He is Risen. Alleluia.
Please forgive the belated greetings; I have been away from my computer for a while. And although every Christian being must rejoice in Our Lord’s Resurrection and triumph over death, it can only provide us with a brief interlude in our continued struggle to maintain the faith, in this the ongoing Passion of His Church. That Passion was predicted by Christ himself who warned us that if they did this to Him, we would suffer the same fate. He told us we must fill up what is wanting to His Passion (Colossians 1:24). This is a theme I have touched on often. The crosses we are fastened to today are all different, unique to each person, and are reflected in this wonderful quote from St. Francis de Sales:
“The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that he now presents to you as a gift from His inmost Heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His Divine mind, tested with his wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not ne ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His Holy Name, anointed it with His grace, perfumed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God (The Love of God). Carry this cross, yes. But allow ourselves to be fastened to it? Yet can we really imitate Christ and not allow this to occur? Pope Pius XII wrote in Mediator Dei: “The people must offer themselves as victims… This offering is not in fact confined merely to the liturgical Sacrifice. For the Prince of the Apostles wishes us, as Living Stones built upon Christ the cornerstone, to be able ‘as a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ,’” (I Peter 2: 5).
Because the Holy Sacrifice has ceased, how else are we able to satisfy in any other way for its loss? If we recite the Mass of St. John, or say our Mass prayers in the absence of the True Mass; if we offer our very selves on this altar of sacrifice willingly and in a spirit of resignation to God’s will each day, isn’t the Sacrifice still renewed spiritually in a continual way? In his The Mystery of Faith, Vol. I, Rev. de la Taille writes concerning chapters 5-16 of Apocalypse: “It is declared plainly that in the New Jerusalem, which is to succeed the Church Militant, there would be neither Temple nor light, except God and the Lamb… Under these sacrificial symbols and metaphors we have an indication of some kind of heavenly and eternal worship,” consisting of Christ’s perpetual immolation eternally offered before the Throne of God. St Gregory Nazianzan wrote: “What then? Will they forbid us their altars? Even so, I know of another altar, and the altars we see now are but a figure of it…All the activities ’round about that altar are spiritual; one ascends to it by contemplation. At this altar I shall stand, upon it I will make immolations pleasing to God, sacrifices, oblations, holocausts, better than those that are offered now…”(Ibid). St. Thomas writes: “The state of the New Law is intermediate between the state of the Old Law…and the state of glory, in which all truth will be fully and perfectly manifested. Then there will be no more sacraments; but now, inasmuch as we see only through a glass darkly, we have to enter into spiritual things through sensible signs.” So either we are being offered a foretaste of life in our Eternal Home, and the Church will eventually be restored; or we are being prepared for the end of the world proper and the commencement of the life to come in a very intimate way. So given the abundance of important truths contained in this site and the alarming changes taking place throughout the world, how do we hold fast to the faith and persevere until the very end?
Your information is difficult to understand
Many have complained that the articles on this site are too hard to read and understand and that no one could be expected to know all these things in these times in order to save their souls. However, much more is expected from us study wise these days when our Church has been eclipsed and the truth has been so savagely attacked and misrepresented. This is especially true seeing that so many know so much about useless political issues and other trivialities, thanks to the Internet, yet cannot be bothered to learn what the Church teaches. Nevertheless, those complaining fail to understand the real purpose of this site and my intention in providing this information. Not everything is for everyone, and what is presented here is primarily intended to be a record of what the Church teaches as a defense against the many lies and heresies spread by both non-Catholics and those falsely presenting as Catholics. It is not something I choose to provide: as a Catholic with the means and the ability to present this information I have an OBLIGATION to do so, and not to do so would be a mortal sin. Rev. Dominic Prummer, in his Handbook of Moral Theology (1957) teaches that we are bound to help those in extreme spiritual necessity even if it poses risks to our own health (#223). I have been told time and again by readers that the information provided here is not available anywhere else, which make me doubly bound to provide it. I also am required by Canon Law to profess my faith whenever silence, subterfuge or manner of acting would indicate that I am accepting an error or heresy publicly taught. I only hope I have covered the majority of such heresies.
But those reading the material need not think they must assimilate it all or grasp it all entirely. It is there for those who have questions about what the Church taught prior to Pope Pius XII’s death, from the standpoint of the continual magisterium, versus what Traditionalists and others SAY She taught or teach themselves. It is intended as a ready reference for disputed points and a testimonial to the constant teaching of the Church. Many subjects relevant to our times are addressed here that have not been examined or explained elsewhere. Those who wish to study it at length privately are welcome to do so, but they are not required to do so. I have urged readers to undertake such study in order to better answer those who question the faith but that is dependent on their level of education, their circumstances and their ability to explain what they read. They can always simply refer people to the site and are encouraged to do this. Please use the search function to locate various topics. The book The Phantom Church in Rome was written to answer many of the more common arguments and explain the gravity of the situation in which we find ourselves. But like the site, it is intended to be more of a reference work than anything else.
That being said, Catholics should remember well what Pope Benedict XIV pronounced over 250 years ago: “We declare that the greater part of those who are damned have brought the calamity on themselves by ignorance of the mysteries of the faith, which they should have known and believed, in order to be united with the elect.” Here we understand the primary mysteries of the faith presented in the Catechism of the Council of Trent and the Baltimore Catechism # 3 or some other such work — those things all are bound to believe — for not everyone can know or is able to understand many of the finer details. It is enough to believe even that which they cannot understand and leave the rest to those who are more learned. What many today lack is a way of ordering their life that is not dependent on a more detailed understanding of these things, (provided they are well-grounded in basic Catholic belief). What is presented below provides a way they can follow today, in the absence of Mass, Sacraments and priestly directors, although this “way” may not be for everyone. Still, for those who care to adopt it, it offers an easy method for loving God and following Him in our daily lives, and is easily adapted to our current situation.
The Sacrament of the moment
In his Abandonment to Divine Providence, Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade instructs those unable to consult a director, a situation we are experiencing ourselves. He begins his work by observing that: “Today God still speaks to us as he used to speak to our ancestors at a time when there were neither spiritual directors nor any systems of spirituality.” This was the condition in which Our Lady and St. Joseph, members of “that little band of believers …kept safe from idolatry until the coming of the Messiah” found themselves. Caussade informs us that “The bread which nourished the faith of Mary and Joseph …was the sacrament of the moment.” He goes on to explain that this sacrament consists in accepting everything in our daily lives as God sends it, and at the time and in the manner in which He sends it. He says that God compelled him to write to help those “who seek to be holy and are discouraged by what you have read in the lives of the saints and some books dealing with spiritual matters.” How well this describes us today, who find so little of our own lives comparable to the lives of the saints.
Caussade encourages his readers to faithfully follow inspirations of grace, a very important component of God’s will, but to follow these inspirations only as long as they also are in compliance with God’s will of signification (“Obedience to the Commandments, both divine and ecclesiastical, of obligation for all, because there is question here of THE ABSOLUTE WILL OF GOD WHO HAS MADE SUBMISSION TO THESE ORDINANCES A CONDITION OF SALVATION to advance further”— St. Francis de Sales) and His will of good pleasure (what happens in our daily lives) and our daily duties. He notes that the usual methods of spirituality are neither applicable nor helpful. In fact, he says, these methods actually place obstacles in the way of souls who wish to forge a straight path to God. He does not discourage anyone who wishes to follow other methods from doing so; he simply states that in certain cases and circumstances these methods are more a hindrance than a help. Caussade sympathizes with those “who have done all that is commanded by the strictest theologians…” but still fail to find peace. “[They] are expected to adopt tiresome practices which the Church does not require, and if they do not they are told they are wrong,” but this is not the case, he says.
Those who seek this way have tried many other methods of seeking holiness, he points out, but have failed to find one that can be suitably fitted to their busy and unpredictable lives. Caussade describes the souls he addresses as, “bits of broken pottery” God seems to have flung into some dark corner. He calls them “spiritually and mentally troubled and their everyday lives are full of disappointments.” They need much attention, he says, and are lacking in all those things that distinguished the saints. “They feel all the annihilating anguish of their wretched state…They find nothing but confusion within themselves…They are overwhelmed with shame… Whatever [they] do fills [them] with endless contempt for [them]selves, as if [their] whole lives were flawed and faulty.” To others these “strange sort of saints” appear to be “disobedient, troublesome, contemptuous and angry,” and they “feel this way about [them]selves too,” Caussade notes. But he cautions that we must not become “upset or worried by the humiliations which come from the aspect [we] present to the world.”
