+The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary+
What has reached a fever pitch in our society as the result of the innovations introduced to Catholics via liturgical reform is the desire to avoid pain and discomfort at all costs and at its earliest onset, regardless of how inconsequential it may be. This was referred to by Rev. Kaiser in the series on liturgical reform, concluded last week. As promised, we are writing a separate blog on this issue because it is so widespread and has such far-reaching consequences. But we must also warn below of the deadly rigorist reaction to this attitude of the progressives regarding pain, which is just as harmful as their avoidance of it, if not more so.
In his work, Rev. Kaiser stated: “[Liturgical reform] confused sentimental fear of suffering and psychotic fear of penance with the true role and purpose (both theological and psychological) of the Cross of Christ, as a redeeming principle and the redeeming factor in Christianity… The unreasoning yen for antiquity and simplicity and so-called “objectivity” is opposed not only to orthodoxy but also to sound psychology… It savors of the unrealistic attempt to acquire happiness and glory without earning them. It ignored the power of sin and the consequent need of expiation…. False esthetic preference for the merely ancient and simple was joined to a merely sentimental aversion to pain and suffering.
“The dilettantes wanted to do without the Cross of pain. So they invented a glorified sentiment in place of the victorious and triumphant historical Christ. There is for us no hope of glory except through the Cross and our faith in Him who died that we might live. Man needs Christ on the Cross, both as a Sacrifice and as an inspiration to courage and resignation… The dilettantes, the exclusivists, the Hegelians could merely flatter man’s penchant for ease and self-glorification — not elevate or divinize him, as they pretended.”
This fear of pain and suffering, the very element so essential to Christ’s death on the Cross to achieve our redemption, was symbolized in the appearance of the “Risen Christ” crosses — Christ risen with his arms upraised, not nailed to the Cross, as Kaiser explains. Some Novus Ordo fanatics even added a 15th “station” of the Resurrection to the traditional 14. This aversion to pain as it appeared in the 1960s was the perfect prelude to the advent, in that same decade, of tranquilizers, pain pills and other palliatives which became a popular refuge for bored housewives and those suffering milder forms of chronic pain. Then of course there was always recourse to illegal drugs, which also began to flourish in that same time-period. So the aversion to pain option cleverly laid the groundwork for future plans of the powers that be to condition Catholics for drug use to avoid or diminish suffering, although few then saw it for what it would later become.
Origin of mind-altering drugs
This would include not only physical but emotional pain, as exhibited in patients suffering from neurosis, obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety and depression. Let’s delve a bit into the origin of these drugs. In his Serpent and the Rainbow, researcher Wade Davis explained how a mission into the jungles of Haiti gave rise to the popularity of psychotropic drugs. Davis was dispatched to Haiti by those involved in the development of psycho-pharmaceutical preparations in the 1970s. He found Haiti overrun with secret societies originally introduced via the slave trade. On their arrival in Haiti, these societies eventually allied themselves with tribal chiefs immersed in the occult knowledge of “toxic preparations.” A certain element of these societies terrorized the native Haitian population in much the same way the Holy Vehm had terrorized Germany and Prussia. According to Davis, Haitian secret societies were “the predecessor” of secret societies today, only in the sense that they more closely resembled modern versions of the older model.
Davis journeyed to Haiti to study plant life and return with a drug that would assist anesthesiologists in creating a “zombie-like state” while sedating patients for prolonged surgical procedures. One of his sponsors already had developed the first psychoactive drug used to “cure” insanity: reserpine, derived from the herb snakeroot. Davis found what he was sent to find, but he also discovered a frightening array of toxic plants and preparations used by the secret societies against their enemies; potent drugs that could produce “a body without character, without will.”Despite psychiatry’s disdain as a profession concerning the possibility of possession, Davis is convinced he observed possession firsthand, and feels that the determination as to whether possession exists or not is better left to those who know it best. So now we know the real history behind the term “zombie apocalypse.”
Possession and the “split-mind”
Davis does not seem to address the possibility that his sponsors’ intent could have exceeded their stated professional interest. Yet the subsequent explosion of psychoactive and mind-altering drugs that followed at least suggests that such research paved the way for drug experimentation and the development of succeeding generations of drugs that successfully impede or destroy the memory and the will. And the gurus who would be entrusted to administer them were none other than the students of Sigmund Freud, whose psychoanalytic methods and the theories on which they rested were condemned by the Catholic Church.
Freud defined hysteria, for example, as an organic mental illness distinct from possession, but many theologians believed it to be a state either indicative of possession or preceding it. In the work Soundings on Satanism, by various authors, F.M. Catherinet, writing on the many demoniacs cured by Christ that are recorded in the Gospels, boldly stated that, “All true diabolic possession is accompanied, in fact and by a quasi-necessity, by mental or nervous troubles amplified or produced by the demon.” This also ties into an article written by C. J. Woolen (December 1945 Homiletic and Pastoral Review) entitled “A Schizophrenic Generation.” The article held that already in post-war America a condition existed among Catholics that effectively minimized sin and evil living by attributing its cause to a mental illness which Woolen calls the “split mind,” or schizophrenia, known also today as the dissociative state.
“The Christian, if he is to be faithful, has no choice but to be heroic,” Woolen stated towards the end of his article. The numbing process of denial, psychiatry and psychotropic drugs are modern choices for dulling the pain of living in a materialistic world where true Catholic love of God not tainted by Liberalism would result in loss of earthly goods and the kindly regards of one’s neighbors. Woolen advised in the 1940s that all Catholic priests in every diocese provide the obvious solution — routine exorcism of their parishioners. But the psychotic denial practiced wholesale prior to Vatican 2 gripped the Church with such force that Catholics willingly sacrificed the very things the martyrs gave their lives to preserve rather than appear “out of date.” As the author Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany’s, in his classic work commended by Pope Leo XIII’s Holy Office, Liberalism is a Sin, rightly notes: “The desire to take and make things easy… obscures the understanding.”
Psychotropic drugs are not specifically addressed in Pope Pius XII’s binding decree below on pain prevention and the administration of pain relief at the hour of death. But the pope does provide answers on how Catholics must view pain and suffering. The specifics of pain relief at the hour of death are an important topic because certain rigorist Traditional sects, some claiming to endorse the pray-at-home position, have convinced their followers that one is not allowed to request pain medications when dying and that taking such medications would be a grave sin. Especially in light of the true teaching of the Church below, this is a cruel and merciless position that must be abhorred, and those who sanction it should be treated as the wretches they truly are for depriving Catholics of the comfort at the end of their life that the Church allows. Yet other Traditionalist sects would permit the complete anesthetization of the dying, depriving them of their reason, so desperately needed to make their peace with God. Both extremes must be avoided, as Pius XII explains below. These heretical sects prey on the ignorance and vulnerability of Catholics even at the end of life because their real mission on this earth is to deprive them of eternal salvation. This is why we continue to warn Catholics that despite their pretenses to uphold papal teaching, these sects do no such thing and are truly a danger to those striving to save their souls.
Morality of Pain Prevention
Pius XII, AAS 27-3-1957 (Feb. 24, 1957 – ACTA, vol. XXIV, n. 3, p. 129)
The Pope Speaks, Vol. IV, 1957-58
Moral obligation to endure physical pain
“… It is evident in certain cases that the acceptance of physical suffering is a matter of serious obligation. Thus a man is bound in conscience to accept suffering every time he is faced with the inescapable alternative of either enduring suffering or acting contrary to a moral obligation by positive action or by omission. The martyrs could not avoid torture or death without denying their faith or evading the serious obligation of bearing witness to it when the occasion was given. But it is unnecessary to go back to the martyrs today there are magnificent examples of Christians who for weeks months and even years have endured suffering and physical violence in order to remain faithful to God and their conscience…
“…[But] man, even after the fall, retains the right to control the forces of nature, to employ them for his own use, and, consequently, to derive benefit from all the resources which nature offers him for the suppression and avoidance of physical pain. But Christian suffering is not something purely negative; on the contrary, it is linked with lofty religious and moral values. Hence it may be desired and sought even if no moral obligation to do so exists in a particular case… The Christian is bound to mortify the flesh and strive after his interior purification, for it is impossible in the long run to avoid sin and fulfill all one’s duties faithfully if this effort at mortification and purification is neglected. Physical suffering becomes necessary and must therefore be accepted insofar as without its aid mastery over the self and its disorderly tendencies is unattainable. But to the extent that it is not required for this purpose it cannot be asserted that there is any strict obligation in the matter.
“The Christian, then, is never obliged to desire suffering for its own sake. He considers it a means more or less adapted according to circumstances to the end which he is pursuing. Although it is beyond dispute that the Christian feels his desire to accept and even to seek physical pain in order to share the more in the passion of Christ, to renounce the world and the pleasures of the senses and to mortify his own flesh, it is important to interpret this tendency correctly. Those who manifest it exteriorly do not necessarily possess genuine Christian heroism. And it would also be erroneous to declare that those who do not manifest this tendency are devoid of heroism. Such heroism can indeed express itself in other ways.
“When a Christian performs day after day, from morning till night all the duties imposed by his state in life, his profession AND THE LAWS OF GOD AND MAN, when he prays with recollection, works wholeheartedly, resists his evil passions, shows his neighbor the charity and service to him and endures bravely, without murmuring, whatever God sends him, he is always living under the standard of Christ’s cross whether physical suffering is present or not; whether he endures it or avoids it by permissible means… The acceptance of physical suffering is only one way among many others of indicating what is the real essential: the will to love God and serve him in all things. It is above all in the perfection of this voluntary disposition that the quality of the Christian life in its heroism consists.”
On the use of analgesics for the dying
“Now growth in the love of God and in abandonment to His will does not come from the sufferings which are accepted, but from a voluntary intention supported by grace. This intention in many of the dying can be strengthened and become more active if their sufferings are eased, for these sufferings aggravate the state of weakness and physical exhaustion, check the ardor of soul, and sap the moral powers instead of sustaining them. On the other hand, the suppression of pain removes physical and mental tension, makes prayer easier, and makes possible a more generous gift of self… The sick person should not, without serious reason, be deprived of consciousness. When this state is produced by natural causes, men must accept it. But it is not for them to bring it about on their own initiative unless they have serious motives for doing so… It is to be remembered that instead of assisting toward expiation and merit, suffering can also furnish occasion for new faults.
“When, in spite of obligations still binding on him, the dying man asks for narcosis for which there exist serious reasons, a conscientious doctor will not countenance it, especially if he is a Christian, without having invited the patient, either personally or, better still, through someone else, to carry out his obligations first. If the sick man refuses obstinately and persists in asking for narcosis, the doctor can consent to it without rendering himself guilty of formal cooperation in the fault committed… But if a dying person has fulfilled all his duties and received the last sacraments, if medical reasons clearly suggest the use of anesthesia, if in determining the dose the permitted amount is not exceeded, if the intensity and duration of this treatment is carefully reckoned, and, finally, if the patient consents to it, then there is no objection: the use of anesthesia is morally permissible.
“If, on the contrary, the administration of narcotics produces two distinct effects, one, the relief of pain and the other, the shortening of life, then the action is lawful; however, it must be determined whether there is a reasonable proportion between these two effects and whether the advantages of the one effect compensate for the disadvantages of the other. To sum up, you ask Us: “Is the removal of pain and consciousness by means of narcotics (when medical reasons demand it) permitted by religion and morality to both doctor and patient even at the approach of death and if one foresees that the use of narcotics will shorten life?” The answer must be: “Yes – provided that no other means exist, and if, in the given circumstances, that action does not prevent the carrying out of other moral and religious duties.” As We have already explained, the ideal of Christian heroism does not require — at least in general — the refusal of narcosis justified on other grounds, even at the approach of death. Everything depends on the particular circumstances. The most perfect and most heroic decision can be present as fully in acceptance as in refusal.” (End of Pope Pius XII excerpts)
Pope Pius XII, then, clarifies our Catholic duty to the dying and sets forth the proper attitude we should have regarding the endurance of pain. This sufficiently and authoritatively counters the lax and liberal stance of those belonging to the Novus Ordo sects, Latin Mass attendees, “semi-Traditionalists” mainstream Traditionalists and the radical and rigorist sects among them. A recent article published on one popular sedevacantist site claims that Traditionalists are enduring the mystical Passion of Christ. One wonders if they have any clear understanding of the meaning of the word Passion, as related to Christ’s sufferings on the Cross, and as applied to the faithful living in these times. This will be discussed in detail below.
Traditionalists’ bogus interpretation of the Passion of the Church
Above we read from Pope Pius XII that: “It is evident in certain cases that the acceptance of physical suffering is a matter of serious obligation. Thus a man is bound in conscience to accept suffering every time he is faced with the inescapable alternative of either enduring suffering or acting contrary to a moral obligation by positive action or by omission… There are magnificent examples of Christians who for weeks, months, and even years have endured suffering and physical violence in order to remain faithful to God and their conscience…” This is the pain that cannot be avoided but must be endured by those wishing to be counted as members of Christ’s Mystical Body.
And yet just as Rev. Kaiser describes in his articles, those in the Novus Ordo and Traditionalist sects resort to heretical exclusivism to avoid enduring this necessary pain. Traditionalists, by denying the necessity of the Roman Pontiff as the head of the Apostolic College of bishops and instead embracing the “community of priests” that would serve those exiting the Vatican 2 Church. And the Novus Ordo counter-church in rejecting both the Church’s true teaching regarding the papacy as well as the Latin Mass. The Gallicanist, Febronian, Gnostic “Traditionalist” faction, which Kaiser rightly credits as the forerunner of this tendency, pretends to save orthodoxy, while rejecting the papacy.
And yet we know from Henry Cardinal Manning and other exegetes commenting on Holy Scripture that this Chair could be overthrown, the shepherd would be struck and the poor flock scattered; and until that fateful day Peter’s Faith did indeed remain unshaken. But this overthrow of the papacy could occur only during the last days of the world and Antichrist’s reign. And whom indeed would bring this about? The Passion of the Church would be orchestrated by the very ones claiming to love Christ the most — once again He would be wounded by those professing to be among His dearest friends, His own race and family. Pope Pius IX stated in his encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, “Religion itself can never totter and fall while this Chair remains intact, the Chair which rests on the rock which the proud gates of hell cannot overthrow and in which there is the whole and perfect solidity of the Christian religion.” But when that Chair was no longer intact, “religion [WOULD] totter and fall.” Typically, Traditionalists dare to quote these very words of Pope Pius IX above, while ignoring the true import of what he is teaching. They pretend to suffer the Passion of the Church, but how is this possible?
The recent sedevacantist article on the Church’s Passion, answering the “semi-Trads,” defines it as follows: “The true Passion of the Church consists of Catholics, including the Pope, being betrayed, persecuted, humiliated, scourged, calumniated, tortured, and/or killed by the enemies of Christ, His Church, and His Vicar… The sedevacantist does not ‘attempt to eliminate the mystery’ of the Church’s Passion, he tries to understand it correctly.” The horrors of this Great Apostasy is something that all of us have suffered and continue to suffer. This Internet article condemns as false the semi-Trad idea that this Passion is being lived out by the current persecutions aimed at “Pope Francis” and the Novus Ordo Church, an idea which is, of course, ridiculous. But sedevacantists themselves also entertain a false notion concerning the Passion of the Church, because they have no idea, no proper understanding, of the true meaning of the word “obedience.”
The most perfect worship is to obey God
Our Lord petitioned his Father to be relieved of the Chalice of His Passion in the Garden of Olives. “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me… [But] if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done” (Matt. 26: vs. 39, 42). We have explained God’s signified will on this site many times; it can be found, St. Francis de Sales tells us, in: “Obedience to the Commandments, both divine and ecclesiastical, is 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” (“Holy Abandonment,” Rt. Rev. Dom Vital Lehody O.C.R., p. 18, 22). Yet Traditionalists deny that this extends to ecclesiastical law “in these times.” Rev. Aldolphe Tanquerey, that great master of the spiritual life, also wrote:
“Now to conform our wills to that of God is assuredly to cease to do evil, and to learn to do good. Is not this the meaning of that oft repeated text: ‘FOR OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICES’ (1 Kings XV, 22; Osee VI, 6; Matt IX, 3 also XII, 7). In the New Law, Our Lord declares from the very moment of His entry into the world that it is with obedience that He will replace the sacrifices of the Ancient Law: ‘Holocausts for sin did not please Thee. Then I said: Behold I come … that I should do Thy will, O God.’ (Hebrews X, 6-7; Phil 11, 8; Phil, IV, 3). And in truth, it is by obedience unto the immolation of self that He has redeemed us: ‘He was made obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.’ (John 4, 34) In the same way, it is through obedience and through the acceptance of God-ordained trials in union with Christ that we shall atone for our sins and cleanse our soul.” (The Spiritual Life,pages 240-241). But Traditionalists must have their sacrifices at all costs, even the cost of their eternal salvation.
And in his Our Greatest Treasure (1942), Rev. John Kearney wrote: “Obedience is not merely doing what you are told but being cheerfully willing to be told what to do…To obey the Church, therefore, is to obey God, for She commands in His name. And to obey God, to submit to God’s Will, is to offer Him the most perfect worship.” Sedevacantists, as explained in previous blogs, did all they could do to avoid this obedience to ALL the popes teach regarding the primacy, the divine law that is jurisdiction, and the infallible decrees of the Council of Trent and the Vatican Council. They cherry-pick what teachings of the popes they choose to quote and even then, they entirely obscure the full meaning of what they are quoting. They violate every Canon Law pertaining to their operations and pretend that these laws do not issue directly from the Popes and the Councils. This has been demonstrated on this site in numerous articles, so does not bear repeating here.
ALL Traditionalists refuse obedience to the full range of binding teachings issuing from the Continual Magisterium. They deny the integral nature of the Church’s dogmatic teaching, practice heretical exclusivism and steadfastly ignore doctrinal development. They insist on enjoying the emoluments of the Catholic religion despite the prohibitions and condemnations of Her Pontiffs, and the infallible command of Pope Pius XII that this cannot be done during an interregnum. So what are they suffering? What obedience are they offering to Our Lord as a sacrifice, in imitation of His acceptance of His Father’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane? Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph endured a perilous several-day journey over mountain passes and deserts, in the cold of winter, to obey a civil law, and they are suffering a renewal of Christ’s Passion? To obey WHAT?! Only their own will.
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, and one of her deepest sorrows today is the refusal of those entrusted to her sorrowful heart to obey the laws and teachings of her Divine Son and His Vicars. We pray for their conversion daily. If we truly wish to suffer with Our Lady and her beloved Son, that we too may fill up some of what is “wanting” to Christ’s Passion, Mother Mary Potter has this advice to offer:
“The Church appears to have entered upon the time when she mystically represents the Passion of Our Lord, and her members are unusually afflicted and tried; therefore the thought cannot be too often in your mind of the priceless value of suffering, of the short time the severest suffering can last, if it lasted without intermission through your whole life which it does not. Meditate again and again, in union with the Mother of Sorrows, upon the value (we might almost say infinite value) of suffering, since it will procure an infinite reward. It will be well to remember, likewise, that suffering not only procures a closer union with God, and therefore greater happiness in Heaven, but it likewise begets a greater happiness even on earth. You will taste a joy — you who suffer till your soul seems sorrowful even unto death — not conceived by those who pass through life with but its ordinary cares. Suffering is the one thing we may glory in. Suffering borne patiently, borne as God wills, is a present we may offer in some way back to God, and be sure it will be a gift most pleasing to Him. All that we suffer we of course, in our fallen state, deserve; but if God sees that in our hearts we are willing to suffer even undeserved suffering to please Him, to save our souls, He accepts that will, and our suffering is beautified to some resemblance to Our Lady’s” (Path of Mary, 1878, p. 85).
“O let us with the Church unceasingly ask Jesus that He raise sinners from their spiritual death, enlighten those in error, so that all recognize the truth, find, and walk the path which leads to life” (Rev. Leonard Goffine’s Explanation of the Epistles and Gospels, 1874, 15th Sunday after Pentecost).