It's Still Better This Than Purgatory (or Worse!) in 2008, part 5
by Thomas A. Droleskey
To embrace our daily crosses with joy is the royal road to Heaven. We must never lose sight of the fact that we, who are seen, as "Father X" related in his series of sermons posted on the
Traditional Catholic Sermons website,.those "lovable, bumbling idiots" who have difficulty frequently discerning God's Holy Will for us as we struggle with the vestigial after-effects of Original Sin and our own many Actual Sins. Many of our difficulties and crosses are entirely self-made, the result of our disordered pride or our willful blindness or stubborn refusal to accept with equanimity the simple fact that everything that happens to us in the course of our daily lives happens within the Providence of God. He permits us to make many mistakes so as to humble us and to make us ever more completely reliant upon the graces He won for us by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of His Most Blessed Mother, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces.
Thus it is that our summer's sojourn to Ohio and other parts of the Midwest was very much akin to the wandering of the Hebrew people in the desert as they kept going in circles for forty years. Much of our life's journey is spent going in circles. We are, at least during most of our lives, very much like a dog who circles around two or three times before he rests himself comfortably in a space on a rug. Oh, yes, those who have secure employment, a stable residence, and reliable income may not be as much wandering as those of us who have lost such things. It is, however, nevertheless true that many of us will find that we are like the Jews of old as we wander about in these passing, mortal vale of tears, a passage that has become particularly perilous in these days of apostasy and betrayal.
No matter the mistakes we make and the problems that arise as a result of our stubbornness and simple blindness, God wants to use each occasion of our lives, asking us to offer up everything we have and do to Him through His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. No moment is ever waste, no mistake is without merit IF we remember to offer up everything that happens to us during the course of a day to the Most Holy Trinity through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, something that we can do very simply with our Morning Offering and by frequent aspirations to Our Blesed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Most Blessed Mother, repeating as frequently as we can this prayer taught by Our Lady to the Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal:
"O Jesus, it is for Thy love, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
We must always think and speak and act supernaturally in light of our Catholic Faith. Doing so will equip us to embrace our daily crosses with love and with gratitude, and to save us from even the slightest hint of anxiety over our personal problems or the problems that exist in the world and those that have been created by the apostasies and blasphemies and sacrileges of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. There is not one thing that can happen to us or to anyone else that is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and that caused His Most Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with those Seven Swords of Sorrow. Each cross has been fashioned to fit us perfectly by the very hand of God Himself from all eternity. We have nothing to complain about, especially since, as noted above, so many of our crosses are of our very own making!
Always Good to be Back at Saint Gertrude's
We arrived at Saint Gertrude the Great Church on Monday afternoon, June 26, 2008, after a rather tiring drive from Chestnut Ridge Campground in Hubbard, Ohio, a distance of about 285 miles. Driving the motor home requires every bit of my attention. That is tiring in and of itself, an effort that is exacerbated by the fact that we have not had dashboard air conditioning in the motor home since September 7, 2005. No mechanic has been able to resolve the problem. There is no "schematic" of the wiring provided by the manufacturer of the motor home, Forest River, or the manufacturer of the chassis upon which the motor home is built, the "wonderful" Ford Motor Company. Thus it is that I cook in hot weather as the heat of the sun beats through the windshield pane and as heat, for whatever reason, pours from the engine into the area where I sit. The temperature up where I sit has reached 115 degrees Fahrenheit on several occasions. What can I do? All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls.
Although it was our intention to stay on the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church upon our arrival, there was no thirty amperage socket to plug in our electrical cord. This required a bit of scrambling on our part prior to and after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on the Vigil of Saint John the Baptist, Monday, June 23, 2008, as I telephoned Olive Branch Campground in Oregonia, Ohio, to see if we could return there. We wound up making a reservation at Indian Springs Campground in North Bend, Ohio, which is near the Indiana-Ohio state line, approximately thirty-three miles from Saint Gertrude the Great Church.
It was wonderful to partake of the glories of Saint Gertrude the Great Church once again. His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan and Father Anthony Cekada, who are now assisted by Father Markus Ramolla every day and Father Charles McGuire once a month (when Father Cekada flies to his hometown of Milwaukee to offer Holy Mass at Saint Hugh of Lincoln Church, at which Father McGuire has been the resident priest for the past ten months), are meticulous in the glories that are offered to the Most Holy Trinity in the Sacred Liturgy. The liturgical year of the Church comes alive at Saint Gertrude the Great Church. Those who live in and around the Cincinnati, Ohio, area have a great treasure, and what a pity it is that so few of those who go to Mass at Saint Gertrude's on Sundays bother to go during the week to be present at the unbloody re-presentation of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Sacrifice to His Co-Equal Father in Spirit and in Truth.
Holy Mass on Monday, June 23, 2008, was followed by a parish celebration in anticipation of the great feast to be held the following day. We had to leave before the Rosary was prayed publicly and various poems, some of which were written by Father Cekada himself, were read. Having had a long three days on the road, replete with the interruption caused by the water-saturated air filter, we needed to get settled in at Indian Springs Campground before returning to Saint Gertrude's the next day for the 11:30 a.m. High Mass, which we just barely made in time as a result of massive construction-related delays on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 275 in Springdale, Ohio, just west of Interstate 75. It is possible that the I-275 construction project will be completed the day before the end of the world. (As I have noted several times on this site, it is invariably the case that construction projects pop up all over the country in an election year as various contractors get contracts from state and local governments to tear up highways that are designed to deteriorate under the weight of vehicular traffic so that the contractors can be new contracts while those in office get nice contributions for their re-election campaigns from the owners of the contracting companies. The Romans built roads to last for the honor and glory of Rome, both republic and empire. Parts of the Apian Way are still existence and still in use! We, steeped in the sloth of Calvinist capitalism, don't want to build roads to last for more than a few years even though there is technology available to make roadways durable for long, long periods of times.)
Snap, Crackle, Pop
Adventures were not far behind, however, as we drove to Saint Gertrude's for a 5:00 p.m. offering of Holy Mass on Wednesday, June 25, 2008, from a brief visit to the Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky. For it was while descending a steep, steep hill proceeding south from Mount Adams in Cincinnati (which hill we had ascended to search for a Catholic church that displayed a statue of Our Lady atop its steeple that is visible for many miles) at around 3:45 p.m. that I heard a loud "snap, crackle, and pop" sound emanating from the front end of the Trail Blazer. "What's that?" I said to Sharon. I figured, very rashly, that something had gone wrong with the massive front end repair work that had been completed just six weeks before.
Undaunted, however, I continued to drive, figuring that I would be able to get the problem attended to after Holy Mass. I figured wrong. Very wrong.
The front end began to wobble more and more and more as I drove. I managed to wend my way onto Interstate 75 northbound from downtown Cincinnati, getting stuck in heavy rush hour traffic. Indeed, as is the case in most other parts of the nation, many rush hour traffic delays are caused not only by the volume of traffic on the road but by the inattentiveness of drivers who fail to compensate with foot pressure on the accelerator to compensate to maintain their speeds while driving up a hill. Most people are, it appears, unaware that the force of gravity pulls objects down from a hill, which is why extra effort must be made even by pedestrians and bicyclists to ascend to the top of a hill. As a New Yorker, I will admit that it is, humanly speaking, absolutely maddening--maddening--to see needless traffic delays caused by people who refuse to maintain their speed while driving up a hill or a grade in the roadway. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls.
The typically, perhaps even permanently, heavy traffic on Interstate 75 on Wednesday, June 25, 2008, gave me the impression that the Trail Blazer was drivable when such was not the case at all. It was not until after we had passed Exit 14 (Glendale-Milford Road) on Interstate 75 that I discovered that the front end (or what appeared to be the front-end) kept shaking more and more and more. This was a serious problem, one that prompted me to stop along the shoulder of the road just past Exit 15 (Sharon Road). I inspected the front end as best I could, finding nothing from the inspection. We had no flat tires. Nothing was visibly detached from the car. I knew, however, that the car was not drivable, at least in the forward position. Thus, I decided to back off the shoulder of the northbound entrance ramp of Interstate 75 to get down to Sharon Road and to seek assistance at a Thornton's gasoline station. We've been stuck enough on shoulders of various highways across the United States of America. Wednesday, June 25, 2008, was not going to be one of those occasions if I could help it at all.
The maneuvering down the shoulder of the entrance ramp was rather interesting. The first time that I saw the driver of an automobile attempt to back off of an entrance ramp was on Friday, September 1, 1956, as my family was approaching Montauk Point in our 1955 Oldsmobile Holiday 98. "You see that" my father asked. "That's dangerous. That's against the law. He missed his exit. He had to proceed off the highway before getting on again." Well, as I saw it, I had no choice unless I wanted to be stranded on Interstate 75 with my wife and daughter for hours on end.
We managed to make it to the Thornton's, parking away from gross immodesty and from the horrible "music" that blares out from its loudspeakers above the gasoline pumps. I called OnStar to secure assistance for the Trail Blazer, which would have to be towed to the nearest Chevrolet dealer. I did not know whether we were facing a total redo of the repairs to the Trail Blazer's front end that had been made in late April and early May of this year. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls.
Intent on getting Sharon and Lucy to Holy Mass as I awaited a tow for the Trail Blazer, I had considerable difficulty locating a taxicab company in Sharonville, Ohio. One company had a telephone answering machine to take calls! "We'll get back to you as soon as we can." What kind of nonsense is this. All you have to do in the City of New York to get a taxicab is to stand on a street corner to hail one down. Even suburban taxicab companies respond within five to fifteen minutes, if not sooner, in most cases. A telephone answering machine for a taxicab company? Incredible. Oh, well, if drivers in the Cincinnati area kind of gawk at a light when it turns green so as to contemplate its verdant splendor, I guess it makes sense that a taxicab company would have an answering machine.
"Brian's Taxi" did arrive, however, to pick up Sharon and Lucy to take them to Saint Gertrude the Great Church, a distance of about seven miles from Thornton's. They arrived in time for the Consecration. (We thought, erroneously, that the Mass began at 5:30 p.m. God is very generous. I would not have made the effort to get Sharon and Lucy to Saint Gertrude's if I knew that Mass began at 5:00 p.m. I would have figured that we had no time to get them there. In His effable Mercy, however, God saw to it that my wife and daughter were able to make it to Holy Mass in time for the Consecration and to receive Holy Communion.
I, on the other hand, awaited the tow truck to come in response to the call that OnStar had made to Chevrolet Roadside Assistance. Tired of waiting, I learned that the Chevrolet dealership, Jake Sweeney Chevrolet, was about six miles away from the Thortnon's gasoline station at which I was waiting. "Why not?" I said to myself. I made the arrangements with the dealership to drop off the car in the event that the service department was closed by the time that I arrived. "Let's try to drive this," I said to myself. A really bad idea. A really dumb idea.
The front end began to wobble very badly as soon as I began the drive, proceeding westbound on the lanes of Sharon Road to Glendale, Ohio, intending to drive north on Ohio Route 747 to Springdale, Ohio. I had to stop the Trial Blazer about a mile, perhaps even less, west of Interstate 75, informing OnStar of my new location, approximately a mile and one-half away from where I had been at Thornton's.
The tow truck arrived shortly thereafter, around 5:45 p.m., on Wednesday, June 25, 2008. The tow truck turned out to be a flatbed. The driver of the flatbed diagnosed the problem immediately: the left front wheel, which had been installed in Fairfield, Connecticut, on Friday, May 23, 2008, had come off of the axle. The studs had snapped off from the hub of the axle as the lug nuts that held the tire to the hub had not been properly tightened, a problem that Mr. Ronald Kusterer, who had done the front end work back in April and July, suspected was the culprit when I talked with him over my cellular phone while awaiting the tow truck. "You have somebody watching out for you," the flatbed truck driver said. "I've never seen this before." Yes, a lot of people, including Mr. Kusterer himself, have said, "I've never seen that before" when discovering something that gone wrong with one of our automobiles or the motor home. (It's what a man who drove a propane delivery truck in Orange, California, said in February of 2005 when discovering that nothing was holding the motor home's original propane tank to the chassis of the motor home other than one rusted out bolt. "I've never seen this before," said the propane delivery man. Yes, we hear that line quite a lot.)
While it was nice to have a diagnosis of the problem, what was not so nice was the fact that the flatbed truck could not lift the front end of the car up off of the ground once the tire, which was being held onto the hub by absolutely nothing at all, had been taken off of the hub. This meant that left front hub would have to be dragged along the ground before it was placed on the flatbed. The driver should have called for a tow truck. I should have had the presence of mind to have asked him to do so. Tired and concerned about the possible expenditures at a time we were almost entirely without funds, I failed to make the suggestion. It occurred to me only after the hub had been dragged along the ground.
The hub was actually dragged once, when being placed onto the flatbed truck, and then it was pushed along the pavement in the parking lot of Jake Sweeney Chevrolet as it was loaded off of the truck. Real damage was done to the rotor. Indeed, it had to be replaced.
Nineteen Days to Learn Seventy-five Questions
Sharon and Lucy got down to work that Thursday, June 26, 2008, to make use of the books that Bishop Dolan had given them the night before to get Lucy prepared for her Confirmation, which had been scheduled, pending Lucy's passing an oral examination administered by Bishop Dolan, for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Wednesday, July 16, 2008. Lucy had twenty days to study and memorize the answers to seventy-five questions in one book and a series of others in another book. Sharon took Lucy into the church itself every day to spend before Our Lord's Real Presence to make a daily retreat, if you will, from yet another book that Bishop Dolan had provided. The study was most intense.
Lucy has a fine mind. Indeed, the connections that she makes at the age of six are amazing. However, she suffers from the vestigial after-effects of Original Sin and her own Actual Sins and thus has to fight against a willfulness (gee, wonder where that came from?) that can be an impediment to her studies. With the help of many prayers and Our Lady's graces, however, Lucy overcame the willfulness and studied very, very hard, getting each of the seventy-five questions down cold. Bishop Dolan noted after Lucy had been examined that she was better prepared than many of the adolescents he confirms in other parts of the world.
The Trail Blazer? Well, the repairs to it prompted by the improperly tightened lug nuts cost over six hundred dollars, which, believe it or not, the tire company in Fairfield, Connecticut, agreed to pay, accepting the diagnosis of the Chevrolet dealership in Springdale, Ohio, that the lug nuts had not been tightened properly. We did not get the car back until Friday afternoon, June 27, 2008, gladly returning Mrs. Sanborn's automobile to the custody of Saint Gertrude the Great Church, and it did take some time for the reimbursement check to reach us. However, we were grateful that we did not have to be out of pocket for the expenses associated with the repairs.
A Visit to the Self-Described Small Potato, Father Martin Stepanich, O.F.M., S.T.D.
I continued on with my writing as Sharon prepared Lucy for her Confirmation, shifting gears ever so slightly after our return from a brief visit with Father Martin Stepanich, O.F.M., S.T.D., and Sister Mary Olive Rowley and their caregivers, Miss Samantha Current and Miss Suzanne Kennedy, so as to record each of the fifty-three Sunday sermons of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori. This work took a lot of time. It is probably one of the most important things that I have ever done as none of the words I spoke belonged to me but a canonized saint who was exhorting us to get home to Heaven by the pursuit of personal sanctity without any compromises with the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil. The sermons are to be found on Traditional Catholic Sermons website. Please try to listen to them.
As noted just above, we drove to Bolingbrook, Illinois, on Thursday, July 3, 2008, taking the Trail Blazer instead of the motor home to do so. The cost of gasoline is such that it made no sense whatsoever to drive the motor home a round trip of 600 miles without any intervening speaking appearances, not that such appearances generate interest or much in the way of income. It was actually cheaper to drive the car and stay a hotel for two nights than it would have been to drive the motor home, although it is always an adjustment to drive the Trail Blazer on long distance trips as this means that we must, like most other mortals, stop at rest areas and the like on occasion. No matter what, though, our Lucy is a wonderful traveler. And she is quite the navigator, studying the routes we take and giving me advice at her age just as I had given my own father directional advice when I was six years of age. She's even better than I was, however, and just has an amazing memory of places that compensates for some of the "seepage," shall we say, that has crept into my once flawless memory.
We encountered a real crazy driver on Interstate 74 southwest of Indianapolis that day, Thursday, July 3, 2008, a man who looked like Barack Hussein Obama and was bobbing his head up and down and he veered his neck back and forth, weaving all over the road as a result. Lucy was most amused by the sight of the gyrations that this man made with his rather rubber head and neck. I believed that the man was inebriated, and took the opportunity of exiting the highway to permit Sharon and Lucy a chance to get a bite to eat before we continued on our way. Lucy just laughed and laughed as she said, "Look at that crazy man. Look at him!"
En route to Bolingbrook, Illinois, we stopped at Chef Klaus's Peotone Bierstube, with which we had become acquainted for the first time when our motor home was towed from mile marker 161 on Interstates 80/94 on Thursday, April 19, 2007, to Terry Lincoln Ford Mercury in Peotone for what turned out to be the installation of a new Ford V-10 Triton engine, those wonderful instruments of endless penance and mortification. The Bierstube did not disappoint us. It was grand, a nice break from the work of the preceding week.
What a treat it was to see Father Martin and Sister Olive, who had just been hospitalized with congestive heart failure two weeks before. And what a privilege it was to assist at Holy Mass offered by Father Martin, who celebrated his sixty-seventh year of priestly ordination on May 18, 2008, and who turns ninety-three years of age on November 12, 2008. Just as it is the case that His Excellency Bishop Robert Fidelis McKenna, O.P., exhibits the spirit of Saint Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers, so is the case that Father Martin Stepanich exhibits the spirit of the great Saint of Assisi, Francis, who bore the very brand marks of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on his holy body.
Father Martin, as I indicated in
Just Defending the Faith two months ago now, has a keen mind. He also has a wonderful childlike simplicity to him, reveling in the details of baseball games of the 1920s and 1930s that he used to listen to on the radio. Indeed, he told us that he missed getting back on his bus that was taking him from his native Kansas to near the Chicago, Illinois, area, so that he could commence his minor seminary studies in the Fall of 1931 as he stayed behind at a gasoline station to listen to a radio broadcast of the 1931 World Series between his beloved Saint Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Athletics. Some of the passengers remembered that the young soon-to-be sixteen year-old boy from Kansas was not on the bus after it had driven out of a gasoline station. The bus driver returned to get him! Father Martin recalled every player in that 1931 World Series save for the Cardinals' left fielder, Chuck Hafey, who won the National League batting crown that year over the first baseman for the New York Giants, Bill Terry.
Father Martin had some more serious observations to make on the state of the Church, indicating that he believed in the necessity of the collegial consecration of Russia by a true pope with all of the world's bishops as Our Lady had said on July 13, 1917, that she would return to ask for the consecration. And just as Our Lady elaborated on the nature of the First Saturday devotions in her 1925 apparition to Sister Lucia dos Santos, so did she elaborate on the nature of consecration of Russia to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart in 1929. "I believe in Fatima wholeheartedly," Father Martin noted.
Father also reflected on the events of the 1960s, stating that "There was some confusion at first as to what was going on. It became clear, however, that we were face to face with apostasy." He was one a a relative handful of Catholics who saw this apostasy clearly and who acted decisively, refusing to make any compromises with the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service and with the true bishops who apsotatized and the false "bishops" who were "installed" to carry on with the revolutionary program against the Faith. There are few stronger defenders of the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen than Father Martin Stepanich, who said that the late Michael Davies had asked him for a copy of Pope Pius XI's Quas Primas, December 11, 1925, as he, Mr. Davies, could not find the encyclical letter. Father Martin did so. (That was before the days of ready access to papal encyclical letters on sites such as Papal Encyclicals Online.)
After visiting with Father Martin and Sister Olive and Samantha and Suzanne on Friday, July 4, 2008, the first Friday of the month of July (Father Martin is firm foe of Americanism and Judeo-Masonry) we took Lucy to the Brookfield Zoo, an establishment that honors or provides any discounts for those who are "members" of other zoos (we have a family membership in the NEW Zoo north of Green Bay, Wisconsin, a vestigial remnant of our brief time in Wisconsin late-2005 and early-2006). I know that people rave about the Brookfield Zoo. However, it is very much overrated, at least in our estimation. We've taken Lucy to over sixty zoos around the nation (and yes, I still say, "Lucy, who made that zebra," which prompts her to say, "God made the zebra in the first week of Creation as recounted in the Book of Genesis"). The Brookfield Zoo is overpriced, and it requires one to pay additional monies to see various exhibits, including three bucks a person to see butterflies. Three dollars to see butterflies. They should pay me three dollars to see butterflies! The Brookfield Zoo did, however, have a wombat from Australia, which Lucy found just terrific to look at (I hope that our friends, Mr. and Mrs. McDonnell, from Tasmania, Australia, are taking note of the wombat!).
What Would You Call a Lecture That Few People Attend? What Else? A Droleskey Lecture
We returned to Ohio following our visit with Father Martin and Sister Olive and Samantha and Suzanne after Holy Mass on Saturday, July 5, 2008, the First Saturday of the month of July, stopping once again in Peotone to pay our regards to the Bierstube. The drive back was uneventful, although the Trail Blazer's speedometer sometimes goes a little wacky, prompting me to judge its rate of speed by timing how long it takes to go ten miles by looking at my watch and the green mile marker posts along the side of highways. Always an adventure. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
His Excellency Bishop Dolan had asked me to give a series of lectures at Saint Gertrude the Great Church. The lectures began on Sunday, July 7, 2008, and ran through Sunday, August 17, 2008, drawing flies. As I reminded His Excellency, "If your people are not going to come to glories of daily Mass here at Saint Gertrude's, why should they go out of their way to listen to talks about the Faith." Still and all, those who attended did so within the Providence of God. They were the precise souls that He had known from all eternity who would attend these lectures, which were given first for His greater honor and glory and then to be of some assistance to the souls of those who attended. The lectures are available, of course, at the Christ or Chaos store, and I do hope that more of those who read this site will access them for the nominal fee that is being charged. (I will, in response to a few comments from users, ask the good men at Blue Modus, the company that hosts this site, to see if we can make the site accessible without a user name and password, although we will retain PayPal as the means of payment as credit card companies require a flat fee that is rather exorbitant and which we are by no means guaranteed to "make" as a result of our sales.)
Apart from a few sojourns to the Newport Aquarium and various miniature golf courses (Lucy bested me for the first time when we squared off against each other on Friday, August 8, 2008, the Feast of Saint James, as Sharon attended an evening of recollection for women offered by Bishop Dolan in Helfta Hall at Saint Gertrude the Great Church, at the Kings Mill Miniature Golf course in Kings Mill, Ohio), our time in July prior to the day before the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel saw Sharon preparing Lucy for her Confirmation examination and yours truly spending time recording those sermons of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori. Some of those sermons had to be redone two or three times as I flubbed a line so badly that there was no working around the problem. Others had to be redone when I forgot to turn on the lavaliere microphone and when the digital recorder's batteries died. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls! I finished those recordings on Saturday, July 19, 2008, and I hope that Saint Alphonsus will intercede for me just a little bit more now that his sermons can be listened to at any time of the day or night by anyone in any place on the face of the earth.
Becoming a Soldier in the Army of Christ
The day of Lucy's Confirmation examination arrived on Tuesday, July 15, 2008, the Feast of Saint Henry the Emperor, my own Confirmation patron saint. Isn't this amazing? God knew from all eternity that the daughter I would not have until I was over fifty years of age would be examined on the feast day of my own Confirmation patron saint, Saint Henry, a sterling exemplar of the Social Reign of Christ the King. And thanks to the graces of Our Lady and the superb teaching of my wife and Lucy's own determination to overcome her willfulness, Lucy passed her examination with the proverbial flying colors. Our daughter loves the Faith. Although she loves to play and play and play, she is serious about her immortal soul, and her Nightly Examination of Conscience is thorough and complete. She uses that good memory God has given her to good purposes.
We went out to celebrate the news of Lucy's passing her examination by playing a round of miniature golf before having dining with Lucy's Confirmation sponsor, who desires to remain anonymous, and her husband, both of whom are readers of this site and have been very generous to us in the past few years. It was Lucy's Confirmation sponsor, Mrs. Anonymous, who sent Sharon a sewing machine back in November of last year after she had read that Sharon had hand sewn Lucy's Saint Therese of Lisieux habit for the All Saints Day party at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel on November 1, 2007. Mrs. Anonymous is a quite a seamstress in her own right, and has promised Lucy sewing lessons at some point before the end of the world. It was very good of Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous (I hope you're laughing out there in cyberspace, Anonymous Ones!) to drive a considerable distance from where they live in an anonymous village in the hills of an anonymous state to be present at Lucy's Confirmation.
His Excellency Bishop Dolan has been so good to each of us in the Droleskey family. He has been so very good to our dear Lucy, giving a superb sermon during the Confirmation service that preceded Holy Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Bishop Dolan noted that it was disciples of Elias, who exposed and destroyed the false worship of Baal on Mount Carmel (not very ecumenical of him, now was it?), had been prompted by Our Lady herself to traverse to Jerusalem to be present on Pentecost Sunday, being among those who were converted to the Faith that day. How fitting that the Seven Gifts and the Twelve Fruits of God the Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, would flow into our daughter's heart and soul as she took Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, a daughter of Carmel, to whom she, Lucy, has been devoted from her earliest years, as her Confirmation patron saint.
Bishop Dolan is of the mind of Pope Saint Pius X that children should receive First Holy Communion as soon as they are able to recognize the difference between ordinary bread and the Eucharist, in other words, as soon as they understand that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is wholly present in every particle of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and that only the accidents of the bread and wine remain. Lucy, if you will recall, received her First Holy Communion on her sixth birthday, March 27, 2008, which was Easter Thursday this year (and the Commemoration of Saint John Damascene, to whom Lucy is also devoted as she loves her statues of Our Lord and Our Lady and the saints). His Excellency administers First Holy Communion to his own first graders each year and Confirms them on the Vigil of Pentecost. His Excellency told Lucy, when explaining why he administered Confirmation earlier rater than later, "Well, Lucy, you could go over to the enemy by then [that is, fourth grade]."
