Sermon for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost – October 16, 2011 by Msgr. Perez
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
My dear faithful, this is the month of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And, of course, we can’t let the whole month pass without talking about this marvelous gift of heaven that we have been given. So I want to say some words about that today. But I want to describe, first of all, what brought the rosary about.
Mind you, the modernists, you know, the modern people, deny that St. Dominic had anything to do with the rosary, and the Blessed Virgin never appeared to him and all that kind of thing. I’m going to tell you the correct story. But even the Catholic Encyclopedia said there is no substance to this story that St. Dominic was given the rosary by the Blessed Virgin Mary. Small problem. Fourteen Popes have written that St. Dominic was given the rosary by the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Pope Leo XIII wrote many encyclicals about and included the fact that the rosary was given to St. Dominic by the Blessed Virgin Mary. So, I think we are safer with that opinion. Don’t listen to the modern guys.
In any case, just so you know what they are saying or aren’t saying, St. Dominic was born in the late 12th, early 13th Century. You have to understand that it was a very troubled time, especially for the Church, but that every period in history has its’ troubles. And, really, they take different forms but sometimes they are the same thing. When we look at those times, we go, Oh, yes, you know the poverty and they didn’t have antibiotics and the violence and things like that. Well, we are the same people now that we were then, and we have the same problems that they had then.
One particular problem they had was this heresy we call Albigensianism. Now, I probably shouldn’t use the word heresy because it’s not really a heresy. It was a separate cult. It became enormously popular and it was ravaging Europe. People were falling for this thing left, right and center. I’ll say a bit about what it was, this cult. In France it was called the Catharists, the Cathars. So, you still see to this day they have ruined castles and things that belonged to the Cathars. These were people who converted to this weird cult and then took arms against the Christians and the Catholics, and the Catholics took arms against them. That was part of the times, too. That’s what they did. We take arms in this day and age, only now they’re M16s instead of hand-and-a-half swords. But it amounts to the same thing, people take up arms against other people. That’s part of the deal of original sin.
Anyway, what they believed — one thing I’d like to point out, too, is that it very closely resembles Mormonism. It’s kind of strange, but — and one of those politicians just got in some kind of hot water lately because his pastor called Mormonism a cult and they wanted him to repudiate his pastor and he wouldn’t do it. So I’m giving you a lot of cause for complaint now, too, because Mormonism is a cult. It’s a weird, mindless, stupid false cult and that’s all it is. But let me tell you about the Albigensians and you will see it’s an exact parallel pretty much.
They believed there were two gods, you see. Now, Mormonism teaches the same thing basically. There’s a good god and there’s a bad god. They say the devil and Jesus are brothers and one is responsible for good and the other is responsible for evil. I won’t go into the details of Mormonism, just Albigensianism. So, there were two gods. The good god created things that are basically good. But the bad god created things that we would even think are good, like matter, our bodies, plants, animals, flowers. They said all matter is evil and in that sense it was a resurgence of the cult of Manichaeism from the earlier centuries. So the bad things, our bodies and everything, were created by the evil god. The good things, I guess not including flowers or Hershey bars, were created by the bad god. The point was to get released from this awful material existence and to make it to your eternal whatever it is they believed in after death. It doesn’t seem they had a very nice view of the after life either. And, so, they praised things like suicide and murder, because why? It just released your bad material body and let your good soul that was captured in it go out of it and go on to its’ happy exercise of whatever it is they believed it did.
By the way, Mormonism has the highest suicide rate of any major denomination. Kind of interesting there, too, because they are always smiling and riding bicycles. Maybe riding bicycles leads to suicide. Any doctors out there should look into this. That’s why I don’t ride a bicycle. (Father laughing) It causes Mormons to kill themselves. I didn’t premeditate this.
