A System Based on Lies Produces Liars
by Thomas A. Droleskey
As the handful of people who subscribed to the old printed journal Christ or Chaos might recall, an article of a similar title ran in the printed pages of Christ or Chaos about a decade ago. Almost identical points will be made in this one as were made in the older piece. Both of the articles that have appeared under this title were inspired by the lies told by the inveterate liars named William Jefferson Blythe Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton. A decade has intervened between the writing of these two articles. The Clintons are still inveterate liars. Barring their conversion to the true Faith, for which we must pray each day, they will be inveterate, shameless, calculating, sociopathic liars ten years from now.
To wit, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) asserted in a prepared speech on Monday of Holy Week, March 17, 2008, that she had come under "sniper fire" while on a tarmac in Tuzla, Bosnia, in 1996. Much has been written about this incontrovertible lie, which Mrs. Clinton had told several times before in the past few months, in the past two weeks since it was proven by means of news footage from the Columbia Broadcasting System that she had walked off of a plane with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, with great calm and was greeted by school children. There was no sniper fire. There was no mad dash to "safety" as she was walking on the tarmac. The whole thing was a lie from beginning to end.
Hillary Clinton Bosnia Trip Exposes by CBS. ou CBS News Video Contradicts Clinton's Story, CBS' Sharyl Attkisson Was On Bosnia Trip - And Got A Warm, Sniper-Free ...
This is nothing new, as we know. Here is a far from exhaustive list, recited in part a few months ago in
They Never Take Prisoners, of lies and cover-ups and misfeasance and corruption that have stood out over the years. No one, therefore, should be the least bit surprised about the latest whopper told by Hillary Clinton, who claims that she "misremembered" the Tuzla event:
1. Bill and Hillary Clinton lied in 1992 about Gennifer Flowers. Mrs. Clinton called Flowers's accusations against her husband to be nothing other than "trash for cash," although her husband admitted in their famous 60 Minutes interview with Ed Bradley that he had caused "pain" in their marriage. Hillary Clinton did this repeatedly throughout the White House years, thereby demonstrating that she, the "woman of change," would crush any woman who had been used and/or abused by her husband in order to have her own chance to serve as President of the United States of America.
2. Travelgate and Vince Foster.
5. Billing records-gate. Does anyone not believe that Mrs. Clinton did not leave the billing records from the Rose Law Firm in the White House reading room?
6. Monicagate, which resulted ultimately in Bill Clinton's copping a plea agreement with Independent Counsel Robert Ray on January 19, 2001, just before he left office. It should also be noted that the Clintons were ruthless in attempting to destroy the reputation of anyone and everyone who sought to criticize them or to investigate them, making Richard Nixon's "Plumbers' Unit" seem like a band of amateurs. Take a look at a very partial list of some of the names of Clinton "enemies" who were "exposed" as having their own personal problems during the midst of Monicagate: United States Representatives Bob Barr, Henry Hyde, Dan Burton, and Bob Livingston. Ah, yes, the compassionate Clintons? Just don't get in their way. They take no prisoners.
7. Serbiagate: the bombardment of the Serbs to favor the Kosovo Mohammedans in the former Yugoslavia, a bombardment that Clinton directed despite the fact that he had no authorization from the Congress of the United States of America to do so. Thousands of innocent Serbians were killed as a result of the bombing, conducted under the auspices of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (N.A.T.O.)
8. Chinagate. How many nefarious arms merchants and drug dealers and other low life figures slept in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House and/or had "coffees" with the Clintons in the 1996 election cycle?
9. Bill Clinton claimed in 1995 that Congressional Republicans wanted to "cut spending" on various domestic entitlement programs, deliberately misrepresenting the truth that his hapless adversaries, whom he could not have conjured up more perfectly than if he had asked Barbara Eden of I Dream of Jeannie to have done so for him ("Jeannie, I want a group of opponents who will be so hapless and so spineless that they will surrender to me the moment I begin to lie about them:"), wanted to cut the projected rate of growth in Federal spending on such programs. Actual spending was going to increase no matter whose budget program, Clinton's or the Republicans', wound up being enacted. Clinton represented the Republican plan as a "cut" in actual spending when it was simply a slower rate of increase in spending that the one he was proposing. In other words, Bill Clinton just out-and-out lied.
10.Bill Clinton said in a radio address on June 8, 1996, that
"I have vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child." No such burnings took place during his childhood.
11. Hillary Clinton has claimed that her parents named her after the man who conquered Mount Everest on May 29, 1953, the late Edmund Hillary. Mrs. Clinton's parents were quite prophetic. She was born on October 26, 1947.
Anyone who does not know that the Clintons are inveterate, pathological liars will never be convinced of this simple fact.
More to the point, however, is the simple truth that the entire philosophical framework of the modern civil state, including the United States of America, is based on lies. Although these lies have been enumerated on this site only slightly more frequently than the lies told by the Clintons, it is perhaps most useful on the transferred Feast of the Annunciation of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to do so once again.
1) The modern civil state is based upon the false, naturalistic assertion that it is possible for men to organize themselves, both individually and socially, without reference to the fact of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Incarnation in the Virginal and Immaculate Womb of His Most Blessed Mother by the power of God the Holy Ghost at the Annunciation. In other words, men may believe in the Incarnation if they desire to do so. There is no necessity of them doing so, whether in the context of their own individual lives or in the larger life of their nations.
2) The modern civil state is based upon the false, naturalistic assertion that it is not necessary for men to submit themselves at all times and without any exception whatsoever to the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law as these have been entrusted to the infallible teaching authority of the Catholic Church that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. In other words, men, whether acting individually or collectively with others in the institutions of civil governance, to submit themselves to the Deposit of Faith in all that pertains to the good of souls.
3) The modern civil state is based upon the false, Protestant and Judeo-Masonic assertion that there must be a strict separation of Church and State to serve as a "protection" of "religious" and "civil" liberty. This falsehood, denounced as a "thesis absolutely false" by Pope Saint Pius X in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906, has been embraced by the counterfeit church of conciliarism and denies the doctrine of the Social Reign of Christ the King. One of the many common bonds linking Modernity and Modernism is the rejection of the belief that the civil state must help to foster those conditions in civil society wherein its citizens would be better able to to sanctify and thus to save their souls as members of the Catholic Church. Gone, therefore, is any reference to, no less belief in, this telling paragraph contained in Pope Saint Pius X's Vehementer Nos:
That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIII, especially, has frequently and magnificently expounded Catholic teaching on the relations which should subsist between the two societies. "Between them," he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul.-"Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordinata colligatio (inter illas) quae quidem conjunctioni non immerito comparatur, per quam anima et corpus in homine copulantur." He proceeds: "Human societies cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were something foreign to them, or of no purpose to them.... As for the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of the young, the family, is to commit a great and pernicious error. -- "Civitates non possunt, citra scellus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non esset, aut curam religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam abjicere.... Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ab actione vitae excludere, a legibus, ab institutione adolescentium, a societate domestica, magnus et perniciousus est error."
4) The modern civil state is based upon the false, semi-Pelagian assertion that men do not have to have belief in, access to or cooperation with Sanctifying Grace in order to be virtuous, no less to scale the heights of sanctity. Pope Saint Pius X explained the fallacious nature of this assertion, which was as the foundation of the propositions of The Sillon he condemned and is thus at the foundation of conciliarism itself, in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910:
Here we have, founded by Catholics, an inter-denominational association that is to work for the reform of civilization, an undertaking which is above all religious in character; for there is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion: it is a proven truth, a historical fact.
These basic, foundational lies spawn the naturalistic expectation among citizens, including Catholics themselves, that it is possible to find some merely philosophical or ideological or inter-denominational or non-denominational method by which to retard social evils and to provide some kind of framework for peace among nations. All manner of people think that "progress" is being made during each election cycle when the truth of the matter is that more and more lies of naturalism are being mainstreamed as more and more Catholics become convinced that it is not necessary to refer all things at all times and in all places to the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church for Its eternal safekeeping and infallible explication. The result of all of this is the triumph of worldliness over the Faith in the lives of even believing Catholics, a worldliness that predisposes them into considering any expression of the true Faith, no less the rights of the Social Reign of Christ the King, to be a hindrance rather than an absolute necessity in the pursuit and maintenance of the just social order that is undertaken in light of First and Last Things.
Father Frederick Faber, writing in The Creator and Creature, written in 1856, explained the influence of worldliness upon Catholics even in his own day, which was not all that terribly long ago, now was it?
The question of worldliness is a very difficult one, and one which we would gladly have avoided, had it been in our power to do so. But it is in too many ways connected with our subject, to allow of its being passed over in silence. In the first place, a thoughtful objector will naturally say, If the relation between the Creator and the creature is such as has been laid down in the first eight chapters, and furthermore if it is as manifest and undeniable as it is urged to be, how comes it to pass that it is not more universally, or at least more readily, admitted than it is? Almost all the phenomena of the world betray a totally opposite conviction, and reveal to us an almost unanimous belief in men, that they are on a quite different footing with God from that one, which is here proclaimed to be the only true and tenable one. There must be at least some attempt to explain this discrepancy between what we see and what we are taught. The explanation, we reply, is to be found in what Christians call worldliness. It is this which stands in the way of God's honor, this which defrauds Him of the tribute due to Him from His creatures, this which blinds their eyes to His undeniable rights and prerogatives. How God's own world comes to stand between Himself and the rational soul, how friendship with it is enmity with Him--indeed an account of the whole matter must be gone into, in order to show, first, that the influence of the world does account for the non-reception of right views about God, and, secondly, that the world is in no condition to be called as a witness, because of the essential falsehood of its character. This identical falsehood about God is its very life, energy, significance, and condemnation. The right view of God is not unreal, because the world ignores it. On the contrary, it is because it is real that the unreal world ignores it, and the world's ignoring it is, so far forth, an argument in favor of the view.
But not only does this question of worldliness present itself to us in connection with the whole teaching of the first eight chapters; it is implicated in the two objections which have already been considered, namely, the difficulty of salvation and the fewness of the saved. If it is easy to be saved, whence the grave semblance of its difficulty? If the majority of adult catholics are actually saved, because salvation is easy, why it is necessary to draw so largely on the unknown regions of the death-bed, in order to make up our majority? Why should not salvation be almost universal, if the pardon of sin is so easy, grace so abundant, and all that is wanted is a real earnestness about the interests of our souls? If you acknowledge, as you do, that the look of men's lives, even of the lives of believers, is not as if they were going to be saved, and that they are going to be saved in reality in spite of appearances, what is the explanation of these appearances, when the whole process is so plain and easy? To all this the answer is, that sin is a partial explanation, and the devil is a partial explanation, but that the grand secret lies in worldliness. That is the chief disturbing force, the prime counteracting power. It is this mainly, which keeps down the number of the saved; it is this which makes the matter seem so difficult which is intrinsically so easy; nay, it is this which is a real difficulty, though not such an overwhelming one as to make salvation positively difficult as a whole. Plainly then the phenomenon of worldliness must be considered here, else it will seem as if an evident objection, and truly the weightiest of all objections, had not been taken into account, and thus an air of insecurity will be thrown, not only over the answer to the preceding two objections, but also over the whole argument of the first eight chapters.
This inquiry into worldliness will, in the third place, truthfully and naturally prepare us for the great conclusion of the whole inquiry, namely, the personal love of God is the only legitimate development of our position as creatures, and at the same time the means by which salvation is rendered easy, and the multitude of the saved augmented. For it will be found that the dangers of worldliness are at once so great and so peculiar, that nothing but a personal love of our Creator will rescue us from them, enable us to break with the world, and to enter into the actual possession of the liberty of the sons of God.
O, it is a radiant land--this wide, many-colored mercy of our Creator! But we must be content for a while now to pass out of its kindling sunshine into another land of most ungenial darkness, in the hope that we shall come back heavy laden with booty for God's glory, and knowing how to prize the sunshine more than ever. There is a hell already upon earth; there is something which is excommunicated from God's smile. It is not altogether matter, not yet altogether spirit. It is not man only, nor Satan only, nor is it exactly sin. It is an infection, an inspiration, an atmosphere, a life, a coloring matter, a pageantry, a fashion, a taste, a witchery, an impersonal but a very recognisable system. None of these names suit it, and all of them suit it. Scripture calls it, "The World." God's mercy does not enter into it. All hope of its reconciliation with Him is absolutely and eternally precluded. Repentance is incompatible with its existence. The sovereignty of God has laid the ban of the empire upon it; and a holy horror ought to seize us when we think of it. Meanwhile its power over the human creation is terrific, its presence ubiquitous, its deceitfulness incredible. It can find a home under every heart beneath the poles, and it embraces with impartial affection both happiness and misery. It is wider than the catholic Church, and is masterful, lawless, and intrusive within it. It cannot be damned, because it is not a person, but it will perish in the general conflagration, and so its tyranny be over, and its place know it no more. We are living in it, breathing it, acting under its influences, being cheated by its appearances, and unwarily admitting its principles. Is it it not of the last importance to us that we should know something of this huge evil creature, this monstrous seabird of evil, which flaps its wings from pole to pole, and frightens the nations into obedience by its discordant cries?
But we must not be deceived by this description. The transformations of the spirit of the world are among its most wonderful characteristics. It has its gentle voice, its winning manners, its insinuating address, its aspect of beauty and attraction; and the lighter its foot and the softer its voice, the more dreadful is its approach. It is by the firesides of rich and poor, in happy homes where Jesus is named, in gay hearts which fain would never sin. In the chastest domestic affections it can hide its poison. In the very sunshine of external nature,in the combinations of the beautiful elements--it is somehow even there. The glory of the wind-swept forest and the virgin frost of the Alpine summits have a taint in them of this spirit of the world. It can be dignified as well. It can call to order sin which is not respectable. It can propound wise maxims of public decency, and inspire wholesome regulations of police. It can open the churches, and light the candles on the altar, and entone Te Deums to the Majesty on high. It is often prominently, and almost pedantically, on the side of morality. Then, again, it has passed into the beauty of art, into the splendor of dress, into the magnificence of furniture. Or, again, there it is, with high principles on its lips, discussing the religious vocation of some youth, and praising God and sanctity, while it urges discreet delay, and less self-trust, and more considerate submissiveness to those who love him, and have natural rights to his obedience. It can sit on the benches of senates and hide in the pages of good books. And yet all the while it is the same huge evil creature which was described above. Have we not reason to fear?
Let us try ot learn more definitely what the world is, the world in the scripture sense. A definition is too short, a description is too vague. God never created it; how then does it come here? There is no land, outside the creation of God, which could have harbored this monster, who now usurps so much of this beautiful planet, on which Jews was born and died, and from which He and His sinless Mother rose to heaven? It seems to be a spirit of spirit, which has risen up from a disobedient creation, as if the results, and after-consequences of all the sins that ever were, rested in the atmosphere, and loaded it with some imperceptible but highly powerful miasma. It cannot be a person, and yet it seems as if it possessed both a mind and a will, which on the whole are very consistent, so as to disclose what might appear to be a very perfect self-consciousness. It is painless in its operations, and unerring too; and just as the sun bids the lily be white and the rose red, and they obey without an effort, standing side by side with the same aspect and in the same soil, so this spirit of the world brings forth colors and shapes and scents in our different actions, without the process being cognisable to ourselves. The power of mesmerism on the reluctant will is a good type of the power of this spirit of the world upon ourselves. It is like grace, only that it is contradictory.
But it has not always the same power. It the expression may be forgiven, there have been times when the world was less worldly than usual; and this look as as if it were something which the existing generator of men always gave out from themselves, a kind of magnetism of varying strengths and different properties. As Satan is sometimes bound, so it pleases God to bind the world sometimes. Or He thunders, and the atmosphere is cleared for awhile, and the times are healthy, and the Church lifts her head and walks quicker. But, on the whole, its power appears to be increasing with time. In other words, the world is getting more worldly. Civilization develops it immensely, and progress helps it on, and multiplies its capabilities. In the matter of worldliness, a highly civilized time is to a comparatively ruder time what the days of machinery are to those of hand-labor. We are not speaking of sin; that is another idea, and brings in fresh considerations: we are speaking only of worldliness. If the characteristic of modern times go on developing with the extreme velocity and herculean strength which they promise now, we may expect (just what prophecy would lead us to anticipate) that the end of the world and the reign of anti-Christ would be times of the most tyrannical worldliness.
This spirit also has its characteristic of time and place. The worldliness of one century is different from that of another. Now it runs toward ambition in the upper classes and discontent in the lower. Now to money-making, luxury, and lavish expenditure. One while it sets towards grosser sins; another while towards wickedness of a more refined description; and another while it will tolerate nothing but educated sin. It also has periodical epidemics and accessions of madness, thought at what intervals, or whether by the operation of any law, must be left to the philosophy of history to decide. Certain it is, that ages have manias, the source of which it is difficult to trace, but under which whole communities, and sometimes nations, exhibit symptoms of diabolical possession. Indeed, on looking back, it would appear that every age, as if an age were an individual and had an individual life, had been subject to some vertigo of its own, by which it may be almost known in history. Very often, the phenomena, such as those of the French Revolution, seem to open out new depths in human nature, or to betoken the presence of some preternatural spiritual influences. Then, again, ages have panics, as if some attribute of God came near to the world, and cast a deep shadow over its spirit, marking men's hearts quail for fear.
This spirit is further distinguished by the evidences which it presents of a fixed view and a settled purpose. It is capricious, but, for all that, there is nothing about it casual, accidental, fortuitous. It is well instructed for its end, inflexible in its logic, and making directly, no matter through what opposing medium to its ultimate results. Indeed, it is obviously informed with the wisdom and subtlety of Satan. It is his greatest capability of carrying on his war against God. Like a parasite disease, it fixes on the weak places in men, pandering both to mind and flesh, but chiefly to the former. It i one of those three powers to whom such dark pre-eminence is given, the world, the flesh, and the devil; and among these three, it seems to have a kind of precedence given to it, by the way in which our Lord speaks of its in the Gospel, though the line of its diplomacy has been to have itself less thought of and less dreaded than the other two; and, unhappily for the interests of God and the welfare of souls, it has succeeded. It is, then, pre-eminent among the enemies of God. Hence the place which it occupied in Holy Scripture. It is the world which hated Christ, the world which cannot receive the Spirit, the world that loves its own, the world that rejoices because Christ has gone away, the world which He overcame, the world for which He would not pray, the world that by wisdom knew not God, the world whose spirit Christians were not to receive, the world that was not worthy of the saints, the world whose friendship is enmity with God, the world that passeth away with its lusts, the world which they who are born of God overcome, or, as the Apocalypse calls its, the world that goes wandering after the beast. Well then might St. James come to his energetic conclusion, Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God. It is remarkable also that St. John, the chosen friend of the Incarnate Word, and the Evangelist of His Divinity, should be the one of the inspired writers who speaks most often and most emphatically about the world, as if the spirit of Jesus found something especially revolting to it in the spirit of the world.
It is this world which we have to fight against throughout the whole of our Christian course. Our salvation depends upon our unforgiving enmity against it. It is not so much that it is a sin, as that it is the capability of all sins, the air sin breathes, the light by which it sees to do its work, the hotbed which propagates and forces it, the instinct which guides it, the power which animates it. For a Christian to look at, it is dishearteningly complete. It is a sort of catholic church of the powers of the darkness. It is laws of its own, and tastes the principles of its own, literature of its own, a missionary spirit, a compact system, and it is a consistent whole. It is a counterfeit of the Church of God, and in the most implacable antagonism to it. The doctrines of the faith, the practices and devotions of pious persons, the system of the interior life, the mystical and contemplative world of the Saints, with all these it is at deadly war. And so it must be. The view which the Church takes of the world is distinct and clear, and far from flattering to its pride. It considers the friendship of the world as enmity with God. It puts all the world's affairs under its feet, either as of no consequence, or at least of very secondary importance. It has great faults to find with the effeminacy of the literary character, with the churlishness of the mercantile character, with the servility of the political character, and even with the inordinateness of the domestic character. It provokes the world by looking in progress doubtingly, and with what appears a very inadequate interest, and there is a quiet faith in its contempt for the world extremely irritating to this latter power.
The world on the contrary thinks that it is going to last for ever. It is almost assumes that there are no other interests but its own, or that if there are, they are either of no consequence, or troublesome and in the way. It thinks that there is nothing like itself anywhere, that religion was made for its convenience, merely to satisfy a want, and must not forget itself, or if it claims more, must be put down as a rebel, or chased away as a grumbling beggar; and finally it is of opinion, that of all contemptible things spirituality is the most contemptible, cowardly, and little. Thus the Church and the world are incompatible, and must remain so to the end.
We cannot have a better instance of the uncongeniality of the world with the spirit of the Gospel, than their difference in the estimate of prosperity. All those mysterious woes which our Lord denounced against wealth, have their explanation in the dangers of worldliness. It is the peculiar aptitude of wealth and pomp, and power, to harbor the unholy spirit of the world, to combine with it, and transform themselves into it, which called forth the thrilling malediction of our Lord. Prosperity may be a blessing from God, but it may easily become the triumph of the world. And for the most part the absence of chastisement is anything but a token of God's love. When prosperity is a blessing, it is generally a condescension to our weakness. Those are fearful words, Thou has already received thy reward; yet how many prosperous men there are, the rest of whose lives will keep reminding us of them; the tendency of prosperity in itself is to wean the heart from God, and fix it on creatures. It gives us a most unsupernatural habit of esteeming others according to their success. As it increases, so anxiety to keep it increases also, and makes men restless, selfish, and irreligious; and at length it superinduces a kind of effeminacy of character, which unfits them for the higher and more heroic virtues of the Christian character. This is but a sample of the different way which the Church and the world reason.
Now it is this world which, far more than the devil, fare more than the flesh, yet in union with both, makes the difficulty we find in obeying God 's commandments, or following His counsels. It is this which makes earth such a place of struggle and of exile. Proud, exclusive, anxious, hurried, fond of comforts, coveting popularity, with an offensive orientation of prudence, it is this worldliness which hardens the hearts of men, stops their ears, blinds their eyes, vitiates their taste, and ties their hands, so far as the things of God are concerned. Let it be true that salvation is easy, and that by far the greater number of catholics are saved, it is still unhappily true that that the relations of the Creator and the creature, as put forward in this treatise, are not so universally or so practically acknowledged as they ought to be. Why is this? Sin is a partial answer. The devil is another partial answer. But I believe worldliness has got to answer for a great deal of sin, and for a great deal of devil, besides a whole deluge of iniquity of its own, which is perpetually debasing good works, assisting the devil in his assaults, and working with execrable assiduity against the sacraments and grace. The world is for ever lowering the heavenly life of the Church. If there ever was an age in which this was true, it is the present. One of the most frightening features of our condition is, that we are so little frightened of the world. The world itself has brought this about. Even spiritual books are chiefly occupied with the devil and the flesh; and certain of the capital sins, such as envy and sloth, no loner hold the prominent places which they held of the systems of the elder ascetics; and yet they are just those vices which contain most of the ungodly spirit of the world. The very essence of worldliness seems to consist in its making us forget that we are creatures; and the more this view is reflected upon, the more correct will it appear.
When our Blessed Lord describes the days before the Flood, and again those which shall precede the end of the world, He portrays them rather as times of worldliness than of open sin. Men were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage; and He says no more. Now none of these things are wrong in themselves. We can eat and rink, as the apostle teaches us, to the glory of God, and marriage was a divine institution at the time of the Flood, and is not a Christian Sacrament. In the same way when He describes the life of the only person whom the gospel narratives follows into the bode of the lost, He sums it up as the being clothed in purple and fine linen, and feasting sumptuously every day. here again there is nothing directly sinful in the actions which He names. It surely cannot be a mortal sin to have fine linen, nor will a man lose a state of grace because he feasts sumptuously every day, provided that no other sins follow in the train of this soft life. The malice of it all is in its worldliness, in the fact that this was all or nearly all the lives of those before the flood, of those before the days of anti-Christ, and of the unhappy Dives. Life began and ended in worldliness. There was nothing for God. It was comprised in the pleasures of the world, it rested in them, it was satisfied by then. Its characteristic was sins of omission. Worldliness might also be defined to be a state of habitual sins of omission. The devil urges men on to great positive breaches of the divine commandments. The passions of the flesh impel sinners to give way to their passions by such dreadful sins, as catch the eyes of men and startle them by their iniquity. Worldliness only leads to these things occasionally and by accident. It neither scandalizes others, not frightens the sinner himself. This is the very feature of it, which, rightly considered, ought to be so terrifying. The reaction of a great sin, or the same which follows it, are often the pioneers of grace. They give self-love such a serious shock, that under the influence of it men return to God. Worldliness hides from the soul its real malice, and thus keeps at arm's length from it some of the most persuasive motives to repentance. Thus the Pharisees are depicted in the Gospel as being eminently worldly. It is worldliness, not immorality, which is put before us. There is even much of moral decency, much of respectable observance, much religious profession; and yet when our Blessed Saviour was among them, they were further from grace than the publicans and sinners. They had implicit hatred of God in their hearts already, which became explicit as soon as they saw Him. The Magdalen, the Samaritan, the woman taken in adultery--it was these who gathered round Jesus, attracted by His sweetness, and touched by the graces which went out from Him. The Pharisees only grew more cold, more haughty, more self-opinionated, until they ended by the greatest of all sins, the crucifixion of our Lord. For worldliness, when its selfish necessities drive it at last into open sin, for the most part sins more awfully and more impenitently than even the unbridled passions of our nature. So again there was the young man who had great possessions, and who loved Jesus when he saw Him, and wished to follow Him. He was a religious man, and with humble scrupulosity observed the commandments of God; but when our Lord told him to sell and give the price to the poor and to follow Him, he turned away sorrowful, and was found unequal to such a blessed vocation. Now his refusing to sell his property was surely not a mortal sin. It does not appear that our Lord considered him to have sinned by his refusal. It was the operation of worldliness. We do not know what the young man's future was; but a sad cloud of misgivings must hang over the memory of him whom Jesus invited to follow Him, and who turned away. Is he looking now in heaven upon that Face, form whose mild beauty he so sadly turned away on earth?
Thus the outward aspect of worldliness is not sin. Its character is negative. It abounds in omissions. Yet throughout the Gospels our Saviour seems purposely to point to it rather than to open sin. When the young man turned away, His remark was, How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into the kingdom of heaven. But the very fact of our Lord's thus branding worldliness with His especial reprobation is enough to show that it is in reality deeply sinful, hatefully sinful. It is a life without God in the world. It is a a continual ignoring of God, a continual quiet contempt of His rights, an insolent abatement in the service which He claims from His creatures. Self is set up instead of God. The canons of human respect are more looked up to than the Divine Commandments. God is very little adverted to. He is passed over. The very thought of Him soon ceases to make the worldly man uncomfortable. Indeed all his chief objections to religion, if he thought much about the matter, would be found a repose on his apprehension of it as restless and uncomfortable. But all this surely must represent an immensity of interior mortal sin. Can a man habitually forget God, and be in a state of habitual grace? Can he habitually prefer purple garments and sumptuous fare to the service of his Creator, and be free of mortal sin? Can be make up a life for himself even of the world's sinless enjoyments, such as eating, drinking, and marrying, and will not the mere omission of God from it be enough to constitute him in a state of deadly sin? At that rate a moral atheist is more acceptable to God than a poor sinner honestly but freely fighting with some habit of vice, to which his nature and his past offenses set so strongly, that he can hardly lift himself up. At that rate the Pharisees in the Gospel would be the patterns for our imitation, rather than the publicans and sinners; or at least they would be as safe. Or shall we say that faith is enough to save us without charity? If a man only believes rightly, let him eat and rink and be gaily clothed, and let him care for nothing else, and at least that exclusive love of creatures, that omission of the Creator, provided only it issues in no other outward acts than his fine dinners and his expensive clothes, shall never keep his soul from heaven. His purple and his sumptuous feasting shall be his beatific vision here, and then his outward morality shall by God's mercy hand him on to his second beatific Vision, the Vision of the beauty of God, and the eternal ravishment of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity! Can this be true?
Yet on the other hand, we may not make into sins what God had not made sins. How is this? O it is the awful world of inward sin which is the horror of all this worldliness! It is possession, worse far than diabolical possession, because at once more hideous and more complete. It is the interior irreligiousness, the cold pride, the hardened heart, the depraved sense, the real unbelief, the more implicit hatred of God, which makes the soul of the worldly man an actual, moral, and intellectually hell on earth, hidden by an outward show of faultless proprieties, which only make it more revolting to the Eye that penetrates the insulting disguise. The secret sins moreover of the worldly are a very sea of iniquity. Their name is legion; they cannot be counted. Almost every thought is sin, because of the inordinate worship of self that is in it. Almost every step is sin, because it is treading underfoot some ordinance of God. It is a life without prayer, a life without desire of heaven, a life without fear of hell, a life without love of God, a life without any supernatural habits at all. Is not hell the most natural transition from such a life as this? heaven is not a sensual paradise. God is the joy, and he beauty, and the contentment there; all is for God, all from God, all to God, all in God, all around God as the beautiful central fire about which His happy creatures cluster in amazement and delight. Whereas in worldliness God is the discomfort of the whole thing, an intrusion, an unseasonable thought, an unharmonious presence like a disagreeable uninvited guest, irritating and fatiguing us by the simple demand His presence makes on sufferance and our courtesy. O surely such a man has sin in his veins instead of blood!
Worldliness then is a life of secret sins. It is such an irresistible tendency to sin, such a successful encouragement of it, such a genial climate, such a collection of favourable circumstances, such an amazing capability of sin, that it breeds actual sins, regularly formed and with all the theological requirements, by millions and millions. It we read what the catechism of the Council of Trent says of sins of thought, we shall see how marvellously prolific sins can be, and what a pre-eminently devastating power sins of thought in particular exercise within the soul. In numberless cases open and crying sins must come at last. Still we must remember that on the whole there are two characteristics which always distinguish sins of worldliness from sins of the passions, or sins of direct diabolical temptation. The respectability which worldliness affects leads it rather to satisfy itself in secret sins. Indeed its worship of self, its predilection for an easy life, would hinder its embarking in sins which take trouble, time, and forethought, or which run risks of disagreeable consequences, and therefore would keep it confined within a sphere of secret sins. And in the next place its love of comfort makes it so habitually disinclined to listen to the reproaches of conscience, or the teasing solicitations of grace, that it passes into the state of a seared conscience, a dreaded moral sense, with a speed which is unknown even to cruelty or sensuality. (Father Frederick Faber, The Creator and Creature, written 1856 and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 314-328.)
This is a description of our world today, is it not? Yes, a world where Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does not reign as King and where His Most Blessed Mother is not honored as its Immaculate Queen is one where most every man will live and think and act and speak naturalistically, not supernaturally according to the Mind of the Divine Redeemer as He has discharged It exclusively in the Catholic Church. The Faith must be shunted aside in favor or the pursuit of wealth or popularity or career success or in favor of this or than naturalistic"system" of economic, social and political "order" to which which must be rendered an assent of faith and a due submission of will at all times.
It cannot be this way with us, ladies and gentlemen. We must desire to withdraw from worldliness. Indeed, 0ur desire to withdraw from the world and worldliness will increase as we grow in love more and more with God as He has revealed Himself through His true Church. We will hate our sins the more. We will seek to do voluntary penances for our sins and those of the whole world. We will be more attentive to the needs of the members of the Church Suffering in Purgatory. We will have more apostolic zeal for the salvation of souls, seeking to distribute Green Scapulars to those whom God's Holy Providence places in our paths each day. We will live for the Faith, not for the passing things of this world.
There are so many ways to withdraw from the world. One way, as I have noted so many times before on this site, is to give up television once and for all, yes, including the news and sports. You will never miss it. Not one little bit. Make a resolve to permanently give up some legitimate pleasure that will liberate you from the love of the world more completely and show yourself to be a friend of God who desires the eternal possession of His Beatific Vision above all things.
To give just one personal example, although I walked out of a baseball stadium sixty-nine months ago now and have not been back, I have resolved recently never to follow even one little bit of news about the coming baseball season. This is a small, indeed most insignificant sacrifice, to be sure. It is, however, a withdrawal on my part from a part of the world from which I had not yet fully withdrawn. This small sacrifice will not change the world. It will not bring baseball "back" to what it is in the 1950s and 1960s. It will, however, help me to love God more purely as I seek to do greater penances for my many sins. We must break free of the world's hold on us little by little. And we can break free of the world of naturalistic politics and its hold on us, can we not, recognizing once and for all that the only antidote to the poisons of naturalism is Catholicism, not conservatism, not liberalism, not socialism, not capitalism, not libertarianism. Breaking free of worldliness will help us to recognize the simple truth that Catholicism is the one and only foundation of personal and social order.
We must look beyond the naturalism of the moment as we trust completely in the mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, rendering unto that Heart of Hearts all of our prayers and penances and mortifications and sufferings and humiliations through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart out of which It was formed, the Immaculate Heart of Mary itself. Our trust must be in the Eucharistic piety and total Marian consecration as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our freely chosen states in life permit. We must resolve, once and for all, not to be anxious about anything in the world as we trust totally in the mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and and the intercessory power of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
May this transferred Feast of the Annunciation remind us that the Word's becoming Flesh in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of God the Holy Ghost is meant to transform a world of lies into a world where He, the Way, the Truth and the Life, is recognized as the One and only Redeemer of men, that His truths have been entrusted for all eternity to the authority of the Catholic Church, which will forever champion His Social Reign over men and nations.
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of the Rosary, 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.
See also: A Litany of Saints