The Catholic Church: The Church of Christ

The following text is taken from the preface to an excellent 3 volume series of books titled “Radio Replies” by Fathers Rumble and Carty. It was first published in 1938 and its question and answer format can be very helpful when confronted with the plethora of questions and objections to Catholicism which arise in our very not-so-Catholic-at-all society.

In following posts, I will be sharing excerpts from this book. It is important for us as Catholics to continually read and learn more about our Faith so that we can be bolstered against error, doubts and confusion; as well as be equipped with the necessary knowledge and conviction to defend the Faith if ever there is a need.  There is much contained even in just this preface that can help us do just that.

 

Preface to Radio Replies:

There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church – which is, of course, quite a different thing. These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics “adore statues” ; because they “put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God” ; because they say “indulgence is a permission to commit sin” : because the Pope “is a Fascist” ;  because the “Church is the defender of Capitalism.” If the Church taught or believed any one of these things it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them. It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against truth. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believe all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.

If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hates. My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh. If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world. Look for the Church that is hated by the world, as Christ was hated by the world. Look for the Church which is accused of being behind the times, as Our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned. Look for the Church which men seer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth. Look for the Church which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. Look for the Church which in seasons of bigotry, men say must be destroyed in the name of God as men crucified Christ and thought they had done a service to God. Look for the Church which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because He called Himself the Truth. Look for the Church which is rejected by the world as Our Lord was rejected by men. Look for the Church which amid the confusion of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its Voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly, it is other worldly. Since it is other-worldly it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself. But only that which is Divine can be infinitely hated and infinitely loved. Therefore the Church is Divine.

If then, the hatred of the Church is founded on erroneous beliefs, it follows that basic need of the day is instruction. Love depends on knowledge for we cannot aspire nor desire the unknown. Our great country is filled with what might be called marginal Christians, i.e., those who live on the fringe of religion and who are descendants of Christian living parents, but who now are Christians only in name They retain a few of its ideals out of indolence and force of habit: they know the glorious history of Christianity only through certain emasculated forms of it, which have married the spirit of the age and are now dying with it. Of Catholicism and its sacraments, its pardon, its grace, its certitude and its peace, they know nothing except a few inherited prejudices. And yet they are good people who want to do the right thing, but who have no definite philosophy concerning it. They educate their children without religion, and yet they resent the compromising morals of their children. They would be angry if you told them they were not Christian, and yet they do not believe that Christ is God. They resent being called pagans and yet they never take a practical cognizance of the existence of God. There is only one thing of which they are certain and that is that things are not right as they are. It is just the single certitude which makes them what might be called the great “potential”, for they are ready to pulled in either of two directions. Within a short time they mus take sides; they must either gather with Christ or they must scatter; they must either be with Him or against Him; they must either be on the cross as other Christs, or under it as other executioners. Which way will these marginal Christians tend? The answer depends upon those who have the faith. Like the multitudes who follower Our Lord into the desert, they are as sheep without a shepherd. They are waiting to be shepherded either with the sheep or goats. Only this much is certain. Being human and having hearts they want more than class struggle and economics; they want Life, they want Truth, and they want Love. In a word, they want Christ.

It is to these millions who believe wrong things about the Church and these marginal Christians, that this little book is sent. It is not to prove that they are “wrong” ; it is not to prove that we are “right” : it is merely to present the truth in order that the truth may conquer through the grace of God. When men are starving one need not go to them and tell them to avoid poison; nor to eat bread because there are vitamins in bread. One need only go to them and tell them that they to starving and here is bread, and the laws of nature will do the rest. This book “Radio Replies” with 1,588 questions and answers goes out on a similar mission. Its primary task is not to humble the erroneous; not to glorify the Catholic Church as intellectual and self-righteous, but to present the truth in a calm, clear manner in order that with the grace of God souls may come to the blessed embrace of Christ.

It is not only the point of “Radio Replies” to prove that the Church is the only completely soul-satisfying Church in existence at the present day: It is also to suggest that the Catholic Church is the only Church existing today which goes back to the time of Christ. History is so very clear on this point, it is curious how many minds miss its obviousness. When therefore you, the readers of “Radio Replies” in the twentieth century, wish to know about Christ and about His early Church, and about His mysteries, we ask you to go not only to the written records but to the living Church which began with Christ Himself. That Church or that Mystical Person which has been living all these centuries is the basis of our faith and to us Catholics it speaks this way: “I live with Christ. I saw His Mother and I know her to be Virgin and the loveliest and purest of all women in heaven or on earth; I saw Christ at Caesarea-Philippi, when after changing Simon’s name to Rock He told him he was the rock upon which the Church would be built and that it would endure unto the consummation of the world. I saw Christ hanging on a cross and I saw Him rise from His tomb; I saw Magdalene rush to His feet; I saw the angels clad in white beside the great stone; I was in the Cenacle room when doubting Thomas put fingers into His hand; I was on Olivet when He ascended into heaven and promised to send His Spirit to the apostles to make them the foundation of His new Mystical Body an earth. I was at the stoning of Stephen, saw Saul hold the garments of those who slew him, and later I heard Saul, as Paul, preach Christ and Him crucified: I witnessed the beheading of Peter and Paul in Rome, and with my very eyes saw tens of thousands of martyrs crimson the sands with their blood, rather than deny the faith Peter and Paul had preached unto them; I was living when Boniface was sent to Germany, when Augustine when to England, Cyril and Methodius to the Poles, and Patrick to Ireland; at the beginning of the ninth century I recall seeing Charlemagne crowned a king in matters temporal as Peter’s vicar was recognized as supreme in matters spiritual; in the thirteenth century I saw the great stones cry out in tribute to me, and burst into Gothic Cathedrals; in the shadows of those same walls I saw great Cathedrals of thought arise in the prose of Aquinas and Bonaventure, and in the poetry of Dante; in the sixteenth century I saw my children softened by the spirit of the world leave the Father’s house and reform the faith instead of reforming discipline which would have brought them back again into my embrace; in the last century and at the beginning of this I heard the world say it could not accept me because I was behind the times. I am not behind the times, I am only behind the scenes. I have adapted myself to every form of government the world has ever known; I have lived with Caesars and kings, tyrants and dictators, parliaments and presidents, monarchies and republics. I have welcomed every advance of science, and were it not for me the great records of the pagan world would not have been preserved. It is true I have not changed my doctrine, but that is because the ‘doctrine is not mine but His who sent Me’. I change my garments which belong to time, but not my Spirit which belongs to eternity. In the course of my long life I have seen so many modern ideas become unmodern, that I know I shall live to chant a requiem over the modern ideas of this day, as I chanted it over the modern ideas of the last century. I celebrated the nineteen-hundredth anniversary of the death of my Redeemer and yet I am no older now than then, for my Spirit is Eternal, and the Eternal never ages. I am the abiding Personage of the centuries. I am the contemporary of all civilizations. I am never out of date, because the dateless; never out of time, because the timeless. I have four great marks: I am One, because I have the same Soul I had in the beginning: I am Holy, because that Soul is the Spirit of Holiness; I am Catholic, because that Spirit pervades every living cell of my Body: I am Apostolic, because my origin is identical with Nazareth, Galilee and Jerusalem. I shall grow weak when my members become rich and cease to pray, but I shall never die. I shall be persecuted as I am persecuted now in Mexico and Russia: I shall be crucified as I was on Calvary, but I shall rise again, and finally when time shall be no more, and I shall have grown to my full stature, then shall I be taken into heaven as the bride of my Head, Christ, where the celestial nuptials shall be celebrated, and God shall be all in all, because His Spirit is Love and Love is Heaven.”

Rt. Rev. Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, D.D.

I Will Put Enmities Between Thee and the Woman

St. Louis de Montfort

There is a lot of enmity in the world today. With all that’s happened just in 2020, the preceding sentence could probably be called the understatement of the year.

With all of the contentions and divisions that we see in society today, especially between those who defy God’s laws and those who hold to the teachings of Christ and His Church, one can’t help but think of the words of Our Lord: “And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold”. (Matthew 24:12) 

Who would have thought that such an “advanced and civilized” society could be so divided on such obvious issues as whether an unborn child should or should not have the right to life? I am reminded of a writer that said that the more a civilization moves away from God, the more it falls back into barbarism.

It is important that we recognize that, ultimately, the struggle that is taking place in the world is “not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers,against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

It is the same struggle that has been going on since the fall of Lucifer and the other rebellious angels who were his first followers. Perhaps at no time in history has this struggle and the division between the followers of Christ and the followers of Lucifer – disguised though he be as an angel of light –  been more obvious.

The two standards as described by St. Ignatius of Loyola are unfurled and openly displayed.

Christ Himself has warned us that for everyone involved in this struggle, there can be no compromise      

He who is not with me is against me” (Luke 11:23) 

 Now, enough of the doom and gloom for the present discussion. Such reflections are important and beneficial in their own right, but if we’re not careful can easily take over our thoughts, rob us of our peace of soul, and spread a shroud of gloom to those around us.

“Saints are not sad”, and joy is one of the 12 fruits of the Holy Ghost, so let’s move on to a very bright, very cheerful subject: Mary, the Mother of God.

She is the “Cause of our Joy”, the “Comfort of the Afflicted” and the “Help of Christians”.

She is the solution to the problems that we face in the world today.

Pope St. Pius X said, “There is no surer or easier way than Mary in uniting all men with Christ.”

“I Will Put Enmities Between Thee and the Woman” 

Our Lady

This quote comes from the third chapter of the book of Genesis and are the words addressed by God to the serpent after the fall of Adam and Eve. It is fascinating to consider that immediately following the first and most damaging victory of Satan over mankind, Almighty God pronounced Satan’s doom.

Satan may have thought that he had brought about the ruin of mankind, but God foretold that one of the daughters of mankind would bring about his complete and utter ruin.

The pride of Satan would be crushed by the humility of the Mother of God. The works of Satan would be brought to nothing by the handmaid of the Lord.

No doubt, most every Catholic has heard an explanation of this excerpt from Genesis. Many also know that when Christ spoke to his mother in the Gospels, he addressed her as “Woman” in order to point to her as the Woman foretold in Genesis.

He did this when he would work his first miracle, thus giving the first public sign of his divinity: “Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come.” He would again do this as He was hanging on the cross, accomplishing the Redemption of mankind: “Woman, behold thy Son. Son, behold thy Mother.”

It was the will of God that the Blessed Virgin Mary was to have a very important role in the Redemption of man as well as a vital role in man’s sanctification and salvation. 

Perhaps no one explained this role better than St. Louis de Montfort. True Devotion to Mary is an incredible work, as is The Secret of the Rosary, and The Friends of the Cross.

Several Popes highly commended his writings and the special devotion to Mary that he practiced and preached. 

Pope Pius IX said that Saint Louis De Montfort’s devotion to Mary was the best and most acceptable form of devotion to Our Lady. 

Pope Leo XIII beatified him and granted a plenary indulgence to those who made the consecration to Mary that St. Louis promoted. 

Pope St. Pius X: “I heartily recommend True Devotion to The Blessed Virgin, so admirably written by [Saint] De Montfort, and to all who read it grant the Apostolic Benediction.”

Pope Pius XI  said that he had practiced this devotion from his youth.

Pope Pius XII canonized him a saint and declared that his “great secret of attracting and giving souls to Jesus was his devotion to Mary. All his activity was founded upon her, all his confidence rested in her. In opposition to the joyless austerity, melancholy fear and depressing pride of Jansenism, he promoted the filial, trustful, ardent and expansive love in action of a slave of Mary.”

The above examples show us how heartily the Church approves of this special devotion to Our Lady.

This is important.

The Church, the immaculate Bride of Christ, can only approve and promote that which is good and holy, for if She did otherwise, the promise of Christ to be with the Church would have failed.

That which is taught and promoted by the Church can only be good and lead to holiness.  

If you have never read True Devotion to Mary or The Secret of the Rosary by this Saint, take the time to do so. One fantastic advantage we have in our day is such easy access to a plethora of  Catholic books and writings, and we ought to take full advantage of this opportunity.

When we stand before God to render an account of our life and how well or poorly we fulfilled our obligation to know, love and serve Him, we will not have the excuse that we couldn’t have learned any more because we didn’t have the opportunity. The internet ( and in particular, Amazon’s 99 cent digital books) has robbed us of this excuse. 

The insight of St. Louis de Montfort when speaking of the Mother of God and of the Rosary is powerful and inspiring. 

Here are a few excerpts from this great Saint:

“We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”

“Mary has produced, together with the Holy Ghost, the greatest thing which has been or ever will be—a God-Man; and she will consequently produce the greatest saints that there will be in the end of time.”

“For God, having given her power over his only-begotten and natural Son, also gave her power over his adopted children – not only in what concerns their body – which would be of little account – but also in what concerns their soul.”

“One and the same mother does not bring forth into the world the head without the members, nor the members without the head; for this would be a monster of nature. So in like manner, in the order of grace, the Head and the members are born of one and the same Mother; and if a member of the mystical Body of Jesus Christ—that is to say, one of the predestinate—was born of any other mother than Mary, who has produced the Head, he would not be one of the predestinate, nor a member of Jesus Christ, but simply a monster in the order of grace.”

“The greatest saints, those richest in grace and virtue will be the most assiduous in praying to the most Blessed Virgin, looking up to her as the perfect model to imitate and as a powerful helper to assist them.”

“Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if-and mark well what I say-if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.”

Pius x

 

Let’s follow the advice of this holy Saint and devote ourselves to the Mother of God. Let’s be sure to take the time every day to do spiritual reading and fill our minds with good things, instead of only letting in the things of the world. (Garbage in, garbage out.) 

Pray the Rosary every day. If we tell ourselves that we don’t have time for it, let’s take a look at the screen time on our phones or the amount of time that we spend on Youtube and ask ourselves if we can’t make a little time for the Queen of Heaven. 

“Look to the star of the sea, call upon Mary … in danger, in distress, in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary. May her name never be far from your lips, or far from your heart … If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you will not despair; if you turn your thoughts to her, you will not err. If she holds you, you will not fall; if she protects you, you need not fear; if she is your guide, you will not tire; if she is gracious to you, you will surely reach your destination.” 

–St. Bernard

Response To Ann Barnhardt And More

Hmmm – well, it seems I stirred up a bit of a hornet’s nest with my last post so I figured I might as well set the whole thing ablaze and sit back and watch what happens. For the most part, I received very little “hate” mail for what I wrote (as if that truly mattered anyway).

Most recently, I was pondering what to write for this blog and all of a sudden, God gave me another answer to pray – to wit – Ann Barnhardt wrote a piece on me (she wasn’t a nasty meanie so chill out) and she offered up a few of her thoughts on what I said, why I said it, and her conclusions.

I will use this as an opportunity to go deeper into why I made the last post and to further illuminate the reasons behind it.

First, I have to say that I have read Barnhardt for a long time. I even bought her cattle marketing videos which I heartily recommend – seriously, in terms of business acumen they are brilliant.

Now, in terms of the church and canon law, we differ, and it is to this that I am going to make a reply.

First, she stated in her piece:

“Jonathan Byrd, a “Francis is Pope” partisan, recently announced that he has come to the false conclusion that the See of Peter is vacant due to Fauxp “Francis” losing the Office due to heresy, and then this error leads Byrd to fall even farther in declaring the See has been vacant since the death of Pius XII. Errors compound, folks.

His base premise is false, of course, but this is a perfect example of sound logical corollaries that are built upon a false premise yielding false conclusions.

Of COURSE Antipope Bergoglio is a heretic. He is an arch-heresiarch. He isn’t even Catholic. There is a strong, serious, not-exaggerated possibility that he is literally THE False Prophet of the Antichrist. He ticks every single box. So, OF COURSE if one starts from the false base premise that Antipope Bergoglio was ever the Pope (which he wasn’t), where that leads as the logical progression quickly unfolds is that “the See is vacant because Francis has lost the Office.”

So, it is absolutely NO SURPRISE whatsoever that the “Francis is Pope” partisans have been engaging in not just obvious and transparent Alinsky Rule #13 tactics (Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it – hence the name-calling, ban hammering, calumny crusades, etc.), but also classic PROJECTION in hurling the utterly irrational and laughable accusation of false sedevacantism. Deep down they know that holding the false premise that Pope Ratzinger’s attempted partial faux-resignation was valid and that Antipope Bergoglio was validly elected Pope on 13 March ARSH 2013 leads and led almost instantly to the realization that Jorge Bergoglio is a heretic and thus the discussion of Bellarmine’s, Suarez’ and John of St. Thomas’ writing on “deposing a heretic Pope” entered the conversation almost instantly. Given this false position, it is the “Francis is Popers” that arrive at the inevitable conclusion of false sedevacatism.”

——————–

The first thing I would like to address concerning what she wrote is that she misrepresented my previous position then based her argument on that (though I do not believe this was malicious on her part).

So what was my previous position? That was simple. I thought that Benedict never validly resigned therefor Bergolio couldn’t possibly be the Pope. I thought that for many years and actually wrote a blog post on that and used her as one of the references.

You can check out that post here: http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2017/09/03/the-time-has-come/ and if you will note the date – it was from September of 2017.

So her first premise is based on the idea that she thinks I thought Bergoglio was Pope and due to this – “all is lost and abandon ship.”

Well, this premise is false as it clearly shows from the above record. The facts are the complete opposite as shown above.

The second thing I would like to mention is that she stated her opinion, but she didn’t back it up with anything. It was simply what she thought.

In what I wrote, I stated what the Church has taught and gave you the references showing it.

My opinion doesn’t matter in this and if it did it wouldn’t be worth more than your opinion – I’m not protestant ya know….

I would also like to note that the blogger at Novusordowatch provided a very reasoned rebuttal on Ann concerning her position of Benedict of which you can read here: https://novusordowatch.org/2018/11/benedict16-mysterious-resignation-reply-barnhardt/

You see, my “arriving at the inevitable conclusions of … Sedevacantism” wasn’t based on the antics of this latest papal impostor in the least bit. I knew for a long time that he wasn’t.

What I didn’t fully understand was the teaching on the Church in regards to heresy, canon law, the ordinary magisterium and the infallibility of the Pope. I read a lot, but I didn’t read with the gift of knowledge. It is one thing to read a book, and it is something else entirely to apply that knowledge to real situations.

As she noted, I don’t believe that any of the previous “popes” since 1958 were valid. She quoted a comment I made on NovusOrdoWatch.com to make her point.

First, I’m shocked that she reads that blog…….. I’m sure everyone there would welcome her and her insights, so stop by and say Hi and introduce yourself – “don’t be a stranger y’ all.” What is it about “iron sharpens iron.”

Well, I purposely didn’t go into the previous “popes”, because at the length it was, there was no place for it nor did I have the time at the moment to write anything further. I still don’t have any intention of going over every single reason I believe what I believe. As I will show below, I’ve spent a lot of time learning what I have learned, and I will point out what I read and where you can read it too.

People with cognitive dissonance will go to the greatest links possible not to connect the dots because those dots scare them.

Sadly, it doesn’t scare them enough.

If it did, more would be moved to this position for safety of their soul and those under their care.

……………………..

Why are people so scared of being a sedevacantist? Why is it so hard to admit that all of the previous ‘popes’ believed and promoted heresy? Why is it so hard to believe that what you see around you – this apostasy – is precisely that? What is it going to take to convince people?

I had a reader write in and tell me:

“Thank you so much for your “Ending Cognitive Dissidence” post! I agree with you completely, and have been on a very similar journey. I’ve been reading all the usual mainstream Traditional blogs, newspapers, etc. for a while now. (The Remnant, Steve Skojec, Ann Barndhardt etc.)

But I, too, have recently come to the some conclusion that you have. I started listening to the “Tradcast” podcast from Novus Ordo Watch about 2 years ago, and was absolutely blown away by the sedevacantist argument, which I never had heard. I knew that sedevacantists were evil, heretics; but that was all I knew. I didn’t know WHY they were evil heretics. I just knew they were!

Now that I’ve heard their argument, I can’t for the life of me figure out why their position is so feared and hated. People will accept any ridiculous idea thrown out there — including the one that we can and should resist a true pope! I’ve come to see that we as “recognize and resisters” have done so much to destroy the respect for the papal office.”

You see – in the real world – not the blog world – people are waking up. They realize they have been fed a load of bull for years and they are slowly realizing this. And it is to them that I devote the rest of this article.

I Was Scared

Yup, I was scared. Aren’t sede’s the mean people you see in the comment sections? Aren’t they all crazy, loony, flat earthers, ….people that don’t even own a television and living in caves waiting for the nuclear holocaust (and or the three days of darkness).

I heard one person say that sedevacantism is “intellectual Porn” and that only Intellectuals with super submissive wives would ever become a sede. I was also told “look at all of the hate they fill the comment sections with” and many other accusations against them.

Now, I would be the first to say that the comment sections are pretty rough. A lot of sede’s have been beaten up and down backward and forwards and then roasted, and frankly, they can tend to be harsh and caustic. It’s easy to stop this though – remove the comments from the blogs. I don’t allow them on this blog because I think they are, for the most part, pointless. Say what you need to say and let it be.

But – my livelihood ain’t wrapped up in keeping people on my website either, so I am in a different position than many others. Also, some good can come from the comment sections, but it takes lots of time to make sure they stay on topic and helpful and doesn’t degenerate into a free for all. Due to this – I decided its best not even to have them.

Now, most of what has been written about sede’s could be written about the different traditional groups. I was in them – in just about all of them at one point. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and lived through it. So making an argument against charity doesn’t hold water as every single one of those groups has issues as well.

This brings us to the point of “intellectual porn” that was thrown at me. Really, I guess there are some people that just love reading canon law but I ain’t one of them. I would rather drink a scotch and smoke a cigar and enjoy my family, but I do know many that love this stuff.

The problem with this argument is simply this: refute what they say using the teachings of all previous popes, the doctors of the Church, the magisterium, and canon law. You see, the package Truth is delivered in might not be what you want to see or hear, but if it is the truth, then you have an OBLIGATION to seek it out.

After I wrote that initial article (the one where I agreed with Ann) I decided, after some time, that It wasn’t “INTELLECTUALLY” honest of me to talk bad about sede’s or to discount sede’s or to have any opinion on them at all until I first knew what they believed and why they believed it. I was like most R&R bloggers and people in general that will accept most things – never ever ever look into sedevacantism. It was the four-letter word of the traditionals within the new Church.

Now, being an entrepreneur and having a long history of bucking the trend, I decided that If I was going to argue against something, I needed to know what they say. I decided to start reading and praying. This – of course – had an effect on me. I took nearly a month off from work to just read.

I read just about every book I could find, every blogger that had articles written and every youtube video that was worthwhile and pretty much devoured whatever I could find on this.

For those that are interested. I have listed the ones that I found helped me the most below:

The Destruction Of the Christian Tradition

This book is a fantastic work outlining what has gone on in the last 60 years and the conclusions that must follow from it. You can get it online here

Work Of Human Hands

This is a critique of Paul VI’s mass and is a must-read. Check it out here.

Different Websites

NovusOrdowatch.com

I seriously have read nearly everything on this website, and the author of this blog always makes sure that he backs everything up with the teaching of the Church and not opinion.

https://stevensperay.wordpress.com/

Steven Speray also has loads of articles on his site that are all documented from church teaching.

Here are 4 excellent videos explaining the sedevacantist position:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_XxKD7X48g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AClx-cmC0-U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyGmT8IRyAE

Now, back to the story…

After reading all of this for a month and watching a lot of conferences on youtube – I was pretty convinced that the position of sedevacantism was correct. However, it wasn’t time for me to accept it fully.

Intellectually I agreed with the position. I took the arguments that I read from the teaching of the Church and spoke with trusted friends and asked their opinions. I said, if this is wrong, show me from the same sources (church teaching before Vatican II) where it is wrong. NOT one person could do that.

One person referred to the 1917 code of Canon law as a novelty of Pious X. One person said he couldn’t refute it but “feels” it is wrong. You get the idea. I have yet to read or talk to one single person that actually read all of the arguments for sedevacantism and actually be able to disprove it using the above criteria.

In fact, I find that those that argue against it tend to fall into error themselves most notably saying that a heretic can be the head of the Catholic Chuch (which is heresy itself).

So what did I do?

Well, at first, I was confused. I didn’t have anyone in the sede camp to talk to. All I had was books, videos, and prayer. I reached out to a sede priest and didn’t get anywhere at first.

It was strange, I could see the truth of it, but I was in a barren wasteland at the moment. Soon, we would be having another child, and I had so many thoughts going through my head. Who will baptize him? Who will provide us with the sacraments? What is going on? Are all priests not validly ordained? Where is the Church?

You get the idea – I had a ton of questions and didn’t have a lot of answers at the moment. This spell lasted for six months. It wasn’t time yet for me. I ended up going back to my diocesan Latin mass parish. I did this against my better judgment.

I wanted mass and something stable for my family. I was so tired of trying to understand things and not getting anywhere. I was so fed up with blogs as well as they typically sow discord.

When I went back, I refused to read blogs. I refused to read the news. I refused to do anything other than just “go to mass” and keep my head down and get home. I said I couldn’t understand it, so I was going to do my best, go to a mass, and say my prayers.

This sounds good in theory, but in practice, it was horrible. You see, I knew too much already. Pandora’s box was already opened. There was no going back. This – reverting – was an act of disobedience. It was a lack of faith. It was a putting my hand to the plow and then looking back.

That was one of the longest years of my life. I traveled all around the country, visiting different masses in each city we stopped in. I kept my “keep your nose clean and don’t cause trouble” mindset – went to mass – then went back to my day to day life.

Mass was simply an obligation at that point. It was something that I did because I was supposed, but my heart wasn’t in it as I knew there was something terribly wrong.

Of course, this mindset does something to the soul…it kills it.

You see, Jesus wants our hearts. He is Jealous. He wants all of us, not just our Sunday mornings. He wants every thought, every word, every action. He wants to fill us with Himself and conform us to His image.

The problem was, I couldn’t do that. Why? How Can I give myself to something I don’t believe in? Within the NO church, I knew there was something terribly wrong.

I knew that Jesus couldn’t be united to that. I knew that Jesus desires something different. But less I sound like I was super spiritual, the reverse was more true. This was a time of falling away. No, not in externals, but internals.

The prayers we prayed were merely that. The family rosary was just another part of the day much liking eating dinner and sleeping. The heart was missing…

This was spiritual aridity such as I have only ever experienced once prior in my life, and that was what I always referred to my desert experience. In short – it totally sucked.

This lasted for a long time. How can you continue to do something you didn’t even believe in. At some point, the chicken comes home to roost, and it was time for me. It was time that I either made a decision or stop the charade.

At this point, The Heart of Christ extended His mercy one more time. I decided I needed to start picking up some more spiritual readings and also checked out a few blogs. This, of course, got me to think again.

It got me to come face to face with the errors I willfully held. God, through His Mercy and the intercession of St. Philomena, allowed the scales to fall from my eyes.

I realized something through this process. The head can know something. It can define it, it can teach it, it can wax eloquent all day long on it, but if the Heart doesn’t know it – it is pointless. It is a clanging cymbal… You see – God reached down and gave me the faith I needed to accept what was true. He gave me a heart – He gave me a little bit of His Heart.

I emailed another Catholic (sedevacantist) priest to talk to him – I found something I didn’t expect. I found Love. Did I find this nasty mean spirited crazy sede ? Nope – it was the exact opposite. I found the Faith that was once delivered. I found that I no longer had to try to explain away all of the chaos. I found priests that had one thing on their mind – the salvation of souls. I found heroic Charity, perseverance under constant fire, I found souls that endured sufferings the like we could never understand. I also found laughter – I found joy – I found peace. I found what I was promised from the beginning – I found the pearl of Christ price: the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church…

Arguing with a protestant….

Have you ever had a discussion with a protestant about the Faith? You can bring up how the Church was founded. You can bring up the saints, the doctors, the counsels, and you can even bring up “where did you get the bible from” and yet they still can’t seem to put the dots together. You have to wonder why they can’t see it. Why can’t they look at what is so completely and totally obvious and backed up by two thousand years of church history, Popes, magisterium, canon law and they still can’t see it. It defies logic and drives you crazy.

Of course, I’m not really talking about protestants – I’m talking about those that are trying to say the sedevacantist position is false. It doesn’t really matter what I write here today. I can point to every link known to man showing every single quote from this saint or that one or this Pope or that one or this canon law, etc. and if the heart aint in it, it ain’t going to stick.

That is one of the reasons I refuse to reinvent the wheel. The truth is out there. It is staring at you in the face. Its everywhere and evident to a little child – but that is the problem – we don’t want to be the little child that simply trusts His Loving Father.

We want every question answered before we give assent. We want every problem solved. We want a perfectly straight and paved road with lots of rest stops.

We don’t want to take the “road less traveled” that is full of sacrifices, full of crosses that lead to our death and we can’t see the road ahead and don’t want to have “that type of faith.” That faith is too heroic. That faith is for the Saints. I just don’t want to go to hell…..

In choosing just to try to get along and ignore the facts – I chose hell.

God wants every bit of us. There isn’t one fiber of our being that God doesn’t own and He doesn’t want. We have to have faith. We can follow Christ or fall away – there is no middle ground.

For the arguments explaining why sedevacantism is true, I’m going to leave to much better men than me. They are there in the books and the websites I referenced above and if someone truly wants to know the truth – go ahead, read those blogs, buy those books, watch those videos and ask our Blessed Mother (the destroyer of heresy) to intercede for you so that you can know the truth.

