Monthly Archives: April 2017

The solid Rock – the triumph of love born out of Faith

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“O Catholic faith, how solid, how strong you are! How deeply rooted, how firmly founded on a solid rock! Heaven and earth will pass away, but you can never pass away. From the beginning the whole world opposed you, but you mightily triumphed over everything. This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. It has subjected powerful kings to the rule of Christ; it has bound nations to his service. What made the holy apostles and martyrs endure fierce agony and bitter torments, except faith, and especially faith in the resurrection? What is it that today makes true followers of Christ cast luxuries aside, leave pleasures behind, and endure difficulties and pain? It is living faith that expresses itself through love. It is this that makes us put aside the goods of the present in the hope of future goods. It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future.”
~the last sermon of St Fidelis of Sigmaringen before his martyrdom.

Bp. Fellay’s declaration against Rome’s commemoration of the Protestant Revolt

In lieu of the article prepared for today, we made the decision to post instead this freshly released declaration from Bp. Bernard Fellay regarding this 500th Anniversary of Luther’s rebellion.  It is stunning and evil to consider that these Church authorities would dare celebrate the actions of an excommunicated priest that would consequently fracture Christendom to this day.  However, we must realize that Modernist Rome is only carrying out the principles established at Vatican II, statements influenced by Freemasonry present in the texts themselves.  God bless our good priests and bishops who fight these grave errors despite endless persecutions!

We must continue praying, as the Bishop implores, for the Pope and Bishops to not delay any further and consecrate Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.  This is the answer that God has given mankind to emerge from these terrible, endless conflicts afflicting the world and the Church.  Let us hasten the great restoration of Christendom!

~ Steven C.

http://fsspx.news/en/content/29364

Luther’s private judgment denies the need for supernatural authority and makes unity in the Truth impossible.

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther rebelled against the Church, taking a good third of Europe along with him. It was probably the most significant loss that the Catholic Church has had to suffer during her entire history, after the Eastern Schism of 1054. He thus deprived millions of souls of the necessary means of salvation, separating them not just from one religious organization among others, but actually from the one Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, denying its supernatural reality and the necessity of it for salvation. He completely distorted the Faith, rejecting its fundamental dogmas, which are the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Real Presence in the Eucharist, the priesthood, the papacy, grace, and justification.

At the foundation of his thinking, which even today is that of Protestantism as a whole, is private judgment. This principle amounts to denying the need for a supernatural, infallible authority that can impose itself on particular judgments and decide debates between those whom she is commissioned to guide along the path to Heaven. This principle, which is claimed explicitly, quite simply renders the act of supernatural faith impossible, since the latter is based on the submission of the intellect and the will to the Truth revealed by God and taught authoritatively by the Church.

Private judgment, set up as a principle, not only cuts off access to the supernatural faith which is the way of salvation (“He that believeth not shall be condemned,” Mk 16:16), but also makes unity in the Truth impossible. He thus established in principle for Protestants the impossibility of eternal salvation and of unity in the Truth. And in fact the number of Protestant sects has not stopped increasing since the 16th century.

In the face of such a distressing spectacle, who would not understand the maternal efforts made by the true Church of Christ to look for the lost sheep? Who would not welcome the many apostolic attempts to liberate so many souls locked up in that fallacious principle that forbids them access to eternal salvation? This concern for their return to the unity of the true Faith and of the true Church runs through the centuries. It is not at all new; consider the prayer recited on Good Friday:

Let us pray for heretics and schismatics, that our Lord God may deliver them from all errors and may deign to bring them back to our Holy Mother, the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Almighty and ever-living God, who savest all and dost not wish that any one should perish, look at the souls deceived by the diabolical fraud, so that the hearts of those who err, having set aside all heretical perversity, might repent and return to the unity of Thy truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

This traditional language leaves no room for the confusion that is so widespread today in the name of a false ecumenism. The warnings of the Congregation of the Sacred Office in 1949, following several papal documents, the most important of which is certainly the Encyclical by Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (1928), these fair warnings seem now to be a dead letter. Nevertheless, the dangers of this ecumenical irenicism, which was denounced by Pius XII in Humani Generis (1950), are immense and extremely serious, because it discourages conversions to Catholicism. What Protestant, seeing the “riches” and the “venerable traditions” of Luther’s Reform being praised, would feel the need to convert? Besides, the very word “conversion” is currently banished from the official Catholic vocabulary when it is a question of other Christian denominations.

Furthermore this new attitude, made up of praises for Protestantism and apologies for Catholicism, causes the loss of faith in countless Catholics—this is an observable fact. Every survey inquiring about the faith of Catholics shows the ravages resulting from this frightening alignment with Protestantism. How many Catholics are affected in the 21st century by what the Church condemned, until the Council, by the name of indifferentism? A fatal error that claims that the whole world is saved, whatever one’s religion may be. An error diametrically opposed to the teaching of Our Lord Himself and of the whole Church after Him. Nevertheless, if someone denounces this error against the two-thousand-year-old Catholic Faith, he is immediately branded as a fanatic or a dangerous extremist.

