What Goes Down, Must Come Up
I remember an event which happened just a few years ago and which I shall never forget until I die: the unearthly and hauntingly beautiful experience of observing a solar eclipse. It was summer, and the day was bright and warm. A very small black disc inched its way over the all-powerful, blinding sun. And after what seemed like an eternity, the time of totality was upon us. As soon as the last rays of the Sun escaped to the Earth, I first saw the shadows fade then disappear. The earth was shadow now, at least for almost as far as the eye could see. There was a rim of blue and a bright ring of sunny day about ten miles out on the horizon all about us. But at the epicenter of the eclipse, where I stood with my family, my wife and children, all was dark. The birds fell silent. The air itself was stilled and thinned and cooled, like a perfect autumn in the midst of zero summer. I was more giddy than my young children. I was on the verge of tears, overwhelmed by the beauty, but before I could be so conquered by the natural phenomenon, it was over, it was passed, the thing hadn’t lasted. The sun returned from behind the ominous disc of black. The air was again heavy with summer warmth. Shadows returned, and sunlight poured once again through the foliage of trees full of birdsong. As my family made their way back into the house for lunch, I stood quiet and still for a moment on the driveway and wondered at what just happened.
The world thinks nothing good lasts, whereas the Christian thinks nothing evil lasts. “What goes up, must come down,” the worldling says. The Christian reverses this maxim, and says, “What goes down, must come up!” and obliterates all desire to worldly despair. Instead of despair, the Christian has hope, which is the good fruit of Faith. Through a study of the Physics of Faith, we understand that what goes down, must come up, that he who is willing to die, will live; he who is humbled, will be exalted; he who loses everything, gains an inestimable treasure, and so on and so forth throughout all the Gospel.
Christ’s death epitomizes this phenomenon. Our Lord dies and is buried, but rises. The greatest evil that could befall creation––the Death of God––only lasted about three days. True, those were the longest three days of existence, and all the created order––Angels, Saints, Humans, Animals, Plants, Rocks, and Elemental forces––groaned in lamentation, bewailed the greatest of crimes, deicide, but this only for a while.
Do you know of another phenomenon that doesn’t last? Solar eclipses. If a solar eclipse were to last longer than, say, seven and a half minutes (the typical time of an eclipse), animals would probably go insane and start eating each other, would run wild and confused into the streets, losing all sense and instinctual compass and immediately die horrible and unnatural deaths soon after such an extended period of totality befell them.
Well, something very much like that is happening now in the spiritual world, because the Catholic Church is in Eclipse. Look around. The headquarters of the New World Religion, I mean the promulgators of the Novus Ordo Missae, the Vatican, doesn’t let a day go by or a sun go down without inserting at least one of those Save the Rainforest slogans into their website articles. You know the kind: The world’s future is bleak! Rainforests are dying! Oceans are rising! Oceans are drying up! Global warming! Global cooling! Plastics don’t biodegrade! Ad nauseam, ad infinitum. These concerns about the Earth and its ecological or climatological health may have their place––just no where here on this blog, and surely no where on an organization’s website whose aim (at least sixty years ago) was the supernatural hereafter, not this fleeting world of mud and rock. But times change.
All Roads Lead to Death.
Continue to look around. You see R&R fairing no better than the spiritual authority they recognize yet resist to the face. For example, one Remnant Newspaper columnist wrote the other day: “The devil seems to have been given much freer rein now than ever before. Perhaps it was that the flood of grace which the Latin Mass brings was cut down to a trickle after the Second Vatican Council. At this late hour, however we parse the cause, we have only death, and each road that seems to bring us back to the light of life leads to death, too,” Jason Morgan, “Supreme Mort: America’s Danse Macabre with Death,” Remnant, article online.
Now I do not take issue with the author’s bleak description of American politics, because it is accurate. The killing of babies––no, not just killing but the ritualistic sacrifice of infants in the womb to devils––is a bleak reality. But my point is, the R&R proponent suffers from the same ideological disease as the Vatican he opposes and resists. The columnist is in love with despair, because he adheres to the Physics of the World, instead of the Physics of Faith.
Our columnist concludes his song of despair with these words: “…I have given up on winning back the Supreme Court. It makes no difference now, I’m afraid. Our government, and much of our society, have developed a full-blown addiction to the suffering and murder of children and the horrible loneliness and psychological scarring which ensues for their mothers. And for a thousand other hateful and anti-human pastimes. Like hell itself, the currency of Washington is cruelty minted in the image of lies. Supreme Mort.”
Again, this all may be very much true––which I tend to think it is––but the quote above was the very last sentence of the article the Remnant writer typed in a putative Christian newspaper. Where is the hope? Where is the call to change, an encouraging word that Christ has conquered death? The concern of the the Remnant columnist is worldly, the tone, a long, sad discordant song of despair to the end, to accompany the Dance of Death he so much “protests.”
Meet “Bp.” Nutty
Let’s look at one more group, the Sedevacantists. This group is the sanest of the insane squirrels and other frantic animals running around in the streets. They say the Vatican is illegitimate, that it is not Catholic, so naturally they are not inclined to resist Francis to the face, because they rightly observe and believe he is not the pope, because he is a heretic. But that is about as far as their sanity gets them. The Sedevacantists still suffer from the illusions of the Physics of the World, because they presumably haven’t study enough the Physics of Faith. Let me explain.
Early on, decades ago, Sedevacantist clergy got their start when bishops who had mission and jurisdiction, such as once Archbishop Thuc or Archbishop Lefebvre, went on a consecration campaign, without papal approval (this was the time after the usurpation of the papacy by modernists), and made this man and that man and any man a bishop who seemingly wanted to be, and these arbitrary bishops went on to ordain this man and that man and any man who wanted to be a priest.
The resultant catastrophe of this consecration-happy campaign was the admixture of baser matter to the episcopate and priesthood. How was this possible? Because, once a few bishops got wind that the Catholic Church was being eclipsed, they started shouting in the streets, “Emergency! Emergency!” which, they thought, gave them special powers to do what they did. It was like the new Pentecost all over again, and the bishops of the Church were running around like they were drunk.
Later, those who benefited from such disregard for ecclesial disciple, bishops and priests of the next generation, shouted down the opposition––obedient and faithful Catholics––with yet another slogan, “Epikeia! Epikeia!” This new slogan gave them, so they thought, the absolute powers of a pope: de facto universal jurisdiction, which enabled them to set up shop whenever and wherever they wanted, to make bishops at will, erect mass centers, establish monasteries, and found seminaries and even parochial schools for children, to extend their new-found empire over the earth, and all because they said the Church was in a state of emergency and epikeia could exempt them from all ecclesial law, not to mention papal decrees.
The Sedevacantist Squirrels are still in the streets, frantically running amok, though “emergency” doesn’t seem to be on their little lips anymore. One “Bishop”––we’ll lovingly call him, “Bp.” Nutty for the sake of anonymity––would often report in his congregation newsletter on the antics of his cat, or make banal comment on the weather. No emergency alarms ringing there. All was hunky-dory, though epikeia was still readily talked about and weaponized against dissidents all the same.
“…And the sun was darkened…”
But this is just another instance of the Physics of the World at work. True, the Catholic Church went into eclipse at the death of Pope Pius XII, and in particular with the public defection of almost all the world’s bishops at the time the Second Vatican Council. But Catholics would not have despaired, because the Physics of Faith would have taught them that what goes down, must come up. The Church was in eclipse, but such phenomena don’t last. The Faith would shine out soon enough, in God’s good time. The answer was not to go insane and think one could save the Church or prevent the spiritual passion of our Lord. “…[Christ] turning, said to Peter: Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.” Christ was being crucified anew in his Mystical Body, in the Church. We, the faithful, were to stand at the Cross with our Mother, to pray and to weep and to hope. And we stand with Her still.
The spiritual eclipse of the Church is decades long now––22,964 days, to be precise––and many there are who have lost their minds because of its extended duration. Some have fallen into despair, others into utter lunacy, still others into apostasy. But I prefer to be a giddy child, just as I was during that eclipse of the sun. The world’s atmosphere is still and cool. Things are so clear and crisp and easy to understand, like who is with Him, and who is against Him. A gentle autumn wind blows through all things, all souls, throughout all the world. Can you feel it? It is the fan of the Lord: He is winnowing the wheat from the chaff, and so the unquenchable fire is not long to follow.