Thomas A. Droleskey
Today, the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, reminds us of our obligation to stand steadfast in behalf of the Holy Faith no matter the opposition that we might face, perhaps some of it very fierce and, humanly speaking, painful in doing so. Saint John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament Prophets, was sanctified in the womb of his mother, Saint Elizabeth, at the moment he heard the sound of Our Lady's sweet, sweet voice, causing him to leap for joy in the presence of the One Whose precursor he was meant to be as He was carried in the Virginal and Immaculate Womb of the Queen of Heaven and Earth, Our Lady herself.
Saint John the Baptist, having had Original Sin washed away at the moment of Our Lady's Visitation, which began on April 2 (not May 31) and ended on July 2, was prepared to reject the ways of the world in fulfillment of the prophecy uttered by Saint Gabriel the Archangel to his father, Saint Zachary:
And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the alter of incense. And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John: And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity. For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people. And Zachary said to the angel: Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years. And the angel answering, said to him: I am Gabriel, who stand before God: and am sent to speak to thee, and to bring thee these good tidings. And behold, thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be able to speak until the day wherein these things shall come to pass, because thou hast not believed my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time. (Luke 1: 11-20.)
Saint John the Baptist preached his baptism of repentance, understanding that he was indeed only the precursor of His Cousin, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He knew that he had to decrease as Our Lord's Public Ministry commenced following their meeting at the Jordan River when Saint John when God the Holy Ghost descended in the form of dove above the head of Our Lord as His Co-Eternal and Co-Equal Father in Heaven uttered the words below:
Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also being baptized and praying, heaven was opened; And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove upon him; and a voice came from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. (Luke 3: 21-22.)
We must pray to Saint John the Baptist every day to die to self more and more so that Our Lord may increase in our souls by means of Sanctifying Grace.
We must pray to Saint John the Baptist every day to have a deep and abiding love of voluntary acts of penance and self-denial, especially during this time when sin abounds so freely in the world as it is protected under the cover of the civil law in one "civilized" nation after another in the name of "liberty" and "human rights" and as it is promoted wantonly by commercial bandits and enemies of the Faith in the popular culture.
Our voluntary acts of penance and self-denial, given with profound love to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, are needed to help appease the Divine Justice angered by blatant acts of sacrilege and blasphemy that are committed openly by the conciliar authorities, starting with Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, as most Catholics in the world think nothing of such offenses and as the relative handful who do know that they grievously wrong refuse to speak out in the slightest in defense of the honor and majesty and glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, Who is not worshiped by Jews or Mohammedans or Hindus or Buddhists.
We live in a world full of self-indulgence and spiritual lukewarmness, if not open antipathy to any mention of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother and the other saints and angels and, of course, of the integrity of the Holy Faith. Saint John the Baptist's life, as indicated in the passage from The Mystical City of God included in the revised version of His Name Shall Be John, was the antithesis of self-indulgence or lukewarmness.
Yet it is today that the likes of the merchant of baby-killing and perversity (see Clinton, Obama Compete: Who Loves Perversity More?), Barack Hussein Obama, indulges himself liberally rounds of golf and other diversions, including campaign fund-raising appearances around the nation, as a catastrophe that is continuing to defy human efforts to end it continues almost largely unabated. This stands in contrast to the Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, who has been on the front lines filling sandbags in Louisiana and who had marshalled, despite the interference Federal authorities, effective, pragmatic measures to protect the people of his state from suffering more than they have up to this point (see Obama, Jindal and True Leadership).
Similarly, the chief executive officer (CEO) of British Petroleum, Tony Hayward, had a nice time at a yacht race in England over the weekend. It's just too bad that he had to "give up" so much of his "life" to supervising the clean-up and recovery of the oil that is still gushing deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico. Some of this oil is washing up on the shores of Panama City, Florida, and producing, if the video shown on Russia Today is genuinely from Louisiana, oil rain (see
Oil Rain In Louisiana?).
Even some experts who have not been making doomsday predictions until now have come to admit that the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is far worse than British Petroleum and officials in the Obama administration are admitting publicly (see The Gulf Oil Crisis Keeps Getting Worse). Is it any accident that the oil and other toxic materials are coming from deep under the seabed of the Gulf of Mexico? Gee, what's located deep under the earth? Might it be that place of eternal hellfire where the souls who have sent themselves there by their persisting in a state of Final Impenitence upon the moments of their deaths are burned for eternity and are deprived of the very Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost? Can anyone say chastisement?
Although Caesar Barackus Obamus Ignoramus and Tony Hayward have shown great insensitivity by their public indulgence of diversions during the midst of a crisis that is afflicting so many at the present time and may wind up affecting many of us in the eastern half of the United States of America, if not elsewhere in the world as that oil and toxic material isn't just going to go away all of its own (see the oil spill counter at
Latest News From the Gulf Oil Spill), we do have to ask ourselves whether are all that much better than they are.
That is, over four thousand innocent preborn children are butchered in their mothers' wombs every day under cover of the civil law in this nation? Do we remember to make some extra acts of penance each day in reparation for this carnage? Do we even think about it, no less to pray for its cessation?
Untold hundreds of thousands of more babies have their lives snuffed out by means of chemical abortifacients every day. Do we think about this gruesome reality as we pray to make reparation for our sins as well as such horrible crimes against the Fifth and Sixth Commandments?
There is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Do we dismiss it as something "minor" or not worth worrying about in the slightest? Or do we see that this could be just one of the many chastisements have befallen the world in recent months? Do we think about the suffering of the fishermen and the shrimpers and those who depend upon their daily catches from the Gulf of Mexico for their own food and, in the case of restaurateurs and food stores, even their very livelihood? Are we praying for them? Are we making sacrifices for them?
All manner of blasphemies against God and His Blessed Mother and the Holy Father are spread far and wide under the protection of "freedom of speech" and "freedom of press." Impure images bombard our eyes on billboards and even in telephone books. Do we care enough to say a Hail Mary in reparation for these offenses for the people who commit them and for those who do not avert their eyes and/or are incited thereby to commit Mortal Sins?
An economic system based on the exploitation of the poor and the middle class by means of usurious rates of interest charged by manufacturers who have shipped American jobs overseas so that goods may be produced by virtual slave labor in places like Red China. Do we realize the injustice of this as being opposed to the binding precepts of the Seventh Commandment?
A governmental system that has degenerated to the point of virtual statism is replete with elected officials and unelected political appointees and career bureaucrats who believe that we exist to enable them to pick our pockets by the use of confiscatory taxation so that they can tell us how live by means of unjust relations designed to control practically every aspect of small business commerce and even to make it hard for a family to farm their own land. Does this even cross our minds as an object of prayer and reparation?
American troops are sent to fight and die in wars that have no clear purpose and are not even militarily winnable and we think that this is a matter of finding the right "strategy" when no war is just unless its goals are defined clearly and unless its underlying cause represents such a wound to justice and to the legitimate security interests of a nation that there is no alternative to the expenditures of large sums of money and the loss of so many American lives and those of foreign nations in the always doomed-to-fail exercise known as "nation-building." Are we pleading to the Mother of God for the madness to stop so that people can come to recognize that no nation can make itself secure from even legitimate threats from aggressors when its own civil laws make war upon the defenseless preborn and promote the very sin that caused the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to be destroyed by fire and brimstone?
Yet it is that so many Catholics spend their time listening to naturalists blather on about the problems caused, proximately speaking, by naturalism and the catastrophes that are sent to us by God as a chastisement for our sins and those of our nation. We don't need the caesars of yore to divert us with their own bread and circuses from the supernatural realities of the world in which we live.
The world-at-large, which is so much in the grip of the adversary, provides us with nonstop pleasures to divert our attentions without our giving a moment's thought as to how we are wasting our good Catholic time that can be better spent in prayer and by making little voluntary acts of self-denial (passing on that extra piece of cake, for those, that is, who are trim enough to eat cake without worrying about gaining weight; I'm still in the process of losing weight down fifty-three pounds at present and looking at another fifty-three to go; it will be a long time--probably six months--before I can even consider having a first piece of cake, which is penance in and of itself for this cake and bread and doughnut and bagel lover) that might nothing to others but, if given to the Most Holy Trinity through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, might just show God that we do indeed love Him more than we love the passing pleasures found in this vale of tears, that we are willing to take seriously His Blessed Mother's Fatima Message to do reparation for sinners, especially by praying with fervor and devotion Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary.
We need to pray to Saint John the Baptist to be more devoted to prayer and penance and fasting as we accuse ourselves on a weekly basis, if possible, on the Sacred Tribunal of Penance to have the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus poured out into our hearts and souls through the ministry of a true bishop or true priest acting in persona Christi.
We know that the crises of the present moment are occurring within the Providence of God. We know that Our Lady intercedes us. We just have to have the strength of soul that Saint John the Baptist did as he endured rigors of the body in order to preach more clearly prior to the assuming of His Cousin's Public Ministry, concerned only about pleasing God and of helping the souls who would be redeemed by the shedding of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus on the wood of the Holy Cross.
Can it be any different with us?
Our Lady's prayers will help us to be more like her kinsman, Saint John the Baptist, as we seek to fulfill her Fatima Message as best we can in our daily lives to that we, as unworthy as we aware, might plant a few seeds for the glorious day when Holy Mother Church will be restored and a a true pope will consecrate Russia with all of the world's bishops to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth, pray for us.
Saint Zachary, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints