Another New Year to Serve Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Every new day of our lives is an opportunity for us to start "fresh," if you will, as we give thanks to God for keeping us alive for another day to give Him honor and glory through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary as we adore Him in true offerings of the Holy Sacrifice Mass and as we petition Him for what we need, both spiritually and temporally. We must approach each day as though it is the very last day of our lives, the day on which we will meet Christ the King as Our Judge at the moment of our Particular Judgments, trying to pursue excellence in all we do as redeemed creatures, keeping in mind at all times the greater honor and glory of God and the need to help others to see His impress in our souls as we treat them as we would treat Him in the very Flesh.
We measure the passing of time in many ways. Seconds. Minutes. Hours. Days. Weeks. Months. Years. Decades. Centuries. The most accurate measure of how long we have been alive is days as we are day older with each passing day. No one is just, say, to pick a random age and date, sixty-one years old from November 24, 2012, to November 24, 2013. I didn't just "turn" sixty-two years of age thirty-seven days ago now. My sixty-second birthday was commemorated on the 22,647th day of my life thirty-seven days ago, that is, on November 24, 2013. We age with ever passing day. We make decisions each day that draw us closer to God or move us farther away from Him as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through His true Church. We must be quite conscious of all of this throughout the course of every day that God, in His ineffable Mercy, keeps us alive to know, to love, and to serve Him as members of the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.
God's Mercy to us erring sinners is such that He keeps alive for a certain length of years so that we can learn from our past mistakes and to make reparation for our sins as we grow in fervor for our love of Him and offer to Him through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary our prayers and penances and sacrifices and mortifications and our efforts to fulfill as perfectly as possible the duties of our freely chosen states-in-life. The beginning of a new calendar year, coming this time thirty-two days after the beginning of the current liturgical year, is a great grace sent to us by God to reflect on the Mercies that He has extended to us as we live out our days in time in this passing, mortal vale of tears and to thank Him for those tender Mercies and to entreat Him for more as we grow in sorrow for our sins and grow in appreciation for His kindness to us.
A soul that approaches Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as His consecrated slave through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary surrenders all of his liberty to Him through His Most Blessed Mother, counting it as a joy to give unto the Immaculate Heart whatever merits he earns as a resulted of his prayers and indulgenced actions and all sufferings and humiliations endured. A soul consecrated to the Divine Redeemer through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary offers freely the graces He received in his worthy receptions of Holy Communion to that Immaculate Heart to be disposed of as she sees fit. A soul consecrated to Our Lord through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary expresses gratitude for every consolation and for every cross given unto him. We must recognize that each consolation and every cross is a sign of God's great love and mercy for us as He gives us consolations to give us encouragement in this vale of tears and as He gives us crosses to unite us more fully to His Holy Cross so that we can help to pay back the debt of what we owe for our own forgive sins, help to convert hardened sinners alive on the face of this earth and to help to release the Poor Souls in the Church Suffering in Purgatory.
A soul who lives in the conscious awareness of his Total Consecration to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary does not live in fear of the exigencies of the moment in his personal life. He maintains an equanimity in the midst of personal travails, seeing each as coming from the hand of God and understanding without a moment's hesitation that the graces He won for us on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, are sufficient to prosper under each cross, recognizing as well that absolutely nothing we suffer in this life is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Him to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death.
A soul who lives in the consciousness awareness of his Total Consecration to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary does not live in fear of the exigencies of the moment in the life of the Church Militant on earth or the world. He maintains an equanimity in the midst of these travails, hoping and praying that his own acts of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary will help to plant a few seeds for the Resurrection of the Mystical Body of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ upon earth and for the restoration of Christendom in the world.
Holy Mother Church has faced periods of heresy before in her life. While this period is perhaps the most treacherous, she will endure the storm. All we need to do is to make sure that we don't associate with the heretics or accord them any recognition whatsoever as we cleave to true bishops and true priests in the catacombs who make no concessions to conciliarism whatsoever and offer no legitimacy at all to the counterfeit church's false "shepherds" who blaspheme God repeatedly as they deny articles contained in the Deposit of Faith and refuse to seek with urgency the unconditional conversion of non-Catholics to the true Church while they, at the same time, esteem the symbols of those false religions and praise their nonexistent "ability" to contribute to the "betterment" of the world. The Catholic Church cannot give us defective liturgies or false doctrines or ambiguity in her teaching. We just need to be at peace as we thank Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother for the graces of letting us have access to true bishops and true priests who are not "una cum" the heretics and blasphemers, true bishops and true priests who sacrifice themselves to the point of exhaustion to provide us with the Sacraments, access to which most Catholics today simply do not possess.
We must remember also that Holy Mother Church has dealt with thousands upon thousands of civil potentates who have sought to destroy her by various means. She is still here. They are, each of them, dead. Some converted and repented of their crimes before they died. Others did not. It is no different today. Today's civil potentates who are the enemies of Holy Mother Church and the souls for whom Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross will die one day. We pray for their conversion before they die. We will forgive them right readily if they persecute us for our refusal to obey unjust laws and because we criticize them and their defiance of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen. Even the "white" or "dry" martyrdom that comes with such persecution can wipe away much of the debt that we owe God for our forgiven sins and our general attachment to our Venial Sins. We must not be fearful. God is more powerful than any civil potentate is at war with Him and His Holy Church.
