Tag: law

Good Question

Good Question posted in Eleison Comments on April 25, 2009

On the blog-site of a certain Fr. John Zuhlsdorf appeared this week a number of comments provoked by “Difficult Discussions” appearing here a week ago. Many of these comments were relatively thoughtful – a compliment to Fr Zuhlsdorf. One went straight to the point: “Bishop Williamson is using terms without defining them. I’d really like to know if I am a Neo-modernist.” Joe Pinyan further wanted to know, “in order not to be in league with Baal,” whether he should be worshipping God rather at an SSPX Chapel than at a parish where both the “extraordinary” and “ordinary” forms of Mass are celebrated.

To offer Joe an answer, let me begin by defining Neo-modernism. It is the revival (“Neo-”), let loose within the Catholic Church by Vatican II (1962–1965), of the all-embracing heresy of Modernism. Modernism is the dreadful system of mind-rot, emerging over a century ago within the Church and solemnly condemned by St. Pius X in his Encyclical “Pascendi,” whereby the Catholic Church must be adapted to fit the modern world, as shaped by Protestantism and Liberalism. It is in fact the ultimate form of Liberalism, because by its Kantian principles it pretends to liberate man’s mind (and will) from any truth (or law) whatsoever.

Modernism is an especially hypocritical and dangerous error because it can leave intact the appearances of Catholicism even while emptying out its reality. Thus Jesus Christ is not really God, but I am free to make him God (for me) if I want to. Thus Catholic Truth and Law become whatever I care to make of them. Thus out of the Ten Commandments, I become free to obey none or all ten, because either way I am only obeying me. Neo-modernism is even more dangerous than Modernism, because by it the very highest of churchmen, instead of continuing like St.Pius X utterly to condemn Modernism, adopted it to establish it officially inside the Church!

Thus today Catholics have been made free to attend either the “extraordinary” or the “ordinary” form of Mass, according as they prefer the unchanging real God and his essentially unchanging true Mass, or both of them as suited to today’s world. Now this recent freeing of attendance at the true Mass may have proceeded from the best of intentions of Benedict XVI, but the real God imposes on all of us to worship him as he really is, and not as he has been downsized by modern man. So I hardly expect you to believe me against Rome, Joe, if I tell you to flee the “ordinary” form of Mass, but if you want nothing to do with the worship of Baal, then that is, objectively speaking, what you should do.

However, if you do wish to believe me, you must read! Alas, Pius X’s Pascendi makes for difficult reading. Start here on Dinoscopus with those “Eleison Comments” that treat of religion. Then graduate to the two books, soon to be four, advertised alongside. Then read anything written by Archbishop Lefebvre. Most important to obtain light, pray the Rosary to the Mother of the real God. And may God bless you.

Kyrie eleison.

Intelligent Paganism

Intelligent Paganism posted in Eleison Comments on November 22, 2008

Of the famous Roman satirist, Juvenal (67–130 A.D?), there are two especially known quotes: “Bread and circuses,” and “A healthy mind in a healthy body.” The context of this second quote is truly interesting. Here is the whole passage from the Tenth Satire, in a free translation:

“Should men then pray for nothing? Take my advice,

And let the gods themselves judge what is nice

For us and our affairs, since they will heed

Not what we like, but what we truly need.

Dearer to them than to himself is man

Who driven by vain desire, blind worry, can

Beg for this kind of child, that kind of wife

When the gods alone can shape a happy life.

“But beg if you must for something at each shrine

Where you feel bound to offer guts of swine,

Pray to the gods for this – a healthy mind

In a healthy body. Pray that death may find

Your spirit unperturbed, not wishing to live

Any more than Mother Nature wants to give,

A spirit ready to bear all kinds of pain,

Forsaking anger, free from desire of gain,

Preferring heavy and noble work to all

The pleasures available at the local mall.

All this lies in your power – your own virtue

Is the only path to a happy life for you.

Whoever has good sense will never be stuck –

‘Tis we who place in Heaven a god of luck.”

What is remarkable here is how the pagan Juvenal says so many things that the Christian writers say. For instance, how we men are loved from above more than we love ourselves, how the powers above know better than we do what we need, and will only give us what we really need. Also how virtue is the only path to happiness, and how it depends upon ourselves to live wisely, and not upon our stars, or whatever.

There are at least two lessons to be drawn by Christians from the Roman satirist’s wisdom. Firstly, grace is in line with the nature that God gave us, and does not come down, like on a parachute with a machine-gun, to get nature into line. When the pagan writer without grace can see so many spiritual truths from nature alone, it proves that nature and grace are aligned, even if grace is infinitely far above nature, and nature has no claim at all upon it. Too many Catholics see the grace of our religion as a kind of policeman with a truncheon to beat us into shape. Similarly law (good law) is a friend and not an enemy of nature!

A second lesson might be that the pre-Christian pagans, like Juvenal, have rather more grip on reality than the post-Christian pagans of our own time. Apostates of today are washing out both grace and nature, in such a way that they would never utter the good sense that Juvenal here utters.

Kyrie eleison.