Saturday, December 28, 2013

"Woe to you when all men speak well of you.."

 "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1: 10).

Time Magazine has praised Pope Francis.  Now Esquire Magazine is saying that the new Pontiff possesses a humility not seen in recent popes.  See here.

This is just disturbing.  For the recent popes (and in my view Pope John Paul II most especially) have been nothing short of models of the evangelical virtues.  They have been humble servants of Christ Jesus.  But some are saying that Francis' humility hasn't been seen since biblical times.

The secular media continues its public relations campaign promoting Francis as "the people's pope" and as a "sign of hope."

So what is my concern?  Why do I even mention all of this? Because as Christians who strive to live a holy and authentic life in the Lord Jesus, there is something which becomes immediately apparent as we survey this broken world. And it is this: while as disciples of the Lord we receive the power of God and His gifts which include wisdom and fortitude (courage), often we are hesitant or slow to do good or when we do choose to do good we meet almost constant opposition. By contrast, those who receive the power of the devil appear to be tireless in their activities as they work frenetically to discover new ways of doing evil or deceiving others and everything seems to come to them very easily.
There is an important spiritual lesson here. The world we live in is under the dominion of Satan, the "Prince of this world." When we witness an individual achieve outstanding success without any real setbacks, opposition or persecution, there is a very real possibility that such a person is an adept of the Prince of this world and is receiving his "gifts": "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me." By contrast, often lack of success and persecution are sure signs that one really stands for God.
Father Joseph Esper explains, "Why does the Lord allow failure? According to St. Paul of the Cross, 'The works of God always meet with opposition so that the Divine Magnificence may shine forth. It is when things appear to be crashing to the ground that you will see them even more be raised on high.' Just as 'God is able to write straight with crooked lines,' so His servants, with the help of His grace, are able to grow in holiness in spite of their setbacks. St. John Vianney reminds us, 'The saints did not become saints without many a sacrifice and many a struggle,' and St. John of the Cross offers these reassuring words: 'The Lord measures our perfection neither by the multitude nor the magnitude of our deeds, but by the manner in which we perform them.' Talented and productive hands count for much less in God's eyes than a loving heart; we are therefore advised by Bl. Zeferino Agostini, 'Do not be dismayed by toil or suffering, nor by the meager fruit of your labors. Remember that God rewards not according to results but according to efforts.' By Heaven's standards, faithfulness equals success, especially when serving the Lord involves something contrary to our own preferences. As St. Vincent de Paul notes, 'One act of resignation to the divine will, when it ordains what is repugnant to us, is worth more than a hundred thousand successes according to our own will and pleasure.'.....Once we've overcome our human desire for popularity and success, the world is no longer able to ensnare us or to lead us astray - and on that day we will truly become successful in God's sight." (Saintly Solutions, pp. 108-109, Sophia Institute Press).

The words of Our Lord Himself are most instructive here:

"Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Mt 5: 11, 12)...Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets." (Lk 6: 26).

The world loves its own.  Which is why worldly types will have nothing for praise for one of their own.  But authentic servants of God will be persecuted, villified, slandered, and criticized at every opportunity.

The fact that the secular media has nothing but high praise for Francis, to the point of describing him as a "sign of hope," is deeply troubling.  And is, in itself, quite possibly a sign we cannot afford to ignore.

Is all of this the result of masonic infiltration into the Church?


Unknown said...

German Proverb

Unknown said...

"Pope Francis Secretly Sneaking Out Of The Vatican At Night To Give Money To The Poor? Why is this then openly published so that the whole world may see and know how "humble" he is.
The BIBLE says : your left hand should not know what your right hand gives or does.
I'm appalled by the whole show that is set up around all his "acts of humility". " If it was possible even the elect would be misled." Lord guide us and give us the discernment to see what's yours and what's coming from the deceiver. Let's stop attacking each other and let's be very careful in this day of age where the devil is in his last days and the warning and punishment of the world are close by . obama 44th president. The number 44 being the number of the Punishment of the World in the Bible.
WWJD : did He ever go around and showing off while saying : " Look at me I ride a Donkey, Not a Jaguar." Lord please hasten Your Coming !!!
Riki -

Terry Nelson said...

Blessed Pope John Paul II was named TIME's Man of the Year in 1994.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Yes Terry. But John Paul II and Mother Teresa were also criticized often. Especially John Paul. Although much loved by devout Catholics, worldly types hated his defense of orthodoxy, of sound doctrine.

Unknown said...

I have been reading your blog for some time now and greatly appreciate your work.

Although, I'm not so sure about Blessed John Paul II... it doesn't seem prudent to canonize the man without some sort of investigation or Devil's advocate.

A saint is worthy of emulation. What can we say about Assisi I and II? Certainly this is not worthy of emulation. It was his dogmas that opened the doors to a sort of universal salvation. Take for example a quote of his while at the Second Vatican Council.

"In less than four years, the interior situation in the Church has [drastically] changed...Such eminent theologians as Hendi de Lubac, J. Danielou, Y. Congar, H. Küng, R. Lombardi, Karl Rahner, and others have played an extraordinary role in the work of the preparation.
The objective of John XXIII was above all the unity of Christians; giant steps have been made along this road. The Church is persuaded, as never before, that what unites Christians is stronger than what divides them. The yearning for the unity of Christians joins hands with the wish for the unity of all the human race. The new conception of the idea of the people of God has replaced the old truth on the possibility of redemption outside the visible bounds of the Church. The premise shows the attitude of the Church towards the other religions, which is the basis for recognizing values which are spiritual, human, and Christian at once, extending to religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism.... The Church wishes to undertake a dialogue with representatives of these religions. Here Judaism occupies a particular place."

We see why Assisi happened, because he apparently believed that the Holy Spirit can operate and lead men in false religions, confirming them in their false religions in their worship of false gods.
This is why he included the opinion into his own catechism, (which was placed into Denzinger by Karl Rahner himself, while K.R. was editor) CCC 847, but did not include the infallible pronouncements of the popes and Councils regarding "no salvation outside the Church." This is the new orientation, and the essence of his "new evangelization."

Pope John Paul II also propagated his new dogma concerning man. Proclaiming on Christmas Day, 1978 that Christmas is the "feast of man." Even going so far in his encyclical Redemptor Hominis to say that "by His Incarnation, he, the Son of God, in a certain way united himself with each man." And God sent a Redeemer who "fully reveals man to himself, inviting him to encounter Christ who, by His redemptive act, has united every man to himself for all time."

This is a new dogma. A new orientation, and the beginnings of the church of man, where man is exalted in the place of God.
From all of your writings on the emerging anti-Church, I don't know how you were able to miss these teachings of Pope John Paul II.

I am not a sedevacantist. Pope John Paul II was most certainly pope. Although, a short look into his theology reveals a new, anthropocentric dogma of immanentism.

Anyway, God bless. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with your conclusions wholeheartedly, IF I were certain that the messages the media draws from the Pope's words actually corresponded with his intent.

It's been 35 years since the media has had the opportunity to display a new pope to the world, as Cardinal Ratzinger had already been successfully labeled as a hard core extremist prior to his installation.

Today's media is more interested in "defining" rather than displaying. I think they enjoy taking his words out of context and using them to portray him as someone who is more in line with their thinking than he actually is. So far, I'm not buying it.

Unfortunately, I think their approach has been effective in sowing discord, as their portrayal of him, (accurate or not), has caused much division. More orthodox leaning Catholics have been lead to mistrust him, and liberals are beginning to think gay "marriage" and women "priests" are right around the corner.

Ignoring the media's take, and basing judgments solely on Pope Francis' words -in full context, and over time- is the only way to get to the truth about who he actually is. I'm still giving him the benefit of the doubt. For now.

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