DIADEMS OF THE DECADE - Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW (042001pl.htm)


Diadems of the Decade from April 16, 2001, vol 12, no. 106

                Look To The Crucifix

      This article ran on Easter Monday, April 16 in 2001 by Patrick Ludwa. Though Pat and The DailyCatholic parted ways when we turned our backs on the conciliar Novus Ordo, what he wrote nine years ago is advice we all can all take to the bank for we must always keep our eye on the prize which is the Crucifix for therein lies the antidote against the venom of lies satan spreads. Pat talks about how the devil delivers the seed of dissent and our own pride takes it from there, all the way to sin by giving into the the evil one slithering about, but he can never worm his way around the wood of the Crucifix! On the Cross with Christ is the only way to avoid satan's lies! When we divert away from the Truths God set down through the New Covenant carried out in the absolutes of the Doctrines and Dogmas of Holy Mother Church, then we become prey for the deadly serpent whose bite is mortal, as in mortal sin.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ, suffered, died, was buried, and rose again to redeem us from sin, to open the gates of heaven and overcome death, the death of the soul through sin. We know that by this He washed away the sin of Adam. Mary's Yes at the Annunciation countered Eve's no, just as Jesus' Yes to the cross countered Adam's no. Original sin. We've heard about it, some even say it really doesn't exist. That what Adam and Eve did so many centuries ago has nothing to do with us today. But it does, we see examples of original sin every day.

    Let's look again at where original sin 'originated'. "Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, 'Did God say, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden'?' And the woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die'. ' But the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.' So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate" (Genesis 3:1-6)

    Now the serpent was more subtle than any other creature. Pretty strong words. He was intelligent, he knew what buttons to push, so to speak. He first offers an innocent question, "Did God say that you shall not of any tree in the garden?" And Eve answers that He did. Of all the trees, bushes, shrubs, of all that they had God commanded that they stay away from one tree. How unfair!! Of course, according to the serpent, God doesn't really know what He's talking about! It's unfair! It's ridiculous! "You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." God is just being oppressive! Who is He to tell her what to do and what not to do?

    Now, the serpent doesn't threaten Eve, he doesn't even ridicule her. No, he just plants the seed of discontent, of dissension, and let's us take it from there. "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate"

    Eve just sees it, notes how it does seem unfair. The fruit of the tree IS good for food, it was pleasant to look at, and was beneficial. So, regardless of what God said, she knew better. Without so much as touching the fruit, she had already made herself the arbitrator of what was good and evil. Obviously, being told not to eat the fruit was evil since it was good for food, pleasant and to be desired. Obviously it was good to eat it regardless of what God said. All that was left was the actual act, so she ate it.

    Look around, it's still going on! Who is the Church to tell us what to do or what not to do? We can determine on our own what is right and what is wrong. Illicit sex? Hey, who is the Church to tell us that it's wrong? It's natural, studies have shown that it's good for you, it's pleasant, etc. All the arguments that Eve used to rationalize away her dissension. In fact, all dissension can be traced to this. People determining for themselves what is right and wrong. Isn't that the basis of almost all sin? People figure they have the right to do something even though God, the Church, and/or society says that it's wrong? Look at abortion! A mother determines, or is persuaded, that her child is going to die for her convenience. She's not ready, it's her right, it will interfere with her personal plans, career or livelihood.

    "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate"

    Just as Bishop Sheen pointed out, our eyes can't see without light, how then can we 'see' without the light of Christ, without the light of His Church?

    "He who hears you hears Me, and he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him Who sent Me" (Luke 10:16).

    Satan isn't so foolish to make an evil appear evil! There's always good reasons for it. It's just, it's fair, it's natural, it's your right, etc. Of course where it's shown that it isn't, no problem, just say that whoever said it was mistaken! "We don't know what the Apostles meant!" "Paul was sexually repressed!", etc. Listen to Call To Action's and the dissidents' rhetoric, you can hear the exchange between the serpent and Eve! The Church isn't fair, it's oppressive, it's patriarchal. It's evil.

    " For the Church knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." How many times have we heard people chastise and ridicule the Church in this way? "We who are more enlightened know that (fill in the blank)."

    But Mary's 'Yes' to God was hard. It brought a lot of danger, not to mention inconvenience; far more than Eve had to deal with.

    "And Mary said, 'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38).

    Jesus' 'Yes' was hard. It brought suffering and death, even more than what Adam had to deal with.

    "Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).

    Is it any wonder that Christ tells us, "Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:27-33)

    And: "If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake, he will save it" (Luke 9:23-24).

    Is it also any wonder that we have those who say 'deny the cross, accept yourself and relish in it.' Bishop Sheen said that the cross is what bars us. Many say it's the sacrifice of the cross that keeps them from accepting Christianity. It's the cross that bars us from the gates of hell.

    Yes, Lent is over and we're celebrating Easter. But the cross is still there.

        "The triumph of Jesus on Palm Sunday was actually a march toward Calvary, and he knew it. Thus the triumph of the Christian to baptism, confirmation, first Communion, marriage, priesthood or religious profession, is and ought to be a march to Calvary. Happy are they who realize this, consent to it, and find in this very truth their consolation.

        "If God were to explain Himself to us, it would be easy for Him to prove His reasonableness of our trials and the wisdom of His providence. But there is another subject demanding explanation and a further occasion for wisdom in the fact that He does not explain Himself.

        "The mystics are right in weeping today over the pain of Christ, for it is eternal pain. The cross is the shadow of Christ, accompanying Him everywhere and, as it were, indistinguishable from Him. Jesus Christ calls unto Himself those who suffer that they may find in His doctrine the explanation for their suffering instead of succumbing to the mystery or contenting themselves with miserable interpretations; that they may discover in His teaching their consolation; rather than allow themselves to be crushed "even as others who have no hope"; that they may understand by His touch that consolation does not consist in the expectation of a temporal deliverance from pain, but in the confidence which receives it as a pledge and recognizes it as love.

        "Jesus puts into our hands His glorious cross, His saving cross, His cross symbolic of the likeness and the love between Him and us." (Fr. Antonin Gilbert Sertillanges, O.P.; Magnificat, April 2001, pg. 146)

    The cross is always present:

    The Crucifix
  • If you would like to know God, Look at the Crucifix!
  • If you would like to love God, Look at the Crucifix!
  • If you want to serve God, Look at the Crucifix!
  • If you hope for eternal Happiness, Look at the Crucifix!
  • If you wonder how much God loves you, Look at the Crucifix!
  • If you wonder how He tries to prevent you from the yawning jaws of hell, Look at the Crucifix!
  • If you wonder how much He will help you to save your immortal soul, Look at the Crucifix!
  • If you wonder how much you should forgive others, Look at the Crucifix!
  • If you wonder how much your faith demands of you, in humility, poverty, charity, meekness and every virtue, Look at the Crucifix!
  • If you wonder how far your own unselfishness should go to bring others to Christ, Look at the Crucifix!
  • If you want to understand the need for self-denial and mortification, Look at the Crucifix!
  • If you wish to live well, Look at the Crucifix!
  • If you wish to die well, Look at the Crucifix!
    We can take the example of Adam, Eve and the serpent and decide for ourselves what is right or wrong and demand that God and His Church submit to that. Or we can look to the Crucifix, humbly submit, and live.

Pax Christi,

Pat Ludwa



DIADEMS OF THE DECADE
Patrick Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW
from Monday, April 16, 2001, Volume 12, no. 106