The Road to Hell
by Thomas A. Droleskey
The devil prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls, laying snares for each one of us as we attempt to walk the rocky road that leads to the narrow Gate of Life Himself, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as He has revealed Himself exclusively through His Catholic Church, rather than choosing to walk on the smooth path that leads to the wide gate of eternal damnation.
Saint Paul himself taught us that we had to work our our salvation in fear and in trembling, that it is possible for us to lose our salvation for all eternity if we die in a state of mortal sin, if we, God forbid, die having abandoned the truths of the Catholic Faith to embrace the tenets of a false religion. Each of us must pray daily, especially before we go to sleep at night, for the grace of happy, holy and sacramentally-provided for death. We do not know when the Master, Who comes like a thief in the night, will come us for us. He knows the day and the hour. Apart from a handful of genuine mystics to whom Our Lord or His Most Blessed Mother has revealed the day and the hour of their Particular Judgments, each of us must be mindful that death can come to us at any time. The "goodnight" we say to our loves before going to sleep--or the "goodbye" we say when leaving to go to work or to do some errand--might be the very last time we address them here in this mortal vale of tears. This is something we should be conscious of at all times, prompting us to be tender and mild with our spouses and children and friends, treating them with the genuine mercy and compassion with which we desire to be accorded by Our Lord Himself when He comes as the Judge of our souls when we breathe our last breath here in this life.
Yes, there is a Particular Judgment that will be rendered on our immortal souls after we die. This Judgment will be ratified and made known to one and all on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead. The Last Day will be the time it which each of our just actions and our sinful actions (and thoughts and words and intentions) will be made manifest to all, who will see both the Justice and the Mercy of the Divine Redeemer in each of the judgments passed upon every soul who had lived from the time of the Special Creation of Adam from the slime of the earth to the time of Our Lord's Second Coming in glory on that Last Day.
Our Lady has appeared several times (in apparitions approved by Holy Mother Church) to beg us to do penance for our sins and to seek the conversion of sinners, starting, of course, with ourselves. As I note so frequently, each one of our own sins transcended time and wounded Our Lord physically during His Passion and Death. Each one of our sins wounds His Mystical Body, the Church, today. Each one of our sins makes us less capable of being Christ to those around us and of seeing His Divine Impress in each of those whom He has known from all eternity would be placed in our paths on any given day. We must, therefore, make a good and sincere Confession regularly (once a week is not too frequently) and to live penitentially so as to repair the damage done to our immortal souls by means of our sins. Additionally, our voluntary embrace of penance and mortification will help us as the consecrated slaves of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to help pay back the debt owed to God by the Poor Souls in the Church Suffering in Purgatory and to help convert the straying and the utterly lost in ways that may not be made known to us until eternity, perhaps not even until the Last Day itself if we persevere to the end in a state of Sanctifying Grace.
It is no work of "compassion" or "mercy," however, to reaffirm another in a life of sin or error either through words or actions of omission or commission. Two of the Spiritual Works of Mercy are to instruct the ignorant and to admonish the sinner. To admonish someone is not to judge him. No, it is to warn him that his immortal soul is in imminent peril of eternal damnation if he was called to his Particular Judgment at that moment. Judgment, of course, belongs to God alone, Who searches the intentions of all hearts and souls. Granted. We, though, have the obligation to warn others as to what could happen to them if they persist in their sins and/or errors.
As I have noted on a number of occasions, there is no one approach that works at all times with all people. It is incumbent, though, to understand the fundamental obligation we have to seek the return of non-practicing Catholics and to seek the conversion of non-Catholics to the Faith before they die. No one is placed in our lives by accident. We might have only one opportunity with a person we meet fleetingly to say or do something to try to plant a seed that will be watered by an Actual Grace sent to him by the Holy Ghost to begin the process of his conversion. This is why we should carry lots of blessed Miraculous Medals and Green Scapulars on our persons at all times. We should pass these out liberally to the many lost souls that are sent our way each day, people who are clueless about the Faith because of the inter-related pernicious influences of anti-Incarnational errors of Modernity in the world and of Modernism's corruption of liturgy and dogma in the conciliarist era.
Admittedly, it is far harder to deal with relatives and friends and those with whom we associate fairly regularly than with complete strangers. Deal with them we must, though, if we don't want to hear these terrible words from Our Lord when we die: "Where are your children? Where is your spouse? Where are your relatives? Where are your parishioners." Although it is neither possible or prudent to bring up First and Last Things at all times with people who are hostile or suspicious, it is inexcusable to never mention First and Last Things, worse yet to convince oneself of the diabolical lie that "everyone will be fine with God" as long as he has made some kind of profession of faith in some kind of "supreme being" or is simply a "good person." Martin Luther's Sin of Presumption has mutated countless numbers of times in the past five centuries, resulting in the false sentimentality and religious indifferentism that is of the essence of the American spirit of self-redemption of the evil New Age movement's false assurances that everyone is "fine" with God because He is "fine" with them.
Although the rise of sentimentality and false compassion in the lives of some traditionally-minded Catholics was touched upon three months ago in an article about Saint Vincent Ferrer, Convert--Or Die!, I want to revisit a few passages from that article so as to indicate that anyone who believes that he has no obligation to speak directly at any time to a person who is outside of the Church about the necessity of converting is flirting with grave dangers for their own immortal souls.
As I noted three months ago, Dom Prosper Gueranger wrote in The Liturgical Year about Saint Vincent Ferrer's zeal for souls:
To-day, again, it is Catholic Spain that offers one of her sons to the Church, that she may present him to the Christian world as a model and a patron. Vincent Ferrer, or, as he was called, the angel of the judgment, comes to us proclaiming the near approach of the Judge of the living and the dead. During his lifetime, he traversed almost every country of Europe, preaching this terrible truth ["Convert, or die!"--editor's note]; and the people of those times went from his sermons striking their breasts, crying out to God to have mercy upon them--in a word, converted. In these our days, the thought of that awful day, when Jesus Christ will appear in the clouds of heaven to judge mankind, has not the same effect upon Christians. They believe in the last judgment, because it is an article of faith; but, we repeat, the thought produces little impression. After long years of a sinful life, a special grace touches the heart, and we witness a conversion; there are thousands thus converted, but the majority of them continue to lead an easy, comfortable life, seldom thinking on hell, and still less the judgment wherewith God is to bring time to an end.
It was not thus in the Christian ages; neither is it so now with those whose conversion is solid. Love is stronger in them than fear; and yet the fear of God's judgment is every living within them, and gives stability to the new life they have begun. Those Christians, who have heavy debts towards divine justice, because of their past lives, and who, notwithstanding, make the time of Lent a season for evincing their cowardice and tepidity, surely such Christians as these must very rarely ask themselves what will become of them on that day, when the sign of the Son of Man shall appear in the heavens, and when Jesus, not as Saviour, but as Judge, shall separate the goats from the sheep. One would suppose that they would have received a revelation from God, that, on the day of judgment, all will be well with them. Let us be more prudent; let us stand on our guard against the illusions of a proud, self-satisfied indifference; let us secure to ourselves, by sincere repentance, the well-founded hope, that on the terrible day, which has made the very saints tremble, we shall hear these words of the divine Judge addressed to us: 'Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!' Vincent Ferrer leaves the peaceful cell of his monastery, that he may go and rouse men to the great truth they had forgotten--the day of God's inexorable justice; we have not heard his preachings, but, have we not the Gospel? Have we not the Church, who, at the commencement, of this season of penance, preached to us the terrible truth, which St. Vincent took as the subject of his instructions? Let us, therefore, prepare ourselves to appear before Him, who will demand of us a strict account of those graces which He so profusely poured out upon us, and which were purchased by His Blood. Happy they that spend their Lents well, for they may hope for a favourable judgment!
From the life of Saint Vincent Ferrer in the Breviary, found in The Liturgical Year:
He exposed the perfidy of the Jews, and refuted the false doctrines of the Saracens, but with so much earnestness and success, that he brought a great number of infidels to the faith of Christ, and converted many thousand Christians from sin to repentance, and from vice to virtue. God had chosen him to teach the way of salvation to all nations, and tribes, and tongues; as also to warn men of the coming of the last and dread day of judgment, He so preached, that he struck terror into the minds of all his hearers, and turned them from earthly affections to the love of God.
Saints Peter Canisius and Francis de Sales, among many others, sought the return of Protestants to the true Church that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man in Our Lady's virginal and immaculate womb founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. Were they wrong to do have done so? Is there no need, as the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger stated many times over the years, to seek the conversion of Protestants? Was Pope John Paul II correct to tell the Protestant syncretists at Taize, France, in 1996 to be "faithful" to the bogus "traditions?" Are we, therefore, excused from the Spiritual Work of Mercy of admonishing the sinner by speaking to them directly? Was Our Lady wrong to have sought the conversion of a Jewish man named Alphonse Ratisbonne by appearing to him as she did to Saint Catherine Laboure in the image of the Miraculous Medal? Would Alphonse Ratisbonne have been "all right with God" if he did not convert? Or would he have suffered the fate that a dogmatic council of the Church, the Council of Florence, 1442, declared awaited the souls of those who die in false religions:
"The holy Roman Church believes, professes, and preaches that 'no one remaining outside the Catholic Church, not just pagans, but also Jews or heretics or schismatics, can become partakers of eternal life; but they will go to the everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels,' unless before the end of life they are joined to the Church. For the union with the body of the Church is of such importance that the sacraments of the Church are helpful to salvation only for those who remaining in it; and fasts, almsgiving, other works of piety, and the exercise of Christian warfare bear eternal rewards from them alone. And no one can be saved, no matter how much alms, he has given, even if he sheds his blood for the name of Christ, unless he remains in the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church."
Pope Leo XIII explained in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890, that ordinary lay Catholics have the obligation to speak about the truths of Faith:
The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error. So soon as Catholic truth is apprehended by a simple and unprejudiced soul, reason yields assent. Now, faith, as a virtue, is a great boon of divine grace and goodness; nevertheless, the objects themselves to which faith is to be applied are scarcely known in any other way than through the hearing. "How shall they believe Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Faith then cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."
Since, then, faith is necessary for salvation, it follows that the word of Christ must be preached. The office, indeed, of preaching, that is, of teaching, lies by divine right in the province of the pastors, namely, of the bishops whom "the Holy Spirit has placed to rule the Church of God." It belongs, above all, to the Roman Pontiff, vicar of Jesus Christ, established as head of the universal Church, teacher of all that pertains to morals and faith.
No one, however, must entertain the notion that private individuals are prevented from taking some active part in this duty of teaching, especially those on whom God has bestowed gifts of mind with the strong wish of rendering themselves useful. These, so often as circumstances demand, may take upon themselves, not, indeed, the office of the pastor, but the task of communicating to others what they have themselves received, becoming, as it were, living echoes of their masters in the faith. Such co-operation on the part of the laity has seemed to the Fathers of the Vatican Council so opportune and fruitful of good that they thought well to invite it. "All faithful Christians, but those chiefly who are in a prominent position, or engaged in teaching, we entreat, by the compassion of Jesus Christ, and enjoin by the authority of the same God and Savior, that they bring aid to ward off and eliminate these errors from holy Church, and contribute their zealous help in spreading abroad the light of undefiled faith.'' Let each one, therefore, bear in mind that he both can and should, so far as may be, preach the Catholic faith by the authority of his example, and by open and constant profession of the obligations it imposes. In respect, consequently, to the duties that bind us to God and the Church, it should be borne earnestly in mind that in propagating Christian truth and warding off errors the zeal of the laity should, as far as possible, be brought actively into play.
We start the process of warding off errors within our own households and with our own relatives and friends. Charity begins at home. And the work of seeking the conversion (and/or the return) of our relatives and friends to the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation, is a fundamental work of Charity in that it seeks the true good of others, which is the salvation of their souls as Catholics who persist until their dying breaths in states of Sanctifying Grace. Anyone who thinks that Protestants or others are pretty much "assured" of their salvation ought to consider these condemned errors contained in Pope Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors, 1864:
15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. -- Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862; Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.
16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. -- Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846.
17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. -- Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863, etc.
18. Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. -- Encyclical "Noscitis," Dec. 8, 1849
These errors constitute the essence of the Modernist spirit of false compassion, which is nothing other than an empty-headed sentimentality that projects onto the Blessed Trinity concepts alien to Himself, Who is all Truth and Who wills the conversion of all men to the Catholic Church before they die. Any Catholic who thinks that he is being "obedient" to God by believing He has not revealed truths positively and absolutely in His Catholic Church that are binding on all souls at all times and in all places is deceiving himself and placing into jeopardy his own soul and the souls of those straying sheep God puts in his life to help them find their way back to His one and only Sheepfold.
Conciliarism has, of course, created an ethos supportive of the errors condemned above. This ethos, which arose in large measure from the cultural pluralism and state-sponsored religious indifferentism here in the United States, predisposes unsuspecting Catholics into succumbing to the seemingly sweet allure of sentimentality, thinking it be an act of "judgmentalness" to even "dare" to "disturb" another person's "peace" by saying anything directly about the Faith and the necessity of converting thereto. When all is said and done, therefore, ecumenism and all of the false currents that feed into it and flow back out of it can be described in these two words: Human Respect. That is, the desire to be liked by all and to convince oneself that he is being "compassionate" and even "Christ-like" by refusing to do what the saints have done through the centuries: to recognize the essential obligation to seek the conversion of souls, praying for the graces to respond to say and do the right things that will help to plant a seed or two to help effect such a conversion.
This diabolical spirit of false compassion and sentimentality afflicts not only individual Catholics. It is a particular pestilence of many "mainstream" religious communities of men and women in the "approved" structures.
To wit, there is a group of Benedictine nuns in Wisconsin that have been petitioned the Holy See to be released from their vows to the Catholic Church in order to create an "ecumenical" community along the lines of that created by the late "Brother" Roger Schutz, a Protestant syncretist, in Taize, France. The Vatican gave its blessing for these nuns to disaffiliate from the Catholic Church in order to create an ecumenical community. This is the story, written by William Wineke, of the Wisconsin State Journal:
The St. Benedict Center, a Benedictine ecumenical community serving Madison for the past 40 years, has ended its ties to the Roman Catholic Church.
Sister Mary David Walgenbach, 67, prioress, says the center will now function purely as an ecumenical community under its new name, Holy Wisdom Monastery.
She said the Sisters of St. Benedict petitioned the Vatican for dispensation from their vows as a Catholic religious order and that request was granted. The order will now be called the "Benedictine Women of Madison" and will continue to follow, generally, the monastic rule of St. Benedict.
Bishop Robert Morlino, of the Madison Catholic Diocese, approved the changes but requested the monastery no longer have Roman Catholic Mass celebrated at the center and that blessed Communion wafers no longer be "reserved" in the chapel.
"Such experimental endeavors can bear great fruit for the church, such as the monastery at Taize (France)," Morlino said in a letter to diocesan priests dated June 26. "But there are very few other success stories worldwide, and thus our prayers and good wishes are all the more important."
Sister Mary David said there are a number of reasons for the change, one of which is the order started accepting Protestant members several years ago.
"We didn't want our non-Catholic sisters to have second-class status," she said. The Rev. Lynn Smith, a Presbyterian clergywoman, took her final vows to become a member of the order in 2004.
Morlino said Roman Catholic adults are free to participate in activities at the center, but added "participation in such activities would not be suitable for Catholic school religion classes, parish religious education classes for young people through the completion of high school and certainly not for catechumens and candidates in RCIA (religious study) programs."
Young people, Morlino warned, need to be indoctrinated in the basics of the Catholic faith before participating in ecumenical activities.
St. Benedict Center has, for 40 years, been virtually synonymous with ecumenical activities in the Madison area.
The local chapter of the Sisters of St. Benedict was organized in 1901 in Sioux City, Iowa. Sisters moved to Madison in 1953 to begin a Catholic girls' school. When the school closed in 1966, the center became an ecumenical retreat.
"The response to our offer of hospitality has been overwhelmingly abundant," Sister Mary David said in a letter to fellow sisters. "While the 40 years have occasionally felt like desert experiences, far greater is the joy. Formerly, Christians of various churches praying together seemed innovative; this practice is common today. We continue to know ourselves as Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian and Presbyterian. While these labels sometimes separate us, we also know our unity as Christians who live, pray and work together in our world."
Sister Mary David and Sister Joanne Kollasch, who have been in Madison together for most of the center's history, will remain Roman Catholics, and Protestants in the order will also retain their individual religious affiliations.
Although the new role for St. Benedict Center - or, now, Holy Wisdom Monastery - is somewhat radical, it fits generally into the culture of the sisters, who during their entire 53-year service in Madison have embraced any number of experiments in bringing new life to their activities.
They have been leaders in environmental programs, liturgy and international outreach. For several years, a number of Korean nuns stayed at the center. The sisters also developed an "oblate" program for committed men and women who want to improve their spiritual lives but who cannot join a monastery
Bishop Morlino, what "church" do you think will benefit from this rejection of the Catholic Faith? Let me answer that for you: the One World Religion, that umbrella founded in sentimentality and sealed by the false assurances of "compassion" and "sensitivity" to the needs of "mother earth," is the "church" that will benefit from such a rejection of the Catholic Faith, from this embrace of Freemasonic concepts that pulsate through the hearts and souls of so many Catholics in this era of conciliarism.
Freemasonry has many variations. One of them is the Sillon, which was condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910. The concepts of the Sillon, born of religious indifferentism and sentimentality, describe precisely the conciliarist spirit of ecumenism that has been responsible for so many profane novelties, including World Youth Day. Consider these telling words of Saint Pius X:
The same applies to the notion of Fraternity which they found on the love of common interest or, beyond all philosophies and religions, on the mere notion of humanity, thus embracing with an equal love and tolerance all human beings and their miseries, whether these are intellectual, moral, or physical and temporal. But Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference towards the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged, but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being. Catholic doctrine further tells us that love for our neighbor flows from our love for God, Who is Father to all, and goal of the whole human family; and in Jesus Christ whose members we are, to the point that in doing good to others we are doing good to Jesus Christ Himself. Any other kind of love is sheer illusion, sterile and fleeting.
Indeed, we have the human experience of pagan and secular societies of ages past to show that concern for common interests or affinities of nature weigh very little against the passions and wild desires of the heart. No, Venerable Brethren, there is no genuine fraternity outside Christian charity. Through the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ Our Saviour, Christian charity embraces all men, comforts all, and leads all to the same faith and same heavenly happiness.
By separating fraternity from Christian charity thus understood, Democracy, far from being a progress, would mean a disastrous step backwards for civilization. If, as We desire with all Our heart, the highest possible peak of well being for society and its members is to be attained through fraternity or, as it is also called, universal solidarity, all minds must be united in the knowledge of Truth, all wills united in morality, and all hearts in the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ. But this union is attainable only by Catholic charity, and that is why Catholic charity alone can lead the people in the march of progress towards the ideal civilization. . . . .
We fear that worse is to come: the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion (for Sillonism, so the leaders have said, is a religion) more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men become brothers and comrades at last in the "Kingdom of God". - "We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind."
And now, overwhelmed with the deepest sadness, We ask Ourselves, Venerable Brethren, what has become of the Catholicism of the Sillon? Alas! this organization which formerly afforded such promising expectations, this limpid and impetuous stream, has been harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer.
Would Pope Saint Pius X have given approval to the "experiment" in Wisconsin? Would Pope Pius XI, who specifically condemned such syncretist enterprises in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928?
This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ. Shall We suffer, what would indeed be iniquitous, the truth, and a truth divinely revealed, to be made a subject for compromise? For here there is question of defending revealed truth. Jesus Christ sent His Apostles into the whole world in order that they might permeate all nations with the Gospel faith, and, lest they should err, He willed beforehand that they should be taught by the Holy Ghost: has then this doctrine of the Apostles completely vanished away, or sometimes been obscured, in the Church, whose ruler and defense is God Himself? If our Redeemer plainly said that His Gospel was to continue not only during the times of the Apostles, but also till future ages, is it possible that the object of faith should in the process of time become so obscure and uncertain, that it would be necessary to-day to tolerate opinions which are even incompatible one with another? If this were true, we should have to confess that the coming of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles, and the perpetual indwelling of the same Spirit in the Church, and the very preaching of Jesus Christ, have several centuries ago, lost all their efficacy and use, to affirm which would be blasphemy. But the Only-begotten Son of God, when He commanded His representatives to teach all nations, obliged all men to give credence to whatever was made known to them by "witnesses preordained by God," and also confirmed His command with this sanction: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned." These two commands of Christ, which must be fulfilled, the one, namely, to teach, and the other to believe, cannot even be understood, unless the Church proposes a complete and easily understood teaching, and is immune when it thus teaches from all danger of erring. In this matter, those also turn aside from the right path, who think that the deposit of truth such laborious trouble, and with such lengthy study and discussion, that a man's life would hardly suffice to find and take possession of it; as if the most merciful God had spoken through the prophets and His Only-begotten Son merely in order that a few, and those stricken in years, should learn what He had revealed through them, and not that He might inculcate a doctrine of faith and morals, by which man should be guided through the whole course of his moral life.
. These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith? Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment "Love one another," altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ's teaching: "If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you." For which reason, since charity is based on a complete and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united principally by the bond of one faith. Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgment, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest? And in what manner, We ask, can men who follow contrary opinions, belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful? For example, those who affirm, and those who deny that sacred Tradition is a true fount of divine Revelation; those who hold that an ecclesiastical hierarchy, made up of bishops, priests and ministers, has been divinely constituted, and those who assert that it has been brought in little by little in accordance with the conditions of the time; those who adore Christ really present in the Most Holy Eucharist through that marvelous conversion of the bread and wine, which is called transubstantiation, and those who affirm that Christ is present only by faith or by the signification and virtue of the Sacrament; those who in the Eucharist recognize the nature both of a sacrament and of a sacrifice, and those who say that it is nothing more than the memorial or commemoration of the Lord's Supper; those who believe it to be good and useful to invoke by prayer the Saints reigning with Christ, especially Mary the Mother of God, and to venerate their images, and those who urge that such a veneration is not to be made use of, for it is contrary to the honor due to Jesus Christ, "the one mediator of God and men." How so great a variety of opinions can make the way clear to effect the unity of the Church We know not; that unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians. But We do know that from this it is an easy step to the neglect of religion or indifferentism and to modernism, as they call it. Those, who are unhappily infected with these errors, hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, it agrees with the varying necessities of time and place and with the varying tendencies of the mind, since it is not contained in immutable revelation, but is capable of being accommodated to human life. Besides this, in connection with things which must be believed, it is nowise licit to use that distinction which some have seen fit to introduce between those articles of faith which are fundamental and those which are not fundamental, as they say, as if the former are to be accepted by all, while the latter may be left to the free assent of the faithful: for the supernatural virtue of faith has a formal cause, namely the authority of God revealing, and this is patient of no such distinction. For this reason it is that all who are truly Christ's believe, for example, the Conception of the Mother of God without stain of original sin with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the August Trinity, and the Incarnation of our Lord just as they do the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, according to the sense in which it was defined by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. Are these truths not equally certain, or not equally to be believed, because the Church has solemnly sanctioned and defined them, some in one age and some in another, even in those times immediately before our own? Has not God revealed them all? For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact for ever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith.
So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: "The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly."The same holy Martyr with good reason marveled exceedingly that anyone could believe that "this unity in the Church which arises from a divine foundation, and which is knit together by heavenly sacraments, could be rent and torn asunder by the force of contrary wills." For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together, it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.
Once again, we are face to face with a betrayal of the mission Our Lord entrusted to the Eleven before He Ascended to the Father's right hand in glory on Ascension Thursday, forty days after He rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. Once again, we are face to face with conciliarism's embrace of the very errors condemned perennially by one pope after another, popes who were merely reiterating the immutable teaching of Our Lord, Who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Pope Pius IX explained this at the end of The Syllabus of Errors:
Venerable Brethren, you see clearly enough how sad and full of perils is the condition of Catholics in the regions of Europe which We have mentioned. Nor are things any better or circumstances calmer in America, where some regions are so hostile to Catholics that their governments seem to deny by their actions the Catholic faith they claim to profess. In fact, there, for the last few years, a ferocious war on the Church, its institutions and the rights of the Apostolic See has been raging.... Venerable Brothers, it is surprising that in our time such a great war is being waged against the Catholic Church. But anyone who knows the nature, desires and intentions of the sects, whether they be called masonic or bear another name, and compares them with the nature the systems and the vastness of the obstacles by which the Church has been assailed almost everywhere, cannot doubt that the present misfortune must mainly be imputed to the frauds and machinations of these sects. It is from them that the synagogue of Satan, which gathers its troops against the Church of Christ, takes its strength. In the past Our predecessors, vigilant even from the beginning in Israel, had already denounced them to the kings and the nations, and had condemned them time and time again, and even We have not failed in this duty. If those who would have been able to avert such a deadly scourge had only had more faith in the supreme Pastors of the Church! But this scourge, winding through sinuous caverns, . . . deceiving many with astute frauds, finally has arrived at the point where it comes forth impetuously from its hiding places and triumphs as a powerful master. Since the throng of its propagandists has grown enormously, these wicked groups think that they have already become masters of the world and that they have almost reached their pre-established goal. Having sometimes obtained what they desired, and that is power, in several countries, they boldly turn the help of powers and authorities which they have secured to trying to submit the Church of God to the most cruel servitude, to undermine the foundations on which it rests, to contaminate its splendid qualities; and, moreover, to strike it with frequent blows, to shake it, to overthrow it, and, if possible, to make it disappear completely from the earth. Things being thus, Venerable Brothers, make every effort to defend the faithful which are entrusted to you against the insidious contagion of these sects and to save from perdition those who unfortunately have inscribed themselves in such sects. Make known and attack those who, whether suffering from, or planning, deception, are not afraid to affirm that these shady congregations aim only at the profit of society, at progress and mutual benefit. Explain to them often and impress deeply on their souls the Papal constitutions on this subject and teach, them that the masonic associations are anathematized by them not only in Europe but also in America and wherever they may be in the whole world.
The spirit of sentimentality and false "compassion" is nothing new. It is one of the ways the devil has always used to lead souls into Hell for all eternity. The recrudescence of this spirit in Modernity--and its infiltration into the lives of Catholics by means of conciliarism's embrace of the very Modernist errors mentioned above--make it very difficult for well-meaning Catholics to understand that God is immutable and that His Divine command to seek the conversion of all men at all times, lest their souls perish in flames forever, is irrevocable and binding upon us at all times and in all places.
Our Lady wants to save us from the road to Hell, which is indeed paved with supposedly "good" intentions. She appeared to Saint Juan Diego to help effect the conversion of the indigenous peoples of Latin America who were steeped in the demonic worship of the Aztecs and the Mayans and other pagan cults. She appeared to Melanie and Maximim at La Salette, weeping over the sins of Catholics. She appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France, to help to foster devotion to her as the Immaculate Conception and thus to seek to the conversion of sinners. She appeared to Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto and Lucia dos Santos in the Cova da Iria in Portugal in 1917 to seek the conversion of sinners. Saint Bernadette and Sister Lucia entered the religious life to do penance for sins and to seek the conversion of sinners. Dare we think that we are exculpated from this obligation simply because the scions of conciliarism give approval for "ecumenical experiments" that fly in the face of God's Revealed Truth, reiterated constantly by the Successors of Saint Peter without any equivocation or ambiguity until 1958?
Beseeching Our Lady and her chaste spouse, our dear, dear Saint Joseph, may we never stop offering her all of our prayers and words and actions to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as her consecrated slaves so that we might be privileged, despite our own sins and failings and faults, to plant a few seeds here and there so that more and more people will join us in praying for the day when Tradition will be restored in the Church and Christendom will be restored in the world as a result of the fulfillment of her Fatima Message. We never lose heart. We never grow discouraged.
We must, however, know the Faith as it has been taught perennially, fleeing from everything to do with conciliarism, and cling lovingly to Our Lady at the foot of her Divine Son's Holy Cross as we assist at the daily offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. This alone is the path to Heaven! (It is also not a bad idea to pray on a daily basis the longer version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer that I have been appending to these articles for the past few months.)
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Zaccaria, pray for us.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.