In today’s first RomeCast podcast, we introduce our Tuesday co-host, Andromeda. She tells her family story and a little of her conversion. We then jump into the news. Both of us coincidentally chose news stories about secularists harassing pro-lifers in both Europe and the United States, the latter being the civil rights attorney Brian Sims publicly harassing children. That video is embedded below (not on any podcast app) but rather on my blog via Twitter. (We will definitely be shorter in the future, but this intro of Andromeda is well worth a first good, long RomeCast.)
In this video, State Rep @BrianSimsPA says he’ll pay his followers $100 if they are able to dox three teen girls he films who are quietly praying outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. How is this guy still allowed to be on Twitter? pic.twitter.com/yfNCHhRSqY
I recently put up a FB post about JK Rowling’s fictional character Cassandra Vablatsky. Vablatsky is the fictional character who wrote the textbook Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as mentioned in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Even Harry Potter’s “fandom” website admits that Vablatsky was named after famous Russian Satanist, Helena Blavatsky. Under this FB post, I had 223 comments before publication of this blog post. One thing I later remarked is that it would be harder to pry from the hands of a Colorado teen his or her pot than Harry Potter novels! Such a disproportionate response shows some preternatural involvement.
But what proves the preternatural (diabolical) side of Harry Potter is found in the words of modern-day exorcists. Fr. Ripperger, founder of a congregation of exorcists, spoke on this topic of exorcists and Harry Potter a few years ago at a University in Tulsa beginning at minute 57. I transcribed from this talk his most important words on Harry Potter:
Every time I give a conference, people ask me about Harry Potter. JK Rowlings went to witch school before she wrote the books. The spells in the book are actual spells. How do we know that? Well, because witches tell us they’re real. And there was a woman in Spain who decided to try one of the spells of fire and it burnt her house to the ground. Now JK Rowlings has denied she’s a witch. Ok… You walk like one, you quack like one, you write books like one…One exorcist told me…60% of the names in Harry Potter are actual names of demons that exorcists have booted out of people. There is an exorcist I know who is a friend of mine. He and I are always comparing notes on Judas, because Judas is a hard guy to get out of people. [That exorcist] has had to exorcise three children just for reading the books. I had a case of possession. I wasn’t the one to liberate him;I startedthecase but I had to pass it to someone else because I had to move to another location ofa person who was possessed by five demons who claimed that they were the demons who inspired JK Rowlings to write Harry Potter. So I tell people: Avoid it. All exorcists who are worth their weight—there’s only one guy who says it’s okay—there’s something wrong with that guy. But all the other exorcists I know who are experienced are clear: Stay away from it.—Fr. Ripperger
The second (and last) thing I would like to include on this blog post on Harry Potter is an email that a young woman wrote me in response to my FB post on Harry Potter. She she gave me permission to publish it, seen below in italics:
Dear Father Dave,
I am writing to you in regards the Harry Potter saga. In all honesty, the Harry Potter series is amazing and it has infected every corner of the world. I think it’s bigger than Star Wars. The author has managed to create original concepts such as the moving photographs or paintings, the invisible elves that help around the Hogwarts’Castle, or the moving stairs (stairs that move on their own and lead you to other corridors/floors), the crazy flavored candy and much more. Prior to my visit to Universal Studios, I became annoyed and saddened that Jesus Christ was overlooked. Harry Potter dominating the world over Jesus Christ? Among all those HP fans, I’m sure there exist many Christians. Where is the deafening love for our LORD?
Since I am the only child in my family, I watched and read the entire Harry Potter series. Finding a common topic between my cousins was essential and eventually…I became a fan. A while back, my relatives invited me to join them to Universal Studios, where a brand new Harry Potter theme park had just debuted. Even though I wasn’t able to see the one attraction I wanted (it’s only available in Universal Studios Florida), I tried my best to enjoy the experience. The first location we attended was the so called Ollivander’s Wand Shop. There was probably about a 7-minute private group session. The employee basically chose a younger female child and pretended to help her choose her wand. It was funny and cute since this was straight out from the first movie. Special lights and music if you get my gist. After the session was over, all the participants stepped out of the private room and were led to the wands available for purchase.
My cousin took her time reading the characters’wand description and while I was contemplating to buy a wand…nothing spoke to me. Well, mostly I got this strange feeling. Why on earth would I purchase a fake witch’s wand? What would I do with such toy? I would rather have my rosary! This took place around April or May in 2017 and just a few months later, I came across several catholic sources describing the danger of Harry Potter. Since I’ve been back to the church after a 20-year absence, I felt and recognize the truth. I then searched for every single book in my collection and the entire DVD movies. All the dvd’s were scratched and destroyed and I made sure to rip off all the pages from the binding. This included any sort of creepy or violent movie (even the “Kill Bill”movies – which I loved). Just thinking of other people finding preserved materials would eventually hurt them in the long run. Everything was thrown into the garbage and I sadly remember my mother telling me “You should have a least sold them for profit!”. This BROKE MY HEART…that my good mother did not fully accept my decision, even after all the reasons provided.
Perhaps a week later my first spiritual physical attack took place. Within 3-4 minutes of going to bed, I felt a “jump”by my legs and I heard chains (similar to dog chains), huffing and puffing sounds. I thought I must’ve fallen asleep. I rolled to the other side of the bed fully awake and this time I heard the same sounds but my bed sheets were pulled! The huffing and puffing never returned if my memory serves me right. But new metal sounds emerged and nightmares persisted. These occurrences along with my praying for spiritual purity confirmed my suspicions. Until now, I have not related my experiences with my extended family. They’re not mentally or spiritually ready I think. Eventually other life situations has led me to an increase of demonic attacks, specially praying for others. Dangers about yoga for instance and horror movies. If you remember, a few months ago I reached out to you about the demonic presence. Don’t get me wrong I still struggle with avoiding some shows with improper jokes or scenes. I too need spiritual polishing.
Anyhow, in the 6th Harry Potter novel, “Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire”, the characters learn about the three so-called unforgivable curses from the Dark Arts. Anyone using these sort of spells are automatically sent to Azkaban prison. One of those curses or spells, is called the“Imperius Curse”, which forces people to obey commands. I was only familiar with the word “Imperative”. There’s a book called “Manual for Spiritual Warfare”by Paul Thigpen. I came across the description of exorcism prayers and I recognized the word “Imperative”. In chapter 2, I read the following: “Imperative prayers, when spoken to demons, issue a direct summons, adjuration, or command to them”.
J.K. Rowland relies majorly on Latin words and after learning how she “borrowed”a Catholic prayer as an actual curse in the series is eye-opening (perhaps this is a long stretch in my belief). She has a sneaky way to insert real life situations and occult tools. Furthermore, in the first Harry Potter novel, Rowling actually stole the old folklore about mandrake plant being fatal to anyone that heard its cry. In real life, the plant has been used in many occult rituals and in one Spanish tv show “Ministerios del Tiempo”(Ministers of Time – time traveling Spanish agents), the mandrake plant is used to manipulate a person. The perpetrators were actually part of a secret witchcraft cult. The online information describes the plant to have some health properties; however, many Wiccans use it for their rituals. I keep thinking that is one thing to create a fantasy world, yet…Rowling focuses majorly on incantations & curses in EVERY SINGLE book. There is an explicit step-by -step instruction for every fake spell. I don’t recall “The Lord of The Rings”to explicitly describe every Wizard or Elf’s spell.
Many of the then younger Harry Potter actors have moved on to different media entertainment. Some, have participated in grotesque tv show/movies and many are pro-choice! It goes to show you that an open-minded environment can infiltrate your values. Others for example, real-life twins “James and Oliver Phelps”(who play the Weasley twins in the series), have focused on charity and volunteering events. I do know they have moved on to theater plays and work of substance. James Phelps has actually done the voice narration for the documentary “Grave Injustice – The Naked Truth about the Shroud of Turin”. Here’s the link to the film for not cost here.
From what I know of these young fellows, they do know and love Jesus Christ. Sadly, one of them has begun to practice yoga for health reasons. I have hope that the Harry Potter actors that know and love Jesus Christ will eventually realize the truth sooner. I pray for everyone to learn the truth and deepen their relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
In regard to the author…yes, she has donated her profits to charity and could perhaps be a good person without fully realizing the consequence of her actions. Perhaps she does believe in Jesus Christ, but maybe her faith is weak. In all honestly, I should pray harder for J.K. Rowling.
Thank you for working on the blog regarding Harry Potter. It will take a long time for people to open their eyes. If you have any questions or need clarification, please let know.
CS Lewis once wrote, “Religion is man’s search for God, but Christianity is God’s search for man.” Whereas Divine Revelation only allows for one true religion, I believe that all of the current religions of the world can be boiled down to only three sustainable philosophies. Or, at least I believe that only three world philosophies could possibly coordinate to the desires of a post-modern man.
Epicureanism is to live for pleasure, but the original Greek promoter of hedonism, Epicurus (4th century BC), was more like an LA pot-smoker than a fast-paced NYC coke addict (something we usually think of when we think of the word “hedonism.”) This is because Epicurus taught that living for hard-core pleasure actually made the desires of the human person go haywire. Indeed, it’s not a very pleasurable life to have your desires turn into addictions, especially if pleasure be not moderated and controlled. Epicurus was way ahead of his time: A University of Colorado study recently proved that rats addicted to heroin actually had baseline pain increase in their life! The goal of Epicurus’ hedonism was for man to enjoy life for the long haul, not short sprints of excessive pleasure to burn out. The relaxed proposal of true Epicureanism was essentially to enjoy a little pleasure every day, all the while avoiding fear and pain.
Of course, hedonism has been the major drive of many tribes and nations through history before Epicurus. Me, myself and I always has come before God and neighbor, at least since Cain and Abel. Today, it is extremely prevalent in our American consumeristic culture, whether it takes the form of extreme pleasure, ranging from lazy sex addicts to hyper-athlete free soloers to the quiet retirement homes of Florida where euthanasia quickly snuffs out any hint of pain in your aging father or mother. Astonishingly, there is a correlation between a country’s suicide rate and their per-capita income: The rich kill themselves at extremely high rates. If you doubt me, just google the suicide rates for Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. It has a zero suicide rate, despite the fact that people eat dirt mixed with corn-meal on a regular basis. In any case, all this is to say that the rich man who seeks pleasure and comfort will usually die a death that is both unfulfilled and lonely. Clearly, this sad lifestyle can’t be indicative of a fulfilling philosophy. Nevertheless, this “American dream” has replaced the religions of many developing countries.
Buddhism is a little better that Epicureanism (notwithstanding preternatural influences on world religions.) In fact, historically, Buddhism was born directly of Hinduism in India, which is why I consider Buddhism here to be the highest encapsulation of all Eastern religions. Like Epicurus, the Buddha discovered that high-intensity pleasure-seeking always left him feeling empty. However, the Buddha’s path to peace and nothingness (Nirvana) was a much higher goal than simply Epicurus’ lack of pain. Buddha proposed it be done via a more scientific program, too: To eliminate suffering, one must eliminate the desire (or expectation) of various human pleasures. This program of detachment was done by the Buddha’s 8-fold Noble Path that has been described more as a philosophy than a religion. Nowadays, the Theravada Buddhists see the Buddha as a great guide to enlightenment, where Mahayana Buddhists actually perceive the Buddha as a Savior.
But for neither of them is there a goal of an eternal Relationship with God.
In fact, in Zen Buddhism, an important point of enlightenment in the life of a monk is the point of Ten-ne, turning over, when you realize (purportedly) that nothing around you is real. Everything is the projection of your mind via the Only-Mind. It’s as if Zen enlightenment starts when you realize that your brain is not so much a camera absorbing objective reality around you, as your brain is a film projector: “When it is completely understood that the external world is nothing but manifestations of one’s own mind, a Turning-Over (Ten–ne) occurs which strikes at the root of the process of discriminating between things. These things are not destroyed, but one has an attitude of freedom toward them.”—The LankavataraSutra (Ryoga–kyo) An American Christian who studied this adds: “At that moment, Only-Mind can exclaim to itself, ‘There is No-thing! Absolutely No-thing! I am everything and everything is No-thing!'” — Zen Way—Jesus Way, p. 43, Dr. Tucker Callaway, 20 year faculty member of world religions at the University of Fukuoka in Japan.
Thus, Buddhism is not based in reality. In true Buddhism, nothing is real. Not love. Not suffering. Not family. Anyone who dabbles in Buddhism must ultimately come to realize that Ten-ne is an acceptance of absolutely no truth. There is no sacrificing love for another permitted. Buddhism can not be fulfilling to a man or a woman looking for a relationship with God because the goal is Nirvana, an extinguishing of one self. Although Buddhism does not promote suicide, you can already see the emptiness of “extinguishing of self.” This is the other side of the same coin as Epicureanism. Even great Zen masters who have reached “enlightenment” will admit that it doesn’t make much sense to pull a dying person out of a gutter if such is his karma. Yes, Buddhism is a self-centered ascetical feat that denies the suffering of my neighbor. Westerners will come up with little more than “my karma ran over my dogma” if they do not study the stark and austere claims of real Zen Buddhism. There is no true relationship with another in the most austere forms of Buddhism.
What about Western world religions? From the start, we are going to eradicate Islam as a real possibility, despite the 1 billion adherents. Islam can offer no man a real relationship of love with God because the Qur’an promotes murder and child sex-slavery, as I proved in this podcast here. Thus, Islam will never fulfill a literate man’s desires for peace and union, especially after two world wars and communist gulags. Please listen to the above podcast to learn what a satanic religion Islam really is.
Christianity is our third option. Atheistic world religion professors at Western Universities would say that Christianity was born of Judaism like Buddhism was born of Hinduism. But I would add: Judaism can not be the true world religion remaining since Christ already fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophesies.
Whereas the Buddha said “Be ye lights unto yourselves,” Christ said “I am the light of the world.” What is extraordinary about Christianity is first of all the claim to a divine incarnation. Some world religions have incarnations where one god (of many gods) incarnates on earth to have sex with women or battle men. But Christianity is singular in this claim: The holy God of the Universe incarnated Himself, stepping front-and-center on the human stage—as a human—not to wage war on men, but to die for the very people who wanted to kill Him! Jesus Christ came to redeem the very race that killed Him. And then He would re-capitulate all of human history (and all of human suffering) by raising Himself from the dead three days later! In His Ascension, 40 days after that, He would mystically bring to the Trinity every human who would one day follow him. The cost for each human? Christ promised a cross, but that would be “easy” and “light” (Mt 11) compared to His.
Those who carried their cross would especially have to avoid any selfish lifestyle, like hedonism. Not only does hedonism block the way to heaven. It doesn’t lead to happiness on earth. (Remember what we said above about per-Capita income rates being directly correlative to suicide rates?) Christianity is the only world religion that holds that when you lose your life for God and others, you begin to experience the type of joy as seen in the lives of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Mary Magdalene. They both spent time lost in wonder and love at the God who would die for them on the cross. They began their eternal adoration of God here on earth. Because of Christ, the world of selfishness was turned upside down. There is philanthropy and kindness in many world religions, but in no world religion does the founder prove that beatitude ironically exists in recklessly pouring ourselves out first for God and secondly for others. This is first of all the life of Christ, and secondly the joyful army of saints that followed him. They even went to their deaths singing to God.
Thus, if we sublimate out thousands of world philosophies, the only three that make sense for modern man would be:Hedonism, Buddhism and Christianity. I believe those are the only three philosophies that make any sense (even though I believe and know that only the last is true, due to Divine Revelation and many miracles.) But this is not a blog post of apologetics to prove Divine Revelation, but a simple argument from the experiences of post modern-man: Only Christianity will make you happy on earth, not to mention heaven.
I think it was once Dr. Warren Carroll, founder of Christendon College, who said that Catholicism is the only possible world religion if you simply admit these two syllogisms:
1) God exists. and 2) God became man.
God became man once and can not retract His gift or existence. So how can Jesus Christ still be man on earth if He does not change? This can only be fulfilled in one place on earth: The Tabernacle.God became man and remains with us in the Holy Eucharist. Otherwise, His promise to be with us until the end of the age (Mt 28:20) seems quite false. Thus, Protestantism doesn’t fully confess the Incarnation. Another reason Protestantism denies the Incarnation is this: Since God exists, and since He must be entirely holy, then He could only come to earth via an equally pure vessel, namely, the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Thus, the only conclusion of logical Christianity, granting only that God exists and He became man, is: Catholicism.
But what about Orthodoxy? Doesn’t Orthdoxy believe in the Eucharist and Mary as Pan-Hagia (all holy.) Yes. The Orthodox also have Jesus Christ in their Tabernacles and a great love of Our Lady. But I would continue with Dr. Carrol’s two syllogisms even to prove Catholicism over Orthodoxy: Since God became man and raised Himself from the dead, then He would not fail to order and structure a single entity to teach this faith infallibility even if the human element of this teaching Magisterium should fail at times in history. Indeed, if a stoplight can not be run without authority, why would God fail to establish a Church with a teaching authority after taking the pains to rise from the dead for that very Church? Also, if order is found in every cell of every living organism, then why would God fail to give clear order to His mystical body in favor of only mysticism à la Eastern Orthodoxy? Orthodoxy does not even propose to give a unified answer on contraception. Thus, if God became man, the logical conclusion is Catholicism.
Eastern Religions lead to man fading away by Nirvana (nothingness) and Western hedonistic philosophies will lead to man burning out in pleasure and comfort. Both paths are selfish and meaningless. But if you don’t want to live a selfish life anymore, then your only option is Catholicism. I write this despite all the corruption I have seen first hand in the Catholic Church the past two years. It is worse than most Catholics could ever imagine! And yet I write with confidence: Christ and Catholicism will lead you to a sacrificial love and joy on earth, as well as eternal peace with the Triune God in heaven. There are no more philosophical options remaining except selfishness. Everything else has been tried.
RomeCast is a new podcast series on Padre Peregrino that will include an analysis of Catholic and global news with my two new co-hosts every Tuesday and Thursday. Please have a listen to this 10 minute intro episode!
In this podcast, Tim Gordon discusses where politics meets religion in his new book, “Catholic Republic: Why America Will Perish Without Rome.” Gordon argues that “America is a republic wired Catholic, labeled Protestant and is currently functioning as a secular.”
Most “EWTN Catholics” (for lack of a better term) might be surprised to find that in the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) world, there is sharp divide down the middle between those who believe that the private revelations of Sr. Faustina Kowalska are authentic, versus those who do not. I am referring to the Divine Mercy Diary, a book of private revelation written by a Polish nun in the 1930s. A modern EWTN Catholic could, in an overly-facile manner, condemn traditionalists who are wary of the Divine Mercy message for just being “Jansenist” or “disobedient.” This would be too easy and not fair. Indeed, one must realize that many traditionalists have good reason to doubt what has come out of the human element of the Church since Sr. Lucia of Fatima explained that a “diabolical disorientation” that would infect a large part of modern Church history. This wariness is not simply a “anti-Vatican II thing.” Many traditionalists who have studied Church history realize that modernism was reaching increasing levels in the Church from the 1920s to the 1950s.
As any reader can tell from the title of this blog post, I am obviously a priest who only does only the pre-1960 sacraments, including the TLM exclusively. However, I very much believe the Divine Mercy apparitions to St. Faustina were not only authentic, but a great gift from heaven to earth in the darkest century of both world history and Church history. Unlike most of my dogmatic blog posts, this is going to be more “experiencey,” based at the intersection of my life and others’ lives with the Divine Mercy message. If the reader wants to delve into the dogmatic battle in the Divine Mercy world, one could read from a good traditionalist priest his opposition to the authenticity of the visions here. If one desires to read an in-depth traditionalist defense of the Divine Mercy Diary, one could read here, here and here.
Again, I fully admit that the above four blog posts are more dogmatically thorough than what you will read below in my three points in favor of Divine Mercy, so please don’t repeat on my Facebook profile the old arguments that are above in the first anti-Divine Mercy link. I love a good debate, so you can bring me new reasons to reject the Divine Mercy Diary, but nothing old, please. So, please read the good and holy Msgr. Perez’ opposition to the Divine Mercy message before battling in my comments. In any case, I publish this on Good Friday because this is the day that the Divine Mercy Diary proposes that we begin the Divine Mercy Novena.
1) No Dogmatic Problems in the Divine Mercy Diary Anytime otherwise-brilliant theologians come up with weak arguments for their position, I tend to smell a fish in their position on that specific topic. One example of this is how many traditionalists have a problem with this quote that Our Lord allegedly said to St. Faustina on 2 October 1936. “The First Friday of the month. After Holy Communion, I suddenly saw the Lord Jesus, who spoke these words to me: ‘Now I know that it is not for the graces or gifts that you love me, but because My will is dearer to you than life. That is why I am uniting Myself with you so intimately as with no other creature.’”—Divine Mercy Diary (DMD) 707. Many people who go to the Latin Mass say that this line could not be Christ to a nun, because it overturns the unique position of Our Lady as the highest creature. My response to this is common sense: If a Polish nun wanted to deceive her fellow Polish nuns into thinking she was a saint, she surely would not be stupid enough (or deceived enough on the other end!) to believe that Christ placed her higher than the Blessed Virgin Mary. In other words, trads can reject the DMD, but they should use some common sense in not projecting a Protestant world-view upon a Catholic country like Poland in what even a deceiver (or a deceived woman) would have believed.
Secondly, St. Alphonsus Rodriguez had a similar private revelation (actually a prophesy) of St. Peter Claver taking something of a “highest place” in heaven. Being a Catholic in a Catholic country, St. Rodriguez did not need to qualify that the “highest place” of St. Peter Claver actually could never replace Mary and Joseph! Indeed, for a Catholic, such caveats are not needed. As I said on a recent podcast, we need to re-incorporate common sense into our theology.
