Thursday 13 February 2020

In the wake of the Catholic Emancipation Act

This week we have been finishing the narration for our film about Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God who is known as an Apostle of England and The Shepherd of the Second Spring.

God had been guiding the British people towards passing the great Catholic Emancipation Act that would reduce or remove many of the restrictions placed upon Roman Catholics in Great Britain and Ireland introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the penal laws.
Catholics had been required to renounce the temporal and spiritual authority of the pope and Transubstantiation, particularly if they wished to serve in public office. The penal laws had started to be dismantled in the year 1766. The Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829 finally removed by law the most substantial restrictions on Roman Catholicism in the United Kingdom.

For 23 years, Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God prepared to come to England, suffering and praying in anticipation for the fulfillment of his calling to the Dowry of Mary.
His heart was consumed with desire for the conversion of England and Our Lady had an important role for her little Italian Passionist son.

When he learned of the Catholic Emancipation Act, Blessed Dominic wrote: 

"O quam bonus Israel Deus! O quam bonus, O quam bonus Israel Deus! O quam bonus! O quam bonus? O Lord, other words can I not say! O how good thou art, O my God! “Merita supplicum excedis et vota:”

Yes O Lord, for thou hast infinitely exceeded the merits of him that offered his supplications unto thee! often and often have I prayed to thee for my beloved England, and now when I least expected it, I have heard the joyful news, which I so much desired, of the Emancipation of the Catholics of that Kingdom. “Merita upplicantisexedisti.”

 But why do I speak of merits? What merits could I have, excepting such as would cast me into Hell? Not for my deserts; O Lord, but for thy own infinite mercy hast thou wrought this work. Not as yet, however, hast thou accomplished all my desires. No, my God, too much still remains to be done. My object was not merely to witness the Emancipation of the Catholics of England alone, but the return of the entire kingdom to the bosom of the Catholic Church. 

This then now remains for thee to accomplish, and this thou wilt perform, not for my merits but for the infinite merits of thy divine son Jesus Christ. My heart, O Lord, will never rest content, until I behold that which I desire. Thou hast begun the good work, and do thou vouchsafe to finish and perfect it, through thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever liveth and reigneth one God world without end. Amen."

Mary's Dowry Productions film about Blessed Dominic Barberi and the Dowry of Mary will be released soon.

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