I was especially struck by today’s epistle at Mass. This is St. Peter himself speaking to the very people who had clamored and agitated for Christ’s death. But listen to the calm, patient, charitable terms that Peter, quickened and vivified by the Holy Ghost, frames it in to the “men of Israel, and you who fear God”:
Lesson from the Acts of Apostles
Acts 3:13-15; 3:17-19
In that time, Peter opened his mouth and said: Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen. The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom you indeed delivered up and denied before the face of Pilate, when he judged he should be released. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you. But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.
If St. Peter could recognize the error and ignorance of the very people who called out for Christ’s Blood, and exhorted them in charity to conversion, then we must recognize the same dynamic at work today with regards to the Bergoglian Antipapacy, empathize, but exhort and encourage through our witness.
It’s a remarkable passage, giving one plenty to think about. Call out the error, empathize with the ones in error, help correct the error through “opening the mouth”, that is explaining and witnessing.
Look at the Angel. He just slays me with his eye contact. When you see this in person (it is in the Art Institute of Chicago), the effect is ten times stronger.
And now, as has become tradition, what has become quite possibly my single favorite piece of music ever, Bortniansky’s Cherubic Hymn Number Seven.
Apparently, thanks to Frank Walker over at Canon212.com, a good guy and indisputably the hardest worker (and pretty much without financial compensation) in the so-called “Trad Catholic Internet”, there is the misconception, thanks to an offhand remark I made in Episode #080 of the Barnhardt Podcast, that I want to be the queen of France. No, no. After consultation, I have settled my aspirations on being “Grand Duchess of Etruscany and Latium”. France already has a king – Louis XX, Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou. His Queen consort is a Venezuelan (how appropriate), Maria Margarita Vargas Santaella. The Dauphin is their son Louis.
Given that the Medici are extinct, and that all sane people agree that Rome should be administered, from a distance, by a Catholic with German blood, and thus with organizational skills, I would take the title, if offered. And once per week, at my daily Court Mass (Roman Rite) which would be live-streamed, Bortniansky’s Cherubic Hymn Number Seven would be sung during the Offertory by the finest choir ever assembled (almost certainly Estonian). And any there present that did not weep copious, pious tears would be flagellated with over-cooked tagliatelle, which they would then be forced to eat. Without sauce. Only a little bit of olive oil. And maybe a bit of pecorino. We are not a monster, after all.
Now returning to the serious from the land of hearty satire, here is Bortniansky’s Cherubic Hymn Number Seven, with English translation of the lyrics included in the video.
All we that in mystery Holy Cherubim portray As the life-creating Trinity With thrice-holy hymn we adore and praise. Come, let us cast off all earthly care And forget every vain employ.
For the King of All comes in triumph By unseen hosts of angels brought To us that bid Him welcome. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
And a blessed, blessed Easter to all. Christ is truly risen! Alleluia!!!
Here is an Estonian choir performance:
And here is the SOVIET Academic Choir version. Yes, even the Soviets were insistent upon maintaining this choral tradition. Stop and think about that relative to our situation today.
Several emails have come in asking advice on cultivating an authentic, genuine “personal relationship” with Christ. The answer is simple, and it comes from Our Lord Himself who has told many mystic saints and doctors of the Church the same thing: THINK AND PRAY ABOUT MY PASSION AND DEATH. Why? Because thinking about Our Lord’s torture, agony and excruciating death forces us to confront Him as a Person, True God AND True Man. Legal systems don’t sob until their capillaries burst. Philosophies don’t suffer the agony of unrequited love. Imaginary friends don’t lay down their lives. Bureaucracies don’t fight asphyxiation by pushing themselves up on their impaled feet.
Only a PERSON can do these things. Only a DIVINE PERSON did. And remember, He would go through His ENTIRE PASSION just for you alone, and He would go through it REPEATEDLY for you alone, in fact as many times as you assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and even more. That is how much He PERSONALLY loves you, PERSONALLY.
Think about that early and often, and I promise that you will develop a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Him.
The key to beginning to understand the Incarnation, God becoming Man, is Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. If you recall, after the Last Supper in the Upper Room, Jesus and the apostles, except for Judas who was on his errand of betrayal already, went to the Garden of Gethsemane. John tells us that Jesus went there with the apostles frequently to pray, and thus it would be one of the first places Judas would have known to look for Him. The wheels of the Passion are in motion. Jesus knows exactly what is coming, and that it is coming within a matter of hours. He withdraws a short distance from the apostles to pray, but close enough that they can still see Him. He asks the apostles to simply stay awake (because it is now the middle of the night) and to watch and pray. Jesus withdraws and begins to pray. But what the apostles see is horrifying. Jesus isn’t calmly and serenely kneeling in prayer. Jesus is literally laying on the ground, curled up in a ball, writhing in agony. Our Lord is a quivering, trembling, sobbing mess. Jesus is in such stress and agony that the capillaries in the sweat glands in His scalp and forehead are bursting, and there is blood in the sweat that is running down His face, mingling with His tears, and dropping on the ground. This is the first bloodshed of His Sorrowful Passion. Sobbing and shaking, Jesus BEGS the Father to let the events of the next twelve hours pass from Him if at all possible, but resigns Himself to the will of the Father. Reading this, some may be unimpressed with Jesus. Afterall, many, many men and women have gone to their torture and execution fully aware of what was coming, while managing to maintain their composure. Some men, especially, might be tempted to view Jesus and being somewhat cowardly in the face of His Passion, and thus be a bit turned-off by the whole scene.
Yes, Jesus is terrified. He is more terrified in this moment than all of the terror felt by mankind in all of history combined, rasied to the power of infinity. His terror is literally testing the limits of the human body. If any of us felt anything even close to the sort of fear that Jesus felt, we would drop dead. People can and have died purely of fright and/or intense psychological stress, usually by means of a heart attack precipitated by massive adrenaline production.
But the real question is, “What is He afraid of?” His terror and agony are NOT purely centered around the physical means of His death. He is not trembling and sobbing because he is thinking solely of the pain of being scourged, or the pain of being crucified. He is curled up in a ball crying so hard that He is sweating blood because He is thinking about WHO is going to torture and kill Him.
When God took on human flesh, He took on EVERY ASPECT of our existence. He experiences things the same way that we do – except with complete purity and at an infinitely amplified level. And that includes love. And being that He is also completely God, He is in Himself infinite knowledge and infinite love. In a nutshell, this means that Jesus went through His entire life on earth completely in love with every single person. Every person He saw or passed on the street He had known from all eternity; He had created that person atom-by- atom accordingly in the fullness of time; He had intimate knowledge of that person’s every thought, desire and deed; He was infinitely in love with that person.
Can you imagine what simply going into town and walking through the market must have been like? Every face He passed was His beloved. Every person who brushed by Him was a souce of simultaneous joy and the pain of unrequited love. Every laugh He heard was a laugh He wanted to share, and every whimper of sadness was sadness He wanted to share, every struggle was a struggle He wanted to help, and every bit of pain was pain He wanted to soothe. And not in an abstract, altruistic way. He wanted to engage these things personally, as we would with our intimate beloved. But He couldn’t. Can you imagine having all of that love pent up inside of you, with your beloved so near, and have to hold it all inside? Are we starting to get an idea of how terrible and wonderful the Incarnation is?
Now consider that His love for mankind was not limited by time. He feels that level of love for every human being that has ever existed and will ever exist. You were present in His mind 1982 years ago just as much as the Apostles, and you have been present in His mind since before the beginning of the universe itself, as are all of the people who have yet to be conceived in this world.
Let’s go back to the Garden. Jesus takes a couple of breaks from His prayer to go back and talk to the Apostles, who are His best friends. Yes, He loves everybody, but the Apostles are different. They know, to a small extent, who He is. They have spent many days and evenings together working, playing, eating and just talking. Jesus has told them who He is, and He has told them in no uncertain terms that He loves them. And they have assured Him that they love Him too. Their relationship is not one-sided. Jesus – God Incarnate – has gotten to experience reciprocal human friendship and love with these men, infinitely lopsided though it may have been.
Jesus has just spent a considerable amount of time in agony a stone’s throw away from His beloved friends, and when He comes back to them, He finds them all asleep. He is dying. (My soul is sorrowful even unto death.) He asked them, His beloved best friends, to simply stay with Him, watch, and pray. And they couldn’t even stay awake. And this happened twice. Heart. Ache. This is the reality of the Incarnation.
Now here comes Judas. As with every other person, Jesus is loves Judas infinitely. Judas is the person Jesus loves most in the world (and that goes for every person because Jesus is God and thus has infinite capacity.) And Judas has sold Him out. It is one thing to be betrayed by an enemy. It is quite another to be sold for 30 pieces of silver (which assuming one ounce pieces would equate to just under $1000 today) by the person you love most in the world. And just to make it as terrible as possible, Judas has told the guards that the man he kisses, the man to whom he gives the gesture of FRIENDSHIP and LOVE, is Jesus. And so when Judas kisses Him and Jesus says to Judas, “You betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” there is agony there that can not be described. This is the reality of the Incarnation.
The guards. Every single one of them is the subject of Jesus’ infinite love. And they despise Him. Jesus could have stopped it all at any time, not by some act of miraculous violence, but by asking the commanding guard if he remembered that certain tree he used to climb as a child, or that certain toy. He could have frozen them in their tracks by simply reminding them of their own experiences and feelings – which He had already shared with them because He had been with them the whole time. But He didn’t, because He couldn’t. If He didn’t let them kill him, there would be no hope of ever being with them in heaven. Agony. This is the reality of the Incarnation.
Now before the High Priest Caiaphas. Same thing. Except Caiaphas, and the rest of the Sanhedrin, have been as their entire vocation and purpose in life, praying for the coming of the Messiah. They have been praying to Jesus (unwittingly) for Jesus (unwittingly). And Jesus has heard their prayers, and the prayers of all of the priests for generations past, and is finally, finally now standing in front of them. And remember, He loves them each personally. They look Him up and down and utterly reject Him. “No, no. You’re all wrong. You’re not what we want. We want a big macho-man king to vanquish the Romans and sit on the throne and then make us all rich by association. LOOK AT YOU. YOU’RE ALL WRONG. WE DON’T WANT YOU. Go to hell and good riddance.” Agony. This is the reality of the Incarnation.
Pilate. Selfish indifference. “Look man, I neither know nor care who you are or who you say you are, and frankly, I think you’re just another loon. I have a lot on my mind and I simply can’t deal with crap like this.” Agony. This is the reality of the Incarnation.
The Roman scourgers. Jesus was whipped and flagellated until most of His skin was gone by men whom He loved infinitely and intimately. Can you imagine how He felt as he walked to the pillar, turned and saw the faces of his scourgers, and seeing the face of every human being looking back at Him? Can you imagine being slowly and brutally whipped to the brink of death by the person you love most in the world? Say your spouse or best friend? It would be one thing to be whipped by a total stranger. But to be tortured by the person you love most in the world? Unfathomable agony. This is the reality of the Incarnation.
The crowds. Everywhere there were crowds of people looking on – the scourging, the trial, the streets he walked while carrying His Cross to Calvary. Every single face was intimately loved. And every single face, excepting Mary, John, Mary Magdalene and a few other women, were either viciously hostile or completely indifferent. I wonder which was worse? The reason I ask is because the opposite of love is NOT hate, as most would assume. The opposite of love is indifference. There is no greater blow that can be made to a human soul than indifference. How many people saw Jesus that day – locked eyes with Him – and honestly didn’t give a rat’s @$$ either way. “Live. Die. Whatever. Just don’t bother me. You’re messing up my plans. YOU’RE MAKING MY LIFE HARD. Now I’m going to have to go completely out of my way to get around You and this damndable mess You’re making.” This may have been the worst agony. This is the reality of the Incarnation.
Almost everyone treats Jesus with indifference to one degree or another. We are all inflicting that agony on Him. How, you ask? By sinning. We know that our sins hurt Him infinitely, but we commit them anyway. Few people sin because they actively HATE Jesus and want to hurt Him. A few do, but not too many relative to the broad population. No, most people are just indifferent. There He is at the pillar, and our sin is the next lash. And we do it anyway. CRACK! Because we’re indifferent. And again, and again.
“Live. Die. Whatever. Just don’t bother me. You’re messing up my plans. YOU’RE MAKING MY LIFE HARD. YOU’RE EMBARRASSING ME. PEOPLE THINK I’M EITHER CRAZY OR STUPID FOR ASSOCIATING WITH YOU.”
“But I love you. This is all for you.”
“That’s your choice, and your problem. Not my circus, not my monkeys.”
“All I ever did was love you.”
“Oh, F*** you!”
Agony beyond words. This is the Reality of the Incarnation.
That is why Jesus was sobbing in agony in the Garden. He didn’t fear the physical pain. He feared being utterly, completely and totally rejected to the point of toture, execution and the indifferent witnessing of this by the person He loved most in the world, which is YOU. And ME.
He feared not being tortured and killed, but being tortured and killed by the person He loved most in the world. And despite this, He still chose to go through with it all. He went all the way to the end, just so there would be a CHANCE that one day we might knock on HIS door and say, “I love You, too. Have mercy on me, a sinner.”
“The Lord will overshadow thee with His shoulders, and under His wings thou shalt trust: His truth shall compass thee with a shield.” Psalm 90: 4-5
Read the medical description of death by crucifixion below, and then ponder the words, “The Lord will overshadow thee with His shoulders.”
[This is a paraphrase of a summary of an ARSH 1965 article on crucifixion by Dr. C. Truman Davis entitled, “The Anatomical And Physiological Details Of Death By Crucifixion”, originally published in Arizona Medicine. Since it is widely reproduced on the internet, I have taken the liberty of cleaning up a few things, and correcting scripture citations. Additions of my prose are in red brackets.]
Crucifixion is the most painful death ever invented by man and is where we get our term “excruciating.” It was reserved primarily for the most vicious of male criminals. Our Lord refused the anesthetic wine which was offered to Him by the Roman soldiers in keeping with His promise recorded in Matthew 26: 29, “And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of My Father.” Our Lord was stripped naked [This is very important. The depictions of Our Lord with His loincloth intact on the Cross are for the sake of modesty, particularly for women and children. He was naked. The humiliation of being hung naked with no way of covering one’s self was in integral part of the humiliation of crucifixion. Our Blessed Lord spared Himself nothing – the agony of His Passion was maximal.] and His clothing divided by the Roman guards. This was in fulfillment of Psalm 21:19, “They parted My garments amongst them; and upon My vesture they cast lots.” The Crucifixion of Jesus guaranteed a horrific, slow, painful death.
Having been nailed the Cross, Our Lord now had an impossible anatomical position to maintain. Jesus’ knees were flexed at about 45 degrees, and He was forced to bear His weight with the muscles of His thigh, which is not an anatomical position which is possible to maintain for more than a few minutes without severe cramp in the muscles of the thigh and calf. Our Lord’s weight was borne on His feet, with nails driven through them. As the strength of the muscles of Our Blessed Lord’s lower limbs tired, the weight of His body had to be transferred to His wrists, His arms, and His shoulders. Within a few minutes of being placed on the Cross, Our Lord’s shoulders were dislocated. Minutes later His elbows and wrists became dislocated. The result of these upper limb dislocations was that His arms were 9 inches longer than normal, as clearly shown on the Shroud of Turin. In addition, prophecy was thus fulfilled in Psalm 21:15, “I am poured out like water; and all my bones are scattered.”
After Our Lord’s wrists, elbows, and shoulders were dislocated, the weight of His body on his upper limbs caused traction forces on the Pectoralis Major muscles of His chest wall. These traction forces caused His rib cage to be pulled upwards and outwards, in a most unnatural state. His chest wall was permanently in a position of maximal respiratory inspiration. In order to exhale, Jesus had to push down on the nails in His feet to raise His body, and allow His rib cage to move downwards and inwards to expire air from His lungs. His lungs were in a resting position of constant maximum inspiration. Crucifixion is a medical catastrophe. The problem was that Our Blessed Lord could not easily push down on the nails in His feet because the muscles of His legs, bent at 45 degrees, were extremely fatigued, in severe cramp, and in an anatomically compromised position.
Despite what is shown in all Hollywood movies about the Crucifixion, the victim was extremely active. A crucified victim was physiologically forced to move up and down the cross, a distance of about 12 inches, in order to breathe. The process of respiration caused excruciating pain, mixed with the absolute terror of asphyxiation. As the six hours of the Crucifixion wore on, Our Lord was less and less able to bear His weight on His legs, as His thigh and calf muscles became increasingly exhausted. [And bear in mind that He had already been scourged until most of His skin was gone, was thus in deep shock, and was then made to march approximately two kilometers while carrying His own Cross. While fully human, Our Lord’s strength during His Passion was unfathomable.]
There was increasing dislocation of His wrists, elbows and shoulders, and further elevation of His chest wall, making His breathing more and more difficult. Within minutes of crucifixion Our Lord became severely dyspnoeic (short of breath). His movements up and down the Cross to breathe caused excruciating pain in His wrists, His feet, and His dislocated elbows and shoulders. The movements became less frequent as Our Blessed Lord became increasingly exhausted, but the terror of imminent death by asphyxiation forced Him to continue in His efforts to breathe [because His suffering had to be maximal – He had to give us absolutely all of His love].
Our Sweet Lord’s lower limb muscles developed excruciating cramping from the effort of pushing down on His legs, to raise His body, so that He could exhale, in their anatomically compromised position. The pain from His two shattered median nerves in His wrists exploded with every movement. Our Lord was covered in His Precious Blood and sweat. The blood was a result of the Scourging that nearly killed Him, and the sweat as a result of His violent efforts to expire air from His lungs.
Throughout all this He was completely naked, and the leaders of the Jews, the Romans, the crowds, and the bad thief crucified beside Him were jeering, swearing and laughing at Him. In addition, Our Lord’s own Blessed Mother was watching this, united to His suffering.
Physiologically, Our Lord’s body was undergoing a series of catastrophic and terminal events. Because Jesus could not maintain adequate ventilation of His lungs, He was now in a state of hypoventilation (inadequate ventilation). His blood oxygen level began to fall, and He developed Hypoxia (low blood oxygen). In addition, because of His restricted respiratory movements, His blood carbon dioxide (CO2) level began to rise, a condition known as Hypercapnia. This rising CO2 level stimulated His heart to beat faster in order to increase the delivery of oxygen, and the removal of CO2. The Respiratory Center in Our Lord’s brain sent urgent messages to his lungs to breathe faster, and Our Lord began to pant. Jesus’ physiological reflexes demanded that He take deeper breaths, and He involuntarily moved up and down the Cross much faster, despite the excruciating pain.
The agonizing movements spontaneously started several times a minute, to the delight of the crowd who jeered Him, the Roman soldiers, and the Sanhedrin. However, due to the nailing of Our Precious Lord to the Cross and His increasing exhaustion, He was unable to provide more oxygen to His oxygen-starved body. The twin forces of Hypoxia (too little oxygen) and Hypercapnia (too much CO2) caused His heart to beat faster and faster, and Our Lord developed Tachycardia. His Sacred Heart beat faster and faster, and His pulse rate was probably about 220 beats/ minute, the maximum normally sustainable. Jesus had drunk nothing for 15 hours, since 6 pm the previous evening.
Our Lord had endured a scourging which nearly killed Him. He was bleeding from all over His body following the Scourging, the crown of thorns, the nails in His wrists and feet, and the lacerations following His beatings and falls. Jesus was already extremely dehydrated, and His blood pressure fell alarmingly. His blood pressure was probably about 80/50. He was in First Degree Shock, with Hypovolaemia (low blood volume), Tachycardia (excessively fast Heart Rate), Tachypnoea (excessively fast Respiratory Rate), and Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Sometime after noon Our Lord’s Sacred Heart probably began to physically fail. Jesus’ lungs probably began to fill up with Pulmonary Oedema. This only served to exacerbate His breathing, which was already severely compromised. Jesus was in Heart Failure and Respiratory Failure. Jesus said, “I thirst” [partly] because His body was crying out for fluids [but also because He was thirsting for souls – both to love them and to be loved by them]. Our Lord was in desperate need of an intravenous infusion of blood and plasma. He could not breathe properly and was slowly suffocating to death. At this stage Our Lord probably developed a Haemopericardium: plasma and blood gathered in the space around His Sacred Heart, called the Pericardium. This fluid around His Sacred Heart caused Cardiac Tamponade (fluid around His Sacred Heart, which prevented it from beating properly). Because of the increasing physiological demands on Jesus’ Sacred Heart, and the advanced state of Haemopericardium, He may have eventually sustained Cardiac Rupture. His Sacred Heart may have literally burst [before being pierced by the lance of Longinus]. Heart failure was probably the [ultimate physical] cause of His death, [while our sins are the true cause of His suffering and death].
When the Romans wanted to expedite death they would simply break the legs of the victim, causing the victim to suffocate in a matter of minutes. This was called Crucifragrum. At three o’clock in the afternoon Our Lord said, “It is consummated.” At that moment, He gave up His Spirit, and He died. When the soldiers came to Our Lord to break His legs, He was already dead. Not a bone of His Body was broken, in fulfilment of the prophecy in Exodus 12: 46. Our Precious Lord thus died on the Cross after six hours of the most excruciating and terrifying torture ever invented, after enduring torture in the twelve hours prior to His crucifixion which, by itself, would have been sufficient to kill any other man.
The liturgical highlight of my year is upon us: the Offices of Tenebrae in Holy Week. Go to all three if you possibly, possibly can.
Every year, the Pslams, lessons, lamentations, responsories and Canticles leap off the page with stunning relevance. He went through everything before us and for us. Contempt. Calumny. Kangaroo trials. The ascendancy of the wicked all around Him. And finally, and certainly worst, betrayal.
The Thursday Offices of Tenebrae, terrifyingly, read like a recitation of current events, with Antipope Bergoglio and his coven, to everyone’s horror but no one’s surprise, as Judas and the Temple priests and guards.
Here is the Responsory after the eighth lesson in the Third Nocturn of Matins for Holy Thursday, which hit me especially hard this year:
Could ye not watch one hour with Me, ye that were ready to die for me? Or see ye not Judas, how he sleepeth not, but maketh haste to betray Me to the Jews? Why sleep ye? Arise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
Remember, Judas didn’t betray Our Lord for the money. He did it because Judas was so embarrassed and enraged by The Bread of Life Discourse (John Chapter 6) which concluded with a massive crowd, ready to make Jesus King – and thus Judas and the rest of the Apostles very powerful men of Jesus’ “court” – walking away in disgust calling Our Lord “crazy”. The embarrassment and loss of power which he was so close to grasping (he thought) drove him insane with anger, hatred and bitterness toward Our Lord that he resolved to bring about His murder. And I’m sure in his mind he told himself that he was totally justified, and doing the world a favor.
“Eat His flesh and drink His blood? What is that nut talking about?”
NOTHING incites hatred so much as embarrassment. Judas, like such a high percentage of clerics and prelates today, hate Our Lord because they don’t believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and are EMBARRASSED at any mention or indication of It.
Notre Dame Will Be Repaired at Taxpayer Expense, but as a “Shared Cultural/Spiritual Space”. And That Is How It Will Become a Mosque.
This will be done with the FULL support and cooperation of Antipope Bergoglio and his coven occupying the Vatican.
The “repurposing” of Churches into “Shared Ecumenical Spaces” after the Notre Dame model will become all the rage, and will probably become legally mandated. Fire nor earthquake needed. Just the Compass and Square of Freemasonry under the sword of islam.
In a strange way, one of the things that keeps me motivated is seeing all of the pain and suffering of people in the commboxes of “Trad Inc.” websites. I see people descending into indifference, acedia, resignation that their faith (and the faith of the entire Church for the past 2000 years) has been “wrong”, “childish” and “papolatrous”, and lately lots of talk of going to the Eastern Orthodox – NOT the Byzantine Catholics, mind you, but specifically to the Eastern Orthodox in order to “escape” from any notion of the papacy at all, and even to actively embrace a rejection of the Petrine Office and Primacy.
The main thing I can do to help folks, and I see it every day in my email box and in the kind little notes that come attached to donations, is just EXPLAIN things. I am eternally grateful for every donation that comes in, and sometimes people append lovely long notes with quite a bit of information. But I am also struck many times by the donation that comes in with the two-or-three-word note: KEEP WRITING. Or, DON’T QUIT. Or, KEEP IT UP.
In that vein, I thought it might help some folks to see how exactly the fifteen mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary apply to this current Antipapacy situation. The Rosary is such a powerful, powerful tool and gift. I have learned the lesson well over these past years that if a person has contempt for the Rosary, it is a sure sign that said person is well on the road to reprobation, and should be avoided like the plague.RUN, DO NOT WALK, IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. St. Louis de Montfort knew of what he spoke. What I find about the Rosary is that it is, especially when prayed before Our Lord reposed in the Tabernacle, the best “thinking time” – even better that the “thinking time” in the shower, or while walking (or driving for those of you who still have cars). Much of what has been written here in this space on the Bergoglian Antipapacy has been fleshed out while praying the Rosary (the one notable exception being what will go down in lore as “The Great Latin Potential Subjunctive Fracas of ARSH 2018” – and “fracas” has to be pronounced in the posh English country style, “fruh-KAH”, not “FRAY-kuss”.)
Now, you might be thinking, “Ann! When praying the Rosary, one should be thinking about the Mysteries of the Rosary, not anything else!” Ah, but you see, the Rosary is intended to be used as a means to apply the Gospel to our every day lives. In fact, I think that the Rosary should serve as a daily “examination of conscience” aid AND as a way to process the events of one’s daily life. Pray all 15 decades of the Rosary every day, and use the Mysteries to reconcile, process and formulate a path forward EVERY DAY. Given that most of my work these days involves exposing and combatting the Bergoglian Antipapacy, you can imagine that I use the Rosary intensely to “reconcile, process and formulate a path forward.” So, this is a little run-down of how each Mystery applies specifically, but in no way exclusively, to the Bergoglian Antipapacy. These are just some of my thoughts. As always, I hope this helps.
The Joyful Mysteries
First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation Fruit of the Mystery: Humility
Humility is first and foremost knowing who God IS, and what you yourself are NOT. Self-objectivity and self-awareness are key. Go to confession. Early and often. Don’t flirt with evil thinking that you can “handle it”.Avoid bad company and seek out virtuous company. Admit past mistakes, and then marvel at how the Divine Providence has caused good to come even from your mistakes, and always provided a path forward back to the right track. So long as we are still drawing breath, there is ALWAYS a path forward towards God, and that path forward is always visible and knowable.
Humility is also knowing what you ARE. What is your state in life? What are your strengths and abilities? Why are you where you are, when you are? “Behold, I am the handmaiden of The Lord.” Handmaidens WORK. Handmaidens SERVE. If The Master wants you to do something, do it. Refusing to answer the Master’s call claiming “unworthiness” for the task at hand is FALSE HUMILITY. If the Master calls you, you answer, and you answer in the affirmative, and worry not about anything else – because The Master is The Master, and you are the handmaiden. In this way, we are constantly reminded of Who God Is. He is INFINITE love, power, justice, mercy, logic, beauty, goodness, knowledge, rationality and truth. The Divine Providence is infinitely wise and thus unfailing, and God is omnipotent. He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, however He wants. Our Lord spoke these words to St. Catherine of Siena on humility:
“Do you know, child, who are you and Who I AM? If you know these two things, you will be blessed. You are she who is not; I, instead, am HE WHO IS. If you have such knowledge in your soul, the enemy will not be able to deceive you, and you will escape from all his perils; you will never consent to anything contrary to My commandments, and you will without difficulty acquire all grace, every truth and every light.”
Direct Application to the Bergoglian Antipapacy: God works in mysterious and surprising ways, and through people. The common trait of such people is HUMILITY, not any worldly status. The truly humble person, because he contemplates Who God Is, and what God’s attributes are, and his own smallness and nothingness, cannot be tricked by the diabolical confusion and chaos of the Bergoglian Antipapacy.
The Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation Fruit of the Mystery: Fraternal Charity, Love of Neighbor
“Not my circus, not my monkeys.” “Not my problem to fix.” “Above my pay grade.” “All I can do is focus on myself and my immediate household.” “If other people are scandalized, that’s their problem and their own fault.” “I can’t be arsed.” “This bores me. I’m not interested.”
This is just a sample of things you hear every day that are not only contrary to the virtue of fraternal charity, but even trying to use its inverse, the vice of indifference and acedia, as a proof of sanctity. Everything must be rooted in charity. Every soul is infinitely precious to Our Lord who knit every man together in his mother’s womb, and incarnated, suffered, died and rose again so that men might be with Him forever in the Beatific Vision. ANY blanket statement of indifference or acedia towards one’s fellow man is massively disordered. Our Lady, in her first trimester, underwent a long and physically arduous journey (probably on muleback) to help her elderly cousin Elizabeth then in her third trimester. Say what Our Lady said: “I have to go help.” Even with God Incarnate residing inside her womb, the ultimate paradigm of recourse, Our Lady didn’t merely pray for her cousin Elizabeth to the Infant Christ residing in her own womb, she PHYSICALLY WENT. For the love of Her Son, that is God Himself, she was filled with FRATERNAL CHARITY, that is, love for other human beings, and a desire to be of help and service at no small risk, inconvenience and discomfort (have you ever ridden a donkey?) to herself.
A very wise priest told me years ago that the number one mode of oppression that satan and the demons use in Rome which is the root of all of the wickedness in Rome, including all of the various sins against the 6th Commandment, is the vice of ACEDIA. There is a demonic cloud of oppression parked over the city of Rome that rains down upon those living there every day and every night an acid rain of ACEDIA, pathological indifference and lovelessness – and hardly anyone in Rome is carrying a proverbial umbrella. The Divine Office is barely prayed in Rome. The Rosary is held in eyerolling contempt. Adoration is sparse. And almost every church has been physically desecrated by sodomites whose presence is UBIQUITOUS.
Acedia is the vice of indifference – to just not care, but beyond that to NOT CARE THAT YOU DON’T CARE. This makes perfect sense in light of our work on Diabolical Narcissism, which is the freely chosen self-purgation of charity (love) from the soul. Indifference is the opposite of love. This cancer of acedia is why such massive corruption and sexual perversion has been able to explode into near-ubiquitousness over the past century. Turning a blind eye. Declaring indifference. “Not my problem.” “I can’t be arsed.” “I don’t care who X is having sex with. I just like being fawned over by rich, powerful people.” When what you are turning a blind eye to is the attempted rape and murder of the Bride of Christ, and thus the loss of countless souls, every one the beloved of Christ, the gravity of the fault goes exponential.
Beyond this, the new trend in “Trad, Inc.” is to declare indifference for Pope Benedict XVI, and rejection in the narcissistic formula, “Even if he is the Pope, I don’t WANT him back!” Joseph Ratzinger matters. The fact that he is the Vicar of Christ on Earth only underscores this. The Blessed Virgin loved Peter even after he denied Our Lord and ran away from the foot of the Cross on Good Friday. And she WOULD have received Judas Iscariot too, if he had gone to her.
Direct application to the Bergoglian Antipapacy: Other human beings matter. Barricading yourself in your house – just “me ‘n Jesus” – washing your hands of the Bergoglian Antipapacy, and declaring that it isn’t your problem is a lie and a cop-out. Publicly declaring and ginning up aggressive indifference to Pope Benedict XVI, and thus the Papacy itself is a species of acedia. It is our problem, because other human beings are being scandalized unto damnation by it. Our Lady didn’t barricade herself in her house – just her and Jesus. She prayed AND acted.
The Third Joyful Mystery: The Birth of Jesus Fruit of the Mystery: The Spirit of Poverty
What is the SPIRIT of Poverty? Simply put, it is DETACHMENT from wealth and any and all earthly “treasures”, including those of esteem and reputation. It is no sin to have wealth. The sin is to be ATTACHED to it such that it affects one’s moral decisions. Are you ready to lose absolutely everything if that is what the Divine Providence is? Are you ready to have your donations dry up for taking an unpopular stand? Are you ready to lose your reputation? To be ridiculed? To be mocked? Even ruthlessly calumniated? Are you ready to lose social standing? Are you ready to be doxxed?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.
One thing I started doing years ago as an exercise in detachment when I realized how truly tenuous my situation was, was to silently in my mind “take leave” of people, places and things every time left them, just in case it was the last time I ever saw them (or it). This conscious development of detachment has been a truly invaluable habit, as one church that I frequented has been physically lost, and I did, in fact, “take leave” of it the last time I saw it. I also do this with people, although never aloud, as to do it aloud might cause people needless worry. But when parting company with people, I think to myself, “On the off chance that this is the end and I never see you again in this world, goodbye.” This is detachment. A readiness to let go of earthly treasures and consolations, be they physical or human, in order to serve God. What the virtue of detachment does is make one impervious to coercion or threats, and more fully abandoned to the Divine Providence.
Our Lady knew from the very beginning that she would have to “let go” of Our Lord, even unto His death. And so she cherished every moment, but when it was time, and He said to her at the Wedding at Cana, “What is it to you and Me?” which signaled to her that if He provided wine for the wedding that it would be the end of their “quiet little life”, and the beginning of His ministry which would lead to His torture and death, she was able to give her affirmation because she was detached from the earthly, and desired only that the Will of the Father be done, no matter what that meant for her earthly life. Can you imagine the strength of character turning that page in her life took? The intense daily pleasure of sharing and keeping a home for Jesus Himself? If she can do that, I can, at the very least, be detached from my Donate button, much less my earthly reputation, and even perhaps my liberty eventually.
Direct application to the Bergoglian Antipapacy: If you are truly detached from wealth and earthly comforts, consolations and pleasures, and are willing at any time to lose it all for the love of God and His Holy Church, then standing up to the Bergoglian Antipapacy and its various and sundry henchmen, and speaking the truth, no matter how unpopular, is not only an irresistible duty, it’s an authentic PLEASURE.
The Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple Fruit of the Mystery: Obedience, LOVE OF THE LAW
The Papacy is an irreversible, immutable JURIDICAL Office established by Christ Himself as a monarchy, and thus the Law, and the love of the Law is a critical concept with regards to the events of February of ARSH 2013. The Divine Providence, which is always perfect, saw to it that the 1917 and then 1983 Code of Canon Law was promulgated. Canon Law speaks specifically and directly to Papal resignation, and provides what can only be described as a miraculous coherence and integrity in the face of a set of circumstances that could not have been explicitly foreseen – the attempt by a reigning Pope to fundamentally transform the Papacy by attempting to “expand” the Papacy into a “collegial, synodal ministry” consisting of more than one man at a time, with a division of Petrine ministerial functions along the lines of “prayer and contemplation” vs. “active governance of the Church.”
If the Law applied to God Almighty, who IS the existential source and foundation of the Law, such that He was circumcised at eight days of age, spilling His Most Precious Blood, AND to His Mother, conceived Immaculate, and EVER VIRGIN, such that she underwent the Rite of Purification forty days after Our Lord’s birth – even though she remained perfectly pure – then to argue that Canon Law DOES NOT apply to the Pope, even inasmuch as a given Canon is simply a refined recapitulation of either the Natural or Divine Law, is a species of idolatry.
But there is another set of laws that is under attack in this situation as well. It is nothing less than an attack on REALITY ITSELF, specifically the law of THE LINEAR FLOW OF TIME. In the created universe, all existence is in the PRESENT, the past is FIXED, and the future is unknown. The PAST being FIXED and not changeable in retrospect provides EXISTENTIAL STABILITY – simply put, REALITY. Every man knows in his deepest being that events in the past are immutable, and thus the present itself – REALITY ITSELF – is reliable.
To say that a given man is the Pope today and thus ontologically IS THE POPE TODAY, but could be at some point in the future declared to have been an antipope, and thus his ontological state is the PAST TIMELINE would “change”, for example, “Bergoglio ontologically IS the Pope in ARSH 2019, but in ARSH 2178 he could be declared an antipope, and thus reality in the past in that moment of declaration CHANGES THE PAST RETROACTIVELY,” is nothing less than a satanic attack on the very foundation of REALITY.
Reality is stable. The past timeline cannot be “changed”, and ontological realities within the past timeline are fixed. God, the author and sustainer of reality is Himself the Guarantor of the stability of the timeline so that human existence can move through time with an intrinsic integrity and confidence in the REALNESS of the REAL.
Human beings need not worry that the past will somehow be changed such that one might be snuffed out of existence – and then perhaps reconstituted in existence again. We see this attack on the stability of the past timeline and REALITY in the realm of marriage – wherein the vast majority of Catholics today who have been handed a cookie-cutter “decree of nullity” firmly believe that they WERE married, but that the Church has decreed that the ontological reality of the marriage has been CHANGED. “I WAS married, but the Church has declared that I no longer am.”
We further see this is the sickening evil of so-called “transgenderism”. It is no longer Bruce Jenner who won the men’s decathlon in ARSH 1976. As of ARSH 2014, the PAST TIMELINE, REALITY ITSELF, has been changed – CAITLYN JENNER now retroactively REPLACES the past. It was “Caitlyn”, NOT Bruce, who not only won the gold medal, but EVER REALLY EXISTED.
Thus we see the argument that “The Pope is the Pope until the Pope says he isn’t the Pope”, or, “Bergoglio is the Pope today, although he COULD be declared an antipope in the future, and only then would he cease to be the Pope and be an Antipope.” Thus, within the timeline, depending on one’s relative position, say ARSH 2019 versus ARSH 2178, Bergoglio could both BE AND NOT BE the Pope. In ARSH 2019 he is, in ARSH 2178 he is not and never was. Something can not both be and not be. This is an full-frontal attack on the Law of Non-contradiction, and a satanic attack on all of humanity by throwing into doubt in the mind of men the most basic laws of the universe: the realness of reality, and the linear flow of time. To attack something so fundamental as the reliability of linear time is the ultimate attempt at establishing a reign of total chaos.
Application to the Bergoglian Antipapacy: Look to the Law, and love it, even the laws of physics, for God’s Law sets us free. God’s Law, including Canon Law, bring order and structure. Discarding them yields chaos, and even sets up a paradigm of idolatry wherein the Papacy is in one breath declared meaningless, and in the next breath declared to override Natural, Divine, Canon and even the Laws of the physical universe.
The Fifth Joyful Mystery: Finding Jesus in the Temple Fruit of the Mystery: Joy at Finding Jesus
What did YOU find?
A social clique? Amusing luncheons with a coterie of fops and dilettantes, and cocktail parties with “rich, powerful people”? An entree into a social caste that you were not born into, and covet, or at least into a pool of fellow social climbers? Tasteful art and architecture? Somewhere that Latin is used? Beautiful music? A Disneyland/Narnia to live in? A rich vein of donation revenue to tap, maybe even enough to live off of without working?
Or did you find a Person, Divine, burning with infinite love for you and mankind, scourged, rejected, and crucified FOR YOUR SINS and the sins of the world, ready to forgive your every sin – if only you love Him, and thus sincerely repent.
Did you find a wildly corrupt and depraved institution – and nothing more, and thus without hope? Is the Pope your daddy who ran off? Is Jesus your spouse or paramour who dumped you? Is the communion of saints just a bunch perverts and grifters who were smart enough to fool everyone and never get caught? Are angels and demons as real as the characters in Star Wars? Is the concept of “grace” as fictional as “The Force”?
Or did you find Infinite Goodness, Graciousness, Holiness, Immutability, Impeccability, Charity, Omnipotence, Omniscience, Righteousness, Sovereignty, Veracity, Beauty, Mercy and Justice, Unity in Trinity, Incarnate, and Personal?
Simply put, did you find Jesus?
Application to the Bergoglian Antipapacy: Christ is Real, His Church is Real, and He Himself established the Papacy. His promises are rock solid, and His Providence cannot be thwarted, nor His Holy Church destroyed. If ANYTHING about the state of the Church or the Papacy seems to demand that EVEN ONE of the Divine attributes be denied, then there is a problem is with the base premise being false, NOT with God, not with His Church, not with His Vicariate, the Papacy, which He Himself established and protects.
In this case, the false base premise which seems to deny many of the Divine Attributes is the identity of the Pope (wrongly assigned to Bergoglio), NOT the identity of Christ.
I hope this helps.
I will be writing up the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries as well. See if you can’t anticipate how these Mysteries and their Fruits apply.