23 May 2017

Honey Pie, You're Not Safe Here

A shout-out to Morrisey after his statement on Facebook in the wake of the Manchester Islamist bombing:

"The Church will know that the terrible chastisement is at hand, for prayer will then be as rare as faith."

Greetings on the Tuesday of the Rogation Days that precede Ascension Thursday.  Dom Gueranger has a reflection today that is simply stunning both in its accurate reflection of our times and its correct prediction of the woes that would accompany the rejection of the faith of our fathers and the embrace of paganism.  This is a fairly long essay, but oh, is it on point:

Today, again, the great Litany, the supplication, is heard from the house of the Lord: the solemn procession re-appears in the streets of the city, and in the quiet lanes of the country. Let us take our share in this sacred rite; let us blend our voice with that of our mother, and join the cry that pierces the clouds: Kyrie Eleison! Lord have mercy on us! Let us think, for a moment, of the countless sins that are being committed, day and night; and let us sue for mercy. In the days of Noe, all flesh had corrupted its way; but men thought not of asking for mercy. The flood came, and destroyed them all, says our Saviour. Had they prayed, had they begged God's pardon, the hand of His justice would have been stayed, and the flood-gates of heaven would not have been opened. The day is to come, when not water as heretofore, but fire, is suddenly to be enkindled by the divine wrath, and is to burn the whole earth. It shall burn even the foundations of the mountains; it shall devour sinners, who will be resting then, as they were in the days of Noe, in a false security.

Persecuted by her enemies, decimated by the martyrdom of her children, afflicted by numerous apostasies from the faith, and deprived of every human aid, the Church will know that the terrible chastisement is at hand, for prayer will then be as rare as faith. Let us, therefore, pray; that thus the day of wrath may be put off, the Christian life regain something of its ancient vigour, and the end of the world not be in our times. There are even yet Catholics in every part of the world; but their number has visibly decreased. Heresy is now in possession of whole countries, that were once faithful to the Church. In others, where heresy has not triumphed, religious indifference has left the majority of men with nothing of Catholicity but the name, seeing that they neglect even their most essential obligations without remorse. Among many of those who fulfil the precepts of the Church, truths are diminished. The old honesty of faith has been superseded by loose ideas and half-formed convictions. A man is popular in proportion to the concessions he makes in favour of principles condemned by the Church. The sentiments and actions of the saints, the conduct and teaching of the Church, are taxed with exaggeration, and decried as being unsuited to the period. The search after comforts has become a serious study; the thirst for earthly goods is a noble passion; independence is an idol to which everything must be sacrificed; submission is a humiliation which must be got rid of, or, where that cannot be, it must not be publicly acknowledged. Finally, there is sensualism, which, like an impure atmosphere, so impregnates every class of society, that one would suppose there was a league formed to abolish the cross of Christ from the minds of men.

What miseries must not follow from this systematic setting aside of the conditions imposed by God upon His creatures? If the Gospel be the word of infinite Truth, how can men oppose it without drawing down upon themselves the severest chastisements? Would that these chastisements might work the salvation of them that have provoked them! Let us humble ourselves before the sovereign holiness of our God, and confess our guilt. The sins of men are increasing both in number and in enormity. The picture we have just drawn is sad enough; what would it have been, had we added such abominations as these, which we purposely excluded: downright impiety; corrupt doctrines, which are being actively propagated throughout the world; dealings with satan, which threaten to degrade our age to the level of pagan times; the conspiracy organized against order, justice, and religion, by secret societies? Oh! let us unite our prayer with that of holy Church, and say to our God: From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Lord!

--from The Liturgical Year

22 May 2017

Archdiocese of Saint Louis Sues the City over Abortion Sanctuary City Ordinance

This story is covered in both the Review and STL Today.  Clink either or both links.

I give the Archbishop kudos for his early, consistent, forthright and unstinting leadership in opposing this pro-death legislation. The Archdiocese's legal team has also greatly improved since the dark days of botching the St. Stan's game.

