All posts by Father David Nix

Fathers: Protect Your Children Spiritually

What is Transferred in the Generational Line

One of the most amazing things about the God of the New and Old Testament is how He deals with families. Although women are frequently holier than their husbands, God has chosen—already found in the first book of the Bible—the generational blessing to be transferred from the husband through the boys of his family and so on.

Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.—Genesis 27:38

We long for our father’s blessing, but we often only receive his negligence or bad habits. Nowadays, there is a lot of talk these days about generational curses, and these do indeed exist, but we have to be careful about falling overboard into generational fatalism. At one point in the history of Israel, God gets so fed up with the Hebrew “daddy-wound” excuse that He prohibits this parable from being spoke all over Israel: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.

What this means is that God prohibited the excuse, “I sinned because my Dad sinned.” It’s like:  My Dad ate bad grapes, so I can’t get my act together. In modern terms, it would be “I’m an alcoholic because my Dad is an alcoholic.” or “I’m addicted to porn because my Dad abused me.” Although there is a high correlation for both of these evils that I do not mean to mock, we must also remember that God prohibits excuses, for God has given to every man a free-will to begin a new family with fresh responsibility:

The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.—Ezekiel 18:1-4. 1

The reason we can not use a pious “daddy wound” excuse for our sins is because the grace we receive from God in the sacraments is infinitely more powerful than our physical, fallen bloodline. The grace and peace coming through the Precious Blood of Jesus is more powerful than the sins of the bloodline of the Maranzano family or the Mangano family or your family or my family. This is why God prohibits the ancient “daddy wound” excuse of the fathers eating sour grapes as it somehow transfers to the kids.  2

Although only original sin (not actual sins) transfers down a bloodline, the propensity for sins can indeed transfer down a bloodline, especially when mortal sins are committed under the roof of your children (and yes, pornography and drunkenness are both mortal sins.) This is where I am going to admonish the men reading this blog post to double-down in their vigilance against curses (that come primarily from their own sins) and blessings (literal blessings upon their children) to leave a legacy in their families today. I am going to give five battle-goals in this post.

Why should our vigilance be doubled?

Good Catholic parents keep telling me about their good children who are more frequently showing a propensity for same-sex attraction, transgender feelings, children making strange noises (yes, I know most kids make odd noises, but I mean preternaturally strange noises) as well as a highly-unusual propensity for finding pornography. Even relatively sheltered kids are doing sexual dances without ever having been taught. How is this possible?

It is either through learned behavior via the five-senses or through some type of cultural osmosis or even by demons that come into the home. I had written in an earlier blog post against pornography that a man must not use pornography unless he wants demons to invade his home. I realize this is a rather show-stopping claim, but every exorcist I know will back me up on this claim. Thus, I stick by this original claim.

But now, I am realizing something more scary: Even men who are successfully avoiding pornography and other mortal sins are finding their very young children get into sexual dancing and perverted experiments with themselves or other strange things. Some of this is the common effect of original sin that is only avoided in the childhood accounts of canonized saints.  But nowadays, some of these unusual perversions are because the fathers of families are not providing the full gamut of protection prayers and blessings that their children need against the most perverse and pro-death culture in the history of the world. Indeed, refraining from pornography is only the beginning of keeping many demons out of the home. But from what many good Catholic families are now reporting to me, I see: It is not enough.

I want to give my top five suggestions for how men can begin to provide spiritual protection for their families.

Five-Point Battle Plan:

1. Pray at least Five Decades of Daily Rosary with your family. You can no longer afford to say “We try for one decade at night but we have little kids who are too unruly.” Fine. Put the little ones to bed and say the five decades with the kids who can stay awake. Or, if none can stay awake, go to your bed and get on your knees with your wife at your side, and pray five decades of the Rosary with her. Or, perhaps you are waiting for her to lead the family? Men, you must take the initiative of spiritual warfare here, or you will lose. No exagerration here with what I’m coming against even in good Catholic families. You can’t afford to call me an extremist anymore with the preternatural proof I have of what is going on in even sheltered Catholic families. With the current spiritual and cultural war, you can not afford to spiritually lead your family without the minimum of 5 decades of the Rosary a day.

2. Auxilium Christianorum: The exorcist Fr. Ripperger has put together an international team of tens of thousands of lay men and women and priests. They are now praying basic prayers of spiritual protection over their families and over each other from afar. (One laywoman told me that there are now hundreds of thousands of people signed up!) The goal of Auxilium Christianorum is to provide prayers for the members – priests, laity, family and friends – so that they are not adversely affected by the demonic. Because men have the greatest gift of spiritual authority and protection in their families, I suggest as many men as possible enroll in this venture, provided they meet these few requirements. These are the willing ones, the spiritually vigilant warriors who want to fight to get their families to heaven. Auxilium Christianorum has an excellent FAQ here that you should read before signing up.

3. Praise God for His goodness together as a family! This is first because praise is God’s due and secondly because it is our salvation to praise God and thirdly because it unites our families to thank God but as a distant fourth: Praise is exorcismal against Satan. Satan and his legion of demons can not stand a family that praises God. Satan got especially angry at St. Faustina for writing about His goodness: “Do not write about the goodness of God! He is just!”—Satan to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy Diary 1338.

4. Praise your wife and children.  By “praise” I do not mean “praise” in the same way as number three above, for the above refers to “latria” in the sense of adoration due only to God. By praise of your family, I mean encouragement and compliments. At least, let your encouragements be as frequent as your corrections.

5. Bless your wife and your children. This is the blessing that is transferred inter-generationally for as many generations as will exist from your progeny until the second coming of Jesus Christ. Imagine this blessing passing through your son, to his son, to your grandson, to the point of leaving a dynastic legacy. Satan can not do this, because his only legacy is de-creation. A humble man becomes God-like by simply blessing his children before they go to bed. This blessing is not to make them feel good (although it will make them feel more protected than living in a fortress!) or encouraged (although it will make them feel like the son or daughter of a warrior!) but because the multi-generational blessing that a father can give his son is real. A blessing is efficacious, meaning it will change world history, as we see in Aaron’s blessing in the Old Testament:

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”—Numbers 6:22-27

If you’re not good at making up spontaneous prayers, just memorize and pray the bold above, every night upon your wife and children. 3

We long to be blessed by our fathers, to be protected by our fathers, to be praised by our fathers. This is done through blessings, encouragements and protection prayers. Men, I admonish you to begin one or even all of the above five today.

  1. All of Ezekiel 18 is worth reading: The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.  “If a man is righteous and does what is just and right— if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not lend at interest or take any profit, withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord God. “If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself.  “Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, does not oppress anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father’s iniquity; he shall surely live. As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity. “Yet you say, Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. “But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die. “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”

  2. A friend wrote me an email after reading this article tonight and it read:   “As a veterinarian, I can tell you that wounds that are licked fester and become extremely gross.”  I had never thought of licking wounds this way!

  3. There is a modern myth among conservative Catholics that only a priest can bless people. This is simply not the tradition of the Church. You can find St. Catherine of Siena blessing people. You can find biological fathers blessing their family in all ancient rites of the Catholic Church (Roman, Byzantine, Armenian, Greek, Russian, etc.) To be sure, there are some unique things about a priest’s blessing. First, only a priest carries with him the whole blessing of the Church behind him. Secondly, it is probably best that only the priest bless with his whole arm “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (although I think some non-priestly saints did this occasionally, too.) But certainly, every father of a family can bless his wife and children by tracing the sign of the cross on her forehead as he says the above prayer, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” Every mother can bless her children in a similar way, but she can not bless her husband this way. This is not to say that she is not holier than him. She probably is holier than her husband! But God established the blessing to go down the latter of spiritual authority, not holiness. This is also why a holy layman should not bless a rotten priest. The layman’s prayers for the priest will be more powerful than vice versa, but we must respect the authority given in a blessing. Finally, I want to give one more reason why you should not be afraid of blessing your children: Satanists and witches have absolutely no qualms about cursing strangers (especially those with big families) with their diabolical hexes, curses and voodoo. Families should not live in fear of these people. Why? Because the curses of Satanists upon children are not as powerful as the blessings that parents bring into their children’s lives…provided the parents are actually blessing their children before bed. Again, just trace the sign of the cross on their forehead as they go to bed and bless them in spontaneous prayer or the above Aaronic blessing.

Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

About 1700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, so he was brought from Israel to Egypt. But due to Joseph’s supernatural ability to interpret Pharaoh’s prophetic dreams, the Pharaoh raised him to Prime Minister of Egypt:  Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”—Gen 41:39-41.

Notice that this happens in the first book in the Bible, Genesis. Soon, Joseph’s entire family arrives in Egypt, and things went well for the Jews…for awhile. The next book of the Bible (Exodus) quickly tells us in the first chapter: Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.—Exodus 1:8. The Egyptians then enslave the Jews for 430 years, all out of fear for their procreation (as all pagans are always preternaturally afraid of breeders of the true religion.)

Then, around 1200 BC, Moses led millions of Jews out of slavery to modern day Israel. His route is seen in this map here:

Sorry for the poor graphics above, but the two most important mountains in the life of Moses are Mount Sinai and Mount Nebo.  Mount Sinai is in the south of the map and Mount Nebo towards the Northeast.  Mount Sinai is where Moses obtained the 10 Commandments from God Himself. Mount Nebo is where Moses died and was buried.  Between these two mountains, millions of Jews followed the Levites who carried the Ark of the Covenant for forty years.   The Ark of the Covenant contained and still contains (somewhere in the world) the manna that God gave the Jews in the wilderness as well as the 10 commandments as well as Aaron’s rod which budded.

The end of Moses’ life is found in Exodus 34:  Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho…And the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.—Ex 34:1,4-5. So Moses dies on Mount Nebo, within view of the Promised Land, the land of milk and honey, but was not allowed to enter. 1

We will return to Nebo, but for now, lets switch gears and talk about the current location of the Ark of the Covenant.

Steven Spielberg placed the Ark in his movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, in Egypt:

Spielberg would have been more historical to place the Ark in Ethiopia, since the Ethiopian Orthodox actually claim to this day that the Ark of the Covenant is located at their very own St. Mary of Zion Church in Axum.  In fact,  Smithsonian Magazine did a story on this.

But Catholics have a book of the Bible that Steven Spielberg did not know about:  Maccabees.  Our Catholic Bible actually tells us where to find the Ark of the Covenant today:  On Mount Nebo  (Before going further, if you doubt that Maccabees is canonical and inspired by God, please read yesterday’s blog post proving the canonicity of the Catholic Bible above and beyond the newer, cut-up Protestant Bible.)

Now we return to Mount Nebo:  About 1050 years after the death of Moses and 150 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, a Jewish-Greek author wrote Maccabees in Greek under inspiration by the Holy Spirit around 150 BC.  In it, he describes where to find the Ark of the Covenant. It turns out that the prophet Jeremiah hid it on Mount Nebo around 600 BC! The Bible tells us in 2 Maccabees:

It is also found in the records, that Jeremiah the prophet commanded them that were carried away to take of the fire, as it hath been signified: And how that the prophet, having given them the law, charged them not to forget the commandments of the Lord, and that they should not err in their minds, when they see images of silver and gold, with their ornaments. And with other such speeches exhorted he them, that the law should not depart from their hearts. It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God. [Mt. Nebo] And when Jeremiah came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door. And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it. Which when Jeremiah perceived, he blamed them, saying, ‘As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather His people again together, and receive them unto mercy. Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was shewed under Moses, and as when Solomon desired that the place might be honourably sanctified.’—2 Macc 2:1-8

Notice that the author (around 150 BC) is describing something spoken by the prophet Jeremiah (who died around 600 BC.)  The Maccabean author shows that although Jeremiah revealed that the Ark of the Covenant is buried somewhere on Mount Nebo, we are not to know exactly where it is.  In fact, future generations will not know exactly where it is until “God gathers His people again and receives them into mercy.”—2 Macc 2:7. Although this could be anytime in the New Covenant (after the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ) we have no evidence that the Ark has been discovered, unless the Ethiopians provide some evidence (which they haven’t, and won’t, because their tradition is to not show the goods.)

However, I believe that if we look at the Greek of 2 Macc 2:7, we will find something very interesting:  ἄγνωστος ὁ τόπος ἔσται, ἕως ἂν συναγάγῃ ὁ Θεὸς ἐπισυναγωγὴν τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ ἵλεως γένηται· καὶ ὀφθήσεται ἡ δόξα τοῦ Κυρίου καὶ ἡ νεφέλη.—2 Macc 2:7-8.

I will transliterate this Greek as best as I can with the underlining coordinated to the above underlining:  Unknown the place will be until God synagogues the synagogue of the people and becomes mercy and the glory of the Lord is shown in the cloud.  Notice that this is a play on words, namely, that the noun “synagogue” (meaning a gathering) can being used as a verb, “gathering.” So, the location of the Ark of the Covenant is not going to happen until God “gathers the gathering” or “synagogues the synagogue” (!!!)

What could this possibly mean?  I believe this is a reference to the end of the world, when God will gather the Jews into the Catholic Church.  

The first proof we have of this is through St. Paul:  For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery, (lest you should be wise in your own conceits), that blindness in part has happened in Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles should come in. And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.—Romans 11:25-26. St. Paul certainly did not mean that every Jew will go to heaven, but that Israel will have her eyes opened to the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and that there will be a massive influx of Jews into the Catholic Church at the end of time.  This new Catechism of the Catholic Church also holds this:

The glorious Messiah’s coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by “all Israel”, for “a hardening has come upon part of Israel” in their “unbelief” toward Jesus. St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.” St. Paul echoes him: “For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?” The “full inclusion” of the Jews in the Messiah’s salvation, in the wake of “the full number of the Gentiles,” will enable the People of God to achieve “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”, in which “God may be all in all.”CCC 674

Thus, the Ark of the Covenant is still located on Mount Nebo near the Dead Sea and Jericho but the specific location will probably not be revealed until near the end of the world. 

As the prophet Jeremiah promised in the Bible: As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather His people again together, and receive them unto mercy.—2 Macc 2:7

Eschatologically, remember: Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant as she carried the law of love in her heart as well as the bread from heaven, Jesus Christ (John 6). Remember: The Ark of the Covenant is always considered in typology to be the pre-eminent type or symbol of Mary in the Old Testament because her visit to Elizabeth (Luke 1) reflecting the rejoicing of King David when the Ark of the Lord came to Him (2 Sam 6-7)  Remember:  Mary is the exemplar of the Church—she to whom the Church is striving to be in heaven at the end of time.  Remember: Mary’s body in heaven but entirely genetically Jewish, making her the full daughter of Zion in the heavenly Jerusalem.

Put this all together and you have the obvious conclusion that: Mary is to be the Mother of the Jewish people at the end of the world, when she is to be revealed as the new Ark of the Covenant as well as the mother of the Eucharist and the true daughter of Zion and the Jewish people.   God will then “synagogue His synagogue” of Jews as they recognize Jesus Christ as God, friend, Savior and Messiah, and the original Ark of the Covenant will be found on Mount Nebo with the 10 Commandments, Aaron’s sprouted rod and even the manna from heaven.

Or…the Ethiopians already have it:

St. Mary of Zion Church in Axum, Ethiopia.

  1. My friend took the main picture of this blog post way up at the top at Mount Nebo.  Although that is desert, it should be noted that Jerusalem, just a short drive West of Nebo, looks more like Napa Valley in California.  I do not know why so many mindless American Bible movies film the life of Jesus in modern-day deserts, like Morocco or Wyoming when they should be filming in rural northern California if they wanted to be accurate.

Heresy Podcast 3: The Third Century

This podclass tackles the heresies of the third century including Sabellius (founder of Modalism), Paul of Samosata (forerunner of the Adoptionist heresy), Manes (founder of Manichaeism that temporarily ensnared St. Augustine early on in his conversion) and  finally we consider two semi-heretics, Tertullian and Origin.   On the blog that has photos, you can see Tertullian above.  Below is Man-E-Faces, a good symbol of the Sabellian or Modalist heresy.  The third century heresies as outline by St. Alphonsus Liguori in the 18th century can be found on this link.

Rescue Lea

My friend Fr. Robert received this message from Bishop Mamza of Nigeria:

“The 110 school girls abducted by Boko Haram here in Nigeria about one month ago were all returned except for five of them who died and one of them, Lea Sharibu who happens to be a Christian. They refused to release Lea because she refused to denounce Christianity for Islam. Please pray for her immediate release.”

We would like to get 100 Masses offered for her rescue before Easter.

If you are a priest, please email us at to pledge one or more Masses for the rescue of this fearless Catholic girl who will not deny Jesus Christ. Nothing is more powerful for her rescue than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered 100 or even 1000 times for her.  (In the email, please include the date(s) that Holy Mass will be offered.)

If you are a layman or lay woman, please email us at to pledge fasting or Rosaries or Adoration time or Bible reading time for the rescue of this fearless Christian captive girl.  Miss Sharibu values the truth of the Gospel and the Church more than her own life. We want her rescued and re-united with her family .  We very much believe God will hear our prayers.

We want her returned by Easter and we will send this spiritual bouquet to her bishop on Easter Week.

Modesty Part II: Theology

Nota Bene: My last blog post showed that modesty is actually a means of cultural empowerment for women, not a means of making them overly-subservient. Ladies, if you’re going to have thin-skin reading the still-binding modesty-norms of the Catholic Church, please re-read part I to understand that this blog is not about oppression but freedom (cf Gal 5:1)

One summer evening, a couple years before I knew I would ever live in Florida, I was passing through the city of St. Augustine, south of Jacksonville. That evening, I went in to pray at North America’s first Cathedral. It is stunningly beautiful.

Later, I came outside the Cathedral to find the small city humming with life and history. Like most downtown Cathedrals, there were quite a few homeless men. I’ve learned that most of these conversations are short, due to mental illness and drug abuse. However, that evening in front of the Cathedral, I met a homeless man I will never forget. I do not remember his name, but he was very much like a living prophet Jeremiah. He was quietly preaching against the abuses of the Church the past 100 years. In fact, he was a white rapper about 50 years old! He rapped in rhyme about bishops, about changes, about God, about dogma—all with a surgical ecclesiastical precision the world over.

I began listening for real proper nouns and real dogmas and I realized he was very accurate. This odd rapping-prophet was on a very different level from most homeless schizophrenics. He was rhyming the truth of the current Catholic Church crisis. I listened to him for about an hour and then I asked him a question. I said: “100 years ago, why did the Mother of God and other saints prophesy about coming fashions of immodesty instead of the coming scourage of abortion? Isn’t abortion much worse than immodesty?” I can not put his answer into rhyme as well as he did, but he answered something like this: “Immodesty leads to pornography. Pornography leads to contraception. Contraception leads to abortion.”

This is the brilliant answer that I have been thinking about for years.

My question to this homeless man is of course founded on what Mary said in a private revelation in 1917:

“Fashions will arise which will greatly offend God.”—Our Lady of Fatima to Jacinta Marto

About 15 years after Mary appeared in Fatima,  the Vatican under Pope Pius XI gave very specific advice about this:

“We recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knee. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper. Let parents keep their daughters away from public gymnastic games and contests; but, if their daughters are compelled to attend such exhibitions, let them see to it that they are fully and modestly dressed. Let them never permit their daughters to don immodest garb.”—Cardinal-Vicar of Pope Pius XI, Cardinal Pompilj, 24 September 1928 1

Notice that Cardinal is not writing about Church attire, but daily attire.  The Vatican is stating what the Church always held as necessary for the salvation for Christian women everywhere (not just in Europe! not just in Church!) but everywhere outside the home from the earliest days of Catholic Christianity (yes, think Mary and Mary Magdalene.)

Padre Pio heard about 2 million confessions in his lifetime, but around 1967 he started rejecting many women from going to his confessional. Padre Pio’s brother Franciscans were forced by him to put up a sign that read:

By Padre Pio’s explicit wish, women must enter the confessional wearing skirts AT LEAST 8 INCHES BELOW THE KNEE. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them to confession.

Again, many people would say that this was specific to an old Italian man’s culture. My response is simple: Would God crown a saint like Pio with a crazy view of human nature? With an outdated view of human nature? Let’s remember God gave him the gifts of reading hearts, raising the dead, the stigmata, healings before and after his death and more or less all the miracles found Acts of the Apostles. Was he just wildly scruplulous? No, Pio knew God and Pio knew fallen human nature.

Padre Pio would neither let women nor men enter his confessional in short-sleeves.

I know these norms sound extreme even to decent Catholic women today, and I know that there will be two main objections to this blog post holding 1930s specific-standards for daily female attire.

I suspect the two major objections will be:

1) Modesty changes according to time and place, even within the Catholic Church.
A grave sin is not a mortal sin if I don’t know it to be. Anyway, it’s not my fault if men lust after me.

We’ll jump right in…

Objection 1: Modesty changes according to time and place, even within the Catholic Church.

Answer: “There always exists an absolute norm to be preserved.”—Pope Pius XII

Most Catholic women who read my blog actually believe that contraception is a mortal sin. However, the average young female reader here believes that the only immodesty worse than hers—is only the one who wears less clothing!  But the average neo-conservative is pretty good on the Church’s teaching on contraception, so let’s consider what she would say.  If she were in a friendly debate with a non-Catholic, she would rightly state the medical facts about birth control and only then move on to the theological reality. Perhaps she might say add something like this: “And the Church’s teaching can’t change on contraception because human nature doesn’t change on reproduction.”

And this would be a perfect answer!

However, why can’t we apply this to modesty? Logically, the only conclusion to opposing contraception would be to maintain the Church’s teaching on modesty, too: “The Church’s teaching can’t change on modesty because fallen human nature does not change in regards to lust.”

Look ladies, none of this really comes down to what a Pope said. It all comes down to what Jesus Christ said:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.—Mt 5:27-29

Ladies, this means if you cause a man to lust after you by how you dress, then you have committed a mortal sin by helping him to commit a mortal sin in his mind.  If men or women die in unconfessed mortal sin, they go to hell.   (Vice versa for the two previous sentences, of course.)

Objection 2: A grave sin is not a mortal sin if I don’t know it to be. Anyway, it’s not my fault if men lust after me.

Before Gloria Polo’s soul came back to her body in 1995, but after she was condemned to hell in 1995, she realized that although she thought she was a good Catholic, she never understood what her mode of dress did to the minds of men.  She recounts one reason she was sentenced to hell in her near death experience before Jesus in His mercy gave her another chance at life:

As a matter of fact, after matrimony, I never even gave a kiss to another, only to my husband. But the Lord showed me that I exhibited too much of my body, when I went around with my breasts exposed, with skintight leggings, with the clothes that I used… I thought that men looked at me simply to admire me… But the Lord showed me how they sinned with me, because we are not dealing with admiration, as I believed, but with provocation, and they were provoked, due to me. I committed adultery for having exhibited my body. I did not understand the male sensibility. I believed that they thought like me, that looking at me they would say: ‘What a nice body!’ Instead they sinned, due to my fault. Never was I unfaithful for having thrown myself into the arms of a man, but it was as if I was a prostitute in spirit.”

Now me (Fr. Dave) writing again:  Notice that Gloria Polo is not writing about Church attire, but daily attire.  Most good Catholic men do want to end their sins of pornography.  Most good Catholic women do not want to end their sins of immodesty.   Why not?  I believe it is because most Catholic women of America project their own mindset of admiration of clothing into the male mind that sees it only as provocation of clothing.  Ladies, you must understand that almost all men in the world (except the extremely pure and the extremely perverse) see your legs as flashing arrows to pleasure, not “smooth and cute” like you do.

Should men see it this way?  Of course not.  But the Holy Spirit writes through the Apostle Paul:  “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”—Gal 6:2.  What this means is that for men to get women to heaven, men must compensate for women’s weaknesses of concupiscence (usually emotional instability…not sorry for the stereotypes!) and women must compensate for men’s weaknesses of concupiscence (usually lust…but something tells me I don’t need to apologize for this stereotype, do I ladies?)  So we all need get over it and fight to get one another to heaven without explaining how the other gender “should be” in a perfect world that does not exist until we get our bodies back in heaven.

It should be noted that the Canadian bishops issued this statement for men in terms of modesty in 1946 in this footnote here: 2

Now, for the more insidious, amateur theologians who like to play every loophole that comes from the phrase “full knowledge and full consent of the will,” I ask you to notice that Gloria Polo’s modern story (containing the approbation of the current bishops of South America) repeatedly shows that we are indeed responsible for what we could have known…but choose to ignore under pretext of “conscience.”

The mistaken theological notion today that something is not a mortal sin only because of ignornace is only tenable if you have invincible ignorance (meaning there was no way you could have known the truth.) Vincible ignorance, on the other hand, means that you could have known the Catholic truth, but you were too lazy to do your research.

Furthermore, the pop-theology line “it’s a mortal sin only if you know it to be” is a new theological invention of the past 50 years that I would challenge any reader to find me in any Pope or doctor of the Church before 1950 and send me an email with it. You simply won’t find it. The Church has indeed taught there are mitigating factors to culpability, but mitigated culpability does not transmit sanctifying grace! Let me write that again: Mitigated culpability does not transmit sanctyfing grace necessary for salvation. (Salvation comes only from faith in Jesus Christ leading to baptism and the other sacraments, as well as the good works found in Matthew 25 which are necessary for heaven, too.)

That God does not respect our consciences on modesty is seen in this closing story of St. Frances of Rome:

“In the life of Saint Frances of Rome, we read of a vision of hell which was granted her, and which lasted for four hours.  God willed to show her, in the fires of hell, certain ladies whom she had known in Roman society.  For what sins had these souls been damned? 

“They had been damned:
1) For guilty desires, even though these had not been put into act.
2) For indecent styles of dress, which were the fashion of the day, and which had been a cause of seduction and of sin.
3) For dances considered inoffensive by the world.

Notice that the women of Rome were not condemned for their Church dresses, but their daily dresses that they wore “as the fashion of the day” in the 15th century!

  1. “Young women and women dressed immodestly are to be debarred from Holy Communion and from acting as sponsors at the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation; further, if the offense be extreme, they may even be forbidden to enter the Church.”—Donato Cardinal Sbaretti,Prefect of Cong. of Council, Rome, 12 January 1930.

  2. “Man himself does not escape from the inclination of exhibiting his flesh: some go in public, stripped to the waist, or in very tight pants or in very scanty bathing suits. They thus commit offenses against the virtue of modesty. They may also be an occasion of sin (in thought or desire) for our neighbor.”—Canadian Bishops’ statement in May of 1946. Tight pants in 1946? Good thing those went out of style.

Modesty Part I: Sociology

Before jumping into the tough topic of modesty, I want to set the stage in a sociological manner. Let’s consider romance in any culture, be it Catholic or pagan. It is universally accepted in every culture’s romance that the person least-invested in the relationship is the one with the most control. Imagine two 20 year olds approaching engagement in any civilized country today or two hundred years ago. It is always the one who is least “in-love” who controls the advance of this relationshiop. The one most in-love (be it the man or the woman) wants to get married. The lover less “in-love” maintains the veto power in moving forward, meaning this person actually has more power in the relationship, despite (because!) of the lessened emotions encountering the other. This is as true for those who maintain their virginity in engagement as much as for those who had sex on their first date.

The only exception to the above conclusions would probably be those marriages created in distress or those marriages where one of the spouses finally despaired of finding a “better” spouse and simply had “to settle” for someone. In fact, this minor power-struggle is true even in non-sexual, platonic friendships of the same-gender: The person who is more “cool” is usually the one who comes up with excuses not to spend so time with the more “geeky” or needy person…at least until the latter gets tired of being a puppy-dog in the relationship, and takes off. But it is generally accepted that the least-invested person has more control.

Now, lets bring this to the sexual level, but not the level of modesty, yet. Barring rape, women have had most of the sexual control in any heterosexual relationship in any civilized country a hundred years ago on any continent. This is because of their lower libidos. This is not true all the time, but in my experience as a priest giving spiritual direction to individuals and couples, this is true 95% of the time. The 5% of the exceptions of women with extremely high libidos often struggle with compulsive sexual behaviors, secondary to sexual abuse in their childhood. But barring rape, it is the woman who is the gatekeeper of sexuality in most relationships in all civilized cultures, and even true in most pagan cultures that reject rape at (at-least!) the legal level. Her lessened libido means heightened self-control and subsquently a reduced investment in the physical side of intimacy. (I realize that many people want their priests to avoid all generalizations because of the rare cases in life, but  hard cases neither make good law nor good spiritual direction from priests, so I’m going to give advice on 95% of how the world works here.)

Because woman is less sexually-invested, she has more control of men in the sexual realms. But this is a two-edged sword: Because man is less emotionally-invested, he is subsequently more in control of women in the emotional realm, especially when he wants something (read: sex.) Yes, there’s occasionally some exceptions to the above two sentences, but of the hundreds or thousands of relationships I’ve watched grow or fail as a priest, I would say this is true in 97% of all relationships. Let me write it again: Because man is less emotionally-invested, he is more in control of women in emotions. Because woman is less sexually-invested, she has more control of men in sexuality. This is true in sinful fornicating relationships as well as  (to a lesser degree) healthy Catholic marriages.

Now, if you don’t grant me the above premises, you can stop reading now. But if you grant me all the above premises, then this conclusion is true: Every civilized Catholic culture in history automatically gave women more power than men in the sexual realm.   I realize how different that is from what we heard in our University history courses.  But much of my life is a rewiring of my brain that imbibed false history.  I’m not saying that Catholic men in the 19th century never raped Catholic women. But barring rape, women have had most of the power in the sexual realm, precisely because of man’s more severe difficulty in controlling himself. (Many feminist departments have happily flaunted this fact!)

However, pornography and the oral contraceptive have completely changed this. Pornography has allowed man to have virtual sex on demand with any woman or girl he wants at any time. (And yes, there are interpersonal effects of this. Just study how many porn stars were once sex-slaves, often taken as young as 13 years old at the beginning of their enslavement, in even first world countries.) Furthermore, the Pill has been made for man’s sexual advance, not woman’s. Think about it: The man can now have unchecked sex with any woman he wants with no responsibility of pregnancy. One hundred years ago, he had to answer for his towering libido with the weight of whether fornication was worth it or not. But now the Pill allows man to sleep with any woman he wants with no consideration of consequences. (Ever googled how many STDs women can get than man can not get? It’s not pretty, and the Pill doesn’t stop any of them.) Man has all the sexual power now, because “the Pill” has made a nation of blow-up dolls who need only be manipulated emotionally to get them to bed. (Cows require more flirting from bulls than the average woman on the Pill in a bar, and it’s not because of her libido, for that is tanked by the Pill itself at the pharmacological level.  It’s because of the emotions of desperation that come from a pro-man sexual world that is new since the sexual-revolution.)

Yes, Western nations have tipped the culture to accomodate to man’s sex addictions as much any Muslim country, but in a different way. Sadly, Western men have tricked Western women into thinking that they have more control than their Eastern counterparts found walking in a burqa through Saudi Arabia. But porn is illegal in Saudi Arabia.  In the West, porn and the Pill have made it just as much a man’s world of sexuality as those Muslim countries, but in a way that has equally tricked women into thinking they are in control. (I consider Islam to be literallly a Satanic religion because of how it treats women and allows for rape of girls, so I’m not promoting Islam.  I say “equally” because I am always amazed at the brainwashing of the Muslim women in burqas who on get on YouTube defending Islam as a religion that does not trash women…  But let’s admit it: This is as insane as Western educators who say “the Pill” does not trash women, too.)

Now we get to modesty. If you will grant me the above premises of sexual and emotional control for women and men respectively in the West, then my conclusion on modesty is obvious: The last sexual frontier for a woman in the West to re-gain control over a sex-obsessed culture is her own modesty.  Immodesty is not her control over man, like women are taught in every commercial and every mall. Even those legs are for man’s delight.  Rather, modesty-alone will return to the gender having more self-control (women) the necessary power of sexuality usurped by men via porn and birth control.

For now, all you need to see is that this conclusion will serve as our future premise:  Total modesty is the only way left for an individual woman in the West to regain control of her own sexuality and add control to an out-of-control-culture’s sexism favoring men. 

Mary’s Trust in Crisis

Mary is the Heavenly Jerusalem even on earth at the cross, so we’ll consider the virtue that helps frees us from Satan’s bonds even before heaven. This sermon was given on Laetare Sunday, 2018. (I’ll be away from the parish next week so there will be no podcast next week. In two weeks you’ll hopefully have both a new sermon and Heresy Class 3.)