In a blog which has become predominantly about Religion and Spirit I am straying over into the Politics pasture in this post. Has anyone noticed the elephant flying under the radar these days? COVID THIS AND COVID THAT AND COVID BLAH BLAH BLAH endlessly.
The invisible elephant is the rapidly disappearing civil liberties and freedoms which we have taken for granted all our lives and are just being chucked out the window in a blizzard of fear. Even without the physical threat of force folks everywhere are moving right along and doing whatever they are told. Maybe this is just in Canada, because we are so afraid of what is reported to be happening elsewhere on the planet.
Pretty soon we might not be allowed to just run down to the post office without getting clearance from the isolation police.
Canada’s Clown Prince Justin just failed narrowly in a bid to suspend parliament for the next couple of years on the pretext that the government needed this power to deal with the COVID-19 emergency.
The governments of the world are supposed to get on board to control the new and deadly virus? Maybe we need a One World government to deal with a One World virus threat? But this is all just overreaction and hysteria, right. On the other hand …
The Menace of The Herd
History has not been kind to any nation that voted to suspend their elected representative governments. Most often the elected government never returns and we observe an ever extending state of emergency where elections, if they are even held, involve 1 approved “candidate” and the government “gets it’s majority” no matter what the voter turnout.
The herd turned everything over to the “experts”, and millions died …
Just about every totalitarian regime in recent history has had elections of a sort and called themselves the “Democratic Republic of Blah Blah Blah” but the entire planet understands that they are “democratic” in name only.
What makes people think that we here are somehow immune to natural human desires for power and control and will act in a “Christian” manner naturally. 1000,000 years of human history give that the big lie.
George Soros, Justin Trudeau, and Chrystia Freeland, Davos, Sw. 2016
Does anyone out there really believe that Prince Justin is actually in charge and running things?
So maybe, according to my customers, this is because there are 21 million dead cell phone users in China. Or, maybe, just maybe there are actually a lot of Chinese out of work right now and their choice is rice or cell phone. Maybe … the rice or cell phone hypothesis is much more re-assuring I find.
A security guard, wearing a protective facemask to protect against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, browses his mobile phone as he secures the entrance of a nearly empty shopping mall in Beijing on February 27, 2020. – The novel coronavirus has spread to more than 25 countries since it emerged in December 2019 and is causing mounting alarm due to new outbreaks in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. (Photo by Nicolas ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)
Canada has 2792 cases with a population of 37 million, and no one has lost any mobile users.
Is it that the Chinese government is taking away access to mobile phones? Did all these users switch carriers? Or is it that one can’t take one’s mobile to the next life? Gee, that sucks. What about the contacts?
That is the equivalent of the entire adult population of California having their phones taken away, or worse yet, maybe dieing?
Whoah Dude!!! Bill and Ted would definitely have something to say about that, but not a peep out of China.
Why did the China stats on the Johns Hopkins site just stop rolling in in mid to late February? Even a best case would project at least 100,000 cases by now, just applying world infection rates, wouldn’t they?
Why has Russia only claimed 495 cases and only 1 death with a population estimated at 145,934,462 people. The Russians are world travelers and have many foreign missions. If the normal demographic statistical methods, using Canadian rates, are applied they “should” have at least 10,000 cases by now … shouldn’t they?
ISS, the only place with an effective travel ban.
Those numbers Johns Hopkins are pumping out on their fancy graphic just don’t seem to match expectations based on rates of infection world wide.
Why are no notes available on the weird numbers? Why does America have such bad stats compared to Russia? Compared to China? This just does not make sense.
Are they really hiding a huge problem? Are there really millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths in China and Russia? Who knows? But it seems that Johns Hopkins are more concerned with making Trump look bad than doing actual statistics.
“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)
So, the latest release from the Vatican is that Pope Francis, exercising his authority as the successor of Peter to “bind and loose” on earth, (cf. Matt 18:18; John 20:23) has granted the faithful a daily Plenary Indulgence, that is, complete remission of their sins (and temporal punishment). I will include the full text of the Indulgence at the end of this post.
Indulgences are a uniquely Catholic understanding of one of the many ways that a soul can gain a remission from the punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven in the sacrament of Confession. The important, Christ founded, sacrament of Confession and the granting of indulgences for remission of punishment are generally not believed or accepted in any of the hundreds of Protestant denominations of Christianity.
