Hell

More Cheerful

More Cheerful posted in Eleison Comments on January 28, 2012

Your Excellency, please tell us something more cheerful!

God exists. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-just, but his mercy is also boundless. He is in perfect control of all that is happening in the world. Neither the Devil nor his human servants, including the criminals now running the world, can lift a finger without his permission. He knows every detail of their diabolical plans and is using every single one of them to fulfil his own Providential design.

But how then can he be allowing so much evil in our world? Because while he never wants evil, he wants to allow it, so as to bring out of it a greater good. Many prophecies indicate that out of today’s global corruption will arise tomorrow the greatest triumph ever of the Catholic Church, e.g. Our Lady of Fatima; “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” What is happening right now is that Our Lord is using his enemies to purify his Church.

But could he not have found a less unpleasant way of purifying his Church than for us to have us go through today’s unbelievable corruption? If it depended only on him, undoubtedly he could have found other ways of purifying his Church, but if you and I knew all that he knows – foolish thought! – and if above all you and I wanted, as he does, to respect the free-will that he gives to all human beings, then there is every likelihood that you and I would see that the way he is choosing to do things is the best.

And just what does man’s free-will have to do with it?

God does not want robots or merely irrational animals to share with him in his bliss. Now even he cannot give to his creatures a deserved happiness which they have done nothing to deserve, because that is contradictory and his power is over all being, not over non-being such as things contradictory. But if creatures are at least in part to deserve his bliss, then he must give them free-will, which if it is to be for real, must be able to choose the opposite of what he wants for it, and if it is really able to choose evil, then that is what will happen, more or less often.

But you say that the true Church follows Our Lord in teaching that narrow is the path to Heaven and few there be that find it (Mt.VII, 14). How can it be worth God’s while to have created, just today for instance, a mass of human beings, if only relatively few reach Heaven? How can so many falling into the horrors of Hell not be too high a price to pay for the relatively few reaching Heaven? Because God works in quality, not in quantity. That a mere ten men could have saved from his wrath the whole city of Sodom (Gen. XVIII, 32) proves how precious to God is one single soul responding to his love, over a large number that by their own free choice do not want his love. “I would have gone through the whole Passion just for you,” said Our Lord once to a soul. He would say it to any soul.

Do you mean that if, when the world worries and torments me, I merely stick all the more closely to God, then he takes account of it, for me and for those around me? I might almost want the world to be still worse! Now you are getting the idea!

Kyrie eleison.

State Religion – II

State Religion – II posted in Eleison Comments on December 10, 2011

According to the religion of liberalism – it cannot be said too often that liberalism serves as a substitute religion – it is absolute heresy to declare that every State on earth should support and protect the Catholic religion. Yet if God exists, if Jesus Christ is God, if any natural society of human beings, such as the State, is a creature of God, and if Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church as his one and only instrument for the saving of men from the eternal fires of Hell, then unless a State wants to be an enemy of mankind, it is bound to favour and protect the Catholic Church. But there are objections to this conclusion. Let us look at three of the most common:—

First objection: Our Lord himself said to Pontius Pilate (Jn. XVIII, 36) that his Kingdom was not of this world. But the State is of this world. Therefore the State should have nothing to do with his Kingdom or his Church.

Solution: Our Lord was telling Pilate that his Kingdom and the State are distinct but he was not saying that they should be separate. A man’s soul is distinct from his body, but to separate them is the death of the man. Parents are distinct from their children, but to separate them (as Child Agencies today are liable to do) is the death of the family. Church and State are as distinct from one another as life on earth is distinct from eternal life, but to separate them is to put a gulf between the first and the second, and it is to increase greatly the number of citizens who will fall into Hell.

Second objection: The Catholic religion is true. But Truth can be left to make its own way. Therefore the Catholic religion needs no coercive power of the State to help it, such as the suppression in public of the practice of all other religions. Solution: In itself, indeed “The truth is mighty and will prevail,” as the Latins said, but amongst us men it will not prevail easily, because of original sin. Were all human beings (except Our Lord and Our Lady) not afflicted ever since the Fall with the four wounds of Ignorance, Malice, Weakness and Concupiscence , then much less would get in the way of truth prevailing, and Thomas Jefferson might be right in proclaiming that truth needs only to be exposed in the market-place to prevail. But Catholics know what the Church teaches, namely that man remains even after baptism subject to the downward drag of original sin, so that to find that truth without which he cannot save his soul, he needs all reasonable help from his State. That reasonable help excludes the State’s trying to force anyone to be Catholic, but it includes the State’s keeping dangerous anti-truths out of Jefferson’s market-place.

Third objection: Great power can be greatly misused. Now the union of Church and State is very powerful for them both. Therefore it can do great harm – just see how the Conciliar Church and the secular New World Order are empowering one another! Solution: “Misuse cannot stop use,” said the Latins. Should Our Lord not have given us the Holy Eucharist on the grounds that it can be gravely misused? The Conciliar Church re-uniting with the liberal State is a powerful misuse of the union of Church and State, but it proves the wrongness of liberalism, not the wrongness of the union of Catholic State with Catholic Church.

Kyrie eleison.

Accursed Liberals

Accursed Liberals posted in Eleison Comments on December 3, 2011

Liberalism is a frightful disease, consigning to eternal Hell millions upon millions of souls. It “liberates” the mind from objective truth and the heart (will and affections) from objective good. The subject reigns supreme. It is man in the place of God, with man allowing to God only as much importance as man chooses to allow him, and that is normally not much. Almighty God is put on a leash, so to speak, like an obedient little puppy dog! In fact the “God” of the liberals is a mockery of the true God. But “God is not mocked” (Gal.VI, 7). Liberals are punished already in this life by becoming false crusaders, true tyrants, and effeminate men.

A classic example of the false crusader is provided by the revolutionary priests in Latin America, according to Archbishop Lefebvre. He used to say that priests losing the Faith under the influence of the modernizing movement in the Church made the most terrible of revolutionaries, because to the false crusade of Communism they would bring all the force of the true crusade for the salvation of souls, for which they had been trained, but which they no longer believed in.

The true crusade being for God, for Jesus Christ, for eternal salvation, then when it is no longer believed in, it leaves a correspondingly huge gap in people’s lives, which they attempt to fill by crusading for anything and everything: for a ban on tobacco (but freedom for marihuana and heroin); for a ban on capital punishment (but freedom to execute efficacious right-wingers); for a ban on tyrants (but freedom to bomb any country into “democracy”); for the sacredness of man (but freedom to abort the human baby in the womb) – the list can go on and on. The contradictions just highlighted are perfectly consistent in the liberals’ crusade for a total new world order to replace the Christian world order. They pretend they are not fighting Christ, but the pretence is wearing thin.

Liberals also become, logically, true tyrants. Since they have “liberated” themselves from any God or Truth or Law above them, then there remains only the authority of their own minds and wills to impose on their fellow human beings whatever it may be. For example, having lost all sense of any Tradition limiting his authority, Paul VI forced upon the Catholic Church in 1969 his New Order of Mass, to fit the New World Order, regardless of the fact that only two years before a significant number of bishops had rejected a substantially similar experimental rite of Mass. What did he care for the opinions of anyone beneath him, unless they were liberals like himself? They did not know what was good for them. He did.

Logically again, liberals become effeminate, because they cannot help taking everything personally. Yet any sane opposition to their authoritarianism is based on that Truth or Law above all human beings which the liberals are flouting. That is how Archbishop Lefebvre resisted the liberalism of Paul VI, but Paul VI could only think that the Archbishop wanted to take his place as Pope. He was incapable of understanding that there was a far higher Authority than his own, on which the Archbishop in all tranquillity was leaning. Who needs to worry that the Lord God will ever fail?

Sacred Heart of Jesus, grant us to deserve the good leaders who can come only from you.

Kyrie eleison.

Peril Eternal

Peril Eternal posted in Eleison Comments on September 17, 2011

“Why are we human beings here on earth?” an old friend just asked me. I said, of course, “To praise, love and serve God, and by so doing to save . . .” He broke in – “No, that’s not the answer I want,” he said. “What I mean is that before I came into existence, I was not, and I was not in any danger. Now that I exist I am seriously exposed to the danger of losing my soul. Why was I given, without my consent, this perillous existence which, once given, I could no longer refuse?”

Expressed in this way, the question is serious, because it casts a doubt on the goodness of God. Certainly it is God who gives to each of us life and thereby sets before us the choice which we cannot opt out of, between the steep and narrow path to Heaven and the broad and easy road to Hell (Mt. VII,13–14). Certainly the enemies of the salvation of our souls, the world and the flesh and the Devil, are dangerous, because the sad fact is that the majority of souls fall into Hell at the end of their lives on earth (Mt.XX,16). Then how can it be fair for me to find myself in such danger by no choice of my own?

The answer is surely that if the danger was in no way by my own fault, then indeed life might be a poisoned gift. But if often the danger is in good part by my own fault, and if the very same free-will that when used wrongly enables me to fall into Hell, also enables me when used rightly to enter upon an eternity of unimaginable bliss, then not only is life not a poisoned gift, but it is a magnificent offer of a glorious reward out of all proportion to the relatively slight effort which it will have cost me on earth to avoid the danger and make the right use of my free-will (Is. LXIV,4).

But the questioner might object that none of those three enemies of his salvation are his fault:— “The world which incites us to worldliness and concupiscence of the eyes is all around us from cradle to grave, and can only be escaped at death. The weakness of the flesh goes with original sin, and goes back to Adam and Eve. I wasn’t around then! The Devil also existed long before I was born, and is running wild in modern times!”

To which one can reply that the three enemies are still all too liable to be our own fault. As for the world, we have to be in it, but we do not have to be of it (Jn. XVII,14–16). It depends on us whether we love the things of this world, or prefer to them the things of Heaven. How many prayers in the Missal ask for the grace to prefer the things of Heaven! As for the flesh, the more we flee from its concupiscence within us, the more it can lose its sting, but which of us can say that he has by no personal sin of his own strengthened the concupiscence and the danger, instead of weakening it? And as for the Devil, his power to tempt is strictly controlled by Almighty God, and God’s own Scripture assures us that God offers us the grace necessary to overcome the temptations he allows (I Cor.X,13). In brief, what St Augustine says of the Devil applies also to the world and the flesh – they are like a dog chained up which can bark but not bite, unless one chooses to go too close.

So there is indeed an inescapable degree of spiritual danger in human life, but it depends on us, with God’s grace, to control that danger, and the reward is out of this world (I Cor. II,9).

Kyrie eleison.

Reading Pagans

Reading Pagans posted in Eleison Comments on June 4, 2011

Some Catholic eyebrows may have been raised a while ago when “Eleison Comments” (EC 188) recommended the reading of the pagan Greeks to get a handle on the universe’s moral framework. Why not rather read Catholic authors? But the same great realities of life, suffering and death were faced by the Greek tragedians as are faced by the Catholic Doctors: why, as it seems, are we born on this earth, only to suffer and die, and by death be separated from everything we have learned to love? The question is basic, and can be agonizing.

The Catholic answer is clear and complete: an infinitely good God gives to each of us life, free-will and time enough, if we make the right use of the suffering exactly dosed by his Providence (Mt.X, 29–31), for us to choose to spend our eternity rather with him in Heaven than without him in Hell. The Greek answer is incomplete, but not wholly wide of the mark. Instead of God the Father, they have a Father-god, Zeus, and instead of Providence they have Fate (Moira).

Now whereas for Catholics Providence is inseparable from God, the Greeks separate Zeus from Fate so that they sometimes clash. That follows from the Greeks having a too human concept of their gods. Nevertheless they do conceive of Zeus as more or less benignly directing the universe and of Fate as being unchangeable, as is Providence within the true God (Summa Ia, 23, 8; 116,3), so that they are not wholly wrong. Moreover they have more respect for their mythical gods, and for the moral order guarded by them, than do a host of modern writers, who have no respect for any god at all, and who set out to negate any trace of a moral order.

But the Greeks have one advantage even over Catholic writers. When they present great truths, these are drawn from raw life and not just – so to speak – out of the Catechism. The same holds true for any non-Catholic witness to truths taught by the Church. Just as today’s Talmudic Jews, precisely because they reject Jesus Christ, render a special witness to him by guarding jealously in their synagogues the Hebrew text of that Old Testament which speaks of Our Lord from beginning to end, so the ancient Greeks give special witness to God and his Providence when, independently of the Catechism, they demonstrate the world’s moral order in action. In this way they prove that such natural truths are accessible not only to believers, rather they belong to the very fabric of life as lived by everyone, if only it is sanely understood.

Another advantage of the ancient classics in particular is that having preceded Christ, there cannot be in them a trace of that apostasy which mars, more or less, even pious writers coming out of Christendom after the Middle Ages. Natural truths are presented by the ancients with a certain innocence and freshness which can no longer be recovered. The waters are too muddied.

In fact it was the Church’s monasteries which ensured the survival of the manuscripts of the ancient classics in medieval times. Count on the true Catholic Church to save them once more in modern times from the new barbarians, liberals! For wherever the so-called “scholarship” of the liberals prevails today, it turns all classics to dust.

Kyrie eleison.

Two Repentances

Two Repentances posted in Eleison Comments on May 21, 2011

A reader of “Eleison Comments” asked me several months ago what made the difference between the repentance of Judas Iscariot flinging his 30 pieces of silver at the feet of the Temple authorities (Mt.XXVII,3), and that of Peter weeping bitterly at the crowing of the cock (Mt. XXVI,75). His question is a good excuse to quote pages from The Poem of the Man-God by Maria Valtorta (1897–1961). Our Lord (if it is indeed him – “In things uncertain, liberty”) here comments on the vision he has just granted her of the last hours of Judas Iscariot. The Italian text is slightly adapted:—

“Yes, the vision is horrendous, but not useless. Too many people think that what Judas did was not all that grave. Some even go so far as to say that it was meritorious, because without him the Redemption would not have happened and so he was justified in the eyes of God. In truth I tell you that if Hell had not already been in existence, perfectly equipped with torments, it would have been created even more horrendous in eternity for Judas, because amongst damned sinners he is the damnedest of them all, nor will his sentence ever be eased through all eternity.

“It is true that he did show remorse for his betrayal, and it could have saved him, had he turned his remorse into repentance. But he did not want to repent, and so in addition to his first crime of betrayal, on which – such is my loving weakness – I could have had mercy, he went on to blaspheme and to resist every impulse of grace which was pleading with him through each trace and memory of me that in his last desperate chase around Jerusalem he ran into, including the encounter with my Mother and her gentle words. He resisted everything. He wanted to resist. Just as he had wanted to betray me. As he wanted to curse me. As he wanted to kill himself. Where a man’s will is set – that is what counts. For good or ill.

“When somebody falls without really wanting to, I forgive him. Take Peter. He denied me. Why? He could not himself tell exactly why. Was he a coward? No. My Peter was no coward. In the Garden of Gethsemane he defied the whole pack of Temple guards to cut off Malchus’ ear in defence of me, at the risk of being killed himself for doing so. Then he fled. With no set will to do so. Then he denied me three times, but again, with no set will to do so. For the rest of his life he succeeded in staying on the blood-stained way of the Cross, my way, until he died on the cross himself. He succeeded in witnessing to me in grand style until he was killed for his unflinching faith. I defend my Peter. His running away and his denials were the last moments of his human weakness. But the set will of his higher nature was not behind those actions. Weighed down by his human weakness, it was asleep. As soon as it awoke, it did not want to remain in sin, it wanted to be perfect. I immediately forgave him. Judas’ will was set in the opposite direction . . .”

At the end of the Poem of the Man-God Our Lord (if it is him – I myself believe it is) dictates to Maria Valtorta the seven reasons for his granting this long series of visions of his life to the modern world. The first reason was to make real again in people’s minds the Church’s basic doctrines, ravaged by modernism. Sounds about right? The seventh reason was – “to make known the mystery of Judas,” how a soul so highly gifted by God could so fall.

Kyrie eleison.