We were very blessed to have had our daughter Confirmed as a solider in the Army of Christ on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. We are so very grateful to Bishop Dolan for his kindness and generosity to us erring sinners, and we thank His Excellency once again for his pastoral solicitude for the sanctification and salvation of our immortal souls. We visited with His Excellency and Mrs. Anonymous at Mitchell's Fish Market in Newport, Kentucky, the next day, Thursday, July 17, 2008, before taking them to the Newport Aquarium, all part of a celebration of Lucy's Confirmation the previous day. His Excellency was most gracious enough to lead us all in a recitation of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary on the twenty-three mile trip back to Saint Gertrude the Great Church from the aquarium.
As I had promised Lucy that we would give her time off from her studies following her Confirmation--and all of the hard work that went into her preparing for it, we took her to the Indianapolis Zoo a week after her Confirmation, that is, on Wednesday, July 23, 2008. Indianapolis, Indiana, is about 112 miles from West Chester, Ohio. She enjoyed her time there, especially riding on the carousel and going for her first set of pony rides in a quite a while. The Indianapolis Zoo is one of our favorites, being eminently walkable and featuring animals that you can actually see! Lucy particularly enjoyed the koalas and the dolphins at the zoo, finding the walrus, who played with her through the glass partition about a month later, of particular fascination. "This is truly fascinating," Lucy reported as she walked along. (Yes, she really does speak say these things.)
In the Company of the Saints
We went to the Church of the Holy Relics in Maria Stein, Ohio, on Thursday, July 31, 2008, the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, being amazed to find close to a thousand relics displayed there. The shrine, which is located in the west central part of Ohio, about fifteen miles or so east of the Indiana border, is a "must see" stop for any serious Catholic if he is ever in the area. The pictures themselves tell the story, as you can see from the accompanying photographic essay. Here is a brief story about the Shrine as found on its website (you will have to weed out some of the conciliarspeak contained in the information.)
The National Marian Shrine of the Holy Relics was founded in 1875 when Father J.M. Gartner entrusted his collection of relics to the Sisters at Maria Stein.
Housed in a beautiful chapel built in 1892, the collection, with over 1000 relics on display, represents the second largest collection of its type in the United States (after St. Anthony's Chapel in Pittsburgh). The Shrine was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
The primary display of relics is in an altar that was hand-carved especially for this purpose. Four beautiful stained-glass windows imported from Munich, Germany and hand- carved woodwork also adorn the Relic Chapel.
The Maria Stein Heritage Museum and the National Marian Shrine of the Holy Relics serve as the focal point for the history of the Roman Catholic Church and the early settlers to America's original frontier.
Owned and operated by The Sisters of the Precious Blood, the Museum and the Shrine exist as a part of the Sisters' overall ministry of service to the community. (Shrine of the Holy Relics.)
A fuller description can be found in an article published by something called the Catholic Telegraph in 2000:
The National Marian Shrine of Holy Relics at Maria Stein began in 1875 when Father J. Gartner, vicar general from Milwaukee, entrusted his large collection of relics to the Sisters. He had obtained the collection in Rome and had been persuaded to take the items back to the Americas for veneration. At the time, graves and catacombs were being plundered for relics and other church valuables came on the market in overstocked pawnshops.
Father Gartner displayed his collection in Baltimore, Cincinnati and several other cities with the idea of dividing his collection among several churches and monasteries. Cardinal John McCloskey of New York convinced Father Gartner that his collection should remain intact.
By 1892, a new chapel was opened at Maria Stein to offer the relics for veneration. At the same time, the collection was enlarged with the addition of relics obtained by Father Francis de Sales Brunner, the first Precious Blood priest to come to America. During the years since then, other collections have been added - most notably those of Cincinnati's Archbishop John T. McNicholas and Archbishop Karl J. Alter. (Shrine of the Holy Relics.)
It was truly inspirational to be in the presence of the relics of so many saints, a veritable foretaste of Heaven and a real reminder of the Communion of Saints that unites us in the Church Militant here on earth with the member of the Church Suffering in Purgatory and the Church Triumphant in Heaven, many of whose relics are displayed for our veneration at the National Marian Shrine of the Holy Relics in Maria Stein, Ohio. Do make it a point to visit. We found our visit to be very worthwhile (even though we had to overlook the encroachments of the new religion). And it was certainly a most interesting drive back to West Chester, Ohio, from Maria Stein as we took back roads, passing near Annie Oakley's birth and burial places (she could have gone somewhere in "conservative" politics if only she had waited a little over a century) just a few miles south of Maria Stein, Ohio, that passed through a countryside that bore the stamp of the naturalism of Judeo-Masonry (hardly an outdoor shrine in honor of Our Lady to be seen anywhere south of Maria Stein).
Mr. Hardin Becomes a Catholic
Other than exploring a rip-off of Stew Leonard's, Jungle Jim's, in Fairfield, Ohio, that cannot compare at all with the original Stew's in Norwalk, Connecticut, we spent the remaining weeks of our time in West Chester, Ohio, assisting at daily Mass and taking Lucy out to various parks so that she could get her exercise ("I have to get my running in," Lucy tells me every now and again). The next event of significance that occurred before our departure on Monday, August 18, 2008, was the reception into the Catholic Church of Mr. Matthew D. Hardin, who is now a sophomore at institution of alleged "higher" miseducation in Kentucky.
Young Mr. Hardin contacted me around August 4, 2007, to state that he, a Protestant, was a "freeloader," but that he enjoyed reading this site. Discovering that he was not all that far from West Chester, Ohio, I invited him up to assist at Holy Mass on the Feast of the Transfiguration on Monday, August 6, 2007, a day on which my former student from Saint Francis College in Brooklyn, Lieutenant Spencer Colgan, NYPD, and his family were visiting Saint Gertrude's from Staten Island, New York. Mr. Hardin was loaded up with a number of books from the bookstore to help him read about the Faith. He was taken under the wings of Mr. and Mrs. Kirby Bischel, longtime parishioners of Saint Gertrude the Great Church, and was full of questions about the Faith, sending e-mails almost on a daily basis with questions and/or most pertinent comments about various maters of current events and theology. He also developed a great devotion to Our Lady, who he says appeared to him in a dream this Spring so as to warn him not to delay his conversion further.
It was, therefore, with great joy that I learned from Matthew that His Excellency Bishop Dolan was to receive him into the Faith on the Feast of the Transfiguration, August 6, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., a year to the date of his first trip to the church. It was my distinct honor to serve as Matt's proxy sponsor as Mr. Kirby Bischel and his wife Jean were on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Midland, Ontario, Canada. We treated Matt to lunch at Mitchell's Fish Market in West Chester, Ohio, after Holy Mass on the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Matt is a remarkable young man, and I believe that he shows every sign of having a vocation to the priesthood. Given his love of Our Lady, he would make a superb priest to conform himself to her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Chief Priest and Victim of every Mass.
Attacked by System-Defender.com
The computer on which these articles is written, which was purchased in January of last year as the result of a generous donation made to us by one of our readers, was attacked by something called www.system-defender.com on Thursday, August 7, 2008. I was "stuck" for about three or four hours, not knowing what to do. In the midst of this problem, however, I kept remembering that little crosses come our way every day. It is sometimes the case that bigger crosses, each of which has been perfectly fitted for us from all eternity by the very hand of God Himself, make their presence felt.
This is what happened on August 7, 2008, when some "antivirus" program hacked into my computer, making it almost impossible to get online. Endless "alerts" kept popping up. Strange symbols appeared on my computer screen now and again. The program that attacked the computer is called "www.system-defender.com." What an Orwellian name! The Norton antivirus program did not recognize this threat and was been unable to remove it. Indeed, the antivirus virus is so sophisticated as to block any efforts to connect to Norton's "live update" internet site. The computer had to be taken to a computer repair shop, whose technicians said that system-defender.com is a particularly nasty virus. The only thing that they could recommend was to wipe the hard drive clean after they had backed up most, although not all, of the files on the computer. (Some of the photographs I hoped to post were lost in the process, it appears, including those of the Trail Blazer being dragged and pushed along the ground on Wednesday, June 25, 2008.) All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls. I did not get the computer back until Saturday, August 9, 2008, the Feast of Saint John Mary Vianney, and I then had to reload several programs to make my wireless air car and digital camera and printer recognizable by the computer. Penance is good. Yes, it really is better this than Purgatory (or worse!). It really, really is.
In the Image of Her Grandpa, Albert Henry Martin Droleskey, D.V.M.
We did discover a nice park, replete with a petting farm and horse rides, called Parky's Farm to take Lucy for a few treats now and again between the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord and the time of our departure from Ohio on Monday, August 18, 2008. Lucy shares her late paternal grandfather's love of animals. It touches me greatly to see Lucy treat animals with the same sort of childlike wonder and affection that characterized my late father's approach to God's dumb creatures in his twenty-six years of practicing veterinary medicine in Queens Village, New York. She certainly enjoyed her various visits to Parky's Farm before we left Ohio.
A Two Hour, Twenty-five Minute Lecture to Four People (Five, If You Count the Slacker at the End)
Mr. and Mrs. Kirby Bischel and Mr. Matthew Hardin had worked very hard to find a venue for me to speak in the Lexington, Kentucky, area so as to convince some of those attending the Motu Mass in Lexington to at least consider the case for the fact that the Catholic Church could in no way be responsible for the apostasies and blasphemies and sacrileges of the past fifty years. Although I do not favor "flyering" as most people simply throw away fliers (most people learn of talks by word-of-mouth), Mr. Hardin went to great lengths to put fliers on automobiles and to get the word out as best he could. So did the Bischels. My talk, given on Tuesday, August 12, 2008, drew precisely four people, five if you include the slacker who came in at the end, a nice young man who has written me every now and again but who has yet to get himself up to Saint Gertrude the Great Church on a regular basis (smile, Christopher, smile).
Our trip to Georgetown, Kentucky, from West Chester, Ohio, in the motor home was uneventful, and we took Lucy to see the Kentucky State Horse Park, which is where our campground was located, after our arrival around 2:30 p.m. that Tuesday, August 12, 2008. Sharon and Lucy returned to this den of paganism (where horses are truly venerated, if not worshiped) the next day, Wednesday, August 13, 2008, as I did some work and packed up the motor home for our trip back to Ohio, which was made a little eventful by the fact that the Trail Blazer made not one but two attempts to break away from the motor home. Sharon wound up driving the Trail Blazer to West Chester, Ohio, after a second attempt by the Trail Blazer to break away occurred, and after I was unsuccessful in blazing heat to secure the assembly so as to prevent yet a third such occurrence. As I have noted before, it's not generally a good thing if I can see the Trail Blazer in the side view mirror when we are driving straight on a highway. I have since figured out what I need to do to get the car secure as tow bar arms suffer from a bit of what Fred Sanford would have called on Sanford and Son, a touch of "arthur-ritis." I just did not want to deal with the issue any longer in the blazing heat. (I'll have more to say about the Kentucky State Horse Park in the photographic essay that I am working on at present.)
Thank You, Cummins-Onan, for the Extra Penance
As it happened in God's Holy Providence, our motor home's generator, which had been repaired at Cummins Bridgeway in West Chester, Ohio (at which facility it was installed on Wednesday, January 31, 2007), on Wednesday, April 2, 2008, and at Marine Temperature Systems in Westbury, New York, on Thursday, May 22, 2008, gave up its ghost again as we were driving to Indianapolis to take Lucy to the Indianapolis Zoo once again.
It got real hot in the motor home real fast. Sharon opened the windows and the roof top air vents. I was already tired and suffering from a headache that felt more like head "congestion." No, not nasal or sinus congestion, congestion in the head, if that makes any sense. The congestion felt like a "crunchiness" that I just couldn't shake. It was very strange. I was woozy and weak.
While I joined Sharon and Lucy for a little bit of our second tour of the Indianapolis Zoo in twenty-six days, I had to absent myself after the trained elephant, who looked as though he was really tired, showed us he could respond to various commands of his handler in a performance ring. I was about to collapse. It appeared for all the world as though I was going to have a stroke, and so I shuffled along about three quarters of a mile or more back to the parking lot, where we had left the motor home sans functioning generator, which would have been nice to have so that the coach air conditioners might have provided a bit of relief. Yes, it's still better this than Purgatory (or worse!) in 2008! All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls.
Sharon and Lucy came back to the motor home around 4:30 p.m. I was still pretty wobbly. However, we had a short distance to go to stay overnight on the property of friends west of Indianapolis, where we heard Holy Mass the next morning, Tuesday, August 19, 2008, offered at the hands of Father Paul Petko. A night of rest helped restore my strength, and it was off around noon time on August 19 to drive to a campground west of Chicago, Illinois, so that we could assist at Holy Mass at Father Martin Stepanich's private chapel in Bolingbrook, Illinois, at 7:45 a.m., Central Daylight Savings Time, the next morning, Wednesday, August 20, 2008, the Feast of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. While en route to the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park and Resort in Millbrook, Illinois, we did pay a courtesy call at the Chef Klaus's Peotone Bierstube, most naturally, of course.
The atmosphere at the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park and Resort in Millbrook, Illinois, was, unfortunately, everything that I expected it to be. Terrible immodesty. People reveling in their shamelessness. Alas, a campground in Tinley Park, Illinois, Windy City Campground, which was a no-frills campground replete with a mosquto-breeding pond, had closed down. The Yogi Bear campground was the closest place to Bolingbrook at which we could park our motor home. And to add insult to the injury of having Lucy close her eyes while we drove in and out of the campground in the Trail Blazer, we had to wear specially colored "wrist bands" "at all times" to show that we were "duly registered campers" in the campground. Whatever happened to, say, knowing your customers on sight? I mean, the Droleskeys do kind of stand out from the crowd just a little bit (two women, one a mother and the other her daughter, in long dresses or skirts, a man with a jacket and tie no matter the temperature). I told Sharon, "Why don't they just brand us now and get it over with?" Anyone caught without a wrist band would be evicted from the park, or forced to pay fifteen dollars for a new wrist band. Thank you, John Calvin. Thank you, Adam Smith. Thank you, Department of Homeland Security.
Back to Visit the Small Potato
It was very good to visit with Father Martin Stepanich and Sister Olive and Samantha Current and Suzanne Kennedy once again. We had some wonderful conversations with Father Martin, and Samantha, who is one of fifteen children, I believe, was so very good to play with Lucy and to permit her to water Father Martin's well-kept garden. Sharon and Lucy had come down with a cold, and there was a bit of a concern that Father Martin and Sister Olive, who had been in the hospital two months before with congestive heart failure, might catch those colds. Sharon asked Sister Olive, "Will you pray for me from eternity I you catch my cold and I wind up killing you?" Sister Olive, who is eighty-eight years of age, responded very calmly, "If you kill me by giving me your cold, the least I can do is to pray for you." Both Father Martin and Sister Olive have retained their sense of humor over the decades.
As Sharon and Lucy were both sick from their colds, we returned to the campground after our extended visit following the conclusion of Holy Mass on the Feast of Saint Bernard, Wednesday, August 20, 2008. I had made arrangements to take the motor home into a Camping World service center in Bolingbrook, Illinois, on Thursday, August 21, 2008, at 1:00 p.m. As it takes about an hour to ninety minutes to pack up the motor home before we can move it after being parked overnight anywhere (the things that are taken out after we are parked must be secured before we drive off again), it was not possible to get the motor home ready in time so that we could take it to Father Martin's 7:45 a.m. Mass in his private chapel. We had to return the thirty-one miles to Millbrook, Illinois, from Bolingbrook, Illinois, after Holy Mass so that we could prepare the motor home for "lift off." Sharon drove the Trail Blazer while Lucy accompanied me in the motor home. It was our hope that the problem with the motor home's generator was minor, and that we could get it back within a few hours of dropping it off. That turned out not to be the case.
Indeed, we were informed a few hours later that the generator needed a part that had to be special ordered. Although the wholesaler that had the part was only forty-five miles away from Bolingbrook, Illinois, we were told that the part might not arrive until the middle of the next week. After I volunteered to drive to the wholesaler to pick up the part personally, the folks at Camping World said that one of their workers would pick it up the next day, Friday, August 22, 2008, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and then have us on the road by around 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. that day. This meant that we had to spend the night in the parking lot of Camping World, which was all right by us as this meant that we did not have to drive the thirty-one miles back to the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park and Resort in Millbrook, Illinois, and thence from there back to Bolingbrook for Father Martin's Holy Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Neither the leveling jacks or the slides of the motor home work have worked for quite a long day. We tilt to one side or the other, trying to balance ourselves as we walk as though we were on a ship that was being bounced about by waves (I know about this from a horrid experience my parents, brother and I had on the Motor Ship Oslofjord, which sunk in the summer of 1970 as the Motor Ship Fulvia, an Italian-registered cruise ship with a Norwegian ship's crew, in January of 1965 as we were returning from a Caribbean cruise). All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls. We titled to the left side of the motor home in the Camping World parking lot.
More penance awaited us on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as we discovered that the motor home's generator's "stater" was sparking after the unit, an Onan 5500 genset, was started. The mechanic who was working on the generator said that it would not be safe to operate in this condition. Thus it was that the generator, which had been taken out of the motor home, stayed behind in Bolingbrook, Illinois, as we drove off to the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area at around 4:20 p.m. on Friday, August 22, 2008. Oh, I knew that the drive would be difficult as we were leaving during a Chicago area rush hour, a time that is worse on Friday afternoons as people "head out of Dodge," and we would be heading north, which is always a difficult drive in a Chicago rush hour. (Remember, I took my Master's at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, thirty-five years ago, and would drive into Chicago whenever the Mets were in town to play the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, and I was up in Chicago all the time when I was teaching 130 miles southwest of the Windy City at Illinois State University from 1977 to 1979 and again from 1986-1987. I know Chicagoland, believe me.)
