By The Hermits, Feb 1 2016 9:02PM
Two things, more than anything else, sum up the Western World today. They are not the theories of secularism, materialism, nihilism, even the theory of the Superman, but two terrifying and intertwined monsters, Impurity and a total obsession with self, that find their ultimate stand in total infidelity.
In the Western World everyone goes on about sex. The majority group, it appears, offers total libertinism which advocates that you can, even must, have sex whenever you want it, with whomsoever you want it, and however you want it, The other group, much smaller indeed, resists this with a call to purity and chastity, words that make no sense at all to modern Man.
Bruce Jenner, now Caitlin Jenner, and former Olympic Gold Medal Decathlon winner in the 1976 Olympics, a most important year for America as it was the Second Centenary of the foundation of that great nation, is considered the most famous Transgender person in the World, and is regarded rather interestingly as a hero, but should he/she perhaps be a heroine, rather than a hero? Caitlin has never been homosexual, and finds women attractive. This would certainly be backed up by the fact that he, in his previous life, was married three times. This of course begins to become utterly nonsensical when he/she describes himself/herself as a Christian. Logic simply is thrown out of the window, for a person who embarks on having a sex change or gender reorientation is basically saying that God has made a mistake. God never makes mistakes. Finally there is the ominous note that Bruce was married into the Kardashian family, who are supposedly involved in the Illuminati, whether that is true or not would be hard to know. However the late Ted Gunderson, who was in charge of the FBI in Los Angeles, noted, and he is not alone in this regard, that the Illuminati run the entertainment industry in the States, and so it is more than likely that these very unfortunate people are caught up in the machinations of the Devil.
At the root of the whole sordid mess, that is now the West, there is one thing and one thing only, namely Pride. The obsession with sex, and self is the monotonous leitmotif of the Devil’s dismal and degrading gargantuan symphony of enticement by excitement.
Now it must be remembered that Lucifer is the Light Bearer. Prior to his fall he was the greatest of the Archangels, and with his fall he becomes the Prince of Darkness. In his despair he has one aim and one aim only, to deprive God of as many souls as possible. He knows that he cannot destroy God, but he can try to damn as many people as possible. He of course does not use simply sexual sins to do this, but in the present age this is his preferred weapon, along with drugs. This of course was part of the programme of the Illuminati back in 1776 when they were determined on the destruction of the Church, and Christianity. Until the opening of Pandora’s box back in the 1960’s, with the explosion of the Sexual Revolution, I would imagine that mental illness was far less all pervasive as it is today. Sin begets madness. The whole problem of transgenderism is about rebellion against God’s loving creation. Those who wish to change their sex, which is a philosophical impossibility, are in many ways no different from the recent phenomena of the Norwegian teenage girl who thinks that she is a cat, the Englishman who wants to be a parrot and has had his ears cut off, and the Leopard man who lived in the Highlands of Scotland for years, had his teeth filed, was tattooed as a leopard and wore just a loincloth. He is now living in sheltered accommodation; ageing must have brought some sanity to the man.
The selfishness of sexual sin, the self-centredness of trying to re-invent oneself are all part of Satan’s obsession with himself and his own importance. He wishes to be like God. He wants to be God. This ambition doomed to utter failure and despair will not disappear until the end of Time, and the great battle between good and evil has been won by God who shares great task, through his infinite love and mercy with his angels and saints. The importance to modern Western Man and Woman is the desire to be loved, adored, and be that peculiar creature the celebrity.
Now Satan thinks that he can make sex infertile through contraception and abortion. He thinks that he can make people genderless, quite how I do not know. He thinks that he can catch them by making them want to be animals. What he does in fact is to make them poor imitations of himself, for he, being a spirit, cannot reproduce himself. It is this terrible love of self, which ultimately becomes a hatred of self. The more one sins the more dissatisfied one becomes with things, and oneself. Sin which is about the misuse of God’s gifts to us, finally blinds us to the love of God. Modern Western men and women, who should know better, as they come from a once profoundly Christian culture, are pursuing the cult of self-adoration. This leads ultimately to complete darkness, a darkness which leads to Hell.
Nothing could be more different than Joseph and Mary, who take Jesus to present him to his Father in the Temple. They bring Jesus to the temple on the fortieth day after his birth. The Mother of God and Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, but even more his father than a natural father could be, as he is the representative of God the Father on Earth, come modestly, hidden, unnoticed into Herod’s awe inspiring Temple. There are no fanfares, no cameras, no selfies, no appalling trophies to be received, neither are there those adoring crowds that inhabit our stadiums, our convention halls, and our theatres. There is love and obedience. Our Lady, of all women, did not need to be purified. Jesus did not have to be bought back as the firstborn son of Mary and the eternally begotten Son of the Father, but he did all that was required by the law for he had to break man’s pride and arrogance, and his weapon was humility and suffering, and ultimately his death on the Cross.
Christ in his life told us that he came to be served and not to be served. He told us that the first would be last and the last first. He washed his Apostles feet at the Last Supper; the job of a slave. God becomes a slave, and we want, in our crazed and cruel Western World want, to become God.
Who then recognizes Jesus? Only an old man Simeon and a very old woman Anna.
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
“Lord, now You are letting Your servant
depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
Which You have prepared before the
face of all peoples,
A Light to bring revelation to the
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
And Joseph and His mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day, and spoke of him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. (Luke 2:vv.25-38)
Simeon and Anna were simple devout old people who served God with their whole hearts, and their whole preoccupation was with God and loving him. They were not caught up with what we would now call the Social Gospel, but with their eyes, and hearts and mind totally fixed on God, so that they could hear him speaking to them through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I have often observed that the Catholic Church in Britain, when it was made up, in the main, of Irish immigrants, was a humble Church. Several generations down the line we see that the descendants of those Irish immigrants are now very English, many very middle class, and sadly so well educated that they have been educated out of the Faith. What are they educated in? Well in the profane, not the sacred sciences, and if they happen to be theologians they will have had their heads filled with the nonsense of 19th century German Scripture scholarship which has all but destroyed their Faith, by explaining the miraculous away. Sadly just when the Protestant churches were beginning to back track from that most destructive of religious enquiry, the Catholics decided to take it up with aplomb, and so many priests and religious lost their faith and left their vocations! Perhaps this was bound to happen when the Church herself had got caught up in a too defensive position regarding all branches of the theology, and law. Though the Church should be a strong bulwark against Satan and particularly in these days of secularism and sexual sin, she needed great theologian saints, and there were none. Whether Blessed John Henry Newman is a really great theologian who can rank alongside the Fathers of the Church, Anselm, Bonaventure, and Bellarmine only time will tell; of his heroism and brilliance there is no doubt.
So when we attend the Feast of Candlemass tomorrow let us go with Joseph and Mary into the Temple with Jesus, and let us contemplate this beautiful family, and that wonderful old man Simeon and that marvellous holy old woman Anna (I prefer the tradition that sees her as a woman of about 104.). Here we see a mirror of what humanity should be, all of them from the baby to the old woman, wishing to live for the Father, do his will and love him in a state of continual contemplation. This is what we are meant to do, namely to love God with every fibre of our being. If we do that then, while carrying our candles in procession before the Mass begins, we will be lights of hope to a disordered and despairing world. The message that we carry is that the more we love God, then our preoccupations with what we have, what we look like, whether we are going to do great things or not, or whether we are going to be celebrities or be overlooked, pales into insignificance, for we must all ultimately choose the better part, for if we do not we are lost. For Martha’s preoccupations were getting in the way of her contemplation. If she had kept her mind and heart centred on Jesus she would not have been bothered whether her sister was apparently doing nothing, her joy should have been simply to serve the Lord. Each of us must want, as C.S. Lewis said in his great sermon “The Weight of Glory”, to be an ingredient in God’s happiness, which of course cannot be true on one level, but somehow we know what Lewis means, just as children bring their parents happiness. Let us do what Meister Eckhart so wisely advises “Know yourself, love yourself, forget yourself.”
