Time to de-canonize JPII

I read with glee an article in the Tablet UK entitled “Cardinal condemns de-canonisation of St. John Paul II.” At last, what has been whispered about for years in certain Catholic circles (notably, those who are persuaded by the sedevacantist position), has burst out into the open. There must be more than whispers now if a cardinal has gone public on this touchy subject.

The man who pleads for the retention of JPII in the communion of saints is Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz.  He has a personal stake in the matter, having been JPII’s personal secretary for 39 years.

Excerpt:

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Poland has condemned attempts to damage the status of his former superior, St John Paul II, and rejected calls for his “de-canonisation” for ignoring sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

“John Paul II was a man of the Second Vatican Council, which shaped his thinking about the Church and contemporary world”, said Cardinal Dziwisz, who was the Polish pontiff’s personal secretary for 39 years. “Efforts are being made to undermine his authority and even question his sainthood – and the situation the Church now finds itself in is encouraging this, among people whose consciences are troubled by John Paul II and who seek to weaken the Church’s position.

(I highlighted the most important text in bold).

There is compelling evidence that JPII did ignore clergy sex abuse and furthered much of the scandalous, irreverent liturgical practices in the church today. Not only that, under JPII, Catholics left the church en masse. But all Cardinal D. cares about is the “status” of his dead boss. Who cares about the massive decline in church attendance or the catastrophic collapse of vocations under JPII’s papacy?

If the Catholic Church were a corporation and JPII its CEO, he would have been fired by the board of directors before he had a chance to die in office.

But Cardinal Dziwisz tells us to keep venerating JPII as a saint because he was a man of the Second Vatican Council. That is exactly one of the most compelling reasons why he should be decanonized.

Vatican II is the most poisonous tree planted in the garden of Catholicism, and it has brought forth poisonous fruits, all of which have become ripe today.

While we’re at it, let’s look into the decanonization of Paul VI, who presided over the Second Vatican Council and approved all of its documents. He also introduced the irreverent Novus Ordo mass.

Both JPII and Paul VI were canonized by none other than Pope Francis, who has been accused of heresy by theologians and clergy.

Whenever I recite the Apostles Creed and mention the communion of saints, and when I think about the lives of the saints, their sacrifices and their unshakeable faith, I simply can’t bring myself to put JPII and Paul VI in their company. These two men are responsible for much of the destruction of the faith and morals in the Catholic Church.

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Must read of the day: St. John of Matha

I was brought to tears this morning upon reading about St. John of Matha, founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Ransom of Captives, whose feast day we celebrate on this 8th day of February.

Excerpt:

While celebrating his first Mass in the Bishop’s chapel in the presence of the Prelate and several assistants, there appeared to John an Angel clad in a white and brilliant robe. He had on his breast a red and blue cross, and his arms were stretched out, crossed one above the other, over two captives, one a Christian, the other a Moor. Falling into an ecstasy at this sight, the John immediately understood that he was called to ransom captives from the infidels.

St. John of Matha worked tirelessly with Felix of Valois to secure the freedom of Christians held captives by the Saracens. He also established monasteries and hospitals. His was a life dedicated to corporal and spiritual works of charity.

Dom Prosper Gueranger on St. John of Matha:

Teach us the secret of ardent charity. Is it possible that we can see a soul in danger of being lost, and remain indifferent? Have we forgotten the divine promise, told us by the Apostle: “He that causes a sinner to be converted from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of his own sins”? (James v. 20). Get us also a tender compassion for such as are in bodily suffering and poverty, so that we may be generous in comforting them under these trials which are but too often an occasion of their blaspheming Providence. Dear friend and Liberator of slaves! Pray, during this holy Season, for those who groan under the captivity of sin and Satan: for those, especially, who, taken with the frenzy of earthly pleasures, feel not the weight of their chains but sleep on peacefully through their slavery. Ransom them by your prayers, convert them to the Lord their God, lead them back to the land of freedom. Pray for France which was your country, and save her from infidelity.

Read the entire post and reflect on it.

I cried this morning after reading this because I had just prayed five decades of the Rosary and was feeling good about myself, too good, in fact. I had said my morning prayers, thanked Our Lord that I’m alive, healthy in mind and body, and praying everyday. Yet, what have I done compared to this great saint? Here I am, sitting comfortably under a sun umbrella by a sandy beach in Southeast Asia. Yes, I know, we are called to do different things. No angel has appeared to me, instructing me to ransom captives or establish a convent.

I struggle everyday with the feeling that I am not doing enough. But at the same time I tell Our Lord how grateful I am that I’m even praying. I came back to the Church two years ago, after 40 years away (read my post on the miracle that brought me back to the Catholic Church).

I am so grateful to have been given another chance. Everyday I pray the 15 decades of the Rosary and I pray the last of the Divine Office, Completorium before I go to bed. I thank Our Lord for everything: for giving me a love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, of prayer and meditation, and a fascination for the lives of the Saints, a love for spiritual reading; and for reminding me at different points during the day, to examine my conscience.

Before the miracle that brought me back to the Church, I never thought about the saints or about repentance. But He cured my blindness and opened my eyes and my mind to the Truth. And yet . . . I feel I should be doing more. I have donated money to support traditional Catholic orders and priests, and to missions in other countries. And yet . . . I feel there is something missing and I pray everyday that I be given a clear instruction on what I need to do.

Does anyone else feel this way?

March 21: Saint Benedict of Norcia

March 21 is the feast day of Saint Benedict. He was born in Norcia in 480 and died in Monte Cassino in 543. Benedict is acknowledged as the founder of western monasticism, yet the famous Rule of Benedict, a book of precepts for monks living under the authority of an abbot, originally was written for lay people who wished to live a domestic life ordered by Christian principles. It was only later that the Rule of Benedict was adopted for monastic (clerical) life. Indeed, it became the foundation for thousands of Christian monasteries.

stbenedict

Ora et labora

Prayer and work, especially the latter, were critical to living a true Christian life. Saint Benedict believed that idleness is the Devil’s workshop. Therefore, he insisted that those living under the Rule of Benedict work very hard, always with the glory of God as the ultimate end of labor.

From the Prologue of the Rule of Benedict:

Listen carefully, my child, to your master’s precepts, and incline the ear of your heart (Prov. 4:20). Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father’s advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.

To you, therefore, my words are now addressed, whoever you may be, who are renouncing your own will to do battle under the Lord Christ, the true King, and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedience.

And first of all, whatever good work you begin to do, beg of Him with most earnest prayer to perfect it, that He who has now deigned to count us among His children may not at any time be grieved by our evil deeds. For we must always so serve Him with the good things He has given us, that He will never as an angry Father disinherit His children, nor ever as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil actions, deliver us to everlasting punishment as wicked servants who would not follow Him to glory.

Why does Saint Benedict appeal to us today?

Saint Benedict went to Rome as a young man to receive an education, but he left before finishing his studies, and retreated into a life of solitude in Affile, 50 km east of Rome. He was disgusted by the immoral and dissolute lives of young men in Rome.

As our own society disintegrates into a cesspool of depravity and chaos, we, too, wish to leave it behind and retreat to a place of sanity, governed by Christian virtues. Indeed, the popularity of Rob Dreher’s book, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, attests to the profound distress that many people feel, immersed in a society governed by the worship of money, pleasure and celebrity.

What can you do today without becoming a hermit or joining a monastery?

Pray to Saint Benedict and ask him to help you develop a habit of praying everyday and devoting at least 15 minutes a day to mental prayer. If you don’t pray, you will become despondent and angry.

Pray the Rosary. Read the daily Mass readings. Work hard, but make sure that your work glorifies God.

You can also join the Oblates of the Order of Saint Benedict. An oblate is a lay or clerical, single or married, person formally associated to a particular monastery. The Oblate seeks to live a life in harmony with the spirit of Saint Benedict as revealed in the Rule of Saint Benedict and its contemporary expression.

January 29 Saint Francis de Sales

January 29 is the feast day of Saint Francis de Sales. When I came back to the Catholic Church, one of the first books I bought was Introduction to the Devout Life, a series of short teachings addressed to “Philothea” on how to live a devout life in a secular world. It’s a very practical guide for every man and woman. It is a true classic, having been in print since 1609.

Mid-November: Saint Albert the Great

saint_albert_the_great

November 15 is the feast of Saint Albert the Great. He is the patron saint of the natural sciences (chemistry, biology, physics). He was born in 1206 in Lauingen (in the region of Schwaben in Germany) and died in Cologne in 1280. Because of his genius and extraordinary achievements in every branch of learning in his day, he is called “Doctor Universalis”. Among those who were greatly influenced by his lectures was Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Saint Albert the Great said:

“The aim of natural science is not simply to accept the statements [narrata] of others, but to investigate the causes that are at work in nature.”

(De Miner., lib. II, tr. ii, i).

In his treatise on plants, he lays down the principle:

Experimentum solum certificat in talibus (Experiment is the only safe guide in such investigations).

(De Veg., VI, tr. ii, i).

Deeply versed as he was in theology, he declares:

“In studying nature we have not to inquire how God the Creator may, as He freely wills, use His creatures to work miracles and thereby show forth His power: we have rather to inquire what Nature with its immanent causes can naturally bring to pass.”

(De Coelo et Mundo, I, tr. iv, x).

And though, in questions of natural science, he would prefer Aristotle to St. Augustine (In 2, Sent. dist. 13, C art. 2), he does not hesitate to criticize the Greek philosopher:

“Whoever believes that Aristotle was a god, must also believe that he never erred. But if one believe that Aristotle was a man, then doubtless he was liable to error just as we are.”

(Physic. lib. VIII, tr. 1, xiv).

The life of Saint Albert Magnus reminds us that one of the most important virtues of a scientist is humility: to know the limitations of the scientific method and to persevere in knowing what you can know.

On this day of the feast of Saint Albert the Great, we pray:

O God, Who made blessed Albert, Thy Bishop and Doctor, eminent in the submission of human wisdom to divine faith, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to follow the path of his teaching, that we may enjoy perfect light in heaven.

Deus, qui beatum Albertum Pontificem tuum atque Doctorem in humana sapientia divinae fidei subicienda magnum effecisti: da nobis, quaesumus; ita eius magisterii inhaerere vestigiis, ut luce perfecta fruamur in caelis.

 

 

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

Father Zuhlsdorf has posted the long form prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and urges us all to pray daily, seeking the mighty archangel’s help in battling the Evil One and his minions.

Here is the short form of the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel in English and Latin:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen

Below is a photo I took of the main portal to the 15th century Church of St. Michel in Lavardens, France. The Latin inscription “Quis ut Deus” means “Who is like God?”, a literal translation of the Hebrew name, Mikael. St. Michael the Archangel is depicted in full battle armour – helmet, sword and shield – defeating the dragon (Satan) and his followers.

st michael archangel lavardens

Lavardens is a tiny village in the Gers region of southwestern France. It has been named one of the most beautiful villages in France. Sadly, the church of St. Michel is in dire need of repair and its clock tower is in danger of toppling down. France is full of these ancient churches and abbeys, many of which are in a state of ruin or if renovated, are no longer used for masses or monastic orders. All the more reason for us to ask for St. Michael the Archangel’s assistance.