July 22 is the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene who should be a role model for every sinner - and that includes each and every one of us. Until we are received into the Beatific Vision fully cleansed of all sin, we will struggle with the effects of Original Sin and the great barrier placed before us on this planet earth: the world, the flesh and the devil. I find it ironic that the woman whose reputation for taking off her clothes and pleasing man did such a 360 and, through Christ's Divine Mercy, garbed herself in grace and sought to please God. So few today follow her example. This is especially noticeable as the summer heats up and clothing becomes skimpier, especially at the beach, on lakes, rivers, and pools, not to mention the shopping malls and even Novus Ordo events. Temptation is everywhere and the thought instinctively occurs to me: put something on! I know, I sound like an old prude as my sons would call me. But, you know what? That's fine with me. We all need to put something on, and that something is the armor of God.
I would like to refer to another who was considered so much a prude that, after being struck from his horse, he valiantly marched forth fearlessly for the Lord preaching the phenonemon he was charged with spreading - a movement that you might be familiar with - Christianity. It is in times like these and especially in recent events that have sent me scurrying to the Apostle Saint Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians, specifically 6: 11-20. It is such a beautiful and absolute letter that emotes so much love and guidance. It is a compact catechism of the Faith which not only prefaces every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but basically debunks the entire agenda of Vatican II. There are so many inspirations in his words to those people living nearly 2000 years ago on the Aegean Sea, which are even more applicable to us today for what he spoke of extends far beyond the borders of Asia Minor to every corner of the earth in these times. While one single line is worthy of an editorial alone or a sermon from a consecrated priest, I will focus specifically on ten verses that will prepare each of us sufficiently for the great spiritual war now being waged.
In order of ascending importance I'm going to treat each passage beginning with the last
"By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints: And for me, that speech may be given me, that I may open my mouth with confidence, to make known the mystery of the gospel: For which I am an ambassador in a chain, so that therein I may be bold to speak according as I ought" (Eph 6: 18-20).
For the sake of our sensus Catholicus, I pray that I and others, charged with spreading the Gospel and the Truths of Christ's One True Church, may speak boldly according as we ought. For too long have so many languished in waiting it out while the enemy gains time and souls. No more! We must not tarry. Delay is deadly. So then, how can we, mere humans, frail and fragile and very fallible ones at that, make a difference against so great a force and malaise that has visited these times?
"For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood: but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness: against the spirits of wickedness in the high places" (Eph 6: 12).
Never forget how powerful and how infinitely clever the fallen angels are, especially the head cheese - that unholy trinity of lucifer, satan and beelzebub - three demons in one power of darkness, so powerful that it can wipe out countless souls with its wiles and snares, making evil seem inviting and attractive while good is considered passé and not worth attaining. Sound familiar? Our society reeks with this thought process. It was the wise Pope Leo XIII who composed the prayer to safeguard us from the evil one and what did the sage sanhedrin of Vatican II do? They discarded the Prayer to St. Michael as unnecessary, just as they downgraded the role and importance of the order of Exorcist. Ah, yes, progress.
When we start feeling overconfident or full of ourselves that we believe the lie we can do anything we want, that is the time to remind ourselves of Paul's confrere Saint Peter's words in 1 Peter 5: 8, "Be sober and watch: because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour." We had better recognize we cannot do it alone. We need Christ and His Blessed Mother Mary to guide us through the darkness - the turbulent seas of life - by way of the Two Pillars for Christ indeed is the light of the world. But we cannot sit on our duffs; we must walk the walk. I think Paul's words lay out the strategy wonderfully, and so let us return to Ephesians 6: 15 and at the bottom, so to speak, with the feet:
"And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace."
In other words, feet, do your thing for God. First of all, it was to His feet that the Magdalen crept when seeking forgiveness, and it was His feet which she anointed at the supper table. Likewise, in sending out His disciples, Christ talks of putting on only sandals and only one coat in Mark 6: 9-11 and to take only a staff, but no scrip, no bread, no money even for their purse. In other words, He asks them and us to be totally dependent on the mercy, generosity and love of others. From the beginning He deigned that His Church be a humble, mendicant one and so today we see the possibility of her returning to that status with the announced bankruptcies and deficits from diocese after diocese to the Vatican funds themselves. God never intended the institution to be rich in temporal treasures for the sake of worldly riches, but rich in spiritual treasures so that temporal treasures could be used for the welfare of saving souls. The rich and the haughty must be brought to their knees, literally!
