Part 4

 

Part 4B:  Our Personal Holiness—The Cult

The Cult

of

Holiness

 

A Compilation from the Hearts

of

God the Father, Jesus Christ & Our Lady of Emmitsburg, Saints, Popes and Scholars,

as well as from

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

about

“Holiness”

(Compiled by Michael T. Sullivan, MD)

 

 

1.  The Holiness of God

2.  The Holiness of Jesus

3.  The Holiness of Mary

4.    The “Cult” of Holiness—Our Personal Holiness

A.       The Decalogue

B.       The Cult

 

 

Sin and Holiness
”…If I had not come, and spoken to them, they would not have sin;

but now they have no excuse for their sin….”

(Jn 15:22)

 

Although we are born without actual sin, we have inherited from our first parents original sin.  Through our Baptism we are made holy and sinless, but retain the human inclinations to sin throughout our entire lives.  Thus, a lifelong spiritual battle is then waged between our Creator and the powers of evil for our eternal life.  We are called to become “perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48), and that requires much ongoing assistance.  Our Lord in His Lessons reminds us of why He has done what He has done for us:

 

“…Tell my people that I am here to divide the good from the bad.  Take the time to sort in your heart My words, and make your own decision….My people need to grow in Me, and I will give them strength and knowledge, but with growth come imperfections and failures, which I allow to strengthen and mold My people into My perfection of holiness….Those who suffer and allow Me to suffer with them are strengthened and grow.  Their suffering only sanctifies them.  Those who choose to suffer without Me, suffer great turmoil at their own wish, because they will not allow Me to carry their cross…. Growth is so essential in My journey of holiness.  Do not despair over your imperfections and failures.  Do not struggle….Know I am with you, if you allow Me to assist you in your growth to Divine holiness.  Remember my words, ‘If you try and fail, you have not failed in My Eyes, but have won favor in the sight of My Father!’”  (JOM, Vol II, #42, Feb. 1, 1990)

 

“…As I purify and cleanse My people, there are emotions and sentiments of self-pity, sadness and sorrow.  But I do not want My people to be distraught by these sentiments, but instead rejoice, be glad and have hope.  The pride must be stripped in order that humility can replace it.  It takes time to grow in holiness, charity and love because of human weakness, sinfulness and vices of the flesh.  My Mercy soothes the pain when My Truth lances the flesh of its many vices.  Therefore, rejoice in gratitude that you are loved by Me and that you are being purified in order for you to share eternal glory with Me….”  (JOM, Vol V, #11, April 30, 1995)

 

“…I await My people to return to Love.  This does not mean that man is perfect or will not fail.  If that were the case, My death for love of you would have been in vain.  It means that through prayer and humility in accepting yourself in failure, you are able to grow in holiness and reach the Kingdom through patience and the virtues dispensed from God….What is needed to return to God is to live in a world by the virtues of love and dignity, not revenge, resentment or hatred.  It is so necessary that My people return to Me before it becomes any more difficult to change.  The longer My people delay, the colder the heart becomes, more and more like stone.  But prayer, love and mercy chip away at the stony heart, and soon enough purity radiates beneath all layers….”  (JOM, Vol V, #30, Nov 11, 1995)

 

 “…Be conscious of your thoughts and words spoken from your tongues.  The sin you commit is a result of your thoughts and careless words….You cannot love Me when you choose whom to love and whom not to love.  Love all!...Your actions are to reflect your holiness in Me.  This is how you can decipher My true followers…Be pure, holy people….Harbor pure thoughts and have your actions speak for you.  Live in Me by allowing Me to live in you and make you holy people….”  (JOM, Vol 1, #66, July 8, 1989)

 

“…Do this in memory of Me.”

(Lk 22:19)

 

It would be impossible to withstand the onslaught of evil if God had not provided us many avenues of assistance:  His sanctifying grace and actual grace, His Church, Sacred Scripture, the life of the Holy Spirit within us, the Sacraments and sacramentals, our guardian angels, the intercessory prayer of the Communion of Saints, our loving Blessed Mother, and an ongoing fountain of private revelation, especially in times of world and Church crises—all directed toward drawing us back to the Truth.  However, we are human; we are sinners; and we will always be most dependent on His Divine Mercy.  Thus, we can expect there will always be a need for purification, purging, cleansing, sanctifying and enlightening in this journey home.  Our Lady of Emmitsburg helps us to understand and discern what we can expect, how to deal with what God offers us, and what the evil one will do in an attempt to deceive us:

 

“…Humanity now lives in a world not known to be holy, but rather one which is created for a life of opportunity and achievement.  But God calls you to live in a world, one which was created for Him and you so that you would be able to achieve everything and acquire even that which is more, namely holiness.  You are able to acquire things that the world cannot give to you, but things that gain you a crown from which for all eternity you will shine and radiate Love….”   (Private OLOE, Feb. 1, 2004)

 

“…Remove all obstacles which are preventing you to walk the path of God and to live as He loves.  Pray to the Holy Spirit to enlighten you with the Truth of the vices of your flesh, so that you can grow in purity and holiness….” (Public OLOE, April 27, 1995)

 

“…I must tell you not to trust in deceitful words.  If you focus on Jesus, trust in Him, abandon yourself unto Him and practice His words of Truth, you will not be deceived, but live healthy, joyful lives.  Change is needed, not only in words, but in actions.  Give unconditionally, simply and lovingly to others without seeking reward or consolation for your efforts.  Wickedness must be replaced with ways of holiness.  If change is not accomplished, then the time will come when your sorrow will result at the hands of a wicked disposition, which will be its blame….”   (Public OLOE, Mar. 10, 1994)

 

Detest sin, but love the sinner.  Be patient with the faults of your neighbor….The grace from God may not always do away with difficulties, but it will help you bear them. Your walk in the life of holiness has many sacrifices.  Utilize every opportunity and occasion of such sacrifices to glorify God through love and gentleness….Pray for the virtue of gentleness and the spirit of Peace….”  (Public OLOE, Sept 1, 1994)

 

“…Whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way

will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”

(James 5:20)

 

The Present Moment

For each of us, our present moment is our own. It belongs to each of us and cannot be taken away from us, nor can the grace that accompanies that present moment; but we have to accept that grace. In speaking of holiness, Blessed Pope John Paul II writes:

 

“True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather it lies in the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school and at work, and in social and political involvement.”

 

Our own decisions, the fair or unfair decisions of others, what we have inherited and what we have previously experienced, all contribute to our present moment; however, God’s Divine Providence is still guiding us through our present moments, whatever those daily responsibilities may be.  And it is in those daily responsibilities that Our Lady of Emmitsburg assures us that we will find a sure way to the holiness God is desiring of us at each and every moment: 

 

“…Before you begin your daily responsibilities, first go before God and give to Him your heart and all that unfolds each day.  In fidelity to God, fulfill your daily duties in His Love and for love of Him.  Frustration develops when you attempt to accomplish something on your own merit without seeking God’s grace.  Do all things by God, for God, with God, and in God.  Holiness is a direct response to your fidelity and cooperation with God in fulfilling your daily responsibilities…”  (Public OLOE, June 29, 1995)

 

“…God blesses each person in order to fulfill each responsibility.  This is how you grow in holiness and how God blesses you as you travel His path.  Whatever circumstance or state of mood you find yourself, remember you are safest when you trust in God and remain faithful to Him.  Holiness is not related to place, state of emotion or occupation. ….Holiness is not serving God as you would like, but as He desires.  You can change your current situation by changing your occupation or vocation, but your flaws will follow you wherever you go unless you change yourself.  Give all of yourself to God, and allow Him to purify you.  Trust He has placed you where He desires you to be in order to grow in holiness….”  (Public OLOE, Jan. 4, 1996)

 

We live in a world which most often judges us on the basis of our works.  Our perceived success or failure is most often assessed by worldly criteria.  Most of the world could never understand what Mother Teresa of Calcutta meant when she said,

 

“God does not require that we be successful only that we be faithful.”

 

 

However, Our Lady of Emmitsburg echoes her sentiments and applies them to our lives in the world, but not of the world:

“…You will not be justified through your works, but on the basis of your faith.  It is your faith and trust in God which will make you righteous….You cannot wear an external image of holiness.  God sees all things.  It is the spirit of your works and your living faith in God which will make you holy….”   (Public OLOE, June 9, 1994)

 

“…My Son lived a hidden life for a long period of time for a purpose.  He gave great glory to God the Father in His humble daily, and oftentimes in the eyes of people, meaningless works….He knew he had the Father’s approval, and He found great joy in fulfilling the Father’s Will by faithfully tending to His daily, little duties…..He did not seek to be great or do great things, because He knew His Father was great and His greatness rested in the Father and in doing the Father’s Will.  Doing great works does not make you holy, little children.  Holiness rests in faithfulness….”  (Public OLOE, Feb. 4, 1999)

 

“...Here is the patience of the saints,

who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

And I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me: ‘Write this:

Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord.

