Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Francis: Liberal Catholic? Conservative Catholic? or Roman Catholic?

Fr. Richard McBrien
But I, brethren, could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of the flesh, as babes in Christ.   I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it; and even yet you are not ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men? For when one says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely men?     -1 Corinthians 3; 1-4


"Lest we forget, there were indeed reform-minded Council Fathers who responded to Pope John’s vision of the Church growing in spiritual riches. Archbishop Wojtyla of Krakow was first among them. Given what has been said thus far, it should not surprise the reader that many “progressive Catholics” regarded the pontificate of John Paul II as too “conservative,” as out of touch with the modern world, while the traditionalists view many of the Pope’s writings and teachings as modernist in outlook.

Thus the schema of “liberal” (progressive, left) vs. “conservative” (traditionalist, right) which followed upon the close of Vatican II is wholly inadequate for explaining the present-day crisis of faith within the Church of Jesus Christ, though it is most unfortunate that usage of these terms persist among many Catholics and in the media today. Division within Christ’s Church is a clear attack by the evil one. Satan’s strategy here is the time-honored one of divide et impera—divide and conquer. Remember, too, Jesus ’ words to the Pharisees: “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” Quite simply, no ideology, no matter how sincerely embraced, may substitute for personal conversion...." 
Fr. John Hardon, S.J.

What does this have to do with Pope Francis? Read this talk by the Archbishop of Philly, whose diocese Il Santissimo Padre will soon visit.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Libido Redux: Mommy Porn Revisited

Earlier I posted on the release of the book version of Fifty Shades of Grey. The movie version is due out St. Valentines Day next. It is not getting good reviews...

The Most Sublime Prayer We Have

Following Luther’s 1517 revolt, Protestants rejected both what they perceived to be abuses in Church practice and the liturgy of the Church, choosing to break away from Sacramental worship in favor of the reading of Scripture and preaching and the adoption of the vernacular in worship. This produced an anti-liturgical revolution in breaking away from the historical evolution of the liturgy in conjunction with the reformer’s heterodox beliefs. The Church responded to the Reformation at the Council of Trent from 1543-1563, adopting liturgical reforms which remained substantially unchanged for the next four hundred years. In studying the history of reform of the liturgy, it is important to note that the Council of Trent manifested reforms true to the traditional principles of organic development of the liturgy, as noted by a well-known liturgical authority:

The Tridentine liturgical reform, initiated in order to correct abuse and ensure doctrinal orthodoxy, was thoroughly traditional. It produced nothing radically new…. And there is no evidence of disparity between the mandate of the Council and the work of its liturgical commission. It was another growth of the living organism that is the Roman rite, involving little substantial change.

                                                                               -from The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God



Sunday, July 27, 2014


On July 25 the Church celebrated the 46th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, the encyclical written by Pope Paul VI which re-affirmed the Church’s teaching against abortion and contraception and upheld the Church’s defense of the sanctity of marriage. Before anyone is tempted to quit reading due to a belief that no Catholic female in her right mind would not contracept after marriage, read this please! Humanae vitae is not very long, but it is prophetic, so if you haven’t read it,just do so!. The Church reminds us that for love to be real and truthful, it must be free, total, faithful, and fruitful (FTFF). 

Jesus is the faultless model of free, total, faithful, and fruitful love. At Calgary we see that Jesus gave up His life for us freely, a total gift of Himself in perfect fidelity to His Heavenly Father and to us. His death on the Cross was and is perfectly fruitful, because it redeems us from our sins and gains for us eternal life.
In Catholic teaching married life must be free, total, faithful, and fruitful. When it is, it is a perfect image of Christ’s love for us. SO-FTFF is the key to understanding why the Church teaches that contraception oppose God’s plan. When husband and wife use artificial contraception, the barrier that they place between them and the fear of pregnancy prevents them from loving freely and from making a total gift of themselves. In reality they say one to the other, “I give you everything…except my fertility”. And certainly, a couple using birth control cannot be fruitful. We do not pick grapes from thorns.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Paul the Prophet

