Men Who Think They are Different
Thomas A. Droleskey
Pride is one of the seven deadly or capital sins. It was pride that caused Adam and Eve to fall from Grace in the Garden of Eden, thereby wounding human nature. Even the souls of the baptized that have been cleansed from the stain of Original Sin bear upon them the vestigial after-effects of Adam's fall: the darkened intellect and the weakened will and a disordering of the delicate balance between our higher rational faculties and our lower sensual passions in favor of the latter, that is, the lower passions.
The darkened intellect makes it difficult for us to accept the truth, both natural and supernatural. A person, for example, who is told that he must go on a diet to lose weight might respond defensively by saying to the physician who has instructed him to lose weight, "Hey, Doc, you're not so thin yourself, you know." A person who is told that he has to reform his life morally might point to the recent scandals amongst the conciliar clergy to exculpate himself from quitting his sins. Indeed, such a person might strike out with venom at those who seek to remonstrate with him.
Such was the case with then New York Governor Mario Matthew Cuomo when he was warned in 1990 by Auxiliary Bishop Austin Vaughan of the Archdiocese of New York that he, Cuomo, risked the fires of Hell if he did not repent of his public support for abortion. Not one to take kindly to clerical rebukes, Cuomo, who once telephoned the pastor of Holy Family Church in Hicksville, New York, in the 1980s to complain of his having been criticized in a sermon one Sunday, Cuomo acted the part of the demagogue and said publicly that Bishop Vaughan had "damned him to Hell." Bishop Vaughan had done no such thing. Putting aside the issue of the legitimacy of the conciliar bishops, Bishop Austin Vaughan understood the obligations imposed upon the soul of one who believed himself to be a bishop. He knew that he had an obligation to warn a wayward sheep of the eternal peril into which he placed himself for supporting one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance, a fundamental act of true Charity on the part of any Catholic. Bishop Vaughan had no more "damned" Mario Cuomo to Hell than a physician "condemns" a patient to death if he warns him that he, the patient, runs the risk of shortening his physical life by refusing to lose weight.
Our darkened intellects make it difficult for us to see reality for what it is, including the reality of our own mortality and our own various human limitations. It is only by cooperating with the graces won for us on Calvary by the shedding of every single drop of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood that flow to us through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of all Graces, that we can hope to see ourselves clearly and to work out our salvation in "fear and in trembling" as we seek to root out our venial faults and habits by making a good Confession once a week. Additionally, there are the infused graces that we can receive from spending time before Our Lord's Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament, infused graces that will enlighten our intellects and strengthen our wills to see everything in the world clearly through the eyes of the true Faith, offering up all of the daily penances and sufferings and annoyances to the Blessed Trinity through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Our Lady, the Queen of All Angels and Saints, the Queen of Heaven and of Earth.
As important as it is for those of us who are not world leaders or well-known media figures to orient our lives properly according to the truths that Our Lord has deposited exclusively in the Catholic Church in order that we will discharge our duties of life (husband, father, employer, employee, single person, bishop, priest, consecrated religious) with a view to our Particular Judgments, it is vitally important that those who are placed in positions of civil governance and/or are well-known public figures with ready access to the mass media to do so.
Yes, I know. Each of us counts in God's Providence. The smallest amount of time spent before Our Lord in His Real Presence helps to change the world, starting with our own souls, which is why the prayers of cloistered monks and sisters is so crucial for the state of the Church nd the state of the world. Those who seemingly "count for nothing" by the standards of the "world" count for a great deal in the economy of God's Providence. None of us, priest or layman, knows the good fruit that is generated as a result of our prayers and sacrifices and penances and almsgiving that we offer up to God as the consecrated slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We are not meant to know this fruit until eternity as God wants to keep us humble and wants us to be ever reliant upon Him as the tender supplicants of His Most Blessed Mother. God wants us to keep our hands on the plough as we go about our daily duties, making sure to tithe even our time for Him, especially as it pertains to the pursuit of the sanctification of our own immortal souls.
