Si Si No No Title

July 2001 No. 41

Reality Check For The Post-Modern World


The Honor of God

The admirable Ruysbroeck said, "to desire the honor of God, to seek it and love it, this is the whole of eternal life; at the same time it is what God requires of us as our first and highest offering to him." The Church has no other mission than to place souls, even in this life, within this supernatural perspective, reminding them incessantly that the natural life and the supernatural life are inseparable. True, their interpenetration is not easy, but it is part and parcel of faith's battle; indeed, it is perhaps the most important part. Our wounds and failings are beyond counting, but, by the power of divine grace, they can become a ladder leading us to the vision of God in eternity.


Laicism, the Grave of the Masses

Nowadays the mass of the people, while they are the beneficiaries of material progress, are nonetheless alienated from spiritual goods thanks to modern institutions which have deprived revealed truth of its authority in order to impose the totalitarian demands of an invasive laicism. According to this, it is not necessary for man to know that he comes from a thought in God's mind, nor that eternal life is his ultimate end. The only realities which should concern him are this life here and now, his freedom, his person and society. Nothing is spared to impose this view on the entire planet; every means is used to make the victim accept this lying indoctrination and be a willing accomplice in it. The ideological bombardment is so insidious and persistent that only a small minority are prepared to risk escaping from it and resisting it.

Of course, the imposed lie can produce only an artificial and forced unity; but it takes time for souls, duly conditioned, to notice this. It seems that the confusion of ideas and the aggravation of situations of conflict have to reach a certain degree of intensity before man is able to turn back and learn that his strength is principally it prayer.


Hell Is Our “I”

Theologians tell us that hell is an inextinguishable and devouring fire, accompanied by the torments of remorse. It is not necessary, surely, to emphasize that this refers to the prolongation of our obstinate egocentrism, of which we refused to free ourselves during our life on earth. To this is added an eternal resentment against this defeated "I" which is the author of our misfortune, and the memory of the dazzling Divinity which we glimpsed before losing it forever. This shows us the falsehood of the verdict that "hell is other people." No. Hell is first and foremost the “I” which refused God. The other damned souls comes second.


Liturgy and Living Languages

The use, on a massive scale, of vernacular languages in the Catholic liturgy, has introduced into the liturgy the sad procession of the human passions. It could not be otherwise, for every language is primarily the expression and explosion of the "I." It always tries to put itself on a pedestal instead of being the servant of revealed Truth. The same can be said of those musical compositions which are all too human. None of these hasty innovations contribute solidly to the unity and peace of Christianity. History makes it abundantly clear: heresies and schisms have found particular nourishment in analogous linguistic trends, even if the latter were not the principal cause of the continuing doctrinal splintering.

I do not want to be accused of wishing the disappearance of the languages which human beings are accustomed to use. Every spoken form of expression is a practically indispensable language. But if it is to be used at the level of liturgical prayer and in the propagation of the Faith, where it performs a priceless service, language must operate at a higher, universal level, and be the fruit of humility, prayer, and divine transcendence; these are the components of a sacred language. This "added value" is only fully understood, of course, when it has been abandoned through weakness, impiety or some other unworthy motive; the result is an accelerated loss of the sense of the Divine.



A strange theory! Certainly, the confused, vacillating behavior of recent Popes provokes comments without number. But, among the accusers, who has ever been able to demonstrate conclusively that these popes were "absent" from their See? It remains true and it is grotesque fact, still very much in evidence – that there is an intolerable contradiction between their vacillating, ambiguous behavior, and the perfectly clear mission which the Savior assigned to Peter and his successors. Each time ambiguity has prevailed over the limpid clarity which this peerless function requires, great evils have descended upon souls and upon the Church. We only need to recall St. Paul's reaction when he saw the first instance of such behavior; this lent a firmness to the bark of Simon Peter for centuries.

In periods of great confusion in the Church, it is good to cling to the data of faith and to facts, and to be very suspicious of opinion, the favorite playground of the "I" which does not hesitate, when required, to move from a hard position to the opposite, soft position.


Human Solidarity and Divine Transcendence

The problems posed by human solidarity are complex and recurrent, but they are not insoluble: the human spirit is adequate to deal with them. Things are different, however, with Divine Transcendence: we are radically incapable of approaching it unless the divine initiative comes to assist our efforts and to help us in the encounter.

Right from the start, the creature's reaction varies: some accept this dependence with humility, love, and even gratitude (Abel); others resent it, rebel against it and reject all sovereignty (Cain). Our age tries a third tactic, which it no doubt thinks to be cleverer: man fraternizes with God, addresses Him familiarly, "manipulates" Him. This new fashion, this affectation, also applies to churchmen: they may appropriate to themselves the sacred goods entrusted to them; but they have no right to alter them or alienate them. This affectation is not unknown - strangely enough - even to atheists and deists, who think that they can merit Heaven's kindness while behaving with the uttermost nonchalance in the face of the divine demands, of which, for the most part, they are ignorant. We are faced with a misleading and irreligious euphoria in attitudes towards the Divine Transcendence. No doubt we should include this euphoria among the "precepts and commandments of men" stigmatized by the Divine Master (Mt.15:9). Nevertheless, this attitude, deliberately promoted for 30 years, considers itself to be irreversible because everything is organized to prevent its "turning back." One is lost in conjecture in trying to explain such recalcitrance, such a refusal to say "mea culpa," such an attempt to justify the unjustifiable simply on the basis of authority. And what of the showy, highly publicized politics? Is this not perhaps a ploy to perpetuate the illusion, to cover up the disaster and delay the unmasking of the lie? Let our present-day authorities rediscover the sense of Divine Transcendence and understand that, as of now, It judges all our acts, ours and theirs.


Evolution and Revolution

In his time, Pope Leo XIII, no doubt pushed in this direction, was at pains to smooth over the difficulties with laicism that had been pointed out to him, by conceding certain "advanced" practices that could be later neutralized by firm doctrinal admonitions. This was to fail to grasp human perfidy. Diplomatic compromises are accepted by revolutionary minds only as useful springboards, as entirely provisional arrangements. They are interested only in the total subversion of principles, institutions and customs (e.g., the revolutions of 1789 and 1917). Hence their successful efforts, for decades, in assembling competent agents at the highest level of the Church's government. The consequences of this are before our very eyes.


Human Science and Divine Science

A modern musician in the evening of his life lamented: "What saddens me in the idea of death is that I shall not be able to learn any more." Inanities of this kind are not rare, given the state of ignorance of our age. There was a time when the humblest Christian knew that in God were to be found all the treasures of science and wisdom (cf. the Litany of the Sacred Heart), and that Paradise (finally!) gives us access to this infinite ocean of knowledge.


Irreligion and Irrationalism

They go together, whether in the powers-that-be or in the man-in-the-street. Very soon the ordinary means of protection will not suffice to protect honest people, abandoned to every form of evil.


We and the Future

"Homo laicus" is saturated with absurdity. He is proud of his own freedom, but nonetheless does not disdain to try to penetrate what transcends him. While rejecting supernatural reality, he embraces the false comforts of an "illuminism," thus proving Léon Bloy right, who said that, for every priest who disappears, others would rise up, ready to offer their services to tell the future. If we are Christians we must let God have the absolute initiative in revealing and unfolding the future, without trying foolhardily to see what is coming, except by using those lights generally available to us through written Revelation and Tradition.

We cling totally to the will of God as regards our personal and social future by sanctifying as best we can the present moment, in faith, hope and charity. In fact, preferring this path, a path both ordinary and sublime, makes the Christian more disposed to accept in full consciousness and simplicity any extraordinary interventions of Heaven which may take place.


Tradition and Fidelity

 In the 16th century the heretical reformers gravely amputated the revealed doctrine: they accepted Scripture, but rejected Tradition. This entirely arbitrary action was perfectly in accord with the principle of "free enquiry": a written text cannot react to the violence inflicted upon it. "Sola scriptura et ego cum illa," one might say – “Scripture alone and myself alone."

It is a very different matter with sacred Tradition, permanent and immutable, taught with authority and in an unchanging meaning under the authority of the infallible Magisterium. At times the most skillful innovators conceal their rejection of Tradition, pretending that they are deeply rooted in the Church. This is how contemporary modernism operates: it strives to create "another Tradition," and, having introduced its deformations, it pretends to submit to the teaching of Popes, Fathers and Doctors down the centuries. To this end it uses all the ambiguities of modern thought and the most ambiguous formulas. Once they have become masters of the Temple, everything is possible. The civil authorities give their approval. The "passion of the Church" has begun. Are they also, perhaps, preparing its disappearance – apparent and temporary – by dissolution or by fusion with foreign bodies, in the same way that the Passion of Christ preceded his death on the Cross?


The Death of God?

Once it was the case that a few brave minds announced it and others prepared for it. Today this battle would even seem obsolete, since the existence of the living God has been replaced by the simple "idea" of a God who is flexible enough to be bent in any direction, according to our whim or imagination. Let us not deceive ourselves! This is only a new phase of that permanent rebellion, right from the start, by the creature against his Creator, in a battle that is continually being re-launched and continually being lost. Only once in history was deicide able to assume a concrete form in a violent battle in which no quarter was given: when the Divine Word was made flesh. Ever since that manifestation, in the Bethlehem stable, a savage desire to eliminate Him has made itself felt. The desire grows more and more acute, the more disturbing His Presence becomes, and the more clearly His Divinity is revealed (cf. the resurrection of Lazarus). The first three centuries of Christianity, marked by bloody persecution, were nothing other than hatred directed against the Risen One, who had escaped from his enemies once and for all. The increasing laicism of society and of that party which governs the Church is only the current episode of this senseless struggle. It is leading men to eternal death without God, diverting them from eternal Life with Him. More and more, things are organized in such a way as to render God absent from our lives and our chief concerns.

God, however, is not going to die. It is we who imagine that we can make Him disappear, whereas we only exist by virtue of Him. As we already observed: irrationality and irreligion are fitting companions.



Dialogue or Monologue? Losing Face to Be Politically Correct << first article



Courtesy of the Angelus Press, Kansas City, MO 64109
translated from the Italian
Fr. Du Chalard
Via Madonna degli Angeli, 14
Italia 00049 Velletri (Roma)

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