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SIT03.01.03- La Salette Sub-Net Pastoral & Catechetical Project.
The La Salette Network International Mission
About La Salette Network International Mission
In summary, as requested by Our Lady explicitly and implicitly when she appeared at La Salette (France), the main objective of this catechetical apostolate is to teach and invite Catholics, especially non-practicing and/or lukewarm Catholics, to better understand, obey, and (likewise) re-share the "Five Commandments of the Catholic Church." Although deeply bonded by God’s Ten Commandments and rooted into the Sacred Tradition from day one, they are dismissed or simply ignored by the great majority of irresponsible Catholics as if optional or mere suggestions, but not divine Precepts which they are. Some even consider it a kind of five "jokes," fake man-made obligations not worthy to be learned, much less to submit one’s life under them. No wonder Our Lady at La Salette, our loving mother, cried tears of sadness for having no choice but to warn of severe consequences against Christendom and, therefore, the world, if at least the "Day of the Lord" were not minimally respected. And that message preceded her visit and future messages from Fatima-Portugal, almost too late precisely because Christianity didn’t care about her first preventive warnings, at La Salette. Such a historical curse of Marxism that she tried to prevent in Fatima -- now deeply aggravated by other ideologies -- would likely never happen if we Christians had appreciated God’s generosity in giving us six days during each week, reserving just one for rest and worship, which is the only way to secure that humanity would not live like animals and its consequent path of self-destruction.
Basically, each one of the Five Commandments of the Catholic Church, even when combined, only mandates the absolute minimum -for the benefit of the faithful- that any Catholic must observe in order to have and preserve the Grace of God during a lifetime just to "survive," not thrive. Let’s start by remembering Our Lord’s declaration for each one of us: "If you do not eat my flesh and do not drink my blood, you will have NO [real] Life (capital ‘L’ = fullness of Life, Peace, Hope,... at least on earth) in you!” Therefore, the very first Commandment of the Church ordered and reminded us to minimally "Keep the Lord’s Day by -at least- participating in the Sunday Mass EVERY Sunday (plus "days of obligation"). The second Precept requires the "Confession of our sins at least once a year." And the third is "To receive the Eucharist at least once a year." These, alone, are already a life-or-death determinant; let’s imagine when adding the other two Precepts into the same balance. We cannot, without His aid, worthy build our lives and our world. If, for any reason, we compromise His intended ordinary means or pathways necessary for the granting of His daily Peace, we will not have real Peace; at least not until we are properly corrected by conversion and docility. The rejection of His grace, even if implicit or not fully conscient, cannot fail to have very serious consequences. Actually, especially in cases of explicit rejection, regardless of how much we pray, beg, or insist, at a personal level -case by case- God never give-in, give-up, never convey, never ever part-with, sag or subside, until each one of us rejects pride, unforgiveness, and start to learn how to love others, as He Loved us: No exceptions!
Not even the deep sadness revealed by Our Blessed Mother at La Salette, to the point of weeping, was enough for humanity to understand the Parable of the Great Banquet (Mt. 22). Jesus compared the whole Kingdom of Heaven with its entry-gate from Earth, which is the Mass in His Church: "[The gate for] The Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who gave a wedding feast for his Son." He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying, tell those invited: ‘Behold, I have prepared my banquet; my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the Feast'. Some ignored the invitation and went away; one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his troops, who destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, "The feast is ready [anyway], but those who were invited were not worthy to come." Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find. The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests." Sounds familiar? What kind of people attend Sunday Masses?
The tears that Our Lady shed at La Salette had fallen on hard soil (our hearts and minds), again not enough for humanity to minimally understand another parable even more clearly: The banquet that the Father gave to His prodigal son after he repented and confessed his sins. Why is it so difficult to realize that such Merciful Father is waiting for so many prodigal sons to return, that He has no choice but to grant a similar banquet (The Mass) every week (actually every day, the world over), to properly welcome and celebrate the return of every lost son, also revealed at the Parable of the Lost Sheep.
In addition, for the sake of friends not yet strong in their faith, let’s concede for a moment that parables are not necessarily proof of factual realities. Therefore, we would like to incorporate over the above parables and so many statements, the real historical fact which happened with the disciples of Emmaus -no longer an analogy- when Cleophas and his wife and/or adult sons invited a complete estrange to stay overnight as a guest, without realizing that they were welcoming the Messiah into his home, despite walking and speaking with Him for so many hours. From this undisputable historical event, we can learn for sure the power link bonding the nowadays Mass (mystical Supper/Banquet), where Christ is really present under the appearances of bread and wine, with that first ever Sunday Mass (Mystical Supper) that Jesus celebrated for them, in Emmaus. There, inside their home, the first domestic church, after a priceless “homily” granted during the long walk, after the consecration of their bread and the wine, He gave Himself in Holy Communion to Cleophas, his wife Mary, and likely some grown up children or servants.
It’s critically important to understand that they only recognized and understood what really happened when Jesus broke the bread, said the prayer of blessings, and gave to them to eat and drink. At that moment, Jesus disappeared -but only visually- vanished from the table, in the same way He is invisible at the Mass “table” (altar), since they no longer need to see Him, in order to know that He is really there, under the appearance of bread and wine then transubstantiate into the living body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ resurrected. Evidently, for the rest of their lives, they recognized who was really there, celebrating that first Sunday Mass, at the same day He raised from the dead, in a similar way that we now recognize the mystery of a Priest acting “in persona Christ,” during the miracle of the transubstantiation, which happens during Masses celebrated within the Church founded by Christ.
Mother Angelica, the founder of EWTN, frequently reminded us that not even the Angels have the privilege to suffer or offer sacrifices to console God and alleviate the suffering of others, much less the privilege to receive the divine Redeemer via Holy Communion.
Let’s see, by the graphic below, the Sunday Mass attendance in Brazil, for example, since it is the country with the largest Catholic population in the world: Only approximately 8% attend Sunday Masses regularly. Simply unbelievable!
On the other extreme, i.e., Catholics in Nigeria, although complying in terms of massive presence at Sunday Masses, it seems that many go to a mere cultural event by emotional habit since their faith doesn’t concretely reflect in their practical public and political life. We all ‘forget’ -in practical terms- that God ‘cannot’ vote, God ‘cannot’ put corrupt politicians in jail, etc. We, as a responsible Christian community, must do it, energetically, publicly, out of our duty of faith, and also funded by our own financial resources -as complement to tax- when necessary. Anyway, the main point that we are trying to emphasize here is that both extremes (present everywhere) are deeply affected by the lack of knowledge or shallow interpretation of these Five Commandments of the Church:
Becoming friends with the La Salette Network will be extremely beneficial also for those unable to receive Holy Communion, especially after joining the Movement as active members. The goal of the La Salette Network is to witness, inspire, and kindly invite every non practicing Catholic to give themselves a new opportunity. We will encourage, accompany, and explain how doable it can be to ask God and receive a new life through His beloved Church, starting with a simple act of repentance for not keeping the "Sabbath" holy, in a sacramental confession. After the absolution, gradually, a new wave of joy and peace that cannot have a price tag will begin. And for those unable to receive sacramental absolution (and Holy Communion, as consequence), they can certainly express their repentance to a priest, asking his prayers to persevere from now on without missing future Sunday Masses, making a spiritual communion while following his directions to regularize canonic situations with the Church, with a humble, grateful and patient heart.
At La Salette, Our Lady specifies two main refusals of her people: "The two things which make the arm of my Son so heavy":
The Seventh Day. The disrespect for the seventh day sends us back to the two first books of the Bible, Genesis, and Exodus. How do we honor "the day which God has reserved for himself," the day when one stands face to face with God? Is it really for us a day of repose befitting free people, the Day of the Lord, befitting us as children of God, the day of assembly for brothers and sisters in need of reconciliation? Christ inaugurated, by his resurrection, the first day of the new creation: we are called to live as children of God. And this life, which passes beyond death, should causes us to enter the Day of the Lord, a day without sunset, with a profound awareness and expectation.
And the Name of My Son ("holy is His name"). The Virgin comes to tell us again, "Holy is His name." "There is no other Name under heaven given to men which is necessary for our salvation" (Acts 4:12). "Never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus..." (Col 3:17), that is, after the manner of Christ and according to his Spirit.
It is indeed a question, therefore, of Faith and submission. The will to live with and in Christ as a servant inside His Church, not as a mere “tourist” using the Church. A great testimony about that can be inferred from the life of one of the greatest members of the US Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas:
A Brief Historical Summary of Our Lady’s Visit at La Salette
On September 19th, 1846, 11-year-old Maximin Giraud and 14-year-old Mélanie Calvat were minding cows in a small village in Southeast France. While returning home, they encountered a bright light. In the light was a sitting woman, weeping into her hands. Maximin would later say: “She was like a mama whom her own children had beaten and who had escaped to the mountain to weep.”
The children approached. The unknown lady, while still crying, told the children about the trials of Her Son. She explained that she and Her Son are weary from the sufferings they have endured for humanity.
She lamented for those who work on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, rather than resting and praying. In addition, the cart drivers continued to swear with Her Son’s name (among many other blasphemes). In the winter, people attended Mass just to scoff at religion, and in the summer, they ignored it altogether.
Our Lady explained that the potato famine across Europe the year before was a warning. If the people did not convert their hearts, more famine awaited them. If they do, then there will be an abundance of food. The famine never came, as many Catholics changed their ways after hearing of the apparition.
Nowadays, more than ever, Our Lady messages in La Salette are for everyone, not just for the townsfolk of La Salette, several years ago. She makes it clear that she intercedes for us more than we could ever repay. Her words are a message of conversion to Jesus and His Church.
Some extracts from Our Lady’s dialog with the children during her apparition in La Salette:
"If They Are Converted…”
The call to conversion is at the heart of the message of La Salette. Everything converges towards that end: the tears and the crucifix, the light and the roses, the attitudes of the beautiful lady, the walk from the ravine to the summit, but above all, the discourse of the Virgin. "Return to God with all your heart", He alone is the source of life.
"Do you say your prayers well, my children?"
"Not very well, Madam;” -They Replied-
Should not that also be our reply? She exhorts them to pray each day, morning and evening. "Watch and pray." The Virgin indicates only a minimum, an Our Father and a Hail Mary, but she urges them to do more when they can.
"During the summer, only a few aged women go to Mass."
The coming together of Christians each week for Sunday Mass is a "vital need": the Word of God nourishes their faith; the contact with Christ, the bread broken for a new world, is a source of dynamism; the communion of His Body given up for us and of His Blood once shed for us reminds us to be ready to give our lives on behalf of others and makes us sharers in the strength of Christ's Spirit. "At the heart of the former world with which we are still linked by our blindness and inertia, the Church, in the celebration of the Eucharist, understands and announces that the new world, inaugurated by the risen Christ, is in fact already present in our midst, and it is incumbent on us to be its witnesses in our daily lives through our conduct, both as individuals and as members of society." This eucharistic requirement thus becomes a source of hope and joy that no one can take from us.
"During Lent, they go to the meat market like dogs...”
Far from scandalizing us, Our Lady's strongly worded reproach should prick our consciences. In the Bible, when people are compared to dogs, it means that they have lost all sense of dignity (Phil 3:2; Mt 7:6, etc.). What are we doing with our dignity as children of God when we waste food and other things when we squander goods that others desperately need? To find our dignity anew, must we not realize that we do not live by bread alone and that the necessary efforts we must make to share our blessings with others are communion with the Son of God, from whom precisely we derive our dignity? "What you do to the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you do to me!" (Mt 25). “Seek first the Kingdom of God and it’s Justice, and [then] everything else will be granted to you in addition.” (Mt 6:33).
Finally, she said: "Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people."
But what about us, today? Can we recognize the forgotten truths of the Gospel as we contemplate her Apparition at La Salette and ponder her words in continuity with her future interventions in history such as those at Lourdes, Fatima, etc.? Will we be willing to respond to "the pains she has taken for us" by returning to God with all our hearts through Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life; the One who was crucified for our sins, rose from the dead for our salvation, Jesus, our peace, and our reconciliation?
The first hashtag for our https://LaSalette.network and social media posts: #ILoveMySundayMass
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