“The entire Church cannot give to God as much honor, nor obtain so many graces, as a single priest by celebrating a single Mass”
St. Cyril of Alexandria
Cardinal Burke said: “No one who looks realistically at our world could think that Christians can afford to go on with business as usual, ignoring the profound crisis of faith which has overtaken our society. Each of us, in his or her state of life, is called to work for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. Each of us has a mission, each of us is called to change the world, to work for a culture of life, a culture forged by love and respect for the dignity of each person”.
I have attached a letter Shannon Baldridge wrote several years ago after her visit to the American Holocaust Memorial in Baton Rouge Louisiana. Shannon was the diocesan pro-life and Family Life Coordinator at that time. Each of us is giving a sliver of the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ to carry for the love of God and the salvation of our soul and that of others. Shannon was giving a drop of the tears which Our Lord continuously sheds over the slaughter of innocent babies in the womb.I am sharing this with you and others who are involved in this apocalyptic battle so that you may know the gravity of these sins and the urgency to make reparation to Almighty God for the sins of this nation. The eclipse of the Transcendent has brought about the “Culture of Death” and only a return to the Sacred Divine Liturgy; The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in all its majesty and glory will bring to a return to a “Culture of Life”. The Sacred Liturgy and the Defense of Life are indispensably intertwined and only through the Sacraments can we atone to God for our crimes against Life and Marriage and once again become His children.
“When the Lord Jesus Christ approached Jerusalem, He saw the City and wept over it” for they had not recognized the time of their visitation. Our Lord Jesus Christ now weeps over America for they too have not recognized the infinite Mercy Our Lord Jesus Christ has bestowed on us by not utterly destroying us for our crimes of sexual immorality and abortion. The crisis of Faith and the callous disregard for human life have grown exponentially with the completion of the genome project. As Our Lord foretold us:
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
American Holocaust Memorial Memorial
By Shannon Baldridge
On Friday, July 10,2009, I visited the American Holocaust Memorial Museum located at 4829 Bennington Ave. in Baton Rouge, LA. I visited it with some of my Crossroads friends I’d made: Jonathan Gordon, Melody Louviere, Avery Balsiger, and Lauren Thompson. A photo journalist, Albert Cesare, and his younger brother, James, a seminarian, also accompanied us along with someone Albert and James brought with them who I was never officially introduced to.
I had been afraid to go because I had seen from internet pictures that it was going to be pretty gruesome and I don’t handle blood and gruesomeness very well at all. I used to grow faint in my school science classes when they would discuss the circulatory system, that’s how sensitive I am. I was afraid to go, that I would grow faint and ill and need to be carried out and cause a scene that would be embarrassing to me. I always hated that feeling whenever there was a story or an image involving blood or wounds or surgical procedures…the tunnel vision, the hearing that faded out and fuzzed, the lightheadedness, the cold sweat and lack of strength at all to even stand. I didn’t want that to happen so I dreaded visiting that place.
Crossroads asked to go though so I agreed and thought maybe it would be easier if I went with friends who could distract me maybe. I made arrangements and feared what might happen but I was going to be brave this trip and do things I had never done before. This side trip would be no different. I was going out to struggle and face new challenges.
I entered the museum that had once been an abortion clinic and had been bought and left much as it had once been to show what these clinics were all about on the inside. Immediately I was met with a huge gruesome picture on the floor of an aborted infant and up came the wall to protect myself from being overwhelmed by the gruesomeness that would lead to my fading and faintness. I kept my horror at an arms length from me so I couldn’t feel anything too intensely. I only let a small amount of feeling through and what I felt was horror and revulsion. I was so distracted by my own personal concentration to avoid becoming ill that there was little room for anything else or to truly absorb what I was witnessing. It all seemed so surreal.
The last room I went into was a make-shift chapel of sorts. It wasn’t anything official but there were some statues and flowers and nice religious pictures and 3 kneelers. Lauren had already taken the far kneeler and so I thought it might at least be a good idea to pray. I couldn’t seem to let the place into me because of my fear so I thought at the very least, I could kneel in this room that was safe from the horrible surgical instruments and gruesome photographs in all the other rooms and pray for all that had happened in that cursed place. I took the middle kneeler and I hadn’t even finished settling myself yet when I finally cracked open my shell to reach out to God in prayer for the first time since I entered that place. I hadn’t even formed a coherent prayerful thought yet, it seemed the moment I opened myself up to touch God, a very strange thing happened to me that has never happened before.
Without warning I immediately began to sob and weep. I didn’t see it coming at all. There was no lump in my throat ahead of time, there was no sense that tears might be coming that I might have to control. It hit me hard like a wave and I was completely unprepared for it. It wasn’t any small little sniffling quiet crying either, it was body shaking deep sobbing crying. It overwhelmed me completely and I was helpless to stop it. The tears poured out of me and the body racking sobs came one after the other as though the flood gates had been opened to some unknown and unnamed tidal wave.
I rarely cry in front of others and when I do, it is usually a quiet and suppressed crying. This strange and out-of-control crying unleashed in front of these people with me was unthinkable to me. Even as I was kneeling there sobbing, I was in complete wonderment at myself and what was happening to me. I couldn’t understand it at all; it made no sense to me. I could feel the sadness and pain pouring out of me and going through me but it was not of me at all. There was me and my feelings of relatively small sadness by comparison and then there was this strange and foreign thing passing through me whose sorrow was so great it shamed me for my pitiful sadness doled out with an eyedropper by comparison.
I could tell by the way it kept pouring out of me that it wasn’t slacking off at all and wouldn’t. I couldn’t contain it, couldn’t hold it back, and couldn’t manage it. I got the feeling that ifl didn’t do something; this sobbing wasn’t going to stop on its own. It was never-ending and unceasing. After what must have been a long time already of my crying, I began to struggle to put up the wall I had entered with …the wall that had cracked a tiny bit when I opened myself to prayer and let in this wildly grieving presence. It took a lot of work but as I fought to put up my resistance again, the sobbing finally began to subside.
I decided to quickly walk through the surgical rooms one last time because having been shamed by the enormous sorrow working through me, I wanted to feel something of my own that might be comparable to it. I felt like I should be crying like that for what had happened there because of my own feelings and sorrow at the great loss of life here but those intense feelings didn’t come to me from my own self. I felt sad for them, but nothing like what I had touched, what had passed through me. It was a strange sensation, to actually experience the wild grief of someone who was not myself firsthand.
The crying didn’t completely cease until I had left the building. The crying I had just done was the sort of crying I would have done if someone had just told me one of my parents or siblings had just died. It was completely foreign and inexplicable why or how this had happened to me; that I should weep so uncontrollably for children I had never seen or met. It was a very terrible thing that had happened there but my feelings inside were not matching the sorrowing agony expressing itself through me. My own grief, which was very real and present in its own way, was a pale shadow by comparison.
The entire event completely baffled me and had me wondering at it. Even now, the more I think of it, the stranger it is to me, the less and less it makes sense to a world of practicality and sense and empirical observations. After thinking on it in my heart for several days now, I believe I was somehow manifesting the great sorrow that God and Mary feel for the devastation that took place there. I always knew that it hurt God immensely that we would kill our own children but to touch it myself and feel it working through me was another experience entirely. I had never experienced something like that before but I was grateful that the Holy Spirit allowed me to touch the great sorrow and realize the immense pain He feels over the holocaust. I cannot explain it or why it happened to me but I guess God felt it was important that I experience firsthand his overwhelming sorrow over the loss of his beloved children.