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PopeWatch: They Have the Buildings, We Have the Faith

 

As this Pontificate winds on its merry way my fondness for Saint Athanasius grows.  In writing to Catholics dismayed because Arian heretics had been placed in control of the Church in the Eastern Empire, Saint Athanasius wrote:

May God comfort you. I know moreover that not only this thing saddens you, but also the fact that while others have obtained the churches by violence, you are meanwhile cast out from your places. For they hold the places, but you the Apostolic Faith. They are, it is true, in the places, but outside of the true Faith; while you are outside the places indeed, but the Faith, within you. Let us consider whether is the greater, the place or the Faith. Clearly the true Faith. Who then has lost more, or who possesses more? He who holds the place, or he who holds the Faith? Good indeed is the place, when the Apostolic Faith is preached there, holy is it if the Holy One dwell there. (After a little:) But ye are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from Apostolic tradition, and frequently has accursed envy wished to unsettle it, but has not been able. On the contrary, they have rather been cut off by their attempts to do so. For this is it that is written, ‘Thou art the Son of the Living God,’ Peter confessing it by revelation of the Father, and being told, ‘Blessed art thou Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to thee,’ but ‘My Father Who is in heaven,’ and the rest. No one therefore will ever prevail against your Faith, most beloved brethren. For if ever God shall give back the churches (for we think He will) yet without such restoration of the churches the Faith is sufficient for us. And lest, speaking without the Scriptures, I should [seem to] speak too strongly, it is well to bring you to the testimony of Scriptures, for recollect that the Temple indeed was at Jerusalem; the Temple was not deserted, aliens had invaded it, whence also the Temple being at Jerusalem, those exiles went down to Babylon by the judgment of God, who was proving, or rather correcting them; while manifesting to them in their ignorance punishment [by means] of blood-thirsty enemies. And aliens indeed had held the Place, but knew not the Lord of the Place, while in that He neither gave answer nor spoke, they were deserted by the truth. What profit then is the Place to them?

For behold they that hold the Place are charged by them that love God with making it a den of thieves, and with madly making the Holy Place a house of merchandise, and a house of judicial business for themselves to whom it was unlawful to enter there. For this and worse than this is what we have heard, most beloved, from those who are come from thence. However really, then, they seem to hold the church, so much the more truly are they cast out. And they think themselves to be within the truth, but are exiled, and in captivity, and [gain] no advantage by the church alone. For the truth of things is judged…

 

 

Be strong, be faithful and be joyful and Christ, in His mercy, will see us through.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

15 Comments

  1. Thank you, Donald McClarey. I love St. Athanasius, for he writes beautifully about the Catholic Faith. The translation however suffers. “For behold they that hold the Place are charged by them that love God with making it a den of thieves, …” must be: “For behold they WHO hold the Place are charged by them WHO love God with making it a den of thieves, …” Even the devil is a person WHO has forfeit his sovereignty over himself to say “NO” to God. Later on in the piece the person is referred to as “WHO”. “WHO” denotes the PERSON.

  2. The One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church ABS was born into in 1948 no longer exists outside the Caves of Covadonga; SSPX, FSSP, ICK etc.

    One prays that in those caves many Pelayos are being formed who will go to war against the revolutionaries who control the Hierarchy to such an extent that putative courageous cardinals quail at the idea of publicly confronting Franciscus.

    They could start slowly and identify how his praxis is perplexing before, slowly, spiritually rounding that up to heresy.

  3. But if any are tied in any way to the false church by written agreements with compromises, how can they consider themselves to not be in THEIR buildings and to be in the caves? They have not been kicked out but are indeed united to it.

  4. Thank you, Donald McClarey. I love St. Athanasius, for he writes beautifully about the Catholic Faith. The translation however suffers. “For behold they that hold the Place are charged by them that love God with making it a den of thieves, …” must be: “For behold they WHO hold the Place are charged by them WHO love God with making it a den of thieves, …” Even the devil is a person WHO has forfeit his sovereignty over himself to say “NO” to God. Later on in the piece the person is referred to as “WHO”. “WHO” denotes the PERSON.

    In the olden says “that” could be used for both people and objects; hence in the BCP translation of the Lord’s Prayer, it has “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive THEM that trespass against us.”

  5. “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive THEM that trespass against us.” “…as we forgive them WHO trespass against us.” Who is the Holy Spirit. “That” refers to the physical while objectifying the spiritual. People are WHOs because of the image and likeness of God in WHOM people are created. God’s Name is “I AM WHO I AM” and “I AM WHO IS” Some outside the Catholic Bible refer to God as a “that” and a “which”. Some refer to other people as “that” and “which” . Would refers to yourself as “that” and “which” instead of WHO? All the little WHOS in Whoville will miss you for WHObilation. I do not know what the BCP translation is? I do know that all sovereign persons are referred to as WHO.

  6. That same “who” or “what” issue crops us so many times and I always react to it as you do Mary De Vie
    I also love the strength and feisty faith of Athanasius.
    He says ‘For if ever God shall give back the churches (for we think He will) yet without such restoration of the churches the Faith is sufficient for us.’
    The only problem that wears at me is that the “us’ suffers decimation in the meanwhile. Maybe not the “us” but many souls who do not know any better.

  7. Good point Donald. Who needs the building anyway when they stand for nothing or even worse than nothing? Let us hold to the true faith and worship God within us.

  8. “….But the Faith within you.”

    You are the Holy Catholic Church to everyone you meet. Especially the unchurched. The wanderer who has chosen to go it alone.

    “The Faith is sufficient for us.”

    Each of us has the privilege and responsibility to be the reflection of the true light, just as the moon reflects the brilliance of the sun. Those that know you know that you are a beacon of light.
    That is why they ask you for prayers.

    Indeed, the Faith within you is sufficient and extraordinary as it can nurture the sanctification of your soul and then the help in the sanctification of your neighbors soul.

    Sanctifying grace is a sharing in God’s work and continues on as long as we don’t get in His way. John 3:30 ..”He must increase and I must decrease.”

    If you received Jesus from the hands of a poor Priest who is suffering in unrepentant sins or from a humble Priest that just received reconciliation a hour before Mass…You are still receiving Jesus… Fully.

    Praise God.

  9. RIGHTEOUS
    THUNDER

    Five times banished
    Exiled seventeen
    Excommunicated champions
    God puts at each scene.

    Saint Athanasius,
    Feast day of worth
    On the second of May
    The month of great mirth.

    Out in the deserts –
    As history has charted –
    You preserved the true Mass
    Great lion-hearted.

    Now Lefebvre
    And the sixties egalitarians
    Like Athanasius,
    His time his Arians.

    For He who abolished
    Death by death
    Sent him to absolve
    Sin width and breadth.

    And yes the same moon
    The same sun we’re all under…
    We venal rain – but Lefebvre

    Righteous thunder!!

    RIGHTEOUS
    THUNDER

    Five times banished
    Exiled seventeen
    Excommunicated champions
    God puts at each scene.

    Saint Athanasius,
    Feast day of worth
    On the second of May
    The month of great mirth.

    Out in the deserts –
    As history has charted –
    You preserved the true Mass
    Great lion-hearted.

    Now Lefebvre
    And the sixties egalitarians
    Like Athanasius,
    His time his Arians.

    For He who abolished
    Death by death
    Sent him to absolve
    Sin width and breadth.

    And yes the same moon
    The same sun we’re all under…
    We venal rain – but Lefebvre

    Righteous thunder!!

  10. If the Supreme Sovereign Being’s name is “I AM WHO I AM”(there can be ony one Supreme Sovereign Being) and man is made in the image of The Supreme Sovereign Being (as all men are created equal but are unique persons), man must be referred to as “WHO”. “That”and “What” are insults and referring to The Supreme Sovereign Being as a thing is blasphemy.

  11. …because all things are finite. All physical things are created finite, created with a beginning and with an end. The rational human soul, made in the image of God, has a beginning and is immortal, that is, the rational human soul has no physical matter to corrupt. The human soul is created and is therefore not infinite, that is, without beginning and without end.
    Only The Supreme Sovereign Being is infinite, that is, without beginning and without end. God’s name is “I AM WHO I AM”, and “I AM WHO IS.”
    The breath of life in man, man’s rational, immortal soul made in the image of God must be referred to as “WHO”.
    Anzlyne. Frightening for me to hear at Mass is : ” For all the FAITHFUL here assembled.” Jesus , I trust in you.

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