Tuesday, September 27, 2011

From: The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God

In the United States, the 1960s marked the beginning of a breakdown in sexual mores and a rise in family disruption, joined with a culture of dissent as many tried to rationalize deviations from traditional morality. We witnessed a massive social experiment linked to genuine progress for which the Church was not prepared — discrimination against African-Americans and women was coming to an end, and Catholics were ever-increasingly undergoing assimilation into contemporary culture. As a result, Catholics began placing their spiritual lives in one compartment and their daily activities in the secular arena in another, commencing to treat their Catholic faith as an entirely private matter, open to a “pick-and-choose” approach to doctrine. Many theologians, religious educators and clergy succumbed to the same inducement. So it was hard for the doctrinal teaching of Vatican II to be heard; what did get through was often not the true council, but a “spirit” of Vatican II.
The Devil’s goal is to seduce, to lead people away from faithful obedience to God. All that he does with regard to human beings is willfully evil, in order that he might bring them spiritual, supernatural, eternal death.  I remind the reader of Paul VI’s insight (quoted in Chapter 1): “This matter of the Devil and of the influence he can exert on individuals as well as on communities, entire societies or events, is a very important chapter of Catholic doctrine which should be studied again, although it is given little attention today….” I hope to explain here that it was the sophistry of neomodernists theologians coupled with bishops sympathetic to their rebellion against the magisterium which influenced most Catholics’ views and practices regarding marriage and family in the face of the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s. In reading several of the more notable examples of this deceptive reasoning, remember that in Catholic teaching the Tempter is a “consummate deceiver” whose real designs are concealed behind what may seem to be divinely inspired, but are in reality instigated by him.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Libido III


Recent secular findings on the effects of the contraceptive mentality in our culture show that artificial contraception removes one of the key reasons for getting married - the moral incentive. They also reveal that while many middle and upper class men and women marry because it further serves their economic interest to do so, the poor are more likely to marry only for moral reasons. The result? In our contraceptive culture the poor have even less of an incentive to marry than do the other strata, and so have been hit harder by the negative consequences that resulted from the widespread use of contraceptives. In sum, the end results of the contraceptive revolution were promiscuity, the disintegration of the family, crime, and bitter relations between men and women, the poor among us paying the more dear.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

From: The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God

A regular observance throughout my years as a Catholic educator has been that when Mass is celebrated on major Liturgical Feasts and Holy Days, the reaction of the student body at large is never generally one of excitement at the possibility of their sanctification and a chance to draw yet even closer to Our Lord. Furthermore, many students do not attend Mass regularly on Sundays, and many who do attend do so at the insistence of their parents. The Son of God Himself is present at Mass in the person of the priest, but especially in the Eucharist, body, blood, soul and divinity. Think on it for awhile — if Catholics really had faith that Jesus Himself was present at Mass, wouldn’t attendance be more competitive than securing Super Bowl tickets?
Reflection on this brings us back to the crisis of faith we have been discussing, nearing apostasy on the part of many Catholics. Dr. Peter Kreeft of Boston College has written that since the time of the European Enlightenment and the genesis of modernism, and particularly following Vatican II, there has been a gradual departure from the orthodox Catholic faith now bordering on outright apostasy.  Much as did Paul VI, Dr. Kreeft examines this reality in the context of a spiritual battle between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. This development resulted from the failure of those bishops who, perhaps because they felt intimidated by the liturgical “experts,” allowed them to propagate teachings at odds with Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Council’s document on the Sacred Liturgy. In effect, the bishops allowed the imposition of newfangled liturgical “reforms” on their flocks, resulting in a liturgy which has proven “spiritually destabilizing” in many cases. The question which continues to puzzle is, why such poor shepherding? If the maxim lex orendi, lex credendi is true, and it is, then the lack of resemblance between what the Church teaches concerning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the reality of what is taking place in its celebration in parishes in the United States today warrants that we come to understand those developments in the Liturgical Movement under the influence of modernist thinking, and their impact on the Church….

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sinners all!

We need frequent reminders, it seems, that, to quote Paul VI, while we shouldn’t see the Devil under every rock, “…. it is true that those who do not keep watch over themselves with a certain moral rigor are exposed to the influence of the ‘mystery of iniquity’ cited by St. Paul which raises serious questions about our salvation. Our doctrine becomes uncertain, darkness obscured as it is by the darkness surrounding the Devil….” Here is a humorous look at this reality!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Libido II

Paul VI offered libido as one way Satan, the “malign, clever seducer” undermines man’s sexual morality with his “sophistry.” The Devil’s strategy here, as the Pope cautioned, is “eminently logical.” He approaches man with what amounts to a false reason in his mind, which, if dwelled on, can influence the will by rousing him to do something evil which seems to be good. Deceit is basic to his strategy. By way of one example, if one is gifted with a superior intellect, Satan will tempt to pride and sins of the mind. Thus it is not surprising that the notion that the Church is out of touch and unbending on issues relating to sex and marriage to this day is advanced by  intellectual Catholic theologians the likes of Frs. Curran, McCormick, and O’Brien.
If one is worldly and hedonistic, Satan enters with temptations of the flesh. One hears often that the “liberation” of the human libido began in earnest in the United States in the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s. Americans, troubled over repressive attitudes toward human sexuality, hoped for a revolution that would free them from outdated moral and social constraints. It resulted not in liberation but in license and a host of societal sexual crises. Since the onset of the sexual revolution, we have had to face an ever-increasing array of sexual problems. One has only to think of the tremendous increase in the number of post-1960s illegitimate births and abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, opposition to censorship of pornography (especially on the Internet), and the resulting sexual addiction (in some extreme instances resulting in murder). Consider too the tremendous blows to marriage and the family done by adultery, the battle over the homosexual lifestyle in the United States, Canada and Europe (now to the point of the redefinition of marriage under the law); the increasing incidences of sexual harassment, child pornography on the Internet, Internet predators, date rape, and of course, the divorce rate.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Transcendent Reality

One of the fondest memories of my youth is one of observing from my pew prior to the 6:30 am Mass in 1958 the Sisters entering St. Eugene’s from the front-side entrance of the Church, special to them for access from their one-room convent in the adjoining school. It was winter, and the church was dimly-lit. They entered with awe-inspiring reverence, processing in their full habits, the beads of their waist-draped rosaries colliding gently, genuflecting and kneeling in silent preparation for the soon to occur reenactment in a non-bloody manner of Our Lord’s eternal sacrifice first offered on Calvary for our salvation, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  The latent aroma of incense and the sight of fresh beeswax candles flickering on the altar, together with the sisters’ silent reverence and obvious practice of what they taught their first graders - the importance of reverence in the House of God - is an impression which not only convinced me that Jesus lived there (in the Tabernacle), but was also an actual grace which I believe, together with my baptismal grace and my Mom’s faith witness, was instrumental in eventually leading me back into the fullness of Catholic teaching. I do not know now what became of each Sister, but I am sure that whatever their relationship with Our Lord today, they had no idea their first-grader Tim was so inspired by the witness to the real Presence they gave that winter morn.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

This originally good angel, the Devil, is a powerful spiritual creature whose goal is to destroy us by turning us against the Father. We refer to him every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer—“deliver us from evil” refers to the Evil One, of and to whom Jesus spoke regularly in the Gospels, the angel who opposes his Father. The Catechism broadens this teaching, noting that “heresy, apostasy, and schism--do not occur without human sin: Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes.” Thirty years of teaching in Catholic schools, all of them since the time of Vatican II, has taught me that the Church since Vatican II has witnessed the aforementioned errors in the Sacred Liturgy, religious life, catechesis, social action, and morals, all of which have divided the People of God.
In St. John’s gospel, Our Lord calls Satan “ruler of this world,” teaching that the salvation he would bring us as God’s gift involved the destruction of Satan’s power in this world. Just before His passion, Jesus told the apostles that an eternal fire awaited Satan and his angels. Sacred Scripture teaches that The Prince of Darkness will be allowed by God to test us for a time, but in the end will be “thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Thus, in Catholic teaching, the reality of spiritual warfare, though often dismissed, is something the Church Militant here on earth must be prepared for!


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