Apostasy Don Pietro Leone # 5

Tynemouth_Priory3.  Iniquity in General

And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient. Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy’ (vv. 28-31).

The Book of Wisdom, the background text to St. Paul’s account of Apostasy, furnishes us with a similar list of evils, deriving them from the same source: ‘And all things are mingled together, blood, murder, theft and dissimulation, corruption and unfaithfulness, tumults and perjury, disquieting of the good, forgetfulness of God, defiling of souls, changing of nature, disorder in marriage, and the irregularity of adultery and uncleanness. For the worship of abominable idols is the cause, and the beginning and end, of all evil’ (Wisdom 14 vv. 25-7).

In the previous section St. Paul, referring to unnatural impurity, spoke of the ‘recompense due to their error’ which we may readily apply to the ‘a.i.d.s.’ epidemic. Leaving the reader to reflect on how the two following passages may relate to our present age, we now turn briefly to consider the consequences of this apostasy for contemporary man, first in regard to his soul, then in regard to the destruction to which it tends.

PART 3.

Consequences

1.  The Soul of Man

At the root of the apostasy that we have described above is pride. Pride has seduced man’s will, which in its turn has detached itself from his reason. Detaching itself from reason it has detached itself from Faith and from God.  The apostasy has been so violent that it has shaken man to his deepest being: it has clouded his intellect, weakened his will, detached his emotions, at least in part, from their dominion, and has intensified them.

The impurity in which this apostasy partly consists has exercised a particular force in the process of destruction. As St. Thomas shows in his treatment of the ‘Daughters of Lust’ (Summa II II 153 a. 5): ‘the effect of this vice is that the lower appetite, namely the concupiscible, is most forcibly intent upon its object, that is the object of pleasure, on account of the vehemence of the pleasure.  Consequently, the higher powers, namely the reason and the will are most grievously disordered…’

In all these aspects, the apostasy of to-day imitates Original Sin itself, it has strengthened the hold of this Sin on fallen nature and brought this same nature to its finest and final flowering.

We shall proceed to look more closely at the intellect and will of modern man.

a)  The Intellect  

i) Professor Plinio Correia de Oliviera in his book ‘Revolution and Counter-Revolution’ explains how in the course of time man grows increasingly audacious in his rebellion against God. First he denies the Faith, then the existence of God, and subsequently the Natural Law. We have seen how this process culminates in the denial of essences. The rebellion has taken on national dimensions with the imposition of atheism, of one-child families, of the ‘Gender ideology’ on entire nations.

And yet this whole process is already contained in germ in man’s initial rejection of God. For God as the proper object of the intellect is Truth and Objective Reality, so that in rejecting God, he has not only rejected Truth, as we noted above, but also Objective Reality itself. As a result he has become blind to God’s Will as manifest in the natural law, and even to the very nature and essences of things. Instead, he has embraced subjective reality, which is nothing other than madness. We shall give an example in the following section.

ii) By not acting according to reason, he has descended to the level of the animals, or rather he has descended lower, because animals follow the Natural Law by their very being; whereas man has defied it, and so is acting like a perverted animal;

iii) His will, by rejecting reason, has risen up against it. He has become divided in himself: divided and schizophrenic;

iv) By becoming divided in himself he has entered into his definitive decline. Our Blessed Lord Himself said: ‘A Kingdom divided amongst itself cannot stand’. He is in a state of self-destruction:  moral in his relation with others, physical in relation to his aborted children, and spiritual in relation to his immortal soul.

b)  The Will

i) Man has rejected the proper object of his will which is God. In so doing he has refused to love Him, he has rendered himself incapable of fulfilling this the sole purpose of his existence;

ii) His rejection of God has led him into impurity, drawing him away from marriage, from the most intimate and lasting of all human loves. He has thus shown himself incapable of those two forms of love which make the greatest demands on man, which demand self-sacrifice to the highest degree: Divine love and spousal love. To this extent he has become like his father, the devil, ‘the one who cannot love’ in the words of St. Theresa of Avila.

iii) Instead, he has fallen into impurity: not true love: love as a virtue, but love as a passion, a surrogate object called ‘love’ only by analogy with true love. We have spoken about these two types of love above, indicating how the Church Herself has shifted Her interest from the virtue of love to the passion of love. To understand the heinousness of impurity in its present-day form, let us compare it briefly with marriage.

The latter exists between a man and a woman for the purpose of the procreation and education of children; the former exists between two persons regardless of sex or age for the purpose of pleasure. Procreation is avoided where possible by contraception or abortion. The children who, despite all these dangers, succeed in being born, are sent to school, no longer to be educated but to be perverted. Man has been enveloped by a world devised by the Devil, the imitator of God, a grotesque distortion and perversion of the real world. It is not the objective world, it is a subjective world, subjective reality. How can we not describe living in this world as madness?

2.   Destruction

The sin of the Sodomites cries out to Heaven for vengeance, as does the plight of the orphan. Who is more an orphan than the being created and dying in a test-tube, or, if surviving, put in a rented womb, and consigned at birth to two people of the same sex living out some miserable parody of marriage? The cries of the sins of the Sodomites and of the orphans mingle with the cries of the billions of unborn children murdered daily by (abortifacient) ‘contraceptives’ or other methods, their ‘silent screams’ witnessed in all their desperate pathos on ultrasound film. The cries, inaudible to the majority, split the air of the spirit at every moment of the day ‘and the cry of them has entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth’ (St. James 5.4).

‘And if they should enter the stream of life and pass out of it,’ says the apostate, ‘if all around us should perish, what is that to us? We alone exist, we are from ourselves: as we decree, so shall it be done.’

And the dead reply: ‘How long, O Lord, Holy and True, dost Thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?’ (Apoc. 6.10). But the cup of the wrath of God is overflowing, the troops of the enemy are amassing against the Church, and the blood-shed has already begun.

Why, we might ask ourselves, does moral evil tend to destruction? To answer this question it will help us to consider it in relation to moral good. Moral good, and the virtue of love which effects it, tends to the increase and perfection of being: to the external glory of God, and the good of the neighbour and of the self. Moral evil, by contrast, tends to the diminution of being. This is evident when we recall that evil is essentially a privation of being, so that to promote evil is to promote the privation, the diminution of being.

