Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Christ and Antichrist (part 2)

The Return Of The King” Howard Shore, composer, from the soundtrack of “The Return Of The King”, part 3 of “The Lord Of The Rings”, released on December 17th, 2003.

The snow has finally stopped … my coffee is hot and black, my music clip today is the title piece from Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”.

This trio of films had been dismissed by neo-pagan secular humanist reviewers as a simple “adventure movie, set in a strange world, climaxing with a battle between the forces of good, represented by the heroes and heroines, and the forces of evil, represented by the stranger, the odd, or the mean-spirited (Yes, I guess Sauron and Saruman might be described as odd, the stranger, or even mean spirited, yes mean spirited, that’s accurate I guess, especially for a society which buys into the idea that it is just OK to dismember babies and sell their body parts for profit).

These scenarios, make it all too easy for filmgoers to cheer for the good guys (with whom they quite naturally identify) and boo the bad guys (stand-ins for everything they don’t approve of) (isn’t this exactly what these neo-pagans are actively doing in this very review? I suppose, logically then, there is no “good” and “bad” then … always excepting, of course, that if the neo-pagans don’t approve of any particular Religious or believers then that is “good” because anyone who disagrees with any of the progressive left is “a priori”, even by definition, “BAD”).

The world is seen as the stage for dueling dualisms, “us” versus “them” (BAD GUY ALERT!) where it is perfectly acceptable for one side to completely obliterate the “other.” This kind of simplistic storytelling contributes to the creation of what Sam Keen has called the “hostile imagination”? (So good and evil are not real, it’s just “us” versus “them” or “The Other” …  So I guess, logically, there could be no such a thing as “Sin” in this neo-pagan worldview. Gee, that’s convenient … hmmm … sounding rather “anti christian” here, dare I mention, a subtle flavour of “Antichrist”).

This worldview develops out of prejudice and hatred, two diseases of the mind  ( I guess what they are saying is “believers with a moral compass are actually prejudiced, hating, and diseased” … Wow! Who knew! I bet these reviewers have  weekend part time job crafting sign and posters for all those anti-Trump protestors the MSM so love to cover) but back to diseases of the mind in which we project our feelings of fear, resentment, self-disgust, anger, alienation, and paranoia on others whom we perceive to be different (especially strangers).”

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the hugely popular “Return of the King” was the culmination of nearly 10 years’ work and the conclusion to Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy based on the timeless J.R.R. Tolkien classic.

Aragorn leads the allies to the Black Gate in an attempt to distract Sauron from seeking out Frodo, Sam and the Ring. But Sauron’s army is much larger, and Aragorn is losing the battle. Their hopes rest with Frodo.

“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” presents the final confrontation between the forces of good and evil fighting for control of the future of Middle-earth. Hobbits Frodo and Sam reach Mordor in their quest to destroy the `one ring’, while Aragorn leads the forces of good against Sauron’s evil army at the stone city of Minas Tirith.

Remember, “The Lord of the Rings was written in an era when folks still superstitiously believed that good and evil realy existed in an absolute sense and were not just a matter of opinion. I guess that makes me an anachronism, a man out of time.

Anyway, here we are again, a few hours later and I was explaining the idea of “The Mystical Body of Christ”, and how it came about, as a prelude to positing the idea that the “Antichrist” is not a specific figure who we are striving to identify, but rather “the mystical body of Satan” acting out in “the Spirit of the times”, a perfect example of which is the above review viewed as apologetics for evil as a matter of opinion.

Historically, later on in the story of the Church, after the time of Saint Paul and the world he wrote to, as the Church grew, the Church Fathers, including St. Augustine, reaffirmed and amplified Paul’s assertion that the Christian Church is a spiritual extension of Christ’s body.

His Holiness Pope Pius XII

His Holiness Pope Pius XII (By Michael Pitcarin

Pope Pius XII , who was Pope during my early childhood, popularized the phrase in his encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi  (June 29, 1943).

The Catholic Dictionary explains it thus: “The Church is a body because she is a visible, living, and growing organism, animated by the Spirit of God. (The Church) … is a mystical body because her essential nature is a mystery, and all her teachings, laws, and rites are sacramental sources of grace.

And she is the mystical body of Christ because he founded the Church. He remains her invisible Head and through him all blessings are communicated to her members, and through them to the rest of humankind.”

The Second Vatican Council

The Second Vatican Council

The Second Vatican Council issued the “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church,” or “Lumen Gentium” (November 21, 1964; “Light of the Nations”), which reflected the broader, universal nature of the mystical body by stating that all persons are members of the Church, at least potentially, because Christ came to offer salvation to everyone.

Speaking of full membership in the Church, Pius XII, in his Encyclical on the Mystical Body, said it is the society of those who have been baptized, and who profess the faith of Christ, and who are governed by their bishops under the visible head, the Pope, the Bishop of Rome.

The Church came into being when Christ died on the Cross, but it was formally inaugurated on Pentecost, when He sent the Holy Spirit as He had promised. St. Paul speaks of all Christians as members of Christ, so that with Him, they form one Mystical Body (see 1 Cor 12:12-31; Col 1:18; 2:18-20; Eph. 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:13).

The Communion of Saints

The Communion of Saints

St. Paul did not use the word Mystical. It was developed more recently to bring out the fact that this union is unique, there is no parallel to it. It is not the same as the union of a physical body, nor that of a business corporation.

The Church, the Mystical Body, exists on this earth, and is called the Church militant, because its members struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil. The Church suffering means the souls in Purgatory. The Church triumphant is the Church in heaven. The unity and cooperation of the members of the Church on earth, in Purgatory, in Heaven is also called the Communion of Saints.



When St. Paul uses the word “Saints” in opening an Epistle, he does not mean they are morally perfect. He has in mind Hebrew “Qadosh”, which means set aside for God, or coming under the covenant. Being such means of course they are called to moral perfection. But of course, not all have reached it in this world.

The word “Saint” in the modern sense means someone who has been canonized by the Church in recent times, or was accepted as such by the Church in earlier times.

Saint John Paul II

Saint John Paul II

If a person is shown to have practiced heroic virtue–beyond what people in general do – in all virtues, the title “Venerable” is given; with two miracles by that one’s intercession, the title is “Blessed”; two more miracles can lead to canonization and the title of Saint.

Now, outside some people within the church and some believers, folks who have even a passing understanding of the process by which the Roman Catholic Church arrives at the point of proclaiming an individual as a “Saint” are rather thin on the ground.

It most certainly is not some “group think” resolution arrived at by a board room meeting of some cabal presided over by the Pope and involving the various department heads (the Curia) of the Roman Church establishment, the executives, so to speak. .

This is an in-depth rigorously developed legal investigation, requiring postulation, presentation, gathering of evidence, a defense team (The Postulator) and a prosecution team (The Devil’s Advocate).

Popular culture, namely the society which seems to embody the spirit of the times, the “Antichrist”, seems to understand “Saints” in the way presented by Hollywood and the MSM, and routinely call their “Saintliness” into question because, after all, the saints make us enlightened moderns look bad, by any standard.

Dan Brown

Dan Brown

Dan Brown, and the Hollywood team who rework his novels as screen plays for those who don’t read, are entertainers and entrepreneurs. Dan and the Hollywood screen writers don’t do in depth research nor do they write Truth, although their publicists go to great lengths to give the gullible customers of their product, the “low information” folks, the impression that in fact that is exactly what they do show and tell.

The plot lines of many modern movies reveal a puerile fascination with the sins and motives of others, preferably “respectable” others, which would not be out of line in the National Enquirer.

Dan and the Hollywoods (Hey! nice name for a new band) are popular and very successful developers of sensationalist entertainment. They want to sell their gloss of reality in the interests of forwarding the Big Lie, and making a boat load of money along the way.

Michael Moore

Michael Moore says the vast majority of Trump supporters are like rapists, Oooo, nice, just feel the love …

Part of that process necessarily involves extensive denigration and belittling of any and everyone who disagrees with their point of view, especially political enemies,  the Church, Christ, and Christians, the currently fashionable victims of choice.

Perhaps part of this choice is because of course Christians don’t retaliate by routinely show up in your office with an AK-47 to fix your breathing problem. This is where we get back to the Christ – Antichrist discussion.

So, as previously stated, “The Antichrist” is the opposite of Christ, the “Not Christ”. The Antichrist manifests the will of Satan among mankind. Satan’s whole ambition is to be like God in power and might, and he works for this with all of his might, night and day.

Remember, “Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

Satan’s stated intention is to replace God, and the mystical body of Satan, “The Antichrist”, is the means to do this.

The mystical body of Satan, an analog of the Mystical Body of Christ, denies mankind’s necessity for God, and asserts himself (the worship of self), that is “man”, as ruler of this world.

It does not matter to Satan whether his mystical body believes in him or not.  In fact, things go easier for him when mankind doesn’t believe in “The Father of Lies”. Ask yourself “what kind of a world would be willing to accept Satan as Lord”?

It seems apparent, given the popularity of every vice and evil in our modern society, that this modern world we live in has come to such a state. The prevailing spirit in the world is the “spirit of the Antichrist,” the mystical body of Satan.

The mystical body of Satan has been working since the earliest days of the church. (1 John 4) and the “Antichrist”, this fervent spirit of rebellion permeating the populace, can be summed up as every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.

This spirit of rebellion alleges that Jesus had something that we don’t have, that He was divine, that He didn’t have lusts and desires as a natural man, and therefore, He couldn’t actually sin.

Hollywood stars

Hollywood stars Mark Ruffalo, Olivia Wilde and Michael Moore led protesters to Trump Tower after the president made comments about the deadly violence in Charlottesville.

That’s  what Hollywood and and the secular humanist coreligionists would have us believe. Christ couldn’t sin because He was special, but we just can’t help ourselves and we are really rather nice people dontcha know?

And anyway, Christ is my buddy, he is all about mercy and forgiveness and get along go along … huh?

But if we believe what’s written in Scripture, Christ had the same flesh and blood that we have. “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same.” Hebrews 2:14.

He had the same lusts and desires, which caused Him to be tempted, and He had to fight to keep from sinning. He had the Holy Spirit to guide Him, and strength and help from His Father in heaven.

Because of His life and His sacrifice He made the same available to us, and therefore we are able to follow Him on the way that He opened up through the flesh and back to the Father, as members of “The Mystical Body of Christ”.

Halloween Party ...

Halloween Party …

But many folks really don’t want to discipline themselves, many folks have no inclination to rein in their worship of self.

As a culture we strongly resist having to put in the effort, take up the same battle that Christ did. Saint Paul explains in great detail that we don’t want to fight against the tendency towards sin that we have in our human nature.

It seems that nowadays, and perhaps it’s been like this in all times, most people, the masses, aren’t willing to fight hard against human nature, the unbridled concupiscence of our flesh. And the result is the ascendancy of the spirit of the Antichrist.


Just a fashion show … the 7 deadly sins …

This spirit of concupiscence shows people an easier way to exist, a way of self gratification and taking the easy path. The spirit of Antichrist allows the sins that separate us from God to live on by covering them with tolerance, “love”, and freedom.

God’s word clearly states what is right and wrong, what is sinful and what is pure. But when enough people live in sin, for instance adultery, sodomy, pornography, fornication, murder, and so on and so forth, our society gives it a pass. Sin is no longer considered sin, it is considered a “right”.

Our western “civilization” sports a population who are indoctrinated almost from birth in a system of beliefs in which  God’s laws are rejected, and the laws of society, and eventually even the laws of the nations, change to accommodate this adjusted view of what is right and wrong.

For just one example, how did murdering children and elders and other inconvenient people move from a crime punishable by death to a generally accepted right under the sobriquet of “choice”?  Anyone?  Anyone? The mystical body of Satan, the Antichrist, in action I guess.

So impurity and sin are allowed to live, and mankind grows farther and farther away from God – which is exactly Satan’s intention. The majority of the world has given over to this spirit, because it allows them to live comfortably, without a guilty conscience.

Waiting On The Night To Fall”, by “Casting Crowns”, from the album “Thrive” (2014).

“Waiting on the Night to Fall” is a great tune by “Casting Crowns”, I added the lyrics to the tune in my next post “Christ and Antichrist … (part 3)”, in case anyone is interested. But now, back to the subject , the Antichrist in tis world …

This is the mystical body of Satan in action in the world right now. This is “The Antichrist” … this is the “Not Christ”. “Devil’s Advocate”, released in 1997, was an American supernatural horror film directed by Taylor Hackford, written by Jonathan Lemkin and Tony Gilroy, and starring Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, and Charlize Theron. The film did a pretty good job shining a light on “the spirit of the times”.

Mankind is more and more reliant on itself and being governed by itself and worshiping itself in an orgy of narcissistic self gratification, rather than being led by any “higher power.”

Albert Jay Nock

The mass of man, the masses, in the famous words of Albert Jay Nock who wrote (in “Our Enemy The State”) in the 30’s, the following observation:

There is, for example, no human right, natural or Constitutional, that we have not seen nullified by the United States Government. Of all the crimes that are committed for gain or revenge, there is not one that we have not seen it commit – murder, mayhem, arson, robbery, fraud, criminal collusion and connivance.”   Albert Jay Nock, from Our Enemy, the State

These days, in the west, which used to be known as “Western Civilization”, Nock’s mass of mankind, “the masses”,  now believe, in the spirit of the Antichrist, that mankind can accomplish anything.

When that belief is fully realized then Satan will finally have what he has always wanted. Seen or unseen, acknowledged or not, Satan will have control of a world that has no need for God.

Once the mystical body of Satan, “The Antichrist” has free reign then there will be a terrible time on the earth. The true, evil nature of the Antichrist, the mystical body of Satan will be revealed.

Awww, Mom … Are we there yet?



I Think it’s getting out of control !!!

The Inner Struggle

Christ … Antichrist … Cold & Winter Storms (part 1)

Mother of Sorrows”, Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent At Ephesus”, (2014)

Writing this on Friday morning … thinking about my life … of sin … and self indulgence, the places and times when self sacrifice was not in the ascendance. Lots of food for thought there, lots of decades of self. Lots of reasons for contrition and amendment. When and why did I start to diverge from the spirit of our times?

Outside my head, WOW! What a morning, quite in keeping with my state of mind! It’s cold here and snowing heavily, blowing also, about 6 inches down now and more coming, first snow since November 2017 and the first heavy snow of this winter.

Lots of shoveling now and probably all day, and making sure everything is cleared before folks start coming in, in an hour or so depending on how long it takes them to dig out and get their trucks running.

Finding crosses, suffering and sacrifice in the daily duties of our station in life, where God put us. Finding the will of God in the myriad minutia of the duties of my state in life.

Enough navel gazing for now, I have to start digging out, so I will stop writing for a while.

Wow, that day went fast, 12 hours later and it is still snowing, it’s about -10 degrees Celsius, that’s about 14 degrees Fahrenheit, but it is blowing harder and drifting now. I’m real glad there is no reason to be on the roads tonight or tomorrow. I bet there will be a lot of shoveling tomorrow. It’s a good thing we don’t open our doors until 10:00 AM on Saturdays.

Anyway, … the inner struggle … that’s what I was getting on about in this post. I have noticed that from time to time discussion arises and articles appear and the topic of the “Antichrist” comes up more or less frequently. “Antichrist” seems to be a favorite pejorative amongst certain groups, and it is at least as meaningful and helpful as “knuckledragger” and “Neanderthal” are amongst other groups.

I suppose the clique’s “group think” defines the pejorative favored, with one group seeing things in terms of good and evil and another group seeing things in terms of smart or stupid, the implication always being that “the other” is the bad one or the stupid one. At first blush, my reflexive reaction is “A pox on both your houses!” Upon further reflection I then find myself asking “What would Jesus do?” and then a bit further on “Does this bring me closer to God?”

Whenever the mudslinging starts, whichever gang starts slinging, it seems always to be in the context of some particularly egregious insanity or inanity, proposed or committed, by some other group or some powerful individual who is disagreed with, or some collection of individuals moving the narrative in a direction disruptive of the sacred views espoused by the narrator of the moment.

Alternatively, one specific public figure or another, George Soros, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Justin Trudeau,  Rachel Notley, Pope Francis, Cardinal Kaspar, Vlad Putin, Kim Jong-un, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,  even Barry Obama, … I mean … seriously … pick your favorite target to hate, you get my drift.

There are literally thousands, maybe even millions, of high profile people pontificating about their views, and what is wrong with the world, and what they are going to do about it.

Obama as Satan

Seriously folks … Obama as Satan … what Kool-Aid are you drinking?

When humanity starts to believe that there is no-one in charge, no one responsible for the “strategic” big picture things in life humans are very quick to turn to golden idols and self proclaimed messiahs.

And any self proclaimed messiah who is not our favorite choice receives a rising tide of speculative negative attention depending upon the day, or the tides, or the level of confusion, frequently along the lines of he/she/it must be the Antichrist.

