HOLY WEEK 2014
“Teach this to
up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will
not depart from it."
When Catholics are not Catholic
It has become increasingly “correct”
not only to ignore the past, but to repudiate it, even expunge
it (except, of course, when the past provides fodder for grievances
that may have once existed, were redressed, and are no longer
authentic — in this sense it is the sine qua non of the
neo-fascist liberal/progressive mindset — which is intolerant
of any tolerance of intolerance …). What had informed us as
a nation articulated in moral terms inseparable from its Christian
origins has not simply become banal but abhorrent. “This is
not your daddy’s America”, we may say in the parlance of any
nostalgia-tainted discourse on the present state of this country.
It is a different America that has become the symbolic and ultimately
hollow statuary of Liberal Amerika.
This especially pertains to the role of religion in the public
polity … if it is allowed at all in public discourse — and increasingly
it is not; and not just religion in general (as we find, say,
in China and North Korea), but specific religions: Christian
religions in general and Catholicism in particular. Islam
— because it is feared by our politicians and policy-makers
— is largely exempt and accrues to itself a special protected
status much like the “protected-class” of homosexual citizens
— against whom alone incivility is actionable, falling under
the protection of special “civil-rights” not accorded other
That the official Catholic Church (as distinct from self-adulating
liberal bishops, priests, Religious, and nominal Catholics)
is the primary obstacle to many of the pernicious policies of
this present administration is unmistakable. The Catholic Church
is the sole moral impediment to the perversities (social, moral,
and political) that are legislated against the American people.
There are brave and uncompromising bishops and
Catholics … but relatively speaking they are few.
It is significant
that up to 52 % of Catholics voted for Barack Obama and endorsed
the platform of the Democratic Party in the last two presidential
elections. This platform endorsed abortion, wide-spread contraception,
the propagation of the homosexual (LGBT) agenda, the HHS
Mandate that violates the most fundamental principle of the
rights of conscience, radical feminism, judicial activism
and legislation, embryo
destructive research, human cloning, and rescinded (refused
to enforce) the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) describing it
as unconstitutional (in their opinion —I will
restate that: in their opinion) … to name a few.
In so many words, half of all Catholics turned their back
on their Faith in favor of popular social sentiment.
Perhaps this is too broad a statement: let us say, rather, that
those who identified themselves as Catholics did so —
irrespective of their understanding of their own Catholic Faith.
That is to say, many of those who identify themselves as Catholic
(those in accord with the authentic teachings of the Catholic
Church) … really are not. This statement will infuriate these
“Catholics” who bitterly (and illogically) contend that their
Faith and their politics are separable; that the authority of
the Church and the teachings of Jesus Christ do not extend to
the political polls or, for that matter, to their own sexual
lives; that there are civic and personal boundaries beyond which
neither Christ nor His Church may trespass, and beyond which
they possess no competent authority.
Just as there is
a separation of Church and State in Amerika, there is a separation
of Faith and politics —and most fundamentally (and most illogically)
a separation between Faith and the very articles and dogma specific
to it and which themselves inform it as a specific, a unique,
religion distinct from another! These “Catholics” are, we may
say, “partly-Catholic” or “agree with some, or few, but not
all” of the Church’s magisterial teachings. They are Catholic
in much the way that the new capitalist entrepreneurs in communist
China are communist. That capitalism and communism are polar
opposite economic and political models does not appear to influence
what they think and believe, let alone what they do. In what
sense, we are forced to ask, are they communists at all if everything
they do is predicated on what is clearly capitalism? A rich
communist is the equivalent of a poor capitalist — or an atheist
Catholic. It is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.
Catholics, Communists, and Capitalists
It is not that
we fail to recognize this contradiction (logically we cannot),
but that we deliberately refuse to recognize the incompatibility
at all. It is, at best, a thin but resilient veneer much like
the meniscus enclosing a bead of water upon a smooth waxed surface:
were logic permitted to penetrate the social meniscus that supports
this bead of otherwise mutually exclusive ideologies it would
collapse under the artificial and unsustainable contradiction.
By policy and a presumed social expedience we deny the needle
of logic its due, even legislate against it, because it would
be inconvenient to and incompatible with the purpose (the policy,
really) at hand. There is only one way to reconcile incompatibilities:
ignore them. That is 50% of Catholics at the polls. “I
am a faithful Catholic, but in the way of social issues I am
an atheist.” It is the same logic we see at work in China: “I
am a faithful communist, but in the way of monetary issues and
real estate appropriation I am a capitalist.” Wang Jianlin,
originally of Sechuan, reportedly has $15.1 billion in assets
and according to Forbes magazine, "China boasts a record 152
members of the 2014 edition of the annual Forbes Billionaires
..." 3 China is officially a communist country. Indeed,
the largest … and wealthiest. The Leadership Conference of Women
Religious (LCWR) and the Chinese billionaires appear to have
much in common. They are both among “the faithful” of their
putative ideologies, however irreconcilable their conduct is
with their ostensible professions (one political, “I am a committed
communist … billionaire”, and one religious, “I am a professed
Catholic Religious … Pro-abortion sister”).
Ignorance as the
Propaedeutic to Policy
As we had said
earlier, the only way to reconcile incompatibilities is
to ignore them. Of course, this is not reconciling them at all
… it is merely methodologically suspending them. Acknowledged
incompatibilities paralyze us. We can only move beyond them
by suspending them. This, of course, is the implicit
acknowledgment that we recognize them — and therein lays the
Even according to the scandalously liberal National Catholic
"We found that
half of adult Catholics (50 percent) know the church’s teaching
regarding the real presence and half do not. We also found
that close to two-thirds of adult Catholics (63 percent)
believe that “at the consecration during a Catholic Mass,
the bread and wine really become the body and blood of Jesus
Upon reading a thoughtfully written article in Crisis Magazine
titled Saving Catholic Culture from Destruction
1 by Michael Tamara, which I encourage you to read, three
verses from Holy scripture immediately came to mind — and one
from a very early Church Father:
First, the Biblical:
up these my words in your hearts and minds, and hang them
for a sign on your hands, and place them between your eyes.
Teach your children that they meditate on
them, when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest
on the way, and when thou liest down and risest up."
"The Lord hath
sworn truth to David, and he will not make it void: of the
fruit of thy womb I will set upon thy throne. If thy
children will keep thy covenant, and these my testimonies
which I shall teach them: Their children also
for evermore shall sit upon thy throne."
up a child in the way he should go: and when he
is old, he will not depart from it."
And from Saint
Ephraim the Syrian (306-373 A.D.):
at all without the beginning of prayer. With the Sign of
the living Cross, seal all your doings, my son. Go not forth
from the door of your house till you have signed the Cross.
Whether in eating or in drinking, whether in sleeping or
in waking, whether in your house or on the road, or again
in the season of leisure, neglect not this sign; for there
is no guardian like it. It shall be unto you as a wall,
in the forefront of all your doings. And teach this
to your children, that heedfully they be conformed
lengthy preface to this article has been articulated simply
as a preface to a much more important issue, a fundamentally
deeper issue that Holy Scripture — and Saint Ephraim — brings
to relief. It is an issue of failure, specifically the failure
to hand on, to deliver (tradere) Sacred Tradition, together
with the unequivocal dogma and indisputable teaching authority
through which it was articulated.
Let us be absolutely
simple: since Vatican II, Catholics have not just failed to
hand on, to deliver, their Catholic Faith to their children
— they have resolutely refused to. They had lost the
Faith, retained a diminishing similitude to it, churned their
children through useless and often heretical CCD and Catechetical
programs in which they learned nothing of it, and flocked to
the polls to support every issue contrary to authentic Catholic
teaching. They had pre-marital sex to which their parents turned
a blind eye, or simply winked, and then had the abortions that
followed. Abortions require abortuaries and necessitated the
abattoir, the slaughter-house, of Planned Parenthood — which
then took the responsibility which you had abdicated
to teach your children, and subsequently taught them everything
… including every sexual perversity … from primary school on.
paid the money to psychiatrists and psychologists to help your
children sort out a sexual identity crisis that would never
have existed had you done your work and kept your Faith instead
of leaving it to the government and NGOs. When your children
committed suicide you scratched your head and wondered why …
when they developed incurable STDs you paid for the prescriptions;
when they had abortions, you drove them there … and comforted
them with lies that their lives would be the same. And if you
lived long enough to be “could-have-been-grandparents”, you
may have watched your daughter fall into irrecoverable depression
in the prime of her life ... and you may have even waked her.
You were “correct” … and she correctly died. You may
have grandchildren you know nothing of because you told your
son that condoms were the answer to the question you did not
have the courage to answer forthrightly. Or perhaps he acquired
AIDS from another man, from a women, or both — because sexual
promiscuity is “correct” in your culture, or the culture you
ruined, and after looking at the mess, dismissed it altogether
with all that had once accompanied it and was noble and good
You brought ruin
to yourself, and now you bring it to your children that all
may equally perish. Wasn’t it all about “equality” anyway …
“acceptance” and “tolerance?” When you decided that there was
nothing that was “right” or “wrong” … only “different” and “acceptable”?
Consequences? What are they? Haven’t we genetically engineered
them to our liking yet? And there is, after all, no God, you
arrogantly proclaim — until you hope that there is when you
or your children die.
These are harsh, severe sayings; cruel pronouncements, you say?
They are far less cruel and infinitely less harsh than realities
that will come to your door — unless you teach your children
as Holy Mother the Church once taught you before you despised
Her in your arrogance and vanity. Perhaps as cruel as
the government and social correctitude that brought you to the
sad state you find yourself in today.
When you lost God you lost everything. Everything. Your children,
your country, your freedom, and ultimately your soul. This is
the cruelest consequence of all.
But you are “enlightened”, “educated”, “progressive” … an “intellectual”
— aren’t you? And these are the things of children. Yes? Would
that they were only of children ….
Oh, yes! The remedy!
Teach your own children better than your parents had taught
you. Teach them authentic Catholic doctrine, and not
the prevailing and perverse social sentiments that will poison
their minds, depredate their bodies, and cost them their immortal
souls. You may have lost yours already. But give your kids a
up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will
not depart from it."
(Prov. 22.6) … the way that you did.
Boston Catholic Journal
Printable PDF Version
"What is Holiness?"
Holiness — sanctity — is simply the conformity of the
will to the will of God.
If you listen to no other homily on being
a Catholic and your obligation to love God
and your neighbor ... listen
The Law of Love by Archbishop Fulton
The Complete Martyrology
Saturday April 19th in
the Year of Grace 2014
This Day, the Nineteenth Day of April
The birthday of St. Timon, one of the
first seven deacons, who taught first at Berea. Afterwards while
preaching the word of the Lord at Corinth, he was delivered to the
flames by the Jews and the Greeks; but remaining uninjured, he ended
his martyrdom by crucifixion.
At Melitine, in Armenia, the holy martyrs
Hermogenes, Caius, Expeditus, Aristonicus, Rufus and Galatas,
crowned on the same day.
At Collioure, in Spain, the holy martyr
The same day, the holy martyrs Socrates and
Denis, who were transpierced with lances.
At Jerusalem, St. Paphnutius, martyr.
At Canterbury, in England, St. Elphege, bishop
At Antioch, in Pisidia, St. George, a bishop,
who died in exile for the worship of sacred images.
At Rome, Pope St. Leo IX, illustrious
for his virtues and miracles.
In the monastery of Lobbes, St. Ursmar, bishop.
At Florence, St. Crescent, confessor, disciple of the blessed bishop
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs,
confessors, and holy virgins.
Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis. ("All ye Holy
Martyrs, pray for us", from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany
of the Saints)
Response: Thanks be to God.
Roman Martyrology by Month
Why the Martyrs Matter
Each day we bring
you a calendar, a list really, of the holy Martyrs
who had suffered and died for Christ, for His Bride
the Church, and for our holy Catholic Faith; men
and women for whom — and well they knew — their
Profession of Faith would cost them their lives.
They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church,
and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short
time longer (even the lapsi only postponed
their death — and at so great a cost!).1
What would motivate men, women, even children and
entire families to willingly undergo the most evil
and painfully devised tortures; to suffer death
rather than denial?
Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when
the first flame licked at their feet, after the
first eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized”
in mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured
over their heads? Why did they not flee to offer
incense to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession
would be merely perfunctory, having been done, after
all, under duress, exacted by the compulsion of
the state? What is a little burned incense and a
few words uttered without conviction, compared to
your own life and the lives of those you love? Surely
God knows that you are merely placating the state
with empty gestures …
Did they love their wives, husbands, children —
their mothers, fathers and friends less than we
do? Did they value their own lives less? Were they
less sensitive to pain than we are? In a word, what
did they possess that we do not?
Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given
in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to
it in far greater measure than we do: Faith and
faithfulness; fortitude and valor, uncompromising
belief in the invincible reality of God, of life
eternal in Him for the faithful, of damnation everlasting
apart from Him for the unfaithful; of the ephemerality
of this passing world and all within it, and lives
lived in total accord with that adamant belief.
We are the Martyrs to come. What made them so will
make us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What
they died for, we will die for. If only we will!
For most us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom,
a suffering for Christ, for the sake of Christ,
for the sake of the Church in a thousand ways outside
the arena. The road to Heaven is lined on both sides
with Crosses, and upon the Crosses people, people
who suffered unknown to the world, but known to
God. Loveless marriages. Injustices on all sides.
Poverty. Illness. Old age. Dependency. They are
the cruciform! Those whose lives became Crosses
because they would not flee God, the Church, the
call to, the demand for, holiness in the most ordinary
things of life made extraordinary through the grace
of God. The Martyrology we celebrate each day is
just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small sampling
of the martyrdom that has been the lives of countless
men and women whom Christ and the Angels know, but
whom the world does not know.
“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”,
Christ said to His Apostles
2. “I have given
you an example.” And His Martyrs give one
to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.
Joseph Mary del Campos
Editor, Boston Catholic Journal
Note: We suggest that you explore our newly
edited and revised
"De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus — The Torments
and Tortures of the Christian Martyrs" for an
in-depth historical account of the sufferings of
INTRODUCTION TO THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY
J. Cardinal Gibbons,
Archbishop of Baltimore
THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY is an official
and accredited record, on the pages of which are
set forth in simple and brief, but impressive words,
the glorious deeds of the Soldiers of Christ in
all ages of the Church; of the illustrious Heroes
and Heroines of the Cross, whom her solemn verdict
has beatified or canonized. In making up this long
roll of honor, the Church has been actuated by that
instinctive wisdom with which the Spirit of God,
who abides in her and teaches her all truth, has
endowed her, and which permeates through and guides
all her actions. She is the Spouse of Christ, without
spot or wrinkle or blemish, wholly glorious and
undefiled, whom He loved, for whom He died, and
to whom He promised the Spirit of Truth, to comfort
her in her dreary pilgrimage through this valley
of tears, and to abide with her forever. She is
one with Him in Spirit and in love, she is subject
to Him in all things; she loves what He loves, she
teaches and practices what He commands.
If the world
has its "Legions of Honor," why should not also
the Church of the Living God, the pillar and the
ground of the truth? If men who have been stained
with blood, and women who have been tainted with
vice, have had their memory consecrated in prose
and in verse, and monuments erected to their memory,
because they exhibited extraordinary talents, achieved
great success, or were, to a greater or less extent,
benefactors of their race in the temporal order,
which passeth away, why should not the true Heroes
and Heroines of Jesus, who, imitating His example,
have overcome themselves, risen superior to and
trampled upon the world, have aspired, in all their
thoughts, words, and actions, to a heavenly crown,
and have moreover labored with disinterested zeal
and self-forgetting love for the good of their fellow-men,
have their memories likewise consecrated and embalmed
in the minds and hearts of the people of God? If
time have its heroes, why should not eternity; if
man, why should not God? "Thy friends, O Lord, are
exceedingly honored; their principality is exceedingly
exalted." Whom His Father so dearly loved, the world
crucified; whom the world neglects, despises, and
crucifies, God, through His Church, exceedingly
honors and exalts. Their praises are sung forth,
with jubilation of heart, in the Church of God for
ages on ages.
of the Church of God in honoring her Saints is equaled
only by the great utility of the practice thus consecrated.
The Saints are not merely heroes; they are models.
Christ lived in them, and Christ yet speaks through
them. They were the living temples of the Holy Ghost,
in whose mortal bodies dwelt all the riches of His
wisdom and grace. They were in life consecrated
human exemplars of divine excellence and perfection.
Their example still appeals to our minds and to
our hearts, more eloquently even than did their
words to the men of their own generation, while
they were in the tabernacle of the flesh. Though
dead, they still speak. Their relics are instinct
with sanctity, and through them they continue to
breathe forth the sweet odor of Christ. The immortality
into which they have entered still lingers in their
bones, and seems to breathe in their mortal remains.
As many an ardent, spirit has been induced to rush
to the cannon's mouth by reading the exploits of
earthly heroes, so many a generous Christian soul
has been fired with heavenly ardor, and been impelled
to rush to the crown of martyrdom, by reading the
lives and heroic achievements of the Saints and
Martyrs of Christ. Example, in its silent appeal,
is more potent in its influence on the human heart
and conduct than are words in their most eloquent
knows and feels all this, in the Spirit of God with
whom she is replenished ; and hence she sets forth,
with holy joy and exultant hope, her bright and
ever-increasing Calendar of Sanctity of just men
and women made perfect and rendered glorious, under
her unearthly and sublime teachings. In reading
this roll of consecrated holiness, our instinctive
conclusion is, precisely that which the great soul
of St. Augustine reached at the very crisis of his
life, the moment of his conversion "If other men
like me have attained to such sanctity, why not
I? Shall the poor, the afflicted, the despised of
the World, bear away the palm of victory, the crown
of immortality, while I lie buried in my sloth and
dead in my sins, and thus lose the brilliant and
glorious mansion already prepared for me in heaven?
Shall all the gifts, which God has lavished upon
me, be ingloriously spent and foolishly wasted,
in the petty contest for this world's evanescent
honors and riches, while the poor and contemned
lay up treasures in heaven, and secure the prize
of immortal glory? Shall others be the friends of
God, whom He delights to honor, while I alone remain
His enemy, and an alien from His blessed Kingdom?"
It is a consoling
evidence of progress in the spiritual life in this
country to find the Martyrology here published,
for the first time, in English, and thereby made
accessible, in its rich treasures of Sanctity, to
all classes of our population. It will prove highly
edifying and useful, not only to the members of
our numerous religious Communities of both sexes,
but also to the laity generally. Every day has here
its record of Sanctity; and there is scarcely a
Christian, no matter how lowly or how much occupied,
who may not be able to daily peruse, with faith
and with great profit, the brief page of each day's
models of Holiness. These belong to all classes
and callings of life; from the throne to the hovel,
from the Pontiff to the lowest cleric, from the
philosopher to the peasant, from the busy walks
of life to the dreary wastes of the desert.
Let all, then,
procure and read daily the appropriate portions
of this Martyrology. Its daily and pious perusal
will console us in affliction, will animate us in
despondency, will make our souls glow with the love
of God in coldness, and will lift up our minds and
hearts from this dull and ever-changing earth to
the bright and everlasting mansions prepared for
us in Heaven!
J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore, Maryland
The Lapsi were
early Catholics who renounced the Faith and either
sacrificed to the Roman gods by edict from the emperor,
or offered incense to them to escape Imperial persecution
and death, and who later returned to the Faith when
persecution subsided. However, Christ warns us,
“Every one therefore that shall confess me before
men, I will also confess him before my Father who
is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men,
I will also deny him before my Father who is in
heaven.” (St. Matthew 10.3-33)