I just wanted to share some of my journey because I think it can help someone. Maybe only one person will read this and God will speak to them, and if so, it was worth it. The purpose of this blog was never to make money. It was never to sit here and waste breath on the latest crap going on at the Vatican. The purpose was and still is the salvation of souls, and this is the reason I wrote the above.

May God be honored and praised in all His saints.

Ending Cognitive Dissonance

Over the last two years I think I have posted only a handful of posts that were not something directly from a saint.  The purpose of this was two fold.

The first reason is that you can’t ever err when you are passing down what was handed to us so directly posting from the saints is always safe to do.  

The second reason is writing a quality blog post that is objective, factually accurate, glorifying to God and staying away from opinion takes a lot of time and time isn’t something I have a lot of.  Because of the above, I’ve stuck with the saints.

This post, however, isn’t going to stick with my normal.

I wasn’t really wanting to write this post, but it seems the time is ripe so here it goes. 

I would also like to provide the reader with a fair warning that this post is very long so if you can soldier through it I applaud you.

Recently, a reader of this blog brought to my attention that Ann Barnhardt linked to a post I wrote in September of 2017.  This post was my position on the man commonly known as Francis.

At that time, I outlined my position on his pontificate and I was in full agreement with Ann and a few others and posted it back then.  I thought, then, that the objective evidence was more than enough to prove the case that Francis is an antipope and a usurper and I still hold this opinion today.

So far so good – so why a new post?

 Glad you asked. As I stated, I still believe Francis is an antipope but I do so now not from anything Benedict did but for much different reasons.

These reasons are all objective – all based on the teachings of the church, the doctors of the church the popes, etc. In short, all identify exactly what Francis is without the need or worry about what Benedict “meant” when he “resigned”.  

Fr. Jerome posted something a few weeks back outlining why he thinks the resignation of benedict was invalid and is still the pope, and today, ill post something that can show definitively that Francis is not the pope nor could ever have been.

It all starts with the fiat. ……

Our Lady’s words are our constant aspirations “be it unto me according to thy will.”  This should encapsulate all that we think, all that we do, all that we accept and all that we reject.  The will of God should always be our guide in all things.

With this in mind, let’s start covering some Church History.  We KNOW for a fact that Our Lord established His Church – the spotless bride of Christ – and commissioned St. Peter and the apostles to do four things:

Go into all the world

Preach the Gospel

Baptize

Teach them to follow all the commandments from God

We also know that he told our first Pope, St. Peter that he was given the keys to the kingdom and whatsoever he bound on earth was bound in heaven and whatsoever was loosed on earth was loosed in heaven and “he who hears you, hears Me”. Upon the Lord’s ascension He gave the great commission and said He would be with them unto the consummation of the age.

We can know from the above a few things that have held constant:

Christ will always be with His Church

The Church is a teaching Church

The Pope has the power to loose and bind and that he who hears Peter hears Christ.

This is what the Church has always held from the very beginning.  

All of the above is also dogma of the Church. You can’t simply disagree with any of the above without putting yourself outside of the Church.  Christ – through His Church – has left us objective promises/signs that we can always know to be certain and to stake our eternal salvation on.

Our souls were so important to Christ He offered up His life for us in the most brutal way imaginable so do you really think a God made Man who suffered this much for our salvation wasn’t going to make the Faith and consequently our Salvation objectively easy to comprehend?

God isn’t trying to trick us.  

He is loving and merciful and desires our salvation.  Though the way is long and hard, He calls us by our name and we must echo Our Lady’s Fiat, pick up our cross and continue on the way.

So what has all of that to do with who the Pope is today?  

Well, it has everything to do with it as God’s very promises are still alive and well and can direct us today towards The Truth and that is the subject matter of what we are trying to determine today.

The spotless bride of Christ – Our holy Mother – The Church hasn’t left us without recourse.  Our Father was well aware of the situation all Catholics would be in today so He provided, through the Church, the solutions to end our cognitive dissonance.  

The way forward – the way to Truth – is to look back. We look back to what the Church has taught.

We don’t bring our intellectual criticism – our thoughts, our opinions, our blogs, our blog followers, our livelihood, our comforts, our friends, our “mother and brethren” into this equation.  

We can know The Truth and as a Catholic, we have a duty to seek it out at all cost as it is the Pearl of Great price and then give our assent to that Truth no matter what the cost is to us.

Our Faith was defended for nearly 2000 years with the blood of the martyrs, the daily sacrifices of the priest, bishops, and the popes.  This Faith that was once delivered has been mutilated by those that are “catholic” in name only and this is the crux of the matter.

Our Holy religion teaches us that our Holy Mother the Church is the pure spotless bride of Christ.  This church can only give us Bread – she can’t give us stones. She can be trusted in all matters because Christ promised “he who hears you hears ME.”   

We look around at what we see around us occurring in the world and in what we know as the church and all we see is heresy – stones being fed to us – someone – something – that can’t be trusted if you want to keep the faith.  

I recently had a conversation with a priest friend of mine and I asked him about teaching what the church currently teaches and he told me “if I did that I would go to hell.”  

This about sums up the current state of affairs in the church and at the same time provides the cognitive dissonance that we all feel.

The problem with the above is it directly contradicts what the church has always taught about the Magisterium of the Church, the honor, respect and obedience we owe to Her and to the Pope, and it doesn’t square at all with the Church Fathers, Doctors and Theologians.  

Because of this apparent contradiction we have tried to explain why this could be the case. The problem is, while trying to explain this away – we have done harm to the Faith.

How so?

We did the very things that the modernist have done – namely- we have twisted words to suit new meanings.  

We want to cling to this idea that all is well when we know full well it isn’t.  This dissonance has spawn so many theories, arguments, and innumerable bloggers making a living off of trying to explain this dissonance.  The problem is this hasn’t helped.

If this was the answer we would have figured it out sometime before the last 60 years. Instead of spending all of this energy trying to understand how a heretic calling himself pope francis could be the pope – we failed to be Catholic.  

In fact, we have lost what it means to be Catholic by explaining away the faith to justify how people like Francis can all themselves Catholic.  Think about this for a moment.

When is the last time you could honestly tell someone about your faith, invite them to mass, and not expect them to be scared away at the first moment they realize what you tell them – and EVERYTHING they see around them are in direct contradiction.  

Why would any protestant convert into this mess?  Why would they seek out the sacraments if all religions “lead us to God” as Vatican II tells us. Why would they seek to be apart of The Church when the “head” of said church says dogma doesn’t matter – the immaculate conception doesn’t matter – that Christ really didn’t descend into Hell, that Christ really didn’t rise from the dead, that the Eucharist really isn’t the body and blood soul and divinity of our Lord and Savior.  

In short – they don’t hold the faith that was passed down by BLOOD – Christ Blood on the Christ – the Blood of the Martyrs – and the Blood of Christ That is offered each day at the altar for the forgiveness of Sins.  

The dissonance is easily resolved when we accept one simple factto deny one point of dogma is to deny the whole and is to place oneself outside of the Church.  

This is divine law – not canon law. What we have seen is the clergy, the bishops, those that call themselves pope deny dogma since Vatican II. From the very documents of said council, to the Popes, to the magisterium, to the new code of canon law, to the new mass, new sacraments, it all is, as Cardinal Ottoviani said, “an abrupt rupture with tradition.”

How can the church tell us infallibly that “there is no salvation outside of the church” to Vatican II saying the Church of Christ  merely subsists in within the Catholic church. How can the church tell us that no one outside the faith can receive the sacraments – yet now they tell us they can?   

I can go on and on showing the changes but we are all aware of them. They have been talked about ad nauseam for the last 60 years yet no one seems any closer to the answer.  

But maybe, just maybe, they do know the answer and that answer shakes them to the core of their being.  

That answer is what keeps them up at night because they know if they ever truly accept it – it would mean being an outcast.  

They know they would have to come outside the camp, take up their cross and proceed to the inevitable crucifixion and that would cost them too much……

Authority

The answer really does come down to authority.  Who has the authority? What is this Authority – who is the founder of it and to what level of assent do we have to give to it?

We find stated at the First Vatican Council the following:

[The object of faith]. Further, by divine and Catholic faith, all those things must be believed which are contained in the written word of God and in tradition, and those which are proposed by the Church, either in a solemn pronouncement or in her ordinary and universal teaching power, to be believed as divinely revealed. (Dogmatic Constitution concerning the Catholic Faith, Ch. 3, FIRST VATICAN COUNCIL, Pope Pius IX) (Denz. 1792)

Notice, that all teachings from the supreme and ordinary (not just extraordinary) Magisterial must be believed.

Pope Pius IX stated: And, we cannot pass over in silence the boldness of those who “not enduring sound doctrine” [II Tim. 4:3], contend that “without sin and with no loss of Catholic profession, one can withhold assent and obedience to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to relate to the general good of the Church and its right and discipline, provided it does not touch dogmas of faith or morals.”

 

There is no one who does not see and understand clearly and openly how opposed this is to the Catholic dogma of the plenary power divinely bestowed on the Roman Pontiff by Christ the Lord Himself of feeding, ruling, and governing the universal Church. (Pope Pius IX Quanta Cura Dec 8, 1864)

You will firmly abide by the true decision of the Holy Roman Church and to this Holy See, which does not permit errors. (Lateran Council V, Bull ‘Cum postquam’ by Pope Leo X)

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896:

“The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium.”

This statement confirms Vatican 1 that all teachings must be believed because Pope Leo says “any point of doctrine” which would include all doctrines of the Magisterium and not just dogmatized doctrines of the extraordinary Magisterium.

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896: “…But he who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all faith, since he thereby refuses to honor God as the supreme truth and the formal motive of faith.” 1

 

I could go on but I think this is enough for now.  It is very clear – infallibly clear – that the Authority of the Church comes from God to Peter and his successors and by this the ordinary magisterium of the Church.  As this comes directly from GOD it means it can contain no error and this is a dogma of the Church as Vatican I states.

Wait – this means the ORDINARY magisterium is infallible?  

Yes, you read that right and if you don’t believe that then you aren’t Catholic as it was declared by Vatican I and further it was confirmed by prior Popes and Popes After Vatican I.  

Now the above isn’t what I was taught as a Catholic.  I converted nearly 10 years ago and I was firmly in the Recognize and Resist camp from the very beginning.  

Coming from my protestant background – that never sat well with me. I just left “Protesting the Church” to join a church so I could continue protesting….

That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Its extremely illogical and extremely NOT Catholic.

If I accept that the magisterium is infallible, that the Pope should be obeyed (outside of him telling me go to rob a bank), and that the Church is the spotless bride of Christ then I have a very big problem if I want to persist in resisting this said Authority.  According to the Church I would be denying divinely revealed dogmas of the faith and consequently I would place myself outside the church.

And just to put a point on the “resisting” part – the saints only talk about resisting him for things pertaining outside the faith.

Cajetan:

“Immediately, one ought to resists in facie, a pope who is publicly destroying the Church; for example, to want to give ecclesiastical benefits for money or charge of services. And one ought to refuse, with all obedience and respect, and not to give possession of these benefits to those who bought them.”

Suarez:

“If the pope gave an order contrary to the good customs, one should not obey him; if his intent is to do something manifestly opposed to justice and the common good, it is lawful and valid to resist; if attacked by force, one shall be able to resist with force, with the moderation appropriate to a just defense.”

Outside of the above conditions (which are very limited) we are to obey him.

Here are a few more quotes to pound this point home:

“The Church is the pillar and foundation of truth — all of which truth is taught by the Holy Spirit. Should the church be able to order, yield to, or permit those things which tend toward the destruction of souls and the disgrace and detriment of the sacrament instituted by Christ?”

—Pope Gregory XVI, Encyclical Quo Graviora, n. 10, 1833

“As regards opinion, whatever the Roman Pontiffs have hitherto taught, or shall hereafter teach, must be held with a firm grasp of mind, and, so often as occasion requires, must be openly professed.”

—Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Immortale Dei, n. 41, 1885

“In defining the limits of the obedience owed to the pastors of souls, but most of all to the authority of the Roman Pontiff, it must not be supposed that it is only to be yielded in relation to dogmas of which the obstinate denial cannot be disjoined from the crime of heresy. Nay, further, it is not enough sincerely and firmly to assent to doctrines which, though not defined by any solemn pronouncement of the Church, are by her proposed to belief, as divinely revealed, in her common and universal teaching, and which the Vatican Council declared are to be believed ‘with Catholic and divine faith.’

But this likewise must be reckoned amongst the duties of Christians, that they allow themselves to be ruled and directed by the authority and leadership of bishops, and, above all, of the apostolic see. And how fitting it is that this should be so any one can easily perceive. For the things contained in the divine oracles have reference to God in part, and in part to man, and to whatever is necessary for the attainment of his eternal salvation.

Now, both these, that is to say, what we are bound to believe and what we are obliged to do, are laid down, as we have stated, by the Church using her divine right, and in the Church by the supreme Pontiff. Wherefore it belongs to the Pope to judge authoritatively what things the sacred oracles contain, as well as what doctrines are in harmony, and what in disagreement, with them; and also, for the same reason, to show forth what things are to be accepted as right, and what to be rejected as worthless; what it is necessary to do and what to avoid doing, in order to attain eternal salvation. For, otherwise, there would be no sure interpreter of the commands of God, nor would there be any safe guide showing man the way he should live.”

—Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Sapientiae Christianae, n. 24, 1890

Pope Pius XII declared in his encyclical Humani Generis (1950)”:

“It is not to be thought that what is set down in Encyclical Letters does not demand assent in itself, because in this the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their magisterium. For, these matters are taught by the ordinary magisterium, regarding which the following is pertinent: ‘He who heareth you, heareth Me’ (Luke 10:16); and usually what is set forth and inculcated in the Encyclical Letters already pertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their acts, after due consideration, express an opinion on a hitherto controversial matter, it is clear to all that this matter, according to the mind and the will of the same Pontiffs, cannot any longer be considered a question of free discussion among the theologians.”

—Pope Pius XII Encyclical Humani Generis 1950

And I will conclude this point with the following quote:

“These moderns, forever prattling about culture and civilization, are undermining the Church’s doctrine, laws, and practices. They are not concerned very much about culture and civilization. By using such high-sounding words they think they can conceal the wickedness of their schemes. All of you know their purpose, subterfuges, and methods. On Our part We have denounced and condemned their scheming. They are proposing a universal apostasy even worse than the one that threatened the age of Charles [Borromeo]. It is worse, We say, because it stealthily creeps into the very veins of the Church, hides there, and cunningly pushes erroneous principles to their ultimate conclusions.”

—Pope St. Pius X, Encyclical Editae Saepe, nn. 17-18, 1910

We have to believe in the authority, infallibility, and the spotlessness of the magisterium of the Church and the teaching of Her Popes or we deny Catholic Dogma and fall from the faith.  

Essentially, this destroyed any last vestiges of “protesting” the church or the pope (recognize and resist) as that position is simply not Catholic.

Well – what does that leave us with now?  To be Catholic, to keep the faith that was once delivered, we MUST go along with what the Church teaches and where the Pope leads us or we simply aren’t Catholic.  

Now that we have covered why we can’t recognize and resist the legitimate authority of the church we are going to now show how francis isn’t that legitimate authority.  

Legitimate Authority

One thing that we have to always keep at the forefront of our mind is that we can’t twist facts to make it come to the conclusion we want.  We simply have to state the facts and see where it leads and this is what is going to be outlined below.

Now – before we go any further – always remember that you can’t pass sentence on a pope.  No one – not you – not me – not the bishops – not all of the bishops together – not anyone  no where no how.

And we not only can’t judge the pope, we must hold him and his office in the highest regard.  Listen to what the church teaches about the pope and his authority:

Pope Boniface VIII

Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

(Bull Unam Sanctam)

Pope Pius VI

How, in fact, can it be said that communion with the visible head of the Church is maintained, when this is limited to announcing the fact of the election merely, and at the same time an oath is taken which denies the authority of his primacy? In his capacity as head, do not all his members owe him the solemn promise of canonical obedience, which alone can maintain unity in the Church and avoid schisms in this mystical body founded by Christ our Lord?

(Apostolic Letter Quod Aliquantum; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, n. 73)

Pope Pius VII

From these events men should realize that all attempts to overthrow the “House of God” are in vain. For this is the Church founded on Peter, “Rock,” not merely in name but in truth. Against this “the gates of hell will not prevail” [Mt 16:18] “for it is founded on a rock” [Mt 7:25; Lk 6:48]. There has never been an enemy of the Christian religion who was not simultaneously at wicked war with the See of Peter, since while this See remained strong the survival of the Christian religion was assured. As St. Irenaeus proclaims openly to all, “by the order and succession of the Roman pontiffs the tradition from the Apostles in the Church and the proclamation of the truth has come down to us. And this is the fullest demonstration that it is the one and the same life-giving faith which has been preserved in the Church until now since the time of the Apostles and has been handed on in truth” [Adversus haereses, bk. 3, chap. 3].

(Encyclical Diu Satis, n. 6)

Pope Pius IX

All who defend the faith should aim to implant deeply in your faithful people the virtues of piety, veneration, and respect for this supreme See of Peter. Let the faithful recall the fact that Peter, Prince of Apostles is alive here and rules in his successors, and that his office does not fail even in an unworthy heir. Let them recall that Christ the Lord placed the impregnable foundation of his Church on this See of Peter [Mt 16:18] and gave to Peter himself the keys of the kingdom of Heaven [Mt 16:19]. Christ then prayed that his faith would not fail, and commanded Peter to strengthen his brothers in the faith [Lk 22:32]. Consequently the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, holds a primacy over the whole world and is the true Vicar of Christ, head of the whole Church and father and teacher of all Christians.

Indeed one simple way to keep men professing Catholic truth is to maintain their communion with and obedience to the Roman Pontiff. For it is impossible for a man ever to reject any portion of the Catholic faith without abandoning the authority of the Roman Church. In this authority, the unalterable teaching office of this faith lives on. It was set up by the divine Redeemer and, consequently, the tradition from the Apostles has always been preserved. So it has been a common characteristic both of the ancient heretics and of the more recent Protestants — whose disunity in all their other tenets is so great — to attack the authority of the Apostolic See. But never at any time were they able by any artifice or exertion to make this See tolerate even a single one of their errors.

(Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, nn. 16-17

And finally

Since the Roman pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole church, we likewise teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful, and that in all cases which fall under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment. The sentence of the apostolic see (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon. And so they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman pontiff.

So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.

(First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Ch. 3)

Which re-affirms what was written above – you can’t judge the pope and we must follow him.  

So – how do we get out of the situation we are in?  You would think it was hopeless if you didn’t know better.  

God – always knowing what was and is and is to come, through the Holy Ghost, has led the Church to also show us what is legitimate and what is not.  

We don’t have to sit here and take it and we don’t have the twist the facts to come to a conclusion that is “acceptable”.  

Its all really simple and it boils down to one thing: heresy.

St. Thomas Aquinas said, “heresy is a species of unbelief, belonging to those who profess the Christian faith, but corrupt its dogmas.”

St. Paul said:

Gal.1: 8-9: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema). [9] As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed (anathema).

Simply put – heresy is deviating from what has been handed down and revealed from our Holy Mother the Church.  It really isn’t that hard of a concept to grasp.

There are greater and lesser degrees of heresy depending on if the person in question is intentionally choosing to do what is contrary to the faith.  The good news, at least for what we are trying to show here, is that at no time do we have the option of trying to judge someone’s intentions or “what they really mean.”

All we have to do is to look at the fruit of what they say and if they continue in that, then we can know they are heretics.  

Does this sound novel? Not so – it is established fact of the church.  Listen to what the saints have to say about this:

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, IV, 9:

“… for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple, and condemn him as a heretic.”

“In addition to this, what finds itself in the ultimate disposition to death, immediately thereafter ceases to exist, without the intervention of any other external force, as is obvious; therefore, also the Pope heretic ceases to be Pope by himself, without any deposition.

Finally, the Holy Fathers teach unanimously not only that heretics are outside of the Church, but also that they are “ipso facto” deprived of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and dignity.”

Pope Innocent III:

“The Pope should not flatter himself about his power nor should he rashly glory in his honor and high estate, because the less he is judged by man, the more he is judged by God. Still the less can the Roman Pontiff glory because he can be judged by men, or rather, can be shown to be already judged, if for example he should wither away into heresy; because he who does not believe is already judged, In such a case it should be said of him: ‘If salt should lose its savor, it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trampled under foot by men.’”

St. Antoninus:

“In the case in which the Pope would become a heretic, he would find himself, by that very fact alone and without any other sentence, separated from the Church. A head separated from a body cannot, as long as it remains separated, be head of the same body from which it was cut off.”

Pope Paul IV’s bull, Cum ex apostolatus  officio of 1559

In addition, [by this Our Constitution, which is to remain valid in perpetuity We enact, determine, decree and define:] that if ever at any time it shall appear that any Bishop, even if he be acting as an Archbishop, Patriarch or Primate; or any Cardinal of the aforesaid Roman Church, or, as has already been mentioned, any legate, or even the Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy:

(i) the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless;

(ii) it shall not be possible for it to acquire validity (nor for it to be said that it has thus acquired validity)through the acceptance of the office, of consecration, of subsequent authority, nor through possession of administration, nor through the putative enthronement of a Roman Pontiff, or Veneration, or obedience accorded to such by all, nor through the lapse of any period of time in the foregoing situation;

(iii) it shall not be held as partially legitimate in any way;

(iv) to any so promoted to be Bishops, or Archbishops, or Patriarchs, or Primates or elevated as Cardinals, or as Roman Pontiff, no authority shall have been granted, nor shall it be considered to have been so granted either in the spiritual or the temporal domain;

(v) each and all of their words, deeds, actions and enactments, howsoever made, and anything whatsoever to which these may give rise, shall be without force and shall grant no stability whatsoever nor any right to anyone;

(vi) those thus promoted or elevated shall be deprived automatically, and without need for any further declaration, of all dignity, position, honour, title, authority, office and power.

St. Francis de Sales:

“Now when the Pope is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church . . . ”

Pope Pius VI, Auctorem fidei, Aug. 28, 1794: “47.

Likewise, the proposition which teaches that it is necessary, according to the natural and divine laws, for either excommunication or for suspension, that a personal examination should precede, and that, therefore, sentences called ‘ipso facto’ have no other force than that of a serious threat without any actual effect” – false, rash, pernicious, injurious to the power of the Church, erroneous.

St. Alphonsus Liguori:

“If ever a Pope, as a private person, should fall into heresy, he should at once fall from the Pontificate. If, however, God were to permit a pope to become a notorious and contumacious heretic, he would by such fact cease to be pope, and the apostolic chair would be vacant.”

Canon 188.4, 1917 Code of Canon Law:

“There are certain causes which effect the tacit (silent) resignation of an office, which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of the law, and hence is effective without any declaration. These causes are… (4) publicly defects from the Catholic faith.

(Ob tacitam renuntiationem ab ipso iure admissam quaelibet officia vacant ipso facto et sine ulla declaratione, si clericus: …4 A fide catholica publice defecerit.)

Cardinal BillotDe Ecclesia, 1927

“Given, therefore, the hypothesis of a pope who would become notoriously heretical, one must concede without hesitation that he would by that very fact lose the pontifical power, insofar as, having become an unbeliever, he would by his own will be cast outside the body of the Church.”

Canon Law – [1943] – Wernz-Vidal

“Through notorious and openly divulged heresy, the Roman Pontiff, should he fall into heresy, by that very fact (ipso facto) is deemed to be deprived of the power of jurisdiction even before any declaratory judgment by the Church … A Pope who falls into public heresy would cease ipso facto to be a member of the Church; therefore, he would also cease to be head of the Church.

 VermeerschEpitome Iuris Canonici, 1949

“At least according to the more common teaching; the Roman Pontiff as a private teacher can fall into manifest heresy. Then, without any declaratory sentence (for the Supreme See is judged by no one), he would automatically (ipso facto) fall from power which he who is no longer a member of the Church is unable to possess.”

I can go on and on with these quotes as they seem to be endless.  The basic point is that if someone falls from the faith, in denying it the faith, he places himself outside the church.  

If it is a priest, bishop or even the POPE, by doing so, he Ipso facto (by the very fact itself) puts himself outside of the Church and loses his Authority and his Position.

But wait – aren’t we supposed to warn him a few times – let time pass – write letters to him, sign online petitions, debate it online with some bloggers, etc before we can be “sure” he is a heretic and loses his office?  

Nope – the Church has always taught that they lose their office due to their own actions in persisting in their actions. In fact the presumption is they are guilty:

Canon 2200.2, 1917 Code of Canon Law: “When an external violation of the law has been committed, malice is presumed in the external forum until the contrary is proven.”

When the going gets tough…

Well, we have painted ourselves into a pretty pickle.  We know we ought to obey the pope and the magisterium because if we don’t we will place ourselves outside the faith and become heretics.

We also know that if a prelate or the Pope himself was a heretic before/after election we know that they, ipso facto, ain’t no more the head so what does all of this mean?

It means francis isn’t francis is what it means.  

I’m not going to go over the laundry list of heresies spouted by this man but it is obvious to any person who cares to pick up a book and read what the church teaches.  

Good grief, even the protestants think he is a heretic (heretics calling out the supposed catholic pope for being worse of a heretic than themselves…..).

The person that is the Pope must first be Catholic and if he isn’t Catholic then he isn’t the pope.  1+1=2…ain’t that hard to understand.

Now before some nut job tells me I shouldn’t be quoting the canon law from 1917 just remember that heresy is based on divine law.    

The Church can’t err and it can’t say one thing one time and then change its might later – God isn’t fickle and neither is the Magisterium of the Church as it is protected by the Holy Ghost.

Rev. Francis X Doyle, S.J. explains:

“The Church is a visible society with a visible Ruler. If there can be any doubt about who that visible Ruler is, he is not visible, and hence, where there is any doubt about whether a person has been legitimately elected Pope, that doubt must be removed before he can become the visible head of Christ’s Church. Blessed Bellarmine, S.J., says: ‘A doubtful Pope must be considered as not Pope’; and Suarez, S.J., says: ‘At the time of the Council of Constance there were three men claiming to be Pope…. Hence, it could have been that not one of them was the true Pope, and in that case, there was no Pope at all….” (The Defense of the Catholic Church, 1927)

The Conclusion is very simple

If you accept Francis is the pope then you must accept communion for adulterers, you must accept allowing communion for protestants, you must accept LGBT novelties, you must accept the novus ordo mass, the new rites, the “cult of man”, Ecumenism, that the Roman Catholic Church is just one of many that lead to heaven, That error has rights, and all of the other profanations you see around you because it is from the pope and the magisterium and Vatican II……

If the above is abhorrent to you…

If you would rather die a thousand deaths than to give your consent to such abominable practices…

Then welcome to Sedevacantism….  

 

 

References:

 

https://stevensperay.wordpress.com/why-sedevacantism/

https://novusordowatch.org/the-catholic-papacy/

http://www.traditionalmass.org/articles/article.php?id=12&catname=10

https://stevensperay.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/the-law-on-heretics-and-obstinacy/

https://novusordowatch.org/catholic-quotes/

http://cmri.org/02-answering-objections-sede.html

http://cmri.org/traditional-catholic-faith.shtml

On Modesty and Mortification

St. Anthony Mary Claret wrote his autobiography reluctantly and only under obedience to his
religious superiors. This chapter out of his book details the apostolic techniques which
proved so successful in saving souls. Our Lord told him several times: “Give me blood
(mortification) and I will give you spirit.”

St. Anthony resolved never to waste a moment of time and during his 35 years a priest, he
wrote 144 books and preached some 25,000 sermons. On one trip, besides traveling, he
preached 205 sermons in 48 days – 12 in one day. Giving the reason he worked so zealously,
he wrote: “If you were to see a blind man about to fall into a pit or over a precipice, would
you not warn him? Behold, I do the same and do it I must, for this is my duty. I must warn
sinners and make them see the precipice which leads to the unquenchable fires of Hell, for
they will surely go there if they do not amend their ways. Woe to me if I do not preach and
warn them, for I would be held responsible for their condemnation.”

Besides working numerous miracles throughout his priestly life, St. Anthony Mary possessed
the gifts of prophecy and discernment of hearts. Often Our Lord and Our Lady would appear
to him. Once Our Lord told him that three great judgments would soon descend upon the
world: 1. Protestantism and Communism; 2. The love of pleasures and money and
independence of reason and will; 3. Great wars with their horrible consequences. He boldly
proclaimed: “The sole reason why society is perishing is because it has refused to hear the
word of the Church, which is the word of God. All plans for salvation will be sterile if the
great word of the Catholic Church is not restored in all its fullness.”

Here are his words on mortification:

The missionary is a spectacle to God, to the Angels, and to men. For this reason, he must be
very circumspect and prudent in all his words, works, and ways. To this effect, I resolved that
my conduct both at home and away from it, should be to talk very little, and to weigh every
word I uttered, because people not infrequently take words to mean other than the speaker
intends them to mean.

When talking to others, I proposed never to make gestures with my hands. In some places
this is strongly ridiculed and looked upon as displeasing. My constant intention was always
to speak sparingly, and that only when necessary. I resolved to speak briefly, and in a quiet
and grave manner, without touching my face, chin, head, and much less my nose. I
determined also never to make grimaces with my mouth, or to utter any funny or ridiculous
statement, and never to ridicule anyone, because I saw that by doing these things, the
missionary loses much of the authority, respect and veneration which is his due. All this is
the result of fickleness, scant mortification, and little modesty. These habits and similar
coarseness of manners manifest little or no education on the part of their possessors.

The missioner must also be at peace with all as St. Paul says. Now, with this in mind, I never
scolded anyone, but tried to be kind to all. I endeavored also never to pass funny remarks
about anyone, nor did I like to indulge in any form of buffoonery or mockery at another’s
expense. Laughing did not appeal to me, although I always manifested joy, gentleness and
kindness in my person, for I remembered that Jesus was never seen to laugh, although He was
seen weeping on some occasions. Those words also helped me determine my conduct:
“Stultus in risu exaltat vocem suam; vir autem sapiens vix tacite ridebit — The fool raises his
voice in laughter, but the wise man will scarcely laugh in silence.”

Modesty, as we all know, is that virtue which teaches us how to do all things in the right way.
It sets before our eyes how Jesus did things, and it tells us to do the same. So, before each
action that I was about to do, I always asked myself, and still do, how Jesus Christ would do
it. What care, purity and rectitude of intention should I have if I were to act like my Divine
Model! How He preached; how He conversed; how He ate and rested; how He dealt with all
manner of people; how He prayed; in fine, all His ways of doing things, were the sum and
substance of my constant meditation and efforts, for with God’s grace I determined to imitate
Our Lord in everything, so as to be able to say with the Apostle, if not by word of mouth, then
by my works: “Be ye imitators of me as I am of Christ.”

I understood, O God, that if the missionary is to gather fruit in his ministry, it is essential for
him to be not only irreproachable, but also in all places a man of virtue. People respect much
more that which they see in a missionary than what they hear about him. this is proved by
those words concerning Our Lord, the Model Missionary: “Coepit facere et docere.” First of
all He did things, then He taught afterwards.

Thou knowest, O my God, the number of times that in spite of all my resolutions I have failed
against holy modesty. Thou wilt surely know if some have been scandalized by my lack of
observance of this virtue. My Lord, if such be the case, I beg Thy pardon and mercy. I give
Thee my word that, putting into practice the words of the Apostle, I will do my best to make
my modesty known to all men. I promise that my modesty shall be like that of Jesus Christ,
as St. Paul exhorts so strongly, and that I will imitate the humble St. Francis of Assisi who
preached by his modesty, and converted many people by his good example. O my Lord Jesus,
Love of my heart. I love Thee, and wish to draw all men to Thy most holy love!

Without mortification I knew that modesty was impossible. therefore I endeavored with the
utmost determination to acquire this virtue of self-denial, cost what it might, yet always
relying on the help of God’s grace.

In the first place, I resolved to deprive myself of all taste or preference, and to give it to God.
Without knowing how, I felt myself obliged to fulfill what was only of precept. My
understanding was confronted with an inevitable alternative; either I should cater to my own
taste or to God’s. Now, as my understanding saw this gross inequality even though in such a
small matter as this, I felt myself obliged to follow the good pleasure of God. Therefore, I
willingly denied myself innocent and legitimate pleasures in order to have all my taste and
gratification in God. I follow this rule even now in all things, in regard to meals, drink, sleep,
in talking, looking, listening, and going to any part of the country, etc…

The grace of God has helped me a great deal in the practice of mortification, for I know that
this habit of denying oneself is indispensably necessary to make one’s work for souls fruitful,
as well as one’s prayer pleasing to God Our Lord.

In a very special manner have the examples of Jesus and Mary and the Saints encouraged me
in this practice of mortification. I read assiduously the Lives of the Saints to see how they
were wont to deny themselves, and I have made special notes which regulate my personal
conduct. Singular among them must be mentioned St. Bernard, St. Peter of Alcantara, and St.
Philip of Neri, of whom I have read that after having been for thirty years the confessor of a
Roman lady renowned for her rare beauty, he still did not know her by sight.

I can say with certainty that I know the many women who come to confession to me more by
their voice than by their features, because I never look at any woman’s face. In their presence
I blush and turn red. Not that the looking at them causes me temptations, for I do not have
them, thanks be to God, but the fact still remains that I always blush, even though I cannot
explain why. I might mention here that I naturally and in an entirely unaccountable manner
keep in mind and observe that oft-repeated admonition of the holy Fathers, which goes:
Sermo rigidus et brevis cum muliere est habendus et oculos humi dejectos habe — Speech
with women must be serious and brief, while the eyes must be cast on the ground. I know not
how to hold a conversation with a woman, no matter how good she may be. In few and grave
words I tell her what she must know, and then immediately I dismiss her without looking to
see if she be rich or poor, beautiful or ugly.

When I was giving missions in Catalonia, I stayed at the rectories of those parishes in which I
gave missions. During all that time I do not remember having looked at the face of any
woman, whether she happened to be the housekeeper, the servant, or the relative of the parish-
priest. Once it happened that after some time I returned to Vich, or some other town, and I
was accosted by a lady who said to me: “Anthony Claret, don’t you know me? I am the
housekeeper of such and such a priest in whose parish you were for so many days giving a
mission.” but I did not recognize her; neither did I look at her. With my gaze fixed on the
ground, I asked her: “And how is his Reverence the pastor?”

What is more, I shall relate another instance which could not have been so, had I not received
very special graces from heaven. While I was in the island of Cuba, for six years and two
months to be exact, I confirmed more than 300,000 persons, the majority of whom were
women, and young ones at that. If any one were to ask me what are the characteristics of the
Cuban women’s features, I would say that I do not know, despite the fact that I have
confirmed so many of them. In order to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation, I had to
look where their foreheads were, and this I did in a rapid glance, after which I shut my eyes
and kept them shut all during the administration of the Sacrament.

Besides this blushing that was natural to me when in the presence of women, and which
hindered me from looking at them, there was another reason which prompted me to adhere to
this mode of conduct. It was the desire to profit souls. I remember having read years ago of a
famous preacher who went to preach in a certain town. His preaching turned out to be very
fruitful, and all the townsfolk were lavish in their praise of him. “Oh, what a saint!” said
they. Yet there was one exception of all these praises, and it came from a wicked man who
said: “Perhaps he is a saint, but I can tell you one thing, and it is this: he likes women a great
deal, for he was staring at them.” This single expression was enough in itself to decrease the
prestige which the good preacher had merited in that town, and not only that, but it brought to
naught all the fruit which his preaching had produced.

Incidentally, I have also noticed that people form a poor opinion of a priest who does not
mortify his eyes. Of Jesus Christ I read that He was always mortified and modest in regard to
His looks, for the Evangelists have accounted as an extraordinary occurrence each time He
lifted up His eyes.
The hearing was another faculty which I tried to mortify continually, especially disliking to
listen to superfluous conversations and idle words. I could never suffer or tolerate those
conversations which were detrimental to charity. If I happened to be present at one of them, I
would either withdraw or refrain from taking part in it, or I would show my disapproval by
the sad expression my face. This distaste applied also to conversations about food, drink,
riches, or any worldly topic, including political news. neither did I care to read newspapers,
for I should prefer to read a chapter of the Holy Bible wherein I know for sure that what I read
is true. In newspapers, as a general rule, one finds only a great deal of lies and useless
reading.

It was my constant aim to deny myself in regard to speaking. Just as I have said that I dislike
to hear useless things, so also in the same way I hated to talk of useless nothings. My
resolution also embraced my keeping quiet about my sermons. I resolved never to talk of my
sermons after their delivery. Since I myself was repelled by others talking of what they
delivered, I concluded that others would be displeased with me if I, too, talked about my
sermons. Thus, my fixed resolve was never to mention my sermons after delivering them, to
do my very best in the pulpit, and to recommend all to God. If anyone gave me advice about
my preaching, I received it with sincere gratitude and without excusing myself or explaining
my views on the matter. I tried to amend and correct myself as much as possible.

I have observed before now that some people behave like hens which cackle after they lay
their eggs, and thus are deprived of them. The same happens to some priests of little
prudence, who, as soon as they have done some good work, such as hearing confession, or
delivering a sermon or lecture, go in search of the baubles of vanity by speaking so smugly of
what they have done and what they have said. Just as the hearing of this repels me, I conclude
that I would repel others if I were to talk of the very same subjects. Thus, I have made it an
inflexible rule never to speak of what I have done.

The subject which was most repugnant to me was the talking of things heard in confession,
not only because of the danger involved in breaking the sacramental seal of confession, but
also because of the bad effect produced on such people as may happen to hear anything of this
nature. In view of these facts, I resolved on no account to speak of persons and their affairs in
relation to confession, whether they had not been to confession for a long or short time,
whether they had made a general confession or not, in a word, to say absolutely nothing of
these affairs. I disliked hearing of priests who spoke of those who had gone to confession to
them, what they had confessed and how long it had been since they had absented themselves
from that sacrament of reconciliation. If any priest came to consult me about certain
problems encountered in the confessional, I could not bear to hear him using the words: “I
find myself in such a situation, with such a case; what shall I do?” I would tell them to
recount their difficulties in the third person, as for example: “Let us suppose that a confessor
is confronted with such and such a case of a certain nature. What steps should be taken?”

Our Lord gave me to understand that one of the things which would be of the utmost utility to
the missionary is the virtue of self-denial in the matter of food and drink. The Italians have a
saying which goes: “Not much credit is given to saints who eat.” People believe that
missionaries are more heavenly than earthly beings, that at least they are like unto the saints
of God who need not eat or drink. God Our Lord has given me a very special grace in this
regard, of going without eating, or eating very little. There were three reasons in my case for
not eating much. Firstly, because I was unable to do so, not having an appetite, especially
when I had to preach very often or had to hear many confessions. At other times I used to be
somewhat hungry, but I did not eat even then, particularly when I was traveling, for I would
refrain from doing so in order to be able to walk better. Finally, I would abstain from eating
in order to edify, for I observed that everybody was watching me. From this it can be
gathered that I ate very little, in spite of the fact that I was, at times, very hungry.

Whenever I did eat, I took what was given me, always however, in small quantities, and food
of inferior quality. If I happened to reach the rectory of the parish at an unseasonable hour, I
would tell the cook to prepare only a little soup and an egg — nothing more. I never took
meat; not even now do I eat it, not because I do not like it, for I do, but because I know that
not taking it is most edifying. Neither did I take wine; although I like it, it has been years
since I have tasted it, excluding, of course, the ablutions at Mass. The same may be said of
liquor and spirits of any kind; I never take them, although I am still fond of them, since I used
to take a little in years gone by. Abstaining from food and drink is a source of edification, and
is even necessary nowadays in order to counteract the disgraceful excesses so prevalent in
these times.

When I was in Segovia in the year 1859, on the 4th of September, at 4:25 in the morning,
while I was at meditation, Jesus Christ said to me: “You have to teach mortification in eating
and drinking to your missionaries, Anthony.” A few minutes afterwards the Blessed Virgin
told me: “By doing this you will reap fruit in souls, Anthony.”

At that time I was giving a mission in the cathedral of Segovia to the clergy, the nuns, and the
people of that city. One day while all were at table it was mentioned that the former Bishop, a
man of marked zeal, had exhorted some priests to go and give missions — an exhortation
which they fulfilled to the letter. After having walked a fair distance, these priests began to
get so hungry and thirsty that they decided to stop and have lunch, since they had brought
some food and drink with them. Meanwhile some people of the town to which they were
going came to welcome them, but finding the priests eating, the people lost their esteem for
them, so much so that those missionaries were unable to make any headway in that town. So
the story goes at any rate, although I do not know how it originated. All I know is, that it was
as a confirmation of what had been told me by Jesus and Mary.

My experience has taught me that mortification is very edifying in a missionary. Even now it
stands me in good stead. In the Palace here at Madrid, banquets are held frequently, while
before they were even more frequent. I am always invited to them, but if it is possible, I
excuse myself. If I cannot possibly excuse myself from attending, I go to them, but always
eat less than usual on those festive occasions. It is my custom then to take only a little soup
and a small piece of fruit; nothing else — no wine, no water. Of course, all look at me and are
highly edified. Before I came to Madrid, as I am led to understand, disorders were rampant
everywhere. Indeed, this could be easily gathered. So many rich and sumptuous dishes,
exquisite meals, and so much wine of all kinds decked the tables, that inducements to excess
were not wanting. But since the time that I was obliged to take part in the banquets, I have
not noticed the slightest excess; on the contrary, it appears to me that the guests refrain from
taking what they need, because they see me not eating. Often at the table, those guests sitting
on both sides talk to me of spiritual subjects, and even ask the name of the church in which I
hear confessions, so as to come there themselves and confess their sins.

In order to edify my neighbor more and more, I have always refrained from smoking and
taking snuff. Never have I said, or even hinted, that one thing pleases me more than the
another. I have done this for as long as I can remember. Our Lord had so bestowed upon me
this heavenly blessing of indifference that my dear mother (requiescat in pace) died without
knowing what things I liked most. As she loved me so very much, she would try to please me
by asking if I would like to have certain things in preference to other things. I would answer
that I was pleased most of all by whatever she chose and gave me. But this reply would not
be enough, for she would add: “I know that very well, but we always like some things more
than others.” To this I would respond that whatever she gave me was the thing I liked most of
all. I naturally had inclinations for what suited me best, as we all have; but the spiritual
satisfaction I had in doing another’s will was so great that it surpassed the natural satisfaction
resulting from doing my own will. Thus, I told the truth when I assured my mother that her
will was my greatest pleasure.

Besides denying self in regard to sight, hearing, speaking, in the senses of taste and smell, I
tried also to perform some acts of mortification, such as taking the discipline on Mondays,
Wednesdays and Fridays, and wearing the cilice on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. If,
however, I found that circumstances of time and place did not favor these modes of penance, I
used to practice some other form of mortification, as for example: praying with the arms
stretched out in the form of a cross, or with the fingers under the knees. I know very well that
worldly people and those who have not the spirit of Jesus Christ make little of, and even
disapprove of, these mortifications. But for my part, I keep in mind the teaching laid down by
St. John of the Cross which states: “If anyone affirms that one can reach perfection without
practicing exterior mortification, do not believe him; and even though he confirm this
assertion by working miracles, know that his contentions are nothing but illusions.”

As for me, I look to St. Paul for my example, for he mortified himself, and said publicly:
“Castigo corpus meum et in servitutem redigo, ne forte cum aliis praedicaverim ipse reprobus
efficiar — I chastise my body and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps when I have preached
to others I myself may become a castaway.” All the saints until now have done in like
manner. Venerable Rodriquez says that the Blessed Virgin said to St. Elizabeth of Hungary,
that no spiritual grace comes to the soul, commonly speaking, except by way of prayer and
bodily afflictions. There is an old principle which goes: “Da mihi sanguinem et dabo tibi
spiritum.” Woe to those who are enemies of mortification and of the cross of Christ!

In one act of mortification one can practice many virtues, according to the different ends
which one proposes in each act, as for example:

1. He who mortifies his body for the purpose of checking concupiscence, performs an act
of the virtue of temperance.
2. If he does this, purposing thereby to regulate his life well, it will be an act of the virtue
of prudence.
3. If he mortifies himself for the purpose of satisfying for the sins of his past life, it will
be an act of justice.
4. If he does it with the intention of conquering the difficulties of the spiritual life, it will
be an act of fortitude.
5. If he practices this virtue of mortification for the end of offering a sacrifice to God,
depriving himself of what he likes, and doing that which is bitter and repugnant to
nature, it will be an act of the virtue of religion.
6. If he intends by mortification to receive greater light to know the divine attributes, it
will be an act of faith.
7. If he does it for the purpose of making his salvation more and more secure, it will be
an act of hope.
8. If he denies himself in order to help in the conversion of sinners, and for the release of
the poor souls in purgatory, it will be an act of charity towards his neighbor.
9. If he does it so as to help the poor, it will be an act of mercy.
10. If he mortifies himself for the sake of pleasing God more and more, it will be an act of
love of God.

In other words, I shall be able to put all these virtues into practice in one act of mortification,
according to the end I propose to myself while doing the said act.

Virtue has so much more merit, is more resplendent, charming and attractive, when
accompanied by greater sacrifice.

Man, who is vile, weak, mean, cowardly, never makes a sacrifice, and is not even capable of
doing so, for he never resists even one appetite or desire. Everything that his concupiscence
and passions demand, he concedes, if it is in his power to yield or reject, for he is base and
cowardly, and lets himself be conquered and completely overcome, just as the braver of two
fighters conquers the cowardly one. So it is with vice and the vicious — the latter is crushed
and the slave of his vices. Continence and chastity are therefore worthy of the highest praise,
because the man who practices purity refrains from the pleasure which proceeds from nature
or passion. Thus, the greater merit will be his the greater the pleasure he has denied himself.
His merit will be the greater in proportion to the amount of repugnance he will have in
conquering himself, in proportion to the intense and prolonged suffering he will have to
undergo, to the human respect he will have to vanquish, and to the sacrifices he will have to
make. Let him do all this and suffer all for the love of virtue and for God’s greater glory. As
to my exterior deportment, I proposed to myself modesty and recollection and in the interior
of my soul my aim was continual and ardent occupation in God. In my work I aimed at
patience, silence and suffering. The exact accomplishment of the law of God and of the
Church, the obligations of my state of life as prescribed by God. I tried to do good to others,
flee from sin, faults and imperfections, and to practice virtue.

All disagreeable, painful and humiliating happenings I considered as coming from God and
ordered by Him for my own good. Even now, as I think of it, I fix my mind on God when
such things occur, bowing in silence and with resignation to His most holy will; for I
remember that Our Lord has said that not even a hair of our head shall fall without the will of
our heavenly Father, Who loves us so much.

I know that three hundred years of faithful service to God are paid, and more than paid, when
I am permitted an hour of suffering, so great is its value. O my Jesus and my Master, Thy
servants who suffer tribulation, persecution, and abandonment by friends, who are crucified
by exterior labors and by interior crosses, who are deprived of all spiritual consolation yet
who suffer in silence and persevere in Thy love, O my Lord — these are Thy loved ones, and
the ones who please Thee most and whom Thou dost esteem most.

Thus I have resolved never to excuse or defend myself when others censure, calumniate and
persecute me, because I would be the loser before God and men. I realize this because my
calumniators and persecutors would make use of the truths and reasons I would bring forward
in order to oppose me still further.

I believe that all my crosses come from God. Furthermore, God’s will in my regard is that I
suffer with patience and for the love of Him all pains of body and soul, as well as those
persecutions directed against my honor. It is my firm belief that I shall be thus doing what
will be for the greater glory of God, for I shall then be suffering in silence, like Jesus, Who
died on the Cross abandoned by all.

To labor and to suffer for the one we love is the greatest proof of our love.

God was made man for us. But what kind of man? How was He born? How did He live?
Yes, and what a death He endured! Ego sum vermis et non homo, et abjectio plebis — I am a
worm and no man, and the outcast of the people. Jesus is God and Man, but His Divinity did
not help His Humanity in His crosses and sufferings, just as the souls of the just in heaven do
not help their bodies which rot under the earth.

In a very special manner God helped the martyrs in their sufferings, but this same God
abandoned Jesus in His crosses and torments, so that He was indeed a Man of Sorrows. The
body of Our Lord was most delicately formed, and therefore more sensitive to pain and
suffering. Well, then, who is capable of forming an idea of how much Jesus suffered? All
His life, suffering was ever present. How much did He have to suffer for our love! Ah, what
pains He underwent, so long-enduring and intense!

O Jesus, Love of my life, I know and realize that pains, sorrows and labors are the lot of the
apostolate, but with the help of Thy grace I embrace them. I have had my share of them, and
now I can say that by Thy aid, my Lord and my Father, I am ready to drain this chalice of
interior trials and am resolved to receive this baptism of exterior suffering. My God, far be it
from me to glory in anything save in the cross, upon which Thou wert once nailed for me.
And I, dear Lord, wish to be nailed to the cross for Thee. So may it be. Amen.