Thomas A. Droleskey
A traditional Catholic prelate with whom I was corresponding via e-mail in May of 2008 in an effort to convince him that he had taken a tragically incorrect position on the execution of Mrs. Theresa Marie Schindler-Schiavo by means of a court-ordered removal of her hydration and nutrition (see Five Years Later) protested that we were heading down the road to living in what he called a "nation of headless one-hundred twenty-five year old corpses" tethered to machines to keep them alive. I was most shocked, indeed quite horrified, by the description of a living human being as a "headless corpse" as there is no such thing as "brain death." It is a myth. Indeed, those who continue to believe in this myth after all of the evidence are the ones who are suffering from "brain death" as they have surrendered their brains to the false claims made by the utilitarians, steeped in relativism and positivism, who run our for-profit medical industry.
There is no such thing as "brain death."
"Brain death" is dead.
Dr. Paul Byrne is an expert in the field of the myth that is called "brain death," which has been used in "civilized" countries such as the United States of America to justify the harvesting of vital organs from living human beings while they are still very much alive:
Editor: Dr. Byrne, how would you describe the body of a human being?
Dr. Byrne: A human person on earth is composed of body and soul. God creates the person. Biologically speaking, the body is composed of cells, tissues, organs and eleven systems, including three major vital systems. No one organ or system controls all other organs and systems. Interdependent functioning of organs and systems maintains unity, homeostasis, immune defenses, growth, healing and exchange with environment, e.g., oxygen and carbon dioxide. Life on earth is a continuum from its conception to its natural end. The natural end (true death) occurs when the soul separates from the body.
Editor: Most adults and children, even if they are not physicians, recognize signs of life, don’t they?
Dr. Byrne: Yes, of course. The vital signs of a living human being include temperature, pulse, blood pressure and respiration. Physicians, nurses and paramedics listen to the beating heart with a stethoscope. Patients in intensive care units have monitors to demonstrate the beating heart, blood pressure, respiration and oxygen in the blood.
Editor: What about the signs of death?
Dr. Byrne: Throughout the ages, death has been and is a negative, an absence – the state of the body without life. The soul has left the body and decomposition has begun. After death what is left on earth is a corpse. The remains are empty, cold, blue, rigid and unresponsive to all stimuli. There is no heartbeat, pulse or blood pressure. The patient has stopped breathing. There is poor color of the skin, nails, and mucous membranes. Ventilation will not restore respiration in a corpse. A pacemaker can send a signal but it cannot initiate the heartbeat in the corpse. Healing never occurs in a patient that is truly dead.
Editor: When we speak of vital organs, what organs are we talking about?
Dr. Byrne: Vital organs (from the Latin vita, meaning life) include the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys and pancreas. In order to be suitable for transplant, they need to be removed from the donor before respiration and circulation cease. Otherwise, these organs are not suitable, since damage to the organs occurs within a brief time after circulation of blood with oxygen stops. Removing vital organs from a living person prior to cessation of circulation and respiration will cause the donor’s death.
Editor: Are there some vital organs which can be removed without causing the death of the donor?
Dr. Byrne: Yes. For example, one of two kidneys, a lobe of a liver, or a lobe of a lung. The donors must be informed that removal of these organs decreases function of the donor. Unpaired vital organs however, like the heart or whole liver, cannot be removed without killing the donor.
Editor: Since vital organs taken from a dead person are of no use, and taking the heart of a living person will kill that person, how is vital organ donation now possible?
Dr. Byrne: That’s where “brain death” comes in. Prior to 1968, a person was declared dead only when his or her breathing and heart stopped for a sufficient period of time. Declaring “brain death” made the heart and other vital organs suitable for transplantation. Vital organs must be taken from a living body; removing vital organs will cause death.
Editor: I still recall the announcement of the first official heart transplant by Dr. Christian Barnard in Cape Town, South Africa in 1967. How was it possible for surgeons to overcome the obvious legal, moral and ethical obstacles of harvesting vital organs for transplant from a living human being?
Dr. Byrne: By declaring “brain death” as death.
Editor: You mean by replacing the traditional criteria for declaring death with a new criterion known as “brain death”?
Dr. Byrne: Yes. In 1968, an ad hoc committee was formed at Harvard University in Boston for the purpose of redefining death so that vital organs could be taken from persons declared “brain dead,” but who in fact, were not dead. Note that “brain death” did not originate or develop by way of application of the scientific method. The Harvard Committee did not determine if irreversible coma was an appropriate criterion for death. Rather, its mission was to see that it was established as a new criterion for death. In short, the report was made to fit the already arrived at conclusions.
Editor: Does this mean that a person who is in a cerebral coma or needs a ventilator to support breathing could be declared “brain dead”?
Dr. Byrne: Yes.
Editor: Even if his heart is pumping and the lungs are oxygenating blood?
Dr. Byrne: Yes. You see, vital organs need to be fresh and undamaged for transplantation. For example, once breathing and circulation ceases, in five minutes or less, the heart is so damaged that it is not suitable for transplantation. The sense of urgency is real. After all, who would want to receive a damaged heart?
Editor: Did the Harvard criterion of “brain death” lead to changes in state and federal laws?
Dr. Byrne: Indeed. Between 1968 and 1978, more than thirty different sets of criteria for “brain death” were adopted in the United States and elsewhere. Many more have been published since then. This means that a person can be declared "brain dead" by one set of criteria, but alive by another or perhaps all the others. Every set includes the apnea test. This involves taking the ventilator away for up to ten minutes to observe if the patient can demonstrate that he/she can breathe on his/her own. The patient always gets worse with this test. Seldom, if ever, is the patient or the relatives informed ahead of time what will happen during the test. If the patient does not breathe on his/her own, this becomes the signal not to stop the ventilator, but to continue the ventilator until the recipient/s is, or are, ready to receive the organs. After the organs are excised, the “donor” is truly dead.
Editor: What about the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA)?
Dr. Byrne: According to the UDDA, death may be declared when a person has sustained either “irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions” or “irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem.” Since then, all 50 states consider cessation of brain functioning as death.
Editor: How does the body of a truly dead person compare with the body of a person declared “brain dead”?
Dr. Byrne: The body of a truly dead person is characterized in terms of dissolution, destruction, disintegration and putrefaction. There is an absence of vital body functions and the destruction of the organs of the vital systems. As I have already noted, the dead body is cold, stiff and unresponsive to all stimuli.
Editor: What about the body of a human being declared to be “brain dead”?
Dr. Byrne: In this case, the body is warm and flexible. There is a beating heart, normal color, temperature, and blood pressure. Most functions continue, including digestion, excretion, and maintenance of fluid balance with normal urine output. There will often be a response to surgical incisions. Given a long enough period of observation, someone declared “brain dead” will show healing and growth, and will go through puberty if they are a child.
Editor: Dr. Byrne, you mentioned that “brain dead” people will often respond to surgical incisions. Is this referred to as “the Lazarus effect?”
Dr. Byrne: Yes. That is why during the excision of vital organs, doctors find the need to use anesthesia and paralyzing drugs to control muscle spasms, blood pressure and heart rate changes, and other bodily protective mechanisms common in living patients. In normal medical practice, a patient’s reaction to a surgical incision will indicate to the anesthesiologist that the anesthetic is too light. This increase in heart rate and blood pressure are reactions to pain. Anesthetics are used to take away pain. Anesthesiologists in Great Britain require the administration of anesthetic to take organs. A corpse does not feel pain.
Editor: I know that there have been instances where young pregnant women have sustained serious head injuries, declared “brain dead,” and have given birth to a live child.
Dr. Byrne: That is true. With careful management, these “brain dead” women have delivered a live baby. In the longest recorded instance, the child was carried for 107 days before delivery.
Editor: Are there other uses for “brain dead” patients besides being the source of fresh vital organs?
Dr. Byrne: Legally, “brain dead” patients are considered corpses or cadavers, and are called such by organ retrieval networks. These “corpses” can be used for teaching purposes and to try out new medical procedures. Yet these same “corpses” are carrying unborn children to successful delivery. Certainly this is extraordinary behavior by a “cadaver!”
