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

UNION OF THE SOUL WITH HER GOD, WHICH IS PERFECTED IN PRAYER – St. Francis De Sales

HOW LOVE EFFECTS THE UNION OF THE SOUL WITH GOD IN PRAYER.

WE speak not here of the general union of the heart with its God, but of certain particular acts and movements which the soul, recollected in God, makes by way of prayer, to be more and more united and joined to his divine goodness: for there is truly a difference between joining or uniting one thing to another, and clasping or pressing one thing against or upon another; because to join or unite there is only required an application of one thing to the other, so that they may touch, and be together, as we join vines to elms, and jessamine to the trellis-work of the arbours which are made in gardens.

But to squeeze and press together, a strong application must be made, which increases and augments the union; so that to clasp together is to join strongly and closely, as we see ivy joined to trees, which is not united only, but pressed and clasped so hard to them that it even penetrates and enters into their bark. We must not drop the comparison of the love of little children towards their mothers, because of its innocence and purity.

Regard, then, that sweet little child, to whom the seated mother presents  her breast. It casts itself into her arms, gathering and folding its little body in this bosom and on this beloved breast. And see the mother, reciprocally, how, receiving it she clasps it, and as it were glues it to her bosom, and joining her mouth to its mouth kisses it. But see again this little babe, allured with its mother’s caresses, how for its part it concurs in this union between its mother and itself: for it also, as much as it possibly can, squeezes and presses itself to its mother’s breast and face, as though it would wholly dive into, and hide itself in that beloved being from whom it came.

Now, Theotimus, in this moment union is perfect; which being but one, proceeds notwithstanding from the mother and the child, yet so, that it has its whole dependence upon the mother. For she drew the child to her, she first locked it in her arms, and pressed it to her breast; nor had the babe strength enough to clasp and keep itself so tight to its mother.

Yet the poor little one does for its part what it can, and joins itself with all its strength to its mother’s bosom, not consenting only to the delightful union which its mother makes, but contributing, with all its heart, its feeble endeavours: and I say its feeble endeavours, because they are so weak that they rather resemble efforts after union than actual union.

Thus then, Theotimus, our Saviour, showing the most delightful breast of his divine love to the devout soul, draws her wholly to himself, gathers her up, and as it were folds all her powers in the bosom of his more than motherly sweetness, and then burning with love, he clasps the soul, joins, presses and glues her on his lips of sweetness, and to his delicious breast, kissing her with the sacred  kiss of his mouth, and making her relish his breasts more sweet than wine.

Then the soul, allured with the delights of these favours, not only consents, and yields herself to the union which God makes, but with all her power co-operates, forcing herself to join and clasp herself closer and closer to the divine goodness; yet in such a way that she fully acknowledges her union and attachment to this sovereign sweetness to be wholly dependent upon God’s operation, without which she could not make the least effort in the world to be united unto him.

When we see an exquisite beauty beheld with great ardour, or an excellent melody heard with great attention, or a rare discourse listened to with great satisfaction, we are wont to say that this beauty rivets the eyes of the spectators, this music takes the ears, and this discourse captivates the hearts, of the auditors. What does this mean—to rivet the eyes and ears, or to captivate the heart—save to unite and most closely join these senses and powers to their objects?

The soul then closely joins herself to, and presses herself upon, her object, when she exercises her affection towards it with great intensity; for pressure is nothing more than the progress and advancement of the union and conjunction. We make use of this word, according to our language, even in moral matters: he presses me to do this, or he presses me to stay, that is, he does not merely use his persuasion and prayer, but does it with earnestness and entreaty, as did the pilgrims in Emmaus, who not only petitioned our Saviour, but even pressed and forcibly urged him, and compelled him by a loving violence to remain in their lodging with them.

Now in prayer this union is often made by manner of little yet frequent flights and advancings of the soul towards God: and if you take notice of little children united and joined to their mothers’ breasts, you will see that ever and anon they press and clasp closer, with little movements which the pleasure they take in sucking makes them give: so the heart united to God in prayer often makes certain renewals of union, by movements which press and join it more closely to the divine sweetness.

