Dark Days Are Upon Us Once Again
by Thomas A. Droleskey
We know that God has visited various Chastisements upon us in recent decades, especially by taking away our regular access to the true offerings of Holy Mass and by permitting the temporary triumph of revolutionaries posing falsely as His shepherds that is accepted by most people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, around the world as the Catholic Church even though it is a counterfeit church that propagates liturgies that are offensive to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and thus harmful to the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross. We are also being visited by Chastisements in the civil realm as the effects of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King wrought by the Protestant Revolt and the rise of Judeo-Masonry have brought us to the point of a statism that is all-pervasive, a statism that is accepted by the "bishops" of the counterfeit church of conciliarism in the United States of America and elsewhere around the world as long as the statists who are open enemies of Christ the King and His true Church don't go "too far" to include surgical baby-killing in their socialized medicine programs.
Yes, indeed, dark days are upon us.
We must always remember, of course, that these dark days are the ones in which God has known from all eternity that we would be alive, meaning that the graces won for us 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, are sufficient for us to prosper under the crosses of the present moment. Pope Pius XI explained this very cogently in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925:
We may well admire in this wonderful wisdom of the Providence of God, Who, ever bringing good out of evil, has from time to time suffered the faith and piety of men to grow weak, and allowed Catholic truth to be attacked by false doctrines, but always with the result that truth has afterwards shone out with greater splendor, and that men’s faith, aroused from its lethargy, has shown itself more vigorous than before . . . . But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from Him, and would valiantly defend His rights.
These days are made all the more dark and foreboding by the fact that so many people are wasting their time on bread and circuses now in an eerie repetition of the ways in which people in the latter days of the Roman Empire wasted their time as their governmental leaders gave them bloated bureaucracies, excessive taxation, and an endless succession of needless foreign wars that to deplete the empire's strength and financial resources. It has been only within the past seven years that I have extricated myself from supporting with my own money and presence the bread and circuses of the farce of Major League Baseball, which has featured in recent decades cocaine addicts and steroids cheats and a whole assortment of athletes who are overpaid to play games that produce nothing but needles strife and agony that detract from the sanctification and salvation of our immortal souls and actually winds up engendering all manner of enmities between men that would not otherwise exist.
Father Charles McGuire made this point in a very clear and sober manner in a sermon, Agony and Contention in Sports, given at Saint Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, Ohio, on August 17, 2008.
Professional and collegiate competitive sports are played with a warlike ferocity. The Catholic Church teaches us that combat between men is a last resort after the exhausting of all reasonable means to prevent armed conflict according the principles of the Just War Theory. To engender conflict and hard feeling among men needlessly over contests that prove nothing and that wind up hardening hearts as people root for the "enemy" to make mistakes and to lose is not of the Catholic Faith. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ wants to teach us to help each other to get home to Heaven, which is why those of us in the Church Militant on earth have an obligation to perform the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy for the living and for the Poor Souls in Purgatory as we rely upon the help of the members of the Church Triumphant in Heaven as we daily live out the Communion of the Saints. Saving our souls is no kind of game.
In other words, we don't "root" for anyone to lose his salvation, not, that is, if we desire to get home to Heaven ourselves. Those who are attached to a particular sports team, whether professional or collegiate, do root for others to lose in order that "their team" can win. This is simply not Catholic. Professional and/or collegiate sports are not matters of life or death, whether eternal or physical. Yet it is that professional and collegiate sports have become such an obsession with so many millions upon millions of human beings that the "team" and/or the "game" becomes so all-encompassing in their daily lives that they have no time for being serious about fostering an interior life of prayer, to say nothing of scaling the heights of personal sanctity. "Heaven" for hard-core sports addicts is following the "game" and seeing their "team" win. Absent that, of course, "Heaven" is seeing their favorite "villain" lose.
I know all about this, thank you very much. I HATE THE NEW YORK YANKEES! I HAVE ALWAYS HATED THE NEW YORK YANKEES. EVEN THOUGH I GAVE UP GOING TO BASEBALL GAMES ON JULY 16, 2002, WHEN I WALKED OUT OF THE NOW DEMOLISHED WILLIAM A. SHEA MUNICIPAL STADIUM IN FLUSHING MEADOWS, QUEENS, NEW YORK, I STILL HATE THE YANKEES.
Yes, my hatred of the New York Yankees is terrible. All right, yes, true, I no longer hate them as much as I once did as I have detached myself from the following of baseball on a regular basis. (Let me see, the Philadelphia Phillies now lead the Yankees by a score of three to one in the the bottom of the third inning in Game Five of the 2009 World Series.) However, I still hate the Yankees.
This "hatred" is not all-consuming. I would be lying, though, if I wrote that it has been most pleasant to see the Yankees not win a World Series since they defeated my once beloved New York Mets in Game Five of the 2000 World Series at Shea Stadium as Mike Piazza hit a fly ball that was caught in left centerfield by Bernie Williams on October 26, 2000. It was really wonderful to see the Yankees blow Game Seven of the 2001 World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks when Luis Gonzalez hit a fly ball that just barely reached the outfield grass and allowed the winning run to score. I jumped up and down in our motor home, which was parked at Battle Row Campground in Old Bethpage, New York, as this tremendous event occurred. And it was so thrilling to see the Yankees lose the American League Division Series to the then named Anaheim Angels in 2002 and to hear of their losing Game Six of the 2003 World Series to Jack McKeon's Florida Marlins and to delight in the deeply humiliating defeat they suffered at the hands of their mortal enemies, the Boston Red Sox, in 2004 as the Bosox came back from a three games to zero deficit to defeat the Bronx Bombers by taking four straight games, something that had never been done in the history of Major League Baseball.
I sort of got used to the Yankees losing thereafter as they got tossed out of the American League Division Series by the renamed Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2005 and by the Detroit Tigers in 2006 and, after the Yankees had lost the American League Eastern Division Championship for the first time in ten years, to see the Yankees lose as the Wild Card team in the 2007 American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians. What delight I took in these Yankees losses. Ah, the best was yet to come as the Yankees, piloted by Joe Girardi in 2008 after Joseph Paul Torre, who had managed the New York Mets to a record of 286-420 in five and one-third seasons between May of 1977 and the strike-shortened season of 1981, left the Yankees in a contract dispute following the end of the 2007 season, failed in 2008 to make the postseason for the first time in a non-strike season since 1993.
The dark days returned in 2009. There was to be penitential payback for all the delight I took in the Yankees losses between 2001 and 2008.
Yes, the Yankees actually advanced out of the American League Division Series for the first time in 2003 as they defeated the Minnesota Twins before wiping out the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the American League Championship Series on Sunday, October 25, 2009. I told Sharon as we drove to get bagels after Holy Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel on Monday, October 26, 2009, that it would be the supreme penance for me to hear the Yankees' blowhard, self-promoting and shameless rooter of an a lead radio broadcaster, John Sterling, who says the following sickening phrase as loud as he can after every Yankees' victory: "THE YANKEES WIN! THEEEEEEEEEEE YAAAAANNNNKEES WINNNNNNNN!" as I walked into Village Bagels in Norwalk, Connecticut.
What happened when I walked into Village Bagel at around 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 26, 2009? You got it. A television carried footage of the last out of the Yankees' victory over the Angels at the new Yankee Stadium the night before, replete with Sterling's radio call of the action: "Game Over! American League Championship Series over! THE YANKEES WIN! THEEEEEEEEEEE YAAAAANNNNKEES WINNNNNNNN!" I just offered it all up, impassive, telling Sharon after I got back into the car that my worst case scenario. (Whew! The Phillies are leading the Yankees by a score of 6-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning of Game Five of the 2009 World Series. Can it be that the ultimate dark day represented by what would be the Yankees twenty-seventh World Championship is being postponed for another two days? Can it be that the Phillies will win three in a row in the manner of the Boston Red Sox five years ago? Can it be? Oh, you understand, I no longer care about any of this stuff, right?)
You do understand, that all of this is in good fun. I do have another style of writing other than what I bring to bear on matters of Church and State, a style that is displayed in my travelogues (and I will write the next one when we have some word about our motor home, which is still languishing at a repair shop in Ohio as we await word as to what the insurance company is going to do with it). Part of being a New Yorker is poking fun at oneself and of pretending to yell about world events as a form of exaggeration and hyperbole. I really don't care who wins the World Series, although I wouldn't mind it if the Yankees lost, you understand.
There are, however, many people who really do care about who wins the World Series.
Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies, who are the National League Champions for the second year in a row, are particularly brutal against those who dare to root against "their" team in the City of Masonic Love. I learned this the hard way when rooting--in my white hat and black mask, course--for the Mets on Friday, October 1, 1976, at the now demolished Veterans Memorial Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two burly men came up to me and asked if I was rooting for the Mets. I responded affirmatively, at which point I was punched in the stomach rather violently. Another man came up to me a few innings later and threw my "Lone Ranger" hat onto the field. I was told by my banker in Troy, New York, that Bob Murphy, one of the three original broadcasters for the Mets (the late Lindsey Nelson and the very much alive Ralph Kiner, who, at age eighty-seven, still provides color commentary, evidently, for selected Mets' games on television every year), said the following on WNEW Radio: "The game is being held up momentarily. The Lone Ranger's hat is on the field."
It was also in Philadelphia's old Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia that Philadelphia Athletics outfielder Gus Zernial crashed into the cement wall in that ancient structure while attempting to catch a fly ball in a game in 1954. Zernial missed the ball, fracturing his collar bone, leading to an inside-the-park home run for the player who hit the ball that he failed to catch. The Philadelphia fans in attendance stood up and booed Zernial, who is still alive at the age of eighty-six, as he was carried off the field in a stretcher. Now that's a brutal set of fans for you.
More seriously, of course, there have been instances of human beings killing each other over the needless strife and competition caused by professional and/or collegiate sports.
A Brooklyn Dodger fan shot and killed a New York Giants fan in the centerfield bleachers at the Polo Grounds during a Dodgers-Giants game in the 1930s. Convicted of the murder and sentenced to die in "Old Sparking" as "Sing Sing" (the New York State penitentiary in Ossining, New York), the felon was asked by a priest if he had any final words of remorse as he was being led to the electric chair. The man said, "No. I just want to know whether da Bums [the Dodgers] beat the Giants today." Not exactly a way to enter eternity.
It was on May 4, 2008, that a then forty-three year old fan of the New York Yankees, Ivonne Hernandez, ran down a killed a Boston Red Sox fan, Matthew Beaudoin, with her car, injuring a twenty-one year old woman named Maria Hughes in the process. The incident, which took place in Nashua, New Hampshire, followed a heated argument at a bar. (See Nashuatelegraph.com: Trial in fatal crash delayed.)
Oh, yes, my friends, competitive sports has indeed engendered all manner of needless strife that has, quite possibly, cost more than a few people their immortal souls.
Although I keep an "eye" on the results now and again by means of internet reports, I know that I have a great deal of reparation to make for the time and money that I wasted on the following of my once beloved New York Mets. I have no desire to return to ball park. That part of my life is over. It has been for over seven years now. It is enough for this sinner to struggle against my fallen human nature as I seek to make reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary for my many sins.
When you think about it, good and few readers, the conciliar revolutionaries have also created needless strife within our families by means of their Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service and by means of their false doctrines and blasphemies and sacrileges. Catholicism engenders peace within families of baptized Catholics, not conflict. The needless strife and conflict engendered by professional sports really pale in comparison to the eternal life and death struggle that has been engendered by the conciliar revolutionaries.
We must, especially in this month of November, entrust ourselves to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary for the needs of the Poor, Suffering Souls of the Church Suffering in Purgatory. Although those of us who are totally consecrated to Our Lord through the Immaculate Heart of Mary surrender our liberty to Our Lady, freely giving her the merits of all of our indulgenced prayers and actions, we can be assured that Our Lady will direct those prayers and actions to the needs of the Poor Souls in a special way in this month of November. And we must endeavor to live more penitentially in our own daily lives so that we can avoid the fires of Purgatory altogether or, at the very least, reduce the time that we must suffer there to make satisfaction for our forgiven Mortal Sins, our unforgiven Venial Sins and our general attachment to our sins which we have not satisfied in this passing, mortal vale of tears.
One of the ways for those of us who have wasted our time on professional sports (my passion was, of course, baseball, as I long despised football, basketball, and hockey, agreeing with the late George Herman "Babe" Ruth, who said at his farewell at Yankee Stadium on April 27, 1947, as he was dying of throat cancer, "The only real game, I think, in the world, baseball!") is to divorce ourselves more and more from that which once occupied much of our time. We don't have to watch the "game." Our lives can go on quite nicely, which is why I chose to leave Shea Stadium when a certain pharmaceutical product was being advertised publicly (Major League Baseball discontinued its advertising relationship with this product at the end of the 2007 season, I learned just recently), knowing full well that my voluntary renunciation of what I thought to be a legitimate pastime would not change the sport, hoping, however, that my departure would help to conform me more fully to the standard of the Holy Cross, at which Our Lady stood on Good Friday and at which she stands in every true offering of the Mass today.
It's Phillies 8, Yankees 2 in the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 5 of the 2009 World Series. Oops! Yes, I have a bit of a way to go, don't I? And baseball is just one of the areas that I have to work on as try to get ready each day for the moment of my Particular Judgment, which can come at any time, especially when I least expect it.
Although the Poor Souls cannot help themselves, they can help us get home to Heaven. Let us pray to the Poor Souls as we pray for them very fervently during this month of November, offering up as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit for their intentions, trusting that they will help us if we persist until the end in states of Sanctifying Grace as members of the Catholic Church.
Viva Cristo Rey!