~ I WAS IN THE LOCAL ER, in pain & waiting 10 flippin’ hours for tests, when I heard that Notre-Dame de Paris was on fire. Yeah, our Canadian health care system is burning down, too.
Honestly, I just couldn’t think about the fire. This morning, here’s what I commented today on a moving video by the young Canadian vlogger ‘Critical Condition’.
Saith Teh Binks:
“May this loss be a flame in many hearts to remember what we have forgotten, turned from, and assumed would always be with us. Listening to video of certain people cheering with certain words, on the banks of the Seine, makes me furious. Whether Notre Dame was arson or not, other such recent attacks (and murders) in France and around the world by the orcs in our midst, Muslim or secularist, shows the reality of gathering darkness around us– and within us.
Jesus promised us mockery, hatred, and– for some– a cross. He also said “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world… Lo, I will be with you always, even unto the end of the age.”
We live 800 years after the building of Paris’ famous cathedral. When France was still Roman, back in the dying days of the Western Empire, 800 years before Notre Dame was even a dream, St. Genevieve of Paris stood against the darkness, against barbarians, against darkness in the world & of the spirit.. when the whole civilized world was literally beginning to collapse.
Yet out of that darkness? Christian Europe, the cathedrals, the monasteries and books and paintings and high culture.
“For to this end Christ died, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.” Romans 14. 8, 9.
~ FOR MODERN MEN & WOMEN, losing any sense of Death, Judgment, Heaven Or Hell leads inevitably & directly to man acting as a self-judging mini-god. That leads to warfare, supremacism, mercilessness, and getting away with things. Thence madness, violence, lies, and 2018.
As I’ve been reading about our Western cultural elites, I’m shocked/ not shocked by what the rich & powerful do behind the scenes. Many ordinary people likewise.
But what if there IS a right & wrong? Good & evil? What if we are accountable? Much of ordinary human life is all about distracting us, crushing silence and unsettling thoughts and questions.
What if all desires are known, and no secrets truly hidden? What if our old unrepented forgotten hidden sins have not just dissolved with time? What if the evil whispers shall be shouted from the rooftops in That Day?
What if God is as the Church has taught, and we are a few missed heartbeats & breaths from standing naked & defenceless before His perfect infinite goodness.. and love?
Pray this day for those who have gone before us through the veil, especially our friends & enemies, family & benefactors, and all those who died with nobody to pray for them and with them.
O FATHER of all, we pray to thee for those whom we love but see no longer. Grant them thy peace; and in thy loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of thy perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
REST eternal grant unto him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him. Amen.
A softer and stupider version of this revolution is pushed in our schools, and many parts of our overgrown government, not to mention in the leadership of many churches and sects. The revolution seems like a good idea, until (1) you actually see what it entails, and (2) you recall that it’s the same bent and failing human nature out of which perfection and utopia will come, (3) “They”, the horrible ones with power, are the same as most of us, if we had their power & opportunities. Salvation comes not via good intentions.
What then? Shall we be enamoured of the old evils, or favour new ones?
~ MY BELOVED Canada has been– longer than the Trudeaus, but sped up by them both– in a long slow fall away from our founding principles, towards every excess, bad idea, and anti-Christian notion on the books.
This sermon is a lovely thunderbolt of warning to awaken, fight, and work with God to stand on guard, keep our land glorious and free. Or fall.
Canada Day only falls on Sunday once every seven years. That’s an opportunity for an upbeat homily about our beautiful country and our many blessings. But not this year—because we need to take a look at some things that are happening in Canada and what they mean for Christians.
I know you’d rather hear a homily celebrating Canada than criticizing it; so would I. But a friend sent me a quotation this week attributed to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who was not only America’s best preacher but a 20th century prophet. When I read it, I knew I couldn’t deliver a feel-good sermon today.
Long quotations don’t make good homilies, but I’m asking you to listen carefully to these prophetic words:
Humanity in a crisis is generally insensitive to the gravity of the times in which it lives.
Men do not want to believe their own times are wicked, partly because they have no standard outside of themselves by which to measure their times. If there is no fixed concept of justice, how shall men know it is violated?
Only those who live by faith really know what is happening in the world; the great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive processes going on because they have lost the vision of the heights from which they have fallen.
I don’t think one Canadian in ten thinks we have a problem in this country. And I do think that most of those who recognize the destructive processes at work are people of faith.
But even men and women of faith often fail to understand the heights from which Canadian society has tumbled, because our fall from Christian morality has happened in slow motion—not from one cause but from many.
We could analyze numerous social shifts that are opposed to Gospel values—for that matter, opposed to the values shared by most major religions—but I want to point out three of the most recent.
The first, of course, is euthanasia. Disguised by the Orwellian name “Medical Assistance in Dying,” the legalization of assisted suicide threatens the vulnerable, draws health care workers in to a moral snare, and creates an entirely false idea of compassion. It should not be necessary to remind people at Sunday Mass that assisted suicide can never be the right choice, but our first reading puts it simply: “God does not delight in the death of the living.”
Life is a good in and of itself— God “created all things so that they might exist.” All life is precious; its value is not measured by the so-called “quality of life” or anything of that sort.
We were created for eternity, and it is in eternity that the quality of life will more than compensate for the struggles some people encounter at the end of their life on earth.
Before turning to the second social shift—I should really call these legal shifts—I want to give you another reason for this somber homily on what should be a joyful day. The reason is simply this: law-abiding people, people like us, tend to think that if something’s legal is must be right. Law not only reflects social values, it creates them.
Archbishop Carney once told me that chicken wasn’t subject to meat rationing during the Second World War. As a result, Catholics—who were not allowed to eat meat on Friday—started to eat chicken, since if the government said it wasn’t meat, it must be true.
The second shift is the redefinition of tolerance. Canadians pride themselves on tolerance. American comedians on the late-night shows make jokes about how nice we are. But my dictionary says that to tolerate means “to allow the existence or occurrence of something, without interference.”
The courts have redefined tolerance in numerous decisions interfering with the freedom of people of faith. The most recent may be the most serious: the Supreme Court of Canada has effectively allowed the legal profession to be closed to graduates of a law school where students must commit to live according to the moral norms that were once universally held by all Christians. In the words of the two dissenting judges, the Court has turned the protective shield of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms into a sword.
And there’s not much doubt which group of Canadians that sword will slash.
The third source of sadness on this Canada Day may surprise you, since it’s hardly as grave as the euthanasia or Trinity Western decisions. But as I told you, I’m focusing on the most recent social shifts, and this one’s also current—the court-ordered legalization of marijuana, now enshrined in law.
Just last week, the Canadian bishops issued a statement reminding Catholics of the harm that will flow from increased marijuana use. They cite the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and the Canadian Paediatric Society as pointing out how “the use of cannabis is linked to addictions, depression, anxiety, psychosis, damage to brain development, and lung problems such as asthma and emphysema.”
Although I didn’t use marijuana, I grew up hearing that it was not addictive. That was a lie or at least a huge mistake in terms of what we know now. The bishops rely on modern science and the modern understanding of addictions when they say marijuana “is an addictive substance that will have disastrous effects” for many people.
There was a time when a Canadian who didn’t break the law would be following God’s law in most matters. Sadly, tragically, that time has passed. Only the Creator’s law can guide us now to the good life, and to the righteousness that leads to life eternal.
It is truer than ever that
“Only those who live by faith really know what is happening in the world; the great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive processes going on because they have lost the vision of the heights from which they have fallen.”
So on this Canada Day, let’s not only pray for the nation, but lift up our eyes to the lofty vision of creation and the human person that is our heritage as Canadians and Christians.
~ YOU SEE IT every day. They. Them. THOSE people. Those BAD people.
One of the favoured abstractions of modern thinking & ideological movements is to passionately externalize all evil, bad intent, failure, hypocrisy, dark deeds, and wickedness only & always to others, and never yourself. THEM.
It’s why a religion which preaches sin, hell, personal awareness, accountability, moral imagination, and repenting/ turning/ returning to God from sin & hell and death is so unpopular to so many people, even some inside the Church.
The One In The Mirror
If you read the Gospel accounts of Holy Week and Good Friday, there is all our human nature laid bare. OURS. Not “Those horrible terrible Bad People Over There”.
As Matt Walsh points out, the horror of the Passion is that any one of us is or could have been scheming Judas, cowardly Peter, sleepy James & John, the fleeing and cowering other disciples; the governor Pontius Pilate; mocking King Herod Jr.; bloody-minded Caiaphas or Annas; hate-filled Barabbas; the justly punished thieves crucified on either side of Jesus.
Of course it hurts. Here is no happy happy false-Gospel. Here is humility, mercy, confession, forgiveness, sympathy, hope. The other way lies hell, hypocrisy, hatred, self-righteousness, cruelty, and bloodshed.
As we wait on Holy Saturday in quiet hope for God’s answer to Good Friday, let our ponderments help us to see how sin, death, and Hell have left their marks in us, our family & friends, our neighbour. Only then can we see with the eyes of his costly mercy; only then receive His victory over sin and death and hell washing over us and through us, making all things new. For He has prayed for us, carried us in His heart, and despite our worst, has done his holy best for us, our friend the God-Man Jesus Christ.
And then tell others about this mighty salvation. ~
Ah, Holy Jesu
1 Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted!
2 Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee!
‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee;
I crucified thee.
3 Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered.
For our atonement, while we nothing heeded,
4 For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life’s oblation;
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
for my salvation.
5 Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
not my deserving.
Was He The One?
“The Way, The Truth, and the Life”, He said.
How can the walking talking Way be lost? How can the living breathing Truth be silenced and extinguished? How can the joyful and healing fullness of Life– die?
Now, imprisoned in a guarded tomb.
We all hide, numb and stunned– for surely we are next.
He was “The Resurrection and the Life”, He said. So He raised others– who shall raise Him to life again?
The local powers gloat; Rome marches on, with bloody sandals; Annas and Caiaphas have kept their power, and taught Pilate a bitter lesson. The crowds… one day with palms, another with shouts for His innocent death.
All our hopes and faith and trust are like ashes in the mouth; a shattered pillar; the cliff edge of a bottomless chasm. Shall we surrender to despair?…
“On The Third Day”, He said. He purposed this death to fulfill the Scriptures, He told us. Jonah three days in the belly of the whale? His dying eyes– “It is accomplished”, then.. over. Can God’s Son die?
The horrible drama is done. Let us quietly wait, on this Passover day. We cannot now rejoice, or join the crowds, or lift up our hearts unto God. Yet.
Early tomorrow, the women will go and do their work, and finish their preparation of his precious body with cloths and washing and spices. One last act of love….
Let us wait upon the Lord. For we love Him, and trust Him still… somehow….
All creation awaits with bated breath her Risen King.
“The Upside Down is an alternate dimension existing in parallel to the human world. It contains the same locations and infrastructure as the human world, but it is much darker, colder and obscured by an omnipresent fog…. [a] dimension that is a dark reflection, or echo, of our world. It is a place of decay and death, a plane out of phase, a place of monsters. It is right next to you and you do not even see it.” … “Nope. No parallels under here.” (Hilary White)
~ BINKS IS just about to finish ‘Stranger Things‘ on Netflix, Season 1. Must say, I love it.. and it’s hard not to binge-watch it.
No major spoilers ensue below. Promise.
Like ‘The Matrix‘, the hit-show Stranger Things employs that familiar & human sense of displacement, weirdness, that there is an Unseen all around us which sometimes breaks in upon us in our ‘ordinary’ lives. That there is more going on than meets the eye.
In the popular Netflix series, which overflows with references to 80’s pop-culture, there is literally an evil copy parallel dimension called ‘The Upside Down‘, where people can be trapped, and eaten by a monster. The dimensional doorways can appear anywhere and everywhere: the wall of a house, a tree trunk, the basement of a top-secret government lab.
What both ‘The Matrix‘ and ‘Stranger Things‘ lack to make them universal is a spiritual universe above and inter-penetrating the visible ‘ordinary’ universe.. and a clear sense of God & His guiding providence. Sadly, religion plays almost no part in the show, or the lives of the characters.
What ‘Meant’ Means
By comparison, the writer J.R.R. Tolkien repeatedly mentions providence without explicating that it is of the Valar (archangels) and Eru (God). The wizard Gandalf’s own long mission in Middle Earth was a sending from the Blessed Land to fight evil, help the free peoples via suffering and pity, and– ultimately– to defeat Sauron, the dark successor to Morgoth (a fallen Valar, the Satan-figure).
In that Lord Of The Rings scene– which Peter Jackson moves from Frodo’s kitchen to the Mines Of Moria– we read:
Frodo: “I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”
That ‘meant’ bears a world of significance. Consider.
‘Meant’ is God’s providence, in the world, in events, ‘coincidences’, and via people. The Bible proclaims: “All things work together for good to them that love God.” [Rom. 8:28] Note: NOT ‘all things will be pleasant, easy, and straightforward’.
Remember: Christians serve a Crucified and Risen King, who still bears His (now glorious) scars. No easy path there: take up your cross. Follow, die.
Living Our Double Sight
And there’s another sense of “the unseen dimension”, our own actual “Upside Down”, which tempers our anger and enlightens our struggles. As Saint Paul teaches the Christians of Ephesus, and us:
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Eph. 6:12]
Any battle with sin, darkness, heresy– in the church and the world, and in our own hearts, is a combination of many forces, many invisible, or acting through us or other people in a greater & darker pattern than the simply human (as bad as we can be).
Exorcists are still busy in 2018. Possessed people still exist– some in politics, and in the Church itself. Even some clergy may be thus.
The Disorientation Is Real
In the current pontificate of Francis, there is unprecedented darkness, division, dishonesty, confusion and discouragement afoot. Papal hyper-loyalists rally ’round the revolutionary throne, throwing accusations at critics and radical (deep-rooted) Catholics who demand the whole witness of the Church to be heard, respected, lived, taught.
Sometimes, it feels as if an UnChurch from some evil parallel dimension like ‘The Upside Down‘ has invaded our reality, and is seeking to proclaim itself as the real, true, and only thing to serve. There is a spiritual war afoot: each of us can play a double part, on earth as in heaven, for good or bad. The darkness is not simply the opposition themselves, nor we only the bright good ones– for humility and reality’s sake, we admit there are brighter and darker forces in conflict within what we see, and in each soul.
Holy loyalty and faithfulness and restraint are good: but we do not honour the Church or her current leadership via our blind obedience, nor forgetting Whom She really belongs to, and Whose Voice she is supposed to obey. His will is not simply to be identified with the novel dictates of people who seem bound to another message, an unKingdom, a utopia of exalted man making himself into a God, his desires and feelings the measure of all truth and goodness. OUR kingdom come, OUR will be done: and yet, even in this, a greater darkness can be felt, seeping through, pushing, ruining, distorting the Church, but also the fever dreams of utopia, too.
Some Christian Basics
That evil unholy being is not some exact counterpart to God, but a created and fallen Enemy, and likewise all the fallen angels and powers under his control. Alone, we cannot defeat such darkness, for we are but mortal and finite and compromised with darkness ourselves. From such, Christ came to deliver us.
Ancient Paganism sought to placate the dark powers; to deflect the ill will of spirits, gods, sprites, and malicious beings of every sort. Animal and human sacrifice was the trading of precious life for benefits, or being left alone.
The Incarnation changed all that. Jesus is become the Lord of the living and the dead. The suffering King Jesus lays bare the plans and pride and shining schemes of Lucifer; He bore in himself our sin, and has already won the victory over sin, and death, and Hell.. yet the long wrapping up of the battle will seem almost like defeat, as the faithful must abide darkness in the world, the Church, the human heart, and in malicious spiritual forces.
But, but– What To DO?
Read the headlines; pray; comfort one another; love the sacraments; repent. Read the Bible & the Church Fathers, and the saints. Read solid blogs and books. Same as it ever was, and there’s no greener grass elsewhere. Cheer up! It will very likely get much worse.
Stay faithful, for God is faithful, and will not abandon us, or leave us weak and comfortless and enslaved to the machinations of the Enemy and his minions, nor to our own sins, negligences, and ignorances. These bizarre times WILL be sorted by God, and by his judgment & mercy, and by better Church leaders and theologians in decades and centuries to come. +
“Lo, I am with you always,
even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
[St. Matthew 28:20]
~ BINKS JUST LOVES him some Poinsettias.. in all their 100+ varieties of colour and look. I loved to have the church loaded with them where & when possible. It was only later I learned the dark history of the man behind popularizing the Mexican plant we display at Christmastime.
The remarkable Joel Roberts Poinsett was a son of Charleston, South Carolina. As a young man, he learned many languages, law, and military affairs, then travelled widely through Europe, and South America. Later, he became the first United States ‘Minister’ (diplomatic spy) to Mexico in 1822-3, appointed by President John Quincy Adams.
The diplomat loved the Mexican plant “flor de la nochebuena“, or Christmas Eve flower, or Catarina. It was later named after him, after he introduced it to the United States in 1829– at a flower show in a Masonic Lodge.
Utopians At Work
For the remarkable Poinsett was also a Master Mason, and a Past Master of Recovery Lodge #31, Greenville, and Solomon’s Lodge, Charleston. His widespread interference on behalf of American interests in Mexico and South America tended in an anti-Catholic and U.S. democratic direction, and he was an expert in exploiting divisions within the newly independent Mexico, so to benefit American politics and aspirations, and his Freemasonic notions.
He helped quickly spread several forms of freemasonry to Mexico, then used the Mexican lodges to political ends… as he did wherever he went in the New World, against the forces of “aristocracy” and the Catholic Church.
Poinsett was rightly accused of fomenting revolution in Mexico, and he was expelled in 1829. He went back to begin a life in internal American politics.
He Helped Start The Fire…
Radical Mexican Freemasons ruled Mexico, and so Poinsett’s interventions twisted Mexican politics and religion for the next 120 years. Masons presided over many bloody persecutions of Mexican Catholics from 1815 through to the 1940s, including the famous ‘War of The Cristeros‘ in the 1920s. Countless persecuted Catholic martyrs suffered or died because of Poinsett’s Masonic new world religion.
In the early 20th century, the Freemasons were on the march, and militant secularism was the next great thing: no more kings or priests, just one great fellowship of humanity. Revolutionary France, Italy, Mexico, the new USSR, and soon Hitler’s Germany would all part of the same movement. “Those whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad” as the ancient saying has it.
A Word From Heaven
It was partly in response to the cruel realities & predations of socialist Freemasonry in Mexico and around the Western world that in 1925 Pope Pius XI instituted the Solemnity of Christ the King, and issued the Encyclical ‘QUAS PRIMAS’.
“At the end of the encyclical, he declared that he expected three ‘blessings’ to flow from the celebration of the feast: first, that ‘men will doubtless be reminded that the Church, founded by Christ as a perfect society, has a natural and inalienable right to perfect freedom and immunity from the power of the state’; second, that ‘Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ’; and third, that ‘The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal.'”
Long before the CIA existed, or ever gunboat diplomacy and banana republics were made, the remarkable Joel Poinsett was the very model of a scheming, opportunistic, imperialistic ‘Monroe Doctrine‘ Masonic utopian busybody. Likewise at home he presided over the explusion of many Native tribes from their homelands– including the infamous Cherokee “Trail of Tears”– as a Congressman and Minister of War under President Martin Van Buren.
The Infection Spreads
Sadly, the Church herself is often effected by the fads and power-seeking conspiracy-loving ways of the fallen world– it was only by a last-minute intervention that Cardinal Rampolla, possibly of the the Masonic Ordo Templi Orientalis, was not elected in 1903 instead of Pope St. Pius X. Later Masonic-insider revelations in the 1970s indicate that many leading Roman Catholic prelates, cardinals, and ecclesiastical movers and shakers were likely members of Masonic lodges, despite the Catholic restriction on such things. Such men included many of the architects of the radical Vatican II event.
Glory To The Newborn King!
All of this ugly history is not the Poinsettia’s fault. The plant is the plant.
The humble Flor de la nochebuena is one of God’s lovely creations, and despite Mr. Poinsett & Co.’s own best efforts, it has become a much-loved Christian and seasonal symbol of the birth of Christ the King, helping churches everywhere celebrate with beauty and colour the nativity of the newborn King, God incarnate, Man Divine, God with us, our true saviour, judge, friend, ruler, and salvation.
After more than 200 years of well-meaning but futile utopian scheming & blood-letting, God is still God, Man is still Man, fallen and lost and needing the imparted life of heaven through Jesus, The Lord. Each of us still has to decide who is our ultimate king: Christ, or some idol of humanity.
“Glory to the new-born king!”
HARK! the Herald Angels sing:
Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on Earth, and Mercy mild,
God and Sinners reconcil’d.
Joyful all ye Nations rise,
Join the Triumphs of the Skies;
Nature rise and worship him,
Who is born at Bethlehem.
Hark! The herald-angels sing: “Glory to the new-born king!”
Christ, by highest heaven adored
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! The herald-angels sing: “Glory to the new-born king!”
Hail the Heav’n-born Prince of Peace
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and Life around he brings,
Ris’n with Healing in his Wings.
Mild he lays his Glory by,
Born that Men no more may die;
Born to raise the Sons of Earth,
Born to give them second Birth.
Hark! The herald-angels sing: “Glory to the new-born king!”
Come, Desire of Nations, come,
Fix in us thy heav’nly Home;
Rise the Woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the Serpent’s Head.
Adam’s Likeness now efface,
Stamp thy Image in its Place;
Second Adam from above,
Work it in us by thy Love.
Hark! The herald-angels sing: “Glory to the new-born king!” +