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1  Forums / Prayer Requests / Re: Undergoing Surgery, Not Expected. . . on: April 19, 2017, 11:26:48 AM
Requiescat in pace...  crucifix
2  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Duty Before Devotion on: March 26, 2017, 03:16:32 PM
INTRODUCTION

Many overly zealous people tend to be confused about the priority of duty, selflessness, and charity over private devotions and self-disciplines.  Here is what Father Faber writes about this subject in his book, At the Foot of the Cross:


CHAPTER VIII - THE BURIAL OF JESUS (Pg. 398)

“The seventh dolor contains also many lessons for ourselves, which are quite within the scope of those who are endeavoring to serve God in an ordinary way, while at the same time, like all the other sorrows of our Blessed Mother, it calls us to serve Him with a higher, more detached, and more disinterested love than we have ever done before.  We learn from the promptitude with which she left the tomb to do her work, and to fulfill in her cheerless desolation the will of God, how we ourselves should put duty before all other considerations, and, in comparison with it, estimate as nothing the highest spiritual consolations.  Now, as if Providence arranged it so on purpose, duty seems often to lead from the sensible enjoyment of Jesus.  Even in common domestic life the unselfishness of daily charity will lead us to sacrifice what looks like a religious advantage, to forfeit what it is hard not to persuade ourselves is a spiritual improvement, for an agreeableness which others do not particularly value, and which appears to be only a growth of acquired politeness or of natural kindliness, and not at all an obedience to a supernatural bidding of grace.

It is hard at all times to persuade ourselves that there is no spiritual advantage to be compared to the giving up of our own will, and that petty mortifications, which concern our own private ways, and the use of our time, and habits even of devotion, are, so long as they are painful to us, among the highest methods of sanctification.  It is necessary to add, so long as they are painful to us, for, unlike mortifications, when they cease to be painful they cease to be mortifications, and become symptoms of the world having got the better of us, and then unfortunately there is no discretion left us but the apparently selfish rudeness of those who have real cause to be afraid of their souls.  If the ordinary civilities of society may often claim our time and attention at the seeming sacrifice of spiritual sweetness and communion with our Lord, much more imperative is the jurisdiction which charity may lawfully exercise over us in this respect.  Unfortunately, spirituality tends to be selfish.

Our nature is so bad that good things acquire evil propensities from their union with us, and it is the best things which have the worst propensities.  So even the love of our Blessed Lord, when discretion does not guide it, may interfere with our love of others, and so come at last to be an untrue love of Him.  Untrue, because merely sentimental; for there is no divine love which is not at the same time self-denying.

To have to give up our own ways to those of others, to have our times of prayer at hours which we dislike, to accommodate our habits of piety to the habits of others, is certainly a delicate and perilous process, one needing great discretion, safe discretion, and an abiding fear of worldliness.  Nevertheless, it is often a most needful means of sanctification, especially to those whose duties, health, or position do not allow them to lead mortified and penitential lives.  The use of time, whether we consider the annoying weariness of punctuality and the supernatural captivity of regular hours, or whether we look at the unwelcome interruptions and somewhat excessive demands upon it made by the inconsiderations and importunity of others, is a most copious source of vigorous and bracing mortification for those who are trying to love God purely amid the inevitable follies and multifarious distractions of the world.  It is the especial mortification of priests.  But, if manners and charity may lawfully draw us from the sensible enjoyment of Jesus, it would be simply unlawful to deny the claims of duty to compel such an act of self-denial.  Yet it is a point in which pious people, especially beginners, almost invariably fail.

There are few households or neighborhoods in which the spiritual life has got an unjustly bad name, where the mischief has not been caused by the indiscretion of an ill-regulated piety in this respect, and, while it is to be hoped that we look upon such households or neighborhoods with an entirely unsympathetic coldness, it is not the less sad that the evil should be there, because it is not the less true that our Blessed Lord is the sufferer.  Beginners cannot easily persuade themselves that Jesus can be more really anywhere than in the sensible enjoyments of intercourse with Him.  The more advanced souls know well that Jesus unfelt is a greater grace than Jesus felt, in a multitude of instances; yet even with them practice falls below knowledge, because nature rebels to the very last against whatever limits the prerogatives of sense.”
3  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: St. Ludolph of Ratzeburg on: March 18, 2017, 03:08:19 PM
Never heard of him before...  Thanks for sharing!   Little Angel
4  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Power of Obedience on: March 18, 2017, 03:06:05 PM
Just a bundle of saints' quotes and bits and pieces of Church history! Cheesy

And those two things are really the best part of this forum...   Cheesy
5  Forums / Technical Support / Re: Testing the Smilies on: March 18, 2017, 03:04:16 PM
Folks if you have any issues posting or viewing the smilies let me know. And feel free to test them out here!  Cheesy

Love your test run!  Grin Cheesy  Little Angel  Wow...  It has been awhile since I have been here!   Smiley
6  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Power of Obedience on: November 20, 2016, 09:15:40 PM
Okay!  Makes sense!

Wow!  I have not been on here in awhile! What have I missed?  :-)
7  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Power of Obedience on: August 11, 2016, 07:47:27 AM
Isn't it a marvelous portion of the history of the saints?

It reminds me of the 'tree of obedience'!

There is nothing like virtue and complete trust in God!

This is the true history of the world, not dry and boring dates and unending battles of the worldlings due to their vices, but the history of God's children showing forth his miraculous love and grace and all the virtues!

What is the "tree of obedience?" 
8  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / The Power of Obedience on: July 30, 2016, 06:40:54 PM
Here is a true story which was preserved by Saint Gregory in Chapter 7 of his Second Book of Dialogues:

“On a certain day, as the venerable Benedict was in his cell, the young Placidus, one of the Saint’s monks, went out to draw water from the lake; and putting his pail into the water carelessly, fell in after it. The water swiftly carried him away, and drew him nearly a bowshot from the land. Now the man of God, though he was in his cell, knew this at once, and called in haste for Maurus, saying: ‘Brother Maurus, run, for the boy who went to the lake to fetch water, has fallen in, and the water has already carried him a long way off!’

A marvelous thing, and unheard of since the time of the Apostle Peter! Having asked for and received a blessing, and departing in all haste at his father’s command, Maurus ran over the water to the place whither the young lad had been carried by the water, thinking that he was going over the land; and took him by the hair of his head, and swiftly returned with him. As soon as he touched the land, coming to himself, he looked back, and realized that he had run on the water. That which he could not have presumed to do, being now done, he both marveled and was afraid of what he had done.

Returning therefore to the father, he told him what had happened. And the venerable Benedict did not attribute this to his own merits, but to the obedience of Maurus. Maurus, on the contrary, said that it was done only in accord with his command, and that he had nothing to do with that miracle, not knowing at that time what he did. But in this amicable contention of mutual humility, the youth who had been saved came as judge; for he said, ‘When I was being drawn out of the water, I saw the Abbot’s garment over my head, and perceived that it was he that drew me out of the water.’ ”


I have read many other amazing stories in the book series, Butlers Lives of the Saints, and I never tire of hearing about the seemingly impossible accomplishments that the saints accomplished for the greater glory of God. Saint Joan of Arc led the French Army to Victory though she was just a child and was inexperienced in the ways of the world. Saint Maria Goretti converted the soul of her murderer by her obedience and utmost loyalty to the laws of God. Little children suffered martyrdom without the slightest complaint. Saint Katherine of Alexandria converted thousands by her profession of Christ. The list goes on without end...

I remember that I used to wonder, “What is their secret?” “How could they possibly do such things?” The answer is that they were very humble, trusting, and obedient to God, and they never questioned the commands given to them by Him or by their superiors. They undertook every task given to them without questioning whether they had the strength to do it, and God rewarded their loyalty by helping them to accomplish the impossible.

We may never reach the same degree of perfection as the saints. We may never perform the same glorious wonders as they did. Yet, the more humble, trusting, and obedient we become, the more we will be likely to achieve at least little deeds and little accomplishments which will give great glory and honor to God!

9  Forums / Announcements, News & Updates / Re: Registration, Logins on: July 30, 2016, 06:39:54 PM
We were having some registration and logging on issues in particular instances. It appears to have been a server misconfiguration error that is now fixed.

If there are any further difficulties logging on to the forums or registering for visitors please make contact about it through email.

This is the first time in months that I have finally been able to access the forum!  How has everyone been???
10  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Thought on: May 08, 2016, 09:21:58 PM
Great Quotes!!!  Thank you!!!   Smiley
11  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: CANTICLE TO SAINT RITA on: May 08, 2016, 09:21:11 PM
Do you really???  Rita is not a very common name, at least out here where I am from...  

I actually made the poem into a song, and I would share a link, but I know that is not allowed.  

I am so grateful to have such a wonderful patron saint!!!

And thank you for sharing the story about the bees.  I heard everything before, except that I did not realize that the bees remained in the convent all of this time!!!  God is truly amazing!!!

[mod edit: for indirect link reference]
12  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / THE RESTORATION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH on: April 14, 2016, 06:52:11 AM
I recently wrote a short fictional story about World War III and the Restoration if anyone if interested. 


