DO NOT TREAT GOD COMMONLY
By Richard Salbato
Last year was the year of the Rosary and the Holy Father has dedicated this year as the year of the Eucharist. It reminds me of Don Bosco's visions of the Church. Don Bosco saw a Holy Father steering a ship through rough waters. This ship is the Church. Around the Church, shown as a ship, Don Bosco saw other smaller ships shooting arrows it him. Some of these other smaller ships had crosses on the sails, meaning that they were also Catholics or Christians. It may mean that the Church was being attacked from within, at least within the total Christian complex of the Church and the cults that call themselves Christian. In this vision the Holy Father was hit by an arrow and wounded badly but did not die. He got up again and continued to steer the ship of state.
Now this very much looks as if it is this Pope, since he was shot and fell and got up and is still leading the ship through rough waters. But the vision goes on and again a second time the Holy Father is shot but this time he dies. The smaller ships that were attacking him began to rejoice at his death but before they can even approach the large ship another Pope takes the helm and steers the ship. The time between the death of the first pope and the new pope is so short that it surprises all those attacking.
The new Pope steers the ship between two pillars and anchors it to them. On top of the first pillar is the Virgin Mary and on top of the second pillar is the Chalice and the Eucharist.
Now if we compare this vision to the vision of Lucia of Fatima we see some very similar things where the Holy Father walks through the bodies of his own people and even his own priests and bishops and then is shot and killed. The difference comes not in the visions but in the interpretation of the vision of Fatima by Cardinal Ratzinger.
Through Cardinal Ratzinger the official interpretation of the vision of Fatima is that the time Pope John Paul II was shot is the termination of the prophesy of Fatima but that Our Lady changed Her own vision by protecting the life of the Holy Father. Nonsense! Every true prophesy has come true exactly as prophesied including Ninive, which was totally destroyed 40 years after Jonas preaching. It was postponed because of the sacrifices of the people, but not recanted.
If I am right then, this Pope is steering the Church though rough waters towards the two pillars but will not make it all the way and only the next Pope will.
But how can we help him take the Church to the promise of peace between the two pillars of Mary and the Eucharist, a peace also promised at Fatima?
One Hundred and Fifty years ago there was good reason for the Holy Father to make ex-cathedra the Immaculate Conception and since then devotion to Our Lady has spread throughout the world with the help of countless approved apparitions of Her to the world. In some cases even Protestants and Moslems come to honor Our Lady.
But as prophesied at Fatima there is another great problem in the Church that has lifted up its demonic head in the Twentieth Century. It stems from a secularism that preaches the destruction of the hierarchy of respect and authority. Using an exaggerated interpretation of "equality" secularists have managed to break down the hierarchy of command and dignity. There was a time when parents were treated with respect by their children, elders were respected by all children, priests were treated as in the place of Christ (even to the kissing of their hands), and even women were treated as they are the "tabernacle of creation" and men would stand up from the table if a woman stood up and would treat her with the respect she deserves as God's most perfect creation. In the brave new world we want to treat everyone in some kind of common denominator. To do this we reduce education to the lowest common denominator so that even the stupidest person in the class can understand and pass, leaving the hard workers and the more intelligent completely bored. In the family today we find children telling their parents what they will and will not do instead of parents telling them. I could give examples of this so extreme that you would not believe me, but that would take away from the point of this newsletter. Something else is happening because of this lost respect and it is happening to God. I think it is part of a master plain stemming from the French Revolution but even if it is not, the results are the same.
Do Not Treat God Commonly
A few months back a priest came to Fatima and called me up for a meeting. He said that he came to Fatima to learn how to improve his parish and make people more prayerful, more Catholic and more interested in the life of the parish. He seemed frustrated. But to me the answer was simple because I have seen in happen over and over in many parishes. I told him that all he had to do was not treat God commonly and his parish would thrive. He did not seem to know what I meant by this so I went on to explain in three hours of conversation. It is not any great wisdom on my part but simply my observations of parishes and priests where this was done properly and where the results were more than amazing but even miraculous.
One such example is Father Sweeney who was given a small Vietnamese parish in Santa Clara, California. The problem with the parish was that most of the homes around it were torn down to build factories, office buildings, and freeways. The total amount of actual families that lived within the parish limits were very small and going down hill everyday. Father Sweeney was a terrible speaker and bored most people who listened to him and he was not that charismatic face to face. But Father built that parish up from two priests and a half full church on Sunday to 10 priests, and 10 Sunday Masses overfilled to the outside to the point that television cameras were placed outside to show the Mass to those who could not get inside. Daily Masses went from two or three people to hundreds of people. Confessions went from three of four a week to thousands per week and four or five confessors at each Sunday Mass and Confessors even at daily Mass. In fact Father Sweeney became so successful that he build a 50 foot tall statue of Our Lady so that three freeways could see Her and a large two story center for religious education of children and adults. What did this priest do? It was not his preaching - he was not good. It was not his personality - he would at times be boring. In fact, it was not what he did but what he did not do. Because of his love and understanding of who God is, Father did not treat God commonly and did not let anyone else treat God commonly either.
When Father came into the Church he knelt down in front of the tabernacle with profound respect and not just a quick genuflection but with profound thought of who was in that Tabernacle. When he said Mass it was as if he was face to face with God in Heaven. When he held up the Eucharist it was as if he was holding the Christ Child, given to him by Our Lady.
In spite of the great disadvantages for proper respect in the Novus Ordo Mass, Father continued to have an Altar Rail and everyone continued to kneel at the Altar Rail for communion. No one and I mean no one ever went behind the Altar Rail except priests and Altar - BOYS. When it was time to pass out communion (no mater who was saying Mass) from one to five priests would come into the church and pass out communion and only at the Altar Rail and not to anyone standing. To show the importance of the Mass, Father had from 4 to 10 altar-boys at all times even in daily Masses.
Never was Father disobedient to the liberal bishops over him. How then was he able to do what many other priests would like to do? It is simple! Father knew the laws of his Church and knew them well. There are things a bishop can recommend to a priest but when it comes to the Mass the guidelines from Rome are very plain and set in stone.
No bishop can force the removal of an Altar Rail and no bishop can force Altar-girls and no bishop can force Extraordinary Ministers. It is not in his authority. Authority has limits in every walk of life. Parents have authority but not over life. Kings and Presidents have authority but not over freedom. Judges and police have authority but not over justice.
Treating God commonly destroys faith and religion. We will believe and have faith in the same extent in our mind as we treat God. If we treat Him as if he was no different from anyone else sitting next to us, we will end up believing Him to be no different from any other person. Having a personal relationship with God can be good if we keep it within the limits of respect, but if we try to bring him down to our level He will not be there for us.
The Angel of Fatima
Is this respect and worship of God really necessary? After all we are in a new age where children come home from school without even greeting their own mother but just running in and out without a thought of her.
In Revelation or Apocalypse 4 we are given a glimpse of the Throne of God (metaphorically) and the chapter not only shows the majesty and beauty of God but somewhat overwhelming and then we read that all fell down and worships Him and adored Him (Rev. 4:9-10) who is worthy of glory and honor (Rev. 4:11) and then again before the Lamb standing as it were slain (Rev. 4:6) everyone fell down and worshiped singing and praising and honoring the Lamb saying "-----benediction and honor and glory and power for ever". And all fell down on their faces and adored Him that liveth forever and ever. (Rev. 4:14)
This, my friend, is the Mass as it is co-celebrated in Heaven as we celebrate it on earth. If we could see what happens around that priest at Mass we would see this description in Revelation 4. As we stand or sit or talk or walk around, what are the saints and angels of heaven doing? They are doing the same thing the Angel of Fatima did.
In 1916 an Angel appeared to the three children of Fatima with a Chalice and Host above it dripping blood into the Chalice. Giving example to the children the angel worshiped God in the Eucharist by kneeling and then bowing down with his face in the earth and taught them a prayer that I do not need to repeat here. But the prayer was for all of us that disrespect God in the Eucharist with irreverence -- and irreverence is an outrage to God, and irreverence is a sacrilege to God, and irreverence is the great sin of indifference to God.