As for example, the soul having long dwelt in the feeling of the union whereby she sweetly tastes how happy she is to belong to God, in fine, augmenting this union by an amorous pressing and moving forwards: Yea, Lord, will she say, I am thine, all, all, all, without reserve; or: Ah Lord! I am so indeed, and will be daily ever more; or, by way of prayer: O sweet Jesus! Ah! draw me still more deeply into thy heart, that thy love may devour me, and that I may be swallowed up in its sweetness.

But at other times the union is made not by repeated movements, but by way of a continued insensible pressing and advancing of the heart in the divine goodness. For as we see a great and heavy mass of lead, brass or stone, though not forced down, so work itself, sink down, and press itself, into the earth where it lies, that at length it is found buried, by reason of the effect of its weight, which makes it incessantly tend to the centre;—so our heart, being once joined to God, if without being drawn away it remain in this union, sinks still deeper by an insensible progress of union, till it is wholly in God, by reason of the sacred inclination given it by love to unite itself ever more and more to the sovereign goodness.

For as the great apostle of France says: “Love is a unitive virtue:” that is, it carries us to perfect union with the sovereign good. And since it is an undoubted truth that divine love, while we are in this life, is a movement, or at least a habit active and tending to movement; even after it has attained simple union, it ceases not to act, though imperceptibly, in order more and more to increase and perfect it.

So trees that require transplanting, as soon as they are moved spread their roots and lodge them deeply in the bosom of the earth, which is their element and their aliment, nor do any perceive it while it is doing, but only after it is done. And man’s heart, transplanted out of the world into God by celestial love, if it earnestly practise prayer, will certainly ever extend itself, and will fasten itself to the Divinity, uniting itself more and more to his goodness, but by imperceptible advances, whose progress one can hardly see while it is doing, but only when it is done.

If you drink any exquisite water, for instance, imperial water, the simple union of it with you is instantly made upon your receiving it; for the receiving and union is all one in this case; but afterwards by little and little this union is increased, by a progress imperceptibly sensible: for the virtue of this water penetrating to all parts, will strengthen the brain, invigorate the heart, and extend its influence through all your humours.

In like manner, a feeling of love—as for example: How good God is!—having got entrance into the heart, at first causes union with this goodness; but being entertained for some fairly long time, as a precious perfume it penetrates every part of the soul, pours out and dilates itself in our will, and as it were, incorporates itself with our spirit, joining and fastening itself on every side more and more closely to us, and uniting us to it.

And this is what the great David teaches us, when he compares the sacred words to honey; for who knows not that the sweetness of honey is united more and more to our sense by a continual increase of savour, when, keeping it a good while in our mouth, or swallowing it slowly, the relish thereof more deeply penetrates our sense of taste. In the same way that sentiment of the divine goodness, expressed in those words of S. Bruno: O Goodness! or those of S. Thomas: My Lord and my God! or those of S. Magdalen: Ah! my Master! or those of S. Francis: My God and my All!—this sentiment, I say, having been kept some while within a loving heart, dilates itself, spreads itself, and sinks into the spirit by an intimate penetration, and more and more steeps it all in its savour.

This is nothing else than to increase union; as does precious ointment or balm, which, falling upon cotton-wool, so sinks into it and unites itself to it more and more, little by little, that in the end one cannot easily say whether the wool is perfumed or perfume, or, whether the perfume is wool, or the wool perfume. Oh! how happy is the soul who in the tranquillity of her heart lovingly preserves the sacred feeling of God’s presence!

For her union with the divine goodness will have continual though imperceptible increase, and will thoroughly steep the spirit of such a one in infinite sweetness. Now when I speak here of the sacred sentiment of the presence of God, I do not mean to speak of a sensible feeling, but of that which resides in the summit and supreme point of the spirit, where heavenly love reigns and conducts its principal exercises.

