Tag: apostasy

Science Doubted

Science Doubted posted in Eleison Comments on March 6, 2021

Few people today still call in question the priority of science when it comes to providing us men with a happy world and the good life. Replace religion with science and materialism, said the Protocols of the Sages of Sion (EC 699), as though science and materialism solve all problems of life. The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) needed four causes to analyse reality: purpose, maker, form and material, but modern man has effectively rubbed out the final cause or purpose and the efficient cause or maker, no doubt because both of these lead in reality to God, who is not thus needed for a thing’s intrinsic form or matter. And from Galileo (1564–1642) onwards, “science” has been more and more godless.

However, the wisdom of Shakespeare (1564–1616) recognised that there was more in Heaven and earth than there was in Horatio’s philosophy (Hamlet I), and Germany’s greatest writer, Goethe (1749–1832), knew that there was a superior knowledge of Nature to that of science, a knowledge which seized Nature’s inner spirit. Another contemporary, the English poet William Wordsworth (1770–1850), was also aware at the turn from the 18th to the 19th centuries that mankind was taking with the industrial revolution and the promotion of the physical sciences, a direction which in some respects was not progressing but regressing: as the mastery of matter was advancing, so the mastery of spirit was receding. One of Wordsworth’s disciples was the famous Catholic convert and writer of popular spiritual books, Fr. William Faber (1814–1863). Wordsworth never converted himself, but he bore Catholic fruit. Here is a famous sonnet of his on the anti-spiritual modern world:—

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Modern shopping!

Little we see in Nature that is ours; What do suburbanites know of Nature?

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; Wordsworth himself spent a very happy

The winds that will be howling at all hours, childhood amid the delights of Nature in

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; the Lake District in North England.

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be He cries out that he would rather be a

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; pre-Christian than a post-Christian, for at

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, least his belief in pagan gods would give

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; him some sense of union with the glorious

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; spectacle of Nature in front of him.

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn. As it is, he feels only “forlorn” – burnt out.

As a rule, suburbanites do not like poetry and their vile media will write it out like prose if they can. To say what they have to say, poets as such take the extra trouble to say it with rhyme and rhythm, and that mere fact is enough to suggest that there is more to life than just materialistic suburbs. But most suburbanites are content with their materialism and prefer not to be reminded of its deficiency. And so love of Nature turns into skiing and speedboats, while poetry is discredited, discounted, waiting to be revived by a revaluing of things spiritual. That will come, but it depends on the Catholic Church. Man is enough to pull Nature and himself down, but only God can lift either of them back up. Fr. Faber showed the way. He at least did not end up forlorn.

Kyrie eleison.

Second Flood

Second Flood posted in Eleison Comments on January 30, 2021

Repeat, the main player in the worldwide Covid drama unfolding all around us is Almighty God, no less. Of course He plays no part in the multitudinous sins involved, as sins, but it is He who created the universe and who sustains in existence what He created for every moment that it exists, without which it would collapse back into nothingness. And for what purpose did He create it? To populate His heaven with rational creatures, angelic or human, who will have made use of their God-given existence and free-will to choose, on God’s terms, to take up His offer of eternal bliss with Him in His heaven. And with a divine wisdom far above all human understanding, He so manages all life here on earth that every human soul reaching the age of reason has not only trials enough to make sure that it loves Him enough to deserve heaven, but also actual grace enough to make sure that it can get to heaven if it wants.

Therefore it is God who is ultimately directing what we can call this collapse of the West, just as He directed the Flood in the time of Noah, to punish sinful mankind, and to prevent it from populating hell instead of heaven. In fact the punishment was also a great mercy, because all mankind had “corrupted its ways” (Genesis VI, 11–12), so that no doubt a great mass of men were on their way to eternal damnation and succeeding – like today – in taking virtually everybody with them. Such had been the effect of original sin, over the approximately one thousand years since Adam and Eve. But as men progressively realised that the rising waters of the Flood were going to leave them no escape, so a minority of them will have profited by the waters’ slow rise to make an act of contrition sufficient to save their souls for eternity. Ask any of those souls, now in heaven, if the Flood was not a huge act of God’s mercy!

Similarly today. Mankind has corrupted its ways, all over the earth, with Western materialism, and worse than in Noah’s time, because this time the Incarnation has taken place, and after profiting from it for a while, this time men have spurned not only God but even the Incarnate God, visibly crucified for them, to endow them with a Church to help them to save their souls. Yet this time even His own churchmen have virtually spurned Him, ever since Vatican II. We are now 56 years on from the end of Vatican II, and the corruption is galloping forwards. Now, can anyone accuse God of having been in a hurry to strike, in the way He struck in 2020? Hardly. Or can anyone say He started to strike with a heavy hand? Hardly, when one thinks of the misfortunes like complete economic crashes or civil wars or famines announced for the years soon to come? And if and when these do come, by the malice of men and only by the permission of God, who will be able to say they were undeserved?

Yet God is patient with each single one of us, and His mercy endures for ever, only, He must strike and go on striking hard enough until we learn our lesson and even only begin to think again of getting to heaven. For with all too many of us the lesson, however hard, will be arriving too late, and will give rise only to curses, against Him, against our fellow-men, against life, against politicians, against anybody except the one person truly responsible for my own distress, and that will be – myself.

Therefore in everything that is coming I will see the (sinless) hand of God, and I will get on my knees to pray to Him to have mercy upon us poor sinners. Men can no longer clean up their mess, they can only make it worse. With the grace of God I will have compassion on them all, and I will do what I can do, to help them to save their souls, but from God alone will I expect true solutions. And He at least will have the wisdom and power to be directing all for the best, that much I know in advance.

Kyrie eleison.

Madiran – 6 Propositions

Madiran - 6 Propositions posted in Eleison Comments on November 28, 2020

From the Prologue of Jean Madiran’s book The Heresy of the 20th Century, presented briefly in #of these “Comments” eight weeks ago, readers may remember Madiran’s own dismissal of the heresy concerned as being “night, emptiness, and nothingness.” Nevertheless that heresy has had in the aftermath of Vatican II, and up till today, a devastating power to wreck the Catholic Faith, liturgy, Church and souls as they were before the Council, and so Madiran gives to his readers some account of the “nothingness.” This account he presents in Parts III, IV and V of his book, where he analyses seven main Propositions of the heresy, culled by himself from writings of Bishop Schmitt, whom Madiran credits with having brought into focus the devastating nothingness of the new Conciliar religion. Here in heavy type are all seven Propositions in order, followed by a brief summary of Madiran’s comments.

1 Today’s changing world imposes a change in the very concept of salvation brought by Christ,

2 and it shows that the Church’s idea of the plan of God was, up till now, not evangelical enough.

3 Faith listens to the world.

4 Socialisation is not only an ineluctable fact of world history. It is also a grace.

5 No age before ours has ever been able better to grasp the Gospel ideal of brotherhood practised.

6 In a world turned towards the future, Christian hope takes on its full meaning.

7 Natural law is the expression of the collective consciousness of mankind. (This seventh Proposition is so devastating that Madiran will reserve for it all of Part V.)

1 The first two Propositions have already been analysed by Madiran in the preceding Part of his book, so on the first (P1) he merely adds here that it is the necessary and sufficient principle of the whole new religion. One could sum up: just as Catholicism is “all Tradition,” so modernism is “all change.”

2 P2 begins to spell out P1, i.e. it begins to specify what change is needed. Like countless systems since Protestantism protesting against Catholicism, it appeals falsely to the Gospel against the Church.

3 P3 makes clear that P1 and P2 have changed what believers are henceforth to believe in: as Catholics used to believe in God because He is God, now they are to believe in the world because it is the world.

4 And believing in the modern world means believing in its great movement of socialisation or collectivism, i.e. Communism, because not only is the movement inevitable, it is also a religious grace (!).

5 In other words “Christ’s salvation” (P1) and “God’s plan” (P2) have become merely words, kept as relics of the past, but with all supernatural meaning and reality emptied out.

6 Similarly all supernatural hope and striving for God’s Heaven are emptied out and fulfilled – better – by modernity. For never before in all 20 centuries of Church history have Christians so well understood Christian hope as we men of today, all straining forward together to the Brave New World Order (!).

Madiran’s final comment is to observe how all six Propositions hang together which he culled from Bishop Schmitt. Thus P1 is the springboard of all six. But why this mania for change, which is so clear also in all modern politicians? Because before the modern age, everything used to be based on, and to turn around, God. But now man rejects God. Therefore everything must be changed, (P2) with man instead at the centre, and (P3) with man’s world as the complete horizon. This centring on man (P4) cannot be reversed, but (P4) it is as good as a religion, and (P5) never have men been better suited than today to centring on man, or (P6) to looking forward to the human future of mankind. The synchronisation of this system with Communism is clear, with its elimination of God and deification of man. It will be even more clear with (P7) the elimination of nature and of the natural law. The summer riots in the USA were all about the final elimination of Almighty God. Lord, have mercy on us!

Kyrie eleison.

Daniel’s Prayer

Daniel’s Prayer posted in Eleison Comments on April 18, 2020

The Internet these days is full of commentaries and analyses, each more interesting than the last, about the corona-virus and the turbulent state of finance all over the world, but few of these commentaries touch on what is most important of all in this double – or single – upheaval, and that is what it shows of relations between all men and their God: world-wide apostasy. This is a huge crime, for which the corona-collapse is a punishment not remotely as heavy as the scourges that will follow if men do not return to God. But as things stand, a mass of His own Chosen People by Faith, the Catholics, are gladly following Vatican II, because it loosened the old discipline and enabled them to adore themselves instead of God. We should all be on our knees, begging God for forgiveness, as did Daniel in the Old Testament. Here is his mighty prayer of IX, 3–19, needing little adaptation to the New Testament today:—

3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and terrible God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from thy commandments and ordinances; 6 we have not listened to thy faithful Popes before Vatican II, who spoke in thy name to our kings, our presidents, and our fathers, and to all the peoples of the world. 7 To thee, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us confusion of face, as at this day, to the men of the Church, to the inhabitants of Rome, and to all Catholics, those that are near and those that are far away, in all the lands where thou hast raised them, because of the disguised apostasy which they have committed against thee. 8 To us, O Lord, belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our presidents, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness; because we have rebelled against him, 10 and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following his laws, which he set before us by his faithful servants. 11 All the Church has transgressed thy law and turned aside, refusing to obey thy voice. And the curse and oath which are written in the law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him. 12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done the like of what has been done against the true Rome. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us, yet we have not entreated the favour of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and giving heed to thy truth. 14 Therefore the Lord has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who didst bring thy Church down two thousand years with a mighty hand, and hast made thee a name, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16 O Lord, according to all thy righteous acts, let thy anger and thy wrath turn away from thy city of Rome, thy holy hill; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Rome and thy people have become a byword among all who are round about us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, hearken to the prayers of thy servants and to their supplications, and for thy own sake, O Lord, cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline thy ear and hear; open thy eyes and behold our desolations, and behold the Church which is called by thy name; for we do not present our supplications before thee on the ground of our righteousness, but on the ground of thy great mercy. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, give heed and act; delay not, for thy own sake, O my God, because thy city and thy people are called by thy name.”

Kyrie eleison.

“Resistance” Failing?

“Resistance” Failing? posted in Eleison Comments on August 23, 2014

Some readers of these Comments no doubt objected to the reference made last week (EC 370) to the “Resistance” presently making “little apparent headway.” They might have preferred a valiant call to arms. But we must stay real. For instance, when the Traditional diocese of Campos in Brazil fell back into the arms of Newrome back in 2001, did not several of us say that out of some 25 priests formed in Bishop de Castro Mayer’s school, at least a few would break ranks? Yet not one of them has gone independent since then to continue defending Tradition as Campos had always defended it, and so all of them are more or less on the neo-modernist slide. However, if we do stay real, there is not nothing to be said.

First of all, God is God, and he is conducting this crisis his way and not ours. “My thoughts are not your thoughts, your ways are not my ways, says the Lord” (Is. LV, 8). We dream of the clear-sighted priests and laity banding together to stand up to his enemies, but God does not need anybody’s “Resistance” to look after his sheep or save his Church. Forty years ago when Archbishop Lefebvre hoped for and looked for a handful of fellow-bishops to stand beside him in public and throw up a real road-block in the way of the Conciliar steam-roller, surely he might have found them, but he never did. In fact when God intervenes to save the situation, as he certainly will, it will be obvious that the rescue was his doing, through his Mother.

Secondly, more than five centuries of rampant humanism have made man so ignorant of God, the Lord God of Hosts, that mankind has to be taught a lesson which it will not learn except the hard way. The ninth of St Ignatius’ 14 Rules for the Discernment of Spirits (first week) gives three main reasons for a soul’s spiritual desolation, which can be applied to the Church’s present desolation:‍—

1. God punishes us for our spiritual lukewarmness and negligence. God alone knows today just what a worldwide chastisement is deserved by our worldwide apostasy and plunge into materialism and hedonism.

2. God puts us to the trial to show us what is really inside us, and how we depend on him. Does not modern man seriously think that he can do a better job of running the universe than Almighty God? And might it be that the truth will not sink in until all of his own little efforts have failed?

3. God humbles us with desolation to cut short our pride and vainglory. Coming from the chief ministers of the one true religion of the one true God, was not Vatican II an unprecedented outburst of human vainglory, preferring man’s modern world to God’s unchanging Church? And the little Society of St Pius X thought that it could save the Church? Unless the “Resistance” remains duly modest in its claims and ambitions, it is doomed in advance.

Then what should those ambitions be? First and foremost, to keep the Faith, without which it is impossible to please God (Heb. XI, 6), and which is expressed in doctrine, in the Catholic Creed. Secondly, to give witness to that Faith, especially by example, if necessary unto martyrdom (“martyr” is the Greek word for “witness”). So howsoever the “Resistance” is or is not organized, it must devote its resources, however meagre, to whatever will help souls to keep the Faith. Then, since its stand for the Truth is bound to be recognizable as such, merely by existing it will not be failing, because it will be giving witness.

Kyrie eleison.

Billot – II

Billot – II posted in Eleison Comments on December 28, 2013

It is not only by the names of the seven Churches of Asia (cf. “Comments”#) but also by the contents of the seven Letters addressed to them (Apoc. II and III) that Cardinal Billot establishes the connection between the Letters and seven main periods of Church history. Especially interesting in this respect is the Letter to the church of Sardis (Apoc. III, 1–6) which would correspond to our own Age, the fifth, the Age of Apostasy. After evoking the wealth, luxury and material prosperity associated with Croesus, famous ruler of Sardis, Billot writes:—

“As one might expect, this church seems to be in a state of spiritual decline. Apostasy and falling away are on all sides, but while the majority of souls abandon religion, there are a few who remain faithful to Christ. The angel says, ‘Thou hast a few names in Sardis which have not defiled their garments.’ But: ‘Thou hast the name of being alive: and thou art dead!’ The name (but not the reality) of life, knowledge, freedom, civilization, progress; and thou art dead, sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, because the light of life, which is Our Lord Jesus Christ, has been rejected. Hence the bishop of Sardis is told, ‘Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die.’ And he is above all recommended to cleave unfailingly to all the traditions of the holy Apostles, without in the least way departing from the meaning they held for the Church Fathers, with the excuse or under the appearance of a deeper understanding: ‘Have in mind therefore what thou hast received and heard: and observe, and do penance.’ So much for the Fifth Age. But what follows is a little more rejoicing.” And the Cardinal goes on to the Sixth and Seventh Ages.

Readers who have never read the first six verses of Apocalypse III in connection with our own times should be interested to do so. The connection is remarkable, and not co-incidental.

It is remarkable because “Strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die” corresponds exactly to the Counter-reformation saving Catholicism from Protestantism, to the anti-liberal Popes saving what remained of the Church from the French Revolution, to Archbishop Lefebvre (and others) rescuing Tradition from Vatican II, and now to a Resistance battling to save what can be saved from his Society collapsing into liberalism. Surely Catholics may take heart from this perspective, that their long and seemingly hopeless rearguard action comes from a distant past and does fit into an ultimately triumphant future. That is why we were given the book of the Apocalypse.

Nor is the connection co-incidental. Our Lord promised his Apostles (Jn. XVI, 12–14) that his Spirit, the Holy Ghost, would be with them and with their successors down the ages to reveal to them what they would only then need to know. It was only when the Thirty Years War (1618–1648) was ravaging Germany that the Venerable Holzhauser was given his understanding of the Seven Ages hidden within the Letters to the seven churches of Asia. Similarly it was only when the Russian Revolution was just about to break out that we needed Our Lady to assure us at Fatima that in the end her Immaculate Heart would triumph. True, the Church is right now being eclipsed (see on the Internet the film-clips of the public Mass celebrated recently in Brazil by the churchman in white), but there is still no need or justification for us to become liberals.

Kyrie eleison.