28 February 2022

You and I Are Going To Die (and So Will Everyone Else)

Unfortunately, many of our Bishops seem to have forgotten this during the pandemic, putting saving lives above saving souls. May God have mercy on them for their dereliction of duty. 

From Catholic Stand

By J.a.c. Man

Over the last two years, all of us witnessed politicians trying to out-do each other with respect to safety.  Keeping everyone safe from a microscopic bug suddenly became Job One.

Many times we’ve heard, “If these measures save just one life, they will be worth it” or something to that effect.  In many cases, this argument was used to justify the closing of church buildings and force the cancellation of Mass.  Was this reasonable?

If you apply the “save just one life” logic to other situations, stairs should be replaced with ramps and ladders should be banned outright.  Natural gas should also be banned because of all the fatalities each year, both from asphyxiation and explosions.  People also drown in bathtubs.  Should tubs be banned as well?

Fundamental Fallacy

After enacting different levels of control throughout the world from complete lockdowns in Australia to none in Sweden, how many people were saved?  Ultimately, the answer is zero.  Everyone is going to die.

The fundamental fact of death is overlooked by many in today’s modern world.  I believe this is partially due to the massive improvements in medicine realized in the last 200 years.

Today, children in the United States overwhelmingly survive childhood.  In 2020, just 7 out of 1,000 children died before age five.  (This number does not include babies who were legally murdered through abortions.  The number jumps to approximately 110 when abortions are counted.) This is drastically lower than the 185 out of 1,000 who died before age five in 1920.  And the number was 456 out of 1,000 in 1820.  That is over 45% of children dying before they reach the age of five.

Overall life expectancy in the United States has risen dramatically from 54 years of age in 1920 to 79 in 2020.  In this modern world, we are blessed with long lives.


When one lives in a world in which nearly 1 out 5 children die before they are five years old, one is well aware that death is continually present.  And if death is constantly present, one is more apt to prepare for it both mentally and spiritually.

However, people in today’s modern world seem to procrastinate, as there seems to be plenty of time to get one’s life and soul in order.  That is, until some terrible event takes place.

I remember when Catholics packed Masses after the September 11 World Trade Center attack.  Suddenly people were afraid and worshiping God and thanking Him for His blessings was important.

Unfortunately, the most recent event was different.  Over the last two years, people were afraid to go to Mass.  Going to Kroger or Walmart was essential and safe.  But even once churches opened back up, celebrating the Eucharist was superfluous and risky.

Parable of the Talents

In the Gospel of Matthew, one finds the parable of the Talents (Mathew 25:14-30).  Most people probably know the parable, but here’s a very short recap.

A man gave three of his servants talents and went on a journey.  Two servants made investments and doubled the number of talents they were given.  One servant buried his talent.  He hid his master’s money out of fear.  Upon his return, the master celebrated the work of his 2 faithful servants and scorned the servant who buried the money.

Dig Up Your Talents and Invest in Saving Souls

I would argue that many Catholics buried their talents over the last 2 years.  Dig them up.

Catholics should not have so easily abandoned the Sacraments in the name of safety, especially when Catholics needed them the most.  The Sacraments are an essential investment in our souls.

Investments in souls do not always require priests, however.  I would argue that a lay person talking to someone one-on-one can be just as effective as any 15-minute sermon during mass.  It is more personal.

Prepare for Death

Since death is coming, one should always be prepared for it, both emotionally and spiritually.  After all, we never know when death will come for each of us.

Death is not a discussion one can have with a grieving family. This is something that one needs to talk about before one is sick or dying.  If one procrastinates until that point, emotions will be too high.  And preparations do need to be made spiritually for oneself – and for the living left behind.

Now is the time to talk to family members and prepare them.  Let them know your wishes regarding prolonging life and treatments.  In today’s world, that includes giving someone power of attorney if you are incapacitated.  Perhaps this includes planning your own funeral.  If you can, you should prepare your family spiritually as well.

Catholics also know that there is life everlasting.  We must make a concerted effort to pass our particular judgment, to be cleansed, and to reach paradise.

Now is the time to prepare for judgment, to get one’s spiritual life in order.  We should go to Mass on Sunday, and go to Confession regularly.  Now is the time to make amends and work to avoid sin.


Preparation for death also involves living.  It is easy to be like the servant who buried his talents.  It is easy to be afraid and bury oneself, avoiding any interaction or possible threat.  That is not what Catholics are called to do.

To quote Saint Pope John Paul II, “Be not afraid.”  While on this earth, one should live life like the servants who doubled their master’s talents.  There will be risks.  There will be threats.  And there will be suffering.  However, there will also be joy, delight, and blessings.

We should use the talents God has given us.

Playtime for the Atheist

Dr Esolen asks a serious question. Do many of our Bishops even believe in the Truth anymore? It certainly doesn't seem like they do.

From Crisis

By Anthony Esolen, PhD

When the young Augustine was in his long years of struggle, he was not searching for surges of good feeling. He got that from the mistress he kept, to whom he was faithful, and who bore for him his dearly loved son, Adeodatus. He was not searching for eminence in the world. His brilliance as a writer and teacher could win him that. He did not want the comfort of being told that God would respect his Manichean notions of a deity spread out through the universe like an all-penetrating ectoplasm, corporeal but too slender to see with the naked eye.

He wanted to find the truth, and to rest in it, as in an assured dwelling place. When he found it, he found Christ, whom he sometimes called by the simple and powerful name Truth. He was not the only ancient father to do so.

Our minds are made to hunger for the Truth and to be satisfied by it and it alone. Who would take a spouse on the condition that he or she only seemed to love, no matter how persuasive the acting was? Or who would say, “I accept this faith because it pleases me, and it helps me through the sufferings of this life, but I do not care whether it is true”? We do not want to be deceived, even when we are the ones doing the deceiving.

When Augustine found the Truth, he rejoiced in it. Such a joy is natural, in harmony with our nature as rational and intellectual beings. Jesus did not say that Satan was, at the center of his evil, the father of hurt feelings and bruised egos. He said that Satan was a murderer from the beginning, and a liar, and the father of lies. Satan does not rejoice in the truth because the truth is not in him.

I ask, now, whether the leaders of our Church do indeed rejoice in the truth. The psalmist did when he meditated upon the law of God, who was a lamp unto his feet. There is no clash between the truth of the things that are made, says St. Paul, and the truth of the invisible things of God; and there is no clash between the moral law and the law of love. God is the Creator and author of all.

When you see a man, you see—whether you are aware of it or not, whether you consider it or not, and whether it pleases you or not—a person fashioned to be, in his mode of physical existence and also, as we believe, his spiritual existence, a father. He bears within him the seed of new human life. You see the woman, and in the same way, regardless of the same things, you see a mother, the field, the nurturing soil whence the new life will spring. These are truths. From them, and from the nature of the human child, we can deduce the whole of the moral law regarding sexual action.

It should be a joy for us to do so. We should revel in it. That we do not revel in the moral law implies not that there is something defective in it, but that there is something defective in us.

Imagine someone going to a place of tremendous and sublime beauty—to Angel Falls, to the Grand Canyon, to the foothills of Mount Fuji. Imagine that he is quite unmoved by it, perhaps bored, or even irritated. We would not lay the blame on Angel Falls. We would lay the blame on him.

If he said, “I like the shopping mall better,” and named a store where he could buy, or gape at, lewd clothing, we would begin to wonder whether he had gone quite mad. And that is exactly our condition, to some degree or other, with regard to this or that field of the moral truth. We shy away from it, we turn our eyes aside, we drag our feet, we grumble. It is often a long operation indeed to straighten the warp of a human soul. That God endures the tedium of it is itself an act of divine love. I imagine that even the angels yawn.

Now I hear that bishops in the spiritual wastelands of western Europe deny that, in this matter that is at the heart of all human cultures because it bears most powerfully upon that fundamental society called the family, one can find out the invisible things of God from the things that have been made. For them, the man is not a man, and the woman is not a woman, but rather they are indiscriminate persons with a variety of sexual inclinations which they may licitly indulge without regard to objective reality that can readily be seen by anyone with eyes and a mind.

The only way to approve of or even condone any form of mock-marriage, homosexual or otherwise, is to deny that we have access to objective reality outside of our feelings about it. But our feelings rather must conform to the reality, not the other way around.

The man who wants to sodomize another man may call it love, and I have no doubt that powerful passions may be involved and that some of those passions may include misused movements of charity. That can be said of all human connections that are immoral: the passions and the truncated self-giving of fornicators such as Augustine and his mistress; the blood-loyalties of a criminal gang; the withered generosity of a harlot with her customer; the self-sacrifice of pirates on the attack. It does not matter. God peers into the deepest recesses of the soul, but we cannot, nor is it required of us. The moral law is a public thing, and if we were innocent, it would be an obvious thing.

It is obvious that the man in question cannot love the other man in the other’s fullness as a man. For him, the seed is not seed but something else—I wish not to get into the details; and the man is not in his essence a father. Someone who looks upon a child with sexual desire is not thinking about the child, who in the flesh bears witness to the mature man or woman he or she is to become; rather, he is thinking of an arrested creature, a plaything of the here and now. Someone who looks at a woman with lust, thinking of the pleasure of sexual union but not of what that union is and what it necessarily means, is not thinking of the woman as such, but rather of a female body fitted out with the desired accoutrements.

We cannot do what these bishops want without overthrowing the whole doctrine of creation as it is revealed to us in Scripture. It seems to me that they feel the truth as a clog upon the will, a ball and chain, and that the personal will alone, as vague and wayward and apt to self-deception as it may be, must reign. Such an attitude is, of course, not Christian. I do not think it can subsist with any religion at all. It is playtime for the atheist.

Germany’s ‘Synodal Way’ Divides Local Catholics

At least some of the German laity are retaining their sanity and wish to remain Catholic as their Church descends into the abyss of schism.

From the National Catholic Register

By Edward Pentin

Some laypeople who spoke with the Register support its heterodox approach, but others warn their local Church is careening toward schism.

ROME — The “Synodal Way” of the Catholic Church in Germany is revealing ingrained internal divisions as well as continuing efforts to radically change Church teaching and align it more closely with civil society, a cross section of German Catholics and non-Catholics have told the Register.

The multiyear reform process, which began in early 2020 and ostensibly aims to tackle “key issues” arising from the clerical sex-abuse crisis, drew headlines earlier this month after its participants approved drafts in favor of same-sex union blessings; changes to the Catechism on homosexuality and the ordination of women priests; for priestly celibacy to be optional in the Latin Church; and for lay involvement in the election of new bishops.

The latest developments, which took place at the Synodal Way’s latest plenary meeting in Frankfurt and are not binding on the universal Church, have caused considerable concern among Catholics in Germany who seek to remain faithful to the Church’s magisterium. These doctrinally faithful Catholics, who consider themselves a small minority within Germany, are looking with alarm at what is happening but also are noting the fact that the Church’s de facto internal schism that has existed for years is now being fully revealed.

