The reading of today (Old Rite) was the extremely well-known passage with the Centurion humbly asking Jesus to cure his gravely ill servant.
We can read this in many ways, and these famous words have taken an extremely important place in the (particularly traditional; the New Mess has tampered with this as with almost everything else) Mass to signify the respect and awe, the sense of full inadequacy and conscience of our sinfulness with which we approach the Eucharist. I don’t need to tell you how specially important this message is in the troubled times we are living.
However, I would like to direct your attention on another aspect of this beautiful episode.
The Centurion is – as Centurions always were – very smart, though this one was also clearly touched by a special grace. When he sees The Real Deal, this smart guy recognises Him. There are no hesitations, no doubts, no traces of any wavering whatsoever. His faith is so big, that he does not even require from Our Lord the act – which would have been criticised by his enemies, and was not seen as essential anyway – to enter the roof of a heathen. Faith does not need physical proximity.
The Centurion is smart and, through God’s grace, he “gets it all”. His unwavering faith is the more notable to us, because it comes from a man belonging to a professional category to whom a first-class brain was universally recognised.
I love these faith stories in the Gospel. The men and women who were their protagonists did not allow any of the slanders around Jesus to distract them. They knew.
Whenever I read of them, I think of the many who, today, could take an example from them. Those who shiver and shudder, fluctuate and wobble, double and distrust, simply because we have a horrible Pope.
I get a shiver down my spine whenever I read someone saying that Francis makes him doubt his faith. This is Satan on full-scale attack, right within them.
If the Church is a fraud, Jesus is a fraud. Jesus is not a fraud, so neither is the Church.
You can’t question the Church as the Bride without questioning Jesus as the Bridegroom. The visible, earthly Church can disconcert you with the level of corruption, stupidity or even heresy men inside her have always been able to exhibit. But in all this – both in the historical Church and in the present one – we know that under the more or less numerous, and more or less thick strata of mud which have all too often been found a strong, indestructible layer of Divine Granite has always been, and will always be there.
Like the Centurion, we recognise the Bridegroom. And when we recognise the Bridegroom, we recognise the Bride, because the one cannot be accepted without accepting the other.
I understand that Francis’ satanical work is enough to make people wonder what the heck is happening. But doubt is not the answer.
God’s will is what is happening. Providence is what is happening. Our salvation, day by day, is what is – hopefully – happening.
Don’t shiver, don’t waiver, don’t doubt.
Be a modern Centurion.
We live, as you all know, in “strange and disturbing times”. Christianity is challenged all over the West and whilst in the United States the fight to take back our Christian values already rages, in old and tired Europe the attitude is rather one of resignation, ignorance, and apathy. This has in part to do with the demographics (every European travelling to a big city in the United States would, I think, soon notice the difference; it is like being in a small European university city like Cambridge, or Tuebingen), but in greater measure with the fact that whilst in the United States the religious feeling has continued to play a big part in people’s daily lives, in Europe it has been allowed (not least, by the Catholic clergy) to be considered like a beautiful piece of art you put on a shelf and look at, with mild satisfaction, every now and then.
Moreover, at times it seems that everything is going from bad to worse. With the abortion industry now surpassing Hitler’s wildest dreams of extermination and Nazi thinking now spreading all over Europe in other matters – you know how the 1939 German Euthanasia law called it? Gnadentod, which means “merciful death” or “death out of mercy”. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…. – we are now confronted with repeated calls for euthanasia laws (out of mercy, of course; like old Adolf did…) and, it goes without saying, with a delirious fashion for the toleration of everything that is sexually deviant, provided that the “no rules rule” is applied to everyone else.
My comment box – and not only mine – is, as a result, at times used to post comments reflecting this atmosphere; comments in which resignation, desperation, expectation of the worse, or even a clear “end of the world” mood is reflected. This is not only bad for the individual concerned – provided the individual concerned doesn’t draw a strange pleasure from being a prophet of misfortune; which I sometimes suspect – but, more relevantly, it is bad for the cause. Therefore, your humble correspondent wants to try to give a different – nay, the opposite – perspective.
1. If you think that we live in exceptionally difficult times, think again. Only in the last century, Nazism and Communism have done their worst to obliterate Christianity. Not only entire countries, but half the European continent have contracted a cancerous disease which took decades to eradicate. Countless priests and laymen have been persecuted, thrown in re-education camps, died tormented by their torturers and forgotten by the world. More than 2500 priests landed only in Dachau, the concentration camp in Germany, and more than 1000 never returned.
Do you want an “end of the world”-feeling? Try France during the Terror.
Mind, those times could come back sooner than you think if we allow the liberal terror regime to set foot in Christian countries. But we are not there. By far not.
2. Empires have crushed. The Church has remained. The Church has a promise of indefectibility. It will never, ever go down. Yes, Christianity might be completely wiped out in your country, but no one will ever succeed in wiping out Christianity. No Country, no Empire, no army can say the same. The alleged thousand-years Reich literally went down in flames in twelve years, and even Communism’s great moment in history was no longer than the Kingdom of Jerusalem’s. Nothing that is made by man escapes this rule of rise and fall; not the extremely mighty (but rather short-lived) Assyrian empire, not the British Raj, not even the greatest of all political wonders ever devised, the Roman Empire. The Church, and only the Church, will always stand, in the middle of crushing worlds, seeing Empires become dust. Therefore, don’t be upset when the friends of abortion, euthanasia or sexual deviancy squeak their little slogans. The rat trap awaits them already. They are like little hamsters thinking that by desperately running in their little stupid wheel they will change human nature, or defeat Christianity. Fools.
3. There was no age without fight. A golden age in which Christianity wasn’t challenged has, in fact, never existed. Even in times which seem now to us dominated by an iron Christian orthodoxy, challenges were everywhere; the only difference is that in past times the defence of Christian values was taken seriously, whereas today there are people, even among the clergy, ashamed of what once was considered “sacred” (yes: the Inquisition!). From the Cathars to the Hussites, from the Lollards to the Waldensians, heresies were present – and were a real threat – even in those most Christian of times. There’s no age without fight, or without dangers. Christ came with a sword, not with a cocktail. Similarly, there has been almost no age without its own prophets of misfortune, and its own army of people thinking that the end must be near because things are oh so very bad…… Call me cynic, but to me “the end is near” is on the same plane as “we are soon going to run out of oil” and “the weather ain’t what it used to be”.
4. Things do change for the better. It is a legend that once something has been corrupted, there is no way back. In fact, the pendulum always swings, given time, the other way. The French Revolution wanted to wipe out Catholicism from France, but after just a few years Napoleon was allowing her to rebuild her structures again. The once ferociously persecuted Catholic Church has now millions of followers in the United Kingdom. Poland and Hungary, once prey of the communist beast, are now so Christian that they can be of example for every other country on the planet. The very worldy eighteen century was followed by the beautifully spiritual nineteen century, the corruption of the Church during the early Sixteen century was the starting point for the beautiful, energetic Counter-Reformation. The examples are endless. Things do get reversed.
5. It is our duty to fight the good fight. Instead of moaning for the last initiative of the cretins most recently blinded by Satan, reflect that this is one of the ways our generation – like every generation before us – has been given to escape Hell and, one day, merit Heaven. Be a brave soldier. Know that in the end your side will be victorious; not in your lifetime perhaps, not in your country perhaps; but victorious nevertheless. No soldier, no Communist party officer, no Pol Pot follower ever had such a solid reassurance of this as you do. Bask in this feeling, and draw energy by it. By all the anger that the enemies of Christianity cause to you – I know something of that, being of unhealthily emotional nature even for the Italian standard myself – never lose sight of the big picture. We must get rid of this effeminate mentality by which we get persecuted and react by showing how very meek we are, all the while basking in our cowardice and calling our submission to the pagans and infidels “Christian”. Submission, my aunt. Take the sword that Christ offers you, and fight the good fight. With your relatives, with your friends, with your colleagues, don’t be tired of defending our values; is this not what perverts, post-nazis and now even atheists do all the time? Be prudent, but be clear. Carry your faith written in your forehead, and show it with visible signs of devotion. Even little things count; no sign of the cross made when you walk past a church goes unnoticed; seldom by passers-by, and never by the Blessed Virgin. Look at how great saints like St Francis and Padre Pio were extremely meek in their interior attitude, but at all times tireless warriors of the faith.
et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam
And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Don’t be a pussycat. Be a brave Christian.
There can be no doubt that the military superiority of the West (and in particular, of the Unites States) is overwhelming and few in Europe – where the press spreads so many lies that one is not even angry anymore – know that the Iraq campaign has been made without moving more than the little finger of the immense US-american war potential.
One is reminded of the Roman Empire and stands in awe in front of such supremacy.
Still, one is reminded of the Roman Empire also for another aspect: that its end could come because of internal weakness and degeneration rather than because of the objective strenght of its adversaries.
Today, a beautiful example of how this country (which many in Europe admire and continue to consider the light of the West) works against itself comes from a new example of judicial activism, a decision of a federal judge in California about the “don’t ask, don’t tell” politics used by the Army. I read here that the judge has decided, against the opinion of the army, that not to allow a soldier to discuss his sexuality is a discrimination, because heterosexual soldiers can discuss it.
To me this has the same logic as to say that as normal people can talk about their love for dogs, people with tendency to bestiality should be allowed to talk about their, ahem, love for dogs. It just doesn’t make sense in any other logic than in the logic of the pervert for whom perversion is normality, and its condemnation “oppression”.
This still extremely powerful country works on its self-destruction. It allows the corrosion of everything which has made it big, piece by piece; from the symbolic advance of Islam to the toleration of so-called same-sex marriages to the ruthless secular mentality of his abortionist “maybe even Christian but no one is so sure anymore”-President to the systematic attack to its Christian values.
It will be interesting, for us European, to see if and how the Army reacts to this in the courts, in Congress and Senate, and by taking influence on the Government. I do not know American politics so well, but I’d be extremely surprised if the Military didn’t dispose of a rather powerful lobby in Washington. I might be wrong, of course.
Still, one thing must be said clearly: it was wrong to allow homosexuals in the first place. This silent toleration was not good from day one, and it is in a sense not bad that its intrinsic absurdity is now exposed.
It is time to wake up to reality, start switching the brains on and reclaim the supremacy of reason and common sense.
Rome was not built on homos.