Penance Is Better Than Ever in 2009
by Thomas A. Droleskey
There is no better way to start this current travelogue than to repeat the first few paragraphs of my last travelogue, published nearly five months ago now:
To embrace our daily crosses with joy is the royal road to Heaven. We must never lose sight of the fact that we, who are seen, as "Father X" related in his series of sermons posted on the Traditional Catholic Sermons website,.those "lovable, bumbling idiots" who have difficulty frequently discerning God's Holy Will for us as we struggle with the vestigial after-effects of Original Sin and our own many Actual Sins. Many of our difficulties and crosses are entirely self-made, the result of our disordered pride or our willful blindness or stubborn refusal to accept with equanimity the simple fact that everything that happens to us in the course of our daily lives happens within the Providence of God. He permits us to make many mistakes so as to humble us and to make us ever more completely reliant upon the graces He won for us by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of His Most Blessed Mother, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces.
Thus it is that our summer's sojourn to Ohio and other parts of the Midwest was very much akin to the wandering of the Hebrew people in the desert as they kept going in circles for forty years. Much of our life's journey is spent going in circles. We are, at least during most of our lives, very much like a dog who circles around two or three times before he rests himself comfortably in a space on a rug. Oh, yes, those who have secure employment, a stable residence, and reliable income may not be as much wandering as those of us who have lost such things. It is, however, nevertheless true that many of us will find that we are like the Jews of old as we wander about in these passing, mortal vale of tears, a passage that has become particularly perilous in these days of apostasy and betrayal.
No matter the mistakes we make and the problems that arise as a result of our stubbornness and simple blindness, God wants to use each occasion of our lives, asking us to offer up everything we have and do to Him through His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. No moment is ever waste, no mistake is without merit IF we remember to offer up everything that happens to us during the course of a day to the Most Holy Trinity through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, something that we can do very simply with our Morning Offering and by frequent aspirations to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Most Blessed Mother, repeating as frequently as we can this prayer taught by Our Lady to the Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal:
"O Jesus, it is for Thy love, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
We must always think and speak and act supernaturally in light of our Catholic Faith. Doing so will equip us to embrace our daily crosses with love and with gratitude, and to save us from even the slightest hint of anxiety over our personal problems or the problems that exist in the world and those that have been created by the apostasies and blasphemies and sacrileges of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. There is not one thing that can happen to us or to anyone else that is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and that caused His Most Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with those Seven Swords of Sorrow. Each cross has been fashioned to fit us perfectly by the very hand of God Himself from all eternity. We have nothing to complain about, especially since, as noted above, so many of our crosses are of our very own making!
Pauline Jaricot, the foundress of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Association of the Living Rosary, is indeed a patron for those us who are considered failures and misfits by the world in general and by those who may have been some of our closest associates. Those of us whose situations are "irregular" as judged by the world have quite an intercessor in the Pauline Jaricot, whose cause for canonization will be among the many that will be taken up by legitimate ecclesiastical authorities following the ouster of the conciliar revolutionaries as God Wills this so in His Holy Providence as one of the first-fruits of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Pauline Jaricot came from a wealth family and was somewhat vain and proud as a young girl. She surrendered herself to the service of the Faith, however, and become the propagator of the cause of Saint Philomena, who cured her miraculously in the church in Mugnano, Italy, where her relics had been transferred, on August 11, 1835, much to the subsequent amazement of the great Pope Gregory XVI, who did not believe that Mademoiselle Jaricot, so weakened on her visit with His Holiness in the Apostolic Palace in Rome en route to Mugnano, would make it back to Rome alive, no less walking around quite sprightly.
It was God's Will for Pauline Jaricot, however, to suffer the barbs of the world as His servant and that of His Blessed Mother's Most Holy Rosary as she lost all of her family's fortune and was reduced to temporal misfortune that required her, much against her formerly proud nature, to beg for alms door-to-door in Paris at one point. Pauline Jaricot even lost her reputation as unjust men denied that she was the foundress of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith. Not even a letter from Pope Pius IX in support of this fact meant anything to those who had appropriate the Society away from Mademoiselle Jaricot, who remained indefatigably devoted to Saint Philomena and who had the wise spiritual counsel of the Cure of Ars, Saint John Mary Vianney. She was a modern-day Job in so many ways.
Thus it is that some of us will be called to suffer great humiliations as tongues our wagged about us and our lives. Our consolation must be the knowledge that the intentions of all hearts and the circumstances of all lives will be made manifest only on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead as the souls of the just are reconciled one unto the other. Mistaken, rash judgments will be forgotten in eternity as they have been forgiven by us as members of the Church Militant here on the face of this earth.
Saint Paul the Apostle explained in his Epistle to the Hebrews that some will be called to endure all manner of hardships for the sake of the Gospel, hardships we must embrace with joy and with love as the price of our Redemption, recognizing that there is nothing we can suffer in this passing, mortal vale of tears that is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and caused His Most Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with those Seven Swords of Sorrow. The lot of some in this life is to suffer calumny and humiliation for not being "normal" in the eyes of the world as they try to respond to God's Holy Will for them despite their own past sins and failings.
But others were racked, not accepting deliverance, that they might find a better resurrection.
And others had trial of mockeries and stripes, moreover also of bands and prisons. They were stoned, they were cut asunder, they were tempted, they were put to death by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being in want, distressed, afflicted: Of whom the world was not worthy; wandering in deserts, in mountains, and in dens, and in caved of the earth. And all these being approved by the testimony of faith, received not the promise; God providing some better thing for us, that they should not be perfected without us. (Hebrews 11: 34-40.)
As I have noted in past travelogues on this site, my own academic career was dealt severe blows by my outspokenness as a Catholic in the public realm, including running for elected office on the New York State Right to Life Party line three days, long before I came to accept the truth of our ecclesiastical situation three years ago. Securing full-time employment in my chosen field, even with excellent letters of recommendation from my supervisors, proved to impossible by the middle-1990s. And thus it has been in the past six years that we have had to rely totally upon the support given to us by those who agree with my work. This keeps us humble and on our knees. We know that we are laughed at and ridiculed (perhaps even "pitied" by some) as a result. This is only just as we know that our sins caused Our Lord Himself to be mocked and reviled and humiliated by His own people. None of us suffers as our sins deserve. We must embrace suffering with love and with gratitude!
The rewards, however, are Heavenly if we persevere as members of the Catholic Church as we endeavor to make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world as the consecrated slaves of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother.
An Invitation Worth Exploring
As I explained in
It's Still Better This Than Purgatory (or Worse!) in 2008, part 5, we had hoped that our decision to attempt to make a "go" of commuting from a campground in Litchfield, Connecticut, down to Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel/would work out. We were indeed very happy to see Lucy back in school with her friends. Sharon and I were quite willing to spend our times at various public libraries as Lucy was in school. This afforded me the opportunity to do my writing during the day after morning Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel.
The daily commute, however, was a real killer. Although I am used to driving long distances, the round-trip commute, made in peak rush-hour traffic both ways, of about ninety-five miles meant that we were driving just under 700 miles a week to take Lucy to school and to get to Holy Mass on Saturdays and Sundays. The cost of gasoline at the time of our return to Connecticut in early-September was quite prohibitive, if you will recall. The bottom had not yet fallen out from the cost of gasoline-per-gallon at the retail pumps. We were, however, ready and willing to make the sacrifices for Lucy's sake, committed to roughing it out until the Hickory Hill Campground closed on October 18, 2008, hoping that a space in one of the mobile home parks in the area that accepted motor homes would open up for us.
Lucy's new school year started on Monday, September 8, 2008, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This was just two days after I had received a most unexpected e-mail from Father Benedict Hughes, CMRI, who informed me that he had a small house at the City of Mary in Rathdrum, Idaho, in which we could live. I would teach at Saint Joseph's Seminary and at Mary Immaculate Queen Academy high school in exchange for the use of the house. What to do? I was loathe to interrupt Lucy's schooling in Monroe. I was also aware that we might not be able to stay in Connecticut much beyond October 18, 2008. What to do? Where was God calling us? I wanted to place my teaching abilities at the service of the Church in this time of apostasy and betrayal. I also had an obligation to do what was best for my daughter. What to do? Where was God leading us.
Father Benedict, who is so very kind and charitable, suggested in a note that I fly out by myself in October for the Fatima Conference so that I could take a look at the house and discuss the arrangements. This sounded reasonable, although I did not look forward to being separated from Sharon and Lucy again as I had been in October of 2007 when I traveled to northern California to explore a job possibility. Thus it was that we decided to drive in our motor home on Saturday, September 13, 2008, to Warwick, Rhode Island, from Litchfield, Connecticut, to meet with Father Benedict after he offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in a private home there.
We decided that we would simply trust in the Providence of God and upon the maternal intercession of Our Lady to explore the possibilities as a family as Sharon resumed the home-schooling of Lucy. As Sharon noted to His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan when she spoke with His Excellency on Tuesday, September 16, 2008, "We will see you on the way out to Idaho, and we might see you on the way back from Idaho!" In other words, we were aware that the situation might not work out for us. We just wanted to explore the possibilities and to determine God's Holy Will for our family. We understood that we were taking a chance. Then again, there are no guarantees in life about any of the decisions we make. Indeed, there is no guarantee that we will see light of day tomorrow morning, is there? We simply concluded, far from infallibly, that we should explore the possibility extended to us so generously by Father Benedict, keeping in mind that everything works out in the Providence of God quite well even if they don't appear to "work out" in human terms.
A Fond Farewell to His Excellency Bishop Robert F. McKenna and Our Friends in Connecticut
We had much to do before our departure from Connecticut on Sunday, September 21, 2008, three months to the day after we had left the Nutmeg State for our summer's stay at Saint Gertrude the Great Church, where I lectured for seven straight Sundays before we went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for a lecture at Saint Hugh Church on Sunday, August 24, 2008; and a brief but enjoyable stopover in the Detroit, Michigan, area, where we assisted at Holy Mass at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Fraser and Saint Joseph's Church in Wayne.
Tired from all of the daily commuting from Litchfield to Monroe and back, I asked permission from His Excellency Bishop Robert F. McKenna, O.P., to park our motor home on their grounds for three nights prior to our departure. I had "had it" with the commute, which started at 6:30 a.m. and ended around 4:30 p.m. Being on the grounds of Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel permitted us the opportunity to take the motor home over to a storage facility in Monroe, where we jettisoned many of our personal effects, including about six unsold boxes of There's No Cure for This Condition. That occupied most of the day on Friday, September 19, 2008. And although we had wanted to take a farewell trip down to Long Island on Saturday, September 20, 2008, I was just too tired to return to our native place, especially in light of the long, hard drives that remained ahead of us.
We have such great affection and gratitude for His Excellency Bishop Robert F. McKenna, O.P. . It was very touching that His Excellency offered us what he termed a "fond farewell" from the pulpit on the Feast of Saint Matthew, Sunday, September 21, 2008. We will be forever grateful to His Excellency for what he has done for us and Holy Mother Church..
We visited with some friends over lunch at Country Pizza across the Stepney Green from Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel, discovering that the motor home's generator, which had been repaired just four weeks before at Camping World in Bolingbrook, Illinois, had gone out yet again! All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls! It was within God's Holy Providence that Mr. Fixit himself, Mr. Ronald Kusterer, was still around the grounds of Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel. He discovered that the generator battery was weak, attaching a set of jumper cables from the engine battery to the generator battery so that the generator could start while we were on the road. Ron was a good friend to us, one of many whom we were blessed to have while in Connecticut, and we miss them all so very much. We pray for each of them daily.
The Feast of Saint Matthew was a very hot day in the Eastern part of the United States of America. We continue to lack dashboard air conditioning (or defroster) in the motor home, a problem that no mechanic has been able to resolve since a well-meaning mechanic disconnected something when attempted, unsuccessfully, it should be noted, to repair our slides at a KOA Kampground in San Antonio, Texas, on Wednesday, September 7, 2005. I must suffer with the heat (my sins, of course, deserve far worse) as I drive in the hot weather. Driving in the heat on Sunday, September 21, 2008, was pretty difficult. I was worn out by the time we got into eastern Ohio around 10:00 p.m. that evening, deciding to stop at Chestnut Ridge Park and Campground in Hubbard, Ohio, for a night of sleep before proceeding on to West Chester, Ohio, for the afternoon Mass at Saint Gertrude the Great Church on Monday, September 22, 2008.
Other than dealing with the heat, which abated somewhat when the sun set, our 452 mile drive from Monroe, Connecticut, to Hubbard, Ohio, went without incident. We were even able to return to Luigi's Restaurant in Du Bois, Pennsylvania, where we had stopped on Saturday, March 15, 2008, after we had been stranded at mile marker 139 in the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 when our motor home's transmission gave up its grisly little ghost--and as the front end of the Trail Blazer was about to collapse. We got there just about twenty minutes before closing time, at around 7:40 p.m. The staff was most accommodating to us as we enjoyed a nice meal on the Feast of Saint Matthew. It was good to be off of the road for about an hour.
We resumed our trip the next morning as Lucy was motor home-schooled during the 281 mile trip between Hubbard, Ohio, and West Chester, Ohio, where we arrived about thirty minutes before the 5:00 p.m. Mass. It was wonderful to be back at Saint Gertrude the Great Church once again for brief stay (three nights, four offerings of Holy Mass).
Off to the Windy City, Well, Reasonably Near the Windy City, That Is
Our brief stay in West Chester, Ohio, which included a round of miniature golf after Lucy was home-schooled on Tuesday, September 23, 2008, and a visit with His Excellency Bishop Daniel Dolan on Wednesday, September 24, 2008, the Feast of Our Lady of Ransom, at Pappadeux Seafood Kitchen in Springdale, Ohio, was most pleasant. We had many miles to drive en route to the inland Pacific northwest. It was good to be off the road for a few days and to partake of the Heavenly glories offered to God in the liturgies at Saint Gertrude the Great Church. Little did we realize then that our return to Saint Gertrude's would be a little over five weeks away. All in God's Holy Providence.
Departing West Chester, Ohio, around 1:30 p.m., on Thursday, September 25, 2008, we journeyed up to the Chicagoland area for a two night stay at a campground near Joliet, Illinois, so that we could have the great privilege once again of assisting at Holy Mass offered at the hands of Father Martin Stepanich, O.F.M., S.T.D. on the Feast of the North American Martyrs, Friday, September 26, 2008. We have found a nice little back way to enter the Chicagoland area that takes us through Peotone, Illinois, which is our motor home's second engine was installed during the week of April 23, 2007, and where we have stopped several times for a break from the road at Chief Klaus's Peotone Bier Stube, which was, of course, paid a little visit on our way up to the campground in Joliet.
We had a most delightful time visiting with Father Martin and Sister Olive Rowley and their hard-working associates, Miss Samantha Current and Miss Suzanne Kennedy. We took Lucy to visit the National Shrine of Saint Therese of Lisieux in Darien, Illinois, on Friday, September 26, 2008, after her home-schooling for the day was completed. The shrine contained some first and second and third-class relics. Contained within its midst was a thoroughly revolutionized chapel and a flier announcing a horrific conference to be given on the shrine grounds on Sunday, October 5, 2008. The way in which the humble handmaid of the Carmel in Lisieux has been appropriate by feminists and other conciliar revolutionaries for their own nefarious purposes is criminal. Saint Therese of Lisieux, pray for them. Saint Therese of Lisieux, pray for us.
Another Hot Day on the Road
Our brief but always enjoyable visit with Father Martin Stepanich and company ended on Saturday morning, September 27, 2008, and we were on the road shortly thereafter to drive the 465 miles between Martin's Campground in Joliet, Illinois, and the KOA West Omaha Kampground in Gretna, Nebraska. It was another very hot day on the road. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
The drive was proceeding reasonably well, although the heat blazing through the large windshields of the motor home coupled with the heat pouring out of the air vents in the dashboard made the drive most penitential, until we got about twenty miles or so east of Des Moines, Iowa, on our "old friend," Interstate 80, a transcontinental interstate highway that runs from about five miles west of the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey and terminates just west of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in California, a distance of nearly 2,900 miles. And, yes, we have driven even single mile of that highway at various points in our travels. Traffic was at a standstill east of Des Moines because of construction around 6:00 p.m. that Saturday evening, September 27, 2008.
Part of the delay was caused by the fact that drivers in the Midwest do not typically drive to the "merge point" of a construction zone, deciding to merge miles ahead of that merge point. Traffic would flow much more smoothly if people did in the Midwest (and in the South) what they do in the East, that is, driving to the merge point before easing one's vehicle into the open lane of traffic. Such common sense is not very common in many parts of the nation. Indeed, drivers of large semi-tractor trailer trucks go out of their way to block drivers of non-commercial vehicles from attempting to drive to merge points, proceeding at a snail's place and, in many instances, blocking the shoulder so as to prevent any enterprising driving from whizzing on past them to the merge point. It is pure torture, one that has to be endure in a spirit of great penance for one's sins, offered to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
I decided to exit the highway east of Altoona, Iowa, taking local roads that seemed to parallel Interstate 80. This took us into the city limits of Des Moines itself, where I had spend a great deal of time when campaigning for Patrick Joseph Buchanan between December 8, 1995, and February 12, 1996, the day of the Iowa Caucuses, and onto Interstate 235 to loop around downtown Des Moines, connecting once again with Interstate 80 west of West Des Moines, Iowa. I don't know how much time that we saved doing this. However, it was sure better than simply sitting for a long time in a lane of traffic. We've done that enough in our travels. If it was only the illusion of making progress on the road during the construction delay, I was going to take the illusion!
Although I had thought about stopping in western Iowa because I was very, very tired, I plugged on along to the Council Bluffs, Iowa-Omaha, Nebraska, area, deciding to make our "landing," if you will, at the KOA West Omaha Kampground in Gretna, Nebraska, about twenty-three miles from downtown Omaha. It was difficult to find the space to which we had been assigned by a reservations agency as it was dark and the campground was not lighted upon our arrival around 10:00 p.m., Central Daylight Saving Time, that Saturday, September 27, 2008. I had to circle around about three or four times before an off-duty KOA Kampground worker guided me to the rather primitive space (we moved to a larger space the next day). It was wonderful to be off of the road--and to be settled for eight nights.
Time Flies By in Omaha
Our time in Omaha just flew by. His Excellency Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas was kind enough to ask me to teach for five days to the students at Mater Dei Academy and Mater Dei Seminary, starting on Monday, September 29, 2008, the Feast of the Apparition of Saint Michael the Archangel, and running through Friday, October 3, 2008, the Feast of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, our dear daughter's Confirmation patron saint. It was certainly most enjoyable to be back in a classroom setting once again. And we have a delightful visit with His Excellency and two novices at the novitiate in Persia, Iowa, some forty-five minutes from Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, where two dairy cows, Isadora and Isabella, supply milk for the priests, seminarians, religious Sisters and the boarder students at Mater Dei Academy. There are also egg-laying hens on the property. Lucy got to bottle feed Sampson, a calf, and to give apples to Isadora and Isabella, whose adventures are chronicled sometimes in Bishop Pivarunas's Adsum newsletter.
His Excellency, who rode with us in our jalopy from Omaha to Persia, taking us also to an historic Catholic church in Earling, Iowa, was most happy to show Lucy around the farm. Our daughter, who will seven years of age on March 27, 2009, and whose homeschooling is going very well, would love to have a farm. She loves animals. Although she was born over nine and one-half years after her paternal grandfather's death, she has his love for animals that he put to use so well for so long as a small animal veterinarian at the Queens Village Dog and Cat Hospital, 222-40 Jamaica Avenue, Queens Village, New York, from 1946, when he started the practice with his brother Edward, who is still alive--and practicing veterinary medicine in Pasadena, Texas, on Saturday mornings. to 1972, when he sold the practice to Dr. Richard Lange, who closed the practice in 2001 and sold the land on which the building in which I lived the first four years of my life (November 24, 1951-November 10, 1955) and spent much time helping my father in his practice to the City of New York. It was a great treat for Lucy to be at a working farm. We are grateful to Bishop Pivarunas for this treat.
