Easter Duty - Extension
Lest lukewarm Catholics slump into spiritual rigor mortis and lose their faith, the Church, sad to say, had to make the third and fourth commandments of the Church. Those Commandments are:
#3 To go to confession at least once a year, and
Shame on all those who with Masses available all year around, observe only those minimal practices. In these days regular Masses are generally not available even once a year, and still there must be some kind of Easter Duty. For that reason We, the Vicar of Christ, added to the 4th Commandment the obligation to write a letter to their pastor or the Pope telling him that they are practicing the faith by keeping the Lord’s Day (Sunday) holy, by observing the obligations of fast and abstinence as directed by a Catholic calendar, contributing to the support of the Church according to their means and the like. It is just common sense to say that every Catholic must inform his pastor as soon as he changes his mailing address. Without that current address important messages cannot be sent, for the salvation of souls and the greater honor and glory of God.
As has been the general practice in this regard, the Easter Season extends from Ash Wednesday until Trinity Sunday. Hence, the above obligations must be fulfilled during that span of time. It is not fulfilled if one just goes to confession and Communion at Christmas. That could be once a year observance, but it does not fulfill the Easter Duty. Where the Catholic cannot get to the sacraments during the Easter season he is obliged to fulfill his Easter duty by that annual letter to the pastor or the Pope, in these days.
The question comes up: what is the nature of this latest part of commandment to perform the Easter Duty? Is it a mortal sin if one through his own fault missed the observance of that duty. This extension of the method of fulfilling the Easter duty (when Communion cannot be had), binds under the pain of mortal sin. That sin sticks to the soul as long the commandment remains un-observed and unrepented of. The way out of that mortal sin is by writing the letter and (until confessional absolution can be had) the sinner must make the act of perfect contrition with the help of actual grace received before, during and after that act of contrition.
It is very unfortunate that there are forms for the act of perfect contrition that are not completely safe. No matter how well intentioned one may be, if the act of perfect contrition slumps into an act of imperfect contrition no mortal sin is forgiven. However, any sinner is to presume that if he makes the act of perfect contrition as is demanded he will be free of all his mortal sins, and if he dies that way he will be welcomed into heaven, there to enjoy the beatific vision forever. It is for that reason alone that each person is created by the infinitely good and infinitely just God.
We keep on publishing the act of perfect contrition, so by this time those receiving Our newsletters via email or paper mail must have a copy. Once you have it, be careful never to lose it, for it is the only key to heaven that the sincere Catholic has, once he has fallen into mortal sin and is unable to go to the Catholic priest for confession and receive sacramental absolution. This is of special important for all those living outside the United States of America.
Once again We shall publish right here in this letter the act of perfect contrition. We give you two of them, a short one, and a long one. The long one is just loaded with meaning, but harder to learn. The short one is easy to learn, but less devotional. Both work in the order of obtaining from God forgiveness of mortal sins. We likewise do not want venial sins on our souls when we die, but if one has merely venial sins he will get to heaven after a just purgation in purgatory. Then he will go to heaven.
We must send a very serious warning to the young Catholics. Over the past years some of them have left home for work and/or school in distant areas. They have their independent lives, away from home. Still, they have not told Us or the priest their new address. Hence, once that happens they deprive themselves from receiving directions from the Church, as God demands. As a starter We cannot even send them the newsletters. Important notifications such as is in this newsletter will not reach them, and they have the danger of going into spiritual rigor mortis and dying in the state of mortal sin. That sad condition will take them to hell when they die.
It is important to consider not only that one must be in the state of sanctifying grace at death, but it is important that one live in the state of sanctifying grace all the days of their life. Here is the reason for that necessity. While one is in mortal sin he lives a life for which he will get not reward even if he finally gets to heaven by means of a death-bed repentance.
For any act to be worthy of a reward in heaven it must be performed in the state of sanctifying grace, and the act or deliberate omission for God’s sake must be performed under the influence of actual grace BEORE, DURING AND AFTER the act. Let us define the meaning of those two graces, namely, sanctifying grace and actual grace. Every Catholic who has studied his/her religion from an adult catechism received this information, so necessary for the spiritual life.
