Converting to Catholicism: No Easy Task for a Protestant Pastor – Here’s Why… 

Comment: 

Keith Nester, the above speaker, made me wonder just how many people turn away from the Church due to the obstacles identified in the video. Happily, Mr Nester managed to get help to overcome the difficulties which he encountered, but how many others don’t move beyond initial enquiries or experiences, discouraged because of the Catholics they meet?  My favourite convert is a friend who became a Catholic after years of reading about Fatima.  What about you – any interesting conversion stories, whether your own, perhaps a favourite saint-convert,  or the conversion  of someone you know, family or friend?    We need a break from Covid and tyrannical governance so get typing those conversion stories and related issues – and that’s an order!  😀  

19/6: Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart! 

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus…

n 1673, a French Visitandine (Visitation) nun named Margaret Mary Alacoque had a private revelation of Jesus, in which he asked the Church to honour his Most Sacred Heart.

In particular, Jesus gave to St. Margaret Mary 12 specific promises made to all who venerated and promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Jesus said to St. Margaret Mary, “Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love … I promise you that My Heart shall expand Itself to shed in abundance the influence of Its Divine Love upon those who shall thus honour It, and cause It to be honoured.”

The entire purpose of this devotion is to draw a person closer to the heart of Christ. If a person spreads devotion to the Sacred Heart, it is natural for him or her to be closer to God. The moment that this devotion is observed in a superstitious manner, neglecting the need to live a virtuous life, all bets are off and Jesus’ promises are null and void.

Jesus wants us to rest on his heart, like St. John, and the Sacred Heart devotion is an opportunity for us to encounter him more than just on Sundays and to deepen our love of him.

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart Devotion

I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
I will establish peace in their homes.
I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
Sinners will find in my heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
I will bless every place in which an image of my heart is exposed and honoured.
I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart.
I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.  Source

Comment: 

In the past, we’ve discussed the 12 Promises of Our Lord to all who venerate and promote devotion to His Sacred Heart.  We’ve compared “favourites”, so to speak.  I’ve probably quoted a very close friend of mine who told me that it was only when she read the above promises and undertook to spread this devotion in her own home, and wherever possible outside, that she experienced a change in herself which she attributes to Christ’s promise that lukewarm souls shall become fervent.  She certainly became fervent:  she changed from being a lukewarm Sunday Catholic to being devoted to the Faith and fervent in many areas of Catholic life – not least in her active support for Catholic Truth. 

So, share your thoughts about the 12 Promises, as well as posting your favourite prayers and hymns – all to honour the Sacred Heart of Jesus on this lovely Feast.   A very happy Feast day to one and all !  

June: O Take me to Thy Sacred Heart… 

The two young teenage friends of Catholic Truth singing in the above video, asked to do so because they want to honour Our Lord’s Sacred Heart, to mark this Month of June – the month traditionally dedicated to paying tribute to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They assure me of their motivation, insisting that it’s not because I was threatening to sing this myself!   It is one of my favourite hymns and since I’m keen to add it to our small collection of video hymns,  I decided to take them at their word.  The two lads (who are 14 and 17 respectively) deserve our warmest appreciation  because they’re not students of music, or in any way professionally qualified, yet they gave generously of their time to learn the hymn and record it for us, so… Enjoy! 

As always, with Feast Day or dedicated “month” threads, feel free to post your own favourite hymns, prayers, novenas, stories etc.  Here’s one short prayer that I’m sure we all learned at school (well, those of us in a certain age group, at least!)…

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee…  

19/3: Feast of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church – Please Pray for Us!

Dear St Joseph, pure and gentle,
guardian of the Saviour child,
Treading, with the virgin mother,
Egypt’s deserts rough and wild.

Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die,
teach, O teach us how to die.

He who rested on thy bosom
is by countless saints adored,
Prostrate angels in his presence
sing hosannahs to their Lord.

Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die,
teach, O teach us how to die.

Now to thee, no gift refusing,
Jesus stoops to hear thy prayer;
Then, dear saint, from thy fair dwelling,
give to us a father’s care.

Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die,
teach, O teach us how to die.

Dear St Joseph, kind and loving,
stretch to us a helping hand;
Guide us through earth’s toils and sorrows,
Safely to the distant land.

Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die,
teach, O teach us how to die.

