Answering Protestants who blaspheme our Blessed Mother

Answering Protestants who blaspheme our Blessed Mother

+Most Holy Trinity Sunday+

Many readers grieve over the multiplication of blasphemies and insults against the Blessed Mother by those professing to be “Christians,” both on social media sites and Protestant websites.  The intensity of these attacks appears to be increasing, and Catholics are hard-pressed at times to answer these false accusations themselves, dissecting the grounds for the attack and cutting to the core of the issue. What follows is the summary of a little book printed in the 1800s that explains the history, motives, misrepresentations and illogical basis for these allegations. This work proves, from the writings of notable Protestant preachers themselves, that the idol worship Catholics are accused of today is neither worship nor idolatry. It then exposes the true source of the hatred Protestants so vehemently spew against our beloved Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Rev. Henry G. Ganss, the rector of St. Patrick’s Church in Carlisle, Penn., wrote Mariolatry, New Phases of an Old Fallacy in 1897 (Notre Dame Press, Indiana). It first appeared as a series printed in the periodical Ave Maria. His work is based on a scathing address entitled Mariolatry, delivered by a Protestant minister in Pennsylvania and widely distributed to the public.  In his work, Rev. Ganss refutes this minister’s sermon and notes the following important points.

Ignorance, name-calling, credulity and insinuations

Regarding the methods used to belittle and castigate Catholics at every possible turn he writes: “Such wholesale and extreme pugnacity may be very convenient as it calls for no discrimination; it requires neither learning nor thought but can be played off under all circumstances by almost any polemic with about the same effect. Its strength consists mainly in calling nicknames; in repeating outrageous charges without regard to any contradiction from the other side; in thrumming over threadbare commonplaces received by tradition from the easy credulity of times past; in huge exaggerations, vast distortions and bold, insulting insinuations thrown out at random in any and every direction. But however convenient all this may be, requiring little learning and less thought and no politeness or charity whatever, it is high time to see that it is a system of tactics which needs in truth only a slight change of circumstance at any time to work just the opposite way from that it is meant to work.

“There is an absence of a cool, dispassionate, judicial temperament; glittering generalities and unsupported assertions are uttered with a melancholy disregard for historic accuracy, conscientious scholarship, logical sequence, and, I regret to say, Christian truth. The covert design seems to be to cast discredit and odium on everything bearing a semblance to Catholicity even if charity the only badge of a true follower of a common Redeemer, and truth, the only criterion that regulates social and spiritual life, must be sacrificed. And when this is done with a mock-heroic air of theological erudition and with the avowed intention of bringing man near to his God, we hardly know whether to be convulsed at the picturesque drollery of the first attitude or filled with burning indignation at the seeming impiety of the second.”

T. Benns comment: What strikes me immediately here is the similarity of these Protestant attacks to those of the LibTrads against Catholics  praying at home.

The Incarnation denied

Ganss continues, quoting Luther: “To be the mother of God is a prerogative so lofty, so tremendous, as to surpass all understanding. There is no honor no beatitude capable of approaching an elevation which consists in being of the whole human race the sole person superior to all others unequaled in the prerogative of having one common son with the heavenly Father. Calvin fully endorses this view. The imputation of sinfulness to the Blessed Virgin is confronted with the evidence of the ancient Church. St. Ambrose calls her ‘a Virgin free from every stain of sin;’ Saint Andrew of Crete says that she was ‘not at leavened with the universal leaven of sin.’ Saint Augustine, who is quoted later in the sermon, claims that she had ‘an immunity from all sin concerning whom when there is a question of sin. I wish no question would ever to be raised on account of the Lord, for thence we know that more grace to vanquish sin altogether was conferred on her who merited to conceive and bring forth Him in whom sin has no part.’ Disbelief was so strongly grafted on the ancient Church that at the ecumenical council of Ephesus it was made a standard of orthodoxy, so that all who denied that Mary was the Mother of God were excommunicated as heretics.”

T. Benns comment: And of course the Church later infallibly decreed Our Lady was conceived without original sin.

“The idea that the son of God assumed humanity in a sinful mother or in a woman ‘just as human as any other daughter of Eve,’ cannot be reconciled with a proper conception of the Incarnation. it is repugnant to reason, antagonistic to the consensus of the primitive Church and reprobated by modern orthodoxy. All agree ‘that she must not have stood in the same relation to sin,’ to use the words of the Lutheran divine Dietlien, ‘as other children of Eve, who from the beginning of her existence was to be the vehicle of grace in so preeminent a manner.’ The issue the sermon wishes to raise here is brushed away with theological skill and orthodox vigor by a learned Episcopalian churchman when he says: ‘We cannot doubt that He [Jesus] loved Mary to the fullness of His nature, which was divine. It would be a very idle refinement to say that He loved her as man only, for in Him the human and divine nature were united. That nature human and divine he bore with Him to heaven.’

And Ganss says: “It is hard to believe that she, who once covered with kisses the lips which shall pronounce the doom of men, did not have her maternal tenderness repaid and that she, like any other sinful woman, could possibly expect those divine lips to pronounce her doom.”

Countering false worship charges

Ganss then comments on the charges made in the sermon he is refuting that “devotion to Mary is a superstitious credulity; a sensual worship an idealized paganism.” He quotes the eulogist and historian Lecky a champion of rationalism as stating: “’There is, I think, little doubt that the Catholic reverence of the Virgin has done much to elevate and purify the ideal woman and to soften the manners of men. It has had an influence which the worship of the pagan goddesses could never possess, for these had been almost destitute of moral beauty and especially of that kind of moral beauty which is peculiarly feminine. It supplied in a great measure the redeeming and ennobling element in a strange amalgamation of licentious and military feeling which was formed around women in the age of chivalry and which no succeeding change of habit or belief has wholly destroyed.’

“Shlegel, the great German poet and critic, a staunch Lutheran, coincides with Lecky when he claims that ‘with the virtue of chivalry was associated a new and pure spirit of love and inspired homage for genuine female worth, which was now reared as the pinnacle of humanity and enjoined by religion itself under the image of the Virgin Mother, infused into all hearts a sentiment of alloyed goodness.’” Again we hear from a Protestant: “Ruskin, who as far as Catholicity is concerned has little in common with the above authors and displays an almost frenetic hatred of the Church is compelled all the same to confess: ‘I am persuaded that the worship of the Madonna has been one of the noblest and most vital graces of Catholicism and has never been otherwise than productive of true holiness of life and purity of character. There is probably not an innocent cottage house throughout the length and breadth of Europe in which the imagined presence of the Madonna has not given sanctity to the humblest duties and comfort to the sorest trials of the lives of women.” And he goes on to quote several more.

Countering charges of idolatry, he quotes one Protestant who visited Italy and confessed that, “He could discern no indications of idolatry but testifies that ‘in the six months that I have been in Dr. Schaff protests against the propagation of the calamity that ‘papists are idolaters is the colossal slander on the oldest and largest church in Christendom’ and stigmatize such methods as untrue, unjust, uncharitable and unchristian… Or when Dr. Arnold, while at Bourges, sees a mother in the crypt of the cathedral lift her little girl to kiss the pierced feet of a statue of our crucified Lord, touched by the pathetic spectacle ask himself the question: ‘Is this idolatry? Nay, barely it may be so but it need not be. Assuredly in itself it is right and natural. I confess I rather envied that child.”

Answering the ridiculous charge that the Bible teaches God forbids all “worship” of pictures, when such worship is directed only to what they represent, Ganss writes: “Albrecht Drurer, the greatest German painter of his age… put in a rational plea ‘that a Christian is as little led astray by a picture as a peace-abiding man is tempted to murder because he carries a sword by his side. That indeed must be a stupid man who would pray to pictures, wood or stone.’ And he denounces it as a calumny ‘that the art of painting leads to idolatry.’”

Meaning of the word worship

Rev. Ganss also proves that the meaning of worship is falsely understood, as Protestant preachers and teachers themselves have explained. After demonstrating that certain Protestants actually falsified the teaching of the catechisms to read that we worship Mary as equal to God, he then quotes several highly respected Protestants, Leibnitz, Voss, and others, who acknowledge that ‘the highest latria is to God alone, as the adoration of the Host in Mass, the lowest, dulia,is paid to the saints and angels, while the transcendent virtues of the Blessed Virgin are honored by hyperdulia.’” Protestants likewise testify as follows to the true meaning of worship: “A reference to any standard dictionary will elicit the proof that generically the word worship always means to pay honor or show deference and only specifically does it convey the sense ‘obtained divine honors.’ In Holy Scripture it is used in interchangeably, but following the precedent established we will let Protestant theologians and philologists vindicate the Catholic practice.

“The word worship,’ says Doctor Hodge, ‘means properly to respect or honor. It is used both to express the inward sentiment and its outward manifestation. The old sense of the word is still retained in courts of law in which the judge is addressed as your worship or as Worshipful. We are then to collect the intention of the act of worship for their designed as a token of profound civil respect or of real prostration from the circumstances of the instances on record. Such acts of prostration as are called worship were chiefly paid to civil governors.’” And another Protestant, Trench, “one of the greatest English philologists, from an etymological point, reasons it out as follows: ‘Worship, or worthship, meant honor; this meaning of worship still very harmlessly surviving in ‘Worshipful’ and in the title addressed to the magistrate on the bench. So little was it restrained of old to the honor which man is bound to pay to God that it is employed by Wycliffe to express the honor which God will render to his faithful servants and friends. Thus our Lord’s declaration, ‘If any man serve me him will my Father honor.’ And in Wycliffe’s translation reads thus: ‘If any man serve me, my father shall worship him.’”

T. Benns comment: So if it can be applied even to a civil servant without practicing idolatry, why not to Our Blessed Mother??!!

True origins of idolatry

From whence, then, did all this idolatry nonsense really originate and when and why?? Rev. Ganss tells us: “But may it not be urged that the charge of superstition and idolatry is not a new one, that the concurrent opinion of Protestantism during the last 400 years voices it? Only too true, because this opinion, like the Ptolemaic system was traditionally accepted but never critically examined; because from the nursery jingle to the pulpit thunder it was incessantly dinned into the ears as gospel truth; because from the monosyllabic school primer to the ponderous theological tome, it was taught as an accepted fact; because the majority then, as now, are guided by the convenient maxim: ‘To follow foolish precedent and wink, with both our eyes is easier than to think.’ and because every student knows that, ‘Fanatic faith once wedded fast, through some clear falsehood hugs it to the last.” Length of time may give a prescriptive claim to the possession of property but no number of years or centuries can give error and falsehood countenance much less a justifiable claim to existence.

“The charge of idolatry is not a new one but this ‘miserable pageant of untruth, feeble with three poor centuries of age’ in every case emanated from the most implacable enemies of holy Church. Celsius, the Epicurean, the literary protagonist of rationalism, and Julian the Apostate, the theological precursor of infidelity, fastened this charge on the infant Church. “Deadly superstition,” as Tacitus reports, “a new and magical superstition,” were some of the choice epithets by which the primitive Church was designated. Does not the cynical epigram of Julian the Apostate, ‘You do not cease to call Mary the Mother of God,’ most significantly recall the scornful sneer of modern heresy?”

T. Benns comment: Might we not date this charge back even further? Was it not the Jewish rabbis who set the stage for these horrific insults to Our Lady, teaching in their Talmud that she “committed adultery,” “played the harlot with carpenters” and “was known to be an adulteress… who bore Jesus illegitimately”? (Taken from the Jewish Encyclopedia and the books of the Sanhedrin).

And to continue with Rev. Ganss: “As for the concurrent opinion of Protestantism unprejudiced and impartial historians are gradually disclosing the methods by which it was fed and nourished. In the first place, by a system of ruthless and ruinous Iconoclasm; by the destruction of every image —carved or painted, engraved or embroidered — on which fiendish fanaticism could lay its sacrilegious hands. The accumulated art treasures of centuries, the masterpieces of carved statuary, the exquisitely jeweled windows, the glowingly beautiful canvases, the inimitably gorgeous tapestries, the priceless marvels of illuminated manuscripts — all gathered with princely munificence, guarded with loving care, treasured with tender devotion — were hacked to pieces by infuriated, devastating vandals pillaged by the savage horde of robber barons or laid in ashes by the firebrand of the evangelical incendiary.

“With an open Bible in one hand and a blazing torch in the other, a volley of blistering imprecations gushing from its frothing mouth, Carlostadt, in spite of Luther’s pleas, remonstrances and threats, swept over parts of Germany like a veritable satanic incarnation of destructive malignancy. Reason, justice, law were alike powerless to stay his blighting course. ‘It would be 1,000 times better,’ he shrieks, ‘if the pictures were in hell or in a fiery furnace than in the House of God! No matter if one does say ‘I do not worship the images, I pay no honor to them but to the Saints they represent,’ God answered summarily and in clear terms ‘Thou shalt not adore them, thou shalt not honor them.’ If one should come and say pictures instruct and edify the laity as much as books do the learned answer them: ‘God has forbidden pictures.”

“John Knox at the head of a pillaging mob, ‘who swept from Scotland in a flame of zeal shrine, altar, image and massy piles that harbored them,’ and who saw ‘in fire and sword and desolation a godly thorough Reformation,’ eclipsed the havoc wrought by Leo the Isaurian outside the very devastation of Attila, ‘the scourge of God.’ Wesley groaned over the manner in which the Reformation had been affected in Scotland and when he stood amid the ruins of Aberbrothock exclaimed: ‘God deliver us from reforming mobs! Nor, in his burning indignation, did he mince his words when he dismissed the Scottish reformation with the merciless excoriation that ‘the work of God does not, cannot need the work of the devil to forward it.’

“In England the empty niches, the leveled altars, the rifled sanctuaries, the desecrated tombs, give evidence that the name Rottengeist — to use a word of Luther’s coining — was not idle. Even the invaluable literary treasures of antiquity, the accumulated wisdom of centuries the vast collections of books and still more costly collections of manuscripts stored in the monastic libraries were ruthlessly mutilated, irretrievably ruined or wantonly burned in order that not a vestige of idolatry might survive.” (End of Rev. Ganss quotes). And here we must also add what Rev. Ganss later reports, that in place of those “idols” removed from the churches they stole from us, they placed pictures of their reigning monarchs to be reverenced instead! But that of course was not idolatry. Hypocrites!  And so we bow our heads and weep.

History only repeats itself

What does this remind us of? We see the word Iconoclasm mentioned above, but what is an Iconoclast? An Iconoclast is: “A person who attacks settled beliefs or institutions.” We have seen what incendiaries who rile up the mobs can do; witness the destruction wrought by such groups as Black Lives Matter and Antifa, also white nationalist groups. This was the same destruction spurred on during the French Revolution and later by the Bolshevists and the Nazis. Whether they attack ancient culture, religion, or both, they are all the same. And they emanate from the same source, as the free book available on this site, Liberalism’s Shameful Legacy, explains. They feed on the anger and dissatisfaction, the prejudices of the mob; they breed class warfare, a favorite tool of Communism, and then they destroy all in their path.

Christian conservatives claim to be their enemies. And yet Christian conservatives also fan these same flames any time they defame our Blessed Mother. They do this because they are ignorant of their own history and the true history of Christianity. They simply repeat what they have been taught for centuries without examining the facts and searching for the truth. They believe the lies of those who hated Catholics in the past and those who today brand all Catholics as accessories to pedophilia and the “Jesuit conspiracy” to control the world. They mimic the Jews and the pagans in their hatred and do not even know the true meaning of the terms idolatry and worship, far less what the Bible really teaches regarding such things. But then of course they interpret the Bible for themselves, so what can one expect. In short, they are children of the world, and in reality, are little different than those tearing down what is left of our culture today.

The real problem here is that no one any longer understands or values Christ’s divinity. They have made him their friend and “brother,” in the human sense. They picture him laughing and smiling and make hideous caricatures of him for children’s books. They cannot handle the FACT that he was not like other men, He did not smile often but was often known to weep; He did not “mingle” easily but kept Himself apart from others except when teaching. He was like us yet not like us: in this world but not of it, as we are told to be. He was all-holy, and could anyone believe that God the Father would entrust his only begotten Son to anything or anyone less than holy? This is only common sense, that is, if we truly believe Christ was both God and man. Would you pour expensive aged liquor into a glass without thoroughly cleaning it, in order to truly enjoy its taste? And God in His wisdom, would He do any less with something infinitely more precious?

Tell the Protestants on the Internet the following: “If you accuse me of worshipping idols, then know this. I accuse you of denying Christ’s divinity. For if God the Father was truly Divine, and Christ was truly His Son, only the most precious vessel could have borne Him, and if we honor her, it is because God Himself perfected her as that vessel and she yet holds the vestiges of that sacred little Body that once dwelt in her womb.” And then, send them this prayer:


(To be recited on the First Saturdays)

MOST HOLY VIRGIN and our beloved Mother/ we listen with grief/ to the complaints of thy Immaculate Heart/ surrounded with the thorns/ which ungrateful men place therein/ at every moment/ by their blasphemies and ingratitude./ Moved by the ardent desire/ of loving thee as our Mother/ and of promoting a true devotion/ to thy Immaculate Heart/ we prostrate ourselves at thy feet/ to prove the sorrow we feel/ for the grief that men cause thee/ and to atone by means of/ our prayers and sacrifices/ for the offenses which men/ return thy tender love.

Obtain for them/ and for us/ the pardon of so many sins./ A word from thee/ will obtain grace and forgiveness/ for us all./ Hasten, O Lady/ the conversion of sin-ners/ that they may love Jesus/ and cease to offend God/ already so much offended and thus avoid eternal punishment./

Turn thine eyes of mercy/ towards us/ so that henceforth/ we may love God with all our heart/ while on earth/ and enjoy Him forever in heaven./ Amen./

Imprimatur # Joseph E. Ritter, D.D., Archbishop of Indianapolis


Come Holy Ghost, Comforter, and Bestow Thy Gifts Upon Us

Come Holy Ghost, Comforter, and Bestow Thy Gifts Upon Us

+St. Paschal Babylon+

LibTrads speak a great deal about the need of graces from the Sacraments to lead a Catholic life. Yet their idea of these graces and how they are received are quite skewed. We read from St. Thomas Aquinas: “Now it is manifest that human virtues perfect man according as it is natural for him to be moved by his reason in his interior and exterior actions. Consequently man needs yet higher perfections, whereby to be disposed to be moved by God. These perfections are called gifts, not only because they are infused by God, but also because by them man is disposed to become amenable to the Divine inspiration, according to Isaiah 50:5: “The Lord . . . hath opened my ear, and I do not resist; I have not gone back.” And here, of course, he is speaking of those gifts of the Holy Ghost, which, he explains, are necessary for salvation.

“Even the Philosopher says in the chapter On Good Fortune (Ethic. Eudem., vii, 8) that for those who are moved by Divine instinct, there is no need to take counsel according to human reason, but only to follow their inner promptings, since they are moved by a principle higher than human reason. This then is what some say, viz. that the gifts perfect man for acts which are higher than acts of virtue... Of all the gifts, wisdom seems to be the highest, and fear the lowest. Now each of these is necessary for salvation: since of wisdom it is written (Wisdom 7:28): “God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom”; and of fear (Sirach 1:28): “He that is without fear cannot be justified.” Therefore the other gifts that are placed between these are also necessary for salvation…  As stated above (Article 1), the gifts are perfections of man, whereby he is disposed so as to be amenable to the promptings of God. Wherefore in those matters where the prompting of reason is not sufficient, and there is need for the prompting of the Holy Ghost, there is, in consequence, need for a gift” (Summa Theol., I-II, Q. 68.).

Pray to the Holy Ghost

Rev. Frederick T. Hoeger, C.S.s.P, in his The Holy Ghost Prayerbook, (1939), says of these instincts: “’The just man who lives in the state of grace has need of the seven gifts which are properly attributed to the Holy Ghost.  By means of them the soul is furnished and strengthened so as to be able to obey more easily and promptly His voice and impulse’” (Pope Leo XIII). To the Holy Ghost himself could be applied those words which he has inspired concerning supernatural wisdom: ‘All things come to me together with him and innumerable riches through his hands.’ As he enters the Christian soul to make of it His dwelling place, He comes laden with precious treasures for His host — sanctifying grace, charity and all the other supernatural virtues. These are called in a general way gifts of the Holy Ghost. But there are seven supernatural habits which He places in the sanctified soul that bear the distinctive title of gifts of the Holy Ghost: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

“Saint Thomas compares these in our supernatural life to instincts and the natural life. How often it happens that after we have escaped from some dangerous predicament we say, ‘I do not know how I was saved; instinctively I jumped.’ As instinct saves us many times from harm to our body so the gifts save us from harm to our souls. Often in our supernatural life if we had stopped to reason just how much good we had to do or how much evil we had to avoid to escape sin we might have fallen from grace entirely. But when we responded to the influence the Holy Ghost brought to bear upon us through the gifts, we did not stop to measure the efforts more good deeds would cost us. And so when we look back upon the past, we are surprised how bravely we fought against evil, how courageously we went about some good deed. St. Antonius speaks of the seven gifts also as antidotes to the seven inclinations to evil which we have all inherited from our first parents. The gift of fear as opposed to pride, the gift of counsel to covetousness, the gift of wisdom to lust, the gift of understanding to gluttony, the gift of piety to envy, the gift of knowledge to anger and the gift of fortitude to sloth.”

Cardinal Manning on The Holy Ghost

And from Henry Cardinal Manning, in his two works on the Holy Ghost (The Internal Mission of the Holy Ghost and The Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier, we read:

“Now God the Holy Ghost has the office of our sanctification and the office of Sanctifier is twofold. There is the work of the Holy Ghost in every individual soul from the beginning of the world; and that work of sanctification in each individual soul will continue to the end of the world. There is also the work of the Holy Ghost in the mystical Body of Christ, that is His Church, which office began from the day of Pentecost, and will continue to the second advent of the Son of God…

“No man can hide himself from the love and from the glory of God. Go where he may if he walk upon the earth, God is there; if he ascend into heaven, He is there also; if he go down into the deep, God is there before Him. Every living soul therefore has an illumination of God in the order of nature, by the light of conscience, and by the light of reason, and by the working of the Spirit of God in his head and in his heart, leading him to believe in God, and to obey Him. Once more: Saint Paul says that “God will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”:  that is, without any exception, Jew or Gentile. And once more: “We hope in the living God,” Who is the Saviour of all men, and especially of the faithful; that is, of those who believe, therefore of all men without exception. And two Pontiffs have condemned as heresy the two following assertions:

“That the heathen, and the Jews, and heretics, receive no influence from Jesus Christ, but that their will is without help, that is without grace, was condemned as a heresy by Alexander VIII. Again, that there is no grace given outside the Church, was also condemned as heresy by Clement XI. The work, therefore, of the Holy Ghost, even in the order of nature, so to say, that is, outside of the Church of God and of the revealed knowledge of Jesus Christ among the heathen, that working is universal in the soul of every individual human being; and if they who receive the assistance of the Holy Ghost are faithful in corresponding with it, God in His unrevealed mercies will deal with them in ways secret from us. His mercies unknown to us are over all His works and the infinite merits of the Redeemer of the world are before the mercy-seat of our Heavenly Father, for the salvation of those that follow even the little light which in the order of nature they receive.

“Any gift of God given freely is a grace. Our very existence is a grace; every gift in nature is a grace; every light we receive from the world leading us to the knowledge of God much more every doctrine we receive from revelation is a grace; but this is not the sense in which we are speaking now. When we talk of the grace of the Holy Ghost we mean something interior dwelling in the soul; and therefore the grace of the Holy Spirit working in the soul may be thus defined. It is a gift of God infused into the soul, not due to nature, but something superadded to nature, a perfection above nature elevating the soul to the supernatural order, and leading it to justification and eternal life. Or, to put it shortly, it is the sanctifying power and the influx of the Holy Ghost; it is the presence of the Holy Ghost entering into the soul, and infusing sanctity into the soul.

“When grace takes possession of the soul, in the reason it assumes the form of faith; in the will it takes the form of hope ; and in the heart it takes the form of love: faith, hope, and charity are the three primary workings of the Holy Ghost in the soul. Again, grace may be described as the breath of the supernatural life, which God breathes into the soul of man. A breath of life as necessary to the soul as the natural breath of life is to the body. Therefore it has an operation universal, gratuitous, derived from the sovereign love of God, necessary, vital to man, and sufficient to eternal life. This, then, is the first working of the Holy Spirit from the beginning of the world; and is at this moment even among those nations that have never received the faith.

“All those who are saved eternally will be saved by the sovereign grace of God, and by the free cooperation of their own will; and all those who are lost eternally will be lost because, by the free resistance of their will, they have refused to co-operate with the grace of God. The pre- destination of God in no way violates or takes away the perfect liberty of the human will. God created the will of man with liberty, and He respects the work of His own hands; but from the beginning there has been a line of His elect multiplying perpetually from Abel the just, continuing to expand in number from Abel to Enoch, from Enoch to Noe, from Noe to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses. In the twelve tribes of Israel the saints of God were multiplying continually; and to them God continually gave more and more of His graces, visions, revelations, promises, inspirations, vocations, and special calls: like that which called Abraham out from Ur of the Chaldees; inspirations like that which made Moses to be the Law-giver of His people, and made Aaron to be the Priest to minister before Him graces which constituted the Prophets of Israel as the teachers, the rebukers, and the admonishers of the people of God.

“All those were special graces bestowed by the Holy Ghost for the illumination and sanctification of the people of God; but over and above these there were special interior workings and graces of the Holy Ghost, increasing continually in their measure until the coming of Jesus Christ. Every saint before the coming of Jesus Christ was sanctified by the Holy Ghost in virtue of the foreseen redemption upon Calvary. The merits of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world obtained graces for the sanctification of God’s elect from the beginning ; and the sanctity of every saint like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of every penitent like David, the special graces of Saint Joseph and the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God, were all purchased by the same most Precious Blood shed by the Son of God

“Now we live under the dispensation of the Holy Ghost. We are at this time committed to the care and guidance of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity; so that the dispensation under which we are is the dispensation of the Spirit of God, the Sanctifier. It is a wonder, then, how men with the page of the New Testament before them can fail to see this: that the one great evangelical gift, the one great gift of the Gospel, is the gift of the Holy Ghost. “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear ; but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry : Abba, Father.” …” And if we be sons, we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.”  Our whole state is elevated. Because we are the children of the Second Adam, His Father is our Father; because we are the sons of God by grace, He is our elder Brother. The Holy Ghost dwells in us, because He descends from our Head upon all His members. We are born again through Christ into a new and supernatural state. We are not restored to the state of original justice, but we are placed in a state of union with God through the Holy Ghost, like, though distinct from, that which the first man received.

“There is this further difference: he was in original justice, but it was possible for him to fall. We are united to a divine Head sinless and immortal, Who therefore can never fall, for He is God. We, who are united with Him, receive from Him, by our regeneration, a special indwelling of the Holy Ghost. Not only every grace that was ever given to man before, all the graces that were ever granted under the law to the saints and to the penitents of Israel not only all those are still given in fullness now to members of the Church, but there are super- added other graces which were never before given. In Israel there were no proper sacraments. There were shadows of sacraments, but the substance was not come. There was circumcision, and there were sacrifices of bulls and of goats, and ceremonial actions, and washings, and purifications, which were the types and shadows of things to come; but those were not proper sacraments, and they did not convey grace. There was no grace in them. They were external actions, like the taking of holy water, and they depended for their sanctifying power upon the internal state of the heart of those who used them.

“According to the measure of faith and piety in the heart of those who received them, was the measure of the grace received by their use. The grace did not spring from them, nor come through them, for they were not fountains or channels of grace. Now here we must observe that, over and above all the graces that have ever been given by the Holy Spirit of God before the day of Pentecost, we have received the special grace of a new dispensation. We who are born again, and are members of the mystical Body of Christ, are under a dispensation of the Holy Ghost, so full, and of such manifold grace, that there is no state of man which is not embraced by it, and in which there is not given an abundance of grace, exceeding all measure that we can conceive, and meted out according to the necessities of each individual soul. Our Lord intended this when He said: “I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

“Therefore hope for the greatest gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost. They were all purchased for you by the most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. They are yours by right, for He has given them to you. All things are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God. His redemption purchased them for you, and His sovereignty gives them to you. He has promised to give them to all who ask Him, and He delights in being asked, and asked for the greatest things of His kingdom. He loves to be trusted ; and to ask great things is to show great trust in a great love. Timid prayers and low aspirations are false humility, for we ask not for our own merits, but for His. Hope honours Him. Ask for perfect sanctification, for perfect expiation. S. Leonard of Port Maurice used to say, I hope to go to heaven without purgatory. He meant, there is no bound to be set to the love and grace of Jesus Christ. And without a doubt a soul that hopes and aspires for so great a grace will aim and strive at a proportionate perfection in humility, charity, purity, and union with God.

“Let us then resolve, dear brethren, all we can, to love the Spirit of God, to conform ourselves to His will, to worship Him day by day, to pray to Him personally, to place ourselves under His guidance, to beware of those three degrees of disobedience of which He Himself has warned us: “Grieve not the Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption”… “Resist not the Spirit”: “Quench not the Spirit.”  These are three degrees by which we may fall from His love and from His presence. Beware also not of actual disobedience only, but of that tardy, slothful negligence by which you may provoke Him to a  just impatience. ”Would thou art neither cold nor hot…” [but the lukewarm I will vomit from my mouth]. Nothing provokes the Holy Spirit of God, Who is the fire of the love of God, more than the lukewarmness with which we allow His graces and mercies to pass by us, and to pass by us unperceived.

“Ask, then, of the Holy Spirit of God to give you light to know Him, to know His presence, to be conscious of His indwelling in your hearts. Say to Him, “O my God, I give myself to Thee with all my liberty, all my intellect and heart and will. I desire to be bound to Thee, for “where the spirit of the Lord is there, there is liberty”; no other liberty is true. I desire to be free from the servitude of my own false freedom which is the worst bondage of the human soul. To be Thy servant is to be in the liberty of the sons of God. They that are led by the spirit of God are the sons of God. O Holy Spirit of God, take me as thy disciple; guide me, illuminate me, sanctify me, bind my hands that I may not do evil; cover my eyes that I may see it no more; sanctify my heart that evil may not rest within me. Be Thou my God, be Thou my guide: wheresoever thou leadest me, I will go whatsoever thou forbiddest, I will renounce and whatsoever thou commandest, in Thy strength I will do.” (End of Cardinal Manning quotes.)


And finally, this timely and poignant quote from Rev. Hoeger’s Holy Ghost Prayerbook cited above:

“Pentecost may rightly be called the birthday of the Church. When the Holy Ghost descended upon the apostles then only did they become brave and zealous then only did they go forth fearlessly to defend the doctrine of Christ before audiences that were not only unsympathetic but even antagonistic. Today the world is filled with cowards who have not the courage of their convictions, who are slaves to the spirit of the times. What we need is light and strength from the Holy Ghost to help us live up to the Church’s teaching especially in reference to chastity honesty and loyalty so that no man can sneer at the Catholic Church because Catholics fail to do what is right.There is work to be done for God in the Church by the devout client of the Holy Ghost. The powers of evil are abroad this is their hour period let us take God’s side boldly and uncompromisingly not only by our professional faith but also by our good deeds the Holy Ghost will help us to do this even if they help the apostles of old.”

During Pentecost, all Catholics are urged by the Roman Pontiffs to make a novena to the Holy Ghost. And every Catholic is advised to say some prayer in His honor each day and beg Him for His guidance. Perhaps our lack of devotion to the Holy Ghost is what has impeded so many for so long from coming to a knowledge of the Truth. Let us begin today, then, to remedy this neglect of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity by making this novena and reciting the prayers found in Rev. Hoeger’s book HERE. May all receive His lights and gifts.

Comments on Fr. Hunolt sermons re torments of the Antichrist

Comments on Fr. Hunolt sermons re torments of the Antichrist

+The Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven+

(Please pray for a Prayer Society member who is gravely ill to receive all the graces necessary to obtain eternal salvation.)

A reader commented recently on the excellence of one of Fr. Hunolt’s series of sermons, written in the 1700s. He especially praised the ones concerning the torments the faithful would have to endure under Antichrist. While Fr. Hunolt wrote before it was determined by Pope Pius XII that there would not be a spiritual renewal or millennium following the destruction of Antichrist’s system, his writings aside from that are good reminders of what our attitude today should be. We know Antichrist has come and gone, but that his system lives on. We also know that Christ will come in person to destroy this system and that the first two individuals receiving the final judgment, their bodies and souls being cast into hell, most likely will be John 23 and Paul 6 (the beast proper and his false prophet). Excerpts from this series on Antichrist’s reign will be examined below. The sermons can be read in their entirety HERE.

Spiritual snowflakes

“It is easy to talk of resisting torments and braving martyrdom! Ah! how could they give up their bodies to the rods, the scorpions, the leaded clubs, the iron hooks, to be torn and flayed, who are now so delicate and tender that they cannot bear the prick of a needle; who find a fast-day intolerable, and are absolutely unable to stand or kneel for an hour in church, or to rise early in the morning on account of the cold? How could they allow themselves to be roasted or boiled alive who, if their beds are the least uncomfortable, cannot sleep for impatience? How could they laugh at torments to whom all crosses are terrible, who sigh and moan at the least trial, and give vent to their feelings in oaths and curses at the most trifling annoyance, expressing their dissatisfaction also by giving up the practice of prayer and devotion and the frequentation of the sacraments?”

Comment: Here we are reminded of those today, so accustomed to ease and indulgence on every count. Unable to accept God’s will, they cuss and grumble with every disagreeable trifle and then proceed to blame others for their troubles! If we are ever persecuted physically and openly, they will be the first to abandon their faith. Must we all not fear we might be among them?

Mortification and obedience to God’s laws

“Oh, no! God of goodness! we are not in want of an Antichrist to prove our virtue, our faith, hope, and charity by putting us to the torture! We have daily tribulations enough: more than we wish for, to try our virtue! Would that we could only bear them with patience and resignation for Your sake and to gain heaven! Every hour of the day we have abundant opportunity of mortifying our eyes, ears, tongue, sensuality, and evil inclinations; but to do so is often for us a bitter martyrdom that, without any tyrant to compel us, CAUSES US TO FORGET THE OBEDIENCE WE OWE YOUR HOLY LAW. A slight chagrin, a word of contradiction, a cross look is sometimes enough to upset our so-called virtue, and change it into impatience, hatred, and anger. What would then become of us in the midst of a terrible persecution, which many even of the holiest and most innocent shall not withstand?”

Comment: It all boils down to obedience to God’s laws, offering little sacrifices throughout the day, and performance of daily duty. Fr. Hunolt repeatedly notes the necessity of obeying God’s laws. And who among us in this age is innocent and holy? Some very sobering thoughts here.

Our state better than those who went before

“Ah, poor, unhappy souls that are to live in those times of Antichrist, how you are to be pitied! But if you, almost forced as you shall be by grievous persecutions, temptations, torments, hypocrisy, and pretended miracles to abandon God, shall nevertheless be condemned by a most just sentence to eternal torments, what excuse shall we have? What sort of a hell awaits us who can so easily enjoy the freedom of the children of God, and who yet allow ourselves to be led astray, to be turned away from God, to be drawn over to the side of the devil, and to live like antichrists, that is, sworn enemies of Jesus Christ?

When the three and a half years of the reign of that terrible persecutor Antichrist shall have expired, then, says Our Lord in the Gospel of St. Matthew, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be moved.” Mark the word “immediately.We must not understand by it that the moment Antichrist sinks into the abyss those signs shall be visible. NO; FOR ACCORDING TO COMMENTATORS THE MERCY OF GOD SHALL GRANT A RESPITE OF SOME MONTHS, OR, AS SOME SAY, OF YEARS FOR THOSE WHO SHALL BE PERVERTED BY ANTICHRIST TO REPENT, BECAUSE THEN ALMOST THE WHOLE WORLD SHALL RETURN TO CHRIST AFTER THEIR ACCURSED APOSTASY.

Comment: Certainly those who led lax lives, or those who lapsed from the faith when the juridical Church yet existed, are far more to blame for any such actions than those of us today, deprived of all spiritual assistance and the Mass and Sacraments. We know from what we have seen for the past 65 years that the three years and a half are not a definite period of time but must be interpreted symbolically. According to the teachings of Pope Leo XIII, only scriptural passages the Fathers of the Church agree upon that are a matter of faith are binding for belief; the rest are only so many opinions, (see HERE). Most of us today who have made the round of various Traditionalist groups then repented for our sins is what the medieval Augustinian Canon John of Ruysbroeck says: “Those good Christians who, from time to time, fell into sin, and rose again through contrition and penance; but who have not made full satisfaction for their sins according to justice… belong to purgatory.” And as St. Thomas Aquinas believes, either we are serving our Purgatory on earth or when the final consummation occurs, we will be cleansed of our sins immediately.

And yes, a respite will be granted for non-believers to repent, but has this taken place over the past 45 some years since Paul 6’s death? We have no sure way of knowing. Or will it occur only after the destruction of Antichrist’s system? Some give this time anywhere from 45 days to several months or even years, as Hunolt notes. We would like to think the whole world would return to the true faith excepting a few, but how could this possibly happen when the pope is the center of all unity, we have no pope and all the means of obtaining one are no longer possible to fulfill? Not unless there is a miracle of exceedingly great proportions, which is nowhere suggested in Holy Scripture for these times, could the papacy be restored.

Signs of the times

“But when the time of the general judgment is finally at hand, ““There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves.” The sun shall be deprived of its brilliancy and make night out of day, like to the darkness of Egypt: “There came horrible darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. No man saw his brother, nor moved himself out of the place where he was.”; The moon, of a blood-red color, shall appear like some grizzly phantom of night; the stars shall fall from the sky; not indeed the stars that God has placed in the firmament: for where should they fall? Not on the earth, because according to astronomers the smallest star is much larger than the earth. But the stars shall hide themselves as if they had fallen, and at the same time luminous vapor in the shape of stars shall fall in masses on the globe as if to set fire to it.”

Comment: Have we not recently experienced “luminous vapors” — fog covering a large section of the US for weeks which hid the stars and kept the sun from shining? There was no fire, but the vapor definitely was there. Also haven’t we seen “blood moons”? Don’t many expect a three-day period of darkness, which could mean anything from a nuclear attack, a solar-triggered EMP or a pole shift? And couldn’t these “fiery stars” have another (symbolic) meaning, as Rev. E.S. Berry, Rev. H.B. Kramer and other commentators have noted? Both authors say this could mean bishops tumbling from their offices owing to heresy. Some will now say this could also mean all the true bishops were “hiding,” and they may have been, for a time. But we know that today there are no true bishops left on earth who were approved by Pope Pius XII. And that even if some elderly bishop yet existed, he could not have retained any episcopal see he once possessed, assigned to him by Pope Pius XII. He therefore would no longer possess an office or any jurisdiction.

Why this judgment will come

“This shall be done at the end of the world, when all creatures are to be set at liberty and released from slavery, and then like a mighty army they will all rush in a body against the wicked to put them to shame, as we read in the Book of “Wisdom: ” And His zeal will take armor, and He will arm the creature for the revenge of His enemies. . . .and the whole world shall fight with Him against the unwise: “The sun will declare war, as Tamerlane did of old, with a black banner spread; the moon colored like blood, and the stars disturbed out of their course shall begin the battle. We, they will say, have given our fair light for such a long time to sinners who were unworthy of it; we have marked for them the hours, days, weeks, months, and years; we have by our regularity in our motions set them a good example of the obedience they owe to God; but they preferred to follow the suggestions of the devil, the appetites of the flesh, the customs and maxims of the perverse world, INSTEAD OF OBEYING THE LAW OF THEIR CREATOR; THEY LOVED DARKNESS MORE THAN THE LIGHT; therefore our period of service is now at an end for them, and we shall be to them henceforth a source of nothing but fear and dread.”

Comment: True Catholics will have their day in the sun and will be used by God to punish the wicked.  Those who have not obeyed ALL God’s laws and have followed the maxims of this perverse world we live in will be punished for their disobedience and worldliness. This is especially true of those who refuse to acknowledge and obey papal laws based on Divine law, such as the Council of Trent, Charitas and Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis. If these are not God’s laws, as presented by His vicars, why did Christ even bother to appoint St. Peter and his successors as supreme legislators on His behalf

Nature vs. man

“In the same manner the four elements shall take the field against sinners. The air that gave them breath and voice, so that they could breathe and speak; from which they received the fruitful rain; in which the birds dwelt to their delight and nourishment the air will attack them on all sides; it will throw down buildings by the violence of opposing winds; it will tear up trees by the roots; send down hail-storms to strike the beasts of the field dead, and with thunder and fierce lightnings and terrible apparitions that shall be seen in the air (such as were not beheld even in Egypt in the time of the hardened Pharao, nor in Jerusalem when that city was destroyed), it will fill every one with dismay, as if to complain of the sinner and say: ” He has stretched out his hand against God, and has strengthened himself against the Almighty.”

Comment: Certainly we have seen some of these strange weather events recently and some have reported seeing apparitions in the air. These will only increase as man continues to sin.

The wicked panic

“The wicked, those who have a bad conscience, shall indeed wither away with fear and dismay, and seek to hide themselves under the earth; they will howl and moan and lament like the beleaguered Turks: alas! now all is up with us! We must surrender; there is an end to all the pleasures and delights we enjoyed on earth; honor and high places are no more; we must leave our wealth behind us; the last day is at hand; in a short time the terrible trumpet shall sound in our ears the words: arise, you dead, and come to judgment! Soon shall we appear before our angry Judge, whom we have despised and made our enemy by our sins! Now the time is approaching when the shameful things we have kept hidden from men and not dared to mention even in the tribunal of penance shall be openly declared before the world! Soon shall we hear the awful words: ” Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire.” … Alas! how great will be the terror and anguish of the wicked at the sight of the signs and portents of the last day!”

Comment: This is pretty amazing. We read everywhere that the elite are building cities underground with all the modern conveniences and preppers (not all of them wicked) are hiding in private bunkers to escape the wrath of God they know is coming for them.  Shades of Adam and Eve! Anna Catherine Emmerich also predicted  how “…cities built on a thin crust [of earth] would precipitate [people] into the abyss” (Vol. 1, p. 528). It is the wicked who are trying so hard to do all they can to escape and to grasp all they can before their day in the sun ends. God will not be mocked forever, and even they, in their wickedness, know this on some level.

Lift up your heads

“But what shall be the feelings of those just servants of God who have either kept inviolable fidelity to their Creator, or by true repentance have washed away their sins, and who have hitherto in this vale of tears, amidst so many dangers of soul and body, sighed like prisoners for their eternal home and place of rest! How, I ask, will it be with them? Hear what Christ says to them, after having spoken of the terrible forerunners of the last day: “But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads: because your redemption is at hand. To go with downcast head is a sign of sorrow and fear, and My dear children, that is not for you, but for the wicked who refused to love and honor Me. Let them wither away for fear, because they have no part in My eternal kingdom; BUT YOU, JUST SOULS! WHO HAVE KEPT MY LAW AND IN ALL THINGS TRIED TO DO MY WILL, “Look up, and lift up your heads;” rejoice and be glad; why? “Because your redemption is at hand!” This is the time for which you have been sighing so long; the time for your release from captivity, from all dangers and troubles; the time for you to enter into the eternal repose of the children of God. This is the day on which your enemies and Mine, who have persecuted and oppressed you in so many ways this is the day for them to lie trembling and shaking under your feet. This is the time when I shall make known to the world your humility and other virtues which men knew nothing of, and vain worldlings despised you for! Rejoice, My children! your redemption is at hand; the kingdom of heaven will soon be opened to you. Come, you blessed! possess the kingdom that My Father and you yourselves have prepared for you! Come with Me into everlasting joys!”

Comment: None of us can be certain of our salvation just because we pray at home. Anyone could die in mortal sin and none can presume to be assured of gaining heaven. Nevertheless,  we must never lose hope, and must always have confidence in God. We must “look up,” and longing for His coming, place all our hope in God and none in ourselves. Heaven is our only hope of escaping the evils of this world.

Why the coming of Antichrist was missed by most

“No one, says St. Augustine, who wishes to strike you will cry out to you to ‘Be on your guard — I am about to draw my sword to kill you!’ A man who threatens in that way gives clear proof that he is not in earnest, but that he wishes the other to escape his sword by running away. If a judge were to send to a thief whom he has caught in the act, telling him that when he hears the clang of arms or a certain bell tolling, it is a sure sign that the soldiers are on their way to apprehend him, put him in prison, and when sentence has been passed on him to bring him out to the place of execution, what would you think of that? Would the judge appear to you to be in earnest about putting the thief to death ? No; quite the contrary; the judge in such a case must be a good friend of the thief, and would be very glad to see him make his escape. For as the old saying has it, ‘The cat that mews too much will never make a good mouser.’ So it is; he who intends to get hold of his enemy lets not a word of his purpose be known; he hides his weapons and does not draw them until he has the other completely in his power, so that he cannot escape. One of the first and most necessary qualities of a general is silence; he must know how to keep secret the plans he forms against the enemy; he should not reveal them even to his most intimate friends, much less to his own soldiers, that no one may betray them; and if sometimes he publishes that on a certain day, at a certain hour he shall make a sally to surprise the enemy, the latter think at once: “Oh, that is only a blind! We need not fear that attack; but there is some other plan in his mind, and we must be on our guard not to be surprised by it.”

Comment: Those waiting for an obvious manifestation of Antichrist wait in vain. As we have believed for years, offering proofs to support our belief, Paul 6 was Antichrist and no one would have suspected him until almost after the fact. And yet they look for one accomplishing still greater feats than the cessation of the Holy Sacrifice and the perversion of the sacramental rites established by Christ. They demand that fire must come down from heaven, that Antichrist must perform outright miracles that cannot be explained and physically persecute Christians. And yet the Doctors (St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis de Sales) tell us that these things will be only illusions and not real miracles. St. Hilary, Dom Gueranger, John Henry Cardinal Newman and others — all have said that Antichrist won’t show his hand in this way. He will appear as a deceiver and a usurper, pretend to be very kind and loving and will basically kill Christians with kindness and compassion. But underneath lurk dead man’s bones, for he was always a whited sepulchre.

Only the Protestants wait for such an Antichrist. They expect him to come with horns, speaking in curious tongues; healing the sick and raising the dead. I suppose that we could see something like that happen; the final antichrist of this present system might appear to accomplish such things. But it seems highly insulting to God to expect that he would be so obvious, as Fr. Hunolt points out, in making the man of sin known. The primary indicator that Paul 6 was Antichrist is that he dared to change the words of Holy Scripture from “for many to “for all,” abolishing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This is a point of Scripture on which all the Church Fathers unanimously agree: that Antichrist will indeed abolish Continual Sacrifice. The Vatican Council says that when this is the case, we’re bound ourselves to believe it as well.

Chastisements sent us to avoid hell

“Public calamities are to us what the signs that are to precede the last day shall be to those who are to live towards the end of the world. They shall be exceedingly terrified and dismayed, “for there shall be then great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now.” Such, too, is the effect of calamities on us; they terrify us and fill us with anguish; when we feel them we commence to moan and sigh: alas! how wretched we are! etc. And yet, as with the signs of the last day, so with those calamities. For what else are they but proofs of God’s mercy and goodness to sinners, whose only object is to humble men, chastise them in a fatherly manner, make them enter into themselves, repent of their sins, amend their lives, and so escape eternal punishment in hell? For public calamities are never sent on a country except on account of the sins of the people, in order to eradicate them and put a stop to them. This truth has often been preached from the pulpit, and therefore it requires no further proof; it is a truth founded on the infallible word of God, and one therefore of which the holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church have not the least doubt.”

Comment: We have noted in the past several weeks that it is unlikely that anyone in these times we’ll repent regardless of what happens. This is predicted 3 separate times in the Apocalypse. As Saint Paul says in 2  Thessalonians 2, they have been given a special kind of blindness that prevents them from converting.

And still they will return to their vomit

“After the appearance of the signs, the last day of judgment shall come upon men quite suddenly and unexpectedly… “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man shall revealed.” Should we not think that so many signs and portents wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, the persecutions of Antichrist, the disturbance of the elements would be enough to make the men of that time watchful and vigilant? But no! When the fear and terror caused by the signs shall be at an end, they shall resume their former mode of life. Following the opinion of St. Jerome writing on the words of St. Paul, “When they shall say peace and security, then shall sudden destruction come upon them,” I maintain that when the signs shall have vanished men shall live in peace and quiet for a time (how long no one can say), and will continue in their former mode of life; and although the true faith shall then be general over the world, there shall be sinners who shall lead a very wicked life, and tepid Christians who shall lead a very slothful one. Under those circumstances then, when they least expect it, ” in the twinkling of an eye,” as the Apostle says, fire shall fall from heaven and reduce the world to ashes, and then the dreadful trumpet shall resound in all places, and the angel’s voice be heard crying out: “Arise, you dead, and come to judgment ! ” There, my dear brethren, we have all the preparation that shall be made to introduce the great day of the general judgment.”

Comment: How can the true faith be general over the whole world without a canonically elected pope and hierarchy in communion with him to teach it? We do not take the word of commentators, however well respected, or the private revelations, even of saints, over the teachings and laws of Christ’s vicars. The commentators never foresaw the usurpation of the papacy. Only Pope Paul IV considered it a possibility in his 1559 Bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio. Fr. Hunolt’s sermons are of great value; he makes many fine points. But he is not the pope. Those who use him to justify their beliefs that Antichrist has not yet come and we can expect a resurrection of the Church do him a grave disservice, for he would be the first to bow to the teachings of the Roman Pontiff had he lived in Pope Pius XII’s day. We can see this in his many references to obedience to God’s laws. Would he have, nevertheless, followed others we believed to be loyal to the papacy into the false Vatican 2 church? Thankfully he was spared that possibility. And we who remain must ever be on our guard that we too remain faithful to all that once was.