Yesterday's Evils, Today's Accepted Norms
Thomas A. Droleskey
Gradually Accepting Naturalism's False Premises reviewed how many Catholics had gotten so accustomed to cultural trends contrary to God's Holy Laws and thus to the good of their own immortal souls that they become, at least for the most part, incapable of seeing the world clearly through the eyes of the true Faith and of expressing even the slightest bit of outrage when the latest offense to God is given by the scions of popular culture and/or those in the real of public policy and electoral politics, no less react at all when outrages are given to God by the scions of the counterfeit church of conciliarism.
An attitude of "ho-hum" greets this or that new descent into the abyss. Some might give a shrug of the shoulder or even grimace a little bit as they ask for extra gravy or more stuffing for their Thanksgiving turkey. However, most Catholics in the world today, including most Catholics in the United States of America, have made their peace with the "world," happy to be immersed in the midst of its profanities and blasphemies. Some Catholics believe that there is no need to oppose the evils of the day as "progress" must take its place and that it is "enough" for us to be "free" to believe an worship as we please. Other Catholics believe that the advances made by pluralism are "irreversible," that we must get on with the business of our lives in the world without worrying about things that are, they convince themselves, out of their control. All of this permits the devil to advance his agenda of evil on an incremental basis to such an extent that is imperceptible for the average Catholic to see or to admit.
Father Frederick Faber, writing in the Creator and the Creature, explained how perniciously the pluralism born of the Protestant Revolution against the Divine Plan that God Himself instituted to effect man's return to Him through the Catholic Church and to order societies rightly according to the binding precepts contained in the Deposit of Faith seeps into the consciousness of men and blinds them to the insidious nature of theological and philosophical errors:
This forgetfulness that we are creatures, which prevails in that energetically bad portion of the world which is scriptually called the world, affects multitudes of persons, who are either less able to divest themselves of the influences of old traditions and early lessons, or are happily less possessed with the base spirit of the world. It leads them to form a sort of religion for themselves which singularly falls in with all the most corrupt propensities of our hearts: a religion which in effect teaches that we can live two lives and serve two masters. Such persons consider that religion has its own sphere, and worldly interests their sphere also, and that the one must not interfere with the other. Thus their tendency is to concentrate all the religion of the week into Sunday, and to conceive that they have thereby purchased a right to a large conscience for the rest of the week. The world, they say, has its claims and God has His claims. Both must be satisfied; God first, and most scrupulously; then the world, not less exactly, though it be indeed secondary. But it is not a "reasonable service" to neglect one for the other. God and the world are coordinate powers, coordinate fountains of moral duty and obligation. He is really the religious man who gives neither of them reason to complain. We must let our common sense hinder us from becoming over-righteous. Men who hold this doctrine, a doctrine admirably adapted for a commercial country, have a great advantage over the bolder men of whom we spoke before. For they enjoy all the practical laxity of unbelievers, without the trouble or responsibility of disbelieving; and besides that, they enjoy a certain good humor of conscience in consequence of the outward respect they pay, in due season and fitting place, to the ceremonies of religion.
Hitherto we have spoken of classes of persons in whom we take no interest, further than the sorrow which all who love God must feel at seeing Him defrauded of His honor, and all who love their fellow-men in seeing so much amiability, so much goodness, with a millstone round its neck which must inevitably sink it in the everlasting deeps. Let us come now to those with whom we are very much concerned; and for whom we have ventured to compose this little treatise. Errors filter from one class of men into another, and appear in different forms according to the new combinations into which they enter. We are all of us more affected by the errors which prevail around us than we really suppose. Almost every popular fallacy has its representative even among the children of faith; and as when a pestilence is raging, many are feeble and languid though they have no plague-spot, so is it in matters of religion. The contagion of the world does us a mischief in many ways of which we are hardly conscious; and we often injure ourselves in our best and highest interests by views and practices, to which we cling with fatal obstinacy, little suspecting the relationship in which they stand to widely spread evils, which we behold in their naked deformity in other sections of society, and hold up to constant reprobation. The forgetfulness that we are creatures, which produces the various consequences already mentioned, is an error which is less obviously hateful than a direct forgetfulness of God, and consequently it wins its way into holy places where the other would find no admittance, or want hospitality. Good Christians hear conversations around them, catch the prevailing tone of society, read books, and become familiarized with certain fashionable principles of conduct; and it is impossible for their minds and hearts not to become imbued with the genius of all this. It is irksome to be always on our guard, and from being off our guard we soon grow to be unsuspicious. When a catholic enters into intimate dealings with protestants, he most not forget to place his sentries, and to act as if he was in an enemy's country; and this is unkindly work, and as miserable as it is unkindly. Yet so it is. When newspapers tell us that catholicism is always more reasonable and less superstitious when it is in the immediate presence of protestantism, they indicate something that they have observed, namely, a change. Now if our religion be changed by protestantism, we can have little difficulty in deciding whether it has changed for the better or the worse. All this illustrates what we mean. The prevailing errors of our time and country find their way down to us, and corrupt our faith, and lower our practice, and divide us among ourselves. This unstartling error of forgetting that we are creatures is thus not without grave influence upon conscientious catholics; and it is to this point that we are asking your attention. (Father Frederick Faber, The Creator and the Creature, written in 1856 and republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1978, pp. 27-29.)
These two paragraphs summarize most succinctly how Catholics have come to make their "peace" with the evils represented by the errors of Modernity and Modernism, starting with the Protestant Revolution itself.
The errors flowing the the various strains of the Protestant Revolution are hateful in the sight of God. Yes, true, God alone judges the souls of individual adherents of the Protestant sects, as He alone judges our own immortal souls. Protestantism, however, is evil of its nature. God hates all false religions. He hates all falsehoods. Why? Because theological falsehoods blaspheme Him and make a mockery of His work of Redeeming us by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.
Protestantism is a revolution against the fact that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ founded but one Church upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, to be the sole repository of the Deposit of Faith, the sole and infallible teacher of all that is contained in that Deposit of Faith, the sole means of human sanctification an salvation on the face of this earth. This is not a "minor" matter.
Protestantism, with some few exceptions here and there, is a revolution against the fact that Divine Revelation consists of both Sacred Scripture and Apostolic or Sacred Tradition, making of each "believer" his own "interpreter" of the "Word," an absurdity that leads to a gazillion different "interpretations as to the meaning of various Scriptural passages and, ultimately, to unbelief itself.
Catholics have nothing to "learn" from Protestantism. Nothing. The Fathers of the Council Trent, as some apologists for the arch-heretic who serves as the head of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI are contending at present, did not "misunderstand" Martin Luther or John Calvin or Thomas Cranmer in the Sixteenth Century any more than the Fathers of the Council of Nicea "misunderstood" Arius and Arianism in the Fourth Century (although some defenders of Arius at the time contended that this was indeed the case). The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, does not "get things wrong" in dogmatic councils that meet under his infallible guidance and protection.
Protestantism has given impetus to a new wave of radical individualism, anticlericalism and semi-Pelagianism in the past 491 years that has made possible the triumph of naturalism in the midst of the world and thus in the hearts and minds of so many hundreds of millions of Catholics yet attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. It has been a relatively easy thing for Catholics who have made these accommodations to the spirit of Protestantism to have acted likewise as the counterfeit church of conciliarism has adopted and implemented much of the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic spirit, starting with the abominable Novus Ordo service. There is no need to do battle with the "world" when its false spirit has been enshrined in what purports to be the Catholic liturgy and is defended in the "official" documents issued by and under the authority of the conciliar "pontiffs."
The blithe acceptance of the evils of Protestantism has led to the blithe acceptance of evils in the popular culture. It is, after all, a relatively easy thing to be sanguine about cultural evils once one has convinced himself that false religions are not hated by God and that the false, blasphemous tenets of these false religions do not pose a grave and immediate threat to the eternal good of souls and to the temporal good of society, making it easier for those who deny entirely the Incarnation of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of God the Holy Ghost to be about their demonic business of promoting immodesty of dress, indecency in speech and impurity in thought, word, and action.
The counterfeit church of conciliarism has aided and abetted this sanguine attitude of Catholics concerning the world and the evils abroad in its popular culture, admitting, of course, that a few "peeps," squeaked in the tones of "human dignity" and "human rights" absent any reference at all to the Social Reign of Christ the King, have passed from the lips of conciliar "pontiffs" and their "bishops," especially concerning surgical abortion, albeit without recognizing the fact that social evils protected under cover of law are the precise result of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King wrought by the Protestant Revolt.
Yes, it is an easy thing to accommodate oneself to the prevailing cultural trends once one accepts the "benign" nature of the Protestant Revolt and accepts the pluralistic, religiously indifferentist civil state as a "benefit" to Catholicism rather than a deadly poison.
Thus it is that many of the social evils that came to the surface of popular culture in the 1960s have been "mainstreamed" into daily life. Our immortal souls are bombarded in supermarkets and other retail stores with the horrors of "rock" "music." We must put up with this assault upon our senses as shopping is a necessity, although we should not subject our children to this assault if it possible to do so. We must not subject ourselves to the devil's "music" voluntarily. There are, for example, restaurants that do not play "rock" "music" and it is these that should be patronized. It is indeed quite evil to voluntarily subject ourselves or our children to "rock" "music" by seeking to eat in restaurants, no matter how "good" their food fare might be, where such evil assaults the senses when there are other choices available.
"Rock" "music," however, is one of those evils that has been "mainstreamed" in the past fifty years. What was one an eclectic preserve of teenagers and college students that aroused the condemnation of at least a few solid Catholic bishops and priests is now an "accepted norm," especially as the "baby boomers" of the 1950s and 1960s have become older and serve now as the decision-makers of the corporations that make the marketing decisions as to what "music" to play in various retail outlets. As is the case with any other evil, such as Protestantism, that becomes "accepted" over time simply because most people, including most Catholics have come to believe that past judgments were too "harsh" and that we must seek to find the "good" in something that has become so widespread and institutionalize, "rock music" has become "accepted" precisely because most people are used to it after decades of being exposed to it day in and day out without cease.
