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                   October 4, 2006

Theology via Etch-a-Sketch

Thomas A. Droleskey

The story below, which was carried on the Interfax news service two days ago, should be an indication to anyone with a modicum of the sensus Catholicus as to just how much things are spiraling out of control in the conciliar church, many of whose prelates believe, evidently, in theology via "etch-a-sketch:"

Catholic archbishop regrets Vatican’s improper missionary activity in Russia and Eastern Europe in the 1990s (updated)

Moscow, October 2, Interfax - Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Catholic Archbishop of Milan, has expressed regret for the Roman Catholic Church's excessive missionary activity in Russia, saying the activity may have been insulting to the Russian Orthodox Church.

‘It gives us anguish to realize that some Western Christians including Catholics failed to discern and recognize the incomparable spiritual richness of Holy Russia and to appreciate and respect the religious and cultural heritage of the great Orthodox tradition’, Cardinal Tettamanzi said during his meeting with Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia at St. Daniel’s monastery on Monday.

He noted that since the 1990s, religious and missionary activity in Eastern Europe intensified through the individual initiative of various persons from the West.

But this initiative, he said, ‘does not always appear proper from ecumenical viewpoint’.

‘On the contrary, these initiatives may sometimes prove to be offensive for your Church, which had historically and continues to have the gift to proclaim the gospel on this earth and the mission to bear witness to it’, Cartinal Tettamanzi said addressing the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

According to the cardinal, in the process of Christianization, ‘there must be no room for confessional competition in the name of the gospel’.

He also said that today proselytism ‘is condemned by many among not only the Orthodox but also Catholics’.

"There must be no room for confessional competition in the name of the gospel"? Go tell that to Saint Josaphat Kuncevyc, who gave up his life trying to convert the Orthodox to Catholicism in the early Seventeenth Century. He believed that it was urgently necessary to save the Orthodox from their heresies (denial of the primacy of the See of Peter, denial of the belief in Purgatory, denial of the indissolubility of marriage, the subordination of the church to the civil state, each of which paved the way for Protestantism) and from the state of schism with the Catholic Church, the true Church that Our Lord founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. Was Saint Josaphat wrong to have converted Ignatius, the Patriarch of Moscow? Was Saint Josaphat wrong to have converted Emmanuel Cantacuzenus, who was a relative of the Greek emperor? Was Saint Josaphat wrong to have exhorted the Orthodox to convert to the true Church, the Catholic Church, by means of his sermons and his numerous acts of kindness to the poor and the suffering? It is no wonder, you see, that the incorrupt body of Saint Josaphat Kuncevyc, has been removed from underneath the altar where it rested for many years in the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome, being replaced there by the artificially preserved body of that fomenter of conciliarism, Angelo Roncalli, aka John XXIII.

Was Saint Hyacinth, the Apostle of the Northland, wrong to have sought the conversion of the Orthodox in the Thirteenth Century? Was Saint Francis de Sales, the apostle of mildness and charity, wrong to have sought the conversion of Calvinists back to the true Church in the late Sixteenth and early Seventeenth Centuries? Was Saint Peter Canisius wrong to have sought the conversion of numerous Protestants, including a leader of the Anabaptists, in the Sixteenth Century?

Once again, you see, ladies and gentlemen, for apostates such as Dionigi Tettamanzi to be correct, then the Church herself had to be wrong for over nineteen centuries. This is impossible. Canonized saints and the popes who commissioned them to seek converts from the ranks of the Orthodox confessions and the Protestant sects would have to be wrong. This is impossible. God is immutable. The Holy Ghost does not change His mind after nineteen hundred years. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

According to the conciliarists, including Benedict XVI, Pope Leo XIII had to be wrong when he exhorted the Orthodox to end their separation from the Catholic Church:

First of all, then, We cast an affectionate look upon the East, from whence in the beginning came forth the salvation of the world.  Yes, and the yearning desire of Our heart bids us conceive and hope that the day is not far distant when the Eastern Churches, so illustrious in their ancient faith and glorious past, will return to the fold they have abandoned.  We hope it all the more, that the distance separating them from Us is not so great: nay, with some few exceptions, we agree so entirely on other heads that, in defense of the Catholic Faith, we often have recourse to reasons and testimony borrowed from the teaching, the Rites, and Customs of the East.

The Principal subject of contention is the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff.  But let them look back to the early years of their existence, let them consider the sentiments entertained by their forefathers, and examine what the oldest Traditions testify, and it will, indeed, become evident to them that Christ's Divine Utterance, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, has undoubtedly been realized in the Roman Pontiffs.  Many of these latter in the first gates of the Church were chosen from the East, and foremost among them Anacletus, Evaristus, Anicetus, Eleutherius, Zosimus, and Agatho; and of these a great number, after Governing the Church in Wisdom and Sanctity, Consecrated their Ministry with the shedding of their blood.  The time, the reasons, the promoters of the unfortunate division, are well known.  Before the day when man separated what God had joined together, the name of the Apostolic See was held in Reverence by all the nations of the Christian world: and the East, like the West, agreed without hesitation in its obedience to the Pontiff of Rome, as the Legitimate Successor of St. Peter, and, therefore, the Vicar of Christ here on earth.

And, accordingly, if we refer to the beginning of the dissension, we shall see that Photius himself was careful to send his advocates to Rome on the matters that concerned him; and Pope Nicholas I sent his Legates to Constantinople from the Eternal City, without the slightest opposition, "in order to examine the case of Ignatius the Patriarch with all diligence, and to bring back to the Apostolic See a full and accurate report"; so that the history of the whole negotiation is a manifest Confirmation of the Primacy of the Roman See with which the dissension then began.  Finally, in two great Councils, the second of Lyons and that of Florence, Latins and Greeks, as is notorious, easily agreed, and all unanimously proclaimed as Dogma the Supreme Power of the Roman Pontiffs.

We have recalled those things intentionally, for they constitute an invitation to peace and reconciliation; and with all the more reason that in Our own days it would seem as if there were a more conciliatory spirit towards Catholics on the part of the Eastern Churches, and even some degree of kindly feeling.  To mention an instance, those sentiments were lately made manifest when some of Our faithful travelled to the East on a Holy Enterprise, and received so many proofs of courtesy and good-will.

Therefore, Our mouth is open to you, to you all of Greek or other Oriental Rites who are separated from the Catholic Church, We earnestly desire that each and every one of you should meditate upon the words, so full of gravity and love, addressed by Bessarion to your forefathers: "What answer shall we give to God when He comes to ask why we have separated from our Brethren: to Him Who, to unite us and bring us into One Fold, came down from Heaven, was Incarnate, and was Crucified?  What will our defense be in the  eyes of posterity?  Oh, my Venerable Fathers, we must not suffer this to be, we must not entertain this thought, we must not thus so ill provide for ourselves and for our Brethren."

Weigh carefully in your minds and before God the nature of Our request.  It is not for any human motive, but impelled by Divine Charity and a desire for the salvation of all, that We advise the reconciliation and union with the Church of Rome; and We mean a perfect and complete union, such as could not subsist in any way if nothing else was brought about but a certain kind of agreement in the Tenets of Belief and an intercourse of Fraternal love.  The True Union between Christians is that which Jesus Christ, the Author of the Church, instituted and desired, and which consists in a Unity of Faith and Unity of Government.

Nor is there any reason for you to fear on that account that We or any of Our Successors will ever diminish your rights, the privileges of your Patriarchs, or the established Ritual of any one of your Churches.  It has been and always will be the intent and Tradition of the Apostolic See, to make a large allowance, in all that is right and good, for the primitive Traditions and special customs of every nation.  On the contrary, if you re-establish Union with Us, you will see how, by God's bounty, the glory and dignity of your Churches will be remarkably increased.  May God, then, in His goodness, hear the Prayer that you yourselves address to Him: "Make the schisms of the Churches cease," and "Assemble those who are dispersed, bring back those who err, and unite them to Thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church."  May you thus return to that one Holy Faith which has been handed down both to Us and to you from time immemorial; which your forefathers preserved untainted, and which was enhanced by the rival splendor of the Virtues, the great genius, and the sublime learning of St. Athanasius and St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nazianzum and St. John Chrysostom, the two Saints who bore the name of Cyril, and so many other great men whose glory belongs as a common inheritance to the East and to the West.

Suffer that We should address you more particularly, nations of the Slavonic race, you whose glorious name and deeds are attested by many an ancient record.  You know full well how much the Slavs are indebted to the merits of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, to whose memory We Ourselves have rendered due honor only a few years ago.  Their virtues and their labors were to great numbers of your race the source of civilization and salvation.  And hence the admirable interchange, which existed for so long between the Slavonic nations and the Pontiffs of Rome, of favors on the one side and of filial devotion on the other.  If in unhappy times many of your forefathers were separated from the Faith of Rome, consider now what priceless benefits a return of Unity would bring to you.  The Church is anxious to welcome you also to her arms, that she may give you manifold aids to salvation, prosperity, and grandeur. (Pope Leo XIII, Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, June 20, 1894.)

Note particularly the following paragraph that was included in the excerpt from Pope Leo's Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae above:

Weigh carefully in your minds and before God the nature of Our request.  It is not for any human motive, but impelled by Divine Charity and a desire for the salvation of all, that We advise the reconciliation and union with the Church of Rome; and We mean a perfect and complete union, such as could not subsist in any way if nothing else was brought about but a certain kind of agreement in the Tenets of Belief and an intercourse of Fraternal love.  The True Union between Christians is that which Jesus Christ, the Author of the Church, instituted and desired, and which consists in a Unity of Faith and Unity of Government.

Pope Leo XIII condemned the very approach to the Orthodox that is embraced by the conciliarists, including Benedict XVI. When has it ever been the case in the history of the Catholic Church prior to 1958 that an ostensible cardinal archbishop of a major see, no less that of Saint Ambrose himself, has apologized for the fact that Catholic priests sought to convert souls to the Catholic Church from any other religion, including Orthodoxy? Cardinal Tettamanzi's remarks are scandalous and they are indicative of the larger apostasy afflicting the conciliar church. No one has the good of souls in mind when he asserts that the Catholic Church does not have a mission given her by her Divine Founder and Bridegroom to seek the conversion of all men in all places at all times until His Second Coming in glory at the end of time to her maternal bosom.

Pope Pius XI referred quite specifically to the errors of Photius, thus of Orthodox, in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928:

Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors. Did not the ancestors of those who are now entangled in the errors of Photius and the reformers, obey the Bishop of Rome, the chief shepherd of souls? Alas their children left the home of their fathers, but it did not fall to the ground and perish for ever, for it was supported by God. Let them therefore return to their common Father, who, forgetting the insults previously heaped on the Apostolic See, will receive them in the most loving fashion. For if, as they continually state, they long to be united with Us and ours, why do they not hasten to enter the Church, "the Mother and mistress of all Christ's faithful"? Let them hear Lactantius crying out: "The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this the house of Faith, this the temple of God: if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. Let none delude himself with obstinate wrangling. For life and salvation are here concerned, which will be lost and entirely destroyed, unless their interests are carefully and assiduously kept in mind."

Let, therefore, the separated children draw nigh to the Apostolic See, set up in the City which Peter and Paul, the Princes of the Apostles, consecrated by their blood; to that See, We repeat, which is "the root and womb whence the Church of God springs," not with the intention and the hope that "the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" will cast aside the integrity of the faith and tolerate their errors, but, on the contrary, that they themselves submit to its teaching and government. Would that it were Our happy lot to do that which so many of Our predecessors could not, to embrace with fatherly affection those children, whose unhappy separation from Us We now bewail. Would that God our Savior, "Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,"would hear us when We humbly beg that He would deign to recall all who stray to the unity of the Church! In this most important undertaking We ask and wish that others should ask the prayers of Blessed Mary the Virgin, Mother of divine grace, victorious over all heresies and Help of Christians, that She may implore for Us the speedy coming of the much hoped-for day, when all men shall hear the voice of Her divine Son, and shall be "careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace

Pope Pius XI exhorted the "separated children" to "draw nigh to the Apostolic See," "not with the intention and the hope that 'the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth' will cast aside the integrity of faith and tolerate their errors, but, on the contrary, that they themselves submit to its teaching and government." This is not what Benedict XVI has ever wanted. This is not what Dionigi Tettamanzi stated the conciliar church wants of the Orthodox. Oh, no. The conciliar church is perfectly content to leave the Orthodox in their errors.

Lest anyone state that the phrase "conciliar church" is somehow a "bitter" term that has originated with those of us who have come to the conclusion that the wolves in shepherds' clothing in the conciliar structures are apostates who are enemies of the souls for whom Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood, consider these remarks of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1976 and 1986, respectively:

“What could be clearer.  We are suspended a divinis by the conciliar church, for the conciliar church to which we have no wish to belong.  

"The conciliar church is a schismatic church because it breaks with the Catholic Church that has always been.  It has its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new worship; all already condemned by the church in many a document – official and definitive.

"This is why the founders of the conciliar church insist so much on obedience to today’s church, prescinding from yesterday’s church as though it no longer existed.

"This conciliar church is schismatic because it has taken as a basis for its updating, principals opposed to those of the Catholic Church.  This conciliar church is therefore not Catholic!

"To whatever extent pope, bishops, priests, or faithful adhere to this new church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church. 

"Today’s Church is the true Church only to whatever extent it is a continuation of and one body with the Church of yesterday and of always.  The norm of Catholic faith is tradition.  The demand of His Eminence Msgr Benelli is then illuminating:  submission to the conciliar church, to the Vatican II church,  to the schismatic church!

"For our part we persevere in the Catholic church by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary." (1976)

For my part, I think that those who accept this proposition as a common basis for dialogue with unbelievers, and couple new theories with Christian doctrine, will simply lose their faith.  The golden rule of the Church has been inverted by the pride of the men of our time.  No one listens any more to Christ’s ever-living and fruitful words, but to those of the world.  This “aggiornamento” condemns itself. The roots of present-day disorder are to be found in this modern, or rather modernist spirit which refuses to recognize the creed, the commandments of God and the Church, the sacraments, and Christian morality as the only source of renewal until the end of the world. Dazzled by “technical progress which will eventually go on to transform the face of the earth and already is embarking on the conquest of space” (Gaudium et Spes 5-1), churchmen who must not be confused with the Church, appear to think that Our Lord could not have foreseen the present-day technological evolution and that consequently his message is no longer appropriate.

The liberals’ dream for the last century and a half has been to unite the Church to the Revolution. For a century and a half also, the Popes have condemned liberal Catholicism. Among their most important documents, we can mention the bull Auctorem fidei by Pius VI against the Council of Pistoia, the encyclical Quanta cura and the Syllabus of Pius IX, the encyclical Immortale Dei of Leo XIII against the new Right, the acts of St. Pius X against the Sillon and modernism, especially the decree Lamentabili, the encyclical Divini Redemptoris of Pius XI against Communism and the encyclical Humani Generis of Pope Pius XII.

All these Popes have resisted the union of the Church with the Revolution; it is an adulterous union and from such a union only bastards can come. The rite of the new mass is a bastard rite, the sacraments are bastard sacraments. We no longer know if they are sacraments which give grace or do not give it. The priests coming out of the seminaries are bastard priests, who do not know what they are.  They are unaware that they are made to go up to the altar, to offer the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ and to give Jesus Christ to souls.

In the name of the Revolution, priests have been sent to the scaffold, nuns have been persecuted and murdered. Remember the pontoons of Nantes which were sunk out at sea after they had filled them with faithful priests.  And yet what the Revolution did is nothing compared to the doings of  Vatican II,  because it would have been better for those twenty or thirty thousand priests who have abandoned their priesthood and the vows made before God, to have been martyred and sent to the scaffold. They would at least have saved their souls, whereas now they risk losing them.

It is said that amongst these poor married priests many have already been divorced,  many have already applied to Rome for nullity of marriage. Can this be called the good fruit of the Council?  And twenty thousand nuns in the United States and very many in other countries,  have broken the perpetual vows which united them to Jesus Christ to run off and get married. If they had mounted the scaffold they would at least have born witness to their faith.  The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christians, but the priests or simple faithful who surrender to the spirit of the world will not bring forth a harvest.  The devil's greatest victory is to have undertaken the destruction of the Church without making any martyrs.

The adulterous union of the Church and the Revolution is cemented by “dialogue.” Our Lord said “Go, teach all nations and convert them.” He did not say “Hold dialogue with them but don't try to convert them.” Truth and error are incompatible; to dialogue with error is to put God and the devil on the same footing. This is what the Popes have always repeated and what was easy for Christians to understand because it is also a matter of common sense. In order to impose different attitudes and reactions it was necessary to do some indoctrinating so as to make modernists of the clergy needed to spread the new doctrine. This is what is called “recycling,” a conditioning process intended to refashion the very faculty God gave man to direct his judgment.

I have witnessed an operation of this sort in my own congregation of which I was for a time the Superior General. The first thing required is to “accept change.” The Council has introduced changes, therefore we also must change. Change in depth, since it is a case of adapting the reasoning faculties to make them coincide with arbitrarily conceived notions.  We can read in a booklet issued by the Archbishop’s Office in Paris, The Faith Word by Word: “The second operation is more delicate and consists of registering the different ways that Christians have of reacting, in these various changes, to the very fact of change.  This registering is important because actual opposition is due more to a spontaneous and sub-conscious attitude in the face of change, than to precise issues involved in the change.”

 “Two typical attitudes can be discerned, while allowing for the possibility of intermediate ones.  The first means accepting a number of novelties one by one as they are imposed. This is the case with many Christians, many Catholics: they give in little by little.

 “Those who take the second attitude accept a total renewal of the expression of the Christian faith at the threshold of a new cultural era, while always taking care to keep close to the faith of the Apostles.”

This last phrase is a typical rhetorical safeguard of the modernists.  They always protest that their attitudes are orthodox, and seek to reassure by little phrases those who would be alarmed at such prospects as “the total renewal of the expression of Christian faith on the threshold of a new cultural era.” But one is already far gone when one accepts such reassurances; and much good it will do to venerate the faith of the Apostles when one has demolished the faith entirely.

A third operation becomes necessary when this second attitude is encountered: “The inquirer cannot help feeling now that his faith is dangerously at risk.  Will it not simply vanish, together with the problems that have brought it to that point? He therefore requires some fundamental assurance which will enable him to go beyond these sterile initial reasonings.”

So all degrees of resistance have been foreseen. What is the “fundamental assurance” that will be given the neophyte in the last resort?  The Holy Ghost! “It is precisely the Holy Ghost who assists believers in the turning points of history.”

The goal is achieved: there is no longer any Magisterium, any dogma, any hierarchy, any Holy Scripture even, in the sense of an inspired and historically certain text. Christians are inspired directly by the Holy Ghost.

The Church then collapses. The recycled Christian becomes subject to every influence and receptive to every slogan; he can be led anywhere, while grasping, if he needs reassurance, at the declaration:  “Vatican II assuredly shows many signs of a change in the terms of the inquiry.”

“The direct and immediate cause (of Modernism) lies in a perversion of the mind,” wrote St. Pius X in his encyclical Pascendi.  Recycling creates a similar mental perversion in those who did not previously suffer from it. The holy Pope also quoted this observation of his predecessor Gregory XVI: “It is a sorry sight to see how far the deviations of human reason will go as soon as one yields to the spirit of novelty; when, heedless of the Apostles’ warning, one claims to know more than one needs to know, and self-confidently seeks for truth outside the Church instead of within it, where it is to be found without the least shadow of error.” (An Open Letter to Confused Catholics, 1986)

Although the late Archbishop Lefebvre said many contradictory things over the course of the years as he tried to do the best he could to respond to the revolution that was unfolding before his eyes, he did state things quite bluntly at times, as can be seen in the quotes from 1976 and 1986. He even publicly ruminated in 1986 about whether the time had come for him to make a declaration about the legitimacy of the pontificate of John Paul II. (See: "I Am Not Inventing This Situation; I Do Not Want It") Those of us, therefore, who are referring today to the "conciliar church" are not inventing any new terminology. Blunt language was used by Saint Jerome and Saint Athanasius during the Arian heresy. Blunt language was used by all of the parties contesting with each other with vigor during the Great Schism (1379 to 1417). Catholics have never known to lack for forceful disquisitions during times of crisis and controversy.

It is necessary to use blunt language to point out that the conciliar church has posited a counterfeit religion, one in which the ostensible pontiff feels free to invent novel Scriptural interpretations, ignoring the consistent Tradition of the Church as represented by the Fathers, and posit as fact such things as the assertion that the Book of the Apocalypse does not refer to future events but was written only to give encouragement to the local churches then under persecution. It is necessary to use blunt language when the preacher of the papal household can assert that the "real" miracle that took place in the account of Our Lord's multiplication of the loaves and the fishes was that He merely inspired those in the crowd to share with others what they had brought with them but had hidden until He prayed. Such things emanating from the ostensibly reigning pontiff and his papal court are without precedent in the history of Church. Immorality of conduct is far, far different that errors involving faith and morals.

Quoting Saint Cyprian, Pope Pius XI noted in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928, that the Catholic Church could never be contaminated:

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.

The assertion that proselytism of the Protestants or the Orthodox is contrary to the will of God and thus outside of the mission of the Catholic Church and the belief that the Catholic Church could at any time be deprived of the mark of Unity that is of the essence of her Divine Constitution represent a contamination of diabolical proportions, but a contamination that belongs to a counterfeit church that had been prophesied by Anne Catherine Emmerich herself:

Then, I saw that everything that pertained to Protestantism was gradually gaining the upper hand, and the Catholic religion fell into complete decadence. Most priests were lured by the glittering but false knowledge of young school-teachers, and they all contributed to the work of destruction.

In those days, Faith will fall very low, and it will be preserved in some places only, in a few cottages and in a few families which God has protected from disasters and wars.

I see many excommunicated ecclesiastics who do not seem to be concerned about it, or even aware of it. Yet, they are (ipso facto) excommunicated whenever they cooperate to [sic] enterprises, enter into associations, and embrace opinions on which an anathema has been cast. It can be seen thereby that God ratifies the decrees, orders and interdictions issued by the Head of the Church, and that He keeps them in force even though men show no concern for them, reject them, or laugh them to scorn. . . .

I saw that many pastors allowed themselves to be taken up with ideas that were dangerous to the Church. They were building a great, strange, and extravagant Church. Everyone was to be admitted in it in order to be united and have equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, sects of every description. Such was to be the new Church. . . But God had other designs.

Yes, God has other designs. Just as the "little man in brown" whom Pope Innocent III saw in a dream was the one to help rebuild the Church at a time of the corruption of the clergy and the faithful. The Church was indeed rebuilt so very well by the penitential spirit of  Holy Poverty exhibited by the great saint of Assisi, Saint Francis, who bore the brand marks of Our Lord on his holy body for the final two years of his life.

Although Saint Francis was a gentle and kind man, full of compassion for erring sinners as he exhorted them to reform their lives, he was no friend of heresy and supported fully the work of his contemporary, Saint Dominic de Guzman, to root out the Albigensian heresy. One of Saint Francis's own spiritual sons, Portugal's native son, Saint Anthony, was known as the "Hammer of Heretics." Let it not be said that the Franciscan spirit, which is rooted in profound Eucharistic piety and deep devotion to the Mother of God, to which are added penance and mortification and a love of the poverty of the Holy Family itself, is soft on heretics. Oh, no. Saint Francis loved God as He has revealed Himself through His true Church, the Catholic Church, which meant that he hated error as much as Saint Dominic and made many sacrifices to convert those steeped in error.

We need to embrace Saint Francis's spirit of poverty and penance and mortification, rooting these acts of self-denial in the time we spend each day before Our Lord in His Real Presence (outside of Holy Mass, that is) and our total consecration to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. It will be these acts of love rendered unto Love Incarnate through the Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother that will help to plant the seeds for the restoration of the Church after this period of betrayal and apostasy far more effectively than anything we can ever say or write. We need to make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world. Saint Francis, who wasted a good deal of time in his early youth on frivolous parties, realized this. How much time have we wasted on the bread and circuses of our own day? How much can our own souls profit from embracing poverty and penance out of love for God and out of a love for Holy Mother Church?

Saint Francis's own penances and mortifications helped to bring about the glory of the High Middle Ages in the Thirteenth Century. May we be ever ready to be poor here below as members of the Church Militant so that we can be rich for all eternity in Heaven, where, please God and by His ineffable graces that flow to us through the hands of the Mediatrix of all graces, Mary most holy, we will be able to join Saint Francis in celebrating the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary over the forces that afflict our present age.

This time of apostasy and betrayal will pass. The Church will be restored in all of her glory. Christendom will be reestablished. May the "little man in brown" help us to deny ourselves as we keep close to Our Lord's Real Presence and to Our Lady so that new glories of a world shaped by Catholicism can be told by future generations.

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 Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.

Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.

Saint Placidus and Companions, pray for us.

Saint Benedict, pray for us.

Saint Scholastica, pray for us.

Saint Bruno, pray for us.

Saint Jerome, pray for us.

Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.

Saint Athanasius, pray for us.

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.

Saint Augustine, pray for us.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.

Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.

Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.

Pope Saint Pius V, 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 Philomena, pray for us.

Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.

Saint John Bosco, pray for us.

Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.

Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.

Blessed Francisco, pray for us.

Blessed Jacinta, 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. 

Response:  Amen.  



© Copyright 2006, Thomas A. Droleskey. All rights reserved.