More Wallpaper That Glows in the Dark On Wall Street
by Thomas A. Droleskey
As I have admitted many times in the past, I watched television almost non-stop as a child. I watched television whenever I was not studying as an adolescent and as a college student, although my television watching declined considerably once Ironside ended on Thursday, January 16, 1975, as I was ending a visit to my parents in Harlingen, Texas (where they had move from Long Island in early-1973) before returning to Albany, New York, for the final few months of preparation for my comprehensive examinations for my doctorate starting on Monday, April 28, 1975, and ending on Friday, May 9, 1975.
Although I recognize now that I had wasted my time on naturalism when I should have been reading books about the lives of the saints, I can't take back the past. I can only make reparation for it, noting also that my time "home alone" in the 1960s probably kept me out of a whole lot of trouble. I was content to be a "homebody" as I did my homework and then watched television in my bedroom in high school and college, doing the same in graduate school until early-1975. Burnished forever in my cerebral "website," if you will, are a lot of memorable moments from an early life wasted on naturalism, moments that provide for the few "cultural" references that are made on this site. Some writers refer to the great classics to make their points. I am left to refer to such things as The Honeymooners, Car 54, Where Are You?, The Lone Ranger, and, of course, Ironside, which is why, I suppose, I am open to being called an oaf and a troglodyte.
Some of the best writing for television in its early days was done by those who wrote for The Honeymooners. Although it is said that Jackie Gleason liked to improvise a lot as Gotham Bus Company driver Ralph Kramden, the thirty-nine episodes of the 1955-1956 season, the only year that the series, which was a sketch of varying lengths on the Cavalcade of Stars (1951-1952) on the old Dumont television network and then the Jackie Gleason Show on the Columbia Broadcasting System network from 1952-1955 and 1955-1956 (later revived from 1966 to 1969 on the Jackie Gleason Show when it originated, as announced Johnny Olsen told us, from the "sun and fun capital of the world, Miami Beach, and featuring Sheila MacRae, instead of Audrey Meadows, as Alice Kramden, and Jane Kean, instead of Joyce Randolph, as Trixie Norton), stuck pretty close to the scripts, which were full of excellent byplay between the actors, who delivered their lines with aplomb.
The seventh episode of the "classic thirty-nine" was entitled, "Better Living through Television," broadcast on Saturday, November 12, 1955. The episode involved one of Ralph Kramden's "get rich quick" schemes. This one centered on a kitchen device, the Handy Housewife Helper, that could open cans or "core a apple" or scale fish or sharpen knives in a "zip, zip, zip" as compared to the "old-fashioned" way. Kramden convinced his pal and upstairs neighbor in a tenement building said to be in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York (the address, 328 Chauncey Street, Gleason's own childhood address, was in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn) to buy advertising time during a broadcast of a motion picture on a local television station in New York City to sell the device in what today would be called an "infomercial."
The episode contains a truly hilarious scene of Kramden freezing when he went before the camera as it was broadcasting live. Billed as "The Great Chef of the Future," Kramden, dressed in a chef's cap and white apron, could only hold the kitchen device up in one hand and stutter and stammer in his famous, "homina, homina, homina, homina" pattern. It still delivers its laughs fifty-three years after it was made and even though you know what's coming and when. (The Honeymooners-Better Living Through TV Part 6.)
One of the scenes in the early part of the episode involved Ralph Kramden trying to convince his wife that this scheme would be different, that this one would make money, saying that "nobody can be one hundred percent." Alice responded by saying, "You are. You've been wrong every time." Alice then reminded him of his past money-making schemes, such as "wallpaper that glows in the dark," an invention (which is now possible, by the way!) to save on the costs of electricity in a house at night, and "no cal pizza." (The scene that you can view here, The Honeymooners-Better Living Through TV4, shows the utter naturalism of television in the 1950s--as well as how Ralph and Alice Kramden treated each other with such sarcasm and cruelty, a sad fact of life in a land of naturalism even in the years of "plenty" in the 1950s.)
Well, a lot of wallpaper that glows in the dark was sold executives of the Goldman Sachs investment house as they bet against investments that they had recommended various institutional investors to purchase. Please don't be disappointed if I can't give you an explanation of how these schemes worked. Although Political Economy was a minor cognate field of mine when I was studying for my doctorate in political science at the State University of New York at Albany from January of 1974 to May of 1976 (taking another year to complete my dissertation while I taught full-time at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York), I don't know anything about the world of high finance. Nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. The doughnut hole. After all, a man who is concerned about keeping his checking account from falling into the red, something that is very close to occurring right now, by and by, doesn't have much need to know about "derivatives" or "certificates of deposit" or "401-K plans," etc. All I can say it's a good thing that I've cut back on eating since Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2010, as this has saved some money on our weekly food bill at the Stop and Shop.
What I do know, however, is that the glee expressed in a a series of internal e-mails by executives of Goldman Sachs in 2007 about the amount of money that they were making in the midst of the economic downturn that would result in 2008 in the collapse of major investment firms such as Lehman Brother and the pouring of billions of Federal taxpayer dollars into various financial institutions in the form of the "Troubled Asset Relief Program" (TARP) bailout monies, including Goldman Sachs itself, is a sign of the amorality that grips many of those in commerce and banking in the world of unbridled capitalism that has been shaped by the Protestant Revolt in general and the Calvinist strain of Protestantism in particular. The executives of Goldman Sachs who testified before the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations yesterday, Tuesday, April 27, 2010, were, at least for the most part, defiant and unrepentant about the complex schemes that were designed to capitalize on the investment risks that had been taken by their own clients upon recommendations that they, the executives of Goldman Sachs, had made to them. Some of these investment risks were described in the internal Goldman Sachs e-mails by the use of a profanity that Subcommittee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Michigan) kept repeating over and over again.
Amazingly, the Chairman of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, considered the complex investment scheme devised by Goldman Sachs as a "success" because it gave risk to those who wanted to take financial risks. And I think Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and his band of conciliar apologists are positivists! The false "pontiff" and his apologists have nothing on these positivist crooks at Goldman Sachs:
As the hearing stretched into the evening, Mr. Blankfein, Goldman’s chief, entered the chamber with an almost angry demeanor. In a brief prepared statement, he held tight to Goldman’s defenses.
Later, asked if he knew the housing market was doomed, Mr. Blankfein replied, “I think we’re not that smart.”
Mr. Blankfein was asked repeatedly whether Goldman sold securities that it also bet against, and whether Goldman treated those clients properly.'
“You say betting against,” Mr. Blankfein said in a lengthy exchange. But he said the people who were coming to Goldman for risk in the housing market got just that: exposure to the housing market. “The unfortunate thing,” he said, “is that the housing market went south very quickly.”
Senator Levin pressed Mr. Blankfein again on whether the his customers should know what Goldman workers think of deals they are selling, and Mr. Blankfein reiterated his position that sophisticated investors should be allowed to buy what they want.
Mr. Blankfein was also pressed on the deal at the center of the S.E.C. case. He said the investment was not meant to fail, as the S.E.C. claims, and in fact, that the deal was a success, in that it conveyed “risk that people wanted to have, and in a market that’s not a failure."
To which Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, replied, “It’s like we’re speaking a different language here.” (Goldman Chief Defends Firm’s Actions on Mortgage Deals.)
At least Bernard Madoff knew that he was a crook and that he was running a crooked scheme, that there would come a day when his number would be up that he would be arrested and spend the rest of his behind prison bars. These crooks at Goldman Sachs do not believe that they have done anything that is wrong, that the sole measure of what is correct is what is dictated by the "market." Who cares if an entire economy, built on a fabric of Calvinism's atomistic individualism, collapses in the process as long as they're making good money.
Please do not get lost in the trees on this one. Sure, it is no accident at all that the Securities and Exchange Commission's civil suit against Goldman Sachs and the Senate subcommittee hearings yesterday have come quite conveniently at a time when Caesar Obamus is seeking to push a massive "overhaul" of the Wall Street and banking sectors. Socialists always take advantage of the excesses of unbridled capitalists in order to maximize government control over the private sectors, whether by outright socialistic takeovers or fascistic measures that leave the private sector nominally in place but at the behest of government overseers. This should go without saying. I am nothing if not an expert in hammering home that which should go without saying. Consider it said.
That having been said, however, don't get lost in the trees on this one as the fact that Caesar Obamus and Congressional Democrats are seeking to capitalize on this issue in order to "recover" from the public opinion debacle that has been caused by the passage of ObamaCare is only a symptom of the underlying root cause of the problems that we face. The devil always raises up false "opposites" to make us choose "sides" as to who is "good" and who is "bad" in order to divert our attention away from the fact that the unbridled capitalists and socialists both agree that Catholic Social Teaching has nothing at all to do with politics, law, culture and economics. Don't get lost in these trees. Let the naturalists go after each other as they play out the devil's games.
The focus in this article is on the amorality exhibited by the Goldman Sachs executives, an amorality that is very indicative of the spirit expressed by disciples of John Calvin in the revolutionized world of Protestantism:
The rending of the Mystical Body by the so-called Reformation movement has resulted in the pendulum swinging from the extreme error of Judaeo-Protestant Capitalism to the opposite extreme error of the Judaeo-Masonic-Communism of Karl Marx.
The uprise of individualism rapidly led to unbridled self-seeking. Law-makers who were arbiters of morality, as heads of the Churches, did not hesitate to favour their own enterprising spirit. The nobles and rich merchants in England, for example, who got possession of the monastery lands, which had maintained the poor, voted the poor laws in order to make the poor a charge on the nation at large. The enclosure of common lands in England and the development of the industrial system are a proof of what private judgment can do when transplanted into the realm of production and distribution. The Luther separation of Church from the Ruler and the Citizen shows the decay in the true idea of membership of our Lord's Mystical Body.
"Assuredly," said Luther, "a price can be a Christian, but it is not as a Christian that he ought to govern. As a ruler, he is not called a Christian, but a price. The man is Christian, but his function does not concern his religion."
This teaching had its economic repercussion in the current that led to the doctrine laid down in Daniel Defoe's The Complete Tradesman, according to which a man must keep his religious and his business life apart and not allow one to interfere with the other.
"There is some difference," wrote Defoe, "between an honest man and an honest tradesman. . . . There are some latitudes, like poetical licences in other cases, which a tradesman must be and is allowed, and which by the custom and usage of a trade he may give himself a liberty in, which cannot be allowed in other cases to any men, no, nor to the tradesman himself out of the business." (Father Denis Fahey, The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World.)
In other words, the ends justify the means. Who cares about justice even on a natural level, no less the accounting one must give to Christ the King at the moment of his Particular Judgment? We care only about the "real" world of making money, right? Wrong.
Those who do not believe in the Sacred Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ do not understand that there is salvation only in and through the Catholic Church, that the purpose of life is to know, to love and serve God as He has revealed Himself through His true Church so as to be ready to die in a state of Sanctifying Grace at all times and thus to enjoy the glory of Beatific Vision of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for all eternity in Heaven. Such people must seek their Heaven on earth. Many seek it principally by means of the pursuit of what is considered to be financial wealth, an exercise that consumes most of their waking (and even sleeping) moments. Some have a sense of natural morality. Others have none. Many can rationalize away whatever natural sense of morality they might have in order to achieve a particular goal. Such is the dark, murky world that those whose immortal souls have not been liberated from Original Sin and thus regenerated in the very inner life of the Most Blessed Trinity in the Baptismal font.
The amount of money involved in this latest "wallpaper that glows in the dark" scheme on Wall Street is staggering. Staggering. Mind-boggling. Indeed, I have often been tempted during our time here in Connecticut to stop at one of the huge homes that we see Connecticut Route 136 that runs from Easton to Westport and ask, "How do you make your money? Can you give me a job? I write, I speak, I teach, I can do research, and I cook a decent pizza and make a pretty mean ice-box cake. Please, just let me know how you make your money."
My late father was a hard working small animal veterinarian who made a decent living from 1946 to 1972, making it possible for us to have a "comfortable" life. The most income that my father ever grossed in one year was $70,000 in 1970, which, after expenses, produced net income of around $25,000, which was not bad for 1970. Even accounting for inflation, however, I just can't fathom how anyone can have the amount of money that was lost by some of the "investors" who lost money with Goldman Sachs and other investment houses--or the amount of money lost by those who invested in the confidence man Bernard L. Madoff. The most I ever made in any one year of college teaching was $34,000 in 1994-1995 when serving as a visiting associate professor at the C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University in between my stints of adjuncting (getting paid per course rather than a full-time salary) there between 1991 and 1994 and again between 1995 and 2003.). How do these people make their money? It's unfathomable, at least it is to me, who probably couldn't sell the real wallpaper that glows in the dark that is on the market now!
