God Punishes Infidelity
Thomas A. Droleskey
Modern man does not want to consider the fact that God punishes our infidelities. We owe a debt as a result of each of one of our forgiven sins, whether venial or mortal. This simple fact that is communicated clearly in the prayers, both in the Ordinary of the Mass and the Propers of particular Masses, of the Traditional Latin Mass. One of the prayers from the Miraculous Medal Novena reminds us that "we must recover by penance what we have lost by sin." The damage we have done to our souls needs to be repaired by our prayers and our acts, whether indulgenced or not, of penance, sacrifice, mortification and fasting, each of which is offered freely to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as her consecrated slaves.
No person, save for a few genuine mystics in the history of the Church, ever knows the exact debt that he owes God because of his sins. It should give us a little cause for trembling when we consider that Our Lady told Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto and their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, that a young friend of theirs who had died would be in Purgatory until the end of time. While we take refuge in the sure shelter of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to intercede for us to accuse ourselves in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance so that we can know the forgiveness that flows from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we must be aware at all times of our need to live penitentially and to have true sorrow for our sins as well as those of the whole world. The saints teach us that it is those who do extra, unseen penances who are better able to cooperate with the graces won for the many by the shedding of Our Lord's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross to scale the heights of sanctity in this vale of tears and to do battle more successfully with the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
None of us suffers as our sins deserve us to suffer. God is indeed most merciful. Suffering itself, though, is a punishment for our sins and those of the whole world. These sufferings are sometimes emotional, the natural consequences of the sadness produced by a recognition how we have offended God and others in thought, word and/or in deed. They are sometimes physical, bearing within ourselves, as Saint Paul noted in Chapter 1 of his Epistle to the Romans, the just recompense for our perversity and for our disordered self-love. And it is sometimes the case that our sufferings involve the loss of property and friends and reputation, as was the case with Holy Job and with so many of those who have given up their lives for the Holy Faith in the past two millennia.
Nations that prove themselves to be unfaithful to God and His laws suffer deleterious consequences. The Kingdom of Israel was divided in two before most of the inhabitants of the divided kingdoms were taken away during the Babylonian Captivity. One can make the case today that the entirety of the Western world, including the United States of America, is suffering massive social disorders as the direct consequence of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King and the rise of the religiously indifferentist State. And it can be argued as well that the Church, in her human elements, is suffering today the results of massive infidelities to the Tradition that has been handed down from time immemorial.
The manifestations of the suffering that is being visited on the Church Militant today are everywhere to behold for those who have the grace to see them. Massive numbers of baptized Catholics do not practice the Faith. Belief in the Mass as the unbloody re-presentation of Calvary and in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament has waned considerably. Bishops and priests and consecrated religious are permitted to put into question articles contained in the Deposit of Faith and still retain their "good standing." Our churches have been closed and sold to heretics and infidels. Those clerics who have been steeped in unrepentant, wanton perversity have been protected and promoted throughout the world, scandalizing the faithful and costing numerous dioceses untold millions of dollars here and elsewhere in the world.
A newspaper story earlier this week reported the story that the Bishop of Saint George, Newfoundland, Canada, the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, has announced that he is going to sell all of his diocesan churches and missions, about 150 in total, in order to pay off a legal settlement in the amount of $10.5 million incurred as the result of the perverse actions of a Father Kevin Bennett, who had been convicted in 1990 of hundreds of assaults over a thirty year period. Bishop Crosby expressed the hope that parishioners would raise the funds to "buy back" one-third (or fifty) of the properties that are being sold. He is evidently willing to sacrifice two-thirds of the diocesan properties at present to pay for the unwillingness of the diocese to confront perverted behavior and to punish priests who engage in it by removing them forever from contact with parishioners and consigning them to a monastery where they could spend the rest of their lives in prayer to make reparation for their sins.
The sale of all of the churches and missions in a diocese is but a sorry indicator of the state of the Church today in her human elements. Is is not so that God is punishing bishops and priests and religious communities and dioceses that have proved themselves to be unfaithful to His Holy Truths? Older religious communities of men and women are dying off, the result of their infidelity to doctrine and tradition--and the result of the promotion of perversity and sacrilege therein. Catholic universities and colleges have "secularized" in order to accept Federal and state grant monies and in order to appear to be more "respectable" in the eyes of the world. Most baptized Catholics have no understanding of the Faith of our Fathers, being reaffirmed in pagan attitudes and actions by so many priests and alleged catechists. The plight of the Diocese of Saint George in Newfoundland is therefore yet another sad and tragic reminder that the abandonment of the pursuit of priestly sanctity that is one of the hallmarks of the revolution against the Traditional Latin Mass carries with it catastrophic consequences. And it can be argued that the corrupt Society of Saint John, which pretended to have a devotion to the Mass of all ages, was destined for its ending in disgrace and disarray precisely because its founders believed that they were called by God Himself to tamper with the integrity of Tradition to try novelties of their own, forgetting that it was Annibale Bugnini's efforts in this regard that helped in large part to get us into the mess we find ourselves in at present.
It is indeed indisputably the case that God punishes infidelity. Very much more, though, does He reward fidelity to His Holy Truths and to the fullness of the Tradition He has entrusted to Holy Mother Church. People from far and wide go to such oases of the Faith as Our Lady Help of Christians in Garden Grove, California. Priests, such as Fathers Stephen Zigrang, Lawrence Smith, and Paul Sretenovic, among others, who abandon the horrors of the Novus Ordo find themselves rewarded by the gratitude of parishioners who are willing to share with them the opprobrium of various names and slogans so as to bask in the glories of the fullness of Tradition without compromise. Indeed, people flock to Traditional oases wherever they can find them in order to protect their souls and those of their family members. Catholics see in such oases Catholicism. They see the beauty of how God is supposed to be worshiped. They find a sure shelter for the sanctification and salvation of their immortal souls. How much, therefore, should we desire to please God by fidelity, thus meriting by means of His gratuitous grace and mercy a share in His beneficence both here and, much more importantly, hereafter for all eternity.
One of the most saddening infidelities of our modern age is the failure of any pope to consecrate Russia with all of the world's bishops to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. The Church and the world are thus suffering immensely as a result of the continuation of the spread of the errors of Russia, which are the errors of Modernism in the Church and Modernity in the world. Oh, but what a reward awaits the the Church and the world when some pope, and we pray that it is Pope Benedict XVI, fulfills faithfully Our Lady's Fatima Message. The apostasies of our present age will end, at least for a while during a "time of peace." There will be no more talk of the necessity of selling churches in order to pay off debts incurred by the actions of perverted priests. The glories of Christendom will once more shine forth, starting first and foremost in the souls of ordinary Catholics, nourished by the surety and the safety and the beauty of the Immemorial Mass of all ages and consecrated totally to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. May we be ever assiduous in our prayers and sacrifices and sufferings to help bring about such a time of peace, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We know that the Church is divinely founded and maintained. She will last until the end of time. The jaws of Hell will never prevail against her. This does not mean that the devil will not win battles in our own lives or in the larger life of the Church Militant on earth. Invoking Saint Michael the Archangel, may we be ever vigilant to offer our sufferings to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart so that men will rejoice in the carrying of the Cross and that in doing so they will pray for the conversion of all men and all nations to the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen, in other words, that the whole world and everything in it will be Catholic.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saint Barnabas, pray for us today, your feast day.
A Postscript on the Sale of the Retreat House at the Auriesville Shrine of Our Lady of the North American Martyrs
Some people have expressed diffidence in the face of the possible sale of the Retreat House (not the Shrine or the Visitor's Center or the Coliseum church) of Our Lady of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, New York, to a group of Jewish rabbis. One's mind boggles at this diffidence. Consider the story provided me by Mr. Daniel Guenzel in an e-mail of a few days ago:
"Your article about the Jesuits selling the retreat house was very, very sad. Horribly sad. But, unfortunately, I've got one better than that. When [the disgraced and now retired former Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert G.] Weakland was disgracing the Church here in Milwaukee, he gave--not sold, gave--a magnificent mansion on Lake Michigan, replete with sensational stained glass windows, a mansion that once housed a religious order of nuns (who dwindled out of existence) to a group of rabbis who called it "The Institute for Torah Studies". I know. I was there. I saw the stained glass windows all covered up by the offended rabbis, and I heard from one gloating rabbi how the execrable Weakland gave this $5 million property to them. And they wonder why the Church is decomposing."
Mr. Guenzel added this when I asked permission to post his e-mail:
"At the time I was working for a heating and air conditioning firm and was
was called to the property to bid some work on their heating system. That's
how I got inside, saw the covered-up stained glass windows and heard the
story from the rabbi. It made me sick."
No, this is not a matter of diffidence. This is a matter of great offense to Our Lord, Our Lady, and, in this instance, to the North American Martyrs.
To protest this proposed sale, please write to the Provincial of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus,
Father Gerald J. Chojnacki, S.J., 39 East 83rd Street, New York, New York 10028.
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