Lent – The badge of Christian warfare

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The Church was founded to guide, guard & give life to the weak, while its detractors are left confounded in the supernaturality of an institution that will not fail. What wonder is it that the love of God is so great, to bring us to a state of grace, so that we would be able to brace for many a trial and tribulation brought on to us by Satan, the demon that hates us for being citizens of the kingdom and nation of God?  As we journey through Lent, we use the weapons of the Church which are our badge of Christian warfare – the Sacraments and devotions – to fight Satan and our evil inclinations.

“The observance of Lent is the very badge of Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of the cross of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God’s glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, of private woe.”  ~Pope Benedict XIV, 1741 A.D

Pray and do penance so that you all do not perish.

~Damsel of the Faith

Meditation on the royal Way of the Holy Cross

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Posted below is a beautiful meditation for this Second Sunday of Lent that I wished to share with our readers.  Although the path of the cross contrasts infinitely with what most think of as “royal” today, it is the one chosen by the King of Kings Himself- The Way, The Truth, and The Life, in order that we might be redeemed from sin.  And speaking of royalty, is there nothing more royal than to rejoice at seeing Our Lord and giving glory to Him at each Holy Mass, when the Sacrifice of All Time takes place?  Let us use this Lent well that we might give great glory to our King and enjoy Eternity with Him who is Joy, who is Peace, who is Love!

Short introduction is from SSPX Canada.

~Steven C., “Knight of Tradition”

The Imitation of Christ (Latin: De Imitatione Christi) by Thomas a Kempis is a Christian devotional book. It was first composed in Latin, circa 1418-1427. It is a handbook for spiritual life arising from the Devotio Moderna movement, where Kempis was a member.

The Imitation is perhaps the most widely read devotional work next to the Bible, and is regarded as a devotional and religious classic. Apart from the Bible, no book has been translated into more languages than the Imitation of Christ.

The Imitation of Christ, book II, chapter XII

If any man will come after Me

1. That seemeth a hard saying to many, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his Cross and follow Me.[1] But it will be much harder to hear that last sentence, Depart from me, ye wicked, into eternal fire.[2] For they who now willingly hear the word of the Cross and follow it, shall not then fear the hearing of eternal damnation. This sign of the Cross shall be in heaven when the Lord cometh to Judgment. Then all servants of the Cross, who in life have conformed themselves to the Crucified, shall draw nigh unto Christ the Judge with great boldness.

2. Why fearest thou then to take up the cross which leadeth to a kingdom? In the Cross is health, in the Cross is life, in the Cross is protection from enemies, in the Cross is heavenly sweetness, in the Cross strength of mind, in the Cross joy of the spirit, in the Cross the height of virtue, in the Cross perfection of holiness. There is no health of the soul, no hope of eternal life, save in the Cross. Take up therefore, thy cross and follow Jesus and thou shalt go into eternal life. He went before thee bearing His Cross and died for thee upon the Cross, that thou also mayest bear thy cross and mayest love to be crucified upon it. For if thou be dead with Him, thou shalt also live with Him, and if thou be a partaker of His sufferings thou shalt be also of His glory.

None other way unto life

3. Behold everything dependeth upon the Cross, and everything lieth in dying; and there is none other way unto life and to true inward peace, except the way of the Holy Cross and of daily mortification. Go where thou wilt, seek whatsoever thou wilt, and thou shalt find no higher way above nor safer way below, than the way of the Holy Cross. Dispose and order all things according to thine own will and judgment, and thou shalt ever find something to suffer either willingly or unwillingly, and thus thou shalt ever find thy cross. For thou shalt either feel pain of body, or tribulation of spirit within thy soul.

4. Sometimes thou wilt be forsaken of God, sometimes thou wilt be tried by thy neighbour, and which is more, thou wilt often be wearisome to thyself. And still thou canst not be delivered nor eased by any remedy or consolation, but must bear so long as God will. For God will have thee learn to suffer tribulation without consolation, and to submit thyself fully to it, and by tribulation be made more humble. No man understandeth the Passion of Christ in his heart so well as he who hath had somewhat of the like suffering himself. The Cross therefore is always ready, and every where waiteth for thee. Thou canst not flee from it whithersoever thou hurriest, for whithersoever thou comest, thou bearest thyself with thee, and shalt ever find thyself. Turn thee above, turn thee below, turn thee without, turn thee within, and in them all thou shalt find the Cross; and needful is it that thou everywhere possess patience if thou wilt have internal peace and gain the everlasting crown.

Bear the Cross

5. If thou willingly bear the Cross, it will bear thee, and will bring thee to the end which thou seekest, even where there shall be the end of suffering; though it shall not be here. If thou bear it unwillingly, thou makest a burden for thyself and greatly increaseth thy load, and yet thou must bear it. If thou cast away one cross, without doubt thou shalt find another and perchance a heavier.

6. Thinketh thou to escape what no mortal hath been able to avoid? Which of the saints in the world hath been without the cross and tribulation? For not even Jesus Christ our Lord was one hour without the anguish of His Passion, so long as He lived. It behooved, He said, Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and so enter into his glory.[3] And how dost thou seek another way than this royal way, which is the way of the Holy Cross?

The life of Christ was a cross

7. The whole life of Christ was a cross and martyrdom, and dost thou seek for thyself rest and joy? Thou art wrong, thou art wrong, if thou seekest aught but to suffer tribulations, for this whole mortal life is full of miseries, and set round with crosses. And the higher a man hath advanced in the spirit, the heavier crosses he will often find, because the sorrow of his banishment increaseth with the strength of his love.

8. But yet the man who is thus in so many wise afflicted, is not without refreshment of consolation, because he feeleth abundant fruit to be growing within him out of the bearing of his cross. For whilst he willingly submitteth himself to it, every burden of tribulation is turned into an assurance of divine comfort, and the more the flesh is wasted by affliction, the more is the spirit strengthened mightily by inward grace. And ofttimes so greatly is he comforted by the desire for tribulation and adversity, through love of conformity to the Cross of Christ, that he would not be without sorrow and tribulation; for he believeth that he shall be the more acceptable to God, the more and the heavier burdens he is able to bear for His sake. This is not the virtue of man, but the grace of Christ which hath such power and energy in the weak flesh, that what it naturally hateth and fleeth from, this it draweth to and loveth through fervour of spirit.

We do not love the cross

9. It is not in the nature of man to bear the cross, to love the cross, to keep under the body and to bring it into subjection, to fly from honours, to bear reproaches meekly, to despise self and desire to be despised, to bear all adversities and losses, and to desire no prosperity in this world. If thou lookest to thyself, thou wilt of thyself be able to do none of this; but if thou trustest in the Lord, endurance shall be given thee from heaven, and the world and the flesh shall be made subject to thy command. Yea, thou shalt not even fear thine adversary the devil, if thou be armed with faith and signed with the Cross of Christ.

10. Set thyself, therefore, like a good and faithful servant of Christ, to the manful bearing of the Cross of thy Lord, who out of love was crucified for thee. Prepare thyself for the bearing many adversities and manifold troubles in this wretched life; because so it shall be with thee wheresoever thou art, and so in very deed thou shalt find it, wherever thou hide thyself. This it must be; and there is no means of escaping from tribulation and sorrow, except to bear them patiently. Drink thou lovingly thy Lord’s cup if thou desirest to be His friend and to have thy lot with Him. Leave consolations to God, let Him do as seemeth best to Him concerning them. But do thou set thyself to endure tribulations, and reckon them the best consolations; for the  sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us,[4] nor would they be even if thou wert to endure them all.

Thou shalt find peace

11. When thou hast come to this, that tribulation is sweet and pleasant to thee for Christ’s sake, then reckon that it is well with thee, because thou hast found paradise on earth. So long as it is hard to thee to suffer and thou desirest to escape, so long it will not be well with thee, and tribulations will follow thee everywhere.

12. If thou settest thyself to that thou oughtest, namely, to suffer and to die, it shall soon go better with thee, and thou shalt find peace. Though thou shouldest be caught up with Paul unto the third heaven,[5] thou art not on that account secure from suffering evil. I will show him, saith Jesus, what great things he must suffer for My Name’s sake.[6] It remaineth, therefore, to thee to suffer, if thou wilt love Jesus and serve Him continually.

Worthy to suffer

13. Oh that thou wert worthy to suffer something for the name of Jesus, how great glory should await thee, what rejoicing among all the saints of God, what bright example also to thy neighbour! For all men commend patience, although few be willing to practise it. Thou oughtest surely to suffer a little for Christ when many suffer heavier things for the world.

14. Know thou of a surety that thou oughtest to lead the life of a dying man. And the more a man dieth to himself, the more he beginneth to live towards God. None is fit for the understanding of heavenly things, unless he hath submitted himself to bearing adversities for Christ. Nothing more acceptable to God, nothing more healthful for thyself in this world, than to suffer willingly for Christ. And if it were thine to choose, thou oughtest rather to wish to suffer adversities for Christ, than to be refreshed with manifold consolations, for thou wouldest be more like Christ and more conformed to all saints. For our worthiness and growth in grace lieth not in many delights and consolations, but rather in bearing many troubles and adversities.

15. If indeed there had been anything better and more profitable to the health of men than to suffer, Christ would surely have shown it by word and example. For both the disciples who followed Him, and all who desire to follow Him, He plainly exhorteth to bear their cross, and saith, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me.[7]So now that we have thoroughly read and studied all things, let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.[8]

Vatican Archbishop personally featured in blasphemous, homosexual painting

I stumbled upon this story – a disgusting corruption of art manifested through erotic, homosexualist “art”.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/leading-vatican-archbishop-featured-in-homoerotic-painting-he-commissioned?utm_source=LifePetitions+petition+signers&utm_campaign=1679bbcc8c-Catholic_1_171_17_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c5c75ce940-1679bbcc8c-397764521

The Archbishop that commissioned the painting of this homoerotic painting currently sits on the Academy for Life at the Vatican. Appears he belongs on the Academy of Death, if anything. This blasphemous mural was commissioned by the Bishop in 2007, having himself featured in the painting in a provocative position.  According to the “artist” who is a homosexual himself, the individuals in the painting are meant to be “erotic.” The images speak for themselves.  The painting still hangs disgracefully in the Cathedral church of this Bishop. To be frank, this alone is a statement on the state of soul of the bishop. Outward approval of perversion is inner proof of death, death of salvific grace and a rejection of the salvific truths of the Church.

The Homosexualization of the Catholic Church is self evident and it’s a perversion of epic proportions, glorifying one of the four sins that cries to heaven for vengeance.  Corruption of art is a corruption of the soul, for art opens a window to the soul, an avenue of heavenly beauty; beautiful art has the power to lift the soul to God and to help us dwell on the things of heaven. Satan attacks any instrument God uses for good and he twists and perverts it.

Sacred Art is meant to be a book of doctrine. “Painting is employed in churches so that those who cannot read or write may at least read on the walls what they cannot decipher on the page.” ~Pope St. Gregory the Great

Let us pray for the Bishop and all those who corrupt the Church with their wicked passions and distorted desires.

~Damsel of the Faith

Why the Harry Potter series and movies are unacceptable

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Fr. Gabriele Amorth-“In Harry Potter the Devil acts in a crafty and covert manner, under the guise of extraordinary powers, magic spells and curses”

Cardinal Ratzinger in a letter dated 2003 to Gabriele Kuby- “It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly.”

One common means the devil has used to further his agenda is through literature.  There are numerous examples of popular books today that might seem innocent at first glance, but are actually extremely dangerous.  One example is Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, which may well have been directly inspired by the devil himself(https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/potter-critic-michael-obrien-takes-on-the-vampires-of-twilight).

The book series that will be analyzed most in this post, however, is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.  These stories and their subsequent movies have remained incredibly popular and even many otherwise good Catholic parents allow them freely around the home.  The reason is often because many parents are simply not aware of the grave dangers associated with these series.  The devil unfortunately is quite a master of deceit.  The poor souls that trust today’s literature to be innocent!  Some others have read of the dangers, but lightly put them aside as being “one priest’s opinion”.  Either way, I hope there is enough convincing evidence in this post to draw souls away from this snare.  Even if just 5% of the series glorified evil, it would still be dangerous for souls.  Satan never makes anything 100% bad; it would never be read!  Certainly the above quotes from the world’s leading exorcist(RIP) and the previous Pope must not be disregarded!

Exorcist Fr. Chad Ripperger, in less than 5 minutes, exposes an abundance of facts and concetrns regarding Harry Potter and its author:

The traditional Catholic religious have also consistently warned of the Harry Potter series.  A simple Google search should provide several articles, but I particularly recommend this May 2001 SSPX Canada bulletin, which is dedicated largely to exposing the Occult and its many manifestations:

http://www.fsspx.com/Communicantes/May2001/index.htm

Attached below is a comprehensive article by Miss Andrea Stoltz(later Sr. Andre Dominic of the Dominican Sisters of Fanjeaux).  Besides thoroughly analyzing the series in depth, Miss Stoltz also explains the differences between Rowling’s Harry Potter and the stories of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.  To put Harry Potter at the same level of the works of these great authors is rather insulting, but those attracted to the Harry Potter genre might enjoy these works instead.

Certainly such a post as this might seem harsh for devoted fans of Harry Potter.  My purpose is not to diminish anyone’s joy or improperly judge others.  Quite the contrary.  I simply wish to reach out to souls, despite all of my imperfections.  It is the duty of every person to assist in the work of saving souls and, please God, may we all contribute well to this noble endeavor!

~ Steven C.

http://www.edocere.org/articles/harry_potter.htm

There are more problems with Harry Potter than just witchcraft.1

I say just witchcraft not because I think it is a minor issue, but because it seems as though most people who do not approve of the series are critical of Harry Potter for this reason alone. Although this is a very good (probably the best) reason to shun the world of Harry Potter, there are plenty of other reasons to be critical.

In our base world, we do not have to look for offensive material that attacks our senses. It is blatant. It is rampant. It is almost unavoidable. That’s not to say that this is the only way we are affected by the impurities of the world. Quite often they come to us in much more subtle ways. Of course, subtle evil is much more harmful than blatant evil, because it is harder to recognize and thus harder to avoid. Most harmful of all is evil under the guise of good. If we think something is good, we do more than just not avoid it —we embrace it.

J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is exactly this —evil that seems good. The fact that so many people are embracing it makes it look even better. We find ourselves thinking that since this or that Christian group thinks it’s okay, then it must be. If someone you regard as a “good” parent allows his child to read Harry Potter, there must be nothing wrong with it, you conclude.

But isn’t this way of thinking precisely what we want to avoid? The “everyone-else-is-doing-it-so-it-can’t-be-bad” outlook is one of the weakest ways of rationalizing immorality. It’s right up there with the “if-it-feels-good-do-it” mentality. If a “good” parent or a “conservative” Christian group approves of and even encourages this kind of reading, it does not mean that the books are good —it means someone is either uninformed or misinformed. For the benefit of both, allow me to summarize briefly the four existing Harry Potter books.

SYNOPSIS OF HARRY POTTER

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,2 we meet Harry Potter, an eleven-year old boy living with cruel relatives in a suburb of London. Ten years ago, he defeated Lord Voldemort, the most powerful dark wizard in history. His parents, on the other hand, did not survive the attack. They died trying to save Harry. On the night of his eleventh birthday, he received notice that he was actually a wizard, and that he has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While at Hogwarts, he learns to cast spells, play Quidditch,3 and outsmart even the most experienced wizards. In the end, Harry and his friends, Hermione and Ron, fight a 12-foot troll and also rescue the Sorcerer’s Stone4 from a professor-turned-villain.

Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, chronicled in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, sees Harry with new, more dangerous adventures before him. Among other things, Harry finds out he is a Parselmouth, which means he can talk to snakes. The year is spent mainly in trying to discover the Chamber of Secrets,5 and the Evil that lies within. Once in the chamber, he must battle an oak-sized basilisk6 under the command of Lord Voldemort, and then Lord Voldemort himself. Harry is victorious in his attempt to eradicate the Evil in the Chamber of Secrets.

While Harry is in his third year at Hogwarts, the magical world is set on edge at the news of an escaped criminal. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, life at Hogwarts is not as blissful as it was before. Since there is reason to suspect that the escaped and very dangerous criminal is after Harry, prison guards known as Dementors are stationed around the school, and Harry is not allowed to do anything that might jeopardize his safety (i.e., anything “fun”). The criminal, Sirius Black, does, in fact, catch up with Harry. The reader soon finds out that Sirius is actually Harry’s godfather and guardian, and has been trying to look out for Harry. Harry escapes a werewolf, outsmarts the dark wizard, and frees a misunderstood hippogriff 7 all while in the process of rescuing the Prisoner of Azkaban8 from the school authorities and the Dementors,9 who are out for more than blood.

Finally, all things dark and horrible come to a head in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which gives the account of Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts. The year begins with the Quidditch World Cup, where Harry encounters veela, beautifully seductive women who can make men bow to their wills by their dancing. He has a scrape with the Death Eaters (followers of Lord Voldemort), and later competes in the Triwizard Tournament, a year-long competition between the top three European wizardry schools. Unfortunately, Harry’s schoolmate and competitor in the tournament is brutally killed by Voldemort, who uses one of the “unforgivable” curses10 to do so. Harry, of course, manages to overcome him once again, with the help of his dead parents. He escapes only to find out that one of his favorite and trusted professors was actually a Death Eater, and trying to do away with Harry the whole time.

WHEN FANTASY BECOMES REALITY, WHERE DOES REALITY GO?

Many things in Rowling’s “fantasy world” of Harry Potter coincide with our own world. The setting of the stories is somewhere outside present-day London. The magical shopping strip, Diagon Alley, is reached via a tavern in London, which has been enchanted so that only witches and wizards can see it. Behind the tavern is a brick wall. To access Diagon Alley, the witch or wizard must push in the correct brick. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has also been enchanted, so that Muggles, non-magical people, will stay away from it. It is out in the countryside, though also situated somewhere in Britain.

This is not a made-up fantasy world that Rowling has “created,” although she likes to say it is. These characters live in our world and in our time period. They play with the same video games, use the same computers, and drive the same cars. They have a Quidditch “World Cup,” just like our soccer World Cup. The teams competing in the “World Cup” are Bulgaria and Ireland, real countries. There are even characters in her books that really existed. Where is the line between fact and fiction?

The problem here is that by weaving reality through a “fictional” work, confusion inevitably ensues. Rowling has admitted to receiving letters from children who want to know how to get in touch with Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts. They want to enroll! Some children are even awaiting their letters of invitation from Hogwarts. It is a real place that we just can’t find because we are Muggles.

Rowling and Scholastic,11 instead of discouraging this thinking, perpetuate it. At the official Harry Potter website,12 kids can enroll in Hogwarts, shop at Diagon Alley, and send owl messages (via e-mail). Rowling, in an on-line interview sponsored by Scholastic,13 answers questions from children about Harry and his friends as though they were real people. Someone (no names are given in the interview) asked Rowling, “Where is Azkaban?” (As though it were a real place!) She answered, “It’s in the north of the North Sea. A very cold sea.” No wonder kids say they want to be just like Harry or Hermione or Ron! People they believe and trust are telling them, in so many words, that they exist! It must be even more confusing for the kids in Britain, to whom places like London and the North Sea are real places, and not just somewhere on a map.

Several years ago, JFK was in the theatres. Oliver Stone produced it, and he said himself that it was not meant to be a biography, or any kind of historical account of the late John F. Kennedy’s assassination. He said it was fiction, and should be viewed as such. Yet such a big controversy developed over the movie, because it wasn’t historically accurate. People were upset because he did not portray the event as they knew it had happened. Why did this happen? People are easily confused. Using an almost entirely historical setting for a fictitious work makes us think that itis historical, and thus believable.

The fact that there is no line between real and imaginary is only one reason that Harry Potter is dangerous to children. If adults have a hard time distinguishing between real and not real, how much harder will it be for children, and how much more detrimental? Since children cannot always make the distinction by themselves, the books they read must do it for them. If a book fails in this regard, it can have harmful effects, such as what’s happening now, with children thinking Harry Potter, his friends and his school are real. Kids do not “grow out” of an interest in magic, they simply develop it. Furthermore, if the authors encourage this blurring between real and fantastical, it is because they understand and desire the negative results that they know will follow.

FUZZING-OUT GOOD AND EVIL

Speaking of blurry lines, the distinction between good and evil throughout the books is fuzzy, if anything at all. But how can I make this assertion when everyone says that Rowling shows a definite struggle between good and evil? Rowling herself says, “The theme running through all of these books is the fight between good and evil.”Even though the Harry Potter books are constantly being praised for “hav[ing] a strong moral message and clearly portray[ing] good and evil,” 14 the reader sees, time and again, constant contradiction. Characters who were portrayed as evil turn out to be good, while the good guys end up being villains.

A clear example of this vagueness is Sirius Black, the escaped murderer who turns out to be Harry’s “godfather,” falsely accused and wrongfully convicted. Throughout the majority of book three, he is shown to be a dangerous and evil wizard, though in the end we find out how much he cared for and helped Harry’s parents before they died.

At the end of the fourth book we see Mad-Eye Moody, who has been helping Harry to avoid punishment all year, turn out to be a Death Eater. Then we find out that it was actually one of the higher-ups in the Ministry of Magic, who has been drinking a Polyjuice Potion15 all year in order to make himself look like Moody.

Even Harry, who is the “hero” of the series, bears striking resemblance to Lord Voldemort, his mortal enemy and the most evil wizard around. They both can speak to snakes; they were both orphans; the scar Harry got from Voldemort’s attack burns whenever Voldemort is near; they both use wands made from the feathers of the same phoenix.16

So who is good, and who is evil? Every book in this series has at least one character that turns out to be other than how he was portrayed. This is not to say that a plot twist or surprise ending is wrong. Some of the best writers employ this technique. The problem materializes when too many of the characters are unreliably good or evil; when you never know who’s who or what side he’s on. Those characters who are one way or the other are usually not portrayed in a favorable light, or they change to become what everyone else wants. Either way, indisputable messages are clear.

Take Severus Snape, the Potions professor, for example. From the start, he is portrayed as a horribly mean and unjust disciplinarian, simply because he does not want to tolerate any of Harry’s rule-breaking tendencies. He knows that Harry and his friends are up to something, and he usually tries to prevent the behavior, or correct it after they have done something wrong. Of course the students think this is wrong of him, but what about the other professors? Time and again, they chastise Snape in front of the students for trying to interfere with Harry’s escapades. Harry is constantly referring to how much he can’t stand Snape, and how Snape absolutely hates him in return. The obvious message here is that those who make any attempt to uphold the rules are unfair and hateful.

Hermione, one of Harry’s best friends, was originally ostracized by Harry and his friend Ron because she was a “goody-goody.” She always did her homework on time and always studied for tests. To add insult to injury, she never let her friends copy her work or test answers. As a result, she was not worthy to be their friend, until the day she told a lie to a teacher in order to cover up for the boys. Suddenly, she won their respect, and was allowed to join them in their capers. From that day on, she was the brains behind all their exploits, from teaching them how to stealthily steal ingredients for a potion to using deceitful means in procuring a restricted book from the library. Basically, then, the message is that if you aren’t automatically cool, then lying will make you so.

Although Harry is supposed to be the “good” in the series, he is not the prototype of heroism that his readers like to think he is. According to the world, Harry Potter embodies all that is virtuous and noble, at least as far as is possible for pre-teen and teenage boys. He is a shining paragon of courage and loyalty, one who is worthy of emulation and awe. Nevertheless, a running theme throughout all the Harry Potter books is “the end justifies the means.” Every time Harry comes out victorious in an endeavor, he has usually used some kind of immoral or at least questionable means to overcome his obstacles.

As an example, in the fourth book, Harry is forced to enter the Triwizard Tournament, a “friendly competition” that had been discontinued for several years because too many people were dying. Harry is praised on several occasions for his performance in the competition. But had he not had other students, ghosts, Ministry employees andprofessors giving him the answers to clues and riddles, he never would have been able to complete the tasks set before him. Cedric Diggory, the other Hogwarts Champion, is praised for his love of fair play and integrity. During the tournament, he not only told Harry beforehand what the task would be, but also took the answers that Harry gave to him (after getting them from someone else). At the end of the competition, Moody gives a justification for this when he says, “Cheating’s a traditional part of the Triwizard Tournament and always has been.”

THE “MORAL” IS…?

Traditionally Christian values are not in abundance here. What we would call virtues are either totally lacking in Harry Potter’s world, or are portrayed fictitiously as some other nameless, usually vicious qualities.

Obedience, to Harry Potter, is not “obeying one’s lawful superiors.” Rather, it is more along the lines of “making it look like you’re not doing anything wrong.” Usually Harry and/or his friends are rewarded for disobeying a professor or a school rule, not reprimanded. If they are reprimanded, it is usually by the professor that is law-abiding, and therefore “out to get them.” Of course, this is also the professor that is most often disobeyed, lied to, and stolen from. The reason for this is simple. If you don’t like a superior, or if he is unfair to you, your obligation to obey him vanishes. We see this time and again. Harry does not have to obey his aunt and uncle because they are mean to him. He does not have to obey Professor Snape, because Snape hates him. He does not have to obey the prefect, Percy Weasley, because he is just Ron’s nerdy older brother.

Courage, according to Harry Potter and friends, means looking for danger, usually after being told not to do so. Loyalty is breaking the rules for another. Justice means you can get away with anything if you’re famous, and temperance is that virtue whereby a person gets drunk only when he’s really happy or really depressed.

The characters in Harry Potter continually act for their own self-interests. For example, Hermione puts a full-body bind curse on her classmate when he tries to keep them from going into forbidden areas after curfew. Professors put memory charms on students to whom they have revealed their innermost secrets. Harry and his friends make a potion that will turn them into other people when they want to find out information from someone else. Professor Lupin,17 when talking with Harry about Harry’s father, reflects,

I sometimes felt guilty about betraying Dumbledore’s trust…he had no idea I was breaking the rules he had set down for my own and others’ safety… But I always managed to forget my guilty feelings every time we sat down to plan our next month’s adventure.

Obviously, being trustworthy is not as important as having an adventure with friends.

NOW, FOR THE MAGIC PART

Perhaps the most alarming quality experienced is dangerous curiosity about magic and the occult. Rowling says that she had no intention of luring children into the world of witchcraft when she wrote these books.18 This might very well be the case. However, what’s happening is precisely that. Kids want to find out more about casting spells, predicting the future, and witches and wizards in general. They just don’t see it as fantasy, as something that they can never even hope to attain themselves. The scary thing is —they can do it, and they know they can do it, because Rowling and her world of Harry Potter are telling them they can.

The most typical response to this disdain for magic is, “But if magic is so terrible, why do we allow and even encourage our children to read The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings?” My answer is that these classics are on a completely different plane than Harry Potter. Most people that are familiar with C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien agree that they are writing from at least a Christian point of view, if not completely Catholic in their writing and thinking. Rowling is most definitely not. The “magic” contained in their works is not the same at all.

The major difference between the two types of magic is that Harry Potter characters are involved in occult magic. With Tolkien, Lewis, and most other fantasy authors, the word magic is not even an apt term for what takes place in their books. Those authors never use the word “magic” themselves —it is almost always ascribed by an outsider, namely the reader.

Magic is actually defined as the art of using supernatural means to conform events to man’s will. Witchcraft has, in its very definition, an evil connotation, and reference to discourse with the devil. Sorcery is defined as “the use of power gained from the assistance of evil spirits…divination by black magic…necromancy, witchcraft…synonymous with magic.” 19

The word “occult” comes straight from Latin, and means “hidden” or “secret.” The strict definition of the word “occult” in the English language refers to things that are deliberately hidden or secret. We say Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is, in Latin, occultus, that is, hidden from ordinary sight, because He does not look like He is there.

In common English, however, the word “occult” specifically refers to those practices of the “supernatural” by which an individual attempts to learn things he is not meant to know, or control things outside of the sphere of his existence. In other words, there are certain things that we are not to know within our time here on earth. These are the things that are hidden from us, by God, because He is in charge. Dabbling in the occult is simply trying to encroach on the realm of God, sort of like what Adam and Eve did.

The common thread which runs through every aspect of the occult is this using of deviant means to execute one’s own plan. This is precisely why magic and all its subdivisions are so offensive to Our Lord. Obviously, the attempt to circumvent God’s Will is not going to be carried out by God Himself. Ergo, the conclusion is clear: occult practices are brought about by an evil force, namely Satan.

ROWLING VS. TOLKIEN, LEWIS, AND OTHERS

As a matter of fact, Rowling’s Harry Potter books are frequently compared to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia. The comparison is a superficial one, at best. It is usually based upon the use of “magic,” and the fact that there is a witch and/or a wizard in the story. What they never mention is the distinction between how these characters perform their “magic.”

The term “magic” can only be used here, if we understand that it is being used equivocally. The phenomenon of having one word describe two completely different things occurs frequently in the English language. Thus we have “book” meaning a box-shaped collection of uniformly shaped pages bound together, as well as the process of acquiring reservations on an airplane. The only way we can use the word “magic” here is if we understand that it is referring to two different entities, due to lack of better terms.

In The Lord of the Rings, what we would call “magic” is a natural ability of the Elves, which is recognized as such. They (Elves) all have it, and they can’t teach it to anyone. In Harry Potter, “magic” is a dependence on some kind of supernatural source, and can be learned and taught, to better and worse degrees. The wizards, Gandalf (good) and Sauruman (bad), are not humans with magical powers. They are of an altogether different and superior species, whose individuals are naturally endowed with the ability to do things that other beings cannot. They have taken human form, but are not actually human. In Harry Potter, the good and bad wizards are all humans, go to the same school, and use the same magic.

The Chronicles of Narnia do, in fact have a witch. She is regarded as and clearly shown to be evil, and no question remains on that matter. As far as her magical ability goes, she has taken for herself powers that are not even rightfully hers. In other words, Aslan, the representation of goodness, uses powers that come from a source of goodness. That source is the one who, as creator of Narnia, has “legitimate authority over all things” and has ultimate control of that power. Where do the powers come from that are used in Harry Potter?

In The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, the power that the good beings possess is used for the good of everyone involved. It is not used to satisfy the whims of any particular character. Nor do they use their powers to stop someone else who is trying to interfere with their own personal plan. There is always a bigger picture involved, and that picture has been determined by someone else, who has the authority to do so. The evil witch/wizard characters use their powers to serve themselves, contrary to what has already been determined. This is clearly shown to be wrong in both Narnia and Middle Earth. There is never a question whether an evil character is evil. In Hogwarts, though, one never can tell.

Just because Lewis uses the word “witch” and Tolkien uses the word “magic” does not mean Rowling can be compared with them. Rowling, though she relies heavily on occultism for her creatures, does create a few of her own. Does this automatically mean that she is on the same plane as Tolkien? Rowling’s characters all speak in various British dialects. Does that mean she is on the same plane with Lewis? Their stories might have a material similarity here and there, but their spirit is different. It is the difference between the way the authors think. Certainly, how a writer thinks affects his work. How does Rowling think? In an interview with Rowling she says, “Do what you want, not what your parents want.” 20 Is this along the same vein as Tolkien and Lewis?

JUST PLAIN GROSS

Throughout Rowling’s four books there are instances of names, people, and items that are taken directly from occult history. She, herself, admits that she has based about one-third of her material on actual occultism.21 Remember, though, that she has already said that she has no interest in luring children into the world of the occult. Remember also that she recognizes the fact that children are really becoming curious about occult practices after reading her books.

Not only are the Harry Potter books full of fact-based, occult drama, but they often involve exceedingly gory details which leave little to the imagination. Children’s imaginations are pretty active as it is. Hence the need for graphically depicted blood-and-gore scenes is relatively minute in children’s literature. This is aside from the fact that they really don’t need these images etched into their young minds, anyway.

In a subplot of book two, one of the professors is waiting for the Mandrakes to mature, because they are necessary for producing a cure for the students who have been petrified by the basilisk. Historically, a mandrake is a plant that people believed would grow under the place where a man was hanged. Its root was said to have looked like a gnarled, shriveled up, dead infant, which was supposed to have made a shrieking noise when pulled out of the ground. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, a Mandrake is a plant, the root of which is an actual baby.

Instead of roots, a small, muddy, and extremely ugly baby popped out of the earth. The leaves were growing right out of his head. He had pale green, mottled skin, and was clearly bawling at the top of his lungs. Professor Sprout took a large plant pot from under the table and plunged the Mandrake into it, burying him in dark, damp compost…The Mandrakes didn’t like coming out of the earth, but they didn’t seem to want to go back into it either. They squirmed, kicked, flailed their sharp little fists, and gnashed their teeth; Harry spent ten whole minutes trying to squash a particularly fat one into a pot.22

Its screams are fatal to anyone who hears, so the students who are present have to wear earmuffs. Rowling then depicts the stages of the Mandrakes’ lives as though they are human beings. Later, when the mandrakes are “mature” enough for use, they are cut up into pieces and stewed. In the same book, the ghost that haunts a girls’ restroom is lamenting the fact that she’s already dead, because she can’t kill herself again.

Then there are the Dementors, the guards of Azkaban, who are “among the foulest creatures that walk this earth.” Next follows a description of just how foul they are. The Dementor “…will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself…soul-less and evil. You’ll be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.” As if that’s not enough, we find out exactly how they do this. It’s called a “Dementor’s Kiss” :

It’s what Dementors do when they wish to destroy utterly…they clamp their jaws upon the mouth of the victim and —and suck out his soul …you’ll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no …anything. There’s no chance at all of recovery. You’ll just —exist. As an empty shell. And your soul is gone forever …lost.

Toward the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry is magically (and unknowingly) transported to a graveyard where Voldemort and Wormtail, Voldemort’s latest faithful servant, are waiting for him. Wormtail is about to resurrect Voldemort into a fully functional wizard again. Voldemort has been inhabiting someone else’s body, since he doesn’t really have much of a body of his own after being defeated by Harry now fourteen years ago.

It was as though Wormtail had flipped over a stone and revealed something ugly, slimy and blind —but worse, a hundred times worse. The thing Wormtail had been carrying had the shape of a crouched human child, except that Harry had never seen anything less like a child. It was hairless and scaly-looking, a dark, raw, reddish black and its face —no child alive ever had a face like that —flat and snakelike, with gleaming red eyes…. Harry saw the look of revulsion on Wormtail’s weak, pale face in the firelight as he carried the creature to the rim of the cauldron. For one moment, Harry saw the evil, flat face illuminated in the sparks dancing on the surface of the potion. And then Wormtail lowered the creature into the cauldron; there was a hiss, and it vanished below the surface; Harry heard its frail body hit the bottom with a soft thud. Let it drown, Harry thought …please …let it drown.

Then there’s the special ceremony and spell to join the dark lord with a body:

And now Wormtail was whimpering. He pulled a long, thin, shining dagger from inside his cloak… Flesh of the servant w-willingly given you will revive your master. He stretched forth his… hand with the missing finger. He gripped the dagger very tightly in his left hand and swung it upward…He could not block the scream that…went through Harry as though he had been stabbed with the dagger too. He heard something fall to the ground… then a sickening splash, as something was dropped into the cauldron… the potion had turned a burning red… Wormtail was gasping and moaning with agony… Blood of the enemy …forcibly taken …you will …resurrect your foe. He saw the shining silver dagger shaking in Wormtail’s remaining hand. He felt its point penetrate the crook of his right arm and blood seeping down the sleeve of his torn robes. Wormtail … fumbled in his pocket for a glass vial and held it to Harry’s cut so that a dribble of blood fell into it. He staggered back to the cauldron with Harry’s blood …and poured it inside.

Then Lord Voldemort’s return:

But then, through the mist in front of him, he saw, with an icy surge of terror, the dark outline of a man, tall and skeletally thin, rising slowly from inside the cauldron… whiter than a skull, with wide, livid scarlet eyes and a nose that was flat as a snake’s with slits for nostrils …Lord Voldemort had risen again.

One simply cannot help but wonder, “Is this really appropriate for kids?”

CONCLUSION

The various troublesome aspects of Harry Potter fail to turn away many readers, Catholics included. Why is this? Harry and his friends (the “heroes”) are not the types of role models children should have. What young readers see fictitious characters doing, they will want to do as well. They begin to think that since this character acts this way, it’s normal, or at least acceptable. It is a well-known fact that they get ideas from the books they read. Whether these ideas are constructive or detrimental depends on the book and the message it conveys. Harry Potter lies regularly and gets away with it. Doesn’t it seem likely that a youngster will think it unfair when he can’t get away with something that Harry did?

Those who praise Rowling’s work constantly bring up the same tribute: the story shows a fight between good and evil. Who’s good and who’s evil, though? When a character has as many vices as Harry does, the word “good” does not come to mind. To me, it doesn’t seem like a fight between good and evil —it seems like a fight between evil and not-quite-as-evil.

As to the witchcraft in the books, people say it’s harmless, that it has nothing to do with the occult, etc. If you search the internet for “witchcraft” topics, Harry Potter is number seven on the list of results. Number seven [this was in September 2001 just after the books were released: webmaster]! And this is alongside other sites advertising paraphernalia such as spell books, witches’ “rosaries” and even cauldrons for sale. Books on witchcraft and spells mention that the Harry Potter books are great because [w]itches in books are restrained only by the limits of their authors’ and their readers’ imaginations.” 23 There is no way to deny the relationship between Harry Potter and the occult when it is shown as clearly as this. The reason for the accolades from authors of witchcraft books is not coincidental. It cannot be excused as just a similarity in taste. Our Lord says,

Beware of false prophets who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them …every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit …every tree that bringeth not good fruit shall be cut down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them…24

What are the fruits of the Harry Potter books? Rowling, a former teacher, is thrilled to see all the ideas sparked by her books.25 Check out any teachers’ resource website, and you will find plenty of ideas for integrating the Harry Potter stories into your curriculum. Go to a teachers’ supply store to find out when the next magic and sorcery classes for kids are being held. Out of ideas for science class? Ask your neighborhood children’s section librarian what the latest Harry-Potter-inspired science experiments are, and she can produce several ideas from which to choose. The possibilities are endless. In fact, certain churches have begun to follow the craze as well. In England, one church had banners and other symbols from Harry Potter upon the walls. Its pastor dressed up as Albus Dumbledore, along with a Harry Potter look-alike, Muggle songs and Quidditch. The reason for such absurdity? It was relevant to the lesson, James 1:17-2726, which speaks of the blessings of God.27

If Harry Potter has this kind of effect on adults, what will it do to our children? I know I don’t want to find out. This tree needs to be cut down and cast into the fire before any more children start gathering its fruit. We can’t teach them morals and ethics at home and school only to have it all undone in their leisure time. Kids recognize contradictions like this very easily. Guess which example will be followed and which will be tossed out the window.

Miss Andrea Stoltz obtained her undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts at Thomas Aquinas College, CA. Since graduation she has taught for three years in the elementary schools of the SSPX; firstly at Sacred Heart, Mancelona, MI, and then at St. Vincent de Paul Academy, Kansas City, MO (afterwards, 2 more years at the Dominican Teaching Sisters’ school in Post Falls, ID). She wrote the article because some of her students were reading the Harry Potter series.  She is now Sr. Andre Dominic with the teaching Dominican Sisters of Fanjeaux.

1 Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary: an act or instance of employing sorcery especially with malevolent intent; …alleged intercourse with the devil or familiar.

2 The Sorcerer’s Stone is The Philosopher’s Stone in Europe. Rowling thought the word “sorcerer” would be more familiar to Americans than “philosopher.”

3 A cross between soccer, basketball and hockey, played up in the air on broomsticks.

4 Occult history has it that the philosopher’s stone was actually a powder, when mixed in the proper way and with the proper spell, could turn base metals into gold, and produces the Elixir of Life, which will give immortality to the drinker. This is what it is in Rowling’s book as well. The alchemist who was supposed to have discovered it was Nicholas Flamel, who also retains his correct name and age in The Sorcerer’s Stone.

5 The Chamber of Secrets was installed by one of the founders of Hogwarts, Salazar Slytherin. He hid an indescribable evil in the Chamber, which could only be unleashed by his legitimate heir, in order to rid the school of all those “unworthy” to practice magic (i.e., Muggle-borns).

6 A basilisk is a large snake that, when looked at directly, kills. When looked at indirectly, he only “petrifies,” that is, he renders his victim comatose.

7 Half eagle, half horse.

8 Wizards’ prison.

9 Soul-sucking guards of Azkaban.

10 The three unforgivable curses are: Crucio!, which throws the victim into a sort of uncontrollable seizure; Imperius!, which gives the user total power over the will of the victim; and Avada Kedavra!, which kills the victim. Use of any of these spells is cause for life imprisonment in Azkaban.

11 Rowling’s American publisher.

12 harrypotter.warnerbros.com.

13 Scholastic.com on-line interview of February 3, 2000.

14 Bloomsbury Publishing representative. Bloomsbury is Rowling’s UK publisher.

15 With ingredients like lacewing flies, powdered horn of a bicorn, and a bit of the person they want to turn into, this potion will make the user look and sound like another.

16 We find out in book four that the feathers were taken from Albus Dumbledore’s phoenix, Fawkes. Yes, he’s named after Guy Fawkes, of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Effigies of Fawkes are still burnt yearly in some places in Britain. Phoenixes go up in flames regularly, and come back to life again.

17 From Latin, lupus, meaning “wolf.” Professor Lupin is a werewolf.

18 Richard Abanes, Harry Potter and the Bible (Camp Hill: Horizon, 2001), pp.22-24.

19 Webster’s Dictionary.

20 Scholastic.com

21 Ibid.

22 Rowling, Chamber of Secrets.

23 Pauline Bartel, Spellcasters: Witches and Witchcraft in History, Folklore, and Popular Culture (Dallas: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2000), pp.244-247.

24 Mt. 7:15-20.

25 Scholastic.com

26 King James Version, that is.

27 Ruth Gledhill, “Church to Lure Young with Harry Potter,” The London Times, September 1, 2000.

First Sunday of Lent

Instruction for the First Sunday of this Penitential Season. Our prayer & penance is underway, as we trudge along the Via Dolorosa.

Damsel of the Faith & Knight of Tradition

Fr. Goffine’s instruction for the First Sunday of Lent:

INVOCABIT – This Sunday is called Invocabit, because the Introit of the Mass begins with this word, which is taken from the ninetieth psalm, wherein we are urged to confidence in God, who willingly hears the prayer of the penitent:

INTROIT –  He shall call upon me, and I will hear him; I will deliver him, and glorify him; I will fill him with length of days. (Ps. 90:15-16) He that dwelleth in the aid of the Most high shall abide under the protection of the God of heaven. (Ps. 90:1) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT – O God who dost purify Thy Church by the yearly fast of Lent; grant to Thy household that what we strive to obtain from Thee by abstinence, by good works we may secure. Through our Lord, etc.

EPISTLE – (II…

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Recent SSPX-Rome purchase rumors are False

Image result for sspx logo rumor

http://www.dici.org/en/news/society-of-saint-pius-x-menzingen-in-rome/

Over the past several days, there have been an abundance of rumors disseminated regarding the purchase by the Society of St. Pius X of a large building complex in Rome.  According to the original article, “The Pope is said to have intervened directly to speed the whole process, via Abp. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Bp. Bernard Fellay (Superior of the SSPX), Bp. Alfonso de Galarreta and the Assistant General Father Alain Nély are said to have stayed from January 17-20 at the Casa Santa Marta. The Superior of the Sisters of the Society also attended the talks. Father Nély is the person in charge of finalizing the purchase of the complex”.  The signing of an official agreement with Rome is also seen to be imminent.

These rumors are false.  Virtually everything in the original report is totally false.

Predictably, this “news” spread feverishly across conservative Catholic news sites and the infamous, calumny-filled anti-SSPX message boards.  The Society was this time finally going to “sell out”, as has been prophesied for 17 years and for a shorter period during the 1980s.

For the sake of justice, we have posted below the official response of the Society to this latest slander.  Hopefully this post will reassure those who may have been concerned.  As one can infer from Bp. Fellay’s latest interview(https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/bp-fellay-in-latest-interview-errors-are-killing-the-church/), as well as all of the Society’s official communication channels; the signing of a personal prelature is not to be considered until there are very clear, explicit indications from Rome that the Society remain exactly as they are.

Responses from DICI:

An Italian website announced: “A proposal issued directly by the Holy Father is supposed to appear before the end of the month to offer the Society of St. Pius X an official status in the Church.” The “information” was repeated the following day by an American website. And that same day, in a French online forum, one could read: “The rumor is being clarified.” The author of the message said that he had learned “through priests of the Society” that Bishop Fellay had traveled that week “to Rome with his two assistants for a very important meeting.” He might just as well have said that the Swiss bishop, who was in Menzingen (Switzerland) at the time, had the gift of bilocation !

A sedevacantist website, reprinting an article that had appeared on June 17 in Le Figaro Online, declared: “The doctrinal discussions between Rome and Écône are over. Betrayal [and accomplishment (?!)] by the authorities of the SSPX, who knew what they were doing and accept.” [Translator’s note: Careless grammar in original French article]. Whereas a Roman news agency, commenting on the same article, wrote on June 20 that “some voices in Rome do not hesitate to speak about a failure at the conclusion of the meetings between theologians” from the Vatican and Écône.

The two preceding paragraphs were published in DICI on June 25, 2011 ! We merely omitted the dates of the supposed “revelations” that the press served up as an “exclusive story” to its avid readers.

Today they are talking about the acquisition, in Rome, by the Society of a complex of buildings including a large chapel, with a view to an imminent agreement and a transfer of the General House, also very imminent, to the Eternal City. We respond to this “news” in the current issue of DICI, while keeping the conclusion of the 2011 editorial : “Rumors are the reflection of the good or bad humors of those who spread them.”

Fr. Alain Lorans

 

Society of Saint Pius X: Menzingen in Rome?

3-03-2017
Filed under From Tradition, News

In an article that appeared in the February 24 issue of Il Foglio and was reprinted by the news agency cath.ch on February 25, the Italian journalist Matteo Matzuzzi announced the imminent purchase by the Society of Saint Pius X of a building complex including a church in the neo-Gothic style, Santa Maria Immacolata all’Esquilino, in Rome. In his telling, this purchase is the sign of an agreement with the Holy See, which is not very far off either. He deduced from this that the General House will soon be transferred from Menzingen to Rome. Based on these “revelations”, Matteo Matzuzzi writes: “The Pope is said to have intervened directly to speed the whole process, via Abp. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Bp. Bernard Fellay (Superior of the SSPX), Bp. Alfonso de Galarreta and the Assistant General Father Alain Nély are said to have stayed from January 17-20 at the Casa Santa Marta. The Superior of the Sisters of the Society also attended the talks. Father Nély is the person in charge of finalizing the purchase of the complex.”

La Maison générale de la Fraternité Saint-Pie X.

It is true that the Society of Saint Pius X is Catholic, and therefore Roman, and that its founder, Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, always wanted there to be a foundation in Rome. This is why one of its first houses was the one in Albano, not far from the Eternal City. It is also true that, in the relations that he had with the Roman authorities, Abp. Lefebvre—as a worthy son of the Rev. Fr. Henri Le Floch, C.S.Sp. (1862-1950), rector of the French Seminary in Rome—always proclaimed his romanità. This prompted him to write to Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, then envoy of Pope John Paul II, on November 21, 1987: “We willingly agree to be recognized by the Pope as we are and to have a headquarters in the Eternal City, to offer our collaboration toward the renewal of the Church; we never wanted to break with the Successor of Peter, or to consider the Holy See vacant, despite the trials that this has earned us.”

From a very practical perspective, the Society of Saint Pius X has been trying for many years to acquire a chapel in Rome to replace the one that it owns, which is unfortunately too small. If this chapel, or rather this church, had adjoining buildings, it could provide lodgings for priests who are passing through. But there was never any discussion about relocating the General House.

For these doctrinal and practical reasons, there have been plans for a purchase in Rome, there are some now and there will be others, as long as a firm acquisition has not been finalized. On the other hand, to respond to the “revelations” in the press, there is no plan to purchase a building complex at Santa Maria Immacolata all’Esquilino, as Matteo Matzuzzi writes. Neither Bp. Fellay nor Bp. de Galarreta nor Fr. Nély stayed at the Casa Santa Marta; they were not even in Rome from January 17 to 20. Of course Fr. Nély must travel frequently in Italy, because he is serving as interim replacement of the District Superior, but from January 17 to 20 he was in Menzingen. Not having the gift of bilocation, and most importantly not being Econome General, he is not in charge of finalizing any plan to purchase property. As for the Superior General of the Sisters of the Society, she visited the community of nuns in Albano in February, where she took part in no real estate negotiations.

Moreover on February 27 the Vaticanist for La Stampa, Andrea Tornielli, who has information from the best Roman sources, wrote: “Various rumors have spread in recent days about the possibility that the Society may buy a building with an adjacent church, in order to transfer its headquarters to Rome, and they spoke about the complex of Santa Maria Immacolata all’Esquilino, not far from the Lateran.

“The complex is made up of a neo-Gothic church built in the early 20th century for the Brothers of Charity and a building that has already been used in the past as an elementary and secondary school, which now belongs to a religious order. It was said that Francis and the Ecclesia Dei Commission facilitated the purchase. In fact, this was not the case: The Ecclesia Dei Commission was in no way involved, nor was the Vicariate of Rome.” Duly noted!

 

Bp. Fellay in his latest interview:

(Sources: IlFoglio/cath.ch/Stampa – DICI no. 350 dated March 3, 2017)

The problem is, once again, this battle of ideas. Is a Church that for 40 years has imposed a way of thinking, this modernist way of thinking against which we fight, against which, or because of which we were even declared schismatic and everything else, outside of the Church; is this Church ready, yes or no, to let us continue on our path?

Archbishop Lefebvre used to speak of “letting us make the experiment of Tradition.” Are they going to let us, yes or no? Or are they waiting for us at a bend in the road, are they going to tell us tomorrow that we “have to fall into line?” To accept what we have been fighting against for forty years? That, we are not about to give up.

So it is all there, really; that is where the question lies. With these new, more open attitudes, when they tell us some things are not required criteria for being Catholic, there seems to be a path opening up. Now, is it just a door, or is it really a path? Is it a safe path? I mean, are we really going to be able to continue as we are? For us it is obvious that this is not the end.

Error remains error. So we remain today, just as before, just as convinced that there are errors that have been spread in the Church and that are killing the Church.

And of course, we understand that it takes time to purify and remove these errors, we understand. Men cannot be changed just like that; all sorts of bad habits have been acquired now; even just bringing back the holy liturgy. We understand very well that it cannot be done overnight. So if things take time, that is one thing, but is the intention even there? Is there any intention to leave this way of thinking that was imposed at the Council?

And we see, at least in the authorized voices, shall we say, the leading voices, that they are saying, “No, no. No, no, we shall continue along the same lines.” So we remain outlaws. Well, tolerated outlaws, and we might even say, in the most astonishing way, with Pope Francis we are more than tolerated, but we remain on the outskirts.

So are things going to stay as they are? Are things going to move ahead? Or tomorrow are we going to be swallowed up by this movement that, once again, is killing the Church? That is the question. And until we have a clear enough answer, we cannot move forward.”

Bp. Tissier de Mallerais(http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/bishop-tissier-interview-la-porte-latine-14983):

Things are becoming clearer. During our pilgrimage to Rome in the year 2000, we were charmed by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, who urged John Paul II to recognize the Society unilaterally. Then Benedict XVI granted us two “preliminary requirements”: the recognition of the freedom of the traditional Mass and the lifting (more or less fortunate, for us and for him) of the 1988 excommunications. In 2010-2011, we had planned doctrinal discussions: in total disagreement! Our Superior General Bishop Fellay pursued the negotiations and caused some worry, until it became clear, in May and June 2012, that Benedict XVI still required as a condition, as he had said plainly at the start, that we accept the Council and the legitimacy of the reforms. It was a failure. But now there is very clearly a disposition on Pope Francis’ side to recognize us without these conditions. We say “Prudence! ” For things are moving and progress is still needed.

Archbishop Lefebvre never laid down as a condition for us to be recognized by Rome that Rome abandon the errors and the conciliar reforms. Even if he did say something like that to Andre Cagnon in 1990, he would never have done so, because that was never his line of conduct, his strategy with modernist Rome. He was strong in the Faith, he did not yield on his doctrinal position, but he knew how to be flexible, patient, and prudent in practice. To achieve his ends, his prudence told him to push the adversary, to harass him, make him step back, persuade him, but without blocking him with conditions that he still finds unacceptable. He did not refuse dialogue and was disposed to take advantage of every door opened by his interlocutor. It is in this sense that a certain opportunism, a certain “pragmatism” has been seen in him, and it is true: it is a small virtue annexed to the cardinal virtue of prudence. Sagacity, practical wisdom, is the neighbor of solertia, mentioned by Aristotle, St. Thomas (2-2, q. 48) and the Gaffiot, which is a skill in finding means to obtain one’s ends.

Archbishop Lefebvre requested with acumen “that we at least be tolerated”: “this would be a major advance,” he said. And “that we be recognized as we are,” that is, with our practice that follows from our doctrinal positions. Well, today we see in Rome a disposition to bear our existence and our theoretical and practical positions. I say “bear” because one tolerates evil!

Already, doctrinally, they no longer force us to admit “the whole Council” or religious liberty; some of the errors we denounce are on the point of being considered by our interlocutors as open for free discussion, or continued debate. This is progress. We discuss, but they have to admit that we are not changing and it is unlikely that we will change. And in practice, we ask these Romans: “Recognize our right to reconfirm the faithful conditionally,” and “Recognize the validity of our marriages!” You see, these are serious bones of contention. They will have to grant us these things. Otherwise, how could our recognition be livable?

It may take some time, but there is a God!

And an all-powerful Mediatrix!

~ Steven C.

He fasted for our salvation

 

Fasting can save a people. A nation. By prayer & fasting, the people of Nineveh were saved from God’s wrath on their city. Esther fasted to save her people from destruction. Casting out today’s demons can only be done through prayer and fasting – penance, penance, penance. Our Lord Jesus Christ fasted in the desert for 40 days, doing penance to His own body, for our sake, to atone for the sins we all would commit until the end of time. Christ’s life was a continual martyrdom, culminating in the Crucifixion.

Penance to the body shows our willingness to atone for our sins so that the God of Justice will have mercy for the crimes committed against Him. By dying to self, we learn to live for Him, the reason that we were born into the world – to know, love, serve and live for God, in the battleground of this earthly life. Win or lose the battle is the ultimate choice.

Lent is the time given us by the Church to prove our love for God, making reparation for our sins by hearing Mass, received Holy Communion in the state of grace, making use of the Sacrament of Comfession by making a good Comfession of our life, practicing various devotions of the Lenten season, such as the stations of the cross, doing violence to our body by fasting in whatever way we are able, abstaining from meat on the days appointed, all of this in joyful anticipation of the Resurrection of Our Lord.

To begin this Lenten season, I post a vision from Ven. Mary of Agreda, found in the Mystical City of God. She recounts details of Our Lord’s tempting in the desert and even offers an unknown insight, namely that Our Lady joined with Jesus in fasting for 40 days back home. A beautiful meditation, that I highly recommend. In closing, I wish everyone a blessed and fruitful Lent!

~Damsel of the Faith

“Without delay Christ our Lord pursued his journey from the Jordan to the desert after his Baptism. Only his holy angels attended and accompanied Him, serving and worshipping Him, singing the divine praises on account of what He was now about to undertake for the salvation of mankind. He came to the place chosen by Him for his fast: a desert spot among bare and beetling rocks, where there was also a cavern much concealed. Here He halted, choosing it for his habitation during the days of his fast (Matth. 4, 1). In deepest humility He prostrated Himself upon the ground which was always the prelude of his prayer and that of his most blessed Mother. He praised the eternal Father and gave Him thanks for the works of his divine right hand and for having according to his pleasure afforded Him this retirement. In a suitable manner He thanked even this desert for accepting his presence and keeping Him hidden from the world during the time He was to spend there. He continued his prayers prostrate in the form of a cross, this was his most frequent occupation in the desert; for in this manner He often prayed to the eternal Father for the salvation of men.

After the Savior had begun his fast He persevered therein without eating anything for forty days, offering his fast to the eternal Father as a satisfaction for the disorder and sins to which men are drawn by the so vile and debasing, yet so common and even esteemed vice of gluttony. Just as our Lord overcame this vice so He also vanquished all the rest, and He made recompense to the eternal Judge and supreme Legislator for the injuries perpetrated through these vices by men. According to the enlightenment vouchsafed to me, our Savior, in order to assume the office of Preacher and Teacher and to become our Mediator and Redeemer before the Father, thus vanquished all the vices of mortals and He satisfied the offenses committed through them by the exercises of the virtues contrary to them, just as He did in regard to gluttony. Although He continued this exercise during all his life with the most ardent charity, yet during his fast He directed in a special manner all his efforts toward this purpose.

A loving Father, whose sons have committed great crimes for which they are to endure the most horrible punishment, sacrifices all his possessions in order ward off their impending fate: so our most loving Father and Brother, Jesus Christ, wished to pay our debts. In satisfaction for our pride He offered his profound humility; for our avarice, his voluntary poverty and total privation of all that was his; for our base and lustful inclinations, his penance and austerity; for our hastiness and vengeful anger, his meekness and charity toward his enemies; for our negligence and laziness, his ceaseless labors; for our deceitfulness and our envy, his candid and upright sincerity and truthfulness and the sweetness of his loving interactions. In this manner He continued to appease the just Judge and solicited pardon for us disobedient and bastard children; and He not only obtained this pardon for them, but He merited for them new graces and favors, so that they might make themselves worthy of his company and of the vision of his Father and his own inheritance for all eternity. Though He could have obtained all this for us by the most insignificant of his works; yet He acted not like we. He demonstrated his love so abundantly, that our ingratitude and hardness of heart will have no excuse.

In order to keep informed of the doings of our Savior the most blessed Mary needed no other assistance than her continual visions and revelations; but in addition to all these, She made use of the service of her holy angels, whom She sent to her divine Son. The Lord himself thus ordered it, in order that, by means of these faithful messengers, both He and She might rejoice in the sentiments and thoughts of their inmost hearts faithfully rehearsed by these celestial messengers; and thus They each heard the very same words as uttered by Each, although both Son and Mother already knew them in another way. As soon as the great Lady understood that our Redeemer was on the way to the desert to fulfill his intention, She locked the doors of her dwelling, without letting any one know of her presence; and her retirement during the time of our Lord’s fast was so complete, that her neighbors thought that She had left with her divine Son. She entered into her oratory and remained there for forty days and nights without ever leaving it and without eating anything, just as She knew was done by her most holy Son. Both of them observed the same course of rigorous fasting. In all his prayers and exercises, his prostrations and genuflections She followed our Savior, not omitting any of them; moreover She performed them just at the same time; for, leaving aside all other occupations, She thus profited by the information obtained from the angels and by that other knowledge, which I have already described. Whether He was present or not, She knew the interior operations of the soul of Christ. All his bodily movements, which She had been wont to perceive with her own senses, She now knew by intellectual vision or through her holy angels.

While the Savior was in the desert He made every day three hundred genuflections, which also was done by our Queen Mary in her oratory; the other portion of her time She spent in composing hymns with the angels, as I have said in the last chapter. Thus imitating Christ the Lord, the Holy Queen co–operated with Him in all his prayers and petitions, gaining the same victories over the vices, and on her part proportionately satisfying for them by her virtues and her exertions. Thus it happened, that, while Christ as our Redeemer gained for us so many blessings and abundantly paid all our debts, most holy Mary, as his Helper and our Mother, lent us her merciful intercession and became our Mediatrix to the fullest extent possible to a mere creature.

Christ the Savior permitted Lucifer to remain under the false impression, that He was a mere human creature though very holy and just; He wished to raise his courage and malice for the contest, for such is the effect of any advantages espied by the devil in his attacks upon the victims of his temptations. Rousing his courage by his own arrogance, he began this battle in the wilderness with greater prowess and fierceness than the demons ever exhibited in their battles with men. Lucifer and his satellites strained all their power and malice, lashing themselves into fury against the superior strength which they soon found in Christ our Lord. Yet our Savior tempered all his actions with divine wisdom and goodness, and in justice and equity concealed the secret source of his infinite power, exhibiting just so much as would suffice to prove Him to be a man so far advanced in holiness as to be able to gain these victories against the infernal foes. In order to begin the battle as man, He directed a prayer to the eternal Father from his inmost soul, to which the intelligence of the demon could not penetrate, saying: “My Father and eternal God, I now enter into battle with the enemy in order to crush his power and humble his pride and his malice against my beloved souls. For thy glory, and for the benefit of souls I submit to the daring presumption of Lucifer. I wish thereby to crush his head in order that when mortals are attacked by his temptations without their fault, they may find his arrogance already broken. I beseech Thee, my Father, to remember my battle and victory in favor of mortals assailed by the common enemy. Strengthen their weakness through my triumph, let them obtain victory; let them be encouraged by my example, and let them learn from Me how to resist and overcome their enemies.

During this battle the holy angels that attended upon Christ were hidden from the sight of Lucifer, in order that he might not begin to understand and suspect the divine power of our Savior. The holy spirits gave glory and praise to the Father and the Holy Ghost, who rejoiced in the works of the incarnate Word. The most blessed Virgin also from her oratory witnessed the battle in the manner to be described below. The temptation of Christ began on the thirty–fifth day of his fast in the desert, and lasted to the end of the fast, as related by the Evangelists. Lucifer assumed the shape of a man and presented himself before the Lord as a stranger, who had never seen or known Him before. He clothed himself in refulgent light, like that of an angel, and conjecturing that the Lord after his long fast must be suffering great hunger, he said to Him: “If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (Matth. 4, 3). By thus cunningly resting his advice on the supposition of his being the Son of God, the demon sought some information on what was giving him the greatest concern. But the Savior of the world answered only in these few words: “Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from mouth of God.”

Lucifer found himself repulsed by the force or answer and by the hidden power which accompanied it; but he wished to show no weakness, nor desist from the contest. The Lord allowed the demon to continue in his temptation and for this purpose permitted Himself carried by the devil bodily to Jerusalem and to be placed on the pinnacle of the temple. Here the Lord could see multitudes of people, though He himself was not seen by anybody. Lucifer tried to arouse in the Lord, the vain desire of casting Himself down from this high place, so that the crowds of men, seeing Him unhurt, might proclaim Him as a great and wonderful man of God. Again using the words of the holy Scriptures, he said to Him: “If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down, for it is written (Ps. 90, 11): that He hath given his angels charge over Thee, and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest perhaps Thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Matth. 4, 6). The heavenly spirits who accompanied their King, were full of wonder that He should permit Lucifer to carry Him bodily in his hands, solely for the benefit of mortal man. With the prince of darkness were gathered innumerable demons; for on that occasion hell was almost emptied of its inhabitants in order to furnish assistance for this enterprise. The Author of wisdom answered: “It is also written: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Deut. 6, 16). While giving these answers the Redeemer of the world exhibited a matchless meekness, profoundest humility, and a majesty so superior to all the attempts of satan, as was of itself alone sufficient to crush Lucifer’s arrogance and to cause him torments and confusion never felt before.

Being thus foiled, he attacked our Lord in still another way, seeking to rouse his ambition by offering Him some share in his dominion. For this purpose he took the Lord upon a high mount, from whence could be seen many lands, and said to Him with perfidious daring: “All these will I give to Thee, if falling down, Thou wilt adore me” (Matth. 4, 9). Exorbitant boldness, and more than insane madness and perfidy! Offering to the Lord what he did not possess, nor ever could give, since the earth, the stars, the kingdoms, principalities, riches and treasures, all belong to the Lord, and He alone can give or withhold them when it serves and pleases Him! Never can Lucifer give anything, even not of the things of the earth, and therefore all his promises are false. The King and Lord answered with imperial majesty: “Begone, satan, for it is written: The Lord thy God thou shalt adore, and Him only shalt thou serve.” By this command, “Begone satan,” Christ the Redeemer took away from Lucifer permission further to tempt Him, and hurled him and all his legions into the deepest abysses of hell. There they found themselves entirely crushed and buried in its deepest caverns, unable to move for three days. When they were permitted again to rise, seeing themselves thus vanquished and annihilated, they began to doubt whether He, who had so overwhelmed them, might not be the incarnate Son of God. In this doubt and uncertainty they remained, without ever being able to come to certain conviction until the death of the Savior. Lucifer was overcome by hellish wrath at his defeat and was almost consumed in his fury.

Our divine Conqueror Christ then sang hymns of praise and thanks to the eternal Father for having given Him this triumph over the common enemy of God and man; and amid the triumphal songs of a multitude of angels, He was borne back to the desert. They carried Him in their hands, although He had not need of their help, since He could make use of his own divine power; but this service of the angels was due to Him in recompense for enduring the audacity of Lucifer in carrying to the pinnacle of the temple and to the mountaintop the sacred humanity of Christ, in which dwelt substantially and truly the Divinity itself. It would never have entered into the thoughts of man, that the Lord should give such a permission to satan, if it had been made known to us in the Gospels.”

~Taken from The Mystical City of God (online)