I do not know if he is the only one who has noticed this, but I have it from Vox Cantoris: an astonishing tweet of Cardinal Maradiaga stating that:
Vox Cantoris charitably wonders whether the man’s account has been hacked. More realistically, I think the man is just being his usual heretic self.
Read the tweet again.
The man flatly denies the possibility of damnation. Your pastoral accompaniment is “authentic” (that is: not characterised by the “exclusion” typical of the “rigorists”) if the pastor 1) always walks with the person and 2) knows that whatever road the person chooses, it will lead to heaven.
This clearly is a new religion, which aims at taking the place of Christianity.
Christianity very clearly poses boundaries to the “walking with the sinner”. The sinner is invited to repent; he is welcome as a repentant sinner anytime; but he is not allowed to participate in full to the sacramental life of the Church in the same way as the one who is not in grave and open, scandalous rebellion to God. For our religion, the pastor is not one who “accompanies”. He is one who – as the name says – leads the sheep. In Maradiaga’s world there is no place for a shepherd, merely for a lady-in-waiting. There is no need to lead any sheep safely to the sheepfold, because there are no ditches or ravines where they might fall, and no wolves wanting to devour them.
The pastor who “always accompanies” is totally useless as a pastor. He proclaim his own superfluity. Every friend can “accompany” one. Actually, someone who is an accomplice in the sins of his friend will do exactly that which Maradiaga praises as so pastoral: “always walk with the person”. For this pathetic excuse of a priest, being pastoral means being the contrary of being a pastor. This is satanical. Satanical.
Then there is the second bomb. The second bomb is bigger because so openly heretical, but the two are closely intertwined because you could never understand the second part of this heretical statement without the first or describe the first without hinting at the second.
In the world of Maradiaga, High Priest Of Satan, the only possible outcome is heaven. This must be so, in order for Maradiaga to justify his transformation from pastor (who leads) to lady-in-waiting (who accompanies). If the man admitted any possibility of hell – that is: of the existence of ditches, ravines, and wolves – he would as a consequence have to admit the necessity of being a pastor, that is: of leading the sheep, telling them where to go, using the rod and the staff to make them go where he wants.
Hell is denied. Satan is believed if not exactly non-existent as an entity, certainly unable to do any damage to anyone of us in concrete. This is exactly what Satan wants, and this is exactly what Maradiaga also wants.
The man should be exorcised.
After being defrocked, of course.
A person commits suicide; that is, he commits pretty much the worst sin available to mankind. Let us say that the suicide in question was a loving husband and father, very active in his church group, and otherwise admired by neighbours, pets and trees.
Let us also said that said suicide had troubles of his own: disease, bereavement, financial difficulties, you name it.
Find all the extenuating circumstances you want. Then add some more.
The question still remains: why should a suicide have a Catholic funeral?
Let us look at this as our forefathers did. Suicide is the worst sin. The scandal it gives is immense. Sadly, the suicide might act on other people tempted in the same way and suggest to them that yes, it can be done. You do not need a stellar IQ to understand how a Catholic funeral would amplify this effect in the eyes of the believer.
Whenever a suicide receives a Catholic funeral, scandal is added to scandal. It is as if Satan would receive this boost, that if he has not just obtained a victory he will be soon allowed to get other chances; courtesy of a nice Catholic community, led by a nice priest. Boy, how Satan must like this kind of niceness…
Let us look at it, then, from the point of view of the suicide. If he is in hell (which, unless you are blind and stupid, is still the most probable outcome in the majority of cases) then the Catholic funeral is a further gift made to Satan. But if the poor soul is not in hell, why on earth would he want something that might well lead to hell others? Is the soul in purgatory so concerned about being seen as “good” after he has committed suicide? No. He certainly would not want. Extremely grateful for having escaped hell, he would most certainly not want anything be done, remotely connected to his act, that might lead others to perdition.
Does this mean, then, that the absence of a funeral and the burying in not consecrated ground mean that the suicide is in hell? No, of course it doesn't. It never did, it never will. But certainly, it should mean that a terror and dread of hell should cause a shiver to run down the spine of the entire community, then a very concrete possibility of damnation is there, in front of everyone, plain to see. In Christian times, Satan's move was countered by a very powerful response. For one who was very possibly in hell, hundreds were terrified of going there.
Nowadays, Satan's move is accompanied by the nice community, who help him score a second time. After having very possibly taken one soul, Satan will take the funeral in his stride; and who knows, the atmosphere of understanding and near-certain salvation – many will be offended even at the hint salvation might not have been achieved – might well help him to get to further prey.
Were, then, our ancestors cruel? No. Very simply, they took heaven and hell seriously. If one had shot himself in the head, they did not go around saying “but he was so nice! Surely, whilst the bullet was on its way from the barrel to his head he had ample time to ask the Blessed Virgin for forgiveness?”
Look. The final word is, of course, God's. But God has given us a brain, and this brain is supposed to be used. Whilst we can only reason in terms of probabilities, there are probabilities that must make our blood chill. If they don't, it simply means that we have no fear of the Lord; because God can do everything, so He will save us whatever we do. Or because as we ultimately don't know, we are exempted from being utterly scared at what has very probably happened. This is another big door open to Satan, and every such funeral opens it a big wider.
Why, then, are such funerals, nowadays, universally celebrated? Because the fear of the Lord has given place to this fluffy feeling that we are all oh so nice, and therefore oh so evidently saved. It does not matter how bad the odds are, we are going to continue to believe in the most improbable of happy endings; because you see, how can there be any other? He was so… nice!
If I were so impious as to commit suicide, and if I were so lucky as to escape hell notwithstanding my terrible feat – temporal insanity, say; or even complete and conclamate madness – the last thing I would want is that an occasion be offered for others to go the same way. And no, the unconsecrated ground would not be bitter to me; on the contrary, having escaped hell after such a feat would be the sweetest thing, no matter how strong my suffering in Purgatory.
The funeral of the suicide does nothing for the suicide; but it does a lot for Satan, helping to spread an aura of general forgiveness around him, and contributing massively to the general loss of the fear of the Lord. It is, in the end, just another self-celebration of the community of the suicide, which is conveniently reassured that Satan cannot – I mean, we don't know exactly… but… really? How… cruel for you to even mention! – have struck just in their middle. Which, actually, he has, though we cannot be sure he succeeded.
Hell is real. The danger of ending there is very real for everyone of us. The right attitude is to keep this in mind, and go through life with a good dose of fear of what can happen to us. Funerals for suicides are not compatible with this view of life.
Our forefathers knew it. We don't.
But we understand niceness so well.
I have heard many Catholics – priest and laity – speak about spreading the “joy of Christ”, or launching easy slogans like “Jesus is Joy”. Not one of them – priest or lay – ever made to me the impression that he could ever convert anyone truly interested in his own salvation, rather than mere fun. If anyone were to embrace Catholicism based on that, let me tell you he will be bitterly disappointed.
I can't hear anymore how, in a society focused of fun and self-satisfaction, Catholicism is presented as a dispenser of the same stupid surrogates of happiness most people are already actively looking for outside of it. In this “joy” thing there is – there must be, in these stupid times of ours – an implicit promise of something for nothing. This becomes very evident in the words of The Most Astonishing Hypocrite In Church History (TMAHICH, if you are new to this blog), who always talks of Christ as if He were simply giving to us, and never asking of us; but it is also rather transparent in your typical Novus-Ordo “homily for all the family”, in which sin or punishment are never mentioned lest it should cloud the sunny Sunday morning of the pewsitters, in which everyone drives home to his Sunday lunch feeling so astonishingly good.
Well, I beg to disagree.
I think that in this day and age, every unqualified talk of “joy” smacks so much of Disneyland, that it should be carefully avoided unless it is put in the proper context. A world that does not fear hell will never put joy in the context of Salvation. Rather, it will put it in the context of quality of life. A big, big mistake, because a properly formed Catholic conscience will give one fears, and pangs of remorse, utterly unknown to, say, the rosewater mainstream, “I think I believe in God”-Anglican. This ex-Anglican convert will also discover that many things he thoughts harmless aren't harmless at all, and he is not allowed to skip Mass. Not even then, when he goes around “spreading the joy of Christ” instead.
This “joy” thing is, in the present world, nothing more than deception. It is marketing under false pretences. It encourages a wrong thinking that infects even those who should know better, and who profit from it to willfully ignore their own grave sinfulness because hey, they “spread the joy”.
If you ask me, every discussion about Catholicism, and every attempt at conversion, must begin with hell. Hell, and nothing else, is the reason why we are Catholics, then if there were no hell I would enthusiastically chase skirt for all I'm worth, and every consideration about what Catholicism says of it would be a gentle suggestion – but hey, God is luv, right? – at best.
My reason for being Catholic is hell, not joy. My fear of hell, not this promised Disneyland of the nuCatholics, is why I remain Catholic. The harshest truths on the planet are the very foundation of the only true religion of the planet. Christ died for me on the Cross, so I can go on doing what I please, because Cool Bearded Guy takes care of me anyway. You can't even begin to talk about Catholicism without mentioning those harsh truths; because if the world is the merry-go-round with guaranteed happy ending peddled by Francis and by all those modern apostles of joy, there is no reason whatever to go through life full of “Catholic guilt” (also called sanity, and fear of the Lord) and encumbered with all those prohibitions to do, and obligations to do, that are everywhere in the life of a Catholic.
Forget the talk of the “Joy of Christ”, at least until the planet has forgotten what it really means.
Focus on the Wrath of Christ instead.
It may be less pleasant, but it is far more salutary.
Catholicism is really in a bad shape if people not only choose to commit suicide, but announce it to the world and campaign for the “right” of others to commit suicide, without Catholic bloggers crying their scandal to the sky.
Let the “Patheos” troop give you the sugary stuff of the devil, and answer for it when they die. This Catholic blogger will cry his scandal to the sky instead.
Brittany Maynard has decided openly, publicly, in front of a true worldwide audience, that it is not God Who decides when she dies, but she herself. Wake up, and realise that there is no worse offence against the One Who gave her the very life she has decided to throw in the rubbish bin, than this.
Brittany Maynard did not live on the moon. She certainly knew what Christianity says about suicides. Nor could she ignore her battle against her very nature, planning an event that must be right there with sodomy and dog-mounting in the list of the unnatural things to do. No, Brittany Maynard decided that she is God, and that is that. If you don't know what God has said He will do to those who think this way, today is the day you learn it.
But no, really: you do. Everyone does. So quit making excuses for her. There are no excuses; not for the suicide and not for the worldwide promotion of it, and that's that.
Please do not give me the usual sugary crap of the devil – the crap of the devil can be very sugary; the stupid eat it avidly – now dripping from stupid “c”atholics blogs. If one renounces to talk about hell in circumstances like that, he isn't even a Catholic, just a puppet of the world wearing a strange t-shirt.
I do not care a straw what kind of medicaments are available in the US. Brittany Maynard did not choose to move to a place where the care she deemed most suitable could be had; she chose to move to a State which would allow her to commit suicide, and she even made a huge noise about it. In the rank of the minions of Satan, this woman has earned the first line, and an immediate promotion to officer. This, my friends, is one Screwtape in the making; and if you are fooled by the smiling pictures, then truly you are a fool.
There is no excuse. There simply isn't any. Christians of past generations have never been allowed to commit suicide because science had not yet invented the right medicaments. I am breathless at the rubbish I read around. Heavens, do people remember how to think, at all?!
Brittany Maynard has chosen hell. Publicly, for all the world to see. Her defiance of God has gone worldwide, polluting even Countries like Italy, who truly should know better. Brittany Maynard has chosen, in a supreme explosion of ego-fuelled blasphemous arrogance, eternal torment. Her rebellion was planned in cold blood, executed through several months, and cried out loud for all the world to see. Satanic in the extreme.
Now, I am not God. I can, therefore, not know whether, when one absolutely wants to go to Hell, God always, always allows him to; or whether on very rare occasions He allows the person so bent to repent in the very last moment and escape that terrible fate. God is not bound by our decision, and one of the attributes of His Omnipotence is exactly to be able to shape ours before we die.
Having said that, God tells us what happens when we disobey Him in such a grievous way, and it is the height of arrogance to even try to fabricate excuses why someone who does everything required to go to hell, by the book, and so that she could actually write an entire new manual about it, should have avoided it.
Say an eternal rest for the disgraceful woman, now very probably in a place of eternal suffering because hey, she knew better than God. If she is in hell – as it is extremely probable – your prayer will not go to waste anyway.
But do not be accessory in her sin by saying even one kind word about this worldwide exercise in murder and blasphemy – and sabotage of natural law and elementary Christian values – with your relatives, or friends, or colleagues. This is matter or extreme gravity. We do not want to be associated with it more than we would with child raping.
And do not bet your pint that she has escaped hell. Every person of Catholic sense should be terrified at what has gone on, not only for the suicide itself, but for the worldwide scandal that makes something so extreme like suicide even more terribly extreme.
Do not bet your pint.
Heck, I wouldn't even bet an Aspirine.
I am informed that an old retired pastor (mad; or evil; or both) of a wannabe “Christian” sect “pulled a bonze” by giving fire to himself in a parking lot. He died some time later, very probably after atrocious suffering. It is not difficult to say that with great probability his sufferings are just at the beginning, and will have no end.
The 79 year old nutcase (or evil old man; or both) was – how can you get this wrong? – an advocate of sodomitical behaviour and other things that occupy so much of the time of people who have forgotten God (the usual stuff, so I won't bore you with that…). I never can avoid to notice Satan always leaves a trace of himself in the people who support his causes.
The man was clearly, at least to an extent, the product of his environment: the website of his wannabe Christian sect quotes the Bible – as the Devil himself does – to justify all kind of blasphemy and wrong behaviour, and reassures their deluded readers not only that using oneself as a human match isn't wrong, but also that it is wrong to say that such a blasphemy merits damnation. Which clearly means these idiots haven't had anything in common with Christianity for a long time; hence the human match within their ranks.
Now, let us see in how many ways these people aren't Christian: the obsession with earthly issues in this vale of tears, the open support to sexual perversion – an obvious tool of Satan to get souls to him -, the open and public – and carefully planned, since you ask, and long thought after – suicide, which in the ranking of the offences to God comes even before sodomy; the horrible way of committing such an offence, again indicative of a deeply disturbed, masochistic, unnatural mentality and of an ideological subservience to the ways of mad heathens; and then, dulcis in fundo, even the condemnation of those who will condemn the satanic, but highly inflammable pastor.
Summa summarum: these people are a bunch of perverts who have perverted Christianity to make it serve their own satanic madness. From their fruits – including the smell of burnt – you will recognise them. Truly satanic, both the man and the mentality of this heathen sect masquerading as Christians.
Beware of heathen dressed as Pastors.
Preventive note to the readers:
“But Mundabor, Mundabor!” – my occasional readers will say – “you are right in what you say, and all that, but should you not have some more respect for the poor bastard? Where is your chariteeee?”
Erm, no. And if you think this, my dear occasional reader, you are reading the wrong blog, and I can only suggest that you either open your big blue eyes, or bring the experience of this blog behind you.
What this man has done is truly satanical. There is no way I can condone or find any positive “angle” in an act like this. But what is truly alarming is to see that this act has found a fertile humous in the thinking of the sect of heathen calling themselves Christians among which this man has wasted his existence.
Evil must be fought not only with condemnation, but with ridicule. In times of peace, no other weapon is more effective. The Devil knows it very well, hence the Long March of the perverts to have every mockery of them classified as “hate”.
Evil must be fought with ridicule, not false compassion. This cretin should have dozen of macabre jokes inspired by the atrocity he has committed, and be buried in ridicule after he has burnt itself in iniquity. For every one who commits suicide, other ten on the brink of it are led one step nearer to their damnation. Open condemnation and biting mockery are the way, not the false compassion that generates more suicidies.
If there is one thing that is easy to observe in those who carry out suicides is their extreme concern for what people will think of them after the fact. Exactly as suicide is an act of supreme, blasphemous selfishness, the concern of the suicidal man for his own name is, normally, highly increased. Again, the thought of the condemnation and ridicule that will befall the memory of them can do much to help them not to commit such a gesture, whilst the oily and sanctimonious “compassion” of the usual non-judgmental crowd will positively help them on the way to their damnation.