Editor: What if a potential organ donor does not meet the criteria for “brain death,” but has sustained certain injuries or has an illness suggesting that death will soon occur?
Dr. Byrne: Such cases have brought about the development of a what is called “non heart-beating donation” (NHBD), more recently labeled “donation by cardiac death” (DCD)–in which treatments considered extraordinary means, such as mechanical ventilation, are discontinued and cause the patient to become pulseless. As soon as circulation stops, death is declared.
Editor: Then what?
Dr. Byrne: This stopping of life supporting treatments is done in the operating room. After a few minutes–the time varies in different institutions–procedures to take vital organs begins.
Editor: But how can this be accomplished if the person declared to be dead, is truly dead?
Dr. Byrne: It can’t.
Editor: What about insurance coverage for “brain dead” patients?
Dr. Byrne: Hospitals allow them to occupy a bed and insurance companies cover expenses as they do for other living patients. If the patients’ organs are suitable for transplantation, any transfer of the patients to another hospital is covered by insurance. Insurance also covers the cost of life support, blood transfusions, antibiotics and other medications needed to maintain organs in a healthy state. This also applies to “brain dead” patients to be used in medical teaching facilities.
Editor: I know that the federal government has taken an active role in promoting so-called “living wills.” Has it also played a role in promoting vital organ donations?
Dr. Byrne: The federal government has, for reasons that are unclear, been deeply involved in promoting vital organ transplantation. For example, a federal mandate issued in 1998 states that physicians, nurses, chaplains, and other health care workers may not speak to a family of a potential organ donor without first obtaining approval from the regional organ retrieval system. If the potential for transplantation exists, a trained “designated requester” visits with the family of the patient first, including families that adamantly oppose organ donation. If someone at the hospital speaks to the family of the patient first, the hospital risks losing its accreditation and possibly federal funding.
Editor: Why the “designated requester”?
Dr. Byrne: That’s because studies show that these specialists have a greater success obtaining permission for organ donations from grieving family members. They are trained to “sell” the concept of organ donation, using emotionally-laden phrases such as “giving the gift of life,” “your loved one’s heart will live on in someone else,” and other similar platitudes, all empty of true meaning. Don’t forget that the donation and transplant industry is a multi- billion dollar enterprise. In 1996, Forbes Magazine ran an informative series on this issue, but as a rule it is difficult, if not impossible, to obtain solid financial data. One thing, however, is clear: donor families do not receive any monetary benefit from their “gift of life.”
Editor: There appears to be a strong utilitarian aspect to vital organ transplantation.
Dr. Byrne: That is because the philosophy that inspires the practice is based on the error that man is an end to himself, and the sole maker with supreme control of his own destiny. Slavery bought, sold and treated enslaved persons as chattel. The human transplantation industry and the “bioethics” groups that promote vital organ transplantation also consider human beings to be chattel, that is, they can be used as a source of organs for transplantation. This utilitarian ethic should be rejected. “Brain death” and all forms of imposed death are contrary to the Natural Moral Order and against God’s Ordinance “Thou shall not kill.”
Editor: It is obvious that organ donation is a very serious matter – literally a matter of life and death for the potential donor and the family of a potential donor, and that everyone ought to be implicitly and explicitly informed about the true nature of so-called “brain death” and vital organ transplantation.
Would you review for our readers some of the questions they should ask themselves before signing an organ donor card or giving permission for a loved one to be declared “brain dead” in anticipation of organ transplantation?
Dr. Byrne: If there is any question in the mind of your readers as to the fact that “brain death” is not true death, perhaps they may want to ask themselves the following questions regarding “brain death” and vital organ transplantation:
· Why can health insurance cover intensive care costs on “bread dead” patients?
· Why do “brain dead” patients often receive intravenous fluids, antibiotics, ventilator care, and other life support measures?
· Is it right and just for physicians and “designated requesters” to tell families that their “bread-dead” loved one is dead when she or he is not dead?
· How can “brain dead” patients have normal body functions, including vital signs, if they are really dead?
· How can a “brain-dead” pregnant mother deliver a normal, healthy infant?
· Why does a ventilator work on someone declared “brain dead,” but not on a corpse?
· Why is it wrong to carry out the burial or cremation of a “brain-dead” person?
· Are persons who have been declared “brain dead” truly dead?
· If “brain-dead” persons are not truly dead, are they alive?
Editor: Thank you on behalf of The Michael Fund for providing this valuable information to our readership?
Dr. Byrne: Thank you for this opportunity to inform your readers about this vital issue of vital organ transplantation. If they don’t remember every thing that I have said, I hope that they will remember this one point: “brain death” is not true death. Instead of signing a donor organ card, I would encourage everyone to obtain a Life Support Directive. A free copy of this document is available from Citizens (Dr. Paul Byrne on Brain Death, From The Michael Fund Newsletter)
"Brain death" is dead. Those who hold onto this myth or who use it in any way to justify any case of vital organ transplantation to "save" the life of another human being have no claim on being any kind of moral authority to guide souls in accordance with the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.
The future of our nation is not that of "one hundred twenty-five year-old headless corpses." Far from it. Patients are kept alive today only so long as their care is paid for and/or until it is deemed that they are "hot prospects" for "vital organ transplantation."
Permit me a brief word of explanation.
Admitting full well that all manner of needless surgeries and procedures are recommended for people in their seventies and eighties solely because they have insurance monies, whether from private insurers or from Medicare or Medicaid or other government programs, to fund them. Those whose insurance monies run out and/or who have no such monies will not be kept alive by otherwise needless surgeries and procedures. Any person of any age is a "prospect" for vital organ transplantation if they find themselves in a hospital as a result of an accident or some catastrophic illness and are a "match" for someone on the list to receive such vital organs. A nation of "one hundred twenty-five year-old headless corpses"? Hardly. Those in the medical industry who justify the killing of innocent human beings in their mothers' wombs, whether by chemical or surgical means, are more than willing to kill human beings at any subsequent stage after birth.
After all, hospices are simply places where those with various terminal or chronic illnesses can be euthanized. The Jack Kevorkians who kill human beings there are considered to be merchants of "compassion" and "death with dignity," not what they are in God's eyes: murderers.
No brain damaged human being is a "headless corpse." Those who suffer from any kind of physical injury or congenital deformity are human beings to the point of their natural deaths, which are to be determined by the long-standing medical criteria listed by Dr. Paul Byrne in his interview with Mrs. Randy Engel of The Michael Foundation and the U. S. Coalition for Life. We are to perform the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy for such people as we see the suffering Christ in them. We would not starve or dehydrate Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to death. We would minister unto Him all ordinary care that that is necessary to sustain life, and food and water are, quite by the way, ordinary care no matter how they are delivered. Food and water are never any kind of "medical treatment." Never.
Delivering food and water to a living human being is not a "needless prolongation" of physical life, which, of course, is not an end in and of itself. We simply cannot violate the precepts of the Fifth Commandment to undertake any action whose immediate and sole end is the death of an innocent human being. It is that simple, and this is far, far different than recommending a ninety-year old patient with cancer undergo chemotherapy, something that is not required by the moral law and, an act that could indeed be viewed as a needless prolongation of life, especially in the case of one who has received the Sacrament of Extreme Unction at the hands of a true priest and is thus disposed sacramentally for the fearful moment of his own Particular Judgment.
Although cases of miraculous recoveries of patients who have been diagnosed as "hopeless cases" because of their alleged "brain death" or being in a "persistent vegetative state" are interesting to note, we do not base the provision of ordinary care to the brain damaged on the basis of such miraculous recoveries. Human beings are human beings in need of food and water until they die, and the only end that can result from the removal of food and water from a living human being is death, which can never be willed for an innocent human being. What such cases of miraculous recoveries of patients who have been diagnosed as "hopeless cases" do prove is that God is more powerful than the alleged "experts" in our contemporary medical industry who care nothing for the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law, to say nothing of the traditional Hippocratic Oath that was altered to accommodate this industry's embrace of baby-killing and vital organ transplantation.