A good of my time in Nebraska was spent writing articles about the Judeo-Masonic farce that passed for an "election," contested between a naturalist statist of the "left" and a naturalist statist of the "right." As I explained throughout the course of the election cycle, Catholicism is the one and only means of personal and social order. As a weak vessel of clay with a fallen human nature, I do not find it particularly pleasant to be excoriated for my presenting the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church and for using that teaching, in conjunction with my background as a political scientist and a former candidate for public office who participated actively in presidential campaigns in the past, as the foundation for analyzing the farce that is American electoral politics. It is my hope that the articles I wrote during this election cycle--as in past election cycles--will be reviewed in the future with a bit more dispassion than was brought to bear by many during the heat of the last election cycle that ended on November 4, 2008. I stand by the analyses that I offered in the following articles, which represent but a fraction of those that I wrote on the subject from February of 2007 through the inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama on January 20, 2009:
1) No One Speaks for Christ the King; 2) When Lesser is Greater; 3)
Things Repugnant to the Peace and Happiness of Eternity; 4)
Wasted Time and Money and Effort; 5)
Ron Paul, Meet Saint Paul; 6)
Just Another Naturalist in League with Naturalists; 7) Parallel Paths of Degeneration; 8) A System of "Lesser" Evils; 9) We Must Never Betray the Cause of Christ the King; 10)
Selective Use of Executive Power; 11)
Calculated Victimology; 12)
Cut From the Same Cloth; 13)
Fascists for Freedom; 14)
Pure, Unadulterated Americanism;15)
Pure, Unadulterated Americanism; 16)
A World of Sisyphuses; 17)
No Decisions to be Made, Only Commandments to be Obeyed; 18)
Secular Saviors to the Naturalist Right, Secular Saviors to the Naturalist Left; 19)
Hope Against Hope In But Mere Mortals and Their Dreams; 20)
Showing Libertarianism's True Biases; 21)
They Never Take Prisoners; 22)
By What Stretch of Logic?; 23)
Babbling Inanities of Americanism; 24)
Movements to a Dead End, Now and for All Eternity; 25)
Those Who Trust In Mere Mortals; 26)
Protected by the Forces of Darkness No More?; 27)
Care Not for Rights of Christ the King, Care Not for the Babies; 28)
A System Based on Lies Produces Liars; 29)
When Helen Keller Meets Ray Charles; 30)
Bush Leaguers; 31) One Devil Goes, Another One Enters; 32)
Abort the Faith, Abort Babies; 33)
No Better than the Chicoms; 34)
Modernity's Fools; 35)
Bob Dole, part trois; 36)
Lest We Forget; 37)
Perseverance and Hope in All of the Wrong Things; 38) Memo to Joseph Biden and Nancy Pelosi and Their Conciliar Enablers; 39) Fact and Fiction; 40) Fools' Gold; 41) Gradually Accepting Naturalism's False Premises; 42) Absolute Insanity; 43) Facts Are Troublesome Things; 44) Every Error Imaginable; 45)
We Have Learned Nothing, 2004; 46)
Justice Will Lose No Matter Who Wins, 2000; 47)
Wake Up, America, Your King Is Beckoning; 48) Y2K's Lesser Evil Has Brought Us Great Evils; 49)
Mario Pilate, Pontius Cuomo; 50)
Take A Good Look Around You; 51)
Trapped by Apostasy; 52) Such Are The Joys of Pluralism; 53) Socialism, Straight From Your "Pro-Life" Conservative; 54) Desiring to Stay Ignorant; 55) Fallacies Galore; 56) Apostasy Has Consequences; 57) Willfully Trapped by Apostasy; 58) It's Still Absolute Insanity; 59)
Lost in the Trees Without A King to Lead Them; 60)
A Really Invisible Hand; 61) "I Will Reign In Spite of All Who Oppose Me"; 62)
Making the Same Tragic Mistakes Again and Again; 63)
Step by Step; 64)
To Keep Us Perpetually Agitated; 65)
Keeping It Catholic All The Time; 66)
Figures of Antichrist; 67)
Chastisement Is A Silver Lining; 68)
Do You Hear The People Sing?; 69)
We Don't Want to Learn Anything; 70)
Living With Murder Quite Comfortably; 71)
The Goddess of Liberty, Thy Name is Blasphemy; 72)
Clarity Has Its Advantages; 73)
Foggy Bottom's Bloody Tradition; 74)
Yesterday's Evils, Today's Accepted Norms; 75)
"Nothing Which They Can Understand"; 76)
Madness Is Easy to Define; 77) It Pays to be Ignorant; 78)
Only Themselves to Blame; 79)
When Shoes Say More Than Words; 80)
Cushing's Children; 81)
We're Not in Kansas Any More; 82)
Just A Logical Progression; 83)
They Know Not The Way; 84)
Clueless Is As Clueless Does; 85)
From Luther to Bush to Obama; 86)
We Wait for Another, We Wait for Christ the King; 87)
Studied Silence, False Hopes; and 88)
What's Difficult About "Thou Shalt Not Kill"? (There are times when I wonder why I am tired almost all of the time. Putting this list together, which was a tedious and tiring task, makes me wonder no more! At least those who are interested in reviewing the articles now have an "index" of sorts to reference.)
Our time in Omaha included a trip to the Henry Doorly Omaha Zoo on Sharon's forty-fifth birthday, the Feast of Saint Jerome, Tuesday, September 30, 2008, after she had home-schooled Lucy for the day, and a visit with our friends the Gilberts, who were good enough to let Sharon use their kitchen to school Lucy while I was lecturing the students at Mater Dei Academy and Mater Dei Seminary that week. We are very grateful to them for their kindness and friendship. And it is always good to see our friends who assist at Holy Mass at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church.
Trying to Keep the Motor Home Upright
Although tired from a very busy week of lecturing and writing, I had to pray for some special graces from Our Lady to be able to get on the road on Sunday, October 5, 2008, for the over 1400 mile trip between the KOA West Omaha Kampground in Gretna, Nebraska, and the Coeur D'Alene R.V. Resort in Post Falls, Idaho. We got a late start, around 1:40 p.m., Central Daylight Saving Time, that afternoon following Holy Mass at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church. I just hoped to be able to drive a decent distance that day in order to short the amount of driving that I would have to do on Monday, October 6, 2009, so that we could be in the general area of Spokane, Washington, in time for the priestly ordinations of the Reverend Mr. Bernard Welp, CMRI, and the Reverend Mr. Alexander Kryssov, who was able to find his way to the true Faith--and to the truth of our ecclesiastical situation--in Russia under Communist rule, a remarkable story of how Our Lady is showering her graces on the country whose conversion to the true Faith is such a necessity for an end to the spread of her errors, which are nothing other than the anti-Incarnational errors of Modernity itself.
As longtime readers of this site will recall, our last two trips through the State of South Dakota have not gone well for the motor home's windshields, which were hit by a bird of some sort (I am not that low-flying pheasants hit windshields on a regular basis in the state) as we were driving westbound on Interstate 90 near White Lake, South Dakota, on Wednesday, October 4, 2006, causing us quite an adventure that was recounted in
It's Still Better This than Purgatory (or Worse!), part 1 and chronicled pictorially in
A Pictorial Essay, part 1, and then smashed by high winds as we approached Mitchell, South Dakota, while driving eastbound on Interstate 90 late on the evening of Monday, May 28, 2007, chronicled in
It's Still Better This Than Purgatory (or Worse!), part 4 and by
A Pictorial Essay, part 4. I decided, therefore, to forego the "pleasure" of driving through South Dakota again, although we would wind up doing so in an eastbound direction three and one-half weeks later, choosing to take Interstate 80 west through the State of Nebraska so that we could connect with Interstate 25 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, heading north from there to connect with Interstate 90 for the rest of the trip to Idaho.
Although our windshields were not, most thankfully, smashed on Sunday, October 5, 2009, it was exceedingly difficult to keep the motor home in an "upright" position as we drove that day. The winds on the Nebraska plains were fierce. We have encountered heavy winds before (when driving through fierce Santa Ana winds on Interstate 15 in California on Wednesday, March 13, 2002, just two weeks before Lucy's birth, and when driving on Interstate 76 in Sheridan, Colorado, on Monday, December 5, 2005). Not even the Santa Ana winds were as bad as what we encountered that day. I just kept praying and praying and praying the whole trip so that we could remain upright. It was physically exhausting, demanding every ounce of strength that God could give me to get through Nebraska without the motor home being blown onto its side. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls! It was a rugged 470 mile drive that day. Yes, indeed, penance is better than ever in any year, whether 2008 or 2009--and in every year that God in His Holy Providence sees fit to keep us alive to serve Him as His consecrated slaves through His Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
Just Another Marathon Drive
We managed to make it into a KOA Kampground in Cheyenne, Wyoming, around 8:30 p.m., Mountain Daylight Saving time, on Sunday, October 5, 2008. I wanted nothing so much as to get a good, solid night of sleep so that I would be physically rested enough to drive most, if not all, of the remaining 978 miles to Post Falls, Idaho.
Having indeed gotten that good night of sleep, we were back on the road again around 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 6, 2008, which was, sadly, one of the few days last year in which we were unable to get to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I did not want to miss the ordination Mass at Mount Saint Michael's Church in Spokane on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary the next day, Tuesday, October 7, 2008, and thus offered our apologies to the founder of the Carthusians, Saint Bruno, for missing Mass on his feast day so that we could be in Spokane the day after.
The drive to Post Falls went without incident. It was simply a long, long drive, which I completed without stopping for rest. It was one of the longest drives that we had made in one stretch in recent years, although it pales into insignificance with some of the drives that I made from the Albany-Troy, New York, area, down to Harlingen, Texas, to visit my parents, who had moved to the Lower Rio Grande Valley from Long Island in 1973 by way of a six month-stay in the Bryan-College Station, Texas, area prior to my father's obtaining a position as public health veterinary administrator with the Department of Public Health of the State of Texas in June of that year. There were times when I drove the entire 2200 miles between the Lower Rio Grande Valley and the Capital District of Albany-Schenectady-Troy in one shot. There were times during my original two year stint of teaching at Illinois State University between 1977 and 1979 that I would leave Normal, Illinois, on a Thursday afternoon to drive the 1300 miles from there down to Harlingen, Texas, arriving on a Friday afternoon for a brief visit to my parents before turning it around on a Sunday (after I thought was an offering of Holy Mass) to be back in Illinois late on a Monday to teach by Tuesday classes. I was in my twenties then. I can't do in my late-fifties what I could do thirty years ago. I was pretty grateful to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Most Blessed Mother to have been able to drive the 978 miles from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Post Falls, Idaho, in one shot, meaning that we would be able to assist at the ordination Mass at Mount Saint Michael's on October 7, 2008.
A Glorious Day in Honor of Our Lady of the Rosary
Although tired from the over 1434 mile drive from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Post Falls, Idaho, we got down to business on Tuesday, October 7, 2008, as we went up to the City of Mary in Rathdrum, Idaho, to take a look at the house that Father Benedict Hughes, CMRI, was so generously offering for our use. Father Benedict and his associate, Father Gabriel Lavery, CMRI, have been so very good to our dear friends in Rhode Island who have sacrificed much from some of their own lifelong friends for embracing the truth of sedevacantism. Father Benedict even brought back to Faith a mobster in Rhode Island, a man who had spent time in prison for murder, just days before he died recently. Father Gabriel was able to administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction a few months ago to a woman--who had been away from the sacraments for years--just hours before she died! We were--and remain--very grateful for the opportunity to explore the possibilities associated with living in the house in exchange for my teaching at the City of Mary.
We even got a chance to take a look inside of the house before we drove to Mount Saint Michael's for the Pontifical High Mass of priestly ordination that was offered by His Excellency Bishop Pivarunas. It needed some work, and Father Benedict made arrangements with several of his parishioners to volunteer their time to attend to that work. However, the house, which was infested with seemingly thousands of flies and bees (many of which I killed with my shoe during our initial visit to the house that day), would have served our purposes well, apart from the fact that we had no furniture of our own, had we decided stay there. There will be a photograph of the house in the pictorial essay that will be posted after this travelogue itself is posted.
Making to Holy Mass at Mount Saint Michael's just in time to get the final few spaces in a pew that remained available, we were full of gratitude to Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother for the privilege of being present at the ordinations of Father Bernard Welp, CMRI, who was able to give Holy Communion to his mother at his First Mass the next day, just three weeks before she died (God in His ineffable goodness kept Mrs. Welp alive long enough to see her son ordained to the priesthood), and Father Alexander Kryssov, who is offering the true Mass now in Russia.
What I wrote on October 14, 2008, is worth repeating here once again given the passage of time:
It was our privilege last week to be at the ordination to the Holy Priesthood of Fathers Bernard Welp, CMRI, and Alexander Kryssov by His Excellency Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas at Mount Saint Michael's Church in Spokane, Washington. It was our further privilege yesterday, October 13, 2008, the Feast of Saint Edward the Confessor, an exemplar of the Social Reign of Christ the King, and the ninety-first anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun during Our Lady's final apparition in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal, to assist at Father Kryssov's first Solemn High Mass, at which the Very Reverend Casimir Puskorius, the Rector of Mount Saint Michael's Church, preached a most eloquent and moving sermon about Father Kryssov's journey from unbelief to the Faith.
Father Kryssov himself wrote about his story when he was a seminarian two years ago:
"The story of my spiritual journey begins when I was a student at the University of Moscow being educated like all the other people in the Soviet Union. I did think a lot about God, but I never read the Gospels or any other religious books. One day I realized that I truly did believe in God, but I needed a church. Although I knew there were many Orthodox Churches in Moscow, I was sure that the true Church could not be just Russian--it had to be universal.
"Although I had never been in a Catholic Church, nor had I ever met a Catholic, nor read any Catholic books, I knew I must be a Catholic!
Now I had a problem--I needed to find a Catholic Church in Moscow. Although I did not know where it was, I did believe that the Catholic Church had to exist in Moscow. But how could I find this Church? It was very dangerous in Communist times to ask anybody about the Church. So what was I to do?
"One day I was in the subway station in Moscow, and saw the public telephone. Since it would be no risk to call from the subway station because nobody knew me, I decided to call Moscow Information Service and asked for the address of a Catholic Church. The woman responded with a not too friendly voice, 'We do not give information about religious institutions." So now, what to do?
"The next day from this same station I called this service for the second time, and I asked for the address of the Central House of the Atheists. Another woman, much more friendly than the former, gave me an address. Arriving at this address, I saw this woman (who acted like she was a 'priest' of the Atheists) and told her that I am a young teacher of History who has a class of young Atheistic boys and girls, and I need to explain to the children how all the Christian Churches are no good. I knew about the Orthodox Church, but I have never visited the Protestant or Catholic Churches, and I need to know this to better explain the fallacy of the Christian faith. This woman lauded me as a young and brave Communist hero.
"So she gave me the address of the Protestant and Catholic Churches in Moscow. Immediately, as I got into the street, I threw the Protestant information in the garbage can. This was on Friday. The next Sunday I was at my first Catholic Mass!
"Near the church were three KGB cameras which registered all people who entered the church. One of my friends told me the story. One day as he went into the Church, he saw that one of the cameras was following him. He turned, took off his cap, and saluted the camera. Next moment the camera bowed to him.
"This church, the Church of St. Louis, was one of two Catholic churches in all of Russia which was open at this time. By the grace of God, this church had only the traditional Catholic Mass. After my Baptism, I had no more fear of the KGB; my only fear was that I might not remain a Catholic.
"Even before 1990 when the iron curtain came down, we had the traditional Catholic Mass and Sacraments. However, when the Soviet Union collapsed, with our new liberty came the New Church of Vatican II. Our old Lithuanian priest, Father Stanislav Mazejka did not accept the modern Church. He continued to celebrate the traditional Catholic Mass in his private chapel until his death in 1995 at age 90.
"After Fr. Mazejka died, we requested a priest from the Society of Saint Pius X and a priest was sent to Moscow two or three times a year to celebrate Mass in a private apartment.
"In 1999, we established our traditional chapel in Moscow and we had Mass once a month. Nevertheless, it wasn't very long until we realized the contradictions in the position of the Society of Saint Pius X. So, in 2003, we ended our collaboration with the SSPX and had recourse to the Society of Saint Pius V in the United States. Fr. Baumberger arrived in Moscow in 2004 and stayed for one week. We were very content about his theological position; however, he was not able to supply us with a priest on a regular basis. He, himself, could come only once every two years. This would not have been a good future for us.
"So, we addressed letters to Bishop Dolan, Bishop Sanborn, and Bishop Pivarunas. After two weeks, I received a call from Fr. Rissling who asked me, 'Do you need a priest?' For us it was a miracle! Bishop Pivarunas had contacted Fr. Rissling in Germany who providentially speaks fluent Russian to provide us with Mass and Sacraments.
"In November, 2004, I began my preparation for the priesthood under Bishop Pivarunas. Last year I studied under Fr. Casimir Puskorius at Mount St. Michael's and this year I am continuing my studies at Mater Dei Seminary in Omaha. Please pray for the Catholic faithful of Russia." (Father Alexander Kryssov, Adsum, November, 2006.)
Father Casimir Puskorius, who is the son of Lithuanian refugees to the United States of America and the nephew of a deceased Lithuanian bishop, spoke in his sermon (First High Mass Of Russian Fr. Kryssov) of the interesting facts involved in the improbably story of Father Kryssov's path to priestly ordination to serve Russian Catholics who desire to make no compromises with conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of the false shepherds who began to invade the republics of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics following the apparent changes that took place in 1991 with the collapse of that Soviet Union.
Father Kryssov, Father Casimir explained, was born in 1966, the same year as the one thousandth anniversary of the conversion of Poland to the true Faith. Father Kryssov was baptized in 1988, the one thousandth anniversary of the introduction of Catholicism to the people of Rus in what is now Kiev, the capital of The Ukraine. Father Kryssov was baptized in Moscow by a Lithuanian priest, Father Stanislav Mazejka, who came from the very same parish in Lithuanian as Father Casimir's own parents! Father Casimir was amazed at the way in which God's Providence had permitted their two lives to intersect.
Father Mazejka was a classmate of the arch-ecumenist (and a true bishop), Johannes "Cardinal" Willebrands (who died at the age of ninety-six on August 2, 2006), who tried to convince him, Father Mazejka, to accept the "changes" wrought by the "Second" Vatican Council, including the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service. This was part of the effort that Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II made after the apparent collapse of the Soviet Union to "update" the liturgical and doctrinal life of Roman Rite Catholics in the former Soviet republics. Father Mazejka would have not part in that whatsoever. No part at all. He died remaining faithful to the Catholic Faith, which never makes any compromises with apostasy, error, blasphemy, sacrilege or novelty. None.
Father Kryssov, who has a Master's degree in ecclesiastical history from a university in Paris, France, and had studied the Faith for many years prior to his seminary work under Father Casimir and at Mater Dei Seminary in Omaha, Nebraska, was privileged to have Father Rissling, who introduced him to Bishop Pivarunas, serve as his deacon at his first Solemn High Mass yesterday. He will serve faithful Catholics in Russia and other parts of Europe as needed, his very ordination being the fruit of the uncompromising fidelity of so many, including the priests, religious and laity of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen, to Our Lady's Fatima Message. Only God Himself knows the seeds that Father Kryssov will plant by means of the graces that will flow forth from the Masses he offers at his priestly hands in the country whose errors Our Lady said would spread until a pope consecrates it to her Immaculate Heart with all of the world's bishops (see Our Lady Does Not Act on Her Own). He may even, as our dear Lucy noted after Mass, have to pay the price for his fidelity to the true Church with his very life, a price that he is more than willing to pay as son of Holy Mother Church and a totally consecrated slave of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pray for Fathers Kryssov and Bernard!
Thus it is, good readers, that Our Lady continues to shower her graces upon us in these times of apostasy and betrayal. While we must be concerned about the apostasies being wrought by the counterfeit church of conciliarism and denounce them vigorously as we pray for the conversion of their progenitors, we must have nothing at all to do with conciliarism in any manner whatsoever, including any degree of "recognition" accorded apostates as "legitimate" holders of ecclesiastical office in the Catholic Church. We must pray, therefore, for more vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated religious life from among the ranks of our own children as we enthrone our homes to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our the duties imposed by our states-in-life permit.
The rest of that first of what turned out to be our three weeks in Idaho was spent commuting between Post Falls, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington, for the Fatima Conference, at which I gave three talks (Thursday, October 9, 2008, Friday, October 10, 2008, and the dinner talk on Saturday, October 11, 2008 as Sharon home-schooled Lucy in the motor home and in a room at Mount Saint Michael's. It was so good to see some of our friends from Mount Saint Michael's as well as to see Mr. and Mrs. John Netzel, whom we knew from our "resist and recognize" days at Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Garden Grove, California (John conducted the choir magnificently there), and Mrs. Ronald McGuire and her son Daniel, daily communicants (along with Mr. McGuire and two other sons) and charter members in January of 1973 of Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel in Monroe, Connecticut. Lucy also got to return to the "fast" carousel she loves so much at Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane several times during the conference and our stay in Idaho.
It was before my talk on Friday, October 10, 2008, which would have been my late father's eighty-ninth birthday if he had not died on Saturday, September 5, 1992, that Sharon found an advertisement in an Idaho version of what we would call The Pennysaver back on Long Island (where all of our earthly attachments, including friends, have been stripped from us in the Providence of God to prepare us more fully to be attached to Him and His Holy Will alone) for a six month old male beagle puppy, one who was house-trained, which was quite a selling point to us. We had long talked about getting a beagle.
Sharon had a beagle growing up in her parents' house in Olivebridge, New York. She remembers her "Delta" fondly.
My own attachment to beagles began on April 17, 1965, when my father brought home a newborn female beagle puppy whose mother had no milk with which to nurse her (the breeder permitted us to keep the female, whom my brother named, most unfortunately, "Lady Luck") and when, a year later, my father brought home a male beagle puppy, Laddie, who was four months old and whose owners wanted to put the poor dog to sleep because he was so wild. My father did not have the heart to do this. He thus brought Laddie to our home on 234 Laurel Cove Road in Oyster Bay Cove, Long Island, New York, and the result was a litter of four puppies (two others died at birth) on Sunday, November 13, 1966. We had to give two of the puppies, Tarzan and Resty, away in the summer of 1967. Lady Luck died of respiratory complications before my very eyes as my father was spaying her on Tuesday, August 22, 1967. We were left, therefore, with Laddie and two of his sons, Blanky and Pokey, the trio that I drove to Bryan, Texas, from Oyster Bay Cove in my first long distance marathon driving adventure on Friday, December 29, 1972, an adventure recounted in There Is No Cure for This Condition. Laddie had to be put to sleep because of complications of old age on May 9, 1981, when he was fifteen years, five months old. Blanky died of a stroke three and one-half months later just before his own fifteenth birthday. I still have dreams about those affectionate, although very noisy, beagles who would give me a rousing welcome whenever I would visit my parents after I had gone off to study for my Master's and Doctorate and then began my own teaching career.
We told Lucy not to get her hopes up, that someone else might get the beagle puppy or that the owners might not consider us fit to purchase him. We were, however, taken with "Chase" when we met him on Saturday, October 11, 2008, the Divine Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. His owners judged us to be suitable purchasers. And though it was clearly difficult for them to part with Chase, the then six month old beagle puppy became ours, and he has brought us so much joy in the past four months. It is as though four decades had been wiped away and I was back in Oyster Bay Cove with our beagle puppies during my high school years at Oyster Bay High School.
Chase adjusted to his new environment well, proving himself to be a loyal, affectionate and very well-disciplined dog insofar as his house-training is concerned. He has had only three minor accidents since we purchased him. He is as affectionate as the beagles my family had for man years. He does, however, has his own little personality and is more fun to watch with his antics than anything on television or YouTube. He's been a delightful addition to the family and, as things turned out to be manifested to us in the Providence of God, has adjusted perfectly to his life in the motor home. We never thought that we could have a dog in the motor home and we got Chase because we thought we were going to be moving into the house on the property of the City of Mary. God knew from all eternity how things would out, of course, and He saw to it that we got the perfect dog to live in a motor home.
Oh, yes, Chase, loves the outdoors. We have a twenty-six foot leash that permits him to run and run and run when we walk him. We can't let him run on his own as beagles have a tendency to disappear for quite some length of time if they are not in a fenced-in area. Even some of the "invisible fences," I have read, don't stop beagles from running away. Beagles are stubborn, strong-willed, determined dogs. It is evidently the case that they will "take the shock' provided by the "invisible fence" and go on their merry way. We're not taking those chances with Chase. We are very grateful that one of God's dumb creatures, a being with a mortal soul whose existence ends with his death, has been given to us to be our companion and family entertainer.
Making a Difficult Decision
After a week at the Coeur D'Alene R.V. Resort in Post Falls, Idaho, we moved up to the City of Mary, where we parked the motor home next to the house into which we had expected to live once some improvements had been completed, arriving there on the morning of Tuesday, October 14, 2008, just before the 11:00 a.m. Mass at Mary Immaculate Queen Church. It was in the ensuing two weeks that we had to make a difficult decision concerning what was ultimately best for Lucy's continued education in the Faith. We drove to the inland Pacific northwest trusting in God's Holy Providence, understanding that no matter how things "work out," humanly speaking, or how they appear to others that everything works out for His greater honor and glory if we offer Him our travails in this passing, mortal vale of tears through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. We need not worry about how things appear to others when we seek earnestly to do God's Holy Will as the intentions of all hearts and the circumstances of all lives will be made manifest on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead.
With gratitude to Father Benedict for his kindness in extending the invitation to us, we decided that it would be best for us to return to Saint Gertrude the Great Church, where Lucy would be able to benefit in person from glories offered to God there and by His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan's recognition of the naturalistic farce that is American electoral politics. Time is short. Life is short. My own mother died twelve days after her sixty-first birthday of stomach and esophageal cancer on Thursday, March 18, 1982.
God alone knows when I am going to die. As I must be prepared for the eventuality of my death, however, I want my daughter to be in the environment where the work that I have done to promote the Social Reign of Christ the King and the analyses that I have brought to bear on contemporary events will be reinforced without question in the event that I am to die in her formative years before she is grown. It was my judgment after listening to Bishop Dolan's magnificent sermon for the Feast of Christ the King on Sunday, October 26, 2008 (“Contempt & The Crown) that His Excellency's clarity of spiritual vision concerning the farcical nature of American electoral politics is what my daughter needed to hear reinforced throughout her formative years without any conflicting messages. This judgment was confirmed by His Excellency's two subsequent Sunday sermons,
Faith Filled & Fearless, delivered on Sunday, November 2, 2008, and
"Three Principles and a President", which was delivered on Sunday, November 9, 2008, sermons that we were privileged to listen to in person as we assisted at the 9:00 a.m. High Mass at Saint Gertrude the Great Church on those Sundays.
The articles that I wrote during the election cycle, some of which were indexed for you above in this travelogue, are open to criticism and rejection. They were not written without a good deal of study, work and reflection. Sinner--terrible sinner--that I am, I will yield to no one insofar as my knowledge of the details of what have been the concrete results of elections in this country in the past forty years. I have documented with cold, hard facts the multiple ways in which alleged "pro-life" administrations have betrayed the precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law while hoodwinking sleepy-eyed "pro-life" voters into believing that "something" was being done to create a "culture of life" when, in actual point of fact, much evil was being promoted under cover of the civil law.
That so few people are interested in informing themselves of these facts on a regular basis or considering them at all relevant to a consideration of the futility of our farcical system of elections and governance is, I must admit, a source of great frustration and disappointment, humanly speaking. Nothing is different now than it was in 1980, except that "pro-life" voters are more willing to accept a lesser and lesser standard of what it is to be "pro-life" than they were then. Others may not see things so clearly. All well and good. I haven't worked as hard as I have to document the fraud of American electoral politics so that my daughter can think that "things" will be any better in the "future" than they have been in the past as a result of political ecumenism.
Those who believe that some rational good can be accomplished in the American political system are welcome to their views. I believe that I have put forth a body of evidence that demonstrates no such good can be accomplished in a system founded on false, naturalistic, anti-Incarnational and semi-Pelagian (the belief that we are more or less "self-redemptive" and can stir up the graces without our own souls to "solve" whatever problems we face, whether personal or social). It is this work that I want my daughter to see supported with the full weight of those from whom she receives the sacraments.
As I have noted repeatedly, the more that we accept the "lesser of two evils" is the more we are willing to tolerate an increasingly higher dose of the so-called "lesser evil" in order to prevent some supposedly "greater evil' from being advanced. This is exactly as the devil wants it as naturalism wins no matter who wins elections in this country. I am under no obligation to participate in a farce that wastes the time and money and efforts of millions of people and where no rational good can be accomplished, and I want my daughter to understand this truth and to accept it for herself. Bishop Dolan sees this all quite plainly, and I trust His Excellency with each of our souls, entrusting to him most especially the future well-being, both in time and for eternity, of my daughter's immortal soul.
Mind you, my work is not the standard of Catholicism. Far from it! I do, however, want my daughter to realize that her father's work concerning the Social Reign of Christ the King does have the support of a learned prelate and that it is something to be taken seriously in her development as a Catholic.
It was with great regret that I had to inform Father Benedict Hughes, CMRI, of our decision to leave. My decision probably would have been different if I was in the single state and did not have the responsibility to help to shape the soul of my own daughter. One of the principal reasons I began to take seriously the claims made by sedevacantists is because of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's consistent rejection of the binding obligation on the civil state to recognize the Catholic Faith as its official religion, thereby rejecting the Social Reign of Christ the King as it must be exercised by the Catholic Church. Ratzinger/Benedict will once again give a phony "papal" imprimatur to this apostasy in his forthcoming encyclical letter, the third of his false and dangerously destructive "pontificate." Political ecumenism is as wrong and as futile as theological ecumenism. Bishop Dolan sees this clearly. I want my daughter to see it clearly for herself long after I am dead.
We are very grateful to Father Benedict, who, of course, suggested originally that I fly out by myself to the Fatima Conference so that I could discuss with him the details before making a move with the family. I am glad that we did explore the possibility as a family a decision about such a re-location had to be one made with the family present. We are so very grateful to Father Benedict for his unfailing kindness and courtesy, for the fine sermons he delivers and for his great zeal for souls. We had the privilege of assisting at the ordination Mass and at the First Masses of Fathers Bernard Welp and Alexander Kryssov. I was also happy to have given three talks at the Fatima Conference and delighted that our trip to the inland Pacific northwest resulted in our having "Chase," who is fast sleep next to me on the sofa-bed in the main part of the motor home as this is being written, as a member of our family. Our trip was very worthwhile, both temporally and spiritually, even though "things" did not "work out" insofar as staying there long term. (And as I despise the cold weather and the snow, tolerating it as a pure penance when I have to do so, I can tell you that I would not have enjoyed the massive amounts of snow that evidently fell on the City of Mary this winter. Everything does indeed work out in God's Holy Providence!)
Back on the Road Again
Knowing that our 2050 mile trip to West Chester, Ohio, from Rathdrum, Idaho, would be exhausting and wanting to get to Saint Gertrude's in time for the All Saints Party for children on Sunday, November 2, 2008, which Lucy was looking very much forward to participating in as she dressed up as Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (Lucy dressed as Saint Elizabeth again on her feast day, November 19, saying to us, "You may call me 'Elizabeth' all day long today, if you would be so kind to do so"). I promised Lucy that I would pray to Our Lady for all of the graces necessary to get to Saint Gertrude's in time for that party. Our Lady did not fail us at all.
We left the City of Mary around 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday, October 29, 2008, stopping at the Coeur D'Alene R.V. Resort in Post Falls, Idaho, to do a waste water dump and to fill up with liquefied propane gas and to permit Chase a chance for some exercise before we got on the road. It was around 5:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Saving time, that we turned onto Interstate 90 for the long, long ride back east, which, as things stand now, is probably the last time that we will ever cross the Rockies. Stick a fork in me, folks. I'm done with the transcontinental trips! Driving from Ohio to Louisiana or Texas or from Ohio to New York or Connecticut (or from Ohio up to Chicago or Milwaukee) will the extent of our radius from now on. No mas! I'm getting too old for the two thousand plus mile drives! Too old.
The most challenging part of the drive back was Chase's need to be walked, which did cut down on the amount of miles that I could drive in any one stretch. He's a good dog. When are are parked in one place, Chase knows to go to the door of the motor home when he needs to go outside. Chase will jump up on me to lick me and then look at the door if going to the door himself does not get my attention. He will sometimes get his leash and bring it to me. And, much like Laddie and Blanky, Chase responds with wild enthusiasm if I say, "Chase, do you want to go for a walky-walk-walk?" Oh, he'll jump up on me, smother me with licks and look at the door. Dogs have associative, not rational, intelligence. Chase associates "walky-walk-walk" with going outside. His way of signaling us that he needs to go when we are driving is to look at the door and then to try to get my attention by climbing on the back of the "captain's chair" where I sit as I drive the motor home. He had not a single accident during the long drive back to Ohio, touching his little paws in each of the nine states we passed through while en route over the course of an elapsed total of sixty-nine hours on the road (including a several hour stopover in Big Timber, Montana, early on the morning of Thursday, October 30, 2008, and several hours at a rest area in South Dakota early on Friday morning, October 31, 2008). We've got ourselves a really great dog.
(I see from the headlines this morning, Friday, February 6, 2009, that the unemployment rate has jumped to 7.6%. As Sharon noted to me as I resume work on this travelogue after suspending writing around 12:30 a.m. this morning, "It's a good thing that we're unemployed. We might have something to worry about if you had a job.")
As I wanted to get on the road to get some distance along the road before we stopped, I pushed and pushed and pushed along Interstate 90 as I was being overcome with fatigue in eastern Montana. Unable to fight off the fatigue despite a great deal of prayer, I knew that I had to get off of the road. The only question was where to stop. It was really dark. Exits in Montana along Interstate 90 are sometimes many miles away from each other. Although it was my intention to make it all the way into Billings, Montana, to stop at the first-ever KOA Kampground (as we had done in the wee hours of Monday, May 28, 2007), I didn't have enough in my "tank" to do so. I saw a blue information sign with the name "Spring Creek Campground" on it as I approached the megalopolis known as Big Timber, Montana. Spring Creek Campground is not, however, exactly an "easy on/easy off" facility. I had to drive for what seemed to be an eternity before finding the campground, having to drive through the epicenter of Big Timber to do so.
A miniature adventure awaited once we got in the campground. A huge sign welcomed visitors with the following information: DO NOT ENTER THIS CAMPGROUND AFTER 11:00 P.M. WITHOUT A RESERVATION." Well, I had no reservation. It was after Midnight on Thursday, October 30, 2008. I was beat. I had utterly no intention of working my way back through Big Timber to return to Interstate 90. So, yes, I must confess, yes, yes, yes, I disobeyed the sign. I entered the campground, driving around and around and around to find a space, which was not an easy proposition in the dark. I wound up driving in ten different directions before finding a space without, as I feared might be the case as I kept driving around and around around, having to detach the Trail Blazer in the dark. It was around 1:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 30, 2008, before I got the motor home ensconced in a site, taking Chase for a walk while at the same time trying to keep him from barking at a herd of deer that was right by our motor home.
Although I had wanted to get some rest before resuming what I knew to be another 1600 miles on the road to get to Saint Gertrude's, there was a loud "knock, knock, knock" at the door around 8:30 a.m. The owner of the facility was demanding his thirty-six dollars for the night's stay. Far from being upset that I had violated his "do not enter after 11:00 p.m. without a reservation" sign, the owner was happy to have the business. "I'm sure glad you stopped in," he said. I know the feeling, of course. Thirty-six dollars is an awful lot of money to us, believe me. It didn't appear as though loads of people were in the campground. I am sure that the gentleman was in need of the funds. (This kind of reminds me of the time that Adam West was at Shea Stadium in the original "Batmobile" in the late-1990s, I believe. West was signing autographs in the stands behind home plate, near where my season seat was located. A man sitting in back of me when back to get an autograph for his son, screaming in disbelief, "I can't believe it. Batman wants thirty dollars for an autograph. Thirty dollars!" I shot back, replete in my own costume, of course, "Well, you know, sir, the batphone has not been ringing off the hook lately. Commissioner Gordon hasn't been calling a lot in the past few decades.")
We got back on the road around 11:00 a.m. that day, Thursday, October 30, 2008, offering up the inability to get to Holy Mass. Indeed, those two full days on the road were the first time in quite a while that we had to miss Holy Mass for two consecutive days, and the last time that we would miss Mass until our recent "flight into Egypt" to escape from the cold and snow in Ohio. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
We drove for about ninety miles to Billings, Montana, where we stopped at a Fuddrucker's to get hamburgers to eat while we continued on our drive, stopping every now and then to take Chase out for walks. The motor home-Trail Blazer combination gets slowed down considerably when going up mountain passes and very high hills, such as those that one finds on Interstate 90 southeast of Billings as the highway winds its way to Wyoming. There was nothing to do other than to offer up the slow down in the pace of the drive and to continue on as best we could. And I probably added two or three hours to the trip by taking the suggestion of Mapquest and exiting Interstate 90 near the Little Big Horn Battlefield and taking US-212 for about 265 miles through small, poverty-stricken villages on which the descendants of those whose lands were taken away by the brute force of the Federal government of the Untied States of America live their lives. It is shameful to see the results of American racialist social engineering. Father De Smet, pray for the American Indians who have been so maltreated
We were held up for about an hour in the southeastern part of Montana by construction that reduced traffic to one lane. We had to wait for an "pilot car" to lead us through the twelve mile construction zone. Chase sat in my lap as we waited for the "pilot car" in the hot weather.All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
It was around 7:00 p.m., Mountain Daylight Saving Time, by the time that we reached Belle Fourche, South Dakota, and thence to Spearfish, South Dakota, prior to re-connecting with Interstate 90 at Exit 10. We probably lost a good deal of time taking this route. God knew from all eternity that we would do so. It was for His greater honor and glory and our sanctification that we had to encounter the delays that we did, although I will say that it was an interesting route to take, at least once in one's life (like driving down the Pacific Coast Highway south of Carmel, California, to San Luis Obispo, as I did nine years ago this June--you do that once and only once if you like getting to your destination in the same calendar year!).
Determined to push ahead for as far as we could go, we proceeded for another 194 miles before having to "put down" at a rest area at mile marker 204 in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 in South Dakota, just east of Draper, South Dakota, where we stayed for about seven hours. I was really tired. The rest of the trip that day, Friday, October 31, 2008, the Vigil of All Saints, was simply long. We had another 1058 miles to drive between Draper, South Dakota, and Saint Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, Ohio. It was evident by nightfall (after we had driven the rest of way through South Dakota on Interstate 90 and into Minnesota, turning south at Albert Lea to follow Interstate 35 to US-20, which took us east to Interstate 380 and thence south east to Interstate 80 before connecting with Interstate 74 south east of the Quad Cities across the Mississippi River) that we were not going to make it to Saint Gertrude's for All Saints' Day (Lucy's big party was on Sunday, November 2, 2008).
Looping around the metropolis of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, where I had taught from 1977-1979 and again from 1986 to 1987, (commuting during the Fall Semester of that year between there and New York to teach a graduate course at Saint John's University and to campaign for lieutenant governor on the Right to Life Party line), I decided to stop at a KOA Kampground in Crawfordsville, Indiana, making our total drive for that day a distance of about 940 miles (refusing to take US-18 that had been recommended by Mapquest!). We got into the campground at around 11:00 p.m., which permitted us a few hours of sleep before we arose to get to Holy Mass on the Feast of All Saints at Our Lady of the Good Remedy Chapel in Lizton, Indiana. It was good to see Father Paul Petko and our friends Mr. and Mrs. Gary Ritter once again. We then continued our trip to West Chester, Ohio, a distance of 140 miles after Holy Mass.
Gasoline prices were dropping sharply by the time that our trip had begun. It just so happened to be within the Providence of God, however, that I managed to stop at a gasoline station off of Interstate 74 in southeastern Indiana that was selling gasoline for nearly three dollars a gallon. I asked why this was the case. "Well, this is the price we bought it at. This is the price we've got to sell it at." There was no easy access for the motor home-Trail Blazer combination in that area. All I could was to say, "All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!"
We arrived at Saint Gertrude's around 3:00 p.m., having stopped at a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant for breakfast east of Indianapolis, Indiana, after Mass on the Holy Day of Obligation, discovering that our thirty amperage socket had been taken away from us because of the construction of a new facility on the grounds of the church complex that was being done by Mr. Gino Vanderputten, who has, with help from a few other men, almost single-handedly built the new facility. We had to take refuge for a night at Winton Woods Park Campground about fourteen miles away from Saint Gertrude's before returning the next day, Sunday November 2, 2008, to begin what turned out to be a glorious stay of eighty-six nights, ending when we had to take flight because of the cold temperatures on Wednesday, January 26, 2009.
We had driven over two thousand miles from Rathdrum, Idaho, in a total elapsed time of sixty-eight hours. We were very grateful to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, His Most Blessed Mother, Saint Christopher, Saint Raphael the Archangel and our own Guardian Angels and patron saints for our safe and relatively uneventful drive back to the glories of Saint Gertrude the Great Church.
Basking in the Glories of Saint Gertrude's
I was particularly happy that we got back to Saint Gertrude's in time to have Lucy participate in the All Saints Party for the children of Saint Gertrude the Great Church and Saint Gertrude the Great Academy. Our daughter has a great love of the saints. She knows far more about the lives of the saints that I did when I was in my twenties! Sharon has done such a superb job homeschooling her.
As noted earlier, Lucy dressed up as Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, winning first place for her grade level (second grade). We were very proud of her, very happy that she was back amongst her friends at Saint Gertrude's. She is--and we are--particularly edified by the well-behaved and very devout children of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Simpson, parents who take seriously their obligation to protect their children from the harm of the popular culture, a concern that is near and dear to the heart of Bishop Dolan, who uses his own gentle but very clear and firm manner to exhort parents to protect their children from the near occasions of sin found in popular culture and to observe the Virtue of Modesty for themselves and their children. It was great to be back at Saint Gertrude's once again, and we are ever so grateful to His Excellency and Father Cekada and to everyone else at the church for their kindness and generosity to us.
We were able to be at Saint Gertrude's for the Forty Hours' Devotion there, started on Friday, November 14, 2008, and ended on the parish's patronal feast of Saint Gertrude on Sunday, November 16, 2008. The Forty Hours' mission was preached by Fathers Markus Ramolla, Federico Palma and Charles McGuire. His Excellency preached at the concluding ceremonies on Sunday evening. It was our privilege to be there.
We were also able to spend all of Advent and most of Christmastide at Saint Gertrude's, being blessed to be there for a third straight Christmas Midnight Mass, missing only the last five days of Christmastide following our "flight into Egypt" to permit our motor home an opportunity to thaw out. And our friend from New Jersey, Mrs. Janet Clementi, who had been received into the Church by His Excellency Bishop Robert F. McKenna, O.P., on Wednesday, October 17, 2007, the Feast of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, arrived from New Jersey with her eleven year-old dog, Piccola, to take up residence in an apartment complex about three miles from Saint Gertrude's so that she could have access on a daily basis to true offerings of the Immemorial Mass Tradition. She rolled up her sleeves and went right to work in the sacristy of the church to iron the priests' albs most days of the week save, of course, for Sundays. We hope that our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous, who hail from a hitherto unexplored region of the United States of America, will follow suit soon.
Mrs. Clementi arrived on Monday, December 15, 2008. She had made arrangements for a taxi company to meet her at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The taxicab was there hours late in arriving and charged her close to the cost of an airfare to take her the thirty-three miles to her new residence, where she had to wait another three weeks for her furniture to arrive from New Jersey (the moving company wanted to deliver the furniture on Christmas Eve, something that was unacceptable to Mrs. Clementi). Taxis are notoriously unreliable in the Cincinnati area. We are glad, however, that Mrs. Clementi endured the penances associated with her move and has done what we have urged so many to do: get themselves to Saint Gertrude's for the glories given to God there by Bishop Dolan, Father Cekada, Father Ramolla--and the other priests who visit there on a regular basis.
I occupied my time, apart from trying, unsuccessfully, as you know, to get the webcasting started, writing and writing and writing when I was not taking Chase for his walks at all hours of the day and night, writing fifty-eight articles there in our eighty-six night stay.
Catching Some Bad Brakes
By the middle of last month, January of 2009, however, it became clear that the harsh winter conditions were taking their toll on the motor home. Regrettably, we had to consider heading south, either to Brooksville, Florida, where available spaces at campgrounds are almost impossible to find this time of the year, or to Lafayette, Louisiana. There was a slight problem with this plan, however: the motor home's brakes were shot. The old sound of "metal on metal" began to be heard as we were crossing the Rockies for what I hope will be our last time on Thursday, October 30, 2008. The sound got worse and worse each week we drove the motor home to do our waste water dump (either at Olive Branch Campground in Oregonia, Ohio, or at recreational vehicle dealer near Saint Gertrude's) and get liquefied propane gas. We couldn't drive any long distances with the brakes that bad. Where's Mr. Ron Kusterer when you need him for a job like this? In Connecticut, that's where.
Well, we had to do without our friend Ron Kusterer, who essentially rebuilt the front end of the Trail Blazer in May of 2008 and did repairs on various occasions to the motor home as well. God sent us Mr. Steve Weigand, who teaches archery on Fridays and Saturdays to interested students at Saint Gertrude the Great Academy, and his brother Will Weigand to recommend a mechanic whose work they trusted. After funds were secured for the repairs, arrangements were made on Friday, January 9, 2009, to bring the motor home into the mechanic's shop on Wednesday, January 14, 2009, so that we could no longer hear the inglorious sound of "metal on metal" every time I stepped on the motor home's brake pedal. A few events intervened, however.
First, the motor home's engine's battery was killed by the cold weather. This is the battery that was installed on Saturday, April 28, 2007, in Bolingbrook, Illinois, the day after we had ransomed the motor home from Terry Lincoln Ford Mercy in Peotone, Illinois, following the installation of its second engine (the first one died at mile marker 161 on Interstates 80/94 in Illinois, just three miles west of the Illinois-Indiana border, see
It's Still Better This Than Purgatory, part 3 and
A Pictorial Essay, part 3). Not even two years out of the thing."All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!" I discovered this on Tuesday evening, January 13, 2009, informing the mechanic, who had been very good to come out to the motor home to assess the brakes four nights before, that we would have to try for Friday, January 16, 2009, as I had to find some way to get the motor home started before we could bring it into the mechanic's shop.
All happens within God's Holy Providence. I wouldn't have been able to take the motor home into the mechanic's shop even if the motor home's engine's battery had not died. For it was during the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 14, 2009, that I thought I was going to die. No joke.
I got up in the middle of the night, around 2:00 a.m., finding myself weak and unable to stand. I nearly passed out. I really did think I was going to die and made sure to say my Act of Contrition and several Hail Marys, thanking my Guardian Angel for giving me the presence of mind to do so. I have never "passed out" in my life. I call for Sharon, who was asleep with Lucy in the back of the motor home. She was sound asleep and the sound of my weakened voice could not make itself heard over the din of the Sharper Image Sound Soother that blocks out noise from the outside world. "Mama, Mama," I said, without any response. "Goodbye, Mama!" I said as I felt myself going down for the count. "Goodbye, Lucy!"
It was quite an episode, something that I had never experienced before. I had to steady myself on the sofa-bed where I do my work late at night and then get a few hours of sleep without disturbing the girls. Forget about calling 911. We have no money for emergency medical care. I simply prayed that the episode would pass, waiting about half an hour or so before attempt to place myself in a horizontal position on the bed. There were no chest pains. No pains in my left arm. No pain in my jaw. Just weakness and feeling that I was going to pass out. While a physician friend told me over the phone late that same day that the episode was probably the result of low blood pressure, a diagnosis that certainly fit the symptoms I read online after I had spoken with him, I contacted a kinesiologist shortly after the episode. The results of the kinesiology examination were truly astounding.
As the son of a veterinarian, I have been predisposed over the years to accept the dictates of the conventional medical industry, which, of course, believes in all manner of evils and is tied to the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the poisons that prevent the conception and/or kill human babies. Although I was slow to accept Sharon's belief in chiropractic medicine, I have come to recognize that a good chiropractor does indeed have much to offer in the treatment of human beings, and I have learned from kinesiology that there are electrical fields in the body that send out signals that can be detected by one trained to sense them. The kinesiologist who examined me could sense from a wave of the fingers and the use of a flashlight-like device that I had a staph infection of the spleen that had affected my cardiovascular system. That flashlight-like device was held to my neck. Sharon watched as color returned to my pale, wan face. It was amazing.
I was told that the staph infection of the spleen could be the source of the fatigue that I have felt for a long time now. Oh, yes, I realize that skeptics out there might say that it is impossible to defect a staph infection without a blood test. I am convinced that God has given the ability to some people to sense the electrical pulses of infections and to treat them by non-pharmaceutical means. Although the incident that I thought was bringing me to the point of death may indeed have been caused by low blood pressure, the incident did help to diagnose a chronic problem that had robbed me of a good deal of physical energy and strength. Thank you, Blessed Mother.
With that episode out of the way, we had to deal next with the fact that our motor home's engine would not start and that we were in need of doing two things rather desperately: doing a waste water dump and getting liquefied propane gas. The motor home just had to get going again!
The actual air temperature fell to minus eight degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, January 15, 2009. Our propane gas kept being turned into heat by the motor home's furnace throughout the night. We didn't know whether we could make it through another night as the "LPG" indicator read "E," which usually means that we have a few gallons left in the tank, which is of the built-in variety (not one of those used to for "barbecue" grills). We had to get the motor home going again so that we could do a dump, get propane gas and get our brakes repaired. Our Lady of Prompt Succor was invoked to help us late on her feast day.
Things reached critical mass on Friday, January 16, 2009. We had to move the motor home. The mechanic at whose shop we were to get the motor home's brakes repaired said that he would come out to give the motor home's engine's battery a boost so that we could, at the very least, do our dump and get propane gas if we could not get the brakes repaired that day. The gentleman arrived with an associated, attaching battery charger to what he thought was the motor home's engine's battery but turned out to be the generator's battery (there are three batteries, one for the engine, one for the generator, one for the coach's regular electricity, located under the main steps of the motor home, exposed to the rain and salt and soot of the road; great engineering job by the folks at Forest River in Goshen, Indiana).
The temperature was in the single digits at the time. Sharon and Lucy took refuge in Saint Gertrude the Great Church before the 11:25 a.m. High Mass as I shivered in the cold (the main cabin door to the motor home had to be kept open so that the booster cables could be kept attached to the battery charger. The mechanic and his associate had to return to their shop, telling me to keep the charge going for yet another hour or so, which meant that I had to bungee the cabin door in such a way that the booster cables could be kept connected to the battery charger while we are at Mass. We put Chase in his kennel, a blue airline carrier kennel that provides him with plenty of space, which we had purchased the day we bought him in Idaho, and locked him in the Trail Blazer, which we kept running while we were at Holy Mass (we have two sets of keys) so that he would not freeze (or escape!) while in the motor home with the main cabin door ajar.
The motor home did not start after over two hours of charging. This convinced the the mechanic, who came out again around 3:15 p.m. after we had gotten a bite to eat, that we needed two new batteries. The new batteries were installed. The motor home's engine did not start. This convinced the mechanic that we needed to get a new starter as well, something that he did not have on hand nor could install given the work he had to do at his own shop. We were on our own once again, desperate to do a waste water dump and to get propane gas. It was then that I called a parishioner of Saint Gertrude the Great Church, Mr. Ken Gilliam, who helped us out on September 9, 2006, when the motor home's engine's battery died on that day prior to a trip Florida for a speaking engagement. The battery that Mr. Gilliam installed was the one that died in Bolingbrook, Illinois, on Saturday, April 28, 2007. We just had to endure yet another night with the propane gas indicator on "E" and with our waste water in need of being dumped.
Mr. Gilliam was kind enough to come up around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 17, 2009, concluding originally that we did indeed need a new started. He went most dutifully to an auto parts store to get one. He returned about forty-five minutes later. Before he installed the new starter, however, he checked the old one another time, running a test on the battery that was not replaced. Sure enough, the problem was not with the two batteries that were replaced the day before or with the starter. The problem was with the battery that neither replaced nor charged, the one that I thought all along was the engine battery. Mr. Gilliam returned to the auto parts store to exchange the starter for a new battery. He installed the battery. We reimbursed him for the cost of the battery. The motor home started at long last. We were functional once again. We are very grateful to Mr. Gilliam for his generosity in assisting us with his competency and professionalism.
The dump completed and a full tank of propane gas purchased, I gave a lecture the next day, Sunday, January 18, 2009, at Saint Gertrude the Great Church on the simple truth that the proximate cause for the killing of innocent preborn children under cover of law, whether by chemical or surgical means, is the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King wrought by the Protestant Revolt and cemented in place by the forces of Judeo-Masonry (Audio Lecture Link: Abort Christ the King, Abort the Babies). The lecture contained nothing new. Its contents have provided the fodder for many of the articles listed above. I am grateful to the ten or so people who attended the talk for taking the time to sit still. (I am a college professor. I am used to lecturing in eighty minute segments. While I can bring talks in at around forty-five minutes if I have to, as I did for the keynote address at the Fatima Conference on Saturday, October 11, 2008, a formal lecture involving a lot of detail is going to take time to complete.)
We finally were able to get the motor home's brakes repaired on Monday, January 19, 2009, a process that relieved us (what with the new batteries and the service call) of $540.00. It's nice to be able to stop the motor home without dragging my foot on the ground all the time. Seriously, I am grateful that the brakes were repaired.
Finally Forced Out of Ohio
The elements finally took their toll on the motor home near the end of the week of January 19. A cold spell settled in on Sunday, January 25, 2009, the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul (and Mrs. Clementi's sixty-seventh birthday), which froze up our sewer lines very badly. It was clear by Tuesday, January 27, 2009, that we had to take refuge in a warmer climate, having to wait, however, for our departure as a monster snow and ice storm was hitting the greater Cincinnati, Ohio, area. Yes, we needed to get propane and to dump our waste water once again. The below freezing temperatures were simply killing the motor home.
With great regret that we had to leave the oasis of Saint Gertrude the Great Church--and with great gratitude for the generosity extended to us during our eighty-six night stay, we left the Saint Gertrude's parking lot around 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on Wednesday, January 28, 2009, headed for Lafayette, Louisiana, where Father Francis Miller, O.F.M., who was in Chicago, Illinois, from Sunday, January 25, 2009, to Friday, January 30, 2009, visiting Father Martin Stepanich, O.F.M. and company, would be returning in time for evening Mass on Friday, January 30, 2009. We had to scrape a whole lot of ice off of the motor home and the Trail Blazer before we could get going (and the process of attaching the Trail Blazer to the motor home was more than a little problematic in the cold weather).
We encountered horrific conditions on Interstate 275, the arterial beltway that loops around downtown Cincinnati, once we had gotten on the road following a stop for gasoline on Ohio Route 747 just north of the interstate. Nothing--and I mean nothing--had been done to the roadway, which had not been ploughed at all. A little bit of sand and salt had been put down on the roadway. Other than that, however, the thirty miles or so of driving in Ohio on Interstate 275 was pure white-knuckle driving. My only hope was that things would be better as we drove farther south in the 945 mile drive to Lafayette.
"These slothful Masons in Ohio," I told Sharon, "don't even care about the safety of their fellow Masons. Snow is not unheard of in the Cincinnati area. This is deplorable."
Indeed, the situation was even more deplorable as we entered into Indiana and found that the brief stretch of Interstate 275 that runs through the Hoosier State across the Ohio River into Kentucky was immaculate. Not a drop of snow or ice on the road. The state line between Ohio and Indiana was clearly marked by deplorable road conditions at one moment and a perfectly cleared roadway the next moment.
"The Masons in Indiana," I told Sharon, "do care about the safety of their fellow Masons. Brotherly love and all that, you know."
Things were a little more spotty in places in Kentucky. There were parts of Interstate 71 between the Interstates 71 and 75 split at mile marker 174 in Kentucky and Interstate 265 east of Louisville, Kentucky, that were pretty horrendous. We just prayed and prayed and prayed as we drove, slowed down by a few "Chase stops" along the way.
Although I had heard about the ice storm that had hit southern Kentucky particularly hard, it was a truly amazing sight to behold, even in the darkness illuminated only by headlights of motor vehicles, the trees that were bent over and covered with thick ice (we had about three-quarters of an inch of ice on the Trail Blazer's windshield). The right lane of Interstate 65 was impassable in spots because of downed tree limbs. Most vehicles just drove in the left lane.
It was in Kentucky that more penance, fashioned for us by the very hand of God from all eternity for His greater honor and glory and for our sanctification as the consecrated slaves of His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, came our way when the motor home's generator, without which we do not have functioning electricity while we are on the road or not plugged into an electrical socket, gave out yet again, the fifth time it has done so since it was installed at Cummins Bridgeway in West Chester, Ohio, on Wednesday, January 31, 2007. It's a good thing that we have a three year warranty on the unit, which is a piece of junk. It is serviced regularly. It breaks down regularly. It broke down last during hot weather in August of last year. It broke down now on a bitterly cold night, forcing us to bundle up but good as we drove. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Nothing but nothing that we suffer is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and caused His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with Seven Swords of Sorrow. And none of us suffers as our sins deserve. Everything we suffer permits us to be united more fully with the Cross of the Divine Redeemer. We must love our crosses. We must embrace our crosses. We must lift high our crosses. We must utter the words that Saint Francis of Assisi exclaimed whenever he had some cross or was beaten up by thieves or spat upon by bystanders or mocked or humiliated, "Deo gratias! Thanks be to God! Yes, thanks be to God for our crosses. The Cross is the one and only standard of true human liberty. The Cross is the sole means of our salvation. Deo gratias! Thanks be to the good God for each and every single one of our crosses. It really is better to love our crosses and to suffer well than to spend one horrific moment in Purgatory. Penance is better than ever in 2009!
I had thought about stopping in Franklin, Kentucky, around 8:50 p.m., Central Standard Time, when I stopped for gasoline there (we had stayed at a former KOA Kampground there on two different occasions in recent years). Sharon convinced me to plug along. I had also toyed with the idea of driving through the night to Houston, Texas, for a 10:00 a.m. Mass there. I realized by the time that I reached West Memphis, Arkansas, around 1:00 a.m., on Thursday, January 29, 2009, the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales, that such a goal was madness. I was too tired. We needed to get the motor home plugged into an electrical socket and get reacquainted with some heat. A West Memphis, Arkansas, police officer gave me directions to the nearest campground. As soon as she told me the name of the place, "Tom Sawyer's," I said, "Sure, we stayed there on Saturday, September 24, 2005 and Sunday, September 25, 2005, as we were escaping Hurricane Rita in Texas." It was back to Tom Sawyer's after filling up with gasoline at the Flying J service station in West Memphis and dumping part of our waste water load (the shower and basin water, which had been frozen solid in the sewer pipe, flushed all on its own somewhere in southern Kentucky, evidently, managing to wind up directly on the Trail Blazer!).
Resting for a few hours (Lucy was up at 7:00 a.m., only about three hours after I had gotten to sleep), we got on the road again after taking advantage of the nice, hot running water in our motor home, making arrangements to stop in Jackson, Mississippi, to visit with readers of this site who have been so very, very good to us and without whose generosity we could not have escaped the harsh conditions of Ohio. We had a most delightful time visiting with them at the Olive Garden in Jackson, Mississippi, before we got on the road again for what should have ben a four hour drive to the Lafayette area but turned out to be a five hour drive because of endless construction in the Atchafalaya Basin (swamp!) on Interstate 10 some thirty miles east of Lafayette. The delay was a solid hour in length. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
We got into our campground around 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, January 29, 2009, and that is where the motor home has been ever since. We jettisoned the idea of attempting to get the generator repaired here in Lafayette as the unit probably needs to be taken out of the motor home, and we are not going to be here very long. It is best to carry this cross for the time being and to get the unit repaired back where it was installed in Ohio. I'm not getting any younger. These trips are taking more of a toll on me physically.
The weather down here in the Lafayette area has been most agreeable. Ours is a low-end-of-the-scale motor home. It was difficult enduring the winter that we spent in Connecticut last year. The unremitting below freezing temperatures in Ohio made it impossible to stay there. Although we miss the glories of Saint Gertrude the Great Church, which we can follow on a functioning webcast (imagine that!) at
Live Mass Simulcasts (Monday to Friday, 11:25 a.m., Monday to Thursdays 5:00 p.m., Fridays, 5:45 p.m., Saturday, 8:00 a.m., Sunday, 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 5:45 a.m., Sunday vespers at 1:10 p.m. or 4:45 p.m. depending upon the Sunday), we are not complaining about the warm temperatures here in Louisiana. Indeed, Chase is going crazy over his new environment. He loves it here. Oh, he loved playing in the snow in Ohio (as you will see when I post the pictorial essay to accompany this travelogue). However, he just loves running around on his twenty-six foot leash in the warm weather. And Lucy has a great, well-disciplined home-schooling schedule that has been maintained during our stay that permits her to enjoy a bit of recess in the warm weather.
Those who access this site regularly know that a number of commentaries have been written in the past week concerning the coopting of the Society of Saint Pius X by the One World Ecumenical Church of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who now insists that adherence to the Talmudic propaganda concerning the events of World War II is a necessary precondition for a validly consecrated bishop to function legitimately in his counterfeit church. The following commentaries have dealt with this spectacle that has once again shown the wisdom of The Nine and should put an end once and for all to any believing Catholic's desire to be "one with" the arch-heretic and blasphemer Ratzinger/Benedict, who dares to offend the honor and majesty and glory of God by esteeming publicly the symbols of false religions and whose desire in issuing Summorum Pontificum is to destroy resistance to his own conciliar revolution by getting traditionally-minded Catholics in the conciliar structures to agree to his philosophically absurd and dogmatically condemned "hermeneutic of continuity and discontinuity" as the means of "reconciling" the teaching of the Catholic Church with the teaching and practices of conciliarism.
Nothing to Negotiate,
Those Who Deny The Holocaust,
Recognize and Capitulate,
Voices From Hell,
A Little Bit "In," A Little Bit "Out," and
To Bury The Truth have been written in the last thirteen days to try to provide some focus on the incredible duplicity of the conciliar revolutionaries who enable those who deny the Incarnation of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in His Most Blessed Mother's Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of God the Holy Ghost while demanding absolute adherence to a view of secular history that is in dispute.
Richard P. McBrien can support women's ordination, something condemned officially by the counterfeit church of conciliarism (just a reminder to some out there in never-never land who are trying to make Ratzinger/Benedict, the penultimate disciple of the New Theology, into a champion of the Catholic Faith, that Pope Leo XIII noted in Satis Cognitum that the heretics of yore did object to everything in the Faith, that they fell in only a portion of it--but it was that portion from which they dissented that caused them to fall from the Faith and thus to lose the name of Catholic), and remain in good standing in the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut (see Hartford's Mark of Apostasy).
The conciliar "bishop" of San Jose, California, Patrick McGrath, can deny the historicity of the Gospel accounts of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Passion and Death and remain in "good standing" as a diocesan "ordinary" in the counterfeit church. (For a fuller listing, see
Voices From Hell.)
Bishop Richard Williamson, on the other hand, is being required to assent to assertions about history that are in dispute in order to have "good standing" in the counterfeit church of conciliarism. This is not--and cannot ever be--the Catholic Church. Why anyone would want to be in such "good standing" with heretics and blasphemers and apostates is a mystery. The Catholic Church is not composed of disparate beliefs. She is composed of those who assent to every article contained in the Deposit of Faith.
As I have mentioned in recent articles, Sharon and Lucy and I are very grateful to those who cooperated with the graces sent to them by Our Lady to accept the truths that were summarized so clearly and so succinctly by Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki, CMRI, in Tumultuous Times:
"A legitimate pope cannot contradict or deny what was first taught by Christ to His Church. An essential change in belief constitutes the establishment of a new religion.
"The attribute of infallibility was given to the popes in order that the revealed doctrines and teaching of Christ would remain forever intact and unchanged. It is contrary to faith and reason to blindly follow an alleged pope who attempts to destroy the Catholic Faith--for there have been 41 documented antipopes. Papal infallibility means that the Holy Ghost guides and preserves the Catholic Church from error through the succession of legitimate popes who have ruled the Church through the centuries. All Catholics, including Christ's Vicar on earth, the pope, must accept all the doctrinal pronouncements of past popes. These infallible teachings form a vital link between Christ and St. Peter and his successors.
"If a pope did not accept and believe this entire body of formulated teachings (the Deposit of Faith), he could not himself be a Catholic. He would cease to belong to Christ's Church. If he no longer belongs to the Catholic Church, he cannot be her Head." (Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki, CMRI, Tumultuous Times, p. 274.)
We are grateful to Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother for leading us to the Catholic catacombs where true bishops and true priests make no concessions to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its false shepherds. It is worth whatever calumny and financial loss (there is no "enterprise" in the true Catholic catacombs; Christ the King Church in Lafayette, Louisiana, is built on cinder blocks next to a busy highway that roars with truck traffic and shakes the building noticeably during Holy Mass--some enterprise, let me tell you, some enterprise) to have access to the true sacraments offered by true bishops and priests, pastors of souls who inspire their flocks to scale to the heights of personal sanctity as we cling to Our Lady, especially by praying as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit.
Our thanks are eternal to these true bishops and true priests for the sacrifices they have made--and the calumnies that they have endured--for refusing to be "one with" heretics and blasphemers and apostates who cater to the enemies of the Faith at almost every turn.
Well, that brings you pretty much up to date on the latest in our poor efforts to embrace our daily crosses to help make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world. What I wrote at the end of the last two installment in these adventures is apropos once again:
The sufferings of this present day are as nothing in comparison the joys that await the souls of the just in Heaven:
For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him. For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8: 16-18.)
None of us has anything to complain about whatsoever. None of us suffers as our sins deserve. And not one thing we suffer (not humiliation, not misunderstanding, not rejection, not any kind of physical pain or disease, not calumny, not total financial destitution, not career failure, not anything) is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and caused His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with Seven Swords of Sorrow. We must always lift high the Cross as the consecrated slaves of Our Lord through His Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart.
Heaven awaits us if we live penitentially in this life, if we seek to do our Purgatory time here by accepting with love and gratitude each of the difficulties that daily life presents. Shouldn't we be excited to ask for more crosses each day to prove our love for God and to make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world as we entrust ourselves to the Mercy of His Most Sacred Heart and and Protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Our Blessed Mother will not abandon us either, as she made clear to Juan Diego in 1531:
Know for certain that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God. . . . Here I will show and offer my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows and will remedy and alleviate their suffering, necessities and misfortunes. . . . Listen and let it penetrate into your heart. . . . Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. So not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?
This is good advice for us, is it not? We should keep this in mind whenever we are feeling sorry for ourselves or think that we have been given a cross that is too heavy for us to carry. We must remember, as I try to keep hammering home, that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that we can experience in this passing, mortal vale of tears that is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Lord to suffer during His Passion and Death and caused His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with Seven Swords of Sorrow. Who are we to feel sorry for ourselves in the midst of sickness or suffering or woe or loss of one sort or another? The Cross is the path to Heaven. Shouldn't we thank God for our crosses, mindful that Our Lady stands with us in our own crosses as she stood by her own Divine Son's Most Holy Cross on Good Friday, at which she stands at every true offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?
Here's a good formula to remember: our crosses become lighter with every Rosary we pray.
Penance is better than ever in 2009, wouldn't you agree?
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Romuald, pray for us.
Saint Titus, pray for us.
Saint Dorothy, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints