Tag: world

Trap Closing?

Trap Closing? posted in Eleison Comments on January 12, 2019

And so Church and world have staggered into another calendar year with everything coming into place for a third World War to wipe mankind off the face of the earth. And these “Comments” have reached their 600th issue when it seems just yesterday that they were celebrating their 500th issue. The world is spinning at a giddy pace – in Latin, “volvitur orbis” – but Almighty God is in full command, and His Cross is firmly planted, nor does it budge – “stat crux.” God gives a great degree of liberty to His enemies to act as His scourge upon a godless generation, but the scourging is for their good, to separate the sheep from the goats and to stop the sheep from sliding into Hell. And let His enemies not think that they will get the better of Him – He used the Assyrians to chastise the Israelites, but woe to the Assyrians if they thought they would escape His justice! – Isaiah X, especially verse 15 – God is not mocked.

But at the very heart of the world’s problems is the unprecedented problem of the Catholic Church. The Church depends on its hierarchy of bishops and priests, so it was logical that if God planned for His Church to decline before the end of the world (Lk. XVIII, 8), then the hierarchy would be involved in the decline, and that was the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965). The time for their holding strong had lasted from the Counter-Reformation in the 1500s, four admirable centuries of Catholicism, but after that resistance they gave way, and replaced God’s Catholic Church with their own Newchurch, or Conciliar Church. In the 1970’s there was still enough faith in Catholics to make possible a serious continuation of the resistance, for which Archbishop Lefebvre and his Society of St Pius X provided a lead, but after another 40 years his successors gave up that effort, and then Catholics were more abandoned than ever.

Today the life still seems to be draining out of them. It is an illusion to act or to react as though we are still in the 1970s. “Volvitur orbis.” The world has moved on, and with it, the Church. Extreme conditions call for extreme measures. As one once thriving Catholic institution after another turns slowly into a shell-game, Catholics turn slowly into walking ghosts of their former selves, and it seems as though there is little they can do about it. Nor are rhetoric or fine words the answer. The fine words are worn out, and the rhetoric is hollow. Catholics depend on their hierarchy, and their hierarchy is stricken. The Shepherd is struck, and the sheep are scattered, and it is no use their turning to the stricken Shepherd. He is gone!

A recent piece of news, or rumour – the geometry is variable, according to public reaction – is that the Roman sub-Congregation of Ecclesia Dei (ED) , founded by Rome immediately after the Society’s 1988 Consecrations, to reach out to Catholics tempted to follow Archbishop Lefebvre instead of Rome, is going to be re-absorbed into the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Apparently the re-absorption was due to be announced on December 20, but perhaps Rome thought twice. For while the Society’s present leaders might be only too happy to renounce the special outreach of ED and to put an end to their own “schism” (as they see it) by their coming fully under the “normal” CDF, there may still be enough Catholics Catholic enough to want Rome to make at least some gesture still in favour of Tradition. But ED is long since a shell-game. Both Rome and the Society leaders want the Roman trap to be closed . . .

Then what do Catholics do who have the Faith and want to keep it? First of all, take stock. The Church building in Rome was cemented by 250 years’ worth of the blood of martyrs, blood gushing red, including of many young girls. Where are the potential martyrs today? Almighty God has had enough of Catholics growing over centuries weaker and weaker in the Faith, and He is bringing back the lions to make some worthy candidates for Heaven. Secondly, let us gird our loins accordingly, prepare to play the man, as did those girls (without a trace of feminism), and humble ourselves beneath the Wisdom and Justice of God. Thirdly, let us remember that many presently last may soon be first, and vice versa. And fourthly, always, “Watch and pray, watch and pray, Fifteen Mysteries every day.”

Kyrie eleison.

Theresa’s Prayer

Theresa’s Prayer posted in Eleison Comments on February 2, 2013

It is extraordinary how far God is lost to the great number of souls around us today. It is in him that every one of us “lives and moves and has his being” (Acts, XVII, 28). Without him we cannot lift a finger, think a thought or do any naturally good action, let alone any supernaturally good action. All that we can do by ourselves, without him, is to sin, and even then the sinful action as action comes from God, only its sinfulness comes from ourselves, because the sinfulness is in itself something not positive but defective.

Yet the mass of souls around us treat God as though he does not exist, or, if he does exist, as though he is of no importance. It is a truly incredible state of affairs. It is getting worse day by day. It cannot last. It can only be compared with the state of mankind in the time of Noah. Men’s corruption at that time was such (Gen. VI, 11–12) that unless God took away from them the use of their most precious endowment, their free-will – just see how most men react when one tries to force them to do something! – then the only way they left for him to save any significant number of them was to inflict a universal chastisement in which they would nevertheless have time to repent. That was the Flood, a historical event proved by a mass of geological evidence.

Similarly today, a worldwide chastisement is surely, before God, the only way that mankind has left for him to save still any large number of souls from the horror of their damning themselves for eternity. As in Noah’s time, the mercy of God makes it virtually certain that the huge number of souls will be given the time and knowledge necessary to save themselves if they wish. And afterwards many of the large number that will be saved (alas, not the majority) will recognize that only that chastisement saved them from drifting with today’s corruption all the way down to Hell.

Still, it will be easy to be frightened by the explosion of the just anger of a majestic God. From miles and miles away the Israelites were terrified by a demonstration of his power on the top of Mount Sinai (Exod. XX, 18). In our own times it will be well to recall the famous prayer of St Theresa of Avila (given here with a rhyming translation into English to facilitate memorisation):—

Nada te turbe, Let nothing fret you, Nada te espante, Nothing upset you. Todo se pasa, Everything falters, Dios no se muda. God never alters. La paciencia Patience withal Todo lo alcanza. Will obtain all. Quien a Dios tiene Who to God will cling Nada le falta. Can lack for no thing. Solo Dios basta. God alone is enough.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I put in you all the trust I can lay my hands on. But help my lack of trust!

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.