Obedience in St. Faustina’s Diary

Along with the Eucharist obedience to the will of God and that expressed through superiors is a special theme of importance in St. Faustina’s Diary.

Below is a list of words associated with obedience in St. Faustina’s Diary. Please note that some of these words have multiple meanings and therefore are not all related directly to obedience. After the concordance style list, some brief sample quotations have been provided at the end.

The word obedience occurs in paragraphs: [24],[28] twice,[68],[77] twice,[93] seventeen times,[99],[102] twice,[105] three times,[151],[257],[354],[360],[362],[365],[376],[381],[506],[523],[535] twice,[567],[615],[878],[894] three times,[924],[933] twice,[939] twice,[961] twice,[981],[1006],[1023],[1112],[1187] twice,[1267],[1312],[1355],[1378],[1567],[1594],[1644],[1650], and [1686].

The word obedient occurs in paragraphs: [7],[93],[105],[113],[196],[354],[381] twice,[506],[624],[643],[646],[894],[895],[979],[981],[1069],[1243],[1374] twice,[1401], and [1732].

The word obey occurs in paragraphs: [226] twice,[506],[535] three times,[567],[628],[645] twice,[741],[894],[981],[1152], and [1686].

The word obeyed occurs in paragraph: [535] twice.

The word obeying occurs in paragraphs: [535],[567] twice, and [1244].

The word selfwill occurs in paragraphs: [365],[369],[560], and [639].

The word selfwilled occurs in paragraph: [560].

The word selfwillfulness occurs in paragraphs: [362], and [364].

The word superior occurs in paragraphs: [14] twice, [18] three times,[20],[28] seven times,[32],[42] five times,[43] twice,[51] twice,[64] twice,[68] twice,[93] eight times,[95],[100],[122],[123],[138],[196] three times,[217],[260],[274] twice,[313],[329] twice,[352],[395],[405],[406],[412] five times,[494],[496],[530] four times,[536],[549] twice,[550],[553] three times,[554],[555] four times,[556] twice,[557],[558] twice,[565] three times,[566],[567] ten times,[568] seven times,[601],[615],[624] twice,[690],[696],[700] twice,[714],[792],[816],[842],[864],[924],[936],[981],[1068],[1070],[1081],[1091],[1112],[1130],[1162],[1198] twice,[1266],[1268],[1290],[1296] twice,[1299],[1301] twice,[1348] twice,[1378] twice,[1380][1386],[1421],[1422],[1440],[1453],[1519] twice,[1558],[1567],[1568],[1587],[1613],[1633],[1637] twice,[1638],[1648] twice,[1649],[1752] four times, and [1785].

The word superior’s occurs in paragraphs: [64],[329],[1187],[1421],[1636], and [1752] three times.

The word superioress occurs in paragraph: [568].

The word superiors occurs in paragraphs: [21],[31] twice,[38] twice,[54],[67],[93] four times,[101],[117],[121],[122] four times,[123] twice,[128] twice,[147],[149],[165],[167],[169],[173],[174],[214],[215],[222],[226],[240],[269],[274],[353],[354],[490],[496],[497],[504],[506],[519],[535],[558],[560],[567],[761],[786],[794],[839],[923],[968] three times,[981],[1062],[1301],[1313],[1326],[1355],[1381],[1429] twice,[1487],[1503],[1519],[1568],[1581],[1634],[1636],[1729],[1752], and [1760] twice.

The word confessor occurs in paragraphs: [19],[21],[23] twice,[34] twice,[35],[49],[52],[53] three times,[55] four times,[59],[61] twice,[77],[78],[86],[88],[90],[93],[95],[96],[97] three times,[99],[112] sixteen times,[113] twice,[115] twice,[121],[122] three times,[127],[132] twice,[139] twice,[145] four times,[169],[173] three times,[174] four times,[176],[196],[203],[211],[215],[240],[269] twice,[271],[290],[293],[299],[311],[312],[327],[330] three times,[331],[333] three times,[344] twice,[345],[353],[417],[421] twice,[430],[442] twice,[447],[466],[473],[497],[504] twice,[506],[530],[557] three times,[558],[560] twice,[562],[563],[570],[573] four times,[577] three times,[585],[597],[613],[618],[628],[628],[639],[643],[644] twice,[645] five times,[646],[647],[654],[671],[673],[680],[773],[792],[839],[894],[933],[937] four times,[938],[1069] twice,[1117],[1161],[1355],[1405],[1423],[1429],[1487] twice,[1497],[1499],[1560],[1567],[1611] twice,[1644],[1752], and [1760] three times.

The word confessor’s occurs in paragraphs: [131],[333],[431],[639] twice,[644] twice,[711], and [894].

The word confessors occurs in paragraphs: [35] twice,[111],[112],[132],[145],[192],[240],[269],[557] three times,[628] three times,[647],[817],[895],[940],[1006],[1374],[1497], and [1715].

[28] “…Jesus said, I was here during your conversation with the Superior and know everything, I don’t demand mortification from you, but obedience. By obedience you give great glory to Me and gain merit for yourself.

[131] “…throughout my probation, I prayed for light for the priest to whom I was to open up my soul to its depths. I asked God that He Himself would help me and grant me the grace to be able to express even the most secret things that exist between me and Him and to be so disposed that, whatever the priest would decide, I would accept as coming from Jesus Himself…

[506] “Do nothing without the consent of the superiors. One must think this matter over thoroughly and pray much…

[535] “I have come to do My Father’s will. I obeyed My parents, I obeyed My tormentors and now I obey the priests. I understand, O Jesus, the spirit of obedience and in what it consists. It includes not only external performance, but also the reason, the will and judgement…

[773] “Yet, the soul cannot proceed on its own in these matters. It must follow the advice of an enlightened confessor, for otherwise it could go astray or gain no profit.

[1023] “…My daughter, you please Me more by eating the oranges out of obedience and love of Me than by fasting and mortifying yourself of your own will…

[1760] “Never trust in yourself, but abandon yourself totally to My will. In desolation, darkness and various doubts, have recourse to Me and to your spiritual director. He will always answer you in My name…


The Eucharist in St. Faustina’s Diary

For the list of the word Eucharist in Vatican II a link is provided here. For the list of the word Eucharist in St. Paul VI’s encyclicals a link is provided here.

Sister Faustina’s Diary contains dozen and dozens of references to the Eucharist. The Diary is a testament of how deep and important the Eucharist should be in our own lives. I argue that the Diary in itself may even be described as largely a collection of St. Faustina’s interactions with the great sacrament with some other important events scattered throughout. I will let the reader decide how entwined the Eucharistic theme is with the theme of mercy. I had read the Diary several years ago and was deeply moved by the message. During some re-reading and re-evaluation, now in a different place in my life, the Eucharistic importance in the Diary stood out to me at a deeper level. I hope this post illuminates this part of the Diary.

Listed below are a the major Eucharistic references, although the reader should be aware that topics such as Eucharistic adoration, Mass, Bread of Life and other Eucharistic related topics could also be included to make the list comprehensive. Additionally, words such as host or communion have other meanings than the sacramental ones, a few of which do occur in the diary paragraphs listed below. The paragraph numbers follow the typical numbering provided in St. Faustina’s Dairy published by the Marian Fathers. I have refrained from quoting directly all or the vast majority the instances in the Diary which mention the great sacrament with the same detail and length as in earlier Eucharistic word count posts (linked above) to avoid copyright violations.

The word Eucharist is mentioned in paragraphs: [91] twice, [160],[360],[403],[504],[801],[1037], and [1334].

The word Eucharistic is mentioned in paragraphs: [360],[385],[925], and [1769].

The word Communion is mentioned in paragraphs: [20],[23],[27],[40],[64] twice,[85],[91] twice,[92],[105] three time,[107],[115],[136],[156] three times,[160] twice,[177],[183],[206],[309],[318],[324],[325],[336],[346],[375],[394] twice,[413],[434],[439],[451],[461],[467],[472],[473],[486],[493],[497],[532],[547],[558] four times,[566],[575] twice,[590],[594],[597],[603],[609] twice,[612] six times,[613] twice,[622],[626],[640],[644] twice,[648],[673], twice,[699],[707],[715],[717],[718],[735],[739],[757] twice,[767],[802],[808],[814] twice,[818],[826] three times,[835],[840] twice,[846] twice,[854],[873],[876] three times,[878] four times,[890],[894],[902] twice,[927],[932],[954],[968],[1019],[1034],[1037] four times,[1089],[1109],[1114],[1121],[1153],[1202],[1246],[1251],[1270],[1278],[1280],[1286],[1289],[1292],[1293],[1302] twice,[1310],[1343] twice,[1348],[1355] twice,[1377],[1385] twice,[1386],[1392],[1399],[1407],[1414],[1437],[1442],[1447],[1453],[1459],[1489],[1492],[1497],[1498],[1509] twice,[1519],[1527],[1551],[1560],[1598],[1608],[1611] four times,[1658] twice,[1670],[1676] four times,[1677],[1683],[1690],[1718],[1721],[1781] three times,[1802],[1803] twice,[1804] five times,[1807][1811] twice,[1815] twice,[1817],[1819],[1821] three times,[1824],[1826] four times, and [1827].

The word Communions is mentioned in paragraphs: [309],[878],[1487], and [1623].

The word host is mentioned in paragraphs: [44] three times, [159] three times, [160] nine times,[162],[182],[223],[230],[336],[344] twice,[356] thirty times,[395],[406],[413],[433],[434],[441] twice,[442],[483],[608],[616] three times,[641],[657],[751],[832],[867],[877],[896],[908] twice,[923],[949],[955],[980],[1037],[1046],[1056],[1078],[1136],[1138],[1140],[1233],[1239],[1264],[1302],[1322],[1350],[1407] twice,[1420],[1427],[1462],[1484],[1509],[1564] three times,[1569],[1591],[1622],[1629] eight times,[1658],[1677],[1742], and [1826] seven times.

The word hosts is mentioned in paragraphs:  [19],[288],[640] three times,[683],[709] twice,[1215], and [1658] twice.

The word Jesus-Eucharist is mentioned in paragraph:  [1393] twice.

The word Jesus-Eucharist is mentioned in paragraphs:  [877],[1264], and [1620].

Some of the highlights of these paragraphs include the follow abbreviated quotations.

[91] …”Every morning during meditations, I prepare myself for the whole day’s struggle. Holy Communion assures me that I will win the victory; and so it is. I fear the day when I do not receive Holy Communion. This Bread of the Strong gives me all the strength I need to carry on my mission and the courage to do whatever the Lord asks of me. The courage and strength that are in me are not of me, but of Him who lives in me – it is the Eucharist.

[360] “…In the morning during meditation, there arose within me a secret desire that the Eucharist Jesus be my special Patron for this year also, as in the past…”

[403] “…by evening I was already in Warsaw, Firstly I greeted the Lord of the house [Jesus in the Eucharist], and then I went to greet the whole community.

[640] “On the First Friday of the month, before Communion, I saw a large ciborium filled with sacred hosts. A hand placed the ciborium in front of me, and I took it in my hands. There were a thousand living hosts inside. Then I heard a voice, These are hosts which have been received by the souls for whom you have obtained the grace of true conversion during this Lent…

[877] “O Jesus concealed in the Host, my sweet master and faithful Friend, how happy my soul is to have such a Friend who always keeps me company. I do not feel lonely even though I am in isolation. Jesus-Host, we know each other – that is enough for me.

[878] “Naturally, I was suffering more, and so my temperature had gone up considerably . Consequently, he [the doctor] decided I must not go down for Holy Communion until my temperature dropped to normal. I said, “All right,” although pain seized my heart; but I said I would go only if I had no fever. So he agreed to that… in the evening, I said to the Lord, “Jesus, if my Communions are please to You, I beg You humbly, grant that I have not one degree of fever tomorrow morning…

[1264] “Jesus-Host, whom I have this very moment received into my heart, through this union with You I offer myself to the heavenly Father as a sacrificial host, abandoning myself totally and completely to the most merciful and holy will of my God…

[1393] “…Jesus-Eucharist, Immortal God, Who dwell in my heart without cease, When I posses you, death itself can do me no harm…”

[1487] “…But understand that the strength by which you bear sufferings comes from frequent Communions. So approach this fountain of mercy often, to draw with the vessel of trust whatever you need…” [words of Jesus recorded by St. Faustina’s]

[1620] “Jesus-Host, if You Yourself did not sustain me, I would not be able to persevere on the cross. I would not be able to endure so much suffering. But the power of Your grace maintains me on a higher level and makes my sufferings meritorious… With Your grace one can do all things.”

Litany of the Holy Heart of Joseph

Prayer taken from A Novena in Honour of the Glorious Mother St. Teresa of Jesus, with Meditations for Each Day. Translated from the French with Litany of the Holy Heart of Joseph. Published by Richardson and Son, London.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.

God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Heart of Jesus, source of all graces, have mercy on us.

Heart of Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us.

Heart of Joseph, prevented by the greatest favours of heaven, pray for us.

Heart of Joseph, enriched with the power of the Father, pray for us.

Heart of Joseph, filled with the wisdom of the Son, …

Heart of Joseph, enriched with the gifts of the Holy Ghost, …

Heart of Joseph, destined by God to be united with the immaculate Heart of Mary, …

Heart of Joseph, resplendent mirror of the holy Heart of Mary, …

Heart of Joseph, animated with the most profound veneration for the divine Heart of Mary, …

Heart of Joseph, participating in the pains of the Heart of Mary, …

Heart of Joseph, inflamed with the celestial love with which the Heart of Mary burned, …

Heart of Joseph, penetrated with a holy joy in adoring for the first time the Infant Jesus, …

Heart of Joseph, consoler of the Heart of Jesus for the insensibility of the inhabitants of Bethlehem, …

Heart of Joseph, so frequently the resting place of the Heart of Jesus, …

Heart of Joseph, instructed by the Heart of Jesus on the treasures of grace which it contained, …

Heart of Joseph, ornamented by the Heart of Jesus, with all the gifts of heaven, …

Heart of Joseph, so affected by the canticle of the angels, which the shepherds repeated at the crib, …

Heart of Joseph, so happy in seeing Jesus first adored by the poor, …

Heart of Joseph, the channel through which so many benedictions were bestowed on the first disciples of the Savior, …

Heart of Joseph, by the humility with which you hailed the arrival of the Magi, …

Heart of Joseph, by the love with which you preserved the words they addressed to the Divine Master, …

Heart of Joseph, who presented to Jesus the gold of your faith, the incense of your charity, and the myrrh of your sorrows, …

Heart of joseph, whose more than paternal goodness the Magi so much admired, …

Heart of Joseph, that obtained for these holy kings celestial lights, to discover the perfidy of the cruel Herod, …

Heart of Joseph, that so profoundly adored the majesty of God on entering the temple of Jerusalem, …

Heart of Joseph, so resigned to the sorrows predicted to Simeon to the Immaculate Mary, …

Heart of Joseph, so resigned when you learned that the Infant Jesus should fly into Egypt, …

Heart of Joseph, admirable lily of candour and innocence, …

Heart of Joseph, always exempt from the lightest imperfection, …

Heart of Joseph, who died amidst the benedictions of Jesus and Mary, …

Heart of Joseph, resplendent in heaven with a glory inferior only to that of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, …

Heart of Joseph, ever sensible to our miseries, …

Heart of Joseph, refuge of hearts that the world contemns, …

Heart of Joseph, angelical tutor of youth, …

Heart of Joseph, director in the paths of perfection, …

Heart of Joseph, light of souls devoted to prayer, …

Heart of Joseph, sweet hope of the dying, …

Heart of Joseph, special protector of St. Teresa, the reformer of Carmel, …

Heart of Joseph, paternal asylum of the children of Carmel, …

Heart of Joseph, powerful protector of religious communities, …

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.

V. Pray for us, most charitable Heart of Joseph.

R. That we may be rendered worthy of your paternal protection.

Let us Pray.

Most amiable heart of the glorious St. Joseph, accept, we conjure you, the filial homage of our hearts, and reign over them for ever.

Obtain for us from the Lord all the graces necessary to support patiently the pains of this life, and to walk securely towards our heavenly country, where we hope to bless and thank you eternally. Amen.

An Invocation to the Heart of St. Joseph.

O most holy heart of Joseph! Heart of the most venerable of the patriarchs! Heart of the holy spouse of the mother of Jesus! Heart of the reputed Father of our Saviour, obtain for me a heart like yours, in its silence, in its meekness, in its humility, in its charity, in its recollection, in its obedience, and in its chastity. O heart of Joseph, deign to watch over me, to assist me during life, and obtain for me the great grace of dying as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

Does Sin Cause Natural Disasters? A New Climate Change Narrative

We always hear in the news about how our carbon emissions are causing drastic, world ending changes to the climate. In fact, a short review of old news articles would show that these world ending changes have been being predicted for decades and should have already consumed the earth. We should have depleted our reserves of several elements and fossil fuels, have been all starved to death by overpopulation, and be living in a world 10 degrees hotter than it currently is. The fact is, we have not run out of the list of resources, have declining populations across western countries (if you neglect immigration), and have not achieved life ending climate changes. There have been numerous and many failed Climate Change prophecies which should be held as such. Yes, such science is difficult and hard to predict, but it is never presented as such. It is presented as fact, a consensus among all credible scientists and something only idiots would disagree with. Of course climate science and conservation is important. I do not mean to reduce the need for environmental concern, just point out that it should not become a secular religion of sorts. I also think a larger and more biblical understanding of human life on earth needs to be accounted for which accounts for more than the current climate narrative does.

To be clear I am not here saying that sin is causing Climate Change in and off itself, nor am I saying that natural disasters are caused by sin. I am calming though, that some Climate Change and some natural disasters are caused by humanity’s sin. Humanity does not understand the Climate nor all of the interactions of the oceans, moon, sun, and the earth’s core sufficiently to claim that climate predictions should be taken with a high level of certainty. On top of our lack of understanding of the heavenly bodies, we must also account for the very fabric of the supernatural and immaterial in the world.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph 309, there is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not part of the answer to the question of evil. There is no escape from the fact that God used natural disasters as punishment in the Bible. Nor is there escape from the fact that although God is slow to patience and merciful, sin does get punished on occasion in this life. There is just no way to read through the Bible and come to a different conclusion. The existence of evil is ultimately a mystery.

Should we have a new climate narrative? One that allows for the possibility that God is allowing natural changes in the sun, moon, and earth’s core to alter the climate due to the sinfulness of humanity. A climate narrative which is humble would be refreshing. One that realizes its limitations and lack of full understanding of how the oceans operate, volcanos come to be and retreat, and earthquakes are formed. That climate narrative would be something much more human and spiritual indeed.

Below is a list of particular calamities collected by St. Alphonsus Liguori at the end of his work titled “Six Discourses on Natural Calamities”.

  1. Earthquakes
    —– “The earth shook and trembled: the foundations of the mountains were troubled and were moved, because He was angry with them.” Ps. 17:8.
    —–” The earth shall be moved out of her place for the indignation of the Lord.” Is. 13:13.
    —–“With shaking shall the earth be shaken as a drunken man.” Is. 24:20. On these words Cardinal Hugo makes the following comment: —–“The earth shall eject sinners.”
    —–St. John Chrysostom says: “The cause of the earthquake is God’s anger; but the cause of the Divine anger is our sins. But do not fear the punishment, but fear sin, which is the cause of the punishment.” —–De Lazaro, conc. 6. —–“The Lord shook the earth not to overthrow it, but to convert unto salvation those that lead wicked lives.” —–Serm. de S. Basso Mart. —–“The city is shaken, but your mind remains unmoved.” —–De Laz. conc. 6. —–“The earthquake has preceded like a herald announcing God’s anger that we may escape by penance the punishment that we have merited.” —–Ibid. —–“Behold, there came an earthquake; what have riches profited thee? The possessor has
    perished along with the possession. The city has become for all a common sepulchre, which has been built, not by the hand of the artificer, but by calamity.” —–Ibid. —–“The hearts of men are first disturbed, then the elements.” —–Ibid.
  2. Drought
    —–“If you walk in My precepts, . . . I will give you rain in due seasons. But if you will not hear Me, . . . I will make to you the heaven above as iron, and the earth as brass. Your labor shall be spent in vain, the ground shall not bring forth her increase, nor the trees yield their fruit.” Levit. 26:3, 14, 19.
    —–“How long shall the land mourn, and the herb of every field wither for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? The beasts are consumed.” Jer. 12:4.
    —–“Thou shalt case much seed into the ground, and gather little.” Deut. 28:38. Commentary: “Therefore the fields are sterile, because charity has grown cold.”
    —– “Thou hast polluted the land with thy fornications and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers were withholden.” Jer. 3:2.
    —–“You have not returned to Me, saith the Lord. I also have withholden the rain from you when there were yet three months to the harvest.” Amos 4:6. St. Basil: “Let us learn that because we have turned our backs upon God He has inflicted upon us calamities.” —–Hom. in fame et siccit.
    —– “. . . Let his roots be dried up, . . . and his harvest destroyed.” Job 18:16.
    Solomon, when dedicating the Temple to God, thus spoke to God in prayer: “If Heaven shall be shut up, and there shall be no rain because of their sins, and they praying in this place shall do penance, . . . hear Thou them in Heaven.” 3 Kings 8:35.
    The Lord says: “I will command the clouds to rain no rain upon it.” Is. 5:6.
    —–“Because My house is desolate, . . . therefore the heavens over you were stayed from giving dew, … and I called for a drought upon the land.” Agg. 1:9.
    St. Augustine: “Punishments continue, because sins continue.” Serm. 46, E.B. app.
    St. Basil: “We see the heavens closed, and are saddened by their serenity. The earth is already dried up, is horrible, and on account of the dryness is full of fissures; the water fountains have left us.” —–Hom. in fame et siccit.
  3. Scarcity and Sterility.
    —–“He hath turned . . . a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.”
    —–Ps. 106:33. Cardinal Hugo: “What does sin do? It turns fruitful land into sterile land.”
    —–“Cursed is the earth . . . thorns and thistles shall it bring forth.” Gen. 3:17.
    —–“A curse shall devour the earth, and the inhabitants thereof shall sin.” Is. 24:6.
    —–“The heavens shall reveal his iniquity, and the earth shall rise up against him.” Job 20:27.
    —–“I gave her corn and wine, . . . which they have used in the service of Baal; therefore I will return, and take away My corn.” Osee 2:8. There are some that abuse the goods that God has given to them; they make idols of them, that is, objects of sin. St. Augustine says: “Why are you suffering hunger: Why do you experience want? Because your guilt also increases daily. Be ye converted to God, and leave your idol.” Serm. 46, E.B. app.
    —–“Honor the Lord with thy substance, . . . and thy barn shall be filled. —–Want is from the Lord in the house of the wicked; but the habitations of the just shall be blessed.” —–Prov. 3:9, 33.
  4. Hail and Lightning.
    —–Fire, hail, famine, and death, all these were created for vengeance.” Ecclus. 39:35.
    —–“His lightnings have shone forth to the world; the earth saw and trembled; . . . the heavens declared His justice; . . . let them all be confounded that adore graven things.” Ps. 96:4. Alphonsus Tostatus says: “When we hear the thunder, we should remember that God wishes to admonish us to cease committing sin.”
  5. Hurtful Animals.
    —–“And I will send in upon you famine and evil beasts unto utter destruction,” —–Ezech, 5:17. On this point St. Jerome remarks: “It is manifest that hunger, pestilence, and wild beasts are sent on account of our sins.”
    —–“I will bring seven times more plagues upon you for your sins; and I will send in upon you the beasts of the field to destroy you and your cattle, and make you few in number, and that your highways may be desolate.” Levit. 26:21.
    —–“Thou shalt cast much seed in the ground, and gather little: because the locusts shall consume all.”Deut. 28:38.
    Dauraltius says: “There is no animal so small that it cannot be a most powerful enemy of the sinner.” Flores Exempl. c. 6, tit. 2, n, 9.
    And St. John Chrysostom: “So long as Adam preserved his countenance pure, the animals obeyed him; but when he defiled it by disobedience, they hated him.” In Ps. 3.
  6. Sickness.
    —–“I will stretch out My hand to strike thee and thy people with pestilence.” Exod. 9:15.
    —–“He that sinneth before his Maker, shall fall into the hands of the physician.” Ecclus. 38:15.
  7. Calamities in General.
    —–“And the earth is infected by the inhabitants thereof” . . . and few men shall be left.” Is. 24:5.
    —–“Evil-doers shall be cut off.” Ps. 36:9,
    —–“He will arm the creature for the revenge of his enemies.” Wisd. 5:18.
    —–“I have seen them that work iniquity, and that sow sorrows, and reap them.” Job 4:8. He that sows sins shall reap sorrows and pains. “Because thou hast forgotten Me and hast cast Me off behind thy body, bear thou also thy wickedness and thy fornications.” Ezech. 23:35.
    St. Cyprian says: “Why should you wonder that God’s anger is growing when what is punishable is every day growing?” Ad Demetianum.
    St. Basil: “No one troubles himself about inquiring why drought, lightning, hail, are sent down upon us; they are sent us on account of our sins, and because we preserve an impenitent heart.” In cap. 9 Isaiae.
    St. John Chrysostom: “We must repress sin, the fountain of evils.” In Ps. 3.
    St. Gregory: —–“Rightly is everything hostile to us that has gratified our passions.” In Evang. Hom. 35.
    St. Anselm: “By offending God we not only excite His anger, but the anger of all creation.” De Simil. c. 102.
    Salvian: “Why wonder that we are chastised? Miseries, infirmities, are signs of evil. We force God to punish us.” De Gubern. Dei, 1. 4.
    Cardinal Hugo: “Every creature complains of those that abuse it.”

Four Lesser Know Fruits of Vatican II: Marriage as Covenant, Restoration of the Epiclesis, Better Retention Rates, and the Most Complete Treatment of Mary Ever

There are numerous and often overlooked fruits of Vatican II. Many theological topics or modes of spirituality which we think are common sense, have only been fully brought to the forefront since Vatican II. We must be careful to not assume that the great fruits of Vatican II, which have roots in earlier times, were also so abundantly present in the decades preceding the council.  

Marriage as a Covenant

One of these fruits is the consideration of marriage as a covenant. Now clearly marriage as a covenant is a biblical theme, and something heavily relied upon in the Old and New Testaments. Yet, did the pre-conciliar Church enjoy such an understanding as we do today? The answer is no it did not.

The Second Vatican Council devoted paragraphs 48 to 58 of its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World to marriage…. Its teaching marked a watershed in the Church’s understanding of marriage. Avoiding the familiar term ‘contract’ the council consistently spoke of marriage as a ‘covenant’.1 (New Commentary on the Code of Cannon Law, Title VII Marriage by John P. Beal)

Why is this important? If we pick up Casti Connubii (on Caste Marriage) probably the most authoritative text on marriage before the Council, by Pope Pius XI in 1930, we will see the term contract used 22 times.2 Marriage is described as a contract. The word covenant never appears in the whole text. Vatican II was successfully able to point out that marriage is a covenant, so in tune with the covenants God has made with his people. The marriage feast of the lamb and the Church at the end of times (Rev. Ch 21) is the consummation of an everlasting covenant. This is an important teaching of Vatican II, especially in our times when so many people enter into non-sacrament contracts instead of covenant relationships. Vatican II’s teaching helped pave the way forward for a proper and more dignified understanding of marriage.

The Restoration of the Epiclesis

A second fruit of Vatican II was recently brought forward during the 2023 Lenten homilies for the Papal household. Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, during his Lenten reflection on March 24, 20233, touched upon Vatican II and the reforms of the Liturgy.

It is a gift that the liturgical reform of Vatican II has placed at the heart of the Mass the epiclesis, that is, the invocation of the Holy Spirit: first on the bread and wine and then on the entire mystical body of the Church. I have great respect for the venerable Eucharistic prayer of the Roman Canon and I love to use it again, sometimes, being the one with which I was ordained a priest. I cannot, however, fail to note with regret the total absence of the Holy Spirit in it. Instead of the current epiclesis of consecration on bread and wine, we find, in it, the generic formula: “Sanctify, O God, this offering with the power of your blessing…3 (Translation provided by online software)

In my opinion on of the most beautiful expositions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is its explanation of the role of the Holy Spirit in the Liturgy of the Church. The ‘Vatican II Catechism’ devotes paragraphs 1091 to 1109 to the role of the Holy Spirit in the Liturgy. Paragraph 1112 aptly summarizes the important role of the Holy Spirit in the Liturgy. “The mission of the Holy Spirit in the liturgy of the Church is to prepare the assembly to encounter Christ; to recall and manifest Christ to the faith of the assembly; to make the saving work of Christ present and active by his transforming power; and to make the gift of communion bear fruit in the Church.4 The preparing action, recalling action, making present action and praise/thanksgiving action of the Holy Spirit is amazing. The Epiclesis, the phrases after the Sanctus, in which the Holy Spirit is asked to be sent by the Father so the offerings may become the body and blood of Christ (Par. 1105) makes present the mystery. The Holy Spirit inspires us to give praise and thanksgiving in the doxology (Par. 1103). The Holy Spirit also recalls the saving actions of God in history which may be more or less developed depending on the liturgy (Par. 1103).

Early liturgies such as the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom had the Epiclesis explicit in the text.Eastern Liturgies have maintained the Epiclesis since the earliest times. By returning to the original sources, the reforms of Vatican II reintroduced this crucial part of the Liturgy back into the life of the Western Church.

Catholics Had Better Retention than Other Denominations

In Mass Exodus by Stephen Bullivant, several studies are presented that show that in America and Great Britain Catholic retention of its followers was higher than any other religious group in the post Vatican II era. It was better than Lutherans, Anglicans, Pentecostals and many others. The book does an excellent statistical study of the reason why people left and when. Stephen notes that “Let us be clear here. Even had there been no Council, no deep and rapid liturgical reforms ….. Catholicism would have had a fairly torrid time of the past half century. As has been shown, ‘leakage’ was already a recognized and worried about .. in the 1940s and 1950s.5 He details how Humanae Vitae rocked the boat, urbanization rocked the boat, the sexual revolution, clerical abuse, and several other large scale non-Vatican II problems made many people leave. In fact, he claims that the Church Fathers at Vatican II should have done better because several already knew and had done studies to show that people were leaving the faith. As a result, he claims that Vatican II along with several other items (no one or the other) is to blame for not retaining more people.

In fact, I would push even further. As can be well demonstrated, the Catholic presence in regions such as Africa and Asia have increased since Vatican II. If Vatican II did not stop the increase in the number of faithful in Africa and Asia, then perhaps it is not solely to blame for the decreases in the western world.

The Most Complete Treatment of Mary of Any Council Ever! 

Lumen Gentium Paragraphs 60 to 69 presents such a well developed theology of Mary and her role in salvation history that one cannot help but be amazed. Dr. Miravalle has for a long time made the argument that the Second Vatican Council’s treatment of Our Lady is the most complete of any Ecumenical Council.6 Upon reading the text of Lumen Gentium, few would argue with this statement.

We should also note that the best magisterial text to look at for support of the use of the term Mediatrix is actually Lumen Gentium Paragraph 62. Vatican II, although not speaking dogmatically here, does make the term normative and bring it to light in a way not previously done by prior councils.

We may quickly note here also that if you have a Copy of 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Gaitley, go back and check out how Fr. Gaitley starts and ends the book with Vatican II content. I doubt this is by chance.  


In conclusion I would like to sound off with a barrage of Vatican II fruits which can be further explored. Vatican II allowed for more Scripture during the liturgical cycles. It restored the traditional Catechumenate which was ended by Trent. It allowed for communal penance services to restore communal aspects of the sacrament of penance. It allowed for better recognition of Christ’s modes of presence in the Word of God and the assembled congregation. It broke through fortress mentality and allowed for the New Evangelizations. It allowed for the creation of lay associations which have been such a blessing to the Church. So many blessings!

  1. John, Peal, “Title VII Marriage cc. 1055-1165” in New Commentary on the Code of Cannon Law. Edited by John P. Beal et al. Pages 1234-1240. New York: Paulist Press, 2000.
  2. Evann Yakabuski, Concordance of Casti Connubii: of Pope Pius XI on Christian Marriage. Bolton Ontario, St. Joseph’s Concordance Collection, 2021.
  3. Raniero Cantalamessa, “Mysterium Fidei! Riflessiono Sulla Liturgia – Quarta Predica Di Quaresima 2023,” https://www.cantalamessa.org/?p=4080, Accessed April 16th, 2023.
  4. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, §1112.
  5. Stephen Bullivant, Maxx Exodos: Catholic Disaffiliation in Britain and America Since Vatican II. Oxford, UK: 2019. (Cf. Page 253)
  6. Dr. Maravalle, “Mary and Vatican II: Part I,” MCast #83. https://airmaria.com/ 2009/10/21/video-mary-and-vatican-ii-part-i-dr-miravalle-mcast-83/.