PROLOGUE PART 1 – The Son of Bonny Prince Charlie

There have many people who have claimed a right to the throne of England through the line of Mary Queen of Scotts.  None of these have been recognized as licit, and most people laugh and wave their hands in ridicule at anyone who attempts to make such an assertion.  There was one though, who rightly had this claim, but never made it…

When King James Edward Francis of England died, the rightful heir became his son, Bonny Prince Charlie.  At the time they were both living in exile at Rome, and Pope Clement XIII seeing that the Protestants in England were not going to budge; had told Charles not to claim the throne, but to let the right pass onto his children.  Charles was not a patient man; however, and tried to gain back the kingdom by force, which was a complete failure.  After this he tried a number of other ways to gain back the kingship, but all of his attempts ended in disaster.

In the year of 1772 he married the princess Louise of Stolberg-Gedern.  In the year 1780 she left, after obtaining his permission, to stay at a convent near Rome.  She did this upon learning that she was with child, and in fear of what Charles might do to him.  For, at this point he had become so enraged that his plan of restoring himself as head of England had failed, and as a result of it, he was often drunk, violent, and abusive towards all of those around him.

After the child was born, Louise took him to stay in Rome with her brother-in-law, Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart.  The cardinal told her of the pope’s plan for her son to stay hidden until the time was right and England was read for a Catholic Monarch to rule over her.  Louise was heart-broken at the suggestion but eventually made the sacrifice of letting her son go into the hands of strangers and living a life of exile.


PROLOGUE PART 2 – The Lost Prince

Most people knew him by the name of Louis Charles, Dauphin of France, or Louis XVII son of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.  He was reported to have died in prison in June of the year 1975 at the age of 10.  This story, however, was merely a cover up to stem back the fear, anger and vengeance of the French Revolutionists.

In reality, Louis’ sister Marie-Therese Charlotte had gone to visit him on October 6th of the year 1793 and warned him, and those caring for him, that his life was under threat and that he would need to leave France as soon as arrangements could be made.  As a result of this, Louis Charles was smuggled out of France on the 18th of January of the year 1794 by a cobbler named Simon and his wife Marie Jeanne.  To cover this fact up, he was reported to the public as having had a terrible ailment of the scrofula, and eventually, after being so sick that he was not able to see anyone, died and was supposedly buried in an unmarked grave.

The plan had originally been for Louis to eventually return to France, but upon reaching Rome the Holy Father informed him that the people of his country would not be ready for a truly Catholic Monarchy for a few hundred years.  So, he was secretly sent into exile, his name and title being forgotten by all except a small group of those faithful to the fleur de lis.


PROLOGUE PART III – The Crisis in the Church

The life of a wanderer, immigrant or exiled man is, in a way, worse than death itself.  For, it means that a person has no sense of belonging to any place, anyone, or anything, and their very identity itself is lost in oblivion…

Wandering is often a punishment for sin.  A couple examples being: Cain was cursed to be a fugitive and wander because of the murder of his brother.  The children of Israel were forced to travel the desert for 40 years because of their complaining.

On June 17th, of the year 1689, Our Blessed Lord appeared to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque and asked her to inform the French King that He wished for France to be consecrated to His Sacred Heart.  Louis XIV and his son Louis XV failed to fulfill this request due to pressure from the men in their court.  In punishment of this God allowed the French Revolution to take place exactly one hundred years later.

Louis XVI was reported to have made the Consecration of France to the Sacred Heart while he was in captivity around the year 1791.  Yet, he was soon afterwards put to death along with his wife, the holy and virtuous Marie Antoinette.

In the year 1917, the Pope was asked to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  This was put off, and so the Church Militant was punished by a crisis in the Church.  Fifty years afterwards, the shepherd appeared to have been struck and the sheep scattered to the four winds.

God in His mercy hears the cries of His people after they pray to Him for deliverance.  God is; however, as just as He is merciful, and a time of punishment was needed before the repairs and disobedience to His commands could be recompensed.  Thus we come to our present story 100 years after the commands of Our Lady of Fatima to the popes and 325 years after the commands of Our Lord to the French Kings…




CHAPTER 1 - UTTER CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION

It was Friday, October 13th, of the year 1917.  World War III had officially begun about a month before, as a result of severe enmities and distrust among the Al Qaeda, the Russians, the Americans, the Chinese, and many other countries.  Today was the climax.  A weapon much worse than the atomic bomb had been unleashed by one country upon the other, and all at the same time.  “A chemical weapon” so they called it.

