Read here on Deacon’s Bench about the latest “inclusive” madness. It has been organised by some interfaith group or other, and everyone has been invited to participate. In short, in every one of the participating houses people from the other two religions will get in and read from their own scriptures.
Truly, it is as if the First Commandment didn’t exist anymore. These people get together and everyone appreciates how good the other’s religion is. That this should happen also in Christian churches is another manifestation of the new religion, Niceness.
Scandalously enough, among the Christian parishes adhering to this unheard-of summer sale of Christian values is one Catholic parish. Behind the initiative seems to be (as usual, I would say) a Jesuit, called Father Pat Earl.
In another example of how distant Jesuits have become from Christians, Father Pat Earl is on record with the following words:
“Just having something public is not going to be a big, big deal here, but to have someone come in and read from the Quran and to recognize publicly the existence of Islam and to reverence and respect is a good thing for the church to do,”
Truly, the Jesuits have become the enemies of Christianity and the worst defender of the moral relativism criticised by the Holy Father. This is even worse than moral relativism though, this is active promotion of other religions under the pathetic disguise of fashionable words like “reverence” and “respect”.
I can understand a certain feeling of vicinity (and a rather detached one, anyway) with our – to use the Holy Father’s words – “older brothers and sisters”, the Jews, though I’d never allow this to create any confusion whatsoever about who is right and who is wrong. But it is still not clear to me why I, a Christian, should have any “reverence” for Islam, or show any “respect” for a murderous, false religion founded by a pedophile.
I do hope that the responsible bishop stops this initiative and doesn’t allow the Catholic parish to participate. I am not holding my breath, though.
They say that an image can say more than thousand words. This may not always be true, but in some cases I think that these words are very, very near to the mark.
Let us take the film, “The Passion of The Christ”.
This film is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it, I must hasten to add, for the faint of faith. If you subscribe to the “let’s celebrate” mantra so conveniently spread in these godless times, you won’t like this movie. Violent, you will call it. Insensitively focused on cruel details. Graphic in the extreme.
And in fact, this film is a truly shocking experience. Still, I can tell you that no reading of the Gospel, no homily and no personal reflection and prayer ever opened my eyes to the reality of the Passion so much as this shocking film did from the first viewing.
I could never see this movie without crying of sorrow and shame and I tell you, it doesn’t happen to me whilst listening to the homily. The reality is that the sheer violence of this film delivers the goods in a way the best homily could probably – for want of the necessary visual props – never achieve. And in fact it can – I think – easily said that if you found the violence of the film excessive, this is a clear indication that the reality of the Passion was never transmitted to you in all its crudeness in the first place.
This film is not dedicated to the message of Jesus. It doesn’t primarily intend to explain Christianity and, in this sense, it can only indirectly be considered a help to the conversion of non-Christians. What this film does, is to limit itself to the last twelve hours of Jesus’ human existence. This, the film does not by explaining, but by observing. The screenplay closely follows the Gospels and is here and there integrated with elements of Anne Catherine Emmerich’s “The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord” (an unjustly neglected book, since come back to vast popularity). There are no frills, no hollywood-like “enrichments”, no attempts to make the story palatable. It is undiluted, brutal truth.
For this reason, the language has been accurately considered. No English-speaking actors here. The Jews talks in an Aramaic dialect (as they did in reality), and the Romans speak Latin. Astonishingly for the fans of the theory that Catholic churchgoers be too stupid to ever cope with Latin (much less… Aramaic!) you can easily follow the plot at all times through subtitles (just as you would, in church, with a Latin-English missal or booklet; but I suppose this is too much to ask of our liberal geniuses).
I watch this movie again every year during the Holy Week, but I think of it countless times during the year as its highly impressive visual message is a great help in my Rosary meditations. Every time, the violence of the Passion strikes me anew, which again tells me how easy it is to slowly but constantly sanitise the message until the sheer evidence of it is put in front of our eyes again.
To watch this movie is, to me, something akin to going to confession: unpleasant in the very thought, but highly salutary in the end result. I don’t sit joyously in front of the TV screen thinking “how beautiful, I am going to see Jesus being horribly tortured and killed again” in the same way as I – my fault, no doubt – do not manage to joyously run to the confessional, or to proceed to my examination of conscience without a sense of shame, humiliation and sheer inadequacy. Still, the spiritual benefits we can reap from such unpleasant activities can never be underestimated; not in case of the sacrament of course, but also certainly not in the case of such a powerful help to truly understand the Passion as this film undoubtedly is.
In the beautiful world of ours, for most of us this powerful Christian message is only a click away (or click here if you use the US version). Notice how cheap (particularly in the UK) this film has now become.
I suggest that you make the investment now and look at the film during next week.
You won’t like it. But you won’t regret it, either.
This on Unity and Truth (you can jump to 0:35 if you want to skip the adv) is one of the best Voris videos and it seems to me that it is particularly fitting in our present situation, when the Ordinariate is exposing us to the risk of a watered down (or, in the worst case, outright rebellious) “version” of Catholicism meant not to “hurt” those Anglicans disappointed with the course of their so-called church but, it would appear, extremely sensitive in being told that a) they are wrong and b) if they want to convert they’ll have to come to term with this.
I found these sentences particularly beautiful:
Unity must be around the Truth and the Truth must be the grounding for Charity. Those who unite around the lie are neither truthful nor charitable.
The way to counter an error is with the Truth. To do so is an act of charity. And when the Truth is at the centre that means our Blessed Lord is at the centre. And that is Who unifies us.
“To speak falsely or in an unclear manner – regardless of your intention – opens the door for spiritual collapse of the faithful. This is untruthful, certainly not charitable and absolutely nothing to have to do with Unity. You can’t talk about being charitable or having unity if you first don’t speak the Truth” (emphasis mine)
Truth is Truth, and Lie is Lie. There’s no escaping this simple concept.
The idea that one may convert without changing his mind (and clearly saying so) about who has been right all the time and who has been wrong all the time is a self-deception, useful only if one wants to seriously harm one’s soul.
Michael Voris has a beautiful video about the habit of too many Catholic shepherd to only care for the apparatus, the money, the business as usual instead of caring for the faith.
His message is unusually open because it makes very clear that bad shepherds do not deserve money to continue to neglect the flock and it is, in fact, not difficult to see that the money troubles are worst where the betrayal of the Christian message is more pronounced.
There is a “Catholic tea party” spirit in this; not because Voris thinks that the Church should belong to the people in the pews and be administered according to their wishes, but because the role of the shepherds is to guide them properly instead of pandering to their every prejudice and weakness. In front of the dwindling resources, Voris is not timid to say that there is a reason why the resources are dwindling and that they will continue to do so until there is a change of direction and the decision to start doing things right again. One cannot avoid agreeing with him if what he has in his heart is the fitness of the Church to fulfill Her mission rather than to allow the Bishops to go on with inflated administrative apparatuses, tepid (or worse) priests, toleration of every scandal and in short, appeasement with the world provided that the world leaves them in peace.
He has a hard truth for the faithful soon asked for contributions again: “In politics you vote with your vote, in the Church you vote with your donations”. Let us hope that this year, together with the political renewal now ongoing on such a massive scale, a renewal of the corrupted and encrusted sixty-eighther hierarchy will be finally seriously started.
Michael Voris has an interesting “vortex” (*) about the recent Papal visit.
The elements I’d like to emphasise are as follows:
1) He stresses the fact that whilst the Pope was kind in his word, he was hard as steel in the message he delivered. Truth soaked in charity, not falseness soaked in false compassion.
2) He very aptly points out to the fact that the Pope has centered his message on the salvation of souls instead of the social instances so often espoused by those who have stopped believing and want to undermine or downplay the Teaching of the Church.
You may want to listen to this video attentively and keep in mind both points above, because the videois a good introduction to the next entry. The next entry will deal with the utter betrayal of Catholic values from a disgraceful individual fully bent on confusing Catholics, spreading scandal, undermining Catholic teaching and pandering to the political correctness of our times: Archbishop Vincent Nichols.
(*) you might have to register, which is free and easy.
Apart from his insistence in not wanting to wear a tie in his “vortex” series, I must say this man does continue to make a wonderful job or saying what is uncomfortable in a way that can be – if good will is there – digested and accepted.
This time I would like to draw your attention on the video above, which forgetting for a moment the rather strong words used does point out to a common trait of both believers (not only Christians, I would say) and atheists: they do not fully draw the consequences of what they believe, and they do it because they do not really believe so strongly that there is (or that there isn’t) a God.
If they did, most Christians would make of salvation their absolute priority and would pursue this scope with grim determination, and most atheists would simply forget every trace of the Christian values of the society they live in and would fully abandon themselves to the absolute dominance of one’s own interests and desires a world without religious values must necessarily engender. In the end, neither of the two groups has thought his belief and its consequences to the end.
It is true that human weakness plays a big role in a faithful’s shortcomings, but I think that Voris here is deliberately avoiding the issue to concentrate on what seems to me his central message, the “quiet politeness” which does not translate an individual’s faith in a world changing (and self-changing) force. He notices that Catholics are the salt of the Earth, but a salt which, too often, loses his flavour. And in fact one billion Catholics could be a tremendous force for (I slowly hate the word) “change”, but they do not have the weight they should have because……. they do not have the faith they should have.
In the end, though, it is we Catholics who have the biggest responsibility, because we have received the biggest gift.
The excellent Domine, da mihi hanc aquam blog has a truly wonderful quotation from the “Dominican Legend Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange”.
“The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves. The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not believe; they are intolerant in practice because they do not love.”
This is so brilliant that I had to re-post it here.
Beautiful entry from Patrick Madrid’s blog, linking to the video of the homily of a young Franciscan Friar talking about the theme of “do not judge”.
Father Ignatius Manfredonia of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Friary is surprisingly young, but he covers all the bases. He starts pointing out to the eminently devilish nature of the “who are you to judge” cry so often heard nowadays, goes on with the brilliant saying that “saintliness is not silliness”, examines critically the also well-known saying of the Church who “loves the sinner and hates the sin” (very perceptive part, this) and in general gives a brilliant picture of what we can and should judge (the scandal, the open heresy, what is evidently wrong) and when we should refrain from talking about (what is motivated from personal hatred, or things we do not know). He mentions St. Augustine with a clear remark about “open and public evil” (which can and should be judged) but does not forget the parallel call of the Saint to “charity and love”.
Eight minutes well spent. It is very reassuring to see that there are young Franciscans able to thread a path of clear orthodoxy, and in such a brilliant way.