Remi De Roo: Chronicles of a Vatican II Bishop – Book Review

Remi De Roo: Chronicles of a Vatican II Bishop. Novalis Toronto, 2012 (176 Pages), details the memories of Bishop Remi De Roo, from Canada who attended the Second Vatican Council as a relatively young bishop. Although, the book will be more interesting for those in Victoria, British Colombia, where Bishop De Roo served as a bishop, the book does contain several gems.

Several of the gems are from the details of his experiences of living through Vatican II which show the biases and insights of the period.

Bishop Remi De Roo describing time during the Second Vatican Council in Rome. “After the Eucharist, the Sacred Scripture, in the form of a richly adorned Lectionary, were enthroned for the veneration of all in attendance. The book was incensed and surrounded with candles. This provided us with a daily reminder that the “real presence” has a variety of forms, as we would later proclaim in our Council teachings. It is worth recalling that an Ecumenical Council is primarily an act of worship, and that the entire Church stands under the light of Revelation. This is a far cry from the sociological interpretation that the mass media so frequently attribute to the Council, considering it as a debating club or reporting mainly on events that had a controversial component or angle.” (Page 38)

Another aspect of the legacy entrusted to the laity as well as the clergy was the call to perfect holiness. During my seminary days, the topic of mysticism was approached with caution. We used the term sparingly to describe saints of long ago. Returning to our sources of the ancient Christian meditative tradition, and discovering that believers have experienced mysticism throughout the centuries, was another awakening. Along with it came a deeper awareness of “divinization,” a concept that the Eastern Church has always held dear, and that is found in the writings of ancient saints. There is nothing more central to a fuller understanding of baptism and confirmation than this call to the divinization of all that is human.” (Page 154)

For students of Vatican II, the above quotes should be enough to prove the worth of the books insights into the era of the Council.

Bishop Remi De Roo, does have some controversial beliefs. (These ideas are also detailed in this other book review – https://defendingvatican2.wordpress.com/2022/09/30/book-review-in-the-eye-of-the-catholic-storm-the-church-since-vatican-ii/)

Of these controversial items was the financial scandal he was involved in, which he apologized for. On top of that was allowing an Anglican deacon to read the gospel during a mass (Page 95). In my opinion this is scandalous. Anglican ministers do not have valid orders and so should not be performing any part of a Catholic Mass. Even if they did have valid orders, it would still be a scandal to the faithful and blur the lines between true faith and a melting pot of true religion.

Bishop Remi also hints at his support of woman’s ordination and the ordination of married men to the priesthood in the book. Fortunately, although Bishop Remi may not have gotten the idea completely, the book details how both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI corrected him on these issues. Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict have definitely settled the issue of woman’s ordination. There is no reason we should be continuing this discussion other than explaining the Church’s position.

Overall, it was a good read as long as the author’s biases are known as one reads.

Epiclesis Restoration and Vatican II – Fruit of Vatican II #11

(For other Fruits of Vatican II https://defendingvatican2.wordpress.com/defending-vatican-ii/6-0-historical-facts-and-post-vatican-ii-trends/)

The restoration of the Epiclesis and drawing out more clearly the role of the Holy Spirit in the Order of the Mass was one of the fruits of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GRIM), describes the Epiclesis as one of the chief elements of the Eucharistic Prayer. The Epiclesis is the part of the Eucharistic Prayer, “In which, by means of particular invocations, the Church implores the power of the Holy Spirit that the gifts offered by human hands be consecrated, that is, become Christ’s Body and Blood, and that the spotless Victim to be received in Communion be for the salvation of those who will partake of it.” [GRIM, Par. 79(c)]

Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household, during his Lenten reflection on March 24, 2023 had some great reflections to offer Pope Francis and the papal household. Some of these reflections touched upon Vatican II and the reforms of the Liturgy.

It is a gift that the liturgical reform of Vatican II has placed at the heart of the Mass the epiclesis, that is, the invocation of the Holy Spirit: first on the bread and wine and then on the entire mystical body of the Church. I have great respect for the venerable Eucharistic prayer of the Roman Canon and I love to use it again, sometimes, being the one with which I was ordained a priest. I cannot, however, fail to note with regret the total absence of the Holy Spirit in it. Instead of the current epiclesis of consecration on bread and wine, we find, in it, the generic formula: “Sanctify, O God, this offering with the power of your blessing…” (Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church devotes paragraphs 1091 to 1109 to the role of the Holy Spirit in the Liturgy. Paragraph 1112 aptly summarizes the important role of the Holy Spirit in the Liturgy. “The mission of the Holy Spirit in the liturgy of the Church is to prepare the assembly to encounter Christ; to recall and manifest Christ to the faith of the assembly; to make the saving work of Christ present and active by his transforming power; and to make the gift of communion bear fruit in the Church.” The Epiclesis is the phrases after the Sanctus, in which the Holy Spirit is asked to be sent by the Father so the offerings may become the body and blood of Christ (Par. 1105). The Holy Spirit inspires us to give praise and thanksgiving in the doxology (Par. 1103). The Holy Spirit also recalls the saving actions of God in history which may be more or less developed depending on the liturgy (Par. 1103).

What we should also recall here is that the 1962 Missal, just before Vatican II, had an implicit Epiclesis added although this is argued. Early liturgies such as the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom the Epiclesis explicit in the text. Eastern Liturgies have maintained the Epiclesis since the earliest times. By returning to the original sources, the reforms of Vatican II reintroduced this crucial part of the Liturgy back into the life of the Western Church.

Vatican II on Devotions and the Eucharist – Vatican II Quotes

This post is a further ‘Vatican II’ quotation from the memories of a bishop who attended Vatican II which I will be soon be posting a book review on. Although I tend to not agree with everything this particular bishop stood for, that does not mean I don’t recognize the good that he did do.

Bishop Remi De Roo describes his time at and insights into the Second Vatican Council in Rome in the following quotation. “Vatican II also broadened our perception of what is known as the Real Presence. This refers to the sacred host, but it also includes the multiple other ways in which Christ is always present: in the person of the minister, in the sacraments and the Word, and in the total assembly’s praying and singing. It is time that we move beyond a narrow and superficial theology that focuses on the tabernacles and host itself as if it were the only true presence of Christ.” “While our spiritual lives are centered on the Eucharist, I never heard a negative word about popular devotions at the Council: quite the opposite!” from Remi De Roo: Chronicles of a Vatican II Bishop. Novalis Toronto, 2012. pg. 59.

I think we should properly emphasis the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Catholic spirituality. That being said, Bishop Remi De Roo does make some important observations. A Fruit of Vatican II is the better understanding of the multiple modes of Christ’s presence to us in the Word of God, the person of the minister and the assembly as a whole.

What can also be gleamed from his memories is the fact that he never heard a negative word about devotions. Vatican II is often negatively charged with harming popular devotions among the laity. What should be said here is that these charges should be taken into consideration only with the larger picture of the desired outcomes wanted by Vatican II. The desired outcomes were to better emphasis the other modes of Christ’s presence and the active participation of the faithful. As Bishop De Roo points out, he did not recall any negative comments about devotions, just positive developments and understanding of the theology of the sacred mysteries.

A Limerickal Commentary on the Second Vatican Council – Book Review

A Limerickal Commentary on the Second Vatican Council edited by Hugh Sommerville Knapman, (Arouca Press, 2020 – 71 pages) is a unique Vatican II book for sure.

The book presents a series of reflections or notes from various English speaking bishops composed in poetic format during the Second Vatican Council with both the English and Latin translations.

What these humorous limerickal phrases show is the absolute command of Latin enjoyed by several of the Council Fathers, their humanity, along with insight into the thinking of the bishops at the council. The theological debates of the council take on new forms in these quick poetic catch phrases.

The edited notes and references provided in the book make the jokes of the poems evidently more understandable.

A good read overall which exposes and grounds us in the humanity of those present at the council. May help those harshly critical of Vatican II to be a little more grounded in criticizing its bishops.

Book Review – Serving the People of God: Remembering Sacrosanctum Concilium by Piero Marini

This book is a great short read. A positively encouraging Vatican II book dealing specifically on Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC) on the fortieth anniversary of its promulgation.

Piero Marini was the archbishop who held the Office of Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations for decades and draws upon the wisdom of Saint John Paul II to illuminate the importance of the Vatican II liturgical renewal.

The book brings to lights several interesting aspects of SC in addition to simply being an uplifting read amidst so much negative literature on Vatican II.

As has been argued elsewhere on this website the author of the book being reviewed links Vatican II to the liturgical renewal that occurred before and after the council. “The first lesson we can learn from John Paul II with regard to SC is the importance he accorded it, taking into consideration its particular historical and ecclesiological context. In fact, the Holy Father has referred more than once to the liturgical renewal of the twentieth century begun by St. Pius X (1903-1914) and pursued by his successors, especially Servant of God Pius XII (1939-1958), Blessed John XXIII (1963-1978). In 1988, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the liturgical constitution, John Paul II wrote the Apostolic Letter Vicesimus quintus annus. In it, he remarks that the principles of the liturgical movement were confirmed by Vatican II…. On December 4, 2023, the fortieth anniversary of SC, the Holy Father wrote the Apostolic Letter The Spirit and the Bride. In it, John Paul II echoes the Council Fathers themselves who wanted their reflection on the great springtime that the Catholic Church experienced from the beginning of the twentieth century because of the work of the liturgical movement to be inscribed within the text of the liturgical constitution.” Page 27-28.

The book does an excellent job of providing the fruits which SC have produced. It is often the case that we only hear the negatives. It was refreshing to read the positives. Those being, the importance of the Word of God through improved biblical readings, active participation of the faithful and a deeper awareness of the Church’s historic and universal liturgical traditions.

After detailing the basics of the Liturgy found in SC (a short catechism of the liturgy one could say), the short book ends with a classic Pope John Paul II message. This message is still apt today where so much negativity surrounds SC. “During his pontificate, the Holy Father recalled on a number of occasions that there are many reasons to rejoice in the fruits of the liturgical renewal promoted by the Council. This renewal touches the heart of the Church. It was, therefore, inevitable that it should produce some resistance and difficulties and that it should require much care for its correct application, respecting everyone’s time frame. The liturgy is the primary channel for the Word and the saving action of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. John Paul II invited all the children of the Church not to fear but to look ahead with confidence. God is constantly at work within his Church and the Lord Jesus repeats incessantly at all times to the Holy Father, to the bishops and to all pastoral workers the words that he addressed to Peter and to his companions: ‘Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch’ (Luke 5:4). He also said, ‘Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid’ (Mark 6:50). These words of the Lord are the foundation of our hope. The disappearance of fear is the most beautiful and the most mature fruit of an adult faith that is nourished by the Word of God and liturgy. Love that knowns no limits (cf. 1 Cor 13:7), that is, ‘perfect love that casts out fear’ (1 John 4:18) is the sign of an adult faith.

Serving the People of God: Remembering Sacrosanctum Concilium, by Piero Marini. Novalis: Ottawa, Canada. 96 Pages. 2006.