Not all saints have the same sort of holiness.
There are those who could never have lived with others saints.
Not all have the same path. But all arrive at God.
St. John Vianney
(commercial recreation specialists)
During this somewhat self-imposed fasting from the world, I have been forced afforded the opportunity to step back from the world’s madness while sinking into my own moving madness.
Yet whereas I may be currently focused on the latest box to sort,
the latest immediate crisis repair screaming for attention,
or the simple task of navigating new and unfamiliar terrain…
I am not totally unaware of the continuing idiocy reigning supreme in this world of ours.
A pandemic remains.
Isolation is a reality for many.
Socialism and Marxism continue to be the current ideological darlings.
Civil unrest, Antifa, and protests just won’t go away.
Impeachment is a never ending taxpayer’s nightmare demanded by politicians who
don’t seem to care for said taxpayers.
Persecution of The Church is rampant.
The media is a rabid dog.
Zero tolerance for the unborn looms large as abortion is seen as some sort of unalienable
All the while a cancel culture hopes to cancel out us middle Americans.
Yesterday marked the day of remembrance for the Holocaust.
It appears that it went largely ignored by our oh so pious news outlets.
Ode to the shifting tide.
And so I wonder…why have I even bothered coming up for air?
Is it any wonder that I opt to cling to a life buoy?
I suspect it would behoove all of us to cling to that life buoy…
That we must seek Him while we can.
That we pray while we still have the opportunity—
the only life line to He who is Holy.
Prayer is, as it were, being alone with God. A soul prays only when it is turned toward God,
and for so long as it remains so. As soon as it turns away,
it stops praying. The preparation for prayer is thus the movement of turning to God
and away from all that is not God.
That is why we are so right when we define prayer as this movement.
Prayer is essentially a ‘raising up’, an elevation.
We begin to pray when we detach ourselves from created objects and raise ourselves up to the Creator.”
Dom Augustin Guillerand, p. 91
An excerpt from
The Prayer of the Presence of God
“Let us love the Cross and let us remember that we are not alone in carrying it.
God is helping us. And in God who is comforting us,
as St. Paul says, we can do anything.”
St. Gianna Molla
(Girolamo dai Libri / God the Father / 1555)
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Even though the Disciples suffered persecution, they were filled with joy.
One would have expected them to be depressed or angry or resentful.
The very fact that they responded to persecution with joy is a sign that the Spirit
was guiding their actions.
We can use that same test with our own words and actions.”
Rev. Jude Winkler, O.F.M., p. 11
An Excerpt From
Daily Meditations Holy Spirit
As I read this quote by the Rev. Winkler, I wonder do I, can I, possess this same power
of the Spirit–
a power that allows me to rise above the hardships of this day, the pressures of this life, the
trials of fighting an uphill and up-stream battle…
can I too possess joy in the face of persecution and suffering?
I devote my very rare free moments to a work that is close to my heart and devoted
to the metaphysical sense and mystery of the person.
It seems to me that the debate today is being played out on that level.
The evil of our times consists in the first place in a kind of degradation,
indeed in a pulverization, of the fundamental uniqueness of each human person.
This evil is even much more of the metaphysical order than of the moral order.
To this disintegration planned at times by atheistic ideologies we must oppose,
rather than sterile polemics, a kind of ‘recapitulation’ of the
inviolable mystery of the person.
(In his continuing struggle against Marxism in Poland after the Second Vatican Council,
Cardinal Karol Wojtyla identified the doctrine of the person as the Achilles’ heel of the Communist regime.
He decided to base his opposition on that plank.
In 1968 he wrote to his Jesuit friend, the future Cardinal Henri de Lubac—
John Paul II and The Mystery of The Human Person, Avery Dulles)
(detail of Socrates and Aritstole from the School of Athens by Raphael / The Vatican)
Metaphysics: noun, plural in form but singular in construction
1. a division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of
reality and being and that includes ontology, cosmology, and often epistemology
metaphysics … analyzes the generic traits manifested by existences of any kind
When it comes to metaphysics, well, it’s all pretty much Greek to me.
get it…Greek?? HAHAHA…
In all seriousness, it is such thinking, those of the various schools of philosophy,
that can push my poor brain to the limit.
That whole ‘if no one is around to hear it when a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?’
Well, duh…yes, yes it does…
I think we call it vibrations and sound waves but I digress.
Why even waste breath and time debating such??
However, man has always debated the world around him as well as debating his
very own interior being.
My son was a philosophy minor…and yes, I thought he was off his rocker.
But philosophy is very connected to the study of religion so I took pride
knowing that he was there to defend the faith of the Triune God in today’s very very hostile
area of thought regarding Christianity.
The pharse Cogito, ergo sum comes to mind… I think therefore I am…uttered by René Descartes,
But I say no to that thought…it’s more like when I get poison ivy…I itch therefore I am.
That’s how you know.
A physical reaction to and from an outside source…but again, I digress.
I was afforded a bit of uninterrupted quiet time yesterday morning and I actually listened
to a brief podcast offered by the British periodical The Spectator.
The podcast was a discussion between my newest favorite Catholic, Dr. Gavin Ashenden (aka our dear
favorite former Anglican Bishop) and British journalist, Damian Thompson
This is the written intro for the discussion: Boris Johnson’s package of Covid restrictions announced this week included
a rule that weddings will be limited to 15 people and funerals to 30 –
numbers plucked out of thin air that will have questionable effect
on the transmission of the virus.
You might think that a ruling that affects only weddings and funerals
isn’t such a big deal for the churches, but that is to underestimate the fanatical zeal
of their leaders for implementing, and expanding, restrictions on their own worship.
The control-freak Archbishop of Canterbury, predictably,
seemed quite thrilled by the government’s intervention.
My own reaction, informed by conversations with many clergy outraged by their
bishops’ baffling willingness to accept any curtailment of church life,
was to wonder whether some Christians will be forced to ‘go underground’ –
that is, find a way of worshipping that quietly disobeys their own leaders.
To an extent this is already happening: at the height of the pandemic,
Catholics were holding secret Masses that reminded me of their ancestors’
defiance of Protestant penal laws.
I didn’t report it because I didn’t want them hunted down by their own ‘fathers in God’,
the local bishops.
So that’s the subject of this week’s Holy Smoke,
a very wide-ranging conversation with Dr. Gavin Ashenden of the sort that you
would never hear on the BBC.
What I took away from listening to the discussion was that our friend Dr. Ashenden
finds that this whole control and resist mindset regarding the restrictions
placed on us by our leaders regarding COVID boils down to something quite
We can go out to eat, we can go to stores, we can get a haircut, we can visit a liquor store,
and in limited numbers, we may attend a wedding as well as a funeral…
however, only 15 can go celebrate a wedding while 30 can go celebrate the passing of a life—
odd numbering given life vs death, but I am obviously not in leadership.
And yet…our worship services are being curtailed, canceled, or simply
And therein lies much of the frustration.
Will the faithful eventually find themselves in the underground?
Worshiping in secret?
Shades of the early days of Roman persecution?
Dr. Ashenden notes that it seems
we are either prioritizing the immediate power structures of our day or we
are prioritizing the teaching of the Gospel…and sadly it seems as if it is our power
structures that are receiving the total focus.
The good doctor notes that this seems to be a power struggle between the secular, or non-supernatural,
vs the Metaphysical, that being the Spiritual
Secular vs Spiritual…and sadly— secular is winning.
When vultures surround you, try not to die.
(close up of a turkey buzzard / Lifescience.com)
Look at that face would you?
Look how the nostril just opens through to the other side…
I’ve always heard that, as the garbage men of the bird world, buzzards
can’t smell…well I would certainly hope not!
It is supposedly by their keen eyesight that they are able to scope out and zoom in on the
So over the past weekend, since it has been so miserably hot and while we are still
supposedly in some sort of social distancing lockdown…
just don’t tell everyone out on the roadways that, we opted for some idyllic countryside driving.
I don’t know about you but I’ve come to realize that I feel very heavyily burdened.
Be it this ongoing Pandemic mess…total civil unrest across the nation and world…
political persecution should you support the sitting president…
All the while questions loom heavy overhead…
Will there be school, will there not be school…
will there be a second wave…did we ever finish the first wave…
will they open Chruch…will we just succumb to Marxist ideology and the church will be
rendered dead…should we don a mask or not…
And so pray tell, how much longer will all of this mess go on!?
So as we started driving and I was looking out the window, with the weight of so much
heaviness on my mind, I focused my eyes on something a bit odd…
I noticed a black image sitting atop the steeple of a small country church.
“Oh my gosh,” I exclaimed to my husband, “do they not have any sense of reverence?”
“Who?” my husband surprised by my question responds a bit bewildered.
“There’s a buzzard sitting on top of that church’s cross on its steeple.
“No respect” my husband chuckles.
I wish I had been able to get out my phone to take a picture but the one I found
on-line gives you some idea of what I’m talking about.
I went back to staring out the window while musing the symbology of a specter of death
perched on a cross atop a steeple.
And so wouldn’t you know it, when we were out driving around the following day,
I saw the same thing…but this was another church with another buzzard perched up top.
What are those odds?
Who knows…but what I do know is that there’s got to be a heavy dose of irony
buried somewhere in two different visions of death birds perching on top of a cross,
an image of life.
Yesterday, Tricia, over on Freedom Through Empowerment,
and I were chatting back and forth about the implications of the news over Hagia Sophia
becoming a “working” mosque again mirrored by the Marxist push to attack
Christianity here at home.
We both noted that whatever is to come from any of these latest digs at
the global body of Believers was not going to be good.
For many weeks now a thought has been nagging at the back recesses of my thoughts.
It’s a thought that I believe is being slowly fine-tuned.
This was my response to Tricia—a response I cleaned up when re-reading
my initial reply because there is just something about pecking out a deeply
thoughtful response on a phone while using a thumb.
“Tricia—as a kid, I was always mesmerized by the stories of the early saints and martyrs of the church.
I often imagined living life in early Rome,
sneaking about and worshiping in secret, in the cover of darkness or hidden in catacombs.
I imagine my defiance if ever discovered and arrested.
I would face the torture with fortitude.
Or so thought my youthful bravado self.
Even over the past decade, as we’ve seen more and more about the persecution of Christians worldwide,
I’d like to think I would be courageous.
But here, at home, we have something much more sinister and insidious.
No less full of persecution with the end goal being Christian eradication—
yet am I courageous in our oh so woke society?
Do I take to the streets in defense of my faith?
Churches are being attacked..both here and in Europe and it is not by Muslim extremists…
but by extremists none the less.
I can’t help but think God has prepared you, me, Tom, Kathy, IB, Wally, CS et al,
(just a few of the blogging community of Fatih)
to be those who dare to meet in the catacombs albeit the catacombs of today…
those of our neighborhoods and cities.
Am I willing to risk everything for my faith??
I hope I will be able to answer yes.
Is this a preparation of an ending, a clash of both Good and Evil—–
of course, we can’t answer that…but it sure does feel like it.”
And so I’ve come to view my buzzard friends as both a symbol as well as a reminder.
Death has always smugly desired to sit upon that which has always promised life.
Yet those of us who are true Believers, and trust me, there are many today
who call themselves “believers” but who are not…are here for a reason.
Do I think “the end is near?”
I asked this same question just the other day…and like the other day, I couldn’t say,
I can’t say… but what I do know is that it sure does feel like it.
So I think we need to get ready.
Catacombs and buzzards seem to be waiting!
The continued persecution of Christians in the Middle East is one of the great
underreported stories of the 21st century.
Douglas Murray, in his insightful book The Strange Death of Europe,
warns us that there is a real danger of Europe losing its Christian roots,
values and freedoms, something which he as a gay atheist deplores.
I fear that the conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque is a sign of more
troublesome times ahead.
(Interior of the great dome, Hagia Sophia /Paris Review)
The other day I offered a post regarding the news that the once-massive
Christian enclave of the East, the Basilica of Hagia Sophia,
had once again fallen to Muslim rule ( or perhaps ‘once again’ is not accurate as Muslim rule has shadowed the church since the 15th century–it just hasn’t been a practicing mosque but rather a museum in a Muslim nation)
Hagia Sophia, constructed in 532, stood as a Christian beacon in the East, as well
for the West following the sack of Rome, until 1453–
the year when Constantinople fell to the Ottomans.
She was desecrated and turned into a mosque.
Several hundreds of years passed when the mosque next became a museum.
And then change came once again last week when the church turned mosque,
turned museum returned to a Muslim Mosque.
For nearly a thousand years, she faithfully served her flock.
And so the question that sits like an elephant in the middle of the world’s living room…
what does this mean for the Faithful now…
Our friend the Wee Flea raises this same question in his most recent post… “The Tale of Two Buildings–the Hagia Sophia and the Free Church Manse
David begins his post by reflecting on the demise of Christianity
in the very place of her inception, the Middle East…
The Assyrians for example have shrunk from 1.3 million in Iraq to less than 250,000.
They have scattered over the world.
There are around 40,000 Assyrians in Sydney – one of whom is my barber!
In Turkey, Christians are systematically persecuted.
Foreign church workers are arrested and expelled;
evangelical churches are regularly attacked by extremists.
To even suggest that the killing of over one million Armenians by the Turks in 1914-1923
was genocide will result in you going to jail.
I recall in 2007 being in Ephesus just after three Christian leaders
had been brutally tortured and killed –
the fear amongst the Christians was palpable.
I suspect that turning the Hagia Sofia into a mosque will only make things worse
as it will encourage the more radical Islamists to fulfil their dream of a society
where Sharia law is fully enacted, and the Christians and secularists are removed.
Another Hagia Sophia in Nicaea, where the Second Council of Nicaea was held in 787,
has already been turned into a mosque. It is a concerning development which
raises a number of questions.
Turkey has, like China, signed the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights,
which amongst other things, guarantees freedom of worship, expression and belief.
Like China, it appears that its signature is meaningless.
Another area of concern is the problem of the lack of freedom in many Islamic countries.
In the West, Muslims are rightly free to worship and build mosques –
something I have defended in the past and will defend again.
There is a bigger issue here.
I have no problem with there being different religions within a pluralistic and tolerant society.
But what if that religion itself is opposed to pluralism and tolerance,
which I argue Islam is, and seeks to impose its own Sharia law?
David continues his post with a more personal reflection regarding the Chruch manse that he
and his family called home for 27 years…a church manse turned Muslim home with the
entire neighborhood becoming Muslim…
A casual observer might think that David’s feelings are somewhat racist in that he is concerned
about a Scottish neighborhood becoming Muslim, but he clearly notes that Islam is
not a race but rather a religion…and it is one that has at its core the goal of
the decimation of Christianity…
And so yes, there are big questions that remain—
What is happening to the Chruch from both within and from with-out
“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
Late last evening, while watching Clemson finishing out on top over Ohio State
in a battle in the Fiesta Bowl, a breaking news alert popped up on my phone…
The initial report was that there had been a stabbing outside of a synagogue
in New York.
“Oh Lord,” I thought out loud, “not again!”
As the facts started to come in more clearly, the attack had actually happened
inside the home of a Rabbi who lived next door to a Synagogue in Monsey, New York.
Reports were that a man had entered the home, where Hasidic members of a synagogue
had gathered prior to going to celebrate the 7th night of Hanukkah,
and began hacking people with a machete.
The news headline read: New York Jews continue Hanukkah celebrations after stabbing at
rabbi’s home that left 5 wounded
The story explained that Five people were stabbed at a rabbi’s home in New York during a Hanukkah celebration
on Saturday night —
but that didn’t stop worshippers from continuing their prayers at a synagogue next door.
Soon after the attack in the suburb of Monsey, located just 35 miles north of New York City
in Rockland County, Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg and his followers gathered at the adjacent synagogue,
which the rabbi leads, and sang together in prayer.
The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council for the Hudson Valley tweeted a video of Rottenberg
and his followers continuing their celebration of the seventh night of Hannukah.
“The grace of God did not end and his mercy did not leave us,”
they sang, according to a translation of their song posted online.
The following day, I ran across a post shared by a fellow blogger…
The post seemed more than ironically timely as it addressed an alarming concern…
The concern being that there is a troubling rise in growing antisemitism while being
mirrored by a simultaneous decline in Holocaust memory.
Meaning—attacks on Jews is on the rise while the history of the Holocaust
Fading as many young people have little to no grasp of the darker side of
Just considering the almost rabid fascination by youthful generations with socialism
then this should not be terribly surprising—but terrible it is.
Here is the post along with a link to the full article.
A Growing Monster
December 29, 2019
by Anna Waldherr
A Europe-wide CNN poll in November 2018 found a rise in anti-Semitism and a
decline in Holocaust memory .
Anti-Semitic incidents in Germany rose by almost 10% in 2018, to a 10 year high .
In December 2018, a Greek Holocaust Memorial was desecrated for the fourth time .
In January 2019 a synagogue was vandalized in the Bulgarian capitol Sofia .
In June 2019 planned construction on the site of mass graves dating to the
Holocaust came to light in the Ukraine .
By July 2019 anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom had spiked .
A video showing West Ham soccer fans singing an anti-Semitic fight song about
rival club Tottenham Hotspur (which has a largely Jewish fan base) was posted to Twitter.
There is a monster growing in Europe. Anti-Semitism has increased substantially since
the 2015 immigration crisis .
France reported a 74% increase in violence against Jews.
“An alarming pattern of anti-Semitism is spreading across Europe,
from France to Germany to Sweden and elsewhere on the continent…
Antisemitism is not, and cannot, remain just a Jewish problem.
This is an issue that affects all Europeans, and Western society as a whole.”
Then if things weren’t troubling enough, a story broke Sunday morning about a
gunman walking into a church outside of Fort Worth, Texas and killing parishioners.
The gunman entered the church during communion and opened fire with a shotgun,
killing two and critically wounding another before being fatally shot by
Texas church shooting leaves 2 dead, witness says gunman opened fire during communion
When Evil attacks our Spiritual foundation, we have always struggled to understand.
Yet here’s the thing, Evil is not something to be analyzed or neatly understood.
It does not play by the rules.
The fallen light-bearer is now the father of darkness.
Rules do not apply to Satan or to the Evils he relishes upon this realm we call home.
And yet the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, went on a news talk show Sunday
morning and tried to blame life in Washington and the hate that is seemingly
generated there, on the latest spate of attacks on Jews in his city and state.
Because we all know that when we have no answers, we blame Trump.
But Trump is not Satan…contrary to popular belief.
Persecution against both Christians and Jews has been with us throughout the ages,
yet there is an alarming uptick taking place across the globe.
Physical persecution to emotional and psychological persecution.
Might time be of the essence for both Light and Dark?
Faith, belief, God, Jesus, love, kindness, forgiveness, the family, honor,
righteousness…these are all components of our true essence…the piece
of the Divine which continues to reside in our souls.
And each and every one of those components is an enemy of the Darkness.
I read today that many Jews are now afraid to wear anything that
symbolizes their faith in fear of being attacked.
This while many Christians are being told that, at places such as work and
school, they are not allowed to have a Bible on their desk or to wear
a cross or other religious symbols.
As the shadows grow long, remain steadfast…
for your God will not be moved by man nor darkness.
You will be hated by everyone because of me,
but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
“We (the Church) are experiencing the mystery of iniquity,
the mystery of betrayal, the mystery of Judas”
Robert Cardinal Sarah
(The Taking of Jesus by Caravaggio 1602 / The National Gallery of Ireland / Dublin)
A couple of weeks back I highlighted a small intro to a new book offering by the Guinea Catholic
prelate Robert Cardinal Sarah…
a man who minces no words when it comes to God’s commands to man.
He is a staunch advocate for the Christian faith and the sovereignty of Jesus Christ.
A true defender of the faith.
And a man who viscerally recognizes the sins of the Chruch, the sins of those entrusted
with shepherding the fold.
I pre-ordered this latest book offering, The Day Is Now Far Spent
It is a book that is based on a conversation between the Cardinal and the French journalist
The book arrived today via the mail and just so you know,
the first two introductory pages are already more yellow than they are
white and black as I have highlighted almost every word.
Cardinal Sarah’s voice has been long needed…not only for the Catholic Chruch but for our
entire Global Christian Church.
Cardinal Sarah addresses, head-on, the sexual abuse scandal that is taking the
Catholic Chruch to her knees.
He addresses the dire situation the West is currently facing regarding her very foundation…
that being her Judaeo/Christian cornerstone.
He addresses the growing crisis of faith.
A crisis that is eating away at the very core of Christianity.
As we are living in a post-Christian culture that reviles the Christian faith.
The Cardinal explains that in his first book, The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise,
he had invited us all to learn the gift of silence…
however, today, the Cardinal finds that he can remain silent no more.
“I must no longer remain silent.
Christians are disoriented.
Every day from all sides, I receive calls for help from those who no longer know what to believe.
…The Chruch is experiencing the dark night of the soul.
The mystery of iniquity is enveloping and blinding her.”
As Pope VI used to say, we are being invaded by the smoke of
Satan. The Church, which ought to be a place of light, has become a dwelling place of darkness.
It ought to be a secure, peaceful family home, but look: it has become a den of thieves!”
“Following Jesus, the Chruch is experiencing the mystery of scourging.
Her body is lacerated.
Who is inflicting the lashes?
The very ones who ought to love and protect her?
Yes I make so bold as to borrow the words of Pope Francis: the mystery of Judas hangs over our time
The mystery of betrayal oozes from the walls of the Church.”
I am both deeply encouraged as well as deeply concerned reading what this solider
of the Cross has to say to all of us regarding our faith and that of the Church in general.
We need to be mindful that there is indeed a smoky veil that is engulfing our faith.
Those of us in the West are under dire persecutions albeit on a vastly different level
than that our brothers and sisters around the globe who live in a physical peril for
holding fast to their beliefs.
Ours is more an insidious downward spiral…a psychological attack.
Add in the culture of death that both Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa each
addressed as a key contributor to the demise of Christianity in the West along, with the
death of the traditional family and we have a toxic mix for our own totality of loss.
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing more of this insightful man’s wisdom.
Let us pray for the global Christian body of believers as we must arm ourselves against
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.
On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him,
but because he loves what is behind him.”
(the Mayor offers her blessings to St Francis / Julie Cook / 2019)
According to Wikipedia, the word apostolate means: An apostolate is a Christian organization “directed to serving and evangelizing the world”,
most often associated with the Anglican Communion or the Catholic Church. …
The word apostolate comes from the Greek word apostello,
which means to “send forth” or “to dispatch”.
And isn’t that pretty much a summation of what is known as the Great Commission within
the Christian faith?
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
Then Jesus came to them and said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
So I recently read about an interesting little book that’s really not very new…the copyright
date is 1946.
It is the book that was on the bedside table of Pope Pius X…
and so intrigued as to what a pope found to be essential to the Faith,
I naturally thought I too needed to have my own copy.
And whereas this book was written by a Catholic Monk who was born in 1858 and died in 1935,
the words offered are eerily very current and timely…
Or perhaps there’s nothing eery about it at all because such words are more or less timeless.
Not overly familiar with the political history of France during the era of her Prime Minister
Georges Eugène Benjamin Clemenceau, I did not realize that he was very much an enemy of
the Catholic Chruch as well as an active anti-semite.
He considered himself to be a Radical Socialist.
He had no use for religion– that being not only The Catholic Chruch, but any church, as he was an avowed and very vocal atheist.
His feelings about the Jews were equally as venomous.
At one point, he mounted an all-out crackdown on the Catholic Chruch.
Some called it an outright persecution.
Yet French History is not totally unflattering of Clemenceau as he did lead France
strongly when she most needed strong leadership during the throes of WWI.
He even survived an assassination attempt by an anarchist during the midst
of the Treaty of Versailles.
In 1901 when Clemenceau was speaking very vocally against the Chruch and vowed
to close down as many of the monasteries and various Church Orders that he could,
a certain Catholic Cistercian monk was nominated to meet personally with the president
in order to ‘defend the faith.’
The unsympathetic atheist president admitted that he found this particular monk to be sincere,
fearless and of high integrity.
Clemenceau spared the monk’s Order but other Orders were not so fortunate.
The monk was Jean-Baptiste Chautard.
This particular monk was himself, not always one who was of religious thinking.
He had actually attended college to study economics and finance—
religion was far removed from his radar.
Chautard began attending a study group for Catholic students…an organization that would
be instrumental in his “conversion”—
a conversion from being Catholic in name only to that of practicing devout Chrisitan Catholic.
He later noted that this religious organization was… “more than a tame and sheepish attempt to rival the attractions of the dance hall and the
cafe by vainly trying to beat them at their own game of pleasing and entertaining human nature.
There was something more, something that appealed to a much deeper and more urgent and more
vital necessity: faith, supernatural charity,
a deep and simple and unbreakable solidarity among souls united, as he was to discover, in Christ.
And he began to taste “that peace which the world cannot give.”
I am reminded of the recent posting by Bishop Gavin Ashenden regarding the frivolity of various
Anglican churches and their sad attempts of drawing in attendants by offering putt-putt golf
down the center aisle of the sanctuary or placing a Helter Skelter amusement ride in close proximity
to the altar.
A feeble attempt hoping to draw in and amuse the masses rather than “feed” their souls.
Dom Chautard story continues…
In the persecution of the Chruch in France, under Clemenceau, in the early days of the century,
Dom Chautard’s keen eye had discovered a glaring inconsistency in the reaction of a certain
type of Catholic leader.
He observed that some priests, some organizers of Catholic Action,
imagined that they could fight political enemies with more or less worldly and politically weapons,
Oh how this sounds like our sad state of affairs today.
The now misguided global Christian Chruch, not merely the Catholic faith, wrestling with and fighting
her political enemies with worldly weapons rather than with her true spiritual armor.
In defending the Chruch against state persecution,
they thought the most important thing was to gain and preserve political and social power,
they believed that these gains could best be consolidated by a great material expansion.
They expended all their efforts in running newspapers, holding conventions,
publishing pamphlets and magazines, and above all,
they measured the growth of Catholic life by the number of new school buildings,
new Church buildings, new hospital buildings, new orphanages, new social centers.
…As if the Church of God were built exclusively of bricks and mortar!
Such apostles tended to congratulate themselves when they had raised large sums of money,
or when their Churches were filled with great throngs of people,
without reference to what might be going on in the souls of all those who were present
It (the Church) is built of saints.
And saints are made only by the grace of God and the infused virtues and the gifts of the Holy Ghost,
not by speeches and publicity and campaigns, which are all dommed to sterility without the
essential means of Prayer and mortification.
…the only remedy was a return to the fundamentals of Christian Doctrine in
all the power and beauty of their traditional presentation.
excerpts from The Soul of the Apostolate
Jean-Baptiste Chautard, O.C.S.O.
We’ve been hearing so much as of late, have we not, about those spiritual comets that were
once so bright… blazing comets that have all but quickly burned out as they so publicly
denounce their once staunch faith.
We’ve been reading so much about churches that are prostituting themselves all in the name of numbers
and that of the feel-good religion of a progressive post-Christian church.
We find ourselves in a bit of a panic as we think that we are undergoing some new
and strange predicament…but in reality, our predicament is nearly as old as time itself.
So yes, the only remedy, the only solution, is that we return to the fundamentals of our
We are called to dispatch the Word.
It would behoove us to be mindful that our time is running out…
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness
to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
“At the root of the collapse of the West, there is a cultural identity crisis.
The West no longer knows and does not want to know who made it,
who established it, as it was and as it is.
Many countries today ignore their own history.
This is self-suffocation naturally leads to a decadence that opens the
path to new, barbaric civilizations.”
Robert Cardinal Sarah
Many of you may or may not be familiar with Cardinal Sarah.
I’ve quoted and even mentioned Cardinal Sarah before.
I am not Catholic, but having been raised in the Episcopal Chruch,
I have always been considered Catholic lite… or so they say…
of which I take as a compliment.
But I want you to know that despite my not being a Catholic, I have always felt
encouraged when ever reading Cardinal Sarah’s words.
He does not mince his words.
He does not apologize for those words.
And he always takes God at His word while never looking back.
That is such a refreshing stand in a time of endless apologies, backtracking, politicizing,
and the current persecution of Christians in, of all places, Western Civilization.
Robert Sarah was born in 1945 in Ourous, a village in then rural French Guinea.
His parents were both Christian converts.
Sarah began his religious studies at the age of 12.
With ongoing conflicts within Guinea, Sarah eventually completed his schooling in both
France and Senegal with his final ordination studies in both Rome and Jerusalem.
He was ordained in 1969, serving as a priest and eventual bishop in Guinea.
Both pope’s Benedict and Francis elevated Sarah to first cardinal deacon then
eventually Cardinal in 2013.
What we know about Africa, Cardinal Sarah’s home nation, is that it is the fastest-growing
Christian nation on the planet.
And it is a bastion of a conservative perspective on God’s word and of Christianity.
Meaning, the global Christian Chruch in Africa does not mince God’s word.
If God said it, then it is so…end of sentence.
There is no deciphering, interpreting, or rewriting to suit the whims of the times.
In a time in which Christianity is under tremendous attack and Christians are facing
all sorts of persecutions, Africa offers Christianity hope.
Cardinal Sarah makes no excuses for his Christian faith, his African Christianity,
his Catholicism and no excuses for what many claim to be politically incorrect
stances on Christianity.
Cardinal Sarah has been very vocal, as well as pointed with his words, regarding ISIS,
Radical Isalm, gender identity, LGBTQ lifestyles, mass immigration, abortion,
the current demise of the traditional family, and the current seemingly
demise of Western Civilization.
The good Cardinal says that he “considers that the decadence of our time has
all the faces of mortal peril.”
He has also stated that ‘Gender Ideology is a Luciferean Refusal’
of the Sexual Nature Given to Us by God.
There are no apologies for such wording as he speaks with only the
word of God as his guide.
Cardinal Sarah has a new book to be released in September… The Day Is Now Far Spent.
The publisher’s review is telling…
In this powerful book by the acclaimed spiritual leader and best-selling writer,
one he calls his “most important”, he analyzes the profound spiritual,
moral and political crisis in the contemporary world.
He says that he “considers that the decadence of our time has all the faces of mortal peril.”
“At the root of the collapse of the West, there is a cultural identity crisis.
The West no longer knows who it is, because it no longer knows and does not
want to know who made it, who established it, as it was and as it is.
Many countries today ignore their own history.
This self-suffocation naturally leads to a decadence that opens the path to new,
In these words, Cardinal Sarah summarizes the theme of his book.
His finding is simple: our world is on the brink of the abyss.
Crisis of faith and of the Church, decline of the West, betrayal by its elites,
moral relativism, endless globalism, unbridled capitalism, new ideologies,
political exhaustion, movements inspired by Islamist totalitarianism…
The time has come for an unflinching diagnosis.
While making clear the gravity of the crisis through which the West has gone,
the Cardinal demonstrates that it is possible to avoid the hell of a world without God,
a world without man, a world without hope.
After the great international success of his first two books,
God or Nothing and The Power of Silence,
Cardinal Sarah offers a wide-ranging reflection on the crisis of the contemporary
world while teaching many important spiritual lessons.
I look forward to reading this latest book by this ardent soldier of the Faith,
and I am thankful that there are prelates, clergy, and
men of the cloth who will not apologize nor back down in the face of mounting backlash,
criticism or persecution—
In the word of God, there are no mistakes…there is no mincing of His word…
So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
“God will judge us not according to how much we endured,
but how much we could love”
Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ
Well, I sat down late Easter afternoon…worn out, exhausted and thankfully thought I might be
starting to actually be feeling a tad bit better…but I
certainly didn’t want to say that out loud.
I wanted to shift my thoughts to something from what I had just finished reading.
It’s a book about a story…the story includes my own yet fully compiled story
oddly intertwined within…
so any talk about all of that is going to have to wait…
Therefore I opted to pick back up a book that you may remember that I had been reading…
reading until things went a bit skewed.
That Hideous Strength: How The West Was Lost
The Cancer of Cultural Marxism in the Chruch, The World and The Gospel of Change
by Melvin Tinker
And I had every intention of offering another tidbit today that really struck me as to
how Mr. Tinker, and in turn, C.S.Lewis, foresaw what was to be the catalyst for
so much of our cultural troubles today….but, something else caught my attention.
Something that required me to put that thought on hold a day or two longer.
I’ve written about Christian Persecution before.
I’ve actually written about it a great deal.
But the trouble is…the persecution keeps escalating.
Not lessening, not keeping an even keel but growing
Now it’s not that I would ever think that my tiny little words could make
much of any sort of difference, it’s just that I feel it important to
speak out—just like I do about abortion.
These things don’t get any better, so I just keep trying to shine a little
light in the darkness.
Since Sunday, nearly 300 people have died from the terrorist bombings which took place in Sri Lanka
during Easter services.
8 bombings total rocked the country with 3 churches full of worshipers, along with three upscale
hotels, being purposely targeted.
The attackers were Islamic extremists.
Western leadership outrage hit the twitter waves…
Hillary Clinton offered condolences “On this holy weekend for many faiths,
we must stand united against hatred and violence.
I’m praying for everyone affected by today’s horrific attacks on Easter worshippers
and travelers in Sri Lanka.”
Barack Obama offered condolences for Easter worshipers…. “The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity.
On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal,
we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.”
What exactly is an ‘Easter worshiper’?
Christians go to Chruch on Easter in order to worship…so might they be what the former president
was painfully trying to acknowledge?
Yet last I checked, no one worshiped Easter.
Christians worship, on Easter, the Risen Christ…The Redeemer.
So I think we’re seeing one piece to this puzzling problem…
American leadership never likes to use the “C” word….that being the word, Christian.
But I’ve written about that before.
I’d actually written about President Obama having a very difficult time voicing the fact
that there is actually real persecution against Christians.
And for all his grandiose rhetoric and eloquence of speech when speaking or addressing
a crowd, he could never call a terrorist attack what it actually was…
an attack by Islamic Extremists.
According to a story offered on Fox News back in Janurary, “An international Christian organization is warning that the persecution of Christians
worldwide is set to rise in 2019 — and it’s calling on the United States to do more to help.
Release International, a U.K.-based charity that helps supports persecuted Christians
around the world and a partner organization of Voice of the Martyrs,
warns that this year, particularly in China, India, and Nigeria, persecution
against Christians is rising.
The story continued… “These are countries that have long been on the list but we’re seeing
an upwards curve, an alarming rise in persecution,”
Andrew Boyd, Release International spokesman, told Fox News.
“Release has been doing this work for 50 years,” Boyd added.
“I have no doubt that persecution is increasing and it is alarming
and the contexts are different. You have militant Islam in Nigeria;
China, which is communism; India, which is militant Hinduism;
North Korea which is a weird blend of communism and Emporer worship.
There is an increasing intolerance and it’s being played out in violence and
we know it because of the reports that are coming from our partners on the ground.”