Naturalism to the Right, Naturalism to the Left
Thomas A. Droleskey
Now, the fundamental doctrine of the naturalists, which they sufficiently make known by their very name, is that human nature and human reason ought in all things to be mistress and guide. Laying this down, they care little for duties to God, or pervert them by erroneous and vague opinions. For they deny that anything has been taught by God; they allow no dogma of religion or truth which cannot be understood by the human intelligence, nor any teacher who ought to be believed by reason of his authority. And since it is the special and exclusive duty of the Catholic Church fully to set forth in words truths divinely received, to teach, besides other divine helps to salvation, the authority of its office, and to defend the same with perfect purity, it is against the Church that the rage and attack of the enemies are principally directed.
In those matters which regard religion let it be seen how the sect of the Freemasons acts, especially where it is more free to act without restraint, and then let any one judge whether in fact it does not wish to carry out the policy of the naturalists. By a long and persevering labor, they endeavor to bring about this result -- namely, that the teaching office and authority of the Church may become of no account in the civil State; and for this same reason they declare to the people and contend that Church and State ought to be altogether disunited. By this means they reject from the laws and from the commonwealth the wholesome influence of the Catholic religion; and they consequently imagine that States ought to be constituted without any regard for the laws and precepts of the Church. . . .
But the naturalists go much further; for, having, in the highest things, entered upon a wholly erroneous course, they are carried headlong to extremes, either by reason of the weakness of human nature, or because God inflicts upon them the just punishment of their pride. Hence it happens that they no longer consider as certain and permanent those things which are fully understood by the natural light of reason, such as certainly are -- the existence of God, the immaterial nature of the human soul, and its immortality. The sect of the Freemasons, by a similar course of error, is exposed to these same dangers; for, although in a general way they may profess the existence of God, they themselves are witnesses that they do not all maintain this truth with the full assent of the mind or with a firm conviction. Neither do they conceal that this question about God is the greatest source and cause of discords among them; in fact, it is certain that a considerable contention about this same subject has existed among them very lately. But, indeed, the sect allows great liberty to its votaries, so that to each side is given the right to defend its own opinion, either that there is a God, or that there is none; and those who obstinately contend that there is no God are as easily initiated as those who contend that God exists, though, like the pantheists, they have false notions concerning Him: all which is nothing else than taking away the reality, while retaining some absurd representation of the divine nature.
When this greatest fundamental truth has been overturned or weakened, it follows that those truths, also, which are known by the teaching of nature must begin to fall -- namely, that all things were made by the free will of God the Creator; that the world is governed by Providence; that souls do not die; that to this life of men upon the earth there will succeed another and an everlasting life.
When these truths are done away with, which are as the principles of nature and important for knowledge and for practical use, it is easy to see what will become of both public and private morality. We say nothing of those more heavenly virtues, which no one can exercise or even acquire without a special gift and grace of God; of which necessarily no trace can be found in those who reject as unknown the redemption of mankind, the grace of God, the sacraments, and the happiness to be obtained in heaven. We speak now of the duties which have their origin in natural probity. That God is the Creator of the world and its provident Ruler; that the eternal law commands the natural order to be maintained, and forbids that it be disturbed; that the last end of men is a destiny far above human things and beyond this sojourning upon the earth: these are the sources and these the principles of all justice and morality.
If these be taken away, as the naturalists and Freemasons desire, there will immediately be no knowledge as to what constitutes justice and injustice, or upon what principle morality is founded. And, in truth, the teaching of morality which alone finds favor with the sect of Freemasons, and in which they contend that youth should be instructed, is that which they call "civil," and "independent," and "free," namely, that which does not contain any religious belief. But, how insufficient such teaching is, how wanting in soundness, and how easily moved by every impulse of passion, is sufficiently proved by its sad fruits, which have already begun to appear. For, wherever, by removing Christian education, this teaching has begun more completely to rule, there goodness and integrity of morals have begun quickly to perish, monstrous and shameful opinions have grown up, and the audacity of evil deeds has risen to a high degree. All this is commonly complained of and deplored; and not a few of those who by no means wish to do so are compelled by abundant evidence to give not infrequently the same testimony.
Moreover, human nature was stained by original sin, and is therefore more disposed to vice than to virtue. For a virtuous life it is absolutely necessary to restrain the disorderly movements of the soul, and to make the passions obedient to reason. In this conflict human things must very often be despised, and the greatest labors and hardships must be undergone, in order that reason may always hold its sway. But the naturalists and Freemasons, having no faith in those things which we have learned by the revelation of God, deny that our first parents sinned, and consequently think that free will is not at all weakened and inclined to evil. On the contrary, exaggerating rather the power and the excellence of nature, and placing therein alone the principle and rule of justice, they cannot even imagine that there is any need at all of a constant struggle and a perfect steadfastness to overcome the violence and rule of our passions.
Wherefore we see that men are publicly tempted by the many allurements of pleasure; that there are journals and pamphlets with neither moderation nor shame; that stage-plays are remarkable for license; that designs for works of art are shamelessly sought in the laws of a so-called verism; that the contrivances of a soft and delicate life are most carefully devised; and that all the blandishments of pleasure are diligently sought out by which virtue may be lulled to sleep. Wickedly, also, but at the same time quite consistently, do those act who do away with the expectation of the joys of heaven, and bring down all happiness to the level of mortality, and, as it were, sink it in the earth. Of what We have said the following fact, astonishing not so much in itself as in its open expression, may serve as a confirmation. For, since generally no one is accustomed to obey crafty and clever men so submissively as those whose soul is weakened and broken down by the domination of the passions, there have been in the sect of the Freemasons some who have plainly determined and proposed that, artfully and of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice, as, when this had been done, it would easily come under their power and authority for any acts of daring.
What refers to domestic life in the teaching of the naturalists is almost all contained in the following declarations: that marriage belongs to the genus of commercial contracts, which can rightly be revoked by the will of those who made them, and that the civil rulers of the State have power over the matrimonial bond; that in the education of youth nothing is to be taught in the matter of religion as of certain and fixed opinion; and each one must be left at liberty to follow, when he comes of age, whatever he may prefer. To these things the Freemasons fully assent; and not only assent, but have long endeavored to make them into a law and institution. For in many countries, and those nominally Catholic, it is enacted that no marriages shall be considered lawful except those contracted by the civil rite; in other places the law permits divorce; and in others every effort is used to make it lawful as soon as may be. Thus, the time is quickly coming when marriages will be turned into another kind of contract -- that is into changeable and uncertain unions which fancy may join together, and which the same when changed may disunite.
With the greatest unanimity the sect of the Freemasons also endeavors to take to itself the education of youth. They think that they can easily mold to their opinions that soft and pliant age, and bend it whither they will; and that nothing can be more fitted than this to enable them to bring up the youth of the State after their own plan. Therefore, in the education and instruction of children they allow no share, either of teaching or of discipline, to the ministers of the Church; and in many places they have procured that the education of youth shall be exclusively in the hands of laymen, and that nothing which treats of the most important and most holy duties of men to God shall be introduced into the instructions on morals.
Then come their doctrines of politics, in which the naturalists lay down that all men have the same right, and are in every respect of equal and like condition; that each one is naturally free; that no one has the right to command another; that it is an act of violence to require men to obey any authority other than that which is obtained from themselves. According to this, therefore, all things belong to the free people; power is held by the command or permission of the people, so that, when the popular will changes, rulers may lawfully be deposed and the source of all rights and civil duties is either in the multitude or in the governing authority when this is constituted according to the latest doctrines. It is held also that the State should be without God; that in the various forms of religion there is no reason why one should have precedence of another; and that they are all to occupy the same place.
That these doctrines are equally acceptable to the Freemasons, and that they would wish to constitute States according to this example and model, is too well known to require proof. For some time past they have openly endeavored to bring this about with all their strength and resources; and in this they prepare the way for not a few bolder men who are hurrying on even to worse things, in their endeavor to obtain equality and community of all goods by the destruction of every distinction of rank and property.
What, therefore, sect of the Freemasons is, and what course it pursues, appears sufficiently from the summary We have briefly given. Their chief dogmas are so greatly and manifestly at variance with reason that nothing can be more perverse. To wish to destroy the religion and the Church which God Himself has established, and whose perpetuity He insures by His protection, and to bring back after a lapse of eighteen centuries the manners and customs of the pagans, is signal folly and audacious impiety. Neither is it less horrible nor more tolerable that they should repudiate the benefits which Jesus Christ so mercifully obtained, not only for individuals, but also for the family and for civil society, benefits which, even according to the judgment and testimony of enemies of Christianity, are very great. In this insane and wicked endeavor we may almost see the implacable hatred and spirit of revenge with which Satan himself is inflamed against Jesus Christ. -- So also the studious endeavor of the Freemasons to destroy the chief foundations of justice and honesty, and to co-operate with those who would wish, as if they were mere animals, to do what they please, tends only to the ignominious and disgraceful ruin of the human race. (Pope Leo XIII, Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884.)
One does not have to a member of a Judeo-Masonic lodge to embrace the naturalistic spirit that is of the essence of Judeo-Masonry. Indeed, pun intended, the naturalism of Judeo-Masonry comes quite naturally to citizens of all ranks, from the supposedly "highly educated" and the wealthy to those who without much in the way of formal education and the poor, in a world where Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is not recognized and honored publicly as the King of men and of the nations, a world where it is not permissible to pay due homage to the Immaculate Queen who made possible our salvation by her perfect fiat to the will of the Father at the Annunciation and who is the Co-Redemptrix and the Mediatrix of All Graces. The anti-Incarnational world in which we live must, as was indicated in "Out of Their Own Mouths" two days ago, produce the religiously hostile state that is the natural, inevitable result of naturalism, that is, of reducing all things in life to the merely natural life and disregarding the Deposit of Faith that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man in His Most Blessed Mother's Virginal and Immaculate womb entrusted solely to the Catholic Church He founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. Even Catholics who live in a world of naturalism and who do not know about--or who reject for various ideological reasons--the authentic Social Teaching of the Catholic Church about the responsibility of the civil state to recognize her with the favor and the protection of the laws are swept into this tidal wave of naturalism, plunging headlong into secular and religiously indifferentist schemes that they believe will combat the evils promoted by other secularists and religious indifferentists of a different political party and/or ideology.
This kind of madness was on display over the weekend, evidently, at a convention of naturalists on the alleged "right" (one of those false opposites mentioned in
Controlling the Masses With False Opposites seven months ago now) in Washington, D.C. Without a television and reading a few snippets of news about the speeches given at the convention of conservative naturalists and political ecumenists, the mind can only imagine the sort of enthusiasm displayed for shallow speakers who do not know or are afraid to say publicly that all personal and social problems are the result of Original Sin and our own Actual Sins and that they only path to the amelioration of personal and soul problems runs through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary as each person offers up his daily prayers and duties and sufferings and humiliations as her consecrated slaves. Oh, no, it can't possibly the case that the reform of societies depends upon the reform of souls in cooperation with the graces won for us on the wood of the Holy Cross by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces. Why that would destroy the livelihood of those who run "conservative" news and commentary websites. It would end the cottage industries spawned by the naturalism's delusion that it is "good enough" for men to find "common ground" with one another in civil society, that there is no need to "divide" pluralistic societies with such nasty things as overt "denominationalism."
Pope Leo XIII's cogent description of the naturalism of Freemasonry, which is practiced as well by the "white Masons" (Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, Elk, Raccoon Lodge, Sons of the Desert), applies to the very essence of American partisan politics from its inception. Orestes Brownson saw this clearly in the Nineteenth Century. Those who deny the Incarnation are bound to plunge themselves into mad delusions. Brownson's description of contemporary events and natural priorities in 1847 could pass for a commentary of contemporary events in 2007 and the national priorities established by naturally-speaking candidates of the "right" and the "left" at present:
What, then, is true national greatness? We answer, that nation is greatest in which man may most easily and effectually fulfil the true and proper end of man. The nation, under the point of view we here consider the subject, is in the people. Its greatness must, then, be in the greatness of the people. The people are a collection or aggregation of individuals, and their greatness taken collectively is simply their greatness taken individually. Consequently the greatness of a nation is the greatness of the individuals that compose it. The question of national greatness resolves itself, therefore, into the question of individual greatness. The greatness of the individual consists in his fulfilling the great ends of his existence, the ends for which Almighty God made him and placed him here. No man is truly great who neglects life's great ends, nor can one be said in truth to approach greatness any further than he fulfils them.
In order, then, to determine in what true national greatness consists, we must determine in what consists true individual greatness; and in order to determine in what true individual greatness consists, we must determine what is the true end of man; that is, what is the end to which Almighty God has appointed man, and which he is while here to labor to secure. What, then, is the end of man? For what has our Maker placed us here? To what has he bidden us aspire? Were we placed here merely to be born and to die,-to live for a moment, continue our species, toil, suffer, drop into the grave to rot, and be no more for ever? If this be our end, true greatness will consist in living for this life only, and in being great in that which pertains to this life. The greatest man will be he who succeeds best in amassing the goods of this world, in securing its honors and luxuries, or simply in multiplying for himself the means of sensual enjoyment. In a word, the greatest man will be he who most abounds in wealth and luxury.
