GOD THE FATHER (2010-2013)

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“I want everyone to venerate My Divine Heart, because it is the Heart of a Father who loves His children with Infinite Love. Anyone who adores My Divine Heart atones for a multitude of sins. Console My Divine Heart and repair from your hearts (…) In this manner, peace – My Peace – will come on earth. Joy, Happiness, and Love will reign in the world once more.”

“My Divine Heart is the Heart of a Father Who loves His children to folly (…) a refuge for all men to come and rest in It, as a haven from the cares and burdens of the world (…) I desire to be loved, honored, worshipped, and venerated by all My children (…) Do not deny your Father this plea. I will accept anyone who comes to Me with a sincere heart.”

“This Devotion is in atonement for all the blasphemies committed against My Divine Heart (…) Many of the consequences of the Chastisement can be averted if (…you) pray sincerely and honestly to My Divine Heart. Whoever devoutly worships My Divine Heart pays Me homage, reparation for the tremendous agony and sorrow that I endure from My creation, due to the multitude of its sins. True reparation calms My Wrath and consoles My wounded Heart (…) Anyone who genuinely loves Me will console Me, otherwise he will be responsible for having let the fullness of My Wrath fall upon mankind.”

Note: The diptych, ecumenical, revealed icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father Encompassing All Hearts was written by Fr. Richard G. Cannuli, O.S.A., according to the original pencil drawing of the Divine Heart. After completion, the icon was kept on the altar in the chapel of Saint Thomas of Villanova Friary (USA) for many liturgies. The icon was blessed by Fr. Cannuli both with a regular blessing and the Holy Eucharist.

TRANSLATIONS OF THE CONSECRATION PRAYER

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The hypocrisy of the pro-life movement in the United States

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Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, You have driven me this day away from the ground; and from Your face I shall be hidden; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will slay me.”

Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If any one slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.”

And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who came upon him should kill him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden (Gn 4:2-16).

They claim to be ‘pro-life.’ In fact, they will stop at nothing to hold back a mother-to-be from aborting her baby-in-the-womb, for abortion is manslaughter-by-another-name at the very least. And rightly so.

It should be noted, however, that the vast majority of those who call themselves pro-life and actively belong to that movement in the US are not genuinely pro-life. They are simply pro-birth and pro-rationalization of whatever will quieten their conscience in the moment, to retain their personal and public delusions of being ‘a true Christian’ or ‘a faithful Catholic,’ despite the intractable beliefs with different intent which remain deeply in their hearts.

You shall not kill (Ex 20:13).

Specifically, they defend capital punishment – the death penalty; another name for homicide – tooth and nail, despite the fact that only God and no one else has the right to take the life of another human person, no matter the actions, honorable or dishonorable, of the latter. In a celebratory manner reminiscent of that of a herd of fools rather than that of a herd of sheep, these individuals and this movement disregard the teachings of the Church and the repeated calls of Saint John Paul II, among others, to end this “cruel and unusual” punishment. It is a punishment that only declared barbarians, irrevocable sadists, radical extremists, and those possessed by Satan would ever endorse in this day and age.

Here are some excerpts of Saint John Paul II’s calls in relation to the death penalty:

Human life belongs only to God: for this reason, whoever attacks human life, in some way attacks God Himself . . . Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity, and God Himself pledges to guarantee this . . . God, who preferred the correction rather than the death of a sinner, did not desire that a homicide be punished by the exaction of another act of homicide (Evangelium Vitae, 1995).

A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary (Homily at the Papal Mass in the Trans World Dome, St. Louis, Missouri, January 27, 1999).

May the death penalty, an unworthy punishment still used in some countries, be abolished throughout the world (Prayer at the Papal Mass at Regina Coeli Prison in Rome, July 9, 2000).

Happy Easter to all readers

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Who Are You? What is Your Faith?

Christianity is not what you are trying to make it out to be

img_0201“Arrest him/her!”

“Attention Patriots!”

“Demand action!”

“Fascists!”

These are just a tiny fraction of the calls coming out of the mouths of many Christians – in particular, nationalist-minded White Christians and Catholics – in the United States of America at present; a nation that used to pride itself on the greatness of its heart and its Judeo-Christian heritage. But Christianity is neither what you think it is, nor what you are trying to make it out to be, as Jesus Christ became incarnate to bring love, not hate, to a suffering world and the above samples of calls are nothing but examples of hate and/or incitements to hatred. Restoration, true life, and love have zero relationship to hatred.

By their fruits you shall know them (Mt 7:16).