But my strongest argument in favor of the authenticity of St. Faustina’s private revelation on that DMD 707 line is the following: When Christ said to her, “I am uniting Myself with you so intimately as with no other creature,” anyone who has studied the ascetical theology of the Catholic Church (something that is dogmatic, not devotional) knows that such is how Christ unites Himself to anysoul! This is not me playing with words. St. John of the Cross, the greatest doctor of spiritual theology in the Catholic Church repeatedly wrote about how unique the Blessed Trinity’s union is to each one of us. This is true, even at the lowest levels of holiness, provided we are in sanctifying grace. In other words, it is the spiritual theology teaching of the Catholic Church that Christ uniquely and intimately has united himself to me, Fr. David Nix, in a way as found in the soul of “no other creature.” The same is true for you if you are in sanctifying grace. Thus, anyone who has studied (even at a cursory level) the multivalent gifts of grace in the soul should quickly understand that Christ could very easily say to anyandevery saint in history that He was “uniting Myself with you so intimately as with no other creature.” Our souls are even more unique than our bodies.
2. No Sense of Modernism in the Apparitions The traditionalists who say that the Divine Mercy Diary smacks of “presumption” have either not read the Sacred Heart apparitions to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque or, perhaps in modern traditionalists’ defense, they have never really read the truly-modernist, truly-presumption-based false apparitions that float around us today. I have been accused of being a “heresy hunter” and indeed, it is true, I have the most sensitive antennae of almost anyone I know for finding heresy (a fact that friend and enemy have both accused me of!) But the Divine Mercy Diary fully passes my “smell test” against the heresy of modernism. Consider the time when Jesus takes St. Faustina to hell, and she sees all of the tortures of hell and then writes this terrifying line: “But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell.”—DMD 741. That does not sound like a modernist obsessed with presumption. In fact, I believe that a jarring Good Friday meditation (to see what Christ saved you from by His three hours on the cross) might be to read the tortures of hell as found in her diary, seen in this short footnote: 1
Also, a beautiful Easter meditation might be to mediate on when Christ brought St. Faustina to see the glories of heaven in this footnote here: 2
3. Experiences I do not know her opinion on the Divine Mercy message, but the lovely and brilliant 96 year old traditionalist Catholic, Alice Von Hildebrand (and let me say that she and her deceased husband have both been great heroes of mine) wrote a stunning article called in Crisis Magazine called In Defense of Feelings that included this line: “I would suggest that the enemies of affectivity read the lives of great saints and great mystics and pay attention to how often a St. Teresa of Jesus uses the word ‘feeling.’ Asked by her spiritual director, who prudently doubted the validity of her visions, how she could be certain that Christ was speaking to her, she answered: ‘lo sentia‘ (Vida, Chapter 27).” I add to her words: The heart matters as much as the brain on discerning the authenticity of private revelation, provided the private revelation passes the approbation of the hierarchical Church—something the Divine Mercy Diary has already done (unless one fully denies a valid hierarchy, as only Protestants and sedevacantists seem to do.)
I don’t claim to be a St. Teresa of Avila, or even a Dietrich von Hildebrand, but I do know my sins enough to write this this: The only time, every year, that I totally feel all of my Purgatory time totally relieved is on Divine Mercy Sunday. It is so palpable and so true, that I simply can only repeat with St. Teresa of Avila, “Lo Sentia.” I realize that this is not a strong dogmatic argument in favor of the authenticity of the Divine Mercy diary, so I suppose the more impatient side of me simply wants to say to those who reject the Divine Mercy Diary the following: “If you don’t want your Purgatory time relieved, you don’t have to have it.”
Of course, baptism is the only thing that washes away original sin. If one were to commit a mortal sin after baptism, the only way for that man to be forgiven would be to go to confession to a priest (or in rare instances of perfect contrition, he would be saved if he died before confession. But even if he lived, he could not receive Holy Communion without confessing all of his mortal sins to a priest first.) In any case, one analogy is that a mortal sin is like a nail in the wood of your soul. Confession removes that nail but the hole remains. This is because confession relieves the eternal punishments of sin, but not the temporary punishments of sin. A plenary indulgence granted (following a good confession) relieves all temporary punishments of sin, aka Purgatory. Here on earth, that would be analogous to the wood of your soul already being filled and made healthy.
But such a plenary indulgence may be more difficult to obtain than the typical modern Catholic may realize. In fact, one of the requirements for a plenary indulgence is full detachment from the inclination to not only mortal sin but even detachment from venial sin. Yes, this is required for a plenary indulgence (all the holes of your soul to be filled.) If my understanding of the Divine Mercy message is correct (and I’m open to correction) this is not the case with the Divine Mercy Sunday promise. In other words, I see no rigorous requirements besides what is below in the next picture as found in the FSSP ordo:
Of course, we must always have the intention of avoiding all sin (both venial and mortal) even to make a good confession (as is the case any time in the year.) But the fact that all of our Purgatory time is relieved on Divine Mercy Sunday with minimal requirements does suggest that there may be something novel and even unprecedented about the Divine Mercy message.
In this sense, I understand why traditionalists are wary of it.
But I would answer such traditionalists by saying that perhaps God gave us the novel and unprecedented Divine Mercy pledge of all eternal and temporal effects of sin relieved without perfect detachment by the 8th day of Easter preciselybecause of the novel “diabolical disorientation” found in the human element of the Church in the 20th century, not to mention a world full of endless temptations online, replete with genocides of entire races and the unborn—equally unprecedented in world history.
My last “experiential proof” of the power of the Divine Mercy message is that many priests who have been going on the tradition thing for longer than me (and who are older, wiser and more holy) also fully support the Divine Mercy message. Two FSSP priests on Sensus Fidelium have also given their full promotion of Divine Mercy Sunday both here and here (with indication that, in some sense, this final day in the Octave of Easter is actually a much older feast than what entered the Church in 20th century)
The Divine Mercy Novena is not required for the relief of Purgatory time, but if you are convinced this message is from God, please join me today, Good Friday, for the beginning of the Divine Mercy Novena and fulfill the requirements in the above picture if you wish not only your time in hell, but your time in Purgatory totally relieved in nine days.
“Today I was led by an Angel to the chasms of hell. ~ It is a place of great torture; how awesomely large Iand extensive it is! The kinds of torture I saw: -the first torture that constitutes hell is the loss of God; -the second torture is perpetual remorse of conscIence; -the third is that one’s condition will never change; -the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it – a terrible suffering, since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God’s anger; -the firth torture is continual darkness and a terrible suffocating smell, and, despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both others and their own; -the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan; -the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. These are the tortures suffered by all the dammed together, but that is not the end of the sufferings. There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses: Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like. I, Sister Faustina, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence. I cannot speak about it now; but I have received a command from God to leave it in writing. The devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God . What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell. When I came to, I could hardly recover from the fright. How terribly souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fervently for the conversion of sinners. I incessantly plead God’s mercy upon them. O my Jesus I would rather be in agony until the end of the world, amidst the greatest suffering, than offend You by the least of sin.. (Diary 741)”↩
“Today I was in heaven, in spirit, and I saw its inconceivable beauties and the happiness that awaits us after death. I saw how all creatures give ceaseless priase and glory to God. I saw how great is happiness in God, which spreads to all creatures, making them happy; and then all the glory and praise which springs from this happiness returns to its source; and they enter into the depths of God, contemplating the inner life of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, whom they will never comprehend or fathom…The sight of this great majesty of God, which I came to understand more profoundly and which is worshiped by the heavenly spirits according to their degree of grace and the hierarchies into which they are divided, did not cause my soul to be stricken with terror or fear: no, no, not at all! My soul was filled with peace and love, and the more I come to know the greatness of God, the more joyful I become that He is as He is. And I rejoice immensely in His greatness and am delighted that I am so little because, since I am little, He carries me in His arms and holds me close to His Heart”-DM 777, 779 ↩
Although I am a Catholic priest, I am also an ex-paramedic and I graduated pre-health from Boston College. I am writing this blog post “Why you should say no to organ donation on your driver’s license” as a former paramedic, not as a priest. In other words, this blog post will be practical medical advice for all readers Catholic or non-Catholic. There will be no overt Catholic bioethics below, except these two sentences: The Catholic Church has no problem with organ donation per-se. The problem is that certain organs are always cut out of living people, effecting a homicide for “good reasons.”
Although a liver or a cornea could be harvested from a cadaver for organ donation from a dead body, a heart is always cut out of a living body in first world countries. The term “Brain Death” was invented by a team of Harvard physicians to re-define death for this very purpose. So called “brain-death” essentially means that a patient has an active cardio-vascular system, but with reduced activity on the electroencephalogram (EEG.) An EEG measures electrical activity in the brain. This should not be confused with an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) which measures the electrical activity of the heart. Transplant surgeons prefer to cut the heart out of live patients with active EKGs (but minimal EEGs) because a heart that has stopped beating actually harms the tissue via something called a “hypoxic insult” to the tissue. Remember that the heart must beat oxygen-rich blood not only to the whole body, but to the heart itself.
In lay terms, Cardiac muscle goes so badly so quickly after the heart stops beating that transplant surgeons must find a way to anesthetize the patient so as to cut the heart out of that living body. It should be obvious that a dead body would not need anesthesia! But this sounds too creepy to exist without a cover. Harvard Medical invented the cover, “Brain Death” precisely so as to justify the harvesting of hearts from living people. If you put “Yes” on your Driver’s License to organ donation, and if you were to sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury with no damage to your cardiovascular system, you would certainly be a prime candidate to have your heart cut out of your own living body (deemed brain dead because of a reduced EEG.)
The New England Journal of Medicine recently removed an article formerly found here where they admitted that transplant surgeons were cutting the hearts out of live patients. Their bioethical justification read word-for-word: “Many will object that transplantation surgeons cannot legally or ethically remove vital organs from patients before death, since doing so will cause their death. However, if the critiques of the current methods of diagnosing death are correct, then such actions are already taking place on a routine basis.” Let me translate that into lay terms: “Some people may think it’s wrong to cut organs out of living people, and they might be correct, but it’s irrelevant because they’re simply too late to protest, since we’ve already been doing it for quite a while.”
To be sure, certain organs can be cut from a live person with no challenge from even the most conservative bioethicists. For example, one person could give another person a kidney, and both could go on living. But after certain traumatic events, especially neuro-trauma (head and neck) the transplant surgeons aim to harvest the heart for the next living person that could use it. Again, this must be cut from a living patient who has been declared to have reduced brain activity, aka “Brain Death,” as the cover to appease the more squeamish of bioethicists. Besides the fact that this is justifying murder (as some surgical cut has to stop the heart!) it should be noted that numerous people who had formerly been declared “brain dead” have actually recovered. Dr. Shewmon MD of Pediatric Neurology at UCLA has demonstrated that children who have survived as brain dead for up to 14 years have overcome infections and even their wounds.
For this reason, we must consider that Byrne et. al. in the book Life, Life Support and Death write “No one shall be determined or declared dead unless and until there is destruction of at least the three basic unifying systems of the body, namely, the circulatory and respiratory systems, and the entire brain.”
When I was a priest on loan to Florida last year, I was called to help a Spanish-only speaking family who I had never met. The parents were from Mexico, but they had raised their three children in California. Their 33 year old son, Joel, had been a very popular restaurant-worker there in Jacksonville, FL. For reasons unknown, he was shot in the head one night last year and transported by Jax EMS to Memorial Hospital where he was resuscitated and moved to the ICU. The Gun Shot Wound (GSW) to the head seemed to be incompatible with “a meaningful life.” Thus, the hospital staff wanted to wheel Joel away to harvest his heart from his living body in a separate room. However, this would mean that Joel would not die in the presence of his parents in the ICU. (You can’t exactly have parents watch you cut the heart out of their live son.) I had just arrived to intervene at this time, and I subsequently explained this to the parents the fate of their son. Naturally, his parents refused to have their living son, who was able to make eye contact, killed for his heart.
In response to my intervention and his parents’ wishes, Joel was left in the ICU to starve to death. We protested this decision in both English and Spanish, but were ignored for nearly two days with Joel starving. Finally, I called civil attorneys in Washington DC with a group called Life Legal Defense Foundation. Joel’s parents gave permission for them to publish his story here.
Ultimately, LLDF’s attorney was able to force the hospital ICU physicians to establish a nasogastric tube to feed Joel. Joel received artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) until he died a few days later in the ICU from the GSW. Although a GSW is not to be considered a “natural death,” it was certainly a more natural death than having his live heart cut out of his living body. As you can see from the above picture, Joel was able to look at me when I took out my phone for a picture with him and his mother. A few days later, Joel died a peaceful death with no narcotics. He died with the sacraments. He died with his parents and brother at his side. None of this would have been possible if hospital staff had been able to cut his heart out of his living body and/or overdose him with narcotics.
My suggestion as an ex-paramedic is to put “No” on your Driver’s License to organ donation. A better option is this: A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Document is a legal document that lets you name someone else to make decisions about your health care in case you are not able to make those decisions yourself. Should you wish to indicate to that person that you wish to donate, say, liver or kidneys or cornea to patients who need it (in the event that you die) then the person you have made your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (who hopefully shares a similar set of bioethics as you) can make that decision for you. It is better to start with a “No” to that organ donation on your driver’s license and let your spouse dial that up, than to start with a “Yes” and have a loved-one unable to stop you from being wheeled away as your heart is cut out of your living body, should you have just sustained a traumatic brain injury.