How valuable time is to us may be gauged by the fact that the Enemy allows us so little of it. The majority of the human race dies in infancy; of the survivors, a good many die in youth. It is obvious that to Him human birth is important chiefly as the qualification for human death, and death solely as the gate to that other kind of life. We are allowed to work only on a selected minority of the race, for what humans call a ‘normal life’ is the exception. Apparently He wants some—but only a very few—of the human animals with which He is peopling Heaven to have had the experience of resisting us through an earthly life of sixty or seventy years. Well, there is our opportunity. The smaller it is, the better we must use it. Whatever you do, keep your patient as safe as you possibly can,
Your affectionate uncle
This quote comes from “The Screwtape Letter” by C.S. Lewis, a book I was recently re-reading and which I suggest to everyone as a reading (Yes, I know he wasn’t Catholic…).
For those who don’t know, Screwtape is a “senior demon” in hell, and his letters are written to his nephew, Wormwood, whom Screwtape is tasked with “training” in the “art” of leading people to damnation. Wormwood tries to do his “best”, but he is inexperienced and frequently errs. Screwtape, who is more experienced in the subtle art of slowly leading people to hell, is his “mentor” whilst the latter is learning. The book is very funny at times, entertaining most of the times, and deadly (see what I am doing here?) serious at all times.
In the fragment above, C.S. Lewis gives us another of his brutal insights in the real business of life.
When I re-read those words, I was shocked at how different Lewis’ perspective – which is, actually, the proper Christian perspective – is compared to the way not only most people, but most people who call themselves Christians, see life nowadays.
This life is but a short moment. Time is, indeed, valuable both for Screwtape and us. However, I have more than a passing feeling that an awful lot of people who call themselves “Christians” on a sunny Sunday would lose their faith if they happened to lose a child in his early years. I don’t mean here that they would be devastated by the loss of the separation, which is a natural and obvious reaction. I mean that they would consider God unjust for taking their child away from them and, therefore, conclude that, God not being unjust, there must be no God. I myself once watched a guy on TV stating exactly the same: that he had lost his faith after losing his young daughter of, if memory serves, five. You might, or might not, also know of people who deemed themselves Christians and took their lives in cold blood after suffering the loss of a child. Please do not fabricate excuses for suicide: “depression”, “not her fault”, and the like. Cold-blooded suicides have no excuses. It’s Screwtape at work. If you think otherwise, you need to revisit your Catholicism, stat.
Not so our Christian predecessors; who were, actually, Christian. Many of them – very many, in those times – suffered the excruciating pain of the loss of a child. But their pain was, at all times, tempered by the sweet awareness that their beloved child, *invariably baptised* and died at two, three, four, six years of age, was most certainly in Heaven. Heaven is the only reason why we are born, and the only real goal we have in life, as everything else disappears into nothingness when compared to the infinite value of eternal life. Therefore, the only possible conclusion for a Christian is that God was very good to a soul He allowed to be born and to be happy with Him forever after a short sojourn on this Vale of Tears.
I might repeat this to you, but I think it’s faster it you read it again and again, until you have interiorised the concept.
If I ended up in hell, it would have been better for me if I had never been born, even if my damnation came after 120 years of a very happy life (which almost no one enjoys anyways). The child who died in his infancy would be graced by God with infinitely more than me.
But even if – as I certainly hope – I should end up in Purgatory, I very much doubt that I would be able to say that I had a better lot than said child: a life spanning one or two handfuls of decades, during which some Wormwood is “allowed to work on me”, is hardly a compensation for the risk of sending myself to hell. Plus, Purgatory is not a walk in the park, either. Bar a minority of really saintly people, the vast majority of us pays a steep price for the decades on the Vale of Tears. God’s ways are always good; but don’t think you had it better than the small child who died of leukemia at 5. You were likely worse off, by a distance.
The world does not understand this, because the world does not understand God. The world is angry at God for the people who live in “inequality”, and for the people who die young, and for the animals that die, and for the plants that die. The same world, however, does not hesitate in making people die in their mother’s womb. Loss of God always translates into madness.
Screwtape’s words above are a fairly strong reminder of real wisdom. We might do worse than reminding ourselves of it, then the world surrounding us tries to make us forget all the time.
Reading this post on Father Z’s blog, I thought I would give my personal, imperfect, and possibly, wrong, but deeply felt perspective on the matter of those who will not be with us when (if) we get to Heaven.
I am getting fairly old. As such, very many of the generation before me, and everybody of the generation before them, have died. As I get older, the memory of old relatives and their friends become, in some way, more vivid. It’s difficult to explain it but yes, it is true what they say in Italy, that as it gets more difficult to remember what you had for breakfast, it gets easier to remember episodes many decades away.
It is, therefore, unavoidable to think that, realistically, if I make it to Heaven one day I will not find a number of people I have loved down here.
From an earthly point of view, this is something that can never be repaired, that can never be made whole. How can one be happy knowing that people he loved all his life are suffering, and will suffer for all eternity?
