A Lenten Reflection on the Sequence
mirum spargens sonum per sepulchra regionum, coget omnes ante thronum.
the Deadly Sin of Presumption
the inauguration of the Second Vatican Council Catholics have
been illicitly assured that
dies goes immediately to Heaven
— no matter how sinful, selfish, and miserable their evil lives.
While this clearly is not true (or Christ is a liar) we encourage you
during the opening of this Holy Season of Lent to recall that the Dies
Irae was the ordinary Sequence for the Requiem Mass for the dead for
at least 800 and very likely 1200 years. It is a beautiful and sober
reminder of the imminence and inevitability of death. While Vatican
II abolished much that is good and holy, it was not able
to abolish death.
The one thing most conspicuous about this magnificent Sequence
is not so much what is PRESENT in its somber verses — but what
is manifestly ABSENT throughout this solemn chant —
the sin of Presumption — that is to say, the unwarranted presuming
that God must and will absolve us of all
sin — despite the absence of any penitential act on our part or any
evidence of genuine sorrow for sin. “All dogs go to Heaven”.
may be true of dogs, it is decidedly not true of men.
Consequently, the chant was peremptorily expunged following Vatican
II in the quite sudden and eminently convenient “pastoral” realization
that our now inexplicably fragile and effete sensibilities are incompatible
with Holy Scripture and 2000 years of Church teaching explicated in
the Dies Irae: that is further to say that the sin of Presumption
was necessarily abolished together with the Dies Irae
since both are construed to be inimical to “the spirit of Vatican II”,
which is to say the Protestant heresy of Ecumenism first conceptualized
by the “International Missionary Conference” held at Edinburgh
in 1910 and subsequently institutionalized by the Protestant World
Council of Churches in 1948.
In his determination to align the Catholic Church with
contemporary Protestantism Pope John XXIII (“Good Pope John ...”
of Vatican II infamy) appropriately established a “Catholic” replica
called the Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity in
1961. This, however, required a dialectic in which all competing and
mutually contrary religions are reconcilable — and the only possible
way forward was to abolish religious distinctions altogether, rendering
them superficial only — or failing that, to maintain that the widely
divergent roads nonetheless converged in the same Heaven — even
while the manifold and conflicting conceptions of Paradise itself turn
out to be both logically and mutually irreconcilable.
Here we enter the province of Mortal Sin — and the grave
sin of Presumption which permeates all post-Vatican II liturgies
and without exception pre-eminently characterizes them. Let us,
then, be clear about this deadly sin, together with the reciprocal notions
of responsibility and accountability inherent within it. In Catholic
theology no less than in moral philosophy a distinction is understood
to exist between what are construed as logical contrarieties. Some things
(acts, intentions, etc.) are good and others are not. In fact, we often
define the one through its contraposition to the other. Were all human
acts equally commendable and reprehensible, the world would be deprived
of rational order, specifically moral order understood in terms of good
and evil, meritorious and culpable, desirable and loathsome. The
very notion of responsibility would be superfluous, together with any
concept of accountability. Accountable to whom or what? Censurable to
what standard and answerable for what? It is not simply an amoral universe
of absolute indifference, but an illogical one. Such a universe would
not be sustainable on earth — why would we, a fortiori,
hold it to be sustainable in Heaven?
The Mortal Sin of Presumption is the presuming of God’s forgiveness of sin and His unquestionable
willingness — even irrepressible determination — to bring
one who has led a life of unrepentant — even vicious sin —
and who without the least compunction presumes God’s forgiveness
because of God’s absolute goodness and mercy: in other words, one sacrilegiously
anticipates (as the rendering of a justice due the sinner by
God) salvation — having done nothing to either acquire it or to repent
of the many sins that are invincible impediments to it. It is, in essence,
the depriving of the free will (a perfection) of God Who somehow must
(is compelled — by some incoherent and inexplicable agency
mysteriously superior to God — to forgive every sin and all sins — despite
everything His Beloved Son taught — and bring all men, Catholics, heretics,
apostates, schismatics, Muslims, Shintoists, Buddhists, Animists, Scientologists,
etc. to the same blessed abode where the one who despises and curses
Christ on the Cross and the one who joyfully surrenders himself in perfect
love to God, equally enjoy perfect and eternal beatitude.
The Sin of Presumption
It is the hope to gain Heaven unaided by Grace and
solely by one’s own natural faculties and abilities, together with
the absolute confidence that God will forgive us even our
most vicious and unrepentant sins, Mortal and Venial, because
He is abundantly merciful.
God’s mercy is abundant, but God’s mercy
is not infinite: were it so, no sin or offense would be
sufficient in itself to separate one from God and to merit eternal
separation from God in Hell. The notion of infinite mercy
also precludes the possibility of rejecting God, even
understood as all-forgiving-of-every-sin-and-every-kind-of-sin.
Were God infinitely merciful and all-forgiving, He would gather
together the sinner and the Saint alike in perfect and eternal
beatitude. Furthermore, there would be no admonition against
sin, for sin would not incur penalty. Moreover, it would equally
preclude an Eschatological Judgment — but Holy Writ clearly states
otherwise. One could commit idolatry, murder, adultery, theft, etc.
with impunity and — apart from the first instance — only be
answerable to, and punishable by, secular authorities and
mutable civil laws. In other words, Law — and Punishment
incurred by the breach of Law — is only secular in nature and
temporal in duration.
Such a conception, however, deprives God of the
divine perfection of Justice.
We may argue that such a conception of Heaven is tantamount to a Mental
“Field Hospital” (as Francis understands the Bride of Christ, the Church)
or we may simply resign ourselves to the flatus of Vatican II ... observing
nothing distinguishable between them.
Indeed, in the end we find that the Mental Hospital and the
“Field Hospital” are one and the same.
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
March 2, 2020
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by Father Thomas de Celano, OFM, (1185-1260) Translated by
William J. Irons, (1812-1883)
Tuba mirum spargens sonum per
sepulchra regionum, coget omnes ante thronum.
1. Day of wrath, O
day of mourning!
see fulfilled the Prophet's warning,
Heaven and earth in ashes burning.
2. Oh, what fear man’s bosom rendeth ,When from Heav’n the Judge
descendeth, on whose sentence all dependeth!
3. Wondrous sound
the trumpet flingeth, thro' earth's sepulchers it ringeth, all
before the throne it bringeth.
4. Death is struck
and nature quaking; all creation is awaking, to its Judge an answer
5. Lo, the book, exactly worded,
wherein all hath been recorded;
Thence shall judgment be awarded.
6. When the Judge His seat attaineth
and each hidden deed arraigneth,
nothing unavenged remaineth.
7. What shall I, frail man, be pleading? Who for me be interceding
when the just are mercy needing?
8. King of majesty tremendous,
Who dost free salvation send us,
Fount of pity, then befriend us.
9. Think, good
Jesus, my salvation
caused Thy wondrous incarnation;
leave me not to reprobation!
10. Faint and weary
Thou hast sought me, on the Cross of suffering bought me; shall such
grace be vainly brought me?
11. Righteous Judge,
for sin’s pollution grant Thy gift of absolution
ere that day of retribution!
12. Guilty, now I
pour my moaning,
all my shame with anguish owning:
spare, O God, Thy suppliant groaning!
13. From that sinful
from the dying thief forgiven,
Thou to me a hope hast given.
14. Worthless are my prayers and sighing; yet, good Lord, in grace
complying, rescue me from fires undying.
15. With Thy favored
sheep, oh, place me!
nor among the goats abase me, but to Thy right hand upraise me.
16. While the wicked are confounded,
doomed to flames of woe unbounded,
call me, with Thy saints surrounded.
17. Low I kneel with
see, like ashes, my contrition;
help me in my last condition!
18. Day of sorrow,
day of weeping,
when, in dust no longer sleeping,
man awakes in Thy dread keeping!
19. O, God, to judgment called are guilty men:
20. Merciful Jesus, grant rest unto them!
(Alt. Spare, Lord Jesus — in mercy spare them!
Day of Wrath
1. Dies iræ, dies illa,
Solvet sæclum in favilla,
Teste David cum Sibylla
2. Quantus tremor est futurus,
Quando Judex est venturus,
Cuncta stricte discussurus!
3.Tuba mirum spargens sonum
per sepulchra regionum,
coget omnes ante thronum.
4. Mors stupebit et natura
cum resurget creatura,
5. Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus judicetur.
6. Judex ergo cum sedebit
quidquid latet apparebit:
nil inultum remanebit.
7. Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
quem patronum rogaturus
cum vix justus sit securus?
8. Rex tremendæ majestatis
Qui salvandos salvas gratis
salva me, fons pietatis.
9. Recordare, Jesu pie
quod sum causa Tuæ viæ:
Ne me perdas illa die.
10. Quærens me, sedisti lassus:
redemisti Crucem passus:
tantus labor non sit cassus.
11. Juste Judex ultionis
donum fac remissionis
ante diem rationis.
12. Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
culpa rubet vultus meus:
supplicanti parce, Deus.
13. Qui Mariam absolvisti
et latronem exaudisti
mihi quoque spem dedisti.
14. Preces meæ non sunt dignæ;
sed tu bonus fac benigne
ne perenni cremer igne.
15. Inter oves locum præsta
et ab hædis me sequestra
statuens in parte dextra.
16. Confutatis maledictis
flammis acribus addictis
voca me cum benedictis
17. Oro supplex et acclinis
cor contritum quasi cinis
gere curam mei finis
18. Lacrimosa dies illa
qua resurget ex favilla
19. Judicandus homo reus
huic ergo parce, Deus:
20. Pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem.