Satan In The Light

“I saw the torments of hell and those of purgatory; no words can describe them. Had poor mortals the faintest idea of them, they would suffer a thousand deaths rather than undergo the least of their torments during a single day.”

— St. Catherine of Siena

devil cloakedModernism is the coming together of many heresies, but if you look carefully you will see that they all share a disbelief in, or disdain of, the supernatural.  The supernatural, of course, is the belief in angels and devils, heaven and hell, sin and salvation.  It is composed of that which is above the natural, that which we can feel only with the soul, and know only through the highest of reason.

Many moderns believe these unseen matters to be foolishness, ignorance, and in so doing they distance themselves from them, endangering their soul for the sake of honor and pride, for the satisfaction of thinking they are the highest authority over their own lives.

Looking at these latest scandals in the Church is to see this principle in action.  If someone believed in heaven and hell, sin and salvation, would they commit these awful sins for years? Would they do so without remorse, without removing themselves from occasions of sin, without recognizing that they are on the path to Hell?  It is hard to believe, but the fact is that once you cut yourself off from supernatural truth, you are simply an unprotected soul behind enemy lines.

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A Call For a Supernatural Reaction

Fra Angelico Final Judgment


While it was a worldly force that may have found its way into the Church regardless, modernism, the mother of all heresies, a philosophy that eschews the supernatural aspects of the faith, began creeping into the Church early in the last century.  That is, if not all the way back to the “Enlightenment.”  Regardless, it was finally powerful enough to exert its influence in the 1960s, coinciding with the Second Vatican Council.  As the world became post-Christian and less supernaturally aware in the decades following the counsel, this toxic worldview spread within the Church with less suspicion and increasing vigor.

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The Bureaucrats Who Were Once Bishops

Pope meets the Italian Conference of Bishops (CEI) on Monday

There is much to lament concerning our leadership within the church.  Their systematic failure to protect innocent children against predatory clergy, one Bishop’s decision to console those predators over reigning down fury in a just and merciful manner, Cardinal Wuerl’s choice to hire PR firms and high powered attorneys when his failings came to light, and the Vatican’s self-congratulating back slaps for the moral culture not being much worse in the midst of this latest crisis are to name a few.  What appears abundantly clear, on top of the laundry list of issues that should distress us, is that we are being led not by Shepherds but by bureaucrats.  Our institutional church exchanged its mission as the mystical Body of Christ at some point in the twentieth century, be the exact moment at Vatican II or not, for the earthly respect of princes and kings and the crony kickbacks typically reserved for mafiosi.

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