We mean not to say, that, in point of fact, wealth and luxury, worldly honors and sensual gratifications, are the chief goods of even this life; but simply that they would be, if this were our only life, if our destiny were a destiny to be accomplished in this world. It is because this world is not our home, because we are merely travellers through it, and our destination is a world beyond it, that the life of justice and sanctity yields us even here our truest and most substantial pleasure. But confine man to this life, let it be true that he has no destiny beyond it, and nothing could, relatively to him, be called great or good, not included under the heads of wealth and luxury. Nothing could be counted or conceived of as of the least value to him that does not directly or indirectly minister to his sensual enjoyment. No infidel moralist has ever been able, without going out of his own system, or want of system, to conceive of any thing higher, nobler, more valuable, than sensual pleasure.
But this life is not our only life, and our destiny is not accomplished here. The grave is not our final doom; this world is not our home; we were not created for this world alone; and there is for us a life beyond this life. But even this, if we stop with it, does not answer our question. We may conceive of a future life as the simple continuation of our present natural life, and such the future life is conceived to be by not a few among us, who nevertheless flatter themselves that they are firm believers in the life and immortality brought to light through the Gospel. Every being may be said to have a natural destiny or end, which its nature is fitted and intended to gain. The Creator, in creating a being with a given nature, has given that being a pledge of the means and conditions of fulfilling it, of attaining to its natural end. Man has evidently been created with a nature that does not and cannot find its complete fulfilment in this life. He has a natural capacity for more than is actually attainable here. In this capacity he has the promise or pledge of his Maker that he shall live again.
The promises of God cannot fail. Man therefore must and will live again. But this is only the pledge, so to speak, of a natural immortality, and reveals to us only a natural destiny. It is only a continuation of our natural life in another world. The end we are to labor for, and the means we are to adopt to gain it, must be precisely what they would be in case our life were to terminate at the grave. Our future life being still a natural life, what is wisest and best for that portion we are now living would be wisest and best for that portion we are hereafter to live. Hence, what is wisest and best for time would be wisest and best for eternity.
Hence it is that we find so many who, though professing belief in a future life, judge all things as if this life were our only life. They look to the future life only as the continuation of the present, and expect from it only the completion of their natural destiny. They agree in all their moral judgments, in all their estimates of the worth of things or of actions, with those who believe in no future life at all. They profess to hope for a future life, but live only for time; because their future life is to be only a continuation of time. Hence they say, as we ourselves were for years accustomed to say, He who lives wisely for time lives wisely for eternity; create a heaven here, and you will have done your best to secure your title to a heaven hereafter.
Hence it is that the morality of many who profess to be Christians is the same which is adopted and defended by infidels. This is so obviously the case, that we not unfrequently find men who call themselves Christians commending downright unbelievers in Christianity as good moral men, and who see no reason why the morality of the infidel should not be the same in kind as the morality of the Christian. Hence it is supposed that morality may be taught in our schools, without teaching any peculiar or distinctive doctrine of Christianity. Morality, we are told, is independent of religion, and not a few regard it as sufficient without religion. So common has this mode of thinking and speaking become amongst us, that we heard the other day a tolerably intelligent Catholic, who would by no means admit himself to be deficient in the understanding or practice of his Catholic duties, say, that, if a man were only a good moral man, he did not care what was his distinctive religious belief. Many who go further, and contend that religion is necessary to morality, contend for its necessity only as a sort of police establishment. It is necessary, be cause the natural sanctions of the moral law are not quite sufficient to secure obedience, and religion must be called in by its hopes and fears to strengthen them.
Now all this is perfectly consistent and right, if it be true that man has only a natural destiny. We ought, in such a case, to judge all things which concern us precisely as if this were our only life. Religion could be of no value further than it strengthened the police, kept people from picking one another's pockets or cutting one another's throats. But man's destiny is not natural, but supernatural. Almighty God created him with a specific nature, but not for an end in the order of that nature, or to be attained by its simple fulfilment. He created him to his own image and likeness, but appointed him to a supernatural destiny,-to an end above what is attainable by the fulfilment of his nature,- to an end not promised in his nature, and which is not be stowed as the reward of fulfilling it. This end is to know and love God; but in a sense far higher than we can know and love him by our natural powers, and as he is now beheld through a glass, darkly, or seen dimly through the medium of his works, as we see the cause in the effect. It is to see him face to face, and to know and love him with a knowledge and love the same in kind, though not in degree, with which God knows and loves himself ;-this is the end for which man was intended, and which it is made his duty and his high privilege to seek. But this end surpasses the utmost capacity of our nature, and requires not only a supernatural revelation of God, but the supernatural elevation of our nature itself. It consists in our being made partakers of the divine nature in an ineffable sense, and in a sense above that in which we partake of it in being created after the image and likeness of God. Hence, St. Peter says, "By whom [Jesus Christ] he hath given us very great and precious promises, that by these you may be made partakers of his divine nature." So also St. John :-" We are now the sons of God, and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; because we shall see him as he is."
This fact in these times is overlooked. Men have wished to rationalize the Gospel, to find a philosophic basis for the mysteries of faith. In attempting this, they have labored to bring the whole of divine revelation ,within the domain of reason, and have been led to exclude, as no part of it whatever they found themselves unable to bring within that domain. Reason is necessarily restricted to the order of nature, and can in no instance, of itself, go out of that order. Hence, revelation has come very widely to be regarded as only a republication of the natural law, as at best 'only a running commentary on it, designed simply to explain the natural order, and not to reveal any thing above it.
Men who claim to be Christians, and even ministers of the Gospel, everywhere abound, who have no faith in the supernatural order, scarcely a conception of it. We spent nearly two hours the other day trying to enable a Protestant minister, and him by no means a weak or ignorant one, even to conceive of the supernatural; but in vain. So perverted had his mind become by the false theologies of modern times, that he could attach no meaning to the assertion, "There is a supernatural order." He could use the word supernatural, but it had no meaning for his mind not within the order of nature. Thousands are in the same sad condition. To them nature is all, and all is nature. Indeed, the word nature itself has no definite meaning for them. If a man by a word raise the dead, it is natural; if Moses smite the rock and living waters gush forth, it is natural,-all by a natural power, a natural law. Travelling in the same direction, they lose themselves in a wilderness of absurdities.
Natural laws cease to be laws imposed on nature, laws she must obey, and from which she cannot withdraw herself, and become forces, agents, creators. It is not strange, then that they lose sight of the supernatural destiny of man, and look only for a natura1 destiny, to be obtained not as a reward for obedience to grace, but as the natural consequence of the cultivation or development of our natural powers.
Read the writings of the celebrated Dr. Channing, or of the school which he founded or to which he was attached, and you shall never find a single recognition of the supernatural order, properly so called,-any allusion to a supernatural destiny. The highest end you will find presented is that to which we may attain by the unfolding of our higher nature, of our natural sentiments of love and reverence. The school goes so far as to contend that our nature is susceptible of an unbounded good, and that our natural sentiments of love and reverence are capable of an infinite expansion. Yet these are rational Christians, and they boast of their reason! They talk of the absurdities of Catholic theology, and see no absurdity in supposing that a finite nature may be infinitely expanded, or that a nature can be something more than it is without any thing super-natural.
