God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose me for there is no other more sinful and more unworthy. God is showing the path to simplicity and truth, and that He does this through such lowly dirt as me – Saint Francis of Assisi.
See a tiny fraction of the marvellous infinity that has been created for us by God and learn more about the nature that reflects a little of His beauty. This film has been accepted into the official archives of the European Space Agency. It is listed in IMDb and distributed conjointly by Avinu Films / Meridian. The film has also been chosen as a semi-finalist in the 2018 San Mauro International Film Festival.
Some, even in the Catholic Church itself, are claiming openly that we are at the time of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This claim is demonstrably false.
First, no one knows the exact time of the end – the day and the hour – not even the Son; only the Almighty Father knows (Mt 24:36, Mk 13:32). Anyone who claims otherwise has either been deceived, is an outright liar, or is a drunk – or thinks he knows more than God and can revise Scripture.
Second, before the very time of the end, the era of peace – the era of the reign of Spirit, the era of the fourth stage of deification, the Kingdom of the Divine Will on earth – as described in Revelation 20 has to occur. It has not yet come. Only after that time period will the final battle take place, followed by the Second Coming of Christ in glory.
Third, the global illumination of all consciences as described in Joel 3:12 has not yet taken place. That illumination takes place before the Second Coming.
Fourth, as a consequence of the global illumination of consciences, all the various Christian denominations will unite under the aegis of the Catholic Church. All the schisms will be healed. Judaism and Christianity will also become united (CCC §674). This shall take place so that the light of the Gospel can reach all nations. It will take place before the final battle and the Second Coming. As we can see, none of that has yet occurred. Neither has the Great Persecution.
So, all of the above beg the question, “Where are we in salvation history?”
Ours, right now, is the time of the Third Passover – that time of the intermediate coming of Christ. What we are going through are the labor pains to usher in the era of peace, the era of the reign of the Father in the heart of the souls, the nous, of humanity. Here is a part from Saint Bernard of Clairvaux’s writings to clarify things for you about our present time:
At an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come . . . Do not just think about his first coming when he came “to seek and to save the lost;” think, too, of that other coming when he will come to take us with him . . . But there is a third coming between the two to which I have referred and those who know of it can rest in it for their greater happiness. The other two are visible but this one is not. In the first, “the Lord has appeared on earth and has spoken to us;” . . . in the last, “all mankind shall see the salvation of God.” But the one that comes between them is secret; it is that in which the elect alone see the Savior within themselves and their souls find salvation. In his first coming, Christ came in our flesh and in our weakness; in his coming in the midst of time, he comes in Spirit and power; in his final coming, he will come in his glory and majesty (Saint Bernard, Sermons 4 et 5 for Advent).
This is the time of the coming of the Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven; the time we have all been praying for since Christ taught us the Our Father prayer. That is the time we are living in. Those who are expecting a manifest reign of Christ on earth are making the same error Judas Iscariot did when, at the time of the First Coming, he expected Christ to physically establish His kingdom on earth and overthrow Roman rule.
Preach the Gospel and if necessary use words – Saint Francis of Assisi
More than a few Christians in America and beyond these days, but particularly in the United States, attempt to evangelize by thumping others on the head with their ‘values’ under a variety of rationalizations. Their judgmentalism, moreover, can oftentimes be considered nothing short of phenomenal. There can be no doubt that many of these Christians, including Catholics, are fundamentally sincere in their underlying intentions. However, they seem to have forgotten (1) that the above is not evangelization, but proselytization (which is “nonsense” – Pope Francis); (2) the words of Saint Paul in his first Letter to the Corinthians, and (3) the words of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew: “By their fruits you shall know them.”
Look at how much they love one another – Tertullian
No one has ever been attracted or won over to the One, True Faith by force. On the contrary. The more one name-calls others in a self-congratulatory manner in an attempt to ‘convert’ them – you know, those “over there” – the more seekers are driven away not brought closer to God. They are repulsed.
God gave every man and every woman free will when He created humankind in His own image and likeness. He, in fact, respects the decisions taken by our free will even when some of our choices cause Him great grief and sorrow. The sole conclusion that can, therefore, be reached from all of the above is that these Christians and Catholics do not know God other than by Name because if they did – if they knew Him, if they had truly met Him, at the very least, deep down in their hearts – they would know beyond doubt that, first and foremost, God is Love; Infinite Love.
Return, O Israel, unto HaShem your God, for you have stumbled in your iniquity (Hos 14:2).
Not even a spark of reverence exists in His Presence any longer. All is dead, despite the appearance of being alive, for love in the hearts of this people has grown cold and bitter. Love Himself is neglected and abandoned. Nothing is offered to Him that He desires and has ceaselessly begged for. Only that which He does not desire is given to Him, if at all.
The flame of true love and true life has gone out in the hearts of this people because love in Persona is unwanted. You who know Him, love Him “with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Dt 6:5; Mt 22:37; Mk 12:30; Lk 10:27). For the most beautiful, tender, patient and loving God is neither loved nor wanted any more.
The question has been asked, “How can we know which one is the true Church and which one is the false church in the confusion that is arising?” The short answer is simple.
As evidenced in Sacred Scripture, Jesus Christ said, “I say to you, ‘You are Peter and on this Rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. Whatsoever you shall bind upon the earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose upon the earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven'” (Mt 16:18-19). Thus, Saint Ambrose said, “Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia, ibi Deus [Where there is Peter, there is the Church and there is God],” because Peter – the Pope – is the Rock, the guarantor of the Faith, and this by divine appointment. Christ Himself prays to the Almighty Father for the Pope.
Several, over the past few days, cognoscenti and otherwise, with an attempt at ‘strength in numbers,’ have claimed that the current Peter – that is, Pope Francis – is “propagating heresies.” But the very premise upon which their claims stand is false, because Christ Himself, Who is God, has declared the true Church to be indefectible. The Pope is, thus, himself indefectible in terms of the Faith and what is needed to be saved, precisely because the Church is indefectible. This is true not just when the Pope teaches ex cathedra under the charism of infallibility, as so many have both failed and keep failing to understand, but also when he teaches non-infallibly, albeit not at the personal level.
The guarantor of the Faith, the Rock, can never fall into the grave sins of apostasy, heresy or schism, because he is safeguarded from doing so by the prevenient grace of God – the operating grace, not the cooperating grace. Throughout the entire history of the Catholic Church, in which resides the fullness of the Church that was established by Jesus Christ while still on earth, no canonically-elected Pope has ever fallen into any one of these three sins or combination thereof while reigning as Pope, despite repeated claims to the contrary, precisely because of the ongoing gift of prevenient grace. Those who would claim otherwise are either inadequately schooled in the actual particulars of history or wilfully misunderstanding said history.
The above-referenced gift of grace, which has been granted to Peter and each one of his successors, and will keep on being granted to their successors until the end of all time, is not provided by God for the personal benefit of the Pope. It is provided for the benefit of all humanity, in order that the ark of salvation, which is the Church, never fails and the gates of Hell do not prevail.
The true Church, therefore, can easily be discerned to be where the Pope is, not where some might claim it to be or even desire it to be, because it is the Pope and no one else who has been granted the divine gifts of the charism of truth and the charism of a faith that never fails.
Ubi Petrus, Ibi Ecclesia, Ibi Deus
Pope Francis on unity and diversity in the Church (Homily for Pentecost, 2017):
“By His presence and activity, the Spirit draws into unity spirits that are distinct and separate among themselves (Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of John, XI, 11). He does so in a way that affects true union, according to God’s will, a union that is not uniformity, but unity in difference.
“For this to happen, we need to avoid two recurrent temptations. The first temptation seeks diversity without unity. This happens when we want to separate, when we take sides and form parties, when we adopt rigid and airtight positions, when we become locked into our own ideas and ways of doing things, perhaps even thinking that we are better than others, or always in the right, when we become so-called “guardians of the truth.” When this happens, we choose the part over the whole, belonging to this or that group before belonging to the Church. We become avid supporters for one side, rather than brothers and sisters in the one Spirit. We become Christians of the “right” or the “left,” before being on the side of Jesus, unbending guardians of the past or the avant-garde of the future before being humble and grateful children of the Church. The result is diversity without unity. The opposite temptation is that of seeking unity without diversity. Here, unity becomes uniformity, where everyone has to do everything together and in the same way, always thinking alike. Unity ends up being homogeneity and no longer freedom. But, as Saint Paul says, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17).
“So the prayer we make to the Holy Spirit is for the grace to receive his unity, a glance that, leaving personal preferences aside, embraces and loves his Church, our Church. It is to accept responsibility for unity among all, to wipe out the gossip that sows the darnel of discord and the poison of envy, since to be men and women of the Church means being men and women of communion. It is also to ask for a heart that feels that the Church is our Mother and our home, an open and welcoming home where the manifold joy of the Holy Spirit is shared.”
A tendency has arisen and seems to be increasing these days among some Christians, Catholics included, in the United States to regard human persons and their personalities as evil in themselves. Discourses and language such as, for instance, a “distorted and evil soul” or “becoming evil” is being used more and more often to describe “evil people,” or “evil personalities,” who are regarded as “lost souls.” Apart from the fact – obvious even to children – that no Christian, no Catholic, should ever use such language these days in relation to other persons, to consider an individual or a group of individuals as evil per se does not reflect the teachings of the Church.
To give a succint example that is easily understood by the many, not even in the case of a person who is perfectly possessed by evil spirits does the Church consider that individual 100% “evil,” despite the actions he or she may have carried out while under the influence of personified evil. Let alone in the case of people who are not possessed in such a manner, or even harassed by evil or obsessed.
Hence for some Christians and Catholics to consider and describe their fellow human persons in terms of the language referenced above is to manifest inadequate catechesis in the teachings of the universal Church, including Patristics, at best. And to manifest unexpunged self-righteousness – spiritual pride – at worst. The use of such language, therefore, in relation to fellow man does not bring people closer to God. It just calls down His judgment upon oneself, since the judgment of human persons is arrogated to God alone.
“Do you think I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on, a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Lk 12, 51-53).
“Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter” (Lk 11:52).
Revisionists of history, revisionists of the Word and the Truth, legitimizers of disorder and chaos; betrayers of God, the People of God, and of humanity. That is what you are, anti-priests of the Western world, no matter your rank in the priesthood, for you serve neither God nor His children despite your call and the indelible mark on your souls. You act as spiritual counselors of the people in both the internal and the external fora, but you lead without hesitation the most vulnerable and oppressed of the children of God in the direction of the desires of your own hearts and of the Evil One, instead of in the direction of God their Almighty Father.
Quo vadis, sacerdotes?
Thieves of the souls created and ever-so-loved by the Father, first degree murderers of the innocents whose blood bathes your hands in a mystical way, and ruthless persecutors of those brethren of the cloth who dare speak truth to your power, you differ not from Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli the high priest, and the bishop Judas Iscariot. In their company you belong! You counsel and enable women, at some of the most vulnerable and confused times of their lives, to proceed with having abortions when they ask you if they can licitly do so within the context of their Catholic faith. You give said counsel under the psychologization of saving the life of the mother, while knowing full well the spiritual and material consequences to your victims of such actions. Yes, victims! For these women and their unborn children, in reality, are no other than victims of your self-serving, thieving, and murderous hearts – envious hearts as neither women are you, nor men in your identities.
How can you call yourselves fathers after the Divine Heart of God the Father and priests after the Sacred Heart of Christ the Priest (cf. Jer 3:15)? You are anything but!
Dying to reconstruct and promulgate the faith in accordance with the deepest darkness of your desires and despite knowing that the immaculate Father, Son, and Holy Spirit cannot come to live in souls where the mortal darkness of unrepentant impurity resides, you actively facilitate both the illicitly married priesthood (opposite- and same-gender) in the Latin Rite Church and bless same-gender unions, in repeatedly compulsive attempts to legitimize the back alley acting-out of your own unintegrated sexualities, disordered inclinations, and challenged identities. You do this under the psychologizations that the law is continually evolving and that such marriages are preferable to the use of onanism as a substitute for intimate human relations. But according to whose supernatural wisdom does the bind of either one option or the other option of sexual acting-out necessarily have to be in effect, in the daily life of those not validly bound in the sacrament of matrimony? Whenceforth your failure in both faith and reason? Wherefore the abdication on your priestly part with regard to the third option: the potent, tangible action of grace and the equally tangible power of purity? Do you think they do not exist and this in the lives of common persons, including priests who are humble? To whom, moreover, do the souls of the persons you counsel and interact with in this manner belong: to your grasping, lustfully greedy, and darkness-filled selves, or to the Father who wants them home with Him despite all their frailties?
Whereto, therefore, the clerical abuse of power? For that is what it is. The abuse of the spiritual trust placed in you by the persons in question and by God Himself – erudite men of the cloth, yet wolves in sheep’s clothing; anti-priests of the Western world – given the intrinsic nature of your call? And whereto the eternal destiny of your own souls?
What accounting are you going to give at your particular judgment in relation to all those souls you have stolen and keep on stealing without compunction from the Almighty Father?
How I would love a church that is poor and for the poor (Pope Francis, General Audience, 2013).
There are millions of people who are homeless in America. Millions, not thousands; old and young alike. Yet newly built, protestantized churches like the above abound – and they call themselves Catholic. Not one flower is to be seen near the tabernacles in which God the Most Holy Trinity resides, or near the statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Yet they pride themselves in being Catholic. Was Christ born in a cold and dirty stable in Bethlehem, because his Mother and foster father were homeless and no one took them in, or was He born in the palace of Herod?
You have left your first love (Rv 2:4).
Where is your love? Do you even know what love means? Where is your devotion and fidelity to God? In the parking lots full of sports utility vehicles and ‘trucks,’ the vast majority of which seem to have been released within the past few years – while your own people, your very own people, sleep in the streets or under bridges, and eat food out of dumpsters behind big box stores? Are you a first world nation, America, or a third world nation? Where are your hearts, O People of God?
Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying (1 Cor 11:27-30).
What about your Masses, often standing room only and with innumerable stations for communion under both species, the distribution of which at times lasts almost 20 minutes – only to find not more than 20 people, if that, for the sacrament of confession on any given Saturday? And that when confession is even offered.
What about not a few of your priests, more often than not prancing around for homilies and during which some, for example, on a Solemnity in the Catholic Church, dare to ask if any of the faithful in the pews have dressed up as a lobster on Halloween? Not to mention a narration by one cleric, during the homily, about how much he enjoyed visiting Graceland and the house of Elvis Presley, ‘the King.’ What King? Who is the real King? Where is God? Is this “very reverent” as was said? Is this the “return to the solemnity of the Mass” as was claimed?
And the king will say to them, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me’ (Mt 25:40-45).
And what about the ‘welcome packets’ that are sent by these kinds of churches – packets containing nothing more than a thick stack of envelopes for tithing? Is this the desire of the heart of the Divine Father toward those who cross your thresholds? Do you even know what God wants from His people in relation to others?
Christ, on His visit to the temple centuries ago, flew into a rage, made whipping cords and used them to drive the marketeers out of the house of the Heavenly Father, as the anti-priests of the time had turned the temple into a veritable marketplace (Jn 2:15). And it is happening again. Saint John Paul II, when a simple parish priest, had nothing but a single change of clothing and one pair of shoes to his name. He did not even own a coat, despite the hard, cold weather. Benedict XVI has stated without equivocation that the spirit of the liturgy has been lost in such places. Francis has called without hesitation on a number of occasions for a poor Church for the poor.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Mt 19:23-24).
Yet the affluent churches in the United States do not hesitate to call themselves Catholic.
Deluded. Deceived. Confused. Disoriented. Unable to see at the spiritual level and understand, with the latter two abilities being direct gifts of grace of the Holy Spirit. Yet most of humankind, in particular in developed nations, consider themselves enlightened to this day, both in the camp of the left and in the camp of the right, and attempt without fail to educate the rest. Coercion? What is that? Where is God?
Their hearts have been closed, their nous has been darkened, and this to such an extent that the delicate balance between faith and reason has long been lost. Reification of reason externally to the faith and reification of the self are the new processes ordering the day, with darkness being perceived as light and light being perceived as darkness. But why is this happening to its present extent? What has led to such a pitiable state of affairs in the souls of humankind?
The answer is simple:
Because they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved, God is sending them a spirit of deception, so that they may believe the lie, that all who have not believed the truth, but have approved wrongdoing, may be condemned (2 Thes 2:10-12).