My answer to that is very simple and reverts around 1) the kind of happiness those in Heaven enjoy and 2) the way God organises things. Before I start, mind that I am not a theologian. As the man said, si sbalio mi corigerete.
Whilst on this earth, we are only able to think of happiness in a natural way. There is, in other words, only so much happiness we can imagine. Where the, so to speak, computing ability of our little brain stops, there ends our conception of happiness. This is, as I understand, the happiness of the souls in Limbo; who are, as it is commonly said, “happy as can be”, because they have natural happiness.
However, the happiness of the Saints it’s not a natural happiness, but a supernatural one. It is a kind of happiness that simply surpasses everything our little brains can even imagine, a happiness that is infinitely vaster than anything our our minds can even fathom.
I have read that the state of ecstasy has been described as a happiness without wishes; a state, that is, of such complete joy that nothing, absolutely nothing, could be desired by a person in such a state. The person who is experiencing a state of ecstasy is unable to harbour even the slightest desire, because his cup is already so full that there is no possibility of even another drop of happiness.
This state, my friends, is, unless I am mistaken, still a state of natural happiness, because the brain can experience it. Granted, there is a Divine “kick” that is, in fact, nothing more than the faintest hint at the immeasurable joy the saints experience in Paradise; but it is, still, something that our little “head computer” can still work with.
If, therefore, already on this earth, and be it in exceptional circumstances, a person can experience a happiness that is so absolute, so (humanly) perfect that it harbours no desire at all, how much more complete, how infinitely vaster will the joy of those in heaven be? And how can they, then, be “sad” (as in: in mental pain, suffering) for anything?
The other way I look at it is from a different angle. God loves us more than we can imagine. He orders all things so that they can be used for our profit, in one way or the other. But he “never disturbs the joy of his children, unless it is in order to prepare for them a more certain and bigger one”.
Providence works in everything God does, it is the in-built, Divine modus operandi. This does not apply solely to our little lives on earth, but to all of Creation, including heaven and hell. Why would Providence fail to operate in our little human events, but then make us eternally sad as we “miss” some of our loved ones? No. For a soul in heaven, Providence must be all-encompassing, and seen with a keenness and a depth that we could never have here on earth. As we are nearer to God, we will think more like him and understand more of Him. As we understand more of Him, we will immediately love His every judgment. We will see the Goodness (that is: the Mercy and the Justice) of everything God does, and this will be our supernatural fulfillment.
Providence means that everything is, and always will be, exactly as it has to be. Mind, I do not think that this means a kind of stupefied state, as if one were on drugs and unable to see the suffering of others. Of course, we will be aware of the suffering of those in hell, and we will be acutely conscious of all that they are missing. But there will be no sadness in this, as there can be no sadness where there is perfect, indescribable, supernatural joy. It will be, I think, the same as if you saw, whilst in a state as of ecstasy, but infinitely more powerful than that, the execution of Saddam Hussein. Yep, it’s not pleasant for him. Yep, you still know that if he had behaved differently, he would have ended differently. But in the end, this does not disturb your joy as you know, in an extremely intimate way, that everything is exactly the way it should be.
Whenever I exert my little brain with that kind of considerations – which, between you and me, happens more and more often as the years advance – I always end up with the same conclusion: that, ultimately, and when all is said and done, there is only one thing I have to achieve. If I achieve it, my life will have been an infinite success, vastly superior to all that Jeff Bezos or John D Rockefeller have achieved on earth. If I fail to achieve it, I will have been a total failure, no matter if, in life, I was another JP Morgan or John D Rockefeller.
That one thing I need to achieve is Salvation. If I do that, everything else will take care of itself.
The pertinent question, then, is not whether an empty hell is something desirable—which it obviously is—but rather whether it is something “possible to obtain,” given what we know about human freedom and man’s proclivity to sin.
This statement appears in this article, dealing with the “dare we hope” hoax.
Let us leave the hoax of the empty hell aside. Let us focus, instead, on whether it is desirable that there be an empty hell. Is it desirable – even more: obviously desirable – that hell be empty?
Well, if you ask me: obviously not.
Let me first make a statement that is, I think, pretty much unquestionable. It is our job, whilst here on earth, to try to conform ourselves to God’s will. Once it is evident, and a certainty of the faith, that God considers an empty hell something wrong, why would I think differently? Who am I to decide that it would have been obviously desirable that God had done things differently from the way he did them? Am I getting something right, that God has obviously missed?
Look: call me ignorant, or theologically inadequate, but I am fully persuaded that whenever the Church shows me the truth of something willed by God, it is not my job to decide what my preferences – obvious or not – are. It is clear – actually, obvious – that whatever God has established and willed is perfect in its own way, and could not have been done in any way better.
Yeah, man. I know. We can jokingly say that we wish that fornication wasn’t a sin, or that tiramisu were good for your health and prescribed by the doctor. But we say it in jest. We know that whatever God has established is good and holy. In some ways, we even understand why; and, to stay by the example, the poisonous effect of fornication on marriage, carried out both before and after said marriage, is too evident to even discuss it, if we only stop for a moment and think seriously about it.
When we are serious about it, we know that everything that God has made is good and holy, and that this includes hell, even if – quod Deus avertat! – we, ourselves, were to merit to land down there!
Do you think that the saints, in heaven, think that it would be “obviously good” if hell was empty? Do you think that their full alignment to God’s will makes an exception when it is about their own relatives and friends who have merited to be sent the other way? What do the saints think, “God is such a nice guy, but that thing with Hell was a tad too much, if you ask me”?
This cheap “goodness” at the expense of God is not really good, though it is certainly cheap.
Plus, let us stop and reflect on the desirability of hell, even in what our little minds can understand.
If hell were empty, would not any infinitely grave atrocity (like the infinitely grave offence to God caused by, say, a life of mockery of Him and a death in the refusal of Him) end up in another God’s mockery, inasmuch as the sinner could boast that he ate his cake and had it, and that he mocked God by escaping the Divine punishment he himself has merited?
And if hell were empty, what values would all our sacrifices have? Isn’t the fear of the Lord such a fundamental part of our (God-willed) way of being Christians? If we all end up in Paradise and our good life only makes a difference in our degree of beatitude, why would not only any fornicator, but any child rapist be worried?
Are you the one who will say to the raped child that he should not for a moment think that his rape would deserve – even if the rapist dies in perfect hate for and mockery of God – anything less than heaven for his torturer? It seems to me that this cheap good-ism leads to absurd consequences, and this is what even my little mind can readily understand. Imagine how much, of the goodness and wisdom of hell, my little mind can not even begin to fathom!
No. It is not desirable that hell be empty. It is not desirable that hell be empty because we know that God has willed that it be not, and we know that there be nothing less than desirable in what he has willed.
If we can wish that God had done things differently, where does it end? Should we wish that God had not condemned sodomy? Should we wish that God had allowed concubines to have access to the Sacraments? Do you see the permanent rebellion that this thinking encourages?
Hell is right as it is.
Because God did it so.
Helen McCrory had just died of cancer, aged 52. Your prayers are, I am sure, appreciated by the angels in heaven.
One of the most famous actresses in the UK, and married to an even more famous actor (Damian Lewis), her death is very sudden, in the sense that very few people knew, and the news was kept from the public until the moment of death. Her young age makes this even more worth of a reflection or two.
The first reflection: modern “science” and the “miracles” of medicine do not allow anyone to escape his appointment with his Maker. Not even if a lot of money is available. One day, we will be called, too. That moment has been already set in stone. Every day, we march towards it.
The second reflection: I do not know whether the lady died at peace with the Lord, at least in the sense in which anybody can know, or hope, that anybody died at peace with the Lord. But I notice this: whether she was Christian or not, this does not seem to interest anybody, nor does it seem that she was interested in letting other people know. Religion has just flown out of the conversation. People die, they’re gone, everybody says how “courageous” they were, but they’re… gone.
It’s like saying that Rin Tin Tin was courageous. Look here, pal. The issue here is whether Mrs McCrory had an immortal soul, or not. If she had, forget “courageous” as there are other issues at stake now. If she (absurdly) hadn’t, then everything is absurd and meaningless, even “courage” at the end of an absurd sting of existence allowed to us, in this absurd perspective, to try to perpetuate our DNA.
The third reflection: apart from some Catholics, no one seems interested anymore in knowing in which state one’s soul has likely departed from this vale of tears. I think the milquetoast “Christians” have this bizarre idea that everybody goes to heaven, unless he is Stalin, whilst the Atheists prefer to blather about “courage”; something very strange, by the way, seen that undergoing three years of chemotherapy is seen as “brave”, but refusing to undergo it is “brave”, too. Everybody is so brave, and left the world such a better place. One wonders how the world has not become paradise on earth yet. Oh wait, I know why. But they don’t.
Fourth reflection: the chariteees. It seems that nowadays if you are not involved with a charity you are a selfish bastard. Charity work is the way irreligious people, and certainly a lot of atheists, define their own “goodness”. Even when the charity is serious, and not just a part of the immense, corrupted, charity machinery currently thriving in this Country, it does show a completely earth-bound thinking. Inevitably, not only was McCrory involved with a couple of charities, but this is seen, if you read around, as the other quality defining her (besides being, of course, an actress). “Wife and mother” is purely a factual event, that we don’t talk much about because very much, you know, old school. “Actress and charity worker” (which means: power woman and oh so sensitive) are, today, the defining traits of the deceased.
I do not know what Mrs McCrory thought about her immortal soul. If she believed in God, sin, and the like, it would have been very good not to keep this private as a help to others who might be in the same situation. If she did not believe in anything of that, well, I am sorry to rain on your parade but 400 years of charity work would not save her from hell, and the tributes that will now pour in are but a hollow, horrible theatre enjoyed by Satan alone.
A famous actress dies at 52, and it seems this is no encouragement to some serious reflections anymore.
But hey, famous and oh so good. And so courageous.
It seems to me that, if she had the real courage, it was the courage of looking at eternity in the face and make sure that she enters it reasonably prepared.
Strangely, this type of courage is not considered anymore.
Instead of trying to remember the exact issues on which Hans Kueng held heretical positions, it is easier to just think of a controversial one; then you know that, on that, he most likely dissented from the Church. Kueng was, in a way, the parody of the dissenting theologian. Monty Python could have drawn inspiration from him.
The man has now died, and it is difficult to think that, in his last hours, he has changed his mind and recanted all of his many heresies. If this was the case, the matter should be widely publicised, so that everyone knows what this “brilliant thinker” himself thought about his entire work as a theologian when it really mattered.
If, as it is far more likely, the man has not repented, well then the guy is in hell, and no two ways about it; no doubt, in the company of many of his colleagues of the roaring Sixties and Seventies.
Mind my words here: it is uncertain whether the man is in hell, merely because it is uncertain whether he has repented. But if he hasn’t, it is certain that he is now rotting in hell. Not to believe this means not to believe what the Church teaches. God’s mercy operates, in Salvation matters, whilst one is alive. When a man has kicked the bucket, God’s mercy will certainly give him, in hell, a lesser punishment than he has deserved; still, He will not allow a man like Kueng to mock him eternally.
Kindly spare me the “heart in the right place” appetizer, the “de mortuis nil nisi bonum” steak and the “how can you be so cruel” tiramisu’. When a pig dies he does not become a lamb. He becomes pork. And when the pig is full of toxins, the public must be warned to stay away from those sausages.
Dead Kueng, if unrepented, is not one tiny bit better than living Kueng; and both of them are, in a word, shite.
I have long thought that he lost the faith decades ago, and – like many others – embarked in a huge ego trip as a result of that, his ego being the most precious thing remaining to him after losing the faith. I can, in faith, not think that an intelligent man (which Kueng certainly was) may delude himself into thinking that Christ is our Lord and Savour, but he allowed the Church that He founded to betray the faithful for 20 centuries, until the likes of Kuengy boy came out and told us what He really meant. This is something that an intelligent, rational man would never think, or say.
No. Hans Kueng lost the faith, and started worshipping… Hans Kueng. When this happens, there are a lot of issues allowing one to look good with the world, and feel quite a special one: papal infallibility, women’s “ordination”, “peace”, abortion, contraception, and many others controversial topics will stay open in front of such a man, and will only await for him to edify a monument to himself among the applauses of the heretics, the atheists, and the conformists.
Hans Kueng met his maker, and the thought makes me shiver. I think it’s fair not to deny to him, bad as he was, your “eternal rest”.
But if he has not repented, I cannot imagine a prostitute, and be she so hardened, that was judged by Her just Judge as harshly as this one.
Let this be your leading thought when you read about him in the worldly press.
A stupid wannabe catholic site has an article where the author has consulted a “theologian” about hell. No link. You are welcome.
The problem the author had is whether blessed souls suffer because some whom they loved on earth are in hell. Well, Sherlock, they are called “blessed souls”, so you have the answer right there. Apparently, what I knew in Kindergarten is now beyond the pale for these people.
The “theologian” answers the author with the usual stuff about the blessed being, you know, blessed. However, he drops a bomb immediately later stating that hey, we don’t even know whether there are any people in hell at all.
OK, Einstein. So Jesus has lied to us, and several thousand years of Judeo-Christian tradition have been all a misunderstanding. Mama Jesus could hardly suffer anyone being in hell, because there is no happeeeee endiiiing for them, you see.
What satanic rubbish.
I have not finished the article as it seemed to me that I was wilfully covering myself with dirt, so I have spared myself – and you – the imposition of reading more rubbish with all the related medical implication (like the adrenaline surge). I should by now be accustomed to the idea that there are so-called “catholic” sites out there making the work of Satan; but hey, it drives me mad every time.
One cannot avoid thinking that, unless they repent, both the author of the “article” and the “catholic” theologian will meet one day in a very hot place, and will tell each other “damn, there is a hell”….
I do not know what the Divine Plan for these rubbish sites is. It can be that Satan is just allowed to seek whom he may devour through them, and there can be little doubt that the way of such “experimental catholicism” is the way to hell. In other cases, one can hope that distracted or agnostic readers will stumble on these sites and, in time, will discover the existence of the real Catholics on the Internet; after which, the original, accidental gateway will be remember with embarrassment, as a painful encounter.
I have written many times about Garrigou Lagrange's affirmation that it is reasonable to suppose that the majority of those living in Catholic Countries avoid hell. Very reassuring, for sure.
However, Garrigou Lagrange was writing this in the Fifties, when Catholic Countries or territories like France, Italy, Spain, Austria or Bavaria were almost totally, and extremely solidly Catholic.
Nor were those the Catholics of today. Very many of them not only went to Mass at least every Sunday, but stood pretty near to the Sacraments, knew about salvation more than Francis ever imagined and had, crucially, a great fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom.
If we compare them with today, we see how Catholicism has today become such a thin varnish that I seriously, seriously doubt Garrigou Lagrange would make the same claim today.
Today's “catholics” not only don't go to Mass, but they consider it utterly normal to call themselves (if they must) Catholic whilst making their own religion. They tattoo themselves (grave matter!) without a second thought; try to tell them this is grave matter and you will likely be insulted. They contracept, fornicate, often abort. They distance themselves from everything of the Church past and present that does not square with their own personal theology. Most importantly, they have no compunction about any of this.
In all ages, people have sinned. But in a strong Catholic culture with a strong fear of the Lord, repentance followed the sin, and most people were reasonable enough to be afraid of what a sudden death might do to them.
Perhaps even more importantly, a strong Catholic culture naturally enforced Catholic behaviour in the public square. When I was in grade school, not one of the pupils either in my or in my siblings' classes was the son of concubines (this was very easy to see then, because the wife had to take the family name of the husband). Not one. The scenario is inconceivable today even in once Catholic Italy. You want more? I knew the first guy who lived more uxorio when I was fifteen (a young teacher at my school). I knew of the first non Jewish boy who was not baptised when I was nineteen, and I still remember mine and my classmates' shock. I never had a school mate with tattooes.
It was all normal then, but it seems unbelievable today. Today we live in an age of mass rebellion. Still, we think that we should have access to the same mercy our forefathers (who would have been terrified I do not say of concubinage, but of a tattoo!! Something considered the preserve of godless Mariners, Pirates and jail inmates) earned with their fear of the Lord and their access to the Sacraments.
There is a big difference between, say, the girl who sleeps with her bethroted and is afraid of hell for that and the girl who sleeps with her boyfriend and thinks that she is right, because lurv. The first one is, clearly, also in danger of damnation, but she will always have access to a mercy the second one has cut herself out of. Still, there seems to be this thinking according to which God's mercy is something due to us, whilst we rebel to Him not out of weakness, but of sheer hubris. This thinking is so spread today that it is, actually, the default position among many who call themselves Catholic, let alone those who don't.
Fools, all of them. Fools in this generation as in every other before or after, because the rules don't change according to what you think about them. And yes, let us hope that the Lord will look with more mercy on the poorly instructed; but don't expect Him to have the same attitude with those who thought they had no need of, or even resented the instruction.
If we asked our Grand-Grandmother what the probable destiny of a person is who never darkened a church in decades, lived in sin and boasted of it, and died suddenly or anyway unrepented, said grand-grandmother would think we are pulling her leg, and we certainly weren't born Sherlocks. She might dismiss our statement as a bad joke. She might even (if she takes us seriously) slap us in the face for our obvious lack of fear of the Lord. Interestingly, it is very reasonable to assume that our Grand-grandmother would refuse to recognise the vast majority of our Catholic neighbours as Catholic in any way, shape or form. She would, on the whole, be pretty right.
Heck, I wonder how many children in once Catholic Italy are today actually not even baptised, as their vaguely deist parents think that 'ceremonies are not important' and 'God does not care for formalities'. These are, of course, the offspring of parents who did not believe fornication can lead you to hell if there is lurv, and such rubbish.
Let's get rid of the rules. I want to have it my own way. Father Faggot, whom I still despise, seems to think the same anyway. I think him an idiot, but I will use his godlessness whenever it's convenient to me.
Does it mean, then, that we live in a time in which the majority are Reprobates? I cannot see how it could be any other way, and it seems to me that those born now are in a much worse situation than those born only 20 or 30 years ago. Logically, it really cannot be any other way.
If the difference between a strong Church which rigidly enforces Catholic living and the pathetic, effeminate church of today showering her mercy talk on every fornicator is non existent or very little, then the Church has no importance. If a life of fornication gives me the same chances of salvation as a life of abstinence, let me grab those titties! If salvation is showered in the same way on a faithless and on a faithful generation, we and all our forefathers are idiots.
However, we aren't idiots. We are, actually, pretty smart; because we have the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. A wisdom of which most of this generation seems utterly deprived. It was this wisdom that kept old sinners near the Sacraments and, in the end, out of hell. The current crop of heathens and self-appointed mini-messiahs has nothing of it. They march toward their judgment in the utter persuasion of their goodness, and in the entitled expectation of whatever salvation they think might exist. They literally think that if there is a God they deserve salvation because they love polar bear cubs.
This is the the thinking of heathens. We know (or do we know it still?) where most of them end.
So yes, we are probably living in an age of mass Reprobation; and this mass Reprobation is made evident to us every day, in that we see that very many around us actually live like picture book reprobates: fornication, concubinage, rejection of the sacraments, tattooes , abortions, soon euthanasia….
and not a care in the world beside climate change.
The recent, tragic fire in London has not failed to produce the predictable amount of individual destinies and sob stories; something which in more serious times would have been considered very bad journalism for cleaning ladies and is now, actually, mainstream all over the West.
One of these stories is the one of the two Italian concubines living in the tower. At least, this is how a despicable fake Catholic internet publication describes them (without using the word, of course; “couple” is so much more XXI Century).
The horrible publication reports that the woman, in her last phone conversation with her mother in Italy (I know, heartbreaking; but I don't do cheap journalism for cleaning ladies so let's skip on this) would have said to her mother: “I am about to go to heaven”.
There is, in the horrible fake Catholic publication, no hint that the two would have needed to manage a perfect contrition to I do not say go to heaven straight, but – judging from what is plain to see – merely to avoid hell. The sob story is reported as a tale of hope and courage, with no one questioning the apparent self-evident truth of the public adulterer in a state of mortal sin committing a huge sin of presumption with her last breath, and still managing to be canonised by the whining press because hey, we are all teddy bear lovers after all.
Of course, we all wish the unfortunate people a perfect contrition and, one day, a place in paradise. But it is utterly indicative of our times that I might be one among very few pointing out to the extreme danger of damnation in this situation, and to the total absence – in the atrocious, fake Catholic publication reporting the news – of any sign that would induce one to have a reasoned hope that they avoided hell (something like the two kneeling together and praying the Blessed Virgin to forgive their sins with sincere sorrow; but you know how it works). Instead, we have the stunning “I am about to go to heaven” claim which, actually, sounds like the… perfect contrary of a perfect contrition.
This is what the Age of Stupidity has done to people. When they think of heaven, it is only the grotesque version they read about in cheesy Facebook posts. Even the very near approaching of death is – unless we have not been told something – not enough to elicit in people the fear of the Lord, that is: the beginning of wisdom.
Pray for the dead. But for heaven's sake, administer some truth to the living.
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”.
I have just finished to read the above mentioned book, that you can obtain fast and cheap via Kindle.
Nothing like one of those old books full of hell stories to inspire in one a healthy fear of the Lord.
Once again, past generations may seem less enlightened to us, but they were smarter in the end.
On a sad note, Fr Schouppe was a Jesuit. Boy, how they have changed.
You might not have read my blog post about the big drip, but we have now another demonstration of how it works.
Margherita Hack had all the wrong ideas. It was very easy: if something was wrong, Margherita Hack was very likely to be in favour of it.
Militant atheist. Animal right activist. Supporter of perversion. Communist candidate. Euthanasia fan.
Margherita Hack kicked the bucket earlier today in Trieste at the ripe age of 91 extremely ill spent years, and one way or the other (actually, the one is far more probable than the other) she now knows better.
I have found no sign whatsoever of a possible conversion, or even of the beginning of it. Whilst we can have no absolute certainty, your betting a pint on the female having escaped damnation would be, if you ask me, an extremely foolish move.
Another day, another tool of Satan takes her leave.
The big drip goes on.
Below, a musical accompaniment for the Renaissance Princes among you.
(P.s. One “Eternal Rest” for her for the extremely odd probability she might have repented and for the sake of her guardian angel, if you please.)
The more I read him, the more I am persuaded that we are punished with a Pope that doesn’t know very much what he thinks, but seems determined to say it anyway.
Things have come to such a level of confusion and embarrassment, that most recently a Vatican spokesman, Father Rosica, had to clean some of Francis’ mess, and to say very clear those who die in their atheism will go to hell.
Obvious, you will say. Christianity 101. Every child of six knows it. Well, apparently some doubts about whether the Pope’s understanding of Christianity is as good as a five years’ old are justified enough to force Father Rosica to intervene. The brutal fact is that the Holy Father expresses himself in such a confused way you never know whether the problem is in his utter inability to express himself properly – which should be reason enough not to improvise – or, more worryingly, in his inability to think soundly.
Recently, the Pope told us that Christ died even for atheist, which in itself is true: antecedently, Jesus died for everyone; but this does not mean everyone is saved, then subsequently Jesus saves some and condemns others. Therefore, Jesus died for the atheist doesn’t mean those who die in their atheism escape hell. To think so would mean to completely reinvent Christianity, transforming it in a sugary new age cult in which not even believing Jesus is our Saviour is necessary to save us.
“Do good”, says the Pope to the atheist, after talking of Salvation; “we will meet there”, and you don’t understand whether it means “we will have at least some common ground, hoping you avoid hell repenting of your atheism by the efficacious grace of God”, or whether he means “we will meet in Paradise, because don’t you know, nowadays works without faith suffice for salvation”; which last is, I assure you, just the way it sounds and can’t be what the Pope meant merely because the scale of heresy would be too much even for a South American Jesuit, much less a Pope.
So much so, in fact, that Father Rosica had to intervene and explain to the atheists – the Christians already know – what is what. Now when someone is forced to explain the very first truths of Christianity because as the Pope explains them they seem the opposite, you know a Jesuit was made Pope.
It is difficult to know what goes on into the mind of this man. I have always been of the opinion that when people think clearly, they speak clearly and, conversely, when they are confused in the way they talk is because they are rather confused in the way they think. “Chi parla male, pensa male”: he who talks badly, thinks badly. I do not think the Holy Father should be an exception, because he isn’t an illiterate south American campesino.
My impression of the Pontiff after reading the excerpts of a couple of dozen homilies of his – which is a lot to understand how a man thinks – is that this is a man not in possession of clear thinking, possibly never formed correctly in the first place, and constantly oscillating between the will to talk straight and the seemingly irresistible desire to please the audience and make everything “easy”, which actually means “convenient”. This is, by the by, the first mark of the Vatican II priest.
This here is also a Jesuit, meaning that to him ambiguity is a way of life. Before reading Pope Francis, you know already he will either run with the hare or hunt with the hounds, and the only uncertainty is which of the two is going to be on the day. The banality of much of what he says is the result of this way of thinking, and it won’t be long before millions discover they have to do with an intellectual Pygmy.
This isn’t pastoral, or even decent. It sows confusion to the point of forcing his officials to explain the obvious. It can’t be right, and must be amended if the Holy Father is to avoid making an embarrassment of himself.
It would be enough to be conscious of his (obvious) limits and prepare drafts of his homilies beforehand, that he would give to someone like Father Rosica or Bishop Gaenswein to ensure they are sound; but it is very obvious the humility necessary to do so is just not there.
Unless something substantial changes, we must prepare ourselves for a very sad Papacy. I blame Pope Benedict; not for resigning, but for choosing the Cardinals who then picked, rather predictably, one like the majority of them.
As I write this, the death count of the Oklahoma tornado is at 91. My and your prayers are, I am sure, with the deceased and their love ones.
As this is a Catholic blog, though, I would like to share some of the very politically incorrect thought that went through my mind as I heard the news. How many of the deceased believed in God? Did they have time to prepare themselves? How many of them are now saved, and how many condemned?
“But Mundabor, how can you have such insensitive thoughts when so many have died? How can you even think that this is the time to think about hell? How can you, come to that, think that God would send to hell even one of those whom he deprived of life in such a way? And the children, the children! How can you imagine God would send even one of them to hell??!!”.
Well, I have insensitive thoughts because I think the thought of salvation and damnation is not only never out of place, but actually very salutary in situations like this, reminding us in a very media effective way that in the midst of life we are in death. I also think that every day is the right day to think about hell, and that a day without a single thought of hell was probably a day that could have been better employed. I also, being a Catholic, do not think that dead people become heroes, or saints, just for being dead. Actually, I think the reality is far more sobering: after death the judgment.
Being a Catholic I also know that the cards of those children who died unbaptised are rather bad, with limbo to be generally expected for the little ones, and hell for many of the not so little anymore. It is important to be baptised. Actually, it is vital. Our forefathers knew these things, we are the only one who are so stupid to think we know better, and extend baptism by desire to pretty much everyone, probably including the cat and the dog if at all possible.
In the midst of life, we are in death. And if we didn't care two straws for God's laws in life, we will be very probably screwed forever in death. It's as insensitive as that.
You may think it cynical, or even wicked, to think (and remind others) of the fact that a number of those who died are probably in hell already. You may want to ask St. Thomas about the probability of damnation rates of less than 1%, but I won't insult your intelligence with such V II rubbish. Personally, I agree with Garrigou-Lagrange and many before him, whose tentative count would look rather different. Insensitive thoughts. But very salutary ones.
In your charity, pray for the dead; but as you pray, keep in mind there is one life, and after that the judgment. If you ask me, these are the days that can do most for us and the ones we love.
It is perhaps useful to reflect a bit about the different ways Catholics see hell. This will certainly not be new to any reader, but might be of some use for the non-readers of their acquaintance.
Probably a sizeable minority of baptised Catholics do not believe in hell. They are in most cases not aware that this is contradiction with Christian teaching. Hell is simply not on their radar screen, the priests they occasionally talk to accurately avoids the subject (he is so focused on being “nice”, you know) and, on the rare occasions when they darken the doors of a church, for example for a funeral, Father is so full of implicit heavenly promises the thought would never occur to them that hell really is an option. It is noted that some theologians of fame defend this position by making of hell an empty place – which amounts to the same, plus useless work, and also to saying that Jesus has been lying to us these 2000 years -. One of them was slated, if memory serves, to become Cardinal.
Then there is the “Hitler and Stalin” crowd. Yes, hell exists, but not for me or anyone I know. Normal people, nice guys and lads who are so good at telling jokes, can certainly not go to hell. Look, he invited me to a barbecue! Come on, this is a loving heart, how can he go to hell? These group are hardly pressed to say who goes to hell, because their scarce knowledge of history does not allow them to make even many examples of evil people. What is clear is that they must be seriously, seriously evil. Therefore, in their everyday life hell plays no role whatever, and “fear of The Lord” is to them a very abstract concept. One can be a sodomite suddenly died whilst sodomising his “partner” and they will never have the shadow of a doubt; “love” and all that, you know….
Then there are those who have been properly instructed. They know that Jesus’ insistence on hell can only mean hell is a concrete possibility for everyone of us, and why we cannot know the numbers, we do know the rules: if one dies whilst not in a state of grace, he is doomed. This group have a far more realistic expectation about their danger: they know it is real, and no one of the people they know is exempt from some degree of danger. These people have fear of the Lord, know what it means and teach their children to have the same attitude.
Now we can make a simple game, and try to estimate how many out of 100 baptised Catholics, say, in our country, belong in each group. Then we can go on theorising an abstract level of risk among the categories, obviously considering that those who do not fear hell will have very little fear of the Lord in their daily lives, and those who think hell is a very difficult place to land to will not be much better situated. Lastly, we can think of how the clergy will be situated who have, for an entire lifetime, kept the dangers of hell away from their sheep, or have not believed in hell in the first place.
Suddenly, hell becomes a very concrete possibility.
A good contribution from Monsignor Charles Pope on what the Church has to offer to homosexuals.
Whilst I find it extremely questionable that Monsignor Pope insists in using a homosexual language to talk about homosexuality and sodomy (note he uses the word “gay” extremely often, whereas no one of the very many sources cited by him does) I do find the clarity of the exposition admirable, with its constant reminder that the Church is about the Truth, not easy emotionalism. I also – but this is not explicitly said in the post – warn against a reading of this post in some way equating heterosexual feebleness with homosexual perversion: the first goes with nature, the second against it.
I would also have loved some mention of hell, then when we talk about gravely displeasing God I find it always very salutary to say what the consequences are; still, this was not the stated intent of the post, which is in essence an explanation of why the Truth is preferred to the fashion of the day.
Having made this small observations, I suggest you read the article in its entirety. I have not followed the links yet, though I want to do so when time allows.
All in all, the contrast with Cardinal Dolan is rather remarkable.
This is a comment I had posted some time ago concerning the probability that Christopher Hitchens is now in hell. I thought I’d re-publish it because in my eyes it makes a rather valid blog post in itself.
…we don’t know, and therefore we can’t be certain. It would be a sin of presumption for us to do so. Still, a Catholic is not allowed to pray for souls of whom he thinks they are very probably – very probably – in hell, because the Church doesn’t pray for the souls who are in hell.
The issue here is, I think, an issue of attitude: it can’t be that one behaves in that way and after he dies an army of people run to the keyboard to tell us that he was passionate, therefore he might have been saved. Well he was a great bastard and blasphemer enemy of God until the end of his public life, and therefore he very probably wasn’t.
Best wishes to him and to his guardian angel, but don’t bet your pint.
Hitchens must be mentioned as a cautionary tale, not as a way of showing that however wicked you are you can still make it. This would lead further souls to perdition, and he has already lost enough, and many more will his books lead to hell.
I wonder how many people write blog posts saying “Pray for the repose of Adolf Hitler”. To be coherent, they should. We can’t judge, the all-merciful God, and all that.
If they do, they are at least coherent.
I don’t, because I think so probable that Hitler (and Hitchens) are in Hell, that it would seem to me out-of-place to pray for them after the first two or three “eternal rest”.
If you want to know, my conduct when such bastards (oh sorry, let me rephrase it: bastards; he is dead after all) die is as follows:
a) Three “eternal rest” for the deceased, even if I think it very likely that he is in Hell. This both because the mercy of God and the efforts of his guardian angel might have fished him out of hell at the very last moment (improbable, unless we want to reducve ourselves to kindergarten level; but still possible), and because I think of how much his poor guardian angel must have prayed for him. I try to do my best on that, reflect that we all need God’s mercy, and all that. If you look my post when Obama died, I go more in detail there.
b) let the thing be a cautionary tale for me: that Hell is real, people really go there, and they don’t need to be a Pol Pot to do it; albeit, frankly, I can’t see a big difference between the two either, other than the fact Pol Pot had possibilities Hitchens never had.
It is my conviction that goodism and soppy theology lead people to hell as effectively as open blasphemous attacks. Hitchens specialised in the second, it is astonishing how many seem to want to specialise in the first. They must feel good, no doubt.
Think of the Church of 100 years ago, and tell me how many priests would have used this death to remind people of the concrete possibility of hell, and of the very concrete – though not certain, God pleasing – possibility of him having landed there, and how many to reassure his fans about his salvation chances.
Death + Mortal sin + no repentance = Hell.