Okay, in any case, why this became popular, why Mormonism has hundreds of millions of adherents, maybe the same reason. I really don’t know. But people were converting from Catholicism to this thing. And, so, into this world Dominic Guzmán was born in 1170 in the late 12th Century. He was ordained when he was 24 years old, and his bishop decided he would be a good preacher, of course, founded the order of preachers, the Dominicans of St. Dominic, and sent him to convert the Albigencists. Well, he was having very little success and one day he knelt and in despair he was complaining to the Blessed Virgin Mary and says, I’m trying but I’m not getting any converts. And she appeared and gave him this, and she called it her Psalter. You know, the Psalter is 150 psalms that are in the — the Book of Psalms is called the Psalter. There are 150 Hail Mary’s and she said this was her Psalter and with it he would convert them. Well, of course, he and those who came after him by the virtues of the holy rosary and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary did convert them. And through the centuries we have had many, many major events due to the power of the rosary. Several centuries later, when the Muslims, the Turks were threatening to overrun Europe, there was a rosary crusade group in Rome that was called upon by Pope St. Pius V to form rosary processions in Rome and pray for the victory of the Catholic forces over the evil forces of the Muslims.
So they prayed, St. Pius V — this was October 7, 1570, St. Pope Pius V was given a vision that the Christian forces had conquered and he saw it as it happened. It was a miraculous vision and, of course, the Muslim threat for the moment was averted from Europe. Of course, it’s back and that’s why we need the rosary now more than anything. So, that is St. Dominic and the rosary. But bring it forward several centuries because during our times — now, mind you, it was 1917, but we can consider that modern times, the Blessed Virgin Mary herself appeared, of course, at Fatima to the little shepherd children there. Now, first, keep in mind, we have a fair number of Marian apparitions now that maybe we take them for granted, you know, Oh, yes, Our Lady of Lourdes, Oh, yes, Our Lady of Fatima, Oh, yes, Our Lady of whatever. In fact, somebody came to me once and she wanted to know if the Blessed Virgin would be mad at her because usually she goes to Lourdes every year but she wanted to go to Fatima, so she wanted to know if Our Lady of Lourdes was going to be mad at her for going to Our Lady of Fatima for once. I did not make that up. But, no, I assured her it was the same Our Lady and she would not be mad at her, herself wearing another outfit.
We have a lot of apparitions, but we tend to take them for granted. But, keep in mind what an event it is for the Mother of God to come and visit on earth with a message from her Son and her Creator. It’s not a small thing. It’s not like there are off days in heaven where, you know, Our Lord says, Well, mom, all the halos are polished, and the choir practice is over for the angels, so there is nothing going today, if you would like to visit earth, go ahead. These things are ordained in eternity by Our Lord, and Our Lady in obedience to her Son and in her love for the human race and conveying God’s Mercy to us, chooses a particular place and a particular time and a particular people to appear to with a message that affects all of us. It’s not for them, it’s not for one person. It wasn’t for those three children. And so it was at Fatima in 1917. Mind you, Our Lady to date has 117 titles in the Church. A lot of them are in the Litany of Loreto, you know, Tower of Ivory, whatever, this kind of thing. She has the Immaculate Conception, 117 titles. And when she appeared every single time at Fatima, from May 13th to October 13th, once a month, she said, “I am the Lady of the Rosary”. And that’s how she referred to herself. And she went on to embellish that. She said, Each one of us, basically, our families, our cities, states, our countries, our Church, and, in fact, the whole world, needs the rosary now more than at any point in history. Our Lady said in 1917 — she said many things. But above all she said, Every person must recite the rosary every day. She didn’t say traditional Catholics or Frenchmen or this kind of thing. She said every person must recite the rosary every day.
Now, at the risk of sounding unecumenical for a change, that means that Muslims must recite the rosary every day, that means that Buddhists must recite the rosary every day, it means that agnostics and atheists are required to say the rosary, by heavens own command. They are not doing it, just like they are not being obedient to God in the first place by becoming Catholic, and many Catholics are not doing it. What percentage of the whole world is being obedient to saying the rosary every day. We have no way of knowing. But it is, I guaranty you, not one percent of the entire population of the world. Our Lady said every person must recite the rosary every day.
