We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Living right on the left coast of North America!

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.—2 Thessalonians 2:15

Thursday, October 29, 2015

War on Five Fronts

The Church is facing a spiritual war on five (or more) fronts. They are more than regional skirmishes. They are global battles for souls. We are in the midst of a world war that is expanding and devouring people, robbing them of their spiritual well being and in many cases robbing them of their very lives.
  1. The sexual revolt. And, yes, the fallout from the sexual revolution has been entirely revolting: disease; death; divorce. Which brings us to Front #2... .
  2. Denial of inalienable rights; attacks on freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. Sexual and gender "rights" are trumping religious and conscience rights. We are witnessing, once again, the ascendancy of the irrational, which can only mean the innocent will suffer additional injustices. There are days when one would be right to ask 'Are we living in North Korea?'
  3. Sectarian proselytizing of Catholics in the Americas, India and other areas with a long history of Catholic community. Poaching is nothing new to Catholics. Sects envious of the Church and Her faithfulness to Christ have followed Catholic missionaries once the ground as been tilled in an attempt to lure Catholics away from the Church that Christ founded.
  4. Militant Islam. Christians are frequently attacked for being Christian in the Middle East and throughout Europe. Militants identify themselves as faithful muslims.
  5. Internal dissent. Traitorous behaviour by clergy and laity. Being faithful is unfashionable. Faithful Catholics, i.e., those who keep Jesus' commandments, are looked upon with disdain and are called disparaging names by priests and people who have little interest in living the Holy Gospel with integrity.
The last concern is by far the most significant threat to the Church, a threat exposed in no uncertain terms during the recent Synod, because dissent creates confusion which undermines faith. The antidote to dissent is authentic religious formation. That is, orthodox catechesis which guides believers more deeply into an intimate loving communion with Jesus Christ and His Church.

Dissing the Catholic Faith

While our brothers and sisters perish under the crushing heel of militant Islamic forces (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and many others), dissidents inside the Church—among them cardinals, bishops and priests—hack away at the Faith. They propose an alien gospel, which is the latest attack on the life of the Church. Another massive assault on the Faith of the Church, too, has occurred. That is, the assault on the very source and summit of the Church, the Holy Eucharist. Faith in the Real Presence has dwindled to an abysmal low. Will Christ find faith on earth when He returns?

Allied to external forces that seek to undermine the family and marriage, internal dissidents are the most vile operators among the five threats. Certainly, the constant persecution of Christians constitutes a grave injustice. Our martyrs, it must be noted, are our greatest allies in the fight against evil. Their blood is also the seed of conversion for the enemies of truth, freedom and human life. Their witness and intercession in the presence of the Lord also brings to the aid of those left here on earth the power of the Holy Spirit.

God has not forgotten His children in Syria, Iraq and the Middle East, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, China and throughout Africa and elsewhere [click HERE for map]. The present darkness is a temptation to despair. Most of us in the West have little or no idea as to the depth of the loss, frustration and fear our many brothers and sisters experience on a daily basis.

A brief history of evil.

In the darkest days of the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of Catholics and other resisters shared the suffering of the Jewish people in the death camps. In the midst of unimaginable suffering, saints like Maximilian Kolbe and Sister Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) provided a powerful witness to hope through which the light of Christ shone into a corner of hell on earth, a hell established by misguided men wed to evil.

Even a cursory glance at the history of World War II (and the Cold War) should convince even the most hardened skeptic to consider the possibility that the evil which men perpetrated against the innocent was beyond anything men could concoct and sustain on their own. What fuelled their evil deeds? The same evil which fuels the actions of ISIS and which fuels the actions of the proponents of the sexual revolution and all its variations, and which fuels the actions of men determined to alter and/or ignore the received Tradition of the Holy Catholic Church.

The distraction provided by the Kasperian elements at the Synod is nothing short of detestable. How dare sons of the Church attack their mother? How dare they betray her to Caesar? How dare they lead souls into hell by advocating Holy Communion for those who have deliberately and defiantly chosen to live in sinful lifestyles that contradict the mind of Christ and His Church? They all dare to defy Christ because they have the same evil mastering them as the evil which has mastered all the militant Islamic groups and which has mastered those who seek to have the Church embrace the culture of death.

Sectarian Schism

In the Americas, Catholics have long faced attempts by Mormons and various "free churches" to make inroads into areas where Catholics have long practiced the Faith. Catholic communities have been gradually undermined by groups which purport to teach the Gospel but, in fact, teach a truncated gospel that severs believers from the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church founded by Jesus upon Saint Peter. Where these sectarian groups have conquered many local peoples, the sacraments have been abandoned and pastors of said groups have acquired much wealth. It would seem that the prosperity gospel—which is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ—has made community leaders rich while their flocks remain impoverished.

The USA provides the lion's share of evangelical protestant missionaries to South America, a continent that has languished under the past exploitative practices of greedy multinational corporations that have left much of the southern continent in turmoil. The South has, more recently, suffered considerably from interference by (pro-abortion, pro-contraception) political-social organizations.

Now, the South is being subject to another wave of negative influence from the North by religious groups that seek to profit from a harvest of economically marginalized peoples. Humanitarian aid from these groups is often conditional, a form of bribery to entice people into their ranks. The activity of the sectarian religious groups amounts to collusion with North American political organizations in the continuing economic subjugation and spiritual corruption of a people whose Catholic culture is under threat from a neocolonial surge.

How do we fight a war on five fronts? We fast and we pray and we give alms. 

Call on the name of the Lord to rescue His people from the clutches of men who would rob the faithful of their physical and spiritual health and well being.
  1. We pray the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her powerful intercession dispels despair and is a sword of truth wielded against the invisible adversaries against whom we should first direct our prayers. Mary's name causes demons to flee.
  2. We call on God to send His holy angels to our defence! The very name of the archangel Michael ('Who is like God?') is a question that challenges all who would defy the will of God. Michael's name reminds us to submit to the authority of God. Michael's name causes demons to flee.
  3. We contribute to organizations like Aid to the Church in Need [click here to donate] which provide material and moral support to those exiled from their lands and those forced to the margins of hostile societies.
  4. We accompany others in their journey of faith. We dispose ourselves to the Holy Spirit Who gives grace to help us be vessels of peace and wisdom that is offered to those who thirst for truth and meaning. We equip ourselves as disciples by knowing our Catholic story, which is the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. First and foremost, we have to be faithful disciples. We are, by virtue of being Christian, a sign of contradiction that worldly men and women are unable to comprehend. We reshape the false narrative that the world offers by becoming the narrative Christ wants to speak in and through us. We are mediators of the Holy Gospel. We invite others into that story. We meet people where they are at and, like our Lord and Saviour and sustained by His grace, we call people out of sin to live a new life in Christ. We stay close to Jesus and His Church; we think with the Church (sentire cum ecclesia). We pray the Lord's will be done.
On more than one occasion, Mary's intercession has saved the innocent from hostile forces. The Battle of Lepanto comes to mind. A tiny Christian fleet defeated a massive Turkish armada because Mary loaned her powerful intercession to the faithful men of the fleet which opposed forces hostile to Christian civilization.

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.