Christ stilling the waves June 2013 111

The

Trumpeteer

We restarted our blog page in order to be able to inform our readers about news items from the secular or religious world that need to be more widely seen or commentated about.

 

We stopped it in 2007, when we were asked by Bishop McGee to stop blogging; (under threat against Fr. Stephen's priestly faculties).

 

We had earlier that year, told Bishop Gilbert that we would stop blogging if he wished us to, but at that time he was happy for us to continue.

 

However, we were under two different dioceses due to living in a different diocese to that in which Fr. Stephen is incardinated.

 

Now however, the world and the Churches are descending ever further into a moral morass. And as we have ended our obedience to Pope Francis - and therefore a Bishops who go along with his false teachings and example - we are free to do what we must do under God. Preach God's Truth to the people, in season and out of season, so that those who have ears to hear may turn back to God and be saved.

 

For details on why we have removed our obedience please read our Declaration and footnotes.

By The Hermits, May 1 2020 08:00PM

THE CROSS AND THE RESURRECTION

During this time when the deaths from the Coronavirus keep mounting especially in Western Europe and the US, whilst the World’s economies are being greatly affected by this extraordinary disease; as Christians are faced with locked churches, and the Sacraments in the main are denied to the faithful; as traditionalist and conservative Catholics understandably call on Bishops and priests to be real pastors in this time of dread; and as liberal/progressive Catholics continue their reckless pagan and New World Order agenda, we must look to Christ crucified and risen, to Christ who is our only hope, and whose stupendous glory cannot be hidden amidst the chaos of our inglorious and unprincipled world.

I survey the endless arguments on much of the Catholic Media with regard to the closure of churches, and the withdrawal of Communion, and when I consider what might be called the excessive Churchiness of so many Catholics, be they right or left, conservative or liberal, reactionary or progressive, orthodox or heretical, I am astonished at the torrent of words, the clash of arguments, the excess of passion and the sheer complexity of everything.

How far we are from Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, gently bearing Christ’s dead body to Joseph’s new tomb as the evening descends upon Calvary and day comes to its close. Their touching nobility and their courage, when all the apostles, bar John, had fled, is an inspiration to us all. How our hearts beat as one with the holy women, as they watch to see where Christ is laid so they that come after the Sabbath and embalm Christ’s body in a worthy manner. Do we not also experience the fear and the shame of Christ’s handpicked men, the Apostles, whose cowardice is highlighted by the two middle-aged men, Joseph and Nicodemus, who come out in the open and declare that they are friends and disciples of Jesus when he has suffered the worst of deaths known in the ancient world, and for supposed blasphemy? Cannot we have some of Mary Magdalen’s ardour as she tries to find the body of Jesus, and then be surprised by The Saviour appearing to us in the same way? Like Mary we want to cling to Christ, but like her we must realize that He must return to His Heavenly Father and so take his place in the glory of the Trinity. Wouldn’t we want to run like Peter and John to the tomb, and in finding it empty we too realize that Christ is risen, Satan is defeated and the gates of Heaven thrown open to all men. Nothing can stand in Christ’s way, nothing. I remember how beautifully this was portrayed in Pasolini’s film The Gospel of St. Luke, which he dedicated to the memory of St. John XXIII. The sight of Peter and John running to the tomb was exhilarating.

In all the astounding rubbish spoken by disbelieving globalists, or worse still by globalists who are pursuing a Satanic agenda; in all the endless controversies as to how the Church should respond to Corona, and the worries of people about their inability to receive Communion or go to Confession; in all the pain and loss during the present time, and in all the near despair and loneliness that people are feeling in this world of lock down and social distancing: there is Christ, glorious, triumphant and closer to ourselves than we are. He sits on his throne in all his glory and grandeur, but he is still our friend and brother; infinite in his love for us, and tender beyond all our imaginings. He is still God.

Perhaps it is because we have lost that wonder of knowing Christ in our lives that somehow he has been disguised amidst all the devotions, and even amidst the sacraments. It is as if we have been watching home videos of a loved one, looking through photo albums, or hearing the voice of that person, when in reality we can go and visit him or her. Great though the sacraments are, wonderful though many devotions are, they must lead us to Christ, and if we receive the body and blood of Our Lord unworthily, we will surely go to Hell, and sadly this is the case of millions upon millions of Catholics.

If we want to know what our relationship with Christ should be we might turn to the Book of Esther to look for inspiration and guidance in our spiritual lives. Like Queen Esther we must walk through the different and magnificent rooms of the great palace of Susa before we enter the throne room of Xerxes, the King of Persia, and at that time the most powerful man in the world . If we see Xerxes as a type of Christ then we must never forget for a moment that we are in the presence of the most High God at every moment of our lives. The Risen Christ is the same as he was when he was alive, walking the dusty roads of Palestine 2000 years ago, but now his Divinity has been seen, and is experienced in a wonderful way since The Resurrection. This is beyond human comprehension, and that must always be in our thoughts. There are some things that must be left in the realm of mystery. For too long the Church in the West, and especially the Papacy, feel that they have to understand and explain everything. This then is the bitter fruit of scholasticism which is a prying into things that we are not meant to, the sin of Eve’s curiosity. The Orthodox East has not made such a mistake.

Returning to Esther, we see her going before her husband, the great Xerxes, to plead for her life and the life of her people, in it we have a vision of what it means to come before the living God.

“And it happened on the third day, when she ceased praying, she took off the garments of the solemnity, and put on her glorious apparel. And having become resplendent, appealing to the all-seeing God and Saviour, she took with her two favourite maids. Upon the one she leaned as an elegant woman and the other maid followed behind her, bearing her train. She was aglow in the perfection of her beauty. Her face was radiant and lovely, but her heart shrank with fear. And having entered through all the doors, she stood face to face with the king. He was sitting on his royal throne, clothed in all his glorious apparel, covered with gold and precious stones. He was awesome. And as he looked up, resplendent in his glory, at the very edge of anger, the queen collapsed, her complexion paled, and she slumped against the head of the maid who went before her. But God changed the spirit of the king to gentleness. And full of great concern, he leapt from his throne and held her in his arms until she recovered. He comforted her with calming words and said to her, “Esther, what is it? I am your brother. Be of good cheer! You are not going to die because of this usual ordinance. Come near!” And lifting his golden scepter, he laid it upon her neck, and he embraced her and said, “Speak to me.” (Esther 5: vv. 1-8, The Orthodox Study Bible)

How is it that we have so often lost him amidst the sacraments, these seven great channels of grace instead of making Christ more present to us have had the opposite effect? We have not gone before Him with the humility and fear and trembling that we see Esther going before her husband, Xerxes. Though she is the wife and queen of the most powerful King in the World she does not presume on her status.

Part of the problem is that since the 1960’s and the sexual revolution and the radicalization of Western middle class by the liberal agenda so beloved of the utterly destructive Frankfurt school, Che Guevara and those of a like mind, a false sense of brotherhood combined with a familiarity that diminishes respect, so too has this affected our relationship Christ. He is not our buddy with whom we can hang out, nor is he a sort of Hollywood star. He is often addressed as Lord in the Gospels and he is the one who calms the storms, raises the dead, heals the sick and forgives sinners.

I think it fair to say that it is because we have so often failed to get to know him through reading the Gospels, through prayer, and above all through wishing to be true disciples of the God Man. Instead we have become obsessed with different spiritualities. We have become intellectually lazy in the West, which has oddly had the effect of making Theology a highly academic and professional pursuit, but such things hinder a true relationship with Christ. When that happens, then technology and science seem to offer us everything.

Just as we feel that we have everything and a freedom from all restraint, especially in the domain of sexual appetite, which uncontrolled by marriage has created a demonic and terrible world, when the spirit is all but suffocated, suddenly we are confronted by a virus, which though not the deadliest, has changed our whole way of life, which has been disrupted to a degree that we could never have imagined. We have tried to follow the flesh, which has led so many Christians, be they Catholics on one end of the spectrum and Evangelicals on the other, to become too familiar with Our Lord and God. The use of pop music and rock music in so much worship will have helped this coarsening of our spiritual lives. We must remember that Christ in the Apocalypse is the same Person as lived in Palestine all those centuries ago. We must sense great awe even when we are most intimate with the God who died for us. His sacrifice and his Cross must never be far from our minds, and must dwell all the time in our hearts which remember Christ’s inconceivable love for us, that love which will be the wonder of Heaven for all eternity.

The Apocalypse opens with John on one Sunday praying and then hearing a voice:

Then I turned to see the voice that spoke to me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at his feet as dead. But He laid his right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am he who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and Death. (Apocalypse 1: vv. 12-18)

Dear friends and readers if we do not have something of John’s response to the Risen Christ who fainted with awe, then we are in danger of not being truly grateful for his immense love for us shown to us as he hangs dying on the Cross. Let us then be eternally grateful that God died for us upon the Cross and respond as best we can. “Christ is Risen, He is risen indeed.”

Father Stephen Joseph, on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker



By The Hermits, Apr 18 2020 09:40PM

The Corona virus has confronted us in the West with fear. Despite economic problems and real poverty on a fairly vast scale there has not been this fear for a very long time. Not a few people feel that this pandemic is being exaggerated, and that is nothing compared to the Spanish Flu in 1918, nor is it to be compared with the horror of the Black Death in the mid fourteenth century, but it is fear nevertheless. That eccentric poet, artist, and mystic Caryll Houselander was asked how she managed in London during the Blitz and she said something like “One was just afraid” (I have to say it is nearly 24 years ago that I read her biography, and I no longer possess it, so my memory will be rusty). I think I know what she means; one simply has to admit the fear and act on it.


Christ in Gethsemane is afraid. What does he fear? Obviously he fears the agonies and torture of what he will go through from his arrest until his death. That however is only a very small part of it. He knows that all the sins of the human race will be poured out on him, and that his humanity is unable to cope with it. That is why the angel is sent to him to give him strength in this tremendous battle with evil. He has known from his birth to the agony in the Garden that he would suffer death on the Cross, and that Satan would hurl all the evil that he could at him, but now in his humanity he has to experience it in the flesh. A man may be called to die for his country and prepares himself for it, but when the moment comes it will feel very different for the simple reason that fear at imminent death is something almost impossible to imagine. It really is about feeling it rather than thinking about it.


Thus St. Peter can say he will never deny Christ while in the afterglow of the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist, but when faced with the possibility that his association with Christ might lead to his own death, he crumples under the questioning of a young serving girl and denies that he ever knew Christ. How does Christ confront this fear? Very simply; by bowing before his Father’s will. This was no easy thing, otherwise he would not have made that desperate prayer:

“Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me, nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.”(Luke: 22, v.42”)


Christ sees the almost infinite ingratitude of Man towards God. All the seven deadly sins process before him dragging millions upon millions of souls to Hell over the course of human history. He sees idolatry, sexual immorality, avarice, cruelty, murder, envy, greed, and the endless woe of the domination the weak and poor by the wealthy and the powerful. He sees how in particular women will suffer at the hands of ma, be that man a husband, a lover or a conquering soldier. He sees such heart-rending scenes as the continual raping of German women by Soviet Soldiers as they invaded Eastern Germany and took Berlin. He sees the millions dying in the Gulags, or being brutally done to death in Pol Pot’s killing fields. He sees the fear in the Concentration Camps and Death Camps. He sees the endless orphans caused by war or starvation. He sees the desolation experienced by the millions of Africans and native American Indians enslaved by supposed Christian nations from the 15th century until the 19th. He sees the burgeoning of abortion in Russia from the 1920’s onwards and its explosion in Western Europe beginning in Britain in 1967. He sees the relentless arms race of the 20th and 21st centuries.

He would have been gripped with horror at the wholesale sexual immorality of Western youth from the 1960’s onwards, and the utter disinterest of millions upon millions to the Gospel that he preached and the mercy that he offered. He knew that for the majority of mankind his death would appear futile, and would not save the majority of men. Nowhere would this be more true than among supposedly committed Christians, Priests, ministers, popes, cardinals and religious would desert their Lord and Master whom they had promised to serve, because they had become to comfortable, immoral, lax and utterly lukewarm.


The most bitter pain that would far outweigh his actual agonies of the scourging and the Cross is that this vast multitude of damned souls simply could not be bothered with God or their eternal salvation. They were too preoccupied with life, either eking out a living, or saturated with comfort, to give much time, or even little thought for God. No wonder God in the Old Testament represents himself to the prophets as a wronged husband whose heartless harlot of a wife gives him no thought, no consideration and absolutely no Love. No wonder Christ was afraid.


God the Son is crushed by grief, overwhelmed by the immensity of his coming Passion and wonders in his humanity how he can suffer all this. Added to this he must feel as if he is the epitome of sin, that he is the great rebel. He must feel as if he is defying the Father, though he knows this is not true. The whole of The Father’s wrath descends upon Christ like some immense rock and crushes him into nothing. It is as if every part of his body is steeped in the sins of all who have ever lived, and he will feel something of the despair of the damned. This he will feel infinitely because he is God, and more so because he is not only God incarnate but love incarnate.

And so ultimately though his passion, seen from the observer’s point of view, is nothing compared to the extraordinary sufferings of some men, who have had to undergo the most terrifying tortures before they died, looked at from Christ’s perception, the suffering which is mental, physical and spiritual, is so dreadful that for all eternity the Elect in Heaven will be amazed and eternally grateful for Christ’s Passion, and the Damned will bitterly bewail their loss and understand their incredible thanklessness before such unbelievable sufferings.


In the light of Christ’s agony in Gethsemane, the sufferings of the pandemic can be seen in a much better light. Christ has defeated evil and has redeemed us, and opened the gates of Heaven for us. He has taken the terrifying and poisoning quality of fear from us, and shown us how to tranquilize that fear; by looking at his terrible sacrifice which defeated the tremendous evil of Man, Christ nevertheless continues to love every man and woman who has ever lived, with the intensity of the most passionate of lovers.

St. John says that perfect love casts out fear, and so Christ on the Cross perfects his human love to the highest degree and casts out the deadliness of fear for us all, but for this to happen we must unite our wills with his and say:

“Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me, nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”


This then is best and perfect way, and will console us in this truly frightening Corona pandemic.


Fr Stephen

By The Hermits, Apr 5 2020 08:27PM


There is a woman in Ireland, who tries to hide her identity, who others call Maria of Divine Mercy. She is a visionary.

One of our correspondants sent us a copy of what she heard on the 10th April 2012, a full year before the resignation of Pope Benedict and the election of Pope Francis.

After posting the open letter of Archbishop Vigano about Francis, we think it is important for you to read what Maria of Divine Mercy heard in 2012.




Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 @ 20:45

I am your beloved Mother, Queen of the Earth. I am the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus who came in the flesh.


My child, the time for the triumph of My Immaculate Heart is close.

The time for me to crush the serpent is drawing nearer. But until the day when Satan and his demons are cast into the wilderness, much confusion will erupt on earth.


For believers in my Son, it will be a time of torment. They will be pulled into two different directions by the Catholic Church.

One half will believe, out of duty, the need to follow the False Prophet, the Pope who will follow Pope Benedict XVI. He, the beast, is dressed like a lamb but is not from my Father, God the Most High, and will fool poor souls including priests, bishops and cardinals.


Many will follow him and believe him to be sent by God to rule over His Church on earth.

Sadly, many souls will follow his teachings which will be insulting to My Father.

Others, filled with the Holy Spirit and given the graces of discernment because of their humble souls, will know instantly, that an imposter sits in the Church in Rome.


The new false Pope is already scheming, even before he ascends to the throne of the Seat of Peter, to denounce the teachings of my Son. Then he will denounce me, the Blessed Mother of God, and ridicule my role as Co-Redemptrix.


My child, your role is going to become even harder than before. For many of my children are very confused. The insults you face every day, the torments you endure on behalf of my Son, will increase.

Never be afraid to tell the world the truth my child.

You are being made stronger as a result of the physical and mental suffering you accept on behalf of my Son in order to save souls.


Every effort, especially by one division in the Catholic Church, will be made to dismiss my messages given to you. Your obedience and loyalty to me and my beloved Son will be tested as never before. This may lead you to pull away but, should this happen, it will not last long.


Pray, my child, for all of God’s children who, through no fault of their own, are being pulled into the final battle for souls.

All of this must come to pass for it is contained in my Father’s Book.

All the angels in Heaven protect you, my child, in this somewhat lonely mission.

Always remember how important prayer is.

Pray, pray, pray for without prayer, especially the recital of my Holy Rosary, Satan can pull you away from the Holy Word of my Precious Son.

Remember also the importance of fasting for it keeps the deceiver at bay.

Without regular prayer, my children, will find it hard to remain close to my Son.

Never fear the future children for once you remain close to my Son you will be protected

And given the necessary graces to prepare your souls and those of your families for the New Era of Peace foretold so long ago.


Your beloved Mother

Queen of the Earth

Mother of Salvation

By The Hermits, Apr 4 2020 02:38PM

Full statement by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò:


“You Have Said So”


“Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me. The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Is it I, Master?” He said to him, “You have said so.” Mt 26, 20-25


On March 25, the 2020 Pontifical Yearbook was published with a real novelty. It may seem like a typographical trifle, in the part dedicated to the reigning pontiff, but this is not the case. Until last year, in fact, Francis’s titles were listed at the top of the page, beginning with “Vicar of Christ”, “Successor of the Prince of the Apostles” etc., and ending with his birth name and a very brief biography.


In the new edition, on the other hand, the secular name JORGE MARIO BERGOGLIO stands out in large letters, followed by the biography, the date of election and the beginning of his “ministry as universal Pastor of the Church.” Separated by a dash and the words, “Historical titles,” all the titles of the Roman Pontiff are then listed, as if they were no longer an integral part of the Munus Petrinum that legitimizes the authority which the Church recognizes in the Pope.


This change in the layout and content of an official text of the Catholic Church cannot be ignored, nor is it possible to attribute it to a gesture of humility on the part of Francis, which is not in keeping with his name being so prominently featured. Instead, it seems possible to see in it the admission — passed over in silence — of a sort of usurpation, whereby it is not the “Servus servorum Dei” who reigns, but the person of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has officially disavowed being the Vicar of Christ, the Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and the Supreme Pontiff, as if they were annoying trappings of the past: only mere “historical titles.”


An almost defiant gesture — one might say — in which Francis transcends every title. Or worse: an act to officially alter the Papacy, by which he no longer recognizes himself as guardian, but becomes master of the Church, free to demolish it from within without having to answer to anyone. In short, a tyrant.


May the significance of this most serious act not escape pastors and the faithful, for by it the sweet Christ on earth — as St. Catherine called the Pope — releases himself from his role as Vicar to proclaim himself, in a delirium of pride, absolute monarch even with respect to Christ.


We are approaching the sacred days of the Savior’s Passion, which commences in the Upper Room with the betrayal of one of the Twelve. It is not illegitimate to wonder whether the understanding words with which Bergoglio tried to rehabilitate Judas on June 16, 2016 were not a clumsy attempt to exonerate himself.


This chilling thought is further confirmed by the terrible decision to allow an almost universal ban of the public celebration of Easter, for the first time since the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


“The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!” (Mt 26:24)


+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop

Friday in Passion Week 2020

By The Hermits, Apr 2 2020 03:52AM

On March 31, 2020 Lifesitenews reported that the Washington Examiner reported: “Nearly half of the country (USA) believes that the sweeping and deadly coronavirus is a ‘wake-up call’ from God, and one-third see it as the ‘last days’ predicted in the Bible, according to a new national survey.”

“Some 44% said the virus crisis is a ‘wake-up call for us to turn back to faith in God’ and ‘signs of coming judgment,’ said the Joshua Fund,” the article explained.

Although the present pandemic has many facets and causes, it certainly has also a spiritual message for us all. I am therefore copying for your edification excerpts from an article also in LifeSiteNews of 31/3/20 by Maria Madise:

“The third secret of Fatima opens with an Angel holding a flaming sword in his left hand, flashing. “It gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’”

In the first secret, Our Lady had shown the three children a vision of hell. It was full.

Could it really be the case that the need for penance is less acute and the reality of hell, a consequence of unrepentant sin, less threatening today than a hundred years ago, when the Mother of God descended from Heaven to inform her children of the urgency to repent?

Our Lady told little Jacinta that more sinners go to hell because of sins of impurity than for any other reason. Today many of these sins are state policy of the most powerful nations and smaller nations, too, have followed suit.

In once Catholic Ireland abortion and same-sex ‘marriage’ – two of the four sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance – are enshrined in the constitution. This is the same constitution that in its preamble still invokes the protection of the Most Holy Trinity.

More children have died worldwide through legal abortion than people killed in all the wars of recorded human history.

In (Maria Madessa’s) home country, Estonia, more people have been killed by abortion since 1955 than are the living population today.

And throughout the world, countless children are being corrupted by school sex education, often with the placet of Catholic bishops. These programmes destroy the innocence of children, groom them for the porn, contraception or abortion industry and teach them to question whether God has created them a boy or a girl.

“Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.” (Is. 1:4)

And, we might ask, before they came to an abrupt halt, how many of the sacrilegious and irreverent Masses which Catholics today accept with casual indifference are really an affront to God that surpasses even the atrocities just mentioned?

………….

In Akita in 1973, Our Lady appeared again. What she had to say echoed her message in Fatima – like a patient mother who repeats her instructions over and over again, because they have not been listened to or have been followed badly.

“[The] Church will be full of those who accept compromises,” she said and because of that, “if men do not repent and better themselves”, God will “inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity”, such as one will never have seen before. There will be “fire falling from the skies”, she said, “good and bad will perish and those who survive will wish they were dead.”

“If sins increase in number and gravity,” she said, “there will be no longer pardon for them.”

Sins have increased in number and gravity. In fact, our political and, worse, ecclesiastical bodies have become so imbued with sin and heresy that it does not require any special insight to see that if there ever was a time, when chastisement was deserved, that time is now.

Whether or not the “unprecedented” events that are now our daily reality – from the lockdown of nations to the suppression of public Masses by the order of Catholic bishops – amount to a chastisement, cannot yet be verified ... But … we know that it would not be inappropriate to respond to it as a chastisement. … Our sins are the fruit of the same tree. There is no distancing from the sins we have committed as God’s people, because we are the members of one body.

“Think you that these Galileans were sinners above all the men of Galilee, because they suffered such things? No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish.” (Lk. 13:2-3)

…………

The more we enter into our enforced desert this Lent, the brighter (the Virgin Mary’s) role becomes. She is the model of the Church, she who is now suffering at the hands of many of those who should be the first to protect her honour. Her passion reflects the passion of her Son. And just as when she stood, pierced with grief, at the foot of the Cross, perhaps we are asked to imitate her in standing by her in her passion now.

This is not a passive resignation. This was not at all her attitude on Calvary.

St. Ambrose says that “when the Apostles fled, she stood at the foot of the Cross, and saw in her Son’s wounds not the death of her treasure but the salvation of the world.”

……..

Perhaps we are to share her grief this Lent at not being able to be with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, nor bear the violent pain of the scourges and the crown of thorns, nor the weight of the Cross; and after all that in the crucifixion of her heart, while standing still at the foot of the Cross. Perhaps this is what we must offer this Lent and maybe beyond.

Our current separation from the Mass and the sacraments must, however, be God’s permitted will. We know that God never wills evil, but he allows tribulations to give an opportunity for repentance and conversion. In a way, the whole Church has been draped in a purple veil. Christ has hidden Himself from us to allow us to share in His suffering, to make reparation for sin, and to prepare for the renewal of all things.

……….

A crisis tends to bring people back to reality and with it comes a real opportunity to evangelise. In a shipwreck, everything excessive is thrown overboard. Only what is real and necessary is kept. In our crisis too, everything real triumphs over non-essentials. God is the ultimate reality and now is the time to reclaim His place in people’s lives.

Our true and complete dependence on God, not even knowing, when we will next be able to receive Holy Communion or go to Confession gives us a real opportunity to enter into a desert this Passiontide and unite our sacrifices for the authentic renewal and purification of the Church. The most efficacious penances and sacrifices are those we have not chosen ourselves.

Let us not waste this opportunity.

……………..

In astronomy, a corona is defined as “the rarefied gaseous envelope of the sun and other stars”. “The sun’s corona is normally visible only during a total solar eclipse, when it is seen as an irregularly shaped pearly glow surrounding the darkened disc of the moon.” The corona is the crown. In the Book of the Apocalypse Our Lady is depicted as “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars”. (Apoc. 12:1) Let us not miss the opportunity to make of this time a total offering to her so that Her Immaculate heart may soon triumph.


Sr Colette, and Maria Madisa


By The Hermits, Mar 29 2020 11:24AM

In the postscript of her very thoughtful book, ‘The Race to Save the Romanovs’, Helen Rappaport with a kindly eye and absolute objectivity asks who was to blame for not saving the Romanovs from their bloody and horrifying deaths. Her answer is quite simple. Referring to the working title of Dickens’ novel Little Dorrit, she remarks with true wisdom:


“The miseries of war and all it brought with it were ‘Nobody’s fault’. One might apply the same remark retrospectively to the collective guilt of the European monarchs and governments in the fate of the Romanov’s. For in truth, their murders were Everybody’s --- and nobody’s --- Fault.”


Helen Rappaport continues her reflection on the fate of the Romanovs by quoting Boris Yeltsin’s words when he attended the burial of some of the Romanovs (Maria and Alexey’s bones had not yet been found) in July 1988 at the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. Yeltsin reflected:


“We all bear responsibility for the historical memory of the nation” The ‘Yekaterinburg massacre’ was he said “one of the most shameful episodes” in Russian history. “Those who committed this crime are as guilty as those who approved of it for decades. We are all guilty.”


Why do I mention this, as it does not seem to bear any relevance to the present situation in which the World finds itself. Surely the murder of the Romanovs cannot compare with the global pandemic that we are now enduring; however, it does.


In certain Catholic Media outlets, including those which normally show considerable integrity, there is a determination to blame China for the outbreak of the Corona Virus. Some secular opinion outlets also state this. These internet personalities seem to fail to realize that The Russians, the Americans, the Canadians, the British, and the French, and no doubt the Israeli’s, Indian Continent and many other industrialised countries are all involved in the weaponization of viruses. The Corona virus could easily have got out of the laboratories at Aldermaston, unfortunately they probably emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan. All Government including ours, and our scientists, are equally to blame.


It all, sadly comes down two things “Pride and Power”. Governments are not interested, in the main, in what their people truly need. It is all about getting the best for “the Country”, and if that means having bigger and better arms to protect the country’s interests, be they political, financial, ideological or otherwise, so much the better. It is the spirit of competition, the need for self-glorification, and the maintaining of national myths whatever they may be; such as revealed by “The American War of Independence”, “The Second World War” for the British, the Revolution for France, and so on. The need to see one’s own nation as a cut above the rest is as old as Time itself, from the murder of Abel by Cain to the slaughter meted out to the Iraqis in the Iraq War. It is too easy to see one’s country, one’s army, as defending freedom and the common man, whereas the reverse is too often the case, namely the slaughter of innocents, and the starving of the poor.


Whether the Chinese are to blame for the present Pandemic, or the Americans, or the British, or the Canadians, really doesn’t matter. It is somewhat beside the point, what matters is the Corona virus is spreading death throughout the globe, and we must stop closing stable doors after the horse has bolted. All the nations were sinning by working on such evil projects, and as the citizens of those nations, the guilt also comes upon ourselves.


But, God works through all things. And so, it is heartening and deeply moving to hear that three quarters of a million British men and women are volunteering to help the NHS in the war against this virus. And everyday more instances are becoming public of ordinary people doing what they can to help and cheer the old and vulnerable, like the person who took her alpacas outside the windows of a care home, to cheer up the elderly who were being protected inside.


Perhaps that is why God has allowed the Pandemic to occur, so that people can show their heroism and love in the defence life, where too often we have promoted the culture of death.


Fr. Stephen



By The Hermits, Mar 26 2020 09:28PM


Before I continue the meditations on St. Joseph over the coming days, I would like to give a few words of comfort, to strengthen us in the days and weeks and months which will challenge us in ways that we could not have imagined possible, in the closing months of 2019.

Yesterday we celebrated the great feast of The Annunciation, which in the Middle Ages was the beginning of the New Year. It seems rather dissonant to hear the words of the Archangel as the Corona Virus sweeps its devastating arm across the entire globe with the exception of Antarctica. However, we can feel something of the what Mary felt, when having been told that she would be the Mother of the Messiah and the Mother of God, Gabriel told her that nothing is impossible to God. Yes, Mary was being told something wonderful, but her perfect humility must have made Gabriel’s announcement seem astonishing. However, with his words ringing in her ears “for nothing is impossible to God”, Mary would have experienced the Father’s care for her, and the warmth of the Holy Spirit invading her soul.

With God all things are possible, and St. John tells us that perfect love casts our fear. So as we hear disconsolate Catholics bemoaning, quite understandably, the fact that they cannot receive the Sacraments, that the churches will be closed in the main, and that the great Triduum, the Holy Week Services, will not be held this Easter, we must remember that God loves us more than we love him, that Jesus Our Lord loved us so much that he died for us, and would do it all over again, then we can begin to gain a true perspective of what is happening.

Yes, it is terrible that in Spain carers are abandoning elderly people suffering from the Corona virus in the Care Homes. Yes, it is heartrendingly sad when we hear of a little five year old boy, suffering from Coronavirus, saying to his mother as she leaves him in the hospital “Will I die?”. Yes, it is extraordinary to think that Western men and women, so accustomed to comfort and entertainment, freedom, and sadly, wholesale licence, suddenly find these things taken away from them. The sense of deprivation and the accompanying fear must be quite shocking for these materialistic people. However, there is hope.

That hope is that indestructible belief and trust that God is so good and loving, and all that we have to do is say with Mary, our mother and our joy, “be it done unto me according to thy word” With the trust of a child holding its mother’s hand or being carried in its father’s arms, we must sink into the eternal embrace of God. Held in the Father’s everlasting arms, our heads resting on Our Lord’s breast and hearing the beat of his most Sacred Heart, and warmed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, all will be well, whether we live of die. God will bring great good out of these terrible times. All we have to do is say a resounding Yes to all that he sends us.


Fr. Stephen


By The Hermits, Mar 25 2020 10:41PM

In this post I am addressing those of you who love God, and until now have valued going to church to pray and receive the Sacraments.


All of a sudden, you find yourself under a form of self imposed, or State imposed, house arrest. Unable to even visit a church, let alone go to Mass and receive Holy Communion.


You are hungry to receive the Lord in the form of bread and wine, but cannot.


Many other things are being taken away from us at present, work, freedom of movement, the ability of being able to communicate with friends and family face to face, the fear of having our very lives taken by the virus. But most painful of all, the freedom to practice ones religion in the way that you were used to.

Yet God is still there, closer to you than your breath is to your body. For He dwells within you.


But His dwelling within you is dependant upon you. He will leave you if you turn from Him. He never removes our free willl from us. If you truly want to do the Will of Jesus Christ's Father, and believe in His Only Begotten Son, then the Holy Trinity dwells in you. We know that, for we believe in the truth of Jesus' words.


So, go into your inner room, pray to God in secret, and you will feel His presence just as strongly and as surely as when you are praying before the Tabernacle. In fact you may well feel Him more, as you may find less distractions than when you are in church.


Take this as an opportunity to deepen your personal loving relationship with Jesus Christ.

A time to wonder at his beauty, his mercy, his love. And to worship Him as never before.


Sr. Colette

By The Hermits, Mar 24 2020 03:52PM

The Family is the very foundation and heart of the Church, and it is the obvious tactic of the devil to destroy the Family. Tragically this is being aided by none other than Pope Francis himself and his subordinates.

God wants to save the Church through re-invigorating the Family. How do we assist God in this goal?


The Father as head of the family

Firstly, we must bring back the father to his central place as head of the family. To know how to do this, all one has to do is to read Ephesians chapters 5 and 6. There is a plan for perfect family life. Yes the wife is subject to her husband, but he must love her in the following way: "Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the Church, because we are members of his body. (Ephesians: 5: vv. 28-30)

Though the mother is the heart of the family, the father is the head. Children must never lose a sense of awe and a loving fear of their father, a fear like the fear of the Lord. This fear is one that does not want to offend their father for it will bring him sorrow. Children usually know when they bring their mother sorrow, because women usually show their emotions more, but this is not so easy for many fathers.


The Father as humble protector of the family

The husband must lay down his life for his wife and children in the same way that Christ laid down his life for the Church. The husband must see his life in a sacrificial light. It is not about going out to the pub with his friends, or to the local sports clubs, to the exclusion of the family. Fathers are there to protect the family and bring his children up in the love and the fear of the Lord.

Fathers must be very humble and strong. Here St. Joseph is an example of a father’s love and a mirror of God the Father. Joseph was not immaculately conceived like Mary, he was simply a just man, but a man of such love and dignity that there has never been a saint like him, for no other saint was given charge of the God-Man and his Mother. True humility is strength. Fathers must look at the sacredness of their vocation.


The Father as patriarch of the family

The father must be like a patriarch for his family and should reflect on the lives of the great patriarchs, especially Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. Immersing themselves in the lives of these great men, they will realise their dignity as fathers, which is to reflect God the Father. It is precisely because the vast majority of them do not, that the world is in such a mess.

As patriarch the father should lead the prayers in the family and teach the children their catechism; it is not just for mothers to shoulder all this. He must know how to teach his children, play with them when they are young, be intimately taken up with his children’s interest. He must take them to entertainments, sports events either as participants or spectators. He must go with them to films and cultural events when they are going through their adolescence, and keep a hawk-like eye on the company they keep. He must imbue a real and living chastity in his children and show them that sex is for marriage and that the modern idea of dating is dangerous. Above all he must teach them respect for others, a deep and profound respect. He must also be intimately involved in who his children marry, and may have to refuse his permission. This is not old fashioned, it is simply biblical.


The Father as guardian of the family’s faith

In these dreadful times the father must guard the Faith. If the parish priest is not orthodox, the father will have to correct the priest. If the priest does not listen, then he may have to withdraw the family for a while from the parish and inform the priest that he will not be giving any money to the Church. This must be done with respect but so firmly and in such a godly manner that hopefully the priest will repent. He must associate himself with other men to monitor what is going on in the local catholic schools, and lead peaceful demonstrations if necessary to get the erring school to teach the Faith.

The father as patriarch and guardian of the family is not an abstract ideal or an insular way of thinking but can be traced back to Noah, Abraham, and the other patriarchs who officiated as priests, protectors and guardians. The father, like all baptized Christians, has the threefold vocation of Priest, Prophet and King. It is kingship that is most apparent in the father’s vocation, but there is still a priestly function there, and certainly a prophetic one. The father must speak out when things are wrong, not only when this happens in the family, but in the Church and society. A great example for fathers to follow is Blessed Franz Jaggerstater, St. Thomas More and St. Louis Martin, father of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.


St. Joseph’s Brothers

So how do we proceed? Catholic and Christian fathers need to support each other. Many years ago I helped found a movement called ‘Joseph’s Brothers’ which was to help men be good fathers, and good husbands. Some of them were divorcees, some were just fathers, and some were happily married men with families. They would meet every two weeks. They would begin the meeting with a prayer, a reflection on scripture which was to do with fatherhood, and then share and discuss, and then it would lead from St. Joseph to God the Father. The meeting would end with a prayer, and a meal.

Sadly the three groups that I helped get off the ground petered out. Why? Because they relied on me as the priest, so when I was moved to another friary the group lost the leader. Men in the Catholic Church have lost their leadership qualities and rely too much on the priest for leadership.


In this time of Covid19 lockdown

This article, even though it was only writen two months ago, we are now publishing in what feels like a completely different world.

Now it isn't the lackluster parish priests not leading their flock into closer union with God that the father of the family needs cope with, but the fact of no visible priest at all, no Sacraments, no leadership, no open churches, nothing.

It is the father that needs to lead the family in worship on Sundays. Teaching his children, in a way that the the Church hasn't taught for many years now, what keeping the Sunday holy really means. And the children, now that every day will be like every other day now, need that instruction, need that inspiration.



Now is the time that families need to be led by courageous fathers and husbands; in their hands lie the sword that will deal a deadly blow to Satan.

It is for the father to wield the sword with the dexterity of King David and the fearlessness of Elijah. May fathers and husbands accept this great and noble vocation.


Fr. Stephen

By The Hermits, Mar 22 2020 09:03PM

As the Corona virus increases throughout the world, and the terrible realization is beginning to dawn on millions if not billions of people that life is never going to be quite the same again. And as restaurants and entertainment venues are all closing down, together with the Sports world; we see that all these things are idols, which have taken us away from God, and the simple life of the Gospel. We Catholics, and we Christians, are really no better than the pagans and the non-believers. We, in the West, have been saturated with comfort and hardened by hedonism. We have, for a long time, a very long time, been fleeing from suffering and The Cross.


Now in Lent 2020, we must follow Christ on his journey to Calvary, imploring his Mercy, and unreservedly giving out hearts to Him. As I have said often in the past, there really are only two prayers after the Our Father that make perfect sense, namely Our Lady’s Fiat, when she said to the Archangel Gabriel, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to Thy Word” (Luke 1.v.38) and Christ’s anguished cry in Gethsemane, so wonderfully described in Luke’s Gospel, when he exclaims, “Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done."(Luke 22. v. 42).


There is a lot of hysteria in certain Catholic circles about people not being able to attend Mass or receive Holy Communion. There are others who worry that they cannot get to Confession. Though these views are understandable, they limit the almighty power of God. People must realize that there are many people who have the last Rites who do not go to Heaven, for they have not truly repented. The thing is to do die in a state of grace, a state of longing to be with The Lord; that is what matters. We must ask ourselves how many martyrs did not have the last Rites. St. Joan of Arc died as a supposed heretic. The Desert Fathers would have known nothing of Sacramental confession, and St. Antony of Egypt was locked up in a disused fort in the Egyptian Desert for 20 years so how did he get regular communion? Then we must consider the millions of Catholics dying in the concentration camps during the Second World War who did not have confession. We must also remember the millions of Orthodox Christians and Catholics who died in the Gulags in The Soviet Union without confession and the The Last Rites. Have the new crop of Catholic martyrs in Africa, especially in Nigeria, been able to have confession and communion before they died? We must, in these sad times, look to our fellow Christians and see how their great faith sustained them in the face of death. We Catholics have become too dependent on the sacraments and our Faith has suffered because of it. It will be our Faith, our Hope and our Charity that will get us to Heaven, for if we receive the sacraments without these theological virtues, it will do us no good. We must with all our hearts and souls want to do God’s will and love God with all our poor, and so often weak, love, and that will get us to Heaven. Above all we must beware of a sort of Christian survivalism. We must accept the Cross as Christ accepted his, as a sign and token of the Father’s will and love. All we need to do is give our will totally to God and abandon ourselves to his loving providence. Everything works to the good for those who love God, as St. Paul says. God is in the midst of our sufferings, he is with us in our dying and if we die with Him, we will rise with Him.


Over the next few months and as long as this terrible virus continues to ravage the world, I will try and share with you words of consolation. Tomorrow I will begin a series of meditations on the Life of St. Joseph, who is not only the Patron of a happy death, but is also the terror of demons. As he is also the protector of the Church, he is the one to look to in these most trying of times.


Fr. Stephen

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