Rorate Caeli

Penance! Penance! Penance!


In a society which is barely conscious of the ills which assail it, which conceals its miseries and injustices beneath a prosperous, glittering, and trouble-free exterior, the Immaculate Virgin, whom sin has never touched, manifests herself to an innocent child. With a mother's compassion she looks upon this world redeemed by her Son's blood, where sin accomplishes so much ruin daily, and three times makes her urgent appeal: "Penance, penance, penance!" She even appeals for outward expressions: "Go kiss the earth in penance for sinners." And to this gesture must be added a prayer: "Pray to God for sinners."

As in the days of John the Baptist, as at the start of Jesus' ministry, this command, strong and rigorous, shows men the way which leads back to God: "Repent!" Who would dare to say that this appeal for the conversion of hearts is untimely today?
Pius XII
July 2, 1957

Penance for ourselves. Penance for the others. Penance for the Holy Church of God. Considering that we are in Lent, the most solemn of seasons, we once again invite our dear readers, under the permission or guidance of your pastors, confessors, or spiritual directors, to choose a special and additional penance for the government of the Church and the heavy responsibility that will be placed upon the College of Cardinals in the upcoming weeks.

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Dear faithful, it falls upon us to live the upcoming days with hope. What if we trusted the Holy Spirit? True, it will be necessary that we wait, for some weeks, to view it in all its tones: as in 2005, we will hear the assembly of "experts" explain to us one more time that the Church must change, that the faith must change, that morals must change. Some will expect the election of a "modern" pope, "living according to his time", wearing a white suit and dark glasses and proposing the marriage of priests, opening the priesthood to women, favoring the remarriage of divorcees, and blessing the sacrosanct condom. We will hear, as usual, on television sets, before excited and obliging journalists, the priest who is outside the system, the defrocked one who wants to go back into service, the parishioner who is allergic to all things that recall the Church of the past, and, why not, some trendy exegetes or theologians who explain to us that everyone has been mistaken for two thousand years.

What matters, my dear friends, is to think that, after some inevitable disturbances, the Church will have a new leader, and that he will have the graces that are needed to accomplish his mission, just as his predecessor did.

He will know, as those who were before him on the chair of Peter, that nobody cares about an adulterated truth, and that the "evolutions" desired by some will fill neither our churches, nor our seminaries.

May the Lent that will begin this week move us to offer our prayers and our sacrifices for our Church, so that her future head will impart to us the love of truth and will guide us to heaven! (Fr. Philippe Jouachim, Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, Nantes, France)

8 comments:

LeonG said...

Penance is never a popular topic because few enjoy suffering or self-deprivation. Of course, we can always take on a worthy cause which we find challenging. However we approach penance, it is necessary in these times when evil is propagated by secular society as everything that is good. I recall a priest telling me many years ago we lived in an era when Our Blessed Lady was telling us it is good to make sacrifices even with things we enjoyed that were not sinful. In retrospect he was right.

Benedict Carter said...

Almighty and Eternal Father in Heaven, grant us a holy and strong Pope.

sam said...

DEUS meus, ex toto corde poenitet me omnium meorum peccatorum, eaque detestor, quia peccando, non solum poenas a Te iuste statutas promeritus sum, sed praesertim quia offendi Te, summum bonum, ac dignum qui super omnia diligaris. Ideo firmiter propono, adiuvante gratia Tua, de cetero me non peccaturum peccandique occasiones proximas fugiturum. Amen.

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathleen said...

Thank you, NC, for this reminder, I can use heaping helpings of prodding.

Having Rorate Caeli during this time has been consoling and I'm grateful.

Lynne said...

Jay, trust me, you don't want Cardinal O'Malley as the next pope!

Background on Cardinal O'Malley

Eoin Suibhne said...

"The observance of Lent is the very badge of the Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of the cross of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God's glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, and of private woe." - Pope Benedict XIV, Non ambigimus, May 30, 1741

Jay said...

Thanks Lynne for the info re: Cardinal O'Malley background, very appreciated.