Comment: 

As our blogger Petrus pointed out on the Coronavirus thread yesterday, the news that the Scottish Bishops have cancelled all Masses means that, for the first time since the Second Vatican Council, the only Mass being offered in Scotland today is the traditional Latin Mass.  Thus, for those Catholics who are unable to attend Mass in their parishes, the video below, of a young priest of the Society of Saint Pius X offering the ancient Mass, might be of interest and spiritual benefit.   Perhaps, on this Feast of St Joseph – one of the greatest saints in the Church’s calendar – seeing this beautiful Mass for the first time, or for the first time after many years of attending the Novus Ordo Missae, will bring about a huge change in the lives of some, at least, of those who are trying to make sense of the post-Vatican II Church.  For that great grace, we seek the intercession of St Joseph on this day, dedicated to his honour. 

As always, on Feast day threads, feel free to discuss any relevant issues, post your favourite hymns and prayers as a tribute  to the saint of the day, and share stories of your own experience of St Joseph’s intercessory powers;  as always, too,  feel free to post jokes, as long as they fit into the category of “good clean fun” …  

A brief explanation of the traditional Latin Mass…

Mass in the Edinburgh church of the Society of St Pius X – 19 March, 12.30 pm

Mass in the Glasgow church of the Society of St Pius X – 19 March, 6.30 pm  

Finally…

A very happy Feast of St Joseph to everyone!   

10/3: Feast of Scots Martyr St John Ogilvie – His Life/Death & Miracles Now Meaningless in Modern Scotland? 

Background…

John Ogilvie was the eldest son of Walter Ogilvie, a respected Calvinist who owned the estate of Drumnakeith in Banffshire. At the age of twelve he was sent to Europe to be educated. He attended a number of Benedictine establishments and eventually, he decided to become a Catholic.

The first part of the 17th century was a turbulent and dangerous time to be a Catholic priest in Scotland because after 1560 (Scottish Reformation), Catholicism was outlawed. Ogilvie returned to Scotland, arriving in Glasgow disguised as a horse trader. He celebrated Masses in secret, and was eventually betrayed to the authorities only a year later.

He was tortured, and paraded through the streets of Glasgow before being hanged for treason at Glasgow Cross.  As he mounted the scaffold, an old woman spat on him and shouted, “A curse be on your popish face, Ogilvie!” to which he responded, “And a blessing be upon your bonny face, Madam!”

St John’s place of burial is unknown, but his remains are thought to lie in a pauper’s grave somewhere near the place of execution.

Ogilvie’s last words were “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.”  He then threw his rosary into the crowd.

John Fagan’s Miracle Cure…

The parish of Blessed John Ogilvie in Easterhouse, Glasgow, was home to John Fagan, a worker at the Glasgow docks.  In 1967, Fagan developed a large tumour in his stomach and the entire parish prayed to Blessed John for a miracle. The parish priest, Father Thomas Reilly, pinned a medal of Blessed John to Fagan’s pyjamas.  Their prayers were indeed answered. 

His wife kept vigil at his bedside and he had slipped into a coma.  The family doctor visited late at night and told Mary she had to prepare herself, as he expected her husband to die during the night and that he would return in the morning to sign the death certificate. In the early hours of the morning John spoke to Mary, who was shocked when he told her he was hungry and asked for something to eat. He had not eaten for months. She made him an egg and toast which he ate.  In the morning, the doctor returned and was so amazed to see John sitting up in bed talking that he collapsed into a chair.  The news of these strange events spread all over Glasgow and beyond.  Medical examinations did indeed prove that there was no longer any sign of the tumour.  The Vatican was informed and the process of investigation began.  Father Reilly was named as the Vice Postulator of the cause and all necessary papers were sent to Rome.

Eventually, the miracle was declared and nine years later, on 17 October 1976 Pope Paul VI canonised John Ogilvie. John Fagan had been in the army in Rome in 1944 when the city was liberated from the Nazis.  He found himself on the steps of St Peter’s Basilica, looking at the magnificence of the Vatican.  Little did he realise that three decades later he would return there to play a major role in the making of a saint. John Fagan and his wife photographed (right) at the canonisation of Saint John Ogilvie SJ. 


So, why did John Ogilvie sacrifice his life? 