Now, remember who we are talking about. The Mother of God, the perpetually Virgin Blessed Mother, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, Queen, not administrator, not manager. You know, we forget what it is to have a queen with absolute authority over our lives. The Queen of Heaven has absolute authority over our minds and bodies and souls. She is our absolute Queen, just as God is our absolute King, Christ the King. And when she says something, we can’t say, Oh, that’s nice, Oh, that’s private revelation, we can ignore it, Oh, it’s this, Oh, it’s that, That doesn’t somehow apply to me. She says it as a command that we are not free to object. When the Mother of God tells you to do something, you must do it. Inconceivable, isn’t it, that the Popes have refused to consecrate Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart when commanded to do so by their Queen. Can you imagine how they must be paying for that right now. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to be me at the last judgment, let alone one of them, but it is just inconceivable, because the command was to them for that, to consecrate Russia.
On top of that, she told her that the rosary is — she was giving it through the mercy and power and consent of her Son, and her intercession, she was giving to the holy rosary more power than it had ever had before in the history of mankind. At first, we saw the power of the rosary in converting the Albigencists, not to mention in our lives and things like that, but the power at Lepanto, the power of the rosary throughout history. She said, “Now it is more than ever”. In fact, something to the effect of you can think of it, if it was gunpowder before, it’s nuclear weapons now in spiritual terms. Sister Lucy said, “The most Holy Virgin in these last times”… another aside, interesting — the Blessed Virgin Mary said “these last times”. So take that for what it’s worth there. It was said, “In these last times in which we live, the rosary has been given a new efficacy, or a new efficacy has been given to the recitation of the rosary“. So, a new efficacy, a greater power to do the things that it does. And what does it do? We’ve seen conversion, we’ve seen it in terms of temporal warfare, conquer that, but, as well, Our Lady gave us fifteen (15) promises to those who are faithful to her rosary. And, mind you, faithful to her rosary — let me tell you — okay, St. Louis-Marie de Montfort, you’ve heard of him. He was very strong on the rosary, to say the least. He was Our Lady’s priest one hundred percent. There is nobody here who doesn’t need the rosary. But even more, I know sometimes I’m preaching to the choir, there’s nobody here who doesn’t know somebody that needs the rosary more than you do. That’s true of any of us. And, listen, some people despair, Well, why should I bother with these little things and the little prayers, because I’m so bad or I’m so hopeless. I haven’t been to confession in so long, I haven’t whatever, I’m just too far gone, what can this do for me now, why should I bother saying it. Okay, here’s what St. Louis-Marie de Montfort had to say. He said, “Even if you are now on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil, sooner or later you will be converted. Heaven will amend your life and save your soul if you say the rosary devoutly every day of your life.
So, pick up your beads now, it’s not, you know, whatever, how long has it been since you’ve been to confession, you sold your soul to the devil, I hope not too many have done that, but, you know, it happens, too. If you are devout in saying the rosary, Our Lady will pull you out of whatever it is that you are stuck in. But you have to do it, you have to stick to it.
She made these promises and I want to run over them, because these are the fifteen promises, these aren’t the fifteen things with, you know, fine print, that, you know, must live in a state eligible to receive the prize, or some weird little fine print. No, Our Lady made these promises to every one who is devoted to the rosary. They are promises. The Queen of Heaven has promised you absolutely — and, remember, because she is now in heaven, she can’t lie or she cannot be deceived, like God. So when Our Lady says “I promise” to you, then it’s done, it’s a done deal. You can’t even question that.
So, here they are:
She said whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary shall receive signal graces. What’s a signal grace? A signal grace is something that is visible in your life that says you are on the right track. By reciting the rosary, she said, “I will send you that sign”, the conversion of somebody in your family or some turn of event, something like that, you will know is from me and from my promises. She will send a signal grace.
I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all who shall recite the rosary.
The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell. It will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies. You know, I was thinking, if that were the only promise, that would be reason enough to do it, wouldn’t it? Because, look, what are we surrounded by. We are surrounded by vice, sin and heresy. And if she would fix all that because of the rosary and nothing else, then that would be reason enough to pray the rosary every day all day.
It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its’ vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things.
The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.
Whosoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His Justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God and become worthy of Eternal Life. By the way, another thing that Our Lady said at Fatima was that if you recite the Rosary, after 1917, but to the children of Fatima, to Lucy, anyway, she told about the First Saturdays. Remember? And for all those who will go to Mass, receive Holy Communion, go to confession, etc., and pray and meditate on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary will be given sufficient grace for salvation. I just was pointing out that she is always — these are the fifteen mysteries that she gave to St. Dominic, she talked about the fifteen mysteries in our time, there are only fifteen mysteries in the Rosary. And it was the height of excessive pride of John Paul II to go adding five more. And what do you think. Oh, I know, the Blessed Mother, she was having an off day and forgot those other five, right? No, she didn’t forget anything. All there are are fifteen, and what more do you say about that. And she refers to the fifteen. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly applying himself to the consideration of the fifteen mysteries, shall not be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice. He shall not perish by an unprovided death if he be just.
Whoever shall have a true devotion to the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
Those who are faithful in reciting the rosary shall have during their life and at their death, the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.
The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary. So you want to know how to get that conversion of so and so in your family or somebody you know, you are having bad times otherwise and want some kind of healing or some gift in your life, Our Lady says, “You pray the rosary and you shall have what you ask for if it’s for the good of your soul”.
All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for their intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death. The entire celestial court means every one in heaven, including all the nine choirs of angels who are worshiping around God’s thrown. That means everybody up there. You don’t have to say, Well, let me look through the yellow pages of saints to try to find one who is unemployed, because I need one working overtime on my case. You say the rosary and you have the promise of all of them, everyone up there praying for your particular intention for you and for your salvation.
All those who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only son, Jesus Christ.
And, finally, Devotion to my rosary is a great sign of predestination, meaning, we never know we are saved until we actually make it to heaven. The Protestants have this thing where I was saved at such and such a time. And it’s funny because they’re not. But we can’t know we are saved and going to heaven until we are actually there. However, she is saying that devotion to the rosary is a sign that you are going there, according to her. So, you can say that somebody who is devoted to the rosary, barring anything really, really bad, will end up going to heaven.
Now, another thing we hear from those, and especially I want to say in the modern church, because you are going, How could somebody who professes to be Catholic be against the holy rosary. Let me tell you. You know, there are good priests in the Novus Ordo, don’t get me wrong. There are people headed in the right direction who love the faith and who are trying to make it in a bad system. But, you know my first year was spent in a Novus Ordo seminary and it was a thoroughly unpleasant experience. One thing that made it unpleasant was, well, one day I happened to be sick. It was kind of providential. So I didn’t go into the chapel with our little secret rosary group that used to — we had a group of seminarians that would pray the rosary every day. But this one day that I was out with something or other, the rector of the seminary went in and wrote down the names of every person there and they were thrown out of the seminary for praying the rosary. This is no exaggeration and every seminary is like this. I just was suspected so I had it put into my record that I was attached to outdated forms of devotion. You know, this was a little red flag, supposedly. He is attached to outdated forms of devotion, like that rosary, you know, very passé. This is the formation that these modern priests are being given.
How many of you have told me that a relative has died and was having their Novus Ordo funeral and they could not get a priest to say the rosary. They finally got one to consent and come and say one decade and then leave, and usually it was a married deacon or something like that. You know, after Vatican II they made a new rite of funerals. Well, they have introduced a new new rite of funerals as well. And it says in the directions of how to conduct modern Novus Ordo funerals that the rosary and other such things are to be discouraged. They are to be discouraged It’s right there in print. And, not only that, in the musical supplement, the first hymn is Amazing Grace, which is heretical. That’s an aside.