Thomas Cranmer

Thomas Cranmer, 1489 – 1556

This is especially true if that individual is the target of vilification from many directions at once by many disenchanted narrators. These unhappy narrators, narrowly focused on preaching their own gospel, and defending their own position.

These vocal, “important”, narrators who have picked their chosen hill to die on, and are now understandably hungry, highly motivated to convince their followers, their power base, their meal ticket,  of the truth of their gospel.

They need someone to contribute, to “drop the offering in the collection plate”.  And the target demographic is comprised of some group or other or perhaps many groups, perhaps the equivalent of our modern notion of the “low information voter”.

These narrators do a dog pile on the chosen target, perhaps under the assumption that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. For example, along these lines for several centuries now, many Protestant writers and leaders have identified the Roman Catholic Pope as “The Antichrist”.

However that may be, over the centuries many folks have assigned the status of “Antichrist” to any number of other folks who were on their personal dirt list for any reason but mainly for political reasons. Claiming this seems to be nothing more than a desperate “Ad Hominum” attack when they have nothing factual or truthful, that is “substantive truth”, upon which to base their argument.

"What would Jesus do?"

“What would Jesus do?”

It’s all pride and personal ambition. My razor when reading these diatribes is to ask the questions: “What would Jesus do?” and “Does this bring me closer to God?”

I don’t see the Antichrist as an individual, it just doesn’t line up with my current personal  understanding of reality. Yes, there are outliers of evil and standout perpetrators throughout history, and these persons, these figures in history, seem to be fairly evenly distributed amongst all cultures and religions all over the world.

It appears to me that this sort of behaviour, this sort of personal “character” is more attributable to their sheer humanness than to any particular system of beliefs.  But from my point of view, I just don’t see the idea of “Antichrist” as a specific, living, substantial being, that is to say, one individual encompassing all evil and directing the whole thing as an articulated individual with a master plan.

Yes, we believe in Jesus Christ as the Head, in the Christian understanding. Given the obvious vagaries of human free will apparent in the world over time, it seems reasonable that there must then be, necessarily, the “not Christ” … the absence of Christ … the Antichrist.  I think so anyway, the “Antichrist” is the “Not Christ”, the absence of Christ. I think that the “Antichrist” is in effect “the mystical body of Satan”, in a kind of analog of “the Mystical Body of Christ” in the Christian Tradition.

I guess that some explanation might be necessary in understanding of the concept of “The Mystical Body of Christ”, within the context of Roman Catholicism. As most of my readers probably are aware, I am a Roman Catholic. That is the filter through which I understand reality.

My understanding of the Mystical Body of Christ is one of the real existence of a mystical union of all Christians into a spiritual body with Jesus Christ as their head. This belief grows, in our Tradition, from the New Testament and Christianity’s roots in Judaism.

In Christian Scripture, St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and the Romans both use the image of a body, with a head that is Christ and many bodily members, with many abilities and talents, namely we Christian believers. The belief in the Mystical Body describes the relationship between Christ and Christians, namely the Head and the body of believers. Wow, it’s getting late … gotta go eat to keep body and soul together.

blizzard? by WizKids ...

When does a snow storm become a blizzard?

Well, now it’s tomorrow morning, Saturday, even colder now, still snowing, -21 degrees Celsius, that’s -5.8 Fahrenheit, and it’s blowing hard, driving the new snow into hard packed drifts.

When does a “Snowstorm” become a “Blizzard”? Maybe it’s when it is widespread, maybe the amount of snow, or the temperature, or the wind-speed, or perhaps even the dramatic license of the weather reporters? Who knows really what makes a snow storm into a blizzard.

Talking to customers yesterday and reports that an hour away in some directions they had no snow but three hours to the west everyone there and in between got lots of snow. Whatever … lots more shoveling today I guess, off and on, as circumstances permit and the demands of customers allow.

Well, another day just blew by in a twinkling of my eye. It’s Saturday night, time for bed, it’s -14 degrees Celsius, it’s still blowing and it’s still snowing lightly. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

More to follow on Christ and Antichrist and the spirit of the times …



Putting away the roaring worship of the “Self” in all it’s manifestations … is the first step back towards a sense of sin, remorse, contrition and repentance …


The Inner Struggle

Go And Sin No More … coattails again …

“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

Fr. Hunwicke

Fr. Hunwicke

Back a couple of years ago I wrote and quoted from other sources to the effect that “Liberalism is a sin“.  The following quote is from a post on Fr Hunwicke’s blog , about the dangers of Liberalism, which I stumbled upon while studying the modern corruption of the Latin phrase “argumentum ad hominem”. On that front, just in passing, I touch on a big boo-boo in modern discourse, at least in some circles.

The notion that “argumentum ad hominem” somehow equates in English to  “A personal attack”, as found commonly in current usage across a spectrum of pseudo-intellectual pontifications by players indulging in personal and maliciously slanderous attacks on those who disagree with them, all dressed up as if they were a legitimate logical argument.

The current notion is that “ad hominum” is not a legitimate debating technique because it is “just a personal attack” and in our current moral quagmire we are expected to accept that morality or even the notion of right and wrong are nothing more than personal opinions and views and all such views are equivalent.

I have always abominated bullies and especially those of any stripe or occupation who attack the innocent from their respective podiums and pulpits whilst hectoring their captive audiences. It does not follow that the individual with the loudest bully pulpit defines what is truth and what is good or even that they are automatically on the side of the angels. (see “Useful Idiots” in a previous post)

“Argumentum ad hominem” is defined by Locke as “Pressing a man with the Consequences of his own Principles or Concessions.” … that is to say pointing out to or otherwise leading the man (or woman) with whom one is debating into understanding the logical fallacy of the mutually exclusive principles which they may have just enunciated in the debate, in consequence of which they must either change one or the other or both principles or simply surrender the point in order to retain any debating credibility going forward.

At least, that is what I understand it to mean, however, gentle reader might favor the modern corruption, or as I have said before, your mileage may vary. After all, “I don’t care about your damned facts, Joe, I just want to have a pleasant conversation with my friends”.

Anyway, here is the quoted material, a quote from Fr. Hunwicke  containing a quote from Blessed John Henry Newman, on Liberalism …

Blessed John Henry Newman

Blessed John Henry Newman

“When (Blessed John Henry) Newman received the biglietto signifying his elevation to the rank of Cardinal, he made a speech which has often been quoted; and I am going to quote it yet again and not least because it beautifully enunciates the essential continuity of his life as a Catholic with his years as an Anglican.

But, at the end, I wish to draw attention to a very important realisation of Newman’s which is not so often quoted or appreciated. So here he goes:

For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion. … the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily.

It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are a matter of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy. …

As to Religion, it is a private luxury which a man may have if he will; but which of course he must pay for, and which he must not intrude upon others, or indulge in to their annoyance.”

[Note the deft, almost imperceptible skill – so characteristic – with which Newman points to us the paradox that this ‘liberalism’ is itself a doctrine, an imposed and inexorable dogma. But it is his next observation which, I feel, gives us tremendous material for thought; when he adds that:]

There is much in the liberalistic theory which is good and true … justice, truthfulness, sobriety, self-command, benevolence ….’

Cardinal Farrell

Cardinal Farrell

[Ah, we incautiously surmise, Liberalism isn’t too bad after all; he admits that Liberalism has its Good Side. But no. Newman has tricked us. He is playing exactly the opposite game. In the spirit of the argumentum ad hominem, he is about to pounce. Let us watch carefully, and analyse, how the cat jumps.

Remember that in his earlier years Newman had been preoccupied with the concept of Antichrist. At the heart of this biblical notion, there is a realisation that the greater an evil and the closer it comes to Ultimate Evil, the more sumptuously the Enemy adorns it with rags and tatters of the good and the true and the noble. An error will be so much more dangerous precisely because it has been made to look so beautiful. So … Blessed John Henry goes on:]

“There never was a device of the Enemy, so cleverly framed, and with such promise of success.”

Snap! Gotcha!

“Despite its superficial charms, indeed, because of its apparent beauties, Liberalism is diabolical, a trick of Satan.”

Cardinal Kasper

Cardinal Kasper

There is a great warning for us as we, more than a century later, face the devices of the Enemy in our own time.

Just one modern example of this will be enough for today: our blessed Lord did not say to the woman in the Johannine pericope de adulteraGo; and sin some more“.

Whenever, whoever, decks out encouragement or tolerance of adultery in nobly coloured biblical garments, whether ‘Mercy’ or any other scriptural tags, we know that the Spirit of the Antichrist is abroad.”



with patience and charity for all …