John Ogilvie died for witnessing to his beliefs in a world hostile to the values of Christ, i.e.  a Scotland which had rejected the Catholic Faith.  Yet, his martyrdom made a deep impression on many who witnessed his execution.  The blood of the martyrs is so often the seed of the blossoming Church.  Sadly, however, this has not been the case in Scotland, where the martyr’s death is repeatedly downplayed by the Scottish hierarchy in the cause of what is manifestly false ecumenical progress.  The last time we checked, for example, the tourist bus informed visitors to the city that Glasgow Cross is famed for the way gossipy women used to be placed in the stocks and pelted with rotten tomatoes. There is no mention of Scotland’s only post-Reformation martyr, canonised as recently as 1976, who was executed on that very spot. The application of so-called “Tolerance and Diversity” has a way to go yet in Scotland, where religious indifferentism is writ large. Priests like John Ogilvie, who sacrificed their lives in defence of the ancient Mass, have been replaced by priests who won’t even offer the new Mass on their day off.  So, what went wrong?  Ecumenism? Inter-religious dialogue? Vatican II? Paul VI’s new Mass? Lowering of seminary standards for entrance? Ignoring the Church’s criteria for entry into seminary? What then? 

Comments invited…    

Lent – Time To Prepare For Death… 

Comment: 

I remember as a young person hearing the priest exhort us to make a good Lent because “for someone in this congregation it will be their last Lent.”  And he was always right. 

Certainly, the obvious time of year to examine our sinful ways has to be the penitential season of Lent which begins today, Ash Wednesday.  The clue is in those sobering words which the priest says as he places the ashes on our forehead:  “Remember, soul, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.”

Trying to find something imaginative to post here, I visited a site listing one hundred possible Lenten penances, every one of which began with the words “Give up…”  Chocolate was on that list.   Can you believe it? 

Seriously, small sacrifices are, of course, important,  but is there another angle?   All ideas welcome…  

Reminder:  we always close to blog to comments for the duration of Holy Week. 

11 February: Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes – Please Pray For Sick Reader… 

A special plea for prayers as we prepare to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes…

Paul, a  long-time reader and supporter of Catholic Truth, has just been diagnosed with cancer.  Paul is Scots, married, with a grown-up family. At this time, we do not know to what degree the cancer has progressed so urgent prayers are requested for Paul’s restoration to good health.  Not only has Paul been a faithful supporter of our work here at Catholic Truth but he is one of the truly humblest people I, personally, have ever met.  I’m planning to pray the following novena for Paul, beginning on Tuesday, 11th February, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and I urge all of our bloggers and readers to do the same. 

Novena Prayer for the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes, we come to you like little Bernadette at the grotto.
We pray with childlike trust in you.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, when you appeared in Lourdes, you made it a holy sanctuary where many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal.
We pray with confidence for your holy intercession.(State your intentions here)
Holy Mother of the Rosary, we feel confident that your prayers on our behalf will be graciously heard by God.
Immaculate Mother, show us your mercy, O Mother of God.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency, hear and answer them.  Amen.

Click here to read two of the most famous Lourdes miracles…

27/11: The Miraculous Medal – Best Practice in Spreading this Sacramental…

Below, listen to the beautiful sermon delivered by Father Linus Clovis, well known pro-life priest who, to our delight, accepted our invitation to address our Conference in June,  2016 on the topic “Francis – A Pope For Our Times.”   Here, he recounts two amazing miracles which are associated with the Miraculous Medal…

Comment:

Only last Sunday after Mass, I was introduced to a young non-Catholic man who, for the first time, had attended the traditional Latin Mass, and in the course of the conversation he explained that he had turned his back on his worldly, Godless life. He was now “researching” the Faith and had been learning quite a bit about the crisis in the Church.  It was a very interesting chat, but what struck me most forcibly was that a young mother who was participating in the conversation chose a moment to offer the young man a Miraculous Medal on a blue thread  (encouraging him to find a chain in due course!) And, with the medal, she gave him a small explanatory booklet.  In very few words, she exhorted him to wear the medal round his neck, as this was be the best possible help he would get in his research… He accepted the medal and booklet, so please pray for him. 

It got me thinking, though, that many, probably most, Catholics would have held back, keen to be “prudent”, not want to put the young man off the Church by appearing to be too pushy.

Thus, it would be useful to learn from others the various ways in which each of us might spread devotion to this powerful sacramental.  The young mother mentioned above, tells me that she carries some medals and leaflets with her when out and about,  with the aim of trying to distribute one at every opporunity. 

Your ideas – and stories of miracles associated with the medal – are very welcome on this thread.

Happy Feast of the Miraculous Medal, to one and all…