In a matter of minutes, more than a third of the everyone on earth was killed.  Another third were left in a much worse state; their pain being so excruciating that many of them took their own lives to eliminate their agony.  That left only a third of how many people had previously inhabited the earth to pick up the pieces…

Maria stumbled and coughed as she walked amidst a street of dead corpses.  Tears streamed down her face and she trembled with fear as she looked upon the obliterated world around her.  It was all so terribly frightening and almost unbelievable!

“Father!” she cried out as she heard someone coughing in the distance and ran up to him.

Robert’s face was torn to pieces and he could hardly breathe.  She tried to help him get to his feet, but he stopped her.

“Maria…”  he said grabbing her arms and intently gazing into her face.  “This is the end of me.”

“No!”  she cried out in reply, bursting into sobs and burying her face into his chest.  Raising her head after a minute she implored him, “Please, try to make it for me…”

He sighed, and managed to respond in a broken voice amidst coughing, “Maria…There is something…something that I must tell you…before I am gone…”

Maria’s face winced with pain at his words, but she resolved to be strong for his sake and asked, “What is it, my father?”

Robert’s face winced with pain, but he made an effort to grab her hand and speak again in labored breathing.  “Maria…There is something…that I never told you…It is…about your heritage…”

“My heritage, Father?”  Maria asked in surprise.  “What does that matter now?”

“It is everything…everything that matters now...”  He responded most earnestly.  “It is our only hope…”

“But, Father…”  She said as she furrowed her eyebrows.  “I don’t…I don’t understand…”

“You are not…not my child, Maria…”  he finally answered and sighed.

“What ever do you mean by this, Father?”  she asked as her body shook in fear and shock.

“You are the rightful…heir…to the throne of England…”  he began.  Maria’s eyes became wide with astonishment and her brow furrowed with confusion in response to his words.

“My wife and I…We adopted you in secrecy…to care for you…until you became of age…to marry…the heir to the throne of France…and reunite the countries of Europe…and the world.”

Maria gasped and shakenly asked, “How?…How can this be?...”

Managing to breathe a bit better, without coughing now, he continued, “For a long time now the heirs of the French and English countries have been secretly hidden from those who seek their lives and destroy the prophecy…”

“The prophecy?”  Maria bewilderedly questioned him.

Taking a deep breath, he profoundly declared:

“When the lily of France, takes the lion of England as bride,
The demons who plague the world, shall then subside.”

Maria’s heart skipped a beat at his words, and a chill went down her spine.  Noticing that she still seemed confused, her adopted father went on, “You are the air to the throne of England, and the heir to the throne of France has lived as an exile in Russia.  His name is Franz Josef Lennox.”

Trying to pull herself together, Maria asked in broken sentences, stopping to think in between her words, “So…I am supposed to…marry this…Franz Lennox…and reunite…the Catholic Monarchies…throughout Europe…and the world?”

“Yes!”  He smiled and relaxed a bit.  “You are a smart girl. I knew you would understand.”

Again he started to cough, and Maria laid his head on her lap in order to help him breath better.

After a minute he regained his voice and said, “There is one last thing…Proof for him, when you should meet him, that you are who you say you are…”

He had her open up his briefcase and retrieve a box from it.  In it was a relic of the true cross which had been placed into a necklace, along with a piece of the veil of Our Blessed Mother, a splinter from the staff of St. Joseph, and relics of the twelve apostles.  Robert explained all of this and many other things to Maria, adding that she ought to wear the necklace as protection and a means to be recognized by her betrothed.

He told her about Franz, and how she would know him by the gift of the king’s blessing.  This is the divinely given ability of the rightful heirs to Catholic Monarchs to cure scrofula.  As far as doctors are concerned it is an incurable ailment.  And since so many people were suffering from it as the result of the polluted chemicals in the air; he could hardly be missed, and that is how she would know that he was the right one.

As he explained these things, he slowly found it harder and harder to breathe.  Finally, in his last breath he clenched her hand, and barely managed to say, almost in a whisper, “You…you must…survive…You…you are…our only hope…”

“Father!!!...Father…Father…” she sobbed holding him tightly to her heart, shaking all the while with pain, fear and grief.

After about an hour, a couple of men came around and started burying bodies.  They helped her with her father, and tried their best to console her.  Yet, there were so many dead and wounded to take care of that she was not able to grieve for long.  Her help was needed in tending the sick and removing dead bodies from the roadways.

Who would have thought that such a disaster could happen in such a short period of time?  But, there they were, and the horrors surrounding them were so great that those who lived almost wished that they had not.


CHAPTER 2 – PICKING UP THE PIECES

It was three weeks later that there was finally any resemblance of order in her town.  People were still devastated by the incident, but most of them had learned to accept it and move on to help those around them.  Maria became a pillar of strength for those who were left, and they fought courageously to try and rebuild their lives.

All through this time Robert’s words were ever upon her mind as she cared for the wounded.  Many questions came to her.

Where should she look for Franz?

Would he even know about her existence?

What would happen if he did not believe her?

She tried to tell herself to trust everything into God’s hands, but it was certainly still a struggle to persevere.  Everyone looked up to her for support, and she felt so weak…

To honor her foster-father’s last wish, and for the sake of the suffering sick she started to ask around whether people had heard of anyone who had the cure for scrofula.  Others in fear for their lives and those of their loved ones passed her message on and on until it completely went well around the world…


CHAPTER 3 – AN ACCIDENT

It was November 22nd, of the same year, that Maria was in large building being used as a care ward in Washington D.C. trying to do what she could do for the ailing.  She could do nothing to cure them, but at least she could console them upon their demise, and call for one of the priests when the time care near.  Many converted to the Catholic Faith before their deaths because of her gentle and kind bed-side manners.

One night, as she was slowing dragging herself through one of the corridors to visit yet another ailing soul; she slipped and fell down a flight of stairs, hitting her head hard on the floor.  It was about an hour before someone came across her, since the person she was going to see was on the far end of the hospital and most of those helping had already gone home for the night.  When she awoke, it was near midnight and a doctor was sitting next to her feeling her pulse.

“What happened?” she asked wincing with pain and touching her hand to her forehead.

“You fell down the stairs and hit your head quite hard on the floor at the bottom.” He responded in a concerned tone of voice.

She made an effort to arise from the bed where they had placed her.  Yet, the doctor gently grabbed her arm, and furrowing his brow with apprehension stopped her saying, “You should stay here for the night.  The bruise you have acquired is quite bad, and we should keep an eye on it until the morning so that it does not clot.  If that were to happen your life might very well be in danger.”

Falling back onto the pillow and mattress they had placed her on, she sighed and ardently beseeched him with her eyes while she said, “But one of my patients is expecting me, and the scrofula has nearly finished her off…”

The doctor, trying to console her and keep her where she was, replied, “Tell me her name, and I will check on her myself…”

“Her name is Philomena…” she answered faintly adding with deep gratitude as she looked up at him, “Thank you…for everything…”


CHAPTER 4 – THE CURE

The next morning Maria, upon waking, went to get glass of water, and one of the other helpers rushed up to her.

“Oh, Maria!” asked Nancy.  “Why did you not tell us about Philomena!”

“What ever do you mean?”  she asked in a concerned voice, “Is Philomena all right?  She didn’t pass away during the night did she?”

“All right?” Nancy retorted and then replied in excited.  “She has never been better!  She is completely cured of the scrofula!”

“What!” exclaimed Maria is surprise and shock.  “How can this be?”

“Come with me and talk to her yourself!”  answered the former girl with a smile.  “She has been asking for you for the past hour!”

When Maria entered the room where he Philomena had been, she saw almost didn’t recognize her!  All of the scars, atrophies and lesions which had covered her face were completely gone! She had been so completely cured!

When Philomena saw Maria, she came rushing up to her and gave her a big hug and with tears in her eyes cried out, “Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!”

Maria held the woman back from her and confusedly questioned her, “What do you mean by thanking me for this?  I played no part in your cure…”

“Oh, yes!  You most certainly did!” exclaimed Philomena.  “You sent the doctor to me who has the cure to the scrofula!  How can I ever thank you!”

As she finished, the woman again hugged Maria tightly and Maria confusedly allowed it, while pondering these things in her heart.


CHAPTER 5 – THE FINDING

It was a few days later that the doctor returned again to their hospital, and came across Maria in one of the hallways.

“Ah!  My little nurse!” he called out with a smile upon recognizing her.  “How is your head?”

“I am fine, thank you, good sir.” She responded, adding “But tell me, what is your name, and how is it that you came to cure Philomena?”

He replied with a smile, “My name is Dr. Lennox, and I come from Russia.  As for your friend; it was because of your sacrifices for her that God worked this great miracle.”

Maria gasped in astonishment and was speechless for a minute.  Then she regained her composure and asked, “So, you…You are Franz Josef?”

He had been about to courteously bid her good day and walk away. Yet, upon hearing her words, he paused in surprise, and putting a finger to his lips, he looked to see that no-one had heard her outburst.  Then grabbing her hand gently brought her into a side room and closed the door.

“How do you know of me?” he eagerly inquired.

“I…I…” she began and paused, not quite sure how to start the explanation.

How does one go about telling someone that their parents had them both betrothed without their knowledge?  What if he did not know anything about it?  What if he would not take her at her word?  These and a number of other thoughts rapidly went through her head.

He saw her hesitation, relaxed a little and said, “It is okay.  I think that I understand your hesitation.”

Then taking a deep breath, he smiled and continued, “You must be Maria Theresa.”

“So it is true then?” Maria asked Franz Josef.

“Yes, it is.” He replied with a smile.

“And you actually have the power to cure the scrofula?” she questioned still in shock of having learnt that the heir to the French Throne was in front of her, and that all her foster-father had said was true.

“Well…”  He responded, “I guess that you could say that.  Though I prefer to say that God has the power and chooses to work through me.”
“How is it that everyone does not know about you, and why are you so secretive?” she enquired of him with a puzzled look.  “Would it not be best to use your gift to help everyone?”

“I help everyone whom I can.” he answered.  “Yet, I have to be careful not to make it obvious how I cure them.”

Grimacing as if painful memories were coming back into his mind, he sighed and went on, “There are those who have heard rumors of us and would do anything to stop the Restoration of Christendom.”

“Oh…I see…” she responded, reflecting upon his words.  “So, is there a plan besides our just needing to be careful?”

“Yes!  There is a plan!”  He excitedly answered, then lowering his voice he continued, “Not here…we will talk later…”


CHAPTER 6 – A PLAN OF ACTION

The next evening, Franz Josef and Maria went for a picnic dinner at a nearby park after they had looked over their patients at the hospital.  There he opened up his heart to her, and explained the story of his past.

He had grown up in Russia, living with a poor traditional Catholic couple, who barely had the means to make ends meet.  They had not been able to have children, and had been sorrowful about this for a long time until his parents had passed him on to them to raise him up.  He became a doctor in order to help support them, and it was not until a couple years ago that he had been told by them that he was not their biological child, and that he had a mission planned for him since his infancy by his real parents.

He had wanted to meet his real parents, but they explained to him that this might jeopardize the entire operation.  So, he patiently waited for a sign of what exactly he was supposed to do and when.  After the chemical attacks had taken place he took this as a sign that the time was right to search for the heir to the English throne, whom he knew to be living somewhere in the United States.

“…And that is how I came to be here, and meet you.”  He finished.

“Wow…”  responded Maria.  “So we both were in the dark for quite some time…”

She then added, “What is our job now then, and how are we supposed to bring about the Restoration of Christendom?”

“You know the prophecy, right?” he asked:

“When the lily of France, takes the lion of England as bride,
The demons who plague the world, shall then subside.”

“Yes...”  She answered, blushing.  “And I understand that it is supposed to be referencing you and me…”

“Yes,” he answered, “but there is more…”

“Indeed?” she inquired.

“Though we are the ones in that prophecy, we are not the ones who will actually bring about the final restoration itself…”

“Oh?”  she asked in confusion.

In a very profound and almost prophetic voice he responded, “It will be our son, Louis Marie, who will lead the Catholic armies in victory around the world with the Great Monarch, convert the Jews, Muslims, and Restore Christendom in its entirety.”

“Oh, wow…” responded Maria in shock.  “I don’t know what to say…”

“Well, I guess the next step would be for you to confirm for me that you truly are Maria Theresa.” He answered with a smile.

She in turn then explained her life story to him.  She described to him how she had been raised by two very loving parents, how her mother had died two years before, and how her father had passed away during the chemical airstrike a few months before.  She then told him of her foster-father’s last words to her and of the token he had left her to have as a sign to the French heir that she truly was who claimed to be.

“And here it is…”  She declared, as she pulled the necklace over her head and handed it to him.

Tears welled up in his eyes as he gazed upon the holy relics.  Then turning his gaze upon her he said with genuine zeal and tenderness, “No further proof do I need!”

Then getting down upon one knee he pulled out a royal family ring which had been passed down through the centuries in secret and asked her, “Maria Theresa, will you agree to be my wife and help me prepare the way of the Great Monarch, for the greater honor and glory of God and His Church?”

Maria asked smiling “How could I say no?” Then she added, “Of course, for the greater honor and glory of God and the Restoration of Christendom, I will.”


CHAPTER 7 – SETTING THE STONES IN PLACE

Within the next few weeks, rumors had spread throughout the country that a simple Russian doctor had found the cure for scrofula.  People flocked from far and wide to receive treatment and be healed.  As a cover-up, and in order to give the glory to God, he had a relic of Saint Lazarus which he carried about with him, and let people assume that the healing came from the saint’s intercession.  All of the miracles that took place converted millions of people to the Faith and they requested for a shrine to be built to the Saint Lazarus.  Of course Franz Josef eagerly agreed to this arrangement.

In the spring of 2018, Maria and Franz Josef were married at a little traditional chapel in Vienna, Virginia.  On June 24th of the following year, God blessed them with a son, whom they named Louis Marie.  He grew up showing great wisdom, piety, and holiness from an early age.  His closest friend was a boy named Fredrick Anthony Rozuli, and the two of them continuously fought between themselves over which of them could advance more rapidly in virtue and become closest to God.

For the next 18 years, as the boys grew up, chaos reigned over the world.  Different countries tried to take leadership of the world, without success, and whomever tried was overthrown by others.  Diverse bishops tried to convene a conclave to elect a pope to lead them and rebuild Rome, since almost everyone there had died during the chemical raid.  Yet, nothing ever came of this.

Again and again people tried to resolve the problems of the church and the world by their own means, but again and again they failed.  Eventually, the common folk became worn-out from all the confusion and disorder, and they turned to God for help.  They did penance, asked for mercy upon the world, and beg Him to grant them a good, kind, and gentlehearted man to lead them and govern them well.  God in turn heard their prayer, and granted their petitions.


CHAPTER 8 – ON THE FEAST OF ST. PETER AND PAUL

It was the feast of Saint Peter and Paul, June 29th, of the year of 2038.  Franz Josef and Fredrick Anthony had both begun to be trained in the duties of the priesthood, and were serving together at Mass with Father William Gregory, when something happened that changed the world forever…

Fr. Gregory had given a sermon on having faith and hope in God, and how only He could remedy all the chaos going on around them.  Then, at the end of Mass the priest asked the congregation to join him in saying a prayer to the patron saints of the day to intercede on their behalf and restore peace sooner rather than later to the world.  As they knelt and finished their prayer, a great light filled the church.  St. Peter, St. Paul, and a dozen angels appeared in the sight of all!

Everyone was taken aback in surprise.  St. Peter looked as he is often represented in our pictures.  He was holding in his left hand a set of keys, and in his right hand a staff.  St. Paul held a book in his left hand and a crown in his right.  All present took everything they saw into their hearts, and their amazement continued as the saints both spoke in turn.

“Father William,” said Saint Peter mostly profoundly, “You shall be charged with the duty of training Fredrick Anthony in the skills of a priest.  He has been chosen by God to be the Holy Pope who will lead the Church back to Her days of glory.”

Handing Father William his staff he continued, “This staff belonged once to Saint Joseph.  Once Fredrick is ordained, give it to him, and he shall be given the power to unite the faithful throughout the world and restore the Church to Her former days of glory.”

As he stepped back, St. Paul came forward with a golden crown and handed it to Louis Marie declaring, “With this crown you shall be crowned as the Great Monarch, the one foretold, who shall assist the Great Pope in converting the entire world to the Faith and establishing peace unto the race of mankind.”

After these things had been spoken, the 12 angels who had accompanied the saints broke out singing “Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriamm!” (Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy Name give the glory!) After this the holy gathering disappeared, leaving a very astonished congregation behind them.


CHAPTER 9 – THE BEGINNING OF THE RESTORATION

Within a few months, Father Gregory sent Fredrick Anthony and Louis Marie to England, where Bishop Henry Roberts was waiting for them and ordained Fredrick Anthony a priest.  Soon afterwards, on Sunday, October 31st, the Feast of Christ the King, Bishop Roberts, Bishop Giovanni Greco, and Bishop Casimir Rosowski co-consecrated Father Fredrick into the episcopacy.  He was then given the staff of St. Joseph and unanimously proclaimed as head of the Catholic Church by all the remaining faithful hierarchy left in the world.

Fredrick took the name Pope Pius XIII upon being raised to the papacy, and then immediately consecration Russia and the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  After this, he crowned Louis as King of France, England and the entire world.

 Afterwards, those who had been able to make it to the ceremonies gathered for a celebration in gratitude and thanks to God for having starting to bring about an end to the darkness which had been enveloping the world…

“Oh, Louis!  What a great day this is!” exclaimed Pope Pius XIII, going up to his old friend and giving a big hug as if he would squeeze his guts out.

Louis smiled a bit awkwardly and said amidst chuckles, “Uhm…Holy Father…Would it not be more proper for me to kiss your ring or something?”

The pope laughed, pulled himself away a bit and making a play bow with a huge grin on his face answered, “Well, this is all going to take a bit of getting used to, Your Highness!”

The two and many others then broke out into laughter as Bishop Henry Roberts jested, “God surely has a sense of humor to have elected you two to lead us in the restoration of Christendom!”

“Aye!  Yes, indeed!” answered King Louis and the Holy Father together laughing and grinning together.


CONCLUSION

The next few years were those of minor wars and major reconciliation.

Catholics from all over the world joined to fight for the Holy Pope and Great Monarch, in order to bring about the Reign of Peace. 

There were no longer any well-structured governments, and the common folk were exhausted of having people try to rule them who cared only about money, power and prestige.  As a result of this, they more than welcomed a kind caring king who would lead them benevolently and restore happiness throughout the earth.

In the end the Muslims, Jews, and people from other religions whom they came across even converted to the One True Faith!

Thus God rewards those who serve him well, and put their trust completely in His Hands! 

Viva Cristo Rey!
13  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / CANTICLE TO SAINT RITA on: April 14, 2016, 06:49:37 AM
Though your life was filled with pain…
Though your soul was torn apart…
Never once did you complain.
Faithful ever was your heart.

As a child you served God well.
You were always good and kind.
On holy things you did dwell
Within your heart, soul, and mind.

When your parents asked for you
To be a mother and a wife…
You did all they asked of you;
Gave up your will and your life.

When your husband treated you
Most harshly and cruelly.
You served him faithful and true.
Converted him lovingly.

When your sons did seek to kill
The man who slayed your husband.
You placed your trust in God still,
And He in turn stayed their hand.

When your head was pierced into
With a thorn from Our Lord’s Crown.
It increased your fervor true.
Never was your soul let down.

Grant to me a small token,
Through the merits of your heart.
Grant that I be soft spoken.
Please ask God to take my part.
14  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Mistake of Pharisees and Non-Believers on: April 04, 2016, 08:09:38 AM
I was just looking at Ven. Louis's book on the shelf today. I shall have to take it down again to read some more!

What a great read it is!!!  I just finished the book!  Thank you all for mentioning it to me!!!  :-)
15  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / The Mistake of Pharisees and Non-Believers on: April 02, 2016, 06:41:46 AM
I recently read the following passage about the practice of interior and exterior virtues.

Finding in it so many profound points, which people in our present day and age overlook; I thought it would be well worth sharing here with everyone.

The text comes from the Venerable Louis of Granda’s book, The Sinner’s Guide.


CHAPTER 44 – The Relative Importance and Values of the Virtues

When people purchase precious stones, they need to know the value of each one.  In like manner, you need to know the value of each virtue to make proper choices.  To help with this, I divide virtues into two groups, interior spiritual virtues and exterior sensible virtues.

I place the three theological virtues in the interior spiritual group because they focus on God.  They also include the virtues that help you accomplish your duty to God, such as humility, chastity, mercy, patience, prudence, devotion, poverty of spirit, contempt of the world, denial of your will, love of the cross, mortification, and many others.

The exterior virtues, or sensible virtues, include fasting, mortification, pious reading, vocal prayer, chanting of the Psalms, pilgrimages, attending Mass, assisting at the offices of the Church, and all outward ceremonies and practices of Christian life.  Though these virtues reside in the soul, they always act exteriorly.

The virtues of the first group please God more than those of the second group.  We know this because Jesus said to the woman at the well, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth.” (John 4:21, 23-24)

However, do not conclude that the others have no value.  Though not so noble as the former, they help acquire and preserve them.  For example, retreat and solitude guard against innumerable sights and sounds that endanger the peace of your conscience and imperil your chastity.  Fasting while in a state of grace expiates your sins, subdues the inclinations of the flesh, repels your enemy, disposes you to prayer, and preserves you from passions.  Pious reading, the recitation of the Psalms, assisting at the Divine Office, and hearing sermons enlighten you and make you desire spiritual things.  This, strive for the interior virtues by practicing the exterior virtues.  The first group represent the health of your body and the second, the medicine to attain it.


By practicing both interior and exterior virtues, you can avoid two equally lamentable errors, one made by the Pharisees in the time of Christ and the other by non-believers today.  The Pharisees were carnal, ambitious, and accustomed to the literal observance of the law, disregarded true justice and interior virtues.  They concealed their corrupt and wicked hearts under a virtuous exterior.  The non-believers of today, trying to avoid this error, go to the opposite extreme and have contempt for exterior practices.  However the Catholic Church preserves a happy medium between both and, while maintaining the superiority of the interior virtues, recognizes the merit and advantage of the exterior.
16  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Benefits of Being Tenderhearted on: March 16, 2016, 07:58:20 AM
We truly need to show the benevolence and warmth and courtesy of Christ. Cheesy

Amen!  If only it was as easy done as said!   Wink
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