France is Falling!|
If Our Lady had truly sent John Paul II to Lourdes to revive the Faith of the French, why then did he so publicly turn his back on her and embrace the Masonic Creed of the non-Catholics instead? Is Ecumenism that important to him that he would abandon all sense of the Catholic Faith and what so many Popes, Saints and Martyrs gave their lives for?
"The definition of an 'observant Catholic' in France has moved from actual strong practice and faith to lip service and twisted, lukewarm, subjective swipes of religiosity (sound familiar?). As devout practice has become a joke, so too has the respect and appreciation of practice, liturgy, and faith itself. There are those who cry that France has a Catholic Baptism rate of 80%, and therefore cite this as proof that France is overwhelming Roman Catholic, yet what is Baptism without practice and growth in the faith? While 75% of Catholics were observant in 1950, that number is now more like 5 %. It is ironic that the soul of the land of Lourdes is very sick and in danger of dying!"
Her bosom has opened the eyes of great Saints such as Saints Joan of Arc, Therese of Lisieux, Bernard of Clairvaux, Bernadette of Lourdes, and Hilary of Poitiers. Her beautiful language has been yet another note in the rich symphony of our Faith through the years, and yet, there have always been clouds over the Catholic Faith in France. Yes, the sun has often bathed her soil with the warm glow of God's presence, but there have always been winds to bring clouds that muffled that glow and that warmth. The French Revolution, the political and social philosophies, the pull toward secularization, the cancerous call for separation of church and state. Despite the ups and downs of a rich history, France somehow kept God and the Catholic Faith in the picture. This in turn kept faith in the picture, but the long-running film called The Catholic Church in France is rapidly reaching its final days at the spiritual end of The Cannes Film Festival.
A Fitting Patron Saint
St. Joan of Arc is a fitting Patron Saint for this great country of France. She heard the call of God, suffered the expected doubts, ultimately answered the call, fought against all odds on the field and in the hearts of men, prevailed holding the banner of God, was betrayed, and suffered martyrdom, largely by the men of the cloth she had trusted. Such was the roller-coaster ride of Joan, and of France, to this point in time. It seemed that Joan alternated between victory and defeat, between success and failure, between triumph and tragedy. So too her France has given us great witnesses to the Faith, true soldiers in the mold of Joan, and poets and thinkers in the mold of the holy Abbot and Doctor of the Church St. Bernard and the Little Flower St. Therese, to name just a few. The nation that gave us fields, where blood was spilled for a just cause such as Orleans and Normandy, has also given us fields where the Blood of Our Savior has washed away doubt, pain, sorrow, anguish, and ignorance in La Salette and Lourdes. Yes, Joan is a fitting Patron Saint for this nation so rich in tears of joy and tears of sorrow. She was a fighter, and she faced many struggles in her short life.
There was no time to rest for Joan, as every victory rapidly became a humbling reminder of the next battle. Today we see a France where there is but a flicker of the flame which once burned in the hearts of a strong Catholic tradition, and which consumed merely the physical body of her great Patron Saint, but never her eternal spirit and message of courage and commitment.
Faith Outnumbered by Statistics
Many argue that France is still a strong Catholic nation, yet their claims ring empty amid the sea of contradictory numbers and facts. Only 10% of the 44 million baptized Catholics in France practice their faith, and only 2% of young baptized Catholics are practicing. This points to the ominous fact, so prevalent in many nations, that practicing the Catholic faith has increasingly become the territory of the elderly. Obviously, this begs the question who will pray the Rosaries when the elderly are gone? Only 30% of the children of Catholic parents actually attend religion classes.
The definition of an "observant Catholic" in France has moved from actual strong practice and faith to lip service and twisted, lukewarm, subjective swipes of religiosity (sound familiar?). As devout practice has become a joke, so too has the respect and appreciation of practice, liturgy, and faith itself. There are those who cry that France has a Catholic Baptism rate of 80%, and therefore cite this as proof that France is overwhelming Roman Catholic, yet what is Baptism without practice and growth in the faith? While 75% of Catholics were observant in 1950, that number is now more like 5 %. It is ironic that the soul of the land of Lourdes is very sick and in danger of dying!
Latest Sign of the Malignant Cancer
The latest symptom of France's illness of the Faith was an abomination I could not believe. Now this followed earlier this year the injection of Mel Gibson's masterpiece unto the French condition. Instead of embracing the film, most of the nation seemed to have rejected or brushed it aside, as it did not do as well there as in other nations. So secular, hardened, politically drunken, and New Order entangled is this once great nation, that it now views The Truth as some foreign organ to be rejected by the French body! Certainly this is not unique to France by any means, and tragically this same pattern has been seen in many countries in many ways not to mention this one, but there is an added tinge of tragedy when one considers the drama that has been the story of France.
What so greatly saddens me not only for the eldest daughter of the Church but for the whole world is the total abdication of Catholicity by the one man who billions of Catholics had looked to as the moral compass. I am speaking of John Paul II who unbelievably pandered to the Communist, Modernist, Masonic President of France Jacques Chirac during their meeting at Lourdes a few weeks ago. I couldn't believe my eyes when this pope of the New Order publicly and proudly abandoned all Catholicity in pronouncing the Masonic Creed when he said, and I quote from ZENIT on August 16,2004:
"With respect for the responsibilities and competences of all, the Catholic Church desires to offer society a specific contribution toward the building of a world in which the great ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity can form the basis of social life, in the tireless pursuit and promotion of the common good."
There it is in black and white! And we wonder what has happened to Catholicism over the past 40 years? That battle cry of liberty, equality and fraternity were the very words that murdered countless Catholic priests, nuns, brothers and lay people who would not subscribe to putting man before God. What do you think they would say to hear a pope say such blasphemy today? I know what Saint Paul did say, and you can too. Just read Galatians 1: 8-10. No other words need to be said, for what John Paul II pronounced is anathema! Pure and simple! The saddest aspect of this is that it was said on the 150th Anniversary of the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What a difference 150 years make! On one hand we had a Sovereign Pontiff who placed God and the Sacred Deposit of Faith above all else and not only adhered religiously to it, but led by example and in assuring error would not seep in. Compare that with what we have today where no discipline is exercised except to rein in those who strive to live their Faith as it was practiced for over 1900 years. Yes, what is happening today is pure anathema and it is very possible God has allowed it because no pope since Pope Pius XII has declared anything anathema, something that was done on a regular basis before Vatican II and which since the hierarchy has been silent while anathema prowls the earth.
Enemy Forces Once Again March
I can never forget those images of the Nazi troops marching through Paris amid the whimpers and terrified glances of the citizens. The land where Louis XIII paid dearly for flouting God is now flouting God once again, and with the pope's willing help! The snares of this world have conquered the land that saw Napoleon spread his reach toward conquest. The land that prides itself on fashion, food, and style has made it fashionable to taste the devil's style of cooking and now John Paul II and his bishops sup at the same table, definitely not the Table of the Lord.
The land that has so often placed itself at the forefront of freedom and a leader in religious renewal is now a slave of the secular, the sinful, and the so-called stylish. The land where the guillotine was invented has truly lost its head to modernism, secularism, and every ism imaginable on a cool Paris night. Every day Paris, which houses the incorrupt bodies of Saint Catherine Labouret and Saint Vincent de Paul, seems farther from Nevers where the incorrupt body of St. Bernadette Soubirous lies or Orleans where the echo of Joan rings. Yes, once again the enemy is marching though Paris and, once again, the land which became the spiritual and physical hospital of the world, where a healing spring rose from the mud, needs another victory to follow yet another tragedy.
It is no coincident that Our Blessed Mother has appeared in so many places in France in the 19th Century. From Rue du Bac to La Salette to Lourdes she was trying to warn us of the devastation that would arise - beginning in France and enveloping the entire world. That stark reality has become all too evident today as Islamism overruns this once great Catholic bastion and the rest of Christian Europe. And where is the cavalry? Corralled by a pope who has tied up the horses and locked away the weapons of faith in order to appease the enemy. France is falling and falling fast. Those looking to Rome for help have to realize the shocking truth that the one they look to for leadership is aiding and abetting the enemy.
The only hope we have is to look to Our Lord and Our Lady and pray that the Prophecies of Saint Malachi in which he foretells of a great monarch who will come out of France and restore the Faith is not a fable but something we can look forward to. And, if he is alive today, that he is entrenched in Traditional Catholicism and attending the Latin Mass. If not, what hope have we as the scitar of Islam casts a dark shadow, egged on by the claptrap from this pope that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. More and more Our Lady's words pronounced at La Salette in 1846 are manifesting themselves in the actions of the New Order church: "Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist." By her appearances throughout France the Blessed Mother knew well that this apostasy would have its roots in France. We can see this from the heretical theologians who influenced Vatican II so such as Pierre Tielhard de Chardin, Yves Congar, and that ilk, most of whom had been exiled or censured by Pius XII. It was near Paris where, as we now know, the modern church sold out to Communism with the Pact of Metz just prior to the opening of Vatican II.
We must entreat the holy monarch St. Louis IX, whose feast we celebrated last week, to intercede that modern Rome will either come to its senses and re-establish the True Church universally, beginning in France, or be swept out with the rest when the thrashing time comes. The Social Reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is what sustained France for so many centuries. Because that has been abandoned by her kings, people and now modern popes and bishops, France is falling fast or, as we Americans might say: French fried! Pray for this beloved eldest daughter of the Church that she will survive this most dangerous precipice. For as France goes, eventually so also goes the world.
Editor's Note: Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, submits regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes are music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.