Materialism, whether of the capitalist or collectivist variety, must triumph in a world gone mad as a result of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King that was wrought by the Protestant Revolution and institutionalized by inter-related, multifaceted forces of Judeo-Masonic naturalism. Dr. George O'Brien made this point in the early part of the Twentieth Century:
The thesis we have endeavoured to present in this essay is, that the two great dominating schools of modern economic thought have a common origin. The capitalist school, which, basing its position on the unfettered right of the individual to do what he will with his own, demands the restriction of government interference in economic and social affairs within the narrowest possible limits, and the socialist school, which, basing its position on the complete subordination of the individual to society, demands the socialization of all the means of production, if not all of wealth, face each other today as the only two solutions of the social question; they are bitterly hostile towards each other, and mutually intolerant and each is at the same weakened and provoked by the other. In one respect, and in one respect only, are they identical--they can both be shown to be the result of the Protestant Reformation.
We have seen the direct connection which exists between these modern schools of economic thought and their common ancestor. Capitalism found its roots in the intensely individualistic spirit of Protestantism, in the spread of anti-authoritative ideas from the realm of religion into the realm of political and social thought, and, above all, in the distinctive Calvinist doctrine of a successful and prosperous career being the outward and visible sign by which the regenerated might be known. Socialism, on the other hand, derived encouragement from the violations of established and prescriptive rights of which the Reformation afforded so many examples, from the growth of heretical sects tainted with Communism, and from the overthrow of the orthodox doctrine on original sin, which opened the way to the idea of the perfectibility of man through institutions. But, apart from these direct influences, there were others, indirect, but equally important. Both these great schools of economic thought are characterized by exaggerations and excesses; the one lays too great stress on the importance of the individual, and other on the importance of the community; they are both departures, in opposite directions, from the correct mean of reconciliation and of individual liberty with social solidarity. These excesses and exaggerations are the result of the free play of private judgment unguided by authority, and could not have occurred if Europe had continued to recognize an infallible central authority in ethical affairs.
The science of economics is the science of men's relations with one another in the domain of acquiring and disposing of wealth, and is, therefore, like political science in another sphere, a branch of the science of ethics. In the Middle Ages, man's ethical conduct, like his religious conduct, was under the supervision and guidance of a single authority, which claimed at the same time the right to define and to enforce its teaching. The machinery for enforcing the observance of medieval ethical teaching was of a singularly effective kind; pressure was brought to bear upon the conscience of the individual through the medium of compulsory periodical consultations with a trained moral adviser, who was empowered to enforce obedience to his advice by the most potent spiritual sanctions. In this way, the whole conduct of man in relation to his neighbours was placed under the immediate guidance of the universally received ethical preceptor, and a common standard of action was ensured throughout the Christian world in the all the affairs of life. All economic transactions in particular were subject to the jealous scrutiny of the individual's spiritual director; and such matters as sales, loans, and so on, were considered reprehensible and punishable if not conducted in accordance with the Christian standards of commutative justice.
The whole of this elaborate system for the preservation of justice in the affairs of everyday life was shattered by the Reformation. The right of private judgment, which had first been asserted in matters of faith, rapidly spread into moral matters, and the attack on the dogmatic infallibility of the Church left Europe without an authority to which it could appeal on moral questions. The new Protestant churches were utterly unable to supply this want. The principle of private judgment on which they rested deprived them of any right to be listened to whenever they attempted to dictate moral precepts to their members, and henceforth the moral behaviour of the individual became a matter to be regulated by the promptings of his own conscience, or by such philosophical systems of ethics as he happened to approve. The secular state endeavoured to ensure that dishonesty amounting to actual theft or fraud should be kept in check, but this was a poor and ineffective substitute for the powerful weapon of the confessional. Authority having once broken down, it was but a single step from Protestantism to rationalism; and the way was opened to the development of all sorts of erroneous systems of morality. (Dr. George O'Brien, An Essay on the Economic Efforts of the Reformation, IHS Press, Norfolk, Virginia, 2003.)
Dr. O'Brien went on to state that true pope after true pope has stated concerning the necessity of men and their nations subordinating themselves to the Catholic Church as they pursue the common temporal good in light of man's Last End:
There is one institution and one institution alone which is capable of supplying and enforcing the social ethic that is needed to revivify the world. It is an institution at once intra-national and international; an institution that can claim to pronounce infallibly on moral matters, and to enforce the observance of the its moral decrees by direct sanctions on the individual conscience of man; an institution which, while respecting and supporting the civil governments of nations, can claim to exist independently of them, and can insist that they shall not intrude upon the moral life or fetter the moral liberty of their citizens. Europe possessed such an institution in the Middle Ages; its dethronement was the unique achievement of the Reformation; and the injury inflicted by that dethronement has never since been repaired. (George O'Brien, An Essay on the Economic Effects of the Reformation, first published in 1923, republished by IHS press in 2003, p. 132.)
The injury caused by the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King was on full display yesterday at the subcommittee hearings of the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. This injury is on display every day in practically every segment of our national life, which must be, to paraphrase Pope Leo XIII from Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900, stained with crime. The avarice, pride and scheming nature of "modern" man in his world of materialism and nihilism are all there for those who have the eyes of the Holy Faith to see.
Saint Louis de Montfort, whose feast is commemorated today, explained the difference between true wisdom and the false "wisdom" of the sort of men who testified yesterday in Washington, District of Columbia:
There are several kinds of Wisdom. First there is true and false wisdom. True wisdom is fondness of truth, without guile of dissimulation. False wisdom is fondness of falsehood, disguised under the appearance of truth. This false wisdom is the wisdom of the world, which, according to the Holy Spirit, is threefold "Earthly, sensual and devilish wisdom" (Jas. 3: 15). True wisdom is natural and supernatural. Natural wisdom is knowledge, in an eminent degree, of natural things in their principles; supernatural wisdom is knowledge of supernatural and divine things in their origin.
But we must be aware of being mistaken in our choice, for there are several kinds of wisdom. There is the Wisdom of God--the only true Wisdom, that deserves to be loved as a great treasure. There is also the wisdom of the corrupt world, which must be condemned and detested as evil and pernicious. Moreover, there is the wisdom of the philosophers, which we must despise wen it is not true philosophy and because it is often dangerous to salvation.
So far, following the advice of St. Paul, we have spoken of the Wisdom of God to chosen souls, but lest they should be deceived by the false luster of worldly wisdom, let us expose its deceit and malice. The wisdom of the world is that of which it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise" (1 Cor. 1: 19) according to the world. "The wisdom of the flesh is an enemy to God.... This is not the wisdom descending from above but earthly, sensual, devilish" (Rom. 8: 7, Jas. 3: 15).
This worldly wisdom consists in the exact compliance with the maxims and fashions of the world; in a continuous trend toward greatness and esteem. It is a secret and unceasing pursuit of pleasures and personal interests, not in a gross and open manner, so as to cause scandal, but in a secret, deceitful and scheming fashion. Otherwise, it would not be what the world calls wisdom, but rank licentiousness.
Those who process according to the wisdom of the world, are those who know how to manage well their affairs and to arrange things to their temporal advantage, without appearing to do so;
--who know the art of deceiving and how to cleverly cheat without it being noticed; who say or do one thing and have another in mind;
--who are thoroughly acquainted with the way and the flattery of the world;
--who know how to please everybody, in order to reach their goal, not troubling much about the honor and interests of God;
--who make a secret, but deadly, fusion of truth with untruth; of the Gospel with the world; of virtue with vice; of Jesus Christ with Satan;
--who wish to pass for honest people, but not as religious men; who despise and corrupt or readily condemn every religious practice which does not conform to their own.
In short, the worldly-wise are those, who being guided only by their human senses and reason, seek only to appear as Christian and honest folk, without troubling much to please God, or to do penance for the sins which they have committed against His divine Majesty. The worlding bases his conduct upon his honor, upon what people say, upon convention, upon good cheer, upon personal interest, upon refined manners, upon witty jokes. These are the seven innocent incentives, so he thinks, upon which he can rely, so that hey may lead an easy life. He has virtues of his own, for which is canonized by the world. These are manliness, finesse, diplomacy, tact, gallantry, politeness and sprightliness. He considers as serious sins such traits as lack of feeling, silliness, dullness and sanctimoniousness.
The Ten Commandments of the Worldly Man:
1. Thou shalt be well acquainted with the world.
2. Thou shalt appear to be an honest man.
3. Thou shalt be successful in business.
4. Thou shalt kept what is thine.
5. Thou shalt get on in the world.
6. Thou shalt make friends.
7. Thou shalt be a society man.
8. Thou shalt make merry.
9. Thou shalt not be a killjoy.
10. Thou shalt avoid singularity, dullness and an air of piety.
Never was the world so corrupt as it is now, because it was never so astute, so wise in its own conceit and so cunning. It is so skillful in deceiving the soul seeking perfection, that it makes use of truth to foster untruth, of virtue to authorize vice and it even distorts the meaning of Christ's own truths, to give authority to its own maxims. "The number of those who are fools, according to God, is infinite" (Eccles. 1: 15)
The earthly wisdom, spoken of by St. James, is an excessive striving for worldly goods. The worldly-wise make a secret profession of this type of wisdom when they allow themselves to become attached to their earthly possessions; when they strive to become rich; when they go to law and bring useless actions against others, in order to acquire or to keep temporal goods; when their every thought, word and deed is mainly directed toward obtaining or retaining something temporal. As to working out their eternal salvation and making use of the means to do so--such as reception of the Sacraments and prayer--they accomplish these duties only carelessly, in a very offhanded manner, once in a while and for the sake of appearances.
Sensual wisdom is a lustful desire for pleasures, The worldly-wise make a profession of it, when they seek only the satisfaction of the senses; when they are inordinately fond of entertainment; when they sun whatever mortifies and inconveniences the body, such as fasting and other austerities; when they continually think of eating, drinking, playing, laughing, amusing themselves and having an agreeable time; when they eagerly seek after soft beds, merry games, sumptuous feasts and fashionable society.
Then, after having unscrupulously indulged in all these pleasures--perhaps without displeasing the world or injuring their health--they look for the "least scrupulous" confessor (such is the name they give to those easy going confessors who shirk their duty) that they may receive from him, at little cost, the peaceful sanction of their soft and effeminate life, and a plenary indulgence for all their sins. I say, at little cost, for these, sensually wise, want, as penance, the recitation of only a few prayers, or the giving of an alms, because they dislike what afflicts the body.
Devilish wisdom consists in an unlawful striving for human esteem and honors. This is the wisdom which the worldly-wise profess when they aim, although not openly, at greatness, honors, dignities and high positions; when they wish to be seen, esteemed, praised and applauded by men; when in their studies, their works, their endeavors their words and their actions, they seek only the good opinion and praise of men, so that they may be looked upon as pious people, as men of learning, as great leaders, as clever lawyers, as people of boundless and distinguished merit, or deserving of high consideration; while they cannot bear an insult, or a rebuke; or they cover up their faults and make a show of their fine qualities. [Thomas A. Droleskey note: This could refer also to many conciliar "bishops" and, sadly, to a few true bishops in the Catholic underground at this time.]
With Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, we must detest and condemn these three kinds of false wisdom if we wish to acquire the true one, which does not seek its own interest, which is not found on this earth, nor in the heart of those who lead a comfortable life, but which abhors all that which is great and high in the estimation of men.
To come to the perfect possession of Divine Wisdom, we must accept and follow His teaching. We must begin renouncing ourselves and keeping the great commandments of loving God and our neighbor. We must renounce the flesh, the world and its temporal goods. Above all we must renounce our self-will. To do this, we must humbly pray, we must do penance and suffer persecution. For all this we need the help of Divine Wisdom, Who invites us to go to Him.
With His help we need not fear, provided we be clean of heart. To succeed we must persevere and not look back; we must walk in the light and act according to the teachings of Divine Wisdom; we must be vigilant and avoid the maxims of the false prophets; we must not fear what may be done to our body and reputation, but only be solicitous about the kingdom of God, which we can only enter by the narrow gate. Therefore, we must keep in mind the Eight Beatitudes and we must be thankful to God for having taught us these heavenly truths. (St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion: Consecration to Mary, Complete Five-Week Preparation, compiled by Father Helmuts Libietus, Angelus Press, 1998, pp. 31-36, taken from Saint Louis de Montfort's book, The Love of Eternal Wisdom.)
This is also the Octave Day of the Solemnity of Saint Joseph in the traditional Dominican Rite and in those chapels where the edition of the Roman Missal that was in effect prior to the year 1956 is used.
Saint Joseph lived and worked in holy poverty. He worked hard, very hard, at his manual labor. He taught His Divine foster-Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to do things that He, as God, had ordained to be done but had to learn how to do as a human being. Saint Joseph thus taught Our Lord how to work with the wood that came from the trees that had been created through Him, through Whom all things were made.
Saint Joseph was not concerned about "making money" as an ultimate end of human existence. He was concerned about pleasing God in His daily work and fulfilling his duties as the Most Chaste Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom he loved with a pure tenderness of heart that is almost unimaginable to those us whose sins have so stained our hearts and our intentions and motives, and as the God-Man's foster-father. Saint Joseph provided a sufficiency of means for the Holy Family, making sure to do justice for those who sought ought his services as a carpenter. It was enough for him to provide for his family without gouging or taking advantage of anyone who was in need. This stands in sharp contrast to the abject greed of most of those in the business world today, including the executives of Goldman Sachs, for whom the making of money is the sole goal of human existence.