“The schism is coming out in all its brutality,” said Bernard Meuser, a founder of the lay group “Neuer Anfang” (New Beginning) that is critical of the Synodal Way’s efforts at reform. Referring to recent attacks by German bishops on Pope Benedict XVI over allegedly mishandling historical abuse cases, a claim that Benedict denies, Meuser said that has also helped reveal “who belongs in which camp.” Such behavior, he said, is “something I have never experienced in the Church.”

Mathias von Gersdorff, an economist and member of the Tradition, Family and Property movement, said that from the beginning of the process he believed the Synodal Way would lead to the formation of a German national church.

“My concerns are heightened with the Synodal Way: A platform has been formed that includes bishops and grassroots groups of laypeople who want to push through their radical agenda,” he said. “This agenda is not new, but with the Synodal Way, they now have an ‘official’ platform that gives their concerns more weight in public.”

Synodal Path Structure

Germany’s “Synodal Way,” also known as the “Synodal Path,” which has now held four synodal assemblies over the past two years, is comprised of four forums, each headed by a bishop and layperson.

Within those forums, its 230 participants have been principally discussing four themes that they see as significantly related to the abuse crisis: “Power and the Separation of Powers in the Church,” “Priestly Life Today,” “Women in Ministries and Offices of the Church,” and “Living in Successful Relationships — Living Love in Sexuality and Partnership.”

Using the abuse crisis as a launching pad to push through this reform, the Synodal Way’s twin goals of tackling the crisis and advancing an agenda that conflicts with Church teaching are attractive to some German Catholics and non-Catholics who want the sex-abuse crisis resolved. They also see that as inseparable from a Church that needs to change some of its teachings to conform with the times.

The abuse crisis is the “No. 1 topic” in Germany at the moment, said Frank Hornig, the Rome correspondent for the large-circulation German magazine Der Spiegel. “It’s such a big topic for Germans compared to here in Italy, where they don’t even talk about it.”

Although he has lived outside his native Bonn for several years, Hornig said he believes many Germans are frustrated with the Church’s inability to come to terms with the local Church’s abuse scandal that began in Berlin in 2009, even though steps to address it have been made, including the Synodal Way.

Hornig said many people are leaving the Church because they don’t like the way the Church has handled the sex-abuse scandal, and he added that the general sense is, “Hey, if they cannot even deal with this abuse scandal after 10 to 12 years and are still struggling, we must show them they need to reform.”

Resentment has been heightened, he added, by the fact that German citizens are paying for the Church and bishops’ salaries through taxes and other means. (Recent reports revealed that 27 Catholic dioceses are receiving millions of euros in state aid each year due to laws dating back to the 19th century — 242 million euros in 2021 — in addition to gargantuan tax revenues amounting to 6.45 billion euros in 2020.)

Hornig said his impression was that many Catholics left the Church because of the abuse scandal and “don’t want to come back”; and that although there are a few “outspoken, traditional and conservative” faithful in the parishes, German Catholics “tend to be rather open-minded, liberal and worldly.” They want the Church to “open up and be brought closer to society,” he said.

Backed by Most Bishops

German lay Catholics who are supportive of the Synodal Way told the Register they see all the issues raised as worthy of discussion, partly because they believe the process gives a true picture of the present state of the Church in Germany, but also because of the high representation of bishops (60 out of the country’s 67), most of whom appear to agree with the reforms.

They include Archbishop Ludwig Schick of Bamberg, who, on Feb. 16, did not rule out the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, saying he was “committed to ensuring that women in the Church have a major, equal role” and predicting a Rome “council” to discuss it. However, Pope St. John Paul II definitively ruled out women priests in 1994.

Supporters of the Synodal Way also have a sense that it is completing unfinished business: The Würzburg Synod of 1971-1975, which aimed to implement the teachings of the Second Vatican Council in Germany, including introducing married priests and giving the local Church a say in appointing bishops, never advanced.

“For many of them, the fact that Rome did not take a stand at all at that time probably left its mark on their lives,” said a German lay Catholic in Berlin who wished to remain anonymous.

But, more generally, the majority of German citizens seem to care little about the country’s “Synodal Way,” including many of the country’s 22.6 million Catholics, of whom many are lapsed or poorly catechized.

“Most of them only read the headlines ‘Celibacy should be abolished!’ ‘Demand for the ordination of women as priests’; ‘Blessing of all sexual orientations,’” said Father Guido Rodheudt, a parish priest in Aachen. “The result is usually a loud yawning.”

He told the Register that German citizens “still turn around on Sundays when the bells ring,” but added that “no one finds their way to God because the Church now hires diversity-minded pastoral ministers or allows a woman to say Mass.

“The crucial questions ‘Is there a God? And if there is, how do I live with him beyond my death?’ remain unanswered in the ‘Synodal Way,’” Father Rodheudt added. “It is mainly a matter of power issues and jurisdictional wrangling. But this is of no interest to anyone who wants to know where his or her life’s journey is going.”

Father Rodheudt, who argued that the Synodal Way “has no general authorization” and consists “largely of officials and employees living off Church tax revenues,” said what happened at the recent Synodal Way meeting in Frankfurt was the “proclamation of a different Church” and a “death blow to Catholicism in Germany.”

Misuse of Abuse Crisis?

Some German Catholics have voiced concern that the abuse crisis is being exploited in order to introduce the Synodal Way’s revolutionary goals.

The sex-abuse scandal “is only being used for the radical restructuring of the Church,” said Meuser, himself an abuse survivor. “Because of abuse, we need abuse prosecution, not ‘Church reform,’” he added.

Commenting on the Synodal Way’s Facebook group, German Catholic layman Thomas Roik decried how abuse has been “instrumentalized to enforce political Church demands,” adding that it is making “a mockery of the victims.”