What I was getting to, is that there are people in our day and age who for one reason or another, downgrade the graces and the beautiful miraculous gift that Our Lady has given us in the form of her holy rosary. And they say a lot of things. They say it’s outdated, it’s no good, they were superstitious back then, that’s why they were devoted to it. Now we are ever so enlightened, you see. We are ever so enlightened now that science can explain everything, we don’t need things like that superstitious outdated rosary.
So I wanted to just leave you with a nice little story that I learned years ago, and I like it very much. This happened well over a hundred years ago in France. There was one of these enthusiastic probably atheistic or agnostic university students studying science and was all fired up with the new knowledge, you know. We now know that we have chemicals and electrical instruments and things like that, so there are no more mysteries. What we once thought was attributed to God we know now was just superstition because we know what’s going on and we are no longer in the dark ages. Things like evolution, well, we know that we evolved from gases and slime, and we thought that God created people, but they were superstitious. So he was one of those university students all full of himself and aflame with his new found knowledge that he was learning in the universities, of course. And he was taking a train and he sat beside this fellow, he figured he was just a well-to-do peasant, he was dressed kind of nicely, but he had rosary beads in his hands. He was obviously a medievalist, one of those superstitious people who had learned nothing of the new science that was being taught in the universities.
So, finally, he said to the old man, he goes, Sir, do you still believe in such outdated things, referring to the rosary? The old man says, Yes, I do. Do you not? The student burst out into laughter, I do not believe in such silly things. Take my advice, throw that rosary out the window and learn what science has to say about it. Science? I do not understand this science. Perhaps you could explain it to me, the man humbly said with tears in his eyes. So the student, then, of course, launches into the explanation of how we now know that everything centers on man and comes from man, and God has nothing to do with it, rosaries and the Mass and scapulars and all these things are just the most vile superstition to keep you chained to your ignorant dark-ages mentality, and you really need to move up into this century, okay, and open your eyes and smell the chemicals, or whatever they are working on.
So, the old man was just sitting there nodding and continuing to move the beads through his fingers, of course. Finally, he said, Excuse me, it has been very interesting talking with you, but I must get off at the next stop. And the student says, Oh, please, you know, like he thinks he has found a convert, this old man, I finally got him out of his darkness. He says, Could you give me your card and I’ll send you information on this new science and things like that. And the old man says, Oh, please, please, and he hands him his card, then he gets off the train. And, of course, the student sits down and he starts thinking of all the wonderful agnostic scientific literature and the latest from Darwin that he is going to send this man. So he decides to look at the card. Louis Pasteur, Direction of the Institute of Scientific Research, Paris. Well, later on it said that the student converted by the power of the rosary and recounted this story as a convert many years later. But it just shows what Our Lady can do using her chosen instrument. Let none of us allow a day to pass without the beads being said, as the Irish say.
A couple of practical counsels, because I know spirituality is a mixture of the mystical and the practical. Set a time where you try to be regular about your rosary. If you can say a family rosary, then say a family rosary, but if you reach that age where the kids or that age where one has night school and one has tennis and everything, and this goes on all day long like these modern families seem to do, then just pick a time and whoever is there, you know that whoever is home will be saying the rosary together and if no one else, then you will say it at that particular time.
The other is, all of us have trouble sleeping from time to time. I used to drink espressos until midnight when I was twenty years younger, but now coffee after a certain time of night will just make sure there is no sleep that night. But if you really want to fall asleep, say the rosary in bed. Guaranteed. Lay down and start saying the rosary. Who needs propathal? Right? If Michael Jackson had been Catholic, he’d still be alive today, because when you need to sleep, all you do is say the rosary laying down. On the other hand, if you want to finish your rosary, don’t lay down. You will never finish it. So either on your knees or sitting down or something like that. Or, if you want to try it in the car, get my CD and put it in there and listen to it while you are driving. Why do I say that? Because when you try to meditate too much on mysteries while you are driving, you miss exits. I can tell you from experience. Oh, that is a great mystery. I need to think about that a little bit longer. Oh, I should have turned off five miles ago. So, just some practical suggestions.
But my dear faithful, we need this rosary and the power of Our Lady’s intercession more than at any time in history. Look at what we are surrounded by. As I said, the Albigensians, they praised suicide and even murder. They did not approve of procreation, even in animals, so they wouldn’t eat anything but fish. Poor, poor people. Poor misguided sick people eating fish. But the point I want to make is, look at today. We’ve had some tragic events during the last couple of weeks, always tragic events in our world. The thing, for example, in Seal Beach, and all that stuff. It makes you think about your life and what can happen. Ladies going to the hair dresser or some guy going to his favorite rib joint ended up dead on that day and having to account for their activities. But what’s at the root of it? Well, mind you, crazy people have been killing people have been killing people in all ages. That part can be attributed to some sort of result of original sin, but look at what we have going officially in our society and I will try to end with this. You know, a society will imbibe subconsciously and unconsciously the ideals that it is surrounded by to a certain extent. We are constantly fighting against the world, and that’s what we are fighting against. We are fighting against the ideals the world is presenting us to believe and to hold and we will not, because we want to be saved. But some people are not so fortunate to have the faith as their guide, to have the Church as their right light. And they imbibe, they see what they are surrounded by.
We live in a society where the killing of the innocent is laudable. It’s not only legal, it’s praiseworthy. You want to kill your baby before it’s born? Please do so because we are going to have so many people, we don’t have enough electrical plants for you all, and food, what are we going to do for food, so, yes, oh, it’s wonderful. Not only that, we have a government whose party has built their platform on killing the most innocent beings that exist, legally and happily. They built it on that. Can you imagine the fate of these people, a politician who — like that woman in Arizona who got shot and lived and given one more chance. She was two hundred percent pro death, ran on that platform. So our society is permeated by this thing that if your baby is an inconvenience or whatever, then just kill it. It’s fine. Cries to heaven for vengeance. Well, that makes its’ way into the mentality. I dare any judge in any court to prove to me that murdering those people in Seal Beach was any different from killing a baby in its’ mother’s womb. In fact, it’s worse to kill a baby. The baby is totally innocent. Those people were guilty of something, not that they should have been killed for it, absolutely not. But they had actual sin on their souls and those babies, those millions of babies who are killed every year, have no actual sin, they have original sin but no actual sin on their souls. They are guilty of nothing. No judge can tell me there’s a difference. So, what he performed should be under the law a late-term abortion, highly sanctioned and protected by law. Or else they have to change the other law and protect those people and the ones in the womb.
Do you know if some woman is pregnant and on her way to an abortion clinic to have her baby killed and she is hit by a drunk driver and killed and her baby, that drunk driver is charged with two deaths by the same system that says you can kill your baby if you want to. Total hypocrisy, but this is the evil we are surrounded with and being permeated with. Why is there rising crime? Why do people not care about other lives? It’s because our government says you can kill anybody you want to until they are born. And that is soaking into the general mentality. And it can only go one way. An accomplice to that, an auxiliary evolution. If there is no God and we all came from lightening and ammonia and slime, then what if I kill some thing that evolved from lightening, ammonia and slime. So what? I’m unhappy about something. It would make me happy to wipe that evolved ammonia, lightening and slime off the face of the earth. So why deny myself that pleasure if it can’t be wrong, because there is no God. We evolved and then the monkeys and stuff like that. If you don’t believe God created us, why not kill somebody. That’s it. But funny enough, these same people teaching that — I have this one kind of mental imagery where I’d like to open up a little stand just to attract the news and the green people, the tree huggers, and call it Baby Panda Fajitas and have this little stuffed panda bear — or make it chicken, or something, you know, carnitas, but you don’t tell them, and you just open the stand that says Baby Panda Fajitas. You will see these people go berserk, have it on the news. You will have people laying in the streets, laying down their bodies to save the baby panda from being turned into my fajitas. But those same people want abortion. Do we need the rosary? Can anybody here afford not to say the rosary for our poor society and our poor world? More than one if we can.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.