MONDAY
March 18, 2002
volume 13, no. 51

There is no place we'd rather be than Calvary!

Why is it when a pope says the Church is in "apostasy", and it has reached the "highest levels within the Church" no one blinks or feels alarmed, but let traditional Catholics echo the same warning, backing it up with solid facts and documentation, and they're called 'dissidents' or even 'schismatics'? It doesn't make sense, does it?

      "...so few remained with Christ to the bitter end on Calvary considering the countless souls He touched during His three-year public ministry. It is a microcosm of what is happening today. Just as those few who stood at the foot of the Cross understood, so also the small, but loyal remnant who today swim against the tide of modernism can understand this. The faithful remnant, the Traditional Roman Catholics who cling to the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church with every fiber of their being, know the rejection, know the price it takes to stand with Christ. It is not easy. It never is, never was. If it were, would not at least His chosen twelve have been there with Him standing at Golgotha? Would not those who clamored for Him in Galilee, who saw first-hand the miracles, who heard His words and were moved - wouldn't they have made an effort to be there with and for Him if they truly had believed? But only a few holy women, and His Sorrowful Mother, the Magdalen and the beloved disciple Saint John stood at the foot of the Cross. Indeed, even in the Garden of Olives, before the greatest fear engulfed the Apostles, only three stayed with Him, and they fell asleep, unable to watch even one hour."
    As we enter Passion Week we near the summit of Calvary and the end of the fourth sorrowful mystery - the Carrying of the Cross. We are approaching the fifth mystery - the Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in this series on the Sorrowful Mysteries. We know the Mystical Body of Christ must go through the passion as foretold for these times in Sacred Scripture, such as Saint Paul's prophecy in 2 Timothy 4: 2,
    "For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will turn away indeed their hearing from the truth but will be turned to fables."
Paul realized all too well the price for this. He elaborated on these times in chapter three of 2 Timothy, verses 1-7, 12-14:
    "Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked. Without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness. Traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God: Having an appearance of piety, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid: For of this sort are they who creep into houses, and lead captive silly women loaded with sins, who are led away with diverse desires: Always learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth...And all who live piously in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution. But evil men, and seducers shall grow worse and worse: erring, and driving into error. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and which have been committed to thee: knowing of whom thou hast learned."
    Indeed, those things which we have learned from Holy Mother Church since the time of St. Paul and up through Pope Pius XII we therefore cling to, knowing of whom we have learned from and knowing that knowledge is preserved in the Sacred Deposit of the Faith. What we have heard and continue to hear over these past 40 years does not coincide fully with that solid teaching. The post-conciliar church seeks to adapt, to change to placate man, to be politically correct. To follow the latter is to abandon Christ and His Bride.

    Visualize if you will the wood of the cross. Most likely before the angel appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Nazareth, a sapling began to sprout somewhere south in the soil of Judea. As Jesus learned at the foot of His Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph the young tree grew in stature, providing welcome shade under the searing Mid-East sun. Wind, rain, dust and sand battered at its bark; yet its branches provided refuge for birds of the air - the same winged creatures Our Lord affirmed in His parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13: 31-32. That same tree could have been referred to in Matthew 8: 20 and Luke 9: 58 where Jesus said, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air nests: but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head." Yet, this tree somewhere near Jerusalem, the one which provided the nest, would provide a resting place for His head, albeit it cushioned cruelly by the piercing thorns that encircled His sacred skull.

    Bleeding, scarred and dehydrated, Christ moved one foot after another slowly, painfully. With every step His precious feet - those which had walked the vast expanses of Galilee, the very same that were bathed in perfume by Mary Magdalene - scrunched into the jagged rocks along the crude pathway towards Calvary. The soles of His feet bled, the dust caked to it, causing infection and further aches. His hands trembled with pain as he clutched the wood of the cross, the slivers slicing into His palms. His back practically crippled from the weight of the wood, the shoulder bruised and throbbing. Anyone else would have stayed on the ground, especially after having fallen a third time. They would have said 'that's it, let me just die here.' But not Our Lord. He knew He had to carry it out to the end, to suffer even more humiliation and immolation. And why? For us.

    "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15: 13).

    The Father did not allow this to happen for naught. In John 3: 16 we find probably the most quoted passage of Sacred Scripture, "For God so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son: that who so ever believeth in Him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting."

    Ah yes, life everlasting. That's what this is all about. It is not about the world, it is about Heaven. Through Christ's total act of Love, He merited for us this immeasurable gift of Love, unlocking the portals whereby we are eligible to join the Church Triumphant. For nearly 2000 years Heaven was the objective in the great Communion of Saints, the sole focus of everything the Roman Catholic Church taught. So why has that been so downplayed today? Why is hell, which is very much a reality as the ultimate antithesis of the celestial regions, now considered passe? Why has the devil been so diminished in importance - as if he didn't exist? Why has the post-conciliar church done so little to preserve the safeguards against satan which were held so vital up through Pius XII? Why did they do away with the mandatory Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel which Pope Leo XIII mandated be said after every Holy Mass? Why has the post-conciliar church downplayed any reference to the evil one? Why has exorcism been practically exorcised by the post-conciliar church as Father Gabriele Amorth attested to in The smoke of satan in the house of the Lord? Could it be because the evil one has wrested control? Has he finally put in place his own cohorts who don't want to be reminded, who want to divert attention away from lucifer so they can complete the damage begun a century ago? What has occurred is a multiplication of the very same dangers Leo saw and the holy Saint Pius X warned of in presenting his landmark Oath Against Modernism on September 1, 1910 in his motu proprio "Sacrorum Antistitum":

    "The gravity of evil is daily growing and must be checked at any cost. We are no longer dealing, as at the beginning, with opponents 'in sheep's clothing', but with open and bare-faced enemies in our very household, who, having made a pact with the chief foes of the Church are bent on overthrowing the Faith. These are men whose haughtiness in the face of Heavenly wisdom is daily renewed, claiming the right to correct it as if it were corrupted. They want to renovate it as if it were consumed by old age, increase it and adapt it to worldly tastes, progress and comforts, as if it were opposed not just to the frivolity of a few, but to the good of society. There will never be enough vigilance and firmness on the part of those entrusted with the faithful safe-keeping of the sacred deposit of evangelical doctrine and ecclesiastical tradition, in order to oppose these onslaughts against it."
    Besides being a saint, Pius X was also a prophet for indeed what he said was already underway in 1910. If satan had so soundly penetrated the Church at the beginning of the twentieth century where do you think he is at the beginning of the twenty-first century? As I have reiterated countless times, he has not vacated; rather, he has dug in deeper, much, much deeper spreading his mortal venom to every branch of the Church. Indeed the main culprit in aiding and abetting lucifer by taking an ecumenical council and its subsequent reforms beyond where any had gone before was a man who occupied the same highest office of the Church as St. Pius had: Paul VI.

    Everyone knows about his famous remark about the smoke of satan which he so strongly affirmed during his homily on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Basilica on the occasion of his ninth anniversary:

    "We have the impression that through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God: it is doubt, uncertainty, questioning, dissatisfaction, confrontation...We thought that after the Council a day of sunshine would have dawned for the history of the Church. What dawned, instead, was a day of clouds and storms, of darkness, of searching and uncertainties." (June 29, 1972)
    Five and a half years or so later he made it even more poignant when he gave an address at Fatima on October 13, 1977 on the sixtieth anniversary of the final Fatima Apparition.
    "The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and to the highest levels within the Church."
    How ironic that Our Lady warned of this sixty years before when she reaffirmed to the three children at the Cova what holy Pius X had strongly cautioned seven years prior. The Blessed Mother had said in 1917 that if Russia - the seat of Communism - were not consecrated to her Immaculate Heart the grave errors of Communism and Atheism would spread far and wide. In fact, before becoming pope, Giovanni Montini was the chief architect of the nefarious Pact of Metz under Pope John XXIII. The latter was so anxious to have the participation and acceptance of the Russian Orthodox Church for Vatican II that he was not only willing to sell out the Greek Orthodox, but also put a gag on the Church so-to-speak by promising not to speak out against this evil. Evidently the future pope was only too willing to sign this Judas-like agreement. For the Church to abandon her principles and moral standards by compromising with Communism would have been unthinkable in the Church governed by Sovereign Pontiffs up through Pius XII. No matter the world's view, Holy Mother Church had always steered in the direction the compass of Christ pointed to. Yes, she was battered and tossed, often suffering great casualties in her ranks, but never was she thrown off course. Today the Church of Rome is off course - way off course - and because of that she has altered the 'coordinates' of Catholicism kept so steady by previous Pontiffs in steering the Barque of Peter through the storms that Paul VI acknowledged.

    Why is it when a pope says the Church is in "apostasy", and it has reached the "highest levels within the Church" no one blinks or feels alarmed, but let traditional Catholics echo the same warning, backing it up with solid facts and documentation, and they're called 'dissidents' or even 'schismatics'? It doesn't make sense, does it?

    Neither did it make sense that so few remained with Christ to the bitter end on Calvary considering the countless souls He touched during His three-year public ministry. It is a microcosm of what is happening today. Just as those few who stood at the foot of the Cross understood, so also the small, but loyal remnant who today swim against the tide of modernism can understand this. The faithful remnant, the Traditional Roman Catholics who cling to the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church with every fiber of their being, know the rejection, know the price it takes to stand with Christ. It is not easy. It never is, never was. If it were, would not at least His chosen twelve have been there with Him standing at Golgotha? Would not those who clamored for Him in Galilee, who saw first-hand the miracles, who heard His words and were moved - wouldn't they have made an effort to be there with and for Him if they truly had believed? But only a few holy women, and His Sorrowful Mother, the Magdalen and the beloved disciple Saint John stood at the foot of the Cross. Indeed, even in the Garden of Olives, before the greatest fear engulfed the Apostles, only three stayed with Him, and they fell asleep, unable to watch even one hour.

    Even men who would later preach uncompromisingly all He imparted and ultimately die for Him, weren't converted until the Holy Ghost descended on them after Christ ascended into Heaven. That is why I am confident the numbers of the remnant Traditional Roman Catholics will swell as the times become even more dangerous, more wicked. Though Satan is winning way too many battles today, it can't last. We base that on the fact that the gates of hell shall not prevail (cf. Matthew 16: 19) and Christ's assurance He will be with us until the end of the world (cf. Matthew 28: 20). I also base that optimism on the fact that despite the trials, the intimidation of the faithful remnant, the fruits remain evident and grow even more productive year by year. While many modernists, especially among the bishops, cleave to the mistaken notion that traditional Catholics will just die off, the latter's numbers grow stronger as the house of mirrors that has become the post-conciliar church begins showing more cracks. More and more what true Catholics - many conservative ones at that - are beginning to see is not what they thought would be reflected in the Church. The smoke of satan has clouded their vision and, as it begins to thin out, so does the rationalization for continuing the reforms of Vatican II. Once those who truly cherish their Faith get through the veneer of what is posited they see not what they thought they would in the mirror. Indeed the more they look, the more they see a transparent religion which doesn't mesh with the true faith taught for nearly 2000 years.

    While on the surface it is assumed Christ is emphasized, in truth He is being de-emphasized in favor of an agenda of man promoted by the post-conciliar church. Slowly but surely ethereal, spiritual things have been cleverly and surreptitiously replaced by an emphasis on humanistic elements and the push for globalization which translates to a One World Order through the 'brotherhood of men!' Mario Derksen's series "Vatican II and the Gospel of Man" in his Traditional Insights column every Friday is an excellent example of providing evidence of this.

    If man were the focus, if the world is so important, then why would Christ have gone through the ultimate pain and suffering He did? For temporal things? I think not. Christ could have triumphed in a worldly manner so easily. He could have called His Archangels to smote those who sought to put Him to death. He could have cast away the cross and performed such miracles that would have surely turned the hardest of hearts. But instead He chose to be humiliated to show us what we must do. There is no room for pride in Christ's kingdom and He showed that by humbling Himself as they stripped Him of all dignity by ripping the tattered clothes from His battered, bone-jutting body, then slamming Him hard to the wood of the same tree He had lugged up Calvary. The tree He was fastened to would be turned eventually into kindling or be left to rot away, becoming mere sediment and possibly germinate anew a seed of hope when another seedling would sprout in the parched earth of the Holyland; while the precious Cargo it held would physically die and on the third day rise gloriously, thus conquering death. If it were about man, there would be no need for the Cross - the Tree of Life.

    Yet, the Son of Mary chose to go through all the agony to show us what great Love He had for us - even those who abandon Him. Imagine, if you can, the immense, shattering pain of those crudely pointed shards of iron that the Roman soldiers pounded into His hands and feet. Oh, the agony. In medical annals no man has ever suffered such intense torture for such a concentrated duration. The first blow of the nails would send a normal man into shock. For someone who had lost so much blood, the hoisting of the heavy timber into the air would effect the equilibrium of one strapped to the tree and, though I am not a medical expert in any sense of the imagination, possibly tear the muscles and rip the bones just by the centrifugal force of the thud when it was slammed into place. That is another reason historians strongly suspect that, besides the nails, He was strapped to the tree. Aside from the open wounds, the tourniquets of hemp would cut off circulation as well, causing dizziness and black-outs. During it all He endured for Love of us. For love of those who would mock Him, would deny Him, would choose not to follow Him out of inconvenience or because the cross is too much for those who have set their standards by what the world judges.

    And yet the scales today are unbalanced because the post-conciliar church has chosen to weigh down the faithful with ecumenism, religious liberty, humanism. All things of man. All things that seek peace and harmony with man at the expense of God. We see this in our churches where man has replaced God as the central focus in His Own house. We see this in the liturgy where the divine mystery of the True Presence has been diminished with the novelties of the Novus Ordo. We see this in the endless tolerance mumbo-jumbo of inter-faith dialogue where truth is compromised in order to not offend. We see this, as I pointed out in my last commentary Unsound Doctrine and the Yoke of Blind Obedience, in the countless exhibits of bad fruits that prove beyond question that Vatican II could not have been a 'good tree' as Christ syllogized in Matthew 7: 18.

    As the hours wind down, as the Cross is hoisted for those final three hours on Golgotha, isn't it time for the post-conciliar church to come clean? There is not a lot of time left to fess up that the experiment of Vatican II is not working and will never work. Yet, Pope John Paul II seems intent on perpetuating this sorry legacy as he indicated in his encyclical Ut unum sint in which he wrote,

    "At the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church committed herself irrevocably to following the path of the ecumenical venture."
We respectfully and firmly say: No, your Holiness, you cannot! For the Catholic Church per se did not commit herself to that, but rather interlopers who have hijacked our beloved Church did. They are not the Church. They are the invaders and false prophets whom St. Paul warned of in 2 Timothy, the same ones who St. Pius X warned us of, the same ones many saints and prophets warned of, holy men and women who foresaw this day of "dangerous times." We are indeed in those times. The times of the "mystery of iniquity." The very same times affirmed in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, the very same catechism authorized and approved by John Paul II. Does he not see and acknowledge this? Can he be unaware of paragraph 675?
    "Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the 'mystery of iniquity' in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh."
    I urge you to reread that paragraph. You'll find it on page 176, Part One, The Profession of Faith. Paragraph 676 seeks to defuse it somewhat, but when you look at the state of the Church today you see there could be no other time than what we are living presently. Never in the barren and crucial times of the Arian and Protestant heresies was "the 'mystery of iniquity' in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth" so blatantly unveiled as it is today.

    It points to the fact that it's time to cut the losses. The longer we continue on this path, the more souls will be lost. Christ, St. Paul, countless saints and popes warned us. When will we finally wake up and realize the wisdom of their words. When will we truly realize the truth of their prophecies? When it's too late? Folks, it's already too late. Souls, countless souls have already been lost. Can we afford to continue this tragedy? For every soul lost, someone has to answer to God. For every soul saved, it adds to the ledger for the Last Judgment. We're not here to 'make it' in this world, we're here to first save our own soul, and second to save other souls. Everything else pales in comparison.

    As Christ hung on the rugged, sturdy wood of the cross during those three agonizing hours, He said very little. He prayed. Believe it or not He prayed as He considered both the men and women two millennia later who would abandon Him and those who would remain loyal to Him. One inflicted more pain if that is humanly possible; the other spurred the God-man on, encouraged Him in those times when the human mind and body could take no more. Because He loves us He treasured those gushes of encouragement. While so many today, whether they be secular or ecclesial, cherish riches, rewards, and acceptance by others, those who truly love Him suffer with Him because so few choose to follow Him all the way. By their allegiance to the Truths and Traditions of His Holy Church, they willingly place themselves on the cross nailed to Him, giving their wills to Him and allowing their temporal problems and sinfulness to be washed in His Precious Blood. They do so because they so firmly believe in paragraph 677 of the catechism that follows the warning of these times:

    "The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in His death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing evil, which will cause His Bride to come down from Heaven. God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world."
    Whether we are in the end times that will signal "the consummation of the world" only God knows, but we do know we cannot afford to take these times lightly. We cannot afford to dally and keep experimenting with progressive ascendancy through failed, non-Catholic ideologies like ecumenism and humanism. We are nearing the fail-safe point where if we do not get back to the basics of the Truths and Traditions that carried us this far, there may not be the opportunity. We are here by God's divine providence. How much longer are we going to tempt God's Mercy? If the post-conciliar church continues on the path of 'no return' there will be no returns!

    There can be no compromise. We must fight on for His Bride - the Mystical Body of Christ. We must be willing to die for Christ, and that includes even the Mystical Body of Christ being stripped of the holy garments of Truth and Tradition! We are indeed in those times referred to as 'dangerous times.' Know this: We cannot love Christ if we are not willing to walk with Him all the way to Calvary. And even though it may seem that the remnant is isolated, overwhelmed in numbers, and even exiled by the post-conciliar church we can take great solace and hope in the fact that Christ is with us because we are with Him. His Blessed Mother is with us! All the saints are with us! Despite these 'dangerous times,' we have nothing to fear! There is no place we'd rather be than Calvary!

Michael Cain, editor

www.DailyCatholic.org

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March 18, 2002
volume 13, no. 51
CATHOLIC PewPOINT commentary
www.DailyCatholic.org