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The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion

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The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery:

The Crucifixion

 

“When Jesus therefore had seen his mother, and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.” (John 19:26-27).

 

In the midst of the greatest agony ever suffered by any human being, the last gift offered by Jesus Christ before His death on the Cross was the gift of His Mother to His disciple John, and through John to all men. At the same time, and equally important, this singular act of Our Lord was also the gift of spiritual childhood within His Immaculate Mother’s Heart for all those who would be saved: “Amen I say to whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child, shall not enter into it.” (Mark 10: 15). Such is a mother’s sacred role, and it has been this Sacred Mediatorship which has been assigned by God to the Blessed Virgin Mary for all eternity.

“The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made any thing from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made…. I was with him forming all things: and was delighted every day, playing before him at all times; Playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the children of men. Now, therefore, ye children, hear me: Blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors. He that shall find me, shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord: But he that shall sin against me, shall hurt his own soul. All that hate me love death.”( Prov. 8: 22-36).

It is the destruction of spiritual childhood which is now the primary objective of Satan within Christ’s Mystical Body the Church. And it is because of Satan’s success in this work that the infinite graces of Christ’s redemptive sacrifice are now bearing so few graces within the Church, and that the Church is now ascending its own, largely self-inflicted, Calvary.

The primary characteristic of truly Christian spiritual childhood is that simplicity, and singleness of intention and desire, which seeks God’s Truth above all things. In His Sermon on the Mount, Our Lord told His disciples: For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also. The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome. But if thy eye be evil thy whole body shall be darksome. If then the light that is in thee be darkness: the darkness itself how great shall it be!” (Mt. 6:21-23). The light spoken of in this passage is that which is derived from Christ, “in Whom we live, and move, and are” (Acts 17:28), Who is the Word eternally generated from the Father as the Truth of His Being. The light of man becomes “darksome” to the extent that he depreciates and departs from eternal Truth.

It was John who, to all appearances, most possessed this “singleness” of intention among the Apostles. He was simply called “the disciple whom Christ loved”. It was he who, in tender, child-like love, “leaned on the breast of our Lord” at the First Eucharist, and to whom Our Lord first revealed His betrayer. It was John, alone among the Apostles, who was present with Our Lady at the Cross, where he received Mary as his mother. And it was John who wrote the most exalted and mystical of the four Gospels, and to whom the secrets of the Book of the Apocalypse were revealed. As Our Lady of Good Success said to Mother Mariana on February 2, 1610, “For our Heavenly Father communicates His secrets to the simple of heart, and not to those whose hearts are inflated with pride, pretending to know what they do not or infatuated with empty science.” As we shall see, it is precisely such “empty science” which is the primary source of the loss of spiritual childhood within the Church, and its present crucifixion upon the cross of this world.

The Gospel of St. John rightly deserves the title “Gospel of Light”. The word “light” is used therein 23 times. What is more, the word “light” in the Fourth Gospel is used in such a manner as to be virtually synonymous with the words “life” (which is employed 43 times) and “truth” (27 times); and this is equally so, whether these words are applied to God or man. Thus it is that Jesus teaches: I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), and “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He declares that “life is in Him” and that His life is the “light of men” (John 1:4), and He proclaims to Pilate that His Kingship over this world is a Kingship of truth (John 18: 37). In regard to these same terms and their application to men, we read: “But he that doth truth cometh to the light” (John 3:21), and: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12). Throughout the Gospel of John, these three terms – light, life, and truth – would seem to dance around one another as though they revealed not only the substantial nature of God Himself, but all that is contained in the Biblical concept that man is created in the image of God.

John is also extraordinarily clear as to the fundamental choice that must be made by each man in regard to the light of God’s life and truth:

And this is the judgment: because the light is come into this world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil. For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved. But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God.” (John 3: 19-21).

It is the love of darkness – the hatred of light, life, and truth – which, as we have seen in our study of the other sorrowful mysteries, came to its evil fruition in the Crucifixion of Our Lord. Mystics such as Venerable Mary of Agreda or Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, who have received vision and understanding of the Passion of Christ, describe it in terms of a viciousness which far surpasses in cruelty that which has ever been perpetrated upon any other human being. We are not here dealing with a mere cruel execution. It is as though the torturers and executors of Christ’s death were filled with a satanically-inspired rage to rip away all flesh from His Sacred Body in order to gain access to, and to ravage and destroy, all that is truly constituted as light in this world – to destroy Incarnate Truth Himself. As St. Paul told the Jews, “The author of life you killed.” (Acts 3:15).

This same “hatred of light” is now ravaging Christ’s Mystical Body the Church. It is not a hatred directed primarily at flesh, but rather against the divine life of truth which is the light of man and the soul of the Church. For the most part it is unaccompanied by blood, torn flesh, or the obvious spittle of open contempt. It is extraordinarily more deceitful. And, unlike Christ’s torture, which came wholly from without, the Church’s present agony is stemming disproportionately from within. It is the work of Antichrist within the Church. Again, it is St. John who unmasks the fundamental modus operandi of this Spirit of Antichrist within:

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us; but that they may be manifest that they are not all of us.” (1 John: 2: 18-19).

We must note that the sentence “They went out from us, but they were not of us” does not at all necessitate that they do not maintain the appearance of being members of the Church. They have gone “without” the Faith, but their presence may indeed be very much within. And what is more, they may indeed believe that it is they who are truly “Church”.

What is most deceptive about this work of the Antichrist within the Church is that it is always touted as the most Catholic thing to believe and do, and is most often accomplished behind the masks of friendship, charity, mercy, and inclusiveness. Beneath these masks, however, it constitutes the most savage brutality and death for countless souls. Its primary aim is to pervert and destroy the faith of every Catholic.

The most fundamental act of spiritual childhood, by which one becomes both a child of the Church and a child of Mary, is the act of faith itself. Holy Scripture tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God”. (Heb. 11: 6). It is therefore absolutely necessary for us to understand precisely in what the act of faith consists. Vatican Council I provided us with a marvelous definition:

“Man being wholly dependent upon God, as upon his Creator and Lord, and created reason being absolutely subject to uncreated truth, we are bound to yield to God, by faith in His revelation, the full obedience of our intelligence and will. And the Catholic Church teaches that this faith, which is the beginning of man’s salvation, is a supernatural virtue, whereby, inspired and assisted by the grace of God, we believe that the things which He has revealed are true; not because the intrinsic truth of the things is plainly perceived by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God Himself, Who reveals them, and Who can neither be deceived nor deceive. ‘For faith’, as the Apostle testifies, ‘is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not’ (Heb 11: 1).”

It is precisely the act of yielding – with the aid of the absolutely necessary inspiration and grace of God – both our intellect and will to the authority of God’s Revelation, wherein the act of faith exists. And herein also lies true spiritual childhood to God:

Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration. For of his own will hath he begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning [through spiritual childhood] of his creature.” (James 1: 17-18).

It is here where Our Lady plays her greatest role in our salvation – the forming of our souls in the dispositions necessary that we might receive the light of God’s truth with the heart of children. And unless this child-like heart and faith truly exists in us, we may indeed participate in all sorts of Catholic things – including the Mass, all the other sacraments, and devotions, but the light of our faith has indeed become to one extent or another darksome.

There are two sources of God’s Infallible Truth and Revelation: Holy Scripture and the Infallible Magisterium of the Catholic Church. They are both, of course, now under vicious attack by Satan and by those, especially within the Church, who are doing his work. It would seem certain, however, that Satan’s most effective “front” for destroying the spiritual childhood and faith of Catholics has been Holy Scripture. Many Catholics, while being largely ignorant of magisterial teaching, are yet deeply devoted to reading the Bible. After all, it is Scripture which they hear, read, and preached upon at every Mass, and it is through sermons on Holy Scripture, and through meditations and books written on scriptural passages and themes, that the average faithful receive most of their spiritual “daily bread”. It is the “rape of scripture” by Modernists which has proved to be Satan’s most effective tool in destroying the child-like faith of Catholics in God’s Revelation. It is false, reductive “science” which has provided the motive and methodology for this perversion of Holy Scripture, and it has been going on for many decades (long before Vatican Council II).

St. Thomas, in the very first words of his work titled On Being and Essence, quotes Aristotle: “A small error in the beginning can lead to great errors in the end.” Nowhere is this more true than in Modernism’s attempt to destroy the infallibility of God’s Revelation in Holy Scripture. It begins with Genesis, proceeds onward through the entirety of the Old Testament, and thereby comes to believe that it is also justified in “reworking” all the truths clearly revealed in the New Testament, and also those which have been defined by the Church’s Infallible Magisterium. It is therefore with the beginning that we begin – the Book of Genesis. And since we are dealing here with the subject of that spiritual childhood which makes possible the reception of the grace of Our Lord’s redemption, we will also begin with the subject of our very own children.

The book of Genesis begins with the creation of all things outside of God from nothing. This of course entails that the substantial nature of every single real thing in the universe comes to exist solely from the creative intelligence and will of God. In speaking of Christ, St. Paul writes: “All things were created by him, and in him.” (Col. 1:16). What is more, God created all living things possessing specific natures, which produce seeds or offspring “after their kinds” (Gen. 1: 11, 12, 21, 24, – one needs to read these passages in the Douay-Rheims Bible in order to get the right translation). God is insistent – all living creature were created with defined and specific kinds of nature, and these in turn produced their own kinds).

Within almost any educational system in the civilized world, children, at an early age (usually grades 4-5), are taught that all physical things in the universe are reducible to atoms, and their actions equally reducible to the constantly changing and evolving interplay of these atomic realities. This produces a state of mind, heart, and spirit in our children which, at least implicitly, is a denial of the reality and goodness of God’s creation. They now learn that what is experienced as substantial to them with their senses and minds, is merely an illusion, or a semi-illusional effect, of the interplay of atomic realities upon one another and their senses. And since these atoms are constantly subject to change, there is no permanent “nature” to anything. In other words, such children have become epistemological (the philosophical science of how we know things) schizophrenics – livng in, believing in, and loving a world which they perceive to be real, but which is, in their newly acquired “scientific” understanding, an illusion. In such a world, all absoluteness in regard to either Truth or Morality is destroyed.

Consequent upon this basic atomic reductionism, all aspects of human nature and personality are reduced to material causation. Such children discover that their minds and thoughts are reducible to neurological causation, their emotions to hormonal determination, and their moral and spiritual values to a causation which is determined from both within and without (environmental causation) by what must be seen as universal material determination. They are pawns in an endless chain of chemical interactions and unfolding evolutionary processes.

It is my belief that the only way that children can be protected from such reductionism, and its resultant state of spiritual schizophrenia, is through teaching them the basic principles of Thomistic metaphysics, and that this can indeed be done as early as fourth or fifth grade. It is not difficult, for instance, to lay out to any child the model of an atom with its essential construction of electrons spinning at relatively astronomic distance from the nucleus – the entire thing being comprised of 99.999999999% void (yes, this is a literal and accurate assessment), to show them the absurdity of scientific reduction. There is no way that any human mind, whether it be that of a child or that of a Nobel Prize Physicist, can make the connection between the world of atomic physics (or Quantum Theory) and what it fully perceives as being real in its daily experience. It then becomes easy to introduce them to the reality that what anything is as a substance is not reducible to any sort of physical analysis or measurement, but simply is what it is because God has created it so out of nothing. Here, the human mind is restored not only to intellectual sanity, but also spiritual childhood. Here it rests in God.

But there is another problem. The mistress of reductive, atomic science is evolution. What is deprived of substantive “nature” by the analysis of reductive physics, then only becomes meaningful in terms of endless becoming. Evolution allegedly supplies this meaning through an all-inclusive mental construct in which life is now to be viewed as a grand, almost endless, march towards aTeilhardian perfection (see our article on the Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns). It is evolution, in other words, which has proved to be the most powerful tool for seducing the vast majority of peoples into what must be viewed as a “New-Age” Religion. Evolution replaces the descent of God (the Incarnation) with the ascent of man. It is the religion of Antichrist, despite the fact that it often attempts to co-opt Christ as being on the cutting edge of this ascent.

It might be asserted that it is preposterous to claim that children at a very early age (let us say 2-4 years old) are developed enough to absorb evolutionary concepts. But this would be false. These errors begin in what might first seem to be a very odd place – the concept of Time. In our modern world of invasive mass media, the child is, from the earliest years, assaulted by the concept that the material universe is virtually eternal, that our world is billions of years old, that simple life on earth is also billions of years old, and that human beings can trace their ancestry back through millions of years. Largely, this induces in the minds and hearts of these children the mental construct and ambience which says that they are inconsequential specks in an endless and impersonal process. As such, it makes a mockery of a personal and loving God.

Parents might at first think that it is an exaggeration to say that their five or six year old child is exposed to such things or, even less, understands them. In response, I would simply ask them if their children at such an age have ever been exposed to the modern culture of “dinosaur worship” through such things as TV, cartoons, videos, DVD’s, books, or even a comic book picked up at the dentist’s office. In popular conception, the existence of dinosaurs is inseparable from the concept of “millions of years ago.” (the earliest dinosaur fossil is now dated at 231.4 million years ago). And, of course, this is only one example. How many mothers, for instance, rely on the TV to babysit their children, and often surrender them to such things as the Discovery or National Geographic Channels (all those cute and interesting animals), which are incredibly effective sources of infusion of evolutionary concepts into modern minds. And even if a child is shielded from these media sources, they are almost certainly exposed in many other ways to such spiritual poison, especially through their not-so-carefully guarded peers for whom such things are daily bread.

Creation scientists have done an admirable job in refuting evolutionary concepts. But such arguments require extensive knowledge in all sorts of fields: geology, paleontology, sedimentary formation, radiometric dating, etc, much of which is not fully comprehensible even for the average college graduate. Even an educated person is never quite sure whether the arguments of creation scientists really quite destroy those of the enemy. Science is always changing, always coming up with new “evidence”, which is always around the corner waiting to open up new arguments, doubts, and defensiveness. And, of course, much of this science is not comprehensible to parents, and none of it to a young child.

It is therefore not sufficient for parents to just defend their children from being subject to such errors. What is most needed is an offense which will instill in the minds and hearts of their children something which will not allow such destructive ideas effective access to their spiritual, mental, and emotional lives.

There is an “Achilles heel” present within all evolutionary theory. It is indeed the same concept of Time mentioned above. There can be no evolution without vast amounts of seemingly interminable and “impersonal” time being postulated for the mutational processes and selection integral for such radical changes. Correspondingly, there can be no egress into the hearts of children of evolutionary theory if everything to do with “time” is made deeply personal and finite.

Catholic parents have always possessed an enormously effective tool for infusion of this reality into the depths of their children’s souls. It is the Bible. The problem is that most Catholic parents have largely surrendered the Bible to Modernism. They have done so because a myriad of “experts”, including recent Popes, have insistently identified belief in the truth of the historical accounts of the Old Testament with what has become a derogatory name or position with which no Catholic wishes to be labeled: Fundamentalism.

What is not realized, or fully taken into account, is that the Old Testament is a tremendous wellspring of historical facts establishing the extreme finitude of creation, and the history of Man. There have been many attempts to determine the precise number of years from the creation of Adam to the birth of Christ. All these attempts, at least by Roman Catholics and Protestants, closely converge on a period of 4,000 years. It is really quite an interesting study to follow the descent from Adam to Jesus through the genealogies presented in the books of the Old Testament. The descent from Adam to Abraham, for instance, is quite precise (1948 years) and can be traced in three chapters of Genesis: Genesis 5: 3 – 29), Genesis 7:6 (covering the period of the Flood), and Genesis 11: 10-26. We must realize, of course, that this “precision” is somewhat modified by the obvious fact that the period of time between generations is measured by how old a certain person was when a son was born, and this is always given in years. Absolute precision would require the addition of the months, weeks, and days beyond this particular person’s birthday. Such additions would obviously amount to a very small variance in our calculations.

The effect of all this precise genealogy and history, if it is taken seriously as part of the inspired word of God, is to absolutely destroy any contentions concerning human evolution. The Bible literally saturates the time period between Adam and Christ with the stories of persons who are as we are, who possess the same nature, created in the image of God as do we: subject to the effects of original sin, and yet possessing a nobility created in the image of God; fully human persons who are born, mature, love, sin, form friendships and enmities, grow in knowledge and wisdom or sink deeper into evil and tyranny, repent of their sins or harden their hearts, and who God ultimately looks upon with eyes towards salvation or judgment unto perdition. This history involves a fairly long time (approximately 4,000 years) by human estimation, but it is in no way a Time for evolution. A child who is gradually immersed in reading about this sacred history, and studying the lives of these very real people, is receiving the food that will preserve and protect him or her as a child of God from seemingly endless Time and Meaninglessness.

Much of this, and certainly the entire creation account, has been dismissed by Modernist Biblical scholars as myth or “popular history”. The problem is that it is impossible to do such a thing while at the same time believing in the reliability or Truth of God’s Revelation. In order to understand fully why this is so, we can do no better than quote passages from Pope Leo XIII’s magnificent encyclical Providentissimus Deus – On the Study of Sacred Scripture:

“But it is absolutely wrong and forbidden either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Holy Scripture or to admit that the sacred writer has erred.