Still and all, however, those who hold the levers of war and peace and whose decisions influence the course of national and world economics must be conscious of the importance of their viewing the world clearly through the eyes of the Catholic Faith, which is the and only foundation for order within the soul and for order within societies as well as peace among nations. Leaders of men need to have recourse to Eucharistic piety and total consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They must recognize that they will not be able even to see natural truths clearly lest they make time to form their souls in the crucible of Love Incarnate, Love Crucified and Resurrected. They must make provision for First and Last Things.
Pope Leo XIII noted this in Mirae Caritatis, May 28, 1902, wherein he discussed the necessity of those who are leaders of men to make provision for Eucharistic piety:
Indeed it is greatly to be desired that those men would rightly esteem and would make due provision for life everlasting, whose industry or talents or rank have put it in their power to shape the course of human events. But alas! we see with sorrow that such men too often proudly flatter themselves that they have conferred upon this world as it were a fresh lease of life and prosperity, inasmuch as by their own energetic action they are urging it on to the race for wealth, to a struggle for the possession of commodities which minister to the love of comfort and display. And yet, whithersoever we turn, we see that human society, if it be estranged from God, instead of enjoying that peace in its possessions for which it had sought, is shaken and tossed like one who is in the agony and heat of fever; for while it anxiously strives for prosperity, and trusts to it alone, it is pursuing an object that ever escapes it, clinging to one that ever eludes the grasp. For as men and states alike necessarily have their being from God, so they can do nothing good except in God through Jesus Christ, through whom every best and choicest gift has ever proceeded and proceeds. But the source and chief of all these gifts is the venerable Eucharist, which not only nourishes and sustains that life the desire whereof demands our most strenuous efforts, but also enhances beyond measure that dignity of man of which in these days we hear so much. For what can be more honourable or a more worthy object of desire than to be made, as far as possible, sharers and partakers in the divine nature? Now this is precisely what Christ does for us in the Eucharist, wherein, after having raised man by the operation of His grace to a supernatural state, he yet more closely associates and unites him with Himself. For there is this difference between the food of the body and that of the soul, that whereas the former is changed into our substance, the latter changes us into its own; so that St. Augustine makes Christ Himself say: "You shall not change Me into yourself as you do the food of your body, but you shall be changed into Me" (confessions 1. vii., c. x.).
The prideful man of Modernity, however, does not want to submit himself to the Prisoner of Love in the Tabernacle and the Deposit of Faith He has entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church. No, the prideful man of Modernity, living in a world where the Social Reign of Christ the King as it must be exercised by the Catholic Church has been overthrown and replaced by the deification of man himself, believes in semi-Pelagianism, whether or not he knows it. That is, the prideful man of Modernity believes that he is self-redemptive, that he can fashion some plan or program or policy or perhaps even a war that will be "different," a strategy that will "improve" the world and show forth his own creative abilities.
Such foolishness is straight from the Garden of Eden, where the tempter seduced Eve--and through her seduced Adam--into thinking that they could be the equal of God Himself in knowledge and wisdom and power if only they disobeyed God and ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Such foolishness if of Hell and leads men and their nations into ruin, both temporally and quite possibly, in the case of the souls of men, for all eternity. Men who convince themselves that their plans and their programs and their wars will be "different" and will produce "different" results in the past are, despite whatever worldly learning they think that they have acquired in their lifetimes and despite whatever positions of prominence to which they may have risen, the stupidest and most ignorant of men. A simple peasant who is trying to do his daily duty for the love of the Blessed Trinity as the consecrated slave of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart is more learned--and much more powerful--than the fools who think that they are exempt from the laws of God and that they do not need to take upon themselves the sweet yoke of Christ the King as the servants of Mary our Immaculate Queen.
The men who planned the American invasion of Iraq in March of 2003 believed that they their plans would be different. They could depose a brutal strongman, Saddam Hussein, in an ethnic and religious tinderbox, Iraq, without realizing the political instability and violence that was bound to occur there once their intervention became a reality. These men did not believe that Iraq was not going to be another Yugoslavia, which a wonderful professor of mine in the Department of Government and Politics at Saint John's University in Jamaica, Queens, Dr. Tadeusz Cieplak, a native of Poland who had been imprisoned for a time in a Soviet concentration camp before escaping in a railway car carrying sheep during World War II, said in a class on Eastern European governments in the Summer of 1972 was going to explode at some point whenever its longtime dictator, Josip Broz Tito, died. Dr. Cieplak saw that very clearly eight years before Tito's death. Then again, Tad was a serious Catholic (I do not know whether he is still alive) and assessed the world clearly as a Catholic. Tad Cieplak, who was, following his escape from the concentration camp, a senior aide to the Polish exile government in London headed by Stanislaus
Mikolajczyk during the last few years of World War II, knew that there was no path to peace save for Christ the King.
Men who think they are "different" and that their plans and programs and wars will produce "different" results are common in a world gone mad, a world where men believe almost universally that they can plan their lives without regard to their eternal destiny, without regard for the fact that Hell is for real, which is the point that the late Bishop Austin Vaughan made with Mario Cuomo sixteen years ago, and that souls really do go there. It is no wonder, therefore, that Iraq has become a living Hell where Uniat Rite Catholics and Orthodox Christians are being persecuted fiercely, a living Hell where no one is sure of his safety and where violence, once confined to the known opponents, both ethnic and political, of Saddam Hussein, can occur at any time in the life of any person. Men whose decisions are made on the basis of what they believe to be realpolitik rather than on a consideration of Catholic truths will never realize that Our Lord really meant it when He said:
I am the true vine; and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, he will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean by reason of the word, which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. (Jn. 15: 1-5)
Similarly, the prideful men of Modernism in the conciliar church believe that their ever-changing plans for their ever-changing synthetic religion will produce "different" results. So what if Paul VI opened the door, even if just a little bit, by giving encouragement to the commission that had been established originally by John XXIII in 1963 to study the question of birth control? So what if the report submitted by that commission, which Paul VI had expanded from six to over seventy during the three years of its work, actually supported the false thesis that birth control was morally licit? No harm was done, right? After all, Paul VI did reaffirm Catholic teaching in Humanae Vitae, right? The expectations raised by even discussing the issue--and the leaking of the commission's report in 1967 (see: TIME.com: Time for a Change -- Apr. 28, 1967 -- Page 1) played no role whatsoever in the firestorm of opposition to the partial affirmation of Catholic teaching, contained in the context of personalist theology, in Humanae Vitae, right?
Those who do not believe that the commission established by John XXIII and augmented by Paul VI opened the door to the widespread rejection of God's sovereignty over the fecundity of marital intimacy are not going to want to believe that the door is being opened, if ever a crack, by the fact that Benedict XVI is willing to use the case of Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who married a Chinese acupuncturist in a ceremony organized by the self-professed "Korean son of God," Sun Myung Moon, back in 2001 and has recently returned to his wife following a brief reconciliation with the conciliar authorities, to "discuss" with members of the curia the "possibility" of utilizing the services of priests who left the active ministry to get married and of ordaining some married men of "proven virtue" to the priesthood. It cannot possibly be the case that even the discussion of this matter will encourage those who want to see celibacy become optional in the Latin Rite of the conciliar church, right?
(Incidentally, according to a Zenit report of November 14, 2006,
"No other matters are scheduled on the order of the day" during the upcoming meeting of Benedict with the members of the curia. It is said that Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, the former President of Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, will raise the issue of a "liberalization" of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition by priests attached to the conciliar structures in that same meeting. No comment will be made here on any of the wild rumors of such a "liberalization" until and unless it occurs. For the time being, however, I would refer one and all to the only genuine papal indult that is necessary for the offering of the Mass of Saint Pius V:
No, the prideful men of Modernism in the conciliar church are as blinded as the prideful men of Modernity in the world, a world where things are always supposed to be "different" but turn out to be the same over and over and over again. Such will ever be the case until the time when the Triumph of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart is made manifest. Indeed, as Henry Edward Cardinal Manning noted in 1861 in The Present Crisis of the Holy See (and quoted by His Excellency Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas in his lecture at the Fatima Conference in Spokane, Washington, on October 13, 2006, and quoted at TRADITIO Traditional Roman Catholic Network (also to be found at St. Dominic Chapel - Upholding Catholicism Through Its Doctrine, Discipline and Liturgy) recently, we should not be surprised to find that the true Church has gone underground now as it did during the Arian heresy:
The apostasy of the city of Rome from the vicar of Christ and its destruction by Antichrist may be thoughts so new to many Catholics, that I think it well to recite the text of theologians of greatest repute. First Malvenda, who writes expressly on the subject, states as the opinion of Ribera, Gaspar Melus, Biegas, Suarrez, Bellarmine and Bosius that Rome shall apostatise from the faith, drive away the Vicar of Christ and return to its ancient paganism The Holy Fathers who have written upon the subject of Antichrist, and the prophecies of Daniel, without a single exception, as far as I know -- and they are the Fathers both of the East and of the West, the Greek and the Latin Church --, all of them unanimously say that in the latter end of the world, during the reign of the Antichrist, the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar will cease.... Then the Church shall be scattered, driven into the wilderness, and shall be for a time, as it were in the beginning, invisible, hidden in catacombs, in dens, in mountains, in lurking places; for a time it shall be swept, as it were, from the face of the earth. Such is the unanimous testimony of the Fathers of the early centuries.
(The Present Crisis of the Holy See, [London: Burns and Lambert, 1861], pp. 88-90)
We must, therefore, not be men and women who think we are different. We must simply think and act and speak as Catholics have done so perennially without the slightest hint of concession to the errors of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the conciliar church. We must, as Pope Leo XIII noted in
Adiutricem, September 5, 1895, rely upon the chief weapon we have after the Holy Mass, Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary, to keep ourselves fortified in these times of pride and the apostasy and chaos spawned thereby:
It is mainly to expand the kingdom of Christ that We look to the Rosary for the most effective help. On many occasions We have declared that the object which at the present time engrosses Our most earnest attention, is the reconciliation to the Church of nations which have become separated from her. We recognize, at the same time, that the realization of Our hopes must be sought chiefly in prayer and supplication addressed to almighty God. This conviction We again affirmed not long ago, when We recommended that special prayers be offered for this intention to the Holy Ghost during the solemnities of Pentecost; a recommendation that was adopted everywhere with the greatest good will.
. But in view of the importance and the difficulty of such an undertaking, and the necessity of perseverance in the practice of any virtue, it is well to recall the Apostle's apt counsel: "Be instant in prayer"-- counsel all the more to the point because an auspicious beginning of the enterprise will supply the best inducement to perseverance in prayer. Next October, therefore, if you and your people devoutly spend the whole month with Us in praying assiduously to the Virgin Mother of God through her Rosary and the other customary devotions, nothing could do more to further this project or be more pleasing to Us. We have the best reasons for entrusting Our plans and Our aspirations to her protection and the highest hopes of seeing them realized
Humbly relying upon Our Lady as we keep her Divine Son company daily in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament, may we try to plant a few seeds as her consecrated slaves so that the hearts of all men in all nations will exclaim with true joy as pride is beaten out and humility reigns therein:
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady, Queen of All Saints, 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.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Josaphat, pray for us.
Saint Didacus, pray for us.
Saint Albert the Great (one of my own patron saints, "A" is for Albert), pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, the student of Saint Albert the Great, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Charles Borromeo, pray for us.
Saint Robert Bellarmine, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us.
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Francisco Marto, pray for us.
Jacinta Marto, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.