A Foretaste of the Fire That Will Consume the Earth on the Last Day

The following words of the Prophet Amos, though writing about the fate that would befall the northern kingdom of Israel in a mere forty years following the invasion of the Assyrians, are useful to call to mind in light of the terrible tragedy that has destroyed the city of Lahaina on the island of Maui in the State of Hawaii in the form of a monstrous wildfire on August 8-9, 2023, whose devastating effects were exacerbated by a “woke” government bureaucrat and by the failure of the Hawaiian Electric power company to update its failing power lines:

Hear the word that the Lord hath spoken concerning you, O ye children of Israel: concerning the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt, saying: [2] You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore will I visit upon you all your iniquities. [3] Shall two walk together except they be agreed? [4] Will a lion roar in the forest, if he have no prey? will the lion's whelp cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing? [5] Will the bird fall into the snare upon the earth, if there be no fowler? Shall the snare be taken up from the earth, before it hath taken somewhat?

[6] Shall the trumpet sound in a city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, which the Lord hath not done? [7] For the Lord God doth nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. [8] The lion shall roar, who will not fear? The Lord God hath spoken, who shall not prophesy? [9] Publish it in the houses of Azotus, and in the houses of the land of Egypt, and say: Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the many follies in the midst thereof, and them that suffer oppression in the inner rooms thereof. [10] And they have not known to do the right thing, saith the Lord, storing up iniquity, and robberies in their houses.

[11] Therefore thus saith the Lord God: The land shall be in tribulation, and shall be compassed about: and thy strength shall be taken away from thee, and thy houses shall be spoiled. [12] Thus saith the Lord: As if a shepherd should get out of the lion's mouth two legs, or the tip of the ear: so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria, in a piece of a bed, and in the couch of Damascus. [13] Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord the God of hosts: [14] That in the day when I shall begin to visit the transgressions of Israel, I will visit upon him, and upon the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altars shall be cut off, and shall fall to the ground. [15] And I will strike the winter house with the summer house: and the houses of ivory shall perish, and many houses shall be destroyed, saith the Lord. (Amos 3: 1-11.)

Bishop Richard Challoner commented as follows about the meaning of Verse 6:

[6] "Evil in a city": He speaks of the evil of punishments of war, famine, pestilence, desolation, etc., but not of the evil of sin, of which God is not the author.  (Challoner Bible Commentary: Douay-Rheims Bible.)

Once again, the Prophet Amos was prophesying about the fate of the northern kingdom of Israel (he, a native of the southern kingdom of Juda, had been sent to the northern kingdom to announce his prophecies) that would befall it because of the people’s infidelity and unrepentant sins. Nonetheless, however, the Prophet Amos’s words, which were, of course, written under the inspiration of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, are certainly useful to reflect upon during the terrible chastisements that are being inflicted now in various parts of the world, including in Maui as wildfires in the “fiftieth state," which has long been a socialist “paradise” that aggressively promotes and forces taxpayers to subsidize all manner of wickedness under the cover of the civil law while forfeiting many of their legitimate property rights.

Indeed, one of the reasons that the wildfires, which are common to Maui because of the strong winds that blow through the island and because there is a great deal of grassland that is owned by the state, that devasted Lahaina on the island of Maui is that, as noted above, a government bureaucrat, Kaleo Manuel, who once served at the Obama Foundation delayed the diversion of water to reservoirs in Lahaina because he wanted to consult with a farmer about how the diversion would affect his farm, thereby permitting the fires to spread before they could be contained. This wretched excuse of a human being said in a debate last year that water is a “sacred god” that must be distributed on the basis of “equity”. No, I not making this up:

Access to water should be predicated on “conversations about equity,” according to the Hawaii official under fire for delaying access to water during the Maui wildfires.

M. Kaleo Manuel, former deputy director of the Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management, waited for more than five hours to release water during the wildfires that devastated Maui, according to reports.

In a livestream debate hosted by the University of Hawaii last year, Manuel described water as a sacred god.

“Let water connect us and not divide us,” said Manuel, referring to water distribution on the island. “We can share it, but it requires true conversations about equity…How do we coexist with the resources we have?”

A former Obama Foundation leader — part of a program by the former President’s non-profit to help participants with coaching and “practical skill building for social change” — Manuel said he considered water an important tool for social justice.

Manuel was transferred to another position within the Department of Land and Natural Resources Wednesday, according to Honolulu Civil Beat, which first reported the story of the delay.

The West Maui Land Company said in an Aug. 10 letter to Manuel that his commission refused its request to divert streams to fill landowners’ reservoirs in the hard-hit Lahaina area until the wildfires raged out of control, according to a report.

Sources told Honolulu Civil Beat that Manuel had asked the company to consult with a local farmer about the impact of water diversion before approving their request.

We watched the devastation around us without the ability to help,” said the company in the letter. “We anxiously awaited the morning knowing that we could have made more water available to MFD [Maui Fire Department] if our request had been immediately approved.” (Hawaii official worried about 'equity' over water. Some of the reader comments about this article are priceless, including the following post: "It seems that overall Statist water rationing policy in Hawaii follows a time-tested socialist principle: Scarcity begets obedience. This time scarcity went too far, so under what qualifies as logic in that part of the world, blame must be diverted from the State to another scapegoat. Climate change! Of course!")

Kaleo Manuel is a pantheist who does not understand that the resources of the earth were given by the true God of Divine Revelation, the Most Holy Trinity, to man for his use and proper stewardship. Water is a necessity for human life, and it is a necessity in fighting fires. To delay its distribution in the pursuit of a socialist agenda of “equity” is to make of a created thing, water, a “god” and to treat the zenith of God’s creative handiwork, human beings, vassals who are subordinate to the elements that God gave unto them for their sustenance and survival.

Writing in Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937, Pope Pius XI explained the Marxist reduction of human beings to mere cogs in a machine as it is Marxist doctrine that man is only a higher former of animal who could be content with an “equitable” distribution of the goods of this word according to the maxim “From each according to his ability and to each according to his need”:

8. The Communism of today, more emphatically than similar movements in the past, conceals in itself a false messianic idea. A pseudo-ideal of justice, of equality and fraternity in labor impregnates all its doctrine and activity with a deceptive mysticism, which communicates a zealous and contagious enthusiasm to the multitudes entrapped by delusive promises. This is especially true in an age like ours, when unusual misery has resulted from the unequal distribution of the goods of this world. This pseudo-ideal is even boastfully advanced as if it were responsible for a certain economic progress. As a matter of fact, when such progress is at all real, its true causes are quite different, as for instance the intensification of industrialism in countries which were formerly almost without it, the exploitation of immense natural resources, and the use of the most brutal methods to insure the achievement of gigantic projects with a minimum of expense.

9. The doctrine of modern Communism, which is often concealed under the most seductive trappings, is in substance based on the principles of dialectical and historical materialism previously advocated by Marx, of which the theoricians of bolshevism claim to possess the only genuine interpretation. According to this doctrine there is in the world only one reality, matter, the blind forces of which evolve into plant, animal and man. Even human society is nothing but a phenomenon and form of matter, evolving in the same way. By a law of inexorable necessity and through a perpetual conflict of forces, matter moves towards the final synthesis of a classless society. In such a doctrine, as is evident, there is no room for the idea of God; there is no difference between matter and spirit, between soul and body; there is neither survival of the soul after death nor any hope in a future life. Insisting on the dialectical aspect of their materialism, the Communists claim that the conflict which carries the world towards its final synthesis can be accelerated by man. Hence they endeavor to sharpen the antagonisms which arise between the various classes of society. Thus the class struggle with its consequent violent hate and destruction takes on the aspects of a crusade for the progress of humanity. On the other hand, all other forces whatever, as long as they resist such systematic violence, must be annihilated as hostile to the human race.Communism, moreover, strips man of his liberty, robs human personality of all its dignity, and removes all the moral restraints that check the eruptions of blind impulse. There is no recognition of any right of the individual in his relations to the collectivity; no natural right is accorded to human personality, which is a mere cog-wheel in the Communist system. In man's relations with other individuals, besides, Communists hold the principle of absolute equality, rejecting all hierarchy and divinely-constituted authority, including the authority of parents. What men call authority and subordination is derived from the community as its first and only font. Nor is the individual granted any property rights over material goods or the means of production, for inasmuch as these are the source of further wealth, their possession would give one man power over another. Precisely on this score, all forms of private property must be eradicated, for they are at the origin of all economic enslavement.

Refusing to human life any sacred or spiritual character, such a doctrine logically makes of marriage and the family a purely artificial and civil institution, the outcome of a specific economic system. There exists no matrimonial bond of a juridico-moral nature that is not subject to the whim of the individual or of the collectivity. Naturally, therefore, the notion of an indissoluble marriage-tie is scouted. Communism is particularly characterized by the rejection of any link that binds woman to the family and the home, and her emancipation is proclaimed as a basic principle. She is withdrawn from the family and the care of her children, to be thrust instead into public life and collective production under the same conditions as man. The care of home and children then devolves upon the collectivity. Finally, the right of education is denied to parents, for it is conceived as the exclusive prerogative of the community, in whose name and by whose mandate alone parents may exercise this right.

What would be the condition of a human society based on such materialistic tenets? It would be a collectivity with no other hierarchy than that of the economic system. It would have only one mission: the production of material things by means of collective labor, so that the goods of this world might be enjoyed in a paradise where each would "give according to his powers" and would "receive according to his needs." Communism recognizes in the collectivity the right, or rather, unlimited discretion, to draft individuals for the labor of the collectivity with no regard for their personal welfare; so that even violence could be legitimately exercised to dragoon the recalcitrant against their wills. In the Communistic commonwealth morality and law would be nothing but a derivation of the existing economic order, purely earthly in origin and unstable in character. In a word. the Communists claim to inaugurate a new era and a new civilization which is the result of blind evolutionary forces culminating in a humanity without God. (Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937.)

The triumph of the totalitarian state in which we find ourselves right now here in the United States of America is the result of all of the forces that have been at work in the world proximately from the time of the Renaissance to our own day. The belief that human beings evolved randomly from a set of molecules has reinforced the false philosophies and heretical theologies that have been proposed in the past 700 years, being propagated within the counterfeit church of conciliarism at this time under the guises of Modernism, existentialism, Process Theology, and Chardinianism, among other things (most of are variations on the Modernist theme).

Even though the path for the acceptance of evolutionism–and its vast consequences on the devolution of human behavior and hence human society—was paved by the variety of forces noted herein, it arrived on the scene while evolutionary ideologies and philosophies were gaining acceptance in intellectual circles. Thus, Georg Hegel’s concept of a dialectical process responsible for the inevitable evolution of ideas in history became the foundation for Karl Marx’s belief that human history was nothing other than the clash of competing economic classes according to the principle of dialectical materialism, a process which would result inevitably in the evolutionary triumph of communism. Charles Darwin’s biological evolutionism and Marx’s evolutionary notion of history merged to have their diabolical appeal on philosophers and theologians alike.

As one who denied the existence of God and the immortality of the human soul, Marx was a materialist. Matter is the only thing that exists. Marx can thus be called a historical materialist. All human beings make decisions, he contended, on the basis of their economic self-interest. The palpably false nature of this proposition is evident to anyone who understands true history. Millions upon millions of people have sacrificed their lives in behalf of the true Faith. Millions of others have laid down their lives to defend the lives of their family members and friends. Marx’s contention that everyone makes decisions solely on the basis of economics is simply false. However, it is something he believed, and it is the cornerstone of his belief in economic reductionism, the view that all of history is determined by economics.

The clash of competing economic classes, Marx wrote, occurred according to the dialectical principle of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Borrowing from (and turning “right side up,” to use Marx’s terminology) the dialectical process of Georg Hegel, Marx believed that one economic system (the thesis) gave rise automatically to its exact opposite (the antithesis). The clash between the first economic system and its opposite would produce eventually an entirely new system, the synthesis. This new system would then become the new thesis–and it would produce its own antithesis, with the clash between the new thesis and the new antithesis resulting in yet another synthesis. This would go on and on until such time as the stage of Ideal Communism was realized, that staged in which all of the world’s wealth had been distributed justly and the last capitalist liquidated. It would be at  that point that the need for government would be eliminated, as everyone would live peacefully with each other. There would be no envy, no war, no injustice, no conflict among human beings whatsoever.

Essential to Marx’s belief system was his insistence that wealth is static, not dynamic. Unlike Adam Smith, the theoretical father of contemporary capitalism, Marx did not believe that wealth could be expanded. Thus, as capitalists had a disproportionate share of the wealth generated by the sweat of the workers, it would be necessary for the workers to expedite the evolutionary process by which the stage of Ideal Communism would be realized. Capitalists were not going to hand over their ill-gotten goods and their unjust hold on political power voluntarily. There needed to be a violent, blood revolution to expedite the process by which the workers could rule triumphantly, ushering in the “end of history” and the “beginning of man” as capitalism and capitalists disappeared from the world forever.

Ironically, even though there are great differences between Adam Smith and Karl Marx, there are some similarities. Smith believed in the inevitable, evolutionary progress of man as wealth was expanded by the investment and reinvestment of profits. The availability of “capital” for investment and reinvestment had been made possible by the unjust seizure of the Catholic Church’s monastery and convent lands by King Henry VIII, the most massive land grab in history prior to the Bolshevik Revolution. At work in Smith’s theory was his belief in the “invisible hand” that would correct the free market without government interference. Smith’s belief in invisible forces is really the other side of the same coin on which one can find Marx’s belief in the principle of dialectical materialism. Indeed, Marx himself knew that one had to make what is called a “leap of faith” to accept that (a) history was actually based on the principle of dialectical materialism, and that (b) the dialectical process would indeed end at some point in time in the stage of Ideal Communism. Smith could not prove the existence of the invisible hand; Marx could not prove the existence of the principle of dialectical materialism. Both systems are founded on the acceptance of forces that are illusory. Both are destined to reduce man to the material level as neither accepts the Deposit of Faith as entrusted by Our Lord to His true Church as defining everything about human existence, yes, including economics.

Thus, both communism and capitalism–and their various ideological allies in the United States–have been the means by which evolutionism has been triumphant in convincing us that we are little more than beasts who can be made happy by the satisfaction derived from the acquisition and retention of material goods and of the indulgence of sensual pleasure. The only essential difference between Marx and Smith is the way in which we are to realize this pleasure; the former believed it will be done by the revolutionary forces of a natural evolutionary process while the latter believed in market forces to improve the lot of man on earth without regard to his First Cause and Last End.

Many heretical Catholics have been careful not to deny the existence of God outright (see Chardin) but have done their best to claim that God and any of His teachings are subject to evolutionary change. This is the essence of Freemasonry. It is also the essence of process theology and process philosophy, which are at the heart of Modernism. It is this Modernist, evolutionist spirit which has triumphed within the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic liturgical service, convincing Catholics that if the liturgy is subject to rapid, radical, continuous, unremitting changes, then our understanding of the “development” of doctrine is itself subject to change and evolution as the years progress. This is especially so in light of our “more sophisticated” understanding of Scripture as a result of the historical-critical method, reducing the Book of Genesis to little more than a fairy tale which has no real meaning for our lives. Thus, all elements of the Faith are subject to review and analysis. If God and the human being are in the process of becoming, then the same is true of His Church and any doctrine taught in His Name (as well as being true for the offering of Holy Mass).

The widespread belief in evolution, however, had led rather inexorably to devolution of human behavior. The belief that we are descended from apes has prompted people to act like apes. The law of the jungle rules in our schools, on our streets, in our homes and in our government. Mothers can kill the natural fruit of their wombs under cover of law.

The elderly and the chronically ill can be put to “sleep” much like my late father, a veterinarian, would euthanize a sick dog at the behest of its owners. Children feel free to massacre each other in schools.

The vilest forms of insults are hurled by young toughs in their twenties and thirties as they attend sporting events, drinking so much alcohol that it may very well be the case that their bodies will need nothing to be preserved for their wakes after their deaths.

If we do not believe that we are redeemed creatures who are made in the image and likeness of the Blessed Trinity, then we devolve to the level of barbarism over time, giving vent to every primordial urge after another solely because we are living on the material and the sensual levels alone. Wild animals spend their waking hours on the prowl for food. The human beasts shaped by a world which teaches that we are descended from beasts work in order to eat, drink, and be merry, not to give honor and glory to God as He has revealed Himself through His true Church.

These are the false beliefs being promoted under the various slogans as “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” “Critical Race Theory,” and “Environmental and Social Guidance,” each of which was formed in the mind of Kaleo Manuel’s mentor, the Hawaiian-born anti-American named Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro, who learned Marxist theory under the tutelage of the Hawaiian Marxist named Frank Marshall Davis:

Frank Marshall Davis (1905-1987) was a journalist, poet and Communist Party USA activist in Chicago and Hawaii. In Hawaii he was a mentor to a young Barack Obama.

The FBI file on Davis, consisting of 601 pages and covering the years 1944-1963, means that Davis was under investigation or surveillance for at least 19 years. One document refers to Davis having Communist Party USA affiliations dating back to 1931. He was included in the FBI’s security index, meaning that he could be arrested or detained in the event of a national emergency.

Mentoring Obama

Frank Marshall Davis knew Barack Obama from as early as 9 or 10, until he left Hawaii for Occidental College in 1978 at the age of 18.

Some accounts say that Obama returned to Hawaii in 1971 . But British journalist Toby Harnden says that the Punahou School, the coeducational college preparatory day school in Honolulu that Obama attended from 1971 to 1979, was adamant that Obama took his entrance examine in autumn 1970. “It’s possible he briefly went back to Indonesia before actually starting at the school,” he said. But whether it was 1970 or 1971, Some accounts say that Obama returned to Hawaii in 1971. This adds several years to the amount of time that Davis was exercising influence over Obama.

Barack Obama’s 1995 autobiography, Dreams from My Father, included several examples of Obama receiving advice from Frank Marshall Davis:

·         Obama’s grandmother (Toot) and Gramps have an argument over whether Gramps should give Toot a ride to work after she had been threatened at a bus stop by a black panhandler. Obama looks to Frank to sort it out in his mind. (p. 89-91)

·         When Toot is having difficulty convincing the drug-abusing young Obama to apply for college, it is again Frank who is able to convince Obama that college is necessary. (p. 96-98)

·         Frank tells the young Obama “…you may be a well-trained, well-paid nigger, but you’re a nigger just the same.” (p. 97)

Davis told Obama that black people “have a reason to hate [white people]” (Dreams from My Father, p. 91). He also advised the college-bound Obama to “keep your eyes open” and “Stay awake” otherwise he would be “trained” against his own interests. (p. 97) Obama explained how he carried out Davis’s advice. “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.” (p. 100). (Frank Marshall Davis - Obama's Mentor.)

Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro may no longer be president of the United States of America in point of fact, but he is the one directing most major policy decisions in the administration of his former vice president, the notorious grifter and intellectual thief named Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., with devastating effects on ordinary Americans and his mentoring of the likes of Kaleo Manuel produced a delay in the name of “equity” that could have saved many of the lives that were lost by the raging wildfire that destroyed Lahaina and, at least count, killed at least one hundred two people.

Alas, Kaleo Manuel is not the only Hawaiian responsible for a strict adherence to the prevailing Marxist orthodoxy about “equity.” Hawaiian Electric, the power company that provides electricity to the entirety of Hawaii, chose to invest heavily in “renewable resources” rather than to upgrade and replace failing power lines, one of which fell to the ground fully energized during Hurricane Dora and thus sparked the raging inferno to spread uncontrollably:

Hawaiian Electric, the utility company whose power line reportedly played a role in the Hawaiian fires, appears to have focused on green energy development while neglecting to adhere to its own assessment that it needed to increase the safety of its existing infrastructure, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The company concluded that it needed to take much more aggressive action to ensure that its hardware did not emit sparks after the 2019 wildfire season, which was one of the worst recorded in the island of Maui’s history, according to the Journal.

The firm does not appear to have done much work to that end before one of its power lines reportedly triggered the spark for last week’s fires that have killed at least 100 people, but it expended significant resources toward green energy initiatives in the years between its assessment and this week’s fires, according to the Journal.

“While there was concern for wildfire risk, politically the focus was on electricity generation,” Mina Morita, chair of the state utilities commission from 2011 to 2015, told the Journal.

Hawaiian Electric spent less than $245,000 on wildfire-specific projects on the island between 2019 and 2022, after it had determined in 2019 that it had to do more to mitigate the risks posed by errant sparks, according to the Journal.

Despite issuing a press release in 2019 pledging to take action to reduce wildfire risk and increase preparedness, the company appears to have mentioned wildfire danger as an afterthought rather than a priority in regulatory filings with the relevant state agency, according to the Journal.

During the same years that Hawaiian Electric had pledged publicly to take more action on risk reduction, the company undertook a massive campaign to reach the state’s long-term green energy transition goals, according to the Journal.

A 2020 audit of the company’s management systems found that its risk considerations were mostly focused on financial risks, with minimal analysis of operational risks, while the division within the firm that oversaw power line operations had significant management problems.

“Looking back with hindsight, the business opportunities were on the generation side, and the utility was going out for bid with all these big renewable-energy projects,” Doug McLeod, who served for several years as the Maui county energy commissioner, told the Journal. “But in retrospect, it seems clear, we weren’t as focused on these fire risks as we should have been.”

Though Hawaiian Electric’s alleged failures in the lead-up to the disaster have drawn scrutiny and criticism, it is far from the only involved entity to have possibly contributed to the calamity with its alleged negligence.

While many Democrats moved quickly to emphasize the role climate change may have played in the catastrophe, reports have surfaced in recent days indicating that the questionable state land management policies and failures of the local 911 system, emergency sirens, and fire hydrants all contributed to the fires that engulfed Lahaina, a Maui town hit especially hard by the inferno.

The utility company has stated that it will cooperate fully with investigations into the origins and outcomes of the tragedy, according to the Journal.

Hawaiian Electric is one of the most politically influential and connected companies in all of Hawaii, but its finances and share price have been severely impacted as a result of the crisis and the stream of reports indicating that its hardware started the fire.

Hawaiian Electric did not respond immediately to a request for comment. (Hawaiian Electric Focused on Green Energy, Not Wildfire Preparedness.)

Hawaiian Electric is going face a lot of lawsuits over the conflagration stated by one of their downed power lines after it had spent so much money on “green energy” rather than updating their infrastructure. Then again, a government-granted monopoly that is politically connected may claim “immunity” the way that the corrupt pharmaceutical companies have done since 1986 when Congress passed a bill indemnifying them by limiting the damages (up to $250,000) that can be paid to victims of their poisoned jabs that go by the name of vaccines.

Another commentary focused on the combination of additional factors that played a role in the tragedy that befell the city of Lahaina:

The most destructive natural disasters are never 100 percent natural. Human choices, land use, and government policies play a big role in how harmful hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, flash floods, and wildfires are to the affected communities.

And after catastrophes like the wildfire that destroyed much of the historic Hawaiian city of Lahaina last week, it’s worth taking stock of how much of the disaster was the result not of natural or accidental factors, but of policies and institutions that can be changed.

Though details are still emerging, it’s becoming clear that government failure did much to make this disaster worse—and possibly even started it. While the so-called experts are blaming climate change—and in the process demanding that government grab even more power and authority ostensibly to someday give us better weather—the destructiveness of this fire was the product of an all-powerful and all-incompetent régime.

The specific origins of the fire are still being investigated, but there is much we already know. The city of Lahaina sits on the west coast of Maui, Hawaii’s second-largest island. It is surrounded by grassland, much of which the state owns.

Nearly a decade ago the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, a research nonprofit, warned the Hawaiian government that the area around Lahaina was extremely fire-prone due to frequent downslope winds, steep terrain, and dry grass. Little was done to address these risks. A subsequent report in 2020 added that an invasive species of exceptionally flammable grass was prevalent in the surrounding fields and that passing hurricanes created strong winds known to fuel wildfires on the islands.

Early last week, Hurricane Dora crossed the ocean south of Hawaii. By early Tuesday morning, August 8, winds as fast as sixty miles per hour were blowing down the slopes of the West Maui Mountains into Lahaina. Around sunrise, a large fault was detected in the power grid, indicating a downed power line. Twenty minutes later, the first reports of fire came in from the area around Lahainaluna Road, uphill and upwind from the city.

The area where flames were first spotted is full of electrical infrastructure, mostly operated by Hawaiian Electric, the state’s monopoly electricity supplier. This included a substation and a multitude of power lines. Most of the land in the area is owned by the State of Hawaii except for a parcel belonging to the estate of one of Hawaii’s last princesses. This parcel housed a solar farm supplying electricity to the Hawaiian Electric substation. Early last year, NPR published a glowing article about the solar project, praising it the direct result of government regulation crafted to help transition Hawaii to 100 percent renewable power by 2045.

But on the morning of August 8, as winds hammered the old wooden utility poles, this highly electrified area in the dry grasses above Lahaina was quickly becoming dangerous. Yet no formal procedure was in place to shut off sections of the grid in the face of severe fire risks. As a result, twenty-nine fully energized poles fell across West Maui that day.

But even with downed poles in the way, the first firefighters on the scene met with some early success. Around 9 a.m., the county fire department declared the fire “100 percent contained.” But the message to residents included an ominous request. The county’s water pumps were powered by electricity, much of which was frantically being turned off to deactivate the downed lines. Officials asked the public to conserve water to preserve water pressure.

But by midafternoon, a flare-up brought the fire back to life on the Lahaina Bypass, a major road that heads straight into town. The flames moved swiftly into Lahaina at 4:46 p.m., one minute after the county government finally sent out an alert to warn the city’s population, largely without power, about the flare-up that had occurred over an hour before.

To make matters worse, county officials failed to activate emergency sirens, leaving residents unaware of the danger bearing down on them. And as firefighters heroically rushed toward the flames to try and save their community, they found that there was little to no water pressure in the fire hydrants, which quickly ran dry.

With a single backed-up highway leading out of the city, many residents of Lahaina had nowhere to go. Some scrambled into the ocean to escape the smoke and flames. But in the end, many couldn’t get out. At least ninety-nine people have been confirmed dead at this writing, making this the deadliest American wildfire in over a century. In addition, 2,207 buildings were destroyed, with property damages expected to reach $5.5 billion.

To review, a power company shielded from competition by the state placed electrical infrastructure among highly flammable state-owned grass fields above the historic city of Lahaina, which the government was twice warned were highly susceptible to fire. And once a fire broke out, a combination of defective water infrastructure, terrible communication by government officials, and only one escape route doomed the people of Lahaina to the worst wildfire experienced in this country in over a hundred years. (Thanks to Government, Maui's Lahaina Fire Became a Deadly Conflagration.)

Chastisements such as those that occurred on Maui are, ultimately, the result of the sins, including the capital sin of sloth, of men, not “climate change.” The Democratic Party has had a monopoly on Hawaiian state government for most of its sixty-three years as a state, and the public officials who have served the state have used their positions to promote sodomy and the chemical and surgical execution of the innocent preborn, among other evils. As such, the “climate change” ideologues who want to depopulate the earth are the true deniers of reality as they seek to blame “climate deniers” for disasters that God permits to bring men to their knees and to repentance. Hawaiian officials will find out at their particular judgments that their policies have helped to bring the wrath of God down upon Hawaii as even those who are believing Catholics are swept up into the vortex caused by the wickedness of others.

Although there are certainly natural forces at work in  disasters of this kind, we must remember that Such disasters are visited upon men because of the epidemic of unrepentant sin in the world. God will not be mocked. Sin must be punished.

Who says so?

Well, consider the words of Saint Paul the Apostle in his Epistle to the Hebrews:

For where there is a testament, the death of the testator must of necessity come in. For a testament is of force, after men are dead: otherwise it is as yet of no strength, whilst the testator liveth. Whereupon neither was the first indeed dedicated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been read by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, Saying: This is the blood of the testament, which God hath enjoined unto you.

The tabernacle also and all the vessels of the ministry, in like manner, he sprinkled with blood. And almost all things, according to the law, are cleansed with blood: and without shedding of blood there is no remission. It is necessary therefore that the patterns of heavenly things should be cleansed with these: but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Jesus is not entered into the holies made with hands, the patterns of the true: but into heaven itself, that he may appear now in the presence of God for us. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holies, every year with the blood of others:   

For then he ought to have suffered often from the beginning of the world: but now once at the end of ages, he hath appeared for the destruction of sin, by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment: So also Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; the second time he shall appear without sin to them that expect him unto salvation. (Hebrews 9: 21-28.)

Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shed every drop of His own Most Precious Blood to redeem us. Though innocent, the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity made Man. We are called to make reparation for our own sins and those of others, something we must bear in mind at all times even when facing epic chastisements such as those afflicting California at tis time.

Once again, while taking not a thing away from the physical and emotional suffering that has afflicted so many in Maui at this time, a suffering that must be relieved by our prayers and by whatever temporal assistance can be rendered unto them, we must recognize that no suffering, not even that which has resulted in so much devastation on Maui, is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and that caused His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with those Seven Swords of Sorrow.

Catholics who love God as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through His Catholic Church give thanks to Him for each and every cross and humiliation that He sees fit to fashion for the.

Each and every cross that the good God sends us is the means by which we are meant to give Him honor and glory through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Each and every cross that the good God sends us is the means by which we are meant to make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world, praying with urgency for the unconditional conversion of all non-Catholic to the true Church before they die and praying for the return of lapsed Catholics to the bosom of Holy Mother Church before they die.

Each and every cross that the good God sends us is the means by which we can give salutary example to lukewarm Catholics and to all non-Catholics that God never permits us to endure any cross that is beyond our capacity to carry by means of the graces that His Co-Eternal and Co-Equal Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, won for us by the shedding of each and every drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of His Most Blessed Mother, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces.

Catholics rejoice in their crosses.

Catholics rejoice when they are castigated and humiliated and misunderstood and calumniated.

Catholics rejoice when they are denied temporal honors and worldly success.

Catholics rejoice when they are deemed worthy to suffer some terrible physical or emotional affliction as this means that God has seen fit to make it more possible for them to pay back what they owe for their sins in this passing, mortal vale of tears and thus to do their Purgatory on earth.

Mind you, by way of reiteration, this is not to denigrate or to minimize in any way the tremendous suffering that has taken place in Lahaina and on Maui. This is, however, to remind the very few readers of this little-read website that we are supposed to look at each of the events in our own lives and in the world through the supernatural eyes of the Holy Faith.

The loving hand of the good God is seeking to chastise us.

God is seeking to humiliate us in order that we might rely more fully upon Him as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through the Catholic Church.

God is seeking to remind the creature that He, the Creator, has created the laws and the properties of the universe and that no amount of human planning, no matter how sincerely motivated or how carefully implemented, can probe the depths of the creation that came into existence at His mere willing it so.

The earth itself will end in God's good time, and it will end by fire, meaning that the events on Maui are meant to give us a foretaste of the destruction of the world at the end of time. God is, I believe, seeking to remind us that no created thing on this earth will last forever—certainly not any community named “Paradise” here on earth, that the end of our own particular lives can occur at any time. We are not to take even our next breath for granted. Everything good thing that we have, starting with the Holy Faith Itself, is His gratuitous gift to us.

Catholics must, therefore, have the same sense of detachment from as did holy Job after Satan was permitted by God to deprive him of everything he had, including his life and children, willing to bend under the mighty arm of God as He seeks to rid us of our disordered self-love to have a pure love of Him and His Holy Will:

[12] Then the Lord said to Satan: Behold, all that he hath is in thy hand: only put not forth thy hand upon his person. And Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord. [13] Now upon a certain day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother, [14] There came a messenger to Job, and said: The oxen were ploughing, and the asses feeding beside them, [15] And the Sabeans rushed in, and took all away, and slew the servants with the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell thee.

[16] And while he was yet speaking, another came, and said: The fire of God fell from heaven, and striking the sheep and the servants, hath consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell thee. [17] And while he also was yet speaking, there came another, and said: The Chaldeans made three troops, and have fallen upon the camels, and taken them, moreover they have slain the servants with the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell thee. [18] He was yet speaking, and behold another came in, and said: Thy sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their elder brother: [19] A violent wind came on a sudden from the side of the desert, and shook the four corners of the house, and it fell upon thy children and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to fell thee. [20] Then Job rose up, and rent his garments, and having shaven his head fell down upon the ground and worshipped,

[21] And said: Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord. [22] In all these things Job sinned not by his lips, nor spoke he any foolish thing against God. (Job 1: 12-22.) 

We must never murmur against the will of God. Not once. Not ever. None of us ever suffers truly as his sins deserve. God is merciful even in the administration of his chastisements to those who love Him, and He will occasionally show forth miraculous signs of His ineffable love during the midst of chastisements.

Such a sign occurred with the miraculous preservation of Our Lady of Victory Church in the city of Lahaina despite that everything around it was burned to the ground:

Stunning video shows a historic Catholic church in Lahaina miraculously still standing and unscathed after devastating wildfires ripped through Maui — while the rest of the historic town was turned into an apocalyptical nightmare.

Maria Lanakila Catholic Church, which opened in 1846, was captured in a video, posted on TikTok, standing tall and untouched.

When the camera pans around, the rest of the town — the largest tourist destination on Maui — looks like a smoldering hellscape of rubble.

Viewers hailed the jaw-dropping miracle as an act of God.

“A def sign from God,” one TikTok user wrote, adding, “he is with you. hold on and keep that faith. we are all praying for you.”

“Wow. God continues to give signs even during the storm,” another viewer commented.

Msgr. Terrence Watanabe, pastor of the nearby parish of St. Anthony’s, also expressed his shock at the apparent act of divine intervention.

“Basically what we know is the fact that all of Lahaina Town has been consumed by fire. It’s all gone. The church, Maria Lanakila [Our Lady of Victory], is still standing, as is the rectory,” he told The Pillar.

Members of the church’s community also expressed their gratitude on Facebook, according to the Daily Mail.

“May She be the beacon of hope…to help the rest of the community,” parishioner Jeffrey Chang wrote.

“May she be the beacon of hope to the people of Lahaina!!!! Praise the Lord… upon this rock I will build my church!!! come and follow me…,” added Jeffrey Domdoma.

The death toll from the catastrophic Maui wildfires climbed to 80 on Friday, becoming the deadliest natural disaster in Hawaii’s history — surpassing that of a tsunami that killed 61 people on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1960.

In Lahaina, a total of 2,207 structures were damaged or destroyed and 2,170 acres have burned, according to the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) and FEMA.

It could cost more than $5.5 billion to rebuild the popular resort town, CNN reported. (Lahaina church miraculously untouched by Maui wildfires.)

For us, it’s like a miracle,” Msgr. Terrence Watanabe, the Honolulu Diocese’s vicar of Maui and Lanai, said about Maria Lanakila Catholic Church in the town of Lahaina being seemingly untouched by the fierce Maui wildfires Aug. 8-9.

The blaze burned Lahaina to the ground in the deadliest natural disaster in Hawaii’s history and the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century.

“When we saw the news and saw the church steeple rise above the town, it was a great sight to see,” the priest said in an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser daily newspaper Aug. 10.

There were conflicting news reports on the fate of the church — whose name translates as “Our Lady of Victory” — and its parish school, Sacred Hearts School, which had lost half of its roof to heavy winds Aug. 7. The parish’s priests, women religious and staff were safe and accounted for.

The Star-Advertiser had reported that the church had burned down, while another news source reported the church was still standing. The Star-Advertiser corrected its report Aug. 11 with a story that the church had indeed survived. Before that some photos and video footage posted on a parishioner’s Facebook page clearly showed the church was standing.

The church is a block or two from Front Street, the famous waterfront stretch of shops and restaurants which the Lahaina fire reduced to a smoldering pile of ashes. Pictures showed charred trees across the street from the church.

Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva echoed the vicar in saying Maria Lanakila Church “was miraculously spared, as was the rectory.” He said the adjacent convent, school and hall were “burned, along with neighboring homes.”

In comments Aug. 14 to the Hawaii Catholic Herald, the diocesan newspaper, he also reported that the pastor, Father Kuriakose Nadooparambil, a priest of the Missionaries of Faith congregation, “was allowed to go in (to the church) with a police escort, and he reported that not even the flowers in the church were wilted or singed. There was only a covering of ash on the pews.”

“We thank God for this blessing! Of course, the church cannot be used until the area around it is cleared and deemed suitable for passage,” Bishop Silva added.

Early Aug. 17, Maui County officials confirmed they have recovered the bodies of 111 people, but the death toll was expected to keep rising “as crews scour the ruins.” About 1,300 people remained missing. About 11,000 others evacuated.

U.S. census data from 2020 shows that Lahaina had a population of about 12,700 out of an overall population on Maui of about 165,000.

As many as 3,000 homes may have been destroyed. Other Maui communities affected by fires include Kihei and Kula, with more than 500 acres burned. According to research done by Moody’s Analytics, the economic cost to Maui from the wildfires could reach $7 billion.

The White House press secretary announced Aug. 16 that President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Maui Aug. 21 to meet with first responders and survivors as well as federal, state and local officials. On Aug. 10, Biden issued a federal disaster declaration for Maui and the Big Island (Hawaii island), ordering “all available federal assets on the Islands to help with response.” [Droleskey interjection: This "news" story contains no reference to Biden's "no comment" when asked about the Lahaina disaster after sunning himself on a beach in Delaware on Sunday, August 13, 2023.]

In the days since the fires, Msgr. Watanabe has been fielding hundreds of calls and emails “from all over the world.” The outpouring of concern is “overwhelming,” he told the Hawaii Catholic Herald. “It’s unbelievable.”

The shells of burned cars are pictured amid the ruins of homes in the ravaged town of Lahaina, Hawaii, on the island of Maui Aug.15, 2023. Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva is urging the faithful of the diocese to “come together and provide unwavering support" to those who have lost everything in the Maui wildfires that destroyed Lahaina and damaged other communities Aug. 8 and 9. (OSV News photo/Mike Blake, Reuters)

The church where Msgr. Watanabe is pastor, St. Anthony in Wailuku, held an ecumenical prayer service for victims the evening of Aug. 15, hosted by Bishop Silva.

“We should do what we do best — pray,” the monsignor said.

Prayer has been a watchword for Bishop Silva, too, as well as calling for the faithful to give “unwavering support” to the fire victims.

“As a community of faith, we are called to come together and provide unwavering support to those who are suffering,” he said in an Aug. 11 message to Hawaii Catholics. “It is in times like these that our collective love, faith and compassion can make a tremendous difference.”

“This is an opportunity for us to show our solidarity as a Catholic faith community and lend a helping hand to those who have lost so much,” Bishop Silva said.

“Let us also remember the power of prayer,” he said. “In our collective prayers, we ask for strength, resilience, and healing for the fire victims and their families. May we find the grace to rebuild our families, their livelihoods, and the physical structures that were lost. Let our faith guide us as we navigate the challenges ahead, knowing that with the grace of God, all things are possible.”  . . . .

Lahaina holds deep cultural significance for Hawaiians as the district “was once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom.” The Lahaina Historic District, which encompassed downtown Lahaina, Front Street and its vicinity, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.

While at the church in Kapalua, “I heard stories of people who lost one or more of their loved ones or neighbors, whose houses burned down, or who lost their livelihood,” Bishop Silva told the Hawaii Catholic Herald. “One of my friends, who often serves as my liturgical master of ceremonies when I am on Maui, told me that his uncle, uncle’s wife, their daughter and their grandson all were burned to death in their car, while they were trying to escape.

“My friend and his wife opened their home to other relatives who lost their home and suspects they will be living there for a couple of years,” he said.

“And so we pray to our Blessed Mother for victory over all these tragedies,” he said. (‘Miraculous’ survival of Maui Catholic church seen as sign of hope amid wildfire destruction.)

Left unaddressed by these news reports is the fact that Our Lady of Victory Church is the location where the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter staged the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, meaning that the only structure to survive intact in the city of Lahaina is the location where there had been putative offerings of the liturgical rite that Jorge Mario Bergoglio hates with a vengeful passion. Given the fact that there are a few priests within the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, of course, it is possible true Masses have been offered there from time to time.

In any event, however, as was the case with Sister Mary Wilhelmina Lancaster (see Sister Mary Wilhelmina Lancaster Has Much to Teach Us About Persevering Courage, Joy and Charity), the faithful who are doing their best to retain the Catholic Faith without realizing the true state of the Church Militant on earth have the consolation of knowing that their beloved church has survived, perhaps as a symbol that the liturgy they love will survive long after the devastation produced the wildfire known as the Novus Ordo abomination has perished from the face of this earth.

Although paganism is rampant in Hawaii, it is rampant in many other places in the United States of America as naturalism, which is really the state religion, if you will, of this country, has convinced even traditionally-minded Catholics that men do not need to pursue the common temporal good in light of man's Last End as they submit with humility and docility to the Catholic Church in all that pertains to the good of souls.

Yes, the chastisement that has afflicted many on Maui is meant for us all as it will by fire that God will destroy the earth prior to the General Judgment of the living and the dead on the Last Day at the Second Coming in glory of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The terrible tragedy in Lahaina is but a foretaste of that consuming fire, to say nothing of being a foretase of the fires of hell for those souls who persist in a state of final impetience when they die.

We must remember that the wildfires set by the sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance that are protected under cover of the civil law and promoted all throughout what passes for "popular culture" in the United States of America and elsewhere in the “civilized” West must be punished. What a privilege it is for us, sinners, who have helped to cause this wildfire of sins by our own infidelities and lukewarmness and inattentiveness to our interior lives of prayer and so unwilling to engage in voluntary acts of fasting and mortification and self-denial, to suffer here in this life so that we will be ready at all times to die a good death as we make sure to start each morning with our Morning Offering and our Acts of Faith, Hope, Charity and Contrition, mindful that each day God sees fit to give us might be our very last.

Thank God upon arising in the morning that you are a Catholic, able to see the world through the eyes of the true Faith.

Thank God throughout the day that you are a Catholic, willing to accept each bit of suffering and difficulty and rejection and humiliation as the means by which you can give Him honor and glory and to sanctify your immortal soul as a member of the Catholic Church and the consecrated slave of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour, Christ the King, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother, Mary our Immaculate Queen.

Never be afraid of natural disasters and catastrophes. Never be afraid of who has criticized you or who has rejected your friendship or who has made life difficult for you. Indeed, be grateful to those who criticize you and reject you and make life difficult for you as they are the means sent to you by God to sanctify and save your souls.

Fear only to die in a state of final impenitence:

The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved. And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another. Amen I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man come. The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the goodman of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?

Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known. That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows. Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law

And as a man's enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. (Mt. 10: 21-40)

Consider how Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself told Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres that the sins of men in Ecuador, a country favored with the visits of Our Lady of Good Success and ruled for twelve years (1859 to 1865 and 1869 to the time of assassination in 1875) by that great exemplar of the Social Reign of Christ the King, Gabriel Garcia Moreno, would diminish the luster of the sunsets in that country on the equator:

She saw that when this would happen, the beautiful dawn that each morning would break forth with refulgence over this land--so enchantingly spectacular that some persons would rise at daybreak just to see the day break--would lose some of its brilliance. Thus does earth reflect Heaven, and the earth's beauty and vitality diminish with sin and infidelity to grace. This favor of beautiful dawns should cease, Mother Mariana was given to understand, because the Republic [of Ecuador, which was then only a Spanish colony] would become corrupt and ungrateful for the benefits it received from God. (Marian Therese Horvat, Ph.D., Stories and Miracles of Our Lady of Good Success, Tradition in Action, Inc., 2002, p. 68.)

Men must quit their sins and repent of them in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance. They must treat each other as they would treat Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who was made Flesh in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb, where He spent nine months growing to the point of His Nativity in poverty and anonymity in Bethlehem on Christmas Day. No one can say that he loves Our Lord and yet supports His dismemberment mystically in the persons of innocent preborn children. And it is impossible to provide for any element of  the common temporal good on an enduring basis as long as the innocent preborn are attacked with legal impunity, as long as the Sovereignty of God over the sanctity and fecundity of marriage is denied by means of contraception, as long as perversity is promoted under the slogans of "diversity" and "human rights," as long as men live as though there is no true Church and that they do not have to face Christ the King as their Judge at the moment of their Particular Judgments.

We do not know how long it will be until Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Second Coming at the end of the world, which is why we must be prepared at all times for the end of our own lives. We do not know if the signs of natural disasters and cataclysms that are occurring at the time signify the nearing of Our Lord's Second Coming. What we can say for sure, however, is that truly extraordinary things are happening in our midst as a world that has gone mad with the conceits of the deification of man and his "rights." It is up to those of us who have the Faith to see the deeper supernatural significance of these events and to make more and more reparation for our sins, especially by praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.

It is my belief, far from infallible, that God is indeed speaking to us through the events of nature, trying to demonstrate what appears to be some to be a terrible inconvenience and a source of material loss is symbolic symbolic of the horror of our own sins and the devastation that they wreak in our own souls and in the world-at-large. At the same time, however, God is also demonstrating the wonder of His creative handiwork, showing forth His own righteous power that baffles scientists and medical doctors who think that they have "answers" to even the physiological aspects of human existence.

We should take heed of the fact that natural disasters and other calamities are a sign of our own morality and of our utter dependence upon God as He has revealed Himself to us solely through the Catholic Church and upon the supernatural helps that are available to souls only through that same Church. Again, to Saint Alphonsus's Preparation for Death:

The Lord does not wish us to be lost; and therefore, by the threat of chastisement, he unceasingly exhorts us to a change of life. Except you will be converted, He will brandish His sword. Behold, he says in another place, how many, because they would not cease to offend me, have met with a sudden death, when they were least expecting it, and were living in peace, secure of a life of many years. For whey they shall say: Peace and security: then shall sudden destruction come upon them. Again he says: Unless you shall do penance, you shall likewise perish. Why so many threats of chastisements before the execution of vengeance? It is because he wishes that we amend our lives, and thus avoid an unhappy death. "He," says Saint Augustine, "who tells you to beware, does not wish to take away your life." It is necessary, then, to prepare our accounts before the day of account arrives. Dearly beloved Christians, were you to die, and were your lot for eternity to be decided before night would your accounts be ready? Oh! how much would you give to obtain from God another year or month, or even another day, to prepare for judgment? Why then do yo not now, that God gives you this time, settle the accounts of your conscience? Perhaps is cannot happen that this shall be the last day for you? Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day; for His wrath shall come on a sudden, and in a the time of vengeance He will destroy thee. My brother, to save your soul you must give up your sin. "If then you must renounce it at some time, why do you not abandon it at this moment?" says Saint Augustine. Perhaps you are waiting till death arrives? But for obstinate sinners, the hour of death is the time, not of pardon, but of vengeance. In the time of vengeance He will destroy thee. (Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, Preparation for Death.)

Our Lady explained Our Lady of La Salette told Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud about the terrible effects of sin in the world on September 19, 1846:

The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay. But now Enoch and Eli will come, filled with the Spirit of God. They will preach with the might of God, and men of good will will believe in God, and many souls will be comforted. They will make great steps forward through the power of the Holy Spirit and will condemn the devilish lapses of the Antichrist. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! There will be bloody wars and famines, plagues and infectious diseases. It will rain with a fearful hail of animals. There will be thunderstorms which will shake cities, earthquakes which will swallow up countries. Voices will be heard in the air. Men will beat their heads against walls, call for their death, and on another side death will be their torment. Blood will flow on all sides. Who will be the victor if God does not shorten the length of the test? At the blood, the tears and prayers of the righteous, God will relent. Enoch and Eli will be put to death. Pagan Rome will disappear. The fire of Heaven will fall and consume three cities. All the universe will be struck with terror and many will let themselves be lead astray because they have not worshipped the true Christ who lives among them. It is time; the sun is darkening; only faith will survive.

Now is the time; the abyss is opening. Here is the King of Kings of darkness, here is the Beast with his subjects, calling himself the Savior of the world. He will rise proudly into the air to go to Heaven. He will be smothered by the breath of the Archangel Saint Michael. He will fall, and the earth, which will have been in a continuous series of evolutions for three days, will open up its fiery bowels; and he will have plunged for all eternity with all his followers into the everlasting chasms of hell. And then water and fire will purge the earth and consume all the works of men's pride and all will be renewed. God will be served and glorified." (Message of Our Lady of La Salette. See the Appendix for documentation of the true account of Saint John Mary Vianney’s consistent belief in about Our Lady’s apparition in La Salette, France.)

As recorded in The Mystical City of God, Our Lady explained to the Venerable Mary of Agreda, the earth itself will be shaken of the work of the devil to inspire us to commit unrepentant after unrepentant sin, and that she, Our Lady, will make possible our salvation by her perfect fiat to the will of God the Father at the Annunciation:

"Woe to the earth, and to the sea, because the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time." Woe to the earth, where so many sins and such wickedness shall be perpetuated! Woe to the sea, which refused to pour forth its floods and annihilate the transgressors at the sight of so great offenses against its Creator, and to avenge the insults against its Maker and Lord! But more woe to the profound and raging sea of those that follow the demon, after he had descended in their midst in order to war against them with great wrath and with such unheard of cruelty! It is the wrath of the most ferocious dragon, and greater than that of the devouring lion (I Pet. 5, 8), who attempts to annihilate all creation and to whom all the days of the world seem a short time to execute his fury. Such is his hunger and thirst to do damage to mortals, that all the days of their life do not satisfy him, for they come to an end, whereas he desires eternal ages, if possible, in order to wage war against the sons of God. But incomparably greater than against all others is his rage against that most blessed Woman, who was to crush his head (Gen. 3, 15).  (Venerable Mary of Agreda, The Mystical City of God.)

Yes, our trust must be placed totally in Our Lady to help us save our immortal souls. Saint Alphonsus wrote in Preparation for Death of the confidence we must place Mary our Immaculate Queen , the Mother of God:

Oh! how great will be our thankfulness for the mercy of God, for having given us for our advocate, Mary, who, by her prayers, can obtain for us all the graces we stand in need of. "Truly wonderful," exclaims St. Bonaventure, "is the bound of our God, who has given thee, O Lady, to his guilty subjects as their advocate, so that thou art able to obtain for them by thy assistance whatever thou wilt." Sinners, brethren, if we find ourselves debtors to the divine justice, and commended to hell by our sins, let us not despair; let us have recourse to this divine mother; let us put ourselves under her protection, and she will save us. But we must have a sincere purpose of amending our lives. If we have such a purpose, and place confidence in Mary, we shall be saved. And why? Because Mary is a powerful advocate, a merciful advocate, an advocate that desires to save all." (Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, Preparation for Death.)

Our hope must then be in Our Lady, to whom we commend the particular needs of those suffering at this time.

We trust in Our Lady to help us to save our own souls, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.

We must trust in Our Lady to save our souls from the destruction power of sin, even venial sin, in our own souls, which shone so brilliantly at the moment of our baptism but.

We need to ask Our Lady every day to help us to be prepared for the moment of our own deaths, recognizing that we live at a time in salvation history when the forces unleashed by the social toleration and promotion of sin are exacting a heavy toll on us all and might take us from this mortal life when we least expect it.

We do indeed need Our Lady's help so that our souls will not be lost for all eternity, which is why, of course, we must pray our Rosaries every day without fail and to pray them so very well. We never know when our next Rosary will be our last Rosary. And one way to avoid being burned for all eternity in the flames of Hell that emit sulfur dioxide—and from which there is no escape route—is to pray our Rosaries well as we meditate upon the mysteries contained therein, making sure also to be enrolled in and to wear and to fulfill the conditions of her Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel that protected four priests from the atomic blast in Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945. May it protect us today from the contagion of sin that can rob us of eternal glories in Heaven for all eternity.

May we keep Our Lady's Fatima requests so that the day will soon arrive when all hearts in this country and around the world, consecrated to Our Lord through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, will exclaim:

Vivat Christus RexViva Cristo Rey!

Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?

Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, pray for us.



The Truth About Saint John Mary Vianney and Our Lady of La Salette

As Found in: The Life of the Cure of Ars, by Abbe Alfred Monnin, 1862

Chapter XII

The Cure of Ars and La Salette

No objection has been raised against the veracity of the children worth mentioning, except one, and it involves a curious history. The question regards Maximin and his interview with the Cure of Ars. My readers may first wish to know something about this remarkable priest. Ars is a small and very poor village in the neighborhood of Trevoux on the Soane, and about eighteen miles from Lyons. The Abbe Vianay has been its Cure for the last five-and-twenty years. Not only has he raised his parish from a state of the greatest laxity and indifference, to habilt of fervent piety and devotion; but by the fame of his sanctity, and of his light as a spiritual director, vast numbers of persons are attracted to Ars, and flock to him daily from all parts. Like the children of La Salette, his early years were employed in guarding the beasts of the field. Then he became a conscript for the army, but horrified with the kind of life he saw around him, young Vinaay deserted. A venerable monk of the Chartreause, observing his piety, became as a father to him. He was released from his engagement to the musket, and after a while obtained an entrance into an eccliastical seminary. His abilities were small and his progress slow, and even twice he was sent back for failure in his examinations. But his great piety carried him at least through all his difficulties to the priesthood.

On the 18th of May, 1854, I made a visit in company with a friend to this holy priest. Starting with Lyons all along the road we met with persons returning from similar visit. Ars is like a place of pilgrimage. From Lyons and all the principal towns in the neighborhood, so great are the numbers of people who visit the Cure, that it has been found necessary to provide daily public vehicles to his church. Conveyances, private as well as public, are frequently met, whilst the poor are seen plodding on foot in the same direction.

We reached Ars a little before eleven, and a good priest, the Cure's assistant, led us by a side door into the church.  The first object on which my eyes fell, was the head, face and shrunken figure of the Cure’s, straight before me, a figure not easily to be forgotten. He was saying his office, and the nave of the church was crowded and heated with the number of people it contained. His face was small, wasted and sallow; many expressive traces were marked around his mouth. His thin hair was white as snow, his expansive forehead pale, smooth, and clear, whilst his eyes were remarkably deep in shadow and covered with their lids. He soon moved to a little side tribute in the nave, and holding his breviary in his left hand, and leaning, or rather supporting himself erect, against a pillar of the nave, as if to sustain his feeble frame, he began to preach. As he opened his eyes, they sent forth a light, pale indeed, as if from his incessant fasting, but so preternaturally bright and tranquil, as to awaken at once the deepest interest. As he went on, the vigour and vivacity of his spirits, mantling through his thin and suffering frame, increased in energy. His voice, soft yet shrill, rose into cries of anguish as he spoke of sin, his contracted hand was placed between his eyes, his brows shrank together, and his tears began to fall as they always do when the thought of sin comes to his mind. He opened again his eyes and those shaded recesses became full of light; and he threw his feeble hand appealingly towards the people, who, fixed in the position they had first taken, listened with profound attention, and even awe. Then his eyes were cast up, and his whole figure seemed to follow. He spoke of God, so good, so amiable, so loving and his hands, his shoulders, his very person, seemed to gather on his heart. It was impossible not to feel that God alone was there, and was drawing the whole man to that seat of His repose. Then there was a word about being the heart of Jesus, and in that word on felt that he was there. He spoke for twenty minutes, and with a simplicity, a self abandonment, an energy, and variety of tone and action, as his subject varied, all spontaneous, all from the heart. One thing I cannot describe, -- such a force of spirit, with such an absence of animal warmth; it was as if an angel spoke through a body wasted even to death. Owing to the loss of his teeth, and to my distance from him, I could not well make out the words of his discourse, but if I had not understood a syllable, I should have known, I should have felt that one was speaking who lived in God. His instruction was confession, and was interspersed with one or two brief anecdotes and many ejaculations. He then went out, and in his surplice, bareheaded, for he never covers his head, proceeded through the hot sun to visit a sick person. A crowd followed and pressed upon him.

Before he reached his house, I had looked over it with his Reverend assistant. The walls were naked and ruinous; there was scarcely anything there beside the poor furniture in his own room and his little bed. In one room however, as ruinous as the rest, there was a good piece of furniture, containing sets of rich vestments which the Maquis of Ars, at a cost of 40,000 francs, had presented to his church. Before he came in, I was told he would escape from me as soon as he could for a little solitude. But no. His manner of receiving me was as free and simple as it was full of humility and charity. there was nothing of a tone and gesture straining itself to maintain a character, but the disengaged self-abandonment and simple politeness of a saint. The chair which he presented was recommended as the chair of his predecessor in the parish. and often he repeated that he was very grateful for my visit. i was  speaking of prayer for England and of the sufferings of our poorer Catholics on account of their faith; and he was listening, his eyes nearly closed, when suddenly he opened their singular light in all its brightness full upon me, and breaking in on the narrative in a way I shall never forget, with the manner of one giving a confidence, he said: "But I believe that the Church in england will return again to its ancient splendour" It is remarkable how often one meets this conviction in France, and how much prayer it gives rise to. To understand him one should see his face, always glowing when he speaks of God, always bursting into fits of tears when he thinks of evil. His poor eyes, though so sweet and tranquil, are worn with his tears and habitually inflamed.

His spirit of direction has that largeness in it which only prayer and long experience of souls can attain to, unless it be infused. So long as the soul has God for her object, and acts with god, but mode of her interior employment  is but an accident. the love of god and the protection of Mary, these are his two great themes. His own favourite amongst the rest of the Saints is Saint Philomene. He has built a beautiful chapel in her honour, attached to his little convent; it is the first that was raised under her invocation in France. Like his church, it breathes of order, cleanliness, and piety. I felt it would be wrong to detain him from his short time for rest and food so I asked him for a medal by which to remember him. He took a few in his hand and said:

"Take one."

"No," I said, "give me one."

"There," he said, "it is the Immaculate Conception; and there is Saint Philomene."

It is not true that this holy priest has predicted evils of France, as has been related; or that he has a special medal, which he blessed for the protection of those who wear it against coming calamities. At my request, he saw my companion for a short time, and saying he would go and meet him, he had no sooner shown himself at the door than the crowd of people rushed upon him. He can never stir out without being thus surrounded and pressed on by the people. He took my friend affectionately by the hand, and walked with him round his little garden, and when an offering was made to him for his church, he said "Oh, let it be for my poor." He was then left to himself, but his meal was quickly over, and he returned to the confessional. he is now required by his bishop, under obedience, to add to the one single poor meal that used to be all he had in the day, a second and to eat a little meat at one of them. At this he sheds tears -- that a sinner like him should eat meat; and he thinks himself a glutton.

He never begins his labours in the confessional later than two o'clock in the morning, often at one, and when the numbers waiting are very great, at midnight. Penitents will lie all  \night on the grass, fifty at once, either in order to gain the easiest admission to the church and the confessional, or because of the houses being already completely filled with those who come from a distance. Except while he says Mass, or preaches his little discourse, or for the very short times he takes for his scanty food, the holy Cure lives almost entirely in the confessional. From midnight or early morn he is there until nine at night; and some two hours at the very most for rest. Such has been the unbroken course of his life for many years. In his soul he lives with God; in his poor earthly frame he suffers from a complication of most acute maladies, which give him no repose. As he said to one who is intimate with him, he suffers all day for the conversion of souls, and all night for the souls in purgatory. Of his penetration into the interior states of souls many instances are recounted.

Some five years ago, the holy Cure, to the surprise of all who saw the action, put on his hat, took his breviary under his arm, and started off. His Vicaire, suspecting his object, followed also. The priest got before him, and accosted him:

"Where, my father, are you going?"

"I have long taken care of others," he replied; "I must look to my own soul."

"But have you the Bishop's permission to go?" said his Rev. companion. 

"You," he replied, "know the people of this parish well; you are competent to take care of them."

He was bent on seeking solitude in the Chartreuse. His housekeeper seized possession of his breviary.

"Give it up," said the holy Cure, "I command you."

"Father, I never disobeyed you until now," replied the housekeeper.

Then the Viacaire got on a narrow bridge on his path to stop the way, and meanwhile the church bell was rung, and the parish alarmed the people crowded to the place of this singular contest with tears and entreaties. At last the Vicaire said:

"If you go I will not remain, I will go too; and what will become of your people?"

"Then," said the holy Cure, with a burst of tears: "I cannot leave my people abandoned" and with this he returned.

The Sanctuary of his church is most clean and orderly; a new marble altar is adorned with sculptures of his patron Saints; a new stained window decorates the apse; the chapels are full of pious objects. In one is all that can recall the sufferings of our Lord; in another that of our Lady of Dolours and of Saint Philomene, there is hung up a little forest of crutches, generally offerings from those who required the on their way to Ars, but not on their return homewards. On one column hangs a tabular inscription, in which the holy Cure dedicates himself and his parishioners to our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Whilst on the other side, by the statue of our Lady of Dolours, there is a painting, more expressive than skillfully executed, which represents the Cure in bed, in the last extremity, and receiving the Holy Viaticum; priest, Religious sisters, and his parishioners on their knees look mournfully on with prayer on their lips, whilst above this scene appears Our Lady in an attitude of protection. the inscription intimates that this is the grateful expression of his parishioners to our Lady Conceived without stain for his instantaneous recovery on the 9th May 1843.

It became a report that Maximin had retracted his statement respecting the Apparition in the presence of this venerable Cure. This report got widely spread, and was much harped upon by the opponents of La Salette. The story arose out of the following incident.

Certain enthusiasts for the baron of Richemont, the pretended Louis XVII., got it into their heads that the secrets of LaSalette regarded their idol. Three of these gentlemen contrived to draw Maximin to Lyons; there they surrounded him with their own friends, tried their mesmeric arts upon him, and did all in their power to elicit his secret, and connect it with their own cause. At length he was accidentally met, and rescued from their hands by his ealy friend, the Abbe Bez, the author of one of the earliest books in favour of La Salette. White he was with them under the pretence of enabling him to obtain light of his vocation, they conducted Maximin to the Cure of Ars As the Abbe Rousselot observes, he went in a thoughtless humour, and he came back in a humour as thoughtless. but neither going not returning did he evince that contrition and repentance for deceptions practiced which have been ascribed to him, and one of the three persons that when he left Ars he was both joyous and contented and gave no cause for suspicion that he had been making any painful or humiliating avowal. Maximin shall now tell his own story. He is met some time after the event we have narrated at the Grand Chartreuse, by his long-tried friend Mlle. Brulais. she interrogates him as follows: --

Q. Why did you give yourself into the hands of those persons?

Maximin. Why, indeed, I wished to see the country.

Q. Into what strange ways you threw yourself, poor imprudent youth that you are ! What were you thinking of?

Maximin. Ah, I committed a foolery, that's true; but all the same, it was that which brought the secret to Rome.

Q. How so?

Maximin. Well, then, you will see; Monsigneur the cardinal (of Lyons) heard of all the noise in the newspapers, because of the Cure of Ars, and he wished to have the secret. The Pope demanded it, and the bishop of Grenoble sent it to the Pope: that is what I mean.

Q. But what happened with the Cure of Ars? Will you tell me something about it? 

Maximin. This is what happened: These three gentlemen took me to the Cure of Ars, that I might consult him, as they said, upon my vocation.The Cure advised me to return to my diocese; and these gentlemen were quite angry; they told me I had not understood him, and bid me go back again to him. I went to his confessional, for he is seldom seen by persons except there . TheCure of Ars is almost deaf, and people don't understand him very well, because he has lost most of his teeth.  He asked me if I had seen the Blessed Virgin, and I answered him; "I do not know whether it was the Blessed Virgin; I saw something ........ a Lady." " But if you know yourself that it was the blessed Virgin you should tell it to all the people, that they may believe in La Salette."

Q. But it is said as a certainty, my dear child, that you accused yourself to the Cure of Ars of having told lies, is this true?

Maximin. ah! I said to the Cure that I had sometimes told lies. 'You must retract' said he. 'But no,' I answered, I cannot retract for that' it is not worth the trouble.' He told me I ought, and I answered him: 'Since it is past, I cannot do it now; it is too old.' ......

Q. But what did you mean?

Maximin answered with a tone of assurance, "I meant my little stories to the Cure of Corps, when I did not want to say where I was going, or when I did not want to study my lessons."

Q Thus, I see, the Cure of Ars understood those stories of which you spoke, as referring to the Apparition?

Maximin. Why, yes! he understood it in that way, as that was put in the newspapers.

Q. But you were not at confession?

Maximin. No, I was at the confessional, but I had not said my Confiteor, and I did not go there to make my confession.

Q. They add a story that you retracted before the Vicaire of Ars?

Maximin. Ah ! He said that I had made out a story, and that I had not seen the blessed Virgin; and then, as I was not in a very good humour, I said to him: "have it if you will that I don't tell the truth, and that I did not see anything," and then I went away.

This was Maximin's well known style of answering, whensoever his veracity was called in question, and there are many examples of it reported in his examinations. The cause of his giving way to those tart replies on occasion, Maximin has himself explained more than once to his friends. He finds that when the Apparition and his own truthfulness are called in question in an offensive manner , that a certain dread comes upon him, lest in his inward excitement and confusion he should be thrown off his guard, and should let some portion of his secret slip from he; and so he saves himself by cutting of the interrogator with some short and abrupt reply which puts an end to his trial. And it must be recollected, that in the present instance he was in a very peculiar position, was in a strange place, and must have felt his loneliness, surrounded as he was by designing men, who were utter strangers to him, and knew nothing of his character. but, before we proceed, we give in his own words the history of his escape from the gentlemen who had thus far got him into their hand. He is still replying to the question of the same friends.

"I returned to Lyons with these gentlemen, and they took me to dinner at the Hotel du Parc. They sat down at the table, and could not agree, because all three wanted to have me. When all of a sudden, look you, the waiter opened the door of the room, and I saw M. Bez come in, the priest who has come several times to La Salette, and whom I am very fond of. aws soon as I saw M. Bez I ran crying into his arms; and when he saw me he was quite moved. And then I would not leave him again, and all the three stood pretty well astonished. then the bishop of Grenoble had me placed in the Petit Seminaire; and I wrote a letter to the Cure of Ars, to assure him that I have never retracted, because it is true.

Q. How did M. Bez happen to be at that Hotel at the same time with you?

Maximin. I don't know: it was the good God who did that. I believed he went to hire an apartment  for a friend: and certainly he could not have known that these gentlemen just brought me to that Hotel, or even that I was in Lyons.

Maximin remained three weeks under the care of a clergyman at a pension at Lyons, and then returned to Grenoble. Here he underwent a severe examination in presence of the Bishop, before a commission of clergy and laity. He was tried and urged in every way to induce him to avow the retraction which it began to be rumoured he had made. But Maximin remained firm and intrepid, He protested that he would never avow but what he had always avowed, and what he would avow on the bed of death, that he had seen a beautiful Lady , who spoke and disappeared. He maintained that he had given no contradiction to this at Ars, but admitted that , not understanding the Cure distinctly, he had repeatedly said yes and no at hazard.  He afterwards underwent other and repeated interrogations at the Episcopol palace, but without any other result. Maximin was merely found to be what he had always been.

After this, Maximin, unknown to anyone, wrote a letter to one of those gentlemen who had conducted him to Lyons, and who had been kind to him. It is in his off-hand style, interspersed with errors of diction, but evidently from his heart. in it he says: -- 

March 13, 1851

"My dear Sir,

"They have told you that I belied myself before the Cure of Ars. I think myself all this comes from the Vicaire, for you know what he said to us at the Providence, where he took us. for as to me, I assure you that I noways belied myself and I am always ready to give my blood to maintain what I saw. For the Cure of Ars may have ill-understood me, or the devil may have changed my words in his ears. For as to me, I assure you that I did not unsay what I have said for the last four years that I had seen. Remember, Sir, that the money which has been offered us to say that what we had seen was not, we might have had it, poor as we are, and you know our families. I beg of you to judge all this, and you will see that what we have said for four years is the truth," &c., &c.

These statements of Maximin bring out his character with considerable force, whilst they explain the cause of the misunderstanding at Ars. But the good Cure of Ars, it is alleged wrote a letter to the Cardinal Archbishop of Lyons, expressing his disbelief of the fact of La Salette; and this point remains to be enquired into.

Not more than a month after Maximin had been with the good Cure, a respectable person from Lyons had an interview with the latter and the following record of the conversation was transmitted to the Abbe Rousselot.

Q. Do you believe in La Salette?

The Cure Yes; I believe in it.

Q, And yet the Cardinal has received a letter signed by you, and in that letter you say it is not to be believed, for that it is false.

The Cure -- Every day I sign a quantity of letters though I do not read any of them; but I believe in La Salette.

The fact is, that this holy Cure never himself writes anything, as I was informed by his present Vicaire; he does not answer any of the numerous letters which are addressed to him; and it appears that the Vicaire to whom Maximin refers in his letter, and who was well known to be an opponent of La Salette, after his interview with Maximin drew up a letter of his own to the Cardinal Archbishop, and got the simple-hearted Cure to put his name of that letter, though he had never read it. That Vicaire was afterwards removed, and another put in his place.

Immediately after this affair took place one of the Marist Fathers went expressly to Ars to enquire into its truth, and the Cure expressed to him in these words: "I always believed in La Salette; I believe in it still. I bless medals and images of our Lady of La Salette; I have distributed a great number of them. I have written all this to the bishop of Grenoble. And see here whether I do not believe!" Here the Cure approached his bed, and drawing the curtain, showed the Religious Father a large picture of our Lady of La Salette, framed and hung up at the head of his bed. "I did not insist further," writes this respected Religious to the Bishop of Grenoble, "for I was convinced that the good Cure had scarcely had anything to do with all that I had heard reported of him  I have repeated this to a great number of persons, who all conclude with me that the imagination of certain enemies of LaSalette had furnished those darkenings of suspicion which had given so much scandal to pious souls."

But the good Cure was quite disconsolate at all that was attributed to him. He gave expression to his feelings to several persons of whom one wrote on the 20th of Oct. 1851, to the Abbe Rouselot as follows: "I have seen the Cure, who is truly disconsolate at what is attributed to him. He told me, as well as Madame D---, that he had never said that the event of La Salette had not taken place; only that it was possible that the child had not well explained himself, or that he himself had not well understood him; that, beside he had never seen Melanie, who would perhaps been clearer in her answers. Madame D--- repeated the very same words to me five days ago."

I will add but one quotation more; it is decisive of the affair at Ars. The Bishop of Grenoble, after sending two of his clergy to make enquiries on the spot, wrote to the Bishop of Bellay, in whose diocese that parish of Ars is situate. The following is an extract from the reply of the Bishop of Bellay, a prelate bearing a high character for wisdom and sanctity.

"Bellay, Jan. 15, 1851.

"Monsigneur, --

"Before answering the letter you did me the honour to address to me, I wished to make enquiries as to what had passed at Ars. I had a somewhat lengthened interview with M. Raymond, who acts as Vicaire and who interrogated the young man of the subject of La Salette. The Bishop of Valence and of Viviere were with me for the consecration of Monsigneur Challandon;  I communicated to them the documents which you sent me, and this is the result of our reflections. 1. We ever consider it as certain that the children are not in any understanding with each other to deceive the public, and that they really saw a person who spoke to them. 2. Was is the Blessed Virgin? Everything leads to that belief; but all this cannot be attested except by miracles different from the Apparition .......It is for you, Monsigneur, to examine and pronounce," &c.&c.

A few days after what had passed at Ars, the bishop of Bellay had remarked to a Marist Father: -- "What has passed at Ars is but a trial and a tempest raised by the devil; the fact of La Salette will come out of it more brilliant." And two months before his death, the same distinguished Prelate repeated an expression he had often used before: --"I attach no importance to what passed at Ars; the Cure of Ars is not competent to judge a fact of so much gravity."

If I have dwelt at some length on the incident of Ars, it is because it is the sole objection of any moment that has been raised against the evidence and which in the exaggerated form it gained through rumour, caused doubts to some believers for a time, whilst it deterred others from enquiry. But, as the Bishop of Bellay had anticipated, "the fact of La Salette came out of it more brilliant." It was this circumstance that occasioned the demand for the secret to be sent to Rome. and it was the encouragement that came from Rome after the arrival of the secret, which decided the Bishop of Grenoble on issuing his judicial decision, and found the Sanctuary. The words of Maximin first uttered after his return from Ars to Grenoble were like a prophecy: --

"They now," he said, "mock at La Salette; but it is like a flower which in winter they cover with dirt and dung, but in the summer it springs from the earth more beautiful."

At a later period Maximin said, in reply to a friendly question:

"The affair goes prosperously! You see what a noise they have made. Oh well! It is that which has pushed the secret to Rome; without that noise, it would not have been there yet." *

Whilst this chapter was going through the press I received a letter from the Cure of Ars. It is written by the hand of another person, but is signed by the holy cure, and bears date July 10th, 1854. In it he says: -- "On the Apparition of the blessed Virgin at La Salette, since his Lordship the Bishop of Grenoble preaches it and the Sovereign Pontiff, it is said, approves of it, I believe that you may speak of it in all surety of conscience." (Abbe Alfred Monnin, The Life of the Cure of Ars, 1862, pp. 193-200.)