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Letter of Saint Athanasius to His Flock

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The Catholic Church Ravaged in the Fourth Century

Saint Athanasius lived in the fourth century during the time of what used to be considered the greatest crisis of faith ever to befall the Catholic Church, the Arian Heresy. (The Arians denied the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ). The vast majority of Churchmen fell into this heresy, so much so that Saint Jerome wrote of the period, “The whole world groaned and was amazed to find itself Arian”. Athanasius was the Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt for 46 years. He was banned from his diocese at least five times and spent a total of 17 years in exile. He even suffered an unjust excommunication from Pope Liberius (325-366) who was under Arian influence. It is a cold fact of history that Athanasius stood virtually alone against the onslaught of heretical teaching ravaging the Church of his day – begetting the familiar phrase, “Athanasius contra mundum”, that is, “Athanasius against the world”.

The famous convert to the Church, Ven. John Henry Newman, described him as a “principal instrument, after the Apostles, by which the sacred truths of Christianity have been conveyed and secured to the world.” Often referred to as the Champion of Orthodoxy, Saint Athanasius was undoubtedly one of the most courageous defenders of the Faith in the entire history of the Church. If anyone can be singled out as a Saint for our times, surely it is Saint Athanasius. The following letter of his could, almost word for word, have been written yesterday.

“May God console you! … What saddens you … is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises – but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in the struggle – the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith? True, the premises are good when the Apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …

“You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your Faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis. No one, ever, will prevail against your Faith, beloved Brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.

“Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray. Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.”

Other Patristic Testimony To The Abysmal State of the Church at the Time Of The Arian Heresy

A.D. 360: Saint Gregory Nazianzen says about this date: “Surely the pastors have done foolishly; for excepting a very few, who either on account of their insignificance were passed over, or who by reason of their virtue resisted, and who were to be left as a seed and root for the springing up again and revival of Israel (the Church. ed.) by the influence of the Spirit, all temporized, only differing from each other in this, that some succumbed earlier, and others later; some were foremost champions and leaders in the impiety, and others joined the second rank of the battle, being overcome by fear, or by interests, or by flattery, or, what was the most excusable, by their own ignorance.

Cappodocia: Saint Basil says about the year 372: “Religious people keep silence, but every blaspheming tongue is let loose. Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in the Faith avoid the places of worship as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitude, with groans and tears to the Lord in Heaven.” Four years after he writes: “Matters have come to this pass: the people have left their houses of prayer, and assembled in the deserts, – a pitiable sight; women and children, old men, and men otherwise infirm, wretchedly faring in the open air, amid most profuse rains and snowstorms and winds and frosts of winter; and again in summer under a scorching sun. To this they submit, because they will have no part of the wicked Arian leaven.” Again: “Only one offense is now vigorously punished an accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions. For this cause the pious are driven from their countries and transported into deserts.”

In our time when impious novelties, liberalism and modernism are ravishing the Church under the pretext of “aggiornamento” (update!), and infidelity to Catholic Tradition is the order of the day, the above statements cannot help but strike the reader as a parallel of our time. As it was then so it is today.

Today we see the loss of faith among many Catholics occasioned by compromises in the Faith, both great and small, which have touched on the very essence of our Faith. Recent surveys and polls show that only 15% of Catholics believe that they have to accept all of the Church’s teachings.

The majority of Church leaders have succumbed to the “spirit of the age”, and faithful Catholics now suffer at the hands of those who should be their protectors.

The Catholic Church survived the Arian crisis, and so it will survive the present one. For our part, it is our duty to remain faithful to the unchangeable teaching and Sacred Tradition of our Holy Catholic Church, and to not compromise our Faith in any way with the present trend of liberalism and modernism sweeping the Catholic Church worldwide.

If the Arian crisis proves anything, if this historical lesson of the fourth century teaches us anything in the twentieth century it is this: Falsehood cannot become truth no matter how many accept it but rather the truth of doctrinal teaching is to be judged by its conformity to Tradition and not by the number or even the authority of those teaching it. It shows to us that a pope can err as a private teacher and so much more the bishops. Another point the Arian crisis brings out is that Catholics true to the traditional faith may have to worship outside the official Churches, their parish churches and even to avoid them as schools of impiety. It proves that Catholics may even have to suffer false denunciation and excommunication for their beliefs as St. Athanasius suffered: today as always we must pray for the Church, the clergy and especially the bishops and our Holy Father the Pope. Only the good Lord knows how long this crisis will last but Our Blessed Mother has given us hope in Her prophecy at Fatima. “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph and there will be peace in the world”.

http://www.olrl.org/snt_docs/

God Bless BJS!!

Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Enjoy these in depth sermons as well the efficacious prayer shared below. God Bless You!


http://www.traditionalcatholicsermons.org/MiscArchives/FrVia_IHM_Part1_2007.mp3

http://www.traditionalcatholicsermons.org/MiscArchives/FrVia_IHM_Part2_2007.mp3

http://www.traditionalcatholicsermons.org/MiscArchives/FrVia_IHM_Part3_2007.mp3

http://www.traditionalcatholicsermons.org/MiscArchives/FrVia_IHM_Part4_2007.mp3


St. Athanasius Church, Vienna, Virginia (USA) May 12, 2017

Most Holy Mother of God, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Seat of Mercy, Seat of Goodness, Seat of Pardon, sure door by which souls are to enter Heaven, see on their knees before you four sons of Archbishop Lefebvre, four bishops striving to do what they can to help you to obtain from the Pope and bishops of your Divine Son’s one true Church that Consecration of Russia to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart which can alone obtain peace for mankind, now in the shadow of a frightful third World War.
In Fatima, Portugal, one hundred years ago, you first warned mankind of the Second World War to come, of famine and persecutions, if people would not cease offending God. To prevent these disasters, you promised to return to ask for the Consecration of Russia to your Immaculate Heart, and for the Communion of Reparation of First Saturdays. If your requests were heeded, Russia would be converted, and there would be peace. If not, disasters would follow and Russia would spread its errors throughout the world. Twelve years later you returned as you had promised, and you made the double request.
However, trusting in human means to solve the Church’s grave problems, the Catholic churchmen did not immediately do what you had requested. Two years later your Divine Son Himself warned mankind through Sister Lucy of Fatima, that since His ministers were delaying to carry out His command, they would suffer grave consequences: Russia would spread its errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church, and the Pope would suffer greatly. Still the Pope perferres his human means of dealing with Russia.
In 1936 Our Lord explained to Sister Lucy that Russia’s conversion depended upon its consecration to your Immaculate Heart because He wanted the whole Church to recognize that, that conversion was a triumph of your Heart, so that devotion to your Heart would rank alongside devotion to His own Sacred Heart.

Still the churchmen hesitated, so that in 1939 the terrible Second World War broke out, and all over the world Communism extended its power. Immediately after the war your pilgrim statues of Fatima had great success, but still the churchmen would not do exactly as you had requested, and so in 1957 before Sister Lucy was silenced by the churchmen, she expressed your own sadness that neither good people nor bad people had paid attention to the message of Fatima. You said that the good people gave it no importance, while the bad cared nothing about it. But you warned us once more that a terrible punishment was imminent.
Just three years later that punishment began with the churchmen’s refusal to make public the third part of your Secret message of Fatima, which you had asked them to publish at the latest in 1960. By an almost unpardonable lie they pretended that you had told them, that from 1960 onwards they might publish it, and this effort of theirs to stifle your message of Fatima has continued ever since, culminating in the year 2000. But you have never given up your attempts to save us, while the churchmen were even mire severely punished by the blindness which overwhelmed them at the Second Vatican Council. In the third part of the Secret it is most likely that you had warned against exactly the errors which prevailed at that Council. And now the entire Church is in darkness, and the world is in the brink of the third and most terrible World War.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, most Holy Mother of God, we cry to you in our distress. Help of Christians, Refugee of Sinners, Comforter of the Afflicted we trust in you. Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Mother of the Church, we implore your most loving, maternal and Immaculate Heart to have mercy upon us poor sinners, your children; hear and answer our plea. We beg of you to obtain from your Divine Son, the graces necessary for the Holy Father and the bishops to fulfill without further delay the long standing-command of Heaven, by consecrating with the bishops of the entire world, Holy Russia to your Immaculate Heart, as was requested and in the manner requested by you, on behalf of the Most Holy Trinity so long ago, and which has yet to be accomplished. 
Immaculate Heart of Mary, you know-how much suffering mankind would have avoided over the last ninety years if only one of the Popes during that time had heeded your request for the Consecration of Russia. Mother of God, you had heeded your request for the Consecration of Russia. Mother of God, you and your Divine Son alone know what a frightful chastisement is now hanging over the heads of mankind if the Popes, for whatever inadequate human reasons, still refuse your request. If it depends upon them, they are liable to prevaricate, although you told us one hundred years ago how much that would make them suffer. Mother of God, your Divine Son can refuse you nothing that you ask of Him. He wishes the Consecration to depend on you, because He wishes your Immaculate Heart to be honored a the source of the Consecration’s triumph. Holy Mother of God, most humbly upon our knees we beg of you to obtainthose graces needed by the Pope to perform the Consecration. 
Meanwhile before you here today, we command, we entrust, and we do whatever lies within our power, to consecrate Russia to your Immaculate Heart, not because we can remotely take the place of the Pope and the bishops of the whole world, but because we wish to honor your requests as far as we can. If only Holy Russia became Catholic once more, the Eastern Church might resurrect the Western Church, presently devasted by materialism and atheism. Mother of God, we commend our own selves also to your protect ton and to your all-powerful intercession with Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, but who is at the same time a Son who infinitely loves His Mother, and will do anything she asks. Beloved and Blessed Mother, we have not a shadow of doubt that in the end your Immaculate Heart will triumph.

​Unity of the Blessed Trinity

 

“And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. … But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of The Holy Ghost is one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal. … The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son: not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. … And in this Trinity nothing is afore or after, nothing is greater or less, but the whole three Persons are co-eternal together, and co-equal” (From the Athanasian Creed).

 

Are the three divine Persons perfectly equal to one another? — The three divine Persons are perfectly equal to one another, because all are one and the same God.

 

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father Uncreated, the Son Uncreated, and the Holy Ghost Uncreated. The Father Infinite, the Son Infinite, and the Holy Ghost Infinite. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal, and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Infinite, but One Uncreated, and One Infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties, but One Almighty.” (From the Athanasian Creed.)

All three Persons are equal in every way, equal in power and glory. The attributes and external works of God are common to all three Persons. However, in human speech we attribute certain works to each Person.

Thus we attribute to the Father the works of creation, to the Son the work of redemption, and to the Holy Ghost the work of sanctification. In reality these works belong equally to all three.

 

How are the three divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, one and the same God? — The three divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God because all have one and the same divine nature.

 

  1. Each of the divine Persons is God.

    “So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Ghost is Lord. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord. For, like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to Be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords.” (From the Athanasian Creed.)

     

  2. There are three Persons, but only one Being. The Father is neither the Son nor the Holy Ghost. The Son is neither the Father nor the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is neither the Father nor the Son.

    It was the Son Who became man and died for us, not the Father or the Holy Ghost. But when we receive God the Son in Holy Communion, we also spiritually receive God the Father and God the Holy Ghost. The Blessed Trinity then dwells in us as in a Temple.

     

Can we fully understand how the three divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God? — We cannot fully understand how the three divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God, because this is a supernatural mystery.

 

  1. A supernatural mystery is a truth which we cannot fully understand, but which we firmly believe because we have God’s word for it. A supernatural mystery is above reason, but not contrary to it. No man can explain a mystery; neither can anyone know it unless it is revealed by God. “Great art thou, O Lord, in counsel, and incomprehensible in thought” (Jer. 32:19).

    It is not unreasonable to believe in a supernatural mystery. There are many natural mysteries around us that no one has yet been able to explain, yet we believe them: electricity, magnetism, force, and many of the processes of life.

     

  2. The doctrine of the Blessed Trinity is a strict mystery; that is, we cannot learn it from reason, nor understand it completely, even after it has been revealed to us.

    The doctrine contains two truths our reason cannot fully understand: (1) that there is only one God; and (2) that each of the three Persons is God. We can understand each of these truths separately, but not when taken together.

    The mystery of the Blessed Trinity is not a contradiction. We do not say that there are three gods in one God, nor that the three divine Persons are one Person.

    We only say that there are three Persons in one God, that is, three Persons, and one nature or essence. Somewhat similarly, the soul of man has will, understanding, and memory, but it is only one soul. Also, the sun has form, light, and heat, but it is only one sun. Three flames put together make only one flame.

     

Why do we believe in the mystery of the Blessed Trinity? –We believe in the mystery of the Blessed Trinity because God Himself revealed it to us.

“Thy word is Truth” (John 17:17). The mystery of the Blessed Trinity is the greatest of all mysteries. We believe it because God has revealed it to us, but we cannot fully understand it. It would be foolish to refuse to believe just because we cannot understand; that would be like a blind man who refuses to believe there is a sun, because he cannot see it. Is God limited because we are?

 

  1. The Jews did not explicitly believe in the Blessed Trinity, although there are references to the mystery in the Old Testament.

    Before making man, God said: “Let Us make man to Our own image” (Gen. 1:26). David says: “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit on my right hand.”

     

  2. Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed the mystery. He said:

    “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). “But when the Advocate has come, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness concerning me” (John 15:26).

     

  3. The Blessed Trinity manifested Itself at the baptism of Jesus Christ.

    God the Father spoke from the heavens; God the Son was baptized; God the Holy Ghost descended in visible form, in the form of a dove.

     

When do we profess our faith in the Blessed Trinity? — We profess our faith in the Blessed Trinity especially when we make the sign of the cross.

 

  1. We also honor the Blessed Trinity every time we say the doxology or “prayer of praise”: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end.”

    The Feast of the Blessed Trinity, called Trinity Sunday, is kept on the first Sunday after Pentecost.

     

  2. All the sacraments are administered in the name of the Blessed Trinity.

    On our death-bed the Church through the priest will comfort us with the words: “Even though he hath sinned, he hath not denied the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.

God Bless BJS!!