Only One Religion Produces Peace
Thomas A. Droleskey
Mercy, Benedict, mercy! Have mercy on us out here in cyberspace, especially those of us who are dealing with fire ants. Mercy, please, mercy!
Well, Benedict XVI is nothing if not relentless in his zeal for redefining practically every term associated with the Holy Faith. Benedict uses terms that are familiar to Catholics without ever defining them properly. True to his anti-Thomistic bent, Benedict uses terms such as "love" and "faith" and "peace" and "brotherhood" in ambiguous ways, making it possible for each reader or listener to consider those terms to be empty vessels into which he can pour his own particular meaning, which is pretty much what Protestants do with the words of Holy Writ and what Thomas Jefferson did when referring to "God" generically in the Declaration of Independence.
To wit, Protestants believe that each believer is the sole interpreter of the Word of God, that he needs no external source to guide him, thereby establishing, wittingly or unwittingly, the inexorable path to atheism as the lowest common denominator of social life. The Deist Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, knew that those colonists who favored a break with the United Kingdom would pour into his generic phrases for God ("Nature's God," "Supreme Judge of the Universe," "Creator," "Divine Providence") their own specific creedal beliefs. In like manner, you see, Benedict believes in the Judeo-Masonic principle that "denominationalism" is destructive of the social good, that all "religions" seek after "peace" and "justice," that it is possible for men of "good will" to work together for the common good without insisting that any one religion be recognized as the sole and true religion by the civil state.
"Peace" Is a Name for God, Says Benedict XVI
At Homily During Vespers of First Sunday of Advent
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 4, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Peace is the goal toward which humanity aspires, as it is also "one of the most beautiful names of God," Benedict XVI explained in a meditation for Advent.
The Pope reflected on the meaning of the liturgical period in preparation for Christmas, during a homily he delivered on Saturday evening, at the celebration of Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent in St. Peter's Basilica.
According to the Holy Father, during Advent "the Church gives voice to that waiting for God profoundly inscribed in the history of humanity, a waiting that is often suffocated and deflected toward mistaken directions."
"And it does so, first of all, but not only, with prayer," he added. "'Good works' are essential and inseparable from prayer."
Benedict XVI affirmed that Advent is "the most appropriate period to become a time lived in communion with all those -- and thank God they are many -- who hope for a more just and fraternal world."
"This commitment to justice can unite, in a certain sense, men of any nationality and culture, believers and nonbelievers," the Pope said. "All are animated by a common longing -- even if it is different because of their motivations -- toward a future of justice and peace.
"Peace is the goal to which the whole of humanity aspires! For believers 'peace' is one of God's most beautiful names, who desires understanding among all his children, as I had the opportunity to recall on my pilgrimage of past days to Turkey."
Mind you, this was uttered just a day or so after Benedict's return from Turkey, where he prayed in the direction of Mecca at a Mohammedan mosque (see
When Praying with Baal and His Friends is Considered a Gesture of "Fraternity"). Whether or not he realizes it, Benedict XVI is doing exactly what the lodge brothers of Freemasonry have long desired for an ostensible pontiff to do, namely, to speak about God the way that they do, to refrain from seeking the conversion of those outside of the Catholic Church, to be content with simply "coexisting" with others as we work together for "a more just and fraternal world."
Numerous popes have condemned this false view of the world and the role of false religions in it. The conciliar popes have chosen to live in this "alternative universe" created by their own own Modernist presuppositions. Conciliarists are either contemptuous of--or entirely ignorant about--these stern warnings given by the legitimate pontiffs of the Catholic Church in the centuries prior to 1958:
Pope Pius VIII wrote the following in Traditi Humilitati Nostrae, May 24, 1829:
Although God may console Us with you, We are nonetheless sad. This is due to the numberless errors and the teachings of perverse doctrines which, no longer secretly and clandestinely but openly and vigorously, attack the Catholic faith. You know how evil men have raised the standard of revolt against religion through philosophy (of which they proclaim themselves doctors) and through empty fallacies devised according to natural reason. In the first place, the Roman See is assailed and the bonds of unity are, every day, being severed. The authority of the Church is weakened and the protectors of things sacred are snatched away and held in contempt. The holy precepts are despised, the celebration of divine offices is ridiculed, and the worship of God is cursed by the sinner.All things which concern religion are relegated to the fables of old women and the superstitions of priests. Truly lions have roared in Israel. With tears We say: "Truly they have conspired against the Lord and against His Christ." Truly the impious have said: "Raze it, raze it down to its foundations."
Among these heresies belongs that foul contrivance of the sophists of this age who do not admit any difference among the different professions of faith and who think that the portal of eternal salvation opens for all from any religion. They, therefore, label with the stigma of levity and stupidity those who, having abandoned the religion which they learned, embrace another of any kind, even Catholicism. This is certainly a monstrous impiety which assigns the same praise and the mark of the just and upright man to truth and to error, to virtue and to vice, to goodness and to turpitude. Indeed this deadly idea concerning the lack of difference among religions is refuted even by the light of natural reason. We are assured of this because the various religions do not often agree among themselves. If one is true, the other must be false; there can be no society of darkness with light. Against these experienced sophists the people must be taught that the profession of the Catholic faith is uniquely true, as the apostle proclaims: one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Jerome used to say it this way: he who eats the lamb outside this house will perish as did those during the flood who were not with Noah in the ark. Indeed, no other name than the name of Jesus is given to men, by which they may be saved. He who believes shall be saved; he who does not believe shall be condemned.
Please contrast this with Joseph Ratzinger's Principles of Catholic Theology:
Does this mean that the Council should be revoked? Certainly not. It means only that the real reception of the Council has not yet even begun. What devastated the Church in the decade after the Council was not the Council but the refusal to accept it. This becomes clear precisely in the history of the influence of Gaudium et spes. What was identified with the Council was, for the most part, the expression of an attitude that did not coincide with the statements to be found in the text itself, although it is recognizable as a tendency in its development and in some of its individual formulations. The task is not, therefore, to suppress the Council but to discover the real Council and to deepen its true intention in the light of the present experience. That means that there can be no return to the Syllabus, which may have marked the first stage in the confrontation with liberalism and a newly conceived Marxism but cannot be the last stage. In the long run, neither embrace nor ghetto can solve for Christians the problem of the modern world. The fact is, as Hans Urs von Balthasar pointed out as early as 1952, that the "demolition of the bastions" is a long-overdue task. (p. 391)
The very thing that Pope Pius VIII condemned as part of the plans of the impious, that is, the razing of the bastions, was endorsed by Hans Urs von Balthasar and by his protege, Joseph Ratzinger. As I keep noting, the true sedevacantists--and the true enemies of the purity of the doctrine of papal infallibility--are the conciliarists, men and women who believe that there is little from the Catholic past that binds their consciences, that past papal pronouncements that merely reiterated the consistent teaching of the Church were but "anchorages of truth" in one place at one time that do no bind future generations. Such a belief was anathematized by the First Vatican Council:
Hence, that meaning of the sacred dogmata is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy Mother Church, and there must never be an abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.... If anyone says that it is possible that at some given time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmata propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has always understood and understands: let him be anathema.
Undaunted and unfazed, however, Benedict and his fellow conciliarists ignore and/or dismiss papal condemnations of the conciliarist worldview of "brotherly harmony." Pope Gregory XVI's Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832, has no binding force for them whatsoever:
Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care. With the admonition of the apostle that "there is one God, one faith, one baptism" may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that "those who are not with Christ are against Him," and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore "without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate." Let them hear Jerome who, while the Church was torn into three parts by schism, tells us that whenever someone tried to persuade him to join his group he always exclaimed: "He who is for the See of Peter is for me."A schismatic flatters himself falsely if he asserts that he, too, has been washed in the waters of regeneration. Indeed Augustine would reply to such a man: "The branch has the same form when it has been cut off from the vine; but of what profit for it is the form, if it does not live from the root?"
This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error," as Augustine was wont to say.When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly "the bottomless pit" is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws -- in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.
The Catholic Faith is the only foundation for peace in the soul and order in the world. Souls need to be in states of Sanctifying Grace as members of the Catholic Church for them to be duly submissive to the entirety of the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted exclusively to His Mystical Bride, that same Catholic Church, and in order for their act in accord with the binding truths contained in the Deposit of Faith at all times. The fate of individuals and nations is, therefore, intimate connected with the the necessity of both men and nations acknowledging Christ as King through His Catholic Church, a point made by Pope Leo XIII in A Review of His Pontificate, March 19, 1902:
So society in its foolhardy effort to escape from God has rejected the Divine order and Revelation; and it is thus withdrawn from the salutary efficacy of Christianity which is manifestly the most solid guarantee of order, the strongest bond of fraternity, and the inexhaustible source of all public and private virtue. This sacrilegious divorce has resulted in bringing about the trouble which now disturbs the world. Hence it is the pale of the Church which this lost society must re-enter, if it wishes to recover its well-being, its repose, and its salvation.
Just as Christianity cannot penetrate into the soul without making it better, so it cannot enter into public life without establishing order. With the idea of a God Who governs all, Who is infinitely wise, good, and just, the idea of duty seizes upon the consciences of men. It assuages sorrow, it calms hatred, it engenders heroes. If it has transformed pagan society--and that transformation was a veritable resurrection--for barbarism disappeared in proportion as Christianity extended its sway, so, after the terrible shocks which unbelief has given to the world in our days, it will be able to put that world again on the true road, and bring back to order the States and peoples of modern times. But the return of Christianity will not be efficacious and complete if it does not restore the world to a sincere love of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. In the Catholic Church Christianity is Incarnate. It identifies itself with that perfect, spiritual, and, in its own order, sovereign society, which is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ and which has for Its visible head the Roman Pontiff, successor of the Prince of the Apostles. It is the continuation of the mission of the Savior, the daughter and the heiress of His Redemption. It has preached the Gospel, and has defended it at the price of Its blood, and strong in the Divine Assistance and of that immortality which has been promised It, It makes no terms with error but remains faithful to the commands which It has received, to carry the doctrine of Jesus Christ to the uttermost limits of the world and to the end of time, and to protect It in Its inviolable integrity. Legitimate dispenser of the Teachings of the Gospel It does not reveal Itself only as the consoler and Redeemer of souls, but It is still more the internal source of Justice and Charity, and the Propagator as well as the Guardian of True Liberty, and of that equality which alone is possible here below. In applying the doctrine of its Divine Founder, It maintains a wise equilibrium and marks the True Limits between the rights and privileges of society. The equality which it proclaims does not destroy the distinction between the different social classes It keeps them intact, as nature itself demands, in order to oppose the anarchy of reason emancipated from Faith, and abandoned to its own devices. The liberty which it gives in no wise conflicts with the rights of Truth, because those rights are superior to the demands of liberty. Not does it infringe upon the rights of Justice, because those rights are superior to the claims of mere numbers or power. Nor does it assail the rights of God because they are superior to the rights of humanity.
Continuing the work of his immediate predecessor, Pope Saint Pius X explained in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906, that the confessionally Catholic state is a necessity for social order:
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."
The notion that "peace" can be obtained in any other way in the hearts of men and within and among nation-states is erroneous. It is contrary to all truth. It is of the essence of Judeo-Masonry, something that Pope Leo XIII in Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884:
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.
Nor do they think it enough to disregard the Church -- the best of guides -- unless they also injure it by their hostility. Indeed, with them it is lawful to attack with impunity the very foundations of the Catholic religion, in speech, in writing, and in teaching; and even the rights of the Church are not spared, and the offices with which it is divinely invested are not safe. The least possible liberty to manage affairs is left to the Church; and this is done by laws not apparently very hostile, but in reality framed and fitted to hinder freedom of action. Moreover, We see exceptional and onerous laws imposed upon the clergy, to the end that they may be continually diminished in number and in necessary means. We see also the remnants of the possessions of the Church fettered by the strictest conditions, and subjected to the power and arbitrary will of the administrators of the State, and the religious orders rooted up and scattered.
But against the apostolic see and the Roman Pontiff the contention of these enemies has been for a long time directed. The Pontiff was first, for specious reasons, thrust out from the bulwark of his liberty and of his right, the civil princedom; soon, he was unjustly driven into a condition which was unbearable because of the difficulties raised on all sides; and now the time has come when the partisans of the sects openly declare, what in secret among themselves they have for a long time plotted, that the sacred power of the Pontiffs must be abolished, and that the papacy itself, founded by divine right, must be utterly destroyed. If other proofs were wanting, this fact would be sufficiently disclosed by the testimony of men well informed, of whom some at other times, and others again recently, have declared it to be true of the Freemasons that they especially desire to assail the Church with irreconcilable hostility, and that they will never rest until they have destroyed whatever the supreme Pontiffs have established for the sake of religion.
If those who are admitted as members are not commanded to abjure by any form of words the Catholic doctrines, this omission, so far from being adverse to the designs of the Freemasons is more useful for their purposes. First, in this way they easily deceive the simple-minded and the heedless, and can induce a far greater number to become members. Again, as all who offer themselves are received whatever may be their form of religion, they thereby teach the great error of this age -- that a regard for religion should be held as an indifferent matter, and that all religions are alike. This manner of reasoning is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion, and especially of the Catholic religion, which, as it is the only one that is true, cannot, without great injustice, be regarded as merely equal to other religions.
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.
False notions concerning God take away the reality while retaining some absurd representation of the divine nature. This is part and parcel of the Modernist mind, which sees no problem in mixing truth and error. The Modernist mind simply rejects, utterly and completely, the necessity of following these words of Pope Saint Pius X, contained in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910:
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.
That's right. The Catholic City is not built on hazy notions. The Catholic City is to be "set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreations. We must restore all things in Christ." This was resounding condemnation of the philosophy of the Sillon in France, a philosophy that one Father Angelo Roncalli supported very vigorously in his youth. This is a resounding condemnation, therefore, of conciliarism and of the efforts of conciliarists to build domestic and international order on "hazy notions" that border on the sloganeering of the French Revolution itself.
Individual souls cannot know "peace" on the basis of some "hazy" religious sense; they must be in states of Sanctifying Grace as members of the Catholic Church to know the peace of the Divine Redeemer. What is true in the case of individuals is true also in the case of nations. As the state of nations depends upon the state of souls, something that even the pagan philosophers of antiquity taught, a Catholic must accept the simple truth that there can be no peace in or among nations except by working to convert all souls to the Catholic Faith--and by exhorting those souls who are Catholic to persist in states of Sanctifying Grace, getting to Confession regularly and receive Our Lord in Holy Communion worthily and with the spirit and the fervor of the saints. Want to improve the state of the world? Convert souls to the Catholic Church. (Yes, I know. The Vatican Secretary of State, Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, has said just yesterday:
"Moreover, we do not want to engage in proselytism in Russia." Be patient. I will deal with this in an article tomorrow, December 7, the Feast of Saint Ambrose and the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception. of the Blessed Virgin Mary).
Pope Pius XI provides us in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922, with the antidote to Benedict's "hazy notions" of peace and justice:
First, and most important of all, for mankind is the need of spiritual peace. We do not need a peace that will consist merely in acts of external or formal courtesy, but a peace which will penetrate the souls of men and which will unite, heal, and reopen their hearts to that mutual affection which is born of brotherly love. The peace of Christ is the only peace answering this description: "let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts." (Colossians iii, 15) Nor is there any other peace possible than that which Christ gave to His disciples (John xiv, 27) for since He is God, He "beholdeth the heart" (I Kings xvi, 7) and in our hearts His kingdom is set up. Again, Jesus Christ is perfectly justified when He calls this peace of soul His own for He was the first Who said to men, "all you are brethren." (Matt. xxiii, 8) He gave likewise to us, sealing it with His own life's blood, the law of brotherly love, of mutual forbearance -- "This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you." (John xv, 12) "Bear ye one another's burdens; and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians vi, 2)
From this it follows, as an immediate consequence, that the peace of Christ can only be a peace of justice according to the words of the prophet "the work of justice shall be peace" (Isaias xxxii, 17) for he is God "who judgest justice." (Psalms ix, 5) But peace does not consist merely in a hard inflexible justice. It must be made acceptable and easy by being compounded almost equally of charity and a sincere desire for reconciliation. Such peace was acquired for us and the whole world by Jesus Christ, a peace which the Apostle in a most expressive manner incarnates in the very person of Christ Himself when he addresses Him, "He is our peace," for it was He Who satisfied completely divine justice by his death on the cross, destroying thus in His own flesh all enmities toward others and making peace and reconciliation with God possible for mankind. (Ephesians ii, 14) Therefore, the Apostle beholds in the work of Redemption, which is a work of justice at one and the same time, a divine work of reconciliation and of love. "God indeed was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself." (II Corinthians v, 19) "God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son." (John iii, 16)
Thomas Aquinas, the Angel of the Schools, also discovered in this fact the very formula and essence of our belief, for he writes that a true and lasting peace is more a matter of love than of justice. The reason for his statement is that it is the function of justice merely to do away with obstacles to peace, as for example, the injury done or the damage caused. Peace itself, however, is an act and results only from love. (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 29 Art. 3, Ad. III)
Of this peace of Christ, which dwells in our hearts and is, in effect, the love of God, We can repeat what the Apostle has said of the kingdom of God which also rules by love -- "the kingdom of Christ is not meat and drink." (Romans xiv, 17) In other words, the peace of Christ is not nourished on the things of earth, but on those of heaven. Nor could it well be otherwise, since it is Jesus Christ Who has revealed to the world the existence of spiritual values and has obtained for them their due appreciation. He has said, "For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?" (Matt. xvi, 26) He also taught us a divine lesson of courage and constancy when He said, "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." (Matt. x, 28; Luke xii, 14)
This does not mean that the peace of Christ, which is the only true peace, exacts of us that we give up all worldly possessions. On the contrary, every earthly good is promised in so many words by Christ to those who seek His peace: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. vi, 33; Luke xii, 31)
This peace of Christ, however, surpasses all human understanding -- "the peace of God which surpasseth all understanding" (Philippians iv, 7), and for this very reason dominates our sinful passions and renders such evils as division, strife, and discord, which result solely from the unrestrained desire for earthly possessions, impossible. If the desire for worldly possessions were kept within bounds and the place of honor in our affections given to the things of the spirit, which place undoubtedly they deserve, the peace of Christ would follow immediately, to which would be joined in a natural and happy union, as it were, a higher regard for the value and dignity of human life. Human personality, too, would be raised to a higher level, for man has been ennobled by the Blood of Christ and made kin to God Himself by means of holiness and the bond of brotherly love which unites us closely with Christ, by prayer and by the reception of the Sacraments, means infallibly certain to produce this elevation to and participation in the life of God, by the desire to attain everlasting possession of the glory and happiness of heaven which is held out to all by God as our goal and final reward.
We have already seen and come to the conclusion that the principal cause of the confusion, restlessness, and dangers which are so prominent a characteristic of false peace is the weakening of the binding force of law and lack of respect for authority, effects which logically follow upon denial of the truth that authority comes from God, the Creator and Universal Law-giver.
The only remedy for such state of affairs is the peace of Christ since the peace of Christ is the peace of God, which could not exist if it did not enjoin respect for law, order, and the rights of authority. In the Holy Scriptures We read: "My children, keep discipline in peace." (Ecclesiasticus xli, 17) "Much peace have they that love the law, O Lord." (Psalms cxviii, 165) "He that feareth the commandment, shall dwell in peace." (Proverbs xiii, 13) Jesus Christ very expressly states: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's." (Matt. xxii, 21) He even recognized that Pilate possessed authority from on High (John xiv, 11) as he acknowledged that the scribes and Pharisees who though unworthy sat in the chair of Moses (Matt. xxiii, 2) were not without a like authority. In Joseph and Mary, Jesus respected the natural authority of parents and was subject to them for the greater part of His life. (Luke ii, 51) He also taught, by the voice of His Apostle, the same important doctrine: "Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God." (Romans xiii, 1; cf. also 1 Peter ii, 13, 18)
If we stop to reflect for a moment that these ideals and doctrines of Jesus Christ, for example, his teachings on the necessity and value of the spiritual life, on the dignity and sanctity of human life, on the duty of obedience, on the divine basis of human government, on the sacramental character of matrimony and by consequence the sanctity of family life -- if we stop to reflect, let Us repeat, that these ideals and doctrines of Christ (which are in fact but a portion of the treasury of truth which He left to mankind) were confided by Him to His Church and to her alone for safekeeping, and that He has promised that His aid will never fail her at any time for she is the infallible teacher of His doctrines in every century and before all nations, there is no one who cannot clearly see what a singularly important role the Catholic Church is able to play, and is even called upon to assume, in providing a remedy for the ills which afflict the world today and in leading mankind toward a universal peace.
Because the Church is by divine institution the sole depository and interpreter of the ideals and teachings of Christ, she alone possesses in any complete and true sense the power effectively to combat that materialistic philosophy which has already done and, still threatens, such tremendous harm to the home and to the state. The Church alone can introduce into society and maintain therein the prestige of a true, sound spiritualism, the spiritualism of Christianity which both from the point of view of truth and of its practical value is quite superior to any exclusively philosophical theory. The Church is the teacher and an example of world good-will, for she is able to inculcate and develop in mankind the "true spirit of brotherly love" (St. Augustine, De Moribus Ecclesiae Catholicae, i, 30) and by raising the public estimation of the value and dignity of the individual's soul help thereby to lift us even unto God.
Finally, the Church is able to set both public and private life on the road to righteousness by demanding that everything and all men become obedient to God "Who beholdeth the heart," to His commands, to His laws, to His sanctions. If the teachings of the Church could only penetrate in some such manner as We have described the inner recesses of the consciences of mankind, be they rulers or be they subjects, all eventually would be so apprised of their personal and civic duties and their mutual responsibilities that in a short time "Christ would be all, and in all." (Colossians iii, 11)
Since the Church is the safe and sure guide to conscience, for to her safe-keeping alone there has been confided the doctrines and the promise of the assistance of Christ, she is able not only to bring about at the present hour a peace that is truly the peace of Christ, but can, better than any other agency which We know of, contribute greatly to the securing of the same peace for the future, to the making impossible of war in the future. For the Church teaches (she alone has been given by God the mandate and the right to teach with authority) that not only our acts as individuals but also as groups and as nations must conform to the eternal law of God. In fact, it is much more important that the acts of a nation follow God's law, since on the nation rests a much greater responsibility for the consequences of its acts than on the individual.
When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another's word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.
There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail.
It is apparent from these considerations that true peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life. If this were done, then society being placed at last on a sound foundation, the Church would be able, in the exercise of its divinely given ministry and by means of the teaching authority which results therefrom, to protect all the rights of God over men and nations.
It is possible to sum up all We have said in one word, "the Kingdom of Christ." For Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one's life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example. Jesus reigns over the family when it, modeled after the holy ideals of the sacrament of matrimony instituted by Christ, maintains unspotted its true character of sanctuary. In such a sanctuary of love, parental authority is fashioned after the authority of God, the Father, from Whom, as a matter of fact, it originates and after which even it is named. (Ephesians iii, 15) The obedience of the children imitates that of the Divine Child of Nazareth, and the whole family life is inspired by the sacred ideals of the Holy Family. Finally, Jesus Christ reigns over society when men recognize and reverence the sovereignty of Christ, when they accept the divine origin and control over all social forces, a recognition which is the basis of the right to command for those in authority and of the duty to obey for those who are subjects, a duty which cannot but ennoble all who live up to its demands. Christ reigns where the position in society which He Himself has assigned to His Church is recognized, for He bestowed on the Church the status and the constitution of a society which, by reason of the perfect ends which it is called upon to attain, must be held to be supreme in its own sphere; He also made her the depository and interpreter of His divine teachings, and, by consequence, the teacher and guide of every other society whatsoever, not of course in the sense that she should abstract in the least from their authority, each in its own sphere supreme, but that she should really perfect their authority, just as divine grace perfects human nature, and should give to them the assistance necessary for men to attain their true final end, eternal happiness, and by that very fact make them the more deserving and certain promoters of their happiness here below.
It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ -- "the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace
Any questions? Indeed, Pope Pius XI condemned those who would dissent from the Church's Social Teaching as belonging to just another subset of Modernism.
Many believe in or claim that they believe in and hold fast to Catholic doctrine on such questions as social authority, the right of owning private property, on the relations between capital and labor, on the rights of the laboring man, on the relations between Church and State, religion and country, on the relations between the different social classes, on international relations, on the rights of the Holy See and the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff and the Episcopate, on the social rights of Jesus Christ, Who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord not only of individuals but of nations. In spite of these protestations, they speak, write, and, what is more, act as if it were not necessary any longer to follow, or that they did not remain still in full force, the teachings and solemn pronouncements which may be found in so many documents of the Holy See, and particularly in those written by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV.
There is a species of moral, legal, and social modernism which We condemn, no less decidedly than We condemn theological modernism.
Pay no attention to the man in white overseas who thinks he what he is not. He does not possess the sensus fidei. He is possessed of the spirit of Modernism. His entire philosophical and theological bents have been condemned repeatedly by the popes of the Catholic Church. Only one religion produces peace, and it is the Catholic Faith, none other. Everything else is from the devil's clever but ultimately failed plot against the Church (Maurice Pinay's book on this very subject is being placed online at:
Saint Nicholas of Myra, whose feast we celebrate today, slapped the heretic Arius at the Council of Nicea before the latter's innards exploded and brought him to his well-deserved end. Saint Nicholas was noted for his Charity. It was not opposed to Charity, however, to render unto a sower of heresy a reminder of the punishment that awaited him. Although he was punished by his brother bishops for striking Arius, the punishment was commuted when some of them had a vision of Our Lord and Our Lady showing their support for Bishop Nicholas, who was zealous for souls and a fierce defender of those who were false accused of crimes, saving at least three men from the imposition of the death penalty unjustly. He was most devoted to Our Lady, the Mother of God, and sought to defend her honor at every turn. We need to invoke the help of Saint Nicholas so that we will be moved to have his great zeal for souls and a burning, ardent desire to defend the rights of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen at a time when the counterfeit Catholics of our today, just like the counterfeit Catholics of his day. seem to have the upper hand.
As the consecrated slaves of Our Lady who are preparing to celebrate the Feast of her Immaculate Conception, we must realize that these difficulties will pass one day. It is probably the case that these difficulties will pass after most of us are dead and buried. We must realize, though, that Our Lady will manifest the Triumph of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart when the world least expects it. Heaven's peace plan is not Benedict's peace plan. Heaven's peace plan is Our Lady's Fatima Peace Plan., which runs through her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, which is united in an intimate bond of perfect love with the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Heaven's peace plan requires us to say Rosaries and pass out blessed Miraculous Medals and Green Scapulars. Heaven's peace plan is about Heaven's peace, that is, the peace of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, not the false "peace" of this passing world.
Our Lady of Good Success, 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 Andrew, pray for us.
Saint Sabbas, pray for us.
Saint Barbara, pray for us.
Saint Nicholas, pray for us.
Saint Ambrose, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Martin of Tours, 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 Gregory Lalamont, 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 Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Basil, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Eustace and Family, pray for us.
Pope Saint Stephen I, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, 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.
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 arm 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.