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Stand Fast. The Storm Will Break.

I don’t know about all of you, but lately I’ve not been in a very good state of mind. Everything feels harder than it used to. The battle, which was always fought uphill, has begun to appear almost futile. Trials and difficulties have seeped into all the various facets of life — work, family, expenses, the lived experience of the faith — making each burden feel heavier than it would have felt alone. I have the sense — and I know that I am not alone — that chaos and discord are being intentionally sown right in the midst of the people I hold most dear, all while something cruel and defiant whispers in my ear that none of it matters. Nothing matters. Just give up. 

The writing that once came almost effortlessly for me has turned into an elusive craft. If it isn’t interrupted by an unexpected phone call or email about some new, negative development, it’s thwarted by an oppressive feeling of near-total malaise. Anger. Frustration. Apathy. It alternates, but it’s rarely conducive. My spiritual life has taken a noticeable beating as well.  I have never more desperately needed to pray, and pray fervently, than I do now…but the desire to do so has been stripped out of me like marrow sucked from bones. I’ve resorted to simply forcing myself through the motions of prayer, knowing, more than caring, that to enter this daily combat without the benefit of armor or armament is suicide. So I mumble the words, reading them without feeling or even, sometimes, comprehension. Invoking saints and angels and the Blessed Mother, making consecrations to God, summoning divine bastions against the daily siege, trusting that there is an efficacy in these rituals, however poorly performed, an ex opere operato defense against the tireless wiles of the enemy.

When the time comes to put fingers to keyboard, I sit and stare at my screen, listless. I need to write, and I know it, but what to say? How do I encourage those who come to me, asking for counsel? I find myself in a perpetual quest for the answer to the question on everyone’s lips:

“What do we do now?”

“Why are we still fighting this fight?” I wonder. “Does it even matter anymore? What more could we say that hasn’t already been said? What could we expose that lies hidden?” Deep down, I know the truth: it does matter, and doesn’t, and really, it’s both things at the same time. It’s not as though God needs me to help Him carry out His work. But He seems to have wanted me to. Does He still?

I got an email recently from someone in Catholic academia. On the first read, it was the most encouraging thing I’ve received in a long time:

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your tireless work on behalf of the Church. And my thanks is long overdue. When most of us were still dazed, unsure what was happening with Pope Francis, and paralyzed by fear, you launched this project not just of journalism, but of filial support. Make no mistake: Bishops, priests, theologians, and others have been supported and encouraged by your work. Your courage has helped us to find our own courage. I am sorry that one layman had to take all of this on — but I am nonetheless personally grateful for all of your good work. Thank you for it. I don’t know how else to say it without revealing what I cannot reveal — but know that your blog has had an undeniable impact, particularly on the resistance to Amoris Laetitia among some Bishops.

It moved me almost to tears. But then why, I found myself wondering after I’d let the words sink in, if they see it too, am I still fighting so very nearly alone?

I am, of course, not alone. There are others, and if we are not numerous, we are strong. And there are more of us than there were two years ago, but still, I see a certain trepidation, a fear that to say too much too honestly will somehow cause the balance to shift in a way that is wrong. That some invisible boundary will be overstepped. As though the benefit of the doubt must still be given long past the point where there is any further doubt.

I spend hours on the phone, consulting with people I trust. We talk about the things we are hearing from sources close to the action. We discuss the stories we we should and shouldn’t cover as we try to discern what we can trust. We question everyone, and everything, a kind of paranoia about what should be believed and what discarded drifting through our conversations like a cloud of noxious gas. We ask ourselves what we should focus on, and how much, and why. We delve into theology, seeking to trace out the contours of how a Catholic should act in moments like these, and who we can look to as examples, and whether anything in the entire history of the Church can really be seen as a precedent for what is happening right now.

We wonder how to help people and not just discourage them. We ask if maybe we should talk less about what is going on, and more about what should be, because to tell the truth right now is almost to administer a beating to the fallen man; the darkness within the Church is so profound that simply to shed light on it seems, at times, as though it risks scandalizing people right out of the Mystical body of Christ and into clutches of despair.

One commenter here recently put the sum total of these things quite poignantly:

I think really for all intents and purposes we must be practical sedevacantists. I myself am not one formally, but the daily business of working out our salvation and picking up the pieces of faith and moving on is one which must decidedly exclude any place for Francis in our lives, other than the nod that he is the one in Peter’s see.

With John Paul II I could spin most of what he said as orthodox. Much the same with Benedict XVI. But this guy…I got nothing. And so all I can do is render him nothing in my life. For me, the see is empty practically speaking because it is devoid of what ought to be there – orthodox catholic leadership. It really is up to us finding good priests on our own, if possible, and God bless the small remnant who can find a Catholic Bishop in America who stands by tradition. There are a few, but not in my life.

The See may be possessed physically, but my heart is vacant, devoid of any earthly shepherd and must rely on the one true shepherd and bishop of our souls.

I don’t know whether to thank God that I have lived to see such times or to curse the darkness for the confusion it rains upon millions who want to be of goodwill. I don’t know whether I will ever see the Church restored to her former glory, or if I am doomed to watch the bishops all topple like bowling pins, the fall of each spinning and knocking over his fellows.

When did we imagine that we would look upon a Pope and wish that God would take him from our lives? When did we imagine that we would cringe to hear the voice of Peter, knowing it was Judas, fearing to say it aloud.

This is what it must have been like to be gathered around the campfire in the courtyard on that dark night, knowing Peter, waiting for him to defend his master, and to hear him not once, not twice but three times deny the man he swore he would die for.

“Get behind me Satan, for you are an obstacle to me.”

Get behind me Francis. You are an obstacle to me. Your thoughts are not his thoughts neither are your ways his ways. I want to be Catholic and you want me to sing the praises of Luther, I want to be Catholic and you would hand me over to the Greeks, I want to be Catholic and you will not genuflect before the eucharist, I want to be Catholic and you curse the Roman Rite, you mock the faithful, you call us heretics, you open the doors of heaven to unrepentant Jews and grant the grace of baptism to those who have separated themselves from Holy Mother Church.

What have I to do with you? And what can you be to me? How can I help but be tempted to declare the see vacant when you have vacated Christ? What is there in you or the exercise of your office that would inspire the faithful to greater fidelity?

But sweetest Christ, though you hang dead upon the cross, lifeless in the arms of your mother I believe, I believe, I believe and confess that there is no flesh but this flesh that will grant us life, that there is no body but this which will be our salvation and that only in the tear stained face of your Immaculate Mother will my tears find their purpose.

Oh Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine.

Note the important qualifier, “practical.” We are not sedevacantists. Not sedeprivationists. These things would be easier. It is a far less traumatic thing to believe that the reason a pope is doing these things is because he is not really a pope at all than to believe that somehow he can be the legitimate successor of Peter but take on the mantle of Judas. We are instead forced to accept that there is an emptiness in the See of Peter that the formal reality of papal legitimacy cannot wipe away.

So we scan the horizon for something, anything, that will encourage us.

Last week, I watched the video of Cardinal Burke talking about — still after all this time — the mere possibility of a “formal correction” of the pope. As if it isn’t already long past due. As if, in addition to Amoris Laetitia, which is itself now almost a year old and metastasizing through the Church like a theological tumor, there weren’t dozens of other things that Francis has said or done that demand correction. As if we don’t need quite a good bit more than to have a small handful of cardinals and bishops consider a public re-statement of what the Church believes.

Last year, I remember candid conversations with friends and family and colleagues. “There can be no human solution to this,” I told them. “I think that God is going to let things get so bad that when He at last intervenes, there will be no question that it’s from Him.” I had been staring at the darkness long enough, and I saw no way out.

But then the dubia came, and there was a flicker of hope. Whispers of formal correction fueled that hope further. The prospect of a reconciled SSPX shed light on a possible source of encouragement and strength. A spreading metanoia began taking root in more mainstream Catholic media outlets, seemingly indicating that at last, reinforcements had arrived.

But in their turn, each of these things has disappointed. While far from worthless, each of these things has, in practical terms, been little more than the furtive ping of a pellet gun against the thick, dense armor plates of an on-rushing tank. Or as one friend of mine always puts it, “Like fighting a dragon with a toothpick.” And each time these initiatives have been revealed as something far less than the answer we were looking for, hope burned a little less brightly in our chests.

The chorus of, “The [insert your favorite group/cleric/initiative here] will save us!” has grown fainter and fainter, the exuberant idea that help was coming having diminished to nothing but a bitter, embarrassed memory of wishful thinking.

At some point, the foxhole grew quiet as the realization set in: help was not coming.

But in the soul-crushing darkness that has fallen heavy and rueful across the faithful, a thought re-emerged like a pinprick of light:

There can be no human solution to this. God is going to let things get so bad that when He at last intervenes, there will be no question that it’s from Him. 

All of these hopes were false hopes. All of these saviors were false saviors. And all of this was according to His plan. There is only one Messiah, one hope, and His name is Jesus Christ — a name which sounds not like a timid whisper, but a peal of thunder, before which “every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:10-11)

I wish I had wisdom to offer you. I wish I had answers. I wish I could tell you what is next. But the fog of war has grown so thick that we are stumbling forward in total darkness. We are being forced to “walk by faith, and not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7)

Nevertheless, there is no question: He will lead us. He will show us what we need to see when it is time for us to see it. He has pushed us, continuously, beyond our comfort zone, forcing us to grow, stretching our faith to the breaking point. It may be longer than we think we can endure — in truth, it already has been — but we we continue to trust because He is God, and for Him, all things are possible and already pre-ordained. It is His Church, and He will restore it as He sees fit. When He sees fit. Until then, we stand firm upon the counsel of Peter, the first of his see, in the passage from which we have drawn the name of this apostolate:

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory. Likewise you that are younger be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5

184 thoughts on “Stand Fast. The Storm Will Break.”

  1. We must pray for each other. We must pray for the Priests, those with us and those who are not. We are St. John and our Mother at the foot of the cross. We must have each other’s backs spiritually, because that’s basically all we’ve got. I am eternally grateful for those who make me laugh and those who will cry with me. My only consolation is that He IS coming to help. Maybe not in my lifetime, but He will save His Church.

  2. Merry del Val will tell you it doesn’t matter how you feel when you pray or if you get cold. Just go ahead on through it. We are all of this era and thus all as you say. The thing to recognize, with Solzhenitsyn, is that the dividing line doesn’t run between us and others. it runs through each of us. The 400 year anti-Catholic mileau has finally reached a critical mass that no one can avoid deeply imbibing. So we are not the best Catholics God ever made, but we do have something new and tough there too, which we are still figuring out as the tide turns. He put it there for this moment, and He knows us, what He created and why. As for me, I don’t care if they elect a monkey pope, and they probably will. We are at the stage of the mocking now, as the Mystical Body makes its way to Calvary. But we are privileged to stand with Mary and John, as the others flee.

  3. God be with you. From a young(ish) Catholic, I’m very hopeful for the future. I don’t think much will come of the dubia, or even the correction if it happens, as we are more than a few years off of a general change of mindset. But it is coming, and it will happen in my lifetime.

    • That’s the spirit! I do believe that a general change of mindset will come – and that Christ’s Church will be restored and will be victorious.

  4. This is by far the best site for info on current Church situation. I am glad to count myself among its financial supporters.

    • “His truth shall compass thee with a shield: thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night. Of the arrow that flieth in the day, of the business that walketh about in the dark: of invasion, or of the noonday devil. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it shall not come nigh thee.” -Psalm 90: 5- 7

      Contra mundum. Contra mundum.

  5. Each of us knows that we are here because God chose *now* and *here* for each of us. I for one am glad that I share this God-chosen time and place with Catholics who have courageous faith like yours, Steve. Thank you for sharing your insight.

    • Or, as another Catholic advised: “Frodo:I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, beside the will of evil.”

  6. You are in the battle Steve; don your armour; take up your sword. We wait to hear what you have to say everyday after coming off the battle field (plus it’s Lent). We don’t need nice feelings for effective prayer but it helps. Many of us I am sure feel like “practical sedevacantists”. I’ve not experienced one moment where he (PF) has moved my heart and I have been following him from the start of his pontificate, asking the Lord to help me to love him to give me a heart of obedience – waiting on the Lord. I do not hate (that is certain) and I experience anger from time to time. I don’t really read his messages nor have I read his letters and exhortation (no taste). Courage! He has overcome the world! Jesus is working it out. “My sheep know my voice” He says “and they follow me.”

    • In my pursuit to find bible verses relevant to the mystery of the Eucharist I came across Hosea 11:3-4. After comparing different translations I have come to slightly favor what the Septuagint over the DRB.

      11:3 Yet I bound the feet of Ephraim, I took him on my arm; but they knew not that I healed them.

      11:4 When men were destroyed, I drew them with the bands of my love: and I will be to them as a man smiting [another] on his cheek: and I will have respect to him, I will prevail with him.

      And I think this depicts us and all who turn to Christ with a contrite heart. Because we are a part of the body of Christ we share in Christ’s victory (we prevail with Him). The Eucharist is one form of us sharing in Christ’s victory. So let us take comfort in knowing that Christ carries us (“I took him on my arm”). He not only carries us He disciplines us (“I will be to them as a man smiting another on his cheek”). Thus, firstly He disciplines us, He then restores to us our self worth (self respect), and from there we move forward to prevail with Him.

      May we stay humble and contrite because although we fight against great heresy Our Father will prevail over it.

  7. I wonder how Our Mother felt as she could not find her Son for three whole days, on that journey long ago.
    The utter helplessness that she and Joseph had, must have been enormous.
    Three days of searching for a young boy in big city, seemed like eternity to them.
    They were alone, knowing such responsibility as caring for this Child, the Son of God,….and He was lost…so they thought.
    But….on that third day, there was their little Jesus, shining forth His knowledge of Scripture, with the amazement of the old scholars around Him. And there was Mary and Joseph, without anger, just pure obedience to the answer to their question,” Where were you Son? We have been looking for you for three whole days?”
    And He responded, ” Did you not know that I must be about doing my Father’s work.”

    And they were calmed and greatly satisfied with His answer; in awe.

    Dear Steve,

    You are doing a wonderful service for Christ and His Church. Your moments of anguish are natural and only human, for you are in the “thick” of it as they say. Let us go forward with Christ, and let them say about the faithful in years to come, ” They never tired, they defended the faith…….for us.”
    God bless you and be with you.

  8. In the Byzantine Tradition, Philippians 2: 5-11 or Hebrews 9: 1-7 are the designated Epistles for the feasts of the Mother of God.

    The only way out is for the Vatican to reveal 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…” and 2) the Collegial Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Holy Father in union with all the bishops of the world at the same hour on the same day.

    This is what God asked for through Our Lady of Fatima on June 13, 1929. From Pope Pius XI to the present, NO Pope has done it exactly as God wanted:

    Pius XI – didn’t do it.

    Pius XII – 1952 – consecrated Russia BUT WITHOUT all the bishops.

    John XXIII – didn’t do it.

    Paul VI – didn’t do it but declared Our Lady Mother of the Church

    John Paul I – died after 33 days

    John Paul II – consecrated the WORLD – NOT Russia – in 1982, 1984 and 2000

    Benedict XVI – didn’t do it

    Francis – 2013 – entrusted the WORLD to Our Lady

    When God wants something done, He wants it done HIS way. Mankind has been trying to outwit God since the Fall. You’d think we’d have learned by now….sigh.

    I highly recommend everyone check out They’re the best resource on Fatima.

  9. After the Malta affair, I think Cardinal Burke has been widely discredited in the eyes of many bishops—which I think was probably the strategy all along. Even if a “formal correction” were ever issued, I think it would be largely ignored.

    People should be very sure that their faith is in Christ and not in the effectiveness of the actions of a Cardinal of the Church.

    • It may be true that many will take no notice of a correction, but at least he can face Christ and say that he was not silent while scandal took away souls. God bless and protect Cardinal Burke et al.

  10. This hit the nail on the head for me. Thank you Steve.

    Anyway, it seems to be the calm before the storm at the moment.

    Heaven is silent as her warriors steady their hands and take aim, waiting for the command.

    Help will come, no doubt.

    God is just sharpening His arrows…. us 🙂

  11. Steve, I believe that all of us who love and believe in The Christ and His Church, are currently going through what I call a desert experience, just as Christ went through just before the commencement of His public life. The cruel whispers from he who is evil (i.e. as you wrote “none of it matters. Nothing matters. Just give up”) is a sure sign that we are a threat to the devil (I’ve had exactly the same thing whispered in my ear over the years – but I’ve always struck back immediately with The Prayer to Saint Michael). If life was always perfect and everything flowed along just nicely, then we’d have a genuine cause for concern.

    You wrote: “There can be no human solution to this. God is going to let things get so bad that when He at last intervenes, there will be no question that it’s from Him.” I believe you are right with this – right now, it’s a case of supporting each other with prayer and keeping those oil lamps burning while we wait for the Master – even if it takes the rest of our life. In the meantime, we have Our Mother Mary and her Spouse The Holy Spirit to warm us, encourage us and provide occasional relief from the immediate worries of life. God Bless.

  12. I find myself thinking about the Malachy Prophecy of the Popes. I dismissed it a few years ago. But now I think there is some resonance. After Pope Benedict; the last Pope it seems before ‘Peter the Roman’ I wondered about the change of pattern this last persona seemed to elicit.

    So after the Pope which seems to be Benedict XVI we have the days of persecution. Well that’s true…certainly all around the world we can witness that. But strangely…Peter the Roman doesn’t shepherd his sheep through these tribulations but ‘in much tribulation’.

    So it seems to me in these days of persecution of the Church by the world in all sorts of ways, that Peter the Roman is also perhaps representative of the world (Peter the Roman?) , as Rome was to the first Peter the center of worldly rule and power under the Caesars. So a Pope or Popes as Peter the Roman could mean worldly popes, political popes, shaped by the worldly project. In other words the via Moderna sits in the chair of Peter.

    For that reason the Pope or Popes who express theologically the via moderna (not the via antiqua) are contentious with the received teachings and doctrines borne from the via antiqua of the faith handed on.

    In which case those who follow the truth of the faith as received are contended with by a Pope or Popes who attend to the via moderna. That accounts for the fact that they shepherd the sheep in tribulation….Peter the Roman causes tribulation within the Church even in the days of the persecution of the Church by the world.

    I think Peter the Roman could be several Popes….rather the term covers those Popes who signify a rupture. The via moderna in the Chair of Peter is a rupture.

    This has been a long time coming and has its roots in the 14th century. It is simply showing that it could flower now at the head of the Church.

    This is a disaster….but also a major purification.

    Just been thinking. But don’t go down the rabbit hole of thinking it is all about Vatican II….it isn’t. It has been coming even within the Church a long time in the seeds of aspects of philosophy and theology which have at times brought about distortions. There is much in John Paul II and Benedict XVI that has uncovered and corrected those elements.

    • Take a look at “Catholic Prophecy” by Yves Dupont. It is quite clear that there will be a future Pope who will lead the restoration, who will have the grace to do it. Until Our Lady is obeyed the grace will not be there. Petrus Romanus will probably the Pope of the restoration, and not the current one in Rome.

    • The so-called Prophecy of St. Malachi is known to have been created (or at the very least adulterated) in the late sixteenth century to support the canvassing of a venal Cardinal who wanted to be elected Pope. One really cannot and should not look to it for any guidance during these times.

  13. This commenter says a great deal with: “With John Paul II I could spin most of what he said as orthodox. Much the same with Benedict XVI. But this guy…I got nothing.”
    Nothing but spin for half a century & the spinning is no longer working. PF has done nothing but put paid the lie that the Catholic Church came out the other side of Vatican II. PF makes no pretense of Catholicism because after 50 years of Novus Ordo he doesn’t even have to. It’s done.

  14. Yes God will act. Akita. Fire will fall from the sky and wipe out a great part of humanity sparing neither priests nor faithful.

  15. ….”My arm!?!”…, the persian emissary growled in pain, after the spartan lieutenant sliced it off during their parlay,….”it’s not yours anymore”..the spartan said calmly. The emissary then screamed out, “A thousand nations of the Persian empire descend upon you!.. our arrows will block out the sun!….The spartan produced a large and excitable grin at the thought of his threat and responded with joy, “Then we will fight in the shade!”…

    Take heart brother or we will have to start quoting St Crispin’s day speeches! least its Shakespeare instead of nihilistic pop culture references 🙂

    Deus Vult! With your right hand
    & Pax Christi with the other

  16. “We are our times. Such as we are, such are our times.” I think there is so much more that we can be doing! Have you all heard about Mary’s appearance to a woman named Elizabeth Kindlemann? Her diary has been given the apostolic blessing which hasn’t been given since the Diary of St. faustina. Mary revealed that God has not given mankind such Grace’s since the Incarnation, and she also revealed that these Graces will be what the ark was to Noah. She said that a storm is coming that will assail the church, and then she corrected herself and said no a hurricane. It is said that through this Grace her Immaculate Heart Will Triumph. While it is a positive message, in her appearance she is sobbing, begging us to help her save souls who are being lost. The grace that is given through this Devotion to her flame of love is a signal Grace specifically given to combat the Demonic our world. She gave a couple prayers that have the power of blinding Satan. So when you are feeling attacked or despondent and I encourage you to pray these prayers. They will blind Satan. One prayer is called the unity prayer. I will copy it all here.(all text above was the voice recognition and any capitalization or lack thereof was not my choice. I would not capitalize Satan for example.)

    There is a very prominent Exorcist who is a promoter of this devotion, Father James Blount, and he has witnessed that when praying this prayer during exorcisms, the control over the demons reduces from hours to 10 minutes. Even sooner. As Exorcists do not even use the new rite, because it lacks efficacy, I believe them when they say a prayer like this has such power they’ve never seen! Believe it, Mary said it has the power to bind Satan:

    My adorable Jesus,
    May our feet journey together.
    May our hands gather in unity.
    May our hearts beat in unison.
    May our souls be in harmony.
    May our thoughts be as one.
    May our ears listen to the silence together.
    May our glances profoundly penetrate each other.
    May our lips pray together to gain mercy from the Eternal Father.
    Amen. *

    Learn more about the flame of Love devotion and spread it wherever you can. She said it will spread like a fire and blind Satan. We may go through the tribulation first, but her Immaculate Heart Will Triumph.

  17. It’s not as though God needs me to help Him carry out His work

    Yes He does. He works through us, and He is doing a mighty work through you.
    Almost everyone I speak to is coming to realization; not despair. Logos is rising in the minds and hearts of people everywhere. The veil is being ripped from every revolutionary movement and the shadow-boxing is coming to an end. God has been busy preparing the minds of people all over the place for when He sets His checkmate; they will know it was Him when they witness it. Don’t worry yourself with those who leave Christ because of the sins of Judas.

  18. I was speaking with a priest last week who has a very joyous and monastic spirit about him. We were discussing St.Therese’s words in her consecration to Christ. The two elements that jumped out for him were….trust and poverty of spirit. He said that every time he read a book, the same two words kept coming from the page. Trust and littleness, love of our poverty and our fragility. We human creatures constantly fight this weakness and fragility…..we want to be more, we want to control, we want to be somebody, we want to understand and yet it is this admitting of this weakness within ourselves that draws down upon ourselves the mercy and tenderness of the Father. Therese was so joyfully convinced of this that she was ecstatic about being forgotten and mistreated because it was an opportunity to truly live out her immovable trust in practice. Dearest Lord, I know my poverty and I thank you.

  19. “Our help is in the name of the Lord Who made heaven and earth”

    Our Lady of Quito, pray for us.

    Our Lady of Quito promised the Church would be miraculously restored, after all hope seems lost.

    We must remain at our posts, acknowledge our need for God, and do what we can to help each other, knowing that ultimately, only God can fix this. He will do it through Our Lady.

  20. Trying to imagine the thoughts of a Cardinal, as the next conclave begins. Is it possible that a majority imagine that the “right” choice is a man who will, somehow, simply declare “peace”? Who will simply mandate that everyone acknowledge that there ARE no real issues or conflicts in the Church, no one who needs to be laicized, no questions demanding answers, no corruption in the clergy, no conflicts between Catholicism and any self-styled Catholic politician? That nothing is a matter of substance, everything a matter of “approach”?

  21. Not a great history buff, but weren’t the most spectacular victories during crusades ones where the ‘good guys’ had no chance? Vastly outnumbered?

    “His truth shall compass thee with a shield: thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night.

    Of the arrow that flieth in the day, of the business that walketh about in the dark: of invasion, or of the noonday devil.

    A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it shall not come nigh thee.”

    Remember also, that when our prayers feel the driest and we feel the most alone, that is when He is closest to us and our prayers most powerful. Keep fighting Steve! We must do right if the skies fall. We’re all behind you. Xx

  22. Sorry to go on but, I used to cheer myself up by watching The Lighting of the beacons from Lord of the Rings. “The beacons of Minas Tirith are lit! Gondor calls for aid!” “And Rohan will answer!” Suddenly one day I broke down in tears thinking “but Gondor doesn’t call for aid and never will. Denethor is in charge. And if they did, Rohan wouldn’t answer” But I was wrong. Maybe the beacons aren’t lit yet, but they will be. One day the pope ( a pope) will light the beacon by consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart, the bishops of the world will light theirs in their turn and Heaven WILL answer. We’ve been promised this. It WILL happen. Then the tide will turn and the Angelic Host will fight alongside us. Antioch, Lepanto, Vienna etc etc. it will happen again.

    • That’s one of my favorite scenes from that movie as well (gives me goosebumps every time), as well as the charge of the Rohirrim on the battlefield that follows.

      • If you haven’t got the music I recommend getting it and playing it loud on your headset. The track I have includes the Ride of the Rohirrim and the Last March of the Ents. Makes me feel like I could take up my sword and ride my horse into battle. (If you could see me, you’d know how ridiculous that is!) Having said that, if God is on your side you can do anything. Yes, even me.

        P.s. I can’t ride horse. I’ve tried!

      • I remember Hilary White’s comment on how she felt when he came onto the balcony “The impossible had happened. Sauron had got hold of the ring”.

  23. Dear Steve,

    Today in the Mass I remembered you and I keep you in my daily prayers!

    Thank you very much for the work you do and no, it is not useless! When the Enemy hisses in your ear that little voice that tells you to “let it go, it is all useless” remember the beautiful scene of The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson in which Satan tries to divert Jesus from his mission in Gethsemane trying to instill doubts and discouragement … Jesus did not respond directly to him, but he looked up to the Father and clung to Him and His name, finding in him the strength to “love to the end” and carry out the mission that He had entrusted! This is what I ask now to the Father in my prayers for you, for me, for all the faithful who are now outraged, mocked, insulted because of the name of Jesus and the Truth … let’s go forward in Faith!

    I also want to make you an proposal: here in Italy there are some shrines (Our Lady of Loreto, Portiuncula of Assisi …) which compared with a very small offer guarantee to say a “Perpetual Mass” every day for members. I have already enrolled many people but I think it would be good that each of us could register, in addition to their family and friends, even their own bishops, priests, seminarians, religious, and teachers in seminaries, theologians and catechists (and all people directly involved in evangelization) in favor of their conversion and personal sanctification, so that they can really offer their lives to confirm the faith of the portion of the people of God entrusted to them and defend it from error! I am sure there are similar places in the U.S.!

    So if you feel this good proposal spread it publicy, spread the word and make celebrate several Masses for the sanctification of souls in this tremendous spiritual confusion that grips our beloved Church!

    Only in Jesus and in Mary we find Salvation!

    Let’s consecrate them our lives and our loved ones.

    United in prayer!

  24. Jesus also agonized in the garden before his Passion and we, his Church, his Body, since we are also to follow him and likewise endure our passion, are we to be surprised by the agony that precedes it? To successfully pass the trial, we must stay awake, praying.

    19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.


    28 Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” – Cf. Luke 21 (RSVCE) –

    PS One of the things some of us have had to endure [I believe you too], is the loss of friends and perhaps a job, and have ended up being at odds with family members.

    It is on the darkest nights that the stars shine brightest. We pray that we be those shining stars that are guided by the most splendid of them all, Our Fairest Stella Maris.

    Consider too that the labor pains mean that God’s true children are about to be revealed. May we number among them.

    Cf. Why the Catholic Church is true: the Books of Maccabees

    • “PS One of the things some of us have had to endure [I believe you too], is the loss of friends and perhaps a job, and have ended up being at odds with family members.”
      You said it, and I can sign this boldly.
      “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” (2 Corinthians 4,8-10)

  25. Steve you’re not alone in your grief. I’m grateful you shared this. The situation is constantly on my mind. To recover, the Church needs a new Pentecost outpouring of charisms as it was in the beginning.. At this thought, I feel happy but I dont think it will be soon. The Holy Spirit spread Christianity through a variety of miracles – cures and healings are what people need to see, to back up Faith’s message and demands. But perhaps the bleached versions of Christianity need to be seen to fail first. I read that St. Francis de Sales wrote on the Holy Eucharist that when the Eternal Sacrifice is removed, the faithful will receive the Eucharist from the Heavenly banquet in Heaven – perhaps the raven feeding Elijah is a type of that future time. That would be my gravest fear : an undermining of the Mass and Priesthood. No sacrifice, no forgiveness of sins.

      • I have heard this also. Additionally, PF said he wanted a review of the encyclical, Liturgiam Authenticam. Methinks he will order changes to the Novus Ordo, and probably render it invalid. After that, will he suppress the ancient rite? The O.T. Book of Daniel mentions the time when the “daily sacrifice” will no longer be. We must have trust and confidence in Our Lord, and resort more to prayer. Thank you Steve, for this post. I know exactly how you feel. God and His Holy Mother will “fix it” for the Church. I look forward to the day when this unholy nightmare will be over. We must support you and others in prayer, and pray for conversions and peace in the world: that is what Our Lady requested at Fatima!

      • FWIW, if I recall correctly, that particular rumor was started by the pseudonymous “Fra Cristoforo” who now has been revealed as a phony, an agent provocateur for the minions of PF. That said, I believe it is true that PF has started a process to undermine Liturgiam Authenticam and has his beady little eyes on Summorum Pontificum as well, so keep the prayers and fasting coming.

  26. Sounds like a minor dark night of the soul. Let it be and fight on. It will yield its grace filled fruits in due time, both for you personally and for the Church you are suffering for and with Steve. Those who closely follow the Italian Catholic scene like I do can assure you that the unrest under Bergoglio is simmering and widespread, as I presume it is in other parts of the world. Error has to be consolidated before it is fully revealed and removed. I take this to be the main function, witting or unwitting, of Bergoglio. God bless you.

  27. This season of the year many Catholics walk with Christ in his passion by making the Stations of the Cross. It appears to be an utter desolation. Each station is an unbearable agony, a darkness that has no light. Where is the joy? Where is the success of a fruitful, vibrant mission? The enemy in all respect has vanquished to the point of nothingness. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Then followed three days of emptiness in the tomb “I go a fishing” said St Peter,”and the others said “ We also come with thee”. At times we all just feel like going fishing. We all feel dispirited, wholly confused. How could God allow these things happen to His Church? How could God allow us to be led by ravaging wolves in sheep clothing with the most savage, who unleash such damage upon the Church? What can we, so little and powerless do about it?

    The Apostles did not recognise Jesus as he “stood on the shore”. Peter only realized after the “disciple therefore who Jesus loved, said to Peter: It is the Lord”. Today we weep with Our Blessed Mother and the Holy Women on the Royal road to Calvary. We do not know when these trials will come to an end but we have confidence that we will recognise Our Lord standing on the shore. We know that at some point in time, God will come to our aid. Then we will see that he never left us. When He seemed to so far away, He is in fact so close to us. Therefore, we must fight the good fight and endure with patience and great trust the agony that God asks us to suffer in the name of His Only Beloved Son, “who his own self bore our sins in his body upon the tree: that we, being dead to sins, should live to justice: by whose stripes you were healed”.

    Thank you Steve for your exceptional apostolate.

    Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
    St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle.

    • And this year Pope Francis has invited Mme Pelletier for the Via Crucis. She who thinks marital fidelity should be replaced by successive fidelities.

      • Dark days indeed. Let us all pray and hope for the Light of Christ to illuminate the darkness of this world so its hirelings can be seen for what they are.

  28. This last three months, while waiting for a new foreign work contract, I have been staying with a Catholic friend in the south-west of England, a Traditionalist converted from Islam who has a fifteen-year old drug addict son.

    Two days ago this boy was arrested and taken into care after physically attacking my friend, his mother.

    These three months have been full of misery. Dealing daily with a foul-mouthed young man who dresses, talks and acts like some ghetto rap artist, one who terrorized his mother unmercifully day and night for money, one who has morally collapsed utterly, having descended from being a kind and gentle-hearted boy two years ago to one whose whole mind, thoughts and language are full of the grossest coarseness and basest subjects, all self-discipline and emotional regulation lost, prey to any momentary sensual desire, has been a great trial, one that has now ended as he finally reached the point of violence against his own mother. Luckily my presence allowed her to escape the very worst and the boy is now in the care of the authorities (to whom he was already known because of previous thefts and acts of violence).

    Perhaps the worst moments were not his endless manic monologues full of immorality but his blasphemies against Our Lord Jesus Christ which were too shocking for me to relate here.

    I see the Hierarchy in the same way. It (with some honourable exceptions) resembles a street addict, a delinquent who can no longer control the headlong plunge of the Church into the maelstrom of heresy and apostasy, nor wishes to.

    And like the fifteen year old arrested by the Police, make no mistake: its almost-wholesale commitment to the liberalisation of the Church’s moral teaching comes from a moral collapse in its mind and heart which itself stems from too many of them individually having immoral private lives. Having tasted the fruit of the forbidden tree, they will not any longer enforce a guard around it but wish everyone else to eat of it too. How can one expect Daneels for instance, presider (sic) over the infamous child molesting Belgian “catechism” and protector of sexually-abusing homosexual clerics, to protect the moral law?

    To reverse the analogy, they are like drug dealers peddling the latest street filth to valueless youngsters.

    But we are not valueless. We are Catholics who believe in the integral Catholic Faith. I have been able to support my friend over the last three months, providentially, and in the end rescue her from an actual physical attack. In an infinitely greater way, Our Lord Jesus Christ is there for each of us, and He is there for His Church. Always.

    So fear not Steve! Be calm, keep to the Traditional Catholic Faith, continue your work – which is in these days an actual Apostolate – with equanimity; and “all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well” (Julian of Norwich).

    • God bless you. I am so very sorry for your friend and her son. God loves them both.
      They will be in my prayers.

      Your analogy is without doubt correct.

      • Thanks, Comrades James and CS.

        It is amazing too the tests given to my friend immediately upon her move to the SSPX three years ago: her son and his older sister, both at a decent Catholic school rather than any of the local St. Gormless comprehensives, became drug addicts and both have now been moved into State care. Their moral collapse was astonishing, involving violence, the foulest and crudest language, theft and so on and of course a rejection of the Faith.

        I believe that the devil and his demons are very, very strong in this horrible era. He truly “wanders through the world for the ruin of souls”. The mother’s move to the SSPX brought an immediate and very strong attack on the family.

        Steve is being attacked as well, as are we all. Half the battle is to recognise it, and then not to let up with one’s prayer or Sacramental life.

        The victory will inevitably be Christ’s.

        • I, too, have a wayward child. It has been…excruciating, this past year or two. A huge distraction from my work, and in many respects I see what has happened as a direct attack on the work we do here to defend the family and the institution of marriage.

          • Dear Steve, I had had no experience whatever of delinquency before meeting this child (his sister was already in care by the time I became friends with the mother, through our joint Catholic blogging, funnily enough). It has been a horrible experience and I can only extend to you my very sincere best wishes in the face of the agonies this must cause you and any such child’s parents.

            Let none of us be complacent. This is the devil’s time. He will seek to crush those who come to Tradition and those who fight for it.

            You, your wife and family and your child are on my prayer list.

          • I have heard it said that drug dealers have Satanist priests and warlocks curse their products so that they are more addictive. From y’all’s admittedly anecdotal evidence, I would be inclined to believe it.

          • I also have heard that, from faithful Catholic clergy whom I trust, and that the same is done with much porn at the time it is produced. Moreover, I would not at all be surprised to learn that there are active Satanist cults within the Curia.

          • When my first grandchild was baptised 16 years ago i decided to lay him on Our Lady’s altar and consecrated him and all grandchildren since to the Immaculate heart of Mary asking her to guide and protect each child and guide them home safely to her son Jesus.Now it’s all in her hands.

          • It is definitely an attack upon the family, Steve. I have recently discovered that one of my seven children has become addicted to heroin. He is in his early thirties and single. I would never have thought that this young man would do such a terrible thing. We are, as you can imagine devastated and worry very much for his immortal soul. His siblings say that he has changed and I agree. He was always a bright personality with a sense of humour. Now he is morose and even his voice has changed. He is always asking for money. We will give him food and what ever help we can but not money. We are all in need of each others prayers in times like this. I have praying novenas for him and begging Almighty God and Our Lady to help him to see that he is in great spiritual and physical danger.I pray everyday for his salvation. I will include your family in my prayers and I ask you, if you are willing, to include my family in yours.

          • Thank you for writing this article Steve! It is good to know what you are thinking. Your struggle and yet your faith, your hope. I think you have written some very helpful things here.
            Shall pray for you and your family, and for your wayward child!
            God bless!

          • Sorry this is meant for Steve . prayed for you and your family before the Blessed Sacrament today, will continue to do do.

          • As Christ stated that He will come bearing a sword. I can’t recall His exact words but that there will be daughter against mother, son against father, daughter against father etc, etc. I believe we are living those days as I too, am suffering from and haven’t seen or heard from my ungrateful daughter in two yrs. So many of us are carrying heavy burdens and its the burdens with our children that hurt and affect us the most. All we can do is pray for them. I was told by a priest that I should place a picture of my daughter as I pray and ask God to bless her and do this every time I pray for her. I do believe that some day, she will either call me or knock on my door, I wait patiently……

          • God bless Steve. We include you in our prayers. You are doing wonderful work and I’m sure God sees it and loves you. Be strong, Steve! May God’s blessings pour onto you and your family.

          • Dear Steve , I prayed for you before the Blessed Sacrament yesterday. Will continue to include you and your child in my intentions.

      • The exorcists say Winslow that drug use is to open the door to the demons, ask them into your living room, make them a cup of tea and ask them which biscuits they’d like. The same is true, so these exorcists say, of eastern meditational practices, that “reiki” self-knowledge rubbish and messing about with the occult. And heavy rock ditto.

        So much to keep our youngsters away from.

  29. The more the devil tempts us to despair, the more desperate he becomes, and the closer we must be to his defeat. One more step, then another toward the victory as we approach our Calvary. Do not let our agony in the Garden prevent us from sharing in Our Lord’s Triumph on the Cross. Holy Week prepares us well for the times through which we pass.

  30. I can’t say anything else but THANKS, Steve.

    Because you have expressed in writing exactly what’s in my heart and I believe in the hearts all those who read these pages with interest, to learn the truth as it unfolds in our everyday lives.
    I really wish to be able to contribute to the upkeep of 1Peter5 – but as a small retired Italian Government pensioneer I can hardly make ends meet. However I am sure you and the rest of 1P5 staff will appreciate the assurance of my dayly prayers. May your Guardian Angel who is always at your side and in Our Lord’s presence, direct and illumine your thoughts, guard you from all evil and govern all your actions so that your will may be one with His will in your life.

    God bless you Steve!

    • Yes, Paolo, your prayers are of immeasurable value! Thank you. I don’t think it’s possible to overestimate how much my family and I (and all those who work against this darkness) need those prayers. I don’t think we could withstand the assaults sent our way without them.

  31. Given that the Mystical Body will follow the life of Our Lord, sadly it seems there is a way to go before the resurrection. I do remember one prophecy stating that before the restoration it would appear that the succession of St Peter and the other apostles had been extinguished. Given we have clearly not seen the execution of a Pope (Fatima vision) as yet, there is more of this drama to play out.

  32. Steve, let us all pray that you have the courage and joy to carry on with your work. You are already successful in doing God’s will. Knowing whether we are winning or losing is not part of the program. As they say, “ours is not to reason why, ours is to do and die.”. Fighting the battle is all that matters. That is all God wants from us. And always thank God for all the bad things that happen to you as these are the best things that could happen; God’s uses them for your own good and the good of others.

  33. Dear fellow readers: Be sure to contribute $$$ to this great website, as I have done. (I have no personal or professional connection with Skojec.)

  34. Steve you are not alone, we are all suffering together and I know personally some holy priests that gives me hope that we are not alone suffers the same things that you write.
    God help us!

  35. A holy nun I know said to me recently, “Spread the knowledge and use of blessed salt and Holy Water. Even Catholics now have no idea of the power of sacramentals to ward off demons”.

    We are attacked with great malice and without pity. Let us remember this nun’s advice.

  36. My dear brother in the Lord,

    Stand firm like the soldier of Christ you are called to be! Stand firm in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Your suffering has not been in vain, nor will it be. Yes, God is permitting all of this for the sake of the elect – may we be counted among them on the Day of Judgement.

    What do soldiers do when the fog of war is thick? They stay still – absolutely still – waiting for even the slightest breeze to blow away the fog; or for the morning sun to break through. Why? Because it would be madness to leave ones post. And we know where our duties are to be found: in living out the Commandments and the Beatitudes in each moment our ‘General’ gives to us. Stay at your post! Don’t let the enemy tempt you into a “suicide mission”. You will know when to move when you see the whites of the enemies eyes! You have been well trained and are being purified for whatever mission Our Lord has for you. You can’t see past the end of your nose, but be assured there are many of us in fox-holes not so far from yours. Yes, it is cold, and dark, and it smells of death everywhere but this is where we are meant to be just now. As Holy Week approaches we know that the enemy’s rage will increase be he can do nothing to us – nothing – if we trust in Our Lord.

    Remember you orders; remember you are on the winning team! They cannot defeat Our Lord Jesus, the King of Kings, the destroyer of sin and death!

    See you at the Victor’s Feast!


  37. Yes, Steve, I’ve been in the exact same place. It seems that evil is winning, even in our political system, which has been so discouraging, even to the extent of affecting my marriage. But we know who the entity is behind it all, our implacable enemy and the enemy of God, who wants us to throw up hands up and say, “What’s it all for?”
    But it’s then that we summon all of our courage, our faith, our (waning) energy, and answer the call to battle for our Lord! It is His war, His cause, and He can provide what we need. The enemy can not, will not win this battle. We were created to be in such a time as this….

  38. I had a similar, although it be far briefer, conversation with my pastor this weekend. Believe me, he understood.
    There is not a word you have offered that is not true.
    You indeed, are not alone, nor are any of us.
    God reward you.

  39. Chesterton noted that the Catholic Church seemed to face imminent demise 5 times in its history and each time it emerged in renewal.
    We must keep our faith, especially in this season, in the Resurrection and also in the Resurrection of the Church. It must come and we must bear our sufferings with confidence in their redemptive graces.
    Maureen Mullarkey is a very talented writer who sees right through this misguided and goofy Pope. Perhaps you should reach out to her. She got ignominiously booted from “First Things” for explaining her view of the tragic mistakes of this pope.

  40. No one knows God’s Plan. Think of the Jews as they were marched into captivity by the Persians. They saw the glory of Solomon, they Temple destroyed; Jerusalem lay in ruins. And when they were allowed to return 3 generations later, close to a third decided to remain behind. The Promised Land lost its allure to many.

    Or think of the Christians living in Europe at the fall of the Roman Empire. Violent tribes ransacked cities. Civic Life, the Glory of Roman Civilization fell, farms destroyed, women brutally assaulted, and churches burnt to the ground. It would be 400 years, or 20 generations before any semblance of order returned. And even then, over a half of a millennia would pass before Christianity became firmly rooted culturally in Europe. To the average peasant, life went on for better or for worse. The passing of a King or the Pope could take months if not years before it arrived at a tiny village in Brittany or Scotland.

    The Church in Europe and the West in General has been in decay culturally since Luther. It’s been hollowed out from within as much as from without. Our lifetimes are short. The renewal may never come before we are gone. It could still be a generation or five away. We do not know.

    • They were marched into captivity by the Babylonians. The Persians conquered Babylon and allowed the Jews to return home.

  41. He is insane who rises or acts contrary to the Vicar who holds the Blood of Christ crucified. Even if he was a demon incarnate, I should not raise my head against him, but always grovel and ask for the Blood out of mercy…. God wants neither you nor anyone else to set themselves up as a righter of the wrongs of His ministers.

    –St. Catherine of Siena, Letters, Vol. 1, letter #28

  42. Dear Steve,

    I read your anguished post. Please try to stay calm, rest in the Lord and don’t let yourself be overwhelmed.

    “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair.” (2 Corinthians 4:8). “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15).

    It sounds like you are under attack from this spirit of Python:

    Our Lady of America said, “As in life, so in death, this blessed medal will be as a shield to protect them against the evil spirits, and St. Michael himself will be at their side to allay their fears at the final hour.”

    Perhaps you should pray this novena to Our Lady of America:

    Please let me know if you would like me to send you a courtesy medal of Our Lady of America. May she intercede for your peace and happiness.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    Dan Lynch

  43. “It is a far less traumatic thing to believe that the reason a pope is doing these things is because he is not really a pope at all than to believe that somehow he can be the legitimate successor of Peter but take on the mantle of Judas.”

    I would say, it’s far more plausible to believe that you are in error about the Pope and Papacy than to believe that Pope Francis is teaching error. If You were correct, then it means Jesus spoke falsely about being with His Church always and protecting it. I find that blasphemous.

    In such a case Jesus would not be God, and our faith would be in vain. Personally I have faith that God continues to protect His Church now, just like He did in the past.

    • “If You were correct, then it means Jesus spoke falsely about being with His Church always and protecting it. I find that blasphemous.”

      Don’t be so silly. There have been atrocious Popes before Bergoglio. The Catholic Church survived Diocletian, Julian the Apostate, Rome being sacked by the Goths and Huns, and many other immediate crises. You think God can’t handle an Argentinian liberal protestant?

      One thing is for sure: if Bergoglio is against the Catholic Faith – and an objective assessment must say that he is – then God cannot be with him.

      Let us have no Papolatry here.

      • Of course God can handle with anyone, everywhere, any time.
        No one can disagree with that.
        But, we should from time to time use the Scripture and read it, so we may, we just may to try understand how the Almighty God is tremendous, truthful, righteous, and not just and only a merciful God, as many of misguided believes.
        As example we can take complains of Jeremiah to God, and we should carefully listen what God replies to Jeremiah:

        “If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you,
        how will you compete with horses?
        And if in a safe land you fall down,
        how will you do in the jungle of the Jordan?
        For even your brothers and the house of your father,
        even they have dealt treacherously with you;
        they are in full cry after you;
        believe them not,
        though they speak fair words to you.”

        “I have forsaken my house,
        I have abandoned my heritage;
        I have given the beloved of my soul
        into the hands of her enemies.
        My heritage has become to me
        like a lion in the forest,
        she has lifted up her voice against me;
        therefore I hate her.
        Is my heritage to me like a speckled bird of prey?
        Are the birds of prey against her round about?
        Go, assemble all the wild beasts;
        bring them to devour.
        Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard,
        they have trampled down my portion,
        they have made my pleasant portion
        a desolate wilderness.
        They have made it a desolation;
        desolate, it mourns to me.
        The whole land is made desolate,
        but no man lays it to heart.
        Upon all the bare heights in the desert
        destroyers have come;
        for the sword of the Lord devours
        from one end of the land to the other;
        no flesh has peace.
        They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns,
        they have tired themselves out but profit nothing.
        They shall be ashamed of their harvests
        because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”
        (Jeremiah 12,5-13)

        Especially those words of God trough prophet Hosea in His straight accusation of His favorite people:

        “There is no faithfulness or kindness,
        and no knowledge of God in the land;
        there is swearing, lying, killing, stealing, and committing adultery;
        they break all bounds and murder follows murder.
        Therefore the land mourns,
        and all who dwell in it languish,
        and also the beasts of the field,
        and the birds of the air;
        and even the fish of the sea are taken away.

        Yet let no one contend,
        and let none accuse,
        for with you is my contention, O priest.
        You shall stumble by day,
        the prophet also shall stumble with you by night;
        and I will destroy your mother.
        My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
        because you have rejected knowledge,
        I reject you from being a priest to me.
        And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
        I also will forget your children.

        The more they increased,
        the more they sinned against me;
        I will change their glory into shame.
        They feed on the sin of my people;
        they are greedy for their iniquity.
        And it shall be like people, like priest;
        I will punish them for their ways,
        and requite them for their deeds.
        They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
        they shall play the harlot, but not multiply;
        because they have forsaken the Lord
        to cherish harlotry.
        Wine and new wine
        take away the understanding.”
        (Hosea 4,1-11)

        Do we not see similarity with our times?

        “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them.”
        (Malachi 3,6-7)

        People should never rob God!
        But sadly, people are doing that for generations, decades, centuries…
        What we now have, do we have deserve it? Collectively, yes.
        Personally, each of us must remain steadfast in the true faith. We must resist evil.
        With God’s help and the intercession of Our Lady, we can do it.
        Let us remain faithful. Defending the Truth.
        And let’s help each other with prayers. We should pray Rosary, more than often.
        May good God give all of us many blessings that we all can be and stay strong and faithful in our true Catholic Faith!

      • No Papolatry here. Bad behavior of past Popes do not prove Pope Francis is doctrinally bad. No, I’m talking about the accusation that the Pope teaches heresy as a part of the Ordinary Magisterium.

        Again, everything I see from the Holy Father’s critics show they neither understand what Pope Francis has said nor what the Church teaches.

        • Ah! The entire world scratches its head and wonders what he’s wibbling on about; but you know. The Catholic blogosphere is full of such oracles of divine interpretation.

          Those of us who follow closely what he says, writes and lectures are certain that he is a very badly-formed cleric (Argentina’s Church in the ’60s was known for its very low intellectual level) with a serious personality disorder thrown in.

          As to what the Church teaches, Catholics knew for 1,932 years (up to 1965 in other words) what the Church teaches: now 90% of the mainstream think same sex “marriage”, abortion and other heinous sins are fine.

          As to Bergoglio again, he is an evident heretic who surrounds himself with heretics to actively promote a heretical agenda. Have you read ANY of the serious commentaries on his three major documents? Have you read even one of them?

          You tell me therefore, O Oracle, who knows what’s what.

          • You can always start by reading his writings and not relying on sites like this one to tell you what he said.

            I can say I’ve pretty much read everything he said that was translated into English. Can you?

          • David, why read a classic work of literature, when you can read Cliff Notes for Dummies. Just as good, no? I’ve grown weary of asking the detractors for quotes. It’s always just a sea of hearsay.

          • I’m afraid my credulity is strained only by your self-serving, and not unpatronizing, condescension. Your derision aside, this webpage is only a list of accusatory inferences, from unreferenced, uncited supposed papal comments – not unlike those hurled above by Stalin. Which goes to MY point – water, water everywhere, but not a quote upon which to think. Why always the vapid accusations, sans quotations ?

  44. “Never left your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

    Else spiritual exhaustion and despair must follow.

  45. No—there are many of us– while you lead us ,fighting in the visible word, we follow close behind you , weeping and praying in the invisible world.

  46. After seeing all the human solutions fail, I keep going back to Fatima. Everything in falling into God’s plan through Our Lady of Fatima. The vision of the bishop in white is the future. God will take care of the Pope and handle him as seen in the vision of the bishop in white. All we can do for Pope Francis is pray for his conversion. That is it. Ignore and pray for him. As for us, we got to keep the faith. The rosary as requested by Fatima and the daily duty for our state in life. We have focus less on politics and social media. Not give up the Internet entirely because there is great work and need for 1P5 and the Catholic blogosphere. Just less attention to worldly and secular concerns.

  47. Steve. You’ve got to lighten up and stop taking on burdens that you have neither the station or authority to combat/correct.

    IANS is not joking. Have some wine and have some fun.

    The very worst thing for a Catholic man to do in the midst of a fight is to take it all so seriously.

    Jesus is the head of His Church, He always has been, and He always will be its head.

    He has got it all under control. All you have to do is keep the Faith and pass it on to your Family.

    Franciscus can not do one damn thing to your domestic church and so don’t let him live in your head.

    You struggle suggests you do not have the Peace of Christ, so, ask Him for it.

    When you receive Communion ask Him to complete His work in you so that you will become the Steven J. Skojec (Just made up your full name) He has always wanted you to be rather than the StevenJ Skojec you have always chosen to be.

    All worry and no joy makes Trad a dull man

    Of couzse, IANS admits he has the advantage of heritage over you. As an Irish-Algonquin, he is constitutionally prepared to experience joy I’m the midst of lost causes.

    IANS knows me and thee routinely clash when it comes to personal opinions, but, IANS does hate to see you depressed.

    • Extremely good point. Remember St. Teresa of Avila said, “Let nothing disturb you.” And, of course, she’s not the only one. Padre Pio’s most famous advice was Pray, Hope, AND DON’T WORRY. Worry is useless.

    • Anyone who loves the church is troubled….we are headed for a chastisement and you want everyone to have a drink and relax?You seem very dillusional and it’s quite disturbing how unmoved you are at the plight we are in?

      • You have no idea how much iANS loves the Church nor do you appear to understand what the Peace of Christ is.

        One does not illustrate his love by emotive acts because love is located in the will not the emotions.

        There are many positive acts of love one can engage in to assist the body of Christ – like becoming a saint.

        Hand wringing and moaning about one’s plight , it seems to IANS, is a weak and wrong response to the Will of Our Triune God who desires me and thee be alive at this time of great testing.

        Saint Vincent of Lerins has some advice you may find useful for the type of testing we are experiencing is one way that God tests us to see if we love Him.

        The plain and simple truth is that neither me or thee are in any kind of position to affect what is going on in the Church other than to keep the Faith in the Domestic Church and strive manfully for Sanctification.

        • Even mystics who saw what the church would go through were very distraught and sorrowful.And they all posessed more of the true peace of Christ than most of us ever will.Btw I hate to break it to you friend but you can’t tell if someone has the peace of Christ or not.You can however have the peace of Christ and still feel sad for this agony the church is going through.How can anyone not feel sorrowful because when Jesús’ church is attacked,Jesús himself is attacked.And Steve wasn’t whining about his frame of mind,he’s actually doing something about this crisis in the church and praise God for that!Btw you are wrong that we can’t do anything to change the crisis in the church,we can fight!

          • Aquinas on peace of Christ; Colossians 3:

            164. – Then (v. 15), he urges them to acts of love. He mentions two of these acts, peace and thankfulness, and implies a third, joy. He says, let the peace of Christ [rejoice] in your hearts. An immediate effect of the love of charity is peace, which is, as Augustine comments, that composure or calmness of order produced in a person by God. Love does this, because when one loves another he harmonizes his will with the other: “Great peace have those who love thy law” (Ps 119:165). He says rejoice, because the effect of this love is joy, and this joy follows peace: “Joy follows those who take counsels of peace” (Prov 12:20). Paul does not merely say “peace,” because there is a peace of this world which God did not come to bring. He says, the peace of Christ, the peace Christ established between God and man. Jesus affirmed this peace: “Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them: Peace to you” (Lk 24:36). And you should have this peace, because it is the peace … to which indeed you were called. “God has called us to peace” (1 Cor 7:15). He adds, in the one body, that is, that you may be in one body. Another effect is thankfulness, and so Paul continues, and be thankful: “The hope of the unthankful will melt away like the winter’s ice” (Wis 16:29).

            Y’all can experience the putative glory of worry but to what end?

            You can change the chastisement how? If it be the Will of Christ to chastise His Church, what are you wiling to do to war against His Will?

            God has called us to peace 1 Cor 7:15

            Y’all can”fight” but that “fight” is never defined (what is it, what actions must be undertaken etc) but that “fight” does appear to be a joyless one.

            Y’all can do whatever it is you desire but IANS ain’t throwing away the Peace of Christ on a fool’s mission.

            Y’all can’t depose Franciscus but you can accept that he is both Our Pope and Our Cross and y’all can chose to bear that Cross with joy and peace even while striving to share the Gospel with others and to cleave to Tradition.

            What can Franciscus do to your Faith?

            If he weakens or destroy it, you did not have it to begin with.

            Jesus is in charge. He always has been and He asks us to Keep His Commandments if we love Him and our war is against the world, the flesh, and the devil.

            Even if you could depose Franciscus (y’all can’t) you can’t depose the world or depose the appeals of the flesh, amongst which there is the appeal to war, a puissant perversion of love.

      • Chapter 3.

        What is to be done if one or more dissent from the rest.

        [7.] What then will a Catholic Christian do, if a small portion of the Church have cut itself off from the communion of the universal faith? What, surely, but prefer the soundness of the whole body to the unsoundness of a pestilent and corrupt member? What, if some novel contagion seek to infect not merely an insignificant portion of the Church, but the whole? Then it will be his care to cleave to antiquity, which at this day cannot possibly be seduced by any fraud of novelty.

        [8.] But what, if in antiquity itself there be found error on the part of two or three men, or at any rate of a city or even of a province? Then it will be his care by all means, to prefer the decrees, if such there be, of an ancient General Council to the rashness and ignorance of a few. But what, if some error should spring up on which no such decree is found to bear? Then he must collate and consult and interrogate the opinions of the ancients, of those, namely, who, though living in various times and places, yet continuing in the communion and faith of the one Catholic Church, stand forth acknowledged and approved authorities: and whatsoever he shall ascertain to have been held, written, taught, not by one or two of these only, but by all, equally, with one consent, openly, frequently, persistently, that he must understand that he himself also is to believe without any doubt or hesitation.

        Me and thee were chosen to be alive at this time and it seems to IANS that a weak and wrong response to be being alive at this time is to fall apart emotionally for Love is located in the will, not the emotions.

        The proper response to Franciscus is to refuse him space to live in your head while striving for sanctification.

        That is the proper response.

        So what if a chastisement in coming? You can’t change that by worry or hand-wringing, but you can be prepared for the four Last Things s because today your soul and the soul of IANS might be required.

        The Peace of Christ is a real thing

    • You’re the one with no peace.

      The venom you spit is so toxic that you give trads a bad name.

      Who put you in charge of his pastoral care?

      You have got to be a boomer. Saying your own name again and again like that is a classic tell of boomer narcissism.

  48. Steve on more than one occasion your posts have deeply touched me and this is certainly one of them. especially where you wrote:
    “My spiritual life has taken a noticeable beating as well. I have never more desperately needed to pray, and pray fervently, than I do now…but the desire to do so has been stripped out of me like marrow sucked from bones. I’ve resorted to simply forcing myself through the motions of prayer, knowing, more than caring, that to enter this daily combat without the benefit of armor or armament is suicide. So I mumble the words, reading them without feeling or even, sometimes, comprehension”…this perfectly describes my situation..and I am reminded of something Hilary White wrote recently after speaking with you, that it seems a lot of faithful people are going really hard trials and as I am writing this I get the news of the passing of a great and true defender of the faith John Vennari…we must really pray for each other, as Peter says the devil is prowling about in order to devour us..let us support each other with prayers and at this moment to lift up Mr. Vennari’s soul and the well being of his family to our most merciful Lord and Saviour
    Steve..God bless you for your faithfulness in this apostolate

  49. In times like these, unprecedented in our lifetimes as they surely are, I believe we can draw great consolation from Luke 18 7-8: ‘And will not God vindicate his elect who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.’ That “and quickly” never fails to get the pulse racing.

    I also love the psalm which includes ‘When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage, it seemed like a dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, on our lips there were songs.’

    When God decides on a restoration, the current anguish being experienced will be but a distant memory to any of us alive on that blessed day.

  50. “I’ve resorted to simply forcing myself through the motions of prayer, knowing, more than caring, that to enter this daily combat without the benefit of armor or armament is suicide. So I mumble the words, reading them without feeling or even, sometimes, comprehension…”

    We’ve all been there when virtually anything, up to and including cleaning the floor with a toothbrush strikes us as preferable to praying but when, for example, we find our rosary is full of dryness and beset by distractions despite our best efforts, it will still in some ways be more meritorious than that of St. Bernadette herself. She exulted in Our Lady’s glance and hung upon her smile; ours is the added blessing due to those who have not seen and yet believe.

  51. I have been feeling absolutely the opposite of depressed for at least six months now. The Pope was allowed to be elected because the Lord had need of him for something in particular. We don’t know if he fulfilled what God asked of him, someday we will know. He is just an instrument of God, albeit an irritating one. ( And the same can be said of me.) I think it has something to do with the Year of Mercy. He did it in his own bizarre style, ( for example , it wasn’t even a full year.) But the corruption of morals and manners is so widespread that we needed an opportunity to get right with God again. Also – another amazing and perhaps supernatural development: look at how the corruption and abuse of power is being revealed all over the world! Do you have any idea how close the leftist Democrats came to having complete and total control of most of the western world? From the WIkilieaks revelations about the Democrats to Brexit to exposure of Castro’s lavish lifestyle upon his death, to Hilary losing the election , the clerical homosexual culture in Rome, the Truth is making itself known everywhere. ( Or as a friend of mine said, Toto is pulling back all the curtains.) We have the most unlikely people defending tradition and culture, ( can you get any more bizarre a spokesman for freedom of religion and speech than Milo Yiannopoulis? The influence of former leftists Melanie Philips and Breitbart? Heck, liberal Democrat Donald Trump running as a pro-life Republican. This is an amazing thing.) Once people start looking for the Truth, they must find Christ because he is Truth. I am not saying the world is becoming Catholic, I am saying the world is becoming receptive to hearing the truth. It is our job to take it from there. Take heart, great stuff is happening! Make sure you take advantage of all the graces offered on Divine Mercy Sunday and keep praying for good priests and saints. In addition, I think a nationwide novena to Our Lady of Good Success would bear much fruit. I think a big battle is coming and we are going to win and it is going to be awesome. So go to confession, pray and trust in the Lord. She has crushed his head.

    • Divine Mercy Sunday is the Octave of Easter, celebrated in the traditional Mass. I prefer celebrating the Octave, period.

      • I see. I have been reading about Divine Mercy and Sr. Faustina lately and I thought it was a devotion similar to the Five First Saturdays devotion. Is this not so? ( I am asking in all seriousness- please feel free to correct me about this.) Thank you!

        • I grew up in the traditional Church, prior to Vatican II. I “coped” with the N.O. Mass, but about 25- 28 years ago,I became very suspicious about Vatican II and its aftermath, and started reading intensely. I do not say the DM Chaplet. I believe the Church would not have that devotion if we had not a Polish pope. Additionally, Sr. Faustina’s works were on the Index of Forbidden Books–and kept there by 3 popes. (Besides that, I find the chaplet to be monotonous.) I believe in the concept of God’s mercy, but not because of the chaplet. Here are some links for your education, and I hope this helps you: Dmercy.pdf

        • Did you see my reply that I wrote to the disqus notice in my email inbox? I don’t see it here. It was negative on this devotion. You can email me and I will send it again.

  52. “Note the important qualifier, “practical.” We are not sedevacantists. Not sedeprivationists. These things would be easier.”

    Steve, wouldn’t you be better advised to stop inventing your own theology and just follow the teaching of the Church? This is not a matter of “easier.” It’s a matter of the truth. Is Catholic truth determined by your intuition, or feeling, or whatever it is, of what is “easier” or “harder”?

    Some Catholic truths are pretty easy. E.g., “This is My Body” or “Let no man put asunder” or “Thou art Peter.” It’s those other people, called heretics, who make them “hard.” You know, like those who left Our Lord after He proclaimed, “Unless you eat My Body and drink My Blood, you cannot have life within you.” Those people went off because they considered that a “hard saying.”

    It’s easy to understand the Catholic truth that heretics aren’t members of the Church. Read “Mystici Corporis” of Pope Pius XII. It’s also easy to see that it is absurd to think that he who is not a member can be the head; but if you think that’s not hard enough, it’s also taught by the Popes. Why not go to work on your ABC theology?

    I’m pained to see you apparently on the verge of despair, like some of your readers. Maybe you are just making things entirely too “hard” for yourself and others? Have mercy on your own soul.

  53. Very interesting. It seems we are all about on the same page. Practical sedevacantism…or somewhere near there – things are at a point of hellish crazy.

    No one, not even the Sedevacantists are happy declaring their view of the current state of the Papacy – but we all see it. Things are bad…real bad…and that is an understatement. I agree that it is unfixable by man…even if a new Pope comes along, who is Catholic, even he will not be able to right this Ship without divine assistance of a tall order.

  54. I cannot write as eloquently as you Steve, but you articulate my own darkness and my aloneness with absolute clarity. I suspect there are many who can relate totally.
    May God Bless you. You are doing precious and holy work. Thank you.

  55. (Wednesday April 5 2017)FIRST READING 2 Timothy 4:1-5


    I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,

    who will judge the living and the dead,

    and by his appearing and his kingly power:

    proclaim the word;

    be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient;

    convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.

    For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine

    but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity,

    will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth

    and will be diverted to myths.

    But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances;

    put up with hardship;

    perform the work of an evangelist;

    fulfill your ministry.

  56. Deep thoughts, and powerful, Steve Skojec. The past weeks, praying the rosary, these thoughts kept occurring to me. In the first three Sorrowful mysteries, we see actions that horrify: Judas betrays and disciples flee, Peter denies, and the crowd chooses Barabbas. But in the last two mysteries, when judgement on Our Lord has been passed and all seems lost, then we see the actions that make saints: Veronica wipes the face of Christ, Simon the Cyrene carries His Cross, and Dismas confesses Him. I think we are in that saint-making time now.

  57. I believe it will get much, much worse before we see any real restoration of true Catholicism. It’s possible that Bishop Ratzinger was correct when he predicted a future for the Church as small and poor.

  58. The real hope is only the promise of Jesus to Peter, ‘You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail over her.’ Whatever happens, this promise is from God the Son himself and he does not lie. So things may indeed get worse but the time will come when the triumph of the Immaculate heart of Mary will occur and the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will come. All that we should do is pray for that to happen, so that the fervent prayers of the one true apostolic Catholic Church will once again change the course of history for God will act when more and more Catholics pray fervently for this. Our persistence in prayer will do more good than what we write or read. For such prayer faith is required and faith does not go ahead by sight but by firm hope in the fulfillment of things not seen yet. When this happens a Pope will come on the See of Peter who will bring the glory of the past back to the Church and will also come the true Monarch who will cooperate fully with the Pope to bring about the reign of Christ on this earth.

  59. LOL, “Like trying to fight a dragon with a toothpick”. That’s a good one Steve! I’ve always said: “Like trying to apply a bandaid to a severed artery.” We are all very weary from this atrocity that we have to watch and experience in the Church of Christ, day after day after day. I think we have all gotten to that point where it’s hard at times even to pray ‘like you mean it’. Just sort of going thru the motions. When I find myself in this discouraged state I just say to the Lord: ” My sweet Jesus, I can’t pray the way I should right now, I’d like to, but just can’t do it, maybe you could just honor the intention.” I believe with all my heart that He does. I think at that point my guardian angel takes over for a while. Then I am reminded that we were BORN for this! God Almighty, in His infinite wisdom placed us all here at this particular time, and He knows better than we the discouragement that comes with this epic battle. He WILL bolster us up and refresh our extremely parched souls in due time. Meanwhile Steve, there is no way on God’s green earth that we would be able to weather a storm like the one we are now in without you and without bloggers like you…….NO WAY. You are a like a beacon of light in the darkness. God has blessed you (which I’m sure sometimes feels like cursed you) with the awesome job of helping to steer His children in the direction that they should go. You were born for this and be assured that He will help you (and all of us) through this. He makes no mistakes. We need to pray for each other DAILY. We are in the ‘WAR OF ALL WARS’, we just need to keep looking to the final outcome. All will end victoriously!! Yes, indeed, it’s hideous (to say the least) to look at day in and day out, but if we could just once in a while focus on the outcome, it may help. The outcome will be GLORIOUS!!! May the good Lord thru His Blessed Mother give you the strength and the courage to not only look at the black of night, but to see the GLORY of the light that is to come!!

  60. I feel the same as “the commenter who recently put the sum total of these things quite poignantly”. And I arrived to the same state of mind at the same time. The papal apartment at the Vatican is empty. The Bishop who has once and again attacked my family and my principles lives in a Hotel. He wants his own Chaotic church. He doesn’t count for me any more.

    No disloyal man, not even a political pope, deserves that you or anyone lose their health trying to make some sense from what there is no more than concealed ambition and trickery.

    Of course the solution is in the mighty hand of God. Months ago I told my parish Priest that the behavior of this man was affecting me badly. He told me, “don’t worry“, that he himself likes gardening, and that after the rosebushes are pruned they flourish with much more strength and beauty.

  61. for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” When I read the end of this article which includes this quote. I thought immediately of the organization, Opus Dei. I don’t recall any mention of this group on this site and I’m not sure why, but I hope it is only because most of the readers have no in depth knowledge of their work.

    In his book, Their Kingdom Come, published in 1997, author Robert Hutchison writes the following in the epilogue of his text:
    “Opus Dei’s drive to dominate the Roman Catholic Church is of a determination not seen since the Counter-Reformation. Because it is so determined, in whatever form the Prelature develops during the years ahead it will not be without friction, both inside and outside the Vatican. This makes its existence a matter of concern to everyone, whether the holder of a Catholic baptismal certificate or a simple pedestrian in the secular city.
    “Opus Dei is no doubt sincere in its desire to protect the Church. Its members include many dedicated and outstanding people. Its founding principles centered upon a Christian work ethic are laudable. But Opus Dei has been in constant evolution since 1928. Because of the tactics it employs to achieve its goals, including the use of pilleria, and the fact that it is subject to no disclosure and very little oversight, some observers have compared it to ‘a Mafia shrouded in white.’

    ” ‘Deus le volt! We are God’s chosen. These are not the words of the Founder. They are the words of the current opus Dei leaders in Rome. I lived with them for four years. They told me with utter conviction, ‘We have been chosen by God to save the Church.’ Some of them openly state that in twenty or thirty years Opus Dei will be all that remains of the Church. The whole Church will become Opus Dei because ‘We have an orthodox vision that is pure, certain, solid, assured of everything. The founder was chosen by God to save the Church. Therefore God is with us.’ ‘Gott mit uns! Think about it. That was the cry of the German Crusaders.’ The Lord is with us, and the Lord’s counsel to kings is repeated weekly, after kissing the floor, by every Opus Dei numerary:

    ‘Now therefore, O king, be wise;
    be warned, O rulers of the earth.
    Serve the Lord with fear,
    with trembling kiss his feet,
    lest he be angry, and you perish in the way;
    for his wrath is quickly kindled.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.’
    (Psalms 2:10-11)

    One must wonder if they are not appointing themselves as the personal saviors of the Church. Where exactly is the humility in that? And one might also wonder if this is not a mission that fails to grasp the meaning of taking the Lord’s name in vain, when it holds up the banner of Christ as their raison d etre and spiritual justification for transforming the world according to their man made constitution.

    Another curious thing to me is the fact (pointed out by Hutchinson) the Jesuits and Opus Dei are “enemies.” Having been lauded by Pope John Paul II and given his blessing to move forward, is it any wonder at all then that Francis, a Jesuit chooses to NOT LIVE in the apartment previously occupied by popes who supported and condoned the actions throughout the world of Opus Dei? Could Francis perhaps suspect the place is bugged, or haunted, or somehow tainted with the odor of the previous occupants that in every way oppose his own agenda to modernize the Church? I feel there is more to his choice of residence than meets the eye. In many ways, it is the enemy camp.

    As others on this string and Steve have said, it will be Christ and Mary alone who save the Church and it is proud and haughty to believe any of us has that power or that we should desire it. It is our duty only to be faithful servants and let the Lord God Almighty take care of the rest. Elitist pride, no matter how sincere is not God’s way.

    • Be sure to read Randy Engel’s recent article on Opus Dei. Very informative. Hutchinson’s book is a very good resource, as well.

  62. For a man who’s having trouble writing, you sure know how to write. And I don’t mean type. I mean having something vital to say and saying eloquently.

    “O Lord arise and let thine enemies be scattered! Let all who hate thee flee before thy
    Holy Face.”

    The demons hate that psalm. It’s my most effective weapon against them. It never fails me.

    You’re so far ahead of me, Steve, I would never presume to give you advice. I think you have all figured out and know everything you need to know. For myself, I am determined to persevere to the end, amen.

  63. I think it’s important to keep in mind that this battle has been going on a lot longer than the current pontificate – read Iota Unum by Romano Amerio published back in 1985. He provides a devastating critique of all the post conciliar oddity. Ditto with the 11 (!) volume collection on Vatican II
    Eli, Eli, Lamma Sabacthani by Atila S. Guimarães. Another example of this can be found in After the Boston Heresy Case by Gary Potter that chronicles the 70 year struggle of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to persevere in the face of the complete denial of the three times declared dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. These people are real soldiers of Jesus Christ and true children of the Catholic Church and provide all Catholics with a good example of how to maintain the true faith – we continue by holding fast to what was handed down and resisting the novelty. This is what it’s like to be a “remnant”. This happened in the Old Testament and it’s happening in our own lifetimes. Both Romano Amerio and Fr. Feeney (who were better men than me) did not live to see the restoration so why should I? This is why your work is so important Steve because just like the above names writters you are providing a beacon of truth in a very dark stormy sea for all the remnant children scattered abroad. O Blessed Virgin Mary – Star of the stormy sea of my mortal life – let your light shine upon me so I do not stray from the path that leads me to Heaven. Amen

  64. I think both Cardinal George and Pope Benedict XVI have said that the Church is headed for a major contraction. This is hard after it has been expanding since its beginning. We are not used to that and the ones responsible for it stab us in the heart of our faith. The faithful ones must tuck in their chins and resolve to persevere in orthodoxy no matter what. For a while, maybe a long while, the faithful will be a tiny light in a darker and darker world but we know that the darkness cannot overcome the light.
    Thank you dear warrior for fighting the good fight even when it seems impossible. Please remember that with God nothing shall be impossible but it will be in His time. Keep on keeping on. You are saying what we are thinking. Our prayers are with you.

  65. I read the following, and wept. (From William Cobbett, Anglican, historian and polemicist, defender of the English Catholics, 1824):

    “42. Of later date, the Chief Bishop has been called, in our
    language, the POPE, and, in the French., PAPE. In the Latin he is
    called PAPA, which is an union and abbreviation of the two Latin
    words Pater Patrum which means Father of Fathers. Hence comes the
    appellation of papa, which children of all Christian nations give to
    their fathers; an appellation of the highest respect and most ardent
    and sincere affection.”

  66. Posting this again here, because it may be helpful, and a good reminder.

    When things are darkest, when hope seems to fade, and all seems lost, we will need to cling to our principles. Holding to these principles will give us the strength, courage, and determination to keep going, to hold the line, and to never surrender.

    We fight for something greater than ourselves. Should we as individuals break down, drop the ball, fail, or even fall to despair, then still we will not have lost, because we do not fight only for ourselves. The fight will go on, and we will each be held to account only that we gave our last measure in pursuit of these principles.

    What are these principles? Faith, Hope, and Love. Practice love, practice charity. Spread Joy and Truth and Love to everyone you encounter in your daily life. Smile, wish others a good day, or a happy afternoon, and rejoice in the day that God has given you. Do what you can to make the day of everyone you encounter just a little bit better.

    “It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

    “There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

    Always remember, evil is not the opposite of good. Evil is the absence of God, much as darkness is the absence of light. There is no force of darkness, no power of darkness, no speed of darkness. Merely the absence of light.

    To that end, darkness wins not by overcoming or overpowering the light, but merely having the light withdraw. Once the light is gone, the darkness is there, unsummoned, unbidden. No further acts need to occur for the darkness to be absolute. All that is required is the light to be gone. Hence, why all that is required for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.

    All this does not mean that there are not dark forces out there, or forces aligned with the darkness. We must fight them constantly.

    Always remember, too, that light is invisible unless it shines upon something, or you view the source directly (in which case, the light is shining directly on your retinas). The brightest flashlights when viewed from the side appear to not be on at all. It is only when the light strikes an object that the brilliance is unveiled, and the luminescence is apparent. We are each charged, therefore, to show up. The light cannot be denied as long as we stand. We reflect the Light, and the Light is the Truth, and the Way, and the Son.

    Do not be afraid to walk in the Valley of Darkness, for the light is there, though you do not see it, and in you being there, you become a beacon of Light not of yourself, but because of the Light shining on you.

    Go forth and represent the Light. Go forth and fear no darkness. Go forth and bear witness by your mere presence, and fight for Him and His Truth always, even if you can do nothing more than stand silently by and let the Light shine upon you to be reflected where it is impossible to ignore. Look to Love, and be a beacon of Light and Love in this world.

    May the Peace and Love of our Lord Jesus, the Christ, be with each of you!

  67. Your words resonate with me. I get it and I am living it too. I think many are suffering along with you, but most do not articulate their angst as you have done in this post. I truly believe we are living in historic and unprecedented times. Why I was born into this time and place, I do not know. I pray that I will be faithful no matter what.

  68. How beautifully put Steve and I believe you speak for most of us here. I for one, was in deep thought as I was driving all day today in the rain running errands. Upon hearing more bad news from the radio I began crying and asking Our Lord to please, please come soon! Later I composed myself and began thinking in a bittersweet frame of mind that we are in exciting times despite the horror all around us, that many of us in the near future might become martyrs for our faith, and knowing that Our Lord is nearer then we think! I read in a few Catholic end times that we will be temporarily without a Pope in the near future but Christ Himself will place a very holy Cardinal on the Chair of Peter. I’m aware that we are going to go through some very turbulent times before we see the light of day in our Church for as the saying goes, ‘when the Church goes, so goes the world.’ I feel a great sense of peace when I spend an hour, sometimes two per week in our Eucharist Adoration chapel, that’s when I feel God says to me, ‘persevere, keep going and don’t give up.’

  69. “Does it even matter anymore? What more could we say that hasn’t already been said?”

    I know exactly what you mean, Steve. But you have carried on when others (like myself) have fallen silent, dumbfounded. What you have done is worthy of all praise.

  70. We share your anguish and pain at seeing our Lord and Savior treated in this manner, by his own shepherds, particularly as we approach Holy Week. But all this is a fulfilment of Scripture and Our Lady’s prophecies at Fatima and Akita. We must be consoled that no matter what happens, God is in control of this spiritual battle – he only asks that we be faithful;
    for out of evil God can make good to come.
    Let us pray for all the faithful priests and Catholic media who are exposing the evil that we are facing. Be encouraged and blessed good and faithful servant.

  71. Steve,
    You articulately described how I was feeling recently and I got great advice from an FSSP priest that has changed a lot for me.He said when I find myself getting angry or depressed over the situation in the church to fast from PF news and just focus on holiness.Its made a huge difference in my level of peace I have to say but I know in your business that’s pretty much impossible.Im not sure if you ever read Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich’s prophesies but she saw all this and she was distraught at what would happen to the church.She felt how you,I and so many others feel because we love the church.You feel the way you do because of your love for the church.Thats evident in how passionately you cover the crisis of the church despite the ridicule and persecution you suffer at the hands of those who would watch the church suffer through her passion while putting their feet up and turning a blind eye to her persecutors.But this isn’t going away,this crisis is going to get a lot worse.We are in a battle and we either fight or we die.This is the greatest battle the church will have fought and st.Louis de Montfort predicted that the greatest saints will come out of this period.Things are supposed to accelerate and we see that they are.The enemies of the church are not going to let up until they have accomplished satans plan to destroy the church so we have to fight with everything we have.Here is a great quote from Fr Phillip Wolfe FSSP:”We are the church militant not the church crybaby.The infinitely wise God knew from all eternity exactly when he wanted you to live and he has provided all the graces we need to become the saints he created us to be.Dont get panicked.Dont get depressed.We are soldiers of Christ,we are in a battle whether you like it or not.So what are we to do?We live a good catholic life.Get serious about the sacraments.Get serious about holiness.Make good confessions.Stop sinning.Make fervent and frequent communions.Spend time before the blessed sacrament or in Eucharistic adorations.Make Daily Mass as often as possible.Say your daily rosary meditating on the mysteries.St.Alphonsus Liguori says the man who prays will be saved,the man who does not pray will not be saved.Its a pretty simple equation.We just do what we are supposed to do,when we are supposed to do it in the best possible way and leave the rest to God.”Keep up the good work.Your not alone and have courage because we are on the side that wins!Think of the joy we’ll have on that day when Mary is victorious and she crushes the head of the devil!What we see right now is his furious desperation and that’s because his time is almost up!Thats the good news!

  72. You have friends hidden in places you may not realize. There are yet many who have not bowed the knee to Baal. And besides – God is not dead.

    Take courage! Dawn comes.

  73. This week has been…consistently difficult. Yesterday was a total loss for reasons I won’t go into here. But I wanted to pop back in here and thank you all for your comments, encouragement, and support. Even though I can’t respond to you all individually, every one of your comments means a great deal to me. You have my sincere gratitude.

  74. Just last night I was kissing my scapular and begging Our Lady to keep me from losing the faith. Many of us are suffering with you, too, Steve. We may have different circumstances, but suffer from the same great loss, and all the smaller yet painful losses that have come with the apostasy in the Church and with our PINO (Pope in Name Only) Bergoglio.

    We love Holy Mother Church, we love the papacy, but it all becomes very difficult and disturbing when faced with the daily barrage of apostasy and homo-heresy. PINO Bergoglio’s latest video encouraging youth to mindlessly hand over western civilization to the Muslim invaders is truly stomach churning.

    And locally we face the daily barrage of modernism in our parishes and dioceses. It’s often slick, and it’s always manipulative, and it’s seemingly endless.

    But there is an end to it, and as you and others have noted, it is to be reached for and found in the Heart of Jesus and His One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    “Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.”

    I’ve had several years of this fighting to stay alive, to keep the faith, and this year marks my 20th Easter within the Catholic Church, after having entered in 1997 as a repentant sinner lost in the world of darkness. “And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

    I look each day to Our Lady and to her Divine Child Jesus to keep that light shining in darkness. In whatever way He wishes. There is little of it to be found among the rubble of the New Order Church. But still Holy Mother Church is there. The light is there. And the darkness will not comprehend it — not our PINO, not all the modernism, not all the homo-heresy.

    But we must keep it burning, shining, in whatever way He wishes for us. “Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.”

    I see Cardinal Burke’s group of Rosary warriors has reached over 81,000. That’s a lot of light. And no doubt there is plenty more of it out there. Most certainly we are not alone.

  75. The very best reason to walk towards the fire is to show others that they, too, can walk towards the fire. If you show that it is possible, others will be encouraged, and also take their own steps.

  76. When the darkness grows thick around me, Lord Jesus, let Your light shine ever more powerfully.
    When my hands and feet grow weary in the journey, let me remember Yours were nailed to a Cross.
    When my strength fails me and I’m tempted to give up, feed me, Lord, on Your Blessed Eucharist.
    When my brethren grow weak or despondent , let me wash their feet as You did at the Last Supper.
    When Your Church seems defeated, Lord, please hasten the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

  77. Answers to all your fears are available in the Book of Truth. Also known as the messages received by GOD’s Prophet known as Maria Divine Mercy.

  78. I have been looking forward to your posts for over a year now. Your analysis of what is really going on is how I stay up with our church and many important topics today. This article explains just how I’ve been feeling lately, and also for a lot of my religious friends. It seems like we can never get anything done and are just spinning our wheels. Not productive with anything, not enough time for work, family, responsibilities. I know it is very daunting, and the devil is trying to get us all, but please do not despair. You are on the front line. The work you are doing is much needed and very appreciated by all. And I will pray for you and your family. Not sure what i could do to help, but please let me know if there is.

    • That feeling of endlessly spinning wheels and being totally unmotivated and unproductive is possibly the hardest part. I’m fighting it again this morning. It’s the banality of evil writ large. We almost can’t even be shocked anymore, so one wonders what good it does to keep reporting the latest outrages. On the other hand, there’s no real feeling of hope for restoration, so talking only about the beautiful things in the Church feels like some sort of Ostritch-Pollyannaism.

      Something has to give. I hope it will.

      Also, I am very grateful for your prayers.

  79. Thank you Steve. You have described in excruciatingly accurate detail what so many of us are going through. Thank God we are not alone. Thank you for sharing.

  80. I too had reached the edge of darkness, not seeing a savior to save us from this man, but it was not an accident that God allowed him to be Pope. With or without Francis, the novis order Church was collapsing as the traditional Church was growing. Now that growth is speeding up as the modernist Church collapses. Francis has done more for traditionalism than any of us could ever do.

    He has revealed its true colors for all to see. No more can we be lazy about our faith, allowing the clergy and religious to carry the load. We must step forward and serve God with ALL our heart, mind, and strength. Those of us who are blessed with being a part of a traditional community, be possitive, encourage each other to fight the good fight, as St Paul says. Put yourself forward to help wherever possible.

    The first century Christians had it even worse, their religious leaders killed their savior, they chased and killed them, persecuting them for not decades but for hundreds of years. But they had faith, not in men, but in Jesus Christ.

    I too have found it easier to ignore Pope Francis, but every week or so I read a bit about his heresy to encourage me to stay ever closer to our real leader, Jesus Christ.

  81. Dear Steve,
    1Peter5 has been a beacon to me. Your insights and well crafted apologia for the true Faith have strengthened me. Before I discovered your site, I was near despair, thinking I was the only one alarmed by Francis. The blogposts are my antidote to feeling solitary and give me courage to fight the good fight. Never give up on wayward children. I was once one myself and once the B.V.M. obtained my reversion (undoubtedly due to my grandmother’s rosaries), I was solidly, forever in the lap of Holy Mother Church. I’m praying for you and all 1P5ers! May Jesus and His Holy Mother bless you and us all.

  82. Look, it’s really very simple: you are under spiritual attack. Readers, please join with me in praying for Steve. Drop whatever you’re doing, even for just a few minutes, and pray right now for this godly man to remain strong in the battle.

    This is also a test of whether you will look to God… or rely on “your own understanding”. (Prov 3:5-6) And remember the lesson of Job: when things get unbearably bad, see it as an INVITATION to declare: “Jesus is Lord!” Reach for His hand and “ask for directions”.

    And don’t forget Our Lady, her Rosary, and the writings of Sister Lucy. Father Donald Calloway’s book, Champions of the Rosary, is inspiring to read and full of spiritual ammunition. It reminds us that we have been here before.

  83. I really relate to this article. Thanks to social media, at least we know we are not alone. And is it true Pope Francis will not genuflect before the Holy Eucharist?

  84. Take care Steve, you’re doing so much for Christ, and the hoards of demons hate that so they’ll be gunning for you. I feel it myself, and I’m doing nothing like you, but I seem to hit obstacles e.g. when trying to start praying the Rosary. Must be doing something right! Viva Cristo Rey!

  85. What are you afaid of, Steve? You quite clearly have all the facts in front of you: Jorge Bergoglio is not a Catholic. Ipso facto, he cannot be the head of the Catholic Church, one has to be a Catholic to be Pope. It seems that you don’t like that conclusion. But the point is not what you like or don’t like, what is easy or difficult, but what is the truth. Sedevacantism (actual, as opposed to “practical”) is the only situation that fits the facts. And it is the only “answer” that allows you to legitimately ignore “Francis”: on the other hand, if you insist that he IS the Pope, then you owe him complete obedience, or else you draw down anathema upon yourself.

  86. Pingback: 1thoroughness

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