Here is just one recent case:
DROMMONDVILLE, Quebec, July 5, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com)
– Last week, Madeleine Gauron, a Quebec woman identified as viable for
organ donation after doctors diagnosed her as “brain dead,” surprised
her family and physicians when she recovered from a coma, opened her
eyes, and began eating.
The 76-year-old woman was hospitalized at the Hospital Sainte Croix
de Drummondville for an inflammation of the gums, which required a brief
operation. During her recovery, hospital staff gave the elderly woman
solid food, which she had been unable to consume in her family home for
some time, and left her unattended. Choking on the food, she fell into a
coma, after unsuccessful resuscitation.
Medical staff contacted her family, explaining to them that their
mother was “brain dead,” with no hope of recovery. Citing Gauron’s eyes
as particularly viable, the doctors asked if the family would agree to
While supporting the possibility of donation, her shocked family
first demanded further medical tests to prove Gauron was really dead.
The next day, the family was astonished to learn that Gauron had
awakened. Shortly afterwards, she sat up in bed and ate yogurt.
“If we had decided to donate her organs, they would have killed her,” said her son.
“It makes no sense to treat people like that. Although she is 76
years old and is ill, she did not have to suffer all this,” insisted her
Madeleine Gauron is now able to eat, walk and talk, and immediately
recognized her family. Her children have decided to take legal action
against the hospital.
As anecdotes similar to Gauron’s continue to pile up, “brain death”
as a legitimate diagnosis of actual death is increasingly being
questioned by concerned family members and medical professionals, some
of whom have charged that the “brain death” criteria was created simply
to ensure that harvested organs are fresh.
Currently, more than half of Swedish intensive care nurses who care
for purportedly brain dead patients have doubts about methods for
establishing brain death, according to a recent survey released by Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.
While regulations require Swedish physicians to ascertain brain death
through particular clinical tests, further analysis in conjunction with
brain x-rays are only done for select patients.
The author of the thesis, Anne Flodén, a registered nurse and
researcher at the Institute of Health and Care Sciences, said the
outcome of the study was problematic, indicating the need for clear
guidelines surrounding the process of diagnosis and organ donation.
“This problem was raised by many of the ICU nurses in several of the
studies,” said Flodén. “They were disappointed in the lack of structure
and guidelines and are therefore calling for more support from
management on these issues.” (‘Brain dead’ Quebec woman wakes up after family refuses organ donation.)
Headless corpses? Not to God. And if not to God, my friends, I ask others who contend that such people as Madeleine Gauron, a "brain dead" woman who was being targeted for surgical execution as her vital organs would be dissected out of her body, then why to any one of us, no matter what supposed "expertise" that one alleges to have on this matter? Why to any one of us? Why? Why take the dishonest word of today's merchants of death and body snatchers and reject the expertise of Catholics such as Dr. Paul Byrne? Why align oneself with the conciliar revolutionaries, merchants of eternal death by means of apostasies, blasphemies and sacrileges that offend Our Lord and deceive the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross, who are themselves full-throated supporters of the myth of "brain death" and of the execution of innocent human beings by means of vital organ transplantation." Talk about disconnects!
I tried to explain to my students in the thirty years of my teaching political science at the college/university/graduate school levels that Our Lord has warned us about the dangers we face from the merchants of eternal and physical death. One of the quotes I used was from a colleague of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc:
It is worth noting, by the way, that the most sentimental people, who are loudest against the right to wage a just war, to execute a criminal, are just the people who are most likely to be in favour of ‘putting incurables out of their pain,’ which the commandment against murder most emphatically forbids. (Hilaire Belloc, Characters of the Reformation.)
Various commentaries on this site have stressed the fact that hospitals in a Catholic world would be staffed by true, believing Catholics who would give the sort of care to the indigent and the elderly and the disabled that was given by the likes of Saint John of God and Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini and Saint Camillus de Lellis, whose feast day is on July 18, and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, to name just a few. Catholic physicians would administer care to patients according to the truths of the Catholic Faith, advising patients--in conjunction with true priests--as to which course of treatment was most advisable according to their particular states-in-law.
As Pope Leo XIII explained in Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900, a world that is not governed according to Catholic truth will be one that is stained with crime:
God alone is Life. All other beings partake of life, but are not life. Christ, from all eternity and by His very nature, is "the Life," just as He is the Truth, because He is God of God. From Him, as from its most sacred source, all life pervades and ever will pervade creation. Whatever is, is by Him; whatever lives, lives by Him. For by the Word "all things were made; and without Him was made nothing that was made." This is true of the natural life; but, as We have sufficiently indicated above, we have a much higher and better life, won for us by Christ's mercy, that is to say, "the life of grace," whose happy consummation is "the life of glory," to which all our thoughts and actions ought to be directed. The whole object of Christian doctrine and morality is that "we being dead to sin, should live to justice" (1 Peter ii., 24)-that is, to virtue and holiness. In this consists the moral life, with the certain hope of a happy eternity. This justice, in order to be advantageous to salvation, is nourished by Christian faith. "The just man liveth by faith" (Galatians iii., II). "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews xi., 6). Consequently Jesus Christ, the creator and preserver of faith, also preserves and nourishes our moral life. This He does chiefly by the ministry of His Church. To Her, in His wise and merciful counsel, He has entrusted certain agencies which engender the supernatural life, protect it, and revive it if it should fail. This generative and conservative power of the virtues that make for salvation is therefore lost, whenever morality is dissociated from divine faith. A system of morality based exclusively on human reason robs man of his highest dignity and lowers him from the supernatural to the merely natural life. Not but that man is able by the right use of reason to know and to obey certain principles of the natural law. But though he should know them all and keep them inviolate through life-and even this is impossible without the aid of the grace of our Redeemer-still it is vain for anyone without faith to promise himself eternal salvation. "If anyone abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire, and he burneth" (John xv., 6). "He that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark xvi., 16). We have but too much evidence of the value and result of a morality divorced from divine faith. How is it that, in spite of all the zeal for the welfare of the masses, nations are in such straits and even distress, and that the evil is daily on the increase? We are told that society is quite able to help itself; that it can flourish without the assistance of Christianity, and attain its end by its own unaided efforts. Public administrators prefer a purely secular system of government. All traces of the religion of our forefathers are daily disappearing from political life and administration. What blindness! Once the idea of the authority of God as the Judge of right and wrong is forgotten, law must necessarily lose its primary authority and justice must perish: and these are the two most powerful and most necessary bonds of society. Similarly, once the hope and expectation of eternal happiness is taken away, temporal goods will be greedily sought after. Every man will strive to secure the largest share for himself. Hence arise envy, jealousy, hatred. The consequences are conspiracy, anarchy, nihilism. There is neither peace abroad nor security at home. Public life is stained with crime.
As I have noted in the past--and will keep noting until the day I die or until I am physically and/or mentally able to do this work, the triumph of the naturalistic forces of this mortal, passing world has been made all the more complete by the manner in which authentic Catholic Faith and Worship have been mutilated and murdered by the lords of conciliarism, including Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who has blasphemed God openly by esteeming the symbols of false religions and by promulgating propositions that have been condemned by the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. The soul-killers of Modernism in the counterfeit church of conciliarism actually do more harm than the merchants of physical death predispose many Catholics to accept the evils of naturalism by refusing to teach one and all that Catholicism is one and only foundation of personal and social order.
Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ told us to not to fear those who kill the body, fear only him who can destroy the soul:
And I say to you, my friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will shew you whom you shall fear: fear ye him, who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him.
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? Yea, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows. And I say to you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God. But he that shall deny me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but to him that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven.
And when they shall bring you into the synagogues, and to magistrates and powers, be not solicitous how or what you shall answer, or what you shall say; For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what you must say. (Luke 12: 4-12.)
We must always view the world through the eyes of the Faith, rejecting all of the deceits of naturalism that have produced this temporary triumph of the body-snatchers.
A book that was instrumental in convincing Therese Martin to seek entrance in the Carmel of Lisieux is The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life. This book, which consists in a series of conferences given in France by Father Charles Arminjon, has been translated in to English and published by Sophia Press. Father Arminjon's foreword to this book is an exhortation to flee the deceits of this world as we concentrate on getting home to Heaven as members of the Catholic Church:
It has seemed to us that one of the saddest fruits of rationalism, the fatal error and great plague of our century, the pestilential source from which our revolutions and social disasters arise, is the absence of the sense of the supernatural and the profound neglect of the great truths of the future life. The earth is afflicted with a dreadful desolation, because the majority of men, fascinated by the lure of fleeting pleasures, and absorbed in their worldly interests and the care of their material affairs, no longer fix their thoughts on the principal considerations of the Faith, and stubbornly refuse to recollect within themselves. It may be said of our present generation what the prophet Daniel said, in this time, of the two old men of Babylon: "They suppressed their consciences, they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind God's just judgments.
The two causes of this terrifying indifferences and profound universal lethargy are, obviously, ignorance and the unrestrained love of sensual pleasures that, by darkening the interior eye of the human soul, bring all its aspirations down to the narrow level of the present life, and cut it off from the vision of the beauties and rewards to come. Now, since wise men have found at all times that contradictions are overcome with their opposites, it seemed to us that the most efficacious remedy with which to fight confidently against the inveterate evil of naturalism was a lucid, clear, and exact exposition, without diminution, of the essential truths dealing with the future life and the inevitable termination of human destinies.
Perhaps we shall be accused of expressing this or that assertion of ours too crudely and starkly, and of broaching the most serious and formidable points of Christian doctrine, without, at the same time, modifying and softening them so as to adapt them to the prejudices or apathy of certain souls, unacquainted with such grave considerations--like a physician who carefully allows only a limited amount of light to a sick friend, in order not to hurt his painful eyes by excessive glare. However, in the religious and supernatural order, the phenomena and effects wrought upon the soul are often the reverse of those that occur in the physical and material order. In the visible world, an excessive amount of light dazzles: it leads to dimness of vision and causes blindness.
On the other hand, as soon as the mind enters the intellectual realm, and is transported into the vast sphere of invisible and uncreated matter, excess is no longer to be feared. Jesus Christ is the great luminary of our intellects, the food and life of our hearts. He is never better understood, or more loved, than when He manifests Himself liberally in the integrity of His doctrine and the most eminent splendors of His divine personality. The example of the Apostles announcing the gospel amidst the twilight of paganism, and boldly preaching Jesus Christ crucified before the Roman Senate and amidst the philosophers of the Areopagus, is enough to tell us that truth is attractive to souls naturally Christian, and that it enlightens and convinces them only insofar as it is presented to them in all its strength and in all its clarity.
Our trial is limited to the duration to the period of the present life. If, as the rationalists maintain, this life is only a link in the chain of our destiny, and if the course of time wherein man is subject to strife, temptation, and the blandishments of the senses and of creatures should continue indefinitely, then Jesus Christ will never be king, virtue brings no hope, and evil will remain eternally triumphant. Thus, it is quite certain that the scene being played here below will sooner or later, reach its climax and end. Mankind will then enter upon a new phase of existence, and all that we cherish, all that we search after in this present life, will be less than a shadow, and vain smoke. This is a certain fact, which will all our discoveries and the marvels of our genius will not be able to participate. (Father Charles Arminjon,The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life, translated by Susan Conroy and Peter McEnerny. Manchester, New Hampshire: Sophia Institute Press, 2008, pp. xvii-xix.)
We must never deny Christ the King before men. We must always raise the standard of Christ the King as we exhort one and all to recognize that Our King, Who awaits in tabernacles for our acts of love and thanksgiving and reparation and petition, must reign over each man and each nation and that His Most Blessed Mother, Mary our Immaculate Queen, is to be honored publicly by each man and each nation, including by the government of the United States of America, in order to know what it is to be blessed abundantly by the true God of Revelation. May each Rosary we pray this day and every day help to plant seeds for this as we seek to serve Christ the King through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary our Immaculate Queen, who do not view any living human being as a "headless corpse" at any time or for any reason.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now ?
Viva Cristo Rey!