From State Hospitals to the Illinois Department of Transportation
One of the things that I find fascinating about Illinois is that the signage and roadway engineering designs are so universally bad. Illinois is noted for incompetence. A colleague of mine from Illinois State University, which is located in Normal, Illinois, during my first teaching stint there from 1977 to 1979 reacted as follows when he discovered that photographs that had been promised to be ready for pick-up on a certain day were not ready and that the person behind the counter did not know when the photographs would be ready. "Don't worry about it. I'm used to it. I live in Illinois." (Remember that, Paul?)
A recent phenomenon in Illinois has been to redesign exit ramps from interstate highways and other expressways so that the ramps to the northbound lanes of an intersecting highway are located before the ramps to the southbound lanes. This is supposed to expedite the flow of traffic, but winds up backing up traffic considerably as, to put it charitably, the morons who have drivers' licenses do not compensate with foot pressure on the accelerator to maintain the speed of their vehicles as they drive up these monstrously high ramps that overpass one highway to provide entry onto another highway. I told Sharon, "You see, my dear, here in Illinois, people get out of the state hospitals and they are then put to working as highway engineers for the state to design these ramps."
Actually, the drive to the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park and Resort in Caledonia, Wisconsin, which turned out to be the closest campground to Saint Hugh of Lincoln Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We had to tell Lucy to close her eyes once again as we entered into the park so that I could register and get our new set of chains, I mean wristbands, to identify us as "officially registered" park guests in Boo Boo land. We ventured out of our motor home, which tilted to the right this time, only to go Holy Mass on Saturday, August 23, 2008, on Sunday, August 24, 2008, the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, and Monday, August 25, 2008, the Feast of Saint Louis IX, King of France.
It was wonderful to return to Saint Hugh of Lincoln Church. Father Charles McGuire is a very fine priest. And the good people of Saint Hugh's were so very welcoming to us. A voice called out, "Welcome back, Droleskeys," as I parallel parked the Trail Blazer on the morning of Saturday, August 23, 2008. The voice belonged to Miss Many Ann Panevska, who was kind enough to take us out to breakfast at a place called Rusty's Skillet on the corner of Layton and 27th Street in Greenfield, Wisconsin, after Mass. Miss Panevska had quite a story to tell us.
Miss Many Ann Panevska's Desire to Get to Holy Mass on a Daily Basis
After living in a very large house some distance away from Saint Hugh of Lincoln Church, Miss Panevska, who hails from New York originally, determined in December of 2007, when Father McGuire became the resident pastor at Saint Hugh's, that she had to move closer to the chapel. She wanted to assist at the daily offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Indeed, this should be the goal of us all. What, I ask, please, is more important than assisting at daily Mass? What a privilege it is each day to be a true offering of a true Mass offered by a priest who makes no concessions to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of the wolves who have seized control of the Vatican and of our chancery offices and parishes and schools and convents and hospitals and other institutions that belong to the Catholic Church, which can never give us the hint or error or sponsor blasphemy or sacrilege or be the author of endless apostasies. Each Catholic should realize that it is important to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to move in order to be close to Holy Mass. Miss Panevska decided that it was important for her to move, and she placed her house on the market in order to be able to get to Holy Mass.
Moving was easier said than done. When her house was not selling, Miss Panevska decided to drop her asking price, at which point Saint Joseph answered her prayers and the house sold immediately. Saint Joseph led her to find a house not far from Saint Hugh's, much smaller in size and costing much more than what she had sold her own house for, which required her to dip into her savings to be able to purchase the house. She figured that she was, at age seventy-two, going to move again. God had given her the gift of daily Mass, and she was determined to make use of this gift as far as was possible.
As the day for Miss Panevska to take occupancy of her new house arrived, she encountered a problem: the people who were living in the house at the time showed no sign of getting out. The residents of the house were renters, who, it appeared, were in no rush to leave the house whatsoever. Thus it was that Miss Panevska went into the house while the renters were out and asperged the place quite liberally with Holy Water. The renters were gone later that day.
And, most remarkably, Saint Hugh of Lincoln gave Miss Panevska a sign that all had been ordained for her from Heaven above.
Miss Panevska's new house, which was built, most likely, during the Johnson administration (that is, the Andrew Johnson administration), overlooks a bluff by Lake Michigan. Shortly after moving into her house, Miss Panevska saw a swan and her cygnets (baby swans) swimming along directly below her house. Saint Hugh of Lincoln's symbol is, of course, a swan, an image of which is displayed on the reredos of the sanctuary in Saint Hugh of Lincoln Church.
Quite a story, wouldn't you say?
A Doll House Sent from Heaven
Lucy's attention during all of this was not quite as riveted on Miss Panevska's inspirational story of her move to get closer to daily Mass. No, our dear Lucy girl was focused on the fact that she was to receive a wooden doll house the next day, which is a story in and of itself.
It was while visiting with Father Martin Stepanich and Sister Mary Olive Rowley and Samantha Current and Suzanne Kennedy the day before, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that I received an e-mail from Mrs. Barbara Kamprath-Radtke, the mother of Mr. John Kamprath, the former administrator of the Kolbe Academy in Napa, California, and a foremost authority in Catholic education. John and his wife Marie are the parents of eight children (the ninth is to be born within a few months), who are good friends with Lucy. We saw them last in Post Falls, Idaho, where they live, when we were out in that area as I spoke at Mount Saint Michael's Church from May 14 to 25, 2007. Mrs. Kamprath-Radtke lives in De Pere, Wisconsin, and she he had read that we would be coming to Wisconsin, reminding us that she had a wooden doll house to give to Lucy. I responded politely by writing that we had no intention of driving up to De Pere from Milwaukee, especially given the cost of gasoline, believing that that had to be that, at least for the time being.
Then the wheels began to turn. My Guardian Angel, I believe, prompted me to remember that Father McGuire, who had given a masterful sermon on the very un-Catholic nature of most collegiate and professional sports on Sunday, August 10, 2008, at Saint Gertrude the Great Church, had told me that one of his parishioners came down from Green Bay, Wisconsin, every week. I asked Father McGuire, who telephoned me while we were at Father Martin's, if the man from Green Bay was named John Charles, a man who is kind enough to write to us now and again. Yes, indeed, Mr. Charles did drive down from Green Bay to Milwaukee every Sunday, and it turned out that two letters of his, replete with his phone number, were contained in a FEDEX package of mail that His Excellency Bishop Robert F. McKenna, O.P., had sent to us from Monroe, Connecticut, that had just arrived at Father Martin's for us.
I left a message for Mr. Charles to explain that we would like him to pick up the doll house from Mrs. Kamprath-Radtke and bring it down to Milwaukee on Sunday, August 24, 2008, the Feast of Saint Bartholomew. I did not hear back from him. However, Mrs. Kamprath-Radtke informed me a few hours later that the doll house was in Mr. Charles' automobile. Lucy would have her wooden doll house after all. "You see," I said to Lucy, "how good Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother are to you. They have provided you with Holy Communion and Confirmation this year, and they provide you with this temporal, worldly consolation. You have much to be grateful for, do you not?" She agreed.
Sharon later telephoned Mrs. Kamprath-Radtke to thank her for her generosity. Mrs. Kamprath-Radtke said that Mr. Charles did not hear my message clearly, believing that he was to pick up a dog, not a doll house! Barbara, who knows Mr. Charles to be a man with a great sense of humor, would have told him that he was to pick up a Saint Bernard dog if she had known before he stopped by her house to pick up the doll house of his misapprehension concerning the nature of the object that was being sent to Lucy. We are very grateful to Mrs. Kamprath-Radtke for her generosity, and to Mr. Charles for being so very kind as to pick up the doll house and give it to our dear daughter. Oh, yes, God will not be undone in His generosity.
We may not have regular, predictable income or a "land residence" which we can call home. However, we are so very blessed to be the unmerited beneficiaries of so much generosity from Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the prayers of His Most Blessed Mother and His foster-father, Good Saint Joseph. Lucy's mind was thus on the doll house as we conversed with Mrs. Panevska that Saturday, August 23, 2008.
We took the opportunity while in Wisconsin to make a trip down to the Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to pick up some chunks of ten-year old sharp cheddar cheese. We could not, however, take Lucy to a place called "Apple Holler" north of the Mars Cheese Castle as the music being played at some sort of charity event was obscene. We had to make a bee line out of the place. What a commentary it is on the prevailing ethos of naturalism that people in their seventies sit still for the wretched, diabolical beat of "rock" music and not blanche at all in the face of obscene lyrics. Why should they? Those who are Catholics are steeped in the obscenity that is the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service, being reaffirmed in their immodest attires and indecent speech by conciliar "bishops" and "priests" and "sisters" aplenty. Those who are non-Catholics have been raised in atmosphere of theological filth and/or cultural nothingness that leads them to parade about like zombies who are pulled in this or that direction by the currents of what passes for popular culture. While none of us is any one bit better than anyone else, we must attempt to make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world as we seek to protect our children from being influenced by these zombies, some of whom might wind up in an aboriginal "dance" at World Youth Day 2011.
Yes, Lucy got her doll house after I gave my presentation at Saint Hugh of Lincoln Church following the 9:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday, August 24, 2008, the Feast of Saint Bartholomew. She was most happy. It's quite a doll house, as you can see from the photographs.
The Trap That Still Goes Snap
Oh, my talk? It was on the trap that is Summorum Pontificum and how this trap has silenced so many traditionally-minded Catholics yet attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism concerning blasphemies and sacrileges committed by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI since its issuance on July 7, 2007. I am still amazed at the lack of the love of God on the part of those who have refused to defend His greater honor and glory and majesty by refusing to denounce Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI for his gross violation of the First Commandment by esteeming with his own priestly hands the symbols of five false religions at the "John Paul II Cultural Center" in Washington, District of Columbia, on Thursday, April 17, 2008, or saying word one about his calling the Koran, a document that blasphemes Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Most Blessed Mother, as that "dear book" when he received yet another copy of this atrocious set of blasphemous lies after he had returned to Rome.
Oh, yes, the end justifies the means. How silly of me to forget this, huh? How unjust it is to call a man who has used the entirety of his priesthood to deny the nature of dogmatic truth as an abject enemy of God and of the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross. Silence, as I reminded those at Saint Hugh's on Sunday, August 24, 2008, in the face of offenses against God is a crime of major proportions, and one that, as Pope Saint Leo the Great taught, signifies that those who keep their tongues about various blasphemies actually agree with the blasphemies. I thank Father McGuire for permitting me to speak to his people--and to the very nice group of people who stayed for my talk. About thirty-five people attended the talk, which is about thirty more, on average, who attended my weekly lectures at Saint Gertrude the Great Church from July 6, 2008, to August 17, 2008.
"We Must Return to Connecticut"
It was after assisting at Holy Mass at Saint Hugh of Lincoln Church on Monday, August 25, 2008, that I made the decision to attempt to return to Connecticut so that Lucy could continue her schooling there.
That decision made, therefore, I had to find a campground at which to stay. A place in the New Haven, Connecticut, area, about forty miles from Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel, is open year round. However, the owner there has never seemed to be willing to rent a space to us. I had made an appointment with him on Wednesday, October 17, 2007, and believed that we would be settled there by the end of October. I learned after our friend Mrs. Janet Clementi was conditionally confirmed by Bishop Robert F. McKenna, O.P., that the vacant space had been rented out from under us. And the man was no in rush to get back to me on August 25, 2008, when I had made yet another inquiry. Another campground, about an hour away from Monroe, Connecticut, did have availability until the end of their season, on Saturday, October 18, 2008, and I booked it after checking with Sharon.
Although it would have been nice to have had an extra day to rest at the campground in Caledonia, Wisconsin, I learned that there was a Harley-Davidson "convention" in the Milwaukee area, meaning that scores of "bikers" would be staying at the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park and Resort. To paraphrase Gary Cohen, who has been broadcasting games for the New York Mets since 1989, we were "outta here" as soon as I heard that little detail. We packed up the motor home in record time in order to exit the campground before those "bikers" could arrive en masse (some had arrived by that time).
We drove about forty-five miles or so to Lamb's Farm in Libertyville, Illinois, to give Lucy a return visit to a petting farm/miniature golf course that we had visited on Monday, April 23, 2007, as we were returning to Bolingbrook, Illinois, following my first presentation at Saint Hugh of Lincoln Church. Lucy enjoyed herself thoroughly, and we then continued our drive back to Bolingbrook, where we parked once again at Camping World to await what we though would be the repair of our motor home that day.
More Adventures In and Around Bolingbrook
Upon arriving at Father Martin Stepanich's for Holy Mass the next morning, Tuesday, August 26, 2008, we were a little surprised to discover that Sister Mary Olive Rowley was not in attendance. "Oh, no," I said to myself. "We've killed the poor woman. She's in the hospital." My surmise was not incorrect. We were informed that Sister Olive had been taken to the hospital at around 11:00 p.m. the night before, that is on Monday, August 25, 2008, the Feast of Saint Louis IX, King of France. She had developed a case of bronchitis as a result of catching Sharon and Lucy's cold (I had gotten sick myself over the weekend in Milwaukee), and Father Martin had developed a pretty decent head cold. Sister Olive got out of the hospital the day we left Bolingbrook, Thursday, August 28, 2008, the Feast of Saint Augustine.
We were very sorry to be have been the human instruments of her having to be hospitalized! As Farther Martin brought Sister Olive Holy Communion on Wednesday, August 27, 2008, and the next day, the Feast of Saint Augustine, we got to visit with him at length only on that Tuesday, August 26, 2008, and it was good to do so. He was given a passel full of recent articles from this site, saying in response, "You wrote all of this in the past few days? It would take me six years to write all of that!" He wrote to me recently to say that my stack of "incomparable lucubrations" might be read on "some rare rainy day," meaning that they will be read in eternity!
The part that was needed for the repair of the motor home's generator did not arrive until Wednesday, August 27, 2008, meaning that we had to spend one more day parked at Camping World. As it was raining very heavily on Tuesday, August 26, 2008, this gave us a chance to take Lucy to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois, on Wednesday, August 27, 2008, a visit that turned out to be, humanly speaking, a real dud as they have fewer animals than in the Kansas City, Missouri, Zoo (and we we saw very few animals there when we visited in 2004). And it was while returning in impossibly heavy rush hour traffic that a mechanic at Camping World broke some kind of "cap" on the generator that had become wore and fragile, meaning that we had to wait yet another day to have the generator repair. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls.
It was back to Father Martin's for Holy Mass on the Feast of Saint Augustine, Thursday, August 28, 2008, and thence back to Camping World to await our liberation from their parking lot. We had to pay for an oil change of the motor home's engine oil. Other than that, however, the work on the generator was covered by the warranty that came with the unit. Believing that taking care of the paper work meant that we were free and clear to "take off" from Camping World that day, I discovered, much to my horror, that the generator would not start thereafter. The problem turned out to be fuel filters that were in need of being replaced. We had to wait another hour or so for the fuel filters to be obtained and installed. The generator started after the fuel filters were replaced.
Liberated from Bolingbrook, Illinois, we head on off for the Detroit, Michigan, area, so as to be off of the road during the Labor Day weekend and be able to assist at Holy Mass at Father Francisco Radecki's Saint Joseph's Church in Wayne, Michigan. The drive to a campground in Belleville, Michigan, a distance of 278 miles from Bolingbrook, went without incident, and we arrived around 6:45 p.m., Eastern Daylight Saving Time, after having left Camping World in Bolingbrook at 1:00 p.m., Central Daylight Saving Time. I did a waste water dump at a central dumping station before parking ourselves in a space, where we stayed for four straight nights.
Just dead tired from the travels (and from being dispossessed from the motor home during most of the time during the day that the coach was parked at Camping World for five discrete days), I found my family fast asleep the following morning. It was clear that they were not going to get up for 7:00 a.m. Mass at Saint Joseph's Church in Wayne, Michigan, on the Feast of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, Friday, August 29, 2008. We did have time to drive the forty-six miles to Fraser, Michigan, to assist at the 8:00 a.m. Mass at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church, a truly beautiful church, that has been served by Father Ercoli since its founding and is now being served by Father Oscar Saavedra, who offered Mass that day and with whom we visited, along with Father Ercoli, thereafter in the vestibule for a brief bit. It was very nice to see Father Saavedra once again, and to say goodbye to Father Ercoli before he went to Florida to assist His Excellency Bishop Donald Sanborn at Most Holy Trinity Seminary.
While having some breakfast at diner, well, a diner by Michigan standards, in Fraser, Michigan, I learned of the news of the selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Heath Palin to be United States Senator John Sidney McCain III's vice presidential running mate. "Here we go," I told Sharon. "Here comes the insanity. Conservatives are going to claim this is their moment. We're going to be told that it's not necessary for a mother with young children to be at home with them. We're going to be told to hold our noses and to accept whatever attendant evils flow from Palin's selection and her very confused set of naturalistic beliefs, including feminism, to 'prevent' the new bogeyman from getting into office. Get ready, my dear, for being even more hated than we are at present. The same folks who have twisted into pretzels to make Joseph Ratzinger's Hegelianism sound like Catholicism are going to make Sarah Palin into a veritable champion of Christ the King. Here we go."
