10 years ago today: The helicopter ride to nowhere

28 Feb 2013. Benedict’s helicopter ride was very unlike Nixon’s. Nixon boarded Marine One, took off, and never came back to the White House. Nixon resigned, properly and validly. He resigned the Office. He signed a document that was short and to the point. Benedict COULD have resigned validly, had he followed Nixon’s example.

Instead, Benedict tried to resign only the ministry – the governance – the “doing,” while trying to remain somehow as the hidden contemplative papal member, still wearing white, keeping “Pope” in his title, addressed as “His Holiness,” imparting his Apostolic Blessing. He OBVIOUSLY intended to REMAIN in some way PAPAL.

Benedict’s helicopter didn’t really take him anywhere. He remained inside the Vatican for nearly another decade. His resignation was wholly invalid, grounded in Substantial Error(can.188), and also not properly manifested (can.332.2). He fully retained the Office. He remained the one and only living pope until 31 Dec 2022, when he passed away and the chair became vacant. Jorge Bergoglio is not now, never has been, and never will be, true pope of the One True Church. Thanks be to God.


Ten years ago today, Pope Benedict explained to everyone that he wasn’t really resigning, and in fact wasn’t going anywhere…

“The ‘always’ is also a for ever – there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke thisI do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences, and so on. I am not abandoning the cross, but remaining in a new way at the side of the crucified Lord. I no longer bear the power of office for the governance of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, in the enclosure of Saint Peter. Saint Benedict, whose name I bear as Popewill be a great example for me in this. He showed us the way for a life which, whether active or passive, is completely given over to the work of God.”

FAQ: Did Pope Benedict reveal his intent to bifurcate the papacy in the actual Declaratio?

Originally posted

Answer: He absolutely did.
It’s far more subtle than the devastating evidence shown previously, but it is clearly visible when read within the context of Benedict’s erroneous ideas about the papacy, which we shall review as a primer. Also, the subtlety within the Declaratio is strategic, due to the criticality of this particular speech/document.
Before I explain this, we need to go over a couple things just to make sure you are framing this up properly in your mind, working from a true premise, and allowing linear thinking to do its work. The majority of reader comments I’ve received, whether they be positive or negative, reveal a disturbing level emotive reasoning. Don’t fall into this trap. Wishing  for Francis not to be pope cannot play any role in your search for truth. Arriving at the conclusion that Pope Benedict failed in his attempt to bifurcate the papacy, therefore rendering his abdication invalid by reason of substantial error, cannot in any way be influenced by your dislike of Francis or out of a desire to see him removed/expunged. That’s called intellectual dishonesty. The flip side of this, and equally dishonest, is resisting the truth out of fear of ridicule or being seen as some sort of freak. PLEASE STOP… THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU.  Your feelings don’t have any bearing on what’s true, and the truth doesn’t care about your feelings. So put Francis out of your mind, demand absolute objectivity from yourself, and start with the Substantial Error supposition. Work through the available evidence, rationally judge the weight, and make your conclusion based on where the weight lies.
Before we get to the Declaratio, we need to review the smoking gun. This is from Benedict’s final general audience of 27 February 2013, the day before his invalid resignation did not become effective, where he exposes his erroneous notion of the indelible nature of the Petrine Ministry. In doing so, he directly contradicts all those previous statements where he claimed he was “renouncing”, “leaving”, and would then be Pontiff “no longer, but a simple pilgrim”. This is the lens through which we must evaluate the Declaratio (comments/emphasis mine):

Here, allow me to go back once again to 19 April 2005 (Ratzinger’s elevation to the papacy). The real gravity of the decision was also due to the fact that from that moment on I was engaged always and forever by the Lord. Always – anyone who accepts the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and completely to everyone, to the whole Church. In a manner of speaking, the private dimension of his life is completely eliminated. I was able to experience, and I experience it even now, that one receives one’s life precisely when one gives it away. Earlier I said that many people who love the Lord also love the Successor of Saint Peter and feel great affection for him; that the Pope truly has brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, throughout the world, and that he feels secure in the embrace of your communion; because he no longer belongs to himself, he belongs to all and all belong to him.

The “always” is also a “for ever” – there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. (<in his mind> the papal coronation indelibly anoints the pontiff in a distinct way, which is different from, and more profound than, the priestly or episcopal ordination/consecration). My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this. (the indelibility is <in his mind> irrevocable – Benedict is pope forever, but <in his mind> now exercising only part of the Petrine ministry). I do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences, and so on. I am not abandoning the cross, but remaining in a new way at the side of the crucified Lord. I no longer bear the power of office for the governance of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, in the enclosure of Saint Peter. Saint Benedict, whose name I bear as Pope, will be a great example for me in this. He showed us the way for a life which, whether active or passive, is completely given over to the work of God. HERE

“I remain, so to speak, in the enclosure of Saint Peter.” I wish I could find video to see if he winked when he said that.

In summary, Benedict erroneously believes that acceptance of the papacy itself confers an indelible and irrevocable character on the man who accepts it (similar to the indelible marks of ordination to the priesthood and consecration to the episcopate, except in the case of becoming pope, there is no such thing). Therefore <in his mind> he (Benedict) remains pope even after he “resigns” the governing office and passes the throne to the next “pope”.

This is SUBSTANTIAL ERROR. Honestly, I don’t understand how anyone doesn’t see it already at this point. But let’s press on.

In the original post where I declared with moral certainty the invalid abdication, we also entered into evidence as Exhibit B, Benedict’s decision to retain the papal title as an “emeritus”, to retain the vesture, to physically remain at the Vatican, etc etc. We also reviewed Exhibit C, Abp. Ganswein’s comments last year where he dropped the bombshell of an “Expanded Petrine Ministry.” These were not off the cuff remarks, but rather a formal, well-prepared speech on Benedict’s papacy, given at the Greg in Rome on 20 May 2016:

Archbishop Gänswein…said that Pope Francis and Benedict are not two popes “in competition” with one another, but represent one “expanded” Petrine Office with “an active member” and a “contemplative.”

“Therefore, from 11 February 2013, the papal ministry is not the same as before,” he said. “It is and remains the foundation of the Catholic Church; and yet it is a foundation that Benedict XVI has profoundly and lastingly transformed during his exceptional pontificate.”

He said that “before and after his resignation” Benedict has viewed his task as “participation in such a ‘Petrine ministry’. (Not in the governance of the Church in the world, but in its “essentially spiritual nature”, through prayer and suffering.)
“He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step he took on 11 February 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry,” Gänswein explained, something “quite impossible after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.“ (Do you see how this echoes Benedict’s erroneous idea of the papal coronation being an irreversible event, creating an indelible/irrevocable mark on the recipient forever? It’s exactly the same idea Benedict put forth in his final general audience).

“Therefore he has also not retired to a monastery in isolation but stays within the Vatican — as if he had taken only one step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy.” With that step, he said, he has enriched the papacy with “his prayer and his compassion placed in the Vatican Gardens.” HERE

Not that we need any additional evidence, but many are clamoring that they just won’t accept reality unless it can be shown that these ideas/intentions can actually be found in the Declaratio itself. So let’s have a look at that, shall we?

As I said at the top, the evidence in the actual Declaratio is far more subtle, out of necessity. Benedict, knowing the extraordinary nature of what he was about to do, would have spent an enormous amount of time writing this short speech. Every single word would have been chosen with great care. Keep in mind, the actual Declaratio was written and read out by Benedict in Latin, so you need to take a look at that as well. But the point is this:


So it’s not surprising that Benedict did not speak of the false bifurcation as openly in the Declaratio as he did several weeks later, in his final general audience, at which point he knew his plan had worked, all the wheels in motion, conclave convened, etc. But he also couldn’t help himself, and made sure his meaning was clear if we look with eyes to see.

So now let’s break down the Declaratio of 11 Feb 2013 in its entirety, bathed in the light of the aforementioned evidence. English, Latin, and seven other languages  HERE .

“Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.

He’s saying he is inadequate. His faculties are insufficient to fully execute the entire Petrine Ministry.  He needs help.

“I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.

He’s still up for the prayer and suffering part, but not the words and deeds.  The governance part will need to go to someone else, a new participant in a new “expanded Petrine ministry”, because he feels inadequate for the governance role.

Now comes the money quote. This is the part that Benedict absolutely had to get right, to ensure the resignation looked so rock solid that no one would question it. But yet even within the same sentence we can, with hindsight, see what he did here.

“For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

“In such a way?” Why are those words in there? Those words are a qualifier. He didn’t renounce completely, he renounced in a certain way. Because as we’ve already seen from his own lips, Benedict doesn’t believe it’s possible for him to completely renounce the Petrine ministry, due to its <in his mind> permanent and irrevocable nature. So he is <in his mind> vacating the “See of Rome”, such that a successor must be named to administer the governing office, while Benedict retains the spiritual role of the prayerful suffering servant pope. Nowhere in this sentence, in any language, will you find the words, “I fully renounce the Papacy,” because in Benedict’s mind, that’s not possible.

“Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects.  And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.”

So there you have it. Come join the party.  The truth will set you free.

Blessed Lent! How are you making out so far? Welcome to the Great Combat.

“After our first brave efforts of Lent, our natural inclinations tend to reassert themselves. Temptations may increase their strength or their frequency. Hence the danger of discouragement and of slackening in the observance of generous lenten resolutions. It is the critical hour, in which temptation may surprise us, turn our thoughts inward upon personal problems, and make us forget the sufferings of other men. Brother to all men, Jesus showed that temptation can be a way of redeeming souls–our own and those of others. “In that He Himself has suffered and has been tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted””(Heb. 2:18) https://tridentine-mass.blogspot.com/

Temptations are opportunities to grow in sanctity. Such things are allowed by God only to the extent we are capable of resisting. God, who is Infinite Love, could not possibly allow us to be tempted beyond our capacity to do the right thing, by cooperating with the graces being poured out. With every single temptation, HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE.  (2 Cor 12:9)

Blessed Lent! How we making out, folks? We’ve only just begun! You’ve got this, and you have help. As we heard in Psalm 90:4-5 three times today at Mass…

“The Lord will overshadow thee with His shoulders, and under His wings thou shalt trust: His truth shall compass thee with a shield.” 

More on that HERE.

I thought I would share a little of what I am doing, and not doing, this Holy Lent.

First of all, thank goodness for the Immoderate Zeal admonition last week, because I was indeed about to bite off way more than I could chew. I have been wanting to get back to the Divine Office, which I used to pray a decent amount of the N.O. version when I was N.O.  Then came the day the meditation was a sermon from Pope Paul VI, and I had had enough. Anyway, I knew there was no way I could do the old Breviary, but then someone recommended the Little Office of The Blessed Virgin Mary. I was very much looking forward to making it a habit this Lent!

Oops. I had not bothered to crack it open until Shrove Tuesday, so I could learn how to pray it beginning Wednesday. That is when I discovered it wasn’t going to work. Even with the time I pledged to steal back from the internet and other things time-suck, I still wasn’t going to have time for the Little Office, at least not consistently and whole-heartedly. Womp.

For the same reason, I decided against trying for 15 decades of the Rosary every day instead of five. I knew I would not be consistent, or else something else would need to come off the table. My day job is also especially demanding right now, and this blog takes some time too.

So here is where I settled: Daily Mass (or at least time in front of the Blessed Sacrament)… bottom line, be in church in some way every day. Daily Rosary, of course. Minimize social media and internet in general. An increase in partial fasting and partial abstinence six days a week.

Now here are the committed daily additions. These aren’t new acquisitions of mine, just newly practiced daily with rigor (or is it rigidity?).

  1. Benedictus missal.  It comes in the mail each month, and it’s only $5. In addition to the Mass propers, there is a miniature office with short psalms for morning and evening, as well as a daily meditation.
  2. My Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. Should need no introduction. Short daily meditations focused on our fallen nature which will pummel you into humility whether you like it or not.
  3. Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. Two meditations and a sample colloquy for each day of the year, rooted in Teresian spirituality. Today’s chapter is aptly titled, “The Great Combat.”

I find that My Imitation and Divine Intimacy make for a nice counterbalance. While both aim toward sanctity through humility, the former does so through Fear of the Lord, the latter through love and union.

Off we go. I’m really liking it so far. Blessed Lent, everyone.

Mayor Kate gets gloriously ratioed

You’ll need to click on it to go see the comments…

Handy calculator: Here’s how much the “aid” to Ukraine is costing YOU

This is before the additional $2B announced today…

How Much is U.S. Aid to Ukraine Costing You?

By David Henderson

In total, CBO estimated that $6.6 billion of the $113 billion would be spent in FY 2022 and another $37.7 billion in FY 2023. Furthermore, CBO estimated more than half of the approved funds would be spent by the end of FY 2024 and more than three-fourths by the end of FY 2026.

How much will that cost the average household? There are approximately 131.2 million households in the United States. So the average cost per household is $113 billion divided by 131.2 million, which is $861.

Of course, averages are often under-informative. That’s true of this one. In 2018, according to the Brookings Institute, high-income households, those in the top 20% of the income distribution, paid about 68 percent of all the tax revenue that the federal government collected. To be in the top quintile that year, you needed to have an income of $153,301 or more.

Assume for simplicity that these numbers, adjusted for inflation, are about the same today. Also, I’ll assume, even though I know it’s false, that this $113 billion will be paid entirely out of taxes rather than new debt. It’s not as bad an assumption as it looks. To the extent it’s paid out of new debt and to the extent future taxes pay off that debt, based on a progressive tax structure such as the one we have now, it would be a pretty good assumption.

So the top quintile would pay 68% of $113 billion, which is $76.8 billion. There are approximately 26 million households in the top quintile. So the cost per top-quintile household is $76.8 billion divided by 26 million, which is $2,956.

That’s a lot to fight someone else’s war…

More: https://www.econlib.org/how-much-is-u-s-aid-to-ukraine-costing-you/



“Of all the works, whereby a Christian can sanctify the time of Lent, there is none so pleasing to God as the assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in which is offered the Victim of man’s salvation. But now that his own unworthiness is more than ever-evident to him, ought he to abstain from partaking, by Holy Communion, of this life-giving and purifying Host? Such is not our Saviour’s will. He came down from heaven, not to judge, but to save us [St. John, iii. 17]. He knows how long and rugged is the road we have to traverse, before we reach that happy day, on which we shall rest with him, in the joy of his Resurrection. He has compassion on us; he fears lest we faint in the way [St. Matth. xv. 32]; and he, therefore, offers us the divine Food, which gives light and strength to our souls, and refreshes them in their toil. We feel that our hearts are not yet pure enough; let us, then, with an humble and contrite heart, go to him, who is come that he may restore to our souls their original beauty. Let us, at all times, remember the solemn injunction, which this Saviour so graciously deigned to give us: Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, ye shall not have life in you [St. John, vi. 54].

“If, therefore, sin has no longer dominion over us; if we have destroyed it by true sorrow and sincere confession, made efficacious by the absolution of God’s Priest;- let us not deprive ourselves of the Bread of Life [St. John, vi. 35], no matter how great soever our infirmities may seem; for it is for us that our Jesus has prepared the Feast. If we feel that the chains of sin are still upon us; if by self-examination, made with the light of the Truth that is now granted to us, we discover in our souls certain stains, which the false principles of the world and too easy a conscience had hitherto made us wink at;- let us lose no time, let us make a good Confession: and when we have made our peace with the God of mercy, let us approach the holy Table and receive the pledge of our reconciliation.

“Yes, let us go to Holy Communion, during this season of Lent, with a most heart-felt conviction of our unworthiness. It may be, that hitherto we have sometimes gone with too much familiarity, on account of our not sufficiently understanding our nothingness, our misery, and the infinite holiness of the God, who thus unites himself with his sinful creatures. Henceforth, our heart shall be more truthful; blending together the two sentiments of humility and confidence, we will say, with an honest conviction, those words of the Centurion of the Gospel, which the Church puts upon our lips, when she is distributing to us the Bread of Life: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof; say but the word, and my soul shall be healed [St. Matth. viii. 8].”

And shall I, O my Jesus, confess thus the grievousness and multitude of my sins, without promising thee to sin no more? Thou wishest this sinner to be reconciled with thee, thou desirest to press him to thy Sacred Heart:- and could he, whilst thanking thee for this thy wonderful condescension, still love the accursed cause which made him thine enemy? – No, my infinitely merciful God, no! I will not, like my first Parent, seek to escape thy justice, but, like the Prodigal Son, I will arise and go to my Father; like Magdalene, I will take courage and enter the banquet-hall; and, though trembling at the sight of my sins, I will comply with thy loving invitation. My heart has no further attachment to sin, which I hate and detest as the enemy of thy honour and my own happiness. I am resolved to shun it from this time forward, and to spare no pains to free myself from its tyranny. There shall be no more of that easy life which chilled my love, nor of that studied indifference which dulled my conscience, nor of those dangerous habits which led me to stray from my loyalty to thee. Despise not, O God, this my humble and contrite heart.

Source: Extract from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger

h/t Our Lady of Sorrows, Phoenix

Here’s How the Devil Plans to Ruin Your Lent

Riffing off yesterday’s topic, another slam dunk here by Timothy Flanders from a few years ago. The issue at hand is Immoderate Zeal – when your heart is in the right place, but you overestimate yourself. Satan will have a field day with you for this. Spiritual advances come in increments. It’s a big mistake to think you are going to pull off something miraculous, just because it is Lent. Examine your daily rituals, what needs to increase and what needs to decrease, and try for one notch at a time instead of three… and then beg for the graces with which to cooperate. There was a link to this in the last post, but ICYMI, here it is. Blessed Lent, everyone. -nvp

The Catholic life is filled with resolutions. Confession is not valid without a good resolution to avoid sin [1]. Every morning offering is a new resolution, and every new year is an occasion for resolutions.

Why is the Devil so successful in bringing our resolutions to naught? In this article, we will cover the most common deceptions in the spiritual life that harm devout souls.

Immoderate Zeal

The first common deception regarding resolutions is doing too much too fast. The Fathers call this “immoderate zeal.” The Devil takes our good intentions to become a saint and mixes them with pride. We look at the saints and are inspired to take up spiritual disciplines, but in pride, we think we can take on a great amount of prayer and fasting immediately.


He tries to cheat us with counterfeits, for instance by urging that some work of piety should be taken up which as it does not come from the true minds of the fathers, leads under the form of virtue to vice; and, deceiving us either by immoderate or impossible fasts, or by too long vigils, or inordinate prayers, or unsuitable reading, brings us to a bad end. [2]

It is pride to think the spiritual life must be “great” in terms of external practices, since these are only means to what is truly necessary — faith working charity (Gal. 5:6), which can often be invisible to observers. Rather, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed (Mt. 13:31). One cannot immediately begin praying the whole Divine Office or rosary every day and fasting twice a week as the saints did and more, and it is folly and pride to try.

Instead, begin small and steady. Are you not praying one third of the rosary (five decades) every day? Think about the duties of your state in life, then honestly think of how much time you can spend each day. Maybe it is only a decade a day. Or maybe you can do five decades on your commute every morning.

Take this small thing and do it for two weeks. At the end of that period, think objectively: were you able to do this easily every day? If not, do less. If you did do it easily, then continue for one to two months straight. Do it until you can do it every day without thinking, until the practice is so ingrained that if you miss a day you feel an emptiness in your routine. Then you know you have acquired a virtue, which is a habit. Then and only then do you add more to your discipline.

Using this method allows your spiritual disciplines to grow steadily. If we did this, we would all be making great advances in holiness. Instead, the Devil tricks us to think we need to do everything at once…

More: https://onepeterfive.wpengine.com/devil-ruin-resolutions/


“Above all, the predominant fault is the thing that prevents growth in charity and the other virtues.”

Good essay from Timothy Flanders at 1P5. Here is a preview. -nvp

During Lent, it is easy to focus a great deal on fulfilling your resolutions, but what is the purpose of these resolutions? If we lose sight of their proper end, we risk wasting our time and effort in the spiritual life. This article will discuss the aim we must have for the Great Fast of Lent, in order that our efforts may not be in vain but produce the necessary fruit in the spiritual life.

Growth in Charity

The aim of the spiritual life, and thus the goal of Lent, is growth in charity. Garrigou-Lagrange writes:

Christ incessantly reminds us that the supreme precept dominating all others and all the counsels is the precept of love[.] … Charity is the bond of perfection because it is the highest of the virtues which unites our soul to God. It ought to last forever, and it vivifies all the other virtues by rendering their acts meritorious, ordaining them to the last end, that is, to its object: God loved above all else. [1]

Thus the chief aim of all our Lenten practices must be the growth in charity. If we spend our time in Lent in everything else but this, our whole time will have been wasted. This why on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday the Church proclaims these sublime verses from the Apostle:

If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing (I Cor. 13:1–3).

In other words, if you fast perfectly throughout Lent and pray for hours, wearing a hair shirt, sitting in ashes all day long, but do not grow in charity, you have wasted your time. What is worse, you may have acquired the pride of demons instead of the humility of saints. We must keep this aim in mind for all our practices for Lent.

The Chief Enemy of Charity: The Predominant Fault

The supernatural virtue of charity (with the other virtues) is given in holy baptism. Mortal sin destroys charity in the soul, but absolution restores charity with the other virtues. So if we truly have these virtues, why are we not virtuous?

The virtues present within a soul in a state of grace are blocked by the effects of Original Sin. Therefore, the more the pious soul overcomes these effects by the power of grace, the more the virtues can show their effects. Above all, the predominant fault is the thing that prevents growth in charity and the other virtues. In a previous article, we mentioned the predominant fault as one of the three pillars in the spiritual life. Garrigou-Lagrange defines it this way:

The predominant fault is the defect in us that tends to prevail over the others, and thereby over our manner of feeling, judging, sympathizing, willing and acting. It is a defect that has in each of us an intimate relation to our individual temperament[.] … The predominant fault is so much the more dangerous as it often compromises our principle good point, which is a happy inclination of our nature that ought to develop and to be increased by grace[.] … In the citadel of our interior life, which is defended by the different virtues, the predominant fault is the weak spot, undefended by the theological and moral virtues. The enemy of souls seeks exactly this easily vulnerable point in each one, and he finds it without difficulty. Therefore, we must recognize it also. [2]

Thus, in order to grow in charity, we must focus on our predominant fault. This is the weak point keeping us from advancing in the spiritual life. In confession, we may feel overwhelmed with all of our sins and faults and think we need to focus on all our habitual sins at once. But this is a trick of the Devil, who seeks to turn you to despair if you do not advance on every front of the spiritual life at the same time.

Thankfully, we need not focus on every sin at the same time, but above all on our predominant fault. This is why the spiritual writers identify the predominant fault as one of the three pillars of the spiritual life, together with prayer and spiritual reading. If we focus on this, our other sins will also be overcome…

(this is Mark again. There is much more at the link, including an excellent treatment on the Four Temperments. Knowing which of the four you are goes a long way toward rooting out your Predominant Fault)


Study finds ‘unexpected’ correlation between number of COVID shots and risk of infection


(as predicted in this space for nearly three years -nvp)

CLEVELAND (LifeSiteNews) — A December study evaluating the effectiveness of bivalent COVID-19 shots found that the risk of COVID infection appeared to rise with each subsequent jab.

The preprint, which was conducted by researchers with the Cleveland Clinic and has not yet been peer reviewed…

According to the study, the risk of COVID infection “increased with time since the most recent prior COVID-19 episode and with the number of vaccine doses previously received.

“The higher the number of vaccines previously received, the higher the risk of contracting COVID-19,” the researchers said.

Noting that the “evolution” of COVID-19 into vaccine-resistant variants “necessitates a more nuanced approach to assessing the potential impact of vaccination than when the original vaccines were developed,” the Cleveland Clinic researchers suggested that there are “[a]dditional factors” that ought to be evaluated “beyond vaccine effectiveness.”

According to the preprint, one of those factors is an apparent correlation between more jabs and a higher risk of infection.

“The association of increased risk of COVID-19 with higher numbers of prior vaccine doses in our study, was unexpected,” the researchers wrote…

Cleveland Clinic researchers went on to point out that theirs isn’t “the only study to find a possible association with more prior vaccine doses and higher risk of COVID-19.”