“For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Spirit; and so far is it from being possible that any error can coexist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true.

“Hence, because the Holy Spirit employed men as his instruments, we cannot, therefore, say that it was these inspired instruments who, perchance, have fallen into error, and not the primary author. For, by supernatural power, He so moved and impelled them to write – He so assisted them when writing – that the things which he ordered, and those only, they, first, rightly understood, then willed faithfully to write down, and finally expressed in apt words and with infallible truth.

“It follows that those who maintain that an error is possible in any genuine passage of the sacred writings either pervert the Catholic notion of inspiration or make God the author of such error.” (the above quotes are all taken from section 3a).

Therefore, anything that is presented in Scripture as simple historical fact necessarily has God, Who cannot error, as its author. In 1909, the Pontifical Biblical Commission published a decree condemning errors being propagated concerning the first three chapters of Genesis. The first paragraph below summarizes these errors, and the judgment of the Commission follows:

Notwithstanding the historical character and form of Genesis, the special connection of the first three chapters with one another and with the following chapters, the manifold testimonies of the Scriptures both of the Old and of the New Testaments, the almost unanimous opinion of the holy Fathers and the traditional view which the people of Israel also has handed on and the Church has always held, may it be taught that: the aforesaid three chapters of Genesis contain not accounts of actual events, accounts, that is, which correspond to objective reality and historical truth, but, either fables derived from the mythologies and cosmogonies of ancient peoples and accommodated by the sacred writer to monotheistic doctrine after the expurgation of any polytheistic error; or allegories and symbols without any foundation in objective reality proposed under the form of history to inculcate religious and philosophical truths; or finally legends in part historical and in part fictitious freely composed with a view to instruction and edification?
Answer: In the negative to both parts.

The true, historical character of all the rest of Old Testament necessarily follows as a logical consequence.There is no way that what is presented as thousands of historical facts in the Old Testament can be some sort of “figure”, allegory, or myth. It is certainly true that scripture often speaks in different forms of figurative language, and this has been thoroughly explored and explained by Doctors and Fathers of the Church. But all of these Doctors and Fathers accepted matter-of-factly that in all this data, we are simply encountering what are historically true facts.

It is also important to us to realize that when Scripture does use figurative language, it is done for very serious and necessary reasons – to impart truths in the moral or spiritual order. There are in fact several distinctions to be made as to the type of these “figures”. The best summary of these distinctions is to be found in the very beginning of the First Part of St. Thomas’ Summa Theologica.

For instance, Thomas writes, “It is befitting Holy Writ to put forward divine and spiritual truths by means of comparisons with material things [metaphors – analogies]. For God provides for everything according to the capacity of its nature. Now it is natural to man to attain to intellectual truths through sensible objects. Because all our knowledge originates from sense. Hence in Holy Writ spiritual truths are fittingly taught under the likeness of material things.” Thus when scripture speaks of “God’s arm”, it simply denotes his operative power. When it speaks of His “wrath”, it signifies such things as chastisement, punishment, and judgment. In other words, we need such “figures” in order to gain a real, but imperfect, knowledge of God.

St. Thomas delineates two basic senses of Holy Scripture – the historical/literal, and the spiritual (“which is based on the literal, and presupposes it”). The historical/literal is simply what it is – revealed, literal facts and truths, with God as their author. The spiritual sense has a threefold division: allegorical, tropological, and anagogical. Something is written allegorically in so far as “the things of the Old Law signify the things of the New Law” [think of the entire Song of Songs in this regard]. The tropological, or moral sense, indicates “that things done in Christ, or so far as the things which signify Christ, are types of what we ought to do”. And the third spiritual sense (anagogical) indicates things “in so far as they relate to eternal glory”. All these “senses” are involved in Biblical interpretation.

In other words, to try to demean someone as believing in “the literal meaning of scripture”, and then to oppose them to those persons (supposedly much more mature and sophisticated) who believe in the “spiritual meaning of scripture” is a cheap trick of the Modernist. There is a great deal of both literal and figurative meaning in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. However, while there certainly is no sin in not being able to understand all the metaphorical, figurative, and otherwise hidden depths of scripture, there is a great deal of malice towards both God and man in undermining or denying what is simply presented as literal and historical facts which are revealed truths, and have God as their author.

There is simply no way in which all the vast amount of genealogical, chronological, and historical facts present in the Old Testament can be reduced to some spiritual, metaphorical, figurative meaning, or to a “popular myth”, without either denying God’s authorship of the entirety of Holy Scripture, or subjecting Him to error or deception. Historical facts are not metaphors or allegories; they are either simply true or false. If any one of these facts is false, then God has simply erred, thus violating the most sacred truth about God, as laid down by Pope Leo XIII: “it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true”.

The “modern” Catholic is made to feel that the Catholic Church has never taken these facts literally, and that such foolishness and naivety is only to be found in fundamentalist sects. But the fact is that all faithful Catholics took them literally for almost 2,000 years. The Douay-Rheims Bible was in almost universal use by English-speaking Catholics for approximately 450 years, until the middle of the Twentieth Century. The 1899 Challoner edition of the Douay–Rheims which I possess contains a detailed “Historical and Chronological Index” [actually a Table] to the Old Testament. It begins with Adam and the “Creation of heaven and earth, and all things therein, in six days” at the beginning of year One. It then proceeds through a chronology listing very specific persons and dates, and ends with the birth of Joseph, foster-father of Jesus, during the High Priesthood of Hyrcanus (which succeed that of Alexander who became High Priest 3,934 years after the creation of Adam).

In other words, modern Catholics have largely been hoodwinked into denying, and being embarrassed by, what is obviously a huge part of God’s Divine Revelation. They have been overrun by a spiritual timidity and cowardice towards bogus science which places them in a continual posture of prostitution towards the modern world, and ever ready to take the next step backward as Satan whittles them down to little more than stumps of what was once considered integral and necessary to being a Christian.

We must turn this around if we are to preserve our children for Christ. We must turn this around if we are to preserve, or regain, our own spiritual childhood in God.

To ascent to the Truths revealed by God in the genealogies and history of the Old Testament utterly destroys any possibility of human evolution. This of course throws into chaos all of evolutionary theory. Evolutionists date fossils possessing fully- human anatomic characteristics to 200,000 years ago, and Homo species itself to 2.5 million years ago. These numbers are based on both the depth of geological strata in which these fossils are found, and radiometric dating of these strata. If this data is erroneous, the reliability of all such dating based on geological stratification or radiometric testing is profoundly undermined. Belief in Divine Revelation as present in the history of the Old Testament necessarily does just that.

It is the Flood, however, which administers the coup de grace to all such dating methods. It is admitted by both Creationists and Evolutionists alike that dating of fossils by both of the methods mentioned above is dependent upon the theory of geological “Uniformatism”. A Universal Flood destroys the reliability of these methods.

A critical question for any Catholic, therefore, is whether we are required by Faith to accept the Genesis account of the Flood as being literally true. As we have seen in relation to the rest of the Old Testament, the determining factor in answering this question is whether God, the author of all of Scripture, simply presents us with “literal” facts which must be judged as either true or false.

The history of the Flood and its aftermath is to be found in Genesis 6-10. It is quite detailed with historical facts.

We must first take into account that Noah, along with his son Sem, are in the line that leads from Adam directly to David, and consequently to Christ. They are listed at the very end of the complete chronology from Adam to Noah offered in Genesis 5. These are real, historical personalities. We must take all of the following seriously:

God, “seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times”, resolved to destroy all living things on the earth except Noah and his wife, his sons and their wives, one pair each of all the unclean beasts, seven pairs of the clean beasts and seven pairs of all fowls. God gives very detailed instructions for the building of the Ark in order to preserve them from the Flood which He is about to bring upon all the earth.

The details of the flood are also specific – it took 7 days to cover the whole earth, the rain fell for forty days and forty nights. The precise height of the water is given – fifteen feet above the highest mountain – and the number of days the waters “prevailed over the earth” – one hundred and fifty days.

The Flood came not only from above in the form of rain, but also from below – “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the flood gates of heaven were opened”. It seems that both earth and the “heavens” were constituted differently before the Flood. Many creation scientists have speculated that there was a vapor canopy around the earth which created a greenhouse effect, and consequent temperate climate over all the earth. This disappeared when the “flood gates of heaven were opened”. This would account for such phenomena as mammoths being found in Siberia, apparently rapidly frozen, with green vegetation in their stomachs. The destruction of such a canopy, and the consequent elimination of this greenhouse effect, would account for rapid freezing and preservation of these mammoths. It might also account, at least partially, for the fact that people lived much longer before the flood – such a vapor canopy would have blocked harmful cosmic radiation from space.

It is also speculated that such a vapor canopy would have increased gas pressures on the earth, causing a 50% higher concentration of oxygen. In 1987, Time Magazine reported that amber crystals (formed from the fossilization of tree sap) had been discovered with trapped air bubbles containing50% more oxygen than the current atmosphere (32% vs. 21%). Reduction of the oxygen content of the atmosphere after the Flood could very well account for the inability of dinosaurs to survive. The higher oxygen rates before the Flood could also account for longer life spans, healthier lives, larger fossils of all sorts found in the fossil record. I mention all this, not to presume to give any sort of extensive or exhaustive scientific arguments, but only to give the reader some small indication of the great number of possible ramifications, even beyond geological and radiometric dating, of Noah’s Flood.

To continue with the specifics facts concerning the Flood:

After the hundred and fifty days, God “brought a wind upon the earth, and the waters were abated”, and “the fountains also of the deep, and the flood gates of heaven were shut up, and the rain from heaven was restrained, and the waters returned from off the earth going and coming: and they began to be abated after a hundred and fifty days. And the ark rested in the seventh month, the seven and twentieth day of the month, upon the mountains of Armenia.” Further, “in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared”. The scripture then tells us that after forty more days, Noah opened the window of the ark, and sent forth a raven, which did not return. He then sent forth a dove which, “not finding where her foot might rest”, returned to the ark. Finally, after waiting another seven days, Noah sent forth the same dove, which returned to him in the evening carrying “a bough of an olive tree, with green leaves, in her mouth”. Noah stayed in the ark yet another seven days, sent forth the dove again, which did not return.

The scripture continues: “Therefore in the six hundredth and first year [Noah was 600 years old at the beginning of the Flood – Genesis 7:6), the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were lessened upon the earth, and Noah, opening the covering of the ark, looked, and saw that the face of the earth was dried. In the second month, the seven and twentieth day of the month, the earth was dried. And God spoke to Noah, saying: Go out of the ark, thou and thy wife, they sons, and the wives of thy sons with thee. All living things that are with thee of all flesh, as well in fowls as in beasts, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, bring out with thee, and go ye upon the earth; increase and multiply upon it.” And, finally, Noah built an “altar unto the Lord”, “offered holocausts upon the altar”, and God established His “rainbow covenant” with man by which He promised never again to destroy all life on earth with water.

What is often overlooked in the account of the Flood and its aftermath is Chapter 10 of Genesis, which in its entirety is devoted to enumerating the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons of Noah (all 71 of them), and the specific nations and areas of the world which they and their descendents re-populated. The final two sentences of this chapter read: “These are the families of Noe, according to their peoples and nations. By these were the nations divided on the earth after the flood.”

One of the more interesting facts revealed in all of this chronology is that Abraham was 58 years old when Noah (who lived for 950 years) died. It is tempting to consider the possibility that, in God’s providence, these two men of God might have exchanged a glass of wine and discussed what God might do next in order to try and straighten out sinful man (Abraham would not receive God’s calling for another 17 years, when he was 75). Such might be the stuff of imagination, but the very fact that it is conceivable illustrates the profound finitude and “personality” of time in God’s dealings with man and all of creation.

Let us address a young child:

Grandpa (or Great Grandpa) is 80 years old. That may seem a long time to you, but it is not really a very long time for Grandpa. Your life will seem much shorter as you grow older. There are 25 (we might lay out 25 eggs as illustration) of Grandpa’s life going back to the time when Christ walked this earth. If we then use an apple to show the time of Christ until you were born, there are less than two apples, before Christ, back to the creation of Adam and the world.

I quote Pope Leo again: “It follows that those who maintain that an error is possible in any genuine passage of the sacred writings either pervert the Catholic notion of inspiration or make God the author of such error.”To claim that God would provide all this erroneous data in order to create some sort of metaphor or allegory is preposterous. This is either historical truth, or God has erred. If God has erred, then all of Revelation is called into question, and our faith is entirely destroyed.

If God has not erred, then man has not evolved. The choice is simple for any Catholic.

We are now left with the Old Testament account of Creation itself. It is presented to us as occurring over a period of six days; the seventh day, God “rested” (the notion that God “rested”, obviously being a classic use of metaphor in Holy Scripture).

In his excellent work, The Doctrine of Genesis 1-11, Fr. Victor Warkulwiz, M.S.S., offers the following conclusions regarding the teaching of the Fathers of the Church in regard to the Six Day Creation account: “None of them professed belief that God took eons of time to create the world”, and “The great majority of the Fathers of the Church believed that God created the world in six natural days.” (p. 164). He offers the following examples of their thought on this matter:

From St. Ephrem the Syrian, he quotes the following passages:

So, let no one think that there is anything allegorical in the works of the six days. No one can rightly say that the things pertaining to these days were symbolic, nor can anyone say that they were meaningless names or that things were symbolized for us by their names.

Although both the light and the clouds were created in the twinkling of an eye, still both the day and night of the First Day continued for twelve hours each.

Although the grasses were only a moment old at their creation, they appeared as if they were months old. Likewise, the trees, although only a day old when they sprouted forth, were nevertheless like trees years old as they were fully grown and fruits were already budding on their branches. The grass that would be required as food for the animals two days later was thus made ready. And the new corn that would be food for Adam and his descendants, who would be thrown out of paradise four days later, was thus prepared.

St. Basil:

”There was evening and morning.” This means the space of a day and a night….”And there was evening and morning, one day.” Why did he say “one” and not “first”? [note: this is how it is erroneously translated in the New American Bible]….He said “one” because he was defining the measure of a day and night and combining the time of a night and a day, since the twenty-four hours fill up the interval of one day, if, of course, night is understood with day.

St. Ambrose:

In notable fashion has Scripture spoken of a “day”, not the “first day”. Because a second, then a third, day, and finally the remaining days were to follow, a “first day” could have been mentioned, following in this way the natural order. But scripture established a law that twenty-four hours, including both day and night, should be given the name of day only, as if one were to say the length of one day is twenty-four hours in extent.

Fr. Warkulwiz then proceeds to state that St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Jerome, and St. Gregory the Great also believed that God created the world successively in six natural days.

The one exception to this almost universal view held by the Church Fathers that the world was created in six simultaneous days was St. Augustine. St. Augustine believed that all things were created “simultaneously” on the first day, but that plants and animals were created in “seed” form (what he called rationes seminales – “rational seeds”), to be distinguished later. St. Thomas held a similar view, but was very careful to note that both his and St. Augustine’s view on this matter differed from the rest of the Church Fathers, and that it was only his personal opinion. It should also be carefully noted that the rationes seminales of Saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas have nothing to do with evolution, and are diametrically opposed to it. Whatever “rational seeds” may be, they already are in possession of the substantial form of a particular “kind” of thing. In the teaching of St. Thomas, there can be no change of one “kind” of substance into another. The appearance of a new “kind” requires the corruption of the substantial form or essence of the former “kind” (in the case of living thing this entails its death). This absolutely negates the “evolution” of one substance into another, and entails that no living species could undergo any sort of mutation which would generate a different “kind”. There is, in other words, no way in which Thomas can be used to endorse evolutionary theory. The “rational seeds” of St. Augustine and St. Thomas, if they could be said to exist, are just that – “rational”. They speak of the fact that all the “kinds” of both living and non-living thing are intelligently created, and have a created, intelligible “form” that makes them what they are. There is no intelligence in material causation itself, and there can therefore be no creation of new kinds through such material causation in itself. It is interesting that in Chapter One of Genesis, the word “kind” or “kinds” is used nine times in order to emphasize this fact. God’s Ways are not indefinite, interminable, or evolutionary. All the Church Fathers, being wise, and at the same time being the spiritual children of a Personal God, understood this.

As we have pointed out, it is in the very nature of evolutionary theory that in order for it to win over the human mind, interminable lengths of Time, with its consequent principle of Endless Becoming, must claim victory in our minds over substantial being, essence, and nature. In Thomistic metaphysics, time is one of the nine accidens of being. It exists only as a reality by inhering in substance. To “free” time from this inhering in something substantial – something with an inviolable nature – to make it interminable, vast beyond human comprehension, and something to which substantial being is subject for its very essence and fulfillment, amounts to a destruction of being. In regard to human substantiality – the nature of a human being – this entails the disintegration of human integrity and personality. The human mind and heart become “lost in time”, like an astronaut whose tether- line to his ship has been cut, and who now floats further and further away from any contact with what is real.

 

That Which Overcomes Science:

Possibly the most debilitating error of our time is the belief that, in the face of all the assaults of modern science and technology, we must prove our faith (very often to ourselves) by using science itself.