In a country governed by the U.S. Constitution, this ordinance would be struck down on quickly, beginning with a TRO.  Of course, that wouldn't be this country now, would it?  But in any event, the Archdiocese is doing the right thing, including making a bold declaration that whatever the outcome of this lawsuit, it will never comply with the ordinance.

Again, all good news, so forgive me if I point out a couple of sour notes.  The St. Louis Review article's headline still refers to this piece of [ahem] legislation as a "reproductive decisions" ordinance. Really?  It did the same on an article covering the mayoral signing of this execrable bill.  Who is writing the headlines, and who is editing this? Why are we using the language of the enemies of unborn babies to allow them to frame the issue? Even the Post-Dispatch uses the somewhat more accurate and less propaganda-ish term "abortion anti-discrimination ordinance".

Then, on top of this, the Review carries a slideshow of photos, one of which shows a person holding a sign reading "Religious Liberty: Our Most Basic Freedom".  Except that this, too, uses the language of our enemies. Religious liberty is a heresy. Religious error is not a right. If we mean we have the right to the true worship of God, say so.  Even in the context of the Constitution religious liberty isn't the right here.  Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and free exercise of religion. All these are covered in the First Amendment. The right to life is covered in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. 

Perhaps this last point is a quibble but the whole battle for "religious liberty" is a de facto whimper to be treated the same as all the false religions, begging for a scrap of what is ours by right.  And in the end you get satanic black masses and satanic monuments on public property, and why? Because the true Church demands only "religious liberty". And we are left without an argument to make against these atrocities because all we asked for was religious "liberty".

Okay, tangent over.  The lawsuit filed today is a great thing, and it is gratifying to see the more muscular push-back on the legal front in this and other issues over the last few years.

Ring Them Bells



Ring them bells, ye heathen
From the city that dreams
Ring them bells from the sanctuaries
’Cross the valleys and streams
For they’re deep and they’re wide
And the world’s on its side
And time is running backwards
And so is the bride

Ring them bells St. Peter
Where the four winds blow
Ring them bells with an iron hand
So the people will know
Oh it’s rush hour now
On the wheel and the plow
And the sun is going down
Upon the sacred cow

Ring them bells Sweet Martha
For the poor man’s son
Ring them bells so the world will know
That God is one
Oh the shepherd is asleep
Where the willows weep
And the mountains are filled
With lost sheep

Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf
Ring them bells for all of us who are left
Ring them bells for the chosen few
Who will judge the many when the game is through
Ring them bells, for the time that flies
For the child that cries
When innocence dies

Ring them bells St. Catherine
From the top of the room
Ring them from the fortress
For the lilies that bloom
Oh the lines are long
And the fighting is strong
And they’re breaking down the distance
Between right and wrong

-- Bob Dylan, 1989 



19 May 2017

Taking Stock, Fatima Style

I think I've begun about five posts in the past few days that I haven't finished. Let's see how this one pans out. 

Taking a survey of the scene in the Church and world these days is tough-- not so much because most of the news is bad, but because we are in a reality of such constant progression in badness, that reporting on the bad of the day is obsolete as the next day's badness exceeds it--making the alarm, outrage, suffering or correction of the previous day's badness seem almost quaint. 

As though I long for the good old days when Francis merely told some old gal on the phone to (wink-wink) go to Holy Communion but bear in mind it's just our little secret! A veritable Tridentine moment, compared to now.

As an aside, this is why I admire the work, especially these days, of Steve Skojec at 1P5, and Michael Matt and Chris Ferrara at The Remnant. Because myself and other bloggers of the Catholic remnant camp have been posting less regularly. Totally understandable for the reasons I listed, as well as for "real-world" crises, work-crushes, personal matters, etc., that I don't for a moment think are coincidental. But the two above, and perhaps others (I don't want to slight anyone) keep slogging on. 

And what a slog it is to do the Lord's work in this terrain of Jell-O.

I mean how bad is it, when fresh off of my total consecration to Jesus through Mary, consecrating everything I am and have to the honor and glory of the Mother of God, made on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, I couldn't scrounge up the energy and will to take on the horrific comments of the self-proclaimed "bishop in white" at Fatima, because I knew it would only be succeeded by another outrage soon enough? Well, true though that is, I will correct this matter below.

So, making no predictions of anything by way of events, I return to Fatima. Fatima is the key to our times. On the temporal side, the Deep State, globalist war against Trump (or at least against what Trump promised), the constant vilification and provocation of Russia seems destined to produce fruit-- good or rotten, depending on the action of the Church herself. On the spiritual side, the apostasy of the Church (news flash) goes all the way to the top. When will the Church obey Our Mother?

Friends, Mary promised it. Russia will be the instrument of a great temporal chastisement of man, or the instrument of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart bringing peace to the world. Either/or. Both/and?

So what did Francis say at Fatima, on top of the watering down of the Fatima message and non-consecration on which I would have bet a million dollars? Here is the relevant portion (I give the whole paragraph for context, but emphasize the money lines):

____________


Pilgrims with Mary…  But which Mary?  A teacher of the spiritual life, the first to follow Jesus on the “narrow way” of the cross by giving us an example, or a Lady “unapproachable” and impossible to imitate?  A woman “blessed because she believed” always and everywhere in God’s words (cf. Lk 1:42.45), or a “plaster statue” from whom we beg favours at little cost?  The Virgin Mary of the Gospel, venerated by the Church at prayer, or a Mary of our own making: one who restrains the arm of a vengeful God; one sweeter than Jesus the ruthless judge; one more merciful than the Lamb slain for us? (Francis, 2017)
 _____________


Francis canonized two of the visionaries, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, while at Fatima. What did St. Francisco say about Mary? Echoing Hilary White's piece here, these are the words of the new saint:

 ____________


‘Our Lady can no longer hold back the Arm of her beloved Son from the world. It is necessary to do penance. If people change their ways, Our Lord will still spare the world; but if they do not, the chastisement will come.’ (St. Francisco 1920)


_____________

By all appearances, intentional or not, this is a rebuke of the saint the pope came to canonize, an open discouragement of the Fatima apparition and message, and a slight to Our Lady's Mercy and Our Lord's Justice. In my opinion, a new low, even for a pontificate of lowest lows.

But do not be afraid. Mary cannot be denied. If her Son cannot deny her anything, what chance does hell and the world stand against her? 

And into the morass of the desert of the real that is the visible hierarchy of the Church comes Cardinal Burke. The great Cardinal, ever stalwart (though deliberate to a fault to my impatience), drafter and proposer of the dubia, advocate of the Church's integrity in Malta, attacked on all sides-- now comes forth to cast another Clark Bar into the modernist punchbowl:

Remember how the idea fact that the consecration of Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart at Fatima has NOT been done has been derided by Modernists of the prog- and neo- variety? Remember the scorn towards Fr. Gruner (who did the most on keeping this push alive) and everyone else who acknowledged the obvious truth that no pope has obeyed Mary's wishes on this?

Well, Cardinal Burke has now openly called for the Pope to consecrate Russia, in union with the world's bishops, to Mary's Immaculate Heart.  You know, JUST LIKE SHE ASKED.


If the pope does this, Russia will be converted and a period of peace will be given to the world. If not, “Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated.”


Please pray and yes, demand that the Pope consecrate Russia as Our Lady has asked. Remember, in the end, Her Immaculate Heart will triumph, and all this will be done. Why must we continue to suffer before believing her?

16 May 2017

In Partibus Infidelium

The Remnant has published a great piece by Anthony Mazzone that pretty much covers all the good and bad of the current situation from a traditionalist, i.e., Catholic, perspective. I thought I would post just a few excerpts, but the whole piece is quite readable. 

It begins by describing the bizarro world in which we live-- inside the Church and inside the body politic:

The Catholic Church is the safe Inn to which our Lord the Good Samaritan has carried wounded humanity. But it continues in a state of accelerating decomposition. To Traditionalists at least it’s obvious that this crisis is not limited to liturgy or even governance, but is a deeper one of purpose and identity. Unfortunately the faithful members of the Church, too, are further divided into tribes: mainstream Novus Ordo, Reformers of the Reform, traditionalists who hold to the 1962 Roman Missal and those who hold to the 1920 Roman Missal with or without the changes in the 1950’s. Can’t we just pray together? Hell’s bells, we can no longer even say the rosary together. Some Catholics will insist on publicly reciting the Luminous Mysteries because they are new, while others resist for basically the same reason.

Switching realms, it sometimes looks as if Christians have lost every battle in the sphere of public life and morality. Oh, if we only had one more Republican Congressman, one more conservative Supreme Court Justice, we will be able to turn things around! I’m sorry, but what ails us as a country simply isn’t curable by politics. The political scientist Harold Lasswell has defined politics as being about “who gets what, when, how.” While this is not an Aristotlelian definition, I think it is true.

The point I am making is that you are not alone in feeling you are riding a roller coaster in Bizarro World. Things have been wrong for so long that we are forgetting what is normal. It is not normal for laymen to parse the spontaneous utterances of a Pope to divine their implications, much as Roman augurs read the flights of birds. It is not normal that the liturgy is among Catholics not an expression of unity but a constant cause of strife and division.

Dioceses that had been lost to the Muslim conquests or had otherwise ceased to be functional have long been characterized as being in partibus infidelium, "in the realm of the unbelievers." We are all living in partibus infidelium now. We can’t escape the fact that any contemporary defender of the mos maiorum (“the way of the ancestors”) is by definition a heretic regarding the naturalistic dogmas of the day.

I realize none of the above is less than obvious. But what is the Catholic response?


Let’s remind ourselves that God, from all eternity, has chosen precisely this moment in history for each one of us to be alive. There is nothing arbitrary in this. Now it’s our turn to respond to the demands of our time as the saints taught us to do: by remaining stubborn rosary counters and rigid restorationists, and doing so not only with hope but with high spirits.

    “You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds....What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little bad as you can."  -  St. Thomas More

This puts me in mind of the Western Rebellion that Michael Davies wrote about some years ago. Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, completed the first Book of Common Prayer at the end of 1548. The Act of Uniformity of 1549 mandated its use, while the Chantries Act among other things denounced “vain opinions of purgatory and masses.” The response was a massive armed uprising that began in Cornwall and spread to the rest of the West. The Cornishmen took up arms to “keep the old and ancient religion as their forefathers before them had done…” In their list of demands, the leaders of the rebellion stated: “We will have our old service of Matins, Mass, Evensong and Procession in Latin, not in English, as it was done before.” They wished their priest to revert to “his old popish attire and sayeth Mass and all such services as in times past accustomed.”  The rebellion was eventually crushed by a brutality I pray we will never witness in our own country.

    “Tradition does not mean a dead town; it does not mean that the living are dead but that the dead are alive. It means that it still matters what Penn did two hundred years ago or what Franklin did a hundred years ago; I never could feel in New York that it mattered what anybody did an hour ago.” G.K. Chesterton

We are here, where we are, alive at this moment, for a reason-- God's reason, perfectly conceived. So rejoice:


So I suggest we have reason to rejoice now, for a great treasure that was for all practical purposes lost has been found. This treasure is simply the Gregorian Roman liturgy, the most ancient of all rites, which had been handed down virtually without molestation until the present time. This most sublime cultural treasure of the West, the channel of grace to generations, was nearly obliterated by a Church hierarchy which ruthlessly brought all its might and authority to bear against it. Make no mistake: it was a close thing for a while, a true near death experience. However a small group of clergy and laity (whom we now identify as traditionalists), refused to allow the Traditional Latin Mass it to die. Because of them, our Roman Missal, Pontifical, Breviary and all the venerable Roman liturgical books did not become extinct, and with the help of God will not only survive but outlast whatever it is that passes for Western liturgy these days. It would have seemed inconceivable only a short time ago, but now there are over thirty institutes of various types dedicated to the traditional liturgy. There are a small number of personal parishes that use only the traditional liturgy, and increasing numbers of priests being trained to celebrate it. This is not meant to imply that we should be complacent when told: “You got your old Mass now, so shaddup.” No, that’s not enough. It will not be “enough” until the traditional Roman liturgy is installed in every Latin Rite Church in the world along with the rest of the liturgical books, functioning within a society that acknowledges the sovereignty of Christ as King.

Here is something else to be happy about: as Father Time marches on, Vatican Council II is rapidly fading in the rear view mirror along with love beads and psychedelic rock. With its roots in the revolutionary atmosphere of the 1960’s it has become totally outdated, simply not responsive to the problems of the Church today. The documents retain a sort of paradigmatic presence, an incantatory value both to progressives and neo-Catholics who invoke them for essentially the same purpose: a harbinger for a springtime that never comes or a talisman to conjure a blissful future that is always out of reach. Well, no matter how thin you slice it, it’s still baloney.

There is a useful Americanism known as “Plan B.” When you think about it, doesn’t that describe salvation history? God’s original Plan was for mankind to live sinless and without disease of body or soul in the Garden of Eden. But the Fall destroyed that original state of being. It necessitated the implementation of an alternate program, “Plan B,” which is redemption through the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This changed everything, even the meaning of virtue and vice. For example Adam did not have to work, was never intended to weary body and soul for the sake of subsistence. But now a person who avoids work is not a virtuous pre-lapsarian Adam, but simply a bum. Similarly, to call someone a “hard worker” is considered high praise, turning the effects of a curse into a blessing.

Going further, human beings were likewise never meant to sin. So aren’t we all creating our own Plan B whenever we seek mercy through Confession, whenever we respond generously to the needs of others who suffer the effects of the Fall? Endless repetition of the mantra of “mercy” should not harden us to Our Lord’s commission to show benevolence to all living creatures. Of course this is not mercy on the cheap without repentance and rehabilitation. I’m speaking of mercy that arises from the awareness that life itself is hard: hard for all of us in varying degrees. The people we encounter while walking on the street, with whom we interact at the grocery store: we don’t know what burdens these children of God might be bearing. Why not treat everyone with the respect due to their inevitable sufferings, their inherent human dignity? Why pile burdens, even minor ones, upon one another when life on earth itself is quite efficient in doing so? What this means is that at all times we should try to follow the most difficult advice of the Cure of Ars: “Never do anything you cannot offer to God.”


 "In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph." These words of Our Lady of Fatima guarantee the triumph of good over evil. Whether this triumph is synonymous with the eschaton or else a intervening period of peace is not definitively known.  But if, as most believe, this triumph of the Immaculate Heart is a temporal period of peace prior to the events of the second coming, what will this look like? I think Mazzone's description would fit very well, for whatever happens in the natural or political order, what does a triumphant Church Militant look like?


Patient reader, whether you buy into the Benedict Option, become a hermit in the woods, move to a traditionalist stronghold in Idaho, choose life in the big city or the suburbs—whatever is best for you—you will still be living in partibus infidelium . Those Rossinian moments will just keep on coming. You are going to continue to wake up every morning to a culture increasingly irrational and decadent, to the sleazy self-serving behavior of our political and social leaders, to a Church hierarchy that lurches between crackpot social theories and Teilhardian poppycock. But do not be disheartened by verbal snakes on a plane! We are going to win this war.

This is what I believe: the traditional liturgy will be universally restored as the primary liturgical form and norm of our faith; the misbegotten Roman Missal of 1970 will become a historical aberration, a curiosity available only in research libraries. Pontiffs will pass down what they have received, prudently govern the Church, and won’t dare disrupt our piety. Our prelates will be holy and modest but have iron in their spines. Now I wouldn’t be surprised if you interject at this point “Do you really know what you’re talking about? Maybe you should just keep quiet.” How can I be so sure? Because I am convinced that this is what Christ our King wants. To adapt an old phrase: “If the King ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” From the Preface of the Mass on the Feast of the Sovereignty of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme King: He will grant us: “an eternal and universal kingdom, a kingdom of truth and life; a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.”

In conclusion, I can leave you with no better advice than that given after every sermon by Msgr Vincent Giammarino, who was pastor of St Michael’s Church in Atlantic City in the 1950s:

    “My dear good people: Do what you have to do, When you’re supposed to do it, The best way you can do it,   For the Love of God. Amen.”