+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.

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