As this case of wannabe suicidal bonze amply demonstrates.
If one throws himself under a train he has not “lost his battle against the train”. He simply chose to throw himself under it.
If one throws himself out of a seventh-floor window he has not “lost his battle against the pavement”. He simply chose to smash himself into it.
If one shoots himself in the head he has not “lost his battle against the bullet”. He chose to plant the bullet exactly where the bullet went.
It is, therefore, rather singular that when Philip Seymour Hoffman dies of the overdose he injected himself, the PC media should report that he has “lost his battle against heroin” as if heroin were something happening to one, and as if he had died of, say, cancer. Heroin just doesn't happen, nor have I ever heard of people injecting cancer into themselves, and being told of having “lost their battle” when they die of it.
Still, in today's oh so tolerant society Seymour Hoffman – a great actor, by the way, whose acting qualities I greatly admired – can die of 100% self-inflicted and self-injected heroin overdose without any major outlet daring to say half a word about the fact of life that this is just what is not unlikely to happen to people stupid enough to drug themselves. Heck, the BBC is even very timid in saying openly he died of overdose. Police found heroin near him. Nincompoops.
This timidity or tolerance in turn gives to drug addiction a character of normality – or, in the case of a famous actor, even “coolness” of sort among the slow of intellect – that will all but cause other people, equally slow of intellect, to drug themselves and die of their own stupidity.
Nor should you hold your breath waiting for Catholic prelates – say, an Archbishop – pointing out that taking drugs is most certainly a grave matter, and it is difficult to imagine one would inject himself into an addition without deliberate intent to, well, drug himself. I am not the one to judge about the internal forum of the man as he was injecting his deadly dose – erm, sorry: losing his battle -, but I very much fear what a good confessor would say of the probable destiny of the man who put himself in such a state as to come to that point. The good and merciful God knows everything, sees in every soul and know how to judge every such situation with perfect mercy and justice; and Seymour Hoffman at this point knows his destiny, too. I wish him from heart he saved his ass, but don't ask me to bet my pint on it. Still, one point must be clear:
Seymour Hoffman did not lose any battle.
He drugged himself to death.
Say a prayer for him, poor man, in the hope he did manage to avoid the worst. But please, whenever you speak of the man in your circle of acquaintance, consider making some reflections akin to the ones above. Every little helps, and the culture of understanding for absolutely everything under the sun will only end when people stop having understanding for absolutely everything under the sun.
Try, then, to make, if the occasion arises, some observations like these ones. It's fair to say Heaven will reward you for the accusations of bigotry, intolerance, hypocrisy – everyone takes drugs nowadays, don't ya know – and general moralism that are very likely to follow.
In his latest, boorish provocation to Still-Archbishop Müller, Cardinal Maradiaga has made some statements to the tune that Cardinal Müller must take account of reality.
If you ask me, the Cardinal has piddled out of the urinal for at least two reasons. Let us see them.
Firstly, the idea that Church teaching is in utter contrast to the tendencies and inclinations of us wretched sinners is nothing new. It is, actually, the reason Christ founded the Church in the first place. The Cardinal must be a very uneducated man if he does not know that “reality” was always well populated with, say, concubines, illegitimate children, and moral trespasses of all sorts. The Church is called to operate in the world exactly because the reality of the world is one of sin. To claim that Church teaching and praxis must be adjusted to reality is to embrace the purest Religion of Man, and to deny the role of the Church in the first place.
I can vividly imagine Maradiaga listening to Christ and saying to him: “Loosen up, Bro. Look at the world around you!”
Secondly, from a different point of view it seems to me that Maradiaga is unaware or willingly forgetful of the fact that God and His Truth are the ultimate reality. What I mean by that is that in my book God's laws have a far more granitic quality, are infinitely more real than any ephemeral earthly weakness. God's rules existed before the first concubine was born, and will exist forever after the last one has died. Therefore, Truth is real, is the authentic “reality” of things in a way compared to which every earthly “reality” is but a transient phenomenon. By demanding that the “reality” he can observe around him shape the Ultimate Reality that is supposed to shape it, Maradiaga shows his utter neglect of that ultimate and superior reality he will have to face one day.
I can imagine that one day the following conversation will take place:
“But, but… Lord, why it's so warm here?”
“Loosen up, “Bro”. It's just the reality of which you were so fond”.
With every passing month, Francis' little and big sermons reach new heights of stupidity. This time, we have reached full Kindergarten level, and one wonders how it can get any worse than this.
Follow here how Francis reduces Christianity to a mere dispensing machine of blessings in life, and beatitude after life, without any warning to his listeners that things can go in the other direction, too. In Francis' world, heaven clearly is the universal destination. If the worst is scolding, hell is clearly not an option.
Before I go in detail please consider this: it is integral part of Francispeak to never say it to 100%, provided the message he wants to send goes out. This is done to appease the Pollyannas. An old modernist trick.
We are, therefore, informed God may be able to scold us, but not to “slap” or anyway “hurt” us. What about being thrown in the flames of hell, there to be consumed by everlasting fire for all eternity? Does this in any way “hurt” us, I wonder? And when people get sexually transmitted diseases, or sodomites AIDS, or gluttons diabete: what is this, a gentle scolding? Obviously, not everyone who gets a disease or some other big reverse is being punished. In fact, it is often difficult to say whether, when life kicks us in the balls, it is meant to be a punishment, or a blessing, or both. Still, no Christian could ever deny God can punish people horribly already in this life, and punish them in in infinitely more terrible way in the next.
This man has, literally, no fear of the Lord. Not concerning this life, not concerning the next one. This just isn't Christianity, this is feel-good waffle for children in the kindergarten; albeit I can clearly recollect when I was in kindergarten we were told all about heaven and hell, and did not have any problem in grasping the truth and elementary logic of it. Evidently, Francis' adults are more childish than kindergarten children of only some decades ago.
The rest of the linked article goes in the same vein: the only thing God does is heal, console, caress. Nowhere is the other way mentioned. This is an imaginary, heathen god consisting entirely of mercy, and with no trace of justice; a heathen god, therefore, deprived of goodness, because without justice there can be no goodness.
Besides, the concept that putting oneself in God's hand be the harbinger of “maximum security” sounds, in this Kindergarten context, very Protestant. The reader cannot escape a very strong impression every sodomite is saved by simply putting himself, without repenting a bit, in the hands of this unconditionally caressing, never-slapping god. I trust in you, therefore you save me. Those living in public adultery will, at this point, be logically unable to understand why they should be denied communion: hey, they go to Mass every Sunday and are oh so trustful in God and in their good conscience: why should God not “caress” them by coming to them in the Holy Communion?
The article linked to is not a literal reporting of the entire sermon. Yesterday I have read another article based on this, and it pretty much sings the same song. Let me make it clear that I have no doubt that somewhere, hidden in Francis' world, there is some obscure hint that God also metes Justice. But this is not the point. The point is that this heatenish, kindergarten god of Francis is the one relentlessly advertised, and it is simply inconceivable – both because of the choice of words and of the frequency of the message – that this is not exactly what Francis wants.
We notice here once again a method widely employed also in politics: a sermon is made, but in this sermon there is a particularly tasteful “mouthful”, which is there with the express task to make the headlines. In this case, the one with the God “unable to slap us” – so striking because so evidently flying in the face of two thousand years of Christianity – is the desired mouthful.
Let us also not say that Francis is fine because countless saints of the past have stressed God's mercy. Of course they did. But you will never find a saint of the past leading you to believe God is not both mercy and justice. In addition, those past saints lived and operated in a world in which every child of seven had a very clear concept of what hell is, and was very conscious he might end up there one day. This is not the case today, thanks to the army of Bergoglini who have been sabotaging the very concept of hell for the past 50 years.
This works of sabotage continues now from the very top, with the Pope himself making every effort to eradicate every fear of the Lord, every concept of justice, and every possibility of hell: a hell that has already been declared as excluding atheists in ” good conscience”, and could therefore never include those who do nothing more than believe God will take them out of trouble because hey, that's what he always wanted, eh, no?
This isn't Christianity at all. Rather a “recreational drug” for the stupid and the easily self-deluded, making the way to hell so much broader for them as it leads them to believe all roads lead in the end to heaven provided one does such easy things as following his conscience (possibly the easiest thing on the planet if one can shape his conscience according to wish) or, for “maximum security”, “trusting in God”.
Beware of Bergoglism.
Allow me to start by saying two things: what I am going to describe is not specifically Francis', but rather the problem of the V II Church, and by “saints” and “sainthood” it is meant here – as Francis on this occasion also clearly does – those who at death go straight to Paradise. Of course, everyone who eventually enters Paradise is a saint, but this post – and Francis' sermon – is not about that.
I have been always told, and have always believed, that whilst we are all sinners only those who develop heroic virtue are allowed to avoid the painful purgation of… Purgatory. But this heroic virtue must obviously be – I was always told – heroic; which is, by definition, limited to the very small number of heroes rather than the vast majority – or even a sizeable minority – of us common foot soldiers.
Many years ago, in a beautiful homily, the concept was described in a way more relevant to the modern peaceful times: everyone knows people mad of video games, or stamp collecting, or chess, or photography, or whatever clearly takes their mind and shapes their person in a way rarely found in others. Well, the living saint is the one who is as mad in his fight against sin as the video game nutcase is mad about video games, etc. I found the simile particularly striking, because with so many people mad of video games, or environmental issues, or guitar-playing, or whatever else, it seems utterly reasonable that God would require, in order to avoid purgatory, the same single-minded, life-shaping passion for… fighting one's own sinfulness.
Not so, of course, in the Church of V II, when the deceased is very often canonised by acclamation immediately after death, and the priest says much less than the bare minimum to let the relatives remain in this very dangerous illusion.
Francis is – and how could it be otherwise – not different. When he speaks of the great saints of the past and says that sainthood is for all, he merely avoids the mention of the heroic virtue so common in traditional Catholic teaching. He certainly knows why. Asked if they are heroic in their virtue, most people would obviously answer “I wish”; but asked if they have a good heart and love Jesus, all Catholics will answer “well, yes” without hesitation, both concerning themselves and all their friends and relatives.
If you read Francis' sermon, you will notice the barriers to entry are singularly low, very fluffy, and limited to virtues pretty much everyone is sure to possess. The saints are the “friends of God”, and you won't find many who say they aren't. The negative examples he makes are, as always, so vague and undetermined that everyone can easily say “oh, it's not me”. For example, take the “posing conditions to God” thingy (can't find the article anymore, alas…). Heavens, not even a child prays to God saying “I will love you if you give me a new bicycle”. God is such that by its very concept, love cannot be conditioned. Again, it must be a very stupid child who does not grasp it.
The same concept goes through the entire sermon: Francis seems to say: “what is necessary to be like the great saints is what you, my dear fans, pretty much already have, or can easily acquire”.
All heroes, these “joyful” troops of Francis? I don't think so.
Still, by reading the sermon is clear very many of the V II, “church of joy” recipients of the message will draw the conclusion that both they and all their loved ones are either clearly on the way to sainthood, or rather near to attain it. Not many of them – the typical V II type being rather superficial – will have any desire to question the message, and see whether things are perhaps rather less pleasant. But then again why should they? If an atheist can escape hell by merely following his conscience, why should a decent Catholic be burdened with something so un-joyful as Purgatory?
Obviously, the papal sermon is everywhere on the Internet. Hell is, predictably, not even mentioned once, at least not that I know of.
The shallow V II “church of nice” offers sainthood at sale price.
One of the main concerns of the Church in the last 50 years – and I mean, even from good, orthodox priests and laymen – seems to be to make the message of Christianity attractive, or easy to digest, or such that it would appear an improvement in one's quality of life. The idea seems to be that the world out there lures souls with the promise of fun and joy, and a list of prohibitions isn't really the best way to attract people to give Christianity their serious consideration.
I wonder whether the entire concept does not need a re-thinking.
As I see it, the entire idea of why we must be Christians does not revolve around the “fun” and “joy” of following Christ – though it might certainly be so in individual cases, and a life lived in faith has pleasures that wordly natures will never savour – but around our destiny if we refuse to do it.
Christianity isn't a “fun option”, or a “better choice”; similarly, atheism or unrepentant grave sin are infinitely worse than “poor choices”. It is no surprise 50 years of trying to persuade people of this have brought us to the level where we are now.
Christianity is, first and foremost, harsh. Harsh in the brutal commandments – not suggestions of “better choices” -, harsh in the consequences for those refusing to do so, harsh in the crystal-clear warning that no alternative ways are acceptable.
The main issue of the commandments is that God forbids the relevant behaviour. The fact that, say, marital fidelity will lead to a more serene life in the long term than a long string of love dramas outside of the marriage is secondary to the fact that marital fidelity is demanded, and it is demanded before any consideration of how good it is for one's life on the whole. It is demanded because God wants it. Period.
Christ doesn't seem to promise much fun anyway. A sword instead of peace, enmity even inside the family, hate and persecution rather come to mind. Yes, joy is also there, but notice even the joy of the martyr going to his execution is but a result of his unconditional and unquestioning acceptance of God's rules as such, and even when it hurts; the most so, when it hurts.
When we, therefore, spend our time wondering how to make Christ's message more attractive, I doubt we are employing our time wisely. This little blog never tries to sweeten the pill of Catholicism, though if you knew its author personally you would find him, in his private life, far more lighthearted and good-humoured than the unspeakable mess about which he almost daily reports makes him appear. Harsh rules do not make for dour people, but for people honest enough with themselves to recognise the Truth, and adult enough to deal with it to the best of their ability.
The simple truth is that Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and those who reject him to the moment of their death will go to hell; yes, they will go to hell, and they will do so even if they are the funniest, most tolerant, most helpful, generous, planet-loving, tree-hugging, cat-stroking, “inclusive” people around.
Not really fun, uh? How many of those approached with the “fun 'n joy” marketing method will ever accept it, provided they are even told at some point? They have started looking seriously at Catholicism because of the implicit promise of harmlessness, because of the untold assurance it will not spoil the fun. When they discover that Christianity, seriously intended, is a huge poop in the middle of their party, do not be surprised if they suddenly start “dissenting”, or say they felt “refused” by the Church. They will, though, feel “accepted” by the likes of Bergoglio, those for whom not to spoil the party – and be popular in the process – is the first and only Commandment.
A Catholic must, if you ask me, rather be promised toil, tears and sweat, with the possibility of blood; and must be told Jesus will recompense him with infinite generosity for all of them, whilst He will be terribly just (I wonder whether Francis knows the expression Rex Tremendae Majestatis) with those who refuse to accept Christ's not-at-all-fun rules to their last breath.
This used to be, in past ages, a rather normal thinking. No fun was ever promised. Life was seen as rather a vale of tears. The Seven Sorrows of Mary were common knowledge. Christ didn't smile from the Cross. The Cross was a calling, not a bad marketing instrument. A good Catholic had no expectation of a bed of roses. Consequently, he did not need the juvenile, stupid pursuit of an unrealistic happiness that today moves so many people not only to divorce and remarry, but even to demand that they be not seen as public adulteres, and even admitted to Holy Communion. Fools born of a fool, “fun” age.
The old mentality – the one without unrealistic expectations, and without divorces – worked rather well for two thousand years, saving countless souls.
Then the age of the aggiornamento began.
A world made for the stupid, the unbelievers, and the Jesuits.
From Faggotpedia, an excerpt of the interview Saul Alinsky gave to Playboy in 1972.
- ALINSKY: … if there is an afterlife, and I have anything to say about it, I will unreservedly choose to go to hell.
- PLAYBOY: Why?
- ALINSKY: Hell would be heaven for me. All my life I’ve been with the have-nots. Over here, if you’re a have-not, you’re short of dough. If you’re a have-not in hell, you’re short of virtue. Once I get into hell, I’ll start organizing the have-nots over there.
- PLAYBOY: Why them?
- ALINSKY: They’re my kind of people.
Alinsky died two months after this interview, “of a sudden, massive heart attack […], on a street corner”.
It seems very probable his wish was granted “unreservedly”.
As they say in these cases: “if you’re happy, I’m happy”.