New Year's Greeting
My Dear Friends,
On this New Year's Eve I wish friends and allies of the Remnant all around the world a happy and holy New Year. I know, we're all apprehensive now, as well we should be. All is most certainly not right with the world. In fact, I'm quite sure I'm not alone in fearing that our poor and Godless civilization has finally moved beyond the point of no return. Our course is set. Our rejection of Christ the King is formal and official, and we've begun the gruesome process of cannibalizing each other and raging against God Himself.
A hundred years after Our Lady's intervention at Fatima (which we largely ignored), it seems we've finally entered into the period of prophesized chastisement, but the instrument of that chastisement, it would seem, is to be the human race itself. In our madness, we're the ones who stand as our own judge and executioner, putting history on notice that we are what happen when a great Christian civilization turns against God. Look around, just now. . . what is everyone screaming at? Why is the world so infuriated at itself? Why are we waging war on children and even the unborn? Why do we hate so much?
They say that the Devils hate God so completely that even if they had a chance to leave hell and go to heaven, they wouldn't. Is that where we are heading today? So in hate with God that we can't tolerate even the reminder of Him in the eyes of the innocent or the lives of the unborn?
Truth, Goodness and Beauty also remind us of Him, and so we hate that, too. And as a result everything Godly is being exterminated. Our families are broken beyond repair, our priests are predators, our Pope has lost the Faith, our governments are the embodiment of Satan at work. Could there be greater chastisement than us without God?
We told God to go to Hell, and He has left us to our own, miserable devices so that we might erect this new Tower of Babel of ours that we like to call the New World Order!
But thank God, our God is merciful, and just as He would have spared Sodom for even ten just men willing to stand with Him, so too He will not cast into darkness the just men of today who stand in total darkness but who are willing to light a single candle in honor of Him. The enemies of our Faith occupy our Church now...there's no use denying it. And neither is there much we can do about that, other than resolve to light the candle and keep it burning until He returns to reclaim what's His.
I'd like to ask you--the faithful remnant growing stronger all around the world--to join me in a two-fold New Year's resolution. First, at this dark and critical hour, let’s place ourselves under the mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mary. All through history it has been the Mother of God who has interceded on behalf of the children of God who turn to her in times like these.
Remember most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, was left unaided.
Let us implore her help now, as we enter this moment in history where recourse to Mary is about all that stands between men of good will and the abyss. So, let us turn to her and let us beg her to be with us now and at the hour of our death.
And, secondly, let us resolve to go back to the basics, to study and teach what Catholics have believed for Millennia--to cement it into our lives and into the lives of our children--so that we may steel ourselves with the armor of the Old Faith and survive what's to come. Nothing else, it seems to me, really matters as much as recourse to the Queen of Heaven, an unyielding commitment to Tradition and total immersion in the old Faith.
Polemics have their place, as do strategy and sound Catholic action. But keeping the Faith, confirming the brethren in that Faith, while keeping despair and bitterness at bay--this is the challenge of our lives now. So let's be done with the distractions. No more New Mass, no more Vatican II, no more Modernism, no more false compromise with the world and its prince.
Those with eyes to see now know the Revolution for what it is and always was---total war on the Kingship of Christ, the Queenship of Mary and all the ancient tenets of our Holy Religion. Let us look on the faces of the occupiers no more, lest the very sight of these demons should cause our faith to fail us. God will deal with them in His good time. Our task now is to survive their reign of terror.
This New Year's, let us resolve to become militant Catholics again, to study what it is we believe and for what we must be prepared to die rather than deny. Let us go to war in 2019--war for Tradition, the old Faith, the old Mass, the family, the mother of God and the Kingship of Her Divine Son.
To that end, let's start off 2019 with some words and wisdom from the great Father Frederick Faber---famous for aptly describing the Traditional Latin Mass as the "most beautiful thing this side of heaven." This is the first in a projected series of instructional and inspirational Remnant articles to appear over the course of the New Year for the specific purpose of grounding us all in what we believe so that we might stand as a Catholic army of God once again, ready to live and die for the promises of our Baptism.
Happy and Holy New Year. And for God's sake, keep the old Faith. MJM
A Meditation on the Sacraments
Father Frederick Faber
There is something almost indiscriminate in the generosity of the Precious Blood. It appears not to regard the probabilities of its being used, or appreciated, or welcomed. It goes in floods through the seven mighty channels of the sacraments. It lies like a superincumbent ocean of sanctifying grace over the Church.
Truly, the sacraments are an invention of love, yet are thy not also as truly a necessity for our salvation? Would not the divine assurance of our salvation be a very heaven begun on earth? Yet the Sacraments are the nearest approach to such an assurance as the love of our Heavenly Father saw to be expedient for the multitude of His children.
Let us see now the means by which the Precious Blood spreads its empire. These means are the sacraments. It is difficult to describe the sacraments. If an angel were to bear us from this globe which we inhabit and carry us to some distant star, which God may have adorned as a dwelling-place for some other species of reasonable creatures, we should be struck with the novelty and peculiarity of the scenery around us. Some of its features might remind us of the scenery of earth, although with characteristic differences, while other features would be entirely new. This is very much the effect produced upon us when we come to learn the Catholic doctrine about the sacraments. It introduces us into a new world. It amounts to a revelation. The sacraments are a part of the new world introduced into creation by the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, and therefore are an essential part of creation as it was eternally preordained by God. Yet they are quite distinct from any other province in creation. The sacraments of the Old Law were but shadows of the sacraments of the Gospel. The sacraments of the New Law are created things which have been devised by our Blessed Lord Himself. The Eucharist was foreshadowed by the Paschal Lamb; the sacrament of Holy Orders by the consecration of priests and Penance by the legal purification of the tabernacle.
There was no shadow of Confirmation because it is the sacrament of the fullness of grace, and so can belong only to the Gospel dispensation. Neither was there any shadow of Extreme Unction because it is the immediate preparation for the entrance of the soul into glory and there was no entrance into glory for any human soul till Jesus had risen and ascended. Neither could Matrimony be a sacrament under the Old Law, because the Word had not yet wedded our human nature; and the sacramentality of Marriage consists in its being the figure of those transcendent nuptials of the Sacred Humanity.
What then shall we call these sacraments? They are not persons, yet they scarcely seem to be things. I mean that they seem to be more than things. We want another word for them, another name, and we cannot find one. They are powers, lives, shrines, marvels, centers of heavenly power, supernatural magnficences, engraftings of heaven upon earth, fountains of grace, mysterious efficacies, marriages of matter and spirit, beautiful complications of God and man. Each sacrament is a species by itself. Each has some specialty, which is at once its excellence and its mystery. The pre-eminence of Baptism consists in its remission of original sin and the pains due to it. The pre-eminence of Confirmation resides in the vastness of the succors of actual grace which it brings with it, as we see in the fortitude it conferred on the Apostles and which the Eucharist had not conferred. The sacrament of Penance can claim the privilege of the most necessary of all sacraments to those who have been baptized, and of the capability of reiterated remission of mortal sin, which Baptism cannot claim. Extreme Unction excels Penance in the great copiousness of its graces. The excellence of Orders consists in its placing men in the singularly sublime state of being domestic ministers of Christ. Matrimony has a glory of its own in its significance of the union of our Lord with His Church. The preeminence of the Eucharist resides, as St. Thomas says, in the very substance of the sacrament, seeing that it is as it were the sacrament of all the other sacraments, the center of them, the cause of them, the end of them, and the harmony of them. All are because of it and are subordinate to its amazing supremacy.
These sacraments were designed by our Lord Himself and were instituted by Him with varying degrees of details as to matter and form in various sacraments; and yet, saving their substances, He has given His Church very extensive power over them, because they are so intimately connected with its unity. We see the exercise of this power in the bread of the Eucharist, in the impediments of marriage, and in the varieties of Orders in the Latin and Greek Churches. The sacraments are institutions that illustrate at once the magnificence of God’s dominion over His creation, and also the capability of creatures to be elevated by Him to astonishing sublimities far beyond the merit and due of nature; and this elevability of creatures is one of the most glorious manifestations of the liberty of God.
The sacraments are not mere signs of grace, but causes of it. They cause grace in us physically by the omnipotence of God which exists in them as if it were their own proper virtue and energy. The sacraments cause grace physically, just as our Lord’s Blood, shed long ago, cleanses us from our sins physically, not morally only, and just as His Resurrection and Ascension cause our resurrection and ascension physically, by the energy and a force which God has appropriated to them. The sacraments also cause grace in us morally, by representing to the Father the merits of Christ’s Passion actually accomplished and so doing a sort of holy and irresistible violence to God, and thereby procuring for us more abundant, and at the same time, very special succors of grace…
But the sacraments not only confer a sanctifying grace and infuse habits of virtue, both physically and morally, they also confer a certain special sacramental grace which is peculiar and distinct in each sacrament. Moreover, it belongs to the grace of the sacraments that certain of them impress what is called a character or seal on the soul. The nature of this character is involved in mystery; but the most probable interpretation of it is that which describes it as a natural similitude of the soul of Jesus, likening our souls to His, and imparting hiddenly to our souls a resemblance of His, hidden in this life, but to be divulged with exceeding glory hereafter. This is a beautiful thought and fills us full of a peculiar love for the dear human soul of Jesus. Our clearest idea of the Sacraments is that which we gain form Hugh St. Victor and the elder theologians: they are the making visible of invisible grace…The sacraments are the actions of Christ. He instituted them as Man and thus they are the going-on of the thirty-three years upon earth…
The sacraments are the most striking memorials of the love of Jesus and a knowledge of them is most necessary to the right understanding of redemption…They are the inventions of God. No creature could have devised them. I do not believe that without revelation the most magnificent intelligence of angels could have imagined such a thing as a sacrament. It is a peculiar idea of God. It represents a combination of His most wonderful perfections… It conveys to us a distinctive notion of God. We already know God as the unbeginning God. We know Him as the God of nature and the God of grace. These are two different disclosures of Him to us. So the knowledge of Him as the God who devised the sacraments is another disclosure of Him. Moreover, God not only invented them but He invented them for the most magnificent of purposes. He invented them that by their means especially He might impart His Divine Nature to created natures, that He might justify sinners, that He might sanctify souls that he might unite to Himself the race whose nature He had condescended to single out and assume to Himself. If they are His own invention they must be works of unspeakable excellence; but if they were meant also for purposes so dear to Him, and of such an exalted character, who shall be able rightly to imagine the excellence of the sacraments?
The character which some of the sacraments confer also belongs to their grace. Amid the ardors of heaven and in the dazzling splendors of the Beatific Vision, the inexplicable characters of the sacraments, three in number, as if adumbrating the Three Divine Persons, shine forth as distinct beauties and brighten through all eternity. The character of Baptism is, as it were, the finger-mark of the Eternal Father on the soul. The character of Orders glistens like the unfailing unction of the priesthood of the Eternal Son. The character of Confirmation is the deep mark which the fires of the Holy Ghost burned in, the pressure of His tremendous fortitude which was laid upon us and yet we perished not, so tenderly and so gently did He touch us. In the wild fury of the tempestuous fires of hell the same characters glow terribly. They are indestructible even there, fiery shames, intolerable disgraces, distinct fountains of special agony forever and forever…
Now, look out upon the great laboring world, the world of human actions and endurances; it is not possible to measure the influence which is being exercised upon the world at this moment by the sacraments. They are penetrating the great mass of mankind like the network of veins and arteries in a living body. They are being the causes of millions of actions, and they are hindering the consequences of millions of other actions. They are weaving good and unweaving evil incessantly. The influence of a single reception of a sacrament may be handed down for generations; and the making of destinies of thousands may be in its hands., At this instant, by far the greatest amount of the earth’s intercourse with heaven is carried on directly, or indirectly though the sacraments. There is a vast wild world of sorrow upon earth. But over great regions of it the sacraments are distilling dews of heavenly peace….They are drying the widow’s tears, raising up unexpected benefactors for the orphan, nerving the pusillanimous, softening the desperate, rousing the torpid, crowning those who strive, and doing all things for those who die….
Moreover, a devotion to the sacraments is very needful for the times in which we live. The spirit of the age must necessarily affect both our theology and our asceticism. Under its constraints we shall be tempted to sacrifice the supernatural to the natural, the passive to the active, and the infused to the acquired. Theology will be allured to merge into metaphysics. Devotion will be considered a vocation, priests a caste, and theology a private professional training. Men will sneer at perfection in the world. Education will be bidden to throw off what it will be taught to consider the last relics of monastic trammels. Men will chafe at the condemnation of books and indeed at all acts of intellectual authority on the part of the Church. A discontent with the existing Church, or at least a want of cordial forward sympathy with it, will grow up. The sovereignty of the Church, the Pope’s temporal power, and the hallowed truths enshrined in canon law will provoke impatience as obstinate things which will not die although their hour of death has come. The mystical side of the Gospel will become more distasteful while it grows less intelligible. Heroism will have to rank lower than the ordinary attainments of conscientious piety. The privileges of the Church will be less esteemed and heresy less hated. The influence of the Incarnation will be far less recognized and acknowledged in the world. Such is the spirit which will try to waylay souls on their road to Calvary or Thabor. Such, by the blessing of God, will not be ours, if we foster in ourselves a deep, a tender, and an intelligent devotion to the sacraments.
At this point in the Bergoglian Debacle it seems to me that le mot juste for this pontificate is ridiculous. Scandalous, outrageous, blasphemous and even heretical also vie for acceptance, but more substantive adjectives somehow don’t seem appropriate for an occupant of the Chair of Peter who can no longer be taken seriously if we are to take seriously the Faith and the Church that has propagated it for two millennia.
Bergoglio’s theme is consistent: it’s his way or the Catholic way. As he himself has put it in one of the innumerable interviews that belong to his ceaseless attempt to impose his personal opinions on the Church as if they were Catholic doctrine: “I’m constantly making statements, giving homilies. That’s magisterium. That’s what I think, not what the media say that I think. Check it out; it’s very clear.”
Well, we have checked it out. And it is very clear. Putting aside the occasional expressions of a sound popular piety—almost invariably marred, however, by demagogic digs at staunch Catholics or the rich or some other designated object of opprobrium—it is very clear that this pontificate is a joke. A sinister joke, to be sure, but nonetheless blackly humorous. For what but laughter can be the Catholic response to a mere man who treats the Magisterium as the personal possession of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the name he insists on retaining as reflected in his Argentinian passport? “That’s what I think.” One can only laugh at such monumental hubris unaccompanied by either the charisma or the intellect that would characterize a dictator capable of making himself beloved. What we have instead is boundless ambition in a very small package. Few there are who still cannot see this.
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On and on he goes, telling us whatever he thinks, as if the faithful could possibly accept that one Pope has the power to overrule all the others in matters of faith and morals: excusing violations of exceptionless precepts of the natural law based on the “complexity of one’s limits,” admitting public adulterers to Holy Communion in “more complex circumstances”; approving contraception as a “lesser evil” to prevent the spread of the Zika virus—thus allowing that evil may be done that good may come of it, the error that is the death of all morality; proclaiming that Luther was right about justification; pronouncing the death penalty immoral while accusing his predecessors, many of them saints or beati, of “ignoring the primacy of mercy over justice,” and even attempting to put over the incredible whopper, based solely on his own opinion, that “the Magisterium of the Church understands that life sentences [las penas perpetuas], which deny the possibility of moral and existential redemption of the condemned and of the community, are a form of death penalty in disguise…”. What’s next, a Bergoglian motu proprio specifying maximum sentencing guidelines for capital crimes?
The laugh track of this pontificate is also triggered by Bergoglio’s blundering interventions into politics—not for the repeal of human laws that contradict the divine and natural law, but rather to call for the adoption of measures invariably in accord with the platforms of the radical Left in Europe and America. Such as: worldwide abolition of the death penalty, with never a call for worldwide abolition of abortion; the elimination of border walls or barriers—while he lives in a walled enclave surrounded by armed guards; the unrestricted mass migration of military-age Muslim males and other “migrants” according to an imaginary “right to migrate”—a right not recognized by the Vatican city state; and all the crackpot schemes and burdens on the common man to reduce carbon emissions while Bergoglio and his fellow climate change fanatics jet all over the world to lecture us about how we must air-dry our clothes and use public transportation. Bergoglio has even seen fit to weigh in against the Scottish and Catalonian independence movements, because “all division worries me.”
The height of Bergoglio’s inane politics is his encyclical on environmentalism wherein, ignoring the apostasy of an entire civilization as it sinks into an abyss of depravity, he deplores “sins against creation,” “the disappearance of ecosystems sustained by mangrove swamps,” “the extinction of part of the planet’s biodiversity” and the “increasing use and power of air-conditioning,” relegating to paragraph 117 respect for the “human embryo” as “part of reality.”
Just how much of a joke this pontificate has become is seen in this interview, broadcast on December 6 by the Italian bishops’ TV station. In response to a leading question by one Father Marco Pozza, suitably attired in a sports jacket, polo shirt, chinos and sneakers, Bergoglio blithely declares that the words of the Our Father recited by the faithful for 2,000 years are “not a good translation” and that “even the French have changed the text to translation that says ‘Don’t let me fall into temptation’—that I’m the one who falls.”
Have the French done it? Say no more!
Revealing the shallowness of his theological formation, such as it is, Bergoglio exhibited laughable incomprehension of the true sense of our Lord’s petition “and lead us not into temptation…” Said Bergoglio to Pozza: “But it’s not him [God] who throws me into temptation to then see how I have fallen. No, a father doesn’t do this. The one who leads us into temptation is Satan.” Once again imposing his uninformed opinion, Bergoglio had already demanded that the Italian bishops abandon the traditional translation (“e non ci indurre in tentazione”) in favor of “and do not abandon us in temptation” [“e non abbandonarci nella tentazione”].
Sandro Magister notes that during an extraordinary session of the Italian bishops’ conference (CEI) called to consider Bergoglio’s demand—under the President he had handpicked to control the CEI—“[t]he ‘old’ version was not even put to a vote, so that it was impossible to defend it.” As the increasingly contemptuous Magister observes of this latest Bergoglian farce: “Logically, if God cannot ‘lead’ us into temptation, we don’t see why he is allowed to ‘abandon’ us to it. For two millennia the Church has never dreamed of changing that difficult word of the Gospel, but rather of interpreting and explaining it, in its authentic meaning.”
In an interview with Life Site News, the Swiss linguist and Bible scholar Father Reto Nay, joining the swelling ranks of orthodox Catholics who have had enough of this circus, makes short work of Bergoglio’s junk theology: “The text of the Our Father is passed down to us in the New Testament, which was written in ancient Greek. The phrase ‘and lead us not into temptation’ is contained both in Mt 6:13 and Lk 11:4 with identical wording: καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν. This means that the wording of the petition in question cannot be blamed on a transmission error or misunderstanding.”
As Fr. Nay further explains:
The Roman Church may have used the Greek original in the beginning. But it quickly changed to Latin: “et ne nos inducas in tentationem” which is a literal translation of the Greek. So is the English version “and lead us not into temptation,” or the Italian “non ci indurre in tentazione.”
These versions are the result of translating the verb εἰσφέρω/εἰσενέγκῃς (= to lead into, to bring into) and the noun πειρασμός (= temptation, putting to proof). The original text does not offer the possibility of an alternative translation. I am not aware of any period in Church history when this translation was questioned. There is simply no grammatical or syntactical reason to do so.
Of course, Bergoglio doesn’t think he needs a grammatical or syntactical reason to alter the 2,000-year-old translation of the very prayer God Himself dictated in the flesh. Bergoglio doesn’t like it, so it has to go.
But the substitute wording Bergoglio maneuvered to obtain in Italy is theological nonsense, as Father Nay notes:
I have no idea where the “and do not abandon us to temptation” comes from. Deuteronomy 4:31 says, “Because the Lord your God is a merciful God, he will neither abandon you nor destroy you; he will not forget the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them” (a similar reference is made in Psalm 94:14). If this is true (and it is), why then should we pray “and do not abandon us to temptation.” It also seems to insinuate that God actually could “abandon” us in temptation which comes close to blasphemy because it puts the blame on God when we abandon him. But 2 Chronicles 15:2 says, “if you abandon him, he will abandon you.”
To the objection that God would not “lead” us into temptation either, Father Nay replies with the obvious point that “the text does not say that God is the originator of the temptation; the devil is or men…. In this sense, Christ is led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit ‘to be tempted by the devil’ (Mt 4:1)…” That is, he is subjected to a trial, in order to show us that trials in the form of temptations are to be expected in keeping with the revealed truth that “all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Tim 3:12),” with temptation being precisely a test of faith under persecution by the devil or his minions—a test we are able to pass if we correspond to God’s grace.
Here I would note that Saint Paul explains this quite precisely: “But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor 10:13). That is, God will subject us to the trial of temptation, but will also provide us with the means to overcome it. He will not abandon us to temptation, although we may abandon ourselves by rejecting His grace. This datum of revealed truth is obviously lost on Bergoglio, who operates on the assumption that what he thinks “is Magisterium.”
As this article goes to press, we learn the news that of the seven communist puppet bishops whose excommunications Bergoglio lifted under the terms of a secret agreement with the butchers of Beijing, two have concubines and children. The courageous Cardinal Zen, who did everything in his power to prevent what he calls “an incredible betrayal” of the faithful Catholics in China’s Underground Church, notes that “it is for certain, for a long time it’s public knowledge” that Paul Lei Shiyin and Joseph Liu Xinhong are “married” with children. Yet they are now recognized as legitimate bishops by Bergoglio—who nonetheless continues to leave the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X in canonical limbo. Another joke.
Cardinal Burke observes that “If it is true that one or more of the ‘reconciled’ bishops from the Patriotic Church in China are married, the Latin Church, by the recent accords with the government of China, has broken with apostolic tradition which has never permitted Bishops to be married, above all, out of respect for the example of Our Lord, the Great High Priest in whose person the bishop acts in a full way. Such a fact, coupled with the open lack of respect for the authority of the Petrine Office on the part of some of the bishops, calls into question the canonical validity of the lifting of the excommunication which the bishops involved had justly incurred.”
Now that the “official” church and its puppet bishops enjoy Vatican recognition, Beijing exploits its secret pact with the Vatican as a warrant to destroy what is left of the Underground Church in China. Thus does Bergoglio literally abandon his sheep to communist wolves who force women to kill their unborn children. At the same time, however, he calls for abolition of the death penalty and even life sentences for guilty murderers while he deplores Donald Trump’s immigration policy. Still another joke—perhaps the biggest yet in this black comedy of a papacy.
As we celebrate the glorious day of Our Savior’s birth, our Christmas prayer intentions ought to include a merciful end to this ruinous pontificate, failing the miracle it would take to produce a staunch defender of the Faith in Bergoglio. Meanwhile, contrary to the opinion of the current occupant of the Chair of Peter, we can be certain that it is God who has allowed us to be tempted to despair in the midst of the Bergoglian Debacle, but that it is also He who has provided the means by which we will be delivered from evil, if only we heed the admonition of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians, the veritable charter of traditionalist resistance to the madness of the past half-century: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.”
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