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Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Making Reparation For the Offenses Against the Sacred Heart of Jesus That Have Grown Progressively Worse Since Vatican II

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Making Reparation For the Offenses Against the Sacred Heart of Jesus That Have Grown Progressively Worse Since Vatican II

In his June 5, 2024 General Audience, Francis announced his intention to publish a document on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in September:

“We are passing through this month dedicated to the Sacred Heart. . . This is why I am pleased to prepare a document that brings together the precious reflections of previous Magisterial texts and a long history that goes back to the Sacred Scriptures, in order to re-propose today, to the whole Church, this devotion imbued with spiritual beauty. I believe it will do us great good to meditate on various aspects of the Lord’s love, which can illuminate the path of ecclesial renewal; but also says something meaningful to a world that seems to have lost its heart. I ask you to accompany me in prayer, during this time of preparation, with the intention of making this document public next September.”

 

Although it would take an extraordinary miracle for Francis to publish a holy and error-free document on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we can of course pray for it. If Francis takes the project seriously, though, he will find that the “precious Magisterial texts” on the Sacred Heart of Jesus generally repudiate not only all of his initiatives but also essentially every novelty promoted since Vatican II. In particular, we can consider three profound ways in which the evils that have proliferated since the Council directly offend the Sacred Heart of Jesus: denial of the Kingship of Christ, religious indifferentism, and the multiplication of sins.

Denial of Kingship of Christ. In his 1928 encyclical on reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Miserentissimus Redemptor, Pope Pius XI wrote of the connection between the Kingship of Christ and the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

“When Our Savior had taught Margaret Mary, the most innocent disciple of His Heart, how much He desired that this duty of devotion should be rendered to Him by men, moved in this not so much by His own right as by His immense charity for us; she herself, with her spiritual father, Claude de la Colombiere, rendered it the first of all. Thereafter followed, in the course of time, individual men, then private families and associations, and lastly civil magistrates, cities and kingdoms. But since in the last century, and in this present century, things have come to such a pass, that by the machinations of wicked men the sovereignty of Christ Our Lord has been denied and war is publicly waged against the Church, by passing laws and promoting plebiscites repugnant to Divine and natural law, nay more by holding assemblies of them that cry out, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us’ (Luke xix, 14): from the aforesaid Consecration there burst forth over against them in keenest opposition the voice of all the clients of the Most Sacred Heart, as it were one voice, to vindicate His glory and to assert His rights: ‘Christ must reign’ (1 Corinthians xv, 25); ‘Thy kingdom come’ (Matth. vi, 10).”

Pius XI wrote that the “machinations of wicked men” had denied the “sovereignty of Christ Our Lord,” making it all the more necessary to make reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

With Vatican II’s focus on ecumenism and religious liberty, the denial of the Kingship of Christ was essentially assured. The reality is that it was not the “machinations of wicked men” outside the Church that uncrowned Our Lord, but rather the “machinations of wicked men” inside the Church that did so.

With Vatican II’s focus on ecumenism and religious liberty, the denial of the Kingship of Christ was essentially assured. One may argue that the world was changing in such a way that Catholic nations were on the verge of extinction already, but the reality is that it was not the “machinations of wicked men” outside the Church that uncrowned Our Lord, but rather the “machinations of wicked men” inside the Church that did so.

In his They Have Uncrowned Him, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre related the following discussion he had with the Apostolic Nuncio in Bern, Bishop Marchioni, in 1976, which perfectly illustrates the change:

Archbishop Lefebvre: “Some dangerous things can easily be seen . . . In the declaration on religious liberty [Dignitatis Humanae], there are some things contrary to what the Popes have taught: it is decided that there can no longer be Catholic States!”

The Nuncio: “But of course, that is evident!”

Archbishop Lefebvre: “But the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, what are you going to do about that?”

The Nuncio: “You know, that is impossible now; perhaps in the distant future? . . . Right now, this Reign is in individuals; we have to open ourselves up to the masses.”

Archbishop Lefebvre: “But the encyclical Quas Primas [on the Kingship of Christ] what do you do with that?”

The Nuncio: “Oh . . . the Pope would not write that any more, now!”

Thus, the so-called “Catholic” innovators insisted then, as they do now, that Our Lord can no longer reign, and so they do not even make the effort to defend the Kingship of Christ. As a result, some of the most important initiatives of Vatican II lead to evils that necessitate reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Accordingly, those who try to preach false ecumenism and religious liberty on the one hand, and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the other, are deluding themselves — if they want to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus they should first stop dishonoring Christ the King.

Religious Indifferentism. One cannot make proper reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus without practicing the religion actually established by Our Lord. In his 1956 encyclical on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Haurietis Aquas, Pope Pius XII deplored the contamination of religious indifferentism:

“Moreover there are those who consider a devotion of this kind as primarily demanding penance, expiation and the other virtues which they call ‘passive,’ meaning thereby that they produce no external results. Hence they do not think it suitable to re-enkindle the spirit of piety in modern times. Rather, this should aim at open and vigorous action, at the triumph of the Catholic faith, at a strong defense of Christian morals. Christian morality today, as everyone knows, is easily contaminated by the sophistries of those who are indifferent to any form of religion, and who, discarding all distinctions between truth and falsehood, whether in thought or in practice, accept even the most ignoble corruptions of materialistic atheism, or as they call it, secularism.”

Just as false ecumenism and religious liberty have led to the denial of the Kingship of Christ, they have led to religious indifferentism. Whereas the Catholic Church should always be trying to teach souls that they must follow the immutable teachings of the Church if they wish to please God and save their souls, the apostles of the Vatican II revolution have instead taught that all religions are basically good, even if Catholicism is somewhat better. Apologists for Vatican II might deny this, but no serious Catholic can argue that the following passage from Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical on the consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Annum Sacrum, can be reconciled with the overall message of the Council:

“If then all power has been given to Christ it follows of necessity that His empire must be supreme, absolute and independent of the will of any other, so that none is either equal or like unto it: and since it has been given in heaven and on earth it ought to have heaven and earth obedient to it. And verily He has acted on this extraordinary and peculiar right when He commanded His Apostles to preach His doctrine over the earth, to gather all men together into the one body of the Church by the baptism of salvation, and to bind them by laws, which no one could reject without risking his eternal salvation.”

It would have been very easy for Vatican II to clearly reiterate this constant teaching of the Church found in the final sentence above — that all men must belong to the Church and follow its teachings unless they want to risk their eternal salvation — but the many ambiguous and contradictory passages in the Council’s documents fostered a religious indifferentism that has been cultivated in the decades that followed. If we doubt this, we need only ask how many bishops have voiced objections to the Synod on Synodality’s treating all baptized persons (including Protestants who detest Catholicism) as part of the “People of God” who form the new Synodal Church. Their silence on this point preaches “religious indifferentism” from the rooftops.

We can also see that all other sins are multiplied through the culmination of several post-Conciliar developments: poor catechesis, which fails to teach Catholics the gravity of sins; the virtual disappearance of instruction related to the need to receive the Blessed Sacrament worthily; and religious indifferentism.

Multiplication of Sins. The “prayer of reparation” at the end of Pope Pius XI’s Miserentissimus Redemptor enumerates various offenses for which reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus must be made:

“We now endeavor to expiate all these lamentable crimes together, and it is also our purpose to make amends for each one of them severally: for the want of modesty in life and dress, for impurities, for so many snares set for the minds of the innocent, for the violation of feast days, for the horrid blasphemies against Thee and Thy saints, for the insults offered to Thy Vicar and to the priestly order, for the neglect of the Sacrament of Divine love or its profanation by horrible sacrileges, and lastly for the public sins of nations which resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast instituted.”

It is beyond serious dispute that the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missae has increased some of these offenses to an unprecedented level, especially those related to sacrileges in connection with the Most Blessed Sacrament. As a general matter, offenses against modesty and violations of feast days also happen with far greater frequency among those who attend the Novus Ordo Missae. These offenses are by no means mandated by the Novus Ordo Missae, but they have flowed naturally from it with no real attempt to stop them.

We can also see that all other sins are multiplied through the culmination of several post-Conciliar developments: poor catechesis, which fails to teach Catholics the gravity of sins; the virtual disappearance of instruction related to the need to receive the Blessed Sacrament worthily; and religious indifferentism, discussed above.

Taken altogether, this points to a greater need than ever to make serious reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And yet a key component of a sincere desire to make reparation must include a resolution to avoid the types of offenses that give rise to the need for reparation. As such, those who purport to have a serious devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should also work to overcome the evils that have proliferated in the name of Vatican II.

God permits this so we will return to Him. True devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus — including a rejection of the evils that wound His Heart — is the remedy.

We can also take note of Pope Leo XIII’s discussion from Annum Sacrum related to the cause-and-effect relationship between abandoning the truth and experiencing evils like those that suffocate us today:

“When men's minds are raised to such a height of insolent pride, what wonder is it that the greater part of the human race should have fallen into such disquiet of mind and be buffeted by waves so rough that no one is suffered to be free from anxiety and peril? When religion is once discarded it follows of necessity that the surest foundations of the public welfare must give way, whilst God, to inflict on His enemies the punishment they so richly deserve, has left them the prey of their own evil desires, so that they give themselves up to their passions and finally wear themselves out by excess of liberty. Hence that abundance of evils which have now for a long time settled upon the world, and which pressingly call upon us to seek for help from Him by whose strength alone they can be driven away. Who can He be but Jesus Christ the Only-begotten Son of God? ‘For there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved’ (Acts iv., 12). We must have recourse to Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We have gone astray and we must return to the right path: darkness has overshadowed our minds, and the gloom must be dispelled by the light of truth: death has seized upon us, and we must lay hold of life. It will at length be possible that our many wounds be healed and all justice spring forth again with the hope of restored authority; that the splendors of peace be renewed, and swords and arms drop from the hand when all men shall acknowledge the empire of Christ and willingly obey His word, and ‘Every tongue shall confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father’ (Philippians ii, II).”

One could make a reasonable argument that this is the best explanation of the unprecedented evils we see in the Church and world today. God permits this so we will return to Him. True devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus — including a rejection of the evils that wound His Heart — is the remedy. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

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Last modified on Wednesday, June 5, 2024
Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist

Robert Morrison is a Catholic, husband and father. He is the author of A Tale Told Softly: Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Hidden Catholic England.