He sums up our manner of existence quite well when he writes that we must carry on “without thinking and concerned with no models or examples or any particular mode of spirituality. You must act when it is time for action and stop when it is time to stop. In this self-abandonment you read or put books aside, talk to people or keep silent, write or drop your pen, and never know what will follow.” How often we find it to be exactly as he says. We who are forced to proceed on nothing but faith alone can also understand his meaning in these words: “Let us acknowledge that we are incapable of becoming holy by our own efforts and put our trust in God, who would not have taken away our ability to walk unless He was to carry us in His arms…The light of reason can only deepen the darkness of faith…No matter what troubles, unhappiness, worries, upsets, doubts and needs harass souls who have lost all confidence in their own powers, they can all be overcome by the marvelous hidden and unknown power of the divine action. The more perplexing the situation, the more we can hope for a happy solution. The heart says, ‘All will be well. God has the matter in hand. We need fear nothing.’” These thoughts of Caussade’s are found expressed in the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who told Juan Diego: “Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms?”
Caussade uses passages from the Apocalypse to relay to us wisdom that no doubt was reserved especially for those living in the latter days. Thus we find the three keys mentioned in Apoc. 3:7, 9:1 and Luke 11:52; also the key to divine wisdom, (Wis. 8:14) extended to us in his work. Some commentators believe that the Church of Philadelphia related to these keys is the little Church of the remnant living in the end times. “The whole of the Old Testament is only a small diagram showing innumerable and mysterious tracks, and contains nothing but what is necessary to lead us to Jesus. The Holy Ghost has kept everything else hidden among the riches of His wisdom. From all the vast ocean of His activity, He allows only a trickle of water to escape which, after reaching Jesus, is lost in the Apostles and engulfed in the Apocalypse. Thus the rest of the story of the activity of Jesus in the souls of good people until the end of time can be known only by faith.” Caussade talks of the dream King Nebuchadnezzar revealed to Daniel and the interpretation Daniel gave him of his dream. This prophet says it represents the “the image of this world shown to us as a statue…the mystery of evil,” referring this evil to the activities of the “children of darkness, together with the beast coming out of the abyss to war against the interior and spiritual life of man. It is a war that has been going on since time began, and everything that happens in the contemporary world is the continuation of this war, (Apoc. 13:1).
“…Throughout the history of mankind we have been placed on earth as warriors to fight this great spiritual battle in successive ages. Always the enemy is the same. As St. Thomas Aquinas explains, they are beasts precisely because they are not spiritual beings, relying on their base instincts and animal passions rather than God-given reason. Always these monsters arise from the infernal pit and always we must fight them to the death. When we have finished our training here under the tutelage of the Holy Ghost, Caussade notes, then “God allows them to slay the monster. A new monster appears and God summons fresh warriors into the arena. Our life here is a spectacle which makes heaven rejoice, rears up saints and confounds hell. And so all that opposes the rule of God only succeeds in making it more worthy to be adored. All the enemies of justice become its slaves and God builds the heavenly Jerusalem with the fragments of Babylon the destroyed.”
Caussade’s book is short and to the point, perfectly suited to those who are unable to devote much time to study or other spiritual works. This little treatise, if followed faithfully, will help them make the most of the trials and troubles of their daily lives and turn all into a monument to God’s holy will. We need not worry about the future or the past, as St. Therese of Liseux taught — the “evil of the day,” the present moment — is sufficient for us. Let the political waves rage and wash over us, the dire predictions and portents of the end not terrorize us, but let us simply be going about our daily duties for God’s honor and glory when He comes. This is praying and watching at its best, and we can do nothing better than this. Yes, there are some things to consider about all this and we will consider them at length when the study is completed. But if it is not what some expect, simply heed wah Caussade says above: The Holy Ghost has kept everything else hidden among the riches of His wisdom. From all the vast ocean of His activity, He allows only a trickle of water to escape which, after reaching Jesus, is lost in the Apostles and engulfed in the Apocalypse. Thus the rest of the story of the activity of Jesus in the souls of good people until the end of time can be known only by faith.” We shall examine the trickle, but let it not affect our pursuit of the sacrament of the moment.