Paul VI and Karol Wojtyla
I am reading Peter Hebblethwaite's biography of Paul VI. Clearly, Hebblethwaite writes as a historian sympathetic to "the spirit of Vatican II" in his account of Paul's life. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile read for one capable of recognizing those personal asides where the author's' objectivity leaves much to be desired. Also, I was amazed also to read that Paul, sensitive to criticism from both orthodox and heterodox Catholics over his 15-year pontificate, boldly predicted that one day he would be referred to as a prophet! How right he was. Paul VI’s beatification come October 2014 offers us an opportunity to reintroduce the world to the prophetic nature of Battista Montini, Paul VI. As readers know, in my book I describe in detail  why the word “prophetic” is used to describe his final encyclical, Humane Vitae. Not only did it fall to Paul to complete and promote Vatican II, it was he who shouldered defining and exemplifying Church teaching and tradition in a world increasingly hostile and alien to it. That his teaching has taken root today is marvelously exemplified here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


"The life of prayer calls for continuous battles. It is the most important and the longest effort in a life dedicated to God.  This effort has been given a beautiful name: it is called the guard of the heart. 
Dom Augustin Guillerand

The human heart is a city; it was meant to be a stronghold.  Sin surrendered it.  Henceforth it is an open city, the walls of which have to be built up again.  The enemy never ceases to do all he can to prevent this.  He does this with his accustomed cleverness and strength, with stratagem and fury.  He puts before us such happy thoughts (and occasionally useful ones), pictures so attractive or frightening, and he clothes it all with reasons so impressive that he succeeds all along the line to distract us and entice us away from the divine presence.
We must always be starting again.  These continual recoveries, this endless beginning again, tires and disheartens us far more than the actual fighting.  We would much prefer a real battle, fierce and derisive. But God, as a rule, thinks otherwise.  He would rather we were in a constant state of war.  He prefers these ambuscades and snares; these precautions and the need for constant vigilance.  He is love, and this continuous warfare calls for more love and develops that love still further."

Women vs. Men: The Feminine Genius

As a single male who has longed to have a helpmate, but has never been able to find one, I am intrigued by recent findings on young American men and womenCatholics believe that
marriage comes as a gift from the hand of God. The Catholic vision of marriage is rooted in Sacred Scripture and is expressed in the teachings and practices of the Church. It has these main elements:

  • Marriage unites a couple in faithful and mutual love
  • Marriage opens a couple to giving life
  • Marriage is a way to respond to God’s call to holiness
  • Marriage calls the couple to be a sign of Christ’s love in the world

In Mulieris dignitatem St. Pope John Paul II wrote: 

When we say that the woman is the one who receives love in order to love in return, this refers not only or above all to the specific spousal relationship of marriage. It means something more universal, based on the very fact of her being a woman within all the interpersonal relationships which, in the most varied ways, shape society and structure the interaction between all persons - men and women. In this broad and diversified context, a woman represents a particular value by the fact that she is a human person, and, at the same time, this particular person, by the fact of her femininity. This concerns each and every woman, independently of the cultural context in which she lives, and independently of her spiritual, psychological and physical characteristics, as for example, age, education, health, work, and whether she is married or single.

It seems one such woman from the culture is on to this!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Moderate Muslims, Please Speak Out!

Whenever I hear fellow Catholics defend abortion or the death penalty, or same sex "marriage," for that matter, I always speak out to defend the faith charitably. Certainly if some Catholics were chanting “death to Muslims" and "nuke Islamic nations", all Catholics would be required to speak against this offense to our Catholic faith.  Watch this video, (NOT LIKELY TO BE AIRED ON CNN) and then pray that moderate Muslims find it in their hearts to condemn this abomination. Here is an upddate....

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Leaving the Gay Life Behind

Just ran across this preview from Fr. Paul of Courageportraits of Catholics who try to navigate the waters of self-understanding, faith, and homosexuality:
  •         Dan, a gregarious artist who spent his life hiding a deep sense of isolation from those who loved him;
  •          Rilene, a successful businesswoman who realized that twenty-five years with her partner did not provide the fulfillment she had hoped for;
  •          and Paul, an international model who, after a life of self-indulgence, found grace in the last place he expected. 
Austin Ruse of C-Fam has a nice write-up as well....

The End is Near: Francis' Catechesis on the Last Days

I am currently reading Pontiff: The Vatican,the KGB, and the Year of the Three Popes, which recounts the latter years of Paul VI’s pontificate, as well as the two conclaves electing John Paul’s I and II and the intrigue surrounding both papal elections. The book contains an in-depth look at the brief pontificate of Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I. During his papacy as a young man I had fallen away from the Church, and so knew nothing of his view of his role as the Vicar of Christ on earth. Reading about his time at the Vatican, I thought to myself, this account of JPI’s papacy could well be describing how the media portrays Pope Francis: the pope of the poor, enemy of of uncontrolled free-market capitalism, agitator engaged in shaking up the Roman Curia, ecclesiological modernizer committed to consultation, collegiality and decentralization in the governance of the Church.

This description fits the present Holy Father well, as far as it goes. As I note frequently in these pages, to my delight Pope Francis also corroborates much of what I set down in my book. Who would have known? From media coverage it I clear Francis believes the “end times” as understood by the Church are already being played out, and believes  Satan is real and is at work in current events around the globe.

For example, in a homily last November the Holy Father remarked, “The devil pushes us to be unfaithful to the Lord. Sometimes he pushes hard,” adding that Sacred Scripture “speaks to us about a universal temptation, about a universal trial, about the time when ... the whole of the Lord’s creation will be faced with this choice between God and evil, God and the prince of the world.” The Holy Father thinks this time is now, as do I—hence my book.

For Catholics, the terms “end times” and “last days” have to do with the conclusion of history at some future point, and also—even primarily—to the last two thousand years, for it was the Incarnation which ushered in the end times and the last days. Regarding Pope Francis on the end times, several signs emerge:

  •        The end times will be a time when the Church and Christians are persecuted. Francis views the ensuing persecution of the Church as “a calamity: “It will appear to be the triumph of the prince of this world, the defeat of God. It will seem as though he “has taken over the world [and become] master of the world.” As for the persecuted Christians? They are “a prophetic sign of what will happen to everyone.” Francis stresses that the oppression of religion he predicts will involve the shedding of blood. In his Nov. 18 homily, he cited the Old Testament Book of Maccabees, which relates the martyrdom of faithful Jews, “Do you think there are no human sacrifices today?” he asked rhetorically. “There are many, many of them. And there are laws that protect them.” Legalized abortion?
  •     Christianity is more persecuted today than in the early Church. “So many Christian communities are persecuted around the globe….More so now than in the early times ... Why? Because the spirit of the world hates.” In an Oct. 15 homily he declared, “The demon is shrewd: He is never cast out forever, this will only happen on the last day.”
  •    It will be a time, such as the present, of “general apostasy.” “With God’s coming into history,” he said, “we are already in the last times” — and could be for a long while to come. Spiritual forces restless to keep God from being worshipped seek to convince Christians to take a “reasonable and peaceful road” by obeying “worldly powers” bent on reducing religion to “a private matter.” He cautioned today’s Christians against submitting to an “adolescent progressivism” that inspires this apostasy.
Francis analyzes the satanic game plan, paraphrasing Satan’s words: “You become a Christian, go forward in your faith, and I will leave you alone ... But then, once you have grown accustomed to it, are no longer watchful and feel secure, I will return.” The pope thinks the devil is back today. Considering the state of the world, I agree. You should too. Why does God permit the evil to grow alongside the good? Why does He permit some to reject the Word of His kingdom? In his reflection on the readings for today's liturgy, Scot Hahn answers: "Because, as we sing in today’s Psalm, God is slow to anger and abounding in kindness. He is just, Jesus assures us - evildoers and those who cause others to sin will be thrown into the fiery furnace at the end of the age. But by His patience, God is teaching us—that above all He desires repentance, and the gathering of all nations to worship Him and to glorify His name."

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Word About Two Running Themes

In The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God, I wrote of 2 of Pope Paul VI's sagacious recollections of Catholic teaching., made late in his pontificate, when he became wise to the fruits of "the spirit of Vatican II," post-Humanae vitae/Credo of the people of God. They are:

1) The Mystery of Iniquity, i.e., that some evils exist that cannot be explained by human reason alone and must be  attributed to the influence of the demonic. I observe these in my theme of "Dancing with Mr. D." Here is an example.

2) That the unchecked human libido is a crack through which Satan can enter the human experience. These come under Libido Redux. Check out a recent example here. To see all just enter either or both of these phrases in the search engine at right.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Libido Redux: Planned Parenthood?

As it happens, a Planned Planned Parenthood counselor was caught telling what she thought was a 15-year-old girl about the sexy side of defecating. Here is an investigative video presenting what Planned Parenthood “counselors” teach minors in the name of “sex-ed”: sexual bondage and sadomasochism, and steering them to sex stores to “get educated.” In the latest video, a counselor told the investigator (posing as a minor) that “sexual exploration is normal” – and suggested defecating and urinating on men as an possibility.

According to the counselor, “sexual exploration” is “normal” and “can be really fun.” For accepted wisdom to imitate, she referred to “50 Shades of Grey” as well as pornography. She also offered some personal techniques: “There are so many different fetishes out there…. Like, some guys like for women to urinate on them” or “pooping.” Talk about defining deviancy down….

A Catholic Answers: Why Should Everyone be Catholic?

A new book is out which is for the layman on "reasons for the
hope that is in us." One main reason to be Catholic for one believing in Jesus Christ is that, in it’s 2000 year history, though the Mystical Body of Christ has been far from perfect, most recently involving the priest homosexual scandals in the United States, the Catholic Church, despite saints and sinners, good choices and bad, has survived and will continue to survive, as we have Our Lord's Word on this!
Another point. The Catholic Church is THE ONLY Church which traces its roots back to Jesus Christ. No other religion can lay claim to that. Read about many more reasons here!

One reason NOT to be Catholic is if you are easily upset, for, as I can attest, you will be looked down on by many for your faith- BUT-- fear not, JESUS IS WITH US UNTIL THE END OF THIS AGE. Here is a current example:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Off to College and the Culture Wars?

As a high school teacher I witness regularly parents, especially moms, waxing emotional as they prepare to say goodbye to their firstborn, off to those wonderful institutions of higher learning, American colleges. I even helped a friend of mine move her daughter into one, though I must admit, our preparation most certainly did not include, but should have, sage advice given by Matthew Hennessey! Here is why you should check this out, should you be in this group....

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dancing with Mr. D: Family Matters

Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft wrote a very interesting and entertaining article a few years ago called Satan's Battle Plan for the Third Millennium He doesn't say how it fell into his hands, but he claims it's actually the transcript of a speech written by Satan himself to his demons. Very interesting reading. Part of it goes like this:

Ever since I began our great war by asserting my rights, my freedom, and my self-actualization against the narrow-minded, bigoted, tyrannical, fascistic, chauvinistic, racist, sexist, homophobic dogmatism of the Enemy, ever since I proclaimed the Profound Philosophical Principle of Absolute Relativism and persuaded you to follow this Super-Enlightened Program of Revolutionary Political Correctness, we have won victory after victory. Conclusively and repeatedly we demons have demonstrated that Straight Is Stupid and Crooked Is Clever. Of course, there was that minor, temporary setback when we were forcibly ejected from Heaven. But that is more than compensated for by our assurance that our triumph is guaranteed (I promise you total customer satisfaction or double your money back) because the very essence of Heaven's philosophy is weakness and the very essence of Hell's philosophy is strength and power. Heaven relies on love (pardon the obscenity), Hell on fear. And as our delightful assistant Mack (the Knife) Yavelli pointed out so irrefutably in The Prince, it is better to be feared than to be loved because men will love you as they choose, but fear you as you choose.

In his speech, Satan goes on to describe his most brilliant work; he calls it "Satan's Spectacularly Successful Seven Step Sexual Strategy":

Step 1: The summum bonum, the ultimate end, is to capture souls.
Step 2: A powerful means to this end is the corruption of society... After all, a good society is simply one that makes it easy to be good... a bad society makes it easy to be bad. Has there ever been a time when we've made it easier for humans to be bad?
Step 3: The most powerful means to destroy society is to destroy its one absolutely fundamental building block, the family, the only institution where most of them learn life's most disgusting lesson, unselfish love.
Step 4: The family is destroyed by destroying its foundation, stable marriage.
Step 5: Marriage is destroyed by loosening its glue, sexual fidelity.
Step 6: Fidelity is destroyed by the Sexual Revolution.
Step 7: The Sexual Revolution is propagated mainly by the media, which are now massively in our hands.

Satan continues:
The simple tactic of getting to their hearts through their hormones has proved incredibly successful. Their moralists now tremble in terror at old truisms like "natural law" and terms like "objective," "universal," and "absolute" not because they really believe there is no real morality any more anywhere, only no real sexual morality. They don't defend rape, pillage, insider trading, nuclear war, bank robbery, racism, or even smoking. But they do defend fornication, masturbation, contraception, adultery, sodomy, divorce, bisexuality. "Anything goes" is their new morality, but only if it has anything to do with sex. It's hilarious to observe. They don't defend murder, unless it's in the name of sex. That is abortion, of course. If abortion had nothing to do with sex, it would never have been legalized. Abortion is backup birth control, and birth control is the demand to have sex without babies...

View the Video to get started in the war on family!

Libido Redux: Who is to Blame for the Evil of Pornography?

Donny Pauling has rightly  observed:

"....our enemy in the fight against porn is not the pornographers who produce it, or the people who participate in creating it. As St. Paul states in his letter to the Ephesians, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, powers, forces of darkness, and spiritual forces of evil in the spiritual realm.  Trying to fight porn by going after pornographers is like trying to treat one symptom of a disease rather than finding its cure.  Pornography has a cause, rooted in the condition of our own hearts.  To fight it, we must start with ourselves, being willing to face the part we play. We must let our hearts be changed." 

Monday, July 14, 2014

LIBIDO REDUX: Pilling About on Contraception

The Pill of Pills
OK, being a human of the male gender, I am merely going to post for your private reading enjoyment two recent entries in the contraception wars. The first comes to you from Rachel Evans (Note: admirable is the wisdom of Jenna in this portfolio). The second is from the pen of Jessica Valenti of The Guardian, and for me is by far the more realistic, enlightening reading on why most women contracept.

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage? (And What About the Baby Carriage?)

At times I wallow in sadness over the the high rate of divorce and the reality that many dating and engaged couples have experienced their own parents’ divorce It is clear that many couples shy from commitment to marriage at present.
One idea often discerned centers around this question: should couples cohabit to see if they are compatible? Doesn't it seems reasonable that cohabitation would offer a good preview of marriage?. However, sociologists have discovered that the “expectation of a positive relationship between cohabitation and marital stability . . . has been shattered in recent years by studies conducted in several Western countries.” (William G. Axinn and Arland Thornton, "The Relation Between Cohabitation and Divorce: Selectivity or Casual Influence?" Demography 29, 1992, 357-374).
So- the data show that if one wants a successful marriage, one is better off living together after the wedding. Why is that?
·         Numerous sociological studies reveal that if you want a happy marriage, you’re better off moving in together after the wedding. The research findings:

  •          Most couples who live together never get married, but those who do have a divorce rate up to 80 percent higher than those who waited until after the wedding to live together.
  •          Couples who cohabited prior to marriage also have greater marital conflict and poorer communication, and they make more frequent visits to marriage counselors.
  •          Women who cohabited before marriage are more than three times as likely as women who did not to cheat on their husbands within marriage.
  •          The U.S. Justice Department found that women who cohabit are sixty-two times more likely to be assaulted by a live-in boyfriend than by a husband.
  •          Women who cohabit are more than three times as likely to be depressed as married women.
  •          Cohabiting couples are less sexually satisfied than those who waited for marriage. 

If one dreams of a marriage "until death do us part," amd of marital peace, fidelity, physical safety, emotional well being, and sexual satisfaction, cohabitation is clearly not a recipe for happiness. Even USA Today reported, “Could this be true love? Test it with courtship, not cohabitation.”

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Futility of Life in the World; The Sublimity of Life in the Word

Normally on the Sabbath from time to time I like to mention the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in  the extraordinary form, today being the Fifth Sundayafter Pentecost. But I also peruse reflections on readings from the Missale Romanum, and today’s Gospel for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time teaches us what is at the heart of why the world we live in is the way it is. 

As background, in the Gospel according to St. Mark, we read: “…Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel. Here the word "kingdom" literally means "sovereignty" or "reign" and the power to "rule" and exercise authority. Repentance has to do with turning from our life as we live it and to will to open our hearts to God’s reign over us.

The Gospel for this Sunday (Parable of the Sower and the Seed) asks us to look at why it is some Christians hear the Word of the kingdom, yet fail to accept it as a call to conversion, i.e., to will to let God reign over our hearts. It is the ultimate question, for should we repent and ask God into our hearts, the Father will reveal to us the kingdom’s mysteries, making of us rich soil in which the Word Who is Life, Christ Our Lord, can grow and bear fruit.

Since the first humans (Adam and Eve) rejected God’s Word, the created universe has been subjugated to futility(Cf. Gn 3:17-19; 5:29). But God’s Word does not go forth only to return to Him empty. His Word awaits our response. Christians must allow that Word to accomplish God’s will in their lives, in case, as todays' Gospel says, the devil steal it away, or so as not to be choked by the utter pointlessness of worldly concerns.

In the Mass, the Word (Jesus) gives himself to us as His Body, that we might be made fertile, yielding fruits of holiness. Keep holy the Sabbath! Repent, submit to Christ's rule in your life and believe the Gospel message. Through the Sacraments Our Lord Jesus gives us the grace and power to renounce the kingdom of darkness ruled by sin and Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44) and the ruler of this present world (John 12:31). Repentance means to change my way of thinking, my attitude, disposition, and life choices so that Christ can rule over my heart rather than sin, selfishness, and greed. True repentance requires a contrite heart (Psalm 51:17) and sorrow for sin, and a firm resolution to avoid it in the future. Then we await with joy the great harvest of the Lord’s Day (CfMark 4:29; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 1:10)—when His Word will have achieved the end for which it was sent.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Queen of Angels

The chief fear that Satan has about his tactics misfiring is his memory of the warning of God about enmity from a woman, and about his “head being crushed,” in Genesis 3:15. Perhaps, too He might also feel disquiet about interference from that Woman mentioned in Revelation 12:1, arrayed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and crowned with twelve stars, as prayed in the Rosary’s Glorious Mysteries. For those of us hoping for salvation in spite of a world descending into mire, praying the Rosary offers a solution to the spiritual derangement mentioned in previous blogs on this topic. I am reading James Hitchcock’s The History of theCatholic Church. As professor Hitchcock takes up twentieth- century modernism and the aftermath of the 1960s, the event that caught my attention was the story, which I discussed at length in my book, of the destruction of the order of the California Immaculate Heart Sisters.

As I take up in my chapter on religious life, after Vatican II, instead of growth, the number of sisters in the United States declined by over 65 percent in the period from 1965 to 2010. The most celebrated “renewal” story in the United States was that of the Immaculate Heart Sisters of Los Angeles, whose program of aggiornamento was guided by the psychologist Carl Rogers (d. 1987), a one-time student for the Protestant ministry who had developed a negative attitude toward religion. The Immaculate Heart “renewal” was a paradigm for many others that followed: many religious, having abandoned both traditional spiritualties and traditional ministries, created a void waiting to be filled by new "absolutes"—progressive politics, environmentalism, and of course radical feminism.

Ironically, nuns dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, shedding their habits and often their vows, became innovators leading the way to developments far removed from the intentions expressed by Our Blessed Mother. The assured weapon against the onslaughts of Satan, is confidence in, imitation of, and devotion to the Queen of the Angels, who is far ahead of the strategies and nefarious designs of the fallen angels. This weapon, best exemplified by Her Most Holy Rosary, recommended by saints and the traditions of the Church, may seem a last recourse. but still offers the best hope for the defeat of the subtle moves of a supremely evil Mastermind.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Angels and Islam (continued from July 10)

Another diabolical but admittedly wise tactic of the Devil’s would appear to be the semi-ecumenical ententes with Islam, encouraged by Catholics willfully ignorant of the history and main tenets of Islam.

Conversation with Islam in any “ecumenical” vein, as it professes to be out to destroy or subordinate all other religions, compromises ecumenical efforts as set down in Vatican II documents. These teach that ecumenism must focus on our “separated brethren”—especially the Orthodox sister churches, which share Apostolic Succession with Catholics. It goes without saying that the final reunification of Christians would mess with Satan’s plans for domination of the Kingdom of Darkness. Any dialogue with Islam thus makes even less sense than dialogues with Buddhism or Mormonism, which are much less prone to violence.

If this were the 11th century, in the face of news of the Church burnings, murders and abductions being committed against Christians in the Middle East, a Crusade might be called! Today the response of Catholics, instead of appeals for dialogue, would be to insist on the cessation of violence, which is doctrinally approved in Islam.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Angels High and Low

The Catholic faith holds that God created an angelic world, composed of beings that are pure spirits. At Christmas we sing that we have heard their song on high. Some remained faithful to God and reached their heavenly destiny, while others, though gifted with divine grace, lost it and were thereby condemned to eternal punishment. It is part of God's providence to have the heavenly angels minister our needs and assist us in reaching heaven. It is also part of divine permissive providence to allow the fallen angels to try and tempt us into sin in order to keep us from heaven. Thus, though it is often ignored, the Church does teach that there exists a dark kingdom, employing the same intelligence and power as have the heavenly angels, to prevent the spread of God’s kingdom, get more recruits, and unite the powers of evil in the world. It has been said: we are as ants to them (Good news: demons are as ants to Christ).

 Indeed, in Luke’s gospel Satan declares that power over the kingdoms of the world have been delivered to him. He offers Jesus a share in this power, if Jesus would worship him. Jesus dodges the temptation, but does not deny Satan’s claim of power. Thus the spiritual landscape we are faced with these days includes extraordinarily intelligent, gifted, influential and murderous demons proficient in outwitting all the powers of “the other side.”

In my book I recounted the story of Pope Leo XIII’s account of a vision of Satan, which gave rise to use of the St. Michael prayer following Mass prior to Vatican II. Popes yet to come also discerned diabolical opposition—one thinks of Pope Paul VI’s warning about the “smoke of Satan” in the Church, and Pope Francis’ recent remarks ascribing thepersecution of Christians to the devil, and exhorting “Let us renounce Satan and all his works and seductions because he is a seducer.” Think of those times you have renewed your baptismal promises:

V. Do you renounce Satan? R. I do.
V. And all his works? R. I do.
V. And all his empty promises? R. I do.

Perhaps the greatest advantages in his plan for subverting the Church is the experience he has had with Christians for two thousand years. Theologians posit that He probably doesn't know whether most individuals who have died are in heaven or purgatory,  but has very accurate knowledge of all those human souls who have joined his forces in hell, as well as what things brought him or her to this final destiny. Tempting people to murder and steal and lie would be on his agenda. But, as I recount in my third chapter, sex may take first place herei.e., fornication, adultery, sodomy, pornography/sex addiction, the sex trade and the abortions triggered by those seeking to avoid the consequences of sex, or the use of abortifacients for purposes of safe sex,” all efforts to reduce procreation so as to block God’s plan, outrageous sins against God Himself.

The dissent that followed Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae on contraception was the point of departure for widespread dismissal of papal authority in matters of faith and morals. Today we do not hear priests preaching about Catholic teaching on contraception, divorce, sodomy, etc. offering the excuse that to do so would keep some in their congregation from entering their doors again. Does silence from the pulpit in the hope of not giving offense reduce evil in the world? (to be continued...)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pia DeSolenni and "The Feminist in Me"

Dr. Pia De Solenni
Catholic Professor and blogger Pia de Solenni penned a thought-provoking post after reflecting on the Supremes' Hobby Lobby decision which immediately moved me me to repost what I wrote on July 5th here, for she offers contemporary  corroboration of  the prophecy in Paul VI's encyclical:

In Humanae vitae Paul VI posited among other things that as a result of the contraceptive mentality, "the man" will lose respect for "the woman" and "no longer (care) for her physical and psychological equilibrium" and will come to "the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment and no longer as his respected and beloved companion." 

The Pope came to understand that the Church's teaching on contraception is intended to protect the good of conjugal love. When spouses violate this good, they do not act in accord with their inborn dignity and thus jeopardize their own happiness. Treating their bodies as mechanical instruments to be wrought for their own purposes, they risk treating their spouse as an object of pleasure.

On this the 7th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum

A Rome priest whose parish celebrates only the pre-Vatican II Tridentine Mass under Pope Benedict XVI's July 7, 2007 authorization for expanded use of Latin in the liturgy, talks to the Catholic News Service about the enduring appeal of tradition to Catholics today. Father Joseph Kramer is a member of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, established by Blessed John Paul II in 1988.  He correctly asserts in this video that departing from our tradition in order to find a language to speak to modern man was a failure, for the "language" spoken by much of the clergy after Vatican II does not speak to young people today, as I discuss in Chapter 5 of my The Smoke of Stan in the Temple of God