MAY 2003
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
vol 14, no. 27

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Strangers and Pilgrims

    It is far better to suffer through our temporary exile here on earth, then to be eternally exiled; never to behold the Beatific Vision

        "Today, as in the time of Noah, God is forgotten. Even the 'church of Vatican II,' which passes for the Church these days, has cast an admiring glance at the world and its allurements. It has made a pact with the world, hoping to become a partner in its plans for a New World Order, which it is trying to baptize as "a civilization of peace and love." But it is having a hard time convincing the European Union to give so much as a nod to Christianity in its new constitution."

    Editor's Note: In Father Louis Campbell's sermon for the Third Sunday After Easter, he focuses on the Epistle and what the first Sovereign Pontiff St. Peter said infallibly in his Epistle that we are indeed strangers in this world and it would behoove us - for our eternal salvation - to remain such, for to embrace the world is to give up our pilgrimage toward Heavenly Bliss - that eternal prize of beholding the Beatific Vision. This everlasting glory Christ our Lord affirms to His disciples in today's Gospel. He encourages us to stay the course and realize that this time of sorrow - this time when His Mystical Bride is in eclipse - will soon pass and if we are faithful to Him and to His Church our exile will end and we will be with Him, seeing Him forever. How different this supernatural goal is from the humanist goal of a New World Order which today's conciliar church is so willingly embracing and forfeiting her God-given authority. Do the VaticantwoArians not realize no man can serve two masters? A temporary exile always trumps eternal exile! Father explains in his sermon.

    Note: For the Readings for the Third Sunday After Easter, see Proper for the 3rd Sunday After Easter

    We are "strangers and pilgrims," says St. Peter (1 Pet.2:11). When Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, after having fled from the anger of Pharaoh to the land of Midian, he called his first son Gershom, because he said, "I am a stranger in a foreign land" (Ex.2:22).

    Our name is Gershom. We are like the Israelites during the Babylonian Captivity: "By the streams of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Sion. On the aspens of that land we hung up our harps, though there our captors asked of us the lyrics of our songs, and our despoilers urged us to be joyous: 'Sing for us the songs of Sion!' How could we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?" (Ps.136:1-4).

    Are we really exiles? Yes, because our original parents, Adam and Eve, were turned out of Paradise into an unfamiliar and inhospitable land. They had disobeyed God by eating of the fruit of the tree of good and evil. "Therefore the Lord God put him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the Cherubim, and the flaming sword, which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life" (Gn.3:23,24). Since then our race has longed for Paradise, and our life in this world is that of a pilgrim. Here we have no lasting home.

    But some, having lost Paradise, choose to settle here as permanent residents. They forget God and become attached to the things of the world, which, without God, ends up in violence and chaos. "The earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and it was filled with violence. And God saw that the earth was corrupt; for all men lived corruptly on the earth. And God said to Noah, 'The end of all creatures of flesh is in my mind; the earth is full of violence because of them. I will destroy them with the earth'" (Gn.6:11-13).

    Today, as in the time of Noah, God is forgotten. Even the 'church of Vatican II,' which passes for the Church these days, has cast an admiring glance at the world and its allurements. It has made a pact with the world, hoping to become a partner in its plans for a New World Order, which it is trying to baptize as "a civilization of peace and love." But it is having a hard time convincing the European Union to give so much as a nod to Christianity in its new constitution.

    Pope Pius XII speaks of the spiritual decline that has affected Europe:

    "The denial of the fundamentals of morality had its origin, in Europe, in the abandonment of that Christian teaching of which the Chair of Peter is the depository and exponent. That teaching had once given spiritual cohesion to a Europe which, educated, ennobled and civilized by the Cross, had reached such a degree of civil progress as to become the teacher of other peoples, of other continents. But, cut off from the infallible teaching authority of the Church, not a few separated brethren have gone so far as to overthrow the central dogma of Christianity, the Divinity of the Savior, and have hastened thereby the progress of spiritual decay… Once the authority of God and the sway of His law are denied… the civil authority as an inevitable result tends to attribute to itself that absolute autonomy which belongs exclusively to the Supreme Maker. It puts itself in the place of the Almighty and elevates the State or group into the last end of life, the supreme criterion of the moral and juridical order, and therefore forbids every appeal to the principles of natural reason and of the Christian conscience." (Pope Pius XII, Summi Pontificatus, 29,53, Oct. 20, 1939).

    The nations in their present state cannot admit the true Catholic Church to partnership in the New World Order. The Church is a dangerous institution - it smites the enemies of God with the sword of God's word. It puts down liars and deceivers with the truth of the Gospel. Through its prayers and supplications it sends St. Michael and the heavenly hosts of angels to do battle with Satan and his demonic legions, together with their earthly counterparts. Evildoers are right to fear the Catholic Church, for after its time of trial it will rise gloriously to shatter the kingdom of darkness by preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations. No wonder they want to destroy it. That's why the Church has been brought down to the dust and has all but disappeared. Jesus Christ was dangerous in the same way, and they had Him crucified. But He rose again on the third day.

    The true Church does not go sniveling to the UN or the EU begging to be a partner in the new order of things. The true Catholic Church has the authority from God Himself to teach the nations, and the nations and their leaders have an obligation to hear the Church:

    "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…" (Mt.28:8-20a). "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned" (Mk.16:16).

    Whether the UN, the EU or the US, the nations must hear and obey the voice of God. "He who hears you hears Me; and he who rejects you, rejects Me; and he who rejects Me, rejects Him Who sent Me" (Lk.10:16). The Catholic Church speaks with the authority of God.

    Pope Pius XII emphasizes this:

    "The 'Catholic Church, the City of God, whose King is Truth, whose law love and whose measure eternity' (St. Augustine, Ep. CXXXVIII. Ad Marcellinum, C. 3, N. 17), preaching fearlessly the whole truth of Christ and toiling as the love of Christ demands with the zeal of a mother, stands as a blessed vision of peace above the storm of error and passion awaiting the moment when the all-powerful Hand of Christ the King shall quiet the tempest and banish the spirits of discord which have provoked it" (Summi Pontificatus, #110).

    After we have fought the good fight and kept the faith our exile will be ended. Our joy will be like that of the Israelites returning from exile in Babylonia: "When the Lord brought back the captives of Sion, we were like men dreaming. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing. Then they said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.' The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad indeed. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the torrents in the southern desert. Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves" (Ps.125:1-6).

Father Louis J. Campbell


MAY 2003
Paschaltide
vol 14, no. 27
"Qui legit, intelligat"
Father Louis Campbell's Sunday Sermons

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