Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,
Glory to Jesus Christ!
Last weekend, Fr. Chad Riperger and I gave a seminar at a parish in the Milwaukee area, and in his second talk Fr. Ripperger addressed a topic that I have never heard addressed head-on with such clarity since the founding of the Kolbe Center almost 25 years ago. In his second presentation Fr. Ripperger explained why, in his judgment, so few priests, even in traditional congregations, are willing to defend the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation. You can watch the entire seminar at these links: Friday's link, Saturday's link.
In the light of Fr. Ripperger’s insightful analysis of this problem, I would like to invite you to join with us in an important prayer initiative, an initiative that will definitely contribute to the restoration of the true Catholic doctrine of creation as the foundation of our Faith. Before I explain the initiative, I would like to recall the three main elements that explain how our Catholic ancestors in the first millennium succeeded in transforming a pagan world into a vibrant Christian civilization.
The Three Keys to the Successful Evangelization of a Pagan World
When one reflects on the way that a small number of (humanly speaking) defenseless Christians transformed a pagan world into a Catholic Christian civilization, there are three characteristics of those early Christians that stand out: 1) their supernatural Faith; 2) their supernatural Charity; and 3) the Miracles worked by the members of the Mystical Body of Christ which confirmed the supernatural origin of their Faith. In the life of St. Benedict, for example, we read of the fearsome barbarian warlord Totila who was brought to his knees by a miracle of St. Benedict. According to one account:
In autumn of 542 AD, while the Goth King Totila was passing through Cassino en route to Naples to attack it, he decided to test Saint Benedict because he had already heard of his gifts and charisms. As a consequence, Totila sent his squire dressed as a king to greet the monk; but Saint Benedict soon unmasked him. When he finally met Totila, he warned him with a dire prediction: “You have hurt many and you continue to do it, now stop behaving badly! You will enter Rome, you will cross the vast sea, you will reign for nine years; however, in the tenth year, you will die.” And that is exactly what happened.
The lives of the saints contain numerous examples of conversions of huge numbers of pagans by the wonder-workers of the early Church. Indeed, down through the centuries, innumerable pagans have been won and heretics won back to the true Faith by the stupendous miracles of saints like St. Dominic, St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Francis Xavier, and St. Gerard Majella. All of these wonder-workers believed and proclaimed that God created the heavens and the earth the seas and all they contain by speaking them into existence at the beginning of time. Believing, as they all did, that God created Adam, body and soul, instantly and immediately, by willing him into existence from the slime of the earth on the sixth day of creation, it was easy for them to believe that in the Name of Jesus they could raise the dead, give sight to the blind, make the deaf hear and the lame walk.
Even as rationalism and naturalism began to infect the thinking of ever-greater numbers of Catholic intellectuals and Church leaders beginning in the 17th and 18th centuries, the saints who continued to work wonders were those who kept their faith in the First Article of the Creed and the straightforward interpretation of the sacred history of Genesis as it was handed down from the Apostles. Indeed, the greatest wonder-workers in the history of the Church on the North American continent, Venerable Antonio Margil (1657-1726) and Blessed Solanus Casey (1870-1957), worked every kind of miracle that Our Lord Jesus Christ performed. This they did while constantly proclaiming their faith in the sacred history of Genesis and meditating every day on the Mystical City of God by Venerable Maria of Agreda who was told that as Our Blessed Mother prepared to give birth to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, She was shown the six days of fiat creation, exactly as they had been shown to Moses.
In recent times, when almost all Catholic intellectuals had lost their faith in the literal historical truth of the sacred history of Genesis, St. Padre Pio worked every kind of miracle that Our Lord Jesus Christ worked when He walked the earth, all the while retaining a child-like faith in special creation and in the Biblical chronology of the universe. In our own day, faith in the sacred history of Genesis has reached its lowest ebb since the time of the Apostles; and, not surprisingly, the number and the quality of reported miracles has plummeted. Even some of the miracles accepted for beatification and canonization in recent decades do not meet the strict criteria that were used for centuries to evaluate miracles in the processes for beatification and canonization.
A Prayer Initiative for Our Times
Because of the close link between faith in fiat creation and faith in the possibility of miracles, we are convinced that Our Lord will work many miracles in our time to confirm the truth of the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation. To that end, I would like to ask you to consider making a novena to the Immaculate Conception, by formulating an intention along these lines:
O Lord Jesus Christ, through the prayers of the Immaculate Conception your Mother, whom from the Cross you gave us to be our Mother also, I beg you to grant the grace of __________ as a confirmation of the truth that You created the heavens, the earth and the seas and all they contain in six days, just as You wrote on the tablets of stone which You gave to Moses.
(Then pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be for nine days for your intention.)
Please let me know of any miraculous answers to your prayers so that I can make them known to the whole Kolbe family.
Before ending this newsletter, I would like to thank all of you who prayed for God’s blessing upon our recent seminar. We could truly feel the effects of your prayers, and I am convinced that it was your prayers that obtained the grace of openness in heart and mind for the five hundred or so attendees, many of whom had never before heard a Catholic defense of the true Christian doctrine of creation.
Yours in Christ through the Immaculata in union with St. Joseph,
P.S. Today is a First Saturday. Please be sure to answer Our Lady’s appeal for the First Saturday devotions as described by the Fatima Center at this link.
P.P.S. Our annual leadership retreat has been scheduled to take place from August 27-September 2, 2023, at the Apostolate for Family Consecration retreat center in Bloomingdale, Ohio. For more information or to register, please contact me at email@example.com.