God rewards all those in heaven according to their amount of sanctifying grace and the amount of merits that they had at the moment of death. For example, one increases in sanctifying grace when he goes to Holy Communion and performs other religious actions. He increases in merits when he performs his ordinary good works in the state of sanctifying grace under the influence of actual grace (THE SUPERNATURAL ASSISTANCE) – which he had before, during and after those ordinary acts. The man in sanctifying grace who swings the ax in making wood, petitioning actual grace, to be habitually given before, during and after the multiple acts, increases in merit, step by step all the day long. The one who swings the same ax in the state of mortal sin can never get any supernatural reward for his acts so performed. Likewise, if one is in sanctifying grace, and he does his wood cutting without actual grace before, during and after the chops he gets no merit for heaven. Once again, learn how to make your life count for heaven. Gain all the sanctifying grace you can. Gain all the merit you can. Those who hear this for the first time must feel urged to live their lives so as to make each minute of life left to them, count towards their future life in the enjoyment of the beatific vision in contemplating the ever Blessed Trinity in union with all the angels and saints.
One does not have to be a genius in order to know and observe that God’s kingdom on earth will not flourish properly unless every single Catholic does his/her duty in regard his support of the Church, according to his God-given means. What immediately comes to mind is the giving of money for the support of existing Church operations, as for example the feeding and clothing the clergy and religious who are working in parishes, seminaries, plus doing works of charity as operating Catholic schools, orphanages, refuges for the destitute and so forth. The works of mercy are everybody’s business. When the faithful grow lukewarm and slack in their support of Church operations those operations gradually fold up, and Christian charity is seen no more. Furthermore, Church institutions fold up. Mass and the sacraments are no longer available. Catholic schools become a thing of the past. Rigor mortis sets in, and you have Church extinct areas, here and there, all over the world.
When generosity in the support of the Church grows cold, personal dedication to the cause of God also grows cold. Vocations to the priesthood fall off. Religious vocations become extinct. Hence, mutual spiritual and corporal assistance becomes a thing of the past. The signs of spiritual life in the Church can be gagged by the lack of generosity of its members.
Let us take an example of one Catholic woman. We take Our own mother as an example. She was the youngest child in a family of eleven, in which a brother was a Jesuit Brother and two sisters were Dominican Sisters. Our mother had nine children, in which four boys became Capuchin priests. In the service of God in His Church her sons served in missions, far and wide. We served in foreign missions (Japan and Australia) for twenty-eight years. The next son served thirteen years in Saudi Arabia. The third son served in the Indian mission in Montana, USA and in Australia, for many years. The youngest, the fourth son served in parishes and hospitals around the country. Our mother, once more, could hold out her hand to three Religious in the family of her origin, and over four Religious-Priests from her own children. When her nine children were grown up Our mother took the job as cook in the Capuchin Retreat House in Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. The Capuchin Province was in dire need of a cook and Our mother and father moved in like two Religious serving the priests and retreatants for a number of years. Our father in his old age, a retired farmer, served as janitor in the very Capuchin seminary where all four of his sons studied for four years on their way to the priesthood. When that became more difficult than he could manage, he moved home to live with Our mother as retired. However, the priest there prevailed on him to do the janitor work in the Church and school, including mowing the grass in the parish cemetery with a hand push rotary lawn mower. Today both he and his wife rest in that cemetery waiting for the call of God to rise at the end of the world, to receive their just reward.
What We want to tell all of you is that nobility before God, the angels and saints, is seen in the amount and degree of dedication that one has towards the causes of glorifying God in the salvation of souls.
