Second Sunday of Advent

In Palestine Christians gather today in Jerusalem for the celebration of holy Mass. In Rome they proceed to the stational church “Holy Cross at Jerusalem” which serves to give the atmosphere of the Holy City. 

Why “Jerusalem”? Excavations of ancient sites often reveal a number of strata. When enemies destroyed a city, a new one would rise on the same location, so that today there are several layers of remains, one city, as it were, above the other. Our Jerusalem likewise has four strata. The bottommost layer is the Jerusalem of the Jews, that venerable land where the Lord Jesus began His mission of redemption, where He suffered and died. This is the historical Jerusalem so dear to us Christians. Anyone making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land enters that ancient city with holy awe. That Jerusalem, however, lies buried deep. 

For us another has been built upon it, the Jerusalem of Christians, God’s kingdom on earth, the holy Church. This city still stands; it is the one which the divine King will enter at Christmas. Now we understand why we will hear so much about Jerusalem during the coming week. We should now clean and adorn our city, improving its streets and avenues through which the Savior will make His entrance. As a motto we should take the words of the precursor, St. John the Baptist: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths; let every valley be filled, every hill be leveled.” Holy Mother Church’s message today is that the Savior is coming to the Jerusalem of the Christians, to the Church. 

Above the second stratum there arises a third, the heavenly Jerusalem at the end of time. Already now the Church sings of this Jerusalem. For during Advent we await the Savior who will appear on the Last Day to take all into “the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven.” 

Finally, there may be recognized a fourth Jerusalem, our souls in sanctifying grace. This city too must be adorned and prepared, for the King will want to enter. That is our present task. 

On Epiphany, the climax to the current season, the Church will cry out: “Arise, shine, O Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord has risen upon thee.” That is the goal. Today we must prepare for the great King’s visit to our city. The whole coming week must be devoted to it. The Church prays: “Awaken our hearts to prepare the way for Your only-begotten Son that we may serve Him with purified hearts.” 

In the time of the Roman Empire, rulers rode from city to city for the purpose of official visitations. Their appearance, called epiphany or parousia, was a great event, one preceded by months of preparation. Something analogous takes place in the Jerusalem of our souls. From a high watchtower we see the Lord coming afar off. Suddenly John the Baptist appears; he hurries into the city to announce the King’s approach. God condescends to manifest Himself to us in grace; but He demands the proper reception. 

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace by Pius Parsch 

From: Catholic Culture (https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2018-12-09

A True Bishop and a Faithful Priest

Greetings, Beloved Family,

I wanted to bring you what to me is a most blessed and welcome encouragement in the midst of the evil and confusion of our day. I pray it will cheer up your Advent and give you renewed strength and hope for the coming of the Christ Child and the indestructible Rock on which His Church is built.

Both the video below on Bishop Robert Morlino and the magnificent letter from Father Richard Munkelt are from the The Remnant, whose apostolate I greatly appreciate: https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php. We have omitted some of the photos and block quotes from the article which you can read in full here: https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/4246-enough-mr-dreher-an-open-letter-from-a-concerned-catholic-priest.

We have included Michael Matt’s introduction to the article as well. Mr. Matt is the editor of The Remnant and a dear brother in the battle for truth and the glory of the Church.

A most holy and blessed Advent to you all,

Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, O.S.B.

First, the video: https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/4245-bishop-morlino-rip-a-good-shepherd-to-us-all

Second, the article: https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/4246-enough-mr-dreher-an-open-letter-from-a-concerned-catholic-priest


Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Enough, Mr. Dreher!
(An Open Letter from a Concerned Catholic Priest) 

Written by Fr. Richard Munkelt 

Editor’s Note: Anyone reading The Remnant for a period of time can attest to the fact that in these dark days of confusion we have long been committed to “uniting the clans” against the enemies of Christ’s Church whenever possible. Now more than ever before, those who can “pray the Creed with us, and mean it” (as the late, great Dr. William Marra used to say) must be considered brothers in arms. The following article pulls no punches. It is written by a diocesan priest, Father Richard Munkelt–an academic not given to the kind of pot-stirring polemics all the rage on social media. This is not a “spitting contest” with Rod Dreher–a well-known and talented writer with whom Father Munkelt has been acquainted for many years. Instead, this is a priestly tour de force on the fundamentals of Catholicism, closely following and critiquing Mr. Dreher’s recent articles on the Catholic Church. We are publishing it not because we have some personal animus against Mr. Dreher, who left the Church over the clerical scandals, but rather because we seek his return to the fold, while encouraging others not to follow the dangerous and misguided path he’s taken.

At this most critical moment, faithful Catholics are confronted with the same fork in the road that has divided these two men–Munkelt and Dreher: When faced with an ecclesial crisis of apocalyptic proportions, what are faithful Catholics to do: Stay on and fight for the Bride of Christ, no matter how vile her captors might be? Or shall we yield to the scandal we all feel in our heart and abandon Mother Church in pursuit of the illusion of greener pastures. In this article, we have the opportunity to consider the latter course of action as seen through the eyes of a faithful priest who has chosen the former. May God grant us all the grace to know the truth and the courage to defend it, come what may. Fr. Munkelt holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. MJM 


Dear Rod,

Your recent articles in The American Conservative on “Catholic Triumphalism,” constituting your latest broadside against the Catholic Church, were brought to my attention. After reading the articles, and in close connection with your remarks, I have some sobering thoughts concerning your departure from the Church and ongoing vilification not just of her abusive personnel (who are fair game) but of her very person. As such, I am not writing to you alone but also to those among your Catholic readers who may not be fully cognizant of your not-so-hidden campaign to turn souls away from and against the Bride of Christ. To them I say, there is nothing more unprofitable than to try to pick figs from thistles. It is my duty, therefore, to assist my fellow Catholics in not becoming unwitting purveyors of your Anti-Catholicism. I’m sure you understand.

If you care to read on, brace yourself, for charity sometimes carries a stick, as St. Augustine noted. And I shall not spare it, especially since you boast of being irreformable. I promise you, therefore, something in the spirit of St. Jerome.

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First Sunday of Advent

Advent Overview 

From our friends at Fish Eaters
(https://www.fisheaters.com/customsadvent1.html) 

Theme:His Historical and Future Coming
Color:Violet
Mood:Somber anticipation, restrained joy that grows each day until Christmas,
rather like waiting for a new mother to give birth — joyous,
yet restrained, hesitant, and humbled until the moment of the birth arrives
Symbols:Advent candles, empty crib, St. John the Baptist, the Ten Virgins
Length:the 4th Sunday before Christmas to 24 December.
The 1st of the 4 Sundays in Advent is known as “Advent Sunday”;
the 3rd Sunday is known as “Gaudete Sunday.”

The focus of Advent is preparation for the coming of the Lord — both in commemoration of His Nativity and His coming again at the end of time. Though most Protestants — and far too many Catholics — see this time of year as a part of the “Christmas Season,” it isn’t; the Christmas season does not begin until the first Mass at Christmas Eve, and doesn’t end liturgically until the Octave of the Epiphany on January 14. It goes on in the spiritual sense until Candlemas on February 2, when all celebrations of Christ’s Childhood give way to Septuagesima and Lent. . . To sum up the similarities and differences between Advent and Lent as penitential seasons, there’s this, by Fr. Lawrence Smith:

Advent is the time to make ready for Christ to live with us. Lent is the time to make us ready to die with Christ. Advent makes Lent possible. Lent makes salvation possible. Advent is the time when eternity approaches earth. Lent is the time when time reaches consummation in Christ’s eternal Sacrifice to the Father. Advent leads to Christ’s life in time on earth. Lent leads to Christ’s eternal Life in Heaven. The Cross — through the Mass, penance, and mortification — is the bridge connecting Advent and Lent, Christ and His Church, man and God.

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“The Church Militant:

a forgotten truth”

Beloved, here is a message from a true prince of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s outstanding talk given at the Rome Life Forum in May, contains all a true Catholic, a true soldier of Christ, needs to know – and to be – in these perilous times. The Apostle Paul exhorted the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitated Christ. We have such a shepherd in Bishop Athanasius Schneider whose steadfastness in the face of numerous trials and attacks of the enemy and whose unwavering faithfulness to the teachings of Christ and His Church are perhaps equaled by a few, but I do not think surpassed. I, for one, am grateful for such a courageous, nay fearless, holy bishop in our midst whom we indeed can “imitate as he imitates Christ.”

Bishop Athanasius Schneider (Kazakhstan) speaks on “Church Militant: a forgotten truth” at the Rome Life Forum at the Angelicum, May 17, 2018. His full talk was published by LifeSiteNews who, in union with the Rome Life Forum, organized this conference.

Dear ones, Our Lord is in control!

Beloved, last week, I sent out an email featuring Karl Keating’s interview on LifeSiteNews titled, Catholic Answers founder: ‘Clarity’ is antidote to ‘most controversial papacy in memory’. For those who may have missed it, you can read it here. 

One of the questions asked of Karl by LifeSiteNews in that interview was: What thoughts do you have on the current stage of the sexual abuse crisis as it affects Pope Francis in the wake of the release of Archbishop Viganò’s testimony?” 

Karl’s response contained these words: “Each week brings unhappy news — but, unexpectedly, consolation too. I recently posted at Facebook a meme that consisted of just these few words: “Oddly, a sense of peace, like a patient realizing a cure will come, though delayed.” 

One dear friend picked up on Karl’s line and sent this back to us: 

From the article: 

“Oddly, a sense of peace, like a patient realizing a cure will come, though delayed” 

~Karl Keating 

(Rev. 21:5) 

Indeed, beloved, He makes all things new — especially when all hope seems lost. 

By now you may have read the further testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò in the face of the Holy Father’s silence.

Archbishop Vigano has taken his motto from the words of the Apostle Paul who wrote to Timothy, his son in the faith: 

For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, and therefore I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. (2 Timothy 1:11-12)

Take courage, beloved. Our Lord is not asleep in the Barque. One does not have to be a prophet to know that things will become much worse before Our Lord is done purifying His Church and the glorious Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart is upon us. I, for one, am grateful to be alive “for such a time as this.” We have what the whole world and every soul in it needs: the truth and Him who is the Truth.  

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised. 

“For yet a little while,
and the coming one shall come and shall not tarry;
but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.” 

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and keep their souls. (Hebrews 10:35-39) 

The Lord bless you and keep you in His peace, 

Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, O.S.B. 

Catholic Answers founder: ‘Clarity’ is antidote to ‘most controversial papacy in memory’

In a wonderful article titled “Karl Keating: In the vanguard of Catholic renewal,” published by the excellent apostolate Catholic Culture on January 26, 2018, Mr. Keating is rightly described as the “founder of Catholic Answers, easily the largest and most effective organization dedicated to Catholic apologetics in the world. He founded CA in 1979 and remained its president until he turned things over to Christopher Check in 2015.” 

Many of you are aware that, in addition to being helped into the Church in no small way by the outstanding apologetics materials of Catholic Answers (including the much loved This Rock Magazine, now published as Catholic Answers Magazine), I had the privilege of working for Karl as an apologist and conference speaker for Catholic Answers for nine years prior to founding the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel’s Hope. I delight in any opportunity to say that I have not worked for or come under a more gifted, sincere, intelligent and kind gentleman and leader in the Faith. Karl is an uncompromising man of integrity whom I am honored to know. I can attest to the fact that he has chosen a worthy successor in Christopher Check. 

In yesterday’s posting from LifeSiteNews, I was delighted to read the interview below referencing Karl’s latest book, and his thoughts on the current state of the Church. In the midst of the pain and confusion of our day, Karl’s words come across as they always have: with integrity, sanity and clarity. 

Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, O.S.B. 

September 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Veteran apologist, author, and Catholic Answers founder Karl Keating entered the arguably heated conversation on the Francis papacy in book form earlier this year with The Francis Feud: Why and How Conservative Catholics Squabble about Pope Francis. 

In the book he looks at the ongoing debate over the world’s first Jesuit pope, in particular among Catholics of a conservative mindset – conservative being a term that he points out is not necessarily easily defined. 

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Beloved, please read the article below in full and send it to all you know who could use a good dose of truth, clarity, sanity and hope! 

I am most grateful to Marcus Grodi, the article’s author, who is the Founder and President of The Coming Home Network International, and Host of The Journey Home on EWTN television. You can see the original on their website as well: https://chnetwork.org/category/blog/articles/ 

After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. Jesus said to the twelve, “Will you also go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him (John 6:66-71).


 How does one adequately address the growing scandal in the Church? Specifically, as I consider this in relation to our work in the Coming Home Network, how do we explain to non-Catholics why they should still consider coming home to the fullness of the Church — and why must Catholics remain? 

As we see in the above Scripture — and as has been said by many during this difficult time — scandals have been present in the Church from the very beginning: one among the Twelve betrayed his calling, his loyalty, betrayed Jesus and sent Him to the cross — one whom Jesus Himself had called into ministry! 

Scripture also reminds us, however, that it didn’t begin with Judas, either. There have always been bad shepherds, as attested to throughout the Old Testament. From the very beginning, all the way back to Adam, God’s Chosen People have been plagued with bad shepherds — though not all of them were bad, of course — and too often they were the ones who had the biggest influence on the history of God’s People. 

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Feast of the Assumption

 (“Marymass” or “St. Mary’s Day”) 

On this day, a Holy Day of Obligation, we recall Our Lady’s being assumed into Heaven and crowned Queen. Though the Church has always believed in the Assumption of Mary, the dogma was only formally defined by Pope Pius XII in 1950 in his Bull Munificentissimus Deus. Note that Mary was assumed into Heaven — taken up by the power of God, like Elias and Enoch — while Christ ascended into Heaven under His own power. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the date of Mary’s Assumption is placed from anywhere between 3 and 15 years after Our Lord’s Ascension, and the place from which she was assumed is listed as Jerusalem, where her tomb has been placed since around the 6th century, though some claim Ephesus as the proper place. At any rate, St. John Damascene (John of Damascus, A.D. 676 – 754/787) writes: 

St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened, upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven. 

According to tradition, however, Our Lady’s tomb was not exactly found empty; lilies and roses were found where her body “should” have been.

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 An Interview to be heard and spread

to the ends of the earth! 

Beloved, if ever there were a soul who matched the depth of my heart on the truths of our Catholic faith and the urgency of restoring God’s design for marriage and the family, it is John Lacken whose video interview is below. In our recent newsletter, we spoke of A Conference of Catholic Families taking place in Dublin, Ireland, simultaneous with the World Meeting of Families. We warned that the latter headlines numerous speakers who promote their own opinions, if not agendas, of marriage and the family which are at odds with the unchangeable truths of the Church. 

John Lacken is the Secretary of the Lumen Fidei (Light of Faith) Institute which has put together A Conference of Catholic Families in Dublin (a conference, John says, that is actually more for Catholic parents than families as a whole, and for anyone who wishes to understand what the Catholic Church teaches on marriage and the family). John is also the Founder of Legio Sanctae Familiae (The Legion of the Holy Family) which seeks to help Catholic families to live out the great call of married life. He is the author of several books and a columnist with the Catholic Voice newspaper in Ireland specializing in writing topical articles on all matters concerning Marriage and Family life as understood from the magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church. 

Dear ones, you owe it to yourself and all whom you love to watch and listen to this true, uncompromising, and life-giving message of a true soldier of Christ and His Church. Simply click on the image below and scroll down about half a page:

May Our Blessed Lord bless each of you in your striving to live out your vocation and to be beacons of light to Him Who is the Light of the World! 

Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, O.S.B.