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 to “Ecumenism”.
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 “communities”.
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!
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
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, “Jesus”.
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
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
“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.”
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
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)
"Peter saw, he
fell down at Jesus' knees, saying:
Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
(Saint Luke 5.8)
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
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
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 fool!
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.”
greater than Mary, Mother of God? Greater than Saint
make yourself to be even greater than Christ Himself
“fell upon his face, praying” 2 to His
Heavenly Father in the Garden of Gethsemane?
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?
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
Why do you
find this so difficult?
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
Printable PDF Version
Comments? Write us:
“What have we to do with thee, Jesus Son of God? art thou come
hither to torment us before the time?” (Saint Matthew
“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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