St. Philomena The Wonder Worker

St. Philomena The Wonder Worker by Father Paul O’Sullivan, O.P.  is an absolutely wonderful book that will greatly aid in furthering a devotion to this saint.

I read this several years ago and our entire family enjoyed it and developed a devotion to this saint.

She was a favorite of St. John Vianney and he promoted her devotion far and wide.

I was looking for this book in an online format so it could be shared on the blog and I was able to find a PDF version of it.

While reading from an actual book is easier, this books is only 90 or so pages and the online version would be free so I thought it worthwhile to put it up here.

If you would like to purchase this book you can find a few copies on Ebay for under $6 here. You can also find newer versions on Amazon here.

And if you would rather read it online or download the pdf  just click here.

Additionally, here is a litany composed by St. John Vianney to help encourage her intercession for us.

Lord have mercy on us.

Christ have mercy on us.

Lord have mercy on us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Queen of Virgins,

St. Philomena, pray for us.

St. Philomena, filled with the most abundant
graces from your very birth, pray for us.

St. Philomena, faithful imitator of Mary, pray for us.

St. Philomena. model of Virgins, pray for us.

St. Philomena, temple of the most perfect humility, pray for us.

St. Philomena, inflamed with zeal for the Glory of God, pray for us.

St. Philomena, victim of the love of Jesus, pray for us.

St. Philomena, example of strength and perseverance, pray for us.

St. Philomena, invincible champion of chastity, pray for us.

St. Philomena, mirror of the most heroic virtues, pray for us.

St. Philomena, firm and intrepid in the face of torments, pray for us.

St. Philomena, scourged like your Divine Spouse, pray for us.

St. Philomena, pierced by a shower of arrows, pray for us.

St. Philomena, consoled by the Mother of God, when in chains, pray for us.

St. Philomena, cured miraculously in prison, pray for us.

St. Philomena, comforted by angels in your torments, pray for us.

St. Philomena, who preferred torments and death to the splendors of a throne, pray for us.

St. Philomena, who converted the witnesses of your martyrdom, pray for us.

St. Philomena, who wore out the fury of your executioners, pray for us.

St. Philomena, protectress of the innocent, pray for us.

St. Philomena, patron of youth, pray for us.

St. Philomena, refuge of the unfortunate, pray for us.

St. Philomena, health of the sick and the weak. pray for us.

St. Philomena, new light of the church militant, pray for us.

St. Philomena, who confounds the impiety of the world, pray for us.

St. Philomena, who stimulates the faith and courage of the faithful, pray for us.

St. Philomena, whose name is glorified in Heaven and feared in Hell, pray for us.

St. Philomena, made illustrious by the most striking miracles, pray for us.

St. Philomena, all powerful with God, pray for us.

St. Philomena, who reigns in glory, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V.) Pray for us, Great St. Philomena,

R.) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

We implore Thee, O Lord, by the intercession of Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, who was ever most pleasing to Thy eyes by reason of her eminent purity and the practice of all the virtues, pardon us our sins and grant us all the graces we need (and name any special grace you may require). Amen.

Sermon for Palm Sunday – St. Vincent Ferrer

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” (Mt 12:9).

   This text is taken as the basis of our sermon. It is a short and very devout song composed by the Holy Spirit, and today sung with devotion to Christ, when he solemnly  entered the city of Jerusalem.  We sing it today many times, representing that solemnity,  Christ coming into the city of Jerusalem: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

   The whole solemnity of Palm Sunday today consists of three points:

 — First is about the honor and solemnity today coming to Christ shown by the city of Jerusalem in which he was received honorably [receptus honorabiliter].

 — Second is about the solemnity which we today give, representing him appropriately [repraesentando appropriate].

 — Third is about the way which Christ walks today, coming into the city of Jerusalem virtuously [veniendo virtuose]

   And for each of these in particular and for all of them in general we should sing and say to God, “Blessed is he who comes,” etc.

RECEIVED HONORABLY

   The first point today is about the honor and solemnity which the Jews showed. In the temple they praised and blessed Christ coming into the city of Jerusalem, where he was received honorably with great joy and festivity.  Very remarkable.  I find that Christ came to Jerusalem often and for many reasons, and there was never any celebration nor honor given like today.

Christ first came to Jerusalem for the Presentation,  fifty days after his birth, when the Virgin Mary presented him in the temple.  We do not read that there was a solemn reception then, except that Simeon and Anna adored him, as is clear in Luke 2.  He was tiny, and the procession was tiny.  But his body grew, and his compassion grew, and the time came when he was no longer carried in the arms of the Virgin, but on the back of an ordinary donkey, not to be redeemed with [sacrificed] doves [birds], but he would redeem all men by his blood.

Second, Christ came to the city of Jerusalem for debating, when he was twelve years old. There was no celebration for him at that time.

   Third, he came for prayer.  In accord with the law, he would come to Jerusalem for  every feast day, and would enter the temple.

   Fourth, he came to stamp out sins and notorious vices, because the high priests by their greed had made of the temple a house of business, Jn 2.  Nor was there any celebration for him then.

   Fifth he came to preach, often, because  that city was a metropolis and the capital of the province.

   Sixth, he came to reveal his divinity by working miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead.  Not even then was there a celebration.

   Seventh, he came for sacrificing himself.   Today he wished to enter Jerusalem , [the place] where he should suffer for the redemption of the human race.  Then there was a great festival for him and a solemnity celebrated.

   For this reason, I reply there that although Christ had performed many good things for us, nevertheless we are bound and obliged to him more for the work of his passion and death, that for all the others.  We are bound to praise and bless him for the work of the incarnation which he did out of love of us. Also for the teaching and preaching which he had given, going from village to village. But above all we are bound [to bless] him for the work of  the passion, because the Lord himself wished to die for the servants, the king for his subjects, a just man for the unjust, the innocent one for sinners.  So Bernard: “Above all , good Jesus, the chalice of the passion which you drank, the work of our redemption, renders you beloved to me.”

   See the reason why God put it into the hearts of the people that he be received so solemnly when he came to Jerusalem for sacrificing.

   This solemnity consists in six circumstances or ceremonies which were done for him

   First, because he wished to enter riding.  It is not read anywhere that Christ ever rode an animal.  Only today, when he entered Jerusalem. And then he rode on a colt of an ass, according to the prophecy of Zach 9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: Behold your king will come to you, the just and savior: he is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass,” (Zach 9:9). Then was fulfilled that prophecy.

   Read how he sent two disciples from Bethphage, according to the Gloss, Peter and Philip, for the donkey and colt, etc.  A tethered ass signifies the Jewish people, the synagogue bound by the chain of the law of Moses, which chain has three links, namely the three kinds of precepts: the ceremonial precepts which order a person toward God; second, the judicial precepts, which order one to the neighbor; third, the moral precepts which order a person regarding himself, how everyone should live.   The colt which had not yet had been tied, nor had ever borne a burden on its back, signifies the Gentiles, who had no chain of law around their neck, nor burden of precepts on their back.  It signifies that Christ not only had come to redeem and save the Jews, abut also the Gentiles and pagans.   Thus he observed this ceremony, because he wished first to ride on the ass, which he had to untie, because at the time of the Messiah-king all prefiguring and ceremonies should cease. Second, he wished to ride on the unbroken colt, not out of necessity, but that the scripture and prefiguring should be fulfilled.  Because the Gentiles also should be converted to Christ.  Thus the Apostle, “and whosoever believes in him shall not be confounded,” (Rom 9:33).