That which is evil does not become "good" as it is accepted more and more over the passage of time. That which is evil does not become "less evil" simply because other evils have arisen that are said to be "worse" by means of comparison.
As noted last week in Taking Advice From The Fuller Brush Man, it is incongruous for anyone to claim that the Episcopalian practitioner of perversion, Gene Robinson, represents anything other than the result of the logical progress of degeneration started by the Protestant Revolt. The Fuller Brush Man, Billy Graham, and Gene Robinson are but two sides of the same coin minted by Martin Luther and John Calvin in the Sixteenth Century. The horrors represented by Gene Robinson do not make the evils propagated by Billy Graham any the less serious.
It is, therefore, quite a telling sign that L'Osservatore Romano, the semi-official newspaper of the Vatican, has published an article praising the "musical" group that was the progenitor of many social evils, including the glorification of the use of marijuana as a "recreational drug" that dulls the senses and blurs one's rational abilities (more on this subject soon), the Beatles, as being "more creative than the 'standardized and stereotyped' pop of today." In other words, the Beatles and their work can be viewed favorably because of their "staying power" and because they "inspired" others to follow their example. Well, I will be the first to admit that the "work" of the Beatles was "inspired," only noting, as I did to my mother when I was watching a report on these mopheads on the Huntley-Brinkley Report in February of 1964, that the source of the "inspiration" was the devil himself.
Here is the story from the Catholic News Service about the "rehabilitation" of the Beatles by the conciliar Vatican:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican newspaper said the musical compositions of the Beatles were far more creative than the "standardized and stereotyped" pop music of today.
The Beatles' songs have demonstrated "remarkable staying power, becoming a source of inspiration for more than one generation of pop musicians," it said.
The newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, published a lengthy and laudatory retrospective on the Beatles Nov. 22 to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the "White Album," the group's groundbreaking double-record set.
"Forty years later, this album remains a type of magical musical anthology: 30 songs you can go through and listen to at will, certain of finding some pearls that even today remain unparalleled," it said.
With rock songs like "Back in the U.S.S.R." and "Helter Skelter," ballads like "Julia" and "Blackbird," and dreamlike pieces like "Dear Prudence," the album represents the "creative summit" of the Beatles' career, it said.
What characterized the "White Album" and the Beatles best music in general was an inventiveness that stands in stark contrast with popular music today, the newspaper said.
"Record products today seem mostly standardized and stereotyped, far from the creativity of the Beatles," it said. The modern pop music industry is too willing to sacrifice originality and fantasy in order to satisfy the consumer models it has adopted and promoted, it said.
The newspaper also recalled that the Beatles were recording with rudimentary tools compared to those used by the high-tech recording industry today. Even so, "a listening experience like that offered by the Beatles is truly rare," it said.
As for John Lennon's famous quip in 1966 that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, the Vatican newspaper dismissed it as youthful bragging.
"The phrase that provoked profound indignation, especially in the United States, after so many years sounds merely like the boast of a working-class English youth faced with unexpected success," it said. (Vatican newspaper: Beatles' music better than today's pop songs.)
The alleged musical "creativity" of the Beatles was nothing other than a continuation of the musical revolution begun by Ludwig von Beethoven, who said that he wrote music to please himself and for no one else, including God and His Holy Church. The Beatles used this "creativity" to propagandize in behalf of a social revolution against Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Sacred Teaching, helping to convince millions upon millions of young people to "indulge" themselves and to believe in a sense of world "peace" absent a subordination of men and their nations to the true Church that Our Lord founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. (For an excellent discussion of "rock" "music" in the general and the Beatles in particular, please see Michael Matt's
Gods of Wasteland) And to dismiss John Lennon's blasphemy against Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as nothing other than "youthful bragging" is beneath contempt. Then again, it is easy to dismiss the blasphemy of a "pop culture" when one has been accustomed to "rock music" in "papal" "Masses" and when one makes a living justifying abominations as a putative "pope" esteeming the symbols of false religions with his own priestly hands.
Michael Matt's Gods of Wasteland discusses the truly revolutionary nature of the Beatles:
Music has proven to be a most dominant influence over the physical and mental health of human beings. It has been use by tyrants and it has been used by statesmen and kings--is power is very real. Martin Luther used it against the Catholic Church in his Protestant Revolution, an even the heresiarch Arius used his famous "Book of Song" way back in the fourth century to spread the Arian Heresy across most of the known world in record time. Hitler used it, especially marching music and patriotic anthems within the Hitler Youth Movement. The French Revolutionaries used it, as did the Americans in 1776. And men and women who harbor no love for Christianity use rock music today in yet another revolution--the Cultural Revolution.
Only a fool says, "Music can't hurt me" or "Music doesn't affect me." Consider companies such as Coca-Cola, Nike, McDonald's, IBM, or Microsoft--have you ever seen an advertisement on TV for any one of these companies which was not accompanied by music (most often rock music)? Big business and world marketers know the influence music has on the consumer/viewer. What's more, they also are aware of the lasting impression an audio stimulus can leave on the mind--in some cases being more unforgettable than a visual image.
Have you ever had some melody on your mind that you just can't get out of your head? I'll bet you never had a movie stick to you like that. Right? This is because the message that is transmitted to the mind through the medium of music has a greater effect and leaves a longer-lasting impression than any other stimuli. For, in effect, your brain--your imagination--processed that sound directly into your consciousness.
After minimal study of musicology, few people will dispute that music has an almost super-human influence over us all. Yet, how often do we listen to rock music (or do we let our children listen to it) and keep telling ourselves that it's "just music," and that its message of immorality and Kantian encouragement to do whatever "feels good" will have no effect on our lives as Christians?
When we say, "Music can't really affect us," we betray our own poor understanding of musicology . . . . and that is all. The Egyptians would never have proffered such an ignorant statement, nor would the ancient Greeks or the Romans, nor the sales consultants for Nike, Microsoft, or MTV. The fact is that the Catholic Church, the pro-life movement, the NFL, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement, the homosexual activist lobby, the NBA, the Communists, big business, etc., know perfectly well what music is capable of. So why do so many Christians deny that rock music could be a significant problem?
The "new creed" that is being taught to a fourth grader, for example, through rock music today is something he will never forget and may never overcome. I repeat--don't every say, "It's just music; it can't hurt me." Rock music hurts children in your society; therefore it hurts the future of your society and thus your own children. It hurts you, all right. . . . It's just a question of when and how much. . . .
The "British Invasion" is generally considered to have begun in earnest in 1964. It featured the rise to unprecedented pop culture fame in America of some of the most influential rock bands from the United Kingdom--spearheaded, of course, by the Beatles. 1960s British "rock n' roll" was to become a global phenomenon of staggering impact on America teenagers. . . . You just had to be a part of it, "man," if you didn't want to be regarded as totally "unhip." When the Beatles landed, millions of America's teens found their lives literally changed forever.
To a lesser extent, several UK bands had considerable success on the American rock music charts, though many of them didn't survive the test of time as well as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. These bands has names such as the Dave Clark Five, the Searches, Peter and Gordon, the Animals, Chad Stuart, Jeremy Clyde, and the Nashville Teens.
Constantly working on their image of hidden imagery (i.e., the much publicized "Paul is Dead" games) and cult references, the Beatles were the quintessential "rock n' roll band. Drugs, [impurity of conduct], revolution were the message, and rock n' roll was the game. Being more subtle than many rock bands, the Beatles were also more talented musically, and, thus, more effective. Their nihilism was packaged in catchy lyrics, encrypted poetry, quick, upbeat tunes, and a message that consisted of thinly veiled Socialism and plenty of outright hedonism. Songs such as "Eleanor Rigby"--so defeatist, so cutting and demoralizing--were literally memorize by millions, and became worldwide hits for the Beatles. Pay careful attention to the last line of the following lyrics; it's a cynical mock of the Christian teaching on the salvation of the soul and the part the Catholic priesthood plays in that process:
Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people
Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?
All the lonely people
Where do they all come from ?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong ?
Father McKenzie writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near.
Look at him working. darning his socks in the night when there's nobody there
What does he care?
All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?
Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name
Father Mckenzie wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved
The Beatles were not innocent. They were revolutionaries who experienced global success in the war against Christianity and the spread of the drug culture. (Michael Matt, Gods of Wasteland, pp. 40-41; 53-55.)
How is it going to be possible for a parent attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism to convince his children not to listen to any kind of "rock" "music," including that of the Beatles, when the semi-official newspaper of the Vatican, now in conciliar captivity, endorses this rot from Hell? And how is it possible for any true priest who makes no concessions at all to conciliarism to be silent about this evil and not to warn his parishioners that it is a Mortal Sin to listen volitionally to "rock music" of any type? Silence about this evil serves the interests of the devil, not the honor and glory of God and the eternal good of souls, and pastors of souls would be well-advised to consider what Saint John Mary Vianney and Padre Pio would do in our circumstances today, namely, to insist that Catholics not only not listen to "rock music" but to destroy any and all records, tapes, compact discs or videos in their possession containing this diabolical "art" form. This is not Jansenism. This is Catholicism.
The counterfeit church of conciliarism has used "rock music" in its liturgies, including at "Papal" "Masses," especially those for World Youth Day. L'Osservatore Romano's praise of the Beatles just demonstrates yet again that the errors of Modernity have found quite a home in the nooks and crannies of the Modernists who run the counterfeit church of conciliarism.
L'Osservatore Romano's warm embrace of the Beatles, however, coincides with Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II's an Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's embrace of much of Modernity, including the religiously indifferentist civil state, something that will be examine yet again the next article to be published on this site. Suffice it to say for present purposes, however, to note that the more one accommodates himself to yesterday's evils (Protestantism, religious indifferentism, the existence of religiously indifferentist public "school," "religious liberty," divorce, contraception, abortion, the promotion of perversity under cover of law and abroad in the midst of popular culture, "rock music," indecency of speech and immodesty of dress) ) will be the more that one accepts these evils as accepted "norms," about which it is "impossible" to do anything than to give a shrug of the shoulder and/or to revel in as part of our "rights" as American citizens.
Although we can certainly use this day of national thanksgiving to a generic, Judeo-Masonic concept of "God" to Catholicize it as we call to mind the old Saint Martin's Day feasts of thanksgiving in Catholic Europe and the first thanksgiving day offered on the territory of the future United States of America by Spanish Catholics near Saint Augustine, Florida in 1565, we must remember that the "blessings" of "liberty" that many will "celebrate" today include the very evils of "yesterday" that have become today's accepted "norms." There will be millions upon millions of Americans today who will gather around their dinner tables with family members to give thanks to "God" for the election of Barack Hussein Obama to the Presidency of the United States of America, some of those same mullions will be thanking "God" for keeping surgical abortion "safe and legal" in this country as they listen to the beat of "rock music" at the same time. Other delusional millions will be giving "thanks" to the outgoing President, George Walker Bush, for having given Iraq a "democracy" and for having done "so much" to help restore a "culture of life."
We must keep Catholicism in our day today, paying no homage at all to those dreadful Calvinists in Plymouth Bay in 1621 who were giving thanks to God, as they falsely understood Him, for being in a land which had been "preserved" from being stained by the "impurities" of Catholicism. We should take to heart this pithy observation of the late Gilbert Keith Chesterton:
"The Americans have established a Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the fact that the Pilgrim Fathers reached America. The English might very well establish another Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the happy fact that the Pilgrim Fathers left England." (Gilbert Keith Chesterton, quoted in Father Denis Fahey, The Mystical Body of Christ the Modern World, p. 16.)
We must remember that the entirety of the Americas belongs to Our Lady, who appeared to Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill on December 9 and 12, 1531, to seek their conversion to the true Faith and hence to the Social Reign of her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Long before those wretched, Catholic-hating Calvinists, whose co-religionists had sought to invade Catholic Lima, Peru, a short time before their own arrival in Plymouth Bay, the vast expanse of the Americas had been Catholicized. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which the "Pilgrims" hated with a passion, had been offered on these shores. The very names of places reflected the influence of the Holy Faith. The Americas belong to Our Lady, not to Protestants, not to naturalists (whether liberal, libertarian, conservative, socialist, communist, utilitarian, et al.), not to pagans and not to adherents of the Talmud.
Consider the fact that the first Mass on the mainland of the Americas had been offered in Honduras in 1502. The first Mass in New Mexico was offered in Mission San Gabriel in 1598. The first Mass offered by French missionaries in New France was in 1615 by Father Denis Jamay, O.F.M., and it was in Quebec that the first Mass in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was offered and where the cult of the Holy Family, begun under the pioneering Bishop Francois de Montmorency Laval. The first Mass in Texas was on October 12, 1680, 188 years after Christopher Columbus had landed on the Island of San Salvador in the Bahamas Islands. The North American Martyrs, each of whom was so tenderly devoted to the Mother of God, offered their lives between 1642 and 1649 to Catholicize their part of the Americas. We have an obligation to plant the seeds for the conversion of the Americas once again to the true Faith and that our own country will become the Catholic States of America.
Although I don't really want to rain on anyone's parade, it is nevertheless true that this very day in the United States of America is indicative of the madness prophesied by Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832:
This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error," as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly "the bottomless pit" is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws -- in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.
Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice. We are in tears at the abuse which proceeds from them over the face of the earth. Some are so carried away that they contentiously assert that the flock of errors arising from them is sufficiently compensated by the publication of some book which defends religion and truth. Every law condemns deliberately doing evil simply because there is some hope that good may result. Is there any sane man who would say poison ought to be distributed, sold publicly, stored, and even drunk because some antidote is available and those who use it may be snatched from death again and again.
Every day is "thanksgiving day" for a Catholic. A true Thanksgiving is offered to God the Father through His Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in Spirit and in Truth every time a true bishop or a true priest offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The very word "Eucharist" means Thanksgiving, which is one of the four ends of the Mass (Adoration, Reparation, Petition are the other three). We are to give thanks to the Most Blessed Trinity at all times with every beat of our hearts, consecrated as they must be to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Our Lord Himself taught us that we must return thanks to Him for having been given the true Faith and given access to the Sacramental life of his true Church:
And it came to pass, as he was going to Jerusalem, he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off; And lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, master, have mercy on us. Whom when he saw, he said: Go, show yourselves to the priests. And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean. And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God.