Our Lord asked those who followed Him to learn of Him because He was meek and humble of heart. His good life was the model for His followers. Looking back We can hold before you Our example of generosity. We served for twenty-eight years in foreign Missions (Japan and Australia). There in the front lines serving villagers We waded rivers, climbed mountains, built many Church buildings, about fifty in number, and converted many pagans to be members of the Mystical Body of Christ. When that ended, with the Novus Ordo taking over, We served loyal Catholics the world over, as a lone loyal priest, for twenty some years. Finally, by the papal election of 1998 We are Christ’s Vicar on earth. Our Catholics are so few and so lacking in means that We must care for Our self, served by one skillful and dedicated Catholic. We worked with Our hands to build Our residence and now maintain it. We do Our share of work in the cooking of Our meals and other house work. In construction, We put on the hard hat and do Our part. Daily, We set the table and clear the table while cooperating in the preparation of the meals. This office work falls one hundred percent on Us. That goes all the way from managing the financial records to writing nearly all the Church literature. By the providence of God We must manage with just one co-worker, that is, one priest. We work as a team serving the faithful the world over. We serve God from day to day, leaving the future in His hands. As to land, We can say with Christ, We have no place of Our own (We own no land, real estate) whereon to rest Our head.
From what has been said it should be obvious that some of the Catholics must dedicate themselves in the service of God in His holy Church. His Church will continue to the end of time, even if it is composed of no more than the number of those who were saved, by the providence of God, on the Ark of Noe during the great flood.
In the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 10 one reads the touching account of the first gentile to come into the Church, being received into the Church by St. Peter, by force of God’s command.
Acts 10, Vs. 1, 2 & 4 read as follows:
Anyone with the slightest gift of perception can see that two things in Cornelius and his entire family moved God to give him and his family the divine and Catholic faith. Those elements were “giving much alms” and “always praying to God.”
We have before Us an article from the American Ecclesiastical Review for February 1, 1907. The author quotes a Catechism as saying: “it is a duty to contribute to the support of religion according to our means, so that God may be duly honored and worshipped, and the kingdom of His Church extended.”
Continuing in the article the layman author writes “…that this duty has been so insufficiently discharged by reason of that friendship with the world which is the enemy of God. This, it seems is the greatest hindrance of all to the extension of His Kingdom on earth. Had it been otherwise, the Church, at this day, would embrace a far larger proportion of the human race than She now does. It is in our power, by means of our alms, to bring about this happy result, even now in the time that remains to us. For the future, our children shall arise and call us blessed for so living and acting in this way.” (End the of article)
We urge one and all to pray in all sincerity for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Only with the help of God can a Catholic completely dedicate himself to God in the service of His Holy Church. That should be obvious for those who observed priests and religious when the Novus Ordo took over. They could see parishes close, seminaries close, convents of Nuns close, orphanages close and the litany goes on and on.
As Catholic children grow up they must advance in the knowledge and love of God. They must live lives separated from the tinsel of this world. They must live the beginning of the religious life to some extent even before they enter the monastery door.
Many devout religious have written what is called their auto-biography. Those accounts are not written for prideful reasons, nor to make them canonized Saints but to leave as a record of history concrete examples of idealism in the service of God. Here is an example of what We are trying to say. When We finished four years in the Minor Seminary (an intense High School course) We entered the Capuchin Order at the age of twenty. We had been tried by hardships and poverty all Our life. When We were near the completion of Our novitiate lasting for one year, in Huntington, Indiana, USA, some of Our relatives from a long distance came to visit Us. They lived in the monastery guest rooms for a few days. While they were there they also visited with a priest in charge of Our training in Religious life. He went out of his way to tell them that the Order was pleased with Us, and his words of praise were thus: “Generally when a young man comes here to make his novitiate he needs to be trained in Religious life. With Frater Lucian it was different. He was a trained Religious when he came here.” On the day of judgment God will play this back to you. May We by the grace of God find a very high place in heaven.
Here is a bit of idealism. When a person dedicates himself in Religion he becomes a religious object, something like gold being made into a chalice. In theology one learns about acts of religion. They are: making the sign of the cross, genuflecting, using Holy Water and the like, and they merit a special reward. Well, when a person become a Religious everything he does becomes acts of Religion. The Religious will receive a special reward for even such acts as scrubbing the floors, hoeing in the garden, mending clothing and so forth and so on. Any person with idealism for a high place in heaven must take the means to get there, and if God gives the call he should make the great sacrifice of himself in the service of God while serving in a special way in the Church.