On behalf of my bride Cyndi, I want to thank all for their prayers and concern. Those who know of her trials, realize how fragile she is health-wise and susceptible to pneumonia. Without realizing it, the pine pollen here in Spokane has been especially heavy this year and the fine dust infiltrated her lungs. Because of her severe fibromyalgia, her muscles have been weakened leading to a recently diagnosed Rhabdomyolysis which is deterioration of the muscles. This, combined with the pollen dust in her nasal passages caused her to lose equilibrium and faint in the bathroom Thursday morning, May 4th. Throughout the day her muscles kept failing her and her speech became incoherent. Running a fever and her words discombobulated, we took her to the emergency room at Holy Family Hospital Thursday evening. After several hours in ER, the admitting physician admitted her to the hospital. She did not have pneumonia at the time for the ER report states her lungs were clear, thus making diagnosis all the more confusing. Two days later, while in the hospital, her lungs began filling up with bacterial pneumonia and they rushed her down to the Intensive Care Unit where on Sunday afternoon they placed her on a ventilator. It was similar to the trauma she had undergone in Missouri in the fall of 2003. This time she remained in ICU from May 6 through May 15th...through our 25th Wedding Anniversary and Mother's Day, but we were not dismayed because she had received the Sacraments and we knew God had a reason for this most recent suffering. After all, if ever there was a time for reparation of sins, this is it. She was released on May 17th and has been home now a week today. She has oxygen full time and is slowly regaining her strength, though she tires easily. She keeps everyone in her prayers who have asked, and offers all as a victim soul in reparation for her own sins, the sins of the family and sins of the world. This is just one example of why God has stayed His hand because there are so many like Cyndi, many who suffer much worse infirmities and offer it all up in silence. It is to these unknown but dedicated souls that may only be known to God to whom we should be grateful, for their prayers are giving all a little more time to make amends.
That is the theme of today's editorial for all of these who suffer a little or a lot have one common thread - total trust in Christ and His Blessed Mother Mary. In this month of May when we honor Our Lady with a different flower each day in building a beautiful bouquet for her Feast of the Queenship of Mary on May 31, we celebrate today the historical feast of Mary, Help of Christians. If ever we have needed her help, it would seem to be right now; especially now!
This past week has been a blow to many Catholics who seem to be dwindling in realizing the necessity of making Acts of Reparation for sins committed against the Most Sacred and Merciful Heart of Jesus and the Most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. If it is not the world fully embracing the prince of darkness by scoffing at all things sacred, than it is the further deterioration of all things Catholic by a most un-Catholic regime which rules in Nero-like fashion from modern Rome. It is as if the Turks have conquered at Lepanto, as if Napoleon has permanently taken Rome and exiled the Sovereign Pontiff, as if Heaven has fallen asleep, as if all hope is lost for a restoration of the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church.
Yes, if we focus too much on the chagrin and setbacks, we can readily fall into a despondent state at the state of affairs in the world today. But when that happens, those who still have an inkling of faith should hear in the recesses of their consciences those words of rebuke that should awaken us from our self-pity "Oh, ye of little faith."
For those who truly believe, it is in these times of darkness when our Faith should shine the brightest. We look back on that gruesome Good Friday and see only a few standing at the foot of the cross, just as only a few were bold enough and trusting enough to think they could make a difference in making Acts of Reparation for the vile acts of blasphemy with such satanic trash as Mary, Like a Virgin and The Da Vinci Code. In the former, 600 noble souls, led by dedicated , reverent, and committed Catholic priests of the Society of St. Pius X, forded the concrete canals of Manhattan to dare to make a ripple in the swirling sea of tens of millions in the naked city who see no problem in mocking the Mother of God. Likewise, with the debut of a blasphemous film this past weekend, perhaps ten, twenty, fifty to 100 souls were willing to submit themselves to mocking jeers, the pride of the pompous, and be willing to be humbled publicly by both passerby and press, verbally scourged because they dared to make a difference in front of every theater this past weekend that brazenly neoned The Da Vinci Code on their marquees. From the numbers that have been filed at the box office - $224 million worldwide - one might immediately jump to the conclusion that the prayerful protests were a colossal failure. That's what man wants us to think. But God sees it differently, and therein it was, contrary to the world: a colossal success.
