materialism

GERMANY STRICKEN

GERMANY STRICKEN posted in Eleison Comments on April 6, 2024

Can godless modern man return to God?

If not, then there remains only the rod.

We are currently reading in the (unreliable) mass media various reports of a grave state of affairs in Germany, enough to make us think that something is going seriously wrong there. Indeed there is. Quoted below is the large part of a private letter received recently from a “Resistant” Catholic who has been working as an engineer in England and Germany for the last 20 or so years. He sees trouble ahead in Germany, and that is especially troubling, because ever since the “Wirtschaftswunder” or economic miracle of the 1950’s by which German hard work and talent pulled their country out of its post-war ruins, Germany has been the economic power-house of all Europe. If Germany’s economy is in serious trouble, then so is Europe’s. Read on, in italics – 

From everything I observe going on here in Germany, be it in the SSPX or in general, I think I should relocate to England. Germany is sinking in every sense. England and all the other countries of Europe are probably not very much better, but what we might call the Anglo-American economic way is still there, and that at least helps to keep people’s feet on the ground, by doing all it can to create and sustain jobs, which in Germany will fail more and more as time passes. A lot of companies are leaving Germany because of high energy costs ever since the Nord Stream pipeline was blown up and all atomic power stations were shut down. Germany is not able to provide enough substitute energy from solar and wind sources to compensate for the lost Russian gas, hence energy prices will go on rising, and in the mean time Germany is dependent upon the kindness of other European countries to import power, which is hardly a long-term arrangement. 

In brief, Germany is heading for the rocks. Hundreds of thousands of Germans have left Germany already and are still doing so, as soon as they can spot a chance. The automobile industry is going down slowly, but faster as time progresses. It looks as though Germany will evaporate in a couple of years’ time, unless people go back to living in caves with minimum sustinence. All this may sound too pessimistic, but I have eyes to see and to read what is happening here. For instance, once certain industries are shut down, they are gone for good and never return, as far as one can foresee, because of the lack of experienced labour and the excessive effort required to rebuild, and so on. 

I have the impression that what is happening on the spiritual level is similar or parallel to these things happening on the material level, also with the FSSPX: the faith is disappearing, and once it disappears it will not come back. In general, less than half the people in Germany now profess any Christian faith. Very enlightening was the remark of “Arsenius” in the “Eleison Comments” of March 2 (868), where he makes it clear that, humanly speaking, he does not see the SSPX finding its way back to being the Church’s spearhead of the Faith, as it was from 1970 to 2012. That fall I would call the course of nature. I must admit that I followed it myself, but I never realised just how serious are its consequences . . . 

These interesting observations show God at work. Somehow He must stop the mass of Europeans from throwing themselves into Hell, but thanks to their materialistic prosperity, that is where they are headed right now. See Deuteronomy, all of Chapter VIII. Prosperous modern man is convinced he has no need of God. But the chickens are coming home to roost. Count on it – the mere loss of a double pipeline will not be nearly enough to bring the mass of men back to their senses. 

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.

Don’t Borrow

Don’t Borrow posted in Eleison Comments on July 2, 2011

The latest financial bailout of Greece, announced last week, has once more put off the day of reckoning for the European Union and maybe for the worldwide financial system, but that day is merely postponed, not cancelled. The problem is systemic. If democratic politicians want to be re-elected, they must borrow to pay for the free lunches on which they themselves have made the peoples insist, but the folly for individuals, families or nations of taking out loans upon loans cannot last for ever, and one day it comes to a crashing halt. Such peoples and politicians have today long been on the wrong road, because the decision to heap up loans is ultimately stupid or criminal.

It is stupid if the basic wisdom has been forgotten of three lines of Shakespeare, worth volumes written by professional “economists”:— “Neither a borrower nor a lender be / For loan oft loses both itself and friend / And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.” In other words a habit of borrowing accustoms one to not “husbanding” or looking after the resources one has. For instance, at least to begin with, money borrowed comes too easily, thus undermining the sense of money’s value and the sense of reality, for instance how hard money can be to earn or eventually to pay back. As for lending, says Polonius (Hamlet, I, 3), not only are loans often not paid back, but also if I have lent to a friend who cannot pay back, he can be too afraid or ashamed to come near me again.

However, not all lenders are stupid. A number of them are criminal, because they know that by lending money at usurious rates of interest they can reduce individuals, families and nations to poverty and slavery – “The borrower is servant” (or slave) “to him that lendeth” (Prov. XXII, 7). Certain credit cards are now paying between 20 and 30% rates of interest, yet the Catholic Church has always severely condemned usury. Usurers are criminals who destroy the fabric of society by impoverishing and enslaving their fellow men, or whole nations.

In modern times usury takes different forms, say the Popes, and this is why the whole world should now be waking up to the fact that it has let itself be enslaved by the cunning money-men, who use their money to master the media and politicians in particular, and thus buy control of an entire society giving itself over to Mammon. The question then arises, how can God have allowed such a state of affairs to come about, and how can he now be meaning to allow the immense suffering that will come with the imminent financial crash and/or World War, both of which will have been engineered by his enemies to give them, as they hope, total world power?

The answer is that he has granted such power to his enemies because their cruelty and inhumanity serve him as a scourge to be laid across the back of a world that has turned away from him, and has preferred to take Mammon for its master – you cannot serve both God and Mammon, says Our Lord (Mt. VI, 24). And God will allow a great deal more suffering in the near future, because “In suffering is learning” (Aeschylus), and in fact only heavy suffering will today be enough to enable any significant number of souls worldwide to learn that their materialism and worship of Mammon are treacherous enemies of their one true interest, the salvation of their eternal souls.

Mother of God, obtain mercy for us poor sinners!

Kyrie eleison.

Rector’s Letters – II

Rector’s Letters – II posted in Eleison Comments on April 23, 2011

Several readers of “Eleison Comments” may not be familiar with the “Letters from the Rector” referred to here a little while back (EC 190, March 5). Written between 1983 and 2003 as monthly newsletters from St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary where priests are trained in the USA for the Society of St Pius X, the Letters have been brought together in four paperback volumes, available through the Internet at truerestorationpress.com/4volsletters. A Scottish convert of 18 years back read them recently. Here are some of her comments. They are interesting:—

“These Letters have both astounded and astonished me . . . I was a New Age “dippy hippy” that ran from the New Age Devil into the Catholic Church, only to discover that he was right there in her sanctuaries . . . It is not just that the cardinals, bishops and priests of the Conciliar Church are lily-livered and mealy-mouthed in their defence of Catholicism. There are many who seem to take a positive and malicious delight in tearing her traditions and beliefs to pieces.”

On the contrary, “These Letters are wonderfully and gloriously Catholic . . . They explain the folly of the Conservative and Ecclesia Dei Catholics attempting to solve the crisis of the Church without criticizing the Council. Are not such Catholics considering the appearances of the Conciliar reforms, e.g. in liturgy and discipline, while ignoring their essence, the fundamental internal shift in thinking on Church doctrine that has taken place, as demonstrated by the Council’s documents on Religious Liberty and Ecumenism?

“The Rector’s Letters on Pluralism and on the Liberal view of human dignity wonderfully explain the nature of this shift. As they repeatedly demonstrate, it is impossible to understand the modern world and the situation of the Church within it if one does not understand this radical shift in the thinking of modern Rome. And if the Ecclesia Dei people object that any such radical criticism of the Council amounts to saying that we have no valid Pope, the Letters provide arguments amply demonstrating the wisdom of the position of the SSPX, veering neither to the left with the Liberals, nor to the right with the “Sedevacantists.”

“As for reaching out to the modern world, the men of the Conciliar Church have little useful to say. They are too wrapped up in their revolutionary dream to be capable of addressing its wretched consequences. They could never write Letters like those of the Rector on Pink Floyd, the Unabomber, Oliver Stone or the Children in the Forest, because the mainstream Church, instead of being deeply dissatisfied with today’s materialistic world, always seems to be going along with it. The Letters should be read for the historical record alone, but maybe their true worth will not be apparent until later, perhaps only when the 6th Age of the Church has dawned with the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

And here is the feminine clincher: “What’s more, and I never thought I would say this, the Letters on Slacks have encouraged me to consider re-thinking my ‘wardrobe solutions’.” When women stop wearing trousers, truly the Church will rise again!

Kyrie eleison.

Why Suffering?

Why Suffering? posted in Eleison Comments on March 19, 2011

The latest dramatic shifting of tectonic plates off the east coast of Japan, causing both inland the biggest earthquake Japan has known for many years and along its eastern coast an absolutely devastating tidal wave, must be raising in many minds the classic question: if God exists, if he is all-powerful and all-good, how can he possibly allow so much human suffering? The classic answer is not too difficult in theory, at any rate when one is not suffering oneself! –

Firstly, suffering is often a punishment for sin. God does exist, sin does offend him. Sin takes souls to Hell whereas God created them for Heaven. If suffering on earth will put a brake on sin and help souls to choose Heaven, then God, who is certainly in command of the tectonic plates, can without difficulty use them to punish sin. Then were the Japanese people especially sinful? Our Lord himself tells us not to ask that question, but rather to think of our own sins and to do penance, otherwise “you will all likewise perish” (Lk. XIII, 4). Would it not be astonishing if there were no Japanese people now wondering whether Western-style materialism and comfort are really what life is all about?

Secondly, human suffering can well be a warning, to turn men away from evil and keep them from pride. Right now the whole godless West should be questioning its own materialism and prosperity. By the steadily increasing rate of earthquakes and other natural disasters all over the world over the last several years, the Lord God is certainly trying to get the attention of all of us, maybe in the hope that he will not have to inflict on us the worldwide “rain of fire” of which his Mother warned us at Akita (in Japan) in 1973. But right now, is there not every likelihood that because they are doing the suffering, the Japanese are profiting more from their disaster than is the distant West? Those countries may in fact be lucky which are getting now a foretaste of the Chastisement threatening to come.

Thirdly, God may use human suffering to highlight the virtue of his servants. That was the case with Job, and with Christian martyrs down all the ages. Few Japanese people may today have supernatural faith, but if the Japanese now humble themselves beneath what they sense to be the mighty hand of God, they will earn natural merit and at least on the natural level give him glory.

Finally, there is God’s own answer to Job, who by Chapter 36 of his Book is still not satisfied with any explanation for his suffering that he or any of his family or friends have been able to come up with. I paraphrase: “Where were you, Job, when I laid down the foundations of the earth? Did you design the tectonic plates? Who do you think keeps the sea normally within its bounds, and stops it from flooding dry land? Can you really think I did not have my own good reasons to let it just now wash over the north-east coast of Japan?” See the Book of Job, Chapters 38 and 39. And Job at last submits. He is satisfied with the answer, and confesses that he was wrong to be calling in question the wisdom and goodness of God (Job 42, 1–7).

Let us ourselves do penance, be warned by Japan’s disaster, hope to give glory to God in our own trials to come, and recognize above all that God alone is God!

Kyrie eleison.

Rampant Reality

Rampant Reality posted in Eleison Comments on September 4, 2010

“But, your Excellency, how can you possibly declare (EC 163) that the Lord God is the one true solution for all social problems of a big modern city, such as your friend presented them to you in his own city three weeks ago? What does God have to do with politics or social problems? I always thought He was only concerned with things like religion and spirituality!”

Ah, my dear friend, who is God? Not only did He Himself create the soul of each one of us and the matter out of which our parents put together our bodies, but also He goes on creating them for every moment that they continue and will continue to exist. He is thus closer to each of us human beings than we are to ourselves. So the Church teaches that any offence against our neighbor is first and foremost an offence against God, because He is more deeply and closely within us than we are in ourselves. So whoever offends neighbor, offends more deeply God, and whoever never offends God will not offend his neighbor. If then in the parish and school of the Society of St Pius X (EC 163) parishioners and children learn to put God first and His Ten Commandments, are they not learning to solve all big city problems, between neighbor and neighbor, at their root?

Let us recall the social problems of my friend’s big city. In the outlying suburbs mostly white people are living beyond their means in falsely luxurious mansions. They wish to appear rich, and dream of being rich. Are they not worshipping materialism and Mammon, i.e. money? What is taught on the contrary in the parish? “You cannot worship God and Mammon. It is one or the other” (Mt.VI, 24). In the inner suburbs, mostly non-white people to a large extent neglect their housing, to the despair of city planners, no doubt. But is it not a similar form of materialism to measure the good life or the goodness of souls by the maintenance of one’s housing? Cleanliness may be next to godliness, as the saying goes, but what do the parishioners learn?—”Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things will be added unto you” (Mt.VI, 33). In other words, seek godliness first, and the cleanliness will follow.

Finally in the inner city the city’s industrial life-blood is ebbing away. Why? Is it not capitalism itself that, in pursuit of greater profits by the subordination of industry to finance, has out-sourced American industry? Is it not the putting of money before men that is causing the ever worsening unemployment, the de-populating of the city-centres and the transfer of all power to the money-men who are using that power to transform faster and faster the once proud United States into just one humiliated part of their global police-state?

How could it happen? By the whites turning away from God, resigning (as my friend implied) from their God-given mission to lead the world to Him, and by their worshipping Mammon instead as the supreme reality. Long may the little parish and school of the Society of St. Pius X, outside the city, make the supremacy of God, of Our Lord Jesus Christ, rampant!

Kyrie eleison.