Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Holocaust denial of the Saint Benedict Center - Richmond, New Hampshire

The Church takes Holocaust denial very seriously. Read here for example. And yet, Douglas Bersaw of the Saint Benedict Center cult [Richmond, New Hampshire] has said that, "There's a lot of controversy among people who study the so-called Holocaust..There's a misperception that Hitler had a position to kill all the Jews. It's all a fraud. Six million didn't occur." (Cherishing an Older Catholicism, The Boston Globe). And what does Louis Villarrubia ("Brother" Andre Marie, the "Prior" of the Saint Benedict Center) believe about the Holocaust? Read here.

One has to wonder why Catholic author Philip Lawler would attend the Saint Benedict Center Conference as a guest speaker. Two relevant posts here and here. Pope Benedict XVI has said that any minimization of the Holocaust is "unacceptable" (see here). This is one reason why the Saint Benedict Center cult is "unacceptable." Does Mr. Lawler believe differently?

Since any minimization of the Holocaust is "unacceptable" according to Our Holy Father, what course of action should be taken against Louis Villarrubia ("Brother" Andre Marie)? Readers of this Blog (and Russell Provosts Blog SBC Watch) will recall that when "Brother" Andre Marie was asked by Mary Richardson of the television program Chronicle whether or not 6 million Jews died during the Holocaust, he replied "I don't know, I'm not a historian." What is this but an attitude of "minimization" regarding the Holocaust? While he acknowledged that some Jews died "during the Second World War," his attitude was absolutely chilling as he spoke of the "subtleties of the Holocaust."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Father Anthony de Mello, S.J., A Warning from the CDF...

" certain passages in these early works [of Fr. de Mello] and to a greater degree in his later publications, one notices a progressive distancing from the essential contents of the Christian faith. In place of the revelation which has come in the person of Jesus Christ, he substitutes an intuition of God without form or image, to the point of speaking of God as a pure void. To see God it is enough to look directly at the world. Nothing can be said about God; the only knowing is unknowing. To pose the question of his existence is already nonsense. This radical apophaticism leads even to a denial that the Bible contains valid statements about God. The words of Scripture are indications which serve only to lead a person to silence. In other passages, the judgment on sacred religious texts, not excluding the Bible, becomes even more severe: they are said to prevent people from following their own common sense and cause them to become obtuse and cruel. Religions, including Christianity, are one of the major obstacles to the discovery of truth. This truth, however, is never defined by the author in its precise contents. For him, to think that the God of one's own religion is the only one is simply fanaticism. "God" is considered as a cosmic reality, vague and omnipresent; the personal nature of God is ignored and in practice denied....those responsible for safeguarding the doctrine of the faith have been obliged to illustrate the dangers in the texts written by Father Anthony de Mello or attributed to him, and to warn the faithful about them." - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Notification Concerning the Writings of Fr. Anthony de Mello S.J.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Calling all teens: Dare to be counter-cultural...try sacrosancting...

You all know about "texting," the common term for sending short messages (text messages) from mobile phones. And by now you've heard of "sexting," the practice of sending nude pictures via text message. Sexting is not only immoral. But forwarding nude pictures of childen is also illegal.

At Fatima, Our Lady showed three children a glimpse of hell and explained to them that more souls are in hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason. This is a serious warning for us all. It is so serious that the Devil does everything he can to hide this fact from us. And so, he presents immodesty and impurity as the accepted norm, the very essence of popularity and the height of a so-called "good time." But the Devil is a liar and has no truth in him (John 8: 44).

We must have the courage to face the truth; to be counter-cultural. And the truth is that we are creatures having not only a body but a soul created by God. And because we have this soul, we are children of God as well as being children of our parents. We therefore owe God, ourselves and others reverence and respect. And we will never show this reverence and respect by sending nude pictures of ourselves or others via text message (or by any other means).

And so, I would like to call upon you - teens who are intelligent enough to respect yourselves and others - to be truly counter-cultural and to try something different. I propose a new form of text messaging: sending holy images of Saints or Church figures - let's call it "Sacrosancting." The word "sacrosanct" means sacred, blessed, consecrated or holy.

You might ask: Why should I do this? To which I would reply: the reward for the practice of these virtues (purity and modesty) is so great that one cannot even begin to imagine it. For it was Our Lord Jesus Christ Who promised us: "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5: 8).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Root of the problem: suppressing orthodox worshippers

There are varied reasons as to why so many parishes and dioceses are failing. As Michael Brown explains in his excellent article, "...the more frequent problem is the suppressing of orthodox worshippers, as if they are misfits, when in fact they compose the majority of those attending daily Mass. If their devotions are antiquated and of so little use, one must ask why special graces are so often attached to them."

One of the devotions deemed "antiquated" by the elitist types who occupy positions of power in many parishes and dioceses is the Holy Rosary. I've often encountered resistance while trying to introduce a Rosary group at various parishes. And when I attempted to get a Marian Movement of Priests Cenacle listed in The Catholic Free Press [Diocese of Worcester], I encountered more of the same hostility [albeit covered with a very thin veneer of "politeness"].

Orthodox Catholics with a serious devotion to Our Lady will continue to meet with such hostility from "intellectual" types who believe in their own intellectual prowess more than they do the intercessory power of the Mother of God.

Related reading here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The dangers of hypersensitivity

Recently, I left a comment at a Blog authored by a very fine Catholic which was intended only as an observation. My comment was immediately perceived as a "criticism" even though there was absolutely nothing critical in the comment or its tone. This is unfortunate. For while it is good to be sensitive, hypersensitivity can damage our relationship with others. The following article from Alice von Hildebrand on hypersensitivity is excellent and, I believe, worth meditating on this Lent.

Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand on hypersensitivity

There are people who are highly sensitive. In dealing with them one must always be on the lookout for fear of offending them. They are likely to interpret negatively every word one says. A big problem can develop out of the most innocuous remark. One cannot change the temperament with which one is born, but one can either freely choose to become the slave of one's temperament or learn to guide it in such a fashion that this sensitivity-which is a gift-is used for love and not put at the service of self-centeredness. There are plenty of "feelings" (such as moods) that arise in us spontaneously that should not be taken seriously.

There are "right" feelings (such as contrition, love, compassion), and these feelings should be sanctioned by our will; and there are wrong feelings (such as envy, anger, revenge), and these feelings should be "disavowed" and rejected by our will. There is no doubt that hypersensitivity-a disproportionate response to daily events-is a great source of suffering.

There are persons who groan from morning to night under the weight of imaginary offenses. But man has been given reason, and he ought to distinguish between real offenses (which should be forgiven) and imaginary ones, which should be "dashed to pieces on the Rock that is Christ". Great sensitivity is a precious gift, but the meaning of this gift is to be other-centered; its caricature is to be self-centered. We all prefer sensitive persons to those who seem to have a bovine temperament. Nothing disturbs the latter because they are too thick-skinned to feel anything. But sensitivity is to be purified. This is beautifully exemplified in the life of St. Therese of Lisieux. From the time that she was four, when she lost her mother, until she was thirteen, Therese was so hypersensitive that she broke into tears for no reason at all. In her autobiography, she calls these nine years "the sorrowful years", even though she was leading a life that, to many of us, would seem ideal, surrounded by a saintly father, to whom she was bound by the most tender affection, by loving sisters, living in security and peace. Yet in her autobiography she refers to those years as being "sorrowful", whereas from the time she entered the Carmel, where she chose a life of suffering and crucifixion, she enjoyed a deep peace despite the constant trials a Carmelite confronts. Her sensitivity had not decreased; it had been purified. By eliminating illegitimate sufferings, she gained the strength for carrying her daily cross in peace and joy. Therese had prayed for years that God might grant her the grace of putting her sensitivity at his service, and God granted her request after midnight Mass shortly before she turned thirteen.

Hypersensitivity becomes an illegitimate source of suffering when it is self-centered; as we saw, a sensitive heart is given to us to feel for others, and to love them more deeply and more tenderly. But since original sin, it tends to degenerate into a maudlin self-centeredness that not is only disastrous but also causes great pain for the sensitive person. However, thanks to prayer and grace, the Christian is given the means of purifying his sensitivity, so that his heart will resemble more and more the Heart of the God-Man, the Sacred Heart, "fornax ardens caritatis". "

Amen Alice my friend.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The City of God by which men will be converted and fed...

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, in a letter to Marcello Pera several years ago, wrote, "Today it is a matter of the greatest urgency to show a Christian model of life that offers a livable alternative to the increasingly vacuous entertainments of leisure-time society, a society forced to make increasing recourse to drugs because it is sated by the usual shabby pleasures...The Christian model of life must be manifested as a life in all its fullness and freedom, a life that does not experience the bonds of love as dependence and limitation but rather as an opening to the greatness of life." (Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, pp. 125-126).

But how do we effectively achieve this Christian model of life by which a pleasure-satiated society will be converted? Only by consecrating ourselves to Our Lady will we find the grace and zeal to live a life which is appealing to a materialistic and hedonistic world. It was St. Louis de Montfort who prophesied, in his True Devotion to Mary, No. 48, that, "..great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her food, guided by her spirit, supported by her arm, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other. With one hand they will give battle, overthrowing and crushing heretics and their heresies, schismatics and their schisms, idolaters and their idolatries, sinners and their wickedness. With the other hand they will build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God, namely, the Blessed Virgin, who is called by the Fathers of the Church the Temple of Solomon and the City of God. By word and example they will draw all men to a true devotion to her and through this will make many enemies, it will also bring about many victories and much glory to God alone...This seems to have been foretold by the Holy Spirit in Psalm 58: ‘The Lord will reign in Jacob and all the ends of the earth. They will be converted towards evening and they will be as hungry as dogs and they will go around the city to find something to eat.’ This city around which men will roam at the end of the world seeking conversion and the appeasement of the hunger they have for justice is the most Blessed Virgin, who is called by the Holy Spirit the City of God."

The Lord loves this City conceived Immaculately: "The Lord loves the city founded on holy mountains, Loves the gates of Zion more than any dwelling in Jacob. Glorious things are said of you, O city of God! From Babylon and Egypt I count those who acknowledge the Lord. Philistia, Ethiopia, Tyre, of them it can be said: ‘This one was born there.’ But of Zion it must be said: ‘They all were born here.’ The Most High confirms this; the Lord notes in the register of the peoples: This one was born here.’" (Psalm 87: 1-6).

And what is this "register of the peoples"? We find an answer in Chapter 20 verse 12 of the Book of Revelation: "I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls."

Of Zion is must be said "They all were born here."* This holy city of Zion is the City of God, the Blessed Virgin. We must all therefore seek our conversion from this holy City. We must approach this City of God if our hunger for justice is to be appeased. We must strive to become more and more like this holy City so that our devotion will be true. Only then will we be able to offer our sin-sick world that Christian model of life Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI is calling for with such urgency.

*"Many have proved invincibly, from the sentiments of the Fathers-among others: St. Augustine, St Ephem, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Germanus of Conantinople, St. John Damascene, St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Thomas, and St. Bonaventure-that devotion to Our Most Blessed Virgin is necessary for salvation, and that it is an infallible mark of reprobation to have no esteem or love for that Holy Virgin while, on the other hand, it is an infallible mark of predestination to be entirely and truly devoted to her."

- St. Louis de Montfort.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A prophecy being fulfilled...

"As I told you...the work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their own confreres...the Church will be full of those wo accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God." - Our Lady to Sister Agnes Sasagawa at Akita, Japan.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mene, Tekel

According to Paul Joseph Watson, Gerald Calente [the CEO of Trends Research Institute], "The man who predicted the 1987 stock market crash and the fall of the Soviet Union is now forecasting revolution in America, food riots and tax rebellions..."

Our Lady had already forewarned us about this back in 1990. But we didn't listen. Hearts were hardened in sin. Selfishness and materialism have reigned. America has become an idolatrous nation. And once again the handwriting may be seen on the wall: "You have defied the Lord of Heaven, you have had the vessels from His Temple brought to you, and you, your noblemen, your wives and your singing women have drunk your wine out of them. You have praised gods of gold and silver, of bronze and iron, of wood and stone, which cannot see, hear or understand; but you have given no glory to the God Who holds your breath and all your fortunes in His hands. That is why He has sent the hand which, by itself, has written these words. The writing reads: Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin. The meaning of the words is this: Mene, God has measured your sovereignty and put an end to it; Tekel, you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting; Parsin, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians." (Daniel 5: 23-28).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Proximate signs of Antichrist

From the Michael Brown article:

"When 'Divine Mercy is exhausted,' wrote Father Arminjon, there will 'appear on earth a profoundly evil man, invested with a quasi-superhuman power, who, challenging Christ, will wage an impious and foolish war against Him.

'Through the fear this man will inspire, and, particularly, by his stratagems and seductive genius, he will succeed in conquering almost the entire universe; he will have altars erected to himself and will compel all peoples to adore him.'

Feast days and Sunday services will be suppressed, and Christian names will be removed from the calendars. Education will be "lay, compulsory, and godless."

The personage of evil -- the anti-christ -- will seem to resurrect, posited Father Arminjon. He will seem to make fire fall from the heavens. He will make a statue speak. Demons, transformed into angels of light, will appear in the air. He will present false oracles in trees and with wood. He will cause furniture to move of its own accord (a seeming reference to spiritualistic phenomena)."

Related reading here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Vatican II in full continuity with former councils..."Traditionalists" who say otherwise are wrong

The Second Vatican Council solemnly declared in its Constitution on the Church [Lumen Gentium] that all the teachings of the Council are in full continuity with the teachings of former councils:

"Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod gathered together in the Holy Spirit eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Gospel to every creature, to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly visible on the countenance of the Church. Since the Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race, it desires now to unfold more fully to the faithful of the Church and to the whole world its own inner nature and universal mission. This it intends to do following faithfully the teaching of previous councils. The present-day conditions of the world add greater urgency to this work of the Church so that all men, joined more closely today by various social, technical and cultural ties, might also attain fuller unity in Christ." (LG, No. 1).

There are those who attempt to justify their rejection of Vatican II teaching by reminding themselves (and others) that while the canons of the Council of Trent and of Vatican Council I are de fide; none of the decrees of Vatican II are de fide. The Second Vatican Council was pastoral in nature. But once again, as the Fathers of Vatican II stressed, all the teachings of the Council are in full continuity with the teachings of former councils.

This point is not understood by some. Or it is rejected in a vain attempt to rationalize rebellion from the Church's authority. This is why Pope Benedict XVI (then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) said - in The Ratzinger Report, pp. 28, 29 - that, "It is..impossible to decide in favor of Trent and Vatican I, but against Vatican II. Whoever denies Vatican II denies the authority that upholds the other two councils and thereby detaches them from their foundation. And this applies to the so-called 'traditionalism', also in its extreme forms...Every partisan choice destroys the whole (the very history of the Church) which can exist only as an indivisible unity." Cardinal Ratzinger goes on to say that, "There is no 'pre' or 'post' conciliar Church; there is but one, unique Church that walks the path toward the Lord, ever deepening and ever better understanding the treasure of faith that he himself has entrusted to her. There are no leaps in this history, there are no fractures, and there is no break in continuity..."(p. 35).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This just in: Holy Office says Feeneyites "not ok"

The Feeneyite Saint Benedict Center cult in Richmond, New Hampshire has posted the following at its website with the heading, "This just in: Pope Says 'Feeneyites' ok":

"With regards to those who hold strictly the absolute necessity of water baptism, it would be quite wrong to charge them with heretical constructs. As they merely assert that which was the near-universal consensus of the Patristic era, such a charge would be proximate to condemning all but a few of the Fathers as heterodox." (Der Glaube das Pimmelkopfgelauben, Communio April 1997 p 13. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.)

Now our Holy Father, then Cardinal Ratzinger, was not suggesting that Feeneyites are correct or that Feeneyism is "ok." He was merely indicating that it would be wrong to charge them "with heretical constructs." Not all willful rejection of a truth proposed by the Church constitutes heresy. The Feeneyites rejection of the Church's understanding of the dogma "Outside the Church there is no salvation" is not strictly speaking heresy. However, it is a serious sin against Catholic faith.

On August 8, 1949, the Holy Office sent a letter to Archbishop Richard James Cushing of Boston condemning Father Feeney’s error. In this letter, the Holy Office explained that, "...among those things which the Church has always preached and will never cease to preach is contained also that infallible statement by which we are taught that there is no salvation outside the Church. However, this dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church herself understands it. For, it was not to private judgments that Our Savior gave for explanation those things that are contained in the deposit of faith, but to the teaching authority of the Church."

This teaching is reaffirmed in the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) of the Second Vatican Council, No. 10: "..the task of authentically interpreting the Word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." See also: Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Humani Generis (Aug 12, 1950): AAS 42 (1950), 568-69; Denz. 2314 (3886).

The Holy Office concluded its letter to Archbishop Cushing with these words: "..let them who in grave peril are ranged against the Church seriously bear in mind that after ‘Rome has spoken’ they cannot be excused even by reasons of good faith. Certainly, their bond and duty of obedience toward the Church is much graver than that of those who as yet are related to the Church ‘only by an unconscious desire.’ Let them realize that they are children of the Church, lovingly nourished by her with the milk of doctrine and the sacraments, and hence, having heard the clear voice of their Mother, they cannot be excused from culpable ignorance, and therefore to them apply without any restriction that principle: submission to the Catholic Church and to the Sovereign Pontiff is required as necessary for salvation."

What does this mean for the Feeneyites? It means that the Lord Jesus will require more from them (children of the Church who have been "lovingly nourished by her with the milk of doctrine and the sacraments," See also Luke 12:48) and that, having heard "the clear voice of their Mother" (the living teaching office of the Church), they have no excuse in rejecting the Church’s understanding of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. In fact, since "to them[as children of the Church] apply without any restriction" the principle that "submission to the Catholic Church and to the Sovereign Pontiff is required as necessary for salvation," the Feeneyites place their salvation in jeopardy by ranging themselves against the Church.

Feeneyites who want to rationalize their pick and choose "cafeteria Catholicism" will no doubt continue to ignore Church documents which do not suit their agenda while plucking out selective quotes as deftly as a fundamentalist would in a vain attempt to justify their particular view. But the Church has spoken:

"Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking." (Lumen Gentium, No. 25).

These same Bishops, gathered at the Second Vatican Council, taught that:

"..those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God. In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh. On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues. But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things, and as Saviour wills that all men be saved. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel. She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life.." (Lumen Gentium, No. 16).

Can one reject this teaching and still call himself a Catholic? As Ralph McInerny [professor at the University of Notre Dame] explains in his book "What went wrong with Vatican II: The Catholic crisis explained":

"Contemporary accounts of Vatican II portrayed it as a battle between two forces, conservative and liberal, the hidebound and progressive. As a result, the documents of the council came to to be looked upon as the triumph of one side over the other. The good guys who had won were the progressives. That such a political division existed among members of the press who covered the council is undeniable. That a similar division could be found among the theological experts [periti] who advised individual bishops or national conferences of bishops is also true. And there doubtless were prelates who regarded the members of the Vatican Curia as obstacles to the renewal that John XXIII had called for. Does this mean that the council was a victory for one side and a defeat for the other? This question indicates the limitations of such a factional interpretation. The Church is not merely a human organization. She is a divinely instituted mystery whose life is guided by the Holy Spirit. Whatever wrangling went on outside St. Peter's, however much a partisan spirit might have been carried within, when the various schemata were argued over and revised, once they received a majority of the votes of the Fathers of the council and were promulgated by Paul VI, they could no longer be looked upon as the product or property of some party within the Church. Now they were regulative of the faith of all Catholics. No Catholic could presume to reject the council and think that he remained a loyal member of the Church." (pp. 150-151).

Related reading: Did Father Feeney really reconcile with the Church? See here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A case of Christianophobia in Los Angeles...

From the Lifesite News article:

Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom filed a lawsuit against officials of the Los Angeles Community College District Wednesday. The lawsuit comes after a professor censored and threatened to expel a student following a speech about marriage and his Christian faith during an open-ended assignment in a public speaking class.

On Nov. 24, 2008, Los Angeles City College speech professor John Matteson interrupted and ended Jonathan Lopez's presentation mid-speech, calling him a "fascist bastard" in front of the class for speaking about his faith, which included reading the dictionary definition of marriage and reciting two Bible verses. Instead of allowing Lopez to finish, Matteson told the other students they could leave if they were offended. When no one left, Matteson dismissed the class. Refusing to grade the assigned speech, Matteson wrote on Lopez's evaluation, "Ask God what your grade is."

I've said it many times before and I'll say it again. The dictatorship of relativism seeks to impose its immoral agenda on Christians in the name of "tolerance." But this "tolerance" is a sham. It is simply an attempt to make an idol out of a false conception of freedom. Again, our Holy Father explains that, "..what clearly stands behind the modern era's radical demand for freedom is the promise: You will be like God...The implicit goal of all modern freedom movements is, in the end, to be like a god, dependent on nothing and nobody, with one's own freedom not restricted by anyone else's...The primeval error of such a radically developed desire for freedom lies in the idea of a divinity that is conceived as being purely egotistical. The god thus conceived of is, not God, but an idol, indeed, the image of what the Christian tradition would call the devil, the anti-god, because therein lies the radical opposite of the true God: the true God is, of his own nature, being-for (Father), being-from (Son), and being-with (Holy Spirit). Yet man is in the image of God precisely because the being-for , from, and with constitute the basic anthropological shape. Whenever people try to free themselves from this, they are moving, not toward divinity, but toward dehumanizing, toward the destruction of being itself through the destruction of truth. The Jacobin variant of the idea of a rebellion against being human in itself, rebellion against truth, and that is why it leads people - as Sartre percipiently observed - into a self-contradictory existence that we call hell. It has thus become fairly clear that freedom is linked to a yardstick, the yardstick of reality - to truth*. Freedom to destroy oneself or to destroy others is not freedom but a diabolical parody. The freedom of man is a shared freedom, freedom in a coexistence of other freedoms, which are mutually limiting and thus mutually supportive: freedom must be measured according to what I am, what we are - otherwise it abolishes itself."

In the name of "tolerance," the New World Order seeks to impose its rebellion from truth on all. It will not tolerate any dissent, any disagreement. Coercion is an acceptable tool in a dictatorship. Soon, the New Order will use violence to achieve its goals and not just coercion and propaganda. In the end, every dictatorship must rely on violence in its vain attempt to hold onto power.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Evidence of demonic possession at Boston College

Boston College is under fire for bringing crucifixes back to its classrooms. Some of the school's professors and students find the crucifixes "offensive" and a break from the Jesuit tradition of tolerance.

A tolerance which displays a hatred for the Cross of Christ? This is clear evidence of demonic possession. When one of the world's leading exorcists, Father Gabriele Amorth, was asked how one can tell if someone is possessed, he replied, "By their aversion to the sacrament and all things sacred." One of the clearest signs of demonic possession is a hatred for the Eucharist or the crucifix.

Boston College is in dire need of prayer. We should all offer up deliverance prayers for those professors and students whose idea of "tolerance" includes an aversion for the Cross of Christ.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A sense of balance: Faith and Reason; Natural and Supernatural

In his 1998 Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason), Pope John Paul II said that, "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth - in a word, to know himself - so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves" (cf. Ex 33: 18; Ps 27: 8-9; 63: 2-3; Jn 14:8; 1 Jn 3:2).