   The second ceremony or circumstance is this.  He wished today to enter Jerusalem in a procession, because a great crowd preceded him and followed him, and he with the apostles went in the middle. Just as we do today in processions in which many precede and many follow, and the bishop or priest who represents Christ, in the middle with the priests. And the gospel says that both the ones preceding and the ones following were looking back saying “Hosanna to the son of David,” (v. 9).  In this is shown that all who preceded, from Abel down to Christ, namely the Patriarchs and Prophets, as well as also those who would follow, down to the end of the world, all look upon Christ through faith, saying, “Hosanna,” etc.  Because no one can be saved, unless through Christ.  Therefore Gen 49: “I will look for thy salvation, O Lord,” (Gen 49:18). And, in Acts 4: “Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved,” (Acts 4:12).

   The third circumstance is this.  The entire route, from the Mount of Olives up to Jerusalem was covered.  Such was the  devotion of the people, that not with caps [cappis] or other decorations [ornamentis], but with the coats and capes of men and women, they paved the path, the Evangelists says, ” Ad a very great multitude spread their garments in the way,” (v. 8).   Why this?  I reply that this was a figure of future martyrs, as is clear in sacred scripture.  The human body is called the clothing of the soul, which clothing the vast crowd of martyrs, would lay down on the way, dying for their faith in Christ.  So David says, in the person of martyrs: ” Because for thy sake we are killed all the day long: we are counted as sheep for the slaughter,” (Ps 43:22). Also in the Apocalypse 7 it says of martyrs: “These are they who are come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb,” i.e. of Christ, (Rev 7:14).

The fourth ceremony consisted of the tree branches.  The Evangelist says that ” others cut boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way,” (v. 8), namely flowers and leaves and branches from trees.  It was a sign. For in sacred scripture men are called trees.  Mark 8: “I see men as it were trees, walking,” (Mk 8:24).  From these trees, flowers, leaves and branches of merit and good works are to be spread out before the way of Christ, namely that they be done for him, because otherwise they are worthless.  Jn 15: “for without me you can do nothing,” (Jn 15:5), of merit.

   The fifth was, because he wished to be praised and blessed both by the great as well as by the small, and Hosannas cried out, according to that of David: “Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings you have perfected praise,” (Ps 8:3).  This was to show that by virtue of his passion not only adults and great ones are saved through penance, but also children through innocence.  Wis 6: “For he made the little and the great, and he has equally care of all,” (Wis 6:8).

   Sixth, because all, both the great as well as the small with one voice were saying, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” (v. 9). In which it is shown that he was the universal redeemer of all. Authority: “For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave himself a redemption for all,” (1 Tim 2:5f).

   From all this we understand why and how today this solemnity was celebrated for Christ and not otherwise.  About this Zacharias,the father of John the Baptist, had prophesied saying: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; because he has visited and wrought the redemption of his people,” (Lk 1:68).

REPRESENTED APPROPRIATELY

   The second point which touches us more, is about the solemnity which we make, representing that solemnity appropriately given today to Christ, because just as Christ today with solemnity and procession came to the place of his passion, so also we today with great solemnity and procession, come to the passion which today is read in the mass.   Someone might ask: “Why is the passion of Christ read today with such solemnity?”    Because the passion of Christ ought to generate sadness and pain in the hearts of the faithful, and not happiness and joy.  Note how the passion and death of Christ can be received and considered in a fourfold way, according to which it is read four times in the church, according to the four gospels.

   First it can be viewed and thought about from the point of view of his personal dignity,  considering the person who suffers, who is Christ, King, father [papa], Lord, innocent and pure.  And according to this consideration the passion of Christ brings sadness, pain, tears and sighs to Christians.  In this respect the passion of Christ is read on Good Friday, on which the bells are not rung, and people prostrate themselves, sad, and bowing their heads.  In this respect the prophet Jeremiah considered the passion of Christ saying, “And I was as a meek lamb, that is carried to be a victim,” (Jer 11:19).

   In a second way the passion of Christ can be received and considered according to human necessity, because we are all weak and wounded by the plague of sins, nor can we be cured except by the blood of Christ, who willed to suffer for our sins.  Isa 53: “But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins,” (Isa 53:5).  And according to this point of view the passion of Christ urges us to contrition and sorrow for our sins, for which it was necessary for Christ to suffer and die.  And in this respect  the passion of Christ is read in the church on Wednesday, according to the gospel of Luke.

   A third way it can be considered according to judicial perversity, because the Jews had been honored by God, the sons of the prophets and patriarchs, the people chosen by God and yet so strongly they had rebelled against their God.  In this respect the passion of Christ gives us an occasion for compassion  for that reprobate people, destroyed and damned by the passion of Christ.  And from this point of view the passion of Christ is read in church on Tuesday.  And in this way the prophet Zacharias considered the passion of Christ, saying: “What are these wounds in the midst of your hands? And he shall say: With these I was wounded in the house of them who loved me,” (Zach 13:6).

   Fourth, the passion of Christ can be heard and pondered according to its ultimate usefulness, because from the passion of Christ we have been freed from damnation to hell, from mortal sins, and we have grace in this world and glory in the next.  See the ultimate utility of the passion of Christ. And seen in this way the passion of Christ generates in us joy, happiness, exultation and consolation. This is why the passion of Christ is read today [on Palm Sunday] with such solemnity, joy and happiness, singing, “Glory and praise.”   So Isaiah says: “Rejoice, and give praise together, deserted Jerusalem: for the Lord has comforted his people: he has redeemed Jerusalem,” (Isa 52:9).  Note, the “deserted Jerusalem,” about which the Apostle says in Galatians 4: “But that Jerusalem, which is above, is free,” (Gal 4:26), and from her all men of the world had deserted by her sins.  But now, already, it must be rejoiced, “…for the Lord has comforted his people,” by paying for them the price.  This is the reason why the passion today is read with joy.

   Here note the six differences of today’s joy as opposed to the six sorrows of Good Friday.

   The first sadness, because on Good Friday the holy bells are not rung, they are silenced.    Because in the passion and death of Christ, the bells, i.e. the apostles whose sound of preaching goes out to the whole world, according to the prophecy of David, lose their sound, because none dared to announce Christ, moreover the greater bell, namely Peter was broken by denying Christ, nor did John who was next to the cross dare to say anything in Christ’s behalf.  But today, considering the ultimate benefit of the passion of Christ we make a great solemnity, ringing the bells.

   The second sadness, because then the tables are struck, a sound of sadness and pain, and it symbolizes the sound of derision and blasphemy which they heaped on Christ in the passion.  But today the priests sing with a high and clear voice.  Reason: because of the passion of Christ, the souls of the blessed shall sing with the angels in glory.

   The third sadness is this.  On Good Friday the holy images, crosses and icons are hidden and covered, just as in the passion of Christ, the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalen and John and others covered their heads out of grief and sadness.  They could not gaze upon the cruel passion of Christ.  But today the cross is held high, solemnly, in a sign of the benefits of the passion of Christ.

   The fourth sadness is because on Good Friday, the holy passion is commemorated with tears and sorrows, to show the tears and sighs of the Virgin Mary and the others.  But today it is remembered with joy and gladness because of its ultimate usefulenss.

   The fifth sadness is because on Good Friday, people prostrate themselves, shoes off, grieving, and many fast on bread and water.  But today people walk in procession with great joy, well dressed, carrying branches in their hands which signify the victory which we have over our enemies by the passion of Christ.

   The sixth sadness, because then the passion is sung without any procession and order, for the apostles were dispersed, separated and divided.  But today a solemn procession takes place, and we all go, gathered and ordered, because from the passion of Christ we all are united and gathered. John 6 says that Christ was to die “to gather together in one the children of God, who were dispersed,” (Jn 11:52).  So we sing with joy: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” (v. 9).

THE WAY TO JERUSALEM

   The third point is about the way which Christ took coming into Jerusalem, which way is made up of six stages.

   The first stage. Christ, today, in the morning, left Bethany and came to Bethphage.  Second, from Bethphage to the Mount of Olives. Third from the Mount of Olives he descended into the Valley of Josephat.  Fourth from the Valley of Josaphat he came to Jerusalem.  Fifth, from Jerusalem he went into the Temple of God.  Sixth, from the Temple he returned to Bethany with the twelve apostles, as in Mark 11.   So, it seems that he had six stations.

    And this represents our path which we walk by sinning and returning to grace through t the way of penance.

    First, through sin we depart from Bethany which is interpreted “house of obedience,” from which we withdraw whenever we break the precepts of God for the sake of gaining  some earthly prize. In this withdrawal there should be weeping. So when Christ left Bethany, leaving Mary Magdalen, Martha and Lazarus, thanking them, because often they had received him into their home, Mary Magdalen began to weep, saying to Christ, “Lord where do you wish to go? because it is already decided in Jerusalem that they should kill you. So keep the paschal feast here, and your mother will come here.”  The apostles said the same, and Martha and Lazarus. They were afraid. Christ replied to them, “It is necessary to fulfill the will of him who sent me.”  Magdalen and all the others wept, saying, “Perhaps we shall never see you again.”    Tears in the departure from Bethany, in which it is shown that man, when he departs from the house of obedience ought to weep, through contrition, according to the prophecy of Jeremiah, 2: “Know you, and see that it is an evil and a bitter thing for you, to have left the Lord your God, and that my fear is not with you,” (Jer 2:19).  So, the first station.

   Second he comes to Bethphage, which is interpreted the “house of the cheek” or “house of the mouth.” This represents oral confession. After you have left Bethany, i.e. the house of obedience, with tears of contrition, it is necessary that you come to Bethphage, i.e. to the house of confessing your sins by mouth.  Bethphage is a village of priests. So confession has to be done to priests, because no one else, no matter how holy, can forgive sins, because only to the priests did Christ say, “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them,” (Jn 20:23).  Note “they are forgiven them,” he does not say they will be forgiven, because that very same hour in which they are forgiven by a confessor, they are forgiven by God.  “and whose sins you shall retain,”  namely by not absolving, because they were unwilling to refrain from sinning, or because they were unwilling to

make restitution, or because they were unwilling to forgive injuries, “they are retained,” (Jn 20:23) by God. Thus, the second station.

   Third, from Bethphage he went up the Mount of Olives. So, the works of satisfaction. The Mount of Olives has three conditions in which are signified the three works of satisfaction. First because the Mount of Olives is difficult. See here the difficulty of fastings, of vigils etc. Second because it is high. This stands for the height of prayer, which according to Damascene is the “elevation of the mind to God.”  Third because there olives grow, which are medicinal.   See, the generous giving of alms. “Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of penance,” (Mt 3:8).

   Fourth, from the Mount of Olives he descended into the valley of Josaphat, which means “the judgment of the Lord.”  Thus the repayment of debts, because the Lord shall judge irrevocably that everyone repay his debts.  Although you are in the Mount of Olives through satisfactory works, it is also required that you descend into the Valley of Josaphat, by restoring things taken in two ways, either spiritually or temporally. Spiritually a clergyman descends into the valley of Josaphat who obtained his prelacy or dignity or benefice by simony, because he committed theft. John 10: “He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up another way, the same is a thief and a robber,” (Jn 10:1).  The door represents legitimate election, without your assistance, or dealing.  It means a spiritual appointment is pure, because the Pope appointed you without your knowledge or dealing.   If you wish to be saved it is necessary to descend into the Valley of Josaphat by making reparations saying, “Lord I have stolen this, so I restore it to the hands of your vicar.”  In a secular matter, he who stole a castle, a villa, a home, a field or possessions or money, or something else descends into the Valley of Josaphat, when he restores it.  It is necessary to descend from the evil state. Let no one deceive you.  Also if you defame someone, it is necessary to descend to restoring to him his good name if it not true what you said, or if it is hidden or a secret.  If you say that it will be embarrassing or dangerous for you to recant,  I respond, it doesn’t matter, because the sin is not remitted until what was taken is restored.

   Fifth, from the valley of Josaphat he comes to Jerusalem which is interpreted as “peaceful”.  See here the forgiveness of injuries, when a man makes peace for himself with his enemy.  So David: “Pray you for the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem: and abundance for them who love you. Let peace be in your strength: and abundance in your towers,” (Ps 121:6-7). Note: “abundance,” because unless a greater person has peace with lesser and e converso, and the greater among themselves do not “abound” then there will be poor and the earth will be sterile. So the Apostle says: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness: without which no man shall see God,” (Heb 12:14).  Note peace and holiness go together, because some have peace but no holiness, but malice and sin likes robbers among themselves, like procurers with their prostitutes. Thus the buyer, seller and manager have peace but not holiness when they defraud each other.

   Sixth, from Jerusalem he enters the Temple of the Lord.  This means Holy Communion. After you have done the previous stations, you go to the Temple of the Lord for communion, nor do you expect that the Lord would come to you in your weakness, etc. Gen “Come in, you blessed of the Lord: why do you stand without?…And bread was set before him,” (Gen 24:31,34), which is allegorically said to every Christian.   This is the way to paradise which Christ showed to us by entering into Jerusalem. And so: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” Mt 12:9

Meditation – The Imitation Of Christ

THE kingdom of God is within you,” says the Lord. Turn, then, to God with all your heart. Forsake this wretched world and your soul shall find rest. Learn to despise external things, to devote yourself to those that are within, and you will see the kingdom of God come unto you, that kingdom which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, gifts not given to the impious.

Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart, whose beauty and glory, wherein He takes delight, are all from within. His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great, and His intimacy wonderful indeed.

Therefore, faithful soul, prepare your heart for this Bridegroom that He may come and dwell within you; He Himself says: “If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him.”

Give place, then, to Christ, but deny entrance to all others, for when you have Christ you are rich and He is sufficient for you. He will provide for you. He will supply your every want, so that you need not trust in frail, changeable men. Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end.

Do not place much confidence in weak and mortal man, helpful and friendly though he be; and do not grieve too much if he sometimes opposes and contradicts you. Those who are with us today may be against us tomorrow, and vice versa, for men change with the wind.

Place all your trust in God; let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you; He will do what is best for you. You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be, and you shall have no rest until you are wholly united with Christ.

Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose? Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away, and you together with them. Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish.

Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ. If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ’s passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds. If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men, and you will easily bear their slanderous talk.

When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men; in the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends to the depths of scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised; do you dare to complain of anything? He had enemies and defamers; do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor? How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity test it? How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship?

Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him. Had you but once entered into perfect communion with Jesus or tasted a little of His ardent love, you would care nothing at all for your own comfort or discomfort but would rejoice in the reproach you suffer; for love of Him makes a man despise himself. A man who is a lover of Jesus and of truth, a truly interior man who is free from uncontrolled affections, can turn to God at will and rise above himself to enjoy spiritual peace.

He who tastes life as it really is, not as men say or think it is, is indeed wise with the wisdom of God rather than of men. He who learns to live the interior life and to take little account of outward things, does not seek special places or times to perform devout exercises. A spiritual man quickly recollects himself because he has never wasted his attention upon externals. No outside work, no business that cannot wait stands in his way.

He adjusts himself to things as they happen. He whose disposition is well ordered cares nothing about the strange, perverse behavior of others, for a man is upset and distracted only in proportion as he engrosses himself in externals. If all were well with you, therefore, and if you were purified from all sin, everything would tend to your good and be to your profit. But because you are as yet neither entirely dead to self nor free from all earthly affection, there is much that often displeases and disturbs you.

Nothing so mars and defiles the heart of man as impure attachment to created things. But if you refuse external consolation, you will be able to contemplate heavenly things and often to experience interior joy.