By Faith we know that God’s purpose (or finis operis) in creation is that creation should glorify Him by its likeness to Him. Man glorifies Him, man promotes His external glory and at the same time his own good, by his sanctity and holiness. To this end it is necessary that man be united to God by Grace: by Baptism, Faith, and by Charity which increases with each of a man’s good works performed in the state of Grace.

The Devil, by contrast, has no purpose (finis operis) in a positive sense, which is why his machinations are essentially without sense or meaning. He only has a purpose in a negative sense. This purpose is defined by its negation of God’s purpose, that is as the frustration of God’s glory: the diminution of that being which consists in God’s glory and the sanctity of man, ideally by its utter annihilation. To this end he employs all his efforts to prevent man’s access to Grace: to Baptism and Faith, and then to prevent his growth in Grace, that is his perfection in Charity, by acts of virtue. This he does by obstructing man and by tempting him into sin.

Guided by God, men live their earthly life to the full in peace and happiness; guided by the Devil their life is empty, meaningless, chaotic, harmful and destructive: ‘their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and unhappiness in their ways’ (Ps.13). Our words about impurity above may serve as an illustration of this truth; those who engage in it are like the heretics whom St. Jude (vv.12-3) compares to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah: ‘…clouds without water, which are carried about by winds, trees of the autumn, unfruitful, twice dead, plucked up by the roots, raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own confusion; wandering stars, to whom the storm of darkness is reserved forever.’

At life’s end in Heaven man attains to perfection of being, to fullness of life, and the happiness which flows from it, in the vision of God; in Hell, by contrast, there is only the negation of being and life: living annihilation and living death.

What we have said about individual men clearly applies equally to the family and to society itself, of which, as we noted above, the family is the constitutive cell. This we can see with particular clarity in relation to the destruction inflicted by abortion: What future can a society have that destroys its own children?

But are we witnessing the destruction not only of individual societies, but of society and of civilisation as a whole? Is the sun really ‘setting on mankind’ as Benedict XVI has stated?

There are reasons for thinking so. We refer to the words of Monsignor Gaume in the Traité du Saint-Esprit (Vol.I ch.18) about three deluges: that of Noah, by water; that of the pagan world, by blood; and that of modern society by fire: ‘… the ruin of the apostate world of Christendom by the deluge of fire which will bring to an end the existence of the human race on the globe. Trampling underfoot the merits of Calvary and the benefits of the Cenacle, the world of the last days will set itself up in full revolt against the Spirit of Good. More than ever enslaved to the Spirit of Evil, it will consign itself with a hitherto unknown cynicism to all form of iniquities. Such will be the number of deserters that the City of Good will be almost entirely abandoned and the city of Evil will assume colossal proportions…’

The learned and enlightened prelate notes that all three deluges are deluges where ‘man becomes flesh’. He quotes Genesis (6.3): ‘My spirit shall not remain in man for ever, because he is flesh’ together with the comment of St. Ambrose: ‘Diluvium carnis peperit diluvium aquae’. The same is clearly true of the second deluge as also of our present society. We add that amongst the various sins of the flesh, unnatural impurity plays a significant part in all three cases: with Sodom and Gomorrah in the first case; in the last days of Rome in the account of the City of God by St. Augustine in the second case; and of course in the present world in the third case.

St. Bartholomew, Apostle – August 24

St. Bartholomew, Apostle - August 24THE NAME here given to this apostle is not his proper, but patronymical name: and imports, the son of Tholomew or Tolmai, like Barjona and Bartimeus. Rupertus, Jansenius, and several other learned interpreters of the holy scripture, take this apostle to have been the same person with Nathaniel, a native of Cana, in Galilee, a doctor in the Jewish law, and one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ, to whom he was conducted by St. Philip, and whose innocence and simplicity of heart deserved to be celebrated with the highest eulogium by the divine mouth of our Redeemer.

Bartholomew Gavant, the learned commentator on the Rubrics of the Roman Missal and Breviary, has endeavoured, by an express dissertation, to prove this conjecture. F. Stilting, the Bollandist, has undertaken to confirm this opinion more at large;  for whereas St. John never mentions Bartholomew among the apostles, so the other three evangelists take no notice of the name of Nathaniel; and they constantly put together Philip and Bartholomew, as St. John says Philip and Nathaniel came together to Christ. Also Nathaniel is reckoned with other apostles when Christ appeared to them at the sea of Galilee after his resurrection;  and if he had not already belonged to that sacred college, why was he not propounded a candidate for the apostleship to fill the vacant place of Judas?

St. Bartholomew was chosen by Christ one of his twelve apostles, when he formed that sacred college.  He was with them witness of our Lord’s glorious resurrection, and his other principal actions on earth, and was instructed in his divine school, and from his sacred mouth. He is mentioned among the other disciples who were met together joining in devout prayer after Christ’s ascension, and he received the Holy Ghost with the rest. Having been prepared by the example and instructions of our Redeemer, and by humble and fervent prayer, he was replenished, in the descent of the Holy Ghost, with an heroic spirit of humility, mortification, contempt of the world, compunction, prayer, holy zeal, and burning charity. Thus armed and filled with the eminent spirit of all virtues, twelve apostles converted many great nations to Christ, and carried the sound of his name into the remotest corners of the earth. How comes it that now-a-days the apostolical labours of so many ministers of the divine word produce so little fruit? One great reason of this difference is, their neglect to obtain of God a large share in the spirit of the apostles. Their success and the influence of their words upon the hearts of men depend not upon human prudence, eloquence, and abilities; the principal instrument of God’s grace in multiplying the fruit of his word in the hearts of men, is the spirit with which it is announced by those whom he honours with the ministry. Their sincere disinterestedness, humility, and overflowing zeal and charity give, as it were, a living voice to that divine faith and virtue which they preach; and those who take upon them this charge are doubly bound to prepare themselves for it by strenuously labouring to obtain of Christ this perfect spirit in the sanctification of their own souls, not to profane their holy ministry, and destroy the work of God which is committed to their charge.

St. Bartholomew being eminently qualified by the divine grace to discharge the functions of an apostle, carried the gospel through the most barbarous countries of the East, penetrating into the remoter Indies, as Eusebius 5 and other ancient writers testify. By the name of Indies, the ancients sometimes mean only Arabia and Persia; but here they speak of proper India; for they make mention of the Brachmans of that country, famous over the whole world for their pretended skill in philosophy, and in the superstitious mysteries of their idolatry. Eusebius relates that St. Pantænus, about the beginning of the third century, going into the Indies to confute their Brachmans, found there some who still retained the knowledge of Christ, and showed him a copy of St. Matthew’s gospel in Hebrew, which they assured him that St. Bartholomew had brought into those parts when he planted the faith among them. This apostle returned again into the north-west parts of Asia; and met St. Philip at Hierapolis, in Phrygia. Hence he travelled into Lycaonia, where St. Chrysostom affirms that he instructed the people in the Christian faith; but we know not even the names of many of the countries to which he preached. We are struck with astonishment when we call to mind how many prisons the apostles sanctified, how many dangers they braved, how many vast regions they travelled over, and how many nations they conquered to Christ; but if we admire their courage, zeal, and labours, we have still greater reason to wonder and be confounded at our supine sloth and insensibility, who do nothing for the enlargement of God’s kingdom in others, or even for the sanctification of our own souls. It is not owing to the want of means or of strength through the divine grace, but to the want of courage and sincere resolution that we do so little; that we find no opportunities for exercising charity towards our neighbour, no time for prayer and recollection of spirit, no strength for the practice of fasting and penance. If we examine into the truth, we shall find that we blind ourselves by vain pretences, and that sloth, tepidity, and indifferency have many hinderances, which fervour, resolution, industry, and contrivance find ways readily to remove. The apostles who did and suffered so much for God, still sincerely called themselves unprofitable servants, made no account of their labours, and were altogether taken up with the thoughts of what they owed to God, and how infinitely they yet fell short of this. True love exerts itself beyond what seems possible, yet counts all it does as nothing.
St. Bartholomew’s last removal was into Great Armenia, where, preaching in a place obstinately addicted to the worship of idols, he was crowned with a glorious martyrdom, as St. Gregory of Tours mentions.  The modern Greek historians say, that he was condemned by the governor of Albanopolis to be crucified. Others affirm, that he was flayed alive, which might well enough consist with his crucifixion; this double punishment being in use, as we learn from Plutarch and Arrian, not only in Egypt, but also among the Persians, the next neighbours to these Armenians, who might very easily borrow from them this piece of barbarous cruelty. Theodorus Lector says, that the Emperor Anastasius having built the city of Duras, in Mesopotamia, in 508, caused the relics of St. Bartholomew to be removed thither. St. Gregory of Tours assures us that, before the end of the sixth age they were carried to the isle of Lipari, near Sicily. Anastasius, the Librarian, informs us 7 that, in 809 they were translated from Lipari to Benevento; from whence they were conveyed to Rome in 983, as Baronius relates. Ever since that time they lie deposited in a porphyry monument under the high altar, in the famous church of St. Bartholomew, in the isle of the Tiber, in Rome. An arm of this apostle’s body was sent a present by the bishop of Benevento to St. Edward the Confessor, and by him bestowed on the cathedral church of Canterbury. Among the many excellent statues which adorn the cathedral at Milan, none is more justly admired than one of St. Bartholomew flayed alive, representing the muscles, veins, and other parts, with an inimitable softness and justness, the work of Chr. Cibo. The feast of St. Bartholomew in ancient Martyrologies is marked on the 24th of August in the West, but among the Greeks on the 11th of June.
The characteristical virtue of the apostles was zeal for the divine glory; the first property of the love of God. A soldier is always ready to defend the honour of his prince, and a son that of his father; and can a Christian say he loves God, who is indifferent to his honour? Or can charity towards his neighbour be lodged in his breast, if he can see him in danger of perishing, and not endeavour, at least by tears and prayers, to avert his misfortune? Every faithful servant of God makes the first petition which our Lord teaches us in his divine prayer, the object of his perpetual ardent desires and tears, that the God of his heart, and of all creatures, may be known, perfectly loved, and faithfully served by all; and he never ceases earnestly to invite, with the royal prophet, all creatures with their whole strength, and with all their powers, to magnify the Lord with him; but then it is the first part of his care and prayer that he may himself perfectly attain to this happiness of devoting to God all the affections of his soul, and all the actions of his life; and it is to him a subject of perpetual tears and compunction that he should have ever offended so good a God, and so kind a Redeemer.

Read Butler’s Lives Of The Saints Here

Traditional Catholic Lepers Thank God

In the time of the Old Testament, if anyone had the horrible disease of leprosy, their life was condemned to suffering, isolation and loneliness.  As soon as it was detected, the leper had to leave his home and family to live outside of the city or town where he could not infect anyone.  He could never touch anyone, hold anyone, kiss anyone, unless they too were lepers, and had to warn people to stay away far away from him so that they would not be infected.  JesusHealingLeper

Slowly his body’s extremities begin to decompose as the disease progresses and to eventually kill him.  His face, at times, would become grotesque as the mouth, cheeks and nose would be eaten away.  A bad stench accompanied the decomposition.  So, not only was he isolated, lonely and depressed, but he was sick and repulsive as well.

In the Gospel, Jesus cleanses 10 of these lepers, but after all they are going through, or will go through, only one comes back to thank Him.  All ten were given a total new lease on life.  They could go back to be with their families and friends in society.  They now have a life to look forward to.  They could touch, hug, hold and kiss their family once again.  Yet only one came back to thank Him.

St_Damien_leper_girls_500pxSt. Damien Of Molokai with the Lepers he served.  He eventually died from Leprosy too.

Every time we sin, we are infected with spiritual leprosy.  The sin of impurity of the flesh especially mimics leprosy.  Then, when we cry out to God to heal us and forgive us in Confession, He does.  Are we grateful for the healing miracle of the sacrament of Confession?