I guess, to each their own, and I suppose it all falls under the umbrella of obedience and renunciation of “self”. Anyway, for those who may be interested and certainly for any Catholic readers, here are some general remarks on Indulgences.
1. This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (can. 992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1471): “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints”.
2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works (nn. 8, 9, 10 indicate those specific to the Holy Year).
3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.
4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace: A) have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin; B) have sacramentally confessed their sins; receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required); C) pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.
5. It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.
6. For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).
7. Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.
So here is what Pope Francis officially granted:
Hearing the cry of the lambs, Christ, through Pope Francis, exercising his authority as the successor of Peter to “bind and loose” on earth, has granted the faithful a daily Plenary Indulgence, that is, complete remission of their sins (and temporal punishment) under the following conditions
The Plenary Indulgence is granted to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or if at least they will recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters, with the will to fulfill the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), as soon as possible.
Health care workers, family members and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick of Coronavirus according to the words of the divine Redeemer: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”(Jn 15: 13), will obtain the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions.
This Apostolic Penitentiary also willingly grants a Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions on the occasion of the current world epidemic, also to those faithful who offer a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or Eucharistic adoration, or reading the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour, or the recitation of the Holy Rosary, or the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross, or the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself. —Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, March 20, 2020
Let each of us then to whom this applies, moved by the Spirit, take advantage of this grace as often as possible and understand that this comprises part of the preparation of the Bride of Christ in these days. As a family of health care workers in daily face to face contact with our patients we are grateful to the Holy Father for this timely Plenary Indulgence, and intend to make full use of it.
I have found some information on “Spiritual Communion” here. Also, I have some more information on Exorcised Salt and Holy Water and its appropriate uses in this sort of pandemic emergency, which I will post in a later post.
So the rest turned into a bit of a rant, so in the end I just decided to cut it all out and just stick to the spiritual.
Going through a bit of a rough patch these days … Jesus I Trust In You.
Apparently, 60,480,000 people is the population of Italy. Italy’s COVID-19 death rate is about 9%, with cases numbering about 59138 or .0009 % of pop. These demographics, reflected in other centers like Iran, Spain, Germany, and France as well, would seem to give us a fairly believable ballpark projection of where we might be headed here at home in Alberta in the next 6 weeks or so, absent our current extraordinary efforts on the part of our governments and health care systems.
China, and North Korea, and even Russia seem to be missing in action when it comes to reported COVID-19 cases and deaths. China with a population of 1,386,000,000 “should” be reporting about 1,247,400 cases with 112,266 deaths. Why such a huge difference for China and for North Korea, and even Russia for that matter, from what simple demographic stats might predict?
To my admittedly limited intelligence, and based on life experience, only two possible answers present themselves: First, China (and North Korea and Russia) has (or already had) a 100% effective cure and has stopped the spread of COVID-19 in its tracks. They are keeping this breakthrough secret for strategic reasons and economic advantage.
The other possibility is that, like North Korea, and Russia, China has stopped reporting any COVID-19 data. I know where my beliefs lead me, given 70 years of historical track record of data reporting out of any of the communist regimes on the planet since at least the 50’s.
So we can believe what the useful idiots in the MSM are reporting, that there have been no significant increases in deaths or cases in any Communist countries since about mid February. Or we can question the MSM reporting.
It might also be true, that, even as we have personally experienced throughout our own life in government employ, that in senior government bureaucratic circles, understanding of math and stats and what they actually tell us is very thin on the ground. Understanding math and stats is what staff officers and briefing notes are for. Why should there be any difference between the political masters in the Communist bloc, and the first hand witness of our own political masters in the “Free” West.
However one looks at things, it is a certainty that Communists and the instruments of the Left, the “Running Dogs”, have the same credibility problems which Uncle Joe and Mao and their acolytes suffered from in the middle of the 20th century.
Remember the heroic protagonists of the movie “Reds? Remember George Bernard Shaw’s reporting of the “Vacation Resorts” in the Soviet Union … ah yes … remember … or just believe whatever the latest twitter post tells you, that this whole epidemic is the fault of some nameless group of government regulators who failed to stop global airline traffic before there was a problem. I am in the same head space as David Warren in his post here.
Historically it has been a truism that anything good reported out of the Communist bloc should be downgraded by a factor of about 20. Likewise, anything bad reported should be inflated by about a factor of 20. This has been true for as long as I can remember, especially noted during my military service during the 70’s.
“Regina Coeli” (Queen of Heaven), The Monks of Glenstal Abbey, from the album “The Sound Of The Spirit From Glenstal Abbey“, 2009
March 19th just past was the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is just a short post, in this time of great uncertainty and temptation to anger and judgement. A short post to describe a consecration to St. Joseph, my Name Saint, which I found today on Mark Mallett’s Blog site.
The Immaculata and The Terror of Demons
I have been following Mark Mallett’s blog for quite a while now and find in his writing a constant source of encouragement and hope.
If one is a little lacking in belief and faith (and who isn’t these days) then a first reaction to his articles might well be “No Way!”
But look about you … suspend judgement for a moment … and follow up on his references and the material he points to.
He is following in the footsteps of a 2000 year old tradition with the full approval of his bishop and his spiritual director.
Another excellent site is that of Fr. Don Calloway and his Consecration to St. Joseph. The image on the left is from his new book, “Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father,”
So, from Mark’s post: ” … just a word on Joseph himself. He is a profound model for us in these extremely turbulent times as we approach the Eye of the Storm.
He was a man of silence, even when tribulation and “threat” surrounded him. He was a man of contemplation, capable of hearing the Lord. He was a man of humility, able to accept the Word of God. He was a man of obedience, ready to do whatever he was told.
Brothers and sisters, this present crisis is only the beginning. The powerful spirits that are being sent to tempt us at this hour are the antithesis of St. Joseph’s disposition. The spirit of fear would have us enter the noise and panic of the world; the spirit of distraction would have us lose our focus on God’s presence; the spirit of pride would have us take matters into our own hands; and the spirit of disobedience would have us rebel against God. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
And here is how to submit yourself to God: imitate St. Joseph, encapsulated in the beautiful words of Isaiah. Make this your creed to live by in the days to come: By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO ST. JOSEPH
Beloved St. Joseph, Custodian of Christ, Spouse of the Virgin Mary Protector of the Church: I place myself beneath your paternal care. As Jesus and Mary entrusted you to protect and guide, to feed and safeguard them through
the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I entrust myself to your sacred fatherhood. Gather me into your loving arms, as you gathered your Holy Family. Press me to your heart as you pressed your Divine Child; hold me tightly as you held your Virgin Bride; intercede for me and my loved ones
as you prayed for your beloved Family. Take me, then, as your own child; protect me;
watch over me; never lose sight of me. Should I go astray, find me as you did your Divine Son, and place me again in your loving care that I may become strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God rest upon me.
Therefore, I consecrate all that I am and all that I am not
into your holy hands. As you carved and whittled the wood of the earth, mold and shape my soul into a perfect reflection of Our Savior. As you rested in the Divine Will, so too, with fatherly love, help me to rest and remain always in the Divine Will, until we embrace at last in His Eternal Kingdom, now and forever, Amen.
So when we find ourselves tempted to rush to judgement and attribute motives, when we find ourselves upset and second guessing the orders of our Bishops, and the sometimes unclear directions of our elected leaders. Keep in mind that they are likely just as uncertain and perhaps fearful as we are with the added burden of all eyes being on them and second guessing everything they do and say.
From Saint John of the Cross via “Divine Intimacy”: “God wants from us the least degree of obedience and submission, rather than all the works we desire to offer Him.” Why? Because obedience makes us surrender our own will to the will of God’s will as expressed in the orders of our superiors; and the perfection of charity, as well as the essence of union with God, consists precisely in the complete conformity of our will with the divine will. Charity will be perfect in us when we govern ourselves in each action – not according to our personal desires and inclinations – but according to God’s will, conforming our own to His.
The will of God is expressed in His commandments, in the precepts of the Church, in the duties of our state in life; beyond all that, there is still a vast area for our free choice, where it is not always easy to know with certitude exactly what God wants of us. In the voice of obedience, however, the divine will takes on a clear precise form; it comes to us openly manifest and we no longer need to fear making a mistake. St. Paul says “There is no power but from God” (Rom 13,1), so that by obeying our lawful superiors, we can be certain that we are obeying God. Jesus Himself, When entrusting to His disciples the mission of converting the world, said “He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despitheth you, despiseth Me (Lk 10,16)“
So the biggest sellers in my store these days are toilet paper and condoms. Go figure. We have no coffee shops, no fast food restaurants, no night clubs, no basketball, no hockey, no football, no baseball, no concerts, and no social gatherings … I wonder if this woman on the couch beside me is my wife????
Something to think about while you are “self-isolating” because of the pandemic. A binding prayer for use by the laity:
“In the Name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and God, we ask Thee to render all spirits impotent, paralyzed and ineffective in attempting to take revenge against anyone of the members of the Auxilium Christianorum, our families, friends, communities, those who pray for us and their family members, or anyone associated with us and for whom the priests of the Auxilium Christianorum pray. We ask Thee to bind all evil spirits, all powers in the air, the water, the ground, the fire, under ground, or wherever they exercise their powers, any satanic forces in nature and any and all emissaries of the satanic headquarters. We ask Thee to bind by Thy Precious Blood all of the attributes, aspects and characteristics, interactions, communications and deceitful games of the evil spirits. We ask Thee to break any and all bonds, ties and attachments in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Or, in Latin:
“In Nomine Jesu Christi, Domini et Dei nostri, Te deprecamur efficere omnes spiritus esse impotentes, paralyticos, debiles in conatu ulcisci in ulla membra Auxilii Christianorum, familias, amicos, communitates eorum , pro nobis orantes familiasque illorum vel quicumque additus nobis et quibus sacerdotes Auxilii Christianorum orarent. Ligamus omnes spiritus malignos, omnes potentias in aere, aqua, terra, igne, sub terra vel ubicumque viribus suis utantur, et ullam copiam satanicam in natura et ullos emissarios pretorii satanici. Ligamus, in Pretiosissimo Sanguine Jesus, omnes attributa, idos, vulticulos, adjuncta, interactiones ludusque dolosos spirituum malignorum. Fregimus ulla et omnia ligamina, et adplicationes in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen”
Two of the leading items in the social media rumour mill: 1. COVID-19 is Trump’s fault – he wants to hurt the Chinese economy so people will “Make America Great Again.” The second item, even better than the first is: 2. COVID-19 is caused by the new 5-G wireless technology. Wuhan city was a primary test site, and 5-G is depleting trees and oxygen wherever 5-G is being implemented.
Wow! Who knew? You don’t suppose it could be true, do you? Maybe it’s both Trump’s fault and also caused by 5-G! Did Trump start 5-G? Is it connected to the Canadian Toilette Paper industry?
Looking back over Steven DenBeste and U.S.S. Clueless lots of stuff keeps popping up from back in 2016, this one from December 9th of that year. I really miss him and his blog:
Addendum to my last post: This is a bit of something by Steven DenBeste which I saved back in 2007(?). It concerns another aspect of electrical generation which the Gubmint and the renewable energy co-coreligionists never (ever) talk about when touting Solar power. I guess they don’t cover much electrical engineering in poly-sci classes, eh?
Steven DenBeste a USS Clueless:
… The fact is that electric power has unique properties, and one of the most important is that at any given instant the amount of electric power being generated will always exactly match the amount of power being consumed. If you don’t deliberately balance the system, the laws of physics will do the balancing for you in ways you won’t like.
Electric power has to be generated at the time it is needed, and the electric power grid overall has to have the ability to add generation capacity as demand rises, and to reduce generation when demand falls again. Demand actually rises and falls by as much as 30% every day.
The biggest drawback of wind/solar is that they generate power when conditions permit them to do so, not when demand requires them to do so. And there’s no practical way to store electric energy in adequate quantities to deal with this without unacceptable losses or unreasonable capital and/or operating expense. (This is a major flaw of most of the fad alternate electrical energy sources we hear so much about.)
It is by no means the only serious objection I have to solar/wind, but it is a major one. …
Toronto Ontario Blackout in 2003
So what Steven was talking about when he said “the laws of physics will do the balancing for you in ways you won’t like.” was the sort of thing that caused the Toronto, Ontario blackout of 2003.
This is the reason why you cannot shut down your existing power generation systems when switching to “Renewable”, because you cannot rely on renewable and you cannot store electricity in the amounts required.
This is what Germany discovered in the 90’s when the gubmint refused to listen to the power engineers and bulled ahead switching from coal to solar. In the end they had to keep the old plants going in order to keep the grid up when demand didn’t match the available sunlight.
Like it is right now, here in the Shire where it is currently -20 degrees Celsius and as usual in winter it is dark (eg. no sunlight to run our solar energy systems). Depending on the thermal mass of your building it doesn’t take very long before folks are getting uncomfortable as the “shelter heads towards ambient temperature.
When the electricity generation suppliers are unable to match the power demand to the power being generated the grid goes down – including automatic shutdowns of power generation stations and the result is commonly referred to as a power failure or blackout.
When the Generator Stations go down the providers have to get things going again with what is known as a “Black Start”. This takes time. Sometimes a lot of time.
Back in the 70’s when I served in steam turbine destroyers it was typically about 24 hours to get up steam and warm everything up and turn everything up to speed before you could “turn main engines”, and steam away to whatever mission the gubmint sent you on.
Those were very small turbines and boilers compared to those found in a thermal generation station using steam turbines. Electrical generation boilers and turbines are a LOT bigger and consequently take longer to cool down and longer to warm up like one to two days.
What this means is that you cannot just shut down your coal plants and replace them with solar farms because your grid will go down the first night you are relying on solar. So, anyway, a black start is the process of restoring an electric power station or a part of an electric grid to operation without relying on the external transmission network.
Dark Places are NOT nice places to live …
Normally, the electric power used within the plant is provided from the station’s own generators. If all of the plant’s main generators are shut down, station service power is provided by drawing power from the grid through the plant’s transmission line.
If the grid goes down then you have a little problem and things are cooling down and the longer they cool the longer it takes to bring them up, and so on as predicted accurately by the laws of physics and mathematics which really don’t care much about religion and politics.
However, during a wide-area outage, off-site power supply from the grid will not be available. In the absence of grid power, a so-called black start needs to be performed to bootstrap the power grid into operation.
To provide a black start, some power stations have small diesel generators, normally called the black start diesel generator (BSDG), which can be used to start larger generators (of several megawatts capacity), which in turn can be used to start the main power station generators.
Generating plants using steam turbines require station service power of up to 10% of their capacity for boiler feedwater pumps, boiler forced-draft combustion air blowers, and for fuel preparation. It is uneconomical to provide such a large standby capacity at each station, so black-start power must be provided over designated tie lines from another station.
This power station uses the Rankine cycle This is the cycle of the steam produced in the boiler, then taken to the Steam turbine (prime mover). From the turbine the steam is cooled back to water in the Condenser, the resulting water is fed back into the boiler to repeat the cycle.
A steam/thermal power station uses heat energy generated from burning coal to produce electrical energy. This type of power station is widely used around the world to generate base load because it is cheap and efficient and reliable.
The cold start up times and procedures for a steam turbine depends on its casing and rotor temperature. As the turbine is subjected to high temperature and pressure for long time, it is mandatory requirement that there is a uniform heating and expansion of turbine.
Otherwise due to uneven heating, uneven expansion will occur which can finally lead to either permanent deformation of turbine rotor or any other catastrophic failure (explosion). The terms which have been asked vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but the basic difference remains the same
The Dark Lord’s Domain … Alberta under Red Rachel …
Because of the abundance of fuel (coal), this kind of power station can be used to produce large amounts of electrical energy. In most countries these power stations are used as base load power stations.
This is because steam power stations are slow to start and can not be used to cater for peak loads that generally occur for a short duration.
These power stations (together with nuclear power stations) are kept running very close to full efficiency for 24 hours a day (unless they are being maintained). They have typical life of 30 to 40 years (although most governments have reduced this number to 35 years).
What Rachel is talking about doing is dropping 40% of our generation capacity by the end of 2018 and replacing it with Solar. AS mentioned above this contravenes a number of physical laws and flies in the face of the European experience since 1997.
Better buy up some woollies and parkas cause there are some very cold houses and factories in our future. Memo to Dark Lord Rachel: Mother nature and the laws of physics and engineering are against you on this one. No amount of religious zeal will make this work.
Please, please just save us all a lot of pain and honestly tell us right up front that your agenda IS TO DESTROY Alberta.
What? Me Worry?
Well, I guess we all know where that ended up, right? Now we are paying top rates to an American coal fired electric utility to keep our electric grid running, because our Global Warming Diva thought it was a good idea to shut down Alberta’s coal fired generation stations… sigh,
Why can’t we just sue their asses off so that we never have to see them again? Instead we keep on paying them 6 figure salaries as elected poolititians. There is no justice this side of the grave.
“Desolation Row”, Bob Dylan, from the album “MTV Unplugged”, 2013.
Just The Facts, Ma’am
Are you saved? Ha, if only! Excellent article here on the Catholic position and answer to this super-critical question concerning all eternity. Cherry picking one line or fact out of context has always been a favorite tactic of the enemy, knowing as he does humanity’s propensity for wanting simple answers that make them feel good about themselves and thus being able to preach superiority over those who do not share their particular point of view … otherwise known as PRIDE.
We see an awful lot of that these days on social media, don’t we? The howler jungle of Facebook is full of screaming and poop slinging between all the little monkey tribes. The world and the things of the world are going to hell in a hay-basket and the whole damned thing is going faster and faster. Does anyone not see this? Seriously???
Just cast your eyes at the latest manifestation here. Some are claiming a conspiracy to establish martial law and confine us to our homes under a state imposed curfew … I see their point but I don’t think there is any widespread conspiracy … this is all just normal human fear, aided and abetted by the demons of fear that are never very far away these days.
Fear uncertainty and doubt, FUD, and the biggest fear among the governments everywhere, the legions of faceless bureaucratic corner office vampires and their worshipful drones is the ultimate fear … the FEAR OF BEING BLAMED!!!!! Of course Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) is perfectly augmented by Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).
Now, I have it on good authority that here in Canada all senior bureaucrats are being instructed to “Work from home”. The implied assumption being that what they do is actually “work”. If we get lucky they will all spend their time writing press releases about what they are all doing to save us from ourselves and they won’t do anything real for the duration of this crisis. This is the “best case” that will save us all.
I have been in the position described at the beginning of the linked article “Are you saved?” and my answer has always been “Absolutely! And I continue to work hard on it every day in order not to lose my salvation through sin and to fall again into condemnation“. Our Lord Himself has said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone … ” and we all know how that turned out.
And I fail in my mission every day in one way or another and then have recourse through sincere contrition and the sacrament of confession to the good God’s forgiveness in absolution and penance administered through the priest “In Persona Christi Capitis“. The facts are that there is no one without sin and every man (and woman) needs to work hard every day to cling to their salvation, by Faith in our Lord and by all the Corporal Works prescribed by scripture and the magisterial tradition, aided by the sacraments as administered by the Church.
Drawing from the linked article above we read the Truth that there is no salvation outside Christ’s Church as handed down through the Apostles after Pentecost. As I quoted a couple of days ago, “Outside the Church, there is no salvation … The first part of the teaching of the Catholic Church —”all salvation comes from Christ the Head”—is quite easy for all Christians, even non-Catholics, to understand and embrace. It echoes Jesus’ own words recorded by John: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6).
So, Christians unanimously agree on this first part. But is thisall that needs to be said about how one may be saved? The Catholic Church has historically recognized the importance of explaining further the means through which salvation is offered through Christ.
When speaking of salvation, Jesus offered more details than just his words quoted above. Skip past the cherry picking and the efforts to weasel out of the meaning of Truth for just a moment … for example, consider these three verses:
He who believes and is baptized will be saved. (Mk 16:16)
Unless you repent you will all likewise perish. (Lk 13:3)
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (Jn 6:54)
The Tribute Money is a 1612-1614 painting by Peter Paul Rubens,
Notice that in these three verses Jesus associated salvation with baptism, confession, and the Eucharist, respectively. Catholics recognize that these sacraments are administered through the Church.
In fact, in the case of the latter two, a validly ordained priest is necessary for their administration, so the sacrament of ordination must also be associated with salvation. A primary role of the Catholic Church in conjunction with salvation is becoming quite clear.
This brings us to the second part of the Catechism’s formulation of the doctrine being considered: “. . . through the Church which is his Body.” what we know as “The Mystical Body of Christ”. For over two thousand years now folks have been trying to trap Christ and twist His teachings to suite their own worldly agenda.
As scripture relates:
“1At that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who, thinkest thou, is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? 2And Jesus, calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them. 3And said: amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. 5And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.
6But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Mat 18:1-6)”
Look people!!! We are the little ones to whom Christ refers … this bit of scripture isn’t about child molesters! It’s about people who know better misleading we little ones into heresy and damnation. Since Jesus established the Catholic Church as necessary for salvation, those who knowingly and willingly reject him or his Church cannot be saved. We see this in Jesus’ teaching: “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters” (Mt 12:30).
Also: “If he [a sinning brother] refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Mt 18:17). Paul warned similarly: “As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned” (Ti 3:10-11).
So, my disquiet with the current situation in our church, and my equally strong misgivings with the state of society and our culture of death, dismemberment and disregard for responsibilities both personal and national (witness Boy Justin’s NATO Summit efforts last term) here in the frozen north, that is Canada and the direction Canada seems to be heading. What is one to do? Aided by my reading of many other’s comments in various blogs and so on, my thoughts are moving in a definite direction.
The Angelus, JEAN FRANÇOIS MILLET (Museo_de_Orsay, 1857-1859)
Rhetorically speaking, is it OK to make like a medieval peasant, to choose the “Benedict Option” as some have advocated, and either not know or not care who is the current National Leader, and who is Pope, to not worry about the directions of church and state, but to remain faithfully and cheerfully ignorant of the day-to-day pronouncements that come down from our betters in Ottawa, and Edmonton, and from the Vatican?
Must a Catholic read and understand all the latest encyclicals and exhortations and synodal papers and all the latest progressive malice and pronouncements vomiting forth from the mealy mouths of our political and bureaucratic masters in their tower of power somewhere isolated from the realities of day to day citizens, one of whom recently committed suicide on the steps of the legislature?
Or can we just keep re-reading the Scriptures and the Catechism and the Fathers and the Doctors (and maybe the occasional private revelation) until such time as God sorts this all out? I don’t think that average Catholic lay people are obliged to follow any of this stuff. Priests do this, and then they teach appropriately, or at least are supposed to.
But lay people are not obliged unless, of course, they are teachers, and so on. Catholic lay people have vocations to live in the world. Their obligations are few: obey the 10 Commandments, follow the commandments of the Church, obey the laws that they are taught pertain to them, stick to the demands of their state in life, perform works of mercy, etc.
This is really not that difficult. People are not obliged to go chasing after the latest news in prurient curiosity. As a matter of fact, that might wind up being a sin called curiositas, especially if it endangers one’s faith and distracts from one’s state in life through which the will of God is made manifest in our lives.
It is just because our Church is Christ’s church that I disagree with any “serious considerations” of heading away from our One Holy Catholic and Apostolic church towards one of the Orthodox confessions or some conservative Evangelical congregation, or even some new age Pentecostal “feelings over objective Truth emotional consolation” because all those options also clearly lack the indefectability promised by Christ as in : “and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”.
Domine, quo vadis?
This specious tack, of abandoning the church in her hour of crisis, smacks of “taking my toys and going home” when the going gets tough and real sacrifice and pain and love is required to hold to the Truth in the storm.
Christ’s message is tough, “Take up your cross and follow me”, and folks shrink back from that, embrace the consolations of the world, have been abandoning the Church for all the specious reasons relating to self love and putting our own agenda above that of GOD for more than 2000 years now.
But this has been especially true for the last five hundred years in the West, and see how they are scattered … “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters” (Mt 12:30). God introduced salvation to the world through his chosen people, the Jews. God’s revelation to the Jews found its fulfillment in Christ, the Messiah, who established the Catholic Church.
The grace necessary for salvation continues to come from Christ, through his Church. Those who innocently do not know and embrace this might still attain salvation but those who knowingly and willingly choose to reject it, reject salvation on God’s terms.
From scripture, carved on a slab of wood hanging on my kitchen wall: “But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”
-Joshua 24:15 (Douay-Rheims)
“And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”
-John 6:69 (DR)