Christianity has never been, nor is, neither will ever be about the dehumanization and scapegoating of the other – in particular, the disagreeing, the disagreeable, the non-White, the non-believing, or the differently-believing other, as God has granted free will to every human person. Violence in any way, shape, or form, and weapons are never the answer; never! Neither is attempting to restore Christianity as the order of the land through the end of a legislative barrel. God does not act like that; neither should the People of God.

Look at how much they love each other (Tertullian).

When self-identifying Christians and Catholics act or speak in the above-referenced manner, it should be noted that this is not genuine Christianity by any means, no matter what these persons may write or say they are and/or profess. That such individuals tend to do so under the name of Christianity, under the name of Catholicism even, makes it more of an abomination! Only a perversion of Christianity can produce such statements, such declarations, such calls, in accordance with the darkest desires of their hearts, not genuine Christianity illuminated by the Spirit of God. It is a deception at best.

Peace, love, charity, and unity shall not return to the land until We, the People – both left and right; Christians and non-Christians of all stripes – return to God with sincere repentance in the heart, because only Him Who Is Peace can grant the grace of true peace to the land and to the world. Only the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit can re-gather the people, the nations, into unity and fraternal love. Nothing else; no one else.

Communion for the divorced-and-remarried is against God’s law

There are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach [to you] a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed! (Gal 1:7-9).

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Recently, the Bishops of Argentina and more controversially the Bishops of Malta, the original island of Saint Paul, issued independent Guidelines on the interpretation of Chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. The Bishops of Germany are, at present, lining up to take the same stance. Many in the Church have challenged these guidelines, popularly labeled “the Maltese Directive,” as being a break, a discontinuity, a rupture with Scripture and Tradition in relation to receipt of the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist by those who are divorced and remarried, and who have not received a Church decree of annulment of their original marriage.

Now, the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller has spoken and done so in very clear terms. He has declared that all tenets of Familiaris Consortio set forth by Saint John Paul II in relation to the above issue are still in effect, and that receipt of Communion by the divorced-and-remarried is against the Will, the Law, of God. He has, furthermore, declared that “no power in heaven or on earth, neither an angel, nor the pope, nor a council, nor a law of the bishops, has the faculty to change it.”

Mueller’s full declaration can be found here. What we are seeing now is the rise of the false church, which God shall allow to succeed – for a short time.

Christians in America – Am I my brother’s keeper?

With joy you call yourselves Christians and Catholics both in the public and in the private spheres. Indeed, you wear these labels proudly as an identity. You declare that you raise your children, if any, in the faith; even homeschooling them if necessary, and attend Mass in accordance with the holy days of obligation of the Catholic Church. You reportedly receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharistic with regularity and “do good works” whenever you can. 

But are you – Christian?

You are blind to the plight, sorrows, sufferings, and tribulations of the people in your midst including the fatherless, the orphaned, the widowed, the isolated, the lonely, the grieving, and the strangers. You speak about Catholicism with authority, especially in relation to the need to give, the need for solidarity, the hot button issues of abortion, euthanasia, same-sex unions, communion for the divorced-and-remarried, and so on and so forth. But do you know how to give your life for others? 

Do you know how to give one half of everything that you possess, like the widow with the mites and with joy in your heart, so that less fortunate others may start living in the dignity that befits all human persons? Or do you just give from your ready surplus, if even that?

You place a premium on strength as an indicator of adulthood and maturity, including spiritual maturity, considering those who are weaker, more vulnerable, as “losers” rather than “winners.” You do this all the while thanking God in your heart that you are, thanks to His grace, “not one of them.” But Christ came to eloquently anoint human weakness or human strength? How can the divine strength enter into a human person and become manifest throughout their being and actions, except in the presence of weakness, littleness, and vulnerability – the very qualities of losers according to your way of thinking?

You are deaf to the repeated pleas and cries for help from those suffering among you. You sleep at night; they do not sleep. You eat during the day; they do not eat except perhaps for the crumbs left over by the dogs. It is suggested that you actively help others who need your assistance, but you displace your responsibility to do so by responding “there are programs for that.” 

Who is a Christian?

What is the Divine Will? Response to a question

That every single human person on the face of this earth returns to live, out of their own free will, in the bosom, the Divine Heart of God the Father.

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You are God: we praise you;

You are the Lord: we acclaim you;

You are the eternal Father:

All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,

Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you.

The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.

The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:

Father, of majesty unbounded,

your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,

and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory,

the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free

you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death,

and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.

We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,

bought with the price of your own blood,

and bring us with your saints

to glory everlasting.

V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.

R. Govern and uphold them now and always.

V. Day by day we bless you.

R. We praise your name for ever.

V. Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.

R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;

R. for we put our trust in you.

V. In you, Lord, is our hope:

R. and we shall never hope in vain.

Anti-priests of the Western world – Betrayers of God and humanity

“Do you think I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on, a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Lk 12, 51-53).

“Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter” (Lk 11:52).

Revisionists of history, revisionists of the Word and the Truth, legitimizers of disorder and chaos; betrayers of God, the People of God, and of humanity. That is what you are, anti-priests of the Western world, no matter your rank in the priesthood, for you serve neither God nor His children despite your call and the indelible mark on your souls. You act as spiritual counselors of the people in both the internal and the external fora, but you lead without hesitation the most vulnerable and oppressed of the children of God in the direction of the desires of your own hearts and of the Evil One, instead of in the direction of God their Almighty Father. 

Quo vadis, sacerdotes?

Thieves of the souls created and ever-so-loved by the Father, first degree murderers of the innocents whose blood bathes your hands in a mystical way, and ruthless persecutors of those brethren of the cloth who dare speak truth to your power, you differ not from Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli the high priest, and the bishop Judas Iscariot. In their company you belong! You counsel and enable women, at some of the most vulnerable and confused times of their lives, to proceed with having abortions when they ask you if they can licitly do so within the context of their Catholic faith. You give said counsel under the psychologization of saving the life of the mother, while knowing full well the spiritual and material consequences to your victims of such actions. Yes, victims! For these women and their unborn children, in reality, are no other than victims of your self-serving, thieving, and murderous hearts – envious hearts as neither women are you, nor men in your identities. 

How can you call yourselves fathers after the Divine Heart of God the Father and priests after the Sacred Heart of Christ the Priest (cf. Jer 3:15)? You are anything but!

Dying to reconstruct and promulgate the faith in accordance with the deepest darkness of your desires and despite knowing that the immaculate Father, Son, and Holy Spirit cannot come to live in souls where the mortal darkness of unrepentant impurity resides, you actively facilitate both the illicitly married priesthood (opposite- and same-gender) in the Latin Rite Church and bless same-gender unions, in repeatedly compulsive attempts to legitimize the back alley acting-out of your own unintegrated sexualities, disordered inclinations, and challenged identities. You do this under the psychologizations that the law is continually evolving and that such marriages are preferable to the use of onanism as a substitute for intimate human relations. But according to whose supernatural wisdom does the bind of either one option or the other option of sexual acting-out necessarily have to be in effect, in the daily life of those not validly bound in the sacrament of matrimony? Whenceforth your failure in both faith and reason? Wherefore the abdication on your priestly part with regard to the third option: the potent, tangible action of grace and the equally tangible power of purity? Do you think they do not exist and this in the lives of common persons, including priests who are humble? To whom, moreover, do the souls of the persons you counsel and interact with in this manner belong: to your grasping, lustfully greedy, and darkness-filled selves, or to the Father who wants them home with Him despite all their frailties? 

Whereto, therefore, the clerical abuse of power? For that is what it is. The abuse of the spiritual trust placed in you by the persons in question and by God Himself – erudite men of the cloth, yet wolves in sheep’s clothing; anti-priests of the Western world – given the intrinsic nature of your call? And whereto the eternal destiny of your own souls? 

What accounting are you going to give at your particular judgment in relation to all those souls you have stolen and keep on stealing without compunction from the Almighty Father?

Merry Christmas to you all

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Violators of the inalienable rights given by God to man

The inalienable rights given by God the Almighty Father to man are the following:

  1. The right to live;
  2. The right to own private property for the shelter of oneself and one’s family, within the context of the universal destination of goods, in accordance with natural law;
  3. The right to work for sustenance and integral growth, and own the fruits of one’s work;
  4. The right to just remuneration for work done;
  5. The right to rest;
  6. The right to worship, both individually and collectively, without encumbrances.

The violators of the inalienable rights given by God to man are several. Thus it has been throughout most of the history of humankind, in some ways or others, despite man and woman both having been created in the image of the only divine God, in order to attain to His likeness through deification in via. None, however, have become as brazen and insidiously perverse – legally so – in their subtle and not-so-subtle violations, and confluences of violations, of the said rights of human persons as the materially over-developed nations of the first world; the most spiritually under-developed nations of the entire world.

Spiritually impoverished to the extent that even the poorest of the materially poor nations remain aghast at their level of unawareness, if not outright denial, of these tangible realities, the violator-nations remain encapsulated in an over-saturated and impenetrable darkness through their individual, collective, systemically insatiable and intransigent lust for money and power. A lust that no amount of money or power will ever be able to satiate, because it arises from the intersection of the individual and the collective heart of man – a heart that has become possessed by nothing other than the veritable evil of the Evil One himself under the illusion of good.

What integral development of humankind? Every one of the aforementioned human rights – rights given to man by God Himself – you have violated them and continue violating them without fear or remorse.

Light appearing as darkness and darkness appearing as light, you kill; violator-nations of the first world. You kill human persons and that has become your specialty; your expertise, your main export. You advocate and legislate for the manslaughter, if not the murder, of your children; those children who form part of you, whether you like it or not, and who would form and sustain your future as nations. Children, the blood of whom is, at this very moment, crying out for justice at the altar of the infinite God Who allowed you to become nations in the first instance and granted you unparalleled beneficence from the goodness of His Divine Heart. What kind of monsters are you, violator-nations?

You kill both your men and women and their families; those men and women who are an intrinsic part of the fabric of your life as nations, some of whom have laid down their very lives so that you may remain alive as nation-states. You kill by stealing, directly or indirectly, in multiple and increasingly creative ways the fruits, livelihoods, shelters, and health of your own people; those people who, in themselves – in their very hearts, minds, bodies and souls – comprise you as nations, but whom you regard as nothing more than objects to be used then discarded. They are the people without whom you would not even exist. You also kill the human identities of your people by not letting them be.

You kill by living like an ever-more-obese leech off the backs of your own people, turning the vast majority into de facto slaves of your materialist elitism in a similar, albeit not analogous, manner to the Pharaoh, Thutmoses III, and the slave-Children of Israel, despite your having legislated away slavery as illegal. And to make sure you kill off any and all chances they may ever have of hope, liberation, and freedom, you do your very level best, in a variety of procedural and not-so-procedural ways, to kill the people’s right to rest and be consoled by God, in order to keep fattening your idol selves as violator-nations of the inalienable rights of humankind. Unable to bear the intrinsic and extrinsic realities of all of the above, you kill your elderly by commission and omission; the people who provide you with the grapevines of wisdom, because you are incapable of listening any more to the latter due to the individual, collective, and systemic guilt that eats away at you inside whenever you hear them and torments your nation-souls.

The blood of your people, violator-nations of the first world, is on your hands. How are you ever going to face God and your judgment, violator-nations of the inalienable rights of your own people and individual and collective enablers of such nations, given both what you have done and keep on doing without compunction?

Veneration of the diptych icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father

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Picture of the diptych icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father visiting and being venerated in the humble abode of a Latino family in the United States of America. Also present are a relic of the True Cross of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and relics of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the apostles.

The scandal of affluent churches in the United States

How I would love a church that is poor and for the poor (Pope Francis, General Audience, 2013).

There are millions of people who are homeless in America. Millions, not thousands; old and young alike. Yet newly built, protestantized churches like the above abound – and they call themselves Catholic. Not one flower is to be seen near the tabernacles in which God the Most Holy Trinity resides, or near the statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Yet they pride themselves in being Catholic. Was Christ born in a cold and dirty stable in Bethlehem, because his Mother and foster father were homeless and no one took them in, or was He born in the palace of Herod?

You have left your first love (Rv 2:4).

Where is your love? Do you even know what love means? Where is your devotion and fidelity to God? In the parking lots full of sports utility vehicles and ‘trucks,’ the vast majority of which seem to have been released within the past few years – while your own people, your very own people, sleep in the streets or under bridges, and eat food out of dumpsters behind big box stores? Are you a first world nation, America, or a third world nation? Where are your hearts, O People of God?

Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying (1 Cor 11:27-30).

What about your Masses, often standing room only and with innumerable stations for communion under both species, the distribution of which at times lasts almost 20 minutes – only to find not more than 20 people, if that, for the sacrament of confession on any given Saturday? And that when confession is even offered.

What about not a few of your priests, more often than not prancing around for homilies and during which some, for example, on a Solemnity in the Catholic Church, dare to ask if any of the faithful in the pews have dressed up as a lobster on Halloween? Not to mention a narration by one cleric, during the homily, about how much he enjoyed visiting Graceland and the house of Elvis Presley, ‘the King.’ What King? Who is the real King? Where is God? Is this “very reverent” as was said? Is this the “return to the solemnity of the Mass” as was claimed?

And the king will say to them, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me’ (Mt 25:40-45).

And what about the ‘welcome packets’ that are sent by these kinds of churches – packets containing nothing more than a thick stack of envelopes for tithing? Is this the desire of the heart of the Divine Father toward those who cross your thresholds? Do you even know what God wants from His people in relation to others?

Christ, on His visit to the temple centuries ago, flew into a rage, made whipping cords and used them to drive the marketeers out of the house of the Heavenly Father, as the anti-priests of the time had turned the temple into a veritable marketplace (Jn 2:15). And it is happening again. Saint John Paul II, when a simple parish priest, had nothing but a single change of clothing and one pair of shoes to his name. He did not even own a coat, despite the hard, cold weather. Benedict XVI has stated without equivocation that the spirit of the liturgy has been lost in such places. Francis has called without hesitation on a number of occasions for a poor Church for the poor.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Mt 19:23-24).

Yet the affluent churches in the United States do not hesitate to call themselves Catholic.

The Almighty Father speaks

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I am coming to banish the excessive fear that My creatures have of Me, and to show them that My joy lies in being known and loved by My children . . . I am coming to bring hope to men and nations . . . to make Myself known just as I am, so that men’s trust may increase, together with their trust for Me, their Father. I have but one concern: to watch over all men and love them as My children.

I wish men to know as soon as possible that I love them and that I feel the greatest happiness in being with them and talking with them; like a father with his children. I am the Eternal One and, when I was alone, I had already thought of using all My power to create beings in My image . . . In the Old Testament, I created and chose prophets to live among men. To them I told My desires, My sorrows and My joys, so that they could communicate them to everyone . . . I have always wished to remain in this world among men. So, during the Flood, I was close to Noah: the only just man then. In the other calamities, also, I always found a just man with whom I could stay and, through him, I lived among the men of that time, and it has always been thus . . . I continued to choose certain souls in whom I was pleased, because through them I could be happy with My creatures: men.

When I realized that neither the patriarchs nor the prophets had been able to make Me known and loved by men, I decided to come Myself . . . in the Second Person of My divinity. Would men know Me? Would they listen to Me? . . . I Myself answered these two questions: ‘They will ignore My presence, even though they will be near Me. In My Son they will treat Me cruelly, notwithstanding all the good He will do for them. In My Son they will speak ill of Me, they will crucify Me to bring about My death. Shall I stop because of this? No, My love for My children, men, is too great’ . . . If one of My creatures had been enough to atone for the sins of other men, through a life and death similar to those of My Son, I would have hesitated. Why? Because I would have betrayed My love by making a beloved creature suffer, rather than suffering Myself, in My Son.

Now this love has been forgotten, I want to remind you of it, so that you can learn to know Me as I am. So that you will not be, like slaves, afraid of a Father Who loves you so much . . . I am your Father! I am the best of Fathers! I know My creatures’ weaknesses! Come to Me, come with confidence and love! I will forgive you after you have repented. Even if your sins were as repulsive as mud, your confidence and your love will make Me forget them, so you will not be judged! You must come to Me, I am so close to you! You must love Me and honor Me, so that you will not be judged. Or rather, that you will be judged with infinitely merciful love.

If My Heart were not like this, I would have already destroyed the world every time it committed sins! . . . No one has yet understood the infinite desire of My divine, paternal Heart to be known, loved and honored by all men, the just and the sinful. These are the three gifts that I wish to receive in homage from men, so that I may always be merciful and good even towards the most hardened sinners . . . I have not yet received this special veneration which I have so much hoped for and which I desire so much (Ravasio, 1932/1994).

The theophanic ministry of the icon and the restoration of souls

The theophanic ministry of the icon (as different from a religious painting) leads to the restoration and return of souls to their Creator and Father not just by its intrinsic beauty, which both leads in a mysterious manner to and transmits the beauty of Him Who is Other, but by drawing souls beyond the pale of this earthly plane to that of the heavenly plane through its epiphanic presence and direct participation in the divine light; the energeia of God. The icon is neither a sacrament as considered by some in the Eastern Church, nor is it just a sacramental as understood by the vast majority in the Western Church. The icon lies at the intersection of both, showing characteristics of sacraments and sacramentals, yet never attaining to the fullness of the former, while having more than the fullness of the latter. It is thus that the icon has been granted by God a unique place in the history and function of the liturgy, as well as the history of the salvation and deification of humankind.

The darkened nous and the pure in heart

They love God. They want Him and they desire Him to come and live with them forever.

Or do they?

The pure in heart shall see God (Mt 5:8).

They pray to Him and they, at times, spend hours telling others about Him, bringing them to God.

Or do they?

The pure in heart shall see God, but the nous that has been shuttered by sin can produce nothing other than its true fruit: darkness.