Now, after we are confessed and healed, do we going to go right back into the company of lepers to be infected again?  Do we adequately remember the horrors of the spiritual leprosy of which we were just healed of?  Did we learn our lesson?  Are we going to go right back to hanging out with our friends who get drunk or do drugs?  Are we going to allow ourselves to be infected again by listening to bad music, seeing bad movies, or using our smart phone to look at pornography again?  When will we learn our lesson?  How many times do we need to be infected, wounded and isolated?  Have we infected others?

When only one leper came back to thank Jesus, it bothered Him because He asked; is this the only one, where are the other nine?  God wants us to be grateful for all He has given us and is doing for us.  Christ_Healing_The_Leper_(LifeOfChrist)

We are fallen humans.  The matter of fact is that we are not grateful for all we have, we just want more.  And, with reason, when everything is going wrong, it is truly hard to be grateful for the things that we still do have and that are not going wrong.  But it is still a very profitable exercise to go over often what we do have, even if there are things we do not have or we are going through a very difficult time.

Here is a list of things that we can be grateful for:

  • Faith in God
  • God the Father
  • God the Son
  • God the Holy Spirit
  • Mary’s maternal love and help
  • The Angels help
  • A special Guardian Angel to watch over us
  • St. Joseph and the others saints intercession
  • The Catholic Church
  • The Sacraments that give us strength, especially the Latin Mass
  • Graces
  • An opportunity to go to Heaven
  • We are not in hell yet
  • The knowledge of what is moral and the ability to live it
  • A clean conscience
  • Life
  • Family
  • Holy friends
  • Friends,
  • A dad
  • A mom
  • A brother
  • A sister
  • A child
  • Freedom
  • Sanity
  • Education
  • Order in our lives
  • A house to live in
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Health
  • Water
  • Food
  • Pets
  • Flowers
  • Gardens
  • Legs that walk
  • Eyes that can see
  • Mouth that speaks
  • Teeth the chew
  • A job
  • A car that runs
  • A body free from pain
  • energy

And almost all of these things on the list are gifts from God which He has given to us free of charge.  (The only ones we may have had to work for are the house, car and education).beauty of mass

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know what blessings we have.  Let us try to always have grateful hearts.

Apostasy Father Pietro Leone # 4

Tynemouth_Priory1. Impurity in General

The two most remarkable features of impurity, as with atheism, are its irrationality and its immense contemporary diffusion. We shall look at each in turn.   

a) Irrationality

The sexual faculty is for procreation as the eye is for sight. When children are born they need a stable home in order to grow up as happy and well-balanced young people. For this purpose a father and mother are necessary – to love both them and one another. In this way we can see that human nature itself entails the necessity of marriage: in other words, marriage is an institution of the Natural Law. To defy marriage is therefore to defy the Natural Law, and Reason itself which it expresses.

     b) Diffusion

Sins against purity have always been rife on account of the weakness of Fallen Nature, but such sins to-day enjoy enormous diffusion. The reason should be sought in the enormous diffusion of atheism, for if God and the Objective Good are no longer the guiding principles of morality, their place will be usurped by man and his subjective good. But if man and his feelings have gained the moral ascendency, then it is clear that sexuality will be given free rein on all sides.

Just as with atheism, it has always been the case that given intellectuals have attempted to justify sins against impurity, but to-day we are no longer speaking about the attitudes or the sins of individuals, but of the masses. Successive extramarital alliances of shorter or longer duration involving overt cohabitation, also in the form of civil ‘marriages’ combined with divorces, have by now become almost as conventional as marriage in the proper sense of the word.

The moral stigma attached to such evils has been largely effaced. The sense of shame has much diminished; modesty in comportment, dress, and speech is no longer practised; obscenity is found even in the mouths of children.

Fallen Nature forces itself on the attention from a billion posters and screens. It cries out in the streets and public places in an untiring and incessant stream of tainted music, telling of its joys and unquenchable loves and sorrows. It finds its ultimate expression and celebration in the ‘pop-concert’ with its screaming and howling fanatics, its Dionysian licentiousness and obscenity,

‘full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’ (Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5).

The family disintegrates into ‘one-parent families’ or ragged and amorphous pseudo-families consisting of whole generations of persons related to each other as quasi-in-laws: fragments of broken homes clinging to fragments of other broken homes, like flotsam and jetsam drifting across the vast ocean of human misery.

Society itself, with the disintegration of its constitutive cell which is the family, itself disintegrates, like some vast glacier splitting, cracking, and decomposing into the self-same polluted and all-encompassing ocean.

C’est un univers morne à l’horizon plombé

où nagent dans la nuit l’horreur et le blasphème (Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal).

The reason for the particular decadence and degradation of Western society is its former glory. For Catholic society is the highest form of society that exists, and the corruption of that which is the best is the worst: corruptio optimi pessima est. In this connection it should not surprise us that even Italy, the very heart-land of Catholicism, is also contemplating passing a law to introduce the infamous ‘Gender Ideology’ into its schools.

[if !supportLists]2.      [endif]Unnatural Impurity

‘… they… worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator…For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into the use which is against nature. And in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts, one towards another: man with man, working that which is filthy and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error’ (v. 25-7).

a) Unnatural Impurity in General

If fornication is itself contrary to nature and reason, this form of it is egregiously so. Not only are these acts performed outside their proper context which is that of marriage, but they are also deprived of sexual complementarity and are lacking by their nature in the very possibility of procreation.

A glance at empirical psychology shows us that this form of fornication is not only irrational in regard to the finality of the sexual act, but also in regard to the human psyche. According to a well and widely respected theory, the homosexual condition derives from a child’s arrested psychological development. Take a boy for example whose father (whether by his absence or his unattractive character) does not provide the necessary model for his psychological masculinity and/or whose mother, for instance by her domineering or possessive character, does not allow it to develop. This boy, as he grows to adulthood and beyond, will be prey to the desire to appropriate to himself the masculinity of those of his own sex who realise for him the ideal of manhood, which he feels to exist in him only in a potential form. Clearly to engage in sexual activity with such mirage-like figures will do nothing to satisfy this desire. Rather, therapy is indicated, the purification of the emotional love and its sublimation into a life and activities consonant with the dignity of the human person.

We observe with regret that the break-down of the family tends to augment the homosexual condition, inasmuch as a) fathers are increasingly absent to their sons; and b) with the lessening of the spirit of self-sacrifice guaranteed by a well-functioning family, the fathers are increasingly less attractive as models for them, and the mothers less altruistic.

Although we must be compassionate towards those who suffer, we must never condone evil. With homosexual acts we are talking about sins of extreme gravity, that ‘cry to Heaven for vengeance’ and in the face of which, according to St. Pier Damiani, ‘even the devils withdraw.’ They abhor such crimes because they have retained something of the perfection of the angelic nature, so that crimes against nature of this enormity are repugnant to them.

[if !supportLists]b)      [endif]  Unnatural ‘Marriage’

A recent development in this shadowy domain is that of alliances between persons of the same sex being proposed as ‘marriage’ by the state authorities, with sanctions being proposed for the future on those who might be so bold as to object to them.

What we are witnessing is the public acceptance and approval, at least on the civil level, of that which is obscene and intrinsically perverted; and the purported elevation of the respective way of life to the dignity of a sacrament, in other words to that of a state willed by God and a source of holiness.

The irrationality of this way of life is manifest even in the name with it has been dubbed: ‘marriage’. The word derives from the Latin ‘matrimonium’, which, as the Catechism of Trent explains, signifies ‘matris munus’: the office of motherhood, which, when applied to two members of the same sex, is clearly a contradiction in terms. We as rational beings, and above all as Catholics, should refuse to call such alliances ‘marriage’ and should clearly instruct our children that they are not so.

Even if such alliances are not, and, on account of their perversion, will never be, widely diffused, we observe that one head-of-state after another is yielding to the pressure of approving them, under the influence of a small, if virulent, band of reprobates.  These heads-of-state, when they are not simply evil, are weak. They lack courage and substance: they are like great white jelly-fish, invertebrate and poisonous, floating with the tide, and bringing death to all those whom they encounter.

It cannot have been easy for the promoters of such grotesque and bizarre abominations to find a pejorative term to describe the position of their opponents. They came up with ‘Homophobia’, literally ‘same-fear’, or by extension ‘same-hate’, suggesting that their opponents harbour fear or hatred towards them, which of course would be weakness and inhuman. In reply it should be said that the Church does not fear or hate any-one; but such actions and ways of life it condemns.

Even if such endeavours are rooted in the World’s defiance of God and the Church, we have, in the Synod on the Family in 2014, witnessed Bishops engaging with such worldly thinking, infandum! for example looking into ‘what may be good’ in these civil consortia. In this regard we limit ourselves to remarking that it is a waste of time, energy, and Church finances for a Synod Bishop to enquire into what may be good in that which is intrinsically evil.

c) ‘Gender’

Not content to degrade the human person and society in this manner, the same perverted band has now succeeded in introducing into a considerable number of European schools educational programmes promoting that which they are pleased to label as the ‘Gender Ideology’. These programmes are aimed at children from birth to adulthood. They elect the emotions and feelings as the guide of sexual conduct; they excite and promote them in the minds of the children. The programmes tend towards contraception, abortion, homosexuality, paedophilia, the further destruction of the family, population control, and in fine, or so it seems, a totalitarian ‘One-World-Order’.

Apart from its singular depravity, this enterprise is characterised by what we can only describe as stupidity to a heroic degree. Has any-one ever seriously suggested in any field that a man should be guided solely by his emotions or feelings? Man is not an animal: he possesses reason and a will. Indeed, as we have noted above, these are the two principal faculties of his immortal soul, the use of which will determine his eternal life.

How can it be, then, that heads of schools and teachers have accepted these proposals? Have they done so in order to obey the new civil law? In this case they should know that an unjust law is not a law but a negation of the law. Or have they done so in order not to lose their jobs? But that is a sin, for such courses constitute an objective moral evil, and it is never licit to do what is evil as a means for what is good. If they want to stay at the school, why do they not stay there and show the Gender course up for what it is? Will God abandon those who refuse to offend him by sin?

Perhaps we may be surprised that it is but a small group of persons that puts pressure on the heads-of-state and on society to effect that which is contrary to nature, to logic, to good sense, to the conscience, and therefore also to the majority (although it is of course presented in the name of democracy).  But, there again, we have seen similar phenomena in the Third Reich, in the Reformation, in the Doctrinal and the Liturgical Revolutions (that is, respectively, the Second Vatican Council and the fabrication and implementation of the Novus Ordo Missae), and in all other Revolutions.  A small group instigates the evil and only a small group actively resists. The rest go along, floating with the tide.  In German one says that only dead fish go with the tide.

One of the more patent errors of the ‘Gender Ideology’ is the principle that natures can change: a man can become a woman for example, and a woman a man. The truth, by contrast, is that the notion of ‘nature’ or ‘essence’ pertains to the notion of ‘substance’ which is a first principle of thought: a principle without which it is impossible to think. Essences and natures do not change, unless of course God directly intervenes. A man remains a man whatever he does to himself, and a woman a woman. After a ‘transgender operation’ a man does not become a woman, but an ‘Attis’, a self-mutilating, female impersonator.

As Romanio Amerio states at various points in his magisterial work ‘Iota Unum’, the root of modern error is this very denial, or ‘loss’, of essences. The denial of essences is a consequence of radical subjectivism, which is the idolatry of the present age: the substitution of God for man which we have treated above. If I deny that things have essences, objective essences, then they assume for me the essences which I myself ascribe to them, that is according to my feelings or attitudes, essences which may therefore change, as my feelings and attitudes themselves change.

Traditional Catholic Altar Boy Retreat

Here at St. Catherine’s, we had a retreat for the Latin Mass altar boys.  We started with the Missa Cantata for the Immaculate Heart of Mary at 8 am and ended at 2:00 pm.  IMG_4865A seminarian from the Fraternity of St. Peter’s, who was an altar boy long time ago here at St. Catherine’s and is now in his 4th year at their seminary in Nebraska helped give the retreat.

IMG_4866Praying the Holy Rosary.

It is of utter importance that we teach the altar boys how to be holy, pray and stay pure in a world that is full of contamination.  We pray some of these boys may become priests some day.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to have tools to help us avoid the pitfall of the world and the devil.

 

St. Philip Benizi, Confessor – August 23rd

St. Philip Benizi, ConfessorOur Lady is now reigning in Heaven. Her triumph over death cost Her no labor; and yet it was through suffering that She like Jesus entered into Her glory. We too cannot attain eternal happiness otherwise than did the Son and the Mother. Let us keep in mind the sweet joys we have been tasting during the past week; but let us not forget that our own journey to Heaven is not yet completed.

“Why stand ye looking up into Heaven?” said the angels to the disciples on Ascension day, in the name of the Lord Who had gone up in a cloud; for the disciples, who had for an instant beheld the threshold of Heaven, could not resign themselves to turn their eyes once more down to this valley of exile. Mary, in Her turn, sends us a message today from the bright land whither we are to follow Her, and where we shall surround Her after having in the sorrows of exile merited to form Her court: without distracting us from Her, the apostle of Her Dolors, St. Philip Benizi, reminds us of our true condition of strangers and pilgrims upon earth.

Combats without, fears within (2 Cor. 7: 5): such for the most part was St. Philip’s life, as it was also the history of his native city of Florence; of Italy, too, and indeed of the whole Christian world, in the thirteenth century. At the time of his birth, the city of flowers seemed a new Eden for the blossoms of sanctity that flourished there; nevertheless it was a prey to bloody factions, to the assaults of heresy (especially from the “Ghibellines”—the supporters of Emperor Frederic II in his struggle against the Papcy), and to the extremity of every misery. Never is Hell so near us as when Heaven manifests itself with greatest intensity; this was clearly seen in that age, when the serpent’s head came in closest contact with the heel of the Woman. The old enemy, by creating new sects, had shaken the Faith in the very center of the provinces surrounding the eternal city. While in the east, Islam was driving back the last crusaders, in the west the Papacy was struggling with the Empire, which Frederic II had made as a fief of Satan. Throughout Christendom social union was undone, faith had grown weak, and love cold; but the old enemy was soon to discover the power of the reaction Heaven was preparing for the relief of the aged world. Then it was that Our Lady presented to Her angered Son St. Dominic and St. Francis, that, by uniting learning with self-abnegation, they might counterbalance the ignorance and luxury of the world; then, too, St. Philip Benizi, the Servite of the Mother of God, received from Her the mission of preaching through Italy, France, and Germany, the unspeakable sufferings whereby She became the Co-Redemptrix of the human race.

The Breviary lessons begin with a short account of a miraculous event in St. Philip’s infancy, but does not give all the edifying details. He was born on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1233—the same day upon which the Blessed Virgin was appearing to the “Seven Holy Founders” to urge them on towards the foundation of the Servite Order. When but five months old, on beholding St. Alexis and St. Buonagiunta, two of the Seven Holy Founders, approaching in quest of alms, he exclaimed: “Mother, here come our Lady’s Servants; give them an alms for the love of God”.

St. Philip was born at Florence of the noble family of the Benizi, and from his very cradle gave signs of his future sanctity. When he was scarcely five months old he received the power of speech by a miracle, and exhorted his mother to bestow an alms on the servants of the Mother of God. As a youth, he pursued his studies at Paris, where he was remarkable for his ardent piety, and enkindled in many hearts a longing for our heavenly fatherland. After his return home he had a wonderful vision in which he was called by the Blessed Virgin to join the newly founded Order of the Servites. He therefore retired into a cave on Mount Senario, and there led an austere and penitential life, sweetened by meditation on the sufferings of Our Lord. Afterwards he travelled over nearly all Europe and a great part of Asia, preaching the Gospel and instituting everywhere the sodality of the Seven Dolors of the Mother of God, while he propagated his Order by the wonderful example of his virtues.

He was consumed with love of God and zeal for the propagation of the Catholic Faith. In spite of his refusals and resistance he was chosen General of his Order. He sent some of his brethren to preach the Gospel in Scythia (modern-day Kazakhstan), while he himself journeyed from city to city in Italy repressing civil dissensions, and recalling many to the obedience of the Roman Pontiff. His unremitting zeal for the salvation of souls won the most abandoned sinners from the depths of vice to a life of penance and to the true love of Jesus Christ. He was very much given to prayer and was often seen rapt in ecstasy. He loved and honored holy virginity, and preserved it unspotted to the end of his life by means of the greatest voluntary austerities.

He was remarkable for his love and pity for the poor. On one occasion when a poor leper begged an alms of him at Camigliano, a village of Siena, he gave him his own garment, which the beggar had no sooner put on than his leprosy was cleansed. The fame of this miracle having spread far and wide, some of the Cardinals who were assembled at Viterbo for the election of a successor to Pope Clement IV, then lately deceased, thought of choosing St. Philip, as they were aware of his heavenly prudence. On learning this, the man of God, fearing lest he should be forced to take upon himself the pastoral office hid himself at Montamiata until after the election of Pope Gregory X. By his prayers he obtained for the baths of that place, which still bear his name, the virtue of healing the sick (see image at right). At length, in the year 1285, he died a most holy death at Todi, while in the act of kissing the image of his crucified Lord, which he used to call his book. The blind and lame were healed at his tomb, and the dead were brought back to life. His name having become illustrious by these and many other miracles, Pope Clement X enrolled him among the saints.

“Philip, draw near, and join thyself to this chariot” (Acts 8: 29). When the world was smiling on his youth and offering him renown and pleasures, St. Philip received this invitation from the Blessed Virgin Mary. She was seated in a golden chariot which signified the religious life; a mourning mantle wrapped Her round; a dove was fluttering about Her head; a lion and a lamb were drawing Her chariot over precipices from whose depths were heard the groans of Hell. It was a prophetic vision: he was to traverse the earth accompanied by the Mother of Sorrows; and this world, which Hell had already everywhere undermined, was to have no dangers for him; for gentleness and strength were to be his guides, and simplicity his inspiration. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land” (Matt. 5: 4).

But this gentle virtue was to avail him chiefly against Heaven itself; Heaven, which wrestles with the mighty, and which had in store for him the terrible trial of an utter abandonment, such as had made even the God-Man tremble. After years of prayer and labor and heroic devotedness, for his reward St. Philip was seemingly rejected by God and disowned by the Church, while imminent ruin threatened all those whom Mary had confided to him. In spite of Her promises, the existence of his sons the Servites was assailed by no less an authority than that of two General Councils, whose resolutions the Vicar of Christ had determined to confirm.

After St. Philip Benizi was elected General on June 5, 1267, the Order, which had long been the object of unjust attack from jealous enemies, entered into the crisis of its existence. The Second Council of Lyons in 1274 put into execution the ordinance of the Fourth Lateran Council, forbidding the foundation of new religious orders, and absolutely suppressed all mendicant institutions not yet approved by the Holy See. The aggressors renewed their assaults, and in the year 1276 Pope Innocent V in a letter to St. Philip declared the Order suppressed. St. Philip proceeded to Rome, but before his arrival there Innocent V had died. His successor lived but five weeks. Finally Pope John XXI, on the favorable opinion of three consistorial advocates, decided that the Order should continue as before. The former dangers reappeared under Pope Martin V (1281), and though other popes continued to favor the Order, it was not definitively approved until Pope Benedict XI issued the Bull “Dum levamus” (February 11, 1304).

Our Mother of Sorrows had given St. Philip, together with the Seven Holy Founders, an opportunity to drink of the chalice of Her sufferings. St. Philip did not live to see the triumph of the cause which was Hers as well as his; but as the ancient patriarchs saluted from afar the accomplishment of the promises, so death could not shake his calm and resigned confidence. He left his spiritual daughter, St. Juliana Falconieri, and her uncle St. Alexis Falconieri, to obtain by their prayers before the face of the Lord, what he could not gain from the powers of this world. Of the Seven Founders, St. Alexis alone lived to see their foundation raised to the dignity of an Order. He died in 1310.

– Found Online Here

Protests At Planned Murderhood Today Aug. 22

HoldingBabiesHead-CMPVideo6-854px_810_500_55_s_c1Join Voces Unidas Por La Vida to Protest Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and selling of aborted baby parts. Join Catholics around the Phoenix Arizona in Prayer and Protest on August 22, 2015 at the three following facilities. 

Planned Parenthood Phoenix- 4751 N 15th St. Phoenix, AZ 85014 10:00AM – 12:00PM ·

Planned Parenthood Glendale – 5771 W Eugie Glendale, AZ 85304 9:00AM – 11:00AM ·

Planned Parenthood Tempe – 1250 E Apache Blvd Suite 108 Tempe 9:00AM – 11:00AM

Apostasy Don Pietro Leone # 3

Tynemouth_PrioryPART 2.

    II  The Refusal to Honour God

In verse 21 St Paul writes: ‘…when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God or given thanks’. Here he mentions the two religious duties that man owes to God in virtue of His infinite glory and goodness, respectively. In turning away from God, man has in effect refused to fulfill these duties.

This is particularly obvious in the domain of the Holy Mass where the Church’s new liturgy reflects Her new doctrine. The offering of the Holy Mass of course is in itself the highest and most perfect means to glorify God and to give Him thanks – indeed the most common synonym for the Holy Mass is ‘The Eucharist’, which means thanksgiving.

The Old Rite enables man to offer glory to God and give Him thanks in the most adequate and sublime manner possible. The Novus Ordo Missae, by contrast, is signally defective in this regard. Apart from the suppression of the mention of the Most Holy Trinity (as stated above) – the very object of the glory offered by the Mass, the prayer ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo’ as we noted in the same essay, has been removed from the majority of the Masses offered in the course of the liturgical year. In the same spirit the vast majority of acts of Adoration which the rubrics of the Old Rite had safeguarded, have been eliminated from the modern Mass, such as the bows, the signs of the Cross, the genuflections, the silence, together with all the reverent demeanour on the part of the celebrant and the assisting faithful.

We invite any-one who claims that the two rites are of equal value to reflect upon these changes. How can a rite, for example, which prescribes Communion on the tongue to the kneeling faithful be of equal value to one that permits and indeed fosters Communion in the hand to the standing faithful?

In fact each Mass in itself always gives equal value to God, but the manner in which any given Mass is offered is not of equal value to the manner in which any other Mass is offered. If one takes two identical precious stones and mounts one in a precious setting and on a precious ring which entirely suit the stone, and the other in a cheap and vulgar setting and ring, then clearly the former object will have a greater value than the latter.

*

In turning away from God, man rejects the True and the Good in their ultimate sense, that is to say as they exist in God Himself. In the next section we consider the former phenomenon; in the following section the latter. In later sections we shall be concerned to expose the irrationality and evil of contemporary society.

     III Foolishness

St. Paul continues (vv.21-3) that men, not glorifying God or giving Him thanks, ‘became vain in their thinking. And their foolish heart was darkened. For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…

In commentary on the phrase ‘their foolish heart was darkened’ it may be said that this foolishness consists in the rejection of God, and that this rejection darkens the intellect and will, represented, in Jewish imagery, by the heart.

God is the True: Objective Truth, Being, Objective Reality in the ultimate sense of the term. Atheism, in rejecting God, has rejected truth: it has substituted truth for falsehood (as St. Paul states in v. 25); and since knowledge is knowledge of the Truth and philosophy is the knowledge of Truth in the ultimate sense of the term, atheism has effectively excluded a priori both the possibility of knowledge and philosophy.

The atheist modern philosophers are fantasy-spinners. It would have been better for them to have become science-fiction writers. At least they would then have revealed themselves for what they were and earned their keep honestly. What is reality? What is the basis of morality? What am I? One of them excogitates a theory and another refutes it. The questions become unanswerable, and, at the end of the day, entirely otiose.

Within the Church, the Modernists, by now of a certain age, are spinning similar fantasies. We would not wish to pass over in silence the recent denial on the part of  Bishops of the Real Presence of Our Blessed Lord, or of the sublime privileges of the Most Blessed and Glorious Virgin Mary, nor of the long-standing promotion of abortion by the German Bishops’ Conference: Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland.

These various fantasies, when set alongside true Church doctrines, create the syncretistic amalgam of Truth and Falsehood that we have delineated above.

One of the most effective ways in which Modernism has entered the hearts of the clergy and of the faithful is, however, by means of the Novus Ordo Missae, for according to the principle of lex orandi, lex credendi they have by their celebration of, and assistance at, this rite, imbibed the falsehood of the new and false theology, and their heart has been darkened and closed to the Truth. Who in the Novus Ordo clergy and hierarchy, or even among those who are biritual, has retained a clear and unsullied vision of Absolute, Supernatural Truth?

Herumstolzierend, the modern philosophers and thinkers make ungainly incursions into the field of practical ethics such as sexuality and unborn life. Acclaimed and even knighted in their latter years for their intellectual achievements, they profess, like the Modernists, ‘to be wise’: ‘… with that vainglory that allows them to regard themselves as the sole possessors of knowledge, and makes them say, elated and inflated with presumption: We are not like other men’ (Pascendi § 40).

We reply to the Modernist and the modern philosopher in the words of Shakespeare (Henry IV Pt. I, Act 5 Scene 5): ‘I know thee not old man. Fall to thy prayers. How ill white hairs become a fool…’

     IV  Idolatry

And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of a corruptible man and of birds, and of four-footed beasts and of creeping things…

Rejecting God from the heart, that is from the intellect and the will, they reject the proper object of these faculties, which is God under the aspect of Infinite Truth and Infinite Good respectively: for the intellect has been created to know God under the aspect of the True, and to love Him under the aspect of the Good.

Once God has been rejected from the heart, once the heart has lost its orientation to its proper object, it is darkened and falls onto surrogate objects: onto finite, created things, onto idols: devils, men, animals, or graven images. In short the men who reject God, in falling away from Him, ‘worship(ped) and serve(d) the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.’ (v.25).

The Book of Wisdom (ch. 12 ff.) which serves as a background for St. Paul’s account of Apostasy, specifies graven images as the object of men’s worship; St. Paul, by contrast, specifies animals and man. The modern apostate society, by contrast, has clearly elected man as the object of his worship.

Modern philosophy, in denying or doubting of God’s existence, has placed man in the centre of the Universe. It has developed two distinct systems of ethics for his conduct: hedonism and humanism. It will not now be necessary to expound the shallowness of hedonism, of which we shall offer an egregious example below, instead we shall here confine ourselves to a brief comment on humanism.

He who believes in God, recognizes that the dignity and perfection of man reside in his love of God, and that his moral conduct must be determined by God’s will, particularly as expressed in the natural law. The atheist humanist, by contrast, is incapable of appreciating the dignity of man or the natural law that should govern his every action; in rejecting God, he has in effect rejected any adequate foundation for man’s dignity and morality. Indeed he has rejected objective reality itself and has thus rendered himself incapable of understanding man or his morality except by reference to the subjective order, by reference to man’s happiness and fulfillment.

Undeniably this same humanism has entered into contemporary Catholic moral teaching, even if Catholic doctrine is by its very nature divine. As St. Paul explicitly states (Gal.1. 11): ‘For I give you to understand, brethren, that the gospel that was preached by me, is not according to man’.

The new doctrinal and moral stance of the Church, by contrast, from the Second Vatican Council onwards, with its advocation of the principle of Mercy over the condemnation of error, its love for the entire world qua world, its promotion of the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the abolition of the Index, the purported expansion of the Church beyond the bounds of the Catholic Church, the promotion of a heady and euphoric Ecumenism are so many instances of a new, all-pervasive spirit of love which is no longer that of Charity.

Charity is the supernatural love of God and the neighbour in God in the state of Grace, which ‘rejoices in the Truth’, which consists in fulfilling the commandments, and which is perfected in sanctity. The new spirit of love, by contrast, is the love of the senses: feelings, sentimentality, conformity to the feelings of others. It is a subjective form of love. In the shift from the former to the latter we have witnessed a shift from the objective to the subjective, from the supernatural virtue of love to the passion of love; we have witnessed a pale and effeminate simulacrum disguising itself as true love and deceiving the masses. The deception continues to the present day and, as we have attempted to show in the book on the family, is particularly evident in Magisterial Personalism and Theology of the Body.

Man is placed at the centre of the world in contemporary Church doctrine, then, as well as in Her liturgy, where as we argued in detail in the book on the New Mass, Our Lord Jesus Christ has been ousted from His due position of honour and substituted by man.

V  Depravity

Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness: to dishonour their own bodies among themselves… ’ (v.24).

We first observe that the phrase ‘God gave them up’ (which thrice appears in the section under consideration) refers to God’s withholding Grace from sinners in response to the gravity of their sin.

More On Planned Murderhood, Pass It On

Traditional Catholic Forgiving

We are all sinners in desperate need of God’s mercy and forgiveness.  As traditional Catholics we have had more than our fair share of persecution.  But if we want to be followers of Jesus Christ we need to obey His teaching about forgiveness.Prodigal-sonProdigal Son

For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences.  But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.  Matthew 6:14-15.

In the last years of my mothers life, she would always say that she forgave anyone who had ever done wrong to her.  She kept saying, ‘If I want to be forgiven by God, I need to forgive others’.

The Our Father says the same thing.

‘And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’.

When St. Peter asked Jesus about forgiving, he said:

Then came Peter unto him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?  Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times.

Daily we offend God.  Daily we offend others, (mostly without intending it).  And daily we are offended too.  But collecting all this pain and holding on to it just to get back at those who unjustly do terrible actions against us, does no good for us and does nothing to solve the problem.

Let us just focus on what sins we have committed against God and others, and leave the punishment of evil people to God.  Our only worry should be to be sure we are forgiven by God for our sins before we die, and not about what happens to those who sin against us.

Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.

If we forgive many times, we will be forgiven by God many times.  If we are really really sorry for our sins, trying not to commit them again and going to confession, God will endlessly forgive us. There is no amount of times God can forgive us.  Once this being said, there is an amount of time in which we can be forgiven and that is before we die.  The times of forgiveness is infinite, but the time to be forgiven is finite.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to able to move on from our past sins that have been forgiven in confession and from those who have sinned against us.  Let us continue to let go of all hurts, offenses and injustice to be able to freely live today in joy.