saint Peter's Chains and the Commemoration of the Holy Machabees, the Feast of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, the Feast of the Finding of the Body of Saint Stephen, the Protomartyr, the Feast of Saint Dominic de Guzman, the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Snows), was instituted by Pope Calistus III in 1456:
In 1453 Byzantium, the capital of the Eastern empire, fell before the Turkish janissaries, and three years later Mahomet II invested Belgrade on the very outskirts of the Western empire. It might have been expected that all Europe would hasten to the aid of the besieged fortress, for it this last dyke were to fall, Hungary, Austria and Italy would be overwhelmed and the peoples of the North and West would share the fate of the East, that life in death, that irremediable sterility of soil and intelligence which still holds captive the once brilliant Greece. But this imminent danger only resulted in deepening the breach in Christian unity, and the Christian nations were at the mercy of a few thousand infidels. Only the Papacy was true to itself in the midst of all this egoism and perfidy. Truly Catholic in its thoughts, its labours, its sufferings, as in its joys and triumphs, it took up the common cause which had been basely betrayed by kings and princes. The powerful were deaf to the Pope's appeals, but he turned to the humble and, trusting more in prayer to the God of armies than in military tactics, he sought for the deliverers of Christendom among the poor.
It was then than John Capistran, the saint of to-day [March 28], attained the consummation of his glory and his sanctity. At the head of a few poor men of good-will, unknown peasants gathered together by the Franciscan Friars, this 'poor man of Christ' undertook to defeat the strongest and best organized army of the century. On July 14, 1456, he broke through the Ottoman lines with John Hunyades, the only one of the Hungarian nobles who would accompany him, and revictualled Belgrade; and on July 22, feeling that he could no longer elude the defensive, he threw himself, to the stupefaction of Hunyades, on the enemy entrenchments. His troops were armed only with flails and pitchforks, and their only strategy was the name of Jesus. John had inherited this victorious battle-cry from his master, Bernardine of Siena. the Psalmist said: 'Some trust in chariots and some in horses: but we will call upon the name of the Lord our God.' This name, so holy and so terrible, proved once more the salvation of the people. At the end of that memorable day twenty-four thousand Turks lay dead on the field of battle; three hundred cannon and all the spoils of the infidels were in the hands of the Christians and, and Mahomet II was seeking a distant hiding-place for his shame. The news of this victory, so like that of Gedeon, reached Rome on August 6, and Pope Callistus III decreed that henceforth the Universal Church should keep a solemn commemoration of the Transfiguration of Our Lord on that day, for it was with the soldiers of the Cross as with the heroes of Israel, 'they got not the possession of the land by their own sword: neither did their own arm save them, but thy right hand and thy arm and the light of thy countenance because thou wast pleased with them,' as with Thy beloved Son on Mount Thabor.
Yes, of course, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ took three of His Apostles, Saints Peter, James and John, up to the top of Mount Thabor, where He was transfigured before them in glory, showing them the same glory He had from all eternity with the Father, Who said, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him." Appearing with Our Lord were Moses and Elias. The three Apostles were permitted to experience the image of Our Lord's Transfiguration in order to provide them with a bit of consolation during His Passion and Death, that they might call to mind the vision of His radiant glory as all appeared in human terms to be have been lost with His Death on the wood of the Holy Cross. It is that very same transfigured glory that Our Lord showed forth as He manifested His Easter Victory over sin and death in the Resurrection.
It is no accident that Our Lord took the same three Apostles with Him as He suffered His Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Just as Saints Peter, James and John fell down on the ground when they saw the image of Our Lord's transfigured glory on Mount Thabor, so would they fall fast asleep as the Divine Master demonstrated the depths of the horror afflicting His soul as He sweated droplets of His Most Precious Blood while contemplating all of the sins of all men until the end of time that would cause Him to undergo His fearful Passion and Death.
This incomparable feast day reminds us that Our Lord wants us to remember that there an empty tomb in Jerusalem because He got up and walked out of it, promising us that our own bodies will be transfigured in glory at the end of time if our souls persevere in states of Sanctifying Grace until the point of our dying breaths. And Our Lord wants us to remember that He will provide us a bit of consolation every now and then as we walk the rocky road that leads to the narrow gate of Life.
We must not look for the consolation. However, He will send us a bit of consolation in order to encourage us as we keep our hands on the plough in order to furrow the ground so as to bring forth a rich harvest of souls for the Catholic Church. Our daily crosses are ever with us. They are the means of our sanctification and salvation, given freely to His own Most Sacred Heart through His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. If some bit of transfiguring joy comes our way now and then, thank God for it, but be ever ready to look at the Cross, without which it is impossible to know the glory of an unending Easter Sunday of joy in Paradise.
We are asked to bear the cross of humiliation and calumny and rejection and wordily hardship during this era of apostasy and betrayal by clinging only to true shepherds in the Catholic catacombs who make no concessions to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its false shepherds.
The crosses of the present moment as the Church Militant on earth undergoes her Mystical Passion, Death and Burial have been perfectly fitted for her from all eternity by the very hand of God Himself, Who has willed from all eternity that we would be alive in the midst of this era of apostasy and betrayal. We must, therefore, lift high the Cross in our own daily lives, recognizing that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has work for us to do that only we can do as the consecrated slaves of His own Most Sacred Heart through the Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother. We do this work without seeking consolation, simply accepting that we will see the radiant glory of the Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost for all eternity if we persevere in a state of Sanctifying Grace to the point of our dying breaths.
What is this work?
To sanctify our souls on a daily basis by assisting at the true offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered by true priests who are not "una cum" Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis.
To spend time on our knees in prayer before Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
To pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit as we attempt to fulfill Our Lady's Fatima Message in our own lives.
To be enrolled in the Brown Scapular and to keep its obligations faithfully.
To have our homes Enthroned to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
To keep the Nine First Fridays and the Five First Saturdays. To make a weekly Confession of our sins to a true bishop or a true priest.
To spend at least fifteen minutes a day reading a passage from Scripture and to make it a point to do some spiritual reading after making one's Nightly Examination of Conscience.
To pass out blessed Green Scapulars and Miraculous Medals and Rosaries (with Rosary instruction booklets) to those whom God's Holy Providence places into our lives each day.
To pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory (as many by name as possible) each day.
To pray for the eternal good of those with whom we are friendly and those who have rejected us and those who are the open enemies of the Catholic Faith.
To forgive all injuries readily as we hold no grudges at all against anyone for any reason whatsoever. (Why do so many traditional Catholics all across the vast spectrum of the eccleasiastical divide seem to have difficulty grapsing this concept and treating those they believe, perhaps erroneously, have "offended" them with contempt?)
To perform each of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.
To defend the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen.
To accept whatever physical or emotional or spiritual sufferings that come our way as being perfectly fitted for us from all eternity, remembering that nothing we can endure in this life even comes close to equaling the horror that one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death as such a "least" Venial Sin caused Our Lady's Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with Seven Swords of Sorrow.
To accept rejection and calumny and ostracism with equanimity and with joy as the price of discipleship, the price of fidelity in refusing to associate with the apostates and by refusing to concede for one moment that the counterfeit church of conciliarism is anything other than a diabolical ape of the Catholic Church.
Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., provided us with this cogent commentary on today's great feast in The Light of the World, Volume II:
"The exalted King of Glory, come let us adore Him." Wit these words the Invitatory of the Divine Office introduces today's feast. The Transfiguration of Christ is a feast which celebrates the exaltation of Christ the Lord. The patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament, represented by Moses and Elias, give testimony on Tabor and confess Him to be the Messias predicted in the Old Testament. The voice of the Father is heard from heaving saying, "This is my beloved Son; . . . hear yet Him" (Gospel). Christ's transfiguration on Mount Tabor assures us of Hid divinity and confirms us in our faith and our hope.
We believe firmly in Jesus, the King of Glory, who will come again with power and glory to judge the living and the dead. "We have not followed cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ (His second coming with great power]; but having been made eyewitnesses of His majesty [transfiguration]. For He received from god the Father honor and glory; this voice coming down to Him from the excellent glory: This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, her yet Him. And the voice we have heard brought from heaven when we were with Him in the holy mount" (Epistle). The glory in which Peter saw the transfigured Lord on the mountain, gives Peter and all of us the certainty that the Lord will later appear in His glory, and that even as man He is King of Glory. "Glory and wealth are in His house, and His justice remaineth forever and ever" (Offertory).
Although He was the Son of God, "He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted Him and hath given Him a name which is above all names. That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, . . . in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2: 8-11). The prophets of the Old Testament also give testimony of Him (Acts 10: 43). We who see Him in His glory on Tabor through Peter "have the more firm prophetical word, whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts" (Epistle). We believe; we adore the King of Glory. "I speak my words to the King" (Gradual). My thoughts, my wishes, my time, my strength, my love, my sacrifices, all center on Him.
Christ's divinity is the source of our hope. "We look for the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of His glory" (Phil. 3: 20-21). We have confidence that our body will be made like the body of the Lord, which was transfigured on Tabor. The liturgy reminds us, "Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called and should be the sons of God.. . . . We know that when He shall appear, we shall be like to Him" (I John 3" 1 f.). In the transfiguration of the Lord on Tabor we possess a visible image as well as a guarantee of our eventual transfiguration in body and soul. Through the transfiguration on Tabor, O Father, "Thou didst wonderfully foreshow the perfect adoption of sons by a voice coming down in a shining cloud" (Collect). These words of the Father, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Gospel), are spoken also to us who are joined to Christ through baptism. Because we are children, we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs of Christ, "the King of Glory, and sharers in this same glory" (Collect).
"Thou art beautiful above the sons of men; grace is poured abroad in Thy lips. My heart hath uttered a good word. I speak my works to the King. Alleljua, alleljua. He is the brightness of eternal light, the unspotted mirror, and the image of His goodness" (Gradual).
"In this transfiguration it was indeed intended principally to take away from the hearts of the disciples the scandal of the cross, lest the degradation of His voluntary passion should shake the faith of those men to whom had been revealed the excellence of His hidden majesty" (St. Leo). In times when the kingdom of Satan displays its power and the kingdom of Christ is most hard pressed, the Church lifts up her eyes to Tabor to see the splendor of the hidden glory of God. "Thou alone are the Lord. Thou alone art most high," the King of Glory. (Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., The Light of the World, Volume II, B. Herder Book Company, Saint Louis Missouri, 1954, pp. 430-431.)
We desire to be transfigured in glory for all eternity in Heaven. There is only one way to get to the Heavenly Mount Thabor, and that is by climbing our way to Mount Calvary each day of our lives, especially by making sure that we make all sacrifices necessary to move our families to those safe shelters in the catacombs where true bishops and true priests who are not "una cum" apostasy and betrayal will feed our souls with the true Sacraments as they provide us with the perennial truths of the Catholic Faith that are never subject to negotiation with heretics and schismatics, never capable of being understood or expressed in any other way that they have been understood and expressed throughout the ages.
Our Lady desires to lead us to the Heavenly Mount Thabor. Are we willing to stand next to her each day at Mount Calvary in order to be in Heaven with her for all eternity?
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Viva Cristo Rey!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and the hour of our death.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.