We must trust God completely at every moment of our lives, fearing only to die in a state of final impenitence. We must forgive all others from our hearts, recognizing that there is nothing anyone has ever done to us or said about us or caused us to suffer is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Lord to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death, recognizing also that we who are the unmerited beneficiaries of His Absolution in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance cannot withhold forgiveness from our fellow contingent beings who are also sharers, even though they themselves may be unaware or reject totally this truth, in His Redemptive Act on the wood of the Holy Cross. All of the circumstances and intentions of each and every human heart will be made manifest on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead. The misunderstandings encountered in this passing, mortal vale of tears will be wiped away for the souls of the just, although the souls of the unjust, that is, those who have indeed died in states of final impenitence, will hate each other for all eternity in Hell. We should count it as a supreme privilege to share with Our Lord Himself the ignominy of being misunderstood and rejected by even our closest relatives and friends.
Yes, we must trust God completely in all of the circumstances of our lives, understanding that each circumstance has been ordained by Him for all eternity and is meant to be used for His greater honor and glory and for our own sanctification and salvation. Joy should be the true keynote of the life of a Catholic who sees the loving hand of God in all of the circumstances of his life. To be joyful in the midst of sufferings and humiliations is madness to the world. It is, of course, sanity to a believing Catholic who loves God and is sorry for his many sins.
Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., wrote in The Light of the World about the dispositions we should have in our heart and soul at the beginning of another new calendar year in Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:
Although the liturgy of the Church does not provide for the celebration of New Year's Day, we should not for this reason pass over it lightly. We should at this time reconsider the program which the Church outlined for us at the beginning of the liturgical year, a program both positive and negative. We are to renounce all worldly lusts and practice piety.
The Redeemer who came to live among us makes it clear to us that in the sight of God only one thing is necessary: the salvation of our immortal soul. All the actions of our life, then, should be directed to the salvation of our soul and that of our neighbor. Indifference to the claims of God and to the fate of the soul in the world to come, is the besetting sin of our age. Life in our times is so clamorous and so urgent in its solicitations that it threatens to blind us and close our eyes to our true destiny. Our lives become worldly and we neglect the needs of our soul. The Church shows us how to avoid this danger, and in the Epistle for the feast of the Circumcision we are directed to renounce all "ungodliness and worldly desires" that might captivate us and interfere with the salvation of our soul.
Not only must we avoid those things that might harm us, but we must also do something positive. "We should live soberly and justly and godly." We must liver soberly, that is, be moderate in our thoughts, words, and actions, making them conform to the truths of our faith; justly, that is, giving every man what is due him, but not forgetting the claims of God and our fellow man, the claims of nature, grace, and our own soul, and even the just claims of our body. We must live "godly," that is, we must be sustained by a childlike confidence in the heavenly Father, whose children we have become by reason of our brotherhood in Christ. We must live with the conviction that His fatherly care and loving hand are always guiding us, protecting us, and sanctifying us.
"Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ" (Epistle). All temporal things must pass away, but they point the way to that which is enduring and eternal, which alone can satisfy our souls. Now we can wait for the day when eternity will begin for us and the Lord will return in majesty. Thus He shall come to us at the moment of our death and on the day of the Last Judgment. Our faith teaches us to believe that death merely opens up for us the gates of eternity. If our lives have been worthy, the Lord upon His return will unite our transfigured souls to our bodies. This holy hope prompts us to long joyfully for the return of the Lord and for the blessed eternity that will follow. This hope sustains us and gives us the strength to conquer. The sacrifices and the good works which we undertake at the beginning of the new year will increase our merit for eternity if we persevere in them.
Shun all ungodliness and worldliness; "live soberly and justly and godly," sustained by the loving hand of a devoted Father; long for the blessed day of eternity with holy hope. This is the program the Church sets before us at the beginning of a new year.
The liturgy shows us where we shall find the strength to do these things. "A child is born to us and Son is given to us, whose government is upon His shoulders; and His name shall be called the Angel of great counsel" (Introit). Christ, the Lord of all things, is born to us. He, the Son of God, has assumed a human nature and in the Mass has become our sacrificial meal and at the same time the spotless oblation which we offer to God. With His help we shall be able to accomplish our program. "I am the vine, you the branches. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me" (John 15: 5, 4).
On New Year's Day we should renew the promises we made at our baptism. "I renounce Satan and all his works and pomps. I believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and in the Holy Catholic Church." We should resolve that all we do, we will do for God and in accordance with the holy will of Jesus. Lord, take me to Thyself, tak me to Thyself. (Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., The Light of the World, B. Herder Book Company, 1954, pp. 121-122.)
Our recourse, as always, must be to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart out of which It was formed with which It beats as one. Our Lady keeps us in the folds of her mantle and in the crossing of her arms as she told Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill in 1531. We must keep close to her by means of using the shield of her Brown Scapular and the weapon of her Most Holy Rosary as are reminded by her Miraculous Medal that she is indeed the Mediatrix of All Graces.
A good resolution to make for this new calendar year, therefore, is to pray more and more Rosaries of reparation each day. Praying Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary will cure us of worldliness and worldly ambition. Praying more and more Rosaries of reparation will help us to appreciate the horrors that our sins imposed upon the Sacred Humanity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and caused those Seven Swords of Sorrow to be pierced through and through the Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother. Praying more Rosaries of reparation will help us to have true peace of soul in the midst of every difficulty that we encounter life, understanding that nothing we experience can equal the sufferings that Our Lady herself endured as she stood so valiantly by the foot of her Divine Son's Most Holy Cross.
A New Year of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the year 2014, has arrived! Let us thank God for keeping us alive until now and to beg His Most Blessed Mother to know, to love, and to serve Him more readily and zealously with each additional day of life that He gives us, offering all to Him--Father, Son, and Holy Ghost--through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
A blessed New Year of Our Lord to you all! There is work to do. Let us do with joy and gratitude as members of the Catholic Church.
Viva Cristo Rey!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now, not any day now?
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.