Sunday, October 30, 2011

Christ the King

Christ the King Sunday

The last Sunday of October is Christ the King Sunday. This is the day where we especially call to mind and honor the royalty of Christ, which rests upon a twofold basis -- He is our King (1) by right of birth and (2) by right of conquest.

The first refers us to the personality of the Son of God, whereby, in His divine nature as God and by virtue of the hypostatic union, He is the sovereign Lord and Master.

The second places before us the God-Man coming down on earth to rescue fallen man from the slavery of Satan, and by the labors and sufferings of His life, and passion, and death, to win a glorious victory for us over sin and hell.

With credentials such as that, it is fitting that we publicly honor Christ as King not just of individual lives, but of all society. Thus, in addition to Mass this morning, then, we had a public procession to an outdoor altar, and then concluded the day's ceremonies in the main chapel with Benediction.






Sunday, October 23, 2011

Making Religion Irrelevant

This Thursday, October 27, at the chapel of St. Michael's, SSPX, in Roswell, GA, beginning at 11:00 am, we are having a Mass of reparation for the nonsense going on at Assisi in Italy. Mass will be followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and then Benediction. You're all invited.

At Sunday Mass this morning our pastor's sermon was on this topic. He pointed out that if the sede vacantists were right and the chair of Peter sat empty, this inter-religious prayer meeting would be a non-event. The truth, however, is far different, and far more terrible: it is the Pope himself, under color of authority as St. Peter's successor and the vicar of Christ, who will be guilty of this abomination that causes millions of people to regard religion with indifference and so end up in Hell.

Kyrie eleison.
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

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Mass and Exposition in Reparation for the Ecumenical Meeting of World Religions in Assisi

St. Michael’s SSPX, Thursday, October 27, 2011

IT'S WORSE THAN WE IMAGINED. On October 27, 2011, the Pope will preside over a prayer meeting of world religions in Assisi. He called this event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of John Paul II’s first Assisi meeting of 1986. Some prelates in Rome gave empty promises that relativism and syncretism would be avoided, but the official press releases now contradict this, and the Assisi event remains a grave scandal for the Church. The Holy See has even described the meeting as "a search for truth[1]" and a common prayer service is scheduled. The Vicar of Christ will place himself side-by-side, again, with false teachers, Rabbis, Brahmins, Islamic clerics, Buddhists, African voodoo practitioners, New-Age cultists, heretics, imposters, even a representative of the Communist Party...the official list goes on and on[2]...all of whom publicly reject Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Triune Godhead, and who fight directly against Him and His Church. It is a direct attack against the first Commandment of God: "Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me." This is the rotten fruit of Vatican II. It is without doubt that these acts will push many souls to hell. This offense is additionally grave due to the fact that the Pontiff responsible for this truly occupies the Chair of Peter and has been truly entrusted with the Power of the Keys. Can we even imagine how much this grieves the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Mother?

In a spirit of reparation, on October 27th a Mass Pro Fidei Propagatione (For the Propagation of the Faith) will be publicly offered at St. Michael’s at 11:00 AM. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed after Mass until 12:30 PM to be adored in a spirit of reparation for this public and grave offense. The Mass and Exposition in Reparation are taking place throughout all chapels of the Society of Saint Pius X.

[1] Press Office of the Holy See, Oct. 18, 2011.

[2] Delegations: Eastern Orthodox: 17 including the Ecumenical Patriarch; Protestants: 13 including the Archbishop of Canterbury, the World Lutheran Federation, Baptist World Alliance, Methodist World Council and others; Judaism: 3 from Chief Rabbinate of Israel, Chief Rabbinate of Rome, ICIC and other international Jewish organizations; African, Caribbean and Indian voodoo and animist religions: 4; Hinduism: 7; Jainism: 3; Sikhs: 5; Zoroastrians: 1; Baha’i: 1; Buddhism: 67; Confucianism: 1; Shintoism: 2; Taoism: 1; New-Age religions of Japan: 4; Islam: 60, from Mecca, the Middle East, America, and Asia; Austrian Communist Party: 1 delegation. Atheists will also be represented by various delegates, including a militant feminist sociologist, Dr. Julia Kristeva, who will deliver a lecture to the Holy Father and the assembly. (Dr. Kristeva has been a frequent lecturer at the Grand Orient Lodge of France and has published essays to make Freud blush.) Participants will watch a commemorative video of Assisi 1986 together. All participants will then light a peace candle and engage together in a para-liturgy of "Solemn Renewal" of the vows to pacifism, with the participation of various religious choirs and liturgical dancers. The Holy Father will participate in all events. The event is titled "Pilgrims of Truth, Pilgrims of Peace: Day of Reflection, Dialogue, and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World."
Sources: (1) Press Office of the Holy See, Oct. 18, 2011; (2) official website of Dr. Kristeva; (3) numerous official programs of Grand Orient salons searchable online.

Eternity Described

I believe in life everlasting.

This sentence is from the last article in the Apostle's Creed. The statement references eternity, which is not an unending succession of time (that would be boring), but like a point, a lasting moment. It is a continual "now."

The past, you see, is dead. The future, meanwhile, doesn't exist. As far as time is concerned, the only thing that is real is the present instant.

I'm not paving the way for modernist claptrap about needing to escape that past like it is something that infringes on modern personalities. I'm reminded of Gabe, who was pontificating over dinner one night -- he literally had one finger in the air as he lectured us -- that the world is divided between those who are stuck in the past and those who look to the future, "No," I interrupted him mid-diatribe, "the world is divided between those who look for the truth and those who don't care." But Gabe was a materialist and an atheist, and the counter-point was just brushed it off without comment.

Such is the dilemma for the materialist: he is trapped inside of time, which is an illusion, or even a mystery if you will. Unable or unwilling to consider spiritual causes, the materialist has rendered himself incapable of factoring eternity into his ruminations. He says the religious man is fooled by false notions of the hereafter, when in fact it is the person who places his hopes in a future that never arrives that operates by wishful thinking.

The happiness of eternal life, meanwhile, is an exemption from all evil, an enjoyment of all good. In our own limited way we will know God -- who infinite Truth, Beauty, and Goodness -- as He actually is.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Healing Spiritual Wounds

Excerpted from The Mass of All Time by Abp. Marcel Lefebvre:

The wounds of original sin remain even after Baptism. Consider the effects of the injury done to the four cardinal virtues, and the consequences of the vice opposed to each virtue.

Virtue: Justice
Meaning: to render to everyone what belongs to them
Contrary vice: Malice
Consequence:
prevents us from rendering to God and our neighbor what is his due

Virtue: Prudence
Meaning: right reason applied in practice
Contrary vice: Ignorance
Consequence: blinds us


Virtue: Fortitude
Meaning: moral courage and endurance in trials and suffering
Contrary vice: Weakness
Consequence:
characterized by inconstancy

Virtue: Temperance
Meaning: the use of pleasures of the senses in accordance with the norm prescribed by reason
Contrary vice: Concupiscence
Consequence:
disorders the measure we must exercise in using the goods of this world

These deep wounds can be closed only by sacrifice and renunciation. The return to order requires sacrifice. That is why Our Lord vanquished the devil, destroyed sin, and re-established order by His Cross. And the Cross is the Mass. The Mass reminds Christians every day that they must live a life of sacrifice.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Christian Civilization

From Our Apostolic Mandate of St. Pius X, August 25, 1910:

No, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic city. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants. Omnia in instaurare in Christo.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupied

I've noticed that the occupy crowd -- aside from the late-arriving communists and their ilk -- is having trouble coming up with the reason for what they want or why they are there.

In a spirit of fraternal helpfulness, I’ve compiled a list of starter ideas (only the first one is mine). Feel free to add your own.
* Occupy Here and There, Now and Then, This and That
* Students Wildly Indignant About Nearly Everything (SWINE)
* The Flea Party

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Photos from the New Seminary

Last Thursday -- on the anniversary of the 1916 Marian apparition at the Cova da Iria in Fatima -- the SSPX broke ground on a new seminary in Virginia. I was on a retreat in Phoenix and so could not attend, but my pal Allen snapped a few photos while he was at the event.

Model of the New Seminary

Grounds of the New Seminary

Say a few prayers for the success of the new enterprise.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Don't Ask Adams

Last week Martha sent out the following request:

I ran across someone who has the preposterous signature line shown below...I would like to compile a list of quotes from the Gospels which refute, would you like to help? Or would you recommend just forgetting about it?

"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity." ~John Adams

Yes, that's this John Adams.

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My reply to Martha went thus:

That Adams was a liberal and a harbinger of modernism there is, I think, little dispute.

Even so, liberals have been mis-quoting Adams as their messenger to attack Christianity for years now. The "quote" you named, for example, is spurious -- coddled together by different people over the years and made to look a bit different from the original.

Spurious Quotation #1
"The ‘divinity’ of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity."

Attributed to Adams in Spirit (1988) by William Edelen. This is actually a paraphrase portions of two of Adams' diary entries:

"Mystery is made a convenient cover for absurdity." (13 February 1756)

"Where do we find a precept in the Gospel requiring Ecclesiastical Synods? Convocations? Councils? Decrees? Creeds? Confessions? Oaths? Subscriptions? and whole cart-loads of other trumpery that we find religion incumbered with in these days?" (18 February 1756)

Spurious Quotation #2

"The doctrine of the divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity."

Attributed to Adams in Pathway to the Stars (2007) by Rev. Ernest A. Steadman. Another paraphrase of the entry for 13 February 1756.

I suppose one could debunk the spurious quotation, and then tackle the original (there are problems in both instances). Perhaps something like this:

"The 'popular sovereignty' of the governed is made a convenient cover for absurdity. What need does anyone have of Declarations, Protests, Oaths, Continental Congresses, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in the colonies."

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In the same vein, Helmut offered, "If the assumed logic from Adams is correct, what does that mean for the Pledge of Allegiance, the Star Spangled Banner, the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, Supreme Court rulings, the procedures of Congress and the inauguration of presidents and swearing in of elected officials..."

Thus armed, Martha sent these and similar pointers to the source of the offending signature line. The offender's response in turn was not surprising -- as Martha put it, he "jumped into the last ditch immediately (sneering) and told me to save my stereotyping for someone who cares."

How very Adams-like.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

William Tyndale

William Tyndale was an English Franciscan priest turned Protestant reformer (sic) inspired by the continental heresies of Luther et al. He was an outspoken dreamer, of strict moral character if stubborn and proud, who had more than a touch of the firebrand in him.

He based his English translation of the Bible not simply on the Latin Vulgate, but on the on the Greek (provided by Erasmus), on the Hebrew, and on the translations of Martin Luther. Tyndale then used the recently-invented printing press to disseminate his flawed translation into English, which is credited by the Anglican political figures in England with leading to the spread of confusion and turmoil among the masses.

Tyndale was a scholar of no little ability. At the same time his translation of the Scriptures -- which later served as the chief foundation for the King James Version -- was marred by his perversion of many passages (i.e. due to the theological bias of the translator), all in the service of continental Protestantism. For example, he used “overseer” instead of “bishop,” “elder” instead of “priest,” “love” instead of “charity,” and “congregation” instead of “church” -- modifications that were less about rendering an accurate translation in the vernacular than undermining the Catholic position. His version of the Bible is credited with having about 2,000 inaccurate translations and errors. These numerous errors are the chief objection to Tyndale’s work -- that, and not that he rendered the Scriptures in the local tongue.

His polemical writings were also heavily accented with na├»ve political teachings, which earned him the wrath of the rulers of the day for their anti-establishment tenor. Tyndale was especially critical of his king’s severe taxes and ambitious build-up of naval power.

Tyndale’s translation was also banned by the Anglicans, who took his criticisms of their king very badly and would have seen Tyndale's writings burned and the man himself executed. His practice of including revolutionary notions in his Scriptural translations was deemed dangerous to public order. The political unrest he caused as much as the suppression of his writings is why he fled England for the continent.

Because his Scriptural translation was considered heretical by the Anglicans, Tyndale had earned the displeasure of his king, who was not known for his forbearance. Henry VIII subsequently asked the Emperor Charles V to have Tyndale arrested and returned to England. Tyndale was eventually taken into custody in Belgium (Flanders). He spent 500 days in prison, received a brief trial, and was executed for heresy. His dying words were, “Lord! Open the King of England's eyes.” It would seem that perhaps in William’s view at least, his chief quarrel lay not so much with the Catholic Church as with his own Anglican monarch.

At Tyndale’s trial, the main charges against him were as follows:
1) he maintained justification by faith alone and
2) belief that the Gospel alone could save,
3) professed that human tradition was not binding,
4) denied the freedom of the will and
5) the existence of purgatory, and
6) asserted that neither the Blessed Virgin Mary nor the saints pray for us in their own persons and
7) that neither the Blessed Virgin nor Mary the saints should ever be invoked.

You’ll note that "translating the Scriptures into the vernacular" is not among the reasons given for his condemnation.

Flanders was where Calvinistic Protestantism began to flourish in Belgium in the 16th century. Tyndale was a harbinger of religious and political unrest akin to what the Flemish were witnessing in Germany to the south. If one thinks the internecine wars instigated by Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli were a good and necessary thing, then one will naturally be inclined to see Tyndale as a martyr for the Protestant cause. If, however, one takes the Catholic view that Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and their disciples were profoundly wrong, and that the consequence of embracing their errors was eternal damnation, then the spectacle of executing an unrepentant public heretic who blithely urged the populace to tread the broad path that leads to social unrest and personal perdition seems less surprising.

Regarding his trial, the custom would have been for an ecclesiastical court to read the charges against him, and then see if he acknowledged the errors. He would not have been tried by a civil court because he was a Franciscan priest -- he fell under Church jurisdiction.

If he repudiated the errors, then he could have been spared or sentenced with some penance or a fine. Given that Tyndale was a public and persistent heretic and a source of grave civil scandal, the penalty would have been severe.

If he persisted in professing the errors, then he would have been stripped of his clerical faculties and handed over to the state for punishment. In Tyndale's case, the punishment inflicted by the Belgium state for his offenses was death. The Flemish were still substantially Catholic at the time, and the pernicious errors of Luther were something they wanted to keep out at all costs.

Today William Tyndale is still lauded by the "Scripture Alone" crowd. My experience has been that folks of that camp won’t care about much else except how Tyndale provided a seemingly plausible argument for dismissing clerical authority and opening the way for recourse to relying on personal interpretations of the Bible (think "apostle of liberty" and "liberty of conscience"). Everything else is window dressing.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tallulah Gorge Visit

Last weekend's visit was to Tallulah Gorge State Park.













Here are Collin's photos from the same outing.

Perhaps the next stop will be a corn maze (maize?)