A Catechism on The Six Kowtows

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A Catechism on The Six Kowtows

 

In The Six Kowtows, we contemplate and pray from the heart to the Persons of the Trinity and Blessed Mother. Some do not know these Persons, while the rest of us always need to know more. Therefore, we will give a basic catechesis on these Persons so you get to know Them better and your practice of The Six Kowtows becomes even richer.

Before getting into these Persons, a few words need to be said on prostration and on the Trinity.

In our current world, we do not pray much, so we are not very creative with prayer. It has not always been so though. For example, St. Dominic had his “Nine Ways of Prayer,” which are nine bodily positions for prayer (including prostration). Full body prostration has been a constant thread in lives of the saints, because when you know who God is and who you are, you prostrate. In recent history, Pope St. John Paul the Great was known to prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament. Prostration is found throughout the Bible. The Six Kowtows is simply a particular type of prostration. In some of the Eastern Catholic Rites and Orthodox churches, this same basic kowtow posture is practiced. In private revelation, the kowtow position was first revealed and desired by heaven at Fatima though. The angel taught it to Lucia and Saints Jacinta and Francisco, saying “Pray thus.” It is not a coincidence that Sister Lucia and Lucia Phan have the same name, but that is a different story…

Regarding the Most Holy Trinity, it is one God in three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – so much can be said of each Person that we recommend learning more from the Catechism of the Catholic Church or the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. While we can know certain things about the Trinity, it will always be a mystery. As St. Augustine learned, the Trinity is a mystery no creature will ever plumb! The Nicene Creed, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Sign of the Cross are mostly statements of belief in the Trinity. “The central mystery of Christian faith and life is the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity. Christians are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Compendium, 44).

Definition of Trinity – A term used since A.D. 200 to denote the central doctrine of the Christian religion. God, who is one and unique in his infinite substance or nature, is three really distinct persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The one and only God Is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yet God the Father is not God the Son, but generates the Son eternally, as the Son is eternally begotten. The Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son, but a distinct person having his divine nature from the Father and the Son by eternal procession. The three divine persons are co-equal, co-eternal, and consubstantial and deserve co-equal glory and adoration (Servant of God Fr. John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary).

God the Father (First Kowtow)

Definition: “First person of the Trinity, who is unbegotten but who eternally begets the Son; from whom and from the Son proceeds the Holy Spirit. To the Father is attributed creation” (Modern Catholic Dictionary).

God the Son (Second Kowtow)

Definition: “The second person of the Trinity, who is eternally the only-begotten of the Father. He is really distinct from the Father and coeternal with the Father, from both of whom proceeds the Holy Spirit. Through him all things were made. He became incarnate of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit and is known as Jesus Christ” (Modern Catholic Dictionary).

God the Holy Spirit (Third Kowtow)

Definition: “The third person of the Trinity, who eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son and is really distinct from them yet coequal with them as God. To him are attributed all the works of the Trinity that pertain to the sanctification of the human race” (Modern Catholic Dictionary).

The Body and Blood of Jesus (Fourth Kowtow)

The Body and Blood of Jesus is a focus of this private revelation, so more will be said for this kowtow. As recorded in the Gospels, the Sacrament of the Eucharist – the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus – was instituted by Him at the Last Supper. “The Eucharist is the very sacrifice of the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus which he instituted to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until his return in glory. Thus he entrusted to his Church this memorial of his death and Resurrection. It is a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet, in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us” (Compendium, 271). As Vatican II teaches, the Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen gentium, 11).

“Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist in a unique and incomparable way. He is present in a true, real and substantial way, with his Body and his Blood, with his Soul and his Divinity. In the Eucharist, therefore, there is present in a sacramental way, that is, under the Eucharistic species of bread and wine, Christ whole and entire, God and Man” (Compendium, 282).

Amazing but true! The bread and wine are literally turned into the Body and Blood of Christ miraculously through the priest at Mass. The Eucharist is not a symbol. At the Last Supper, Jesus said, “Take, eat; this is my body. And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant […]’” (Matthew 26:26-28). God does not need to exaggerate and He certainly does not lie. In St. Paul we read: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16) Finally, Jesus leaves no doubt that it is literally His Body in Chapter 6 of John, where, rather than backing down and telling people they misunderstood, He doubled down on His teaching on the Eucharist, letting followers leave Him and saying: “‘But there are some of you that do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe” (John 6:64). His audience took it literally because He meant it literally.

The faithful consume and adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Reception of the Eucharist literally remits all venial sin in the recipient. Who can receive?

To receive Holy Communion one must be fully incorporated into the Catholic Church and be in the state of grace, that is, not conscious of being in mortal sin. Anyone who is conscious of having committed a grave sin must first receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before going to Communion. Also important for those receiving Holy Communion are a spirit of recollection and prayer, observance of the fast prescribed by the Church, and an appropriate disposition of the body (gestures and dress) as a sign of respect for Christ (Compendium, 291).

A comment needs to be made on this last sentence. The Vatican has consistently promoted receiving Communion on the tongue while kneeling as the most appropriate way to receive. Cardinal Sarah, the head of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, says that we should receive this way. The Vatican website even has a page on this matter. Great reverence is always needed with the divine sacrament. The more reverence the better:

Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. “The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession” (Catechism, 1378).

To be sure, the importance and power of the Eucharist cannot be overstated. Carlo Acutis, beatified on October 10, 2020, said this: the Eucharist is “my highway to heaven.” Simply put, if one’s spirituality is not Eucharistic it is errant. If you want to get to know Jesus, devote yourself to Him in the Eucharist.

The Five Holy Wounds of Jesus (Fifth Kowtow)

“And it was the third hour, when they crucified him” (Mark 15:25).

“By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

The wounds of God here show us how intensely He loves His children. Being God, Jesus could have redeemed us in any number of ways, but no one can suffer for another without extreme love. “While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man–though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8). You have five physical signs of God’s love for you. And there are many, many more signs than that in His Passion alone – He told this to St. Bridget of Sweden, who really wanted to know the number of blows He received in His Passion: “I received 5,480 blows on My Body. […]” Saints do not lie, exaggerate, or receive false private revelation. The Passion of the Christ movie was an understatement. Do you believe He loves you that much? He went through hell for us. Anyone who does not believe God loves him or her is deceived by the devil. He came for sinners; He came for you. All blood … for you. Never say He does not know what you are going through. He suffered as only God can, “for God is love” (1 John 4:8).

The Immaculate Heart of Mary and for Her Triumph (Sixth Kowtow)

“But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

“And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed’” (Luke 2:33-35).

“And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51).

According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays. If our heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain. The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place “to which I withdraw.” The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant (Catechism, 2562-2563).

As we all know, the heart is also symbolic of love, so the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus also symbolize Their love of God and others.

It is not clear yet precisely what Her triumph is. At Fatima She simply said,

You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.

In addition to the kowtows, there are also a few additional prayers that are said in The Six Kowtows. We also lift up shorter, heartfelt prayers to the following persons and groups, asking for their protection and intercession:

St. Joseph

St. Joseph does not say a word in Scripture, but volumes have been written about this man who is generally considered to be the greatest saint after Blessed Mother. In short, he was a man worthy to be the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus Christ. That is saying a lot. He is known for his purity, strength, ability to provide for his family, and spiritual power; he is a man’s man. He has his own litany, and the Church calls him “Patron of the Universal Church” as one of his many official titles. His feast day is a “solemnity,” which is the highest rank possible. For a man who does not have a word in Scripture, there is an entire field of theology devoted to him, “Josephology.” Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical on him and Pope St. John Paul wrote and taught extensively about him. He is even mentioned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (532-533)! One cannot say too much about St. Joseph. He is someone you definitely want to get to know. “Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do” (Genesis 41:55). St. Joseph, “Terror of demons, pray for us” (Litany of St. Joseph).

Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

These are the greatest of the archangels and are all mentioned in Scripture. St. Michael is especially important. He is the general in Blessed Mother’s army waging war against Satan and the other fallen angels. The faithful have traditionally prayed to him after Masses; a Catholic would do well to memorize this short form of the Prayer to St. Michael. If you want help against the devil, go to St. Michael. While all angels are messengers of God, St. Gabriel is the great messenger from God in Scripture. He speaks to Blessed Mother and is in the dreams St. Joseph has in Scripture. St. Raphael is the great healing angel in Scripture.

The Angels

The word “angel” comes from the Greek word angelos meaning “messenger.” Angels appear throughout Scripture. Here is some of what the Catechism has to say about them:

Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures: “The angels work together for the benefit of us all” (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 114, 3, ad 3). The angels surround Christ their Lord. They serve him especially in the accomplishment of his saving mission to men. The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being. (350-352)

The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition. […] With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they “always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” they are the “mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word”. As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness. (328-330).

“[…] the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels” (334).

“They ceaselessly contemplate God face-to-face and they glorify him. They serve him and are his messengers in the accomplishment of his saving mission to all. The Church joins with the angels in adoring God, invokes their assistance and commemorates some in her liturgy” (Compendium, 60-61)…

The Guardian Angels

Every person has a guardian angel who loves, supports, protects, and guides him or her night and day. It is up to us to follow them or not. “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.’ Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God” (Catechism, 336).

“For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11-12).

“Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared. Give heed to him and hearken to his voice, do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for my name is in him. But if you hearken attentively to his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries” (Exodus 23:20-22).

“According to the general teaching of the theologians, however, not only every baptised person, but every human being, including unbelievers, has his own special guardian angel from his birth” (Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Book 2, Section 2).

In a side note, in the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (2001), the Vatican tells us: “The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael, whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.”

The Saints

The Church’s “holiness shines in the saints; in Mary she is already all-holy” (Catechism, 867). Although all are called to holiness, as taught by Vatican II, there are only very small number of canonized saints. We need to sincerely strive for holiness by imitating the saints and seeking their intercession, because, as the French writer Leon Bloy wrote, “There is only one tragedy in the end, not to have been a saint.” We are all called to be saints – at the very minimum to be people who get into heaven, which is a definition of a saint. Let us imitate St. Angela Merici, who said, “I want to become a Saint, because I love Jesus.”

Who are the saints and why should I pray to them?

SAINTS. A name given in the New Testament to Christians generally (Colossians 1:2) but early restricted to persons who were eminent for holiness. In the strict sense saints are those who distinguish themselves by heroic virtue during life and whom the Church honors as saints either by her ordinary universal teaching authority or by a solemn definition called canonization. The Church’s official recognition of sanctity implies that the persons are now in heavenly glory, that they may be publicly invoked everywhere, and that their virtues during life or martyr’s death are a witness and example to the Christian faithful. (Etym. Latin sanctus, holy, sacred.) (Modern Catholic Dictionary)

“I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” (The Apostles’ Creed).

The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were “put in charge of many things.” Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world (Catechism, 2683).

But is it not wrong to pray to saints and angels? Is not Christ the “one mediator between God and men” (1 Timothy 2:5)? The fact is that God loves to work through His creatures and receives more glory this way than if we go “straight to Jesus.” It is good to go straight to God, but it is also good to go through the saints and angels. Here is a good article on this: https://www.catholic.com/tract/praying-to-the-saints .

The intercession of the saints. “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness…. They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus…. So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.” “Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.” (St. Dominic) “I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux) (Catechism, 956)

“The saints are our models of prayer. We also ask them to intercede before the Holy Trinity for us and for the whole world. Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. In the communion of saints, throughout the history of the Church, there have developed different types of spiritualities that teach us how to live and to practice the way of prayer” (Compendium, 564).

Communion with the saints. “It is not merely by the title of example that we cherish the memory of those in heaven; we seek, rather, that by this devotion to the exercise of fraternal charity the union of the whole Church in the Spirit may be strengthened. Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace, and the life of the People of God itself […]” (Catechism, 957).

By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God’s grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors. “The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church’s history.” Indeed, “holiness is the hidden source and infallible measure of her apostolic activity and missionary zeal” (Catechism, 828).

“From the Church he learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all-holy Virgin Mary; he discerns it in the authentic witness of those who live it; he discovers it in the spiritual tradition and long history of the saints who have gone before him […]” (Catechism, 2030).

In conclusion, the fact that The Six Kowtows can be supported by the most orthodox and reliable of sources shows how rock solid this new prayer practice is. Though The Six Kowtows seem new, in reality there is practically nothing that is new in them. As Scripture says, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Hopefully, this writing helps you come to know the details, and, above all, the persons and groups prayed to in this powerful new prayer practice. Pray to them daily with sincere words of praise and petition when prostrating and you will find a powerful means of conversion to God for yourself or ongoing conversion if you are already well on the road to God. Thank You, Blessed Mother, for giving humanity The Six Kowtows!

 

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