Fancy Footnotes and the Diabolical Inversion of Truth

Be patient.  There are at least three of these  footnote monsters, and I’m pressed for time.

298. The divorced who have entered a new union, for example, can find themselves in a variety of situations, which should not be pigeonholed or fit into overly rigid classifications leaving no room for a suitable personal and pastoral discernment. One thing is a second union consolidated over time, with new children, proven fidelity, generous self giving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in conscience that one would fall into new sins. The Church acknowledges situations “where, for serious reasons, such as the children’s upbringing, a man and woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate. 329

Let’s have a look at footnote 329, wherein the Holy Father attempts a diabolical inversion of Truth by referencing two documents, both of which actually say the OPPOSITE or something WHOLLY DIFFERENT from what he is proposing.  Here’s the footnote:

329 John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (22 November 1981), 84: AAS 74 (1982), 186. In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living “as brothers and sisters” which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, “it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers” (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 51).

Now watch this.
First, here is the text from FC 84, written 35 years ago, by a saint.

84. Daily experience unfortunately shows that people who have obtained a divorce usually intend to enter into a new union, obviously not with a Catholic religious ceremony. Since this is an evil that, like the others, is affecting more and more Catholics as well, the problem must be faced with resolution and without delay. The Synod Fathers studied it expressly. The Church, which was set up to lead to salvation all people and especially the baptized, cannot abandon to their own devices those who have been previously bound by sacramental marriage and who have attempted a second marriage. The Church will therefore make untiring efforts to put at their disposal her means of salvation.
Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations. There is in fact a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage. Finally, there are those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and who are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid.

However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.
Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.”[180]

By acting in this way, the Church professes her own fidelity to Christ and to His truth. At the same time she shows motherly concern for these children of hers, especially those who, through no fault of their own, have been abandoned by their legitimate partner.
With firm confidence she believes that those who have rejected the Lord’s command and are still living in this state will be able to obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation, provided that they have persevered in prayer, penance and charity.

Yes, it acknowledges the sad reality of broken families, and notes that “discernment of situations” is necessary.  But then it goes on, within the same paragraph, to reinforce the impossibility of Eucharistic Communion for those who continue in second “marriages” unless, for the sake of the children produced by the second bond, and after repentance and sacramental Confession, they practice perfect continence (which, by the way, is already a very generous provision).  So Francis is using this paragraph to support his position that situations differ, even though elsewhere in the very same paragraph his broader proposal is utterly destroyed, by coming to the OPPOSITE conclusion of where he is going with this.
Now back to footnote 329, the second part, which references GS51.  Go back and look at the footnote.  Francis is moaning that, while of course the living as brother and sister option is always available, that idea is just so cruel and unmerciful, we must find a way around it for the sake of the children.  Then he quotes GS 51 to support the argument.
Except guess what. GS51 is talking about PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY MARRIED.  First marriages. Not divorced and remarried.  Furthermore, the topic at hand in GS is the licitness of refraining from full intimacy for the sake of spacing of children, which is WHOLLY DIFFERENT from the topic we are dealing with in AL. Here’s the relevant text:

51. This council realizes that certain modern conditions often keep couples from arranging their married lives harmoniously, and that they find themselves in circumstances where at least temporarily the size of their families should not be increased. As a result, the faithful exercise of love and the full intimacy of their lives is hard to maintain. But where the intimacy of married life is broken off, its faithfulness can sometimes be imperiled and its quality of fruitfulness ruined, for then the upbringing of the children and the courage to accept new ones are both endangered.

You can’t tell me this is bad scholarship.  This is deliberate and diabolical inversion.
And there is so much more.