Here we go, indeed, as you know from reading my articles on this subject and the reaction of others at various points along the vast expanse of the ecclesiastical divide. Sarah Palin "action figures"? This is insanity. Insanity. I want to scream at the insanity. Sarah Palin supports contraception. She supports children being taught about contraception. Sarah Palin believes that innocent babies in their mothers' wombs may be sliced and diced in cases where it is alleged that a mother's life is endangered. She has belonged to a variety of Pentecostalist and/or Calvinist-based Protestant sects. She is an apostate who believes that she can discern God's Will more or less infallibly (calling upon people to conform their will to "God's" at one point) in matters of public policy. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, where was I?
Seriously, I will have a few older articles, contained in Restoring Christ as the King of All Nations, that had been run in a twice a month Catholic newspaper in 2004 posted on this site within a few days. These articles contain much of the same material that has been written on this site in the past twelve days since Palin's selection, and that, despite having what I must admit is the stench of the "resist and recognize" approach to our ecclesiastical crisis, that came to the same conclusion four years ago that I have presented recently. My contention that nothing about Sarah Palin, a woman who knows zero about First and Last Things and who should be at home with her children (good enough for Our Lady, my friends, it's good for all mothers who do not have to enter the work force as a matter of necessity to help support their family), has changed the fraudulent nature of our Judeo-Masonic electoral system (a farce wherein the frauds of the naturalist "left" make caricatures out of themselves as they recoil in horror at the "threat" posed by the counterparts on the "right," which reaction only prompts more outrage from the naturalists on the "right") may be rejected and skewered and mocked. Fine. As Father Martin Stepanich says when these same experts mock him and reject his own knowledge of the Faith, "Deo gratias!" Deo gratias!
Let it be noted, however, that I am saying nothing now that I have not said before, and I will go to my grave insisting that those who are not the open and admitted friends of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen is a friend of ours and can never be any kind of fit instrument in establishing a social order when the common temporal good is pursued in light of man's Last End. Let those who believe otherwise show me in four years how their desire to exalt a woman who knows nothing about First and Last Things (or much about anything else, especially real history, making her of one mind and heart with the ignoramus known as George Walker Bush) has done anything but give scandalous bad example to our Catholic daughters concerning the proper role of a mother with young children, an example that is far, far more dangerous and far, far more offensive to God and His Most Blessed Mother than any piece of legislation than either of the nominees of the two major organized crime families in this country could secure from the gaggle of crooks and thieves who populate the United States Congress.
Sharon and Lucy had an interesting experience at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs as they made their way to the ladies' room at Holy Mass on Friday, August 29, 2008, the Feast of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. A woman whom they had never met before said to them, "Hello, Lucy. Hello, Sharon." Turns out that the woman, Mrs. Elaine Andreski (please forgive the misspelling, if any!), is a reader of this site, describing herself as "one of the freeloaders." She recognized me during Holy Mass, and thus knew who Sharon and Lucy where. Sharon had an interesting conversation with Mrs. Andreski, who was one of the pioneers in home-schooling in Michigan, having led a march on Washington, District of Columbia, once to fight for the right of children to be home-schooled. In fact, I might have heard Mrs. Andreski speak at a Christian Coalition conference in April of 1997 at which I spoke (my own talk exhorted all of those in attendance to convert to the true Faith). In any event, Mrs. Andreski told Sharon quite a story of how she worked with a religious sister to develop a home-schooling curriculum.
We went to Holy Mass the next morning, the Feast of Saint Rose of Lima, O.P., Saturday, August 30, 2008, at Saint Joseph's Church in Wayne, Michigan, and it was nice to visit with Father Francisco Radecki, CMRI, thereafter. Father Radecki invited me most graciously to give a talk after Holy Mass the next day, the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Commemoration of Saint Raymond Nonnatus, Sunday, August 31, 2008. We then took Lucy to the "Henry Ford" museum again, and although it has some interest artifacts of Americana and Americanism, we won't be going back. It's a waste of time. We documented the place pretty well last year. Lucy enjoyed the return visit. However, enough is enough, especially when you have to pay to look at artifacts of error and greed.
The time arrived for us on Monday, September 1, 2008, the Feast of Saint Giles, to make our way back to the East Coast. Our plan was to stop at Tri-States Campground in Matamoras, Pennsylvania, a distance of about 570 miles from Belleville, Michigan, and then proceed to Glenmont, New York, on Tuesday, September 2, 2008, to hear Holy Mass offered by Father Joseph Collins at Saint Michael's Chapel. The drive back East went very well. The generator worked. We encountered nothing other than insufferable heat that I tried to offer up as best I could to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, arriving in Matamoras, around 10:45 p.m. on Monday, September 1, 2005, after leaving Belleville, Michigan, around 1:45 p.m.
It's always so great to see Father Collins, and we are very grateful to him for offering Holy Mass for us, and for being patient with us as we ran about fifteen minutes later than I had estimated would be our time of arrival after making the 118 mile drive to Glenmont. We were to see him a few days later as he offered Holy Mass in the chapel on the property of Mr. James Koneazny, the son of the late, great William C. Koneazny, on the First Saturday of the month, September 6, 2008, in Southfield, Massachusetts.
Our trip to the campground (which will not be identified as we have enough people who don't like us as to exercise a bit of caution) was long, made even longer by the fact that we got behind a slow-moving truck carrying scores of bales of hay. I thought that the truck would stay on a major roadway rather than turn off onto a less traveled state highway. No! The struck stayed straight ahead of us AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, where was I? Yes. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us. Save souls!
We arrived in our rather rustic campground, somewhat reminiscent of Toye Recreation in Sussex, New Jersey, where we stayed for two weeks in December of 2001 and then again at various points in 2004, around 5:00 p.m., finding the campground managers to be most pleasant people. The campground is fairly quiet during week, and Tropical Storm Hanna kept the yahooers quiet this past Saturday night, September 6, 2006.
His Excellency Bishop McKenna was good enough to ask his assistant, Father Rodriguez, to offer Holy Mass for us at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 3, 2008, the Feast of Pope Saint Pius X. Father Rodriguez arrived at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel about a week after we had left Monroe back on Saturday, June 21, 2008, the Feast of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, and has helped His Excellency considerably. He offers Mass very beautifully. It was very good to be back at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel, and to have spent a little time visiting with Bishop McKenna himself before Mass.
We caught up with our mail after Mass (not a lot of donations, although we are grateful for the ones that we did receive), and then took Lucy down to Stew Leonard's in Norwalk, Connecticut, to do some shopping and to permit our daughter to be amused by the Stew Leonard's animatronics singers after I printed out some of my recent articles for Bishop McKenna at a FEDEX/Kinko's. We returned to Monroe to give His Excellency the articles, and then made our way back up to the campground. And we took Lucy back to the magnificent Bushnell Park Carousel on Thursday, September 4, 2008, before taking her to the Town Fair Carousel in Danbury, Connecticut, the next day, the First Friday of the month of September, trying to give her a few treats before she got back to the business of going back to school. I would have preferred to sleep for, say, oh, I don't know, about six years or so. However, I did want to let Lucy have a bit of fun before we commenced our daily commutes.
Well, that brings you pretty much up to date on the latest in our poor efforts to embrace our daily crosses to help make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world. What I wrote at the end of the last installment in these adventures is apropos once again:
The sufferings of this present day are as nothing in comparison the joys that await the souls of the just in Heaven:
For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him. For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8: 16-18.)
None of us has anything to complain about whatsoever. None of us suffers as our sins deserve. And not one thing we suffer (not humiliation, not misunderstanding, not rejection, not any kind of physical pain or disease, not calumny, not total financial destitution, not career failure, not anything) is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and caused His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with Seven Swords of Sorrow. We must always lift high the Cross as the consecrated slaves of Our Lord through His Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart.
Heaven awaits us if we live penitentially in this life, if we seek to do our Purgatory time here by accepting with love and gratitude each of the difficulties that daily life presents. Shouldn't we be excited to ask for more crosses each day to prove our love for God and to make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world as we entrust ourselves to the Mercy of His Most Sacred Heart and and Protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Our Blessed Mother will not abandon us either, as she made clear to Juan Diego in 1531:
Know for certain that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God. . . . Here I will show and offer my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows and will remedy and alleviate their suffering, necessities and misfortunes. . . . Listen and let it penetrate into your heart. . . . Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. So not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?
This is good advice for us, is it not? We should keep this in mind whenever we are feeling sorry for ourselves or think that we have been given a cross that is too heavy for us to carry. We must remember, as I try to keep hammering home, that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that we can experience in this passing, mortal vale of tears that is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Lord to suffer during His Passion and Death and caused His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with Seven Swords of Sorrow. Who are we to feel sorry for ourselves in the midst of sickness or suffering or woe or loss of one sort or another? The Cross is the path to Heaven. Shouldn't we thank God for our crosses, mindful that Our Lady stands with us in our own crosses as she stood by her own Divine Son's Most Holy Cross on Good Friday, at which she stands at every true offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?
Here's a good formula to remember: our crosses become lighter with every Rosary we pray.
Yes, it's still better this than Purgatory in 2008!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saints Protus and Hyacinth, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints