understanding of its sacred dogmas must
be perpetually retained,
which Holy Mother Church once declared; and there
must never be a recession from that meaning under
the specious name of a deeper understanding”
Blessed Pope Pius IX, 1st
Vatican Council, S.3, C.2 on Revelation, 1870
Francis’s Ten Step
Program to Happiness without God
Not long ago,
ABC News enumerated the “10
Steps to Being Happy, According [to] Pope Francis”.
This is significant in two ways:
first, it provides us — at last — with
the erstwhile cryptic formula for being happy that had
eluded all the philosophers and all the oracles from
classical antiquity to the present. We are speaking here
of man’s ultimate ambition! His happiness! This is no
The second way, however, in which it is significant is
that this formula — articulated by no less than a
Roman Catholic Pontiff, as the means to attain happiness
itself … neither mentions nor invokes:
THE FORMULA FOR
HAPPINESS — according to Francis:
1. “Live and let live.”
2. “Be giving of yourself to others.”
3. “Proceed calmly” in life.
4. Have “a healthy sense of leisure.”
5. “Sundays should be holidays.” Spend
Sundays with family and friends.
6. “Create dignified jobs for young people.”
7. “Respect and take care of nature.”
8. “Stop being negative.”
9. “Respect others' beliefs.”
10. “Work for peace.”
No, this is not “fake news”.
You are not experiencing a psychotic episode.
Presumably you are not in a drug-induced state of
head of the Roman Catholic Church of over 1 billion souls, the fulfillment
of these 10 “steps” constitutes happiness. Contrary
to what the Church has taught from its inception over 2000 years ago,
for Francis, apparently, God is not man’s happiness. In fact, He is
not even alluded to.
“And no religion, too”
Does it sound familiar? “Why, now that you mention
it!” It is an enervated reiteration of the lyrics
of the Beatles’ John Lennon’s song Imagine.
You can find the lyrics
here . It is, arguably, the anthem of post-Christian
Different — by a Quantum Leap
Quite different, yes? … I mean, from
anything that you may have once learned (or heard rumor
of) from that “outdated” Baltimore Catechism that
put things in clear and unambiguous perspective,
distinctly Catholic, Scriptural, Patristic, and
relevant. Here, let us help you. Below are THREE
QUESTIONS concerning happiness, its nature and the means
of its attainment that vastly differ from
what Francis would have us believe to the contrary.
Question 3. Why did God make us?
Answer: God made us to show forth His goodness and
to share with us His everlasting happiness in
What must we do to gain the happiness of heaven?
Answer: To gain the happiness of Heaven we must
know, love, and serve God in this world.
6. Q. Why did God make you?
God made me to know
Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world,
and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven.
If you wonder to whom you should defer, we would suggest
that tens of thousands of Saints stand as a pure
testimony, often indited in the blood of martyrdom, that
happiness is to be found in God alone — to the
tedious meanderings of one man in the Church who appears
to find happiness elsewhere than God — when he ought
not, nor encourage others to.
Do we maintain that Pope Francis does not hold
that authentic happiness is to be found in God? Not only
is that implausible, but it is absurd — as many
utterances of Francis have been — and perhaps that is
why we find it so troubling. We merely observe that he
fails to mention it, or exhort us to it. And that,
given his office, is deeply troubling indeed.
Boston Catholic Journal
May 27 2017
Comments? Write us:
all that is left in a World without God
pray not for the world, but for them whom Thou hast given Me”
(St. John 17:9)
The corruption — on every conceivable
level — of the world and in the world
(and most pernicious of all, within the Church
Herself: her cardinals, her bishops, her priests, her Feminist sisters and
“nuns” … dare we say, even her present papacy!) — and especially
in the West (often, and accurately, referred to as the “Post-Christian
world”) — is nothing less than staggering. In the last 50 years
(unquestionably since the confluence of that socio-theological
miasma called Vatican II) we have encountered unprecedented levels
of what can only be called malignant decadence — spiritual, moral,
and social. It takes ones breath away.
HAVE LOST GOD
More accurately, we have abandoned
God in favor of ourselves — and as a consequence we have lost not
only ourselves, but our very identity, often painfully acquired
over the last 2000 years. We no longer recognize who we are
and what we are.
“Progress” and “the perverse” have become
We have become — for all the wrong reasons
— self-loathing: detesting ourselves and the patrimony of a Catholic
culture through which our very identity both as individuals and
nations had been articulated.
Many hate the Church and a significant
element within the Church hates the Church, remaining
within Her as a cancer in its host. Western Christian culture is
repudiated, ridiculed, and contemned as anachronistic, imperialistic,
homophobic, racist, and misogynistic.
Repudiating the true God as inimical
to our passions and perversions, we have made our own gods, and
they are many — in fact, as many as we are ourselves. Women are
taught — indoctrinated really — to hate men and everything they
Everything that pertains to our loins,
or more accurately, the loins of others — especially of the same
gender — has supplanted, displaced, and superseded the numinous,
anything authentically divine, and most especially, the holy. The
very terms have been relegated to the periphery of polite discourse,
when not entirely expurgated from it.
The world has fled God into the illusion
of a utopian garden that is a desiccated dessert. It is populated
by fictions and the rim of the horizon of our desires is the pretension
that there is an end called satisfaction instead of an endlessly
recursive vanishing point.
We find few paradigms of holiness in
this City of Man — sadly, not even among many of our priests, and,
more tragically still, even fewer among our bishops. To what, then,
shall we strive to attain in this increasingly lonely place we call
life without Christ? What vision are we presented, and to what end
are we called?
Mother Teresa, in an interview some years
ago, explained the obvious. Rational persuasion, logical coherence,
even the most impassioned homily will not bring a person to conversion,
to Christ, and therefore to the Church. One thing only is capable
of this monumental task: example; the example of holiness
that we encounter in others that becomes the impetus to emulation:
we want to be like them. And they are like Christ.
We are sadly lacking in example
as Catholics. How often do we feel compelled to say to ourselves,
“I want to be like her, like him!” when we observe an act, some
instance, of holiness that overwhelms us in its simplicity? What
examples, what paradigms, do we confront in our lives in Christ
that compel us to holiness? We must not confuse the exemplary
with the popular, nor must we confuse it with carefully orchestrated
events intended to inspire us. The exemplary is unrehearsed and
has no concomitant agendum that is concealed within it. It
is utterly spontaneous! ... and therefore, we sense, utterly
The Leaven of the World
What historical figures in our lives
as Catholics attain to this extraordinary state of the exemplary
that motivates men and women to imitation? To what are we
exposed that motivates us not to the common and ordinary, but to
the uncommon and exemplary? What do we see before us that calls
us beyond ourselves and beyond the gray and geometric sterility
of the world to what lies beyond it?
In a word, where is the differentiation
between the Church and the world, the common and the extraordinary,
the profane and the sacred? Let us be truthful and acknowledge the
obvious: the world has permeated the Church to such an extent that
we can no longer coherently differentiate the two except upon the
most tenuous of distinctions. Increasingly the agenda of the Church
is the agenda of the world. This is not the leaven
Christ spoke of. It is the leaven of the world; the leaven of infinitely
deep and unimaginably hostile places that we pretend do not exist.
First, let us understand this with complete
clarity: we cannot attain to sanctity apart from the
Church and Her Sacraments. We cannot become holy schismatics, that
is to say, apart from the Church which is the Body
of Christ. However sterile we have found it since the spurious
and self-promoting euphoria of Vatican II … however trampled the
Vineyard and however littered with discarded and never-to-be-revised
Roman Missals, Religious habits, Chapel Veils, Priestly collars,
Roman Cassocks, kneelers … even the centrality of the Eucharistic
Presence of Christ, and an understanding of the Mass as a
Sacrifice; however grotesquely crippled and contorted the
buildings we call our “Churches” have become — more redolent
of civic auditoriums than Sanctuaries, there … there
… abides the Living God, hidden in Tabernacles we often do not see
and only find with much difficulty. He is there! However
much we shunt Him aside as both an ecumenical and chronological
embarrassment, all the litter of what has been discarded cannot
conceal Him from us. He beckons us, and even under the most humiliating
circumstances, we can look upon Him Who ever looks upon us.
Apart from the Church, the
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, and the Most Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass … we can do nothing, become nothing, worthy of the
Most Precious Blood poured out for us upon that Altar. To
be holy we must be part of the Church for the Church, as
we have said, is the Body of Christ, and He Who is the Head of the
Body is God Himself. Christ Jesus. God Alone is Holy
— and it is He Who participates His holiness to us that we
may be, in the most clear way possible, what we were created to
be; what we essentially are, despite the filth of
sin that covers it, obscures it, and defaces it: the imago Dei,
the image of God Himself!
In this wasteland barren of spires and
empty of cloisters, ugly, squat, geometric and concrete, Bauhaus
pretensions emerged from the rubble of “clustered” demolished churches
(Churches without anyone left to worship in them
one of the many “successes” of Vatican
II). They are no longer grand structures striving to equal the soaring
Faith of men and women in heights contiguous to Heaven itself …
but stooped, square, economical structures that could as well be
mortuaries (or athletic facilities, commercial structures, municipal
“functional” things that could, in an instant, reflexively duplicate
any of the above in need.
Indeed, we no longer have “churches”
as such —
but in some paroxysm of needless novelty
we now have “Faith Communities”
only parenthetically “Catholic” lest
they offend broad ecumenical sensitivities, for are there not
other “Faith Communities” distinct from, if often antithetical,
even inimical, to the Catholic Faith? By a “Church” we immediately
understand something quite different from a “Mosque”, a “Synagogue”
, a “Temple”, or a “Kingdom Hall”. Understood as a “Faith Community”,
a Catholic Church is no different from any of these. In an age of
unbridled ecumenism are they any less “Faith Communities”
than our own, we implicitly, even necessarily ask, not just minimizing
but marginalizing the unique mission and commission of the Church
established by Christ upon Saint Peter? If they were established
by Muhammed, or Lao Tzu, or Martin Luther, are not such “Faith Communities”
equally acceptable to God in the sweeping logic of ecumenism?
If indeed they are, then the crucifixion of Christ on the Cross
is emptied of all value and meaning. He died for no reason if every
“Faith Community” is the way to salvation. His death was not necessary
in the economy of salvation: hence He died needlessly ... even gratuitously.
This, of course, is a scandal to the very Gospel He Himself proclaimed.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the
Father, but by Me.” 12
But in the malformed logic of ecumenism, even if other “Faith Communities”
despise the Triune God of Catholics and hold to other gods, are
they not equal expressions of man’s faith and legitimate
venues of salvation? In the “correct” atmosphere of post-Vatican
II theology, would we dare to assert that they are not? “All
roads lead to Rome” … that lead away from Rome —
and every paradigm of the holy, however contradictory, is deemed
legitimate and authentic, and the end of each is the same: Heaven
and salvation. Saint, heretic, infidel and atheist alike go to God.
The Catholic Church has no corner on salvation. She is now simply
one among many, and Christ erred in proclaiming Himself,
“the way, and the truth, and the life”,
and deceived us in insisting
that, “No man cometh to the Father,
but by Me.”
We are so damnably democratic … We must
“spread our tent pegs”, we are told, to be inclusive of all — even
if God is not. The strange thing, however, about “spreading our
tent pegs” is that the wider, the more inclusive, the more “horizontal”,
the lower the apex of the tent.
We achieve the horizontal at the expense of the vertical. We sacrifice
the magnificent height to accommodate the factious width. Ask any
camper. Even happy ones. Eventually the fabric rips and the structure
collapses. Most often in the rain. And in great ruin. The “stitching”
did not, could not, hold this multiplicity of opposing forces however
benevolent or brainless our intentions.
Accompanying this ecumenical impulse
was, necessarily, theological ambiguity. How, otherwise, hope to
bring hoped-for consensus out of conflicting doctrines? It is this
ambiguity that afflicts pulpit and podium alike in nominally Catholic
institutions. In matters of Faith, morals, and doctrine, it is rather
like equivocating on geometric postulates or axioms; or in mathematics
holding in abeyance quantitative relationships that are otherwise
held to necessarily obtain between integers. Much like Dostoyevsky
we reach a point where we declare,
“To me that 2+2=4 is sheer insolence.
I admit that twice two makes four is an excellent thing, but if
we are to give everything its due, twice two makes five is sometimes
a very charming thing too.” (Notes from Underground)
This is largely the state of Catholic
theology, and, eo ipso, Catholic homiletics. We are no longer
I repeat: no longer (for once, and for
a very long time we were … prior to Vatican II)
certain of just what Holy Mother the Church teaches, given this
priest or that theologian and whether it was Wednesday or Thursday.
“Officially” She teaches “this”, but depending on the audience She
or better yet, and to be fair, Her spokesman in the person
of a priest, nun, sister, bishop, pope, or theologian
proposes, or at least appears to suggest the contrary
or openly rebels against it! For the average Catholic layman or
laywoman, they: the bishop, the priest, the Religious, are the consecrated
symbols of utter fidelity to the Church, and for that reason it
is a scandalous state of affairs.
How then do we live our lives as Catholics — not post-Catholics
in a post-Christian world
How do we live our Catholic lives as
they had been fervently lived for 2000 years prior to the insipid,
diffident, confused and eclectic — and at times even implicitly
pantheistic — impulses and subsequent teachings that
emerged from Vatican II, an unnecessary Council which effectively
and efficiently tore down the edifice of Catholicism as distinct,
distinguishable, and unique? As a way of life? In other words,
lacking visible paradigms of sanctity, how do we go about living
lives of holiness amid the detritus of so much we once considered
sacred and that now litters the ecclesiastical landscape of the
Modern Church or the American Church or the European
Church — all of which are conflatable into one ecclesiastical
body that appears to articulate itself as distinct from the
Roman Catholic Church? In practical terms it is an increasingly
autonomous body. We see this most strikingly today in Germany.
Shall we go more frequently to Mass?
This is an obvious paradigm from another
and past generation. It once was true, but if we are remorselessly
candid, it is no longer so. How often do we go to Mass and
leave no more enlightened or fervid than when we had entered? Much
of what was distinctively and historically Catholic is no longer
there. “God loves you. The weather is great. You are all
going to Heaven (and your dog, too). Be nice. Shalom. Go in
peace.” If we
are honest we cannot leave fast enough.
How about the Sacrament of Penance — Confession —
... now called the Rite of Reconciliation
practiced face to face in a room with well-appointed and comfortable
chairs strangely reminiscent of a psychotherapist’s office? The
bulletin indicates that it is only available 45 minutes per
week or “by appointment” … as with a “therapist”. Frankly,
this is not much of an option, especially since the evisceration
of the concept of Mortal Sin (a term no longer in use because no
longer applicable) and the paucity of “real” sinners like you and
What about a Spiritual Director?
Good luck finding one at all, let alone
one who knows and will give you the mind of the Church
— rather than currently prevailing spiritual trends. Once again,
we effectively encounter, “God loves you. The weather is great.
You are going to Heaven (and your dog, too). Be nice.
Shalom. Go in peace.”
Perhaps we Should Go to Medjugorje to listen to the “Seers” of the
beginning June 24, 1981
— youngsters then,
adults now, some 34 years later — surely have an answer somewhere
in the thousands of appearances of the “Gospa” (Mary).
1 Make expensive travel arrangements through them to
(including hotels, meals, and even meeting with one of the “Seers”
themselves) and watch your rosary turn into gold! You will hear
much of the pronouncements of Vatican II validated by the Mother
of God Herself, such as:
all the faiths are identical. God governs them like
a king in his kingdom.” All sufferings are equal in hell; and Mirjana
quotes the Gospa as telling her that people begin feeling comfortable
in hell. … When the Madonna is asked about the title, “Mediatrix
of all graces,” she replies, “I do not dispose of all graces.”
Perhaps the “Gospa”
will reveal the way of holiness to you, although her track record
over the past three decades (and thousands of “appearances”)
has been uniformly dismal in the way of predictions and has led
to open schism with the local bishop who insists (with the Church)
that the “Gospa” and her six now-not-so-little-confederates are
not authentic (yes, despite the organized parish visits,
in direct disobedience to the Church, with your local priest
you can make a “pilgrimage” to a site condemned as spurious by Rome.)
What then? What is Left?
Apart from any organized
approach to holiness though the Mass (and the incredibly bad music
that is a perpetual distraction from it), or Confession (barely
extant), or sound Spiritual Direction (almost universally absent)
there is one venue, and one alone that is open to you in these sterile,
confused, contradictory, and tepid times in which the Church appears
as clear and distinct as a Microsoft hologram: the commitment
to personal sanctity guided by the Lives of the Saints,
rather than disaffected theologians.
“You are surrounded by a Cloud of Witnesses”,
we are told
who have gone before you and have arrived at genuine sanctity, at
complete and indissoluble union with God in Heaven. Let them
— by their words and by their example
— be our teachers who had taught and guided the Church for two millennia.
Personal Sanctity requires effort. You
must come to know the mind of the Church and authentic Catholic
doctrine and dogma. That is to say, you must be catechized.
“But I went to CCD!” you protest. “And what did you learn?” I will
ask. “Why did God create you?” And you will have no answer. In a
word, you learned nothing despite the expensive, glossy textbooks
your parents had to pay for, and which were far, far, more pictorial
than substantial. They were … trendy. Empty. Worthless. And even
back then, you knew it. Indeed, your CCD or Catechism teacher knew
as much about the Faith as you did. Catechesis has not been an important
agendum to your local bishop; even while it should be the most preeminent
as that upon which all things subsequent depend.
The Sixth Decade of the Second Millennium:
the Decade of Decadence
The Sixth Decade (the 1960's)
of the Second Millennium ushered in the unparalleled
destruction of every value inherent in, descriptive of, and
intrinsic to Western Civilization — and with a particular
vehemence the violent repudiation of the Church and the
profanation of all things sacred. Christ became a Flower Child,
ascended our altars, assumed the Lotus Position and taught us to
worship ourselves through self-gratification. Satiation replaced
sacrifice. In place of Holy Scripture and the 10 Commandments,
we studied the Kama Sutra and the 64 Positions. It was the
decade of decadence, the apotheosis of the self — and we have
never recovered from it. It was as if the maw of Hell
opened its putrescent mouth and vomited forth every abomination
before God, every perversion possible to man. So overwhelming
the smoke, that it entered the Sanctuary of the Church itself
... and still lingers, blinds and chokes. In the way of Her
sacred teachings, to use JRR Tolkien's words from the Lord of
“some things that should not have
been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became
In many, many ways the Church lost
the authenticity of its evangel as it clamored for relevancy in
an opiated, lost, and dystopian world. We see it in contemporary
theological writings, nominally Catholic literature, and
tepid teachings that lack the clarity, conviction, and passion
of a Church absolutely clear in its mission and resolute in its
tenacity. Such unambiguous literature is now rarely found, and
such utter conviction is rarely encountered in the
post-Conciliar Church, and most painfully, in the present papacy
What are we to do? Very clearly,
Immerse yourself in authentic Catholic
doctrine — and assiduously avoid anything, even with
(or without) an Imprimatur and/or Nihil Obstat that
post-dates 1950. The Imprimatur and/or Nihil Obstat
are no longer any guarantee that what you read is consistent
with the mind and historical teachings of the Church. Once they
were legitimate stamps of approval as consistent with the Magisterium
of the Church, but they have long ceased to be so. Open the first
few pages of any ostensibly Catholic book and look for the date
of the first printing. This will tell you much in the way of their
authenticity and reliability as instruments appropriate for the
formation of a Catholic Conscience. If it precedes 1950, politely
put it down despite the rave reviews of any nominally Catholic source,
to say nothing of any secular review.
In a famous line from the movie “The
Exorcist” (based on fact) by William Peter
Blatty, the elderly Father Merrin
warns the much younger Father Karras who is suffering a crisis of
Faith that, “He is a liar, the demon is a liar. He will
lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack
us. The attack is psychological, Damien. And powerful. So don't
listen, remember that, do not listen.”
By and large, Catholic literature dealing
with matters of Faith, Morals, Doctrine, and Dogma — either as pamphlets
or scholarly tomes had, prior to 1950, been carefully vetted by
competent Catholic theologians, priests, or bishops. They are credible
sources and remain so, although many have fallen out of print —
not from desuetude but as inconsistent with present and “popular”
Catholic thought, often percolated through Rogerian psychology.
The famous library at Alexandria
4 in classical antiquity was burned by the Muslims in 642
in an effort to destroy any book incompatible with the Quran.” Modern”
Catholic theology and literature has engaged in a similar enterprise.
Many of the greatest books in Catholic literature are now only available
on-line or through small publishing houses committed to preserving
genuine Catholic teaching.
Apart from this treasury of 2000 years
of Catholic teaching we are left with incomplete, contradictory,
and confusing doctrines, not of the Church, but of dissident and
disaffected theologians, priests, and would-be “priestesses” who,
in today's “inclusive” seminaries are the instructors of what few
candidates to the priesthood we have left following their decimation
by homosexual clerics. Richard McBrien, Daniel Maguire, Hans Kung,
and Teilhard de Chardin — all voluble and nominally Catholic writers
— two were collarless priests — are among the most eminent examples
of this theological dissidence, confusion, fiction, and heresy.
In their writings we are presented with a mixture of some truth
(to entice us) and many lies (to confuse us) reminiscent of the
stratagems of the demon in Blatty’s, The Exorcist. Where
is a Catholic to go to re-acquire an authentic Catholic identity
consistent with the Church and the Saints for 2000 years?
Many of us have them. We cleave to them
as to invaluable possessions, for they introduced us to an awareness
of the holy and of places other than Earth; to a belief in
things more profound than venal democratic institutions and more
enduring than perverse social issues. They opened the vista to things
eternal and resplendent in glory, to things holy that the world
could not possibly sully and debase because of the ontological distance
that separated them, a distance as great as sanctity from sin. They
are in carefully kept albums from a time of innocence, and inscribed
in the Family Bible placed beside a statue of Mary the Mother of
God. They are indelibly impressed in our memories; our First Holy
Communions, May Processions, the Baptisms of our children, and on
the memorial cards of those we love and who now live, please God,
in a place called Paradise, forever beyond this jaded Earth.
So How do We Get Back?
A soul at a time, beginning with our
Let us look at a few fundamental concepts
with which we ought to familiarize ourselves if we are committed
to persevere to Personal Sanctity. Once we have acquired these we
have the tools through which to articulate our own lives, whatever
our vocation in life, to accord with the mind of Christ and the
mind of the Church in matters dealing with the Faith, the Faith
that has been faithfully transmitted to us through the Deposit of
Faith, for what we are striving toward is nothing less than
Exemplary Holiness which itself is nothing more than
to Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
We recognize that HE is there, REALLY and TRULY,
in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. This the character of
exemplary Catholicism: the recognition of God Himself in the
Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity really and truly present
to us in the Tabernacle. Without His Presence, without Him,
the building we call a Church is nothing but a meaningless and
empty edifice. He is there! And He awaits you.
Anytime of the day or night. For the most part He is left alone
and unrecognized. We do not kneel before Him, but have the hubris
to stand as before an equal! Is that how you will approach Him
in the Last Judgment? We do not have the humility to genuflect
when we pass before Him, acknowledging Him … and yet we would
not dare pass a mere man we know without greeting him with some
gesture of recognition …
but Discerning Reception of Holy Communion:
You are familiar with the spectacle of everyone
going to Holy Communion as though there were no sinners in the
pews. This indiscriminate partaking of the Bread of
Angels with no Examination of Conscience prior to
approaching Christ in Holy Communion is itself a Mortal Sin
if one is aware of an unconfessed Mortal sinned that has not
been absolved in the Tribunal of Penance (Holy Confession).
In the state of Mortal Sin and not sufficiently cognizant of
the true and real Presence of Christ in the sacred species of
Holy Communion, it is an act of blasphemy and therefore the
death of the soul in conspectu Dei (in the sight of God),
for Saint Paul is very clear: “For
he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh
judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.”
5 Most often, apart from ignorance, the source
of this sin is the Capital Sin of Pride which refuses to constrain
us to conspicuously remain in the pews in recognition
of our unworthiness, through Mortal Sin, to receive Holy Communion
— when everyone else is. Even if Pope Francis in his Joy
of Love (Amoris Laetitia) deems it acceptable
in second, third, or fourth … “unions” … of those “living
in God’s grace”, adultery notwithstanding.
of the real Distinction between Venial Sins and Mortal Sins:
This is not the venue of a discussion of the distinction
between Mortal and Venial Sin. Suffice it to say that a
Mortal Sin must contain all three of the following:
(1) the matter of the sin must be serious, (2) one wills
to commit the sin, and (3) one commits the Mortal Sin.
A Venial Sin is not serious in nature, is committed without
a full understanding of the detrimental nature of the sin, and/or
is not committed with the total consent of the will. Venial
sins do not preclude participation in Holy Communion. Mortal
One preeminent hallmark of Catholic piety is the
love of Mary, Mother of God. Devotion to Mary is the sine
qua non of the fully lived Catholic life. Her place in the
economy of salvation is absolutely singular: she alone gave
flesh (her flesh) to the Word Incarnate. Hence
“every generation shall call me blessed”
6 She is our Mother. 7
of the Reality of Heaven and Hell
It is the Sin of Presumption to assume
that, as a matter of course, we will go to Heaven and stand
before the Beatific Vision of God eternally. Even Saint Paul
exhorted us to work out our salvation
“with fear and trembling.”
8 Despite the total absence and silence at the pulpit
of any mention of Hell, it is quite real and many go there.
Final Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven or Hell
In many old graveyards you will find the following
inscribed upon many humble markers: “Sum quod eris, fui
quod sis” — essentially, “As you are I once was,
as I am you will one day be.” Understand your mortality,
recognize the inevitable, and act accordingly. Remember the
distinction between “life” and “life everlasting” … however
it will be lived … in Heaven or Hell. Have always before you
the Last Four Things that will surely come to pass instead
of the present “popular” things in vogue with a Church that
has become heavily feminized in every aspect of its “Liturgy”
and social teachings.
Pass a Church without recognizing Christ within:
“Gloria tibi, Domine!” (Glory to You,
Lord!), or “Laus (or Gloria) tibi, Domine” (Praise to
You, Lord!). A devout Catholic always makes some sign of recognition
of Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar when he passes
a Church. This is accompanied by tracing the Sign of the Cross
on our forehead or over our heart. When this becomes instinctual
(as it had been prior to Vatican II) it will assist us in recognizing
Who abides there and for what reason. It is the instinctive
call to holiness.
Holy Communion on your Knees
Remarkably, this is no longer the norm in modern
Novus Ordo Masses. Saint Francis himself, it is said,
refused Holy Orders (becoming a priest) because he did not think
himself worthy to hold the Sacred Body of Christ in his
hands. You may be reproached by the priest in
your parish for not following the “approved posture” adopted
by the diocese or the USCCB. As Saint Peter responded to those
who discouraged his preaching the Gospel,
“Is it better to obey God, or men?”
10 For 2000 years Holy Communion was received
this way, and nowhere in the documents of Vatican II does it
suggest otherwise. Would you approach
Christ in less an attitude of humility and adoration?
Do not fear being scorned for what others may ridicule as your
“sanctimony”. It is Christ Himself you kneel before!
What thought of anyone else should occupy your
mind? For God’s sake get on your knees!
the Saints and Martyrs
They, not your Parish Council are your faithful and
eternal friends. If they are no longer honored in the present
Martyrology, honor them still, and invoke their aid and protection.
Remain in their company, who behold the face of God in
Heaven. It is the Company to which you are called!
Christ Himself promised us that the very
Gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. And yes, the
Church, as we limply excuse ourselves, is “made up
of sinners.” But it is also made up of saints. That
is our universal vocation: to be nothing less than saints, whatever
our earthly vocation. But we are not saints yet. As Saint Francis
famously said, “Let us begin. For up to now we have done nothing.”
Do not be afraid of sanctity. It is the very character of the image
in which you have been created.
Whatever the Church now suffers on earth
it has suffered before, if not on so vast a scale. And that is precisely
why your call to sanctity is so vital. You
must pursue the sanctity that the Church at present appears to have
lost, or spurns as too onerous … too “otherworldly” in this Age
of Man. You must be the sign of contradiction that
is the Sign of the Cross, and Him Who was crucified upon it for
you. You must be in the world but not of the world, for Saint
John warns us,
not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man
love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him. For all
that is in the world is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the
concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of
the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and
the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will of God, abideth
for ever.” 11
Spurn the world — and the empty love
and praise of the world! Keep all that is holy before you
and this day begin to dwell already in the Mansion prepared for
you by Christ before the foundation of the world.
Boston Catholic Journal
April 19, 2017
4 “In AD 642, Alexandria was captured by the Muslim
army of Amr ibn al `Aas. Several later Arabic sources describe the
library's destruction by the order of
Caliph Omar. Bar-Hebraeus, writing
in the 13th century, quotes Omar as saying to Yaḥyā al-Naḥwī:
"If those books are in agreement with the Quran, we have no need
of them; and if these are opposed to the Quran, destroy them."
Later scholars are skeptical of these stories, given the range
of time that had passed before they were written down and the political
motivations of the various writers.
5 I Cor. 11.29
6 St. Luke 1.48
7 St. John 19.26
8 Philippians 2.12, 2 Cor. 13.15.
9 St. Mat. 7.13
10 Acts 5.29
11 1 John 2.15-17
12 St. John 14.6
An invaluable source for historically authentic Catholic teaching
including the writings of the Church Fathers can be found
The indispensable Baltimore Catechism — universally
used by the Catholic Church until it was discontinued following
Vatican II can be found (and downloaded as a PDF) at:
. It presents a clear, concise, and readily understandable
presentation of our Holy Catholic Faith. We encourage you
to explore it.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The Face of Hope in a Disintegrating Church
“More and more voices of high-ranking prelates
stubbornly affirm obvious doctrinal, moral
and liturgical errors that have been
condemned a hundred times, and work to demolish
the little faith remaining in the people of
The Board is set and
the Pieces are in place. Francis
made the opening move ... and it was catastrophic.
Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, responded
with a move that has compromised all the bishops. He openly
uttered the obvious to nearly every Catholic outside the
Continent of Africa: it is probable that most high-ranking
members of the world-wide episcopacy — cardinals, archbishops,
bishops, prelates, primates, metropolitans, episcopal vicars
— have effectively lost their faith, succumbed to the World,
the Flesh, and the Devil and remain only nominally
— and determined to erase even the memory of Catholicism
as it had been practiced for 2000 years prior to Vatican
II ... and Pope Francis (who is likely to exile Cardinal
Sarah in the way he has callously dismissed every
voice of opposition to his regime of progression ad infinitum
and ad absurdam).
the word is out! And who can take it back?
with a straight face, can say
No one in America or Canada or England. No one in Europe.
In fact, no one outside Africa and Asia. We let them pretend
to be holy when their words and deeds were blatantly and
unapologetically perfidious. We did not raise our voice
against them because they knew that genuinely faithful Catholics
were taught to revere them and make every implausible excuse
for their dereliction. Heretical bishops and theologians
are a dime a dozen. But still we pretended that they were
to cover our own shame for their scandalous behavior, disobedience,
delinquency and turpitude — which none in higher authority
reproached or redressed.
Corpus ... Postquam
We have watched them solemnly process into the conclave
or the synod(s) — after feverishly assembling their own
“schema” to subvert anything authentically Catholic: somber,
grave faces of men who relished their image of stern sobriety
... until the doors were closed. The dissection of doctrine
then proceeded and the vivisection of morals. The body of
Holy Mother Church was barely left intact ... and barely
Cardinal Robert Sarah! Not until the last drop of Faith
has been exsanguinated from the Body will these men rest
to demolish the little faith remaining in the people of
What a staggering statement!
habet aures audiendi, audiat!”
(Saint Matthew 11.15)
03 April 2017
Boston Catholic Journal
April 3, 2017
“Hello. You are my project and I am your
artist. You are the “medium” of
my art, much as paint is to some artists and clay to others,
and I will fashion you into something of my liking. Is that
okay with you? You will admire my finesse and I’ve had lots
of practice. Did I tell you that I went to school for this?
No kidding; I got a BA in Art with a specialty in “accompaniment.”
Never heard of it? It’s new. Very fashionable in Rome. I
will follow you around and teach you some things to make
you appear to be Catholic and okay with God; kinda
smooth out the rough edges of the “sin”-thing so that you
will be comfortable with it now and do what other Catholics
do who, unlike you, at the moment are not in a state
of mortal sin.
Of course they are sinners, too, but at
the moment they are not sinning by living in adultery
as you now are in your second (or is this your third?) “marriage”.
No big deal. Like Francis said, who are we to judge anyway?
What is more, the pope has recently concluded that we
cannot really be sure about sin in any event because
of what he calls the “Internal Forum” — your conscience
really. It may be telling you that something is not
a sin for you, even if the 10 Commandments
say it is before God and for everyone else, unless, of course,
their “internal Forum” tells them it’s okay for them,
too. Got it?
“In life, shades of gray predominate”,
Francis told us, so nothing is clear and there is no need
to beat yourself up for something that may, in fact, be
“good” and “wholesome” and “positive” according to Francis—
despite appearances and connotations to the contrary. Clear
on that? The thing is, I’ve got to accompany you and show
you that what you may think is wrong really isn’t
any more, especially if it’s making you uncomfortable or
Of course as an ARTIST of ACCOMPANIMENT, in
order to have the “stuff” of my art to work with, you will
have to tell me some, well, deeply private things, possibly
salacious things, but hey, that’s art. I am NOT a voyeur.
I am an
As one Dominican journal gushes,
describes the bedside manner needed in the art of
accompaniment as “steady and reassuring, reflecting our
closeness,” and as having a “compassionate gaze”
(EG, 169). Some refer to this bedside manner, practiced
within welcoming and loving communities” 1
With a Sigh …
Conservative Catholics do not understand
this. They are into the manly work of evangelization and
conversion; not accompaniment, compassionate gazes, and
certainly not “this art of accompaniment
teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground
of the other.” They simply do not anticipate
that they, like Moses, will have to veil their faces because
they will radiate the lumen gloriae of the adulterous
and the sacrilegious subsequent to “accompanying” them …
after, of course, removing their sandals before
these demigods in accordance with non-existent canons
of the Art of Accompaniment that we can find in no college
curriculum (see Exodus 3.5 which Francis invokes
and 34.33-35 that we invoke).
The … shall we say, delicate … language
of “art” leaves them — conservative and traditional Catholics
— understandably uncomfortable, especially in the wake of
the last 30 years of pervasive pederasty in the Church.
And who, we wonder, will teach us to learn to
make “compassionate gazes” and how will we be graded
on our performance? Will such “gazes” be accompanied with
a sigh? Is that also in Performance 101?
If they hope to gain any traction in the “modern”
Church they need to be slick like us, saying things no one
really grasps and using ambiguous words which have no substance.
Francis and Kasper are “Artists” to be sure … Conservatives
just don’t have the “stuff” to be artists. Too few theta
waves. Indeed, does the Church need more “Artists” as Francis
“The Church will have to initiate
and laity—into this ‘art of accompaniment’
which teaches us to remove our sandals
before the sacred ground of the other
(cf. Ex 3:5).” (Apostolic Exhortation,
Evangelii Gaudium, 169)
For every Catholic
She already has an abundance of “Ministries” (EXTRAORDINARY
Eucharistic Ministers, Music Ministers, Youth Ministers,
Hospitality Ministers, Community Service Ministers — Shawl-Making,
Greeting, Lectors, Prayer, — virtually every activity
at church anoints one a Minister).
And now a superabundance of “Artists”?
After all, according to Francis, each of us will have to
be “initiated”, not into a Sacrament, but into
an Art. We will practice art, and therefore be
Every Catholic an “Artist” and a Practitioner of the Art?
(yet a new, but universal Ministry!)
Is this our new vocation? If we are all Practitioners
chasing the lost, who are the remaining sheep? Are they
not Practitioners, too?
Did you just think “circular”? Did you just visualize a
dog chasing its own tail?
The Church needs more sanctity — not artists. More priests
and fewer ministers. More Catholics and fewer Practitioners.
“Ecce enim regnum Dei intra vos est!”
(Saint Luke 17.21)
Boston Catholic Journal
24 March 2017
We must mightily strive to forever preserve intact and
to protect the Sacred Deposit of Faith, and the
indefectibly Authentic Teachings and Magisterium
entrusted by Almighty God to the Holy Catholic Church
which no man — or group of men — can change,
alter, cancel, abrogate, diminish or attenuate!
Salvation of Souls
Whatever became of this most Fundamental
indeed, the very reason for the establishment and
existence of the Church?
is unlikely that the vast,
indeed, the overwhelming majority of today’s Catholics
have not so much as heard of this phrase as old as the
Church itself; certainty, not in English — and with
greater certainty still, not from the pulpit. The very
concept of “the salvation of the soul” appears
to be non grata in homiletics for quite nearly
50 years (corresponding, unsurprisingly, to the implementation
of Vatican II) — despite the fact that the imperative
itself is clearly and unambiguously codified as the
supremus lex (the supreme law) in Canon Law (1752):
animarum supemus lex esto” — the salvation of
the supreme law in the Church.”
It is nothing less than the sole reason
for the Incarnation … the Suffering,
Crucifixion, Death, and
Resurrection … of Christ: the salvation
Christ as Savior; Christ as Redeemer, cannot be understood
apart from this most fundamental and utterly simple
concept: He came to save souls — not to
heal bodies (although He did), not to rectify injustices,
not to rehabilitate politics, not to instruct us on
economics, and certainly not save the environment.
He came with only two purposes that are really one:
To do the will of the Father
And the will of the Father is this: to save souls
for all eternity in Heaven (and in so doing,
to deliver them from Hell).
It is really that simple; in fact, so simple that it
eludes us in our pretensions to sophistication, and
our preferences for sophistry.
For 2000 years the mission of the Church (and its
raison d’etre , the very reason for its being) could
be summed up in two words instantiating that same beautiful
simplicity: “Salus animarum — the Salvation
of souls”. Through Christ in the Sacraments
this is its sole mission.
The Church has no other mandate from
Christ. Even healing the sick, raising the dead, delivering
men from demonic possession, and all that He taught
in the Sermon on the Mount were means only to
the principle end: the salvation of the soul.
Christ Himself emphatically asks:
“What does it profit a man to
gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
(St. Matthew 16.26).
The purpose of all that He said and did
was always eschatological, that is to say, pertaining
to the Four Last Things:
Everything else pales in significance. Two come once
only, and two are at once everlasting.
To pretend that we really do not fully understand what
Christ was talking about, and which He proclaimed in
the clearest terms, is just that: pretension.
We know very well what Christ said and did — but to
our own devious and often deviant ends, we assume an
air of erudite perplexity concerning them:
“Despite what He appears to say; indeed actually
says — this is what He really
means …” What follows seldom has anything to do with
what He means. And we recognize it.
own interpretation merely
accords with what we wish He had said,
for this would provide us with excuses for our sins
or alternatives for His extremely unsettling pronouncements.
We go from the reality of: “If only He had
said …” to the fiction: “This is what He
really means … because I am much more comfortable
with this interpretation — which, rather coincidentally,
allows me to continue in sin.” In short, it
is nothing more than wishful thinking, because they
cannot both be true.
However contradictory to what Jesus and His Apostles
really said and taught, we choose to believe another
narrative, however factitious; a simulacrum that borrows
the vocabulary of the real but with connotations
utterly incongruous with it. It is disingenuous, a sham.
There is a pathos of similitude but the depiction is
counterfeit. We have not entered the mythical: we have
fabricated it. Shamelessly. It pleases us … and this
is the first clue that it is deceptive. We have both
an aversion and an affinity for the truth. It is the
patrimony of our broken heritage from the beginning.
We ineluctably desire the true, but when it indicts
us we demur from it; unable to accommodate both we resort
to dissimilation, to a semblance of the real that is,
despite our collusion with pretensions, a defection
from it. Hence our penchant for comfortable and spurious
For all our carefully fabricated allusions to what Christ
really said and meant, we know
the truth — because He is the Truth Who
does not deceive nor can be deceived. We are not
pleased with all He said, especially concerning things
that frighten us because they describe us
… and convict us — and we know it!
Despite this, we insist that so many
vitally important things that Jesus clearly uttered
are nevertheless not true — because
they are not “inclusive” and do not accord
with our delicate post-modern sensitivities that any
real deity would surely ascribe to. That some,
perhaps many, are left in “outer darkness", excluded
from Heaven because of their depravity and perversion,
their penchant for sin and their obstinate predilection
for evil, is unacceptable to our presently enlightened
humanity. The list of our objections would be too long
to enumerate and ultimately too tedious. Let us be satisfied
with a few:
The Short List:
Not everyone goes to Heaven (St.
People — indeed, many people — go to Hell (St. Matthew
Hell is a real place of punishment, torment, and
eternal suffering beyond our comprehension. It is
the abode of the devil and demons. It is eternal
and eternally devoid of any hope. (St. Matthew 5.29-10;
Luke 16:19-31, 13.42; 25.41; St. Mark 9:42-44 etc.)
No one “goes to the Father” — enters Heaven — except
though Christ (St. John 14:6)
If you deny Him before men on earth, He will deny
you before His Father in Heaven (Matthew 10:33)
Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord!” will enter
the Kingdom of Heaven (St. Matthew 7:21)
Not any and every religion will bring you to Heaven
(St. John 6.26-70)
Being a “nice person” does not suffice to bring
you to Heaven or exempt you from Hell (St. Matthew
5.20; St. Mark 16.15-16)
Such pernicious nonsense has no place in our mythologized
concept of God. We will have Heaven …
“dammit" ... but on our
terms — despite what Jesus Christ says
… much to our consternation, and quite likely to our
damnation. We prefer other interpretations;
more comfortable and convenient exegeses ... and sadly
For my part, fool that I am, I will take Christ at His
word. In fact, I stake my life on it.
Boston Catholic Journal
Printable PDF Version
Comments? Write us: