Thomas A Droleskey
Each of us has the same ultimate goal in life: to die in a state of Sanctifying Grace as a member of the Catholic Church and thus be able to behold, probably after a time of making satisfaction in Purgatory for the debt we owe for our sins but have not paid back during our mortal life on earth, the glory of the Beatific Vision of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in Heaven for all eternity. There are three inter-related obstacles that get in the way of the fulfillment of our eternal good. These three, inter-related obstacles are the world, the flesh, and the devil. We must strive to overcome these obstacles each and every day of our lives, seeking to rise above the naturalism of the world around us to see ourselves and the world around us clearly through the eyes of the true Faith, the Catholic Faith, accepting each and every cross that comes our way as being perfectly fitted for us from all eternity from the very hand of God Himself so as to make it possible for us to make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world as the consecrated slaves of His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
As noted above, the obstacles to our sanctification and salvation are inter-related. The devil is responsible for agitating our souls and getting us sidetracked from what must be our single-minded and single-hearted pursuit of holiness in this life and thus the blessedness of Heaven for all eternity after death. He will incite our pride and our anger and lust and our sloth and covetousness and greed and gluttony in any number of seemingly inventive (but actually quite old) ways. One of the chief ways in which the devil seeks to get us to his bidding for him is to convince that he does not exist, that sin is not sin--or at least that sin is not "so bad" and that everyone does, after all, go to Heaven no matter what they believe or what they have done in this life. The ultimate goal of the devil is to get us to think and to act naturalistically, coming to believe that it is just "too much" to pray and to work for the conversion of everyone in the world to the true Faith and for the Catholicization of all aspects of civil governance and popular culture without any exceptions whatsoever.
There is not much time that needs to be spent on the "flesh," which refers to our desire to satisfy our sensual desires, which include, among other things, the abuse of food and/or alcohol. Some people spend an entire lifetime battling impure thoughts that are conjured up out of nothing other than the phantasms of their own imaginations. Some saints have been pretty badly thrashed around by the devil with respect to fleshly desires. Saint Thomas Aquinas had to resist an actual temptress who was sent to him by his own mother at one point during the two years she imprisoned him after attempting to join the Order of Preachers rather than the Order of Saint Benedict. Some will struggle with the temptations of the flesh
The obstacle of the "world," which is the principal focus of this article, refers to the false attractions and passing glitter of this mortal vale of tears. Mind you, we are not Manicheans or Jansenists. God wants us to enjoy the legitimate pleasures of the world He has created. He wants us to do so moderately and commensurately, recognizing that even legitimate pleasures and diversions are given to us by Him as means of helping to refresh the body and the soul for the work that we need to do to get home to Heaven. Our fallen human nature is such, however, that we are very much attracted to the glitter and the glitz and the "rush" of the passing world, which promotes the agenda of the devil in so many ways, especially by promoting the sins of the flesh.
Look, for example, at the way in which the eyes of most people "light up" when they see neon signs and/or the bright lights of a major city. Granted, some people are not so attracted. Deo gratias! Others of us, however, are at least momentarily attracted to the lights, the apparent glamour, the sounds, the "activity" of the world, which, doing the devil's bidding, beckons us to be immersed in its bread and circuses and its preponderance of naturalistic ways to "solve" social problems, especially by means of the ballot box. This is what is happening this weekend in Iowa as scores of political activists run around like rats in a maze trying to help this or that candidate win the Iowa Straw Poll. The "activity," enhanced by the presence of newscasters and commentators from the major broadcast and cable television networks, can be very intoxicating--and very addicting
The same is true of movie theaters, especially as they have grown in size in recent decades. Although I have never been one to frequent movie theaters all that much (doing so twice this decade, once for The Passion of the Christ in 2004 and the other time for Therese, the latter of which was a true disappointment given its refusal to show the Mass at which Saint Therese worshiped), probably having gone to under twenty movies in a movie theater in my nearly fifty-six years of life, the glitz and the glitter of the exterior of a movie theater is designed to "grab" patrons, mesmerizing their senses in order to attract them into movies that desensitize their immortal souls to graphic displays of violence and of various immoral acts. Pope Pius XI wrote about this in Vigilianti Cura, June 29, 1936:
Everyone will agree that recreation of body and soul, in the various forms in which this age has made it available, is a necessity to those who are wearied by the business and troubles of life, but it must be consonant with the dignity of man and the innocence of morals, and its object must be to excite and stir leisure hours to amusements which injure the principles of morality, dignity and honour, and which give occasion for sin, especially to the young, are surely running a grave risk of impairing their greatness and prestige.
