The Prudent Atheist

Are you simply a prudent atheist?Family Sitting in Church Clipart

Do not answer “no” too quickly.

A prudent atheist would recognize the need for community at least for his mere psychological well being, and thus ensure he weekly attends (only in a nice suburb, of course) a gathering of reasonable individuals who all take some similar thing seriously. He understands the importance of a regard for symbolism in one’s life, and might even approach some “solemn” act, perhaps one he would even call a “sacrament,” with apparent devotion.

A prudent atheist would easily see that adultery, drunkenness, gluttony, crime, and similar behaviors, will quickly destroy a man, and therefore he will carefully rid his life of any such thing.

A prudent atheist, rather, would see that virtue will lead one to live a much more smooth and happy life, and the relatively small sacrifice of a few pleasures of the flesh pays off with far greater rewards, even in the short run. Thus he will indeed pursue virtue.

A prudent atheist wouldn’t use (or want his wife to use) contraception, either; knowing how damaging that is in its own right. Instead, he’d use NFP to ensure he only had 1.8 kids (or at least not enough to interfere with regular Disney World vacations).

A prudent atheist, knowing that structure to one’s days and “stepping back” from stressful concerns is truly its own reward, might even start and end his day with saying a “prayer” of some sort.

A prudent atheist would know that even mere emotional well-being requires some sense of satisfaction in one’s own rendering aid to others, thus he will occasionally lend a hand and give charitably — so long as it doesn’t hurt too much.

A prudent atheist — knowing that when we commit injustices we benefit from admitting this to others — might even regularly engage in some form of therapy (maybe even in a ceremonial fashion) in which he formally acknowledges such acts to another in secrecy.

A prudent atheist, if he be a family man, would recognize that this family of his is clearly the bedrock of his life, and thus he would take great care to provide well for his family, treat them well (so that they may treat him well), ensure his marriage is a happy one, read books on marriage and family (and perhaps even write them), and generally do a very solid job at being a “good husband and father.”

(Are, then, all priests and religious exempt from this examination? By no means.)

A prudent atheist who doesn’t feel particularly drawn to marriage anyway, or who is too fearful of the sacrifices that raising children entails, might even take a “vow” (which he of course won’t take too seriously in his heart, knowing he’ll abandon it in the future if the going gets tough) of celibacy — maybe even of “poverty” and obedience —  to gain him entrance to a comfortable way of life with a secure (even if modest) satisfaction of his material needs which entails little risk.

So, dear Christian, you say you truly believe that the very same God who created the entire Universe physically entered into it two thousand years ago, promised He will come again in glory soon to judge the living and the dead, and has invited you to hasten this Coming of His Kingdom. This is what you claim to believe.

Well, prove it.

And do not presume to have succeeded in thus proving by merely doing what even a prudent atheist would do.

 

st francis

Gaudete et Exsultate – 12 Essential and New Teachings in Pope Francis’ Recent Exhortation

This week, Pope Francis promulgated a beautiful Apostolic Exhortation entitled Gaudete et Exsultate. In reading it, I was struck by 12 separate teachings; all of which are profound and in dire need of being heard today, and many if not most of which are actually — so it seems — brand new teachings in the Magisterium. Although they are not discordant with or in contradiction to any pre existing Magisterial teaching, nevertheless many of these 12 points are ones I have never seen taught in any formal Magisterial Document until now. This is a major and important development, which really changes things if we have eyes to see it. Let us therefore read and heed what the Holy Father is teaching us here! What previously was only good advice that could be refuted is now authoritative Church teaching which all Catholics can — and must — proceed with conviction in living by and promulgating.

There are many other beautiful teachings in this Exhortation that I am not including here; so I recommend reading the whole thing. I am merely presenting what I found particularly necessary or new.

Before diving in, I’d just like to first highlight that Pope Francis closes the first chapter of this Exhortation with an appeal to the very quote that was the topic of my post from last July – ‘The Only Tragedy‘, which I’d like to present again as dovetailing well with this Exhortation.

Images are from the Exhortation, typed text is mine:

1) Copying is Not Enough

Far too often I hear, in Catholic Circles, some inspired soul present to another more “experienced” Catholic what he sees as God calling him to. Immediately the latter responds with polite denigration, assuring him that this inspiration is actually not what St. _______ did, or Bl. ________ did, in a somewhat comparable situation.

How utterly tragic. God created you for a reason — that reason is not to be a mere copy of a Saint God already created! If that were so, God would merely have inspired another book to be written about that saint. You, instead, were created to be the very Incarnation of God’s own Will for your life — a plan both “unique and unrepeatable.” Of course there are certain themes found in all saints  and which must be found in our lives as well. But too many Catholics chase a false security by acting as if salvation — and even sanctification — is somehow guaranteed merely by copying every detail of some other holy person they discovered. And what a lie that is.

This is also the false-security-oriented mentality that disdains valid Private Revelations that aren’t identical to the Private Revelations that preceded them. Oh, how many times I have heard, for example, “but the Medjugorje visionaries didn’t do what the Fatima visionaries did, so Medjugorje must be a fraud!” What utter nonsense.

2)Holiness is Claiming the Life of Jesus as One’s Own

Nothing does this more beautifully and powerfully than Luisa’s revelations. Much of them consist in fusing ourselves with the Divine Will and appropriating for ourselves all that which Jesus did — in both His humanity and His Divinity — for the reordering of all creation in His Will.

3)Look for Signs

The common response of many so-called “learned” Catholics is to smile condescendingly when a simpler soul looks for signs from God in order to know and do His Will. “The theological teachings of the Church are enough; obey the Commandments, receive the Sacraments, remain a good Catholic, and all you need to consists in this alone,” they say. Thanks be to God we now have the Magisterium itself refuting such covert worldliness. The Magisterium, the Commandments, the Precepts, etc., are a solid ground to stand on and guardrails to prevent our careening off a cliff. They are not desks to hide under, which is what the “all you need is the Sacraments, everything else is distraction” crowd treats them as.

Later in the Exhortation, this same issue is treated in a slightly different context, when Pope Francis writes:

The nice, neat, clear norms aren’t enough. They are necessary, but not sufficient. Countless theologians, apologists, self-acclaimed theologians, and generally self-described “experienced” Catholics will insist that they are enough. That the norms are all you need. In so doing all they’ve done is revealed that they themselves have entirely missed the very fundamental purpose of the Catholic Religion: which is not knowledge of and adherence to a set of guidelines and principles: it is absolute and total commitment to a person, Jesus Christ, and a willing desire to totally conform to Him. This conformity will nevertheless vary from person to person, and therefore is fundamentally incapable of being entirely discovered by adherence to a set of principles that apply to everyone.

This all, of course, entails a risk. Worldly people see risk as the worst thing. They rightly protest: You may see a sign that is not there; you may even read a sign from the devil. You seek to discern what the Spirit Wills for you and you may fall into following your own ambition instead. Oh well. Proceed with your best discernment and understand that the risk is worth taking. The only other option is shutting off your ears to God’s voice, which is blasphemy. Pope Francis continues, assuring us:

Yes, your life is a revelation to the world. Let it be so. Do not stifle that revelation by supposing that what already has been revealed is enough. “Public Revelation,” i.e. the Deposit of Faith, indeed is already complete. But revelation is not over and done with so long as we remain pilgrims in this world.

4)Christ’s Kingdom is Going to Come on Earth, and Your Job is to Help Hasten that Happening

Contrary to the slanders published by certain desperate promoters of their own invented eschatological speculations, those who believe and seek to hasten the Coming of the Kingdom are not Millenarian Heretics: rather, they are merely those who realize that there is no other way to grow in holiness. Devote yourself entirely, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, to hastening the Coming of the Kingdom. “Let the coming of the Kingdom be your only purpose in life” – approved revelation of Jesus to Elisabeth Kindlemann.

5)You Don’t Have it Figured Out. So Remain Open to What Great Things God still has in Store

God help them –but it is certain learned and “orthodox Catholics” who, consistently, are the greatest opponents of God’s greatest plans on earth. Just read the biographies of the greatest saints, and you’ll see this is true. Look especially at the life of St. Faustina and St. Padre Pio. They were silenced by these “good Catholics” who are convinced that they already have all the answers, so God of course, in their book, has no right to come up with some sort of a new and greater plan that transcends their own petty little strategies. So when this new and greater thing comes about, they see it as competition to their own apostolates, and they stop at nothing to try and shut them down. It is precisely these “good Catholics” who have decided that there cannot be such a thing as truly Living in God’s Will on this earth, so they now dedicate themselves to persecuting the followers of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. But that is only one example of, tragically, very many.

6)To Live in God is Even Greater than for Him to Live in Us

Now this is profound and groundbreaking, because it is almost verbatim a teaching from Jesus’ words to Luisa. He says, essentially, that Him living in the soul is good. He has long done so — in all humans, through actual grace; in the baptized, through sanctifying grace; and substantially in our very bodies, through the Eucharist. But now the time has come for an even greater sanctity; for us to Live in His Will.

7)The Devil is Real and We Pray for Deliverance from him, not Mere Abstract Evil,  in each Our Father

Many have long pointed out this weakness in the current translation of the Lord’s Prayer, but finally we have the Magisterium itself revealing it! Indeed, the petitions of the Our Father are the most important petitions we can make. And the final petition of this prayer really is asking God for protection against a literal person — one of an incomprehensible degree of malice toward us, with preternatural power to boot. Before this, Pope Francis points out the absurdity of chalking all the Bible’s references to demonic activity up to psychological disorder. Will the liberal “devil is only a symbol” Catholics listen?

8)You Need to Use Zealously Every Weapon in the Catholic Arsenal

In continuing to discuss the Devil, reminding us that he is no mere myth, Pope Francis proceeds to delineate methods of resisting him. If you were hoping to find in Francis a deliverance from all these “antiquated rituals and remnants of medieval Catholicism,” you have hoped utterly in vain. Pope Francis is demanding that we make full use of them; it is safe to assume that he would have readily prolonged this list if he felt it would not provide an unbalanced paragraph. So much for Protestantized Catholicism.

9)Be Very Worried if You Think You’re Safe Merely Because You Think You Aren’t Committing Mortal Sins

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:16. How fitting that this Chapter and Verse mirrors the far more often quoted John 3:16, for so many who think only of the latter Biblical Quote choose to forget that lukewarmness is not an option. And oh, how many “experienced” Catholics have adopted an apparently mortal-sin-free life, only to allow every imaginable vice to dominate their conduct in ways that, although prevented from resulting in obvious grievous sin, nevertheless corrupt their souls to the core.

The fruits are obvious to everyone but themselves: They gossip, the constantly engage in idle chatter, they waste away their days on vanities, they indulge their taste buds all day long, they are constantly trying to impress the world with their Facebook stunts, they never perform works of mercy, they somehow never have time to pray, they think and speak only about their own amusements, they readily “veg” in front of worldly Television shows, they care only about their own family and friends and tiny little social circles, and the list goes on. And they actually deceive themselves into thinking their souls are fine and dandy just because their lives are free of obvious mortal sins and they go to Church on Sundays. And then they have the audacity to wonder why they have no peace in their hearts and their lives are full of discord. Pope Francis is striving here to rid the Church of this malignant and terminal, albeit hidden, cancer.

10)All Christians Should do an Examination of Conscience Every Day

Pope Francis, in this Exhortation and elsewhere, is very clear that we are all called to be saints but this does not mean restricting the freedom to choose our own spiritual regimen, nor does it mean we all must spend long hours every day in Church. Thus, in the “spirit of Pope Francis,” some have foolishly and wrongly decided this means they can be free spirits and abandon the treasury of devotions and prayers that the Church recommends to us. How foolish indeed! That completely contradicts what Francis has said here and elsewhere. For example, he has also asked all Catholics to pray the Rosary every day. Francis is not anyone’s ticket out of what the Church and the Saints have always asked of us. In fact, he is often even more insistent than his predecessors. Here, he points out that an Examination of Conscience is a necessary part of every Catholic’s daily prayer regimen. So too is the Rosary. So too is a morning offering. So too is sporadic prayer throughout the day. So too (in my opinion) is the Divine Mercy Chaplet and other things. Add all these things together and they do not sum up to an amount of time that anyone, even the busiest, is incapable of. For indeed, Pope Francis also here teaches:

11)You Need to Always be Open to the Comfortable Plan You’ve Crafted for Your Life Being Utterly Shattered by God’s Will

For many, religion fits nicely into their lives as a (statistically proven, even!) method of helping calm the nerves, give an anchor, make one nicer, give a community, and provide all sorts of other socially acceptable virtues. That is not religion any more than a mere roommate is a spouse. The truly religious person is open to anything that God’s Will brings — no matter how much it contradicts and overturns one’s own inclinations, desires, and plans. However, unless God’s Will is actually sincerely and zealously sought, this openness is nothing but an empty — and even deceitful — theory. We must not only pray often, and pray long, but pray sincerely — trying our best to discern, through our prayer, the Will of God for us instead of concocting imaginative fantasies about what we wish his Will was for us.

12)Notwithstanding Anything You May Think is to the Contrary, the Magisterium Must Always be Obeyed

With all his talk of freshness, openness to the spirit, repudiation of rigidity and and overemphasis on doctrine, etc., one may be tempted to suppose that Francis if finally giving us a free pass to contradict those “stuffy old Magisterial precepts” that “dared to restrict the Spirit blowing where it will”! Precepts contained in, for example, Familiaris Consortio, Humanae Vitae, Casti Connubi, Veritatis Splendor, and others like them.

Nonsense. And Pope Francis himself says that is nonsense. The Magisterium guards the Gospel; and both must be obeyed always, absolutely, and without reservation. Discernment is not and never will be your subtle entry way into contradicting the teachings of the Church, which can never and will never change.

Amoris Laetitia: The Razor-Thin Straight-and-Narrow Truth of the Matter

If you would never in a million years dream of entertaining the notion that one may knowingly and unrepentantly commit intrinsic grave evils, fully intending to continue committing them and open with this intent, with no desire whatsoever to even try to stop, and nevertheless validly be absolved and licitly be given holy Communion, then you needn’t bother reading any more of this post. For you are among the blessed few whose faith is simple and pure and irreproachable. You know that you can trust the Bible, you know that you can trust the Catechism, and you do not waste your time considering novelties that contradict the clear teachings contained in them.

But if, like most, you find yourself confused or inclined to believe that this notion may be legitimate, then you may wish to read on.

In this post, I will provide:

  1. A brief summary of the Amoris Laetitia conflict.
  2. Perhaps the only logically grounded discussion of the nature of Magisterium, authority, infallibility, etc., that one is likely to easily find.
  3. A description of where we now stand considering the most recent developments in the aforementioned conflict; especially the astounding flourishing of the heretical interpretation of Amoris Laetitia.
  4. An observation of the fact that — all judgments regarding the man himself aside (I am sure he is a holier and better Catholic than myself) — Stephen Walford has now demonstrated his teachings on the Faith to be a thoroughly rotten tree, as this tree has repeatedly produced thoroughly rotten fruit (and, as Our Lord says, “no good tree bears bad fruit,” Lk 6:43),  and thus it is now clear for all to see that his attacks on the Era of Peace, the Divine Will, Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, etc., are just more rotten fruit proceeding from this same tree that now produces his attacks on Pope St. John Paul II’s Magisterium, the Dubia Cardinals, EWTN, Fr. Gerald Murray, etc. (For at this point, Mr. Walford’s “hateful screeds against canon lawyers, bishops, cardinals…” and his avowed methodology of using “pejorative adjectives to put down people he disagrees with” instead of actually engage in logical discussion with them has now been noted to the world on EWTN itself: (e.g. starting at 12 minutes in in this video) )
  5. Quick rebuttals of some of the more common objections against the orthodox interpretation of A.L.
  6. A more in-depth explanation of what may, and what may not, be modified out of a desire to be merciful in the Communion debate
  7. A word on time travel (it’s relevant)
  8. A footnote on mercy

Want an even more brief preview? Here it is:

At this point I know that some are thinking to themselves “Great; another clueless Pharisee.” If that describes your reaction then please, I implore you, before sending me hate mail, at least scroll to the very bottom and read the “Footnote on Mercy.”

Now, on to the post.

Firstly, I write this post because some have openly wondered — considering my last post in which I refuted Stephen Walford’s errors here (I will not be restating everything from that post, so if you’d like an explanation of why Amoris Laetitia is orthodox and why the heretical interpretation is incorrect, you may want to start by checking that post out)– what my thoughts are now that Walford has been given a 45 minute Papal Audience (which not even good Cardinals can get, despite publicly begging for them), and the Buenos Aires guidelines have appeared in the AAS (Acta Apostolica Sedis). Therefore, lest souls be lead astray by others saying “Oh, now that _____ has happened, Daniel must now believe _____,” I must write.

In fact, none of my stances have changed, and I continue to insist that Walford is espousing heresy.

Secondly, I write this post because my last one strongly promoted the Era of Peace; whereas attacking this promise given by Our Lady at Fatima is Mr. Walford’s second-favorite endeavor (it used to be his first, though he now prefers condoning adultery and attacking JPII, EWTN, etc.). From WordPress analytics I can see that many arrive at this blog by doing searches for Stephen Walford and for Divine Will topics, therefore I should be sure to address this intersection of several issues.

A little background for those wise enough to have hitherto avoided concerning themselves with these debates:

  1. Almost 2 years ago, Pope Francis promulgated the Apostolic Exhortation entitled Amoris Laetitia, which — though it has ambiguous statements that unfortunately can be interpreted in a heretical fashion (hence my support for the Dubia cardinals and my desire to see Pope Francis Magisterially clarify them) — is not heretical and does not say that one unrepentantly committing adultery may validly receive absolution and licitly receive Communion.
  2. Over the following 2 years, the Church bureaucracy (including many of its elements housed within the Vatican city state) began to favor the heretical interpretation (that there are indeed occasions where one may unrepentantly commit adultery and nevertheless receive absolution and Communion).
  3. Mr. Walford, perhaps inspired by a noble desire to defend the Pope against the latter’s more ignoble detractors, or perhaps inspired by seeing a great self-advancement opportunity (God shall judge that, not I), has been seeking to distinguish himself as one of the English speaking world’s foremost defenders and promoters of the heretical interpretation; primarily by his articles that for some reason are published on “La Stampa.”
  4. After a few of these aforementioned articles, Mr. Walford was granted a Papal Audience
  5. Most recently, the “Buenos Aires” guidelines (which were written by the Argentinian Bishops in order to direct their priests on how to apply Amoris Laetitia), were placed in the AAS along with a letter from Pope Francis saying that this is the proper interpretation of A.L. These Buenos Aires guidelines seem to endorse the heretical interpretation that Walford was espousing. Please note that the “AAS,” Acta Apostolica Sedis, is the name for the publication issued monthly by the Vatican to have a record of what is done in the Vatican. If something finds its way into this publication, it is commonly considered “an official act of the Holy See,” which a novice might think means “an official act of the Magisterium,” which is NOT the case. Read on for more.

It is point number 5 that above all needs to be addressed, and it brings to the fore the question: 

Meaningfully answering this question requires stepping back a few paces: stepping back from tossing Latin Magisterial document names back and forth, stepping back from Canon Law, stepping back from Papal Pronouncements, stepping back from tradition, and yes, even stepping back from theology. 

We must instead begin at the very beginning, and consider the reason behind our identity. Indeed, all of us are first “man” and only after are we “Catholic.” Therefore becoming and justifying the latter can only occur by way of methods proper to the former, lest we fallaciously beg the question. Similarly, only a complete fool would try to answer the question “Why believe what a Magisterial document says?” by responding “Because it is a Magisterial document. And Magisterial documents say we must obey Magisterial documents. Q.E.D.

By now I have been engaged in more discussions and read more articles on the nature of authority, infallibility, and Magisterium than I can count. Whether in a graduate theology course or merely perusing the blog of a lay apologist, the problem I have seen always the same: circular reasoning. They quote a Catechism, or a Council, or something else, to prove why a Catechism, or a Council, or something else, is trustworthy. An avalanche of terms are thereafter thrown into the mix in an attempt to cover up the argument’s weakness: “religious submission of intellect and will vs. certitude of faith. Ordinary vs Extraordinary Magisterium. Universal vs. Local. Encyclical vs. Exhortation vs. Letter vs. Constitution. Pastoral vs. Doctrinal vs Dogmatic. Development vs Rupture” On, and on, and on it goes.

This is intellectually bankrupt. Yes, those terms have their place, but they do not actually answer the question we must now ask.

So, why are we Catholic?

We are Catholic because God really exists, God really did become man, this God-man really did found a Church, and this God-man really did issue a very specific promise to this Church that He founded. All of these realities are perfectly evident and demonstrable without appealing to Catholic Church teaching (they are, rather, why we appeal to Catholic Church teaching).

For it is absolutely, categorically impossible for God to lie (even reason alone tells us He is all-good), or to be wrong about anything (even reason alone tells us He is all-knowing).

But Jesus said “You are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18. Therefore anything that would constitute, in any way, shape, or form, the gates of hell prevailing against the Church, is a true and absolute metaphysical impossibility by simple logic that anyone over the age of seven should be capable of. Any attempt to build the reliability of the Magisterium and our response to it on any ultimate foundation but this one is circular and doomed to failure.

But let us also consider what Jesus did not say to Peter. Many have already pointed out that He did not say that all of Peter’s opinions would be true (indeed, Peter himself did a good job refuting that notion with his own life). He certainly did not say that all Bishops would be good or would preach the truth (Judas did an even better job refuting that one). But he also did not say “You are Peter. And 1,876 years from now, a daily gazette will be formed in the Vatican, called the ‘Acta Apostolica Sedis.’ Every word found in that is bound in heaven.”

For a long time, I have had the entire Acta Apostolica Sedis on my computer. I often refer to it in theological research. I can certainly see how one who is unacquainted with it might fall into thinking that a Catholic should deem it an absolutely trustworthy source of Church teachings; with the mere fact that an assertion is found within it causing that claim to become completely trustworthy Magisterium. But that is not the case.

What, then, can we trust?

  • If the successors of the apostles (the Bishops) of the entire world get together and carefully discuss, for years, matters of the Faith, and vote on final versions of their agreed documents, and then these documents are promulgated to the whole Church or even the whole World by the successor of Peter himself (the Pope) — and if this end result were to teach error, then the gates of hell would certainly have prevailed against the Church. Therefore this can never happen. In other words, the teachings of Ecumenical Councils are certain (the most recent one being Vatican II)
    • If an essentially similar process (albeit with important distinctions) occurs and the product is not the documents of a council, but the production of a Universal Catechism, and this Catechism is promulgated by the Pope himself by way of an authortative Magisterial Document affirming its contents, then this Catechism teaching an error on faith or morals would also constitute the gates of hell prevailing against the Church, and so too is impossible. Hence, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is absolutely trustworthy.
  • If the visible head of the Church, the successor of Peter, the Pope Himself, were to clearly, officially, publicly teach an error on Faith or Morals, this too, I believe, would constitute the gates of hell prevailing against the Church. This is why I stand by every teaching of all of Pope Francis’ official Magisterium: Lumen Fidei, Evangelii Gaudium, Laudato Si, and, yes, Amoris Laetitia. Indeed, the actual teachings contained within formal documents promulgated directly by the Vicar of Christ himself and issued to the Church, are absolutely trustworthy.


(Incidentally, it must be noted that the Catholic Church is the only institution on Earth with a built in self-destruct button. In a few moments, any Pope in history could have completely destroyed it by teaching ex-cathedra (infallibly) a teaching obviously contradictory to what has already been taught ex-cathedra. That would immediately reveal to the world the absence of the Divine Mandate that the Church claims — just as a “prophet” is revealed as anything but when his “prophecies” fail. And yet, it’s never happened. Despite being the most fragile institution in history, the Catholic Church is both the largest and the oldest. I sure hope that gives the skeptics — and all non-Catholics — great pause.)

 

What else, since it would not (or does not) constitute the gates of hell prevailing against the Church, could happen (or has happened)?

  • If a heretical interpretation of one of the aforementioned items became very common, this would not constitute the gates of hell prevailing against the Church.
  • Nor would it so constitute this prevailing if the heretical interpretation was held by many (even most) Bishops.
  • Nor even if it were held by the Pope Himself, so long as he did not elevate this interpretation by way of a new Magisterial document clearly affirming it. (Needless to say, errors in off the cuff Papal remarks, interviews, personal letters, private letters, and even homilies, do not constitute the gates of hell prevailing against the Church).

Now, it is no trifle that the Buenos Aires guidelines, which seem to endorse the heretical interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, are now in the AAS along with a letter allegedly from Pope Francis endorsing them, and a rescript from Cardinal Parolin insisting that Pope Francis wants them decreed as “authentic Magisterium.” The fact remains, however, that Cardinal Parolin saying that the Holy Father said that something is authentic Magisterium does not make it authentic Magisterium; not even if his saying this makes its way into the official gazette of the Acts of the Vatican. No, the Holy Father himself has to issue something Magisterially for it to be authentic Magisterium. Up to the publication of this post, the only Magisterial proclamation that Pope Francis has made on this issue is Amoris Laetitia itself which, as many have already pointed out, is orthodox so long as it is interpreted correctly.

Do not accuse me of using subtle sophistry here to try and evade the Magisterium; that would only reveal how misguided you are. Any experienced lawyer could easily tell you that if the question “Is the Buenos Aires interpretation now Magisterium?” were put on the dock, all of the “evidence” currently used to try to answer that question “yes” would in fact be mere hearsay.   For all this “evidence” amounts to nothing more than someone who cannot issue Magisterium saying that the one who can issue Magisterium has done so. The fact — crystal clear and easy for anyone who wants the truth to see — is that he has not. 

But no, what we have here is no trifle. In fact, it is a downright crisis. Consequently:

I have had this blog for almost a decade; and most of that time I have spent imploring my readers to recognize that, for so many years, Our Lady has been warning us, in so many apparitions, that the Great Apostasy is coming. In many ways, it has been here for several decades. But it is clearly about to climax. And yet, the promises of Christ are irrevocable: the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church.

Yes, I repeat, what we see unfolding before our very eyes these days is precisely what we should have been expecting:

  • A situation wherein the Magisterium itself is heresy free, as promised by Christ, and as it always will be.
  • A situation wherein any Catholic of good will can easily see what this Magisterium says (just by Googling “Catechism of the Catholic Church” or “Amoris Laetitia”), and it will not be difficult for him to understand.
  • However, a situation in which most (including most priests and bishops) will reject this clear Magisterial teaching, accessible to anyone, for the sake of a heretical interpretation that has become fashionable; entering the very summits of where Divine Providence could possibly allow it to reach, but not one inch further (remember, again, that Pope Francis has not issued a new Magisterial Document affirming the Buenos Aires guidelines! Nor will he. Mark my words.)

Two more reasons, for those still undecided, why the truth of this matter is not in the least difficult to see:

Perhaps above all, we must remember that the promoters of the heretical interpretation deliberately ignore this one most poignant thing: namely, what has not happened. They rejoice every time a new document or phone call is leaked, or interview granted, indicating the Pope himself may have the heretical interpretation in mind as his own preference (which does not make it the Magisterium), and they certainly rejoice every time a new Bishop’s conference institutes the heretical interpretation. But they ignore the fact that the Pope has now had almost two years to actually Magisterially teach the heretical interpretation: and he has not once done so. With the flick of a wrist he could do so, and he has not. It takes a great ignorance — likely a willful one — for that to not speak volumes.

Tied for first place in what we must above all remember in this great trial is, again, a very simple fact that Walford et al deliberately ignore. Amoris Laetitia is an Apostolic Exhortation; a Magisterial document of identical weight to Familiaris Consortio, the act of the Magisterium by which Pope St. John Paul II taught, definitively, the very opposite of Walford’s teaching. The absence of even the most basic reason here is mind boggling. Walford et al. is readily contradicting the clear and explicit teaching contained in the body of an Apostolic Exhortation written by a canonized saint Pope just a short few decades ago for the sake of an ambiguous and incorrect interpretation of a footnote at the bottom of an Apostolic Exhortation written by the living Pope. My 3 year old son has a long way to go before he reaches the age of reason; but even he knows that a scale with a brick on the right side will not be budged by a feather being placed on the other.

I’ll even put this in a table so as to catch the eye of those merely skimming this article:

 

Walford himself does not deny the contradiction. He has already openly repudiated the right-hand column above, calling it “unrealistic.” And this is the basic approach now taken by all promoters of the heretical interpretation — namely, that what was once Magisterially taught can now be abrogated because it is “unrealistic.”

The hypocrisy is astonishing, but not surprising. It is precisely what Walford did, over and over again, in my debates with him on the Era of Peace. He would endlessly throw one errant interpretation of one paragraph of the Catechism in my face; always refusing to so much as acknowledge it when I demonstrated his interpretation was in error and when I would present to him countless Magisterial texts clearly affirming — in stark contradiction to his errant interpretation of one paragraph of another text — that there will in fact be an Era of Peace (“But there is a Cardinal who agrees with me!” he would shout). All, of course, to no effect. Just as even now, there is no use trying to convince Mr. Walford of the truth; which is why I have not bothered reaching out to him on this, but instead have only publicly responding to his own public errors.

A recap of why Walford’s teaching is heretical

Stephen Walford, joining with the Argentinian Bishops, the Maltese Bishops, many German Bishops, etc., is insisting that there are situations wherein Absolution may be validly bestowed upon, and Communion may be licitly given to, one who is unrepentant of adultery. This, of course, is not how he phrases his argument, but it is in fact what his argument consists in. I am not claiming that it is heresy to say that the divorced and remarried may be given Communion. That is a dangerous generalization and defenders of orthodoxy must avoid it. We already know that there are multiple situations in which the divorced and remarried may be licitly given Communion, for example:

  1. If their first marriage was annulled and their second is validated, or
  2. If they are striving to live as brother and sister

I understand and accept that Pope Francis is asking us to make changes, and he has every right to do so within the bounds of orthodoxy. Therefore, I am even willing to consider the following situations as cases in which the “divorced and remarried” may licitly be given communion: (Please do not say that I am promoting or defending giving Communion in the following situations. I am merely saying that I am open to considering these cases, as they are not manifestly heretical like the teaching of Walford et al is)

3. A couple living together could be incapable of getting an annulment for their previous marriages for some accidental reason not connected to the validity of the marriage itself, and perhaps both are morally convinced of the invalidity of their previous marriages. In this case, they are convinced that they are, in fact, not committing acts of adultery because they do believe that their current marriage is possible due to the invalidity of their first marriages and the fundamental possibility of two Christians exchanging vows and thus potentially efficaciously ministering the sacrament to each other (for the validity of a marriage, even between Catholics, does not absolutely and categorically depend upon its being made in a Church, by a priest, with the Church’s permission, etc. Those are ordinary requirements; but they do not constitute the matter of the Sacrament and therefore are not absolute). In this case, they at least have some grounds for hope that their current marriage is valid and thus their carnal union is not intrinsically adulterous.

4. A couple living together could be perfectly capable of getting their marriage validated but, due to the obstinacy of one spouse, this does not wind up happening. If the circumstances nevertheless make it apparent that an annulment would be possible if only the other spouse would cooperate, then the cooperative spouse could perhaps do whatever could be done and then proceed with a clear conscience in acts proper to marriage within that relationship.

Cardinal Müller speaks of possibility #3 in his introduction to Professor Buttiglione’s book. But Müller also says:

“For this reason, repentance and the intention to avoid future occasions of sin is necessary. Without this, sacramental forgiveness cannot be given. This is in any case the doctrine of the Church.” (emphasis added). In saying this, the good Cardinal is defending the perennial and infallible teaching of the Church against Buttiglione’s assertion, which is literally the complete opposite of what Müller is here saying.

Professor Buttiglione contorts Müller’s  words. He, Andrea Tornielli, and others, are claiming that Cardinal Müller has opened the door; thus it is now impossible to claim that their heretical interpretation is heretical. In fact, what Müller wrote has nothing to do with their heretical interpretation. Consider, for example, Cardinal Müller’s words above when you read the following quote from Tornielli’s interview of Buttiglione, wherein the latter blatantly, and deceitfully, attributes the heretical interpretation to a consequence of Cardinal Müller’s action: “…thanks to my book and Cardinal Müller’s preface, for the first-time critics have been forced to respond and cannot deny one point: there are mitigating circumstances in which a mortal sin (a sin that would otherwise be mortal) becomes a lighter sin, a venial sin. There are therefore some cases in which remarried divorcees can (through their confessor and after an adequate spiritual discernment) be considered in God’s grace and therefore deserving of receiving the sacraments. It seems a shocking novelty, but it is a doctrine entirely – I dare say hard-rock – traditional”

But Cardinal Müller says nothing about “mitigating factors” being what enables a divorced and remarried couple unrepentantly committing actual adultery to receive Communion. He says the complete opposite.

Rather, Müller makes it obvious that this enabling of licit reception of Communion is entirely based upon a hope — even if that hope is a long shot — that they are not committing adultery at all!

But this is child’s play compared to what Buttiglione does next. He blatantly lies about what Pope Saint John Paul II himself taught in Familiaris Consortio.

Here is what Pope St. John Paul II actually taught, Magisterially and authoritatively, in Familiaris Consortio (article 84; emphasis added):

Here is what Buttiglione says (emphasis added):

Here we have Buttiglione:

  1. Fallaciously asserting that JPII said this teaching was discipline, when in fact JPII’s reference to “practice” is implicitly, if not clearly, a reference to a doctrinal practice.
  2. Blatantly lying about how JPII was issuing his warning on scandal; asserting that this warning was the primary or sole reason for the teaching, when in fact it was merely a secondary consideration.
  3. Finishing it all off with another lie and calumny against JPII, pretending that JPII didn’t treat divorced-and-remarried “like other sinners.”

Although Buttiglione’s three errors here are clear enough for anyone to see, allow me to briefly explain each of them:

  1. JPII did not say he was issuing a disciplinary teaching. Far from it. Buttiglione is evidently assuming that by “practice,” JPII means “merely disciplinary.” But this is not so. The Church often uses the word “practice” to refer to discipline and often uses it to refer to doctrine. For example, the Catechism (1032) uses “practice” to refer to the Church praying for the dead, the necessity of which is anything but a mere changeable discipline. Article 1472 of the Catechism specifically refers to indulgence as both a “doctrine and a practice,” putting to rest any notion that something being a “practice” means that it cannot be doctrinal. Still later, the very matter of the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick — namely, holy oil — is described as a “practice,” making it clear that even the most fundamental realities of the Faith, which the Church cannot touch, can be called “practices.”
    1. Besides that, it seems to me abundantly clear that JPII was issuing a doctrinal teaching here. First of all, he did not say “I,” rather he said “the Church,” which Popes often use when they wish to give even greater regard to a teaching. Secondly, JPII says that the Church is reaffirming the practice – implying strongly that this is a constant teaching (and no constant teaching can change). Thirdly, JPII said that the practice is based on Sacred Scripture, making it even clearer that this is an element of the Deposit of Faith, not merely a merely human and thus changeable tradition. Fourthly, he uses absolute language in issuing the teaching; saying, for example, that such people are “unable” to approach Communion (not merely that they “ought not” or “are not currently permitted to,” etc.)
  2. JPII did not say that the problem is “simply” (as Buttiglione says he said) scandal. JPII made it abundantly clear that scandal was an entirely separate problem; really, a merely additional concern beyond the primary one (which is simply the point I have been making this whole article). How on earth Buttiglione rationalized this blatant misrepresentation is beyond me. It is as if I told a babysitter “don’t let my son play with the silverware; he might electrocute himself by sticking it an outlet. There is another important reason for this: I don’t want my silverware lost,” and the babysitter decided that she’d merely replace the silverware, thus making the problem with it being lost less problematic, and thus allowed him to play with the silverware.
  3. Yes, Pope Francis is — rightly — saying that the divorced and remarried must be admitted to penance like all other sinners. But that is not what Buttiglione’s own argument is. Buttiglione is saying that adultery should now be considered as a special class of mortal sin that must be absolved even if there is no repentance for it! If this was treated “like all other sinners” are treated in the confessional, it would simply mean going by the clear teaching that the Church has always given and that JPII was merely reiterating. See the case study below.

So now we can see clearly that Buttiglione’s argument rests upon, 1) A Fallacy, 2) A Misrepresentation, and 3) A lie. No matter how much fluff he adds onto those three elements; all of which are necessary to his argument, the fact remains — a fact which no human with reason can deny — that a chain with three broken links is useless, no matter how many good links are added thereafter.

I must finish this section by adding how very odd — aggravating, really — it is that so many theologians are pretending that Catechesis 101 (dressed up with many of their own fancy words), which any catechized Catholic has always been aware of, all of a sudden changes everything. Any minimally educated Catholic already knows that there is a huge difference between committing a grave (potentially mortal) sin and being in a state of mortal sin; and that only God knows if a soul is in the latter from committing the former — for it rests upon full knowledge and consent, and that circumstances can mitigate culpability. Again: everybody already knew that. This is not profound, and it is not new. We did not all of a sudden wake up and realize that this is true thanks to the promulgation of Amoris Laetitia. It is not new, and it does not change anything about the nature of the Sacraments. 

That we now have countless Theologians, Bishops, Cardinals, etc., claiming that this Catechesis 101 which everyone already knew somehow now revolutionizes the Church and allows us to change her perennial and doctrinal teaching is nothing short of a Diabolical Dishonesty. 

Again, I am not necessarily advocating for giving Communion in cases 3 and 4 above. I am merely pointing out that, if they are truly cases wherein Communion may be licitly given, the grounds for thus giving Communion is not diminished responsibility for adultery: it is, rather, a (reasonable or unreasonable: I leave that up to more qualified minds than my own) hope that their union is not adulterous because perhaps their marriage may be valid. The “diminished responsibility” argument is radically inadequate here in serving as the sole or primary justification for giving Absolution and Communion. It can only serve as an auxiliary aid in choosing as merciful as possible a path within the confines of orthodoxy.

 The “La Stampa” writers are constantly engaged in a straw man campaign; expending all of their effort to try and convince their readers that, since there is a case wherein the “divorced and remarried” may licitly be given Communion (referring to the possibility of #3 or #4 above), it must not be heretical to thus interpret Amoris Laetitia. They deliberately ignore that they are comparing apples and oranges. The entire basis for #3 and #4 above is that the sexual activity of the couples may actually not be adulterous; NOT that the sexual activity is indeed adulterous — but only venially so, not mortally so.

 Diminished responsibility can:

  • Above all, make it possible (or even likely) that a soul committing grave sins is nevertheless in a State of Grace and therefore among the elect (are we too embarrassed to acknowledge that this is all about the Salvation of Souls? The Sacraments can be means to that or they can be obstacles to that: they are the latter if received unworthily)
  • Make options 3 or 4 above more worthy of consideration, wherein the possible validity of the existing marriage may be hoped for even if such a hope was scorned in earlier days
  • Make leaving the occasion of sin a less stringent requirement; or even be entirely dispensed. That is a disciplinary requirement. 
  • Make the risk of causing scandal a less serious concern; or, at least, less serious than getting the souls back to Communion. That, too, is a disciplinary requirement.

Rather, the most that mercy can possibly stretch this criteria is any case akin to the following:

One who is addicted to mortal sin may reasonably be supposed to be in a state of grace if he does not want to commit the sin and is at least in general striving to be freed from it, granted he tries to make an act of perfect contrition before receiving Communion. A confessor may indeed licitly advise receiving Communion in this case, but only because the penitent has at least the desire and intention of being free of the sin. But that desire is totally absent from what situations that Walford et al describe.

The quintessential case study under this banner was the one taught to our class by our Moral Theology professor (a highly regarded priest-theologian whose learnedness and orthodoxy no one would question) in seminary: a young man addicted to masturbation. A confessor may indeed absolve him and advise the reception of Communion, even if he thinks it is likely that this penitent will fall again into this grave sin. He may do so on precisely the grounds those now speak of in promoting the heretical interpretation of A.L. But this here is the proper application of these grounds:

  • the confessor understands that this young man will have an incredibly difficult time being freed of these chains,
  • the confessor understands that we live in an unprecedentedly corrupt society in which lust is incessantly foisted upon us, and
  • the confessor understands that the young man likely does not fully comprehend Catholic teaching on human sexuality and thus likely does not fully grasp the gravity of the offense in question.
  • Consequently, the Confessor may indeed absolve this penitent, “tolerating,” you could say, the fact that the sin will likely continue to occur.

 But the confessor may absolutely NOT absolve this penitent if the young man comes to him and says “I masturbate regularly. But I have absolutely no intent or desire to stop doing it. You have to absolve me, however, because the circumstances of the day means that my responsibility is diminished, and therefore I have a right to receive Absolution and Communion. I repeat: I have no intention to amend my life.”

Likewise, if one is in fact committing objective acts of adultery, and there is no hope that these acts are anything but actually adulterous, and if this person is absolutely without any intent or desire whatsoever to try to be rid of these sinful acts, then it is absolutely, categorically, metaphysically impossible to efficaciously absolve this “penitent” and licitly give him or her Communion. And this is precisely what Walford et al are advocating for by their rejection of Familiaris Consortio paragraph 84 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1650.

There we have it.

  1. “The Orthodox have valid sacraments, and they allow divorce and remarriage.”
    1. Yes, the Orthodox have valid sacraments, but their teachings are not Divinely protected from error as are those of the Catholic Church. The allowance of divorce and remarriage (even with its countless caveats that you can read about elsewhere) in Orthodox Churches  is just one of their several heresies (among their heresies regarding contraception, the Immaculate Conception, original sin, and the filioque)
  2. “Communion is already given to divorced and remarried Orthodox who come to Mass at Catholic Churches”
    1. If it is, it shouldn’t be. Canon 844 does indeed allow Communion in Catholic Churches to be given to members of Eastern Orthodox Churches, but it too requires that these recipients be properly disposed. Nowhere does the Magisterium allow for this proper disposition to mean something different for the Orthodox merely because they have different practices. When “proper disposition” is used in Canon Law it doesn’t mean “proper disposition as the subject views it,” it means “proper disposition as the Catholic Church teaches it in fact consists in.” For indeed, the definition of “proper disposition” does not somehow change for you merely because you belong to a schismatic Church (no, I do not think it is usually good to refer to the Orthodox as such; but in this case, I must be brutally blunt)
  3. “We need to meet people where they’re at. We need to live in the real world. We need to be realistic. We need to accompany. We need to focus on the concrete realities. We need to not be like the Pharisees. Etc. etc. etc.”
    1. Amen to all of that. But none of it is even a little bit capable of justifying the heretical interpretation
  4. “We need to take a merciful approach to this. Jesus was merciful.”
    1. Absolutely. See “Footnote on Mercy.” Hint: this, too, is radically inadequate in rationalizing heresy.
  5. “Who can and cannot be Absolved and receive Communion is a matter of discipline, not doctrine; therefore the Church and the Pope can change it.”
    1. No it isn’t. I see this statement repeated everywhere, but I have never once seen it justified. Where on earth does anyone get the idea that the necessity of repentance/contrition for valid absolution is a merely disciplinary requirement? That is the very matter of the Sacrament. The Church has precisely zero right and zero ability to nullify the matter of a Sacrament. Yes, of course, there are disciplinary teachings associated with the Sacraments: how long one must fast before receiving Communion, how often one must go to Confession, etc. But there are also doctrinal teachings associated with them: e.g. Consecration of the Eucharist can only be undertaken on bread. Matrimony must involve the exchange of vows of the spouses. Baptism must be done with water. The Church cannot possibly change these things. Likewise, the Church cannot change the fact that some form of contrition (even if imperfect) is required for Absolution (for it is, literally, the matter of this sacrament), and there is absolutely no contrition if the “penitent” has no intent or desire or plan to cease committing objective grave sins (and engaging in sexual acts with one to whom you are not married is dogmatically defined as an objective grave sin), therefore there is no matter for the sacrament to act upon, therefore the sacrament cannot work, no matter how much sophistical acrobatics are performed by local Bishop’s Conferences. Furthermore, that one must be properly disposed in order to receive the Eucharist is not merely disciplinary. Though disposition is neither the matter nor the form of the sacrament (hence I say that one improperly disposed illicitly receives the Eucharist, not invalidly), it is nevertheless a doctrinal requirement in approaching it; for it is merely a direct application of a Scriptural teaching (1 Corinthians 11:27). Even if you reject that (please don’t), the whole heretical interpretation argument still hinges upon the aforementioned impossible situation with Absolution, hence the whole argument completely falls on those grounds alone, at the very least.
  6. “Don’t you realize that we are living in incredibly difficult times? Don’t you realize how many marriages may be invalid? Don’t you realizes that this changes everything?”
    1. Yes, I absolutely realize this. And I am completely open to the suggestion that the annulment process should be streamlined, and that more cases could be considered as making an annulment possible (e.g. lack of faith and/or understanding of the sacrament of matrimony). As I said above, I am also not closed to the suggestion that there is a possibility of the couple themselves having a moral certainty of the invalidity of their previous marriages and thus the possibility of the validity of their current marriage even outside the usual canonical process. But all of that is a non-sequitur. The heretical interpretation — which this entire post is dedicated to refuting and which Walford, Buttiglione, Kasper, etc. endorse — does not merely say that: it says that even all that aside — even aside the possibility of the validity of the current marriage — the couple may engage in sexual acts that are objectively adulterous and which they know are objectively adulterous, with no intention or desire to try to stop committing them, but still be validly and licitly absolved and given Communion. That is the heresy.
  7. “You cannot know someone’s heart. There are many, many people who are doing something that may be objectively contravening God’s law but, due to circumstances of all sorts, are in fact in God’s friendship.”
    1. I agree fully with this as well. But the fact that we cannot know someone’s heart is precisely why Catholic doctrine is as it is on this issue. Yes, many people who commit acts that are objectively, intrinsically, and gravely sinful are, in fact, not in a state of mortal sin due to their mitigated culpability (“diminished responsibility”). This is not some fact that I begrudgingly accept. It is a fact I truly believe and am hopeful for the salvation of many on the basis of. But no man can look upon such a situation and decide for himself that culpability is sufficiently mitigated that a soul is in a state of grace despite committing objectively and intrinsically evil acts. Not a priest, not a Bishop, and not the Pope. I repeat: Penance, a Sacrament instituted by Christ, cannot have its matter or form abrogated by any authority in the Church. The matter of the Sacrament of Penance is the penitence of the penitent. Without that, absolution is categorically impossible just as consecrating a piece of iron is categorically impossible. But there is no penitence if the “penitent” is committing objectively, intrinsically evil acts and has absolutely no contrition for them, and fully intends to continue committing them without any desire or attempt to even try to stop.
  8. “You are taking a very unwise and imprudent stance on this, Daniel. Haven’t you been watching Catholic news? Don’t you see that you’re clearly on the losing side, and the vast majority have sided with what you call the ‘heretical’ interpretation?”
    1. Answer below…

That many if not most of those apologists, theologians, priests, bishops, and cardinals who have spoken on this matter have sided with the heretical interpretation matters about as much to me as about what my next door neighbor’s dog thinks about it. Truth is not determined by a majority vote. Truth is determined by Jesus Christ, who guides the Church through the Magisterium; not through these sneaky little maneuvers here and there so that Vaticanistas who waste away their days listening to Church-bureaucracy gossip are best suited to know it, love it, and follow it. No. It is the simple, faithful souls are those best disposed to know, love, and follow the Truth. That is, the souls who know they can trust the Bible and the Catechism.

How blind are we if we cannot see that Professor Seifert’s admonition is entirely valid if the heretical interpretation is the correct one?

If “diminished responsibility” all of a sudden becomes legitimate grounds for valid Absolution and admission to holy Communion, even when the sin in question is entirely grave and entirely without any form of repentance or desire to stop, then anything goes. The “slippery slope” argument is not being employed here; that is not necessarily a logically valid argument; for it states that movement in one direction necessarily means its continuation. But the reductio ad absurdum is a valid argument; and this is the one used here. In other words, if a given justification is required to grant a certain conclusion, then that conclusion cannot be admitted without also admitting whatever other conclusions that justification necessarily leads to. This, again, is basic logic that even a youth should be capable of.

If the “mitigated responsibility” argument applies to adultery, then we cannot arbitrarily decide that it stops there. It applies, rather, to everything. We no longer can say anything clearly about any sin with respect to Absolution and Holy Communion. Everyone must be absolved. Which of course means that no one will be confident in his absolution; and Confession’s entire purpose — namely, giving absolute confidence that one’s sins are truly forgiven so that one’s soul may be fully healed  — has disappeared. 

If the heretical interpretation is granted, then indeed the entirety of Catholic Moral Teaching necessarily collapses.

Enter Antichrist.

We of course see it already, thanks to the fact that indeed, the heretical interpretation is gaining so much ground that most in the Church are taking it for granted

  • We have Fr. James Martin openly promoting homosexuality with impunity wherever he pleases
  • We have Pontifical Academy for Life members insisting that circumstances may require Catholic couples to use artificial contraception
  • We have the German Church blessing active homosexual relationships
  • We have high ranking Bishops in major nations openly endorsing the legalization of gay marriage when this occurs in their homeland (see Australia)
  • We have a high ranking Vatican prelate having actual homoerotic murals painted in his Church
  • We have many high ranking Vatican prelates openly pushing for a reversal of Humanae Vitae
  • We have hitherto good Catholics walking out on their spouses who never would have dreamt of doing so before. Unfortunately, I have personally witnessed this multiple times in the past couple years.

This list could go on for a long time. 

Yes, heresy has been very fashionable for the past several decades. And, although it has invaded the Church for a long time, this invasion always looked radically different than it does now. It was reserved to places anyone would expect it: quietly in liberal seminaries, in liberal parishes, at Universities, etc. But now we see it openly and proudly in the Vatican itself, and in the highest levels of national Bishop’s conferences.

This never would have been able to happen before. It is happening now because of the flourishing of the heretical interpretation. 

But even all of that is relatively minor in relation to the far bigger point that many are missing.

If an Apostolic Exhortation (Familiaris Consortio) clearly issues a certain teaching, and if this teaching is then reissued in a Universal Catechism, which is itself promulgated by way of an Apostolic Constitution ensuring that its contents are a “sure norm” for teaching the Faith (Fidei Depositum IV), and if this given teaching can be — not merely modified in tone or approach — but completely and utterly contradicted in subsequent Magisterium…

In other words, if “______” in what is obviously the Magisterium then becomes “not ______” in later Magisterium,  then the gates of Hell have prevailed against the church. In other words:

 

… for she has officially taught something completely contradictory to what she has already officially taught. (The Church has not and never will collapse; the heretical interpretation is just that — a lie; as all heresy is)

Am I worried this might happen later, though? Of course not. I am completely certain that it never will.

So why am I bothering to even go to all of this effort to refute the heretical interpretation?

Because to simply sit back, knowing that God’s Will shall always prevail, and watch it happen, is the sin of Quietism. God expects us to participate in the fruition of His Will.

Furthermore, even though I know that this heretical interpretation will never enter the Magisterium, the heights in the Church and the media that it has already reached is likely even now causing the damnation of countless souls. A greater tragedy than this could not be imagined, hence my effort to do whatever I can (even if it is only one small part) to quell it.

A word of parting advice.

Please resist the urge to join a camp. There are, of course, two primary ones: the anti-Pope Francis camp and the pro-heresy camp. The former camp, even if they are right (they often aren’t), will be found on Judgment Day very guilty; for no son is excused for dishonoring his father, even if his father is a bad man (and Pope Francis is not a bad man). Rather, such a son will always be judged very harshly. The latter camp, caught up as it is with the spirit of this age, is more than willing to hold contradictory claims at the same time: making them not only unworthy of the name “Catholic,” but unworthy of the name “rational animal,” the definition of man, for it is primarily our reason that separates us from the beasts, and one rejects this by willingly accepting blatant contradictions.

You don’t need a camp. You have the Barque of Peter. Camps make life easier; sure. They don’t make it better.

Appendix on Time Travel and Stephen Walford

I would like to do Mr. Walford the service of assuming his good will, and assuming that his error arises not from malice but from confusion.

Proceeding from this premise, I believe I see where the error arises.

He recently did an interview for the Catholic Herald in which he confesses to being a “whovian.” I understand this is a term used by fanatical fans of the TV show “Dr. Who,” which I have never seen, but which I understand is a typical work of sci-fi time travel nonsense and absurdity.

In the past few years I have been unfortunate enough to watch two such movies that had this absurdity in them (I wouldn’t have watched them at all if I was forewarned!): Interstellar and Arrival. In both of these movies, there are cases where, due to “time travel,” the effect of a cause is itself the cause of that cause. In other words, they propose a self-caused cause; something that is not even possible for God Himself. (For He is the uncaused Cause, not the self-caused cause)

I am not at all surprised to see Walford is a “Dr Who” fanatic. He is already in the habit of re-tweeting Fr. Spadaro’s tweets and clearly is a big fan of his. (Fr. Spadaro is infamous for his assertion that, in theology, 2+2=5). In contradiction to this, it is essential for everyone; especially for any Catholic today who wishes to keep the Faith in the midst of the Great Apostasy:

 

 

The common thread here is that, frankly, these don’t care about the Truth. They care about results. They are philosophical and theological pragmatists, more than willing to accept and promote lies for the sake of their desired ends, and this is the same fundamental error by which they propose Holy Communion for unrepentant adulterers.

But true mercy is never the result of lies. For a lie, too, is an intrinsic evil — though one that worldly people (including worldly Catholics — even “orthodox minded” worldly Catholics) always find ways to rationalize.

Now, I’m not going to begrudge anyone the enjoyment of a little absurdist fiction every now and then; perhaps even of the nonsensical “time travel” sort (though if asked, I would advise against even that; for art that we choose to expose ourselves to always forms our minds and souls, whether or not we recognize it, and we should only ever choose to listen to, watch, or read things that will help us become saints). But if Mr. Walford would go so far as to call himself a “Whovian,” then I can’t help but conclude that he heartily endorse the premise of this show, namely, that “time travel,” wherein the past can be changed (which St. Thomas Aquinas made clear is categorically impossible even for God — see Sum I, Q25, A4) is at least a theoretical possibility. In other words, “that which has happened” can also be “that which has not happened,” which means that “A” and “Not A” can both be held, which means that the Law of Noncontradiction is abolished, which, quite literally, means that anything goes. (I don’t think this is a stretch at all; Walford first went out of his way, in the above linked article, to describe the Papacy itself as a reflection of Dr. Who)

 This of course is very convenient for those who want to assert blatant contradictions, such as: 

  1. Church teaching cannot change, and Church teaching can change.
  2. You have to submit to this teaching because it’s Magisterium of Level A, but you have to reject this other teaching which is Magisterium of Level A
  3. Adultery is an intrinsic grave evil, but adultery is not an intrinsic grave evil
  4. A Sacramental Marriage is absolutely indissoluble, but a Sacramental Marriage is not absolutely indissoluble

And plenty of others, all of which are necessary to the heretical interpretation of A.L. that they promote.

As I mentioned in the summary at the very beginning of this post; none of this has anything to do with judging the man himself. I am not interested in publicly cataloguing Mr. Walford’s vices (I am sure I have more than he). I only bring up these very specific points because they are necessary in understanding the following:

  1. Stephen’s current attacks on Catholic doctrine fit into a pattern that he has been employing for years, and as such should surprise no one.
  2. Stephen has fundamental errors not only in his theological teachings, but in his very approach to theology, and as such he is not a reliable source on anything pertaining to theology, and those looking for professional help from him should probably stick to asking him for help with the piano.

Unfortunately the contradictions even in this Catholic Herald article do not end here. In it, he also brags of his devotion to JPII, ignoring that he blatantly contradicts JPII’s magisterium, publicly calling it, in one of his La Stampa articles, “unrealistic.” He also says he’s “never attacked anyone,” in trying to get more sympathy by claiming that the abuse he’s received has been unreal. As I and others know; he did nothing but attack, relentlessly, when engaged in a debate with us over the Era of Peace. I can scarcely recall dialoguing with someone more vitriolic, rude, and sarcastic than Stephen Walford. I would have gladly never mentioned this, were it not for the fact that he is now publicly promoting himself as some kind of a martyr who would never dream of engaging in that behavior himself. Mr. Walford was banned not once, but twice, on a forum for his terrible conduct in his debate with me and others!

Some are openly wondering where this “Walford” came from: “out of nowhere, it seems,” they say. Well, having known him for quite some time now, it makes total sense to me. He is the perfect man for the “job” he now has. For he is very used to appearing orthodox but actually persecuting orthodoxy. This is precisely what he does with the Era of Peace: he relentlessly attacks those who promote this fully orthodox belief — in line with countless Magisterial documents, believed by almost all of the Fathers of the Church, and promised by many books of Sacred Scripture, and absolutely promised by countless trustworthy private revelations — while himself promoting a lie: namely, an Eschatology of Despair, where this earth is doomed and there’s nothing we can do about it; where Our Lord’s prayer will prove in vain, in which He asked “Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

And he is the perfect man for his current job, because this is exactly what he is doing now. With the superficial guise of orthodoxy (pretending to revere the Magisterium, JPII, Faustina, Benedict, etc.), he relentlessly persecutes the orthodox. Calling, for example, good Cardinals with valid concerns promoters of “satanic” abuse.  

Don’t be surprised to hear me say that I look forward to enjoying Mr. Walford’s company in Eternity, after he and I both have been purged of our many defects. For I do think that in his heart of hearts he is a sincere Catholic; albeit one being used powerfully now by the devil (likely unknowingly). But for now, I must take the strong strand that Our Lord was forced to once take with Peter, and tell Mr. Walford, publicly:

Get behind me, Satan.

For he is being used by Satan right now as, frankly, one of his most powerful tools on earth. Walford is convincing countless souls to reject orthodoxy (Familiaris Consortio), and to despair of Divine Intervention (the Era of Peace).

What a combination. Heresy and hopelessness.

May God change his heart, and may Catholics be wise enough to not listen to him until he does.

Footnote on Mercy

I wholeheartedly support what could even be called a veritable revolution of mercy. I remain an enthusiastic supporter of Pope Francis’ general mission (even if it is undeniably dotted with blunders) of making the Church  a field hospital for sinners; a true bastion of mercy for a hurting world. 

I absolutely recognize and agree that we must not treat the divorced and remarried like we did in the 1950s; for the world has changed and people simply do not understand today what was universally recognized then. I am all for loosening up our worries on risking causing scandal, and focusing more on ensuring we are doing everything possible to bring back the lost sheep. I am all for spending less time fretting about ensuring that everyone who is absolved be entirely rid of the occasions of sin; and instead getting them on the path of the Sacramental Life as soon as it is conceivably possible that they are ready

But we cannot engage in this mission by contradicting the Faith. Never, ever, ever, ever. And to simply throw the Sacraments at people who are not at all disposed or prepared is not only heretical, as I believe I have demonstrated in this post, but it is also an act of hatred against these very souls. For it entails a type of superstitious attitude about the Sacraments: supposing they are magical charms that transform their recipients even outside of and in contradiction to the free cooperation of the recipients. This is not the case. The sacraments require our disposition and cooperation. Pretending that this disposition and cooperation exists when it doesn’t is not an act of mercy or charity to anyone. 

If, even considering all of that, you are still not satisfied, then please don’t waste your time by lamenting “what about real mercy, Daniel? Don’t you know how hard these situations are?”

Where is the mercy for the abandoned spouse? The one who must live daily with the agony of knowing that her husband walked out of their perfectly valid marriage, had children with his new “wife,” and now wants the Church’s blessing on this? I regularly receive prayer requests from women in precisely this situation. Don’t suppose you know what “mercy” means just by looking at one affected party. Look at both.

Now, I am a miserable sinner worthy only of a thousand rebukes. But one rebuke no one could issue to me with a straight face is that I neglect the Divine Mercy. I will spare you the recitation of my “resume” in this regard, but feel free to peruse this site and my other sites if you need that demonstrated. We must indeed be absolutely dripping with mercy today, considering the state of the world, and we must remain very willing to be flexible where flexibility is possible. But we must never be willing to alter the Deposit of Faith; which is nothing but an absolutely diabolical false mercy, and exercising this false mercy is not a work of love, but a work of hatred.

Walford’s snide remarks “we must live in the real world,” “we must meet people where they’re at,” etc., in condoning heresy, will not work on me. I am fully aware of these facts. And these facts do not alter other facts.

Very Important Footnote on Opinion

I feel very confident that what I have asserted above regarding who may and may not licitly receive Communion is merely a reiteration of an unchangeable doctrine of the Church. However, I will not go so far as to say that I feel absolutely certain of it. So please, if in the future Pope Francis does clearly Magisterially teach that the divorced and remarried may licitly receive Communion even in contradiction to the teachings of JPII in Familiaris Consortio, don’t go declaring Pope Francis an anti-Pope. He is clearly the validly elected Pope, and that will not change until he dies or retires – period. However, I would say that I do feel rather certain that what I have asserted above regarding the validity of absolution is indeed a reiteration of a clear dogma of the Church. Absolution cannot occur if there is the deliberate intent to continue committing objective grave sin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Only Tragedy

“There is only one tragedy, ultimately: not to have been a saint”

For many years that quote has been my email signature. There it stands, at the bottom of each message I’ve sent – whether to friend, family member, blog-reader, co-worker, boss, friend of the Faith, foe of the Faith, or anyone else – as a perennial reminder to them all, but above all to myself, of what should constitute the entirety of one’s deepest concern: sainthood.

I began writing this piece last year after having just attended the funeral of my cousin’s 4 year old son (and the year before, similar thoughts were on my mind as I will presently express, after I attended the funeral of the one year old son of another cousin of mine, which Steve Skojec wrote about here). I resumed work on it this summer, in the wake of joy turned to sorrow when the expectation of the birth of our own third child turned to the sorrow of God taking this child home to Himself after a brief time in the womb (thanks be to God, we have since been blessed again with the expectation of another child).

What is more sorrowful than the death of a child?

And yet, in the actual reality of what transpired, what is more glorious?

Without the slightest doubt, we know that this child entered into eternal bliss the very moment his soul left his body. And without the slightest doubt, we know that in the twinkling of an eye we shall be reunited with him forever if we too accept the salvation that is offered to us; an offer that is never rescinded so long as there is breath in our lungs.

So often we are assailed by temptations to dwell on regret. An opportunity for more money, recognition, worldly memories, possessions, security, travels, comfort, pleasure, or whatever other vanity, sails on by. Another year passes and so too, we lament, does one more notch in the likelihood of the realization of our dreams. A loved one dies and we lament what seems to be a lost future with him. Forgiven sins come to mind to haunt us and accuse us and tempt us to despair at their mere existence.

But all of that is nothing. Nothing.

Nothing is lost if, despite it all, one strives for sanctity. Then, truly, all is gain.

Therefore consider: What now robs you of the unbroken peace and joy to which you have a right as a Christian who trusts in Jesus and desires that His Will be done?

That there is suffering in your life? You have all eternity — which will scarcely have begun once countless trillions of centuries have passed — to enjoy permanent ecstatic joy and the absolute absence of any and all pain. You have a brief few moments before your death to suffer redemptively in union with Christ, grow from it, merit from it, contribute to the salvation and sanctification of souls with it. Far from a curse to lament over, it is a gift to rejoice at the bestowal of; for as St. Padre Pio said, “suffering is the one thing the angels envy us for.”

That you aren’t working your dream job and pursuing your dream career, like others you envy are, and like the daydreams you entertained previously consisted in? All those who work such jobs will, in the twinkling of an eye, find themselves old and decrepit, with the mere faint memory of their former professions proving radically incapable of giving even one ounce of joy. Go about the job and/or duties that God has called you to here and now with prayer and submission to the Divine Will, and you are achieving infinitely more than one who works the supposedly “perfect and best” job is.

That your marriage is not what you always dreamed it would be? Great and glorious as marriage is, that too is a passing thing, designed by God for the procreation and education of children, and it will no longer exist in eternity; which will be upon us in a flash. Don’t get me wrong: you should spare no expense in working towards making your marriage beautiful, peaceful, joyful, and above all holy. But ultimately the fulfillment of those goals is up to two people; yet when all is said and done, you answer only for yourself; therefore the deepest joy of your soul cannot ever depend upon another earthly creature – not even your spouse.

Or perhaps even that your life lacks the holy things that you wish it had? So long as it is not a slothful indifference to the pursuit of holy things, but rather the Will of God, that has deprived you of them, then even the absence of these things is no harm whatsoever to you. If your life’s circumstances prevent you from going on those great pilgrimages you envy your friends for, being a part of those wonderful Catholic groups and communities that others so seem to enjoy, attending those amazing Catholic events that you now only read of, or whatever else; this is nothing to lament. Heaven will infinitely surpass all of these essentially temporal blessings, and when you are there, not having had these temporal things will seem to you then as it now seems to you when you see a child missing one extra cookie during one day’s dessert. Remember that all treasures in Heaven are built up solely by the Will of God; and this Divine Will can be submitted to and lived in anywhere, by any one, at any instant.

So indeed, none of these thing are tragedies.

 

The only tragedy is to not become a saint — and to not help others become saints.

 

How, then, do we direct our lives so as to avoid The Only Tragedy? Thankfully it is easy.

Many things are hard: acquiring advanced degrees, making large sums of money, gaining recognition for ourselves, getting people to like us, securing our legacy, trying to guarantee our safety and security, acquiring and maintaining possessions, looking for promotions and new jobs, striving to order all things to our comfort and pleasure…. and oh how much we pour ourselves out in the pursuit of all of this vain garbage which seems so pressing and direly important now, and yet the next day is barely even a memory.

For on the Day of Judgement you won’t regret missing the extra $100,000 on your salary that you could have had — but you would regret foregoing the daily family Rosary in order to have more time to secure this salary. On the Day of Judgement you won’t regret a few people disliking you or thinking you’re weird — but you would regret keeping your Faith hidden in order to ensure you blend in well with modern society. On the Day of Judgement you won’t regret “missing out” on this or that questionable movie, book, TV show, or other entertainment that is popularly praised by your friends, neighbors, and coworkers — but you would regret the decay of the soul that you risk by exposing yourself to such garbage. On the Day of Judgment you won’t regret “missing out” on this or that college degree, sports tournament, worldly spotlight, honor or recognition that simply requires too much of you — but you would regret having spent a life waking up each morning with your primary motivation for getting out of bed being the pursuit of such utter vanity instead of the pursuit of eternal goals. On the Day of Judgement you won’t regret not having lived in a beautiful remote paradise with hundreds of acres to yourself — but you would regret the thousands of Communions – every single one of which is incomprehensibly powerful – you could have made but didn’t due to your insistence upon living in a utopia on earth. On the Day of Judgement you won’t regret having had health problems — but you would regret having spent your life expending all of your time and energy experimenting with the various health and diet fads that inundate us daily, instead of simply doing what is prudent for the sake of health and then accepting whatever suffering remains as the Will of God for your salvation and sanctification and that of the whole world. On the Day of Judgement you won’t regret not having sent your children to the “best” schools and ensured that they have the “best” opportunities — but you would regret letting the world’s values seep into their minds and hearts. On the Day of Judgement you won’t regret failing to ensure you and your family members can pursue every hobby, vacation, sport, etc., that the world insists you must engage in — but you would regret neglecting significant daily prayer time that you will need to forego to enable these interests.

In short, on the Day of Judgement, you will have precisely zero regret for all of these things you are now tempted to regret. You will only regret the times — and indeed, you will regret all such times — that you were not pursuing sanctity by refusing to strive to live in the Will of God: that same Will of God that is never more than one simple act of your own will — one simple Fiat — away from being the very essence and substance of your own life. And not only that, but helping an enormous amount of other souls avoid what is, truly, the only tragedy is so very easy: show them God’s love and they will be inspired to trust in it and themselves attain salvation; which is sainthood. I assure you it is that simple.

  • Show them God’s love by sacrificing the five extra seconds your day would “gain” by being in a hurried bustle at the store and, instead, treat the cashier as an actual human being made in God’s image. Look the person behind the counter at McDonald’s in the eye when you make your order and smile to brighten his day instead of pretending that you need to stare at the menu the entire time and rush out of the way the second you have finished paying.
  • Show them God’s love by talking to the beggar who asks you for money instead of lying, quickly saying you have none, and walking off
    • Though I had a recent spell of not being able to do my DWMoM walks, I still strive to live the Spirit of one. Just recently, I stumbled upon a beggar after Mass whom I had given a Rosary to the week before. He was proudly wearing this Rosary, thanked me again profusely for it, and told me “I never take it off.”
  • Show your family God’s love by daily ensuring that they recognize — by deeds, not words — that your primary concern is not that they fit nicely into your plans, not that they become what you want them to be, not that they merely ensure they aren’t a burden on you, but rather, ensure they recognize that your primary concern is to serve them: to will their well-being, salvation, and sanctification. But remember that in the family especially; what truly is love will not always be seen as true love by its recipients in the short term, but it will in the long term, which is what matters. Nevertheless remember as well that a love that is not tender, merciful, and compassionate, cannot be called love at all.
  • Show them God’s love not by pretending that giddiness and chattiness achieves anything — supposing that droning on about worldly topics is some sort of evangelization (it isn’t), or that exhibiting an obnoxious excess of joy will somehow magically attract people to Christ (it will only repel them) — rather, show God’s love by way of a deep and mature peace and joy that comes from the absence of fear, the presence of a constant spirit of prayer, and a certain awareness of the fact that nothing but God’s Will can happen.
  • Show them God’s love by refusing to do anything anonymously, semi anonymously, or covertly, that you wouldn’t do while looking the person in the eye — whether online comments, emails, letters, driving maneuvers, gossip, dealing with bureaucrats via phone, online, or behind a desk; or anything of the sort. Instead, show God’s love by, each and every time you hear someone detract or complain about another, being a sower of peace and helping to mend the discord instead of relishing the darkness and appreciating that venom is being directed toward someone else; falsely supposing that this somehow makes you look better.
  • Above all, show them God’s love by your life of prayer and sacrifice for their salvation and sanctification. This of course will garner you no praise on this side of the tomb — for it is entirely hidden — but as such, it is the most powerful and the most pleasing in the sight of God. Do this in the Divine Will and this love you show them will acquire the strength of God’s own infinite Love.

 

Show them God’s love and, in some way, make sure you give Him the credit He deserves for that love, which is entirely His own. Perhaps a visible crucifix worn around the neck; perhaps a Divine mercy image pin; perhaps by handing the person a divine mercy card, perhaps by simply saying “God bless you,” or perhaps simply by nothing more than the deed itself if the one to whom it is done already knows that your love for your brothers proceeds from your love of God, and is for His sake, and is because your brother bears His image. But if you do not in some way try to make sure that God receives the credit for this love (not you), then you risk your act of mercy being nothing other than a nice (but petty) “random act of kindness,” which may succeed in briefly and weakly lightening someone’s day, but will not build up treasures for that person in Heaven.

Do these things — little though they may be — without self-interest, without desire for praise or vain glory, without any carefully devised strategy for earthly gain charting their course — and the chorus of voices that will rise to your vindication on Judgment Day would easily drown out even all of hell shouting against you.

 

For a few years before this particular quote, my email signature had for a long time been another quote:

…the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations…. You have never talked to a mere mortal.

-C.S. Lewis

 

That is what is at stake.

Battle Orders for the Church Militant – Pope Francis and Hacksaw Ridge

 

What confusing times these are.

And yet, they are not that confusing. For one who truly wants to see the path that God has laid out for him, it is not difficult to discern.

For indeed, we are soldiers. And a good soldier need not have the whole war figured out. He just needs to know what his orders are.

So I will presently do something that I ordinarily wouldn’t dream of doing, but I feel I must do it in order to give the present distress some context that many seem to now be forgetting. I am going to write a little “rant” against a man I admire immensely. I pray to him every single day. I believe he is among the greatest saints we have had. I am incredibly devoted to his writings and missions and I promote them tirelessly:

The man is Pope St. John Paul II

I am going to issue this “rant” against him because I want to demonstrate that Pope Francis is not the the first good and holy Pope to do and say stupid things. I want to point out that you can still be absolutely submissive to a Pope’s Magisterium, be absolutely devoted and loyal to the Pope himself, and heartily endorse the main thrust of his mission and indeed make it your own mission — all while still believing that many of the Pope’s words, deeds, and omissions, are very foolish.

Because we are at the point where it is simply obvious that this foolishness applies well to many of Pope Francis’ decisions. And yet, I continue to insist as I always have: he is a holy man, the true Pope, and his mission is a beautiful one that we should all join him in.

Now onto the rant:

JPII made all sorts of terrible Episcopal appointments that have wreaked havoc upon the Church in many nations. He made female altar servers mainstream, thus leading to the disaster we see today where boys don’t want to be altar servers any more and thus a main source of vocations to the priesthood is lost. I believe he crossed the line in what is permissible within the bounds of prudence and modesty in a friendship between an unmarried man and woman (although I am absolutely not accusing him of any sort of actual unchastity! I just think he set an example in this regard that set up some weaker people to fall into unchastity by insufficiently avoiding occasions of sin). I disagree with his removal of the fig leaves from the Sistine Chapel (for the vast majority of the Sistine Chapel’s history, fig leaves made its art more modest. JPII decided to undo over 400 years of precedent by having them removed. And disagreeing with him on that, and with Michelangelo for drawing the explicit nudes in a Church, does not make you a bad Catholic!). He allowed numerous liturgical violations to occur under his watch, especially at World Youth Days. In an interview, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, he said that humans have existed for “tens of thousands of years,” which is absolutely untrue. His omission of certain infallible and essential truths about marriage from any and all of his teachings is deeply misleading, evidenced by the fact that most Catholics today seem to think that these truths can now be abandoned due to their absence in Theology of the Body (For example, despite writing countless hundreds of pages on marriage, I know of no single teaching in which he made clear the head and heart relationship between husband and wife so that people understand that  1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22, 1 Peter 3:1, Pope Leo XII’s Immortale Dei 17,  Pope Pius XI’s Casti Connubi 26, etc., are still 100% as applicable today as when they were written, just as all Scripture and Magisterium is.) I think it was foolish and misleading of him to kiss the Quran. And I think he somewhat crossed the boundary in other ecumenical endeavors as well.

This list could go on for a long time. And I doubt anyone reading this agrees with me on all of those points. That’s okay; the purpose of this post is not those points. (So there’s no need to send me an email castigating me for them — I am not going on a crusade for any of them right now!). The purpose of listing those points is just to give context to the present confusion with the present Pope. For we all have different things about Pope Francis’ decisions, too, that we think are stupid and foolish.

But hearing all of that, are you now surprised that I have been so devoted to JPII’s legacy, so promoting his message, and so insistent upon his Magisterium, for all these years?

You shouldn’t be.

Catholics are not called to be schizophrenics. That’s a mental disorder, not a virtue. And yet, that is exactly what we would need to be in order to agree with each Pope and think that everything each Pope does is wise and right and just. For Popes all disagree with each other; often seriously. They take very different approaches. Why, for example, should I agree with Pope St. John Paul II any more than Pope St. Pius X, on those issues on which they disagreed or took opposite approaches? They were both Popes. They are both saints. Whom to side with on issues they (at least seem to) disagree on is up to you: that is, it is up to you to discern the truth for yourself and in what station God is calling you to serve. Therefore even more obviously: why should I think that Pope Francis choosing to do something that previous Popes clearly specifically chose to not do make me think that this something is right, or even okay? It needn’t. It is merely yet another thing that I can think was wrong of him to do but which need not shake my positive convictions regarding the man himself.

God doesn’t give us a Pope in order to re-write Catholicism (as if that were even possible). He doesn’t give us a Pope so that we can abandon everything that has come before and re-formulate our understanding of God and the Church from a blank slate. No. Rather, God gives us a Pope because the essence of that Pope’s particular mission is what the Church and the world really need at a given point in time.

Admittedly, Pope Francis’ blunders are more serious and more frequent than Pope St. John Paul II’s ever were. But I am writing this post to show you that the difference is in degree, not in kind. To show you that neither man’s assortment of blunders should shake your faith in the man himself. But I’m not going to give you a rant against Pope Francis here. The Catholic blogosphere is replete with endless depiction of the details of his alleged or actual blunders and also the promulgation of unfounded dark rumors with such a degree of dedication and morose delectation that would make even the most perverse of celebrity gossip tabloid editors blush. Such is the sorry state of what many corners world of conservative Catholic subcultures have descended to. 

Nor am I going to give you just another post saying “only worry about submitting to what the Pope teaches infallibly and forget the rest,” as there are also already countless Catholic voices out there promoting that lie as well — a lie that only gives you a false sense of security and inoculates you against the workings of the Holy Spirit and the ability to respond to the Signs of the Times.

Instead, my exhortations to you — my Battle Orders for the Church Militant — are threefold. For the mere adherence to the dictates of any given Catholic subculture will prove radically insufficient to save you from the coming Apostasy. Only standing firm on the Rock of Christ, and the consequences of His promise to Peter in Matthew 16:18, will do that.

First) Submit to Today’s Magisterium

Submit to Pope Francis’ Magisterium. Every. Single. Word. Of. It. There are four primary Magisterial Documents that, at a minimum, everyone who calls himself a Catholic should submit to from this Pope (Chronologically):

  • Lumen Fidei
  • Evangelii Gaudium
  • Laudato Si
  • Amoris Laetitia

Put any of these documents next to even the very quintessential “traditionalist” Magisterial Document — the Syllabus of Errors — and you can rest fully assured that you will not find one single, solitary substantial contradiction in teaching. Yes, there are ambiguities in A.L. No, they do not need to be interpreted in a heretical fashion. Yes, it would be nice if Pope Francis answered the Dubia. But there’s no need for him to do so. Any Catholic who wants the truth already knows it: the Dubia’s answers are very simple and are already settled by Church Teaching we already have: No. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. 

Second) Submit to Yesterday’s Magisterium

Through diabolical Modernism, the truth is today being assaulted more outrageously and pervasively than ever before in history.  It will become increasingly difficult to stand firm on the Truth, but stand firm we must. This is not complicated. Therefore I present to you a simple list, for now, of those absolutely and unquestionably infallible, permanent tenets of the Truth that you will soon be demanded to recant by the devil and his minions. And recant any single one of these you must never do. Rather, set your face like flint right now to stand firm by them, come what may:

  • No intrinsic evil can ever be licitly undertaken in any conceivable circumstance. Committing an intrinsic evil is never compatible with God’s Will and is never right or okay.
  • Formal cooperation with any intrinsic evil is never licit
  • Fornication, adultery, masturbation, direct abortion, suicide, and homosexual acts are intrinsic evils
  • Marriage is absolutely indissoluble
  • The Catholic Church alone has the fullness of the truth, and God calls all men to be under the authority of her Earthly head, the Successor of St. Peter, who is the only Vicar of Christ.
  • Every single one of her dogmas — including those pertaining to morals — are absolutely infallible and categorically impossible to ever deny or change.
  • Although the inclination itself is morally indifferent, homosexuality is nevertheless intrinsically disordered. As such, any good that seems to proceed from it is in fact accidental to it, and was not directly caused by it (for contradictories cannot be causes). Footnote 1.
  • Sacramental Absolution is impossible to be validly and efficaciously granted to one who is without any way, shape, or form, of repentance of deliberately committing an intrinsic evil

How, when, using what words, and to whom to preach these truths is another question entirely. It is one of prudence and prayerful care. Mastering this balance may well take a lifetime. But knowing and submitting to the principles is not. Rather, it should not take more than a few moments for any catechized Catholic. These principles themselves — including each and every one of them listed above — are absolutely black and white. You must never, ever, doubt, reject, or contradict with your own behavior, a single one of them. No matter who tells you to do so. No matter how many other people are doing it and saying it’s okay. No matter how many people you once trusted are now performing these acts.

But please note, friends, what is deliberately absent from this list of absolutely certain tenets we must stand by:

  • Precisely when Material Cooperation with evil (or silence in the face of it) is permissible or called for is an entirely different question.
    • Do not dare appoint yourself the judge of this against those under whose authority God has placed you — judging them as evildoers by standards that you yourself (though you may be too blind to now see it) will also fall by on the Day of Judgement. Recall especially that the measure with which you measure will be measured out against you, and this is doubly true when you measure out condemnations on the Vicar of the Second Person of the Eternal Trinity.
  • Precisely what degree of avoiding the occasion of sin and avoiding scandal is required in order to validly confer absolution on a penitent is also not a clear Dogma that you have the right to draw your own line in the sand on and judge the Vicar of Christ by.
  •  Just what degree of evil to tolerate occurring as a consequence of one’s actions so long as that evil was neither undertaken nor directly willed (i.e. Double Effect)

Third) Engage in Today’s Mission

Heed Pope Francis’ call — that is, the essence of the mission that God has appointed him to this time for — and make it your own. His mission is a final, pull-out-all-the-stops proclamation of the Divine Mercy while there is still time left to do so.

For God appoints men to a task for the sake of the main thrust of their mission. Aside from the men who wrote Sacred Scripture and the infallible proclamations of the Popes, God does not micromanage their undertaking of the mission to ensure the perfection of each of their decisions. It is certainly beyond obvious that God is not doing so with this Pope! So it is the essence of the mission we must focus on: a mission that I have spoken about incessantly on this blog for the last five years or so.

Now enough of that. I run a Catholic blog and for over two years I haven’t made a single substantial contribution to the various raging Pope Francis controversies; striving as I have been to take my own advice. And I almost wonder if I should have even published this one. Alas, I have done so, and alas, it is time to return to what is actually important instead of addressing endless pointless controversies:

THE MISSION

When I realized how important this mission was, I made it the primary page on this blog’s main index: www.dsdoconnor.comAnd I would now like to present to you more inspiration for carrying out the Battle Orders for the Church Militant — The Mission — to the fullest:

Hacksaw Ridge

Not since years ago, when I urged everyone to watch Beyond the Gates , have I been able to so heartily recommend a movie as I now recommend Hacksaw Ridge.

It is an antidote to the typical modern movie: for it has almost everything a story should have, in contrast to almost every other modern movie which has nothing a story should have and everything a story should not have. Instead of an anti-hero, Hacksaw Ridge gives us a hero. Instead of encouraging sin, it encourages virtue. Instead of providing mere eye candy, all of its action is provided for a higher purpose, without admixture of morose delectation or vainglory. Instead of providing existential nihilism, it provides Divine Purpose and Plan. Instead of merely giving us a way to pass the time (“as if one could kill time without injuring eternity“), it helps us to choose the good, which is the purpose of all art and the ultimate standard by which all art must be judged.

And indeed, instead of being just another Hollywood screenwriter’s daydream, it is non-fiction. Now, unlike the aforementioned ailments, there is nothing wrong with fiction in and of itself (rest assured there is no greater fan than I of Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia, for example). But it is equally undeniable that today we suffer from fiction overload and non-fiction atrophy. For we forget that no effect can ever be greater than its cause; and the cause of any good in fiction is the wisdom of the author, whereas the cause of whatever good can be gleaned from reality – in other words, non-fiction – is none other than God. Therefore the former is severely limited in its fittingness as art; more or less so depending upon the wisdom of the author, whereas the power of the latter as good art is without bound. And what a travesty that, for decades and decades, Hollywood has been too busy deluging us with endless comic book movies that this true hero’s story was left untold by them.

Now I must briefly interject an advisory: Old time readers here know that I would never, ever accept or promote a sex scene (regardless of whether it is graphic or restrained; glorifying promiscuity or condemning it; real or simulated), for any sex scene is, by its very nature, pornographic, and therefore evil. This is taught quite unambiguously by Catechism, paragraph 2354. Yet I am quite confident Hacksaw Ridge has none; and although there is one questionable scene we skipped past when my wife and I watched Hacksaw Ridge, the parent preview websites seem in agreement that there is nothing but an implication that newlyweds consummated their marriage AFTER the scene– in which nothing major is shown– ends. Furthermore, there is some minor crude dialogue that I could have done without; especially in the barracks scene. It is not a perfect movie, but it is nevertheless a movie that I heartily endorse for adult audiences.

Allow me next to assuage any concerns you may have had in hearing of the premise of this movie or seeing its preview. It is not pacifist propaganda. It is a story of a man with the courage to be true to a personal vow he made; not some debate glorifying an erroneous theological position (that killing is in and of itself an intrinsic evil or that there is no such thing as just war). It is furthermore pragmatic in this regard: for the main character’s ultimate justification for his position is “With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together.” This justification we too can give for deciding to focus our own apostolates on proclaiming the Divine Mercy instead of succumbing to the scrupulous fear that we are neglecting the Divine Justice in so doing.

For I do not write this to give you a mere movie review. I write this to encourage you to draw inspiration from the most important teaching of the movie:

JUST. ONE. MORE.

In these final few days of the Time of Mercy, this must be our rallying cry. This must be what gets us up in the morning. This must be what urges us on despite the seeming insurmountable obstacles and the temptation that swirls about us on every side insisting that we give up, rest, and forget about the Salvation of Souls and the Coming of the Kingdom of the Divine Will.

It does not matter how many days are left in the Time of Mercy. All that matters is that there is still breath in our lungs; still blood coursing through our veins; still the ability to rouse ourselves as the soldiers we are to fight this most worthy battle… and still a single soul left who can benefit from our resolve.

You. can. still. save. one. more. soul.

Every day.

No one can stop you.

Let all the world conspire against you – wage total war against you – it would be utterly powerless to suppress the power of your will, entirely submitted to the Divine Will and living in It, yet never failing to exert itself in accord with its proper end, from fulfilling its Divine Calling of achieving the salvation of souls.

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up.

This must be the approach of any Catholic who is now confused as to the path he should be taking: that of mercy, or that of justice. I hate heresy as much as anyone and I am as concerned as the next man of errant interpretations of Amoris Laeititia that essentially normalize divorce and/or adultery, or turn the Commandments of God into mere “ideals.” And yet, I remain utterly convinced that the general approach of mercy is still the one that the Holy Spirit needs of us today. For few of us are theologians; few of us are Canon Lawyers; few of us are Bishops. On the other hand, almost all of us are confronted every day with so many souls wounded from this sickening, sin and error infested world over which the devil has reigned with unprecedented power for the past 100 years.

In a word, as the Holy Father has said so many times that too many of us have become tired of hearing it:the world needs a Field Hospital, and the Church must be that Field Hospital. This is the main thrust of Pope Francis’ mission. That it is better to risk injury by going out to the gutters than it is to ensure sickness by remaining stuffed up within our own artificial realms of safety, security, and comfort. That it is better to be a warrior than a commentator. That it is better to be a witness than an apologist. 

And the Church needs us to be modern day Desmond Dosses manning this Field Hospital that the Church must be.

But we are not on a literal battle field with wounded soldiers lying all around. So how do we say, and act on, “Just One More”?

First of all by recognizing that boredom is a sin. Over 150,000 people die every single day in this world. You are your brother’s keeper, and you have a duty to strive to ensure that as many of them as possible make it to heaven. Therefore, say:

  • Just One More when you hand out an Evangelization Card to someone or place it somewhere knowing that it will be picked up and knowing that Jesus promised that whoever venerates that image shall not perish
  • Just One More when you read the Hours of the Passion – carefully and prayerfully – knowing that Jesus promised the salvation of a soul for every word of it read in such a manner.
  • Just One More soul when you say “God Bless You” to someone on a Divine Will Missionaries of Mercy walk, knowing that this simple interaction can be a channel of grace into his heart and effect his salvation
  • Just One More soul when you drag yourself yet again to the local Planned Parenthood to pray and sidewalk counsel
  • Just One More whenever you choose to pray for the salvation and sanctification of souls instead of engage in some vanity, pleasure, hobby, or waste of time
  • Just One More when you spend time praying with the residents of the local nursing home
  • Just One More when you abandon human respect and instead use opportunities daily life presents to draw souls to Christ — holy bumper stickers, pins, a visible crucifix, a lawn statue of Our Lady, holy salutations, holding & praying a Rosary while walking, etc.
  • Just One More whenever you choose to associate with the lowly and the needy instead of those you merely enjoy yourself around, knowing that it is through association with the former that we may more effectively draw souls to Christ
  • Just One More whenever you wake up on a Wednesday or Friday and decide to fast and offer it up for souls — knowing that God will accept your sacrifice — instead of letting the desire of the flesh guide you. 
  • Just One More when you go to morning daily Mass for the three thousandth time, no matter what you feel like doing when you wake up, knowing that the power with which you can save souls there is unparalelled
  • Just One More when you pick up your beads and do your Daily Rosary, no matter how busy you are and no matter how tempted you are to think it useless, knowing full well that Our Lady has promised that she will conquer the world through this most sublime devotion
         
     
    Therefore let us say, with Desmond Doss of Hacksaw Ridge, “with everyone in this world intent on tearing his enemy to shreds, I will rather dedicate myself unreservedly, with no thought to my own safety or self interest, to snatching souls out of this fire of evil and drawing them to the Divine Mercy. Every breath God blesses me with is one more opportunity to say: Just One More Soul. Every blow God allows me to receive is one more opportunity to allow grace to touch the heart of its originator. And I will not spare one drop of my sweat or blood in ensuring that I do not neglect a single one of these eternal opportunities. I’ll rest when I’m dead.”

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Footnote 1:  As this is a delicate issue wrought with confusion on both sides, allow a little clarification. There are very many very good people who have the homosexual inclination. To argue against this reality by saying “the inclination itself is also sinful and therefore all who have it are to be condemned” is blasphemy against God’s goodness, for He gives everyone the grace to avoid every single sin, yet He does not give everyone the grace to be (immediately) free of an inclination. Anyway, it may seem that the good those with a homosexual inclination do proceeds from this inclination. But it is not so. Rather, the good they do can only possibly proceed from some other thing within them, which an onlooker and perhaps even they themselves confuse with the homosexual inclination. For example: consider alcoholism; also intrinsically disordered, for it is an inclination to an excess and a sin (drunkenness). Alcoholics often do good things; for their “all or nothing, all out, hold nothing back” approach to life often enables them to achieve great success in certain realms by guarding them against a petty and bland life. Nevertheless, none of these good things can correctly be said to have proceeded directly from the alcoholism. Rather, the alcoholism and the good thing both proceeded from a deeper, morally indifferent, tendency.

Aligning Our Expectations With The Prophetic Consensus

darkcloudsSeven years ago, in the year 2010, Michael Brown posted a prophecy on his website, SpiritDaily. His first public announcement of this prophecy was actually just before that posting, during a conference he gave in Boston that I happened to be attending.

It is a brief and fascinating prophecy, well worth reading, but especially relevant is this part:

“…expect the error of premature expectation, but not error in the truth of the expectation itself.”

And who can fail to see that this premature expectation has been utterly rampant, fulfilling this “prophecy of failed prophecies” to the fullest extent, in these short seven years since its publication?

  • Shortly after the publication of this prophecy the infamous Harold Camping affair transpired — wherein a group insisted with enormous public exposure that the world would end in May of 2011. Although this was nothing but a joke to anyone actually serious about Catholic Prophecy, it is still worth noting here as it garnered unprecedented attention.
  • Then there was the December 2012 end of the world craze based off the Mayan Calendar and the popular Hollywood movie bringing it to light. This, too, was nothing but a joke for those serious about Catholic Prophecy. But still very relevant to the aforementioned consideration of “premature expectation.”

But then we started to get into the realm of prophecies/predictions that seemed perhaps worth taking seriously. In the Protestant Prophecy world, we saw the following prognostications which were followed by millions upon millions:

  • Four Blood Moons. In a seemingly impossible to deny sequence of celestial signs that insisted upon the most apocalyptic of events occurring in 2015… none did.
  • The Shemitah. In a seemingly impossible to deny sequence of Biblical Patterns applied to the context of the Modern World, utter catastrophic worldwide economic collapse was supposed to occur in 2015… nothing happened.

These were not mere run-of-the-mill fundamentalist protestant rapture proclaimers, of which we have seen a steady flow for a long time. They were main-stream mega Church pastors whose books on these topics were truly major best sellers and who regularly appeared on mainstream media. It is difficult to imagine dire prophecy getting more publicity than these did.

Still, nothing.

But then it became even more urgent, as in the world of Catholic Prophecy there were a few very loud voices:

  • “Maria Divine Mercy,” who was clearly a false prophet, nevertheless managed to attract thousands upon thousands of followers, insisting that the warning, collapse, and events in the Book of Revelation would begin in 2013 to be ended in 2016. Obviously none of that occurred.
  • Locutions to the World, a much more seemingly reasonable private revelation (but still with many red flags), insisted that the collapse would occur while Pope Francis was visiting the United States in 2015. No collapse.
  • Pope Francis himself seemed to indicate that things would heat up quickly, saying he would not resign but that he would only be Pope for 2 or 3 years (it has now been almost 4) and acting with an unprecedented sense of urgency, even saying that we are now in the midst of WWIII. 
  • And now, to top it off, there is the failure of Charlie Johnston’s Presidential Prophecy, wherein there was supposed to be a massive disruption before this past inauguration and no peaceful transfer of power from Obama to Trump. And of course, again, business as usual. (Please Note: Charlie is a good man and a solid Catholic. I’d trust him with my life. I am completely confident that he did not intentionally deceive anyone. I am very grateful to him for running a couple of my articles. That being said, I have never endorsed his alleged private revelations or promoted his site (even though on a couple of occasions I have defended him when he was unjustly attacked; for I will readily defend anyone who is attacked in such a manner, whether or not I condone his apostolate). Indeed, we see now that Charlie was simply wrong, for whatever reason. Let’s leave it at that, treat him charitably, and pray for him.)

And these are just some of the Prophetic failures. The list could indeed go on for a long time.

Meanwhile, so many signs of the times have swirled around us: upheaval, an unprecedented Papal Resignation, “Cardinal against Cardinal, Bishop against Bishop,” an unprecedented and seemingly impossible rise of a populist President, economic collapses and recoveries, unprecedented weather, enormous societal unrest and class warfare, geopolitical strife not seen since the Cold War…. and the list goes on, and on, and on…

And in the midst of all this, the Devil is having a field day with the Faithful. Having won over the vast majority of the world and its worldings to his ways, he is not content. He is not even content with destroying those “in” the Church, but really more of the world. For he is now even tearing to shreds the very true remnant Faithful itself; sowing discord, sin, apostasy, and schism within their ranks like never before and even managing to convince a large portion of them that their own theological opinions are above the Magisterial teachings of the Vicar of Christ, while convincing another large portion of them (perhaps larger) to believe heresy (and live heresy) due to certain errant interpretations of Pope Francis’ Magisterium; errant interpretations even offered by some Bishops.

All this expectation, and still……. nothing.

But here we are in the beginning of the Year of Promise; the Centenary of the Apparitions of Fatima. The supposed end of the 100 year Reign of Satan (foreseen by Pope Leo XII) that perhaps began with Red October in 1917. The year after the Year of Mercy (perhaps implying it will wind up being the Year of Justice?). The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Revolt. The approximate 400th anniversary of the beginning of Modernism (R. Descartes) and the “Enlightenment” (F. Bacon). The 300th anniversary of the founding of Freemasonry. The 200th anniversary of the founding of the New York Stock Exchange (the activity of which many prophecy watchers today correlate to the adultery of the harlot in the Book of Revelation). Above all, the 100th anniversary of Communism; the “errors of Russia” spoken of by Our Lady at Fatima.

Will our expectations actually come to pass in 2017? Has the full measure been filled of “premature expectation” in the prophecy this post started with, or will God seek to purify us even further by allowing 2017 to also pass without the long-awaited events?

I do not know. I could easily see this being the year in which they occur, or just another “ordinary” year for our purification along with several more to come leading us closer to the 2,000th anniversary of Redemption which makes the most sense for the Prophesied Third Renewal. Or perhaps there will first be some chastisements, with a “pause” therein after the imminent Illumination of Conscience, during which time Our Lady triumphs for the Remnant, and after this Triumph, the more major chastisements will occur which the true Era of Peace; the Reign of the Divine Will, shall follow. 

We of course do not know. But in response to either possibility, I continue to urge what I always have urged: diligently performing the duties of your state in life but using the clearly prophetically urgent nature of our times as an incentive to be particularly zealous for Proclaiming the Divine Mercy and Living in the Divine Will.

Beyond that — I have never even had so much as the faintest hint of prophetic locution or vision myself and I have no timeline of dates to offer you.

And while I cannot give you a timeline or any prophecies of my own, what I can give you is a sure way of avoiding pitfalls like the ones mentioned above and any similar ones that are doubtless to come:

Align your expectations with the prophetic consensus

Because sadly, what we are left with today is a batch of (certain) lay authors and career lay apologists scrambling to be recognized as the ultimate authority on eschatology; people who seem to think that unveiling what is coming is a massive jigsaw puzzle to be mastered by their own historical, geopolitical, Vaticanista, and Biblical cunning instead of a mystery to sit down and listen to as it is spoken about by heaven here and now. Instead of naming names of such authors and thereby encouraging factiousness, I would like to simply lay down clearly where I stand.  (And encourage you to read those who are trustworthy on this issue; including, for example, Fr. Iannuzzi and Mark Mallett.)

When someone comes along with messages of his own that seem to stand in contrast to what the majority of trustworthy private revelation is saying, do not put too much stock in these predictions. When someone comes along saying he has found a pattern in the Bible, or in the Skies, put even less stock in these predictions. When someone comes along with a specific date, put the least stock in this. When someone spills oceans of ink piling facts upon facts to try to prove to you that his eschatology is right, but whose writings are not founded in and inspired by the souls God is speaking to today, then run in the opposite direction. 

Instead, sit like a (wise and discerning!) child at the feet of those special souls whom God has chosen as His messengers for this day, and shut up and listen. Being like a wise and discerning child also means reading the Book of Revelation — although not literalistically — at least in an honest, plain, and clear fashion. 

In a post to soon come, I hope to put together more details on this prophetic consensus; from whom the consensus is formed, the actual prophecies themselves, etc.

So in addition to the above, I would just like to for now briefly lay down what I have taken from this approach in general terms. And in light of so much prophetic failure in recent times, I am hoping that some readers may take this as a time for prayerful reflection and purification, and consider what opinions and approaches they may have (even subconsciously) adopted from some failed prophecies that are now in need of reorientation:

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1) On the Era of Peace

Some have insisted that the Era of Peace, will be nothing more than “another chance given by God to get it right,” with no change at all except a “change of hearts.”

But this goes against so much prophecy that God has given to us about the Era of Peace. Now is our chance to get it right! Every new day we wake up still within the bounds of time, and before the Day of Justice arrives is that chance. The Era of Peace is more than just another chance. It’s a radical intervention of God and a reordering of creation.

As I said, I hope to soon publish a post where I compile some parts of this wealth of trustworthy private revelation insisting on such a glorious reign to come. In the meantime, you can see a small portion of that starting at about 10 minutes and 40 seconds into this talk.

Divergence with the prophetic consensus is a much more serious problem when it comes to the Era of Peace, because if we do not understand that it will be truly Glorious, then we will not sufficiently long for it. If we do not sufficiently long for it, then we will not earnestly and continuously pray for it. If we do not earnestly and continuously pray for it, then its coming will be long delayed. Jesus reveals this dynamic to the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta almost verbatim.

Now,it is true that having a very downplayed vision of the Era of Peace will help you to not be condemned and harassed by the self-proclaimed Holy Inquisition of Eschatological Orthodoxy who insist that every opinion Ratzinger ever put forth, or every opinion that was popular in the middle ages, is somehow dogma. And those who are on this side of the debate are the most dangerous of all. They preach an Eschatology of Despair; wherein the world is merely condemned to get worse, and worse, and worse, and worse until the very end where, in the depths of its misery, Jesus comes at the end of time to destroy it and judge it. They scream “heresy of Millenarianism!” at any sort of actual belief in Our Lady’s promise at Fatima, where she said “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph … and an Era of Peace will be granted to the world,” for they insist that this Era of Peace has already occurred; whether after WWI, or after WWII. This is, of course, an utterly insane assertion, for no one in his right mind would call what the world has had in the past hundred years an Era of Peace. 

And indeed, it is not just Fatima, but a real consensus has formed that an Era of Peace is coming. And it is no mere subtle change. It is a radical intervention of God which will reorder the world like never before. 

Be well assured that the only things (in other words, the heresy of millenarianism)you cannot believe as a Catholic regarding the Era of Peace are what follows:

  • That Jesus will reign visibly or physically on Earth during it
  • That the “Age of the Church” shall pass and give way to the “Age of the Spirit,” or where we will no longer have the Catholic Church.
  • That the definitive destiny of the Church will be reached before her final passover (i.e. the End of Time).
    • Indeed, the destiny of the Church is the Heavenly Wedding; the Beatific Vision. The direct vision of God’s essence without medium. Even the most glorious Era of Peace, even if it were to be a veritable worldwide return to Eden, would be absolutely nothing in comparison to this. You see, Our Lady Lived in the Divine Will. There was neither sin, nor concupiscence, nor even illness in her. And yet her definitive destiny was still not obtained until the Assumption. Now, Our Lady is both Mother and Image of the Church, and indeed the Church will follow this course as well.

Steer clear of those heresies and you are perfectly safe anticipating a truly Glorious Era of Peace, in which “His Will Shall be Done on Earth as It is in Heaven.” Jesus prayed it, therefore it will happen. Period. But we must know that it is coming, yearn for it, and ardently pray for it, so that it may come soon.

2) On Ecumenism

While I heartily endorse true ecumenism, I find that the brand of it that some have promoted in the Prophecy World often allowed the line to be crossed, or at least blurred. 

We should indeed be supporters of (for example) praying with non-Catholic Christians, engaging in good ministries with them, regarding them as our brothers, and the like. 40 Days for Life is the quintessentially ideal example of Ecumenism. I feel that we can do all of these things gladly (I myself often have done so) without having to have classifications for each other and have figured out exactly what God’s plan is with it all. I will gladly work side-by-side with a Protestant without “trying to convert him.” But that does NOT mean that I, as a Catholic, can adopt a substantially identical attitude toward Protestantism (or Judaism) as I do towards Catholicism. It doesn’t mean I can go about encouraging him to remain Protestant. It doesn’t mean I can fail to hope and pray that he becomes Catholic. For such a failure would be an act of hatred. Why? Because to hate someone is to wish evil upon him. Evil is the absence of a due perfection. And the Eucharist, which only Catholic and Orthodox truly and validly have, is the greatest perfection. (as a side note: Eastern Orthodox Christianity is also not a valid alternative to Catholicism, as they are not in communion with the Successor of Peter, and God Wills that all men be in communion with the Successor of Peter. But it is at least a second best.)

A name for Protestants and Jews like “full and equal partners” in and of itself has nothing wrong with it. But the practical effect seems to sometimes be the blurring of the essential distinctions, and to forget that utterly essential, unchangeable truth: In the Catholic Church alone is the fullness of the Truth, and God calls all men to the fullness of the truth. Period. Non-magisterial opinions (even openly admitted as non-magisterial, mind you!) of a few clergymen working in the Vatican do not change this permanent truth one iota. It applies to all Protestants, all Anglicans, all Orthodox, all Jews, all Muslims, etc.

Dear Friend: if you are a Catholic, then you should be praying every single day for the conversion of all souls to Catholicism, and hoping against hope that this petition is answered soon!

This concerns me because, like many, I too believe a storm is coming (though unlike many I have no timeline). We must remember that in this storm, Catholics need to be more Catholic than ever. Some seem to be okay with Catholics becoming less Catholic during the storm; heading off to Protestant worship services if those are the most accessible ones, etc. But there have been plenty of persecutions before, and this never has been, nor is it ever going to be, how God Wills that Catholics respond to dark times. Just read up on the persecution of Catholics in England during the Reformation to see a great example of how we ought to behave during the coming persecution.

3)On Politics

There’s no need to go into a million details here; I’ve said enough (too much, perhaps!) on this site already about Politics. But since many in the Prophecy world combine their apostolates with running political commentary, this needs to be addressed. It is very difficult (and unfortunately rare) to find public voices who have really let the the teachings of the Church form their political stances from the ground up. So just please remember that the commentaries of the Signs of the Times watchers should not be the political writings one uses as a definitive guide to modern politics. Don’t get me wrong; there is certainly much wisdom in them, but much is, in fact, contrary to the Social Teachings of the Church (e.g. those in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Caritas in Veritate, Evangelii Gaudium, Laudato Si — all of which should be every Catholic’s guide to modern politics), that what was good does not sufficiently drown out what was not. I need not repeat what I said in a previous post on the erroneous nature of dispensing oneself from adhering to the Social Magisterium of the Church on the grounds of “Oh, the Church can’t speak infallibly on politics,” or “Oh, the Church doesn’t offer specific policies” — so if you would like to see such responses addressed, please just see the relevant portion of the linked post.

But perhaps most dangerously in my opinion, some in the Prophecy world have preached something to the effect of “traditional politics is dead.” The implication that people take from this is that we should abandon political efforts aimed at justice, peace, and truth, because the “whole system is nothing but a house of cards/smoke and mirrors anyway.”  But Church teaching is very clear that Catholics living in a Democracy have a grave duty to vote and to be an active part of the political community. And personally, as one who has put a great amount of time, effort, and sacrifice into this very end, I cannot help but take offense at such an attitude.

Fight we must. And the teachings of the Church must, as always, be our guide in this noble battle.

4) On Hope

Some fear and even insist “we will all lose hope during the storm.” But this is dangerous defeatism. The loss of hope is a sin; and whether or not any of us will sin again, and if so in what way, we do not know. But we need to trust that God’s grace will always be sufficient so that we do not have to sin. Sin is never necessary. It is never a determined consequence of free will. With the help of grace, avoiding it is never impossible (which was doctrinally defined at the Council of Trent). It is never a guaranteed fact merely due to certain external circumstances. If we refuse to acknowledge that, we are essentially blaspheming against God’s omnipotence, goodness, and mercy.

You need to trust God enough to believe that it really is possible that, from this day forward, you will never sin again — that you will never choose to distrust God again. That you will never choose to doubt God again. That you will never choose to act uncharitably again.

Whether or not that is what in fact actually happens, it nevertheless really is possible. Don’t ever, ever say that it isn’t.

 

5) On the Mission Itself and the Nature of Devotions

A simplistic motto is a good thing to fall back on in times of confusion and trial. I suggest this one: “Jesus, I Trust in You. Thy Will be Done. But I think we need to be careful to understand those as starting points and safety nets; not as ends sufficient unto themselves. Especially when we are instructing Catholics — to whom our Lady has issued so many very specific pleas and devotions (e.g. Rosary, Eucharist, Confession, Fasting, Scripture, Divine Mercy Chaplet). 

I understand as well as anyone that it is easy to be overloaded with devotions, being that God has blessed us with so many. It is certainly important to not allow yourself to scrupulously feel like you must do each and every thing that each and every alleged private revelation invites you to! I do appreciate that some have cautioned against this. Rather, you must follow your heart, follow your discernment, and take on whatever devotions you feel you can without burning yourself out and without neglecting the duties of your state in life.

But some, it seems, go further than this basic advice, and instead almost are satisfied with their followers taking a “whatever floats your boat” mentality regarding devotions and private revelations; a mentality that is common and explicitly taught today among certain popular career lay apologists; a mentality I zealously argued against in my book pages 60-61. 

But this specific issue of private revelation brings us to the more general issue of the temporal vs the spiritual.

6) On the Temporal and the Spiritual

I have been openly criticized for neglecting the temporal for the sake of the spiritual, so this seeming conflict I would like to address. Now, I would be the first to admit and indeed insist that we must be zealous for both temporal and spiritual matters, and that the fulfillment of the duties of one’s State in Life absolutely precedes in importance the performance of pious practices above those of obligation (e.g. Sunday Mass, avoiding mortal sin). But in general, the spiritual must have priority. Always. Everywhere. I think we fail to give it that priority it needs when we see the Divine Invitations in the most important private revelations of the day as merely nice options for those who feel inclined to them, and nothing more.

This criticism made of me arose in the midst of two conversations:

One, wherein I encouraged conduct that can actually succeed in evangelizing Muslims as more important than bashing Islam at every chance one gets. And this remains encouragement that I firmly stand by. It is clearly encouragement that the Catholic Blogosophere in general, which seems to be locked in endless competition to see who can more vociferously condemn Islam, needs to hear. We must indeed be frank, open, and honest about the errors in Islam. And yet I unabashedly stand by the spiritual assertion that such frankness will not save us from the present distress over and above the temporal assertion that it will. When I look at what God is asking of us today — through the Magisterium, the Popes, and trustworthy private revelation — I do not see Him saying “oppose other religions more harshly and you will conquer them” Rather, I see Him saying “pray, perform works of mercy, evangelize, and be uncompromising and unflinching in your Faith and Morals and Principles, but do not pretend that simply being more vociferous and combative in promoting them against those of other religions will achieve anything.”

The other conversation in which that criticism arose was one in which I myself criticized the notion that it is okay for one to be a “prepper” for the sake of having an adult “teddy bear.” Now we must give most in the Prophetic realm credit here: they usually do caution against major preparedness. But some have said something to the effect of “Just as I would not take a teddy bear away from a child if it gives him comfort, so too I would not begrudge survivalism of one who finds comfort in it as a way of easing his fears. I do not think this is a good mindset. What is good for a child is not necessarily good for adult, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” and as St. Francis de Sales says “Children chase butterflies and that is fine, because they are children. But is it not lamentable to see a man doing such a thing?” 

Willfully chosen fear of anything external is never God’s will. Fear as a mere passion — a mere emotion that is passively felt — is morally indifferent, and whether we feel it (and, if so, to what degree) is largely not our choice. But having a “don’t take the teddy bear away” notion is to serve as an accessory to the sin of willed fear. And willed fear is the absolute opposite of the very most essential thing in these dark days: Trust in God. Jesus, I Trust in You. Thy Will be Done.

When reading the Bible, the revelations to the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, the revelations to St. Faustina, and so many other similar works, one theme seems to jump out even more clearly and constantly than all the others: Jesus absolutely begging us, admonishing us, insisting that we banish every fear. There is no need for it!!!

A storm is coming indeed, but we must, must, must continually remind ourselves of the admonishment of Our Lord to be not afraid!

Although I have been criticized when I’ve pointed this out, alas, if only this input was taken more seriously, there would be fewer people today angry than there in fact are, as they took all sorts of preparedness measures thinking that society would have to collapse by now and they wanted their teddy bear! Let us learn our lessons, move on, and leave the past in the past. Just as importantly, let us not over-react to our mistakes, but instead learn from them. I am concerned that many who are now so fed up with the over-preparedness they engaged in will now reject even basic preparedness and basic keeping an eye on the signs of times.

Now, I have long encouraged a relatively small degree of “Sober Minded Preparedness,” not as a “teddy bear,” but as a simple act of prudence. One may be inclined to say that I am splitting hairs; but that is a radical misunderstanding of Christianity itself. Christianity is all about intention. That is primarily what God looks at when we undertake an action and it is primarily what we are judged on. Preparedness is a duty if — when you undertake it — you are merely following prudential judgment and conscience. It is a sin if you are doing it so as to have a teddy bear to cling to in an act of deliberately willed fear.

The importance of this admonishment to never fear cannot be overstated. This is the point I ended on in the talk I gave in Tampa. It was not my intent, but Providence, that ended my talk on that point. If you would like to see that, just listen to the last several minutes of this same talk linked above.

7) On the Antichrist

Some in the Catholic prophecy world today insist strongly that the Antichrist is not coming any time soon, but can only possibly come at the very end of the world. But this is quite the opposite of what the prophetic consensus seems to be indicating. Mark Mallett has written powerfully on this here and in other places.

The notion of the Antichrist coming at the very end of the world is also inconsistent not only with the clear sense of the Book of Revelation (which makes it clear that the Antichrist comes before the Era of Peace), but is inconsistent with the true nature of the Era of Peace. As you will see if you read the many trustworthy private revelations that speak of it, it is completely incomprehensible that the Antichrist could manage to arise during it and sway the masses to join him in his evil and apostasy. That, friends, describes our current day. It does not describe a plausible scenario during a time in which His Will is Done on Earth as It is Done in Heaven

Gog and Magog will indeed be the final unleashing of evil to usher in the definitive end of time, the true physical Final coming of Our Lord, and the General Judgement. But the swift death that this final unleashing of evil will give to the world is more akin to the chop of an axe laid to the neck of a saint who sings his way joyfully to his martyrdom. The persecution of the Antichrist, which is likely imminent, is more akin to the final and tragic drug overdose of an addict who has slowly but surely been destroying his own life with his sins and then willfully takes that last step. The Antichrist is the natural and inevitable consequence of the Great Apostasy that we are already in the midst of. It would be entirely unfitting for him to arise in the midst of  (or at the end of) the Era of Peace.

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If you’re looking for trustworthy voices online in the wake of so much confusion, allow me to suggest:

 

Mark Mallett

Fr. Robert Young

Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi

Anthony Mullen

Peter Bannister

(at the moment Peter, a theologian, does not have a site dedicated to his theology work, but if that changes I will certainly link to him. He has –understandably and probably correctly — stopped posting on the “motheofgod” forum since many on it, including the site’s owner/operator, have adopted a largely anti-Pope Francis tone)

Dan Lynch

Janet Klasson

The Last Hail Mary

queen-of-heavenFar too often I begin to realize, towards the end of praying the Rosary, that I have done anything but meditate on the mysteries of it or even focus on the words I was saying; but rather, that I have allowed my mind to wander from one distraction to the next almost without intermission throughout the duration of this most sublime devotion.

When this happens, I do not become disheartened or discouraged. Rather, I ask God’s forgiveness, resolve to try harder next time, and I then strive to at least pray the very last Hail Mary with the greatest attention and great devotion — truly from the heart.

I believe this is a powerful practice.

As 50 Hail Mary’s adorn the Holy Rosary, so too 50 weeks comprise this Holy Year of Mercy. And we now are on the cusp of entering the last.

If, like me, you did not come close to living this Year of Mercy as you had hoped you would, then do not despair. Rather, join me in striving to make fruitful and faithful this last week (which begins Sunday, November 13th and ends Sunday, November 20th with the closing of the Holy Door of Mercy), like the Last Hail Mary of an otherwise distracted Rosary.

I abhor using myself as an example, for I know full well that I am anything but worth imitating. However, in order to be as practical, concrete, and genuine as possible with the encouragements that follow, I will simply share what I plan to do this upcoming week. Prayerfully consider what you yourself can do next week as well.

  • I will continue to fulfill the duties of my state in life as usual. For indeed, honorably fulfilling these duties is more important than any pious practices above and beyond those of obligation. However, I will strive to better compartmentalize my work instead of allowing it to overflow into hours of the day and week that it need not. I will strive to cease pretending that I need to be thinking about my various worries and plans and strategies while not actively engaged in working on them.  I will strive to cease imposing frantic rushes on myself regarding jobs and projects and ToDos that I feel urgently need to get done when, in fact, they could easily wait.
  • I will begin the week; in its vigil on Saturday afternoon, with a heartfelt confession so that I may be as pure as possible for the task ahead, satisfy Our Lady’s request at Fatima for the First Five Saturdays Devotion (as tomorrow is still within 8 days of the First Saturday; and I highly recommend that anyone serious about hastening the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart as she promised at Fatima do a perpetual First Saturday Devotion instead of only five), and be ready to receive a Plenary Indulgence each day of the week ahead.
  • I will try to be more devoted to the Divine Will Missionary of Mercy regimen.
  • I will take care to, before I go out in the world either for work, errands, recreation, or anything of the sort, make sure I have Divine Mercy Evangelization Cards in my breast pocket and keep on the lookout for opportunities to hand them out or place them in good spots as the Holy Spirit directs.  If you would like some of these (or a replenishment), you can still request them here. I still have a few more boxes full of them and will happily send then out for free as long as I can afford to do so! I will also try to more often wear a Divine Mercy Pin as I go out.
  • I will try to do a better job with Wednesday and Friday fasting. Let us not mistakenly call ourselves prayer warriors if we do not in some way fast — those who do not fast are, at best, sunshine patriots and fair weather friends! Your own manner of fasting is a question I leave to you to discern for yourself, but I will share a fasting regimen I have found fruitful: Wednesdays and Fridays, “bread and water,” loosely speaking. I still have dinner as usual with my family, but before dinner I stick to plain white bread with some peanut butter on it and black coffee. If I do a more severe fast; such as only plain bread and not even black coffee — midnight to midnight — then I find I am more distracted by the fast than I am empowered by it (although there are certainly times where this or a more strict fast are called for). If I do a less severe fast; I find the sacrifice is too minimal to notice and therefore be powerful.
  • At least once I will visit a cemetery to walk through it and pray for the repose of the souls of those buried there — as well as the repose of all of the Holyfinish-the-race Souls — while reciting a Rosary and/or Divine Mercy Chaplet.
  • I will strive to receive a Plenary Indulgence each and every day, also offered for the repose of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Though the most neglected Work of Mercy, this is indeed among the most powerful and important.
  • I will spend more time with the Blessed Sacrament, either by way of going out of my way to do Holy Hours or Holy Half Hours with Our Lord, or at least by arriving at daily Mass early and only leaving after I have spent plenty of silent time following Mass giving thanks to our Eucharistic Lord who remains inside us in His Real Presence for at least 15 minutes after we receive Him. (And yes, as I have yet to find a Church with a daily Mass that is not dominated by chatter both before and after, I will be sure to bring an mp3 player and earbud headphones so I can drown out the chatter with Gregorian Chant or other Holy Hymns).
  • At least once I will pray and sidewalk counsel outside of a Planned Parenthood.
  • At least once I will visit a nursing home and pray with the residents there.
  • Above all, I will strive to do all of this — and, indeed, spend every waking moment — Living in and Acting in the Divine Will, so that all of my finite acts may be elevated into the eternal realm, and thereby gain an infinite value before God. Therefore I will strive to do a better job of being faithful and attentive to the means Jesus gave us through Luisa to these ends; especially the daily meditation on the Hours of the Passion and allowing Our Lady to lead me to the Divine Will of her Son through her own words.

Therefore, join me, brethren, in whatever of these endeavors or similar ones you feel called to. Let us not allow this “Last Hail Mary” to pass us by distracted! We do not know how many, if any, more chances we will have. Do not forget how truly Extraordinary this Holy Year that is now passing both is and was.And let us be attentive to those most important Words — those spoken to us at Mass — as this Year comes to a close:

  • In today’s Gospel reading, Our Lord instructs us that the “day” of His Coming — which we are on the verge of, for while we are not on the verge of the actual end of time and Final Judgement, we are indeed on the verge of a series of events which, together, comprise His Second Coming — will be like the day of the Flood or the day of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. In speaking last year with a very special priest well known around the world for his orthodoxy and holiness (whose name I withhold because I do not know if he wants this observation of his to be publicly known at this point), shortly after the passage of same-sex “marriage” in this country by Judicial Fiat of the “Supreme” Court, he told me that the days immediately preceding the flood consisted in (and we know this from ancient Jewish texts) the society of that day doing just what we now have done: blessing same-sex unions. It was then that God said “enough” and told Noah to get in the Ark.
  • In tomorrow’s Gospel, we read Jesus pondering aloud to us “When the Son of Man comes, will He find Faith on earth?” One can be a blind optimist and look at the fact that most people still believe in God today and thus think that this does not refer to our times, or one can be realistic and realize that true supernatural Catholic Faith is almost completely dead today and thus realize that we are precisely in the days to which Our Lord refers.
  • Finally, in the Gospel of the day after tomorrow– the Sunday ushering in this “Last Hail Mary” week– Our Lord gives us a description of what will immediately precede, and what will go along with, this “day” of His Coming.

Whoever cannot see that this all refers to our times is either incredibly ignorant or willfully blind. Therefore, we must be on vigil right now as never before. As Mark Mallett profoundly observed in a post yesterday, many are saying “peace and security” now that Donald Trump has been elected. For years I have wondered how 1 Thessalonians 5:3 would be fulfilled. Now we know.

When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

I, too, rejoice in the defeat of Hillary Clinton; my wife and I prayed a novena precisely for that end. But this election’s outcome will not give us peace. The election of a lesser of two evils will barely alter the course of events that must come; although we might have a brief reprieve, thanks be to God. Or, perhaps not. Perhaps somehow this will even hasten the events to come. God knows; we do not. What we do know is our battle orders. Let us therefore be more vigilant, more zealous, and more attentive to them than ever before. Keep oil in your lamps, friends.

Be Converted

Trust in the Divine Mercy

Remain in a State of Grace

Live in the Divine Will

Proclaim the Divine Mercy

LineAs those of you know who attended the Divine Will conference in Tampa in September, I could not finish my talk in the time available and therefore promised to publish the transcript of it in its entirety. I finally have that ready. Here it is: Sure Ways of Living in the Divine Will.

I had the honor of speaking on the Divine Will Missionaries of Mercy at a conference in Denver last month. Here is the audio of that

Tampa Conference Audio and DWMoM Notes

Dear Friends,

A Blessed Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross to you all! On this solemn day let us remember that His Cross shall triumph; it is only a question of time. Let us pray that the day may be hastened! Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done, On Earth as It Is in Heaven. 

First of all, the Tampa Divine Will Conference was a true blessing and it was an honor to speak there. At the end of this post, I will include a recording of the speech I gave. Videos of the entire conference can be purchased from comingofthekingdom.org.

Unfortunately the curve balls that life has thrown have prevented me from doing my ordinary daily DWMoM regimen for the past few months, but I look forward to getting back into it now. If you are like me, you feel like this Year of Mercy is slipping away! But alas, remember: even those late to the vineyard receive the same payment. Let us ensure that, in these remaining two months of the Jubilee Year, we strive to proclaim the Divine Mercy in whatever way we can.

A small note: as some are uncomfortable with the notion of the “transubstantiation of one’s very self,” (and I will not begrudge that discomfort), I have changed that word, which I had had in the DWMoM prayer,to instead be the “transconsecration” of one’s very self, as St. Faustina herself spoke of in the fully approved Divine Mercy Diary (paragraph 137). (Incidentally, this “transconsecration” of St. Faustina is clearly a reference to Living in the Divine Will; for it occurred immediately after St. Faustina fully consented to the total sacrifice of her will to the Divine Will, and after she became “fused” with God. After it occurred she said that “God was now living in [my soul] with the totality of His delight.” I encourage you to read the context for yourself in paragraphs 135-138 to see that there is no doubt that St. Faustina is here speaking of the same Gift that was Luisa’s mission to reveal to the world in its fullness)

I have added information on the Patrons of of the Divine Will Missionaries of Mercy (Our Lady of the Visitation and St. Anthony Mary Claret) to the website. I encourage you to take a look if you haven’t yet seen it!

Now for the talk! Please note that this talk is not intended to introduce people to the Divine Will Revelations of Luisa. It is, rather, intended to inspire those who already know of it and believe in it. In this talk, I say (and quote) some bold words that should be given qualification and explanation if said to those who have not yet been taught the proper understanding of Luisa’s writings. So do use discernment in whom to send this talk. Anyone new to the Divine Will who listens to it would do well to also see my free ebook, the Crown and Completion of All Sanctity, for the proper context and orthodox understanding of anything that he might at first be uncomfortable with. I will again remind everyone interested in Luisa’s writings that, if you are ever confused as to how a teaching in Luisa’s writings fits with Church Teaching, you must always favor Church Teaching, and seek out further clarification on how to understand Luisa’s writings. Finally, there is at least one specific thing I said in this talk that I want to clarify now: at one point I referred to the Gift as the “same exact life as the blessed in Heaven have,” but what I meant to say is “the same exact life as the blessed in Heaven have in terms of holiness” (for of course, receiving the Gift on Earth does not bestow the Beatific Vision — the essence of Heaven — upon its recipient, therefore the actual differences are many. The point is that the degree of holiness is the same)

 

(Click here to download an mp3 of the talk)

Divine Will Conference, Tampa. September 8-11 2016

Dear Friends,

I would like to invite anyone interested to attend an upcoming Divine Will Conference being held in Tampa, FL on September 8th through September 11th! I am above all very excited to be attending this conference in order to learn from the wisdom of the other speakers there; but as God would have it, I will be a speaker as well. It is being run by Thomas Fahy (a veritable expert on the Divine Will) and the John Paul II Institute of Christian Spirituality. 

You may register for the conference with this form. The conference will be held at the Holiday Inn Tampa WestshoreDetailed information on reserving a room a this hotel can be found in this document.  (Update: that hotel is now full. You can instead reserve a room at the Marriott Tampa Westshore just across the street; their number is 813-287-2555. Just mention the John Paul II Institute Conference when reserving. Thanks!)

 

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P.S. In case anyone is wondering whether I am taking back my assertion (made under the “About the Author” section of The Crown and Completion of All Sanctity) that I would not be speaking on the Divine Will at conferences due to a restriction being in effect against this: the short answer is yes! Sadly, in writing that brief note last year, I had fallen prey to a common misconception; for indeed, there is no such restriction. Suffice it to say I have validated this with confidence through much research (and I have pinpointed the source of the confusion), but in an effort to take my own advice from my last post and avoid needless discord, I will avoid going down that rabbit hole and instead simply leave it at this. If you need more information on this before feeling comfortable attending such a conference, you can feel free to contact me.  From now on, I will indeed be available to speak on the Divine Will in the writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta.

The Mission

In light of the unprecedented factiousness, discord, and needless heated debates that have come knocking at my door and the doors of so many (almost everyone, it seems, is embroiled in something) during the past couple months, I would like to do now what I have not done in my seven years of running this blog, namely: merely re-post something I have previously written. Considering all that has transpired in both the Church and the World during the past five months since I wrote it, I don’t suppose many will begrudge its repetition. These past five months have been nothing but a preview of what is to come, so focusing on the mission will only become more important.

What follows is excerpted from the bottom of my post written January of this year (only html/formatting altered):

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The Mission

Live in the Divine Will

 *

Proclaim the Divine Mercy

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Eucharist, Rosary, Chaplet, Scripture, Fasting, Confession, Works of Mercy

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Pray, pray, pray

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love

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May

Jesus, I Trust in You.

Thy Will Be Done.

Be ever on your mind, heart, and lips.

Conquer the World for Christ the King: Lessons Learned from My 2016 Run for U.S. Congress

Published May 30th, 2016

Dear Brethren in Christ,

When I last wrote to you, it was precisely the half-way point of Lent. Today, we are exactly half way through the Holy Year of Mercy, which will end on this year’s Feast of Christ the King. As you no doubt have come to expect, I have some words of exhortation again, but this time of a slightly different nature.

In my last post I also alluded to the fact that I may then have well been on the cusp of one of the most exhausting, demanding, difficult endeavors of my life, if it were to turn out that God called me to it.

And indeed He did.campaign

For much of the months of March and April I was relentlessly pounding the streets, going door-to-door, sometimes all day, in the poorest areas of my home city of Albany, NY (so as to ensure that each day I was engaging in a true Divine Will Missionary of Mercy walk by way of this endeavor — yes, I even wore a Divine Mercy pin), gathering signatures in an attempt to force a primary election against my U.S. Congressional District’s deeply entrenched, machine supported, pro-abortion, pro-gay “marriage” Representative (a career politician “Catholic,” no less). I dare say there is scarcely an inch of the poorest streets of this city — including each floor of all of the largest and most dissolute public housing project high rise apartments — that my own two feet did not tread in those weeks. In the course of this mission I knocked on thousands of doors.

Although it was quite successful (I got almost 700 signatures), I did fall short of the 1,250 needed in order to get on the ballot against my opponent. But I do not regret for a moment my attempt, and in what follows I will explain why.

Before I write any further, though, I know that the first question of many of those who read this site will be more fundamental: “Why? Why would someone like you — a devout Catholic, learned in private revelation and theology, who sees the Signs of the Times — put hopes in, and waste time in, politics?

Bear with me while I give the long answer to that question. Since this answer is just about me, however, and I am nothing, I will enclose it in horizontal bars so you can skip it if you like and move on to the purpose of this post: the Lessons Learned from the run.

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Why Politics?

When, in 2013, my wife and I were building our lives together, we faced that choice that all young couples face: where to settle down and begin our family?

My human-will, that is, the self-will, had a very clear and immediate answer to that question: get away from the world as much as possible. You see, I do not think there is anyone who hates, to the extent that I do, the unholy music, impure images, ugliness, disorder, constant noise, sinful conversations, and the like, that inevitably inundate any densely-populated area these days. Humanly speaking, there is nothing I want more than to be completely removed from all of this garbage — and while there is nothing wrong with such a desire in and of itself (quite the contrary, it is an objectively good desire and I still look forward to the day when God calls me and my family into a more rural setting), even the holiest desires are worthless if they are not the Divine Will.

Now, by making it clear to me that the corporate engineering world (which I had briefly entered back into after marriage) was not my calling, God had already eliminated the “best of both worlds” option — a $400k house in a pristine, quiet, gated-community suburb close to a nice upscale parish — since that would cost far more than we could afford with my lowly salary as a (non-public school) teacher.

So instead of doing what I wanted to do: hop on to a real estate website and find some very quiet acreage in some beautiful, relatively remote rural spot — which would have inevitably deprived me of the ability to reasonably undertake my greatest joy: daily Mass, but which would have nevertheless indeed been an option since I was only then teaching online and therefore without geographic constraints — we did a Novena to St. Joseph asking him what house to buy. With great clarity, he sent us to the home we now own and are raising our children in.

This is a home that does not allow me to comfortably ignore the plight of the poor. We live less than stone’s throw from two half-way houses (one of which is basically across the street and commendably tries to help young mothers who are in need to stay with their children), and just over a stone’s throw from some particularly dilapidated city blocks in extreme poverty, in addition to a large industrial port which daily spews petroleum fumes — uninhibited by laws that should be in place protecting the nearby residents from them.

Don’t get me wrong, our particular block is actually fairly nice, but nevertheless it does not allow me to turn a blind eye to reality and pretend, like so many do (much to the chagrin of our Holy Father), that the poor and the environment need not be given much weight in the political concerns of a modern Catholic. It does not allow me sit on my quiet porch in a beautifully manicured suburb far from any landfill, city, or industrial establishment and say, “how dare Pope Francis write an encyclical addressing environmental degradation, poverty, and exploitation, when there are so many more pressing issues!

(Lest my tone here wrongly indicates otherwise, please know that I have nothing against living in a pristine suburban or rural area — better and holier Catholics than myself do just that. I’m simply relaying what I’ve learned from that arrangement not being what God has called me to at the moment.)

Quite the contrary, this, combined with my daily Divine Will Missionary of Mercy walks through the poorest streets of this city, has taught me that the entire Social Magisterium is the answer. I do not mean the “social justice” pseudo-causes that are pushed in left-wing Catholic circles all over the country. I mean the actual Magisterial Documents: above all, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Caritas in Veritate, and Laudato Si.

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So for years (over four, in fact, for I have been working hard on this since my time as a theology student) I have been studying these documents, building an American political platform off of them, and preparing to run for office on this platform myself. Why? Not because I am worthy of this task, but because no one else has done it, and yet I know that it must be done.

Common Good Platform

The platform I have been working on (the Common Good Platform) as well as my particular Campaign mission statement, still need some more work before they are ready to be published (even though in the midst of my campaign I did have them public). I do, however, hope to have them done before the 2016 Presidential General Election really goes into high gear, and I will be sure to post them here. (I will make a new post when I do that, so if you’d like to be notified, just subscribe to this blog using your email address in the upper right hand corner of the page.)

Why the Social Doctrine?

In order that you are prepared to see it once I do release it, I must say a few words about the Church’s Social Magisterium (if you already find yourself submissive, open, and obedient to the Church’s Social Magisterium, feel free to skip to the next horizontal bar). And let me first just make one thing clear. The Creator and Ruler of the universe entered into it 2,000 years ago. He founded a Church with the authority to teach all the nations; and that very Church which He founded persists to this day under the vicarious headship of Pope Francis. Like it or not, this Church really does have a whole treasury of Magisterial teachings on politics. Is every word of it strictly infallible? Of course not. But there is simply no possible way to be a loyal child of Holy Mother Church (which a Catholic must be in order to be a loyal child of God the Father) while simply dismissing an entire category of Church Teaching. Do not confuse this fact with the “seamless garment” nonsense: clearly black and white issues like abortion and gay “marriage” are even more important than her other political teachings. But what a fatal fallacy it would be to conclude, from this fact, that one can licitly choose to ignore these other political teachings!

St Stephen of Hungary
King St. Stephen of Hungary

And so, adhere to them, promote them, and, based on them, vote and even run for office we must. In order to do so, however, we must not fall into any of the other fatal fallacies regarding the Social Teachings; fallacies that have become so dominant as to practically render ineffectual, to this very day, the Social Magisterium of God’s Church:

  1. Complain of their length and refuse to even give the Social Doctrine a chance. Give some Catholics a document of true Social Magisterium (for example, The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate or Francis’ Laudato Si), and, instead of being thankful for how thorough and practical these documents are, they will instead rant about how lengthy they are, only to turn around and readily lend their ears (and therefore, by inevitable consequence, the formation of their minds) to worldly political pundit talking heads for more cumulative time over the course of a mere week than would have been needed to actually read these documents. And if the Vicar of the Second Person of the Eternal Trinity dare, even in his official Magisterium, contradict the opinions of the likes of Rush Limbaugh, et al., then it is the latter who is defended by these Catholics. Letting the world form us on something as important as fundamental political issues is a sin. It’s something that needs to be repented of, not something that should be defended. If, in an honest analysis of our lives, we realize that this is precisely what we have done, then we really must repent — and make amends. Amends can be made by reading, and choosing to submit to, the Church’s Social Magisterium, and deciding beforehand that this Magisterium matters more than our own opinions. Make no mistake about it, this will entail a painful death to self.  But such is Christianity — the Way of the Cross. One who has lent the task of his political formation to the world should not expect that he can merely dive into the Social Magisterium and find it perfectly in accord with his own fancies.  It is one’s own fancies that must change, not the Magisterium.
    1. If you are wondering why I am focusing for now on those three Documents, it is simply because, for the sake of manageability, I am trusting that the 2005 Compendium of the Social Doctrine did well what it proposed to do: adequately summarize the Social Magisterium all the way back to Leo XII’s 1891 Rerum Novarum. It is especially groundless to complain about the length of the Compendium, since its entire purpose is to present a summary (which is itself Magisterial) of well over a hundred years of Catholic Social Teaching. It successfully did so in as brief a manner as possible.
  2. Pick and choose what, in the Social Magisterium, you will submit to. I have already touched on this in the preceding paragraph, but it needs to be addressed independently as well. But how sad it is that this even needs to be said. Too often, the very same Catholics who will (rightly, might I add) lambaste, with all of their vigor, other Catholics who prefer the Cafeteria approach by saying “I’m against abortion but I can’t advocate imposing that view on others through law” will nevertheless turn around and themselves say that they refuse to submit to abundantly clear teachings in a Papal Encyclical. How are you any different from a Pagan if you read the Social Magisterium with the mindset of merely allowing it to educate you and give you food for thought, instead of handing yourself over to it in order to be formed by it? Anybody can read the Social Magisterium if they do so in the comfort of the self-will armchair, knowing they need not worry about having to abandon their own opinions for the sake of a greater truth. As a Catholic your calling is much higher than this comfort-zone at all costs ideology. But if that does not convince you, at least know this: even theologians have a difficult time discerning what is and is not truly authoritative and binding on conscience for Catholics, within certain Church Documents. Do you think you are up to such a task? You aren’t. The path to hell is no doubt paved with those who, instead of submitting like a child to Holy Mother Church, took it upon themselves to try to subtly craft a way they could technically obey Church teaching while at the same time ensuring that they really are just holding onto their own wills, their own preferences, and their own inclinations. Have nothing to do with that way of life. “…the Church’s social doctrine has the same dignity and authority as her moral teaching. It is authentic Magisterium, which obligates the faithful to adhere to it.” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, paragraph 80)
    1. I know the first question that will come to the mind of many will be “So, does that mean you have to believe in Global Warming?” Even asking this question gives away the position of the one who asks. For Pope Francis does not attempt to teach, in Laudato Si, that man-made “global warming” definitely is happening, nor does he even talk much about it, despite mainstream media conveniently labeling Laudato Si, according to their own narrative, to be “the global warming encyclical.” He merely points out that there is a consensus among scientists that it is happening; but everybody already knew that. Scientific consensuses are often wrong. As for me: I do not know, nor do I particularly care, if there is man-made global warming. Because whether or not there is, what me must actually do does not change: we urgently must reduce our incredibly wasteful, consumerist lifestyles for a whole plethora of reasons.
  3. Utterly emasculate the Social Doctrine by insisting upon its irrelevance to or lack of authority in any actual concrete situation. Now as with most lies, this one is based upon a truth: for indeed, the job of the Church is not to form specific policies, start political parties, or anything of the sort. But it is to be taken absolutely seriously in what it does say. People who fall into this trap set by the CSDCdevil completely miss the point that it is not their job to decide what the Social Doctrine does and does not have the authority to rule on. We are not told that the Social Doctrine does not form specific policies so that we can nit pick through it and decide what, contained within it, we think is inapplicable and worth ignoring because in our opinion it actually is a specific policy! We are, on the contrary, told that so that we understand, going into reading it, that everything that follows is in fact not actual specific policy, but is, rather, a guideline that must be taken completely at its word in forming specific policies. Allow me to illustrate with just one example of thousands: the Church makes it abundantly clear that a just wage is a right that governments have a duty to legally enshrine. She also makes it clear that the mere fact that an unjust wage was freely and legally agreed upon contractually by both parties involved does not justify it, and that for a wage to be just, it must be above the level of subsistence (for example, in the Compendium, paragraph 302). She does not, however, say exactly what a just wage is, nor does she say exactly how to enforce it. Good Catholics can debate over precisely what the number should be, how to apply it, and what factors modify it. They cannot debate over whether it is something the government has a duty to generally require. Sadly, this does not stop these emasculators of the Social Doctrine from insisting that “No, the Church does not insist upon specific policies. I believe in a just wage but I don’t believe it is something that the law has any role in ensuring. The free market alone has the right to do that, and if people don’t like the wage offered by a given company, they can go elsewhere. Besides, low-skilled jobs shouldn’t be paid well, lest people not be encouraged to receive higher education.” As you can see, the distinction is not difficult to grasp if one actually uses an ounce of thought. The person who says this has clearly contradicted the Magisterium.  Now, is holding such a view a mortal sin, like condoning gay “marriage” or legal abortion is? Probably not (I really don’t know). But it is certainly at least a venial sin. And what a pathetic way to be a Catholic! Caring not about Our Lord’s mandate to strive for perfection, and instead only caring to avoid obvious mortal sin. Aiming for purgatory is not a good idea.
    1. Incidentally, do not think I am standing here advocating for a $15 nationwide minimum wage. The Church teaches that whether a wage is just depends upon the individual laborer’s family circumstance; hence, one way to refer to Church teaching on the matter is that she insists upon a “family wage.” I see nothing wrong with a childless High School student living with his parents earning the current minimum wage. But to pay a man who must support a wife and children the current minimum wage is indeed a grave injustice. It is one of the four sins that cry out to God for vengeance (one of which is “defrauding the laborer his wages”).
  4. Buy into secular narratives that Pope Francis is a socialist. This is a cunning ploy by the mainstream media to get those on the left wing of America’s political spectrum to become even more radical, and to get those on the right wing of the same to abandon and oppose Pope Francis (for the media has of course lauded Pope Francis, and they cannot stand the thought of conservatives appreciating someone they have lauded). But nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to politics, Pope Francis has been repeatedly clear in directing us to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. This Compendium (and indeed, Catholic Social Teaching in general), categorically condemns socialism (see paragraph 89), while only condemning capitalism conditionally (i.e. CSDC paragraph 335: “If by ‘capitalism’ is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property … then the answer is certainly in the affirmative… But if by ‘capitalism’ is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative”). Pope Francis, and indeed Catholic Social Teaching in general, does not insist upon (in fact, it openly opposes) the welfare state, the public education monopoly, in any way seeking to limit human population, common or state ownership, etc. (this list could go on for quite some time).
  5. See a contradiction where none exists between political concerns and Heavenly and Prophetic concerns. In this case, I need Leo XIIIonly defer to that great Pope who, no doubt, comes to mind first (or close to it) when one thinks of the great Popes who were most aware of Satan’s ravaging of the Earth in these end times and the truly pivotal, prophetic nature of the days in which we live: Pope Leo XII. The Pope who had the vision of the 100 year Reign of Satan. The Pope who instituted the St. Michael the Archangel prayer for the Universal Church. The Pope who wrote eleven Encyclicals on the Rosary. The Pope who, in an unprecedented act at the time, consecrated the entire world to the Sacred Heart after being urged to do so by private revelation. And indeed, the Pope who really was the Father of the Social Doctrine by insisting upon the absolute importance of Catholic action for justice in politics, in his encyclical Rerum Novarum. Pope Francis, too — the same Pope who has lived his pontificate in such an urgent, prophetically oriented manner, even proclaiming an unprecedented extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy — has said “Politics, though often denigrated, remains a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity…. I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society…” (E.G. paragraph 205). Some people seem to have given up on politics due to its depraved current standing and the particularly dire circumstances of our times that clearly necessitate Divine intervention. On such observations, I agree wholeheartedly. But in terms of how to react to them, this mentality of “give up and wait for God to fix it” is not a legitimate Catholic approach. In fact, this mentality is similar to the heresy of Quietism and it involves the sins of sloth and lukewarmness. The Church makes it clear that, at the very minimum, citizens of a Democracy have a grave duty to vote. If we have a grave duty to vote, then we also have a duty to remain open to God calling us to do more in this regard. Up until the very day the Lord comes in Glory, we have to continue working our hardest to make Earth more like Heaven, bit by bit, day by day. Politics is one of the most powerful ways of doing that. We have absolutely no right, as Catholics, to simply exclude ourselves from this because our own pet theories or pet “prophets” dictate otherwise. What may be soon coming upon the world does not change, one iota, our requirement to do whatever we can to help, through our own effort, to bring this world more and more into conformity with the Divine Will. You are all no doubt aware of what St. Francis famously responded to one of his brother friars when asked “Francis, what would you do if you knew the world were to end today?” Francis responded, “finish hoeing this garden.” If the garden that God has called you to is politics, then keep working that garden as long as there is breath in your lungs.
    1. Followers of this blog know that my greatest passion is the revelations on the Divine Will to Luisa Piccarreta. Well,  significant portions of Luisa’s writings involve the drama of a sole Catholic politician fighting against the introduction of a law permitting divorce. Luisa offered herself as a victim for the sake of this politician and for his noble fight against this legal introduction of evil into society, which he was getting very discouraged in the midst of, due to the opposition he was facing and the fact that he was facing it alone. Jesus insisted time and time again of the importance of this, and Luisa suffered tremendously in order to fight this law; and indeed, they were victorious. (So much for the false notion that the dedication of oneself to the concerns of Heaven and to the concerns of politics are mutually exclusive.)

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Enough of that. Now on to…

Lessons Learned:

Defeatists

The Devil is the ultimate defeatist, and he counts as his own countless souls on Earth who, whether they know it or not, serve as his instruments by doing everything theyJudgment Day can to shoot down each and every bold endeavor for Christ that crosses their path.

I was told by so many people that it was impossible. That I couldn’t ever, as an un-endorsed newcomer, knock on doors and get anywhere near enough signatures to run for Congress. That I’d be so opposed that it would not even begin to work. That I had to do it the “right” way by first cozying up to the establishment, then running for school board, then city council, then county legislator, then state senate, then (and only then) Congress. Well, I got more signatures than they ever thought possible. I received more support than they ever thought I would. I stumbled upon people on the streets who decided in a mere few moments that they would be my allies. As I will discuss in a following paragraph, the opposition from the establishment was weak to nonexistent.

And next time, God willing, I’ll get the required amount (not on my own, mind you. Even this time around I had help; particularly from one very dedicated person who got over a hundred signatures for me).

But at the end of the day, who cares if you are successful by worldly standards? The best a defeatist can possibly do is argue that, looking at the evidence, it seems you won’t succeed. Again, even if he winds up being right, so what? Our Lord assures us that it is our faithfulness, and our willingness to suffer for His sake, that matters. It is that standard alone on which He rewards us — not for the success. And if we conduct ourselves in such a way that we are definitely building up treasures in Heaven — not merely by the hypothetical future achievement of our stated objective, but by what we are actually saying and doing each and every day — then we’ve already proven the defeatists wrong. In the paragraphs that follow you will see that God, through my efforts even on day one, achieved this.

Now besides the fact that defeatism should be condemned by its very nature, there is another truth concerning the political landscape itself that this defeatism is completely ignorant to: There is a sleeping giant waiting to be awakened; one which I experienced firsthand day after day on the streets. It is the political power of urban poor, often minority, registered Democrats who are pro-Faith, pro-Family, and pro-Life. I had so many wonderful conversations with, and received so much ardent support from, these people who were 100% behind my mission. Currently there is at least one politician who has realized this, and he is the single most pro-Life, pro-Faith, pro-Family politician in the entire country: The New York Democrat Ruben Diaz Sr  (unfortunately his son, the politician Ruben Diaz Jr., is a typical Culture of Death Democrat, so be sure not to confuse the two). I challenge you to find one Republican politician in this country bold enough to actually boast of his campaigning against gay “marriage” with none other than the TFP (which is so traditional that most Catholics fear it), facetiously thank NARAL for pointing out how anti-abortion he is, and post a video of himself deriding liberal notions of separation of Church and State, and do all of this on his official political campaign site. It is high time we start taking this sleeping giant seriously instead of buying into the current Catholic defeatist narrative that insists there is only one way to possibly fight the culture of death in politics: grudgingly accept every lame, lukewarmly “pro life” Republican that the establishment presents and ignore every other tenet of Catholic Social Doctrine.

Machine

I live in Albany, NY –major political machine territory. In fact, my practical namesake was a machine boss of enormous proportions until just a few decades ago. Nothing is supposed to happen here without the go-ahead of the Democratic Party Establishment. My opponent, Paul Tonko, is about as entrenched, established, and endorsed by this machine as one can possibly get, as he has been a career politician for 40 years. I suppose the mere contemplation of this reality is supposed to make would-be new political challengers shake in their boots and run in the opposite direction with their tails between their legs.Devil is Conquered

You will understand, then, how amusing it was to me that, despite often spending entire days pounding the streets, knocking on door after door in “Tonko territory,” I barely came across anyone who actually admired and supported him and consequently refused to sign my petition (maybe one a day, on average, if even that). In fact, practically everybody I talked to who actually could give a valid signature – because errors on the voter list often made this not possible – did indeed sign my petition! And these were only registered Democrats in the City of Albany: people who were supposed to be strong Tonko supporters. What I came across far more often were people sick and tired of establishment politicians completely ignoring the actual concrete needs of the poor, for the sake of flashy photo ops that they go running for whenever a big local business makes a press release about an event.

Ha! The bark of the machine sure is louder than its bite. If only we stopped thinking the world was so powerful, we’d have conquered it by now for Christ. Catholics far too often, instead of boldly diving headfirst into the midst of the battle, choose rather to mire themselves in conspiracy theories that convince them that all effort is for naught, make their circles of influence more and more enclosed and guarded, limit their “input” on matters to pointless ranting and comfortable armchair criticism, and dedicate their time to reading and promulgating endless diagnoses of the modern world’s problems while ignoring their calling to actually do something concrete, difficult, and self-sacrificial to resolve them. This is an utter tragedy. If you think you may have fallen victim to it, even if to a small degree, I can only beg you to read Evangelii Gaudium and allow yourself to be formed by this particular Magisterial Document.

And the Devil is the exact same way. When it comes to serious, convicted, devout Catholics, he operates primarily through fear, discouragement, and anxiety: because he is actually the one utterly terrified of us. That’s right. He knows that God, through us, can utterly demolish his plans if we only discard our fear of him and go on the offensive against him. I was told I would be spiritually attacked if I engaged in this; and indeed I was. But I do not fear spiritual attacks; all they do is make me turn more to God — the One Who is the sole purpose of my life anyway. So what do I have to lose? The worst the devil could do is kill me, if God allowed it. And so what? “Life to me means Christ, and death is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) The devil is powerless over us. Do not fear him – this only gives him power that he does not naturally have. Instead, laugh at him, scoff at him, consider him to be the insect that he is, stay close to Mary, and proceed with courage in the Will of God no matter what tantrums this causes the devil to throw (in fact, rejoice when he throws tantrums, because this only evidences the powerful workings of grace).

Mercy

Almost every day I went out, I wore a very clearly visible Divine Mercy pin (this one, to be precise). To almost every person I spoke, I ended our conversation with something to the effect of (in fact, usually verbatim:) “God bless you. Please pray for me. I will pray for you.”

Jesus and Mary“A daring and perhaps imprudent thing to mix with politics, Daniel!” you may be thinking. Well, guess how many people this was a problem for in my entire time of knocking on thousands of doors…..

Two.

Yes, a sum total of two people had a problem with my pin and my explicit Faith. And I was only seeking out registered Democrats in the least Bible-minded city in the entire country. It “should” have been practically all of them. And yet, almost without fail, the reaction was extremely positive. People were so thankful that I said “God bless you,” that I asked for their prayers, and that I assured them of mine. People loved the Divine Mercy pin — in fact, many said they were signing my petition because of that pin. There were people who saw my little brush up with their lives as signs from God. There were people who opened up to me about their problems, and by the end of me offering a mere few simple words of encouragement to trust in the Divine Mercy, were shedding tears of grace. There were people who were greatly encouraged and inspired to hope by someone actually trying to bring God into politics. I could go on for some time. So much for the lukewarm (and no doubt demonically inspired) notion that Faith should not be mixed with politics.

God’s grace is more powerful than anything. It’s more powerful than the devil. It’s more powerful than apathy. It’s more powerful than atheism. It’s more powerful than anti-Catholicism. The problem is not that God’s grace is lacking; rather, the problem is that there are so few really willing to try to put it to use to Conquer the World for Christ. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” (Luke 10:2) This is not to say that everyone will be open to God’s grace. Quite the contrary, many will reject it and persecute the messenger (no servant is greater than his master; they persecuted Christ and they will persecute us). But there will always be enough of those who don’t reject grace that bringing it to the masses is worth the effort a thousand times over.

Think about how much of a “risk” I am taking just by writing this post. Those who were alerted to my campaign are perhaps keeping an eye on what I write publicly. They may have even saved this post to their hard drives so they can bring it up and try to use it against me when I try running again (because I am not giving up). And guess what? I don’t care. I am not afraid of the whole world knowing that my motivation here with politics is to Conquer the World for Christ and proclaim the Divine Mercy. This motive arises simply out of love of God and love of Neighbor. I am not going to frantically cling to every little strategy I can think of in order to increase my statistical odds of election at the expense of the Eternal Mission. I am not going to continually kick the can down the road my whole life (which is always what the Devil tries to convince us to do) and say to myself “Well… I’ll use only worldly methods for now, and once I’m in office and have more influence, then I’ll really start doing what I can for the Sake of the Kingdom.” If that is the way you think now, then it is the way you will think all the way to the grave. I shudder to think of what incredible graces would have been lost if I had refused to proclaim the Divine Mercy in the midst of gathering signatures under the pretense of delaying doing so until I was in office and therefore more influential. So many souls were touched by God’s Grace simply because I insisted on maintaining each day pounding the streets as a DWMoM Walk. If I instead neglected that and did it the “ordinary, ‘right’ way,” then I’d still be where I am now (not on the ballot), but without having brought the Divine Mercy to hundreds if not thousands of souls over that short time. 

As Pope Francis repeatedly insists, “time is greater than space.” (E.G. paragraph 222-225) Though at first this might seem vague, what he is trying to teach is very powerful: it is better to initiate a process – better to “go for the gold” even if it means someone else will reap the harvest down the line – than to merely limit ourselves to doing whatever is most likely to ensure that we ourselves will specifically benefit from our efforts, possess the power, and receive the thanks from them in the here and now.

I am definitely not encouraging proselytizing, being overbearing, or forcing yourself to say or do things that feel awkward for you. I am not saying that all of your endeavors should look like thinly-veiled sermons (on the contrary, we must do what we do because we believe in it, not because we simply want to sneak in some preaching). The best proclamation of the Divine Mercy — the best Evangelization — is always graceful, natural, and inviting (not imposing). A Divine Mercy pin is a great start; it allows people to ask you about it, if they so please. Responding to questions that others ask on their own initiative is among the best ways to Evangelize. Saying “God Bless you” and/or asking for someone’s prayers and assuring them of yours is always a great way to Evangelize. These small acts and others like them (I only present here a couple of my own ideas), done with love, can truly be the channels through which God works wonders in a person’s soul; especially if you do these things in the Divine Will.

Advice

The crisis of effeminacy in the Church is longstanding. And although limp wrists, lisps, and liturgical dancing are a part of it, they are nothing but a shadow of the real problem, which is a lack of willingness to undertake suffering, sacrifice, exertion, difficulty, and danger for the sake of the good.

Whenever someone reveals a desire to do something great for God — something that will inevitably require perseverance through great difficulty — a whole host of people tend to crop up insisting that there is a “better” way. This often kills supernatural vocations, but on a smaller scale, it also constantly kills individual missions to which God calls people.

Some of these promoters of easy advice do so innocently, and therefore bear no guilt, even though they still do great damage to God’s plan. They simply do not want to see people they love suffer unnecessarily and they have fallen into an over-inflated and disordered sense of prudence at the expense of other virtues. Some of them even do so by pointing to St. Therese of Lisieux, as if her beautiful “little way” somehow negates and renders sinful that great virtue of magnanimity. But the little way of the Little Flower has nothing to do with shunning great endeavors categorically! It merely has to do with the recognition that externally great things are not necessary in order to be a great saint, but rather, little things done with great love are necessary for this end. The little way cannot tell us whether great endeavors that we find on our hearts should be followed through with! How sad a world we would live in today if all of the great endeavors of the great saints were passed up simply because they were great!St John Capistrano

If you think you are called to do something great for Christ, you may well be. Dare not write off this inspiration on your heart because you are unworthy, or because people will laugh, or because “that’s not the way it’s usually done.” History would be a very boring thing if God’s Will was merely that everything always be done the same way. Life is very short. And it’s the only chance we get to earn merit for Heaven. Imprudent action for God is a real possibility; paralysis from fear is a far more common one.

Regarding my situation: I prayed much for God’s guidance (even asking St. Therese for a sign through a novena with my wife, and she gave me one) and felt that He was calling me to it. I discussed it with my wife and had her encouragement. I discussed it with my Spiritual Director and had his encouragement as well. Although an extraordinary mission, it was not entirely unreasonable either. I had a Providentially-placed long break from work right when I’d have to be pounding the streets. What further steps would have been needed before proceeding? None.

If I had refused to follow through with it because the political “experts” insisted I do it in another way (and indeed they did – without an ounce of meekness), or because I feared the judgment and criticism of those who cannot stand those close to them “rocking the boat,” or because I dreaded the sacrifice entailed, then all I would be left with now is the pangs of remorse.

I would have been spared much suffering, indeed. For “easy” is one thing this mission was not. Spending all day outside in New York in March and April means you will be exposed to great heat, great cold, rain, snow, wind, and the like, all in the span of a week. Going through all of the poorest streets of a city is not exactly the safest thing you can do, either. You will pass by all manner of dissolution and decay, and will have to interact with these situations to varying degrees — all without any hesitation or revulsion. Walking each floor of the project high rises means being exposed to a plethora of sights, sounds, and smells that you’d rather not know existed. Knocking on someone’s door to ask for a signature because you’re running for office is especially taxing, as you are putting yourself at the mercy of people you have never met and know nothing about, door after door, all day long, day after day. It is physically and spiritually exhausting and demanding. And this is all not to mention that, once you actually get the requisite number of signatures, you are then attacked viciously by those whose established realms of power, through which they exercise the dominion of the Culture of Death, you dare to challenge.

So, yes, the sacrifice is real, and it is significant. Those who are always there to give the “easy advice” themselves have a very straightforward job when it comes to finding reasons to discourage the great missions that God calls souls to; in this case, politics. But they miss the point entirely. The degree of suffering involved in a task says nothing about whether it is God’s will for us. That is determined by the call He has placed on the hearts of those who receive them. You and God alone know this, and no one else can tell you what it is. 

But now, instead of pangs of remorse, I have the joy and peace of knowing I tried my best, and built up many treasures in Heaven in the midst of it. 

Easy advice feels great to get; it’s almost like a lullaby. But you can detect its presence by the fact that, instead of your heart filling with charity, joy, and peace when you receive it, it is instead filled with love of pleasure, fear of suffering, and a subtle melancholy. And remember well that it is not how we feel before an endeavor, or even in the midst of it, that judges its character and its accordance with the Will of God: rather, it is how we feel after it. “Virtue is the roughest way, but proves at night a bed of down.” So I will leave you with a couple quotes. One from a president whose example I would not overall recommend imitating, but who nevertheless gave this solid advice that should resound in the hearts of all.

“It is not for the success of a work, but for the suffering that I give reward.” – Jesus to St. Faustina

“You were born to be a leader! There is no room among us for the lukewarm. Humble yourself and Christ will set you aflame again with the fire of Love…. Don’t let your life be sterile. Be useful. Blaze a trail. Shine forth with the light of your faith and of your love. With your apostolic life wipe out the slimy and filthy mark left by the impure sowers of hatred. And light up all the ways of the earth with the fire of Christ that you carry in your heart….Esto vir!–Be a man!” St. Josemaria Escriva

“Dear friends, may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world.” – Pope Benedict XVI

“Strength and daring. The socio-cultural context in which you live is at times weighed down by mediocrity and boredom. We must not resign ourselves to the monotony of daily life; rather we must cultivate projects of a wider breadth and go beyond the ordinary…” – Pope Francis

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -Teddy Roosevelt.

Update: Now, dear friends, know that most of us are not called to do so-called “great” things like run for Federal Office. Please do not let restlessness or anxiety enter your heart upon reading this section simply because God has only called you to the small things! St. Therese is so right that the truly important thing is to do the small things with great love — in the Divine Will — as a constant prayer. Neither the apparent “greatness” of an act, nor the quantitative degree of pain involved in it, determines its worth in the eyes of Our Lord and therefore its eternal value. I write this section not because I think all Catholics need to get out there right now and do “great” things. I don’t even think most of them should! (I write this section merely because I think more Catholics than currently are trying to do so are, in fact, called to do the “great” things. I think that confusing the deadly vice of pride with the great virtue of magnanimity is a common error in many Catholic circles today. St. Alphonsus Liguori called out this error strongly.)
 But really, at the end of the day, the important thing is to remember this: do little things with great love. This is why the Divine Will Missionaries of Mercy apostolate was the backdrop even for my run for Congress; the DWMoM approach is all about little things with great love — simply praying for the Eucharist to be preserved within you, asking for the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, and going out after Mass to say “God Bless you” to people, pray for them, and let them see the Divine Mercy image. Tiny, tiny things — yet infinitely powerful when done in the Divine Will.

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In Conclusion

Now, dear friends, I do not mean to overly insist upon politics. I am certainly not pretending that our own political effort is somehow going to usher in, on its own, the Era of Peace. Far from it! Politics is just one method (albeit, a particularly powerful and noble one) to do our small part in Conquering the World for Christ. I have shared this rather long post with you simply because it is one method that God has recently called me to use. I have not suddenly completely changed my focus; don’t worry, the same things I have been promoting for my seven years writing this blog still remain my primary areas of concern – above all the Divine Mercy and the Divine Will.

My point is simply that we all must do everything we can. We must not be lazy. The times are too urgent. What will be lost if we neglect our duty is too horrible to imagine, and what will be gained if we are faithful is too glorious to comprehend.

So let us return to where we started: half of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is now gone. We’ll never get it back. Will the end of this Year of Mercy usher in the actual end of the Time of Mercy? As I have stated repeatedly, I do not know. But let us determine the degree of our zeal for Proclaiming the Divine Mercy as if it just might. For although I do not know if the Time of Mercy will end (or begin to end) 174 days from now, I do know that a Holy Year the likes of which the world has never seen will end on that day. I do know that the Doors of Mercy throughout all the nations will close on that day, the Feast of Christ the King of 2016. And I know that I do not want to spend eternity wondering what would have happened if I had used the time before that day in a better way.

Now even after saying all of this, many will choose to remain convinced that I am crazy; that I am a delusional Don Quixote who is in reality just another imprudent loose cannon who will be laughed at, fail, and then be forgotten.

So be it. I am willing to be thought of as insane, and I haven’t the slightest desire for worldly recognition, worldly success, or anything of the sort.

But I am not willing, come the Great Judgment of the Last Day, to be found to have been lukewarm. And above all, oh Prince of this World, know this: “there is nothing so fearsome as an enemy who, though beaten, bruised, and bloodied, will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up.” So this I solemnly vow: to never give up until the Kingdom of God has come fully upon Earth, and to exhaust every weapon I can get my hands on — private revelation, theology, politics, fighting abortion, culture, media, holy images, apologetics, academics, witness, admonishment, inspiration, technology… everything (all with the primary themes of proclaiming the Divine Mercy and Living in the Divine Will) — to Conquer the World for Christ and do my small part in laying the foundations for and calling down the Reign of the Divine Will; counting my own life as nothing in this pursuit.

Not all are called to politics. Yet all the baptized are indeed called to do all that they can to contribute to this Divine Conquest.

Therefore, join me, brethren in Christ, in this vow.

Christ the King

 

I have changed “vow to never rest” to “vow to never give up,” because I fear I gave the wrong impression. I simply said that in the spirit of Isaiah 62:1 and Psalm 132:5.:
For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep still, Until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her salvation like a burning torch
I will give my eyes no sleep, my eyelids no rest, Till I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.
 I of course do not literally mean that we should never sleep, enjoy ourselves, or go on vacation! I merely mean that I (and I invite everyone to similarly commit) absolutely will not give up the fight; I will not ever simply re-align my life to center it on comfort/pleasure/safety/job security/health&fitness/convenience/money/career paths/networking/prestige instead of ensuring that the primary focus of my life is doing, until my last breath, my best to work for the Coming of the Kingdom.

An Extraordinary Opportunity for Grace

We are on the cusp of the half-way point of Lent, and also today we have arrived at the vigil of the first day of a truly astonishing opportunity for grace.Floodgates of Divine Grace

March 1st marks the first day of the 33 day Marian Consecration that will consummate on this year’s Liturgical celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation (which must be moved from its ordinary March 25th date this year -due to Good Friday- all the way to the day after Divine Mercy Sunday). For the past several weeks, Fr. Gaitley has been travelling all over my diocese giving talks on what an awesome opportunity this is – and my Bishop, Edward Scharfenberger, is asking the entire Diocese to do this Consecration. 

Now there is so much grace to be received in these 33 days, I cannot even begin to fathom it. This set of 33 days encompasses much of Lent, the Holy Triduum, the entire Octave of Easter, the Divine Mercy Novena (the most important and powerful Novena in existence) and above all, Divine Mercy Sunday:

  • The day about which Our Lord said: “I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy.” (Faustina’s Diary, paragraph 956)
  • The day about which Our Lord said: “On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces… On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened.” (Ibid., 699)
  • The day on which each and every Catholic may easily receive a true second Baptism (remission of all sin and punishment) merely by being in a state of grace -implying having done one’s duty to go to Confession – and receiving Communion. (Ibid., 300, 699, 1109)

It also encompasses the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, and the heavenly birthday of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. It encompasses both fasting and feasting. And let us not forget that this is taking place during the extraordinary and unprecedented Jubilee Year of Mercy in the midst of ever hastening and intensifying Signs of the Times.

Many are even speculating that The Warning could very well be on this Good Friday or Divine Mercy Sunday. As for me, I do not know nor do I even have an opinion on this timing; but how can we go wrong by spiritually preparing sufficiently so that we are ready if indeed it is?

The graces are there – objectively and with certainty: in incomprehensible superabundance. But what we ourselves appropriate from these graces is dependent upon our subjective disposition.

God is not going to magically zap us with grace– that is not the point of this Time of Testing; we must rather do our part. Should we not, therefore, ensure that we are truly in spiritual “high gear,” in the most powerful way possible?

I don’t suppose I need to instruct anybody here on how Our Lady is the quickest, easiest, and surest way to Our Lord; and how 33 Day Consecration is perhaps the most powerful means of devotion to Our Lady. What is more, the Annunciation is the best day to consecrate yourself to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Why? Not only is it the greatest event in the history of creation, but St. Louis de Montfort, the Father of 33 Day Consecration, also insists that this is the best day for such a Consecration because it is also the day that God Himself, as it were, consecrated Himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary. That is to say, it is the day on which He entered her womb and subjected Himself entirely to her. Therefore it is most fitting that we do the same on this day.

Now this 33 day consecration is an awesome opportunity in and of itself, but I wish to present to you two additional practices to exponentially increase the spiritual fruit borne to the point that, I haven’t the slightest doubt, you will be Living in the Divine Will – that is, infinitely exceeding in Sanctity even Spiritual Marriage – if only you do them and do not actively and intentionally oppose grace:

Combine this aforementioned Marian Consecration with a daily reading from the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will, and a daily reading from the Hours of the Passion (up to the Triduum).

This is not just some spiritual regimen I dreamed up. Providence has arranged this:

First of all, it is no mere coincidence that, of Luisa’s many thousands of pages of revelations, these two works are the ones that have already had the Moratorium lifted on their promulgation. It is Providential because, while all of Luisa’s writings are incredibly powerful, these two works stand out for their unparalleled ability to very quickly and easily allow readers of them to build up enormous treasures in Heaven, receive the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, grow in the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, and prepare the ground for the Universal Reign of the Divine Will. Indeed in general, it is beyond question that the two greatest devotions are devotion to Mary and devotion to the Lord’s Passion. So too, when it comes to the Gift of Living in the Divine Will, the greatest way to receive it is through these two paths.Jesus and Mary

But the Providential nature of what is now upon us does not end there:

In the revelations of Jesus to Luisa, the Hours of the Passion, there are 24 Hours of the Passion; hence, 24 separate readings. These begin with the 5pm Hour on Holy Thursday with Our Lord departing from His Blessed Mother, and end with Our Lord’s burial at the 4pm Hour on Good Friday. If, along with beginning our Marian Consecration on March 1st, and in the spirit of Lent, we read one “hour” each day (the readings correspond to one hour of Our Lord’s Passion, but do not actually take a full hour to complete: they are only several pages each on average), then we will finish the Hours of the Passion precisely as the Holy Triduum begins; for there are exactly 24 days from the start of this consecration (March 1st) to Holy Thursday (the first event depicted in Luisa’s 24 hours of the Passion). This allows for Good Friday itself to be set aside for a re-do (even if it must be significantly abridged) of the entire work. Recall as well that Our Lord promised that He will grant the salvation of a soul for every word of these Hours we prayerfully read

And in the revelations of Our Lady to Luisa, the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will, there are 31 days; hence, 31 separate readings. This was designed for the month of May, but can be used any time, and it will correspond perfectly with the month of March (for it too has 31 days). March, though not a month traditionally attributed explicitly to the Holy Virgin, nevertheless really is her month just as much as or more than any other; for it is the Month of the Annunciation, which as I have already said is by far – with no close second – the greatest event in the history of creation. It is the month during which she acquired her greatest title -the greatest title possible for a creature- a title which, for all eternity, shall remain singularly hers: Mother of God.

Now this leaves us with four more days until the Consecration Day itself: the perfect amount of time for an abridged Consecration to the Divine Mercy, as explained by Fr. Gaitley (in his book that was just released, 33 Days to Merciful Love). He teaches four primary steps: 1) Trust, 2) The Little Way, 3) The Offering to Merciful Love, and 4) Darkness. With this configuration, step 3, perfectly Providentially (for it is the step in which we fully give ourselves to the Divine Mercy), falls on Divine Mercy Sunday itself. While I do not in the least wish to dissuade anyone from reading Fr Gaitley’s wonderful book, I will nevertheless be presenting my own abridged version of these four steps, so that they can fit into our regimen on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of April, respectively, and so that anyone who cannot get their hands on a copy of this book does not miss out on these graces, which might just never come again. I will be summarizing Fr. Gaitley’s four steps as 1) Trust, 2) Love, 3) Mercy, and 4) Veil.

Although I do not yet have these four steps summarized, I will be sure to have them available before they become necessary (April 1st, that is); so just check back here (DSDOConnor.com) at that point to download/print them. Alternatively, you can simply replace your readings of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will (which will end March 31st) with an equally sized reading from St. Faustina’s Diary. Feel free to just say a prayer and open the Diary up randomly, trusting the Holy Spirit to direct you to the passages He desires you to see.

How beautiful it is that everything is fitting together like a perfectly designed jigsaw puzzle! I wanted to make this as easy and accessible as possible for everyone (not to mention completely free and online). So I’ve gone ahead and made a PDF file specifically for each day. Here they are! You can simply come back here each day and click on the appropriate PDF, or if you’d prefer to download and/or print the whole thing at once, here is the entirety in one PDF. (Please don’t be scared by the number of pages: the page count is quite deceptive due to page sizing which was out of my control. In ordinary book print this would probably amount to less than half of the page count of this PDF file – so, if you print it, you might even want to set it to print “two per page”).

These prayers apply to each of the following days for the Marian Consecration from St. Louis de Montfort and therefore are not included in each one (to save your printer some ink):

Finally, if you are stumbling upon this in the middle of March: don’t worry. Just start late! Those late to the vineyard receive the same payment.

  1. March 1st – March 24th. These days contain: I)St. Louis de Montfort Consecration prayers II)BVM in Kingdom Reading, and III)Hours of the Passion Reading
    1. March 1st
    2. March 2nd
    3. March 3rd
    4. March 4th
    5. March 5th
    6. March 6th
    7. March 7th
    8. March 8th
    9. March 9th
    10. March 10th
    11. March 11th
    12. March 12th
    13. March 13th
    14. March 14th
    15. March 15th
    16. March 16th
    17. March 17th
    18. March 18th
    19. March 19th
    20. March 20th
    21. March 21st
    22. March 22nd
    23. March 23rd
    24. March 24th
  2. March 25th – March 31st. These days contain: I) St. Louis de Montfort Consecration prayers  II) BVM in Kingdom Reading, and III) Divine Mercy Novena prayers
    1. March 25th
    2. March 26th
    3. March 27th
    4. March 28th
    5. March 29th
    6. March 30th
    7. March 31st
  3. April 1st – April 2nd. I) St. Louis de Montfort Consecration prayers , II) Divine Mercy Novena prayers , and III) Divine Mercy Consecration meditations
    1. April 1st  (+at this time, check DSDOConnor.com for the Divine Mercy Consecration part of this PDF or simply read from Divine Mercy Diary)
    2. April 2nd (+at this time, check DSDOConnor.com for the Divine Mercy Consecration part of this PDF or simply read from Divine Mercy Diary)
  4. The Consecration Days.
    1. April 3rd – (Divine Mercy Sunday): Divine Mercy Consecration (Check DSDOConnor.com for this PDF or simply read from Divine Mercy Diary)
    2. April 4th – Consecration to Jesus through Mary

I wish to vigorously encourage at least trying this. I need not repeat how utterly unprecedented and urgent these times are. Serious regimens like these are how we respond! Special Forces do not pick away at the enemy here and there when it pleases them — they attack with ferocity and with strategy, discipline and perseverance. We, as the true special forces of the Church Militant, must do likewise.

I will share that I am committing myself to this regimen, even though it completely overlaps with an undertaking that I may very well be engaged in, which, if God does indeed wind up calling me to it, will likely wind up being the most difficult and exhausting thing I have ever done, not to mention extraordinarily time consuming (I ask you for your prayers). I hope you, too, will consider this Consecration regimen, even if doing to it will be difficult and constitute a true sacrifice. Some tips:

  • Do the readings/meditations whenever you prefer, but if you do it early in the morning it will seem more like a joy and less like a burden.
  • If you need to reward yourself a bit to help make this happen, that’s fine. You can do these readings (meditatively and prayerfully) on your favorite chair, with your favorite beverage, in your favorite room, or overlooking your favorite view. It’s not exactly objectively as good as kneeling in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, but that’s okay! It’s better than not doing them.
  • If you need to do your daily Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet while driving or walking in order to make time, that’s okay too.

It is customary to, at the end of the 33 days, and along with the Consecration to Mary, put on a chain (that, if you please, you may wear for the rest of your life around your ankle/wrist/waist) to symbolize that you are a willing and loving slave of Mary and, in this case, a slave of the Divine Will. I have inconspicuously worn my chain for 5 years, and I know it has been a great channel of grace in my life.

Now I will close my plea to you all to follow this most noble, powerful, and holy path by quoting the man himself, St. Louis de Montfort, in his great Treatise, True Devotion to Mary:

“…the greatest saints, those richest in grace and virtue will be the most assiduous in praying to the most Blessed Virgin, looking up to her as the perfect model to imitate and as a powerful helper to assist them. I said that this will happen especially towards the end of the world, and indeed soon, because Almighty God and his holy Mother are to raise up great saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs. ...These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her food, guided by her spirit, supported by her arm, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other. With one hand they will give battle, overthrowing and crushing heretics and their heresies, schismatics and their schisms, idolaters and their idolatries, sinners and their wickedness. With the other hand they will build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God, namely, the Blessed Virgin, who is called by the Fathers of the Church the Temple of Solomon  and the City of God . By word and example they will draw all men to a true devotion to her and though this will make many enemies, it will also bring about many victories and much glory to God alone.

Bourguereau-madonnalilies

P.S. To those who joined us online in prayer yesterday, my apologies for the session crash. My internet is extremely reliable and almost never crashes; the fact that it did just that in the middle of our Divine Mercy/Divine Will prayer meeting is a testimony to how much the devil does not want us praying in the Divine Will. Let us not permit him to prevent us.

 

Inspiration

Forenote:

I am working on making my Divine Will page, www.DSDOConnor.com/DivineWill into a compilation of resources and comprehensive introduction to Luisa’s revelations. If directing someone you’d like to introduce to the Divine Will to a 90 page PDF (my Ebook) might be a bit much, feel free to direct him there instead. From that page, one can choose either brief overviews or more in-depth explorations of Luisa’s writings.

 

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Dear Friends,

How much admonishing I do on this blog!

And yet, admonishment without inspiration is nothing but Jansenism. Therefore I would like to bring you several brief video clips that I have often used to bolster my own courage and inspiration from time to time.

God knows we are all weak creatures, ever so inclined toward slothfulness; so He gives us many ways to pluck up courage and respond to our callings with zeal. Jesus said to Luisa Piccarreta “My daughter, don’t you know that discouragement kills souls more than all other vices?  Therefore, courage, courage, because just as discouragement kills, courage revives, and is the most praiseworthy act that the soul can do, because while feeling discouraged, from that very discouragement she plucks up courage...” Jesus also told St. Faustina that discouragement is the greatest obstacle to holiness.

Therefore, be zealous. Especially during this Holy Year. And let these clips help you. When you feel discouragement creeping in; or perhaps even starting to utterly overwhelm you, then say a prayer and perhaps give one (or more) of these a watch. So long as the virtue of moderation is observed, do not hesitate to watch them whenever you feel the need. Just be sure that every ounce of the inspiration you receive from them is not permitted to be channeled into some vain or proud motive, but is instead held captive for Christ.

Finally, please be advised that, while I would never post a clip that violates my beliefs in what should and should not be portrayed in film, nevertheless much of what follows is not for children and not for the faint-hearted. Also, there are spoilers; if you have not seen (but do plan to see) a movie that a clip is from, then don’t watch it.

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This clip from the 1998 Les Miserables reminds me of the power of Mercy, and how I must be merciful, even when — and especially when — mercy is costly and difficult rather than cheap and easy. This clip is a bit longer than the others, but well worth it. It also comprises the first minutes of the movie, so no spoilers here.

I cannot say exactly how or why or for what, but I find this trailer for Restless Heart: the Confessions of St Augustine very inspirational

 

The next scenes are from The Giver. They might not make sense if you don’t know the gist of the plot

This scene from the Giver reminds me to heed the calls of God on the heart (which I consider as this scene’s “emotion” reference) instead of succumbing to the temptations of the flesh to fleeting pleasures (which I consider as this scene’s “feelings” reference)

This scene from the Giver reminds me that ultimately it is to some degree my fault if women in my town have abortions, because I could be praying and sidewalk counseling outside where they have them, for I am among the relatively few (as, no doubt, are readers of this blog) who understand the horror of abortion and the power of even one soul praying outside a Planned Parenthood.

And this final part of the Giver I find to be a very inspiring analogy for the coming Warning — the Illumination of Conscience; though it certainly did not intend to be that.

A brief bit of background: The scene begins with the main character escaping with a baby that they were going to kill (see the previous clip). His goal is to pass through the “barrier of memory” (a stupid and impossible concept, but oh well), which will cause all of the memories to return to the people of this dystopian society that blocks all emotion from its members. I find this “return of memories” to be similar to what we expect from The Warning.

This final scene from the Lord of the Rings — the Return of the King, so reminds me of what we now await — the Glorious Reign of Peace, and it inspires me to even now prepare the ground for that Glorious Reign by proclaiming the Divine Mercy and living in the Divine Will.

 

Above all, the Passion of the Christ. No other movie comes close. Buy it

This compilation of a few different scenes from Beyond the Gates reminds me not to avoid sufferings, but to expose myself to them for the sake of the Glory of God and the Salvation of Souls, for in them is found the only thing humans can do that the angels envy: suffering for Christ. (By the way, I highly recommend watching this entire movie – don’t rent it, buy it, and lend it to others. If you are going to do that, then skip this clip!) It reminds me that God is truly found in the midst of the most terrible situations. The final scene from Beyond the Gates reminds me how fortunate I am to have time to work for the Coming of God’s Kingdom, and the freedom to do so — and how I therefore have a grave duty to use it well.

This scene from the Butterfly Circus reminds me to bear all wrongs patiently, and never lose my peace even in the face of revolting things done to me or said about/to me. It especially reminds me not to expect that everything will be sunshine and roses even if I am doing God’s Will and engaging in works of mercy.

 

This scene from the Rite reminds me of the power of simple Faith over the most terrifying demons, and that if I have Faith, I need fear nothing, but proceed with boldness to overcome any obstacle. The main character has been a seminarian for four years but, until this scene, truly had no faith and was nothing but a skeptic/agnostic.

 

This one is a bit of a stretch, but it works for me so I’ll post it in case it works for you also. This clip, though of course having a very fictional setting (which might not make sense if you haven’t seen/read Lord of the Rings), nevertheless helps remind me of the fleeting nature of this earthly life, and how I must ensure that I never, not for one day, live it in such a way that is directed at Earth instead of Heaven.

 

 

Is there anyone who has not drawn great inspiration from Sam’s Speech to Frodo?

 

This scene from the movie, The Kingdom of Heaven (a movie I would not overall recommend), is a great reminder of Judgment Day and our duties before it. I actually put this on my YouTube channel quite some time ago and it has since garnered many views:

This scene from Hotel Rwanda shows the turning point of the main character, where he fundamentally transitions from selfishness and fear to selflessness and courage. After the U.N. abandoned — after, of course, evacuating all the non-Rwandans– the Tutsis even as all the children in an orphanage arrive hoping to escape, he forgets about his vain worldly immediate goals of preserving his hotel and instead sacrifices himself for the human beings in front of him. I watch this to be inspired to make the same choice in my own life:

From For Greater Glory, the martyrdom of Blessed José Sánchez del Río. Sad yet beautiful beyond words. To add to the importance of this, it was just announced that he will be canonized. I don’t suppose I need say what this reminds me of. 

 

This final scene from I Am Legend, where the main character reveals, moments before his self-sacrificial heroic act, that he has converted from being a skeptic who disbelieves in Providence and God (shown in the first half of this video) to the very opposite, inspires me to give up hope on no one (for God’s grace can easily – in a moment – turn His most vociferous opponent into His most ardent soldier – Acts 9:4) and to remember that sacrifice is the measure of love

Platitudinous, yes… but somehow “Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it” so very much sticks with me and inspires me from this scene from the beginning of Braveheart. How often we neglect our callings because of petty concerns, anxieties, fears, and worries. It should never be so! Jesus constantly tells us to not be afraid. There is no reason for fear, or the hesitation and shirking of duties that comes from it, in following the callings He has placed on our hearts; let us take His word for it.

This scene from Gladiator, particularly the line “Brothers, what we do in life echoes in eternity.” How true!!! We should approach each and every day with the vigor that the soldiers would have received from that speech and charged into battle with. One of the questions the Church asks when pondering whether to canonize a saint is “Did he rejoice at the near approach of death?” We should all rejoice at this!

If you, too, happen to find any of these clips particularly inspirational, then I recommend downloading them onto your hard drive. You never know when YouTube will decide to remove a video. This program enables you to do so: http://www.ytddownloader.com/ Just be very careful as you install it — they will try to trick you into installing a bunch of other garbage (yahoo toolbars, etc.) that you have to very carefully “decline” each step of the way.

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ADDENDUM

I would like to make one final note:

Some of you perhaps feel discouraged because you think that Pope Francis has condemned condemnation of sin, that he has undermined the necessity of your apostolates, that he is insisting upon an entirely different form of the Mission of the Gospel than you have dedicated yourself to and sacrificed so much for, or something of the sort.

He has not.

Here is what he formally prepared, wrote, and released through the Vatican (meaning it is much more authoritative than off-the-cuff remarks [perhaps even only allegedly said] in interviews, etc.) just last week:

We can and we must judge situations of sin …It is our task to admonish those who err and to denounce the evil and injustice of certain ways of acting, for the sake of setting victims free and raising up those who have fallen.

… Our primary task is to uphold the truth with love (cf. Eph 4:15). Only words spoken with love and accompanied by meekness and mercy can touch our sinful hearts. Harsh and moralistic words and actions risk further alienating those whom we wish to lead to conversion and freedom, reinforcing their sense of rejection and defensiveness.”

https://w2.vatican.va...

This Pontificate is not actually confusing. There is nothing confusing about a Pope opening up footwashing to women, updating annulment law, or tweaking the Canonical details of the reception of Communion; the Vicar of Christ is well within his rights to do these things, and the opinion of individual lay people like me on such actions is not particularly important. Nor does God need to consult me before He steers the Church through His Vicar; His words to people who think that He does need to consult them is the same as they were to Saul on the day of his conversion “…it hurts you to kick against the goads.” (Acts 26:14)

“Love the sinner, hate the sin” always has been and always will be the mission of the Church. Pope Francis focuses especially on the former, but the mission itself has not changed one iota.

Almost four years ago, when I was making www.PrepareToSeeHim.org — during the Pontificate of Benedict XVI and in preparation for the Year of Faith — I was striving to put together a website that was both overflowing with mercy in its approach, and also utterly unafraid of calling out those evils that so inundate the world today; so praised and promoted by mainstream Godless ideology; so destructive to souls. I hope I at least somewhat succeeded, as there are now at least one hundred thousand Evangelization Cards that announce this URL circulating around the country and hundreds, if not thousands, more mailed out each week. Every day my wife and I pray that each and every one of those cards will bear abundant fruit.

As I was writing that site, I had the teachings of Pope Benedict on my mind inspiring me. I now have the teachings of Pope Francis on my mind inspiring me. So much drama has transpired during those years. So many debates. So much dissension over relatively minor questions. So much factiousness. And yet…

My mission has not changed. The mission has not changed.

Do not be distracted. Do not be discouraged. Eyes on the prize.

As the events that must come continue to transpire, commentary & debate will seem ever more vital, and the temptation to absorb ourselves in it will ever increase. We must recognize that as a temptation, fight it, and refuse to succumb to it.

In reality, it is the mission that is becoming ever more vital, and we must urgently absorb ourselves in that:

 

Live in the Divine Will

Proclaim the Divine Mercy

Eucharist, Rosary, Chaplet, Scripture, Fasting, Confession, Works of Mercy

Pray, pray, pray

And let love – utterly pure, disinterested, complete, self-sacrificial love – be the absolutely unquestionable form of each and every one of your decisions, thoughts, words, and deeds.

May

Jesus, I Trust in You.

Thy Will Be Done.

Be ever on your mind, heart, and lips.

 

Our Lady’s Apparitions and the Season of Advent

 

I gave a talk locally this past week entitled “Our Lady’s Apparitions and the Season of Advent.” It wound up being recorded (audio only), so I decided to post it here for anyone interested. (You can simply download the mp3 directly with this link).  There’s nothing new here for anyone already acquainted with Our Lady’s apparitions, but it might be worth sharing with those who have not really been exposed to this aspect of our Faith:

And So It Begins

Indeed, it begins. Today marks the first day in the Holy Year of Mercy.

Permit me to remind you that this extraordinary Jubilee (Holy) Year is truly unprecedented — although the Church has been proclaiming Holy Years every few decades for over 700 years, during which a Holy Door is opened in Rome, in this particular Holy Year, a Holy Door will be opened in every single diocese in the entire world. These Holy Doors, proclaimed by the authority of the Vicar of Christ, will all become “Doors of Mercy” (I quote verbatim from the Bull of Indiction) on this upcoming Sunday (December 13th).

And so, starting this Sunday, every person throughout the entire world will have the opportunity to literally, physically “pass through the door of mercy.”

“Before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice…” – Jesus to St. Faustina

The Door of Mercy Has Been Opened
Pope Francis Opening the Holy Door of Mercy. December 8th, 2015

A mere coincidence? Doubtful. Pope Francis explicitly acknowledged St. Faustina in this very same Bull of Indiction. Make no mistake about it: the Holy Father knows what he is doing. And I dare say he knows what is coming upon this world, though he is being very careful not to be too explicit with this knowledge so as to not cause the wrong type of a response. Consider as well that he has consecrated his Papacy to Our Lady of Fatima (the prophecies of which have not yet been completely fulfilled). He has urged us to read Lord of the World (an apocalyptic novel written by a priest about the rise of the Antichrist). His every decision smacks of unrivaled urgency — even (and especially) those things he does that might not be the most prudent. He does them, despite the risk of their potentially scandalous nature, because he is the primary laborer of the Final Harvest and he knows that time is incredibly short to open up hearts so they may receive the Divine Mercy when the long-prophesied events come. The mere existence of this Papacy (and the conditions that brought it about) is another unprecedented Sign of the Times: Pope Benedict knew it as well. That is why he earlier called for the Year of Faith (though it was not an Extraordinary Jubilee) — during which we would focus on the Catechism — because he knew that never before seen diabolical confusion (see 2 Thessalonians) was inundating the Church, and was about to inundate the Church even more explosively. (Hold fast to every single solitary word of the Catechism, my friends.) And perhaps I need to remind you that Pope St. John Paul II knew full well. He said: “We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the Antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.Lord_of_the_World_book_cover_1907

Back to Holy Years. These Jubilee Years happen every 25 years, and have been happening every 25 years (unless prevented by political discord) since the 1400s, although they started the preceding century. Such Holy Years are called “ordinary” Jubilees. It would therefore be foolish to read a prophetic meaning to something that is a mere mathematical certainty. But Extraordinary Universal Jubilees (like this Holy Year of Mercy) are quite different: by their nature they are of extreme importance considering the time at hand [with one odd exception whereby Pius XI called one to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his ordination]. Unfortunately it is difficult to find records of the Extraordinary Jubilees before the 1900s, but we do know that Pius IV called one in the 1500s to beg God’s grace upon the Council of Trent in response to the splintering of Christianity from the Protestant Reformation. Pope Leo XIII proclaimed two in the 1880s as the Church in Rome was in the midst of so many trials (so great was the distress for the Church in Rome that three of that century’s four the Ordinary Jubilees — which had been happening for 400 years at that point — could not even be held). The last two Extraordinary Jubilee Years were proclaimed (in 1933 and 1983) in order to mark the 1,900th and the 1,950th anniversaries of Redemption. Paul VI called a partial year Jubilee to celebrate the Second Vatican Council upon its closure. St. Pius X called one for a few months to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

So why am I bringing that all up?

Because this particular Extraordinary Universal Jubilee Year is utterly unique not only in the way I have already pointed out (regarding Holy Doors being opened everywhere in the world), but in that no one knows what exactly it is a response to. The only clear reason given in the Bull of Indiction was that this is a time in which “we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives.” (paragraph 3)

Now if you are an enemy of the Pope inside the Church, then you have a very simple answer: “The Pope is inflamed with pride and just wants more attention.” Or “The Pope is calling our attention to ‘Mercy’ as a demonic ploy to change Church teaching on sacrilegious Communion.

But if you are a good Catholic who has not utterly lost his mind and set himself up against the Vicar of Christ, then you really, it seems, can only come to one conclusion:

This Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is a direct response to Pope Francis’ God-given insight that the Time of Mercy is on the brink of ending, and we must now hold nothing back in proclaiming the Divine Mercy.

 

Image 1611 Dec. 08 19.12I’m sorry, but just thinking that Mercy is a good thing and that now would be a nice time to be a little more enthusiastic in proclaiming it would never be sufficient to motivate the Holy Father to proclaim a Universal Extraordinary Jubilee Year.

Consider as well the beginning and ending days of this Holy Year: today, the great Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and next year, the Solemnity of Christ the King, respectively. Both of these great Feasts bear the aura of the Triumph of God — the Reign of the Divine Will; the former in its true initiation, the latter in its true fulfillment.

So can we therefore be certain that this Holy Year will be the world’s last chance at the Divine Mercy before the Divine Justice — the Great Chastisements prophesied by countless saints and above all by the Book of Revelation — will fall upon the earth immediately after it, or at least gradually after it leading up to the great 2,000th Jubilee of Redemption? Of course not.

But every sign seems to be indicating that this is a very realistic possibility.

So this is what I exhort, plea, urge, and beg each of you: prayerfully consider making use of this Holy Year for the Coming of the Kingdom like you have never made use of any year before.

I am not advising imprudence. Do not do anything you will regret if the world somehow manages to limp on in its current state for a couple more decades. So continue to honorably fulfill the duties of your state in life. Continue to pay your bills (including debts you owe on loans). Continue to do your job diligently. If you are a student, continue to work diligently and strive for good grades. Above all, be a good spouse and parent, if that is what you are: this is your vocation, and therefore your path to holiness.

But I am exhorting you to consider this: giving the Coming of the Kingdom the benefit of the doubt — at least for this year. Let it be the sole objective of your life. Some concrete ways of doing so could include:

  • Is there some daily or weekly undertaking that you could give up and replace with more prayer or works of mercy? Perhaps a television show, a movie-watching routine, a text-conversation habit, a high-maintenance friendship that is not edifying for either party involved, a sports team overzealously followed, an unnecessary news-checking habit… *Or maybe all of the above.* (Don’t be easy on yourself with this. Examine your daily routine and cut out the fat. We are soldiers, and we must act like it.)
  • If so, consider giving it up, or at least decreasing its frequency, and replacing it with a daily or weekly:
    • Holy hour — or two, or three (preferably in front of the Blessed Sacrament)
    • DWMoM outing
    • Striving to be a DWMoM in Spirit
    • Prayer and sidewalk counseling outside Planned Parenthood
    • Visits to the local nursing home, hospital, hospice, or prison.
    • Some other Corporal or Spiritual Work of Mercy
  • Always have Divine Mercy Evangelization cards on you, ready to hand out to people or simply place in various locations. We have more on hand and will be happy to send them out as long as we can! Just request them here if you think you might use them.
  • I would like to extend an invitation to anyone interested: Feel free join me at the Albany DWMoM (Divine Will Missionaries of Mercy) group’s weekly meetings. Every Sunday — starting the first Sunday of the Year of Mercy (that is, December 13th) — at 3:00pm (Eastern Time) (edit: This Sunday we’ll be starting at 4:00pm to allow local people to first go to the Albany Cathedral’s Holy Door opening Mass). These meetings will be at my home, but we’re planning to host them online as well so that anyone who wishes to join us in prayer can do so remotely. This will be both a Divine Will/Divine Mercy prayer group and a group dedicated to discussing the Proclamation of the Divine Mercy and Living in the Divine Will. The link to join these meetings will be available at the www.DWMoM.org website, which you can simply click on Sundays at 3pm.
  • Have you been feeling called out of a stressful job situation because it demands too much of your time? Perhaps now is the time to work a more reasonable, even if lower-paying, job.
  • Perhaps you could put off plans of worldly ambition, at least for this year: seeking career promotions, bigger houses, lucrative investments, additional (unneeded) educational degrees, etc.
  • Perhaps you have a large amount of free time due to the status of your state in life; retired, in-between jobs yet financially stable, able to pay the bills without many hours of work a week, or whatever else. Consider dedicating yourself in an extraordinary way, this year, to the Proclamation of the Divine Mercy.
  • Discerning your vocation, and very unsure as to what your calling is? Perhaps you could put off zealously trying to figure it out this year, and instead simply “go with the flow” that God gives to your life, while dedicating yourself to Living in the Divine Will and Proclaiming the Divine Mercy.

Aim for daily, where possible. What is most important in life should be a daily occurrence. And — as if this weren’t already true! — the Holy Year puts plainly before our eyes the simple fact that Evangelization, taking its most important form of Proclaiming the Divine Mercy, is of the utmost importance.monstrance_divine_mercy_rays

But remember that prayer is indeed the greatest Work of Mercy. Do not be anxious if some given day, or week, or perhaps even month, you simply cannot go out and do works of mercy. Intercessory prayer every day is more than sufficient in such scenarios. What we really need is Mary’s more so than Martha’s. Beg God’s mercy on this world so in need of it. Offer up all of your sufferings for that intention. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary unceasingly. Do all that you do in the Divine Will. Offer yourself to God as a victim soul. Pray the Hours of the Passion as much as possible and be instructed by Our Lady on how to live continuously in the Will of her Son. Read the Divine Mercy Diary and let it guide your entire life.

The bottom line is this: God is going to win. His Mercy will triumph. He will do this directly to whatever extent He has to, but He prefers to delegate. Though omnipotent, He is so humble that He wishes His mere creatures to be the channels of His triumph. Therefore I am utterly convinced that our efforts this Holy Year, even the very most minimal by human standards, will reap a superabundant harvest. Just give God an excuse to act. Let Him out, and He will astonish — even if we have to wait until Judgment Day to visibly see what astonishing things He did. Let Him out through your acts done In His Will.

Call me crazy, but I really believe that just walking through the streets in prayer can now achieve what once took a Eucharistic Procession to achieve. I really believe that, if you live in the Divine Will and desire to proclaim the Divine Mercy, saying “God Bless you” to someone can achieve what once took a long sermon to accomplish. I really believe that handing someone a simple Divine Mercy card (or even just placing it somewhere) can do in a soul what once required convincing her to read a long book. I really believe that, even if to us our attempts seem so inadequate, miserable, and meager, that nevertheless through our prayer in the Divine Will, we can be the greatest intercessors and missionaries in history. Should we therefore stop at the minimum? Of course not. But let us trust that even these tiny acts on our part can indeed be and will be multiplied a thousand fold, and let that trust determine the degree of our inspiration to be faithful and attentive to so great an invitation.

It’s very easy for us to say “Fiat.” Let us say it this year.

***

Endnote 1:

Let us say, for the sake of argument, that this Holy Year will come and go like all the other ones have. By and large, ordinary life continues, and the prophecies do not yet come to pass.Still no warning, miracle, obvious Great Chastisements, or Era of Peace. That is quite possible; only God knows the future with certainty. Even in that case, please answer me this: Do you really think you will regret, on Judgment Day, having favored (for a year) the Proclamation of the Divine Mercy over and above worldly ambitions, comforts, and pleasures?

To simply have the courage to ask that question is to immediately know its answer.

Endnote 2:

I would like to leave you with this video I made on Faith. A year or so ago I realized that a certain inspiration has been fundamental in my life and in guiding my apostolates. Ever since then I have been trying to put in words just what this inspiration is. I decided to make a video instead of an essay. Here is my meager attempt! Please forgive the novice nature of this video; all I have is a webcam and a $1 microphone at my disposal. (The first part of the video is addressed to those who doubt. The part of the video addressed to the Faithful starts at about 17:36 in).

(The audio issues are fixed — watch with comfort!)

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Dear Friends,

Although I haven’t posted in several months, I’ve been busy at work. First of all, I have published two new articles: a page of advice on discernment, courtship, engagement, marriage, and parenting, and an article on the glory of Manual Labor. I’ve also made important updates to the Preparedness Post (you might want to read through this again if you’ve already done so).

I’d next like to encourage you all to join me in one of my favorite hobbies: prayer walks in cemeteries. This weekend is our last chance of the year to gain a Plenary Indulgence for doing just that. (Now, ideally Plenary Indulgences are gained each and every day, but when special ones such as these are offered, we should take advantage of them for the graces contained therein.) Cemeteries first and foremost are perfect places to pray for that most often neglected intention — the repose of the holy souls in Purgatory.

Secondly, cemeteries serve as a powerful reminder of our own end. I wish I could convey how much peace and joy I find in strolling through the large, beautiful, old Albany Rural Cemetery near my home. One day I looked up the number of people buried there, and to my surprise it far exceeded the population of the city of Albany. In few other places can I find such consolation in the midst of trials as I can there, where the simple fact is before my eyes that this life is a very short and passing thing which is already in the distant past for the vast majority of the Church (which of course includes the Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering), and it is not our home, and we should not ever let the difficulties of it disturb our peace any more than we would let the imperfections of a hotel room we would spend one night in disturb our peace. In the twinkling of an eye it is over, and walking in prayer amidst the tombstones of more people than live in the adjacent city truly immerses me in the splendor of that truth. I pray it does likewise for you all!

Thirdly, cemeteries provide an oasis of peace and beauty in stark contrast to the ugliness and noise that seem to dominate society almost everywhere today. In few other places can you get away from the loud engines, terrible blaring music, obnoxious billboards, concrete & sheet metal monstrosities, boisterous unholy conversations, and the like (I could go on with that list for many pages!). Remember that beauty is a transcendent need of the human heart. If you find yourself drained, depressed, anxious, or melancholy, perhaps you should ask yourself if you’ve had sufficient beauty in your life recently. You need not spend thousands of dollars on a vacation to some idyllic location to find this utterly necessary beauty — you can simply take a stroll in the nearest cemetery! (Try and find one either sufficiently large to remove you from the noise of and exposure to nearby streets, or sufficiently secluded to do the same. I also recommend finding a hilly cemetery with plenty of trees.). Though risking a bit of gloating here (I will do so because I pray this counts as “Boasting in the Lord”!), I must say that I know I find more joy from a stroll through through Albany Rural Cemetery (and the adjacent Catholic St. Agnes Cemetery) with my wife and son, with both prayer and edifying conversation (which occurs naturally when our ultimate end is so starkly presented in front of our eyes), than worldly families do from these same vacations that cost them untold thousands, hobbies that require enormous dedication, and countless possessions that really only possess them. If only you insist on forming your interests and desires in order to be satisfied with the simple blessings that God gives, you will always be joyful and the chains of former worldliness falling off your shoulders will make you feel lighter than air.

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I would also like to share a radio interview I did last month about the Divine Will Missionaries of Mercy (below). I speak more about the Holy Year of Mercy during this 37 minute interview as well, so I’d recommend listening to it if you have the time. I have been updating the site, www.DWMoM.org, as well. I am striving to put more emphasis in being a DWMoM in spirit (since I know that most will not be able to be DWMoM city street walkers as I am), which something all of us can and should do. It is on my heart like fire, and I hope it is on yours as well, to not let this upcoming Holy Year of Mercy go to waste. It starts in a mere month! Let us not allow ourselves to eternally regret failing to do all we can to proclaim the Divine Mercy while there is still time left. God expects of us, as he told St. Faustina, “a great number of souls who will glorify His mercy for all eternity.” He said that the time of mercy will soon be over. Dear friends, if this Holy Year of Mercy (at the end of which the Door of Mercy will, literally, close) is not a sign that time is running out, then what is?

(Here is an mp3 file of the same interview)

Finally, I have great news: the rumor I mentioned I heard last post turned out to be true. Two of Luisa’s works: the Hours of the Passion and the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will, have indeed had the Moratorium on the publication of their English versions lifted (No doubt this is a sign of things to come with all of Luisa’s works!). Dear friends, do not underestimate the incredible importance of this. Jesus tells Luisa that these writings on the Divine Will are the very thing that will cause the Triumph of the Church. He says that a single morsel of knowledge pertaining to truths on the Divine Will that you learn on Earth is another Kingdom you inherit in Heaven. He even promises that for every word you prayerfully read of the Hours of the Passion, a soul will be saved. Please, please, read them! Here are some places you can receive them: