Bishop Fellay Promotes a Hybrid Mass

 

In an interview conducted at the end of June 2015, Bishop Fellay said that blending the Traditional Catholic Mass with the new mass, is an idea which makes him “glad”.  http://sspx.org/en/fellay_interview_tradition_schneider_sarah_Francis

 

In particular, Bishop Fellay declared his support for the idea of “introducing the Traditional Offertory into the new mass”.  Id. 

 

Bishop Fellay is advocating sacrilege, which is an “irreverent treatment of the sacred”.  Summa, IIa IIae, Q.99, a.1.  The Traditional Mass is entirely sacred, including its Offertory.  The new mass is evil, is a danger to the Faith and is a work of the devil and the modernist enemies of the Church.  Combining the Traditional Mass’s sacred Offertory with the evil new mass is as irreverent to the sacred Offertory, as would be mixing consecrated holy oils, with dung.  (In fact, because the new mass is evil while dung is merely repulsive (not evil), what Bishop Fellay is glad about, is worse.)

 

The sacrilege Bishop Fellay is supporting is a mortal sin worse than murder (because sacrilege is a grave sin directly against God, whereas murder is a grave sin directed against man).  Summa, IIa IIae, Q.99, a.2, sed contra; IIa IIae, Q.13, a.3, ad 1. 

 

In the same interview, Bishop Fellay says that this mixing of the sacred and the evil would be “a great step forward” because it would help conciliar Catholics.  But this is like the liberal view that it would be good to combine the Kingship of Christ and the Kingship of Satan on the same banner, in order to “gradually bring around” those who now support the Kingship of Satan. 

 

The truth is, the end does not justify the means!  Uncompromising Catholics do not approve sacrilege even if the goal is to help “bring around” the conciliar Catholics (and even if this means would achieve such an end).

 

Bishop Fellay might think that he can avoid the wrath of God for promoting the hybrid mass, because he plans to prevent the SSPX from using it and he speculates that no traditional priests would ever be so weak so as to rationalize their own use of the hybrid mass (in place of the Traditional Mass).  But whatever Bishop Fellay’s suppositions are, he still is promoting the irreverent treatment of the sacred Offertory, by mixing it with evil (the new mass).

 

Bishop Fellay is not culpable for the Vatican’s creation of the new mass in the 1960s, just as (in the above example), Bishop Fellay is not responsible for the banners of Satan already in use.  But Bishop Fellay is responsible for scandalizing the faithful, by promoting the creation of this hybrid mass; and he is also responsible for lending his influence, as Rome decides whether to blend the sacred and the evil masses.  This is like (in the above example) Bishop Fellay would be responsible for supporting the proposal of a hybrid banner, including both Our Lord and Satan. 

 

Our Lord warned us: “I would thou wert cold, or hot.”  Apoc. 3:15.  By Bishop Fellay promoting the blending of the good and the evil masses, he seeks to achieve the “lukewarm” by blending the hot and cold.  Such persons, our Lord declares, He “will begin to vomit” out of His Mouth.  Apoc. 3:16.

 

 

It is Not New for Bishop Fellay to Seek Convergence between the Traditional Mass and the New Mass

 

This is not the first time Bishop Fellay has proposed a way to bring the sacred Traditional Mass nearer to the new mass.  For example, Peter J. Elliott, the local ordinary of a diocese in Australia, reported that he had lunch with Bishop Fellay, during which Bishop Fellay and his SSPX priests proposed that the Traditional Mass “be said or sung in the vernacular”.  http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2014/02/reform-of-reform-not-impossible.html#.VZ1o_F9Viko

 

 

Bishop Fellay has been Soft on the New Mass for a Long Time

 

Bishop Fellay’s lack of abhorrence for the new mass is not new: 

 

  Bishop Fellay attended a new mass and praised it afterwards, to a Cardinal.  http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/cardinal-if-lefebrve-had-seen-proper-mass-he-may-not-have-split/  Accord: http://www.sspx.org/superior_generals_news/what_bishop_fellay_really_said_to_cardinal_canizares_about_the_new_mass_1-21-2013.htm

 

  On a visit to Rome with Bishop Fellay, his two Assistants attended the new mass celebrated by Pope Francis.  http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/05/rorate-exclusive-pope-francis-received.html

 

  Bishop Fellay laughed and smiled while recounting his liturgical experimentation as a teenager (creating new “eucharistic prayers” for the new mass used by his conciliar high school), as shown in this video interview, beginning at about minute five: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XhhM8WXjFA

 

  Bishop Fellay stated that the new mass is “legitimately promulgated” (although nothing can be “legitimately promulgated” which is not legitimate).  See, Bishop Fellay’s 4-15-12 Doctrinal Preamble.

 

  Bishop Fellay asserts the strange novelty that our Baptism Character sometimes approves of the new mass.  See, Bishop Fellay’s October 19, 2012 conference, disc 1, about minute 76 (discs sold by Angelus Press); https://www.scribd.com/doc/180007280/Analysis-of-Fr-Themann-conference-pdf (pages 31-32).

 

  Bishop Fellay says that “what needs to be corrected” in the new mass are things like the vernacular translation.  https://fsspx.news/en/content/23740 

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

The Voice of Christ:

 

Your tardiness in turning to prayer is the greatest obstacle to heavenly consolation ….

 

The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis, Book III, Ch. 30.

 

CC in brief — May

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle normally examines particular issues thoroughly, at length, using the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Doctors of the Church.  By contrast, our feature CC in brief, gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

                

CC in brief

 

Q.  Why does the N-SSPX now lean liberal with its followers?

 

A.  If a traditional Catholic or a Society doesn’t fight against liberalism every day, gradualism will take over and they will become liberal after a time.  The New SSPX no longer fights against liberalism daily as Archbishop Lefebvre did.  They may merely mention the problem of liberalism, but are not fighting against it. 

 

Self-forgetfulness—letting the Love of God Consume Our Lives

Objective truth series – Reflection #22

In our last several reflections we have been considering focusing more and more on our eternal goal, the work of our lives, namely, the salvation of our souls.  We penetrated more deeply what it really means to save our souls—to see the Beatific Vision!

The emptiness of this world is easy to see especially when we compare this world to the delights of heaven.  We can easily conclude that to see God is worth all the efforts we can make.  Certainly as God gives us a greater desire for heaven, He increases our love for Him.   Yet, there is another aspect of our love of God which emerges especially when we see the world getting more godless every day, namely, the hunger and desire we have to see God loved.  St. Therese of Lisieux wrote in a prayer she composed to the Holy Face, “I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men.”

When we consider how there is so much craziness going on around us in the world, we see the huge apparent sprint of the evil globalists as they try to get more control of everything with each new day.  Furthermore, these globalists have a clear agenda to erase God and His Commandments from the face of the earth.  It is so tempting to only consider our own current dangers and to get anxious about what will happen to us.  However, we must remind ourselves that we are in God’s Providential Hands and there is much consolation in this truth.  Indeed, we also know that God is allowing these events in order to perfect our souls.    

And yet, our focus should naturally turn from ourselves, to the innumerable insults that are hurled against God, His Church, His Blessed Mother, and His Saints.  We can see by the blatant attacks of the enemy, that God is so hated in these neo-pagan times of this great apostasy.  Our hearts ache out of love for God and a desire to console Him.  We should remember that just devotedly doing our duty-of-state with love for God, is a very important way to give Him glory and console Him.   

In this way, too, we begin the life of self-forgetfulness.  The simple focus on wanting to please God and work for His Glory, not only increases our love for Him, but also is God’s means to increase His Divine Friendship in our souls.  God is great and merciful to shower such undeserved goodness on His poor creatures!

 “He must increase: but I must decrease.” [St. John 3:30]  These words of St. John the Baptist apply to us as we strive to do all we can for the greater honor and glory of God and to show Him all our love.  But, more than this, is that this decreasing of ourselves in our own view of ourselves, naturally brings us lower and lower until we see our utter nothingness.  This nothingness does not disturb us because we see it as our natural place.   As Our Lord told St. Catherine of Sienna, “You are she who is not and I am He Who is.”  We are nothing and God is our all.

When we get caught up in our daily service of God and our neighbor out of love for God, our lives are busy working for God and our neighbor.  We may find ourselves trying to help our neighbor in many ways.  Some examples may be: trying to keep up our neighbor’s morale in these times when irrational fears are being pushed on everyone; trying to keep him informed when we are surrounded by false news; trying to convert others back to the pre-Vatican II Faith; or teaching others about the traditional uncompromising Faith which they have never heard about [seeing that we are now 56 years post Vatican II].  “The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few.” [St. Matt. 9:37]

With so much work to do for God’s Glory and to show Him our love, there really is no time or concern to think about ourselves.   We are glad to do all we can for God and spend ourselves in His service.  This is what it means to let our lives be consumed in the love of God.  What a mercy of God to let us serve Him and He accepts our poor service!

Besides such good works to our neighbor for love of God, we’ll find that we love spending time in prayer— adoring God; telling Him our sorrow for our own sins and the sins of the hateful world; telling Him over and over again that we love Him; and thanking Him for all His Goodness and Mercies He has shown to us.

God’s sculpturing of our souls slowly over time does bring many changes in our souls which includes the soul becoming more selfless.  He works patiently on us and if we are docile, His chiseling will not seem painful to us.  We can sense that He is steadily chipping away our selfishness and we naturally find that we want to do things for Him more because we love Him more and more.  In addition, as we see things in the world falling apart around us, and because we know that we do not in any way deserve God’s wonderful mercies that He has showered upon us, our hearts cannot help counting our blessings often.  How could gratitude not grow with each passing day?  We want to do something for Him to thank Him.  We want to share our blessings with other souls!  A consuming need to love God takes over and the desire to see Him loved is part of this. 

With grateful hearts, may God let us burn in the fire of the consummation of His Love!  This is how Divine Friendship works— to spread His Glory, to be spent in His service,  and to care about nothing else than Him!  Oh, if we could truly say like St. Paul, “And I live, now not I: but Christ liveth in me.” [Gal. 2:20]—with heartfelt pangs of love for God we would want to say something like the following:

 For God alone must be my goal,

Only He can full-please a soul,

 Focusing on myself would be,

Like living a lie—death to me.

 

 

To keep my focus on God entire

Brings on love and my soul’s desire

To become selfless, melting flame

To make of God, my only aim.

 

This fits His plan for souls that see,

Solely for Him should the soul be,

The lifetime goal, the soul’s one end

To have Him, as a Divine Friend.

 

With things all ‘round falling apart,

Thus, to tear, God out of each heart,

The devil spreads hatred so wide,

Ne’er wanting souls, to be God’s bride.

 

Fret then, just distracting the soul,

From the purpose of man’s true role,

Intimate union with The Spouse,

Evil seeks this Friendship to douse.

 

The Devil sows then fears and dread

Wanting souls to hate God instead

‘Gainst love of God, and true good deeds

He tempts men to desire false “needs”

 

 So bitter hatred fills the air

And each day more fall to despair

Insults to God are hurled galore

Than seemingly ever before

 

Our souls ache to repair these crimes

The wretched evils of our times,

To give God the glory— His due,

 Knowing He, is loved, by so few.

 

And to help poor folks so confused

Who are attacked and ill-used

Who search for truth, so hard to find

They’re led like sheep to keep them blind.

 

Out of love we help our neighbor,

 Gladly for God do we labor,

For Him our life tirelessly spend,

Knowing by this we love our Friend.

 

Working hard ‘til our eyes grow dim,

Doing all out of love for Him,

Wanting nothing than be consumed,

Giving all until we’re entombed.

 

If we like St. Paul can self-forget

We can grow more in love yet

With our dear Lord, Our Spouse Divine,

E’er adoring the Mystic Vine!

Measuring How Much Piety has Atrophied in the “New” SSPX

Catholic Candle note: The article below is an update of an article and data about the plummeting SSPX totals from its “rosary crusades”, comparing 2009, to 2016, and now in 2021.

 

 

 

St. Paul infallibly teaches us: “without Faith, it is impossible to please God.”  Hebrews, 11:6.  Therefore, without faith, no piety pleases God or can be a true piety.

 

There is no true Faith outside the Catholic Church.  Therefore, there can be no true piety outside the Catholic Church. 

 

As a person’s Faith weakens, so does his piety, diminishing his prayer life.  Our Lord told us that strong prayers require strong Faith and that strengthening our Faith will strengthen our prayers.  Here are His words:

 

If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, “Remove from hence hither”, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

 

St. Matthew’s Gospel, ch.17, v.19.

 

Just as our prayers become stronger when our Faith becomes stronger, likewise our prayers weaken when our Faith weakens.

 

The “old” SSPX recognized this obvious correlation, when discussing the conciliar church.  For example, in 2002, the SSPX said (regarding the use of the rosary in the conciliar church): “the rosary … has fallen into disuse and even contempt”.[1]

 

Of course, this decline in prayer took time among conciliar Catholics, just as their decline in Faith also took time.  Nonetheless, their decline in piety and prayer was inevitable, given their decline in Faith.

 

This same decline in Faith and piety is now occurring in the “new” SSPX, although (of course) this takes time and the decline still has far to go.  The decline of Faith is chronicled in Catholic Candle[2] and elsewhere.  Similarly, the corresponding decline of piety is palpable in every “new” SSPX parish, although in some more than others (as was similarly true among conciliar parishes in the 1970s).

 

One measure of the “new” SSPX’s overall decline in piety, is the tally of the latest rosary crusade:

 

  During the latest 4¼ month rosary crusade in the U.S. District (from November 21, 2020 through April 1, 2021)[3] the “new” SSPX claims its followers said 282,508 rosaries.[4]  If we multiply this by three, it would give us the approximate annual rate of 847,524.  

 

  Compare this to the 2016 one-year rosary crusade (beginning in August 2016), when the SSPX U.S. District tallied approximately 1.5 Million rosaries.[5]

 

  Compare that to the one-year rosary crusade (beginning May 2009), when the same U.S. District tallied approximately 5.5 Million rosaries.[6]

 

  In other words, after the weakening of the Faith within the SSPX, especially since 2012, SSPX followers prayed the rosary in 2020-2021 at a monthly rate which was a little more than half (56.5%) of the rate in 2016 and only roughly one seventh (15.4%) the monthly rate of 2009!

 

 

To our readers who still attend the “new” SSPX chapels:

 

Are you worried and scared?  Are you afraid to forgo sacraments that are frequent and relatively easy to obtain?  If you leave the “new” SSPX, do you fear you will lose whatever piety and prayer life you have?

 

The opposite is true!  If you stand up for the Faith and reject compromise and liberalism, God will strengthen your Faith and your piety, as He does for all Catholics who stand up for Him! 

 

If you put the Faith first and thus stand against compromise and liberalism, God will strengthen your Faith because you put it (and Him) first and act by the light of your Faith, by shunning the evils you now silently tolerate.

 

Likewise, because your prayer life and piety grow proportionately with your Faith (as shown above), you will improve your prayer life without those compromise sacraments you now receive from the “new” SSPX and which you dread forsaking.

 

If you stay in the (new) SSPX, your Faith and piety will inevitably atrophy, just as even the staunchest conciliar Catholics inescapably weakened.

 

The most important thing you can do for your piety and prayer life, is to leave the “new” liberal SSPX and its sacraments!  Do it now!

The Current Leftists Follow the Usual “Tyrant’s Playbook”


This same “Playbook” also shows us how to Resist Tyranny

Catholic Candle note: The article below concerns the descent of the U.S. government (and other Western governments) into tyranny.[1]  While the evidence we give below comes mostly from the U.S., similar evidence can be found in other Western countries. 

Although it is true that we suffer under increasing tyranny, we must also remember that revolution is a sin and Catholics are not revolutionaries.  Read the explanation for that truth here: https://catholiccandle.org/2021/02/01/revolution-is-in-the-air/

 

 

Human nature always remains the same and so the virtues of good men and the vices of evil men remain essentially the same as they always were.  One consequence of this truth is that the “playbook” for acquiring and maintaining a tyrannical government is essentially the same as it was throughout all history.

For this reason, our best guides/teachers concerning the features of tyranny (and the rest of the science of political life) remain the ancient (and greatest) philosophers of all time, namely, St. Thomas Aquinas (the greatest Doctor of the Catholic Church), and the magnificent Aristotle.

St. Thomas and Aristotle describe how governments act when they seek to achieve and maintain tyranny.  We see their descriptions of tyranny given so long ago now being exemplified daily in news reports, especially since March 2020.


A tyrannical government seeks discord among its citizens to prevent them from uniting against the tyranny.

A tyrannical government fears that its people will unite against the tyranny imposed on them.  Thus, such government seeks to divide its people into warring or contentious factions or classes, to keep them too weak and disunited to effectively oppose the tyranny.

Here is how Aristotle explains this truth:

[One] art of the tyrant is to sow quarrels among the citizens; friends [being] embroiled with friends, the people with the notables,[2] and the rich with one another.[3]

Current application: Our increasingly-tyrannical government actively fosters division and contention among its people.  Thus, for example, the government fosters division of the people into a plethora of “victim” groups whose grievances are constantly stoked and whose resentment it encourages.  The tyrannical government and its allies[4] (e.g., in the mainstream media, Big Tech, radical universities, big corporations[5], big banks[6], etc.) promote such division along the lines of race[7], gender, unnatural vice, “transgender”, immigration status, and many other bases.

Our increasingly-tyrannical government encourages people to “snitch” (tattletale) on each other, for non-compliance with abusive COVID-restrictions, seeking to set its people against each other.[8]  As the mayor of Los Angeles stated: “snitches get rewards.”[9]  This mentality should be abhorrent to a free people.


A tyrannical government seeks to eliminate opportunities for its people to build bonds of friendship and trust.

Not only does a tyrannical government promote divisiveness among its people, but it also seeks to prevent the opposite from happening, viz., development by its people of strong bonds of friendship and trust between each other.  Such bonds would allow the people to unite against the oppressive government and in other ways join together in ways not controlled by the tyrants.[10]

Here is how St. Thomas explains the tyrant’s suppression of the people’s bonds of friendship and mutual trust:

They [viz., tyrants] also see to it that there be no friendly relations among these [viz., the people] so that they may not enjoy the benefits resulting from being on good terms with one another, for as long as one has no confidence in the other, no plot will be set up against the tyrant’s domination.  Wherefore they … forbid anything which furthers society and co-operation among men, such as marriage, company at table, and anything of like character, through which familiarity and confidence are engendered among men.[11]

Similarly, Aristotle teaches that tyrants act this way:

[A tyrant] must not allow common meals, clubs, education, and the like; … he must prohibit literary assemblies or other meetings for discussion, and he must take every means to prevent people from knowing one another, for acquaintance begets mutual confidence.[12]

Current application: Among the countless examples of our increasingly-tyrannical government seeking to alienate the people from each other, we see lockdowns by which abusive government seeks to prevent the association of good people with each other, while allowing Marxist protestors and rioters to have free reign to promote disorder, civil unrest, destruction, and other evils.[13]

Our increasingly-tyrannical government closes restaurants as well as commands the people not to gather in their homes with friends and relatives.  One Canadian Premier boasted that he is “the guy who’s stealing Christmas” because he abusively banned social gatherings then.[14]

Our increasingly-tyrannical governments are abusing their authority by alienating people from each other by stifling social contact through mask mandates, so-called “social-distancing” and other anti-social commands.[15]

The tyrants prohibit people from gathering at funerals and from visiting the sick at hospitals because those acts promote charity and human bonds between members of society.

Our oppressors ordered the closing of most businesses, clubs, and meeting places.  They banned serious attempts at education and allowed only ineffective “pretend” education over Zoom.

Our increasingly-tyrannical government’s destruction of society’s cohesiveness has become more abusive recently, but has long included the evil of pushing mothers out of the home[16] to get a “career”[17] and to destabilize the family[18] by promoting divorce and temporary “romantic” liaisons while at the same time discouraging marriage.[19]

Just as in communist countries, Western governments are implementing (or currently developing) “vaccine passports” to control the people’s travel in order to cement control over them.


Our increasingly-tyrannical government seeks to know everything we do.

Our increasingly-tyrannical government seeks to keep the people under constant surveillance.

Here is how Aristotle explains this conduct of tyrants:

Further, [a tyrant] must compel all persons staying in the city to appear in public and live at his gates; then he will know what they are doing: if they are always kept under, they will learn to be humble.  In short, … a tyrant …  endeavor[s] to know what each of his subjects says or does, and … employ[s] spies ….[20]

Applications:

One dramatic example is the Obama-era initiative directing the National Security Administration to conduct the MYSTIC and RETRO programs to gather and record the voice phone calls of Americans and others.[21]  This program was secretly begun in 2009 and only revealed in 2014 by whistleblower Edward Snowden.[22]  Because of subsequent political pressure, the U.S. federal government announced that it “voluntarily” limited the scope and reach of these programs.  It is unclear how the true status can be known since the program’s very existence was kept secret for about five years.

There are video cameras watching people virtually everywhere.  These cameras are in use not only in communist countries such as China[23] but also in places such as Belgium[24], France, Britain (4.2 million cameras),[25] and Atlanta, Georgia, (11,000 cameras) [26] watching everything the people do.

In other ways also, communist governments[27] and the increasingly-tyrannical Western governments, such as Germany[28], constantly surveille their people.


Increasingly-tyrannical Western governments seek to corrupt the morals of the people

A tyrannical government seeks to erode the virtues of its citizens – especially courage – as well as to harm its people’s spiritual good in other ways, because virtue makes citizens act according to both reason and firm principles; but these very qualities are independent of the control of the tyrannical government.  Thus, virtuous men cannot be easily manipulated by the whims of an evil government.  Here is how St. Thomas explains this truth:

Nor does the tyrant merely oppress his subjects in corporal things but he also hinders their spiritual good.  Those who seek more to use, than to be of use to, their subjects prevent all progress, suspecting all excellence in their subjects to be prejudicial to their own evil domination.  For tyrants hold the good [citizens] in greater suspicion than the wicked, and to them the valor of others is always fraught with danger.  So, the above-mentioned tyrants strive to prevent those of their subjects who have become virtuous from acquiring valor and high spirit in order that they may not want to cast off their [viz., the tyrants’] iniquitous domination.[29]

Application: Among the countless examples of tyrannical governments oppressing the virtue of its citizens, we see governments attempting to disarm the people[30] lest they courageously defend themselves against criminals and/or tyranny.

Likewise, tyrannical governments seek to stifle other instances of standing up for morals, such as a cake bakery refusing to make a cake to celebrate a “lifestyle” of vile impurity.[31]  In another example, a British man is arrested for reading the Bible in public, concern what marriage and the family are.[32]

We see the government-supported schools teaching how to commit the vilest impurities and indoctrinating students about the advantages of murdering innocent babies.

The increasingly-tyrannical governments (and their media allies) promote immorality as well as acting on emotion, rather than encouraging people to use their reason.[33]

The tyrants order most of society to “lockdown” and command the closing of churches[34] while permitting marijuana dispensaries[35] and clinics murdering innocent babies[36] to be designated “essential businesses” which can remain open.


Our increasingly-tyrannical government seeks to prevent its citizens from obtaining wealth and power which is independent of the government, but promotes wealth and power for those persons who are the tyrants’ own allies in oppressing the people.

A tyrannical government fears its citizens who are rich and powerful unless it controls those citizens or unless they are allies in the tyranny. 

Aristotle teaches:

It is characteristic of a tyrant to dislike everyone who has dignity or independence ….[37]

St. Thomas further explains this truth:

They [viz., tyrants] moreover strive to prevent their subjects from becoming powerful and rich since, suspecting these to be as wicked as themselves, they fear their power and wealth; for the subjects might become harmful to them even as they are accustomed to use power and wealth to harm others.[38]

Aristotle adds more points along the same line:

[A tyrant seeks to] impoverish his subjects; he thus provides against the maintenance of a guard by the citizen and the people, having to keep hard at work, [so they] are prevented from conspiring.  …  Another practice of tyrants is to multiply taxes ….[39]

Application: We see Bill Gates, George Soros, the Big Tech companies, Big Pharma,[40] the “Big box” stores all thriving and all using their political and economic muscle to promote the increasing tyranny which is oppressing the people.  Meanwhile, the governments’ abusive lockdowns and regulations are oppressing small business and bankrupting the “mom and pop” businesses, which are forced to shut down because of lockdowns (if other government meddling does not kill them first).  Also, this destruction of our economy causes unemployment, impoverishment and dependence on the government.

Further, inflation and debasement of our currency are like hidden taxes to impoverish the people.[41]

The leftists not only push socialism, big government, and tremendous spending sprees in Western countries, but also increase taxes, seeking to destroy the financial independence of the people.


Our increasingly-tyrannical government promotes endless foreign wars

When a government is tyrannical, it seeks to engage in continual military activities in other places in the world, to weaken the country and make people tired of conflict so they are less likely to be willing to challenge their own tyrannical government.  Such foreign wars also impoverish the people and tend to make them rally behind their (tyrannical) leaders because they face a foreign foe.  Here is how Aristotle teaches this truth:

The tyrant is also fond of making war in order that his subjects may have something to do and be always in want of a leader.[42]

Dystopian novelist, George Orwell, portrays how tyrannical governments stay in power, in part, because of continual trumped-up wars.  Here is the setting of his novel, 1984:

[W]ar had been literally continuous, though strictly speaking it had not always been the same war. …[43]

In principle, the war effort is always so planned as to eat up any surplus that might exist after meeting the bare needs of the population.  In practice, the needs of the population are always underestimated, with the result that there is a chronic shortage of half the necessities of life; but this is looked on as an advantage.  It is deliberate policy to keep even the favoured groups somewhere near the brink of hardship, because a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one group and another.[44]

Application:

The U.S. and other Western countries have embarked in a long string of foreign wars where victory was seemingly not the goal and these countries withdrew after sufficient time, energy, blood and treasure were exhausted.  These countries are now working toward supposed withdrawing from Afghanistan (the U.S.’s longest war) and Iraq, preceded by earlier “adventures” in Iraq, Kuwait, Vietnam, Korea, Libya (two wars), Syria, Uganda, Somalia (two wars), Serbia, Haiti, and Bosnia, in the last three decades.[45]


As governments become increasingly tyrannical, the people become dispirited, demoralized, and discouraged from participating in public life, and they hide themselves.

When a government is tyrannical, people “keep their heads down” and don’t join in public life because they do not want to be attacked.  Here is how St. Thomas explains this truth:

[As it says in the Book of Proverbs, 28:28]: “When the wicked rise up men shall hide themselves”, that they may escape the cruelty of the tyrant.  It is no wonder, for a man governing without reason, according to the lust of his soul, in no way differs from the beast.  Whence Solomon says [Prov 28:15]: “As a roaring lion and a hungry bear, so is a wicked prince over the poor people.”  Therefore, men hide from tyrants as from cruel beasts and it seems that to be subject to a tyrant is the same thing as to lie prostrate beneath a raging beast.[46]

Application: In 2019, a mother in Notre Dame, Indiana was disturbed by the indecent attire worn by the young women in church, wrote a local newspaper editorial asking women to dress more modestly.[47]  She was attacked contemptuously from all over the U.S. including in the Washington Post.[48]  That is one of countless messages leftists send, telling people of common sense, who have somewhat conservative views, to stay quiet or you will be attacked.

In another example, a “Christian” bakery closes down because the owners were exhausted because of harassment by leftists.[49]

Similarly, conservative-leaning teachers and university professors and many others in public life “keep their heads down” or retire early (just when we need them the most), to avoid being viciously attacked. 


Aristotle sums up the character of tyrants

Aristotle recaps a tyrant this way: there is no wickedness too great for him.[50]

Application: We see the truth of Aristotle’s observation in the decadence promoted by our increasingly-tyrannical governments.  For example, Virginia’s governor and many other government leaders have sunk so low as to promote infanticide.[51]


What can we do to oppose the increasing tyranny we are facing?

We are soldiers of Christ the King and we have a duty (and the honor!) of doing what we can to oppose the coming kingdom of Satan.  But what can we do?  Here are four things all of us can do:

1.    Sanctify ourselves;

2.    Pray hard for sinners and pray for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart by the pope and bishops of the world;

3.    Be a good example to others by our own conduct; and

4.    Spread and speak the truth in your “little corner of the world”.

Below, we briefly discuss each of these points.


1. Sanctify ourselves

This is our principal duty in life and is the first element of serving and glorifying God.

Holiness of life is our main weapon in the fight against Satan and his minions.  As St. John teaches: “this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith.”[52]  Our virtue and holiness are not only our main weapons but they also give effectiveness to our other weapons.

2. Pray hard for sinners and pray for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart by the pope and bishops of the world

Our fight is for Christ the King.  Our fight is more against Satan than against his evil minions.  As St. Paul teaches:

Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.[53]

That is always true.  But in our times, one can see even more obviously that we are fighting Satan himself, as, e.g., we increasingly see that our leftist enemies openly promote their connection to, and service of, demonic spirits.[54]


3. Be a good example to others by our own conduct

Our Lord told us: “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”[55]  God wants us to live lives which are a beacon of light in the darkness around us.

Thus, we should not fear to live our Faith in public, without pretension and without apology.  This means, e.g., unostentatiously praying your meal prayer in public (e.g., when you are in a restaurant), praying your morning rosary on the bus (when that is where you are when it is time for your prayers), not cowering before the “mask police” when entering a store or post office, etc.

As stated in the precept attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel always.  When necessary, use words.”

Living the holy Catholic Faith without cowardliness will do much for the strength of your own Faith as well as for the encouragement of others.  Our example will help our neighbor maintain his bearings in this disorienting world.

It is easy for people to lose hope because it seems that the whole world is against us.  However, it is a great blessing to be alive now and to be serving Christ the King.[56]  We should live our lives cheerfully and courageously, always remembering that “If God be for us, who is against us?”  Romans, 8:31.  Our firmness and calm joy will “rub off” on others.

As much as possible, don’t cooperate with any of the tyranny being imposed by the governments and their allies.  Be bold for Christ the King!  In this way, you avoid giving bad example and you strengthen people to act courageously themselves.

4.   Always spread and speak the truth in your “little corner of the world”.

God does not want us to teach everyone – otherwise He would have made us the “teacher of the world”.  He gave us a tiny corner of the world in which to profess the truth – His Truth – to those that He puts in our path.  We can do this in conversations, spreading good books and articles, etc.

For example, some of the Catholic Candle team, whose duties of state include weekly trips to the grocery store, have engaged in countless discussions about the Catholic Faith, which were started by store clerks or other customers because those Catholic Candle team members were modestly dressed, not wearing a mask/muzzle (when everyone else did), etc.

These discussions often have resulted in giving those clerks or customers rosaries, catechism books, good Catholic advice, etc.

This is what we should all do, as opportunity presents itself.

Let us always remember: we are first and foremost Catholics!  We are subjects of Christ the King!  Everything else we are, is secondary!


Thoughts of Comfort and Clarity

During Revolutionary Times

 

With a grateful “nod” to Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, especially the first and last paragraphs of this novel about the French Revolution

 

‘Tis best of times and worst of times,

‘Tis age of wisdom and the fool,

It is the epoch of belief,

As well, the epoch incredule.

 

It is the season of the Light,

And also season of the Dark,

The spring of promise and of hope,

The winter, which despair doth mark.

 

‘Tis best of times because our times,

Are made for us to save our soul,

The times to prove who loves Our Lord,

And places first th’ eternal goal.

 

‘Tis worst of times because our times,

Have revolution in the air,

The wolves and leftists in control,

We, for our martyrdom, prepare.

 

‘Tis age of wisdom, in our times,

We, saints or Satanists must be,

We must have greatest trust in God,

And live the right priority.

 

Yes, ‘tis the time of fools galore,

With high regard for software fast,

But no care for eternal truth,

Nor the great learning of the past.

 

It is the epoch of belief,

A blind trust in the “science” fake,

“Religion” of the mask mandate,

And climate “crisis” man did make.

 

It is the epoch incredule,

Reject whatever use to be,

Reject Tradition, truth and good,

Trust feelings though, and “empathy”.

 

God Willed us to live now, and help,

Our children – both the young and grown,

This, leading to far-better rest,

God grant! – than we have ever known.



[1]           In this article, we use the word “tyranny” in the broad sense of “unjust or oppressive governmental power.”  This definition is the first one given in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition. 

[2]           Webster’s Dictionary defines the noun “notable” as: a person of note.  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/notable

[3]           Aristotle’s Treatise on Politics, Bk. 5, Ch. 11 (bracketed word added for clarity).

[5]           The big corporations, e.g., Delta Airlines and Coca Cola, are leftist allies, pushing the leftist agenda.  See, e.g., https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/hundreds-of-ceos-companies-launch-attack-against-election-integrity-bills

[6]           See, e.g., this article: US Financial Regulators Moving ‘Very Fast’ to Take on Climate Change, which can be read here: https://www.theepochtimes.com/us-financial-regulators-moving-very-fast-to-take-on-climate-change_3805907.html

[8]           Read more about how mask-wearing destroys the cohesiveness of society, in part three of this article: https://catholiccandle.org/2020/12/01/856/

 

[10]         In his incisive analysis based on his first-hand observations of the U.S. in the 1830s, Alexis De Tocqueville, stressed that the strength of the United States was in its citizens joining together in voluntary associations to accomplish their goals and solving their problems for themselves.  That spirit is the opposite of the spirit of a servile and socialist people, which demands that the government take care of them and solve their problems.  Here is part of De Tocqueville’s analysis of the American people of that time:

 

Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions, constantly form associations.  They have not only commercial and manufacturing companies, in which all take part, but associations of a thousand other kinds – religious, moral, serious, futile, extensive, or restricted, enormous or diminutive.  The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found establishments for education, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; and in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools.  If it be proposed to advance some truth, or to foster some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form a society.  Wherever, at the head of some new undertaking, you see the government in France, or a man of rank in England, in the United States you will be sure to find an association.

 

Democracy In America, by Alexis De Tocqueville, Volume II, Ch.5.

[11]         St. Thomas Aquinas, On Kingship, bk.1, ch.4 (bracketed words added for clarity).

[12]         Aristotle’s Treatise on Politics, Bk. 5, Ch. 11 (bracketed words added for clarity).

[13]         For a further analysis of lockdowns as a tool to suppress the people, not a virus, read section two of this article: https://catholiccandle.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/lockdowns-are-to-control-people-not-a-virus-2.pdf

 

[20]         Aristotle’s Treatise on Politics, Bk. 5, Ch. 11 (bracketed words added for clarity).

[23]         Read this article: China is installing surveillance cameras outside people’s front doors … and sometimes inside their homes found here: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/27/asia/cctv-cameras-china-hnk-intl/index.html

 

[24]         To learn more about ubiquitous surveillance in Belgium and France, read this article: https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/camera-surveillance-stepped-up-in-belgium-and-france

 

[26]         There are around 11,000 cameras surveilling Atlanta Georgia.   https://www.ajc.com/news/local/real-time-crimefighting-around-000-cameras-watch-over-atlanta/qlF76c7sgdwBvtIa3luX8H/

 

[27]         See e.g., China’s routine electronic surveillance of its people’s phones and other mobile devices.  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/china-cracks-down-on-citizens-scans-handheld-devices-for-illegal-informatio

 

[28]         German Intelligence Agency spies on its citizens who:

 

v  oppose the “pandemic” lockdowns.  https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/germany-puts-anti-lockdown-group-under-surveillance-for-possible-extremist-ties/ar-BB1gboSl

 

v  are so-called “pandemic” deniers.  https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2220022972385/german-intelligence-puts-coronavirus-deniers-under-surveillance

 

[29]         St. Thomas Aquinas, On Kingship, bk.1, ch.4 (bracketed words added for clarity).

[33]         To read how our increasingly-tyrannical government and its allies are corrupting the morals and reason of its people, read this article: https://catholiccandle.org/2021/04/02/empathy-a-tool-for-good-or-for-evil/

 

[37]         Aristotle’s Treatise on Politics, Bk. 5, Ch. 11.

[38]         St. Thomas Aquinas, On Kingship, bk.1, ch.4 (bracketed words added for clarity).

[39]         Aristotle’s Treatise on Politics, Bk. 5, Ch. 11 (Bracketed words added for clarity).

[40]         For example, COVID vaccine maker, Moderna, increased its profits 13-fold during this last year.  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/covid-19-jab-maker-moderna-posts-13-fold-revenue-increase-thanks-to-vaccine

 

Likewise, Pfizer posted $4.5 billion in profits recently.  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/04/business/pfizer-covid-vaccine-profits.html

[42]         Aristotle’s Treatise on Politics, Bk. 5, Ch. 11.

[43]         1984, George Orwell, ch.3.

[44]         1984, George Orwell, ch.17.


[46]         St. Thomas Aquinas,
On Kingship, bk.1, ch.4 (bracketed words added for clarity).


[49]         https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/a-year-after-refusing-to-provide-cake-for-gay-wedding-christian-bakery-clos

 

[50]         Aristotle’s Treatise on Politics, Bk. 5, Ch. 11.

[52]         1 St. John, 5:4.

[53]         Ephesians, 6:12.

[54]         Read about Satan’s connection with the Marxists here: https://catholiccandle.org/2021/03/03/black-lives-matters-program-is-the-same-as-that-of-satan-and-marx/


[55]         St. Matthew’s Gospel, 5:16.

The New SSPX and Judas-type Liberalism

If you have followed the New SSPX in its effort to be reconciled with Rome ever since Archbishop Lefebvre died, you noticed a type of Liberalism that deceives its followers.  Rome insists that the SSPX accept the evils of Vatican II, and the SSPX can’t do that – oh, they would if they could and still hold on to their pseudo-traditional followers.  But they can’t do that quite yet.

So, how has the “new” SSPX managed to hold onto these followers so far and still please Rome?  I’ll tell you how.  They use Judas-type Liberalism.  What is Judas-type Liberalism?  It’s when you have one N-SSPX leader making a liberal VC II statement, followed later by another N-SSPX leader making a traditional refutation of that statement.  In this way, the pseudo-traditional followers of the Society can believe the statement that salves their conscience and, of course, reject what bothers them.  So, you see, it is a Liberalism that deceives the ill-informed consciences of the Society supporters, but satisfies Rome that the N-SSPX is beginning to see the “truth” of the Second Vatican Council, which is a requisite for reconciliation.  Rome is happy with the N-SSPX, and so are its followers.  The N-SSPX found they could please both by being “for” and “against” something at the same time.  Judas-type Liberalism has been successful ever since the archbishop died.

Let me demonstrate Judas-type Liberalism based on a speech by Father Benoit De Jorno on Nov. 28, 2020.  He is the Superior of the N-SSPX district in France, and he refutes previous statements by Bishop Fellay.  Here is Fr. De Jorno:

Since 1969, a new rite has been introduced into the Church, profoundly modifying its worship and, as a consequence, seriously damaging the Faith, because, as we know, ‘lex orandi, lex credendi’ – the rule of prayer is the rule of faith.  The Society of St. Pius X, standing against this sickening novelty from the very moment of its foundation ….[1]

Fr. De Jorno also warned against humanism, saying:

[T]his deadly humanism has penetrated the Church, has become conciliar; with the Second Vatican Council, a great change, a great upheaval, a new doctrine has profoundly infiltrated the Church; ecumenism in particular is a cancer that gnaws at her bone marrow.  And the scourge is precisely the new mass, which as we know, significantly departs from Catholic tradition.[2]

These more conservative words are surely contrary to the repeated position taken by Bishop Fellay, who attended the new mass himself, showing by his own example the Society’s position that the new mass is acceptable.  After he attended the new mass, he enthusiastically praised it.[3] 

Bishop Fellay’s two assistants also attended the new mass when visiting Pope Francis, showing by their own example the N-SSPX’s position that the new mass is acceptable.[4]

The new SSPX says the new mass gives grace.[5]  In reality, the new mass never gives grace.[6]

Bishop Fellay says that “what needs to be corrected” in the new mass are things like making a better vernacular translation.[7]  This tells people that the “new” SSPX does not have a problem with the new mass itself.

Now, increasingly, the “new” SSPX respects the values of the world and wants to fit in with the world, e.g., the “new” SSPX says its school (in Missouri) is “very much like other schools”.[8]

The “new” Society no longer remembers what it is like to be a sign of contradiction, like Our Lord.

Another aspect of the “cult of man” (humanism) is to adopt the “modesty” standards of the world.  The “new” SSPX now progressively promotes mini-skirts, women with bare shoulders or exposed flanks, and women wearing trousers.[9]

The above examples of Judas-type Liberalism are only a few of the many, but they show the N-SSPX tactics as to how they please Rome and their followers’ consciences at the same time.

Don’t hold out hope that the N-SSPX will change course and become uncompromising and traditional, as the conciliar hierarchy promotes ever-more-extreme modernism, because the Society believes they can achieve reconciliation without defections, using the Judas-type Liberalism to put the final “piece of the puzzle” in place to please Rome.  This final piece is the acceptance, at least in part, of the soul-destroying Novus Ordo mass.

Based on the past success of the Judas-type Liberalism, I predict and won’t be surprised if in 2023 (or before), when Rome celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, they will reconcile with the N-SSPX, who will use “soft” Liberalism again to avoid defections by its supporters.  They may well begin by promoting a hybrid Mass, (i.e., the “best” parts from the Conciliar service mixed with the Traditional Mass).  Bishop Fellay already promotes a hybrid mixture of the new mass and the Traditional Mass.[10]

I predict that the N-SSPX will begin using the hybrid mass slowly.  First, the hybrid mass will be used at N-SSPX chapels once a month and be available as one option.  Later, the hybrid mass will be the only one available on some occasions, e.g., once a month, after the Society is certain they will not lose followers or revenue.

In closing, you can see what the naïve followers of the N-SSPX are up against.  We must hold fast without compromise and can be sure that Our Lord’s grace will help us and He will never abandon His soldiers in the Catacombs.  Our uncompromising position and our love of Our Lord will surely eliminate fear and problems we would otherwise face at our Personal Judgment.

Let us pray hard daily for the misguided leaders of the N-SSPX and their naïve followers.  Moreover, because the SSPX was dear to the heart of Archbishop Lefebvre while he was on earth, (and supposing that he is in Purgatory or Heaven), he is no-doubt continuing to pray hard for his now-wayward Society.  Let us join our prayers to his.



[1]           As reported in the St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary Newsletter dated Feb. 11, 2021.

[2]           As reported in the St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary Newsletter dated Feb. 11, 2021.


[3]           Quotation, citation, and analysis here: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/priests/fellay-promotes-hybrid-mass.html

[4]           Quotation, citation, and analysis here: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/priests/fellay-theory-baptismal-character.html

[5]           Quotation, citation, and analysis here: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/priests/sspx-softer-new-mass.html

[7]           Quotation, citation, and analysis here: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/priests/fellay-promotes-hybrid-mass.html

A Great Desire for Heaven

Objective truth series – Reflection #21

In our last reflection we considered how we must die to ourselves in order to work out our salvation.  Because we had already considered working out our salvation in fear and trembling, it logically followed that we must consider working on detachment from our bodies through penance.  In like manner, after considering that doing penance is a way to prepare for the release of our souls from our bodies, the benefit of detachment from the things of this world is also easy to see.

Once one is more detached from this world, the more he finds he is focused on attaining his true home, namely, heaven.  In St. Alphonsus de Liguori’s book Sermons for Sundays, he has an excellent sermon on heaven for the second Sunday of Lent.  He has four key points or reasons why we should ponder heaven and seek heaven.  Indeed any one of these reasons alone would be enough to convince us to ask God earnestly for a great desire for heaven.  Let us consider these four points one at a time.

1) “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him.”  (1 Cor. 2:9)

Concerning this point St. Alphonsus describes the beauty we should be longing for.  He says, “According to the Apostle, no man on this earth can comprehend the infinite blessings which God has prepared for the souls that love Him.”[1]

St. Alphonsus goes on to comment that people on earth are so focused on using only their senses and says:

Perhaps we imagine that the beauty of heaven resembles that of a wide extended plain covered with the verdure of spring, interspersed with trees in full bloom, and abounding in birds fluttering about and singing on every side; or, that it is like the beauty of a garden full of fruits and flowers, and surrounded by fountains in continual play.  Oh!  What a Paradise, to behold such a plain, or such a garden! But, oh!  How much greater are the beauties of heaven!  Speaking of Paradise, St. Bernard says: O man, if you wish to understand the blessings of heaven, know that in that happy country there is nothing which can be disagreeable, and everything that you can desire.[2]

St. Alphonsus not only talks about heaven being agreeable to the senses, he goes on to explain more about how all the soul’s desires are satisfied in heaven. 

2) In heaven you have all you can desire. ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ (Apoc. 21:4-5.).[3]  Concerning this point, St. Alphonsus expounds how all our senses will be delighted, saying:

There everything is new; new beauties, new delights, new joys. There all our desires shall be satisfied. The sight shall be satiated with beholding the beauty of that city. How delightful to behold a city in which the streets should be of crystal, the houses of silver, the windows of gold, and all adorned with the most beautiful flowers. But, oh! How much more beautiful shall be the city of Paradise! The beauty of the place shall be heightened by the beauty of the inhabitants, who are all clothed in royal robes; for, according to St. Augustine, they are all kings. How delighted to behold Mary, the queen of heaven, who shall appear more beautiful than all the other citizens of Paradise!  But, what it must be to behold the beauty of Jesus Christ!  St. Teresa once saw one of the hands of Jesus Christ, and was struck with astonishment at the sight of such beauty. The smell shall be satiated with odors, but with the odors of Paradise. The hearing shall be satiated with the harmony of the celestial choirs. St. Francis once heard for a moment an angel playing on a violin, and he almost died through joy. How delightful must it be to hear the saints and angels singing the divine praises! “They shall praise thee for ever and ever.” (Ps. 83:5.) What must it be to hear Mary praising God!  St. Francis de Sales says, that, as the singing of the nightingale in the wood surpasses that of all other birds, so the voice of Mary is far superior to that of all the other saints. In a word, there are in Paradise all the delights which man can desire.”[4]

St. Alphonsus explains how these pleasures of the senses are nothing compared to the actual Beatific Vision.  In his next point he concentrates directly on this Vision.

3) We see now through a glass in a dark manner, but then face to face.” (1 Cor. 13:12.)  St. Alphonsus explains: “The delights of the soul infinitely surpass all the pleasures of the senses. Even in this life divine love infuses such sweetness into the soul when God communicates Himself to her [viz., the soul], that the body is raised from the earth.  St. Peter of Alcantara once fell into such an ecstasy of love, that, taking hold of a tree, he drew it up from the roots, and raised it with him on high.”[5]

St. Alphonsus continues:

How great is the sweetness which a soul experiences, when, in the time of prayer, God, by a ray of His own light, shows to her [viz., the soul] His goodness and His mercies towards her, and particularly the love which Jesus Christ has borne to her in His passion! She feels her heart melting, and as it were dissolved through love.  But in this life we do not see God as He really is: we see Him as it were in the dark. We see now through a glass in a dark manner, but then face to face.”  (1 Cor. 13:12.)  Here below God is hidden from our view; we can see Him only with the eyes of faith: how great shall be our happiness when the veil shall be raised, and we shall be permitted to behold God face to face!  We shall then see His beauty, His greatness, His perfection, His amiableness, and His immense love for our souls.[6]

In the three points above St. Alphonsus gives us beautiful incentives to long for heaven in a speculative or thoughtful way, but he adds another incentive which is more of a practical one as well:

4) God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Apoc. 21:4).

Concerning this point, St. Alphonsus tells how our earthly trials will end, saying:

But, after entering into Paradise, the blest shall have no more sorrows. God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”  The Lord shall dry up the tears which they have shed in this life.  And death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow, shall be any more, for the former things are passed away. And He that sat on the throne, said: “Behold, I make all things new.” (Apoc. 21:4, 5.)  In Paradise, death and the fear of death are no more: in that place of bliss there are no sorrows, no infirmities, no poverty, no inconveniencies, no vicissitudes of day or night, of cold or of heat.  In that kingdom there is a continual day, always serene, a continual spring, always blooming.  In Paradise there are no persecutions, no envy; for all love each other with tenderness and each rejoices at the happiness of the others, as if it were his own.  There is no more fear of eternal perdition; for the soul confirmed in grace can neither sin nor lose God.[7]

St. Alphonsus then adds these consoling words:

In beholding the beauty of God, the soul shall be so inflamed and so inebriated with divine love, that she [viz., the soul] shall remain happily lost in God; for she shall entirely forget herself, and for all eternity shall think only of loving and praising the immense good which she shall possess forever, without the fear of having it in her power ever to lose it. In this life, holy souls love God; but they cannot love him with all their strength, nor can they always actually love him.  St. Thomas teaches that this perfect love is only given to the citizens of heaven, who love God with their whole heart, and never cease to love Him actually.[8]

These extracts from St. Alphonsus’s beautiful sermon truly show us that we should beg God for a great desire for heaven.  When one asks God for something which is good for the soul, God answers the prayer in a marvelous way. Our Lord Himself told us to seek the kingdom of heaven, saying, “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.” [St. Matt. 6:33].

Once God sparks the flame of this desire in the soul, all the things in this world cease to have any real charm or attraction.  This earthly journey is viewed as only an exile because the soul longs for heaven so much.

It is truly an undeserved blessing from God to have a desire for heaven and to be able to see through the allurements of the world—travel, entertainments, and shallow amusements. Then a soul sees the sheer emptiness of this world and all creatures in comparison with God.  God becomes more and more the absolute center of one’s life. God really comes first and He is the basis for all decisions made.  If a soul has this blessing, it is evident because this blessing is very tangible.  Indeed, the soul shutters in fear of losing this insight from God and this objective view of life, of time, and of eternity.  He finds himself begging God to allow him to keep this objective view. In fact, he finds himself begging that God won’t allow him to abandon objective truth.  This outlook is so undeserved.  One knows this to the very marrow of one’s bones.  One feels grateful and tells God thank-you.  With the flame of desire for heaven lighted in the soul, one yearns for heaven everyday more and more and the evils of the present life make our exile here felt evermore keenly.  One could naturally find himself wanting to soar to the heavenly heights to be united with Our Lord, Our Lady, and our heavenly helpers. The soul might express its longing in words such as these:

Oh my soul it is time to die,

For all thy hopes in God must lie,

Doing penance is the sure way,

To break free from the world each day.

 

At the same time desire does grow,

And a need of God more to know,

Detaching thee from worldly cares,

 Well aware of, all of life’s snares.

 

Then with eyes raised, to thy true home,

Keep thou focused, want not to roam,

‘Cause earth is, a distracting sea,

Make it to have, no part with thee.

 

Then burning in thy heart will flame,

Yearning for heaven thy sole aim,

Eye hath not seen, nor ear hath heard,

Desire for heaven is now stirred!

 

 St. Alphonsus teaches so well,

Aching for heav’n, the heart must swell,

Ev’ry delight for ev’ry sense,

Our heart was made that we go hence.

 

Heav’n is more than just higher goal,

‘Tis the one desire, of a soul.

 To stay ever with Love Divine,

Aspire for this, oh soul of mine!

 

Far better than mere sight or sound,

For Divine View, we must be bound,

To keep in mind this View sublime,

The goal of each step, in life’s climb.  

 

 The fulfillment of ev’ry hope,

The one purpose of this life’s scope,

To land safely on heaven’s shore,

Where grief will end forevermore.

 

This wicked world with wicked trends,

My soul and it will ne’er be friends,

This fact makes it easier still,

To want to ever do God’s Will.

 

To burn with more intense desire,

Dear Mary help me to aspire,

So when my death breaks earthly ties,

My soul with thee may ever rise.



[1]           Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year, by St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, by the late Very Rev. Nicholas Callan, D.D., Roman Catholic College, Maynooth, eighth edition. Dublin, James Duffy & Sons, 15 Wellington Quay; and London, 1 Paternoster Row. 1882. Dublin.  (Emphasis in the original).

 

[2]           Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year, by St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, by the late Very Rev. Nicholas Callan, D.D., Roman Catholic College, Maynooth, eighth edition. Dublin, James Duffy & Sons, 15 Wellington Quay; and London, 1 Paternoster Row. 1882. Dublin.  (Emphasis in the original).

[3]           Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year, by St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, by the late Very Rev. Nicholas Callan, D.D., Roman Catholic College, Maynooth, eighth edition. Dublin, James Duffy & Sons, 15 Wellington Quay; and London, 1 Paternoster Row. 1882. Dublin.  (Emphasis in the original).

 

[4]           Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year, by St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, by the late Very Rev. Nicholas Callan, D.D., Roman Catholic College, Maynooth, eighth edition. Dublin, James Duffy & Sons, 15 Wellington Quay; and London, 1 Paternoster Row. 1882. Dublin.  (Emphasis in the original; bracketed words added for clarity).

[5]           Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year, by St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, by the late Very Rev. Nicholas Callan, D.D., Roman Catholic College, Maynooth, eighth edition. Dublin, James Duffy & Sons, 15 Wellington Quay; and London, 1 Paternoster Row. 1882. Dublin.  (Emphasis in the original; bracketed words added for clarity).

[6]           Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year, by St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, by the late Very Rev. Nicholas Callan, D.D., Roman Catholic College, Maynooth, eighth edition. Dublin, James Duffy & Sons, 15 Wellington Quay; and London, 1 Paternoster Row. 1882. Dublin.  (Emphasis in the original).

[7]           Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year, by St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, by the late Very Rev. Nicholas Callan, D.D., Roman Catholic College, Maynooth, eighth edition. Dublin, James Duffy & Sons, 15 Wellington Quay; and London, 1 Paternoster Row. 1882. Dublin.  (Emphasis in the original).

 

[8]           Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year, by St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus M. Liguori, by the late Very Rev. Nicholas Callan, D.D., Roman Catholic College, Maynooth, eighth edition. Dublin, James Duffy & Sons, 15 Wellington Quay; and London, 1 Paternoster Row. 1882. Dublin.  (Emphasis in the original; bracketed words added for clarity).

 

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

A prayer to recite when receiving your daily Cross (in the Catacombs)

Oh Lord, do with me and mine as Thou pleasest.  I ask and desire only three things:  Thy love, final perseverance, and the grace always to do Thy holy Will.  And if to love Thee thus, I must endure persecution and suffering, I am perfectly satisfied.

Taken from a pre-Vatican II program for making a holy hour

Empathy – a Tool for Good or for Evil

Catholic Candle note: The article below concerns the leftists’ use of empathy and compassion to promote their radical agenda.

When discussing empathy, we must first understand what empathy is.

What is empathy?  How does it differ from compassion?

Webster’s Dictionary defines “Empathy” as:

the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner[1]

Webster’s Dictionary defines “Compassion” as:

sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress, together with a desire to alleviate it.  Some of our users are interested in the difference between empathy and compassion.  Compassion is the broader word: it refers to both an understanding of another’s pain and the desire to somehow mitigate that pain.[2]

People often use these two terms (viz., empathy and compassion) interchangeably, even though Webster’s Dictionary (quoted above) says that those words are not completely synonymous.

Here are the five key points one dictionary gives concerning the difference between these two related emotions: empathy and compassion:

1.    Many people use both words to explain the same emotion.

2.    Although thought of as the same, empathy and compassion are different forms of the same emotion.

3.    Empathy and compassion require you to imaginatively experience the same feelings as the person or situation in question.

4.    Empathy is seen as a passive emotional response.

5.    Compassion requires you to take positive action to alleviate a person’s pain or situation.[3]

Although the word “empathy” is the word more currently in vogue now, the mainstream media and other “thought leaders” tend to use the word to urge people to action.  For example, during the corona-craziness, on May 5, 2020 (the date on which the Catholic Candle team happened to begin this article), a liberal, “politically correct” news commentator emphasized that we must empathize with people by wearing a mask outside even if we are very far from any other person, because people who see us even at a long distance might be afraid they will catch the virus from us.  So, (this commentator stated) we should always wear a mask outdoors, out of empathy for the fears of others.

Note that the news commentator used the word “empathy” but urged listeners to act upon their feelings.  Thus, according to the above definitions, that commentator technically seems to be talking about compassion, not empathy.  Below, we will use both terms interchangeably to mean feeling for someone and acting accordingly.

Empathy is used to push a politically correct radical agenda

The “politically correct” thought-leaders promote empathy as a tool to achieve their corrupting, radical agenda.  Here are three examples:

 

Example one: empathy used to promote religious indifference and indifference to the truth

One of the Catholic Candle team recently was compelled to endure a “diversity and inclusion” presentation by a professional diversity presenter (i.e., someone who earns a living by making these presentations).  This presenter’s emphasis was on the importance of empathy for people who are not like us.  The presenter emphasized how crucial it is for us to “affirm the choices” made by other people who do not live and choose the way we do. 

The presenter gave the example of a person who belongs to a “religious minority”.  The presenter said we should not ignore other persons’ religions but that we should be empathetic by showing an “intelligent interest” in their religions and when they explain whatever it is that they do and believe, we should “affirm” (i.e., praise) their religious practices and beliefs, whatever they are.

This appeal to empathy is unreasonable.  It treats the truth as irrelevant.  It exalts the valuing of people’s feelings or decisions, however wrong or evil they are.  Such conduct (viz., praising whatever people believe) is religiously indifferent.  Out of charity, we should try to convert people to the truth, especially to the Catholic Faith because outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation.[4] 

What should we conclude about empathy then?  Is empathy something which is religiously indifferent and uncharitable?

Example two: empathy used to attack the Natural Law[5] and sound traditional morals

Among those persons who promote unnatural impurity, one of their main goals (which has been largely achieved) has been to promote so-called “marriage” for themselves.  They “argue” like this: think how you would feel if people were not “accepting” of your choice of spouse.  Empathize with people who are living in these situations (viz., living lives of unnatural impurity).  Empathize with how they feel being “marginalized” and “not respected”.  You would not want to be treated this way.  Empathize with them and don’t treat them this way.  You should “affirm” and accept their choices.

After considering this godless, liberal argument, what should we conclude about empathy?  Does empathy promote violations of the Sixth Commandment?  Is empathy evil because it is against the law of God?

Example three: empathy used to promote murder

When people are suffering, especially near the end of their lives, the promoters of euthanasia (i.e., so-called “mercy killing”) declare that the “compassionate” response is to kill that person, either when that person consents, or even when he does not consent.[6]  These promoters say that it is unempathetic to not kill those who are suffering and that we should “help” them by ending their suffering and by “allowing” them to die with “dignity”.

The truth is that euthanasia is murder.[7]  After considering the leftist argument given in this example, what should we say about empathy?  Is empathy against the Fifth Commandment?  Is empathy against the law of God?

From these examples (above) and from countless others published by the liberal mainstream media and promoted by “thought leaders”, we see liberals using empathy to promote their leftist positions.  Conservatives often label as “bleeding heart liberals” those leftists who appeal to empathy to push their socialist agenda.[8]

True education develops the mind to think clearly.  But true education is declining and is being replaced by training in technical skills (e.g., computer skills) and by leftist indoctrination.  This is why people think less often – and also think less clearly.  Because people are now guided less by reason, they inevitably act more on emotion and passion.

Because there is a general trend toward fuzzy thinking in society, the liberals effectively use empathy against both sexes.  However, the leftists especially prey upon women, because God made them more emotional in order to assist them in fulfilling admirably their God-given role as nurturers, especially of children.[9]  This leftist manipulation of women through empathy is shown, e.g., in the greater number of women who belong to the more liberal of the two major political parties (viz., the Democratic party in the U.S.).[10]

Leftists don’t discuss matters by addressing what is reasonable.  Despite constantly talking about justice, e.g., so-called “racial justice”, the liberals never really promote anything based on real justice.  True justice means giving everyone his due, i.e., what is owed to him.[11]  When the liberals promote so-called “racial justice” (or some other kind of supposed “justice”), they don’t explain or argue why something is DUE to those who are complaining.  So, e.g., if the liberals complain that there is no “racial justice” because there are not as many black board members on corporate boards, (or whatever else) they don’t explain why more board memberships are somehow due to blacks (or due to anyone) and are something owed to them.

Instead of focusing on reason and real justice, the liberals focus on harm and fear of harm, e.g., presenting the listener with a weeping welfare recipient sobbing and angrily declaring that she cannot feed her children without an increase in welfare payments or that her government housing is in “unacceptable” and very poor condition.

The liberal media, the entertainment industry, the advertising industry, the liberal educational establishment, and the wealthy enemies of Christ who those other groups all serve, all know that people can be easily manipulated by appealing to their emotions.  Although this is not a new problem, it has gotten much worse.

As these enemies of Christ manipulate people through emotion, they promote greater dependence on acting according to emotion and have coined the oxymoronic label “emotional intelligence”.  Here is how one encyclopedia defines this phrase:

Emotional intelligence (EI), emotional leadership (EL), emotional quotient (EQ) and emotional intelligence quotient (EIQ), is the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).[12]

This is why it is the current fashion for the media and other social leaders to constantly emphasize the importance of being empathetic.  For example, liberal Democrat and U.S. president, Joe Biden, was widely praised (during his campaign for president) as the candidate of empathy.[13]  Completely turning the meaning of words upside down, one of the big reasons that the media and Biden proclaim that he is “deeply compassionate” is because he “empathizes” with women by strongly promoting their murdering their babies.[14]

Similarly, the extremely politically correct leftist-Marxist group, Black Lives Matter, emphasizes in its short statement of principles, “we are empathetic”,[15] referring to their promotion of a long list of grave sins which will increase the vice, disfunction, and suffering in society through increasing gross immorality.[16]

So, empathy (compassion) seems to be bad and to be a tool of the enemies of Christ.  But on the other hand, St. James tells us that “the Lord is merciful and compassionate.”[17]  Further, St. Peter tells us that we should be compassionate too:

Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble ….[18]

So, what is the truth?  Where can we find the truth?  As always, we should look to Our Lord as our guide.

Christ, our Model in all things – including our Model in Compassion

Our Lord Jesus Christ is our model in all things.  Our life should be a continual “work in progress” to become more Christlike in all things.[19]

We see that the Gospels tell us repeatedly that Our Lord was compassionate.  For example, here is Our Lord relieving the people’s distress because of their great hunger:

Jesus called together his disciples, and said: I have compassion[20] on the multitudes, because they continue with me now three days, and have not what to eat, and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.[21]

Notice several things about Our Lord’s compassion here.  First, remember that He knows all things and can do all things.  He knew that they had nothing to eat.  He could have sent them away after one day, but in His infinite Wisdom, He knew it was better for them to be with Him for three days, to hear His doctrine and have His Presence.   

Our Lord could have fed the multitude on each of the days, not only on the third day.  The crowd would have preferred the more frequent meals.  However, Our Lord did not give them what they wanted but what they needed.  Perhaps, He wanted them to suffer more for the sake of the truth.  Our Lord’s compassion caused Him to give them food when they could not humanly go longer without food.  He fed them when necessary, not based on the multitude’s comfort or preference.  He acted according to their true good, rather than according to their desires.

Here is another example of Our Lord having compassion by curing a leper who was suffering from his disease:

And there came a leper to Him, beseeching Him and kneeling down, said to Him: If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.  And Jesus, having compassion on him, stretched forth His hand and touching him saith to him: I will.  Be thou made clean.[22]

But in Our Lord’s public life, He showed compassion not only by relieving the people’s bodily needs and not only by relieving needs that the people knew they had.  For example, when a great crowd came to Our Lord, He had compassion on them and began to teach them because they needed guidance (whether they knew it or not).  Here is how St. Mark explains this event, when the crowds caught up with Our Lord and His apostles, in the desert:

And going up into a ship, they [viz., Our Lord and His apostles] went into a desert place apart.  And they [viz., the crowd] saw them going away, and many knew: and they ran flocking thither on foot from all the cities, and were there before them [Our Lord and His apostles].  And Jesus going out saw a great multitude: and He had compassion on them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd, and He began to teach them many things.[23]

Here Our Lord is giving us an example of a compassion not connected to the bodily needs of the people and not necessarily even connected to any lack those people explicitly knew they suffered.  But Our Lord knew (knows) the importance of His doctrine for the happiness and holiness of people.  In His compassion, Our Lord gives the people what they need and what was best for them, even if it is not what they wanted most or even knew they needed.

Our Lord’s compassion caused Him to put Himself in the “shoes” of others and see the importance of telling them the truth, rather than having them remain in ignorance.  Our Lord prioritizing the truth shows us that the truth is paramount, even when it causes people to leave Him.  When Our Lord’s truth about the Holy Eucharist was rejected by the people and they “walked no more with Him”, He did not falter but asked those that remained: “Will you also go away?”[24]
The saints showed us the same example of true compassion, helping those who are in need to learn the truth, even though this is not what they might have wanted or what emotion would incline to give them.  It is this compassion which moves great missionaries to help the pagans.  Here is how St. Wulfran’s compassion is described:

He was chosen and consecrated archbishop of Sens, in 682, which diocese he governed during two years and a half with great zeal and sanctity.  A tender compassion for the blindness of the idolaters of Friseland, and the example of the English zealous preachers in those parts, moved him to resign his bishopric with proper advice, and, after a retreat at Fontenelle, to enter Friseland in quality of a poor missionary priest.[25]

Here is how St. Amand’s compassion is described:

In 649, he [St. Amand] was chosen bishop of Maestricht; but three years after he resigned that see to St. Remaclus, and returned to his missions, to which his compassion for the blindness of infidels always inclined his heart.[26]

God treats us this way too, giving us what we need and what is in our true best interests, rather than what we might want instead.  For example, God sends us crosses which we don’t want or think we need, as an expression of His compassion for us.  This Divine compassion could be called “tough love”.  Here is how The Catechism Explained teaches this truth:

“A grievous sickness makes the soul sober” (Ecclus. xxxi. 2).  In sickness God knocks at the door of the heart and asks for admission.  “I am always glad,” said St. Ignatius, “when I see a sinner fall ill, for sickness brings back to God.”  How foolish it is then to regard sickness as a mark of God’s anger, when it is really a mark of His compassion.[27]

On the other hand, upon God’s enemies He is sometimes said to not have compassion.  For example, 

And the Lord the God of their fathers sent to them, by the hand of His messengers, rising early, and daily admonishing them: because He spared His people and His dwelling place.  But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused the prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, and there was no remedy.  For He brought upon them the king of the Chaldeans, and he slew their young men with the sword in the house of His sanctuary, He had no compassion on young man, or maiden, old man or even him that stooped for age, but He delivered them all into his hands.[28]

Plainly, God is showing us that there is a time for compassion and a time for no compassion.  In his parable of Lazarus and Dives, Our Lord has Abraham show no compassion on Dives: 

There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen; and feasted sumptuously every day.  And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table, and no one did give him.  Moreover, the dogs came, and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.  And the rich man also died:  and he was buried in hell.  And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom: And he cried, and said:  Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame.  And Abraham said to him:  Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazareth, evil things, but now he is comforted; and thou art tormented.  And besides all this, between us and you, there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you, cannot, nor from thence come hither.  And he said:  Then, father, I beseech thee, that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house, for I have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments.  And Abraham said to him:  They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  But he said:  No, father Abraham:  but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance.  And he said to him:  If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead.[29]

Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church, comments on this parable and teaches that the just are completely conformed to the righteousness of God so that they are not “moved with compassion towards the reprobate” because God would not want them to feel compassion for the damned.[30] 

We are now in a position to see what empathy (compassion) is good and what empathy (compassion) is evil.

  Compassion must conform to reason.

  Compassion must be in the appropriate amount and not be excessive.   As shown above, Our Lord multiplied simple bread to feed the crowd to prevent them from collapsing on the way home.  He did not give them feasts and riches, although that would have been easy for him to do and although the people would have preferred those instead of plain bread.  But riches and feasts would have been excessive and not good for them.

  Compassion is bad when contrary to reason.  For example, parents could empathize and “feel” for their children when those children are acting willful or need to be corrected. 

St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Doctor of the Church, condemns this empathetic over-indulgence this way:

Great indeed is the misfortune of the child that has vicious parents, who are incapable of bringing up their children in the fear of God and who, when they see their children engaged in dangerous friendships and in quarrels, instead of correcting and chastising them, rather take compassion on them ….[31]

Thus, we see that compassion (empathy) is good and God-like, provided it is according to right reason and thus, conforms to God’s own righteousness.  We should not feel empathy willy-nilly, but only as God wants us to feel it, and only toward those for whom God wants us to feel it.

For if it were good for us to have compassion/empathy whenever a person is suffering, and to have greater compassion/empathy on whoever is suffering more acutely, then it would be good to have the greatest compassion on the damned because no one on earth suffers as much as they do in hell.  Yet Our Lord has no compassion on the damned and wants us to have no compassion/empathy for them either. 

If a person were to have compassion/empathy on the damned, this would clearly be unreasonable and would be contrary to God’s Will.  In other words, such compassion/empathy would be evil (i.e., unreasonable).  Our compassion must always be directed by reason.[32] 

Our compassion is not well-regulated and formed properly if we are moved to compassion toward the wrong person or in the wrong circumstances.  If we feel compassion/empathy when we should not feel it, this spontaneous feeling might not be a sin but we must strive hard to conform our feelings to our reason and to the truth.  One example of this misplaced compassion would be to feel sorry for the damned, e.g., Judas.[33] 

Our ability to feel natural compassion is a good thing just like anger or our desire for food.  All three come from God.  But all three must be directed by reason.  So, we see that it is not true that “the more compassionate we are, the better”, any more than “the angrier we are, the better”.  Instead, compassion (and anger) must always conform with reason.

Compassion is a good passion to the extent that it readies us to help someone who is suffering[34], just like anger is a good passion to the extent that it assists us in facing danger in a difficult situation.  Those passions are good when directed toward the right object, in the right amount.  But these passions are good only if and to the extent that right reason approves of the help they move us to give (assist the suffering or facing danger in difficult situations).  If compassion and anger are according to reason, they should be promoted.  If they are against reason, then they are bad and should be suppressed (or moderated).

We need to follow reason and always make sure that our compassion/empathy is Christlike and reasonable, just like we must make sure that our anger, our desire for food, and everything else that we do, say, and think is reasonable and Christlike. 

“Solving” the false arguments promoting an evil empathy, given at the beginning of this article

Example one: empathy used to promote religious indifference and indifference to the truth.  We should resist the temptation to make a person feel good in his false religion because it will lead him to hell.  We should help to guide him to the true Catholic religion, even if he “feels bad” or becomes angry because we tell him the truth.

Example two: empathy used to attack the Natural Law and sound traditional morals.  We should resist the temptation to make a person feel good in his unnatural vice, because that vice will lead him to hell.  True compassion would move us to disapprove of his sin, to pray for him and help him to fight and escape his life of vice.  This is called “tough love”.  This is truly doing unto others as we would want them to do unto us.

Example three: empathy used to promote murder.  Whereas empathy which is misplaced could promote euthanasia (i.e., so-called “mercy killing”) because our heart is moved by a person’s suffering, making us want to end his suffering, true empathy would move us to help/support/pray with someone who is suffering/dying, while he is suffering, to help him die well.  This is truly doing unto others as we would want them to do unto us.  In other words, true empathy moves us to help a person, but in the way our reason and our Catholic Faith tell us to help. 

Conclusion

We must strive to avoid feeling compassion toward the wrong person or in the wrong circumstances.  By promoting unreasonable compassion, the leftists prey upon unwary people and draw them to support the leftists’ evil agenda.  We must guard against this trap through our efforts to conform our compassion (and everything else in our lives) to reason.



[1]           https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empathy (emphasis added).

 

[2]           https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compassion (emphasis added).

 

[4]           It is a dogma of the Catholic Church, which was infallibly declared four times, that Outside the Church there is no salvation.  For a more complete treatment of this dogma, read this article: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/there-is-no-salvation-outside-the-catholic-church.html


[5]           The Natural Law is what we know we must do by the light of the natural reason God gave us.  One example of the Natural Law is that we must never tell a lie.  We naturally know this because we know that the purpose of speech is to convey the truth and so we naturally know that telling a lie is abusing the purpose of speech.

 

Here is how St. Thomas explains what the Natural Law is:

 

[L]aw, being a rule and measure, can be in a person in two ways: in one way, as in him that rules and measures; in another way, as in that which is ruled and measured, since a thing is ruled and measured, in so far as it partakes of the rule or measure. Wherefore, since all things subject to Divine providence are ruled and measured by the eternal law, as was stated above [in Summa, Ia IIae, Q.91, a.1]; it is evident that all things partake somewhat of the eternal law, in so far as, namely, from its being imprinted on them, they derive their respective inclinations to their proper acts and ends. Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to Divine providence in the most excellent way, in so far as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident both for itself and for others. Wherefore it has a share of the Eternal Reason, whereby it has a natural inclination to its proper act and end: and this participation of the eternal law in the rational creature is called the natural law. Hence the Psalmist after saying (Psalm 4:6): "Offer up the sacrifice of justice," as though someone asked what the works of justice are, adds: "Many say, Who showeth us good things?" in answer to which question he says: "The light of Thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us": thus implying that the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil, which is the function of the natural law, is nothing else than an imprint on us of the Divine light. It is therefore evident that the natural law is nothing else than the rational creature’s participation of the eternal law.

 

Summa, Ia IIae, Q.91, a.2, respondeo.

 

[8]           See, e.g., this article: Political liberals are ‘bleeding hearts’ because they empathize so strongly with the sufferings of othershttps://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-human-beast/201210/why-liberal-hearts-bleed-and-conservatives-dont

 

[9]           To read more about the exalted role of wife and mother that is being attacked by feminism, read this article: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/the-role-that-god-gave-to-woman-and-the-great-work-of-her-life.html

[10]         See., e.g., this 2009 article concerning the results of a survey of voters, which states:

In the current analysis of 149,192 Gallup Poll Daily tracking interviews conducted in January through May of this year [2009], 41% of women identify as Democrats, some nine points higher than the 32% of men who identify as Democrats. The 34% of men in this sample who are independents can be contrasted with the smaller 26% of women who are independents. There is little difference by gender in terms of identification as Republicans — 28% of men are Republicans, compared to 25% of women.

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Overall, the data confirm that men currently have a much more even distribution of party identification than do women. The range across the three partisan groups for men is just 6 points, from a low of 28% identifying as Republicans to a high of 34% identifying as independents. On the other hand, the range for women is a much larger 16 points, from 25% Republican to 41% Democratic.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/120839/Women-Likely-Democrats-Regardless-Age.aspx  (bracketed date added for clarity).

 

We see in daily experience and in the mainstream media, that the U.S. Democratic Party is the party of fear instead of reason.  For example, notice how strongly the Democrats promote COVID-terror and “climate catastrophe”.  Thus, because the Democrats use fear more, they have more women in the party because scare tactics work better on women than they do on men.  Here is a study showing this fact:  Appealing to fear: A Meta-Analysis of Fear Appeal Effectiveness and Theories, Tannenbaum, et al., published by the National Institute of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, and found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5789790/

 

As a corollary to the fact that the leftists especially prey upon women, using empathy (emotion) to win them to evil causes, conservative women, especially uncompromising Traditional Catholic women, have the honorable distinction of being among the most clear-thinking of women.

 

Feminists and other Democrats expect and demand all women to vote Democratic and to promote radical, anti-God, (so-called) “women’s issues”, which are really only the usual stock of leftist issues.  To do this, feminists and other Democrats promote (a false) empathy which is merely promoting leftist evil by appealing to emotion.

 

Conservatives – including women – who recognize this leftist appeal to evil through misplaced empathy, and who thus reject such leftist evil, are attacked viciously.  For example, one radical leftist woman called conservative women “white nationalist racist gender traitors.”  https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020/07/is-hollywood-too-soft-on-conservative-women   In the fight between good and evil, between Christ and Satan, such attacks are examples of leftist “empathy” at its clearest.

[11]         Summa, IIa IIae, Q.58, a.1, respondeo.

[13]         Read, e.g., the media promoting Biden’s “empathy offensive”.  https://news.yahoo.com/joe-bidens-empathy-offensive-184554158.html

 

[15]         Quoted from https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/ accessed on June 4, 2020. 

 

Beginning in about June 2020, conservatives noticed the BLM credo and its overt Marxism.  They began quoting it to warn the public about the encroaching Marxism throughout western nations.  Sometime, in approximately September 2020, BLM removed this credo and substituted a more generic one in its place.  Here is an archive copy of BLM’s Marxist credo we quote, here:  https://web.archive.org/web/20200917194804/https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/

 

[16]         This group, Black Lives Matters, is a very bad group.  Read more about the similarity between this group, Karl Marx, and Satan, here: https://catholiccandle.org/2021/03/09/black-lives-matters-program-is-the-same-as-that-of-satan-and-marx/

 

The truth is that black lives and all lives are important because they are gifts of God, which are necessary in order to give us the opportunity of serving Him and saving our souls so that we can be with Him for all eternity in heaven. 


[17]         St. James, 5:11.

[18]         1 St. Peter, 3:8.

[19]         Here is how St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, teaches that Our Lord Jesus Christ is our model in everything:

 

Each word and deed of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is for us a lesson in virtue and piety.  For this end also did He assume our nature, so that every man and every woman, contemplating as in a picture the practice of all virtue and piety, might strive with all their hearts to imitate His example.  For this He bore our body, so that as far as we could we might repeat within us the manner of His Life.  And so therefore, when you hear mention of some word or deed of His, take care not to receive it simply as something that incidentally happened, but raise your mind upwards towards the sublimity of what He is teaching, and strive to see what has been mystically handed down to us.

 

St. Basil the Great, as quoted in Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, (translated by M. F. Toal), Regnery Co., Chicago, ©1958, sermon for the 5th Sunday after Easter, entitled That Prayer is to be placed before all things, volume 2, p.377.


[20]         This is the Douay Rheims translation.  The Latin word is “misericordia”, usually translated as “mercy”.


[21]         St. Matthew’s Gospel, 15:32 (emphasis added).

 

[22]         St. Mark’s Gospel, 1:40-41 (emphasis added).

 

[23]         St. Mark’s Gospel, 6:32-34 (emphasis added, bracketed words added to show context).

[24]         Here is the longer account from St. John’s Gospel, Ch.6:

 

[Our Lord declared:] I am the bread of life.  Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead.  This is the Bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die.  I am the living Bread which came down from heaven.  If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live forever; and the Bread that I will give, is My Flesh, for the life of the world.  The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying:  How can this man give us his flesh to eat?  Then Jesus said to them:  Amen, amen I say unto you:  Except you eat the Flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.  He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.  For My Flesh is meat indeed:  and My Blood is drink indeed.  He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me, and I in him.  As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me.  This is the bread that came down from heaven.  Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead.  He that eateth this bread, shall live forever.  These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum.  Many therefore of His disciples, hearing it, said:  This saying is hard, and who can hear it?  But Jesus, knowing in Himself, that His disciples murmured at this, said to them:  Doth this scandalize you?  If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before?  It is the spirit that quickeneth:  the flesh profiteth nothing.  The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life.  But there are some of you that believe not.  For Jesus knew from the

beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray him.  And He said:  Therefore did I say to you, that no man can come to Me, unless it be given him by my Father.  After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him.  Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?  

 

St. John’s Gospel, Ch.6, vv.48-68 (emphasis added).


[25]         Butlers Lives of the Saints, Fr. Alban Butler, vol. 1, St. Wulfran, March 20, (emphasis added).


[26]         Butlers Lives of the Saints, Fr. Alban Butler, vol. 1, St. Amand, February 6, (emphasis and bracketed words added).


[27]         The Catechism Explained, Spirago, TAN Books, Rockford, 1993, section: Apostles’ Creed, subsection #3, p.143.

[28]         2 Paralipomenon, 36:15-17 (emphasis added).

 

[29]         St. Luke’s Gospel, 16:19-31 (emphasis added).

[30]         Here are St. Gregory’s words:

 

For as the wicked desire to pass over to the elect, that is, to depart from the pangs of their sufferings, so to the afflicted and tormented would the just pass in their mind by compassion, and wish to set them free. But the souls of the just, although in the goodness of their nature they feel compassion, after being united to the righteousness of their Author, are constrained by such great uprightness as not to be moved with compassion towards the reprobate.  Neither then do the unrighteous pass over to the lot of the blessed, because they are bound in everlasting condemnation, nor can the righteous pass to the reprobate, because being now made upright by the righteousness of judgment, they in no way pity them from any compassion.

 

Catena Aurea on St. Luke’s Gospel, Ch. 16 section 5 (emphasis added).

 

St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, teaches that not only don’t the blessed have compassion on the damned but that they rejoice in the torments of the damned.  St. John Chrysostom explains this truth teaching that, in these words of Abraham, it is:

 

as if he [viz., Abraham] says, “we can see, we cannot pass; and we see what we have escaped, you, what you have lost; our joys enhance your torments; your torments enhance our joys.”

 

Catena Aurea on St. Luke’s Gospel, Ch.16, section 5 (emphasis added).

 

[31]      St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Sermon 36, On the Education of Children, First Point, section 4.

[32]         Here is how St. Thomas explains the importance of compassion being directed and controlled by reason:

 

I answer that, compassion signifies grief for another’s distress.  Now this grief may denote, in one way, a movement of the sensitive appetite, in which case compassion is not a virtue but a passion; whereas, in another way, it may denote a movement of the intellective appetite, in as much as one person’s evil is displeasing to another. This movement may be ruled in accordance with reason, and in accordance with this movement regulated by reason, the movement of the lower appetite may be regulated.  Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei ix, 5) that “this movement of the mind” (viz., compassion) “obeys the reason, when compassion is vouchsafed in such a way that justice is safeguarded, whether we give to the needy or forgive the repentant.”  And since it is essential to human virtue that the movements of the soul should be regulated by reason, as was shown above (I-II:59:4 and I-II:59:5), it follows that compassion is a virtue.

 

Summa, IIa IIae, Q. 30, a.3, in an article entitled: Whether mercy is a virtue?  Note: the Latin word St. Thomas uses here is “misericordia”, the same Latin word translated as “compassion” in the Douay Rheims quotes above.

[33]         To see that Judas is in hell read this article: http://www.catholiccandle.org/2020/05/01/judas-is-in-hell/

 

[34]         Here is how St. Thomas Aquinas, following St. Augustine, explains how compassion is a help to virtuous action, when that compassion is ruled by our reason:

 

As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei ix, 5), mercy is heartfelt sympathy for another’s distress, impelling us to succor him if we can.  For mercy takes its name "misericordia" from denoting a man’s compassionate heart [miserum cor] for another’s unhappiness.

 

Summa, IIa IIae, Q.30, a.1 respondeo (translating “misericordia” as “mercy”).

 

Thus, we see that compassion helps us by moving us to perform works of mercy which we might otherwise not perform or might not perform as readily.

CC in brief — April

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle normally examines particular issues thoroughly, at length, using the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Doctors of the Church.  By contrast, our feature CC in brief, gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

CC in brief

QI’m so confused.  Is there a mass that I can attend, i.e. SSPX or SSPV?  Should I simply stay home and pray the traditional Rosary?

A. We are in the same position you are, with no Mass to attend, since there are no uncompromising priests, at least in most places in the world.  We strongly encourage you to do what we do: we stay home and sanctify the Sunday there, reading the Mass prayers, a good sermon, etc.  We use the program set out here: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/sanctifying-sunday-no-mass.html

Even if we don’t “feel” content in our feelings or emotions, nonetheless with our will and intellect (the important faculties) we should be perfectly content without the Mass and Sacraments when they are not available without compromise.  Read this morale-boosting explanation here:  https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/complete-contentment-without-the-mass-when-it-is-not-available-without-compromise.html

 We urge you not to attend compromise groups to get the Sacraments, even where they are valid Sacraments.  The Sacraments of compromise groups do not please God.  https://catholiccandle.org/2020/04/02/a-compromise-groups-masses-and-sacraments-do-not-give-grace-because-the-end-does-not-justify-the-means/

The SSPX is a compromise group and is liberal (as is Bp. Williamson’s group). To see concrete evidence of the “new” SSPX’s increasing liberalism, click on the “Society of St. Pius X” tab at this link: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/#gsc.tab=0

Most of the SSPV have doubtful ordinations and all of them are in schism.  Read more about the schism of sedevacantism in a book available here: https://catholiccandle.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/sedevacantism-material-or-formal-schism.pdf  If you prefer, you can buy this book (which is sold at cost) here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FP5NQR6?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860#reader_B08FP5NQR6

 

 

 

Rome Has the Churches, But Traditional Catholics Have the Faith

Catholic Candle note:  We recommend that readers copy the following article and keep it handy, as we live “in the Catacombs” and as we and the Church follow Christ to Calvary.  We all need to keep its contents in mind and in practice until the “Resurrection” (viz., the restoration following the pope’s and bishops’ consecration of Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart).

A similar statement was first expressed in 1970, after the destructive Second Vatican Council.  The only difference is that things are much worse now.  The Catholic Church is going through a Passion similar to that of Christ.  So be ready to help carry His Cross as the Cyrenean did.

Rome has had a series of bad popes who teach heresies and have taken the Faith from most Catholics.  Rome has succeeded in establishing the anti-Catholic conciliar church by making it appear that there is no longer any need for the traditional Catholic Church, when they:

1.    Eliminated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that gave grace, and replaced it by a service that does not give grace – and without grace a Catholic loses his Faith.

2.    Re-wrote all seven Sacraments to make them acceptable to non-Catholics.

3.    Taught (and teach) that everyone goes to Heaven (i.e., universal salvation).

4.    Give the impression that Mass attendance on Sunday depends on if you really want to go, and have nothing better to do.

5.    Say that there is no need for confessing your sins to please God; you must reconcile with your fellow man.

6.    Imply that all faiths are the same and that salvation is assured regardless what faith (or no faith) you choose with your complete “religious liberty”.

The above points are just a few of the many anti-Catholic actions used by Rome to establish the anti-God, humanist, conciliar church.  These actions effectively center everything on man and focus on solving his earthly problems with little thought of God and our duties to Him.

Well, what is an uncompromising traditional Catholic to do?

First, realize that Our Lord will not abandon you.  He will give you many graces to ensure a holy and happy life during this current crisis in the Church, even though we have no Mass to attend because there are no uncompromising priests, at least in most places in the world.  We do as the early Christians did: move to the Catacombs.

In the Catacombs we can live our lives without a priest, but with the fruits of the four Sacraments so necessary for a fruitful spiritual existence and salvation.

1.    Marriage

2.    Baptism

3.    Penance

4.    Holy Communion

Let’s consider how we receive the fruits of these necessary Sacraments for that spiritual existence and salvation, beginning with Marriage.  The baptized Catholic couple marry each other with words they pledge to one another and this marriage is blessed by a priest, if this is possible.

(T)he marriage contract is not a mere promise, but a transfer of right, by which the man actually yields the dominion of his body to the woman, the woman the dominion of her body to the man; it must therefore be made in words which designate the present time, the force of which words abides with undiminished efficacy from the moment of their utterance, and binds the husband and wife by a tie that cannot be broken.  …  [T]he consent of the parties, expressed in the manner already explained, is sufficient to constitute a true marriage.

See, Catechism of the Council of Trent, section: The Kind of Consent Required in Matrimony, subsection: The Essence of Marriage Constituted by the Consent.)

Next, we consider Baptism of the offspring of the above marriage. 

The matter of this sacrament is true and natural water; and it is indifferent whether it be cold or hot.  The form is: I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.          

See, 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, article: Baptism.

Next, we consider the need for the fruits of the Sacrament of Penance, when there is no uncompromising priest to confess to.

Perfect Act of Contrition Without a Priest.  The prospect of dying without confession would be horrifying were it not for the knowledge that a merciful God has provided for this with a perfect Act of Contrition.  This prayer, said sincerely and with God’s help, is literally a God-send.  United with a pledge to go to confession when available, this heartfelt prayer restores the dying person to grace at once.

See, Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, 1908, article: Contrition, article subsection: Perfect Contrition Without the Sacrament.

Of course, all of us should strive to make perfect acts of contrition even many times per day, just as frequent sacramental confession is important wherever God gives the opportunity to receive this sacrament without compromise.

And finally, we consider receiving the fruits of Holy Communion, in frequent Spiritual Communions, i.e., receiving the Holy Eucharist in spirit

A person receives the Holy Eucharist in spirit when he, “inflamed with a ‘lively faith which worketh by charity’, partake in wish and desire of that celestial bread offered to them, from which they receive, if not the entire, at least very great fruits.”[1] 

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches about the efficacy of a Spiritual Communion in these words:

The effect of the sacrament can be secured by every man if he receives it in desire, though not in reality.  …  So likewise, some eat this sacrament spiritually before they receive it sacramentally.

Summa, III Q.80, a.1, ad. 3.

If a person sincerely wants to receive Holy Communion, Our Lord will see to it that he receives the beneficial fruit of the Sacrament.  He assures us of our reward from a Spiritual Communion.  Here are the words in the Imitation of Christ:

The Voice of Christ:

When he is indeed unable to come, he will always have a good will and pious intention to communicate and thus he will not lose the fruit of the Sacrament.

 The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas `a Kempis, Book IV, ch. 10.

Another fruit of a worthy Holy Communion is the preservation from mortal sin and the remission of venial sin.[2]      

Although we should make Spiritual Communions every day, we should especially prepare well for our Sunday Spiritual Communion and make this Act at the appropriate time when reading our Sunday Mass prayers at home.  One way to add special meaning to the Sunday Spiritual Communion, we recommend that you consider fasting from midnight.

So, you can see, a spiritual, holy, and fruitful life is possible in the Catacombs without a priest during this very serious crisis.  Some say we are in the most serious crisis ever, in the Catholic Church.  God has created us to live now and He wants us to help Catholics to return to the full Traditions of the Church.

Life in the Catacombs is not easy, but with the daily help and graces from Our Lord, it can be holy, fruitful, and spiritually beneficial with our full cooperation and with much prayer.



[1]           The Catechism of the Council of Trent, Section: The Sacrament of the Eucharist, subsection, On the Three-fold Manner of Communicating.

[2]           See My Catholic Faith, Bishop Louis Morrow, My Mission House, Kenosha, WI, ©1949, p.298.