Tag: hope

Catholic Balance

Catholic Balance posted in Eleison Comments on June 26, 2010

When last week’s “Eleison Comments” began by seeming to sympathize with the “sedevacantists” who believe that the Popes since John XXIII have not been Popes at all, and ended by seeming to sympathize with Cardinal Kasper for making fun of the unauthoritative Society of St Pius X, I know that there was at least one reader that was confused, and I suspect that she was not alone. But everything drops into place if one assumes that from Vatican II onwards, Catholic Truth has been split from Catholic Authority.

Now the Catholic Authority of the churchmen should be welded to the Catholic Truth of Our Lord, because that human Authority only exists to protect and teach that divine Truth. But at that dreadful Council (1962–1965), centuries of Protestant heresy and Liberal dissolution of truth had at last so wormed their way into the hearts and minds of a large majority of the Council Fathers that they gave up on the purity of Catholic Truth, and to this day they have been using all their Catholic Authority to impose on Catholics the Council’s new and false religion of man.

Whereupon Catholics have been torn apart, both from one another and in themselves, as was inevitable. For either they have had to cling to Catholic Truth, and more or less abandon Catholic Authority, which is the solution of the “sedevacantists.” And when one looks primarily at Catholic Truth, one may well sympathize with them, so horrible has been the betrayal of Truth by the highest churchmen, ever since that Council began. Or Catholics have chosen to cling to Catholic Authority, and more or less abandon Catholic Truth, which is the solution of Cardinal Kasper. And when one looks primarily to Catholic Authority, one may well sympathize with his loyalty to Benedict XVI, and understand the Cardinal’s smile when he finds himself rebuked for not being Catholic by the wholly unauthoritative Society of St Pius X, still practically excommunicated.

Yet Archbishop Lefebvre chose a third way, in between the two extremes of either Truth or Authority. His way, in which he has been followed by that SSPX, was to cling to Catholic Truth, but with no disrespect towards Church Authority, nor any blanket disbelief in the status of its officials. It is a balance certainly not always easy to keep, but it has borne Catholic fruit all over the world, and it has sustained a faithful remnant of Catholics with true doctrine and the true sacraments for the 40 years we have so far spent in the Conciliar desert (1970–2010).

In that desert we Catholic sheep may have to be scattered for a while yet, as long as the Shepherd in Rome is struck (Zech.XIII,7, quoted by Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane –Mt.XXVI,31). In this Gethsemane of the Church, we do need compassion on our fellow sheep. That is why I can sympathize with “sedevacantists,” and even with liberals (up to a point!). But that no way means that the third way as traced out by Archbishop Lefebvre has ceased to be the right way.

May the Great Mother of God long protect the little Society!

Kyrie eleison.

Embattled Sisters

Embattled Sisters posted in Eleison Comments on May 1, 2010

Two teaching Sisters from the same girls’ school wrote to me recently, one daunted, the other hopeful. No doubt Sister Daunted is also hopeful, while Sister Hopeful is also daunted, because Catholics must close their eyes in order not to be daunted by the soft apostasy creeping up on us all, while at the same time they have to be losing their Faith if they are losing the Hope that goes with the Faith.

Sister Daunted writes, “The world’s grip on our girls is tight.” Absent from her own country for three years, when she came back she found, “The change in mentality of our girls is noticeable. We struggle to maintain principles and morality.” Mark you, this school is surrounded and supported by Catholic parents holding to Tradition, it has a constantly rising enrolment, and many parents make serious sacrifices to ensure that their girls are taught there. Yet here is a Sister telling us from the inside of a “mentality” problem also rising.

This is because our entire Western society is falling away from God, and because man, as Aristotle said, is a social and not just an individual or familial animal. Therefore a boy or girl can have good parents, a good family, even a good school, but if the society outside home and school does not share the Catholic values striven for inside, then the boys and girls, especially from adolescence, will sense its anti-Catholic thrust, and will come under more or less severe pressure to “go with the flow.” Today that pressure is severe, to the point of daunting the good Sister, because any true educator today feels like someone standing on a sea-shore and trying to stop the tide from coming in. But at least Sister has her eyes open and is not deceiving herself that the girls’ schooling solves all their problems, as the girls’ parents can be tempted to think.

However, no doubt she shares also the relative optimism of Sister Hopeful, who writes to me that when the girls put on a theatrical performance at school, people coming from the world “are amazed that the girls can memorize lines and lines, and also that the rest of the schoolchildren in the audience are listening and watching, and not playing with their cell-phones.” She goes on, “When you hear comments like that, you realize what we do somehow manage to achieve, and you can be grateful for it.”

In brief, as St Joan of Arc said, it is for us to give battle and for God to give the victory. Providence deals us all a certain hand of cards which we may not always like, but it is up to us to play it as best we can. I am reminded also of Evelyn Waugh’s dauntless answer to a woman who complained of his being so nasty despite his being a Catholic. “Madam,” he replied, “You have no idea how much nastier I would be if I was not Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being.”

Kyrie eleison.

Fifteen Decades

Fifteen Decades posted in Eleison Comments on July 25, 2009

Just before “Eleison Comments” become a little more discrete (make sure to register with dinoscopus.com if you wish to be sure of continuing to receive them in private), let someone else write their last public word for me. I quote word for word from a reader to whom I had recommended praying, if at all reasonably possible, all fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary each day.

“ . . .Sometimes it is difficult to fit in, but . . . it has already made an enormous difference in my life. Certainly my faith and hope have been noticeably strengthened; they’d become weak from constant attack from every direction and no real sacramental defences (my emphasis) . . . Besides contributing to my personal sanctification I can see many other benefits . . . It is an act of reparation. It is a participation in Bishop Fellay’s Rosary Crusade . . . It frees up graces for Our Lady to use, and will help save souls (I often feel anguish thinking of how many souls, including some quite close to me, seem to be on the road to perdition, and I’ve felt utterly impotent about it – but now I feel as if I’m doing something to help).

“And finally I can see that the Rosary is a tremendously powerful weapon against Lucifer and his New World Order. I’ve known for ages that something was very wrong with the world, and within the past ten years or so, particularly since 9/11, I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to know about what’s really going on. When the scales dropped from my eyes I felt absolutely devastated, and close to despair. But now I feel like I’ve got my hands on some heavy artillery, and am doing some real damage to the enemy” (My emphasis).

Readers, do believe it! The Lord God is only allowing this dreadful crisis of Church and world in order to wake us out of our deadly slumbers and bring us back to him, so that we can be happy with him instead of wretched without him for all eternity. Faced with the seemingly imminent global triumph of his enemies, we can feel there is nothing we can do. Wrong! Our friend has got it right. Fifteen Mysteries a day is “heavy artillery” in all senses! As he suggests, one can prefer not to know what is going on, it is so horrid. But far better than dreaming on in the wetland of the “Sound of Music” is to re-enter reality and do what one can do about it. The bombs fall soon.

In the same vein our friend writes, “Since beginning to pray at least fifteen decades of Our Lady’s Rosary every day . . . I haven’t the stomach to step into a Novus Ordo church . . .” He says he found it a bit scary not going to Mass on Sunday, but I told him that the Third Commandment is to “keep the Sabbath holy,” and not to keep it on a slide into apostasy, and I gave him the advice Archbishop Lefebvre used to give in such cases, namely to get rather to the true Mass whenever he can. God bless him. The Cross lies ahead of him, but he has the Rosary in hand.

Kyrie eleison.