The Scriptures Speak

  • Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:28-30
  • A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid: Knowing that he, that is such an one, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment. Titus 3:10-11
  • Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son. If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you. For he that saith unto him, God speed you, communicateth with his wicked works. 2 John 1:9-11
  • Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils, Speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their conscience seared….” 1 Tim 4:1-2
  • For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. 2 Tim 4:3-4
  • But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be among you lying teachers, who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their riotousnesses, through whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you. Whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their perdition slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:1-3

Read the rest of it HERE

The situation CANNOT be hyperbolized: When the Levee Breaks edition

Meaning, its seriousness on several levels cannot be overstated, and there is no turning back.  The Great Apostasy has now arrived, 8 April 2016,  with the publication of Amoris Latitia.
Let’s get one thing out of the way right from the start.  I don’t care who the ghostwriters were.  I don’t care how much of it is directly from Pope Francis (but it’s obvious that much of it is).  It’s his name at the top – he owns all of it.
It is a 260 page (in English) disaster, a cobbled mess of quotations from homilies, audiences, statements from episcopal conferences, VII documents, relatios from the two synods, and finally, and devious misquotations from pre-Franciscan popes, most notably and unsurprisingly from Familiaris Consortio.  It doesn’t matter that the majority of it is harmless if it is read with the mind of traditional Church teaching.  I read the whole wretched thing, although I had to skim some of the middle fluff to fight off drowsiness.
The poison is there, and it can’t be covered up.  The first hint comes 61 pages in:

78. The light of Christ enlightens every person (cf. Jn 1:9; Gaudium et Spes, 22). Seeing things with the eyes of Christ inspires the Church’s pastoral care for the faithful who are living together, or are only married civilly, or are divorced and remarried. Following this divine pedagogy, the Church turns with love to those who participate in her life in an imperfect manner: she seeks the grace of conversion for them; she encourages them to do good, to take loving care of each other and to serve the community in which they live and work… When a couple in an irregular union attains a noteworthy stability through a public bond – and is characterized by deep affection, responsibility towards the children and the ability to overcome trials – this can be seen as an opportunity, where possible, to lead them to celebrate the sacrament of Matrimony.
79. When faced with difficult situations and wounded families, it is always necessary to recall this general principle: ‘Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations’ (Familiaris Consortio, 84). The degree of responsibility is not equal in all cases and factors may exist which limit the ability to make a decision. Therefore, while clearly stating the Church’s teaching, pastors are to avoid judgements that do not take into account the complexity of various situations, and they are to be attentive, by necessity, to how people experience and endure distress because of their condition.

None of this heretical, if understood in accordance with Church teaching.  But it is part of the set up for what’s coming. Remember, most of those VII documents are also harmless if their ambiguous parts are read in the light of Tradition.
After 80 more pages of fluff, meandering well past our desire to please get to the point, out of nowhere comes this huge shot across the bow:

185. Along these same lines, we do well to take seriously a biblical text usually interpreted outside of its context or in a generic sense, with the risk of overlooking its immediate and direct meaning, which is markedly social. I am speaking of 1 Cor 11:17-34, where Saint Paul faces a shameful situation in the community. The wealthier members tended to discriminate against the poorer ones, and this carried over even to the agape meal that accompanied the celebration of the Eucharist. While the rich enjoyed their food, the poor looked on and went hungry: “One is hungry and another is drunk. Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the Church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?” (vv. 21-22).
186. The Eucharist demands that we be members of the one body of the Church. Those who approach the Body and Blood of Christ may not wound that same Body by creating scandalous distinctions and divisions among its members. This is what it means to “discern” the body of the Lord, to acknowledge it with faith and charity both in the sacramental signs and in the community; those who fail to do so eat and drink judgement against themselves (cf. v. 29). The celebration of the Eucharist thus becomes a constant summons for everyone “to examine himself or herself ” (v. 28), to open the doors of the family to greater fellowship with the underprivileged, and in this way to receive the sacrament of that eucharistic love which makes us one body. We must not forget that “the ‘mysticism’ of the sacrament has a social character”.207 When those who receive it turn a blind eye to the poor and suffering, or consent to various forms of division, contempt and inequality, the Eucharist is received unworthily. On the other hand, families who are properly disposed and receive the Eucharist regularly, reinforce their desire for fraternity, their social consciousness and their commitment to those in need.

Oh yes, you had to read that several times, didn’t you.  Maybe not the first time we’ve seen calumny in a papal document, but it’s the first time it has been directed at me. Alas, he’s been doing it verbally for three years.
It seems like we’re about to go nuclear at this point but, annoyingly, nearly 80 more pages of fluff follows this.  And just when it goes on so long that you start thinking we are going to escape the ordeal with nothing serious, the final chapter arrives.  Chapter Eight:  “ACCOMPANYING, DISCERNING AND INTEGRATING WEAKNESS”.
The situation cannot be hyperbolized.  It is so, so, bad.  It affirms, for the most stubborn Pollyana, that +Francis was the driving force behind the absolute worst of what went down in the synods.  That +Francis intends to institutionalize sacrilege, destroy three sacraments, and renounce Divine Immutability.  It’s kinda serious.
I’m not pasting the entire chapter.  There will be several posts to come regarding Chapter Eight. Go read it, and start praying.  Contemplate how, if we really believe what we say we believe, we can let this stand.

The situation cannot be hyperbolized

Meaning, its seriousness on several levels cannot be overstated.
On Friday morning, each and every Catholic bishop in the world will need to rise, put on a strong pot of coffee, read the Exhortation, and make a series of decisions which will directly affect the vector of many, many souls, foremost his own.
He must decide whether or not  his diocese will endorse the sacrilege, which presumably would entail erecting structures and programs to circumvent the reality of Matthew 19:9. If he chooses to not overtly endorse it, but rather stay quiet and do nothing, well, that’s nearly the same thing as endorsing it. Inaction is action.
Or he could publicly denounce the document and call out its authors and endorsers.  How many will?
Beyond the particular issue at hand, Communion for those guilty of obstinate unrepentant mortal sin, and the horrific sacrilege being demanded from bishops and priests, we have another problem.  Leaving the solutions up to each individual diocese isn’t collegiality, it’s anarchy.  Have these people learned nothing from the Anglicans?
Matters of Faith and Morals are the Truth itself.  Truth cannot vary from diocese to diocese.  This is third grade catechism.
Pray intensely for your bishop.  Pray for your priests.  War is coming.

The Keystone of True Conversion

As happens occasionally but not often, Good Friday fell on March 25 this year, the Feast of the Annunciation.  In the Catholic Church, at least the Latin Rite, the Annunciation is transferred to today, April 4th, the first day after the Easter Octave. But despite the transfer, the fact remains that they actually occurred on the same day this year.
Much has been written on this occasional convergence.  We are concerned here with the central theme that runs through the events of these two days, and it is THE concept that is the keystone of true conversion: Emptying of self.
You could say that emptying of self is the pathway, or the doorway, or even the ladder of true conversion, and you wouldn’t be wrong.  But keystone is more accurate, because emptying of self isn’t just what gets you there, it is what keeps you there. It’s the thing that holds everything else in place.  The stone that the builders rejected, which has become the Cornerstone, desires that we embrace the keystone.
Let’s break down the events of the day.  God provides models in Our Lord and Our Lady.
The Annunciation and Mary’s fiat:  The angel announces what is about to go down.  How often, as I contemplate this mystery, I try to get inside Mary’s head.  This angel just delivered the single biggest mind blowing message of all time.  And it wasn’t over; a response was required, because God imposes His will on no one.  Scripture reveals her response was immediate, and it was a complete emptying of self. “Be it done unto me.”  Complete trust in the Lord.  No qualifying questions back to the angel before she said yes.  Just total self-denial and acceptance of God’s will.  Has there been a better example of Prudence and Courage in all of human history?  How far we would advance if we could each practice these virtues just a little bit every day.  God, being God, could have chosen to redeem the world in any way He pleased.  But because His love for us is so intense, He chose the way that would best help us understand and obey.
The Incarnation:  Now it’s God’s turn.  The Incarnation is the literal outpouring of God Himself into our humanity.  In this instant, He became one of us in all ways except sin, by emptying Himself in a way that we can scarcely contemplate. His Divine Nature was united to His (our) human nature in a way that was real and substantial, yet not commingled, with each retaining its own properties HERE. This is the John 3:16 moment.   If Mary’s fiat was a demonstration of Prudence and Courage for the ages, Christ’s Incarnation is the model of Humility par excellence. Anything less would not have been good enough for our sake, so what excuse have we?
The Agony: Fast forward 33 years. We arrive at the Garden, where Christ’s anguish is NOT METAPHORICALLY demonstrated in His sweating blood.  Bursting capillaries caused by human stress.  And no, our Lord was not a coward in any way. “Let this cup pass” was not some cowardly request from a fraidy cat Jesus who suddenly changed His mind about the whole deal.  While it is possible He did experience fear of physical pain, in so much as He was fully human, and fear of physical pain is a natural human emotion, He was not trying to “get out of it”.  He was, at this moment, contemplating what was to come, while at the same time bearing the weight of every sin ever committed and ever to be committed. Not only that, but it seems likely that Jesus in this moment was contemplating in a particular way the souls of the damned.  Here he was about to undergo this tortuous death, and yet a multitude of beloved souls through the ages would choose to ignore it.  That had to hurt, don’t you think? HERE“Yet not my will, but thine be done” is a complete emptying of Jesus’ human nature in subservience to His Divine Nature and God the Father.
The Way of the Cross:  From the anguish of the Garden, we pass to the relative serenity of the Via. Not that it was a serene scene; it was brutal every step of the way.  Rather, I’m referring here to Christ’s demeanor, His bearing. It was one of relative serenity compared with the Garden and the contrast is worthy of reflection. Isn’t it likely that His focus here shifted from that of the damned to those beloved souls He was about to save?  Here he becomes the Lamb, His total submission was in His emptying.  Emptying at the beating, at the trials, at the pillar, at the crowning, at the stripping, at the mocking, at the carrying, at the falling, and at the nailing.  If you can watch Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, I don’t care if you’re watching it for the tenth time, and I don’t care what kind of bad ass you think you are, I don’t care if you are Marine Infantry EOD… if you can watch that movie without sobbing like a four year old girl, you have not sufficiently emptied yourself.
The Crucifixion:  For this He was born, for this He came into the world.  The Annunciation, Incarnation, Passion and Death of Jesus Christ are all tied together on His lips. Nearly dead at this point, Jesus is hoisted aloft.  If you’ve never read a physical account of the Crucifixion, you need to HERE  As the tree was the instrument of our fall, so it is the instrument of our redemption, with the complete emptying of Jesus upon it.  A spiritual emptying of the God-man, and the physical emptying as well. “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”
I repeat: God, being God, could have chosen to redeem the world in any way He pleased. But because His love for us is so intense, He chose the way that would best help us understand and obey.
True conversion can only begin when you take the decision to empty yourself.  It cannot be conditional.  It must be total submission.  That’s when God will begin His work in you.  And it’s the most liberating thing you will ever experience, like chains being thrown off.
It’s not just a path, a door, or a ladder.  It is the keystone you must work to perfect everyday.

Mother’s Funeral: A Missed Opportunity

Yes, sometimes funerals need to be used opportunistically.
The funeral of Justice Antonin Scalia was an opportunity to put the Traditional Latin Requiem Mass in front the broadest audience since 25 Nov 1963.  The opportunity was missed, or rather more likely, forbidden by +Wuerl as a condition of the site.  Impossible, you see, just so complex, we could never pull it off, we don’t have the staff, how would the bishops even know what to do?  All that Latin, all that silence, how could we expect people to sit (kneel) through all that?
Thanks be to God, this miss was brilliantly remediated by Father Paul Scalia. He was absolutely masterful in his execution of the entire Mass, and the homily was exactly what you expected it to be, in a most excellent way. Bravo, faithful son.
Which brings us to Mother Angelica’s funeral yesterday. It was viewed by a mere fraction of the numbers garnered by Scalia, only on EWTN, and likely by not a single non-Catholic.  It was nonetheless a beautiful Mass, ad orientem, incredible music, plenty of Latin, with Archbishop Chaput as the main celebrant and Father Wolfe on the homily.  Father Wolfe has had a busy week, and he’s pulled it off with grace and tranquility. Nothing was spared in sending Mother home, a fact mentioned in the homily as Father Wolfe contrasted the events of the day with that of Mother’s description of the paucity of precision at her own Solemn Profession 65 years ago.
Speaking of paucity, did anyone else notice what I did yesterday?  With all of the abounding beauty, maybe you missed it.  But to me, it was very telling.
There was a paucity of prelates.
Let’s break down the roll call:
+Chaput, Philadelphia, on the board of EWTN, his presence wasn’t announced until Wednesday (maybe late Tuesday), yet there was little doubt he had to be there, given his board status.
+Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio, given no one else from Rome attended, he had to be there.
+Rodi, Mobile, Metropolitan Archbishop, had to be there.
+Baker, Birmingham, Diocesan Ordinary, had to be there.
+Foley, Birmingham Emeritus, see previous post.
+Stika, Knoxville; and +Olmstead, Phoenix. Thank you, good men, your presence was noted.
That’s it.  That’s the extent of support for a woman who arguably did more good for the Church in North America in the last half century than any other person.  A woman who withstood countless attacks from the modernists in her tireless effort of evangelization. This was an opportunity not only for a show of force in support of Mother’s insistence on orthodoxy (otherwise known as Truth), and therefore a show of force for Truth itself, but it was also an opportunity for the bishops on the right side of things, so to say, to give a huge middle finger to the devious bishops who tried to crush her and her apostolate. It was an opportunity to show, for all the world to see, which side you will take in the coming war. It was a missed opportunity.
And the timing was perfect, because war is at hand.  The dreaded Apostolic Exhortation on the family is due to be released in less than one week HERE.  We are going to find out really soon which side everyone is on. It will be just like the pub scene from Inglourious Basterds.

Language as a WMD

Read in these pages and many other fine blogs regarding the nature of the spiritual battle in which we are engaged.  It is a battle in which the act of non serviam by satan and his angels which precipitated their fall, from which Original Sin and our own concupiscence are directly descended, interacts and engages with the redemptive act of Calvary and the outpouring of supernatural grace at Pentecost. This engagement is happening in every soul 24/7/365, and the ultimate outcome will be the permanent residency of each of these souls in one of two places.
Now think about the majority of the world we live in.  What percentage of people even know this battle is raging, and that they are a part of it whether they like it or not?  Low percentage, right?  Think about the demonic irony of it.  We’ve arrived at a point in history where the sum of all human knowledge is available instantaneously to anyone with a computer.  But instead they choose porn. And boy, will that be the topic of an epic future post.  But for those of us “in the know”, if we truly believe what we believe, and we know that care for souls is more important than anything else we could possibly be spending our time on, isn’t it foundational to the cause to firstly get people to WAKE THE HELL UP?
Now let’s talk about shock and awe, and let’s apply the logic of shock and awe to the only weapon we have at our disposal in the blogosphere:  Language.
In the supernatural realm we have other weapons, prayer and the sacraments foremost among them.  But in the daily battle for hearts and minds in the natural world, we have only language, and when it comes to language, the human intellect craves clarity, specificity, black and white.  This is achievable to a greater or lesser degree depending on the topic.  Some concepts do have an intrinsic irreducible complexity that require the dreaded tool of nuance to be employed.  It’s a tool best kept in the shed unless it’s really needed, because it is also the tool most abused by modernists, who aim to undermine truth by injecting nuance into areas where none exists.
But let’s get back to shock and awe, and the real topic of this post, which is words that shock and offend the oh so offendable enlightened western society, a society locked in a whore’s embrace with all that is filthy, except when it might gain an advantage by feigning Victorian prim.
You see, most of our English “curse” words aren’t curse words at all. They are words that offend Man, not God.  They don’t break the Second Commandment.  And as is so often the case when dealing with sinful things, the converse is also true; the words which do offend God do not offend Man.  Here’s a general rule of thumb:  If you CAN say it on TV, then watch out (i.e. JC, GD, JMJ, etc).  If you CAN’T say it on TV, then you’re probably okay.  It’s like so many other things; the more the culture deems something acceptable, the more you should beware.  I should also point out, this doesn’t hold true across languages.  Ask a Francophone.  But in English, we have an advantage, and we should use it.
Early in my conversion, I swore off allthebadwords.  I was oh so pious, and this was part of the piety, and this had to be the way.  This went on for years, until a good priest explained to me my error.  Actually he not so much explained it as he demolished it.
He demolished it to the point of me realizing that honoring these non-curse words with the same or more ‘esteem’ as the real offenses was actually a sinful act in itself.  Elevating man-made structures to the level of God.  A violation of not the Second Commandment but the First. Oh shit.
Is it starting to sink in now?
Your duty is to evangelise.  How did polite society receive Jesus?  They thought he was offensive, embarrassing, blasphemous.  Yet all the while, he spoke nothing but the truth.  Your duty is to be a seeker and saver of souls.  Wake people up. By all means. Use the tools.  Hagan lio.  One of the best examples I’ve ever seen is HERE
I got in trouble with some readers with my post yesterday on the last days of Mother Angelica.  I called her a BAMF, as a term of endearment.  People thought it was over the line.  I took down the “MF” so as to not distract from the rest of the post.  But seriously.  You’re offended by THAT?  You think Mother is offended by that?  R E A L L Y………. because I think Mother was rather busy her entire life waking people up, by all means, and is now rather busy with her Bridegroom, focusing on things like 50 million slaughtered babies and whatnot.  But that’s just me.
I certainly don’t regret typing what I did, but maybe it would have been better had this post come before that one.

Friday in the Octave of Easter: Are you ready for what’s coming?

Saint Peter responds to his accusers, from the Epistle for Friday within the Octave of Easter, OF (Acts 4:8-12):
“Leaders of the people and elders:
If we are being examined today
about a good deed done to a cripple,
namely, by what means he was saved,
then all of you and all the people of Israel should know
that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean
whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;
in his name this man stands before you healed.
He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.

There is no salvation through anyone else,
nor is there any other name under heaven
given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”
The context is that Peter and John are healing, and preaching the Word.  Preaching Objective Truth.  They are arrested.  The next day they are brought in front of the authorities.  Instead of trying to get along to get along, Peter gives them a huge FU.
Pray that you and I will give similar testimony when on trial for proclaiming the Truth in the not too distant future.  The stone which has been utterly rejected, is in fact the cornerstone.  This is the ultimate Objective Truth of the universe for which we will be oppressed.
Because, if you know that participating in an immoral ceremony is objectively wrong, you will be prosecuted, and then fined into bankruptcy HERE
Because, if you know that men with manparts are actually men, and that allowing men with manparts into the ladies room poses a needless risk to ladies, you are a bigot and a hater HERE
Because, in enlightened western society, if your adulterous husband has ways and means, the state will mandate your torturous starvation and death HERE
The Way of the Cross isn’t pretty, but the outcome is pretty glorious.  Just be clear about one thing:  If you hold fast during your time of trial, your glory is not of this world.  In this world, your name will be utterly disgraced.  Those you leave behind, even those closest to you, will despise you.  “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

Wherein Mother Angelica goes out like the BA that she was

Read the account of the last days of Mother Angelica HERE
Wherever she may be now, I wonder if she is a bit uncomfortable with everyone remarking how appropriate was the course of her final passing, commencing as it did on Good Friday and ending on Easter Sunday.  As much as she united all her suffering to Christ and His sacrifice, she still wouldn’t feel worthy of the “comparison”.  She suffered nearly all her life, and most especially the last 15 years.  She suffered physical pain and she suffered oppression from wicked bishops.  She was at her best when she was utterly pissed off.
This woman did more to restore authentic Catholicism in the American post-conciliar Church than anyone else I can think of.  Not to say an authentic restoration has actually taken place, but rather, that she was a beacon of Truth to anyone serious enough to want to hear it.  Mother and her network were essential to my true conversion in the late 90s, in a way that I knew was irreversible even then.  Because once you know the Truth, there is no going back.
A few weeks ago, I had the happy occasion of being with my oldest son and his family for a few days.  He is slowing returning to the faith, and his heart seems sincere.  A program came on TV, I think it was 60 Minutes, with the story of Brittany Maynard, the young woman from Oregon who took her own life in order to avoid the suffering of brain cancer and wanting to spare her family the sight of it.
Of course the story was presented in the most slanted way possible, i.e. how barbaric and medieval of the other 49 states to not be encouraging assisted suicide.  My son innocently asked the Church’s position on all this, and I explained it to him.  I also explained how, so often, the father of lies manages to convince the world of a lie that is the polar opposite of the truth.  How suffering is meant to be a tool; a tool that when properly wielded, united to the Cross, is like a battle ax cutting to the marrow of darkness.  How suffering is actually a gift, and that we choose with our own free will what to do with it, just like we all choose with our own free will what to do with the gift of redemption we’ve been offered.  And finally, how this woman’s wretched diabolic selfishness robbed her of that which she needed most in her last days, and robbed her family of the fruits of witness.  Ouch, the truth hurts.
As much as my answer stunned him, its clarity resonated in such a way that I knew immediately there would be no follow up questions.
When the linked article was published a few days ago, I emailed it to my son with the commentary, “This is how you go out like a warrior bad ass instead of as a coward.”
Mother was an example to all of us, to her last.  May God grant her eternal rest.

Laziness, Lies, Misnomers and Jihad

You may not be interested in jihad, but jihad is interested in you. Failure to educate yourself in the era of internet, google, and Amazon is laziness.  Sloth. Mortal Sin.
If you have time to read a book, it should be The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright. It goes back to the 14th century to explain the Hanbali school of Sunni Islam, and the Wahhabi/Salafi strains of this school. You will gain tremendous insight into what’s going on in the world.
If you don’t have time for that, do you have 15 minutes to read this article? It explains things in a very basic manner. The Wahhabi/Salafi sects reject everything that came after the very earliest times of the movement as satanic blasphemy, such that they are the only “true” Muslims.  That’s why you see them killing other Muslims in addition to everyone else.  So as the Muslim moves “deeper” into his faith, and the linear progression towards orthodoxy accelerates, he becomes weaponized (yes, weapons are part of the actual spiritual training). The west has coined a term for this process:  Radicalization.
However, “Radical Islam” is a misnomer.  While it does describe the extreme nature of the movement, it wrongly implies a periphery, a newness, a break with tradition, a revolution.  Wouldn’t it be more accurate to call it Orthodox Islam, or Conservative Islam, or Traditional Islam?  I suppose that wouldn’t sit too well with the other schools of Islam, even if it’s the truth.
Every politician on the national stage in every western country understands these facts.  Anyone who tells you Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism is a liar, and is a part of the problem. Anyone who leans on the fact that the majority of Muslims are peaceful, family people, obscures the facts at hand and is a part of the problem.
Oh, and changing the flag on your fb profile doesn’t mean shit, ever. Educate yourself, help to educate others, and start being part of the solution.