Our Lord also illustrated how to treat those who do not receive you, who do not receive the truths you spread: shake the dust from your sandals and move on. In other words, He wasn't preaching tolerance. He never preached tolerance! Show me where the word even appears in Holy Scripture! He never preached compromise either. Show me where the word even appears in the Bible! Finally, the word dialogue was never used by Our Lord either, nor by any other author of Sacred Scripture. Of course, ecumenism or oecumenical are nowhere to be found in the holy Word of God either. Yet all those words seem to be the cornerstone of what is being shoved down our collective throats today, not only by our godless society but by the Church of the New World Order.
We must walk the walk by walking away from those who talk the talk of such nonsense and lies that contradict the Sacred Deposit of the Faith, not to mention the First Commandment which ecumenism does by giving any kind of credence to false gods and false religions. Yet, therein is the problem for too many of us don't want to walk the walk. Whether it is laziness, fear or just plain refusal to move out of our comfort zone, we put our trust in man, rationalizing our guiltlessness through blind obedience. Oh yes, it's true and that is the key that confines Novus Ordinarians today. Their blind obedience to man, while ignoring what God has decreed through previous Pontiffs, Saints and Doctors of the Church and preserved in the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother church. Those who still have blind obedience to man, must eventually realize that indubitably their expectations will fall short, and have fallen far short for if their feet are not firmly planted on the Rock they will be exposed as feet of brittle clay and therein the Achilles heel. We must be anchored in Christ and His true teachings. Look how others have misconstrued and interpreted the Gospel to serve their own agenda while ignoring what Holy Mother Church has discerned. Is there any difference between that and the devil's statement "non serviam"? I think not.
"Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth," (Eph 6: 14)
Only by standing on the rock-solid ground of Christ's True Church can we stand tall and straight. In order to stand strong against the storms and tempests of the world, a Catholic needs many a wind to make him weather the forces thrown at him. We must keep our Faith up by tightening the belt of truth. Otherwise it will slip down and leave us exposed. Every true Catholic must tighten their belt and stand as a sign of contradiction just as Christ exemplified. If we do not fast and do penance, condition ourselves by self-mortification, the belt of truth will not fit. Then how will we be able to withstand the tornadic temptations that threaten us, luring us into a life of ease which causes us to cut corners, and fall so easily into satan's trap: sin? You see we really must strap it on and tone down by self-denial and fasting in order to curb our appetites for worldly things.
Grace builds character, but character demands one seek grace and keep it. This is accomplished only through frequent use of the Sacraments, most notably the Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and in that order. I don't have to tell you the horror stories of those so-called Catholics of the New Order who today partake non-chalantly in the communion service but think nothing of going to Confession. If any good could come out of the recent scandal of the bishops' weaseling out of dogmatic responsibility over administering communion to persistent sinners it is the reminder of Paul to the Corinthians in 1 Cor 10: 21 and 27-29 being widely realized: "You cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and the table of devils" and "Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eatheth, and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord."
"and having on the breastplate of justice" (Eph 6: 14)
When one thinks of the breastplate of justice, one naturally thinks of the judicial system and therein we see the sham for judges have usurped what God set forth and therefore they have abdicated their rights to sit in judgment of man, and to wear the once-honored robe of a barrister. So also many other men in robes have forsaken their right to the court of Heaven by their deliberately leading into sin many of the flock. All ordained come under this category and, while there are several consecrated men whose heart is sincere, there are far, far too many who have sold their souls and sold out those who have trusted them.
This breastplate of justice is also known as the breastplate of righteousness for there can be no true justice without the righteousness of the judge. That brings us to how, in God's good name can the Pope sit idly by not saying a thing directly. What is it, hands off when it comes to the politicians in America? We know that doesn't wash for the Vatican was plenty opinionated and accusatory when it came to the U.S. and the war in Iraq. They had many good points; on others they were way off. Nevertheless, the precedent had been set. Don't give me the lie that the Pope can't do anything. Don't give me the double-speak by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger either. Be honest and tell it like it is: the Pope won't do anything for that would contribute mightily to the house of cards of his ecumenical agenda totally collapsing. The sad, sad fact is that no Pope in the last 50 years has pronounced any kind of anathema and so sin multiplies, errors are enhanced, immorality increases and amorality abounds.
Why? Could it be because the hierarchy have not taken seriously their vocation, commitment or the words of vesting? Think about it. I can't help but think that had we had holy priests committed to their vows we wouldn't have had the terrible sexual scandals we've had in the church of the New Order, the post-conciliar church. Consider how they modernized and streamlined the vesting of the sacred vestments after Vatican II. Consider before Vatican II and still in vogue today for every Traditional Latin Mass, the priest prays as he girds himself for saying Holy Mass. Just as Paul identified the various garments of preparing for spiritual warfare, so also Holy Mother Church has identified each piece of cloth and how it enhances the armor of the priest, very much in alignment with Paul's imagery. It was God Himself in Exodus 28: 4 Who gave directions about the vestments of His prests of the Old Testament. Catholicism contains the best of the Jewish traditions including the symbolical significances that have been passed down from the time of the Apostles. The very first thing the priest does upon entering the sacristy is to make the Sign of the Cross and then wash his hands, asking God for the grace of purity with the prayer, "Give virtue, O Lord, unto my hands, that every stain may be wiped away: that I may be enabled to serve Thee without defilement of mind and body." Do you really think any priest worth his salt would opt for the flesh if he took this prayer and his vows seriously? He then begins to vest with each piece having not only a specific meaning, but a specific prayer.
"And take unto you the helmet of salvation" (Eph 6: 14).
The first piece of clothing the priest dons is the amice, a piece of white linen cloth covering his shoulders. This represents the helmet of salvation which protects the priest against the devil. He first places it on his head and then pulls it down onto his shoulders as he prays, "Place, O Lord, the helmet of salvation upon my head, that I may overcome the assaults of the devil."
The Alb, a floor-length white linen tunic, is the next piece he puts on to cover his entire body. This is the protective breastplate. He prays "Cleanse me, O Lord, and purify my heart, that being made white in the Blood of the Lamb, I may have the fruition of everlasting joy."
The next piece is the cincture, the belt of truth. It is a cord which fastens at the waste and typifies sacerdotal chastity. Those priests who would be tempted would do well to remember this cord as a tether to keep them from falling into temptation. As he wraps the cincture about him he prays, "Gird me, O Lord, with the girdle of purity and extinguish in my loins the desire of lust: so that the virtue of continence and chastity may ever abide within me."
The priest then places the maniple on his left arm. This formerly served a practical purpose as a handkerchief and symbolizes a cloth to dry our tears. He prays, "May I be worthy, O Lord, so to bear the maniple of tears and sorrow: that with joy I may receive the reward of my labor." Ironically, the great sorrow is that the maniple has been discarded by the New Order and they are the ones who are so in need of it for Heaven's tears overflow at how so much has been profaned with the synthetic Novus Ordo.
"And take unto you...the sword of the spirit, (which is the word of God)" (Eph 6: 14).
Then the priest places the stole around his neck. It is a long silk band of various widths that represents the sword of truth, so to speak, in symbolizing the authority of the Church. It is the symbol of immortality and is the most blessed of all vestments because it also represents the sword in which the priest has the power to forgive sins. While in the Confessional it hangs straight down and is always violet. For Holy Mass it represents the color of the Proper of the Mass of that day and is crossed and tucked inside the cincture, again intertwining the vestments into one purpose - for the salvation of souls. As he tucks it in and pulls the cinture tight, he prays "Restore to me, O Lord, the stole of immortality, which I lost by the transgression of the first parent: and although unworthy, as I draw near to Thy sacred mystery, may I be found worthy of everlasting joy." Notice the everpresent humility and total dependence on God? It is an interesting side that a bishop, because of his full priestly powers, does not cross the stole in front when tucking it in. Only the Pope can wear the stole at all times and prior to modern times this was quite common to see. Today? Well, you be the judge.
"In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one"(Eph 6: 16).
The powerful and majestic shield for the priest is the chasuble, the outer vestment representing the color chosen for the Proper of that day or time. It is the last piece he dons before Mass. There are two types, the Roman chasuble which, like a scapular, covers only the shoulders and the bak and front; the other is the Gothic chasuble which is longer and fuller and what the Novus Ordo priests adopted, disgarding the former. Whereas, when available, Traditional priests opt for the Roman chasuble. As the priest puts it over his head and fits it on his body, he prays "O Lord, Who has said: My yoke is easy, and My burden is light: make me so able to bear it, that I may obtain Thy favor. Amen."
Now properly prepared and garbed, the priest can go forth unto the altar fully vested with the faithful fully confident that the man who is the alter Christus for the Mass is a man of Faith who has the spiritual welfare of his flock first and foremost and is a humble servant of God. He marches forth to the altar, a trusting, worthy general to lead, guide and protect his troops.
On the other side of the communion rail the lay faithful - the appropriately named "Church Militant" - should also be properly vested on the inside in being properly prepared for the great spiritual warfare as well as properly vested on the outside to greet the King of kings when the bread and wine are confected into Christ's Body and Blood, soul and divinity and offered to the Father by the priest in atonement for our sins, and to enable us to worthily approach the communion rail after proper adoration, repentance, petition and thanks. It is amazing the stark difference when one walks into a Traditional chapel opposed to any New Order church. In the former to a person everyone is well dressed, every woman modestly adorned, wearing a black or white veil or scarf on their heads and children are dressed as neatly as children can be. It is a thrill to see young ones so meticulously dressed in nice clothes, and while kids will be kids, seldom is there a disturbance. If one of the children become unruly or cry, the parent will usually responsibly take their child out to the vestibule or in the back when there is a crying room available. It is important to note for parents of young children, that the parent is still attending Holy Mass no matter that they are no longer in the pew, for they are attending to their immediate flock as the immediate shepherd of the child. Dr. Thomas Droleskey points this out very simply in his magnificent piece Get Ye to Daily [Traditional] Mass.
Conversely, in the Novus Ordo you'll see all modes of dress and Dr. Thomas Woods points this out so adroitly in his excellent piece that appeared in the latest issue of The Remnant You Are What You Wear! and which we feature in this issue. Let's just say the vast majority who attend the Novus Ordo services are not dressed to meet the King, let alone anyone else deserving respect. The fact is that those who still subscribe to the dead-end direction of the New Order are Prisoners of War - the Spiritual War Paul relates in Ephesians. Why else would he call for us to put on the armor of God? Duh! Yet so few are aware they've been incarcerated in the confines of heretical thought and anathema. They blithely go about thinking there really will be a "New Springtime," truly believing the utopian propaganda that the problems over the past 40 years are merely a bump in the road and these very bishops who have been responsible for all the rot are the very ones who are going to solve the problems. Really, Novus Ordinarians must believe that because they keep supporting these spineless miters in the collection plate. While parishes and dioceses raise money to pay for sexual abuse lawsuits and to build pagan mausoleums to replace the beautiful old edifices our great-great grandparents built with their own sweat and blood, the ranks grow thinner and thinner. Yet somehow through smoke and mirrors - and we know who's supplying the smoke! - they continue to confound the great majority into believing they have the solution. Has anyone realized they are the cause of the problem? Yes, it makes perfect sense to place the foxes in charge of the hen houses. Not!
And as the election process grows closer, one wonders why people haven't realized yet that hardly any Democrat and only a few Republicans have any convictions. Could it be because the people themselves don't? After all, if someone is willing to compromise and be tolerant of something that 40 years ago was wrong, then they have no convictions either. If they did they would realize that neither political party is the answer and would strive to work for true Catholics like Pat Toomey and Maria Guadalupe Garcia, two totally pro-life Catholic Republicans who ran for Congressional office from Pennsylvania and California respectively and were both basically undermined by their own Party. The supposed Catholic Senator Rick Santorum betrayed his own by promoting the RINO Arlen Specter over Toomey. So much for commitment.
The fact is that only when the bishops take the bull, donkey or elephant by the horns and honor their vow and vocation, will the Parties start to pay attention to the so-called large Catholic bloc. But there cannot be such an animal since the vast majority of the newChurch do not adhere fully to Catholic teaching. If they don't believe and won't commit, how can we expect politicians to? While John Kerry may be the scum of the earth character-wise, don't blame him completely. He is merely a bi-product of the newChurch's dumbing down process. He is the posterboy hybrid of what the post-conciliar church has wrought: rotten fruit from a barren tree. As I pointed out in my last editorial, Stupid is as stupid does! there is no way these bishops could have planned and pulled off the Vatican II revolution. They're not that smart. Sometimes Traditional Catholics give those pampered prelates too much credit because we overestimate their IQ. Their actions give them away as primary POW's.
Let's get serious here, folks. Past Popes have set the precedent that if a leader openly violates God's laws and Church teaching, entire cities and kingdoms have been excommunicated. Maybe that kind of threat is needed today. I know that won't sit well with the 'civilization of love' mites who will allow the foundations to continue to crumble by not fending off the attackers who are ramrodding the ramparts. Unless you want to be enshrouded in rubble, it is time now to reinforce the girders and sound the clarion from every chancery that no one who claims to be Catholic can morally vote for a known pro-abort politician. Conversely, no one who claims to be Catholic can knowingly vote or legislate or promote the sin of murder. For either party to do so would incur a severe excommunication. So far, as everyone knows only too well, it has only been words - hollow words. Only a handful of bishops have had the courage to speak up, and yet even for them, it is still all talk and no show yet. They, too, are POW's who, if they would just look up and realize the path to that the TRUE "New Springtime" passes right back through the Traditional Latin Mass and the infrangible Sacred Deposit of the Faith. The only way to escape the clutches of ecumenism and humanism is right there where the altars are still altars, where no NOM table has desecrated the sanctuary. Only when these few staunchly pro-life bishops - who so many are falling all over in adulation of for speaking out against pro-abort sinners - only when these bishops fully embrace the Faith of their heritage will they be freed from the shackles of anathema. The same holds for every other bishop in this land and beyond. Yes, include John Paul II in that group, folks. He above all is a POW who has refused to both recognize the enemy or warn others. For that, well, I wouldn't want to be in his shoes - or more appropriately for this analogy, sandals. But there still is time, though that is flying by fast and in my next editorial I'm going to address that with his upcoming papal pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Meanwhile since the announcement by such braver hearts as Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis and Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Spring, countless more souls have been lost because they were not given the truths of salvation, because they were accommodated in their sins and false faiths out of fear by those who should be evangelizing but are more afraid of offending the sinners' sensibilities or, to put it more bluntly, the asinine agenda of ecumenism. Thanks to this humanistic Universalism towards a New Order, hundreds of thousands more innocents have been prevented from being born by contraception or abortion and untold millions wallowing without the sacramental grace of baptism or sanctifying grace. Catholics, by and large, now think it is Catholic teaching that the Jews can be saved without accepting Jesus as their savior; many also think there is a salvific essence to Buddhism or Hinduism or even Islam. They have forgotten the dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus - "Outside the Church there is No Salvation! Period!" Yet that doesn't play to the ecumenical crowd, so it is twisted and tampered with to suit the post-conciliarists' point of view. One question: Who will be held accountable for those souls who go to perdition because they believed the lie that one doesn't need to be a good Catholic to be saved? Think about it and think very hard about it? Then pray, and I do mean pray as you've never prayed before. Pray that at your Particular Judgment of Nuremberg, so to speak, when you stand before your Creator and Judge, you will not be indicted for complicity of the crime. POW's are not always freed by the Lord if they are not willing to pay the price.
No, folks, you want war heroes, look to the Traditional Catholics - those who are in the trenches taking the volleys from apostate bishops and parishioners who have no clue what they're fighting for. The latter are in the midst of the fiercest spiritual war and they have no weapons because they have not been vigilant. Meanwhile they mock the true soldiers of Christ who, in the manner of the early Martyrs and great saints fight on valiantly upholding the banner of Christ's True Church against the greatest enemy this world has ever known. You know it only too well, for the Apostle Saint Paul identified the enemy quite succinctly in Ephesians 6: 12,
"For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against rulers of the world of this darkness: against the spirits of wickedness in high places" (Eph 6: 12).
Until Catholics recognize who the enemy truly is, they are destined to lose this war, they are destined to remain POW's of the devil. Our job as loyal Catholics - guerillas of grace, if you will - committed to the Truths and Traditions handed down from Peter through Pius XII is to convince them they're on the wrong side. Only then will they realize what they must do and only then can we begin to marshal the forces necessary to overthrow the false usurpers who have hijacked our beloved Faith. If the bishops and priests will not be a part, a big part of the solution, then they are a big part of the problem and must be considered for what they are: firmly in the camp of the enemy.
You are warned now to flee the camps of this enemy, even if it be to where Christ said in Matthew 24: 16 "flee to the mountains" for that is where He advised "when you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel, the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand. Then let them that are in Judea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the house top, not come down to take any thing out of his house" (Mt 24: 15-17).
We have seen the abomination, now, like Judas Maccabeus and his clan in the Book of Maccabees, it is time to take back the Lord's House for His honor and glory. From the mountains we saw late last year and earlier this year the war strategy of the Zionists and Modernists who joined forces to try to derail the grassroots groundswell Mel Gibson's film 'The Passion of The Christ' created. They failed miserably. Deo gratias! Mel was truly a hero who busted loose from the shackles of POW's and made his escape with the kleig lights on him at every moment. He had it all - according to the worldly values - but he gambled everything because he believes in Our Lord's command in Mark 16: 15-16. We all need to follow suit; oh, not on the great scale he did, but in the manner of another whose life will be on the big screen in October - St. Thérèse - the "little way." And so, as the politics heat up from now until November, let us sound the trumpet for the clarion of truth and, as Paul tells us in Eph 6: 11.
"Put you on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the snares of the devil."
Well, in order to stay a step ahead of the enemy we need to be in shape, spiritual shape. The best exercise: Read the rest of Ephesians 6 and then apply the wisdom Paul has imparted and take confidence that we will not fail if we are girded in the armor of God. The time has come. We have our marching orders. It's the only way to win the war and rescue the POW's! We must be guerillas of grace. Are you ready? Time to Armor Up!