Any species of animal must have a formation commensurate to its nature. We are humans with a human nature, but we are called to participate in the Divine Nature through baptism. How can our formation equal the grace already transmitted in the sacraments? Two ways: 1)To live according to the spirit, not the flesh (Romans 8) and 2) To go to the mother who singularly formed the human nature of the God-man.
“The history of the world from the beginning is but the history of the struggle between the powers of the world, and of hell, against the souls which are humbly devoted to the divine action. In this struggle all the advantage seems to be on the side of pride, yet the victory always remains with humility. The image of the world is always presented to our eyes as a statue of gold, brass, iron, and clay. This mystery of iniquity, shown in a dream to Nabuchodonosor, is nothing but a confused medley of all the actions, interior and exterior, of the children of darkness. This is also typified by the beast coming out of the pit to make war, from the beginning of time, against the interior and spiritual life of man. All that takes place in our days is the consequence of this war. Monster follows monster out of the pit, which swallows, and vomits them forth again amidst incessant clouds of smoke. The combat between St. Michael and Lucifer, that began in Heaven, still continues. The heart of this once magnificent angel, has become, through envy, an inexhaustible abyss of every kind of evil. He made angel revolt against angel in Heaven, and from the creation of the world his whole energy is exerted to make more criminals among men to fill the ranks of those who have been swallowed up in the pit. Lucifer is the chief of those who refuse obedience to the Almighty. This mystery of iniquity is the very inversion of the order of God; it is the order, or rather, the disorder of the devil. This disorder is a mystery because, under a false appearance of good, it hides irremediable and infinite evil. Every wicked man, who, from the time of Cain, up to the present moment, has declared war against God, has outwardly been great and powerful, making a great stir in the world, and being worshiped by all. But this outward semblance is a mystery. In reality they are beasts which have ascended from the pit one after another to overthrow the order of God. But this order, which is another mystery, has always opposed to them really great and powerful men who have dealt these monsters a mortal wound. As fast as hell vomits them forth, Heaven at the same time creates fresh heroes to combat them. Ancient history, sacred and profane, is but a record of this war. The order of God has ever remained victorious and those who have ranged themselves on the side of God have shared His triumph, and are happy for all eternity. Injustice has never been able to protect deserters. It can reward them only by death, an eternal death. Those who practise iniquity imagine themselves invincible. O God! who can resist You? If a single soul has the whole world and all hell against it, it need have no fear if, by abandonment, it takes its stand on the side of God and His order. The monstrous spectacle of wickedness armed with so much power, the head of gold, the body of silver, brass, and iron, is nothing more than the image of clay; a small stone cast at it will scatter it to the four winds of Heaven. How wonderfully has the Holy Spirit illustrated the centuries of the world! So many startling revelations! so many renowned heroes following each other like so many brilliant stars! So many wonderful events!”—Fr. De Caussade SJ, Abandonment to Divine Providence, p. 66-68
“Act bravely, my brethren; take courage and trust in the Lord. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase. The devils will have unusual power; the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who obey the true Supreme Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal ears and perfect charity.
“At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death. Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.
“There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God….
“Those who persevere in their fervor and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth…
“Some preachers will keep silent about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them, not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.”
—Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, published in 1882 by the London-based Catholic publishing house R. Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250.
This is actually one of my most hope-filled posts, but follow me down the bad rabbit hole of humanism for a minute before we come rocketing up to the glory of God: Most conservative pundits say that the world is now worse than previous centuries. However, most professors of world history at American and European universities teach that (except for modern wars) we now live in a world much safer, thanks to medicine, secularism and globalism. Of course, I would want to point the latter group to the millions of yearly abortions, but the Western academy will not accept that the unborn constitute an actual genocide of slaughtered human beings.
However, every once in awhile, even the liberal academy releases evidence that things are now worse now than ever in world history. The United-Nations-affiliate International Labor Organization released statistics in 2017 that there are now 40 million people in modern slavery and 152 million in child labour around the world: “The new estimates also show that women and girls are disproportionately affected by modern slavery, accounting almost 29 million, or 71 per cent of the overall total. Women represent 99 per cent of the victims of forced labour in the commercial sex industry and 84 per cent of forced marriages.” Notice that the trans-Atlantic slave trade of the 18th century had enslaved between 6 million and 7 million black slaves from Africa. 1
But the Apostle Paul writes: “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”—Romans 5:20b
St. John of the Cross writes: “The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of His wisdom and spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare His treasures more.”—Dichas, #1
So, two things have been on my mind incessantly the past year as I see world history “circling the drain” (as people in EMS would rather irreverently describe deteriorating patients.)
First, I see great global hope of Christians uniting. (Remember I have never been accused of being an optimist on this topic, so follow me closely here.) This is because I think constantly of a mysterious, short 20-page prophetic fiction written in 1900 by the elusive Russian named Vladimir Soloviev. He called his short work Antichrist, and I linked it here on my Evernote if you want to take the 25 minutes to read it. I highly highly suggest you read it. In this short and striking tale of the future, the final global persecutor of the few remaining good Catholics, good Orthodox and good Protestants accidentally becomes the one to unite all Christians. Yes, you read that correctly: God uses the final antichrist to unite all Christians into one fold. The few remaining final Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants become one under the final Peter in this hauntingly beautiful apocalyptic tale.
Secondly, I think constantly of St. Louis De Montfort who wrote, “Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Christ. … But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her.”
St. Louis De Montfort prophesies that the true apostles of the latter times will look like this:
Towards the end of the world … Almighty God and His holy Mother are to raise up saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs.
These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her spirit, supported by her arms, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other.
With one hand they will give battle, overthrowing and crushing heretics and their heresies, schismatics and their schisms, idolaters and their idolatries, sinners and their wickedness. With the other hand they will build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God, namely, the Blessed Virgin. …
They will be like thunderclouds flying through the air at the slightest breath of the Holy Spirit. Attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, they will shower down the rain of God’s word and of eternal life. They will thunder against sin; they will storm against the world; they will strike down the devil and his followers and for life and for death, they will pierce through and through with the two-edged sword of God’s word all those against whom they are sent by Almighty God.
They will be true apostles of the latter times to whom the Lord of Hosts will give eloquence and strength to work wonders and carry off glorious spoils from His enemies. They will sleep without gold or silver and, more important still, without concern in the midst of other priests, ecclesiastics and clerics. Yet they will have the silver wings of the dove enabling them to go wherever the Holy Spirit calls them, filled as they are, with the resolve to seek the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Wherever they preach, they will leave behind them nothing but the gold of love, which is the fulfillment of the whole law.
They will have the two-edged sword of the Word of God in their mouths and the bloodstained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the Rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart.
“Though it is impossible to give accurate figures, some historians have estimated that 6 to 7 million black slaves were imported to the New World during the 18th century alone, depriving the African continent of some of its healthiest and ablest men and women.”—history.com ↩
The final quote was taken from St. Louis De Montfort’s True Devotion #56-59. The images I chose for this post are both pictures I took on Good Friday above the altar at St. Maron Church in Jacksonville, FL. This is a Maronite-Rite (Lebanese) Catholic Church in union with Rome. ↩
I interviewed Joseph Sciambra about his exit from work in gay pornography to a chaste life in the Catholic Church. This is part 2 of 2, live from the Castro, San Francisco. You can find a lot more about Joseph’s life and apostolate at www.josephsciambra.com.
You can watch both of these coffee-shop interviews with Joseph and myself on Sensus Fidelium.
I interviewed Joseph Sciambra about his exit from work in gay pornography to a chaste life in the Catholic Church. This is part 1 of 2 of my interview in the Castro, San Francisco. You can find a lot more about Joseph at www.josephsciambra.com
On 13 October 1884, Pope Leo XIII entered a trance after finishing Mass in the Vatican and he saw Jesus and Satan talking:
Satan: “I can destroy Your Church.”
Our Lord: “You can? Then go ahead and do so.”
Satan: “To do so, I need more time and more power.”
Our Lord: “How much time? How much power?”
Satan: “75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.”
Our Lord: “You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will.”
Pope Leo XIII then went to compose his prayer to St. Michael to be prayed after Masses everywhere.
Fast forward 33 years to 1917 when the Mother of God would have monthly apparitions to simple shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. To these children, Mary revealed warnings about World War II and the future of the Catholic Church. Besides these prophesies coming true, the children were also vindicated when 70,000 onlookers (including atheists) saw the sun zig-zagging and diving to the earth:
Even secular press admitted this “sun miracle” took place. It was probably the most spectacular miracle in the history of the world, at least since the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What is the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
Several months before that miracle, Mary spoke to those same children of the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart in regards to Russia and the entire future of the world and the Catholic Church. She said:
“If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” 1
I have only recently been convinced how much Communism has already influenced the United States in our American social policies (sex-education) to our social habits (women in the work place) to the intolerance of Christianity in the academy (all the while Russia slowly crawls back to her own Christian roots.) But what does it mean that “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph“? This is only my theory but I believe there are only two possibilities for this triumph period of peace, and they are indeed mutually exclusive:
1) The end of the world.
2) The transition from this turbulent fifth age of the Church into the sixth and peaceful age of the Church.
The second admittedly sounds strange, and we will get to that later. But let’s start with evidence for the first via a Vatican-approved apparition of Mary. The Mother of God appeared to some children in Africa throughout the 1980s, warning them about heaven and hell, as well as a coming genocide to Rwanda (which ended up coming true in 1994.) One of the visionaries of Our Lady of Kibeho said this about Our Lady’s warnings:
“Because she loves us so much, she wants us to have more faith in God. During Advent we should reflect upon the return of Jesus. She told me that her Son will return to Earth soon, and that our souls must be prepared for His arrival. The world is in a very bad way…”—Visionary at Kibeho, Rwanda
This sounds like Christ is returning soon! Furthermore, it seems that many of the criteria for Christ’s second coming found in Matthew 24 have been fulfilled. 2
However, there is more evidence for the second theory, namely that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not going to be the end of the world, but rather a new era of peace coming upon the Church and the whole world. This is already found in the writings of Ven. Bartholomew Holzhauser, a 17th century founder of a religious community who conglomerated the teaching of many saints and prophets. Much evidence points to the fact that we (now in the 21st century) are at the end of that tumultuous fifth age of the Church coming quickly into the sixth age of an “era of peace.” Notice how similar this is to what Mary said at Fatima regarding a “period of peace.” In fact, many canonized saints and ancient prophets conglomerated in this book prophesy that the sixth age of Church history will include two figures known as “The Holy Pope” and “The Great Catholic Monarch.” (I preached on these two expected men in the second half of a podcast here.) 3
Even before the death of the last Apostle, already the Catholic Church was facing several antichrists (See 1 John 2:18.) However, the final antichrist will not come until the seventh age of the Church, concurrent with several global happenings I podcasted about here, all proved from the Bible and the Catechism, not private revelation. Again, notice that we are only in the fifth age of the Church, and these events will be found in the seventh age of the Church, so the final antichrist is probably not in power yet anywhere in the world.
Still, our current age of Church history also has plenty of trouble, and Our Lady of Akita gave astonishingly clear warnings of the future to Sr. Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa in as late as 1973:
“The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…The Church will be full of those who accept compromises….”—Our Lady of Akita, 13 October 1973
Notice that date of 13 October: 13 October is the date of Pope Leo XIII’s vision of Jesus and Satan. 13 October is the date of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. 13 October is the date of one of the main apparitions of Our Lady of Akita! Our Lady of Akita also spoke of a coming chastisement if we do not repent:
“As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests.”—Our Lady of Akita. 4
Besides the days of Acts of the Apostles, I would argue that these are the most exciting times of Church history in which to live as a Catholic! We will either get to see Christ’s second return, or, more likely, the ushering in of a great Catholic era of [relative] world peace and a restoration of all things Catholic, albeit through a great chastisement. Yes, Our Lady of Good Success promised this “complete restoration” of the Catholic Church sometime after the 20th century. So, I believe this is the transition from the fifth age of the Church to the peaceful sixth age of the Church via a global chastisement. Perhaps the most important line of Fatima is:
“The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
We know this will happen, so our goal as simple Catholics remains the same to expedite this: To stay in sanctifying grace. This is nearly guaranteed in a relationship with Jesus Christ, a deep prayer life, frequent confession and the daily Rosary. Yes, Our Lady of Akita warned us for tough times, even a fiery chastisement, but we were made for a time like this! God did not make a mistake in which time period He placed you. We have already been given the boldness, courage and fortitude to remain with Jesus and Mary so that Russia may be converted and so that your children (or at least your grandchildren) will see that “period of peace granted to the world.” I write of these private revelations not to scare you but to show that whereas the earth seems to be in a free-fall, the Blessed Trinity is actually in total control of modern world history and modern Church history. We can neither stop the punishment for sins nor stop the coming Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, but I believe we can expedite both by our prayers and penance in sacrificial love. Yes, it all now depends on you and your Rosary beads…more than any players in modern world history.
This quote comes from Louis Kondor, S.V.D. (Ed.) Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words (Fatima: Postulation Centre, 1976), p. 162. Although this blog post is not about whether Russia was adequately consecrated or not, it is interesting to note what Fr. Gabriele Amorth said about this. Before his death last year, he was the chief exorcist of Rome (and before that) a trusted man of Pope John Paul II. Fr. Amorth said the following about Russia here. ↩
I already know that many people want to say “But we don’t know the day nor the hour!” Yes, I know Christ says that. But just because we don’t know the “day nor the hour” of Christ’s return does not mean that we won’t know the year! Not that I claim to have any idea when that year actually is, but Jesus never would have given us so many clues in Matthew 24 if we were supposed to be totally in the dark on eschatological events. Remember also that Christ’s indication in the Gospels of the coming the destruction of the Temple (70 AD) was enough to get all the early Jewish-Christian converts out of Jerusalem to the hills before its destruction. The temple is a microcosm of the cosmos, and the cosmos will also burn one day, so it would make sense why Christ would give us the clues of Matthew 24 regarding his return. Even CNN admits we have had more earthquakes than ever before in history. Notice how many of these are taking place.: As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your ycoming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.↩
Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (17th Century)
The fifth period of the Church, which began circa 1520, will end with the arrival of the holy Pope and of the powerful Monarch who is called “Help From God” because he will restore everything. The fifth period is one of affliction, desolation, humiliation, and poverty for the Church. Jesus Christ will purify His people through cruel wars, famines, plagues, epidemics, and other horrible calamities. He will also afflict and weaken the Latin Church with many heresies. It is a period of defections, calamities and exterminations. Those Christians who survive the sword, plague and famines, will be few on earth. During this period, many men will abuse of the freedom of conscience conceded to them. It is of such men that Jude the Apostle spoke when he said, “These men blaspheme whatever they do not understand; and they corrupt whatever they know naturally as irrational animals do.” They will ridicule Christian simplicity; they will call it folly and nonsense, but they will have the highest regard for advanced knowledge, and for the skill by which the axioms of law, the precepts of morality, the Holy Canons and religious dogmas are clouded by senseless questions and elaborate arguments. These are the evil times, a century full of dangers and calamities. Heresy is everywhere, and the followers of heresy are in power almost everywhere. but God will permit a great evil against His Church: Heretics and tyrants will come suddenly and unexpectedly; they will break into the Church. They will enter Italy and lay Rome waste; they will burn down churches and destroy everything. ↩
These are not crackpot apparitions or backwater trad tales. After eight years of investigations, Bishop John Shojiro Ito, Bishop of Niigata, Japan, recognized “the supernatural character of a series of mysterious events concerning the statue of the Holy Mother Mary” and authorized “throughout the entire diocese, the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita, while awaiting that the Holy See publishes definitive judgment on this matter.”—EWTN. EWTN also remarks on the veracity of the apparitions of Our Lady of Akita: “Despite claims that Cardinal Ratzinger gave definitive approval to Akita in 1988, no ecclesiastical decree appears to exist, as certainly would in such a case. However, some individuals, such as former Ambassador of the Phillipines to the Holy See, Mr. Howard Dee, have stated that they were given private assurances by Cardinal Ratzinger of the authenticity of Akita. In any case, in keeping with the current norms, given the absence of a repudiation of Bp. Ito’s decision by his successors, or by higher authority, the events of Akita continue to have ecclesiastical approval.”
Another key line of Our Lady of Akita regarding this chastisement is this:
“In order that the world might know His anger, the Heavenly Father is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on all mankind. With my Son I have intervened so many times to appease the wrath of the Father. I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering Him the sufferings of the Son on the Cross, His Precious Blood, and beloved souls who console Him forming a cohort of victim souls. Prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices can soften the Father’s anger. I desire this also from your community…that it love poverty, that it sanctify itself and pray in reparation for the ingratitude and outrages of so many men.”—Our Lady of Akita. ↩
Blessed are You, Magnificent Holy Father of Gentleness and Majesty. Nothing compares to you, the Holy, Almighty One of Israel. Thank you Father for your power—You to whom all things in heaven, on earth and under the earth, do bow and obey. I now see that You alone are worthy, O God. I praise you and worship you with holy hands, night and day in the temple with Simeon. Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, how sweet are you to me who cries “God alone!” Kyrie Eleison. I adore you profoundly in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, all aflame with the Holy Spirit. I pierced the meek and mild heart of your Son Jesus by my many sins. I repent heartily of my sins and those of the whole world. Victorious Lion of Judah, as your child, I ask you for these fruits of the Resurrection: Trust, purity, peace and wonder. Tenderly may our charity cover a multitude of sins of rage and fear growing in the world today, present in the darkness of my heart, too. Heal this land, for we know not what we do. Jesus, Your Church shows that Love is the Triumph of the cross when the world thinks it has won. Let us lose ourselves for Love, ever more sincerely and joyfully, even with growing persecutions against your littlest ones. I adore you Jesus, Adonai, my Lord and my God! Let every cell in my body speak of your wounds—once in your pain and tears—now in the Eucharistic host silent as a lamb before its shearers, forgotten, dropped and sacrileged these nights. I offer you my life with yours. I give you everything and I thank you for everything. I want to bring many souls to you. I want to love you recklessly. I want to be free and lose myself fumbling after Love. Please turn my rights, blaming and rage into gift and levity. O radiant Holy Spirit let me drown in the silent torrent of your love. Your lightnings light up the world. The earth sees and trembles. Please bless my Memory and my memories; purify my imagination. One word from You will disperse a million demons and restore the wasted years. So, I give my life for your glory in the renewal of the Liturgy, and the rescue of all lives on earth, in purgatory and for the unborn, the frozen and the trafficked. Deliver us, and atone for our sins, for Your Name’s sake! Mary Immaculata, my Mother, you are so beautiful and strong. Help me to keep and to remember. Cover me in your smile so that my justice may become God’s mercy. Let this, your prince’s prayer remain in our heart today, so we may worship the Living God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with many angels, numbering myriads of myriads, today and forever, crying: Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how untraceable His paths! Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. Amen.
Myth 1: Catholic means universal, as in what all Catholics believe in the 21st century.
Truth: Catholic is that which is believed everywhere, always and by all.
Many people believe that the term “Catholic” means universal in Latin. This is true, but the Greek root of this word is even older:
As you can see, Catholic means “according to the whole.” By whole, that means everything in the Bible and oral tradition (2 Thess 2:15.) It means the fullness of the truth. The modern myth is that “Catholic” means universal—but only today. The problem with this definition is that it falls short of the original Patristic definitions of Catholic. The fifth century monk St. Vincent of Lérins taught: “Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believedeverywhere, always, by all (quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est.)”—St. Vincent of Lérins, Commonitorium 4. Thus, Catholic doesn’t mean that quasi-deposit of the faith which is believed universally in an isolated époque of history, but rather the common teaching of the Popes and Fathers and saints of the 2nd century and the 8th century and the 13th century and the 17th century, and every century of the Magisterium.
Myth 2: Church History is like a pendulum that swings back and forth between conservative and liberal.
Truth: Church history is politically unstable, but dogmatically quite stable, except for two unique doctrinal crises in Church history. Even in these periods, the Magisterium remains untouched.
I graduated from a Jesuit high school and a Jesuit University and then I had another several years of Jesuit spiritual direction in seminary. I owe the Jesuits a lot, at least the true sons of Ignatius. But one of those false-sons of Ignatius tuaght us at some point in high-school that Church history is like a pendulum that swung back and forth between “conservative” and “liberal.”
For perhaps a decade, I promoted this odd teaching.
But as I started reading Church history, I never found a century when the pendulum went to “the left.” I found that St. Ignatius of Antioch (1st century) taught the same thing about salvation outside the Church as St. Alphonsus Liguori (18th century) as St. Theresa of Avila (16th century) as, yes, even every liberal’s favorite mascot, St. Francis of Assisi. Before that, I would happily remind people in my high-school days that “St. Francis of Assisi said that we should preach the Gospel always; use words if necessary.”
Well, then I found out that St. Francis of Assisi believed words to be so necessary to the preaching of the Gospel for the salvation of Muslims that he actually went to Muslim lands to preach to the Sultan the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church:
Thus, there was no pendulum swing to “the left” as we had been taught. It was always on the right, with every saint teaching that “No one comes to the Father except through me.”—John 14:6. In other words, if everyone’s favorite ecumenical mascot St. Francis of Assisi wrote “woe to those who die in mortal sin,” then there are no saints of the left-leaning pendulum. If St. Therese of Lisieux fasted as a child from not only food, but also water to save the criminal Pranzini as he approached the gallows, then who are all these Methodist-sounding saints before, say, 1950? When, before our odd modern times did the pendulum swing to the left? Was it in the 8th century? Or the 16th century? Who are these mysterious ecumenical saints of the 2nd century or the 13th century or the 18th century? Who are the saints of the pendulum leaning left and away from traditional Catholicism? I never found any. Write me if you do.
The only explanation is that we don’t have a pendulum swing. We have solid and normal and beautiful Catholicism for 20 centuries, all except the Arian crisis and the current modernist crisis.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan names the crises of the Church here including:
1) The Arian heresy, about which I podcasted here yesterday.
2) The Dark Century of the Roman Mafia
3) The Great Western Schism
4) Today’s Anthropocentric Crisis that Bp. Athanasius describes as “doctrinal, moral and tremendous liturgical anarchy.”
Notice that there have been four great crises in Church History, but see that exclusively number two and number three refer mostly to politics of the Church, not much doctrine. But the first crisis (the Arian crisis) and today’s crisis (the anthropocentric crisis) is doctrinal first. That means that essentially, these are about the only times in history when nearly all Catholics have almost globally and entirely diverted from Catholic Deposit of the Faith on matters “doctrinal, moral and liturgical” as His Excellency has pointed out. Indeed, we have a pretty unbroken tradition of what was taught always and at all times in an Apostolic manner, except for two unique crises when dogmatic relativism ruled even the hierarchy.
It is no wonder that our liturgy is so different from every single century, either.
The most recent shocker of this new mis-narrative in Catholic Church history is that certain modernists now belabor orthodox Catholics for being “Pelagians” for simply taking the Gospel seriously, while simultaneously teaching that a “good” atheist can go to heaven by his deeds. That is the true definition of Pelagianism, for the Bible and the Church have always taught that a man can not be saved by his good works, without the blood of Jesus Christ. 1
So, put it all together, and you can see that there is no pendulum swing. Catholicism was Catholicism in every century ubique, semper, et ab omnibus except the 4th century and the 20th century. St. Athanasius taught in that first crisis that the only way back to the source is to see what Christ and the Apostles taught in unbroken Magisterial authority in faith and morals, unbroken in a straight stream (with only slight diversions of style and discipline) for every century before his own.
Mary, the destroyer of all heresies, will lead us back to Her Son Jesus, and the beliefs of her dear and earliest Christians.
The Most Precious Blood of our redemption can be applied via perfect contrition in an extraordinary way through faith and love without baptism, like that which was given to the thief at the foot of the cross, but the ordinary way of salvation is the free gift of baptism, “for it is baptism that now saves you.”—1 Peter 3:21 and the works necessary for salvation described extremely clearly in Matthew 25. ↩
This podcast considers the heresy of Arius and how St. Athanasius (featured image on blog, feast day 2 May) promoted the faith that is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. That Christ is homoousian (of one substance or one in being) with the Father is the true and orthodox view. Heterodox or heretical views include homoiousian (that the Son is of a similar substance to the Father but not the same) and homoian (that the Son is similar to the Father, in all things, without speaking of substance) and heteroousian (that the Son is of a different substance from the Father, that is, created, as Arius wrongly taught.) But again, the orthodox teaching is that God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are homoousian or one in being as found in the Athanasian Creed, below in both English and Latin below.
Athanasian Creed in English:
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Ghost Uncreate. The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensibles, but One Uncreated, and One Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting Salvation, that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.
God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the substance of His mother, born into the world. Perfect God and Perfect Man, of a reasonable Soul and human Flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood. Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but One Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into Flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by Unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one Man, so God and Man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into Hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.
Symbolum S. Athanasii
Quicúmque vult salvus esse, *
ante ómnia opus est, ut téneat cathólicam fidem:
Quam nisi quisque íntegram inviolatámque serváverit,
absque dúbio in aetérnum períbit.
Fides autem cathólica haec est: *
ut unum Deum in Trinitáte, et Trinitátem in unitáte venerémur.
Neque confundéntes persónas, *
neque substántiam seperántes.
Alia est enim persóna Patris, alia Fílii, *
alia Spíritus Sancti:
Sed Patris, et Fílii, et Spíritus Sancti una est divínitas,
aequális glória, coaetérna maiéstas.
Qualis Pater, talis Fílius, *
talis Spíritus Sanctus.
Increátus Pater, increátus Fílius, *
increátus Spíritus Sanctus.
Immènsus Pater, imménsus Fílius, *
imménsus Spíritus Sanctus.
Aetérnus Pater, aetérnus Fílius, *
aetérnus Spíritus Sanctus.
Et tamen non tres aetérni, *
sed unus aetérnus.
Sicut non tres increáti, nec tres imménsi, *
sed unus increátus, et unus imménsus.
Simíliter omnípotens Pater, omnípotens Fílius, *
omnípotens Spíritus Sanctus.
Et tamen non tres omnipoténtes, *
sed unus omnípotens.
Ita Deus Pater, Deus Fílius, *
Deus Spíritus Sanctus.
Et tamen non tres dii, *
sed unus est Deus.
Ita Dóminus Pater, Dóminus Fílius, *
Dóminus Spíritus Sanctus.
Et tamen non tres Dómini, *
sed unus est Dóminus.
Quia, sicut singillátim unamquámque persónam Deum ac Dóminum confitéri christiána veritáte compéllimur: *
ita tres Deos aut Dóminos dícere cathólica religióne prohibémur.
Pater a nullo est factus: *
nec creátus, nec génitus.
Fílius a Patre solo est:*
non factus, nec creátus, sed génitus.
Spíritus Sanctus a Patre et Fílio: *
non factus, nec creátus, nec génitus, sed procédens.
Unus ergo Pater, non tres Patres: unus Fílius, non tres Fílii: *
unus Spíritus Sanctus, non tres Spíritus Sancti.
Et in hac Trinitáte nihil prius aut postérius, nihil maius aut minus: *
sed totae tres persónae coaetèrnae sibi sunt et coaequáles.
Ita ut per ómnia, sicut iam supra dictum est, *
et únitas in Trinitáte, et Trínitas in unitáte veneránda sit.
Qui vult ergo salvus esse, *
ita de Trinitáte séntiat.
Sed necessárium est ad aetérnam salútem, *
ut incarnatiónem quoque Dómini nostri Iesu Christi fidéliter credat.
Est ergo fides recta ut credámus et confiteámur, *
quia Dóminus noster Iesus Christus, Dei Fílius, Deus et homo est.
Deus est ex substántia Patris ante saécula génitus: *
et homo est ex substántia matris in saéculo natus.
Perféctus Deus, perféctus homo: *
ex ánima rationáli et humána carne subsístens.
Aequális Patri secúndum divinitátem: *
minor Patre secúndum humanitátem.
Qui, licet Deus sit et homo, *
non duo tamen, sed unus est Christus. .
Unus autem non conversióne divinitátis in carnem, *
sed assumptióne humanitátis in Deum.
Unus omníno, non confusióne substántiae, *
sed unitáte persónae.
Nam sicut ánima rationális et caro unus est homo:
ita Deus et homo unus est Christus.
Qui passus est pro salúte nostra: descéndit ad ínferos: *
tértia die resurréxit a mórtuis.
Ascéndit ad coélos, sedet ad déxteram Dei Patris omnipoténtis: *
inde ventúrus est iudicáre vivos et mórtuos.
Ad cuius advéntum omnes hómines resúrgere habent cum corpóribus suis: *
et redditúri sunt de factis própriis ratiónem.
Et qui bona egérunt, ibunt in vitam aetérnam: *
qui vero mala, in ígnem aetérnum.
Haec est fides cathólica, *
quam nisi quisque fidéliter firmitérque credíderit, salvus esse non póterit.