Among such amusements, it must be clear to all, the cinema is of great importance, for in these times it is available to all men. Nor need one calculate how many millions take part in these entertainments every day; the number of cinema theatres is growing rapidly among almost every nation, whether in an advanced or early state of civilisation, and the cinema has become the common form of amusement and recreation, not only for the rich, but for every rank of society. It would not be possible to find anything with so much influence over the people, both on account of the very nature of the pictures projected on the screen, and because of the popularity of the films and the accompanying circumstances.
The power of the cinema is due to the fact that it speaks through the medium of living images, which are assimilated with delight and without difficulty, even by those who are untrained and uneducated, and who would be incapable or unwilling to make the efforts of induction or deduction necessary in reasoning. For to read, or to listen to another reading aloud demands a certain concentration and mental effort; an effort which in the cinema is replaced by the delight of a continuous stream of living images presented to the eyes. This power is accentuated in those films in which the voice accompanies the action, for the action becomes thereby even more easy to understand, and the plot may be developed with the added attraction of music. The dances and the scenes of so-called "variety" introduced in the intervals enhance the mental excitement and provide fresh stimuli.
These theatres, being like the school of life itself, have a greater influence in inciting men to virtue or vice than abstract reasoning. They must therefore be made to serve the purpose of disseminating the right principles of the Christian conscience, and must divest themselves of everything that could corrupt and impair good morals.
All men know how much harm is done by bad films; they sing the praises of lust and desire, and at the same time provide occasions of sin; they seduce the young from the right path; they present life in a false light; they obscure and weaken the wise counsels of attaining perfection; they destroy pure love, the sanctity of matrimony and the intimate needs of family life. They seek moreover to inculcate prejudiced and false opinions among individuals, classes of society and the different nations and peoples.
On the other hand, if these plays conform to the best standards, they can exert a most healthy influence on the spectators. They not only give pleasure, but urge men on and excite them to noble ends; they teach most useful lessons; further, they can display to a man the heroism and the glories of his own and of other nations; they can show virtue and truth in an attractive and beautiful light; among the classes of society, the nations and the different races they can arouse, or at least foster, mutual understanding and good will; they can embrace the cause of justice; they can call all men to virtue; and finally they can lend useful aid to a new and more equitable ordering and government of human society.
These considerations of Ours assume more importance from the fact that the cinema does not address its messages to individuals, but to gatherings of men, and that in conditions of time and place which are as well suited to directing men's enthusiasms towards good as towards evil; such mass enthusiasms as experience tells us may degenerate into something approaching madness.
The films are exhibited to spectators who are sitting in darkened theatres, and whose mental faculties and spiritual forces are for the most part dormant. We do not have to go far to find these theatres; they are near our houses, our churches and our schools, so that the influence they exercise and the power they wield over our daily life is very great.
Moreover stories and actions are presented, through the cinema, by men and women whose natural gifts are increased by training and embellished by every known art, in a manner which may possibly become an additional source of corruption, especially to the young. To this are added musical accompaniments, expensive settings, extravagant presentations, and novelty in its most varied and exciting form. Wherefore especially the minds of boys and young people are affected and held by the fascination of these plays; so that the cinema exercises its greatest strength and power at the very age at which the sense of honour is implanted and develops, at which the principles of justice and goodness emerge from the mind, at which the notions of duty and all the best principles of perfection make their appearance.
But alas! this power, in the present state of affairs, is too often used for harm. Wherefore when we consider the ruin caused among youths and children, whose innocence and chastity is endangered in these theatres, We remember that severe word spoken against the corrupters of youth by Jesus Christ: "But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matth. xviii. 6-7).
It is therefore most necessary, in these times of ours, that these entertainments should not become schools of corruption, but that they should rather assist in the right education of man and in raising the dignity of morality.
Why, ladies and gentlemen, would we dare to subject our eyes and ears to sights and sounds that injure our immortal souls, whose redemption was purchased by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Do we think that Our Lord would plop down whatever it costs to enter a movie theater to watch a motion picture that takes His Sacred Name in vain and promotes the very thing, sin, that caused Him to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and that wounds His Mystical Body, the Church Militant on earth, today? Why do we let the allure of the false attractions of this passing world supersede our desire to please God and to get home to Him in Heaven?
The attraction of the "world" is also held out to fallen men in the realm of professional sports. As Pope Pius XI noted in Vigilianti Cura, men are entitled to recreation and leisure activities. Fine. Those recreations and leisure activities must not interfere with our interior lives of prayer and the duties of our freely chosen states-in-life--and they must not become "religions" which "define" our daily existence. Although I will always be "attracted" to baseball despite having walked out of Shea Stadium five years ago because of an advertising campaign involving a substance about which any mention publicly is a sin against the virtue of Modesty, the game was never my "life." It was a means by which I was able to get a few moments of relaxation in my adolescence and single years as a adult, admitting that I should have walked out of Shea Stadium in 1980 when the new ownership group replaced music produced by a live organ with the horror of rock "music."
For many, however, the "attraction" of the game is too strong to compel them even to consider removing themselves from an environment in which the horror of rock "music" and wretched visual images, many of them featuring immoral or suggestive themes, are displayed on gigantic television screens, to say nothing of sitting in the midst of immodestly attired spectators, not a few of whom resort to profane epithets with which to to "cheer" their team to victory. Indeed, I had to walk out of a game back in 1999 (it might have been 1998) when drunken Spanish-speaking spectators spewed forth every word in the English language that they could speak, none of which is printable here. I knew when we learned on July 25, 2001, that Sharon was expecting our little Lucy that my days going to baseball games was numbered (even absent the advertising of the pill once made famous by Robert Joseph Dole, Jr., ten years ago). No responsible father could put his child within earshot of such language and the horrible music and images that are ordinary parts of the game. I was wrong to have placed myself in that environment for as long as I did.
Indeed, the entity known as Major League Baseball contracts with various motion picture studios to promote various of its releases, some of which are simply morally unacceptable to be advertised in front of children. Indeed, as has been noted on this site frequently, the Catholic Church teaches infallibly, as part of her Ordinary Magisterium, that no one has the right to produce or to display anything that is contrary to the good of souls, something that Pope Leo XIII emphasized in Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885:
So, too, the liberty of thinking, and of publishing, whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrance, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountain-head and origin of many evils. Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. These remain ever one and the same, and are no less unchangeable than nature itself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only passport to heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue. To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the making of laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; and already perhaps more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals. The Church of Christ is the true and sole teacher of virtue and guardian of morals. She it is who preserves in their purity the principles from which duties flow, and, by setting forth most urgent reasons for virtuous life, bids us not only to turn away from wicked deeds, but even to curb all movements of the mind that are opposed to reason, even though they be not carried out in action.
I read recently that some so-called motion picture by the name of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry was being promoted by the appearance of two of its featured players, Adam Sandler and Kevin James, at Shea Stadium on Sunday, July 15, 2007, as the New York Mets hosted the visiting Cincinnati Reds. This "motion picture" is about two men posing as perverts in order to qualify for "civil union" status. Ah, what a wonderful family theme, huh? Photographs of the appearance showed the actors in a mock embrace, which makes a mockery of the Mets' organization's justifiable outrage over the "magazines" in which the wife of a former Mets' pitcher, Kris Benson, chose to be associated with three years ago. What's the sense of being outraged over pornography in a magazine when a motion picture with immoral themes (dishonesty, promotion of perversity) and crude, vulgar language is promoted in one's stadium? Could it be that each Major League Baseball team that agrees to participate in the promotion of various motion pictures gets a financial share of the monies paid to MLB's central offices in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York? And both the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Diego Padres have promoted special events to celebrate perversity under various slogans ("two for one night," "pride night").