Pope Leo XIII, writing in Rerum Novarum, May 15, 1891, explained that that there is no sin in acquiring wealth in this world if one has done so honestly by the good and just use of the talents given him by God. Those who have been so favored by God, however, have an obligation, after taking care of their family's basic need, to support the work of the Church and to provide for those who have not been as blessed as they have been:
But the Church, with Jesus Christ as her Master and Guide, aims higher still. She lays down precepts yet more perfect, and tries to bind class to class in friendliness and good feeling. The things of earth cannot be understood or valued aright without taking into consideration the life to come, the life that will know no death. Exclude the idea of futurity, and forthwith the very notion of what is good and right would perish; nay, the whole scheme of the universe would become a dark and unfathomable mystery. The great truth which we learn from nature herself is also the grand Christian dogma on which religion rests as on its foundation -- that, when we have given up this present life, then shall we really begin to live. God has not created us for the perishable and transitory things of earth, but for things heavenly and everlasting; He has given us this world as a place of exile, and not as our abiding place. As for riches and the other things which men call good and desirable, whether we have them in abundance, or are lacking in them -- so far as eternal happiness is concerned -- it makes no difference; the only important thing is to use them aright. Jesus Christ, when He redeemed us with plentiful redemption, took not away the pains and sorrows which in such large proportion are woven together in the web of our mortal life. He transformed them into motives of virtue and occasions of merit; and no man can hope for eternal reward unless he follow in the blood-stained footprints of his Savior. "If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him."Christ's labors and sufferings, accepted of His own free will, have marvelously sweetened all suffering and all labor. And not only by His example, but by His grace and by the hope held forth of everlasting recompense, has He made pain and grief more easy to endure; "for that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory."
Therefore, those whom fortune favors are warned that riches do not bring freedom from sorrow and are of no avail for eternal happiness, but rather are obstacles; that the rich should tremble at the threatenings of Jesus Christ -- threatenings so unwonted in the mouth of our Lord -- and that a most strict account must be given to the Supreme Judge for all we possess. The chief and most excellent rule for the right use of money is one the heathen philosophers hinted at, but which the Church has traced out clearly, and has not only made known to men's minds, but has impressed upon their lives. It rests on the principle that it is one thing to have a right to the possession of money and another to have a right to use money as one ills. Private ownership, as we have seen, is the natural right of man, and to exercise that right, especially as members of society, is not only lawful, but absolutely necessary. "It is lawful," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "for a man to hold private property; and it is also necessary for the carrying on of human existence.'' But if the question be asked: How must one's possessions be used? -- the Church replies without hesitation in he words of the same holy Doctor: "Man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need. Whence the apostle saith, 'Command the rich of this world . . to offer with no stint, to apportion largely'." True, no one is commanded to distribute to others that which is required for his own needs and those of his household; nor even to give away what is reasonably required to keep up becomingly his condition in life, "for no one ought to live other than becomingly." But, when what necessity demands has been supplied, and one's standing fairly taken thought for, it becomes a duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over. "Of that which remaineth, give alms." It is duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity -- a duty not enforced by human law. But the laws and judgments of men must yield place to the laws and judgments of Christ the true God, who in many ways urges on His followers the practice of almsgiving -- "It is more blessed to give than to receive"; and who will count a kindness done or refused to the poor as done or refused to Himself -- "As long as you did it to one of My least brethren you did it to Me." To sum up, then, what has been said: Whoever has received from the divine bounty a large share of temporal blessings, whether they be external and material, or gifts of the mind, has received them for the purpose of using them for the perfecting of his own nature, and, at the same time, that he may employ them, as the steward of God's providence, for the benefit of others. "He that hath a talent," said St. Gregory the Great, "let him see that he hide it not; he that hath abundance, let him quicken himself to mercy and generosity; he that hath art and skill, let him do his best to share the use and the utility hereof with his neighbor."
As for those who possess not the gifts of fortune, they are taught by the Church that in God's sight poverty is no disgrace, and that there is nothing to be ashamed of in earning their bread by labor. This is enforced by what we see in Christ Himself, who, "whereas He was rich, for our sakes became poor''; and who, being the Son of God, and God Himself, chose to seem and to be considered the son of a carpenter -- nay, did not disdain to spend a great part of His life as a carpenter Himself. "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?"