The Synodal Way’s claim that it is dealing with the real causes of the abuse crisis is also hotly disputed.

Writing in the Neue Zurcher Zeitung on Feb. 10, German Catholic writer Martin Mosebach said he believed the underpinning philosophy of the “Synodal Way” is the very one that aggravated the abuse, and which mostly took place in the post-conciliar era — a time, he said, marked by the collapse of “structures of obedience.” He asserted that the abuse took place not because priests “broke under the yoke” of discipline, doctrine and tradition, but, rather, because they had been “freed for decades from clear spiritual supervision.”

‘False Impression’

Other German Catholics, speaking to the Register, also rejected the German synodal process.

Carsten Brennecke, a non-Catholic lawyer who recently helped defend Benedict XVI over accusations made against him in the report on abuse cases in Munich, said he thought “a false impression” was being given to the Catholic faithful in the country that the reforms could be decided in Germany even though they regard matters that can only be decided by the universal Church. “I have the impression that citizens are incompletely informed because it is not made clear to them that such reform decisions cannot be made in Germany,” he said.

Brennecke also pointed out how determined the reformers are in achieving their aims and highlighted in particular the attacks on Benedict, especially in the media.

They were caused, he believes, because Benedict’s teaching is viewed as “rather obstructive to the Synodal Way.”

An informed German Church lay source who asked not to be named due to fear of retribution warned about the determination of those pushing the Synodal Way.

“It’s important to recall that the Reformation didn’t remain in Germany, and if people downplay it and ignore it, then it will lead to disaster,” the source said.

“Germany and religion is a dangerous mixture — this was the case even before Reformation. Unfortunately, history tends to repeat itself — only, this time, the bishops are lost, malformed and naive.”


Today and tomorrow are 'Shrovetide'. Here's some information about the time, its origins, and its customs. 

From FishEaters

The Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday are known as "Shrovetide," from an old English word "shrive," meaning "to confess," a name gotten from the tradition of going to Confession in the days before Lent started. Shrovetide is traditionally the time for "spring cleaning," and just as we clean our houses in these days in prepation for Lent, we also "clean our souls" through confession so we can enter the penitential season fresh.

Shrovetide is the last two days of "Carnival," an unofficial period that began after the Epiphany and which takes its name from the Latin carnelevare, referring to the "taking away of flesh" (meat) during Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday, the day following Shrove Tuesday. Catholics want to eat while they can and get the frivolity out of their systems in preparation for the somber Lenten spirit to come.

The Tuesday of Shrovetide is a particularly big party day known as "Mardi Gras" (French for "Fat Tuesday") -- or "Pancake Tuesday" because fats, eggs, and butter in the house had to be used up before Lent began, and making pancakes or waffles was a good way to do it. In many places, especially in England, pancake races became popular and remain popular today. In these races, women must run while flipping a pancake so many times, and whoever crosses the finish line first wins. The largest pancake race in England is in Olney, in Buckinghamshire. There, the women must wear a dress, apron, and bonnet, and flip the pancake three times -- while ensuring it is intact after they cross the finish line, of course. The story told to explain the origins of this race is that in 1445, a homemaker heard the shriving bell (the bell rung to summon people to confession on this day) as she was busy working in her kitchen. Not wanting to be late, she rushed about and ran off with her skillet still in hand.

At Westminster School in London, the "Pancake Grease" is held, an event during which the schoolmaster tosses a very large pancake over a bar that's set to about 15 feet high. The children make a mad scramble for it, and whoever emerges with the largest piece is the winner.

Below is a recipe for Shrove Tuesday Pancakes:
Shrove Tuesday Pancakes

4 large eggs
1 cup milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla, extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
Additional melted butter

Powdered sugar
Fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend first 6 ingredients in blender. Gradually add flour; blend until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes.

Heat medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with butter. Add 2 generous tablespoons batter, tilting pan to coat bottom. Cook until golden on bottom, about 45 seconds. Turn pancake over. Cook until bottom is speckled with brown, about 30 seconds. Turn out onto paper towel. Cover with another paper towel. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with butter as needed.

Butter ovenproof dish. Sift powdered sugar over speckled side of each pancake, then sprinkle lightly with lemon juice; fold pancakes into quarters. Overlap pancakes in prepared dish. Cover; bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve with more powdered sugar and lemon juice.

And here is a recipe for "Dutch Baby" pancakes that are baked:
Dutch Babies (serves 1 or 2)

1 cup flour
1 TBSP sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
pinch of salt
1 TBSP butter melted in a 9" pie pan in the oven
Powdered sugar and fresh lemons

Mix flour, sugar, milk, eggs and salt, and beat at high speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into buttered pie pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until edges have risen and are crisp and golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and squeeze lemon juice over the top.
An old German tale to tell your children while making pancakes:
The Runaway Pancake

Two women in Jetzschko were baking a pancake, and when it was almost done they began to quarrel, because each one wanted the whole thing.

The one woman said, "I get the pancake!" The other one replied, "No, I want all of it!"

Before they knew what was happening, the pancake suddenly grew feet, jumped out of the pan, and ran away. He came to a fox, who said to him, "Pancake, pancake, where are you going?" The pancake answered, "I ran away from two old women, and I shall run away from you as well!"

Then he met a hare. It too shouted, "Pancake, pancake, where are you going?" The pancake answered, "I ran away from two old women, Reynard the Fox, and I shall run away from you as well.

The pancake ran on until he came to some water. A ship full of people was floating on the water. They too cried out to him, "Pancake, pancake, where are you going?" Again he said, "I ran away from two old women, Reynard the Fox, Speedy the Hare, and I shall run away from you as well."

Then he came to a large pig. It too shouted to him, "Pancake, pancake, where are you going?" "Oh," he said, "I ran away from two old women, Reynard the Fox, Speedy the Hare, a ship full of people, and I shall run away from you as well."

The pig said, "Pancake, I am hard of hearing. You'll have to say it into my ear!" So the pancake went up close, and bam! bam! the pig snatched him and ate him up, and with that the story is ended.
In Poland, the food of the day is "Paczki" (pronounced "punch-key") -- large, filled fried "doughnuts" of sorts ("paczki" is plural; the singular is "paczek," pronounced "pon-check"). So ubiquitous is this treat among Poles that Shrove Tuesday is known as "Paczki Day" (this may be more common among American Poles, as Poles in Poland celebrate Paczki day on the Thursday prior to Ash Wednesday).
Paczki (3 dozen)

12 egg yolks
4 1/2 cups flour 1 tsp salt
3 TBSP rum or brandy
2 pkg. yeast
1 cup whipping cream (heavy cream), scalded
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups thick jam or preserves -- esp. cherry, prune, apricot
1/3 cups butter, at room temperature
lard (or oil, or combination of the two) for deep frying
1/2 cup sugar for sprinkling

Beat yolks and salt together a small mixer bowl at high speed until mixture is thick (about 7 minutes). Soften yeast in warm water in large bowl. Cream butter, add sugar gradually, creaming until fluffy, then beat into softened yeast. Stir one-fourth of flour into yeast mixture. Add rum and half the cream. Beat in another one-fourth flour. Stir in remaining cream. Beat in half of remaining flour. Then beat in egg yolks and continue to beat for 2 minutes.. Gradually beat in remaining flour until dough blisters. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and tea towel and set in warm place to rise. When doubled in bulk, punch down. Cover; let dough rise again until doubled. Punch down.

Roll dough on floured surface to about 3/4-inch thickness. Cut out 3-inch rounds. Place 1 teaspoonful jam in center of half the rounds.. Brush edges of rounds with water. Top with remaining rounds and seal edges. Place on floured surface and let rise until doubled in bulk (about 20 minutes). Heat fat to 360 degrees F, and fry doughnuts in hot fat until dark golden brown on both sides (about 3 minutes per side). Drain on absorbent paper. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Shrove Tuesday has also become a party day in the secular world, too, where, sadly, decadence tends to reign -- extreme decadence in many places, such as New Orleans, Louisiana, infamous for its vulgar, extremely Dionysian Mardi Gras celebrations. The sort of King's Cake eaten on the Feast of the Epiphany which begins Carnival is often eaten during these Mardi Gras celebrations.

The Ignored Warning Against Modernism From The Greatest Theologian Of The 20th Century

A warning from Fr  Garrigou-Lagrange on the dangers of modernism.

A lost treasure of Catholic orthodoxy.

Word of the Day: Lust

LUST. An inordinate desire for or enjoyment of sexual pleasure. The desires or acts are inordinate when they do not conform to the divinely ordained purpose of sexual pleasure, which is to foster the mutual love of husband and wife and, according to the dispositions of providence, to procreate and educate their children. (Etym. Anglo-Saxon lut, pleasure.)

Lockdown With the Devil - Chapter Seven

Taking The Screwtape Letters as a model, Mr Hall envisions the demonic attack on the family during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

From One Peter Five

By Kennedy Hall

Read chapter I here

Read chapter II here

Read Chapter III here

Read Chapter IV here

Read Chapter V here

Read Chapter VI here

Malthus my boy,

Why did you not tell me that the daughter had experienced her own little conversion of sorts? Did you think you could hide it from me, or are you just incompetent? I will give you the benefit of the doubt (against my better judgement) and chalk it up to inexperience. Every single piece of information that is potentially relevant to us must be shared. Ultimately you can hide nothing from me, and no amount of negligence or incompetence will be tolerated. You have to come to terms with the fact that you are nothing more than a beast of burden at my disposal, and if you prove defective I will deal with you in whatever way corrects the problem. I can train another mule just as easy, and you can be put down all the same.

Regarding the girl, she is a young thing, just ten years old, and has not at this point in her life committed any mortal sin. Since she has been baptised, and has never rejected the Enemy on her own accord, this poses an issue for us. You wrote to me that, “it is not an issue as she hasn’t always gone to Church and hasn’t been catechised.” Again, I am not sure if this is incompetence or if you are trying to provide me with more reasons to suffocate your career.

It does not matter that she personally rarely goes to Church, as she is under her parents’ authority, and they themselves rarely attend. She does not intentionally avoid the Sacraments, therefore she cannot be held to account. You must understand that the Enemy claims there is some “spirit of the law,” and thus applies legal realities differently to humans in different contexts. He claims that this is out of “mercy” and “fairness,” but we know it is merely hypocrisy. The Church has always claimed that one must use their reason in a decision in order to fully commit a sin. Well, our Father Below used his reason at the beginning of time, and it was not enough for him to inherit the dignity and honour he so rightly deserved. You see? Hypocrisy.

As far as her not being catechised, in this case it is not to our benefit that this be so. The modern standards of catechisms have been one of our greatest assets. The girl knows they ought to fulfill their obligations, however she has not been in a place to travel on Sundays without her parents assistance or permission. That is until recently. Now that her brother has committed to believing, even against the express will of his parents, he has now arranged transportation for him and his sister. I know what you are thinking, and no, the young man is not breaking any commandments by disobeying his parents in this situation, as the Enemy claims that even a parent has no right to tell a child to negate their supposed religious duties. Once again we see the cognitive dissonance the Enemy expects out of them: on the one hand He expects them to obey proper authority, but on the other He expects them to rightfully think for themselves.

Nonetheless, since the parents are splendidly ignorant of anything the Church teaches, they entertain a parody in their minds of what it means to be a Christian. The modern Christian is often so far removed from any semblance of understanding of what is truly demanded of them by their faith, that they have relegated the whole affair to a sort of “self-help” system. If you are a Christian, you are expected to be nice, friendly, and inclusive; if you are in any way confrontational or unkind then you must be a “bad Christian” or not understand “what the Enemy really means in the Scriptures.” Whole orders of priests and religious leaders are now confident in spreading the mythical idea that the Great and Terrible Name wants them to take to heart that they are not in a place to judge; meanwhile they judge all Christians they disagree with as being the judgmental sort that isn’t “charitable.” Hypocrisy, a daughter of pride, is one of the most delectable delicacies that gives us untold amounts of souls to satiate our never ending thirst. The torture of mind and soul that a hypocritical Christian must endure wrenches their interior life into such a knot, that untangling them for our purposes is perhaps the greatest fun you will ever have.

The parents do not even pretend to be believing Christians, but because of the scant few years they spent at Bible camps and half a dozen religion classes, they believe they are experts. In their mind, their children are simply disobedient and misbehaved if they choose the Enemy’s wishes over theirs. Thankfully, they are convinced that religion should only serve to make you a better person—whatever that means—and since the children may now ignore their commands, Christianity must be making them worse.

In any case, the situation with the young girl is grave indeed. Now that she seems to be making a habit out of frequenting the Sacraments with her brother, and given that she possesses a virginal purity and innocence, she is virtually impenetrable to us. The Guardian that was employed for her when her life began has, as a result of her orientation towards Heaven, full permission to defend her soul like an impregnable fortress. Unless she herself assents to one of our advances, she may as well be considered a lost cause. What is worse, she is now interested in that garden of prayers that the Woman entrusted to Dominic. I will not mention its true name, as it evokes an unbearably sweet and fragrant image in my mind’s eye—it is a torturous endeavour to even contemplate.

The son has moved on from his confrontation with his parents, and his overcoming of the pain his parents caused him has unfortunately strengthened his resolve. Each evening, the girl and her brother now kneel at their bedside, as he leads her in that insufferable chain of beads that may as well be an atomic annihilation of all our efforts. Her innocence and childlike imagination facilitates a sort of voyage in her soul to a place totally enwrapped in the entrapments of the Enemy. Have you noticed that each night around the same time you are practically barricaded from even watching them? The rage that fills my spirit when I contemplate the impenetrability of this forcefield has made it hard to concentrate, you may notice my penmanship is a bit erratic as a result.

What is worse, by some stroke of luck, the normal tactics of sexualised music and celebrity idols have not had the effect on her that they do on the other children. She has always been somewhat of a “bookworm,” and therefore spends her free time losing herself in pages depicting stories of princesses, valiant knights, and simpler times. Since the young children are not susceptible to the carnal temptations, our greatest asset is their imagination. The brutal realism and debauchery of most film and art over the last century has greatly helped in priming the imaginations of the youth in our favour. However, as of yet we cannot get the older books out of print. We are making great strides however in this endeavour as we are now convincing more and more of them to view the stories of older historical eras with the contextual eye of modern political correctness. This means that the ridiculous social orthodoxy of today is the standard of what literature must be allowed from the past. It is remarkable, for centuries the Church had an index of books that were forbidden because they worked in our favour. But now we have our own sort of index that disallows literature that could work against our efforts. I do enjoy these infernal reversals!

Notwithstanding, the girl’s mind thinks with images that resemble fairy tale figures. The humans now use the term “fairy tale” as if it were a pejorative, which is helpful to us. Nonetheless, the truth of fairy tales is closer to the Enemy’s philosophy than any modern literature; they must be avoided. Has it ever struck you as relevant that since they have abandoned stories about defeating dragons and serving kings, that our Dragon Commander has made greater and greater strides in his lordship over the world?

What is worse, she does not now even lament the fact that she has never made too many friends, because the Enemy has now revealed to her that she was in fact saving herself for truer friendship with the angels and saints. I am nauseous even admitting these facts. How infuriating. Our only hope at this point is to encourage her father to lead her astray, as she adores him and as of yet has not realised how weak he is.

Until next time,


What Is at the Heart of the Progressivist Attacks on the Traditional Latin Mass and the Accusations That People Who Want It Are "Against Vatican II"? Here's What It Is.

Fr Zed has some trenchant thoughts.

From Fr Z's Blog

A little over a year ago, I read something from one of the foremost of the “self-promoting through papalotry” voices of the ecclesiologically progressive gang.  It was alarming in its implications.

What I had read was a claim that Vatican II was the interpretive principle through which all of Tradition had to be reinterpreted.

I have been mulling this over for a long time now.

The alarm went off again this week when I saw this tweet from Beans.

What Beans is talking about here is the important address Benedict XVI gave to the Roman Curia before Christmas in 2005, his talk about how to interpret the Second Vatican Council.  Benedict identified an interpretive approach or hermeneutic of  continuity against a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture.

Here’s some of that talk with my emphases:

The question arises:  Why has the implementation of the Council, in large parts of the Church, thus far been so difficult?

Well, it all depends on the correct interpretation of the Council or – as we would say today – on its proper hermeneutics, the correct key to its interpretation and application. The problems in its implementation arose from the fact that two contrary hermeneutics came face to face and quarrelled with each other. One caused confusion, the other, silently but more and more visibly, bore and is bearing fruit.

On the one hand, there is an interpretation that I would call “a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”; it has frequently availed itself of the sympathies of the mass media, and also one trend of modern theology. On the other, there is the “hermeneutic of reform”, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.

The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church. It asserts that the texts of the Council as such do not yet express the true spirit of the Council. It claims that they are the result of compromises in which, to reach unanimity, it was found necessary to keep and reconfirm many old things that are now pointless. However, the true spirit of the Council is not to be found in these compromises but instead in the impulses toward the new that are contained in the texts.

These innovations alone were supposed to represent the true spirit of the Council, and starting from and in conformity with them, it would be possible to move ahead. Precisely because the texts would only imperfectly reflect the true spirit of the Council and its newness, it would be necessary to go courageously beyond the texts and make room for the newness in which the Council’s deepest intention would be expressed, even if it were still vague.

In a word:  it would be necessary not to follow the texts of the Council but its spirit. In this way, obviously, a vast margin was left open for the question on how this spirit should subsequently be defined and room was consequently made for every whim.

The nature of a Council as such is therefore basically misunderstood. In this way, it is considered as a sort of constituent that eliminates an old constitution and creates a new one.

This, friends, points in the direction of the foundational ideas of the progressivist attacks on the people who want Traditional sacred liturgical worship.

Eventually the progressivists want to sweep aside Catholic moral teaching, discipline, and worship.  Those who desire traditional sacred worship stand in the way of those objectives.  This is because “we are our rites”.  Worship is doctrine.  It is our identity.  Therefore, people who want traditional worship must be shoved to the periphery and … over it.

Here is the core of the progressivist complaint against “trads” and, indeed, conservatives in general whom they claim are “against Vatican II”.  That’s the constant accusation isn’t it?

Here is the connection with Benedict XVI’s 2005 talk, which Beans mentioned above.  Beans gave us the compass for their map.

NB: Benedict XVI’s Christmas Curia talk was a critique of German Jesuit Karl Rahner’s thoughts about the Council, which are the essential fuel driving what progressivists are doing today to bring about their goals, the approval of all manner of innovation from the transformation of the Church into a global NGO to the approval of sodomy.

Beans’ tweet, above, accuses Benedict of not knowing what he was talking about in his own talk.  But Benedict’s talk was a criticism of Rahner’s view of the Council.  Ergo….!

… we must turn our attention to that monumentally important figure for theology in the second half of the last century, Fr. Karl Rahner, SJ (what else).

To keep this short, here is Rahner’s understanding of Vatican II. 

In 1979 Rahner published an article in Theological Studies called “Towards a Fundamental Theological Interpretation of Vatican II”.  For Rahner, Vatican II constituted a unique event, tantamount to the foundational “Apostolic” Council of Jerusalem recounted in Acts 15 which, among other concrete issues, dealt with the nascent Church being comprised of both Jews and Gentiles.  For Rahner, Vatican II was unique in the sense that the Council of Jerusalem was unique, beginning a new era in the Church.  No other Council was like it.   The Council of Jerusalem brought in the Gentiles in a way that made the Church essentially Judeo-Hellenic in the Roman world, thus leading to centuries of Eurocentric or Western cultural domination of the Church.  Vatican II, for Rahner, shattered that framework, transforming the Eurocentric Church into a “world Church”.

Moreover, Vatican II was such a titanic and dynamic event that it is ongoing.  Hence the “impulses”, which Benedict mentioned, are still at work in the ongoing “spirit” of Vatican II.   Rahner reiterated his notions about Vatican II in a 1979 talk at the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, MA, where he argued that Vatican II was the self-actualization of a “world Church”, no longer predominantly Eurocentric, but now influenced and even steered by the Southern Hemisphere, etc.

At the Council of Jerusalem, they had to cope with a shift from a monocultural Church to one that embraced many cultures.  Vatican II was another tectonic shift, opening to the whole world and, indeed, letting in the whole world.  That has implications, of course.  How does such a Church embrace such diversity and still remain the same Church, handed down in continuity?  What is inculturation?  What if there are conflicts with the world’s ways in culture X or Y?

The progressives, imbued with Rahner’s notion of the Council as a unique and ongoing event, a reimagining of the Church as it were, claim themselves to be justified not just to interpret but to reinterpret all of the Church’s history, liturgy, doctrine and discipline

Because they stand not on the texts of the Council but the “impulses” they derive from the texts and the “spirit” of those impulses, and because Vatican II is “ongoing”, everything that the Church does in Cult (worship), Code (disciple) and Creed (doctrine) is subject to abolition, transformation, etc. according to the needs of the world.

It makes no difference that John XXIII at the opening of the Council said in his “Gaudet Mater Ecclesia” speech, that this Council, Vatican II, required the same accuracy and precision as Trent and Vatican I, or that certain and immutable doctrines, though expressed in new terms, must remain with their meaning preserved intact.

It is no wonder that Beans and others look condescendingly at Ratzinger, who stands in opposition to Rahner’s false notion of the Council as constituting a tectonic shift in the Church unlike every other Council all the back to the primoradial, pre-ecumenical Council of Jerusalem.

The framework that the progressivists are working from is Rahner’s notion that Vatican II was the self-actualization of a “world Church”, no longer bound by Eurocentric thought or modes of expression.  Hence, if celibacy isn’t really a thing in, say, Africa, then celibacy probably has to go.  If this is a world Church open to the cultures of non-Westerners, then why can’t you have Pachamama on the altar of St. Peter’s?  Why not have all manner of cultural expressions in the Mass?  The one thing that is truly questionable is, of course, anything that is done the way things were always done.

You can, from this point of view, see why the Rahnerian framework justifies promotion of … anything… as acceptable, nay rather, obligatory in the Church.

You can see why they fear the Traditional Latin Mass, and all that it stands for.

Royals at Eternal Rest

Some rather macabre pictures, but not unusual for the period.

From The Mad Monarchist (7 June 2013)

28 February, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

The Examination of Conscience

1. Remember the key to wisdom: "Know yourself." These words were written in Greek in golden letters on the fronton of the temple of the Delphic Apollo. They were the basic rule of the moral doctrine of Socrates and other philosophers. But if we are to know ourselves well, we must examine ourselves thoroughly. We must place ourselves before ourselves without any concealment or deception and judge ourselves fairly and severely. The examination of conscience is recommended not only by spiritual writers of the Church, but also by pagan philosophers. Seneca's famous words in this regard are worth meditating. "Anger will disappear or subside," he says, "when you know that you have to present yourself for judgment every day. Is there any finer custom than this daily examination of conscience? What peace follows from this examination of ourselves! How tranquil, wise and free the mind becomes, whether it has been praised or reproved, when it has acted as its own secret investigator and critic and has examined its own behaviour. I use this exercise and put myself on trial every day. When the lights are out and silence has fallen... I look back over the entire day and review my words and actions. I hide nothing from myself; I omit nothing. Why should I be afraid of any of my errors when I can say to myself: Take care not to do this again; this time I forgive you." (De Ira, III, 36.)

2. Pope St. Pius X holds greater authority for a Christian. In his "Exhortatio ad Clerum" he strongly recommends the examination of conscience especially at the close of the day. This examination, he says, is necessary for priests, but it is no less necessary for the laity. He recalls the apt words of St. Augustine: “Judge your own conscience. Demand an account from it. Dig deep and rend it apart. Discover all the evil thoughts and intentions of the day... and punish yourself for them.” (Expos. in Ps. 4, n.8) He also quotes the equally relevant words of St. Bernard. “Be a searching inquirer into your own integrity of life; examine your conduct every day. See how much you have advanced, or how much you have fallen back... Learn to know yourself... Place all your faults before your eyes. Stand before yourself, as if it were before somebody else, and you will find reason to weep over yourself.” (Meditat., Cap. 5 de quotidiano sui ipsius examine) The saintly Pontiff concludes his inspiring address as follows: “Experience has proved that anyone who makes a strict examination of his thoughts, words and actions, is more firmly resolved to hate and avoid what is evil and wholeheartedly to love what is good.” (Acta Pii X, IV, p. 257)

3. It is necessary and profitable, therefore, to end the day with an examination of conscience made in the presence of God. Enter into ourselves; examine our thoughts, words and actions. Examine also the motives behind our actions and see whether they have been distorted or really directed towards God. Examine the sins we have committed, so that we may beg for pardon and form resolutions to do better. See whether we have prayed fervently or distractedly and half-heartedly. See if we have co-operated with the graces and good inspirations which we have been given. See if we have improved or grown worse in our efforts to do good. See if we have been dissipated or close to God. From a close examination of this kind we shall draw an incitement to humility and repentance, as well as to greater determination in the future.

Eastern Rite - Feasts of 28 February AM 7530

Today is the Feast of Our Venerable Father and Confessor Basil, Ascetical Companion of Procopius.

Saint Basil the Confessor was a monk and suffered during the reign of the iconoclast emperor Leo the Isaurian (717-741). When persecution started against those who venerated holy icons, Saint Basil and his companion Saint Procopius of Decapolis (February 27) were subjected to much torture and locked up in prison. Here both martyrs languished for a long while, until the death of the impious Emperor.

When the holy Confessors Basil and Procopius were set free along with other venerators of holy icons, they continued in their monastic struggles, instructing many in the Catholic Faith and the virtuous life. Saint Basil died peacefully in the year 750.

Troparion — Tone 1

Dweller of the desert and angel in the body, / you were shown to be a wonder-worker, our God-bearing Father Basil. / You received heavenly gifts through fasting, vigil, and prayer: / Healing the sick and the souls of those drawn to you by faith. / Glory to Him who gave you strength! / Glory to Him who granted you a crown! / Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!

Kontakion — Tone 2

(Podoben: “Seeking the highest...”)
You received a revelation of God from on high, O wise one, / and withdrew from the midst of the world’s tumult. / You lived the monastic life with honour, / receiving the power to work miracles and heal diseases by grace, / most blessed and holy Basil.


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 28 FEBRUARY – QUINQUAGESIMA MONDAY: Lesson – Genesis xiii. 1‒15 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. And h...

28 February, The Chesterton Calendar


The wise man will follow a star, low and large and fierce in the heavens, but the nearer he comes to it the smaller and smaller it will grow, till he finds it the humble lantern over some little inn or stable. Not till we know the high things shall we know how lovely they are.

'William Blake.'

28 February, The Holy Rule of St Benedict, Patriarch of Western Monasticism

CHAPTER XXIII. Of Excommunication for Offences

28 Feb. 30 June. 30 Oct.

If any brother shall be found contumacious, or disobedient, or proud, or a murmurer, or in any way transgressing the Holy Rule, and contemning the orders of his seniors; let him, according to our Lord’s commandment, be once or twice privately admonished by his elders. If he do not amend, let him be rebuked in public before all. But if even then he do not correct himself, let him be subjected to excommunication, provided that he understand the nature of the punishment. Should he, however, prove incorrigible, let him undergo corporal chastisement.