But this by the way. The true end for which man is to live is the supernatural end to which we are appointed, the beatitude which God hath promised to all that love and serve him here. His true end is not the fulfilment of nature, but what the sacred Scriptures term "eternal life"; and "This is life eternal, that they may know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." We cannot know God, without loving him. Hence we say, the end of man is to know and love God. But to know him intuitively, as he knows himself; for we are to see him as he is, -not as he appears through the medium of his works, but as he is in himself. We cannot thus know him naturally, for thus to know him exceeds the power of the highest possible created intelligence. We must be like him, before we can see him as he is,-be made, in a supernatural sense, partakers of his divine nature. To know him intuitively as he is in himself, is, however, the glorious destiny to which we are appointed, and to which we may attain, if we will. A more glorious destiny we cannot desire. In it we possess God himself, who is the sovereign good. Even here we find our highest good in knowing the truth and loving goodness, dim as is our view of the one, and feeble as is our hold of the other. What must it be, then, when we come to behold, by the light of glory, our God face to face, with no cloud intervening to obscure his infinite beauty, no distance between us and his ineffable love? Well may it be said, "Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive what our God hath prepared for them that love him." He will reward them with no inferior, no created good; but will give them himself, will himself be their portion for ever.
But this supernatural destiny, since it is supernatural, is not naturally attainable. We may cultivate all our natural powers, we may fill up the highest and broadest capacities of our nature, realize the highest ideal, and yet be infinitely, -we use the word in its strict sense,-infinitely below it. It is not attained to by "self-culture," by the development and exercise of our highest natural powers, including even the boasted sentiments of love and reverence. It is nothing that is due, or ever can be due, to our nature. It is a gift, and can be obtained only as bestowed. But it will be bestowed only on the obedient, and is bestowed as the reward of obedience. Our destiny is eternal life, and the condition of obtaining it is obedience. Obedience is not, as some of the sects teach, the end for which we were made. We were made not that we might obey God, but that we might possess God, and we obey him as the condition of possessing him.
Obedience consists in fulfilling this law, "Thou shalt
love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy
whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind;
and thy neighbour as thyself." This law requires us to love
God supremely and exclusively. It is not enough that we
love God more than we love any thing else, but we must
love only him, and our neighbour and ourselves only in him
and for the sake of him; otherwise we do not love him with
the whole heart, soul, strength, and mind. But even this
is not all. No love of which we are naturally capable is the
fulfilling of this law, is that charity without which we are
as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. The end is supernatural, and, if the end be supernatural, the means must be
supernatural; for there must be some proportion between
the means and the end, and between natural means and a
supernatural end there is no proportion. Man by his
natural strength, even if he had never sinned, could not
keep the law of charity in that sense in which obedience has
the promise of eternal life. The obedience itself must be
supernatural, and therefore is not possible, unless our nature
be elevated, supernaturalized, by divine grace, by which our acts have a supernatural character, and a supernatural merit.
We may say, then, that Almighty God has appointed us
to a supernatural end, that he has made that end attainable
only by perfect obedience, and the obedience possible only
by means of supernatural grace. The end for which we are
intended and the means of obtaining it are both in the supernatural order, in what is called the ORDER OF GRACE, not
in the order of nature. We must live not in and for the
order of nature, but in and for the order of grace. Then
our chief attention is to be directed to the means, influences,
ministries, disciplines by which we are lifted out of the
order of nature, and placed in the order of grace, on the
plane of our destiny. These are dispensed, exercised, enjoined by our blessed Saviour through his holy church,
which he has established for the purpose, and which represents to us and for us the supernatural order. God through
the church does not merely reveal to us the end for which
he intended us, and the means of obtaining it, but also dis-
penses the helps we need in our weakness to lift us out of
the order of nature and to sustain us in the order of grace;
and it is only through her ministries and disciplines that,
in the ordinary course of his gracious providence, he does
or will grant them, or, if he in some sense grant them, that
they prove effectual. Then the indispensable conditions of
obedience by which we obtain the end for which we were
intended cannot be possessed but by submission to the
church, and observing whatever she proposes or commands.
When we do this, and freely cooperate with the grace given
to all men, we are just, and are placed in that state in which
obedience merits eternal life.
We can now answer the question we have asked, namely,
In what consists true greatness? We began by assuming
that true greatness consists in living for the end for which
our Maker intended us. This end we now see is supernatural,
and obtainable only by supernatural means. True greatness
must consist in living for this supernatural end, and in
yielding the supernatural obedience by which alone it is to
be obtained. It evidently, then, consists in nothing natural,
but in being lifted out of nature and placed in the order of
grace, as we have said, on the plane of our destiny. The
least in the order of grace is infinitely superior to the greatest in the order of nature. True greatness is, simply, in
that supernatural justice and sanctity in which man was
originally constituted, which he lost by sin, which is restored
by grace, and by which we are made heirs of the promises,
and translated into the number of those to whom our blessed Lord himself will give a crown of life.
This answer is not ours, but the answer which Almighty
God himself gives us in his revelation. Tried by the rule
implied in this answer, not a few of the world's judgments
must be reversed. At one stroke we must cut from the roll
of great men the immense majority of those the world delights to honor, and holds up to the reverence and emulation
of our youth. Renowned princes, statesmen, heroes, poets,
philosophers, scholars, authors, must lose their rank, and
sink below that of ordinary men. Your Goethes, Byrons,
Shelleys, Scotts, Bulwers, Victor Hugos, Balzacs, Eugene
Sues, George Sands, Kants, Hegels, Cousins, shrink into in
significance before the simplest Christian who has given his
heart to God.. What are .your Alexanders, Hannibals, Caesasrs,
Napoleons, before a St. Gregory, a St. Bernard, a St.
Francis, a St. Ignatius, a St. Xavier, a St. Charles? You
Dukes of Wellington before your St. Patricks, St. Ninians,
St. Columbas, or countless hosts of those whose names are
unheard on earth, and known only in the Lamb's book of
life? The saints are the only true nobility. No man is
great but as he is good, but as he lives in the order of grace,
and loves God above all things and with his whole heart
and soul, and his neighbour as himself in and for the sake of
We have now a standard of greatness by which we can
determine who is and who is not great, and by which we
may determine the real value of things and conditions. Am
I poor? What if I am? Does my poverty interfere with
my obedience? Does it or can it debar me from obtaining that justice and sanctity in which alone is true worth, true
greatness, all that it does not belittle me to crave? Am I
unknown, held in no repute, despised? What of all this, I
if I am known and honored of God? What is it to me that
I am despised by men, if I am owned by the King immortal;
and invisible, who with his own hand will bestow upon me
a crown of life incorruptible and eternal in heaven? Talk
of human respectability, of one's standing in society, of the
honors one receives from the state or the mob! What is
all this to him who is in the communion of the saints and
martyrs of all ages and climes, who listen to his prayers, and
bear them as sweet incense up before the throne of the living God? Am I rich, am I honored, have I praise of men,
do the crowd run after me, the wise and venerable listen
when I speak? What of all this, if I am poor in the grace
of God, have no honor in heaven, no assurance of the reward set before me,-if, when I die, I go to hell, while the
poor beggar that lay at my gate is borne by the convoy of
angels to Abraham's bosom?