The new liturgy, too, was invented in the name of this new ecumenism. It has so many parallels with the Protestant Lord’s Supper that several Protestant theologians, for example, Max Thurian in Taizé, have been able to state that it is possible for their co-religionists to use the new Catholic missal. And during this time the children of the Catholic Church found themselves deprived of the most beautiful treasures of divine worship and of grace. Thank God, Benedict XVI courageously declared that the many-centuries-old liturgy had never been abolished, but—for more than 40 years, throughout the world—the postconciliar liturgical reform drove millions of the faithful from the churches, because they no longer found what they expected of the Catholic Church.

How can anyone be surprised, then, that this ecumenism, which is supposed to promote the unity of Christians, makes but little progress?

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, from the Council on, denounced this new way of dealing with the Protestants that took shelter under the name of ecumenism. In fact, this very elastic term expresses a general manner of seeing and doing that was introduced into the Church at the time of Vatican II. We are talking about an ostentatious benevolence toward all human beings, a determination to no longer condemn error, a search all over the map for “what unites us” rather than what separates us…. And what ought to have been only the first step in a journey toward unity, within the framework of a captatio benevolentiae [a rhetorical gesture to win good will], rapidly turned into a pursuit for its own sake that became an end in itself; an unending quest for an undefined truth. It then strayed from its objective purpose: the return to the Church of those who have lost unity with her. Thus the meaning of the word ecumenism was changed, the concept of unity was modified, and the means of arriving at it were falsified.

In the past, the Church knew that she is the only true Church and proclaimed it loud and strong, but this traditional clarity has been replaced by a new, uncertain doctrine—a mixture of apologetic self-denigration and post-modern relativism (for example, “we do not possess the whole truth”), which currently leads a majority of Catholics to reject the statement that there is only one way of salvation, and that we have it from Jesus Christ Himself that “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but through me” (Jn 14:6).

The dogma “Outside the Church there is no salvation” has been changed surreptitiously by confused ideas, to the point of altering the statement that the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church are identical. Cardinal Walter Kasper, then-President of the Council for Promoting Christian Unity, saw the new definition of the Church (subsistit in; “subsists in”) as the thing that quite simply made possible the ecumenism that has been promoted since the Council. Coming from a figure like that, this is a fitting admission that should be taken seriously!

That, in a few words, is why we cannot celebrate joyfully the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Quite the contrary, we lament this cruel division. Following Our Lord, we pray and work so that the lost sheep might find again the path that will lead them safely to salvation, the path of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

We pray also that this illusory irenicism will soon be abandoned and that in its place a true movement of conversion may be reborn, like the one that existed before the Council, particularly in English-speaking countries.

Finally, during this centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady to the three shepherd children of Fatima, we pray also that the requests of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary may be heard. She promised the conversion of Russia, when the Supreme Pontiff will be so kind as to consecrate this country explicitly to her Immaculate Heart. Let us redouble our prayers and sacrifices, so that the promise of the Mother of God may become a reality, without delay.

With her Divine Son, cum prole pia, may she deign to bless you during this Easter season and lead us all to eternal happiness.

Easter Sunday 2017
+ Bernard Fellay

Brazilian Priest charged with assault and attacked by State agent, for defending the Blessed Sacrament

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A horrific sacrilege such as this proves the fury of Satan at the true Catholic Religion and the Traditional Latin Mass. Please read this article and pray for the safety, protection and good name of this holy priest.

~Damsel of the Faith

http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/3164-priest-charged-with-assault-for-defending-eucharist-during-traditional-latin-mass

Editor’s Note: We have received the following report from our Catholic brothers in the Archdiocese of Niterói (a municipality close to the City of Rio de Janeiro), Brazil, about a very serious incident that occurred last Ash Wednesday at São Domingos de Gusmão (Saint Dominic de Guzmán) parish church. We kindly ask you to read it and then meet our requests for Catholic action at the article’s conclusion. MJM

Last Ash Wednesday everything was ready for the celebration of the Holy Mass at São Domingos de Gusmão parish church. The faithful entered the church and prepared themselves to ask God’s Grace, receive the Sign of the Cross on their foreheads, listen to the exhortation to “turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel”, and so enter into the Lenten Season. The service was a Traditional Latin Mass; the minister was a diocesan priest, Father Anderson Batista da Silva, who has celebrated the Vetus Ordo for a long time, even before the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum.

The Mass had already begun when a man in his sixties entered the church and, from the outset, started to complain, out loud, about several issues (the rite, its duration, the Gregorian chant, etc.), thus, bothering those around him. At the time of Communion, as usual, the faithful formed a line towards the altar rail and, on their knees, started to receive the Body of Christ on the tongue, as required by the ancient practice of the Church-¾every faithful assisting the service was aware of this manner of receiving the Host, especially since because Father Batista explains the details of the traditional rite before it starts.

