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From the Franciscan Minims

MexicoVergel         March • April 2005         No. 3–4



The Crucifix of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Mexico City. 1921

The Crucifix of Our Lady of Guadalupe


FTER the conquest of Mexico by Hernando Cortez in 1519, Christianity was introduced into the country by the prelates he brought with him from Spain. By the year 1525 missionary work was well underway, principally by the Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians and the Jesuits. Conversions were numerous and the faith flourished. The Church operated in peace until the Mexican wars of independence took place between the years 1810-1821. Little by little, laws began to be passed against the Church through the influence of the Freemasons, an organization that had been introduced into Mexico by Joel R. Poinsett. When the Mexican Constitution was adopted in 1857, separation of church and state was decreed. Under the presidency of church-educated Benito Juarez and his successor, President Lerdo de Tejada, laws against the Church were stringently enforced, producing a veritable persecution.

Under the various laws, official recognition that was formerly given to ecclesiastical persons and corporations was withdrawn. No religious rite or demonstration of any kind was permitted outside church buildings. The State claimed possession of all church buildings. All religious orders were suppressed, as were all confraternities and organizations annexed to religious communities. According to law, all religious were reduced to the secular state and were forbidden to wear their religious habits in public. Superiors of communities were regarded as state criminals. The laws went on and on. Finally, in 1867, all relations with the Vatican were discontinued.

Despite the restrictions placed on the Church in Mexico, the faith was maintained. Today, Mexico is regarded as being overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. Although Mexico’s churches were closed around the year 1921, the nation’s beloved shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe remained open for public services.   (continued on p. 25).

Reflections is ------




"Never suffer pride to reign in thy mind or in thy words, for from it all perdition took its beginning." (Tobias 4:14).
“Pride is a weakness in the character; it dries up laughter, it dries up wonder, it dries up chivalry and energy.” -- Chesterton


F life at times is sad, it is because of sins in general and especially because of pride, the first sin and source of all other sins. In this issue we have two articles about pride, by Granada and Chesterton.

The beginning of all sin

In the Old Testament it is written: “Pride is the beginning of all sin: he that holdeth it, shall be filled with maledictions, and it shall ruin him in the end. Therefore hath the Lord disgraced the assemblies of the wicked, and hath utterly destroyed them. God hath overturned the thrones of proud princes, and hath set up the meek in their stead. ….. God hath abolished the memory of the proud, and hath preserved the memory of them that are humble in mind. Pride was not made for men: nor wrath for the race of women.” (Ecclesiasticus, ch. 10)

On April 5, 1970, Our Lord told the Portavoz that his wrath would fall upon humanity soon, if they did not humble themselves “and such will befall those who are stubborn and who do not amend their lives.”

Our Lord said that only those who are as children will enter into his kingdom, that is, those who humble themselves. The legion of victim souls is so urgent now, because people need grace to understand all these truths. There is so much sadness in the world, because of sin and of pride. The more humility there is, the more joy and happiness there will be, and the sooner God will triumph. He can only triumph, if we pay attention to what he wants.

May it be for the glory of God
The Vergel of the Immaculate Virgin of Guadalupe
Feb. 24, 2005    Feast of St. Matthias

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“All those who yield themselves to My way of the cross and suffering, will be blessed for all eternity.”
April 23, 1969


The  Boy  King

IT seems an odd coincidence, that within a few years after the death of King Hezekiah—about the start of the sixth century before Christ—a manuscript was found in Judah that was to have a profound effect upon the people. This is how that discovery came about:

The affliction of the times, the apostasy, the infidelity, the turning back to God and then away from Him again, all were going on as usual. There were unspeakable abominations under Manasseh, and after Manasseh was gone his son, the young King Amon, was murdered and then there came to the throne a boy called Josiah.

Between Rehoboam, the long-ago and very first king of Judah, and Josiah, the boy king, there lay a period of more than three centuries. Now at the end of those three hundred and fifty years the kingdom of David had sunk to a new low level. Now only did the great soul and words of Isaiah fail to have any permanent effect on the population; even confronted with the terrifying lesson of Israel, the northern kingdom, wiped from the face of the earth for its persistent sins, Judah sill clung to unregenerate ways.

Little Josiah was eight years old when he was placed on the throne once occupied by the majestic shepherd lad of Bethlehem. Of course he had to be guided by older heads and hands, but by the time he had turned sixteen the royal boy showed a zealous spirit for the restoration of the Lord as the only true God. And there was no outside disapproval; instead, there was opportunity for religious leadership and reform in Judah now. For the Assyrians, who from without really dominated the politics of the kingdom, were indifferent about such matters, being themselves harassed by onrushing hordes of barbarian Scythians. Indeed, the great Assyrian Empire was trembling before a ferocity that seemed more than a match for its own; the Assyrians were getting at last a taste of their own bitter medicine.

In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s rule, with no threat against peace on the horizon of Judah, the high priest Hilkiah was given orders by the young king. The Temple of Solomon must again be repaired. For what purpose? For the sole purpose of restoring undivided worship of the one true God. Meanwhile King Josiah had also commanded a general abolition of idolatry. Everywhere within the borders of Judah images and altars of Baal were burned to rubble. Human sacrifices, a son or daughter to Moloch, a murderous practice which the late King Manasseh had encouraged, were forbidden, as were other unspeakable rites. The very dust of the places polluted by heathen worship was carried off and strewn deep in the valley of Kidron. And the golden bulls and calves set up long before, by King Jeroboam in Bethel and Dan, were pulled down and melted.

Josiah was twenty-six years old when the repair work on Solomon’s Temple was begun. Even from the poorest of his subjects there came voluntary contributions; yes, and also from the remnant of the ten tribes left up in Israel. The long-neglected sanctuary of Solomon’s genius was to take on again some of its lost beauty and grandeur.

Still to come was the most thrilling event of all this period of belated reformation. One day Hilkiah, the high priest, found in a closed and forgotten chamber of the Temple a dusty manuscript, or scroll. It was a copy of early Scriptures assembled under the title of “The Law of the Lord given to Moses.” No one is quite sure today if all the Pentateuch was included in this scroll, or merely certain parts. In whole or in part, the sacred words lifted the hearts of the people—sacred words beyond all price. After so many years a reverent reading of the text brought home poignantly to the people their supreme offense of neglect and indifference to their heritage from the one true God.

A divine message had for so long been treated as so much trash!

Hilkiah commanded the scribe Shaphan at once to read the documents to the king. As its promises and curses were solemnly read to him, King Josiah was shaken with consternation. Clearly enough he saw that Judah by its centuries of waywardness had forfeited great promises of the past and had earned only curses. In his prolonged agitation, King Josiah even drew into consultation a prophetess, Huldah—but she could give him no comfort. Woe, woe, woe—such was all the burden of her soothsaying.

Nevertheless, it was decided to have the law read aloud again in the presence of the people. The covenant with the Lord was renewed. Also the Feast of the Passover was to be reinstituted and kept religiously. Since Moses’ day it had fallen from remembrance except when Joshua held the memorial feast. Now they would go back to the forgotten piety of long ago. King Josiah saw to it that all these things were done.

Yet, even so, the future seemed ever darker. Could centuries of back-sliding, continuous breaking of God’s laws, be overlooked, and with no retribution exacted? True, the Lord God had always been quick to forgive the sinner. But all indications were that He was wrathful at Judah “because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked Him withal.” And the Lord had said, so Isaiah had reported: “I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel.”

The virtue of Josiah was not enough to fend off punishment for his people, and new prophets arose to make that fact clear. There was Zephaniah, who pronounced doom upon all wicked nations, doom at the hands of the barbarous Scythians, people who had had no benefits and promises such as the enlightenment the Lord had given to the favored people. Behold, the Scythians in their terrible chariots of wheeled knives were coming closer to Jerusalem! Thus the prophet Zephaniah, in that ominous time, about 630 B.C., first began to call upon the people to “change their minds,” to repent.

And Nahum, another prophet, added his voice to Zephaniah’s impassioned orations. Nahum drew a marrow-curdling picture of the approaching downfall of the highly civilized city of Nineveh. He foresaw it taken by the Babylonians, a prediction that actually came to pass in 612 B.C., while King Josiah still sat on the Judean throne. In a frenzy of joy and poetry Nahum hailed the end of Judah’s century-long enemy on the Euphrates:

“Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departs not, the noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the prancing horses, and of the jumping chariots. The horseman lifts up both the bright sword and the glittering spear; and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcasses; and there is no end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses. Behold, I am against you, says the Lord of hosts… and I will cast abominable filth upon you, and make you vile, and will set you as a gazing stock. And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon you shall flee from you and say, Nineveh is laid waste; who will bemoan her? Whence shall I seek comforters for you?... There is no healing of your bruise; your wound is grievous; all that hear the bruit of you shall clap the hands over you; for upon whom has not your wickedness passed continually?”

Soon a prophet greater than either Zephaniah or Nahum was to come forth and stand by his people and Jerusalem in their worst despair and desolation. This was Jeremiah, the great one, who served selflessly and valiantly “in the days of Josiah, Jehoiakim, and up to the eleventh year of Zedekiah, unto the carrying of Jerusalem captive.”

But Jeremiah’s forty years of labor for the Lord came mainly after the days of Josiah. The king’s earnest efforts met only with heartiest approval from the young prophet, though he was still only a fledgling priest of a village some three miles northeast of Jerusalem.

For most of his reign King Josiah ruled in peace, but finally he took up arms against the invading troops of Pharaoh Necho II of Egypt. These invaders were on their way northward to join forces with baited Assyria. When Josiah was killed in the famous Battle of Megiddo he was just 39 years old.

Thus died the last king of Judah who merited the name of a good and true man. In his prophecies Jeremiah lamented for him, and “the hill of Megiddo” became a symbol in the public mind for the eclipse of the last gleam of the people’s glory.

The Fall of Jerusalem

The last days of the southern kingdom were degraded almost beyond belief. It was as if a whole nation, with the few exceptions, had gone insane. The people seemed to have no sense of reality about what was happening in the world. They could not grasp the fact that the Battle of Megiddo was for them a disastrous defeat.    (To be continued)


Following  His  Footsteps

by  Anselmo  del  Álamo

Chapter 8.  Crosses

43. We do not go to Jesus except through Calvary. The graces of God are in proportion to the tribulations suffered.  St. Margaret of Cortona

44. Sufferings are the sign and the price of the authentic divine favors. Dom Columba Marmion

45. In their many crosses and trials my friends live joyfully, with the hope of attaining glory; they enjoy peace of heart, and tranquility of spirit, and in the midst of their afflictions they are more blessed and fortunate than worldly people with their false peace and all their pleasures. Hear the reason why I test them in so many ways: I abide and dwell in a soul, as in a paradise of delights, and I cannot permit it to take pleasure outside of me and to be-come fond of creatures; and because I wish to possess it chaste and pure, I surround it with thorns and I enclose it with adversities so that it cannot escape from my hands. I sow its path with anguish and with sorrows, so that it cannot rest in low and created things, and so that it may place all its happiness in the depths of my Divinity. The reward of its afflictions is so great, that all earthly hearts together could not comprehend it. Our Lord to Blessed Henry Suso

46. I know of nothing that sweetens so much the unpleasantness of life, as much as continuous suffering for love. This does not mean that one should ask for suffering, because the most perfect is always to not ask for anything and not to refuse anything. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

47. The only works and foundations that endure, are those based upon suffering and upon the Cross.  Dom Thibaut

Remedies against Pride

By Venerable Louis of Granada

We have already called the deadly or capital sins the sources of all iniquity. They are the roots of the mighty tree of vice, and if we can destroy them the trunk and branches must soon decay. With them, therefore, we shall begin, following the example of Cassian and other spiritual writers, who were so firmly convinced that if they could only rout these enemies the defeat of the others would be an easy task.

St. Thomas gives us a profound reason for this. All sin, he says, proceeds from self-love, for we never commit sin without coveting some gratification for self. From self-love spring those three branches of sin mentioned by St. John: "the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 Jn. 2:16), which are love of pleasure, love of riches, and love of honors. Three of the deadly sins, lust, gluttony, and sloth, spring from love of pleasure, pride springs from love of honors, and covetousness from love of riches. The remaining two, anger and envy, serve all these unlawful loves. Anger is aroused by any obstacle which prevents us from attaining what we desire, and envy is excited when we behold any-one possessing what our self-love claims. These are the three roots of the seven deadly sins, and consequently of all the others. Let these chiefs be destroyed and the whole army will soon be routed. Hence we must vigorously attack these mighty giants who dispute our entrance to the promised land.

The first and most formidable of these enemies is pride, that inordinate desire of our own excellence, which spiritual writers universally regard as the father and king of all the other vices. Hence Tobias, among the numerous good counsels which he gave his son, particularly warns him against pride: "Never suffer pride to reign in thy mind or in thy words, for from it all perdition took its beginning." (Tob. 4:14). Whenever, therefore, you are attacked by this vice, which may justly be called a pestilence, defend yourself with the following considerations:

First reflect on the terrible punishment which the angels brought upon themselves by one sin of pride. They were instantly cast from Heaven into the lowest depths of Hell. Consider how this fall trans-formed Lucifer, the prince of the angelic hosts, and the bright and beautiful star surpassing in splendor the sun itself. In one moment he lost all his glory, and became not only a demon but the chief of demons. If pure spirits received such punishment, what can you expect, who are but dust and ashes? God is ever the same, and there is no distinction of persons before His justice.

Pride is as odious to Him in a man as in an angel, while humility is equally pleasing to Him in both. Hence St. Augustine says, "Humility makes men angels, and pride makes angels devils." And St. Bernard tells us, "Pride precipitates man from the highest elevation to the lowest abyss, but humility raises him from the lowest abyss to the highest elevation. Through pride the angels fell from Heaven to Hell, and through humility man is raised from earth to Heaven."

After this, reflect on that astonishing example of humility given us by the Son of God, who for love of us took upon Himself a nature so infinitely beneath His own, and "became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Phil. 2:8). Let the example of your God teach you, O man, to be obedient. Learn, O dust, to humble yourself. Learn, O clay, to appreciate your baseness. Learn from your God, O Christian, to be "meek and humble of heart." (Matt. 11:29). If you disdain to walk in the footsteps of men, will you refuse to follow your God, who died not only to redeem us but to teach us humility? Look upon yourself and you will find sufficient motives for humility. Consider what you were before your birth, what you are since your birth, and what you will be after death. Before your birth you were, for a time, an unformed mass; now a fair but false exterior covers what is doomed to corruption; and in a little while you will be the food of worms. Upon what do you pride yourself, O man, whose birth is ignominy, whose life is misery, whose end is corruption? If you are proud of your riches and worldly position, remember that a few years more and death will make us all equal. We are all equal at birth with regard to our natural condition; and as to the necessity of dying, we shall all be equal at death, with this important exception: that those who possessed most during life will have most to account for in the day of reckoning.

"Examine," says St. Chrysostom, "the graves of the rich and powerful of this world, and find, if you can, some trace of the luxury in which they lived, of the pleasures they so eagerly sought and so abundantly enjoyed. What remains of their magnificent retinues and costly adornments? What remains of those ingenious devices destined to gratify their senses and banish the weariness of life? What has become of that brilliant society by which they were surrounded? Where are the numerous attendants who awaited their commands? Nothing remains of their sumptuous banquets. The sounds of laughter and mirth are no longer heard; a somber silence reigns in these homes of the dead. But draw nearer and see what remains of their earthly tenements, their bodies which they loved too much. Naught but dust and ashes, worms and corruption."

This is the inevitable fate of the human body, however tenderly and delicately nurtured. Ah! Would to God that the evil ended here! But more terrible still is all that follows death: the dread tribunal of God's justice; the sentence passed upon the guilty; the weeping and gnashing of teeth; the tortures of the worm that never dies; and the fire which will never be extinguished.

Consider also the danger of vainglory, the daughter of pride, which as St. Bernard says, enters lightly but wounds deeply. There-fore, when men praise you, think whether you really possess the qualities for which they commend you. If you do not, you have no reason to be proud. But if you have justly merited their praise, re-member the gifts of God, and say with the Apostle, "By the grace of God I am what I am." (1 Cor. 15:10). Humble yourself, then, when you hear the song of praise, and refer all to the glory of God. Thus you will render yourself not unworthy of what He bestows upon you. For it is incontestable that the respect men pay you, and the good for which they honor you, are due to God. You rob Him, therefore, of all the merit which you appropriate to yourself. Can any servant be more unfaithful than one who steals his master's glory? Consider, more-over, how unreasonable it is to rate your merit by the inconstant opinion of men who today are for you, and tomorrow against you; who today honor you, and tomorrow revile you. If your merit rests upon so slight a foundation, at one time you will be great, at another base, and again nothing at all, according to the capricious variations of the minds of men.

Oh, no; do not rely upon the vain commendations of others, but upon what you really know of yourself. Though men extol you to the skies, listen to the warnings of your conscience and accept the testimony of this intimate friend rather than the blind opinion of those who can judge you only from a distance and by what they hear. Make no account of the judgments of men, but commit your glory to the care of God, whose wisdom will preserve it for you and whose fidelity will restore it to you in the sight of angels and men.

Be mindful also, O ambitious man, of the dangers to which you expose yourself by seeking to command others, How can you command when you have not yet learned to obey? How can you take upon yourself the care of others when you can hardly account for yourself? Consider what a risk you incur by adding to your own sins those of persons subject to your authority. Holy Scripture tells us that they who govern will be severely judged, and that the mighty shall be mightily tormented. (Cf. Wis. 6:6). Who can express the cares and troubles of one who is placed over many? We read of a certain king who, on the day of his coronation, took the crown in his hands, and, gazing upon it, exclaimed, "O crown richer in thorns than in happiness, did one truly know thee he would not stoop to pick thee up even if he found thee lying at his feet."

Again, O proud man, I would ask you to remember that your pride is displeasing to all – to God, who resists the proud and gives His grace to the humble (Cf. James 4:6); to the humble, who hold in horror all that savors of arrogance; and to the proud themselves, who naturally hate all who claim to be greater than they. Nor will you be pleasing to yourself. For if it ever be given to you in this world to enter into yourself and recognize the vanity and folly of your life, you will certainly be ashamed of your littleness. And if you do not correct it here, still less satisfaction will it afford you in the next world, where it will bring upon you eternal torments.

St. Bernard tells us that if we truly knew our hearts we would be displeasing to ourselves, which alone would make us pleasing to God; but because we do not know ourselves we are inflated with pride and therefore hateful in His sight. The time will come when 'we shall be odious to God and to ourselves – to God because of our crimes, and to ourselves because of the punishment they will bring upon us. Our pride pleases the devil only; for as it was pride which changed him from a pure and beautiful angel into a spirit of malice and deformity, he rejoices to find this evil reducing others to his unhappy state.

Another consideration which will help you acquire humility is the thought of the little you have done purely for God. How many vices assume the mask of virtue! How frequently vainglory spoils our best works! How many times actions which shine with dazzling splendor before men have no beauty before God! The judgments of God are different from those of men. A humble sinner is less displeasing in His sight than a proud just man, if one who is proud can be called just.

Nevertheless, though you have performed good works, do not forget your evil deeds, which probably far exceed your works of virtue, and which may be so full of faults and so negligently performed that you have more reason to ask to be forgiven for them than to hope for reward. Hence St. Gregory says: "Alas for the most virtuous life, if God judge it without mercy, for those things upon which we rely most may be the cause of the greatest confusion to us. Our bad actions are purely evil, but our good actions are seldom entirely good, but are frequently mixed with much that is imperfect. Your works, therefore, ought to be a subject of fear rather than confidence, after the example of holy Job, who says, 'I feared all my works, knowing that thou didst not spare the offender. '" (Job 9:28).

SECTION II  -- Particular Remedies (to be continued)



G. K. Chesterton

If I had only one sermon to preach, it would be a sermon against Pride. The more I see of existence, and especially of modern practical and experimental existence, the more I am convinced of the reality of the old religious thesis; that all evil began with some attempt at superiority; some moment when, as we might say, the very skies were cracked across like a mirror, because there was a sneer in Heaven.

Now the first fact to note about this notion is a rather curious one. Of all such notions, it is the one most generally dismissed in theory and most universally accepted in practice. Modern men imagine that such a theological idea is quite remote from them; and, stated as a theological idea, it probably is remote from them. But, as a matter of fact, it is too close to them to be recognised. It is so completely a part of their minds and morals and instincts, I might almost say of their bodies, that they take it for granted and act on it even before they think of it. It is actually the most popular of all moral ideas; and yet it is almost entirely unknown as a moral idea. No truth is now so un-familiar as a truth, or so familiar as a fact.

Let us put the fact to a trifling but not unpleasing test. Let us suppose that the reader, or (preferably) the writer, is going into a public-house or some public place of social intercourse; a public tube or tram might do as well, except that it seldom allows of such long and philosophical intercourse as did the old public house. Anyhow, let us suppose any place where men of motley but ordinary types assemble; mostly poor because the majority is poor some moderately comfortable but rather what is snobbishly called common; an average handful of human beings. Let us suppose that the enquirer, politely approaching this group, opens the conversation in a chatty way by saying, "Theologians are of opinion that it was one of the superior angelic intelligences seeking to become the supreme object of worship, instead of finding his natural joy in worshipping, which dislocated the providential design and frustrated the full joy and completion of the cosmos". After making these remarks the enquirer will gaze round brightly and expectantly at the company for corroboration, at the same time ordering such refreshments as may be ritually fitted to the place or time, or perhaps merely offering cigarettes or cigars to the whole company, to fortify them against the strain. In any case, we may well admit that such a company will find it something of a strain to accept the formula in the above form. Their comments will probably be disjointed and detached; whether they take the form of "Lorlumme" (a beautiful thought slurred somewhat in pronunciation), or even "Gorblimme" (an image more sombre but fortunately more obscure), or merely the unaffected form of "Garn"; a statement quite free from doctrinal and denominational teaching, like our State compulsory education. In short, he who shall attempt to state this theory as a theory to the average crowd of the populace will doubtless find that he is talking in an unfamiliar language. Even if he states the matter in the simplified form, that Pride is the worst of the Seven Deadly Sins, he will only produce a vague and rather unfavourable impression that he is preaching. But he is only preaching what everybody else is practising; or at least is wanting everybody else to practise.

Let the scientific enquirer continue to cultivate the patience of science. Let him linger--at any rate let me linger-- in the place of popular entertainment whatever it may be, and take very careful note (if necessary in a note-book) of the way in which ordinary human beings do really talk about each other. As he is a scientific enquirer with a note-book, it is very likely that he never saw any ordinary human beings before. But if he will listen carefully, he will observe a certain tone taken towards friends, foes and acquaintances; a tone which is, on the whole, creditably genial and considerate, though not without strong likes and dislikes. He will hear abundant if sometimes bewildering allusion to the well-known weaknesses of Old George; but many excuses also, and a certain generous pride in conceding that Old George is quite the gentleman when drunk, or that he told the policeman off proper. Some celebrated idiot, who is always spotting winners that never win, will be treated with almost tender derision; and, especially among the poorest, there will be a true Christian pathos in the reference to those who have been "in trouble" for habits like burglary and petty larceny. And as all these queer types are called up like ghosts by the incantation of gossip, the enquirer will gradually form the impression that there is one kind of man, probably only one kind of man, perhaps, only one man, who is really disliked. The voices take on quite a different tone in speaking of him; there is a hardening and solidification of disapproval and a new coldness in the air. And this will be all the more curious because, by the current modern theories of social or antisocial action, it will not be at all easy to say why he should be such a monster; or what exactly is the matter with him. It will be hinted at only in singular figures of speech, about a gentleman who is mistakenly convinced that he owns the street; or sometimes that be owns the earth. Then one of the social critics will say, "'E comes in 'ere and 'e thinks 'e's Gawd Almighty." Then the scientific enquirer will shut his note-book with a snap and retire from the scene, possibly after paying for any drinks he may have consumed in the cause of social science. He has got what he wanted. He has been intellectually justified. The man in the pub has precisely repeated, word for word, the theological formula about Satan.

Pride is a poison so very poisonous that it not only poisons the virtues; it even poisons the other vices. This is what is felt by the poor men in the public tavern, when they tolerate the tippler or the tipster or even the thief, but feel something fiendishly wrong with the man who bears so close a resemblance to God Almighty. And we all do in fact know that the primary sin of pride has this curiously freezing and hardening effect upon the other sins. A man may be very susceptible and in sex matters rather loose; he may waste himself on passing and unworthy passions, to the hurt of his soul; and yet always retain something which makes friendship with his own sex at least possible, and even faithful and satisfying. But once let that sort of man regard his own weakness as a strength, and you have somebody entirely different. You have the Lady-Killer; the most beastly of all possible bounders; the man whom his own sex almost always has the healthy instinct to hate and despise. A man may be naturally slothful and rather irresponsible; he may neglect many duties through carelessness, and his friends may still understand him, so long as it is really a careless carelessness. But it is the devil and all when it becomes a careful carelessness. It is the devil and all when he becomes a deliberate and self-conscious Bohemian, sponging on principle, preying on society in the name of his own genius (or rather of his own belief in his own genius) taxing the world like a king on the plea that he is a poet, and despising better men than himself who work that he may waste. It is no metaphor to say that it is the devil and all. By the same fine old original religious formula, it is all of the devil. We could go through any number of social types illustrating the same spiritual truth. It would be easy to point out that even the miser, who is half-ashamed of his madness, is a more human and sympathetic type than the millionaire who brags and boasts of his avarice and calls it sanity and simplicity and the strenuous life. It would be easy to point out that even cowardice, as a mere collapse of the nerves, is better than cowardice as an ideal and theory of the intellect; and that a really imaginative person will have more sympathy with men who, like cattle, yield to what they know is panic, than with a certain particular type of prig who preaches something that he calls peace. Men hate priggishness because it is the driest form of pride.

Thus there is a paradox in the whole position. The spiritual idea of the evil of pride, especially spiritual pride, was dismissed as a piece of mysticism not needed by modern morality, which is to be purely social and practical. And, as a fact, it is very specially needed because the morality is social and practical. On the assumption that we need care for nothing except making other human beings happy, this is quite certainly the thing that will make them unhappy. The practical case against pride, as a mere source of social discomfort and discord, is if possible even more self-evident than the more mystical case against it, as a setting up of the self against the soul of the world. And yet though we see this thing on every side in modern life, we really hear very little about it in modern literature and ethical theory. Indeed, a great deal of modern literature and ethics might be meant specially for the encouragement of spiritual pride. Scores of scribes and sages are busy writing about the importance of self-culture and self-realisation; about how every child is to be taught to develop his personality (whatever that may be); about how every man must devote himself to success, and every successful man must devote himself to developing a magnetic and compelling personality; about how every man may become a superman (by taking Our Correspondence Course) or, in the more sophisticated and artistic type of fiction, how one specially superior superman can learn to look down on the mere mob of ordinary supermen, who form the population of that peculiar world. Modern theory, as a whole, is rather encouraging egoism. But we need not be alarmed about that. Modern practice, being exactly like ancient practice, is still heartily discouraging it. The man with the strong magnetic personality is still the man whom those who know him best desire most warmly to kick out of the club. The man in a really acute stage of self-realisation is a no more pleasing object in the club than in the pub. Even the most enlightened and scientific sort of club can see through the superman; and see that he has become a bore. It is in practice that the philosophy of pride breaks down; by the test of the moral instincts of man wherever two or three are gathered together; and it is the mere experience of modern humanity that answers the modern heresy.

There is indeed another practical experience, known to us all, even more pungent and vivid than the actual unpopularity of the bully or the bumptious fool. We all know that there is a thing called egoism that is much deeper than egotism. Of all spiritual diseases it is the most intangible and the most intolerable. It is said to be allied to hysteria; it sometimes looks as if it were allied to diabolic possession. It is that condition in which the victim does a thousand varying things from one unvarying motive of a devouring vanity; and sulks or smiles, slanders or praises, conspires and intrigues or sits still and does nothing, all in one unsleeping vigilance over the social effect of one single person. It is amazing to me that in the modern world, that chatters perpetually about psychology and sociology, about the tyranny with which we are threatened by a few feeble-minded infants, about alcoholic poisoning and the treatment of neurotics, about half a hundred things that are near the subject and never on the spot-- it is amazing that these moderns really have so very little to say about the cause and cure of a moral condition that poisons nearly every family and every circle of friends. There is hardly a practical psychologist who has anything to say about it that is half so illuminating as the literal exactitude of the old maxim of the priest; that pride is from hell. For there is something awfully vivid and appallingly fixed, about this madness at its worst, that makes that short and antiquated word seem much more apt than any other. And then, as I say, the learned go wandering away into discourses about drink or tobacco, about the wickedness of wine glasses or the incredible character of public-houses. The wickedest work in this world is symbolised not by a wine glass but by a looking-glass; and it is not done in public-houses, but in the most private of all private houses which is a house of mirrors.

The phrase would probably be misunderstood; but I should begin my sermon by telling people not to enjoy themselves. I should tell them to enjoy dances and theatres and joy-rides and champagne and oysters; to enjoy jazz and cocktails and night-clubs if they can enjoy nothing better; to enjoy bigamy and burglary and any crime in the calendar, in preference to this other alternative; but never to learn to enjoy themselves. Human beings are happy so long as they retain the receptive power and the power of reaction in surprise and gratitude to something outside. So long as they have this they have as the greatest minds have always declared, a something that is present in childhood and which can still preserve and invigorate manhood. The moment the self within is consciously felt as something superior to any of the gifts that can be brought to it, or any of the adventures that it may enjoy, there has appeared a sort of self-devouring fastidiousness and a disenchantment in advance, which fulfils all the Tartarean emblems of thirst and of despair.

Difficulties can easily be raised, of course, in any such debate by the accident of words being used in different senses; and sometimes in quite contrary senses. For instance, when we speak of somebody being "proud of" something, as of a man being proud of his wife or a people proud of its heroes, we really mean something that is the very opposite of pride. For it implies that the man thinks that something outside himself is needed to give him great glory; and such a glory is really acknowledged as a gift. In the same way, the word will certainly be found misleading, if I say that the worst and most depresssing element in the mixed elements of the present and the immediate future, seems to me to be an element of impudence. For there is a kind of impudence that we all find either amusing or bracing; as in the impudence of the guttersnipe. But there again the circumstances disarm the thing of its real evil. The quality commonly called "cheek" is not an assertion of superiority; but rather a bold attempt to balance inferiority. When you walk up to a very wealthy and powerful nobleman and playfully tip his hat over his eyes (as is your custom) you are not suggesting that you yourself are above all human follies, but rather that you are capable of them, and that he also ought to have a wider and richer experience of them. When you dig a Royal Duke in the waistcoat, in your playful manner, you are not taking yourself too seriously, but only, perhaps, not taking him so seriously as is usually thought correct. This sort of impudence may be open to criticism, as it is certainly subject to dangers. But there is a sort of hard intellectual impudence, which really treats itself as intangible to retort or judgment; and there are a certain number among the new generations and social movements, who fall into this fundamental weakness. It is a weakness; for it is simply settling down permanently to believe what even the vain and foolish can only believe by fits and starts, but what all men wish to believe and are often found weak enough to believe; that they themselves constitute the supreme standard of things. Pride consists in a man making his personality the only test, instead of making the truth the test. It is not pride to wish to do well, or even to look well, according to a real test. It is pride to think that a thing looks ill, because it does not look like something characteristic of oneself. Now in the general clouding of clear and abstract standards, there is a real tendency today for a young man (and even possibly a young woman) to fall back on that personal test, simply for lack of any trustworthy impersonal test.

