Life in a small town

So What Now … My Church and My Nation … Wither goest thou?

Serendipity … random chance in action? Via The Lepanto Institute  I found a new and interesting  blog-site yesterday here.

The Battle of Lepanto, 7 October 1571

By way of an intro here are a few gems from the blog in which he quotes from books I have read and also from an author and a book I have never heard of before …

First, a couple of writers with whom I am very familiar, C. S. Lewis, and T. S. Eliot :

C.S. Lewis

“Perhaps I am asking impossibilities. Perhaps, in the nature of things, analytical understanding must always be a basilisk which kills what it sees and only sees by killing. But if the scientists themselves cannot arrest this process before it reaches the common Reason and kills that too, then someone else must arrest it.”C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, 1945.

and

T.S. Eliot

“The World is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and save the World from suicide.”T. S. Eliot, Thoughts After Lambeth, 1931.

and then a new writer (for me) who I have never heard of but looks very promising :

Padre Julio Meinvielle, 1905-1973

“The error of the Progressives resides in rejecting the necessity of working for the implantation of a Christian social order. In doing so they are obliged to accept the lay city, Liberal, Socialist, Communist. The root of their error and their deviation from Christian progress lies in seeking the alliance of the Church with modernity.”Fr. Julio Meinvielle (1905-1973) From the Kabala to Progressivism.

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 so far this week and this 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”. 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.

Albert J. Knock

This is rather like the “force of character” which Albert J. Knock was alluding to when he wrote: “The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.”  Running to another pasture is not the mark of a member of the Remnant.

I think it possible that a belief in the Indefectability of the Church is challenged by a Pope who seemingly formally teaches error, promotes the sycophantic heterodox and abets pedophiles, and is generally distastefully left  or progressive or modernist leaning. It’s the fact that the Pope is fairly clearly formally teaching error or at least is allowing the teaching of error that has really challenged my own Faith for the last few months, or even years, since shortly after Jorge Mario Bergoglio was crowned “Francis”.

But, there is no where else to go, as St. Peter confessed…except into the pit of our passions and emotions where Truth is most definitely not.  So we must suffer this cross where God has put us and push on with the history of the Papacy in mind and our Faith in Jesus Christ in the forefront. Okay. There it is. The age-old teaching, “Outside the Church there is no salvation.”

It was not the Second Vatican Council that dropped that teaching; it was others speaking in the ubiquitous and very suspicious “spirit of that council”.  I have written many times before about “The Spirit of Vatican II” as towards the end of this post . “By the “Spirit of Vatican II” is meant the teaching and intentions of the Second Vatican Council but interpreted in a way that is not limited to a literal reading of its documents, or even going so far as  interpreting in a way that contradicts the “letter” of the Council.”

One needs only look at Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s “Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age” (which book has largely informed this post) to find the most well-known and disastrous statements, “In The Spirit of Vatican II” about “Humanae Vitae” (a famous council document) which were the Winnipeg Statement (Canada), the Königsteiner Erklärung (Germany), and the Maria Troster Erklärung (Austria).

I think those bishops and bishops’ conferences whose predecessors issued these fatal statements fifty years ago “In the Spirit of Vatican II” have to publicly retract these ‘Statements” and make reparation for these egregious misinterpretations of the council’s intentions which led to so much grief. Head in the sand ignoring of the evil will not make it go away nor will it be forgotten in eternity. I hope that it will some day be acknowledged and atoned for.

The more I look back at things that were introduced under the “In The Spirit of Vatican II” umbrella, looking back on my own youthful rejection of the church because of these massive progressive changes, this apparent denial of Truth, the more I begin to believe that “In The Spirit of Vatican II” was coined as a code phrase, a way for the Modernists and liberal secular progressives in the corpus of the church to say, “We couldn’t get the Pope to agree, but this is our REAL purpose. We couldn’t get the Pope to agree, but we’re going to do it anyway. So there.” I think I must have read something like this in someone’s blog post somewhere.

But I made my own choice back then, and I am responsible for that choice, and the subsequent wasted years. And, like me, the faithful left in droves because they rightly or wrongly felt that they didn’t leave the church, the church left them. And now, 50 years on, we have a Modernist in the chair of Peter … now the Pope agrees … Quo Vadis my church?

Looking back on that teenager who thought he knew what was going on and was so sure he was right in his opinion that he wasted 20 years, and God never gave up on him … I promise … Never Again! So what recourse do we laity have if any Pope were to espouse heresy?

Female priests, listened to proponents of that 15 years ago in Deanery meetings, denial of the Divinity of Christ, denial of Christ’s Body in the Eucharist, see it every week in Mass as the line hurries forward to grab the host and run. Do we merely fast and pray and turn the other cheek smug in the knowledge that God’s Will be done…or, as I recently read somewhere, is it St. Michael butt-kicking pro-active time? Apologies for the blunt truth, but I don’t know how to sugar coat it, or, from another angle, is this just my self-righteous pride talking?

John of the Cross writes about the dark night of suffering and abandonment … does everyone seeking spiritual growth and union with God have a dark night of suffering when all seems lost and there is temptation to despair? I rather think that there is no way forward that does not involve gong through some sort of spiritual dark night. And we lay people are much more free to choose our path, unconstrained as we are by vows and rules of obedience, so we have to choose carefully.

First, I figure that lay people have more options than Bishops and especially priests who operate under vows of obedience. These are, so far, hypothetical, all these alleged heresies. The Church is indefectible, always remember this, much worse has occurred in history and may well occur again. When those times arrive, make sure your soul is clean and you are doing penance. Get to confession often … at least monthly … we all really need confession.

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)

Cheers

Joe

Domine, quo vadis?

My Lord, wither goest thou?

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Life in a small town

The Resurrection Of Our Lord

This could have been a long and involved post but N.T. Wright wrote over 800 pages on this topic and I think I will simply refer those interested to his work and stick to what this means to me and why I have come to believe what I believe. First, it is absolutely clear to me at this stage that All of Christianity stands or falls on the reality of the Resurrection. Either Christ was/is GOD the Son and the Resurrection is a real event as we believe, and everything He taught is true and is as He says:

Jesus Christ, ca 30AD

1Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God: believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I shall go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself: that where I am, you also may be. 4And whither I go you know: and the way you know.

5Thomas saith to him: Lord, we know not whither thou goest. And how can we know the way? 6Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.

7If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him. And you have seen him.

8Philip saith to him: Lord, shew us the Father; and it is enough for us. 9Jesus saith to him: Have I been so long a time with you and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou: Shew us the Father? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abideth in me, he doth the works. 11Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? 12Otherwise believe for the very works’ sake.

Amen, amen, I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do: and greater than these shall he do. 13Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do.” (John 14:1-14)

George Soros, 2012

Or, Christ was/is NOT GOD the Son and the Resurrection is not a real event as we believe, but rather some foundational myth of just another religion, and everything He taught is a lie.

There is no moral compass and all truth, good, evil, joy and suffering are simply some relativistic opinion of one or another charismatic person, more or less good according to their own judgement and the judgement of their particular followers.

In this regime, this philosophy, there is no moral difference no valid way to judge what are right actions and results between, for example, those who sought to save and protect the Jewish and Christian victims of the Nazi holocaust, and the bureaucrats and camp workers and soldiers who set those policies and put the “Final Solution” into action.

All that we have is a difference of opinion between the followers of different sociopolitical points of view.

Kim Jong-un

In the society which does not believe in the Resurrection there are only differences of opinion and any and all means of forwarding one’s point of view are acceptable. Christians are just stupid suckers who deserve death or worse because they are “just too stupid to live”.

Might makes right, and outside of the Resurrection, that is the foundation of every belief system in history and really, anywhere on the planet today.

Our choice today is between North Korea and by implication China, and all the other totalitarian regimes making headlines today on the one hand, and the nominally “christian” west which has a history of “working for the good” but is currently in the throes of rapidly jettisoning that “old fashioned baggage” and rapidly moving towards the Korean model by way of Franco-European style socialism.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (front, R), Chinese President Xi Jinping (front, L), his wife Peng Liyuan (2nd row, L), and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd row, R), arrive for a gala show to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

We are proudly living in the derelict castle of our past and using up the stores of our patrimony without providing anything or creating anything new for the future generation. All the while we prance about like drama students pretending that we wrote the play.

This is one of those utterly simple binary choices between two clearly, radically even, different paths of existence and the choice hinges on belief that there is a Good that is desirable and attainable by all men, or on a belief that there is no Good, that all choices are relative and equally meritorious, what I have previously referred to as “the Mystical Body of Christ vs The Mystical Body of Anti-Christ”.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the media in the foyer of the House of Commons following the release of an ethics report in Ottawa on Wednesday December 20, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld ORG XMIT: ajw105

The latter path appears to be the predominant direction of our modern society, the clear choice, the politically correct mindset of the Luciferian Left, our progressive leadership and the vast government network of functionaries and minions who are engaged in  forwarding the agenda of the latest “Final Solution”, as well as those who they claim to “serve” as in “public service”.

We find ourselves living our lives in a perfect classroom experiment involving Christ’s instruction about “loving our enemies”. If the delineation between the sides of this choice is not immediately clear then ask yourself “Why is the Tides Foundation Canada one of the major supporters of the Liberal Party of Canada?”

Who is at the top of the food chain in the Tides foundation? What’s in it for them? And why is Pope Francis’s administration lining up in lock step all across the spectrum with the global agenda of George Soros?

Don’t take my word for it … do your own digging … it’s all out there in the public domain.

I have been reading “Resurrection of the Son of God V3: Christian Origins and the Question of God”, by N. T. Wright. Fortress Press.  I quote from a couple of reviewers: “‘A monumental achievement in its scope, depth, and execution … a landmark in scholarly studies of the resurrection.’ Gerald O ’ Collins, The Tablet.

and

‘The most monumental defence of the Easter heritage in decades … The Resurrection of the Son of God marches through a clearly organized case that confronts every major doubt about Easter, ancient and modern.’ Richard N. Ostling, Associated Press.

For me, this is indeed “monumental”, the best book about the Resurrection I have ever had the pleasure to read. To end this post I am going to quote from the Preface. I have edited and slightly re-arranged the paragraph order and structure into bite sized bits which I find easier to read online but the thoughts and words are all N.T. Wright.

… in order to determine what happened on one particular day nearly two thousand years ago we find ourselves obliged to call and cross-examine a wide variety of witnesses, some of whom are simultaneously being questioned by advocates of other answers to the question.

The debate has frequently been bedevilled by oversimplifications, and to avoid this we shall have to set things out reasonably fully. Even so, there is no space for a full-scale history of research on the subject. I have chosen certain conversation partners, and regret that there was no room for more. My impression from reading the literature is that the primary sources themselves are not well enough known, or carefully enough studied.

The pilgrim who visits the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem faces several puzzles. Is this after all the place where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and buried? Why is it inside the city walls, not outside as one had supposed? How does the present building relate to the original site? How did the place come to be so different from what the New Testament leads us to expect (a garden with a tomb in it, close to a hill called Golgotha)?

And, even supposing this is roughly the right place, is this the right spot? Is this rocky outcrop, now enclosed within an upstairs chapel, actually the top of Golgotha? Is this marble slab really where the dead Jesus was laid? Is this highly ornate shrine really the site of the tomb? And—a different sort of question, but a pressing one for many visitors—why are different groups of Christians still squabbling about who owns the place?

N.T. Wright, speaking at a conference in December 2007

These puzzles, though, do not noticeably affect the appeal of the place. Despite archaeological, historical and ecclesiastical squabbles, the church retains its evocative and spiritual power. Pilgrims still flock to it in their hundreds of thousands.

Some of them still question whether it all really happened. Did Jesus of Nazareth, they ask, really rise from the dead? Whether or not they realize it, they join a different throng on a different pilgrimage: the jostling, overheated crowd of historians investigating the strange reports of events at the tomb of Jesus on the third day following his execution.
Here they are confronted with a similar set of problems.

The story of Easter, like the church at its supposed location, has been demolished and reconstructed again and again over the years. The tantalizing narratives in the gospels are as puzzling to the reader as the building is to the visitor. How do they fit together, if at all?

What precisely happened? Which school of thought today, if any, is telling the story truly? Many have despaired of discovering what, if anything, happened on the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion. Yet, despite perplexity and scepticism, billions of Christians around the world regularly repeat the original confession of Easter faith: on the third day after his execution, Jesus rose again.

So what did happen on Easter morning? This historical question, which is the central theme of the present book, is closely related to the question of why Christianity began, and why it took the shape it did.

N. T..Wright, “The Resurrection of the Son of God V3: Christian Origins and the Question of God” (pp. 3-4). Fortress Press.

Cheers

Joe

15. 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)

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