Tag Archives: Vocations

IF you love Jesus Christ, REPAIR the Church

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

One of the things I admire most in my Seraphic Father, Saint Francis of Assisi, is his true love for Jesus Christ, Our God and Savior. He showed this most of all in his desire to repair the Church.

Not restore the Church, but repair the Church.

Only God can restore the Church, because only God has the power to found the Church and sustain the Church and touch Her at the level of existence and grace and being.

But we can collaborate in this work of the Holy Ghost by working to repair the Church.

A work of repair is arduous and it must be daily. It requires knocking down what is corrupt and dissolute and replacing it just as it in ages past, copying all the art and design and engineering of her past perfection.

But it requires, not just work, but work on the right Church. The Church is one, only one. The Church is not a private Chapel, nor a club. The Church is each and every Diocese of the Catholic Church in the world.

This means that repairing the Church is a great work, and an arduous task, but that each of us has the ability to do our part where we are, in our own diocese.

And if all who profess to love Jesus Christ, and who profess the observance of the 10 Commandments and the unchanging doctrines and dogmas of the Catholic Faith, did this, the Church would be restored, because Christ gives great graces for this.

This means that we need to distinguish between the sins of men and the offices and Sacraments which Christ gave us. The former can fail, the latter can never fail.

The work of reparation does mean, in part, seeing that crooks go to jail and heretics are denounced. Indeed, if heretics are not denounced, how can Catholics obtain Catholic pastors?

The denunciation of perverts or heretics requires solid evidence. With that had the public denunciation should be made to proper authorities. And if there is no proper authority, then to the general public. The faithful of every diocese, during an impeded Apostolic See (whether by usurpation by an anti-pope or by vacancy) have the right to replace their heretical ordinary with a Catholic ordinary. This right is vindicated on this, that a heretic is no longer a member of the Church, and when a superior in jurisdiction is impeded in his authority, his authority to act in just matters and in times of great necessity can be legitimately employed in a vicarious manner by the whole local Church which remains Catholic. This is how Catholics replaced Arian Bishops with Catholic Bishops in the Arian crisis of the 4th century.

Let us not dissipate our forces by trying to have our own little private island while letting the whole Church go to ruin. That negligence is also a sin that merits damnation, because it is not only directly against the charity we should have for our fellow Catholics, it is an act of hateful crucifixion of Christ’s Mystical Body.

And the first step in this work of repair is our own humility, penitence and self reform. That is why all of us who are not married have a grave duty to consider forsaking all to become holy priests and holy religious or holy hermits. There is no greater need now in the Church, than that Christ’s Army be repopulated with such faithful servants.

This is also why it IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to keep the laws of the Church, which are inscribed in Heaven, as Christ said to Peter: whatsoever you bind on earth, shall be bound in Heaven. Any Catholic, priest or layman, who tells you that you should follow common opinion and not the laws of the Church is a WOLF IN SHEEPS’ CLOTHING. Hear him no more than you would listen to the Devil.

And for that reason, the Church can only be repaired IN UNION WITH THE TRUE POPE, Pope Benedict XVI, who according to the norm OF ALL CHURCH LAWS never valid resigned the papacy and therefore remains the Vicar of Jesus Christ.

The present crisis in the Church is merely the end result of not following the laws of the Church and following the opinions of errant Cardinals and Shepherds, not the will of Jesus Christ, who said: whatsoever you bind on earth, shall be bound in Heaven, which is a direct reference to Canon Law.

Return to Pope Benedict and work to convince others to this.

To do anything else, apart from that, is to build your house on sand. So do not be surprised if it falls and is swept away in the torrent of sins.

+ + +

Donate to support FromRome.Info

Make a donation to Save Old St. Mary’s Inc., a non profit which is supporting Br. Alexis Bugnolo’s Apostolates like FromRome.Info -- If you would like to donate more than $10.00 USD, simply increase the Quantity below from 1 to a higher number.

$10.00

What is a religious vocation?

“Unless you do penance, you shall all perish likewise.”
(St. Luke 13:5)

“So likewise, every one of you who does not renounce all that he has, cannot be My disciple.”
(St. Luke 14:33)

“Because he who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” (St. Luke 14:11)

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

On one occasion Our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Faustina Kowalska and showed her the night sky, filled with the moon and stars. And He pointed to the full moon and said to the Saint, “You see how bright the moon is tonight, compared to the stars? Know that the glory of one soul in Heaven who was a faithful religious is like that in comparison to the glory of one soul who was a faithful layman.”

The greatness, beauty, honor, and glory of the religious vocation is a thing unheard of, unknown, and unappreciated in the world. Not only today; but in the past and until the end of time. It is unheard of in the world because the world does not speak of the religious life, except to ridicule it. It is unknown of in the world, because the world knows only pride of life, pride of the eyes and vanity of spirit. It is unappreciated in the world, because the world’s love leads to death; while a religious vocation leads straight to eternal life.

When a vocation begins to think of a religious vocation, he invariably considers that it is a difficult and narrow path. It contradicts what our nature loves, wants and is comfortable with. It contradicts what our parents, relatives, friends and worldly idols encourage us toward. It contradicts the freedom of life, the self determination of a career and the control our society encourages us to have over our life, lived here and now for the there and now. In short a religious vocation is the exact opposite of the creed of the world, the flesh and the devil.

To understand and appreciate and begin to desire a religious vocation, let us consider the four aspects of the essence of a religious vocation: its greatness, beauty, honor and glory.

The Greatness of a Religious Vocation

The greatness of the religious vocation is founded upon its essence. A religious vocation is a calling from the Triune God to devote one’s entire being and life, soul and body, heart and mind, prayer and works, to the knowledge, love and service of Him in this life, and to a special life and blessedness with Him in the world to come.

“Why did God make you?” This is the first question in the traditional Catechism, taught to children. And the answer is: “To know, love and serve God in this life, and to be blessed with Him forever in the life to come.” At Lourdes, St. Bernadette Soubirous, who was a cordbearer of St. Francis of Assisi, asked a favor of Our Lady. Our Blessed Mother replied: “I never promised to make you happy in this world, but only in the world to come.”

The idolization of technology during the last century has led to a complete here-and-now mentality in modern society. How many of our contemporaries are concerned solely and wholly with making money, getting a promotion, buying a house, raising a family, finding and enjoying new entertainments or be tourists here and there. But God did not make us for this world. God did not fashion us to be entertained in this life. God did not intend us to be satisfied here. If we are content with this life, entertained in this life, satisfied with this life, oh how sad, miserable, ignorant and wretched we truly are.

You shall die. God fixed the day before the foundation of the world. It will be for the punishment of your sins, for the punishment of the sin of Adam, if you die the friend of God; for the punishment of your own sins, if you die His enemy.

To be a religious is to consecrate oneself to the most important work in life: being the friend of God. If we become and remain His friend, His faithful servant, when we die He will grant us eternal life. This is the meaning of life; this is the mystery of life. It is that simple.

The greatness of a religious vocation is founded upon the essence of a religious vocation. A religious vocation is a calling from God to dedicate oneself entirely and purely to Himself. Since God is infinite goodness and eternal life, such a relationship is a arrow drawn and shot up into the infinity and eternity of God. As such a religious vocation is a calling to the maximum greatness a man can ever hope for and achieve: the eternal divine sonship, by the adoption of grace.

The Beauty of a Religious Vocation

The beauty of a religious vocation consists in the beauty of God. The religious vocation is an invitation and path to become immersed in the life and beauty of God. This is accomplished by our cooperation with the life of grace. Grace as you know is the participation in the life of the Most Blessed Trinity. Now God is perfect, infinite and eternal Beauty. And beauty is the harmony of order in goodness. So a religious vocation is a calling to become absorbed in God, immersed via grace into the beauty of mind, the beauty of heart and the beauty of spirit.

The beauty of mind to which a religious is called, is the immersion of our intellect in revealed truth in this life by faith and the virtues of wisdom and understanding and knowledge. The beauty of heart to which a religious is called, is the immersion of our will in the pure love of God via the virtues of charity, hope, prudence, fortitude, temperance and justice. The beauty of spirit to which a religious is called, is the exaltation of our mind and heart and body in the contemplation of God for his own sake and the dedication of our life to the works of mercy towards all.

The beauty of a religious vocation is seen so clearly in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose beauty of mind is so remarkably seen in the Magnificat, whose beauty of heart is so remarkable seen in her silent witness at the foot of the cross, and whose beauty of spirit is the sight which so many saints and holy souls have longed for and sought ought with so much prayer and fasting and good works. Indeed Our Blessed Mother is so beautiful that she has single handedly inspired the greatest of artists to the work of beauty.

The beauty of a religious vocation is seen also very clearly in the life of the Saints. How the saints inspire us to virtue, console us with their words, enlighten us with their teachings, encourage us in sorrows and urge us on to the perfection of charity. The saints are our best friends. How great an honor, if God should grant us the desire to follow in their footsteps. Thought not all Saints where religious; nearly all saints were religious, or if they were not, they lived more like religious than even some religious.

The Honor of a Religious Vocation

The honor of a religious vocation is derived from the One whom a religious serves. There is nothing greater than the service of the Most High and Blessed God, Three and One, the Eternal Lord, the Everlasting Creator, He who is all good, wholly good, without whom nothing is good.

Without God there is not honor, with God there is all honor; to serve God a little is a already a great honor, to serve Him faithfully a greater honor; but to serve Him faithfully and perfectly, that is entirely and wholly and perseveringly: this is the greatest honor, a sublime destiny and the work meriting a stupendous and amazing reward.

The honor of a religious vocation is the honor of serving a Great King, a most noble Redeemer, and a most powerful Master.

A religious is called to serve a Great King. Consider how High God is and you will being to understand the honor of a religious vocation. God is in His being beyond all angels and creatures: He is so good that all creatures by nature must desire either Himself or His works. He is so beautify that death would be the immediate result of seeing Him, so much would our soul flee the service of the body so as to grasp Him. He is so true, that to know Him as He is, is the root of immortality.

A religious is called to serve a most noble Redeemer. God the Son became a lowly man, a poor man, a crucified a rejected Messiah, so that by His poverty all of us might be rich in grace. God gave, God gives, and God will give of Himself and His riches to poor wretches sinners like ourselves. He is most generous, most giving, and most forgiving. What greater captain, general or lord is there to follow?

A religious is called to serve a most powerful Master. His faithful servants healed the sick, raised the dead, cursed to death the enemies of the Church, exorcised demons, and worked all manners of miracles. These were gifts which God gave them to manifest the even greater and truly safe spiritual gift which He gave them: the life of grace. God by His grace is Lord of heaven and earth. To serve him as a religious is to be taken up into a supernatural life, conversing with angels and saints and Our Lady, by faith.

How great then the honor of a religious vocation It is an honor to serve in the armed forces of one’s nation, to protect the safety of us all from temporal dangers. How much greater an honor to serve in the army of the God, the army of the Church Militant, to protect the Church from spiritual dangers? He who serves God faithfully in this life, will merit unimaginable riches in the life to come.

The Glory of a Religious Vocation

The glory of a religious vocation is the immense reward that lies in wait for the faithful religious. This reward is so great that if it were clearly known all the faithful would rush upon monasteries and convents in such numbers that the police would have to be called in just to control the crowds.

The glory of a religious vocation is the tremendous riches of heaven which are for all who serve God faithfully and over and above this very special graces and gifts which shall only be given to religious. Such are not even given to those saints who were not religious.

Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it even entered into the mind of man what God has prepared for those who love him. To love God is to keep His commandments out of love for Him. But to love God perfectly is to love Him with one’s whole mind, heart, soul and strength, and this is perfectly fulfilled in the whole and entire and perfect and pure dedication of a religious soul. So then how great is the glory of the religious in the world to come? It is beyond imagining, so I would be a liar if I described it in words. I imagine it to be so truly, greatly, beautifully, wonderfully, stupendously good, that it would be stunning and truly beatifying. But I am certain that it is greater than all this. For God loves a generous giver. And the blessedness of Heaven consists essentially in God’s giving of Himself, as He is, to the soul by an ontologic contact of mind to mind, will to will, spirit to spirit. Such an embrace is truly to be wondered at. But how much more the embrace of One who has be all the more loved. Such is the blessedness of the religious in Heaven.

The Duties of a Religious Vocation

A religious has the duty to know, love and serve God. To know Him by prayer, meditation and the study of Catholic teaching and scripture in this light. To love Him by keeping the commandments and following His precepts and by works of charity for our neighbor. To serve Him by being faithful and persevering in what he has promised until death.

A religious vows poverty, obedience and chastity. Poverty, in that he forsakes personal property and shares everything with his community. Obedience, in that he forsakes his own will, and does what his superior’s legitimately ask him to do for the community or the Church. Chastity, in that he forsakes all carnal pleasure, of body or mind, and lives with the innocence of a child who is concerned with pure things, holy things, heavenly things, and not those of the earth.

Such duties encompass the entire day and year and life of a religious. A religious should consider vacations and remuneration shameful. What he does and is, is for God alone; and no recompense in the life is comparable. Indeed it is so unequal to the beauty, honor, greatness, and glory of a religious vocation that it is a lie and a deceit to compare it to a career or job. The Church will only be restored with religious who are what they are and do what they do for His sake.

The Need for Religious

There is a very great and urgent need for religious today. With the dissolution of religious life there is obviously a need for new religious and new communities. With the loss of so many priests and brothers and sisters in decades following the Second Vatican Council there is obviously a need for others to take their place. But there is also a need for good and faithful, holy and generous religious. If there has been failure in recent years and a dissolution and leaving of many of the faithful, it is only because the prayers and example and works of religious were lacking. Religious are like Moses on the mountain above the plains of battle; when they let down their arms the Church suffers loss.

“Who shall go for My sake?” says the Lord. It is the religious who says: “Here I am Lord, send me!”

Conclusion

The religious vocation is a call to be a disciple, a soldier, a knight, a servant, and a son. What calling is greater? What destiny more worthwhile?

May God grant you each such a desire; and if you do not desire this, beg Him for it, or at least beg Him to grant this desire to others.

+ + +

 

Dear Priests, be disciples not Pastors of the truth!

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

There are two things, which in my youth, greatly attracted me to attend mass: that at Church you could receive Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and that at Church you could hear the Truth preached.

I did not yet recognize how important and great those 2 gifts were, for I just assumed everyone in the world was a Catholic, and did not know even of the existence of Anglicans until I was about 12 years old.

But with the passing of years, I have grown to appreciate those 2 gifts more an more, even though one of them is disappearing and rarely found anymore.

I speak here of the preaching of the truth.

The vocation to be a priest, is a call from God to be an Ambassador of Jesus Christ, first and foremost. I like this analogy because it makes it clear why a priest should open his mouth and what the purpose of his preaching and teaching should have. It also indicates clearly Whom he represents and the authority of his august office.

I read in a book in my youth, somewhere, that when the priest enters the Church at the start of Mass, one should recognize that Jesus Christ has entered the Church just behind His Ambassador and that He has come to offer His Sacrifice for us and with us.

And when a priest ascends the pulpit he preaches in the Name of Jesus.

Things were not so bad in the Church when I was young, you often heard homilies which touched your heart, and pricked your conscience. But with the passing of the years we faithful have been subject more and more to blather. And it is not only in the English speaking world, it is just as common even in Italy.

All this does not have to do with the priesthood. And not even with the abilities of the priests, all of whom, as far as I know, are quite cogent and precise outside of Mass, when they speak. It has to do with the growing persecution and ideological control of priests by their superiors. More and more is declared intolerable or insufferable. There is simply a long list of do’s and don’ts for each priest when he speaks.

And the problem comes from fellow priests, because you can see that the best priests preach most clearly and fervently when there are no other priests present.

We have to pray for priests and offer the acceptance of personal sacrifices to obtain graces for them, because they are in an awful battle.

This is why, though many priests recognize that Bergoglio is a heretic and that Benedict did not resign according to the norm of law, that they do not speak about the matter, and flee any discussion of it.

And part of the reason they do this, is because we the faithful are not strong backers of good priests. Priests know that no one or very few will remember them or help them if their superior transfers them to another parish, overnight. They know that the level of punishment and persecution they will receive will increase 100 fold if they even admit the kind of abuse they are receiving from their Bishop or fellow priests.

For these reasons, a good priest today has before his eyes Christ in His Passion whether he meditates on that during prayer or not, because as soon as he leaves the privacy of his own room, he knows that whatever he says or does can and will be used against him by wicked clergy.

I know a lot of good priest who for things far less than naming Pope Benedict XVI in the canon of the Mass were punished with loss of faculties or removal from the ministry. This is why so many priests are trying as hard as they can in public to pretend there is nothing substantially wrong with the Vatican.

A priest, however, has to be a disciple of the truth, not a pastor of the truth. That is, he has to follow Jesus, the Truth, and not try to shepherd truth to where he wants it to go.

As the Saints say, a priest is never alone. He goes to heaven with thousands of souls, or he goes to hell with thousands of souls. He cannot escape that reality.

As a Franciscan brother who lives by divine providence, and who decided more than 20 years ago to trust in God, I can assure priests that if they make the heroic decisions, God and His holy Angels and His Blessed Mother will be there for them, even if many laity are not. It is just impossible, that God would help a Franciscan brother more than a priest. Therefore, if He has helped me, he will help you.

Because, that is the one thing that only a good priest has, which a bad priest does not have. Heroism for priests consists in acting on that belief.

___________

CREDITS: The Featured Image is a photo by Br. Bugnolo of the Chapel Crypt of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, where the Cardinals and Bishops who served there up until c. 1930 are buried. It is found in the Cemetery of the Verano, here at Rome.

+ + +

Donate to support FromRome.Info

Make a donation to Save Old St. Mary’s Inc., a non profit which is supporting Br. Alexis Bugnolo’s Apostolates like FromRome.Info -- If you would like to donate more than $10.00 USD, simply increase the Quantity below from 1 to a higher number.

$10.00