It would do Caitlin Jenner, and so many other transgender people immense good to meditate on these profound words. It would also save them much heartache, sorrow, remorse and despair, for the more we move away from God, then we lose a sense of who we are, where we come from, where we are going and what we are meant to do, and this confusion produces the chaotic state which we called, in the 60’s, the sexual revolution, and which today is transgenderism and which tomorrow will be transhumanism. All of it ultimately leads not to Heaven, but to Hell and that Hell will begin in this life unless we humbly repent, turn to God and ask for his love and mercy. Then indeed can we fall happily and gently into his Everlasting Arms.
By The Hermits, Jan 24 2016 10:03PM
THE GREAT TRAGEDY OF THE WEST
Last week the excellent John Henry Western, Editor of Lifesite News, was commenting on a recent sermon of Pope Francis, where the Pontiff scolded those Catholics, presumably traditional, and traditionalist Catholics, who range from what might be described as simple down to earth Catholics to those Catholics who attend the Tridentine Mass. The tragedy of this misunderstanding between the Pope and good traditional Catholics at present seems to hinge on the whole question of whether divorced and remarried Catholics should receive communion or not. The more radical Church leaders seem to want practicing homosexuals to receive communion. The Pope appears to be unhappy, and that is something that is not adverted to. If he is scolding he will not be happy. People who scold are not happy. Why he is not happy, I do not know.
In the days and months after Pope Francis’ election he breathed joy in his wonderful daily homilies. They were full of wisdom. He consecrated his Papacy to Our Lady of Fatima, and Our Lady was clearly his guiding star, and I am sure she still is. However he is beset on every side by, I fear, bad men, Cardinals, bishops, and priests, who are driven by the spirit of the world, who are in love with the modern world, with all its pomps and triumphs, and very poor triumphs at that.
Now the Pope is a very compassionate man. He wants the poor to be fed, the old to be looked after, and the young to have jobs. That is all well and good, but it is not enough. The Pope, like so many Latin Christians since the great tragedy of the Schism in 1054 between the Orthodox East and the Catholic West has been a prey to the concept of development. Since Vatican II everything has been about development. Catholics in the West, are continually lured into wanting to know as much about anything and everything that they can. The Jesuits more than any other religious order have been obsessed by every department of knowledge that comes within their grasp. Now the Old Liturgy gives us a hint of what is happening. In the Old Rite and I suspect the Anglicans may still adhere to this as well, we are celebrating Septuagesima Sunday, and so begins the remote preparation for Lent and the great celebration of Easter. In Matins in the Breviary, the First Nocturn takes us back to Eden. Now Eden holds the key to the present lamentable state of affairs in the Catholic Church, which has been building up for centuries and few have been able to see it, except for the monks, and this is another key.
The West is Eve
Chapter 2 of Genesis closes with the creation of Eve. The crucial verses are these:
Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh. And they were both naked: to wit, Adam and his wife: and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2: vv.24-25)
Eve had been “built” from Adam’s rib. 150 years ago most Catholics would have taken this to be literally true. Sadly this is no longer the case due to the preposterous, and unscientific theory of Evolution that has seduced the West and pretty well most societies in the World. However among the Orthodox East there is still a very considerable group who will hold to this as being factually true, and it goes without saying that many Evangelical Christians will hold this truth as well.
Chapter 3 of Genesis opens with a completely different feel and with a new actor. It is Satan who now takes centre stage. He begins by questioning Eve; “Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?” What a brilliant ploy, as he knows that God did not command this, but he wants to draw Eve into his web. She answers by saying that she and Adam are free to eat of any of the trees of paradise, but not from “the tree which is in the midst of paradise”. Not only that, but neither should Adam and Eve touch it “lest perhaps we die”. Satan then in masterstroke tells Eve that neither she nor Adam will die if they eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but will “be as God, knowing good and evil”. The rest as they say is history, and it really is. Now what is rather interesting is this, that prior to the Fall, neither Adam and Eve were ashamed of being naked. They were one flesh; they were one body. Now sin has sundered them. They are no longer in harmony. They no longer understand each other. A chasm, almost unbridgeable has grown between them. The future is sombre, tending to despair, but God’s prophecy to the distraught Father and Mother of the human race that a Messiah will come and put things right is a reason for the human race to hope.
However since that terrible desire for knowledge which caused Eve to eat the fruit and share it with Adam, the human race has been plagued with sin.
Since St. Anselm and Thomas Aquinas, who were great theologians, appeared on the scene, this desire for knowledge, which with them was kept just within limit, then began to get out of hand. Well they got out of hand with Abelard, and it needed the great if somewhat brutal hand, in this instance anyway, of St. Bernard, to prevent decadent scholasticism from swamping the Church. The best way to sum things up is in this vignette from the Chronicle of Thomas of Eccleston that I cannot lay my hands upon, but will have to rely on my memory. The founder of the English Province of Franciscans, Blessed Agnellus or Pisa was visiting the friars at their study house at Oxford. Listening to the students discussing whether God existed or not Blessed Agnellus wryly remarked “While the friars (in this case the clerical students) discuss whether there is a God or no, the lay brothers make their way to heaven.
The enormously learned Father Cuthbert OFM Cap., who was one of the great Catholic English intellectuals of the early 20th century, has this to say about St. Francis’ prophetic understanding of the state of things that would come upon the Church with the Reformation. These things are coming again, as they did with the birth of Modernism towards at the beginning of 20th century and which is wreaking havoc now within the Catholic Church.
St. Francis’ ideal, it must be remembered, was to follow Christ in all simplicity of heart and sincerity of mind. Whatever would take away from this simplicity and sincerity was to him an evil to be avoided. As he saw the world, two evils especially afflicted Christendom ---- the arrogance of wealth and the arrogance of academic learning. The civilised world was overrun with scholars, the majority of whom sought nothing better than intellectual brilliancy and dissipation; and intellectual dissipation is as ruinous to the spiritual life as carnal luxury. The two chief studies of the schools at the time were dialectics and law. Here and there a thinker like St. Anselm was honestly searching for truth, but the general tendency of the schools was to stifle thought and exalt a lifeless legalism and brilliant sophistry. The contest between St. Bernard and Abelard was not merely a dispute about special points of doctrine, but rather an episode in the eternal struggle between the thinker and the mere logician. Abelard was little else than an intellectual juggler, and he typical of the temper of the age. It was manifestly against this temper of mind that St. Francis wished to guard the brethren. He was opposed not to Thought, but to the Intellectualism which is the caricature of thought. His was the prophetical instinct. For was not the break-up of Christendom in the sixteenth century due as much to this very intellectualism as to material luxury. (The Friars and how they came to England, trans. Father Cuthbert, Sands and Co. London 1903 pp.81-82)
If today we substitute modern theological discourse for dialectics, and moral/psychological/sociological discourse for law then we will find that we are fighting the old enemies that St. Francis was fighting, namely the arrogance of academic learning, which too often or not is muddled up with the arrogance of wealth. When we think of who funds Universities, and how wealthy some of the Catholic American Universities are, we realize how serious the situation is. God willing St. Francis and St Bernard are praying for the Church. Of course they are, as are the other great reforming saints are, such as St. Peter Damian, St. Hildegard of Bingen, St. Elizabeth of Shonau, St. Bridget of Sweden, St Catherine of Siena, and St. Teresa of Avila, to name but a few.
The real problem facing Pope Francis is that he is a Jesuit to his fingertips. He is part of an order that is absolutely mesmerized by the pursuit of knowledge. No other order in the history of the Church has been such a devotee of profane learning. That has never been the case with the other great intellectual order, namely the Dominicans, who have made the study of theology their main task. However what is a complete mystery is why they were simply unable to deal with Luther’s revolt. He was hardly a profound theologian. More worryingly is that with the explosion of the Reformation that shook Christendom to its extremities, the Dominicans were nowhere to be seen in the Counter Reformation. There is only one Dominican Blessed among the ranks of the martyrs of the Reformation in England and Wales. The laurels in the Counter Reformation were to be given to the Capuchins, and then secondly to the new order of the Jesuits, who in their infancy were still safe in what might be called a boyish fascination with knowledge. The order was still, to use an odd word innocent.
However the seeds of destruction were already in place, and it was given to that great, but slightly unorthodox theologian and ex-Jesuit, namely Hans Urs von Balthasar to note that Ignatius did something that was seemingly a very little thing. He drove a wedge between devotion and theology. Hans Urs von Balthasar said that anyone listening to St. Bernard would understand him, as it was all of a piece, since Ignatius they would not understand a theologian. However as I cannot now remember all von Balthasar’s argument I will say this. The rot had set in a long time before with Abelard, Duns Scotus, Bacon and Ockham. It seems that they were all fascinated by argument, and possibly argument for argument’s sake. This fascination for knowledge was going to ultimatel be fed by the Renaissance which was fascinated by Man. This fascination is with us today, but with the extraordinary advances in science the fascination has become dangerous. People are now fascinated by artificial intelligence, and robots and aliens and so Western Man will be looking more and more at himself; how can he prolong his life using artificial intelligence and machines. That Man wants to transfer the intelligence of his brain onto a computer is staggeringly daring and staggeringly stupid. He is born to be immortal and he insists upon being not so much human as mechanical and materialist. Now let us look at Eastern Orthodoxy.
The East is Adam
If we look at the Orthodox East, and the Oriental churches, like the Copts and the some of the other churches like the Armenian, we see a very different Church. These are churches of monasticism and mysticism. For the East it is about gazing on God, it is about being Divinized by the Holy Spirit. It was St. John Chrysostom who wanted everyone to live some form of the monastic life, and what drives Orthodoxy is the monastery. It is not for nothing that it was St. Antony of Egypt who was a staunch supporter of Athanasius in his titanic struggle with Arianism which was the heresy of a secular priest as we would call Arius these days.
If one wants to sum up in a nutshell what distinguishes Orthodoxy from Catholicism, then the following is a perfect example. A 19th century Russian Orthodox bishop was asked what Orthodoxy’s social program was. He replied “The Trinity”. This shows the utter difference, at the present time, between Orthodoxy and Catholicism. The Orthodox, like Adam are lost in wondering contemplation of God, Modern Catholicism seems enraptured with Man.
The last Ecumenical Council for the Orthodox was Nicea III, which was the last of the seven ancient councils of the Church. And it was St. John Damascene who so to speaks closes that age with his great work ‘The Fount of Knowledge’ described by Frederic H. Chase Jr. as “the first great Summa of theology to appear in either the East of the West.”
Since that time sadly, and especially since the Great Schism, for all the talk of Unity, the Catholic Church looks to all intents and purposes as if it is moving in something of an Anglican direction, if that is not too much of a caricature. As the Anglican Church is constantly changing along with the Lutheran and many other Protestant Churches, so too does the Catholic Church seem to be doing. After all it really does seem that the New Mass has more than a passing resemblance to Thomas Cranmer’s Communion Service. But perhaps it is all part and parcel of the Latin West’s desire to know more and more about God, rather than simply loving him and worshipping, for if we get that right then everything else will fall into place. If “A little learning is a dangerous thing” as the saying goes, then a lot of knowledge is perfectly disastrous.
Is There a Way Forward?
Is there a way forward? I think that there is. The Liturgy in the Catholic Church must be restored to its former glory. That does not necessarily mean simply going back to the Tridentine Rite, but possibly going back to the different Ancient Rites like the Sarum, the Gallican, the Mozarabic, and the Ambrosian (The latter is still used as far as I can gather.), and then developing a truly profound understanding of the Fathers, and that everything must be referred back to them. The Patristic Age finishes really with St. John Damascene in the East, and some would say with Bernard in the West. Then it should be incumbent on every Catholic to live a more ‘monastic life style’ by belonging to some Third Order, the first in time of course being the Franciscan, or to be an Oblate of some Abbey so as to live a more intense Christian life, and more to the point to live a more liturgical life. Every parish should have a choir, and not some appalling ‘Music Ministry’ which is about barely sanctified secular music, usually played by middle aged people who ought to no better. This choir should have more in common with the Orthodox parish choirs and be a proper Scola that chants. Everyone in the West should be conversant with plain chant, which until the Second Vatican Council was making great headway in the Church as a result of the authentic liturgical renewal which was then capsized by some liturgical vandals headed by Anibale Bugnini. The Latin West must return to the East Facing celebration of the Mass, as is still the immemorial tradition of the Orthodox and Oriental East.
Finally we should heed the words of the French Orthodox writer Olivier Clement who insists that Christianity is essentially an Oriental religion, the other two being of course Judaism and Islam. And here is something to ponder, the more Western Judaism has become and the more Western the Jews have become, so too has their ancient faith withered and they have produced the great secular heresiarchs of the West, namely Marx, Freud, Durkheim and Einstein. The Moslems remain unrepentantly Eastern and Oriental, and their Faith though quite wrong does not change, but they do live it very publically.
I will leave you with a remark of the great early 20th century English Dominican Father Vincent McNabb. “There is only one thing worse than a bad Jew, and that is a bad Catholic” It is about time that Catholics reclaim their Eastern Heritage, and that they will find especially in Gregorian chant, which, experts claim, goes back to the chant used in Solomon’s Temple before its destruction by the Babylonians. One thing that I would ask of my fellow Catholics is to simply meet Christ in the Gospels and follow his teachings. This does not require theological expertise, or great flights of mysticism, it requires a love that sacrifices all for the beloved, namely Christ. The reason why contemporary Catholicism is in the shocking mess that it is, is because there is much comfort but little of the Cross. Soon the Cross will be thrust on us, and our reaction to it will seal our eternal fate.
A Final Thought
If Adam and Eve had not fallen then we would have a Bible of about four chapters. You would have the first two chapters of Genesis and the last two of the Apocalypse, because Man would have been steadily and surely making his way to Heaven, and that surely is what every Christian is about. It is certainly not about Utopia and building Heaven on Earth.
By The Hermits, Jan 18 2016 10:07PM
In the Western World marriages are breaking up, at not an alarming rate, but at a terrifying rate. When a recent statistic in America said that as many Christian men, as non-Christian men were looking at Porn, when Michael Voris, of Church Militant, recently recalled a survey done some years ago by a New Jersey Franciscan priest and researcher, which said that 45% of 500 priests, who were interviewed, said they were gay, and that one in four of them had AIDS, and when Bishop Nunzio Galantino, the Secretary of the Italian Bishops conference said the following:
“Society has in its interior the grouping presence of different types of union….The State has the duty to answer everyone, respecting the common good above all. We’re learning that when facing such a complex reality as this the radical positions seem to prevail.”, one can only gasp at the scandal of the Christian men looking at porn and the 45% practicing Gay priests on the one hand, and the intellectual and theological incompetence of the Bishop. Will he be allowed to continue to talk such rubbish? I dare say, sadly, that he will.
These several incidents are very, very depressing, and the problem of continually stating how awful things are, is that one’s vision gets blurred. Every silver lining now has not only a cloud, but a cloud resembling a tornado or gigantic thunderstorm. When someone said to St. Peter of Alcantara how bad things were in the Church, the Saint replied that he would begin by reforming himself. The approach at present is to root out the rotten apples in the Church, and the Curia, which is a very good thing, but what would be even better is this, that we tried to become saints and then pray for the conversion of these tragic men, be they Porn watchers or Gay priests.
The problem is that we are somewhat lacking in imagination. What has to be stressed is very simple and it is this, marriage is not simply about sex, it is primarily about having children, first and foremost. It most definitely is not about titillation and the erotic, and marriage should be approached with the chaste attitude of a Tobit and Sarah, or the equally chaste approach of St. Thèrése’s parents, now like their daughter, saints. They are saints precisely because of their marriage.
In all the moral and sexual chaos which is causing the spiritual shipwreck of millions upon millions of Westerners, I wonder how many Cardinals, Bishops and priests are preaching eloquently on the Holy Family? I suspect rather few.
I remember back in the 1980’s presenting the Holy Family as a perfect example of the perfect family. Our Canon Law and Moral theology lecturer responded by saying something like “That’s not a real marriage”, but it was, if he had cared to see what the Fathers of the Church, saints and mystics had said. The lecturer’s failure is that he saw marriage in canonical terms i.e. if it was not consummated, it could not be a proper marriage, and therefore could be annulled. Another canonist said that a couple could do almost anything to enable a successful copulation to take place! The canonist was not obviously liberal, but he was wrong. Both men, the former liberal, and the other a victim of his age, had missed the point. All marriages should reflect not only the Holy Family which is virginal, but the Trinity whose three persons according to St. Gregory Nazianzen are virgins, which is a rather nice way of viewing things. St. Augustine in one of his sermons noted that if husbands and wives could have children without sex they would jump at it, and goes on to say the something similar about food.
To us contemporary Catholics and other Christians, with the exception of the Orthodox, this sounds mad, but it is in fact utter sanity. The uncontrollable aspect of sexual arousal, and sexual intercourse shows, from the fact that it is so difficult to control, that something is not working properly, and this is all because of Original Sin.
The marriage of Joseph and Mary was utterly different from that of Adam and Eve. Literally the marriage of Joseph and Mary was made in Heaven, and that of Adam and Eve’s, though not made in Hell, was the result of Satan’s successful temptation of Eve, and Eve’s successful temptation of Adam. With “The Fall” comes concupiscence, which is that tendency to sin, which was not in Eden, and came only with “The Fall”.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph all wished to do the Father’s will, not their own. Joseph and Mary concentrated all their love on Jesus, and he poured out all his love on them. What mattered was the love of God, not lust. We are asked to love God purely and each other in the same vein. Sexual attraction, and sex in marriage needs the greatest restraint and must always be carried out in a spirit of true love, true obedience to God’s will, and with a purity of mind and heart. No fantasies must invade this sacred domain. Everything really must be guided by the spirit, and that is why Augustine the Great and his most ardent follower Gregory the Great always felt there was something ever so slightly sinful in the sexual act, and anyone who is really honest will admit that there is some truth in all this. Infatuation will never be a foundation for marriage, or any relationship for that matter.
The erotic marriage, the contracepting marriage, the “Gay Marriage”, which is no marriage at all, will bring not only death to these relationships, but spiritual death, and for the Gay relationship, very often death.
Marriage must be rooted in the Love of God, enveloped in the Holy Spirit, guided at every turn by Jesus. As Jesus was the centre of the Holy Family, so must he be the centre and source of married love, the friend who is always there, who always cares for the couple and shares everything with them, but they must give themselves unreservedly to him.
And so before I close I would like to recommend St. Philip Neri to the homosexual world. Something that is not usually known about this most lovable and eccentric of saints is this, that he had a gift for curing homosexuals. So perhaps someone might like to put St. Philip forward, a handsome man by all accounts, unlike his great contemporary, St. Charles Borromeo famed for his ugliness, as the patron saint of homosexuals. Now! I think that would be a very sensible and mildly imaginative thing to do, but I fear that in a Church, grown dreadfully mediocre, this would be just too imaginative for words; we can but hope! May the Holy Family inspire, protect and guide us, and St. Philip pray for us, and help us to not take ourselves too seriously, and be like you; truly joyful and self-forgetful
By The Hermits, Jan 8 2016 5:21PM
I came accrss this wonderful open letter from Mary Wagner, writen by her last Easter, today.
She is back in prison yet again, as on the feast of Our Lady Of Guadaloupe (12th December) she went to speak with women waiting for abortions and to give them red roses. This time she is expecting a 9 month prison sentence. Her address for anyone wanting to write to her or Linda Gibbons (a grandmother who is in prison for holding a picture of a healthy baby outside abortion centres in Canada) is on the LifeSiteNews web site. They are both in the same prison.
April 13, 2915
Dear Friends of Life,
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!
In the joy of this season of Our Lord's Resurrection, I would like to greet my brothers and sisters in Christ who have been praying for me and supporting me along this journey. I pray that the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ, has indeed risen, would engulf our hearts and lead us to a great thirst for God, a great hunger to live for Him, and, as Bl. Teresa of Calcutta said, to “make out lives something beautiful for God”. Maybe there is a little doubt in our hearts, like there was in Thomas', and we need to hear anew the words of Jesus, “do not doubt, but believe” (Jn 20:27). The more deeply we believe, the more we will open the doors of our hearts and allow His Kingdom to come here on earth as it is in heaven.
I would like to thank everyone who is writing or who has written to me. I wish I could reply to all of you but I am unable. Please bear with me!
In some of the letters and conversations there have been questions or comments that have led me to see that some clarification would be helpful, so I would like to try to address this in this letter.
First of all, with regard to the circumstances of my arrest it may be helpful to know that my charges (as previously), are “mischief: interfering with lawful enjoyment/operation of a business”, and breaches of a probation order (which I did not sign yet is still considered enforceable) forbidding me from going within 100 m of any place where unborn babies are killed. On Dec. 23rd, 2014, when I was arrested, I was inside the waiting room of an office used for the primary purpose of killing unborn babies.
People have often asked me if I could not simply stay outside the area I am forbidden to enter, and in that way, avoid arrest. But this question forgets something: the children scheduled to be killed will have no one to stand up for them. We will stop being present to them and to their mothers out of obedience to an immorally imposed restriction by those entrusted with authority. If we think in terms of getting arrested or not getting arrested, we lose sight of Christ, hidden in: "the distressing disguise of the poor” - those so poor, we cannot even see or hear them. If we think of someone we love very much and imagine this person planning to commit suicide, would we not do all we could to protect them, to stop them?
When I think of it in those terms, I realise how little I in fact love these helpless babies and how utterly abandoned they are. But each child hidden in his or her mother's womb is made by God than the most loving parents could ever love their children. Because He loves them, we are called to love them. We know that love is not for tomorrow; love is the call for today. Linda and I, (as others), go to love – to strive to love – these little ones who only have minutes to live; they are scheduled to be killed today. We may not succeed in protecting the babies; but we strive to be faithful and to do the best we can while relying and trusting in God “who works all things together for the good...” (Rom 8:28), not stopping at a legal boundary unjustly imposed.
At this point it is important for me to say that although I am grateful for the great support so many have shown me, I believe that there is far too much of a focus on me in some parts of the world and especially on the fact that I am (unjustly) incarcerated. My time incarcerated is a small fraction of Linda Gibbons' (who has again been arrested time and again for witnessing for life) and the hardship is nothing compared to what the babies go through, which is the worst brutality ending in their deaths. I would like to share with you some of the words from Joan (Andrews) Bell, who is a great inspiration to me and to Linda, and whom I consider a true apostle of the Gospel of Life:
"I'd like to liken it to the situation of two friends: say there are two friends, and one is black and one is white. And in this society the black person is treated as garbage, like the pre-born children are. And the friend, the black friend, is brutally killed, and the white friend is roughed up a little bit, not more than being tripped, and falls down, bruising his knee. And let's say that the churches and the people in society become aroused by the injustice that is going on. They all flock to the person with the bruised knee and demand, “this is terrible injustice, this person was pushed and shoved”! And they showered all kinds of attention on that person. I don't think that person who truly loved his friend who was murdered, and brutally murdered, would feel very good about that nor would want it; or would feel bitter if the attention did not come to him. You know, I think that person would be grieved and upset that attention continued not to be given to the friend who was murdered, but only to himself” (excerpt from an interview with Joan (Andrews) Bell *, taken from the book, A History of Operation Rescue. Richard Cowden-Guido).
Please know that I deeply appreciate your prayer and your love and encouragement and am most encouraged when we focus on God's littlest ones. If we appeal to the government or to the public in general, let's always keep the focus on the responsibility we have to assure the establishment of the most basic justice. What is a more basic duty of a government than to assume protection – the right to live – of each human being?
Linda and I are happy to embrace this cross (which is not too heavy) and strive to receive it as a normal result of wanting to be faithful to Christ and to love Him in “the least of these” (Mt 25:40). We do not want to focus on ourselves. We are in jail willingly and we hope that others would be encouraged to stand strongly in faith. We ask you to pray not so much that this cross be removed but for the strength to carry it and to grow in trust in God, to the point where welove the cross. Of course, however, we look forward to the day we hope will come when we are no longer being imprisoned – only if this means that the killing has ended and all of us are permitted to live – and to live freely as dedicated Christians.
A good friend, has made an important observation: there is pro-life work and there is Gospel of Life work. If we are Christians, we want to be Gospel of Life workers! We see not only the problems (of abortion, euthanasia, etc...); we are called to see everything in the light of Christ (crucified, died and risen from the dead)! We are called to see that the greatest injustice today is not abortion but the root of it: the failure to adore God, to put Him first. We have lost respect, reverence, for the human being because we no longer adore God, to whom alone our worship and adoration is due.
Whether we be Christians or not, we are all called to defend human rights. But as Christians we are called to aim even higher. Bl. Teresa of Calcutta said it simply and beautifully, “Let our only ideal be Christ”. As Christians, we are led to discover Christ in each person, not the “crowds”, to paraphrase this saint. We are called to much more than to struggle for a good cause. We are called to live of the greatest Love and to love in return – to lay down our lives for our friends as Jesus said and did: “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 13:34). We can never be satisfied with our working for a good cause because the Christian vocation demands of us a constant conversion, a growing conformity to Christ, our Life. We must do what we can to establish a just society but without the commitment to strive to love as Christ loves us, we would, as St. Paul says, “be nothing” (I Col 13:2).
I'd like to share with you more insight attributed to Joan (Andrews) Bell, paraphrased by Cowden-Guido):
“The abortion culture holds that comfort is not just a good, but the greatest good, greater than truth or justice or charity, and finally of more importance even than God. That culture is confident that in the end, Christians agree with it on this, and so can be counted on to reject the very real suffering that it will provoke” (A History of Operation Rescue).
I believe this statement is well worth pondering. In the more developed nations, we do cherish our many and various comforts (especially in Canada!), and while God may not demand we renounce them all, we are called to renounce anything that stands in the way of faithfully following Him. This might be our own reputation or human respect, or it could be a job, career, or an opportunity for these. It could be a relationship or our freedom; but as St. Paul reminds us, “In your struggle against evil you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Hebrews 12:4).
I am no less fearful of physical torture than most people, yet I know that if one day it comes to the point where resisting evil (and striving to do good) results in this, - as it is currently a reality for so many of our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world – God will give the grace. He shows that He is always faithful, that He sustains us as long as we place our trust in Him. Even if our lives are demanded, we should never fear, because Christ has truly overcome the world (Jn 16:33): Christ is risen! Alleluia! He is truly risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! He says again to us, “Peace be with you” (Jn 20:21); “It is I. Do not be afraid” (Jn 6:21); “Do not doubt, but believe”.
By The Hermits, Dec 25 2015 11:07AM
Not perhaps since the late 1930’s are we living in such uncertain times on this Christmas day 2015. We are incredibly muddled in the West, politically, morally, religiously, and globally, whatever the last term means. Such terms as “The Global Village” are hardly helpful and are out of date, anyway. Quite what Globalism actually entails would be hard to know. It does, however, appear to be about bankers and the very,very few power brokers who run the World and pull the strings of most of the political leaders.
What then is at stake this Christmas? Virginity, fatherhood, motherhood, and the family. ISIS of course are very keen on the family, but it would not be the monogamous Christian or Jewish family, and virginity means little to the Moslems. Motherhood is highly prized, even though a woman’s power is confined to the home. So for the Moslems, family and children are important. For the West virginity, family, fatherhood, motherhood and religion are of little interest. All that matters in the West is pleasure, leisure, and quality of life, which if it fails to be worthwhile ends in death by Euthanasia. The word that is not on most Westerners’ lips is sacrifice. The English middle classes seem obsessed with education, but education for what? As far as I can see it is all about careers and making more money, with quite a large dollop of meaningful left wing views, but there is no passion; only interests. The English middle classes find everything fascinating, but there is a superficiality about them. The French, a far more philosophical race, would have a more passionate view of education, and would have romantic ideals, even in the present day grey republicanism of the Hollande government, but there is always a chance that France will ultimately come up trumps, and her Catholic heart will beat again, for at present it resembles not a beating heart, but a dying one. The French say of the English “Trivial about the serious, and serious about the trivial”. The French are not so free of a similar vice, which is about the all importance of style.
The problems that afflict the French conscience, and which France wishes to deny, as does the rest of the West, is that without Christianity, there would be no France, nor would there be a Europe. Europe was founded ultimately by Monasticism and the Papacy. As Daniel-Rops the great French historian of the Church says, the great age of the Church was between 1050 and 1350. How right he is, and we have been going downhill ever since. The obsession with knowledge, and with education beginning very worthily with Aquinas gets out of hand the more the years progress, and so by the time we get to Luther, subjectivism has won the day. Luther’s feelings submerged his theology; the artist triumphed over the theologian and downhill all the way has become a theological and moral avalanche. It is no surprise that by the late 19th century Modernism comes into play, and religious experience becomes something purely subjective. There is no more objective reality. In fact reality has gone. Man has become the centre of the Universe, and now the once unassailable Catholic Church finds her vision at the highest levels blurred by Modernism. This brings me to Christmas, the birth of Christ.
Nothing could be more perfect, more natural than Christmas. Everything is glorious, and simple. There is no room anywhere for God to be born. Everyone is too busy to pre-occupied with their own needs and business to think about God and what he wants from us. Everything is hustle and bustle as it will be 2015 years down the line, give or take a few years. Do we ever give God our time, our hearts? Our lives are taken up with such questions as; if this had happened, I might have been this or done that. Why am I so unhappily married? Why does no-one love me? Why do my parents not understand me? Why do my children reject me? Why do I hate my job? Why is life so awful? If we have everything and are very rich we will wonder why we are so lonely, or we will worry about losing all our money if the Stock Market collapses.
The shepherds by contrast had virtually nothing. They were looked down upon by the Pharisees as they could not manage to fulfil all the many, many, ritual observances. Their life was incredibly simple and lonely, but they had one thing; time. They had time to look, to pray, to wonder, and it is to these incredibly simple folk that The Angel appears with the unbelievable and startling good news.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke “: vv.9-13)
The rest, as they say, is history. But on one level it isn’t. Those of you this Christmas who feel lonely, abandoned, misunderstood, despairing, a prey to feelings of hate, jealousy, and goodness knows what else be of good cheer. Go to Bethlehem in your hearts and gaze upon the child in the manger. Share with Mary and Joseph all your hopes and fears and you will find joy welling up in your soul. We are never alone; that is the great lie of the Devil. We have our guardian angels, we have the saints, and all the heavenly host. The problem is that we can’t see them, and above all we have the Holy Family who come to us with joy and peace and who say to us, “Fear not… For unto you is born this day in your hearts a Saviour, Christ the Lord.”
By The Hermits, Dec 20 2015 10:11PM
This should have been posted a week ago, but as there was no internet access, that was not possible
There appears to be little to rejoice about these days. The Church has really not recovered from the highly ambiguous Synod on the Family. Heretical cardinals and bishops seem to flourish, and those who are traditional in their views seem to be considered by the Pope fundamentalists, Pharisaical, and lacking in Mercy. I suspect that this Holy Year of Mercy, will turn out to be a Holy Year of Justice, as God will decide that enough is enough, and that the only way wayward Western Man can be brought back to his senses is through the usual scourges of war, disease, and famine.
If Cardinal Turkson thinks that there should be population control, and indicates that the Pope thinks the same, God help us all. It is so unfortunate that the Pope is constantly being quoted and never clarifies things, which can be quite disastrous; nevertheless this is very Jesuit behaviour. Cardinal Turkson must be not much older than myself, and he may or may not have heard of an estimate of how much the world population would take up, if they were all gathered in one place (This estimate came out in the early or mid-seventies.). It transpired that the then population of the World would only take up an area the equivalent to the Isle of Wight, if they stood shoulder to shoulder, and back to back. That gives one some perspective. Also the demographic situation in Europe has been critical for some time, and it would seem that if this godless love of small families continues then the white European, and no doubt the white Westerners in General will have bred themselves out of existence, if that is the right term, precisely because they have so drastically reduced their breeding. That God tells Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply, and since God has not rescinded this command, I am somewhat surprised at both the Holy Father’s supposed temerity and Cardinal Turkson’s real temerity in regard to opposing the Divine admonition. After all the reason for having children is to populate Heaven with saints, and fill up the number of seats vacated by the Devil and the fallen angels. No doubt Cardinal Turkson, obviously a very talented and fine man, in many respects suffers from being that depressing type, the modern Catholic scripture scholar, whose most illustrious and rather terrifying representative was Cardinal Martini, who was sadly unorthodox. It is the sad lot of modern scripture scholars that they can hardly avoid being heretical precisely because they have come out of 19th Liberal Protestant biblical scholarship. Sadly the Catholic Church in trying to be with it, is now quite behind the times, while contemporary Protestant Biblical scholarship will find itself becoming more traditional and conservative. This point has quite eluded the German, Swiss, Austrian, and Belgian episcopates, in the main. They would have a very uncomfortable time if they found themselves rubbing shoulders with the down to earth, uneducated apostles, but whose company one would infinitely prefer, certainly Peter, James, and John, Nathanial and the others would be a tonic in our grim, dim, depressing age, which is grey with debauchery, and dreary with its lack of imagination, and quite appalling with its love of analysis, which always leads to paralysis. No wonder Jesus said that we had to become like little children if we are to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and no doubt the African Churches are full of the childlike who welcome the Gospel with such joy and love.
So as the World lurches towards war consciously, or unconsciously, and the Church looks as if it is going to be fractured not just into two parts, but into many, we rejoice, because, despite everything looking to the contrary, Christ was born for us, to save us by his Cross, Death and Resurrection, and that is so utterly true and wonderful that the awful things that are happening cannot prevent us from rejoicing. And the one thing that we can rejoice in today, and how unpopular it is, is the possibility that we may be called to be martyrs. One has only to think how St. Francis, and St. Francis de Sales both ardently desired to be martyrs and were not, and St. Thomas More (He tried to avoid it for as long as possible, no doubt to protect his family.) who really did not want to be a martyr, finally accepted, it and found peace, that we come to realize that martyrdom is a grace. Martyrdom was so often the vocation of so many of the early Christians beginning with the apostles, and even John would have been a martyr if God had not protected him from the burning oil. What matters and this seems to have apparently passed the Holy Father by somewhat, is that all Christians are asked to walk the way of the Cross. Though he is much concerned and understandably so by unemployment, the plight of the elderly and so poverty throughout much of the Southern Hemisphere, it is not so terrible as the fact that so many have not received the Gospel and Baptism, or having received these two great gifts have been taught the Faith so incorrectly by modern missionaries who seem Hell bent on wanting something like a Christian Marxist Utopia. What matters and the Holy Father is only 17 years older than myself and comes from Argentina, where the Catholic Church would have been less accustomed to liberalism than in Western Europe, is the salvation of souls. If everyone is well fed, well housed, and comfortable and goes to Hell, what in Heaven’s name is the good of that.
Yes we are living in times far worse than the times of Arius, or the time of the Reformation, or worse still, the time the Enlightenment or the times of the French, and Russian Revolutions, but then God will not abandon us. He will make himself present through a crop of new and great saints, the majority of whom may be martyrs. They are waiting just round the corner, and when the time is ripe, they will appear in all their resplendent glory, and the corpse like Church will once again be transformed into the Holy Bride of Christ.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.
(Opening antiphon for Guadete Sunday) The Roman Missal
Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be
known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in everything by
prayer let your petitions be known to God.
(Psalm) Lord, Thou hast blessed Thy land: Thou hast turned away the captivity
By The Hermits, Nov 28 2015 4:49PM
On The Eve of Advent
Last Sunday we celebrated the feast of Christ the King, and tomorrow we begin Advent, and we stand amidst a Church and a world that seems to be lurching towards catastrophe. Why is this? Christ in the Gospel of Luke tells us exactly why:
Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will come be sprung on your suddenly, like a trap.
In the West for nearly 50 years, and more so in the United States, the hearts of Christians have been hardened, more than coarsened, by debauchery and drunkenness. Debauchery covers all sexual immorality, all lust, and drunkenness is a department of gluttony. The West has had more than seven years of plenty, it has had seven times seven of plenty, and more. This coarsening of the heart and soul has caused the West to fall into a profound stupor. The only thing that will awaken the decadent West are “signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves”. Such things are not necessarily confined to the Second Coming, but will constantly be replayed as long as we defiantly disobey God, and no more so when we Catholics disobey God. The final act of Time will indeed be terrible, but the different acts of the drama up until then, will always show forth the terrifying power of God, which in our presumption, our pride, and our supposed knowledge of things theological and spiritual we constantly miss (For the most part modern theology is utterly deplorable and will lead people astray and finally to Hell. Most people get to Heaven with no knowledge of theology, but they do know Christ and what his demands are, namely to love God, obey his commandments, and love our neighbour in that order. Nothing is more alluring and dangerous than an overemphasis on the Social Gospel, for without the demands of the Commandment to love and obey God, we can go astray on a sentimental humanism, that puts Man and his needs before God.). Modern Philosophy is no help at all, as it is taken up with Man. In these days, which mark the beginning of this Second Vatican Council, it is more obvious than ever before that the Lord's truth is indeed eternal. Human ideologies change. Successive generations give rise to varying errors, and these often vanish as quickly as they came, like mist before the sun.
Sadly we were put on this course by St. John XXIII’s hopelessly optimistic view of Man. In the excerpt below which is taken from his opening speech at the Second Vatican Council we see the seeds of the destruction that is having such a devastating effect on the Church. I highlight the really explosive statements:
In these days, which mark the beginning of this Second Vatican Council, it is more obvious than ever before that the Lord's truth is indeed eternal. Human ideologies change. Successive generations give rise to varying errors, and these often vanish as quickly as they came, like mist before the sun.
The Church has always opposed these errors, and often condemned them with the utmost severity. Today, however, Christ's Bride prefers the balm of mercy to the arm of severity. She believes that, present needs are best served by explaining more fully the purport of her doctrines, rather than by publishing condemnations.
Not that the need to repudiate and guard against erroneous teaching and dangerous ideologies is less today than formerly. But all such error is so manifestly contrary to rightness and goodness, and produces such fatal results, that our contemporaries show every inclination to condemn it of their own accord—especially that way of life which repudiates God and His law, and which places excessive confidence in technical progress and an exclusively material prosperity. It is more and more widely understood that personal dignity and true self-realization are of vital importance and worth every effort to achieve. More important still, experience has at long last taught men that physical violence, armed might, and political domination are no help at all in providing a happy solution to the serious problems which affect them.
The dear and saintly Pope had thought that the Western World pulverized by two horrible World Wars, millions of people enslaved or killed by the Nazis or the Communists in the Third Reich and Stalinist Russia, would now be the champion of truth and lap up the doctrines of the Church with the enthusiasm of the cat that got the cream. He must have been unaware of Kruschev’s appalling record when it came to the destruction of Orthodox churches which far exceeded what Stalin had done. How could the “Good Pope John” beloved by the entire World airily declaim “But all such error is so manifestly contrary to rightness and goodness, and produces such fatal results, that our contemporaries show every inclination to condemn it of their own accord.” Then why were the United Nations pushing contraception in Africa and other places, why were the Americans indulging in economic imperialism, why were the African countries transition from colonies to independent countries so often marred by appalling violence, greed and corruption, and why were the Russians still sending people to gulags? It is extraordinary that the Divine response to this tragically optimistic speech occured within days of the opening of the Council, when the Cuba Crisis could have engulfed the World in a Nuclear Holocaust.
The final unwitting remarks and far more dangerous than any error propagated by arch heretics were the seemingly innocuous 10 words that jump out at one, as being the progenitors of all the psychobabble that has invaded the Church and had such a devastating effect on priesthood and the religious life: personal dignity and true self-realization are of vital importance. I suspect that there was a guiding hand which penned these words for the benign Pontiff. Sadly these short paragraphs have laid the foundations for the strange Church that we now inhabit. It most certainly does not describe the Kingdom of God on Earth, the Church over which Christ the King reigns. I can only say with utter conviction that Christ now weeps over his Church as he wept over Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. “Come Lord Jesus, Come!”
By The Hermits, Nov 23 2015 3:25PM
An excerpt from an article on LifeSiteNews reporting on the official responses from Officials in France after the terrible attacks in Paris. And a very good response from a French priest:
"Because Muslims pray in a number of streets in Paris and elsewhere, Front National leader Marine Le Pen – whose star is on the ascendant – has said she also opposes Catholic pro-life public prayers in the streets.
France is not exactly choosing the path that will allow it to stand up to terrorism with its true values.
The main terrorist attack last Friday happened at a rock concert when the American group Eagles of Death Metal, which had attracted 1,500 spectators at the Bataclan, were just beginning to sing their hit, Kiss the Devil. The lyrics might have been written as a joke but the words are clear: “Who’ll love the devil? Who’ll sing his song?… I’ll love the devil and his song.”
A diocesan priest, Fr. Hervé Benoît, commented on the news site Riposte catholique : “Look at the photos of the spectators, moments before the tragedy… They are living dead. Their assassins, the ‘haschishin zombies’, are their Siamese twins. How can one not see this? It is so obvious! The same uprooting, the same amnesia, the same infantilism, the same lack of culture… A drama of atheist humanism, that loves the devil, death, violence, and says so – and died because of it. The sign of death and chaos does not only hover over Paris on a cursed Friday evening. 130 deaths are horrible. What about 600 deaths? That’s the amount of abortions in France on that same day.”
At the Bataclan, another song was to have been played: “Save a prayer.” “Don't say a prayer for me now /Save it 'til the morning after.” Many foreign heads of state sent their condolences to France with a prayer. The French leftwing press has rejected those prayers saying France needs everything but.
A meeting of the Association of French Mayors this week, days after the horrific events in Paris, came up with an idea: let’s ban Nativity scenes from all public places. Having a proper law to make sure that no town hall can have a “crèche” at Christmas was one of the major proposals made in a report that the Association had been working on in the wake of the Charlie-Hebdo attack in January. Their “Guide for good secularist conduct” was presented on Wednesday and their president, Republican François Baroin, explained: “It is up to us, who are elected and close to the population, to hold up secularism, which is at the same time a condition for community life and a means to emancipate human beings.”
By The Hermits, Nov 6 2015 11:49AM
With the Pope being unable to call to task the heretical cardinals, bishops and priests during the recent Synod on the Family, and for his supposedly confusing remarks to Eugenio Scalfari, founder of La Repubblica paper, a definitely secular newspaper, which would seem to indicate that the Pope wants everyone to receive communion, who was divorced and remarried, one cannot help saying “What next?”.
The Pope is indeed the Pope of Surprises; no doubt he has been unduly influenced by Fr. Gerry Hughes who wrote “God of surprises”, which was very popular in the late or 80’s or 90’s, but which I never read. Fr. Gerry was the spiritual father of the boys at Stonyhurst when I was 13 back in 1966, and he was a very fine preacher, but not much help to myself, who was a very confused adolescent. I know that he was very keen on giving non-Catholics communion, and disagreed with Humanae Vitae. Why this desire for everyone to have communion who are not entitled to it? Has the Church become like those dreadful mothers who give their children whatever they want, and as a result destroy the children that they supposedly love. Are Catholics all rushing off to have Anglican communion, Church of Scotland Communion, or Methodist communion? The whole thing is ridiculous, but no-one can see it.
However we now have a refreshing and robust defence of Christian morality from the Patriarch of All Russia, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who received in audience none other than Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham who is the head of The Billy Graham Evangelical Association. The meeting dealt with the persecution of present day Christians in the West who defend Christian morality. The Patriarch likened such Christians to the great St. Maximos the Confessor (He died in 662 AD), who had his tongue cut out and his hand cut off, by the Byzantine Emperor Constans II because he refused to accept the heresy of Monothelitism, (The heresy that says that Christ had only one will, a Divine will.) and he was also a great supporter of the Papacy , which is rather ironic given the present circumstances in which the Catholic Church finds herself. Kirill noted that today’s confessors were suffering from repressions.
The Patriarch said: “Today, Christians who uphold the intransient importance of Christian moral values had to become Confessors of the Faith, living under various kind[s] of pressure, including the mass media……This gives a sign of hope: there are people among Western Christians akin to us in ethical principles, sharing them with the Russian Orthodox Church.”
Now though you could have heretical Emperors like Constans, you could also have great Emperors like Constantine who called the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea, and Charlemagne who was always working for the good of the Church, and Sigismund the Holy Roman Emperor who kept the Council of Constance on track. Unfortunately Charlemagne forced the “filioque” into the creed, and onto the Catholic Church. Unfortunately the Pope reluctantly accepted it, which was not a good thing, and only hastened the schism between East and West. However Constantine, Charlemagne, and Charles V were able to help the Church through difficult times, and break deadlocks. This is, on one level, dangerous as it can stop the exercise or Papal rights, but on the other hand it can defend the Church. It also shows lay involvement, no more so when it is a woman who is involved. The Emperor Theodosius’ sister, Pulcheria, who on his death became Empress, married the senator Marican who, on becoming Emperor, calls the Council of Chalcedon at the request of Leo the Great. (Theodosius refused to call the council as he was supporting the heresy of Monophysitism which said that Christ had only a Divine nature.) Again we see the rather blood thirsty Empress Irene triumphing in the Iconoclastic Controversy which wracked the Eastern Church for sixty years by calling the Second Council of Nicea.
In later times, and on a smaller scale, we see how Caterina Cibo, Duchess of Camerino enabled the Capuchin Reform to start, and how Vittoria Colonna the great friend of Michelangelo prevented the reform from being suppressed. In our own time, I have read somewhere, how the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate were nearly suppressed, but for the intervention of a woman, who was a friend of the Pope. They possibly need another doughty champion after their recent sufferings at the hands of the Capuchin visitator, who then died at the height of the fairly savage visitation. Such are the ways of God.
Never has the Church been so clerical as it is now. There may be a lot of talk of the laity, and we are battered with such slogans as “This is the age of the laity” and “The Pilgrim People of God”, but this is really an elevated form of window dressing. Can you imagine the Fathers of the Church coming out with such things? They dealt with heresies in a hard headed fashion. They were not overwhelmed with sentiment, they were fired with the truth.
It was certainly not the age of the laity at the recent synod in Rome. There were wonderful advisers like Dr. Maria Cernea the Romanian doctor who really should have told the Bishops what they should be doing and weren’t doing. Quite why Popes have to call synods to write Apostolic Exhortations, I really do not know. Leo the Great wrote his great “Tome” from the well springs of his Faith. He relied on the Holy Spirit and not on a whole lot of bishops, many of whom do not now appear to know their faith, which is nonsense when you have a Catechism which can inform even bishops of what they are meant to believe.
However returning to the importance that the Laity play in the Church, I would suggest the following whimsical scenario.
Given the fact that the one great power that is showing fidelity to Christian morality, regarding homosexuality, and the whole mad LGBT nonsense, is Russia, and that President Putin is devout in a similar way to a Charlemagne, or a Constantine, then perhaps he should do something quite extraordinary and call an Ecumenical Council of the East and West to heal the crisis in the Catholic Church, and bring about the union of the Latin West and the Orthodox East. I realize that this, is on one level, pure fantasy, but perhaps it is not quite so fantastic. The Final Great Council of the Church, according to the ancient prophecies, will be the work of the Grand Monarch, and what seems to be the last Pope.
Let the bishops listen to the Faithful Laity, and not patronize them.
By The Hermits, Oct 20 2015 3:12PM
Michael Voris of “Church Militant” has rightly, in his most recent dispatch from The Synod in Rome, has reflected that Freemasonry has been the most frequently condemned theory in the history of the Church. I would imagine he is right. He also rightly tells us that it was Masonic principles that guided the American, French, and Russian Revolutions and that their principles of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality overshadow the present Synod, and to some extent the same is true of the Second Vatican Council. There was at the Council this almost obsession with, and wonder at, Man. This could be seen in some of the utterances of St. John XXIII and Blessed Paul VI. There is something wonderful about Adam and Eve, but that wonder was deeply marred by The Fall, and the greater wonder is the most magnificent happening to have ever to have taken place in Time, namely The Incarnation, Life, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, namely Jesus Christ Our Lord, who has redeemed us. Our lives as Christians should be dominated by this stupendous wonder. Unfortunately a very large proportion of Western Christians like pigs at the trough, are eating ravenously, or looking at their not too lovely reflections in the dirty water around them.
Michael Voris says that the principles of Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality can be seen as the guiding star of the Synod: Liberty guides the individual’s conscience to make his or her own decisions regarding sexual life style and receiving Holy Communion. Equality enables all to receive communion; presumably even serial killers or robbers as long as they feel after examining their consciences that they are free to do so. Fraternity seems to guide the rather frightening Synodal process that Pope Francis wants to implement. Someone really should remind him of The Council of Constance, where the Council Fathers wanted frequent councils. I quote;
The frequent celebration of General Councils is the best of all methods for tilling the Lord’s field, and for extirpating the weeds, and thorns of heresy, schisms and errors….. This it is that brings the Lord’s vineyard to the fullness of its fertility. The neglect to hold General Councils fosters and encourages all the disorders here spoken of; the history of former times and the events we ourselves witness to make this very evident. Therefore, by the perpetual law, we command that, from this time on, General Councils shall be held as follows: the first within five years immediately following the close of this present council; the second within seven years of the close of the council immediately following this present council; and ever afterwards thenceforward every ten years; all these councils to be held in a place which the pope is bound to announce one month before the end of the council, and with the approbation and consent of the council. Should the pope fail to do this, then the council itself is to choose the place and time. So that, in this way, by a kind of continuity, there shall always be a council in session or the expectation of a council. The term appointed for the coming council the pope may, with the consent of the cardinals, shorten, but in no case may he make it longer. (Session 39, 9th October 1417; quoted in Hughes “The Church in Crisis”)
The decree “Haec Sancta Synodus” at Constance, which put the primacy of an Ecumenical Council above the Pope was not accepted by the Papacy. The above quote from the decree “Frequens” was from later on in the Council, and though Martin V accepted this under duress it was never put into action. Though the majority of the Council was accepted by the Church, reading about it one gets the distinct impression that it was rather like a Medieval mixture of The United Nations and the World Council of Churches. Obviously the Papacy was being reduced to a sort of exalted Presidency, and this might be the line that Pope Francis is unwittingly taking. He wishes to enforce his Synodally run Church with the full force of his Petrine Office and with words redolent of Pius IX, with whom he cannot have much in common. Quite how “Pastor Aeternus”, which is the Dogma of Infallibility, works with a synodally operating Church one cannot begin to imagine.
One thing for certain is this; if the Pope has his way, he will have opened a Pandora’s box that only the Holy Spirit will be able to close. How have we reached this disastrous state of affairs? The only answer I can come up with is that we have fallen in love with Man, and we think that men and women can build Heaven on Earth. This ridiculous notion springs from the Enlightenment view of Man as being basically noble and good; the problem is the tense; Man and Woman were made in the likeness of God, were good and then fell. Those unorthodox members of the present Synod on The Family will be suffering from this illusion that man is good and can enter Heaven without baptism, and this is all too understandable if they have misunderstood Nostrae Aetate, which is quite easy to do. If all roads lead to Rome, why cannot all religions lead to Christ. Obviously these prelates have not read and inwardly digested Chapter One of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. If there are two heresies that are abroad in this synod they are Pelagianism, a rather easy going Pelagianism at that, and Modernism. Modernism is certainly the atmosphere of the Synod, as Modernism, being utterly subjective and more about feeling than Faith, and it has a drug like effect on its followers.
How have we reached this point. I think the point has been reached by a manifesto that runs a bit like this. Man is really alright, bar a few problems here and there. He is good enough to get to Heaven by his own efforts. He really is not bad enough to go to Hell, and so he really does not have to do much to go to Heaven. So how does this work out in reality? By the lessening of discipline. It is interesting that in the 1960’s, education began to become more relaxed especially when it came to learning languages, and in Mathematics. Piaget, as far as I can remember going back 40 years now when I was studying to be a teacher (Thankfully for both myself and the students, that never materialized!), posited a child centred form of education. Once again a deification, not only of adults but of children (The more critical view is that the Illuminati or other dark forces, best described as Deist Globalists, want to detach children from their parents and control them, so that ultimately you will have a race of masters and slaves. It is a very plausible scenario, which seems to be in operation in the United States even as I write.). This means that children and adults can really do what they want to because both can form their own consciences, which of course they cannot, because they are fallen and cannot see clearly without the light of Christ, and the teachings of the Church.
This collapse of discipline and the cossetting of the members of the Church began firstly I suspect with the changes to the Liturgy, which were begun rather surprisingly with St. Pius X, who took the Laudate psalms out of Lauds in the Roman Breviary. On the illegal level priests such as Romano Guardini, who should have known better, were celebrating Mass facing the people and experimenting with the Liturgy. Then after the Second World War in the 1950’s, Pope Pius XII relaxed the Eucharistic Fast from midnight and said that the Faithful only had to fast 3 hours before receiving Holy Communion. He also did away with the Lenten Fast except for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Then Paul VI reduced the 3 hours fast to 1 hour before Communion. In the wake of Vatican II, the Breviary was drastically shortened and all the nasty bits in the psalms were taken out. As the psalms were recited by Christ who is God, how in Heaven’s name can we better him? It is a sort of heresy, perhaps there is no “sort of” about it. The Mass was shortened and translated into the vernacular. The special vesting prayers for priests were dropped, and very few priests prepare for the celebration of Mass properly, and most people rush out of the Church without saying their thanksgiving. I remember a Capuchin Lay brother years ago saying the reason for this is because of the Dismissal at the end of Mass makes it redundant. Why “Go the Mass is ended” in the old English Missal would absolve one from thanksgiving after Mass I do not know. The New Mass was also much easier to celebrate because it was in the vernacular, and all the signs of the Cross bar one that the priest made in the Old Mass were dropped. That easiness encouraged laziness. And that is what has entered the Church; Laziness. Laziness in worship, laziness in fasting, and now laziness in morals. When Michael Voris talks about “The Church of Nice” I fear he is underestimating the problem. It is a Church riven with indiscipline and dying because of SLOTH!!
I suspect that in the coming weeks, and months, and over the next year the poor Holy Father will be weeping and groaning and saying to himself and perhaps to others “What have I done, what have I done?” I have no doubt that the Pope has the best intentions, but are they the right ones? Has he, because of his formation as a Jesuit in the late 50’s and early 60’s, become muddled as so many priests and religious were muddled during those ultimately chaotic years when indiscipline reigned supreme? I suspect he has, and here is a great tragedy, and it is so true of so many priests and bishops and cardinals. They have been taken in by the spirit of the Age, and the spirit of the Age is one of continuous revolution and change. Liberty Fraternity and Equality now rule, and this rule, as before, in the French and Russian Revolutions, will lead to terror. I pray that this does terror does not now invade the Church and cause the ruin of millions of souls.
I will finish this article with Christ answering the Pharisees about who casts out demons from the possessed man, and with Ezekiel’s terrifying vision of the cleansing of Jerusalem and her temple.
Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of demons.” But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? (Matthew 12 vv. 24-26)
Then He cried out in my ears with a loud voice, saying, “The punishment of the city is near, and each had instruments of destruction in his hand.” Behold, six men were coming from the way of the high gate that looks toward the north, and each one’s axe was in his hand. One man among them was clothed with a full-length robe, with a belt of sapphire about his waist. They entered and stood near the bronze altar.
Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the Cherubim, and the glory which was over them went into the inner court of the house. He called to the man clothed with the long robe with the belt on his waist, and He said to him, “Go through the midst of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the lawless deeds taking place within her.” To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill. Let not your eyes spare, and have no mercy. Utterly destroy old men and youth, and virgins, infants, and women, but not come near anyone on whom is the mark. Begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were inside the house. Then He said to them, “Defile the house, and go out and fill the roads with the dead and smite.”
So it was, as they were smiting, I fell on my face and cried out, and said, “Alas, O Lord, are You wiping out all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your anger on Jerusalem?” Then he said to me, “The wrongdoing of the house of Israel and Judah has become exceedingly great, for the land is full of many peoples, and the city is full of wrongdoings and uncleanness. For they said, ‘The Lord forsook the land, and the Lord does not look upon it.’ My eye will not spare, nor will I have mercy, but I will recompense their deeds on their own heads.” Then behold, the man clothed with the long robe and girded with the belt on his waist reported back and said, “I have done as you commanded me.”
(Ezekiel Chapter 9)
The great tragedy is that the Church is divided against itself now, or to put it more correctly there is much dead wood in it. The axe has been laid to the branches. They will be cut off. The teaching of Christ does not change. It remains forever. The Word of God does not change whatever heretical scripture scholars would have you believe. There is little time left before catastrophe will come and with it God’s punishment. He will not allow is Bride the Church, now a haggard crone to die. His winnowing fan is in his hand, and he will divide the chaff from the wheat.
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