And, in No. 9 of this wonderful Encyclical Letter, John Paul cites the First Vatican Council: "The First Vatican Council teaches...that the truth attained by philosophy and the truth of Revelation are neither identical nor mutually exclusive: 'There exists a twofold order of knowledge, distinct not only as regards their source, but also as regards their object. With regard to the source, because we know in one by natural reason, in the other by divine faith. With regard to the object, because besides those things which natural reason can attain, there are proposed for our belief mysteries hidden in God which, unless they are divinely revealed, cannot be known'. Based upon God's testimony and enjoying the supernatural assistance of grace, faith is of an order other than philosophical knowledge which depends upon sense perception and experience and which advances by the light of the intellect alone. Philosophy and the sciences function within the order of natural reason; while faith, enlightened and guided by the Spirit, recognizes in the message of salvation the “fullness of grace and truth” (cf. Jn 1:14) which God has willed to reveal in history and definitively through his Son, Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Jn 5:9; Jn 5:31-32).

Why is this point so important? Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand explains: "To see the purely human aspect of things is a necessary foundation for seeing the supernatural aspect. One who does not see the human aspect is insensitive and superficial, and his attitude is incompatible with the true faith. The deeper one sees the natural tragedy of death [for example], then the more one is able to grasp the tremendous significance of our redemption through Christ, and the more one possesses that true faith which St. Paul expresses by asking, 'O death, where is your sting?' But as soon as one jumps over the human aspect without passing through it, one does not ascend to the supernatural aspect, but rather replaces the natural with the supernatural aspect, which can only be attained by faith - one treats the supernatural aspect as if it were the natural, one takes it for granted, and omits that sursum corda, that ascent into the supernatural world which is possible only in faith. If the human aspect is not duly seen, then the aspect of faith is naturalized, and dragged down to the level of the obvious. If the human aspect is suppressed or omitted, then the aspect of faith becomes ungenuine, unreal." (The Devastated Vineyard, pp. 224-225).

We need to maintain this sense of balance between faith and reason, natural and supernatural, at all times. Without it, our life as Christians becomes distorted. For example, some have made an idol out of learning and have embraced a false intellectualism which ignores faith in an attempt to avoid the will of God and His Commandments. This is what Soren Kierkegaard meant when he said, "It is to get rid of doing God's will that we have invented learning...we shield ourselves by hiding behind tomes." (Kierkegaard, quoted in Lowrie, Kierkegaard, New York, Harper, 1962, Vol. II, p. 539).

In an article which addresses illness and healing, and which may be found here, Michael Brown writes, "'Strange as it may seem to many Christians today, the main factor in conversion [in olden times] was exorcism -- the driving out of demons,' MacNutt [referring to Fr. Francis MacNutt] notes emphatically in a book called Healing. 'Belief in the supernatural was accepted in those days and Christianity was presented as being in direct conflict with pagan gods, something like a spiritual 'shoot-out.' That's in contrast to the modern way of attributing ailments (whether bodily or mental) to purely physical and psychological effects. Perhaps the safest approach is to first cast out potential spirits. Exposure to evil can cause maladies.
'What has happened to the major thrust of early Christianity: to heal and exorcise?' asked the former professor, who now runs a ministry in Jacksonville, Florida. Perhaps the decline of fervor dates to a decline in belief in prayer for healing. What happened in all those centuries to diminish the Church's belief in Christ's healing ministry is complicated; but certainly one of the main factors was that Platonic, Stoic, and Manichean thought infected Christian spirituality.
'Another attitude, one of superiority toward healing, holds that miracles were needed to establish the Church, but now that people believe, there is no further need for signs or proof,' he says. 'This attitude is the outcome of an overemphasis on doctrine: healing of the sick takes place, not primarily because God is compassionate and desires to heal broken humanity, but because He wants to make a point.' In other words: Christianity has been over-intellectualized. It is a fact that both healing and exorcism have been shoved aside in modern Catholicism -- which strikes at the heart of our faith."

As Avery Cardinal Dulles explained in his book "The Assurance of Things Hoped For: A Theology of Christian Faith," "Thomas Aquinas at one point defines faith as 'the habit of mind whereby eternal life begins in us, causing the mind to assent to things that do not appear' (S.Th., 2-2, 4.1). Later he explains that, 'since in assenting to matters of faith a person is raised above his own nature, it is necessary the ascent arise from a supernatural principle moving the person inwardly; and this principle is God.' (S.Th., 2-2, 6.1). Once faith is understood as a foretaste of the beatific vision it follows evidently that it cannot be other than supernatural. Only God can impart, when he chooses, a share in his own divine life, which lies beyond the capacities and merits of any creature." (pp. 225-226).

We ignore this balance of faith and reason, natural and supernatural, at our own peril. As John Paul said, "..reason and faith cannot be separated without diminishing the capacity of men and women to know themselves, the world and God in an appropriate way" (Fides et Ratio, No. 17).

Monday, February 09, 2009

Prophecy of Sr. Marianne de Jesus Torres being fulfilled in our time...

Our Lady told Sr. Marianne de Jesus Torres (17th century - Our Lady of Good Success, Quito, Ecuador):

"The Church will find itself attacked by waves of a secret sect ... corrupted priests will scandalize the Church ... Moreover, in these unhappy times there will be unbridled luxury which, acting thus to snare the rest into sin, will conquer innumerable frivolous souls who will lose themselves. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women, and, in this supreme moment of need of the Church, those whom it behooves to speak will fall silent."

As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and deeply profaned. Freemasonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the aim of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin and encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church. The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay; the precious light of Faith will gradually be extinguished until there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs. Added to this will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the dearth of priestly and religious vocations. “The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised, for in this Sacrament, the Church of God and even God Himself is scorned and despised since He is represented in His priests.

The Devil will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way; he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation and will corrupt many of them. These depraved priests, who will scandalize the Christian people, will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church fall upon all priests. "This apparent triumph of Satan will bring enormous sufferings to the good Pastors of the Church, the many good priests, and the Supreme Pastor and Vicar of Christ on Earth, who, a prisoner in the Vatican, will shed secret and bitter tears in the presence of his God and Lord, beseeching light, sanctity, and perfection for all the clergy of the world, of whom he is King and Father. Our Lord told her: "My Justice will be tried to the limit by the evils and sacrileges of the 20th Century ... I shall punish heresy, blasphemy and impurity."

What then? Shall we resign ourselves to despair? Never! Now, more than ever, faithful Catholics need to rally and enter the battle for souls. Now, more than ever, we need to pray for priests and religious. Now, more than ever, we need to pray and fast and offer deliverance prayers for a Church besieged on so many fronts.

To put it simply: now is the time to pray for the Holy Spirit's Gift of Fortitude and to engage (to borrow from this week's Catholic Free Press) in spiritual guerilla warfare. We need soldiers. This old war dog is trying to do his part. Let's all cry out with Cicero: "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war."

For our war, our battle, is with principalities and powers. Ours is a spiritual war. And what is at stake is souls! Souls created in the image and likeness of God! Think of that as you pick up your "sword, breastplate and shield."
Father James Farfaglia is saying essentially the same thing at his Blog. Read what this militant priest (the best kind) has to say about the meltdown here.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The works of the flesh...

Click on the title of this Blog post to visit Russell Provost's Blog SBC Watch and to learn more about the history of the Saint Benedict Center cult which is based out of Richmond, New Hampshire.

Meditation: Galatians 5: 19-23.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI to address the dangers of Holocaust denial...

"There's a lot of controversy among people who study the so-called Holocaust..There's a misperception that Hitler had a position to kill all the Jews. It's all a fraud. Six million didn't occur." - Douglas Bersaw of the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire, quoted in The Boston Globe article "Cherishing an Older Catholicism."

The Holy Father is to hold a meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish organizations and will give an address on the Holocaust (the Shoah) and the dangers of Holocaust denial.

What does Louis Villarrubia ("Brother" Andre Marie of the Saint Benedict Center cult in Richmond, New Hampshire) believe about the Holocaust? Read here. And why would Catholic author Philip Lawler attend the Saint Benedict Center Conference as a guest speaker? Two relevant posts here and here.

I've made a few enemies over the past five years for exposing anti-Semitism in the Granite State. Stormfront has called me "the village communist." I have received death threats.

Hatred of the Jewish People is anything but Catholic. The Church condemns anti-Semitism as incompatible with the Gospel. The Jewish People are our elder brothers in the faith. In fact, Catholicism is the fullness of Judaism.

Related reading: Italian priest removed for Holocaust denial. And more here.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The pro-life movement is waiting for a leader?

According to a conservative magazine, in an article which may be found here, the pro-life movement is "trapped" and "waiting for a leader." As I explained in a previous Blog post, abortion will only be defeated through prayer and fasting. We already have a leader as pro-lifers: "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work" (1 John 3: 8). Anyone who believes that an ordinary man would be able to lead the pro-life movement to victory over the culture of death is a fool.

The evil which weighs down upon the human race (and abortion is part of that evil) is a force so powerful that we are unable to successfully overcome it without grace, without God's help. Evil in the world has a satanic origin: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6: 12). Do we suppose that St. Paul was joking? Or that he was unstable and preaching nonsense? Since the greatest of the Apostles speaks the truth as given to him by the Holy Spirit, why do we think for one moment that an ordinary man can lead those of us in the pro-life movement (or in the Church in general) to victory? Enough nonsense! Let's instead put our faith, hope and trust in Him Who teaches with an authority so great that He even gives orders to the evil spirits and they obey Him (Mark 1: 26-28).

I have grappled with the Evil One and the evil spirits many times. Some years ago, while attending a Bible study at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary parish in Gardner, Massachusetts, I encountered a group of people who were denigrating devotion to Our Lady and attempting to introduce strange ideas about our Mother to the others present for the study. Over several weeks, I refuted their ideas using the Magisterial teaching of the Church and quoting most extensively from the Popes and various Doctors of the Church. But they only hardened. When I took the matter to prayer (and fasting) - praying many rosaries and invoking Our Lady to drive the evil out and to restore fidelity to Church teaching at this Bible study, a curious thing happened. When I returned the next week, the woman who had been serving as the "leader" of this small group arrived wearing dark sunglasses (the Bible study took place in the evening) and sat across from me with a stare which was nothing short of menacing. She said nothing. However, as I prayerfully defended the Church's teaching once more, the light fixture above the table where we all sat began to flicker on and off. Eventually it went out altogether. I continued to pray as the group disbanded.

The next week I was told that the pastor had spoken to those who had been attacking devotion to Our Lady (in a Church dedicated to her!) and that they had agreed not to do so in the future. Additionally, several of these agreed to no longer visit a local fundamentalist church where they had obtained their ideas. Prayer and fasting!

In the shortest Gospel, the Gospel of Mark, there are thirteen references to a personified Satan or to casting out demons. Among these are four exorcisms worked by Jesus. Let's recall how Jesus became angry when His disciples were unable to free the epileptic demoniac and rebuked them for their failure: "O unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?" (Mark 9: 19).

May we not find ourselves similarly rebuked for being without faith!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Man's primary vocation: Not great achievements, but to become a saint...

"In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone." - John of the Cross.

"The mentality of an epoch is characterized by those people who are the objects of its worship, those who, known by all, receive the greatest publicity. In the medieval epoch the name of a saint was on all lips, whereas in the Renaissance it was the name of a man of genius. Since then both have gradually been replaced by names of technicians and inventors. In the eighteenth century, the Pantheon in Paris was transformed from a church dedicated to St. Genevieve to a monument for great men: that is, men who were famous because of their achievements: social reformers, statesmen, scientists, artists, and inventors. Such men seemed greater to this epoch than the saint to whom former times dedicated this church, and these 'great men' seemed to call for worship more than Christ to whose divine sacrifice the church was built. Today the worship of great achievements has a tendency to degenerate into the worship of great businessmen, athletes, sportsmen, and movie actors and actresses. Here we are confronted with the general fate of all idols. As soon as a created good is made an absolute and is deified, one progressively loses sight of its real value and this good deteriorates inevitably more and more...

The attempt to make man the absolute center of the universe has in reality led to a progressive blindness toward the true nature of his dignity. The attempt to make a god out of man ended in making of him a more highly developed ape. The idolatry of great achievements shares the same fate...

When confronting the worship of great achievements, it is imperative to recall man's primary vocation. Great as is the range of values which man is capable of realizing, moral values hold a unique position in man's life. They alone are indispensable for every human being, whatever his special gifts and talents may be. They alone belong to the unum necessarium. Man is called above all to glorify God by his justice, his purity, his veracity, his goodness. 'Be you perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.' (Mt. 5:48). Moral disvalues are an incomparable evil; they alone offend God; moral goodness reflects and glorifies God more than any achievement whatsoever....Compared with this vocation, the noblest talents and the creation of the greatest impersonal goods are secondary. Progress in the domination of nature, inventions, great achievements in science, cultural activities, and even the creation of masterpieces in art - great as they are in themselves, much as they manifest man's greatness - do not constitute man's primary vocation. No excellence in these fields can be compared at all with the value embodied in a saint." (Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand, The New Tower of Babel, pp. 181-182, Sophia Institute Press).

How many, even professing Christians, have forgotten this? Our sin-sick culture, bent on deifying man and preparing the way for Antichrist, is so addicted to the idolatry of false values that it has become utterly blind to real value. This is why it prefers to honor Hollywood celebrities and famous athletes than to recognize and celebrate one such as Therese Martin who lived in total obscurity during her lifetime.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Abortion will only be defeated through prayer and fasting...

Father Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International and an exorcist, speaking at a luncheon hosted by In His Sign Network (IHS) said that, "Abortion is a demonic industry...Abortion is blood sacrifice of innocent blood to the devil. The clinics are like temples, the doctors are like priests, the medical table is their altar. It's a ritualized sacrifice...Abortion is a spiritual evil..if we are to beat it, we can't just fight it in the political realm. It derives its power from below. To confront a force this strong, you need a massive amount of prayer...Exorcism requires prayer and fasting.."

Now I've been saying this for more than twenty years. Just a couple of days ago I said it again in the comments section of this Blog post and the Blog author disagreed with me. At least he was civil about it. I have been routinely insulted in the past for speaking this spiritual truth: that some demons will only be driven out through much prayer and fasting. Jesus has said it. Shall we argue with Him?

Fasting must accompany our prayer. Why? Because Fasting helps subject our bodies to our spirits (1 Cor 9:27), because fasting disciplines the body, mind, and spirit (Prov. 25:28), because fasting subordinates our flesh with its desires to the desires of the Spirit (Gal 5:17), because fasting helps us to set priorities in our lives. (Mt 6:33) and because fasting is really longing after God. (Ps 63:1-2). The power of fasting is a mystery. Which is probably why those who deem themselves "intelligent," "reasonable" and "rational" cannot understand its importance. But whether such people accept it or not, fasting breaks demonic strongholds and demonic attacks and helps us to walk in the spirit rather than the flesh, to sow to the Spirit, not to the sinful nature.

Fr. Livio Fanzaga on the Church's Passion...

"The Catechism of the Catholic Church sets out some convincing reflections on the other aspect of the Church's final trial - persecution. This has also accompanied the people of God for its entire earthly pilgrimage. Jesus holds out no prospects for a Christianity accommodated to the world. He warns: 'Men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors in my name.' (Lk 21: 12). Martyrdom, in its profound sense of witness to the point of laying down one's life, is part of normal Christian life.

In the last days, however, this possibility will become very real for the entire Church. Theories of millenarianism have spurred for the Church to reflect on the ultimate stages of her earthly journey. Rather than the triumphant march of millenarianism, it will be a carrying of the cross ending on Calvary. Thus the Church is called to relive, in herself, the paschal mystery of Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is most striking in this respect: 'The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in His death and Resurrection' (n. 677).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church begins from an incontestable theological presupposition. The Church is a prolongation in history of the mystery of Christ and the members of the Mystical Body are called to relive in themselves the life of their Head. The public life of Jesus is marked by preaching, witness, temptation and persecution. It is the same for the Church on her journey through history. Jesus' life concludes with His entry into the mystery of cruel suffering even unto death on the cross, ignominy and abandonment. When everything seemed consummated and when the powers of evil seemed to taste decisive victory, divine omnipotence intervened to destroy the powers of darkness and to raise to the splendor of glory Him whom the world sought to destroy.

The Church in the final stages of her earthly pilgrimage will be called to re-live the same Passion of Christ, so as to enter into the glory of the Parousia. Like Christ, she will know the anguish of Gethsemane. She will be betrayed, abandoned by many of her children, mocked, derided, scourged, condemned to death and crucified. When the world will think that it has succeeded in erasing her from the face of the earth and begin to sing its victory, at that moment the true lord of the world will appear on the clouds and bring the Church into the divine glory of the Resurrection...

Contrary to certain forms of millenarianism and triumphalism, 'The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause His Bride to come down from heaven.' (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 677). The world in fact will follow the dragon and the two beasts and adore them: 'The whole world had marveled and fowed the beast. They prostrated themselves in front of the dragon because he had given the beast his authority; and they prostrated themselves in front of the beast....and all the people of the world will worship it, that is everybody whose name has not been written down since the foundation of the world in the book of life of the sacrificial lamb' (Apoc. 13: 3-8).

Monday, February 02, 2009

Purge yourself and call down the fire power of the Holy Spirit

It was Fr. Michael Scanlan (God love him) who said, "I really don't believe we are meant to be limited any longer. We are meant to be FREE; Free in the Spirit of Jesus Christ to do and to be all the Father is calling us to do and be. Only by truly desiring this healing to actually take place in our lives, by expecting it, by being sincerely repentant for allowing ourselves to have been bound by the law of sin in the past, and by being aware of this constant process of healing within us as an ever-deepening union and relationship with Christ will we come to understand the great act of recreation the Lord Jesus has accomplished for us and in us - restoring us even NOW in Him, to the image of the Father! AMEN!! May it be so!" (The Power in Penance, Charismatic Renewal Books, 1972, Page 58).

Do we really and truly desire the healing power of Christ? Do we really and truly want to unleash the fire power of the Holy Spirit into our lives so that we in turn may kindle the earth with that Holy Fire? Then let us remember to purge our hearts of resentment. Let us remember to forgive and love and to confess our own sins. We read in 1 John 3: 22-24: "And we receive from Him whatever we ask because we keep His Commandment that we should love one another and believe in the name of Jesus." And we read in Mark 11: 24-25: "And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also may forgive you." Still again, in John 15: 12-17, we read: "This is My Commandment, that you love one another as I have loved that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you." And lastly, in James 5: 16, we read: "Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed."

We can be truly free and filled with the Fire of the Holy Spirit if we do these things. We must first purge ourselves though. And so let us pray (without worrying about the lesser faults of others):

Because I am obnoxious, forgive me Lord.
Because I am dishonest, forgive me Lord.
Because I am egotistical, forgive me Lord.
Because I am undisciplined, forgive me Lord.
Because I am weak, forgive me Lord.
Because I am impure, forgive me Lord.
Because I am arrogant, forgive me Lord.
Because I am self-centered, forgive me Lord.
Because I am pompous, forgive me Lord.
Because I am insincere, forgive me Lord.
Because I am unchaste, forgive me Lord.
Because I am grasping, forgive me Lord.
Because I am judgmental, forgive me Lord.
Because I am impatient, forgive me Lord.
Because I am shallow, forgive me Lord.
Because I am inconsistent, forgive me Lord.
Because I am unfaithful, forgive me Lord.
Because I am immoral, forgive me Lord.
Because I am ungrateful, forgive me Lord.
Because I am disobedient, forgive me Lord.
Because I am selfish, forgive me Lord.
Because I am lukewarm, forgive me Lord.
Because I am slothful, forgive me Lord.
Because I am unloving, forgive me Lord.
Because I am uncommitted, forgive me Lord.
Because I am sinful, forgive me Lord.
Because I am loved by You, thank you Lord!

Prayer composed by Father Raymond A. Pavlick
Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, N.J.
There are so many people today, even Catholics, who are carrying around tremendous burdens so needlessly. This because they have not embraced the Lord's forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance. And because they have not forgiven those who have wronged them or sinned against them in some way. This past Sunday, Fr. H. Edward Chalmers of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts told his parishioners that he believes more people will be possessed in the future as our society continues to drift further away from God. I agree. But it doesn't have to be that way! When we hold on to resentments and hurts, we allow Satan and the other evil spirits to work in our lives. But when we truly forgive, when we truly let go of hurts and animosities, we are freed by the Lord Jesus from our own sins and failings and the Holy Spirit is able to breathe His Holy Fire into us!
So what shall it be? Slavery to sin and vice, hurts and animosities? Or healing and freedom which unleashes an irresistible force of love and power into our lives?
I say: Bring down the Fire!

Bill creates detention camps

Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., has introduced to the House of Representatives a new bill, H.R. 645, calling for the secretary of homeland security to establish no fewer than six national emergency centers for corralling civilians on military installations.

The proposed bill, which has received little mainstream media attention, appears designed to create the type of detention center that those concerned about use of the military in domestic affairs fear could be used as concentration camps for political dissidents, such as occurred in Nazi Germany.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Dr. Germain Grisez on the sin of presumption

"There are two kinds of presumption*. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit)." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2092).

Dr. Grisez explains that, "Remaining interested in God's promises and counting on him to keep them, those who sin by presumption continue to hope and even, to some extent, to shape their lives by hope. But, not consistently putting hope into practice, they abuse it, expecting pardon without repentance and the reward for following Jesus without the cost of discipleship. This unrealistic expectation is the essence of presumption. An element of pride underlies this sin. Rejecting God's terms for obtaining what he promises, the presumptuous expect to obtain it on their own. They suppose that God, like a blustery parent, threatens punishments which he will be too softhearted to carry out, and, like a permissive parent, accompanies his gift of freedom with a virtual guarantee to fend off the consequences of its irresponsible use. Such suppositions are inconsistent with faith, which not only depends on God's absolute truthfulness but also, assuring believers that God will do his part, calls them to do theirs, as grace empowers them to do.

However, the sin of presumption can be committed without denying any truth of faith. People determined not to fulfill the responsibilities of Christian life in some essential respect, yet, unwilling to face the prospective consequences, can resolve the tension by persuading themselves that somehow God will manage to save them despite themselves. This self-deception need not be logical enough to withstand critical reflection, since that is something the presumptuous manage to avoid...It also weakens hope. Rather than serving as the intention of all the choices which should make up Christian life, presumptuous hope renders many of them unnecessary and clears the way for a life-style apart from, and even sinfully at odds with, hope for the kingdom. Not being exercised, hope weakens as other interests grow strong. Eventually heaven, now taken for granted and regarded as irrelevant to present concerns, becomes a dim prospect, a mere fairyland which one used to yearn for but no longer finds exciting."

In the comments section of a Blog post which may be found here, a homosexual activist who regularly attempts to justify his homosexual "lifestyle" and even his same-sex "marriage" on the basis of Biblical and Church teaching, writes, "We are a secular nation with the free right for all people to follow what they believe, so long as it does not harm others...God will somehow find a way for things to work out for the best."

That is presumption in a nutshell. Yes, we all have free will. But there are very real consequences for our actions. The presumptuous believe, as Dr. Grisez points out, that God will manage to save them despite themselves. Or, in the words of that homosexual activist, "God will somehow find a way for things to work out for the best."

* Presumption is a sin against the Holy Spirit.
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