I take you back to a time far less evil than today, to a place far, far away north of the Sea of Galilee where stood two cities whose evil and perverse deeds incurred the wrath of God. But one man sought to intervene with the Almighty in hopes of staving off the inevitable. His name was Abraham, the great Patriarch who interceded for the wicked by begging God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah. What would it take to appease God's just anger? Just ten just men! That's it, and yet, in all of these two urban cesspools there could not be found numbered on two hands that many. Talk about despondent. And yet, we know that not even Sodom and Gomorrah were as wicked as the world today; the unnatural perversities have spread to every corner of the earth and are being mandated into man's laws to forever shackle him to the grindstone of gehenna. We hear more and more of the smart card and the imbedded chip that every day becomes closer to reality in this runaway high-tech age that has reached the brink of total anarchy morality-wise. All would seem bleaker than ever, and yet it is darkest before the light and therein we can take great consolation.
Today is the last day of Rogation and also the historical feast of Mary, Help of Christians. Auxilium Christianorum. What comfort that should bring to every devout soul this year especially when May 24 coincides with the last day of Rogation. On this Vigil of the Ascension, white is the vestment and the Mass is of the preceding Sunday Vocem when the lesser litanies procession has already been carried out either Monday or Tuesday of Rogation Week. If the procession has not been made, then purple vestments are used and the Mass today is the same as that of Monday and Tuesday - Exaudivit. As I have quoted often in my VerbumQUO's, the renowned Benedictine Abbot Dom Prosper Gueranger puts it all in perspective for he was truly a priest, a historian, a scholar and a prophet. Outside of the Bible itself and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, few works are as thorough and inspiring as his masterful fifteen-volume The Liturgical Year. For Rogation Days he writes:
Let us take our share in this sacred rite; let us blend our voice with that of our mother, and join the cry that pierces the clouds: Kyrie eleison! Lord have mercy on us! Let us think, for a moment, of the countless sins that are being committed, day and night; and let us sue for mercy. In the days of Noe, all flesh had corrupted its way (Genesis 6: 12); but men thought not of asking for mercy. The flood came, and destroyed them all (Luke 17: 27), says our Savior. Had they prayed, had they begged God's pardon, the hand of His justice would have been stayed, and the flood-gates of Heaven would not have been opened (Genesis 7: 11). The day is come, when not water as heretofore, but fire, is suddenly to be enkindled by the divine wrath, and is to burn the whole earth. It shall burn even the foundations of the mountains (Deuteronomy 30: 22); it shall devour sinners, who will be resting then, as they were in the days of Noe, in a false security."
"False security!" Talk about nailing these times we live in today. The conciliar popes have forsaken Christ's True Church for the false security of the United Nations, for world peace that cannot be possible without Christ as our Sovereign and only King; they have forsaken the failsafe procedures and safeguards set in place by previous reliable Roman Pontiffs who railed against the enemy in proper fashion from Pope Pius IX with his unmistakable Syllabus of Errors to Pope Leo XIII's many encyclicals most notably Immortale Dei and Satis cognitum, not to mention Leo's landmark Apostolicae Curae which sets the bar for why the ordinations and episcopal consecrations from 1968 on are invalid in the conciliar church, leaving barely a few consecrated men in the morass that is the malaise of modernism. Few set the standards in identifying the enemy of holy Mother Church better than the holy Pope Saint Pius X with his Pascendi domenici gregis and Oath Against Modernism . His successor Pope Pius XI thought he had further strengthened the ramparts against ecumenism with his masterful Mortalium animos and reinforced the importance of the Social Kingship of Christ with Quas Primas. His immediate successor Pope Pius XII issued several encyclicals, but most paramount today in relationship to the validity of authorized hierarchy, was his decree Sacramentum Ordinis This decree is pivotal in exposing the charlatans wearing the Roman collar today who were ordained or raised to the bishopric after June 1968. They are, as Father Anthony Cekada recently documented in an airtight syllogistic masterpiece at TraditionalMass.org Absolutely Null and Utterly Void. We can see in retrospect, that Pius realized modernism was closing in despite all the strict precautions taken. What he didn't realize was the very Judas in his midst in Fr. Anibale Bugnini, the architect of the Great Sacrilege that a compromised and perverted Giovanni Montini would foist upon the faithful on Passover in 1969, April 3rd to be exact and a fulfillment of our Lord's warning in Matthew 24: 15.
Even in the mid-nineteenth century Dom Gueranger warned of this very thing and I would add that, if you are truly serious about your Faith, if you truly care about the salvation of your soul in light of Tradition and in full obedience to Christ and His Church, then you will read what these previous reliable Catholic Popes decreed and take the Abbot's words to heart below:
"Persecuted by her enemies, decimated by the martyrdom of her children, afflicted by numerous apostasies from the faith, and deprived of every human aid, the Church will know that the terrible chastisement is at hand, for prayer will then be as rare as faith. Let us, therefore, pray; that thus the day of wrath may be put off, the Christian life regain something of its ancient vigor, and the end of the world not be in our times. There are even yet Catholics in every part of the world; but their number has visibly decreased. Heresy is now in possession of whole countries, that were once faithful to the Church. In others, where heresy has not triumphed, religious indifference has left the majority of men with nothing of Catholicity but the name, seeing that they neglect even their most essential obligations without remorse. Among many of those who fulfill the precepts of the Church, truths are diminished (Psalm 11: 2). The old honesty of faith has been superseded by loose ideas and half-formed convictions. A man is popular in proportion to the concessions he makes in favor of principles condemned by the Church. The sentiments and actions of the saints, the conduct and teaching of the Church, are taxed with exaggeration, and decried as being unsuited to the period. The search after comforts has become a serious study; the thirst for earthly goods is a noble passion; independence is an idol to which everything must be sacrificed; submission is a humiliation which must be got rid of, or, where that cannot be, it must not be publicly acknowledged. Finally, there is sensualism, which, like an impure atmosphere, so impregnates every class of society, that one would suppose there was a league formed to abolish the cross of Christ from the minds of men. "
Wow! Is he not talking about the very times we live today as the summer of 2006 approaches? One would think so, especially in the next paragraph when he lists the consequences of man's rebellion:
"What miseries must not follow from this systematic setting aside of the conditions imposed by God upon His creatures? If the Gospel be the word of infinite Truth, how can men oppose it without drawing down upon themselves the severest chastisements? Would that these chastisements might work the salvation of them that have provoked them! Let us humble ourselves before the sovereign holiness of our God, and confess our guilt. The sins of men are increasing both in number and in enormity. The picture we have just drawn is sad enough; what would it have been, had we added such abominations as these, which we purposely excluded: downright impiety; corrupt doctrines, which are being actively propagated throughout the world; dealings with satan, which threaten to degrade our age to the level of pagan times; the conspiracy organized against order, justice, and religion, by secret societies? Oh! let us unite our prayer with that of holy Church, and say to our God: From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Lord!"
Yes, we had to check again to see if this wasn't written this morning; but no, it was written in the middle of the nineteenth century! Yet, everything he has said is ever more applicable today. In fact, take any week and you can affix the very symptoms the Abbot speaks of above whether it is from the latest headlines in the morning paper, the latest scandal in the tabloids or totally without-redeeming value magazine shows on television or radio, or the latest hole bursting in the synthetic dam that is the conciliar church with a flood of denials and more lies as the doctrine is further diluted by the deluge of heresies and blatant apostasies that have swamped so many souls. Dom Gueranger saw and warned all, but only those open to God's graces understand; indeed, only those open to God's graces still cling to the True Roman Rite of the Mass on which is based the Abbot's calendar for his work The Liturgical Year. He reminds during this Paschal Time in the days of Rogation that the just may wonder why does God allow these blasphemies to continue. He answers thusly:
"He gives food to them that forget and blaspheme Him, as well as to them that make Him the great object of their thoughts and of their service. Men of no religion will profit by the blessing, but they will not acknowledge it to be His; they will proclaim more loudly than ever, that nature's laws are now so well regulated by modern science, that she cannot help going on well! God will be silent, and will feed the men who thus insult Him. But why does He not speak? Why does He not make His wrath felt? Because His Church has prayed; because He has found the ten just men (Genesis 18: 32), that is, the few for whose sake He mercifully consents to spare the world. He therefore permits these learned economists, whom He could so easily disconcert, to go on talking and writing. Thanks to this His patience, some of them will grow tired of their impious absurdity; an unexpected circumstance will open their eyes to the truth, and they will, one day, join us both in faith and in prayer. Others will go deeper and deeper into blasphemy; they will go on to the last, defying God's justice and fulfilling in themselves that terrible saying of holy Scripture: 'The Lord hath made all things for Himself; the wicked also for the evil day.' (Proverbs 16: 4). "
And so, every year during these three days of Rogation we return to petition God and evidently there are at least ten just souls to stay the hand of God. To some this is not always a good thing for the wicked rejoice, but for those who truly understand their Catholic faith, this is a blessing so that we can hold out hope that the likes of Dan Brown, Michael Schiavo, Kofi Annan, Brazil's Lula, Democrats and Republicans, clueless and talentedless Hollywood celebrities, the local Masonic ordinaries, even Joseph Ratzinger and those he has duped will all repent and return to the true fold in order to receive the rewards of the laborer as Christ speaks of. Some have been at work in the vineyard throughout the day, others come at the last hour. It is God's choosing whom He desires to reward. It is not ours to question, and yet He depends on us to be His lookout, to expose those who have veered from the course He set. A laborer is worthy of his wages, but a laborer who loafs or who deceives is worthy only of the employer's wrath for he is cheating not only the owner of the vineyard, but his fellow laborers who bear the brunt of the landlord's lack of fruits. If even one laborer is not productive, all suffer for the idiom holds true, you are only as strong as your weakest link. The truth is there are way, way too many weak links out there not carrying their weight, not striving to be honest and ethical in their work ethic, in their prayer life, in their interaction with their neighbor.
How do we get those slothful ones to pull their weight and balance the boat, if you will, all rowing in the same direction? By appealing to our heavenly Mother to knock them over the head and wake them up. That is why in the midst of Mary's month of May, a special feast is attributed to her - not necessarily liturgically for the universal Church, but as a reminder that Mary is only an Ave away from listening to our gripes, our concerns, our cares, our fears and desires. She has a tender heart, a most sorrowful one. She can compassionate with us where Christ or any of the Apostles would weigh the good and the bad. With Mary, she sees the good and through her prayers and intercession, seeks to negate the bad by imploring her divine Son to have mercy on the wretched and the wicked. Likewise she implores the offenders to amend their ways, not through the strict justice of a harsh, but just judge, but of a heartfelt mother who at times must drive Heaven nuts with her constant empathy for the sinner. Never condoning the sin, she is the first to welcome the truly repentant sinner back. The only difference between Peter and Judas was that Peter went to Mary after denying Christ. Judas did not.
Mary is Help of Christians; Auxilium Christianorum . Dom Gueranger explains its significance:
"Its object is to honor the Mother of God as the Help of Christians - a title she has justly merited by the innumerable favors she has conferred upon Christendom. Dating from that day whose anniversary we are soon to celebrate, when the Holy Ghost descended upon Mary in the Cenacle, in order that she might begin to exercise over the Church Militant her power as Queen - who could tell the number of times that she has aided, by her protection, the kingdom of her Son on earth?
"Heresies have risen up, one after the other; they were violent; they were frequently supported by the great ones of this world; each of them was resolved on the destruction of the true faith; and yet, one after the other, they have dwindled away, or fallen into impotency; those of the present day are gradually sinking by internal discord; and Holy Church tells us that it is Mary who 'alone destroys all heresies throughout the whole world' (Gaude, Maria Virgo ! cunctas haereses sola interenmisti in universo mundo (Office of the Blessed Virgin, Matins vii Antiphon). If public scandals or persecutions, or the tyranny of secular interference, have at times threatened to stay the progress of the Church, Mary has stretched forth her arm, the obstacles were removed, and the Spouse of Jesus continued her onward march, leaving her foes and her fetters behind her. All this was vividly brought before the mind of the saintly Pontiff, Pius V, by the victory of Lepanto, gained by Mary's intercession, over the Turkish fleet, and he resolved to add one more title to the glorious list given to our Lady in the Litany: it was Auxilium Christianorum, Help of Christians."
The Abbot goes on to document events in Church history when things looked so bleak for the Mystical Bride, and yet, true to Christ's words in Matthew 16: 19, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Never was this more evident than in the time of Gueranger's own youth when, following the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte came to power and Europe, and then Rome itself and demeaned the exiled Pope Pius VII who had previously crowned him emperor. . The Abbot would live to realize His Holiness had re-entered Rome triumphantly on this very day 192 years ago on May 24, 1814. Truly Mary, Help of Christians, to the rescue. And as the loving mother, through the prayers of the just, Napoleon repented while a prisoner on the isle of Saint Helena and was received back into the bosom of holy Mother Church. As Gueranger points out, "Pius" means compassionate - loving, just as we say in the Salve Regina, O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria "O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary." Is it any wonder that the last 500 years have seen nine stellar Popes named Pius, two of them saints no less and several exemplifying the holiness expected of a true Vicar of Christ; something so lacking, in fact null and void since the death of the last Pius - His Holiness Pope Pius XII.
If Our Lady Help of Christians could intervene to help rescue her divine Son's Mystical Bride from the ravages of pagan Rome, Arianism, barbarism, the Eastern Schism, the infidels of Islam, the Protestant Revolution, the age of enlightenment and Voltaire, from fascism and communism, then surely the Blessed Mother will not abandon us in this time when the mother of all heresies has almost completely eclipsed the True Church built upon the Rock. The conciliarists' time is numbered, just as were the gnostics of the early centuries, the schismatics of medieval times, the heretics of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,and the apostates of the eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. God will not be mocked. Let The Da Vinci Code play out its blasphemies, God knows those who stood against it. That's all that matters. Hearts are hardened and cold. Only prayer can soften and warm them; only a mother's persistent love can outlast such sinners and stifle their hate. Mary is the answer and those who do not realize this, who do not believe this, do not trust this heavenly equation, will continue in their misery.
Mary, Help of Christians, restore thy divine Son's holy Church. Drive out the imposters and reinstate true shepherds so the flocks may be fed as Christ asked so lovingly in John 21: 14-17, "Feed My lambs... Feed My sheep." Jesus also said in Matthew 18: 6, "But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Wo to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but , nevertheless wo to that man by whom the scandal cometh."
We know who they are who are causing scandal and we don't need to go into semantics or dialogue over whether this potentate or that potentate are heretics. If they have espoused heresy, whether their name is William Levada, Richard McBrien, Karol Wojtyla or Joseph Ratzinger the fact is they have not recanted their heresies, have not amended their ways and remain outside the Church just as Pope Paul IV infallibly stated in his papal decree Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio. Again, this is not my judgment, this is not any Traditional Catholic's personal opinion or judicious reasoning of present time. What it is is the answer to the tired refrain that only God can judge a pope and only another pope or council can pass judgment. They fail to realize God already has judged and Holy Mother Church has already spoken. If they have deviated in any way from their Catholic faith, they abdicate any authority they might have had and if this occurred before they were elevated, their appointment and all they had passed are null and void. That is the infallible judgment of the Church which, with all the evidence against the enablers of Vatican II already, seals the fate of the conciliar popes and potentates who have much to account for, but until there is a total repentance and an amendment of life in all ways, their actions and words have already condemned them. Roma locuta est.
Gueranger concludes with the severity of daring to change one iota of the Faith:
The pontifical sovereignty over Rome and the States belonging to the Church has arisen from necessity - but that necessity belongs to the supernatural order of things. It follows that this sovereignty surpasses all others in dignity, and that, in consequence of its being consecrated to God's service on earth, it is to be considered as a sacred thing. He that dares to lay hands upon it, is guilty not only of spoliation, but of sacrilege; and the anathemas of the Church lie heavily upon him. Here again history tells us how terrible has been the lot of all those who, despising the anathema, refused to make restitution to the Church, and dared to defy the justice of Him Who conferred on Peter the power of binding and loosing."
Indeed, the charges against Ratzinger and his lot of progressivists are most serious and there will be hell to pay if restitution is not made by repenting fully of modernism and ecumenism, and then stepping down as conciliar pope and turning modern Rome back to Catholic Rome, even if there are only ten just men to vote in conclave for the next true Pope. To Mary, Help of Christians we turn to see if there are ten just men to "fight the good fight of Faith" as Saint Paul entreats in 1 Timothy 6: 12. In real estate it's all about location, location, location. These days, true Catholics, even if they be but a few compared to the greater majority of conciliar catholics, turn to Our Lady and sincerely ask God's mercy, forgiveness and blessings in these days of Rogation, Rogation, Rogation!