From contemplation of this divine Model, it is more easy to understand that the true worth and nobility of man lie in his moral qualities, that is, in virtue; that virtue is, moreover, the common inheritance of men, equally within the reach of high and low, rich and poor; and that virtue, and virtue alone, wherever found, will be followed by the rewards of everlasting happiness. Nay, God Himself seems to incline rather to those who suffer misfortune; for Jesus Christ calls the poor "blessed"; He lovingly invites those in labor and grief to come to Him for solace; and He displays the tenderest charity toward the lowly and the oppressed. These reflections cannot fail to keep down the pride of the well-to-do, and to give heart to the unfortunate; to move the former to be generous and the latter to be moderate in their desires. Thus, the separation which pride would set up tends to disappear, nor will it be difficult to make rich and poor join hands in friendly concord.
Don't get lost in the trees. George Walker Bush, who proposed the original "TARP" bailout back in September of 2008, and Barack Hussein Obama and the executives of Goldman Sachs understand none of this. They act only according to the anti-Incarnational principles of naturalism. They do not hold in mind the simple truth that everything we do in this life must help us to attain our eternal salvation as members of the Catholic Church.
Arminjon wrote the following prophetic words in 1888 in The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life, the book that helped inspire Therese Martin to apply for entrance into the Carmel of Lisieux:
Already, the distant peoples are adopting our inventions, casting rifled guns, and beginning to build armored ships and arsenals. China--that vast empire swarming with people, where, each day, the seas and rivers engulf a huge excess of human beings whom the rich, fertile soil can no longer feed--she has her mechanics, her engineers, and is learning our strategy and industrial progress. Now, have our latest wars not shown that, at the present time, the issue of battles lies above all in numbers, and that, in armies, as in the realm of politics, what determines success and wins the victory is the brutal, inexorable law of superior numbers?
Thus, the hour bids to be not far off when these millions . . . who populate the east and north of Asia will have at their disposal more soldiers, more ammunition, and more military leaders than all other peoples; and the day can be foreseen when, having become fully conscious of their number and strength, they will hurl themselves in countless hordes upon our Europe, enfeebled and forsaken by God. There will then be invasions more terrible than those of the Vandals and the Huns . . . Provinces will be pillaged, rights violated, and small nations destroyed and ground down like dust. Then, a vast agglomeration of all the inhabitants of the earth will be observed, under the scepter of a single leader, who will be either the Antichrist, or one of his immediate predecessors. That day will see the death of human freedom.
The unity of all peoples will be built, for the last time, upon the ruins of all the suppressed nationalities. The empire of evil will be accomplished. Divine Providence will scourge the world, by subject it, body and soul, to one master . . . who will be moved solely by hatred of men and contempt of God.
Accordingly, any careful observer of the events of the present time cannot escape the conviction that everything is being done to bring about a social environment where the man of sin, by combining in his person all the depravity and very false doctrine of his age, will be produced spontaneously and effortlessly, like the parasitical tapeworm that breeds naturally in the gangrenous flesh and organs.
Yet the apparently incomprehensible thing that, at first sight, no sign seems to presage, is that the seat of his empire will be Jerusalem.
Well, it is easy to see that, if the materialistic, atheistic civilization, whose impending coming the free-thinkers and the irreligious press are always predicting, every dawns on the world, its center of action and seat of public will be Jerusalem.
In fact, when the Christian Faith has finally died out in the hearts of men--when pleasure and well-being have become the gods of the day--human activity will then have one single goal: the power of the state; one single lever and stimulus: public opinion, one inspiration and driving force: and this stimulus, this sinew, this driving force, will be gold. Gold will take precedence over religion and morality, becoming the basis of politics and the keystone of all institutions. The pontiffs and kings will be the financiers; and the people who possesses the most gold will be the ones who will son exercise the greatest control over us.
(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. 59-61.)
Quite prophetic, wouldn't you say? Quite applicable to our current circumstances today.
What more needs to be said? We need to pray and to work for the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ King as we plant seeds by offering all that we have and to Him through the Immaculate Heart of Mary according to the formula of Saint Louis de Montfort, making sure to pray as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.
May we pray to Our Lady and to her Most Chaste Spouse, Good Saint Joseph, on this the octave day of his solemnity in Paschaltide so that their Divine Son will indeed conquer all of his enemies in the ranks of the worldly wise,. both those in the world and those in the counterfeit church of conciliarism, and so that we, who have been His enemies all too frequently by means of our sins, will be conquered once and for all by His ineffable grace to eschew the honors and riches of this world to be faithful to Him as He has revealed Himself to us through His true Church.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Paul of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint Vitalis, pray for us.
Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now.