And when there also they began to be famished, the people cried to Pharao, for food. And he said to them: Go to Joseph: and do all that he shall say to you. (Gn:41:55)
Joseph, the son of the Patriarch Jacob, was the figure of St. Joseph, the son of another Jacob: “Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ. (Mt:1:16)
What was truly said of the first Joseph, as to his future, and as to his goodness, his chastity, his patience, his wisdom, his influence with the king, his power over the people, and his love for his brethren, is verified much more perfectly, even to this day, in the second Joseph.
Of old it was said to the needy and suffering people in the kingdom of Egypt: “Go to Joseph, and do all that he shall say to you.”
The same is now said by the Sovereign Pontiff to all needy and suffering people in the kingdom of the Church—” Go To Joseph.”
If you labor for your bread ; if you have a family to support; if you endure privation and suffering; if your heart is searched by trials at home; if you are assailed by some importunate temptation; if your faith is sorely tested, and your hope seems lost in darkness and disappointment; if you have yet to learn to love and serve Jesus and Mary as you ought, Joseph—the Head of the House, the Husband of Mary, the nursing Father of Jesus—Joseph is your model, your teacher, and your father. Truly, in all things, St. Joseph is the people’s friend.
But who is St. Joseph?
He is the adopted father of the God-man: St. Luke
He is the most faithful coadjutor of the incarnation: St. Bernard
He is one whose office belongs to the order of the hypostatic Union: Suarez
He is the Lord and Master of the Holy Family: St. Bernardine
He is the only one found worthy among men to be the spouse of Mary: St. Gregory
He is the consoler of Mary in her sorrows and trials: St. Bernard
He is the Saviour of the life of the Infant Jesus: .St. Matthew
He is the Saviour of the honor of His Mother: St. Jerome.
He is the man who lived 30 years with Jesus and Mary;
He is the man more beloved by Jesus and Mary than all other creatures: St. Isidore
He is third person of the earthly Trinity: Gerson
He is the model and image of apostolic men: St. Hilary
He is more an angel than a man in conduct: Cornelius Cornelii a Lapide
He is the model of priests and superiors: Albertus Magnus
He is the master of prayer and of the interior life: St. Teresa Lallemant
He is the guardian of chastity, and honor of virginity: St. Augustine
He is the leader in the great procession of the afflicted: Avila
He is the patron of the married state: Paul de Pal
He is the procurator of the Church of God: In parv. off. St. Joseph
He is the patron of a happy death: St. Alphonsus
He is the patron of the Catholic Church: Decree S.C.R
“I took for my Patron and Lord the glorious S. Joseph, and recommended myself earnestly to him. I saw clearly that my Father and Lord delivered me out of this, and other troubles of greater importance, touching my honor and my soul. He rendered me greater services than I knew how to ask for. I cannot call to mind that I have at any time asked him for anything which he has not granted; and I am filled with amazement when I consider the great favors God has granted me through this blessed Saint, and the dangers from which he has delivered me, both of body and soul.
“To other Saints Our Lord seems to have given grace to succor men in some special necessity; but to this glorious Saint, I know it by experience, He has given the grace to help us in all things. Our Lord would have us to understand that as He was subject to Joseph on earth (St. Joseph bearing the title of His father, and being His guardian, could command Him), so now Our Lord in heaven grants all his petitions.
“I have asked others to recommend themselves to S. Joseph* and they too know the same thing by experience.
“I used to keep his feast with all the solemnity I could.
“Would that I could persuade all men to be devout to this glorious Saint; for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was really devout to him, and who honored him by particular services who did not visibly grow more and more in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now some years since I have always on his feast asked him for something, and I always have it. If the petition be in any way amiss, he directs it aright for my greater good.
“If I were a person who had authority to write, it would be a pleasure to me to be diffusive in speaking most minutely of the graces which this glorious Saint has obtained for me and for others. But I ask for the love of God that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself—when he will find out by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious Patriarch and in being devout to him.
“Those who give themselves to prayer should in a special manner always have great devotion to St. Joseph; for I know not how any man can think of the Queen of Angels, during the time that she suffered so much with the Infant Jesus, without giving thanks to Joseph for the services he rendered them then. He who cannot find anyone to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious Saint for his master, and he will not wander out of the way.”— St. Teresa’s Life, by herself, c. VI.
“Go, then to Joseph, and do all that he shall say to you:”
Go to Joseph, and obey him as Jesus and Mary obeyed him;
Go to Joseph, and speak to him as They spoke to him;
Go to Joseph, and consult him as They consulted him;
Go to Joseph, and honor him as They honored him;
Go to Joseph, and be grateful to him as They were grateful to him;
Go to Joseph, and love him as They loved him, and as They love him still.
However much you love Joseph, your love will always fall short of the extraordinary love which Jesus and Mary bore to him. On the other hand, the love of Joseph necessarily leads us to Jesus and Mary. He was the first Christian to whom it was said, “Take the Child and His Mother.” This led a Father of the Church to say, “You will always find Jesus with Mary and Joseph.”
THE FRANCISCAN ANNALS,
Bishop of Salford.
“Is not ours an age of mislived lives, of unmanned men? Why?… Because Jesus Christ has disappeared. Wherever the people are true Christians, there are men to be found in large numbers, but everywhere and always, if Christianity wilts, the men wilt. Look closely, they are no longer men but shadows of men. Thus, what do you hear on all sides today? The world is dwindling away, for lack of men; the nations are perishing for scarcity of men, for the rareness of men…
“I believe: there are no men where there is no character; there is no character where there are no principles, doctrines, stands taken; there are no stands taken, no doctrines, no principles, where there is no religious faith and, consequently, no religion of society. Do what you will: only from God you will get men.” (Cardinal Louis-Edouard Pie, Bishop of Poitiers, Homily for Christmas 1871)
We are living in the age of wilted men. Men today are bereft of faith and reason, virtue and character, honor and dignity. Men are empty vessels because the enemy has emptied them of the Catholic Faith. Progressivism has cultivated limp daffodils where once were virile men. It has replaced man with a curious species whose voice has been reduced to whimpers and sobs, a character more fitted to caricature than living and fighting against a world surrendering to Satan.
The heroic Bishop of Poitiers, Card. Pie, said that we have “unmanned men” because Jesus Christ has disappeared. Christ has disappeared because He has been shown the door in our society and the Conciliar Church, the wicked institution that claims Catholicity but is instead the diabolical deception resulting from the evils of Vatican II and the progressivist assault preceding it.
C.S. Lewis wrote The Abolition of Man in 1943 during the slaughter of the Second War against Western Civilization. In the chapter, ‘Men without Chests,’ he presciently wrote this, still pertinent today:
“And all the time – such is the tragi-comedy of our situation – we continue to clamor for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity, we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”
With this brilliant text, C.S. Lewis met his peer Card. Pie.
In his work Revolution and Counter-Revolution, Prof. Plinio de Correa Oliveira said, “In times of great crisis there are two types of men: those who are overwhelmed by the crisis and those who rise up to resist the trend of events and so change the course of History.”
Our times call for manned men, men with chests, and those who rise to resist events to change the course of History. The Church needs men, the revitalized Church Militant on the move to resist and fight the enemies in the world. Instead, that revolutionary Conciliar Church promotes the Church Groveling, men overwhelmed by crisis, men who promote the crisis. It is a “church” of darkness, a “church” of unmanned men. We need the army of Church Militant to rise against the enemy’s occupation of our Church and society.
But before we return to this matter, let’s look at how we have descended to such a state where men are no longer men.
Feminism vs. patriarchal society
In the 1962 pamphlet What’s Become of Father? Catholic scholar John O’Brien reports that the “problem” of the father and his role was troublesome even then. We mistakenly think of the ‘50s and ‘60s nostalgically as “good” times for the Church, the family and men. He is wrong. The assault against all three was already in full swing.
O’Brien wrote: “Time was when father was the revered head of the household, to whom the children turned for guidance in all important decisions; he was respected for his wisdom and experience, and loved for his devotion to his family. No event in the home was complete without his presence.” Such a vaunted position in the natural order of the family drove the fringe element of feminism into a ravening rage.
These harridans screamed in the streets, sharpening their tongues and knives, then went after men with a vengeance. They hated the “patriarchal” society. They vowed to destroy it. With millions of dollars pumped into academic programs called “Women’s Studies” in the nation’s colleges and universities, feminists rose to dominance. These “studies” were funded in great measure by the Rockefeller Foundation.
With the rise of feminism and women in the workplace, many women lost their natural loving instincts. Consequently, the family fell into disarray, morals declined and birth rates plummeted.” O’Brien suggests this is the case because, even in 1962, “the child’s chief, if not his only parent, is the mother, while the father is relegated to the position of a mere breadwinner.” Since then the father has ceased even to be the breadwinner and has become merely an inconsequential oaf, as countless advertising spots remind us.
Already in the early 1960s, commentators remarked on the father’s haplessness. Dr. O’Brien cites research affirming how modern culture set the woman up as a beautiful powerhouse of sex appeal and dynamic capability, relegating the male to a position of ridicule as an awkward and hapless galoot.
Reflecting the feminist vision of the male, the popular soap operas of that time pictured men as “simple-minded, easily-bamboozled and fairly expendable oafs.” In the halcyon days of television sit coms in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, the trend toward oafishness began with Dick van Dyke’s character of Rob Petrie in The Dick van Dyke Show.
As society continued its unabated descent into filth and despair, more “fathers” appeared on the television horizon. Some fathers were still portrayed as adequate, The Andy Griffith Show and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father being two examples of note. But families were changing significantly with wives as co-breadwinners, usually in high powered jobs, like Claire Huxtable in The Cosby Show, where she was an attorney and he, Cliff Huxtable, a pediatrician working from the basement in his home.
The descent of the father continued with Home Improvement, showcasing Tim Allen as a ridiculous handy man wannabee who ran an unsuccessful cable network show. Allen was saved continually by his wife. If it were not for her, the show implied, Taylor and his three sons would be living in filth, reeking of perpetual body odor, wearing cardboard boxes for shoes and garbage bags as clothes.
In Home Improvement the mother’s true role as her husband’s helpmate and “sun of the family” has become a caricature. Men are seen as pigs that need women to clean them up and boss them around. That reinforces the twisted feminized view.
Anyone who watches sit coms today can see that this early tendency to present men as big boys and fools has continued and exacerbated without restraints.
There is no doubt that the great majority of modern men have been hermetically sealed in the baggie of feminism. Nearly all are too timid and fretful to break free to demand their natural authority as men and as heads of households.
Abandoning comforts and entering the battle
For the Church, true men are vital for her restoration. Sadly, even traditional Catholic men have been too inculturated by the filth of Progressivism. Men have become weak and ineffectual.
We must remember the words of Job, (7.i), “the life of man upon earth is a warfare.” We are seduced by comfort and consumption, beset by economic woes and the vagaries of antichrists in politics.
This is not the hour to abandon the Mystical Body of Christ to its enemies and run off to some solitary forest to avoid personal inconveniences. This is the hour to enter the battle with increased vigor, to re-conquer every inch of soil the enemies took and rebuild in that place the same sacred institution more militant, pure and glorious than ever, so that the Church will be ready to face, under the protection of Our Lady, all other possible enemies until the end times.
St. Bernard roused the men of his time to enlist in the Second Crusade with stirring words: “All you who hear me, make haste to calm the wrath of Heaven! Leave off imploring His goodness with futile lamentations or mortifying yourself with disciplines, but rather take up your invincible shields. The clamor of arms, the dangers, difficulties and fatigues of war, these are the penances that God imposes on you.”
We should pay heed to them in our continuing crusade to storm the captured citadel and free the imprisoned Truth. We Catholics can still be the great men needed for our times. We must go into the world, in all domains, to battle for Holy Church and her dignity. We must recapture that which has been taken, defend those assaulted, and restore to God His rights.
What a horrible thing it would be if we, as Catholic men, dropped our arms and fled the battlefield. Then, to end with the words of the heroic Card. Pie, “What a disappointment for mothers to realize that the male they gave birth to is not a man, and will never deserve to be called a man!” We are Catholic men or we are nothing.
In all things we suffer tribulation: but are not distressed. We are straitened: but are not destitute.
We suffer persecution: but are not forsaken. We are cast down: but we perish not.
Always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies.
For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake: that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (2Cor:4:8-11)
Sixty-five years of Chinese communist rule should be mourned, not celebrated. Contrary to the media-fueled image of Mao as a gentle philosopher and great freedom fighter, he was actually a degenerate mass murderer who ruthlessly suppressed all human rights. In their remarkable biography, Mao: The Unknown Story, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday revealed that Mao grew up not as an oppressed hard working peasant dedicated to fighting injustice, but as a loafer who took a job as a Communist International Soviet agent to receive “a comfortable berth as a subsidized professional revolutionary.”
Mao enthusiastically adopted Lenin’s most violent terrorist techniques because he was a vile bloodthirsty thug. From 1920 to 1976 Mao murdered more people than Hitler and Stalin combined – 70-million Chinese. The “Great Famine” (1958-1961) in which 40-million perished was a direct result of Mao’s farm collectivization policies. To eliminate tens of millions of imagined enemies he ordered the “Great Leap Forward” (1958) and the “Cultural Revolution” (1966-1968) which he privately referred to as the “Great Purge.”
Mao attempted to control every form of social intercourse. Merely having a dinner party, use of humor or sarcasm could be – and were – deemed criminal activities that warranted the death penalty. And he was proud of these policies: Mao told his fellow gangsters at the 1958 party conference that they should welcome, not fear, party policies that cause people to die.
Mao ruthlessly suppressed centuries-old Catholic missions. His persecution of Catholics began long before he took over the government in 1949. In the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, Mao’s Red armies roamed through Chinese provinces torturing and murdering scores of priests and nuns. In 1947, for instance, eighteen Cistercian monks at Yang Kia Ping were jailed and their monastery was looted. All died from endless interrogations, beatings, and brainwashing.
The Red Chinese were not content with suppressing the Church. They dumped Catholics into re-education camps and used harsh psychological measures that included physical and mental torture to convert them to Marxism. If the education treatments failed, it was hoped that recalcitrant pupils would go mad or commit suicide.
In recent decades, the Communists continued to persecute China’s 5-million Catholics. After the 1989 anti-government demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, there were crackdowns on the underground Church. “House Churches” were destroyed and priests were arrested. Also, Catholic women were forced to have abortions or were sterilized to comply with China’s “one-child policy.”
In May 2007, Pope Benedict XVI released a letter to the Catholics of China which dealt with the relationship between Church and State. The pontiff reaffirmed there was only one Church which included both the unofficial underground one and the government-recognized Patriotic Catholic Church. He respectfully called for religious freedom and constructive dialogue to overcome disagreements.
The pope’s pleas appear to have fallen on deaf ears. Priests and bishops are still imprisoned and the faithful continue to be physically abused by government officials.
In May 2008, on the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, Pope Benedict held a worldwide day of prayer for the Church in China. However, Chinese Catholic pilgrims, who travelled to Mary Helper of Christians Shrine near Shanghai to participate in the day of prayer, were denied access to the consecrated grounds by the police.
America’s elitist intellectual and political classes have a distorted view of today’s China. Contrary to their revisionist claims, China’s people still lack basic freedoms and their state-run economic system is built on the graves of millions of victims of Mao’s depravity.
See More photos: On the road, the Catholic Church in China by Lu Nan
And he shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. (Ps:72:8)
Jesus Christ Our Lord should reign over individuals as well as over households. However, this is not all: He must reign also over society at large, for the Father has promised to give him “the nations for His inheritance.” (Ps: 2:8) These, in fact, are the words which the prophet David, when raised on the wings of contemplation even unto the counsels of the Holy Trinity, heard proffered by the eternal Father to the Divine Word made man.
Jesus Christ was therefore constituted and proclaimed King of the Universe by the Father. But if He is a King, regal honors are due to Him; and hence Holy Church desires all Christian nations to offer Him those signs of public honor and worship which befit the King of kings and Lord of lords.
In these last unfortunate years the devil, the sworn adversary of the reign of Jesus over souls, has sought more than ever to banish this Divine King from society. By means of his evil followers, he strives to bring back the world to paganism or at least to naturalism, inspiring men with the spirit of revolt: “We will not have this man to reign over us. (Lk: 19:14) But we Christians, who love the reign of this Divine Sovereign and desire to extend it still further, will answer His adversaries with one voice : “ We will have God for our Father, we will have God for our King.”
It may be asked what sort of honor should be given to Jesus Christ by society. We answer briefly: we should first honor Him in his holy cross; and secondly in public prayer and adoration.
The cross is the glorious banner of our King, Jesus Christ. (1) It should be raised everywhere, because everywhere there are souls subject to Him. As we desire that society should return under the scepter of Our Redeemer, so also do we wish to see this adorable sign everywhere surrounded by love, respect and veneration.
(1) It is called thus in the liturgy of the Church. Hymn at Vespers on Passion Sunday
We wish to see it on the crowns of Kings and Princes, because even royal heads must bow to Jesus; on the facades of Houses of Parliament and Town Halls, so that the most vital interests of the nation may be seen by all to be placed under the protection of that holy symbol under which alone flourish justice and peace. We wish, too, that the cross should be erected in cemeteries, so that it may stretch its loving arms over the bowers of our dear ones. We wish to see it tower on the glittering summits of mountains, as a sign that Jesus rules over the whole world.
This sacred emblem is a profession of our faith and a protest against that lack of supernatural belief which threatens to corrupt the whole of society. With the spread of Christianity, this symbol of peace, love and sacrifice was erected everywhere: our forefathers who grasped its marvelous power and sublime significance wished every public monument to be adorned with it. But now an infernal tempest has arisen which well nigh is driving it out of modern society. Oh, let this holy symbol be put up again, not only on the altars of our churches, as a pledge of the bloodless Sacrifice which is unceasingly offered, but also on the arches of palaces, to recall the great of this world to virtue, and on the humble cottages of the poor, to teach them patience and resignation.
Herein falls an opportunity of mentioning the Confraternity of the Most Holy Cross, founded in the Middle Ages under the influence of that apostle of Jesus crucified, St. Philip Benizi. This Confraternity has produced signal fruits of sanctification in the course of ages. It is desirable that it should spread throughout the world to hasten the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
To Jesus, King of society, the homage of public praise and worship should also be offered. For it is not enough that individual Christians should raise their minds to the adorable Sovereign of our hearts in their homes or in church only. It is needful more over that the whole of society, led by its representatives, should bow before Him, and recognize Him as supremely their King and Sovereign. A prayer should be raised to our divine Lord before every social act that He may deign to protect and bless the whole nation and whatsoever is done to promote its welfare. It is not enough that men should be Christians in their private life only. Members of Parliament, heads of Municipalities, the ruler of the nation, must be Christians too, and openly so. For cities, counties and nations are all subject to the jurisdiction of Jesus Christ who has received power to its fullest extent from His divine Father. This power He possesses in all its manifestations, the power to rule and govern; the power to legislate and the power to judge. (Mt: 28:18)
In the first place those appointed to rule over cities or nations should put themselves under the guidance of Jesus Christ in all that concerns their office of governing others. They should order their actions so as to fulfill their obligations according to the maxims of the Gospel. If this is done, Jesus will reign effectively in Christian society. The Gospel, with that light of heavenly wisdom which irradiates its every page, should guide the leaders of this world. From that inspired book they will learn that the end to which society is destined is none other than eternal happiness, in pursuance of that great maxim: “Seek ye there fore first the kingdom of God and His justice and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt: 6:33)
Accordingly, the heads of society will behave themselves in all that concerns their offices as good and convinced Christians, seeking not only natural happiness, but above all that which is supernatural. Thus shall they make their people happy even in this life, for it is a law of God that grace does not destroy, but perfects, nature. There are eloquent proofs of this in those countries which are informed by Christian faith and enjoy not only the life of the soul but that of material prosperity as well. And who would not call that people blessed whose ruler, brought up in the school of Jesus Christ, governs his subjects in the spirit of meekness, charity and justice?
Those in power not only must derive inspiration from the rules laid down by Jesus Christ, but they must also see that the laws enacted for the good of society are derived from the commandments of God and the Church; of which there should to-day be a more open and detailed expression.
Nothing should be more sacred and august in a society than the laws by which it is governed. These laws bringing into harmony the mutual rights and duties of all members of the state, help to maintain that balance and right order which guards the liberty and assures the well-being of individuals and the nation. Now legislators must establish justice through Jesus (Prv: 8:15) and so it is natural that the power of enacting laws should fall under the divine authority of this amiable King and be based on the maxims of the Gospel.
Human laws if based on this immovable foundation, will become a pledge of happiness, a shield against foes, a ladder which leads safely to Heaven. A proof of this are those nations which flourished and prospered in the Middle Ages, under the guidance of an entirely Christian legislation drawn up in accordance with the maxims of the Gospel. On the other hand, what is more fickle, what is more inadequate, than a legislation which has no other basis than the will or caprice of men?
For; just as man s will is undependable and his aspirations are changeable, so laws of such a nature are made and unmade with equal facility. While they pretend, though even here they cannot succeed, to provide everything for this life, they end by being execrated by men who see themselves bitterly deluded in their aspirations..
To Jesus also, as King of human society, belongs the power to judge; that power, namely, which He displays in rewarding the good and punishing the evil. This power, properly speaking, belongs to God as supreme Lord and first Principle of all beings: but this same power the Father has delegated to Jesus Christ making Him, according to His Humanity, Judge of the living and the dead. (Acts: 10:42)
Now for judging rightly, three things are required: first, wisdom, which is the soul and form of judgment, for the judge should be as it were a living justice; secondly, zeal for what is right, so that he judge not for hate or envy, but for very love of justice; thirdly, the power of rewarding the good and punishing the wicked. Now Jesus Christ, as Man, first, is full of grace and truth ; besides, in Him all is holiness and righteousness and justice; finally, to Him was given all power in heaven and on earth.(Mt:28:18)
Nor of the judicial power of Jesus Christ can it be said (what is sometimes said of human justice) that it is terrifying to the poor and scorned by the rich. For the power of our divine Judge and Sovereign stretches equally over the whole universe, over men of every age and nation, and even over the angels. Over all men Jesus is appointed Judge because all are directed to eternal bliss and it is in His power to admit or reject them: over the angels, because they also receive through Him either an increase of glory or an accidental penalty.
From this we realize how misguided are they who fear more the false and vain criticism of this perverse world than the terrible judgments of our supreme Judge. At the lightning of His angry countenance, when the fatal sentence will be passed, they will realize, but too late, how baneful was their cowardice in refusing to follow the wise maxims of the Gospel, in not fearing and loving this just Judge, in not having recourse to Him to obtain mercy and pardon before the terrible day of the great account came to pass.
“Juste Judex ultionis, “Who just Judge of vengeance art,
Donum fac remissionis Thy forgiveness now impart,
Ante diem rationis.” Ere the accepted day depart.” (1)
Jesus Christ is therefore the Supreme King, Sovereign Lord of all societies; and as those who stand at the helm of nations have received power from Him to govern the people, to issue laws and to render justice; so there is no true authority or ruling power, legislative or judicial, which is not upheld and inspired by that of Jesus Christ.
It is useful to recall this truth in these our times when modern free-thought has made every effort to blot out this teaching, divesting princes of that halo which is a reflection of divine majesty; (2) and seeing in the origin, transmission and exercise of civil authority nothing but a simple expression of the will of the people. But not for all this has the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Jesus Christ, laid down the power which He received from the Father over the nations of the earth: and the words of St. Paul remain forever: f In the name of Jesus every knee should bow of those that are in heaven, on earth and under the earth. (Phil: 2:10)
(1) Sequence in the Mass of the Dead.
2 In view of the grave errors which have arisen on the origin, nature and exercise of civil authority, it is well to be reminded of the celebrated Encyclical of Leo XIII: Diuturnum illud of June 29, 1881, in which this illustrious Pontiff establishes, against what some modern authors hold, the great principle that the right of governing, even in rulers popularly elected, is bestowed directly by God to whom belongs supreme and universal dominion: “Quo sane delectu (candidate rum) designantur principes, non conferuntur iura principatua.”
A striking instance of how the saints conceived the right of Jesus Christ to reign over society and over all nations is had in the beautiful episode that took place at the court of the king of France in the year 1429 shortly before the Maid of Orleans, Joan of Arc, saved that country from alien dominion and led Charles to Rheims, there to be solemnly crowned.
“Gentle Dauphin,” she asked him one day, in presence of the lords of the realm and of the nations, “will you promise to grant me what I shall ask you?” The king at first hesitated, but at last answered: “Certainly, Joan, ask me what you will.” “Gentle Dauphin,” she then said, “I ask you to give me your kingdom.” The king, stupefied at such a request, for a time remained silent. At last, however, bound by his promise and conquered by the super natural charm of Joan, he took his resolve: “Joan,” he said, “I give you my kingdom.”
But the Maid was not satisfied with these words, though uttered in the presence of many witnesses. She requested that a solemn act should be drawn up and signed by four royal notaries. This done, she looked at the king with a pitiful smile, saying: “There is the poorest of all the knights of France. I pity him.”
Being now herself sovereign and mistress of France, she did not stop here. Turning to the secretaries, “Write,” she said, “Joan gives the kingdom to Jesus Christ. And soon after: “Write again: Jesus gives the kingdom back to Charles.” (1)
Herein surely lies a great lesson. It implies that the kings of this world are but tributaries of Christ and it is their duty to give over to Him the scepter which they received either from their ancestors or by the election of the people. They should consider themselves as but the lieutenants of the King of kings, Jesus Christ. “They have called the people happy, that hath (the goods of this world): but happy is (only) that people whose God is the Lord.” (Ps:144:15)
(1) This particular detail of the life of Joan of Arc is historically founded on the deposition of the Duke of Alencon in the “Proces” III, 19. See L. Delisle. Nouveau temoignage relatif d la Mission de Jeanne d Arc.
JESUS CHRIST THE KING OF OUR HEARTS
ELEVATIONS ON THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Very Rev. Alexis M. Lepicier,O.S.M
… But he answered and said to them: When it is evening, you say, It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.
And in the morning: Today there will be a storm, for the sky is red and lowering. You know then how to discern the face of the sky: and can you not know the signs of the times? (Mt:16:2-3)
Originally broadcast in 1954
Environmentalists have galvanized behind a movement to resurrect wolf populations in rural America. Public support, particularly from urban regions, appears to favor the idea of returning this iconic symbol of the wilderness to America’s rural landscapes. Unfortunately there is a lack of public awareness to the real life consequences for those living with wolves. The result is a misguided Federal wolf introduction program that disregards protests from states where wolves are forced on communities that don’t want them.
In Catron County, New Mexico, aggressive Mexican gray wolves are terrorizing residents. Here wolves are killing pets in front yards in broad daylight, and forcing parents to stand guard when children play outside. The threat has become so ominous the local school district has decided to place wolf shelters (kid cages) at school bus stops to protect school children from wolves while they wait for the bus or parents. These wolf proof cages, constructed from plywood and wire, are designed to prevent wolves from taking a child. The absurdity of this scenario is mind-numbing. What kind of society accepts the idea of children in cages while wolves are free to roam where they choose?
This situation exemplifies the problem with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It has drifted far from its original intent and become a useful tool for extreme environmentalists to push their agendas, often placing the interests of wild animals above the interests of real people.
The ESA allowed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to release captive Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico and Arizona in 1998 as a “nonessential experimental population.” The experiment isn’t going so well. 15 years after its inception the wolf population in these states is growing and so are conflicts between wolves, livestock, local residents, and federal government agencies in charge of the program. Now, despite growing resistance from local communities, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed an expansion of the Mexican gray wolf program.
Those forced to live with wolves on a daily basis have found there is little they can do about the harmful consequences imposed on them by their government. They find themselves having to deal with two predators—one from the wild and the other from Washington, D.C.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, willfully harassing, harming, or killing a species listed on the ESA can lead to fines up to $100,000 and one year in jail.
“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on.”
― Benjamin Franklin
According to a recent survey, the average college student’s idea of Tyrannosaurus rex is modeled on Barney the purple dinosaur. Accurate portrayals in movies and textbooks make no difference: students continue to believe T. rex stood upright instead of pitched forward like the real thing.
Once people get ideas in their heads it takes very little to keep them there, and the problem applies to Catholicism no less than paleontology. A veteran professor of history [John Rao] at a Catholic university [St. John’s, Staten Island, New York] notes that despite their terror concerning grades in my courses, almost all of my students completely ignore the pro-Catholic, record-straight-setting information I give them, and recite the dominant errors and mantras aimed against the Faith on tests. As far as I can determine, this is in no way due to deeply-rooted conviction on their part. Rather, it merely indicates the power of the propaganda fed them from practically every social channel since early youth. They simply cannot expel the erroneous and hostile words from their heads. [For more, see comment below]
So how do we drive the historical and philosophical equivalent of fluffy purple dinosaurs out of discussions relating to the Faith when information doesn’t penetrate, discussion doesn’t help, pleading doesn’t work, and nothing we say seems to make any difference? What’s needed, it seems, is shock and awe, or at least their closest literary equivalent: paradox, aphorism, and other forms of pointed statement or questioning that disrupt settled expectations and stick in the mind where they can continue to do their work.
Among their other benefits, such verbal devices could provide snappy responses to anti-Catholic talking points. The assumptions of public discussion presume liberal secularism. They are part of a comprehensive outlook on man, society, the world, and reality itself that most people don’t exactly believe but don’t know how to escape. The result is that Catholics get tongue-tied, or give up points they shouldn’t, because they’ve already accepted their opponents’ basic principles and don’t know how to avoid one objectionable consequence after another. We need the verbal equivalent of jiu-jitsu to turn the assumptions and discussion around. Paradox, aphorism, and pointed inquiry seem to fit the bill.
G. K. Chesterton was a master of the strategy as applied to everyday public discussion, and I think that’s at least half the secret of his popularity. Nicolás Gómez Dávila was another great Catholic aphorist, although one who worked at a less popular level. And at a higher level still, thinkers like Pascal and Simone Weil said things suitable to shock almost anyone out of his torpor.
In an age of memes, tweets, and spin the tradition of aphorisms that transfix and transform seems to have vanished. It’s not at home in a world that rejects boldness and truth in favor of focus groups and what seems likely to sell to this demographic or that. The anonymous English scholar who blogs as Deogolwulf has composed some good aphorisms that debunk the errors of secular progressivism. He doesn’t present himself as Catholic, though, and his recent compositions are all in German, so the rest of us need to step up as well.
A good paradox or aphorism requires imaginative and literary talents, and few of us can match Chesterton in that regard, let alone some of the others I’ve mentioned. Still, as GKC himself said, “if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” So with that in mind, and to do what little I can to help get things started, I’ll list some snappy questions I included in my book The Tyranny of Liberalism, and append some items a friend gleaned here and there on the internet. Others can and should add their own.
Given where they appeared, mine have to do with secular liberalism, the movement that has given us Benedict’s “dictatorship of relativism.” So they don’t cover everything we must deal with, but may nonetheless be useful against a major fortress of anti-Catholicism:
■If liberalism is tolerant, why all the propaganda and reeducation programs?
■If it’s based on consent, why the emphasis on judges, experts, bureaucrats, and theorists?
■If it’s skeptical and empirical, why the demand for radical transformation of all social arrangements everywhere?
■If liberalism unleashes creativity and emphasizes the individual, why does it make everyone and everything the same?
■If it lets people choose their values, how can it prescribe their opinions of other people’s values?
■If choosing my values is good, why does it become bad if I choose cultural cohesion and somewhat traditional sex roles?
■How can “diversity” (respecting differences) and “inclusiveness” (eliminating the effect of differences) be the same?
■What can freedom in private life amount to if government insists on the reeducation of children and radical reform of family life?
■Equal celebration of cultures means that particular cultural standards must be driven out of social life, since otherwise one culture will dominate others. How is that different from the abolition of culture?
■What’s the difference between saying someone has to treat beliefs about God and morality as equally worthy, and saying he has to treat his own beliefs as personal tastes and thus not beliefs about God and morality at all?
A friend has gathered other aphorisms and pointed comments from the web. Again, they’re mostly political, but that can be hard to avoid at a time when secularism makes all things political:
■What gives us freedom of spirit without self-control is disastrous. (Goethe)
■Liberalism bases human dignity not on having a human essence, but on having an active will.
■When liberty is worshipped as an end in itself, it results in the vulgarizing inclination merely to do what one likes.
■The leftist is fashion-sensitive precisely because fashion provides the stimulating novelty that alone dulls the pain and boredom of life in a Godless, meaningless universe.
■In the absence of virtue the soul gorges on imitations of virtue such as liberalism.
■Liberal society—forever trying to turn anomalies into the norm.
■License is no friend to the poor.
■The real dichotomy is not between democracy and other types of government, but between an authority based on the will, and an authority based on something transcending the will.
■The Great Lie is none other than the promise made by the serpent in Genesis 3:22—the promise that by joining the cosmic revolution against God and His order man could become a god unto himself, defining reality itself by will alone.
■As a lie accrues power, it seeks to obliterate any vestige of the truth that could expose it.
■It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. (Upton Sinclair)
■Modern Man is ashamed of innocence and prides himself on understanding evil, while the Christian is ashamed of his knowledge of evil and seeks understanding of Good.
■The faithful believer experiences a deep and abiding inner assurance that cannot be transferred to another person and is thus quite baffling to those without it.
■A coincidence is an event in which God chooses to remain anonymous.
The culture of death so prevalent in today’s society reflects the emptiness and disillusionment so vividly expressed in The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot. This famous poem depicts a world of “stuffed men” who do not fully live life, who go through routine motions awaiting “death’s twilight kingdom.”
The lack of hope in today’s secular culture is evidenced by broken or non-existent family life and relationships, a breakdown of manners and common courtesy in social interaction, and indulgence in lavish lifestyles, sex, food, and media as ways to escape the emptiness.
As a result of this pleasure-seeking mentality, there is also a systematic effort to suppress and eliminate the weaker, more vulnerable members of society who present inconveniences to others and are seen as burdens. Legislative efforts to loosen or abandon restrictions on assisted suicide, euthanasia, and abortion are a direct result of the mindset that encourages us to eliminate people who are inconvenient or unwanted in our pursuit of pleasure. The result? “Hollow men” trying to keep themselves entertained on the death march.
The poem’s vivid imagery likens the world of hollow men to “a valley of dying stars.” Today’s dying stars are the unique lives which are unappreciated and disregarded by those who see them as useless. Parents are encouraged to terminate “unhealthy” unborn life. If the “unhealthy” are already present in the world, they are given the option to terminate their own lives so they won’t be a burden to others.
But eliminating the weak and defenseless will not lead to more happiness and convenience; it will only lead to increased fear and less freedom. When one category of human beings, such as the unborn, the elderly, or the sick are targeted for elimination, what is to prevent other human lives from being considered less valuable or worthy of protection? By what standard is this decided? The elimination and disregard of the weak and defenseless only puts pressure on the “healthy” to work harder to prove that their life has worth so they too, will not be marked for elimination.
Pope Benedict XVI writes in his 2007 encyclical Spe Salvi(Saved in Hope): “A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and bear it inwardly through ‘compassion’ is a cruel and inhuman society” (#38). The ability to accept those who suffer, those who are weaker and more vulnerable, makes us more human. Christ himself demonstrated this nobility of heart in his treatment of the sick and rejected members of society.
With Christ, we are no longer hollow and empty; we are instead a people of hope, and therefore a people of life. We must not sit by idly as the “hollow men” systematically create a culture hostile to life at its most vulnerable stages. We must strive every day to counter these efforts by witnessing to the dignity and value of each person.
The Hollow Men by T S Eliot
Mistah Kurtz-he dead
A penny for the Old Guy
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us-if at all-not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.
Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.
Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom
This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.
The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
For Thine is the
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
Samuel S. Leibowitz was a criminal lawyer for 21 years, and a judge for 16 years in the Brooklyn criminal court system. In the 1950’s, the crimes of juveniles had reached a critical stage, and Leibowitz began to criticize the “solutions” of the welfare state in dealing with the crisis. They were ignoring the cause of the crimes, and only treating the effects of juvenile offenses: “making teen-age curfews and more playgrounds, punishing parents for their teenager’s crimes, getting more social workers, setting up a federal delinquency bureau, establishing psychiatric committees to research the adolescent psyche.”
The Judge ascertained that the Western country with the lowest rate of juvenile crime was Italy. Intrigued, he resolved to ferret out the reason for this first-hand, so he traveled there and spent weeks in various Italian cities, talking with police commissioners, school superintendents, mayors, etc. And he found the answer: the youth in Italy respected authority, which began in the home. A fortiori, it began with respecting the father’s authority. Even in the poorest families, the father was respected by the wife and children as its head. He formulated this finding into the words, stating: “Nine words that can stop juvenile delinquency: Put father back at the head of the family.” Now, let us fast-forward to the 21st century.
The progressivist Hierarchy and clergy of New Church not only do not recognize the simple truth discovered by the Judge, but with their easy-annulment policy, have for all purposes declared war against the family itself. Indeed, by 2002 the Bishops were granting 50,000 marriage annulments annually.
This vicious onslaught against the Sacrament of Marriage and the spiritual and social need for stable families is nothing less than diabolical. It has been said that the French Revolution of 1789 ushered in more revolutions. It left Europeans with a tendency to anarchism or – to use an expression of Fromkin – following Nietzsche, in a mood to “smash things”.
It can be said that the Revolution of Vatican II, is also a consequence of the French Revolution, still worse than that of 1789. It has smashed everything of the once sacred Catholic past. Once the Nietzschian fist smashes a family, it is never the same, it’s impossible. Once broken, it’s very nature has been changed.
Deirdre and her husband, a gifted medical doctor, were married for 28 years with three children. He applied for, and received, an annulment from the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Boston. These Bishops pretended with “a moral certainty” that there was never a marriage to begin with because at the time of the marriage, there was “lack of due discretion” on the part of the husband.
Making a simple analysis of the Tribunal’s decision, here is how the wife reports the sentence of the Tribunal:
“In September of 1965, this man, 31-years-old, of above average intelligence, non-psychotic, non-coerced, from a normal family background, suffered from some disorder that either made him unable to understand what marriage entailed or unable to fulfill its obligations. This disorder apparently continued undetected for 38 years and unknowingly prevented them from ever experiencing a true marriage even though they became parents and raised three children, and he was a successful physician as well.”
Because Deirdre’s husband married again soon after the annulment, she asked this final question:
“Let us grant for a moment that [the Tribunal was] correct. Why then let a person of such defective judgment remarry eight weeks later in the Catholic Church?
One could hardly be called sarcastic today if he accused today’s Hierarchy of believing the martyrdom of St. Thomas More, who died because he refused to grant the King an improper annulment, had no meaning, that it was nothing but futile act of ostentatious pageantry. However, as if the annulment scandal is not bad enough, add to it the fact that a parish priest of today “can expect that about 97% to 99% of his newlyweds will be using unnatural methods of birth control.”
The English philosopher Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Judge Leibowitz began his investigation of juvenile crime because he realized it was the effects of crime that were being treated, not the cause. He was a good man who did something.
Can we say that our Catholic Hierarchy is made of good men doing nothing? I think it is more than that. They are leaders of souls who are doing untold evil at every level because they have adopted a cesspool-caldron of progressivist ideas, with which they direct the faithful. One evidence we can see that our Shepherds have turned into wolves is the permissions they have granted for countless annulments or, better saying, Catholic divorces.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, says the maxim. Rousseau’s philosophy echoed this when he said, “The sole duty of man is to follow in everything the inclination of his heart.” The leaders of New Church must certainly agree with Rousseau. Their hearts are turned toward accomplishing their progressivist agenda.
G.K. Chesterton said that “Ideals are the most practical thing in the world.” This is why we still defend the family. This is why we insist on the ideal of marriage as a permanent union between one man and one woman, which creates the only proper setting for bringing new souls into the world, and that this purely natural act should not be interfered with.
The social trends have steadily moved in the opposite direction from this ideal in the last century. It is no longer a matter of a few loud critics getting a little testy at our quaint ideas of morality; we have gone past being attacked to being brazenly ignored. But if the society at large does not understand the moral arguments for the family, perhaps it will gain some appreciation for the practical arguments. And the recent bad news has been good news in this regard. Our arguments have been given a huge boost with the collapse of the world financial markets and the continuing economic fallout.
An economy built on massive lending and spending cannot be sustained. But the reason it cannot be sustained is not merely economic, it is moral. It regards material wealth as the ultimate goal, and people as merely a commodity to achieve that goal. It is selfish and therefore self-destructive.
An economy based on the family is self-sustaining. Its focus is on the nurturing and training of children and not on the mere acquisition of goods. The family ideal as defended by Chesterton is something quite different than the industrialized consumer family, where the family members leave the house each morning by the clock and on a strict schedule to pursue work and recreation and the majority of life outside the home. Chesterton’s ideal was the productive home with its creative kitchen, its busy workshop, its fruitful garden, and its central role in entertainment, education, and livelihood. Unlike the industrial home, life in a productive household is not amenable to scheduling and anything but predictable.
The only thing surprising about this ideal is that it was once shared by almost everyone. Children used to be considered an asset; at some point they began to be seen as a liability.
Chesterton saw the beginning of this problem when he noticed people preferring to buy amusements for themselves rather than to have children. He pointed out prophetically that children are a far better form of entertainment than electrical gadgets. The irony today is that the retailers that sell the electronic amusements are going out of business because there are not enough people to buy this merchandise.
But there is another worse problem why children are now considered a liability. They don’t merely make other material desires cost-prohibitive, they are cost-prohibitive themselves. They must be educated. The cost of educating them is obscene. A college education is the most overpriced product on the planet, and over-rated as well. Parents have the privilege of sacrificing nearly everything to send their children to college, only to have them get their heads filled with doubts and destructive ideas, undermining everything their parents have taught them.
But there are fewer parents because there are fewer children.
When social security was instituted, each retiree was supported by 15 workers. Now each retiree is supported by only three workers. Those of us who are still working spend 15% of our income to support those who aren’t working.
Our lack of domestic life is reflected in the fact that we don’t have a domestic economy. We don’t produce anything. We are suddenly watching massive layoffs, but the people being laying off (no offense to them) were not producing anything. They were either selling things, or sitting at desks and computer terminals, being paid with borrowed money, so that they could also go into debt. Now the financial center of the country has moved from New York to Washington, DC, as Gudge has passed the baton to Hudge,* who has promised that all the problems that were caused by too much borrowing will all be solved by even more borrowing.
But the younger generation cannot pay the older generation because we have committed demographic suicide. We are paying a high price not only for slaughtering our unborn children but for contracepting them. In fact, we have demonstrated that we cannot afford the high price.
We have seen the natural consequences of unnatural acts. We have witnessed a monumental economic disaster that is not the result of inflation or recession but of the devaluation of children.
Chesterton says that every high civilization decays by forgetting obvious things. The obvious things are the ordinary things, and we have forgotten them. The modern world that we have created has brought with it great strain and stress so that even the things that normal men have normally desired are no longer desirable: “marriage and fair ownership and worship and the mysterious worth of man.” Those are the normal and ordinary things. Those are the things we have lost, and we need to recover them.
“The disintegration of rational society,” says Chesterton, “started in the drift from the hearth and the family; the solution must be a drift back.”