As of the individual, so of the nation. In like manner as
justice and sanctity constitute the greatness of the individual,
so do they constitute the greatness of the nation. "Justice
exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." The
great nation is the holy nation, rich in true obedience, and
carried away by a divine passion for God and all holy things.
Suppose your nation does increase in wealth, in luxury, in
refinement; suppose it does fell the primeval forest and
enlarge its borders, multiply its manufactures, extend its
commerce, and make all climes pour their riches into its lap;
what then? Does it follow that such a nation is great, is
glorious, and has reason to applaud herself for her achievements and to exult over the poor and simple? "Blessed is
the nation whose God is the Lord." Where is it written,
Blessed is the nation whose God is Mammon, and whose
worship is thrift? Where are the nations who forgot the
Lord, who put their trust in their ships, their traffic, their
wealth, and luxuries? Where is that ancient Tyre, "whose
merchants were princes, and her traders the nobles of the
earth"? Where are all the nations of the old world, once
renowned for their extended commerce, the richness of their
stuffs, and the variety of their manufactures? They have
passed away like the morning vapor, and a few solitary ruins,
alone remain to point the traveller to the seats of their
Taking the principles we have established, we can easily
answer the question, whether we are or are not a great people,whether the path we are pursuing leads to true national greatness, or whether it leads from it. Are we as a
people intent on gaining the end for which our Maker designed us? Are we remarkable for our humble observance
of the precepts of the Gospel? Are we diligent to yield
that obedience to which is promised eternal life? Far, very
far, from it. We are a proud, loud-boasting and vain-boasting people. Our god is mammon, and our righteousness is
thrift. Is it not so? To what do we point as proofs of our
greatness? Is it not to our industrial achievements, our
railroads, canals, steamboats, commerce, manufactures, material wealth and splendor? But where are our moral
achievements, the monuments of our enlightened zeal for
God, and humble devotion to his will? Religion we have
in name, in form, in many forms and many strange forms;
but where is the deep, all-pervading, all-active conviction
that this world is not our home, that it is but an inn in which
we may lodge for a night, but in which we may not, must
not, dwell? Alas! the dominant passion of our country is
worldly wealth and worldly distinction. We see it in the
general pursuits of the people; we hear it in the almost universal tone of conversation; and we see it distinctly in the
general scramble for wealth, in our demoralizing political
contentions, and the all-devouring greediness for place and
If we look at the great political questions which agitate
the public mind, we shall perceive that they are all questions concerning wealth, the means of facilitating its acquisition, of making it pass, or preventing it from passing, from
the few to the many, or from the many to the few. Such
are your bank questions, your tariff questions, your land-distribution questions. If you go beyond these, they are
questions of the honors and emoluments of office. Not a
pert upstart among us who has made his maiden caucus
speech, but regards himself as qualified for any office in the
gift of the people, from that of village constable up to that
of president of the United States, and feels that he suffers
great wrong, and adds another striking example of neglected
merit, if not rewarded for his disinterested and patriotic exertions by some snug place with a fat salary. Scarcely a
man seems contented to remain in private life, to live in
obscurity, unheeded by his countrymen, in all humility and
fidelity laboring to discharge his duty to his God, and to
win the prize of eternal glory. We love the praise of men
more than the praise of God; the low and transitory goods
of time more than the high and permanent goods of eternity.
If we are poor, we are discontented, we regard ourselves as
most miserable, and rail against Providence, who permits
inequalities to obtain among brethren. No one is contented
with his lot in life. We are all ill-at-ease. We would all
be what we are not, and have what we have not. And yet,
with admirable simplicity, we ask, Are we not a great people?
Nearly all the action of the American people, collectively
or individually, has reference solely to the affairs of, time.
Government sinks with us into a joint-stock concern for the
practice of thrift. It has no divine authority, no high and
solemn moral mission. In education even, the same low
and earthly view obtains. We educate for time. We seek
to fit our children for getting on, as we call it, in the world,
-to make them sharp, bold, enterprising and successful
business men. We teach them, indeed, that knowledge is
power,-but power to outstrip their fellows in the pursuit of
worldly goods. We teach them, indeed, that sloth is a
mortal sin,but sloth in the affairs of time and sense, not
sloth in regard to our spiritual duties. We teach them to
respect public opinion, to strive to be respectable, to be
honored among men; rarely, and almost always ineffectually,
to respect the law of God, to seek honor of God, and to
despise that of men. Hence, they grow up timid time-
servers, trimmers, moral cowards, afraid to say their souls
are their own, to a vow their honest convictions, if their convictions chance to be unpopular, or to follow God in the
faith and worship he has ordained, if not held in repute, or
if embraced only by the poor, the simple, of whom the
world makes no account. To make a sacrifice for Christ, to
give up all, houses, lands, wife, and children, for God, that
we may have treasure in heaven, strikes us as something
wholly uncalled for, as folly, as madness, worthy only of the
dark ages of monkish ignorance and barbarity. To a worldly
end conspire all our education, science, literature, and art.
Whatever cannot be pressed into the service of man as a
creature of time and sense is by the immense majority of us
condemned as useless and mischievous.
That we measure all things by the standard of this life
and this world is evinced by the judgments we pass on
other nations. In judging others, we always judge ourselves. Tell us what nation you place highest in the scale
of nations, and you tell us what are your own views of what
constitutes true national greatness. We, as a people, very
generally count highest in the scale of contemporary nations
those in which the national energy displays itself most
exclusively in an industrial direction, and which are most
successful in multiplying wealth and luxury. Since the
great events in the sixteenth century, which out of courtesy
we must call the reformation, although it was any thing but
a reformation, there has sprung up a new social order, not
known in the middle ages, and not yet universally adopted
in Catholic countries. The whole tendency of this order is
in an industrial direction. It places this world before the
other, time before eternity, the body before the soul, the
praise of men before the praise of God. It esteems the
riches of this world more than the riches of divine grace,
and bids us strive to live, not in the order of grace, but in
the order of nature. Under this order the great aim is to
be rich, independent, well off in time; to be distinguished,
held in high repute one by another. We reverse the maxim
of the Gospel, and say, Be not anxious for the soul, take no
need to the worship of God, nor to obedience to his laws;
but seek first to get on well in this world, look to the main
chance, get rich,honestly, of course, if you can, but get
rich, be distinguished, and then the kingdom of God and
his justice will be added unto you; or if not, it will be no
Under this order, astonishing industrial triumphs have
been achieved. Man has made the sea and the land his
tributaries, the winds his messengers, and flames of fire his
ministers. Banking-houses, exchanges, cotton-mills, docks,
and wharfs supplant the old cathedral, the abbey, and the
way-side chapel. It is only such nations as stand highest in
this order that we call great. If, by an excess of modesty, we place any nation above our own, it is Great Britain.