The angry man lined up for Communion and continued grumbling and moaning all the way to the Communion rail. At his turn, he refused to receive Communion on the tongue, demanding instead that Father Batista place the Host in his hand. Father Batista calmly explained to him that the prescribed manner of receiving the Sacrament according to the traditional rite is on one’s knees and on the tongue, and the matter was not for the faithful to decide upon.

However, the man did not accept the priest’s explanation and demanded out loud to be given the Communion in the hand. Probably, intending to avoid further disturbance at the service, the priest conceded and gave the Host in his hand. Then, he asked the man to consume the Host right away. However, with the Sacrament in his hand, the man closed it and refused to consume the Host in front of the priest, saying that the Host did not belong to the priest and that he had the right to make his Communion wherever he wanted.

He further shouted saying that this was not his religion and that this old Mass did not exist. At that moment, those who were near him – acolytes and other faithful alike – warned him that he could not leave the place with a consecrated Host.

Ignoring the warning, the man threatened those who surrounded him by saying that he would break through them. In a burst of anger, he shouted: “One, two, three”, and moved violently towards those who were surrounding him, as to push them down and leave the Church with the Blessed Sacrament.

At this point, the faithful tried to stop him and the man fell down on the floor. The acolytes and other faithful managed to immobilize him (without hurting him) and take him to a side room leading to the sacristy, where they were able to recover fragments of the Body of Christ that he had crushed in his hand.

Next, they moved away from the man without hurting him. The same could not be said of said man, who acted with extreme violence and started to kick the people around while staying on the floor. The faithful who had witnessed such a shameful spectacle remained at a distance, praying Hail Mary’s all the time. Father Batista looked terrified throughout the incident. He continued holding the Communion cup tight (he could not hold the Communion cup safely and interfere in the situation at the same time).

After that ghastly act of profanation and outrage, which disturbed the peace of all attendees (the ground where the fragments of the Host had been scattered had to be purified afterwards) and upon leaving the church, the man came back through the church’s main entrance and made threats. He said that he was an appellate prosecutor (a State agent) and would use his power to destroy the priest’s reputation. He said he was going to the police station to bring charges against Father Batista.

Father became visibly shaken by these events.

On the other hand, we, the faithful, thought that the matter would be forgotten in a few days and no more problems would arise. We were mistaken! We have just learned that criminal charges had been brought against Father Batista.

The content of the indictment, as far as we know and without having read the piece, would be an accusation made by that man (the actual aggressor and Eucharistic defiler) in the sense that he would have been grabbed and assaulted by the acolytes upon Father’s orders. Father would be guilty of inciting violence.

Criminal charges, threat of filing a legal proceeding and a promise to destroy his reputation: these are the rewards for not having prevented his acolytes and faithful from defending Jesus in the Eucharist. It is hard to conceive of such tortuous reasoning: the priest, probably considered as “retrograde” as the Tridentine rite, is now the defendant in the crime of assault and causing bodily injury.

* * *

This is the end of the report on the events that took place at São Domingos de Gusmão parish church last Ash Wednesday. We now present the requests we have mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Please offer prayers on Father Anderson Batista da Silva’s intentions. At this point, your prayers will be of great comfort and help. We cannot disregard the possibility of Divine intervention in this episode. Please, share your prayer intentions with The Remnant in the Letters to Editor or in the Comments section of RemnantNewspaper.com

Please write to the Archdiocese of Niterói (here or here, even in English) congratulating them for having such a pious priest among its ranks. Ask the diocese to protect and support Father Batista in view of any legal proceeding that might be filed against him. Pray for the Archdiocese of Niterói not to succumb to the threats of the aggressor and his social status (as he said, he is a State agent), but guide itself only for the zeal for the Eucharist

Please pray for this man who appeared at the parish church unexpectedly and caused so much harm, so that God may have mercy on him, and also that he may repent of the insults he has thrown at Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, the irreverence towards the Traditional Catholic Mass, the outrage of trying to leave the Mass with the Eucharist in his hand, and the serious threats he is making against our good Catholic priest.

Marijuana smoking is normally a Mortal Sin

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“Let me state this in the clearest terms possible: the problem of drug use is not solved with drugs! Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise.”- Pope Francis

It is unfortunately the case this week that marijuana is being discussed more frequently in the news.  Make no mistake about it: “National Weed Day” celebrations of 4/20 are nothing more than a song sung to the devil’s honor.

I am frequently astonished at how even so many Catholics now hold such dangerous positions on the use of marijuana.  Hopefully this little post will assist in countering the trend.  Since the selected sources do more than an adequate job at explaining everything, I will only summarize briefly.

The recreational use of marijuana is grievously sinful, even if just done once for “fun”.  The very nature of the drug puts one in an unnecessary occasion of mortal sin and will eventually(with continued usage) destroy both body and soul.  Its nature differs from that of certain food products, such as alcohol, which so many like to compare to drugs.  It is clear that recreational usage goes entirely against even the Natural Law.  This is explained more in-depth below. Marijuana usage is only permitted for grave medical reasons and under the supervision of a trusted doctor, if possible.

Materials are taken from sspx.org and The Fatima Center:

 

Is smoking marijuana a sin?

Neither the effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards…will possess the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 6:10). Drunkenness is a deliberate excess in the use of intoxicating drink or drugs to the point of forcibly depriving oneself of the use of reason for the sake of gratifying an inordinate desire for such drink and not for the sake of promoting health. This is contrary to the virtue of temperance, and specifically sobriety. Sobriety regulates man’s desire and use of intoxicants, and is vitally necessary for an upright moral life. The evil of intoxication lies in the violence committed against one’s nature by depriving it of the use of reason. He deprives himself of that which makes him specifically human – his ability to think. The drunk, or in this case the drug user, desires this loss of reason because of the feeling of liberation which accompanies it precisely from this lack of control of the will over the reason. It is unnatural, contrary to sleep, which also deprives one of the use of reason but in a natural manner.

Drug use gives an illicit means of escape. Besides being a sin, it also manifests an immaturity on the part of the user. Through an act of violence against himself, he escapes from the responsibility of decision making and control in his life. When this deprivation is complete, e.g., actions totally contrary to normal behavior, incapability of distinguishing between good and evil, etc., it is a grave sin. “In vino veritas,” said the Romans, not without reason. Any state short of complete drunkenness, without sufficient reason, is of itself venially sinful, but even in this case it may be a mortal sin if it causes scandal, injury to health, harm to one’s family, etc. It is important also to note that a man is responsible for all the sinful actions committed while intoxicated which he had, or ought to have, foreseen.

According to Jone-Adelman in Moral Theology, the use of drugs in small quantities and only occasionally is a venial sin if done without sufficient reason. This could be the case, for example, with sleeping pills. Obviously, deprivation of the use of reason through narcotics is to be judged as alcohol. The use of most drugs is complicated by the fact that they are illegal. This also signifies the will of the user to break the law, an offense against social justice. This compounds the sin. The speed with which a drug alters one’s consciousness also aggravates its use. This rapidity risks a greater potential to deprive oneself of the use of reason and thus to pass on to stronger intoxicants for increased effect. Therefore, adding to the violation of the virtue of justice, the grave scandal caused, the grave danger of addiction, and the stronger consciousness-altering ability of marijuana, it is difficult to excuse one of mortal sin. Moreover, experience tells us that its use is frequently an occasion of mortal sin, especially sins of the flesh and the use of narcotic drugs. But to willingly and knowingly place oneself in an unnecessary proximate occasion of mortal sin is to commit a mortal sin.  Fr. James Doran, September 1993

Is it a mortal sin to use drugs?

The old text books [on moral theology] do not speak of this new problem of the modern world. However, the immorality of drug abuse can be clearly deduced from the principles which allow an evaluation of the malice of alcohol abuse. The distinction is made between imperfect drunkenness, the fact of making oneself tipsy deliberately, which can only be a venial sin, and perfect drunkenness, which is drinking until one is drunk. This is a mortal sin because a drunken person loses the use of reason. This is St. Thomas Aquinas’s response to the objection that the quantity of wine drunk is but a circumstance, which cannot make a venial sin into a mortal sin:

With regard to drunkenness we reply that it is a mortal sin by reason of its genus: for that a man, without necessity, and through the mere lust of wine, makes himself unable to use his reason, whereby he is directed to God and avoids committing many sins, is expressly contrary to virtue. That it be a venial sin is due to some sort of ignorance or weakness, as when a man is ignorant of the strength of the wine, or of his own unfitness, so that he has no thought of getting drunk, for in that case the drunkenness is not imputed to him as a sin, but only the excessive drink…. (ST, I-II, q. 88, art. 5, ad1)

The consumption of illegal drugs, even those called soft drugs, is comparable not to becoming tipsy on a little wine but to perfect drunkenness. For these drugs have their effect by causing a “high,” that is, an emotional experience when a person escapes from the demands of reality. For a brief period he lives in an unreal, euphoric world. All the other effects, such as relaxation, come as a consequence of this “high,” or unreal euphoria. If this state does not always prohibit all use of reason, it most certainly does always impede the most important use of reason, which St. Thomas just explained to us “whereby he is directed to God and avoids committing many sins.” All drugs deaden the conscience, and obscure the practical judgment as to right and wrong and what we must do. With respect to morality, their effect is consequently equivalent to the removal of the use of reason, and is a practical refusal to direct all of man’s acts to God through reason.

Drug abuse is consequently much worse than the pure seeking of pleasure or relaxation that some claim it to be. It is a denial of the natural and supernatural order, according to which God has created us in His image and likeness that our acts might be ordered to His honor and glory. Moreover, it goes without saying that the abuse of drugs is directly opposed to the Catholic spirit, which spirit of sacrifice, the practical application of the spirit of the cross, is essential to the living of our faith.

As previously mentioned, the principal evil of drug abuse is the destruction of moral conscience. It follows that the atrocious consequences of drug abuse are inseparable from it, and are willed together with the drugs themselves. This includes the breaking of the law in the consumption of drugs; and in the means of obtaining them, such as theft; and in the effort to sell them in turn to others, often minors or children. Other consequences include the incredible self-indulgence which accompanies the almost insatiable desire for always more titillating experiences, sins of blasphemy, the often satanic rock music, and the sins against purity and chastity, which are the consequence of the loss of shame and conscience. Sins against charity and justice abound, such as disobedience to parents and refusal to do one’s duty at school or work, not to mention the bad company-keeping which is the breeding ground of all vices. Long term results are also willed in their cause, and they include such things as emotional and physical addiction, the passage from soft to hard drugs, the damage done to the body and to general health by prolonged drug use, culminating in the “fried” brains of the person who cannot even reason clearly, let alone make a moral judgment. It is a mortal sin to place one’s physical and spiritual health in such proximate danger, even if a person is to pretend that he is immune from this danger and that “it could not happen to me.

Even the often liberal and ambiguous Catechism of the Catholic Church, published in 1994 in application of the principles of Vatican II, acknowledges this:

The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law. (§2291)

This does not, however, exclude the use of narcotic drugs for therapeutic reasons. Their use, under medical supervision, is justified by a sufficiently grave and proportionate reason, even if they do deprive a person temporarily of the use of reason. (Cf. Merkelbach, Summa Theologiae Moralis, II, 925). For it is not the loss of reason which is willed. It is only an indirect consequence, so that there is not necessarily a disorder with respect to the final end of man. The typical example is pain control.

In conclusion, therefore, the use of marijuana, like any hard or soft drug, must be considered a mortal sin. If on occasion some people might be in ignorance as to the gravity of this sin, it is clearly evident that the matter is objectively serious. Consequently, it must be confessed as a mortal sin, and a person is obliged to confess drug abuse under pain of a bad or sacrilegious confession. If he forgot to confess the sin, he must then confess it at the first possible opportunity that he has. The priest who claimed that this was not a mortal sin has fallen into the trap of laxity.

Fr. Peter Scott, January 1999

 

~ Steven C.

Bishop prepares for Easter by insulting the Church

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http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/dublin-archbishop-bashes-the-catholic-church-in-holy-week-homilies

As the Church prepared in holy expectation and joy for the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ by prayer and fasting, the bishop of Dublin, Ireland (whom we should regard as a snake that St. Patrick himself would drive out with his holy fury) hurled insults at the Church by calling it a “religion of fear” and the Faith that has sanctified generations of saints nothing more than a harsh, tyrannical beast that hated souls, instead of the Holy and spotless Bride of Christ, given the divine commission of saving souls from harsh torments of hell.

The Church forbids her children from doing that which will lead to their eternal damnation. Our “respectability” should consist of honor, reverence, adoration and respect of God and his teachings handed down to us through the Church, respect for the temples of our bodies and respect for our fellow man and his eternal salvation. The Bishop seems to be more interested in holding the hands of those on the way to hell than lifting up the downtrodden and the sinner up the stairway to Heaven.

Does the Bishop remember what happened to Sodom, for glorifiying in their “LGBT rights”?

“I wish to remind you, although you know all things, that (the) Lord who once saved a people from the land of Egypt later destroyed those who did not believe. The angels too, who did not keep to their own domain but deserted their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains, in gloom, for the judgment of the great day. Likewise, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding towns, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual promiscuity and practiced unnatural vice, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”  ~Jude 1:5-7

God must have been “harsh,” “judgmental” and “hurtful” to Sodom and Gomorrah in destroying them by fire for their unnatural abominations. We must pray for Archbishop Martin and many, many others of like mind, that they will come back to right judgment; ultimately to reject Modernism, which is the fruit of all calamities currently present in the Church.  This should be our Easter prayer, during this most blessed season.

~Damsel of the Faith

 

 

 

Assigning God to Virtue

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A most blessed and joy-filled Easter to all our friends and readers!

The sermon preached at Mr. John Vennari’s funeral may be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiDGD4gFu6M   The sermon runs from 0:53-19:00 and is preached by Fr. Adam Purdy.

 

As we begin to celebrate in this season of Our Lord’s Resurrection, we would do well to continue striving to grow in Virtue.  Hopefully all of the good resolutions that were made during Lent have strengthened us against temptation and helped us to amend what is necessary in our lives.  Let us only be careful not to relapse!  A celebration in sin is not a celebration of our Risen Lord, but a celebration praising the Devil.

In our modern world, Virtue is not entirely shunned.  In fact, many try desperately to grasp them to maintain feelings of (incomplete) peace and self-fulfillment.  However, it is impossible to truly make sense of Virtue without recognizing the source of Goodness itself. Here is where much of the confusion present today lies.  A couple of examples to illustrate my point:

We see today’s schools and workplaces, for example, stress the importance of “cooperation” and “giving back to the community”.  Much of the time, these humanitarian works are expected or even required of these students or employees.  There is also still a general expectation that everyone connected to each other in these institutions or companies will remain kind to one another and provide help and assistance when needed.  However, much care is often taken by those in charge to eliminate those “conflicts” about Religion and even to eliminate God from being acknowledged at all.

We see a similar pattern followed in books and entertainment.  We all know, for example, of television programs designed for children which feature a character overcoming obstacles within himself or his surroundings to grow in a particular virtue.  The child will see this character having grown in attaining a good trait, but rarely will anything connected to God or the Church be discussed.  The authors will instead attempt to fill the gap with considerations entirely rooted on the natural level.

Alas, what a great confusion that is sowed in the world!  If God does not exist, what reason is there to practice virtues?  We are supposed to remain kind to each other for what reason?  Are all of our efforts meant to remain on this Earth to be briefly acknowledged by a few men?

No, the reason to grow in Virtue is not to be necessarily “nice” to each other, but to grow in Love of God and to help our neighbor also love God, save His soul, and be respected as a beloved child of God.  It is true that men by nature are attracted to goodness, which is why goodness to a degree is still pursued in this atheistic world.  However, as long as God is not given His due Honor, those following the world will be living a great contradiction.  As Faith without good works is essentially dead, the opposite is also true.  How can anyone truly do good without acknowledging He who is Good?  Surely some actual graces might be gained based on the person’s disposition, but one cannot save His soul in such a condition.

St. Gregory the Great: “The virtues, if separated, cannot be perfect in the nature of virtue; for that is no true prudence which is not just and temperate and brave”.  How true is this statement when the foundation of our existence, Faith in God, is shunned!  Let us then pray for all men, that they might be moved to cease living such a contradiction, which will only lead to despair and loss of eternal goodness!

~ Steven C.

 

He is risen! Alleluia!

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Our Lord Jesus Christ has risen just as he said! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

He is risen! Christ has triumphed over satan, sin and death. He has left us the means of salvation, the Church. He remains for a short while and then returns to Heaven, His mission in this world having been accomplished through His Passion, Death and Resurrection. Our Redemption has been accomplished.

Indeed, He is risen as he said! Alleluia! Come, Lord Jesus, renew the earth and restore Your Holy Catholic Church and make her triumphant over her enemies.

A Blessed, Holy and Happy Easter to all of our readers and followers!

~Damsel of the Faith & Knight of Tradition

A traditional sermon by Fr. Thomas F. Burke, C.S.P.

I. No other fact has been such a power in the world as that which we commemorate today, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In the annals of religion and its progress, in the records of faith and its victories, in the history of morality and its advancement, in the story of charity and its achievements, there has been no factor so influential. It is bound up most intimately and closely with human life. Even those who deny it as a myth are living today under conditions which would not exist had not centuries of Christian people believed in this great fact.

The Resurrection of Christ is the foundation of the Christian faith, because it is the proof supreme of His Divinity. Throughout His whole life, indeed, Christ was the revelation of God unto man.” God, who, at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all, in these days hath spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world.” The greatness, the beauty, the holiness, the majesty, the love, the mercy, the justice of God were manifested in the human life and actions of our Divine Lord upon earth. When an afflicted woman touched the hem of His garment and He cured her of her sickness; when the blind man cried out to Him, “Lord, that I may see,” and He gave him sight; when a ruler begged that his child might not die, and Jesus infused new vigor and health; when a sister and again a mother were in grief over the loss of a loved one, and He called the dead back to life; when a thief dying on a cross sought for pardon, and Jesus washed away the guilt of sin– in these and in many other instances He gave proof that He was divine.

All these, however, are subordinate to the one grand, triumphal fact which is the corner-stone of Christianity, and upon which all the rest of the structure depends–the Resurrection of Christ from the dead. So could the Apostle say: “If Christ be not risen from the dead, vain is our preaching, vain is your faith.”

He who admits the Resurrection must hold to Christ’s Divinity, and consequently to His divine right to be the Guide and Teacher of man. On the other hand, he who denies the Resurrection will not hesitate to sacrifice altogether belief in the divine prerogatives and the divine mission of Jesus Christ.

II. Relying upon the Gospel narrative, my dear brethren, and upon the innumerable references throughout the New Testament, we must conclude that no fact in the world’s history is more incontestably established than the Resurrection of Christ; and yet we are brought face to face with the denial of this, by some at least.

The New Testament gives us evidence after evidence of the Truth, God Himself foretold His resurrection. The spirit of prophecy rested upon Him, and at times, for the sake of His followers, He lifted the veil that hangs beyond and revealed the vision, dimly it may have been, of future triumph and glory. When some would ask Him for a sign. He spoke of the sign of Jonas the prophet: ” For as Jonas was in the whale’s belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights” (Matt. xii. 40).

When about to go up to Jerusalem for the last time. He foretold what would happen to the Son of man: “The scribes and Pharisees . . . shall deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked, and scourged, and crucified, and the third day he shall rise again” (Matt. xx. 18, 19).

At the time of His glorious transfiguration, when His favored Apostles would have rushed through the world proclaiming the miracle, “he charged them not to tell any man what things they had seen, till the Son of man shall be risen again from the dead” (Mark ix. 8).

Again, “Destroy,” said He, “this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. But he spoke of the temple of His body” (John ii. 19, 21).

These are but examples of His declarations to the effect that His suffering would be followed by joy, His night by day, His death by victory. His words were so understood and acted upon by the rulers of the Jews. “Sir,” they said to Pilate “we have remembered, that that seducer said, while he was yet alive: After three days I will rise again. Command therefore the sepulchre to be guarded until the third day: lest perhaps his disciples come and steal him away, and say to the people: He is risen from the dead” (Matt. xxvii. 63, 64). The Jews therefore were prepared for any trickery.

The lifeless body was placed in the tomb; a special detachment of Roman soldiers, with instructions to more than ordinary watchfulness, was placed on guard and the tomb itself was officially sealed. Despite these measures, defying the seal of Rome and its Roman guardians, Christ rose triumphantly from the dead. On the very day of His resurrection He appeared unto the repentant and the rejoicing Mary Magdalen. Then to Peter, His chosen vicar, and to John, His especially beloved. In the evening of the same day He walked with two of His followers to the town of Emmaus, and later appeared unto His assembled Apostles.

After the first day, at least six separate appearances are recorded. As before His death, now after His resurrection, He conversed with His Apostles, spoke to His disciples, ate and drank with them. He brought certainty to the doubting Thomas, the sceptic apostle whose fault begot those consoling words, “Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed.” Upon a mountain in Galilee, in the midst of five hundred people, beside the sacred shores of the Lake of Tiberias, He appeared and spoke the words of light before which all lingering shadows of doubt were dispelled, and the flower of hope was newborn.

In reality, my dear brethren, if there be one fact in history which is better entitled to credit than any other, I do not hesitate to say that that fact is the glorious resurrection of Jesus from the tomb. Never, no, never, within the memory of man was any transaction transmitted through every successive generation, from the period of its occurrence to the present day, amid such a blaze of evidence. It is attested by the positive and unexceptionable testimony of persons of the highest integrity, who were themselves eyewitnesses of it, who saw Jesus dead, and who afterward beheld Him alive; who beheld Him not once or twice only, but frequently; not transiently, but for a considerable time; who not only beheld Him but who heard Him, conversed with Him, touched Him, ate and drank with Him, and had every imaginable certainty, both of the reality and identity of His person which it was possible for the evidence of the senses to convey, and who proved, moreover, their honesty and sincerity by that best of arguments, the shedding of their blood.

Had Christ not risen from the dead, there would be no Christianity. Had not Christ risen from the dead, the preaching of the Apostles would have been vain, and the people’s faith would ‘have been vain. A vain preaching and a vain faith would have failed long since. Nineteen centuries would not have passed to find that preaching and hope as strong as ever. Had it been a vain preaching, it would have been annihilated in the ten great persecutions which the power of mighty Rome concocted for its destruction. Had it been a vain preaching, it would have succumbed to the efforts of him who when dying was forced to cry out: ” Galilean, Thou has conquered.” Had it been a vain preaching, it would have been swept from the face of the earth in the avalanche of paganism that from the north broke through the gates of the empire. Had it been a vain preaching, the third, second, yes, the first century would have stood beside its grave.

III. Yet in the light of these evidences, there are those today who deny the Resurrection. Upon theoretical grounds they declare its impossibility, because they hold that miracles in general are impossible. It is a question of fact more than theory. They would say: ” God cannot interfere with the established laws of the universe and the decrees of nature.”

God cannot interfere? What kind of a God? An impotent abstraction of the mind? But God is more than this. He is a reality, a personality. We are free agents. Our freedom is a perfection. If there be a God, He too must be free, and this implies the right and the power to make exceptions to His own laws.

IV. We can see that loss of faith in the Resurrection has brought with it the loss of belief in Jesus Christ, God and man, and is leading to the entire giving up of faith in God and the life to come. What is the cause of this ? One cause is disbelief in the records of the Resurrection, disbelief in the Scriptural account. Now, I maintain that the only place where belief in the Scriptures is securely retained, and the only place therefore where the fact of the Resurrection is safely guarded, is within the Catholic Church. She is the bulwark of the Resurrection. She is the one living witness of the fact that Christ rose from the dead.

Look about the world Today and you will find no body of people among whom there is the same respect, the same reverence, for the Scriptures as among the members of the Catholic Church. You will find no other church that holds with the same steadfastness to the sacredness of their character.

While among Christians outside the Catholic Church the principle of private interpretation of the Scriptures has led men to believe what they like, and has opened the way not only to difficulty but no doubt, she has stood in calm serenity and has held to her position as the teacher of men, the authoritative interpreter of Scriptures, appointed by Jesus Christ. While outside of her fold men are gradually coming to look upon the Scriptures as any other literature, she has unflinchingly declared them to be supreme over all other writings, to be the inspired truth of God. While at the best many will accord them only the credence given to human history, with its liability to prejudice and error, she proclaims them to be without error, because they are a Divine record of facts, stamped with the seal of heaven itself. While among skeptics the Scriptures are considered to be only a legendary legacy of bygone days, she, filled with the consciousness of her identity through the ages, can tell the world Today, as she has told it through nineteen centuries, “I know that these things are true.” And when, as the time goes on, amid those who have sacrificed belief in the Divine character of the Scriptures, they shall lose for them even the regard that is paid to human documents, she will stand, as heretofore, their staunchest defender.

V. Church of Christ, Thou art the one witness upon earth Today of the Resurrection. Thou alone hast breasted the storms of the centuries. Thou canst thus speak to the world: “Before Rationalism was, I am; before the Unitarian and the Socinian, I am; before Renan and Strauss, I am. Nations have lived and died; people have risen and fallen: ages have come and gone, I have witnessed their coming and their going. I have stood firm and unshaken amidst the storms of persecution, the assaults of infidelity, the ravages of licentiousness. I can carry the mind back to the time when the ‘smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon and camelopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian Amphitheater.’ I have witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem, the downfall of Constantinople, the conquest of Rome. I have witnessed the formation of the Christian nations of Europe; I have seen the savage civilized, the barbarian educated, the wild warrior subdued. I can link the twentieth century with the first. I have witnessed many of the events recorded in the New Testament. I am the living witness of all Christian ages, and I bear my testimony unto this day that Christ has risen.”

VI. Today, then, is the day of Christ’s triumph, the day of the Church’s rejoicing, that Church to which has been committed the preaching of the faith founded on His Resurrection. On the day of His death the world triumphed. Beside the cross the voice went up: “Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days buildest it up again: save thyself, come down from the cross.” Even then a word would have brought an army of smiling angels bearing fiery swords; even then a word would have struck down His persecutors; even then, did He desire it, that scene of death and defeat could have been changed into a heavenly victory. He could, but He would not, for then He was suffering for a guilt that was not His own. On the morn of the Resurrection another voice spoke. When the holy woman arrived at the tomb, an angel clothed in white stood before them and cried out, ” He is risen, he is not here.”

“Vah, . . . save thyself, come down from the cross.”

And the triumphant answer rolls on through the centuries: “He is risen, He is not here.”

Through the world it echoes: “He is risen, as He said.” It is the foundation of Christianity. The Apostles preached it and they knew whereof they spoke.

He is risen! It is confusion to the deniers of Christ’s Divinity, for, well founded as it is, it cannot be reasonably denied.

He is risen! It is the sign of Faith, inspiring that belief without which there is no salvation.

He is risen’ It is the promise and the hope of our resurrection upon the last day.

As we take a broad general view of the centuries, we seem to be standing in the nave of some vast cathedral. Over the distant altar we can see the inscription, ” He is risen, as he said.” From within this cathedral there issues forth the Christian song of triumph. Within its confines are gathered the hosts of witnesses from all times. We hear again the Evangelists chanting solemnly the simple story of Easter morn. We hear the whole body of the Apostles taking up the refrain and sounding it into all their followers. We hear St. Paul reiterating the sacred words and proclaiming that there is no Christianity without faith in the Resurrection. We hear the witnesses of the first centuries, the martyrs, clothed in blood-red garments, telling how with their life they bore testimony to the Resurrection of Christ. We hear Athanasius, the Saint of the Divinity, using the fact of the Resurrection against his adversaries; we hear his followers, the defenders of Christianity, smiling in their turn with the unanswerable argument of the Resurrection. From each century a song, and all unite in one grand symphony. The mighty anthem goes up; the song of triumph cleaves the sky: Resurrexit sicut dixit, “He has risen, as he said.”

And if by some miraculous power it were given us to look into the court of heaven; if for a moment, on this day, the eternal gates were lifted, we could hear issuing forth the song of the myriad angels, companions of those who stood within the tomb, the song of heaven’s triumph: Resurrexit sicut dixit, “He has risen, as he said.”

Right, then, is it that the Church on earth should on this day, above all others, rejoice. She sings today the triumph of her Founder. She chants today the glory of the Son of God. Our hearts, our wills, our minds, our souls are with her. The faith which springs up lively within our souls, the fountain of justification; the hope that inspires us in consequence of the great fact we commemorate; the charity towards God and man which is to be found only in the Christian heart; the joy that is the fruit of all these; the joy of sympathy with Jesus Christ the Victor, the Conqueror–all these are summed up in that cry which our beloved Church in her raptures of love repeats again and again: Resurrexit sicut dixit,” He said he would arise, and he has risen.”