In my last editorial I began this multi-part commentary on the state of things today and inaugurated it with the meaning of trust. It is something so few adhere to today unless it is a trust where material riches are stored. Few live what Saint Faustina Kowalska conveyed: "Jesus, I trust in You." And that, my dear friends, is the crux of today's problems in the world and in the Church. Our Lord appeared to the "Apostle of Divine Mercy" between World War I and World War II in Poland to remind us both of His abundant Mercy as well as His equally necessary Justice. For centuries Heaven has been trying to warn us that we can only place our trust in God. When we don't, we pay the consequences. The Bible and the history of mankind bear that out. Christ has sent His Blessed Mother constantly and consistently to the 'children' of innocence to provide the blueprint for salvation corresponding to the culture and the times. It has been a reminder repeatedly that God does not change; man does! God cannot, man may because he has been given a free will to choose between goodness and evil. Sadly, in hindsight and lack of foresight, man has chosen the wider, temporal path that has only led to more ruin. When will we learn?
While we talk so much about God's Loving Mercy, we have lost the very Catholic dogmatic principle that He is equally merciful and just. Too many today presume God's love and are counting on His Mercy without playing fair. They're trying to slide by, skate, as it were, into Heaven without earning it. It doesn't work that way. Never has, never will. We are not all called to holiness for nothing. It is only in sincerely seeking sanctity that we will overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. It isn't easy unless we submit totally to God's Holy Will. Then, it's a breeze because we will cease to worry about temporal things. We let in God. Then we can let go. "For My yoke is easy, and My burden light" (Matthew 11: 30).
Yet, too many today consider their Catholic Faith a burden, too many want to lighten the load by relaxing ever increasingly the disciplines Holy Mother Church set down. Those admirers of the Vatican II reforms point out that the Church was too harsh before Vatican II, that the laity were just 'spectators' and the Church was top heavy with clergy. They love to point out that there was no participation with the Tridentine Mass. Really? Having been brought up in the tried and true, Tridentine True Rite, I can refute those excuses completely.
Let's take, for example, parish life. Before Vatican II priest, parent and professor (most of the time the good, holy nuns) were on the same wavelength. Each school day began with Holy Mass, was reinforced in school curriculum with all subjects in harmony with our Faith and practiced in our behavior in school and home. We were reinforced through parental example and authority, and parish life. We were taught to respect authority and to learn from them. Today the older and wiser someone is, the more of a burden they become to society. Not because they are, but because that is the progressive perception that has poisoned the mentality of the masses today. Respect for respect has been lost. Consequently, the absolutes of order and sanity are out the window. Ergo, the rules change constantly to suit the whims of those in power at the time. Temporal insanity is a better term for it.
Why were the Catholic schools so successful then and today have, for the most part, gone the way of the dinosaur? First of all, the teachers were nuns. They weren't paid for their work. This allowed the parish to offer an education to every child. The parish paid the bills and everyone cooperated, even those without children because Catholics were all one cultural family - worldwide. Anywhere you might be in the world, you would always be home in a Catholic church during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Latin was the cultural link. The pastor and parish priests were special back then, too. Families clamored to invite the priests over for dinner and bless their homes. The priests cherished their role as shepherds and provided spiritual nourishment with Daily Mass, ample time for confessions, weekly Benediction, frequent Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and presenting themselves as exemplary role models with the utmost decorum. Every church was truly a sanctuary from the hubbub of the world. There was a parish spirit where things got done, bills got paid, buildings and expansion completed without begging, without intimidating parishioners. Pulpits were not used to promote causes and campaigns, but to teach the Gospel and identify the gravity of sin and its consequences.
Before Vatican II Catholics took great pride in being Catholic and knowing their Faith. Yes, the nuns were tough. We didn't hear many parents complaining. And, in retrospect, few kids complained once they had matured and realized why Sister so and so rode them so hard. Those nuns, bless them, were dedicated to nourishing each child body, mind and soul. They weren't concerned with quotas, only quality of character. They believed in the idiom that everyone should have a pat on the back, sometimes lower, if necessary, to make good Catholic citizens out of their charges. Discipline of self and selflessness were stressed. Catholics were taught why and how to live in the world without being of the world. The Baltimore Catechism explained that in black and white. There was no ambiguity. There also was no government bureaucracy to deal with or teachers' salaries or countless other complications that have wormed their way into curriculums and institutions today, basically handcuffing the education process and slowly, but surely taking away all rights from Catholics and parents.
To those who think I'm living in the past, I caution them to learn from history. Are we to continue making the same mistakes that led to ruin for generations of the past centuries from the beginning of man? When will we learn? God has set down a blueprint for us and yet we decide we can make alterations to bring it up to inferior standards. Didn't we learn from the Protestant Reformation? The wisdom of Trent has evidently been lost in the chase for convenience and ease in today's modern, enlightened society.
While studying in the seminary I was taught to challenge ideas to make sure their logic and rationale held water. Could one decidedly syllogize the truths from what one was told? We were encouraged to foster intellectual curiosity, but we were also encouraged to realize that Faith must be separated from reason for Faith does not demand proof, Faith accepts what cannot be explained. Being weaned on that conclusion has helped me weather many a storm.
Just recently we rented the movie "The Body" with Antonio Banderas as a Jesuit priest from Nicaragua sent by the Vatican to investigate the discovery of a body in a crypt in Jerusalem which was deduced to be Jesus Christ Himself because of the carbon-dating and the wounds. It was an interesting concept that challenged the very core of Faith. While we disagreed with some things in the movie, it did bring home a strong point that regardless of what they found, we knew it was not Our Lord's remains for we believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. There could be no human remains. Yet this struck at the heart of the Jesuit's faith for this man was a believer who allowed doubt to creep in. Satan can play tricks on our minds so easily if we do not nourish that Faith. In the movie even the Vatican sought to conceal the find at any cost and that played right into the terrorist demands of both Israeli and Palestinian forces who tried to use it for their own ends. In the end the Jesuit's Faith in God stood up, but he was rightfully incensed at Rome's willingness to deal with the despots in a desperate attempt to conceal something they feared would crumble Christianity.
Now this movie was fiction. But the question we ask is would Rome in reality do such a thing? Sadly, conciliar Rome would and has. Consider the compromise John XXIII made with the Soviet Union before Vatican II. He agreed in the Pact of Metz not to attack communism or even to mention it. Quite a diametrically different position than his predecessor. In doing so John not only contradicted Our Lady's plea at Fatima, but cut off the Faith for so many behind the Iron Curtain. In effect, he sold out for the sake of compromise, denying the right of the Greek Orthodox to participate in Vatican II while at the same time giving free rein to KGB agents to infiltrate the Church. To cover this up, more lies were told. And to cover up those lies, even more lies. Yet, to the amazement of so many faithful Catholics his beatification was zipped through on the fast track. Why? Could the feast day he was assigned give answer to that question? Of course, while the feasts of all other beatified and canonized in the Church correlated closely with their deaths or births, Papa Roncalli died on June 3rd, 1963. He was born on November 25th in 1881. So what date is he assigned for his feast? October 11th. Now what corresponds with that date? Why the opening of the Second Vatican Council. In effect, what the luciferians have sought to do is legitimize the reforms of Vatican II. How, by ramrodding through the beatification of the enabler of Vatican II. It's true the most dangerous reforms of Vatican II were enabled by Pope Paul VI whose weakness in delegating trust to the wrong people helped create the havoc we have today. Yet men like Annibale Cardinal Bugnini and that ilk would never have been allowed to wreak their destructive measures had John XXIII been more attentive and astute to why his predecessor had exiled the very men the 'good Pope' had let loose.
The problems arose because Cardinal Roncalli trusted man and man betrayed him. He trusted that all would have the filial, simple faith he had. He trusted that those he called to the Council had the same pure intentions he expressed. He trusted and was used. The fact he trusted God more gave him the grace to not betray the Church completely. Was John a good Pope. I believe he was a good man. I believe he strived to be a holy man. But a good Pope? We'll have to let the Church fully decide on that. I daresay Pope Pius XII is just as deserving if not moreso than his successor for beatification, but the conciliarists seek to embroil him in the Jewish controversy, thus 'tying their hands' so that Papa Pacelli lingers in the limbo of the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints. But that's my opinion and opinions should never count when dealing with the sacred office of declaring someone a saint. Again, we bow to the Authority of Holy Mother Church.
I reinforce that point and that what I write is my commentary, how I perceive from the facts and evidence presented and the actual state of the Church today. I do not relish the duty of criticizing, just as I don't curry to being criticized. Yet it comes with the territory. As editor I am open to the scrutiny of others and that's fine. I can live with that. It comes with the profession. At the same time, those entrusted with caring for souls must realize they cannot continue their humanistic ways and oblivion to what is happening without being called to task for their errors. We have so many priests and bishops, even cardinals who are living in and preaching heresy today. Can you live with that? I can't. I love Holy Mother Church too much to stand idly by and spout the conservative mantra that "yes, we have so many abuses and problems in the Church, but..." There's always that qualifying preposition that sticks in the craw of Traditionalists and serves as a stumbling block to uniting forces to fight the true enemy. As long as that proverbial 'but' continues, as long as excuses are made for incompetence, irresponsibility, irreverance and heresy, then we're sitting on our behinds. When we do that, we are letting down the forces of the Church Militant. When we sit still we are not holding up our end of the bargain in the great Communion of Saints. When we sit still we are letting Jesus and His Blessed Mother down big time. If only more would realize the bugle is being sounded for all faithful Catholics to defend the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church now. This doesn't mean to wait for someone else to do it, but to join the Crusade to restore Catholicism - true Catholicism. If we don't muster the courage, we'll end up like General Custer at Little Big Horn. You know what that means?! When we sit still we're stuck with 'Sitting Bull!' We can get off our duffs and do something or we can sit. Know this: Sitting around causes splinters!