Before the apparition of the Angel of Fatima, Lucia, as always was picked to throw flower peddles in front of the procession of The Blessed Sacrament - the Eucharistic Procession. Jacinta, who was just a little child, asked why she does this. Lucia told her that the Child Jesus was there on that platform and that was how we honored Him. Jacinta wanted to honor the Child Jesus also in the way so she pleaded to be one of the girls to throw the flower peddles. But when they marched in the Eucharistic Procession Jacinta just looked and looked at the Monstrance with the Host in it and never threw any flower peddles. After the procession Lucia asked her why she did not throw the flowers and Jacinta said that she looked and looked but did not see the Child Jesus. It was from that point on after Lucia explained to her that Jacinta referred to the Eucharist as the "Hidden Jesus".
He is hidden from our eyes because our eyes could not handle the sight of God, but when we look upon the Host, the Eucharist we are seeing God. God is not inside the Host, God is the Host. When we see the Host we see God. God can take on any form He wants to and when He takes on the form of a Host, it is truly God that we are looking at, not symbolic, nor representing, not a type, but the real and only God.
Not Just God but God Crucified
Christ only asked us to remember one thing, His death, And so in the Catholic Church the altar of sacrifice, and not the pulpit or the choir or the organ, is the center of worship, for there is re-enacted the memorial of His Passion.
Its value does not depend on him who says it, or on him who hears it; it depends on Him who is the One High Priest and Victim, Jesus Christ our Lord. With Him we are united, in spite of our nothingness; in a certain sense, we lose our individuality for the time being; we unite our intellect and our will, our heart and our soul, our body and our blood, so intimately with Christ, that the Heavenly Father sees not so much us with our imperfection, but rather sees us , the Beloved Son in whom He is well pleased.
The Mass is for that reason the greatest event in the history of mankind; the only Holy Act which keeps the wrath of God from a sinful world, because it holds the Cross between heaven and earth.
What is important at this point is that we take the proper mental attitude toward the Mass, and remember this important fact, that the Sacrifice of the Cross is not something which happened nineteen hundred years ago. It is still happening. We were not conscious of being present there on Calvary that day, but He was conscious of our presence. Blood like falling stars is still dropping upon our souls.
Calvary is renewed, re-enacted, re-presented, as we have seen, in the Mass. Calvary is one with the Mass, and the Mass is one with Calvary, for in both there is the same Priest and Victim.
On the Cross the Savior was alone; in the Mass He is with us.
The Mass then is the communication of the Sacrifice of Calvary to us under the species of bread and wine.
He willed to give us the very life we slew; to give us the very Food we destroyed; to nourish us with the very Bread we buried, and the very Blood we poured forth. He made our very crime a ; He turned a Crucifixion into a Redemption; a Consecration into a Communion; a death into life
There are really only two commandment, two stones, but these are not suggestions, these are the only way to heaven. When asked how to get to heaven Christ said "Keep the Commandments." The first commandment is divided into three sections and the second commandment is divided into seven sections. The first is first because it is the most important and it is how to relate to God. It can be summed up in "Do not treat God commonly". The second commandment might be summed up as "Do not treat anything God created badly." Do not mistreat God and do not mistreat anything God created in Heaven or on Earth.
God deserves worship and honor and He, not us, told us how to worship throughout the entire bible from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, to the symbolic sacrificed lambs, to the Last Supper, to the Crucifixion, and to the Heavenly Mass in Revelation. "Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life." (Rev. 22:14) The tree of life is the Mass.
Choices of Worship
The Holy Father has given many directions on devotion to God in the Eucharist and has even said that this is the heart and summit of the Church and the fountain of all grace. He has asked for Perpetual Adoration and stressed its importance. He has not made this year the year of the Eucharist. What should we do? We can follow along with the rest of the crowd so that we do not look out of place and if they are not respectful, we can say that we are just doing what everyone else is doing. We can choose receiving communion in the hand, that is our right, or we can do the better thing and treat God without disrespect. We can choose to receive God standing, that is our right, or we can choose the less disrespectful way, kneeling, as that is also our right. As you can see from above there is a wrong way to worship and a right way. Someday the right way will be the only way but for now you have a choice between the right way and a lesser than right way.
My feeling is that the way we worship God is a direct outward sign of our love for Him. Treat Him commonly and how should He treat you? Treat Him reverently and with fear and trembling and even if your sins are as great as mountains God will forgive you.