The Temptations of Christ-Conclusion

Sunday, March 22, AD 2015

 

1] Then Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. [2] And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry. [3] And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. [4] Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. [5] Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him upon the pinnacle of the temple,

[6] And said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written: That he hath given his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone. [7] Jesus said to him: It is written again: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. [8] Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, [9] And said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me. [10] Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve.

Matthew 4: 1-10

Go here to read part one of our Lenten examination of the temptation of Christ by Satan, here to read part two, here to read part three and here to read part four.  Satan had now issued his final temptation to Christ, all Earthly, power and waited for a reply.

As Mohammed demonstrated five centuries later, a religion that establishes secular rule over a kingdom at the inception of the religion can spread very fast and very far.  Reestablish the Davidic kingdom under Christ and Christianity might have spread just as rapidly, especially if Christ called upon the ten legions of angels he referred to at the beginning of His Passion.  Instead of just teaching, the Way taught by Christ would become the laws of the Earthly kingdom He would establish.  His mercy and justice would become statutes, and not just teachings passed slowly by word of mouth and in writings.  His mission could be accomplished without the pain and ignominy of the death on the Cross, a death Jesus would pray that he might not experience.  A throne or the Cross, in terms of His human nature this may have been the most compelling temptation.  Christ would be depicted throughout Christian history as Christ the King.  Why not be a King while He lived? What good He could accomplish here on Earth, ushering mankind into a utopia under His all wise rule.

It is instructive to recall that throughout his forthcoming three year ministry, everyone except Christ expected him to do this.  Certainly the Apostles did, constantly asking Him when the Kingdom would begin and arguing among themselves for positions of power in this new polity.  The Sadducees did, viewing His entrance into Palm Sunday as setting the stage for His revolt, and their fears that His attempt, or the attempt of His followers, to crown him as King, would lead to war with Rome.  As for the Romans, Christ died on a Roman Cross under a sign accusing him of being, or pretending to be, the King of the Jews.  Everyone seemed to expect that Christ would attempt to be a King here on Earth.  Why not fulfill these expectations?

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One Response to The Temptations of Christ-Conclusion

The Temptations of Christ: Part Two

Sunday, March 1, AD 2015

 

[1] Then Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. [2] And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry. [3] And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. [4] Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. [5] Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him upon the pinnacle of the temple,

[6] And said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written: That he hath given his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone. [7] Jesus said to him: It is written again: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. [8] Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, [9] And said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me. [10] Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve.

Matthew 4: 1-10

Go here to read part one of our Lenten examination of the temptation of Christ by Satan.

The first temptation of Christ by Satan was devilish, of course, clever.  Pretending not to be sure that Christ is the Second Person of the Trinity, Satan challenges Christ to turn stones into bread.

On the surface this challenge is simple enough:  Christ hungers and Satan asks for a simple miracle so that he may be sure that Christ is God, and by this easy feat of divine power Christ can appease his human hunger.  However, as Satan knew, the temptation went far deeper than a mere appeal to human hunger.

How to tempt God?  The very concept is blasphemous, of course, but Satan is blasphemy incarnate.  I suspect that Satan’s answer to this puzzle was by appealing to God’s love.  As Christ would note, God marks the sparrow’s fall.  He loves each man, as if there were no other.  How He must pity us in our travails here below, our struggles against poverty and all the other ills that our fallen state and our fallen world present to us.  How many an atheist, bringing up one of these ills, has thrown back in the face of believers the taunt, “How could a just God allow this!”

Thus the Father of Lies appealed to Christ to use his divine power, not just to appease His hunger, but as a sign of how He could use His power to end hunger and all the other ills that Man is heir to.  Satan tempted God by appealing to His mercy, to place sinful Man back in the Garden and satisfy all Man’s material wants, ending human physical suffering with the slightest exertion of the divine will.  Temptations to evil are the most difficult to resist when the sin proposed is being utilized for a good end.  Satan, no doubt, who fell from pride, felt a surge of it when he suggested the clever bread temptation to Christ.

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One Response to The Temptations of Christ: Part Two

  • When He was teaching a multitude, which stayed on to hear more, He performed the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes showing mercy for those people. They wanted to hear His teaching, and, so, were graced with that miraculous food.
    .
    “To this lie Christ responded, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. Christ would not give Man the illusion of earthly salvation by becoming a divine dispenser of Welfare. He had come to bring eternal salvation by having Man freely choose to follow Him. No iota of the Law of God would be annulled by Christ, but all would be fulfilled by Him. It would not be mercy to leave Man in his sins and give him earthly bread instead of the bread of angels. The height of mercy is to call Men to live by every word from God, and thus Christ refused the temptation of bread.” The devil didn’t care whether He suffered hunger, he just wanted to see God rejected and himself served.
    “Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve.”

Pope Paul VI and the Smoke of Satan

Sunday, October 19, AD 2014

 

(The day of the beatification of Pope Paul VI seems like a good day to repost this post.)

I have long heard about Pope Paul VI having referred to the “smoke of Satan” having entered the Church.  Usually most references to it do not mention when it was said and in what context.  The quote apparently was said on June 29, 1972 by Pope Paul VI on the ninth anniversary of his coronation during a homily given at a mass for the solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.  The Italian text is here.  As far as I know there is no official translation.  On November 13, 2006 Jimmy Atkin posted at his blog  a translation done of the homily by Father Stephanos Pedrano.  Please note that the text that is translated is a summary of what the Pope said and not a word for word transcript of what the Pope said.  Father Pedrano’s translation is as follows (I have placed in red the portion of the text that refers to Satan):

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PopeWatch: Satan

Wednesday, May 14, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

“We are all tempted because the law of our spiritual life, our Christian life  is a struggle: a struggle.  That’s because the Prince of this world, Satan, doesn’t want our holiness, he doesn’t want us to follow Christ.   Maybe some of you might say:  ‘But Father, how old fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!’ But look out because the devil is present!   The devil is here… even in the 21st century!   And we mustn’t be naïve, right?   We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.”

Pope Francis, homily, April 11, 2014

 

 

Some of the liberal fans of Pope Francis are beginning to note that he talks about Satan a lot:

 

‘But Father, how old-fashioned you are to speak about the Devil in the 21st century,’ ” Francis, quoting those who have noted his frequent mentions of the Devil, said last month while presiding over Mass at the Vatican’s chapel in St. Martha’s House. He warned those gathered on that chilly morning to be vigilant and not be fooled by the hidden face of Satan in the modern world. “Look out because the Devil is present,” he said.

Since its foundation, the church has taught the existence of the Devil. But in recent decades, progressive priests and bishops, particularly in the United States and Western Europe, have tended to couch Satan in more allegorical terms. Evil became less the wicked plan of the master of hell than the nasty byproduct of humanity’s free will. Even Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, a lofty German theologian, often painted evil with a broad brush.

Enter the plain-talking first pope from Latin America, where mystical views of Satan still hold sway in broad areas of the region. During his time as cardinal of Buenos Aires before rising to the papacy, Francis was known for stark warnings against “the tempter” and “the father of lies.” Now, his focus on the Devil is raising eyebrows even within the normally unquestioning walls of Vatican City.

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10 Responses to PopeWatch: Satan

  • One of the Devil’s greatest coups was when he got people to believe that he does not exist.

  • Wow, what an article. The press is committed to its “old-fashioned = bad / progressive = good” narrative, and it’ll do anything to protect it. In this case, they threw their hero Francis and all of the Third World under the bus. But here’s the real mind-blower: they praised Benedict. See that? Modern Europeans and recent popes have been backing away from this superstitious stuff, but the new South American pope just spent too much time among the primitives. I’ve been saying for a while now that the press would turn against Francis the moment that Benedict passed away. I never thought I’d see them favor the stern German, but I guess that criticizing religion is more important than perpetuating stereotypes.

  • “I never thought I’d see them favor the stern German, but I guess that criticizing religion is more important than perpetuating stereotypes.”
    .
    They are manipulating Pope Francis with “the stern German.

  • They don’t believe in the devil, and may be a bit condescending about superstition as Pinky said, but the pope has built up good will with many people and their desire to cut him some slack on this unprogressive idea, may crack their armor.

  • The Black Mass that was scheduled to occur at Harvard on Monday is a testament to the transformational deconstruction of Calvinist protestantism and its fundamental misapprehension of the nature of Satan.
    .
    In 1600s Massachusetts, the Puritans killed women they suspected of witchcraft or other participation in the dark arts.
    .
    Less than 400 years later, Harvard, founded to train Puritan ministers, now seeks to openly worship Satan by labeling the black mass “educational”.
    .
    And the Catholic Church, which the Puritans were so convinced was Anti-Christ, played the pivotal role in halting the abomination by moving it off campus.
    .
    We live in strange times. If this event isn’t enough to bring home to Catholicism the descendents of Puritanism, I don’t know what is.

  • It is curious that Puritanism’s progression through history has caused it to so marginalize and underestimate the powerful spiritual force that is the fallen archangel and his network of demons. To relegate Satan and the Black Mass to an educational and cultural experience is to reject much of the biblical based belief system of its founders. It is incomprehensible that this group and Harvard’s administrators could conclude that conducting and participating in a Black Mass would yield no adverse results for the participants or the locale where the event was to be held.

    If Puritanism has similarly evolved in its understanding of Christ and the supernatural, one might suspect that Puritanism may be becoming atheism. The Salem witches would no doubt say that Magick was responsible.

  • slainte, we could say almost as much about Georgetown.

    Today’s puritans are busy purifying the world of any number of social injustices. There are many social justice catholics eager to help them. Let’s not forget that.

  • The local Congregational Church in my area of Connecticut provided a forum for Compassion and Choices formerly known as The Hemlock Society to share its vision of the efficacy of physician assisted suicide. The audience was a local elderly group. Strange notion of Social Justice being promoted.
    .
    Many liberal Catholics are Catholics in name only and are dissenting. It makes sense that they would find common ground with their fellow liberals in Protestantism.
    .
    More the reason why Catholic parents should think twice before sending their children to universities headed by dissenting Catholics, including those who wear the Roman collar. Alumni should protect and foster the Catholicity of Georgetown’s mission for the well being of all.

  • Anzlyne,
    .
    Thanks for that amazing post. I have been to Salem, Massachusetts and knew that Goody Glover was accused and killed for witchcraft, but was not aware of the connection between her Catholicism and the witchcraft allegations.
    .
    It seems the Catholic theme was present in another Salem trial of that era. In 1692, Giles Corey, a member of the Puritan Church in Salem, defended his wife who had questioned the veracity of statements made by girls accusing others of witchcraft. As a consequence, he and his wife were arrested and charged with witchcraft as well.
    .
    “….When Corey’s case finally went before the grand jury in September, nearly a dozen witnesses came forward with damning evidence such as testimony by Elizabeth and Alice Booth that Corey served bread and wine at a sacrament attended by over fifty witches…”
    .
    The story continues:
    “….Corey knew he faced conviction and execution, so he chose to refuse to stand for trial. By avoiding conviction, it became more likely that his farm, which Corey recently deeded to his two sons-in-law, would not become property of the state upon his death.
    .
    The penalty for refusing to stand for trial was death by pressing under heavy stones. It was a punishment never before seen–or ever again inflicted–in the colony of Massachusetts. On Monday, September 19, Corey was stripped naked, a board placed upon his chest, and then–while his neighbors watched–heavy stones and rocks were piled on the board. Corey pleaded to have more weight added, so that his death might come quickly.
    .
    Samuel Sewall reported Corey’s death: “About noon, at Salem…”
    .
    THE MAN OF IRON
    .
    Giles Corey was a wizard strong, a stubborn wretch was he;
    And fit was he to hang on high upon the locust tree.
    So, when before the Magistrates for trial he did come,
    He would no true confession make, but was completely dumb.

    “Giles Corey,” said the Magistrate, “What hast thou here to plead
    To those who now accuse thy sould of crime and horrid deed?”

    Giles Corey he said not a word, no single word spoke he.
    “Giles Corey,” said the Magistrate, “We’ll press it out of thee.”

    They got them then a heavy beam, then laid it on his breast;
    They loaded it with heavy stones, and hard upon him pressed.

    “More weight,” now said this wretched man. “More weight!” again he cried;
    And he did no confession make, but wickedly he died.

    –Anonymous (early 18th century)
    .
    Source: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/gilescoreypage.htm

Top Ten Reasons Why Obama is Not Satan

Monday, March 18, AD 2013

Satan Obama

 

The Internet is abuzz with the fact that Satan on the History Channel’s The Bible miniseries, which has gotten great ratings, looks a tad like Obama if Michele gets him to go on a veggies only diet.  I really don’t see much resemblance but it does give us a good excuse to look at the top ten reasons why Obama is not Satan:

1.  Hell has never run a deficit.

2.  Satan, whatever his other manifest evils, has never voted present.

3.  Satan resides in Hell and Obama resides in Chicago.  (A small difference I concede.).

4.  Satan is the prince of liars, while Obama is at most an archduke of liars.

5.  Satan to my knowledge has never eaten dog.

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49 Responses to Top Ten Reasons Why Obama is Not Satan

  • Obama may have the same ambitions as Satan, but he doesn’t have the talent.

  • Donald & Mike, thank you for the hilarious comic relief. Just what I needed at this time. “Obama may have the same ambitions as Satan, but he doesn’t have the talent.” LOL. I love that one.

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  • Alinsky never dedicated a book to Obama.

  • Hillary Clinton only worked for Obama for four years.

  • Satan created a shovel-ready Job.

  • There is a resemblance. To bad “Dreams from my Father” didn’t have an opportunity to use this actor as the Cover for Obama’s book.

  • While Satan uses Joe Biden for his own ends too, he would find the idea of publicly associating himself Biden too demeaning.

  • Satan has demons with pitchforks to do his bidding. Obama has a bureaucrats with red tape. Oh, wait….

  • No, Donald, Obama resides in Washington and vacations in Hawaii. He is, I have to admit, smart enough to stay the hell (pardon the pun) away from Chicago unless he necessarily has to be there.

    I actually think the Devil portrayal does look like a wrinkled Obama.

  • 11. Satan fell from highest glory to utter ruin; Obama fell from insanely overrated to slightly-less overrated.
    12. Satan retains the inhuman genius of his angelic state; Obama fails basic history.
    13. Satan disputed with and tempted Jesus; Obama ignores Jesus until he needs to win the religious vote.
    14. Satan was always a supporter of same-sex marriage; Obama evolved with the polls.
    15. Satan can appear glorious to behold; Obama has only two expressions: “angry” and “smug.”

  • If Obama were Satan, we could consider an exorcism as an alternative to impeachment. Darn!

  • National Catholic Register of hate-filled racists. Disgraceful – you people do not
    “Love one another as I have loved you”

  • MY comment is awaiting “moderation”!
    You publish hateful speech and deny me
    the right to condemn it? Pope Francis has
    His work cut out for him.

  • All new commenters are automatically put into moderation Claudia as a device to cut down on drive by trolls. Now please explain to me in detail how my post is hateful.

  • Thank you Claudia for showing us how to love one another. Deeply, deeply appreciated.

  • Claudia – did you mean to comment on a different post??? I suspect ‘m not the only blog reader scratching his head over this one.

  • Obama is not Satan.

    He’s just another narcissistic leftist who’s out to destroy and then to rebuild in the Marxist vision.

    And people are suckers his brand of horse manure.

  • Claudia may have Pelosibidenema.
    A contagious Catholic phenomena that supports Anti-Life, Anti-freedom of religious liberty and Anti-constitution.
    They are out there.
    Catholics aren’t what they used to be.
    Pray for her return to decency.

  • Claudia…? Hated filled racists ? So everything comes done to the fall back race argument with you ….,and the NCR is filled with racists? I think not!

  • Claudia……wasn’t your namesake the Roman emperor when Satan’s ultimate enemy was born?

  • “8. Satan has never attempted to have the Catholic Church pay for birth control.”

    No? Who, then, inspired President Obama to do it?

    Let’s laugh at the Devil but let’s not become him in the process. The top reason President Obama is not the Devil is this:

    The Devil cannot repent of his sins. President Obama can. We should pray that he will.

  • @Philip: Let’s also be careful about lumping the Constitution in with life and freedom of religious liberty.

    Life and religious liberty are fundamental rights that all people have and which must be respected in all people.

    The Constitution is a document, made by man, capable of being amended by man, interpreted liberally by man, ignored by man, and abolished by man.

    Let us put our faith in God, not in a piece of paper.

  • “Let’s laugh at the Devil but let’s not become him in the process. The top reason President Obama is not the Devil is this:

    The Devil cannot repent of his sins. President Obama can. We should pray that he will.”

    Amen.

  • philip, equating Claudia with Nancy Pelosi and asserting that she (Claudia) needs to “return to decency” because she’s not a fan of equating Obama to the devil (even jocularly) is a little much, don’t you think?

  • Haven’t we all started taking ourselves a bit too seriously here? One of the biggest problems in this country is the massive loss of a sense of humor. Everybody go take some desensitivity training. Yeesh.

  • He is not Satan, but certainly he is one of his minions.

  • Actually I do not think Obama would qualify for even junior imp status.

    “Your dreaded Principal has included in a speech full of points something like an apology for the banquet which he has set before us. Well, gentledevils, no one blames him. But it would be in vain to deny that the human souls on whose anguish we have been feasting tonight were of pretty poor quality. Not all the most skillful cookery of our tormentors could make them better than insipid.

    Oh, to get one’s teeth again into a Farinata, a Henry VIII, or even a Hitler! There was real crackling there; something to crunch; a rage, an egotism, a cruelty only just less robust than our own. It put up a delicious resistance to being devoured. It warmed your inwards when you’d got it down.

    Instead of this, what have we had tonight? There was a municipal authority with Graft sauce. But personally I could not detect in him the flavour of a really passionate and brutal avarice such as delighted one in the great tycoons of the last century. Was he not unmistakably a Little Man — a creature of the petty rake-off pocketed with a petty joke in private and denied with the stalest platitudes in his public utterances — a grubby little nonentity who had drifted into corruption, only just realizing that he was corrupt, and chiefly because everyone else did it? Then there was the lukewarm Casserole of Adulterers. Could you find in it any trace of a fully inflamed, defiant, rebellious, insatiable lust? I couldn’t. They all tasted to me like undersexed morons who had blundered or trickled into the wrong beds in automatic response to sexy advertisements, or to make themselves feel modern and emancipated, or to reassure themselves about their virility or their “normalcy,” or even because they had nothing else to do. Frankly, to me who have tasted Messalina and Cassanova, they were nauseating. The Trade Unionist stuffed with sedition was perhaps a shade better. He had done some real harm. He had, not quite unknowingly, worked for bloodshed, famine, and the extinction of liberty. Yes, in a way. But what a way! He thought of those ultimate objectives so little. Toeing the party line, self-importance, and above all mere routine, were what really dominated his life.”

    Even Hell hath its standards.

  • JL-
    I disagree.
    Nancy Pelosi speaks for Nancy Pelosi, not the Catholic Church however she has taken that role in the past while holding her high profile position, subsequently misleading Catholic voters to believe that the Church is in union with her position on abortions, not the Churches position. This is the problem with politicians that claim to be Catholics in good standing but in actuality are dissents.
    A return to decency is a call to accept the Churches position on abortion. Any Catholic that is offended by this thread, offended that some may equate the most pro-abort president in our Nations history to the likes of Satan, is a Catholic that hasn’t taken the time to inform him/herself with the reasonings of past Popes and the Magisterium as to the intrinsic evil that abortion is.
    To support this evil is not “love of neighbor.”
    Claudia is wrong to use Pope Francis in this framework.
    All Catholics that support abortion rights are not in union with our Holy Church.
    It is in their best interest to hear the truth, for the sake of their own soul, and the souls of those who commit the acts.
    JL. Some may claim that other issues are as important, but I’m not one. Life is the issue.
    If Claudia is offended by our banter, then excuse me. I’m offended by the Catholics that help secure Satans best worker in Our White House.

  • I guess I have to differentiate myself from other “John”‘s…

    I don’t think anyone who makes fun of the present administration would not agree with the statement, in a sober moment, that Obama needs prayer just as much as Bush did…or anyone else on the globe for that matter. Well…except for……………had you, didn’t I?

    What I fail to see is why poking fun at a coincidental similarity in appearance draws either slanders of racism or holier-than-thou chastisements that this type of humor shouldn’t be done by serious folk. Really?

    “Next up on The Safe For Everyone’s Feelings Comedy Channel: The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System Tax Joke Hour“. Well, maybe not…there’s someone in the IRS who might be offended.

    As I recall from high school English class, a certain poet from Italy in the 13th century had the audacity to place even popes in his literary rendering of Hell…and, while it was a work of theology, politics and allegory, I’m reasonably certain it also contained elements of satire and wit in it as well.

    I don’t know what the fuss is about. I’ve seen people point out that Bush looked like a monkey, say that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is a fashionista with his red shoes, and that Blessed Pope John Paul II was complicit in the clerical abuse scandal. Me, if I disagree, I shake my head and move along…if I agree, I chuckle and move along.

    Maybe my post is self-negating since instead of ignoring the non sequitur comments above, I should have either added something to the Top Ten list or kept my post to myself rather than address them.

    O Irony! Thy name is com-box.

  • Michael-
    Point taken.
    Today an honest hardworking Christian, a small business owner, feels the hot coals of compliance to a mandate that is not in union with His core. He is punished, (taxed) or he caves in.
    I thank God that the greatest generation that ever

  • ….that ever lived are going to their Eternal reward now.
    How they would shake their heads at America in 2013.

  • Hmmm. Donald has listed a whole bunch of reasons why Obama is not Satan, and others added additional reasons. And for that we are called racists. I guess Claudia is right. I will take Claudia’s side and admit that Obama is Satan. Is that better? Am I sufficiently inclusive and diversity promoting to avoid the racist label if I state that our President is Lucifer? Does that make the United States Hell? I live in the United States. I must be dead. And I must have been really rotten in my time in the world. Oh well. At least we’ve got cheeseburgers here. I was expecting fire and brimstone. What a pleasant surprise.

  • phillip,

    How the heck do you conclude that Claudia is pro-abort from the two comments she’s made? Or that anyone who takes offense to people tongue in cheekily comparing Obama to Satan is somehow complicit in the abortion industry.?Speaking of Pope Francis, do you think he’d approve of this post and the subsequent comments? Probably not, but I don’t see how that makes him in league with Satan. I think you’re making pretty irrational leaps.

  • JL-

    Your nothing more than a bunch of NCR hate-filled racist.

    In regards to you, “Pope Francis has his work cut out for him.”

    The “framework” was that I found it appalling that she would vex “us racists” and use our newly elected Pope to try to shame us.

    JL. By participating directly and voluntarily in the election of public officials that protect, advance or approve grave mortal sin is in my opinion serious matter….President, V.P., House Speaker.( not speaking of Pope, ok?)
    The deaths of these innocent children will demand justice. The support of regime’s that do nothing in their power to protect these innocent lives will be held accountable.
    It is our responsibility to call abortion what it is; a mortal sin that has the consent of our Leaders.
    I’m a racist in her eyes. I’m okay with that.
    Question?
    Can one be pro-life and vote for pro-aborts?
    Anything is possible. Nancy and Joe are great examples. Hope they enjoyed their trip.

  • JL-
    Why would anyone oppose our gifted president, or make light of him or joke about him?
    Why?
    I have over fifty million reasons why.
    They might of entered in to this thread, but they couldn’t. Their sense of humor is like that of Claudia’s. Nonexistent!

  • In Obama’s commencement address to the N.D. Students and guests he stated; “We must respect the feelings of those who do not agree with abortion law, and draft a conscience clause that reflects their beliefs.”
    Enter in Obamacare and the HHS mandate.
    That is par for course.

    Fr. Weslin, God rest his precious soul, was one of the N.D. 88 arrested and hauled off Norte Dame property during the above event.
    Fr. Weslin passed away on May 12th in my home town. He was as courageous as St. Paul, as tender as a lamb and my hero.

    I have taken valuable space to give reason to the ridicule. I’m not meek, nor eloquently gifted in debate and I know I have many faults to work out. Some possibly in Purgatory, however the scourge of abortion on demand
    in this United States must be addressed. If not now, w

    hen. If not our elected representatives, who?

  • I cannot see a scintilla of racism here, just a tongue in cheek jibe at the most left-wing president in the nation’s history. We do not hate him but as an enemy of sorts, we include him, obedient to the Lord, in our prayers.

  • “Why would anyone oppose our gifted president, or make light of him or joke about him?”

    Opps – I thought we were joking about the Obama administration. My bad; never mind…

  • Ha ha ha . . . this is too rich not to relish! The best so far is Mary De Voe’s comment! Subtle and yet biting! Then the new comer – Claudia Johnson specious accusations are much to be enjoyed. Sorry, Donald maybe next time but you can console yourself with the fact that you got this fine post started.

  • philip. “All Catholics that support abortion rights are not in union with our Holy Church.
    It is in their best interest to hear the truth, for the sake of their own soul, and the souls of those who commit the acts.”

    You are right on, brother. Thanks for your great posts. And to answer the question, “can one be Catholic (or Christian) and support abortion-loving leaders? A definite NO!

  • John.
    Thank you.

  • “The Constitution is a document, made by man, capable of being amended by man, interpreted liberally by man, ignored by man, and abolished by man.”
    …not without the consent of man and his posterity. The Preamble to our Constitution is unchangeable.
    “We, the People, of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
    The Preamble to our U.S. Constitution states specifically the purpose of our Constitution. While the Law of the Land may vary, be amended, or change with the culture, the purpose of its being does not change or may the Preamble be removed, erased of modified. If the rights and freedoms endowed as unalienable by our Creator can be removed or modified, the people are no longer free, in the freedom created for us by our Creator. I keep using “their Creator” as does the Declaration of Independence precisely because atheists and others have removed the acknowledgement of God from our culture and from the public square.

  • Face it, O is not Satan….but he has earned the “employee of the month award”.

  • Mortality and origin are differences in the two, too.

    The deficit from 1. begs repeating the common warning, ‘You’ll have hell to pay.’

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The Devil You Say?

Friday, August 17, AD 2012

Considering all the extravagant evil in the world, I have always found it remarkable that so many people do not believe in the existence of Satan and his fallen angels.  Pope Leo XIII I believe foresaw this, which is why he gave us the prayer to Saint Michael.  In 1942 CS Lewis in The Screwtape Letters wrote what may be an epitaph for the age in which we live:

When humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and  skepics. At least, not yet. I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalize and mythologize their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, a belief in us (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy. The “Life Force,” the worship of sex, and other aspects of psychoanalysis, may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work — the materialist magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshiping, what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits” — the end of the war will be in sight. But in the meantime we must obey orders.

Man without God is nothing but prey for Satan.  With God and Man united Satan is  impotent.  Alexander Solzhenitsyn when asked why Communism seized power in Russia, used to say the following:

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

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9 Responses to The Devil You Say?

  • Forgotten God . . . and decided they were smarter than Aristotle, Newton, Plato, and the gods of the copy book headings.

    And, in forgetting God men discerned that all they have is the here-and-now and it is their duty to make it perfect: a fool’s mission.

    Unsolicited advice from the Spiritual Works of Mercy: forgive all injuries including imaginary injuries.

  • The prayer to Saint Michael in the Leonine prayers is a very ancient one. It may be as old as the Lombard victory in the battle of Sipontum in 663.

    Here is a version from a Carolingian MS from the diocese of Coustances, in Normandy, which I copied (St Michael being my patron) The spacing is in the original

    Sancte Michael Archangele,
    defende nos in proelio.
    contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
    Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
    tuque, Princeps militiae coelestis,
    Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
    qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
    divina virtute, in infernum detrude.
    Amen.

    I do not think it is Norman, as there he is venerated as the patron saint of seafarers.

  • Father Barron is always worthwhile.

  • This is a good commentary of evil and its weapons. May we not lose sight of The Most Holy Rosary and its powers. Our Lady is most powerful in protecting us. May we put on Her Brown Scapular and say Her Rosary as she had asked us so many times to do – especially at Fatima. St. Dominic said that one day through the rosary and the scapular – Our Lady would save the world. We all need to know this – there may be a time soon in history when a priest will not be available for the sacraments even though they are our chief means of God’s grace.

  • wonderful post.
    The evidence of Satan’s work: the war on the Church, the war on Women, the War on Marriage, and I may say the war on poor people which I see as cutting the tendons in the backs of their legs– dis-abled people unable to stand. And the mis-use of people who struggle with SSA ( who will be shortly abandoned by the oh so temporary coalition between radical islam and marxism after they no longer serve the purpose); the mis-use of people hurt by racism; and all those misled by the greed narcissism and disorder of these times.
    Satan is working, but thank the Lord God that Mary, Joseph, St.Anne, St. Michael, the martyrs of the 20th century are working too. O. talked about hope, but we, constantly asking God’s providence, are imbued with real Hope.

  • And don’t forget the “Memorae”. It rolls over and over in my mind and in my heart almost non stop.

  • The evidence of Satan’s work is in the work of the O administration.

    We also pray the Memorarae

    This following prayer is prayed after morning mass everyday here:

    O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, at this most critical time, we entrust the United States of America to your loving care.
    Most Holy Mother, we beg you to reclaim this land for the glory of your Son. Overwhelmed with the burden of the sins of our nation, we cry to you from the depths of our hearts and seek refuge in your motherly protection.
    Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people. Open our minds to the great worth of human life and to the responsibilities that accompany human freedom.
    Free us from the falsehoods that lead to the evil of abortion and threaten the sanctity of family life. Grant our country the wisdom to proclaim that God’s law is the foundation on which this nation was founded, and that He alone is the True Source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the culture of death and the strength to build a new Culture of Life.

  • I, too, have started adding the Memorae to my daily prayers.

  • Fatigue from hearing what I hear and seeing what I see is so erosive to spiritual life. Tonight, I heard a little snip of sound that included the words ‘snake oil’ from our leader before I got to the off button on the remote. How pathetic of me to think what I think of his talk, and then only wishing to be able to pray for our strength and health.

    “In the natural realm, nature abhors a vacuum. I think this is also true in the spiritual realm. If we do not have God to fill up our spiritual emptiness, there is another entity ever eager to attempt to usurp the place of God in our souls.”

    Cultivate the garden, and there’s a place for the weeds, too. Can’t forget to keep after it.

Would it Be Such a Big Leap From Inviting Sebelius?

Tuesday, May 8, AD 2012

Yet another controversial speaker at a Catholic college:

 

In a move already denounced by Catholic bishops & other leading religious conservatives, St. Sincerus University, the nation’s 84th largest Catholic university, has invited Satan to deliver its commencement speech later this month. Also known as the Prince of Darkness, Lucifer, &, more popularly, the Devil, Satan is a divisive figure among Catholics & other Christians. Several Catholic universities have upset religious conservatives in recent years by inviting controversial figures to deliver commencement speeches, as when the University of Notre Dame, the nation’s largest Catholic University, invited President Barack Obama, who supports a woman’s right to abortion, in 2009. The invitation to Satan by SSU president Fr. Thad Despereaux comes at a time when many Catholics are highly critical of the Obama administration’s attempts to reform health care, which some claim would force Catholic institutions to violate their Church’s teachings by providing contraceptives as part of their health insurance plans. Fr. Despereaux, in comments made to the Daily Sham, SSU’s student newspaper, said that having Satan on campus gives bold witness to a central Catholic principle that God can be found in all things. “The continuing politicization of the faith indicates just how important it is for us to build bridges,” Fr. Despereaux said. “Our whole mission as a university is to bring people together. Satan is badly misunderstood by many people, & we hope to show our graduates that stereotypes, & the hatred they engender, have no place on a Catholic campus. As Catholics we are to hate hate.”

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4 Responses to Would it Be Such a Big Leap From Inviting Sebelius?

Pope Leo and Saint Michael the Archangel

Sunday, January 24, AD 2010

In 1947 Father Domenico Pechenino related what he had witnessed over six decades before.

“I do not remember the exact year. One morning the great Pope Leo XIII had celebrated a Mass and, as usual, was attending a Mass of thanksgiving. Suddenly, we saw him raise his head and stare at something above the celebrant’s head. He was staring motionlessly, without batting an eye. His expression was one of horror and awe; the colour and look on his face changing rapidly. Something unusual and grave was happening in him.

“Finally, as though coming to his senses, he lightly but firmly tapped his hand and rose to his feet. He headed for his private office. His retinue followed anxiously and solicitously, whispering: ‘Holy Father, are you not feeling well? Do you need anything?’ He answered: ‘Nothing, nothing.’ About half an hour later, he called for the Secretary of the Congregation of Rites and, handing him a sheet of paper, requested that it be printed and sent to all the ordinaries around the world. What was that paper? It was the prayer that we recite with the people at the end of every Mass. It is the plea to Mary and the passionate request to the Prince of the heavenly host, (St. Michael: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle) beseeching God to send Satan back to hell.”

Cardinal Giovanni Batista Nassalli Rocca di Corneiliano wrote in his Pastoral Letters on Lent“the sentence ‘The evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls’ has a historical explanation that was many times repeated by his private secretary, Monsignor Rinaldo Angeli. Leo XIII truly saw, in a vision, demonic spirits who were congregating on the Eternal City (Rome). The prayer that he asked all the Church to recite was the fruit of that experience. He would recite that prayer with strong, powerful voice: we heard it many a time in the Vatican Basilica. Leo XIII also personally wrote an exorcism that is included in the Roman Ritual. He recommended that bishops and priests read these exorcisms often in their dioceses and parishes. He himself would recite them often throughout the day.”

The Prayer written by the Pope is of course the famous prayer to Saint Michael:

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio;
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,
satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute in infernum detrude.
Amen.

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26 Responses to Pope Leo and Saint Michael the Archangel

  • A few weeks ago, Father Wade asked us to offer an extra prayer or do some more spiritual reading during Ordinary Time. For some time, I had been feeling urges to pray the Leonine Prayers and Father’s request sealed the deal. I pray them now every day sometimes more than once a day. I think we need them.

  • It is a common prayer in my house, too.

    My boy loves to say it in Latin, loves the sound of it – he says it has sounds to scare the devil.

    God bless PBXVI and God prosper the reform of the reform!

    ex oribus infantium…

  • I’ve said the prayer at the Traditional Latin Mass, but I didn’t know the background of it. Fascinating.

  • I was taught:
    St Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
    Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray and thou O Prince of the Heavenly Host by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan, all the other evil spirits; who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.(3times)

    I have said it every morning for years, with the ending of the regular Mass, as per V2, a lot of things was omitted that should have stayed.

    That doesn’t stop us from saying this prayer daily I sometimes think its the one prayer that keeps chaos from overtaking the world.

  • Yes, this is a great story. And a good soundtrack.

    If you want to see Pope Leo XIII in a video as well, there is a great one from 1896:

    By the way, in 1994 Pope John Paul II recommended to pray this prayer to St Michael the Archangel from Pope Leo XIII: “Though this prayer is no longer prayed at the end of the eucharistic celebration, I invite you all to not forget it, and to pray it, to obtain help in the bttle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of the world.”
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/angelus/1994/documents/hf_jp-ii_reg_19940424_it.html

    Of course the prayer is always included after all Masses in Latin.

  • God used Pope Leo to make true the prophecy of St.Michael in Daniel and Revelation.

    C calling
    A all
    T to
    H holy
    O obedient
    L life
    I in
    C CHRIST

  • Why was this prayer removed? Was it the influence of Satan?

  • Huh.

    So not every parish does this at the end of Mass every Sunday? (Or at least most Sundays?)

    I have limited experience with different parishes, but the parish where I attend in the Atlanta area does this prayer after nearly every Mass. (I say nearly every because I think I remember a couple of occasions when the prayer was not included. But my memory is vague on it; it may have been when we were between pastors, and therefore had a lot of Masses being done by visiting celebrants.)

  • After each mass I attend, I pray the “Prayers after low mass” (Three hail Marys, the Hail Holy Queen, O God our refuge…, the St. Michael Prayer, and Most Sacred heart of Jesus… Just because it’s not required doesn’t mean we can no longer use it. I encourage everyone to take two-and-a-half minutes and say these prayers privately for the return of reverence to our Church, and the conversion of Russia.

  • Our parish is publicly praying the St. Michael Prayer at the end of our daily Masses for the Protection and Defense of the Unborn. Any parish can pray the St. Michael publicly at the end of daily Mass for any intention all you need to do is ask your pastor for permission to do it. He can not lead it but a parishioner can lead the prayer at the end of the closing song at daily mass pray.

  • Karen:

    Whoa! The pastor “may not lead it?”

    Now that I think of it, it’s always the deacon who leads off whenever it’s done at my parish. I guess that’s why.

    I wonder why it’s okay for the deacon, not the priest?

  • Practic in the Diocese of Orange (Calif,) varies from parish to parish. Some say the St. Michael prayer after most masses, usually led by the presider; some do not.
    If the Mass includes congregational singing (most Sunday & Holy Day masses), the St. Michael prayer does not get said by the congregation (although nothing prevents individuals from praying it.)
    TeaPot562

  • Karen,

    The Mass ends with “Ita Missa est”. Therefore, the priest can lead the prayers, for Mass is over. In fact, in my parish, daily Mass ends with the priest and congregation reciting the prayer together, facing the altar.

    I just visited a parish that did the same thing after a Sunday Mass.

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  • Pope Leo XIII carried a flask on his person containing Vin Mariani, a wine that was 10 percent alcohol and laced with 8.5 percent cocaine. In fact, Pope Leo XIII enjoyed the wine so much that he awarded a gold medal to Mariani for being a “benefactor of humanity.” Cocaine is known to induce terrifying hallucinations. Just sayin’.

  • I go to a Latin Mass parish run by the Fraternity of St. Peter and the prayer is said after each Mass with the exception of a High Mass.

    RE: Moe, that is an odd “fact” I’ve never heard before.

  • Moe, where did you get this information? I just love how people make accusations out of the blue with no reference to where they dug them up.

  • At the request of several parishioners, we began, on the First Sunday of Advent 2008, reciting the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel after the close of every Mass. I usually start the prayer after I kiss the altar at the conclusion of daily Mass and after the last note of the recessional hymn at the end of Sunday Mass. Presently, during the Year for Priests, we have in the pews 2-by-3-inch sheets of paper with a prayer for priests (prayed before the conclusion of the General Intercessions) on one side and the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel on the other side. We plan to have nice lamented cards of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel in place for post-Year for Priests use.

  • That should LAMINATED cards. The cards, with the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, should not be LAMENTED. LOL

  • Allan and Susanne,
    http://thenonist.com/index.php/thenonist/permalink/vin_mariani/
    Apparently, His Holiness didn’t get a kick from champagne, and mere alcohol didn’t thrill him at all, but a little Charlie in his Vin Mariani did the trick! Seriously, my previous post was ill-advised, so please accept my apologies. It really wasn’t my intention to malign Pope Leo XIII. I recite Prayer to St. Michael every morning before I enter the battleground.

  • i try to say this prayer every day. never have we needed it so much. people should also look up the chaplet of saint michael the archangel. our church is being truly rocked by scandal. in my church it’s not said i will make an effort to say it myself after each mass from now on.

  • I also say this prayer to Saint Michael.
    It is also a prayer in my rosary leaflet as one of the optional prayers to say after the Holy Rosary. The other optional prayer is;

    ‘The Memorare’
    Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was is known thay any one who fled to Thy protection,
    implored Thy help or sort Thy intercession, was left unaided.
    Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto Thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother;
    to Thee do we come, before Thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful;
    O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in Thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen’

  • ‘The Memorare’
    Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to Thy protection,
    implored Thy help or sort Thy intercession, was left unaided.
    Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto Thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother;
    to Thee do we come, before Thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful;
    O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in Thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen’

    (amended version as some spelling error)

  • As a fellow Catholic, I must ask all of you whether you agree with this observation: According to those things defined as “sin” by Church doctrine, are we not in a time where the occassion of sin attacks each of us ceaselessly? Television, radio, internet and print vomit out images and sounds of sexual immorality, violence, hatred, drug abuse, abusive language, and most offensively to me, the cursing of the name of God. In our schools, people are using science to destroy the faith of children…do you remember what the gospels say about making a little one lose faith? We are in more need than at any other time in our history for intercessory relief from the Sainted Archangel Michael. Please, please remember to beg Jesus for absolution and mercy, but also please pray to the Heart of Divine Mercy for expiation of souls in purgatory for a few minutes at 3 p.m. to commemorate the scarifice made for our sins by our most loving father, Jesus Christ.

  • I just wanted to comment on my ealier post that a Pastor can not lead the St. Michael Prayer at the end of Mass. I said that because my Pastor said that his understanding of the rubrics is that he can not lead it and so has a parishioner do it.

    Maybe it is because he remains by the Presidental chair after the dismissal for the congregation to recite the prayer and then at the end of prayer he steps down to process out of the church during the closing song.

    I will let him know that he can lead it after the dismissal.

  • MOE: I clicked on the ural you posted to support your charge that the late Pope Leo XIII was an addict of Vin Mariani ( the purpose I guess was to suggest his
    vision of the deporable state of the future Church was hallucinatory) and was amazed at what you consider evidence….This was nothing but a chronology of sorts of advertisements of said product! Since when does the world of advertising present credible evidence of Truth? It is an area where the work of the Father of Lies is rampant….Your attempt to discredit the Pope along with this most efficacious prayer fall flat and are ludicrous. For evidence of the
    truthfulness of this vision one has only to look at the current state of affairs our Church is in….the horrific state of affairs brought about since the cessation of this powerful prayer at the end of all masses….a vision also shared by the prophet Ezekiel ( 10,11) before the destruction of the Temple (586 BC) when
    the glory of God physically left the Temple to settle on Mt of Olives ( see Matthew ).

Pat Robertson, Haiti and History

Thursday, January 14, AD 2010

 

For the benefit of Mr. Robertson.  The Haitians revolted during the French Revolution and the reign of Napoleon I.  The Haitians were never ruled by Napoleon III (1852-1870), having their independence recognized in 1825 by France.  Although Voodoo has been sadly ubiquitous in Haiti, there is no evidence of a pact between Satan and Haitian insurgents, although Robertson is not the only person to propound this myth, which is quite common in some evangelical circles.  A good article debunking this myth is here and here.  This of course is far from the first time that Pat Robertson has said something factually challenged and insulting, although considering the vastness of the tragedy, Robertson expounding his kook theory at this point as Haiti mourns countless dead and lies prostrate is truly beneath contempt.  Certain Catholic religious orders enjoin silence for the good of the souls of their members.  Mr. Robertson could benefit by following their example.

For those wishing to donate to Catholic Relief Services for Haiti, here is a link.

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30 Responses to Pat Robertson, Haiti and History

  • Pat Robertson is a pathetic litlle man. God bless Haiti.

  • I’m not sure which disturbs me more… Robertson’s belief & propagation of this assertion, or the reactions to his comments I’ve read elsewhere which pile non sequiturs on top of one another. e.g. at Politico and The Political Carnival.

  • Some people hear the word “Christian” and think of the nonsense that Robertson spouts. He sets back the cause of the Faith in this country.

  • Perhaps Robertson may have gotten his facts mixed up, but there’s no denying that Haiti seems cursed. A National Geographic article calls the country “possessed by voodoo,” so even if the country did not make a pact with the devil directly, it seems to have done so indirectly by messing around with the occult.

  • At one time (late 70s-early 80s) I watched The 700 Club with some regularity and respected Pat Robertson as a man of God even though I didn’t agree with all his ideas. I still think he means well, but his advancing age combined with his fundamentalist (and from a Catholic point of view, heretical) interpretation of Scripture make him increasingly prone to ill-concieved statements like this.

  • Well at least he’s consistent, because he also blamed the US for 9/11.

    He needs to get a tattoo to remind him not to blame victims for natural disasters. Like one of Job’s self-righteous friends, “this is all your fault you sinner”, its only a tragedy when its personal, but not for someone else.

    Not to mention the fact that something like a pact with the devil is basically impossible to prove, and if anything the french revolution and the likes of Napoleon were far more satanic than whatever happened in Haiti.

  • Rev Robertson may have gotten cause and effect wrong. To wit it is the unfortunate tendency of men living at the mercy of nature, to enter into all sorts of pacts with the devil or even the Devil himself. One can observe this in other countries such as Indonesia and the Phillipines that are particularly prone to earthquakes and storms. In other words the Haitians fear the wrath of Nature and so try to come to some accomodation with Her through misguided and frankly evil rituals. Christians have a role to play in weaning away the Haitians from their voodoo fetishes. And it is a fact that devil worship will turn one’s soul into an ugly mess. But as Jesus Christ taught when the Tower of Siloam fell, all of us have sinned and are under the sign of the hourglass. I pray that God be merciful to the souls of the dead who had no time to prepare for a Confession.

  • I agree about the tower of siloam, a very relevant passage. I think voodoo and Paganism in general are about power and revenge and control, and seeking blessings from the god(s) of this age, as opposed to surrendering oneself to the Lord, essentially demon/Satan worship.

    Listening to Robertson’s comments one more time its as though he’s saying that they are basically victims from a curse of the past. Now we know that there are no curses in Christ, so he is lamenting the fact that they are not Christians, saying that it would not have happened if they were more Christian, and espousing the “generational curse” doctrine. The first one I agree with, but the next two I don’t.

  • “and if anything the french revolution and the likes of Napoleon were far more satanic than whatever happened in Haiti”

    Indeed.

  • “the likes of Napoleon were far more satanic than whatever happened in Haiti.” Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States after his brother-in-law was defeated in San Domingue. Some think it was the largest peaceful transfer of land from one nation to another. Maybe the Anglophiles here would prefer Louisiana remained in French control than receive a bargain from a “satanic” vendor.

  • I would be cautious about equating Napoleon and the French Revolution. Very different things with very different moral concerns.

  • Just because we tangentially benefited from the chaos and wickedness that took place in the French revolution, doesn’t mean that it was right, just that we as a competitor nation made out because they needed money. Besides, if the people of that territory identified themselves more as Americans than a French colony it was destined to happen.

    Mike:
    As far as I know, Napoleon rose to power out of the chaos and social dissarray that went on for years after the revolution. They got rid of the old and corrupt establishment and eventually got a secular dictator who led them to war. He was a classic “type of AntiChrist”.

  • Also, for some reason I doubt that Robertson would have blamed this on a generational curse if the earthquake had happened in Israel. It would just be an absolute irrational tragedy.

  • Robertson might want to note that Haiti is 95% Christian.

  • Napoleon did sign the 1801 Concordant with Pope Pius VII, thus ending the “official” persecution of the Church in France.

  • One writer thinks the French should pay Haiti reparations:

    Haiti’s chronic impoverishment began at its birth in 1804, when, having overthrown its French rulers in a bloody, 12-year slave revolt, the newborn nation was subjected to crippling blockades and embargoes. This economic strangulation continued until 1825, when France offered to lift embargoes and recognize the Haitian Republic if the latter would pay restitution to France—for loss of property in Haiti, including slaves—of 150 million gold francs. The sum, about five times Haiti’s export revenue for 1825, was brutal, but Haiti had no choice: Pay up or perish over many more years of economic embargo, not to mention face French threats of invasion and reconquest. To pay, Haiti borrowed money at usurious rates from France, and did not finish paying off its debt until 1947, by which time its fate as the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country had been well and truly sealed.

    One is not impressed with the state of former French colonies – Haiti, Benin, Algeria, Cote d’Ivorie, Vietnam, heck, throw in New Orleans,…, compare that dismal list with Hong Kong and Singapore. Former British colonies are certainly not all garden spots (think ME), but India is a rising democracy.

    While the French certainly squeezed Haiti, I think one also has to take into account the fact that Haiti is a very corrupt society. Like Africa, Haiti has received millions in aid money. What happens to it? Where does it go? Certainly not to the people living in shacks. We know Papa Doc certainly helped himself.

    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help those poor people now. But I’m at a loss to as to how one improves the lot of Haitians in the long run. Even getting them back to their pre-equakequake level of misery is going to be hard, since what little infrastructure there was is gone.

    One sobering thought: the few professionals, physicians, government officals etc. Haiti had were probably more likely to be in office buildings in Port-au-Prince and thus were more likely to die than someone in a shanty out in the country. I’m not saying professionals are more valuable or loved by God than poor farmers – just that it further complicates the question of how Haiti can function. How can you have a functioning society in this day and age if most of the literate people and professionals are dead?

  • The writer I referred to in the post above is Tunku Varadarajan. Here’s the link:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-01-14/why-haitis-earthquake-is-frances-problem/

  • And Pinky might want to note that 75 to 90 percent of the Haitians practice voodoo, depending on whom you ask.

  • Donna V you cannot blame the French for this. They got the colonies whose populations have low IQs. The British Empire had a large Anglo component in the white nations. The societies of Hong Kong, Singapore are dominated by the Chinese and they are a major player in Malaysia. In India the British ruled with the help of the Brahmin and other educated castes. In all these cases the British were fortunate to find intelligent and capable races to work with. The French were not as fortunate, they had to do everything by themselves. Twenty or thirty ago I would have hesitated to voice these opinions, but I have come to the regrettable conclusion that quite a lot of the difference in performance between nations can be put down to race.

  • The varied fortunes of the predominantly black nations of the West Indies should be more than enough to argue against a racial explanation for Haiti. The sad truth is that Haiti has been badly governed from the time it was a French colonial possession, and that it lacks much in the way of natural resources.

  • It isn’t just Pat Robertson using the Haiti tragedy to push his own agenda.

    Jon Stewart of The Daily Show provides this excellent fisking of Robertson, Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow for their attempts to use Haiti to promote their own agenda (warning: some questionable language):

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-january-14-2010/haiti-earthquake-reactions

    I never thought I’d see the day when Stewart would quote Scripture on the air… and use beautiful and appropriate passages from Isaiah and the Psalms to boot. “Have you read this book? …. You got all this, and you went with an urban legend about a deal with the devil!”

    Also, Rush’s statements and his reaction to a critical caller are perfect examples of what I cannot stand about his show and why I quit listening to it:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20100115/pl_politico/31539

    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/01/14/limbaugh-haiti-tampons/

    Now it probably is true that Obama will find a way to benefit politically from the Haiti situation — any president would — but that does NOT mean that he really doesn’t care about the victims, or that everything he does will be bad or wrong; nor does it mean people shouldn’t give to help earthquake victims because they “already gave” through taxation.

  • “we tangentially benefited” doesn’t exactly express a high opinion of land and the citizens of 15 states…. “if the people of that territory identified themselves more as Americans than a French colony it was destined to happen”…After seeing three changes of government in a lifetime, the citizens of Louisiana hardly thought of themselves as Americans, especially the free men of color who realized they would lose enfranchisement; the states of New England threatened to secede over what they considered President Jefferson’s unconstitutional act and the incorporation of an “alien” (French, Catholic) culture into the United States. The response to Katrina shows how little the pre-Purchase attitudes have changed.

  • Paul: we “tangentially” benefited because America’s gaining of the land was not a direct result of the revolution, but the revolution did eventually lead to the purchase because they needed money.

    Unlike the situation in Haiti, I don’t particularly feel all that bad about Katrina, they were given ample warning and even told to evacuate, and many refused to listen or even prepare for what was coming. Surrounding areas were hit as hard, but the people heeded the warnings. When you’re told to leave and do nothing, that’s not Bush’s fault, that’s your fault. The loss of life and sufering was tragic, but not comparable to Haiti.

    Pax: Voodoo itself is fundamentally Paganism with some Catholic symbolism blended into it, so I’m not surprised the stats are so varied.

    Ivan: I disagree with your racial explanation, but the sad truth is that our continued financial support of haiti enables the corruption and status quo to continue.

    Bill O’Reilly is right that we need to help them, and that its also time to take a serious look at bringing accountability and an effective government and actual economy to the nation, “teach a man to fish” and so on. I’m not saying we should invade them, but enabling the status quo isn’t the right thing to do either.

  • Ivan: It’s not that easy. Thomas Sowell has pointed out that a disproportionate number of blacks with West Indian roots are among the black elite in this country; in Harlem in the 1920’s, they were nicknamed “black Jews” by other blacks because they were adept at business. Sowell thinks that, ironically, the extremely harsh conditions slaves endured in the West Indies has something to do with the relative success their descendants have enjoyed in the States. In the West Indies, the slaves who labored on the sugar cane plantations were not provided food or in some cases, even clothing, like American slaves were. They had to feed themselves from garden plots they tended after exhausting days chopping sugar cane and engage in trade to get cloth and other staples that were provided for American blacks. Cruel, but they developed a barter economy and a sense of self-sufficiency that American slaves did not. American slaves, who were used to having food, clothing and shelter given to them by their masters, had a tough struggle when freedom came, and not only because of the racial discrimination they faced. They weren’t used to operating in a market economy – something unscrupulous whites were quick to take advantage of. West Indians had more savvy.

    You can’t point to genetics because the slaves of the West Indies came from exactly the same genetic stock as the slaves of the American south.

    And yet, the success of the West Indians in the US has not been replicated in Britain, or indeed, in the West Indies itself.

    But the same is also true of the Chinese – an extremely successful, business-savvy minority in countries throughout the Far East. And yet the vast majority of Chinese were and still are very poor, even before the adoption of Communism.

    I’m not completely dismissive of IQ, but people who rely too heavily on that arugment forget that in most of the 3rd World, you have to be born either very rich or be very lucky to escape dire poverty, because the odds are stacked against you. The form of government one lives under is essential.

    Let’s not forget that Russia, a country far richer in natural resources than Haiti, has been miserably poor for centuries. They’ve produced scads of scientists, artists, and chess grandmasters, so I don’t think it’s because gray matter is lacking.

  • Donna V and others you have the better arguments, as you say IQ differences should not be the first cause for the situation in Haiti. Good governance is far more important. We will have to wait another 10-15 years to see the results.

  • Do any of you realize that 80% of these so called devil whorshipping Haitians consider themselves Roman Catholics? Do any of you realize that Pat Robertson and his followers hate Roman Catholics?

  • Bringing change to Haiti is the kind of thing these Washington crooks ought to be thinking about instead of spending tens of millions of tax payer dollars for a photo op in “Copen-Hoggen”, (as if its incorrect to say names in English).

    All they care about is making political hay, and I’m sure if it was there money they wouldn’t be so quick to throw it down rat-holes.

  • Actually, why don’t we send the current congress over to Haiti to govern them, because it might the one place that they will be an improvement in terms of corruption and incompetence.

  • Bernadette, Who, exactly, are you referring to when you ask if “any of us” know Robertson is anti-Catholic? In reading Donald’s initial posts and the ensuing comments, I’m not getting the impression that this blog is a gathering of the Pat Robertson Fan Club.

    And yes, we are aware that Haitians are Catholics, albeit their Catholicism is laced with a very large dose of paganism, i.e. voodoo. The country has more witchdoctors than it has physicians. Do you think that’s a good thing?

  • Ivan: I don’t discount the importance of IQ, by any means. Obviously, a person with an IQ of 90 is not going to become a nuclear physicist. But back in the 1960’s, the “nuture” arguments held sway and now the reverse seems to have happened, with people falling into biological determinism as a way of explaining why some individuals and countries do better than others.

    It seems to me being born with brains will only benefit you if A. you live in a society where there are ample opportunities to succeed and enough freedom to persue opportunities (ie a democracy) and B. your immediate culture values strong family ties, hard work, study, delaying gratification and so on. The Asian-American medical residents I know had all these advantages. One told me it was simply unacceptable for her to bring home a report card with B’s and C’s on it. If a person with the same potential has the misfortune of being born to a desperately poor family in Haiti, what are his or her chances? If there is no opportunity to go to school because you have to focus on simple survival, your potential will remain unrealized. If you’re an very bright person born to a dyfunctional single mom in the US, and everyone around you is indifferent to education and moral values, instead of becoming a doctor, you might become the leader of a drug cartel. The person with the IQ of 90, born into a loving family with a strong work ethic will contribute more to the well-being of society, even if that means working at a low-status but necessary occupation.

Advent and Anti-Christ, Part I

Sunday, November 29, AD 2009

Prior to his conversion to Catholicism, John Henry Cardinal Newman, soon to be Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman,  preached in 1835 a series of Advent Sermons on the Anti-Christ.  I have always found them extremely intriguing, and I am going to present them on each of the Sundays in Advent this year.

In this first sermon Newman gives us an overview of the Anti-Christ and the time of his appearance.  We see in this sermon Newman’s total command of history and how he uses this knowledge to draw out the implications of the few mentions of the Anti-Christ in Scripture.  Newman intellectually was always first and foremost a historian of the highest order and he puts this talent to good and instructive use in this sermon.  When Newman converted the Church gained one of the finest intellects of the Nineteenth Century or any century for that matter.  Much of Newman’s work concerned the working out of God’s plan for salvation through human history, and his examination of the Anti-Christ places that mysterious part of revelation into that plan.

“Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that Day shall not come,
except there come a falling away first,
and that man of sin be revealed,
the son of perdition.”

Continue reading...

21 Responses to Advent and Anti-Christ, Part I

  • How prescient Cardinal Newman was.

    Including Mohammad as a proto-Anti-Christ. Many have backed up Newmans assertion that heretical forms of Christianity such as Nestorianism contributed to the rise of Islam.

    Hilaire Belloc I believe (I don’t recall who exactly) called Islam another Christian heresy.

    How right he was!

  • You are right, Tito. Belloc said it in “The Great Heresies.”

  • Evil begets evil. But thanfully, God begets God, and what greater good is there than God?

  • I know we can’t know the timing of these things. I also know they will happen again and again with increasing frequency and severity until the final one; however, it sounds like the good cardical is talking of a conspiracy. Are we listening? Becuase it seems most people freak out and dismiss any time I hint of a conspiracy. Makes you think hmm.

    Could it be a liberal conspiracy? I am not referring to Demomcrat liberals or even Republican liberals, just liberal thought in general. Liberalism has some great aspects. I happen to like much of libertarian (the classical liberal) thought; however, liberal is also plagued with utility, permissiveness, license and radical individualism. Could this be the Devil taking us by the hand and making us his friends in our own undoing?

    Karl Marx certaintly thought so. He developed ideas, ideologies and an ‘economic’ theory that seek to do nothing other than totally destroy Western Civ. aka Rome aka Christendom. The tool he used to present his destructive agenda is Marxism/Communism and it’s newer forms of Critical Theory hidden away in liberalism, both the neo-con and the lefty-loony viriety.

  • Vince C.,

    I like the link in your name!

    I added it to our Catholic resources list.

    Keep up the great witness to our beautiful faith!

  • One point of clarification – John Henry Cardinal Newman is not yet identified as “Blessed” that is supposed to happen next year when the Holy Father visits England. Hopefully his canonization will follow sooner rather than later.

  • Let us pray for the conversion of the Antichrist, so that he, too, might enjoy the Beatific Vision and be an endless hymn of praise of God’s Mercy.

  • Thank you Dontex! I was gettting ahead of myself. It has been a long wait for we Newman devotees! I have amended the post.

  • The antichrist has always been at work ever since he decided to be greater than God. And his work is visible. Look at those that want anything that has to do with Christianity taken out, look at all the sexuality on TV, internet and so on. Look at sexual liberation men giving themselves to men, women to women “Because they gave up the natural order “ now where have I heard those words before; check out the driving force behind religions. Islam says that if one is not converted to Islam they need to be killed. Today the war is over oil, but after the crises is over, what reason will there be to go to war. I remember reading the story of the Jewish holocaust, and in a meeting of high ranking Nazi officials the final resolution was being discussed, and one general asked “ and after we do away with the Jewish people , who will be next “. After the oil war is over whom they will persecute.
    Read the story of Sodomma and Camorra why did God destroy them and see if those same reasons are not prevailing in our society today. Oh yes my dear brothers and sisters the anti-Christ is lose, angry and wild. He knows the day of the Lord is at hand. He also knows what awaits him.
    But fear you not because as the apostle said “IF I AM WIH THE LORD, WHAT EVIL CAN BEGET ME”
    Christ be with you all.

  • No Nick I’m afraid not! To pray for the conversion of the Antichrist would be in vain. He is confirmed in evil! It would be like trying to pray for the conversion of Satan and that you must know is impossible. The prince of Darkness is confirmed in Evil for all eternity.

  • I agree with Gabriel about Satan being confirmed evil for all eternity, though I am not sure if it is applicable to the anti-Christ.

    Satan, being created an angel by God has perfect knowledge. Angels are not human but are something akin to spiritual beings that had perfect intelligence. So when he consciously chose to oppose God it was final since in his own mind he thought better of himself instead of God.

    The anti-Christ will be a man, not an angle, so he (or she) will be imperfect, hence then he may still be able to repent.

    As Saint Theresa of Avila said, she still prays for Judas because we truly don’t know if he asked for forgiveness at the moment of his death.

  • Which antichrist? Nero, Mohammad, Marx, Hitler, or The Anti-Christ?

    I think many antichrists can repent but the final Anti-Christ, I am not so sure. He may be so closely tied to Satan that there is no hope for him. Isn’t he supposed to be slain and then rise again in mockery of Christ? If so, how is that possible unless Satan is completely animating and possesing him? If he is that given over to Satan I don’t think he can return to God, not that God wouldn’t have Mercy, but rather becuase the evil is so consuming that he wouldn’t consider surrender to God anything desireable.

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  • The Anti-Christ is Satan only in the form of a human being, just as Christ is God in a human form.
    Satan nor any of the fallen angels will be pardoned or can be pardoned for their sins and crimes, this is way they hate us humans so much cause we have the opportunity to repent they can’t and do not have the opportunity to repent. They knew and saw God as He is in all his glory.
    They literally saw and understood God but decided to go against him, freely and willingly.

  • Excellent point Rafael.

    Because they are angels they have perfect knowledge, hence they would choose not to repent if they were allowed to repent.

    I am not sure on this point, but the angels that followed Lucifer hated humans because God placed them above angels I believe.

  • I suppose it is possible that Anti-Christ is Satan but it is also possible that he is just another poor power-hungry, disobendient human given over to Satan through sin. Either way he is a problem and he loses.

    Tito, we are not above the angels. To my knowledge only one creature is above the angels and she is perfectly human, the Queen of men and angels, our Blessed Virgin Mary. The rest of us are lower than the angels and we are integrated with our bodies and struggle against our flesh. You are correct about the perfect knowledge of angels and their perfect and fixed free wills. Once an angel makes a choice it is eternally fixed. St. Michael will always serve God fully and Satan aka Lucifer will always be disobedient and he knows his time is short.

    I think Satan and the fallen angels (demons) rebelled against God not because He made us higher than angels but precisely becuase He made us lower than angels. I think when God showed them that He was taking human form, a lower form than an angel, their pride was bruised. The virtue opposite the vice of pride is humility. God humbled Himself to become a small, vulnerable, cold, poor, homeless baby. Satan went nuts and a third of heaven was cast out with him.

    Come Lord Jesus!

  • I see no evidence in Scripture that the anti-Christ will be an avatar of Satan.

  • No! I don’t believe the Antichrist is Satan himself. Satan also known as the dragon, the ancient serpent of old! Who gave his power, worldly glory, status to the beast, the Antichrist to make war with the saints and to conquer them and there was given to it (by Satan) power over every tribe and people and tonque and nation.
    And later, the beast or Antichrist was captured along with the false prophet who worked wonders to lead many astray and both were cast alive into the fiery lake of burning brimstone and also those that worshipped the image of the beast.
    Shortly after that St. Michael the archangel seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan and cast him into the bottomless pit.
    Since Satan is the prince of this world he can give his power and earthly glory to whom he likes!!!!

  • To read what the church teaches on the Antichrist go to NewAdvent.com click on encyclopedia click A find and click Antichrist.

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