In our estimation, no nation has surpassed her in the wisdom of her policy, none equals her in true national greatness
and prosperity. In worldly power, in worldly wealth, in
vast industrial enterprises, in wonderful productive facilities
and energies, she unquestionably stands at this moment
unrivalled; but tried by the standard of greatness we have
adopted, there are few, if any, nations on the globe that
can rank far below her. What, in fact, are her national
characteristics? We grant her people have been brave, are
bold, enterprising, industrious, ingenious; but as a nation
she is proud, arrogant, worldly, hypocritical. Her church
establishment is a mockery, and her coffers are filled with
the plunder of almost every people. The sun never sets
upon her empire, and visits no people that does not curse
her dominion. She is gorged with spoils, and drunken with
the blood of the poor, the weak, the defenceless.
Nay, with all her wealth, with all her productive power,
with an her devotion to the interests of time and sense, the condition of the great mass of her population, even in reference to this life alone, is far below what it was before she started on her new career, and compares unfavorably with
that of the mass of the populations in most Catholic countries
even now. The lower orders in Spain and Italy, over
whose sad condition we shed so much-ink, are, even as to
their physical comforts, altogether superior to the lower
classes in Great Britain. An Italian or Spanish peasant
has a personal freedom. an elevation of mind, a dignity of soul and of manners, that you shall in vain look for in an English operative. He feels that he is a man, that there is
something of nobility attaching to every soul, since our
blessed Lord assumed human nature and died to redeem it.
He has at least the free use of his limbs, and free access to
the blessed light and air of heaven, and is not imprisoned
in a union workhouse. And say what you will of popish
ignorance and superstition, the worship of our Lady and the
saints is at least not more degrading than the worship of the
gin-shop. We have seen it recently stated, on what purports to be good authority, that in England every sixth
person is a pauper, and large masses of the people, it has
been proved by parliamentary commissions, grow up without any religious instruction, and live in a manner as gross
and brutish as that of the South Sea Islanders,-many having never heard even the name of their Maker, except when
blasphemed. There are immense estates, immense wealth,
boundless luxury for the few, and the most squalid poverty
and frightful distress for the many. The soil of England,
which a hundred and fifty years back had at least some two
hundred and forty thousand proprietors, has now less than
thirty thousand. The increase of pauperism has kept pace
with this concentration of the soil in the hands of fewer and
fewer proprietors. Such is the tendency of your boasted
industrial order in Great Britain. But in Italy, poor
degraded Italy, which our Christian Alliances are about to
visit with their benign countenances, the highest statements
we have seen make the number of paupers, not one
out of every six, as in England, but only one out of every
twenty-five; and the provisions for education are so ample,
especially in the ecclesiastical states, that the poorest
father may give his son, free of expense, the best university
education in the world. Yet we weep over Italy and glorify
If there be any truth in the principles we have laid down, principles which rest not on our authority, but on the
authority of God,a nation is not to be accounted great in
proportion to its worldly wealth and splendor; and if there
be any truth in history or experience, a nation, in directing
its chief attention to these, to the growth of material wealth
and power, not only cannot attain to true greatness, but
must inevitably fail to secure even the temporal well-being,
for any great length of time, of the great mass of its population. We are beginning ourselves to experience, and we
shall experience more and more, the truth of these assertions. Here the people make the laws. But, in making
the laws, they of necessity follow their dominant passion.
The laws in a democracy are always true exponents of the
character, the tastes, habits, and passions of the people. The
dominant passion of our people at the present moment is
the acquisition of material wealth, either for its own sake, or
for the sake of the ease, independence, and distinction it is
supposed to be able to secure. Take any ten thousand men
at random, and ask them what they most desire of government, and they will answer you, if they answer you honestly,-Such laws as will facilitate the acquisition of wealth.
The facilitating of the acquisition of wealth is at the bottom
of every question which has any bearing on our elections.
Let these men vote, and they will vote for such laws as they
believe will most effectually secure this end. But suppose
such laws to be enacted, how many out of the ten thousand
will be in a condition to take advantage of them? Certainly, not more than one in a hundred. There will be, then,
nine thousand and nine hundred men joining with one
hundred to enact laws which in their operation are for the
exclusive benefit of the one hundred. The whole action,
the inevitable action, of every popular government, where
wealth is the dominant passion of the people, is to foster
the continued growth of inequality of property. The tendency of all laws passed, if passed by the many, will be to
concentrate the property in the hands of the few, because
each one who aids in passing them hopes that his will be the
hands in which it is to be concentrated ;-at least, such will
be the tendency, till matters become so bad that the many
in their madness and desperation are driven to attempt the insane remedy of agrarian laws. When, under our new
system of industry, which allows little personal intercourse
between landlord and tenant, proprietor and operative,
which connects the operative simply with the mill and the
overseer, the concentration of property in a few hands becomes general, it involves the most fatal results. We see
in England only half the evil it would produce with us; be
cause there, save in the manufacturing districts, some elements of the old feudal system still remain to mitigate it.
But here the evil would have no mitigation. We should
have an aristocracy indeed, but one without a single quality that makes an aristocracy even endurable. An aristocracy
not based on high birth or on sanctity is always intolerable.
But the new order is at war with high birth, generous
breeding, and is plebeian in its spirit and tendency. It is
supported, commended, on the ground of its alleged popular
tendencies, and its hostility to whatever remains of the old
feudal order. Its direct and inevitable tendency is to substitute the cotton-mill for the old baronial castle, and your
"Plugsons of St. Dorothy of Undershot," as Carlyle calls
them, for the well-born, the well-bred, and the really noble,
-men who have risen from the gutter without a single
virtue or a single generous quality, solely by their success
in tasking the industry of others, and in getting by means
of their business operations a controlling influence in the
industrial world. These "Plugsons" become our chiefs,
our nobles, whose names head subscription papers, and who
are seen figuring as presidents of banks, and other moneyed
corporations, of lyceum and railroad meetings and conventions. The great mass sink to mere machines, doomed to
tend on other machines. It is to this miserable result that
leads the path we have hitherto pursued, and are now pursuing. We have not yet reached the goal; we have not seen
the worst; but are driving on towards the worst with more
than Jehu speed. We have in full operation all the causes
which necessarily produce the state of degradation implied;
and which will produce it, with all its attendant evils, much
sooner, perhaps, than even the greatest croakers among us apprehend. (Orestes Brownson Society - National Greatness)
Kind of says it all, huh? Do you see the futility of getting "excited" about this or that election, no less following every speech given by hollow men and women, some of the latter of whom could reflect a bit about the femininity of Our Lady and to, say, attire themselves according to the virtue of modesty, who reject, either out of ignorance of contempt, the Social Reign of Christ the King as it must be exercised by the Catholic Church for the right ordering of men and their nations unto eternity.
When you think it about, though, why should the men and women at "conservative" conventions and newspapers and "think tanks" shun their naturalism and their religious indifferentism? Who is telling them they are wrong? The counterfeit church of conciliarism? Perish that thought, thank you. These people can go on having conventions and publishing naturalistic, religiously indifferentist articles ad infinitum precisely because they are filling a void left by the suppression of the authentic voice of the Catholic Church by the spiritual robber barons of conciliarism. Thus it is that Catholics of a "conservative" bent look to their secular "popes" (politicians, pundits, talk show hosts, columnists) for political advice and direction that should be coming from official quarters of the Catholic Church.
Alas, the counterfeit church of conciliarism has made its accommodation with the very spirit of Judeo-Masonic naturalism into which so many Catholics and others have plunged themselves, believing that it is indeed virtuous for people of different religious beliefs--or of no belief at all--to work together for the "common good." Indeed, this has been a common theme of Joseph Ratzinger's writings before he became Benedict XVI, and it has been a consistent theme of his conciliar reign since he assumed that name on April 19, 2005. Benedict/Ratzinger has thus reaffirmed the nattering nabobs of naturalism by asserting that it is indeed "good enough" for people with "shared values" to work together.
There is just one little problem with Benedict/Ratzinger's endorsement of the naturalist approach that is of the essence of Judeo-Masonry and hence of all popular political movements in this country and the world. It stands condemned by pope after pope of the Catholic Church Benedict/Ratzinger's constant exhortation to have Talmudic Jews of Christians (of all denominations) and Mohammedans and Buddhists and others work together is borrowed directly from the philosophy of the Sillon. And the philosophy of the Sillon was condemned in no uncertain terms by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910:
In the first place, its brand of Catholicism accepts only the democratic form of government which it considers the most favorable to the Church and, so to speak, identifies it with her. The Sillon , therefore, subjects its religion to a political party. We do not have to demonstrate here that the advent of universal Democracy is of no concern to the action of the Church in the world; we have already recalled that the Church has always left to the nations the care of giving themselves the form of government which they think most suited to their needs. What We wish to affirm once again, after Our Predecessor, is that it is an error and a danger to bind down Catholicism by principle to a particular form of government. This error and this danger are all the greater when Religion is associated with a kind of Democracy whose doctrines are false. But this is what the Sillon is doing. For the sake of a particular political form, it compromises the Church, it sows division among Catholics, snatches away young people and even priests and seminarists from purely Catholic action, and is wasting away as a dead loss part of the living forces of the nation
Ah, you see, Benedict/Ratzinger believes in the error that "democracy" is the only form of government in which to pursue justice, thus consigning the words of the popes of the Catholic Church to the Orwellian memory hole. Once again, ladies and gentlemen, the true sedevacantists are the conciliarists, contending as they do that they are not bound by anything that has preceded them with is contrary to their counterfeit, syncretist religion.
Pope Saint Pius X condemned the political ecumenism, which he termed "promiscuity," of the Sillon, that is, the belief that men and women of "good will" can put aside their denominational differences to pursue justice, which is the essence of what Pope Leo XIII described as the foundation of Judeo-Masonry in Humanum Genus:
There was a time when the Sillon, as such, was truly Catholic. It recognized but one moral force - Catholicism; and the Sillonists were wont to proclaim that Democracy would have to be Catholic or would not exist at all. A time came when they changed their minds. They left to each one his religion or his philosophy. They ceased to call themselves Catholics and, for the formula "Democracy will be Catholic" they substituted "Democracy will not be anti-Catholic", any more than it will be anti-Jewish or anti-Buddhist. This was the time of "the Greater Sillon". For the construction of the Future City they appealed to the workers of all religions and all sects. These were asked but one thing: to share the same social ideal, to respect all creeds, and to bring with them a certain supply of moral force. Admittedly: they declared that “The leaders of the Sillon place their religious faith above everything. But can they deny others the right to draw their moral energy from whence they can? In return, they expect others to respect their right to draw their own moral energy from the Catholic Faith. Accordingly they ask all those who want to change today's society in the direction of Democracy, not to oppose each other on account of the philosophical or religious convictions which may separate them, but to march hand in hand, not renouncing their convictions, but trying to provide on the ground of practical realities, the proof of the excellence of their personal convictions. Perhaps a union will be effected on this ground of emulation between souls holding different religious or philosophical convictions.” And they added at the same time (but how could this be accomplished?) that “the Little Catholic Sillon will be the soul of the Greater Cosmopolitan Sillon.”
Recently, the term “Greater Sillon” was discarded and a new organization was born without modifying, quite the contrary, the spirit and the substratum of things: “In order to organize in an orderly manner the different forces of activity, the Sillon still remains as a Soul, a Spirit, which will pervade the groups and inspire their work.” Thus, a host of new groups, Catholic, Protestant, Free-Thinking, now apparently autonomous, are invited to set to work: “Catholic comrades will work between themselves in a special organization and will learn and educate themselves. Protestant and Free-Thinking Democrats will do likewise on their own side. But all of us, Catholics, Protestants and Free-Thinkers will have at heart to arm young people, not in view of the fratricidal struggle, but in view of a disinterested emulation in the field of social and civic virtues.”
These declarations and this new organization of the Sillonist action call for very serious remarks.
Here we have, founded by Catholics, an inter-denominational association that is to work for the reform of civilization, an undertaking which is above all religious in character; for there is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion: it is a proven truth, a historical fact. The new Sillonists cannot pretend that they are merely working on “the ground of practical realities” where differences of belief do not matter. Their leader is so conscious of the influence which the convictions of the mind have upon the result of the action, that he invites them, whatever religion they may belong to, “to provide on the ground of practical realities, the proof of the excellence of their personal convictions.” And with good reason: indeed, all practical results reflect the nature of one’s religious convictions, just as the limbs of a man down to his finger-tips, owe their very shape to the principle of life that dwells in his body.
This being said, what must be thought of the promiscuity in which young Catholics will be caught up with heterodox and unbelieving folk in a work of this nature? Is it not a thousand-fold more dangerous for them than a neutral association? What are we to think of this appeal to all the heterodox, and to all the unbelievers, to prove the excellence of their convictions in the social sphere in a sort of apologetic contest? Has not this contest lasted for nineteen centuries in conditions less dangerous for the faith of Catholics? And was it not all to the credit of the Catholic Church? What are we to think of this respect for all errors, and of this strange invitation made by a Catholic to all the dissidents to strengthen their convictions through study so that they may have more and more abundant sources of fresh forces? What are we to think of an association in which all religions and even Free-Thought may express themselves openly and in complete freedom? For the Sillonists who, in public lectures and elsewhere, proudly proclaim their personal faith, certainly do not intend to silence others nor do they intend to prevent a Protestant from asserting his Protestantism, and the skeptic from affirming his skepticism. Finally, what are we to think of a Catholic who, on entering his study group, leaves his Catholicism outside the door so as not to alarm his comrades who, “dreaming of disinterested social action, are not inclined to make it serve the triumph of interests, coteries and even convictions whatever they may be”? Such is the profession of faith of the New Democratic Committee for Social Action which has taken over the main objective of the previous organization and which, they say, “breaking the double meaning which surround the Greater Sillon both in reactionary and anti-clerical circles”, is now open to all men “who respect moral and religious forces and who are convinced that no genuine social emancipation is possible without the leaven of generous idealism.”
Alas! yes, the double meaning has been broken: the social action of the Sillon is no longer Catholic. The Sillonist, as such, does not work for a coterie, and “the Church”, he says, “cannot in any sense benefit from the sympathies that his action may stimulate.” A strange situation, indeed! They fear lest the Church should profit for a selfish and interested end by the social action of the Sillon, as if everything that benefited the Church did not benefit the whole human race! A curious reversal of notions! The Church might benefit from social action! As if the greatest economists had not recognized and proved that it is social action alone which, if serious and fruitful, must benefit the Church! But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, "the reign of love and justice" with workers coming from everywhere, of all religions and of no religion, with or without beliefs, so long as they forego what might divide them - their religious and philosophical convictions, and so long as they share what unites them - a "generous idealism and moral forces drawn from whence they can" When we consider the forces, knowledge, and supernatural virtues which are necessary to establish the Christian City, and the sufferings of millions of martyrs, and the light given by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the self-sacrifice of all the heroes of charity, and a powerful hierarchy ordained in heaven, and the streams of Divine Grace - the whole having been built up, bound together, and impregnated by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Word made man - when we think, I say, of all this, it is frightening to behold new apostles eagerly attempting to do better by a common interchange of vague idealism and civic virtues. What are they going to produce? What is to come of this collaboration? A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train.
We fear that worse is to come: the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion (for Sillonism, so the leaders have said, is a religion) more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men become brothers and comrades at last in the "Kingdom of God". - "We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind."
And now, overwhelmed with the deepest sadness, We ask Ourselves, Venerable Brethren, what has become of the Catholicism of the Sillon? Alas! this organization which formerly afforded such promising expectations, this limpid and impetuous stream, has been harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer.
The Incarnation matters. The Redemptive Act of the God-Man on Calvary matters. Our Lord's founding of Catholic Church and the Deposit of Faith He entrusted solely to her matters. The Sacraments He instituted and entrusted solely to the Catholic Church matter. The recognition of the true Church by the civil state matters, except to conciliarists such as Benedict/Ratzinger, who wrote the following in Deus Caritas Est, January 25, 2006:
Here politics and faith meet. Faith by its specific nature is an encounter with the living God—an encounter opening up new horizons extending beyond the sphere of reason. But it is also a purifying force for reason itself. From God's standpoint, faith liberates reason from its blind spots and therefore helps it to be ever more fully itself. Faith enables reason to do its work more effectively and to see its proper object more clearly. This is where Catholic social doctrine has its place: it has no intention of giving the Church power over the State. Even less is it an attempt to impose on those who do not share the faith ways of thinking and modes of conduct proper to faith. Its aim is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just.
According to Benedict/Ratzinger, you see, the Church's only goal in the civil realm is to "purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just." There is no necessity of directing man's actions in the temporal realm to his Last End, no necessity of seeking to Catholicize every aspect of civil society without any exception whatsoever.
Once again, however, the assertions of Benedict/Ratzinger stand in total contradiction to these words, oft-quoted on this site, to be sure, of Pope Saint Pius X in, respectively, Notre Charge Apostolique and Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906:
No, Venerable Brethren, We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmaker - the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants. omnia instaurare in Christo. (Notre Charge Apostolique)
That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIII, especially, has frequently and magnificently expounded Catholic teaching on the relations which should subsist between the two societies. "Between them," he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul.-"Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordinata colligatio (inter illas) quae quidem conjunctioni non immerito comparatur, per quam anima et corpus in homine copulantur." He proceeds: "Human societies cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were something foreign to them, or of no purpose to them.... As for the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of the young, the family, is to commit a great and pernicious error. -- "Civitates non possunt, citra scellus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non esset, aut curam religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam abjicere.... Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ab actione vitae excludere, a legibus, ab institutione adolescentium, a societate domestica, magnus et perniciousus est error." (Vehementer Nos)
Naturalists are to the right of us. Naturalists are to the left of us. Naturalists are in every nook and cranny of the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Naturalism leads, quite naturally speaking, to chaos in this world and to Hell for all eternity if souls who are steeped in its diabolical traps do not extricate themselves by embracing God as He has revealed Himself through His Catholic Church and become apostles willing to risk all things for the sake of planting seeds for the restoration of the Catholic City, that is, of Christendom.
Our Lord Himself told us that we must proclaim the truths of the Faith:
Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men. For they will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. And you shall be brought before governors, and before kings for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles: But when they shall deliver you up, take no thought how or what to speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what to speak. For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.
The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved. And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another. Amen I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man come. The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the goodman of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?
Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known. That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows. Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven.But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.(Mt. 10: 16-35)
Trusting, therefore, in the protection of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as we reparation through that sinless Heart to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus for our own many sins and betrayals as well as for those of the whole world, may our visible, tangible witness to supernatural Faith in everything that Our Lord has revealed to us through His Catholic Church, including the immutable doctrine of the Social Reign of Christ the King, help others to reject the naturalism of Judeo-Masonry and its Modernist cousin, conciliarism, so that all men and women will come in the Reign of Mary to pray the Rosary publicly and to exclaim as one:
Viva Cristo Rey!
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 Jude, pray for us.
Saint John the Beloved, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Dominic Savio, pray for us.
Saint Casimir, pray for us.
Saints Perpetua and Felicity, pray for us.
Saint Frances of Rome, pray for us.
Saint John of God, pray for us.
Saint Scholastica, pray for us.
Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Saint Anthony of Padua, 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 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 Dominic, 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 John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, 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.
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.
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.