From henceforth now, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors;

for their works follow them’….”

(Rev 14:12-13)

 

“…Desire to please Jesus.  Empty your hearts of useless interests and make room for Him.  As you surrender yourself to His Will, you will gain victory over worldly possessions.  You will gain insight and victory in His Wisdom and power.  You will begin to change in thought, word and deed.  You will grow in holiness, and you will become more and more like Jesus until you are sanctified and live in perfect union with Him.  The more you pray, the more you will grow spiritually.  The more you are loyal to Him, the more graces you will receive….”  (Public OLOE, July 31, 1997)

 

“…My Son will never ask of you more than what you can handle, and He gives you the grace to carry out His designs….Difficulties are certain to arise, but will also make you more perfect in virtue….Do not risk the virtues you have received by not practicing them….Your vision must be to seek holiness and to utilize the graces God gifts to you.  To receive the grace is not sufficient enough.  It is necessary to fervently practice every good deed and perform your duties in God’s Light of Love.  You then will grow in holiness and strengthen your virtues….Purification precedes great graces….”  (Public OLOE, April 8, 1999)

 

“…For this momentary light affliction is producing for us

an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison….”

(2Cor 4:17)

 

Trials and Tribulations

St. Ignatius of Loyola, (1491-1556) was a Spanish nobleman, soldier, priest and founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).  He is most noted for his Spiritual Exercises and the missionary efforts of his order throughout the world, and he is considered the patron of retreats.  He writes on the value of the trials and tribulations of our lives:

 

“If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials, it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain.  Do you want to become a great saint?  Ask God to send you many sufferings.  The flame of Divine Love never rises higher than when fed with the wood of the Cross, which the infinite charity of the Savior used to finish His sacrifice.  All the pleasures of the world are nothing compared with the sweetness found in the gall and vinegar offered to Jesus Christ.”

 

So if we truly desire to be holy, if we truly desire to be a saint, we need not be surprised that we will be tested.  Our Lady of Emmitsburg encourages her children to accept those trials and tribulations with both hope and trust, for our own cross, picked especially for us by God, is the most perfect Way for our own personal sanctification, holiness and freedom:

 

 “…Do not be discouraged when you experience trials and tribulations.  Have hope in Jesus and trust with a filial confidence in God’s Will.  You merit many virtues for your perseverance in faithfulness.  God sanctifies and purges those who desire to live in union with Him.  He gives you opportunities to practice patience and to grow in holiness….God’s Way may not always unfold as you would like or have planned.  It takes unconditional trust in Jesus and the flexibility to conform to His designs presented before you….”   (Public OLOE, July 17, 1997) Only one more thing is needed, that being personal mortification.  When you die to yourself, you are born in Him.  Bless those who persecute you, for they are giving you the opportunity of sanctity….”  (Public OLOE, Jun 4, 2006)

 

“…The Cross is the only Way, the only Way to true happiness, the only Way to true freedom, even though the Cross is painful indeed.  Many refuse to pick up their cross….Many have tried to carry too many, but not their own cross.  Each creature of God is unique, and it is important that all children created by God live their own lives in the beauty of its creation, and that they carry their own cross for their own sanctification, holiness and freedom….”  (Private OLOE, June 10, 2006)

 

“…Whoever does not take up his cross

and follow after Me

is not worthy of Me….”

(Mt 10:38)

 

 

The Sacraments

 

“It is not for you to know the times or seasons

that the Father has established by His own authority. 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,

and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem,

throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 

(Acts 1:7-8)

 

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that:

 

“Seated at the right hand of the Father and pouring out the Holy Spirit on His Body which is the Church, Christ now acts through the Sacraments He instituted to communicate His grace.  The Sacraments are perceptible signs accessible to our human nature.  By the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, they make present efficaciously the grace that they signify.”  (CCC 1084)

 

So many in the world, who have legitimate access to the Sacraments, do not appreciate their value and may even desecrate them; and so many more have neither knowledge of nor access to them. Still, the Sacraments and the grace they offer to the world maintain a living Presence from which all of humanity can benefit and mature spiritually.  After Baptism, the two most efficacious Sacraments in that daily pursuit of holiness are the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist.  It is to these that Our Lady of Emmitsburg directs our attention:

 

 “…I love you.  I desire to be with you.  I desire to tell you that you must be strong.  You must continue to fight.  You must continue to reflect on your own ways, so that you can grow in holiness.  And most importantly, as you remain committed and faithful to my Son, in His Sacraments, you must be humble….”  (Private OLOE, July 16, 2003)

 

“…In order for the fruits of my Son to continue to unfold, it is most necessary that you utilize the Sacrament of Reconciliation more frequently and that you, my beloved priests, make it more available.  You cannot have a pure heart unless you recognize your sins and confess them with a contrite heart.  Too many of my children are receiving Holy Communion without purifying their hearts through the Sacrament first.  It is deception if you think you have not sinned, for my Son sacrificed Himself for sinners.  I also encourage you to spend heart-filled hours of prayer before my Son in the Most Blessed Sacrament.  I call all my youth to return to adoration of my Son.  These two faces must be exercised and be at the center of your journey towards holiness….”  (Public OLOE, Dec. 29, 1994)

 

“…Not only those who are dedicated and follow through with all of their hearts, minds and souls, to live the Word of God, but even those who fall into sin, need to know that God is so merciful and loving and that He gives them another opportunity to be brought back up on their feet, to walk again this path towards holiness….Do not ponder your sin, and do not exaggerate and blow out of proportion the effects of that sin.  Simply utilize the Sacrament of Reconciliation, be at peace, forgive yourselves and forgive others.  Let go and let God, forever!”    (Private OLOE, Aug. 8, 2007)

 

“…Use your gifts wisely….Make use of every virtue.  Be holy.  Be saints….You practice love and your prayers.  You follow through by receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.  You adore Him as I do.  Nothing should prevent you from becoming saints….”  (Public OLOE, June 4, 2006)

“…Ask God to help you grow in holiness.  Study the Scriptures.  Listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to you….Use the Sacraments, and accept all the graces from God….”   (Private OLOE, Nov. 29, 2009)

 

 

“ I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.

Because I live, you also will live.

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father,

and you are in me, and I am in you.

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.

The one who loves me will be loved by my Father,

and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

(Jn 14:18-21)

 

God’s Holy Will

Our Lord must have surely realized, as judged from the Scripture passage above from John’s Gospel, that the disciples were afraid, confused, and certainly not confident in their ability to carry on without Our Lord, in spite of their three years of living with Him and all that He had given them to now share with the world.  So too, much of the world is just as clueless today.  So Our Lady of Emmitsburg continues to teach, reassure and instill hope and trust in all her children in this pursuit of holiness, which now is being threatened by all that the end times hold in store for humanity:

 

“…You must not seek your own agendas or attachments, but you must freely allow God’s Holy Will to move you fully in the direction He desires you to follow.  In this you are protected in His gracious Love from the snares of the devil and from those who would love to see you in turmoil and stripped of your graces.  However, the graces from my Son cannot be stripped from you.  But it is up to you to allow yourselves to receive His grace and use it to your fullest potential so that you can receive more….Remember that you are nothing and God is everything….So if you do not claim any attachments to what you have, and instead, give glory to my Son, then you will grow more and more in holiness; and the Divine Plan can continue to unfold in you.  All aspects of the Plan must come from Him, and nothing of yourselves can be there.  So as it unfolds, all peoples will come to know that it is from Him, through Him, and for Him that God the Father’s glory is fulfilled….”   (Private OLOE, July 27, 2003)

 

“…Pray in thanksgiving and in love.  Good things always come from God.  Even if there be tribulation, turmoil and distractions, in the end, if you focus on God, truly glorious events will unfold….Life has its afflictions; but in this life, there are also tremendous graces to prepare every soul to meet its Creator in glory, face to face, and in genuine sincerity, truth, faithfulness and holiness….”  (Private OLOE, Dec. 9, 2006)

 

“…Work for the salvation of humanity. Continue to strive in holiness and purity, and be committed with holy fidelity to my Son, regardless of what people think or say.  Remember that you are a child of God, and that He has the ultimate say of judgment….”  (Private OLOE, Aug. 4, 2007)

 

“…All of you who have been dedicated to the Triumph of the Two Hearts, the Covenant of the Two Hearts, will be a tremendous Light and will lead victoriously those in tremendous need of healing.  Everyone has a different opinion and version of how this will unfold.  The simplest and purest Way is to be found at the core of your soul, in union with God, by following the directives of His most adorable Divine Will.  For the human mind cannot understand the depth and the breadth of God’s most glorious Plan.  However, the holiness and the call to sainthood are only given to those who seek selflessness, purification, humility, patience, love and personal mortification….”  (Private OLOE, May 28, 2006)

 

“…Those who suffer in accord with God’s Will

hand their souls over to a faithful Creator as they do good.”

(1Pet 4:19)

 

REPEAT SURVEY

(Originally asked in Part 4A)

 

Now let us ask these questions again!

Am I holy?

Is my family holy?

Are my friends holy?

Do I live in a holy nation?

Do I desire to be truly holy?

Are my religious beliefs and practices holy?

 

 

 

The Polls

 

There is an old saying, “Statistics are for losers,” meaning that it will most likely not be the statistics that people remember, but rather who the winners are.  The losers are forgotten quickly, and in the game of sports and politics, most often the winners are forgotten fairly quickly too.  However, in the quest for eternal life with God, a life of perfection in holiness, the winners will be remembered forever. 

 

There are certainly many challenges that could be made to any polling effort, namely, bias in the questioning, sampling error, too small of data pool, demographic and ethnic differences, levels of activity in the practice of one’s faith, etc., but polling remains a tool to get at least an idea of the direction we are headed as a nation and as the Roman Catholic Church in America.  A survey of Western Europe might be even more alarming.  CARA is the Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.  Additional polling studies used as sources were the Gallup Values and Belief Polls, and the Pew and Quinnipiac Polls.  The polling numbers are generally taken from self-proclaimed adult American Catholics

 

Catholic Christian Activity

“I am the Lord thy God…,

Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.”
(Ex 20:2-3)


”…And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart,

and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength.

This is the first commandment….”

(Mk 12:30)

 

 

Weekly Mass Attendance among US Catholics

--an average of 5 polls between 2004-2008,—42%

--2008 CARA poll, adult self-proclaimed Catholics—23%

 

The Sacrament of Reconciliation  (CARA-Sacraments, 2008)

--30% less than once a year, 45% never

 

The Sacrament of the FIRST Holy Communion (CARA-Sacraments, 2008)

99% pre-Vatican II; 85% millennial (>2000 AD)  Catholics

 

The Sacrament of Confirmation (CARA- Sacraments, 2008)

95% pre-Vatican II; 69% of millennial Catholics

 

Belief in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist (CARA-Sacraments, 2008)

Yes, 60% believe; 52% aware of Catholic Church teaching

 

Eucharistic Adoration in your Parish (CARA-Sacraments, 2008)

Yes, 47% said yes, but no data on participation;  47% did not even know

 

Wear or Carry a Crucifix on their person (CARA-Sacraments, 2008)

Yes, 32% Catholics

 

Carry a Rosary on their person (CARA-Sacraments, 2008)

Yes, 23% Catholics

Pray the Rosary (CARA-Sacraments, 2008)

Yes, 11% Catholics, almost every week; 48% never

 

Wear or Carry a Scapular  (CARA-Sacraments, 2008)

Yes, 9% Catholics

 

Belief in the Existence of Hell  (Pew Center on Religious and Public Life, 2007)

--Yes:  Catholics, 60%; mainline Protestants, 56%; Evangelicals, 82%

 

“… And I will multiply thy seed like the stars of heaven:

and I will give to thy posterity all these countries;

and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.

Because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my precepts and commandments,

and observed my ceremonies and laws….”

(Gen 26:5)


”…And I say to thee:

That thou art Peter; and upon this rock  I will build my church,

and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

(Mt 16:18)


Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them;

and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

(Jn 20:23)

 

“…But because thou art lukewarm,

and neither cold, not hot,

I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.”

(Rev 3:16)

 

 

Moral Social Issues

 

Psalm 139

“…You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb…

…My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth. 

Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down;

my days were shaped, before one came to be.”

(Ps 139:13-16)

 

 

“Thou shalt not kill.”

(Ex 20:13)

 

Abortion  (Gallup Values and Beliefs Survey, 2006-08)

Morally Acceptable, 40% Catholics; 41% non-Catholics

 

Embryonic Stem Cell Research (Gallup, 2006-08)

Morally Acceptable, 63% Catholics; 62% non Catholics

 

Artificial Contraceptive Birth Control  (Gallup, May, 2012)

Morally Acceptable:  89% Americans; 82% Catholics; 90% non-Catholics

 

The Death Penalty (Gallup, 2006-08)

Morally Acceptable: 71% Catholics; 66% non-Catholics

 

 

The Christian Household

 “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.   Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her  to make her holy.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies….This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the Church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband….”  (Eph 5:22-33)

 

 

 

 

 

Extramarital Sex (Gallup, 2006-08)

Morally Acceptable: 67% Catholics; 57% non-Catholics

 

Homosexual relations (Gallup, 2006-08)

Morally Acceptable:  54% Catholic; 45% non-Catholics

 

Same Sex Marriage (Quinnipiac University, 2013)

Morally Acceptable:  54% Catholics; 47% nationwide

 

Divorce (Gallup, 2006-08)

Morally Acceptable:  71% Catholic; 66% non-Catholics

 

 

Judging from this polling, it would appear that if God’s Kingdom were a democracy, if all demonstrations of holiness were relative, and if accountability was self-defined, then the God of Abraham, the Lord of the New Testament, and the Spirit within us would all have to change to keep-up with the children of the 21st century; BUT God does not change; Truth does not change, natural law does not change, Christian morality does not change, and the balance between God’s Mercy and God’s Justice does not change.

“ We also know that the law is not made for good people but for those who are against the law and for those who refuse to follow it. It is for people who are against God and are sinful, who are unholy and ungodly, who kill their fathers and mothers, who murder,  who take part in sexual sins, who have sexual relations with people of the same sex, who sell slaves, who tell lies, who speak falsely, and who do anything against the true teaching of God.  That teaching is part of the Good News of the blessed God that he gave me to tell.”  (1Tim 1:9-11)

 

Is it any wonder?

That in the final 9th day of the Divine Mercy Novena  (1933) given to the world through St. Faustina Kowalska, Our Lord said:

 

“Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm and immerse them in the abyss of My Mercy.  These souls wound My Heart most painfully.  My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls….”  (Day 9, Divine Mercy Novena, 1933)

 

 

Is it any wonder?

That Our Lord in Luke’s Gospel asked His disciples:

 

“…But when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

(Lk 18:8)

 

The Cult

 

“Cult:  a system of religious beliefs and ritual, sometimes regarded as unorthodox or spurious.  In the West, the term has come to be used for groups that are perceived to have deviated from normative religions in belief and practice.  They typically have a charismatic leader and attract followers who are in someway disenfranchised from the mainstream of society.  Cults as thus defined are often viewed as foreign or dangerous.”  (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary)

 

“In a more universal definition, a cult may be any group which has a pyramid type authoritarian leadership structure with all teaching and guidance coming from the person/persons at the top.  The group may claim to be the only way to God, Nirvana, Ultimate Reality, full potential, way to happiness, etc., and may use thought reform or mind control techniques to gain control and keep their members.  This definition covers cults within all major world religions, along with governments, educations systems, the media—the world in general.  Those who are involved in these in any way see such involvement as a ‘means to an end.’  Group activities often produce a state of mental and physical exhaustion.  Members are often led to submit unquestioningly to the groups teachings and directions, and their own free will is broken, often using guilt as a tool.  Ultimately this can lead to personality changes, loss of identity, paranoia, social disorientation and guilt complexes.  Dissent or questioning of the groups teachings is discouraged, and attempts to leave or reveal embarrassing facts about the group may be met with threats.  The loss of individuality in this group mentality may lead to an abuse of intimacy of prior relationships, an abuse of finances, and a sense of enlightenment not experienced by those outside the group, thus manifesting a type of elitism which in promoting their cause actively can abuse the God-given personal rights and freedoms of others in several ways—theologically, spiritually, socially and psychologically.”  (Identifying a Cult, Groenveld, Jan, 1985, 1991)

 

In our current cultures many of us are familiar with the use of the word “cult” to describe some offshoots of Christianity, such as the Mormons and the Jehovah Witnesses.  Within the ranks of the Catholic Church, entities such as the Charismatic Movement, the Marian Movement and the Tridentine Mass Movement have been categorized with a less negative connotation of the term “cult.”

 

Then over the last several decades there have been some of the more publicized fanatic “end of the world” cults such as the 1978 Jonestown, Guyana, Peoples Temple Agricultural Project of Jim Jones; the 1993 Branch Davidians of Waco, TX, led by David Koresh; and the 1997 Heaven’s Gate Cult of San Diego, California—all associated with mass suicides or murders or tragic deaths at the hands of law enforcement.

 

It is to these last three fanatic “end of the world” cults that in 2008 a self-professed local science pundit, newspaper reporter from Emmitsburg and his cohorts, as well as some misguided and uninformed local clergy, made and/or allowed to be made without challenge, a public comparison between these holy apparitions of Our Lady of Emmitsburg in that small Maryland town and these diabolical fanatical cults.  In doing so they caused to be ridiculed and shunned both the primary participants of these events as well as those followers whose orthodox Catholic faith had been greatly enhanced through the devotions Our Lady fostered there.  Our Lord Himself can decide to what degree this has desecrated His Mother.  However, history has taught us that wherever the Blessed Mother has made her presence known in an extraordinary way, we can be sure that the evil one has followed close behind.  It is such a shame that the pharisaical spirit that always accompanies that evil one could so successfully obstruct that Cult of Holiness that Our Lady had nurtured, not only here in Emmitsburg, but from Emmitsburg throughout the whole world. 

 

But God will have the final say!

Watch and see!

 

“It is I. 

Be not afraid!”

(Jn 6:20)

 

What if:

The cult has become those who strive for true holiness?  The authoritarian person at the top of the pyramidal structure from whom the teaching and guidance comes is Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Trinity.  He is the only path to eternal life and happiness.  All mind control techniques have been replaced by free will, and all group activities are founded in God’s Love, which at times can still be mentally, physically and spiritually exhausting.  Following His rules (the Commandments & Beatitudes, and Our Lady’s directives) can lead to personal growth and holiness.  Disregarding and disobeying his rules is discouraged and can lead to pain, suffering and loss—especially eternal loss.  The elitism which results is called the state of grace, a state that is available to all who desire it.  And as the culture of death more and more predominates nearly every aspect of human society in the world, the Charismatic Leader (Our Lord) and His followers have become more and more disenfranchised from the mainstream society and are perceived as more and more of a dangerous threat to be persecuted, and possibly even eliminated. This is because now the Cult of Holiness is seen to be politically incorrect and to be abusing the human rights and freedoms of society at large, most notably the right and freedom to sin and to reject God. 

 

 

Is this not a “cult”

 to which

both you and I should choose to belong?

 

NO?

If you despise my laws, and condemn my judgments

so as not to do those things which are appointed by me,

and to make void my covenant,

I also will do these things to you:

I will quickly visit you with poverty, and burning heat,

which shall waste your eyes and consume your lives.

You shall sow your seed in vain, which shall be devoured by your enemies.

I will set my face against you, and you shall fall down before your enemies,

and shall be made subject to them that hate you,

you shall flee when no man pursues you.

But if you will not yet for all this obey me:

I will chastise you seven times more for your sins;

And I will break the pride of your stubbornness,

and I will make to you the heaven above as iron, and the earth as brass.

Your labor shall be spent in vain,

the ground shall not bring forth her increase, nor the trees yield their fruit.”

(Lev 26:14-20)

 

We certainly do live in a different time, and under a New Covenant established by Our Lord with His Death and Resurrection for our salvation.  We now have the luxury of the written Word which was not available to those before Him and which provides humanity with a more accurate picture of God’s Plan and purpose.  So too, we have in modern times widely disseminated private revelation, both Church-approved and God-approved, from nearly every part of the world, always pointing toward and explaining the truths apparent and hidden in Sacred Scripture.  But God has not changed!  He remains the same. His Truth remains the same!   His Commandments remain the same!  His Mother has not changed!  His expectations from His children have actually increased as have His graces for us. So, pray that we each choose to surrender to His Divine Will by striving for holiness while there is still time!

 

For after the Warning,

When Truth has been re-established for all,

When morality is no longer arbitrary,

When lukewarmness has been banished,

When grace has exposed sin,

When prayer has overcome evil,

“When the Son of Man comes,

Will He find faith on earth?”

(Lk 18:8)

 

Yes!

In the remnant,

the “Cult” of Holiness!

 

On that day, the Lord of Hosts will become a crown of beauty
and a diadem of splendor to the remnant of His people.”

(Is 28:5)

 

 

 

 

 

End of the Cult of Holiness!

 

“They shall speak of the magnificence of the glory of Thy Holiness!”

(Ps 144:5)