the name of
every knee should bow
of those that are in Heaven,
on earth, and under the earth.”
We no longer bow our heads at the Sacred Name
When was the
last time you saw a priest, a bishop, a cardinal or even a pope bow
his head at the Sacred Name
— even during Mass? You may observe it
in one or two elderly women in the pews, or in the young college student
three pews ahead. You may be perplexed as to why I ask the question
at all — and that is very much to the point.
Prior to Vatican II every priest, every Catholic bowed their heads whenever
they heard the Sacred Name of Jesus uttered. Many of you were
never taught. Some had never so much as seen the gesture — ever. Over
the ensuing years most just went with the increasingly secular flow
of the “post-Conciliar Church” that had once been the “Roman Catholic
Church” … until that decade of decadence (the 1960s) infected even the
Bride of Christ Herself through Vatican II’s Aggiornamento or
“updating” — and that holy (and still binding) obligation fell
into disuse … and eventually disrepute as a visible impediment
We had gone from being 2000-year-old “Roman Catholics” to thoroughly
“Modernist Enlightened Catholics” ... in less than 10 years!
That is to say, we became gradually, but ineluctably, indistinguishable
from our erstwhile “lamentably separated brethren” in the Protestant
“churches”. Indeed, we outpaced their lunacy by abolishing many of our
“Churches” altogether and establishing “Worship Spaces” and “Faith Communities”
in their stead. Ecumenism demanded such parity! Both, after all,
claimed to have “Faith”, both claimed to “worship” and both were equally
Prior to this grotesque mutation from “Roman Catholicism” to “Modern
Ecumenical Catholicism-lite” one of the most notable marks of Catholics
that fell into desuetude was the instinctive bowing of their heads upon
hearing the Sacred Name of Jesus. Again, this, of course, was before
Catholics at large lost every sense of
sanctity following the Second Vatican
Council — for we now deem ourselves greater than Saint Paul
himself, who insisted:
“That at the name of Jesus every knee
should bow, of those that are in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth.”
After 2000 unbroken years of Catholic
practice it all suddenly ended! Why?
When speaking of, or making reference to Jesus Christ in a homily, virtually
every priest assiduously avoids the Messianic title “Christ” (χριστός,
“the Anointed of God”) … using, instead, the Sacred Name of “Jesus”?
Does that ever strike you as odd? You never hear about “Christ”!
Why the sudden break with antiquity? Why this dramatic change which
oddly “coincided” with Vatican II when the world (together with the
flesh and the devil) made its way into our Church together with the
“progressive” and socialistic egalitarianism that swept through
the Sanctuary and pews when “Good Pope John XXIII” (of infamous memory)
— and with no discernible, let alone compelling reason — just capriciously
“threw open its windows” to let “the stale air” out and the fresh
air of the Brave New World in. Unfortunately, together with “the stale
air”, the equally stale Faithful were also ejected as the world
Do not be deceived by the petulant
nonsense that so many bishops in complicity with avant-garde theologians
peddle as “Progressive Catholicism” — an abridgement of
Christianity that has virtually no historical, dogmatic, or magisterial
connection with the “Roman Catholic Church” preceding Vatican II (think
The Jesuits — who should have been suppressed 60 years ago as both heretics
and apostates). There was absolutely no urgent need for a Council. None.
By repeatedly uttering the sacred Name of Jesus priests (together
with “Lectors” of both genders,— but usually female “victims”
of “patriarchal oppression”) have systematically desensitized us to
this Biblical mandate to bow our heads at the Name of the Son of
God. Perhaps they realized that if they loosely uttered it
enough (less aware of the power implicit in the Name than the demons
themselves who trembled before it
it would be lose that formidable transcendence between God-the-Creator
and created-Man and eventually become — as all things holy
became, following Vatican II — a mere commonplace: one name among
a great many others.
Christ became our “buddy” after Vatican II and was simply “one of
us” (“we’re tight with Him”). That is to say, Jesus is now only parenthetically
“the Christ” in our viciously egalitarian and democratic society
where no one Person possesses anything verging on pre-eminence, let
alone a “title” such as “King of Kings, and Lord
of Lords” — for that would carry the odor of a superiority
that transcends the communal stench of the sweating masses —
even if that Person is God Himself!
Such hierarchical language, after all, disappeared with Victorian
England — and, quite appositely, was abolished with the October Revolution
of the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917. Thereafter, you may recall,
everyone was “comrade” — until December 25, 1991 when Communism
collapsed in Mother Russia’s womb which had conceived it, delivered
it, tortured it, killed and finally buried it — just as every priest
rendered the Sacred Name defunct following Vatican II. It was
a Rogerian coup ... a desacralization of the sacred itself.
It is very much the same reason that we no longer accord the Apostles
— or anyone whom Holy Mother Church has canonized — as “Saint”.
We — unlike all our sinful forebears — are on an intimate first
name basis with them as well. Alas, for sorrow, how we hear their blessed
names spoken as if they were merely the man or woman down the street.
It would appear that Modernist Ecumenical Catholics would be much
more comfortable with Christ’s enemies ... than His friends; indeed,
than with Christ Himself.
of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him
the name which is above every name, that at
the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of
those in Heaven and on earth and under the earth”
we no longer so much as bow our heads upon hearing His Name
... let alone bend our knee as we pass before Him in the
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
There was a time when, in a mix of many people, one could always
distinguish the Catholics among them. We see vestiges of this at
Mass — and almost exclusively among the elderly. They bow their
heads, however slightly, even imperceptibly, upon hearing the name,
No matter how often and carelessly the Name is uttered by the priest
or deacon — as any other name upon Earth — still the heads
bow, reflexively, instinctively, from a life past, an age past,
when “the Name" was sacred ... and understood as “the Sacred Name".
It derived not from a generation past, but from centuries past,
millennia past, where it was recognized that one could not always
kneel upon hearing the Sacred Name, but the head ... and the neck
... could always bow before it.
The Prologue in Heaven
were former days”, you say. Yes ... but from days more ancient still,
the days from which the source and substance of our very Faith derives,
days where a continuity existed — and still exists — between Heaven
above and Earth below, ancient days in which we hear the words of
Saint Paul echoed through the ages:
In the Old Testament:
“Be converted to me, and you shall be saved, all ye
ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no other.
I have sworn by myself, the word of justice shall go
out of my mouth, and shall not return: For every
knee shall be bowed to me.”
... and in the New:
creature, which is in heaven, and on the earth, and
under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all
that are in them: I heard all saying: To him that sitteth
on the throne, and to the Lamb, benediction, and honor,
and glory, and power, for ever and ever. And the four
living creatures said: Amen. And the four and twenty
ancients fell down on their faces, and adored
him that liveth for ever and ever.”
thou believe in the Son of God? He answered, and said:
Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him? And Jesus
said to him: Thou hast both seen him; and it is he that
talketh with thee. And he said: I believe, Lord.
And falling down, he adored him."
(Saint John 9.35-38)
saw, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying:
Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
And for every subsequent generation
... but ours.
We are, after
all, too wise ... too sophisticated. We are not
blind beggars and we are not simple fishermen. We are not children.
Indeed. Each of them entered
the Kingdom of Heaven.
So tell me ... since you
are neither blind, nor simple fishermen, nor children, how do
you propose to enter into the Kingdom of God?
They fell to their knees
before God, and you ... you will do what? Is your pride so overweening
that you will bring your full height to the face of God? Will
you stride proudly through the Gates of Heaven?
You are a
The arrogant have ever
been an affront to God. Mary herself tells us that,
hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath
put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.”
Are you greater
than Mary, Mother of God? Greater than Saint Peter?
Will you make yourself
to be even greater than Christ Himself Who,
“fell upon his
2 to His Heavenly Father in the Garden of Gethsemane?
still, when next you pass Him by — Jesus
Christ really and truly present in the Most Blessed
Sacrament of the Altar — and every single day thereafter,
you will not so much as acknowledge Him with the bend
of your knee ... nor His Sacred Name with a nod of your head?
of repenting of this arrogance, and learning from
Christ Who tells us that He Himself is humble
3 — you celebrate! ... most
often yourselves — proclaiming in song, in smug assurance, that
you “are God’s people” — “and the light
of the world” — even as you fail to recognize Him
Who stands before you ... Whom on Good Friday we had crucified with
do you find this so difficult?
to bend your knee you must first bend your will!
Saint Luke, 1.51-52
2 Saint Matthew, 26.39
3 Saint Matthew, 11.29
This says quite a bit — and leaves
quite a bit unsaid ...
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
April 29, 2020
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Comments? Write us:
have we to do with thee, Jesus Son of God? art thou come hither to torment
us before the time?” (Saint Matthew 8.28-29)
“in the synagogue there
was a man who had an unclean devil, and he cried out with a loud voice,
Saying: Let us alone, what have we to do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth?
art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the holy one
of God.” (Saint Luke 4.33-34)
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