No standard being sufficiently secure for the self to be moulded to suit it, all standards may be moulded to suit the self. But the self as a self is a very small thing and something very like an accident. Hence arises a new kind of narrowness; which exists especially in those who boast of breadth. The sceptic feels himself too large to measure life by the largest things; and ends by measuring it by the smallest thing of all. There is produced also a sort of subconscious ossification; which hardens the mind not only against the traditions of the past, but even against the surprises of the future. Nil admirari becomes the motto of all nihilists; and it ends, in the most complete and exact sense, in nothing. If I had only one sermon to preach, I certainly could not end it in honour, without testifying to what is in my knowledge the salt and preservative of all these things. This is but one of a thousand things in which I have found the Catholic Church to be right, when the whole world is perpetually tending to be wrong; and without its witness, I believe that this secret, at once a sanity and a subtlety, would be almost entirely forgotten among men.

I know that I for one had hardly heard of positive humility until I came within the range of Catholic influence; and even the things that I love most, such as liberty and the island poetry of England, had in this matter lost the way, and were in a fog of self-deception. Indeed there is no better example of the definition of pride than the definition of patriotism. It is the noblest of all natural affections, exactly so long as it consists of saying, "May I be worthy of England." It is the beginning of one of the blindest forms of Pharisaism when the patriot is content to say, "I am an Englishman." And I cannot count it an accident that the patriot has generally seen the flag as a flame of vision, beyond and better than himself, in countries of the Catholic tradition, like France and Poland and Ireland; and has hardened into this heresy of admiring merely his own breed and bone and inherited type, and himself as a part of it, in the places most remote from that religion, whether in Berlin or Belfast. In short, if I had only one sermon to preach, it would be one that would profoundly annoy the congregation, by bringing to their attention the permanent challenge of the Church. If I had only one sermon to preach, I should feel specially confident that I should not be asked to preach another.


The Great Shipwreck as Analogy

G. K. Chesterton

May 11, 1912  ------ The Illustrated London News

The tragedy of the great shipwreck is too terrific for any analogies of mere fancy. But the analogy which springs to the mind between the great modern ship and our great modern society that sent it forth--this analogy is not a fancy. It is a fact; a fact perhaps too large and plain for the eyes easily to take in. Our whole civilization is indeed very like the TITANIC; alike in its power and its impotence, it security and its insecurity. Technically considered, the sufficiency of the precautions are a matter for technical inquiry. But psychologically considered, there can be no doubt that such vast elaboration and system induce a frame of mind which is inefficient rather than efficient. Quite apart from the question of whether anyone was to blame, the big outstanding fact remains: that there was no sort of sane pro-portion between the provision for luxury and levity, and the extent of the provision for need and desperation. The scheme did far too much for prosperity and far too little for distress--just like the modern State. Mr. Veneering, it will be remembered, in his electoral address, "instituted a new and striking comparison between the State and a ship"; the comparison, if not new, is becoming a little too striking. By the time you have made your ship as big as a commonwealth it does become very like a ship--rather like a sinking ship.

For there is a real connection between such catastrophes and a certain frame of mind which refuses to expect them. A rough man going about the sea in a small boat may make every other kind of mistake: he may obey superstitions; he may take too much rum; he may get drunk; he may get drowned. But, cautious or reckless, drunk or sober, he cannot forget that he is in a boat and that a boat is as dangerous a beast as a wild horse. The very lines of the boat have the swift poetry of peril; the very carriage and gestures of the boat are those of a thing assailed. But if you make your boat so large that it does not even look like a boat, but like a sort of watering-place, it must, by the deepest habit of human nature, induce a less vigilant attitude of the mind. An aristocrat on board ship who travels with a garage for his motor almost feels as if he were travelling with the trees of his park. People living in open-air cafes sprinkled with liqueurs and ices get as far from the thought of any revolt of the elements as they are from that of an earthquake under the Hotel Cecil. The mental process is quite illogical, but it is quite inevitable. Of course, both sailors and passengers are intellectually aware that motors at sea are often less useful than life-boats, and that ices are no antidote to icebergs. But man is not only governed by what he thinks but by what he chooses to think about; and the sights that sink into us day by day colour our minds with every tint between insolence and terror. This is one of the worst evils in that extreme separation of social classes which marks the modern ship--and State.

But whether or no our unhappy fellow-creatures on the TITANIC suffered more than they need from this unreality of original outlook, they cannot have had less instinct of actuality than we have who are left alive on land: and now that they are dead they are much more real than we. They have known what papers and politicians never know--of what man is really made, and what manner of thing is our nature at its best and worst. It is this curious, cold, flimsy incapacity to conceive what a THING is like that appears in so many places, even in the comments on this astounding sorrow. It appears in the displeasing incident of Miss Sylvia Pankhurst, who, immediately after the disaster, seems to have hastened to assure the public that men must get no credit for giving the boats up to women, because it was the "rule" at sea. Whether this was a graceful thing for a gay spinster to say to eight hundred widows in the very hour of doom is not worth inquiry here, Like cannibalism, it is a matter of taste. But what chiefly astonishes me in the remark is the utter absence which it reveals of the rudiments of political thought. What does Miss Pankhurst imagine a "rule" is--a sort of basilisk? Some hundreds of men are, in the exact and literal sense of the proverb, between the devil and the deep sea. It is their business, if they can make up their minds to it, to accept the deep sea and resist the devil. What does Miss Pankhurst suppose a "rule" could do to them in such extremities? Does she think the captain would fine every man sixpence who expressed a preference for his life? Has it occurred to her that a hundredth part of the ship's population could have thrown the captain and all the authorities into the sea? But Miss Pankhurst's remark although imbecile, is informing. Now I see the abject and idolatrous way in which she uses the word "rule," I begin to understand the abject and idolatrous way in which she uses the word "vote." She cannot see that wills and not words control events. If ever she is in a fire or shipwreck with men below a certain standard of European morals, she will soon find out that the existence of a rule depends on whether people can be induced to obey it. And if she ever has a vote in the very low state of European politics, she will very soon find out that its importance depends on whether you can induce the man you vote for to obey his mandate or any of his promises. It is vain to rule if your subjects can and do disobey you. It is vain to vote if your delegates can and do disobey you.

But, indeed, a real rule can do without such exceptions as the Suffragettes; de minimis non curat lex. And if the word "rule" be used in the wider sense of an attempt to maintain a certain standard of private conduct out of respect for public opinion, we can only say that not only is this a real moral triumph, but it is, in our present condition, rather a surprising and reassuring one. It is exactly this corporate conscience that the modern State has dangerously neglected. There was probably more instinctive fraternity and sense of identical interests, I will say, not on an old skipper's vessel, but on an old pirate's, than there was between the emigrants, the aristocrats, the journalists, or the millionaires who set out to die together on the great ship. That they found in so cruel a way their brotherhood and the need of man for the respect of his neighbour, this is a dreadful fact, but certainly the reverse of a degrading one. The case of Mr. Stead, which I feel with rather special emotions, both of sympathy and difference, is very typical of the whole tragedy. Mr. Stead was far too great and brave a man to require any concealment of his exaggerations or his more unbalanced moods; his strength was in a flaming certainty, which one only weakens by calling sincerity, and a hunger and thirst for human sympathy. His excess, we may say, with real respect, was in the direction of megalomania; a childlike belief in big empires, big newspapers, big alliances--big ships. He toiled like a Titan for that Anglo-American combination of which the ship that has gone down may well be called the emblem. And at the last all these big things broke about him, and somewhat bigger things remained: a courage that was entirely individual; a kindness that was entirely universal. His death may well become a legend.

The Fiction that Came True

A floating palace sailed from Southampton in 1898 on her maiden voyage. It was the biggest and grandest liner ever built, and rich passengers savoured its luxury as they journeyed to the United States. But the ship never reached its destination. Its hull was ripped open by an iceberg, and it sank with heavy loss of life.

That liner existed only on paper, in the imagination of a novelist named Morgan Robertson. The name he gave to his fictional ship was Titan, and the book’s title was Futility.

But the fiction and the futility were to turn into terrifying fact. Fourteen years later a real luxury liner set out on a similar maiden voyage. It too was laden with rich passengers. It too rammed an iceberg and sank; and, as in Robertson’s novel, the loss of life was fearful because there were not enough lifeboats. It was the night of April 14, 1912. The ship was the RMS Titanic.

In many other ways than the similarity of their names the Titan of Robertson’s novel was a near duplicate of the real Titanic. They were roughly the same size, had the same speed and the same carrying capacity of about 3,000 people. Both were “unsinkable”. And both sank in exactly the same spot in the North Atlantic.

But the strange coincidences do not end there. The famous journalist W.T. Stead published, in 1892, a short story that proved to be a preview of the Titanic disaster. Stead was a Spiritualist: He was also one of the 1,513 people who died when the Titanic went down.

Neither Robertson’s horror novel nor Stead’s prophetic story served as a warning to the Titanic’s captain in 1912. But a recollection of that appalling tragedy did save another ship in similar circumstances 23 years later.

A young seaman named William Reeves was standing watch in the bow of a tramp steamer, Canada-bound from England in 1935. It was April—the month of the iceberg disasters, real and fictional—and young Reeves had brooded deeply on them. His watch was due to end at midnight. This, he knew, was the time the Titanic had hit the iceberg. Then, as now, the sea had been calm.

These thoughts took shape and swelled into omens in the seaman’s mind as he stood his lonely watch. His tired, bloodshot eyes strained ahead for any sign of danger, but there was nothing to be seen; nothing but a horizonless, impenetrable gloom. He was scared to shout an alarm, fearing his shipmates’ ridicule. But he also was scared not to do so.

Then, suddenly, he remembered the exact date of the Titanic accident—April 14, 1912. The coincidence was terrifying—it was the day he had been born. He shouted out a danger warning, and the helmsman rang the signal: engines full astern. The ship churned to a halt—just yards from a huge iceberg that towered menacingly out of the night.

More deadly icebergs crowded in around the tramp steamer, and it took nine days for icebreakers from Newfoundland to smash a way clear.

The name of the ship that nearly shared the Titanic’s fate was, ironically, the Titanian.

The Romance of Orthodoxy
G.K. Chesterton

This was the big fact about Christian ethics; the discovery of the new balance. Paganism had been like a pillar of marble, upright because proportioned with symmetry. Christianity was like a huge and ragged and romantic rock, which, though it sways on its pedestal at a touch, yet, because its exaggerated excrescences exactly balance each other, is enthroned there for a thousand years. In a Gothic cathedral the columns were all different, but they were all necessary. Every support seemed an accidental and fantastic support; every buttress was a flying buttress. So in Christendom apparent accidents balanced. Becket wore a hair shirt under his gold and crimson, and there is much to be said for the combination; for Becket got the benefit of the hair shirt while the people in the street got the benefit of the crimson and gold. It is at least better than the manner of the modern millionaire, who has the black and the drab outwardly for others, and the gold next his heart. But the balance was not always in one man's body as in Becket's; the balance was often distributed over the whole body of Christendom. Because a man prayed and fasted on the Northern snows, flowers could be flung at his festival in the Southern cities; and because fanatics drank water on the sands of Syria, men could still drink cider in the orchards of England. This is what makes Christendom at once so much more perplexing and so much more interesting than the Pagan empire; just as Amiens Cathedral is not better but more interesting than the Parthenon. If any one wants a modern proof of all this, let him consider the curious fact that, under Christianity, Europe (while remaining a unity) has broken up into individual nations. Patriotism is a perfect example of this deliberate balancing of one emphasis against another emphasis. The instinct of the Pagan empire would have said, "You shall all be Roman citizens, and grow alike; let the German grow less slow and reverent; the Frenchmen less experimental and swift." But the instinct of Christian Europe says, "Let the German remain slow and reverent, that the Frenchman may the more safely be swift and experimental. We will make an equipoise out of these excesses. The absurdity called Germany shall correct the insanity called France."

Last and most important, it is exactly this which explains what is so inexplicable to all the modern critics of the history of Christianity. I mean the monstrous wars about small points of theology, the earthquakes of emotion about a gesture or a word. It was only a matter of an inch; but an inch is everything when you are balancing. The Church could not afford to swerve a hair's breadth on some things if she was to continue her great and daring experiment of the irregular equilibrium. Once let one idea become less powerful and some other idea would become too powerful. It was no flock of sheep the Christian shepherd was leading, but a herd of bulls and tigers, of terrible ideals and devouring doctrines, each one of them strong enough to turn to a false religion and lay waste the world. Remember that the Church went in specifically for dangerous ideas; she was a lion tamer. The idea of birth through a Holy Spirit, of the death of a divine being, of the forgiveness of sins, or the fulfilment of prophecies, are ideas which, any one can see, need but a touch to turn them into something blasphemous or ferocious. The smallest link was let drop by the artificers of the Mediterranean, and the lion of ancestral pessimism burst his chain in the forgotten forests of the north. Of these theological equalisations I have to speak afterwards. Here it is enough to notice that if some small mistake were made in doctrine, huge blunders might be made in human happiness. A sentence phrased wrong about the nature of symbolism would have broken all the best statues in Europe. A slip in the definitions might stop all the dances; might wither all the Christmas trees or break all the Easter eggs. Doctrines had to be defined within strict limits, even in order that man might enjoy general human liberties. The Church had to be careful, if only that the world might be careless.

This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad. It was the equilibrium of a man behind madly rushing horses, seeming to stoop this way and to sway that, yet in every attitude having the grace of statuary and the accuracy of arithmetic. The Church in its early days went fierce and fast with any warhorse; yet it is utterly unhistoric to say that she merely went mad along one idea, like a vulgar fanaticism. She swerved to left and right, so exactly as to avoid enormous obstacles. She left on one hand the huge bulk of Arianism, buttressed by all the worldly powers to make Christianity too worldly. The next instant she was swerving to avoid an orientalism, which would have made it too unworldly. The orthodox Church never took the tame course or accepted the conventions; the orthodox Church was never respectable. It would have been easier to have accepted the earthly power of the Arians. It would have been easy, in the Calvinistic seventeenth century, to fall into the bottomless pit of predestination. It is easy to be a madman: it is easy to be a heretic. It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one's own. It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob. To have fallen into any of those open traps of error and exaggeration which fashion after fashion and sect after sect set along the historic path of Christendom -- that would indeed have been simple. It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.


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Crucifix of Our Lady of Guadalupe (continued)

The government apparently hesitated to close the shrine for fear of provoking an insurrection. In has been speculated that enemies of the Church plotted secretly to destroy the faith by harming the miraculous image of Our Lady. If the image were destroyed, so they thought, the shrine would lose its attraction, and the number of services would gradually diminish until none were held at all.

The plan was put into action on November 14, 1921. His identity remains a mystery, but it is known that an enemy of the faith carried a large bouquet of flowers to the very altar situated under the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Unknown to church personnel, an explosive device with a timer was hidden in the flowers. The bomb exploded with a great roar. Chunks of marble and masonry flew about, and stained glass windows were shattered; destruction of the altar and the sanctuary was extensive. Thankfully, no one was harmed.

One can imagine that as soon as everyone recovered from the shock, their first concern was for the miraculous image. Much to the relief of everyone, the image remained perfectly intact; in fact, its thin glass covering was not even cracked. Amid cries of amazement, the preservation of the image and the security of the glass were regarded as miraculous.

Yet another miracle became known when it was discovered that the large bronze crucifix which had been positioned directly above the altar and beneath the image was now on the floor. The bomb had exploded with such force that the crucifix had been bent from the impact. The curve of the heavy crucifix attested to the strength of the bomb and reinforced the opinion that the preservation of the image was indeed miraculous.

The man who had intended to destroy the Faith by planting the bomb had failed in his efforts, since the opposite response was produced. A special Chapel of Reparation to the Blessed Sacrament was opened to atone for this outrage and for the many offences committed against the Church since the adoption of the constitution in 1857. Later, to preserve the image from other attempts by the Blessed Virgin’s enemies, the miraculous portrait was mounted behind bullet-proof glass.

Persecution of the Church continued. Under the regulations mentioned above and many more that are not noted here, many priests and nuns were martyred, including the saintly Fr. Miguel Pro, who was a victim of a firing squad in 1927.

Mexico’s relations with the Vatican were restored in September of 1992, after a span of 125 years. President Carlos Salinas de Gortari oversaw constitutional reforms that ended the most rigorous restrictions on the Church. Clergy can now vote and wear clerical garb in public.

The crucifix that experienced the force of the explosion that was meant for the image of Our Lady is now displayed in the foyer of the new basilica. Resting on a pillow, it is kept in a decorated glass enclosure. Countless pilgrims gaze in wonder at this object that attests to the miraculous nature of the portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe.


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"Heaven's Last Call to Humanity," Vol. I and ii. $10.00 + 1.50 postage. The "United Hearts" of Jesus and Mary are calling us to enter this refuge of these last days. Send order (postage paid) to: J.K. Ogden, 82 E. Crafton Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15205-2902. Or phone: 1 (412) 921-6773.

Library Science Student Seeks Sponsors. Hi, my name is Julie Arreguin. I am studying to become a children’s librarian. I need financial sponsors to help me finish my education. My planned graduation date is May 2005. The financial aid office can only give me so much money! I have medical bills and other educational needs not covered by Stafford loans. Please help. My dad had a recent heart failure and heart surgery. He can no longer help me. Please send donations in any amount, but donations $20 or more are greatly appreciated. Please send to Miss Julie Arreguin, 309 E. Starr Ave, Apt. F, Nacogdoches, TX 75961  (936) 560-1808 or email rosehill_32@yahoo.com –All benefactors will be remembered in my Masses and Rosaries. Thank you.

Ancient Wisdom Oils--- Your Health is Your Wealth. Would you like to experience healing essential therapeutic grade oils? This is your opportunity to smell and compare the difference. These essential oils can be used directly on your skin without worry of chemical contaminants of grocery store oils. These are Pure Grade A Essential Oils. If you are a massage therapist, chiropractor, doctor, or other medical professional, you can receive a discount on these essential oils. All others who become distributors can receive wholesale prices, and if you sign up for auto ship, you can receive a free monthly oil! For more information on this, please contact Julie or Marcus Arreguin, 309 E. Starr Ave. Apt. F, Nacogdoches, TX 75961. (936) 560-1808 or email rosehill_32@yahoo.com -- 

Help Save the Souls of Priests. Write for free leaflet, "A Rosary for Priests." Center of Mary, 715 Upper St., Turner, ME 04282

OUR LADY BUILDS A STATUE. Story of Our Lady of the Rockies. $10.00 + 2.00 p & h. Leroy Lee, 2845 Nettie,  Butte, MT  59701

Mystical City of God (Agreda) is available on-line at www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/7194 --The complete set of four volumes is available from: Ave María Institute, Washington, New Jersey 07882. Write for more details.