Old Testament

ROMANS X

ROMANS X posted in Eleison Comments on July 6, 2024

To Sunday Mass a Catholic must go!

“I just need chocolate in my own breast” – NO!

That the Israelites were, under the Old Testament, the race chosen from among all mankind to provide for the Son of God His means of living on earth a human life so that He would be able to suffer and die for all men as their Saviour and Messiah, and that the Israelites yet refused to recognise Him as their Messiah when finally He came among them, is a great mystery. One may well refer to human nature, to original sin, to human pride for an explanation, but the mystery remains. How could any race on earth have been better prepared over the two thousand years since Abraham for the coming of their Messiah, and yet have refused to recognise Him, turning themselves instead, down the two thousand years that have followed since, into His most skilful and motivated persecutors?

In Romans Chapter IX St Paul began his answer to the question by declaring that the People of God have not failed, only while under the Old Testament it consisted purely of Jews by being born in their race, under the New Testament it now consists of Jews or Gentiles by their faith in Jesus Christ. And if God freely chose to favour with that gift of faith Gentiles over Jews, that was His prerogative, and the Jews had, and still have, only themselves to blame for their refusal of that gift. That refusal serves to highlight His mercy to the Gentiles previously unable to belong to the People of God, now able by the Catholic Faith to belong to the Catholic Church, the true Israel of the spirit, whereas Jews refusing Jesus Christ and clinging to the Mosaic Law for salvation make up a false Israel of the flesh, unable to save their souls.

In Chapter X, St Paul similarly contrasts two “justices,” or states of salvation before God, also called “justifications” (v.1–4). Old Testament justification required that one should fulfil all the works demanded by the Mosaic Law, which was humanly impossible, says St Paul (v.5). On the contrary, New Testament justification requires no such demanding tasks beyond human strength, but merely that Jew or Gentile believe in Jesus inwardly and profess Him outwardly (v.6–13). Now it is true that to believe in Jesus Christ one must know about Him through a preacher (14–17). But not all men choose to believe, even if they know about Christ (16). Thus the Jews have both heard (18) and understood (19) the Gospel of Christ, but they have chosen (and freely choose down the centuries) not to believe in Christ (21).

In this Chapter X of Romans, these verses 6 to 13 are of special importance, because they were used by Luther as one of the key texts from Scripture to found Protestantism, and launch the whole modern world. In context, St Paul is contrasting the simplicity and ease of making a profession of Faith with the inhuman difficulty of fulfilling the works of the Mosaic Law (see Romans VII), but he is not here specifying what else is necessary for that profession of faith to enable a soul to enter the Catholic Church and be saved for eternity. For instance, a man may have a very forgetful son, so if the son is going to use the family car, his father may say to him, “The car needs petrol.” Now in order to run, the car needs also oil and water, but the father does not say to him, “The car needs petrol and oil and water,” because in context, that is not what the son needs to hear, although it is perfectly true and more complete.

But Luther uses the Scripture quotation as though to be saved one needs only an inward and outward profession of faith in Christ, as though the father above was saying “The car only needs petrol,” which is obviously false. To join the New Testament People of God, the Catholic Church, one must also be baptised – “He who believes and is baptised will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk. XVI, 16). That is not what St Paul needed to add in Romans X, 8–13, but by pretending that St Paul was saying that Christian salvation needs only the subjective profession of faith, as though cars only need petrol, Luther was using the quote to cut out the entire Catholic Church! Subjectivism (man before God) has slowly but surely been taking over Catholicism ever since. Today it is “Wokeism.”

Kyrie eleison

ROMANS IX

ROMANS IX posted in Eleison Comments on June 22, 2024

Let us recall how Jews served God at first,

But the best, that fall, can turn into the worst.

When the savagery of today’s Israelis continues unabated against the Palestinians in their midst, their most savage “mowing of the lawn” yet (that is their own term for it) since the founding of Israel in 1948, it is an opportune moment to consider the nature of the Jews and where they are coming from, as seen by their Creator Himself in the text of His own Word. For in no less than three full Chapters of St Paul’s greatest Epistle, Romans IX to XI, the Apostle to the Gentiles strives to explain to them how the mass of Jews, truly the Chosen Race for 2000 years from Abraham to Christ, could, when their own Messiah at last appeared, have crucified Him and become not converts to His Church but its worst persecutors.

St Paul must have known how the Jews of his time, as of ours, would utterly dismiss him as a “Jew-hater” or “antisemite,” because he begins the three Chapters with his “sorrow and anguish” at not being able to bring to Christ his fellow-Jews (v.2), because as Israelites they enjoyed a little litany of incomparable privileges from God. To this day, if Jews are dominant in so many different fields, it is only because God has not taken away from them the natural gifts of intelligence and understanding which they would need, to provide the Messiah with His human cradle for the benefit of all mankind.

Nor does the failure of the gifted Jews to follow up from the Old Testament to the New mean any failure on the part of Almighty God (v.6), because it was by His own choice, preceding any human choices, to allow the Jews to fall away from Him while He would have mercy on the Gentiles. Thus all Jews by race are the Israel of the flesh, represented by Agar and Ishmael, and Esau, while all Catholics by faith in Jesus Christ, Jew or Gentile, are the spiritual Israel, represented by Sarah and Isaac, and Jacob, merely fore- shadowed by the Israel of the flesh. The entire Old Testament only existed for the New Testament.

Objection: but if God’s choice precedes all choices of men, then it is God’s fault if the Jews reject Christ.

Reply: No, God is sovereignly free to choose on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will allow to harden their own hearts by their own free choice of evil, in order to show forth His own power and justice (v.14–16). Thus for nearly 2000 years, ever since the Crucifixion, the special persecution of the Church by Jews has served to highlight the mercy of God towards all Catholics by faith in Christ, Jew or Gentile by race. That God would in fact throw open His New Testament to Gentiles as well as to Jews was prophesied in many places in the Old Testament (v.24–29) – St Paul lists four such quotations in Romans XV, 9–12.

In conclusion, while Gentiles are justified by their faith in Jesus Christ (v.30), all the Jews who stumble over Jesus Christ by putting their trust in their own good works instead, are not justified but condemned

(v.31–33). They may still belong to Israel of the flesh, that Israel of the Old Testament and of the Law, but ever since Jesus Christ died on the Cross they cannot belong to the true Israel of the spirit unless they have faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord, Redeemer and Messiah.

In fact, the last two millennia since the Crucifixion have shown how the Jews have even fallen away from the true Old Testament, because they preserve in their post-Christian synagogues the original text, no doubt as evidence of their prestigious origins and glorious vocation, but the essential meaning and content of that text they refuse, because every page of the Old Testament, if one knows how to read it, points to Jesus Christ. Of course. So within a few hundred years the Jews had concocted their own substitute for the Old Testament, namely the Talmud, which mentions Our Lord only to blaspheme against Him. So the Talmud, and not the Old Testament, is the holy text of the Jews of today’s synagogues. The distinction is most important. Talmudic Jews continue the false Israel. Jews Catholic by faith belong to the spiritual Israel, which is the Catholic Church.

Kyrie eleison.

SCRIPTURE’S ACTUALITY

SCRIPTURE’S ACTUALITY posted in Eleison Comments on May 18, 2024

Around the Incarnate God the whole world turns, 

As Scripture tells. By scorning Him, it burns.

The latest issue of the news bulletin of the “Resistance” Seminary of the Society of the Apostles of Jesus and Mary, in Morannes in North-western France, has an admirable Editorial coming from that Society’s Superior, Bishop Jean-Michel Faure. It is not long. Here is the complete text – 

Dear Friends and Benefactors, 

Our Lord said to the Apostles, “When you hear of wars and uprisings, let yourselves not be frightened . . . . you will be hated by everybody, because of my name” (that is to say, because of your faithfulness to my doctrine) . . . . “by your perseverance you will save your souls . . . . When you see these things beginning to happen, raise your heads and look up, because your redemption (and your victory) is close at hand.” (Lk. XXI, 9, 17, 19, 28). 

Today we are witnessing the signs that announce the great events alluded to by Our Lord Jesus Christ, St Paul and St John: the Great Apostasy. Never before have the enemies of Jesus Christ had at their disposal so many means of destroying all faith and morals in the souls of children, youngsters and elders. “Crush the infamous (church),” Voltaire was already crying out in the 18th century to adepts of the infernal sect – “Let us pull down the throne (or monarchy) in order to pull down the altar (or Catholic Mass and Church), by secularism (television, internet, cinema), indecent fashions, and finally by infiltrating the Church, up to and including the Papacy, thanks to the Second Vatican Council. 

Modern history illustrates the stages of the great Apostasy of the Nations, the gestures and deeds of the agents of the Antichrist, his predecessors preparing for the Antichrist himself to come, getting ready the generation of men to applaud him when he comes (cf. II Thess. I, 8). A very recent document coming from Rome states that human dignity is infinite. Here is man pretending to set up his throne inside the Church, so as to enthrone himself there with the power of the Devil (II Thess. II, 4). 

As he pilgrims of Emmaus said to Our Lord, “Lord, stay with us, for the day is far spent” (Lk. XXIV, 29) (and darkness is covering the earth). 

Have courage, little flock – “I have conquered the world” (Jn. XVI, 33), by the Cross. The Kingdom of God has never been so close. 

Mgr. Jean-Michel Faure 

What is impressive here is first and foremost how relevant to our unprecedented calamities in Church and world of today are the plentiful quotations from a distant yesterday. Readers of these “Comments” are entitled not to have been impressed by the lack of authority of much more recent Messages purporting to come from Heaven to enlighten and encourage us in the coming battle, but let them at least open their Bibles to read again Matthew XXIV, Mark XIII and Luke XXI. There is no lack of divine Authority behind the text of the Gospels, there is only a lack of our realising, in the manner of Bishop Faure, how much that text can come to life in our present circumstances. 

Readers, to understand what is really happening around us and what we need to do, read regularly God’s own Word in Scripture, and not only the New Testament but also the Old Testament, where the multiple presentation of God’s goodness meeting the wickedness of men is the very essence of today’s events. 

Kyrie eleison 

Today’s Galatians

Today’s Galatians posted in Eleison Comments on June 16, 2012

“O you senseless Galatians,” cries out St Paul (Gal.III, 1), tearing a strip off one of his beloved flocks that was back-sliding, or wanting to go back from the New Testament to the Old Testament so as to satisfy Judaizers that would make them serve again “under the elements of the world” (IV, 3). It is remarkably easy to apply the Apostle’s tirade to the Traditional Catholics who are presently being tempted to slide back under Conciliar authorities so as to satisfy Nostra Aetate. But then it is the same world, flesh and devil, so with apologies to St Paul, let me adapt some verses from the Epistle to our own times:—

“O you senseless Tradcats! Who has bewitched you, that you should not follow the Tradition of Our Lord Jesus Christ, as it has been set before you? This only would I learn of you: have you been leading Catholic lives for several years thanks to Vatican II, or thanks to Catholic Tradition? Are you so foolish that having experienced the fruits of Tradition you now want to give it up by putting yourselves back under the Conciliar authorities? Were all those fruits in vain(III, 1–4)?

“I am astonished that you are so soon drifting away from the line of Archbishop Lefebvre who called you into the grace of Christ, and instead towards the new gospel of Vatican II, which is no gospel at all, but these modernists are troubling you, and they want to pervert the Gospel of Christ. But if ourselves or an angel from Heaven were to try to tell you that the Council was not really that bad, throw him out and don’t listen! Let me say it again: anyone pretending that the Archbishop would have been in favour of a deal today with Conciliar Rome should be thrown out! Whose interests are we seeking? Are we trying to please the Romans or to please God? If these Romans liked me, I would be no servant of Christ!(I, 6–10).

“Before you came to Tradition you were serving under churchmen who were turning the Church over to the world. But now, after you found Tradition, how can you be wanting to go back with the world, under the Conciliar authorities(IV, 8,9)? Am I become an enemy of the SSPX because I tell the truth? Those misleading you pretend to be looking after your interests, but they want you to forget about the Archbishop so as to serve their own interests(IV, 16,17). Stand fast, and do not come under the sway of the Council again(V, 1). You were doing well. How can you now be letting yourselves turned away from the Truth? Whoever is doing this to you is no servant of God! I do believe you will come to your senses, but whoever is misleading you bears a grave responsibility. Do you think I would be so persecuted if I was preaching the world? Whoever is corrupting Tradition needs the knife for more than just circumcision(V, 7–12)!

“Those wanting the SSPX to go through Vatican II B are merely trying to avoid being persecuted for the Cross of Christ. They want you to be worldly, keeping only the outward appearances of Tradition. They want back in with the Judaizers in Rome, but God forbid that I should want anything other than the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me and I to the world. Whoever follows Tradition in this way, peace be to them, and mercy(VI, 12–16).”

Now read St Paul’s own Epistle. Let nobody pretend that the Word of God no longer applies!

Kyrie eleison.

Ancestral Pride

Ancestral Pride posted in Eleison Comments on October 15, 2011

In his second volume on the life of Jesus published several months ago, Pope Benedict XVI made remarks enabling journalists to jump to the conclusion that the Jews must no longer be held responsible for deicide, i.e. the killing of God. Worse, on May 17 the executive director of the US Bishops’ Conference’s Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs said that one cannot charge the Jewish people with deicide at any time in history without falling out of communion with the Catholic Church. Against what many people today want to believe, it is time to recall, however briefly, what the true Church always used to teach on the judicial murder of Jesus.

Firstly, the killing of Jesus was truly “deicide,” i.e. the killing of God, because Jesus was the one of the three divine Persons who in addition to his divine nature had taken a human nature. What was killed on the Cross? Only the human nature. But who was killed on the Cross in his human nature? None other than the second divine Person, i.e. God. So God was killed, deicide was committed.

Secondly, Jesus died on the Cross to save all of us sinful human beings from our sins, and in this sense all men were and are the purpose of his death. But only the Jews (leaders and people) were the prime agents of the deicide because it is obvious from the Gospels that the Gentile most involved, Pontius Pilate, would never have condemned Jesus to death had not the Jewish leaders roused the Jewish people to clamour for his crucifixion (Mt. XXVII, 20). Certainly the learned leaders were more guilty than the unlearned people, says St Thomas Aquinas (Summa III, 47, 5), but they all cried together for Jesus’ blood to come down upon them and their children (Mt. XXVII, 25).

Thirdly, at least Pope Leo XIII considered there to be a real solidarity between the Jews clamouring then for Jesus to be killed and the collectivity of Jews of modern times. Did he not in his Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus have the entire Church, from the end of the 19th century onwards, pray to God that he turn his “eyes of mercy towards the children of that race, once God’s chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Saviour; may it now descend upon them a laver (i.e. washing) of redemption and life”?

But Leo XIII is by no means alone in observing such a continuity amongst Jews down the centuries. Do they themselves not lay claim today to the land of Palestine on the grounds that it is theirs by right from the God of the Old Testament? Has there ever been a race-people-nation on the face of the earth more proudly self-identifying as identical down the ages? Originally raised by God to cradle the Messiah, alas, when he came they refused, collectively, to recognize him. Collectively also, meaning there are always noble exceptions, they have remained faithful to that rejection, so that they changed their religion from that of Abraham and Moses and the Old Testament to that of Anas, Caiphas and the Talmud. Tragically, their very messianic training by God drives them to go on rejecting the one whom they hold to be a false messiah. Until they convert at the end of the world, as the Church has always taught they will do (cf. Rom. XI, 26–27), they seem bound to choose to go on acting, collectively, as enemies of the true Messiah. How can the Pope let go of such ancient truths?

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.