So tomorrow is the first Palm Sunday of my life that the churches are all closed, ostensibly because of the Red Flu outbreak. Interesting background story to that global closure … Jews, Protestants, Catholics, all the meek, mild “sheep”, all worship meetings, all “Verboten”. This is a real cross.
A blogger I read regularly posted this: “As I was writing this tonight, I received a text from a friend. A priest he knows said that, “as an organization, if the Church(s?) didn’t follow Covid-19 protocols, they could be fined $500,000. Instant bankruptcy. And people in the community,” he said, “are taking pictures & watching.” But not a peep out of the “independent” journalistic media anywhere. So much for integrity.
The rest of the heathen masses don’t matter much because they only go to sports events and parties, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, which are easy to close. We already have total control of their drugged out “minds” via social media. Haven’t heard much about the Muslims though … seems the “authorities” all start wetting their collective panties whenever they have to face Muslims. How did we end up here?
BUT! and it’s a huge BUT … We have a golden God given opportunity to LOVE. Love like never before as humans. This brief opportunity we have before us right now is to pray for the conversion of those who have rejected God’s Love in pursuit of their worship of self, of the goods of this world, now showing to be rather thread-bare in the face of the Red Flu.
We are being given an opportunity not to act like the elder brother in that parable who is bitter toward his prodigal brother and would prefer justice. No, let us fast and pray that the lost will be found and the blind may see again!
I don’t know why I am moved to say this, but I feel such compassion right now for artists, and writers, and actors, and entertainers, and yes, even all the talking heads and experts so in love with their own opinions.
I want them to know, if any are reading this, that you are loved with an eternal love. That God knew you before He formed you in your mother’s womb, and knew that you would be one of the survivors. That God the Father wants to wrap you in His enormous tender arms. Soon, the masks and facades will all fall away and God is going to ask not who you were, but WHO ARE YOU?
To me, what’s my take-away from all this … We can see all around us the results of fear, lack of trust, in God and in our neighbour, and not a little malice in the ones who believe that we need a lot less humans in this world, that we are “overpopulated” and could do with a couple of million deaths from the Red Flu, especially since it mostly kills the old and the useless.
Couldn’t happen here, right? But it doesn’t take many little gestapo informers to put every one of us in hiding and on notice that we better conform. How many of us, as a parish community, could afford a half a million dollars fine on top of all the other debts and expenses our parishes face every week, because we were “reported by our neighbours” for gathering to worship God.
The buildings would all be closed and all the assets seized, very much as they were in all the Reformation countries and especially in the most successful “Reformation” in England 500 years ago. We have been here before … “The Reformation” was actually one big asset grab by the Civil authorities to further their “Worldly Agenda”.
And just as in the England of the Reformation, just a little bit of authoritarian health care attention and we could see religious people being reduced to 1 or 2 percent of the population within a few weeks or months and relegated to a footnote in history. The Father of Lies is having a little victory celebration, I think.
So what’s next … soon will we have to wear a little Star of David patch or a little Cross on our chest, or even a Crescent … well, maybe not the Islamics because all the usual heroes are even more terrified of Muslims than they are of the Red Flu. I have heard that the Muslims are still meeting for worship. “Je Suis Charlie”, right?
One Bishop is speaking out: read the full interview at the site of the post, or read the highlights here:
ROME, March 27, 2020 — As the coronavirus continues to spread, Bishop Athanasius Schneider has urged priests to imitate Jesus the Good Shepherd and, for the sake of souls, even disobey the unjust orders of bishops whom he says are now behaving more like “civil bureaucrats” than “shepherds.”
In a new interview on the Church’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic (see full text below), the auxiliary bishop of Saint Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan, said he believes the majority of Catholic bishops reacted “precipitously and out of panic in prohibiting all public Masses.” The decision to close churches, he said, is “even more incomprehensible.”
“As long as supermarkets are open and accessible, and as long as people have access to public transportation, one cannot see a plausible reason for banning people from assisting at Holy Mass in a church,” Bishop Schneider said. “One can guarantee in churches the same and even better hygienic protective measures.”
He said the Church’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic has revealed a “loss of supernatural vision” particularly among the hierarchy — some of whom, he noted, despite their vigilance to combat COVID-19, have “tranquilly allowed the poison virus of heretical teachings and practices to spread among their flock.”
Bishop Schneider urged priests to remember that they are “first and foremost shepherds of immortal souls,” who are called by their priestly vocation to lay down their lives for the sheep. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, he said priests must “observe all the necessary health precautions” but also “be extremely creative” in finding ways to celebrate Holy Mass and provide the sacraments, even for a small group of the faithful. “Such was the pastoral behavior of all confessor and martyr priests in the time of persecution,” said the bishop, whose early years were spent in the Soviet underground church.
In some cases, he said, the care of souls might necessitate a priest disobeying the unjust order of his bishop. “If a priest is prohibited by an ecclesial authority from going to visit the sick and dying, he cannot obey. Such a prohibition is an abuse of power. Christ did not give a bishop the power to forbid visiting the sick and dying.”
Recalling the heroic example of the sixteenth-century cardinal archbishop of Milan, St. Charles Borromeo (1538-1584), who braved a plague undaunted in order to serve the spiritual needs of its victims, Bishop Schneider said “a true priest will do everything he can to visit a dying person.”
Asked if he believes the coronavirus pandemic is a form of divine retribution for the Pachamama events held inside the Vatican during the October 2019 Amazon Synod, the bishop said that while he does not have “certainty” that these events are related, the idea is “not far-fetched.”
“The cultic veneration of the pagan idol of Pachamama inside the Vatican, with the approval of the Pope, was to be sure a great sin of infidelity to the First Commandment of the Decalogue, it was an abomination,” he said. But he added that “such acts of idolatry were the culmination of a series of other acts of infidelity to the safeguarding of the divine deposit of Faith by many high-ranking members of the Church’s hierarchy in past decades.”
Recalling the Lord’s threat of punishment and call to repentance, directed to bishops in the Book of Revelation (cf. 2:14-16), Bishop Schneider said he is convinced that “Christ would repeat the same words to Pope Francis and to the other bishops” who allowed the veneration of the Pachamama in the Vatican and who “implicitly approved sexual relationships outside a valid marriage” by allowing “divorced and remarried” Catholics who are sexually active to receive Holy Communion.
In the interview on the Church’s response to the coronavirus, Bishop Schneider has also asserted that the uniqueness and severity of the ban on public Masses and sacramental Communion beckons Catholics to consider its “deeper meaning.”
For more than fifty years, he observed, the Eucharistic presence of Jesus Christ has been “trivialized” and even “desecrated” through the practice of Communion in the hand and the introduction of “protestantizing elements” in the Roman liturgy.
“Now,” he said, “the Lord has intervened and deprived almost all the faithful of assisting at Holy Mass and sacramentally receiving Holy Communion. The innocent and the guilty are enduring this tribulation together, since in the mystery of the Church all are mutually united as members.”
To make restitution to God, he said the Pope and bishops ought urgently to carry out a public act of reparation in Rome “for sins against the Holy Eucharist” once the coronavirus pandemic is brought under control. He also said the Pope should issue concrete norms inviting the entire Church to “turn toward the Lord” in the liturgy and “forbid the practice of Communion in the hand.”
“The Church,” he said, “cannot continue unpunished to treat the Holy of Holies in the little sacred Host in such a minimalistic and unsafe manner.”
So, in conclusion, just a simple hymn from 1795, words by John Taylor, in Selection of Hymns for Social Worship, by William Enfield (Norwich, England: 1795), number 149. The first verse in the text below was originally the last verse. The 1795 text began,
God of mercy, God of love.
God of mercy! God of grace!
Hear our sad, repentant songs.
O restore Thy suppliant race,
Thou to whom our praise belongs!
Deep regret for follies past,
Talents wasted, time misspent;
Hearts debased by worldly cares,
Thankless for the blessings lent.
Foolish fears and fond desires,
Vain regrets for things as vain:
Lips too seldom taught to praise,
Oft to murmur and complain.
These, and every secret fault,
Filled with grief and shame, we own.
Humbled at Thy feet we lie,
Seeking pardon from Thy throne.
Just going through a rough patch, The Faith Is Strong!