The past 50-100 years have seen a great many such efforts, mostly unsuccessful. We see this reality in the tragic struggle to end abortion – all those baby-models, employment of the science of genetics, ultra-sounds, etc. Despite all of this effective use of science, we plummet more deeply every day into the culture of death.

We see it in the attempts to use every form of the media to counteract the secularist agenda of those who were, in reality, the creators of Modern Media. Pope Pius XII, who was called the “Science Pope”, had great hopes for us in this contest (see his encyclical Miranda Prorsus –On the Communication Fields: Movies, Television, and Radio). His writings on this subject now seem redolent with naivety. The Mass Media is almost entirely in the hands of the Enemy.

And, of course, we see it in “Creation Science” – the effort to overcome the grip of evolutionary thinking upon the minds and hearts of modern men by using science itself. There are some who think that they make some progress in this direction, but this optimism would seem unfounded. Some may indeed be helped by such efforts. But all statistics reveal a rapidly growing secularism – the rejection of God’s Rule – which runs on the rails of evolutionary thinking.

Everything in our cultures gives testimony to the fact that Modern Science and technology are much more effective weapons in the hands of Satan than they are, or ever will be, in ours.

The question then becomes: do we possess some other weapon which is more powerful than Science?

St. John provides a very definite answer to this question:

For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith.” (1 John 5:4).

The problem is that, for centuries now, our faith has not been overcoming the world, but rather the opposite: the world, and especially the world of science, has been overcoming and destroying the faith of Catholics. We are therefore faced with drawing one of two conclusions: either God and His Word are wrong, and faith is really just a powder-puff in the face of the weapons of science; or, somehow an awful lot of people who claim to possess the faith, are in reality profoundly depreciated in their faith, or at least the full virility of that faith. Something therefore must be awfully wrong in their understanding and living of the grace of faith itself.

As we have seen, faith is a grace by which and through which we believe in things that “appear not”. It is, in itself, the “substance” and “evidence” for these things. The direct object of this faith is God’s Revelation. The immediate effect of our receiving and accepting this gift is the movement of our wills which causes our mind to surrender to these truths, not on basis of any evidence provided by our use of “the natural light of reason”, but on the authority of God Who is our Father. Faith, in other words, is the supreme expression of spiritual childhood.

Faith is weakened through a myriad of subtle devices by which we subject our child-like faith in God’s Revelation to conditional verification by the world and ourselves. It is certainly legitimate to fully assent to God’s Revelation, and then use every natural means at our disposal to support Revealed Truth. Such, for instance, is the role of philosophy as the “handmaid of theology”. But it is also true that it is very easy for us to begin to weaken and detract from this supernatural grace of faith by subtly beginning to make it conditional upon verification by “the natural light of reason” in one form or another, and especially in relation to science. Here, faith is profoundly weakened. Thus begins that slippery slope which eventually slides down into the darkness of disbelief.

This process – by which Catholic faith “gently” slides into disbelief – is most evident in regard to the rejection of the Book of Genesis as God’s Revelation, especially by members of the Catholic hierarchy. It reaches its apex in the theology of Joseph Ratzinger.

 

Joseph Ratzinger: The Man Who Destroyed Genesis:

“Being is time; it does not merely have time. Only in becoming does it exist and unfold into itself.”

The above quote is from the chapter titled “Creation” in Joseph Ratzinger’s book Credo For Today. The reader will note that it expresses the same, profoundly evolutionary metaphysical-theological orientation as that of Pope Francis. It is one thing to recognize that human life involves potentiality and change. It is altogether another thing to equate being with time, and to declare that being itself is identifiable with becoming and “unfolding into itself” (this latter phrase is redolent with Teilhardian pantheism).

I have never read anything in which Pope Francis directly addresses the subject of evolution – his thinking is simply saturated with its implications: his belief in evolution would seem fully “natural” to him and therefore not in need of justification or explanation. But in order for victory of evolutionary thinking to have triumphed over the Catholic hierarchy, the theological and metaphysical field” of battle had first to be won to its service. The primary architect of this intellectual victory was Joseph Ratzinger.

We dealt some with Joseph Ratzinger’s (and Pope Francis’) evolutionary thinking in The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion (we will here repeat some quotations), but believe it necessary here to draw together all these strains of his evolutionary thought as they relate to the first three chapters of Genesis. If docility in receiving God’s Revelation in its entirety is reserved to the faith of God’s “little children”, we need a clear and complete understanding of what is entailed by becoming “old” in the faith to the point where we become like the man in St. James’ Epistle who after having once truly seen himself in a mirror, “went his own way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was.” And even if this man is a Pope, we need to pray for him not just as one who suffers persecution from without, but as one who suffers and is deluded from within. And, most significantly, we need to expose and do battle with those forces, ideas, philosophies, theologies, and sciences which have imprisoned him in this delusion. If we dare not to do this, we will never reach down to the root of what is wrong with the Church in order to effect the necessary cure.

It is first necessary to understand that Joseph Ratzinger places himself in direct opposition to the decisions of the Pontifical Biblical Commission under Pope Pius X. In his presentation of the CDF document on The Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian (1990), Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:

“The text [of the CDF document] also presents the various forms of binding authority which correspond to the grades of the Magisterium. It states – perhaps for the first time with such candor – that there are magisterial decisions which cannot be the final word on a given matter as such but, despite the permanent value of their principles, are chiefly also a signal for pastoral prudence, a sort of provisional policy. Their kernel remains valid, but the particulars determined by circumstances can stand in need of correction. In this connection, one will probably call to mind both the pontifical statements of the last century regarding freedom of religion and the anti-Modernist decisions of the beginning of this century, especially the decisions of the then Biblical Commission….with respect to particular aspects of their content, they were superseded after having fulfilled their pastoral function in the situation of the time.” (The Nature and Mission of Theology, p.106).

This reduction of the decisions of the PBC under Pius X to being “provisional” would of course include Pius X’s condemnation of any efforts to detract from the true historicity of Genesis, and it would therefore also extend to Pope Leo XIII’s teaching on this subject. It would indeed seem an extraordinary act of hubris on Cardinal Ratzinger’s part to make such teachings regarding the very truth of scripture to be “provisional”. However, such would appear to be the necessary foundation for justifying what Joseph Ratzinger had been doing all of his priestly life – destroying the historical veracity of Genesis. This was perceived as a necessity in the face of what he saw as the absolute certainty of the reality of man’s evolution. Thus, the following from his essay Creation: Belief in Creation and the Theory of Evolution (published in his 2006 work Credo for Today: What Christians Believe, and taken from his 1972 work Dogma and Verkündung:

“…the pre-Darwinian idea of the invariability of the species had been justified in terms of the idea of creation [and, of course, by taking the Bible seriously as Revelation]; it regarded every individual species as a datum of creation that had existed since the beginning of the world through God’s creative work as something unique and different alongside the other species. It is clear that this form of belief in creation contradicts the idea of evolution and that this expression of the faith has become untenable today.”(p. 34)

And, further:

“We have established that the first aspect, that is, the concrete form which the idea of creation had taken in practice, has been abolished by the idea of evolution; here the believer must allow himself to be taught by science that the way in which he had imagined creation was part of a pre-scientific world view that has become untenable.”(p.36).

We see here, as stated succinctly by Joseph Ratzinger, the necessity of submitting Revelation to the judgment of science. Pope Pius X, in Pascendi Dominici Gregis (On the Doctrine of the Modernists) makes such subjection of the Faith to science as being a primary tenet of Modernism, and then draws the following conclusion concerning this Modernist perversion:

The Modernists completely invert the parts, and of them may be applied the words which another of Our predecessors Gregory IX, addressed to some theologians of his time: “Some among you, puffed up like bladders with the spirit of vanity strive by profane novelties to cross the boundaries fixed by the Fathers, twisting the meaning of the sacred text…to the philosophical teaching of the rationalists, not for the profit of their hearer but to make a show of science…these men, led away by various and strange doctrines, turn the head into the tail and force the queen to serve the handmaid.” (#17

Joseph Ratzinger’s surrender to evolutionary theory not only necessitated the inversion of the proper relationship between faith and science, but also, as a necessary consequence, totally perverted his understanding of the nature of man as he was created by God. The following is taken from his 1970 work, Faith and the Future:

“The difficulty begins with the very first page of the Bible. The concept presented there of how the world came to be, is in direct contradiction of all that we know today about the origins of the universe….And the problem continues, almost page by page….in the very next chapter new problems emerge with the story of the Fall. How can one bring this into harmony with the knowledge that – on the evidence of natural science – man starts not from above, but from below, does not fall, but slowly rises, even now having only just accomplished the metamorphosis from animal to human being? And what of paradise? Long before man existed, pain and death were in the world. Thistles and thorns grew long before any man had set eyes on them. And another thing: the first man was scarcely self-conscious, knew only privation and the wearisome struggle to survive. He was far from possessing the full endowment of reason, which the old doctrine of paradise attributes to him. But once the picture of paradise and the Fall has been broken in pieces, the notion of original sin goes with it, to be followed logically, it would seem, by the notion of redemption as well.” (p. 5-7).

Once it is granted that man’s appearance in this world was a work of “gradual ascent” (and this is absolutely the position of Joseph Ratzinger), then it necessarily follows that at whatever stage we decide to designate man as man, he is indeed a primitive thing. This is perfectly expressed in the following passage from Credo for Today (p. 46-47):

“This would then lead to the insight that spirit does not enter the picture as something foreign, as a second substance, in addition to matter: the appearance of spirit, according to the previous discussion, means rather that an advancing movement arrives at the goal that has been set for it….The clay became man at that moment in which a being for the first time was capable of forming, however dimly, the thought ‘God.’ The first ‘thou’ that – however stammeringly – was said by human lips to God marks the moment in which spirit arose in the world. Here the Rubicon of anthropogenesis was crossed.”

It should be obvious that the intellect and will of such a “stammering” Adam are not capable of morally responsible actions, and that such an “Adam” is not in possession of original justice and sanctifying grace. Original Sin and the Fall then also become mythological. Thus, in his 1995 book In the Beginning…A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, we encounter the following from Cardinal Ratzinger:

“In the story that we are considering [Ch. 3 of Genesis], still a further characteristic of sin is described. Sin is not spoken of in general as an abstract possibility but as a deed, as the sin of a particular person, Adam, who stands at the origin of humankind and with whom the history of sin begins. The account tells us that sin begets sin, and that therefore all the sins of history are interlinked. Theology refers to this state of affairs by the certainly misleading and imprecise term ‘original sin’. What does this mean? Nothing seems to us today to be stranger or, indeed, more absurd than to insist upon original sin, since, according to our way of thinking, guilt can only be something very personal, and since God does not run a concentration camp, in which one’s relatives are imprisoned because he is a liberating God of love, who calls each one by name. What does original sin mean, then, when we interpret it correctly?

 “Finding an answer to this requires nothing less than trying to understand the human person better. It must once again be stressed that no human being is closed in upon himself or herself and that no one can live of or for himself or herself alone. We receive our life not only at the moment of birth but every day from without – from others who are not ourselves but who nonetheless somehow pertain to us. Human beings have their selves not only in themselves but also outside of themselves: they live in those whom they love and in those who love them and to whom they are ‘present.’ Human beings are relational, and they possess their lives – themselves – only by way of relationship. I alone am not myself, but only in and with you am I myself. To be truly a human being means to be related in love, to be of and for. But sin means the damaging or the destruction of relationality. Sin is a rejection of relationality because it wants to make the human being a god. Sin is loss of relationship, disturbance of relationship, and therefore it is not restricted to the individual. When I destroy a relationship, then this event – sin – touches the other person involved in the relationship. Consequently sin is always an offense that touches others, that alters the world and damages it. To the extent that this is true, when the network of human relationships is damaged from the very beginning, then every human being enters into a world that is marked by relational damage. At the very moment that a person begins human existence, which is a good, he or she is confronted by a sin-damaged world. Each of us enters into a situation in which relationality has been hurt. Consequently each person is, from the very start, damaged in relationships and does not engage in them as he or she ought. Sin pursues the human being, and he or she capitulates to it (P. 71-73).”

 The long paragraph quoted above, which follows Joseph Ratzinger’s rejection of the traditional explanation of original sin, is simply a way of “essentializing” this doctrine in order to make it accord with man’s evolutionary beginnings, and the progression of his original primitive nature down through time.

It is not, however, only the Catholic doctrine of original sin that is destroyed by such Modernist exegesis, but also the entire creation account of Genesis. Following is an example of Joseph Ratzinger’s use of what is called the “form-content” Modernist methodology to bring the Genesis account of creation into subjection to modern science:

“One answer was already worked out some time ago, as the scientific view of the world was gradually crystallizing; many of you probably came across it in your religious instruction. It says that the Bible is not a natural science textbook, nor does it intend to be such. It is a religious book, and consequently one cannot obtain information about the natural sciences from it. One cannot get from it a scientific explanation of how the world arose; one can only glean religious experience from it. Anything else is an image and a way of describing things whose aim is to make profound realities graspable to human beings. One must distinguish between the form of portrayal and the content that is portrayed. The form would have been chosen from what was understandable at the time – from the images which surrounded the people who lived then, which they used in speaking and in thinking, and thanks to which they were able to understand the greater realities. And only the reality [content] that shines through these images would be what was intended and what was truly enduring” (In the Beginning…A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, p. 4-5).

According to Joseph Ratzinger (who at the time was a Cardinal), the Genesis account was written during the Babylonian exile. It was written in response to the Babylonian creation account of Enuma Elish, which he describes in the following passage:

“There it is said that the world was produced out of a struggle between opposing powers and that it assumed its form when Marduk, the god of light, appeared and split in two the body of the primordial dragon. From this sundered body heaven and earth came to be. Thus the firmament and the earth were produced from the sundered body of the dead dragon, but from its blood Marduk fashioned human beings. It is a foreboding picture of the world and of humankind that we encounter here: The world is a dragon’s body; and human beings have dragon’s blood in them. At the very origin of the world lurks something sinister, and in the deepest part of humankind there lies something rebellious, demonic, and evil.” (Ibid, p.12).

The Biblical account, according to Cardinal Ratzinger, was written to counter these ideas – to show that the origin of man and all of creation lay not in evil but rather in the loving goodness of God. This is what constitutes the only real “content” which is truly enduring (and thus, presumably, the only truly inspired element) in the Genesis account. All the rest can be seen as merely “form” expressing the historically conditioned myths of the people of that time. Thus, apparently, we do not have to take seriously the six-day creation account, the creation of Adam from the dust of the earth, the creation of Eve out of Adam’s rib, the description of the Garden of Eden, the state of original innocence and integrity, the literal temptation by Satan, the Fall, the description of the effects of original sin, etc.

The other-half of this subject is, of course, Joseph Ratzinger’s view of ultimate redemption. This, as we have detailed in our article on the Third Sorrowful Mystery, involves the virtual total submission of the mind of Joseph Ratzinger to the bogus evolutionary-cosmological mysticism of Teilhard de Chardin. It begins with matter as the “pre-history of spirit”, sees spirit evolving through the “complexification” of matter, and this complexification further evolving towards a unity which reaches the Omega point of perfection which is Christ. We strongly recommend reading of the above-mentioned article for a proper understanding of the depths of Joseph Ratzinger’s evolutionary thinking, and that which is now also being promoted by Pope Francis.

We must realize that there is nothing radically new about Joseph Ratzinger’s “methodology” in the treatment of Holy Scripture. It largely originated in the philosophies of Hegel and Marx, and the evolutionary theories of Darwin, in the 19th century. It has poisoned the minds of millions of Catholics, and has spread to every doctrine of the Catholic Faith. After all, if we can now rightly consider the accounts of Creation and the Fall to be forms of mythology or story-telling, why should it not also be permitted to engage in methodologies of “essentialization” or “hermeneutics of continuity” (both of these are favorite terms of Joseph Ratzinger) which deconstruct the Immaculate Conception, the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, Transubstantiation and the Real Presence, or the Resurrection. After all, each one of these traditional doctrines of the Catholic Faith are absolute foolishness in the face of modern “science”.

It should be clear that the ultimate goal of Satan in his corruption of our innocence and acceptance God’s Revelation in Holy Scripture is to bring us to that point of corruption of our minds and hearts where we become like the man whom the Apostle James compared to “a man beholding his own countenance in a glass. For he beheld himself, and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was.” It is such a man described by Our Lord in His Sermon on the Mount: “If then the light that is in thee be darkness: the darkness itself how great shall it be!” It is here that we are faced with the destruction of all that it means to be a child of God. The mirror of our soul, while yet still possessing a light of intelligence derived entirely from the life of Christ, sees nothing of the Truth of God. It is the ultimate tragedy, and triumph of Satan in the human soul. And it is now the re-crucifixion of Christ in His Mystical Body the Church.

Providentially, God has provided in out times a remedy for this vast confusion which has now penetrated His Church. Again, we quote from Our Lord’s words to Mary of Agreda:

“Now I will make manifest my indignation and exercise my justice in equity; I will show how well justified is my cause. In order that this may come to pass more speedily, and because it is now time that my mercy show itself more openly and because my love must not be idle, I will offer to them an opportune remedy, if they will but make use of it for returning again to my favor. Now, at this hour, when the world has arrived at so unfortunate a pass, and when, though the Word has become incarnate, mortals are more careless of their weal and seek it less; when the day of their transitory life passes swiftly at the setting of the sun of time; when the night of eternity is approaching closer and closer for the wicked and the day without a night is being born for the just; when the majority of mortals are sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness of their ignorance and guilt: oppressing the just and mocking the children of God; when my holy and divine law is despised in the management of the iniquitous affairs of state, which are as hostile as they are contrary to my Providence; when the wicked least deserve my mercy; in these predestined times, I wish to open a portal for the just ones through which they can find access to my mercy; I wish to give them a light by which they can dispel the gloom that envelops the eyes of their minds. I wish to furnish them a suitable remedy for restoring them to my grace. Happy they who find it, and blessed they who shall appreciate its value, rich they who shall come upon this treasure, and blessed and very wise those who shall search into and shall understand its marvels and hidden mysteries. I desire to make known to mortals how much intercession of Her is worth, who brought restoration of life by giving mortal existence to the immortal God. As recompense I desire that they look upon the wonders wrought by my mighty arm in that pure Creature, as upon a mirror by which they can estimate their own ingratitude….I will not longer withhold from men this mystical City of refuge….”

It is within the absolutely pure “Mirror” of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart that we may enter the “portal” of self-knowledge and true contrition, be freed from the darkness of deceit and duplicity, and be restored to the spiritual childhood originally intended for us by God. It is here that we may truly bring to fruition the graces merited through Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross. It is towards this goal that the Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church is entirely directed. There can be no victory over the enemy without, unless there is first victory over the enemy within.

Please pray every Rosary to include the intention: For the Purification of the Church. And please also participate in the Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church, to occur on February 2, 2019, and ask your pastor to implement this event in his parish (see the Original Proposal, which is linked on our Home Page).

Please spread the word about the Rosary!

The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross

Image result for christ carrying the cross painting

The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery:

The Carrying of the Cross

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6: 14)

 To “glory” in something necessarily speaks of surpassing joy. Among all the thousands of Catholic saints, nowhere is the joy of carrying the cross of Christ more evidenced than in St. Francis of Assisi, whom Pope Pius XI called ‘the Second Christ” (the encyclical Rite Expiatis). The following, from Ch. VIII of The Little Flowers of St. Francis, contains St. Francis’ own exposition of the wellsprings of this holy joy:

One day in winter, as St Francis was going with Brother Leo from Perugia to St Mary of the Angels, and was suffering greatly from the cold, he called to Brother Leo, who was walking on before him, and said to him: “Brother Leo, if it were to please God that the Friars Minor should give, in all lands, a great example of holiness and edification, write down, and note carefully, that this would not be perfect joy.”

A little further on, St Francis called to him a second time: “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor were to make the lame to walk, if they should make straight the crooked, chase away demons, give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and, what is even a far greater work, if they should raise the dead after four days, write that this would not be perfect joy.”

Shortly after, he cried out again: “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor knew all languages; if they were versed in all science; if they could explain all Scripture; if they had the gift of prophecy, and could reveal, not only all future things, but likewise the secrets of all consciences and all souls, write that this would not be perfect joy.”

After proceeding a few steps farther, he cried out again with a loud voice: “O Brother Leo, thou little lamb of God! if the Friars Minor could speak with the tongues of angels; if they could explain the course of the stars; if they knew the virtues of all plants; if all the treasures of the earth were revealed to them; if they were acquainted with the various qualities of all birds, of all fish, of all animals, of men, of trees, of stones, of roots, and of waters – write that this would not be perfect joy.”

Shortly after, he cried out again: “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor had the gift of preaching so as to convert all infidels to the faith of Christ, write that this would not be perfect joy.”

Now when this manner of discourse had lasted for the space of two miles, Brother Leo in great amazement asked him: “Father, I beg thee to tell me wherein is perfect joy.”

St Francis answered: “If, when we shall arrive at St Mary of the Angels, all drenched with rain and trembling with cold, all covered with mud and exhausted from hunger; if, when we knock at the convent-gate, the porter should come angrily and ask us who we are; if, after we have told him, `We are two of the brethren’, he should answer angrily, `What ye say is not the truth; ye are but two impostors going about to deceive the world, and take away the alms of the poor; begone I say’; if then he refuse to open to us, and leave us outside, exposed to the snow and rain, suffering from cold and hunger till nightfall – then, if we accept such injustice, such cruelty and such contempt with patience, without being ruffled and without murmuring, believing with humility and charity that the porter really knows us, and that it is God who maketh him to speak thus against us, write down, O Brother Leo, that this is perfect joy.

And if we knock again, and the porter come out in anger to drive us away with oaths and blows, as if we were vile impostors, saying, `Begone, miserable robbers! Go to the hospital, for here you shall neither eat nor sleep!’ – and if we accept all this with patience, with joy, and with charity, O Brother Leo, write that this indeed is perfect joy.

And if, urged by cold and hunger, we knock again, calling to the porter and entreating him with many tears to open to us and give us shelter, for the love of God, and if he come out more angry than before, exclaiming, `These are but importunate rascals, I will deal with them as they deserve’; and taking a knotted stick, he seize us by the hood, throwing us on the ground, rolling us in the snow, and shall beat and wound us with the knots in the stick – if we bear all these injuries with patience and joy, thinking of the sufferings of our Blessed Lord, which we would share out of love for him, write, O Brother Leo, that here, finally, is perfect joy.

And now, brother, listen to the conclusion. Above all the graces and all the gifts of the Holy Spirit which Christ grants to his friends, is the grace of overcoming oneself, and accepting willingly, out of love for Christ, all suffering, injury, discomfort and contempt; for in all other gifts of God we cannot glory, seeing they proceed not from ourselves but from God, according to the words of the Apostle, `What hast thou that thou hast not received from God? and if thou hast received it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?’

But in the cross of tribulation and affliction we may glory, because, as the Apostle says again, `I will not glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Amen.

All three of the synoptic Gospels (with very minor variation) contain the following, absolutely-central teaching of Jesus:

“And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it.” Mt. 10: 38-39).

And St. Paul writes, “For the word of the cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolishness; but to them that are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God.” (1 Cor. 1:18).

That carrying the cross of suffering is joy, and that it is wisdom, power – all of this is unique to Catholicism. Voluntary embrace of the cross – the embrace of suffering as a way of both salvation and sanctification by which we die to self in order that Christ may live within us – exists nowhere else in the world. For the atheist or agnostic, who has no hope but in the pleasures of this present life, it is of course absolute foolishness. For the eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, suffering is simply something from which they seek escape. Islam, which does indeed believe that dying in battle against the infidel results in the gift of a sensuous paradise, there is yet no concept of personal sanctification or true union with God, and the holiness to be attained through suffering and purification. The Jew rejects both Christ and His Cross, and awaits a Messiah who will bring victory over his earthly enemies. The Protestant rejects the necessity of any “works” for salvation (“Faith alone”), and therefore also rejects the work of the cross on the part of individual men. And it also therefore rejects the necessity of that personal sanctification which finds fulfillment in the Beatific Vision of God’s Essence.

We are truly alone in this world. And because we do indeed propose that there is salvation only in the cross, and that the bearing of this cross is something all men must do if they wish to find salvation, then the entire world, whether explicitly or implicitly, is bound to hate us.

The problem for us, therefore, in the midst of a world which is rapidly plummeting into a hatred of everything to do with Christianity, is to truly find the joy which lies deeply hidden in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And this requires vision – to be able to see just how it is that the cross is the source of all power, wisdom, and freedom in Christ.

There are two things which would seem to be the source of bewildering amazement in the lives of the greatest saints. The first lies in the fact that it is these same saints who virtually always see themselves as the worst of sinners. Such is indeed a wonder to all of us who hold them up as profound examples of sanctity.

The second source of amazement is the extraordinary degree to which such men and women seek out suffering, humiliation, and even death. We think for instance of St. Francis who longed for martyrdom at the hands of Moslems in the Middle East; or of someone like St. Ignatius of Antioch (a direct disciple of the Apostle John), who on the way to martyrdom, wrote the following to the Christians in Rome, begging them not to interfere: “I am God’s wheat, and by the teeth of wild beasts I am to be ground that I may prove Christ’s pure bread.”

We rightly say that only certain persons are called to such ultimate sacrifice, and therefore receive the grace from God to be faithful to such a call. But this does not mean that there is not a profound truth hidden deeply in these examples of ultimate sacrifice which is not only applicable, but absolutely necessary, for all men if they are to truly live as Christians. This truth lies in this: that each one of us is called to profoundly desire the death of everything within ourselves which detracts in any way from the truth that God is all in all, and that there is only room for Christ’s life and light within us to the extent that we die to self.

This should provide us with the answer as to why great saints inevitably have come to the conclusion that they are the worst of sinners. The greater is the life of Christ which has penetrated into their hearts and minds, the greater is the supernatural light which radiates into all the hidden corners of their being in order to reveal all their own infidelities and sins. This, in turn, increases in them the desire for the cleansing fire of God’s grace for their own purification, which is always accomplished through some degree of suffering. Their joy, wisdom, and power come not in having achieved absolute perfection in this life, but in the knowledge and love which burns ever closer to Christ. It is this “River of Light” in which, despite all the sufferings we may be called to embrace, lies also our own joy and perseverance. When Christ proclaimed, “Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet, and my burden light”, this entails not that we will escape suffering or the need for continual penance and self-mortification, but that such refreshment, rest, sweetness, and light are to be found in the depths of these crosses.

Carrying the cross consists therefore not just in accepting the sufferings that come to us throughout life, and especially in death, but also actively seeking out this cleansing fire through voluntarily efforts towards self-knowledge, penance and self-denial. This sweet, cleansing River of the Light of Purification has been entrusted by Christ to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple, we read the following words of St. Simeon to Mary: “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:35). Holy Scripture tells us that the “[human] heart is perverse above all things, who can know it?” (Jer. 17: 9). It is within the absolutely pure, Immaculate Heart of Mary that God has established the fountain of light which alone can unmask all our deceits, double-mindedness, and duplicity. And it is here, wrapped in the embracing love of the Mother of Christ and of all men, that we receive the supernatural grace to be immersed in her Motherly love flowing from Christ, and to be transformed into the likeness of her Son. It is only here where the way of the cross becomes the great sweetness of our lives.

This is the radical difference of the Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church. It recognizes that at the heart of our own powerlessness, in the face of a world turning at a geometric pace into the face of Antichrist, is our own duplicity and radical need for self-purification. Our light is dimmed, our power severely diminished. Millions join in Rosary crusades in Washington D.C. and elsewhere for the end of abortion, with no answer in sight. Irish Catholics journey to their coasts to pray the Rosary for the same intention, and within days the people of this nation, once considered by many to be the most Catholic of all nations, vote 2-1 in favor of murdering untold numbers of their future children. The chastisement we are facing, both from within and without the Church, is clearly a chastisement from God for our own infidelities. There can be no remedy for this crisis unless we first turn inward, and seek with all the integrity that we can muster, the light and power of Our Lady’s Motherly care which will first accomplish our own interior purification.

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*Please join us on February 2, 2019, Feast of the Purification and the Presentation (and also a First Saturday) for the second annual Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church. Please pray every Rosary to include this intention, and also ask your pastor to implement this event in their churches or chapels. More details are to be found on our website at: www.rosarytotheinterior.com

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Please spread the word about the Rosary!

The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns

Image result for Mexican folk art crowning with thorns

The Third Sorrowful Mystery:

The Crowning with Thorns

 

“Pilate therefore went into the hall again, and called Jesus, and said to him: Art thou the king of the Jews?

“Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world.

Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.

“Pilate saith to him: What is truth?(John 18: 33-37-37 – excerpts)

 

All that we offer concerning this Mystery will be in consideration of the Catholic doctrine concerning the Kingship of Christ, and will therefore refer, directly or indirectly, to the crucial exchange between Pilate and Our Lord as quoted above.

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, in her visions concerning The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, offers the following account of the Crowning with Thorns:

“A gallery encircled the inner court of the guard-house where our Lord was crowned with thorns, and the doors were open. The cowardly ruffians, who were eagerly waiting to gratify their cruelty by torturing and insulting our Lord, were about fifty in number, and the greatest part slaves or servants of the jailers and soldiers. The mob gathered round the building, but were soon displaced by a thousand Roman soldiers, who were drawn up in good order and stationed there. Although forbidden to leave their ranks, these soldiers nevertheless did their utmost by laughter and applause to incite the cruel executioners to redouble their insults; and as public applause gives fresh energy to a comedian, so did their words of encouragement increase tenfold the cruelty of these men.

“In the middle of the court there stood the fragment of a pillar, and on it was placed a very low stool which these men maliciously covered with sharp flints and bits of broken potsherds. Then they tore off the garments of Jesus, thereby reopening all his wounds; threw over his shoulders an old scarlet mantle which barely reached his knees; dragged him to the seat prepared, and pushed him roughly down upon it, having first placed the crown of thorns upon his head. Having first placed these twisted branches on his forehead, they tied them tightly together at the back of his head, and no sooner was this accomplished to their satisfaction than they put a large reed into his hand, doing all with derisive gravity as if they were really crowning him king. Then they seized the reed, and struck his head so violently that his eyes filled with blood; they knelt before him, derided him, spat in his face, and buffeted him, saying at the same time, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they threw down his stool, pulled him up again from the ground on which he had fallen, and reseated him with the greatest brutality.

“It is quite impossible to describe the cruel outrages which were thought of and perpetrated by these monsters under human form. The sufferings of Jesus from thirst, caused by the fever which his wounds and sufferings had brought on, were intense. He trembled all over, his flesh was torn piecemeal, his tongue contracted, and the only refreshment he received was the blood which trickled from his head on to his parched lips. This shameful scene was protracted a full half-hour, and the Roman soldiers continued during the whole time to applaud and encourage the perpetration of still greater outrages.”

The Crowning of Christ with Thorns, in grotesque cruelty and mockery of His Kingship, was not just one more aspect of, or incident in, Our Lord’s Passion. Nor was it merely a matter of cruel comedy that the sign which Pilate had nailed upon the Cross proclaimed Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews (John 19: 19). The kingdom of this world, of which Satan is the Prince, hates above all things that God should in any way reign in this world over the souls of individuals or nations. Just before suffering His Passion, Our Lord proclaimed, “Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” (John 12: 31). The demonic mockery of Christ’s Kingship was therefore a crowning achievement of Satan’s deepest aspirations.

Jesus, in his dialogue with Pilate, is very concise as to wherein His Kingship lay. It is not a “kingship of this world”. The Jews, of course, looked for a secular Messiah who would triumph over their worldly enemies. In the passage of scripture quoted at the beginning of this article, Jesus therefore flatly denies this sort of worldly kingship. But this does not at all mean that His is not a Kingship over this world. Jesus answers in the positive to Pilate’s question as to whether He is a King:: “Jesus answered: Thou sayest I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.” As the Word generated eternally from the Father, Jesus Christ is the Truth which must reign over the hearts and minds of all men if they are to be saved. The Kingship of Jesus Christ is a Kingship of Truth.

It has been our contention that the crisis now facing the Church is the greatest which it has faced in its 2,000 year journey through history. The Church has of course faced other great crises in regard to the Truth of Christ. It might be contested, for instance, that the Arian Heresy (which denied that Jesus was consubstantial – one in Being – with the Father) was greater. After all, St. Jerome made the statement (slightly exaggerated) that during this historical period “the whole world groaned and marveled to find itself Arian”. And there have been many other great heresies that shook the Church.

But in all of these heresies of Christian history, and in all of these crises, the fundamental character of the concept of “Truth” was accepted – that it was something that was immutable and free of self-contradiction. This, in fact, is a fundamental attribute of God’s Immutable Being:

“God is not a man that he should lie, nor as the son of man, that he should be changed.” (Num. 23: 19).

“For I am the Lord, and I change not.” (Malach. 3: 6).

“Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today: and the same for ever.” (Heb. 13: 8).

“Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.” (James 1: 17)

It is this immutable nature of Catholic Truth (as revealed in Holy Scripture, and also as defined by the Church in its infallible teaching office), which is the foundation of all Catholic belief. Without this immutability of God and His Truth, all else becomes an ever-shifting sand, and the Kingship of Christ becomes meaningless. Thus, without a firm adherence (at least implicitly) to all the truths of Christ to be found in God’s Revelation, any purported belief in, and devotion to, Jesus itself becomes a participation in Satan’s mockery of Our Lord. And since man is created in the image of God, and since “the life of Christ is the light of men” (John 1: 4), then it is also true that all men, despite the fact that their lives on this earth are subject to many changes, possess a human nature which both participates in, and is subject to, the eternal, immutable Truth of Who God is. If at any point we cease to believe and affirm that all men at all times have possessed this same common nature, and the same absolute obligation to worship God “in spirit and in truth”, then it is not only the entirety of Catholic faith that becomes subject to total disintegration, but also the very nature and dignity of man.

