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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason

Boston Catholic Journal

Martyrology for Today



CRITICAL CATHOLIC COMMENTARY


in the Twilight of Reason



Mary, Conceived without Sin, Pray for us who have Recourse to Thee

 

Mary, Conceived without Sin,

pray for us who have recourse to Thee





 

Personal Sanctity …
all that is left in a World without God

The Church in Ruins following Vatican II - Photo Credit: Wikipedia

 “I 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 “modern sisters” and “nuns” …  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 60 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 one’s breath away. 
 

We 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 synonymous.

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 deem “patriarchal.” 

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to our loins, or more accurately, the loins of others — especially of the same gender — has supplanted, displaced, and superseded the numinous, anything authentically divine, and most especially, the holy.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 genuine.
 

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.
 

Personal Sanctity

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 offices “functional” things that could, in an instant, reflexively duplicate any of the above in need.

“Faith Communities”?

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.”
 

“Spreading our Tent Pegs ...”?

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”, they become, 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 to be conflated 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 me.
 

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 “Gospa”?

The “Seers,” 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 visit Medjugorje (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:

Before God 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.” 2

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-middle-age 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?

Personal Sanctity. 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 3 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 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.

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 has been printed following 1950, politely put it down despite the rave reviews of any nominally Catholic source, to say nothing of any secular source.

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, Schillebeeckx, Congar, Rahner, and Teilhard de Chardin — all voluble and nominally Catholic theologians — three 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?
 

Grayscale Memories

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 own.

Let us look at a few fundamental concepts with which we ought to familiarize ourselves if we are committed to persevering toward 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 Personal Sanctity.
 

·         Devotion 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 … 

·         Frequent, but Discerning (worthy) 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.

·         Recognition 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 Sins do.   

·         Devotion to Mary:   
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

·         Recognition 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. 9    

·         The Four 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.

·         Never Pass a Church without recognizing Christ within:
Gloria tibi, Domine! (Glory to You, Lord!), or “Laus 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.

·         Receive 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!        

·         Honor 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,

Love 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 passes away, and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will of God, abides forever.” 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.

 

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Editor
Boston Catholic Journal

   Printable PDF Version

Comments? Write us:  editor@boston-catholic-journal.com


 



 

Refusing to Call a Spade

Fiducia supplicans   spade

Francis Digs in on Fiducia supplicans 

“No one is scandalized if I give a blessing to an entrepreneur who perhaps exploits people: and this is a very serious sin,” the Holy Father said. “Whereas they are scandalized if I give it to a homosexual ...” 1

 

“Who perhaps ...”

If you are a theologian, you will call this casuistry, and if you are a philosopher, you will call it sophistry. If you are neither, you will call this nonsense.

What is Francis really saying here? It is difficult to establish — and that is precisely the point of his making this confusing and elliptical statement. We are not quite sure what he is saying. That he is attempting to justify blessing homosexual “couples” is unquestionable. No one doubts this.

It is a subtle argument because it contains unstated premises intended to lead to spurious conclusions. If we make these latent premises clear, his argument falls apart because it is false. Let us look at it:

 

Premise 1: It is not scandalous if I bless an entrepreneur who may exploit people

Premise 2: Exploiting people is a very serious sin

Conclusion: (therefore) It should not be scandalous to bless actively homosexual “unions”

Does anyone fail to see that the conclusion does not follow from the premises? That, in fact, the premises have absolutely nothing to do with the conclusion?

But let us be kind and pretend that premises 1 and 2 are true (which should yield a conclusion that is true, but in this case is not). Let us stay with the conclusion that Francis mysteriously draws.
 

“It should not be scandalous to bless actively homosexual “unions” because I bless entrepreneurs who may exploit people.”
 

This is the substance of his argument.

Notice the hypothetical that he inserts with (those capitalist) entrepreneurs: “may.” Even given his well-known animus toward capitalism, he is still careful to avoid a blanket statement calling all entrepreneurs “exploiters” engaging in serious sin.

And so he must, for when men behave as entrepreneurs, they may do so well and justly, or they may do so badly and unjustly. And this is further to say that being an entrepreneur, or engaging in entrepreneurial activities, is not in itself sinful, although the way in which it is conducted may be so. In a word, entrepreneurship, is not inherently sinful, although men can make it so.

When men, on the other hand, engage in homosexual acts, the sinful nature of that act is intrinsic: the sin is in the act itself.  Unlike entrepreneurial activity we cannot say that it “may” be sinful: within a clearly, historically, and specifically Catholic context, we cannot say that they may sin by acting in such a way — but that by acting in such a way they always sin. Without exception. It is contra legem Dei. There is no higher law to which Catholics can appeal. The laws of God certainly supersede the laws of the State or the perverse legislation of society.

In this case the proscription against homosexual acts is much like the proscription against adultery. It is not the case that it “may” be sinful. It is always sinful. Always and everywhere and under all conditions. Except in Amoris Laetitia

______________________________

1https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/256760/pope-francis-to-be-scandalized-by-gay-blessings-is-hypocrisy

 

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Editor
Boston Catholic Journal

Feast of St. Apollonia
Feb 07, 2024

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Cardinal Victor Fernández:
 

“The Mystical Passion:

Spirituality and Sensuality”

The Mystical Passion: Spirituality and Sensuality: a Profound Disfiguration of Mystical Theology

(from the back cover of the book)

A Profound Disfiguration

of Mystical Theology

It is embarrassing.

Academically as much as morally.

This is a book by a mature 36-year-old man that should never have been printed; not because it is lascivious (it is) but because it is the product of a mind that had no acquaintance with serious study and no founding in Catholic primary sources — a “cardinal sin,” if you will, of any author, especially a Catholic author who illicitly invokes the names of saints and in so doing pretends to adduce their support for a thesis that is not simply contrary to their writings, but is a caricature of them. This is damnable!

Fernández was not, as he also pretends to be, still a formative young man who later wrote “more serious” treatises on Mystical Theology such The Healing Force of Mysticism and The Transforming Force of Mysticism, neither title of which inspires me to believe that they contain any more mature theological insights than their “less mature” works, including Heal Me with Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing.

Fernandez's grasp of Mystical Theology is shockingly inadequate. Consider the following:
 

“[in] a kind of fulfilling orgasm in our relationship with God … God manages to touch the soul-corporeal centre of pleasure.”

Or:

“The mystical experience God touches the most intimate centre of love and pleasure…” [emphases added]

 

These are but two absolutely fundamental misconceptions, or complete distortions, of the very nature and possibility of mystical experience articulated by the sources he appeals to.

I have argued elsewhere, with clear and indisputable citations to primary sources that:
 

  • Sensuous negation, or what St. John of the Cross, [the First Doctor of Mystical Theology in the Catholic Church], calls the “Night of the Senses.” is therefore absolutely necessary to that union in which the soul becomes one with God.”
     

  • “In the opening sequences of Book One of the Ascent, St. John discussed the night of the senses relative to the will. There we found that the disparity between God and created nature emphasized the lack of proportion, of commensurability, between God and the soul in its relation to God through created nature, and in so doing demonstrated the inherent impossibility of a sensuous apprehension of God. And the conclusion, of course, was that if God is to be apprehended at all, he must be apprehended extra-naturally; not through a sensuous manifold accessible to the will — nor, as St. John will now argue, through any conceptualization available through ordinary understanding.” 
     

  • the contemplative must not defer to the senses; however credible their reports may appear. Moreover, St. John argues, in their tangible dimensions, these sensuous communications cannot, in reality, bear any proportion to, and are in fact the ontological opposite of, the spiritual reality which they purport to convey.”  *


What is more, absolutely fundamental to Western Christian Mysticism is the the notion of apophasis, the understanding of God by a negation of what He is not, commonly called the Via Negativa, or the Negative Way. Because of the ontological disparity between man and God inasmuch as God is eternal where man is temporal, infinite where man in finite, God is absolute where man is contingent, God is Uncreated Spirit and man created spirit and flesh who was created in imago Dei (the image of God) in time and not eternity, and we cannot predicate of God anything corporeal” for everything sensible and corporeal is eo ipso not God nor predicable of God since it is material, temporal and finite.

The absolutely contradictory and utterly incoherent notion of something that is “soul-corporeal is nothing less than an absurdity, and to argue that it can be radicated in some imaginary “centre of pleasure is beyond absurd. To understand, in any measure, God reflected, however analogically, in the completely sensual act of sexual climax is not simply bizarre, it is an utter failure to grasp even the most fundamental elements in Christian theology and philosophy.

More absurd still is that this less than pedestrian mind is directing the very office  — the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith — where the most mature and incisive intellect is required in making determinations concerning the very Doctrine of the Faith itself. That it should have been given by Francis to a man of such questionable character and limited intellectual ability is astounding! It is the highest office in the Church next to the papacy and should not have been given as a reward for loyalty, or as a favor to a friend and fellow-countryman with the same horizontal and anthropocentric agendum. The Church is far beyond the narrow and calculated reach of any individual who would fashion what is divine into the marred image of a man.

That Fernández has chosen to articulate this most superlative love of God for the soul and the reciprocal love of the soul for God, not just in sensuous terms, but in what is tantamount to the pornographic terms which he appears to use in characterizing love in any of its manifestations is not just “regrettable”, or even “scandalous” — it is, as I have said earlier and now say with greater vigor still, damnable.

 

Geoffrey K. Mondello   
Editor of the Boston Catholic Journal
and Author of       
* The Metaphysics of Mysticism  
A Commentary    
on the Mystical Philosophy of  
St. John of the Cross

January 12, 2024
Feast of
 
the Holy Martyrs Zoticus, Rogatus, Modestus, Castulus, and forty soldiers In Africa

 

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A Reflection on the Legacy of a Steward

Francis: the unfaithful steward
Francis, Ecumenism,

and the Divisions within us


All are Welcome, Except All the Children ...


Francis will diealthough we do not wish his death, nor the death of any man — but it is, withal, the temporal end of every man, pontiff or layman, commoner or king. Reflecting on this as Francis recently celebrated his 87th birthday, we are moved to observe something very simple about his stewardship over the House that the Lord has entrusted to him.

For 10 years now, Francis has attempted to renovate a House that is not his, but only placed in his care as a steward. The majestic facades, the incense-imbued silence within, dimly colored with the stained-glass light of a late afternoon; the soaring spires that proclaimed the great Triumph of the Cross abroad for all to see — these were not his to depredate: they belonged to God and to His simple servants who raised them to His glory through the coppers they gave and through the rough, calloused, hands that engraved every niche in stone by dint of a devotion every bit as indestructible as the tip of the chisel the stone yielded to.

Some of these Francis and his bishops simply tore down; others they emptied by consolidating them with other Catholic parishes who were equally bleeding parishioners and sold them to Muslims whose adherents grew as exponentially as ours diminished. Some were sold to Evangelical Protestants (especially Hispanic), others to developers who gutted them and turned them into trendy condominiums. And others are left simply abandoned and ruined. This was part of the growth spurred by the innovations of Vatican II that was supposed to bring the Church into the World but brought, instead, the World into the Church.

And the faithful fled, seeing little difference between the two.

Renovation

A far more destructive renovation is much closer to the heart of Francis, however, than the mere obliteration of what was symbolically holy in the external presentation of the Church. And it concerns the very heart of the Church: its Mass and its Liturgy. These were the two  greatest impediments to the holy grail of Vatican II: Ecumenism. And inextricably bound up with them were the Sacred Deposit of Faith, and Sacred Tradition. They had been quietly but indelibly preserved in Latin despite nearly 70 years of experimentation in the Vernacular Mass that somehow had promised, but could not deliver upon, an organic evolution of worship into something ecumenically acceptable to all men in all religions.

Perhaps the New Order of the Mass, the Novus Ordo constructed by Bishop Luca Brandolini and Anabile Bugnini,1 could still lend itself as the vehicle to a universal worship of God under the auspices of Ecumenism: each religion to its own god to be worshipped as the one, true god in Catholicism — but not in Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism, each of whom keep their respective gods without conflating them with any other god, especially the Catholic God. To use Francis’s dismissive term for Traditional Catholics,“indietrists2 are much too caught up in trifles like logic to enter emotionally into the “spirit” of Ecumenism where, apparently, the Law of Non-Contradiction 3 is not admissible and contradictory affirmations are compulsory.
 

All are Welcome ... Except All the Children ...

Certainly, this New Order of Mass, the Novus Ordo of Paul VI — unlike the Latin Mass — has proven itself to be extremely versatile and spontaneously creative, possessing nothing of that loathsome “ridigity” so detested by Francis in the “Old Latin Mass.” We have witnessed this spontaneity, this tossing off of the shackles of customary ritual in nearly every Mass; so much so, in fact, that we never quite know what to expect at a Mass the next town over if a Catholic Church still remains there. It could be a “Charismatic Mass” that could vie with, or even surpass in excess, any uninhibited Protestant Revival Meeting. It could be a “Healing Mass,” or a “Children’s Mass.” It may not even be in your language. It could even be an “Ecumenical Service” with your local Protestant Minister, Jewish Rabbi, or Muslim Imam. So many Masses we now have! Except Latin Masses.

“All are welcome!” ... except Latin rite Catholics. ... the unwelcome step-children of Vatican II ... the only children not allowed to “walk in accompaniment” with Francis & Friends; a “privilege” reserved to “other” Catholics, non-Catholics, and atheists alike. Francis's own rigid insistence on the Novus Ordo Mass to the exclusion of any Mass preceding Vatican II is, in fact, completely understandable in light of his determination to fulfill  the Ecumenical pledge of Vatican II: not just the unification of all Christians in spite of doctrinal, ecclesiological, and Confessional differences, but more ambitiously, the unification of all believers in some form of transcendental reality. This is a very, very, broad category comprising nearly everything beyond sensibility, and even sensibility is not categorically excluded. So understood, the term becomes so broad as to become almost meaningless. It is much like claiming to achieve an ultimate Hegelian synthesis that claims to reconcile all contradictions but cannot explain how, and so becomes unintelligible and therefore worthless.

This is becoming too dense for the casual reader so I will not pursue it. Nor should the casual reader regret the omission. Really, it is hardly worth it.

For Francis to scornfully dismiss those who are not persuaded that his ecumenical agendum is the principal reason behind his effectively abolishing and outlawing the Latin Mass (although he disingenuously — really, quite dishonestly — states that it is to preserve unity in the Church) is a failure in charity to acknowledge real and legitimate issues among the faithful concerning the very unity he pretends to seek while actively striking discord within it. For Francis to claim that he is trying to preserve unity through this autocratic move is both shamefully and manifestly untruthful. That the Latin Mass, together with the theology upon which it has been articulated, has been so forcefully repudiated by Francis is an indication of how desperate a measure he is willing to resort to in order to implement, or better yet, to force, an increasingly brittle ecumenical paradigm on clergy and laity alike. Pieces of that ecumenical puzzle that are not of Bergoglio's making either will not fit, or refuse to fit, however much force he applies to them.

A Happy Failure

It will be a happy failure that Francis could not, for all his intrigue and ill-designs, bring to an end what faithless princes and kings, heretics and apostates through 20 centuries had been unable to achieve: the destruction, and the utter removal from living memory, of the inextinguishable sanctity of the Latin Mass of All Times and All Places. .

It will be a sad epitaph for Francis in many ways, and history will not look kindly upon his persecution of the faithful in the very house given them and entrusted to him to keep them. It is all the more sad, not that he failed to keep them, or even that he refused to keep them, but that he sought to drive them out. Seeking to please men, he drove out the children. It is a tragedy of great depth. It is also one that calls for deep, even the most profound, prayer; prayer that must extend to the hand that strikes, as well as to the stricken, for none of us is without sin.

Listening to Christ, let us put aside all contention, and remember not so much what has been done to us, but rather what remains for us to do:

Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you.” (St. Matthew 5.44)


 

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Editor
Boston Catholic Journal
January 10, 2024
Feast of Pope St. Agatho
 

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_______________________________

1 “I can’t fight back the tears. This is the saddest moment in my life as a man, priest and bishop”, Luca Brandolini, a member of the liturgy commission of the Italian bishops’ conference, told Rome daily La Repubblica in an interview on Sunday. “It’s a day of mourning, not just for me but for the many people who worked for the Second Vatican Council. A reform for which many people worked, with great sacrifice and only inspired by the desire to renew the Church, has now been cancelled.” — Bishop Luca Brandolini (principal architect of the Novus Ordo Missae, or the Vernacular Mass)

2 Franciss Italian neologism meaning: backwardists.

3 Contradictory propositions cannot, at one and the same time, and in the same sense, be both true and not true, e.g.
   “It is true that the god worshipped by Muslims is not the same God worshipped by Catholics.
   “It is true that the God worshipped by Catholics is same the god worshipped by Muslims.
   “It is true that the God worshipped by Catholics is not the same god worshipped by Muslims.
   “It is true that the god worshipped by Muslims is the same God worshipped by Catholics.

 


 

The Queer and Impulsive God of

The Recreant Steward and the Captain of the Tower Guard

Fiducia supplicans

 

This “declaration on Catholic doctrine,” which is more properly an aberration of it — is Francis’s latest effort to appease a coterie of his most ardent supporters by attempting to legitimize “irregular” — which is to say, “sinful”— “unions” of actively-engaged homosexuals by invoking “blessings” upon them. It is effectively summarized in paragraph (31)

FS 31. “These forms of blessing express a supplication that God may grant those aids that come from the impulses of his Spirit—what classical theology calls “actual grace”—so that human relationships may mature and grow in fidelity to the Gospel, that they may be freed from their imperfections and frailties, and that they may express themselves in the ever-increasing dimension of the divine love.”

There are two very serious problems with this statement. Once concerns the manipulation of language, and one concerns a calculated misrepresentation of the notion of Actual Grace. Both are intended to mislead the casual reader, and to promote an agendum (specifically, homosexuality as acceptable to God and the Catholic Church — other supposed “irregular unions” implied are simply intentional distractions) that is not simply contrary to Catholic Teaching, but is militantly hostile to it.

Let us look at the first:

   “These [so-called “pastoral”] forms of blessing express a supplication that God
may grant those aids that come from the impulses of his Spirit …”


This is a very queer notion. First, God does not have “impulses.” Consider the definition of “impulse” from four respectable sources:

  • “a sudden spontaneous inclination or incitement to some usually unpremeditated action” 1

  • “a sudden strong wish to do something” 2

  • “a sudden desire to do something” 3

  • “a sudden wish or urge that prompts an unpremeditated act or feeling; an abrupt inclination4

Italicized above are all the words in each definition that do not, and cannot, possibly pertain to God.
 

What God is Not

  • God is never “spontaneous” [happening or done in a natural, often sudden way, without any planning or without being forced”]. He does not act with “out of the blue” spontaneity. Spontaneity implies a sudden change in God, but God does not change.

  • Neither is God ever “motivated:” He is His own cause: nothing “other” than Himself motivates Him.

  • Nor is God ever “inclined” to do something or anything, for this would imply a change within Him from potentiality (or as the Schoolmen called it, “potency”) to act; as it were, from His possessing something potentially but not choosing to actualize it, or cause it to be. But that would mean that the Being of God is not a pure Act, but has the potential to be more than it is — and this is not what we understand by “God”: that is to say, we do not understand by God one who can be more than He is and chooses not to be, for such a being, capable of being more than He is, cannot be God, for He would be less than He could be, and such a being we do not understand to be God.

  • Neither is God susceptible to “incitement” for the same reasons outlined above — still less to “unpremeditated action” (an omniscient, all-knowing, God cannot possibly possess anything “unpremeditated”, i.e. something He did not know or purpose).

  • Nor is God susceptible to “desires,” since He possesses all that could be desired in the possession of Himself.

  • For the same reasons He does not “wish” for anything, nor is He “inclined” toward anything, or have “urges” for anything. Even anthropologically understood, they cannot be predicated of God or in any way pertain to Him.

All these things pertain to the notion of “impulses.”


No Blessings Can Come from What is Not God

There are no blessings, then, that can possibly come from the fiction called “the impulses of his (sic, presumably God’s) Spirit,” for God the Holy Spirit, as we have gone to pains to demonstrate, does not have, and cannot have, “impulses.”

Furthermore, to conflate this illegitimate and meaningless notion of God behaving “impulsively” with the legitimate theological concept of Actual Grace is nothing less than an attempt at theological legerdemain (trickery). In a word, the connection between the two is spurious.

Perhaps the most succinct description of Actual Grace is along these lines: It is the grace given to the achievement of, and not enduring beyond, a salutary action that itself, as inherently good (for God will not and cannot give us grace to do something evil), and which is granted through the merits of Jesus Christ.

More to the point, it is an irreconcilable contradiction to claim that people living in objectively sinful relationships — or the sins that Francis, Fernández & Friends prefer to verbally sanitize as “irregular unions” — are, in fact, capable of receiving an actual blessing that will assist them in achieving an action that is neither spiritually nor naturally salutary or good, for the action (active homosexuality) is intrinsically sinful, and as sinful, eo ipso evil.

 Few appear willing to state this inescapable conclusion for fear of being “socially incorrect” or “hurting the feelings of others.” However, “hurting the feelings” of others so that their immortal souls may avoid Hell and attain to Heaven is an inestimably good act. It is an act of love, for love ever wills the good of the other and no evil.

Not on Merit

Since Francis is keen to discourage piety in Catholics (dismissing reverence toward the Holy Eucharist as an attitude of regarding it as “a prize for the perfect” 5 — as though any Catholic deems himself perfect) or filial adherence to long established Church teaching as “rigidity,” “backwardness,” and more 6,  we must hasten to add that the objection to a “blessing” of the sort proposed is not based on a matter of “merit,” since no one — absolutely no one — “merits” the grace of God in any form, Sanctifying, Habitual, or Actual. Francis cannot implicitly argue (as he did, concerning the Eucharist) that heterosexual couples (“proudly”) deem themselves meritorious of blessings (and are therefore unworthy of them), while (“humble”) homosexual “couples” recognize they are not worthy of them (and are therefore worthy of them). Why? We had just stated it: No one is deserving or worthy of them.

But for this reason, are we to understand that the notion of sin no longer applies to human actions? For this reason is murder, or adultery, or active homosexuality not a sin? How did we even arrive at the semblance such ridiculous argumentum ad absudum?

It is simple: the proposition — Fiducia supplicans — itself is absurd: that God can and will bless what is sinful and abhorrent to Him.

 

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Editor
Boston Catholic Journal

December 29, 2023
Feast of St. Thomas Becket

   Printable PDF Version

_______________________

1 https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impulse

2 https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/impulse

3 https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/impulse

4 https://www.thefreedictionary.com/impulse

5 Evangelium Gaudium 5.47

6 Fundamentalists [who] keep God away from accompanying his people, they divert their minds from him and transform him into an ideology. So, in the name of this ideological god, they kill, they attack, destroy, slander”, “narcissists,” idolaters”, “rebels”, “legalists”, “inflexible”, cf. https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/popes-rhetoric-against-fundamentalist-catholics-could-help-pave-way-for-act/

 



Martyrology for Today

Semen est sanguis Christianorum (The blood of Christians is the seed of the Church) Tertullian, Apologeticum, 50

 

ROMAN MARTYROLOGY

Wednesday February 28th in the Year of Grace 2024

Season of Lent


This Day, the Twenty-Eighth Day of February


At Rome, the birthday of the holy martyrs Macarius, Rufinus, Justus, and Theophilus.

At Alexandria, the passion of the Saints Caerealis, Pupulus, Caius, and Serapion.

In the same city, in the reign of the emperor Valerian, the commemoration of the holy priests, deacons, and other Christians in great number, who encountered death most willingly by nursing the victims of a most deadly pestilence then raging. They have been generally revered as martyrs by the pious faithful.

In the territory of Lyons, on Mount Jura, the demise of St. Romanus, abbot, who was the first to lead the eremitical life there. His reputation for virtues and miracles brought under his guidance numerous monks.

At Pavia, the translation, from the island of Sardinia, of the body of St. Augustine, bishop, by Luitprand, king of the Lombards.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

O
mnes sancti Mártyres
, oráte pro nobis
. (All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us, from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany of the Saints)

Response: Thanks be to God.

 



Roman Martyrology by Month




Why the Martyrs Matter



Each day we bring you a calendar, a list really, of the holy Martyrs who had suffered and died for Christ, for His Bride the Church, and for our holy Catholic Faith; men and women for whom — and well they knew — their Profession of Faith would cost them their lives.

They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church, and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short time longer (even the lapsi * only postponed their death — and at so great a cost!)

What would motivate men, women, even children and entire families to willingly undergo the most evil and painfully devised tortures; to suffer death rather than denial?

Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when the first flame licked at their feet, after the first eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized” in mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured over their heads? Why did they not flee to offer incense to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession would be merely perfunctory, having been done, after all, under duress, exacted by the compulsion of the state? What is a little burned incense and a few words uttered without conviction, compared to your own life and the lives of those you love? Surely God knows that you are merely placating the state with empty gestures …

Did they love their wives, husbands, children — their mothers, fathers and friends less than we do? Did they value their own lives less? Were they less sensitive to pain than we are? In a word, what did they possess that we do not?

Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to it in far greater measure than we do: Faith and faithfulness; fortitude and valor, uncompromising belief in the invincible reality of God, of life eternal in Him for the faithful, of damnation everlasting apart from Him for the unfaithful; of the ephemerality of this passing world and all within it, and lives lived in total accord with that adamant belief.

We are the Martyrs to come! What made them so will make us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What they died for, we will die for. If only we will! For most us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom, a suffering for Christ, for the sake of Christ, for the sake of the Church in a thousand ways outside the arena. The road to Heaven is lined on both sides with Crosses, and upon the Crosses people, people who suffered unknown to the world, but known to God. Catholics living in partibus infidelium, under the scourge of Islam. Loveless marriages. Injustices on all sides. Poverty. Illness. Old age. Dependency. They are the cruciform! Those whose lives became Crosses because they would not flee God, the Church, the call to, the demand for, holiness in the most ordinary things of life made extraordinary through the grace of God. The Martyrology we celebrate each day is just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small, sampling of the martyrdom that has been the lives of countless men and women whom Christ and the Angels know, but whom the world does not know.

“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”, Christ said to His Apostles: “I have given you an example.” And His Martyrs give one to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.

  • A Martyr is one who suffers tortures and a violent death for the sake of Christ and the Catholic Faith.

  • A Confessor is one who confesses Christ publicly in times of persecution and who suffers torture, or severe punishment by secular authorities as a consequence. It is a title given only given to those who suffered for the Faith  —  but was not  killed for it  —   and who had persevered in the Faith until the end.


Geoffrey K. Mondello
Editor
editor@boston-catholic-journal.com
Boston Catholic Journal

Note: We suggest that you explore our newly edited and revised De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus — The Torments and Tortures of the Christian Martyrs for an in-depth historical account of the sufferings of the Martyrs.

* Those early Christians who renounced their Catholic Faith in times of persecution. When confronted with the prospect of torture and death if they held fast to their faith in Christ, they denied Him and their Faith through an act of sacrificing (often incense) to the pagan Roman gods and in so doing kept their lives and/or their freedom and property.


 

Boston Catholic Journal

Totally Faithful to the Sacred Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome

Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.
(Apocalypse 3.8)

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