New Background and Text Colors Needed!

I have heard readers complain about the text and background colors for too long now, and I must do something.

I have not wanted to change the color scheme because I always thought it was perfect for the theme of an eclipse: dark, warm tones.

But the colors are not conducive to an enjoyable reading experience. So I want to open up the comments for suggestions on what colors I might try. If there is a clear winner, I will use the suggested scheme, otherwise I will try black on white.

So leave your comments below of which colors to use for the background and text of CE!

Come to think of it: Words represent the world

It is a common practice today among different levels of society to treat words as mere sounds we utter with our throats and mouth-parts to articulate our own subjective thoughts and desires. Words indeed do this, but the point I would like to make is that they do not only do this. Words have a higher calling and nobler purpose than the mere articulation of our own wills. Words also articulate our intellects. At the heart of the spoken word is a piece of the world separated and colored by countless generations of people speaking their world in words. At once, destroy the link between words and the world, and language quickly devolves into shackles and chains of the body and mind. 

Man (or woman, of course) is also made up of words: the words he uses, and the words used to describe him, the words he knows, and, more oftentimes, the words he doesn’t know. Modern materialistic man of the atheistic ilk would have us believe that man is only matter, made up of bone, flesh and blood, and the subatomic stuff that composes those. But this is false on even a materialistic model of existence. 

Man is first and foremost a political animal, as Aristotle says, not because he can yelp like an animal in pain, but because man, among all the animals, has speech. “But speech,” Aristotle says, “is designed to indicate the advantageous and the harmful, and therefore also the right and the wrong; for it is the special property of man in distinction from the other animals that he alone has perception of good and bad and right and wrong and the other moral qualities, and it is partnership in these things that makes a household and a city-state.”

It is easy to see, then, that if the language of a “city-state” or nation, like America, for instance, losses its sense of right and wrong, the cause must be traced back to a loss of meaning in words, for speech is what denotes right and wrong according to how things are. 

Call a black man something other than a man, and he is treated like something other than a man. Call a baby in the womb something other than a baby, and he is treated like something other than a baby. Call a man a woman, or woman a man, and the meaning of right and wrong about these word entities and the class of people they represent will be corrupted and eventually destroyed beyond recognition.

We look around us and are appalled by the moral outrage that goes on in this country and in our communities, but without the use of a language which represents reality, which calls to mind the rightness and wrongness of acts, we are imprisoned in our own collapsing language. 

We can’t say, “Man” if our neighbor insists upon calling himself “Woman,” because we and our neighbor inhabit two different worlds. Our language no longer represents the same reality. We can’t say “Baby” while our neighbor says “Clump of Cells,” because a baby is more than a clump of cells, just as a Black man is more than the mere pigment of his skin. 

Of course the social evils extend far beyond the abortion or transgender or racist questions. These are always ready at hand for the journalist. I could also speak to the word “Marriage” meaning an indissoluble bond between a man and a woman, but that fight was lost decades ago in the arena of language, just as so many before it have been, and so many will to come. 

Come to think of it, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” but in the end, there will be no word, because the word will not be with God, and the word will not be of God, because the word will not represent the world.  

Come to think of it: Transhumanism

The publication that I write my Come to think of it column thought that opinion piece was too controversial to publish. I will leave it to my thoughtful readers to ascertain the reason why.

The transhumanist ideal is to use technology to make man more capable, but such technological improvement stands in the same relation to man as a crutch stands to an invalid with a broken leg.

All this talk about transgenderism makes me worried that there is something on the horizon so horrible one would rather not think on it, and transgenderism may just be the first step to transhumanism, which is the final solution, to coin a phrase. 

The idea in transgenderism and transhumanism is the same: the artificial replacement and construction of a new or improved biological entity through technological intervention. Transgenderism may be the nascent ideological and technological development of a deeper and darker movement toward replacing man as such with machines.  

Postgenderism, for instance, seeks the elimination of gender in the human species by applying advanced biotechnology and assisted reproductive technologies to normal healthy human beings. True, the thinkers behind this idea say it is “voluntary,” and stress ethical considerations along the way, but ethics has little meaning anymore when human nature is denatured, since all ethical considerations are based upon nature and primary principles of reason, like do goodavoid evil, and such.

In C.S. Lewis’s third installment of his space trilogy series, That Hideous Strength, we get a glimpse perhaps into where all this trans talk is going–and it isn’t good. Ultimately, the end-game for the transhumanists depicted in Lewis’s science fiction is to replace organic man with an inorganic existence, which will end, so the story goes, all death, sickness, poverty, ignorance, and, generally, human misery. The assumption is, I suppose, that if we cut off our heads, we won’t complain of headaches. (The story has a man’s head in a vat of liquid, fed by wires and oxygen: the futurist form of advanced human life and prosperity.)  

Though Lewis may have gone a little far in exaggerating the faults of the transhumanist movement of his day, the ideas swirling around today, though less hideous, are nevertheless just as silly. 

Take, for instance, the idea that human beings can be improved through technology. First off, one of the principles of reason is that no effect is greater than its cause. Thus, whatever technological advancement man can try to make upon humanity as a whole, that piece of machinery will not be more advanced than the man who came up with it. Technology may improve men, but it cannot improve man, since a man made it. 

Ultimately, then, the transhumanist movement is not about improving man as such, but men, with this catch, that the improvers neither can be improved–because they invented the improvement–nor would they desire to be. That’s because technological innovation of man, transhumanism at its core, is only for the weak, not the strong.  

Think I’m making this up? Elon Musk, the tech-tycoon who is famous for his innovative enterprises from space flight to electric cars, is also wanting to make man-machines, or brain-computer interfaces through an injectable mesh-like neural lace.

In a Tweet a few years ago, Musk said, “Creating a neural lace is the thing that really matters for humanity to achieve symbiosis with machines.” The idea is that, as AI becomes more mainstream, humanity will have to adapt to avert the fate of becoming “house cats” to the AI, who will have all the good jobs. Man must, Musk says, go along to get along by becoming a machine himself. 

Come to think of it, I doubt Musk will be injecting his brain with any neural lace anytime soon, since, being the richest man in the world, he is in no danger of losing his job to AI technology–since he invents it.  

Come to think of it: Spring cleaning

It is spring, and that means taking our rugs out into the open and clean air and beating them with a broom to get all the dirt out of them. It is also Holy Week, the days recounting the time our Lord was beaten, to get the dirt out of our souls.

There are a number of theories which might account for why people clean their homes in the spring, but the most evident reason to my sensibilities is that spring is fresh and new, and we only want to imitate nature and become fresh and new ourselves. 

The desire to be physically clean, to have our homes cleansed by a mop and duster, and our house aired out with open windows is a metaphor for a deeper reality and yearning we all have, believers and non-believers alike, but often we focus on the wrong things to clean.

Some turn to more healthy habits like diet and exercise, while others think that a new hobby will rub away the rust that has collected on their souls. Still others offer time and talent in volunteering with their favorite society or group. All these things are good, but they don’t clean the soul.

There are so many in the country who are post-Christians, who have dirty souls, while maintaining the veneer of being believers, but the LORD has already spoken to these:   

“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you make clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within you are full of rapine and uncleanness. Thou blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, that the outside may become clean,” (Matthew 23:25-26).

I do not want to sound “preachy” since this is no place to preach, and I am no preacher. I am a fellow sinner. I am also a Christian and an American, and I think that more and more, those two great empires built upon belief are becoming evermore remote from each other. America is no longer Christian as it once attempted to be in the public square.  

Genocide of the unborn, human trafficking, drug addiction, and all manner of uncleanliness has saturated the American people from the top down, a nation in need of a spring cleaning of its soul. But the question is, where do we go to get clean? 

People can go to rehabilitation centers to get clean from their drugs, or they can talk to their psychologists to get a clean conscience, but where do they go to clean out the bitterness in the will, or the lust in the heart, or the anger and hate in the soul? 

A bottle of Windex or Oxi Clean won’t do. We can scrub our floors and scour our walls but the house of our bodies which is our soul will remain unclean unless we address the cause of the uncleanliness which is not physical but spiritual. 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us,” (1 John 1:9-10). 

Many readers may love Donald Trump. Many may hate him. Many may think he is a fake Christian, while others believe he is genuine in his faith. Whether he is guilty of the crimes he is accused of, the court process may reveal in short order. But like Trump, we all will stand before a just and almighty Judge who will demand us to give an account of our life’s deeds. 

Come to think of it, David was caught in an affair, too. But far from denying wrongdoing, the worthy King beat his breast like a rug and cried out to the LORD with a heavy heart:  

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy. And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my iniquity. Wash me yet more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin,” (Psalm 50:3-4).

May we Christian Americans, and the first among us, do the same.   

Home Alone Means Home Alone

It has been awhile since my last post. Since I have been busy trying this whole working man thing, I have had little time for the blog. The reason is, I suppose, that I feel sometimes as though either I have said all that needs saying or there aren’t really many people out there who are so radical as to be actually Catholic.

Be that as it may, I did want to slip on here and type out a quick post to say hello, and to offer a word of caution regarding this website as well as others.

You see, when we decided to stay away from non-Catholic clergy, and by extension non-Catholic fellow parishioners, we laid upon ourselves a heavy burden, one which our Lord in the desert felt so immensely we could hardly compare or comprehend. His friends were the Angels in his isolation. Do we befriend the Angels in our isolation and desert walk?

There is a danger that, in separating ourselves from the false communion of non-Catholics, clinging to God, His Church, and true doctrine, we become so self-referential and isolated and lonely that, if we do not become crazy, we drift back to the Novus Ordo parish nearest our house, for nothing other than the hospitality and friendship awaiting us there.

I will not say these are bad. We were made for each other, human beings, and we do not thrive and become happy separated. Still that does not mean we have to surrender our religious principles. Let me explain.

All of us, from the lonely old man to the young lady, we all have habits of mind and hobbies we enjoy. We like to think about things, and do things that we are good at or would like to. I know among you with whom I have corresponded over the years that there are musicians, poets, historians, artists, and so much more.

If you feel lonely, do not seek out comfort where you are to compromise your holy religion. Go to where there are other commonalities. Cultivate friendships with fellow artists or musicians. Start up a historic society in your town with monthly meetings at your library. In sum, get out there. But don’t return to the place you are surely to lose your soul or wrack up years in purgatory through spiritual lethargy inculcated there!

Another word of warning. Do not depend upon websites and website personalities—even like this one—to fill that human contact void. The danger is, if and when an error, sometimes a very grievous error, is published on a website you very much like the author of, you will think the error less than, or not an error at all, and be deceived into thinking a lie.

That is the danger, that in your isolation as a Home Alone Catholic, you may succumb to the wiles of a cult leader. I need not name names. I myself may be that cult leader for you, which I would rather delete this website than let happen. I only keep it up because I think the risk of that is relatively low, since I try to keep things at a very low threshold of intellectual demand, so people don’t get confused and so I don’t make any of those grievous errors.

Home Alone means home alone. We may not have any real Catholics nearby to commune with, and those on websites may be compromised for one reason or another. But that doesn’t mean we cannot have a kind of secular communion with our neighbors who may like backgammon or cribbage as much as we.

So, if you are feeling lonely and isolated in the desert this Lent, good! It means you are closer to imitating our Lord. But don’t think it is a compromise to your Catholic faith to be a friend to a non-Catholic.

Besides, it might just be an opportunity to evangelize.

Come to think of it: Who does St. Patrick’s Day belong to?

One “wokism” which the world is enthralled with is cultural appropriation, and socially crucifying anyone who does it. But the one culture which has any rights to be up in arms about any inappropriate appropriation of its identity is the one culture as silent as a lamb – while the rest of the cultures of the world howl like she-wolves in the outer dark. 

For those who don’t know, cultural appropriation is when one culture, say, a predominately white European American culture, calls its team mascot by the name of another people, or uses images associated with that people – even when that people is native to the land of said white European American culture. This habit of copying or using other cultures is considered a kind of exploitation, especially when it involves the religious symbols, fashions, language or music of a people. 

One hot-topic item has been the exploitation of the Native American warbonnet, a ceremonial headdress worn by decorated and honored Native Americans. As one Cherokee academic, Adrienne Keene, said in The New York Times, speaking of non-Native Americans wearing warbonnets: 

“When it becomes a cheap commodity anyone can buy and ear to a party, that meaning is erased and disrespected, and Native peoples are reminded that our cultures are still seen as something of the past, as unimportant in contemporary society, and unworthy of respect.” 

Keene has a point. Surely sacred garments, or anything sacred of a culture, shouldn’t be reduced to a “cheap commodity,” because the sacredness of the artifact is reduced to insignificance. Perhaps it would be wrong of the world to commercialize Christmas, that is, Christ-Mass, or decorate Easter eggs, the symbol of the Resurrection, or exchange St. Valentine cards, host Halloween parties, or, heaven forbid, wear green t-shirts in remembrance of Saint Patrick who vanquished Irish paganism from the green Isle over 1500 years ago.  

I could go on and talk about how the world has stolen so much more from Catholic culture, like hospitals, universities, science, law, art, and, well, everything else in Western Civilization, only that would be foolish, because these things were not stolen by the world but given to the world by God through the Church. The Catholic Church, unlike wokism, is very generous with its gifts of grace. 

Saint Patrick, for instance, was given to Ireland – and eventually the world – by God in the fifth century, to liberate the Irish culture from false gods like Crom Cruach who demanded human sacrifice. One religious symbol of Saint Patrick’s spiritual conquest of Ireland is the shamrock. 

Friday March 17 marks the death and feast day of Saint Patrick. Even as early as the end of February, shamrocks began to sprout up, as by magic or miracle, in grocery store checkouts. But this clover becoming a universal symbol for everything Irish is not understood absent any mention of the Holy Trinity – the only reason for its significance at all. Without the Catholic Faith in the Holy Trinity, the shamrock is a piece of grass or weed, hardly the stuff of cultural iconography. 

So, come Friday please attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade and party, and wear green and wave your shamrocks and drink beer – which the monks saved for you, by the way, from the dark ages – as much as your heart’s desire. As a Catholic and not a “wokester,” I don’t mind a wink. That’s because beer, shamrocks, and the color green don’t belong to me, but the Catholic Church which gave these things significance and gave them as gifts to an ungrateful world.  

Come to think of it, Saint Patrick doesn’t belong to the Irish, either. He belongs to God.         

Thou Shalt Talk to Thy Neighbor

The Lord commanded us to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We were told that all the law is based on these two commandments. But, there is another law everyone ought to equally obey, and that is, Thou shalt talk to thy neighbor.   

This past Sunday, I was strolling my son around our little neighborhood, and, having successfully seen no one along the way, I was turning the corner for home when I caught sight of my neighbor working on his truck. Instantly a sense of discomfort shot through me like a syringe of icy saline, for I noticed that he noticed me and was prepared – against all common decency and unspoken mores – to stop and talk to me. 

I am not shy. I do not find talking to people difficult – I am a journalist after all. But when it comes to talking to neighbors, I get queasy in my stomach, like I am a little boy talking with a new old uncle. Why is this? 

One reason might be that, just like the old uncle, the neighbor knows a little (or a lot) about me, even though he hasn’t met me, unlike a complete stranger on a bus or at a grocery store, who knows no more of me than Adam. There is a loss of privacy with our neighbor, which makes talking a little awkward, since we think we know something about each other already, and we know they know something about us. We observe our neighbors closely – it is something of a habit or hobby of mine, though I seldom if ever talk to them. When we do, though, we learn that no amount of observation prepares us for what we might learn in a five minute chat on the street.     

I learned of my neighbor what I could not possibly discover by observation – or on Halloween. I learned his name, for starters, his age, and that he was retired from the Navy, just like me! He was a medical deep sea diver. And just watch “Men of Honor” to get an idea of how awesome Navy divers are – a lot more awesome than Navy journalists, let me tell you. I also learned that he was a truck driver, and had moved to the area because his daughter wanted him and his wife to move to the area. He met his wife in the Navy, and she was a medical corpsman, too. He lived in the deep south, Mississippi if I recall correctly, but you couldn’t tell it by his accent. I learned these things, and so many more unconscious or nonverbal things about my neighbor which make up a general outline of his character.  

And he learned from me that I was medically retired from the Navy with kidney disease and that I am a reporter and photographer for The Southern, and perhaps a good deal about my character. Though this exchange only lasted a few minutes, the transaction of biographical and psychological information paid off. I feel more neighborly now, and look forward to the next time I see him out and about, so I can wish him a happy day by his first name. 

I know that avoiding neighbors isn’t just some idiosyncrasy of mine, for the simple reason that none but a few of my neighbors have stopped to say hello and introduce themselves. One did so only to ask when the cable was going to be installed; another to see about a fence install. Usually, Trick-or-Treat night gives us the opportunity to get to know our neighbors better. But this past year, almost no one was passing out candy in our neighborhood, and the ones we talked to who were were dressed up as bloody clowns, so we really couldn’t get a sense of them.

Many think the Greatest Commandment means giving food or shelter to the poor, which it does, of course. But perhaps there is more to the Law of Love than satisfying our neighbor’s bodily needs. Maybe we are called to get to know our neighbor, too, to take a few minutes out of our busy lives to acknowledge the existence of our fellow human beings and take some interest in their lives as well.     

Come to think of it, can one even love God or our neighbor if we don’t talk to either of them?  

The Modern Day Longbow

Editor’s Note: Below is my first article for a new weekly column, Come to Think of It, I write for The Southern. I’d like to publish it here on CatholicEclipsed, because I think my readers will enjoy it. So enjoy.

A few years back I bought a bow, because I felt like every man should be able to defend his home and country, and because I was afraid of firearms and thought bows more safe and less frightening—and because I wanted to be like Robin Hood. But I was quickly cured of that misconception after I fired my first volley, the sound of which scared the heck out of me. Though my name was Robin, I was no Robin Hood. I sold the bow to the pawn shop and bought a less physically demanding but more effective weapon: an AR-15. 

It is with tragic irony that the reasons given for banning assault weapons today by our political princes are the same reasons given by princes of old to command owning them. Take for instance, the English longbow. Because of its rapid rate of fire—ten arrows a minute—and effective range—about 300 yards—the longbow was the most lethal weapon during the Middle Ages. The law of the day even required every able-bodied man to train with one. The longbow laws made England powerful and instilled fear in her enemies. Now, I ask, is it not reasonable to assume that if we ban assault weapons, which are modern-day longbows, America will become weak? 

I think the gun debate revolves around a general failure to grasp the essentials of the controversy, which should not only be about self-defense but about the defense of one’s country. 

The Founding Father George Mason once said, “To disarm the people…[is] the most effectual way to enslave them.” Bans on assault weapons will not make America safer, because it is by Americans owning such weapons that makes America safe.

Another Founding Father, James Madison, said, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.” The reverse is also true: A poorly equipped militia, with no training in contemporary weapons of war, is the worst way to defend a country.

I would like to ask Gov. Pritzker, and those who support this assault weapons ban, what are the weapons the unorganized militia of Illinois are supposed to wield if not assault weapons? When the Red Storm rises like a Tom Clancy Novel, and Illinois is drowned in a wave of war, what weapons will weather it?       

What does the law say? The Government Information website states concerning United States v. Miller

“After reciting the original provisions of the Constitution dealing with the militia, the Court observed that ‘[w]ith obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted with that end in view.’ The significance of the militia, the Court continued, was that it was composed of ‘civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.’ It was upon this force that the states could rely for defense and securing of the laws, on a force that ‘comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense,’ who, ‘when called for service. . .were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.’”

Further, The Court stated, “Miller holds that the ‘Second Amendment guarantees no right to keep and bear a firearm that does not have ‘some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.’” I think the law would agree with that assault weapons are a means by which to properly equip a militia for war.    

If America is invaded in twenty years, and the unorganized militia—all able-bodied men 17-45 not in the National Guard or the Naval Militia—is called forth to defend the State of Illinois, what arms will they bear? If this assault weapons ban lasts, and our sons have no modern weapons of war like assault weapons, how will they be able to defend this land?     

Since purchasing my AR-15, I have fired it precisely once—I thought a bow was scary and loud! But the political climate today is cold to put it mildly. War is not a bygone bogyman of a more barbaric age—the last century should put us in no doubt about that. Just as in Robin Hood’s time, when England suffered a century of war and was saved by the longbow, so America may suffer the same tomorrow. In that dark hour when heroes are needed to defend democracy and freedom, who will be strong enough to stand and fight and save America?

Come to think of it, perhaps it’s time to take my sons back out to the range.  

Winter is a Time for Remembering   

The gravestone of Katie E. “His Wife” sits in the cold but sunny day at Howard Cemetery. Katie’s remains were interred just a year after the cemetery was established

Editor’s Note: I shot the photographs and wrote this meditation for what I thought might be a photography journal column with the publication I currently work for. Unfortunately, I am paid to be a journalist and not to be an artist, which means I am supposed to be writing stories and taking photographs about artists and art as a journalist, not making my own art as an artist. I think that this post is art, if only one will allow it to move them to the aesthetic, philosophical, and theological realm of thought and feeling. And, for those inclined toward the mystical meaning of existence, perhaps this post even rises to the height of news–since, after all, the story and photographs are about interesting people.

Humans have been marking graves for at least the past 5000 years, beginning with the Celts and Romans. Since then this mysterious ritual has been observed in almost every culture throughout the world. From Buddhist Dharma Wheels figuring the eternal reality of the Now, to Christian Crosses signaling the Heavenly hereafter, gravestone makers help families memorialize their most precious beliefs and keep their loved ones’s memories alive. 

One such place where the dead are remembered is Howard Cemetery, which was established on the farm of Abraham Howard in 1883 with the burial of his grandson, Thomas A. Howard, which I happened to find quite by accident. 

I was out driving, letting the road and beautiful sights direct my steering wheel, when I decided to drive beyond Hurst into the country to look for a nostalgic subject—I was in a wistful frame of mind. I turned off the main road, because a sign indicated a cemetery was nearby. After about a quarter mile of gravel road, over a railroad crossing, past black cows munching hay, and coal mines all around, I pulled into a little secret and cozy cemetery nestled in the woods.   

Peter’s gravestone leans under the weight of years in the cold cemetery. Peter’s most precious biographical info he wanted time to recall was his membership with a local lodge. Pete was 65 when he passed into the ages of ages.   

After an appropriate crossing and a few Ave Marias said for the faithful departed over whom I was about to trod, I reverently knelt in the icy snow blanket covering the cemetery grounds and got to work. All that could be heard was the crunching of the snow beneath me and the clicking of my camera. 

What impressed me most was the tangible silence of the place. It was calming, mournful, and yet filled with what I can only call a moment filled with memory. Here were all these people beneath my feet who walked and talked over a hundred years ago and now were still and silent as the gave. And here I was remembering them with my camera. I read the names: Katie: His Wife, 1884; Peter: Lodge NO 715 K of P, 1851-1916; Esta: 1916, and so many more.

I can almost see Katie now in the kitchen: a devoted wife in a blue flower dress with a red apron, pulling corn muffins from the oven.

Or Peter, the jokester perhaps who alway knew where the best and coldest beer in town was, loyal as a hunting hound, hard but not cruel, wise in his own way, who lived a full but humble life.  

Then there’s poor little Esta. She died before ever becoming a woman. Maybe she was like Beth March in Little Women, sweet and mild, and disposed to noble suffering and resigned to a brief candle of life.        

A gravestone sits in shadow and light, marked Esta Harrison, born Aug. 27, 1903, and died Nov. 18, 1916. Esta was not yet a woman when she died. 

The truth is, I don’t know who these people were, but I know that they were people just like me, with hopes and fears, joys and sorrows. Though I never knew them, I remember them all the same, and in doing so I remember that I shall join them when my brief hour here has ended and time becomes eternity.  

The Church Shall be Darkened and Shall Not Give Her Light, and Shall Fall from Heaven

Terrible Signs

It is the trend today to assume that the Roman Catholic Church shall be as it ever was until the coming of Christ. There has been much discussion, and very good data to support such a doctrinal assertion. I for one tend to sympathize with those who think so, and would be inclined to believe it myself, were it not for the problem of proof.

The proofs are lacking in the supposition that there must always be Shepherds and Teachers until the end of time, and that the Church shall remain unchanged. The problem is, what calls itself the Church, and what has an appearance of being so, has been changed in its fundamentals in doctrine and discipline, while admittedly retaining the veneer of the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church. This is but surface deep, and within which there does not dwell the Holy Ghost, as is evident by the evil fruits of the Post Conciliar Sect.

Unfortunately, many have been confused by this outward appearance, coupled with the doctrinal suppositions that the Catholic Church must exist as it always has with Shepherds and Teachers until the end of time, and so, have defected by returning back to the Novus Ordo, or who have chosen never to leave.

I do not fault these individuals, because these are issues which are very confusing, and those to whom I allude I assume are pure intentioned and of good will, I have no doubt. But confusion is confusion, and error error, and so we must compare what has been said before to the present, in order to make some kind of sense of our predicament.

First, I would like to turn to Rev. Father Francis Hunolt, a renowned German preacher, who said in his sermon “On the Terrible Signs that are to Precede the Last Day of General Judgment,” the following:

Moreover, these signs shall show forth the great anger and displeasure of the Almighty at sinful men. The heavens now announce the glory of God, as the Prophet David says: “The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of His hands.”(4) “But then,” says Barradius, “they shall declare the anger of God against the wicked.”(5) For He will cause all creatures to rise up against them; by making the stars to lose their light, He will, so to speak, shut up the windows by which any light might penetrate to the earth, that He may smite in the dark without mercy, as Isaias prophesies: “Behold, the day of the Lord shall come, a cruel day, and full of indignation, and of wrath, and fury, to lay the land desolate, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and their brightness shall not display their light: the sun shall be darkened in his rising, and the moon shall not shine with her light.” 

Elsewhere, Father Hunolt wrote,

All that could encourage a pious Christian and console him in such tribulation shall then be removed; for this cruel beast in his daring pride shall set himself up as the true God and claim to be adored and to have churches built in his honor. “And the king shall do according to his will,” says the Prophet Daniel; “and he shall be lifted up, and shall magnify him self against every god.” (9) All the temples consecrated to Our Lord shall be pulled down and desecrated, the sacred images destroyed, spiritual books burned, all preachers and priests made away with, and the use of the holy sacraments and the celebration of Mass utterly abolished: “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall defile the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the continual sacrifice: and they shall place there the abomination unto desolation.”(10) Such are the words of the Prophet Daniel. Thus for about four years, the duration of the reign of Antichrist, the public celebration of the holy Sacrifice shall be nowhere tolerated in the whole world; not a single crucifix shall there be that one might comfort himself in his sorrows by looking at it.

What is very curious about these statements, is that Father Hunolt does not sound like he is placing before the reader some bold new theory which had never been heard before. On the contrary, Father Hunolt was well-known in his day for his orthodox and inspired sermons. He simply states the following facts of eschatology (study of the End Times):

  1. No spiritual consolation during the tribulation.
  2. All consecrated churches and alters shall be destroyed, as well as sacred images, books.
  3. All priests done away with.
  4. Use of holy sacraments and the Mass abolished.
  5. Continual sacrifice shall be taken away.
  6. During Antichrist’s reign, public celebration of holy Sacrifice shall not be tolerated.
  7. Not even crucifixes shall be seen to comfort.

Thus we see a startlingly similar picture emerging from this summary of what must be a perennially held interpretation of the prophecies of the End Times found in the Bible. What is very peculiar to point out is that, though some may be a wee bit exaggerative (like number 1 and 7), almost all of these points of prophecy coincide, not with Sedevacantists, not with Novus Ordoites, not with Recognize and Resisters, but with Home Alone Catholics. But what in particular concerns me in this post is the point about the cessation of the sacrifice, which Traditionalists and those of the Novus Ordo, as well, reject or believe has not come to pass–as if not now, then when!

I shall let these quotes from Hunolt just sit there for your meditation. Imagine you were sitting in the pew of some German church a few hundred years ago, and heard Father Hunolt speak these things, and thinking what it might be like to have no priests and no Mass and no church. Not so hard to imagine, is it?

Next, I would like to take a quote from a letter Saint Augustine wrote to Bishop Hesychius, entitled “The End of the World,” which Saint Augustine liked so much he decided to republish as a chapter in his City of God.

For the Church is the sun and the moon and the stars, to which it was said, Beautiful as the moon, chosen as the sun (Sg 6:9)…For, when the sun is darkened, and the moon does not give its light, and the stars fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens are thrown into confusion (Mt 24:29; Mk 13:24-25), as this passage is expressed by the other two evangelists, the Church will not be seen. At that time, when the wicked persecutors rage beyond all limit and without any fear, as if the happiness of the world were smiling upon them, they say, Peace and security (1 Thes 5:3), stars will fall from the heavens, and the powers of the heavens will be thrown into confusion, because many who seemed to be resplendent with grace will yield to the persecutors and fall, and some very firm believers will be thrown into confusion, (Ep. 199.39).

Here Saint Augustine says that “the Church will not be seen.” The sun, moon, and stars are the Church. Hence, “And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be moved…” could equally be read as “…the Church shall be darkened and the the Church shall not give her light, and the Church shall fall from heaven…”

Those who insist that there must always be Shepherds and Teachers until the Second Coming and Final Judgment, must reconcile these teachings of eminent preachers and teachers in the Church who say otherwise. Those who are confused about these issues must not be led astray, they must not “yield to the persecutors and fall.” Those who would return to the Novus Ordo–or never leave–are the ones who yield to the persecutors of the real Church, the body of unshaken believers who have held the Faith whole and inviolable.

We who keep the Faith must pray for perseverance and not be tempted to believe that He is to be found in the closets or Tabernacles of the Novus Ordo, or anywhere else. Christ is to be sought today in prayer in the spirit, since His sacramental presence has been taken away as a punishment for our sins. Pray the Rosary everyday if you can, and ask our Lady to make your will strong, that you may keep the Faith of our Fathers and not yield to the Antichrist.