It is this enormously destructive process of disintegration of the concept of Catholic Truth which has now invaded the hearts and minds of countless numbers of Catholics – from the most humble laymen all the way up through much of the hierarchy, and even to the Papacy. The primary impetus for such dissolution in the realm of philosophy has been the rejection of the concept of substantial being (both the substantial Being of God, and the substantial being of man), and the surrender of faith to an evolutionary view in which evolutionary becoming has replaced being as the fundamental concept in all human thought. In other words, evolutionary theory has now jumped what was once thought to be the impenetrable barrier between the physical and spiritual world; and both God and man, and all the truths concerning both God and man, are now being seen as subject to evolutionary growth and change. What we are witnessing is something virtually unheard of in the history of the Church, and it is this which makes the present crisis to surpass all others.

The primary, satanically-inspired “genius” in regard to this new philosophy-theology was the French Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin. The single greatest architect of its penetration into the Catholic intellectual world has been Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. And the great implementer of these errors in the pastoral realm is now Pope Francis. We will justify each one of these claims in the following analysis.

We fully realize that there is an almost instinctive aversion in many faithful Catholics towards criticism of Popes. But if it has indeed happened that Popes, who are only infallible in their exercise of the Infallible Magisterium (and this is defined by Vatican Council I within very prescribed limits), have become infected with very serious philosophical and theological error, then there can be no purification of the Church unless these errors are directly confronted. Just as we cannot love what we do not somehow know, so we cannot pray effectively for purification of the Church unless we have some understanding of what is in need of purification. And at the depths of this need for purification is the mockery that is now being made of the entire concept of Catholic Truth. Nor can we claim charity in ignoring wounds that threaten, not only the salvation of these individual Popes themselves, but also countless souls under their care.

We therefore hope the reader will persevere through the rather long analysis which follows.

 

Teilhard de Chardin

“It is Christ, in very truth, who saves, – but should we not immediately add that at the same time it is Christ who is saved by Evolution?

 

In the following analysis, I will be dealing with three short works of Teilhard de Chardin. They are all to be found in Pierre Teilhard De Chardin: The Heart of Matter (Harcourt, 1978). All page references to quotations, unless otherwise noted, are taken from this edition.

The first is titled The Heart of Matter. It was written in 1950, and is considered the last of his major works. It is autobiographical, and contains a summation of his thought and the personal history of his spiritual development. Therefore, it is a singularly important work for understanding the man and his completed system.

The second, titled The Christic, was written one month before his death in 1955. It contains his culminating thoughts on Christ as the Omega Point of Evolution.

The third work, The Mass on the World (originally titled The Priest), was begun in 1918, and it became a project which he worked on for the rest of his life. It is here that we find his most darksome prayer to a Christ for Whom the Consecrated Bread and Wine are only symbols of what Teilhard considered to be the real consecration of the whole world through evolutionary transformation and ascent to the Omega point.

During the following analysis, we ask the reader to continually keep in mind the extraordinarily perverse statement, as quoted at the beginning of this section, that “it is Christ who is saved by Evolution” (p., 92)

 

Teilhard’s Spiritual Journey to the New Age:

Great intellectual perversities in adulthood usually demand distortions of normal childhood perceptions and desires. Teilhard de Chardin himself wants us to understand the childhood roots of his spiritual journey, and so we quote the following description of his first memory:

A memory? My very first! I was five or six. My mother had snipped a few of my curls. I picked one up and held it close to the fire. The hair was burnt up in a fraction of a second. A terrible grief assailed me; I had learnt that I was perishable… What used to grieve me when I was a child? This insecurity of things. And what used I to love? My genie of iron! With a plow hitch I believed myself, at seven years, rich with a treasure incorruptible, everlasting. And then it turned out that what I possessed was just a bit of iron that rusted. At this discovery I threw myself on the lawn and shed the bitterest tears of my existence!” (From a 1938 edition of The Heart of Matter, translated by Claude Cuenot).

In his autobiography, The Heart of Matter, Teilhard begins by stating that the “axis” which gives continuity to his whole life is the innate “Pleromic Sense” which has been with him since earliest childhood – the appetite for some “Unique all-sufficing and necessary reality.” (p. 16-17). He describes a mental state as a child in which, although he was devoted to the child Jesus, “In reality, however, my real ‘me’ was elsewhere….I withdrew into the contemplation, the possession, into the so relished existence of my ‘Iron God’….nothing in the world was harder, heavier, tougher, more durable than this marvelous substance apprehended in its fullest possible form…Consistence: that has undoubtedly been for me the fundamental attribute of Being.”

In other words, at an age when healthy children “relish” in the love of mother, father, and siblings, Teilhard withdrew into a contemplative relationship with the iron “lock-pin of a plow.” (p. 18-19).

Having been betrayed by the rusting lock-pin, Teilhard moved on to rocks (they don’t rust), and especially quartz. This passion stayed with him the rest of his life. He writes, “The truth is that even at the peak of my spiritual trajectory I was never to feel at home unless immersed in an Ocean of Matter…” (p. 20).

The problem in all of this, of course, is what to do with living things. Teilhard writes that, “Because of its apparent fragility…the living World greatly worried and disconcerted me as a child.” On the one hand he was drawn to it by his “Pleromic Sense,” (there is, after all, a certain obvious plenitude of being in living things that is not in rocks); on the other he was repulsed and terrified by their inconsistency and fragility. He admits that, because of this conflict, “I had at that time [28 years old] come to a standstill in my awakening to Cosmic Life, and I could not start again without the intervention of a new force or a new illumination” (p. 23-24). In other words, at the age of 28, he was still looking for a justification for relishing the living over the dead.

It is interesting that at this stage of development (if we care to grace it with such a term), Teilhard was tempted by Eastern Mysticism. Having found no real object in this world to answer his quest for “Plenitude,” he was tempted to go entirely beyond this world into the formless Monism of Eastern Philosophy and Mysticism. He states that such would have been the case “had it not been that just at the appropriate moment the idea of Evolution germinated in me, like a seed: whence it came I cannot say.” (p. 24).

Evolution became for our philosopher a “magic word…which haunted my thoughts like a tune: which was to me like an unsatisfied hunger, like a promise held out to me, like a summons to be answered….” (p.24). It was in fact Evolution which enabled Teilhard to transfer his Sense of Plenitude from the “ultra-material” (iron and rocks) to the “ultra living.” He writes:

“You can well imagine, accordingly, how strong was my inner feeling of release and expansion when I took my first still hesitant steps into an ‘evolutive’ Universe, and saw that the dualism in which I had hitherto been enclosed was disappearing like the mist before the rising sun. Matter and Spirit these were no longer two things, but two states or two aspects of one and the same cosmic Stuff….” (p. 26).

It was Paleontology which provided the key for Teilhard:

By its gravitational nature, the Universe, I saw, was falling – falling forwards – in the direction of Spirit as upon its stable form. In other words, Matter was not ultra-materialized as I would at first have believed, but was instead metamorphosed into Psyche. Looked at not metaphysically, but genetically, Spirit was by no means the enemy or the opposite of the Tangibility which I was seeking to attain: rather was it its very heart [Spirit, in other words, is the Heart of Matter].” (p.28)

“Matter is the matrix of Spirit. Spirit is the higher state of Matter.” (p. 35).

According to Teilhard, matter itself is under pressure everywhere by a directional spirit and energy which is “an extraordinary capacity for “consolidation by complexification.” It is this “complexification” which eventually produces living organisms in the “Biosphere,” and it is further “complexification” which eventually produces the critical point at which living organisms become conscious and reflective:

“Reflection, the ‘cosmic’ critical point which at a given moment is inevitably met and traversed by all Matter, as soon as it exceeds a certain degree of psychic temperature and organization.” (p. 35).

But this is by no means the end of the evolutionary process.

 

The Evolution of the Noosphere:

Individual consciousness and self-reflection are not the terminus of the evolutionary process of complexification. It is only the beginning of what Teilhard calls the evolution of the Noosphere. The word “Noosphere” should not scare us. It is derived from the Greek word for mind: Nous. Teilhard teaches that this Noosphere is not just an abstract concept, but a living reality surrounding the planet – what he calls ”a gigantic planetary contraction.” Its very nature is that it is unitive and involutive, in that it moves towards a final total unity of all minds in a “Super-Mind.” Thus:

The irresistible ‘setting’ or cementing together of a thinking mass (Mankind) which is continually more compressed upon itself by the simultaneous multiplication and expansion of its individual elements: there is not one of us, surely, who is not almost agonizingly aware of this, in the very fibre of his being. This is one of the things that no one today would even try to deny: we can all see the fantastic anatomical structure of a vast phylum [social, psychic, informational, etc.] whose branches, instead of diverging as they normally do, are ceaselessly folding in upon one another ever more closely, like some monstrous inflorescence – like, indeed, an enormous flower folding-in upon itself; the literally global physiology of an organism in which production, nutrition, the machine, research, and the legacy of heredity are, beyond any doubt, building to planetary dimensions [one can only imagine the ‘fuel’ which the Internet would have provided for Teilhard’s ‘Great Vision’]….Writing in the year 1950, I can say that the evolution of my inner vision culminates in the acceptance of this evident fact, that there is a ‘creative’ tide which (as a strict statistic consequence of their increasing powers of self-determination) is carrying the human ‘mega-molecules’ towards an almost unbelievable quasi ‘mono-molecular’ state; and in that state, as the biological laws of Union demand, each ego is destined to be forced convulsively beyond itself into some mysterious super-ego.” (p. 37-38). [We might well imagine the delight of any sort of Antichrist figure at the prospect that he has both divine and evolutionary sanction to “convulsively force” all men into “some mysterious super-ego.”]

Thus, we have reached what Teilhard considers the Omega point of Natural Evolution. This, however, is not the end of the story. Parallel to Natural Evolution, there must also be seen in the Teilhardian system an “axis” of Evolution of the Divine.

 

The Christic:

In the “Great Vision” of Teilhard de Chardin, the historical Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of Christ is not an ontological event which accomplishes our redemption, but rather the beginning of a larger evolutionary process. For Teilhard, the multiplicity of things in this world is “irreducible,” and there is therefore no “organic relationship of dependence” between them and God. (p. 93-94). There is therefore something “incomplete” in God and in Christ which can only be remedied by His evolutionary incorporation in all matter:

“It is Christ, in very truth, who saves, – but should we not immediately add that at the same time it is Christ who is saved by Evolution? (p. 92)

Teilhard teaches a double evolutionary movement in the universe, and a final convergence between what he calls the “God of the Ahead” and the “God of Above.” The God of the Ahead is the result of natural evolution from the geosphere (inanimate matter), to the biosphere (living things), to the noosphere (consciousness), and finally to the collective “Super-Mind” in the Omega Point. But the “God of the Above” also entails an evolutionary process by which God, through natural evolution, incarnates Himself in order to draw all things into final union with the Christic, which is something more than the historical Christ. Teilhard writes:

On one side – in my ‘pagan’ ego – a Universe which was becoming personalized through convergence [Natural Evolutionary Complexification leading to consciousness, next to the building up of the Noosphere, and finally to unity in the ‘Super-Mind or Omega Point].” On the other side – in my Christian ego – a Person – the Person of Christ – who was becoming universal through Radiation.” By each of these two roads, that is to say, the Divine was joining itself, through all Matter, to all the Human, in the direction of the infinity of the ages lying ahead… (p. 44).

“Classical metaphysics had accustomed us to seeing in the World – which it regarded as an object of ‘Creation’ – a sort of extrinsic product which had issued from God’s supreme efficient power as the fruit of his overflowing benevolence. I find myself now irresistibly led – and this precisely because it enables me both to act and to love in the fullest degree – to a view that harmonizes with the spirit of St. Paul: I see in the World a mysterious product of completion and fulfillment for the Absolute Being himself.” (p.54).

            “…the Christ of Revelation is none other than the Omega of Evolution.” (p.92).

All of this obviously demands an entirely new view of Christianity, of the Church, of Revelation, of Christ, and of our sanctification in Him. It also demands a “New Mass.”

 

A Cosmic Liturgy and Transubstantiation:

Having detailed the nature of cosmic evolution, both Natural and Christic, Teilhard then breaks forth in a description of the “true” Cosmic Liturgy:”

“And then there appears to the dazzled eyes of the believer the Eucharistic mystery itself, extended infinitely into a veritable universal transubstantiation, in which the words of the Consecration apply not only to the sacrificial bread and wine but, mark you, to the whole mass of joys and sufferings produced by the Convergence of the World as it progresses.” (p. 94)

The first sentence of The Mass on the World reads as follows:

“Since once again, Lord – though this time not in the forests of the Aisne but in the stepes of Asia – I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself [Note: there is no way that Teilhard could use these words, and make this juxtaposition if he believed in the substantial, Real Presence of Christ after the Consecration]; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world.” (p. 119).

And, a little further on, he elaborates:

This restless multitude, confused or orderly, the immensity of which terrifies us; this ocean of humanity whose slow, monotonous wave-flows trouble the hearts even of those whose faith is most firm: it is to this deep that I thus desire all the fibres of my being should respond. All the things in the world to which this day will bring increase; all those that will diminish; all those too that will die: all of them, Lord, I try to gather into my arms, so as to hold them out to you in offering. This is the material of my sacrifice; the only material you desire.

Once upon a time men took into your temple the first fruits of their harvests, the flower of their flocks. But the offering you really want, the offering you mysteriously need every day to appease your hunger, to slake your thirst is nothing less than the growth of the world borne ever onwards in the stream of universal becoming.

Receive, O Lord, this all-embracing host which your whole creation, moved by your magnetism, offers you at this dawn of a new day. (p. 121)

Such is the “Living Liturgy,” the “Great Vision,” of Teilhard de Chardin. It is now largely dominant within the Church, including the minds of both Popes Benedict XVI and Francis`. It necessitates the dissolution of all things truly Catholic.

 

The Teilhardism of Joseph Ratzinger:

“The role of the priesthood is to consecrate the world so that it may become a living host, a liturgy: so that the liturgy may not be something alongside the reality of the world, but that the world itself shall become a living host, a liturgy. This is also the great vision of Teilhard de Chardin: in the end we shall achieve a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host.” (Benedict XVI, Homily, Celebration of Vespers with the Faithful of Aosta, July 24, 2009)

 

Having analyzed the philosophy and theology of Teilhard de Chardin in Part I, the above-quoted words of a reigning Pope should take on immense, and immanently frightening, significance for any orthodox Catholic.

It is, of course, almost a knee-jerk response for any good Catholic to instinctively diffuse the import of such an outrageous statement made by a reigning Pope. Somehow, we think, he dos not really mean it – he does not understand Teilhard, and has not read him in depth. The fact is, however, that the opposite is true. In his book Introduction to Christianity (Ignatius Press, 2004), Joseph Ratzinger quotes from five of Teilhard’s works, including The Heart of Matter which we made the principle subject of analysis of his thinking. He has read Teilhard, he understands Teilhard, and he has accepted, with minor qualifications, the “Great Vision” of Teilhard.

In order to be able to understand Benedict XVI’s “Teilhardism.” We need to do some preparatory examination of his particular evolutionary views. Again, we tend to have a “diffused” view concerning the evil involved in the acceptance of evolutionary theory, and especially the consequences attendant upon having a Pope who is a convinced evolutionist. This is fostered by a number of factors.

We tend, for instance, to think of all so-called Christian evolutionists as coming from that camp of “Theistic Evolutionists” who believe that at a certain stage of physical evolution, God infused a soul into a being who was hithertofore an animal. Joseph Ratzinger absolutely rejects such a view. His evolutionary view is very different, and as we shall see, much more destructive to the Catholic Faith.

We also tend to minimize the evil of evolutionary belief because of all the prominent Catholics who have believed in evolution: “After all, Bishop Sheen was an evolutionist.” Yes, Bishop Sheen was an evolutionist. He also had read Teihard de Chardin, embraced his central concepts and terminology, and even went so far as to say that in 50 years it would be very likely that Teilhard “will appear like John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, as the spiritual genius of the twentieth century. (Footprints in a Darkened Forest, Meredith Press, 1967, p. 73).” Leaving judgment of Bishop Sheen to others, or to other times, we must yet note that it is now 51 years since Bishop Sheen made this prediction, and with recent Papacies, we do now indeed appear to be on the cusp of its fulfillment.

Let us, first of all, establish absolute certainty as to Joseph Ratzinger’s embrace of evolution.

The year 2009 saw the publication by Ignatius Press of a book of essays written by Joseph Ratzinger titled Credo for Today: What Christians Believe (translated from the original 2006 German version). The essays are taken from various works published between the years 1971-2006. Credo for Today contains a chapter titled Creation: Belief in Creation and the Theory of Evolution [taken from Joseph Ratzinger’s 1972 work Dogma and Verkündung (Preaching or Proclamation)]. It is devoted to an attempt to reconcile the Christian view of creation with the scientific theory of evolution. Here we read the following:

“…the pre-Darwinian idea of the invariability of the species had been justified in terms of the idea of creation [and, of course, by taking the Bible seriously] ; it regarded every individual species as a datum of creation that had existed since the beginning of the world through God’s creative work as something unique and different alongside the other species. It is clear that this form of belief in creation contradicts the idea of evolution and that this expression of the faith has become untenable today.”(p. 34)

And, further:

“We have established that the first aspect, that is, the concrete form which the idea of creation had taken in practice, has been abolished by the idea of evolution; here the believer must allow himself to be taught by science that the way in which he had imagined creation was part of a pre-scientific world view that has become untenable.”(p.36)

The first thing we must realize, therefore, is that Joseph Ratzinger is not merely “influenced” by evolutionary thinking. He has embraced it in its depths. And this embrace has necessitated what, in the very first sentence of his article, he calls “a revolution in our world view that was no less thoroughgoing than the one that we associate with the name Copernicus.”

Secondly, the fundamental component in this “revolution in our world view” consists in the fact that, in the light of what Joseph Ratzinger considers the indisputable truth of evolution, the concept of “being” does not indicate any sort of fixed substantial nature, but rather that “being is time; it does not merely have time. Only in becoming does it exist and unfold into itself.” (p. 42). This evolutionary “becoming” is meaningful because, contrary to the view of materialistic evolutionists, it is directed by “Mind” or “Creative Reason,” and has a “forward” momentum. All this is in deep agreement with the thinking of Teilhard de Chardin. The latter in fact specifically defends himself against the charge of being a pantheist because he believes in the ultimate goal of evolution as being union with “some pre-existent being.”

This “becoming” is fully explored by Joseph Ratzinger in his book Introduction to Christianity. It is in the passages of this work that one sees both his endorsement of Teilhard’s system as a whole and his adoption of its specific terminology.

As we have seen, the key “scientific” term which facilitates Teilhard’s system of evolutionary growth towards the Omega Point is “complexification.” Joseph Ratzinger seems enamoured of this term – there are eleven uses of the terms “complexity” or “complexification” in 10 pages of his treatment of the thought of Teilhard de Cardin. Following are several examples:

In the background is the idea that in the cosmos, alongside the two orders or classes of the infinitely small and the infinitely big, there is a third order, which determines the real drift of evolution, namely, the order of the infinitely complex. It is the real goal of the ascending process of growth and becoming….” (p. 237)

But let us return to man, He is so far the maximum in complexity. But even he as mere man-monad cannot represent an end; his growth itself demands a further advance in complexity.” (Ibid.)

“From here it is possible to understand the final aim of the whole movement as Teilhard sees it: the cosmic drift moves ‘in the direction of an incredible ‘mono-molecular’ state, so to speak, in which…each ego is destined to attain in climax in a sort of mysterious superego’.” (p. 238).

From here onward faith in Christ will see the beginning of a movement in which dismembered humanity is gathered together more and more into the being of one single Adam, one single ‘body’ the man to come.”(p. 239).

“From this perspective the belief in the second coming of Jesus Christ and in the consummation of the world in that event could be explained as the conviction that our history is advancing to an ‘omega’ point, at which it will become finally and unmistakably clear that the element of stability that seems to us to be the supporting ground of reality, so to speak, is not mere unconscious matter; that, on the contrary, the real, firm ground is mind. Mind holds being together, gives it reality, indeed is reality: it is not from below but from above that being receives its capacity to subsist. That there is such a thing as this process of ‘complexification’ of material being through spirit, and from the latter its concentration into a new kind of unity can already be seen in the remodeling of the world through technology.” (P. 32).

And, in order to demonstrate that this sort of Teilhardian cosmology is not just a momentary aberration in a single work, we also have the following from Joseph Ratzinger’s book titled Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life:

“We left the question of the materiality of the resurrection at the point to which Thomas Aquinas had brought it. The fundamental insight to which Thomas broke through [the real unity of soul and body] was given a new twist by Rahner when he noted that in death the soul becomes not acosmic [having nothing to do with the physical world] but all-cosmic. This means that its essential  ordination to the material world remains, not in the mode of giving form to an organism as its entelechy [thus, out the window goes the teaching of the Council of Vienne that the soul is the substantial form – the entelechy – of the body], but in that of an ordering to this world as such and as a whole. It is not difficult to connect up this thought to ideas formulated by Teilhard de Chardin. For it might be said in this regard that relation to the cosmos is necessarily also relation to the temporality of the universe, which knows being only in the form of becoming [this is gibberish in light of Thomistic metaphysics], has a certain direction, disclosed in the gradual construction of ‘biosphere’ and ‘noosphere’ from out of physical building blocks which it then proceeds to transcend. Above all it is a progress to ever more complex unities. This is why it calls for a total complexity: a unity which will embrace all previously existing unities….The search reaches the point of integration of all in all, where each thing becomes completely itself precisely by being completely in the other. In such integration, matter belongs to spirit in a wholly new and different way, and spirit is utterly one with matter. The pancosmic existence, which death opens up would lead, then, to universal exchange and openness, and so to the overcoming of all alienation. Only where creation realizes such unity can it be true that ‘God is all in all.”( p. 191-192).

The quotes given above should be sufficient in order to establish with absolute certainty the extraordinary degree to which Joseph Ratzinger has embraced both the specific terminology and general cosmology of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. It is interesting that at the beginning of his discussion of Teilhard, he mentions a “not entirely unobjectionable tendency toward the biological approach” in Teilhard’s approach to these subjects, but then immediately states that he “nevertheless on the whole grasped them correctly….” It is almost as though Joseph Ratzinger recognized that he was treading on condemned and heretical ground, felt the need to make some unsubstantial and unexplained “qualification,” and yet could not resist bounding forward into virtual total embrace of the Teilhardian system and all the essential concepts involved.

The problem in all this, as Joseph Ratzinger fully admits, is the question as to how we explain the rise of man, and the fact that we believe that he possesses a spiritual “soul.” As noted earlier, he categorically rejects the position of some “Theistic Evolutionists” who basically conceive of a God Who “waits in the wings,” and at the opportune moment in evolutionary history, infuses a spiritual soul into an animal body. He dismisses such a solution as being “intolerable” to both the evolutionist and the theologian (p. 38).

It is here that he again has recourse to Teilhard. After quoting a rather dense passage from his writings, Joseph Ratzinger offers us the following exposition:

Certainly one can debate the details in this formulation; yet the decisive point seems to me to be grasped quite accurately: the alternative: materialism [the view that “spirit” and consciousness are ultimately only an accidental phenomenon of matter] or a spiritually defined world view, chance or meaning, is presented to us today in the form of the question of whether one regards spirit and life in its ascending forms as an incidental mold on the surface of the material world…or whether one regards spirit as the goal of the process and, conversely matter as the prehistory of the spirit. If one chooses the second alternative, it is clear that spirit is not a random product of material developments, but rather that matter signifies a moment in the history of spirit.” (p. 45).

It is clear here that Joseph Ratzinger’s thinking is in striking accord with “the decisive point” of Teilhard de Chardin in regard to the evolution of spirit and mind. Many traditionalists are in confusion in regard to Benedict’s evolutionary views because he rejects “meaningless evolution.” (as he did in his 2011 Easter Vigil Homily). But to reject meaningless evolution is not at all the same as rejecting evolution. Teilhard de Chardin also totally rejects meaningless evolution.” In both men’s thinking there is in fact so much significance and meaning to evolution that it is the primary vehicle by which God deals with man, and by which man’s spirit arises.

Lest we are tempted to think that Teilhard is a theologian with whom Benedict XVI is not really in essential agreement, we have the following matter-of-fact conclusion from Joseph Ratzinger’s pen in regard to the appearance of spirit in a human being:

“This would then lead to the insight that spirit does not enter the picture as something foreign, as a second substance, in addition to matter: the appearance of spirit, according to the previous discussion, means rather that an advancing movement arrives at the goal that has been set for it….The clay became man at that moment in which a being for the first time was capable of forming, however dimly, the thought ‘God.’ The first ‘thou’ that – however stammeringly – was said by human lips to God marks the moment in which spirit arose in the world. Here the Rubicon of anthropogenesis was crossed.” (p. 46-47).

One can only surmise that Adam’s next act after his initial dim and stammering thought of God was a puzzled grunt. There is here no Adam and Eve created in the fullness of sanctifying grace, possessing the infused gifts, both natural and supernatural, necessary for what has traditionally been known as the state of “Original Justice.” There can be no loss of this state through Original Sin. There can be no real moral responsibility for a human mind and will living in such dimness and stammering. There is only evolution and becoming.

Joseph Ratzinger in fact rejected the Church’s dogmatic teaching (Council of Trent) on the nature of original sin. The following is taken from his book In the Beginning…A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall (William B. Erdmans Publishing Co., 1995):

In the story that we are considering [Ch. 3 of Genesis], still a further characteristic of sin is described. Sin is not spoken of in general as an abstract possibility but as a deed, as the sin of a particular person, Adam, who stands at the origin of humankind and with whom the history of sin begins. The account tells us that sin begets sin, and that therefore all the sins of history are interlinked. Theology refers to this state of affairs by the certainly misleading and imprecise term ‘original sin’. What does this mean? Nothing seems to us today to be stranger or, indeed, more absurd than to insist upon original sin, since, according to our way of thinking, guilt can only be something very personal, and since God does not run a concentration camp, in which one’s relative are imprisoned because he is a liberating God of love, who calls each one by name. What does original sin mean, then, when we interpret it correctly?

 In the above passage, Joseph Ratzinger is simply denying that original sin was something which resulted in the passing on, through generation, of a fallen nature to all men. He in fact mocks this absolutely essential Catholic truth by comparing it to the idea that God runs a concentration camp which punishes all subsequent men born into this world for the sins committed by Adam. His answer (which is to be found in the long paragraph which followed the above quote) consists in asserting that “original sin” is not inherited at conception through generation, but is picked up by us through damaged relationships after conception and birth. He in fact uses some form of the word “relation” or “relationship” thirteen times in this paragraph in order to try to hammer home this new version of original sin. Again, success in such an enterprise destroys the Catholic Faith. And such is an absolute necessity of the evolutionary view of man and God.

 

An Evolutionary Christ:

This destruction must also affect belief in Christ and the Incarnation. As we have seen, Teilhard teaches that “it is Christ who is saved by evolution,” that “[Christ] is becoming universal through radiation,” and that “I see in the World a mysterious product of completion and fulfillment for the Absolute Being himself.”

It is, of course, traditional Catholic teaching that Christ’s Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection brought a radical change into the world. Christ’s Advent, and the resultant conversion of millions from a state of original sin to one of sanctifying grace, resulted in an ontological change in millions of souls, which in turn radically changed social realities, and created a Christian civilization The teachings of many previous Popes contain stirring testimonies to this radical “ontological” change which ensued from Christ’s Advent. As Pope Leo XIII wrote:

“Then man, as though awakening from a long-continued and deadly lethargy, beheld at length the light of the truth, for long ages desired, yet sought in vain. First of all, he realized that he was born to much higher and more glorious things than the frail and inconstant objects of sense which had hitherto formed the end of his thoughts and cares. He learnt that the meaning of human life, the supreme law, the end of all things was this: that we come from God and must return to Him. From this first principle the consciousness of human dignity was revived: men’s hearts realized the universal brotherhood: as a consequence, human rights and duties were either perfected or even newly created, whilst on all sides were evoked virtues undreamt of in pagan philosophy. Thus men’s aims, life, habits and customs received a new direction. As the knowledge of the Redeemer spread far and wide and His power, which destroyeth ignorance and former vices, penetrated into the very life-blood of the nations, such a change came about that the face of the world was entirely altered by the creation of a Christian civilization.” (Encyclical Tametsi – on Christ Our Redeemer).

Such radical, ontological change and restoration is, of course, impossible in the world of Teilhardian evolution. The Incarnation, according to Teilhard de Chardin, is not to be seen as a one-time event which restored salvation to mankind, but only the beginning of an ages-long process of evolutionary incorporation of the human into the divine, and of the incarnation of the divine into the human, reaching final convergence at the Omega Point of the Christic. This Teilhardian rejection of the traditional understanding of Christ’s Advent is perfectly expressed by Joseph Ratzinger in the following passage from his book Being Christian:

“This week we celebrate with the Church the beginning of Advent. If we think back to what we learned as children about Advent and its significance, we will remember being told that the Advent wreath, with its candles, is a reminder of the thousands of years (perhaps thousands of centuries) of the history of mankind before Christ. It reminds all of us of the time when an unredeemed mankind awaited salvation. It brings to our minds the darkness of an as yet unredeemed history in which the light of hope was only slowly kindled until, in the end, Christ, the light of the world, came and freed mankind from the darkness of condemnation. We learned also that those thousands of years before Christ were a time of condemnation because of original sin, while the centuries after the birth of our Lord are ‘anni salutis reparatae,’ years of restored salvation. And finally, we will remember being told that, in Advent, besides thinking back on the past to the period of condemnation and expectation of mankind, the Church also fixes her attention on the multitude of people who have not yet been baptized, and for whom it is still Advent, since they wait and live in the darkness of the absence of salvation.

If we look at the ideas we learned as children through the eyes of contemporary man and with the experiences of our age, we will see that we can hardly accept them. The idea that the years after Christ, compared with those before, are years of salvation will seem to be a cruel irony if we remember such dates as 1914, 1918, 1933, 1939, 1945; dates which mark periods of world war in which millions of men lost their lives, often in terrifying circumstances; dates which bring back the memory of atrocities such as humanity has never before experienced. One date (1933) reminds us of the beginning of a regime which achieved the most cruel perfection in the practice of mass murder; and finally, we remember that year in which the first atomic bomb exploded on an inhabited city, hiding in its dazzling brilliance a new possibility of darkness for the world.

“If we think about these things, we will have difficulty in distinguishing between a period of salvation and one of condemnation. And, extending our vision even further, if we contemplate the works of destruction and barbarity perpetrated in this and the preceding centuries by Christians (that is to say by us who call ourselves ‘redeemed’), we will be unable to divide the nations of the world into the redeemed and the condemned.

If we are sincere, we will no longer build up a theory which divides history and geography into zones of redeemed and zones of condemned. Rather, we will see the whole of history as a gray mass in which it is always possible to perceive the shining of a goodness which has not completely disappeared, in which there can always be found in men the desire to do good, but also in which breakdowns occur which lead to the atrocities of evil.”

It is immensely ironic and tragic that Joseph Ratzinger does not realize that the 20th Century atrocities which he lists in no way provide evidence against the traditional view of Christ’s Advent, or against such doctrines as original sin, sanctifying grace, or the necessity for implementing the Social Kingship of Christ. Rather, they provide profound confirmation of the inevitable consequences of a decay of traditional Christian orthodoxy and civilization, and the resultant ascension to power of forces, ideas, individuals, and movements (Communism, Nazism, and secular-messianic democracy) at total war with Christianity. Nor does he realize what atrocities the dark horizons of the future hold in store as a consequence of his own betrayals of this Tradition, and his embrace of Teilhardian evolution.

In his most comprehensive work on theology, Principles of Catholic Theology, Joseph Ratzinger offers the following assessment of Teilhard de Chardin’s influence upon Vatican Council II:

“The impetus given by Teilhard de Chardin exerted a wide influence. With daring vision it incorporated the historical movement of Christianity into the great cosmic process of evolution from Alpha to Omega: since the noogenesis, since the formation of consciousness in the event by which man became man, this process of evolution has continued to unfold as the building of the noosphere above the biosphere.” (p.334)

By now the reader should not be too befuddled by Teilhard-Ratzinger newspeak. What is being said here is that the “daring” event that was Vatican II amounted to an “opening” (aggiornamento) and incorporation of the Church into the larger evolutionary movement of the entire world and all of its individual realities and forces. What this means, of course, is that all dogmas – both of Faith and Morals – which have kept the Church separate from the world and all of its aspirations, must now somehow be “essentialized”, subjected to a “hermeneutics of continuity” (the last two expressions were favorites of Pope Benedict XVI), diluted, de-emphasized, transformed into an ideal only attainable in some future Omega Point, or simply cloaked behind a wall of silence, in order to facilitate this evolutionary process. And this is where Pope Francis comes upon the stage.

 

Pope Francis

In prophetic anticipation of the crisis which we now have with us, Teilhard de Chardin wrote the following just one month before he died in 1955:

On the other hand, I cannot fail to feel around me – if only from the way in which ‘my ideas’ are becoming more widely accepted – the pulsation of countless people who are all – ranging from the border-line of belief to the depths of the cloister – thinking and feeling, or at least beginning vaguely to feel, just as I do. It is indeed heartening to know that I am not a lone discoverer, but that I am, quite simply, responding to the vibration that (given a particular condition of Christianity of the world) is necessarily active in all the souls around me…..Everywhere on Earth, at this moment, in the new spiritual atmosphere created by the appearance of the idea of evolution, there float, in a state of extreme mutual sensitivity, love of God and faith in the world: the two essential components of the Ultra-human. These two components are everywhere ‘in the air’; generally, however, they are not strong enough, both at the same time, to combine with one another in one and the same subject. In me, it happens by pure chance (temperament, upbringing, background) that the proportion of the one to the other is correct, and the fusion of the two has been effected spontaneously – not as yet with sufficient force to spread explosively — but strong enough nevertheless to make it clear that the process is possible — and that sooner or later there will be a chain-reaction. (The Christic, p. 101-102).

The chain-reaction” of which Teilhard de Chardin spoke in the above passage has taken sixty years to materialize (and we might also keep in mind Bishop Fulton Sheen’s prophetic statement quoted earlier). His work was censured by various Church officials for decades, culminating in the 1962 Monitum of the Holy Office exhorting “all Ordinaries as well as the superiors of Religious institutes, rectors of seminaries and presidents of universities, effectively to protect the minds, particularly of the youth, against the dangers presented by the works of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and of his followers”. As late as 1981, the Holy See issued a communiqué reaffirming this warning.

Teilhard’s Evolutionary Gnosticism has now been blessed with both the voice and the vehicles empowering it to be mainstreamed. The voice is that of Pope Francis, and the vehicles which he has employed are his encyclical Laudato Si, and his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

Just as uniting the concept of evolution to Christology provided the theological key to Teilhard de Chardin’s concept of all matter evolving towards the Omega Point of the “Christic” (this constituting his concept of a “Cosmic Liturgy”), so the ecological movement is now providing the necessary chemistry for the “explosion” of this poisoned theology and spirituality within the minds and hearts of millions of Catholics. Laudato Si is rightly seen as the manifesto of this revolution. Following are passages from this encyclical which speak of the universal transfiguration of all created things upon the evolutionary “altar of the world”

83. The ultimate destiny of the universe is in the fullness of God, which has already been attained by the risen Christ, the measure of the maturity of all things.[53] Here we can add yet another argument for rejecting every tyrannical and irresponsible domination of human beings over other creatures. The ultimate purpose of other creatures is not to be found in us. Rather, all creatures are moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival, which is God, in that transcendent fullness where the risen Christ embraces and illumines all things. Human beings, endowed with intelligence and love, and drawn by the fullness of Christ, are called to lead all creatures back to their Creator.

236. It is in the Eucharist that all that has been created finds its greatest exaltation…. The Lord, in the culmination of the mystery of the Incarnation, chose to reach our intimate depths through a fragment of matter. He comes not from above, but from within, he comes that we might find him in this world of ours….Indeed the Eucharist is in itself an act of cosmic love: ‘Yes, cosmic! Because even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church, the Eucharist is always in some way celebrated on the altar of the world’.[166]” (the quote at the end of this passage is from Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia).

If we are tempted to deny the Teilhardian theology and cosmology in these passages, we need only to look at footnote #53 in the above quote. It contains the following comment: “Against this horizon we can set the contribution of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin”.

Three more examples:

  1. On Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance. Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, the “first day” of the new creation, whose first fruits are the Lord’s risen humanity, the pledge of the final transfiguration of all created reality.
  2. Jesus says: “I make all things new” (Rev 21:5). Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place and have something to give those poor men and women who will have been liberated once and for all.
  3. In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast.

In order to see the grievous error represented in these passages from Laudato Si, we need only consult Holy Scripture, and the many passages from both Old and New Testaments which clearly reveal that the earth will totally perish and cease to be, that the world is not our lasting home, and that Christ’s assurance that He will “make all things new” in no way signifies a final transfiguration of any created thing, living or dead, which does not have a spiritual soul:

With desolation shall the earth be laid waste, and it shall be utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. (Isaiah 24:3)

For behold, I create new heaven, and a new earth: and the former things shall not be in remembrance, and they shall not come upon the heart. (Isaiah 65:1.)

Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass. (Matthew 24:35).

But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire, against the day of judgment and perdition of the ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:7)

But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it, shall be burnt up. Seeing then that all these things are to be dissolved, what manner of people ought you to be in holy conversation and godliness? Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord, by which the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with the burning heat? But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to his promises, in which justice dwelleth. (2 Peter 3:10-13).

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more, (Apoc. 21: 1).

The Teilhardian spiritualism implicit in Pope Francis’ concept of the altar of the world, and his concept of the final transfiguration of all created things, demands that the above scriptures be considered false. If “matter is the prehistory of spirit” (Joseph Ratzinger’s phrase), and if, as Pope Francis teaches, all creatures are to be “resplendently transfigured” and be present at the “heavenly feast”, then all creatures possess a dignity and sacredness that demands an imperishability which parallels that of human beings.

The “ecological spiritualism” proposed throughout Pope Francis’ Laudato Si therefore represents not just a lengthy and inappropriate descent of the Church into the science of this world, but is preeminently constituted as a manifesto for a totally radical change in Catholic theology and spirituality.

In the City of God, St. Augustine spoke of two Cities in combat for the souls of men: “These two Cities are made by two loves: the earthly City by love of oneself even to the contempt of God; the heavenly City by love of God even to the contempt of self.” (City of God, 14:2). Seventeen hundred years later, these two loves are now represented by two altars: the traditional Catholic altar which receives the Gift of Christ from above, and the Teilhardian altar of the world upon which man worships his own becoming, and the evolutionary ascent of all of creation.

There is, of course, a legitimate use of the expression “altar of the world”. Fatima has long been called the ‘Altar of the World” because pilgrims come from all over the world to worship at this place of Our Lady’s visitation. It is also true that the Mass itself might be considered the Altar of the World – wherever it is offered on this earth, God becomes present. But this is a far cry from the Teilhardian-inspired use of such terms as “altar of the world”, “Mass on the World”, or “altar of the earth” to connote a process of universal becoming by which the earth itself is to be seen as a “living host” being transfigured by an evolutionary processes which will culminate with all its creatures “resplendently transfigured” and “taken up into the heavenly feast”. Rightly we may view such a liturgy as being offered on the pantheistic altar of Satan.

The encyclical Laudato Si was promulgated on May 24, 2015. One year later, on March 19, 2016, the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia was published. What might be called the “theological agenda” of Amoris Laetitia is succinctly formulated very early in this document. In paragraph 3, we encounter the following:

“Since ‘time is greater than space’,  I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral, or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth (cf. Jn 16:13), until he leads us fully into the mystery of Christ and enables us to see all things as he does. Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs. For cultures are in fact quite diverse and every general principle…needs to be inculterated, if it is to be respected and applied.”

Now, any honest assessment of this paragraph should produce profound bewilderment. The subjects we are dealing with in Amoris Laetitia– marriage, family, the impossibility of divorce and remarriage, the intrinsic evil of homosexuality, and the prescription against those living in adultery receiving the Eucharist – all these subjects are doctrinal “places” which are not subject to evolution, change, growth, or inculteration. The notion that doctrinal truths can be “inculturated” with different “solutions” in various cultures is simply a prescription for relativism. Further, there can be no unity of teaching and practice where these doctrines are violated. And finally, if questions regarding such doctrines need not now to be “settled by intervention of the magisterium”, it is only because they have been settled by the magisterium and by the Gospel from its inception. In other words, every sentence in paragraph 3 is redolent with error and deception.

We do indeed have not only the right, but also the obligation, to reject this concept that “time is greater than space” in regard to anything to do with Catholic truth. And we should be left with a very disturbing question as to exactly what Francis is trying to do with this strange notion that “time is greater than space”.

Amoris Laetitia is not the first time that Francis has used this phrase or concept. Those who read Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium may have been puzzled that in fact an entire subsection of this document was titled “Time is Greater than Space”. There we read:

“A constant tension exists between fullness and limitation. Fullness evokes the desire for complete possession, while limitation is a wall set before us. Broadly speaking, ‘time’ has to do with fullness as an expression of the horizon which constantly opens before us, while each individual moment has to do with limitation as an expression of enclosure. People live poised between each individual moment and the greater, brighter horizon of the utopian future as the final cause which draws us to itself. Here we see a first principle for progress in building a people: time is greater than space.”

On the contrary, the Catholic Faith is not established upon a “horizon which constantly opens before us”, but upon what is within us now:

“Neither shall they say: Behold here, or behold there. For lo, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)

It has nothing to do with a utopian future, but with the “now” of our response to God’s grace and truth:

“And we helping do exhort you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain….Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:1-2).

It is this now which has been the crucial and saving moment for each individual soul from the creation of Adam down to the last man. It is this now which has been the source of all that is good in human history; for it is here that God’s Rule is either accepted or rejected, this in turn determining whether true love, peace, justice, compassion, and mercy are either accepted or rejected in societies and nations.

Pope Francis indeed seems to make “time” the very source of revelation and salvation. In his interview with Anthony Spadaro, he said the following:

“God manifests himself in historical revelation, in history. Time initiates processes, and space crystallizes them. God is in history, in the processes. We must initiate processes, rather than occupy spaces.”

 This, of course, is all very reminiscent of Joseph Ratzinger’s statement concerning the temporality of the universe, “which knows being only in the form of becoming”. This is absolutely contrary to Catholic doctrine and Thomistic metaphysics which rightly sees each created thing as possessing a substantial form determining a specific substantial being in itself. Such “beings” or “kinds” of being do certainly experience accidental change, but they cannot cease to be “what they are” without total corruption (in the case of living things this entails their death) of their substantial form. This of course eliminates all possibility of one thing evolving into another. The notion, therefore, that created things “know being only in the form of becoming” is the great philosophical lie of our age. It is the lie which gives credence to all forms of evolutionary theory. Nor is it a lie which affects only temporal realities. The human soul can only find God in the” now” of God’s immutable Life and Truth, which is the source of his own being, and which is constant in the midst of all the changing vicissitudes of his or her life.

Space, therefore, for Pope Francis, is simply a euphemism for what we are in possession of now – in other words, what we traditional Catholics believe to be the fullness of God’s Immutable Revelation, Rules, Dogma, the Infallible Magisterium, and the reality that we each possess a substantial human nature and soul, requiring the same fundamental choice now as was true of the first man.

Time is proposed by Pope Francis as being greater than Space because “becoming” is more real than God’s Supreme Being, and takes precedence over the Revealed Truths which are the fullness of that Being. It is therefore quite easy to see why, in the mind of Pope Francis, an apparent universal mercy trumps immutable dogma – why the divorced and remarried may receive Holy Communion, why we must be “inclusive” towards practicing homosexuals (who must certainly also be admitted to Sacramental Communion if such a “mercy” holds true), and why, in fact, we must be inclusive towards everyone (except, apparently, rich capitalists, the Mafia, and possibly Traditionalists). It is the Journey into the future which is everything. There can be no Now which demands conversion to any Absolutes, and such conversion cannot be a requisite for being included within the sacramental and supernatural life of Christ’s Mystical Body.

If Time triumphs over the “space” of God’s Immutable Truth, then we float, untethered, until the life of God’s Revelation is left behind. The world, of which Satan is the Prince, has for some time rejected all Absolutes, and prostrated itself before the goddesses of evolutionary progress. This world now has a friend within the Church in the person of Pope Francis. And all of this is being done in the name of a universal mercy which is the ultimate mockery of Christ and the Truth for which He suffered and died.

 

Conclusion: To Seminarians and Priests:

In recent years it has become evident that, at least in some respects and in some areas of this country, there has been a turning towards orthodox Catholicism, and therefore a refreshing devotion to such orthodoxy among some seminarians and new priests. At the same time, however, it has also been noticeable that many of these seminarians and recently ordained priests have a strong inclination to try to accommodate Catholicism with evolutionary theory. We hope that the above article will convince such young men that every effort in this direction will inevitably poison their priesthood and lead to mockery of all that Christ meant when He declared to Pilate that He was the King who came to give testimony to the Truth. This of course is precisely what such “accommodation” did to the priesthood of Joseph Ratzinger and Jorge Bergoglio and many other bishops and priests who, either through active acceptance of evolutionary thinking, or by their silence, are now largely responsible for the spread of this virulent poison among the faithful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar

The Second Sorrowful Mystery:

The Scourging at the Pillar

Image result for flagellation the scourging at the pillar painting

 

 

 

 

 

“Who his own self bore our sins in his body upon the tree: that we, being dead to sins, should live to justice: by whose stripes we were healed.” (1 Pet. 2: 24)

“But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53: 5-6).

When we read about the bruises and stripes suffered by Christ, whether in Old Testament prophesy or the words quoted above from Peter’s epistle (a stripe, as defined by Webster, is “a stroke or blow with a rod or lash”), we are of course led to consideration of the Scourging of Our Lord at the Pillar. It is most appropriate, therefore, that we begin with some degree of comprehension of the extraordinary horror of this Mystery. For this purpose, we quote from the visions of Mary of Agreda to be found in the City of God:

“Thus the Lord stood uncovered in the presence of a great multitude and the six torturers bound Him brutally to one of the columns in order to chastise Him so much the more at their ease. Then, two and two at a time, they began to scourge Him with such inhuman cruelty, as was possible only in men possessed by Lucifer, as were these executioners. The first two scourged the Innocent Savior with hard and thick cords, full of rough knots, and in their sacrilegious fury strained all the powers of their body to inflict the blows. This first scourging raised in the Deified Body of the Lord great welts and livid tumors, so that the Sacred Blood gathered beneath the skin and disfigured His entire body. Already it began to ooze through the Wounds. The first two having at length desisted, the second pair continued the scourging in still greater emulation; with hardened leather thongs they leveled their strokes upon the places already sore and caused the discolored tumors to break open and shed forth the Sacred Blood until it bespattered and drenched the garments of the sacrilegious torturers, running down also in streams to the pavement. Those two gave way to the third pair of scourgers, who commenced to beat the Lord with extremely tough rawhides, dried hard like osier twigs. They scourged Him still more cruelly, because they were wounding, not so much His Virginal Body, as cutting into the wounds already produced by the previous scourging. Besides they had been secretly incited to greater fury by the demons, who were filled with new rage at the Patience of Christ.

“As the veins of the Sacred Body had now been opened and His whole Person seemed but one continued Wound, the third pair found no more room for new wounds. Their ceaseless blows inhumanly tore the Immaculate and Virginal Flesh of Christ Our Redeemer and scattered many pieces of it about the pavement; so much so that a large portion of the shoulder-bones were exposed and showed red through the flowing Blood; in other places also the bones were laid bare larger than the palm of the hand. In order to wipe out entirely that Beauty, which exceeded that of all other men (Ps. 44, 3), they beat Him in the face and in the feet and hands, thus leaving unwounded not a single spot in which they could exert their fury and wrath against the Most Innocent Lamb. The Divine blood flowed to the ground, gathering here and there in great abundance. The scourging in the face, and in the hands and feet, was unspeakably painful, because these parts are so full of sensitive and delicate nerves. His Venerable Countenance became so swollen and wounded that the Blood and the swellings blinded Him. In addition to their blows the executioners spirited upon His Person their disgusting spittle and loaded Him with insulting epithets. The exact number of blows dealt out the Savior from head to foot was 5,115.”

All that we read in Mary of Agreda’s account of Our Lord’s Scourging at the Pillar speaks of horrific evil in those responsible – the conspirational designs and inspiration of Satan, the malice of the Jewish leaders, the Satanically inspired brutality of the scourgers, and the cowardly capitulation of Pilate to what he knew to be terribly unjust. We are tempted therefore to believe that such persons and fallen angels are the real depths and sources behind Our Lord’s “stripes” and “bruisings”. Although we admit, at least nominally, that we are also sinners and that Our Lord died also for our sins, it may also be our tendency to assume a spiritual posture which believes and acts on the presumption that it was really them, and others who are somehow like them, who are ultimately responsible for Our Lord’s torture and death. This is not the verdict of Holy Scripture:

All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

It would therefore seem of great benefit towards understanding our relationship to God, and especially for gaining that self-knowledge which is integral to this understanding, to penetrate more deeply into how such iniquity can exist even where there is no conscious, deliberate rejection of God, and where there may exist, in fact, explicit belief in Christ and the Catholic Faith. Our Lady of Fatima said that more people go to Hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason. Such mortal sins are most often committed in the heat of desire and passion, wherein there is no conscious consideration of God whatsoever. We must therefore look elsewhere, other than explicit malice towards God, for the root causes of Our Lord’s suffering and death, and the corresponding sources of the eventual eternal estrangement of countless souls from God and their eternal condemnation in Hell.

Any attempt to attain some depth of understanding of the scriptural truth that all of us have gone astray, and that every one hath turned aside into his own way, would therefore seem to demand further penetration, not only into the nature of the original sin committed by Adam and Eve, but also into how its consequences come home to roost in the sins of each one of us – whether these sins be mortal or venial,

St. Thomas teaches that the essence of original sin, and therefore of man’s loss of created friendship with God, could not in any way lie in the passions or any form of concupiscence of the flesh. In addition to possessing sanctifying grace, Adam and Eve were created with the added supernatural gift of integrity, in which there could not be any disharmony between their sensitive passions and right reason. The cause of original sin could therefore only lie in the will of man, wherein he was truly a free spiritual being and possessing the freedom to make his own choices. And since the will of man is an integral part of man’s mind (St. Thomas terms it the intellectual appetencyman cannot will what he does not in some way know), then original sin could only consist of an intellectual pride by which he sought an excellence in his own being which detracted from God, was contrary to right reason, and came to rest in himself as the source of that excellence. Thus, the fundamental temptation of Satan: “No, you shall not die the death. For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil.

Original sin, as received through generation, is therefore what St. Thomas calls a habit of nature (St. Augustine calls it the languor of nature), by which all men (except of course Our Lord and our Blessed Mother), naturally (in their fallen nature) possess an inordinate disposition (or incentive) to turn from right reason – and therefore the order established by God – to love of self. This tendency is also rightly called concupiscence, and even though in baptism the guilt of original sin is remitted, and friendship with God is restored, this tendency remains.

St. Thomas writes:

Augustine says (De Civ. Dei, xiv. 28) that ‘self love, amounting to contempt of God, builds up the city of Babylon. Now every sin makes man a citizen of Babylon.’ Therefore self-love is the cause of every sin.

“The proper and direct cause of sin is to be considered on the part of the adherence to a mutable good; in which respect every sinful act proceeds from inordinate desire (against God’s divinely established order) for some temporal good. Now the fact that anyone desires a temporal good inordinately, is due to the fact that he loves himself inordinately; for to wish anyone some good is to love him. Therefore it is evident that inordinate love of self is the cause of every sin.” (ST, I-II, Q. 77, A. 4).

This means of course that the possibility of mortal sin exists in conjunction with all of man’s faculties, and on all levels of his fallen nature – his thoughts, imagination, sensitive appetites, desires, words, passions, deeds, and even in what are called sins of omission. All that is necessary for a sin to be mortal in regard to any of these areas of man’s being is that it be objectively a matter of grave evil, and that man’s free will, which was not taken away through original sin, accedes to it.

One of the greatest delusions present in modern Catholic thought is the belief that sin can only be mortal where there exists some sort of very calculated and conscious rejection of God and His revealed truths or laws. This delusion has even been elevated to the theological theory that all men who do not entertain such direct, conscious rejection of God are really “anonymous” Christians and can thus attain salvation. This delusion is present especially in regard to sins of the flesh. We tend to see these sins almost exclusively as a matter of weaknesses, the guilt for which is almost totally mitigated by the presence of powerful passions and appetites which are virtually impossible to control. In response to this specific question, St. Thomas writes:

I answer that, Mortal sin, as stated above, consists in turning away from our last end which is God, which aversion pertains to the deliberating reason, whose function it is also to direct towards the end. Therefore that which is contrary to the last end can happen not to be a mortal sin, only when the deliberating reason is unable to come to the rescue, which is the case in sudden movements. Now when anyone proceeds from passion to a sinful act, or to a deliberate consent, this does not happen suddenly: and so the deliberating reason can come to the rescue here, since it can drive the passion away, or at least prevent it from having its effect, as stated above: wherefore if it does not come to the rescue, there is a mortal sin; and it is thus, as we see, that many murders and adulteries are committed through passion.” (ST, I-II, Q. 77, A. 8).

What this means in simple language is that any “sin of passion”, which is objectively a mortal sin against the universal law written in the hearts of all men, is also subjectively (in terms of human responsibility and guilt) a mortal sin, except where there has occurred loss of reason through insanity, brain damage, etc. This is an enormously important truth for us to understand in the face of so many attempts now being made by those within the Church to establish conditions under which engaging in sexual sins in cases of civil divorce and remarriage, co-habitation outside of marriage, homosexuality, etc is something less than grave sin, and can therefore be reconciled with receiving Holy Communion. It is sadly the case today that such persons can almost always find a priest or bishop who will approve such a sacrilege either explicitly or by their silence. Before doing so, however, they should carefully consider the following words of God addressed to the Prophet Ezechiel:

So thou, O son of man, I have made thee a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore thou shalt hear the word from my mouth, and shalt tell it them from me. When I say to the wicked: O wicked man, thou shalt surely die: if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked man from his way: that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but I will require his blood at thy hand.” (Ez. 33: 7-8)”

In other words, we need to take absolutely seriously Our Lady’s statement that more people go to Hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason.

We are therefore faced with the question as to how such sins, despite the fact that they are most often committed in “weakness”, and with no conscious rejection of God – no deliberated malice towards Him or His revealed truths, can yet be mortal because they do indeed constitute a contempt for God for which the persons who commit these sins are gravely responsible.

The answer to this question is clearly delineated for us in Holy Scripture, and especially in the first two chapters of St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans. We begin with the following:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice: Because that which is known of God is manifest to them. For God hath manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable. (Rom. 1: 18-20).

The first thing we must understand about this passage is that Paul is here referring to all men of all times – to Adam and Eve before their Fall, to those living both before and during God’s covenant with the Jews, and to those now living after the redemptive Sacrifice of Christ. All men, created in the image of God, possess an intellectual light which derives from the Life of Christ (John 1: 4) which, when encountering all the marvels of God’s creation, should naturally acknowledge the existence of an infinite God who is the creator of all being: “For in him [Christ] were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…: all things were created by him and in him” (Col. 1: 16). St. Paul tells the Athenians:

[God] hath made of one, all mankind, to dwell upon the whole face of the earth, determining appointed times, and the limits of their habitation. That they should seek God, if happily they may feel after him or find him, although he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and are…. (Acts 17: 26-28).

St. Thomas flatly states: “All knowers know God implicitly in all they know.” (De Veritate, Q.22, .2). As St. Thomas here points out, this knowledge, especially in consideration of our fallen nature, is implicit. However, just because such knowledge is not explicit, or the subject of intellectual clarity, does not at all excuse man. It is within the human heart that these implicit truths reverberate, and it is here where man freely chooses (wills) either to happily seek and feel after and find God, or whether he chooses to detain the truth concerning both God and himself in the injustice of self-love.

For those who do truly seek God with integrity of heart, we have the promise of God that He will answer their prayers and conduct them into His saving grace and truth, and this is true even of those who do not begin with any explicit knowledge of God’s Revelation: “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, who have not the law do by nature those things that are of the law; these having not the law are a law to themselves: Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them, and their thoughts between themselves accusing, or also defending one another, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” (Romans 2: 13-16).

The perversity of will (heart) by which man chooses not to glorify God as the complete creator and sustainer of every faculty of his being, and the consequent choosing of self-love over the feeling and seeking after God which is truly natural to the human heart, has absolutely grave consequences for every facet of man’s being. St. Paul gives a detailed account of this “detaining the truth of God in injustice”:

For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man [this can certainly be seen to include false humanism and the belief in the evolutionary perfectibility of man himself], and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart [self-love], unto uncleanness, to dishonor their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen

“For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.

“As they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy. Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.” (Rom. 1: 22-32).

Most important for us to realize is the fact that in order for “inordinate love of self” to produce both the pride that occasioned the Fall of Adam and Eve, and all the sins enumerated above to which our fallen natures are subject to temptation, mankind must have first have “liked not to have God in their knowledge”.

Finally, it behooves us as Catholics, who consider ourselves faithful to the Church’s teaching and subject to the moral law, to inquire how we also have” gone astray”, and” turned aside into our own way”.

At first glance, such a statement might not seem to apply to those who sincerely profess the Catholic Faith. We might protest that we possess the Faith, that we have studied our Faith, that we attend Mass regularly, that we pray our daily prayers, that we “know” God.

With a second look, however, we might begin to see deeper. Does the fact that we are so easily distracted while assisting at Mass or praying the Rosary (are we distracted like this while watching a movie we really like?) indicate a disposition deep within us which does not particularly desire “having God in our knowledge”? Does the fact that we might not be able to keep the “eyes” of our mind on the prayers and meditations of the Rosary, or can barely stay awake while reading the Bible or another spiritual book for 20 minutes, while we might go on for a couple hours reading a novel, tell us something similar? That we can fish, or hunt, or sew, or play volleyball, watch professional sports on TV, talk about many trivial things, all these things occupying many pleasurable hours of our days; while, on the other hand, one hour of discussion about some truth of God, is a relatively rare occurrence – can all of this be telling us that there is a very strong languor of nature” in all of us which demonstrates that we prefer to have other things on our minds more than God?

We might well consider the fact that the primary effect of concupiscence upon our lives as Catholics is a sin of omission – the almost overwhelming tendency not to place God in the very center of all that we do. We tend to make God and our Catholic Faith an adjunct to our lives in this world – a possession which is only a part of our lives. St. Thomas teaches that a sin of omission is not just the absence of something, but an actually deed. It is a deed which departs and detracts, and therefore is in contempt of the good which we are called to do, in order to pursue something else. In the case of God and our Catholic Faith, this of course entails detraction from our absolute obligation to glorify God in every facet of our lives and being, and to seek Him in all that we do. This latter, of course, is an enormously difficult work, an art that we must pursue with passion, and a constant bearing of the Cross of Christ. Possibly the most beautiful and compelling passage of Scripture encapsulating this truly divine and obligatory work of the human mind and heart is to be found in the Old Testament:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength. And these words which I command thee, this day, shall be in thy heart: And thou shalt tell them to thy children, and thou shalt meditate upon them sitting in thy house, and walking on thy journey, sleeping and rising. And thou shalt bind them as a sign on thy hand, and they shall be and shall move between thy eyes.” (Deut. 6: 5-8).

The state of mind and heart described in the above passage is indeed a great labor which requires a magnanimous heart absolutely committed to its pursuit. Without such commitment, we are bound to be lukewarm in both our faith and love towards God, and this is the seedbed of betrayal of Christ. The most violent words in all of scripture are those of Our Lord in the Book of the Apocalypse condemning just such lukewarmness of those in the Church at Laodicea:

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot. But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” (Apoc. 3: 15-16).

We might even conjecture that such lukewarmness is the primary reason that so many Catholics ultimately find themselves outside of God’s mercy and grace. The Catholic Church of course teaches that no one is condemned without mortal sin, and we tend to think of such mortal sins in regard to the obvious and grosser sins of the flesh. But none of us (except God) can calculate at what point lukewarmness towards God and our Faith, especially among Catholics who have been given the extraordinary gift of God’s life in their souls, becomes an idolatry towards the world which settles into a contempt of God which is mortal. Saint James writes:

Adulterers, know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God”. (James 4: 4-5).

We must realize that the attentiveness of mind and heart to the truths and ways of God described in the above-quoted passage from Deuteronomy was an art enormously easier to practice in a culture embodying the relative simplicity of Old Testament times, or in previous centuries of Christianity. There is much freedom of mind and heart to practice closeness to God when life is simple. As demonstrated in our article on The Third Joyful Mystery: The Birth of Jesus, it was precisely this simplicity and poverty which was sought out and embraced by Joseph and Mary (and Christ) for Our Lord’s birth and family life. The Catholic truth that God is Absolute Divine Simplicity, and that, on the contrary, Satan is the author of superfluous complexity both in the individual soul and in human society, deserves much consideration. All we have to do in order to make this abundantly clear is to look into the possibilities which exist for such closeness to God in the “primitive” farmer plowing his field or the simple craftsman employing his skills, and then contrast this with professions constantly preoccupied with the world of the internet in order to make money, compete, and survive in this modern world. And if we add to this the world of TV, all the superfluous and dangerous other forms of involvement with the internet, the ever expanding world of new forms of expensive and complex entertainment and recreation, the incredible complexity of life in terms of such things as every conceivable form of insurance, taxes, investments, retirement plans, the demands of ever-increasing expense and specialization of education which is supposedly a must for the survival and advancement of our children in this modern world, etc., we can certainly begin to see that mankind has built a world in which it is virtually impossible for God and His Word to “move between our eyes”. We now live in a world which is a garden of delight for Satan’s constant effort to breed forgetfulness and “contempt” of God.

It therefore is now incumbent upon us as Catholics to do everything we creatively can to reduce this “friendship with the world” in our own lives and in those we love and for whom we are responsible – to seek out poverty and simplicity in all the various facets of our lives in order that God may move not only “between the eyes”, but within our whole being: “If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome.” (Mt. 6:22). This is a vast subject for our contemplation and creativity. It is not a task which should be seen as increasing the complexity of our lives, but a constant work of giving glory to God through imitation of the simplicity and poverty of the Holy Family. It is the work of the Cross of Jesus Christ. It is an art by which we must seek freedom in the Holy Spirit.

There is a place of refuge, wherein we may be taught this art. The following words were addressed to Mary of Agreda by the Lord God Almighty, and recorded by her in the City of God:

“Now I will make manifest my indignation and exercise my justice in equity; I will show how well justified is my cause. In order that this may come to pass more speedily, and because it is now time that my mercy show itself more openly and because my love must not be idle, I will offer to them an opportune remedy, if they will but make use of it for returning again to my favor. Now, at this hour, when the world has arrived at so unfortunate a pass, and when, though the Word has become incarnate, mortals are more careless of their weal and seek it less; when the day of their transitory life passes swiftly at the setting of the sun of time; when the night of eternity is approaching closer and closer for the wicked and the day without a night is being born for the just; when the majority of mortals are sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness of their ignorance and guilt: oppressing the just and mocking the children of God; when my holy and divine law is despised in the management of the iniquitous affairs of state, which are as hostile as they are contrary to my Providence; when the wicked least deserve my mercy; in these predestined times, I wish to open a portal for the just ones through which they can find access to my mercy; I wish to give them a light by which they can dispel the gloom that envelops the eyes of their minds. I wish to furnish them a suitable remedy for restoring them to my grace. Happy they who find it, and blessed they who shall appreciate its value, rich they who shall come upon this treasure, and blessed and very wise those who shall search into and shall understand its marvels and hidden mysteries. I desire to make known to mortals how much intercession of Her is worth, who brought restoration of life by giving mortal existence to the immortal God. As recompense I desire that they look upon the wonders wrought by my mighty arm in that pure Creature, as upon a mirror by which they can estimate their own ingratitude….I will not longer withhold from men this mystical City of refuge….

At Fatima, Our Lady told us that her Immaculate Heart would be our refuge and the way that would lead us to God. As revealed in the words of the Almighty at the end of the passage quoted above, this refuge – this portal which God has in recent centuries opened up to mankind, is not only a refuge from the world, but one in which a light will be given to us to see, as upon a mirror, the profound ingratitude – the contempt of God – which is hidden in our own friendship with the world, lukewarmness towards God, and consequent iniquities inflicted upon Our Lord in His Passion. It is only here, in the light of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, that we may be cleansed of our adulteries with this world.

Above all, however, one thing is necessary in order that we should even possess the desire to pass through this portal and enter into this refuge: we must rekindle within the depths of our hearts and minds the Gift of the Holy Spirit which is called Fear of the Lord. This Gift has been a casualty of the spirit of the world which has largely reigned in the Church since Vatican Council II. Fear of the Lord has been widely eliminated (usually by substituting words such a wonder, awe, and reverence) from catechisms, prayers, and the general consciousness of the Catholic faithful, and it has been totally eliminated from the Bishop’s prayer over the confirmands in administration of the New Rite of Confirmation. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. It is established upon knowledge of a twofold truth: the infinite goodness and majesty of God on the one hand, and the always threatening lukewarmness, and duplicitous and treacherous tendencies of our own fallen natures. It is only with this Gift, and this honesty, that we can conceivably be also gifted with the desire to cast ourselves into the Tabernacle of Mary’s purifying Heart.

In this regard, we offer one final quote from Mary of Agreda:

“Ever since I have had the use of reason, I was conscious of especially one blessing, which in my estimation is the greatest of all those bestowed upon me by God’s liberality; namely, a great and penetrating fear, lest I should lose Him. And this moved and urged me on to strive after the better and more secure way and to follow after it and implore it from the Lord day after day. He has wounded my flesh with the dart of fear of his judgments (Ps. 118,120), and I live continually in the dreadful thought: Have I perhaps lost the friendship of the Most High or am I still in his friendship? My bread day and night have been the tears, which this fear has drawn from my eyes (Ps. 91, 4). On account of this dread, since it is more necessary than ever that the friends of the Lord should practice their virtues in secret and without ostentation, I have in these latter times begun to send up earnest and heartfelt prayers and petitions to the Lord, asking also the intercession of the Queen of Virgins, that I may be guided and led along the secure paths hidden from the eyes of men.”

It would seem that it is precisely because of this blessing bestowed upon Mary of Agreda in her youth that she was subsequently chosen to reveal to the world the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart as the refuge which would protect and preserve us from the evils of this modern world, and from our own duplicity:

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. That I may see the delight of the Lord, and may visit his temple. For he hath hidden me in his tabernacle; in the day of evils, he hath protected me in the secret place of his tabernacle.” (Ps. 26: 4-5).

It is in such a spirit that the Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church is directed – not primarily towards all those evils which do indeed truly exist out there, but rather towards that which has become dimmed, darkened, or even extinguished within each one of us, and in the Church as a whole. We ask all Catholics to fill their churches on February 2, 2019 to beseech Our Lady, through her Rosary, that she flood our souls with the light of the Gift of Fear of the Lord which is necessary to accomplish this self-knowledge and purification in our hearts and minds. Only thus will the Light of Christ be enkindled once again in His Church for the conversion of nations:

I am come to cast fire on the earth: and what will I, but that it be kindled? (Luke 12: 49).

Please spread the word about the Rosary!

Original Proposal

The Presentation celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, into His Temple. It is, in fact, the premier Feast of Light¸ and the Triumph of Light over the Darkness of Evil. Traditionally called Candlemas, it signifies the “success” and triumph of the Incarnation . . . Read More.

Ask your pastor to Implement this Event!

For those who would like to join in this missionary effort, please refer to  our sample letter which you can send to any priests whom you feel might be interested in promoting this initiative.  Since this is a group effort, you may simply assume and sign the letter as your own.

Alternatively, simply find an open Catholic Church in which to pray the Rosary for this intention, either with a group or alone.

We invite the whole world to join us!

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