Those Who Trust in But Mere Mortals
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Thus saith the Lord God: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like tamaric in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come : but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert, in a salt land, and not inhabited. Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit. The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable : who can know it? I am the Lord who search the heart, and prove the reins : who give to everyone according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices: saith the Lord almighty. (Jeremias 17: 5-10.)
Naturalism produces many variations on a theme. The core belief of naturalism is that the entirety of human existence can be understood on a merely natural level without having any advertence to the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted exclusively to the true Church, the Catholic Church He Himself created upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, for its infallible explication and eternal safekeeping and without any reliance upon, belief in or access to Sanctifying Grace. This results in an endless variety of "movements" and "causes" by which the world can be "improved," as I noted a week ago today in Movements to a Dead End, Now and for All Eternity. The names of the individuals and the specific issues or "causes" with which they are identified are variable over the course of time. The one constant of naturalism is the belief that it is possible, more or less, to find a secular saviour and/or a secular "salvific system of belief" by which human life may be organized and most, if not all, of the problems of the world can be "resolved" so that men could while their days in leisure activities and a never-ending series of pleasures.
This current election cycle in the United States of America has produced messianic fervor among the supporters of United States Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), who has revived his presidential campaign following entreaties made to him by his supporters, and among the supporters of United States Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois), who is drawing enormous crowds of emotionally-laden people for his vacuous speeches and inauthentic sound bites. All manner of people, knowing not the true Faith (as well as some who think that know the true Faith but deny Its role in social life), have put their trust in men who do not conform their minds to the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted to the authority of His Catholic Church and who do not believe that it is necessary to have belief in, access to and cooperation with Sanctifying Grace to live in accord with that Deposit of Faith and thus to persevere in virtue and to grow in sanctity.
Although endless articles on this site have addressed naturalism's hold on the American populace, including even many traditionally-minded Catholics, we must never lose sight of the fact that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is King of nations as well as of individual men. Although the civil state and the Church have autonomy in their own respective spheres of competency, the civil state nevertheless has an obligation to recognize the true religion and to recognize in its constitution and/or a concordat with the Holy See the right of the Church to interpose herself with its officials as an absolute last resort if the good of souls should demand her maternal intervention in a particular matter. While Holy Mother Church must, as Pope Leo XIII noted in Libertas, June 20, 1888, adapt herself to the conditions of the modern civil state in order to minister to her children, she does not concede the principle of the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic error of separation of Church and State nor does she cease teaching the sacred truth that such a concept is false and offensive to God as well as injurious to the good of souls.
Indeed, Pope Leo XIII exhorted the children of the Catholic Church to speak up about the Faith in public discourse and to refute the errors of the day as Catholics, publicly professing the Holy Name of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, doing so in quite explicit terms in Sapientiae Christianiae, January 10, 1890:
From day to day it becomes more and more evident how needful it is that the principles of Christian wisdom should ever be borne in mind, and that the life, the morals, and the institutions of nations should be wholly conformed to them. For, when these principles have been disregarded, evils so vast have accrued that no right-minded man can face the trials of the time being without grave anxiety or consider the future without alarm. Progress, not inconsiderable indeed, has been made towards securing the well-being of the body and of material things, but the material world, with the possession of wealth, power, and resources, although it may well procure comforts and increase the enjoyment of life, is incapable of satisfying our soul created for higher and more glorious things. To contemplate God, and to tend to Him, is the supreme law of the life of man. For we were created in the divine image and likeness, and are impelled, by our very nature, to the enjoyment of our Creator. But not by bodily motion or effort do we make advance toward God, but through acts of the soul, that is, through knowledge and love. For, indeed, God is the first and supreme truth, and the mind alone feeds on truth. God is perfect holiness and the sovereign good, to which only the will can desire and attain, when virtue is its guide.
But what applies to individual men applies equally to society -- domestic alike and civil. Nature did not form society in order that man should seek in it his last end, but in order that in it and through it he should find suitable aids whereby to attain to his own perfection. If, then, a political government strives after external advantages only, and the achievement of a cultured and prosperous life; if, in administering public affairs, it is wont to put God aside, and show no solicitude for the upholding of moral law, it deflects woefully from its right course and from the injunctions of nature; nor should it be accounted as a society or a community of men, but only as the deceitful imitation or appearance of a society.
As to what We have called the goods of the soul, which consist chiefly in the practice of the true religion and in the unswerving observance of the Christian precepts, We see them daily losing esteem among men, either by reason of forgetfulness or disregard, in such wise that all that is gained for the well-being of the body seems to be lost for that of the soul. A striking proof of the lessening and weakening of the Christian faith is seen in the insults too often done to the Catholic Church, openly and publicly -- insults, indeed, which an age cherishing religion would not have tolerated. For these reasons, an incredible multitude of men is in danger of not achieving salvation; and even nations and empires themselves cannot long remain unharmed, since, when Christian institutions and morality decline, the main foundation of human society goes together with them. Force alone will remain to preserve public tranquillity and order. But force is very feeble when the bulwark of religion has been removed, and, being more apt to beget slavery than obedience, it bears within itself the germs of ever-increasing troubles. The present century has encountered memorable disasters, and it is not certain that some equally terrible are not impending.
The very times in which we live are warning us to seek remedies there where alone they are to be found -- namely, by re-establishing in the family circle and throughout the whole range of society the doctrines and practices of the Christian religion. In this lies the sole means of freeing us from the ills now weighing us down, of forestalling the dangers now threatening the world. For the accomplishment of this end, venerable brethren, We must bring to bear all the activity and diligence that lie within Our power. Although we have already, under other circumstances, and whenever occasion required, treated of these matters, We deem it expedient in this letter to define more in detail the duties of the Catholics, inasmuch as these would, if strictly observed, wonderfully contribute to the good of the commonwealth. We have fallen upon times when a violent and well-nigh daily battle is being fought about matters of highest moment, a battle in which it is hard not to be sometimes deceived, not to go astray and, for many, not to lose heart. It behooves us, venerable brethren, to warn, instruct, and exhort each of the faithful with an earnestness befitting the occasion: that none may abandon the way of truth.
It cannot be doubted that duties more numerous and of greater moment devolve on Catholics than upon such as are either not sufficiently enlightened in relation to the Catholic faith, or who are entirely unacquainted with its doctrines. Considering that forthwith upon salvation being brought out for mankind, Jesus Christ laid upon His Apostles the injunction to "preach the Gospel to every creature," He imposed, it is evident, upon all men the duty of learning thoroughly and believing what they were taught. This duty is intimately bound up with the gaining of eternal salvation: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be condemned." But the man who has embraced the Christian faith, as in duty bound, is by that very fact a subject of the Church as one of the children born of her, and becomes a member of that greatest and holiest body, which it is the special charge of the Roman Pontiff to rule with supreme power, under its invisible head, Jesus Christ. . . .
Under such evil circumstances therefore, each one is bound in conscience to watch over himself, taking all means possible to preserve the faith inviolate in the depths of his soul, avoiding all risks, and arming himself on all occasions, especially against the various specious sophisms rife among non-believers. In order to safeguard this virtue of faith in its integrity, We declare it to be very profitable and consistent with the requirements of the time, that each one, according to the measure of his capacity and intelligence, should make a deep study of Christian doctrine, and imbue his mind with as perfect a knowledge as may be of those matters that are interwoven with religion and lie within the range of reason. And as it is necessary that faith should not only abide untarnished in the soul, but should grow with ever painstaking increase, the suppliant and humble entreaty of the apostles ought constantly to be addressed to God: "Increase our faith.''
But in this same matter, touching Christian faith, there are other duties whose exact and religious observance, necessary at all times in the interests of eternal salvation, become more especially so in these our days. Amid such reckless and widespread folly of opinion, it is, as We have said, the office of the Church to undertake the defense of truth and uproot errors from the mind, and this charge has to be at all times sacredly observed by her, seeing that the honor of God and the salvation of men are confided to her keeping. But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: "Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.'' To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. After all, no one can be prevented from putting forth that strength of soul which is the characteristic of true Christians, and very frequently by such display of courage our enemies lose heart and their designs are thwarted. Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: "Have confidence; I have overcome the world." Nor is there any ground for alleging that Jesus Christ, the Guardian and Champion of the Church, needs not in any manner the help of men. Power certainly is not wanting to Him, but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace.
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.
Pope Pius XI wrote a similar exhortation in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925:
If We ordain that the whole Catholic world shall revere Christ as King, We shall minister to the need of the present day, and at the same time provide an excellent remedy for the plague which now infects society. We refer to the plague of anti-clericalism, its errors and impious activities. This evil spirit, as you are well aware, Venerable Brethren, has not come into being in one day; it has long lurked beneath the surface. The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the same level with them. It was then put under the power of the state and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers. Some men went even further, and wished to set up in the place of God's religion a natural religion consisting in some instinctive affection of the heart. There were even some nations who thought they could dispense with God, and that their religion should consist in impiety and the neglect of God. The rebellion of individuals and states against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable consequences. We lamented these in the Encyclical Ubi arcano; we lament them today: the seeds of discord sown far and wide; those bitter enmities and rivalries between nations, which still hinder so much the cause of peace; that insatiable greed which is so often hidden under a pretense of public spirit and patriotism, and gives rise to so many private quarrels; a blind and immoderate selfishness, making men seek nothing but their own comfort and advantage, and measure everything by these; no peace in the home, because men have forgotten or neglect their duty; the unity and stability of the family undermined; society in a word, shaken to its foundations and on the way to ruin. We firmly hope, however, that the feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Savior. It would be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. Many of these, however, have neither the station in society nor the authority which should belong to those who bear the torch of truth. This state of things may perhaps be attributed to a certain slowness and timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance; thus the enemies of the Church become bolder in their attacks. But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from him, and would valiantly defend his rights.
Moreover, the annual and universal celebration of the feast of the Kingship of Christ will draw attention to the evils which anticlericalism has brought upon society in drawing men away from Christ, and will also do much to remedy them. While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights. . . .
Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ. It will call to their minds the thought of the last judgment, wherein Christ, who has been cast out of public life, despised, neglected and ignored, will most severely avenge these insults; for his kingly dignity demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing for the young a sound moral education.
The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God. If all these truths are presented to the faithful for their consideration, they will prove a powerful incentive to perfection. It is Our fervent desire, Venerable Brethren, that those who are without the fold may seek after and accept the sweet yoke of Christ, and that we, who by the mercy of God are of the household of the faith, may bear that yoke, not as a burden but with joy, with love, with devotion; that having lived our lives in accordance with the laws of God's kingdom, we may receive full measure of good fruit, and counted by Christ good and faithful servants, we may be rendered partakers of eternal bliss and glory with him in his heavenly kingdom.
Yes, you see, we have the duty to defend the Social Reign of Christ the King. We have the duty to proclaim His Holy Name to our family members and acquaintances and to be mindful of the conversion of all whom God's Holy Providence places in our paths each day, seeing in them the very image of Christ Himself and being attentive to speaking and acting and thinking as He would to all others. The world of naturalism has such a hold on us that even believing Catholics can think it inopportune or somehow disadvantageous to speak openly about Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the Catholic Faith, no less to exhort others to trust in His Most Sacred Heart by means of total consecration to His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
The "world" teaches us to be quiet about First and Last Things. The "world" is ready to label as "crazy" for adhering the truths of the Faith, ready to blast us as "hypocrites" for calling ourselves believers while we manifest our fallen human natures in various ways, thereby seeking to convince us to believing privately and to refrain from any efforts to publicly defend the Faith lest we be "exposed" for others to see as "charlatans" and "frauds." The "world, which is, of course, in the grip of the devil himself, wants to convince us that family life and social life need not be centered around First and Last Things at all times, that we need a "break" from all "that religion stuff," you know.
We must be undaunted by the world, refusing to pollute ourselves with its evil wares and unfazed by the threats that it seeks to level against us as we confess the Holy Name of Our Redeemer, Christ the King, and give make public acts of homage to His Most Blessed Mother, Mary our Immaculate Queen. We must remember that these words of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ apply to anyone who would dare to be ashamed of Him and His Doctrine before men:
And calling the multitude together with his disciples, he said to them: If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel, shall save it.
For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For he that shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation: the Son of man also will be ashamed of him, when he shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8: 34-38.)
One of the lessons that was impressed upon me when I was being prepared to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation on March 21, 1961, at Saint Aloysius School in Great Neck, New York, was that one is to be a soldier in the Army of Christ once he receives the gifts and fruits of God the Holy Ghost in the Sacrament of Confirmation. Although the Faith was not lived in my home, I was taught It very well by the Sisters of Mercy at Saint Aloysius, understanding that I was called to resist peer pressure at all times and to forsake all popularity in order to be faithful to Christ the King. I was part of the last generation of Catholics to be taught in parish schools by Sisters in their full traditional habits and according to the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church.
The catechetical training I received at Saint Aloysius School was so good that the sensus Catholicus fostered within my soul was sufficient enough for me to "smell" something wrong with the released-time religious education I received at Saint Dominic's School in Oyster Bay, New York, when I was enrolled in a public high school in ninth grade in the Fall of 1965. I withdrew from religious education program, believing that it contradicted what I had learned at Saint Aloysius School. Although I went to the Novus Ordo and later became an enthusiast of the false pontificate of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II because I projected my own fondest Catholic desires into his Modernist mind, I knew that there was "something" wrong with what I perceived to be the vagueness and ambiguity of the "Second" Vatican Council. Not seek converts to the Faith? No need for people to convert? Watering down the expression of the Faith to suit the times? This all didn't sound Catholic to me. I just hoped that "order" would be restored sooner or later, thinking that the "pope" from Poland was up to the task.
I was wrong. The state of catechesis became worse during the twenty-five years of John Paul II's false reign. The sensus Catholicus that used to preserve Catholics from descending to the depths of depravity of paganism that characterizes so many baptized Catholics today was lost, assaulted as it was by the novelties, both approved and "unapproved" unleashed by the "Second" Vatican Council and its aftermath, which included the offense to God known as the Novus Ordo service. With a few exceptions here and there in various parishes within the conciliar structures, most Catholics preparing for the bogus rite of Confirmation in the counterfeit church of conciliarism are not taught that they are supposed be solders in the Army of Christ. Too triumphalistic, you understand. Young Catholics are actually reaffirmed in an immersion in the horrors of popular culture, including "rock music" and television and motion pictures and immodest attire and indecent talk by conciliar priests and consecrated religious and lay teachers and catechists.
Resist the world? What for? Seek converts to the Faith? Aren't all people saved regardless of what they believe? Confess the Holy Name of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, before men? What? Lose one's career and financial security? Not watch television or to go the movies? What are you, a Jansenist? "We gotta have some 'fun', you know." Proclaim the Social Reign of Christ the King as the foundation of order within souls and within societies? How unrealistic is that?
Conciliarism has helped to reaffirm people as they immerse themselves in the world, contributing to the breakdown of the innocence and the purity of young by means of graphic classroom instruction in matters pertaining to the Sixth and Ninth Commandments in direct violation of Pope Pius XI's prohibition against such instruction as contained in Divini Illius Magistri, December 31, 1929. Conciliarism has embraced the rot of the popular culture in its "liturgies." Some its "bishops" have even chastised older priests who have attempted to warn against "rock" music and television and motion pictures and barred those attired indecently or immodestly from the reception of what purports to be Holy Communion. There have even been a few instances known to me personally years ago of priests in what are now the "Motu" communities being called into chancery offices and given a dressing down by a conciliar "bishop" for their fiery sermons on matters of popular culture. It is no wonder that so many Catholics put their "faith" in but mere mortals, including by making a false idol out of one's family so as to reaffirm those within it who are steeped in unrepentant Mortal Sins ("No one's going to tell my son he can't do what he wants. We live in a free country, don't we?"), rather than judging all things in light of First and Last Things.
Conciliarism's refusal to discipline Catholics in public life who support one grave evil after another, including contraception and abortion and perverse sins against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments and usury, has contributed to a laissez-faire attitude concerning the Faith and its practice in the daily lives of the lion's share of ordinary Catholics. The only people who get disciplined, admitting a few exceptions here and there over the past four decades, are the crazy traditionally-minded Catholics who don't accept the errors of the "Second" Vatican Council and who reject utterly and completely the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service. Everything goes in conciliarism, save for those parts of the Catholic "past" that are said to be "triumphalistic" or "out of date" and are thus no longer "relevant" to contemporary living.
As has been noted on this site frequently, the American cultural milieu of religious indifferentism and egalitarianism and "civil liberty" and democracy and naturalism and semi-Pelagianism and Calvinist materialism and utilitarianism and pragmatism exerted its pull on Catholics in the United States of America long, long before the dawning of the age of the conciliarism. The fact that Latin Rite Catholics worshiped exclusively at the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, however, did serve as a "brake," if you will on the extent to which the culture could exert its pull. Unlike the Novus Ordo service, which is an enshrinement of the "contemporary" and includes an embrace of the "world" and its trends, the Mass of the ages provided Catholics with a refuge from the refuse of the world, a daily or a weekly reminder of the transcendent, of the eternal, of the sensus Catholicus that prompted most Catholics to obey their bishops when they ordered them not to patronize a particular motion picture or to read a particular book or magazine. Catholics dressed modestly and spoke decently for the most part. They were concerned about the salvation of their immortal souls, which they did not take for granted as is the case with so many Catholics in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Conciliarism has poisoned everything that it has touched, robbing people more and more of the ability to think supernaturally as naturalism and its many expressions and variations provides Catholics with the means by which they define their lives.
Acknowledging that none of us is one whit better than anyone else, it is nevertheless important to recognize that the hour in which we live is late. Decisions must be made concerning how we are to live our lives. We cannot live with one foot in the world and one foot in the Faith. And we cannot live with one foot in the Faith and another in the world of a false, counterfeit religion, conciliarism. What does the Catholic Faith have in common with Focolare and Cursillo and the "Catholic" Charismatic Renewal? How can "bishops" and "priests" and "consecrated religious" and ordinary members of the laity retain their "good standing" in the conciliar structures while denying articles contained in the Deposit of Faith and/or supporting one grave evil after another in a most public manner? The One World Church of conciliarism is not the Catholic Church. It is the very embodiment of the prophecies of so many genuine mystics, including the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich and Saint Nicholas of Flue, a falsity that was described as follows by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910:
When we consider the forces, knowledge, and supernatural virtues which are necessary to establish the Christian City, and the sufferings of millions of martyrs, and the light given by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the self-sacrifice of all the heroes of charity, and a powerful hierarchy ordained in heaven, and the streams of Divine Grace - the whole having been built up, bound together, and impregnated by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Word made man - when we think, I say, of all this, it is frightening to behold new apostles eagerly attempting to do better by a common interchange of vague idealism and civic virtues. What are they going to produce? What is to come of this collaboration? A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train.
We fear that worse is to come: the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion (for Sillonism, so the leaders have said, is a religion) more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men become brothers and comrades at last in the "Kingdom of God". - "We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind."
And now, overwhelmed with the deepest sadness, We ask Ourselves, Venerable Brethren, what has become of the Catholicism of the Sillon? Alas! this organization which formerly afforded such promising expectations, this limpid and impetuous stream, has been harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer.
We must have nothing to do with the One World Church as it lures more and more people into its collection of various beliefs and practices that are at odds with the patrimony of the Catholic Church. While we pray for our fellow Catholics who have not as of yet been able to see the situation for what it is (as so many of us, including me, refused to see the situation for what it is for far, far too long a period of time) and bear ourselves kindly to them at all times, we must protect our families from an ethos, conciliarism, that has convinced so many millions upon millions of Catholics to look to mere mortals for the "solutions" to social problems and considers it an actual virtue not to be too confessedly Catholic at any time, especially in public discourse. The very inter-denominationalism that was condemned by Pope Saint Pius X is Notre Charge Apostolique is the order of the day with respect to conciliarism and its worldview. It cannot be that way with us. We must return to the days of being soldiers in the Army of Christ, serving the Church Militant here on earth as the consecrated slaves of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
Our battle with the world begins in the home. Those of us who are "baby boomers" must put aside the attachments of the 1950s and 1960s. We must put aside our casual acceptance of the naturalistic ethos of the American founding as being compatible with the Holy Faith rather than being, as it is, corrosive of the Faith over the course of time. We must begin to pray and to think and to act and to speak as Catholics at all times and in all circumstances without any hesitation or fear of the consequences. We must profess the Holy Name of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as we exhort others to honor His Most Blessed Mother, especially by means of praying her Most Holy Rosary on a daily basis.
So what if people will think us "odd" or "unusual" or "crazy." So what? We must not be worried about human respect or the loss of career security or what it is we are going to say if someone questions us about the Faith and/or about the actual state of apostasy and betrayal that exists at the present time. We should remember these words of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:
Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men. For they will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. And you shall be brought before governors, and before kings for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles: But when they shall deliver you up, take no thought how or what to speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what to speak. For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.
The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved. And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another. Amen I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man come. The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the goodman of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?
Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known. That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows. Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And as a man's enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. (Matthew 10: 16-40.)
We fortify ourselves as Catholics in the home by having it Enthroned to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, making our homes veritable shrines as domestic cells of the Church Militant on earth. We say our morning and night prayers with promptness and joy on our knees, remembering to salute Our Lady and the fact of the Incarnation by praying the Angelus three times a day at the appointed times, considering a privilege to pray at least one set of the mysteries contained within her Most Holy Rosary, which is her Psalter, as she explained to Saint Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers. We read passages from Scripture and read about the lives of the saints out loud with our children. We discourage an uncritical immersion in this world as we look forward to the next. And we seek to foster vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated religious life among our children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews.
Most importantly of all, of course, we seek to situate ourselves in locations where the Mass of the ages is offered on a daily basis by true bishops and true priests who make no concessions to conciliarism or to its false shepherds, making whatever sacrifices necessary to get ourselves and our families to Mass on a daily basis. There is nothing in our daily lives that is more important than assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Nothing. Assistance at daily Mass should be as routine in our lives as eating and sleeping. True, circumstances may not always permit us to get to daily Mass. We should have the desire to do so and consider to be a true loss if we had to miss Mass on a given day. If we want to spend all eternity in Heaven, isn't it a good thing to assist at the very unbloody re-presentation of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Sacrifice of Himself to the Father in Spirit and in Truth on the wood of the Holy Cross that has made the possession of Heaven for all eternity possible for us?
Father Frederick Faber provided a reflection the Second Dolor of Our Lady, the Flight into Egypt, discussing the world without God in his The Foot of the Cross (published originally in 1857 as The Dolors of Mary). Father Faber's reflection reminds us of the necessity of confessing Our Lord and His Doctrine before men as we flee from a a world that seeks to pull us down to Hell and a false church that seeks to reassure us in our own essential "goodness:"
Even to us, down in the deep valleys where the merciful inquisitiveness of grace has found us out, there is something inexpressibly mournful in the way in which God is excluded from His own creation. We are considering now the mystery of the Creator's flight from His creatures. Is there not also something quite as dreadful in the flight of the creatures from their Creator, which we see going on all day? When faith has opened our eyes, what a scene the world presents! Everywhere God, with His omnipresent love, is pursuing His creature, His guilty creatures; but it it is to save them, not to punish them. There is not a recess of the world, not a retirement of poverty, not a haunt of sin, not an unlikely or unbeseeming place for so vast a Majesty., where He is not following His creatures and trying almost to force His great gifts upon them. Swifter than the lightning, stronger than the ocean, more universal than the air, is His glorious, many-sided compassion poured out over the world which He has made. Everywhere are men flying from this generous, this merciful, this tender pursuit. It seems as if the grand object of their lives was to avoid God, as if time were a respite from the necessity of God's presence in eternity, which it is unfair of Him to interfere with, as if space were a convenience expressly provided for creatures to get out of the way of their Creator. Little boys even are flying from Him with all their might and main, as if they understood the matter just as well as grown-up me, and had made their minds as determinedly about it. God speaks, entreats, pleads, cries aloud; but still they run. He doubles His sunbeams upon them, to win their hearts by the excess of His fatherly indulgence; but they run. He throws shadows and darkness over them, to make them sober and wise; but they run. He will have them. Great graces go forth to their souls, like swift stones from a sling, and they fall. But they are up again in a moment, and continue their flight. Or it He gets up with them, because they are too much hurt to rise on the instant, they only let Him wipe the blood and earth from their wound and kiss them sweetly on the forehead and they are off again. He will not be baffled. He will hide Himself in the water of a sacrament, and make loving prey of infants before they have reached the use of reason. It is well; but then He must slay them also if He will keep them; for almost before they can walk they will run away from Him. And what is this picture compared to the vision which was always before Our Blessed Mother's eyes?
But let us make the world stand still, and see how it looks. If our common love for God, which is so poor, is irritated by the sight, what must Mary have suffered? For what is irritation to our weakness to her would be the most deep and transcending sorrow. God comes to His creation. It does not stir. It cannot. It lies in the hollow beneath Him, and has no escape. He comes in the beauty of a mercy, which is almost incredible, because it is so beautiful. But seemingly it does not attract the world. He draws nigh. Creation must do something now. It freezes itself up before His eye. He may have other worlds, more fertile, more accessible to Him, than this. In the spiritual tropics, where the angels dwell, He may perhaps be welcome. But not here. This is the North Pole of His universe. He shed His life's blood upon it, and it would not thaw. It is unmanageable, unnavigable, uninhabitable for Him. He can do nothing at all with it, but let His sun make resplendent colored lights in the icebergs, or bid the moon shine with a wanner loveliness than elsewhere, or fill the long-night sky with the streamers of the Aurora, which even the Esquimaux, burrowing in his hut, will not go out to see. The only difference is that the material pole understands its business. which is to make ice in all imaginable shapes; whereas we men are so used to our own coldness, that we do not know how cold we are, and imagine ourselves to be the temperate zone of God's creation.
If God gets into His world, matters are not much mended. It is dismal to think--would that it were also incredible!--how much of the world is tied up from Him, so as to render almost a miracle necessary in order to insinuate grace into the soul. Look at whole regions of fair beginnings, of good wishes, holy desires, struggling earnestness, positive yearnings, and see how tyrannically the provisions of life deal with all these interests of God. Here are souls tied up from God by family arrangements. They have to live away from the means of grace, or they are thrown among bad examples, or they are forced into uncongenial dissipation, or they are put into the alternative of either judging their parents or blunting their perceptions of God, or they are entangled in unsuitable marriages, or they are forced into the ambitious temptations of worldly possessions, or their religious vocations are rough-ridden. God is not have His own way with them, and will not have it. He on His side will not work miracles, and souls are lost. How much again is tied up by money arrangements? The religion of orphans is endangered by executors who have not the faith. Fortunes are left under conditions which, without heroic grace, preclude conversion. Place of abode is dictated by straitened circumstances, and it so happens that spiritual disabilities come along with it. Questions of education are unfavourably decided on pecuniary grounds, as also are the choices of profession. Want of money is a bar to the liberty of many souls, who, as far as we can judge. would use that liberty for God. Even local arrangements tie up souls from God. There is sort of a necessity of living for part of the year where regular sacraments are not to be had, or where men must mix very much with people of another creed, or must lay themselves out for political influence, or where young people must break off habits of works of mercy only imperfectly formed in the great city, which after all is a truer sanctuary of God than the green, innocent country. How many also, without fault of their own, or fault of any one, are tied up from God by the temporal consequences of some misfortune? Homes are broken up. Souls are imprisoned in unsuitable occupations, and in unfavourable places; and a host of religious inconveniences follow from which there is literally no escape. It may be said that, after all, the excellence of religion is interior. But to how many is the interior spirit given? Surely it is not one of God's ordinary graces. And how few really interior persons are there, who are not visibly deteriorated when their public supplies of grace are impoverished! Others again are tied up from god by some irretrievable steps which they themselves have taken, culpably or inculpably. It is as if an eternal fixity had insinuated itself into some temporal decision. And now souls are helpless. They cannot be all for God, if they would, unless He communicates to them some of the extraordinary graces of the mystical saints. We have often need here to remember for our comfort, that, if steps are irretrievable, nothing in the spiritual life is irremediable. Who could believe the opposite doctrine, and then live? It is fearful the power which men have to tie their fellow-men up from God. What an exercise it is for a hot temper, with a keen sense of injustice, and an honest heartiness of love for God and souls, to have to work for souls under the pressure of the great public systems, organizations, and institutions of a country which has not the faith! To watch a soul perilously balancing on the brink of the grand eternal question, and to see plainly that the most ordinary fairness or the cheapest kindness would save it, and not be able to command either,--it is a work of knives in one's flesh, smarting unbearably. We have no right to demand the fairness; indeed, the fairness is perhaps only visible from our own point of view. We are more likely to get justice if we ask for it under the title of privilege and by the name of kindness. For the sake of Christ's poor, let us insist upon God's multiplying and prolonging our patience! thus, all the world over, in all classes, especially in the upper classes, creation is tied up as it were from God, and His goodness has not fair play with it, unless He will break His own laws, and throw Himself simply on His omnipotence. There is a tyranny of circumstances, which does not seem far short of a necessity of sin. It needs a definition of the faith to assure us that such a necessity is happily an impossibility. We feel all this. It cuts to the quick. Now it depresses, not it provokes, accordingly as it acts on the inequalities of our little grace. Multiply it till the sum is beyond figures, magnify it till is bulk fills spaces and hangs out beyond, ad then we have our Lady's sensitiveness about the honor of God's majesty. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, pp. 137-140.)
Are we fleeing from God? Are we fleeing from Christ the King and our obligation to confess Him and His true Church publicly before men, starting in our own families, in order to place our trust in mere mortals, including family members and candidates for public offices and celebrities of one sort or another? Have we made our accommodations with "the great public systems, organizations, and institutions of a country which has not the faith"?
We must trust at all times in Christ the King and in Mary our Immaculate Queen. Let us not flee from God! Let us flee from the world and its false "hopes" and its naturalistic claims upon us. Let us rush home to Heaven every day. Let us be at the Mass and thence to spend some time with Our Beloved King in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Let us go trust in the mercies of His Most Sacred Heart as the consecrated slaves of His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Let us not put our trust in mere mortals, in prices, but in Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen. The rewards might just prove to be eternally fruitful!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint 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.
See also: A Litany of Saints