And he fell on his face before his feet, giving thanks: and this was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering, said, Were not ten made clean? and where are the nine? There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger. (Luke 17: 11-18.)
How many times have we been made clean in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance? Why are we so slow to seek out true offerings of Holy Mass on a daily basis and to spend time with Our Beloved in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament?
We are to give thanks for being given the gift of the Catholic Faith and for being liberated from the falsehoods of the counterfeit church of conciliarism (and from all concessions to the false shepherds of that false church who have made their own accommodations to the false spirit of the world, the flesh and the devil). We are to give thanks for being given true priests and true priests in this time of apostasy and betrayal so that we can have true offerings of Holy Mass and the valid administration of the Sacrament of Penance, whereby souls steeped in Mortal Sin can be regenerated by the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Our Divine Redeemer.
We are to give thanks each day as Catholics for our parents, whether living or deceased, and our spouses, whether living or deceased, and our children and grandchildren and friends. We are also to give thanks to God for all of those who have been part of our lives in the past but from whom we are now estranged for various reasons, including the ecclesiastical crisis caused by the apostates in the counterfeit church of conciliarism. We must forgive all past grievances and offenses, whether real or imagined, as we pray to be forgiven for our own sins that others may still hold yet against us, praying fervently for a happy reconciliation at the General Resurrection of the Dead on the Last Day.
We are even to give thanks for being alive in this era of apostasy and betrayal as it has been God's Holy Will from all eternity that we be born and live at this time, meaning that there is work for us to do in cooperation with the graces won for by the shedding of every single drop of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces.
Indeed, it was on this day 178 years ago that Our Lady appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure in the Convent of the Daughters of Charity on Rue du Bac in Paris, France, to give the novice, Saint Catherine, instructions concerning the special mission of which she had spoken on July 19 of that year. Here is a brief account of the life of Saint Catherine Laboure and the apparitions that have led to some many miracles of soul and body:
The sound of the evening Angelus bells floated across the fields and vineyards of Burgundy. It was the second day of the month of May in the year of Our Lord 1806. In the little village of Fain-les-Moutiers a child of destiny was coming into the world, a tiny instrument of God, who would one day be the confidante of the Queen of Heaven to usher in the age of Mary. Her name was Catherine Labouré, the ninth child of a family of eleven.
The following day, the Feast of the Finding of the True Cross, the small child was baptized. All her life she was to have a deep devotion to the Cross of Our Lord. It would not be long before she was to feel the weight of sacrifice with the death of her mother at the age of nine.
Early one morning shortly after her mother's death, a family servant came silently upon the little one standing on her tiptoes, stretching upwards, impelled by love, until she reached the statue of the Blessed Virgin. As she leaned her head against the Madonna, the servant heard the child say: From now on, You will be my Mother!
Catherine received her First Holy Communion at the age of eleven on January 25th, 1818. From that day on, she rose at four o'clock each morning and walked several miles to assist at Mass and to pray for grace and strength before the start of her day's work. Her only desire now was to give herself without reserve to her dear Lord. Never was the thought of Him far from her mind.
By this time Catherine's elder sister, Marie Louise, had left to join the Sisters of Charity, and the little girl who had always been obedient now had to direct and supervise the homestead. She looked after everything: she made the bread, cooked and did the housework, carried daily meals to the workmen in the fields and cared well for the animals.
A Sister of Charity
Once, when she was in the village church, she saw a vision of an old priest saying Mass. After Mass the priest turned and beckoned to her with his finger, but she drew backwards, keeping her eyes on him. The vision moved to a sickroom where she saw the same priest, who said: "My child, it is a good deed to look after the sick; you run away from me now, but one day you will be glad to come to me. God had designs for you. Do not forget it!" At that time, of course, she did not understand the significance of the vision.
As is the European custom, Catherine's father invited various suitors to seek her hand in marriage and always her reply was: "I shall never marry; I have promised my life to Jesus Christ." She prayed, worked, and served the family well until she was twenty-two, when she asked her father's permission to become a Daughter of Charity. He flatly refused, and to distract her, sent her to Paris to work in a coffee shop run by her brother Charles. During the entire year spent there, she maintained her resolve to become the bride of Christ.
Her aunt, Jeanne Gontard, came to Catherine's aid and enrolled her in the finishing school she directed at Chatillon. Since Catherine was a country girl, she was miserable at this fashionable school. One day, while visiting the hospital of the Daughters of Charity, she noted a priest's picture on the wall. She asked the nun who he might be, and was told: "Our Holy Founder, Saint Vincent de Paul." This was the same priest Catherine had seen in the vision. Later, after much persuasion from her Aunt Jeanne, her father granted permission for Catherine to enter the convent.
In January of 1830 Catherine entered the hospice of the Daughters of Charity at Chatillon-sur-Seine. This was just after the Reign of Terror in France, where sacrileges were committed in the name of freedom. Licentious women danced on the main altar of Notre Dame. Even the body of St. Genevieve, the Patroness of France, was desecrated. Saint Vincent de Paul's body had been hidden, but four days after Catherine's entry into the Mother House, his remains were transferred back to his own church with joyous processions and ceremonies.
Shortly after her entrance, God was pleased to grant Catherine several extraordinary visions. On three consecutive days she beheld the heart of Saint Vincent each time under a different aspect. At other times she beheld Our Divine Lord during Mass, when He would appear as He was described in the liturgy of the day.
In 1830 Catherine was blessed with the apparitions of Mary Immaculate to which we owe the Miraculous Medal. The first apparition came on the eve of the feast of St. Vincent, July 19. The mother superior had given each of the novices a piece of cloth from the holy founder's surplice. Because of her extreme love, Catherine split her piece down the middle, swallowing half and placing the rest in her prayer book. She earnestly prayed to St. Vincent that she might, with her own eyes, see the Mother of God.
That night, a beautiful child awoke her from her sleep, saying: "Sister Labouré, come to the chapel; the Blessed Virgin is waiting for you." When Catherine went to the chapel, she found it ablaze with lights as if prepared for Midnight Mass. Quietly, she knelt at the Communion rail, and suddenly heard the rustle of a silk dress. The Blessed Virgin, in a blaze of glory, sat in a chair like that of Saint Anne's.
Catherine rose, then went over and knelt, resting her hands in the Virgin's lap, and felt the Virgin's arms around her, as she said: "God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world."
A pained expression crossed the Virgin's face. "Come to the foot of the altar. Graces will be shed on all, great and little, especially upon those who seek them. Another community of sisters will join the Rue du Bac community. The community will become large; you will have the protection of God and Saint Vincent; I will always have my eyes upon you." (This prediction was fulfilled when, in 1849, Fr. Etienne received Saint Elizabeth Seton's sisters of Emmitsburg, MD, into the Paris community. Mother Seton's sisters became the foundation stone of the Sisters of Charity in the United States.)
Then, like a fading shadow, Our Lady was gone.
The Second Apparition
Four months passed until Our Lady returned to Rue du Bac. Here are Catherine's own words describing the apparition:
"On the 27th of November, 1830 ... while making my meditation in profound silence ... I seemed to hear on the right hand side of the sanctuary something like the rustling of a silk dress. Glancing in that direction, I perceived the Blessed Virgin standing near St. Joseph's picture. Her height was medium and Her countenance, indescribably beautiful. She was dressed in a robe the color of the dawn, high-necked, with plain sleeves. Her head was covered with a white veil, which floated over Her shoulders down to her feet. Her feet rested upon a globe, or rather one half of a globe, for that was all that could be seen. Her hands which were on a level with Her waist, held in an easy manner another globe, a figure of the world. Her eyes were raised to Heaven, and Her countenance beamed with light as She offered the globe to Our Lord.
"As I was busy contemplating Her, the Blessed Virgin fixed Her eyes upon me, and a voice said in the depths of my heart: ' This globe which you see represents the whole world, especially France, and each person in particular.'
"There now formed around the Blessed Virgin a frame rather oval in shape on which were written in letters of gold these words: ' O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.' Then a voice said to me: ' Have a medal struck upon this model. All those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces especially if they wear it round the neck. Those who repeat this prayer with devotion will be in a special manner under the protection of the Mother of God. Graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.'
"At the same instant, the oval frame seemed to turn around. Then I saw on the back of it the letter 'M', surmounted by a cross, with a crossbar beneath it, and under the monogram of the name of Mary, the Holy Hearts of Jesus and of His Mother; the first surrounded by a crown of thorns and the second transpierced by a sword. I was anxious to know what words must be placed on the reverse side of the medal and after many prayers, one day in meditation I seemed to hear a voice which said to me: ' The 'M' with the Cross and the two Hearts tell enough.' "
The Miraculous Medal
The Mother of God instructed Catherine that she was to go to her spiritual director, Father Aladel, about the apparitions. At first he did not believe Catherine, but, after two years, approached the Bishop of Paris with the story of the events that had taken place at Rue du Bac. Our Blessed Mother had chosen well Her time for the apparitions as the Bishop at that period was an ardent devotee of the Immaculate Conception. He said that the Medal was in complete conformity with the Church's doctrine on the role of Our Lady and had no objections to having the medals struck at once. The Bishop even asked to be sent some of the first.
Immediately upon receiving them, he put one in his pocket and went to visit Monseigneur de Pradt, former chaplain to Napoleon and unlawful Archbishop of Mechlin who had accepted his office from the hands of the Emperor and now lay dying, defiant and unreconciled to the Church. The sick man refused to abjure his errors and the Bishop of Paris withdrew in defeat. He had not left the house when the dying man suddenly called him back, made his peace with the Church and gently passed away in the arms of the Archbishop, who was filled with a holy joy.
The original order of 20,000 medals proved to be but a small start. The new medals began to pour from the presses in streams inundating France and the rest of the world beyond. By the time of St. Catherine's death in 1876, over a billion medals had been distributed in many lands. This sacramental from Heaven was at first called simply the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, but began to be known as the Miraculous Medal due to the unprecedented number of miracles, conversions, cures, and acts of protection attributed to Our Lady's intercession for those who wore it.
The most remarkable miracle was the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne, a wealthy Jewish banker and lawyer and also a blasphemer and hater of Catholicism, in 1841. A Catholic friend, M. de Bussieres, gave him a medal, daring him to wear it and say a Memorare. After considerable persuasion he agreed to do so. Not long after, Alphonse accompanied M. de Bussieres to the Church of Sant ' Andrea delle Frate to make funeral arrangements for a dear friend. There Alphonse saw a vision of Mary as on the Miraculous Medal. He was converted instantly and immediately begged for Baptism.
Alphonse Ratisbonne later went on to become a priest, taking the name of Father Alphonse Marie. Working for thirty years in the Holy Land, he established several institutions. Out of reverence and gratitude to Our Savior, he built the expiatory sanctuary of the Ecce Homo on the spot where Pilate displayed Jesus to the Jews. So great was the love he had for his people, that he dedicated the remainder of his life, as did his brother, Father Theodore, to work for the conversion of their immortal souls. Among the converts of these two priest brothers were a total of twenty eight members of their own family.
On the last day of 1876, St. Catherine passed to her eternal reward. For the forty-six years from the year of the apparitions until her death, only she and her confessor knew who it was to whom the famous Miraculous Medal was revealed, despite many pressures she received to reveal the secret. The years passed by, Catherine performed daily her mundane and very ordinary tasks of sewing and door keeping, unknown to the world around her, which was buzzing with the miraculous effects of the medal. Because of this humility, she is often called the Saint of Silence. When her body was exhumed for beatification 57 years after her death in 1933, it was found as fresh as the day it was buried. Her incorrupt body can still be seen today at the Mother House of the Sisters of Charity, 140 Rue du Bac in Paris. (St. Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal.)
The words "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee" represent, of course, a foreshadowing of the solemn and infallible proclamation by Pope Pius IX of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception just twenty-four years later. Our Lady's apparitions to Saint Catherine Laboure began the modern Age of Mary as Our Lady was to appear once again, on September 8, 1840, in the Convent on Rue du Bac to Sister Justine Bisqueyburo, and then in La Salette, France, in 1846, Lourdes, France, in 1858 (ratifying the solemn proclamation of her Immaculate Conception), and then
Pontmain and Pellevoisin, France, Knock, Ireland, Fatima, Portugal, and Banneaux and Beauraing, Belgium. Many people were saved from a plague when they were given the then named Medal of the Immaculate Conception to wear. And, as noted in the account provided by Our Lady of the Rosary Library, the Miraculous Medal converted the Catholic-hating Jew named Alphonse Ratisbonne, who has the singular privilege of Our Lady appearing to him in the Church of San Andrea della Fratte in Rome, Italy, on January 20, 1842 (so much for false ecumenism!).
One of the greatest gifts that we can give to our children and our friends is a truly blessed Miraculous Medal. We must give thanks to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for giving us this great sacramental through the loving hands of His Most Blessed Mother--and for letting her give us the Green Scapular to help convert those who had strayed from the Faith or who had never been Catholic at any point in their lives. This is indeed the Age of Mary, and to be alive in this time in which Our Lady has appeared to us to beg us, her children, to pray her Most Holy Rosary and to do penance for sinners by pledging ourselves to her Immaculate Heart is a great grace for which we must give thanks constantly. Yes, my friends, every day is a true "thanksgiving day" for a Catholic.
The United States of America was placed under the patronage of Our Lady under the title of her Immaculate Conception in 1846, sixteen years after the apparitions of Our Lady to Saint Catherine Laboure and eight years before the solemn proclamation of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX. Our Lady, who was conceived without any stain of Original or Actual Sin, is indeed here to help us in this land of one "accepted" evil after another. We simply need to be heroic in spreading devotion to her so that all men and women will be converted to the true Faith as the fruit of the triumph of her Fatima Message.
We need to pray that all men in this country and around the world will yoke themselves to her Immaculate Heart by means of Total Consecration according to the forum la of Saint Louis de Montfort. There will be no talk of "rock music" or indecency or immodesty thereafter as we would never want to grieve Our Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart again by means of our sins and by means of being indifferent to the protection of sin in the civil law and its promotion and spread in the popular culture.
As we pray this day for the conversion of our nation to the true Faith, may we never be tempted to accept yesterday's evils as today's "norms." May we pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit, giving Our Lady whatever merits we earn by our prayers and sufferings and indulgenced acts and worthy receptions of her Divine Son in Holy Communion so that we can plant a few seeds for the birth of true liberty in the United States of America, the liberty that comes only from the work of Redemption wrought for us by her Divine Son on the wood of the Holy Cross in which she participated fully as our Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Catherine Laboure, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?