As the available time to complete this commentary is very short, I promise to be as brief as possible in this commentary on the continuing farce of naturalism that envelops so many people, including Catholics, during Passion Week
I. Seeking Barabbas in Passiontide
One of the saddest features of the quadrennial farce that agitates citizens (and non-citizens, who will be as welcome to vote in this year’s election as they were to cross the borders of the United States of America illegally) is how it diverts the attention of Catholics during this penitential season of Lent away from spiritual practices into the muck and mire of the illusion of secular salvation. Time that should be spent meditating upon the Passion and Death of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the great sorrows of His Most Blessed Mother is given over to worrying about whether an “outsider” naturalist is going to defeat a gang of “insider” naturalists to determine if the evils of naturalism can be retarded by means merely natural.
I have a way to describe this: Madness.
Once again, you, see the crowd chooses Barabbas in the quest to be freed from the yoke of the civil state’s oppression of us while at the same time continuing to wallow in their sins, which include, at least for the most part, contraception, impurity, the wearing of indecent attire, immodest speech, and a quest for material well-being as the ultimate end of human existence.
It is no different than it was on Good Friday:
And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, saying: Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus saith to him: Thou sayest it. And when he was accused by the chief priests and ancients, he answered nothing. Then Pilate saith to him: Dost not thou hear how great testimonies they allege against thee? And he answered him to never a word; so that the governor wondered exceedingly. Now upon the solemn day the governor was accustomed to release to the people one prisoner, whom they would.
And he had then a notorious prisoner, that was called Barabbas. They therefore being gathered together, Pilate said: Whom will you that I release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus that is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. And as he was sitting in the place of judgment, his wife sent to him, saying: Have thou nothing to do with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and ancients persuaded the people, that they should ask for Barabbas, and take Jesus away.
And the governor answering, said to them: Whether will you of the two to be released unto you? But they said, Barabbas. Pilate saith to them: What shall I do then with Jesus that is called Christ? They say all: Let him be crucified. The governor said to them: Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying: Let him be crucified. And Pilate seeing that he prevailed nothing, but that rather a tumult was made; taking water washed his hands before the people, saying: I am innocent of the blood of this just man; look you to it. And the whole people answering, said: His blood be upon us and our children.
Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him unto them to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor taking Jesus into the hall, gathered together unto him the whole band; And stripping him, they put a scarlet cloak about him. And platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand. And bowing the knee before him, they mocked him, saying: Hail, king of the Jews. And spitting upon him, they took the reed, and struck his head.
And after they had mocked him, they took off the cloak from him, and put on him his own garments, and led him away to crucify him. And going out, they found a man of Cyrene, named Simon: him they forced to take up his cross. And they came to the place that is called Golgotha, which is the place of Calvary. And they gave him wine to drink mingled with gall. And when he had tasted, he would not drink. And after they had crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: They divided my garments among them; and upon my vesture they cast lots. (Matthew 27: 11-15.)
Father Maurice Meschler painted a graphic picture of this mockery of Christ the King and its signification for us today:
After the scourging the soldiers brought our Saviour into the court of the Praetorium—either the yard outside the guard-house, or the inner court-yard of the governor’s palace (Mark xv. 15. Matt. xxvii. 27), there to be kept in custody until final sentence could be pronounced. They whiled away the interval (either from pure wantonness or at Pilate’s instigation and with his permission) by making our Saviour the butt of a brutal pastime. This exactly fell in with Pilate’s objective of satisfying the Jews to a certain extent and thus saving His life. The soldiers had evidently caught up with the idea of this cruel jest from Herod and the Jews, who had already derided our Saviour’s kingship. So now they are going to do the same by making a mock king of Him.
The first thing that made this rude pastime so inexpressibly painful was its injustice and the utter want of authorization for such an outrage. It was contrary to all the rules of law. The person of an accused man must be treated as sacred and protected against illegal ill-usage. “Res sacra reus” were the words of the judicial regulation, and now the myrmidons of the law permit themselves such an arbitrary act of wantonness against our Saviour before the very eyes of the governor, and perhaps even at his instigation.
—Secondly, one can form an idea of the brutality of the scene, when one considers who are its instruments and agents—rough soldiers, accustomed to bloody work, willing tools of despotism, and full of contempt for foreign nations, especially for the Jews. Our Lord is completely at their mercy, and they can wreak their wanton will upon Him. They call together the whole band of armed men on duty. (Matt. xxvii. 27. Mark xv. 16.), and what was lacking to the cruel ingenuity of one was supplied by another. The jests of such a class of men are never wont to be of the most delicate and refined order.
—Lastly, the object of their buffoonery is no other than our Saviour, Who is so gentle, pure and modest, of high birth and peaceful occupation, so different in every way from these rough soldiers. But this circumstance only irritated them and increased their wantonness. This man—people said—had pretended to be a king, and wanted to drive away the Romans! So they intended to teach him a lesson. And our Saviour had just been scourged, and was still quivering in every limb with the pain! How intolerably must all this have increased His suffering!
2. How the Mocking Was Carried Out
The idea of a coarse jest, then, was a ridiculous mimicry of the ceremony of paying homage to a king.
The first thing necessary for such a solemn act of fealty was the purple, the distinguishing mark of earthly royalty. Herod had our Saviour vested in a white robe, because He wishes to mock at His spiritual, Messianic pretensions. But the soldiers are only thinking of a secular and military potentate, and therefore a purple mantle such as emperors and generals wore must be procured. But they do not go to Tyre or Sidon for it. A ragged soldier’s cloak was good enough for their purpose. So they tore the clothes from His bleeding shoulders, and covered Him with the mantle (Matt. xxvii. 28. Mark xv. 17. John xix. 2). The broken base of a pillar—the “columna improperioum” that is still shown in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—probably served for a throne, and they made our Lord sit down upon it. Then they put a reed in His bound hands to represent a sceptre (Matt. xxvii. 29. Mark xv. 19). The crown was not the diadem of Melchom that His forefather David had worn; it was not made of gold and precious stones, not even of iron, nor yet woven of olive-twigs and flowers; no, a perfectly devilish impulse prompted them to twine it out of tendrils set with long, sharp thorns (Matt. xxvii. 29. Mark xv. 17. John xix. 2). And this terrible crown they placed upon our Saviour’s head!—The royal insignia being thus provided, the homage began. They bowed the knee before Him (Matt. xxvii. 29. Mark xv. 19) and did reverence to Him, hailed Him as king (Matt. xxvii. 29. Mark xv. 18), —all in mockery and with ridiculous gestures (Matt. xxvii. 31. Mark xv. 20. John xix. 3). Then they spraing to their feet, struck Him, spat upon Him, and struck His head with the mock sceptre so that the thorns wounded Him and pierced His temples (Matt. xxvii. 30. Mark xv. 29. John xix. 3); pushed Him perhaps from His throne, amid shouts of mocking laughter; derided Him in every imaginable way, and vented all their wanton cruelty upon Him.
What a scene—what a sight! There our Saviour sits, bowed with pain, the picture of utter wretchedness, His beautiful forehead half-concealed and pressed upon by the crown of thorns, His hair tangled and caught in its twists, His Sacred Face almost hidden by it. The blood trickles from all sides of His head, runs in little rivulets over His temples and neck, suffuses His eyes, reddens His shoulders, and makes His hair hang together in matted locks. How many sharp thorns are buried in His temples, those most sensitive parts of the body! And every jerk, every push, every movement drives them deeper, and sends a burning throb of smarting pain through body and soul.—What agony, what ignominy! And Who sits there among these inhuman barbarians, and upon Him are such pain and contumely showered? Truly it is a greater than Solomon, the favoured of God, in all his wisdom and glory; greater than the unapproachable majesty of Assuerus; greater than David clad in his battle array; it is the Living God, Who at this very moment wields His sceptre over myriads of radiant angel-hosts. He is the Messias, the long-expected of this nation, and behold! thus His people treat Him on the day when He stretches out His hand to receive a pledge of love and homage from them. An unnatural mother, in truth, has the synagogue—His Bride—become to Him. She crowns Him with the diadem of shame and suffering; and the Promised Lamb of His fathers has but thorns and thistles for Him.
3. Signification of This Mockery and Crowning with Thorns
This mystery is the mocking of Christ’s royalty by the Gentiles—by the nation that then ruled the world! It was enacted in the Roman praetorium, by Roman soldiers, before the eyes (and perhaps at the imagination) of the Roman governor. By this mocking our Saviour gains the sovereignty of the world. This crown of thorns shall become a crown of glory; this miserable reed, the iron staff with which in due time He will shatter thrones and kingdoms. The jeering soldiers will make way for the kings and nations of this earth who will come to adore Him. Through this mocking the Romans world-empire has fallen to His heritage.
And the thorn-crowned Saviour is also the atoning Victim for the sins of pride, and for the lust of power that comes over all Adam’s children at times—to their torment; the Victim for the unjust strife for honour and authority; for all injury done to the honour and influence of others; for all impatience under scorn and derision; for all insult and resistance to rightful authority, and especially against the majesty of the Church. How bitterly our Saviour had to suffer for all this!
And He also wished to teach us how deeply unjust derision wounds. Sneers and irony are thorns with which we torture our neighbor. But our Lord’s example in this mystery also teaches us how we must bear such wrongs. ((Father Maurice Meschler, S.J., The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, The Son of God, in Meditations, Volume II,Freiburg Im Breisgau 1928 Herder & Co., Publishers to the Holy Apostolic See, pp. 442-446.)
Although strife for honor and authority were common at times in various places during the era of Christendom, such strife is an institutionalized feature of contemporary life in the United States of America, which is awash with every manner of error—whether supernatural or natural—imaginable. Men are thus needlessly divided over the things of time as they are needlessly divided over the things of eternity.
Thus it is that the Roman soldiers who mocked Christ the King, Who was their own very King and that of their Empire's, have much company today. Indeed, each of us mocks Christ the King when we sin by pride, when we make ourselves the arbiters of moral right and moral wrong, when we think that we do not need the graces that He won for us by the shedding of every single 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 Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces, to grow in virtue in this life and to persevere at all times in a state of Sanctifying Grace so as to be ready to meet Him as Our Divine Judge after we have died.
Our Lord is mocked anew during each political cycle as men believe that there is some shortcut to restoring social order absent a return to Him as He has revealed Himself to us through His true Church.
There is no such shortcut.
II. Modernity Was Born in Violent Bloodshed Against Christ the King
There has been much talk in this election cycle about the “people” “revolting” against the “establishment.” This is quite interesting as both the “people” and the “establishment” have been in open rebellion against Christ the King ever since a certain Augustinian monk named Father Martin Luther posted ninety-five theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517, whose bloody revolution against the Divine Plan that He instituted to effect man's return to Him through His Catholic Church is the proximate source of our social problems today, including the rise of the monster civil state that is the devil's perverse replacement His Social Kingship over men and their nations:
The rending of the Mystical Body by the so-called Reformation movement has resulted in the pendulum swinging from the extreme error of Judaeo-Protestant Capitalism to the opposite extreme error of the Judaeo-Masonic-Communism of Karl Marx.
The uprise of individualism rapidly led to unbridled self-seeking. Law-makers who were arbiters of morality, as heads of the Churches, did not hesitate to favour their own enterprising spirit. The nobles and rich merchants in England, for example, who got possession of the monastery lands, which had maintained the poor, voted the poor laws in order to make the poor a charge on the nation at large. The enclosure of common lands in England and the development of the industrial system are a proof of what private judgment can do when transplanted into the realm of production and distribution. The Lutheran separation of Church from the Ruler and the Citizen shows the decay in the true idea of membership of our Lord's Mystical Body.
"Assuredly," said Luther, "a prince can be a Christian, but it is not as a Christian that he ought to govern. As a ruler, he is not called a Christian, but a prince. The man is Christian, but his function does not concern his religion." (As quoted in Father Denis Fahey, The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World.)
Anyone who believes that the “populist” revolt against the “establishment,” even if successful, will turn back the tide of statist evils in this country is sadly mistaken.
The evils that have proliferated in the past five decades are the results of errors that have been mutating from the time of the Renaissance in the Fifteenth Century to our present time. Such evils have become enshrined in civil law and accepted by large segments of people on the both the so-called “left” and the so-called “right” (many so-called “conservatives” and “libertarians” are perfectly at peace with contraception, abortion—well, at least in the “hard cases,” sodomy as a matter of “respecting” others, profanity, crudity, vulgarity, impurity, immodesty, materialism, et al., in the name of “freedom” and pursuing “the American dream”) in no small measure because the restraints provided by a superabundance of Sanctifying and Actual Graces flowing from the offerings of Holy Mass have fallen to the side as a result of the sacramental barrenness of the counterfeit church of conciliarism’s pretended liturgical rites.
Modernism thus embraced Martin Luther's heresy of the separation of Church and State upon which the modern civil state is founded. Pope Saint Pius X recognized this fact as he gave a frank assessment of the heresies and errors of Modernism in Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907:
But it is not only within her own household that the Church must come to terms. Besides her relations with those within, she has others with those who are outside. The Church does not occupy the world all by herself; there are other societies in the world, with which she must necessarily have dealings and contact. The rights and duties of the Church towards civil societies must, therefore, be determined, and determined, of course, by her own nature, that, to wit, which the Modernists have already described to us. The rules to be applied in this matter are clearly those which have been laid down for science and faith, though in the latter case the question turned upon the object, while in the present case we have one of ends. In the same way, then, as faith and science are alien to each other by reason of the diversity of their objects, Church and State are strangers by reason of the diversity of their ends, that of the Church being spiritual while that of the State is temporal. Formerly it was possible to subordinate the temporal to the spiritual and to speak of some questions as mixed, conceding to the Church the position of queen and mistress in all such, because the Church was then regarded as having been instituted immediately by God as the author of the supernatural order. But this doctrine is today repudiated alike by philosophers and historians. [According to the Modernists] The state must, therefore, be separated from the Church, and the Catholic from the citizen. Every Catholic, from the fact that he is also a citizen, has the right and the duty to work for the common good in the way he thinks best, without troubling himself about the authority of the Church, without paying any heed to its wishes, its counsels, its orders -- nay, even in spite of its rebukes. For the Church to trace out and prescribe for the citizen any line of action, on any pretext whatsoever, is to be guilty of an abuse of authority, against which one is bound to protest with all one's might. Venerable Brethren, the principles from which these doctrines spring have been solemnly condemned by Our predecessor, Pius VI, in his Apostolic Constitution Auctorem fidei. (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907.)
Conciliarism's embrace of "religious liberty" and the "separation of Church and State" places its adherents on the side of Martin Luther and Freemasons and various modern social revolutionaries and Modernism itself as they mock and reject the Social Reign of Christ the King. The twin cornerstones of conciliarism's world view—“religious liberty” and "separation of Church and State”—were condemned repeatedly on numerous occasions by true pope after true pope prior to the death of Pope Pius XII on October 9, 1958.
This has meant nothing, of course, to those who endorsed the soon to be eighty-eight nine year-old Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's philosophically absurd and dogmatically condemned view of dogmatic teaching and past papal pronouncements as being "conditioned" by the historical circumstances that produced them and are thus in need of "modification" and "reinterpretation" as the conditions in which men themselves change over time.
Thus it is that Catholics around the world, including here in the United States of America, believe that there is some kind of naturalistic or inter-denominational or non-denominational way to "solve" social problems that have as their remote root cause Original Sin and as their proximate root causes the Actual Sins of us all. Catholics choose "Barabbas, "whether of the false opposite of the naturalist "right" or of the naturalist "left," to lead them into the "promised land" of national security and economic prosperity at home while the blood of the innocent preborn continues to be shed by chemical and surgical means and while the sin of Sodom has received the official sanction of the civil law.
It is madness, utter and complete madness, to believe that an inchoate rebellion against the “establishment” is going to accomplish anything but raising hopes for the future that will wind up as crushed by the reality that follows as the mythical Sisyphus was each time he got crushed by the boulder he attempted to roll up a hill.
No thought is given in the midst of the madness that afflicts us as to how much naturalism is responsible for the rise of a social structures and a "popular culture" that is oriented to the "here and now" without any regard for man's First Cause and Last End.
No thought is given to the simple fact that our social conditions worsen no matter who gets elected in the biennial and quadrennial farce of partisan politics.
No thought is given to the simple fact that social conditions must continue to worsen and the power of the civil state will continue to grow the more that men sin unrepentantly.
No thought is given to the simple fact that nations whose civil laws enshrine the commission of grievous sins under cover of law and whose popular culture glorifies such sins must be punished by God for their wanton violations of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law that mock His Sovereignty over the whole of creation, including, yes, believe it or not, the United States of America, the supposed land of the "free" that has engaged in war after war to spread the American way of sin and idolatry around the globe.
III. What Part of It’s Christ or Chaos is Hard to Understand?
As we know, the madness of the present moment is being aided and abetted by the statist who masquerades of “Pope Francis,” a man who serves as an agent of Antichrist by adding to the world’s problems by his vulgarity and his own attacks on the supposed insufficiency of “dogma” while reaffirming hardened sinners in lives that can lead them only to eternal damnation if they do not repent and reform before they die.
The following excerpt from the then Monsignor Fulton J. Sheen’s Old Errors, New Labels, which was published in 1931, thus applies equally to the madness of Modernity’s election cycles and to Modernism’s anti-doctrines in favor of the very errors of Modernity that have brought us to the point of One World Governance, replete with his own obsequious One World Ecumenical Church:
America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance. It is not. It is suffering from tolerance: tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so much overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded. The man who can make up his mind in an orderly way, as a man might make up his bed, is called a bigot; but a man who cannot make up his mind, any more than he can make up for lost time, is called tolerant and broadminded. A bigoted man is one who refuses to accept a reason for anything; a broadminded man is one who will accept anything for a reason—providing it is not a good reason. It is true that there is a demand for precision, exactness, and definiteness, but it is only for precision in scientific measurement, not in logic. The breakdown that has produced this unnatural broadmindedness is mental, not moral. The evidence for this statement is threefold: the tendency to settle issues not by arguments but by words, the unqualified willingness to accept the authority of anyone on the subject of religion, and, lastly, the love of novelty….
Religion is not an open question, like the League of Nations, while science is a closed question, like the addition table. Religion has its principles, natural and revealed, which are more exacting in their logic than mathematics. But the false notion of tolerance has obscured this fact from the eyes of many who are as intolerant about the smallest details of life as they are tolerant about their relations to God. In the ordinary affairs of life, these same people would never summon a Christian Science practitioner to fix a broken windowpane; they would never call in an optician because they had broken the eye of a needle; they would never call in a florist because they hurt the palm of their hand, nor go to a carpenter to take care of their nails. They would never call in a Collector of Internal Revenue to extract the nickel swallowed by the baby. They would refuse to listen to a Kiwanis booster discussing the authenticity of a painting, or to a tree‐surgeon settling a moot question of law. And yet for the all‐important subject of religion, on which our eternal destinies hinge, on the all‐important question of the relations of man to his environment and to his God, they are willing to listen to anyone who calls himself a prophet. And so our journals are filled with articles for these “broadminded” people, in which everyone from Jack Dempsey to the chief cook of the Ritz Carlton tells about his idea of God and his view of religion. These same individuals, who would become exasperated if their child played with a wrongly colored lollipop, would not become the least bit worried if the child grew up without ever having heard the name of God….
The nature of certain things is fixed, and none more so than the nature of truth. Truth maybe contradicted a thousand times, but that only proves that it is strong enough to survive a thousand assaults. But for any one to say, ʺSome say this, some say that, therefore there is no truth,ʺ is about as logical as it would have been for Columbus, who heard some say, ʺThe earth is round,ʺ and other say, ʺThe earth is flat,ʺ to conclude: ʺTherefore there is no earth at allʺ….
The giggling giddiness of novelty, the sentimental restlessness of a mind unhinged, and the unnatural fear of a good dose of hard thinking, all conjoin to produce a group of sophomoric latitudinarians who think there is no difference between God as Cause and God as a ʺmental projectionʺ; who equate Christ and Buddha, St. Paul and John Dewey, and then enlarge their broad‐mindedness into a sweeping synthesis that says not only that one Christian sect is just as good as another, but even that one world‐religion is just as good as another. The great god ʺProgressʺ is then enthroned on the altars of fashion, and as the hectic worshipers are asked, ʺProgress towards what?ʺ The tolerant answer comes back, ʺMore progress.ʺ All the while sane men are wondering how there can be progress without direction and how there can be direction without a fixed point. And because they speak of a ʺfixed point,ʺ they are said to be behind the times, when really they are beyond the times mentally and spiritually.
In the face of this false broad‐mindedness, what the world needs is intolerance. The mass of people have kept up hard and fast distinctions between dollars and cents, battleships and cruisers, ʺYou owe meʺ and ʺI owe you,ʺ but they seem to have lost entirely the faculty of distinguishing between the good and the bad, the right and the wrong. The best indication of this is the frequent misuse of the terms ʺtoleranceʺ and ʺintolerance.ʺ There are some minds that believe that intolerance is always wrong, because they make ʺintoleranceʺ mean hate, narrow‐ mindedness, and bigotry. These same minds believe that tolerance is always right because, for them, it means charity, broad‐mindedness, American good nature.
What is tolerance? Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience towards evil, and a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. But what is more important than the definition is the field of its application. The important point here is this: Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth. Intolerance applies only to truth, but never to persons. Tolerance applies to the erring; intolerance to the error….
Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability. The government must be intolerant about malicious propaganda, and during the World War it made an index of forbidden books to defend national stability, as the Church, who is in constant warfare with error, made her index of forbidden books to defend the permanency of Christʹs life in the souls of men. The government during the war was intolerant about the national heretics who refused to accept her principles concerning the necessity of democratic institutions, and took physical means to enforce such principles. The soldiers who went to war were intolerant about the principles they were fighting for, in the same way that a gardener must be intolerant about the weeds that grow in his garden. The Supreme Court of the United States is intolerant about any private interpretation of the first principle of the Constitution that every man is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the particular citizen who would interpret ʺlibertyʺ in even such a small way as meaning the privilege to ʺgoʺ on a red traffic‐light, would find himself very soon in a cell where there were no lights, not even the yellow — the color of the timid souls who know not whether to stop or go. Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in their laboratories, and as all of us are intolerant of a particularly broad‐minded, ʺtolerant,ʺ and good‐natured grocer who, in making our bills, adds seven and ten to make twenty.
Now, if it is right — and it is right — for governments to be intolerant about the principles of government, and the bridge builder to be intolerant about the laws of stress and strain, and the physicist to be intolerant about the principles of gravitation, why should it not be the right of Christ, the right of His Church, and the right of thinking men to be intolerant about the truths of Christ, the doctrines of the Church, and the principles of reason? Can the truths of God be less exacting than the truths of mathematics? Can the laws of the mind be less binding than the laws of science, which are known only through the laws of the mind? Shall man, gifted with natural truth, who refuses to look with an equally tolerant eye on the mathematician who says two and two make five and the one who says two and two make four, be called a wise man, and shall God, Who refuses to look with an equally tolerant eye on all religions, be denied the name of ʺWisdom,ʺ and be called an ʺintolerantʺ God?…
Why, then, sneer at dogmas as intolerant? On all sides we hear it said today, ʺThe modern world wants a religion without dogmas,ʺ which betrays how little thinking goes with that label, for he who says he wants a religion without dogmas is stating a dogma, and a dogma that is harder to justify than many dogmas of faith. A dogma is a true thought, and a religion without dogmas is a religion without thought, or a back without a backbone. All sciences have dogmas. ʺWashington is the capital of the United Statesʺ is a dogma of geography. ʺWater is composed of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygenʺ is a dogma of chemistry. Should we be broad‐minded and say that Washington is a sea in Switzerland? Should we be broad‐minded and say that H2O is a symbol for sulfuric acid? …
But it is anything but progress to act like mice and eat the foundations of the very roof over our heads. Intolerance about principles is the foundation of growth, and the mathematician who would deride a square for always having four sides, and in the name of progress would encourage it to throw away even only one of its sides, would soon discover that he had lost all his squares. So too with the dogmas of the Church, of science, and of reason; they are like bricks, solid things with which a man can build, not like straw, which is ʺreligious experience,ʺ fit only for burning.
A dogma, then, is the necessary consequence of the intolerance of first principles, and that science or that church which has the greatest amount of dogmas is the science or the church that has been doing the most thinking. The Catholic Church, the schoolmaster for twenty centuries, has been doing a tremendous amount of solid, hard thinking and hence has built up dogmas as a man might build a house of brick but grounded on a rock. She has seen the centuries with their passing enthusiasms and momentary loyalties pass before her, making the same mistakes, cultivating the same poses, falling into the same mental snares, so that she has become very patient and kind to the erring pupils, but very intolerant and severe concerning the false. She has been and she will always be intolerant so far as the rights of God are concerned, for heresy, error, untruth, affect not personal matters on which she may yield, but a Divine Right in which there is no yielding. Meek she is to the erring, but violent to the error. The truth is divine; the heretic is human. Due reparation made, she will admit the heretic back into the treasury of her souls, but never the heresy into the treasury of her wisdom. Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong. And in this day and age we need, as Mr. [G. K.] Chesterton tells us, ʺnot a Church that is right when the world is right, but a Church that is right when the world is wrong.ʺ
The attitude of the Church in relation to the modern world on this important question may be brought home by the story of the two women in the courtroom of Solomon [see 3 Kings 3:16-28]. Both of them claimed a child. The lawful mother insisted on having the whole child or nothing, for a child is like truth — it cannot be divided without ruin. The unlawful mother, on the contrary, agreed to compromise. She was willing to divide the babe, and the babe would have died of broad‐mindedness.
(Monsignor Fulton Sheen, Old Errors and New Labels. New York, New York, The Century Company, 1931. Although I have the book itself, this excerpt was taken from Novus Ordo Watch Wire given the fact that it is already far later/earlier than is advisable for me right now. I just cannot transcribe anything more at this point.)
Jorge Mario Bergoglio heads a false church that wants to be wrong in order to assuage the consciences of sinful, worldly men that there is no such thing as objective right as to contend such a thing is to lack “mercy” and thus make people feel bad.
The cardinal “sin” of conciliarism is thus the same as that found in the world of Judeo-Masonic naturalism: to make people feel “uncomfortable” or “guilty” about their sins. The corollary perverse commandment of conciliarism: Thou shalt make everyone feel happy and welcomed—other than those who believe in Catholic truth, including that of the Social Reign of Christ the King.
We are looking at what happens in a world where most people, including most baptized Catholics, are devoid of contact with the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as Father Frederick Faber made this exact point in The Precious Blood:
It is plain that some millions of sins in a day are hindered by the Precious Blood; and this is not merely a hindering of so many individual sins, but it is an immense check upon the momentum of sin. It is also a weakening of habits of sin, and a diminution of the consequences of sin. If then, the action of the Precious Blood were withdrawn from the world, sins would not only increase incalculably in number, but the tyranny of sin would be fearfully augmented, and it would spread among a greater number of people. It would wax so bold that no one would be secure from the sins of others. It would be a constant warfare, or an intolerable vigilance, to preserve property and rights. Falsehood would become so universal as to dissolve society; and the homes of domestic life would be turned into wards either of a prison or a madhouse. We cannot be in the company of an atrocious criminal without some feeling of uneasiness and fear. We should not like to be left alone with him, even if his chains were not unfastened. But without the Precious Blood, such men would abound in the world. They might even become the majority. We know of ourselves, from glimpses God has once or twice given us in life, what incredible possibilities of wickedness we have in our souls. Civilization increases these possibilities. Education multiplies and magnifies our powers of sinning. Refinement adds a fresh malignity. Men would thus become more diabolically and unmixedly bad, until at last earth would be a hell on this side of the grave. There would also doubtless be new kinds of sins and worse kinds. Education would provide the novelty, and refinement would carry it into the region of the unnatural. All highly-refined and luxurious developments of heathenism have fearfully illustrated this truth. A wicked barbarian is like a beast. His savage passions are violent but intermitting, and his necessities of sin do not appear to grow. Their circle is limited. But a highly-educated sinner, without the restraints of religion, is like a demon. His sins are less confined to himself. They involve others in their misery. They require others to be offered as it were in sacrifice to them. Moreover, education, considered simply as an intellectual cultivation, propagates sin, and makes it more universal.
The increase of sin, without the prospects which the faith lays open to us, must lead to an increase of despair, and to an increase of it upon a gigantic scale. With despair must come rage, madness, violence, tumult, and bloodshed. Yet from what quarter could we expect relief in this tremendous suffering? We should be imprisoned in our own planet. The blue sky above us would be but a dungeon-roof. The greensward beneath our feet would truly be the slab of our future tomb. Without the Precious Blood there is no intercourse between heaven and earth. Prayer would be useless. Our hapless lot would be irremediable. It has always seemed to me that it will be one of the terrible things in hell, that there are no motives for patience there. We cannot make the best of it. Why should we endure it? Endurance is an effort for a time; but this woe is eternal. Perhaps vicissitudes of agony might be a kind of field for patience. But there are no such vicissitudes. Why should we endure, then? Simply because we must; and yet in eternal things this is not a sort of necessity which supplies a reasonable ground for patience. So in this imaginary world of rampant sin there would be no motives for patience. For death would be our only seeming relief; and that is only seeming, for death is any thin but an eternal sleep. Our impatience would become frenzy; and if our constitutions were strong enough to prevent the frenzy from issuing in downright madness, it would grow into hatred of God, which is perhaps already less uncommon than we suppose.
An earth, from off which all sense of justice had perished, would indeed be the most disconsolate of homes. The antediluvian earth exhibits only a tendency that way; and the same is true of the worst forms of heathenism. The Precious Blood was always there. Unnamed, unknown, and unsuspected, the Blood of Jesus has alleviated every manifestation of evil which there has ever been just as it is alleviating at this hour the punishments of hell. What would be our own individual case on such a blighted earth as this? All our struggles to be better would be simply hopeless. There would be no reason why we should not give ourselves up to that kind of enjoyment which our corruption does substantially find in sin. The gratification of our appetites is something; and that lies on one side, while on the other side there is absolutely nothing. But we should have the worm of conscience already, even though the flames of hell might yet be some years distant. To feel that we are fools, and yet lack the strength to be wiser--is not this precisely the maddening thing in madness? Yet it would be our normal state under the reproaches of conscience, in a world where there was no Precious Blood. Whatever relics of moral good we might retain about us would add most sensibly to our wretchedness. Good people, if there were any, would be, as St. Paul speaks, of all men the most miserable; for they would be drawn away from the enjoyment of this world, or have their enjoyment of it abated by a sense of guilt and shame; and there would be no other world to aim at or to work for. To lessen the intensity of our hell without abridging its eternity would hardly be a cogent motive, when the temptations of sin and the allurements of sense are so vivid and strong.
What sort of love could there be, when we could have no respect? Even if flesh and blood made us love each other, what a separation death would be! We should commit our dead to the ground without a hope. Husband and wife would part with the fearfullest certainties of a reunion more terrible than their separation. Mothers would long to look upon their little ones in the arms of death, because their lot would be less woeful than if they lived to offend God with their developed reason and intelligent will. The sweetest feelings of our nature would become unnatural, and the most honorable ties be dishonored. Our best instincts would lead us into our worst dangers. Our hearts would have to learn to beat another way, in order to avoid the dismal consequences which our affections would bring upon ourselves and others. But it is needless to go further into these harrowing details. The world of the heart, without the Precious Blood, and with an intellectual knowledge of God, and his punishments of sin, is too fearful a picture to be drawn with minute fidelity.
But how would it fare with the poor in such a world? They are God's chosen portion upon the earth. He chose poverty himself, when he came to us. He has left the poor in his place, and they are never to fail from the earth, but to be his representatives there until the doom. But, if it were not for the Precious Blood, would any one love them? Would any one have a devotion to them, and dedicate his life to merciful ingenuities to alleviate their lot? If the stream of almsgiving is so insufficient now, what would it be then? There would be no softening of the heart by grace; there would be no admission of of the obligation to give away in alms a definite portion of our incomes; there would be no desire to expiate sin by munificence to the needy for the love of God. The gospel makes men's hearts large;and yet even under the gospel the fountain of almsgiving flows scantily and uncertainly. There would be no religious orders devoting themselves with skilful concentration to different acts of spiritual and corporal mercy. Vocation is a blossom to be found only in the gardens of the Precious Blood. But all this is only negative, only an absence of God. Matters would go much further in such a world as we are imagining.
Even in countries professing to be Christian, and at least in possession of the knowledge of the gospel, the poor grow to be an intolerable burden to the rich. They have to be supported by compulsory taxes; and they are in other ways a continual subject of irritated and impatient legislation. Nevertheless, it is due to the Precious Blood that the principle of supporting them is acknowledged. From what we read in heathen history--even the history of nations renowned for political wisdom, for philosophical speculation, and for literary and artistic refinement--it would not be extravagant for us to conclude that, if the circumstances of a country were such as to make the numbers of the poor dangerous to the rich, the rich would not scruple to destroy them, while it was yet in their power to do so. Just as men have had in France and England to war down bears and wolves, so would the rich war down the poor, whose clamorous misery and excited despair should threaten them in the enjoyment of their power and their possessions. The numbers of the poor would be thinned by murder, until it should be safe for their masters to reduce them into slavery. The survivors would lead the lives of convicts or of beasts. History, I repeat, shows us that this is by no means an extravagant supposition.
Such would be the condition of the world without the Precious Blood. As generations succeeded each other, original sin would go on developing those inexhaustible malignant powers which come from the almost infinite character of evil. Sin would work earth into hell. Men would become devils, devils to others and to themselves. Every thing which makes life tolerable, which counteracts any evil, which softens any harshness, which sweetens any bitterness, which causes the machinery of society to work smoothly, or which consoles any sadness--is simply due to the Precious Blood of Jesus, in heathen as well as in Christian lands. It changes the whole position of an offending creation to its Creator. It changes, if we may dare in such a matter to speak of change, the aspect of God's immutable perfections toward his human children. It does not work merely in a spiritual sphere. It is not only prolific in temporal blessings, but it is the veritable cause of all temporal blessings whatsoever. We are all of us every moment sensibly enjoying the benignant influence of the Precious Blood. Yet who thinks of all this? Why is the goodness of God so hidden, so imperceptible, so unsuspected? Perhaps because it is so universal and so excessive, that we should hardly be free agents if it pressed sensibly upon us always. God's goodness is at once the most public of all his attributes, and at the same time the most secret. Has life a sweeter task than to seek it, and to find it out?
Men would be far more happy, if they separated religion less violently from other things. It is both unwise and unloving to put religion into a place by itself, and mark it off with an untrue distinctness from what we call worldly and unspiritual things. Of course there is a distinction, and a most important one, between them; yet it is easy to make this distinction too rigid and to carry it too far. Thus we often attribute to nature what is only due to grace; and we put out of sight the manner and degree in which the blessed majesty of the Incarnation affects all created things. But this mistake is forever robbing us of hundreds of motives for loving Jesus. We know how unspeakably much we owe to him; but we do not see all that it is not much we owe him, but all, simply and absolutely all. We pass through times and places in life, hardly recognizing how the sweetness of Jesus is sweetening the air around us and penetrating natural things with supernatural blessings.
Hence it comes to pass that men make too much of natural goodness. They think too highly of human progress. They exaggerate the moralizing powers of civilization and refinement, which, apart from grace, are simply tyrannies of the few over the many, or of the public over the individual soul. Meanwhile they underrate the corrupting capabilities of sin, and attribute to unassisted nature many excellences which it only catches, as it were by the infection, by the proximity of grace, or by contagion, from the touch of the Church. Even in religious and ecclesiastical matters they incline to measure progress, or test vigor, by other standards rather than that of holiness. These men will consider the foregoing picture of the world without the Precious Blood as overdrawn and too darkly shaded. They do not believe in the intense malignity of man when drifted from God, and still less are they inclined to grant that cultivation and refinement only intensify still further this malignity. They admit the superior excellence of Christian charity; but they also think highly of natural philanthropy. But has this philanthropy ever been found where the indirect influences of the true religion, whether Jewish or Christian, had not penetrated? We may admire the Greeks for their exquisite refinement, and the Romans for the wisdom of their political moderation. Yet look at the position of children, of servants, of slaves, and of the poor, under both these systems, and see if, while extreme refinement only pushed sin to an extremity of foulness, the same exquisite culture did not also lead to a social cruelty and an individual selfishness which made life unbearable to the masses. Philanthropy is but a theft from the gospel, or rather a shadow, not a substance, and as unhelpful as shadows are want to be. (Father Frederick Faber, The Precious Blood, published originally in England in 1860, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 53-59.)
Father Faber described the very world in which we live today,
Father Faber noted in his The Precious Blood is characterized by the Pelagian spirit of human self-redemption and the libertinage that flows forth as a result merely from the pull of the world, which is so strong and very difficult for so many to resist in these days of apostasy and betrayal:
All devotions have their characteristics; all of them have their own theological meanings. We must say something, therefore, upon the characteristics of the devotion to the Precious Blood. In reality the whole Treatise has more or less illustrated this matter. But something still remains to be said, and something will bear to be repeated. We will take the last first. Devotion to the Precious Blood is the devotional expression of the prominent and characteristic teaching of St. Paul. St. Paul is the apostle of redeeming grace. A devout study of his epistles would be our deliverance from most of the errors of the day. He is truly the apostle of all ages. To each age doubtless he seems to have a special mission. Certainly his mission to our is very special. The very air we breathe is Pelagian. Our heresies are only novel shapes of an old Pelagianism. The spirit of the world is eminently Pelagian. Hence it comes to pass that wrong theories among us are always constructed round a nuclear of Pelagianism; and Pelagianism is just the heresy which is least able to breathe in the atmosphere of St. Paul. It is the age of the natural as opposed to the supernatural, of the acquired as opposed to the infused, of the active as opposed to the passive. This is what I said in an earlier chapter, and here repeat. Now, this exclusive fondness for the natural is on the whole very captivating. It takes with the young, because it saves thought. It does not explain difficulties; but it lessens the number of difficulties to be explained. It takes with the idle; it dispenses from slowness and research. It takes with the unimaginative, because it withdraws just the very element in religion which teases them. It takes with the worldly, because it subtracts the enthusiasm from piety and the sacrifice from spirituality. It takes with the controversial, because it is a short road and a shallow ford. It forms a school of thought which, while it admits that we have an abundance of grace, intimates that we are not much better for it. It merges privileges in responsibilities, and makes the sovereignty of God odious by representing it as insidious. All this whole spirit, with all its ramifications, perishes in the sweet fires of devotion to the Precious Blood.
The time is also one of libertinage; and a time of libertinage is always, with a kind of practical logic, one of infidelity. Whatever brings out God's side in creation, and magnifies his incessant supernatural operation in it, is the controversy which infidelity can least withstand. Now, the devotion to the Precious Blood does this in a very remarkable way. It shows that the true significance in every thing is to be found in the scheme of redemption, apart from which it is useless to discuss the problems of creation. (Father Frederick Faber, The Precious Blood, written in 1860, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 258-259.)
People will always be choosing Barabbas, preferring never even think about praying for the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King as long as they continue to delude themselves into thinking that the pluralistic civil state of Modernity is a "good" thing after all.
The late Louis-Edouard-François-Desiré Cardinal Pie of Poitiers, France, put the matter as follows in the Nineteenth Century:
Neither in His Person," Card, Pie said in a celebrated pastoral instruction, "nor in the exercise of His rights, can Jesus Christ be divided, dissolved, split up; in Him the distinction of natures and operations can never be separated or opposed; the divine cannot be incompatible to the human, nor the human to the divine. On the contrary, it is the peace, the drawing together, the reconciliation; it is the very character of union which has made the two things one: 'He is our peace, Who hat made both one." (Eph. 2:14). This is why St. John told us: 'every spirit that dissolveth Jesus is not of God. And this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh: and is now already in the world' (1 John 4:3; cf. also 1 John 2:18, 22; 2 John: 7). "So then, Card. Pie continues, "when I hear certain talk being spread around, certain pithy statements (i.e., 'Separation of Church and State,' for one, and the enigmatic axiom 'A free Church in a free State,' for another) prevailing from day to day, and which are being introduced into the heart of societies, the dissolvent by which the world must perish, I utter this cry of alarm: Beware the Antichrist." (Selected Writings of Cardinal Pie of Poitiers, pp. 21-23.)
We are in the midst of Passion Week. Palm Sunday is but five days away.
We must remember that Palm Sunday is the day when the crowds in Jerusalem greeted Our Blessed Lord and Saviour as a King. Most of those who shouted Hosanna to the Son of David on Palm Sunday were crying out for His Crucifixion and for the release of Barabbas five days later.
Can it be this way with us?
Why can't we recognize once and for all that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ must reign as King over men and their nations and that all "compromises" with this truth are from the devil?
We must always be champions of Christ the King and Our Lady, she who is our Immaculate Queen, as we make reparation for the blasphemous rejection of Our King's Social Reign over men and their nations by the conciliar "popes" and their confederates, mindful of our need to make reparation for our own sins of pride, for our own refusal to let Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to reign as the King over every single aspect of our hearts and souls without any exception whatsoever.
Concentrating first and foremost on our own souls and getting ourselves to Sacrament of Penance on a weekly basis, if possible, especially during this coming Holy Week, may we call upon Our Lady, Mary Immaculate, to recover by penance what we have lost by sin, seeking freely to lift high the Cross, which is the one and only standard of true human liberty, inviting all men to keep her company at the unbloody re-presentation of the Sacrifice of that same Cross in the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permit.
Vivat Christus Rex
Viva Cristo Rey!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
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.