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The Center Cannot Hold

Things are escalating again.

Pieces, falling into a puzzle with a picture we cannot make out, bit by bit. I recently hinted at my own perception of an increase in activity transpiring behind the veil between this world and the next. I suspect many of you sense it, too.

Earlier this week, as I was ruminating over the odd assortment of observations I wanted to gather into this post, a line came unbidden into my mind: “the…something cannot hold. “

That’s good, I thought. But what is it? The ceiling cannot hold? The floor? I can’t remember what this is from. 

So to The Google I went, and sure enough, a search of the cannot hold yielded the poem I was looking for. Those of you who are more erudite than I and possess a better grasp of literature already know the title and the author: The Second Coming, by W. B. Yeats.

As I read the poem, I was immediately struck by its topicality:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Yes, I thought. That certainly sounds more like the present moment than I expectedI will definitely use this.

Then I continued….

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Even now, placing this text here for you to read, I find a lump in my throat and a chill running down my spine. I had absolutely no recollection, when the line came to me, what the poem was about. I was merely thinking of that one phrase, magnificent in its expression of the precariousness of our situation.

But truth be told, one of the things that had me thinking along these lines in the first place is Father Robert Hugh Benson’s 1907 apocalyptic novel, Lord of the World, which I have only just recently, for at least the third time in as many years, picked up and started reading again. The first couple of times, I found it dense and dry. Perhaps the time simply wasn’t right. Pushing through the opening pages, now, I have found myself in the midst of a page-turner that is eerily reminiscent of the things we are witnessing day to day.

Certainly, the setting is different. And I wouldn’t say things are playing out in the story the way I expect them to in the real world. But there are core themes there that resonate throughout history. The book, now 110 years old, is (so far as I have read) notably prescient. (And strangely, as the cover of this edition says, Pope Francis advises you to read it! There is also a free Kindle edition here.)

It’s about the coming of the Antichrist.

Humanism: An Idolatry of Man

In the introduction to the book, in which our priest protagonist, Fr. Percy Franklin, is visiting an elderly Mr. Templeton to get some historical backstory to bring the reader up to speed, Templeton says:

I think, if you wish me to say what I think, that, humanly speaking, Catholicism will decrease rapidly now. It is perfectly true that Protestantism is dead. Men do recognise at last that a supernatural Religion involves an absolute authority, and that Private Judgment in matters of faith is nothing else than the beginning of disintegration.

Templeton continues:

On the other hand, you must remember that Humanitarianism, contrary to all persons’ expectations, is becoming an actual religion itself, though anti-supernatural. It is Pantheism; it is developing a ritual under Freemasonry; it has a creed, ‘God is Man,’ and the rest. It has therefore a real food of a sort to offer to religious cravings; it idealises, and yet it makes no demand upon the spiritual faculties. Then, they have the use of all the churches except ours, and all the Cathedrals; and they are beginning at last to encourage sentiment. Then, they may display their symbols and we may not: I think that they will be established legally in another ten years at the latest.

On Monday morning, I called up a good friend who is far more deeply immersed in the theology of the Church than I am. I asked him for a gut check on all that is currently transpiring, and he immediately gave an impassioned response.

The problem, he said to me, is that we keep trying to address all these symptoms of the disease. We see Communion for the divorced and remarried, or the attempt to abolish the death penalty, or the revisitation of Humanae Vitae, or the anthropocentric changes in the liturgy, and we go running after them, chasing them down, trying to fight them.

“The root of it all, though,” he said to me, “is the worship of man. It’s Gaudium et Spes 12 and 24. It’s Evangelii Gaudium 161. And very few people truly see that.”

Gaudium et Spes 12 reads, in part, “According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown.”

Gaudium et Spes 24 reads, in part,”…love for God and neighbor is the first and greatest commandment.”

Evangelii Gaudium 161 reads, in part, “above all the new commandment, the first and the greatest of the commandments, and the one that best identifies us as Christ’s disciples: ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you’ (Jn 15:12).”

We have written about the problems with these documents here before, so I will not elaborate on them further now, save to say that they represent a dangerous kind of humanism in which man takes the center stage, replacing the proper place of God. As we all know, the “first and greatest commandment” is not “love for God and neighbor” or simply, “love one another as I have loved you,” but “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.” (Mt. 22:37-38)

In a homily two years ago this month, Pope Francis said that

humanism should take its starting point from “the centrality of Jesus,” in whom we discover “the features of the authentic face of man.” His reflection took its starting point from the passage from St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians: “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus.” What is this attitude? the Pope asked. He suggested three specific traits: humility, disinterest, and happiness (It: beatitudine).

With regard to humility, the Pope said we should pursue the glory of God, and not our own. “The glory of God that blazes in the humility of the cave of Bethlehem or in the dishonour of the Cross of Christ always surprises us.” Disinterest is seen in the quote from Philippians, which speaks of “each one looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others.” A Christian’s humanity, he said, is not narcissistic or self-centred, but always goes out to others, which leads us always to work and to fight to make the world a better place.

In our 110-year-old story about an anti-Christian future, we see the lapsed Catholic mother of the famed and rabidly anti-theistic Labour MP, Oliver Brand, reflecting upon the Masonic Hymn being rousingly sung by the Londoners all around her:

Old Mrs. Brand lifted the printed paper mechanically to her eyes, and saw the words that she knew so well:

The Lord that dwells in earth and sea.” …

She glanced down the verses, that from the Humanitarian point of view had been composed with both skill and ardour. They had a religious ring; the unintelligent Christian could sing them without a qualm; yet their sense was plain enough–the old human creed that man was all. Even Christ’s words themselves were quoted. The kingdom of God, it was said, lay within the human heart, and the greatest of all graces was Charity.

Of course, “Christian Humanism” isn’t an entirely new thing. It also isn’t strictly a Pope Francis thing. Writing at The Week, Peter Weber says:

Let me be clear: I’m not arguing that Francis is a secular humanist, or capital-h Humanist, by any means. Instead, let’s call him a Christian humanist, defining that as one who cares about human beings more than ecclesiastical considerations.

That might sound like secular balderdash, but it’s actually a phrase coined by Pope Benedict. “Christian humanism,” he wrote in the 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate (“Charity in Truth”), “enkindles charity and takes its lead from truth, accepting both as a lasting gift from God. Openness to God makes us open toward our brothers and sisters and toward an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity.” Benedict explicitly borrowed the idea from Pope Paul VI.

And yet how is “Christian Humanism” being distinguished from “capital-h Humanism”, practically speaking? How are we to believe that this isn’t just an indicator of the supremacy of the “Revolution in Tiara and Cope” promised by the Italian Freemasons of the Alta Vendita over a century ago?

When upon all the points of ecclesiastical state at once, this daily work shall have spread our ideas as light, then you will appreciate the wisdom of the counsel in which we take the initiative… That reputation will open the way for our doctrines to pass to the bosoms of the young clergy, and go even to the depths of convents. In a few years the young clergy will have, by force of events, invaded all the functions. They will govern, administer, and judge. They will form the council of the Sovereign. They will be called upon to choose the Pontiff who will reign; and that Pontiff, like the greater part of his contemporaries, will be necessarily imbued with the…humanitarian principles which we are about to put into circulation… Let the clergy march under your banner in the belief always that they march under the banner of the Apostolic Keys. You wish to cause the last vestige of tyranny and of oppression to disappear? Lay your nets like Simon Barjona. Lay them in the depths of sacristies, seminaries, and convents, rather than in the depth of the sea… You will bring yourselves as friends around the Apostolic Chair. You will have fished up a Revolution in Tiara and Cope, marching with Cross and banner – a Revolution which needs only to be spurred on a little to put the four corners of the world on fire.

And what are we to make of the nearly-universal acclaim that Freemasonry has heaped upon our present pontiff, in light of these designs? What of the Vatican’s newfound desire to have “dialogue” with Freemasonry? What of Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s warning that Freemasonry is a “tool of Satan” or that

Freemasonry is in itself intrinsically not compatible with Christian or Catholic faith, it is intrinsically not compatible, because the nature of freemasonry is anti-Christian. They deny Christ, and they deny the objective truths, they promote relativism, which is contrary to the truth, to the Gospel. So they promote the doctrinal errors of the Masonic philosophy. This is incompatible with Christian and Catholic faith.

“And yet!” the astute and well-informed reader will object, “Just this week the pope rejected ‘the appointment of a masonic Lebanese ambassador’ to the Holy See! And don’t you remember how Francis said he wanted Cardinal Burke to cleanse the Soverign Military Order of Malta of Freemasonry?”

If our interlocutor were seeking to establish the self-contradictory modes of the present pontiff, his duty would be satisfied. The fact remains that the Pope is so little concerned with rejecting actual Freemasonic ideals that he has not once — not a single time — distanced himself from all of its endorsements of his pontificate. Neither has he made haste to remove those useful to him within the Vatican power structure who have long been suspected of membership. And he speaks constantly of immanentism, of humanism, of the environment, of the marginalized, of the values that promote man in the here and now — all while he dismisses Catholic eschatology and replaces it with something of his own making.

So if Francis does, in fact, disavow (in principle) the Freemasons who find such hope in him, we should remember that even the visionary members of the Alta Vendita, with their far-reaching ideals of infiltrating the Church such that their own would elect a pope, did not think they would own the papacy itself. “The Pope, whoever he may be,” they wrote, “will never come to the secret societies. It is for the secret societies to come to the Church…”

And so they have.

However you want to slice it, humanism leads to idolatry — the worship of man. It is why we were given the Novus Ordo, with its attendant focus on the community over worship. It’s why we have abandoned an ecumenism that seeks conversion. It’s why we tell people that it’s not their fault that they can’t stop sinning, and they should go ahead and receive the sacraments anyway so they don’t feel excluded. It’s why we have people who treat the pope as though he is a divine oracle, and somehow comprises supreme magisterial power over previously-defined truth, whether laid down by his predecessors or by God Himself in divine revelation.

And as my friend said to me at the denouement of our Monday phone call, “The worship of man is really just a thinly-veiled worship of Satan.”

“Our faith in the indefectibility of the Church is soon going to be tested…”

One of the things that originally prompted this reverie, other than reading LOTW, was an unusually personal and insightful post by Fr. Z:

Last night I had a hard dream that I was part of a firefighting crew, the kind that tries to control wildfires, such as dangerously erupt especially in time of drought.  The winds fanned the flames.  I awoke entirely exhausted.

This morning during the parish’s Solemn Mass, for which I was deacon, I had a pressing and strong presentiment of foreboding. I visualized pouring it into the chalice with the water I poured to be mixed with the wine and transformed… by God.

After the Mass, the priest celebrant and I went to a breakfast place and were seated next to a table of half a dozen firefighters in their ready gear.  Their truck was outside… one of the big ones… running.  I took this as part of my ongoing experience of portentous, looming urgency, whereupon I paid for their table.  The guy next to us bought us our breakfast, thus passing it on.  Good will multiplies.

And now a reading from my SMS thing…  This came in this morning from a lay friend, a father of four.  It is part of an SMS conversation between friends, clerical and lay.  The immediate topic: those who are purposely sowing confusion and ambiguity in the Church today:

Motus in fine velocior.  Our faith in the indefectibility of the Church is soon going to be tested and good people will legitimately choose different sides.  I am neither an alarmist nor a conspiracy theory [k]ook, but these people are evil.  …  It’s going to get SO much worse before it gets better.  Brace yourselves and cling to your beads, catechism, Breviary and Mass.

Motus in fine velocior. Motion accelerates when the end is near. This is a phrase we hear more and more often these days, as the concept transitions from a motto to a mantra.

The testing of our faith in the Church’s indefectibility, however, isn’t on the near horizon. It’s already here, and doing damage. I say this not to discourage anyone, but simply to be honest: I spent a good chunk of last week fighting off the tempting thought that if heretics are going to run the Church — and more to the point, if the pope himself can flatly contradict divine revelation, asserted as such by the teaching office of the Church — and they are all going to just get away with it, I might as well start sleeping in on Sundays.

Either he can get away with it, or he can’t. Either all of it is true, or it isn’t.

We are at this very moment living through a process by which a sitting pope is attempting to falsify Christ’s promises to the Church.

The center cannot hold. 

Cogent arguments have been made about whether a heretical pope may be deposed. These have been updated and expounded upon, based on certain recent events.

The difficulty for us — for you and for me — is knowing how long this can continue without redress. The practical question we are all asking ourselves is, “What does our faith demand of us? At what point do we find ourselves saying, ‘surely, this has gone too far’?” We need something to assuage our rising sense of fear. I am reminded of those times when, as a parent, I have been unable briefly to find one of my small children. It doesn’t take long before the small voice of concern — “Oh, he must be hiding under a bed or something” — turns into the shrill note of panic when every reasonable stone has been seemingly overturned.

We once had this go on long enough with our oldest son that we called the police, because we honestly thought someone had come by and taken him from the yard. (As it turned out, the child in question was hiding because he was embarrassed because of something he had done.) Another time, with another child, we could not find him because he had crawled inside a kitchen cabinet and shut the door, only to fall fast asleep. We looked everywhere but in the cupboards, until we were at our wits’ end and discovered him out of a sheer irrational desperation to check every unlikely place.

Both times, the truth was that our children were safe the whole time. Both times, it had become easy — even reasonable — to fear the worst.

I have long posited that the only reason Christ promised that the “gates of hell will not prevail” against the Church is because He knew full well that they would appear to do precisely that. He wanted us to remember those words at the very moment when it would seem all but certain that His promises were empty, and that all was truly lost. We are arriving at that juncture. Perhaps not for the first time in history, and certainly not for the last.

The Church may go into hiding. The Church may seem for a time to disappear. So we remember His promise. And we hold fast, whatever comes.

163 thoughts on “The Center Cannot Hold”

  1. Great post. I also have had a nagging feeling of something big about to be unveiled. I’ve returned my family to the nightly rosary; something that has been very hard to keep with work, homeschool, and personal failings lately.
    Honestly, I hope it happens soon. It could be that they’re testing the waters to see how many will remain in the anti-church professing an anti-gospel under what would be an anti-pope.
    I’m ready to see clear lines drawn on the battlefield… but perhaps the point is to obscure the sides.

    • Fits right in with the Liberation Theology of PF from South American Jesuits. Some of them took up arms and started killing the government officials in SA. Find that in the Bible or in Vat II !!!

  2. This is the chastisement. We are in the middle of it. Unless we hold firm, a single Priest in a cave somewhere, there will be The Church.
    We may like by BP Athanasius Schneider’s family in Dominus Est, having to hide to keep our faith, but we can do it if we follow Our Mother’s instructions.

  3. Ok this is spooky.

    A few days ago I was updating my grown up daughter on the latest Francis garbage and I said: ‘It’s really falling apart. The centre cannot hold’.

    • I too have had this phrase, “the center cannot hold” come into my mind regarding the crisis in the Church. I too have finally felt a ripple of fear enter my heart. I am staking my life on my faith that the teaching that has been handed down to us from the apostles really is the Truth.

      • It is guaranteed that provided a priest is correctly ordained and performs the double consecration correctly then we have the Real Presence and the other sacraments. The gates of hell can never prevail against that fact. Jesus never said the gates of hell would never prevail against the Vatican or that we would always have access to the sacraments.

          • Let us not fool ourselves any longer. Bergoglio and his American Jesuits are dedicated communists who seek to destroy , “Raging around like a lion seeking whom to devour”. Indeed what rough beast slouches toward Bethlehem to be born? The remnant must prepare for the worst, no more false hopes that Bergoglio doesn’t really mean what he says.

  4. Maybe the real Church will be in the Catacomb. I was reading the book “Lord of the World” just last night myself (talk about the Mystical Body of Christ communicating to one another)!

  5. A truly intelligent article that really clarifies what is going on and helps make sense of it. Thank you for the read. Yes, we see it too.

  6. Let’s see. What day is October 31st? Halloween you say. And the 500th year anniversary of the Protestant Revolt. Surely something big is going to happen. We.Can.All.Feel.It.In.Our.Bones.

  7. I really enjoy it when Mr. Skojec muses like this. His take on why Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail was tremendously heartening, and perfectly articulated something I had vaguely sensed about that verse for a long time but had never crystallized myself. And good time now that it did. Tomorrow I leave for Still River MA for a discernment weekend at St. Benedict’s Abbey.

    There is an irony about that Yeats poem while we’re talking about a certain aspect of Freemasonry. I’m always surprised at the number of Catholics who don’t know that Yeats was a Freemason, a member of the Golden Dawn, and a life-long occultists who used his wife as a medium to imbibe the deep things of satan, which he made into a book called A Vision. (About that book, I’m reminded of what Cardinal Burke recently said about confusion being the work of the devil.) The Second Coming is a good example of how Freemasons ape Christian symbols and how Occultists use whatever symbols are at hand. (On the whole, The Second Coming is basically inscrutable I think. However, I’ve always suspected it might be about Yeats’ mystical sense of what it meant that the Balfour Declaration was issued exactly one week after Sinn Fein declared they stood behind De Valera for a Republic, a rough beast slouching to Bethlehem to be born as it were.)

    We’ve forgotten how much Yeats hated Catholics because his barbs are always veiled. For example, the first stanza of September 1913 disparages praying the rosary by likening it to counting money–“fumbling in a greasy till.” Under Ben Bulben, the poem he made his epitaph, sneers at the “base born products of base beds” because Irish Catholics didn’t separate the marital act from reproduction. What Yeats really meant when he was being wicked about Catholics was much clearer when the moral norms in Ireland were the opposite of what they are now.

    And yet, I can’t bring myself not to love so many of his poems. When I was sixteen I memorized Easter 1916 and recited it to my father to his great delight. Yeats was the greatest poet in an era of great poets. (And to think, now people hail Dana Gioia.) But I think its important for us to remember what motivated much of his most intense verse.

    • Tennyson, too. Loathed the Irish. But then, he wrote a lot of good verse and I memorized “Ulysses”, though I always change the line “And see the great Achilles, whom we knew” to “…whom we loved”, i.e., loved as in a brother, for they were brothers, those Greeks, in that awful war.

      As for Yeats, it’s like Professor Peter Kreeft likes to say, “God writes straight with crooked lines.”

      So true.


      • excerpt- “The Five Deaths of the Faith” in “Everlasting Man” by Chesterton

        Again and again, before our time, men have grown content with a diluted doctrine. And again and again there has followed on that dilution, coming as out of the darkness in a crimson cataract, the strength of the red original wine. And we only say once more to-day as has been said many times by our fathers: `Long years and centuries ago our fathers or the founders of our people drank, as they dreamed, of the blood of God. Long years and centuries have passed since the strength of that giant vintage has been anything but a legend of the age of giants. Centuries ago already is the dark time of the second fermentation, when the wine of Catholicism turned into the vinegar of Calvinism. Long since that bitter drink has been itself diluted; rinsed out and washed away by the waters of oblivion and the wave of the world. Never did we think to taste again even that bitter tang of sincerity and the spirit, still less the richer and the sweeter strength of the purple vineyards in our dreams of the age of gold. Day by day and year by year we have lowered our hopes and lessened our convictions; we have grown more and more used to seeing those vats and vineyards overwhelmed in the water-floods and the last savour and suggestion of that special element fading like a stain of purple upon a sea of grey. We have grown used to dilution, to dissolution, to a watering down and went on forever. But Thou hast kept the good wine until now.’

  8. “It’s why we tell people that it’s not their fault that they can’t stop sinning, and they should go ahead and receive the sacraments anyway so they don’t feel excluded.”

    What a great point this is! To reconcile our fallen nature with the divine nature through sophistry and self-will. It is the sin of Khanan, a character from a play called The Dybbuk, about the spirit of a dead Yeshiva student who possesses the body of the young woman he lusted after. Khanan is that dead Yeshiva student, who, immediately before his death, proposes to his fellow Yeshiva student that the way to overcome sins that seem insurmountable — like a man’s lust for a women — is not to fight against the sin, but to elevate the sin. Their may be cabalistic elements here, I don’t know. But that seems to be what’s happening in the Church right now: to elevate the fallen nature of man and worship that. And as one of Steve’s friends cited in the article, this worship of “fallen” man is synonymous with the worship of the Anti-Christ or Satan.

  9. If a vegetarian only eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

    The problem I have seen for all of my life (I was born during Vatican II) is that for the most part the Church in the face of the humanitarians seems to be ashamed of belief in God, as out of date and unfashionable. It is almost as if they are trying to justify the religion part by claiming, “look at our work for the poor, our humanitarianism. We are really ok, even if a little nutty about that God stuff”.

    Being a nice charity doesn’t justify belief in God: we do not love God because we are charitable, we are charitable because we love God, and are attempting to follow his commands. Without that, there really is not logically necessary reason not to kill and eat each other. Things do fall apart, without that moral center founded outside of human wants and desires. Abortion (an early fruit of humanism, a mark of our dominion over life and death) was an early step.

    • Actually, your comment and so much else said in the article and the Comments here is spot on: they don’t believe. It’s ok not to believe, of course in the sense “God loves an honest atheist” but something else again when they’re not honest about it, and the first person they’re not honest about it is with themselves.

      It’s not that they’re stone-cold metaphysical materialists in clerical garb, or at least, not necessarily; it’s that they’re worshipping idols, in the sense of “gods” they themselves have manufactured.

      Some can be called back to the true Faith, and we need to pray for those and encourage them — most of all by how we live: “Those Christians! See how they love one another!” (Trust me, the Prog Modernists are closely watching how the Trads handle all this mess!)

      It’s a duty we have, and a good one. I thank God we have it.


  10. I have no premonitions just a body of facts that, like the lightning bolt that struck the St Peter’s Dome on the eve of Benedict’s abdication, thunders that a new religion for a new church has been created in the womb of Mother Church. Francis intends to perform the procedure of Amniotomy very soon on her. And when that new church is born, it will quickly lay claim to the institutions of the Church and drape itself with man’s pagan morality and point to the worship of man as the new way. Then the new church will accelerate the persecution of its own mother – to the cheers of billions while further morphing the teachings of Christ to make itself a religion ready to worship any anti-Christ that comes along be it the last one or not.

    • Terrifying words, and here I am thinking them over. We have come to the point where we actually consider what diabolical happening may be coming our way next, increasing in intensity as it advances.

    • The seed of Satan was sown in the Vatican in 1963 under Paul VI, during a satanic ceremony led by apostate clerics. Read “Windswept House” (M. Martin)
      No Pope succeeded in uprooting it.

      • My reading guidelines for WH: Go to confession and Holy Communion. Sunday afternoon, get into your favorite chair and THEN start reading WH. DON’T read it at night – it’s that scary!!!

        Otherwise, great post.

  11. Thanks, Steve. I have my seven children and my wife (former lutheran) watching at me with that expression “ what…you are the one that knows” and no…I just don´t know.

    • Yes, you do. Sing a hymn. What was it that Lewis said about the cabby in The Last Battle when he sang a hymn, a hymn of his rural youth? About harvesters bringing in? I don’t have my copy of that book any more but the hymn, “To Jesus Christ our Soverign King Who is the Word’s Salvation…” comes to mind.

      Sing it, for the angels do, too. (And its refrain is perfect medicine for our tormented times!)


    • I know it might seem ridiculous to refer you to a movie clip about something so very serious and real, but please watch this clip (from the film U571, which you may have seen before).

      In the clip, a relatively young man has just become instantly promoted to Captain after the unexpected death at sea of the previous Captain of the submarine. In the preceding scene, the young new Captain expressed doubt and fear openly to the crew during a time of great danger. In this scene, an older, seasoned member of the crew (lower in rank) has powerful words of wisdom for the young Captain.

      Rely on God, not on yourself. Like St. Joseph before you, recognize that you are not, in an ultimate sense, the husband and father of your own family: rather, God is the Father of ‘your’ children, and (in heaven) the Husband of ‘your’ wife. Your job is not to have all the answers, but to direct their gaze always to him. Follow the path trod by St. Joseph. I say this to myself even more than I say it to you, because I am faced with similar circumstances.

  12. Nothing has been said in that post that could not have been said, or that was not said, of the state of the Church under P6, and then under JP2. It is well worth reading

    “Has the Catholic Church Gone Mad ?” by John Eppstein
    “The Devastated Vineyard” by Dietrich von Hildebrand
    “Catholicism confronts Modernity” by James Hitchcock
    “The Banished Heart” by Geoffrey Hull
    “Ungodly Rage” by Donna Steichen

    Anything by Hitchcock or von Hildebrand is well worth reading. There is also a book on the crisis by Alice von Hildebrand, the name of which I forget. “Catholicism confronts Modernity” is the most horrifying book I’ve read – published in 1979, it is about the collapse of US Catholicism after the “New Pentecost”. Definitely not for the squeamish.

    Compared to the horrible things in those books, and other books of the same kind, the more regrettable doings of PF really are no big deal. The people I’m sorry for are those who were trusting enough to believe all this verbal diarrhoea about the marvellous “renewal” that the “New Pentecost” was going to bring, who then had to live through the betrayal and treachery and lies and degeneracy that came in its stead. One can only be glad that Michael Davies did not live to see the further collapse of the Church.

    The Church is deeply degenerate – the artificially high, and rigged, stats for the numbers of Catholics can’t change or hide that. There seem to be more Catholics than really there are because B16 falsified the stats by making leaving the Church next to impossible. The so-called renewal is such a non-event that a Pope has to gerrymander the figures to make it look real.

    • Yes! I read most of Davies’ books, and helped with his talks here on the ‘Left’ Coast, as well as with those of Hamish Fraser and John Venarri. I am glad these fine men, and my Mom, who wrote for many newspapers and for her own Oregon Catholic News, are not here to witness the continued decline. One day it will end, please God. In the meantime, we have to live and marry and plant gardens, and have as normal a live as possible in the circumstances in which we are placed. We cannot be downtrodden, because God chose this time for our existence.

    • We have never had a papacy as destructive as the Bergoglian. I recoil from the man and his actions and utterances. The evil of AL is cosmic in magnitude. Transsexuals and sodomites are affirmed in their depravity. (Called a woman “he”, private audience with two “married’ men, kissing and hugging both). Called non-contracepting people “rabbits”, said the Blessed Mother may have been angry at the foot of the cross that she “was tricked”, pried apart the praying hands of a pious young boy boorishky joking, “are they stuck?”, affirmed a notorious bicycle pump abortionist as one of Italy’s “greats”, implied John the Baptist really did have misgivings about Jesus saying who He was, said “most modern marriages are invalid”. There is so much more squalor being promulgated by this man. It’s surreal. I can’t believe I am witness to him. More shocking is the passivity and or cowardice of our bishops.

    • Other books that warned us:
      “Paolo Sesto Beato ?” (Fr Luigi Villa) “Giovanni Paolo Due beato ?” (Fr Luigi Villa)
      “NichitaRoncalli” (Franco Bellegrandi)

    • I think, though, that Yeats and Steve both speak of more than just the Church. The center in society is not holding: the silent majority are either scared, ambivalent or both. Of course another possibility exists, namely that those center are simply people without convictions who will be forced to assent to radical impulses belonging to the group or groups with which they most closely identify.

      This is not new in history but this is new since the coming of Christ: abortion, same sex “marriage”, scandalizing for our children, certain members of mankind owning vast wealth and seemingly use that wealth to bring the Church to heel or destroy her, proud declarations and displays of perversity in the streets, declining Church attendance, lies coming at us from all sides of the media, wide spread availability of pornography. Worse than all that there is wide spread apostasy in the ranks of the clergy, not just a few of them. No, these are not like other times.

  13. Perhaps difficulties seem imminent because Pope Francis is escalating his aberrant behaviors. He perhaps realizes that there is rebellion from actual Catholics afoot, and he must make changes as fast as he can. That has been my first instinct on this current insanity.

  14. Steve, I have had these exact feelings for a while now. A lot of my posts allude to the fact that things are spinning out of control around us. I read LOTW two years ago now. If the hair on the back of your neck isn’t standing up, it should be.

    Just today I spent the better part of my day thinking about how I would tell our parish priest that we are leaving the Church for SSPX. The nearest SSPX chapel is four hours drive and offers mass on the first and third Sunday’s only. Now I am not intending or want to do this at all. So why would I spend precious time pondering how I would tell him if I had to. We teach pre-school RE, I am on the finance council….we’re involved. It’s the parish where I was confirmed, we went through pre-Cana, both our kids have been baptized and where, God willing, our third will be baptized shortly after the New Year.

    Then it hit me: I am scared. Terrified. I haven’t been focused at work. I focus on God and my family but other things are falling way. Nothing seems to matter now but trying to get us all to heaven. But why? I am 37, my wife is 34, our three children are 4, 2 and six weeks from exiting the womb. Why the urgency? Well…because it feels like time is up. I don’t share your optimism regarding the Church having gone through this before and having to go through it again….I don’t think there will be another again. Game’s over. The Final Battle is on right now, behind the veil. That is how I feel.

    Then I realize that this feeling is unhealthy. All I can do is pray the Rosary, read the Baltimore Catechism, pass on the faith to our kids and remain in a state of grace. I need to get my focus back. But I have been telling myself this for five months. It doesn’t work. Stop listening to Malachi Martin and Art Bell. Stop listening to the awesome FSSP priest whose sermons on the end times which are he gives at the the beginning of Advents and at retreats are on the Sensus Fidelium. Stop looking at Bellarmine’s prophecies. No more reading about Our Lady of La Salette, Good Fortune or Fatima.

    Then I get scared about losing my faith. Am I putting a timeline on God? What am I convincing myself of here: that if an obvious undeniable sign of the apocalypse doesn’t appear in two months, a year, two years (?) that I am going to chalk all of this up to a fable and lose my faith? No, it cannot happen. But it has, to better than me (not s high hurdle).

    None of it matters. Nothing works. I am not depressed, I am just strongly convicted that we are in the last days. I cannot convince myself otherwise.

    • I wouldn’t want to call “Peace! Peace! When there is no peace,” but another Biblical verse comes to mind: Romans 14:8, “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord. Therefore, whether we live, or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”

      Prince Rilian echoed that as he and the two kids and Puddleglum went out to (what they thought would be) battle.

      That’s the peace you need, BrianW. That, and 2 Corinthians, 12:9, “And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. ”


    • You echo almost EXACTLY how I am feeling…..and just maybe how many of us are feeling. How long can this charade continue? I do believe it will get worse before it gets better, and I don’t do much ‘future planning’ as of late. Actually haven’t done that for over a year now, as I feel ‘what’s the point’? The end is near, and probably only the end of an ‘era’, but it’s coming. And yes Brian, it’s scary, but we hang on to Jesus thru Mary. I’m scared of not always having the sacraments we need. Things go through my head like; “What if we can’t find a Priest to say a valid Mass for us?…..What if we can’t go to confession? What if we can’t receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament?….What if there are no Priests around to give us the Sacrament of the Sick if we are near death?”…..etc. etc. Then I hear in my head comforting words……..”I will NEVER leave you alone”.

      Our Lady of Fatima, please pray for us!!

    • You’re speaking for a lot of people. You know that saying, misery loves company? It’s true in a way. One reason why I read blogs at all is to see there are many others who are seeing what I am seeing and having a similar response. We’re all kind of like that 70’s movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where only those people “called” to go to the site where the aliens were returning, needed to go, or felt the need to go. At least, we are not alone. It’s comforting.
      When I feel a bit unnerved by it all, I just trust God. I say, He loves you, no matter what, He won’t let you perish, His hand will save. I have long since committed all my loved ones to His mercy, I can do no more than that.
      I hope you can be at peace. You didn’t create this problem, and really, only He can deal with it, it’s God-sized. You’re doing all the right things. We had to leave our church for the TLM. It still hurts, but the TLM has been a life raft. If they take it away, we will watch it online. If they take that away, we’ll pray the Rosary and read the Catechism and the Bible. If they take that away, we’ll pray the Rosary using our fingers and toes. But we will never, ever, cooperate with FrancisChurch.

      • Yes, I have been thinking about “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” too. Aside from the fact that the movie is about aliens, I see the similarities to the handful of disparate people who feel drawn to go to some unknown place for some unknown reason, which none of their family or friends can relate to. Traditional Catholics are also out of the mainstream and misunderstood by many. What a blessing to have Steve’s website, and the other traditional sites and blogs, where we can go for the truth and to share what’s happening in our Church.

      • Continuing from above, we built a new 4 car garage in 2000 (28′ x 40′) and upstairs we built a Chapel. It was the best $100,000 I ever spent. What is worth the price of Holy Masses. At the time we had a former SSPX priest (Fr. Hector Bolduc) who helped the Archbishop found the SSPX in the USA. He used to say 5 Massess every Sunday, flying all around the USA in a puddle jumper to do it. Later he said Mass (I got to serve them) at our chapel when he went home from his Green Bay Chapel to New Hampshire (his family home), stoping over in Detroit to say Mass in Brooklyn, Michigan Monday evening and our Chapel the next morning before flying out of DTW, back to the east coast. This wonderful senario lasted 12 years until cancer took him home to heaven. You can do these things if you put your mind to it. Invoke St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests. He will help you and you will not need the help of your local Bishop to do it. Step out in faith and persevere!!! You may be called every kind of radical nutjob but who cares. In his your heart you know you are right.

      • Recall, you did not leave the Church, it left you. (Like a Demoncrat who said he did not leave the Demoncrat party, it left him.)

        • The Church cannot leave you since it’s from God. The Democrats were never for helping the people. Their goal was to advance progressive agenda. All the programs they got through Congress need to be reversed.

    • For what it’s worth, that awesome FSSP priest whose sermons are on Sensus Fidelium tells a great story from the life of St. John Berchmans that you have probably heard:

      One day St. John Berchmans was playing pool with his fellow Jesuits during their recreation time. Another Jesuit says, “Hey John, what would you do if the world was coming to an end right now?”

      John lines up another shot, and says “I’d keep playing pool”.

      What are we to make of this response? Is St. John just being glib? Of course not. The point is, St. John was supposed to be in a state of grace, and he was. And he was supposed to be doing his duty. Which he was. His superiors had ordered him to be at recreation, and so he was recreating. As long as we remain in a state of grace and continue to do our duty, we don’t have to worry so much about whether the world is going to end tonight or in a thousand years.

      This story has become for me a touchstone as the situation in the Church continues to spiral further and further out of control. I know the truths of the Faith are real. I know that Jesus is Lord. God’s not surprised by any of this, God’s peace hasn’t been ruined by this. As long as I stay in a state of grace and continue to do my duty according to my state in life, I’m gong to be okay and so will my family. Part of my doing my duty means that I must be urgent in teaching the Faith, urgent in being the head and guardian of my family. The situation IS serious and we have to be equally serious. But we don’t have to lose our interior peace. Nobody, no matter how highly placed or how destructive they may be, can touch that.

      • Yep, I have heard him tell that story on a few of the recordings. It is a great story. I have told it to my wife! Ha! I think the priest is from Montana. In fact western Montana, about 120 miles from me. Lord, why cannot we have an FSSP parish here? Why does this Holy Priest have to be, I think I heard him say ONCE, in South Dakota.

    • Dear Brian, I really admire you, being such a young Father of a very young family, and with such intense understanding of the value of your Catholic Faith. I am 65 and I have just as much fear and anxiety as you do, not so much for myself as for our next generation. But when I read your mail, I cannot help realizing how blessed you are: for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. You would not have had this “fear of the Lord” if you had not the “fear of the un-godly” that is going around us. But we have to recall the Words of the Lord, repeated on numerous occasions: Fear not! Do not be afraid!…
      Two things to share with you:
      1. check out my husband and I have been “attending” daily Mass via and following all the prayers to the letter with our Volksmissale
      (Latin-German edition from 2015 by the FSSP. this edition bases faithfully on the Roman Missale from 1962. Check with the FSSP in the USA for a Latin-English version.) Even by following a recorded Mass from the previous Sunday and pray with it, with time you will gain a feeling for the REALITY which is God Himself. And THIS REALITY will free you from the fear you are suffering from.
      2. A reader wrote two years ago about Jesus telling him in prayer that HE is sending the Destroyer. To his question “Why?” Jesus answered: so that you can separate the sheep from the goats. Because of Jorge Bergoglio a lot of us are studying more intensely about our Faith and taking it more seriously. There is a resurgence of interest for the TLM, there is more awareness, and more so, more expounding of the hidden problems and errors in the documents of VII as can be seen in 1P5, akacatholic, crisismagazine, Firstthings, etc. And it is good so! Very good indeed! A new generation rises up to take their Catholic Faith seriously and to value the Mass of the Ages. The Liturgy of the Church which grows from a mustard seed in the apostolic time over 2000 years to a big tree with all its richness and majesty (idea from Martin Mosebach in his “Heresy of Formlessness”); where all birds in heaven can build nests in it, so can we also find our home in it. The Liturgy is a touch of Heaven on earth, a moment of timelessness where and when we are In the Reality that is in God.

      Earlier this year we were in France. Along the way we were always seeking out Churches with TLM. You would be amazed to see how many young families with young children are there, families with three of four children. It is heart-lifting. It gives hope because all these families are praying together – with us!

      In diesem Sinne, im Gebet verbunden.

    • Brian, what you say is so apt for many. There is a gnawing within, an unsettled feeling that I have, that all is crumbling. I find I have to talk out loud to God what I am experiencing and I constantly ask Him pointed questions. What I try to remember and practice in my prayer life is that praising God takes me out of my predisposition for melancholy and the doubt that Satan wants us all to engage in. Praise lifts me into a palpable union with the heavenly kingdom and all of our true friends, the saints and angels who are ever present with us in this battle. How often I cry out to Philomena or Agnes or Magdalene and Thomas, Philip and Therese. What momentary strength I gain in the midst of my feelings of fragility and love for this aching Mystical Body.
      Satan is using the crisis to his advantage to confuse and take more souls.
      This morning I called my son who is forty and said “Son let’s pray the Divine Praises.” So we did and then we repeated Alleluia three times and made a consecration to the Blessed Mother. I could hear his voice change from preoccupation into meekness as he was getting ready to take out two of the little ones. We are the blessed ones because we have faith. We know that what is coming is going to be a grave and great trial for all of mankind, but what we don’t know is how many lost souls satan will take for himself during this time.
      Mother Angelica always talked about the sacrament of the present moment. For today. ……all is well within my soul ( maybe there are grave plots being hatched and betrayals are coming for holy churchmen this very minute…but I can do nothing )..what IS within my grasp is the duty of the present moment. What do all of us have to offer God today….only one thing. OUR FREE WILL. It is this day, offered to God, these dishes, these diapers, this noisy traffic, this mundane grey day, that can be used to drag souls from the darkness. Only God can use it, only God knows HOW to use our small offerings. It is such a mystery. It is all we have but the Blessed Mother tells us that it is her humble cohort who will defeat the arrogance, the diabolical. Blessed are the meek, blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the persecuted. We are blessed indeed. We feel the intensity because we love Her, our holy Mother Church, but for today I choose to glorify you oh Great God and thank you for everything!!

    • We are all afraid and this is where the Enemy wants us to be. Who can pray in this condition? Underneath all the fear, running hither and yon for something to grasp hold of is the answer that we all already know and have forgotten in our panic. Christ. He said not to be afraid, that He would never leave us orphaned, to let tomorrow take care of itself, and to trust in Him, and His infinite Love for us. Close the door of the inner room of your heart and pray without ceasing and ask Him to bring you peace and calm, and unshakeable trust. He is in control and ashamed at our lack of Faith. This is where I’ve arrived, placed my tent and have found peace of heart. I hope it helps some else as well. Limit the amount of exposure to the insanity. “All shall be well.” He promised.

    • Your feelings are correct. Get thee to the nearest SSPX Chapel. We did 20 years ago and never have looked back. We are 76 years old and not that long for this world. The peace and solitude of the TLM is what you need to recharge your batteries. Have an SSPX priest come to say Mass in your home, an American Legion hall or local hotel or funeral home. Get your friends to join you. Simply go to . God bless you.

    • I laughed at your post. Why? Not because it was funny but because I do the same things and feel the same way. I am a 69 year old woman and my husband thinks like you as do my son and daughter who are your age.

  15. I think the question that should be asked Is: Does a Pope who officially (by promulgating official documents that without an explicit denial of the Faith promote conduct which is opposed to the Faith–thus separating the Lex orandi from the Lex credendi so that the new practice, lex orandi, leads to a new belief, lex credendi) changes the institution that Christ founded for the salvation of souls into an ecumenical community for the damnation of souls in fact make a mockery of Christ’s promise to Peter at Caesarea Philippi?

    Here is what The Catholic Encyclopedia 1913, Vol. 3 under “Church”, Pg. 756, teaches about the Indefectibility of the Church:

    “The gift of indefectibility is expressly promised to the Church by Christ, in the words in which
    He declares that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. It is manifest that, could the storms
    which the Church encounters so shake it as to alter its essential characteristics and make it
    other than Christ intended it to be, the gates of hell, i.e., the powers of evil, WOULD HAVE
    PREVAILED. It is clear, too, that could the Church suffer substantial change, it would no longer be
    an instrument capable of accomplishing the work for which God called it into being. He
    established it that it might be to all men the school of holiness. This it would cease to be if ever
    it could set up a false and corrupt moral standard. He established it to proclaim His revelation
    to the world, and charged it to warn all men that unless they accepted that message they must
    perish everlastingly. …………….”

    “It was said above that one part of the Church’s gift of indefectibility lies in her preservation
    from any substantial corruption in the sphere of morals. This supposes, not merely that she will
    always proclaim the perfect standard of morality bequeathed to her by her Founder, but also
    that in every age the lives of many of her children will be based on that sublime mode. Only a
    supernatural principle of spiritual life could bring this about.”

    Another way to put the question is: Can someone who is under the control of Satan be the visible head of the Mystical Body of Christ? Remember that Our Lady warned at Akita that the work of the devil would infiltrate the Church SUCH THAT Cardinals would oppose Cardinals and Bishops would be against Bishops. It is Satan who divides, and what is dividing the Cardinal and the Bishops? The introduction of the novel practices concerning the Family, Marriage, Holy Communion and the acceptance of any type of sexual perversion. And by whom are these introduced? FRANCIS!!! So…….?

      • Jacques, who do you think is at the top of the Church? Let me know where you stand and I’ll let you know where I stand. Fr. Belland

    • Last paragraph: first line

      And Satan has caused great fear and angst among prelates as well, to the point, that they endlessly and without ceasing to consternate, ” what to DO?” Why don’t they respond to the graces that are attempting to be given to them?

      They bury themselves in legal remedies as to how to ” fight” for the Church.
      It will not suffice, and deep within they know that.
      Magical thinking abounds and gives permission for them to hide.
      What is this magical thinking? That their impotence is required by God!!!

      Well, if Peter were here on this earth, he would surely slap them behind their ears.
      Needless to say, what would St. Paul do?
      And what would our Mother say to them, ” I saw my Son left on the Cross, once, but I will not and cannot bear it again! Do not come to me, when you betray my Son.”

      • cs, try to be a little bit more understanding, for we ARE dealing with something absolutely unprecedented in the history of the Church as well as with something omnipresent and more powerful than the Church has faced since Christ’s Passion and Death, namely, the invisible forces of hell. Just ask yourself it you would know what to do, with nothing “in the books” of a practical nature to give some clue. And besides, even in trying to come up with a solution, everyone has something different, including the few remaining respected Princes of the Church.

        • +Fr. Nicholas Gruner (eternal memory!) used to say that since the Third Secret of Fatima (I.e. the exact words of Our Lady which follow: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved…”) was not and has not been revealed to this day, God has withheld the graces necessary for the Pope and the bishops to perform the Collegial Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as a punishment for not obeying Our Lady. When the Third Secret IS revealed, THEN God will give the graces necessary for them. Just like if a child disobeys its mother, the father will tell the child “No dinner until you apologize to your mother. When you’re sorry and apologize, then you will get your dinner. Now go to your room.” Same principle.

        • I shall try to be more understanding, as you suggest.
          If you were not a priest, I may not be so quick to do so, but I shall try.

          I think that our Princes of the Church are understandably worried about the consequences of issuing a formal correction to Pope Francis.
          And that I do understand. But, these worries are not for them to have, in my opinion. They are not the Church: it is Christ’s and it is for Him
          to respond as He wishes when given the opportunity by the prelates witness of Truth.
          God will take care of what he will. Why worry about speaking the Truth? Is not the Truth revealed to us by God? How could anything truly bad come from something ” good”?

          Realities need to be faced as you stated: what will happen to Francis, will there be a schism, persecution from within may ensue, etc.
          I don’t know.
          Trust in God, like an infant being thrown into the air by her father.
          He will catch Her.

          • Slightly off-topic true story: When I was a baby, my late father knew a good priest from upstate. +Fr. T would throw me up in the air and catch me. 30 years ago, I was able to meet him as an adult on pilgrimage. About 1 month after I met him, +Fr. T passed away. My late father and +Fr. T. were good friends, and he was deeply affected by the death of +Fr. T.

            Shortly after that, if dad ran into people who had problems, he’d tell them: “Don’t worry. I’ll pray to +Fr. T. for you.” He’d pray to +Fr. T and his prayers were often answered (not all the time, though). If his prayers were answered, he’d grin and say: “See? I told you +Fr. T would help you.” If not, he was ok too.

            November is coming up, so pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory and ask them to help you too.

            Eternal memory to Fr. T and Dad.

          • What a precious story. How blessed you are to have such holy memories of those closest to you.

            November has always been a very special time for great gratitude to the saints and prayers for the souls in Purgatory. Thank you for the important reminder to ask them for help!
            I shall.


        • Apparently the “hammer” has already begun to fall whereby “kings will be shattered.” For a “word” has been sent to Francis and, after the “instructed time,” transmitted to the world including, I hear, to 1Peter5. But it seems Francis and the world have trashed it. And, if this “word” is true, they who have ignored it will lament their decision.

        • Father, our problem may be straining for a man-made solution.
          I was listening to a well know Messianic Jewish minister speaking on a secular topic. At one point he said: “To truly have revival, there must be repentence.” How would that translate into our traditions? (1) Prayer, especially the Rosary and the First Saturday devotion, and (2) sacrifices, even small ones, including fasting.

    • Dear Father Belland,
      Thank you very much for your courageous and clear words. Indeed, “Can someone who is under the control of Satan be the visible head of the Mystical Body of Christ?” I think the answer is unambiguous among most of the readers of this forum. Unfortunately. very many outside of this forum are afraid to put this issue into clear words, and among them, not a few priests of God.

  16. Very good Steve. Nothing that’s happening should come as a surprise. Our Lord wondered when he came again if He would find any faith. The corruption in the Church has been happening, particularly, since the French Revolution. We have had Modernism, Vatican II and now Pope Francis. All bad, all corrupt. Rather than bemoan the present time, this is a great time to be a Catholic. Why? Because it is becoming easier and easier to sort out the truth, the good from the bad, good people from bad people. In other words, God is giving us profound clarity. Those who have the faith will see the truth. Knowing the truth should calm us and give us confidence in our Lord’s ultimate victory.

  17. “The gates of Hell will not prevail against it [the Church].”

    In the context in which I’ve always seen it used, that phrase has always mystified and disconcerted me. Why not “the winds of Hell” or “the powers of Hell?” The image conjured by the actual words is almost Tim Burton [“Nightmare Before Christmas] weird: the Church is sitting there, huddled against the elements, when this pair of flapping gates comes beating down on it.

    It would make more sense if one thinks of the Church as the “aggressor.” We know that between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, Christ entered Hell to release all the righteous dead—the harrowing of Hell as it’s called. So I can’t help wondering whether the phrase in question isn’t referring to a final harrowing of our Hell-on-earth.

    So that, in the end, “the gates of Hell will not prevail against [the onslaught of goodness, righteousness and truth of] the Church.”

      • Thanks. At 70, I confess that up until about a year ago, I hadn’t thought of it that way either.

        No matter how often I would HEAR “the gates of Hell shall not prevail” I would always PICTURE the gates of the Church withstanding a pounding from Hell—reassured that those gates would never yield.

        I’m not a Biblical scholar, but in my judgment that’s not what the plain meaning of the words are saying.

  18. Somewhere along the line one has to answer Jesus’ question – who do you say that I Am ? There is no where else to go but the Catholic Church and its Teaching and Tradition if I believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God, who gives us himself ,and is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. The center will hold because the center is Christ Himself.

    • May God bless and increase your Faith, Kathy!

      Because He knows exacly what we’re made of, the Lord of Hosts allows this to happen because he wants us to see what we’re made of, and what Faith really is.

      I’m not worth much, in thought or deed, but I do thank God that He’s let me live in such times.


  19. Gaudium et Spes goes on to say: “For God’s Word, by whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh so that as perfect man He might save all men and sum up all things in Himself. The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the longings of history and of civilization, the center of the human race, the joy of every heart and the answer to all its yearnings.” The Lord is the…center of the human race. Those who know their Faith know that Jesus is the source, CENTER, and summit of our Holy Roman Catholic Faith. Those who seek to spin the Truth of God, are squaring off with the Holy Spirit. Sooner or later anyone who does that will learn their arms are not long enough to box with God. They will get knocked out!

    As we worship the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever, the center CANNOT HOLD! This is part of Divine Revelation. Look at the Word of God in Romans chapter 1:

    “24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among
    themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.”

    “For – this – reason – God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Men! Pick up a combat rosary and engage in this fierce battle, to the very end.

    • As with all the documents of Vatican II, there is enough verbiage and ambiguity in there that one can pick and choose one’s own Gospel according to one’s inclinations. That’s why one Fr Ratzinger could claim that parts of GS are riddled with Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism, while other parts are quite orthodox.

      You have highlighted a theocentric passge which stands in marked contrast to earlier anthropcentric passages. We really do need a new Syllabus of Errors to correct Vatican II – unless the most effective way to deal with it turns out to be flushing it.

      • Respectfully, I think it must go this way Deacon, as what else could shake the “faith,” of believers, as the Catechism says; “Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.” Believers actually accept all of Divine Revelation, necessarily reading / understanding things in light of the 2,000 years of ALL of Divine Revelation – Sacred Scriptures, Sacred Tradition, Magisterial Teaching.

    • I’ve been thinking about this passage from Romans quite a bit lately. It certainly seems to describe what we are seeing all around us now.

  20. A compelling post, very prophetic in all its potency. i do strongly believe that a sign is about to be given us. The Lord will clear the temple of all thieves.

  21. Something I read years ago and set aside as uncertain was the book of locutions to Fr Stephano Gobi entitled “To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons”. I have recently returned to this book as it is specifically about this moment in the Church. If anything it is far more compelling now than a decade ago.
    If anyone is interested it can be found in PDF here:

    Something handy to try: once you have the PDF loaded, on your keyboard hit ctrl f together which loads a search box. You can search for key words and see how certain themes recur and become more urgent as the two decades of locutions evolve. Next to the box you will see the number of occurrences for that particular word, and you can toggle to them in the document using the arrow keys and then read the context in which the word is found.

    Try searching the word “purification”, for example.

    • I, too, started this book and set it aside as I was uncertain about – or perhaps, unready to comprehend – the contents.

      Perhaps a revisit is in order.

  22. What a wonderful article. The last two paragraphs are the anchor we need. Truly, who knows, only God, how long this will take place. We have to remember to fight and hold on as hard as possible to keep the Faith, have confidence, patience and perseverance. Having said that , I have for some time had a nagging fear, something I can’t quite put my finger on, that something is about to turn the corner on us all. May God help us all and give us the courage to see it done.

  23. At last you appear to be catching up. I wonder how long it will last – or will you revert back to banning those who have pointed out all the above for years?

    • Good to see you back.
      The conversation is impoverished without you. Your insights have been glaringly absent. While I prefer them boldly I would acquiesce to tact rather than not have them at all. Particularly now — when things appear to be going haywire even more so than a few months ago.
      God reward you.

  24. Gaudium et Spes 24 is very disturbing. To equivalate love for God with love for neighbor/man is wrong and is always wrong. It is an incongruent attempt at some transitive logic; that since we are to love both neighbor and God, the two are equal.

    – To love one’s neighbor is at all times subordinate to the love of God.
    – Love of neighbor is the completion of the love for God; never an equal effort in itself equivalent to the love for God
    – this is a critical subordination
    – Such focus on love of neighbor, WITHOUT the primacy of love for God, is not only wrong and unworthy of God, but a sure path to the next version of secular tyranny.

  25. You know, about a year or so ago, I was taking a walk with my son around the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. We were standing across the street from the Carnegie Library, waiting for the light to change so we could cross, and I remember a weird feeling that came over me. I turned to my son and said that I had this feeling that something big was about to happen, kind of like in a movie when the main character is just going about his/her life before a big disaster hits.
    I still feel that way.

  26. Your last thought about the gates of hell… prescient…yesterday that thought dominated my thinking as I continue to read about the Fr Martin’s of the world and the treatment of good priests at the hands of the heirarchy..the time is here for the fight..its Return of the King time..I listened to some talks from the late Father John Hardon..he also was unbelievably prescient of our times..A crusade must be started against this apostasy, I believe it must be lead by Holy Priests..

  27. Really liked your article, Steve. One (big) thing: Evangelii Gaudium is another story, but Gaudium et Spes is not promoting a false humanism, nor is Benedict XVI, or John Paul II, who also speaks about an authentic Christian humanism. There is, in fact, an enormous difference between Christian humanism and the capital-H Humanism that leads only to hell.

    In GS 12, the key statement is “on Earth.” The point is not that man is the center of all things, full stop, but that man is the center of all things on Earth, used here in the sense of ‘creation’ (it is common in Christian texts, including Scripture, to use the word ‘Earth’ as shorthand for ‘creation,’ even when the author knows that creation is larger than this planet). God is the center of all things on Earth in an absolute sense, but this sentence is trying to express the centrality of the human being to the created order, that as the image and likeness of God the human being is radically distinguished from every other creature on Earth. Ultimately God is the center of all things on Earth not in spite of the human being, but as a human being, Jesus Christ.

    In GS 24, your friend’s objection (which is also your objection, stated before in earlier writings) is answered by the sentence that immediately follows the one you quoted: “Sacred Scripture… teaches us that the love of God cannot be separated from the love of neighbor.” The point is that the Church has always interpreted the Lord’s statement on the Greatest Commandment to constitute a dual unity: i.e., not that the love of God and love of neighbor are blurred together into an indistinguishable oneness (which would ultimately mean blurring God with the human being, a la Feuerbach), but that it is impossible to love God while failing to love one’s neighbor. This much is made abundantly clear not only in the apostolic teaching (cf. James 2:14-26, also 1 John 3:17 and 4:20-21) but also from the explicit doctrine of Christ. In his terrifying description of the judgement of humanity (Matt 25:31-46), Christ presents love of God and love of neighbor as a single commandment having two aspects, not as two separate commandments. Hence GS 24 is right to speak of a commandment in the singular. Yes, love of God is incomparably primary (which is why Christ lists God first and not neighbor first, which GS 24 also does). But love of neighbor is not a separate commandment on it’s own; it is (again, according to Jesus own description of judgement, according to the clear teaching of St. John and St. James) a secondary aspect of the commandment to love God with one’s whole heart, mind, and strength. To put it another way: the love of neighbor is a necessary element of the first commandment, which is the love of God. If (as is abundantly clear) the greatest commandment is to love God, and if I cannot accomplish this without also loving my neighbor, then I must love my neighbor in order to follow the greatest commandment.

    Regarding the use of the term ‘humanism’ with the adjective Christian: the whole point of Gaudium et Spes is to articulate a Christian humanism, which is to say a humanism that has Jesus Christ at the center and not the human being as such. That is to say, if the center is the human being considered in itself, then it is idolatry and self-worship (and your friend is quite right to say that any kind of idolatry is, finally, the worship of Satan). But if the center of humanism is Jesus Christ, true God and true man, then humanism is not only an option for the Christian but a necessity. The Christian does not worship God in abstraction from the events of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rather, the Christian worships God precisely through continual contemplation of these mysteries (and entry into these mysteries by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass), which are first and foremost divine mysteries, but also human mysteries (i.e., mysteries of Jesus in his humanity as well as his divinity). The Christian never worships humanity as such; but the Christian worships the Logos who became man, and in this sense the humanity of Christ is not peripheral to Christianity, but at the center, united without separation or division (and without confusion or mutation) to the divinity of the same one Christ. GS 22 is the center of the text: “In fact it is only in the mystery of the incarnate Logos that the mystery of the human being is truly clarified.”

    The upshot of all this is that we cannot understand what the human being really is except by looking at the sinless humanity of Christ (which sinless humanity God also allows Mary to share in, so that she might be the Theotokos and the New Eve); if we are trying to understand the human being by looking at our fallen state, damaged by sin, then “humanism” will always, invariably, end up meaning a worship of the human being and a worship of our own sins. But if our understanding of humanity is based wholly on the sinless humanity of Christ, the “humanism” that results will be the worship of God, insofar as Christ’s humanity points entirely to his Father and the the Trinity of Persons. The humanism presented in GS 22 and 24 is a humanism that focuses on the human being only insofar as Christ is human, and by seeing him we see what the human being actually is.

    As usual, I am trying to defend GS (and therefore also John Paul II, who constantly quotes from GS), in order to distinguish between the monstrous things unfolding now under Francis, and the pontificate of John Paul II that Francis spits on in Amoris and elsewhere. I am not denying a direct link between Francis and the ‘spirit of Vatican II’; my point is that the road from Vatican II to Francis is not a straight one, and that the humanism which now has its clammy fingers wrapped tightly around the papacy is not the same humanism that Benedict and John Paul taught. The use of the word is not univocal.

    • It is confounding why GS 24 “…love for God and for neighbor…” requires such explanation. Shouldn’t this be written plainly and precisely ?
      If I say “apples and oranges”, are we to presume there is a primacy to apples ? If so, why ?

      Matt 22:34-40, and only slightly less so Luke 10:27, leave no ambiguity on the primacy of love for God over neighbor. GS 24 does. The current climate of
      ambiguity raises the concern that this significant ambiguity might have been by design. At some future date, your thoughtful explanation might not be proffered

      • The problem seems to be the ambiguity and confusion that GS raises. It seems that as long as a conservative Pope was in charge that the “correct” interpretation could be defended (unless you were in the wrong diocese). Now that a not- conservative Pope (whatever that means) is in charge GS can mean whatever anyone wants it to mean. A Pastoral Constitution should be clear enough to stand on its own.

  28. We can distill the problem related to false humanism down to one word: unbelief! That is the problem. Yes, false humanism can be found in Gaudium et Spes and Evangelii Gaudium but it is also found in the Novus Ordo Mass. It is found especially in the Mass. The NO screams unbelief. It screams that we don’t truly believe in the Real Presence. The priest turns his back on God and forms a circle with the people. We take Communion in the hand, we stand for Communion……the list goes on. It’s a celebration of people by people for people in which God’s presence is barely acknowledged. Yes, we pay Him lip service but our actions speak far louder than our words. Vatican II and it’s aftermath have been a train wreck of unbelief.

    What was Russia’s fundamental error? That’s right, unbelief. Our Lady stated at Fatima that unless her requests were complied with, Russia would spread her errors around the world. That world includes the Church and Russia’s error of unbelief has become our error. Why? We simply did not and have not complied with her requests. The Vatican II documents, the Novus Ordo Mass and now, the current faithless pontificate are all the products of unbelief. Francis’ humanism is the fruit of unbelief. He’s a faithless rogue, a special gift from God to a faithless Church.

    What did Our Lady say at La Salette? “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist”. It’s happened.

  29. Steve’s anguish is felt these days by many of us. In fact, we’re at a point where an intelligent Catholic with deep convictions about and commitment to his faith (and let’s face it, 90 percent of nominal Catholics don’t fit into this category) can reasonably conclude that either: A) the doctrine of the Church’s indefectibility is not true (making the words of Jesus not true); or B) the forces of evil are ascendant within the Church, indeed have occupied the Church, as foretold in various Scriptural passages and the testimony of assorted visionaries and mystics.
    Personally, I’m going with (B).
    On one level, this is a profound shock. On another level — not so much. I mean, indicators of internal corruption and a brewing crisis have been plain to see well before Francis came along. Indeed, Francis’s virtue, if it can be called that, is as a clarifier. His silly blathering, phony posturing, and confused, error-ridden “teaching” are forcing Catholics, to include the hierarchy of the Church, to choose sides between the Lord (the indefectible Church with her ages-old magisterium) and the World (Francis the betrayer with his New Moral Order).
    Speaking of the hierarchy, one of the most depressing, though not surprising, aspects of this whole spectacle has been the performance of the bishops, cardinals, and Vatican functionaries. It’s reminiscent of the scene in A Man For All Seasons when the assembled lords of the Church in England were imperiously informed by the king’s representative that Henry would thereafter be the guy in charge of their religion and faith. The lords looked at one another, murmured…and went along. With just two heroic exceptions.
    Most of the lords of our present-day Church live very comfortable lives, with nice titles and accoutrements of office. If they buck Francis for the sake of the Gospel, it’s clear they’ll likely lose those worldly baubles. Their response has been, figuratively, similar to that scene in the movie.
    So what to do? First of all, in my own case, with six kids, five of them married to solid Catholics and raising large families of their own and one of them a Poor Clare nun, I have to be careful. My children’s faith is the most important thing in their lives. I don’t want to scandalize them with a lot of handwringing and agonizing about the state of the Church, particularly when I’m trying to sort through and come to terms with the situation myself.
    Therefore, I will continue to pray. I will continue to believe. My loyalty is first and foremost to the Lord Jesus, the Church he founded, and the age-old teaching of that institution. My loyalty is NOT to Francis except insofar as he fulfills his sacred duty to defend, preserve, and pass on the infallible doctrines and teaching of the Church, which neither he nor any Pope has the authority to change. If he did have such authority, then Catholicism would not be a religion founded by Christ but rather a cult of the papacy.
    There is a haunting passage in Scripture where Jesus asks whether the Son of Man will find any faith on earth when he returns. Well, I don’t know when that will be, and none of us do. But I’m pretty resolved that whatever happens, He will find the faith of at least one weak and unworthy man intact. Francis does not have the power to take it from me.

  30. Lord of the World is the book that single-handedly began my abrupt turn toward Tradition. I read it about once every year or as often as I need the wake up call. Thank you Steve, this article was excellent. We are very blessed in our neck of the woods, a parish near us began offering the TLM every Sunday. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

    I feel something coming. For years my morning rosary intentions have been more wide ranging and varied. In the last couple of months they have become laser focused. Each morning I pray for the sanctification and final perseverance of my wife and then day by day for each of my children. Every day, every week, like a constant drumbeat. Or like a hammer nailing together an Ark.

  31. Steve, don’t forget Francis’ citation of Teilhard in Laudato si:

    “83. The ultimate destiny of the universe is in the fullness of God, which has already been attained by the risen Christ, the measure of the maturity of all things.[53]”

    Teilhard described Christianity as “monist” and said we must have a “Christian pantheism.” Teilhard argued that there is no discticntion between nature and supernatural, or at least argued that the natural was evolving towards the supernatural. God is all in all , and that means, through this eventual pantheism, which he explicitly admits, we can worship God in each other.

  32. Terrific commentary. I may be wrong, but isn’t LOTW said to be the Bishop of Rome’s favorite book? There’s irony.
    We can’t continue this way, and he is about to cause chaos and massive disintegration, when he dismantles priestly celibacy. The man is a monster, he has been elected through duplicity, and his job is to destroy. He is doing what he was elected to do, lay waste to it all.
    My fear has always been what happens if nothing happens. If 2018 comes and there is no divine intervention, which is to me what it will take to excise this metastatic cancer. We are in the Year of Fatima and we know it and are vigilant. What happens if 2018 comes and goes. Oh, it is too horrible to contemplate. Lord, help us please. Fr. Z was right, the Rosary, and all we know, we have to maintain it.
    The Traditional Latin Mass, friends. Do whatever you can to find one, even if you must go less often. It is keeping us sane.

  33. Ditto to everything! I, too, feel the center coming apart. I, too, feel things are accelerating exponentially. I, too, wonder if I should just sleep in on Sundays. I, too, wonder if our current Pope is a heretic. I, too, feel panicked! People are taking sides – good people, good traditional, orthodox Catholics – are taking different sides!!!!!! We have priests and other prelates openly preaching and teaching heresy and few bishops, archbishops and cardinals – not to mention the Pope – rebuking them. Heck, they’re even promoting heresy themselves by either silence or consent. I am not a theologian or professional apologist. I’m simply a member of the lay faithful and even I know how serious the crisis is. I live in one of the most heterodox dioceses in the entire U.S. I have attended Mass at many different parishes (which, btw, are essentially empty) and cannot find even one traditional, orthodox Catholic priest. I sob at Mass for the offense of liturgical abuse. If it were not for the online community of faithful traditional Catholics, I would feel completely alone. It’s only been 3 1/2 years into the Francis Pontificate and I don’t recognize the Church anymore. Its been that fast!

    • I am blessed to have known many good priests in my life but I know how you feel. I know 3 church-going NO Catholics. One absolutely loves PF and won’t hear aNY criticism of him. Another thinks that whatever the Pope says is de fide. The third is pro-life but very “ecumenical” – I’m ok, you’re ok. If it wasn’t for the Remnant, CT, 1P5 and other TCs, I’d feel much worse.

      The just man shall be in everlasting remembrance; of evil hearsay he shall have no fear. Alleluia.

      Prychasten of St. John the Baptist (almost every Tuesday)

      Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance. Grant victory to Your Church over enemies, and protect Your people by Your Cross.

      Troparion of the Holy Cross, Tone 1 (used almost every Friday)

  34. I want to thank you all. I’ve got too much going on to respond to all of your comments individually, but I am reading every single one. Thank you for your words of support, and for sharing your own sense of what is happening.

    The ascent has become steep, and the weather isn’t holding.

  35. Yes Mr. Skojec, I have to THANK YOU for your clear insights and your sharing them with us. I have learnt a lot from you and your readers.
    Im Gebet verbunden.

  36. You have taken on an epic enterprise with this one.
    The “problem” is at once so vast, so deep and intractable the essay is a genuine exercise of faith, reason and fortitude. There are diamonds here.
    Well done indeed.

  37. Dear Friends,
    Thinking about the coming of a new catacomb for us, do you know the story of the Abbess Caritas Pirckheimer (1467-1532) of the Poor Clares’ Convent in Nürnberg during the Reformation? The Convent was under enormous pressure to convert to Lutheranism and was deprived of the three Sacraments: Holy Eucharist, Confession and Extreme Unction. The convent went for 7 years without Holy Mass and the Abbess encouraged her nuns with the words: “Credo, et manducati.” “I believe, and so I have eaten (received the Eucharist)”. It is a heartbroken story of a convent of faithful Catholic nuns struggling in a world literally falling apart and at the same time, a story of enormous faith and courage. Looks like we are approching a time like this. And when the Mystical Body of Christ is no longer visible, indeed our enemies will scoff at us: Where is now your God? And how do you maintain now that the Catholic Church is the one true Church???. That is time we will all stick together – even more – to brave the breakers. Let us pray for the spiritual strength to bear the pain.

    • On the very first supper the disciples had with Jesus after the Resurrection (at the inn of Emaus) Jesus reveals Himself at the moment of breaking the bread but He also disappears. Bread stays, Jesus goes. I wonder if — once the Consecrated Host is gone — Our Lord is going to reverse the scene at Emaus and reappear again. It would be truly poetic.

  38. And for a change, to restore your spirits, watch this. Take your time, it is about 53 minutes long.

    Veilleurs dans la nuit (sott_ITA), Abbaye Saint-Madeleine du Barroux

    And this:
    The benediction of the Abbaye St. Paul de Wisques in 2016 (about 1 hour).

    The whole world is not just Bergoglio et al, gays and lesbians, Moslems and Atheist, communists and freemasons…
    There are serious monks praying for the Church and for us.

  39. Read carefully how Fr. Meinvielle describes the situation hypothetically back in 1970. I for one find it quite prophetic:

    “It boggles the mind to attempt comprehension of how the promises of assistance to the Church by the Divine Spirit in this cabbalistic era are going to be fulfilled, and how it will come to pass that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail.” But just as the Church began as the smallest of the seeds and became a huge tree, in the same manner she can be reduced in size and acquire a more modest shape. We know that the mystery of iniquity is already at work but we do not know the full extent of its power. However there is no difficulty in admitting that the Church in public view can be conquered by the enemy thus converting from Catholic Church to Agnostic Church. There could be two churches: one in public view, a Church magnified in propaganda, with well advertised bishops, priests, and theologians even with a Pope with ambiguous attitudes; and another Church, a church of silence with a Pope faithful to Jesus Christ in his teaching and with some loyal priests, bishops, and faithful spread about as pusillus grex (little flock) all around the earth. This second church would be the Church of the promises while the other defects or apostatizes. The same Pope could preside both churches that would appear to be one in appearance. The Pope with his ambiguous attitudes would validate the confusion. Because on one hand — being the head of the Church of Promises — he may profess an impeccable doctrine while on the other hand, by sending confusing, even reproachable signals, he would appear to be advancing the subversion and pastoral message of the “public” Church. The possibility we propose here has not been studied enough by ecclesiology. But if we look at it thoroughly we shall see that the promise of assistance [by the Holy Spirit] to the Church is limited to [a] avoiding the introduction of errors in the Roman See and in the very Church and [b] that the Church shall not perish or be completely destroyed by her enemies. None of those promises contained in the Gospel is invalidated by the hypothesis hereby proposed. On the contrary both hypothesis gain feasibility if we consider the scriptural passages that refer to the great apostasy. Such defection will be complete but must coincide with the perseverance of the Church until the end. Our Lord is quoted in the Gospel asking “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8.) Saint Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 calls that defection of the faith a universal apostasy that will coincide in time with the manifestation of the “man of wickedness, the son of perdition.” That universal apostasy is the total secularization of public and private life that is proceeding apace in today’s world. The only alternative to the Antichrist shall be Christ, and Christ will dissolve the Antichrist with His Breath thus fulfilling the final act of liberating History. Mankind will not remain alienated under the evil one. It has not been announced that Christ will save the masses though He shall save His Church, the “little flock” (Luke 2:32) for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give them the kingdom.” — Fr. Julio Meinvielle (1905-1973) quoted from his book (first published in 1970, this quote below is from the Spanish 2nd. edition of 1994, pp. 363-364) “From the Kabala to Progressivism”. Original title: “De la Cábala al Progresismo” a PDF edition in Spanish is available on line. My translation.

  40. Jesus redeemed us by dying on the cross and He comes to us in Holy Communion at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As I say to my daughter each day after Mass, “Praise God!”

  41. The Lord is my refuge, my stronghold. Whom shall I fear? With the Lord to protect me, before whom shall I shrink?

    Steve sounds like someone in Key West when hurricane Irma slammed into the island. What we are witnessing both in the Church and in the world is a category 5 hurricane. But, if we truly love God, are striving to obey His will and His commands, are faithful to Our Lord and to His Church such that we hold fast to her authentic doctrines and teaching, then we are in the eye of the storm where the sun shining, the sky is blue, the sea is calm and the winds are not howling. This is the place to be. For here the Holy One of Israel has placed us on a rocky fastness and that Rock is the Lion of Judah, Christ Jesus through the ministration and authority of His TRUE bride with the aid and protection of His Most Holy Mother. This is not our home. We are only passing through. What should We fear? There is only one thing of which I am afraid and that is that I will fail my “practical exam” and be barred from my homeland.

  42. Perhaps Our Lord is speaking in dreams and sentiments to His faithful, as in the early Church. He has often gifted me with dreams that go beyond mere dreams. Less than two weeks ago, on Oct 15, when the Las Vegas shooting was happening, but before I knew about it, I was awoken to/by a vision/dream of Saint Michael, with a fiery sword, with an army of angels, preparing to cut down his enemies. I was unable to return to sleep. Whatever is happening, God is real, and He will vindicate His Church and save His faithful…soon, I pray.

  43. Weird. I just started reading Lord of the World last week! I heard a Traditional Catholic priest mention it in a very old television recording on YouTube last week. I found the free PDF online. Thanks.

  44. Fatima Unknown Light seen over Siberia last night?

    Enormous glowing ball over northern Siberia sparks UFO fears

    “When you shall see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.” Our Lady of Fatima to the three children, July 13, 1917

  45. I’ve struggled to find a theology of history that makes sense, but here’s my reluctant conclusion: history is the vast out working of every possible evil and sinful way for human beings to live. There is no reason to think that just because very bad things are happening that we are nearing the end. Many more and greater evils are possible and will become reality.

  46. Cardinal Manning has also something to say about the anti-supernatural religion of Humanitarianism & Pantheism in The present crisis of the Holy See:

    Now, perhaps, we do not sufficiently realise how commonplace and historical a person such a deceiver [that is, Antichrist] may be. We are so possessed with the idea and vision of the true Messias in the glory of His Godhead and Manhood, of His Divine actions and Passion, of His Resurrection, Ascension, and royalties over the world and the Church, that we cannot conceive how any false Christ could be received as the true. It is for this reason that our Lord has said of these latter times: “There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect;” [St. Matt. xxiv. 24.] that is, they shall not be deceived; but those who have lost faith in the Incarnation, such as humanitarians, rationalists, and pantheists, may well be deceived by any person of great political power and success who should restore the Jews to their own land, and people Jerusalem once more with the sons of the patriarchs. And there is nothing in the political aspect of the world which renders such a combination impossible; indeed, the state of Syria, and the tide of European diplomacy, which is continually moving eastward, render such an event within a reasonable probability.

    (Bold emphasis supplied.)

  47. Hello to all,
    I am not normally a 1Peter5 reader. Here is my reaction to a couple of articles I’ve just read, and to the commentators:

    Those feelings of despair are exactly what satan wants you to feel. Don’t let him rule you.

    • I don’t believe it is despair, but only accepting the reality of the current situation within the Church. St. Catherine of Siena faced a difficult situation in her time as well. She realized the problems and confronted them head on with her hope still in Jesus Christ. It is the same today, and there is nothing wrong with lamenting over the state affairs within the Church, while not losing our hope in Jesus Christ. King David did the same many times throughout the Psalms.

  48. “Cling to your beads (Rosary), catechism, Breviary and Mass….”. Sound advice. My faith is in Jesus Christ, not man. It is He alone who is the Holy One, the Lord, the Most High. It is He alone who died for my sins and He alone who saves. He alone. No one else. It is He alone who is present in the Eucharist – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. He alone. He prevails and will right all of this. We must trust in Him and not man, ourselves. Only He is True and Faithful. Pray, repent,pray and do the work He has placed before us.

  49. In September of 2016, Francis’ prayer intention for the month was that we all pray for man to be at the center of our lives. I don’t recall the exact phrasing but that was it’s essence.

  50. Way heavy post and comments. When I converted back into the Church, this particular feeling came over me also. Like everything was breaking away and I had no hold. Through the Holy Spirit I was led to the Poem of the Man God, the Book of Heaven and the Mystical City of God. I still read and re-read them with the Holy Scripture that I always read before I came back to the Church. Please don’t send a comment about permissions from the Vatican. My free will and intelligence are enough at this point. All of these writings make me feel calm and full in my soul and that fearful, panicky feeling goes away. And I learned that this period is the forerunner for the coming of the Kingdom of God’s Divine Will. That’s what we pray for in the Our Father. It will come – how long, who knows. Read, read, read the writings of the saints and keep calm like Moses said. It will be a very hard time because the very elements of our Creation are getting disturbed….

  51. Folks, in a way this sounds like a conversation in pre-Luther Germany – actually including Luther… Rife with hearsay and gossip, with assessments about intentions from afar and all kinds of things of suggestions that trouble the mind and heart, but only serve to depress or anger both… Let’s not dwell on questions that we have too little information about. Let’s fight the good fight – against ourselves and our own sinfulness – and entrust the rest to GOD. HE will not forsake us. He loves the sinners who are willing to convert, who are sorry. We must bring this message to all other sinner – whether they be in the red-light-district, in divorced families or on the thrones.


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