There is nothing anyone can do to change or harm the substance of the Holy Eucharist. Likewise, there is nothing the Synod on Synodality can do to change or harm the nature of the Church, which is Marian. The victory of Our Lady throughout her earthly life is a pattern shown to us for the like victory of the Church throughout history. The aims of the Synod run hopelessly against her. Faced with the awful rebellion against God which is Francis’ Synod, Catholics enjoy every reason for total confidence in the triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
Jesus tells us: “For with the same measure that you shall mete withal, it shall be measured to you again” (Lk 6:38). In the first place, this means the good we do brings an inevitable reward. It also applies to evil bringing its own punishment. The Sapiential Books impart this wisdom repeatedly: “He that covereth hatred deceitfully, his malice shall be laid open in the public assembly. He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it: and he that rolleth a stone, it shall return to him” (Prov 26:26-27). It is the very actions and schemes of plotters which injure them: “He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it: and he that breaketh a hedge, a serpent shall bite him. He that removeth stones, shall be hurt by them: and he that cutteth trees, shall be wounded by them” (Eccl 10:8-9). How much worse for those who advocate immorality, overturn hierarchy, obscure tradition and cut down the Cross. “He hath opened a pit and dug it; and he is fallen into the hole he made. His sorrow shall be turned on his own head: and his iniquity shall come down upon his crown” (Ps 7:16-17). These lines were the fruit of David’s experiences with Saul, as true today as they were then.
It is not given to us to see precisely how deceitful machinations bring about their own demise. Hence we need to trust in God’s Word, which does not leave us in the dark. “They dug a pit before my face, and they are fallen into it” (Ps 56:7). Acts of faith, hope and charity build up the Church, while the godless interfere: “A wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish will pull down with her hands that also which is built” (Prov 14:1). An evil intent necessarily backfires: “The wicked have drawn out the sword: they have bent their bow… Let their sword enter into their own hearts, and let their bow be broken” (Ps 36:14-15).
The same divine balance is taught by the prophets, they who best know God’s design (Prov 1:18; Is 3:10-11; Ezek 9:10; 11:21; 22:31; 35:15; Joel 3:7; Obad 1:15; 2 Chron 6:23). And it is taught by events (1 Sam 25:39; 1 Kngs 2:44; Dan 13:59). Such events are recorded for our guidance. Think of the demise of the Assyrian King Sennacherib, who thought he could triumph over God’s People but ended up assassinated by his own sons. Sennacherib
sent servants to read out these letters in the hearing of Jerusalem’s defenders, shouting insults in Hebrew and seeking to undermine Jewish morale. But the Most High God confounded Sennacherib’s army. Shamefaced, he returned home. Entering the temple of his god, he was cut down dead by that which had issued from his loins, his own sons wielding the swords” (2 Chron 32:1-23; 2 Kngs 18:13-19:37).
From this we may reflect on the project of Modernism, how from generation to generation it produces men who overturn even their fathers. Or in a related sense, we may think how many predators Francis has protected or even promoted, such as Theodore McCarrick, Mauro Inzoli, Luis Figari, Don Corradi, Gabino Melgarejo, Marko Rupnik. When their deeds come to light, it exposes the cares and priorities of Francis.
These events and those of history cannot run otherwise than is determined by metaphysical principles which underly all creation. Evil is a privation, either a disorder in being or else a lack of due being. It is never something in itself. It follows that although the enemies of the Church might outstrip her in wealth and political influence, they can never match her life, that is her high level of being, for the life of the Church is Christ’s resurrected life: indestructible.
From the interchangeability of the transcendentals it follows that the enemies of the Church can never attain her unity, truth, goodness or beauty. The Church is united in Christ, the super-real Head of her body, and united with the Saints and angels who are more alive than us on earth. The devil has no body at all; his agents are no more united than dry dust. So while the growth of the Church always strengthens her unity, we see when the wicked prosper they fall out and attack each other. The enemies of the Church deal in lies and confusion, therefore cannot speak with the splendid convicting power of truth. They cannot attain the Church’s goodness, so will never be so attractive as Christ’s Bride. Their ‘success’ results not in devastating beauty fit to make the soul faint, but more openly displays the hideous. All these are inevitable consequences of being.
A quick way to appreciate all this is to simply think of the contest between light and darkness. It is no contest. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it (Jn 1:5). The Word of God was spoken to the Synod, and the Synod could not comprehend it. So far as it succeeds it only exposes the godlessness of the project.
Despite appearances, evil cannot compete with the good. The more the good succeeds, the more beautiful it is, the more it attracts men. The more evil ‘succeeds,’ the more chaotic and dark it is revealed to be, repelling men. The one apparent advantage which favours evil is that an act of destruction can bring down in a day (or a generation) a work that has taken years (or centuries) to build. Yet this advantage evaporates to nothing in the light of eternity. The destroyers are spreading through all history the opportunity to labour in the building up the Church. The decisions of souls to serve the true and the good work to their eternal reward, while acts of wickedness prove the patience of the just, again increasing God’s glory in His Saints. Moreover, such acts if repented show God’s mercy, while if unrepented they show forth His holiness and power in the suffering of the damned. God cannot lose. Love inevitably triumphs for it is being at its highest and nothing hostile can touch it.
Francis’ Synod is demonstrating for more and more of the faithful that his hierarchy is overstepping its authority, abusing its power. This will only help future generations to be armed against such insidious betrayal. Obedience will no longer be easy to weaponise. Similarly, a new ‘rite’ of Mass (Zairean Rite, Amazonian Rite or a Rainbow Mass) will make it increasingly obvious that the 1955 changes to the liturgy were utterly unwonted. The output of similar synods is a culmination to demonstrate that the further Catholics stray from tradition, the greater the tension builds up for a snap back into position. Modernism, Vatican II and the Synod are successively destroying the credibility of the Church’s political power, but they cannot touch her spiritual power, which resides in the hearts of the faithful. One immaculate heart can move more than any other force in the world.
Mary’s whole life was perfectly sinless, from conception to Assumption, now reigning in Heaven. Her Heart is a sanctuary which no evil can touch. Likewise the Church in her divine constitution and God-given sanctity is immune from all assaults of the devil, the world and the flesh. Being sinners, when we fall, it is because we have chosen to do so. When we choose God, nothing can prevent us. Of course we are weak, but the Saints and the Sacraments are not weak. It is these that the enemy must destroy in order to overcome the Church — yet they cannot. In our current trials, we may look at one day in the life of Our Lady for inspiration. On the first Good Friday, Mary
sought not to protest poor Pilate, nor curse corrupt Caiaphas and Annas. She hated not one of the soldiers who whipped off the skin of her Child, nor resented the bloodlust of her people when they cried “Crucify!”; crucify an innocent Man. Mary did not strike at the infantile elders, nor cast a stone at the murderous pharisees, nor spit on the sin-sunken Sadducees, nor argue with the illegal court. There were among these true enemies of God, but Our Lady was not there to break a bruised reed nor quench a smouldering wick.
Mother Mary by offering her dearest Son to the Father; by wavering not once against His Will; by trusting her Jesus was stronger than death; by not falling into sin during this heaviest trial: Our Lady crushed Satan’s head. Here was a soul Satan could not accuse. Here was one who would not only avoid hell, but also who would not be contained by death. Mary would be assumed body and soul straight to Heaven when she died.
With the united sacrifice of Jesus and Mary on Calvary, Satan’s winning streak was over. In fact it was exposed as an illusion. It had never been a winning streak, but all had been in God’s service for the greater glorification of those who love Him. First His Son, second Mary, then the rest. For Satan, this is a total crushing.
For victory today, the Church, being Marian, is called to the same, with immeasurable trust — to hope, not despair; to love, not loathe; to sacrifice self, not withholding anything from God. All these choices lay in Mary’s power as all lie in the power of the faithful every day. This is so foreign to the way of the world that the modernists cannot conceive it. Indeed, it may be counter-intuitive to most of us, until we learn the intuition of the Spirit, which He teaches again and again in the Scriptures.
Think of Holofernes who had no idea of his impending demise, even until Judith cut off his head. His former successes in battle had made him conceited, his drunken lust had disarmed him. Meanwhile, Judith was steady and meek. She abandoned not her fasting and prayers, her true worship in its right food and right hours (she would never eat of a foreign “table,” a lesson to us to keep tradition). And it was Holofernes’ own sword which cut off his head. That is a biblical key.
Other figures of the Antichrist could sense that a woman would defeat them. Their only way out was to destroy themselves first. So Abimelech “quickly called to his armour bearer, and said to him, ‘Draw your sword and strike me, otherwise it may be said that I was slain by a woman.’ And, doing as he was ordered, he killed him” (Jdg 9:54). Be sure the same will happen with the Synod.
This is a law of reality. By instigating the Crucifixion, Satan served our Redemption. Not for one second am I advocating quietism or disinterest in the life of the Church. Only that if our fight is informed by grace, by faith, by hope, by charity, by the Word of God — from which no man or demon can ever cut us off, especially not those souls which live their consecration to Our Lady — then so much will we share in the victory which is already won.
To return to the Eucharistic analogy: no matter with what irreverence the Blessed Sacrament is treated, yet Our Lord is always offered perfect adoration by the angels. Even when Satanists desecrate the Host, they can only disfigure Its accidents, never reaching through to Our Lord’s substance. If they go so far as to make the sacred species unrecognisable as bread, then Our Lord is no longer there at all. Heaven is fully beyond the reach of hell.
Interpreted for the Church: no matter what disgraces come from Rome, or the hierarchy, or anyone else, it is never in anyone’s power to reduce our love of God and neighbour. They simply cannot. No matter what insults or deprivations they impose, our heart is a sanctuary belonging entirely to whomever we give it, and obviously we want to give it to God. No one can defile this sanctuary against our will, for the will itself is the heart. If at some future day the enemies of Christ should ‘succeed’ so far as to make the Church unrecognisable, then this would be the very herald for the end of the world, for Jesus returning on clouds of glory to punish and reward in full measure. Though we are not there yet, still, it will be the most glorious day in creation.
If anyone is troubled by this Synod, remember Mary, and be troubled no more.
 J. Mawdsley, Crushing satan’s head: The Virgin Mary’s Victory over the Antichrist Foretold in the Old Testament (New Old, 2022).
Born in 1973, James Mawdsley grew up in Lancashire, England. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2016. In 2020 Fr Mawdsley was removed from his assignment for offering Masses open to the faithful during lockdowns. He was prevented from public ministry because he refused to obey illegal and irrational instructions which harmed the common good and salvation of souls, eventually resulting in a canonical suspension. So long as the Roman Curia submits to forces intent on destroying divine worship, the best obedience Fr Mawdsley believes he can offer the hierarchy is to accept their penalties but not follow their man-made agenda.