This is the environment in which one wants to take his wife and children? So what if these events only happen once in a while. The fact that they happen at all demonstrates how a legitimate diversion, baseball, has been corrupted by raw American corporate greed, which counts on spectators placing their love of the game above any other interests they might have, including a love of God as He has revealed Himself to men exclusively through the Catholic Church and a love of their own immortal souls, purchased at such a high cost. And this is to say nothing of how many of the players, influenced by the glitter and glitz of their fifteen minutes of fame, contribute to the moral degradation of the young (and others) by the coarse, vile behavior, some of which includes the ingestion of "designer" steroids that happen to be controlled substances under terms of Federal laws (regardless of whether these performance enhancing controlled substances were been banned by Major League Baseball until a few years ago). This will be the subject of tomorrow's commentary.
The "world" beckons people to suspend their sensus Catholicus and to forget about the honor and glory of God and the eternal good of their own immortal souls, seeking to rationalize their mindless involvement in the world and their delusional beliefs that "nothing" matters as long as they are having "fun." Disregarding the lives of the saints, even some traditionally-minded Catholics, both within and without the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, watch "reality" television programs and follow the details of the lives of the plastic individuals known as entertainment celebrities while they expose their children to the horrors of "rock" music and motion pictures and professional sports and television. Others, as noted before, follow willy-nilly after various" "conservative" or "libertarian" candidates for public office, becoming enablers in the propagation of false ideas that are in direct contradiction to Catholic Social Teaching. The wiles of the "world" are many. It is so sad that so few Catholics understand this and take the measures necessary to protect their own souls and those of their children.
How refreshing, therefore, it is to find that there are a few traditional venues where precautions are being taken to protect children from the popular culture. The good work done at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel in Monroe, Connecticut, was noted in
Not Blending Well. To take advantage of this great oasis of the Faith, served by His Excellency Bishop Robert McKenna, O.P., and Father Vincent Henault, O.P., however, one must have something called a job and regular income. Connecticut is one of the most expensive states in the nation in which to live.
Another great oasis of the Faith in this regard is Queen of All Saints Academy in Brooksville, Florida. His Excellency Bishop Donald Sanborn's standards are firm. He wants to create an environment in which the souls of the children of his parishioners are preserved from the stain of the world so that they can grow in sanctity and thus be more open to responding to God's call to a vocation to the priesthood or the consecrated religious life and so that they can be ready throughout their entire lives to recognize that we have no true home in this passing world. We must long for our true home in Heaven.
Bishop Sanborn's excellent treatment of the responsibility of parents to shield their children from the popular culture deserves to be circulated widely. Here are just a few excerpts:
1.2.7. The role of the home in Catholic education. Catholic parents must understand that the primary former of the child's religious and moral character is the home. The Catholic school is merely an accessory to the causes in the home which form the child. Hence all of the virtues which God and the Church want to see in the child must come primarily from the home and only secondarily from the school. Parents have a grave obligation before God to teach their children the holy Faith, and to train their wills in virtue, not only by giving them positive instruction and good example, but also by uprooting in their children the effects of original sin. These effects incline the child to evil, and unless they are are combated by a constant vigilance and unrelenting discipline, they will take root in the child's soul like weeds in a garden, and will eventually choke out the virtues. The Catholic school is there to help parents accomplish this most serious and most sacred goal in their children, but only in a secondary and accessory manner. Consequently, the efforts of the Catholic school will be stymied if the parents fail to fulfill their role in the Catholic home. For this reason, the Academy requires that certain conditions be met in the home, in order to enroll one's child in the Academy. These conditions concern the elimination of the influence of the modern culture in the home, and are listed below (no. 1.5.3).
1.2.8. Modern culture. Modern culture is hostile to Catholic Faith and morals, and to the extent that one embraces it, to that same extent will the virtues of the faith, hope and charity in the soul be weakened. In fact, they will entirely disappear if one should embrace the modern culture totally. Modern culture is based on subjectivism and relativism, which repudiates all notion of fixed and supernatural dogmas. It denies original sin and its effects, and holds out as man's ideal the attainment of merely worldly happiness and some natural virtues. It considers impurity to be a virtue, and encourages the pursuit of sexual pleasure, whether moral or immoral, as one of the most important goals of men. Modern culture is obsessed with sex. Modern culture furthermore encourages worldliness, avarice, and disrespect for authority. It condones and even encourages divorce, adultery, abortion, birth control, fornication, and sodomy. Its music and art are sick and perverted, laden with overtones of sex, morbid violence, and devil worship. In short, the modern culture could be described as the pomps of Satan, which we all forswear as a condition for our baptism. For this reason, Queen of All Saints Academy utterly rejects the modern culture, and seeks not only to protect the children from it, but also to give them a truly Catholic culture. Since the primary sources of exposure to modern culture are the media and bad friends, the Academy insists that its students, even in the environment away from the school, be detached from the modern culture. Parents who fail do so will be asked to remove their children from the Academy. . . .
1.5.3. Conditions which must be observed in the home in order to enroll children in Queen of All Saints Academy. In order to enroll their children in Queen of All Saints Academy, parents or guardians must observe the following rules in the home:
Rule no. 1. All broadcast and cable television must be banned from the home.
Explanation of the rule. Television is not intrinsically evil. But since 95% of television programming is morally objectionable, and corrosive of Catholic Faith and morals, it is necessary that families detach themselves from this programming. Since it is nearly impossible to sift the good material from the bad, it becomes necessary to avoid it altogether. It must be banned from the home. The rule does not mean that one can never look at television, but it is saying that it must be out of the home, in order to preserve the children, especially, from its corrosive influence. The rule envisions broadcast TV, i.e., normal programming which comes over the air waves, and cable TV, what you buy from a cable company. It does not ban the watching of clean videotapes. Nor does it ban the recording of decent broadcast and cable television shows, which could be watched later if the indecent commercials could be removed.
Rule no. 2. All forms of rock music must be banned from the home and the automobile.
Explanation of the rule. This means that all forms of rock music are banned, not merely the "hard" or "acid" variety, but also what is known as "soft rock" or "light rock" or "oldies." In short, it includes anything which has the unmistakable rock rhythm, and which any average person would call rock music. The ban does not include forms of popular music which are not rock, e.g., folk music, Celtic music, even Broadway shows, provided that they are clean.
Rule no. 3. All impure "Country Western" music and similar types must be banned from the home and the automobile.
Explanation of the rule. While there is some legitimate Country Western music which, if not very polished, is at least clean and culturally acceptable, most modern Country Western music is a serious occasion of sin to the listener, since it very explicitly speaks about sexual escapades. This, of course, is banned. The term "similar types" refers to groups who sing folk music apparently, but whose title is so dirty that you would not listen to them even if they were singing Gregorian Chant.
Rule no. 4. All objectionable video games must be banned from the home, and acceptable video games must be used in moderation.
Explanation of the rule. Video games are not evil in themselves, obviously, and good ones can even be a good source of creation. However, there are many which are bad for one reason or another, either owing to impurity, or occult overtones, or morbidly violent themes, or because they use rock music. Furthermore, the children must not become addicted even to the good ones, and hence there is the rule about moderation.
Rule no. 5. School children may not access the Internet except with special permission from the principal.
Explanation of the rule. The Internet is, clearly, not intrinsically good or bad, but becomes good or bad according to what is brought up on it. Since positively the most dreadful pictures can be easily accessed, as well as the most hellish websites and chat rooms, it is necessary that students access the internet for only serious reasons. This rule also holds for e-mail exchanges. Idle time spent on the Internet is the devil's workshop, and in most cases the student can access whatever information he needs in a relatively short amount of time.
Rule no. 6. It is forbidden for students to belong to sports leagues, or anything of a similar nature.
Explanation of the rule. Years ago, before Vatican II, Catholic students were never permitted to play sports with public schools. Rather there were the Catholic leagues, like CYO, etc. The reason is that interaction with public school students was considered a danger to faith and morals. If that was true in the 1950's, how much more is it true today? Since we cannot organize our own Catholic leagues, our young people will simply have to forego the possibility of playing sports in that environment. The words "anything of a similar nature" refer to any environment or circumstance in which students, without sufficient reason, are exposed to danger in faith or morals. The school reserves the right to make a determination of these cases.
Rule no. 7. It is forbidden that students recreate in places where rock music is played.
Explanation of the rule. This rule specifically excludes skating rinks and sports arenas where rock music is being played. The rule says, "is being played,"since it may be possible to get the establishment to turn it off. It is true that it nearly impossible to avoid rock music, since it is heard in rest rooms, restaurants, dentists' offices, etc., but in these cases there is a proportionate reasons, that is, a necessity of being there. But there is no necessity to be in a skating rink or sports arena.
Rule no. 8. It is forbidden that students enter a theater without the permission of the principal.
Explanation of the rule. Owing to the indecent posters and frequent, dirty previews, a students not have a proportionate reason to enter a theater. A movie in itself is a very low form of recreation and does not qualify as a sufficient reason to expose oneself to such indecency. A proportionate reason would exist, for example, in the case of entering a supermarket which posted dirty magazines. You have a proportionate reason to be at the supermarket owing to the necessity of buying food. But such a necessity does not exist in going to a theater.
Rule no. 9. It is forbidden that students attend Masses which are offered in union with the Vatican II hierarchy.
Explanation of the rule. Some persons are misled in thinking that they can attend any Mass, as long as it is said in Latin; believing that they need not concern themselves with the intention or theological position of the priest offering the Mass. But this is not correct. Those attending Mass cannot separate themselves from the offerer. The priest is the primary minister, not the faithful. The licitness of a Mass does not depend upon the private intentions of those attending, but rather on the priest offering the Mass.
1.5.4. The Pledge of Decency. In order that the Academy can have assurance that parents consent to and are observing the philosophy, rules, and regulations contained in this Manual, it is necessary that the parents of students sign the following Pledge of Decency. It must be handed in shortly before the beginning of the academic year. The Pledge of Decency is not an oath or a vow. Rather it is a simple declaration of consent and a promise made to the administration of the school. Like any promise, it holds the virtue of justice. Those who seriously violate it, e.g., by completely repudiating the contents and the conditions it imposes, will be asked to take their children out of the school.
A Pledge of Decency
I, the undersigned, a parent of a child at Queen of All Saints Academy, do hereby declare, resolve and pledge:
First, that I am in full agreement with the rules of Queen of All Saints Academy concerning rock music, television, movies, movie theaters, dress, behavior, Internet access, sports leagues, recreation, video games, and detachment from the modern culture in general.
Second, that I will take all the necessary steps to be in conformity with the rules of Queen of All Saints Academy.
Third, that I will uphold the rules of Queen of All Saints Academy both in front of my children and in front of other parents who have children in the Academy, and will enforce the rules of the Academy in my own children.
Fourth, that I will refrain from the public criticism of the priests, teachers, and other administrators of the school, and will resolve any differences with them in a discreet and respectful manner.
The Queen of All Saints Academy Manual is chock full of wonderful Catholic exhortations. It is as thorough as one would expect Bishop Sanborn to be in making sure that the parents under his pastoral care take the proper measures to protect their children from the popular culture. A few additional excepts from the Manual will suffice to demonstrate what should be part of every Catholics's ordinary sensus Catholicus--and should demonstrate just how much the spirit of the world, which has been embraced by conciliarism, has infected the minds and hearts of Catholics all across the ecclesiastical divide:
3.4.4. Title 4: MODESTY, CHASTITY, & DECENCY
4. The student shall have an ardent love for Catholic chastity and purity, and shall strive to safeguard it in every way possible. Consequently the student shall observe all of the rules of Catholic modesty, chastity and decency, whether on school grounds or off. He shall pray often for the preservation of his chastity, and shall take utmost care to avoid all occasions of impurity.
4.1 It is forbidden to use foul, vulgar, or impure language.
4.2 It is forbidden to tell impure stories or jokes.
4.3 It is forbidden to watch impure television, impure movies, impure videos, to play video games with impure themes or scenes, to call up impure images or web sites on the Internet.
4.4. It is forbidden to have friends or acquaintances who do any of the activities forbidden in rules 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3.
4.5 It is forbidden for the high school boys and girls to fraternize, on school grounds, for more than five minutes without the permission of the Principal.
4.6. Traditionally, boys and girls were never in the same classroom at the high school level, and it is only by necessity that they should be educated together at the Academy. Consequently high school boys and girls should refrain from cultivating or sowing a romantic interest in members of the opposite sex, but should rather keep their minds on their studies and defer such things until after they have graduated from high school. . . .
16. On days off, weekends, and vacation periods, even throughout the summer, the students of the Academy shall observe all the general norms of Catholic conduct, as described in the General Norms of Conduct. In addition they must observe (1) all of the norms concerning dress and grooming, mentioned in Title 8. unless there is specific mention in the rule that it applies to uniform, school property, or school hour; (2)all the norms concerning culture, mentioned in Title 5. He is furthermore bound to the following rules:
16.1 Students must avoid all types of recreations which are serious occasions of sin:
16.11 Students are forbidden to frequent beaches or amusement parks where people are very scantily dressed. . . .
16.14. Students may not join sports leagues, bands, glee clubs, or anything in which they will come into close social and recreational contact with non-Catholics. Lessons for recreational or cultural skills (e.g., piano, ice skating, etc.) are permitted, as long as there is no danger to faith or morals connected with them.
16.15. Students may not recreate in those places where rock music or other unacceptable forms of music are played constantly or nearly constantly. Exception to this rule is made if they students can avert the problem either by having the bad music turned off, or by using earphones to block it out.
One of the ways in which the evils of the modern culture, even absent the vagaries of fallen human nature that can work their ways insidiously into the souls of the young without any external temptations, is through bad associations. As has been noted in my writing consistently over the years, it is far, far easier for bad example to induce those striving to be holy to depart from the paths of sanctity than it is for passive good example to lead those out of lives of vice to convert. It is usually necessary for there to be, in addition to prayer and sacrifice and fasting and mortification offered to the Blessed Trinity through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, the performance of at least one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy such as Admonishing the Sinner.
Obviously, we live in the world, which will exert its pull on our children and on ourselves now and again. The more that we take practical measures to protect our own souls and those of our children will be the more that our prayers before the Blessed Sacrament and to the Mother of God, especially through her Most Holy Rosary, as the consecrated slaves of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart will bear fruit in the years and the decades ahead in terms of the flowering of religious vocations and good, holy marriages. It is well past time, however, that all Catholics come to recognize that the modern culture and the Catholic Faith are mutually irreconcilable.
May our dear Wonderworker, Saint Philomena, whom we celebrate today (except for those of you in the Motu world of the modernized Mass of Angelo Roncalli, who dared to suppress the feast of this great saint, honored by none other than Pope Saint Pius X), help us to give our all for the Holy Catholic Faith. Saint Philomena could have been the wife of the Emperor Diocletian. She chose a martyr's death rather than to make one compromise with what she knew to be true about the sanctity of marriage. May our dear Saint Philomena help us to be as absolutely uncompromising in our own lives, defending the Catholic Faith as we lift high the standard of the Holy Cross of the Divine Redeemer, considering it a pure joy to be calumniated by others for refusing to surrender to human respect so as to be considered "normal" by the world.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and the hour of our death Amen
Vivat Christus Rex!
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 Michael the Archangel, pray for us
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saints Tiburtius and Susanna, pray for us.
Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Lawrence the Deacon, pray for us.
Saint Cajetan, pray for us.
Saint Donatus, pray for us.
Saint Dominic de Guzman, pray for us
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us
Pope Saint Stephen I, pray for us
Saint Stephen the Protomartyr, pray for us
Saint Christopher, pray for us
Saint James the Greater, pray for us
Simon Stock, pray for us
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us
Saint Bonaventure, pray for us
Saint Athanasius, pray for us
Saint Irenaeus, pray for us
Saints Monica, pray for us
Saint Jude, pray for us
Saint John the Beloved, pray for us
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us
Saint John Bosco, pray for us
Saint Dominic Savio, pray for us
Saint Scholastica, pray for us
Saint Benedict, pray for us
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us
Saint Antony of the Desert, pray for us
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us
Saint Bonaventure, pray for us
Saint Augustine, pray for us
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us
Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us
Saint Peter Damian, pray for us
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us
Saint Lucy, pray for us
Saint Monica, pray for us
Saint Agatha, pray for us
Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us
Saint Basil the Great, pray for us
Saint Philomena, pray for us
Saint Cecilia, pray for us
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us
Saint Athanasius, pray for us
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us
Saint John Lalonde, pray for us
Saint Gabriel Lalemont, pray for us
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us
Saint Hyacinth, pray for us
Saint Basil, pray for us
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us
Saint Sebastian, pray for us
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us
Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us
Saint Genevieve, pray for us
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us
Saint Rita of Cascia, pray for us
Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us
Father Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us
Francisco Marto, pray for us
Jacinta Marto, pray for us
Juan Diego, pray for us
Sister Teresa Benedicta, 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