In his 1915 letter to Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey encouraging his work of consecrating families to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pope Benedict XV wrote of the pressing needs of the time:
“Nothing, as a matter of fact, is more suitable to the needs of the present day than your enterprise. To pervert, both in private and in public life, the concept of morality engendered and fostered by the Church, and, after having almost effaced the last vestige of Christian wisdom and decency, to lead human society back to the miserable institutions of paganism, such is the plan which too many are trying to realize today. Would that their efforts were fruitless! Moreover, the attacks of the wicked are directed primarily against the family.” (Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, Jesus, King of Love, p. 196)
If this is what Benedict XV had to say about society in 1915, what would he say if he were alive today? Almost every day, we see new signs that the plans of God’s enemies are being more fully realized. Tragically, those enemies of God generally appear far more determined to win the spiritual war than most shepherds leading souls to fight for Our Lord.
Even though the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence may look like they are on friendlier terms with the demons of hell, Fr. Martin’s sins are more insulting to God because he purports to represent the Catholic Church.
Thanks be to God, though, Bishop Joesph Strickland is among the shepherds who realize they are called to fight. As LifeSite reported, Bishop Strickland plans to lead a Eucharistic procession in reparation for the blasphemies committed by the group to be honored by the Los Angeles Dodgers on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
“Bishop Joseph Strickland will lead a Eucharistic procession in reparation for the offenses committed by the anti-Catholic drag ‘nuns’ who will be celebrated at an upcoming Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game. On June 16, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Catholics will process from the Cathedral of Our Lady Queen of the Angels to Dodger Stadium, where the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an anti-Catholic group of drag ‘nuns’ will be honored during ‘Pride Night.’”
The Dodgers and the deluded men involved with the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” may not realize that they are serving the prince of lies, but the plan to celebrate this blasphemy on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus removes all doubt for those with eyes to see. God bless Bishop Strickland for showing us that we must make reparation for these offenses against Our Lord.
Bishop Strickland was also among the first to denounce Fr. James Martin’s characteristically blasphemous comparison of “Pride Month” with the Catholic devotion to the Sacred Heart:
“This blasphemy must stop, God loves every person even the most sinful, but saying sinful acts are compatible with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ contradicts Christ’s call to go & sin no more . . .”
Even though the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence may look like they are on friendlier terms with the demons of hell, Fr. Martin’s sins are more insulting to God because he purports to represent the Catholic Church. Even if we had no other indication of the crisis in the Church, the fact that his wickedness has been encouraged by the Vatican for so many years would tell us that we live in far more desperate times than those Benedict XV saw over one hundred years ago.
Our world is in such a desperate state today in large part because one can no longer find this love for Jesus in the vast majority of Masses around the world — and, indeed, the love is stymied by the fact that many Catholics, including priests, no longer believe in the Real Presence.
God permits these evils for a reason, and we should not ignore the fact that Bishop Strickland is opposing the evils that specifically attack the family and also offend the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Their attacks on natural family life firmly establish the perpetrators as evil, but it is their purposeful insults to the Sacred Heart of Jesus that should alert us to the fact that we have entered an advanced stage of the spiritual war. If Benedict XV saw that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was “most suitable to the needs” of 1915, surely we can see that it is even more necessary now.
In addition to these signs of great evil showing us that we must turn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, God appears to have given us a glorious sign that we should do so: the apparently miraculous preservation of the body of Sister Wilhelmina, foundress of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Gower, Missouri. Of course, none of us are required to form a judgment about the possible miracle, much less allow it to shape our spiritual lives; but there is something tremendously intriguing and beautiful about what we see when we look further into the life of Sister Wilhelmina and the community she founded.
As with all pious communities of Traditional Catholics, we should not be surprised to find various signs of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Abbey in Gower. There is, for example, a beautiful stained glass window of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Epistle side of the church; one of the CDs recorded by the Sisters — The Hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph at Ephesus — honors the Sacred Heart of Jesus; and shortly before Sister Wilhelmina’s death, Cardinal Burke solemnly enthroned the Abbey to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Beyond these direct indications of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, though, it is abundantly clear that the Sisters have given themselves entirely to Jesus through Mary. With lives centered on the Traditional Latin Mass, they live the words Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey wrote in his Jesus, King of Love:
“I am preaching the reign of the Sacred Heart. But the reign of the Sacred Heart presupposes an enlightened mind, a full appreciation of the meaning of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as much as that is possible. The Mass is the only wonderful thing on earth — the rest is mere shadow. . . . In the measure we give to priests, to religious, to the faithful, the true meaning, the true sense, of this message of faith and love, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we are preaching eloquently, victoriously, through His Blood and Chalice, the reign of the great King Who was crucified for us, the reign of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, Who wrought this miracle.” (p. 81)
The Church overflows with clerics and theologians who make their followers dumber and less pious with every intelligent-sounding word they say.
Our world is in such a desperate state today in large part because one can no longer find this love for Jesus in the vast majority of Masses around the world — and, indeed, the love is stymied by the fact that many Catholics, including priests, no longer believe in the Real Presence. Conversely, the following poetry from the newly-released children’s book, Brides of Christ (about the Sisters), seems to accurately convey the love the Sisters have for the Mass:
“And once each day,/ The sacred time/ Will come again —/ The Sisters pray,/ They ring the chime,/ And then — and then —/ By God’s own priest,/ The Blessed Host/ Is raised above:/ The great high feast,/ The uttermost/ Abode of love./ Then every nun/ Will praise her King/ And bless His Name;/ A lucky one,/ Extinguishing/ The candle flame,/ Draws closer still/ And whispers low/ On bended knee,/ ‘Lord, by Thy Will,/ One day I’ll go/ Back home to Thee.’”
The Church overflows with clerics and theologians who make their followers dumber and less pious with every intelligent-sounding word they say; but these simple words for children effectively illustrate some of the most vital truths in the world. Similarly, among the several poems by Sister Wilhelmina in God’s Will: The Life and Works of Sr. Mary Wilhelmina, we find the following indication of her great love for the Mass:
“Mass is the greatest thing — the greatest thing — on earth! Showing us Jesus from the moment of His birth! Christ comes to die for us, to heal us and to save! Giving us resurrection with Him, from the grave!” (p. 90)
The Benedictine Sisters have made their decision and, in so doing, show us a striking response to Jesus’s lament to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque — they behold Jesus’s Heart, with its burning love for man with which it is consumed and exhausted, and they offer all they have in return.
This love for Jesus and the Mass permeates the community Sister Wilhelmina founded. And if, as St. Margaret Mary Alacoque related in 1689, the Sacred Heart of Jesus thirsts for souls to love Him in the Blessed Sacrament, we can understand why there is such a great need for souls to truly love Him now:
“One of my greatest sufferings was caused by this divine Heart addressing to me these words: ‘I thirst with such a terrible thirst to be loved by men in the Blessed Sacrament that this thirst consumes Me. Yet I find no one trying to quench it according to My desire by some return of My love.’” (Letter no. 133a of St. Margaret Mary to Father Croiset, November 3, 1689)
By every indication, the Benedictines of Mary do all they can to quench Jesus’s great thirst for souls to return His love. By no means is it unique to the Abbey in Gower, but we find it there in such holy and pure abundance that it is easy to understand why God might have blessed the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles with the miraculous preservation of Sister Wilhelmina’s body.
It is a great blessing to be able to visit the Abbey, especially for the glorious Traditional Latin Mass. But if God is truly giving us a miraculous sign with Sister Wilhelmina, it points us to something all Christians have always known to do: to fulfill the first and greatest commandment of loving God with our whole heart, and whole soul, and whole mind. One of Sister Wilhelmina’s poems in God’s Will: The Life and Works of Sr. Mary Wilhelmina sums up the question we all face, of whether to cooperate with God’s grace to fulfill this first and greatest commandment:
“Christ died — for each soul;/ Heaven now is the goal./ We who have believed,/ God’s grace have received./ God first — did His part;/ We’ve come to His Heart./ Saying yes or saying no./ Not forced — forward we go!/ We must cooperate/ To reach Heaven’s state!/ Mary, our Mother fair,/ Helps us live to get there!.” (p. 233)
The Benedictine Sisters have made their decision and, in so doing, show us a striking response to Jesus’s lament to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque — they behold Jesus’s Heart, with its burning love for man with which it is consumed and exhausted, and they offer all they have in return. They show us a love for Jesus which all of us can have, regardless of our state in life. We are all called to be saints, and today that is the only sane path as the world grows more demonically insane. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Latest from RTV — OUR LADY of LA SALETTE: “I will fight for you!”